Papers of John Adams, volume 12



Resolution by the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries to Recognize the United States and Admit John Adams as Minister Plenipotentiary, 19 April 1782 421 [page] [image]

The States General recognized the United States on 19 April 1782, exactly seven years after the Revolutionary War began. At 11 o’clock the next morning John Adams presented his letter of credence as minister plenipotentiary to Willem Boreel, the president of the States General (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:408–410; London Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser, 29 April). For an English translation of the resolution, see Adams’ letter to Robert R. Livingston, 19 April, below.

Adams believed that Dutch recognition of the United States was his greatest diplomatic achievement. Against all odds he had aroused the Batavian spirit and produced “the most Signal Epocha, in the History of a Century” (to Benjamin Rush, 22 April 1782, below). It was “a Tryumph” for the new nation “more signal, than it ever obtained before in Europe” ( Adams Family Correspondence , 4:325). Adams was soon deeply involved in the negotiation of a Dutch-American commercial treaty and, because recognition finally opened the doors of the Amsterdam financial houses, he was well on his way to obtaining the loan so sorely needed by the United States.

From the original in the Adams Papers.