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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-01

1778 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 Compliments.
He says, that of the first Grouths of Wine, in the 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,1 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.2 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 { 294 } never seen any Thing of the Kind before. After this We returned to Mr. McClarys Lodgings, where We supped.
1. That is, William McCreery, evidently from Baltimore, whom JA had known in America and who had recently “Setled in Bordeaux in the mercantile way” ( AA to JA , 18 May 1778; JA , Autobiography, under the present date). JA and McCreery corresponded on commercial subjects for some years, though at first their letters rather amusingly centered on a pair of homespun breeches, lost by JQA in Bordeaux, that contained eight guineas sewed into the waistband. McCreery returned to America in 1781 (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 7:261, note). If he is the William McCreery who became a U.S. representative and senator from Maryland, the notice of him in Biog. Dir. Cong , is inadequate.
2. John Bondfield was a merchant who served for many years as U.S. commercial agent at Bordeaux and whose surviving correspondence with JA and other American ministers in France is voluminous. JA says in his Autobiography under the present date that he had also known Bondfield in America, but his background is obscure. For a high opinion of his mercantile character see JA to William Vernon Jr., 12 May 1778 ( LbC , Adams Papers). As late as 15 May 1789 Bondfield could write JA from Bordeaux: “I remain as when I had the Honor to see you at Bordeaux honor'd by the [American] Gentlemen at Paris with their Correspondence and publick and private Commissions and in my steddy Attention to every thing in my power to serve the States” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-02

1778 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 Raimbaux.1
1. The firm of Recules de Basmarein et Raimbaux of Bordeaux were the “outstanding shipowners of France,” and from them Lafayette had purchased the Victoire, in which he sailed to America just a year earlier (Gottschalk, Lafayette , 1:87–88, and ch. 7, passim)

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-03

April 3. Fryday.

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 of St. Lewis, Jn. Bt. Nairac former Deputy of Commerce from La Rochelle, Paul Nairac, a Merchant, Elisee Nairac a Merchant, La tour Feger Esq. a Merchant, Menoire, Esq. a Merchant, Coutourier Esq. a Merchant, { 295 } 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 3.1G[eneral] 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. The 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.2
1. Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de Sartine, Comte d'Alby (1729–1801), French minister of marine, 1774–1780 (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale ), with whom JA was to have extensive correspondence in his capacity as a joint commissioner to France.
2. On this occasion JA learned something of the freedom of conversation between the sexes in France, and held his own, though not without a sense of shock; see his Autobiography under 2 April 1778.