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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0002-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-07-29

Saturday 29th 1780.

This Morning we got up at about 7 o clock and at about half after seven we set away from VALENCIENNES. We were stopped a going out of the city by the excisemen but by the way { 37 } of yesterday passed along. When we had got almost at the end of our post we were stopped again, but the same way and we passed along. But at the end of the post we were stopped and by the excisemen who belong to her Majesty the Empress Queen;1 we were searched and our trunk was plumbed. Her Majesty's arms were stamped on a bit of Lead and put on to our trunk, which hinders our being stopped any more. We passed by MONS which is a city and a very pretty one. The Meadows all around it, the sheperds flocks, cattle feeding, the green orchards, made a beautiful prospect. In fine, I never saw a more beautiful one in my life; at about half after five we arrived at Bruxelles. Pappa went out to find Mr. Jennings2 but he was not at home. My pappa met Mrs. Izard3 in the street. At about eight o clock Mr. Jennings came to our lodgings (we lodge at L'hotel de L'lmperatrice) and stay'd some time after which he went away.
1. Maria Theresa (1717–1780), Archduchess of Austria and Empress of the Hapsburg dominions which included the Austrian Netherlands (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel ).
2. Edmund Jenings, Maryland-born, English-educated lawyer and commercial agent who moved from England to Brussels, where he proved helpful to JA in placing pro-American articles in the British press. For a more thorough account of Jenings' connection with JA and his other activities and subsequent disappointments, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:355–356.
3. Mrs. Alice Izard, a De Lancey from New York, was the wife of Ralph, a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner and U.S. commissioner to the court of Tuscany in 1777. He was just returning to America, recalled by the congress. The government of Tuscany had never received Izard as commissioner. Consequently, he had remained in France, where he and Franklin quarreled bitterly over his prerogatives (Correspondence of Mr. Ralph Izard, of South Carolina, from the Year 1774 to 1804; with a Short Memoir. Volume I., ed. Anne Izard Deas, N.Y., 1844, p. v–vi). The Izards' numerous offspring, several of whom JQA mentions in the following day's entry, cannot be specifically identified, but they are listed in Langdon Cheves, “Izard of South Carolina,” S.C. Hist, and Geneal. Mag., 2:205–240 (July 1901).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0002-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1780-07-30

Sunday 30th.

This Morning Pappa went out and at about half after one came home with Mr. Jennings who dined here. After dinner we went to the parc. We walked there some time after which we went to the cathedral. We met Mr. Jennings's Nephew whose name is Bordly.1 We heard part of a sermon spoke in Flemish. We saw an alter the banisters of which were of Solid silver and cost 30000 Pound sterling. We heard some very good musick: after which we went to Mr. Lee's,2 a little after we got there Mrs. Izard, her son, and two daughters, came and a Miss Steed.3 We drank tea at { 38 } Mr. Lee's, and stay'd there till about eight oclock P.M. when My Pappa, Mr. Lee, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Bordly, my Brother Charles and myself took a walk down the town and saw the canals; we walk'd along upon the ramparts which was a very agreable place: and at about half after nine we got home to our lodgings.
1. This is probably either Matthias or John, sons of John Beale Bordley, the agriculturist, a half-brother of Jenings ( DAB ; Mrs. Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, Biographical Sketches of the Bordley Family, of Maryland . . ., Phila., 1865, p. 21–26, 78–79).
2. William Lee, brother of Richard Henry and Arthur Lee, chosen by congress as commercial agent at Nantes in 1777 and made commissioner to the courts of Berlin and Vienna later in the year. Like Izard, however, Lee failed to gain recognition and was recalled in 1779. He decided to remain in Europe, making Brussels his residence until his return to Virginia in 1783 ( DAB ).
3. Mary Stead, sister of Elizabeth Stead Izard and sister-in-law of Ralph Izard Jr. (“Izard of South Carolina,” S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 2:236 [July 1901]; “South Carolina Gleanings in England,” same, 4:237 July [1903]).