Papers of John Adams, volume 14

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 3 March 1783 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) La Lande & Fynje, de (business) Adams, John
From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
Sir Amsterdam the 3d March 1783

We have before us your Excellency's esteem'd favour of 23 past, we'll enquire after the Seven obligations, to exchange the Same if the holders consent to it, we shall pay to Mr. de Neufville the Coupons and charge the same to the acct. of the United States, with the sum Messrs. Willink have disbursed for your Excellency.

we take due notice your Excellency is to dispose in some time 40 a 50/ms. ƒ of the publicq money,1 and orders us to reserve of it the Intrest of the Loan to become due, as to the rest you have no objection to our paying it out to Mr. Grand, we beg Leave to observe to your Excellency, that we not being authorised by his Excellency Robt Morris Esqr. nor Mr. Grand to make any demands on us and expecting at every Moment orders of Mr. Morris, who was pleased to order to us to pay out to Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. what ever sums they might dispose, who in consequence desired 2 Millions but on our advice of not having such a sum in cash they desired provisionally one Million, so we expect his Excellency may order by his first letters the remainder to said Gentlemen, wherefore we find ourselves unqualifyed to satisfy the private demands of mr Grand unless your Excellency is pleased to authorise us specially to it, whenever we are always ready to pay due attention to his orders.

Money in Cash with each of us amounts together after the mentioned objects deduced at abt. ƒ200/m when nothing is Calculated for draft of his Excellency Mr Morris directly made or bills on Mr Laurens.

we have the honour to remain with great esteem / Sir / Your Excellency most Humb / & Most Obedient Servants

Wilhem & Jan Willink Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst. de la Lande & fynje

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr at paris.”


That is, forty or fifty milles (thousand) florins.

From C. W. F. Dumas, 4 March 1783 Dumas, C. W. F. Adams, John
From C. W. F. Dumas
Monsieur Lahaie 4e. Mars 1783

La Poste, qui part à 5 heures aujourd’hui, & un mal de reins violent, m’obligent de renvoyer la réponse aux honorées vôtres à Jeudi prochain.

Ce matin L. H. P. ont pris une Conclusion conforme au Préavis de la Province d’Hollande, Sur les Instructions à donner à leurs Plénipo: pour arriver à la Paix générale.1 Il y a de l’inconstitutionel dans cette Conclusion, en ce qu’elle n’est point unanime: car les Députés de 3 provinces ont déclaré n’être pas encore autorisés à donner leur assentiment. Mais cela viendra.

Je continue d’agir sourdement pour Mr. Wheelock, en attendant qu’il soit temps de le faire plus ouvertement; & j’ai lieu d’espérer, que l’affaire succedera du plus au moins. Jeudi je vous répondrai plus amplement là-dessus, Monsieur, ainsi qu’à Mr. Franklin.2

Il ne sera pas difficile du tout, de lier la partie avec Mr. le Bourguemaître Van Berkel, pour faire le Voyage ensemble dans une bonne Frégatte, si vous pouvez attendre jusqu’au mois de Juin.—Quand j’ai répété à notre ami G—— ces paroles Perhaps the ——3 will send a frigate with him; he ought; il m’a répondu: il devra bien, quand nous l’aurons ordonné.

Je suis, Monsieur, avec grand respect, / De Vre. Excellence / le très-humble & / très-obéissant servit,

Sir The Hague, 4 March 1783

The post, which leaves at five o’clock today, and a violent attack of lumbago oblige me to put off replying to your esteemed letters until next Thursday.

This morning their High Mightinesses reached a conclusion consistent with the previous notice of the Province of Holland concerning the instructions to be given their plenipotentiaries in concluding a general peace.1 There is some unconstitutionality in this conclusion in that it is not unanimous, for the deputies of three provinces have declared themselves as yet unauthorized to give their assent. But that will come.


I continue to act silently on behalf of Mr. Wheelock, until it is time to act more openly, and I have reason to believe that the matter will succeed. On Thursday I shall answer you and Mr. Franklin too in greater detail.2

It will be quite easy to join Burgomaster Van Berckel and travel together in a good frigate if you can wait until June. When I repeated these words to our friend Gyselaar, “Perhaps the ——3 will send a frigate with him; he ought,” he replied, “He should, when we have ordered one.”

I am, sir, with great respect, your excellency's very humble and very obedient servant


RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Paris à S. E. Mr. Adams M. P.”


The 14 March Gazette d’Amsterdam reported that the dispatch to Paris of the new instructions, now approved by five of the seven provinces, had been delayed but that the Dutch negotiators were directed to refuse any cession of territory to England, to demand a free navigation according to the plan of the Armed Neutrality, and to obtain indemnification for Dutch losses. Compare the new instructions with those issued to Gerard Brantsen in 1782 (vol. 13:246–248).


Dumas wrote to JA concerning Wheelock on Thursday, 6 March, below. Dumas’ letter to Franklin of 14 March (DLC:Franklin Papers) acknowledged Franklin's letter of 17 Feb. introducing Wheelock (PCC, No. 101, f. 318) and gave an account of Wheelock's activities on behalf of Dartmouth College since his arrival in the Netherlands.


Presumably the stadholder, William V.