Adams Papers

Saturday 5th of August 1780

Saturday 5th of August 1780

This morning Pappa brother Charles and myself went to see a Gentleman1 for whom Pappa had Letters: he invited us to dine with him. After that we went to see the city. We saw the statue of Erasmus,2 he is in the Grande Place, he holds a book in his hand, there are four inscriptions under it, two in Latin and two in dutch: we walk’d about the town, and came back at about twelve o clock, we went upon the Exchange, where we met Mr. Dubblemuts, (for that is the Gentleman’s name) and went and dined with him with some other Gentlemen who speak English. After dinner we went to walk with a Gentleman who speaks French. Pappa bought a dutch Grammar; after walking about the town some time we came home and drank tea. A little after tea the same Gentleman with whom we walked came and took us in to Mr. Dubblemuts coach and we went to his country seat. We saw some other Gentlemen there who spoke English. We supped there and after supper we came home in Mr. Dubblemuts carriage with a Nephew of his. After we got home Pappa received a Letter from Mr. Jennings with a Card from Mr. Douglass3 who had came to day from Antwerp and who is lodged in this house. The letter informs that there are fifteen sail of American Vessels arrived at Bordeaux, who brought an account that the Americans were not at all struck at the loss of Charlestown [Charleston], that there was no news heard of Mr. de Ternay the 14th. of June. The letter says also that Mr. D’Estaing had been overturn’d in a Chaise in his way to Bordeaux.4 Mr. Jennings had came to Antwerp on Purpose to overtake us.

1JA refers to him as Mr. Dubbeldemuts (Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:445). The Rotterdam mercantile firm of F. & A. Dubbeldemuts was interested in improving their connections with America and became supporters of JA’s efforts to achieve Dutch recognition of American independence.

2In the margin: “This is the city where Erasmus was born.”

3The letter described Douglass as a man “of Holland” and of “Scot[tis]h Extraction,” who lived retired in Brussels and had been “in the East Indias” (Jenings to JA, 5 Aug., Adams Papers).

4Charles Louis d’Arsac, Chevalier de Ternay, was the French admiral who escorted Rochambeau’s expeditionary force on 2 May from Brest, arriving off Newport, R.I., on 10 July. The British, under Adm. Thomas Graves, quickly moved to blockade Ternay’s escape, and the French languished there until the following year. Meanwhile, Ternay died in Newport in December (Howard C. Rice Jr. and Anne S. K. Brown, transls. and eds., The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 2 vols., Princeton, 1972, 1:117–121, 125–126).

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