Papers of John Adams, volume 18

To the Marquis de Lafayette

To John Jay

From John Adams to Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 13 December 1785 Adams, John Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business)
To Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst
Gentlemen Grosvenor square Decr. 13. 1785

I have now to acquaint you that on the 29 Novr. I accepted a Bill of Mr. Thos. Barclay. No. 6. (by mistake I suppose it ought to be Number 8) for 200 £ st dated Paris 24 Novr. 1785 at usance first of the sett in favour of Mr. Grand

This 13th. Day of Decr. I have accepted Two Bills of 200 £ st each drawn by Mr. Barclay dated Paris 1 Decr. 1785. at usance 1st. of the sett in favour of the order of Mr. Nicholas Darcell— these three bills ammount to 600£ st. to be paid at the House of C. & R. Puller— these three are towards an important Purpose—1

on the 1st. of December 1785. I accepted a Bill of Dr. Tufts in favour of Samuel Elliot on order, indorsed to Messrs Harrison, Ansley & Co. for 100£ stg. at 30 Day’s sight— this is to be charged to the United states as part of my salary—2

According to your Desire in your Letter of Novr. 8th. 3 I have desired Collonel Smith since his arrival, which is only within a few Day’s, to write you, in what manner he has disposed of 400£ furnished him on account of the United States and he has wrote you accordingly—

I could not certainly have given you Notice of a Credit which I never gave, I think you must have made some mistake in your figures, I drew once for 6 or 7000 thousand Guilders for Mr. Jefferson & gave a Credit to Coll Humphry’s for 1000£ stg: to pay for honorary swords & medals for our Generals &c But I have never given any other Credit— Mr. Jefferson may have received orders from 41 Congress or the Navy Board to Draw, but you should have been informed of it4

I mean to be very exact in advising you of all my tranactions in Money matters— I dont indeed alway’s advise you of the draughts I make for my own subsistance on account of my salary & little disbursements for the United states—but as this is a pretty regular thing, as you must have observed, it is the less necessary—

I have the honor to be &c &c &c

Decr. 13th. 1785

Since the foregoing was written other Bills have been presented & accepted—vizt.—No. 11. from Mr. Barclay in favour of Mr. Grands order for £100 st: at usance, first of the sett dated at Paris Decr. 7th. 1785—No. 12. for 200£ st. in all other respects like No. 11.5

J. A—

LbC in WSS’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Missrs. Wilhem & Jan Willink / Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorst”; APM Reel 111.


Although Thomas Barclay informed JA of the bill drawn on Ferdinand Grand in a 23 Nov. letter (Adams Papers), it was probably, as JA indicates here, dated 24 Nov., but see also Barclay’s letter of the 24th (vol. 17:603–604). On 2 Dec. Barclay informed JA of the bills numbered 9 and 10 in favor of Nicholas Darcel, Matthew Ridley’s clerk, and stated that his bill No. 6 was in fact No. 8 (Adams Papers). JA wrote to Richard & Charles Puller on 13 Dec. regarding the three bills (LbC, APM Reel 111).


For Cotton Tufts’ bill, see AFC , 6:411.


Vol. 17:578–579.


JA was responding to the consortium’s [1]8 Nov. letter wherein it queried him about a credit of £1,000 in favor of Thomas Jefferson of which they knew nothing (vol. 17:586–587). JA gave a reasonably accurate account of the transaction, but see also note 4 to the consortium’s [1]8 Nov. letter, and the consortium’s 23 Dec. reply, below.


JA was referring to Barclay’s 7 Dec. letter in which these bills were reported (Adams Papers). JA added a postscript to his letter of this date to the Pullers referring to Barclay’s bills.