Papers of John Adams, volume 18

From the Marquis de Lafayette

From Mercy Otis Warren

To John Adams from Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 5 January 1787 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) Adams, John
From Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst
Amsterdam 5th January 1787

We had the honor to receive in due time Your Excellency’s ever respected Favor of    advising us to pay in Specie the Premiums of CPl ƒ60,000:—:—, drawn last October at the Charge of the United-States.1 We shall immediately publish the same, together with the Payment of the Interest due 1st proximo on the Loan of Two Millions: Which will we trust have the good effect upon the Credit of America Your Excellency and we promise ourselves. Such a Measure is the best possible Refutation of the exaggerated Reports published with avidity by Persons, thro malice or ignorance of the Confidence and Respect due to the Government of the United-States.

Your Excellency will find inclosed a Letter from Mrs: Dumas, with the Report of Surveyors of the present Condition of the Hôtel of the United-States at the Hague. It appears to us something decisive ought to be done in this respect without delay:2 We therefore request Your Excellency, to transmit us, by the return of the Mail your Directions on this head, Which shall be punctually followed. In waiting them, We have begged of Mrs: Dumas, not to incur any but the indispensable necessary expence.—

We request Your Excellency and Your Lady, together with Colonel and Mrs: Smith, to accept our best Wishes for their Health and Happiness during the present and many succeeding Years, and have the 532 honor to be most respectfully / Your Excellency’s / Very Obedient humble / Servants

Wilhelm & Jan Willink Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst.

RC (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 375–378); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr:—”: endorsed: “Amsterdam Jany. 5. 87.”


Although it left the date blank, the consortium refers to JA’s 18 Dec. 1786 letter, above.


JA enclosed this letter, Marie Dumas’ 2 Jan. 1787 letter, and the report of the surveyors she had employed to assess the Hôtel des États-Unis at The Hague with his 9 Jan. letter to John Jay, below. In her letter, Dumas described a late December visit to the residence, which had fallen into a state of decay and needed costly repairs. Dumas undertook the minimal repairs necessary to prevent the building’s partial collapse but awaited Congress’ decision as to whether the legation should be renovated to accommodate a new minister or sold (PCC, No. 84, VI, f. 379–381, 387–390; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789 , 2:689–690). For JA’s opinion of the matter and its ultimate resolution, see JA’s 9 Jan. letter to Jay, and note 6, below.