To Adriaan Pieterszoon Loosjes
The Hage Sept 11. 1782
The Evening of the Second, I had the Pleasure of receiving from you, a most elegant Present in a Volume intitled “Gedenkzuil ter Gelegenheid der Vry—Verklaaring Van Noord America.”1 It is indeed “Monumentum aere perennius.”2 The Connection formed between your Country, Sir and mine is an Event of So much Importance to both Nations, and will have Consequences So extensive in the political System of the World, that it was with peculiar Pleasure, I Saw this Collection of Documents, which relate to it. Such a Collection had before been attempted in English but it was incompleat, as you See by the inclosed.3
I lament exceedingly that I am not posessed of enough of the Dutch Language, to judge for myself of your History of this Event, much less of the Merits of the Ode in Celebration of it, but from the imperfect Interpretation of them, which I have been able to obtain, I was much pleased with both.
As you love Poetry and I presume read English, I beg your Acceptance of the Works of Thompson which will gratify your Love of Liberty as well as of Poetry.4
I Shall desire the Bookseller to prepare me a few Setts of your Volume to be sent to America and placed in the Libraries of Philadelphia and Boston, as well as those of the Universities of Cambridge New Haven, Prince Town Philadelphia and Williamsburg.5
I Should be happy in an opportunity to form a further Acquaintance with you, and to assure you in Person of the Respect and Esteem, of, sir, your most obedient &c
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. This volume, published at Amsterdam in 1782, is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ). Loosjes dedicated it to JA in a poem praising JA for his steadfast pursuit of Dutch recognition. The book consists of two separately numbered sections. The first consists of a poem chronicling the struggle leading to Dutch recognition of the United States in which its proponents, including Berckel, Capellen, and Gyselaar, are lavishly praised and its opponents denounced (p. 1–49). JA is characterized in two verses (p. 27) as a man steadfast in the cause of freedom, whom the Dutch could not refuse in light of their own eighty-year war for independence from Spain. The second part (p. 1–170) is a collection of documents pertaining to Dutch recognition of the United States and includes JA’s 19 April 1781 memorial to the States General (p. 5–22) and his credentials as minister to the Netherlands (p. 169–170).
2. A monument more enduring than bronze.
3. JA, A Collection of State-Papers description begins John Adams, comp., A Collection of State-Papers, Relative to the First Acknowledgment of the Sovereignity of the United States of America, and the Reception of Their Minister Plenipotentiary, by Their High-Mightinesses the States-General of the United Netherlands, The Hague, 1782. description ends .
4. Loosjes replied on 17 Sept. (Adams Papers) thanking JA for his gift of the otherwise unidentified edition of James Thomson’s poems and expressing his “Hope that the God, who redeemed the States of the Netherlands and North America from slavery will accompany with His favour, the still living Effectors of the Freedom of the last mentioned, and among these Yoúr Excellency with Yoúr Family.”
5. The Amsterdam bookseller, who also published the volume, was Willem Holtrop. JA wrote to Holtrop on 30 Sept. (not found), perhaps to request copies of Loosjes’ work. With a letter of 12 Oct. (Adams Papers), Holtrop sent “the Books your Excellency hath pleased to Commission.” If these were copies of Gedenkzuil, no indication of when or if they were sent to their intended destinations in the United States has been found. It should also be noted that at some point in 1782, Holtrop published Geschiedenis van het geschil tusschen Groot-Britannie en Amerika, zedert deszelfs oorsprong, in den jaare 1754, tot op den oegenwoordigen tijd, Door . . . John Adams, which was a Dutch translation of the abridged version of JA’s Novanglus Letters published by John Almon in his Remembrancer for 1775, p. 24–32, 45–54. For the content of the Dutch translation and speculation about JA’s role in its publication, see vol. 2:224.