The Dutch Republic and American Independence

By Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt; Herbert H. Rowen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 15
Recognition and Imagination

I Hope Mrs. Warren will give my Dutch Negotiation a Place in her History, it is one of the most extra-ordinary, in all the diplomatic Records. But it has succeeded to a Marvel.

JOHN ADAMS

THOSE who have the honor of making the acquaintance of Mr. Adams see that his visage bears the unmistakable signs of candor and honesty." These were the flattering words used early in 1782 by Cérisier's newspaper. Adams, it went on, was just as taciturn as William the

Silent, but he became eloquent when his great principles were concerned. He lived modestly, as befitted a republican, and he had written the constitution of Massachusetts, without doubt the best in the history of mankind.

Adams became the fashion. People paid attention to him, respectfully or suspiciously as the case might be. The French ambassador wrote to Vergennes early in April, when things had moved far along, that he would keep an eye always on Adams and report the slightest irregularity in his conduct. For what would happen now that this audacious soloist had a chance to blow his own horn as loud as he pleased? This was the question that raised serious concern principally in France. There was a long way ahead on the road to peace. 1

But in that spring month of April 1782, Adams could set all such worries aside and enjoy with a light heart the victory he had finally won in Holland. At last his exertions had paid off. The resolution of the States General, dated Friday, 19 April 1782, completed what the provinces had begun:

After resumed debate upon the Memorial and second Memorial of Mr. Adams, dated May 4, 1781, and January 9 of this year, addressed to the President of the assembly of their High Mightinesses, desiring in the name of the United States of America to pre-

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