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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-03

3d.

Mr. A: went to Versailles, it being Ambassador's Day. As he was passing through an entry at the Count de Vergennes's, a Servant presented him a small canister, containing perhaps a little more than half a pound of tea, and ask'd him if he did not want some very excellent tea, that had come through Russia, by land from China; my father could not Refuse it, and enquired the price. Un Louis, Monsieur, said the fellow very coolly; and in that manner he put every one of the foreign Ministers to contri• { 262 } bution, even in the House, of the King of France's prime Minister. I don't know whether such practices correspond, with their ideas of dignity; if so they are very different from mine.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-04

4th.

In the afternoon I went into Paris alone: went to the Griffon, Rue de Bussy and bought some Stationary. To the Hôtel de Nassau Rue de la Harpe, to see Mm. la Comtesse d'Ouradou, but she was not within. Bought me a Couple of Trunks. Went to Mr. Jefferson's: he tells me, that the Count, thinks of not going in the next Packet. I fear Mr. Williamos, after failing me, himself, has been endeavouring to persuade the Count to do so too, which I do not think is very polite. Mr. Jefferson, spoke concerning Virginia, a State, which he knows very particularly as it is his native Country. The blacks, he tells me, are very well treated there; and increase in population, more in proportion, than the whites. Before the War, he says the negroes, were to the whites, in the proportion of 3 to 4. Now they are as 10 to 11. which is a very material difference. He supposes about 500,000 souls in the State. He disapproves very much the Cultivation of Tobacco, and wishes, it may be laid entirely aside. He thinks wheat would be much more advantageous, and profitable, much less Laborious, and less hurtful to the ground: he is a man of great Judgment.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-05

5th.

All dined at Mr. Jefferson's, with Marquis and Marquise de la Fayette, Count and Countess d'Ouradou, Chevalier de la Fayette another french gentleman, Mr. Short, who this morning arrived from St. Germains, Mr. Bowdoin from Virginia, Mr. Jarvis, &c. I there learnt that Mr. West and Dr. Ruston, were not gone for England: after dinner I went with Mr. Jarvis, to the Hôtel d'Orleans, Rue St. Anne, to see Mr. Randall, who dined at Dr. Franklin's to day. I went to West's lodgings, but he was out. Saw Dr. Ruston, who does not go, till next week. Mr. Jarvis, brought me out as far as the Barriere de la Conference, 1 where I luckily found our Carriage which was just passing by.
The weather has been exceeding fine, for a long time, but the drought is very great. All the Roads, are very inconveniently dusty, and daily Church processions are made to obtain Rain { 263 } from Heaven. Grain, and Hay are extravagantly dear so that numbers of farmers, have been obliged to kill their Cattle, that they might not Starve to Death. Butter is 2 livres a pound, whereas, in the depth of winter, it is not commonly higher than 30 Sols, and in short if the present weather continues, I know not what will be the consequence the ensuing Fall and Winter.
1. The Barrière de la Conférence, one of twenty-four principal barriers ringing Paris at the time, was a customs post where goods were taxed and traffic was examined for contraband (Robert de Hesseln, Dictionnaire universel de la France . . ., 6 vols., Paris, 1771, 5:110).