Papers of John Adams, volume 14

Sir Amsterdam, 9 January 1783

At present all your efforts are devoted to the greater good of nations. You are working to restore to the universe a peace you did nothing to deprive it of; the advantages that American freedom will henceforth and for all time bestow upon humanity will no doubt compensate for the fleeting ills it has caused. A subtler philosopher than I might claim that these ills are even balanced out by other, more positive effects; our ardent republicans would furnish him with proof. It must be admitted that if things go on as they are, we shall owe the birth of our freedom to the Americans who first rose up against the arrogant. You can scarcely suspect where this preamble will lead. I have taken the liberty of interrupting your excellency's august preoccupations to beg you to look favorably on a Dutch republican whom you have sometimes deigned to honor with tokens of confidence and friendship. I am resolved to write the history of this entire American war. I believe that I already apprised you of this idea. I have most of the documents I need, as far as France, England, and this country are concerned; the Duc 169de La Vauguyon has kindly anticipated my needs on this point, promising me several interesting papers, which he instructed me not to mark. But the most important documents will have to come from America. I should be infinitely obliged—and it would be yet another favor to add to all those I already owe you—if you could send me all the information in your power on this subject and suggest titles of books that might enlighten me. Thank you so much for Mr. Paine's work, I will publish it in French.1 I have finished all the pieces refuting The Cool Thoughts on American Independence.2

Wishing you all the success you rightfully desire for the nation you represent, and for your own happiness, I take the liberty of pronouncing myself, with the most profound respect, your very humble and very obedient servant

A. M. Cerisier

I would be greatly indebted for a speedy reply.