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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07 - 1780-08

[List of Persons and Firms to Be Consulted in the Netherlands, July–August 1780.1]

Mr. John de Neufville, et Fils.
Le Chr. de Luxembourg.
Le Chr. de Launay. Cs.
Van der Oudermeulen
M. Grand.
M. Fizeaux.
G. H. Matthes.
Henry du Bois. Hodshon
Mr. Jean Luzac, Avocat, Leide.
Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst.
Mr. Vinman.
Mr. John Gabriel Tegelaer, by the new Market.
Mr. Daniel Crommelin and Sons.2
1. This undated list appears on the last page but one of D/JA/31, separated from the last dated entry (6 Aug. 1780) in that booklet by seventeen blank leaves. It is a fair conjecture that the names, written in JA's most careful, un-hurried hand at two different sittings, were put down before JA reached the Netherlands—in Paris, in Brussels, or in both places.
2. The names are mostly those of Amsterdam merchants or bankers who had American interests that are dealt with in P. J. van Winter's comprehensive study, Het aandeel van den Amster damschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, notably Jan de Neufville & Zoon; Fizeaux, Grand & Cie. (which through its partner George Grand was closely associated with Ferdinand Grand, George's brother, the Paris banker for the United States); John Hodshon & Zoon; Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst; Jan Gabriel Tegelaar; and Daniël Crommelin & Zoonen. With two of the firms here listed JA was to have very close relations. Jan (or Jean) de Neufville had negotiated with William Lee at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1778 the { 445 } unauthorized and abortive “treaty” between the Netherlands and the United States, the text of which, when captured by the British among Henry Laurens' papers in 1780, led to the breach between Great Britain and the Netherlands. The De Neufville firm had refitted John Paul Jones' squadron in 1779 and did its best, after JA's arrival in Amsterdam, to raise a loan for the United States, though the results were extremely disappointing. Besides Van Winter's monograph see his article on De Neufville in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1211–1214. With the Van Staphorst brothers, ardent adherents of the Patriot, or anti-Orangist, party, JA got in touch immediately upon his arrival in Amsterdam (JQA, Diary, 14 Aug. 1780). After American independence was recognized by the Dutch in 1782, the Van Staphorst firm was one of the syndicate of Amsterdam bankers that floated a succession of loans negotiated by JA. Besides Van Winter's monograph see his article on Nicolaas van Staphorst in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1285–1286.
Jean Luzac, on the other hand, was a Leyden lawyer, editor of the Nouvelles extraordinaires de divers endroits (commonly known as the Gazette de Leyde), and professor at the University of Leyden; he became one of JA's most admired and admiring friends and most useful collaborators in the Netherlands (JA-Luzac correspondence, Adams Papers; Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 290–1294).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/