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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-17

17. Monday.

Dined, with the two Messrs. Gardoquis and a Nephew of theirs. After Dinner the Gentlemen accompanied Us, to the Parish Church over the Way, then to the old Parish Church of St. Iago, which was certainly standing in the Year 1300. The high Altar appears very ancient, wrought in Wooden figures, the Work very neat. The Choir, and the Sacristie &c. as in all others.—We then went to the Chambers of the Board of Trade.
This is a curious Institution. On a certain Day annually in the { 432 } Beginning of January all the Merchants of Bilbao meet, write their Names on a Ball or Ballot which is put into a Box, from whence four are drawn by Lott. These four name a certain Number of Councillors or Senators.—But this must be further enquired.
This Board of Trade, first endeavours to make all disputing Merchants agree. If they cant succeed, Application must be made to the Board by Petition in Writing. It is then heard and determined, subject to an Appeal, somewhere.—There is no Consul here from France, England, or Holland—Nor any other Nation. The Board of Trade oppose it.—The Chamber is hung round with Pictures of the present King and Queen, the late King and Queen, &c., with Pictures of the royal Exchange London, the Exchange of Amsterdam, of Atwerp &c.
Captains Babson, Lovatt and Wickes dined with Us. I spoke to Mr. Gardoqui in behalf of fifteen American Prisoners escaped from Portugal, and he consented to furnish them Cloaths to the Amount of six dollars a Man. I told him I had no Authority, and that I could not assure him Repayment, but I believed Congress would do all in their Power to repay him.
There is an Accademy at Bergara, for the Youth of Biscay, Guipuscoa, and Alava.
Yesterday, a Mr. Maroni an Irish Gentleman came to visit me.
The Lands in Biscay are chiefly in the Hands of the People—few Lordships. The Duke of Berwick and the Duke of Medina Coeli have some Estates here, but not considerable. In the Spring Freshes, the Water is deep enough upon Change and in the Streets for Vessells of 100 Tons to float.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-18

1780. January. 18. Tuesday.

Spent the Day in Walking about the Town. Walked round the Wharf upon the River, through the Market. Saw a plentiful Markett of Fruit and Vegetables, Cabages, Turnips, Carrots, Beets, Onions &c. Apples, Pairs &c. Raisens, Figs, nuts &c—Went as far as the Gate, where We entered the Town—then turned up the Mountain by the Stone Stairs, and saw fine Gardens, Verdure and Vegetation. Returned, and viewed a Booksellers Stall. Then walked in succession thro every Street in the Town. Afterwards met Messrs. Gardoquis who went with Us to shew Us a No. of Shops. Glass Shops, China Shops, Trinket Shops, Toy Shops and Cutlary Shops. I did not find any Thing very great. There are several Stores and Shops, however, pretty large and pretty full.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-19

1780. January 19. <Tuesday> Wednesday.

Went down the River, on a Visit to the Rambler a Letter of Mark, of 18 Guns, belonging to Mr. Andrew Cabot of Beverly, Captain Lovatt Commander, and the Phoenix a Brig of 14 Guns belonging to Messrs. Traceys at N[ewbury] Port, Captain Babson Commander.
We were honoured, with two Salutes of 13 Guns each, by Babson and with one by Lovat. We dined at the Tavern on shore and had an agreable day. Went to see a new Packett of the Kings on the Stocks, and his new Rope walks, which are two hundred and ten fathoms long.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-31

1780 January 31. Monday.1

On the 20th We left Bilbao, arrived at Bayonne the 23d. Staid one day, there. Sat off for Bourdeaux the 25th. Arrived at Bourdeaux Saturday 29th. Dined Yesterday at the Hotel D'Angleterre at the Invitation of Mr. Bondfield with Sir Robert Finlay and Mr. Le Texier and Mr. Vernon.
Went to the Comedy, saw Amphitrion and Cartouche. Mr. A[rthur] L[ee] at Paris. Mr. I[zard] at Amsterdam. Mr. W[illiam] L[ee] at Brussells.
1. No space was left in the Diary for the gap of eleven days during which the party traveled on muleback to Bayonne, paid off and dismissed their Spanish retinue of men and mules, bought a post chaise and hired others, and proceeded to Bordeaux. Some details concerning this portion of the journey are provided in JA's Autobiography and in Dana's Journal, 1779–1780 (MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-01

1780. Feb. 1. Tuesday.

Dined Yesterday, at the Hotel D'Angleterre, with Mr. Maccartey, Mr. Delap, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Bondfield, and my Company, at the Invitation of Sir Robert Finlay. Towards Evening Mr. Cabarras came in with the News of [a] Blow struck by Rodney upon the Spaniards, off Gibraltar.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-05

1780 Feb. 5. Saturday.

On Wednesday, the second of Feb. We took Post for Paris, and on Fryday the 4 arrived at Coué, where We lodged, but in the night it rained and froze at the same time untill the Roads were a glare [of] Ice, so that the Postillions informed Us, it was impossible for their Horses which in this Country are never frosted to go.
We passed by Angouleme Yesterday Morning and encircled almost { 434 } the whole Town. It stands upon an high Hill and is walled all round— a fine, Airy, healthy Situation with several Streams of Water below it and fine Interval Lands. The River Charente runs by it. The Lands are chiefly cultivated with Wines from Bordeaux to this Place, which afford but a poor Prospect in the Winter. In some Places Wheat is sown and Vines planted alternately in Ridges.
Great Numbers of the Vineyards are in a Soil that has the greatest Appearance of Poverty. It is a red Loom, intermixed with so many Pebbles or small Stones of a reddish Colour, that it looks like an heap of Stones, or a dry gravell. One would think there was not Earth enough for the Vines to take root.
Other Vineyards are in a black Sand intermixed with a few small stones. Others in fine, black, fat, mellow mould.
The numerous Groves, Parks and Forrests in this Country form a striking Contrast with Spain where the whole Country looks like a Mans face that is newly shaved, Every Tree, bush and shrub being pared away.1
1. In the MS a single blank leaf separates the present entry and the next, which is dated 27 July 1780, the day on which JA set out from Paris with JQA and CA for Amsterdam. The Adams party had arrived in Paris from Bordeaux in the evening of 9 February. (Dana's Journal, 1779–1780, MHi, furnishes details on the last leg of their long journey; JQA kept no diary between 31 Jan. and 25 July 1780.) In Paris they stopped at the Hotel de Valois in the Rue de Richelieu, though from entries recording payments of rent in the personal accounts that follow it appears that they took a separate house attached to the hotel. This remained JA's headquarters until he left Paris in July. JQA, CA, and young Johonnot were placed in a pension academy in Passy conducted by one Pechigny, to whom payments are also recorded in the accounts that follow. Unsatisfactory as they may be in lieu of a regularly kept diary, the accounts tell us a good deal about JA's daily activities, especially his book buying. But for his attempts to discharge his public mission and to be otherwise useful, one must turn to his Autobiography (which does not, however, go beyond March) and to his correspondence. There one may see with what assiduity he read the news from all quarters of Europe and reported it to Congress. Late in May he told a friend in Philadelphia: “I have written more to Congress, since my Arrival in Paris, than they ever received from Europe put it all together since the Revolution [began]” (to Elbridge Gerry, 23 May, CtY). This may be literally true. He filled one letterbook after another; for weeks on end he wrote almost daily dispatches, on some days addressing two, three, and even four letters to Samuel Huntington, filling them with documents copied in extenso from French, British, and Dutch newspapers. Prevented by Vergennes from publicly announcing any part of his mission until the end of March, JA undertook to improve both his own time and European opinion of the American cause by concocting paragraphs and articles for publication in whatever journals would print them. The elder Genet had discontinued his Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amerique (see note on entry of 3 March 1779, above), but he had ready access to the new political supplement of the venerable Mercure de France, which served as a continuation of the Affaires, and for several months JA happily fed American propaganda to it. One of his contributions, explaining and defending Congress' recent fiscal measures, had momentous { 435 } effects, altering the coolness with which Vergennes had viewed JA for some time into anger and hostility, complicating JA's relations with Franklin, and rendering his position in Paris highly uncomfortable. The story is too long to tell here, but it is well summarized by CFA in JA's Works, 1:314 ff., see also the relevant documents in same, 7:188–203, 211–214; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827, 844; 4:18–19.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-02-13 - 1780-07-28

[Personal Expenditures, February–July 1780.1]

The Dates of Receipts, by whom given and for what Sums.
1780       £   s   d  
Feby.   13th.   Joseph Stevens for three Month Wages. 30 Dolls.2   150:   0:   0  
  15th.   John Thaxter for thirty Louis D'Ors on Account   720:   0:   0  
  15th.   Joseph Stevens for Sundries bo't   31:   4:   0  
  14th.   C. Hochereau for Books   19:   10:   0  
  16.   Mr. Morbut for Bread & Butter   10:   16:   0  
  19.   Auris for Hats   63:   0:   0  
  21st.   De Montigny for Courier de L'Europe, & Hague Gazette   84:   0:   0  
  21st.   Arnoux for Gazette de France   12:   0:   0  
  21st.   Panckoucks, for Mercure de France   30:   0:   0  
  26th.   Montagne for Cheese, Prunes &c.   39:   2:   0  
March   2   Dinner at Versailles   12:   4:   0  
  6   De Montigny for the Gazettes of Leide and Amsterdam   78:   0:   0  
    Books   82:   10:   0  
  8.   Hill for Cloaths   681:   15:   0  
    Hochereau for Books   17:   6:   0  
  9.   Mad[am]e Ruel the Traiteur for Provisions   400:   0:   0  
    Mademoiselle Carnu for Handkerfs. Ruffles & Stocks   154:   10:   0  
    Joseph Stevens for one Month's Wages ending 13th. of March   50:   0:   0  
    Miston (Peruquier) for Wigs and dressing   67:   4:   0  
    St. Clair (Caffee) for Tea, Milk, Bread and Butter   78:   1:   0  
    Joseph Stevens for Sundries bo't   55:   10:   0  
    Coquelle for Washing, Postage of Letters &c.   27:   10:   0  
{ 436 }
    Parmentiers for Rent of his House, Wood & Wine   542:   14:   0  
    John Thaxter for ten Louis D'Ors on Acct.   240:   0:   0  
    Washerwoman   2:   10:   0  
    Pacquenot for Wine   26:   0:   0  
    John Thaxter for Tea and Sugar   21:   15:   0  
    Griffon For Books and Paper   61:   2:   0  
    Omitted, paid Mr. Dana for one Dozen of Tea Spoons   95:   6:   8  
  13th.   Gouyot for Carriage and Horses one month   360:   0:   0  
  13th.   Gerante for two Pieces of Wine   250:   0:   0  
  10.   Paid for half a Dozen Stocks, @ 3:10:0   21:   0:   0  
    De la vals Rect for Tea, Sugar, Raisins Candles and Flambeau   28:   14:   0  
    Backelier Epicier for Dutch Cheese   4:   1:   0  
  11   Paid Subscription for the Philosophicand politic History of the two Indies3   24:   0:   0  
  12   Paid for M. Moreaus Discourses on the History of France 9. Vol.4   41:   0:   0  
  17.   Paid Mazars for Shoes and Boots   54:   0:   0  
    Paid for Sewing Silk 6 Ozs.   18:   0:   0  
    Paid for the hire of a Carriage three Days & Coachman   39:   12:   0  
  19   Hochereau for Books&mdash;Theatre D'Education 4 Vol. bound   24:   0:   0  
    Dto. for Postage of a Letter   1:   0:   0  
    Paid for the American Atlas, Pilot &c. in one Volume5 4 1/2 Louis   108:   0:   0  
    Paid the Abbè Chalut['s] Servt. for Corks, Shot & bottleing Wine   7:   10:   0  
  20   Paid for four Quires of Cartridge Paper   10:   0:   0  
    Paid Piebot Epicier, for Tea, Sugar &c.   21:   10:   6  
    Paid Hochereau Bookseller, 30 Louis D'ors, towards the Payment for La Description des Arts et Metiers, in 18 Volumes in Folio, for which I was to { 437 } give him 750 Liv. and for the Encyclopedia in 39 Volumes in Quarto for which I was to give him 360 Livres6   720:   0:   0  
  21   Paid Pissot for a Grammar of french Verbs, and for Nugents Dictionary7   7:   10:   0  
    Paid for two Pair of black Silk Stockings one Louis D'or.   24:   0:   0  
    Paid for a Purse   3:   0:   0  
  22d.   Paid Pissot for another Grammar of French Verbs   3:   0:   0  
    Paid Dto. for The Abbè de Mablys Droits public L'Europe8   6:   0:   0  
    Paid the Coachman for three day's driving   3:   12:   0  
  23   Paid Daniel, Engraver for two Seals   42:   0:   0  
    Paid Mr. Langlois for Carriage three Days   36:   0:   0  
  24   Paid for 6 yds. Silk 6 Liv. each and 2 oz black sewing Silk, &mdash;Fleury   42:   0:   0  
  29   Paid for the Works of Tacitus with a French Transn.9   21:   0:   0  
    Paid for the Latin Dicty. of Robert Stephens10   48:   0:   0  
    Paid for the Eulogium of M: Colbert by Mr. Neckar   1:   16:   0  
    Paid for the Journal of Paris   24:   0:   0  
    Paid for Domats civil Law 26. Liv. and the Voyage Pitoresque de Paris et des Environs 811   34:   0:   0  
April   1.   Paid for two Trunks £ 40 for a large one and 12 for the Small   52:   0:   0  
  2   Paid for Duties and Waggonage of a Cask of old red wine of Tonnere. Feuillette de vieux vin rouge de Tonnere.   39:   16:    
  4   Paid for Chocolat Wine &c.   20:   9:   0  
  5.   Paid for Tea, Almonds &c.   23:   3:   9  
  6.   Paid Hochereau for Books. D'Aguesseau, Cochin and Dictionaire D'His• { 438 } toire naturell.12   647:   0:   0  
    Paid Hill the Tayler one Bill   144:   10:   0  
    another   223:   0:   0  
  7.   Paid Chevr. O'Gormon for a Piece of Wine   150:   0:   0  
    Paid for Raynals Works and a Voyage thro France13   24:   0:   0  
  7.   Paid for 2 Pieces d'Indien and for Ruffles Necks &c.   153:   0:   0  
  9   Paid for Dictionaire de l'orthographie14   7:   0:   0  
  10   Paid for Caffees Account for the last Month   18:   13:   0  
    Paid Hochereaus Account for Books   188:   0:   0  
  12.   Paid for the House Rent and furniture, Bottles, Wine &c.   576:   17:   0  
    Paid Pacquenot for Wine   10:   0:   0  
    Paid Dalley the Baker   15:   0:   0  
    Paid Coquelle the Washerwoman   9:   0:   0  
    Paid Do. for Postage of Letters   23:   18:   0  
    Paid J. Thaxter on Account   240:   0:   0  
    Paid Do. for Money lent   26:   8:   0  
    Paid Joseph Stevens one Months Wages ending the 13th. of April   52:   10:   0  
    Paid Do. for Sundries bo't by him   60:   1:   6  
    Paid Ruelle Traiteur   428:   0:   0  
  13   Paid Hochereau for the Corps diplomatique &c.15   940:   0:   0  
  15   Paid Piebot for Cheese & Tea   56:   13:   6  
  20   Paid for two Pair of Black Silk Stockings   24:   0:   0  
  26   Paid for 30 days hire of the Coach, Horses, Coachman &. 15 Louis   360:   0:   0  
    Sent by Captn. C. to Mr. D.16 in London to pay for Pamphlets &c. 4 Louis   096:   0:   0  
    Gave my Son to pay for La Fontaines Fables17 and for his Brother & S. Cooper at the Comedy   6:   0:   0  
    Paid for La Fontaines Fables for Charles   2:   10:   0  
{ 439 }
  28   Paid for Singing Birds and Cages   35:   10:   0  
May   1   Gave at Biçetre, the bedlam of Paris18   9:   0:   0  
  2   Paid for a Pound of black sealing Wax, a Pound of red, and a blank Letter Book   22:   0:   0  
    Paid Subscription for the Journal des Scavans19   16:   0:   0  
  5   Paid Dt. for Annales Politiques, Civiles, et literaires20   48:   0:   0  
    Paid the Garçon   1:   4:   0  
    Paid for 6 Bottles of white Wine   4:   10:   0  
  15   Paid Ruel Traiteur to 10 May   423:   15:   0  
    House   432:   0:   0  
    Joseph Stevens   171:   12:   0  
    Denis Wages and Dinners   68:   8:   0  
    Bread   15:   0:   0  
    Postage &c.   44:   9:   0  
    Mr. Thaxter   240:   0:   0  
    Stephens's Wages ending 13 May   52:   10:   0  
    Marchande de Vin, Garante   180:   0:   0  
    To Caffees Account   2:   9:   0  
    Settled with Mr. Dana so far.        
  17   Paid Mr. Pechini's Account for my Sons John and Charles,21   980:   10:   0  
  19   Paid Mr. Court de Gebelin,22 for Subscription for his Greek Dictionary and the Seventh Volume of his Monde primitif and a Thermometer of Raumur   31:   10:   0  
  20   Paid the Coach Hire for a Month ending the 17th. 15 Louis and for a pair of additional Horses to go to Versailles on the Day of Pentecote 18 liv.   378:   0:   0  
  27   Paid for the Carriage of a Box of Newspapers and pamphlets from London   9:   6:   0  
    Paid for the Cariage of an hoghead and Case of Bordeaux Wine, and the Duties on the Road   99:   10:   0  
{ 440 }
  30   Paid the Duties for the Entry into Paris   57:   13:   0  
June   1   Paid Cabaret for three Reams of Paper and two Ivory Knives   52:   0:   0  
  9   Paid for Spoons &c—Mr. Taillepied   823:   0:   0  
  19   Paid for the Waggonage of three Trunks from Brest   72:   0:   0  
  21   Paid for the Coach to the 16 June 15 Louis   360:   0:   0  
  26   Paid for Washing   8:   12:   0  
  28   Paid Paule Tailors Account   644:   0:   0  
    Paid Mr. Tyler a Bill of Exchange drawn upon me by Mrs. Adams in favour of Thomas Bumstead & by him inclosed to Mr. John Tyler—100 dollars   535:   0:   0  
July   1   Paid for 12 Ells of Cambrick @ 10 Liv.   120:   0:   0  
  7   Paid Mr. Borzachini for 2 Italian Grammars and 11 Lessons   60:   0:   0  
    Paid for a Piece of Cambrick 12 Ells & 1/2   120:   0:   0  
  8   Paid Molini for Baretti's Italien Dictionary   48:   0:   0  
    Dellitti e Pene   3:      
    Grammatica Del Buomattei23   9:   0:   0  
  17   Paid for Linen   67:   10:   0  
    Paid for 6 Bottles of Liqueur   27:   0:   0  
    [In margin:] Settled with Mr. Dana        
  19   Paid Porters Bill for Postage of Letters &c.   112:   7:   0  
  26   Paid for a months Coach hire   360:   0:   0  
  27   Paid Mr. Pechini one Quarter for my two Sons   650:   18:   0  
  28   Paid Taylors Account   170:   18:   6  
  6   Paid Joseph Stevens's Account   100:   19:   0  
1. From Lb/JA/34 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 122), a folio ledger with a trade card inside the front cover reading: “A la Tête Noire, Furgault, { 441 } Marchand de Papiers, A l'entrée de la rue de Richelieu, près des QuinzeVingts,... à Paris.” Following eight pages of accounts, which are at first in Thaxter's hand, including the caption, and afterward in both JA's and Thaxter's hands, the volume contains copies of JA's letters of a much later period, May 1814 — Nov. 1816.
2. This entry indicates that the exchange rate between the Spanish dollar and the French livre tournois was one to five, at least for purposes of common reckoning.
3. By Abbé Raynal; see Diary entry of 2 Feb. 1779 and note there.
4. Jacob Nicolas Moreau, Principes de morale, de politique et de droit public ... ou discours sur I'histoire de France, Paris, 1777–1779; 9 vols. (Catalogue of JA's Library).
5. Atlas amériquain septentrional contenant les détails des différentes provinces, de ce vaste continent ..., Paris, 1778. Pilote américain ..., Paris, 1779; 2 vols. in 1. Both of these collections were French reissues of English works and were published by Lerouge, under whose name they are entered in Catalogue of JA's Library.
6. This entry records JA's acquisition of two of the major works of French scholarship of the era. The first was Descriptions des arts et métiers, faites ou approuvées par Messieurs de l'Academic royale des sciences, Paris, 1761–1788; 113 cahiers, folio. JA's set, bound in 18 vols., was nearly but not quite complete, only a few parts being published after 1779. He presented it to Harvard College on 5 June 1789, and it is now in the Houghton Library. See Arthur H. Cole and George B. Watts, The Handicrafts of France as Recorded in the Descriptions des Arts et Metiers 1761–1788, Boston, 1952, for a history and appraisal of this work and a record of sets in American libraries. The second work was the Diderot-d'Alembert Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des metiers, par une société de gens de lettres, 3d edn., Geneva, &c., 1778–1779, of which JA's nearly complete set in 38 vols. survives among his books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 74); see also Harvard Library Bull., 9:235 (Spring 1955).
7. The Catalogue of JA's Library lists Les verbes francois ... en forme de dictionnaire, by Demarville, London, 1773, but only a later edition of Thomas Nugent, The New Pocket Dictionary of the French and English Languages ..., London, 1781.
8. The Catalogue of JA's Library lists two sets of Mably, Le droit public de l'Europe ..., the first published at Amsterdam in 2 vols., 1748, the second at Geneva in 3 vols., 1776. On Mably see Diary entry of 29 May 1778, above, and note there.
9. Traduction complette de Tacite, Paris, 1777–1779; 7 vols.; Latin and French texts (Catalogue of JA's Library).
10. Robert Estienne, Thesaurus linguae latinae in IV tomos divisus ..., Basel, 1740–1743; 4 vols., folio (Catalogue of JA's Library).
11. For Domat see Diary entry of 24 June 1779, above, and note 3 there. For the Voyage pittoresque de Paris and Voyage pittoresque des environs de Paris, frequently cited in notes above, see Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 73.
12. Aguesseau and Cochin were legal writers; see Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 8–9, 54. The Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle, Paris, 1775, in 6 vols., was by Valmont de Bomare (same, p. 253).
13. Probably J. A. Piganiol de La Force, Nouveau voyage de France; avec un itinéraire, et des cartes ..., nouv. édn., Paris, 1780 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
14. [Charles Le Roy,] Traité de Vorthographe françoise, en forme de dietionaire, nouv. edn., Poitiers, 1775 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
15. Jean Dumont, comp., Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens; contenant un recueil des traitez d'alliance, de paix, de trève, de neutralité, decommerce, d'éhange ..., Amsterdam, 1726–1739; 14 vols. in 15, folio (Catalogue of JA's Library).
16. Doubtless Thomas Digges, on whom see Diary entry of 20 April 1778 and note 2, above; also 4 Dec. 1782, note 1, below.
17. There are copies of La Fontaine's Fables choisies, mises en vers, listed in { 442 } both the Catalogue of JA's Library and in Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA's Books. Probably one of these belonged to CA, who, as the next entry in these accounts suggests, wanted a copy of his own.
18. Described at length in JA to AA, 5 May 1780 (Adams Papers).
19. JA acquired five volumes of the Journal des sçavans (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 132). On this day also, according to a separate and fragmentary record of book purchases elsewhere in the present letterbook, he bought “14 Exemplaires Loix de l'Amerique,” paying 35 livres for them. This was a work entitled Recueil des loix constitutives des colonies angloises, confédéréés sous la dénomination d'Etats-Unis de l'Amérique-Septentrionale ..., Paris, 1778, compiled by one Regnier from the texts of the state constitutions and other American state papers that had appeared in the Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique. Its curious bibliographical history has been related by Gilbert Chinard in Amer. Philos. Soc, Year Book 1943, p. 89–96. Five copies remain among JA's books in the Boston Public Library, one of them bearing MS notes in his hand.
20. “Dt.” probably means “ditto,” but JA's copy of the Annales has not been found.
21. Spelled by JQA, probably more correctly, Pechigny. He and his wife conducted the boarding school in Passy in which the Adams boys were placed. JQA wrote engagingly about his school work in a letter to his father without date [ante 17 March 1780] and in another to his cousin, William Cranch, 17 March 1780 (both in Adams Papers).
22. See entry of 30 Oct. 1778, above, and note.
23. Copies of Baretti's Dictionary of the English and Italian Languages ..., new edn., London, 1771, in 2 vols., and Beccaria's Dei delitti e delle pene, Haarlem and Paris, 1780, remain among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). The Grammatica here mentioned may or may not be Buommattei's Delia lingua toscana ... libre due, 5th edn., Florence, 1760, which is listed in the Catalogue.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-27

1780 July 27. Thursday.

Setting off on a Journey, with my two Sons to Amsterdam.1 —Lodged at Compiegne. Fryday night, lodged at Valenciennes. Saturday arrived at Brussells.—This Road is through the finest Country, I have any where seen. The Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Peas, Beans and several other Grains, the Hemp, Flax, Grass, Clover, Lucerne, St. Foin, &c., the Pavements and Roads are good. The Rows of Trees, on each side the Road, and around many Squares of Land.—The Vines, the Cattle, the Sheep, in short every Thing upon this Road is beautiful and plentifull. Such immense fields and heavy Crops of Wheat I never saw any where. The Soil is stronger and richer, than in other Parts.
I lodged in Brussells at L'hotel de L'Imperatrice. The Cathedral Church, the Park, the Ramparts and Canals of this Town, are very well worth seeing.2
1. Having met with absolute resistance at Versailles to discharging any part of his mission to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, and having offended Vergennes by his importunity on this and unwelcome advice on other matters, JA determined to go to Amsterdam, “to try,” as Franklin reported to Congress, “whether something might not be done to render us less dependent on France” (Franklin to Huntington, 9 Aug. 1780, { 443 } Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:128). JA went to the Netherlands as a private citizen, not knowing that on 20 June Congress had commissioned him its agent, until Henry Laurens should arrive, to procure a loan there (JCC, 17:535–537); his commission, received on 16 Sept., was enclosed in a letter from Lovell and Houston, the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Adams Papers).
2. Only the first two sentences of the present entry could have been written on 27 July. According to JQA's Diary, which is much more detailed than his father's during this journey, the party arrived in Brussels at 5:30 in the afternoon of the 29th, and JA had a long conversation with Edmund Jenings that evening.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-30

1780. July 30. Sunday.

Went to the Cathedral Church. A great Feast. An infinite Crowd.1 The Church more splendidly ornamented than any that I had seen. Hung with Tapestrie. The Church Music here is in the Italian style.
A Picture in Tapestry was hung up, of a No. of Jews stabbing the Wafer, the bon Dieu, and blood gushing in streams, from the B[read?]. This insufferable Piece of pious Villany, shocked me beyond measure. But thousands were before it, on their Knees adoring. I could not help cursing the Knavery of the Priesthood and the brutal Ignorance of the People—yet perhaps, I was rash and unreasonable, and that it is as much Virtue and Wisdom in them to adore, as in me to detest and despise.—Spent the Afternoon, and drank Tea, with Mr. W. Lee, Mr. Jennings, and his Nephew,2 Mrs. Izard, her two Daughters and Son, and Miss [Steed,]3 Mrs. Lee and her Children &c. An agreable Circle of Americans.
In the Evening Mr. Lee, Mr. Jennings and his Nephew, My two Sons, &c. took a Walk to see the Canals. Vessells of some Burthen come up here, in the Canal which reaches to the Sea. We afterwards walked upon the Ramparts.
In this Town is a great Plenty of stone, which I think is the same with our Braintree North Common stone. It is equally hard, equally fine grain—capable of a fine Polish. I think the Colour is a little darker, than the Braintree stone. There is a new Building here, before which is the Statue of the late Prince Charles, in Front of which are six Pillars, wholly of this stone. Indeed the Steps, and the whole Front is of the same stone.
This Town is the Capital of Brabant, in the Austrian Netherlands. The late Prince Charles was a Brother of the Empress Queen, L'lmperatrice Reine, Unkle of the Emperor and the Queen of France. He was extreamly beloved, by the People, and has left an excellent Character. The Emperor did not like him, it is said. In the late War, the Emperor called upon this Prince for Money. The Prince wrote to { 444 } dissuade him from it. The Emperor sent again. The Prince wrote back, that he saw They were determined, and they must appoint another Governor of this Province, for he could not execute their orders. Upon this the Imperial Court desisted.
We lodged one night at Antwerp, viewed the Cathedral and the Exchange &c. and went by Moerdyck to Rotterdam, where We arrived, the 4th. August.4
1. MS: “Crown.”
2. “Bordly” (i.e. Bordley), according to JQA's Diary.
3. Blank in MS; name supplied from JQA's Diary.
4. According to JQA's Diary the Adamses spent the 31st, 1st, and 2d in sightseeing and in visiting with William Lee and Edmund Jenings in Brussels; on the 3d they traveled in their own carriage to Antwerp; and on the 4th continued in hired carriages to Rotterdam, leaving their carriage in Antwerp.

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).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-05

1778 [i.e. 1780] Aug. 5.

Lodged at the Mareschall De Turenne. Dined with Mr. Dubblemets.1 Went to see the Statue of Erasmus, the Exchange, the Churches &c. Mr. Dubblemets sent his Coach in the Evening and one of his Clerks. We rode, round the Environs of the Town, then to his Country Seat, where We supped.—The Meadows are very fine, the Horses and Cattle large. The Intermixture of Houses, Trees, Ships, and Canals throughout this Town is very striking. The Neatness here is remarkable.
1. The mercantile firm of F. & A. Dubbeldemuts in Rotterdam had some tenuous American connections and was eager to improve them. Probably Franklin, to whom they had addressed various appeals, commended them to JA's attention. They were later vigorous supporters of JA's campaign to obtain Dutch recognition of American independence. See Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index, and JA-Dubbeldemuts correspondence in Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-06

1778 [i.e. 1780] Aug. 6.

Went to the English Presbyterian Church, and heard a sensible sermon, the mode of Worship differs in nothing from ours but in the organ, whose Musick joins in the Singing.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-28

1780 Aug. 28th. Monday.1

Heeren Graagt, by de Veisel Straagt. Burgomaster Hooft, D.Z.2
Mr. Hartzinck. Scheepen. Heeren Gragt.
M. G. H. Matthes.—burgwal opposite the Lombard.
J. Vandevelde. Agter zyds burgwal.
{ 446 }
Mr. Hartzinck is the Son in Law of Madam Chabanel, Mr. Le Roy's Aunt.
Keep us poor. Depress Us. Keep Us weak. Make Us feel our Obligations. Impress our Minds with a Sense of Gratitude. Let Europe see our dependance. Make Europe believe We are in great distress and danger, that other nations may be discouraged from taking our Part. Propagate bad news, to discourage the Merchants and Bankers of Holland from lending Us Money. Is there any Thing in these Jealousies and Insinuations?
Dined with M. Jacob Van staphorst. A dutch minister from St. Eustatia there. A Lawyer, Mr. Calcoon,3 Mr. Cromellin, Mr. Le Roi, Gillon,4 Joiner and a Merchant from Hamborough. The Parson is a warm American. The Lawyer made one observation which [I once?] made to Dr. Franklin, that English would be the general Language in the next Century, and that America would make it so. Latin was in the last Century, French has been so in this, and English will be so, the next.
It will be the Honour of Congress to form an Accademy for improving and ascertaining the English Language.5
1. First entry in D/JA/32, a pocket memorandum book with a cover of Dutch decorated paper over boards which have loops for a pencil at the fore-edge. Most of the entries are in pencil, and most of them are undated, but all belong to JA's first months in the Netherlands. Inside the front cover is a notation, probably in the hand of Harriet Welsh, a relative who lived in Boston and who acted occasionally as JA's amanuensis during his old age: “The Dutch book of Mr. John Adams when in Holland in the revolution. June 1823.” Among the leaves left blank by JA in the middle of the book are six scattered pages of accounts which are in a hand not even tentatively identified but unquestionably later than 1800. These have been disregarded in the present text. Since this is not a diary in the conventional sense, but a pocket engagement and address book containing occasional diary-like entries, CFA included nothing from it in his edition of JA's Diary. Yet the contents, fragmentary and sometimes cryptic as they are, throw some light on the beginnings of JA's mission to the Netherlands.
From JQA's Diary we learn that the Adamses left Rotterdam on 7 Aug. by canal boat for Delft and went on to The Hague, where JA consulted with the American agent, Charles William Frederic Dumas, and the French ambassador, the Due de La Vauguyon. They visited Leyden on the 9th, stopping there one night, and proceeded by canal boat via Haarlem to Amsterdam on the 10th, putting up at “l'Hotel des Armes d'Amsterdam.” In this city they found numerous Americans, including Alexander Gillon, who enjoyed the title of commodore of the South Carolina navy (Arthur Middleton to JA, 4 July 1778, Adams Papers). Gillon had Dutch relatives and found lodgings for the Adamses next door to his own (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 345–346). JA at once set about establishing such commercial, political, and journalistic connections as he could.
2. That is, Henrik Hooft, Danielszoon, a burgomaster of strongly republican (anti-Orangist) sentiments, who lived on the Heerengracht (Lords' Canal) near Vyzelstraat (Johan E. Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, Haarlem, 1903–1905, 2:726).
{ 447 }
3. Hendrik Calkoen (1742–1818), later described by JA as “the giant of the law in Amsterdam.” See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:195–197. Three days later Calkoen addressed a series of questions about the United States and its resources to JA in writing (Adams Papers), to which JA replied in a MS dated 4–27 Oct. 1780 (Adams Papers), afterward printed as Twenty-Six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects, respecting the Revolution of America ..., London, 1786; reprinted New York, 1789. JA included them among his letters to the Boston Patriot, preceded by an explanation of how they came to be written and the use Calkoen made of them to spread “just sentiments of American affairs” in the Netherlands (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 194). CFA also included them, with the explanation, in JA's Works, 7:265–312.
4. Alexander Gillon, of Charleston, S.C., but probably of Dutch origin, had recently acquired a Dutch-built frigate for the use of South Carolina and had named it for that state. He was also attempting to negotiate a loan for his state in Amsterdam and had gone the rounds of the banking and brokerage houses. JA held a respectful opinion of Gillon until after the fiasco of the latter's voyage of 1781, with CA on board. Gillon started from the Texel for America, but after six weeks put in at La Corufia, Spain, where his American passengers made haste to leave the South Carolina. See D. E. Huger Smith, “Commodore Alexander Gillon and the Frigate South Carolina,” So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 9:189–219; John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 75–77.
5. On 5 Sept.JA developed this idea in a letter to Pres. Huntington proposing the establishment of an “American Accademy, for refining, improving and ascertaining the English Language,” to be maintained by Congress in conjunction with “a Library consisting of a compleat Collection of all Writings concerning Languages of every Sort ancient and modern” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-29

29 Aug.1

30 Wednesday. Mr. Vanberckle2
31 Thursday. Mr. Crommelin opde Keyzers Gragt.
Septr.
1 Fryday. Mrs. Chabanels.
3 Sunday. M. De Neuville, De Neuville
[6] Wednesday. Bicker3
[7] Thursday.
[10] Sunday. Cromelin
[12] Tuesday. Grand
[13] Wednesday. Chabanell
[14] Thursday. De Neufville
1. This list of engagements appears on the last page but one of D/JA/32. The entries may or may not have all been put down on 29 Aug.; space was left for insertions between those that do not fall on successive days.
2. Engelbert Francois van Berckel (1726–1796), pensionary of Amsterdam, an early enthusiast in the American cause, and younger brother of Pieter Johan van Berckel, who became the first minister from the Netherlands to the United States, 1783 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 4:109–111; 2:128–129).
3. Henrick Bicker (1722–1783), an Amsterdam merchant who in the following month advised JA on his first steps to secure a Dutch loan to the { 448 } United States and who proved to JA “a sincere friend and faithful counsellor, from first to last” (Johan E. Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, Haarlem, 1903–1905, 1:361; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 171).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-30

[30 August.]

School op de Cingel.
30 of August, my Sons went to the Latin School.1
Dined at Mr. Vanberkles Pensionary of Amsterdam, with Mr. Bicker and an Officer of the Army.
Mr. Calkoen Keyzers Gragt.
1. This was the well-known Latin school or academy on the Singel (a canal in the heart of Amsterdam) near the Muntplein (Mint Square). The building is now occupied by the Amsterdam police. There is a contemporary account of the school in Le guide, ou nouvelle description d'Amsterdam ..., Amsterdam, 1772, p. 220–222, an anonymous but excellent guidebook, of which JA's copy survives among his books in the Boston Public Library. JQA translated and copied this account into his Diary, 31 Aug., and in later entries tells a little of life at the school. Things did not go well, however, for the precocious JQA under Dutch scholastic discipline. Since he did not know Dutch, he was kept in a lower form, and the Rector, H. Verheyk, found him disobedient and impertinent. As a result, on 10 Nov.JA instructed Verheyk to send both of his sons home (JA-Verheyk correspondence in Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-08 - 1780-09

[Miscellaneous Memoranda in Amsterdam, August–September 1780.]1

H. Grotius, de Jure Belli ac Pacis.2
C. van Bynkershoek
G. Noodt Opera
Apologeticus eorum qui Hollandiae praefuerunt ab H. Grotio Considerations sur 1'Etude de la Jurisprudence par M. Perrenot. Janiçon Republik der Vereenigde Nederlanden3 Ploos Van Amstel, the first Lawyer of Holland. Mr. Calkoen the next.
Heerens Gragt, pres Vissel Straat. Burgomaester Hooft.
Q. A Society or Academy for the dutch Language, in Germany, Russia, Sweeden, Denmark. The Italian Academy.
2000 Plants and Trees, many Americans.
38,000 florins for the Seat, 216 Acres of Land, between 30 and 40 thousand Vessells pass in a Year in Sight. Velserhooft.
Muyden. Sluices
Weesop. G in Hogs.4
De Geen. [Fine?] Seats
{ 449 }
Hofrust. Muyderberg. Mr. Crommelin.
Mr. Crommelin Op de Keyzers Gragt, over de Groenlandse Pakhuyzen. On the Keyzers Gragt opposite the Greenland Warehouses.
M. Van Berckel. Upon the Heerens Gragt, by de Konings Plein.
M. Bicker. Opposite.
M. Hooft—op de Heerens Gragt, by de Vyselstraat.
M. Vanhasselt at M. Wm. Hoofts on the Keysers Gragt, near the Amstel.
M. John Gabriel Tegelaar op de nieuwe Maart.
M. Nicholas Vanstaphorst, op de Cingel, about 50 doors from Jacob.
De La Lande & Fynje—op de Cingel.5
Questions. Is it necessary, or expedient to make any Representation, Communication, or Application to the Prince? or States General?
2. Is it prudent to apply to the City of Amsterdam, their Regency or any Persons, concerned in the Government?
3. To what Persons is it best to make the first Communication of my Commission? To Mr. Hooft, Mr. Vanberckel?
4. What House would you advise me to choose? or Houses?
5. Whether it is probable that any Number of Houses would unite in this Plan? and what Houses?
6. Whether any Number of Houses, might be induced, to become responsable for the punctual Payment of the Interest?
7. How much per Cent Interest must be given?
8. How much per Cent Commission to the Banker, or Bankers, House or Houses?
9. Whether it will be necessary to employ Brokers? What Brokers, and what Allowance must they have?
Jan and Dirk van Vollenhoven. Sur le meme Canal avec M. Berckel.
un Courtier. Maakalaar.6
Gulian Crommelin; at Mr. John Gasquet on the Rookin opposit the New Chapel.7
The Theatre of the War in N. America with the Roads and Tables of the superficial Contents, Distances &c. by an American. Annexed a compendious Account of the British Colonies in North America.
Van Arp. Maakalaar. Next to Mr. Matthes, op de Verweelé Burgwal, over de Lombard
{ 450 }
What is the manner of doing Business with the Brokers?
What must be given them?
2100 Guilders, double Rect. to receive for one, 400 Ducats8
Monitier & Merckemaer. Brokers in Loans9-13
Mandrillon.
Messrs. Curson & Gouvernieur Cont[inenta]l Agents at St. Eustatia9-13
Monitier & Merckemaer Brokers in Loans.
In het Rondeel op de hoek van de doele Straat9-13
Demter dans le Pijlsteeg9-13
Daniel Jan Bouwens, op de Heeregragt, by de Reguliersgragt.9-13
Reguliers Gragt
<Verlam> Printer. Verlem in de graave Straat. Printer of the North holland Gazette.
Daniel Jan Bowens, op de Heeregragt, bij de reguliers Gragt over de hoofd Officier.
In 1708  
La Gueldre   4   1/2  
La Hollande   55   1/2  
La Zelande   13   1/2  
   Utrecht   5   3/4  
LaFrise   11   1/2  
L'Overyssell   2   3/4  
Groningue & les Ommelandes   6   1/214  
8 feet long.
[9?] Inches diameter of the Mirour.
L'Angle aggrandit 300 fois, the least.
Jacobus van de Wall, over de laaste molen op de Overtoomseweg15
Mr. Ploos van Amstel Makelaar
B[ . . . ] te Amsterdam
In de Kalverstraat bij Intema & Tiboel boekverkoper. Een Frans en Duits [ . . . ], van het werk door Ploos v. Amstel
Agterburgwal by de Hoogstraat16
Mr. Wilmart Prince Gragt.
Mr. McCreery lodges, a Pension
Searle17
{ 451 }
1. These memoranda are undated and are probably not in chronological order. The “Questions” must have been formulated after JA received, 16 Sept., his temporary commission of 20 June to procure a loan in the Netherlands; see also note 8. A number of the entries, indicated by notes below, were written by persons other than JA, no doubt at his request when he wished to get unfamiliar names, addresses, and other information correctly recorded.
2. This and the following three entries are in an unidentified hand, perhaps Hendrik Calkoen's. For works by the eminent legal writers Hugo Grotius, Cornelis van Bynkershoek, and Gerard Noodt eventually acquired by JA, see Catalogue of JA's Library under their respective names.
3. JA later acquired an edition in French of Janiçon's Etat present de la république des Provinces-Unies ..., 4th edn., The Hague, 1755; 2 vols. (Catalogue of JA's Library).
4. Thus in MS. What JA meant by it is unknown to the editors.
5. The firm of De la Lande and Fynje was the third of the three Amsterdam banking houses (the others being the Van Staphorsts and the Willinks) that joined to raise the first Dutch loan to the United States in 1782.
6. Courtier (French) and makelaar (Dutch) are equivalent to the English word broker.
7. This entry is in an unidentified hand.
8. This entry can be explained and precisely dated from an isolated entry in LbJA/14 reading: “1780 Septr. 21. Reed, of Messrs. Fizeau Grand & Co. Four hundred Ducats or Two Thousand one hundred Guilders, for which I gave a double Rect. to serve as one. This I reed, on Account of M. F. Grand at Paris.”
9-13. These entries are in various unidentified hands.
14. This table, on a page by itself, doubtless represents the proportions of revenue paid into the common treasury by the seven provinces of the United Netherlands in 1708.
15. This and the following four entries are in various unidentified hands.
16. This was JA's own address, written down for him by someone who knew how to spell it, from mid-August 1780 to Feb. 1781. The Agterburgwal was a street on a canal “behind the city wall,” and JA lived on it “near High Street.” His landlady was “Madame La Veuve du Mr. Henry Schorn” (JA to Francis Dana, 18 Jan. 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). In his letters to the Boston PatriotJA remembered that there had been some “remarks” and “whisperings” among the Dutch and among Americans in Amsterdam “that Mr. Adams was in too obscure lodgings,” but he considered that these originated with “English spies” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 346). Whatever it may have been then, this section of Amsterdam, near the harbor and railroad station, is anything but respectable now, being on the edge of the area reserved for licensed prostitution. The most prominent landmark nearby is the Oude Kerk.
17. James Searle of Philadelphia, a member of the Continental Congress, who arrived in Europe in Sept. 1780 to try to obtain a foreign loan for Pennsylvania. See Mildred E. Lombard, “James Searle: Radical Business Man of the Revolution,” PMHB, 59:284–294 (July 1935).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-11

1781 January 11. Thursday.1

Returned from the Hague to Leyden. Was present from 12. to one O Clock, when the Praeceptor gave his Lessons in Latin and Greek to my Sons. His Name is Wenshing.2 He is apparently a great Master of the two Languages, besides which he speaks French and Dutch very well, understands little English, but is desirous of learning it. He obliges his Pupills to be industrious, and they have both made a great Progress for the Time. He is pleased with them and they with him. { 452 } John is transcribing a Greek Grammar of his Masters Composition and Charles a Latin one. John is also transcribing a Treatise on Roman Antiquities, of his masters writing. The Master gives his Lessons in French.
This Day Dr. Waterhouse, Mr. Thaxter and my two Sons dined with me at the Cour de Hollande, and after Dinner, went to the Rector Magnificus, to be matriculated into the University. Charles was found to be too young, none under twelve Years of Age being admitted. John was admitted, after making a Declaration that he would do nothing against the Laws of the University, City or Land.
I wish to be informed concerning the Constitution and Regulations of this University. The Number of Professors, their Characters. The Government of the Students both in Morals and Studies. Their Manner of Living—their Priviledges &c. &c.3
1. This and the following scattered entries in Jan.–Feb. 1781 are from Lb/JA/28 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 116), which since it contains copies of a few of JA's letters in 1793–1794 has long been classed as a letterbook though it was begun as a diary. It is a small quarto-sized gathering of leaves stitched into a cover of marbled paper.
It is extremely unfortunate that JA kept no journal during the last months of 1780 when Anglo-Dutch relations came to a crisis that led to war between the two powers, vitally affected JA's status in the Netherlands, and greatly benefited the American cause. However, JA's long and frequent letters to Pres. Huntington and other correspondents constitute a more or less weekly and sometimes daily record of the events leading up to the rupture. Many of these letters were printed first in JA's self-justifying communications to the Boston Patriot, 1809–1812 (partly gathered and reprinted in his Correspondence in the Boston Patriot); another selection from them was made by CFA in JA's Works, vol. 7; and still another (though largely based on earlier printings) by Wharton in his edition of the Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence, vol. 4. Since relatively little use has been made, especially by European historians, of this mass of information and reflection by a lively observer, JA's correspondence will be printed comprehensively in Series III of the present edition.
The explosion in Anglo-Dutch relations was touched off by the capture at sea of Henry Laurens, when he was at last on his way to his post in the Netherlands, by a British ship in Sept. 1780. In a chest which he threw overboard but which was recovered were found papers which the British government considered evidence of unforgivable conduct on the part of Dutch citizens and especially of E. F. van Berckel, pensionary of Amsterdam and sponsor of the proposed treaty agreed upon at Aixla-Chapelle, Sept. 1778, by William Lee representing the United States and Jean de Neufville representing the Regency of Amsterdam. (See JA to Huntington, 27 Oct. 1780, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:320–321. See also Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:787–798.) The texts were dispatched at once to the British minister at The Hague, Sir Joseph Yorke, submitted by him to the Stadholder, and a disavowal of the conduct of the Amsterdam Regency demanded. In the Adams Papers, under date of 20 Oct. 1780, are printed texts, in English and Dutch, of the treaty draft and the other offending papers, and also a printed reply (with an English translation in MS) from the Burgomasters of Amsterdam. The latter defended their conduct against the British charges on the grounds, first, that the treaty was contingent on the United States' gain• { 453 } ing independence, and second, that a commercial treaty with the United States was in the ultimate interest of the whole Dutch trading community. These arguments were not likely to mollify Yorke, who memorialized the States General directly, 10 Nov., demanding that the Amsterdammers be punished for an attempt to violate the sovereignty of the nation and an abrogation of its treaties with England. JA observed that Yorke's action was “outrageous,” that Van Berckel had been singled out “for the Fate of Barnevelt, Grotius or De Wit,” and that the British were treating a sovereign power as if it were a recalcitrant colony of their own—very much as they had treated America in fact (JA to Huntington, 16, 17 Nov., and to Franklin, 30 Nov.; all letterbook copies, Adams Papers; Works, 7:329–330, 331, 338). From this point affairs deteriorated rapidly, but since JA provided a chronology of the climactic events in a letter to Huntington of 5 Jan. 1781 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:352–353), it is unnecessary to say more than that Yorke left The Hague on Christmas or the day before, without taking leave. The question in January, when JA briefly resumed his Diary, was whether the British threats and attacks on there shipping and colonies would bring the Dutch to an abject surrender. Their own dissensions prevented this, and they drifted into war.
2. Thaxter spells his name “Wensing” (to JA, 22 Dec. 1780, Adams Papers).
3. On 13 Dec. Benjamin Waterhouse, who was studying for a medical degree at Leyden, responded to inquiries from JA about schools, tutors, and accommodations for the Adams boys in that city (Adams Papers; see also JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 572). Encouraged by Waterhouse's reply, JA sent the boys off under Thaxter's care on the 18th (JA to AA, 18 Dec. 1780, Adams Papers). They secured rooms in the house where Waterhouse was living, F. Weller's (or Willer's) on the Langebrug, not far from the Kloksteeg where John Robinson had ministered to his congregation of English Separatists before they sailed to Cape Cod in 1620 (Thaxter to JA, 19 Dec.; JQA to JA, 21 Dec. 1780; both in Adams Papers). As JA notes here, JQA was regularly enrolled as a student in the University early in January; CA was enrolled by special permission on the 29th (Thaxter to JA, 1 Feb. 1781, Adams Papers; Register of Students, MS, Leyden Univ. Libr.). Letters exchanged by JA and JQA in the following months record the older son's progress in his studies, which he found congenial.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-12

12. Fryday.

Mr. Mitchel, Mr. Luzac, Dr. Waterhouse, Mr. Thaxter and my two Sons supped with me at the Cour de Holland.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-13

13 Saturday.

Returned to Amsterdam, having dined at Haerlem, at the Golden Lion. Went in the Evening to see Ingraham and Sigourney1 and C[ommodore] Gillon.
Chez la V[euv]e Wynen, dans le premier Wezelstraat, à main gauche. Address of Cerisier.2
1. “There are three Gentlemen, in the Mercantile Way, Mr. Sigourney, Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Bromfield, who are now in this City, and propose to reside here and establish a mercantile House. These Gentlemen are very well known in the Massachusetts, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to say any Thing about their Characters” (JA to the Massachusetts Board of War, 16 Jan. 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). The three established themselves promptly in business, { 454 } for in a series of letters in April JA commissioned them to rent and furnish a house in Amsterdam suitable for his residence as minister plenipotentiary; see note on entry of 28 Feb., below.
2. Antoine Marie Cerisier (1749–1828), a French publicist and historical writer who had resided for some time in the Netherlands and was active in the Patriot movement (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générate). Quite possibly his journalistic activities were subsidized by the French government. JA later said that after reading one of Cerisier's works on Dutch history he traveled to Utrecht to meet the author and found him an agreeable and learned man, at home in French, Dutch, and English, and deeply interested in American affairs. Cerisier moved to Amsterdam, apparently at just this time (early in 1781), “and proposed to publish a periodical paper, with a view to serve our cause. I encouraged this very cordially, and he soon commenced the work, under the title of Le Politique Hollandais, or the Dutch Politician. In this he inserted every thing that he thought would do honor to America, or promote our reputation and interest. His paper was much read, and had a great effect. He was always ready to translate any thing for me into French or Dutch, or out of Dutch into French or English” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 256). In short, Cerisier became one of JA's principal coadjutors in his press campaign to win support for America. In a letter to R. R. Livingston, 16 May 1782, JA commended Cerisier in the warmest terms to the generosity of Congress (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:589–590). JA's copies of Le politique hollandais survive in the Boston Public Library, and a number of contributions by JA to this journal have been identified. A study of Le politique hollandais by W. P. Sautyn Kluit is illuminating on Dutch journalism at this period but not adequate on Cerisier's career (Handelingen en mededeelingen van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden over het jaar 1882, p. 3–36). From documents in the Adams Papers it now appears that Cerisier was also the author of the principal statement of the Patriot party's program, a learned and influential work in two volumes entitled Grondwettige herstelling van Nederlands staatswezen, Amsterdam, 1784–1786, though his authorship was a secret long and well kept in the Netherlands (Cerisier to JA, 10 Aug. 1786, laid in a presentation copy of the second volume of the Herstelling among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; see also JA to John Jay, 3 Oct. 1786, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:676–677). When the Prussian army invaded the Netherlands in the fall of 1787 and crushed the Patriots' hopes and efforts, Cerisier fled to Paris (letter to JA, 3 Nov. 1787, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-14

1781. Sunday. Jan. 14.

Questions.—How many Ships of War, are determined to be equipped? How much Money have the States General granted for the Navy? Have the States General resolved to issue Letters of Marque? Are the Letters issued? Is there a Disposition to demand them? Will there be many Privateers? How many? Will the Manifesto be published? When? How many Troops are ordered to Zealand? Have the States General taken any Sweedish or Danish Men of War, into their Service? How many? On what Terms?
When will the Decision of the Court of Holland, be made, upon the Conduct of Amsterdam? Will it be this month or next? Who knows what it will be? Why is the decision delayed? What are the { 455 } Reasons, Causes, Motives, End and design? Is it not the Influence of the English Party, that still obstructs and retards?
Has Zealand, proposed, or advised, to open a Negotiation, to make up the Quarrel? When. What measures does she propose?1
The B. V. Capellen came in.2 He fears that the Prince and the Proprietors of English Funds will unite, in endeavours to make it up, by a dishonourable Peace.—Mr. V. B. persists that there will be no war. Says it is a Rhodomontade, a Bombino of the English &c. That some Persons have underwritten upon Vessells, on the Faith of Mr. Van berkel, &c.
This Evening call'd upon M. V. Berkel, who was alone, among a Multitude of Papers, obliged to go out at 5 upon Business, made many polite Excuses, and invited me to call the Day after tomorrow, at 4 o clock, being engaged tomorrow. I agreed. I asked him however, whether the States General had resolved to grant Letters of Mark, and he said Yes.—If they were distributed? and he hesitated, as if uncertain. I then excused myself from staying longer, and prayed him to keep his Chamber, but according to the Dutch Fashion he would accompany me to the Door, and make me all the Bows, which the Custom demands, which obliged me to return him, as many.
Q. Is it certain that the Empress of Russia is well inclined towards America? Who has such Information? Has there been any deliberation or Consultation, between the maritime Powers in forming the armed Neutrality, concerning the American Question?
1. The Province of Zeeland, where the Stadholder's influence was stronger than anywhere else in the country, continued to hold out for pacification instead of war with England; see JA's short treatise on Zeeland in a letter to Congress, 30 Dec. 1780, PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:214–218; also JA to Congress, 15 Jan. 1781, PCC, No. 84, III, printed in same, p. 232, and in JA, Papers, (vol. 11:50).
2. Joan Derk, Baron van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741–1784), of Zwolle in Overyssel, philosophical leader of the Patriot party in the United Provinces, reformer, and friend of America (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:578–581). Van der Capellen had been in correspondence with Gov. Jonathan Trumbull for several years, had in 1779 proposed that an American minister be sent to The Hague, and proved an encouraging friend and faithful adviser to JA throughout his Dutch mission. Virtually all of their correspondence has been published in Van der Capellen's Brieven, ed. W. H. de Beaufort, Utrecht, 1879.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-15

1781. Monday. Jan. 15.

Visited old Mr. Crommelin and Mr. De Neufville. There is a wonderful Consternation among the Merchants. Many Houses have great difficulty to support their Credit.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-23

1781. Feb 24 [i.e. 23]. Fryday.

Went to the Hague, in the Trecht Schuit.1 At Leyden I have seen Mr. Vander Kemp,2 and Mr. [] and Mr. []I also visited two large Manufactures, one of Cloth, another of Camblet.
1. Canal boat or tow-boat. “... partly by the Trech Schuits, that is the Barks which ply in this Country in the Canals” (JA to Huntington, 6 April 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). JA spells the word in a multitude of ways.
2. Francois Adriaan van der Kemp (1752–1829), Mennonite clergyman, author, and political radical, was a disciple of J. D. van der Capellen's. He suffered imprisonment for his anti-Orangist activities and after the collapse of the Patriot movement fled the Netherlands and emigrated to the United States, 1788. He settled in upper New York State and lived a scholarly life in bucolic surroundings for many years. See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:953–958, and Van der Kemp's Autobiography, ed. Helen L. Fairchild, N.Y., 1903, a charming book containing selections from Van der Kemp's extensive correspondence with JA and others, and much information on the Dutch Patriots, with numerous portraits.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-28

1781 Feb. 28. Wednesday.

At the Arms of Amsterdam.1
What can be the Ground of the Malice, of so many, against America?
1. This implies that JA had given up his lodgings at Madame Schorn's in the Agterburgwal. During the early months of 1781 he was much on the move between Amsterdam, Leyden, and The Hague, but on 27 April he wrote Edmund Jenings: “I have taken an House on the Keysers Gragt near the Spiegel Straat, and am about becoming a Citizen of Amsterdam—unless their High mightinesses should pronounce me a Rebel, and expel me their Dominions, which I believe they will not be inclined to do” (Adams Papers). The arrangements were made by the new American firm in Amsterdam, Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield, to whom JA wrote a succession of letters from Leyden commissioning them to rent a “large, roomly [sic] and handsome” house “fit for the Hotel des Etats Unis de L'Amerique,” with detailed directions about furniture, a carriage, servants, and much else (9, 11, 13 April, all letterbook copies, Adams Papers; partly printed in JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 426–428). His new house on the Emperor's Canal near the Looking-Glass Street was in keeping with his new status; on 25 Feb. he had received a letter from Pres. Huntington of 1 Jan. enclosing a commission, with full powers and instructions voted by Congress on 29 Dec, as “Commissioner ... to confer, treat, agree and conclude” with the States General of the United Provinces “concerning a treaty of Amity and Commerce” (Adams Papers). His letter of credence, however, denominated him “minister plenipotentiary” (enclosure, dated 1 Jan., in Huntington to JA, 9 Jan. 1781, Adams Papers; see JCC, 18:1204–1217; 19: 17–19) See illustrations of present Keizersgracht No. 529 in this volume.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1781-07-02 - 1781-07-09

[Accounts, July 1781.]1

Expences of a Journey from Amsterdam to Paris. Sat off the 2d of July from Amsterdam, passed by Utrecht, Gorcum, Breda, Antwerp, { 457 } Brussells, Valenciennes &c. and arrived at the Hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu, Paris the 6th of July, 1781.2
  £   s   d  
July 6. 1781. Expences, on the Road, Fifty four Ducats        
1781. July 9. Reed, of Mr. F. Grand at Paris four Thousand Eight hundred Livres, for which I gave him a Rect.   4800:   0:   0  
1. This fragment is the sole entry in an account book (M/JA/2; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 181) apparently purchased for use during JA's hurried visit to Paris in the summer of 1781. The volume is a small quarto bound in parchment; the leaves are ruled lengthwise for double-entry accounts, but all except the first two facing pages are blank. On the back cover is a notation in JA's hand: “1781 / Peace.”
On 12 March 1781 the States General of the United Provinces at last issued a counter-manifesto to the British denunciation (21 Dec. 1780) of the Anglo-Dutch alliance. JA embodied the counter-manifesto in his letter to Huntington of 18 March (PCC, No. 84, III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:306–313). Now that the long and intense debate over war or submission was finished, JA could consider the timing and method of announcing his powers to treat for an alliance between the United States and the Netherlands —which would require as an antecedent condition Dutch recognition of American sovereignty and would in itself be a necessary antecedent, it was now clear to JA, to raising a substantial loan among the Amsterdam bankers. In consequence he spent the last part of March and the early part of April quietly in Leyden drafting a memorial which emphasized the historical ties between the two nations and the advantages that would flow from close commercial relations between them. This paper, which was to become famous, went through successive drafts and was completed and signed on 19 April, the sixth anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. On this very day JA went to The Hague and began a series of interviews with La Vauguyon, the French ambassador, who, under instructions from Vergennes, did everything in his power to dissuade JA from his purpose but did not succeed. The account of his tussle with La Vauguyon in JA's Correspondence in the Boston Patriot (p. 431–434) is, or at least deserves to be, a classic piece of diplomatic narrative; it is reprinted in a long note in JA, Works, 7:404–406. In the first days of May, after copies and translations had been prepared, JA first submitted his memorial to Van Bleiswyck, grand pensionary of Holland, which was by far the most powerful of the seven provinces and the one most inclined to be sympathetic to JA's appeal; and next to Baron Lynden van Hemmen, president of the week of the States General. Neither dignitary would receive it officially, but the latter reported his interview with JA to the body over which he presided, and copies of the paper were called for by the deputies to refer to their provincial assemblies. During their interview JA had informed Lynden van Hemmen that he would feel it his duty to have the memorial printed; no objection was raised; and JA's man-of-all-work in The Hague, C. W. F. Dumas, arranged for its publication and distribution in Dutch, French, and English throughout the Netherlands. It was also widely reprinted in Dutch and other newspapers. See JA to Huntington, 3, 7 May 1781, PCC, No. 84, III, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:398–399, 401–403; also Dumas to Huntington, 1 May–13 July 1781, same, p. 393–397. Contemporary printings of the memorial in Dutch, French, and English are listed in W. P. C. Knuttel, comp., Catalogus van de pamflettenverzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1889–1916, Nos. 19506, 19506a, 19507; English texts will be found in JA's Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 439–448; Works, 7:396–404; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:370–376.
{ 458 }
2. In the spring of 1781 the proposals of the Russian and Austrian courts for a mediation between the warring powers took definite shape, and Vergennes, with some reluctance, was obliged to summon JA, the only American representative abroad empowered to discuss peace terms, to Paris for consultation upon them (Bérenger to JA, 5 June 1781, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:423–424). At Versailles on 11 July Vergennes laid before JA those terms of the proposed mediation which he chose to let him see and which JA, in a series of letters that followed and overwhelmed Vergennes, rejected on the part of the United States. JA later said that these letters “defeated the profound and magnificent project of a Congress at Vienna, for the purpose of chicaning the United States out of their independence” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 133). The essential truth of this assertion has been confirmed by later historians, since it is clear that Vergennes was almost ready at this critical point in the war to compromise France's pledge of independence and throw the United States on the mercy of Great Britain. See CFA in JA's Works, 1:334–340; Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, ch. 13, “The Imperial Mediators and France in 1781,” especially p. 184, 186–187. The articles of the imperial mediation proposed on 20 May 1781, with the answers of the belligerent powers in Europe, are printed in English in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:860–867. JA's record of his part in the abortive negotiation is in Lb/JA/17 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 105), together with rejected and corrected drafts of his own papers and some important sequels. Nearly all of these documents were reprinted in his “second autobiography” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 107–148).
JA left Paris and returned to Amsterdam in the last days of July.
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/