Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From Francis Dana, 10 May 1782 Dana, Francis JA From Francis Dana, 10 May 1782 Dana, Francis Adams, John
From Francis Dana
St: Petersbourg April 29th 1782 O.S. 10 May N.S. My Dear Sir

I cannot suffer this post to go off without conveying to you my most hearty congratulations for the great event, of the States General acknowledging our Independence, and upon the famous anniversary of the conception day of our Empire.1 Your patriotism, your zeal, and your inflexible perseverance, will now have their reward when you see the great end of your Mission so happily executed. Never was an alliance formed, I believe, with such cordiality and universal satisfaction among the people of that Republick: An alliance too which will give rise to the same energy of affections amongst us. This news which we received yesterday, has given a shock here; it is not well received: it is considered as a marked slight of the Mediation.2 True, it has deranged their System; but they must now make the best of it. The influence of America upon all the systems of Europe is irresistable, and will universally overthrow them where they are built upon principles repugnant to ours. Ours is founded in nature; theirs, too often, in chicane, in corruption, in little expedients. This is saying a great deal, but is it saying more than is true?

You will receive a letter from me of the 12/23 inst:3 You will not be surprised at any part of its contents when you recollect two circumstances attending it. Are there any hints in it which might be expatiated upon by a certain ingenuous hand?4

17 image 18

Adieu, my dear Sir, I shall ever rejoice in your successes and in your honours.

Yours &c

P.S. I am highly gratified to learn that it is probable that the worthy Baron Van der Capellen, will be appointed the Minister for our Country. This will be to come out of his persecutions with much glory. The Dutch Resident made a visit yesterday to give me the news.5 I have visited to day. He desires his particular complements to you. The Ambassador6 this week, returned a visit I had made him in consequence of an intimation he had given that it wou'd be agreable to him. I have visited him again to day on this occasion.

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Dana. Ap. 29. 1782.” Filmed at 29 April, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 356.


19 April 1782, the seventh anniversary of Lexington and Concord.


For the Russian offer to mediate the Anglo-Dutch War, see JA's letters to the president of Congress, 6 Aug. 1781, calendared, and to Benjamin Franklin, 25 Aug. 1781 (vol. 11:440, 467–471). The Dutch accepted Russia's mediation on 4 March 1782 (De Madariaga, Armed Neutrality of 1780 , p. 351).


Of 23 April N.S . (vol. 12:455–457).




This report, which was likely conveyed by Johan Isaac de Swart, the Dutch resident from 1773 to 1794 ( Repertorium , 3:268), was erroneous and concerned Robert Jasper van Capellen van de Marsch, but for its currency, see Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol's letter of 2 May, above. In fact, a Dutch minister to the United States was not appointed until 1783, and then it was Pieter Johan van Berckel, brother of Engelbert François van Berckel ( Repertorium , 3:271; AFC , 4:362).


Probably the Marquis de Vérac, the French minister.

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 11 May 1782 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) La Lande & Fynje, de (business) JA From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 11 May 1782 Willink, Wilhem & Jan (business) Staphorst, Nicolaas & Jacob van (business) La Lande & Fynje, de (business) Adams, John
From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje
Amsterdam the 11th. May 1782 Sir

Mr. Fynje having communicated us his conversation with your Excellency last evening,1 we beg leave to assure you, that we'll gladly do all what lays in our power to give you Satisfaction; We therefore to convince you of our inclination in this respect do without any hesitation Accept of the terms you proposed of 4 1/4 pct. for the Remedium and other Charges.

The other point we've proposed to your Excellency Since we are greatly of opinion that it would contribute very much to the Success of the Loan, which we most heartly do wish to execute with honor and reputation. Since your Excellency however doth not chuse to comply with our wishes, we think it our duty to consider Such measures, as may enable us to agree with your Excellency in this point also.


As it now will be necessary to have an enterview with the undertakers, and Should be glad to have the concurrence of Mr. Van Vloten; who yet considers himself bound untill he is discharged either by your Excellency or Mr. Hodshon, we beg leave therefore to desire your Excellency to furnish us with a note for him to this purpose.2

We have the honor to be most respectfully Sir! Your Excellency's most obedt. & hble. Servts.

Wilhem & Jan Willink Nico. & Jacob van Staphorst de la Lande & fÿnje

RC (Adams Papers).


This is the first letter in the Adams Papers from the consortium of bankers with whom JA successfully raised a loan in 1782. For JA's lengthy, retrospective account of why he first chose John Hodshon to raise the loan but was then forced to turn to the consortium, see John Hodshon's letter of 20 April to JA, and note 2, but see also JA's letter of 30 April to Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and others (vol. 12:433–435, 471–472).

Besides the meeting with Hendrik Fynje on the evening of 10 May, JA may have met earlier with Nicolaas van Staphorst at The Hague. Van Staphorst, who apparently went to The Hague after finding that JA had left Amsterdam on 4 May, wrote to JA on the 5th to request a “half an hours conversation” (Adams Papers). The meetings referred to in this letter and Staphorst's of 5 May are evidence of the limitations of the documentary record of JA's efforts to raise a loan in 1782. The record is necessarily incomplete because much of the negotiation occurred in face-to-face meetings between JA and the bankers, the substance of which are often only tangentially referred to in the correspondence. The letters do provide a valuable record but, with some notable exceptions, most often confirm decisions made at those conferences rather than fully reveal the dynamics of the discussions.


Hodshon had likely employed Van Vloten as a broker, to offer the loan on the bourse to the “undertakers,” who would purchase portions of the loan at a discount and sell the securities to individual investors. See JA's reply of 13 May, below.