Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

Friday July the 6th 1781. JQA


Friday July the 6th 1781. Adams, John Quincy
Friday July the 6th 1781.

This morning Dr. Waterhouse came here and told us that Colo. Trumbul1 had arriv'd in Town. I went to the first Bible to see Mr. Bordly, I found Mr. Trumbel there. I din'd at home. Dr. Waterhouse din'd with us; after dinner Colo. Searle and Major Jackson came here; I went and took a walk with Major Jackson and Mr. Dana. I spent the evening and supp'd at Madam Chabanel's, got home at about 10 o'clock.

From Addison's Poems, (continued from yesterday.)2

89 1.

John Trumbull, the Revolutionary painter, whom JQA had met in Paris in 1780 just prior to the artist's departure for London, where he briefly studied under Benjamin West. In Nov. 1780, shortly after his arrival in London, Trumbull was imprisoned on suspicion of treason. He secured his release in June 1781 through the intercession of Charles Fox and Edmund Burke. Trumbull had come to Amsterdam as the fastest route back to America, and there at the request of his father (Gov. Jonathan Trumbull) attempted to obtain a loan for Connecticut through the de Neufvilles and van Staphorsts; he was unsuccessful (The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, Patriot-Artist, 1756–1843, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 58–74).


On the next three pages in the Diary, JQA copied fifty-nine of sixty lines to conclude Addison's translation of Horace's Ode III, Book III (Miscellaneous Works in Verse and Prose, 1:159–161).

Saturday July the 7th 1781. JQA


Saturday July the 7th 1781. Adams, John Quincy
Saturday July the 7th 1781.

This morning we pack'd up everything; to go a Journey; At about 11 o'clock Mr. Trumble and Dr. Waterhouse came here; I went with Dr. Waterhouse to show him the way to Madam Chabanel's; At about half past twelve I set away from our house with Mr. Dana's servant, and went to the Utrecht Boat; at 1 o'clock we set off; I had for companions A French gentleman and lady, and two Dutch gentlemen; We travell'd about three hours, without seeing anything remarkable but after we had pass'd a small village call'd Niewen Sluys Nieuwersluis along for the Space of Seven or eight English Miles, the whole way is lin'd on both Sides with country Seats with their gardens belonging for the most part to Citizens of Amsterdam. We arriv'd at Utrecht at about half past eight o'clock, it is about thirty English Miles by water. Utrecht is about sixteen feet higher than Amsterdam, and the ground here is much higher than the water, which is not a very common thing in Holland; We found Mr. Dana and Mr. Deneufville here; It raind hard when we arriv'd: We lodge at the New Castle of Antwerp.

From Guthrie's Grammar. Continuation of Chapter 4th. § 17th. (continued from Page 57.)1


Here follows, on four pages in the Diary, the completion of JQA's transcription on the Dutch constitution and government from Guthrie, Geographical Grammar, p. 405–406, which he began on 24 June.

Sunday July the 8th 1781. JQA


Sunday July the 8th 1781. Adams, John Quincy
Sunday July the 8th 1781.

This morning Mr. Dana and Mr. Deneufville1


The day's entry breaks at this point because the succeeding MS leaf containing p. 113–114 of the Diary volume is missing. This and similar losses of leaves from the same volume containing p. 127–128 and 149–156, affecting entries for 11, 12 90 91July, and 27 July–17 Aug., were noted in the MS by Worthington C. Ford in April 1911. Dana's Journal, which covers the entire journey to St. Petersburg, helps to fill in the gap for this day's activities. Dana and JQA did not continue on their trip, though young Adams may have accompanied Dana when he briefly visited the nearby Moravian settlement of Zeyst. Otherwise, both remained in Utrecht until the following day, so that they could purchase a coach for the trip to Russia in order to “avoid the trouble and delay of changing carraiges as well as horses, as in the manner of the Posts in Germany” (Dana, Journal).

The entry in its present state concludes with a passage from the Geographical Grammar (p. 406–407), which probably began at the point where JQA had left off copying the day before. However, as the MS remains there is a hiatus.