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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-22

1783. Octr. 22. Wednesday.

Went to Calais. Dined at Boulogne sur mer. Put up at Mr. Dessins.1
1. “When we arrived at Calais, as soon as we had set down in our Chamber, up comes the master of the House, and with a low bow says, Messieurs je suis vôtre trés humble serviteur; Je suis Dessein (Yorick's man) et je viens vous rendre mes devoirs; savoir si vous voulez de Vargent &c.” (JQA to Peter Jay Munro, 19 Nov. 1783, NNMC). Pierre Dessin kept the Hôtel d'Angleterre and had been considerably enriched and in some degree immortalized by Laurence Sterne's entertaining portrait of him in A Sentimental Journey, 1768. In Aug. 1784 the whole Adams family stopped at the Hôtel d'Angleterre when traveling from London to Paris, and AA2 playfully supposed she saw Yorick's “very Monk” passing her window on his way “to present himself to papa” (AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:8). They were there again in 1785 when returning to London; see JA to Jefferson, 23 May 1785 (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:161). Dessin proved useful to Jefferson in the troublesome business of importing purchases from England to France; see their correspondence (which establishes Dessin's name, spelled in a great variety of ways by travelers), in same, 9:438, 542; 10:206, 292, 333.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.