Adams Papers

The Commissioners to Pieter van Bleiswyck, 28 April 1778

The Commissioners to Pieter van Bleiswyck

Paris, 28th. April 17781


We have the Honour of acquainting your Excellency, that the United States of North America, being now an Independant Power, and acknowledged as such by this Court, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce is compleated between France and the Said States, of which we shall speedily send your Excellency a Copy, to be communicated if you think proper to their High Mightinesses, for whom, the United States, have the greatest Respect, and the Strongest Desire that a Good Understanding may be cultivated, and a mutually beneficial Commerce established between the People of the two Nations, which, as will be seen, there is nothing in the above mentioned Treaty to prevent or impede. We have the Honour to be with great Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servants

(Signet) B. Franklin

Arthur Lee

John Adams

Plenipotentiaries from the United
States of North America.

MS (Koninklijk Huisarchief, The Hague); with notes at the top of the first page: “Remis à S. A. le Prince d’orange d’original per Mr. le Conseiller Pens: de Bleiswyk, ce 14. May 1778 Copie:”; on the reverse: “(Adresse) A son Excellence M. P. van Bleyswyk. Grand Pensionaire d’Holande et de Westfrise, &c. &c. à La Haye.”

1This letter is identical to the draft enclosed in the Commissioners’ letter to Dumas of 10 April (calendared above). It was sent to Dumas in a letter of 30 April, which reached him on 5 May. On 14 May the letter was presented to the Grand Pensionary, the delay being caused largely by the apprehensions of La Vauguyon, the “Grand Facteur” (see Dumas to the Commissioners, 5, 7 May, both below).

Neither the RC nor the covering letter has been found, this despite the existence of the RC, at least, in 1866. In a letter to CFA of 20 Feb. 1866 (Adams Papers), A. Fischel enclosed a transcript of the RC, which he stated had been copied during his examination of Dutch diplomatic correspondence for the period of the American Revolution.

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