he obtained the Reputation and Emoluments of being the Banker to the
American Ministers. Sir George Grand his Brother, might
contribute something towards this favour, because he
had kept an Inn at
Stockholm when the Count de Vergennes was
Sweeden, and accomplished the Revolution in that Kingdom to an
absolute Monarchy. This was a mere measure of Economy in the French Court,
because, before, it had cost them in Bribes to the States more money than they
could well afford. The Meeting of De Vergennes with the heads
of the Conspiracy had been held at Mr. Grands Inn, and he was
rewarded with a Cross of Saint Louis, which gave him the Title
of Sir, as I suppose, having never heard that he had any English Knighthood
although he had lived in
England where he married his Daughter to the Major or Colonel
who was afterwards General Provost. This Lady as I presume is
the same who afterwards married Colonel Burr of
New York and was the Mother of Mrs. Alston of
South Carolina. Sir George was connected in
Partnership with the House of Horneca Fizeaux & Co. in
Amsterdam, a mercantile and Banking Company, and who had or
were supposed to have the favour and Confidence
of the French Ministers of State.
This Day Mr. David Hartley, a Member of the British House
of Commons, with Mr. George [i.e. William]
Hammond the Father of Mr. George Hammond who was
afterwards Hartleys Secretary at the Negotiation of the definitive Treaty of
Peace, and after that Minister Plenipotentiary to the
came to Visit Us, under pretence of
visiting Dr. Franklin. This mysterious Visit, I did not at all
admire. I soon saw that Hartley was as great a
Coxcomb a Person of as consummate Vanity
Hammond was a plain honest Man: but I considered both as
Spies, and endeavoured to be as reserved and as much on my guard as my nature
would admit. Although I endeavoured to behave to both with entire civility, I
I did not flatter Mr. Hartley with
professions of confidence, which I did not feel, and of so much Admiration of
his Great Genius and Talents as he felt himself, he conceived a disgust at me,
and told Sir John Temple and others after his return to London
"Your Mr. Adams that you represent as a Man of such good
Sense, I believe he may have that, but If he has
is the most ungracious Man I ever saw." I had not expressed so much
astonishment at his Invention of Fire Plates, and Archimides's
Mirrors, as he thought they deserved. I knew him to be intimate with
Lord North by his own confession as well as by the Information
Dr. Franklin and others: and although he was
numbered among the Opposition in Parliament and professed to be an Advocate for
the American cause, yet I knew very well that Opposition to the Ministry was
the only solid Ground, on which all the Friendship for
America, that was professed in
England, rested. I did not therefore think it safe, to commit
myself to a Man, who came to Us without any pretence of Authority from his
Sovereign or his Ministers. I say without any pretence of Authority because he
made none. But I then supposed and still believe, that he came with the secret
privity if not at the express request of Lord North to sound
the American Ministers, and see if there were no hopes of seducing Us from our
France, and making a seperate
Accommodation with Us, the very idea of which as the Treaty was already
appeared to me to be an Insult to our honor and good faith. What
were the Subjects or the Objects of his freequent
private Conferences with Franklin I know not. If either or
both of them ever made any minutes of them I hope they will one day appear in
. I neither then nor ever since suspected any
unfair practice in Franklin except some secret Whispers
against Lee and possibly against myself, for he had by this
time found that I was not to be his Tool
with his Views. He had indeed seen
enough of me in Congress, to know that [I]
was not a Man to
swear, in the Words of another at all times.
This Evening Mr. Chaumont took me in his Carriage to The
Concert Spirituel, in the Royal Garden
Pallace of the Tuilleries.
A vast Number of Instruments were performing to an immense Crowd of Company.
There were Men Singers and Women Singers. One Gentleman sung alone and then a
young Lady. The Musick however did not entirely
satisfy me. I had read that the French Ear was not the most delicate, and I
thought the Observation verified. There was too much sound for me. The
Gardens of the Tuilleries were full of Company of both Sexes
April 20. Monday 1778.
My Son had been with me since Saturday.
This was delicious repast for me: but I was somewhat mortified to find that
this Child among the Pupills at School the Pension and my American
Servant among the Domesticks of the Hotel, learned
more french in a day than I could learn in a Week with all my Books.
Dined with the Dutchess
D'Anville, at the
Hotel de Rochefaucault, with the Duke de la
Rochefoucault her Son, her Daughter and
whom the Duke afterwards married, with a dispensation from the Pope, with a
large Company of Dukes, Abbes and Men of Science and Learning among whom was
, a Philosopher with a
face as pale or rather as white as a Sheet of paper, I suppose from hard Study.
D'Anville and her Son,
the great Friends [of]
said to have great Influence with the Royal
of Sciences, to make members at pleasure,
and the Secretary perpetuel Mr. D'Alembert, was said to have
been of their Creation as was Mr. Condorcet afterwards. His
Gratitude, a few Years after this, will be recorded in History. This Family was
France, and had a reputation for Patriotism, that is of such
Kind of Patriotism as was allowed to exist and be esteemed in France
that Kingdom, where no Man as Montesqueu says must esteem
himself or his Country too much. Un homme capable de s'estimer beaucoup, was a
dangerous Subject, in a Monarchy.
Recollecting as I did the Expedition of the Duke D'Anville
America, and the great Commotion in the
Massachusetts, and the Marches of the Militia to
Boston, when his Squadron and Army were expected to attack that
Town, it appeared a very singular Thing that I should be very happy in his
Paris at a splendid Dinner with his family. But greater
Vicissitudes than this have become more familiar to me, since that time. The
Lady appeared to me to possess a great Understanding and great Information.
In the Evening We visited Mr. Lloyd of
Maryland, and his handsome English Lady. Here We saw Mr.
April 21. Tuesday. 1778.
Dined at Mr. Chaumonts, with the largest collection of
great Company, that I had yet seen. The Marquis D'Argenson,
The Count de Noailles, the Marshall de
Mailbois, the Brother of Count de Vergennes, Mr. and
Mrs. Foucault, the Son in Law and Daughter of Mr.
Chaumont, who were said to have a fortune of four or five thousand
Pounds Sterling a Year in
St. Domingo, Mr.
[Vilevault?] the first Officer, that is, a premier
Comis under Mr. De Sartine, Mr. Chaumonts own
Son and his [illegible] other daughter with so many
others that I found it impracticable to get their names and qualities.
But these incessant Dinners, and dissipations were not the Objects of my
France. My Countrymen were suffering in
America, and their Affairs
were in great confusion
Europe. With much Grief and concern, I received daily and almost
hourly information, of the disputes between the Americans in
France. The bitter Animosities between Mr.
Deane and Mr. Lee: between Dr.
Franklin and Mr. Lee: between Dr.
Franklin and Mr. Izzard: between Dr.
Bancroft and Mr. Lee and Mr. Izzard:
and between Mr. Charmichael and all [of]
them. Sir James Jay was there too, a Brother of Mr.
John Jay, and an able Physician as well as a Man of Letters and
information. He had lately come over from
England, and although he seemed to have no Animosity against any
of the Gentlemen, he confirmed many of the Reports that I had heard from
several Persons before, such as that Mr. Deane had been at
least as attentive to his own Interest, in dabbling in the English funds, and
in trade, and in fitting out Privateers as to the Public, and said that he
would give Mr. Deane fifty thousand Pounds Sterling for the
fortune he had made here. That Dr. Bancroft too had made a
fortune here, by speculating in the English Stocks and by gambling Policies in
London. Mr. McCrery too, had adopted the Cry of
Mr. Lees Ennemies
, and said that
the Lees were selfish, and that this was a Family misfortune.
Dr. Franklin, Mr. Deane and Dr.
Bancroft were universally considered as indissoluble Friends. The
Lees and Mr. Izzard were equally attached in
friendship to each other. The Friends and followers of each party were
both among the french and Americans were equally bitter against
each other. Mr. Deane appeared to me, to have made himself
here, to to Mr.
De Chaumont, Mr. Beaumarchais, Mr.
Monthieu, and Mr. Holker,
Persons of importance
and influence at that time, and with that Ministry, particularly the
Count de Vergennes and Mr. De Chaumont
Sartirie. Mr. Deane was gone home in great Splendor,
with Compliments, Certificates and Recommendations in his favour
from the King and Minister, and many other Persons
French and American, among whom was Dr. Franklin who
me his Letter of recommendation in very strong
terms. Mr. Deane had been active, industrious, subtle and in
some degree successfull
, having accomplished some
of the great purposes of his Mission. Mr. Gerard and
Mr. Holker were also his Friends: and although he had little
order in his Business public or private, had lived very expensively and spent
great Sums of Money that no body could Account for, and allthough unauthorised
Contracts had well nigh ruined our Army, embarrassed Congress more than any
thing that had ever happened and put his Country to a great and useless
, I was still apprehensive there would be
great Altercations excited by him in
America, both in and out of Congress.