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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-11

1779. Tuesday. May 11.

Sailing by Belisle, which the English took last War after a Defence of Six Weeks with about 900 Men.
{ 368 }
F. still on the Subject. He says that the Contract made by F[ranklin] and D[eane] with the farmers general, was for £40 Pr. Ct.1 whereas Tobacco was then at 90 and T. Morris made a Contract with them before for £70.2
F. and D. to be sure were duped by the Farmers General but F[or]d has nothing accurate in his Head, nothing judicious. He must be mistaken about Tobacco's being at 90. He says farther it was to be du Poieds marquès which makes a difference of 8 Pound in the Hundred against Us.
He says, Deane received from the Banker £1700 st. after he knew he was recalled [and] 3 1100 of it the Morning he went away. And he believes that Deane gave Money to Bancroft that he is now living upon. —It is impossible but he must be mistaken about the sum that D. received, and the Insinuation about Bancroft, is mere Suggestion and Conjecture. There is no End of such Whispers.
Dr. W[indship] told me of Tuckers rough tarry Speech, about me at the Navy Board.—I did not say much to him at first, but damn and buger my Eyes, I found him after a while as sociable as any Marblehead man.—Another of Hinman, that he had been treated with great Politeness by me, and his first Attention must be to see Mrs. Adams, and deliver her Letters.
1. per hundredweight.
2. Thomas Morris, half-brother of Robert Morris, had served as agent for both Congress and the Morris interests at Nantes until his death in Jan. 1778. See Deane Papers , 2:145–156; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 2:460–463; William Lee, Letters , ed. Ford, passim. William McCreery informed JA in a letter from Nantes, 29 Sept. 1777: “He [Thomas Morris] is Drunk at least Twentytwo Hours of every Twentyfour and never without one or two Whores in Company.... He neglects all business because he has rendered himself incapable of any. In short, I never saw a man in a more deplorable situation” (Adams Papers).
3. MS : “at.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-12

Wednesday May 12th.

L[andais] is jealous of every Thing. Jealous of every Body, of all his Officers, all his Passengers. He knows not how to treat his Officers, nor his Passengers nor any Body else.—Silence, Reserve, and a forbidding Air, will never gain the Hearts, neither by Affection nor by Veneration, of our Americans.
There is in this Man an Inactivity and an Indecision that will ruin him. He is bewildered—an Absent bewildered man—an embarrassed Mind.
This Morning he began “You are a great Man but you are deceived. The Officers deceive you! They never do their Duty but when you are { 369 } on deck. They never obey me, but when you are on deck. The Officers were in a Plott vs. me at Boston, and the Navy Board promised to remove them all from the ship and yet afterwards let them all come on Board.”
Conjectures, Jealousies, Suspicions.—I shall grow as jealous as any Body.
I am jealous that my Disappointment is owing to an Intrigue of Jones's. Jones, Chaumont, Franklin concerted the Scheme. Chaumont applied to Mr. De S[artine]. He wrote the Letter.1 If this Suspicion is well founded, I am to be made the Sport of Jones's Ambition to be made a Commodore. Is it possible that I should bear this? Another Suspicion is that this Device was hit upon by Franklin and Chaumont to prevent me from going home, least I should tell some dangerous Truths. Perhaps, Jones's Commodoreship, and my detention might both concur. Can I bear either? It is hard, very hard, but I must bear every Thing. I may as well make a Virtue of Necessity, for I cannot help my self.
Does the old Conjurer dread my Voice in Congress? He has some Reason for he has often heard it there, a Terror to evil doers.
I may be mistaken in these Conjectures, they may be injurious to J. and to F. and therefore I shall not talk about them, but I am determined to put down my Thoughts and see which turns out.
Mr. Chaumont and his son are here and have been 15 days. But no Chevalier de la Luzerne, nor any french Frigate.
It is decreed that I shall endure all Sorts of Mortifications. There is so much Insolence, and Contempt, in the Appearance of this. Do I see that these People despize me, or do I see that they dread me? Can I bear Contempt—to know that I am despized? It is my duty to bear every Thing—that I cannot help.2
As I set in my Quarter Gallery, We are sailing directly into Port Louis, at L'orient, before a fine pleasant Breeze. There is a strong Fortification at the Entrance of this Harbour, at which we were hailed, and asked Whence? Where—Name of Vessell—Captain &c. What an Advantage to Nantes, would such a Port and Harbour as this be?
Went ashore. C. Landais, myself and son, went on Board the poor Richard, saw C. Jones and his officers, Mr. Moylan, Captain Cazneau, Captain Young, &c.
Went to visit Mr. Grondell Commandant des Troupes de Terre, found there Mr. Thevenard, Commandant du Port, Mr. Desaudrèe India Merchant.
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Went then to visit Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, who has been here 15 days with his son.
Went then to visit Mr. Grandville, Commissaire General du Port. Then to the Commissaire des Classes.
Was very politely received, by all these Gentlemen, and Captn. Landais treated with particular respect.
I spoke very freely to Mr. Chaumont, about my situation—told him, I was ill treated—that I had many Jealousies and Suspicions— that I suspected it was an Intrigue.
1. Sartine's letter to Franklin of 20 April; see entry of 28 April, above. CFA omitted this and the two following paragraphs from his text of JA 's Diary.
2. This paragraph was also omitted by CFA .