John Adams to Abigail Adams
The Hague May 14 1782
My dearest Friend
On the Twelfth, I removed into this House which I have purchased for the United States of America. But, it will be my Residence but a little while.1
I must go to you or you must come to me. I cannot live, in this horrid Solitude, which it is to me, amidst Courts, Camps and Crowds. If you were to come here, such is the Unsteadiness of the Foundation that very probably We should have to return home again in a Month or six Weeks and the Atlantick is not so easily passed as Pens hill. I envy you, your Nabby, Charly and Tommy, and Mr. Dana his Johnny who are very well. A Child was never more weary of a Whistle, than I am of Embassies. The Embassy here however has done great Things. It has not merely tempted a natural Rival, and an imbittered, inveterate, hereditary Ennemy, to assist a little against G[reat] B[ritain] but it has torn from her Bosom, a constant faithfull Friend and Ally of an hundred Years duration.
It has not only prevailed with a Minister or an absolute Court to fall in with the national Prejudice: but without Money, without Friends, and in Opposition to mean Intrigue it has carried its Cause, by the still small Voice of Reason, and Perswasion, tryumphantly against the uninterrupted Opposition of Family Connections, Court Influence, and Aristocratical Despotism.
It is not a Temple forming a Triple Alliance, with a Nation whose Ruling Family was animated as well as the whole Nation, at that time, with even more Zeal than De Witt in the same Cause.
But you will hear all this represented as a Thing of Course, and of little Consequence—easily done and not worth much.—Very well! Thank God it is done, and that is what I wanted.
Jealousy is as cruel as the Grave, and Envy as spightfull as Hell— and neither have any regard to Veracity or Honour.
RC (Adams Papers).
1. This proved a true prediction. Although JA remained in Europe for six more years, his only steady occupancy of the American legation at The Hague was from mid-May through mid-October 1782. He made some use of it during his later returns to the Netherlands in 1784, 1787, and 1788 to obtain further loans from Dutch bankers to the United States, but much of his business on those occasions was in Amsterdam rather than The Hague.
There is an account extant of the furnishings of the Hôotel des Etats Unis at The Hague, as JA liked to call it in the current diplomatic style, in a document dated and filed in the Adams Papers under 14 May 1782. The first six pages of this fourteen-page paper have the descriptive heading “A true copy of the Inventory made by Mr. John Thaxter,” the original of which was presumably compiled when Thaxter supervised the moving of the goods from JA’s house in Amsterdam (see Thaxter to JA, 6 May, above). The listing bears notations “received in good order,” “Wanting,” “broken,” &c., apparently in the hand of F. Lotter, who signed it at the end and probably made the copy and comments on 16 Oct. 1782, another date that appears on the document and that was in fact the day before JA and party left The Hague for the peace negotiations at Paris.
The last eight pages of this document are another inventory of the furnishings in The Hague legation, compiled by Mme. Marie Dumas and dated 22 June 1784, shortly before JA left the Netherlands for London and reunion with his family there that summer. This too is attested by F. Lotter.