John Adams

Kalkoen, drawing a comparison between the struggles of the United States for their liberty, and those formerly made by the seven United Provinces, which eventuated in their independence, had a great effect in enlightening the people of Holland, and inspired them with sentiments highly favorable to the American cause. Shortly afterwards, Dec. 21, 1780, a rupture took place between England and Holland, occasioned by the accession of the latter to the armed neutrality, and the discovery of a negotiation between Mr. Lee, the American commissioner at Berlin, and Mr. Van Berckel the pensionary of Amsterdam, for a treaty of amity and commerce. Even at this early period, he had formed an opinion decidedly in favor of the establishment of a navy, and expressed it in almost all his letters home. In July, 1781, he was summoned to Paris for the purpose of consulting upon the offer of mediation made by the courts of Austria and Russia, and suggested an answer adopted by the French court, which put an end to the negotiation on that subject; the mediating powers refusing to acknowledge the independence of the United States without the consent of Great Britain.

Oct. 19, 1781, Mr. A., in apposition to the advice of the duke de la Vauguion, the French minister at the Hague, and on his own responsibility, communicated to their high mightinesses his letters of credence, presenting to their president also, at the same time, a memorial, dated April 19th, in which he justified the declaration of independence, and endeavored to convince the people of Holland that it was for their interest to form a connection with the United States and to give them support in their difficulties. As he had not yet been acknowledged by the States General as the minister of a sovereign and independent nation, the president could not receive the memorial in form, but he engaged to make a report of the substance of what had been communicated to him by Mr. A. In the August previous, Mr. A. had received instructions to propose a triple alliance between France, the United Provinces and the United States, to exist as long as hostilities were carried on by the latter against Great Britain, one of the indispensable conditions of which, on the part of Holland, was the recognition of American independence. The alliance never was effected, but the latter object Mr. Adams accomplished. Jan. 9, 1782, not having received a reply to his memorial, he waited upon the president, and demanded a categorical answer. The States General then took the subject immediately into consideration, and Mr. A. was acknowledged, April 19, as ambassador of the United States to their high mightinesses, and three days afterwards was received as such. Having obtained assurance that Great Britain would recognize the independence of the United States, he repaired, in Oct. 1782, to Paris, whither he had refused to go before such assurance was given, to commence the negotiation for peace, and there met Dr. Franklin, Mr. Jay and Mr. Laurens, who, as well as Mr. Jefferson, had been appointed his colleagues. Their instructions, a part of which was to undertake nothing without the knowledge and concurrence of the ministers of France, and ultimately to govern themselves by their advice and opinion,' placed them almost entirely under the control of the French court. They were greatly displeased at being thus shackled, and, after a short time, finding themselves in a very embarrassing situation, they boldly determined to disobey their instructions, and act for themselves and for their country, without consulting the ministers of a supposed treacherous ally. The definitive treaty of peace was ratified Jan. 14, 1783.