Antoine Marie Cerisier to John Adams: A Translation
Amsterdam 15 April 1781
Several days ago we received the English gazettes which I have the honor to send to you. Since they could not be for our agency, I presumed that they were part of those that we ordered for you. Please forgive me for the delay in sending them to you. We waited for someone to claim them and thought that perhaps you would come to our city soon.
I would be flattered to know what you think of the last issues of the Politique Hollandais.1 I would be even more delighted if you had any observations to make to me from which my subsequent issues might profit. Perhaps you could hint to Mr. Luzac to make mention of my work in his gazette in order to get subscribers outside of this country.
Someone observed that I am neither a good Englishman nor a good Frenchman and that I am a better American than Dutchman. What I know is that the principles of liberty are deeply imbedded in my heart and that I would never betray this cause nor ever disguise my sentiments.
I have the honor to be, with respect and veneration for your excellency, your very humble and very obedient servant
A. M. Cerisier
RC (Adams Papers).
1. The first issue of Cerisier’s Le politique hollandais was published on 12 February. JA made numerous contributions to this pro-Patriot and pro-American publication which appeared in six volumes through 12 Jan. 1784. JA’s library at the Boston Public Library contains vols. 1–4 (Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ; for additional information on Le politique hollandais, its publication and influence in the Netherlands, see Handelingen en Mededeelingen van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden over het Jaar 1882, W. P. Sautijn Kluit, “Le Politique Hollandais,” p. 1– 36). The most recent issue, that of 9 April, compared the Dutch and American Revolutions, much as JA had done in his replies to Hendrik Calkoen in 1780 (vol. 10:196–252). In the course of his remarks on the American Revolution, Cerisier stated “c’est le peuple collectivement qui donne le mouvement à toute la masse: Ce n’est ni Washingthon, ni Gatès, ni Lée, ni les deux Adams &c. qui ont animé ce vaste corps: Ils ont eux-mêmes reçu leur impulsion de la grande machine, dont ils se sont trouvés, par leurs talens seuls, les principales parties....” Translation: It is the whole people who have given the movement its mass; it is neither Washington, nor Gates, nor Lee, nor the two Adamses &c. who have animated the vast body: they, themselves, have received their direction from the great machine, of which they find themselves, by their talents, the leaders.