Papers of John Adams, volume 16

To Bidé de Chavagnes

To Tristram Dalton

Gentlemen The Hague, 4 March 17851

The orders of the king with which I am now supplied enable me to respond more amply to the last letter with which you honored me, gentlemen, and the receipt of which I acknowledged in my letter of 11 February.2 His Majesty is convinced that the establishment of one or two free ports would be absolutely useless, after the very cogent remark made by the American plenipotentiaries that Articles 2 and 3 of the counterproject reciprocally grant to the two nations, in all the ports where they would like to engage in trade, all the advantages enjoyed by the most favored nations. This observation exhausts the question, all the more as the intentions of the king are not in the least to limit the commerce of the citizens of the American confederation to one or the other of his ports. In case the establishment of a free port would seem, however, to be of some use, the one that would lend itself to that without much difficulty would be Emden, but several reasons would prevent a similar concession with regard to the port of Stettin. The letter of the plenipotentiaries having been written before the arrival of the observations on the last counterproject, which accompanied my letter of 24 January, it is supposed that the latest clarifications would appear more or less useless. I flatter myself that the first letter that I have the honor of receiving from you, gentlemen, will make it easy for me to work with you to give the treaty, which has been the object of our common care, the desired coherence. The success of this transaction will fulfill my own wishes as well as the common interest of the two nations.

I have the honor of being with the greatest respect, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant

de Thulemeier