Adams Papers

John Adams to Rolland & Co., 9 May 1784

To Rolland & Co.

The Hague May 9: 1784.


I have rec’d the Letter you did me the Honour to write me yesterday.

I am surprised that Mr: Barclay, should desire you to transmit to me, any Information respecting the Bills, as I have nothing to do with them, and I have no Curiosity about them.1 I am still more surprised at your saying that I stand accountable for a Bill of 824.ƒ —I presume to say, Mr: Thaxter had too much Sense and Modesty, ever to promise the acceptance of a Bill, which he had no authority to do. And I most certainly never promised any such Thing. And now I promise I will have nothing to do with it—not so much as to write to Congress about it.2

Your most humble Servant.

LbC in JQA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Messrs: Roland & Co.”; APM Reel 107.

1Rolland & Co., an Amsterdam mercantile firm, took over the business of Jean de Neufville & Fils following the elder Neufville’s 1782 retirement. It wrote JA on 8 May 1784 (Adams Papers) in response to a 26 April letter from Thomas Barclay regarding bills drawn on the United States and presumably accepted by the Neufville firm. JA’s disinterest in the bills was probably owing to their being drawn on John Jay at Madrid—all denominated in Mexican dollars. In the final accounting it was noted that the bills, drawn in favor of a William Pickles, had been paid twice (Winter, Amer. Finance and Dutch Investment, description begins Pieter J. van Winter and James C. Riley, American Finance and Dutch Investment, 1780-1805, New York, 1977; 2 vols. description ends 1:150; DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, Microfilm, Reel 1, f. 403). JA wrote to Barclay on 10 May, quoting therein from Rolland & Co.’s letter regarding the bills of exchange (LbC, APM Reel 107).

2The bill for ƒ 824 that John Thaxter reportedly approved for payment had been remitted by Elkanah Watson.

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