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From John Adams to Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, 13 December 1785

To Wilhem & Jan Willink and Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst

Grosvenor square Decr. 13. 1785—

Gentlemen

I have now to acquaint you that on the 29 Novr. I accepted a Bill of Mr. Thos. Barclay. No. 6. (by mistake I suppose it ought to be Number 8) for 200 £ st dated Paris 24 Novr. 1785 at usance first of the sett in favour of Mr. Grand

This 13th. Day of Decr. I have accepted Two Bills of 200 £ st each drawn by Mr. Barclay dated Paris 1 Decr. 1785. at usance 1st. of the sett in favour of the order of Mr. Nicholas Darcell— these three bills ammount to 600£ st. to be paid at the House of C. & R. Puller— these three are towards an important Purpose—1

on the 1st. of December 1785. I accepted a Bill of Dr. Tufts in favour of Samuel Elliot on order, indorsed to Messrs Harrison, Ansley & Co. for 100£ stg. at 30 Day’s sight— this is to be charged to the United states as part of my salary—2

According to your Desire in your Letter of Novr. 8th.3 I have desired Collonel Smith since his arrival, which is only within a few Day’s, to write you, in what manner he has disposed of 400£ furnished him on account of the United States and he has wrote you accordingly—

I could not certainly have given you Notice of a Credit which I never gave, I think you must have made some mistake in your figures, I drew once for 6 or 7000 thousand Guilders for Mr. Jefferson & gave a Credit to Coll Humphry’s for 1000£ stg: to pay for honorary swords & medals for our Generals &c But I have never given any other Credit— Mr. Jefferson may have received orders from Congress or the Navy Board to Draw, but you should have been informed of it4

I mean to be very exact in advising you of all my tranactions in Money matters— I dont indeed alway’s advise you of the draughts I make for my own subsistance on account of my salary & little disbursements for the United states—but as this is a pretty regular thing, as you must have observed, it is the less necessary—

I have the honor to be &c &c &c

J A

Decr. 13th. 1785

Since the foregoing was written other Bills have been presented & accepted—vizt.—No. 11. from Mr. Barclay in favour of Mr. Grands order for £100 st: at usance, first of the sett dated at Paris Decr. 7th. 1785—No. 12. for 200£ st. in all other respects like No. 11.5

J. A—

LbC in WSS’s hand (Adams Papers description begins Manuscripts and other materials, 1639–1889, in the Adams Manuscript Trust collection given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1956 and enlarged by a few additions of family papers since then. Citations in the present edition are simply by date of the original document if the original is in the main chronological series of the Papers and therefore readily found in the microfilm edition of the Adams Papers (APM). description ends ); internal address: “Missrs. Wilhem & Jan Willink / Nicholas & Jacob Van Staphorst”; APM Reel 111.

1Although Thomas Barclay informed JA of the bill drawn on Ferdinand Grand in a 23 Nov. letter (Adams Papers description begins Manuscripts and other materials, 1639–1889, in the Adams Manuscript Trust collection given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1956 and enlarged by a few additions of family papers since then. Citations in the present edition are simply by date of the original document if the original is in the main chronological series of the Papers and therefore readily found in the microfilm edition of the Adams Papers (APM). description ends ), it was probably, as JA indicates here, dated 24 Nov., but see also Barclay’s letter of the 24th (vol. 17:603–604). On 2 Dec. Barclay informed JA of the bills numbered 9 and 10 in favor of Nicholas Darcel, Matthew Ridley’s clerk, and stated that his bill No. 6 was in fact No. 8 (Adams Papers description begins Manuscripts and other materials, 1639–1889, in the Adams Manuscript Trust collection given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1956 and enlarged by a few additions of family papers since then. Citations in the present edition are simply by date of the original document if the original is in the main chronological series of the Papers and therefore readily found in the microfilm edition of the Adams Papers (APM). description ends ). JA wrote to Richard & Charles Puller on 13 Dec. regarding the three bills (LbC, APM Reel 111).

2For Cotton Tufts’ bill, see AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 6:411.

3Vol. 17:578–579.

4JA was responding to the consortium’s [1]8 Nov. letter wherein it queried him about a credit of £1,000 in favor of Thomas Jefferson of which they knew nothing (vol. 17:586–587). JA gave a reasonably accurate account of the transaction, but see also note 4 to the consortium’s [1]8 Nov. letter, and the consortium’s 23 Dec. reply, below.

5JA was referring to Barclay’s 7 Dec. letter in which these bills were reported (Adams Papers description begins Manuscripts and other materials, 1639–1889, in the Adams Manuscript Trust collection given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1956 and enlarged by a few additions of family papers since then. Citations in the present edition are simply by date of the original document if the original is in the main chronological series of the Papers and therefore readily found in the microfilm edition of the Adams Papers (APM). description ends ). JA added a postscript to his letter of this date to the Pullers referring to Barclay’s bills.

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