Adams Papers

Saturday 19th of August 1780.

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.

1Among 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 description begins Worthington C. Ford, ed., A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenaeum. With Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, by Henry Adams, Boston, 1938. description ends ); see also Adams Family Correspondence, description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963- . description ends 3:xv. No Dutch grammar as such survives in either JA’s or JQA’s library.

2Benjamin 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, description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873- . description ends 17:161–166).

3Probably 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., description begins I. Minis Hays, comp., Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1908; 5 vols. description ends 1:535; JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:453–454, 456).

4Neither letter found.

5Herman 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, description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963- . description ends 4:148.

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