Adams Papers

To John Adams from Jean Luzac, 19 March 1782

From Jean Luzac

Leyden 19th. March 1782

Honorable Sir

The Committee of the corporate Body of Merchants, Manufacturers and Traders of this City have charged me, as their Counsel, to present Your Excellency with two printed Copies of the Petition, they have put up Monday last to the Great-Council of Leyden, in order to pray for the conclusion of commercial connexions with the United-States of America.1 They hope, Your Excellency will accept those Copies as a testimony of their regard for You, Sir, as the Representative of a State, which they desire to call soon, with full and avowed right, their Sister-Republic. My love for my Country, my inclination for yours, my respect for your character, public and private, these are all motives, Sir, which make this commission one of the most agreeable I could ever perform in my life.2

I am with the sincerest and most perfect regard, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble Servant

J. Luzac

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).

1Only one copy of the petition of 18 March signed by 64 merchants, manufacturers, and traders, is in the Adams Papers. JA included an English translation in his letter of 19 March to Robert R. Livingston, calendared above, and reprinted the translation in A Collection of State-Papers, 1782, p. 26–34.

Luzac, whom JA credited as the author (to Edmund Jenings, 3 April, below), gave a more detailed account of the petition’s origins in a letter to John Thaxter of [19 March] (copy, Adams Papers). Luzac remarked upon the unanimity of the merchants in their desire for a commercial treaty with the United States and had “l’honneur de dire à Mr. Adams, que le Corps de la Nation desiroit vivement la reconnoissance de l’Independance Americaine” (the honor to inform Mr. Adams that the body of the nation eagerly wished for the recognition of American independence). He indicated that the burgomasters had graciously received the petition and that the council agreed unanimously to direct their deputies in the States of Holland to insist vigorously that the wishes of the people be fulfilled.

2In his letter to Thaxter, Luzac apologized for his letter to JA, having had time only for a short note in poor English.

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