Papers of John Adams, volume 12



Resolution by the States of Friesland to Recognize the United States and Admit John Adams as Minister Plenipotentiary, 26 February 1782 276 [page] [image]

Friesland was the first of the seven Dutch provinces to resolve that the States General should recognize the United States and admit John Adams as minister plenipotentiary. Adams wrote that Friesland “is said to be a sure Index of the national Sense,” its people “ever famous for the Spirit of Liberty” (to Robert R. Livingston, 11 March 1782, below). As early as December 1781 the States of Friesland considered a resolution to recognize the United States and conclude a Dutch-American commercial treaty. That proposal was rejected, not because the idea was strongly opposed, but be- xii cause at that moment it posed too many difficulties (to the president of Congress, 14 Dec. 1781, below). Adams was promised early in February that Friesland would act within three weeks (to Livingston, 19 Feb. 1782, below). Friesland’s resolution of 26 February marked a turning point in John Adams’ efforts to achieve Dutch recognition of the United States. With Friesland’s example before them, the six remaining provinces soon followed suit and less than two months later, on 19 April, the States General resolved to recognize the United States. For English translations of the resolution, see John Adams to Livingston, 11 March and 19 April, both below. This is the first of two pages containing the text of the 26 February resolution as extracted from the resolutions of the States of Friesland.

From the original in the Adams Papers.