Papers of John Adams, volume 11

Memorial to William V, Prince of Orange, 19 April 1781 JA William V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands Memorial to William V, Prince of Orange, 19 April 1781 Adams, John William V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands
Memorial to William V, Prince of Orange
Leyden April 19. 1781
A Memorial To his most Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange and Nassau, Hereditary Statholder and Governor of the Seven United Provinces of the Low Countries.

The Subscriber has the Honour to inform your most Serene Highness, that the United States of America, in Congress assembled, impressed with a deep Sense of your Wisdom and Magnanimity, and being desirous of cultivating the Friendship of your Highness and of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, who have ever distinguished themselves by an inviolable Attachment to Freedom and the Rights of Nations, have appointed the Subscriber, to be their Minister Plenipotentiary at your Court, that he may give You more particular Assurances of the great Respect they entertain for your Highness, and for the People over whom You preside as Statholder, beseeching your Highness to give entire Credit to every thing, which their said Minister shall deliver on their Part, especially when he shall assure You of the Sincerity of their Friendship and Regard. The original Letter of Credence, under the Seal of Congress, he is desirous of the Honour of delivering whenever and in whatever manner 283 image 284 your Highness shall judge proper to recieve it.1 He has the further Honour of informing your Highness, that the said United States have honoured him with full Powers to form a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the States General, and also with Letters of Credence as Minister Plenipotentiary to their High Mightinesses. In Consequence of which he has done himself the Honour to present a Memorial, a Copy of which is here annexed.2

The Subscriber in the discharge of these Trusts considers himself rather as proposing a Renovation of old Friendships than the Formation of new ones, as the Americans have ever been the good and faithfull Allies of this Nation, and have done nothing to forfeit its Esteem. On the contrary they are confident they have a better title to it, as they have adhered stedfastly through every Trial to those Principles which formed and supported the Connection, Principles which founded and have supported this Republick, while others have wantonly abandoned them.

The Subscriber thinks himself particularly fortunate to be thus accredited to a Nation, which has made such memorable Exertions in favour of the Rights of Men, and to a Prince, whose illustrious Line of Ancestors and Predecessors have so often supported in Holland and England those Liberties for which the United States of America now contend: and it will be the Completion of his Wishes if he should be so happy as to recommend the Cause of his Country to the favorable Attention of your most Serene Highness, and of this People.

John Adams

MS in John Thaxter's hand, with date and signature by JA (Adams Papers); notation: “Memorial to the Prince of Orange 19 April 1781. Presented but not recd, and never published.” For JA's presentation of the MS to William V's secretary, see his letter of 7 May to the president of Congress, below. A portion of the MS has been cut off, resulting in the loss of portions of the endorsement, but not the text of the memorial.


JA's letter of credence to William V, 1 Jan., above.


Memorial to the States General, 19 April, above.

From Benjamin Franklin, 21 April 1781 Franklin, Benjamin JA From Benjamin Franklin, 21 April 1781 Franklin, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Franklin
Sir Passy, April 21. 1781

Agreable to my Faith I have obtain'd a Promise of Money sufficient to pay the Bills you have accepted, and shall accordingly accept those you draw on me for that purpose. I request only that you would send me immediately a List of the Bills, and of the Times of their becoming due, that I may be always provided, and that as the Money will come 285gradually into my hands, you would not draw upon me for the whole Sum at once, but for the Sums as they become demandable of you. Mr. Grand will write by this Courier to the House of Fizeaux & Grand to take your Bills in that way, and furnish you with the Money. Mr. Neufville has written to me about another Bill that is come into his Hands, which he desires me to accept or engage to pay.1 There seems to me a Risque in doing so without seeing the Bill, as our Enemies are not too honest to attempt Counterfeiting. I wish therefore that you would look at it, and if you find it good accept it.

I must now beg you would concur with me in writing earnestly to Congress, to hazard no more Drafts where they have no Funds. I believe there is hardly another Instance in the World of a People risquing their Credit so much who unfortunately have so little, and who must by this Proceeding, if continued, soon have none at all. The Necessity of their Affairs is the only Excuse for it. This Court is our firm Friend, but the best Friends may be wearied, and worne out, by too frequent and unexpected Demands. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

RC (Adams Papers).


See Jean de Neufville & Fils to JA, 11 April, above.