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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-02

2d Saturday.

Went to the shops, and bought some things A.M. P.M Mr. D. and Mr. Artaud1 went to the German play, I stay'd at home.
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1. Artaud's identity is uncertain, but in a Diary entry written seventeen years later, JQA provides a fuller account of his relationship with this man. “The Chevalier de Villenotte, told me,” JQA wrote, “he had seen me at Artaud's at Petersburg in the year 1782. I had altogether forgotten it. Poor Artaud, died it seems in 1784 of a fever, caught at Peterhoff, at the annual festival there, upon St. John's day, in June. His woman then returned to Dunkirk, and afterwards went back to Petersbourg, where she was taken by a Venitian minister; who upon being removed to Constantinople, carried her with him; since which Villenotte has heard nothing of her” ( JQA , Diary, 26 July 1799). JQA 's and Dana's change of lodgings, mentioned in the entry for 29 Jan. (above), Artaud's daily presence thereafter, his frequent absence at dinner, and JQA 's having been seen “at Artaud's” all suggest that the two Americans were probably lodging at Artaud's house. Artaud's “woman” may have been his housekeeper, who would have served them meals and would have seen to other needs. Some such role would explain why JQA gave so much space to her in his 1799 entry.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-03

3d. Sunday.

Thermometer in the morning at 15 degrees cold. Fine weather. I went to take a walk with Mr. Peyron the Swedish Consul,1 and Mr. Montréal. Went into the house where Peter the great resided; it is of wood painted in imitation of brick <and> is but one Story high, and has four very small rooms in it. There is a Porch since put round it to sustain it, and under the Porch is kept a barge of Peter the great's own building.2 Finished Hume's 2d. Volume. 515 pages.
1. Claës Bartholomeus von Peyron, Swedish consul at St. Petersburg, 1778–1786 ( Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon , 8:178).
2. The first wooden cottage of Peter the Great was constructed in 1703, the year building of the city was begun. Over it was erected a brick porch, or arcade, to preserve it from the weather on Petersburg Island in the Neva Delta (Storch, Picture of Petersburg , p. 54).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-04

4th. Monday.

Very unwell all day, but went notwithstanding that to the English Library and took out the 3d. and 4th. Volume's of Humes history, and begun the third, but read but a few pages.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-05

5th. Tuesday.

Went with Mr. Artaud to the shops and bought some things. Fine weather. The Thermometer at night was. 15 degrees below.0. which is the degree of freezing.1 On the 20th. of December last and on the 25th. of the same month our Thermometer was at 25. below 0. and at that of the academy2 it was at 28, which is colder than it has been here since the year 1776. In 1759 it was as low as 33.
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1. The calibration is that of René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, French physicist and naturalist. Under Réaumur's system the temperature range between freezing and boiling was divided into eighty degrees; hence −33°R., mentioned later in the entry, would equal −42°F., or −41°C. (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale ; entry for 12 Aug. 1783, below; Adams Family Correspondence ; 4:287).
2. The Academy of Sciences, founded by Catherine I in 1725 in accordance with a plan of Peter the Great for the promotion of literature and science (Storch, Picture of Petersburg , p. 297–302, 313–321, 324–344).