Papers of John Adams, volume 16

From Benjamin Franklin

From Thomas Barclay

Jean George Holtzhey to John Adams, 16 April 1784 Holtzhey, Jean George Adams, John
From Jean George Holtzhey
Honor’d Sir Amsterdam April the 16. 1784

on the 26 last, I have sent your Excell̃: pr the Marketboat, the Two Medals you desired, according to a letter rec̃: from the Gentleman your Son of the 23d: past and at the same time I sent a Box with five small Medals (to be used for counters at the game of Whist) Invented bÿ me and made at the desire of a Companÿ of good Friends.1 desire you to accept the same not so much for the Value as for the speculation and to se if the Defenition of the game is to be found therein.

This letter ought to have gone with the Said Packet if I had not flatter’d mÿself to rec̃: an answer from Mr. John Stockdale of London, at least to mÿ letter of the 5th: March. I have received no letters at all from that Man not even to Inform me that he rec̃: mÿ Packet which I sent him the 5th: December of last year nor answer to anÿ other letters sent him bÿ the post, which makes me a little uneasÿ, although your Excellency advised me to it bÿ your Letter from London dated and under his cover besides the medals which I sent him in commission to sell 4 Medals to your Excellency which I inclosed according to your order, and also one on the Baron van de Capellen tot de Pol,2 besides the 2 medals per Post also under his Cover sent to your Excellencÿ, and which you have received. Be pleased to have the goodness Sir, bÿ some means or other to let that man know that he must write to me and answer mÿ letters, for your Excellencÿ knows that it was on your recommendation I sent him the medals if he can’t or won’t sell them in Commission, let him return them to me, I did not mean to offend him3

I Flatter mÿself that your Excellencÿ is convinced of mÿ good Intention, and will be so kind as to take the trouble in this affair to get it settled for it is to trifling to let it linger a long while


I have the Honor’d to subscribe mÿself with Veneration and Respect / Your Exllency’s / Most Ob Humb servant

Jean George Holtzhey.

RC (Adams Papers).


JQA’s 23 March letter has not been found, and the medals to be used as whist counters sent by Holtzhey on the 26th have not been identified.


No request from JA for Holtzhey to send a medal to the Baron Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol has been found.


JA wrote to Holtzhey on 24 Nov. 1783 requesting that he send him, charged to his own account and for distribution to friends in England, the medals Holtzhey had struck commemorating Dutch recognition of the United States and the Dutch-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce. He also indicated that John Stockdale might be able to sell “a great Number of them” in London. Holtzhey replied on 5 Dec. that he had sent the medals that JA requested and had included others for Stockdale to sell. Stockdale indicated on 20 Jan. 1784 that the medals had arrived (vol. 15:376, 395, 465–466). On 8 May JA wrote to Holtzhey, thanking him for the whist counters and indicating that he would instruct the loan consortium to pay Holtzhey for the medals charged to JA and would endeavor to have Stockdale settle his account (LbC, APM Reel 107). For JA’s settlement of his account with Holtzhey, see his letter to the consortium of 8 May, below.