Diary of John Adams, volume 3

Fluwelen Burgwal, Site of the Hôtel des États-Unis at The Hague, the First American Foreign Legation Building facing page 65[unavailable]

Engraving, about 1830, of the “Velvet Makers' (or Merchants') Wall Street” and the canal that traversed it, the location of the first building acquired by the United States as a foreign legation. The structure, which was torn down between 1824 and 1830, stood on the site of the one-story wall and doorway to the left of the center of the engraving. When Elkanah Watson arrived at The Hague in 1784, he immediately sought out the American minister at “the grand hôtel belonging to the thirteen United States of America, lately purchased by Mr. Adams, for the residence of our future ambassadors. It is decently furnished, has a large library, and an elegant little garden” ( A Tour in Holland, in MDCCL-x XXXIV, Worcester, 1790, p. 71–72). The site is now occupied by the Netherlands Government Printing Office. See the note under Adams' Memorandum of Visits Made and Received at The Hague following Dutch Recognition of American Independence, April 1782, p. 4–5.

From an engraving in the Adams Papers Editorial Files.