Adams Papers

Address to the President of the States General, 9 January 1782

Address to the President of the States General

[ante 9 January 1782]1

On the fourth day of Last May, I had the Honour, of a Conference with the President of their High Mightinesses, in which I informed him that I had received a Commission <from my Sovereign> from the United States of America, with full Powers and Instructions, to propose and conclude a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, between the United States of America and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. At the Same Conference I had the Honour to demand an Audience of their High Mightinesses in order to present to them my Letters of Credence and full Powers.

The President assured me that he would make Report of all that I had Said to him, to their High Mightinesses, in order that it might be transmitted to the Several <Provinces and Branches> Members of the Sovereignty of this Country for their deliberation and Decision. I have not yet been honoured with an answer.

I now do myself the Honour, to wait on you sir, to demand as I do, <a cate><to be informed what answer, I am to write to the United States in Congress.> a categorical answer that I may be able to transmit it to my Sovereign.

LbC (Adams Papers); followed by a French translation in C. W. F. Dumas’ hand. For the French text, see JA to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., below.

1For JA’s presentation of this address to the president of the States General, Bartholomeus van den Santheuvel, on 9 Jan., see his letter to the president of Congress, 14 Jan., below.

JA later recalled drafting the address “in the latter end of December, 1781” (from La Vauguyon, 30 Dec. 1781, note 1, above). The address, however, is entered in Lb/JA/16 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 104) between letters to Benjamin Franklin, 3 Jan., and from La Vauguyon, 30 Dec. 1781, which, along with the revisions made to the final sentence of the address, may indicate that JA composed the address in early January after receiving La Vauguyon’s letter. With minor changes in wording and entitled “Ulteriour Address,” JA included a copy of his address in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 21.

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