A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-17

17th.

Dined at Dr. Franklin's with a considerable large Company. Mr. Brillon,1 an old french gentleman very gay and talkative. Young Mr. Chaumont2 who goes to America by the April packet from l'Orient. Mr. Boling, a descendent of an Indian Queen, of somewhat a dark complexion, and his manners, are not perfectly pleasing to the Ladies. Mr. Norris, an American Quaker, turned Catholic. His turns of mind seems rather melancholic, and while Mr. B. gave himself up to unbounded laughter at the wit of our old french guest, Mr. N. did not relax one feature of his face: he hardly spoke a word the whole time. Mr. Dalrymple, Secretary to Mr. Crawford the British Commissary, for making a Treaty of Commerce with France. The Treaty of Commerce, is said to be just as far advanced as it was, when Mr. C. left England, which was about 9 months ago. In the meantime Mr. C. is determined to be of some service to his Country and has been employing his time in forming a project, to pay off the national debt of G. Britain which he proposes to accomplish by borrowing more money. He pretends that his scheme will suit as well for America as for England; and in that he is very right. This project has nothing in common with my dining at Dr. Franklin's, but the anecdote is so curious that I cannot help taking notice of it, here. But it must be known that Mr. C. is a great partisan for Mesmer, who he says, { 237 } has, mended his health very materially. I think however, that a few grains of hellebore, would be of still more use to him. Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, and Commodore Jones, Coll. Humphreys', and Mr. Williamos, and several other gentlemen dined at the Doctor's. The old gentleman, is perfectly well, except the Stone, which prevents him from riding in a Coach, and even from walking; he says he is determined to return to America this Spring. The motion of a Vessel, would not, he thinks, be painful to him.
1. M. de Jouy Brillion, receiver-general of trusts of Parlement, who lived at Passy and was a friend of Franklin ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 5:42; JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:46–47).
2. Jacques Le Ray de Chaumont, also known as James Le Ray, was the son of Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, the commissary of the American fleet and landlord of Franklin at Passy. Young Chaumont was about to begin a tour of America; he returned in 1790 representing European land speculation interests in northern New York, where he lived for the next forty years (Franklin B. Hough, American Biographical Notes . . ., Albany, 1875, p. 254; JA to John Hancock, 14 April, LbC , Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-18

18th.

Paris afternoon. Went to see Mr. and Mrs. Rooker and Mr. West, but neither were at home. Walk'd an hour in the Palais Royal: met Mr. Waring there: he tells me that Beaumarchais has written to the king, to complain for his having been sent to St. Lazare. I got of Froullé, the Juvenal with Monsr. Dusaulx's translation.1
1. Satires de Juvénal, traduites par M. Dusaulx, Paris, 1770 (MQA).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-20

20th.

My father went to Versailles in the morning to see the Count de Vergennes, upon the subject of a Treaty between the U. States, and the Powers of Barbary. The Emperor of Morocco has taken an American vessel belonging to Mr. Fitz Simmons of Philadelphia.1 He has made the Master and the crew prisoners; but has not suffered them to be made slaves. He has ordered his People not to take any more untill Congress may send a Consul to him: and he offers to treat with us, upon the same footing that he does with all the Powers of Europe. This matter gives the American Commissioners, a great deal of trouble at present. Mr. West, Mr. Norris, Mr. Waring and Mr. Boling dined with us. I promised Mr. West to introduce him to the Marquis de la { 238 } Fayette, someday this week. Mr. Boling sets off for London tomorrow. The Foire St. Germain2 closed last evening.
1. For this incident and its significance for relations between the United States and Mediterranean powers, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:173–174 and references there.
2. A Paris fair devoted more to amusements than to business and trade, which began on 3 Feb. and ended on the Saturday before Palm Sunday; its popularity destroyed by the Galeries du Palais Royal, it closed in 1786 (Jacques Antoine Dulaure, Histoire civile, physique et moral de Paris, 10 vols., Paris, 1825, 8:197–199).