Adams Papers

To John Adams from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 17 May 1782

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

Amsterdam the 17th. May 1782


After the letter we had the honour of writing to your Excellency1 having got a Conversation about the Prospectus of the Loan, we think it would be more easy and convenient for yr. Excellency, to pass five Bonds, each of one Million of Guilders in our favour, authorising and empowering us to divide them in Bonds of thousand Guilders each, under our hands, which Should be Saving a good deal of trouble to yr. Excellency in Signing, and at the Same time be much Safer by Sending over the Ratification of Congress, Since in case those five Bonds in our favor and on our names happened to fall into the hands of the Ennemy, can be of no use whatsoever, and being in blanc there remains always some Risk.

By this we take a greater charge upon us, as we’ll then also take care for the Coupons being Signed, to which however we’ll make no objection.

Inclosed we take the liberty of accompanying to your Excellency a Copy of the Prospectus, which we beg the favor of yr. Excellency to examine and to return us with your Approbation as Soon as possible, as they ought to be printed and distributed next Tuesday.2

We have the honour to be most respectfully Sir! Your most obedt. & hble. Servts.

Wilhem & Jan Willink

Nichs. & Jacob van Staphorst

de la Lande & Fynje

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).

1See Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje to JA, 17 May (1st letter), above.

2JA replied to the bankers’ first letter of this date on 18 May, below, but no reply to this second letter has been found. However, on 22 May, below, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst responded on behalf of the two other firms to JA’s reply to their “last letter,” presumably the second letter of 17 May. In his reply JA apparently approved, but did not return, the prospectus. More importantly, however, he likely refused the proposal to issue five bonds of one million guilders each instead of one bond of five million guilders. If that is so, then at some point he reconsidered, for JA signed and sent to the Congress for ratification five contracts for one million guilders each, for which see the loan contract, [11 June], and JA’s second letter of 5 July to Robert R. Livingston, both below.

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