Papers of John Adams, volume 16

From John Cranch

To John Jay

Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje to John Adams, 11 February 1784 Willink, Van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje Adams, John
From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
Sir Amsterdam 11 Febr 1784

We postponed to answer the honour of your Excellency’s favour of 5 febr, in hope to be able to mention Something definitif to you, but it would be disagreable to you to enumerate the objections and difficulties, since hitherto we have not yet the answers of all the 32 undertakers, whilst we are continually Endeavouring to Settle the matter, of whch. the Success is yet too incertain, to give your Excellency’s hope for it, and if any thing was capable to augment our application and endeavours, the letter just now received from his Excelly Robt Morris Esqr. Should be most proper to it, Since he mentions us.

“The necessity of making a due provision for our publick engagements, be comes every day more evident on this Side of the water, and the States are in consequence proceeding to that object[];

“as the period for performing some of my heaviest engagements is now arrived, as I can get a good exchge:, and am convinced you may be in cash to honor it, I this day have drawn on you a further bill of one hunderd thousand Guilders, I am to request Gentlemen that this bill may meet with due notice and payment”1

This shows enough how much his Excelly. Stands in need of money, and that more drafts can yet arrive, and how much therefore the inconvenience should be at the return of protested bills of nonpayment, we Shall therefore omit nothing and wish heartely to become able to advice your Excellency Monday next, when we have final meeting a Satisfactory conclusion; the undertakers press us yet upon more premium, and we have given them to understand, that with one per C: more, that is in all 7 per C: instead of 6 per C:, we should engage your Excellenÿ’s approbation, provided the object can be concluded as proposed to them, whch: is Sir one year postponed the redeeming, and the gratifications so much reduced,2 that it will safe at Least 10000 £ stg to the States, for whch. to safe, it is convenient to pay one per C: more, Since this doth not amount to £2000 stg. by whch. your Excelly can perceive how much we take the American intrest to Mind, and beg to recieve your agreement to this proposal and approbation of our Conduct.

We have the honour to remain / with great esteem. / Sir / Your mostt humb Servants

Wilhem & Jan Willink Nichs. & Jacob van Staphorst de la Lande & fÿnje

RC (Adams Papers).


The two quotations are from Robert Morris’ letter of 12 Dec. 1783. The first is followed by Morris’ assertion, regarding the June 1783 army mutiny against Congress, that “with Respect to the Commotion raised in this City and which has occasioned so much Speculation in Europe it was a Thing of no Consequence and what may happen any where.” The second quotation is from the letter’s final paragraph, where Morris indicated that the bill was drawn on Haym Salomon at 120 days’ sight. Salomon was the principal broker for the bills of exchange issued by Morris (Morris, Papers , 8:807–809; DAB ).

33 2.

This was a very significant change in the terms of the loan as represented to JA in the 4 Feb. 1784 letters from the consortium and Wilhem & Jan Willink, both above. Under the new plan the redemption of the principal and accrued interest would begin in 1801 rather than 1800 and would be completed in 1807 rather than 1806. With a reduction in the gratifications this meant that the loan cost considerably less than that proposed earlier. See the plan enclosed with the 16 Feb. 1784 letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink, below.

In his reply of the 12th, JA indicated he would accept the consortium’s alterations in the plan for the loan, but he implored the bankers to write immediately to Morris to provide him with “the true state of the Facts, and the Utter Impossibility there is of procuring Money to Satisfy future Drafts” (LbC, APM Reel 107).