Papers of John Adams, volume 16

Gentlemen The Hague, 10 December 17841

The letter of 10 November with which you honored me, gentlemen, reached me by means of a Dutch courier only on the 26th. I transmitted to the king a French translation of the draft treaty of commerce to be concluded for the reciprocal advantage of the subjects of His Majesty and the citizens of the United States of America, to which the recent instructions of Congress obliged you to make a few alterations at variance with the one that I had the honor of putting in the hands of Mr. Adams on 9 April of this year. As soon as orders from my court reach me, I will hasten to inform you, gentlemen, of the observations that the king believes he must make on this new draft. Article 23 is dictated by the purest zeal for the good of humanity. Nothing could be fairer than the reflections on the noble disinterestedness of the United States of America. It is to be desired that these sublime sentiments should be adopted by all maritime powers without exception. The calamities of war would then be much relieved, and the hostilities often provoked by cupidity and the immoderate love of gain, less often repeated.

Please receive kindly, gentlemen, my recalling to mind the request that I had the honor to make you in the last lines of my 18 October letter.2 The king having informed me that he would learn with pleasure the choice of the United States indicating a preference for one city or another where the exchange of commerce between merchants of the two nations might take place, I beseeched you to let me know your ideas on this matter. I added that Stettin or Emden, Prussian ports of trade, as well as several French or Dutch ports could equally serve this purpose.

I have the honor of being with the most distinguished consideration, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant

de Thulemeier