Adams Papers
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Letter of Credence to William V, Prince of Orange, 1 January 1781

Letter of Credence to William V, Prince of Orange


[1 January 1781] 1

High and serene Prince

The United States of America in Congress Assembled impressed with a deep sense of your wisdom and magnanimity and being desirous of cultivating the friendship of your Highness and of the seven United Provinces of the Netherlands who have ever distinguished themselves by an Inviolable attachment to freedom and the rights of Nations, have appointed the honorable John Adams late a delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts, and a member of the Council of that State to be their minister Plenipotentiary at your Court that he may give you more particular Assurances of the great respect they entertain for your Highness and for the people over whom you preside as Stadtholder.

We beseech your Highness to give entire credit to every thing which our said minister shall deliver on our part especially when he shall assure you of the sincerity of our friendship and regard.

We pray God to keep your Highness in his holy protection.

Done at Philadelphia the first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty one, and in the fifth Year of our Independence. By the United States of America.

Your friends

Sam. Huntington President

Attest Chas Thomson Secy.

MS (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Copy of a Letter of Credence to his most Serene Highness 1st. Jany. 1781.”

1Congress approved JA’s letter of credence on 3 Jan., the date under which it appears in the JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774– 1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends (19:18–19). JA probably received it as an enclosure in a letter from James Lovell of 2, 6, or 8 Jan., all below. The original of this letter has not been found, but was likely an enclosure in a letter of 9 Jan. from the president of Congress, below. JA received his letter of credence on 6 April (to the president of Congress, 6 April, below).

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