Adams Papers

John van Heukelom & Son to John Adams, 27 Apr. 1786

Leyden 27 April 1786

Honorable Sir

Our distressed Situation on the one Side, and the Many Civilities & friendly regard Which your Excellency bestowed on us [on the other], make us So free to implore your Kind assistance: We daily lament of having Sent any goods to America, We cannot get any accounts or remittances ever Since Several Years: and as Mr: Cranch wrote us, he would be glad to get rid of the whole business, we invested Mr. duncan Ingraham Junior With our power of attorney, to take all our business into his hands. but as Mr Cranch entrusted the whole business to a third Person, who Left Boston, every thing Concerning our Property is So Confused, that we have reason to fear immense Losses. We are however unwilling to trouble your Excellency, With particularities, and We’ll Spare all complaints [on this point], as these Undertakings where all done for our own risk:—it is more particularly to Mr. Barclay’s unaccountable behaviour, that We must impute our distressed Situation, which has plunged My Father in a most fatal Melancholy disorder, whose Consequences may be dreadfull.

on the Subject of Mr. Barclay, We wrote the inclosed letter to his Excellency Ths: Jefferson Esqr. at Paris; but [not] having received any answer, and being informed, that he is in London: We take the liberty to Send a Copy of it inclosed joining to it Mr. Barclay’s account Current With us: Where is Mr. Barclay! he left Paris clandestinely, without informing any Person whom We Know of the place of his abode. if he be alive we Surely ought to Know where to address him.

We introduced Mr. Barclay to a Merchant at Haarlem from whom he bought for about 10,000 florins on the Same Credit of a twelve Month: this Gentleman, enraged by Mr. Barclay’s Conduct, and Considering him as a Man who by clandestinely getting away from the place of his residence, Shews an intention not to trouble himself Much about his Creditors; wants to Expose Mr. Barclay’s Conduct to the world in all public papers, as a fellow for Whom every man ought to be warned. We have done all, which was in our power to prevent it, tho’ certainly Mr. Barclays Conduct is unexcusable; and we have prevailed on them to Subside with it for Some time, Engaging ourselves to use every possible means to procure them Some information and Certainty: Indeed Mr. Barclay, who always professed to be a Man of Property, who wrote us in 1783 that he had Send Mr Loreihle to Philadelphia to Collect his property to the amount of more then 800,000 Livres & transmit it; he could easily transfer a part of that property, as a Surity on the names of his Creditors if he intended to pay them.

it is in this miserable State of uncertainty that we address your Excellency imploring your Kind assistance and advice how to disengage us from this fatal affair.

We hope your Excellency Will not deny us the favour of an Answer which we Expect the Sooner the better remaining With great respect / Honorable Sir / Your Most obedient Servts

John van Heukelom & Son

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).

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