Adams Papers

To John Adams from Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje, 11 May 1782

From Wilhem & Jan Willink, Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst, and De la Lande & Fynje

Amsterdam the 11th. May 1782


Mr. Fynje having communicated us his conversation with your Excellency last evening,1 we beg leave to assure you, that we’ll gladly do all what lays in our power to give you Satisfaction; We therefore to convince you of our inclination in this respect do without any hesitation Accept of the terms you proposed of 4 1/4 pct. for the Remedium and other Charges.

The other point we’ve proposed to your Excellency Since we are greatly of opinion that it would contribute very much to the Success of the Loan, which we most heartly do wish to execute with honor and reputation. Since your Excellency however doth not chuse to comply with our wishes, we think it our duty to consider Such measures, as may enable us to agree with your Excellency in this point also.

As it now will be necessary to have an enterview with the undertakers, and Should be glad to have the concurrence of Mr. Van Vloten; who yet considers himself bound untill he is discharged either by your Excellency or Mr. Hodshon, we beg leave therefore to desire your Excellency to furnish us with a note for him to this purpose.2

We have the honor to be most respectfully Sir! Your Excellency’s most obedt. & hble. Servts.

Wilhem & Jan Willink
Nico. & Jacob van Staphorst
de la Lande & fÿnje

RC (Adams Papers).

1This is the first letter in the Adams Papers from the consortium of bankers with whom JA successfully raised a loan in 1782. For JA’s lengthy, retrospective account of why he first chose John Hodshon to raise the loan but was then forced to turn to the consortium, see John Hodshon’s letter of 20 April to JA, and note 2, but see also JA’s letter of 30 April to Fizeaux, Grand & Co. and others (vol. 12:433–435, 471–472).

Besides the meeting with Hendrik Fynje on the evening of 10 May, JA may have met earlier with Nicolaas van Staphorst at The Hague. Van Staphorst, who apparently went to The Hague after finding that JA had left Amsterdam on 4 May, wrote to JA on the 5th to request a “half an hours conversation” (Adams Papers). The meetings referred to in this letter and Staphorst’s of 5 May are evidence of the limitations of the documentary record of JA’s efforts to raise a loan in 1782. The record is necessarily incomplete because much of the negotiation occurred in face-to-face meetings between JA and the bankers, the substance of which are often only tangentially referred to in the correspondence. The letters do provide a valuable record but, with some notable exceptions, most often confirm decisions made at those conferences rather than fully reveal the dynamics of the discussions.

2Hodshon had likely employed Van Vloten as a broker, to offer the loan on the bourse to the “undertakers,” who would purchase portions of the loan at a discount and sell the securities to individual investors. See JA’s reply of 13 May, below.

Index Entries