John Adams to Richard Cranch
“I am among a People, whose slowness puts all my Patience to the Tryal, and in a Climate which is too much for my Constitution: I love this Nation however, because they love Liberty.—You will have learn’d the Progress of our Affairs here, which has been slow but sure. —This Dutch Legation has very nearly cost me my Life, and has taken away forever much of my Strength, and some of my Memory. Tomorrow the States of Holland assemble and go upon my Project of a Treaty.—A Mr. Greenville is at Paris about Peace, and is authorised to treat with all the belligerent Powers, but England has not acknowledged us to be a Power, and therefore I fear it will end in Chicane.1 Certain Persons of the Courts of Petersbourg and Copenhagen are intriguing, to favour England a little, but they can do no great things. Holland will not make a seperate Peace.
“I believe that the Acknowledgement of the Sovereignty of no Nation was ever made with such solemnity, and made so particularly the Act of the whole Nation, and of all the Individuals in it, as ours has been here.2—What say the Clergy to their new Allies, Protestant, Calvinist, Antiepiscopalians, Tolerant, Republican, Commercial. How do they pray and give Thanks? Into whatever Country I go, I listen to the Sentiments of the Clergy, because it is a good Index often of the sense of the People. The Clergy here, are in this War, generally well disposed in our favour and against England. I hope our Dutch Friends of all sorts will be treated with Respect and Affection, as well as the French—tho’ we are under greater Obligations to the latter.
“It has been a critical Business to conduct this Nation right, amidst their Connections with England, the Influence of their Court, the Intrigues of foreign Courts &c. &c. It has required all the Patience, all the Skill, Address and Capacity, of their own Patriots, aided by the Duke de la Vauguion, not to mention any more, to prevent them from joining England; and it never would have been done but by appealing to the Nation, and arrousing their long dormant Bravery and love of Liberty.—Thanks to Heaven it is done, and we have nothing to fear from them, if we have not room to hope very much.”
Early Tr (MHi:Smith-Carter Papers); in the hand of Richard Cranch and captioned by him: “Extract of another Letter dated at the Hague July 2d 1782.” Prepared by Cranch for newspaper publication and in small part published in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 19 Sept. 1782, p. 3, col. 3, under the caption “Extract of a letter from an American gentleman in Holland, dated July 2.” The omission of the word “another” in the newspaper caption indicates clearly that Cranch originally prepared his abridged versions of both JA’s letters to him of 17 June (above) and of the present date for publication en suite. In the end, however, the first letter was apparently not printed at all, and the second emerged in a form so altered as to be nearly unrecognizable. The printed text actually uses only two sentences from JA’s original letter as excerpted by Cranch (see notes 1 and 2), and these are followed by added matter that fills about three-quarters of a newspaper column. Much of the added matter seems to have been taken from letters JA did write, or at least could have written, at this period from the Netherlands about his successful negotiations there and affairs in Europe generally, but it is a pastiche or at times even a paraphrase of these letters, together with comments, such as “The Memorial of Mr. Adams was admirably well adapted to accomplish these purposes,” which both praise JA’s accomplishments and conceal his authorship, so far as he was the author of the letter or letters on which the newspaper text was based.
1. This sentence begins the text published in the Independent Chronicle and constitutes its first paragraph.
2. This sentence begins the second paragraph in the Independent Chronicle text.