Papers of John Adams, volume 16


The American Commissionersto the Conde de Aranda

John van Heukelom & Zoon to John Adams, 27 October 1784 John van Heukelom & Zoon Adams, John
From Jan van Heukelom & Zoon
Honourable Sir. Leÿden the 27 October 1784.

We take the liberty to inclose a letter for Mr. Cranch: Which we beg Your Excellencÿ maÿ read and then forward to him the Sooner the better; We are afraid that oúr Connexion with this Gentleman or with Mr. Aústin, will be of no Consequence & that it will come to Nothing in â Short time; the reason is that we verÿ seldom receive á letter from them & nó information whether it be time or not to Send off anÿ goods. & What Coloúrs &ct: are Wanted: the distance of the two Coúntries makes it necessarý to correspond frequentlỹ & regúlar; and we have done on oúr Side all what we coúld do bÿ providing Mr: Cranch or Mr Aústin with á plentÿ of goods to the 353 amount of ƒ15,000:— :— dutch Currencÿ for this Sum we received bills of Exchange to the amount of ƒ10,000:— :— dutch Currencÿ; â Part of the Goods remaining únsold; the amount of the bills is much more than we Know Mr. Cranch can have in cash; at least we did not receive anÿ bills of Sale; We beg Yoúr Excellencÿ Kind assistance to encourage these Gentlemen to write ús often; regular & Circúmstantial; and if this be done we think to be able to make oúr Connexion of Conseqúence & worth of attending: for We are very únwilling to loose the best & Surest opportunity, which we ever coúld wish & which we grateful acknowledge to owe to your Excellencÿs Kindness, to have á Share in the Americain trade.

We inclose the Samples of Some Yds: of Cloth which we prepared úpon ÿoúr Order. & we wish to Know Whether & where we’ll Send them or Keep them till we receive farther orders.

We are with verÿ much respect. / Honourable Sir: / Your Most Obedient & Humble. / Servants.

John van Heúkelom & Son

P:S: We beg Pardon that the Cloth of which we inclose the Samples was not Sent off before ÿoúr depart from the Hagùe. but it was not readÿ by that time.

J:v: Heukelom the Father having done in the Month of Augúst â toúr to Paris, called at yoúr Exellencÿ’s house at aùteuil but was So unhappÿ not to find Your Excellencÿ at Home.1

RC (Adams Papers).


In his 11 Dec. reply to the Van Heukeloms (LbC, APM Reel 107), JA acknowledged receipt of their letter to him and promised to forward their letter to Richard Cranch. Although he praised the cloth samples that the Van Heukeloms sent to him, JA asked that they find someone else to take them, explaining that “as the Service of the Publick and the order of Congress, have obliged me to come to Paris and I shall not probably return to Holland for a long time, I know not what to do with those Cloths.” JA expressed regret at having missed the call of the senior Jan van Heukelom at Auteuil and asked that his regards be conveyed to Jean Luzac and François Adriaan van der Kemp. For more on the Van Heukeloms’ dealings with Cranch and his otherwise unidentified partner “Mr. Aústin,” see their 1 July 1782 letter to JA, vol. 13:141–142, as well as AA’s 7 Jan. 1785 letter to Mary Smith Cranch, Richard Cranch’s 3 June letter to JA, and Mary Smith Cranch’s 19 July letter to AA, AFC , 6:54, 163, 236–237.