Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

57 Saturday 19th of August 1780. JQA Saturday 19th of August 1780. Adams, John Quincy
Saturday 19th of August 1780.

This morning Pappa, brother Charles, and myself went to a booksellers shop where we bought a dictionary, a Grammar, and the History of Gilblas in Dutch.1 We met there Mr. Guile2 who brought letters for us Mr. Ingraham3 and another american Gentleman, we came to our lodgings and Mr. Guile gave us some letters. I receive two letters one dated april tenth and the other may eighth4 but no news. At about two oclock Commodore Gillon came here and, Pappa Commodore Gillon brother Charles and myself went to dine at an American Gentleman's house who has been here Nine years. After dinner we went to see some horses. We saw seven horses which were of a brown colour with white manes and tails. They are very rare and they ask five thousand Gilders for the seven. We came back and drank tea at Mr. Le Roi5 (for that is the name of the Gentleman's) house. After tea we all came home. Commodore Gillon did not come in.


Among JQA's books is Alain René Le Sage, Het Leven van Gil Blas van Santillane, 4 vols., Amsterdam, 1756, with the MS inscription, “J.Q. Adams, Nov. 22: 1780.” On 25 Aug. he received from his father William Sewel's Nieuw Woordenboek Der Nederduytsche en Engelsche Taale, Amsterdam, n.d., and the companion work by the same author, A New Dictionary English and Dutch, Amsterdam, 1691 ( Catalogue of JQA's Books ); see also Adams Family Correspondence, 3:xv. No Dutch grammar as such survives in either JA's or JQA's library.


Benjamin Guild, who had left for Europe in the late spring “to extend his Connections and make useful Observations,” and returned to Massachusetts in Nov. 1781 (Samuel Cooper to JA, 11 May, Adams Papers; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:161–166).


Probably Duncan Ingraham Jr., a Bostonian and partner in the American mercantile firm of Sigourney, Ingraham & Bromfield, which was established in Amsterdam in early 1781 ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:535; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:453–454, 456).


Neither letter found.


Herman Le Roy, oldest surviving son of Jacob Le Roy of New York, had strong kinship and mercantile connections in the Netherlands. In the late 1780s he formed a mercantile firm with his brother-in-law, William Bayard, which became one of the largest commercial houses in New York city (Alexander Du Bin, ed., Le Roy Family and Collateral Lines . . ., Phila., 1941, p. 5–6. For a discussion of JA's relationship with the Le Roy family, see Adams Family Correspondence, 4:148.

Sunday 20th of August 1780. JQA Sunday 20th of August 1780. Adams, John Quincy
Sunday 20th of August 1780.

This morning Commodore Gillon came here at about nine o clock and We all went to a gentleman's house who lives in the Country. We walk'd out of the City and then we found a coach with four horses waiting for us which Commodore Gillon had hired for us. At about a quarter after eleven o clock we arrived there. We went to walk with that Gentleman Whose name is 58Hooft1 and who is a Burger master of the city of Amsterdam, we walk'd some time and then came back and dined. After dinner we went to see a Gentleman whose name is Crommelin,2 he came from New York fifty Six years agone. We stay'd there some time and walk'd in his Garden and then came back to the Burger Masters and drank tea there. After tea we set away from there, and arrived at home at about half after eight o clock.


Henrik Hooft, Danielszoon, Amsterdam merchant and banker, regarded by JA as “the most respectable friend of America in that city” (Johan E. Elias, De Vroedschap van Amsterdam, 1578–1795. . ., 2 vols., Haarlem, 1903–1905, 2:726; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot , p. 345–346).


Daniël Crommelin, of the Amsterdam mercantile house Crommelin & Zonnen, who supported American independence and with whom, as the elder Adams' Diary records, JA had early and frequent contact (Eliza Fenno Richards, “The Crommelin Family in Europe and America,” N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Rec ., 24:67–70 [April 1893]).