To Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and Others
April 30. 1782
1. If the Houses of Fizeaux Grand & Co. John Hodshon & Son Mess. Crommelin, Mess. Van Staphorst, Mess. De la Lande & Fynje and Mr. John de Neufville & Son, will all join together in an American Loan, Mr. Adams will open it without demanding any Stipulations for any certain Sum.
2d. If the first Proposition is not agreed to, Mr. Adams will open a Loan with as many of these Houses as will agree together, and enter into a Stipulation with him to furnish the sum of Five Millions by the Month of August.
3d. If no Number of Houses will join, Mr. Adams will open the Loan with any One that will first undertake and contract to furnish that Sum.
4d. Mr. Adams proposes that all those Gentlemen should meet and consult upon the Matter and propose their Thoughts.1
Tr (PCC, Misc. Papers, Reel No. 4, f. 700). This copy was enclosed by Nicolaas and Jacob van Staphorst in their letter of 24 Nov. 1785 to John Jay, for which see note 1.
1. With this letter JA sought to bring banking firms allied to the Patriot party into the effort to raise an American loan. His intention was to increase the loan’s chances for success by appeasing those critical of his choice of John Hodshon & Zoon for the task, most notably Nicolaas and Jacob van Staphorst, for which see John Thaxter’s letter of 22 April, and note 2, above. This letter, however, did not achieve JA’s purpose. In their letter of 24 Nov. 1785 to Jay the van Staphorsts offered a critical assessment of JA’s financial dealings in the Netherlands: “We received a Note from him, a Copy whereof We take the Liberty to inclose you , proposing a Junction of Houses, the like of which was never known here, and that was therefore refused by all solid Persons. We at this time waited upon him, and presumed to call to His Remembrance all what we had told him, which had been confirmed by the Event; But as we spoke the Language of Men accustomed to Truth, and not as insinuating Flatterers, We met with no success, We were on the contrary treated as People, who had occasioned the Miscarriage of his inconsiderate Efforts with Mr. Hodshon, and were shewn the door with Rudeness. From which time We should not have waited any more upon Mr. Adams. Had we not been intreated to it by a Person of great Consideration since dead, Who promised us that in this Conjuncture Mr. Adams would in a proper Manner, propose to employ us in the Negotiation of a Loan. Hereupon We returned to him, when he proposed to us the Junction, which was afterwards fixed upon.” On 11 June 1782 JA received a letter from the firms of Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje discussing the loan’s terms (Adams Papers). The names of the firms are given here in the order of their signatures on the letter, which presumably reflected their standing within the consortium.
Although John Hodshon was displaced from the American loan his relationship with JA continued. Hodshon assisted JA in the move from his residence in Amsterdam to the Hôtel des Etats Unis at The Hague (Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963–. description ends , 4:321). And on 13 June (LbC, Adams Papers) JA wrote that “Justice and Gratitude will forever oblige me to Say, that your Conduct through the whole affair , was that of a Man of Honour, a Gentleman and a true Friend of the United States of America.”