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Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive

John Adams diary 43, 22 June 1784 - [9 or 16] May 1785

Last night at Court one of the Ladies of Honour, told me, that the Supper was given, in a great Measure, for Mrs. Bingham. Cette Super a t donne, en grande Partie, pour elle. There was great Enquiry after her, and much Admiration expressed by all who had seen her, of her Beauty. As the Princess of Orange was enquiring of me concerning her, and her journey to Spa, Paris, Italy, the Spanish Minister said "She would form herself at Paris." I replied very quick but smiling "J'espere qu'elle ne se formera a Paris qu'elle est deja forme." This produced as hearty a laugh as is permitted at Court both from the Princess and the Comte. The Princess asked me immediately, if I had not been pleased at Paris? I answered that I had: that there was something there for every Taste but that such great Cities as Paris and London were not good Schools for American young Ladies at present. The Princess replied that Mrs. B. might learn there the French Language.
I made Acquaintance with Mr. Kempar of Friesland, once a Professor, at Franaker, who says there are but two Millions of People in

the 7 Provinces. He quoted to me two Authors who have written upon the Subject, one 20 Years ago, and the other 10, and that they have decided this Subject. Stated the Numbers in each Province, City, Village. Accurate Accounts are kept of Births and Deaths, Baptisms and Funerals. The Midwives and Undertakers are obliged to make returns of all they bring in or carry out of the World. -- This last fact I had from Linden de Blitterswick the first Noble of Zealand.
Mirabel repeated what he had said often before, as well as Reichack and Calischef, that their Courts expected a Letter from Congress, according to the Rules and Precedents, to inform them of their Independence. -- Mem. I think Congress should inform them that on the 4 July 1776 they assumed their Sovereignty, that on the day of
France made a Treaty, on the 7 of Oct. 1782, Holland -- on the
G.B. -- on the day of Sweeden.

May not the Ascent of Vapours be explained, or rather accounted for upon the Principle of the Air Balloon? Is not every Bubble of Vapour, that rises, an Air Balloon? Bubbles are formed at the Bottoms of Canals, Rivers, Ponds, rise to the Top, and mount up. These Bubbles are particles, or small quantities of inflammable Air, surrounded with a thin film of Water.
Champaign Wine, Bottled Porter &c. are full of Air Bubbles or Balloons. Set a Decanter or Tumbler of Water in the Sun, and thousands of Air Balloons are formed in the Water at the Bottom and on the Sides of the Glass. Turn the Glass aside so as to expose these Bubbles to the Air, many of them burst in an Instant, others do not, but continue sometime covered with a thin film of Water. Inflammable Air being lighter, than common Air, rises in it.
In the common Experiment with which Boys amuse them selves, the Air which

is blown through the Tobacco Pipe, into the Soap Suds, is common Air, of equal Weight with that which surrounds the Bubble and therefore will not ascend very high. But if inflammable Air were blown thro the Pipe instead of common Air, we should have a Series of Ballons aerostatiques, which would ascend like those of Montgolphier.

Sett off, for London, had a tedious Passage from Helvoet, of near two days. Obliged to put in at Leostoff [Lowestoft], and ride from
thence 24 miles in a Cart.
Arrived at the Adelphi Buildings and met my Wife and Daughter after a seperation of four Years and an half. Indeed after a Seperation of ten Years, excepting a few Visits. Set off the next Day for Paris.
Arrived at Paris, at the Hotel de York on the .
Removed to Auteuil the at the House of the Comte de Rouault, opposite the Conduit. The House, the Garden, the Situation near the Bois de Boulogne, elevated above the River Seine and the low Grounds, and distant from the putrid Streets of Paris, is the best I could wish for.

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Last Evening the Marquis de la Fayette, lately returned from America, called upon me, in his Way home from Versailles. He gave me, a very pleasing Account of the Commerce, the Union &c. in America, and then began to discourse of another Subject. He interrogated me, whether I had any Correspondents in Holland, whether I received Letters, from Week to Week and from Post to Post from thence? Who were the Heads of the Republican Party? Whether I knew any Thing of the Intentions of the States Gen [General] to place Mr. de Maillbois at the Head of their Armies. He then talk'd of Mailbois, said he had great Abilities, and that he had heard him justify himself very well in the Affair of D'Etrees. Said that M. de Vergennes was his Friend.I said that I knew it, for that I had once in 1778 heard the Comte wish [that]Mr. de Mailbois had the Command of our Army in America. He said that the Cte. de Broglie wished for the Command in America at the same time.

As he went out he took me aside and whispered, that altho he would not serve a foreign Prince, he would serve a Republick, and although he should hurt himself with the Queen and her Party to a great degree, yet if the States General would invite him, without his soliciting or appearing to desire it, he would accept the Command. Mailbois loved Money, and demanded splendid Appointments. He did not regard Money so much and would be easy about that. I was the first Mortal to whom he had suggested the Idea, he wished I would think of it, and he would call and see me again in a few days.

Saturday. Met Mr. F [Franklin] and Mr. J [Jefferson] at Passy, read the Letter from Mr. Carm [Carmichael] at Madrid, with the Letters from C. de Florida Blanca, the Letters from Morocco to Mr. Harrison at Cadiz, and the Letters from Morocco to Dr. F. concerning the Vessell of Mr. Fitzsimmons of Philadelphia, taken by a Morrocco Frigate.
I asked for Books and Collections of Treaties. They were brought. I looked for and read the Treaty between Louis 14. and Algiers, and the Treaties between Holland and Algiers, and found a Multitude of Treaties between Algiers and Morrocco and the Christian States as France, Holland, England, &c. with the Passes, in the Corps Diplomatique.
We came to no Resolution, but that I should go, Tomorrow to Versailles and ask the Advice of the C [Comte] de V [Vergennes]. -- Dr. F. being confined by his Stone, could not go, and Mr. Jefferson, being worse with his Disorder cannot go. I was for writing a Letter to the C. -- but my Colleagues were not. -- F. and J. are confident that England has no right to appoint a Consul, without a Treaty or Convention for that Purpose. I think, they have a Right by the Law of Nations.

Sunday. Went early to Versailles, and found the C. De V. -- communicated to him my Errand and Papers. He read those in Italian, Spanish and French, and Mr. Charmichaels Letter in English. I asked him, whether the French Treaty with Algiers, was renewed? He said it was upon the Point of expiring, but he could not tell me whether it was renewed as it was not in his Department but in that of the M. de Castries. I asked him if he would be so good as to inform me, what Presents were sent annually to the several Barbary Powers, by the King, in what they consisted, and to what they amounted? He said He did not know, but if We would make an Office of it, he would communicate it to the Minister of Marine, and obtain for Us all the Information he could. I told him, I had obtained Information, authentically from Holland, from Mr. Bisdom and Mr. Van der Hope. I asked him if he would be so good as to convey a Letter from Us to the Emperor of Morocco, by means of the French Consull. He said that I might depend upon it whenever We made an Office, it should be punctually attended to. But he said that Cadiz would be the best Place from whence to send Presents. That the Emperor of Morocco was the most interested Man in the World and the most greedy of Money.

He asked if We had written to Congress and obtained their Instructions. I told him We had received Full Powers to treat with Morocco, Algiers, Tunis,Tripoli and all the Rest and had written for Instructions upon the Article of Money and Presents. He said that there was a frequent Communication between Marseilles and the Coast of Barbary, but that as these Things were not in his Department, We must state our Desires in Writing, which I agreed to do. I asked him if he thought it adviseable for Us to send any one to Morro [Morrocco]. He said yes, but as We could neither go nor were authorized to substitute, We should write to the Emperor untill Congress could send a Consull. I asked what he thought of our leaving it by our Letter in the Option of the Emperor, to send a Minister here to treat with Us, or to wait untill We could write to Congress and recommend to them to send him a Consull. He said by no means, for the Expence of receiving his Minister here would be much greater, for We must maintain him and pay all his Expences. He said that the King of France never sent them any naval Stores. He sent them Glaces and other Things of rich Value, but never any military stores.

Tuesday. At Versailles, the C. de Vergennes said he had many Felicitations to give me upon my apointment to England. I  [illegible Answered that I did not know but it merited Compassion more than felicitation. -- Ay why? -- Because, as you know it is a Species of Degradation in the Eyes of Europe, after having been accredited to the King of France to be sent to any other Court. -- But permit me to say, replies the Comte it is a great Thing to be the first Ambassador from your Country to the Country you sprung from. It is a Mark. -- I told him that these Point would not weigh much with me. It was the difficulty of the service; &c.
I said to him, as I would not fail in any Point of Respect or Duty to the King, nor any of our Obligations to this Country, I wished to be advised, whether an Audience in particular of Cong, was indispensable. He said he would inform himself.
The Duke of Dorsett said to me, that if he could be of any Service to me by Writing either to publick or private Persons he would do it with Pleasure. I told his Grace that I should be glad of half an hours Conversation with him, in private. -- I will call upon you at Auteuil says he, any Morning this Week. -- I answered that any Morning and any hour, agreable to him, should be so to me. -- Saturday says he at 12 O Clock. -- I shall be happy to receive you, says I. -- He repeated that if he could be of any Service, he would be glad. I said

it may probably be in your Graces Power to do great service to me, and what was of infinitely more importance to his Country as well as mine, if he thought as I did upon certain Points, and therefore I thought it was proper We should compare Notes. He said he believed We did think alike and would call on Saturday. He said that Lord Carmaerthen was their Minister of foreign Affairs, that I must first wait upon him, and he would introduce me to his Majesty. But that I should do Business with Mr. Pitt very often. I asked him Lord Caermaerthens Age. He said 33. He said I should be stared at a good deal. I told him I trembled at the Thoughts of going there, I was afraid they would gaze with evil Eyes. He said no he believed not.
One of the foreign Ambassadors said to me, You have been often in England. -- Never but once in November and December 1783.You have Relations in England no doubt. -- None at all. -- None how can that be? You are of English Extraction? -- Neither my Father or Mother, Grandfather or Grandmother, Great Grandfather or Great Grandmother nor any other Relation that I know of or care a farthing for have been in England these 150 Years. So that you see, I have not one drop of Blood in my Veins, but what is American. -- Ay We have seen says he proofs enough of that. This flattered me no doubt, and I was vain enough to be pleased with it.

Monday. The Posts within the Limits of the United States, not yet surrendered by the English, are
Oswegatchy in the River St. Lawrence
Oswego Lake Ontario
Niagara and its dependencies
Presqu'Isle East Side of Lake Erie.
Sandusky Ditto.
St. Mary's. South Side of the Streight between Lakes Superiour and Huron.
Bottom of the Bay des Puantz
St. Joseph. bottom of Lake Michigan.

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Cite web page as: John Adams diary 43, 22 June 1784 - [9 or 16] May 1785 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. John Adams diary 43, 22 June 1784 - [9 or 16] May 1785. Folded sheets without covers (14 pages, 10 additional blank pages). Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Butterfield, L.H., ed. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. Vol. 3 Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1961.