Adams Papers

Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje to John Adams, 16 February 1784

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

Amsterdam 16 Feb. 1784


We have received your most honour’d Favour in answer to our Letter of Saturday,1 and observe with pleasure, that after having weighed our Reasons, and considered our advice Your Excellency thinks it most prudent to agree upon the Terms we have proposed. In consequence of this authorization we have this day accepted the Engagement of the undertakers for a Million, however on condition that we shall open the Subscription for two Millions, and we are in hopes that encouraged by the aprobation of the Public on the Plan, the Undertakers will in a few time ask for the remainder, or at least that before the last drafts become due the money will enter into the Cash.2

We don’t hope that any body in America will blame your Excellency. If you are obliged to Subscribe to more heavy Terms than you think to be reasonable, you have not done it without endeavouring before to make better conditions, and it is clear that no body could have made better ones. It is allways a merit to have prevented the charges and dishonour attending the return of the Bills.

We intend to send your Excellency next wednesday the printed Plans, and to entertain you more fully about the principal Bond, as soon as will be possible. In the meanwhile we have the honour to remain with Respect / Sir / Your most humb. & Obed. Servts

Wilhem & Jan Willink
Nics. & Jacob van Staphorst
de la Lande & fÿnje

RC (Adams Papers).

1Both of 14 Feb., above [1, 2].

2For the final terms of the loan, see the enclosure to the 16 Feb. letter from Wilhem & Jan Willink and the [9 March] loan contract, both below. In effect, with this letter the consortium notified JA that it was proceeding with the loan, and on 18 Feb. it was opened to subscribers. The fact that the consortium opened the loan even before a formal contract was drafted and notarized is indicative not only of the immediate need for funds to pay the pending bills of exchange but also of a significant difference between the 1782 and the 1784 loans. Funds from the 1784 loan were to be immediately available, whereas the investors in the 1782 loan prohibited any expenditure of the funds until the consortium received the loan contract as ratified by Congress (vol. 13:174–175; 14:10). The consortium wrote to Robert Morris on 19 Feb. announcing the loan’s commencement. It enclosed with that letter a scheme for the loan virtually identical to that sent to JA by the Willinks on the 16th and a plan for the loan embodying the substance of the formal contract. In a letter of 4 May to Congress, Morris included a lengthy extract from the consortium’s 19 Feb. letter as well as its supporting documents. That letter was read in Congress on 7 May, and a committee was appointed to consider the new loan. On 29 May it reported a draft resolution, apparently never adopted, commending the consortium and JA for their efforts to raise a new loan to enable Morris’ bills to be paid but directing that “Mr. Adams be instructed not to negociate any further loans in Holland, without the further order of Congress” (Morris, Papers, description begins The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781–1784, ed. E. James Ferguson, John Catanzariti, Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, Mary A. Gallagher, and others, Pittsburgh, 1973–1999; 9 vols. description ends 9:313–319; PCC, No. 137, III, f. 573–586; JCC, description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford, Gaillard Hunt, John C. Fitzpatrick, Roscoe R. Hill, and others, Washington, D.C., 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends 27:480). Congress took no further action regarding the loan until December, for which see the ratification of [1 Feb. 1785], and note 1, below.

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