From Wilhem & Jan Willink
Amsterdam 29 June 1784.
We receive this night a letter of the Express with advice of his arrival with 3 truncks in brussel, but to his great Surprise as well as ours the Same are arrested there, and complains much there abt. of Mr. Barclay, whom he had requested several time to enquire if he could take and transport the same with Safety, who assured him not to anxious abt. it, and in consequence he had reposed on Mr. Barclay abt. it, for We had Strongly recommanded to him to enquire of Said Gentleman, if he Should run the least danger, whh. he Should absolutely avoid, he was now going to apply directly to our Ministers for assistance and we Shall write to them on the subject.1
Mr. Barcklay gave him a trunck closed of whch. the Key was lost, to pack up in the Same the goods &c, he got a smit to open it and bought two truncks more, with the Packing of whch. he has been buzy at Mr. Barclay’s from 9 ô clock in the morning till three ô clock in the afternoon and Mr. Barclay gave him a note of the goods packed in them.
We are exceedingly affected of this behaviour whilst Mr. Barclay Should have taken better information and given the required instructions to the man, and not have left your concerns and his person so exposed.
We hope to hear all will be released next mail, and he on the road hither, whilst without this accident he Should already have been arrived
If your excellency might Judge proper to join a letter to ours, it might perhaps be of Service, in the meanwhile We have the honour to remain With esteem. / Sir / Your Excellencies Most Humbl / & Obedient Servants
Wilhem & Jan Willink
Messrs. C & R. Puller have pay’d to your Son young Mr. Adams
|in London||£ 52:10 —||and for a bill of My Lady|
|John Adams||″ 60: — —||making together|
|commn. there||″ 1. 2: 6|
|£113: 12. 6||for whch. the Acct. of your|
|Excellency is charged at 36/8 SC 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B ƒ 1249: 17: 8|
|Agio 3 1/2 PC—||43: 15: —|
|Ct. ƒ 1293: 12: 8|
whch. please to note in Conformity
Wm & Jn Willink
RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “To his Excellency John Adams Esqr / S’ Hage.”
1. This was the express or messenger sent on 3 June from Amsterdam to Thomas Barclay at Paris with JA’s letter of 28 May and the bills of exchange obtained by JA from Fizeaux, Grand & Co., above. In his letter of 25 June, above, Barclay indicated that the “Express” had left Paris late on the evening of 24 June with JA’s trunks. Unfortunately he was stopped at Brussels for lack of a proper certificate establishing ownership. For the progress of the dispute and its ultimate resolution, see JA’s letters to the Austrian minister, the Baron von Reischach, of 30 June (2), to the Willinks of 30 June, and to the States General of 2 July (2d); and letters from Reischach of 30 June and the Willinks of 1 and 2 July, all below.
2. The exchange rate was 36 Schelling-Vlaamschs and 8 Groot-Vlaamschs to the pound sterling. For an explanation of the calculations needed to arrive at the equivalent amount in florins, see John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600–1775, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1978, p. 45.