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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0019-0001

Editorial Note

On 14 May 1782, two days after John Adams moved into the new American legation, John Thaxter inventoried the household furnishings. On 16 Oct., the day before Adams left The Hague for Paris and the peace negotiations, Thaxter likely reviewed his inventory, focusing on the glass- and dinnerware, to determine what had been added since 14 May or was missing or broken (see No. I, note 1, below). Thaxter's inventories are not as detailed as those done by Marie Dumas, the housekeeper at the legation and C. W. F. Dumas' wife, on 22 and 24 June 1784. Although the inventories were done at different times over a period of about two years and must contain items obtained after the move to the legation, they are printed here because it is likely that many of the items described by Marie Dumas in her inventories were present but not included by Thaxter in his 1782 inventories. For the nature of the document from which the inventories are taken, see the descriptive note to John Thaxter's inventories (No. I, below). Note that French and Dutch words or phrases used by John Thaxter in his inventories have been translated in brackets following the entry in which they are used, while Marie Dumas' inventories have been translated in full following the format for translations of other foreign language documents.
The inventories provide an excellent account of the furnishings of an eighteenth-century residence, in this case the American legation at The Hague. Marie Dumas' 1784 inventories likely include all or most of the furnishings that were moved in 1785 from The Hague to the new American legation at Grosvenor Square in London. Unfortunately the lack of a corresponding inventory for the London legation makes it impossible to know precisely what was transferred from The Hague to London. Nor is it possible to know definitively, solely from the descriptions in the inventories, what furnishings originally at The Hague were retained by the Adamses when they returned to the United States in 1788 and may now be at the Adams National Historical Park.

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0019-0002

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
DateRange: 1782-05-14 - 1782-10-16

I. John Thaxter's Inventories of Household Furnishings

Inventory

A true copy of the Inventory made by Mr. John Thaxter
  • 12 chafing Dishes
  • 30 Bocale Goblets1—2 broken
  • 4 salt sellers, Ghrystal
  • 22 English Wine Glasses flat—10 Wanting
  • 9 Dozen and 2 Wine Glasses small—14 gone { 27 }
  • 4. Décanters
  • 11. dito flat
  • 23 Wine glasses bought by mad: dumas
  • 19 Rhenish Glasses.
  • 12 small Décanters bought by mad: Dumas
  • 2 Castors.
  • 12 Liqueur Glasses böt by Mad: Dumas.
  • 1 Lantern.
  • 5 Beer Glasses.
this received in good order
(was signed) Lotter.2
  • 8 yellow metal candlesticks
  • 4 Weights of Copper
  • 3 little Bells.
  • 12 Water plates.
  • 1 pair scales.
  • 3 Wash Basons, Queéns, Ware
  • 6 Blue spitting pots.

Queéns Ware.

  • 3 Doz. and 9. Queéns Ware soop Plates—9 Wanting
  • 8 Doz. et 3. dito flat plates—12 Wanting
  • 6. Great round Dishes.
  • 3. dito round Dishes.
  • 8. dito.
  • 2. dito oval
  • 3. dito round and Deep—1. broken
  • 2 dito round &c.
  • 1 Turen and its Plate.
  • 4 paniers avec leurs assiettes [baskets with their plates] for strawberrys
  • 5 butter boats—2. Wanting
  • 2. Three cornered plates
  • 3. sous coup [saucers]
  • 2. fait a coeur [heart shaped]
  • 4. cal.
  • 14. little dessert plates—1 wanting
  • 2. Trouels. [fish knives]
this Articles received in good order
(Was signed) Lotter.
  • 1 faire soupe.
  • 3 Doz. et 9. small Bowls—5. Wanting
  • 5 Doz. Plates for the Bowls—6. wanting { 28 }
  • 5 Bowls for chocolate
  • 13 Sugar Pots.
  • 4 Doz. and 8. large cups.
  • 5. Doz. saucers and 2.
  • 3. Doz. and 8 ordinary Tea cups—11. Wanting
  • 4. Doz. and 4. Saucers.—2. Wanting
  • 10 Tea pots—3 little broken
  • 5 mugs
  • 6 cream Pots
  • 2 Larger Sorts Pots a créme
  • 9. pieds aux oeufs—Egg Pots
  • 8 pepper Pots
  • 5 Salt Sellers.
  • 4. mustard pots
  • 1 coffee pot—broken
  • 2 Sallad Plates.
received this above Articles in good Order
(Was Signed) Lotter.

Porcelaine Blue service

  • 4 Great Dishes deep
  • 4 dito flat.—1 broken
  • 8 dito flat.
  • 7 Small.
  • 8 Small dito
  • 4 Dégoutieres [strainers]
  • 4. Turens with their tops
  • 47. Soop plates
  • 9. Doz. and 8 plates flat—5 Wanting
  • 23 little flat plates
  • 22 little deep plates
  • 12 Sallad plates.
  • 8 butter boats
  • 8. Salt Sellers.
the full content of this received in good order
(Was Signed) F. Lotter.

Porcelaine de saxe

  • 1 Tea pot and its saucer
  • 1 tea canister
  • 1 cream pot With its Saucer
  • 1 Bowl with its Saucer
  • 1 Sugar pot With its Saucer { 29 }
  • 6 coffee cups.
  • 12 tea cups
  • 12 Saucers.

another Set of porcelaine

  • 1 tea pot
  • 1 cream pot
  • 2 sugar pots
  • 12 tea cups
  • 12 saucers
  • 12 coffee cups
  • 12 saucers
  • 1 Bowl with its saucer
  • 1 tea pot
  • 1 cream pot
  • 1 bowl
  • 12 cups
  • 12 saucers.
  • 1 Punch Bowl.
this I have received in good order
(was signed) Lotter.

Blue porcelaine

  • 1 tea pot with its Saucer
  • 1 tea canister
  • 1 Bowl with its saucer
  • 1 sugar pot with its dito
  • 11 cups one broken.
  • 8 saucers.
this Articles received in good order.
  • 2 oval affairs for Wine glasses
  • 2 round dito for Tea
  • 6 plattes for Bottles
  • 17. dito for Wine glasses
  • 16 Blac
this 5 articles received in good order
(was signed) Lotter

Bought by Madam Dumas.

  • 3 Grand compots—chrystal [3 large crystal fruit-bowls]
  • 6 dito avec leurs couveriles [6 ditto with their lids]
  • 4 dito Sans couverts [4 ditto without lids]
  • 2 Pots de moutarde avec Leurs cuilleres [2 mustard pots with their spoons]
received this Articles in a good order
(Was Signed) F: Lotter.
{ 30 }

Mr. A.

  • 1 Feather Bed

Mr. T.

  • 3 Feather Beds
  • 2 Feather Beds—chamber opposite
  • 1 little chamber
  • 1 good Feather
  • 2 for Servants.
  • 10

Mr. A.

  • 1 matrass
  • 3 little chamber
  • m. T.
  • 2
  • 6.

Bolsters.

  • 1—chamber
  • 3 little chamber
  • mr. T.
  • 2
  • mr. A.
  • 1
  • 2 Servants
  • 9

pillows

  • 8 little chamber
  • 2 mr. T.
  • 1 mr. A.
  • 4 servants.
  • 15

Strawbeds

  • mr. A.
  • 2.
  • 2. m. T.
  • 4. servants
  • 8.

Blankets.

  • 1 mr. a.
  • 5 little chamber { 31 }
  • 1 little chamber
  • 3 mr.—T.
  • 4 jacob and john
  • 2 girls.
  • 16.

Coverlids

  • 1 chamber
  • 1 mr. A.
  • 2 mr. T. chamber
  • 1 little chamber
  • 1 girls
  • 6.
Alle the Beddings received
as in the Lÿst mentioned
(Was Signed) F: Lotter.
  • 52 Draps [52 sheets]
  • 13 nappes fines [13 fine tablecloths]
  • 5 nappes pour la cuisine [5 tablecloths for the kitchen]
  • 53 <nappes> serviettes fines dito 3 more [53 fine napkins ditto 3 more]
  • 11 Essuimains [11 towels]
  • 3 petits dito [3 small ditto]
  • 19 toits de lits [19 canopies]
  • 4 tablier pour Les Domestiques [4 aprons for the servants]
  • 34 grosse Serviettes, [34 large napkins] (ceci nest pas sur Linventaire de mr. J. Thaxter) [This is not on Mr. J. Thaxter's inventory].
  • 7 Russen sloopen [Russian pillow-cases]
  • 6 white waiscoats and 3 pair of breeches.
received all Well
(was signed) F: Lotter.
FC in an unknown hand (Adams Papers) This document consists of fourteen numbered pages and was done sometime after 24 June 1784. It is a compendium of four inventories of the household goods of the U.S. legation at The Hague that were taken by John Thaxter and Marie Dumas between 14 May 1782 and 24 June 1784, the originals of which have not been found. John Thaxter's inventories are dated 14 May and 16 Oct. 1782 and appear on pages 1 through 6 of the FC. Since they cannot be definitively distinguished from each other, they are printed here as one document. Marie Dumas' inventories of 22 and 24 June 1784 (Nos. II and III, below) appear, respectively, on pages 7 through 12 and 13 and 14 of the FC. Where Thaxter uses a French or Dutch term to describe an item and it can be identified, a translation has been provided in brackets.
1. In this and other entries where it is indicated that items are broken or missing, the first portion was likely part of the original 14 May inventory, with the remainder resulting from Thaxter's review on 16 October.
2. Lotter's name, usually F. Lotter, appears throughout the inventories. He is otherwise unidentified but was presumably related to Christian Lotter who served as JA's steward at The Hague from 1784 or earlier (AFC, 6:197).
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/