Last Evening, the American Ministers and Secretary met, again at my House,
and signed the Letters to Mr. Grand and to the Bankers at
Mr. Laurens gave it as his Opinion that the
Ballance of Trade, for the future between
Great Britain and
America would be in favour of the
latter. I asked him what in that Case would become of the former? He replied
She must be humble .... She has hitherto avoided trading with any Nation when
the Ballance was against her. This is the Reason why
She would not trade with
This Morning Mr. Laurens called upon me to introduce to me
a West India Gentleman from
Jamaica, a Mr. [Mr.
Mr. Laurens says the English are convinced that the Method
of coppering Ships is hurtfull. The Copper corrodes
all the Iron, all the Bolts, Spikes and Nails, which it touches. The
Vessell falls to Pieces all at once. They attribute
the late Losses of so many Ships to this. That Mr. Oswald made
an experiment 20 Years ago, which convinced him that Copper was fatal. He lost
a Ship by it.
Mr. Laurens, Mr. Jay, and Mr.
Jarret and Mr. Fitch, two West India Gentlemen said
to be very rich, dined with me. Mr. Fitch is a Native of
Boston, holds an office of Receiver General, I think in
Jamaica. Ward Nicholas Boylston was to have
dined with me but was taken sick.
Mr. J. told me that the C. de
Vergennes turned to him and Mr. Franklin and asked
"Ou est Mr. Adams?" Franklin answered "Il est a
Paris." -- Then turning to Jay he said Ce
Monsieur a Beaucoup de L'Esprit et beaucoup de Tete aussi.
--Jay answered, Ouy Monsieur,Monsieur
Adams a beaucoup D'Esprit.
SUNDAY MAY 25.
Mr. Hartley came in, and shew me a
Letter concerning his Beloved Sister whose Case is very dangerous and keeps him
in deep Affliction. She is his Housekeeper and Friend. She examines his
Writings, and proposes Corrections. She has transcribed his Papers, his
American Letters &c. She has laboured much for
I made a Transition, and asked what News from
England? He said none. I told him I had heard that it was
expected by some, that Shelburne would come in. He said
No. -- I asked him why cant you coalesse with Shelburne as well as
North? He said Shelburne is an Irishman, and has all the
Impudence of his Nation. He is a Parlaverer beyond all description. He
parlavers every Body, and has no Sincerity.
Mr. Hartley Barclay dined with me,
after having been out to see Dr. Franklin. The Doctor he says
is greatly disappointed in not having received Letters from Congress,
containing his Dismission. He wants to get out of this, and to be at home with
his Family. He dont expect to live long.
I hope for News to day, from the
JUNE 1 SUNDAY.
The Loadstone is in Possession of the most remarkable, wonderfull and misterious
Property in Nature. This Substance is in the Secret of the whole Globe. It must
have a Sympathy with the whole Globe. It is governed by a Law and influenced by
some active Principle that pervades and operates from Pole to pole, and from
the Surface to the Center and the Antipodes. It is found in all Parts of the
Earth. Break the Stone to Pieces, and each Morcel
retains two Poles, a north and a south Pole, and does not loose its Virtue. The
Magnetic Effluvia are too subtle, to be seen by a Microscope, yet they have
great Activity and Strength. Iron has a Sympathy with Magnatism and
Electricity, which should be examined by every Experiment, which Ingenuity can
Has it been tryed whether the Magnet looses any of
its Force in Vacuo? in a Bottle charged with Electrical Fire? &c. This
Metal called Iron may one day reveal the Secrets of Nature. The primary Springs
of Nature however may be too subtle for all our Senses and
Faculties. I should think however that no Subject deserved more the Attention
of Philosophers or was more proper for Experiments than the Sympathy between
Iron and the magnetical and Electrical Fluid.
It would be worth while to grind the Magnet to Powder and see if the Dust
still retained the Virtue. Steep the Stone or the Dust in Wine, Spirits,
Oyl and other fluids to see if the Virtue is affected,
increased or diminished.
Is there no Chimical Proscess, that can be formed upon the Stone or the Dust to
discover, what it is that the magnetic Virtue resides in.
Whether boiling or burning the Stone destroys or diminishes the Virtue.
See whether Earth, Air, Water or Fire any wise applied affects it, and
Mr. Laurens came in, in the Morning and We had a long
Conversation upon his proposed journey to
England to borrow some Money. I explained to him the Manner and
Conditions of my Loan in
Dined at the Spanish Ambassadors with the Corps Diplomatick. Mr. Markoff was there,
and was very civil.
D'Aranda lives now in the End of the New Buildings which
compose the Facade de la Place de Louis 15. From the Windows at the End you
look into the grand Chemin, the Champs elisees, and the
[illegible] Road to
Versailles. From the Windows and Gallery in the Front you see
the Place de Louis 15, the Gardens of the Tuilleries, the River and the fine
Rowe of Houses beyond it, particularly the Palais du Bourbon and the Dome of
the Invalids. It is the finest Situation in
Mr. Fitzherbert told me, I might depend upon it the present
Ministry would continue, at least untill the next
Meeting of Parliament. He says there is little to be got in the Company of the
Corps Diplomatick. They play deep, but there is
He says he is acquainted with half a Dozen of the Women of the Town, who
live in houses which with their Furniture could not have cost less than twenty
five Thousand Pounds. They live in a style he says which cannot be supported
for less than two Thousand a Year. These are kept by grave People, Men of the
Robe, &c. He says there is nothing like this in
London. That the Corruption of manners, is much greater here,
Mr. De Stutterheim the Minister from
Saxony came to me and said, he had received orders from his
Court to propose a Treaty of Commerce with the
United States. He said he had spoken to Mr.
Franklin about it. I asked him if Mr. Franklin had
written to Congress upon it. He said he did not know. I told him that I thought
Mr. Dana at
Petersbourg had Power to treat tho not
to conclude. He said he would call upon me, some Morning at My House, to
consult about it.
Herreria dined there and the Duke of
Versailles on the Day of Pentecote.
Versailles, had a Conference with the C
[Comte] de V [Vergennes]. --
Made my Court with the Corps Diplomatick, to the
[Comte de Provence], Madame
[Comtesse de Provence], the C.
D'Artois,Madame Elizabeth [Madame
and Adelaide. Dined with the Ambassadors. Had much Conversation with
the Ambassadors of Spain, Sardinia,Mr. Markoff, from
Russia, the Dutch Ambassadors, &c. -- It was to me,
notwithstanding the Cold and Rain, the Equinoxial Storm at the Time of the
Solstice, when all the Rooms had Fires like Winter, the most
agreable Day I ever saw at
Versailles. I had much Conversation too with the Duke
of Manchester and Mr. Hartley, Dr.
Franklin and his Son, Mr.
Waltersdorf &c.Mr. Maddison and Mr.
The C. de. V. observed, that Mr. Fox
was startled at every Clamour
of a few Merchants. I
answered C'est exactement vrai -- and it is so. The C.
recommended to Us to discuss and compleat
definitive Treaty, and Leave Commerce to a future Negotiation. -- Shall We gain
by Delay? I ask myself. Will not French Politicks
be employed, to stimulate the English to refuse Us, in future, Things that they
would agree to now? The C. observed, that to insist on
sending British Manufactures to
America, and to refuse
to admit American Manufactures in
England was the Convention Leonine.
The Duke of Manchester told me, that the Dutch had
offered them Sumatra and Surinam, for Negapatnam. But We know says the
Duke that both those Settlements are a charge, a
Brantzen told me he had not desplayed his Character of Ambassador, because, it would
be concluded from it, that he was upon the Point of concluding the Peace.
The C. D'Aranda told me he would come and see me. He
said Tout, en ce monde, a t Revolution. -- I said true --
universal History was but a Series of Revolutions. Nature delighted in Changes,
and the World was but a String of them. But one Revolution was quite enough for
the Life of a Man. I hoped, never to have to do with another. -- Upon this he
laughed very hartily, and said he believed me.
The Sardinian Ambassador said to me, it was curious to remark the Progress
of Commerce. The Furs which the Hudsons Bay Company sent to
London from the most northern Regions of America, were sent to
Siberia, within 150 Leagues of the Place where they were hunted.
He began to speak of La Fonte's Voyage and of the
Boston Story of Seymour or Seinior Gibbons, but other Company
came in, and interrupted the Conversation.
WEDNESDAY. JUNE 18
Visited the Duke de la Vauguion, and had a long
Conversation with him. He was glad to hear I had been plusieurs fois a
The Duke said he had conversed with the
C. de V. and had told him, he thought it would be for
the Good of the common Cause, if there were more Communication between him and
me. I told him that I had expressed to the C. a desire
to be informed of the Intentions of the King concerning
the Communication between the
U.S. and his Islands, and that the C. had
answered, that if I would give him a Note, he would consult with the
Marquis de Castries and give me an Answer. He added
smiling, you will leave to Us, the Regulation of that, and let Us take a little
Care of our Marine, and our Nurseries of Seamen, because We cannot go to your
Assistance (Secours) without a Marine.
The Duke said it would be very difficult to regulate
this Matter. They could not let Us bring their Sugars to
Europe, neither to
France nor any other Part. This would lessen the Number of
French Ships and Seamen. But he thought We should be allowed to purchase Sugars
for our own Consumption. (How they will estimate the quantity, and prevent our
exceeding it, I know not.) He said there were Provinces in
Provence, which depended much upon supplying their Islands with
Provisions, as Wheat and Flour &c. I asked him if We should be allowed to
import into their Islands, Wheat, Flour, Horses, Live Stock, Lumber of all
Sorts, Salt Fish &c. He said it would be bien difficile for Wheat and Flour
JUNE 19. THURSDAY. FETE DIEU.
The Processions were less brillant than ordinary on Account of the
Went with Mr. Hartley in his Carriage to
Passy where he made his Propositions for the Definitive Treaty.
We had a long Conversation about De Fonte's Voyage from
Hudsons Bay. He says he found an Inlet and a River which he
entered, and navigated untill
he came to a Lake in
which he left his Ship and followed the Course of a River, which descended,
with Falls in it, or rather Rapides
, in his Boats
he came to Hudsons Bay where he found Seimor
Gibbons or Sennor Gibbons,Major General Edward Gibbons of
Boston as Dr. Franklin supposes. Dr.
Franklin had once a Correspondence with Mr. Prince
upon this Voyage, and perhaps Mr. Gill in the Journal of
Mr. Prince, has some Information about it. The Trade to
Hudsons Bay was carried on, by
Boston People from its first discovery, untill
after the Restoration of Charles the
, from whom the Hudsons Bay Company
obtained their Charter, and there are several Families in New England descended
from Persons who used that Trade, vizt. The Aldens
. De Fonte's
Voyage was printed in English in a Collection called Miscellanea Curiosa in
1708 and has been lately printed in French in a large Collection of Voyages in
20 Volumes. Dr. Franklin once gave to Lord
Bute his Reasons in Writing for believing this a genuine Voyage.
De Fonte was either a Spaniard or Portuguese.
has been made at
but no Traces could be discovered there of De Fonte or his
Cook in one of his Voyages, anchored in the Latitude of
Philadelphia 40, on the West Side of the Continent of
America and ascertained the Longitude, from whence Dr.
F. computes the Distance from
Philadelphia to the South Sea to be 2000
Miles.Cook saw several Inlets and he entered that between
Asia, Kamskatska, where the Passage is not wider than that
Asia is between the Goth. and both. degree of North Latitude,
precisely at the
Arctick polar Circle. It is called in the French Maps Detroit du
Nord. The northern Streight
of the North. It is near the Archipel du Nord or
northern Archipelago. The Point of Land is un
in Asia is under the
Russia, and is called Russian Tartary. The Streight
forms the Communication between the Eastern and
the frozen Oceans, the Mer Orientale and the Mer Glaciale. There is a Number of
Islands in the Archipelago, and one in the Streight
itself called on the Map, Alaschka Island. There is a Sea and a Promontory
called Kamskatska situated on the Eastern Ocean within 10 or 12 degrees of the
. The 3 Tartarys, Independent Tartary,
Tartary and Russian Tartary form a vast Country, extending from
China, to the Point of Asia at the Streights of the North, which divide
What should hinder the Empress of Russia, from
establishing a trading City on the Sea of Kamskatska, and opening a Commerce
Canton, the Cities of
China? It is so near the Islands of
Moluccas, that a great Scaene may one
day be opened here.
Lima the Capital of
Peru is in 10 degrees of S. Lat. So that De
Fonte must have sailed by the Istmus of Panama,
C [Cape] Mendocin,
Canal du Roi George, and entered the River at the Mouth of which
Isle San Carlos. About half Way between the South Sea and
Hudsons Bay is a great Lake. Here it is to search for a North West Passage to
the East Indies.
Baffins Bay, Baflins Streight, Davis's
Streight, Hudsons Bay, Hudsons Streight, are all one great Inlet of Water, [illegible] the Entrance of which is a Streight formed by
Greenland on one Side and
Labradore, on the other.
Pages 12 - 24
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