Papers of John Adams, volume 17

From Thomas Jefferson

From Thomas Jefferson

To Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 20 September 1785 Adams, John Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
To Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst
Gentlemen Grosvenor Square Sept. 20. 1785

Yours of 13 is received. I did approve of Messrs Pullers paying the Account of Mr Baker, the Broker, amounting to £105. 13s: 6d st.— The Account appeared to me very high. But I could not do any otherwise than Submit it to the Judgment of Messrs Pullers, who thought it could not be done for less.1

I have drawn an order, besides, within a few days upon Messieurs Pullers, for Seventy five Guineas, payable to the Bearer.2 it was for Cash for Coll David Franks, to pay for Articles, purchased here for the Use of the United States. Franks is to be accountable to Mr Barclay for the Expenditure of it.— I Shall be obliged to you if you would mention in the Charge you make of it, that it was for Coll Franks and that he is to be accountable to Mr Barclay. Whenever I draw, for any Cash for the Service of the United States, I wish to have the Name or the Service appear upon your Books, that when Accounts come to be settled, some Such Circumstance may Appear.

LbC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messs Wilhem and Jan Willink and / Nicholas and Jacob Van staphorst.”; APM Reel 111.


In its letter of 13 Sept. (Adams Papers), which also enclosed Christian Lotter’s letter of the same date (above), the consortium inquired about Richard & Charles Puller’s charge on them for Thomas Baker’s charges and requested that in the future, JA might inform them of his approval of such charges, presumably because the bankers thought them excessive. So too had JA, for on 3 Sept. he wrote the Pullers that “I return you Mr Bakers Account.— it Seems to me to be a very large sum, £105: s13: d6 for the Service, 465that was done in Simply removing my small Quantity of Goods from the Vessell to my House. Sensible that I was not however an adequate Judge, I have Shewn it to others who are acquainted with such Things and they think it extravagant.” But he added, “I can do no other, than leave it to your Judgment to pay the whole of it, or such Part of it, as you can compound for” (LbC, APM Reel 111).


On 16 Sept., for which see JA’s 17 Sept. letter to Thomas Barclay, note 4, above.