April 19, 1778
he obtained the Reputation and Emoluments of being the Banker to the American Ministers. Sir George Grand his Brother, might contribute something towards this favour, because he had kept an Inn at Stockholm when the Count de Vergennes was Ambassador of France in Sweeden, and accomplished the Revolution in that Kingdom to an absolute Monarchy. This was a mere measure of Economy in the French Court, because, before, it had cost them in Bribes to the States more money than they could well afford. The Meeting of De Vergennes with the heads of the Conspiracy had been held at Mr. Grands Inn, and he was rewarded with a Cross of Saint Louis, which gave him the Title of Sir, as I suppose, having never heard that he had any English Knighthood although he had lived in England where he married his Daughter to the Major or Colonel who was afterwards General Provost. This Lady as I presume is the same who afterwards married Colonel Burr of New York and was the Mother of Mrs. Alston of South Carolina. Sir George was connected in Partnership with the House of Horneca Fizeaux & Co. in Amsterdam, a mercantile and Banking Company, and who had or were supposed to have the favour and Confidence of the French Ministers of State.
This Day Mr. David Hartley, a Member of the British House of Commons, with Mr. George [i.e. William]
Hammond the Father of Mr. George Hammond who was afterwards Hartleys Secretary at the Negotiation of the definitive Treaty of Peace, and after that Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States,
came to Visit Us, under pretence of visiting Dr. Franklin. This mysterious Visit, I did not at all admire. I soon saw that Hartley was as great a Coxcomb a Person of as consummate Vanity
as Hammond was a plain honest Man: but I considered both as Spies, and endeavoured to be as reserved and as much on my guard as my nature would admit. Although I endeavoured to behave to both with entire civility, I suppose as
I did not flatter Mr. Hartley with professions of confidence, which I did not feel, and of so much Admiration of his Great Genius and Talents as he felt himself, he conceived a disgust at me, and told Sir John Temple and others after his return to London "Your Mr. Adams that you represent as a Man of such good Sense, I believe he may have that, but If he has
that, he is the most ungracious Man I ever saw." I had not expressed so much astonishment at his Invention of Fire Plates, and Archimides's Mirrors, as he thought they deserved. I knew him to be intimate with Lord North by his own confession as well as by the Information of
Dr. Franklin and others: and although he was numbered among the Opposition in Parliament and professed to be an Advocate for the American cause, yet I knew very well that Opposition to the Ministry was the only solid Ground, on which all the Friendship for America, that was professed in England, rested. I did not therefore think it safe, to commit myself to a Man, who came to Us without any pretence of Authority from his Sovereign or his Ministers. I say without any pretence of Authority because he made none. But I then supposed and still believe, that he came with the secret privity if not at the express request of Lord North to sound the American Ministers, and see if there were no hopes of seducing Us from our connection with France, and making a seperate
Accommodation with Us, the very idea of which as the Treaty was already made
appeared to me to be an Insult to our honor and good faith. What were the Subjects or the Objects of his freequent
private Conferences with Franklin I know not. If either or both of them ever made any minutes of them I hope they will one day appear in publick
. I neither then nor ever since suspected any unfair practice in Franklin except some secret Whispers against Lee and possibly against myself, for he had by this time found that I was not to be his Tool
with his Views. He had indeed seen enough of me in Congress, to know that [I]
was not a Man to swear, in the Words of another at all times.
This Evening Mr. Chaumont took me in his Carriage to The Concert Spirituel, in the Royal Garden Pallace of the Tuilleries. A vast Number of Instruments were performing to an immense Crowd of Company. There were Men Singers and Women Singers. One Gentleman sung alone and then a young Lady. The Musick however did not entirely satisfy me. I had read that the French Ear was not the most delicate, and I thought the Observation verified. There was too much sound for me. The Gardens of the Tuilleries were full of Company of both Sexes walking.
April 20. Monday 1778.
My Son had been with me since Saturday. This was delicious repast for me: but I was somewhat mortified to find that this Child among the Pupills at School the Pension and my American Servant among the Domesticks of the Hotel, learned more french in a day than I could learn in a Week with all my Books.
Dined with the Dutchess
D'Anville, at the Hotel de Rochefaucault, with the Duke de la Rochefoucault her Son, her Daughter and
Grand Daughter whom the Duke afterwards married, with a dispensation from the Pope, with a large Company of Dukes, Abbes and Men of Science and Learning among whom was Mr. Condorcet
, a Philosopher with a face as pale or rather as white as a Sheet of paper, I suppose from hard Study. The Dutchess
D'Anville and her Son, the great Friends [of]
Monsieur Turgot, were was
said to have great Influence with the Royal Accademy
of Sciences, to make members at pleasure, and the Secretary perpetuel Mr. D'Alembert, was said to have been of their Creation as was Mr. Condorcet afterwards. His Gratitude, a few Years after this, will be recorded in History. This Family was beloved in France, and had a reputation for Patriotism, that is of such Kind of Patriotism as was allowed to exist and be esteemed in France
that Kingdom, where no Man as Montesqueu says must esteem himself or his Country too much. Un homme capable de s'estimer beaucoup, was a dangerous Subject, in a Monarchy.
Recollecting as I did the Expedition of the Duke D'Anville against America, and the great Commotion in the Massachusetts, and the Marches of the Militia to [illegible] defend Boston, when his Squadron and Army were expected to attack that Town, it appeared a very singular Thing that I should be very happy in his House at Paris at a splendid Dinner with his family. But greater Vicissitudes than this have become more familiar to me, since that time. The Lady appeared to me to possess a great Understanding and great Information.
In the Evening We visited Mr. Lloyd of Maryland, and his handsome English Lady. Here We saw Mr. Diggs.
April 21. Tuesday. 1778.
Dined at Mr. Chaumonts, with the largest collection of great Company, that I had yet seen. The Marquis D'Argenson, The Count de Noailles, the Marshall de Mailbois, the Brother of Count de Vergennes, Mr. and Mrs. Foucault, the Son in Law and Daughter of Mr. Chaumont, who were said to have a fortune of four or five thousand Pounds Sterling a Year in St. Domingo, Mr. [Vilevault?] the first Officer, that is, a premier Comis under Mr. De Sartine, Mr. Chaumonts own Son and his [illegible] other daughter with so many others that I found it impracticable to get their names and qualities.
But these incessant Dinners, and dissipations were not the Objects of my Mission to France. My Countrymen were suffering in America, and their Affairs
were in great confusion in Europe. With much Grief and concern, I received daily and almost hourly information, of the disputes between the Americans in France. The bitter Animosities between Mr. Deane and Mr. Lee: between Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee: between Dr. Franklin and Mr. Izzard: between Dr. Bancroft and Mr. Lee and Mr. Izzard: and between Mr. Charmichael and all [of]
them. Sir James Jay was there too, a Brother of Mr. John Jay, and an able Physician as well as a Man of Letters and information. He had lately come over from England, and although he seemed to have no Animosity against any of the Gentlemen, he confirmed many of the Reports that I had heard from several Persons before, such as that Mr. Deane had been at least as attentive to his own Interest, in dabbling in the English funds, and in trade, and in fitting out Privateers as to the Public, and said that he would give Mr. Deane fifty thousand Pounds Sterling for the fortune he had made here. That Dr. Bancroft too had made a fortune here, by speculating in the English Stocks and by gambling Policies in London. Mr. McCrery too, had adopted the Cry of Mr. Lees Ennemies
, and said that the Lees were selfish, and that this was a Family misfortune. Dr. Franklin, Mr. Deane and Dr. Bancroft were universally considered as indissoluble Friends. The Lees and Mr. Izzard were equally attached in friendship to each other. The Friends and followers of each party were equally
both among the french and Americans were equally bitter against each other. Mr. Deane appeared to me, to have made himself agreable
here, to to Mr. De Chaumont, Mr. Beaumarchais, Mr. Monthieu, and Mr. Holker,
Persons of importance and influence at that time, and with that Ministry, particularly the Count de Vergennes and Mr. De Chaumont
Sartirie. Mr. Deane was gone home in great Splendor, with Compliments, Certificates and Recommendations in his favour
from the King and Minister, and many other Persons French and American, among whom was Dr. Franklin who shewed
me his Letter of recommendation in very strong terms. Mr. Deane had been active, industrious, subtle and in some degree successfull
, having accomplished some of the great purposes of his Mission. Mr. Gerard and Mr. Holker were also his Friends: and although he had little order in his Business public or private, had lived very expensively and spent great Sums of Money that no body could Account for, and allthough unauthorised Contracts had well nigh ruined our Army, embarrassed Congress more than any thing that had ever happened and put his Country to a great and useless expence
, I was still apprehensive there would be great Altercations excited by him in America, both in and out of Congress.