Adams Papers

To John Adams from Herman Heyman, 17 January 1784

From Herman Heyman

Bremen the 17 Januari 17841


I had the satisfaction to lay before Your Exellency by the Letter, I took the Liberty to address your Exellency the 31 July last, a Plan of a Glass Manufactory which I intended to Establish in one of the United Provinces of Nord America for your Consideration and beg’d most Humbly from Your Exellency the favor to grant me your Skilful Advise on that head, but am hetherto deprived of the honour to receive any Reply from Your Exellency, but this does not prevent me to venture again to address of Your Exellency a second Letter, flattering myself that what ever concerns the Prosperity and Extension of Your good Country will be agreabel received from Your Exellency and there fore have the honour to inform you that three other Gentlemen with me Considered most Earnestly on that Plan all the time since and taking every things back and forwards find that it can’t but be very avantageous as well to Your good Country, as likewise to the Concerners to Errect a Glass Manufactory in some part of the United States, and we chased Maryland to be the properest Country for it, beeing a spot of Land where by all the Discription we Read it groes the most plenty of Wood, one of my three friends Mr. John fried: Amelong who had the Manage of a Glass manufactory here in Germany will go himself in the spring by the first Vessell over to Baltimore and take the Direction of the intended Establishing Glass-Manufactory, he Carries besides him 80 more families all Experiented to our purpose in the Vessell for Baltimore,2

I can’t but Expect that our Ardent wishes to encrease our Connection with the United States can’t but be satisfactory to Your Exellency, and this gives me the agreabel Aspects that you’ll grant us Your Kind Assistance and Protection in our Undertaking, and inform us to who our friend Mr. Amelong must make his first Aplication at Baltimore or in the State of Maryland, to Errect the Manufactory and to receive some part of Land fit for the Establishment directed and Your Exellence Opinion would be the best Guide for us if we may Expect that Government will grant us every Assistance and give certain Priviledges, and a part of Land at rent to it, or if we must purchase the latter and perhaps not find the Reception to full fill our wishes, and according as such Considerabel Undertaking merits, I can’t but expect it by what I Know that the Congress wishes are to enlarge, and Populate the United States and I am assured Our small transport or may I call it establishing Colonie will give both Pleasure to the Congress and Honnor to us, as they are all People of the best Conduct Virtue, and understanding, and not like many others which [. . .] in America, beeing Rejected in Germany, I shall there[fore] most Humbly beg from Your Exellency the favor to grant our Mr. Amelong some of the best Letters of Introduction & Recommandation for the states of Maryland that he may meet a agreabel Reception, and not be detained at his arrival to bring our Speculation to an Accomplishment and Perfection, and through this exposed to a very Considerabel loss by mentaining the many families with out Emploiing them to our Intention

Give me leave to assure your Exellency of my most devoted Respects and of my sincere Regard with I have the honnour to Remain / Sir / Your most Obedt humbl Servt.

Herman Heyman

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To / his Excellency John Adams Esq / Ambassador of the 13 United / States of Nord America / residing at the / Hague”; endorsed: “Mr Herman Heyman / ansd Jan. 30. 1784.” Some loss of text where the seal was removed.

1On 19 Jan., Heyman wrote a nearly identical letter to Benjamin Franklin and for the same reason (PPAmP:Franklin Papers). That is, Franklin had not yet replied to his previous letter of 31 July 1783.

2John Frederick Amelung (1741–1798) is one of the most noted early American glassmakers. Having previously worked at his brother’s mirror-glass factory in Grünenplan, Germany, Amelung sailed for America in 1784 with 68 German glassmakers and associated equipment. He established his glass-house near Frederick, Md., calling it the New Bremen Glassmanufactory. There he produced window glass and other products, but he is best known for his signed and dated engraved presentation pieces. Following a stroke in 1794, he ceased his glassmaking activities, and in 1795 he went bankrupt (Grove Dicy. of Art description begins Jane Turner, ed., The Dictionary of Art, New York, 1996; 34 vols. description ends ). In his pamphlet, Remarks on Manufactures, Principally on the New Established Glass-House, Near Frederick-Town, in the State of Maryland [Frederick, Md.], 1787, Evans, description begins Charles Evans and others, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols. description ends No. 20189, Amelung gave a brief history of glassmaking and the establishment of his factory and, as Heyman did, sought public support for the undertaking. There Amelung also noted that he went to America with letters of recommendation from JA and Franklin to leading figures in Maryland. In JA’s case this probably refers to his 30 Jan. 1784 reply to Heyman, below, which JA said Amelung could take with him as an introduction.

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