Papers of John Adams, volume 16

Instructions to the American Commissioners

To Rolland & Co.

John Adams to Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 8 May 1784 Adams, John Willink, Van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
To Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
Gentlemen. The Hague May 8th: 1784.

I am to take with me to Paris, a Quantity of Bills of Exchange, formerly accepted by me, in behalf of the United States and paid by Messrs: Fizeaux, Grand & Co. it is necessary that a List of these Bills should be made, before I sign a Receipt for them; and therefore, these are to request you, to speak to Mr: Fizeau upon the subject, and assist in making the List, or at least in examining and comparing it, that there may be no mistake; I shall call at Amsterdam, for the Bills the latter End of next Week, or beginning of the week after, at furthest.1

I am &c.

P.S. I owe Mr: Holtzhey, Medallist for some Medals. will you be so good as to pay this, and send me the Receipt, and charge it to the United States as part of my Salary?2 One favour more: i: e: a List of the Sums, of Money, advanced to me, and payments for me, in Paris, London, or here since last July— This will be necessary for me to have in order to the settlement of my Account, with Congress or Mr: Barclay.3

LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs: Wilhem & Jan Willink / Nicholas & Jacob van Staphorst / & / De la Lande & Fynje.”; APM Reel 107.


For JA’s effort to obtain an accounting of the bills of exchange, see his 4 May letter to Fizeaux, Grand & Co., and note 1, above. In its reply of 11 May (Adams Papers), the consortium wrote that “we applyed to Mr. Fiseaux, who has promised us to get the bills with the note ready.”


JA wrote to Jean George Holtzhey on 8 May (LbC, APM Reel 107), indicating that he had instructed the consortium to pay him for the medals, and in its reply of 11 May (Adams Papers) the consortium promised to do so.


The list, not found, was enclosed with 203 the consortium’s reply. In preparing his account with the United States for presentation to Thomas Barclay, JA had first requested a statement from the consortium in his letter of 16 Aug. 1783 (vol. 15:232–233). He requested a second update in his letter of 25 Aug. 1784, below.