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Inside Front Cover
Journal Fragments. No. 1.
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of John Quincy Adams]
Journal Fragments of John Adams in chronological
[John Quincy Adams's list
of the John Adams diary entries that were copied into the blank pages of this
volume. Please note: this electronic document only contains transcriptions of
the entries John Adams wrote in Diary 47; this electronic document does not
include nineteenth century transcriptions of John Adams's diary entries.]
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of John Quincy Adams][No transcription available -- see page image]
Memorandum by J. Q. Adams. Nov. 1829.
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of John Quincy Adams]
103 pages of this book contain fragments of a journal kept
by John Adams from 13 February 1778 to 26 April 1779 upon his first mission to
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of John Quincy Adams]
[No transcription available -- see page image]
[John Quincy Adams's description of the contents of this diary
No. 1. All the valuable portions of these fragments have
been printed in the Works of J. A.
[The preceding text was added in the handwriting of Charles Francis Adams]
FEBRUARY 13. FRYDAY.
Captain Samuel Tucker, Commander of the Frigate
Boston, met me, at Mr. Norton Quincy's, where We dined,
and after Dinner I sent my Baggage, and walked myself with Captain
Tucker, Mr. Griffin a Midshipman, and my eldest
Son,John Quincy Adams, between 10 and 11. Years of
Age, down to the
Moon Head, where lay the
Bostons Barge. The Wind was very high, and the Sea very rough,
but by Means of a Quantity of Hay in the Bottom of the Boat, and good Watch
Coats with which We were covered We arrived on board the Boston,
about five O Clock, tolerably warm and dry. -- On board I found Mr.
Vernon, a Son of Mr. Vernon of the Navy Board, a little Son
of Mr. Deane of
Weathersfield, between 11. and
12. Years of Age, and Mr. Nicholas Noel, a french Gentleman,
Surgeon of the Ship, who seems to be a well bred Man.
Dr. Noel shewed
me, a Book, which
was new to me. The Title is, Les Elemens de la Langue Angloise,
dvlops d'une maniere nouvelle, facile et tres concise,
en forme de Dialogue, ou la pronunciation est enseignée par un
Assemblage de Lettres qui forme des sons similaires en Franqois, et ou la juste
Mesure de chaque Syllable est determine. Avec un Vocabulaire, des
Phrases familieres, et des Dialogues, tres interessans, pour ceux qui
souhaitent parler Anglois correctement,
et en peu de Tems. Nouvelle
Edition, revue, corrigee et enriche de plusieurs nouvelles Regles et Remarques,
servant A carter les Diffcults qui retardent le Progress des
Etrangers. Par V. J. Peyton. Linguarum Diversitas alienat hominem ab homine, et
propter solam linguarum diversitatem, nihil potest ad consociandos homines
tanta Similitudo naturx. St. August. De Civit. Dei. A Londres, Chez J. Nourse
et Paul Vaillant, dans le Strand 1776.
14. FEB. SATURDAY.
A very fine Morning, the Wind at Northwest. At Daybreak orders were given
for the Ship to unmoor.
My Lodging was a Cott, with a double Mattress, a good
Bolster, my own Sheets, and Blanketts enough. My
little Son, with me -- We lay very comfortably, and slept well. A violent Gale
of Wind in the Night.
This Morning weigh'd the last Anchor, and came under Sail, before Breakfast.
A fine Wind, and a pleasant Sun, but a sharp cold Air. Thus I bid farewell to
my native Shore. -- Arrived, and anchored in the Harbour of
Marblehead, about Noon. Major
Reed,Captn. Gatchell Father
in Law of Capt. Tucker came on
board, and a Captain Stevens who came on Board to make me a
present of a single Pistol.
FEB. 16. MONDAY.
Another Storm for our Mortification -- the Wind at N.E. and the Snow so
thick that the Captain thinks he cannot go to Sea. Our Excursion to this Place,
was unfortunate, because it is almost impossible, to keep the Men on Board.
Mothers, Wives, Sisters come on bord, and beg for
Leave for their Sons, Husbands, and Brothers to go on Shore for one Hour
&c. so that it is hard for the Commander to resist their Importunity.
I am anxious at these Delays. We shall never have another Wind so good as We
have lost. Congress, and the Navy Board, will be surprized at these Delays, and yet there is no Fault,
that I know of. The Commander of the Ship is active and vigilant, and does all
in his Power, but he wants Men -- he has very few Seamen indeed. All is as yet
Chaos on board. His Men are not disciplined. The Marrines are not. [illegible] The Men are not
exercised to the Guns. They hardly know the [illegible] Ropes.
My Son is treated very complaisantly
by Dr. Noel, and by a Captain and Lieutenant of Artillery, who
are on board, all French Gentlemen. They are very assiduous in teaching him
French. The Dr. Monsr. Noel, is a genteell well bred Man, and
has received somewhere a good Education. He has Wounds on his Forehead, and on
his Hands, which he says he received, last War, in the Light Horse Service.
The Name of the Captain of Artillery is Parison, and that
of the Lieutenant is Begard.
1778 Feb. 16.
Since my Embarkation, Master Jesse Deane delivered me a
Letter, from his Uncle Barnabas Deane dated 10.Feb. recommending to my particular Care and Attention,
the Bearer, the only Child of his Brother Silas Deane
Esq. now in
France, making no doubt, as the Letter adds, that I shall take
the same Care of a Child in his Situation, which I would wish to have done to a
Child of my own, in the like Circumstance. -- It is needless to mention his
Youth and Helplessness, also how much he will be exposed to bad Company and to
contract bad Habits, without some friendly Monitor to caution and keep him from
associating with the common Hands on board.
About the same Time, another Letter was delivered to me from Wm.
Vernon Esq. of the Continental Navy Board, dated Feb. 9 -- in these Words "I presume it is unnecessary to
say one Word in order to impress your Mind with the Anxiety a Parent is under,
in the Education of a Son, more especially when not under his immediate
Inspection, and at 3000 Miles distance. Your parental Affection fixes this
Principle. Therefore I have only to beg the Favour of
you, Sir, to place my Son, in such a Situation, and with such a Gentleman as
you would chuse for one of yours, whom you would wish
to accomplish for a Merchant. If such a House could be found, either at
Nantes, of protestant Principles, of general and extensive
Business, I rather think one of those Cities the best; yet if it should be your
Opinion that some other Place might be more advantageous to place him at, or
that he can be imployed by any of the States Agents,
with a good Prospect of improving himself, in such manner, that he may
hereafter be usefull to Society, and in particular to
these American States, my Views are fully answered. I have only one Observation
more to make, viz. in respect to the Economy of this Matter, which I am perswaded will engage your Attention, as the small
Fortune that remains with me, I would wish to appropriate for the Education of
my Son, which I know must be husbanded, yet I cant think of being rigidly
parsimonious, nor must I be very lavish, lest my Money should not hold out.
1778 Feb. 16.
"I imagine a Gratuity of one hundred Pounds Sterling may be given
to a Merchant of Eminence to take him for two or three Years, and perhaps his
yearly board paid for. I shall be entirely satisfyed in whatever may seem best for you to do, and
ever shall have a gratefull Remembrance of your
unmerited Favours, and sincerely hope in future to
have it in my Power to make Compensation. I wish you Health and the Utmost
Happiness, and am, with the greatest Regards &c.
Thus I find myself invested with the unexpected Trust of a Kind of
Guardianship of two promising young Gentlemen, besides my own Son. This
benevolent office is peculiarly agreable to my
Temper. Few Things have ever given me greater Pleasure than the Tuition of
Youth to the Bar, and the Advancement of Merit.
I set a Lesson to my Son in Chambauds French Grammar and asked the Favour of Dr. Noel to shew him the precise, critical Pronunciation of all the
French Words, Syllables, and Letters, which the Dr. very politely did,
and Mr. John is getting his Lessons accordingly, very
The Weather is fair, and the Wind right, and We are again weighing Anchor in
order to put to Sea.
Captn. Diamond and Captn. Inlaker came on Board, and breakfasted,
two Prisoners taken with Manly in the Hancock and lately escaped from
Our Captn. is an able Seaman, and a brave,
active, vigilant officer, but I believe has no great Erudition. His Library
consists of Dyche's English Dictionary, Charlevoix's Paraguay, The Rights of
the Xtian Church asserted vs. the Romish and other
Priests, who claim an independent Power over it, The 2d Vol. of Chubbs posthumous Works, 1. Vol. of the History
of Charles Horton, Esq. and 1. Vol. of the delicate
Embarrassments a Novell. -- I shall at some other Time
take more Notice of some of these Books.
FEB. 18. WEDNESDAY.
Last night, about Sunsett We sailed out of
Marblehead Harbour, and have had a
fine Wind, from that time to this, 24. Hours. The constant Rolling and Rocking
of the Ship, last night made Us all sick -- half the Sailors were so. My young
Gentlemen, Jesse and Johnny, were taken about
12 O Clock last night and have been very seasick ever since. I was seized with
it myself this Forenoon. My Servant Joseph
Stevens and the Captns. Will have both been very bad.
Arose at 4 O Clock. The Wind and Weather still fair. The Ship rolls less
than Yesterday, and I have neither felt, nor heard any Thing of Sea Sickness,
last night nor this Morning.
Monsr. Parison, one of General Du Coudrais
Captains, dined with us, Yesterday, and made me a present of a Bottle of a nice
French Dram, a Civility which I must repay. He seems a civil and sensible
The Mal de Mer seems to be merely the Effect of Agitation. The Smoke and
Smell of Seacoal, the Smell of stagnant, putrid Water, the Smell of the Ship
where the Sailors lay, or any other offensive Smell, will increase the
Qualminess, but do not occasion it.
C. [Captain] Parison says, that the Roads
Paris are very good, no Mountains, no Hills, no Rocks -- all as
smooth as the Ships Deck and a very fine Country: But the Roads from
Paris, are bad and mountainous.
1778. Feb. 19.
In the Morning We discovered three Sail of Vessells ahead. We went near enough to discover them to be
Frigates, and then put away. We soon lost sight of two of them: but the third
chased Us the whole Day. Sometimes We gained upon her, and sometimes she upon
In the Morning nothing to be seen, but soon after another Sail discovered
ahead, which is supposed to be the same.
SATURDAY, 22. SUNDAY, AND 23D. MONDAY.
Exhibited such Scaenes as were new to me. We lost
Sight of our Enemy it is true but We found our selves in the Gulph Stream, in the Midst of an epouvantable Orage, the Wind
N.E. then N., and then North West.
It would be fruitless to attempt a Description of what I saw, heard and
felt, during these 3 days and nights. To describe the Ocean, the Waves, the
Winds, the Ship, the her Motions, Rollings, Wringings and
Agonies -- the Sailors, their Countenances, Language and Behaviour, is impossible. No Man could keep upon his
Legs, and nothing could be kept in its Place -- an universal Wreck of every Thing in all Parts of the Ship, Chests, Casks,
Bottles &c. No Place or Person was dry.
On one of these Nights, a Thunder bolt struck 3 Men upon deck and wounded
one of them a little, by a Scorch upon his Shoulder. It also struck our Main
24. WEDNESDAY 25. THURSDAY 26.
Tuesday We spyd a Sail and gave her Chase. We overhawled her, and upon firing a Gun to Leeward, and
hoisting American Colours, she fired a friendly Gun
and Hoisted the French Colours of the
Province of Normandy. She lay to for us, and We were coming
about to speak to her, when the Wind sprung up fresh of a sudden and carryed away our Main top Mast. We have been employed ever
since in getting in a New one, repairing the Sails and Rigging much damaged in
the late Storm, and in cleaning the Ship and putting her in order. From the 36
to the 39. deg [degrees] of Lat. are called the Squawly Latitudes, and We have found them to answer their
I should have been pleased to have kept a minute Journal of all that passed,
in the late Chases and turbulent Weather, but I was so wet, and every Thing and Place was so wett -- every Table and Chair was so wrecked that it was
impossible to touch a Pen, or Paper.
It is a great Satisfaction to me however, to recollect, that I was myself
perfectly calm during the whole. I found by the Opinion of the People aboard,
and of the Captain himself that We were in Danger, and of this I was
certain allso from my own Observation, but I thought
myself in the Way of my Duty, and I did not repent [illegible] of
I confess I often regretted that I had brought my son. I was not so clear
that it was my Duty to expose him, as myself, but I had been led to it by the
Childs Inclination and by the Advice of all my Friends. Mr.
Johnnys Behaviour gave me a Satisfaction
that I cannot expressfully sensible of our Danger, he was constantly endeavouring to bear it with a manly Patience, very
attentive to me and his Thoughts constantly running in a serious Strain.
FEB. 26. THURSDAY.
I have made many Observations, in the late bad Weather, some of which I do
not think it prudent to put in writing a few I will set down. 1st. I have seen
the inexpressible Inconvenience of having so small a Space between Decks, as
there is in the Boston. As the main Deck was almost constantly
under Water, the Sea rolling in and out at the Ports and Scuppers, We were
obliged to keep the Hatchways down -- whereby the Air became so hot and so dry
in the 'Tween decks that for my own Part, I could not breathe, or live there.
Yet the Water would pour down when ever an hatchway was opened, so that all was
afloat. 2. The Boston is over metalled. Her Number of Guns and the
Weight of their Metal is too great for her Tonnage. She has 5 Twelve Pounders,
and 19. Nines. We were obliged to sail, day and Night during a Chaise with the Guns out, in order to be ready, and this
exposed Us to certain Inconvenience and great Danger. They made the Ship labour and roll, so as to oblige Us to keep the Chain Pumps
as well as the Hand Pumps, almost constantly going. Besides they Wring, and
twist the Ship in such a Manner as to endanger the starting of a Butt, but
still more to endanger the Masts and Rigging. 3. The Ship is furnished with
no Pistolls, which she ought to be, with at least as
many as there are Officers, because there is nothing but the Dread of a Pistoll will keep many of the Men to their Quarters in Time
of Action. 4. This Ship is not furnished with good Glasses, which appears to me
of very great Consequence. Our Ships ought to be furnished with the best
Glasses that Art affords. Their Expence would be
saved a Thousand Ways.
1778 Feb. 26
5. There is the same general Inattention, I find on Board the Navy to
Economy that there is in the Army. 6. There is the same general Relaxation of
order and Discipline. 7. There is the same Inattention to the Cleanliness of
the Ship and the Persons and Health of the Sailors, as there is at land of the
Cleanness of the Camp and the Health, and Cleanness of the soldiers. 8. The
Practice of profane Cursing and Swearing, so silly as well as detestable,
prevails in a most abominable Degree. It is indulged and connived at by
Officers, and practised too in such a Manner that
there is no Kind of Check against it. And I take upon me to say that order of
every Kind will be lax as long as this is so much the Case.
This Morning Captn. Tucker made
me a Present of Charlevoix's History of
Paraguay. Yesterday Dr. Noel put into my Hand,
a Pockett Volume, intituled, Le Geographe manuel, contenant La Description
de tous les Pays du Monde, leurs qualit;s, leur climat, le
caractre de leurs Habitans, leur Villes capitales, avec leur distances
Paris, et des Routes qui y menent tant par terre que par Mer;
les Changes, et les Monnoies des principales Places de l'Europe, en Correspondance avec
Paris; la manire de tenir les Ecritures de chaque
Nation; la Reduction de toutes especes de I'Europe au pied courant de France,
&c. Par M. l'Abb Expilly, de la Socit royale des
Sciences et belles Lettres de Nancy. These manuals come out annually, and are
to be had in any of the great Towns in France.
A Calm. As soft and warm as Summer. A Species of black Fish, which our
officers call [illegible] Beneaters, appeared about
One Source of the Disorders in this Ship, is the Irregularity of Meals.
There ought to be a well digested System, for Eating, Drinking and sleeping. At
Six, all Hands should be called up. At Eight, all Hands should
1778 Feb. 27 Fryday
breakfast. At one all Hands should dine. At Eight again all Hands should
sup. It ought to be penal for the Cook to fail of having his Victuals ready
punctually. -- This would be for the Health, Comfort and Spirits of the Men,
and would greatly promote the Business of the Ship.
I am constantly giving Hints to the Captain concerning Order,OEconomy and Regularity, and he seems to be sensible of
the Necessity of them, and exerts himself to introduce them. -- He has cleared
out the Tween Decks, ordered up the Hammocks to be aired, and ordered up the
sick, such as could bear it, upon Deck for sweet Air. This Ship would have bred
the Plague or the Goal Fever, if there had not been great Exertions, since the
storm, to wash, sweep, Air and purify, Cloaths,
Cots, Cabins, Hammocks and all other Things, Places and Persons.
The Captn. Yesterday went down into the Cock Pit,
and ordered up every Body from that Sink of
Devastation and Putrefaction ordered up the Hamocks &c. This was in Pursuance of the Advice I gave
him in the Morning,
"if you intend to have any Reputation for Economy, Discipline or any Thing that is good, look to your Cock Pit."
Yesterday the Captn. brought in a Curiosity which
he had drawn up over the Side in a Buckett of Water,
which the Sailors call a Portuguese Man of War, and to
day I have seen many of them sailing by the Ship. They have some
Appearances of Life and Sensibility. They spread a curious Sail and are wafted
along very briskly. They have something like Gutts,
hanging down, which are said to be in a degree poisonous to human Flesh. The
Hulk is like blue Glass. I pierced it with the sharp Point of my Pen Knife and
found it empty. The Air came out, and the Thing shrunk up almost to
FEB. 28. SATURDAY.
Last Night and this Day We have enjoyed a fine easy Breeze. The Ship has had
no Motion but directly forward. I slept as quietly and as soundly as in my own
Bed at home. Dr. Noel gave me a Phial of Balsamum fioraventi,
for an Inflammation in my Eyes, which seems to be very good for them. It is
very much compounded. It is very subtle and penetrating. Pour a few Drops into
the Palms of your Hands, rub it over the Palm and the Fingers, and then hold
the Insides of your Hands before your Eyes, and the Steam which evaporates
enters the Eyes, and works them clear. This Balsam derives its Name from its
The Ship is now in very good order, cleaned out, between Decks, on the Main
Deck, in the Cabin and Quarter Deck. The Masts, Yards, Sails and Rigging are
The Captn. has just now sent written Orders to
the Steward of the Ship, to make weekly Returns to him of the State of
Provisions and to be very frugal of Provisions and Candles, which appeared to
be very necessary as near one half of the Ships Stores of Candles are
This is Saturday Night: a Fortnight Yesterday, since I took Leave of my
Family. -- What Scaenes have I beheld since? -- What
Anxiety have my Friends on Shore suffered on my Account? during the N.E. Storm
which they must have had at Land!
What is this Gulph Stream? What is the Course of it?
From what Point and to what Point does it flow? How broad is it? How far
distant is it from the
Continent of America? What is the Longitude and Latitude of
MARCH 1. SUNDAY.
Discovered that our Mainmast was sprung in two Places -- one beneath the
Main Deck, where if the Mast had wholly failed in the late Storm it must have
torn up the main Deck and the Ship must have foundered. This is one among many
Instances, in which it has already appeared that our Safety has not depended on
A fine Wind, all day and night. Somewhat Sea Sick. The Ship was very quiet
and still -- no Disturbance -- little noise.
I hope for the future We shall carry less Sail, especially of nights, and at
all Times when We are not in Chase.
A fine Wind still and a pleasant Morning. The Colour of the Water which is green, not blue as it has been
for many Days past, the Appearance of large Flocks of Gulls, and various other
Birds, convinced the knowing ones, to say that We were not far from the
Grand Bank of N. Foundland. The Captain however thinks it 35
Leagues to the N. West of Us. -- Our Mast was Yesterday repaired with two large
Fishes, as they call em, i.e. large oaken Planks cutt for
the Purpose and put on. It seems now as firm as ever. -- The Sailors are very
superstitious. They say the Ship has been so unfortunate that they really
believe there is some Woman on board. -- Women are the unluckyest Creatures in the World at Sea &c.
This Evening the Wind is very fresh, and the Ship sails at a great Rate. We
are out of the Reach I hope of the Gulph Stream and of
British Cruizers, two Evils, which I have a great
MARCH 3. TUESDAY.
Our Wind continued brisk and fresh all the last Night, and this Morning. Our
Course is about N.E. Showers in the Night and this Morning. The Flocks of
Gulls, still pursuing Us.
This Morning, Mr. Parison breakfasted with Us. Our Captn. in
gay Spirits, chattering in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Greek,
and boasting that he could speak some Words in every Language. He told Us he
had ordered two more Fishes upon the Mainmast to cover the Flaws, above
The Captain, Lieutenants, Master, Mates and Midshipmen, are now making their
Calculations, to discover their Longitude, but I conjecture they will be very
The Life I lead is a dull Scaene to me. No
Business; No Pleasure; No Study... Our little World is all wet and damp: there
is nothing I can eat or drink without nauseating. We have no Spirits for
Conversation, nor any Thing to converse about. We
see nothing but Sky, Clouds and Sea, and then Seas, Clouds and Sky.
I have often heard of learning a Language as French or English on the
Passage, but I believe very little of any Thing was
ever learned on a Passage. There must be more Health and better
My young Friend, Mr. Vernon, has never had the least Qualm
of the Sea Sickness, since We came aboard. I have advised him to begin the
Study of the French Tongue methodically, by reading the Grammar through. He has
begun it accordingly, and we shall see his Patience and Perseverance.
Dr. Noel shewed me, "Dictionaire
geographique portatif," which is a Translation of Echards Gazetteer, into
French Par Monsr. Vosgien, Chanoine de Vaucouleurs.
MARCH 4 WEDNESDAY.
Fair Weather, but an Adverse Wind, from the N.E., which
ob [obliges] Us to go to the Southward of the S.E. which is
out of our Course.
Nantes, ancienne, riche, et tres considerable Ville de
France, la seconde de la Bretagne, avec un riche Evch suffragan
de Tours, une Universite, et un Hotel des Monnoies.
C' [C'est] une de Villes les plus commercantes du Royaulme.
Les Marchands ont une Societe avec ceux de Bilbao, appellee la Contractation,
et un Tribunal reciproque [en] forme de
jurisdiction consulaire. Ce fut dans cette Ville que Henri 4th. donna, en 1598,
le celebre Edit [de] Nantes, revoqu
en 1685. Elle est sur la Rive droit de la Loire, a 15. lieus S.O. d'Angers, 27.
N. Par O. de [La] Rochelle, 87. S.O. de
Paris, 23. S. de Rennes. Long. 16.6.12. Lat 47.13.7. Le Pais Nantois, ou le C.
de Nantes, est [une] Contree des deux
cts de la Loire. On y fait du Sel, et il y a beaucoup de
This Morning We have the pleasantest Prospect [we] have yet seen -- a fine easy Breeze, from the
Southward, w [which] gives us an Opportunity
of keeping our true Course -- a soft, clear, warm Air -- a fair Sun -- no Sea.
We have a g [great] Number of Sails spread
and We go at the Rate of 9 Knots. Yet the Ship has no perceptible Motion, and
makes no N [Noise.] My
little Son is very proud of his Knowledge of all the Sails, and
last Night the Captn. put him [to learn the Mariners Compass.]
Oh that We might make Prize to day of an
English Vessell, lately from
London, with all the Newspapers, and Magazines on board, that We
might obtain the latest Intelligence, and discover the Plan of Operations for
the ensuing Campaign.
Whenever I arrive at any Port in
Europe, whether in
France, my first Enquiry should be
concerning the Designs of the Enemy. -- What Force they mean to send to
America? Where they are to obtain Men? What is the State of the
British Nation? What the State of Parties? What the State of Finances, and of
Then the State of
Spain? What the real Designs of those Courts? What the Condition
of their Finances? What the State of their Armies, but especially of their
Fleets. What No. of Ships they have fitted for the
Sea -- what their Names, Number of Men and Guns, weight of Metal &c. --
where they lie? &c.
The Probability or Improbability of a War, and the Causes and Reasons for
and against each supposition.
The Supplies of Cloathing, Arms, &c. gone
to America, during the past Winter. The State of American Credit
in France. What Remittances have been made from
America, in Tobacco, Rice, Indigo, or any other Articles?
We are now supposed to be nearly in the Lat. of
Cape Finisterre, so that We have only to sail an Easterly
Finistere, Finis Terrae; c'est le Cap, le plus occid. non seulement de la
Galice et de L'Esp., mais encore de l'Europe; ce qui fait que les Anc. qui ne
connoissoient rien au -- dela, lui ont donne son nom, qui signifie
l'Extrmit de la Terre, ou le bout du monde. Il y a une Ville de
This Day, We have enjoyed the clearest Horison,
the softest Weather, the best Wind, and the smoothest Sea, that We have seen
since We [came] on board. All Sails are
spread and We have gone [ten Knots upon an Avarage
the] whole day.
MARCH 6. FRYDAY.
The Wind continued in the same Point, about S [South] all
Night, and the Ship has gone 9 Knotts upon an Average.
This is great Favour.
I am now reading the Amphitrion of Moliere, which is his 6. Volume.
revai-je? do I dream? -- have I dreamed? -- I have I been in a dream? J'ai
rev. I have been in a dream. It is in the Preterit.
We shall pass to the Northward of the Western Islands, and are now supposed
to be as near them as We shall be. They all belong to
Aqores, Iles sit. entre l'Afr. et l'Amer. environ a 200 li. O. de Lisbonne;
Gonzalo Vello les decouvrit vers le milieu du 15 Siecle, et les nomma Aqores,
mot qui signifie des Eperviers, parce qu'on y rem. beaucoup de ces Oiscaux. Il
y en a neuf. Angra, dans File de Tercere, est la Capital de Toutes. Ortelius
assure que ceux partent de l'Europe, pour aller en Amer., sont delivres de
toute Sorte de Vermine, aussitot qu'ils ont passe les Acores, ce qu'on doit
attribuer a la qualite de l'Air, qui y est tres salubre. Le ble, les Vignes,
les Arbres fruitiers, et le betail, y sont en abond. Elles appart. aux Port. --
long. 346-354. Lat. 39.
The same prosperous Wind, and the same beautifull Weather continue. We proceed in our Course at
the Rate of about 200 Miles in 24 Hours. We have passed all the Dangers of the
American Coast. Those of the
Bay of Biscay, remain. God grant Us, an happy Passage through
Yesterday, the Ship was all in an Uproar, with Laughter. The Boatswains Mate
asked one of his superiour
Officers, if they might
have a Frolick
. -- The Answer was, Yes. -- Jere.
accordingly, with the old Sailors, proposed to build a Galley, and all the raw
Hands to the Number of 20 or 30 were taken in, and suffered themselves
1778 March 7
to be tyed together, by their Legs. When all of a
sudden, Jere. and his knowing ones, were found handing Bucketts of Water over the Sides and pouring them upon the
poor Dupes, untill they were wet to the Skin. --
The Behaviour of the Gullies, their Passions and
Speeches and Actions, were diverting enough. -- So much for Jere's Fun.
This Frolick, I suppose, according to the Sailors
Reasoning, is to conjure up a Prize.
This Morning the Captain ordered all Hands upon Deck and took an account of
the Number of Souls on board which amounted to 172. Then he ordered the
Articles of War to be read to them -- after which he ordered all Hands upon the
Forecastle and then all Hands upon the Quarter deck, in order to try
Experiments, for determining whether any difference was made in the Ships
sailing, by the Weight of the Men being forward or abaft. Then all Hands were
ordered to their Quarters to exercise them at the Guns. Mr.
Barron gave the Words of Command and they spent an Hour perhaps in the
Exercise, at which they seemed tolerably expert. Then the Captain ordered a
Dance, upon the Main Deck, and all Hands, Negroes, Boys and Men were obliged to
dance. After this the old Sailors set on Foot another Frolic, called the
Miller, or the Mill. I will not spend Time to describe this odd Scaene: but it ended in a very high frolic, in which almost
all the Men were powdered over, with Flour, and wet again to the Skin. --
Whether these whimsical Diversions are indulged, in order to make the Men wash
themselves, and shft their Cloaths, and to wash away
Vermin I don't know But there is not in them the least Ray of
Elegance, very little Wit, and a humour of the
coarsest Kind. It is not superiour to Negro and
MARCH 8. SUNDAY.
The same Wind and Weather continues, and We go at 7 and 1/2 and 8 Knots. We
are supposed to be past the
Mr. Barrons our first Lt. appears to
me to be an excellent Officer very dilligent, and
attentive to his Duty -- very thoughtfull and
considerate about the Safety of the Ship, and about order, Economy and
Regularity, among the officers, and Men. He has great Experience at Sea. Has
used the Trade to
Southern States &c.
This Morning, the Captain ordered all Hands upon Quarter Deck to Prayers.
The Captains Clerk, Mr. Wm. Cooper, had prepared a Composition
of his own, which was a very decent, and comprehensive Prayer, which he
delivered, in a grave and proper manner. The Officers and Men all attended, in
clean Cloaths, and behaved very soberly.
The Weather has been cloudy all Day. Towards night it became rainy and
windy, and now the Ship rolls, a little in the old Fashion. We are about 2000
The late Storm shewed the Beauty of Boileaus
Description d'une Tempte.
Comme l'on voit les Hots, soulevez par forage,
Fondre sur un Vaisseau qui s'oppose a leur rage,
Le Vent avec fureur dans les voiles fr;
La mer blanchit d'cume et fair au loin gmit;
Le matelot trouble, que son Art abandonne,
Croit voir dans chaque flot la mort qui l'environne.
Trad. de Longin.
MARCH 9. MONDAY.
Last Night the Wind shifted to the N. West, and blew fresh. It is now still
fairer for Us than before. The Weather is fine, and We go on our Voyage at a
great Rate. Some Officers think We shall reach our Port by Thursday night:
others by Saturday night: But these make no Account of Chases and Cruises, and
make no Allowance for the Variability of the Winds.
SATURDAY. MARCH 14.
I have omitted inserting the Occurrences of this Week, on Account of the
Hurry and Confusion, We have been in. Tuesday We spied a Sail, and gave her
Chase. We soon came up with her, but as We had bore directly down upon her, she
had not seen our broadside, and knew not her [i.e. our]
Force. She was a Letter of Mark with 14 Guns, 8 Nines and 6 sixes. She fired
upon Us, and one of her shot went thro our Mizen
Yard. I happened to be upon the Quarter deck, and in the Direction
from the Ship to the Yard so that the Ball went directly over my Head. We, upon
this, turned our broadside which the instant she saw she struck.Captn. Tucker very prudently, ordered his officers
not to fire.
The Prize is the Ship Martha, Captn. McIntosh from
New York, loaded with a Cargo of great Value. The Captn. told me that Seventy thousand Pounds sterling was
insured upon her at Lloyds, and that She was worth 80 thousands.
The Captain is very much of a Gentleman. There are two Gentlemen with him
Passengers, the one Mr. R. Gault, the other Mr.
N. York. Two young Jews were on board.
That and the next day was spent in dispatching the Prize, under the Command
of the 3d Lt. Mr. Welch to
After that We fell in Chase of another Vessell,
and overtaking her, found her to be a french Snow, from
Bourdeaux to Miquelon.
We then saw another Vessell, chased and came up
with her which proved to be a French Brig from
Nantes. This last cost Us very dear. Mr. Barrons our 1st Lt.
attempting to fire a Gun, as a signal to the Brig, the Gun burst, and tore the
right Leg of this excellent Officer, in Pieces, so that the Dr. was obliged to
amputate it, just below the Knee.
I was present at this affecting Scaene and
held Mr. Barron in my Arms while the Doctor put on the Turnequett and
cutt off the Limb.
Mr. Barrons bore it with great Fortitude and Magnanimity --
thought he should die, and frequently intreated me, to take Care of his Family.
He had an helpless Family he said, and begged that I would take Care of his
Children. I promised him, that by the first Letters I should write to
America, I would earnestly recommend his Children to the Care of
the Public, as well as of Individuals. I cannot but think the Fall of this
Officer, a great Loss to the united
States... His Prudence, his Moderation, his Attention, his Zeal,
were Qualities much wanted in our Navy. He is by Birth a Virginian.
MARCH 19. THURSDAY.
I have scarcely been able to stand, or sit, without holding fast, with both
my Hands, upon some lashed Table, some lashed Gun, the Side, or Beams of the
Ship, or some other fixed Object: such has been the perpetual Motion of the
Ship arising from violent Gales, and an heavy Sea.
In the Course of the last 5 days, We have seen a great Number of Vessells, two of which at least, if not four were supposed
to be Cruizers. But here We are -- at Liberty, as
The Wind has been directly against Us, but this Morning has veered and We
now steer, at least our Head lies by the Compass, South East. -- Who knows but
Providence has favoured Us by the last Gale, as it
seemed to do by the first. -- By the last Gale We have already escaped Cruizers as
We did by the first -- and possibly this violent Gale from the south East may
have driven all the Cruizers from the
Coast of Spain and the Southerly Part of the
Bay of Biscay, and by this Means have opened a clear Passage for
Us to Bourdeaux. This is possible -- and so is the contrary. God
Yester Afternoon, the Weather. cleared up, and the Wind came about very
fair. We had a great Run, last Night. This Morning spyed a Sail, under our leward
Bow, chased and soon came up with her, a Snow from
Amsterdam to Demarara, and
I made Enquiry to day
our Prisoner Captn.
concerning the Trinity House. He says it is the richest Corporation in the
Kingdom. That Lord Sandwich is an elder Brother of it.
That any Master of a Vessell
may be made a younger
Brother of it, if he will. That there are many Thousands of younger Brothers.
That this House gives permission to every Vessell
take out or to take in Ballast, and that a few Pence 6d. perhaps per Ton are
them for such Licence. That they have the Care of
all Lighthouses &c.
My principal Motive for omitting to keep a regular and particular Journal,
has been the Danger of falling into the Hands of my Enemies, and an
Apprehension that I should not have an Opportunity of destroying these Papers
in such a Case.
We have now so fine a Wind, that a very few days will determine, whether We
shall meet any capital Disaster, or arrive safe at Port.
Five Weeks Yesterday, since my Embarkation. This Morning an heavy Wind, and
high Sea. We go E.S.E.
On Wednesday Evening Mr. Barons died, and Yesterday was
committed to the Deep, from the Quarter Deck.
He was put into a Chest, and 10 or 12, twelve Pounds shot put in with him,
and then nailed up. The Fragment of the Gun, which destroyed him was lashed on
the Chest, and the whole launched overboard through one of the Ports, in
Presence of all the Ships Crew, after the Buryal service was read by Mr. Cooper.
In the Course of the last Week We have had some of the Worst Winds, that We
have felt yet.
Monday last We made the Land upon the
Coast of Spain.
Tuesday We run into the
Bay of St. Anthonio. 4 or 5 Boats with 15 or 16 Men in each came
to Us, out of which We took a Pilot.
1778 March 27. Fryday.
Upon sight of the Spanish Shore, which I viewed as minutely as possible
through the Glasses, I had a great Curiosity to go on Shore. There was a fine
Verdure, near the sea, altho the Mountains were
covered with Snow. I saw one Convent, but We did not come in Sight of the Town.
The Moment we were about turning the Point of the Rock to go into the Harbour, a Sail appeared. We put out to see who she was,
found her a Spanish Brig, and after this upon repeated Efforts found it
impracticable to get into the Harbour. In the Night
the Wind caught us suddenly at N.W. and We were obliged to make all the Sail We
could and put to sea. We steered our Course for
Yesterday was a Calm, the little Wind there was, directly against Us. This
Morning the Wind is a little better. We are supposed to be within 30 Leagues
of Bourdeaux River.
Last night and this Morning We were in the thoroughfare of all the Ships
Bourdeaux. We had always a great Number in Sight. By
Obs [Observation ]to day, our Lat. is
46D.:3M. North, about 7 Minutes South of the Middle of the I sle of
Rea. We are therefore about 20 Leagues from the
Tower of Cordoan. We have no Wind, and nothing can be more
tedious and disagreable to me, than this idle
Last Evening We had two little Incidents which were disagreable
. One was, the French Barber attempting to
go below, contrary to orders, the Centinell cutt
off his great Toe with his Cutlass, which raised at first
a little, ill blood in the French People, who are on board, but on Enquiry
finding the fellow deserved it,
1778 March 28.
they acquiesced. The other unpleasant Incident was that one of our Prisoners
of War, a little more elevated than usual grew out of Temper, and was very
passionate with Mr. Vernon and afterwards, with C.
Palmes -- but it has all subsided.
Mr. McIntosh is of
North Britain, and appears to be very decided vs.
America in this Contest, and his Passions are so engaged that
they easily inkindle . . .
Mr. Gault is an Irish Gentleman and as decided vs.
America, in her Claims of Independance at least, as the other. Mr.
Wallace is more reserved, cautious, silent and secret.
Jealousies arise among our Men, that the Prisoners are plotting with some of
our profligate People: but I believe this jealousy is groundless.
All Day Yesterday, and all the forenoon of this Day We have been looking out
for Land -- about 4 o Clock We found it -- the
Isles of Rhee and Oleron, between which two is
the Entrance into the
Harbour of Rochelle, which is about
half Way between
Nantes .... The Land is extremely flat and low. We see the
Tower.... The Water is shoal, 25 or 30 Fathoms, the bottom Sand -- the Reverse
of the Spanish Coast on the other Side of the
Bay of Biscay.
This Afternoon, a clock calm, and Mr. Goss played upon his
Fiddle the whole Afternoon, and the Sailors danced, which seemed to have a very
happy Effect upon their Spirits and good Humour.
Numbers of small Birds from the Shore, came along to
day, some of them fatigued, allighted on our
Rigging, Yards &c. and one of them We caught. A little Lark he was called.
These Birds loose the Shore and get lost, and then
fly untill they are so fatigued that the instant
they allight upon a Ship they drop to sleep.
MARCH 29. SUNDAY.
Becalmed all last Night. This Morning a vast Number of Sails in
Sight.St. Martins, and
Oleron in Sight, many Towers and Windmills -- Land very low and
A Pilot Boat, with two Sails and 4 Men, came on Board, and the Pilot
instantly undertook to pilot Us to
Bourdeaux. He says this ship may go up quite to the City, if she
draws 20 feet of Water, at high Water. -- We are now sailing very agreably towards our Port.
The Pilot says War is declared, last Wednesday, and that the Pavillions were
hoisted Yesterday at every Fort and Light House. -- Quaere.
There is a civil Frenchman on board, whose Name I never asked untill to day. His Name
is Quillau, Fourier des Logis de Mr. Le Ct. D'Artois. He was
not of M. De Coudrays Corps.
The French Gentlemen on board can scarcely understand our new Pilot. He
speaks Gascoine, the Dialect of
Bourdeaux, they say, which is not good French.
This Day Six Weeks We sailed from
Nantaskett Road. How many Dangers,
Distresses and Hairbreadth Scapes have We seen?
A Story. -- Garrick had a Relation, convicted of a capital
Offence. He waited on his Majesty, to beg a Pardon. The K. asked what was the
Crime? -- He has only taken a Cup too much, says
Garrick, may it please your Majesty. -- Is that all? said the K.
Let him be pardoned. -- Gault.
A Story. A Frenchman in
London advertised an infallible Remedy against Fleas. The Ladies
all flocked to purchase the Powder. But after they had bought it, one of them
asked for Directions to Use it. -- Madam says the Frenchman you must catch the
Flea, and squese him between your Fingers untill he gape, then you must put a little of this Powder in
his Mouth, and I will be responsible he never will bite you again. -- But says
the Lady, when I have him between my Fingers, why may I not rub him to death?
-- Oh Madam dat will do just as well den! --Tucker.
1778 March 29.
We have been becalmed all day in Sight of
Village of St. Dennis was in Sight, and Multitudes of Wind Mills
and Sand Hills all along the shore. Multitudes of Vessells in sight, French, Spanish, Dutch Vessells, and English Smugglers.
I feel a Curiosity to visit this
Island of Oleron so famous in Antiquity for her Sea Laws, at
least I take this to be the Place.
This Morning at 5, the Officer came down and told the Captain that a lofty
Ship was close by Us, and had fired two heavy Guns. All Hands called. She
proved to be an heavy loaded Snow.
The Weather cloudy, but no Wind. Still -- except a small Swell.
The Tour of
Cordovan, or in other Words
Bourdeaux Lighthouse in Sight, over our larbord Bow.
The Captn. is now cleaning Ship and removing his
This Day has been hitherto fortunate and happy. -- Our Pilot has brought us
safely into the River, and We have run up, with Wind and Tide as far
as Pouliac, where We have anchored for the Night, and have taken
in another Pilot.
This forenoon a Fisherman came along Side, with Hakes, Skates, and
Gennetts. We bought a few, and had an high Regale.
This River is very beautifull -- on both Sides
the Plantations are very pleasant. On the South Side especially, We saw all
along Horses, Oxen, Cowes, and great Flocks of Sheep grazing, the
Husbandmen ploughing &c. and the Women, half a
Dozen in a Drove with their Hoes. The Churches, Convents, Gentlemens seats, and
the Villages appear very magnificent.
1778 March 30. Monday.
This River seldom Swells with Freshes, for the rural Improvements and even
the Fishermens Houses, are brought quite down to the Waters Edge. The Water in
the River is very foul to all Appearance, looking all the Way like a Mud
Puddle. The Tide setts in 5 Knots. We outrun every Thing in sailing up the River.
The Buildings public and private, are of Stone, and a great Number of beautifull Groves, appear between the grand Seats, and
best Plantations. A great Number of Vessells lay in
The Pleasure resulting from the Sight of Land, Cattle, Houses, &c. after
so long, so tedious, and dangerous a Voyage, is very great: It gives me a
pleasing Melancholly to see this Country, an Honour which a few Months ago I never expected to arrive at.
Europe thou great Theatre of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, War, am I
at last permitted to visit thy Territories. -- May the Design of my Voyage be
Lying in the
River of Bourdeaux, near
Pouliac. A 24 Gun Ship close by Us, under French Colours, bound to
St. Domingue. -- A dark, misty Morning.
My first Enquiry should be, who is Agent for
the united States of America at
Blaye, &c. -- who are the principal Merchants on this River
concerned in the American Trade? What Vessells French
or American, have sailed or are about sailing for
America, what their Cargoes, and for what Ports? Whether on
Account of the
united States, of any particular
State, or of private Merchants french or American?
This Morning the Captain and a Passenger came on board the
Boston, from the Julie, a large Ship bound to
St. Domingue, to make Us a Visit. They invited Us on Board to
1778 March 31.
Jesse and Johnny and myself, went.
We found half a Dozen genteel Persons on Board, and found a pretty ship, an
elegant Cabin, and every Accommodation. The white Stone Plates were laid, and a
clean Napkin placed in each, and a Cut of fine Bread. The Cloth, Plates,
Servants,every Thing was as clean, as in any
Gentlemans House. The first Dish was a fine french Soup, which I confess I
liked very much.Then a Dish of boiled Meat. -- Then the Lights of a Calf,
dressed one Way and the Liver another. -- Then roasted Mutton then
fricaseed Mutton. A fine Sallad and something very like Asparagus, but not it. -- The
Bread was very fine, and it was baked on board. -- We had then Prunes, Almonds,
and the most delicate Raisins I ever saw. -- Dutch Cheese -- then a Dish of
Coffee -- then a french Cordial -- and Wine and Water, excellent Claret with
our Dinner. -- None of us understood French -- none of them English: so
that Dr. Noel stood Interpreter. While at Dinner We saw a
Pinnace go on board the Boston with several, half a Dozen, genteel
People on board.
On the Quarter Deck, I was struck with the Hens, Capons, and Cocks in their
Coops -- the largest I ever saw.
After a genteel Entertainment, Mr. Griffin, one of our
petty Officers, came with the Pinnace, and C.
Tuckers Compliments desiring to see me. We took Leave and returned
where We found very genteel Company consisting of the Captn. of another Ship bound to
Martinique and several Kings Officers, bound out. One was the
1778. March 31. Tuesday
C. Palmes was sent forward to
Blaye, in the Pinnace to the Officer at the Castle in order to
produce our Commission and produce procure an Entry, and pass to
Bourdeaux. Palmes came back full of the
Compliments of the Broker to the Captn. and to me. I
shall not repeat the Compliments sent to me, but he earnestly requested
that C. Tucker would salute the Fort with 13 Guns, &c. --
which the Captn. did.
All the Gentlemen We have seen to day agree
that Dr. Franklin has been received by the
K [King] in great Pomp and that a Treaty is concluded, and
they all expect War, every Moment...
This is a most beautifull River, the Villages,
and Country Seats appear upon each Side all the Way. We have got up this
Afternoon within 3 Leagues of the Town.
APRIL 1 WEDNESDAY.
This Morning Mr. J. C. Champagne, negociant and Courtier de Marine,
at Blaye, came on board, to make a Visit and pay his
He says, that of the first Grouths of Wine, in
Province of Guienne, there are four Sorts, Chateau Margeaux,
Hautbrion, La Fitte, and Latour.
This Morning I took Leave of the Ship, and went up to Town with my Son, and servant,Mr.
Vernon, Mr. Jesse, and Dr. Noel, in
the Pinnace. When We came up to the Town We had the Luck to see Mr. McClary, and Major
Fraser [Frazer], on the Shore. Mr.
McClary came on board our Boat, and conducted Us up to his
Lodgings.Mr. Pringle was there. We dined there, in the Fashion
of the Country. We had fish and Beans, and Salad, and Claret,
Champain and Mountain Wine. After Dinner Mr. Bondfield, who is Agent here, invited me to
take a Walk, which We did to his Lodgings, where We drank Tea. Then We walked
about the Town, and to see the new Comedie. After
this We went to the Opera, where the Scenery, the Dancing, the Music, afforded
to me a very chearfull, sprightly Amusement, having
never seen any Thing of the Kind before. After this
We returned to Mr. McClarys Lodgings, where We supped.
APRIL 2. THURSDAY.
Walked round the Town, to see the Chamber and Council of Commerce, the
Parliament which was sitting, where We heard the Council. Then We went round to
the Ship Yards &c. Made many Visits dined at the
Hotel D'Angleterre. Visited the Customhouse, the Post office --
visited the Commandant of the
Chateau Trompette, a Work of Vaubans -- visited the Premiere
President of the Parliament of Bourdeaux. Went to the Coffee
house. Went to the Commedie -- saw Les deux Avares.
Supped at Messrs. Reuiles De Basmarein and
Waited on the Intendant, dined at Mr. Bondfields and supped
at Mr. Le Texiers. -- Our Company, on Thursday Evening,
at Mr. Basmarains were -- The Count of
Virelade the Son of the Premiere President, Le
Moine first Commissary of the Navy, Le Moine the Son,
Commissary of the Navy, Cornie, Captain of a Frigate, Knight
St. Lewis, in. Bt. Nairac former Deputy of
La Rochelle, Paul Nairac, a
Merchant,Elisee Nairac a Merchant, La tour Feger
Esq. a Merchant, Menoire, Esq. a
Merchant,Coutourier Esq. a Merchant, Mr.
Bondfield and Major Fraser. The Toasts were announced
by 13 Shots, in honour of the 13 States. The
K. of France 21 Shots. The Congress 13. G.
Washington 3.Mr. De
Sartine 3.G. [General]
Gates 3. Marshall Broglie 3. The Count of
Brolie his Brother 3.The Marquis De la
Fayette 3. The Glory and Prosperity of the 13 united States 13. The Prosperity of
France 3. Eternal Concord between the two Nations, now Friends
and Allies, 3. The
State of Massachusetts Bay and Mr.
Adams its Representative. Mr. Destaing Vice Admiral.
City of Bourdeaux.Mrs. Adams 3. The
French and American Ladies 21. The Departure of Mr.
Adams, when he mounted his Coach, was saluted by 13. Shots. The Garden
was beautifully illuminated, with an Inscription, God Save the Congress,
Liberty and Adams.
APRIL 4. SATURDAY.
About 10 O Clock We commenced our journey to
Paris, and went about 50 miles.
Proceeded on our journey, more than 100 Miles.
Poictiers, the City so famous, for the Battle which was fought
here. It is a beautifull situation and the
Cultivation of the Plains about it is exquisite. The Houses are old and poor
and the Streets very narrow. Afternoon passed thro
Chatelerault, another City, nearly as large
as Poictiers, and as old, and the Streets as narrow. When We
stopped at the Post to change our Horses, about 20 young Women came about
the Chaise, with their elegant Knives, scissors, tooth
Picks &c. to sell. The Sceene was new to me, and
highly diverting. Their eagerness to sell a Knife, was as great, as that of
some Persons I have seen in other Countries to get Offices. We arrived in the
Ormes, the magnificent Seat of the Marquis
D'Argenson. It is needless to make particular Remarks upon this
Country. Every Part of it, is cultivated. The Fields of Grain, the Vineyards,
the Castles, the Cities, the Parks, the Gardens, every
Thing is beautifull: yet every Place swarms
APRIL 7. TUESDAY.
Les Ormes, the splendid Seat of the Marquis
D'Argenson, to Mer. We went through
Amboise, and several other smaller
Villages.Tours is the most elegant Place We have yet seen. It
the River Loire, which empties itself at
Nantes. We rode upon a Causey, made in the
River Loire, for a great Number of Miles. The Meadows and River
Banks were extremely beautifull.
Orleans, &c. and arrived at
Paris, about 9 O Clock. For 30 Miles from
Paris or more the Road is paved, and the Scaenes extreamly beautifull.
Paris We went to several Hotels which were full -- particularly
the Hotell D'Artois, and the
Hotell Bayonne. Then We were advised to the
Hotell de Valois, where We found entertainment. But We could not
have it without taking all the Chambers upon the floor which were four in
Number, very elegant and richly furnished, at the small Price of two Crowns and
an Half a Day, without any Thing to eat or drink. We
send for Victuals to the Cooks. I took the Apartments only for two or three
At our Arrival last Night at a certain Barrier, We were stopped and
searched, and paid the Duties for about as Bottles of Wine which we had left of
the generous Present of Mr. Delap at
My little Son has sustained this long
journey of near 500 Miles at the Rate of an hundred Miles a day with the Utmost
Firmness, as he did our fatiguing and dangerous Voyage.
Immediately on our Arrival, We were called upon for our Names, as We were
at Mrs. Rives's at
We passed the Bridge, last Night over
the Seine, and passed thro
the Louvre. The Streets were crowded with Carriages, with Livery
APRIL 9. THURSDAY.
This Morning the Bells, and Carriages, and various Cries in the Street make
Noise enough, yet the City was very still last Night towards the Morning.
Le Hotell de Valois,
en Rue de Richlieu, is the Name of the House and Street where I
now am. Went to
Passy, in a Coach, with Dr. Noel, and my
Dr. Franklin presented to me the Compliments of Mr. Turgot, lately
Comptroller of the Finances, and his Invitation to dine with him. Went
with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee and
dined in Company with the Dutchess D'Anville, the Mother of
the Duke De Rochefoucault, and twenty of the great People
of France. -- It is in vain to Attempt a Description of the
Magnificence of the House, Gardens, Library, Furniture, or the Entertainment of
the Table. Mr. Turgot has the Appearance of a grave, sensible
and amiable Man. Came home and supped with Dr.
Franklin on Cheese and Beer.
Dined at Monsr. Brillon's, with many Ladies and Gentlemen
.... Madam Brillon is a Beauty, and a great Mistress of Music,
as are her two little Daughters .... The Dinner was Luxury as usual -- a Cake
was brought in, with 3 Flaggs, flying. On one, Pride
subdued -- on another, Ham Dies, in qua fit Congressus, exultemus et potemus in
ea. Supped in the Evening, at Mr. Chamonts. In the evening
2 Gentlemen came in, and advised me, to go to
Versailles tomorrow. One of them was the Secretary to the late
London, the Count De Noailles.
Versailles, with Dr. Franklin and Mr.
Lee -- waited on the Count De
1778 April 11.
Secretary of foreign Affairs -- was politely received. -- He hoped I should
stay long enough to learn French perfectly -- assured me, that
every Thing should be done to make
France agreable to me -- hoped the
Treaty would be agreable, and the Alliance
lasting. -- I told him I thought the Treaty liberal, and generous -- and
doubted not of its speedy Ratification. I communicated to him the Resolutions
of Congress respecting the Suspension of Burgoines
Embarkation, which he read through, and pronounced Fort bon.
I was then conducted to the Count Maurepas, the Prime
Minister, was introduced by Dr. F. as his new
Colleague and politely received.
I was then shewn the
Palace of Versailles, and happened to be present when the King
passed through, to Council. His Majesty seeing my Colleagues, graciously
smiled, and passed on. I was then shewn the Galleries,
and Royal Apartments, and the K's Bedchamber. The Magnificence of these Scaenes, is immense. The Statues, the Paintings, the every Thing is sublime.
We then returned, went into the City, and dined with the Count where
was the Count De Noailles, his Secretary, and 20 or 30
others, of the Grandees of
France. After Dinner, We went in the Coach, to see the Royal
Hospital of Invalids, the Chappell of which is
immensely grand, in Marble and Paintings and Statuary.
After this We went to the Ecole militaire, went into the Chapell and into the Hall of Council &c. Here We saw
the Statues of the great Conde, Turenne, Luxembourg, and Saxe. Returned and
drank Tea, at Mm. Brillons, who lent me Voyage picturesque de
Paris, and entertained Us, again, with her Music, and her agreable Conversation.
APRIL 12. SUNDAY.
The Attention to me, which has been shewn, from my
first Landing in
Bourdeaux, by the People in Authority of all Ranks and by the
principal Merchants, and since my Arrival in
Paris by the Ministers of State, and others of the first
Consideration has been very remarkable, and bodes well to our Country. It shews in what Estimation the new Alliance with
America is held.
On Fryday last, I had the Honour of a Visit from a Number of American Gentlemen
--Mr. James Jay of
New York Brother of the C. [Chief]
Justice,Mr. Johnson Brother of Governor of
Maryland, Mr. Mr. Amiel, Mr.
Jamaica, Mr. Austin from
Boston, Dr. Bancroft. Mr. R.
Issard [Izard] should be
I must return the Visits of these Gentlemen.
This Day I had the Honour to dine with
the Prince De Tingry, Le Duke De Beaumont, of the illustrious
House of Montmorency, the Duke and Dutchess of
Edisti satis, lusisti satis, atque bibisti
Tempus est abire tibi. --
Written under the Picture of Sir Rob. Walpole. Some
one made an amendment of Bribisti instead of Bibisti.
MONDAY. APRIL 13.
This Morning the Dutchess Dayen, and M. le
Marquise De Fayette, came to visit me, and enquire after the Marquise [Marquis].
Versailles, was introduced, to the Levee of the
Mr. de Sartine, the Minister. A vast Number of
Gentlemen were attending in one Room after another, and We found the Minister
at last, entrenched as deep as We had formerly seen the Count
Maurepas. The Minister politely received Us, and shewed
Us, into his Cabinet, where were all the Books and
Papers of his office. -- After he had finished the Business of his Levee, he
came into the Cabinet to Us, and asked whether I spoke French, and whether I
understood French? The Answer was, un Peu, and Si on parle lentement, ou
doucement. He then made an Apology, to each of Us seperately
, in the Name of his Lady, for her Absence,
being gone into
Paris to see a sick Relation. After this We were conducted down
to dinner, which was as splendid as usual. All Elegance and Magnificence, a
large Company, four Ladies only .... During Dinner Time many Gentlemen came in,
and walked the Room, and leaned over the Chairs of the Ladies and Gentlemen,
and conversed with them while at Table. After Dinner the Company all arose as
usual, went into another Room, where a great Additional Number of Gentlemen
came in. -- After some Time We came off, and went to make a Visit
to Madam Maurepas, the Lady of the Prime Minister, but she was
out and We left a Card. We then went to the office of the Secretary of Mr. Vergennes
1778 April 13. Lundi
and delivered him a Copy of my Commission -- then went and made a Visit
to Madam Vergennes, who had her Levee, and returned to
Yesterday Morning sent for the Master of the Accademy in this Place, who came and shewed me his Conditions. [He] agreed to
take my Son: who accordingly packed up his Things and went to School, much
pleased with his Prospect because he understood that Rewards were given to the
best Schollars, which he said was an Encouragement.
Dancing, Fencing,Musick, and Drawing, are taught at
this School, as well as French and Latin.
Went Yesterday to return the Visits, made me by American Gentlemen.
Dined this Day, with Madam Helvetius, one Gentleman,
one Lady, Dr. F., his G. Son and myself made the
Company -- an elegant Dinner. Mm. is a Widow -- her Husband was a Man of
Learning and wrote several Books. She has erected a Monument to her Husband, a
Model of which she has. It is herself, weeping over his Tomb, with this
Inscription. Toi dont L'Ame sublime et tendre, a fait ma Gloire, et mon
Bonheur, J t'ai perdu: pres de to Cendre, Je viens jouer de ma Douleur.
Here I saw a little Book of Fenelons, which I never saw before -- Directions
pour la Conscience D'une Roi, composees pour l'Instruction du Louis de France,
Due de Bourgogne.
1778 Ap 15. Mecredi.
At Mm. Helvetius's, We had Grapes, preserved entire. I
asked how? She said "Sans Air." -- Apples, Pairs &c. are preserved here in
Dr. F. is reported to speak French very well, but
I find upon attending to him that he does not speak it Grammatically, and
indeed upon enquiring, he confesses that he is
wholly inattentive to the Grammar. His Pronunciation too, upon which the French
Gentlemen and Ladies compliment him, and which he seems to think is pretty
well, I am sure is very far from being exact.
Indeed Dr. Franklin's Knowledge of French, at
least his Faculty of speaking it, may be said to have begun with his Embassy to
this Court . . . . He told me that when he was in
France before, Sir John Pringle was with
him, and did all his Conversation for him as Interpreter, and that he
understood and spoke French with great Difficulty, untill he came here last, altho he read it.
Dined, at Mr. La Fret's. The Magnificence of the
House, Garden and Furniture is astonishing. Saw here an History of the
Russia in the Year 1762.
This Family are fond of Paintings. They have a Variety of exquisite Pieces,
particularly a Storm and a Calm.
Dined at home with Company -- Mr. Platt and his
Lady -- Mr. Amiel and his
Lady -- Mr. Austin -- Mr.
After Dinner, went to the long Champ, where all the Carriages in
Paris were paraded which it seems is a Custom on good Fryday.
APRIL 18. SAMEDI.
This Morning the Father of General Conway came to visit me,
and enquire after his Son as well as American
Affairs. He seems a venerable Personage.
Dined at Mr. Bouffets, who speaks a little
English.Mr. Bouffetts Brother,Mr.
Veillard,M. Le Fevre, L'Abbe des Prades, Mr.
Borry, &c. were there.
Called and drank Tea at Mm. Brillons. Then made a Visit
to M. Boullainvilliers, and his Lady,
who is a kind of Lord of the Manor of
Passi, and is just now come out to his Country Seat.
Dined at home, with Mr. Grand our Banker, his Lady,
Daughter and Sons, Mr. Austin, Mr. Chaumont,
and a great deal of other Company.
Mr. David Hartley, a Member of the
B. [British] House of Commons came to visit Dr. F., a Mr. Hammond with him.
Went with Mr. Chaumont in his Carriage to the Concert Spirituel. A vast Croud of
Company of both Sexes, a great Number of Instruments. A Gentleman sung and then
a young Lady.
My Son has been with me since Saturday. -- The Concert Spirituel is in the Royal Garden, where was an infinite
Number of Gentlemen and Ladies walking.
Dined with the Dutchess D'Anville, at her House with her
Daughter and Granddaughter, Dukes, Abbotts, &c. &c. &c.
Visited Mr. Lloyd and his Lady,
where We saw Mr. Digges.
APRIL 21. MARDI.
Dined, this Day, at Mr. Chaumonts, with the largest
Collection of great Company that I have yet seen. The Marquis D
Argenson, the Count De Noailles,
the Marshall de Maillebois, the Brother of the
Count de Vergennes, and a great many others, Mr.
Foucault and Mm., Mr. Chaumonts Son in Law and Daughter, who has
a Fortune of 4 or 5000, st. in
St. Domingo, Mr. Chaumonts own Son
and Miss Chaumont. Mr. the first officer under
It is with much Grief and Concern that I have learned from my first landing
France, the Disputes between the Americans, in this Kingdom. The
Animosities between Mr. D [Deane]
and Mr. L. [Lee] -- between Dr. F. [Franklin] and Mr. L. between
Mr. Iz [Izard] and Dr.
F. -- between Dr. B. [Bancroft] and
Mr. L. -- between Mr. C. and all. It is a Rope of Sand
I am at present wholly untainted with these Prejudices, and will endeavour to keep myself so. Parties and Divisions among
the Americans here, must have disagreable if not
Mr. D. seems to have made himself agreable here
to Persons of Importance and Influence, and is gone home in such Splendor, that
I fear, there will be Altercations, in
America about him. Dr. F., Mr. D. and Dr.
Bancroft, are Friends. The L's and Mr. Iz. are Friends. Sir
J [James] J [Jay] insinuated
that Mr. D. had been at least as attentive to his own Interest, in dabbling in
the English Funds, and in Trade, and fitting out Privateers, as to the Public,
and said he would give Mr. D. fifty thousand Pounds for his Fortune, and said
that Dr. B. too had made a Fortune. Mr.
McC [McCreery] insinuated to me, that the L's were
selfish, and that this was a Family Misfortune. What shall I say? What shall I
1778 Ap. 21. Mardi
It is said that Mr. L. has not the Confidence of the Ministry, nor of the
Persons of Influence here -- that he is suspected of too much Affection
for England, and of too much Intimacy with Ld.
Shel. [Shelburne] that he has given offence, by an unhappy disposition, and by indiferent Speeches before Servants and others,
concerning the French Nation and Government, despising and cursing them. -- I
am sorry for these Things, but it is no Part of my Business to quarrell with any Body without
Cause. It is no Part of my Duty to differ with one Party or another, or to give
offence to any Body. But
I must do my duty to the Public, let it give offence
to whom it will.
The public Business has never been methodically conducted. There never was
before I came, a minute Book, a Letter Book or an Account Book -- and it is not
possible to obtain a clear Idea of our Affairs.
Mr. D. lived expensively, and seems not to have had much order in his
Business, public or private: but he was active, dilligent, subtle, and successfull, having accomplished the great Purpose of
his Mission, to Advantage .... Mr. Gerard is his Friend, and I
find that Dr. B. has the Confidence of Persons about the Ministry, particularly
of the late Secretary to the Embassader to
Dined at home and spent the day with Mr. Lee.
Dined at home with Company.
Dined at Mr. Buffauts, with much Company.
Dined at Mr. Chaumonts with Company.
Dined at home.
SUNDAY [26 APRIL].
Dined at home.
Dined with Mr. Boulainvilliers, at his House in
Passi, with Generals and Bishops and Ladies &c. -- In the
Evening went to the French Comedy, and happened to be placed in the first Box,
very near to the celebrated Voltaire who attended the
Performance of his own Alzire. Between the Acts the Audience called out
Voltaire and clapped and applauded him, the whole Time. The old Poet arose and
[illegible] bowed respectfully to the Audience. He has yet much
Fire in his Eyes and Vigour in his Countenance,altho very old. After the Tragedy, they Acted the Tuteur,
a Comedy or a Farce of one Act. This Theatre does not exceed that
I will attempt to keep my journal in French, in order to familiarise myself to that Language.
AVRIL VINGT -- HUIT. MARDI.
Dejeunois, chez nous, avec Messrs.
Chaumont,Dubourg, Chaumont le jeune,
Franklin, Grandpere et Grandfils.
M. Dubourg disoit un Conte, touchant, C. Mazarine. Un
Officier demandoit, de lui, de le faire un Capitaine, d'une Guarde
deson sa Vie. Le Card. repondoit, qu'il n'avoit pas
Besoin d'autre Guarde que de son Ange tutelaire. -- Ah Monsr. dit l'officier --
on, le poussera, avec, un peu de Pau benit. -- Oh Monsr. repondoit, le Cardinal
Je ne crains point cette eau benite.
Je crois qu'on riroit, si on verroit, mon francois.
Je dinai Aujourdhui, chez moi, avec Mr. Lee. -- Apres
diner, Mr. L. et moi, allames, a la Comedie itallien, ou nous avons vu Monsieur
VINGT NEUF. MERCREDI.
J'ai bien dormi, le derniere Soir. J'avois din chez Le Marrechal De
Maillebois avec Baucoup du Monde. Apres diner, went to the Accademy of Sciences and heard Mr.
D'Alembert pronounce Eulogies upon divers Members deceased.
Dined with the Mareschall De Mouchy -- with
the Duke and Duchess D'Ayen,
their Daughter the Marquise De la Fayette,
the Viscountess De Maillbois, her sister, another sister
unmarried, the Prussian Ambassador, an Italien Embassador
1778 Ap. 30
and a great deal of other great Company. The Nobleman with whom We dined is
Phillip de Noailles, Marechal Duc De Mouchy,
Grand d'Espagne de la premiere
Classe,Chevalier des ordres du
Roi et de la Toison D'or, Grand Croix de l'ordre de Malte, nomme
Lieutenant General de Guienne en 1768 et Commandant en Chef dans le
Gouvernement de ladite Province en 1775.
His being Commander in Chief in the
Province of Guienne was the Cause of a great Compliment to me.
He asked me how I liked
Bourdeaux. I told him [I] found it a rich,
elegant, Town flourishing in Arts and Commerce. He asked whether I was content
with my Reception there. I said they had done me too much Honour. He replied he wished he had been there, to have
joined them in doing me Honour.
He lives in all the Splendor and Magnificence of a Viceroy, which is
little inferiour to that of a King.
Aujourdhui J'ai t diner, chez Monsieur Le Duke D'Ayen, le
Pere de Mm. Le Ms. [Madame la Marquise] De la Fayette. La
Maison, Le Jardin, Les Promenades, Les Tableau's, Les Garnitures, son tres
Les Tableaux de la Famille de Noailles sont anciens, et nombreux.
Mm. la Dutchess
cinque ou Six Enfans, contre la
1778 May 1.
Coutume de ce Pays ci.
We were shewn, into the Library, and all the Rooms
and first Suite of Chambers in the House. The Library is very large, and the
Rooms very elegant and the Furniture very rich.
Dined at Mr. Izzards, with Mr. Lloyd
and his Lady, Mr. Francois and much
other Company. After Dinner went to the Comedie Francoise, and saw the Brutus
of Voltaire and after it, the Cocher Suppos. -- As I was coming out of
the Box, a Gentleman seized me by the Hand. -- I looked. --Governer Wentworth, Sir, says he. -- Asked
Questions about his Father and Friends in
Mr. Izzard and Lady, Mr.
Lloyd and Lady, Dr.
Bancroft and much other Company dined, with Dr.
Franklin and me at
Passi. Mrs. Izzard at my particular Desire
brought her little Son and two little Daughters. We had all our young
Gentlemen, from the Accademy, which made a
pretty Shew of young Americans.
Dined at Mr. Chaumonts, with his Family, and some other
Am to dine at home -- a great Rarity and a great Blessing!
1778 May 5. Tuesday
At Dinner, alone, my Servant brought me a Letter, A Messieurs,
Messieurs,Franklin, Lee, et Adams, Deputs des Etats unies de l'Amerique
a Passy.De Vergennes. -- I
opened, and found it in these Words
Versailles le 4. May 1778
J'ai pris les ordres du Roy, Messieurs, au Sujet
de la presentation de M. Adams votre nouveau Collegue, et Sa Majest le
verra vendredi prochain, 8 de ce mois. J'espere que vous voudres bien me faire
l'honneur de dinr [illegible] ce jour la, chez
moi; je serai ravi d'avoir cette Occasion de passer quelques Heures avec Vous,
et de vous renouveller l'Assurance de la tres parfaite Consideration avec
Laquelle jai l'honneur d'etre, Messieurs, Votre tres humble et tres obeissant
Mrs. Francklin,Lee et
J'ai pass le tout de ce jour, chez moi. Monsieur Lee vint chez moi,
l'apres midi, et nous travaillions dans l'Examen du Papiers publiques. -- En la
Soiree Monsieur Chaumont, vint chez moi, et m'avertit
1778 May 5.
Destination d'une Frigatte de trente deux Canons de Marseilles a
Boston, et que je puis ecrire, si Je voulois.
A Spanish Writer of certain Vissions of Hell, relates that a certain Devil
who was civil and well bred, shewed him all the
Departments, in the Place -- among others the Department of deceased Kings. The
Spaniard was much pleased at so illustrious a Sight, and after viewing them for
some time, said he should be glad to see the Rest of them. The Rest? said
the Daemon. Here are all the Kings, that ever reigned
upon Earth from the Creation of it to this day, what the Devil would the Man
have? --F. [Franklin].
This was not so charitable as Dr. Watts, who in his view of
Heaven says "here and there I see a King." -- This seems to imply that K's are
as good as other Men, since it is but here and there that We see a King upon
After Dinner went to the Review, where the King reviewed his Guards, French
and Swiss, about 8000 of them. The Shew was splendid,
as all other Shews are, in this Country. The Carriages of the Royal Family,
were magnificent beyond my Talent at Description. Returned and drank Coffee
with Mr. Lee, walked home and drank Tea with Mr.
Chaumonts Family, and spent the Rest of the Evening in reading
MAY. 7. THURSDAY.
J'allai, hier, apres midi, a la Revue, ou Le Roy, a fait une Revue de ses
Guardes de Suiss et de francoise.
This Morning Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lee,
and Mr. Adams, went to
Versailles, in Order that Mr. Adams
might be presented to the King. -- Waited on the Count De
Vergennes, at his office, and at the Hour of Eleven the Count
conducted Us, into the Kings Bed Chamber where he was dressing -- one officer
putting on his Sword, another his Coat &c.
The Count went up to the King, and his Majesty turned about, towards me, and
smiled. Ce est il [illegible] Monsieur
Adams, said the King and then asked a Question, very quick, or
rather made an Observation to me which I did not fully understand. The
Purport of it was that I had not been long arrived. -- The Count Vergennes then
conducted me to the Door of another Room, and desired me to stand there which I
did untill the King passed. -- The Count told the
King, that I did not yet take upon me to speak French. The King asked, whether
I did not speak at all as yet and passed by me, into the other
This Monarch is in the 24th. Year of his Age, having been born the 23d of
Aug. 1754. He has the Appearances of a strong Constitution, capable of enduring
to a great Age. His Reign
has already been distinguished, by an Event that will reflect a Glory upon
it, in future Ages I mean, the Treaty with
We afterwards made a Visit to Count Maurepas,
to Mr. Sartine, to the Chancellor, to Mr. Bertin &c.
The Chancellor, has the Countenance of a Man worn with severe Studies. When
I was introduced to him he turned to Dr. F.
andsaid Mr. Adams est un Person celebre en
Amerique et en
We went afterwards to Dinner, with the Count de
Vergennes. There was a full Table -- no Ladies but the Countess.
The Counts Brother, the Ambassador who lately signed the Treaty with Swisserland, Mr. Garnier the late
Secretary to the Embassy in
England, and many others, Dukes and Bishops and Counts
Mr. Garnier and Mr. asked me, with some Appearance
of Concern, whether there was any foundation for the Reports which the Ministry
had spread in
England, of a Dispute between Congress and Gen. Washington. A Letter they say has been
printed, from an officer in
Phila. to that Purpose.
Mr. Garnier is the 1st. french Gentleman who has begun a
serious political Conversation with me of any length. He is a sensible Man.
This Morning Mr. Joy, Mr. Johonnot,
and Mr. Green, came to visit me -- Joy who lived at
Weymouth, Green Son of Mr. Rufus Green.
Dined with Madam Bertin.
MAY. 10. SUNDAY.
Brattle,Waldo, Joy,Johonnot, Green and Austin dined with Us,
at Passi. After dinner We walked in the
Bois du Boulogne, as far as the new Seat of the Count
D'Artois, where We saw Mr. Turgot, Mr. and Mm. La
Frte, and much other Company. Sunday in this Country is devoted to
Amusements and Diversions. There are more Games, Plays, and Sports of every
Kind on this day, than on any other, in the Week.
Dined at Mr. Sorins, at
Dined, at Mr. Dupre's, at the Montagne.
The Gardens and the Prospect are very fine. It lies adjoining to the Seat of
the President of the Parliament of
Paris. We met his Lady, who desired the Gentlemen to shew Us the Place, but not the Whole, for she wished to enjoy
our Company, there, at her own Invitation, and she chose to reserve a Part of
the Curiosities of the Place as an Inducement to Us to accept it.
From this Hill, We have a fine View of the Country, and of the
Kings Castle at Vincennes. My little
Son, and the other young Americans, at the Pension, dined with Us.
Dined at M. Chaumonts, with a great deal of Company. After
Dinner took a Walk to
Chaillot to see Mr. Lee, who had a large
Company of Americans to dine with him, among the rest Mr.
Maryland and Dr. Smith
Brother of Mr. Smith of
N. York the Historian.
Dined at Mr. Grands, with all the Americans, in
Dined at home. Dr. Dubourg, and Mr. Parker
and another Gentleman dined with me.
Dined at Mr. La Frt's Country Seat, at the
Foot of Mount Calvare. The House, Gardens, and Walks are very
spacious. It lies upon
the Seine -- nearly opposite to that whim Castle
whimsically called Madrid, built by Francis
I. -- The Company Yesterday, were all single Personnes,
except Mr. and Mm. La Frt and
Dined with Mr. Challut, one of the
Farmers General. We were shewn into the superbest
Gallery that I have yet seen. The Paintings, Statues and Curiosities were
innumerable. The old Marshall Richlieu dined there, and a vast
Number of other great Company.
After dinner, M. Challut
invited Dr. F. and me, to go to the Opera, and take a
Seat in his Logis. We did. The Musick and dancing were
The french Opera is an Entertainment, which is very pleasing, for a few
Times. There is every Thing, which can please the
Eye, or the Ear. But the Words are unintelligible, and if they were not, they
are said to be very insignificant. I always wish, in such an Amusement to learn
Something. The Imagination, the Passions and the Understanding, have too little
Employment, in the opera.
Dined at Dr. Dubourgs, with a small Company, very
handsomely; but not amidst those Signs of Wealth and Grandeur, which I see every where else.
I saw however more of Sentiment, and therefore more of true Taste than I
have seen in other Places, where there was ten times the Magnificence. -- Among
his Pictures were these.
Les Adieux D'Hector et D'Andromaque, in which the Passions were strongly
La Continence de Scipio.
Le Medicin Erasistrate, decouvre L'Amour D'Antiochus.
Devellopement de la Decoration interieure et
des Peintures des Plafonds de la Gallerie de Versailles.
We went and drank Tea, with Mm. Foucault, and took a View
of Mr. Foucaults House -- a very grand Hotell it is -- and the Furniture is vastly rich. The Beds,
the Curtains, the every Thing is as rich as Silk
and Gold can make it.
1778 May 20. Wednesday.
I am wearied to death with gazing wherever I go, at [illegible] a Profusion of unmeaning Wealth and Magnificence. The
Adieu of Hector and Andromache gave me more Pleasure than the Sight of all the
Gold of Ophir would. Gold, Marble, Silk, Velvet, Silver, Ivory, and Alabaster,
make up the Shew everywhere.
A certain Taylor once stole an Horse, and was
found out and committed to Prison, where he met another Person who had long
followed the Trade of Horse Stealing. The Taylor told
the other, his Story. The other enquired why he had not taken such a Road and
assumed such a Disguise, and why he had not disguised the Horse? -- I did not
think of it. -- Who are you? and what has been your Employment? -- A Taylor. -- You never stole a Horse before, I suppose in
your Life. -- Never. -- G-d d-n you what Business had you with Horse stealing?
Why did not you content your Self with your Cabbage? --F. [Franklin]
Dined at home.
Dined at home with a great deal of Company. Went after Dinner to see the
Misanthrope of Moliere, with Mr. Amiel. It was followed by the
Heureusement. -- Called at the Microcosme. Called at Mr.
Amiels at the Pension.
MAY 23. SATURDAY.
Dined at Home with Company.
Dined at Home.
MONDAY [25 MAY].
Dined at Home.
Dined at Mr. Bertins the Secretary of State at his Seat in
the Country. Dr. F., his G. Son and I rode
with Mm. Bertin, the Niece of the Minister, in her Voiture with
4 Horses. This was one of the pleasantest Rides yet. We rode near the back side
Mount Calvare, which is perhaps the finest Height near
Paris.Mount Martre is another very fine
Elevation. The Gardens, Walks and Water Works of Mr. Bertin are
very magnificent. He is a Batchelor. His House and
Gardens are situated upon the River Seine. He has at the End of
his Garden a Collection of Rocks, drawn together at a vast Expense, some
Thousands of Guineas. I told him I would sell him a Thousand times as many for
half a Guinea.
His Water Works are very curious. 4 Pumps, going by Means of two Horses. The
Mechanism is simple and ingenious. The Horses go round as in a Mill. The four
Pumps empty themselves into a square Pond which contains an Acre. From this
Pond the Water flows through Pipes down to every Part of the Garden.
I enquired of a certain Abbe, who sat next me at Dinner, who were the purest
Writers of french. He gave me in writing, L'Histoire universell du Bossuet. La
Fontaine. Moliere. Racine. Rousseau. Le petit
caerene [carme] de Massillon. Les sermons de
MAY 29. FRYDAY.
Dined again at Monsieur La Fretes at the
Foot of Calvare. Madam La Fretes four Sisters
dined with Us.
Monsr. Rulier [Rulhire]; who has
always dined with me at that House, dined there to
day-- the same Gentleman who wrote the History of the Revolution in
Russia. He has also written the Revolutions of
Poland. He says I asked him who was the best
Historian of France. He said Mezeray. He added, that the Observations upon the
France by the Abby
de Mably were excellent. He told me I might read his History of the
Russia, when I would.
The Inclination and the Apparatus in this Country for Amusements is worthy
of observation. There is scarcely a genteel House but is furnished with
Accommodations for every Sort of Play. Every fashionable House at least has a
Billiard Table, a Backgammon Table, a Chess Board, a Chequer Board, Cards &c.
Dined at home with only Dr. F.'s new french Clerk.
He has a smattering of Italian, German and English. He says that the best Italien Dictionary and Grammar are those of Veneroni. The
best German Grammar and Dictionary are those of Gottsched.
The best french Prosody is the Poetique francoise de Marmontel.
JUNE 2D. TUESDAY.
Versailles, and found it deserted, the Court being gone
We went to
Marli, waited on met the Compte De Vergennes, and did some Business, then went
to Mr. De Sartine, and dined with him. His Lady was at home,
and dined with the Company. The Prince de Montbarry dined
there. -- Went with Madam Sartine to the Count
D'Arandas, the Spanish Ambassadors Coffee, as they call it, where
he gives Ice Cream and Cakes to all the World.
Marli is the most curious and beautifull Place I have yet seen. The Water Works here,
which convey such a great Body of Water from the
Versailles, and through the Gardens at
Marli, are very magnificent. The Royal Palace here is handsome,
the Gardens before it are grand. There are six Pavillions on each Side of the
Garden, that is six Houses, for the Use of the Kings Ministers, while the Royal
Family is at
Marli, which is only for 3 Weeks. There is nothing prettier than
the Play of the Fountains in the Garden. I saw a Rainbeau in all its Glory in one of them.
The Shades, the Walks, the Trees, are the most charming, that I have
Versailles in Company with Mr. Lee, Mr.
Izzard and his Lady, Mr.
Lloyd and his Lady and Mr.
Francis. Saw the grand Procession of the Knights du St. Esprit or de
le Cordon blue.
At 9 O Clock at Night went to the grand Convert, and saw the King, Queen and
Royal Family at Supper. Had a fine Seat and Situation close by the Royal
Family, and had a distinct and full View of the royal Pair.
Dined with Mr. Alexander, and went to the Concert.
The Anniversary of the Declaration of American Independence. We had the Honour of the Company of all the American Gentlemen and
Ladies, in and about
Paris to dine, with Dr. Franklin and
Passi, together with a few of the French Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood, Mr.
Chaumont,Mr. Brillon, Mr. Vaillard,
Mr. Grand, Mr. Beaudoin, Mr.
Gerard, the Abbys Challut and
I have omitted to keep any journal for a long Time, in which I have seen a
great many curious Things.
Dined with the Abby's Chaillut and
Arnaud. The Farmer General, Mr. and Mrs.
Izzard, Mr. Lee, Mrs.
Gibbs and Mrs. Stevens, and Mr. and
Mrs. Lloyd were there. After dinner the Abby invited
Us to the French Comedy, where We saw the Malheureux imaginary and the Parti de
Chasse d'Henri quatre.
St. Lu, with the Farmer general
Challut.The Marshall Richelieu, and many
Abbes, Counts, Marquisses &c.
Chatou, with Mr. Bertine, Ministre
D'Etat. Went to see the Park, where We rambled, untill We were weary.
It is an Amusement among some People, here, who understand a little English,
to give Samples of English Sentences, hard to be pronounced. --
"What think the chosen judges? Thrust this Thistle through this Thumb. An
Apple in each Hand and a third in my Mouth."-- &c.
Went to Church, to the Chappell of the Duch Embassador in
Paris, where We had Prayer Books, Psalme Books in french and a Sermon. The Preacher spoke good
French, I being judge, and with much grace. I shall go again.
Chatou, with Mr. Bertin. After dinner went to
view the Machine of Marli, which forces up from the
River Seine, all the Water at
Versailles and Marli. We walked up the Mountain to
the Pavillion, and Dwelling House of Madam
de Barry. The Situation is one of the most extensive and beautiful,
about Paris. The Pavillion is the
most elegantly furnished of any Place I have seen. The House, Garden and Wallks
are very magnificent. Mm. Barry was walking in the Garden. She
sent Us word she should be glad to see Us -- but We answered it was too late,
We had so far to go. -- Mr. Le Roy, of the Accademie of Sciences was with Us. As We returned We had
an agreable Conversation, upon philosophical
Paris, with the Abbees
Chalut and Arnaut. Went to see the
Church of St. Roche, the Splendor and Magnificence of which, is
very striking to me.
There I saw the Monument of the famous Mesnager. The Pomp of these Churches,
I think exceeds the Magnificence of the Royal Palaces.
Mr. Challut says that the Rent of this Church is Eighty
thousand Livres a Year, barely the Rent of the Pews and Chairs, and perhaps the
Cellars. Out of this they maintain the officers of the Church, and the Servants
and Labourers that attend it, and the organist
&c. -- but what becomes of the Remainder he did not say.
This Evening had the English Gazette extraordinary, containing Extracts from
Letters from Ld. How and Gen. Clinton -- the first containing an account
of the Arrival of the Toulon Fleet, and anchoring without Sandy Hook -- the
other, a Relation of the Action of the 28. June in
the Jerseys. There are Letters in
London, as M. J. Wharton
says, as late as the 14. July.
Elements of Spanish Grammar by Del Pino, and Dictionary of
Captain Richard Grinnell of
Newport Rhode Island says, that the English have this Year
17 Vessells, in the
Brazil Whale Fishery off
the River Plate, in S.A. in the Lat. 35 South and from thence to
40. just on the Edge of Soundings off and on, about the Longitude of 651 from
London. That they sail in the Months of September and
Almost all the Officers and Men, belonging to these 17 Vessells are Americans from
Cape Cod, two or 3 from
Rhode Island and
The Names of the Captains are Aaron Sheffield of
Newport R.I., Goldsmith
Long Island, Richard Holmes
New York, John
Chadwick Nantucket, Francis Macy
Nantucket, Reuben Macy
Meader Nantucket,Jonathan Meader Dto.,
Clark Nantucket, William Ray
Nantucket, Paul Pease
Nantucket, Bunker Fitch
Nantucket, Zebeda Coffin
Nantucket, another Coffin Dto., John
Lock Cape Codd, Delano
Nantucket, Andrew Swain
Nantucket, William Ray
and Chadwick are returned home.
Some of these Vessells 4 or 5 go
The fleet sails to
Greenland, the last of February or the Beginning of March.
There is another Whale Fishery discovered lately, in the
Meditarranean on the
Coast of Barbary, where they catch many fish.
There was last Year and this Year, a Publication made by the Ministry, A
Letter from the Lords of the Admiralty to Mr. Dennis du Bert in
Coleman Street, informing Mr. De Bert that
there should be a Convoy appointed to convoy the Brazil fleet.
But this is a Sham -- a Deception. There was no Convoy last Year nor this. If a
Convoy was to be appointed she could be of no service, as the Vessells are continually changing their Courses in Chase
of Whales. That she would not go further than the Line as they would then judge
themselves clear of American Privateers.
One Privateer from 12 to 20 Guns [and] 100 Men would be
sufficient to take and destroy this whole Fleet.
The Beginning of December would be the best Time to proceed from Hence --
the same Time from
OCT. 8. THURSDAY.
Captain Richard Grinnell was taken and carried into
Guernsey by the Speedwell Cutter Captain Abraham Bushell of 12 Guns pierced for 14.
Town of Guernsey the Capital of the Island, is fortified with
one Fort upon an Island called
Castle Island, within a Quarter of a Mile of the Town, right
before it. There are between Eighty and an hundred Pieces of Cannon, in the
Fort, but both Guns and Fort in bad Condition and Repair. Not more than 50
Soldiers at a Time in the Fort.
There are only five hundred Soldiers, highlanders, on the whole Island. They
have wrote to
Scotland for another Regiment, which they say is coming.
The Militia keep watch round the Island. They are well armed, but are not
They have lately built new Batteries of four and six Guns in Places where
Boats can land, and block Houses all round the Island, where Boats can
The Island is not more than Ten Leagues from
Cape La Hague, the french Coast. About five Thousand Souls, on
the Island, very bitter against the French: but treat American Prisoners very
well -- more like Brothers than Prisoners.
There is a forty Gun Ship and two Frigates of 28 or 30 Guns in
the Harbour before the
Town of Guernsey, and several cruising round the Island as they
say. Two Kings Cutters of 12 and 14 Guns, are here also.
They say there are forty six Privateers, from 8 to Twenty
Guns belonging to this Island -- about twenty more belonging to
The Proper Place to station a Frigate to intercept the Prizes, would be
about 30 Leagues to the Westward of the Island, out of sight. Here a Frigate
that could sail fast enough might take retake many Prizes.
Captain Peter Collass of
Boston, taken on board of Barns, by the Speedwell of
Guernsey is about 20 miles in Circumference, 7 or 8 long and
about 3 or 4 wide. There are breast Works all round the Island, and wherever
there is a Cove or Bay where it is possible for Boats or Ships to come in there
is a Battery of [2?] or 4 Guns, and they say they are building
blockhouses all round the Island. They reckon they can muster between four and
five Thousand Militia. They have five hundred Highlanders, all green, just off
the Mountains. They have a Number of Invalids besides perhaps three or four
The Fort in the Harbour is on a Rock a Musquet shot from the Town, Eighty six Guns in the Fort,
42, 32, down to Twelves. Every Parish has a Field Piece or two. Of late they
have received a No. of Field Pieces of a new
Construction, 3 pounders, to be drawn by Men over Gutters, Ditches,
Alderney have between fifty and sixty Privateers, small and
There is a Forty Gun Ship, a Frigate of 28 or 3o Guns, and two Cutters, of
10 or 12.
A 36 Gun Frigate to cruise about 10 or 12 Leagues to the Westward of the
Island of Guernsey, might intercept their Prizes going in,
provided she was a fast Sailer. She should keep out of Sight of the Island.
Guernsey Men boasted that all the Islands had taken Prizes this
War to an amount between three and four Millions.
Samuel Harding of
Welfleet Cape Cod says
that Mr. Robert Bartholomew or Bartleme,
and Incleby of
London, are largely concerned in the Whale
Fishery.Richard Coffyn and Shubael Gardiner
Nantuckett are concerned with
them.Dennis Debert carries on the Business for Mr.
Bartholomew. Mr. Nath. Wheatly of Boston
is in Partnership with Mr. Bartholomew. -- One Ship of forty
Guns, or 20 Guns, would take all the Fishery.
There are about three Boats Crews on each Ship, which are twenty four
OCTR. 22. THURSDAY.
William Whitmarsh Jur., born in
Braintree, maried and living in
Marblehead, was taken Prisoner on board the Yankee
Privateer, Captain Johnson. by the After
having taken two Ships, the Prisonors rose upon them, and
carried [them] to
England. Carried to
Chatham and put on board the Ardent 64 Gun Ship, Captn. Middleton. Next put on board the Mars 74,
from thence on board the Vultur sloop for
Spithead put on Board the Balfleur 90. -- 11 Oct.
1776 put on board the Rippon of 60 Guns Commodore
Vernum [Vernon], bound to the East
Indies. Sailed 24 Novr. from
Spithead and arrived at
Madrass 8 June 1777. -- 11 Aug. I left the Ship, and went Upon
Malabar Coast -- from thence to a danish Island thence to
Bengal -- thence to a danish Factory. Discharged from the danish
Snow. In Novr. 17. I shipped on Board an East India man, homeward bound. Sailed
in December to Madrass. Arrived in Jany. 1778 --
sailed 6th. February -- arrived at
Spithead 6 of Aug. -- 7 impressed. All the Men on board the
Fleet were pressed, Midshipmen, Quarter Masters and all. -- 27. had a ticket of
Liberty for 14 days. -- 11 September left
Flushing. Arrived 27. -- 7 Oct. at Dunkirk. --
Never entered, and never would.
OCTR. 30. FRYDAY.
Last Saturday I dined with Mr. Grand in Company with Mr. Gebelin Author of the Monde
Mr. Lee read me a Paragraph of a Letter, from
"that Mr. D. Hartley would probably be here, in the Course
of this Month."
At Dinner I repeated this Paragraph to Dr. Franklin, and
said that I thought
"Mr. H's journey ought to be forbidden." The Dr. said
"he did not see how his coming could be forbid." I replied
"We could refuse to see him," and that I thought We ought to see nobody
England, unless they came with full Powers.... That little Emmissarys were sent by the King only to amuse a
certain Sett of People, while he was preparing for his
designs. That there had been enough of this .... The Dr. sayd
"We could decline having any private Conversation with him."...
NOVR: 26 JEUDI.
Went to see the
Palace of Bourbon, belonging to the Prince of
Conde. It is a City. The Apartements of the Prince, are very rich, and elegant.
The Gallery has many fine Paintings. But I have no Taste for ringing the
Changes of Mirrors, Gold, Silver, Marble, Glass, and Alabaster. -- For myself I
had rather live in this Room at
Passy than in that Palace, and in my Cottage at
Braintree than in this Hotel at
An unlucky Accident befell my Servant Stevens in falling
from the Coach, and being dragged by the foot upon the Pavement. He was in
great Danger but happily was not essentially hurt.
Dined with the Abbes
C [Chalut] and
A. [Arnoux]. Returned at Night and
found M. Turgot, Abbe Condilac,
Mad.Helvetius, and the Abbe &c.
Orthodoxy is my Doxy, and Heterodoxy is your Doxy. -- Definitions.F. [Franklin].
Captn. Bernard. Says There are
Two hundred and Thirty Sail of Merchand Ships lying
at the Mother Bank, near
Spithead, ready to sail to the
West Indies, loaded with all Kinds of Provisions and dry Goods,
and Warlike Stores. They are to be joined by about Thirty Sail that now lay in
the Downs. They are to sail the first Wind after the two Fleets join. The Wind
must be easterly. They all go to the
Barbadoes, where the Fleet for the
Windward Islands, seperates from that to the
Leward Islands. They are to be convoyed out of the Channell by Twelve Ships of the Line, Six of them to go
through the Voyage to the
W.I. Islands. -- As they commonly exagerate, it is probable, that not so many Men of War
will go. There may be 8 or 9 Men of War, go out of the Channell and perhaps two or three, go thro the Voyage. They cannot probably spare 6 Vessells of the Line without leaving the French Masters of
FEB. 2. TUESDAY.
Last Tuesday, I dined in Company with the Abbe Raynal, and
Mr. Gebelin, and asked them to dine with me, on the then next
Sunday. Accordingly the day before Yesterday, they both came.
M. Raynal is the most eloquent Man, I ever heard speak in
French. His Voice is sharp and clear but pleasant. He talks a great deal, and
is very entertaining. M. Gebelin is much less addicted to
talking. He is silent, soft, and still. His Mind always upon the Stretch.
Breakfasted with the Abbe Raynal, at his House at his
particular Invitation, with a large Company of Gentlemen and Ladies. The Abb is more than Sixty, seems worn with
Studies, but he has Spirit, Wit, Eloquence and Fire enough.
The Duke de Rochefoucault, Mr.
Turgot, Abbe Rochon and De la
Roche, dined here.
In Conversation with Dr. Franklin, in the Morning
I gave him my Opinion, of Mr. Deanes Address to the
America, with great Freedom and perhaps with too much Warmth. I
told him that it was one of the most wicked and abominable Productions that
ever sprung from an human Heart. That there was no safety in Integrity against
such a Man. That I should wait upon The Comte de
Vergennes, and the other Ministers, and see in what light they considerd this Conduct of Mr.
Deane. That if they, and their Representatives in
America, were determined to countenance and support by their
Influence such Men and Measures in
America, [illegible] it was no matter how soon the
Alliance was broke. That no Evil could be greater, nor any Government worse,
than the Toleration of such Conduct. No one was present, but the Doctor and his
In the Evening, I told Dr. Bancroft, to the same Effect,
that the Address appeared to me in a very attrocious Light, that however
difficult Mr. Lees
Temper might be, in my
Opinion he was an honest Man, and had the utmost fidelity towards the
States. That such a Contempt of
Congress committed in the City where they set, and the Publication of such
Accusations in the Face of the Universe, so false and groundless as the most
heinous of them appeared to me, these Accusations attempted to be coloured
by such frivolous Tittle Tattle, such Accusations
made too by a Man who had been in high Trust, against two others, who were
still so, appeared to me, Evidence of such a Complication of vile Passions,
of Vanity, Arrogance and Presumption, of Malice, Envy and Revenge,
and at the same Time of such Weakness, Indiscretion and Folly, as ought to
unite every honest and wise Man against him. That there appeared to me no
Alternative left but the Ruin of Mr. Deane
, or the
Ruin of his Country. That he appeared to me in the Light of a wild boar, that
ought to be hunted down for the Benefit of Mankind. That I would start fair
with him,Dr. Bancroft, and give him Notice that I had hitherto
been loath to give up Mr. Deane
. But that this
Measure of his appeared to Me to be so decisive against him that I had given
him up to Satan to be buffeted.
In all this it is easy to see there is too much Declamation, but the
substantial Meaning of it, is, as appears to me, exactly true, as such as I
will abide by, unless, future Evidence which I dont expect should convince me,
of any Error in it.
Terruit Hispanos, Ruiter, qui terruit Anglos
Ter ruit in Gallos, territus ipse ruit.
Cum fueris Romae, Romano vivito more
Si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.
Any Thing to divert Melancholly, and to sooth an aking Heart. The Uncandor, the Prejudices, the Rage, among
several Persons here, make me Sick as Death.
Virtue is not always amiable. Integrity is sometimes ruined by Prejudices
and by Passions. There are two Men in the World who are Men of Honour and Integrity I believe, but whose Prejudices and
violent Tempers would raise Quarrells in the
Elisian Fields if not in Heaven. On the other Hand there is another,
whose Love of Ease, and Dissipation, will prevent any thorough Reformation of
any Thing -- and his Cunning and Silence and Reserve, render it very
difficult to do any Thing with him. One of the
others, whom I have allowed to be honest, has such a bitter, such a Sour in
him, and so few of the nice feelings, that G. [God] knows
what will be the Consequence to himself and to others. Besides he has as much
Cunning, and as much Secrecy.
Called at Mr. Garniers -- he not at home. At Mr.
Grands. He and his Son began about the Address -- bien fach.
&c. I said, cooly, that I was astonished at the Publication of it without
sending it to congress. That I believed Mr.
Lee a Man of Integrity, and that all Suggestions of improper
England, were groundless. That my Br. [Brother]
L. [Lee] was not of the sweetest disposition
perhaps, but he was honest. That Virtue was not always amiable .... M. G.
replyed, fl est soupsonneux -- il n'a du Confiance en Personne. Il croit que
toute le Monde est -- I cant remember the precise Word .... I believe this is a
just Observation. He has Confidence in no body. He believes all Men selfish --
And, no Man honest or sincere. This, I fear, is his Creed, from what I have
heard him say. I have often in Conversation disputed with him, on this Point.
However I never was so nearly in his Situation before. There is no Man here
that I dare Trust, at present. They are all too much heated with Passions and
Prejudices and party disputes. Some are too violent, others too jealous --
others too cool, and too reserved at all Times, and at the same time, every day
betraying Symptoms of a Rancour quite as deep.
The Wisdom of Solomon, the Meekness
of Moses, and the Patience of job, all united in one Character, would not be
sufficient, to qualify a Man to act in the Situation in which I am at present
-- and I have scarcely a Spice of either of these Virtues.
On Dr. F. the Eyes of all
Europe are fixed, as the most important Character, in American
Europe. Neither L. nor myself, are looked upon of much
Consequence. The Attention of the Court seems most to F. and no Wonder. His
long and great Rep. [Reputation] to which L's and mine are in
their infancy, are enough to Account for this. His Age, and real Character
render it impossible for him to search every Thing to the Bottom, and L. with
his privy Council, are evermore, contriving. The Results of their Contrivances,
render many Measures more difficult.
[DRAFT OF A LETTER TO VERGENNES, 10 - 11 FEBRUARY
As your Excellency reads English perfectly well, my first Request is
that you would not communicate this Letter, even to a Translator.
I have hitherto avoided, in my single Capacity, giving your Excellency,
any Trouble at all either by Letter or by Conversation. But the present Crisis
Emergency demands that I should ask the Favour of your
Excellency to explain my Sentiments to you, either by Letter or in Person. If
your Excellency will permit a personal Interview, ignorant, and unpracticed as
I am, in the French Language, I am sure that by my Countenance, my Gestures and
my broken Syllables in French, I am sure I can make my self
understood by your Excellency. If you prefer a Correspondence in Writing, I
will lay open my Heart in Writing, under my Hand.
It is the Address to the People in
America under the Name of Mr. Silas
Deane, that has occasioned this Boldness, in me .... It is to me, the
most astonishing Measure, the most unexpected and
unforeseen Event, that has ever happened, from the Year 1761, from which
Year I have been as really engaged in this Controversy
with G. [Great] B. [Britain]
as I am now, to this Moment.
I hope your Excellency will not conclude from thence that I despair of
my the Commonwealth. Far otherwise. -- I perfectly know, that the
Body of the People in the
United States stand immoveable as
Mount Atlas, against
Great Britain. The only Consequences of these an Address like
this of Mr. Deanes willmay be a
Prolongation of the War, and the necessity of hanging perhaps bringing to the
last Punishment a few half a Dozen Tories the more. This last, I
assure your Excellency is with me and still more with my Country men a great
Evil. We wish to avoid it. But when I consider the honourable Testimonies of Confidence, which
Mr. Deane carried with him to
America when I consider the Friendship which I have heard there
France between Mr. Deane and the
Plenipotentiary, and the Consul of
France, I confess I am afraid
the Honourable Testimonies from Your Excellency,
and even, I dread to say it, from his Majesty I hope -- I sincerely hope, that
the Veneration which is due to the Plenipotentiary and the Consul of
France has not been so employed have emboldened
Mr. Deane to this Measure. -- A Measure that must
end in his Confusion and Ruin Shame. I know it will not end in
G.B. which is the greatest American Evil. But it may End in a
Division of the States for upon my Honour I think that
this Address, itself is an open Contempt, and, as far as in Mr. Deane lies, a total subversion of our Constitution. Your
Excellency may depend upon this, that no Man knows of this Letter, but
myself-and that no other Man shall know it from me.
The Reason, of my presuming, to address myself to your Excellency,
separately, is because, Mr. Franklin has unhappily,
attached himself to Mr. Deane, and set himself
against Mr. Lee, and therefore I have commun [communicated ]
icated this Letter to neither, and I am determined to communicate
it to neither.
Dr. Franklin and Mr.
Deane were upon better Terms with each other, than Dr.
Franklin and Mr. Lee. I am extreamly sorry for this. But I am fully
perswaded, that the Dr. is in this Instance
mistaken and deceived. Trouble to Individuals, but no final Detriment to the
common Cause. But on the contrary that it will occasion so thorough an
Investigation of several Things, as will rectify many Abuses.
It is my indispensable Duty, upon this Occasion to inform your
Excellency, that Mr. Lee was, as long ago as 1770, appointed
by the General House of Representatives of the
Massachusetts Bay, of which I had then the Honour to be a Member, their Agent at the
Court of London in Case of the Death or Absence of
Dr. Franklin. That from that This Honourable Testimony was given to Mr.
Lee, by an Assembly in which he had no Relation or Connection, on
Account of his avowed and inflexible Attachment to the American Cause,
and the Abilities of which he had given many Proofs in its Defence. From that Time he held a constant Correspondence
with several of those Gentlemen who stood foremost in the
Massachusetts Bay, against the Innovations and illegal
Encroachments of Great Britain. This correspondence I had an
Opportunity of seeing, and I assure your Excellency from my own Knowledge, that
it breathed invariably the most
inflexible Attachment, and the
most ardent Zeal in the Cause of his Country. From the Month of
1774 to November 1777, while I had the
to be a Member of Congress, I had constantly an
Opportunity to see his Letters to Congress, to their Committees and to several
of their Individual Members. That through the whole of both these Periods, he
communicated the most constant and the most certain
Intelligence, which was received from any Individual, within my Knowledge. And
since I have had the Honour
to be joined with him in
the Commission, here, I have found in him the same Fidelity and Zeal.
I have not a Reason in the World, to believe or to suspect, that he has ever
written maintained an improper Correspondence in
England, or held any Conference or Negociation with
any Body from
England without communicating it to your Excellency and to his
I am confident therefore, that every Assertion and Insinuation
and Suspicion against him, of Infidelity to the United States or to
their Engagements with his Majesty are
that they may easily be made to appear to be so, and
that they certainly will be proved to be so, to the Utter Shame and Confusion
of all those who have rashly published them to the World, and particularly
of Mr. Deane, who has been so forsaken by his Discretion as to have published
to the World many such Insinuations
The two Honourable Brothers of Mr. Lee, who are Members of Congress, I
have long and intimately known. And of my own Knowledge I can say that no Men
have discovered more Zeal, in Support of the Sovereignty of the United States,
and in promoting from the Beginning a Friendship and Alliance with France, and
there is nothing of which I am more firmly perswaded, than that every Insinuation that is thrown
out of Mr. R. H. Lees holding improper Intercourse with a Dr. Berkenhout, is a
cruel and an infamous Calumny.
1779 Feb. 11
When I arrived in
France, the French Nation had a great many Questions to
The first was -- Whether I was the famous Adams
Le fameux Adams
? Ah, le fameux Adams
? -- In order to speculate a little upon this Subject,
the Pamphlet entituled
Common sense, had been
printed in the Affaires de L'Angleterre et De L'Amerique, and expressly
ascribed tothe M. Adams
Member of Congress, le celebre Membre du Congress. It must be further known,
the Pamphlet Common sense, was received
France and in all
Europe with Rapture: yet there were certain Parts of it, that
they did not choose to publish in
France. The Reasons of this, any Man may guess. Common sense
undertakes to prove, that Monarchy is unlawful by the old Testament. They
therefore gave the Substance of it, as they said, and paying many Compliments
to Mr. Adams
, his sense and rich Imagination, they
were obliged to ascribe some Parts to Republican Zeal.
Bourdeaux, All that I could say or do, would not convince any Body
, but that I was the fameux Adams
. -- Cette un homme celebre. Votre nom est bien connu
ici. -- My Answer was -- it is another Gentleman, whose Name of Adams
you have heard. It is Mr. Samuel
, who was excepted from Pardon by Gen. Gage's
Proclamation. -- Oh No Monsieur,
cette votre Modestie.
But when I arrived at
Paris, I found a very different Style. I found great Pains
taken, much more than the Question was worth to settle the Point that I was not
the famous Adams. There was a dread of a sensation --
Sensations at Paris are important Things. I soon found too, that
it was effectually settled in the English News Papers that I was not the
went so far in
England, as to say I was not
I make no scruple to say, that I
believe, that both Parties for Parties there were, looks
declaring that I was not the famous Adams. I certainly joined
both sides in this, in declaring that I was not the famous
Adams, because this was the Truth.
It being settled that he was not the famous Adams, the
Consequence was plain -- he was some Man that nobody had ever heard of before
-- and therefore a Man of no Consequence -- a Cypher.
And I am inclined to think that all Parties both in
England -- Whiggs and Tories
in England -- the Friends of Franklin,Deane and
Lee, differing in [illegible]
many other Things agreed in this -- that I was not the fameux
Seeing all this, and saying nothing, for what could a Man say? seeing also,
that there were two Parties formed, among the [illegible]
as fixed in their
Aversion to each other, as both were to G.B. if I had affected the Character of
a Fool in order to find out the Truth and to do good by and by, I should have
the Example of a Brutus for my justification. But I did not
affect this Character. I behaved with as much Prudence, and Civility, and
Industry as I could. But still it was a settled Point at Paris and in the
English News Papers that I was not the famous Adams, and
therefore the Consequence was settled absolutely and unalterably that I was a
Man of whom Nobody had ever heard before, a perfect Cypher
, a Man who did not understand a Word of French --
awkward in his Figure -- awkward in his Dress -- No Abilities -- a perfect
Bigot -- and fanatic.
It is my indispensable Duty, to tell the Comte de
Vergennes that I think one great Cause of this horrid Address
of Mr. Deane is Mr.
Franklins Certificate in his favour that he
was is an able and faithfull Negotiator,
and that Mr. Franklin was deceived in this -- Mr.
F. that Mr. F.'s Knowledge actually in
America, for a great Many Years has not been long -- that he was
Upright in this but deceived. That there are such certain and Infallible Proofs
of Vanity, Presumption, Ambition, Avarice, and Folly in Mr.
Deane as render him very unworthy of Confidence and therefore
that Dr. F. has been deceived.
My Mind has been in such a State, since the Appearance of Mr. Deanes Address to the People, as it never was before. I
confess it appeared to me like a Dissolution of the Constitution. It should be
remembered that it first appeared from
London in the English Papers then in the Courier De L'Europe --
and We had not received the Proceedings of Congress upon it. A few days
after,Dr. Franklin received from
Philadelphia Papers, in which were the Pieces signed Senex and
Common Sense, and the Account of the Election of the New President Mr. Jay. When it was known that Congress had not censured
Mr. Deane, for appealing to the People, [illegible] it was looked upon as the most dangerous Proof that had
ever appeared, of the Weakness of Government, and it was thought that the
Confederation was wholly lost by some. I confess it appeared terrible to me
indeed. It appeared to me that it would wholly loose us the Confidence of the
French Court. I did not see how they could ever trust any of Us again -- that
it would have the worst Effects upon Spain,
Holland and in
England, besides endangering a civil War in
America. In the Agony of my Heart, I expressed myself to one
Gentleman Dr. Bancroft, with perhaps too much warmth.
But this Day, Dr. Winship arrived here, from
Brest, and soon afterwards, the Aid du
Camp of Le Marquis de Fayette, with
Dispatches, from Congress, by which it appears that Dr.
Franklin is sole Plenipotentiary, and of Consequence that I am
The greatest Relief to my Mind, that I have ever found since the Appearance
of the Address. Now Business may be done by Dr.
Franklin alone. Before it seemed as if nothing could be done.
There is no such Thing as human Wisdom. All is the Providence of God.
Perhaps few Men have guessed more exactly than I have been allowed to do, upon
several Occasions, but at this Time which is the first I declare of my whole
Life I am wholly at a Loss to foresee Consequences.
Versailles, in order to take Leave of the Ministry. Had a long
Conversation, with the Comte De Vergennes, in french,
which I found I could talk as fast as I pleased.
I asked him what Effect the Peace of
Germany would have upon our War. He said he believed none,
because neither the Emperor nor King of Prussia were
I asked him, whether he thought that
England would be able to procure any Ally among the northern
Powers. That Congress would be anxious to know this.
He said I might depend upon it and assure Congress that in his
Opinion England would not be able to procure any. That on the
Contrary the northern Powers were arming, not indeed to war against
England, but to protect their Commerce.
Quant a L'Espagne, Monsieur? -- Ah! Je ne puis pas dire.
Called on Mr. De Sartine who was not at home. Called
on Mr. Genet. Mr. Genets
son went with me and my son to see the Menagerie.
Walked with Mr. Jennings to
Calvare, with my son.
APRIL 14. WEDNESDAY.
Hotel de la Comedie, Rue Bignonestar.... Walked, this Morning
with my Son over all the Bridges. There are
several Islands in the River and they have built Bridges from one to another,
and Houses upon the Islands. There are fine Meadows on each Side, and the mixed
Appearance of Houses, Meadows, Water and Bridges is very uncommon and amuzing. The first Island is built on with very fine
Houses, all stone. The Stone of this Place is very durable, which that of
Paris is not.
I dined on Monday with Mr. Schweighauser, Tuesday
with Mr. Johnson. Last Evening at the Comedie, where We had the Barbier de Seville, L'Epreuve
nouvelle. The Stage here is not like that of
Paris. A poor Building. The Company, on the Stage, great Part of
it, and not very clean nor sweet. The Actors indifferent.
Last Evening I supped for the first Time, with the Company in the House. Had
a good deal of Conversation, with a Gentleman, on the Subject of the Alliance
and the War. He said it is not for Us Merchants to judge of the Interests of
the State, the Court must conduct all political Affairs, but it would have been
better for Us, the Trade, if this Alliance had not been, provided that would
have avoided a War. We have had so many Vessells taken, that many Houses and Individuals are
I told him that much of this Trade, had grown out of the Connection
with America -- that the Commerce of
France was on a more respectable foot than it would have been,
if Harmony had continued
G.B. and America, even after all their Losses.
That the Loss to trade was not so great, because if half their Cargoes arrived,
they sold them for near as much as the whole would have produced if it had all
arrived -- besides that a great deal was insured in
England. That there would have been a War between
France if Harmony had continued between
America, for the two Nations were seldom at Peace more than to
or 12 Years together. That if a War had happened in that Case, the maritime
Power as well as Commerce of
France would have been in danger of entire destruction. That it
was essential to the Interest of France that there should be a
separation between E. and A. -- He asked what Subject there was or would have
been for War, between E. and F. -- I told him a subject could never be wanting.
The Passions of the two Nations were so strong vs.
each other that they were easily enkindled, and the
English would have been so hauty that
France could not have born it. -- He seemed pleased with the
Conversation and convinced by the Argument: But I find there is more coolness
both in the Marine and the Trade, than there was a Year ago. Americans were
more caressed and courted then than now. Yet they all think they must go on,
and they think justly.
I have neglected my journal.
Drank Tea and spent the Evening at Mr. Jobnsons, with him
and the two Messrs. Williams.
Had some Conversation with Mr. Johnson on the subject of a
free Port. The Q. [Question]
Johnson is in favour
Nantes. The Advantages of the River, and of the foreign
Merchants settled there, are his chief Argument. You have the Productions and
Paris, and the whole Country, at
Nantes by Water, by means of the
APRIL 15. THURSDAY.
Dined at home.
Dined with Mr. Williams. Mr. Johnson
there. Walked after dinner along the River, and about the Town.
Yesterday and to day in the forenoon,
assisted my Son in translating Cicero's first
Phillippick against Cataline.
Nantes is pleasantly situated on the River, and there are
several agreable Prospects. The Views from the
front Windows in the Row of Houses along the River is very
beautiful.Mr. Schweighausser crauled up three Pair of Stairs to visit me this
Dined at Mr. Schweighaussers.
About six O Clock in the Evening, Captain Landais
returned came into my Chamber. The Alliance is safe arrived at
St. Lazar, with her Prisoners.
APRIL 22ND. THURSDAY.
Yesterday Morning, embarked at
Nantes, with Mr. Hill, the first Lieutenant,
and Mr. Parks, who is Captain of Marines, and my Son. We stopped and dined at Portlaunay,
after Dinner crossed over to
Pelerine [Le Pellerin], where We went to the
House of a Mr. Charmichael, a Scotch Man who lives by salting
Beef and making Bacon for the Navigation of this River. This Man I suppose was
a Jacobite who fled in 1745. We reached no farther than
Paimboeuf where we went ashore and slept at a Tavern.
This Day We arrived safe, on board the Alliance and sent off to the Cartel
Ship all the British Prisoners. Thus by my Excursion to
Brest, I have accomplished successfully, the Expedition of the
Brest and the Exchange of the Prisoners, and have happily joined
the ship and got my Son and Baggage, on board.
The Frigate lyes at
St. Lazare, where are several french Vessells of War, but none so large as the Alliance.
My Idea of the Beauty, and Wealth and Convenience of
Paimboeuf, and indeed of the Country, on both Sides of the River
is much hightened, since my Return from
Brest, having taken a more leisurely View of it.
I thought it my Duty to come down, altho
Weather was disagreable
and the Wind contrary
and very strong, because I found the British Prisoners had not been discharged
from the Frigate, and could not be untill
went down, and because I feared that other Business would be neglected and my
not being ready alledged
as an Excuse for it. But I
was obliged to leave Jos. Stevens, sick of the Measles at the
Tavern. This was a painful Circumstance to me, altho
I took all
the Precautions in my
Power, by speaking to Mr. Schweighausser,Mr.
Daubray, Captain Landais, Dr.
Winship, to look to him, and engaged a carefull
Woman to Nurse him. I hope he will be well in a
few days. He must have taken the Infection, at
Brest, where he imprudently exposed himself I fear, on Shore.
The Distemper it seems is prevalent in this Kingdom, at present.
The Queen of France is said to be ill of it.
I have now had an Opportunity of seeing
L'orient, and Breast, and
the Intermediate Countries. I could wish to have seen
Rochfort, and Rochelle. At
Brest I visited the Commandant, whose Name I have forgot,
The Comte D'orvilliere [d'Orvilliers]
who is the Marine General, and Monsieur De la Porte who
is the Intendant of the Marine. At
L'orient I did not visit the Intendant, nor Commandant -- nor
The Zeal, The Ardor, the Enthusiasm, the Rage, for the new American
Connection I find is much damped, among the Merchants since the Loss of so many
of their East and West India Ships. The Adventurers to
America, have lost so many Ships, and have received so small
Returns for those which went Safe, that they are discouraged, and I cannot
learn that any Expeditions are formed or forming for our Country. -- But all
their Chagrine cannot prevent the Court from continuing the War. The Existence
of french Commerce and Marine both, are at Stake, and are wholly undone without
The Pleasure of returning home is very great, but I confess it is a
Mortification to leave
France. I have just acquired enough of the Language to
understand a Conversation, as it runs at a Table at Dinner, or Supper, to
conduct all my Affairs myself, in making journeys through the Country, with the
Port Masters, Postillions, Tavern keepers, &c. &c. I can go to a Shop,
and examine the Goods,
and understand all the Prattle of the Shop
keeper -- or I can sit down with a Gentleman, who will have a little Patience
to speak a little more distinctly than common, and to wait a little longer for
my Sentences than common, and maintain a Conversation pretty well.
In Travelling the best Way is to dine and sup at the Taverns, with the
Company, avec les autres as they express it. You meet here, a vast Variety of
Company, which is decent, and after a few Coups du Vin, their Tongues run very
fast and you learn more of the Language, the Manners, the Customs, Laws,Politicks, Arts, &c. in this Way, perhaps than in any
other. You should preserve your Dignity, talk little, listen much, not be very
familiar with any in particular, for their are Sharpers, Gamblers, Quack
Doctors, Strolling Comediens, in short People of all Characters, assembled at
these Dinners and Suppers, and without Caution, you may be taken into [illegible] Parties of Pleasure and Diversion that will cost you very
Were I to come to
France again, I would wait on the Intendant, Commandant, Mayor
&c. of every Place. I would dine, and sup at the Taverns, with the Company.
I would go to the Palais, and here the Causes, and to the Comedie
and hear the Plays and that as constantly as
possible. I would go to Church, whenever I could hear a Sermon. These are the
Ways to learn the Language, and if to these are Added, a dilligent
study of their Grammars, and a constant Use of
their best Dictionaries, and Reading of their best Authors, a Man in one Year
may become a greater Master in it. After all, if a Mans Character would admit
of it, there is much of the language to be learn'd at the Shops. The female
Shop keepers are the most chatty in
the World. They are very
complaisant -- talk a great deal -- speak pretty good french, and are very
I took a Walk this Morning to the back Part of the little
Town of Paimbceuf, and found behind it, a pleasant country
Prospect, with one beautifull Country Seat of a
Gentleman in sight.
A violent Wind, and Rain.
Fair Weather again. My Time has been employed since I have been on board, in
writing Answers to my Letters from
Passy &c. and in assisting my
Son to translate into English which he does in writing Ciceros
first Phillippic against Cataline -- which we have gone more than half thro.
He is also translating into English the french Preface of the Abbey D'olivet,
to his Translation of the Phillippics of Demosthenes and the Catalinaires of
Cicero. -- Are these classical Amusements becoming my Situation? Are not
Courts, Camps, Politicks and War, more proper for
me? -- No, certainly classical Amusements are the best I can obtain on board
Ship, and here I can not do any Thing, or
contrive any Thing for the public.
A Boat came on board to day with a Custom house
Officer to examine and give an Acquit a Caution for a Chest of Tea, which is on
board belonging to somebody, I know not whom.
I have been here so long that I find the Cabin to be rather a triste sejour.
It is dull to be here alone.
Tullys offices and orations are an agreable
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page 105 was inadvertently numbered as 103, and all following pages are
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numbers in the electronic transcription.]
but toujours Tully, is as bad
as toujours Perdreaux and infinitely worse than toujours "Sa femme," alluding
to the Anecdote of H. [Henri]
I was told by the Abbey Reynalle.
Spent the Morning in translating with my
Son the Carmen Seculare, and the Notes.
There is a Feebleness and a Languor in my Nature. My Mind and Body both
partake of this Weakness. By my Physical Constitution, I am but an ordinary
Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame -- and even these have not been
able to give me, much. When I look in the Glass, my Eye, my Forehead, my Brow,
my Cheeks, my Lips, all betray this Relaxation. Yet some great Events, some
cutting Expressions, some mean Scandals Hypocrisies, have at Times,
thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like
a Lion. Yet it is not like the Lion -- there is Extravagance and Distraction in
it, that still betrays the same Weakness.
Pages 106 - 264
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entries from John Adams's earlier diaries. This electronic document presents
transcriptions of the entries John Adams wrote in Diary 47; it does not include
the nineteenth century transcriptions.]
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Pages 277 - 287
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Inside Back Cover
[Accounts with Franklin,
May - September 1778]
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