Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

Thursday 10th of August 1780

Saturday 12th 1780.

Friday the 11th of August 1780 JQA


Friday the 11th of August 1780 Adams, John Quincy
Friday the 11th of August 1780

This morning we got up and breakfasted. After breakfast Pappa went to the premiere bible to see those American Gentlemen. While he was gone a French Gentleman whose name is Duneville1 came to our lodgings but not finding my Pappa he went away but soon after came back again with Commodore Gillon.2 They both Gave their address's and went away. At about 12 o clock Pappa got back with my brother Charles who had been with him. We all three dined at Mr. Duneville's house with Mr. 53Appleton Mr. Bradford and some other Americans. After dinner we went to the Stat house. There are a great number of paintings in there. There are also a Great number of the armours of some Dutch Admirals. We went on the top of the State-House and had a fine Prospect of the sea and the whole city and the ships which are in this Harbour. We came down from the top of the Stat house to the bottom which is 195 steps. Mr. Dunevilles son came home with us. After we had got home Commodore Gillon sent Pappa word not to trouble himself about a lodging for he had found one out and that he would send Pappa the Price of them soon.

I cannot take here a description of this town. It would be too long but I will take it upon some other paper.


Jan (or Jean) de Neufville and son were Dutch bankers, long interested and active in aiding the American cause. In 1778 the elder Neufville had negotiated an unauthorized and abortive treaty with William Lee at Aix-la-Chapelle, the text of which later came into British hands and led to a rift in Anglo-Dutch relations. After JA's arrival Neufville began a drive, which fell below expectations, to raise a loan for the United States ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:444–445).


Alexander Gillon, a Charleston merchant and shipowner, and commodore of the South Carolina navy, was in Amsterdam procuring a ship (which he renamed the South Carolina) and supplies and attempting to negotiate a loan for his state. As JQA's Diary indicates, Gillon was helpful to JA as he settled into life in Amsterdam, but JA's opinion of the commodore changed considerably after sending CA back to America on board Gillon's ship a year later ( Diary and Autobiography , 2:447; Adams Family Correspondence, 4:55).