Adams Papers

To John Adams from Wilhem & Jan Willink, 14 November 1782

From Wilhem & Jan Willink

Amsterdam 14 Nov 1782


We have before us your Excellency’s esteem’d favour of 2 inst, we shall when Mr Dumas furnishes the accts. you are pleased to mention of, pay and charge the same in conformity of your order and write the amount to your Excellency.

We have received with pleasure the dispatches from Congress, we are but sorry not to be so much advanced as his Excellency Mr. Morris Seems to Suppose, and as we’d be much afflicted to be without Stocks at the drafts of Said Gentleman, we considered your Excellency at Leisure to regulate with Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. & Mr Grand (reserving a Sum for Said purpose), the amount we are to pay out at their disposal of the object in cash for Congress, to each of said houses.1

We want to Observe to your Excellency we dare not flatter ourselves with such an encouraging succes we heartily wish, because the scarciety of money, and concurrency of other Loans, put an hindrance to it, in the Meanwhile we shall employ our best endeavours to promote the succes as much as possible, a happy turn in political affairs Should be conducive to it and by the Paragraph of your Excellency’s favour we guess to be approaching of that desirable moment, if we may beg without indiscretion some informations from time to time, your Excellency’ll augment the obligations already due to your goodness.

We inclose the Copy of the goods invoice Send to Milady Adams, of whch. the Amount is charged to your Excellency’s Acct.2

the different inclosed packets are carrefully forwarded.

We have the honour to be with the greatest respect / Sir / Your Excellency’s Most / Humble & Obedient Servants

Wilhem & Jan Willink

The letter to your Excellency of the three Houses not being to be dispatched this night Shall be sent without fault with the Extraordinary to morrow.

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / His Excellency John Adams / Esqr. Minister plenipotentiary / of the united States of America / in / Paris.”; internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams / Esqr. Paris.”; endorsed by Charles Storer: “Messs. Willinks / 14th. Nov. 1782 / inclosing Invoice of Goods / shipped in Capt. Coffin.”

1For the amount of money available from the loan, as well as the remittances made by the loan consortium to Le Couteulx & Co. and the Grands, see the 15 Nov. letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, and note 1, below.

2The enclosure, endorsed “Invoice of Goods shipped / in Capt. Coffin from / Amsterdam,” was an invoice for a large quantity of millinery goods destined for AA, the cost of which, including packing, was 994 florins. The shipment included white and black gauze, handkerchiefs, aprons, white and black thread, and a variety of ribbons and tapes. Also sent was a quantity of cloth, including tammies, calamancos, linens, and calicos. Unfortunately for AA, Capt. Alexander Coffin and the Hero reached Boston on 20 Feb. 1783, “after a tedious Passage of 80 days,” just as news arrived that the preliminary peace treaty had been signed (Boston Evening Post, 22 Feb.). AA never specifically reported Coffin’s arrival, an omission that JA noted in his letter to her of 7 April, but on 7 May she did write to request items for her family, not for speculation. According to AA, her “last adventure from Holland was most unfortunate. The Length of the passage was such, that the News of peace arrived a few days before; Goods fell and are now sold much below the sterling coast; many are lower than ever I knew them; Some persons are obliged to sell, and I believe the peace, will ruin more merchants and traders than the War” (AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 5:119, 152). For additional merchandise brought by Coffin from Amsterdam, see the Boston Evening Post of 8 March. For the glut of European merchandise, particularly textiles, see newspaper advertisements by Boston merchants in February and March 1783.

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