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Thomas Boylston Adams to John Quincy Adams

27 Jan. 1796

My dear Brother The Hague 27. January 1796.

On the 24 instt: my friend Clagett transmitted me your packet containg a treasure of Letters. My satisfaction was nearly complete after perusing them; it would have been perfectly so, if your Letter of the 14 had not fixed ten days as the extent of delay, which would separate us from each other; the hope therefore that your person might immediately follow your letter, left something yet unsatisfied. Recollecting however your grievous sojourn at Helvoet, and the unforeseen causes, which retarded your departure, I must count perhaps upon others that may procrastinate your return.

The only original dispatches received since your absence, which are worth communicating is a letter from the T. D. already mentioned in a former letter. I should have sent you a copy of it immediately after it was received, had I not presumed that a duplicate had already reached you where you are, & that your letter enclosed to \me for/ the Bankers was founded upon it. Lest my presumption should be illfounded I send a copy herewith. It was addressed to you only, without adding as in a former instance, "or to the Ch. d’aff in your absence", and as the subject is of a nature upon which I felt some diffidence in treating, I have never enlarged upon its contents with the Gentlemen at Amsterdam. In my last letter to the T. D. I have acknowledged its receipt, observing that some of your most recent letters before your departure, & the communications of the Bankers relative to their transactions were presumed to have anticipated a reply to several particulars upon which information was required. It is hard that your presence is rendered necessary in two places at once, but such was the fact. I have carefully & repeatedly perused all your letters with the Bankers & the T. D. & often wonder where the information they contain was collected; I confess myself incapable of preserving the chain with that Department, and for this reason I am particularly anxious for your return.

The Bill upon Mr: Tinne was paid in due time, & the money sent to the Bankers. That upon Paris was also paid, but the specie could not be forwarded.

Yesterday I received from Hamburg a letter from Mr: Parish addressed to you, accompanied by two papers, one of which is a Copy of an Address lately presented to that Gentleman & signed by a considerable number of Americans then at that place. For certain reasons I shall not detail the purport of them; as you are expected over very soon it is presumed, that a few days delay will not be material. I shall only acknowledge their receipt, & leave further measures to your agency, in case you think proper to take any.

You will have learnt ere this that my information of the 10th. currt: regarding the suspension of Arms was inaccurate. It had been so repeatedly contradicted that I thought the chance upon all the circumstances was against its reality. There is no news in this quarter particularly interesting. The primary Assemblies met yesterday to chuse the Electors. Every thing is quiet.

I have hitherto forgotten to inform you of the safe arrival of your Books from Paris–The Booksellers list however is incomplete–he has sent two works not mentioned in it, & omitted several whose titles & prices are specified. I have written to Baron Rehausen, requesting him to rectify the errors if possible.

I am dear Brother / your’s sincerely

Thomas B Adams.

28.th: Some time since I received a provisional answer to your Memorial respecting the Wilmington Packet, informing that nothing has been done for want of necessary illucidation &ca: but promising to write by the first occasion in order to obtain documents.

The affair of Cowing is still unsettled; notwithstanding all the measures,which have been taken to procure him a trial, it has not been granted. I am persuaded that the conduct pursued with regard to him has been oppressive, perhaps arbitrary. Circumstances which have recently transpired confirm this opinion. He has been claimed by the Fiscal to be delivered over to him under civil arrest, & for the purpose of giving him a trial, but the Mayor & Municipality will not surrender him unless the expences, that have incurred upon his detention be previously paid.

Cowing offers his Sloop as a pledge for the payment of costs & charges, but they refuse to accept it.

While I am writing, I receive a visit from Mr: Lambrechtsen one of the deputies of Zealand with whom I have had several conversations upon the above subject He has interested himself in it, & suggests the propriety of demanding an answer. This I shall do, in the hope rather than expectation of success. I dare not express all my feelings lest they should transport me beyond the bounds of prudence.

Another instance of imprisonment has occurred of a poor fellow, who was cast away in an English Vessel, with the loss of all his property & papers. I am trying to procure his release also. If you should find every thing unsettled when you return, I hope it will not appear to be my fault.

Your’s affectionately

T. B. A.

29.th: The Story of your quality was circulated here also, and by one of my Letters you will observe, that I among others gave some credit to it. I heartily rejoice, that you have enabled me to contradict it.

Your taste was so delicate & so much to my liking in the choice of a waiscoat, that I beg if you have time after receipt of this, to procure me an handsome piece of Cassimere of a light mixture for a pr of small cloaths—if Gordon is your Taylor & has my measure–should like to have them made up; you know what Dutch workmanship is, quand il s’agit to make one look like a Gentleman.

Your friend Gardner brought me Peridar & the Rolliad according to my request, & out of friendship for you as well as for me, as your brother, he insisted my acceptance of the books as a present. I remonstrated, but without success, he had written my name in them coupled with his own & would not consent to give me the Bill of the Bookseller. I feel much gratitude for this testimony of his esteem, but it has laid me under an obligation, which I have no other means of requiting at present than by cherishing the remembrance of Mr: G–s munificence. If however you should find a convenient occasion of making him some return in order that the pledge of esteem may be mutual, you will oblige me by doing it in my name.

Messrs Reuterswerd & Bielfeld have been with me to day, and request me to renew their wishes for your speedy return.

I have had a severe visit from my old enemy the Rheumatism; compared with former attacks however this has been slight. At present I am much better. / As before your’s

T. B. A.

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