Adams Papers

X. Resolution of the States General Authorizing the Signature of the Dutch-American Treaty and Convention on Recaptures: A Contemporary Translation, 17 September 1782

X. Resolution of the States General Authorizing the Signature of the Dutch-American Treaty and Convention on Recaptures: A Contemporary Translation


Extract from the records of the Resolutions of their High Mightinesses, the States General of the United Netherlands.

Tuesday 17th. September 1782 1

The Lord van Randwyk and others, Deputies of their High Mightinesses for the Department of foreign Affairs, in Obedience to and in Compliance with their Resolution of the 23d. April of this present Year, having conferred with Mr. Adams, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America, respecting the entering into a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the said States, reported to this Assembly, that the said Mr. Adams on the 26th. of April thereafter, did deliver to them a Plan of such a Treaty, requesting the same might be examined, and that such Articles might be added as might be deemed most serviceable. That the said Gentlemen, Deputies, after having consulted and advised with the Committees of the respective Colleges of Admiralty upon the said Plan or Sketch of a Treaty, made sundry Observations thereon and also sundry separate Propositions, all which on the 26th. [i.e., 22d.] August last they communicated to the said Mr. Adams, who on the 27th. following returned his Answer thereto; which having compared with the said Propositions and finding the same in Substance conformable thereto, and all Difficulties that had occurred entirely removed, they drew up a new Treaty and also a new Convention on the Subject of retaken Prizes, in conformity to the Determination that had been previously adopted and resolved on, and the Treaties so prepared they handed to Mr. Adams on the 6th. of this current Month, who since has declared himself perfectly satisfied therewith.

Wherefore the said Gentlemen, Deputies for foreign Affairs, submit it to the Consideration of their High Mightinesses to determine, whether it would not be proper and necessary to authorize them to conclude and sign with Mr. Adams the Treaty and Convention aforesaid.

Whereupon having deliberated it is found and judged right, that the said Treaty and Convention be drawn out afresh and fair Copies thereof made, in Order that the finishing Hand may be put thereto; and the said Lord van Randwyk and others, their High Mightinesses Deputies for foreign Affairs, are hereby requested and authorized to conclude and sign the said Treaty and Convention with the aforesaid Mr. Adams.

W: Z: Van Borsselert

Compared with the Record H. Fagel

Translated from the Original by Henry Remsen


MS (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Full Power to Mr Van Randwick and others to Sign the Treaty of Commerce & Convention 17 Sept. 1782.” MS translation by Henry Remsen (PCC, No. 84, IV, f. 201–203). JA enclosed a copy of the resolution (same, f. 197–199) with his letter of 8 Oct. to Robert R. Livingston (No. XI, below), and Remsen did his translation from that copy.

1This resolution chronicles the progress of the negotiations from JA’s first formal proposal of a treaty of amity and commerce on 23 April and formally authorizes the plenipotentiaries to sign the treaty and convention. In effect it endorsed a decision already made, for in his diary entry for 14 Sept. JA wrote that “Mr. Boreel, The Baron de Linden de Hemmen, and the President of the grand Committee, all Members of the Assembly of their H M told me, that five Copies of the Treaties would be made out, according to my Desire, the English and Dutch Side by Side upon every Page, and the Treaty would be signed next Week” (JA, D&A description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:6).

2Henry Remsen Jr. was chief clerk of the Department of Foreign Affairs and later chief clerk of the Department of State (Washington, Papers, Presidential Series description begins The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series, ed. Dorothy Twohig, Mark A. Mastromarino, Jack D. Warren Jr., Robert F. Haggard, Christine S. Patrick, and others, Charlottesville, Va., 1987–?. description ends , 2:272–273).

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