Papers of John Adams, volume 15

Sir The Hague, 16 October 1783

My last of the 14th had already left when that from your son to my wife apprised us that you had been seriously ill and, happily, are now better.1 We are as solicitous for your past indisposition as for your convalescence, which we congratulate you on wholeheartedly.

Messrs. Matheus van Arp & Company wrote the following to me from Amsterdam on 15 October:

“The American vessel Elisabeth, owner Abraham Brun, whose destination is the West Indies, was bought here by the abovementioned owner, is still without papers, and is to trade in various places in the West Indies. I ask you to send me a passport for this vessel, signed by Mr. Adams or by you as his chargé d’affaires. This vessel belongs to the aforementioned captain as the sole proprietor, and he asks you to immediately exercise all possible diligence to send him the passport and to respond to this by tomorrow’s post with your well-known promptness. In case you do not have 316passports from Mr. Adams, I ask you to make a note of that for me first and in such a way that I can make assurances that by your word of honor, you have written to Mr. Adams about this by the first post, since this vessel is in a great hurry to leave immediately.”2

I am sending a note this evening to Messrs. Matheus Van Arp & Company to let them know that I am writing you about this.

Please accept, sir, the respects of my family and of yours truly, and permit me to send warm greetings here to your son. Your excellency’s very humble and very obedient servant

C.w.f. Dumas

P.S. The garrison at Utrecht has left, following the wishes of the burgesses, before the arrival of the troops assigned to replace them, and for that reason it was necessary to change the letters patent. And I, seeing all that I see, I express myself in the oriental style: Oh, Allah! What is a prince without a people? And what cannot a people do without a prince, once they desire it? 3