Adams Papers

From John Adams to Hendrik Bicker, 1 March 1781

To Hendrik Bicker

Arms of Amsterdam March 1. 1781


I received your Letter at Leyden,1 inclosing the Copy I had the Honour to Send you, and thank you, for your candid Judgment of its Extent and Import.

I have now the Honour to inform you, that on my Return to Amsterdam the 25 of Feb. I received a Letter from Congress inclosing another Commission in proper Form, containing full Powers to treat with their High Mightinesses, and to conclude and Sign a Treaty. I received also Authority to acceed to the Principles of the Armed Neutrality.2

I should now be Still more obliged by your candid Opinion what is the best Course for me to take.3 I have the Honour to be with great Esteam, sir &c.

LbC (Adams Papers).

1Of 21 Feb., above.

2Although JA indicates here that he received Congress’ letter of 1 Jan., above, on 25 Feb. at Amsterdam, in 1809, when his letters appeared in the Boston Patriot, JA wrote, following his letter of [ca. 19] Feb. to Bicker, above, that “At this time I gave up my lodgings at Amsterdam, and removed to Leyden, where on the 25th of February, 1781, I received from the president of congress the following letter.” JA then inserted the letter of 1 Jan. and indicated that its enclosures had included his commission as minister to the Netherlands and the resolution of 5 Oct. permitting the U.S. to accede to the armed neutrality. He then declared that “Soon after the receipt of them, I returned to Amsterdam, and took lodgings again in the city tavern,” or Arms of Amsterdam (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot description begins Correspondence of the Late President Adams. Originally Published in the Boston Patriot. In a Series of Letters, Boston, 1809[–1810]; 10 pts. description ends , p. 390–391).

3No reply from Bicker has been found.

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