Papers of John Adams, volume 15

To Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 16 August 1783 Adams, John Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) La Lande & Fynje, de (business)
To Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
Gentlemen Paris August 16. 1783

As I am about Settling my Accounts with Mr Barclay who is impowered by Congress to settle them, I must beg the favour of you, Gentlemen, to Send me, an exact Account, in detail of every order I have drawn upon you, and of every Sum of Money you have paid upon my order, from the Beginning, and of all the Money I have 233received of you, jointly or Seperately, whether directly or by the Way of Mr Vander Iver at Paris,1 whether by paying off Accounts against me, or by Sending once, a few Articles to Mrs Adams.

I am Sorry, Gentlemen to give you this Trouble, but as I must produce my Vouchers to Mr Barclay, it is necessary. When I have it all in one View, I can easily Settle it, but I find it impossible to do it without. With great Respect &c

P.S. In Short, I believe, the Shortest Way, will be, for you to send me, a Copy of your whole Account, with the United States of America out of which I can with Certainty make up my own. at present I find it, impossible to do it.2

J. A.

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs Wilhem and Jan Willink / Nicholas and Jacob Van staphorst / and / De la Lande & Fynje”; APM Reel 106.


For an instance of JA’s requesting funds from the Paris banking firm of Van den Yver Frères for bills drawn on the consortium, see the commissioners’ 10 Sept. letter to the president of Congress, note 1, below.


In preparing his account with the United States for presentation to Thomas Barclay, JA requested updated accounts from the consortium on at least two more occasions, in his letters of 8 May and 25 Aug. 1784 (both LbC, APM Reel 107). When JA’s account with the United States was finally settled on 10 Oct. 1785, it was current to 9 Aug. 1784 1 Aug. 1785 (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 266–267).

From Eliphalet Fitch, 19 August 1783 Fitch, Eliphalet Adams, John
From Eliphalet Fitch
Dear Sir London Augt. 19th. 1783

The polite Attention you were pleased to shew me at Paris, and the Civility I received, thro’ your Recommendation, in Holland, having afforded me the highest Satisfaction, will ever be remember’d with the most grateful Respect.

I am happy to find by the Ratification of the Provisional Treaty that Peace is fully establish’d between Great Britain and America.— It now remains to improve this happy Event into a commercial Intercourse, founded on mutual Advantages.— Without these substantial Ties the Stipulations made by any Politicians will not prove stronger than a Spider’s Web.— In every unequal Contract the suffering Party will struggle, ’till it is fully released.— I will not however presume to enter on the Subject, as the superior Abilities, which are to regulate the Treaty of Commerce, give me the fullest Confidence that it will be settled on such a Footing, as will be satisfactory, and therefore permanent.

I have sent you by this Conveyance three Books, One of which 234you will do me the Favor to place in your Library; and the others I beg you will present to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay.—1 In this trivial Instance, I must request that my Respect may not be measured by the very inconsiderable Sum a Book may cost, but let it be considered that in each Offering to Men, in whom Excellence is universally confess’d, I observe this pleasing Maxim—“Detur Dignissimo.”2

The Connection I hold with this Country, altho’ it could never efface the strong Impression of filial Affection which I bear to America, now leads me to wish that their mutual Interest may be speedily, and most happily combined.— The Ladies unite in their best Regards to all Friends at Paris.— I am with sincere Esteem and Respect—Dear Sir—Yr. Mt. Obedt. Humble Servt.

Elipht. Fitch

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqre. / &c. &c. &c.”


This book has not been identified.


Let it be given to the most deserving.