Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From Jean de Neufville & Fils

From Matthew Ridley

174 From Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 11 July 1782 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) JA


From Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 11 July 1782 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) Adams, John
From Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst
Amsterdam 11 July 1782 Sir

We have before us your esteemed favour of 10 inst: with a letter for Messrs. Ravekes van Keulen, to whom we Shall pay f 1281s12. for half a years rent in arrear, and for the loss and expences upon the present year, and up the Lease, and their receipt to remit to your Excellency, to charge Said Sum to the account of the United States of America.

We Shall hand Mr Hodshon the f 37:12 to place on said account, on which we've charged f 2373s 7. payd to Messrs. de Neufville & son according to the inclosed account and receipt.

We've also to Said Gentlemen the ballance of your Excellency's acc. f 1412: 5: 8 of whch. We in close the account and receipt whch. Sum we charge Your Excellency's account with us.1

We have well received the Second thousand obligations Signed by your Excellency, and Mr. Barclay handed us the three dispatches to Congress, together with two other copies of your letter,2 forwhch. we get two Similar dispatches ready, whch. shall serve for Quintuplicates to be Sent by different Vessels, so as we already practised with one by Captn: and one by Capn. 3 in order to receive the ratification on time.

We conveyed Said dispatches with a letter to Congress, by which we respectuously confirmed your Excellency's letter for the Conditions of the Loan, and advised to have already in cash more than one Million of Guilders.4

In consequence of Your Excellency's writing we Shall henceforth be cautious with our further advices to Congress about it and remember the drafts on Mr Laurens which Shall be payable in 5 a 6 month hence, against whch. time, we don't doubt, but we'll have Sufficient money in cash, as we are in a more favourable opinion for the Loan than your Excellency seems to be, in the mean while we beg leave to inform us, of about the Sums, the drafts on Mr. Laurens may amount to.

We have the honour to be with respectfull regard Sir Your Excellencys most humble and Obedient Servants

Wilhem & Jan Willink Nichs. & Jacob van Staphorst 175

Messrs de La Lande & Fynje not being home, is the reason of their not signing this letter and of not mentioning, the names of the Capns., whch. they did not yet told us, So we mention it to your Excellency by our first Letter.

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Letter. from Messes Willinks & Van Staphorst 11. July 1782.”


This receipt is with this letter in the Adams Papers, but the receipt referred to in the previous paragraph is not.


JA's second letter of 5 July to Robert R. Livingston, but see also JA's letter to the consortium of 10 July, note 3, above.


This appears to indicate that the consortium sent off two of the dispatches earlier in the day before they received JA's letter but after they had written their letter of 11 July because the dispatches went as enclosures with the consortium's letter of that date to Livingston (PCC, No. 78, XIV, f. 523–526). For the vessels by which the consortium sent the dispatches, see the letter of 8 Aug. from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, below. The first of the dispatches to arrive was the original sent on the Heer Adams, Capt. Samuel Smedley, which reached Philadelphia on 11 Sept. (James Madison to Edmund Randolph, 11 Sept. [2 letters], and Samuel Osgood to John Lowell, 13 Sept., Smith, Letters of Delegates , 19:150–153; from Robert R. Livingston, 15 Sept., below).


In their letter the members of the consortium indicated their acceptance of the conditions stated in the contract and their hope that Congress would ratify it as soon as possible. They also indicated the need for specific instructions from Congress regarding the use of the funds raised. They noted that a group of investors had engaged for 1,600,000 guilders, but that in return for that commitment, the consortium was to hold the money in their possession until Congress' ratification had been received. This led them to insist that no bills drawn by Congress be sent to Europe before the ratification because they would be unable to honor them and that would have a bad effect on the prospects for the loan. Finally, as they indicate in this letter, they informed Congress that they already had received over a million guilders, an assertion that ran counter to JA's cautionary note in his letter of the 10th, but which is a further indication that the consortium had written its letter prior to receiving that from JA. Incredibly, given the difficulty of getting letters to the United States, the five dispatches containing the loan contracts, each with the covering letter of 11 July from the consortium, reached Congress (PCC, No. 78, XIV, f. 523–526; No. 145, f. 173–176; PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel 4, f. 648–651, 652–655, 656–659).