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Thomas Boylston Adams to John Quincy Adams

7 Nov. 1795

My dear Brother. The Hague 7 November 1795.

Your favor of the 5th: is just received. I did not enclose the Leyden Gazette because they are all forwarded to Mr: Bourne, for the Secretary of State, with whom I have already commenced a voluminous correspondence. The quantity of news, which appeared to me of sufficient importance to merit communication, lengthened my second letter to your usual scale, and I already feel as if I had twice as much of abridged Newspaper in my head. The french army of Sambee & Meuse has been induced to fall back, with the loss of some Artillery and a considerable number of warriors; but they have not all \re/crossed the Rhine, as some accounts would insinuate. They have nevertheless raised the siege & blockade of Mentz & Ehrenbreitstein, and are said to be in danger of being compelled to evacuate Manheim, if yet in their power.

You will hear the whole story when you reach London, but it will then probably be a little out of date, if you are to perform a second quarantine at Helvoet.

I have been this morning with the Greffier, and delivered Mr: Shorts Letters of recreance, apologizing as well as I knew how, & according to that Gentleman’s instructions, for the lengthy delay. This day week, I enquired of the Greffier, what was the situation of your memorial respecting the Wilmington packet. He did not know any thing of it, but promised to make enquiries, & acquaint me the result. To day he informed me, that the subject of your memorial, had originally been referred, to the West India Company; & since the dissolution of that body, to the Committee for the affairs of the West Indies. No answer or report had yet been made by them, and he advised that I should get up another note, to refresh the Memories of their High Mightinesses, and demanding an answer to your Memorial. I believe the measure will be necessary, but I did not promise to take it, wishing your previous advice if possible.

I have received from the State Department the statement of a new case, of the same nature, but with no papers or other documents respecting it, as in the other instance. The outlines of it are, that the Ship Penn, Obed. Fitch Master, owned by Wm: Roch & Sons of Nantucket, was taken while laying at anchor, within Gun shot of a small Portuguese fort in English River, on the East side of the African Continent &ca. by a Dutch armed Brig, commanded by a Captain van Dyke from the Cape of Good hope, to which port she was carried. An Extract of the letter from the Owners to the State Department, will elucidate what is proper to be communicated to you.

"The remote situation of the Cape of Good Hope, having no immediate communication with it from this place leaves us in uncertainty about the situation of the property. Capt. Fitch has been in London since the loss of the Ship, where his protest is recorded, and our William Rotch, who has lately returned, being at that time there, had recourse to means to get a representation of the illegality of this Capture, communicated to the Court at the Hague whenever an opening might occur. The necessary documents pertaining to the capture and condemnation of the Ospray being in London, with the Capt. of the Penns protest, probably with what may have since transpired relative to the latter ship, we purpose writing to our friends there, to confer with Samuel Bayard, Agent of claims & appeals, and if he thinks proper, have one or both assumed by him, with the general mass of cases of this kind."

In this case it strikes me, that before a statement of it to the Government here, the necessary documents referred to in the above, should be in my possession. If you are of the same advice, you will confer with Mr. Bayard, who I presume is yet in London, respecting the papers &ca. and if found transmit them to me. The particulars are sufficiently at large respecting Capture, value of Cargo &, loss, to found a Memorial upon, and if you advise I shall present one immediately.

A letter from Mr: De Wolf recd: this morning, acknowledges the receipt of your two last letters; I give an extract also from this.

"I observe farther that remittances for the discharge of the interest upon my Loan falling due 1 Xber next, have been done to the Amsterdam bankers, but are not as yet realized, and that it is the cause why they could decline accepting my draughts, Which is to be wondered at, for I might have drawn upon them upon such a term as the remittances from the Treasury have to run, or few days long[er]er in order to pay punctually here the 1 Xber. next, as to provide from my part in that exact payment if the Amsterdam Bankers do not allow to draw upon them at the end of this month, this is entirely impossible to me, having no cash at present on disposal, this measure could only have been taken, if remittances had been done Directly to me." &ca. He goes on to request that the matter may be settled with the Amsterdam Bankers, to allow him to dispose on them for his interest in the course of the currt: month.

If the resource at Amsterdam should fail, am I at liberty to authorize Mr: De Wolf to raise the money at the charge of the United States, either by a fresh loan, to the amount of his interest, or by drafts upon the Treasury of the U.S. to be sold at par, & not otherwise?

Our friends Gardner, Frazier & Mr: White passed last evening with me, and will dine with me to day; I wish you could make it convenient to be of the party. This is not the first wish that ever was made, the performance of which is impossible.

Your letter I gave them, it was returned me from Amsterdam by Mr: Bourne.

There are an abundance of compliments for you, from divers, but the Court is much enraged against you by your abrupt departure; a letter is enclosed however from Mdlle L—with proper instructions.

I shall be more anxious to receive your answer to this than usual, even though I must copy the letter; it will be a consolation to you perhaps, that you have not to copy this from

your affectionate brother

Thomas B Adams.

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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