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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-26

1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

Stopped at Sternes's [Stearns's] in Worcester, and dined with Mr. { 228 } Lincoln at Mr. Jonathan Williams's.1 In Putnams Office where I formerly trimm'd the Midnight Lamp, Mr. Williams keeps Laws Works and Jacob Behmens, with whose Mistical Reveries he is much captivated.2
1. This Jonathan Williams (d. 1780), Harvard 1772, had been a law clerk in JA's office. He was a cousin of the better-known Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin's great-nephew, who a little later crossed JA's path when serving as American agent at Nantes and who became first superintendent of the military academy at West Point; see DAB. On JA's law clerk see “Suffolk Bar Book,” MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):151; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers.
2. William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1728, and other religious works, was an English disciple of the German mystic Jakob Boehme or Behmen; see DNB under Law.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-28

1776. Sunday. Jany. 28.

Mr. Upham informs that this Town of Brookfield abounds with a Stone, out of which Allum, Coperas and Sulphur are made. Out of one Bushell of this Stone, he made five Pounds of Coperas. He put the Stone into a Tub, poured Water on it, let it Stand 2 or 3 days, then drew it off, and boiled the Liquor away—let it stand and it shot into a Kind of Christals. Adding Chamberly1 and Alkaline Salts to the Coperas and that makes Allum.
We made some Sulphur, by Sublimation. We put 4 Quarts of the Stone into an Iron Kettle, laid a Wooden Cover over the Kettle leaving an Hole in the Middle. Then We put an Earthern Pot over the Top of the Kettle, and cemented it with Clay—then made a fire under the Kettle, and the Sulphur sublimated. We got about a Spoonfull.2
We have found a Bed of yellow Ocre in this Town. I got 12,00 Wt. We make Spanish Brown by burning the yellow Ocre.
1. Chamber-lye (variously spelled, 1500–1800): “Urine; esp. as used for washing, etc.” (OED).
2. JA could hardly have participated in these experiments, and so it must be assumed that this and the following paragraph are direct discourse by Upham. CFA supplied quotation marks around this passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-01-29

1776 Monday. Jan. 29.

Rode to Springfield, dined at Scotts. Heard that the Cannon at Kingsbridge in N. York were spiked up. That dry Goods, English Goods were sent round to N. York from Boston, and from N. York sold all over N.E. and sent down to Camp. That Tryon has issued Writs for the Choice of a new Assembly, and that the Writs were likely to be obeyed, and the Tories were likely to carry a Majority of Members.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02-16

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress] 1776. Feb.[16]1

In Committee of the whole.
Cant we oblige B. to keep a Navy on foot the Expence of which will be double to what they will take from Us. I have heard of Bullion Sp[anish] Flotas being stoppd least they should be taken—But perishable Commodities never were stopped. Open your Ports to Foreigners. Your Trade will become of so much Consequence, that Foreigners will protect you.2
Wilson. A Gentleman from Mass, thinks that a middle Way should be taken. That Trade should be opened, for some Articles, and to some Places, but not for all Things and to all Places.
I think the Merchants ought to judge for themselves of the danger and Risque. We should be blamed if We did not leave it to them.
I differ from the Gentleman of Massachusetts. Trade ought in War to be carried on with greater Vigour. By what means did B. carry on their Tryumphs last War? The United Provinces their War vs. Spain.
If We determine that our Ports shall not be opened, our Vessells abroad will not return. Our Seamen are all abroad—will not return, unless We open our Trade. I am afraid it will be necessary to invite Foreigners to trade with Us, altho We loose a great Advantage, that of trading in our own Bottoms.
Sherman. I fear We shall maintain the Armies of our Enemies at our own Expence with Provisions. We cant carry on a beneficial Trade, as our Enemies will take our Ships. A Treaty with a foreign Power is necessary, before We open our Trade, to protect it.
Harrison. We have hobbled on, under a fatal Attachment to G.B. I felt it as much as any Man but I feel a stronger to my Country.
Wythe. The Ports will be open the 1st. March. The Q. is whether We shall shutt em up. Faece Romuli non Republica Platonis. Americans will hardly live without Trade. It is said our Trade will be of no Advantage to Us, because our Vessells will be taken, our Enemies will be supplied, the W.I. will be supplied at our Expence. This is too true, unless We can provide a Remedy. Our Virginia Convention have resolved, that our Ports be opened to all Nations that will trade with us, except G.B., I. and W.I. If the Inclination of the People, should become universal to trade, We must open our Ports. Merchants will not export our Produce, unless they get a Profit.
{ 230 }
We might get some of our Produce to Markett, by authorizing Adventurers to Arm themselves, and giving Letters of Mark—make Reprisals.
2d. by inviting foreign Powers to make Treaties of Commerce with us.
But other Things are to be considered, before such a Measure is adopted. In what Character shall We treat, as subjects of G.B.—as Rebells? Why should We be so fond of calling ourselves dutifull Subjects.
If We should offer our Trade to the Court of France, would they take Notice of it, any more than if Bristol or Liverpool should offer theirs, while We profess to be Subjects.—No. We must declare ourselves a free People.
If We were to tell them, that after a Season, We would return to our Subjection to G.B., would not a foreign Court wish to have Something permanent.
We should encourage our Fleet. I am convinced that our Fleet may become as formidable as We wish to make it. Moves a Resolution.4
1. First entry in booklet “26” (our D/JA/26), a pocket memorandum book stitched in red-brown leather covers and containing scattered notes of debates in Congress from February to April (possibly early May) 1776.
The day on which the present debate took place can be assigned with some confidence because Richard Smith summarized in his Diary under 16 Feb. a debate of “4 or 5 Hours ... in Grand Comee. [committee of the whole] on Trade,” which corresponds at essential points with JA's fragmentary notes (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:350–52; see JCC, 4:154). See note 4, below.
2. JA does not indicate whose speech this was.
3. Following [Edward] Rutledge's name there is a blank in the MS amounting to two-thirds of a page. JA probably intended to supply notes on Rutledge's speech but failed to do so.
“Wyth ... offered Propositions whereof the first was that the Colonies have a Right to contract Alliances with Foreign Powers, an Objection being offered that this was Independency there ensued much Argument upon that Ground. a leading Question was given Whether this Proposn. shall be considered by the Comee. it was carried in the Affirmative 7 Colonies to 5. then it was debated and postponed” (Richard Smith, Diary, 16 Feb., Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:350–351).
See also JA's Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, Feb.? 1776, following.
From this point until he sailed for France in Feb. 1778, JA's Diary is so fragmentary that it is scarcely practical to indicate, even in summary form, the events in his personal and political life which he failed to record. In compensation, however, one may turn to his Autobiography, where the record for the year 1776 is remarkably full, for when he came to deal with that climactic year he read the published Journals of Congress closely, quoted from them copiously, and commented on them with characteristic freedom. (His own extensive collection of the Journals, Phila., 1777–1788, and early reprints, survives in the Boston Public Library; see Cat. of JA's Library, p. 60–61.) What is more, he occasionally dipped into his files of old correspondence, as he had not done at all up to this point in the Autobiography, to support his commentary. The result is { 231 } that about half of the entire text of Part One of the Autobiography is devoted to the first ten months of 1776 alone, ending with his departure from Congress in October of that year.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, February? 1776.]1

The Confederation to be taken up in Paragraphs.2
An Alliance to be formed with France and Spain.3
Embassadors to be sent to both Courts.
Government to be assumed in every Colony.4
Coin and Currencies to be regulated.5
Forces to be raised and maintained in Canada and New York. St. Lawrence and Hudsons Rivers to be secured.
Hemp to be encouraged and the Manufacture of Duck.6
Powder Mills to be built in every Colony, and fresh Efforts to make Salt Petre.7
An Address to the Inhabitants of the Colonies.8
The Committee for Lead and Salt to be fill'd up, and Sulphur added to their Commission.
Money to be sent to the Paymaster, to pay our Debts, and fullfill our Engagements.
Taxes to be laid, and levied, Funds established. New Notes to be given on Interest, for Bills borrowed.
Treaties of Commerce with F. S. H. D. &c.9
Declaration of Independency, Declaration of War with the Nation, Cruising on the british Trade, their East India Ships and Sugar Ships.10
Prevent the Exportation of Silver and Gold.
1. Regrettably it is impossible to date this important memorandum with certainty. In the MS (D/JA/25) it appears on two facing pages between the entries of 26 and 28 Jan. 1776, which, disregarding other considerations, should indicate that it was written during JA's return journey to Philadelphia. This may be the case, but for reasons pointed out elsewhere the editors have learned to distrust the physical position of undated entries in the Diary as clues to their dates of composition. JA's list displays such familiarity with issues current in Congress that it is extremely doubtful that he could have prepared it on his way back to Philadelphia. It is far more likely that he drew it up after he had resumed his seat on 9 Feb. and had tested the temper of his fellow delegates and, through them, the temper of the country, especially those sections of it beyond New England — which he now felt certain, to use Jefferson's phrase, was ready to fall “from the parent stem” (Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:313). What he found was that, except for Virginia, most of the other colonies were not matured to that point of ripeness, and his task was, in conjunction with others of his mind in Congress, to bring them to that point. As the notes below indicate, many of the measures listed can be identified as resolutions introduced in Congress by JA and other leaders of the independence party during the weeks { 232 } immediately following his return; others were not put forward until late spring or early summer, or at least did not get beyond the talking stage and so are not recorded in the Journal.
The most plausible supposition is that JA compiled his list of agenda, which has the appearance of being composed at one sitting, after conferring with Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee, and others with advanced views and agreeing with them on what measures should be pressed, soon after taking his seat, very probably between 10 and 15 Feb. and certainly before 23 Feb. (see note 7, below). If this is a sound conjecture, this paper may be regarded as minutes of a caucus among members who favored American independence.
2. On 21 July 1775 Franklin had laid before Congress a draft plan of “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union,” but the subject was so touchy that no record of it was made in the official Journal. Copies of Franklin's plan circulated in the colonies and even reached print, but without noticeable effect (Burnett, Continental Congress, p. 91–92; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:179–180). On 23 Dec. 1775 Jefferson, as chairman of a committee to ascertain the unfinished business before Congress, entered the “Report of the Proposed Articles of Confederation (adjourned from August last)” as the first item, but it was struck from his list, probably by the committee before reporting (JCC, 3:454–456; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:274–275). According to Richard Smith's Diary there were “considerable Arguments” on the floor of Congress, 16 Jan. 1776, “on the Point Whether a Day shall be fixed for considering the Instrument of Confederation formerly brought in by a Comee. it was carried in the Negative [and so not recorded in the Journal]. Dr. Franklin exerted Himself in Favor of the Confederation as did Hooper, Dickinson and other[s] agt. it” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:313; and see Samuel Adams to JA, 15–16 Jan. 1776, Adams Papers; same, p. 311–312). The Journal of Congress is silent on this subject until 7 June, when the Virginia Resolutions “respecting independency” were brought in, one of which proposed “That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation,” and after debate extending over several days a committee was appointed “to prepare and digest the form of a confederation to be entered into between these colonies” (JCC, 5:425, 431, 433). For later developments see entries of 25 July and following, below.
3. A proposal approaching this was made by George Wythe on 16 Feb. 1776; see JA's Notes of Debates of that date, preceding, and note 4 there.
4. JA's main objective (and accomplishment) in the spring of 1776. See his Notes of Debates, 13–15 May, below, and notes there.
5. On 19 April 1776 a committee, of which JA was a member, was appointed by Congress “to examine and ascertain the value of the several species of gold and silver coins, current in these colonies, and the proportions they ought to bear to Spanish milled dollars” (JCC, 4:294). Its report, largely the work of George Wythe, was brought in on 22 May and tabled (same, p. 381–383). For its later history see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:511–518).
6. This proposal was introduced by JA and adopted by Congress in an enlarged form in March; see JA's Draft Resolutions for Encouraging Agriculture and Manufactures, Feb.–March, below.
7. These proposals, together with the next but one in the present list of agenda, emerged in a series of four important resolutions, adopted by Congress on 23 Feb., to promote the production of military supplies, and ordered to be published (JCC, 4:170–171). Richard Smith in his Diary noted that “these were presented by John Adams” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:361). They were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 28 Feb. 1776.
8. A committee of five members had been appointed on 24 Jan. to draft such an address (JCC, 4:87). All of its members were conservatives (Dickinson, Wilson, Hooper, Duane, and Alexander), and the draft they submitted on 13 Feb., largely the work of Wilson, was a conservative paper that disavowed independence as an American aim (same, p. 134–146; C. Page Smith, James Wilson, Founding Father, 1742–1798, Cha• { 233 } pel Hill, 1956, p. 74–76). This address was in fact part of a campaign by conservative leaders, begun two weeks earlier, to smoke out those in Congress who were secretly working for independence; see Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:304, 311, 326, 334, 348. Proceeding on the assumption that the present notes were the product of a caucus of delegates determined on strong measures, this item could appear among their agenda only because they wished either to alter the proposed address drastically or to suppress it entirely. When it was presented on 13 Feb., they succeeded in tabling it, and it was never resurrected. But while these facts are all consonant with the date of mid-February suggested for JA's memorandum, they do not help to date it any more precisely.
9. France, Spain, Holland, Denmark.
10. On 23 March Congress after some days of debate passed a series of resolutions authorizing “the inhabitants of these colonies ... to fit out armed vessels to cruize on the enemies of these United Colonies” and establishing regulations concerning prizes taken by such privateers (JCC, 4:229–233). The committee that reported a draft of these resolutions (in the form of a “Declaration”) consisted of Wythe, Jay, and Wilson, but their report was amended in Congress, and JA with little doubt contributed to its final form as published (except for a secret paragraph) in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 27 March; see his Autobiography under 19, 22, 23 March 1776. On the day of its adoption JA told a friend that it amounted to at least “three Quarters of a war” against Great Britain (to Horatio Gates, NHi; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:405–406).

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[Draft Resolves Concerning the Secret Committee of Correspondence and a Plan of Confederation, February? 1776.]1

Resolved that the Committee of Secret Correspondence be directed to lay their Letters before this Congress.
Resolved that [] be a Committee to prepare a Draught of firm Confederation, to be reported as soon as may be to this Congress, to be considered and digested and recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of these united Colonies, to be by them adopted, ratified and confirmed.
1. It is impossible to date with certainty these draft resolutions, which JA perhaps introduced in an unrecorded session of a committee of the whole. In the MS they follow his notes of debates assigned to 16 Feb. and precede the quotation from Jeremiah which follows the present entry. But it was not until 10 May that Congress “Resolved, That the Committee of Secret Correspondence be directed to lay their proceedings before Congress on Monday next, withholding the names of the persons they have employed, or with whom they have corresponded” (JCC, 4:345). And it was not until 11–12 June (as a result of the Virginia Resolutions of 7 June) that a committee was agreed to and appointed to prepare a plan of confederation (same, 5:431, 433; see Memorandum of Measures to Be Pursued in Congress, preceding, and note 2 there).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[February? 1776.]

3. Jer. 12. Go proclaim these Words towards the North. Return thou { 234 } backsliding Israel and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you, for I am merciful and will not be angry forever.1
1. On 17 Feb. Congress “Resolved, That a committee of three be chosen to prepare instructions for the committee appointed to go to Canada”; and the members chosen were JA, Wythe, and Sherman (JCC, 4:159). They reported a draft on 9 March, which after amendments and additions was finally adopted and spread on the Journal on 20 March (same, p. 193, 215–219). Doubtless JA recorded this appropriate Scriptural passage while engaged in this assignment, which he considered to be of the utmost importance; see his Autobiography under 17 Feb., 20 March 1776.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-02

[February? 1776.]

Any Goods or Commodities, except Staves for Sale, may be exported, from the united Colonies to any other Part of the World, not subject to the Crown of G.B.1
1. Written on an otherwise blank front leaf in D/JA/26, this is evidently tentative phrasing for an article in the report of the committee of the whole on American trade. From 16 Feb. on, this committee discussed from time to time the opening of American ports, and on 6 April Congress voted certain regulations including the present one, though in different language (JCC, 4:154, 257).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-02 - 1776-03

[Draft Resolutions for Encouraging Agriculture and Manufactures, February–March 1776.]1

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils of Safety and Committees of Correspondence and Inspection, that they use their utmost Endeavours, by all reasonable Means to promote die Culture of Flax, Hemp, and Cotton and the Growth of Wool in these united Colonies.
Resolved That it be recommended to the Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils of Safety, that they take the earliest Measures for erecting in each and every Colony a Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and that a Correspondence be maintained between such Societies, that the2 numerous natural Advantages of this Country for supporting its Inhabitants may not be neglected.
Resolved that it be recommended to the said Assemblies, Conventions and Councils of Safety that they3 consider of Ways and Means of introducing the Manufactures of Duck and Sail Cloth4 into such Colonies where they are not now understood and of5 increasing and promoting them where they are.
Resolved that [] be a Committee, to receive all Plans and Proposals for encouraging and improving the Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce both foreign and domestic of America, to correspond with the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils and { 235 } Committees of Safety, Committees of Correspondence and of Observation in these united Colonies upon these interesting Subjects.6
That these be published.
1. The first three of these four resolutions were voted by Congress on 21 March and, as JA wished, were ordered to be published (JCC, 4:224). They were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 27 March. In copying them into his Autobiography JA said that these were “three Resolutions, which I claim,” though we have no clue as to when they were written or introduced except for the fact that in the MS they immediately precede the entry that JA himself dated 1 March. It should also be noted that well up on his list of Measures to be Pursued in Congress (Feb.? 1776, above) is the item: “Hemp to be encouraged and the Manufacture of Duck.”
2. The text as adopted by Congress inserts at this point: “rich and.”
3. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “forthwith.”
4. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “and steel”— the only substantive change between the resolutions as drafted and as adopted.
5. Text as adopted inserts at this point: “encouraging.”
6. After reporting the adoption of the first three resolutions above, Richard Smith adds in his Diary that “a Clause was erased for a standing Comee. of Congress to correspond with and assist these Societies” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:402). Thus was defeated the earliest in a long series of proposals by two successive generations of Adamses to associate the American government with the promotion of useful arts.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-03-01

1776 March 1.

How is the Interest of France and Spain affected, by the dispute between B. and the C[olonies]? Is it the Interest of France [to] stand neuter, to join with B. or to join with the C. Is it not her Interest, to dismember the B. Empire? Will her Dominions be safe, if B. and A[merica] remain connected? Can she preserve her Possessions in the W.I. She has in the W.I. Martinico, Guadaloupe, and one half of Hispaniola. In Case a Reconciliation should take Place, between B. and A. and a War should break out between B. and France, would not all her Islands be taken from her in 6 Months?
The Colonies are now much more warlike and powerfull than they were, during the last War. A martial Spirit has seized all the Colonies. They are much improved in Skill and Discipline. They have now a large standing Army. They have many good officers. They abound in Provisions. They are in the Neighbourhood of the W.I. A British Fleet and Army united with an American Fleet and Army and supplied with Provisions and other Necessaries from America, might conquer all the french Islands in the W.I. in six Months, and a little <less> more Time than that would be required, to destroy all their Marine and Commerce.1
1. This entry and that dated 4 March which follows are presumably private reflections by the diarist. At any rate they have no discernible connection with proceedings in Congress of 1 or 4 March. No committee of the whole sat on either of those days.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-03-04

Monday March 4. 1776.

Resentment is a Passion, implanted by Nature for the Preservation of the Individual. Injury is the Object which excites it. Injustice, Wrong, Injury excites the Feeling of Resentment, as naturally and necessarily as Frost and Ice excite the feeling of cold, as fire excites heat, and as both excite Pain. A Man may have the Faculty of concealing his Resentment, or suppressing it, but he must and ought to feel it. Nay he ought to indulge it, to cultivate it. It is a Duty. His Person, his Property, his Liberty, his Reputation are not safe without it. He ought, for his own Security and Honour, and for the public good to punish those who injure him, unless they repent, and then he should forgive, having Satisfaction and Compensation. Revenge is unlawfull.
It is the same with Communities. They ought to resent and to punish.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-03 - 1776-04

[Notes on Relations with France, March—April 1776.1]

Is any Assistance attainable from F.?
What Connection may We safely form with her?
1 st. No Political Connection. Submit to none of her Authority—receive no Governors, or officers from her.
2d. No military Connection. Receive no Troops from her.
3d. Only a Commercial Connection, i.e. make a Treaty, to receive her Ships into our Ports. Let her engage to receive our Ships into her Ports—furnish Us with Arms, Cannon, Salt Petre, Powder, Duck, Steel.
1. These notes, very likely prepared for a speech in Congress or in committee of the whole, follow the entry of 4 March after a short interval of space in the MS. The subject of overtures to France was recurrently debated throughout March and April.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-03 - 1776-04

[Draft Resolution Concerning Instructions to Delegates, March—April 1776.]1

Whereas, the present State of America, and the cruel Efforts of our Enemies, render the most perfect and cordial Union of the Colonies and the utmost Exertions of their Strength, necessary for the Preservation and establishment of their Liberties, therefore
Resolved. That it be recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of these united Colonies, who have limited the Powers of their Delegates in this Congress, by any express Instructions, that they repeal or suspend those Instructions for a certain Time, that this Con• { 237 } gress may have Power, without any unnecessary Obstruction or Embarrassment, to concert, direct and order, such further Measures, as may seem to them necessary for the Defence and Preservation, Support and Establishment of Right and Liberty in these Colonies.2
1. This draft follows the preceding entry after a short interval of space and is the last entry in D/JA/26. There is no other clue to its date. CFA suggested that “This is perhaps the first draught of the well known motion made in Committee of the Whole, on the sixth of May, which was reported to the House, on the tenth,” recommending the establishment of governments in the colonies “sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs” (JA, Works, 2:489, note; JCC, 4:342). But it seems to be, rather, a different device to achieve the same end, i.e. to draw the teeth from the instructions still controlling the delegations from the middle colonies. There can be no doubt that JA proposed to introduce it into the debates of the committee of the whole during March or April, but whether he did or not remains a question. For the source of JA's language see the next note.
2. Compare the instructions issued to the Massachusetts delegates by the General Court on 18 Jan. 1776 (while JA was attending as a member of the Council): “Resolved that they or any one or more of them are hereby fully impowered, with the delegates from the other American Colonies to concert, direct and order such further measures as shall to them appear best calculated for the Establishment of Right and Liberty to the American Colonies upon a Basis permanent and secured against the power and arts of the British Administration” (Adams Papers). JA was simply proposing to extend the Massachusetts Instructions throughout the Continent.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-04

[Residences of Delegates in Philadelphia, April? 1776.]1

Coll. Whipple lodges at Mrs. [] in Walnut Street.
Mr. Hancock, Messrs. Adams's, Paine and Gerry at Mrs. Yards in 2d Street.
Mr. Hopkins at []
Mr. Sherman, Coll. Wolcott and Coll. Huntington at Mr. Duncans in 3d.
Mr. Duane at the Collectors in Markett Street, next door to Coll. Reads.
Gen. Livingston, Mr. De Hart in Second Street.
Mr. Serjeant at Dr. Ewing's.
Mr. Moreton at []
Mr. Wilson at []
Mr. Johnson at []
Mr. Alexander at []
Mr. Goldsborough at []
Mr. Tilghman at his Brothers.
{ 238 }
Coll. R. H. Lee at []
Coll. F. L. Lee at the Corner opposite Mr. George Clymers.
Mr. Wythe in Chesnutt Street.
Coll. Harrison at Randolphs.
Mr. Braxton at []
Mr. Hewes, at, in 3d Street—lives alone.
Mr. Rutledge at Mrs. Yards.
Mr. Lynch at []
Mr. Lynch Junr. at []
1. This imperfect but interesting list, hitherto unpublished, was written in the final leaves of D/JA/25. JA evidently put down all the names at one sitting but left ample space for additional names and addresses to be supplied later. A comparison with the attendance records of members compiled by Burnett (Letters of Members, 1:xli–lxvi) shows that, apart from the (doubtless inadvertent) omission of the Delaware delegation, JA's list closely approximates the membership of Congress known from other evidence to have been present in late April. One could be more confident and precise about the date if the attendance records of certain members of the New York and South Carolina delegations were less obscure.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1776-05-13 - 1776-05-15

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress, 13–15 May 1776.]1

Mr. Duane moves that the Delegation from N. York might be read.2
When We were invited by Mass. Bay to the first Congress an Objection was made to binding ourselves by Votes of Congress.
Congress ought not to determine a Point of this Sort, about instituting Government. What is it to Congress, how Justice is administered. You have no Right to pass the Resolution—any more than Parliament has.
How does it appear that no favourable Answer is likely to be given to our Petitions? Every Account of foreign Aid, is accompanied with an Account of Commissioners.3
Why all this Haste? Why this Urging? Why this driving?—Disputes about Independence are in all the Colonies. What is this owing to, but our Indiscretion?
I shall take the Liberty of informing my Constituents that I have not been guilty of a Breach of Trust. I do protest vs. this Piece of Mechanism, this Preamble.
If the Facts in this Preamble should prove to be true, there will not be one Voice vs. Independence.
{ 239 }
I suppose the Votes have been numbered and there is to be a Majority.4
McKean. Construes the Instructions from N. York as Mr. Sherman does, and thinks this Measure the best to produce Harmony with G. Britain. There are now 2 Governments in direct Opposition to each other. Dont doubt that foreign Mercenaries are coming to destroy Us. I do think We shall loose our Liberties, Properties and Lives too, if We do not take this Step.
S. Adams. We have been favoured with a Reading of the Instructions from N. York. I am glad of it. The first Object of that Colony is no doubt the Establishment of their Rights. Our Petitions have not been heard—yet answered with Fleets and Armies and are to be answered with Mirmidons from abroad. The Gentleman from N. York, Mr. Duane, has not objected to the Preamble, but this—he has not a Right to vote for it.5 We cant go upon stronger Reasons, than that the King has thrown us out of his Protection. Why should We support Governments under his Authority? I wonder the People have conducted so well as they have.
Mr. Wilson. Was not present in Congress when the Resolution pass'd, to which this Preamble is proposed. I was present and one of the Committee, who reported the Advice to Mass. Bay.6 N. Hampshire, Carolina and Virginia, had the same Advice, and with my hearty Concurrence.
The Claims of Parliament will meet with Resistance to the last Extremity. Those Colonies were Royal Governments. They could not subsist without some Government.
A Maxim, that all Government originates from the People. We are the Servants of the People sent here to act under a delegated Authority. If we exceed it, voluntarily, We deserve neither Excuse nor Justification.
Some have been put under Restraints by their Constituents. They cannot vote, without transgressing this Line. Suppose they should hereafter be called to an Account for it. This Province has not by any public Act, authorized us to vote upon this Question. This Province has done much and asked little from this Congress. The Assembly, largely increased, will [not]7 meet till next Monday. Will the Cause suffer much, if this Preamble is not published at this Time? If the Resolve is published without the Preamble. The Preamble contains a Reflection upon the Conduct of some People in America. It was equally irreconcileable to good Conscience Nine Months ago, to take the Oaths of Allegiance, as it is now. Two respectable Members last Febru• { 240 } ary, took the Oath of Allegiance in our Assembly. Why should We expose any Gentlemen to such an invidious Reflection?
In Magna Charta, there is a Clause, which authorises the People to seize the K[ing]'s Castles, and opposes his Arms when he exceeds his duty.
In this Province if that Preamble passes there will be an immediate Dissolution of every Kind of Authority. The People will be instantly in a State of Nature. Why then precipitate this Measure. Before We are prepared to build the new House, why should We pull down the old one, and expose ourselves to all the Inclemencies of the Season.8
R. H. Lee. Most of the Arguments apply to the Resolve and not to the Preamble.
1. First entry in D/JA/27, a pocket memorandum book stitched into red-brown leather covers and containing scattered notes of proceedings in Congress from this date through 2 Aug. 1776. On the date of the present debate see the next note.
2. That is, the instructions to the New York delegates issued by the New York Provincial Convention, 12 April 1775. The delegates were instructed “to concert and determine upon such measures, as shall be judged most effectual for the preservation and reestablishment of American rights and priviledges, and for the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the Colonies” (JCC, 2:15–16; italics added). The New York delegates were not released from this instruction until 9 July, after independence had been voted and the Declaration adopted (same, 5:560).
On 10 May, according to the Journal,
“Congress then resumed the consideration of the report from the committee of the whole [on the state of the United Colonies], which being read was agreed to as follows:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the respective assemblies and conventions of the United Colonies, where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs have been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to prepare a preamble to the foregoing resolution:
“The members chosen, Mr. J[ohn] Adams, Mr. [Edward] Rutledge, and Mr. R[ichard] H[enry] Lee” (same, 4:342).
The resolution for instituting new governments, which JA in his Autobiography pronounced “an Epocha, a decisive Event,” had been debated in committee of the whole for some time, though it is not clear just how long. The assumption, frequently encountered, that it formed part of the report of a committee of the whole on 6 May cannot be verified. As for its authorship, we have the statement by JA in his Autobiography that “In the Beginning of May I procured the Appointment of a Committee, to prepare a resolution recommending to the People of the States to institute Governments. The Committee of whom I was one requested me to draught a resolve which I did and by their Direction reported it.” Though JA was undoubtedly a prime mover of this business, this account, written from memory, misleadingly blends the resolution adopted on the 10th with the preamble adopted on the 15th.
The committee to prepare a preamble reported a draft on 13 May, “which was read, and postponed till to morrow”; two days later it was taken “into consideration [and] agreed to” in the form spread on the Journal (JCC, 4:351, 357–358). Both the resolution and the preamble were published in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 22 May.
The debate recorded in the present { 241 } notes was clearly over the preamble, the language of which was much stronger than that of the resolution it accompanied, since it called for the total suppression “of every land of authority” under the British crown. This debate must have taken place between 13 and 15 May. Carter Braxton, a conservative member from Virginia, wrote on 17 May to Landon Carter that the resolution and preamble, taken together, fall
“little short of Independence. It was not so understood by Congress but I find those out of doors on both sides the question construe it in that manner. The assumption of Governt. was necessary and to that resolution little objection was made, but when the Preamble was reported much heat and debate did ensue for two or three Days” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:453–454).
3. See James Duane to John Jay, 11 May 1776 (same, p. 443).
4. Carter Braxton said on 17 May that the vote on the preamble was “I think ... 6 to 4” (same, p. 454). James Allen, a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, recorded in his Diary on 15 May that it “was carried by a majority of 7 Colonies to 4” (PMHB, 9:187 [July 1885]). If Allen was right, this would mean that one colony was divided. (Georgia had no delegates present until 20 May.)
5. Dash supplied in this sentence for clarity.
6. “Advice” to throw off royal authority and assume the powers of government, June 1775; see JCC, 2:81, 83–84, and JA's Autobiography under 7 June 1775. Similar advice was given to other colonies when they sought it of Congress later in the same year.
7. Inadvertent omission in the MS.
8. Wilson proved a true prophet. The current measures of Congress effectually destroyed the proprietary government of Pennsylvania, a primary target of the independence party in Congress, and led directly to the formation of a new state government. See J. Paul Selsam, The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, Phila., 1936, ch. 3.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-07-25

[Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress on the Articles of Confederation]1 July 25. 1776.2

Art. 14. of the Confederation.3
Terms in this Article, equivocal and indefinite.
Jefferson. The Limits of the Southern Colonies are fixed....4 Moves an Amendment, that all Purchases of Lands, not within the Boundaries of any Colony shall be made by Congress, of the Indians in a great Council.— Sherman seconds the Motion....5
Chase. The Intention of this Article is very obvious, and plain. The Article appears to me to be right, and the Amendment wrong. It is the Intention of some Gentlemen to limit the Boundaries of particular States. No colony has a Right to go to the S[outh] Sea. They never had—they cant have. It would not be safe to the rest. It would be destructive to her Sisters, and to herself.
Art. 16 [i.e. 15]....6
Jefferson. What are reasonable Limits? What Security have We that the Congress will not curtail the present Settlements of the States. I have no doubt, that the Colonies will limit themselves.
Wilson. Every Gentleman has heard much of Claims to the South { 242 } Sea. They are extravagant. The Grants were made upon Mistakes. They were ignorant of the Geography. They thought the S. Sea within 100 Miles of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not conceived that they extended 3000 Miles. Ld. Cambden considers the Claims to the South Sea, as what never can be reduced to Practice. Pensilvania has no Right to interfere in those claims. But she has a Right to say, that she will not confederate unless those Claims are cut off. I wish the Colonies themselves would cutt off those Claims....
Art. 16.7
Chase moves for the Word deputies, instead of Delegates, because the Members of the Maryland Convention are called Delegates, and he would have a Distinction.—Answer. In other Colonies the Reverse is true. The Members of the House are called deputies.
Jefferson objects to the first of November.— Dr. Hall moves for May, for the time to meet.— Jefferson thinks that Congress will have a short Meeting in the Fall and another in the Spring.— Hayward thinks the Spring the best Time.— Wilson thinks the fall—and November better than October, because September is a busy Month, every where.
Dr. Hall. Septr. and Octr. the most sickly and mortal Months in the Year. The Season is forwarder in Georgia in April, than here in May.
Hopkinson moves that the Power of recalling Delegates be reserved to the State not to the Assembly, because that may be changed.
Art. 17.8
Each Colony shall have one Vote.
1. This being the first entry since May, we have nothing in JA's Diary or his notes of proceedings in Congress to indicate the part he played in the final struggle for political independence or the nature of his labors in Congress in the weeks that followed. Among his many assignments that summer, the most taxing was his service at the head of the Board of War and Ordnance, a standing committee appointed on 13 June (JCC, 5:438), to which all routine military business was thereafter referred. In his Autobiography, under date of 15 June 1776, JA lists the duties of the Board, and he did not exaggerate in saying that “From this time, We find in Almost every days Journal References of various Business to the Board of War, or their Reports upon such Things as were referred to them.” The MS reports of the Board of War from the summer of 1776 to Oct. 1777 fill a volume in PCC, No. 147.
2. A summary account of efforts, July 1775—June 1776, to arrive at a plan of confederation has been given above in a note on JA's paper called Measures to be Pursued in Congress, Feb.? 1776. On 12 June a committee consisting of one member (not including JA) from each colony was appointed “to prepare and digest the form of a confederation to be entered into between these colonies”; exactly a month later this committee reported a draft composed by John Dickinson, which was read and ordered to be printed exclusively for the use of members (JCC, 5:433. 546–556). On 22 July the printed draft was taken { 243 } up in a committee of the whole, which debated the articles at intervals from then until 20 Aug., when a revised text or second draft was reported to Congress by the committee and a second confidential printing was ordered for later consideration (same, p. 600, 674–689). JA's Notes of Debates which follow record in a fragmentary way the discussions in committee of the whole from 25 July to 2 Aug., inclusive. They are paralleled and supplemented by similar notes taken by Jefferson on the debates in committee on two critical articles in Dickinson's plan during the three days 30 July—1 Aug. (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:320–327).
3. Article XIV of the Dickinson draft dealt with the mode of purchasing land from the Indians (JCC, 5:549).
4. The suspension points, both here and below in this series of notes on the debates concerning confederation, are in the MS.
5. For the full text of Jefferson's amendment, written on a slip affixed to the MS of the Dickinson draft, see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:181–182. The whole of Article XIV was omitted in the revised text, or second draft, of 20 Aug. (JCC, 5:679–680).
6. Article XV dealt with boundaries of colonies or states, but was dependent on a clause in Article XVIII granting Congress the power to fix these boundaries (same, p. 549). Debate on this subject was resumed in committee of the whole on 2 Aug., q.v., below.
7. Article XVI in the Dickinson draft dealt with the mode of choosing and recalling delegates, the times Congress would convene, &c. (JCC, 5:549–550).
8. Article XVII in the Dickinson draft reads: “In determining Questions (in Congress) each Colony shall have one Vote” (same, p. 550). Jefferson's Notes of Proceedings do not indicate that this important article came up at all until 30 July. If it did come up on the 25th, it was quickly passed over, but see 30 July and 1 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-07-26

[Notes of Debates on the Articles of Confederation, Continued] July. 26.

Rutledge and Linch oppose giving the Power of regulating the Trade and managing all Affairs of the Indians, to Congress.1 The Trade is profitable they say.
Gwinnett is in favour of Congress having such Power.
Braxton is for excepting such Indians as are tributary to any State. Several Nations are tributary to Virginia.
Jefferson explains it to mean the Indians who live in the Colony. These are Subject to the Laws in some degree.
Wilson. We have no Right over the Indians, whether within or without the real or pretended Limits of any Colony.... They will not allow themselves to be classed according to the Bounds of Colonies. Grants made 3000 miles to the Eastward have no Validity with the Indians. The Trade of Pensilvania has been more considerable with the Indians than that of the neighbouring Colonies.
Walton. The Indian Trade is of no essential service to any Colony. It must be a Monopoly. If it is free it produces Jealousies and Animosities, and Wars. Carolina very passionately considers this Trade as contributory to her Grandeur and Dignity. Deerskins are a great Part of the Trade. A great difference between S. Carolina and Georgia. { 244 } Carolina is in no danger from the Indians at present. Georgia is a frontier and Barrier to Car. G. must be overrun and extirpated before Car. can be hurt. G. is not equal to the Expence of giving the Donations to the Indians, which will be necessary to keep them at Peace. The Emoluments of the Trade are not a Compensation for the Expence of donations.
Rutledge differs from Walton in a Variety of Points.—We must look forward with extensive Views. Carolina has been run to an amazing expence to defend themselves vs. Indians. In 1760 &c. fifty thousand Guineas were spent. We have now as many Men on the frontiers, as in Charlestown. We have Forts in the Indian Countries. We are connected with them by Treaties.
Lynch. Congress may regulate the Trade, if they will indemnify Car. vs. the Expence of keeping Peace with the Indians, or defending Us vs. them.
Witherspoon. Here are two adjacent Provinces, situated alike with respect to the Indians, differing totally in their Sentiments of their Interests.
Chase. S. Carolina claims to the S. Sea. So does North, Virginia, and Massachusetts Bay. S. Carolina says they have a Right to regulate the Trade with the Indians. If so 4 Colonies have all the Power of regulating Trade with the Indians. S.C. alone could not stand alone vs. the Indian Nations.
Sherman moves that Congress may have a Superintending Power, to prevent Injustice to the Indians or Colonies.
Willson. No lasting Peace will be with the Indians, unless made by some one Body. No such language as this ought to be held to the Indians. We are stronger, We are better. We treat you better than another Colony. No Power ought to treat, with the Indians, but the united States. Indians know the striking Benefits of Confederation— they have an Example of it in the Union of the Six nations. The Idea of the Union of the Colonies struck them forcibly last Year. None should trade with Indians without a Licence from Congress. A perpetual War would be unavoidable, if every Body was allowed to trade with them.
Stone. This Expedient is worse than either of the Alternatives. What is the meaning of this Superintendency? Colonies will claim the Right first. Congress cant interpose untill the Evil has happened. Disputes will arise when Congress shall interpose.
1. The debate in committee of the whole this day relates to a clause in Article XVIII of the Dickinson draft granting Congress the power of “regulat• { 245 } ing the Trade, and managing all Affairs with the Indians,” which was incorporated in the second draft of 20 Aug. with a minor modification (JCC, 5:550, 682).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-07-30

[Notes of Debates on the Articles of Confederation, Continued] July 30. 1776.

Dr. Franklin. Let the smaller Colonies give equal Money and Men, and then have an equal Vote. But if they have an equal Vote, without bearing equal Burthens, a Confederation upon such iniquitous Principles, will never last long.1
Dr. Witherspoon. We all agree that there must and shall be a Confederation, for this War. It will diminish the Glory of our Object, and depreciate our Hope. It will damp the Ardor of the People. The greatest danger We have is of Disunion among ourselves. Is it not plausible, that the small States will be oppressed by the great ones. The Spartans and Helotes—the Romans and their Dependents.
Every Colony is a distinct Person. States of Holland.2
Clark. We must apply for Pardons, if We dont confederate....
Wilson.... We should settle upon some Plan of Representation.3
Chase. Moves that the Word, White, should be inserted in the 11. Article. The Negroes are wealth. Numbers are not a certain Rule of wealth. It is the best Rule We can lay down. Negroes a Species of Property—personal Estate. If Negroes are taken into the Computation of Numbers to ascertain Wealth, they ought to be in settling the Representation. The Massachusetts Fisheries, and Navigation ought to be taken into Consideration. The young and old Negroes are a Burthen to their owners. The Eastern Colonies have a great Advantage, in Trade. This will give them a Superiority. We shall be governed by our Interests, and ought to be. If I am satisfied, in the Rule of levying and appropriating Money, I am willing the small Colonies may have a Vote.4
Wilson. If the War continues 2 Years, each Soul will have 40 dollars to pay of the public debt. It will be the greatest Encouragement to continue Slave keeping, and to increase them, that can be to exempt them from the Numbers which are to vote and pay.... Slaves are Taxables in the Southern Colonies. It will be partial and unequal. Some Colonies have as many black as white.... These will not pay more than half what they ought. Slaves prevent freemen cultivating a Country. It is attended with many Inconveniences.5
{ 246 }
Lynch. If it is debated, whether their Slaves are their Property, there is an End of the Confederation. Our Slaves being our Property, why should they be taxed more than the Land, Sheep, Cattle, Horses, &c. Freemen cannot be got, to work in our Colonies. It is not in the Ability, or Inclination of freemen to do the Work that the Negroes do. Carolina has taxed their Negroes. So have other Colonies, their Lands.
Dr. Franklin. Slaves rather weaken than strengthen the State, and there is therefore some difference between them and Sheep. Sheep will never make any Insurrections.
Rutledge.... I shall be happy to get rid of the idea of Slavery. The
Slaves do not signify Property. The old and young cannot work. The Property of some Colonies are to be taxed, in others not. The Eastern Colonies will become the Carriers for the Southern. They will obtain Wealth for which they will not be taxed.
1. The committee of the whole was now debating Article XVII of Dickinson's draft, which provided that each colony or state would have a single vote in Congress. (See entry of 25 July and note 8 there.) Compare Franklin's speech as recorded here and also Witherspoon's (which follows) with Jefferson's report of the same speeches in his Papers, 1:324–325.
2. JA omits but Jefferson reports an important speech by JA himself on this topic this day, immediately following Witherspoon's (same, p. 325–326).
3. Here follows a short interval of space in the MS, the only indication provided by the diarist that in what follows the committee had shifted to a different and equally important issue, namely the provision in Article XI of Dickinson's draft that the money contributions of the states should be “in Proportion to the Number of Inhabitants of every Age, Sex and Quality, except Indians not paying Taxes” (JCC, 5:548).
There is reason to believe that JA failed to note not only a change of subject but also a change in date between what precedes and what follows this break in his MS notes. That the method of establishing tax quotas was debated on 31 as well as 30 July seems clear from Jefferson's Notes (Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:320), but JA passes over the 31st silently. More telling is the reference by Hooper, under 1 Aug., below, to the “Rule that was laid down Yesterday, that the Riches of a Country are in Proportion to the Numbers of Inhabitants.” This almost certainly refers to the opening of JA's own remarks reported by Jefferson; see the following note.
Debate on Article XVII was resumed on 1 Aug., q.v., below.
4. Compare Chase's speech as reported by Jefferson in his Papers, 1:320–321. The Chase amendment was not agreed to by the committee; see entry of 1 Aug., below, and note 2 there.
JA omits but Jefferson reports a speech by JA himself following Chase's (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:321–322). For reasons mentioned in the preceding note it is likely that this speech was given on 31 July, though since Jefferson divides his report of the debates on confederation by topic rather than by date, this supposition cannot be verified.
5. Compare Wilson's speech as reported by Jefferson in his Papers, 1:322.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-01

[Notes of Debates on the Articles of Confederation, Continued] Aug. 1. 1776.

Hooper.1 N.C. is a striking Exception to the general Rule that was { 247 } laid down Yesterday, that the Riches of a Country are in Proportion to the Numbers of Inhabitants. A Gentleman of 3 or 400 Negroes, dont raise more corn than feeds them. A Labourer cant be hired for less than £24 a Year in Mass. Bay. The neat profit of a Negro is not more than 5 or 6£ pr. An[num]. I wish to see the day that Slaves are not necessary. Whites and Negroes cannot work together. Negroes are Goods and Chattells, are Property. A Negro works under the Impulse of fear—has no Care of his Masters Interest.2
17. Art.
Dr. Franklin moves that Votes should be in Proportion to Numbers.
Mr. Middleton moves that the Vote should be according to what they pay.
Sherman thinks We ought not to vote according to Numbers. We are Rep[resentative]s of States not Individuals. States of Holland. The Consent of every one is necessary. 3 Colonies would govern the whole but would not have a Majority of Strength to carry those Votes into Execution.
The Vote should be taken two Ways. Call the Colonies and call the Individuals, and have a Majority of both.
Dr. Rush. Abbe Reynauld [Raynal] has attributed the Ruin of the united Provinces to 3 Causes. The principal one is that the Consent of every State is necessary. The other that the Members are obliged to consult their Constituents upon all Occasions.
We loose an equal Representation. We represent the People. It will tend to keep up colonial Distinctions. We are now a new Nation. Our Trade, Language, Customs, Manners dont differ more than they do in G. Britain.
The more a Man aims at serving America the more he serves his Colony.
It will promote Factions in Congress and in the States.
It will prevent the Growth of Freedom in America. We shall be loth to admit new Colonies into the Confederation. If We vote by Numbers Liberty will be always safe. Mass, is contiguous to 2 small Colonies, R.[I]. and N.H. Pen. is near N.Y. and D. Virginia is between Maryland and N. Carolina.
We have been to[o] free with the Word Independence. We are dependent on each other—not totally independent States.
Montesquieu pronounced the Confederation of Licea the best that ever was made. The Cities had different Weights in the Scale.
China is not larger than one of our Colonies. How populous.
{ 248 }
It is said that the small Colonies deposit their all. This is deceiving Us with a Word.
I would not have it understood, that I am pleading the Cause of Pensilvania. When I entered that door, I considered myself a Citizen of America.3
Dr. Witherspoon. Rep[resentatio]n in England is unequal. Must I have 3 Votes in a County because I have 3 times as much Money as my Neighbour. Congress are to determine the Limits of Colonies.
G[overnor] Hopkins. A momentous Question. Many difficulties on each Side. 4 larger, 5 lesser, 4 stand indifferent. V. M. P. M.4 make more than half the People. 4 may alw5
C, N.Y., 2 Carolinas, not concerned at all. The dissinterested Coolness of these Colonies ought to determine. I can easily feel the Reasoning of the larger Colonies. Pleasing Theories always gave Way to the Prejudices, Passions, and Interests of Mankind.
The Germanic Confederation. The K. of Prussia has an equal Vote. The Helvetic Confederacy. It cant be expected that 9 Colonies will give Way to be governed by 4. The Safety of the whole depends upon the distinctions of Colonies.
Dr. Franklin. I hear many ingenious Arguments to perswade Us that an unequal Representation is a very good Thing. If We had been born and bred under an unequal Representation We might bear it. But to sett out with an unequal Representation is unreasonable.
It is said the great Colonies will swallow up the less. Scotland said the same Thing at the Union.
Dr. Witherspoon. Rises to explain a few Circumstances relating to Scotland. That was an incorporating Union, not a federal. The Nobility and Gentry resort to England.
In determining all Questions, each State shall have a Weight in Proportion to what it contributes to the public Expences of the united States.
1. Hooper is continuing the discussion of Article XI, on the method of apportioning taxes.
2. In a vote in committee of the whole this day Chase's motion to insert “white” before “Inhabitants” in Article XI lost by seven states to five, the vote being strictly sectional, though Georgia's vote was divided and therefore not counted (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:323).
After the present paragraph there is an interval of space in the MS amounting to half a page, and thereafter the committee resumed discussion of Article XVII, broken off on 30 July, q.v., above.
3. Compare Rush's speech as reported by Jefferson in his Papers, 1:326.
4. Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland.
5. Sentence breaks off thus in MS, { 249 } but compare Jefferson's summary of Hopkins' remarks: “the 4. largest ... therefore would govern the others as they should please” (Papers, ed. Boyd, 1:326).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0009-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-08-02

[Notes of Debates on the Articles of Confederation, Continued] Aug. 2d.

Limiting the Bounds of States which by Charter &c. extend to the South Sea.1
Sherman thinks the Bounds ought to be settled. A Majority of States have no Claim to the South Sea. Moves this Amendment, to be substituted in Place of this Clause and also instead of the 15th Article— No Lands to be seperated from any State, which are already settled, or become private Property.
Chase denys that any Colony has a Right, to go to the South Sea....
Harrison. How came Maryland by its Land? but by its Charter: By its Charter Virginia owns to the South Sea. Gentlemen shall not pare away the Colony of Virginia. R. Island has more Generosity, than to wish the Massachusetts pared away. Delaware does not wish to pare away Pensilvania.
Huntington. Admit there is danger, from Virginia, does it follow that Congress has a Right to limit her Bounds? The Consequence is not to enter into Confederation. But as to the Question of Right, We all unite against mutilating Charters. I cant agree to the Principle. We are a Spectacle to all Europe. I am not so much alarmed at the Danger, from Virginia, as some are. My fears are not alarmed. They have acted as noble a Part as any. I doubt not the Wisdom of Virginia will limit themselves. A Mans Right does not cease to be a Right because it is large. The Q[uestion] of Right must be determined by the Principles of the common Law.
Stone. This Argument is taken up upon very wrong Ground. It is considered as if We were voting away the Territory of particular Colonies, and Gentlemen work themselves up into Warmth, upon that Supposition. Suppose Virginia should. The small Colonies have a Right to Happiness and Security. They would have no Safety if the great Colonies were not limited. We shall grant Lands in small Quantities, without Rent, or Tribute, or purchase Money. It is said that Virginia is attacked on every Side. Is it meant that Virginia shall sell the Lands for their own Emolument?
All the Colonies have defended these Lands vs. the K. of G.B., and at the Expence of all. Does Virginia intend to establish Quitrents?
{ 250 }
I dont mean that the united States shall sell them to get Money by them.
Jefferson. I protest vs. the Right of Congress to decide, upon the Right of Virginia. Virginia has released all Claims to the Lands settled by Maryland &c.
1. This is a close paraphrase of a clause in Article XVIII of Dickinson's draft, which listed the powers to be granted to Congress (JCC, 5:550–551). The debate in committee this day actually continued that begun on 25 July (q.v., above) concerning Article XV, further consideration of which was postponed until after discussion of Article XVIII. This controversial clause was omitted in the second draft of the Articles as submitted to Congress on 20 August. See JCC, 5:680 and note 2; p. 682 and note 1.
On 9 Aug. Samuel Chase wrote to Philip Schuyler: “when we shall be confederated States, I know not. I am afraid the Day is far distant, three great Difficulties occur—The Mode of Voting, whether by Colonies, or by an equal Representation; The Rule by which each Colony is to pay its Quota, and the Claim of several Colonies to extend to the South Seas, a considerable Diversity of opinion prevails on each Head” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:44). Congress did not again take up the text of the Articles and attempt to complete them until 8 April 1777 (JCC, 7:240). Their subsequent history to the point of ultimate ratification, 1 March 1781 (see same, 19:208–223), may be best traced in Burnett, Continental Congress, chs. 13, 25, or in the standard work on the subject, Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation, Madison, 1940.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0010-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-09-10

Sept. 10.

Took with me to N.Y. 51 dollars and 5s. 8d. Pen. Currency in Change.1
1. An isolated entry in D/JA/25; an identical entry appears in D/JA/27 and is the last in that booklet.
This is the only allusion in JA's Diary to his journey from Philadelphia to Staten Island and back, in company with Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge, a committee appointed by Congress on 6 Sept. to confer with Admiral Lord Howe in his capacity as a commissioner to accommodate the dispute between Great Britain and America (JCC, 5:728, 730–731, 737–738). The conference took place on 11 Sept. but accomplished nothing because, as the committee reported to Congress on 17 Sept., “it did not appear ... that his Lordship's commission contained any other authority of importance than ... that of granting pardons ... and of declaring America, or any part of it, to be in the king's peace” (same, 5:766). But the circumstances were dramatic, and the incident attracted much attention and comment. JA's account of it in his Autobiography is justly famous (printed in his Works, 3:75–81, without the supporting letters that appear in the MS). Much the fullest account of the conference itself is that by Henry Strachey, secretary to the British commissioners (the Howe brothers), first printed accurately by Paul L. Ford (from a MS now in NN) in an article entitled “Lord Howe's Commission to Pacify the Colonies,” Atlantic Monthly, 77:758–762 (June 1896). See also Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:15 and note, 66 and note; Benjamin Rush, Autobiography, 119–121, 140; Ambrose Serle, American Journal, ed. Edward H. Tatum Jr., San Marino, Calif., 1940, p. 100–101.
On 19 Nov. Congress resolved that there was due to Rutledge, Franklin, and JA, “a committee to Staten Island, for their expences there and back, 71 [and] 30/90 dollars” (JCC, 6:964).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0006-0011-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1776-10-13

1776 Octr. 13. Sunday.

Sat out from Phyladelphia towards Boston, oated at the Red Lyon, dined at Bristol, crossed Trenton ferry, long before Sun set, drank Coffee at the Ferry House on the East Side of Delaware, where I putt up—partly to avoid riding in the Evening Air, and partly because 30 miles is enough for the first day, as my Tendons are delicate, not having been once on Horse back since the Eighth day of last February.1
1. On 25 JulyJA addressed a letter to John Avery, deputy secretary of state, requesting leave of the General Court to return home. “I have attended here, so long and so constantly, that I feel myself necessitated to ask the Favour, on Account of my Health, as well as on many other Accounts” (M-Ar: vol. 195; printed in JA, Works, 9:426–427). He went on to propose to the legislature “an Alteration in their Plan of Delegation in Congress,” the point of which was to have nine members chosen annually, so that “four, or Six, might be at home, at a Time, and every Member might be relieved, once in three or four Months.” Whether or not this plan was adopted, he said, he was obliged to request an immediate replacement for himself. On 24, 26, and 27 July JA wrote three letters to James Warren, speaker of the House, to the same effect, particularizing the ailments of the Massachusetts delegates, discussing eligible replacements, and saying in the last of these letters: “Go home I will, if I leave the Massachusetts without a Member here” (all three letters in MHi and printed in Warren-Adams Letters, 1:263–266). Elbridge Gerry was on leave at this time, and on 12 Aug. Samuel Adams also departed for Massachusetts, leaving only Paine, who was quite ill, and JA on duty until Gerry's return on 2 Sept. (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:li–lii). In letters to his wife and to James Warren during August that are too numerous to list, JA repeatedly implored them to send horses so that he could make his way home. Meanwhile the General Court was in adjournment, and even after it convened on 28 Aug. it took no action on JA's request, service in Congress being relished by none who were eligible to serve (James Warren to JA, 19 Sept., Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:274). And toward the close of August, despite his irritation with his principals at home, JA himself thought it best to stay on in Philadelphia during the military crisis round New York. So it was that, although his old servant Bass arrived on 5 Sept. with horses procured by AA, JA did not apply to Congress for a leave of absence until 10 October. Three days later he set out. See AA to JA, 29 Aug.; JA to AA, 4, 5 Sept., 11 Oct. (all in Adams Papers); JA to Warren, 4 Sept. (MHi; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:273). The date of his arrival in Braintree after an absence of about ten months is not known. On 3 Jan. 1777 the General Court authorized payment to JA of £226 6s. 2d. “in full Satisfaction of his Services & Expences as a Delegate at the Continentale Congress for the Year 1776” (Resolves of 1776–1777, ch. 719; Mass., Province Laws, 19:744).
The present entry is the last in D/JA/25, though there follow in this booklet 37 pages of notes on the French language, copied from an unidentified French grammar. It is possible that these were copied into the Diary in the spring of 1776. An alliance with France was being discussed when JA returned to Congress in February, and on the 18th of that month he wrote to AA: “I wish I understood French as well as you. I would have gone to Canada [on the committee of Congress to visit the army there], if I had”; and he went on to adjure her to teach the children French, which will soon “become a necessary Accomplishment of an American Gentleman and Lady” (Adams Papers; printed in JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 136). On the other hand, the exercises may have been copied during the comparative leisure JA enjoyed after his return from Congress in the fall of 1776.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Massachusetts General Court
DateRange: 1777-01 - 1777-09

[Account with Massachusetts as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, January–September 1777.]1

    £   s   d  
1777. Bought two Horses for my Journey to Baltimore, one of the Honourable Mr. Spooner for £15 another of John Gill for £20—I bought these Horses, because I had none of my own, but one, which I was obliged to leave at home for the Use of my Family, and I thought it would be a Saving to the public to buy a Couple of cheap Horses rather than to hire as I must have done at a dear rate. The public will allow me for the Hire of these Horses what they think just.2   35:   0:   0  
January   Paid Mr. Vesey for shoeing my Horses 8s each   0:   16:   0  
  Paid for a small Pair of Holsters for Pistolls and for Pistol Balls 4s   0:   4:   0  
January 29.   Paid Isaac Greentrees Account at Philadelphia for keeping my Servant and Horses   2:   8:   0  
  Cash paid Mr. Lovell, being Monies advanced by him, for me upon the Road   32:   16:   10  
February 10.   Cash paid the Washerwoman at Baltimore for washing Linnen for me and my Servant one dollar   0:   8:   0  
Feb. 24. 1777.   Cash paid John Turner for his Account £2:15s. 9d Pensilvania Currency   2:   4:   6  
  To cash paid Turner 5s: Pen. Cur.   0:   4:   0  
Feb. 27.   Cash paid Washerwoman for Washing for me and my Man   0:   8:   0  
  28   Cash paid for David Rusks Account, for keeping my Horses, &c. 37 dollars3   11:   2:   0  
Feb. 29.   Cash paid Elizabeth Ross my Landlady in Baltimore for my own and my servants Board £9.12s:6d Pen. Cur.   7:   14:   0  
Feb. 28.   Cash to M. K. Goddard for a Blank Book 25s P. Cur.   1:   0:   0  
  29.   Cash paid for a Quire of Paper 3s Pen. Cur.   0:   2:   6  
{ 253 }
  24   Cash paid Sam. & Robert Purveyance for a Bll. of flour shipped home to my family not to be charged to the public 2:13:1 Pen. cur.4   2:   2:   6  
March 2   To cash paid the Hostler for trimming my Horses &c.   0:   3:   0  
  To cash paid Wadsworth for my share towards Wood, Candles, Wine, cutting Wood &c.   0:   6:   0  
  To cash paid Mrs. Ross for Board since the Date of her Account   0:   6:   0  
    62:   4:   4  
  By Articles in Mr. Lovell's Account which are not to be charged to the public        
   Cash paid for an Hanger   7:   10:   0  
   Cash paid to Turner   3:   12:   0  
   Cash paid for a Pistoll Belt   0:   4:   0  
1777   By a Grant of Cash which I recd. of the Treasury   150:   0:   05  
Feb. 24.   By the Article of a Barrell of flour   2:   2:   6  
Feb. 28.   By an abatement        
1777 March 7.   Cash paid Coll. Whipple, for my share of Expence for myself, my servant and Horses, on our Journey from Baltimore to Philadelphia, crossing the Susquehannah River at the Bald Fryars6£ 7. Pen. cur. 18 dollars & 2/3   5:   12:   0  
  10.   To cash paid the Newspaper Carrier,   0:   2:   0  
  15.   To cash paid John Turner for sundry Necessaries as per Acct.   0:   10:   8  
April   11.   To cash paid for a Box of Dr. Ryans Pills to be sent to my Family, not to be charged to the public   0:   8:   0  
{ 254 }
    Paid John Turner to pay Henry Moses for a Pair of Pistoll Holders   1:   4:   0  
April   15.   Paid Jos. Fox for shoeing two Horses 30s Pen. cur.   1:   4:   0  
    Paid Robertson for a Quart of Spirits 7s:6d Pen. cur.   0:   6:   0  
April   17.   Paid John Turners Account 3 dollars   0:   18:   0  
  24.   Paid for one half Gallon of Wine 3 dollars   0:   18:   0  
  28.   Paid my Washerwoman 3 dollars   0:   18:   0  
  30   Paid Mrs. Yards Account for mine and servants Board7   4:   16:   0  
May   2.   Paid General Wolcot, my Proportion towards four Gallons of Spirit which, he, Coll. Whipple, Mr. Lovell and myself, purchased together.   1:   2:   0  
  5.   Paid for Washing 5s:iod Pen. Cur.   0:   4:   8  
  13   Paid for one Gallon of Rum 40s Pen. Cur.   1:   12:   0  
  15   Paid Thos. Tufts for mending the Lock of my Chest   0:   1:   0  
    Paid for Candles 2s:6d Pen. cur.   0:   2:   0  
  24.   Paid the Washerwoman 4 dollars   1:   4:   0  
  30   Paid John Burn the Barber £3. Pen. Cur.   2:   8:   0  
July   4.   Paid for one Gallon of Rum Six Dollars £2:5s Pen. Cur.   1:   16:   0  
  22   Paid for a Girth of Leather 2 dollars   0:   12:   0  
    Paid for Candles and black ball   0:   5:   0  
      25:   11:   4  
Money Spent in miscellaneous Expenses as on the other Page [i.e. the following memorandum]   7:   7    
      32:   18:   4  
1777 July 23. I cast up the foregoing Account, and found it amounted to £87:15s:8d. At the same Time I counted over all the Money which I had left of the hundred Pounds I brought with me and found it amounted to £4:17s:4d which added to £87:15s: 8d makes £92:13s:od which being deducted from £100:os:od the sum I { 255 } brought with me from Home, (having left £50, with my Family) leaves £7: 7s: od—so that I have spent seven Pounds, seven shillings, which I have kept no Account of—all this is gone in miscellaneous Expences, on Committees, and for a Variety of miscellaneous Articles, without which it is impossible to live and of which it is impossible to account.
    £   s   d  
1777 July 23d.   Paid William Dibley his Account for keeping my Horses £23:125:6 P.C. 63 dollars   18:   18:   0  
July 24.   Paid My Servant John Turners Account for his Wages, and 10 Weeks Board and some Disbursements for me, as per his Acct. and Rect. £31: 6s:6d P. Cur. 83 dollars   24:   18:   0  
  Paid Isaac Shoemakers £2:3s:9d P.C. 5 dollars & 5/6   1:   15:   0  
  Paid Isaac Greentree for Horsekeeping £3:11s:od Pen. cur.   2:   17:   0  
July 25   Paid Wm. Davey for keeping my Horses 6 Weeks £2:5s:od Pen. cur.   1:   16:   0  
Aug. 11.   Paid John Turners Acct. £2:9s:9d Pen. Cur.   2:   2:   0  
  Paid John Coltons Acct. £2:12s:6d   2:   2:   0  
  Paid John Turner towards his Expences home   3:   2:   0  
Aug. 19.   Paid Washerwomans Account for washing for me and my Servant £4:11s:2d P.C. L.M.   3:   13:   0  
Aug. 26.   Paid Byrnes Account £3 P.C.   2:   8:   0  
Aug. 30   Paid Captain Robert Duncans Account for mine and my Servants Board to 31st. Aug. £77.18s:4d P.C.   62:   8:   0  
Sept. 1.   Paid for two Pounds of Candles.   0:   4:   0  
   14.   Paid Mr. Samuel McLane his Account £6:1os P.C.   5:   4:   0  
  Paid for a Pair of Straps   0:   6:   0  
1777 July 22.   By 1000 Dollars reed, of Mr. John Gibson in Part of a Note of Hand from { 256 } £ s d Mr. Hillegas to Mr. Hancock for 25,000 Dollars for which I gave a Rect. on the back of the Note and also a loose Rect. to Mr. Gibson   300:   0:   08  
1. This record of JA's expenses for his service in the Continental Congress during 1777 is in the back pages of one of his letterbooks (Lb/JA/3; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 91), and is printed here because it is much more complete than an account for the same year, begun on a loose sheet inserted in D/JA/22B but broken off after a few entries. Even the present version is incomplete, extending only to mid-September though JA attended Congress two months longer. The explanation is in a letter from JA to Speaker James Warren, 15 Jan. 1778 (NN: Emmet Coll.). This letter enclosed a summary account of JA's claim against Massachusetts for 1777 and apologized for its want of fullness and lack of supporting vouchers. But, as the writer explained, owing to the sudden departure of Congress from Philadelphia when Howe's army was approaching the city from the Chesapeake, “I was obliged to leave a small Trunk of my Baggage together with my Account Book and all my Receipts behind me, in the Care of a Reverend Gentleman in the City.” See Diary entries of 15, 19 Sept., below.
On 15 Nov. 1776 JA had been elected to serve another year in Congress, together with his colleagues Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paine, and Gerry, and two additional members, James Lovell and Francis Dana (Mass., House Jour., 1776–1777, p. 157). This enlargement of the delegation partly answered JA's pleas of the preceding summer, and a resolution voted by the General Court on 4 Feb. 1777 (laid before Congress on 12 March) went further by declaring that “any two or more of said Delegates, representing this State in Congress, being the major part present, be and hereby are vested with all the powers with which any three ... were vested” previously (enclosure in John Avery to JA, 17 Feb., Adams Papers; full text in JCC, 7:169–170).
2. On 12 Dec. 1776 Congress had adjourned at Philadelphia as Howe's army drove Washington's army through New Jersey to the Delaware, and on 20 Dec. it convened in Baltimore (JCC, 6:1027– 1028). So that when JA set out with James Lovell on 9 Jan. 1777, they took a circuitous, backcountry route. Upon leaving Hartford they crossed the hills of western Connecticut and reached the Hudson at Fishkill “After a March like that of Hannibal over the Alps.” At Fishkill they found they had to travel north in order to cross the ice-choked Hudson, which they did at Poughkeepsie. Traversing Orange co., N.Y., and Sussex co., N.J., they reached Easton at the Forks of the Delaware by 24 January. A day or two later JA had his first view of the Moravian community at Bethlehem, Penna., and he and Lovell arrived at Baltimore on 1 February. JA described the journey in letters to AA dated 9, 13, 14, [17 or 18], 19, 20, 24 Jan.; 2, 7 Feb. 1777 (Adams Papers; printed in JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 233–242).
3. In the fragmentary account in D/JA/22B this entry (the last in that fragment) reads: “Cash paid David Rusk for my Board and my servants, and for Stabling for my Horses 37 dollars.” This indicates that JA lodged with Rusk before going to Mrs. Ross's; see Diary entry of 6 Feb., below.
4. A receipt for this purchase from the Purviances is in Adams Papers under this date.
5. This was an advance partial payment to JA for his service in Congress during 1777, authorized by a vote of the House on 4 Jan. (Mass., House Jour., 1776–1777, p. 213).
6. A ford a few miles south of the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary, near present Conowingo. It is shown on a remarkable MS map of the country between the Chesapeake and Philadelphia { 257 } enclosed in a letter from James Lovell to AA, 29 Aug. (Adams Papers), and is described in The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783, ed. Evelyn M. Acomb, Chapel Hill, 1958, p. 125. Evidently the crossings below this point were ice-bound.
7. JA probably left Baltimore on 2 March and arrived in Philadelphia by the 5th, the day to which Congress had, at its last sitting in Baltimore (27 Feb.), adjourned, though a quorum of members did not assemble until 12 March (JCC, 7:168–169). JA lodged at Mrs. Yard's in Second Street until 14 March, but on that day moved to Capt. Robert Duncan's on the south side of Walnut Street between Second and Third, because he got cheaper terms there; his fellow boarders included William Whipple of New Hampshire and Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut (JA to AA, 14, 16 March, Adams Papers). Here he stayed until 12 Sept.; see Diary, 15 Sept., below.
8. This is a credit item in favor of Massachusetts. John Gibson was auditor general and Michael Hillegas was treasurer of the United States. In his summary account submitted to the General Court, JA's total expenses, together with pay at 24s. a day for 322 days, came to £792 18s. 8d., from which he deducted £450 (£150 advance pay and £300 from the Continental Treasury as here listed), so that the balance due him amounted to £342 18s. 8d. (enclosure in JA to Speaker Warren, 15 Jan. 1778, NN:Emmet Coll.). Payment to him in this amount was authorized by a resolve of 27 Jan. 1778 (Resolves of 1777–1778, ch. 685; Mass., Province Laws, 20:261).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-06

1777. Thursday Feby. 6th.1

Lodged last night for the first Time in my new Quarters, at Mrs. Ross'es in Markett Street, Baltimore a few Doors below the fountain Inn.
The Gentlemen from Pensilvania and Maryland, complain of the growing Practice of distilling Wheat into Whisky. They say it will become a Question whether the People shall eat bread or drink Whisky.
The Congress sits in the last House at the West End of Market Street, on the South Side of the Street. A long Chamber, with two fire Places, two large Closets, and two Doors. The House belongs to a Quaker, who built it for a Tavern.2
1. First entry in “Paper book” No. 28 (our D/JA/28), a stitched gathering of leaves without cover containing entries extending to 21 Nov. 1777 but with a gap from the beginning of March to mid-September.
2. A memorial tablet now marks the site of this building at the corner of Liberty and Baltimore (formerly Market) Streets. See Edith Rossiter Bevan, “The Continental Congress in Baltimore, Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777,” Md. Hist. Mag., 42:21–28 (March 1947), a useful compendium of information on Congress' brief stay in Baltimore.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-07

7th Fryday.

Dined, about half a Mile out of Town at Mr. Lux's, with Dr. Witherspoon, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Lovell, Mr. Hall, Dr. Thornton, a Mr. Harrison, Dr.[] and Mr. George Lux, and two Ladies Mrs. Lux and her Sister. This Seat is named Chatworth, and an elegant one it is. Has a large Yard, inclosed with Stone in Lime, and before { 258 } The Yard two fine Rows of large Cherry Trees, which lead out to the public Road. There is a fine Prospect about it. Mr. Lux and his Son are sensible Gentlemen. I had much Conversation with George about the new form of Government adopted in Maryland.
George is the young Gentleman, by whom I sent Letters to my friends from Philadelphia, when the Army was at Cambridge, particularly to Coll. Warren, whom and whose Lady Lux so much admired.
The whole Family profess great Zeal in the American Cause. Mr. Lux lives like a Prince.1
1. The seat of William Lux, a merchant, shipowner, and Continental marine agent in Baltimore, was called Chatsworth. JA and Samuel Adams had written letters introducing Lux's son George to James Warren in July 1775. See Charles O. Paullin, ed., Out-Letters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, N.Y., 1914, 1:131; Bevan, “Continental Congress in Baltimore,” p. 27 and note; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:93–94.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-08

1777. Feb. 8. Saturday.

Dined at the Presidents, with Mr. Lux, Messrs. Samuel and Robert Purveyance, Capt. Nicholson of the Maryland Frigate,1 Coll. Harrison, Wilson, Mr. Hall—upon New England Salt fish. The Weather was rainy, and the Streets the muddiest I ever saw.—This is the dirtyest Place in the World—our Salem, and Portsmouth are neat in Comparison. The Inhabitants, however, are excusable because they had determined to pave the Streets before this War came on, since which they have laid the Project aside, as they are accessible to Men of War. This Place is not incorporated. It is neither a City, Town, nor Burrough, so that they can do nothing with Authority.
1. JA doubtless means the frigate Virginia, built in Maryland and commanded by James Nicholson; see JCC, 5:423, and the next entry in this Diary. On Nicholson see DAB.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-09

1777. Feby. 9. Sunday.

Heard Mr. Allison. In the Evening walked to Fells Point, the Place where the Ships lie, a kind of Peninsula which runs out, into the Bason which lies before Baltimore Town. This Bason 30 Years ago was deep enough for large Tobacco ships, but since then has fill'd up, ten feet. Between the Town and the Point, We pass a Bridge over a little Brook which is the only Stream which runs into the Bason, and the only flux of Water which is to clear away the Dirt which flows into the Bason from the foul streets of the Town and the neighbouring Hills and Fields. There is a breast Work thrown up upon the Point, with a { 259 } Number of Embrasures for Cannon facing the Entrance into the Harbour. The Virginia Frigate Capt. Nickolson, lies off in the Stream. There is a Number of Houses upon this Point. You have a fine View of the Town of Baltimore from this Point.
On my Return, I stopped and drank Tea at Captn. Smiths, a Gentleman of the new Assembly.1
1. William Smith; he was to be elected to Congress on 15 Feb. (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:xlix–l; Biog. Dir. Cong.; entry of 23 Feb., below).
On the following day JA resigned his seat, which he had never been able to occupy, as chief justice of Massachusetts, thus ending a dilemma that had made him uncomfortable for many months. On 28 Oct. 1775 he was notified that the Council had chosen him “to be first or Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature” (Perez Morton to JA, 28 Oct. 1775, Adams Papers). Difficulties in filling up the high court proved insuperable for some time, and there was also much criticism in Congress during 1776 of plural officeholding, which JA found embarrassing. See his Autobiography, where he discusses the matter at length (Works, 3:25–28). His letter of resignation was enclosed in one to John Avery, 10 Feb. 1777 (LbC, Adams Papers; enclosure printed in Works, 3: 25, note).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-16

1777 Feb. 16.

Last Evening I supped with my Friends Dr. Rush and Mr. Sergeant at Mrs. Page's over the Bridge. The two Coll. Lees, Dr. Witherspoon, Mr. Adams, Mr. Gerry, Dr. Brownson, made the Company. They have a Fashion in this Town of reversing the Picture of King G. 3d, in such Families as have it. One of these Topsy Turvy Kings was hung up in the Room, where we supped, and under it were written these Lines, by Mr. Throop, as we were told.

Behold the Man who had it in his Power

To make a Kingdom tremble and adore

Intoxicate with Folly, See his Head

Plac'd where the meanest of his Subjects tread

Like Lucifer the giddy Tyrant fell

He lifts his Heel to Heaven but points his Head to Hell.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-17

Feb. 17. Monday.

Yesterday, heard Dr. Witherspoon upon redeeming Time. An excellent Sermon. I find that I understand the Dr. better, since I have heard him so much in Conversation, and in the Senate. But I perceive that his Attention to civil Affairs, has slackened his Memory. It cost him more Pains than heretofore to recollect his Discourse.
Mr. H[ancock] told C.W. [Colonel Whipple?] Yesterday, that he had determined to go to Boston in April. Mrs. H. was not willing to go { 260 } till May, but Mr. H. was determined upon April.—Perhaps the Choice of a Governor, may come on in May.—What aspiring little Creatures we are! how subtle, sagacious and judicious this Passion is! how clearly it sees its Object, how constantly it pursues it, and what wise Plans it devises for obtaining it!

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-21

1777. Feb. 21. Fryday.

Dined Yesterday at Mr. Samuel Purveyances. Mr. Robert his Brother and Lady, the President and Lady, the two Coll. Lees and their Ladies, Mr. Page and his Lady, Coll. Whipple, Mrs. K. Quincy, a young Gentleman and a young Lady made the Company.1 A great Feast. The Virginia Ladies had Ornaments about their Wrists, which I dont remember to have seen before. These Ornaments were like Miniature Pictures, bound round the Arms with some Chains.
This Morning received a long Card from Mr. H. expressing great Resentment about fixing the Magazine at Brookfield, against the Book binder and the General.2 The Complaisance to me and the Jealousy for the Massachusetts in this Message, indicate to me, the same Passion and the same design, with the Journey to B[oston] in April.
1. Samuel and Robert Purviance were prominent merchants who had come to Baltimore from Ireland via Philadelphia in the 1760's and were now engaged in supplying the Continental forces; correspondence on their business activities and especially on Samuel Purviance's leading role in the Baltimore Committee of Correspondence, is printed in Robert Purviance, A Narrative of Events Which Occurred in Baltimore Town during the Revolutionary War, Baltimore, 1849, which is in some sense a family memoir. Among the other guests were Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee and Mann Page Jr., all delegates in Congress from Virginia; and “Mrs.” (i.e. Mistress, actually Miss) Katherine Quincy, sister of Mrs. President Hancock.
2. Hancock's “long Card” to JA has not been found; “the Book binder” was Henry Knox, recently commissioned brigadier general (DAB). On the controversy over locating the Continental magazines, see Hancock to Washington, 29 Jan. 1777, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:226, and references there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-23

1777. Feb. 23.

Took a Walk with Mr. Gerry, down to a Place called Ferry Branch, a Point of Land which is formed by a Branch of the Patapsco on one Side and the Basin before the Town of Baltimore on the other. At the Point is a Ferry, over to the Road which goes to Anapolis. This is a very pretty Walk. At the Point you have a full view of the elegant, splendid Seat of Mr. Carroll Barrister.1 It is a large and elegant House. It stands fronting looking down the River, into the Harbour. It is one Mile from the Water. There is a most beautifull Walk from the House down to the Water. There is a descent, not far from the House. You { 261 } have a fine Garden—then you descend a few Steps and have another fine Garden—you go down a few more and have another. It is now the dead of Winter, no Verdure, or Bloom to be seen, but in the Spring, Summer, and fall this Scaene must be very pretty.
Returned and dined with Mr. William Smith a new Member of Congress. Dr. Lyon, Mr. Merriman, Mr. Gerry, a son of Mr. Smith, and two other Gentlemen made the Company. The Conversation turned, among other Things, upon removing the Obstructions and opening the Navigation of Susquehannah River. The Company thought it might easily be done, and would open an amazing Scaene of Business. Philadelphia will oppose it, but it will be the Interest of a Majority of Pensilvania to effect it.
This Mr. Smith is a grave, solid Gentleman, a Presbyterian by Profession—a very different Man from the most of those We have heretofore had from Maryland.
The Manners of Maryland are somewhat peculiar. They have but few Merchants. They are chiefly Planters and Farmers. The Planters are those who raise Tobacco and the Farmers such as raise Wheat &c. The Lands are cultivated, and all Sorts of Trades are exercised by Negroes, or by transported Convicts, which has occasioned the Planters and Farmers to assume the Title of Gentlemen, and they hold their Negroes and Convicts, that is all labouring People and Tradesmen, in such Contempt, that they think themselves a distinct order of Beings. Hence they never will suffer their Sons to labour or learn any Trade, but they bring them up in Idleness or what is worse in Horse Racing, Cock fighting, and Card Playing.
1. Charles Carroll, “Barrister,” was so designated to distinguish him from his distant relative Charles Carroll of Carrollton; see W. Stull Holt, “Charles Carroll, Barrister: The Man,” Md. Hist. Mag., 31:112–126 (June 1936). Both served as Maryland delegates in Congress, though not concurrently (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:xlv–xlvi). The Barrister's seat was called Mount Clare and is now a museum in Carroll Park, Baltimore. There is an illustrated article by Lilian Giffen, “‘Mount Clare,’ Baltimore,” Md. Hist. Mag., 42:29–34 (March 1947).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-28

1777. Feb. 28. Fryday.

Last Evening had a good deal of free Conversation, with Mr. R. Purveyance. He seems to me to have a perfect Understanding of the affairs of this State. Men and Things are very well known to him.
The object of the Men of Property here, the Planters &c., is universally, Wealth. Every Way in the World is sought to get and save Money. Landjobbers—Speculators in Land—little Generosity to the Public—little public Spirit.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0002-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-02-28

Feb. 29.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-15

Septr. 15. 1777. Monday.1

Fryday the 12, I removed from Captn. Duncans in Walnutt Street to the Revd. Mr. Sprouts in Third Street, a few doors from his Meeting House.2 Mr. Merchant from Rhode Island boards here, with me.3 Mr. Sprout is sick of a Fever. Mrs. Sprout, and the four young Ladies her Daughters, are in great Distress on Account of his Sickness, and the Approach of Mr. Howes Army. But they bear their Affliction with Christian Patience and philosophic Fortitude. The young Ladies are Miss Hannah, Olive, Sally and Nancy. The only Son is an Officer in the Army. He was the first Clerk in the American War office.
We live in critical Moments! Mr. Howes Army is at Middleton and Concord. Mr. Washingtons, upon the Western Banks of Schuylkill, a few Miles from him. I saw this Morning an excellent Chart of the Schuylkill, Chester River, the Brandywine, and this whole Country, among the Pensilvania Files. This City is the Stake, for which the Game is playd. I think, there is a Chance for saving it, although the Probability is against Us. Mr. Howe I conjecture is waiting for his Ships to come into the Delaware. Will W. attack him? I hope so—and God grant him Success.
1. In the MS there is only a half-page interval of space between the false entry of “Feb. 29” and the present entry six and a half months later. During that period JA was steadily in attendance at Congress in Philadelphia. His principal work, as in the summer and fall of 1776, was presiding over the Board of War and Ordnance, which handled the lion's share of Congress' routine work. Hundreds of communications, relating to military operations, recruits, defenses, prisoners, supplies, courts martial, and the rank of officers (a perpetual problem, made worse by the influx of foreign volunteers), to mention no others, were referred to the Board for recommendations or action during these months. Although there was discussion throughout the year of converting the Board into a professional body under the supervision of Congress, this step was not taken until after JA had left Congress in November. See Samuel Adams to JA, 9 Jan. 1777, Adams Papers; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:210, and notes and references there.
As early as May JA complained of “drooping” health, a lingering cold, and weakened eyes (to AA, 15, 21 May, Adams Papers). As summer came on, he had a strong additional reason for wishing to visit Braintree: AA was expecting a baby in July. On 11 July she was delivered of a daughter who was to have been named Elizabeth but who “never opened its Eyes in this World.” See JA to AA, 4 June, 28 July; AA to JA, 9, 10–11, 16 July; John Thaxter to JA, 13 July (Adams Papers).
2. This was to be a short stay. The American army had been defeated at Chadd's Ford on the Brandywine, 11 September. See entry of 19 Sept., below.
3. Henry Marchant, of Newport, R.I., a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1777–1780, 1783–1784 (Biog. Dir. Cong. ).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-16

1777. Sept. 16. Tuesday.

No Newspaper this Morning. Mr. Dunlap has moved or packed up his Types. A Note from G. Dickinson that the Enemy in N. Jersey are 4000 strong.1 How is about 15 miles from Us, the other Way. The City seems to be asleep, or dead, and the whole State scarce alive. Maryland and Delaware the same.
The Prospect is chilling, on every Side. Gloomy, dark, melancholly, and dispiriting. When and where will the light spring up?
Shall We have good News from Europe? Shall We hear of a Blow struck by Gates? Is there a Possibility that Washington should beat How? Is there a Prospect that McDougal and Dickinson should destroy the Detachment in the Jersies?
From whence is our Deliverance to come? Or is it not to come? Is Philadelphia to be lost? If lost, is the Cause lost? No—the Cause is not lost—but it may be hurt.
I seldom regard Reports, but it is said that How has marked his Course, from Elke, with Depredation. His Troops have plunderd Henroosts, dairy Rooms, the furniture of Houses and all the Cattle of the Country. The Inhabitants, most of whom are Quakers, are angry and disappointed, because they were promised the Security of their Property.
It is reported too that Mr. How lost great Numbers in the Battle of the Brandywine.
1. Gen. Philemon Dickinson, at Trenton, to Congress, 15 Sept. 1777, in PCC, No. 78, VII.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-18

1777. Septr. 18. Thursday.

The violent N.E. Storm which began the Day before Yesterday continues. We are yet in Philadelphia, that Mass of Cowardice and Toryism. Yesterday was buryed Monsr. Du Coudray, a French Officer of Artillery, who was lately made an Inspector General of Artillery and military Manufactures with the Rank of Major General. He was drowned in the Schuylkill, in a strange manner. He rode into the Ferry Boat, and road out at the other End, into the River, and was drowned. His Horse took fright. He was reputed the most learned and promising Officer in France. He was carried into the Romish Chappell, and buried in the Yard of that Church.
This Dispensation will save Us much Altercation.1
1. Much altercation had, however, preceded this event. On Philippe Tronson du Coudray, a French artillery officer and prolific writer on artillery science, see Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:444–454. By agreement with { 264 } Silas Deane in France, Du Coudray expected to be appointed major general and to take command of the Continental artillery upon his arrival in America in April 1777. This prospect outraged Generals Knox, Greene, and Sullivan and led them to threaten resignation of their commands. JA, distressed about what to do with Du Coudray, was much more distressed by the American generals' behavior. See JA to Nathanael Greene, 7 July 1777, LbC, Adams Papers; RC printed by Bernhard Knollenberg, with valuable comments, in R.I. Hist., 1:78–81 (July 1942). Lafayette described Du Coudray's death as “peutetre un heureux accident” (Lasseray, 2:452).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-19

1777. Septr. 19. Fryday.

At 3 this Morning was waked by Mr. Lovell, and told that the Members of Congress were gone, some of them, a little after Midnight. That there was a Letter from Mr. Hamilton Aid de Camp to the General, informing that the Enemy were in Poss[essio]n of the Ford and the Boats, and had it in their Power to be in Philadelphia, before Morning, and that if Congress was not removed they had not a Moment to loose.1
Mr. Merchant and myself arose, sent for our Horses, and, after collecting our Things, rode off after the others. Breakfasted at Bristol, where were many Members, determined to go the Newtown Road to Reading. We rode to Trenton where We dined. Coll. Harrison, Dr. Witherspoon, all the Delegates from N.Y. and N.E. except Gerry and Lovell. Drank Tea at Mr. Spencers, lodged at Mr. S. Tuckers, at his kind Invitation.
1. Alexander Hamilton to John Hancock, 18 Sept. 1777 (Hamilton, Works, ed. Hamilton, 1:34–35). Congress had already agreed on the 14th that if it proved necessary to leave Philadelphia, “Lancaster shall be the place at which they shall meet” (JCC, 8:742; see also p. 754). For some further details on JA's departure and his circuitous route to Lancaster in order to avoid British scouting parties, see his letter to AA of 30 Sept. (Adams Papers; JA-AA, Familiar Letters, p. 314–315).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-20

Septr. 20. Saturday.

Breakfasted at Mrs. J. B. Smiths. The old Gentleman, his Son Thomas the Loan Officer, were here, and Mrs. Smith's little Son and two Daughters. An elegant Break fast We had of fine Hyson, loaf Sugar, and Coffee &c.
Dined at Williams's, the Sign of the Green Tree. Drank Tea, with Mr. Thompson and his Lady at Mrs. Jacksons. Walked with Mr. Duane to General Dickinsons House, and took a Look at his Farm and Gardens, and his Greenhouse, which is a Scaene of Desolation. The floor of the Greenhouse is dug up by the Hessians, in Search for Money. The Orange, Lemon and Lime Trees are all dead, with the Leaves on. There is a spacious Ball Room, above stairs a drawing { 265 } Room and a whispering Room. In another Apartment, a huge Crash of Glass Bottles, which the Hessians had broke I suppose.—These are thy Tryumphs, mighty Britain.—Mr. Law, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Thompson, Mr.[] were here. Spent the Evening at Williams's and slept again at Tuckers.
Mrs. Tucker has about 1600£ st. in some of the Funds in England, which she is in fear of loosing. She is accordingly, passionately wishing for Peace, and that the Battle was fought once for all &c. Says that, private Property will be plundered, where there is an Army whether of Friends or Enemies. That if the two opposite Armys were to come here alternately ten times, she would stand by her Property untill she should be kill'd. If she must be a Beggar, it should be where she was known &c. This kind of Conversation shews plainly enough, how well she is pleased, with the State of Things.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-21

1777 Septr. 21. Sunday.

It was a false alarm which occasioned our Flight from Philadelphia. Not a Soldier of Howes has crossed the Schuylkill.1 Washington has again crossed it, which I think is a very injudicious Maneuvre. I think, his Army would have been best disposed on the West Side of the Schuylkill. If he had sent one Brigade of his regular Troops to have heald2 the Militia it would have been enough. With such a Disposition, he might have cutt to Pieces, Hows Army, in attempting to cross any of the Fords. How will not attempt it. He will wait for his Fleet in Delaware River. He will keep open his Line of Communication with Brunswick, and at last, by some Deception or other will slip unhurt into the City.
Burgoine has crossed Hudsons River, by which Gen. Gates thinks, he is determined at all Hazards to push for Albany, which G. Gates says he will do all in his Power to prevent him from reaching. But I confess I am anxious for the Event, for I fear he will deceive Gates, who seems to be acting the same timorous, defensive Part, which has involved us in so many Disasters.—Oh, Heaven! grant Us one great Soul! One leading Mind would extricate the best Cause, from that Ruin which seems to await it, for the Want of it.
We have as good a Cause, as ever was fought for. We have great Resources. The People are well tempered. One active masterly Capacity would bring order out of this Confusion and save this Country.
1. The British occupied Philadelphia on 27 September.
2. Thus in MS. CFA corrected to “headed,” which may or may not be what the diarist intended.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-22

1777. Monday. Septr. 22.

Breakfasted at Ringolds in Quaker Town, dined at Shannons in Easton at the Forks, slept at Johnsons in Bethlehem.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09

[Travel Expenses, September 1777.]1

pd. at Quaker Town[] 2 1/2 dollars.
pd. at Johnsons at Bethlehem[] 8 dollars
at Hartmans Reading[] 4 dollars
at Parkers[] £4:18s:6d P.C.
1. Fragmentary record of expenses, written on the last leaf of D/JA/28, during JA's journey from Philadelphia to Lancaster via Trenton, Easton, Bethlehem, and Reading.
Congress sat in Lancaster for only one day, 27 Sept., adjourning on that day to meet at York on the 30th, and was able to proceed with business on 1 Oct. (JCC, 8:755–756). Its place of meeting was the York co. courthouse (Robert Fortenbaugh, The Nine Capitals of the United States, York, Penna., 1948, p. 39). JA was at Lancaster by the 27th and at York by the 30th, where he stayed at the house of Gen. Daniel Roberdeau, a Pennsylvania delegate (JA to AA, 9 Oct., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-23

1777. Tuesday. Septr. 23.

Mr. Okeley [Okely], Mr. Hassey [Hasse] and Mr. Edwine [Ettwein] came to see me. Mr. Edwine shewed Us, the Childrens Meeting at half after 8 o'clock. Musick, consisting of an Organ and Singing in the German Language. Mr. Edwine gave a Discourse in German and then the same in English.1
Mrs. Langley shewed Us the Society of Single Women. Then Mr. Edwine shewed Us the Water Works and the Manufactures. There are six Setts of Works in one Building. An Hemp Mill, an Oil Mill, a Mill to grind Bark for the Tanners.
Then the Fullers Mill, both of Cloth and Leather, the Dyers House, and the Shearers House. They raise a great deal of Madder. We walked among the Rowes of Cherry Trees, with spacious orchards of Apple Trees on each Side of the Cherry Walk. The Society of Single Men have turned out, for the sick.
1. A Moravian account of this visit to Bethlehem by members of the Continental Congress is printed in PMHB, 13:71–73 (April 1889).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-24

1777 Wednesday Sept. 24.

Fine Morning. We all went to Meeting last Evening, where Mr. Edwine gave the People a short discourse in German, and the Congregation sung and the organ playd. There were about 200 Women and as many Men. The Women sat together in one Body and the Men { 267 } in another. The Women dressed all alike. The Womens Heads resembled a Garden of white Cabbage Heads.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-09-25

1777. Thursday. Septr. 25.

Rode from Bethlehem through Allan Town, Yesterday, to a German Tavern, about 18 Miles from Reading. Rode this Morning to Reading, where We breakfasted, and heard for certain that Mr. Howes Army had crossed the Schuylkill. Coll. Hartley gave me an Account of the late Battle, between the Enemy and General Wayne.1 Hartley thinks that the Place was improper for Battle, and that there ought to have been a Retreat.
1. Grey's surprise of Wayne at Paoli, 20 September.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-15

1777 Saturday Novr. 15th.1

At Willis's at the Log Goal in New Jersey 28 miles from Easton.
1777 Tuesday Novr. 11. Sett off from York Town—reached Lancaster. 12. From Lancaster to Reading. Slept at Gen. Mifflins.2 13. Reached Strickser's. 14. Dined at Bethlehem. Slept at Easton at Coll. Hoopers. Supped at Coll. Deans.
Met Messrs. Elery and Dana and Coll. Brown on the 15 a few miles on this Side of Reading.
We have had 5 days of very severe Weather, raw, cold, frosty, snowy. This cold comes from afar. The Lakes Champlain and George have been boisterous, if not frozen. Will the Enemy evacuate Ti[conderog]a? Are they supplied with Prov[isions] for the Winter? Can they bring em from Canada? by Water or Ice? Can they get them in the Neighbouring Country?
Can We take Mt. Independence in the Winter?
1. In Congress, 7 Nov., “Ordered, That Mr. Samuel Adams, and Mr. J[ohn] Adams, have leave of absence to visit their families” (JCC, 9:880). The Adamses had waited to make this application until they supposed the text of the Articles of Confederation, debate over which had occupied Congress intermittently since early April, was complete. Actually a final text was not agreed to and spread on the Journal until 15 Nov. (same, p. 907–928); in this form it was to be printed and submitted to the states for adoption. Meanwhile, on the nth, the Adamses set off from York, as appears from the retrospective entries incorporated in the present entry.
Some of the varied reasons for JA's retirement from Congress at this time are given in his Autobiography, at the beginning of Part Two, entitled “Travels and Negotiations.” The reasons were largely personal. After four years of almost continuous service in Congress he needed to repair his health; and his business, farm, and family required his attention.
2. At Reading JA paid Gen. Mifflin “92 dollars in Behalf of Mr. Hiltsheimer ... for keeping one Horse to the 11. Aug. and another to the 19. Septr.” This was a charge incurred in Philadelphia which { 268 } JA had failed to pay because of his hurried departure. Mifflin's receipt for this payment, dated 13 Nov. 1777, is in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-17

Monday. Novr. 17. 1777.

Rode Yesterday from Logg Jail, Willis's, breakfasted at Hoffmans, at Sussex Ct. House, and supped and lodged at David McCamblys, 34 miles from Willis's.—The Taverners all along are complaining of the Guard of Light Horse which attended Mr. H[ancock]. They did not pay, and the Taverners were obliged to go after them, to demand their Dues. The Expence, which is supposed to be the Countrys, is unpopular. The Torys laugh at the Tavern keepers, who have often turned them out of their Houses for abusing Mr. H. They now scoff at them for being imposed upon by their King, as they call him.—Vanity is allways mean. Vanity is never rich enough to be generous.
Dined at Brewsters, in Orange County, State of New York. Brewsters Grandfather, as he tells me, was a Clergyman and one of the first Adventurers to Plymouth. He died at 95 Years of Age, a Minister on Long Island, left a son, who lived to be above 80 and died leaving my Landlord, a son who is now I believe between 60 and 70. The Manners of this Family are exactly like those of the N.E. People. A decent Grace before and after Meat—fine Pork and Beef and Cabbage and Turnip.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-18

Tuesday Novr. 18. 1777.

Lodged at Brooks's, 5 Miles from the North River. Rode to the Continental Ferry, crossed over, and dined at Fish Kill, at the Drs. Mess, near the Hospital, with Dr. Sam. Adams, Dr. Eustis, Mr. Wells, &c. It was a feast—Salt Pork and Cabbage, roast Beef and Potatoes, and a noble suit Pudding, Grog and a Glass of Port.
Our best Road home is through Litchfield and Springfield.1
Morehouses is a good Tavern, about 24 Miles, 3 or 4 Miles on this Side of Bulls Iron Works. 50 Miles to Litchfield.
Captn. Storms 8 Miles.—Coll. Vandeboroughs 5.—Coll. Morehouses 9.—Bulls Iron Works 4. No Tavern.—Cogswells Iron Works 10—a Tavern.—Litchfield, 8.—Cross Mount Tom to get to Litchfield.
1. The notes on JA's itinerary which follow in this and succeeding entries are not to be taken literally as a record of the places that he passed through or stopped at. With the exception of the places where he states that he “dined,” “lodged,” or “breakfasted,” the notes are simply information—some of it not wholly reliable—that he gathered concerning the distances and inns ahead.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-19

Wednesday Novr. 19. 1777.

Dined at Storms, lodged last night and breakfasted this Morning at Loudouns at Fish Kill. Here We are at Coll. Morehouses's a Member of Assembly for Dutchess County.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-20

Thursday Novr. 20.

To Harrwington [Harwinton], Phillips's 5 Miles.—To Yales in Farmington 5.—To Humphreys in Simsbury 7 miles.—To Owens in Simsbury 7 miles.—To Sheldons in Suffield 10.—Kents in Suffield 5.— To Springfield 10.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0007-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1777-11-21

Novr. 21.

To Hays's, Salmon Brook 5. miles.—To Southwick, Loomis, 6.—To Fowlers 3. miles.—To Westfield, Claps, 4 miles.—To Captn. Claps, 4 miles this Side N.H.—To North Hampton, Lymans or Clarks.1
1. The date of JA's arrival in Braintree, 27 Nov., is recorded in his summary account rendered to the State of Massachusetts, enclosed in a letter to Speaker James Warren, 15 Jan. 1778 (NN:Emmet Coll.).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-13

1778 February 13. Fryday.1

Captain Samuel Tucker, Commander of the Frigate Boston, met me, at Mr. Norton Quincy's, where We dined, and after Dinner I sent my Baggage, and walked myself with Captain Tucker, Mr. Griffin a Midshipman, and my eldest Son, John Quincy Adams, between 10 and 11. Years of Age, down to the Moon Head, where lay the Bostons Barge.2 The Wind was very high, and the Sea very rough, but by Means of a Quantity of Hay in the Bottom of the Boat, and good Watch Coats with which We were covered We arrived on board the Boston, about five O Clock, tolerably warm and dry.—On board I found Mr. Vernon, a Son of Mr. Vernon of the Navy Board, a little Son of Mr. Deane of Weathersfield, between 11. and 12. Years of Age, and Mr. Nicholas Noel, a french Gentleman, Surgeon of the Ship, who seems to be a well bred Man.3
Dr. Noel shewed me, a Book, which was new to me. The Title is, Les Elemens de la Langue Angloise, dévélopés d'une maniere nouvelle, facile et très concise, en forme de Dialogue, ou la pronunciation est enseignée par un Assemblage de Lettres qui forme des sons similaires en François, et ou la juste Mesure de chaque Syllable est determinée. Avec un Vocabulaire, des Phrases familieres, et des Dialogues, tres interessans, pour ceux qui souhaitent parler Anglois correctement, { 270 } et en peu de Tems. Nouvelle Edition, revûe, corrigée et enrichè de plusieurs nouvelles Regies et Remarques, servant à écarter les Difficultés qui retardent le Progress des Etrangers. Par V. J. Peyton. Linguarum Diversitas alienat hominem ab homine, et propter solam linguarum diversitatem, nihil potest ad consociandos homines tanta Similitudo naturae. St. August. De Civit. Dei. A Londres, Chez J. Nourse et Paul Vaillant, dans le Strand 1776.
1. First entry in D/JA/47. This is a small quarto volume bound in marbled boards and may well be one of the two “Account Books” or “Memd. Book” purchased by the Navy Board for JA's use on his voyage and mission; see John Bradford to JA, 11? Feb. 1778 and enclosures (Adams Papers); the enclosures are reproduced in this volume List of Stores Sent on Board the Continental Frigate Boston, February 1778 facing page 194. The book contains about a hundred pages of journal entries, 13 Feb. 1778–26 April 1779, and though not nearly filled it was doubtless left home when JA sailed for Europe again in Nov. 1779. Years later the blank leaves were thriftily used for transcripts of JA's earliest Diary booklets, 1755–1761, made under the supervision of JQA; see Introduction.
When JA arrived home from Congress on 27 Nov. 1777, he had every expectation of a long leave and began to pick up the threads of his legal practice. But in York, Penna., on the following day Congress elected him a joint commissioner with Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee to represent the United States in France, Silas Deane having been recalled on 21 Nov. (JCC, 9:946–947, 975). JA's commission, erroneously dated 27 (instead of 28) Nov., was enclosed in a letter to him from Richard Henry Lee and James Lovell, “In Committee for foreign Affairs,” York, 3 Dec. (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:6–7). “After much Agitation of mind and a thousand reveries,” as he says in his Autobiography, JA announced his acceptance in a letter to President Henry Laurens, 23 Dec. (PCC, No. 84, I; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. 2:458).
2. In what is now Quincy Bay, though the name “Moon Head” is confusing and has been much disputed. There was and still remains a “Moon Head” on Moon Island off the tip of Squantum, the peninsula that encloses Quincy Bay on the north. But this Moon Head could not have been accessible by foot and is thus ruled out as the place from which JA embarked. Family and local tradition in Quincy long designated a low eminence on the shore near Norton Quincy's house and just opposite Half Moon Island as the spot, but when some antiquarian-minded friends sent CFA a sketch of the ground in 1877 he declined to interpret what JA meant by Moon Head and in effect declared the problem insoluble (Cyrus Woodman to James Baxter, 10 Aug. 1877, enclosed in Baxter to CFA, 13 Aug., Adams Papers; CFA to Baxter, 15 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers). Two bits of evidence, hitherto overlooked, settle the question where JA embarked from, though not why he called it what he did. The first is in a letter from AA to John Thaxter, 15–18 Feb. 1778, in which she says that her husband and son “embarked from this Town, the place you well know, Hofs Neck” (MHi:Waterston Coll.). The second is a passage in JA's Autobiography that was not published by CFA: “In our Way [from Norton Quincy's house] We made an halt of a few minutes at the House of Mr. Seth Spear on Hoffs neck, where some Sailors belonging to our barge had been waiting for us.” He then relates the conversation that passed between him and Mrs. Spear, who predicted an unfavorable voyage. Clearly, then, the party embarked from Hough's Neck, the southern extremity of Quincy Bay. This point was directly on the way to Nantasket Roads, where the Boston was anchored. Capt. Tucker's logbook (see the following paragraph) has this entry for 13 Feb. 1778: “I haveing Some Capital business at Brantre Send my boat on Shore to Georges Island [in Nantasket Roads] and brought { 271 } off a Pilot to Conduct me their att 10 AM Proceeded their finisht my business and Returned on board by 5 PM.”
The original logbook of the Boston, a 24–gun Continental frigate, is in the Samuel Tucker Papers (MH) and forms a valuable supplement to JA's record of this voyage; it is printed with reasonable fidelity as an appendix to Sheppard, Tucker, p. 261–327. Tucker prepared what he called “An Abstract of a Journal Kept ... on Board the Contl. Frigate Boston,” and presented it to JA in 1791 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 342). The “Abstract” differs in many details from the logbook, a fact which accounts for the variations between material quoted from the log in our notes and quotations attributed to it in notes by CFA, who used the “Abstract” when editing JA's Diary (JA, Works, 3:95 ff.).
3. William Vernon Jr., College of New Jersey 1776, was going to France to gain experience in trade; after a brief stay at Bordeaux he entered the house of “Mr. Revellat ainé, one of the Principal Negociants” of Montauban in Guienne, declining an offer by JA to serve as his secretary (entry of 16 Feb., below; Vernon Jr. to JA, 10 April, 16 May, 26 Sept. 1778; JA to Vernon Jr., 12 May, 15 Sept. 1778, both LbC; JA to Vernon Sr., 2 Dec. 1778, LbC; all in Adams Papers). As for Jesse Deane, he was placed with JQA and other young Americans in M. Le Coeur's private boarding school in Passy. He stayed in Europe five years, spending the last two of them with his father in Ghent and London. Returning to America in 1783, he joined a business enterprise in Hartford, but was apparently not successful. See entry of 14 April, note, below; Deane Papers, index, under his name.
On Nicolas Nöel, chirurgien-major in the French army, see Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:342–345. The official ship's doctor was Benjamin Brown, later a member of Congress from Massachusetts (Sheppard, Tucker, p. 84 and passim).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-14

1778. 14. Feb. Saturday.

A very fine Morning, the Wind at Northwest. At Daybreak orders were given for the Ship to unmoor.
My Lodging was a Cott, with a double Mattress, a good Bolster, my own Sheets, and Blanketts enough. My little Son, with me—We lay very comfortably, and slept well. A violent Gale of Wind in the Night.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-15

Feb. 15. Sunday.

This Morning weigh'd the last Anchor, and came under Sail, before Breakfast. A fine Wind, and a pleasant Sun, but a sharp cold Air.— Thus I bid farewell to my native Shore.—Arrived, and anchored in the Harbour of Marblehead, about Noon. Major Reed, Captn. Gatchell Father in Law of Capt. Tucker came on board, and a Captain Stevens who came on Board to make me a present of a single Pistol.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-16

1778. Feb. 16. Monday.

Another Storm for our Mortification—the Wind at N.E. and the Snow so thick that the Captain thinks he cannot go to Sea. Our Excursion to this Place, was unfortunate, because it is almost impossible, to { 272 } keep the Men on Board. Mothers, Wives, Sisters come on bord, and beg for Leave for their Sons, Husbands, and Brothers to go on Shore for one Hour &c. so that it is hard for the Commander to resist their Importunity.
I am anxious at these Delays. We shall never have another Wind so good as We have lost. Congress, and the Navy Board, will be surprized at these Delays, and yet there is no Fault, that I know of. The Commander of the Ship is active and vigilant, and does all in his Power, but he wants Men—he has very few Seamen indeed. All is as yet Chaos on board. His Men are not disciplined. The Marrines are not. The Men are not exercised to the Guns. They hardly know the Ropes.
My Son is treated very complaisantly by Dr. Noel, and by a Captain and Lieutenant of Artillery, who are on board, all French Gentlemen. They are very assiduous in teaching him French. The Dr. Monsr. Noel, is a genteell well bred Man, and has received somewhere a good Education. He has Wounds on his Forehead, and on his Hands, which he says he received, last War, in the Light Horse Service.
The Name of the Captain of Artillery is Parison,1 and that of the Lieutenant is Begard.
Since my Embarkation, Master Jesse Deane delivered me a Letter, from his Uncle Barnabas Deane dated 10. Feb. recommending to my particular Care and Attention, the Bearer, the only Child of his Brother Silas Deane Esq. now in France, making no doubt, as the Letter adds, that I shall take the same Care of a Child in his Situation, which I would wish to have done to a Child of my own, in the like Circumstance.—It is needless to mention his Youth and Helplessness, also how much he will be exposed to bad Company and to contract bad Habits, without some friendly Monitor to caution and keep him from associating with the common Hands on board.2
About the same Time, another Letter was delivered to me from Wm. Vernon Esq. of the Continental Navy Board, dated Feb. 9.—in these Words “I presume it is unnecessary to say one Word in order to impress your Mind with the Anxiety a Parent is under, in the Education of a Son, more especially when not under his immediate Inspection, and at 3000 Miles distance. Your parental Affection fixes this Principle. Therefore I have only to beg the Favour of you, Sir, to place my Son, in such a Situation, and with such a Gentleman as you would chuse for one of yours, whom you would wish to accomplish for a Merchant. If such a House could be found, either at Bourdeaux or Nantes, of protestant Principles, of general and extensive Business, { 273 } I rather think one of those Cities the best; yet if it should be your Opinion that some other Place might be more advantageous to place him at, or that he can be imployed by any of the States Agents, with a good Prospect of improving himself, in such manner, that he may hereafter be usefull to Society, and in particular to these American States, my Views are fully answered. I have only one Observation more to make, viz. in respect to the AEconomy of this Matter, which I am perswaded will engage your Attention, as the small Fortune that remains with me, I would wish to appropriate for the Education of my Son, which I know must be husbanded, yet I cant think of being rigidly parsimonious, nor must I be very lavish, lest my Money should not hold out.
“I imagine a Gratuity of one hundred Pounds Sterling may be given to a Merchant of Eminence to take him for two or three Years, and perhaps his yearly board paid for. I shall be entirely satisfyed in whatever may seem best for you to do, and ever shall have a gratefull Remembrance of your unmerited Favours, and sincerely hope in future to have it in my Power to make Compensation. I wish you Health and the Utmost Happiness, and am, with the greatest Regards &c.”3
Thus I find myself invested with the unexpected Trust of a Kind of Guardianship of two promising young Gentlemen, besides my own Son. This benevolent office is peculiarly agreable to my Temper. Few Things have ever given me greater Pleasure than the Tuition of Youth to the Bar, and the Advancement of Merit.
1. On “Pondicherry” Parison, “one of General Du Coudrais Captains,” see entry of 19 Feb., below, and JA's Autobiography under date of 24–26 Feb. 1778.
2. Deane's letter, here partly quoted and partly paraphrased, is in the Adams Papers, dated from Boston.
3. This is the full text of Vernon's letter as found in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-17

17. Tuesday.

I set a Lesson to my Son in Chambauds French Grammar and asked the Favour of Dr. Noel to shew him the precise, critical Pronunciation of all the French Words, Syllables, and Letters, which the Dr. very politely did, and Mr. John is getting his Lessons accordingly, very much pleased.
The Weather is fair, and the Wind right, and We are again weighing Anchor in order to put to Sea.
Captn. Diamond and Captn. Inlaker came on Board, and breakfasted, two Prisoners taken with Manly in the Hancock and lately escaped from Hallifax.
{ 274 }
Our Captn. is an able Seaman, and a brave, active, vigilant officer, but I believe has no great Erudition. His Library consists of Dyche's English Dictionary, Charlevoix's Paraguay, The Rights of the Xtian Church asserted vs. the Romish and other Priests, who claim an independent Power over it, The 2d Vol. of Chubbs posthumous Works, 1. Vol. of the History of Charles Horton, Esq. and 1 Vol. of the delicate Embarrassments a Novell.—I shall at some other Time take more Notice of some of these Books.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-18

1778. Feb. 18. Wednesday.

Last night, about Sunsett We sailed out of Marblehead Harbour, and have had a fine Wind, from that time to this, 24. Hours. The constant Rolling and Rocking of the Ship, last night made Us all sick —half the Sailors were so. My young Gentlemen, Jesse and Johnny, were taken about 12 O Clock last night and have been very seasick ever since. I was seized with it myself this Forenoon. My Servant Joseph Stevens1 and the Captns. Will have both been very bad.
1. Joseph Stephens (as he himself wrote his name), a former soldier and seaman, served JA in Europe in all kinds of capacities from 1778 to 1783, but was lost on a voyage home to America in the latter year.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-19

Feb. 19. Thursday.

Arose at 4 O Clock. The Wind and Weather still fair. The Ship rolls less than Yesterday, and I have neither felt, nor heard any Thing of Sea Sickness, last night nor this Morning.
Monsr. Parison, one of General Du Coudrais Captains, dined with us, Yesterday, and made me a present of a Bottle of a nice French Dram, a Civility which I must repay. He seems a civil and sensible Man.
The Mal de Mer seems to be merely the Effect of Agitation. The Smoke and Smell of Seacoal, the Smell of stagnant, putrid Water, the Smell of the Ship where the Sailors lay, or any other offensive Smell, will increase the Qualminess, but do not occasion it.
C[aptain] Parison says, that the Roads from Nantes to Paris are very good, no Mountains, no Hills, no Rocks—all as smooth as the Ships Deck and a very fine Country: But the Roads from Bourdeaux to Paris, are bad and mountainous.
In the Morning We discovered three Sail of Vessells ahead. We went near enough to discover them to be Frigates, and then put away. We soon lost sight of two of them: but the third chased Us the whole Day. Sometimes We gained upon her, and sometimes she upon Us.1
{ 275 }
Tucker, Log (MH), 19 Feb.:
“Att 6 A.M. Saw three Large Ships bearing East they Standing to the Northward I mistrusted they where a Cruizeing for me. I hauld my wind to the southward found they did not Persue. I then Consulted my Offercers to stand to the Northward after them. We agreed in opinions. Wore Ship Run one hour to the Northward then I Discoverd that one was a ship Not Less than ourselfs, one out of sight to the Northward and the other appeared to me and offercers to be a twenty gun ship. The man att the mast head Cauld out a ship on the weather Quarter—at that time the other two Under our Lee and Under short Sail. I then Consulted the Honble. John Addams Esq. and my offercers what was best to do not knowing how my ship may Sail. One and all Consented to stand to the southward from them. Att 10 A.M. I then wore ship to the southward and stood from them. The two that was Under my Lee before I wore Imediately wore and stood affter me. Att 12 on Meridian Lost sigh[t] of the small ship and the other was about three Leagues Under my Lee Quarter.”
The vessel in pursuit was the Apollo (Ambrose Serle, American Journal, ed. Edward H. Tatum, Jr., San Marino, Calif., 1940, p. 315).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-20

Feb. 20. Fryday.

In the Morning nothing to be seen, but soon after another Sail discovered ahead, which is supposed to be the same.1
Tucker, Log (MH), 20 Feb.:
“This 24 hours begins Very Pleasant the Ship Still in Chase. I being Poorly mand dare not attactk her and many other Principal Reasons. Att 2 P.M. Satt fore and main topmast stearing Sails found I Left the Ship att 6 P.M. It being dark Lost sight of the Ship in Small Sails and hauld my wind. The Cruizer supposing I bore away to stear the Course I was going When she saw me first Bore away and run ESE while I for six or Eight hours had being [been] Runing four Points more southerly att the Rate of seven knots brought her in my oppinion to bear of me ENE Distance about Eleven and half Leagues. Then the wind headed me. I fell off to ENE then Runing att the Rate of 6 knots for three hours. Saw the Same Ship Direct a head standing to southward & westward about 5 Leagues Distance. Hove in stays after makeing of her Plain and stood to the westward because I Could not Weather her on the former tack after Runing three hours to the westward. The wind favoured me. I then hove in Stays and Came to windward of the frigate about four miles and was Intirely Sattisfyd it was the Same Ship about four Miles Under my Lee Quarter. They again Tackt ship and Continued Chaseing that day—but I found I rather Left my Enemy.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0009

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1778-02-21 - 1778-02-23

Feb. 21. Saturday, 22. Sunday, and 23d. Monday.

Exhibited such Scaenes as were new to me. We lost Sight of our Enemy it is true but We found our selves in the Gulph Stream, in the Midst of an epouvantable Orage, the Wind N.E. then N., and then North West.
It would be fruitless to attempt a Description of what I saw, heard and felt, during these 3 days and nights. To describe the Ocean, the Waves, the Winds, the Ship, her Motions, Rollings, Wringings and Agonies—the Sailors, their Countenances, Language and Behaviour, is impossible. No Man could keep upon his Legs, and nothing could { 276 } be kept in its Place—an universal Wreck of every Thing in all Parts of the Ship, Chests, Casks, Bottles &c. No Place or Person was dry.
On one of these Nights, a Thunder bolt struck 3 Men upon deck and wounded one of them a little, by a Scorch upon his Shoulder. It also struck our Main Topmast.1
Tucker, Log (MH), 22 Feb.:
“... heavy gales and a Dangerous Sea Runing; one thing or another Continually giving away on board Ship.... Att half Past 3 A.M. Discoverd our fore sail was split in the Larbourd Leach but Could not Prevent it att that time for the Distress we wear at that time in; I Little Expected but to be Dismasted as I was almost Certain I heard the mainmast spring below the Deck. Afterwards Discoverd the truth of it. Still Continues an Extremity of Weather. So Ends this day. Pray god Protect Us and Carry Us through our Various troubles.”
As for the seaman struck by lightning, “he lived three days and died raving mad” (William Jennison Jr., “Journal,” PMHB, 15: 102 [April 1891]). Jennison was a lieutenant of marines aboard the Boston, and his journal adds a few details concerning this voyage not found elsewhere. See also JA's Autobiography under 20 Feb. 1778.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0010

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1778-02-24 - 1778-02-26

Tuesday 24. Wednesday 25. Thursday 26.

Tuesday We spyd a Sail and gave her Chase. We overhawled her, and upon firing a Gun to Leeward, and hoisting American Colours, she fired a friendly Gun and Hoisted the French Colours of the Province of Normandy. She lay to for us, and We were coming about to speak to her, when the Wind sprung up fresh of a sudden and carryed away our Main top Mast. We have been employed ever since in getting in a New one, repairing the Sails and Rigging much damaged in the late Storm, and in cleaning the Ship and putting her in order. From the 36 to the 39. deg[rees] of Lat. are called the Squawly Latitudes, and We have found them to answer their Character.
I should have been pleased to have kept a minute Journal of all that passed, in the late Chases and turbulent Weather, but I was so wet, and every Thing and Place was so wett—every Table and Chair was so wrecked that it was impossible to touch a Pen, or Paper.
It is a great Satisfaction to me however, to recollect, that I was myself perfectly calm during the whole. I found by the Opinion of the People aboard, and of the Captain himself that We were in Danger, and of this I was certain allso from my own Observation, but I thought myself in the Way of my Duty, and I did not repent of my Voyage.
I confess I often regretted that I had brought my son. I was not so clear that it was my Duty to expose him, as myself, but I had been led to it by the Childs Inclination and by the Advice of all my Friends. Mr. Johnnys Behaviour gave me a Satisfaction that I cannot express— fully sensible of our Danger, he was constantly endeavouring to bear { 277 } it with a manly Patience, very attentive to me and his Thoughts constantly running in a serious Strain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-26

1778. Feb. 26. Thursday.

I have made many Observations, in the late bad Weather, some of which I do not think it prudent to put in writing—a few I will set down. 1st. I have seen the inexpressible Inconvenience of having so small a Space between Decks, as there is in the Boston. As the main Deck was almost constantly under Water, the Sea rolling in and out at the Ports and Scuppers, We were obliged to keep the Hat[ch]ways down—whereby the Air became so hot and so dry in the 'Tween decks that for my own Part, I could not breathe, or live there. Yet the Water would pour down when ever an hatchway was opened, so that all was afloat. 2. The Boston is over metalled. Her Number of Guns and the Weight of their Metal is too great for her Tonnage. She has 5 Twelve Pounders, and 19. Nines. We were obliged to sail, day and Night during a Chaise with the Guns out, in order to be ready, and this exposed Us to certain Inconvenience and great Danger. They made the Ship labour and roll, so as to oblige Us to keep the Chain Pumps as well as the Hand Pumps, almost constantly going. Besides they Wring, and twist the Ship in such a Manner as to endanger the starting of a Butt, but still more to endanger the Masts and Rigging. 3. The Ship is furnished with no Pistolls, which she ought to be, with at least as many as there are Officers, because there is nothing but the Dread of a Pistoll will keep many of the Men to their Quarters in Time of Action. 4. This Ship is not furnished with good Glasses, which appears to me of very great Consequence. Our Ships ought to be furnished with the best Glasses that Art affords. Their Expence would be saved a Thousand Ways.
5. There is the same general Inattention, I find on Board the Navy to Oeconomy that there is in the Army. 6. There is the same general Relaxation of order and Discipline. 7. There is the same Inattention to the Cleanliness of the Ship and the Persons and Health of the Sailors, as there is at land of the Cleanness of the Camp and the Health, and Cleanness of the soldiers. 8. The Practice of profane Cursing and Swearing, so silly as well as detestable, prevails in a most abominable Degree. It is indulged and connived at by Officers, and practised too in such a Manner that there is no Kind of Check against it. And I take upon me to say that order of every Kind will be lax as long as this is so much the Case.
This Morning Captn. Tucker made me a Present of Charlevoix's { 278 } History of Paraguay.1 Yesterday Dr. Noel put into my Hand, a Pockett Volume, intituled, Le Geographe manuel, contenant La Description de tous les Pays du Monde, leurs qualités, leur climat, le caractère de leurs Habitans, leur Villes capitales, avec leur distances de Paris, et des Routes qui y menent tant par terre que par Mer; les Changes, et les Monnoies des principales Places de 1'Europe, en Correspondance avec Paris; la manière de tenir les Ecritures de chaque Nation; la Reduction de toutes espèces de l'Europe au pied courant de France, &c. Par M. l'Abbé Expilly, de la Société royale des Sciences et belles Lettres de Nancy.2 These manuals come out annually, and are to be had in any of the great Towns in France.
1. Pierre FranÇois Xavier de Charlevoix, The History of Paraguay, Dublin, 1769, 2 vols., survives among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library').
2. Abbe Jean Joseph Expilly's Géographe manuel, Paris, 1765, is also among the numerous European guidebooks and similar works among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (same).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-27

Feb. 27. Fryday.

A Calm. As soft and warm as Summer. A Species of black Fish, which our officers call Beneaters,1 appeared about the Ship.
One Source of the Disorders in this Ship, is the Irregularity of Meals. There ought to be a well digested System, for Eating, Drinking and sleeping. At Six, all Hands should be called up. At Eight, all Hands should breakfast. At one all Hands should dine. At Eight again all Hands should sup. It ought to be penal for the Cook to fail of having his Victuals ready punctually.—This would be for the Health, Comfort and Spirits of the Men, and would greatly promote the Business of the Ship.
I am constantly giving Hints to the Captain concerning Order, Œconomy and Regularity, and he seems to be sensible of the Necessity of them, and exerts himself to introduce them.—He has cleared out the Tween Decks, ordered up the Hammocks to be aired, and ordered up the sick, such as could bear it, upon Deck for sweet Air. This Ship would have bred the Plague or the Goal Fever, if there had not been great Exertions, since the storm, to wash, sweep, Air and purify, Cloaths, Cots, Cabins, Hammocks and all other Things, Places and Persons.
The Captn. Yesterday went down into the Cock Pit, and ordered up every Body from that Sink of Devastation and Putrefaction— ordered up the Hamocks &c. This was in Pursuance of the Advice I { 279 } gave him in the Morning, “if you intend to have any Reputation for Œconomy, Discipline or any Thing that is good, look to your Cock Pit.”
Yesterday the Captn. brought in a Curiosity which he had drawn up over the Side in a Buckett of Water, which the Sailors call a Portuguese Man of War, and to day I have seen many of them sailing by the Ship. They have some Appearances of Life and Sensibility. They spread a curious Sail and are wafted along very briskly. They have something like Gutts, hanging down, which are said to be in a degree poisonous to human Flesh. The Hulk is like blue Glass. I pierced it with the sharp Point of my Pen Knife and found it empty. The Air came out, and the Thing shrunk up almost to nothing.
1. CFA silently corrects this word to “bonitos.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-28

1778. Feb. 28. Saturday.

Last Night and this Day We have enjoyed a fine easy Breeze. The Ship has had no Motion but directly forward. I slept as quietly and as soundly as in my own Bed at home. Dr. Noel gave me a Phial of Balsamum fioraventi, for an Inflammation in my Eyes, which seems to be very good for them. It is very much compounded. It is very subtle and penetrating. Pour a few Drops into the Palms of your Hands, rub it over the Palm and the Fingers, and then hold the Insides of your Hands before your Eyes, and the Steam which evaporates enters the Eyes, and works them clear. This Balsam derives its Name from its Author.
The Ship is now in very good order, cleaned out, between Decks, on the Main Deck, in the Cabin and Quarter Deck. The Masts, Yards, Sails and Rigging are well repaired.
The Captn. has just now sent written Orders to the Steward of the Ship, to make weekly Returns to him of the State of Provisions and to be very frugal of Provisions and Candles, which appeared to be very necessary as near one half of the Ships Stores of Candles are expended.
This is Saturday Night: a Fortnight Yesterday, since I took Leave of my Family.—What Scaenes have I beheld since?—What Anxiety have my Friends on Shore suffered on my Account? during the N.E. Storm which they must have had at Land!
What is this Gulph Stream? What is the Course of it? From what Point and to what Point does it flow? How broad is it? How far distant is it from the Continent of America? What is the Longitude and Latitude of it.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-01

1778. March 1. Sunday.

Discovered that our Mainmast was sprung in two Places—one beneath the Main Deck, where if the Mast had wholly failed in the late Storm it must have torn up the main Deck and the Ship must have foundered. This is one among many Instances, in which it has already appeared that our Safety has not depended on ourselves.
A fine Wind, all day and night. Somewhat Sea Sick. The Ship was very quiet and still—no Disturbance—little noise.
I hope for the future We shall carry less Sail, especially of nights, and at all Times when We are not in Chase.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-02

March 2. Monday.

A fine Wind still and a pleasant Morning. The Colour of the Water which is green, not blue as it has been for many Days past, the Appearance of large Flocks of Gulls, and various other Birds, convinced the knowing ones, to say that We were not far from the Grand Bank of N. Foundland. The Captain however thinks it 35 Leagues to the N. West of Us.—Our Mast was Yesterday repaired with two large Fishes, as they call em, i.e. large oaken Planks cutt for the Purpose and put on. It seems now as firm as ever.—The Sailors are very superstitious. They say the Ship has been so unfortunate that they really believe there is some Woman on board.—Women are the unluckyest Creatures in the World at Sea &c.
This Evening the Wind is very fresh, and the Ship sails at a great Rate. We are out of the Reach I hope of the Gulph Stream and of British Cruizers, two Evils, which I have a great Aversion to.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-03

1778. March 3. Tuesday.

Our Wind continued brisk and fresh all the last Night, and this Morning. Our Course is about N.E. Showers in the Night and this Morning. The Flocks of Gulls, still pursuing Us.
This Morning, Mr. Parison breakfasted with Us. Our Captn. in gay Spirits, chattering in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Greek, and boasting that he could speak some Words in every Language. He told Us he had ordered two more Fishes upon the Mainmast to cover the Flaws, above Deck.
The Captain, Lieutenants, Master, Mates and Midshipmen, are now making their Calculations, to discover their Longitude, but I conjecture they will be very wild.
{ 281 }
The Life I lead is a dull Scaene to me. No Business; No Pleasure; No Study....1 Our little World is all wet and damp: there is nothing
I can eat or drink without nauseating. We have no Spirits for Conversation, nor any Thing to converse about. We see nothing but Sky, Clouds and Sea, and then Seas, Clouds and Sky.
I have often heard of learning a Language as French or English on the Passage, but I believe very little of any Thing was ever learned on a Passage. There must be more Health and better Accommodations.
My young Friend, Mr. Vernon, has never had the least Qualm of the Sea Sickness, since We came aboard. I have advised him to begin the Study of the French Tongue methodically, by reading the Grammar through. He has begun it accordingly, and we shall see his Patience and Perseverance.
Dr. Noel shewed me, “Dictionaire geographique portatif,” which is a Translation of Echards Gazetteer, into French Par Monsr. Vosgien, Chanoine de Vaucouleurs.2
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. The Dictionnaire géographique portatif ... par Monsieur Vosgien [actually Jean Baptiste Ladvocat] went through many editions, as had its English original—Laurence Eachard, The Gazetteer's: or, Newsman's Interpreter: Being a Geographical Index of All the Considerable Cities, Bishopricks, Universities ... in Europe; see BM, Catalogue. The French extracts in the immediately following Diary entries are taken from this Dictionnaire. Except for copying errors they correspond quite closely with the text of the Paris edition of 1749.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-04

1778. March 4. Wednesday.

Fair Weather, but an Adverse Wind, from the N.E., which ob[liges] Us to go to the Southward of the S.E. which is out of our Course.
Nantes, ancienne, riche, et tres considerable Ville de Fran[ce,] la seconde de la Bretagne, avec un riche Evêché suffrag[an] de Tours, une Université, et un Hôtel des Monnoies. C'[est] une de Villes les plus commercantes du Royaulme. Les Marchands ont une Sociéte avec ceux de Bilbao, appellee la Contractation, et un Tribunal reciproque [en] forme de Jurisdiction consulaire. Ce fut dans cette Ville que Henri 4th. donna, en 1598, le celebre Edit [de] Nantes, revoqué en 1685. Elle est sur la Rive droit de la Loire, à 15. lieus S.O. d'Angers, 27. N. Par O. de [La] Rochelle, 87. S.O. de Paris, 23. S. de Rennes. Long. 16.6.12. Lat. 47.13.7. Le Païs Nantois, ou le C. de Nantes, est [une] Contree des deux côtés de la Loire. On y fait du S[el,] et il y a beaucoup de Bestiaux.1
1. Text defective because the outer edge of a leaf, loosened from the binding, is badly chipped.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-05

March 5. Thursday.

This Morning We have the pleasantest Prospect [we] have yet seen —a fine easy Breeze, from the Southward, w[hich] gives us an Opportunity of keeping our true Course—a so[ft], clear, warm Air—a fair Sun—no Sea. We have a g[reat] Number of Sails spread and We go at the Rate of 9 Kno[ts.] Yet the Ship has no perceptible Motion, and makes no N[oise.] My little Son is very proud of his Knowledge of all the Sails, and last Night the Captn. put him [to learn the Mariners Compass.]1
Oh that We might make Prize to day of an English Vessell, lately from London, with all the Newspapers, and Magazines on board, that We might obtain the latest Intelligence, and discover the Plan of Operations for the ensuing Campaign.
Whenever I arrive at any Port in Europe, whether in Spain or France, my first Enquiry should be concerning the Designs of the Enemy.—What Force they mean to send to America? Where they are to obtain Men? What is the State of the British Nation? What the State of Parties? What the State of Finances, and of Stocks?
Then the State of Europe, particularly France and Spain? What the real Designs of those Courts? What the Condition of their Finances? What the State of their Armies, but especially of their Fleets. What No. of Ships they have fitted for the Sea—what their Names, Number of Men and Guns, weight of Metal &c—where they lie? &c.
The Probability or Improbability of a War, and the Causes and Reasons for and against each supposition.
The Supplies of Cloathing, Arms, &c. gone to America, during the past Winter. The State of American Credit in France. What Remittances have been made from America, in Tobacco, Rice, Indigo, or any other Articles?
We are now supposed to be nearly in the Lat. of Cape Finisterre, so that We have only to sail an Easterly Course.
Finistere, Finis Terrae; c'est le Cap, le plus occid. non seulement de la Galice et de L'Esp., mais encore de l'Europe; ce qui fait que les Anc. qui ne connoissoient rien au-dela, lui ont donné son nom, qui signifie l'Extrêmitéde la Terre, ou le bout du monde. Il y a une Ville de mesme nom.
This Day, We have enjoyed the clearest Horison, the softest Weather, the best Wind, and the smoothest Sea, that We have seen since We [came] on board. All Sails are spread and We have gone [ten Knots upon an Avarage the whole day.]
{ 283 }
1. Here and below, the missing fragments of text have been supplied from parallel passages in JA's Autobiography.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-06

1778. March 6. Fryday.

The Wind continued in the same Point, about S[outh] all Night, and the Ship has gone 9 Knotts upon an Average. This is great Favour.
I am now reading the Amphitrion of Moliere, which is his 6. Volume.1 revaije? do I dream?—have I dreamed?—I have I been in a dream?2J'ai revé. I have been in a dream. It is in the Preterit.
We shall pass to the Northward of the Western Islands, and are now supposed to be as near them as We shall be. They all belong to Portugal.
Açores, lies sit. entre l'Afr. et l'Amer. environ a 200 li. O. de Lisbonne; Gonzalo Vello les decouvrit vers le milieu du 15 Siecle, et les nomma Açores, mot qui signifie des Eperviers, parce qu'on y rem. beaucoup de ces Oiseaux. II y en a neuf. Angra, dans l'ile de Tercere, est la Capital de Toutes. Ortelius assure que ceux partent de l'Europe, pour aller en Amer., sont delivres de toute Sorte de Vermine, aussitot qu'ils ont passe les Acores, ce qu'on doit attribuer a la qualite de l'Air, qui y e[s]t tres salubre. Le ble, les Vignes, les Arbres fruitiers, et le betail, y sont en abond. Elles appart. aux Port.—long. 346–354. Lat. 39.
1. In a bilingual edition which JA had purchased “Many Years before” and made his first use of on this voyage (Autobiography under this date).
2. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-07

March 7. Saturday.

The same prosperous Wind, and the same beautifull Weather continue. We proceed in our Course at the Rate of about 200 Miles in 24 Hours. We have passed all the Dangers of the American Coast. Those of the Bay of Biscay, remain. God grant Us, an happy Passage through them all.
Yesterday, the Ship was all in an Uproar, with Laughter. The Boatswains Mate asked one of his superiour Officers, if they might have a Frolick.—The Answer was, Yes.—Jere. accordingly, with the old Sailors, proposed to build a Galley, and all the raw Hands to the Number of 20 or 30 were taken in, and suffered themselves to be tyed together, by their Legs. When all of a sudden, Jere. and his knowing ones, were found handing Bucketts of Water over the Sides and pouring them upon the poor Dupes, untill they were wet to the Skin.—The Behaviour of the Gullies,1 their Passions and Speeches and Actions, were { 284 } diverting enough.—So much for Jere's Fun. This Frolick, I suppose, according to the Sailors Reasoning, is to conjure up a Prize.
This Morning the Captain ordered all Hands upon Deck and took an account of the Number of Souls on board which amounted to 172. Then he ordered the Articles of War to be read to them—after which he ordered all Hands upon the Forecastle and then all Hands upon the Quarter deck, in order to try Experiments, for determining whether any difference was made in the Ships sailing, by the Weight of the Men being forward or abaft. Then all Hands were ordered to their Quarters to exercise them at the Guns. Mr. Barron2 gave the Words of Command and they spent an Hour perhaps in the Exercise, at which they seemed tolerably expert. Then the Captain ordered a Dance, upon the Main Deck, and all Hands, Negroes, Boys and Men were obliged to dance. After this the old Sailors set on Foot another Frolic, called the Miller, or the Mill. I will not spend Time to describe this odd Scaene: but it ended in a very high frolic, in which almost all the Men were powdered over, with Flour, and wet again to the Skin.—Whether these whimsical Diversions are indulged, in order to make the Men wash themselves, and shift their Cloaths, and to wash away Vermin I dont know. But there is not in them the least Ray of Elegance, very little Wit, and a humour of the coarsest Kind. It is not superiour to Negro and Indian Dances.
1. Thus in MS. The meaning is clear, but there is no lexicographical authority for this word.
2. William Barron, of a Virginia family that furnished a number of American naval officers, was first lieutenant of the Boston (Sheppard, Tucker, p. 280; VMHB, 1:66 [July 1893]). For his tragic fate, see entries of 14 and 27 March below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-08

1778. March 8. Sunday.

The same Wind and Weather continues, and We go at 7 and 1/2 and 8 Knots. We are supposed to be past the Western Islands.
Mr. Barrons our first Lt. appears to me to be an excellent Officer— very dilligent, and attentive to his Duty—very thoughtfull and considerate about the Safety of the Ship, and about order, Oeconomy and Regularity, among the officers, and Men. He has great Experience at Sea. Has used the Trade to London, Lisbon, Affrica, West Indies, Southern States &c.
This Morning, the Captain ordered all Hands upon Quarter Deck to Prayers. The Captains Clerk, Mr. Wm. Cooper, had prepared a Composition of his own, which was a very decent, and comprehensive Prayer, which he delivered, in a grave and proper manner. The Of• { 285 } ficers and Men all attended, in clean Cloaths, and behaved very soberly.
The Weather has been cloudy all Day. Towards night it became rainy and windy, and now the Ship rolls, a little in the old Fashion.— We are about 2000 Miles from Boston.
The late Storm shewed the Beauty of Boileaus Description d'une Tempête.

Comme l'on voit les flots, soûlevez par l'orage,

Fondre sur un Vaisseau qui s'oppose a leur rage,

Le Vent avec fureur dans les voiles frêmit;

La mer blanchit d'écume et l'air au loin gémit;

Le matelot troublè, que son Art abandonne,

Croit voir dans chaque flot la mort qui l'environne.

Trad. de Longin.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-09

1778. March 9. Monday.

Last Night the Wind shifted to the N. West, and blew fresh. It is now still fairer for Us than before. The Weather is fine, and We go on our Voyage at a great Rate. Some Officers think We shall reach our Port by Thursday night: others by Saturday night: But these make no Account of Chases and Cruises, and make no Allowance for the Variability of the Winds.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-14

Saturday. March 14.

I have omitted inserting the Occurrences of this Week, on Account of the Hurry and Confusion, We have been in. Tuesday We spied a Sail, and gave her Chase. We soon came up with her, but as We had bore directly down upon her, she had not seen our broadside, and knew not her [i.e. our] Force. She was a Letter of Mark with 14 Guns, 8 Nines and 6 sixes. She fired upon Us, and one of her shot went thro our Mizen Yard. I happened to be upon the Quarter deck, and in the Direction from the Ship to the Yard so that the Ball went directly over my Head. We, upon this, turned our broadside which the instant she saw she struck. Captn. Tucker very prudently, ordered his officers not to fire.
The Prize is the Ship Martha, Captn. McIntosh from London to New York, loaded with a Cargo of great Value. The Captn. told me that Seventy thousand Pounds sterling was insured upon her at Lloyds, and that She was worth 80 thousands.1
The Captain is very much of a Gentleman. There are two Gentle• { 286 } men with him Passengers, the one Mr. R. Gault, the other Mr. Wallace of N. York. Two young Jews were on board.
That and the next day was spent in dispatching the Prize, under the Command of the 3d Lt. Mr. Welch to Boston.2
After that We fell in Chase of another Vessell, and overtaking her, found her to be a french Snow, from Bourdeaux to Miquelon.
We then saw another Vessell, chased and came up with her which proved to be a French Brig from Marseilles to Nantes. This last cost Us very dear. Mr. Barrons our 1st. Lt. attempting to fire a Gun, as a signal to the Brig, the Gun burst, and tore the right Leg of this excellent Officer, in Pieces, so that the Dr. was obliged to amputate it, just below the Knee.
I was present at this affecting Scaene and held Mr. Barron in my Arms while the Doctor put on the Turnequett and cutt off the Limb.
Mr. Barrons bore it with great Fortitude and Magnanimity—thought he should die, and frequently intreated me, to take Care of his Family. He had an helpless Family he said, and begged that I would take Care of his Children. I promised him, that by the first Letters I should write to America, I would earnestly recommend his Children to the Care of the Public, as well as of Individuals. I cannot but think the Fall of this Officer, a great Loss to the united States....3 His Prudence, his Moderation, his Attention, his Zeal, were Qualities much wanted in our Navy. He is by Birth a Virginian.4
1. See also the entry in Tucker's Log, 11 March, which is, however, not very informative, being largely given over to a list of the prisoners taken in the Martha (printed in Sheppard, Tucker, p. 273–275). JA elaborates a little on the incident in his Autobiography under date of 10 March.
Various romanticized versions of JA's part in the action were widely circulated after his death. CFA cites one of these in a note on this passage (JA, Works, 3:109), taken from Peleg Sprague's Eulogy on John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Hallowell, Maine, 1826. Samuel Tucker was still living at this time; Sprague's fanciful narrative came to Tucker's attention, and he put the matter straight in a letter to James Hovey of Bristol, Maine, 22 Aug. 1826, which has come to rest in the Adams Papers:
“About the 20th of March I fell in with a very large Ship—armed but not a cruiser, but however she soon appeared in a posture of engageing, my Ship in readiness and men at their quarters, it became my duty to give Mr. Adams such information as was necessary. He followed me on deck, where we expostulated a few minutes on the subject of taking the Ship, finally after listening a minute or two, to my entreaties he took me by the hand, with a god bless you, and descended the gangway ladder into the cockpit, I stept aft and came alongside the Ship I hailed, his answer was a broadside and immediately struck his coulours, before I could, to a good advantage discharge a broadside into him, being very near and in such a position the smoke blew over my ship, and looking round on the Quarter deck and observing the Damage I had received from his fire, I discovered Mr. Adams Among my marines accoutred as one of them, and in the act of defence. I then went unto him and Said my dear Sir, how came you here, and with a smile { 287 } he replied; I ought to do my Share of fighting. This was Sufficient for me to judge of the bravery of my venerable and patriotic Adams and the foregoing is all that ever I related on that Subject to anyone and quite enough to convince them of the bravery of Such a Man, please to have this inserted in the Bath Maine Gazette, and in Compliance Youll Much oblige Yours with Respect,
[signed] []Samuel Tucker
“N.B. You may Shew this to any American Republican or whomsoever you please.”
2. Tucker's orders to Hezekiah Welch, 11 March 1778, are printed in Sheppard, Tucker, p. 83.
3. Suspension points in MS.
4. Lt. Barron died eleven or twelve days later; see entry of 27 March, below, and Jennison, “Journal,” PMHB, 15:103 (April 1891). There is evidence that JA kept his pledge to write on behalf of Barron's family: In Congress, 27 Nov. 1778, “A letter from Hon. J. Adams, Esq. respecting the late Lieutenant Barron's family, was read: Ordered, That it be referred to the Marine Committee” (JCC, 12:1165). No trace of this letter has so far been found, either in the Papers of the Continental Congress or in the pension application filed in 1837 by his only daughter and surviving heir, Ann Mortimer Barron of Norfolk, Va. (DNA:RG 15, R 1065). The pension claim was rejected, but Congress had already (30 June 1834) granted Ann Barron the half pay of a first lieutenant of a frigate for seven years (letters from General Reference Branch, National Archives, to the editors, 13 Jan., 16 May 1959). There is also evidence that JA endeavored to do something in behalf of Barron's orphaned children during his brief return to Massachusetts in 1779; see William Vernon Sr. to AA, 4 Feb. 1780 (Adams Papers). But in his Autobiography JA expressed regret that he had not done more.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-19

1778. March 19. Thursday.

I have scarcely been able to stand, or sit, without holding fast, with both my Hands, upon some lashed Table, some lashed Gun, the Side, or Beams of the Ship, or some other fixed Object: such has been the perpetual Motion of the Ship arising from violent Gales, and an heavy Sea.
In the Course of the last 5 days, We have seen a great Number of Vessells, two of which at least, if not four were supposed to be Cruizers. But here We are—at Liberty, as yet.
The Wind has been directly against Us, but this Morning has veered and We now steer, at least our Head lies by the Compass, South East. —Who knows but Providence has favoured Us by the last Gale, as it seemed to do by the first.—By the last Gale We have already escaped Cruizers as We did by the first—and possibly this violent Gale from the south East may have driven all the Cruizers from the Coast of Spain and the Southerly Part of the Bay of Biscay, and by this Means have opened a clear Passage for Us to Bourdeaux. This is possible— and so is the contrary. God knows—

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-20

March 20 Fryday.

Yester Afternoon, the Weather cleared up, and the Wind came { 288 } about very fair. We had a great Run, last Night. This Morning spyed a Sail, under our leward Bow, chased and soon came up with her, a Snow from Amsterdam to Demarara, and Essequibo.
I made Enquiry to day of our Prisoner Captn. McIntosh, concerning the Trinity House. He says it is the richest Corporation in the Kingdom. That Lord Sandwich is an elder Brother of it. That any Master of a Vessell may be made a younger Brother of it, if he will. That there are many Thousands of younger Brothers. That this House gives permission to every Vessell to take out or to take in Ballast, and that a few Pence 6d. perhaps per Ton are paid them for such Licence. That they have the Care of all Lighthouses &c.
My principal Motive for omitting to keep a regular and particular Journal, has been the Danger of falling into the Hands of my Enemies, and an Apprehension that I should not have an Opportunity of destroying these Papers in such a Case.
We have now so fine a Wind, that a very few days will determine, whether We shall meet any capital Disaster, or arrive safe at Port.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-21

21. Saturday.

Five Weeks Yesterday, since my Embarkation. This Morning an heavy Wind, and high Sea. We go E.S.E.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-27

27. Fryday.

On Wednesday Evening Mr. Barons died, and Yesterday was committed to the Deep, from the Quarter Deck.
He was put into a Chest, and 10 or 12, twelve Pounds shot put in with him, and then nailed up. The Fragment of the Gun, which destroyed him was lashed on the Chest, and the whole launched overboard through one of the Ports, in Presence of all the Ships Crew, after the Buryal service was read by Mr. Cooper.1
In the Course of the last Week We have had some of the Worst Winds, that We have felt yet.
Monday last We made the Land upon the Coast of Spain.
Tuesday We run into the Bay of St. Anthonio. 4 or 5 Boats with 15 or 16 Men in each came to Us, out of which We took a Pilot.
Upon sight of the Spanish Shore, which I viewed as minutely as possible through the Glasses, I had a great Curiosity to go on Shore. There was a fine Verdure, near the sea, altho the Mountains were covered with Snow. I saw one Convent, but We did not come in Sight of the Town. The Moment we were about turning the Point of the { 289 } Rock to go into the Harbour, a Sail appeared. We put out to see who she was, found her a Spanish Brig, and after this upon repeated Efforts found it impracticable to get into the Harbour. In the Night the Wind caught us suddenly at N.W. and We were obliged to make all the Sail We could and put to sea. We steered our Course for Bourdeaux.
Yesterday was a Calm, the little Wind there was, directly against Us. This Morning the Wind is a little better. We are supposed to be within 30 Leagues of Bourdeaux River.
1. See Tucker, Log, entry of 26 April (printed in Sheppard, Tucker, p. 280).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-28

March 28. Saturday.

Last night and this Morning We were in the thoroughfare of all the Ships from Bourdeaux. We had always a great Number in Sight. By Obs[ervation] to day, our Lat. is 46D.:3M. North, about 7 Minutes South of the Middle of the Isle of Rea. We are therefore about 20 Leagues from the Tower of Cordoan. We have no Wind, and nothing can be more tedious and disagreable to me, than this idle Life.
Last Evening We had two little Incidents which were disagreable. One was, the French Barber attempting to go below, contrary to orders, the Centinell cutt off his great Toe with his Cutlass, which raised at first a little, ill blood in the French People, who are on board, but on Enquiry finding the fellow deserved it, they acquiesced. The other unpleasant Incident was that one of our Prisoners of War, a little more elevated than usual grew out of Temper, and was very passionate with Mr. Vernon and afterwards, with C. Palmes—but it has all subsided.1
Mr. McIntosh is of North Britain, and appears to be very decided vs. America in this Contest, and his Passions are so engaged that they easily inkindle....2
Mr. Gault is an Irish Gentleman and as decided vs. America, in her Claims of Independance at least, as the other. Mr. Wallace is more reserved, cautious, silent and secret.
Jealousies arise among our Men, that the Prisoners are plotting with some of our profligate People: but I believe this Jealousy is groundless.
All Day Yesterday, and all the forenoon of this Day We have been looking out for Land—about 4 o Clock We found it—the Isles of Rhee and Oleron, between which two is the Entrance into the Harbour of Rochelle, which is about half Way between Bourdeaux and Nantes.
... The Land is extremely flat and low. We see the Tower.... The Water is shoal, 25 or 30 Fathoms, the bottom Sand—the Reverse of the Spanish Coast on the other Side of the Bay of Biscay.
{ 290 }
This Afternoon, a clock calm, and Mr. Goss played upon his Fiddle the whole Afternoon, and the Sailors danced, which seemed to have a very happy Effect upon their Spirits and good Humour.
Numbers of small Birds from the Shore, came along to day, some of them fatigued, allighted on our Rigging, Yards &c. and one of them We caught. A little Lark he was called. These Birds loose the Shore and get lost, and then fly untill they are so fatigued that the instant they allight upon a Ship they drop to sleep.
1. Richard Palmes, captain of marines on the Boston; see Sheppard, Tucker, p. 93–94; Warren-Adams Letters, 1:372. The incident is elaborated in JA's Autobiography under this date.
2. Suspension points here and below in this entry are in the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-29

1778. March 29. Sunday.

Becalmed all last Night. This Morning a vast Number of Sails in Sight. St. Martins, and Oleron in Sight, many Towers and Windmills —Land very low and level.
A Pilot Boat, with two Sails and 4 Men, came on Board, and the Pilot instantly undertook to pilot Us to Bourdeaux. He says this ship may go up quite to the City, if she draws 20 feet of Water, at high Water.—We are now sailing very agreably towards our Port.
The Pilot says War is declared, last Wednesday, and that the Pavillions were hoisted Yesterday at every Fort and Light House.—Quaere.1
There is a civil Frenchman on board, whose Name I never asked untill to day. His Name is Quillau, Fourier des Logis de Mr. Le Ct. D'Artois. He was not of M. De Coudrays Corps.
The French Gentlemen on board can scarcely understand our new Pilot. He speaks Gascoine, the Dialect of Bourdeaux, they say, which is not good French.
This Day Six Weeks We sailed from Nantaskett Road. How many Dangers, Distresses and Hairbreadth Scapes have We seen?
A Story.—Garrick had a Relation, convicted of a capital Offence. He waited on his Majesty, to beg a Pardon. The K. asked what was the Crime?—He has only taken a Cup too much, says Garrick, may it please your Majesty.—Is that all? said the K. Let him be pardoned.—Gault.
A Story. A Frenchman in London advertised an infallible Remedy against Fleas. The Ladies all flocked to purchase the Powder. But after they had bought it, one of them asked for Directions to Use it.—Madam says the Frenchman you must catch the Flea, and squese him between your Fingers untill he gape, then you must put a little of this Powder in his Mouth, and I will be responsible he never will bite you again.— { [facing 290] } { [facing 291] } { 291 } But says the Lady, when I have him between my Fingers, why may I not rub him to death?—Oh Madam dat will do just as well den!—Tucker.
We have been becalmed all day in Sight of Oleron. The Village of St. Dennis was in Sight, and Multitudes of Wind Mills and Sand Hills all along the shore. Multitudes of Vessells in sight, French, Spanish, Dutch Vessells, and English Smugglers.
I feel a Curiosity to visit this Island of Oleron so famous in Antiquity for her Sea Laws, at least I take this to be the Place.
1. A very proper query. France had recognized and formed an alliance with the United States by treaties of alliance and commerce signed at Versailles on 6 Feb.; the French ambassador in London, the Marquis de Noailles, had so notified the British government on 13 March; and diplomatic relations were at once broken off. But war was never formally declared between the two powers.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-30

March 30. Monday.

This Morning at 5, the Officer came down and told the Captain that a lofty Ship was close by Us, and had fired two heavy Guns. All Hands called. She proved to be an heavy loaded Snow.
The Weather cloudy, but no Wind. Still—except a small Swell.
The Tour of Cordovan, or in other Words Bourdeaux Lighthouse in Sight, over our larbord Bow.
The Captn. is now cleaning Ship and removing his Warlike Appearances.
This Day has been hitherto fortunate and happy.—Our Pilot has brought us safely into the River, and We have run up, with Wind and Tide as far as Pouliac, where We have anchored for the Night, and have taken in another Pilot.
This forenoon a Fisherman came along Side, with Hakes, Skates, and Gennetts. We bought a few, and had an high Regale.
This River is very beautifull—on both Sides the Plantations are very pleasant. On the South Side especially, We saw all along Horses, Oxen, Cowes, and great Flocks of Sheep grazing, the Husbandmen ploughing &c. and the Women, half a Dozen in a Drove with their Hoes. The Churches, Convents, Gentlemens seats, and the Villages appear very magnificent.
This River seldom Swells with Freshes, for the rural Improvements and even the Fishermens Houses, are brought quite down to the Waters Edge. The Water in the River is very foul to all Appearance, looking all the Way like a Mud Puddle. The Tide setts in 5 Knots. We outrun every Thing in sailing up the River.
{ 292 }
The Buildings public and private, are of Stone, and a great Number of beautifull Groves, appear between the grand Seats, and best Plantations. A great Number of Vessells lay in the River....1
The Pleasure resulting from the Sight of Land, Cattle, Houses, &c. after so long, so tedious, and dangerous a Voyage, is very great: It gives me a pleasing Melancholly to see this Country, an Honour which a few Months ago I never expected to arrive at.—Europe thou great Theatre of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, War, am I at last permitted to visit thy Territories.—May the Design of my Voyage be answered.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-31

March 31. Tuesday.

Lying in the River of Bourdeaux, near Pouliac. A 24 Gun Ship close by Us, under French Colours, bound to St. Domingue.—A dark, misty Morning.
My first Enquiry should be, who is Agent for the united States of America at Bourdeaux, at Blaye, &c—who are the principal Merchants on this River concerned in the American Trade? What Vessells French or American, have sailed or are about sailing for America, what their Cargoes, and for what Ports? Whether on Account of the united States, of any particular State, or of private Merchants french or American?
This Morning the Captain and a Passenger came on board the Boston, from the Julie, a large Ship bound to St. Domingue, to make Us a Visit. They invited Us on Board to dine. Captn. Palmes, M[aste]rs Jesse and Johnny and myself, went. We found half a Dozen genteel Persons on Board, and found a pretty ship, an elegant Cabin, and every Accommodation. The white Stone Plates were laid, and a clean Napkin placed in each, and a Cut of fine Bread. The Cloth, Plates, Servants, every Thing was as clean, as in any Gentlemans House. The first Dish was a fine french Soup, which I confess I liked very much.—Then a Dish of boiled Meat.—Then the Lights of a Calf, dressed one Way and the Liver another.—Then roasted Mutton then fricaseed Mutton. A fine Sallad and something very like Asparagus, but not it. —The Bread was very fine, and it was baked on board.—We had then Prunes, Almonds, and the most delicate Raisins I ever saw.—Dutch Cheese—then a Dish of Coffee—then a french Cordial—and Wine and Water, excellent Claret with our Dinner.—None of us understood French—none of them English: so that Dr. Noel stood Interpreter. While at Dinner We saw a Pinnace go on board the Boston with several, half a Dozen, genteel People on board.
{ 293 }
On the Quarter Deck, I was struck with the Hens, Capons, and Cocks in their Coops—the largest I ever saw.
After a genteel Entertainment, Mr. Griffin, one of our petty Officers, came with the Pinnace, and C. Tuckers Compliments desiring to see me. We took Leave and returned where We found very genteel Company consisting of the Captn. of another Ship bound to Martinique and several Kings Officers, bound out. One was the Commandant.
C. Palmes was sent forward to Blaye, in the Pinnace to the Officer at the Castle in order to produce our Commission and procure an Entry, and pass to Bourdeaux. Palmes came back full of the Compliments of the Broker to the Captn. and to me. I shall not repeat the Compliments sent to me, but he earnestly requested that C. Tucker would salute the Fort with 13 Guns, &c.—which the Captn. did.
All the Gentlemen We have seen to day agree that Dr. Franklin has been received by the K[ing] in great Pomp and that a Treaty is concluded, and they all expect War, every Moment....1
This is a most beautifull River, the Villages, and Country Seats appear upon each Side all the Way. We have got up this Afternoon within 3 Leagues of the Town.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-01

1778 April 1. Wednesday.

This Morning Mr. J. C. Champagne, negociant and Courtier de Marine, at Blaye, came on board, to make a Visit and pay his Compliments.
He says, that of the first Grouths of Wine, in the Province of Guienne, there are four Sorts, Chateau Margeaux, Hautbrion, La Fitte, and Latour.
This Morning I took Leave of the Ship, and went up to Town with my Son, and servant, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Jesse, and Dr. Noel, in the Pinnace. When We came up to the Town We had the Luck to see Mr. McClary,1 and Major Fraser [Frazer], on the Shore. Mr. McClary came on board our Boat, and conducted Us up to his Lodgings. Mr. Pringle was there. We dined there, in the Fashion of the Country. We had fish and Beans, and Salad, and Claret, Champain and Mountain Wine. After Dinner Mr. Bondfield, who is Agent here, invited me to take a Walk, which We did to his Lodgings, where We drank Tea.2 Then We walked about the Town, and to see the new Comedie. After this We went to the Opera, where the Scenery, the Dancing, the Music, afforded to me a very chearfull, sprightly Amusement, having { 294 } never seen any Thing of the Kind before. After this We returned to Mr. McClarys Lodgings, where We supped.
1. That is, William McCreery, evidently from Baltimore, whom JA had known in America and who had recently “Setled in Bordeaux in the mercantile way” (AA to JA, 18 May 1778; JA, Autobiography, under the present date). JA and McCreery corresponded on commercial subjects for some years, though at first their letters rather amusingly centered on a pair of homespun breeches, lost by JQA in Bordeaux, that contained eight guineas sewed into the waistband. McCreery returned to America in 1781 (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 7:261, note). If he is the William McCreery who became a U.S. representative and senator from Maryland, the notice of him in Biog. Dir. Cong, is inadequate.
2. John Bondfield was a merchant who served for many years as U.S. commercial agent at Bordeaux and whose surviving correspondence with JA and other American ministers in France is voluminous. JA says in his Autobiography under the present date that he had also known Bondfield in America, but his background is obscure. For a high opinion of his mercantile character see JA to William Vernon Jr., 12 May 1778 (LbC, Adams Papers). As late as 15 May 1789 Bondfield could write JA from Bordeaux: “I remain as when I had the Honor to see you at Bordeaux honor'd by the [American] Gentlemen at Paris with their Correspondence and publick and private Commissions and in my steddy Attention to every thing in my power to serve the States” (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-02

1778 April 2. Thursday.

Walked round the Town, to see the Chamber and Council of Commerce, the Parliament which was sitting, where We heard the Council. Then We went round to the Ship Yards &c. Made many Visits—dined at the Hotel D'Angleterre. Visited the Customhouse, the Post office—visited the Commandant of the Chateau Trompette, a Work of Vaubans—visited the Premiere President of the Parliament of Bourdeaux. Went to the Coffee house. Went to the Commedie—saw Les deux Avares. Supped at Messrs. Reuiles De Basmarein and Raimbaux.1
1. The firm of Recules de Basmarein et Raimbaux of Bordeaux were the “outstanding shipowners of France,” and from them Lafayette had purchased the Victoire, in which he sailed to America just a year earlier (Gottschalk, Lafayette, 1:87–88, and ch. 7, passim)

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-03

April 3. Fryday.

Waited on the Intendant, dined at Mr. Bondfields and supped at Mr. Le Texiers.—Our Company, on Thursday Evening, at Mr. Basmarains were—The Count of Virelade the Son of the Premiere President, Le Moine first Commissary of the Navy, Le Moine the Son, Commissary of the Navy, Cornie, Captain of a Frigate, Knight of St. Lewis, Jn. Bt. Nairac former Deputy of Commerce from La Rochelle, Paul Nairac, a Merchant, Elisee Nairac a Merchant, La tour Feger Esq. a Merchant, Menoire, Esq. a Merchant, Coutourier Esq. a Merchant, { 295 } Mr. Bondfield and Major Fraser. The Toasts were announced by 13 Shots, in honour of the 13 States. The K. of France 21 Shots. The Congress 13. G. Washington 3. Mr. De Sartine 3.1G[eneral] Gates 3. Marshall Broglie 3. The Count of Brolie his Brother 3. The Marquis De la Fayette 3. The Glory and Prosperity of the 13 united States 13. The Prosperity of France 3. Eternal Concord between the two Nations, now Friends and Allies, 3. The State of Massachusetts Bay and Mr. Adams its Representative. Mr. Destaing Vice Admiral. The City of Bourdeaux. Mrs. Adams 3. The French and American Ladies 21. The Departure of Mr. Adams, when he mounted his Coach, was saluted by 13. Shots. The Garden was beautifully illuminated, with an Inscription, God Save the Congress, Liberty and Adams.2
1. Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de Sartine, Comte d'Alby (1729–1801), French minister of marine, 1774–1780 (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale), with whom JA was to have extensive correspondence in his capacity as a joint commissioner to France.
2. On this occasion JA learned something of the freedom of conversation between the sexes in France, and held his own, though not without a sense of shock; see his Autobiography under 2 April 1778.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-04

1778 April 4. Saturday.

About 10 O Clock We commenced our Journey to Paris, and went about 50 miles.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-05

April 5. Sunday.

Proceeded on our Journey, more than 100 Miles.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-06

April 6. Monday.

Arrived at Poictiers, the City so famous, for the Battle which was fought here. It is a beautifull situation and the Cultivation of the Plains about it is exquisite. The Houses are old and poor and the Streets very narrow. Afternoon passed thro Chatelerault, another City, nearly as large as Poictiers, and as old, and the Streets as narrow. When We stopped at the Post to change our Horses, about 20 young Women came about the Chaise, with their elegant Knives, scissors, tooth Picks &c. to sell. The Scaene was new to me, and highly diverting. Their eagerness to sell a Knife, was as great, as that of some Persons I have seen in other Countries to get Offices. We arrived in the Evening at Ormes, the magnificent Seat of the Marquis D'Argenson.— It is needless to make particular Remarks upon this Country. Every Part of it, is cultivated. The Fields of Grain, the Vineyards, the Castles, { 296 } the Cities, the Parks, the Gardens, every Thing is beautifull: yet every Place swarms with Beggars.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-07

1778. April 7. Tuesday.

Travelled from Les Ormes, the splendid Seat of the Marquis D'Argenson, to Mer. We went through Tours, and Amboise, and several other smaller Villages. Tours is the most elegant Place We have yet seen. It stands upon the River Loire, which empties itself at Nantes. We rode upon a Causey, made in the River Loire, for a great Number of Miles. The Meadows and River Banks were extremely beautifull.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-08

April 8. Wednesday.

Rode through Orleans, &c. and arrived at Paris, about 9 O Clock. For 30 Miles from Paris or more the Road is paved, and the Scaenes extreamly beautifull.
At Paris We went to several Hotels which were full—particularly the Hotell D'Artois, and the Hotell Bayonne. Then We were advised to the Hotell de Valois, where We found entertainment. But We could not have it without taking all the Chambers upon the floor which were four in Number, very elegant and richly furnished, at the small Price of two Crowns and an Half a Day, without any Thing to eat or drink. We send for Victuals to the Cooks. I took the Apartments only for two or three days.
At our Arrival last Night at a certain Barrier, We were stopped and searched, and paid the Duties for about 25 Bottles of Wine which we had left of the generous Present of Mr. Delap at Bourdeaux.
My little Son has sustained this long Journey of near 500 Miles at the Rate of an hundred Miles a day with the Utmost Firmness, as he did our fatiguing and dangerous Voyage.
Immediately on our Arrival, We were called upon for our Names, as We were at Mrs. Rives's at Bourdeaux.
We passed the Bridge, last Night over the Seine, and passed thro the Louvre. The Streets were crowded with Carriages, with Livery Servants.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-09

1778 April 9. Thursday.

This Morning the Bells, and Carriages, and various Cries in the Street make Noise enough, yet the City was very still last Night towards the Morning.
{ 297 }
Le Hotell de Valois, en Rue de Richlieu, is the Name of the House and Street where I now am. Went to Passy, in a Coach, with Dr. Noel, and my Son.
Dr. Franklin presented to me the Compliments of Mr. Turgot, lately Comptroller of the Finances, and his Invitation to dine with him.1 Went with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee and dined in Company with the Dutchess D'Anville, the Mother of the Duke De Rochefoucault, and twenty of the great People of France.—It is in vain to Attempt a Description of the Magnificence of the House, Gardens, Library, Furniture, or the Entertainment of the Table. Mr. Turgot has the Appearance of a grave, sensible and amiable Man. Came home and supped with Dr. Franklin on Cheese and Beer.2
1. Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de l'Aulne (1727–1781), French statesman and philosophe (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale). It was a letter of Turgot's to Richard Price, concerning the new American state constitutions, written in 1778 and published in Price's Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, London, 1784, that prompted JA to write a gigantic rebuttal entitled JA, Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, London, 1787–1788; 3 vols. The personal and intellectual relations of JA and Turgot have been described, and JA's marginalia on Turgot's letter of 1778 printed, in Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress, ch. 8, “Turgot's Attack on the American Constitutions.” On the more immediate origins of JA's Defence see note on entry of 29 [i.e. 28] July 1786, below.
2. This is the only intimation in the Diary that JA and JQA had joined Franklin's already numerous household in Passy, but a memorandum in JA's copy of the American Commissioners' accounts, 1777–1779 (in Lb/JA/35, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 123), dated “Passi September 27 1778,” states: “I arrived at Paris in the Evening of the 8th of April, and the next Morning, waited on Dr. Franklin at Passi, where I have resided from that Time.”
Franklin's lodgings were in a separate building on the extensive grounds of the Hôtel de Valentinois, named for a former owner but acquired in 1776 by M. Le Ray de Chaumont (see next entry in this Diary), on the heights of Passy close to the Bois de Boulogne and overlooking the Seine and Paris to the east. The once semirural suburb of Passy is now engulfed by Paris, and blocks of apartments shut off the view that Franklin and his colleagues enjoyed; but see a plan of “Franklin's Passy,” with explanatory text, in Bernard Faÿ, Franklin, the Apostle of Modern Times, Boston, 1929, facing p. 452, and a detail from an 18th-century map of the neighborhood in Howard C. Rice Jr., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785, Boston, 1956. A contemporary description of the Valentinois gardens will be found in Dezallier, Environs de Paris, 1779, p. 16–18. The building occupied by Franklin and his entourage and by JA in succession to Silas Deane was variously called the “pavilion,” the “basse cour,” and the “petit hôtel”; a tablet now marks its site on a building at the corner of Rue Reynouard and Rue Singer. The American headquarters at Passy have been described by nearly all of Franklin's biographers, but perhaps in most detail by John Bigelow (who as American minister in Paris at one time hoped to acquire the site for a United States legation), in an article entitled “Franklin's Home and Host in France,” Century Mag., 35:741–754 (March 1888). The “petit hôtel” survived until at least 1866.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-10

April 10. Fryday.

Dined at Monsr. Brillon's, with many Ladies and Gentlemen...1 Madam Brillon is a Beauty, and a great Mistress of Music, as are her two little Daughters... The Dinner was Luxury as usual—a Cake was brought in, with 3 Flaggs, flying. On one, Pride subdued—on another, Haec Dies, in qua fit Congressus, exultemus et potemus in ea. Supped in the Evening, at Mr. Chamonts.2 In the evening 2 Gentlemen came in, and advised me, to go to Versailles tomorrow. One of them was the Secretary to the late Ambassador in London, the Count De Noailles.3
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS. The Brillons and particularly Mme. Brillon were among Franklin's most intimate French friends; see Bernard Faÿ, Franklin, the Apostle of Modern Times, Boston, 1929, p. 463–468.
2. Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont the elder (1725–1803), capitalist, holder of numerous government sinecures, enthusiast in the American cause, and a heavy speculator in contracts for supplying the Continental army and outfitting American naval vessels. Upon Franklin's arrival in France in Dec. 1776 Chaumont offered him accommodations rent-free at the Hotel de Valentinois, and there Franklin maintained his headquarters until he returned to America in 1785. JA's relations with Chaumont during his shorter stay in Passy were more troubled, as will appear from their correspondence and other evidence. On Chaumont and his family, which was to have continuing connections with America, see John Bigelow's article cited in note on preceding entry, and T. Wood Clarke, Emigré's in the Wilderness, N.Y., 1941, especially chs. 2–3.
3. Emmanuel Marie Louis, Marquis de Noailles (1743–1822), uncle of the Marquise de Lafayette; he had returned from London after notifying the British government of the Franco-American alliance (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale). His secretary in London, previously chargé d'affaires there, was Charles Jean Gamier (1738–1783?), a rather shadowy figure but one who, from several of JA's allusions to him, was regarded as influential in the French foreign office and an expert on British affairs. He was well known to English sympathizers with the American cause, and in 1779 JA thought he would be sent as a successor to Gérard, the first French minister in Philadelphia. See entries of 21 April, 8 May 1778, 9 Feb., 2 July 1779, below; also Doniol, Histoire, 5:658, and references there; R. H. Lee, Arthur Lee, 2:87. (Garnier's forenames and dates have been furnished by the Service des Archives Diplomatiques et de la Documentation, Paris.)

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-11

April 11. Saturday.

Went to Versailles, with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee—waited on the Count De Vergennes, the Secretary of foreign Affairs—was politely received.—He hoped I should stay long enough to learn French perfectly—assured me, that every Thing should be done to make France agreable to me—hoped the Treaty would be agreable, and the Alliance lasting.—I told him I thought the Treaty liberal, and generous—and doubted not of its speedy Ratification. I communicated to him the Resolutions of Congress respecting the Suspension of Burgoines Embarkation, which he read through, and pronounced Fort bon.1
{ 299 }
I was then conducted to the Count Maurepas, the Prime Minister, was introduced by Dr. F. as his new Colleague and politely received.
I was then shewn the Palace of Versailles, and happened to be present when the King passed through, to Council. His Majesty seeing my Colleagues, graciously smiled, and passed on. I was then shewn the Galleries, and Royal Apartments, and the K's Bedchamber. The Magnificence of these Scaenes, is immense. The Statues, the Paintings, the every Thing is sublime.
We then returned, went into the City, and dined with the Count []where was the Count De Noailles, his Secretary, and 20 or 30 others, of the Grandees of France. After Dinner, We went in the Coach, to see the Royal Hospital of Invalids, the Chappell of which is immensely grand, in Marble and Paintings and Statuary.
After this We went to the Ecole militaire, went into the Chapell and into the Hall of Council &c. Here We saw the Statues of the great Conde, Turenne, Luxembourg, and Saxe. Returned and drank Tea, at Mm. Brillons, who lent me Voyage picturesque de Paris,2 and entertained Us, again, with her Music, and her agreable Conversation.
1. These resolves, voted 8 Jan. 1778, are in JCC, 10:29–35.
2. [Antoine Nicolas Dezallier d'Argenville,] Voyage pittoresque de Paris, ou indication de tout ce qu'il y a de plus beau dans cette ville, en peinture, sculpture & architecture, par M. D***. JA acquired a copy of the 6th edition of this useful work when he returned to Paris in 1780; it is among his books in the Boston Public Library and has proved useful in annotating his Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-12

1778 April 12. Sunday.

The Attention to me, which has been shewn, from my first Landing in France, at Bourdeaux, by the People in Authority of all Ranks and by the principal Merchants, and since my Arrival in Paris by the Ministers of State, and others of the first Consideration has been very remarkable, and bodes well to our Country. It shews in what Estimation the new Alliance with America is held.
On Fryday last, I had the Honour of a Visit from a Number of American Gentlemen—Mr. James Jay of New York Brother of the C[hief] Justice, Mr. Johnson Brother of Governor of Maryland,1 Mr.[], Mr. Amiel, Mr. Livingston, from Jamaica, Mr. Austin from Boston,2 Dr. Bancroft. Mr. R. Issard [Izard] should be [sentence unfinished]
I must return the Visits of these Gentlemen.
This Day I had the Honour to dine with the Prince De Tingry, Le Duke De Beaumont, of the illustrious House of Montmorency, the Duke and Dutchess of [sentence unfinished]
{ 300 }

Edisti satis, lusisti satis, atque bibisti

Tempus est abire tibi.—

Written under the Picture of Sir Rob. Walpole. Some one made an amendment of Bribisti instead of Bibisti.
1. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), born in Calvert co., Md., brother of Gov. Thomas Johnson of Maryland, was employed in London as factor of an Annapolis shipping firm until the Revolution. He then crossed to France en route to America, but having several small children he was discouraged by the prospect of a long sea voyage and settled as a merchant at Nantes, where he undertook various commissions for both Congress and the State of Maryland. JA and JQA visited the Johnsons in Nantes before returning to America in 1779. Johnson returned to London after the war and served as first U.S. consul there, 1790–1797. While on diplomatic service in London, JQA courted Johnson's daughter Louisa Catherine (1775–1852), and was married to her in 1797. See JA, Autobiography, under the present date; entry of 14 April 1779, below; Md. Hist. Mag., 42:214–215 (Sept. 1947); JCC, 15:1126; Archives of Maryland, Baltimore, 1883–, 21:7, 140; 43:225; 47:79; Edward S. Delaplaine, The Life of Thomas Johnson, N.Y., 1927, p. 14; Bemis, JQA, 1:79–82; letter of Julia B. Carroll, Foreign Affairs Branch, The National Archives, to the editors, 22 Oct. 1959.
2. Jonathan Loring Austin, Harvard 1766, who had brought the news of Burgoyne's surrender to France the previous fall and then served Franklin in various capacities; during the summer of 1778 he acted as secretary to JA (JA, Autobiography, under the present date; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 1:620–621, 630–631; JA–Austin correspondence in Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-13

1778. Monday. April 13.

This Morning the Dutchess Dayen, and M. le Marquise De Fayette,1 came to visit me, and enquire after the Marquise [Marquis].
Went to Versailles, was introduced, to the Levee of Mr. de Sartine, the Minister. A vast Number of Gentlemen were attending in one Room after another, and We found the Minister at last, entrenched as deep as We had formerly seen the Count Maurepas. The Minister politely received Us, and shewed Us, into his Cabinet, where were all the Books and Papers of his office.—After he had finished the Business of his Levee, he came into the Cabinet to Us, and asked whether I spoke French, and whether I understood French? The Answer was, un Peu, and Si on parle lentement, ou doucement.2 He then made an Apology, to each of Us seperately, in the Name of his Lady, for her Absence, being gone into Paris to see a sick Relation. After this We were conducted down to dinner, which was as splendid as usual. All Elegance and Magnificence, a large Company, four Ladies only...3 During Dinner Time many Gentlemen came in, and walked the Room, and leaned over the Chairs of the Ladies and Gentlemen, and conversed with them while at Table. After Dinner the Company all arose as usual, went into another Room, where a great { 301 } Additional Number of Gentlemen came in.—After some Time We came off, and went to make a Visit to Madam Maurepas, the Lady of the Prime Minister, but she was out and We left a Card. We then went to the office of the Secretary4 of Mr. Vergennes and delivered him a Copy of my Commission—then went and made a Visit to Madam Vergennes, who had her Levee, and returned to Passi.
1. The Duchesse d'Ayen and her daughter, Adrienne de Noailles, Marquise de Lafayette.
2. According to JA's Autobiography under this date, the answer was made by Franklin.
3. Suspension points in MS.
4. Joseph Mathias Gerard de Rayneval (1746–1812), usually called Rayneval by JA, brother of Conrad Alexandre Gerard (1729–1779), the first French minister to the United States. The younger brother had just succeeded the elder as premier commis or secretary in the French foreign office, a circumstance that has led to their often being confused with each other. See Despatches and Instructions of Conrad Alexandre Gerard, ed. John J. Meng, Baltimore, 1939, p. 35, note, and passim.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-14

Avril 14. Mardi.

Yesterday Morning sent for the Master of the Accademy in this Place, who came and shewed me his Conditions. [He] agreed to take my Son: who accordingly packed up his Things and went to School, much pleased with his Prospect because he understood that Rewards were given to the best Schollars, which he said was an Encouragement. Dancing, Fencing, Musick, and Drawing, are taught at this School, as well as French and Latin.1
1. In a letter to his “Hond. Mamma,” 20 April (Adams Papers), JQA described the regimen of M. Le Coeur's private boarding school. Among his American schoolmates were Jesse Deane, “Benny” Bache (Franklin's grandson), and Charles B. Cochran, the last of whom wrote JQA from Charleston, S.C., 5 June 1809, in a reminiscent vein about their school “Sur La Montagne de Créve-Coeur” (Adams Papers). JQA replied from Ghent, 18 July 1814, with his recollections (RC, privately owned, printed in AHR, 15:572–574 [April 1910]).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-15

Avril 15. Mecredi.

Went Yesterday to return the Visits, made me by American Gentlemen.
Dined this Day, with Madam Helvetius, one Gentleman, one Lady, Dr. F., his G. Son1 and myself made the Company—an elegant Dinner. Mm. is a Widow—her Husband was a Man of Learning and wrote several Books. She has erected a Monument to her Husband, a Model of which she has. It is herself, weeping over his Tomb, with this Inscription. Toi dont L'Ame sublime et tendre, a fait ma Gloire, et mon Bonheur, J t'ai perdu: pres de ta Cendre, Je viens jouer de ma Douleur.
Here I saw a little Book of Fenelons, which I never saw before— { 302 } Directions pour la Conscience D'une Roi, composees pour l'lnstruction du Louis de France, Due de Bourgogne.
At Mm. Helvetius's, We had Grapes, preserved entire. I asked how? She said “Sans Air.”—Apples, Pairs &c. are preserved here in great Perfection.
1. William Temple Franklin (1762–1823), natural son of Benjamin Franklin's natural son William (Franklin, Papers, ed. Labaree and Bell, 1:lxii–lxiii). Temple, as he was usually called, was serving as his grandfather's secretary.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-16

April 16. Jeudi.

Dr. F. is reported to speak French very well, but I find upon attending to him that he does not speak it Grammatically, and indeed upon enquiring, he confesses that he is wholly inattentive to the Grammar. His Pronunciation too, upon which the French Gentlemen and Ladies compliment him, and which he seems to think is pretty well, I am sure is very far from being exact.
Indeed Dr. Franklin's Knowledge of French, at least his Faculty of speaking it, may be said to have begun with his Embassy to this Court. ...1 He told me that when he was in France before, Sir John Pringle was with him, and did all his Conversation for him as Interpreter, and that he understood and spoke French with great Difficulty, untill he came here last, altho he read it.
Dined, at Mr. La Fretés. The Magnificence of the House, Garden and Furniture is astonishing. Saw here an History of the Revolution in Russia in the Year 1762.2
This Family are fond of Paintings. They have a Variety of exquisite Pieces, particularly a Storm and a Calm.3
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. See entry of 29 May, below.
3. This dinner party at Suresnes is described much more fully in JA's Autobiography under this date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-17

April 17. Vendredi.

Dined at home with Company—Mr. Platt and his Lady—Mr. Amiel and his Lady—Mr. Austin—Mr. Alexander &c.
After Dinner, went to the long Champ, where all the Carriages in Paris were paraded which it seems is a Custom on good Fryday.1
1. See, further, JA's Autobiography under the present date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-18

1778 April 18. Samedi.

This Morning the Father of General Conway came to visit me, and { 303 } enquire after his Son as well as American Affairs. He seems a venerable Personage.
Dined at Mr. Bouffets, who speaks a little English. Mr. Bouffetts Brother, Mr. Veillard, M. Le Fevre, L'Abbe des Prades, Mr. Borry, &c. were there.
Called and drank Tea at Mm. Brillons. Then made a Visit to M. Boullainvilliers, and his Lady, who is a kind of Lord of the Manor of Passi, and is just now come out to his Country Seat.1
1. “Le Château de M. le Marquis de Boulainviller, Prévôt de Paris, est la premiere maison considerable qui se trouve sur le chemin de Versailles” (Dezallier, Environs de Paris, p. 14, followed by a detailed description). The Boulainvilliers were close neighbors of the American Commissioners; see plan of “Franklin's Passy” in Bernard Faÿ, Franklin, the Apostle of Modern Times, Boston, 1929, facing p. 452.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-19

Ap. 19. Dimanche.

Dined at home, with Mr. Grand our Banker, his Lady, Daughter and Sons,1 Mr. Austin, Mr. Chaumont, and a great deal of other Company.
Mr. David Hartley, a Member of the B[ritish] House of Commons came to visit Dr. F., a Mr. Hammond with him.2
Went with Mr. Chaumont in his Carriage to the Concert Spirituel. A vast Croud of Company of both Sexes, a great Number of Instruments. A Gentleman sung and then a young Lady.3
1. The Grands, originally a Swiss family, were bankers in Paris and Amsterdam. In his Autobiography under the present dateJA says that it was through the influence of Vergennes, Sartine, and Chaumont that Ferdinand Grand of Paris “obtained the Reputation and Emoluments of being the Banker to the American Ministers.” The Grands had a country seat near the Hotael de Valentinois in Passy and were hospitable to JA and particularly kind to JQA.
2. David Hartley the younger (1732–1813), M.P. for Hull, was acting as an unofficial agent for Lord North; he had known Franklin intimately in England and was a tireless opponent of the American war, in Parliament and out (DNB). In his Autobiography under this dateJA gives an unfavorable view of “This mysterious Visit” to Passy by the two Englishmen, the other of whom was William Hammond, father of George Hammond, later to be the first British minister to the United States. In 1783 Hartley was appointed by the Fox-North Coalition commissioner to negotiate and sign the Definitive Treaty; see entry of 27 April 1783 and notes, below.
3. For an account of the concerts spirituels see Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris, 1784, p. 212.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-20

Ap. 20. Lundi.

My Son has been with me since Saturday.—The Concert Spirituel is in the Royal Garden, where was an infinite Number of Gentlemen and Ladies walking.
{ 304 }
Dined with the Dutchess D'Anville, at her House with her Daughter and Granddaughter, Dukes, Abbotts, &c. &c. &c.1
Visited Mr. Lloyd and his Lady, where We saw Mr. Digges.2
1. Including the philosopher Condorcet; see JA's Autobiography under this date.
2. Thomas Digges (1742–1821) of Maryland, prior to the Revolution London agent for various shipping firms and afterward one of those colonial residents in London who worked, in greater or lesser measure, for the American cause. His recent arrival in Paris was for the purpose of presenting to the Commissioners David Hartley's five point proposal for a peace conference. See William Bell Clark, “In Defense of Thomas Digges,” PMHB, 77:381–438 (Oct. 1953), for a partial restoration of Digges' somewhat tarnished character. Among the eleven known pseudonyms used by Digges in his voluminous correspondence with JA were such diverse signatures as William Singleton Church, Alexr. Hamilton, T. Dundas, Wm. Fitzpatrick, and Timothy D. Ross.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-21

1778 April 21. Mardi.

Dined, this Day, at Mr. Chaumonts, with the largest Collection of great Company that I have yet seen. The Marquis D Argenson, the Count De Noailles, the Marshall de Maillebois, the Brother of the Count de Vergennes, and a great many others, Mr. Foucault and Mm., Mr. Chaumonts Son in Law and Daughter, who has a Fortune of 4 or 5000£ st. in St. Domingo, Mr. Chaumonts own Son and Miss Chaumont. Mr.1[] the first officer under Mr. Sartine.
It is with much Grief and Concern that I have learned from my first landing in France, the Disputes between the Americans, in this Kingdom. The Animosities between Mr. D[eane] and Mr. L[ee]—between Dr. F[ranklin] and Mr. L.—between Mr. Iz[ard] and Dr. F.—between Dr. B[ancroft] and Mr. L.—between Mr. C.2 and all. It is a Rope of Sand....3
I am at present wholly untainted with these Prejudices, and will endeavour to keep myself so. Parties and Divisions among the Americans here, must have disagreable if not pernicious Effects.
Mr. D. seems to have made himself agreable here to Persons of Importance and Influence, and is gone home in such Splendor, that I fear, there will be Altercations, in America about him.4 Dr. F., Mr. D. and Dr. Bancroft, are Friends. The L's and Mr. Iz. are Friends. Sir J[ames] J[ay] insinuated that Mr. D. had been at least as attentive to his own Interest, in dabbling in the English Funds, and in Trade, and fitting out Privateers, as to the Public, and said he would give Mr. D. fifty thousand Pounds for his Fortune, and said that Dr. B. too had made a Fortune. Mr. McC[reery] insinuated to me, that the L's were selfish, and that this was a Family Misfortune. What shall I say? What shall I think?
{ 305 }
It is said that Mr. L. has not the Confidence of the Ministry, nor of the Persons of Influence here—that he is suspected of too much Affection for England, and of too much Intimacy with Ld. Shel[burne]—that he has given offence, by an unhappy disposition, and by indiferent Speeches before Servants and others, concerning the French Nation and Government, despising and cursing them.—I am sorry for these Things, but it is no Part of my Business to quarrell with any Body without Cause. It is no Part of my Duty to differ with one Party or another, or to give offence to any Body. But I must do my duty to the Public, let it give offence to whom it will.
The public Business has never been methodically conducted. There never was before I came, a minute Book, a Letter Book or an Account Book—and it is not possible to obtain a clear Idea of our Affairs.5
Mr. D. lived expensively, and seems not to have had much order in his Business, public or private: but he was active, dilligent, subtle, and successfull, having accomplished the great Purpose of his Mission, to Advantage.... Mr. Gerard is his Friend, and I find that Dr. B. has the Confidence of Persons about the Ministry, particularly of the late Secretary to the Embassader to G.B.6
1. CFA supplies, probably correctly, the name M. de Vilevault for the blank left by the diarist. See Almanach royal, 1778, p. 191.
2. The Autobiography indicates that this was William Carmichael, a Marylander who had acted informally as secretary and performed other services for the American Commissioners in Europe before his return to America in Feb. 1778; he was later a member of the Continental Congress and American chargé d'affaires at Madrid (DAB).
3. Suspension points, here and below, are in MS.
4. Deane sailed for America from Toulon on 13 March with Gérard, the new minister to the United States, in the flagship of the Comte d'Estaing's squadron (Gérard, Despatches and Instructions, p. 41, note, 89–90).
5. In a household account book of the American Commissioners, kept by Franklin's cook or major-domo at Passy, 1776– 1778 (CtHi), the following entry appears at 30 May 1778: “achêté deux livres a Ecrire pour Monsieur Adam.”
6. JA's Autobiography under this date greatly elaborates on the characters and contentions of the persons spoken of here.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-22

1778. Ap. 22. Wednesday.

Dined at home and spent the day with Mr. Lee.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-23

Ap. 23. Thursday.

Dined at home with Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-24

Ap. 24. Fryday.

Dined at Mr. Buffauts, with much Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-25

Ap. 25. Saturday.

Dined at Mr. Chaumonts with Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-26

Sunday [26 April].

Dined at home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-27

Monday. 27.

Dined with Mr. Boulainvilliers, at his House in Passi, with Generals and Bishops and Ladies &c—In the Evening went to the French Comedy, and happened to be placed in the first Box, very near to the celebrated Voltaire who attended the Performance of his own Alzire. Between the Acts the Audience called out Voltaire and clapped and applauded him, the whole Time. The old Poet arose and bowed respectfully to the Audience. He has yet much Fire in his Eyes and Vigour in his Countenance, altho very old. After the Tragedy, the[y] Acted the Tuteur, a Comedy or a Farce of one Act. This Theatre does not exceed that at Bourdeaux.
I will attempt to keep my Journal in French, in order to familiarise myself to that Language.1
1. In his Autobiography under this dateJA says that he attended the theater primarily in order to improve his French. Another measure to the same end was, as he says here, to keep his journal in French, but “I found it took up too much of my time.” The French entries that follow have been kept as literal as possible. They were omitted in CFA's text of the Diary because “not sufficiently good to merit publication” (Works, 3: 145, note). When JA set out seriously to learn French, he called on the services of the two inseparable French clerics Arnoux and Chalut; see entry of 4 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0028

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-28

1778. Avril Vingt-Huit. Mardi.

Dejeunois, chez nous, avec Messrs. Chaumont, Dubourg,1 Chaumont le jeune, Franklin, Grandpere et Grandfils.
M. Dubourg disoit un Conte, touchant, C. Mazarine. Un Officier demandoit, de lui, de le faire un Capitaine, d'une Guarde de <son> sa Vie. Le Card, repondoit, qu'il n'avoit pas Besoin d'autre Guarde que de son Ange tutelaire.—Ah Monsr. dit rofficier—on, le poussera, avec, un peu de l'au benit.—Oh Monsr. repondoit, le Cardinal Je ne crains point cette eau benite.
Je crois qu'on riroit, si on verroit, mon francois.
Je dinai Aujourdhui, chez moi, avec Mr. Lee.—Apres diner, Mr. L. et moi, allames, a la Comedie itallien, ou nous avons vu Monsieur Harlequin, &c.
1. Franklin's friend and editor, the physician Jacques Barbeu Dubourg (1709– { 307 } 1779). JA tells more of Dubourg and of his anecdotes in his Autobiography under this date; see also Benjamin Rush, Letters, 1:77, note, and references there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0029

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-29

Avril Vingt Neuf. Mercredi.

J'ai bien dormi, le derniere Soir. J'avois diné chez Le Marrechal De Maillebois avec Baucoup du Monde. Apres diner, went to the Accademy of Sciences and heard Mr. D'Alembert pronounce Eulogies upon divers Members deceased.1
1. On this occasion occurred the famous encounter—and embrace—between Voltaire and Franklin, described more fully in JA's Autobiography under this date. Voltaire, who was 84, died on 30 May 1778.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0030

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-30

Ap. 30. Jeudi.

Dined with the Mareschall De Mouchy—with the Duke and Duchess D'Ayen, their Daughter the Marquise De la Fayette, the Viscountess De Maillbois, her sister, another sister unmarried, the Prussian Ambassador, an Italien Embassador, and a great deal of other great Company. The Nobleman with whom We dined is Phillip de Noailles, Marechal Due De Mouchy, Grand d'Espagne de la premiere Classe, Chevalier des ordres du Roi et de la Toison D'or, Grand Croix de l'ordre de Malte, nominé Lieutenant General de Guienne en 1768 et Commandant en Chef dans le Gouvernement de ladite Province en 1775.
His being Commander in Chief in the Province of Guienne was the Cause of a great Compliment to me. He asked me how I liked Bourdeaux. I told him [I] found it a rich, elegant, Town flourishing in Arts and Commerce. He asked whether I was content with my Reception there. I said they had done me too much Honour. He replied he wished he had been there, to have joined them in doing me Honour.
He lives in all the Splendor and Magnificence of a Viceroy, which is little inferiour to that of a King.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-01

1778 May 1. Vendredi.

Aujourdhui J'ai été diner, chez Monsieur Le Duke D'Ayen, le Pere de Mm. Le Ms. [Madame la Marquise] De la Fayette. La Maison, Le Jardin, Les Promenades, Les Tableau's, Les Garnitures, son tres magnifiques.
Les Tableaux de la Famille de Noailles sont anciens, et nombreux.
Mm. la Dutchess D'Ayen, a cinque ou Six Enfans, contre la Coutume de ce Pays ci.
We were shewn, into the Library, and all the Rooms and first Suite { 308 } of Chambers in the House. The Library is very large, and the Rooms very elegant and the Furniture very rich.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-02

May 2. Saturday.

Dined at Mr. Izzards, with Mr. Lloyd and his Lady, Mr. Francois and much other Company. After Dinner went to the Comedie Francoise, and saw the Brutus of Voltaire and after it, the Cocher Supposé. —As I was coming out of the Box, a Gentleman seized me by the Hand.—I looked.—Governer Wentworth, Sir, says he.— Asked Questions about his Father and Friends in America &c.1
1. John Wentworth, JA's Harvard classmate and former royal governor of New Hampshire, had arrived in Europe from Nova Scotia early in 1778 (Lawrence Shaw Mayo, John Wentworth, Cambridge, 1921, p. 164–167). His encounter with JA and its aftermath are amplified in JA's Autobiography under the present date, q.v. also on “Mr. Francois,” i.e. Francès.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-03

May 3. Sunday.

Mr. Izzard and Lady, Mr. Lloyd and Lady, Dr. Bancroft and much other Company dined, with Dr. Franklin and me at Passi. Mrs. Izzard at my particular Desire brought her little Son and two little Daughters. We had all our young Gentlemen, from the Accademy, which made a pretty Shew of young Americans.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-04

May 4. Monday.

Dined at Mr. Chaumonts, with his Family, and some other Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-05

May 5. Tuesday.

Am to dine at home—a great Rarity and a great Blessing!
At Dinner, alone, my Servant brought me a Letter, A Messieurs, Messieurs, Franklin, Lée, et Adams, Deputés des Etats unies de l'Amerique a Passy. De Vergennes.—I opened, and found it in these Words
J'ai pris les ordres du Roy, Messieurs, au Sujet de la presentation de M. Adams votre nouveau Collegue, et Sa Majesté le verra vendredi prochain, 8 de ce mois. J'espere que vous voudres bien me faire l'honneur de dinér ce jour la, chez moi; je serai ravi d'avoir cette Occasion de passer quelques Heures avec Vous, et de vous renouveller l'Assurance de la tres parfaite Consideration avec Laquelle jai l'honneur d'etre, Messieurs, Votre tres humble et tres obeissant Serviteur
[signed] De Vergennes

[addrLine] Mrs. Francklin, Lee et Adams.1

{ 309 }
J'ai passé le tout de ce Jour, chez moi. Monsieur Lee vint chez moi, l'apres midi, et nous travaillions dans 1'Examen du Papiers publiques. —En la Soiree Monsieur Chaumont, vint chez moi, et m'avertit de la Destination d'une Frigatte de trente deux Canons de Marseilles a Boston, et que Je puis ecrire, si Je voulois.
1. RC not located. JA inserted an English translation in his Autobiography under the present date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-06

May 6. Wednesday.

A Spanish Writer of certain Vissions of Hell, relates that a certain Devil who was civil and well bred, shewed him all the Departments, in the Place—among others the Department of deceased Kings. The Spaniard was much pleased at so illustrious a Sight, and after viewing them for some time, said he should be glad to see the Rest of them.—The Rest? said the Daemon. Here are all the Kings, that ever reigned upon Earth from the Creation of it to this day, what the Devil would the Man have?—F[ranklin].
This was not so charitable as Dr. Watts, who in his view of Heaven says “here and there I see a King.”—This seems to imply that K's are as good as other Men, since it is but here and there that We see a King upon Earth.
After Dinner went to the Review, where the King reviewed his Guards, French and Swiss, about 8000 of them. The Shew was splendid, as all other Shews are, in this Country. The Carriages of the Royal Family, were magnificent beyond my Talent at Description.—Returned and drank Coffee with Mr. Lee, walked home and drank Tea with Mr. Chaumonts Family, and spent the Rest of the Evening in reading Cardinal Richelieu.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-07

1778. May. 7. Thursday.

J'allai, hier, apres midi, a la Revue, ou Le Roy, a fait une Revue de ses Guardes de Suiss et de francoise.
Ce Matin, [sentence unfinished]

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-08

May 8. Fryday.

This Morning Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Adams, went to Versailles, in Order that Mr. Adams might be presented to the King.—Waited on the Count De Vergennes, at his office, and at the Hour of Eleven the Count conducted Us, into the Kings Bed Chamber where { 310 } he was dressing—one officer putting on his Sword, another his Coat &c.
The Count went up to the King, and his Majesty turned about, towards me, and smiled. Ce est il Monsieur Adams, said the King and then asked a Question, very quick, or rather made an Observation to me which I did not fully understand. The Purport of it was that I had not been long arrived.—The Count Vergennes then conducted me to the Door of another Room, and desired me to stand there which I did untill the King passed.—The Count told the King, that I did not yet take upon me to speak French. The King asked, whether I did not speak at all as yet—and passed by me, into the other Room.
This Monarch is in the 24th. Year of his Age, having been born the 23d of Aug. 1754. He has the Appearances of a strong Constitution, capable of enduring to a great Age. His Reign has already been distinguished, by an Event that will reflect a Glory upon it, in future Ages I mean, the Treaty with America.1
We afterwards made a Visit to Count Maurepas, to Mr. Sartine, to the Chancellor,2 to Mr. Bertin &c.
The Chancellor, has the Countenance of a Man worn with severe Studies. When I was introduced to him he turned to Dr. F. and said Mr. Adams est un Person celebre en Amerique et en Europe.
We went afterwards to Dinner, with the Count de Vergennes. There was a full Table—no Ladies but the Countess. The Counts Brother, the Ambassador who lately signed the Treaty with Swisserland, Mr. Gamier the late Secretary to the Embassy in England, and many others, Dukes and Bishops and Counts &c.
Mr. Garnier and Mr.[] asked me, with some Appearance of Concern, whether there was any foundation for the Reports which the Ministry had spread in England, of a Dispute between Congress and Gen. Washington. A Letter they say has been printed, from an officer in Phila. to that Purpose.
Mr. Garnier is the 1st. french Gentleman who has begun a serious political Conversation with me of any length. He is a sensible Man.
1. There are more details and reflections concerning this first audience with Louis XVI in JA's Autobiography under the present date.
2. The Autobiography supplies the Chancellor's name, Miromenil (i.e. Miromesnil).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-09

May 9. Saturday.

This Morning Mr. Joy, Mr. Johonnot, and Mr. Green, came to visit me—Joy who lived at Weymouth, Green Son of Mr. Rufus Green.1
Dined with Madam Bertin.2
{ 311 }
1. Michael Joy, Francis Johonnot, and William Greene, formerly of Massachusetts but more lately of London, who were traveling together in France (see note on the following entry). Greene kept a journal of this trip, in which he wrote of this visit to Passy:
“Saturday, May 9, morning we took coach for Passy for which [we] gave six livres, we waited first on Mr. Adams, who receiv'd us very genteelly, but he has not wore off the natural restraint which always was in his behaviour, we tarried with him half an hour, from him we went to Dr. Franklin's apartment, he receiv'd us like children, and behaved to us with all the complaisance and tenderness imaginable, we were above half an hour in free discourse with this venerable man on our departure he desired our company to dinner the next day being Sunday” (MHS, Procs., 54 [1920–1921]:103).
2. JA's Autobiography under this date more discreetly says, “The American Ministers dined with Madam Bertin, at Passi,” and then goes on to tell more about their hostess.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-10

1778. May. 10. Sunday.

Messieurs Brattle, Waldo, Joy, Johonnot, Green and Austin dined with Us, at Passi.1 After dinner We walked in the Bois du Boulogne, as far as the new Seat of the Count D'Artois, where We saw Mr. Turgot, Mr. and Mm. La Fréte, and much other Company. Sunday in this Country is devoted to Amusements and Diversions. There are more Games, Plays, and Sports of every Kind on this day, than on any other, in the Week.
1. The additional guests were Thomas Brattle (Harvard 1760), son of JA's old antagonist Gen. William Brattle, and Joseph Waldo (Harvard 1741); both had left Boston for England about the time hostilities broke out. (On Brattle see Sabine, Loyalists; on Waldo see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, vol. 11 [in press].) A passage in JA's Autobiography under the present date makes clear why he received these former American acquaintances, and especially Waldo, with reserve: now that war between England and France was imminent, some if not all of them were suffering from second thoughts and would have been glad to accept appointments under Congress or the Commissioners, for which JA doubted their qualifications.
William Greene in his travel journal gives an entertaining account of this day which is too long to quote here. It is particularly revealing of Franklin's way of life at Passy and suggests why JA soon grew impatient with his colleague's habits. “In the afternoon,” Greene remarks, “a number of ladies from the neighbourhood came in, and took us all to walk, in the Bois Boulogne. The old Doctor still so fond of the fair sex, that one was not enough for him but he must have one on each side, and all the ladies both old and young were ready to eat him up” (MHS, Procs., 54 [1920–1921]: 104).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-11

May 11. Monday.

Dined at Mr. Sorins, at Passi.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-12

May 12. Tuesday.

Dined, at Mr. Dupré's, at the [] Montagne. The Gardens and the Prospect are very fine. It lies adjoining to the Seat of the President of the Parliament of Paris. We met his Lady, who desired { 312 } the Gentlemen to shew Us the Place, but not the Whole, for she wished to enjoy our Company, there, at her own Invitation, and she chose to reserve a Part of the Curiosities of the Place as an Inducement to Us to accept it.
From this Hill, We have a fine View of the Country, and of the Kings Castle at Vincennes. My little Son, and the other young Americans, at the Pension, dined with Us.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-13

May 13. Wednesday.

Dined at M. Chaumonts, with a great deal of Company. After Dinner took a Walk to Chaillot to see Mr. Lee, who had a large Company of Americans to dine with him, among the rest Mr. Fendell of Maryland and Dr. Smith Brother of Mr. Smith of N. York the Historian.1
1. James Smith (1738–1812), College of New Jersey 1757; M.D., Leyden 1764; first professor of chemistry and materia medica at King's College (Princeton Univ., Alumni Records; Thomas, Columbia Univ. Officers and Alumni). JA later said that Smith, whose political position was ambiguous, gave the American Commissioners “a great deal of Vexation” and that he afterward furnished materials for one of the most unbridled published attacks on JA's career as a public man, namely John Wood's History of the Administration of John Adams ... , N.Y., 1802 (JA, Autobiography, under dates of 12, 21 April, 9 May 1778).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-14

1778 May 14. Thursday.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-15

May 15 Fryday.

Dined at Mr. Grands, with all the Americans, in Paris.1
1. William Greene gives in his travel journal a detailed account of this “very jovial” dinner, a list of the “brilliant company” present, and even an explanation of the name of the Grands' residence in Passy, La Chaise:
“One time when [Louis XV] was a hunting, he had occasion to ease himself, a person brought him a necessary chair, he said that house shou'd be called la Chaise, which it has been ever since, and the statue of Louis 15th on horse back stands always in the garden, the place where this happened, it is copper and small, it was put in the middle of the table” (MHS, Procs., 54 [1920–1921]:108).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-17

May 17 Sunday.

Dined at home. Dr. Dubourg, and Mr. Parker and another Gentleman dined with me.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-18

May 18 Monday.

Dined at Mr. La Frété's Country Seat, at the Foot of Mount Calvare. The House, Gardens, and Walks are very spacious. It lies upon the Seine—nearly opposite to that Castle whimsically called Madrid, built { 313 } by Francis I.1—The Company Yesterday, were all single Personnes, except Mr. and Mm. La Frété and myself.
1. Mont Calvaire, also called Mont Valérien, rises above the village of Suresnes, west of the Seine and across from the Bois de Boulogne. For a contemporary view of Mont Calvaire see Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 12: facing p. 482, with descriptive information and references in same, p. xxxv–xxxvi. Francis I's Madrid is described in Dezallier, Environs de Paris, 1779, p. 21–22. See also JA's Autobiography under this date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-19

May 19. Tuesday.

Dined with Mr. Challut, one of the Farmers General.1 We were shewn into the superbest Gallery that I have yet seen. The Paintings, Statues and Curiosities were innumerable. The old Marshall Richlieu dined there, and a vast Number of other great Company.
After dinner, M. Challut invited Dr. F. and me, to go to the Opera, and take a Seat in his Logis. We did. The Musick and dancing were very fine.
1. M. Chalut de Vérin, brother of the Abbé Chalut with whom JA was to become very friendly (Almanach royal, 1778, p. 474; note on entry of 4 July, below; JA, Autobiography, under the present date).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-20

1778 May 20. Wednesday.

The french Opera is an Entertainment, which is very pleasing, for a few Times. There is every Thing, which can please the Eye, or the Ear. But the Words are unintelligible, and if they were not, they are said to be very insignificant. I always wish, in such an Amusement to learn Something. The Imagination, the Passions and the Understanding, have too little Employment, in the opera.
Dined at Dr. Dubourgs, with a small Company, very handsomely; but not amidst those Signs of Wealth and Grandeur, which I see every where else.
I saw however more of Sentiment, and therefore more of true Taste than I have seen in other Places, where there was ten times the Magnificence.—Among his Pictures were these.
Les Adieux D'Hector et D'Andromaque, in which the Passions were strongly marked.
La Continence de Scipio.
Le Medicin Erasistrate, decouvre L'Amour D'Antiochus.
Devellopement de la Decoration interieure et des Peintures des Plafonds de la Gallerie de Versailles.
We went and drank Tea, with Mm. Foucault, and took a View of Mr. Foucaults House—a very grand Hotell it is—and the Furniture is { 314 } vastly rich. The Beds, the Curtains, the every Thing is as rich as Silk and Gold can make it.
I am wearied to death with gazing wherever I go, at a Profusion of unmeaning Wealth and Magnificence. The Adieu of Hector and Andromache gave me more Pleasure than the Sight of all the Gold of Ophir would. Gold, Marble, Silk, Velvet, Silver, Ivory, and Alabaster, make up the Shew everywhere.
A certain Taylor once stole an Horse, and was found out and committed to Prison, where he met another Person who had long followed the Trade of Horse Stealing. The Taylor told the other, his Story. The other enquired why he had not taken such a Road and assumed such a Disguise, and why he had not disguised the Horse?—I did not think of it.—Who are you? and what has been your Employment?—A Taylor. —You never stole a Horse before, I suppose in your Life.—Never.—G—d d—n you what Business had you with Horse stealing? Why did not you content your Self with your Cabbage?—F[ranklin].

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-21

May 21. Thursday.

Dined at home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-22

22 Fryday.

Dined at home with a great deal of Company. Went after Dinner to see the Misanthrope of Moliere, with Mr. Amiel. It was followed by the Heureusement.—Called at the Microcosme. Called at Mr. Amiels at the Pension.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-23

1778. May 23. Saturday.

Dined at Home with Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-24

Sunday 24.

Dined at Home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-25

Monday [25 May].

Dined at Home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-26

May 26. Tuesday.

Dined at Mr. Bertins the Secretary of State at his Seat in the Country. Dr. F., his G. Son and I rode with Mm. Bertin, the Niece of the { 315 } Minister, in her Voiture with 4 Horses. This was one of the pleasantest Rides yet. We rode near the back side of Mount Calvare, which is perhaps the finest Height near Paris. Mount Martre is another very fine Elevation. The Gardens, Walks and Water Works of Mr. Bertin are very magnificent. He is a Batchelor. His House and Gardens are situated upon the River Seine. He has at the End of his Garden a Collection of Rocks, drawn together at a vast Expense, some Thousands of Guineas. I told him I would sell him a Thousand times as many for half a Guinea.
His Water Works are very curious. 4 Pumps, going by Means of two Horses. The Mechanism is simple and ingenious. The Horses go round as in a Mill. The four Pumps empty themselves into a square Pond which contains an Acre. From this Pond the Water flows through Pipes down to every Part of the Garden.
I enquired of a certain Abbe, who sat next me at Dinner, who were the purest Writers of french. He gave me in writing, L'Histoire universell du Bossuet. La Fontaine. Moliere. Racine. Rousseau. Le petit caerene [carême] de Massillon. Les sermons de Bourdaloue.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-29

1778. May 29. Fryday.

Dined again at Monsieur La Fretes at the Foot of Calvare. Madam La Fretes four Sisters dined with Us.
Monsr. Rulier [Rulhière], who has always dined with me at that House, dined there to day—the same Gentleman who wrote the History of the Revolution in Russia. He has also written the Revolutions of Poland. I asked him who was the best Historian of France. He said Mezeray. He added, that the Observations upon the History of France by the Abby de Mably were excellent.1 He told me I might read his History of the Revolution in Russia, when I would.
The Inclination and the Apparatus in this Country for Amusements is worthy of observation. There is scarcely a genteel House but is furnished with Accommodations for every Sort of Play. Every fashionable House at least has a Billiard Table, a Backgammon Table, a Chess Board, a Chequer Board, Cards &c.
1. Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably (1709–1785), historian and philosopher, with whom the Adams family were to become very friendly later and whose Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784, was addressed to JA. For an account of Mably's career and for JA's marginalia in his De la législation, ou principes des loix, Amsterdam, 1776, see Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress, ch. 7, “The Communism of the Abbé de Mably.” See, further, entry of 5 Jan. 1783 and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0004-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-05-30

May 30. Saturday.

Dined at home with only Dr. F.'s new french Clerk. He has a smattering of Italian, German and English. He says that the best Italien Dictionary and Grammar are those of Veneroni. The best German Grammar and Dictionary are those of Gottsched.
The best french Prosody is the Poetique francoise de Marmontel.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-02

1778. June 2d. Tuesday.

Went to Versailles, and found it deserted, the Court being gone to Marli.
We went to Marli, <waited on> met the Compte De Vergennes, and did some Business, then went to Mr. De Sartine, and dined with him. His Lady was at home, and dined with the Company. The Prince de Montbarry dined there.—Went with Madam Sartine to the Count D'Arandas, the Spanish Ambassadors Coffee, as they call it, where he gives Ice Cream and Cakes to all the World.
Marli is the most curious and beautifull Place I have yet seen. The Water Works here, which convey such a great Body of Water from the Seine to Versailles, and through the Gardens at Marli, are very magnificent. The Royal Palace here is handsome, the Gardens before it are grand. There are six Pavillions on each Side of the Garden, that is six Houses, for the Use of the Kings Ministers, while the Royal Family is at Marli, which is only for 3 Weeks. There is nothing prettier than the Play of the Fountains in the Garden. I saw a Rainbeau in all its Glory in one of them.
The Shades, the Walks, the Trees, are the most charming, that I have seen.1
1. For a contemporary description of Marly and its grounds see Dezallier, Environs de Paris, 1779, p. 162–178.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-07

1778 June 7.

Went to Versailles in Company with Mr. Lee, Mr. Izzard and his Lady, Mr. Lloyd and his Lady and Mr. Francis. Saw the grand Procession of the Knights du St. Esprit or de le Cordon blue.
At 9 O Clock at Night went to the grand Couvert, and saw the King, Queen and Royal Family at Supper. Had a fine Seat and Situation close by the Royal Family, and had a distinct and full View of the royal Pair.1
1. JA's narrative of and reflections on this visit to Versailles are greatly elaborated in his Autobiography under the present date. His personal accounts (printed at the end of 1778, below) show that the entertainment cost him 12 livres.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-08

June 8

Dined with Mr. Alexander, and went to the Concert.1
1. From this point until the following spring the Diary entries are very sporadic. In his Autobiography JA says that after residing a few months at Passy he grew “afraid to keep any Journal at all: For I had reason to believe, that the house was full of Spies, some of whom were among my own Servants, and if my Journal should fall into the hands of the Police, full of free remarks as it must be, to be of any value, it might do more Injury to my Country than mischief to me.” When, however, JA reached the present point in composing his Autobiography, he filled the gaps in the Diary record to some extent by copying in letters from both the Commissioners' and his own letterbooks and by adding explanatory comments thereon. The inserted letters have been included in the text of the Autobiography in the present edition. His personal accounts in France, printed at the end of 1778, below, also give glimpses of his activities—sightseeing, attending court, book-buying, and the like—in the following months.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-04

1778 July [4].

The Anniversary of the Declaration of American Independence. We had the Honour of the Company of all the American Gentlemen and Ladies, in and about Paris to dine, with Dr. Franklin and me, at Passi, together with a few of the French Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood, Mr. Chaumont, Mr. Brillon, Mr. Vaillard, Mr. Grand, Mr. Beaudoin, Mr. Gerard, the Abbys Challut and Arnold &c.1
I have omitted to keep any Journal for a long Time, in which I have seen a great many curious Things.
1. On the inseparable Abbés Arnoux and Chalut, elderly but spritely enthusiasts for the American cause, who helped teach JA French and later became friendly with all the Adamses in France, see JA's Autobiography under date of 16 April 1778; AA to Mary (Smith) Cranch, 5 Sept. 1784 (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 189–190). JA and other Americans seldom succeeded in spelling the Abbés' names correctly.
The cost of this Fourth of July celebration, 600 livres and 7 sous, is entered in JA's retained record of the expenses of the American Commissioners in France, 1777–1779 (Lb/JA/35, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 123).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-06


Dined with the Abby's Chaillut and Arnaud. The Farmer General, Mr. and Mrs. Izzard, Mr. Lee, Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Stevens, and Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd were there. After dinner the Abby invited Us to the French Comedy, where We saw the Malheureux imaginary and the Parti de Chasse d'Henri quatre.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-07

7. Mardi.

Dined at St. Lu, with the Farmer general Challut. The Marshall Richelieu, and many Abbes, Counts, Marquisses &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-14


Dined at Chatou, with Mr. Bertine, Ministre D'Etat. Went to see the Park, where We rambled, untill We were weary.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-07-25

1778 July 25.

It is an Amusement among some People, here, who understand a little English, to give Samples of English Sentences, hard to be pronounced.—“What think the chosen Judges? Thrust this Thistle through this Thumb. An Apple in each Hand and a third in my Mouth.”—&c.1
1. See further, on the difficulties of the French in pronouncing the name “Washington,” JA's Autobiography under this date.
At this point, 25 July 1778, the second part of JA's Autobiography, entitled “Travels and Negotiations,” breaks off.
The third part, entitled “Peace,” does not resume the narrative of his life until 29 Sept. 1779, the date of JA's commissions from the Continental Congress to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-08-16

August 16.

Went to Church, to the Chappell of the Duch Embassador in Paris, where We had Prayer Books, Psalme Books in french and a Sermon. The Preacher spoke good French, I being judge, and with much grace. I shall go again.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-08-17


Dined at Chatou, with Mr. Bertin. After dinner went to view the Machine of Marli, which forces up from the River Seine, all the Water at Versailles and Marli. We walked up the Mountain to the Pavillion, and Dwelling House of Madam de Barry.1 The Situation is one of the most extensive and beautiful, about Paris. The Pavillion is the most elegantly furnished of any Place I have seen. The House, Garden and Wallks are very magnificent. Mm. Barry was walking in the Garden. She sent Us word she should be glad to see Us—but We answered it was too late, We had so far to go.—Mr. Le Roy, of the Academie of Sciences was with Us. As We returned We had an agreable Conversation, upon philosophical Subjects.
1. Louvecienne (or Louveciennes), nearly adjoining but east of Marly. See Dezallier, Environs de Paris, 1779, p. 178–181.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-08-18


Went to Paris, with the Abbees Chalut and Arnaut. Went to see the { 319 } Church of St. Roche, the Splendor and Magnificence of which, is very striking to me.1
There I saw the Monument of the famous Mesnager. The Pomp of these Churches, I think exceeds the Magnificence of the Royal Palaces.
Mr. Challut says that the Rent of this Church is Eighty thousand Livres a Year, barely the Rent of the Pews and Chairs, and perhaps the Cellars. Out of this they maintain the officers of the Church, and the Servants and Labourers that attend it, and the organist &c.—but what becomes of the Remainder he did not say.
1. A contemporary description of St. Roch will be found in Thiery, Almanac du voyageur à Paris, 1784, p. 544–549.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-08-30

Aug. 30. 1778. Sunday.

This Evening had the English Gazette extraordinary, containing Extracts from Letters from Ld. How and Gen. Clinton—the first containing an account of the Arrival of the Toulon Fleet, and anchoring without Sandy Hook—the other, a Relation of the Action of the 28. June in the Jerseys. There are Letters in London, as M. J. Wharton1 says, as late as the 14. July.
Elements of Spanish Grammar by Del Pino, and Dictionary of the Same.2
1. Joseph Wharton of Philadelphia, who, according to his own testimony in an autobiographical letter written years later, had been supplying confidential information from London to Dr. Bancroft in Paris, and had fled to Paris this very month to avoid arrest by the British (Joseph Wharton to JA, 4 June 1798, Adams Papers).
2. This note cannot be dated. In the MS it follows the entry of 30 Aug. quite closely and is in turn followed by a half-page interval of space preceding the entry of 7 October.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-07

1778 Oct. 7.

Captain Richard Grinnell of Newport Rhode Island says, that the English have this Year 17 Vessells, in the Brazil Whale Fishery off the River Plate, in S.A. in the Lat. 35 South and from thence to 40. just on the Edge of Soundings off and on, about the Longitude of 651 from London. That they sail in the Months of September and October.
Almost all the Officers and Men, belonging to these 17 Vessells are Americans from Nantuckett and Cape Cod, two or 3 from Rhode Island and Longisland.
The Names of the Captains are Aaron Sheffield of Newport R.I., [] Goldsmith Long Island, Richard Holmes New York, John Chadwick Nantucket, Francis Macy Nantucket, Reuben Macy Nan• { 320 } tucket, John Meader Nantucket, Jonathan Meader Dto., Elisha Clarke Nantucket, Benjamin Clark Nantucket, William Ray Nantucket, Paul Pease Nantucket, Bunker Fitch Nantucket, Reuben Fitch Nantucket, Zebeda Coffin Nantucket, another Coffin Dto., John Lock Cape Codd,[] Delano Nantucket, Andrew Swain Nantucket, William Ray Nantucket.—Holmes and Chadwick are returned home.
Some of these Vessells 4 or 5 go to Greenland.
The fleet sails to Greenland, the last of February or the Beginning of March.
There is another Whale Fishery discovered lately, in the Meditarranean on the Coast of Barbary, where they catch many fish.
There was last Year and this Year, a Publication made by the Ministry, A Letter from the Lords of the Admiralty to Mr. Dennis du Bert in Coleman Street, informing Mr. De Bert that there should be a Convoy appointed to convoy the Brazil fleet. But this is a Sham—a Deception. There was no Convoy last Year nor this. If a Convoy was to be appointed she could be of no service, as the Vessells are continually changing their Courses in Chase of Whales. That she would not go further than the Line as they would then judge themselves clear of American Privateers.
One Privateer from 12 to 20 Guns [and] 100 Men would be sufficient to take and destroy this whole Fleet.2
The Beginning of December would be the best Time to proceed from Hence—the same Time from Boston.
1. Overwritten; perhaps “63.”
2. JA proposed precisely this project of Capt. Grinnell's to Capt. Daniel McNeill of the General Mifflin privateer, then apparently at Lorient, in writing him, 9 Oct., to find a place on his ship for Grinnell (LbC, Adams Papers). The Commissioners conducted a lengthy correspondence with the French ministry on this subject.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-08

1778 Oct. 8. Thursday

Captain Richard Grinnell was taken and carried into Guernsey by the Speedwell Cutter Captain Abraham Bushell of 12 Guns pierced for 14.
The Town of Guernsey the Capital of the Island, is fortified with one Fort upon an Island called Castle Island, within a Quarter of a Mile of the Town, right before it. There are between Eighty and an hundred Pieces of Cannon, in the Fort, but both Guns and Fort in bad Condition and Repair. Not more than 50 Soldiers at a Time in the Fort.
There are only five hundred Soldiers, highlanders, on the whole { 321 } Island. They have wrote to Scotland for another Regiment, which they say is coming.
The Militia keep watch round the Island. They are well armed, but are not exercised.
They have lately built new Batteries of four and six Guns in Places where Boats can land, and block Houses all round the Island, where Boats can Land.
The Island is not more than Ten Leagues from Cape La Hague, the french Coast. About five Thousand Souls, on the Island, very bitter against the French: but treat American Prisoners very well—more like Brothers than Prisoners.
There is a forty Gun Ship and two Frigates of 28 or 30 Guns in the Harbour before the Town of Guernsey, and several cruising round the Island as they say. Two Kings Cutters of 12 and 14 Guns, are here also.
They say there are forty six Privateers, from 8 to Twenty Guns belonging to this Island—about twenty more belonging to Jersey, Alderney and Sark.
The Proper Place to station a Frigate to intercept the Prizes, would be about 30 Leagues to the Westward of the Island, out of sight. Here a Frigate that could sail fast enough might retake many Prizes.
Captain Peter Collass of Boston, taken on board of Barns, by the Speedwell of Guernsey.1
Guernsey is about 20 miles in Circumference, 7 or 8 long and about 3 or 4 wide. There are breast Works all round the Island, and wherever there is a Cove or Bay where it is possible for Boats or Ships to come in there is a Battery of [2?] or 4 Guns, and they say they are building blockhouses all round the Island. They reckon they can muster between four and five Thousand Militia. They have five hundred Highlanders, all green, just off the Mountains. They have a Number of Invalids besides perhaps three or four hundred.
The Fort in the Harbour is on a Rock a Musquet shot from the Town, Eighty six Guns in the Fort, 42, 32, down to Twelves. Every Parish has a Field Piece or two. Of late they have received a No. of Field Pieces of a new Construction, 3 pounders, to be drawn by Men over Gutters, Ditches, &c. Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney have between fifty and sixty Privateers, small and great.
There is a Forty Gun Ship, a Frigate of 28 or 30 Guns, and two Cutters, of 10 or 12.
A 36 Gun Frigate to cruise about 10 or 12 Leagues to the Westward of the Island of Guernsey, might intercept their Prizes going in, pro• { 322 } vided she was a fast Sailer. She should keep out of Sight of the Island. The Guernsey Men boasted that all the Islands had taken Prizes this War to an amount between three and four Millions.
1. Capt. Peter Collas was a son-in-law of Franklin's favorite sister, Jane (Franklin) Mecom. He was captured by the British no less than five times during the war (The Letters of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom, ed. Carl Van Doren, Princeton, 1950, p. 23–24). What follows is his testimony, as that above is Grinnell's, on the defenses of the Channel Islands. CFA silently supplied quotation marks around each of their statements.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-12

Monday. Oct. 12.

Samuel Harding of Welfleet Cape Cod says that Mr. Robert Bartholomew or Bartlemé, and Incleby of London, are largely concerned in the Whale Fishery. Richard Coffyn and Shubael Gardiner of Nantuckett are concerned with them. Dennis Debert carries on the Business for Mr. Bartholomew. Mr. Nath. Wheatly of Boston is in Partnership with Mr. Bartholomew.—One Ship of forty Guns, or 20 Guns, would take all the Fishery.
There are about three Boats Crews on each Ship, which are twenty four Men.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-22

1778 Octr. 22. Thursday.

William Whitmarsh Jur., born in Braintree, maried and living in Marblehead, was taken Prisoner on board the Yankee Privateer, Captain Johnson. After having taken two Ships, the Prisonors rose upon them, and carried [them] to England. Carried to Chatham and put on board the Ardent 64 Gun Ship, Captn. Middleton. Next put on board the Mars 74, from thence on board the Vultur sloop for Spithead. At Spithead put on Board the Balfleur 90.—11 Oct. 1776 put on board the Rippon of 60 Guns Commodore Vernum [Vernon], bound to the East Indies. Sailed 24 Novr. from Spithead and arrived at Madrass 8 June 1777.—11 Aug. I left the Ship, and went Upon the Malabar Coast —from thence to a danish Island—thence to Bengal—thence to a danish Factory. Discharged from the danish Snow. In Novr. 17. I shipped on Board an East India man, homeward bound. Sailed in December to Madrass. Arrived in Jany. 1778–sailed 6th. February—arrived at Spithead 6 of Aug.—17 impressed. All the Men on board the Fleet were pressed, Midshipmen, Quarter Masters and all.—27. had a ticket of Liberty for 14 days.—11 September left London for Flushing. Arrived 27.—7 Oct. at Dunkirk.—Never entered, and never would.
{ [facing 322] } { [facing 323] }

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-30

1778 Octr. 30. Fryday.

Last Saturday I dined with Mr. Grand in Company with Mr. Gebelin Author of the Monde Primitif.1
1. Antoine Court de Gébelin (1725–1784) was the author of Monde pritnitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne, a vast and learned but unfinished work on mythology and language of which JA owned a copy (9 vols., Paris, 1775–1782) that he read and heavily annotated in old age. See Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 65; Alfred Iacuzzi, John Adams, Scholar, N.Y., 1952, p. 230–232. Court de Gebelin is said to have served as one of the editors of the Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique, a vehicle of American propaganda in which Franldin and JA were much interested (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale; see notes on entries of 11 Feb. and 3 March 1779, below).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-11-09

Nov. 9.

Mr. Lee read me a Paragraph of a Letter, from London, “that Mr. D. Hartley would probably be here, in the Course of this Month.”
At Dinner I repeated this Paragraph to Dr. Franklin, and said that I thought “Mr. H's Journey ought to be forbidden.” The Dr. said “he did not see how his coming could be forbid.” I replied “We could refuse to see him,” and that I thought We ought to see nobody from England, unless they came with full Powers....1 That little Emmissarys were sent by the King only to amuse a certain Sett of People, while he was preparing for his designs. That there had been enough of this.... The Dr. sayd “We could decline having any private Conversation with him.” ...
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0009-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-11-26

1778. Novr: 26 Jeudi.

Went to see the Palace of Bourbon, belonging to the Prince of Condé. It is a City. The Apartements of the Prince, are very rich, and elegant. The Gallery has many fine Paintings. But I have no Taste for ringing the Changes of Mirrors, Gold, Silver, Marble, Glass, and Alabaster.—For myself I had rather live in this Room at Passy than in that Palace, and in my Cottage at Braintree than in this Hotel at Passy.
An unlucky Accident befell my Servant Stevens in falling from the Coach, and being dragged by the foot upon the Pavement. He was in great Danger but happily was not essentially hurt.
Dined with the Abbes C[halut] and A[rnoux]. Returned at Night and found M. Turgot, Abbe Condilac, Mad. Helvetius, and the Abbe &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0009-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-11-30

Novr. 30. 1778.

Orthodoxy is my Doxy, and Heterodoxy is your Doxy.—Definitions. F[ranklin].

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0010-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-12-02

Decr. 2.

Captn. Bernard. Says There are Two hundred and Thirty Sail of Merchand Ships lying at the Mother Bank, near Spithead, ready to sail to the West Indies, loaded with all Kinds of Provisions and dry Goods, and Warlike Stores. They are to be joined by about Thirty Sail that now lay in the Downs. They are to sail the first Wind after the two Fleets join. The Wind must be easterly. They all go to the Barbadoes, where the Fleet for the Windward Islands, seperates from that to the Leward Islands. They are to be convoyed out of the Channell by Twelve Ships of the Line, Six of them to go through the Voyage to the W.I. Islands.—As they commonly exagerate, it is probable, that not so many Men of War will go. There may be 8 or 9 Men of War, go out of the Channell and perhaps two or three, go thro the Voyage. They cannot probably spare 6 Vessells of the Line without leaving the French Masters of the Seas.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0011-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1778-02 - 1779-08

[Personal Receipts and Expenditures, 1778–1779.]1

Account of Monies received   Account of Monies expended  
  £   s   d     £   s   d  
1778. Feb. 12. Recd, of the Hon. the Navy Board at Boston, in Sterling.   100:   0:   0   1778 Feb. To Sundry Expences at Boston, in making the necessary Preparations for my Voyage exclusive of the Articles furnished me by the Navy Board2—in Sterling.   10:   0:   0  
  2400:   Liv.            
        Livres   240:   0:   0  
<April Recd, of Mr. Bondfield at Bourdeaux>3         < To Cash expended, at Bourdeaux, and on the Journey from thence to Paris near 500 Miles, in which is included the Expences of my self, Captain Palmes, sent to Paris by Captn. Tucker to receive the orders of the Commissioners, of Dr. Noel a French Surgeon of the Boston who went [as] our Interpreter, of Master Jesse Deane, and of my little Son, and my Domestic Servant>   <45:>   <0:>   <0>4  
<Feb.> Ap. 18. <drew an order on Mr. Grand, the Banker, in favour of Dr. Noel for two hundred and thirty one Livres and Six Sous, being the Ballance of Expences on the Road from Bourdeaux to Paris.> transferred to Pages 9 and 10.5         <Feb.> April 18. <Paid Dr. Noel by an orderon the Banker 231 Livres and Six Sous, being for the Ballance of Expences on the Road from Bourdeaux to Paris.> transferred to Pages 9 and 10.6        
{ 326 }
        paid for Padlocks and a few other little Necessaries, 7s. Sterling   0:   7:   0  
        Liv.   8      
April 22. Recd. of Mr. Franklin twenty Louis D'ors   480   Liv.     Ap. 22. paid my Servant Joseph Stephens five Louis D'ors, as Per Rect.   120:   0:   0  
        1778. Ap. 23. paid for French Dictionaries & Grammars   1:   10:   0  
        Liv.   36      
        Ap. 25. paid the Barber for a Wigg, one Louis D'or and 2 Crowns.   1:   10:   0  
        Liv.   36      
        and half a Crown for a Bagg.   0:   2:   6  
        Liv.   3      
        Ap. 27. Paid Joseph Stevens, 2 Louis D'ors        
        Livres   48:   0:   0  
        To 8 English Guineas, lost in a Garment which was stole on the Road bet. Bourdeaux and Paris,—the Guineas were sewn up in the Garment, to conceal them from the Enemy in Case of Capture at Sea—sterling   8:   8:   07  
        Livres   192:   0:   0  
        Decr. 19. Paid to Mr. Jonathan Williams for a Bill of Exchange, drawn by Mrs. { 327 } A. in favr. of Codman and Smith, indorsed to Mr. Williams 50£ sterling   50:   0:   0  
        Liv.   1200      
        In Livres, Sous and Deniers.8        
        Ap. 30. Paid the Washerwoman   7:   6:   0  
        Paid for a Tickett.   6:   0:   0  
        May 1. & 2. Paid for two Ticketts and some Pamphlets   14:   0:   0  
        May 5. Paid Joseph Stevens for Sundry small Articles as per Rect.   44:   12:   0  
1778. May 6. Reed, of Mr. W. T. Franklin 20 Louis D'ors   480:   0:   0          
        May 7. Paid Joseph Stevens 2 Louis D'ors equal to 48 Livres. Pr. Rect.   48:   0:   0  
        8. paid Mr. W. T. Franklin a Louis D'or to pay for Horses, servants &c. at the Hotell, where they dined when I was at Versailles to be presented to the K[ing]   24:   0:   0  
        May 9. Paid for two blank Paper Books9   16:   4:   0  
        10 pd. Washerwoman   4:   2:   0  
        paid Mr. Lee a Cm. borrowed of him in Paris   6:   0:   0  
        May 14. Paid Mr. J. Hochereau his Account10   40:   0:   0  
        ditto for Almanack Royal11   6:   0:   0  
        1778. May 15. paid Mr. Hochereau another Acct.   42:   0:   0  
{ 328 }
        paid Mr. Lee 4 Louis D'ors for Articles of Dress purchased for me   96:   0:   0  
        May 18. Paid for Pencils   3:   0:   0  
        May 22. paid for a Tickett   6:   0:   0  
        May 23 paid for a few necessary Books, And for some transient Expences 4. Louis D'ors   96:   0:   0  
        May 31. paid for Tickett and transient Expences   24:   0:   0  
        June 7 paid for Expences at Versailles, at the Ceremony of the Knights De St. Esprit and Seeing the King, Queen and Royal Family at the Grand Couvert   12:   0:   0  
        June 16 Paid Denis Account two Louis D'ors.   48:   0:   0  
        paid Mr. J. Williams for La Fontaines Works in 7 Vol.   24:   0:   0  
        paid Joseph Stevens's Account   28:   9:   0  
        17 paid for a Trunk a Louis   24:   0:   0  
        paid the Comis for bringing it   0:   12:   0  
        19 paid Chaubert the Shoemaker his Account 33 Livres.   33:   0:   0  
1778. May 25. By Cash & Payments made to and for me at Bourdeaux, by Mr. Bondfield, according to his Account, exhibited to me, in his Letter of 26 May.12         1778 May 25. To my Expences at Bourdeaux, and from thence to Paris in the { 329 } Hire of Carriages Horses and all other Expences for Captn. Palmes, Dr. Noel, and Jesse Deane, as well as my son, servant and self.   1404:   0:   0  
Livres   1404:   0:   0          
Nota. B. this Article is to be substituted instead of the 2d Article in the first and 2 Pages of this Account, which is to be erased.13                
Ap. 18. By an order drawn by me on Mr. Grand the Banker, in favour of Dr. Noel for Two hundred and thirty one Iivres and Six Sous, being the Ballance of Expences from Bourdeaux to Paris.   0231:   6:   0   Ap. 18. To Cash paid Dr. Noel by an order on the Banker for £231. 6s. od. being for the Ballance of Expences upon the Road from Bourdeaux to Paris.   0231:   6:   0  
N.B. this Article is transfered from the two first Pages of this Book in order to have the whole of this Affair in one View.14                
1778. May 25. By Sundry Articles, shipped by Mr. Bondfield for my Family according to his Account, for which I am accountable.   888:   12:   0   1778 May 25. Paid Mr. Bondfield, for the Articles shipped by him, as on the left Hand Page   888:   12:   0  
June 11. By an order drawn by me alone on Mr. Grand in favour of Mr. Le Cour for   365:   5:   0   June 11. Paid Mr. Le Coeur, by an order as on the left Hand Page   365:   5:   0  
June 12 By an order drawn by me alone on Mr. Grand in favour of Mr. Denis Hill   663:   5:   0   12 Paid Dennis Hill by an order as on the left Hand Page   663:   5:   0  
{ 330 }
July15 16. drew an order on Mr. Grand, in these Words viz. Mr. Grand, after considering of your Question concerning the Furniture which was made for Mr. Deane, and which he had used for Upwards of a Year, before I came into this Kingdom and after considering the Nature of the Contract, which Mr. Deane made, according to which fifteen hundred Livres I think are to be paid for the Use of them for the first Year: I have concluded, upon the whole that it is most for the Interest of the public, to pay for the Purchase than for the Loan: You will therefore be so good, as to pay for them as soon as you please. But I have one Request to make, which is, that in the Charge you make of this Article in the public Accounts, you would mention the Contract made with Mr. Deane, that I may not appear to be accountable, for more than my share of this Expence. I am &c.         16 Paid for Mr. Deanes Furniture as on the left Hand Page   4294:   0:   0  
Livres.   4294:   0:   0          
1778 June 16. Reed, of Mr. Grand the { 331 } Banker for which I singly gave a Rect. 100 Louis   2400:   0:   0          
        1778 June 22 paid for two Pamphlets   3:   0:   0  
        paid for Ticketts and Coach hire   15:   0:   0  
        24 paid the Peruquiers Account   39:   12:   0  
        25 paid Expences at Paris and at the Comedy   18:   0:   0  
        28 Paid Expences at Paris and at the Comedy   18:   0:   0  
        29 Paid Joseph Stevens his Account as pr his Rect.   96:   0:   0  
        30 paid Mr. Quillaus Account–32 Crowns   192:   0:   0  
        July 1. paid Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        2 paid Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        5 Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        6 Dto.   12:   0:   0  
        9 paid Monsieur Quillau, his Memoire as per Rect   170:   0:   0  
        10 paid Joseph Stevens as per Rect   144:   0:   0  
        paid for Sundry Expences, myself 2 Louis   48:   0:   0  
        12 paid Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        16 paid the Washerwoman 1 Louis   24:   0:   0  
        paid Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        18. paid at the Bureau general des Gazettes etrangeres, for one Year and one Months Subscription for the Courier de L'Europe   52:   0:   0  
        19 paid Hocherau his Memoire   25:   0:   0  
{ 332 }
        1778 July 21. paid Expences at Paris   13:   4:   0  
        22 paid Mr. Langlois Memoire   74:   0:   0  
        23 delivered 2 Louis to Captain Niles to be laid out in Tea for my family   48:   0:   0  
        paid Hochereau his Memoire   15:   0:   0  
        27 paid Hochereau his Memoire   61:   0:   0  
        paid Expences at Paris for Dr. Franklin and myself   18:   0:   0  
        29 paid Hochereau another Memoire   40:   0:   0  
        paid Expences in Town   18:   0:   0  
        paid Joseph Stephens his Account   28:   18:   0  
        31 paid Hocherau another Memoire   22:   10:   0  
        paid the Bureau des Gazettes etrangeres for the Gazette de la Haye   36:   0:   0  
        Aug. 2. Paid the Taylers Man, for bringing Cloathes   3:   0:   0  
        paid Expences at Paris   9:   0:   0  
        4 Paid Denny his Account   44:   4:   0  
        5 paid for the Gazette de France   12:   0:   0  
1778 Aug. 6. drew an order on Mr. Grand for 100 Louis   2400:   0:   0          
        1778. Aug. 7. paid the Maitre D'hote! his Account   52:   12:   0  
        8 paid for the Postage of 2 Packets of Letters from Bourdeaux, which came { 333 } by the Way of St. Eustatia   32:   0:   0  
        paid transient Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        9 paid Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        10 paid Mr. Jonathan Williams, for Mr. Cranch, a private affaire, this Article to be charged to my private Account   141:   9:   0  
        paid Mr. Amiel for Mr. Austin   72:   0:   0  
        11 paid for the Marquise D'Argensons Work16   5:   0:   0  
        12 deld. 8 Crowns to my servant to pay for several small Expences   48:   0:   0  
        15 paid Jos. Stephens   70:   0:   0  
        Expences in Town   15:   0:   0  
17 drew an order on Mr. Grand in favour of Jon. Loring Austin for   720:   0:   0   17 paid Expences at Lucienne for Dr. Franklin and myself   12:   0:   0  
        paid Mr. Austin as on the other Side   720:   0:   0  
        paid Hochereau his Memoire   27:   0:   0  
        18 Paid Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        paid Hatters Account   30:   0:   0  
19 drew an Oder on Mr. Grand in favour of Monsieur Bureau fifteen Louis.   360:   0:   0   19 paid Bureau by an order, as on the other Side   360:   0:   0  
        22 Expences at the Bois de Boulogne   12:   0:   0  
        23. This day I accompanied the Abbeys Chalut and Arnold to Notre Dame lenfans trouves,17 a Charity [sermon?] at Passy, and the Spectacle at the Bois de { 334 } Boulonge, my Expences   48:   0:   0  
28. drew an Order on Mr. Grand in favour of Mr. Hill for   319:   15:   0          
        Aug. 30. Expences at Bois de Boulogne   6:   0:   0  
        31. paid Mr. Hochereau his Memoire   12:   0:   0  
        omitted Aug. 28. Paid Hill by an order on Mr. Grand as in Page 2018   319:   15:   0  
Septr. 13. drew an Ordre on Mr. Grand in favour of Mr. Hill for his Memoire   236:   0:   0          
        September 2. paid Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        4 paid Mr. Hochereau his Memoire   22:   4:   0  
        5 paid M. Hochereau his Memoire   26:   10:   0  
        paid expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        6. paid the Washerwomans Account   33:   14:   0  
        paid Joseph Stephens my servand   12:   0:   0  
1778 September 9. drew an order on Mr. Grand for 229 Livres 6s: 9d, in favour of Mr. W. T. Franklin to pay Mr. Williams for some Goods shipped by Captn. Corbin Barnes for my family   229:   6:   9   9 Expences at the Bois du Bouloge   6:   0:   0  
        omitted 13. Paid Hill by an order on Mr. Grand as in Page 20   236:   0:   0  
        13 paid the Taylors Servant, according to Custom   6:   0:   0  
        19 paid Dr. Bancroft for a Seal   12:   0:   0  
        paid Jos. Stevens   12:   0:   0  
        Expences at Paris   18:   0:   0  
        20 Expences in the Bois du Boulogne   1:   4:   0  
        21 paid Langlois Memoire   18:   0:   0  
        paid for mending my Watch   7:   0:   0  
        Expences at Paris   3:   0:   0  
{ 335 }
        omitted 1778 Septr. 9. Paid Mr. Williams by an order as on the left Hand   229:   6:   9  
        1778 Septr. 22. gave Mr. Austin four Crowns to be laid out in Tea for my family   24:   0:   0  
        paid Hochereau his Memoire   99:   8:   0  
        paid for Transient Expences   6:   0:   0  
        29 Expences in the Bois du Boulogne   6:   0:   0  
        Octr. 1. paid for Pen knives, a Walking Cane and a Watch String   18:   0:   0  
        2 paid M. Hochereau his Memoire   30:   0:   0  
        9 paid Jos. Stevens   18:   0:   0  
        10 Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        12 paid Dennis Memoire   27:   0:   0  
        15. paid Hochereau   37:   15:   0  
        17 paid M. Hochereau   60:   10:   0  
        paid Joseph Stevens   12:   0:   0  
        Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        20. paid Mr. Hochereau his Memoire   137:   10:   0  
        23. paid Mr. Hochereau   43:   10:   0  
        1778. Octr. 25. <Approved an account presented to me by Mr. Grand, for Linnen, Ruffles &c.>   <430:>   <6:>   <0>  
Octr. 27. Recd, as by Article on the other side as per Mr. Grands Acct.   684:   17:   6   Octr. 27. Paid Mr. Grand, his Account including the foregoing Article of the 25 of Octr. by a Rect. and an order to { 336 } place the whole to public Acct. as per Acct.   684:   17:   6  
        Novr. 1. paid Mr. Hochereau his Memr.   165:   10:   0  
        2 paid Joseph Stevens   12:   0:   0  
        3 paid Hochereau his Memoire   21:   0:   0  
        14 paid Jos. Stephens 1 Louis   24:   0:   0  
        paid Expences at Paris   3:   0:   0  
Novr. 30. Drew an order on Mr. Grand the Banker in favour of Monsieur Hochereau to pay his memoire   285:   0:   0   30 paid Joseph Stevens's Tailers Bill   33:   0:   0  
        paid Monsr. Hochereaus Memoire by an order on Mr. Grand the Banker   285:   0:   0  
        paid Expences at Paris   6:   0:   0  
        1778 Decr. 1. Gave the Postilion of Mr. De Sartine who brought me Dispatches from America sent by his Master   12:   0:   0  
1778 Decr. 2 drew an Order on Mr. Grand in favour of Louis Tardy for the Amount of his Memoire   265:   10:   0   Decr. 2. Paid Louis Tardy his Memoire by an Order on Mr. Grand   265:   10:   0  
        9 Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        15 Expences in Town   12:   0:   0  
Decr. 16. Reed, of Mr. Grand one hundred Lewis D'ors for which I gave a Rect   £2400:   10:   0          
        19 Expences   6:   0:   0  
        21 Paid Rouault his Memoire   14:   0:   0  
        23 paid Joseph Stevens   24:   0:   0  
        29 Expences in Town   4:   0:   0  
{ 337 }
        1779 Jany. 1. pd Stevens   12:   0:   0  
        paid penny Postman   4:   0:   0  
        3 Expences in Town   12:   0:   0  
        Expences to the Paroisse   3:   0:   0  
        1779. Jany 8 Expences at Paris   12:   0:   0  
        9 paid for Syrope de Tortue a Medicine   3:   0:   0  
        Paid a Barbers Boy for an Etrenne   3:   0:   0  
        20 Expences at Paris   9:   0:   0  
        25 Expences at Calvare   15:   0:   0  
        31 transient Expences   12:   0:   0  
        Feb. 2. given to a French Sailor who had been taken Prisoner in the Lexington and escaped to help him to his own Country of Flanders   6:   0:   0  
        6 Paid Visquenets Account   18:   0:   0  
        11 Expences at Paris   6:   0:   0  
        15 Expences at Paris   3:   0:   0  
        20 Expences at Paris   6:   0:   0  
        21 Paid a Bill of Exchange £100 st. 95 Louis and a Crown paid to Dr. Winship [Windship]   2286:   0:   0  
        1779 Feb. 25. Expences at Paris   6:   0:   0  
        27 Expences at St Dennis   12:   0:   0  
        March 3. Expences at Versailles   18:   0:   0  
        4 Expences at Calvare   6:   0:   0  
        Paid Pascall towards a Chaise   24:   0:   0  
{ 338 }
1779 March 5. Recd, of Dr. Franklin an Order on Mr. Grand for 300 Louis   7200:   0:   0   5 Paid Hollevelles Memoire   209:   0:   0  
        Paid for an Inkhorn, some Purses and other Expences at Paris   24:   0:   0  
        6 Paid Brunell for a Caisse   24:   0:   0  
        Paid Mr. Chaumont for the Remr. of [Chalsons?] Account   125:   0:   0  
        Paid Mr. Desavots Memoire   60:   0:   0  
        8 paid Mr. Pascal the Remaining 3 Louis for the Post Chaise to Nantes   72:   0:   0  
        Pour le Garçon   1:   4:   0  
        Paid Dennis Memoire   63:   10:   0  
        Paid Barbers Rect for dressing my Wig   40:   0:   0  
        Paid Washerwomans Acct.   24:   1:   0  
        1779. March 12. To Expences from Paris to Nantes, Post Horses, &c. 5 days 18 Louis   432:   0:   0  
        March 14. and 15 Paid for the Hire of a Barge and Bargemen and Expences to Paimbeuf   24:   0:   0  
        15 Paid Bill of Exchange to J. Williams   240:   0:   0  
        16 Paid for an Hat   24:   0:   0  
        for another Hat   18:   0:   0  
        Expences at the Comedy   4:   0:   0  
        Paid for a Trunk to go to Brest   18:   0:   0  
{ 339 }
        Paid Jos. Stevens's Account   48:   14:   0  
        17 Paid the Barber   6:   0:   0  
        Paid the Coffee at Nantes.   15:   0:   0  
        Paid Washerwomans Acct.   5:   11:   6  
        Paid the Tavern keeper   72:   6:   0  
        22 Total of Expences from Nantes to Brest–15 Louis   360:   0:   0  
        Paid the Coffee for 3 Breakfasts   6:   18:   0  
        25 paid for a Portmanteau   15:   0:   0  
        paid Washerwoman   3:   0:   0  
        1779. March 26. paid Account at the Grand Monarch   20:   16:   0  
        27. Paid Expences at Brest   18:   0:   0  
        28 Dto   6:   0:   0  
        29   12:   0:   0  
        30   18:   0:   0  
        April 1   9      
        2   18:   0:   0  
        3   24:   0:   0  
        4. Lent to an American in Distress 2 Louis. J. W.   48:   0:   0  
        5 Paid Jo. Stevens Acct.   16:   17:   0  
        7 & 8 Paid Expences of Post Horses Postilion, and living from Brest to L'Orient   96:   0:   0  
        Expences at Lorient   50:   0:   0  
{ 340 }
        A Canister of Tea and small Loaf of Sugar to use on the Road   14:   5:   0  
        11 Expences from L'orient to Nantes   144:   0:   0  
        12 transient Expences at Nantes   9:   0:   0  
        13 transient Expences   6:   0:   0  
        14 Dto.   13:   0:   0  
        Ap. 15. pd. Washerwoman   2:   5:   0  
        transient Expences   6:      
        16. Do.   7:   10:   0  
        17 Do.   12:   0:   0  
        pd. Washerwoman, and others   7:   0:   0  
        Nugents Dictionaries 2   9:   0:    
        19 transient Expences   15:   0:   0  
        Dto.   3:   0:   0  
        D'Olivets Phillippics   2:   10:   0  
        20 paid for Wine, Bread, fowls &c. for our Voyage down the River   9:   0:   0  
        paid the Barber   9:   0:   0  
        paid the Coffee   2:   0:   0  
        Min. of Things purchased at L'orient and Nantes to carry home for my familys Use. one Doz. cot. Han. £18.–half dozen Silk £27. 3 m. needles £9.–1 m. Pins 6–Nankeen 30–coton 38.– { 341 } 1 dozen other Hank. 42.–a Peice of others 30.   200:   0:   0  
        May 1. Paid Expences at Nantes   32:   15:   0  
        2 Dto.   6:   0:   0  
        May 14 Paid Joseph Stevens two Months Wages, for his services from the 10 Feb.   108:   0:   0  
        Paid for Fresh fish on board ship   3:   0:   0  
        17. Paid Expences at L'orient   15:   0:   0  
        18 Dto.   9:   0:   0  
        19 Dto.   6:   0:   0  
        21 Paid for Hankerchiefs   34:   10:   0  
        Expences   3:   0:    
May 22. Recd. of Mr. Schweighauser and Mr. Puchelberg his Partner at L'orient, for which I drew an order on Dr. Franklin in favour of Mr. Schweighauser.                
Livres   2930:   16:   0          
        23. Dto.   6:      
        25   3:      
        May 26. Expences at L'orient   12:   0:   0  
        Paid Mr. Watkins for Materials he purchased for making me some Cloaths   38:   0:   0  
        Paid Dto. for making   8:   0:   0  
        Paid same at another Time for Do.   30:   0:   0  
        1779 June 9. Paid Bargemen Barber Cabbin Servants &c. on leaving the Allyance   24:   0:   0  
        10 Paid for Materials to make me some light Cloaths for the Voyage to Mr. Watkins   39:   0:   0  
        11 Transient Expences, at L'orient   12:   0:   0  
{ 342 }
        12 Dto.   6:   0:   0  
16 June. Puchelberg Acct.   1012:   17:   0   16 transient Expences   6:   0:   0  
        17. Coffee at L'orient   25:   1:   0  
        Garcon   1:   4:   0  
        Barber   12:   0:   0  
        Mr. Raimbault   104:   10:   0  
        Paid Salomon   159:   10:   0  
        Dr. Brooke for Medicine   19:   0:   0  
        17 June. Paid Captain Landais19 a Louis he lent me at Nantes   24:   0:   0  
        Transient Expences   12:   0:   0  
        Paid Mr. Watkins for making and mending Cloaths   24:   0:   0  
        1779. Aug. 2. gave to the servants and Sailors 5 Crowns. Gave for the Hire of a Boat 5 dollars, to carry me, my Baggage &c. hence20        
{ 343 }
1. From D/JA/48, one of the two matching small quarto volumes bound in marbled boards probably purchased by the Navy Board in Boston and presented to JA when he sailed on his first mission to Europe; see entry of 13 Feb. 1778 and note 1 there. The present record of JA's receipts and expenditures, from the day before he sailed from Nantasket Roads until the day he returned there, occupies 24 leaves at the front of the volume. Doubtless JA left the volume home when he returned to Europe in Nov. 1779; most of its remaining leaves were used for transcripts of his early Diary when in 1829 JQA caused the earliest Diary booklets to be copied; see Introduction.
The record is valuable not only because it fills, at least in a manner, certain gaps in the Diary but also because it is a veritable guide to French currency and the exchange rate between French and British money during JA's first sojourn in Europe. In the early part of his record, JA, who was himself coping with the usual monetary problems of a traveler, gives his sums in both currencies, though it should be noted that the symbols for both (£ for pounds and livres, s. for shillings and sous [or sols], and d. for pence and deniers) were identical and were used interchangeably, each series having proportionally the same value. For a brief account of the French monetary system before and after the French Revolution, see JQA's Report on Weights and Measures, written and published as a U.S. Government document, Washington, 1821, p. 62–64. It is sufficient to say here that, as the figures in the present document show, 24 French livres equaled one British pound sterling (for which the French had an equivalent coin, called a louis d'or), and that 6 livres therefore equaled 5 shillings (for which the French had a coin called an écu or crown, as well as a half-crown piece worth 3 livres or 2s. 6d. sterling).
In printing this document the editors have omitted the totals that appear at the foot of the columns (which in the MS are on facing pages) on some pages in the MS. Since these are incomplete and were never added up to make a grand total, they would in our judgment prove more confusing than significant if set in type and dispersed here and there on the pages of the printed version.
2. See note 1 on entry of 13 Feb. 1778, above, and List of Stores Sent on Board the Continental Frigate Boston, February 1778 facing page 194facsimiles reproduced in this volume.
3. A figure, apparently in British pounds, appears opposite this entry in the MS but is not wholly legible. See, however, the first entry under 25 May 1778 in this column, below.
4. Repeated and corrected in the first entry under 25 May 1778 in this column, below.
5. See a later entry dated 18 April 1778 in the Expenditures column, below.
6. See a later entry dated 18 April 1778 in the Receipts column, below.
7. See note 1 on Diary entry of 1 April 1778, above.
8. From this point on, the sums are entered in French money only.
9. Probably but not certainly the two folio letterbooks designated in the Adams Papers as Lb/JA/6–7, bound in white parchment and bearing handsome trade cards of Cabaret, “Au Griffon ... Marchand Papetier Ordinaire des Bureaux du Roy,” in Rue de Seine, Faubourg St. Germain, Paris.
10. The Hochereau family were booksellers established in Paris from the beginning of the 18th century ([A. M. Lottin,] Catalogue chronologique des libraires et des libraires-imprimeurs de Paris, Paris, 1789, p. 80). From one or more of them JA bought books with great frequency during his first years abroad. Unfortunately, the “mémoires” or bills, which might indicate the titles of the books JA bought, have not been found. In rendering his accounts to Congress for this mission, JA included sums spent on such books as were essential to qualify himself in “the science of Negotiation,” arguing that this was “one of the most necessary, and Useful Ways in which Money had ever been spent in that Country” (JA to the Board of Treasury, 19 Sept. 1779, LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:111–114). What is more, his argument prevailed; see the report of a committee on JA's accounts, 15 April 1780 (JCC, 16:368–369).
11. This volume, Almanach royal, année M. DCC. LXXVIII, Paris, n.d., issued by the King's Printer, remains { 344 } among JA's books in the Boston Public Library and has proved useful to the editors in identifying French officials and others mentioned in the Diary.
12. This letter has not been found, but JA's answer, 3 June (LbC, Adams Papers), elucidates this transaction. Bondfield had purchased various articles on JA's account to be sent to Braintree by Capt. Tucker in the Boston.
13. Second entry in this column, above.
14. Third entry in this column, above.
15. Seemingly a mistake for June, but the payment by Grand of 4,294 livres to “Mrs. Poussin” for furniture was made on 17 July 1778, as recorded in the final accounts of the Commissioners (DNA:RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 87). A note is added in the official account: “N.B. the proportions of Mr. D. & Mr. A. must be settled by them.”
16. René Louis, Marquis d'Argenson, published anonymously Considérations sur le gouvernement ancien et présent de la France, Amsterdam, 1765, of which JA's copy remains among his books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
17. The “Hôpital des Enfans-Trouvés, prés Notre-Dame” is described in Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris, 1784, p. 331–332. Years later JA drew a political moral from what he saw on his visit to this foundling hospital; see his Works, 6:452.
18. Entry of 28 Aug. 1778 in the Receipts column.
19. On Pierre Landais see entries of 9 May and following, below.
20. There is conflicting evidence on the exact date of JA's arrival home. La Luzerne and his party disembarked at Hancock's Wharf in Boston on 3 August. The present entry indicates that JA and JQA left the Sensible in Nantasket Roads on the 2d and were rowed to Braintree. This may be so, but on the other hand JA may have carelessly misdated this entry; see note on the Diary entry of 31 July, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-02

1779. Feb. 2. Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, I dined in Company with the Abbe Raynal, and Mr. Gebelin, and asked them to dine with me, on the then next Sunday. Accordingly the day before Yesterday, they both came.
M. Raynal is the most eloquent Man, I ever heard speak in French. His Voice is sharp and clear but pleasant. He talks a great deal, and is very entertaining.1 M. Gebelin is much less addicted to talking. He is silent, soft, and still. His Mind always upon the Stretch.
1. Guillaume Thomas François, Abbé Raynal (1713–1796), French philosophe and historian, is best remembered for his immensely popular Histoire philosophique et politique des établissentens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes, first published at Amsterdam, 1770. The Catalogue of JA's Library records several works by Raynal owned by JA that have come to rest in the Boston Public Library, including the Histoire des deux Indes in both French and English editions.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-04

Feb. 4.

Breakfasted with the Abbe Raynal, at his House at his particular Invitation, with a large Company of Gentlemen and Ladies. The Abbé is more than Sixty, seems worn with Studies, but he has Spirit, Wit, Eloquence and Fire enough.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-05

Feb. 5. Fryday.

The Duke de Rochefoucault, Mr. Turgot, Abbe Rochon and De la Roche, dined here.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-08

1779. Feb. 8.

In Conversation with Dr. Franklin, in the Morning I gave him my Opinion, of Mr. Deanes Address to the People of America, with great Freedom and perhaps with too much Warmth. I told him that it was one of the most wicked and abominable Productions that ever sprung from an human Heart. That there was no safety in Integrity against such a Man. That I should wait upon The Comte de Vergennes, and the other Ministers, and see in what light they considerd this Conduct of Mr. Deane. That if they, and their Representatives in America, were determined to countenance and support by their Influence such Men and Measures in America, it was no matter how soon the Alliance was broke. That no Evil could be greater, nor any Government worse, than the Toleration of such Conduct. No one was present, but the Doctor and his Grandson.1
In the Evening, I told Dr. Bancroft, to the same Effect, that the Address appeared to me in a very attrocious Light, that however difficult Mr. Lees Temper might be, in my Opinion he was an honest Man, and had the utmost fidelity towards the united States. That such a Contempt of Congress committed in the City where they set, and the Publication of such Accusations in the Face of the Universe, so false and groundless as the most heinous of them appeared to me, these Accusations attempted to be coloured by such frivolous Tittle Tattle, such Accusations made too by a Man who had been in high Trust, against two others, who were still so, appeared to me, Evidence of such a Complication of vile Passions, of Vanity, Arrogance and Presumption, of Malice, Envy and Revenge, and at the same Time of such Weakness, Indiscretion and Folly, as ought to unite every honest and wise Man against him. That there appeared to me no Alternative left but the Ruin of Mr. Deane, or the Ruin of his Country. That he appeared to me in the Light of a wild boar, that ought to be hunted down for the Benefit of Mankind. That I would start fair with him, Dr. Bancroft, and give him Notice that I had hitherto been loath to give up Mr. Deane. But that this Measure of his appeared to Me to be so decisive against him that I had given him up to Satan to be buffeted.
In all this it is easy to see there is too much Declamation, but the { 346 } substa[n]tial Meaning of it, is, as appears to me, exactly true, as such as I will abide by, unless, future Evidence which I dont expect should convince me, of any Error in it.2
1. Silas Deane had arrived in Philadelphia on 12 July 1778, and had promptly requested an audience of Congress to enable him to defend his conduct in Europe, which had been severely impugned by his colleague Arthur Lee. Lee's charges, supported by relatives and friends, split Congress into warring factions, and Deane failed to get a satisfactory hearing. His patience at last exhausted, he took his case to the country by publishing in the Pennsylvania Packet, 5 Dec. 1778, an address “To the Free and Virtuous Citizens of America” (reprinted in Deane Papers, 3:66–76). Intended as the first in a series of public letters, this one contained violent counter-charges against Arthur and William Lee, treated certain members of Congress with great freedom, and led to a controversy that can hardly be said to be settled even yet by historians. The strength of JA's feelings about Deane's publication is revealed in his letter to Vergennes, drafted in his Diary and printed under 10–11 Feb., below.
2. The final sentence of this heated entry is obviously defective but is here printed literally. It was silently (and plausibly) corrected by CFA to read: “... but the substantial meaning of it is such as appears to me exactly true, and such as I will abide by, unless future evidence, which I don't expect, should convince me of any error in it” (JA, Works, 3:187).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-09

1779 Feb. 9.

Abbe C.1

Terruit Hispanos, Ruiter, qui terruit Anglos

Ter ruit in Gallos, territus ipse ruit.2

Cum fueris Romae, Romano vivito more

Si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.

Any Thing to divert Melancholly, and to sooth an aking Heart. The Uncandor, the Prejudices, the Rage, among several Persons here, make me Sick as Death.
Virtue is not always amiable. Integrity is sometimes ruined by Prejudices and by Passions. There are two Men in the World who are Men of Honour and Integrity I believe, but whose Prejudices and violent Tempers would raise Quarrells in the Elisian Fields if not in Heaven. On die other Hand there is another, whose Love of Ease, and Dissipation, will prevent any thorough Reformation of any Thing—and his <Cunning and> Silence and Reserve, render it very difficult to do any Thing with him. One of the other[s], whom I have allowed to be honest, has such a bitter, such a Sour in him, and so few of the nice feelings, that G[od] knows what will be the Consequence to himself and to others. Besides he has as much Cunning, and as much Secrecy.3
Called at Mr. Garniers—he not at home. At Mr. Grands. He and his Son began about the Address—bien faché. &c. I said, cooly, that I was { 347 } astonished at the Publication of it without sending it to congress. That I believed Mr. Lee a Man of Integrity, and that all Suggestions of improper Correspondences in England, were groundless. That my Br[other] L[ee] was not of the sweetest disposition perhaps, but he was honest. That Virtue was not always amiable....4 M. G. replyed, ilest soupsonneux—il n'a du Confiance en Personne. II croit que toutele Monde est—I cant remember the precise Word.... I believe this is a just Observation. He has Confidence in no body. He believes all Men selfish—And, no Man honest or sincere. This, I fear, is his Creed, from what I have heard him say. I have often in Conversation disputed with him, on this Point. However I never was so nearly in his Situation before. There is no Man here that I dare Trust, at present. They are all too much heated with Passions and Prejudices and party disputes. Some are too violent, others too jealous—others too cool, and too reserved at all Times, and at the same time, every day betraying Symptoms of a Rancour quite as deep.
The Wisdom of Solomon, the Meekness of Moses, and the Patience of Job, all united in one Character, would not be sufficient, to qualify a Man to act in the Situation in which I am at present—and I have scarcely a Spice of either of these Virtues.
On Dr. F. the Eyes of all Europe are fixed, as the most important Character, in American Affairs in Europe. Neither L. nor myself, are looked upon of much Consequence. The Attention of the Court seems most to F. and no Wonder. His long and great Rep[utation] to which L's and mine are in their infancy, are enough to Account for this. His Age, and real Character render it impossible for him to search every Thing to the Bottom, and L. with his privy Council, are evermore, contriving. The Results of their Contrivances, render many Measures more difficult.
1. Chalut?
2. A punning distich based on the life of the famous Dutch admiral M. A. de Ruyter (1607–1676), who had sailed up the Thames and Medway in 1667 but was mortally wounded fighting the French in the Mediterranean. Literally: “Ruyter, who terrified the Spaniards, who terrified the English, [and] thrice fell upon the French, himself has fallen, terrified himself.”
3. “It is almost needless to say that Mr. Arthur Lee, Mr. Izard, and Dr. Franklin, are the persons referred to” (note by CFA, in JA, Works, 3:188).
4. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de
DateRange: 1779-02-10 - 1779-02-11

[Draft of a Letter to Vergennes, 10–11 February 1779.1]Confidential

[salute] Sir

As your Excellency reads English perfectly well, my first Request { 348 } is that you would not communicate this Letter, even to a Translator.
I have hitherto avoided, in my single Capacity, giving your Excellency, any Trouble at all either by Letter or by Conversation. But the present <Crisis> Emergency demands that I should ask the Favour of your Excellency to explain my Sentiments to you, either by Letter or in Person. If your Excellency will permit a personal Interview, <ignorant, and unpracticed as I am, in the French Language, I am sure that by my Countenance, my Gestures and my broken Syllables in French,> I am sure I can make my self understood by your Excellency. If you prefer a Correspondence in Writing, I will lay open my Heart in Writing, under my Hand.
It is the Address to the People in America under the Name of Mr. Silas Deane, that has occasioned this Boldness, in me....2 It is to me, the most astonishing Measure, the most unexpected and unforeseen Event, that has ever happened, from the Year 1761, from which Year I have been as really engaged in this Controversy with G[reat] B[ritain] as I am now, to this Moment.
I hope your Excellency will not conclude from thence that I despair of <my> the Commonwealth. Far otherwise.—I perfectly know, that the Body of the People in the United States stand immoveable as Mount Atlas, against Great Britain.—The only Consequences of <these> an Address like this of Mr. Deanes <will> may be <a Prolongation of the War, and the necessity of hanging perhaps><bringing to the last Punishment a few><half a Dozen Tories the more. This last, I assure your Excellency is with me and still more with my Country men a great Evil. We wish to avoid it. But when I consider the honourable Testimonies of Confidence, which Mr. Deane carried with him to America—when I consider the Friendship which I have heard there was in France between Mr. Deane and the Plenipotentiary, and the Consul of France,3><I confess I am afraid that,><even><the Honourable Testimonies from Your Excellency, and even, I dread to say it, from his Majesty><I hope—I sincerely hope, that the Veneration which is due to the Plenipotentiary and the Consul of France has not been so employed><have emboldened Mr. Deane to this Measure.—A Measure that must end in his Confusion and><Ruin><Shame.—I know it will not end in Submission to G.B. which is the greatest American Evil. But it may End in a Division of the States—for upon my Honour I think that this Address, itself is an open Contempt, and, as far as in Mr. Deane lies, a total subversion of our Constitution.—Your Excellency may depend upon this, that no Man knows of this Letter, but myself—and that no other Man shall know it from me.>
{ 349 }
<The Reason, of my presuming, to address myself to your Excellency, separately, is because, Mr. Franklin has unhappily, attached himself to Mr. Deane, and set himself against Mr. Lee, and therefore I have communicated this Letter to neither, and I am determined to communicate it to neither.>
<Dr. Franklin and Mr. Deane were upon better Terms with each other, than Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee. I am extreamly sorry for this. But I am fully perswaded, that the Dr. is in this Instance mistaken and deceived.> much Trouble to Individuals, but no final Detriment to the common Cause. But on the contrary that it will occasion so thorough an Investigation of several Things, as will rectify many Abuses.
It is my indispensable Duty, upon this Occasion to inform your Excellency, that Mr. Lee was, as long ago as 1770, appointed by the General House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, of which I had then the Honour to be a Member, their Agent at the Court of London in Case of the Death or Absence of Dr. Franklin. <That from that> This Honourable Testimony was given to Mr. Lee, by an Assembly in which he had no Relation or Connection, on Account of his avowed and inflexible Attachment to the American Cause, and the Abilities of which he had given many Proofs in its Defence. From that Time he held a constant Correspondence with several of those Gentlemen who stood foremost in the Massachusetts Bay, against the Innovations and illegal Encroachments of Great Britain. This correspondence I had an Opportunity of seeing, and I assure your Excellency from my own Knowledge, that it breathed invariably the most inflexible Attachment, and the most ardent Zeal in the Cause of his Country. From the Month of Septr. 1774 to November 1777, while I had the Honour to be a Member of Congress, I had constantly an Opportunity to see his Letters to Congress, to their Committees and to several of their Individual Members. That through the whole of both these Periods, he <constantly> communicated the most constant and the most certain Intelligence, which was received from any Individual, within my Knowledge. And since I have had the Honour to be joined with him in the Commission, here, I have found in him the same Fidelity and Zeal.
I have not a Reason in the World, to believe or to suspect, that he has ever <written> maintained an improper Correspondence in England, or held any Conference or Negociation with any Body from England without communicating it to your Excellency and to his Colleagues.
{ 350 }
I am confident therefore, that every Assertion and Insinuation and Suspicion against him, of Infidelity to the United States or to their Engagements with his Majesty are false and groundless, <and> that they may easily be made to appear to be so, and that they certainly will be proved to be so, to the Utter Shame and Confusion of all those who have rashly published them to the World, <and particularly of Mr. Deane, who has been so forsaken by his Discretion as to have published to the World many such Insinuations>.
<The two Honourable Brothers of Mr. Lee, who are Members of Congress, I have long and intimately known. And of my own Knowledge I can say that no Men have discovered more Zeal, in Support of the Sovereignty of the United States, and in promoting from the Beginning a Friendship and Alliance with France, and there is nothing of which I am more firmly perswaded, than that every Insinuation that is thrown out of Mr. R. H. Lees holding improper Intercourse with a Dr. Berkenhout,4 is a cruel and an infamous Calumny.>5
1. Written in JA's Diary (D/JA/47) beneath a date caption, “1779. Feb. 10,” for a regular journal entry that was never written. Thus the letter draft may have been written on 10 or 11 Feb. or on both days. It bears no indication of the addressee's name, and three-quarters of the text is either lined out or crossed out, no doubt by JA himself. Three other versions of the letter are known, all of them dated 11 Feb. 1779: (1) LbC, Adams Papers; (2) RC, Archives Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. pol., Etats-Unis, vol. 7; (3) Tr, MH: Arthur Lee Papers, enclosed to Lee in a letter from JA written at Lorient, 9 June 1779 (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:95–97). LbC is actually a second draft, replacing the first draft, printed here, which was meant to be wholly lined out; it is nearly identical in substance with the text finally sent to Vergennes, and since it is printed in JA's Works (7:79–80) and again in Wharton, ed., Dipt Corr. Amer. Rev. (3:42–44), there is no need to list here the alterations JA made in revising his text. Roughly speaking, JA sent to Vergennes those parts of his letter which were not struck out in the first draft (that is, those portions which appear in roman type in the present text), and then added a brief and courteous closing paragraph. A notation at the foot of LbC indicates that the letter was “Sent [to Vergennes] by a Comis, early in the Morning of the 12. Feb. 1779.” The delay had doubtless helped to shorten the letter by removing some of the indiscretions and asperities of the first draft.
2. Suspension points in MS.
3. One and the same person, namely C. A. Gérard, who held a commission as consul general of France as well as minister plenipotentiary to the United States (Gérard, Despatches and Instructions, p. 130, note). Deane's sailing with Gerard in the flagship of the Comte d'Estaing's squadron had been intended by the French government as a special mark of favor to the recalled American commissioner (same, p. 89–90).
4. Dr. John Berkenhout, a British secret agent, came to America to promote the aims of the Carlisle peace commission of 1778. Berkenhout had known Arthur Lee in London and thus contrived to meet Richard Henry Lee in Philadelphia, but with no further result than that, thanks to Deane, his relations with the Lees became a warm issue in the Deane-Lee controversy. See Deane Papers, 3:2–3, 72–73; Howard Peckham, “Dr. Berkenhout's Journal, 1778,” PMHB, 65:79–92 (Jan. 1941).
5. Vergennes' reply to the much curtailed version of this letter that JA finally sent him on 12 Feb., is in the Foreign Secretary's own hand and is { 351 } dated “a Versailles Le 13. fevrier 1779” (RC in Adams Papers, printed in JA's Works, 7:80–81, q.v.). See, further, entry of 12 Feb., below, and note 4 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-11

1779. Feb. 11.

When I arrived in France, the French Nation had a great many Questions to settle.
The first was—Whether I was the famous Adams, Le fameux Adams? —Ah, le fameux Adams?—In order to speculate a little upon this Subject, the Pamphlet entituled Common sense, had been printed in the Affaires de L'Angleterre et De L'Amérique, and expressly ascribed to M. Adams the celebrated Member of Congress, le celebre Membre du Congress. It must be further known, that altho the Pamphlet Common sense, was received in France and in all Europe with Rapture: yet there were certain Parts of it, that they did not choose to publish in France. The Reasons of this, any Man may guess. Common sense undertakes to prove, that Monarchy is unlawful by the old Testament. They therefore gave the Substance of it, as they said, and paying many Compliments to Mr. Adams, his sense and rich Imagination, they were obliged to ascribe some Parts to Republican Zeal. When I arrived at Bourdeaux, All that I could say or do, would not convince any Body, but that I was the fameux Adams.—Cette un homme celebre. Votre nom est bien connu ici.—My Answer was—it is another Gentleman, whose Name of Adams you have heard. It is Mr. Samuel Adams, who was excepted from Pardon by Gen. Gage's Proclamation.—Oh No Monsieur, cette votre Modestie.1
But when I arrived at Paris, I found a very different Style. I found great Pains taken, much more than the Question was worth to settle the Point that I was not the famous Adams. There was a dread of a sensation—Sensations at Paris are important Things. I soon found too, that it was effectually settled in the English News Papers that I was not the famous Addams. No body went so far in France or Ingland, as to say I was the infamous Adams. I make no scruple to say, that I believe, that both Parties for Parties there were, joined in declaring that I was not the famous Adams. I certainly joined both sides in this, in declaring that I was not the famous Adams, because this was the Truth.
It being settled that he was not the famous Adams, the Consequence was plain—he was some Man that nobody had ever heard of before —and therefore a Man of no Consequence—a Cypher. And I am inclined to think that all Parties both in France and England—Whiggs { 352 } and Tories in England—the Friends of Franklin, Deane and Lee, differing in many other Things agreed in this—that I was not the fameux Adams.
Seeing all this, and saying nothing, for what could a Man say?— seeing also, that there were two Parties formed, among the Americans, as fixed in their Aversion to each other, as both were to G.B. if I had affected the Character of a Fool in order to find out the Truth and to do good by and by, I should have had the Example of a Brutus for my Justification. But I did not affect this Character. I behaved with as much Prudence, and Civility, and Industry as I could. But still it was a settled Point at Paris and in the English News Papers that I was not the famous Adams, and therefore the Consequence was settled absolutely and unalterably that I was a Man of whom Nobody had ever heard before, a perfect Cypher, a Man who did not understand a Word of French—awkward in his Figure—awkward in his Dress—No Abilities—a perfect Bigot—and fanatic.
1. A French translation of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, or rather of extracts from it, had been published in Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amerique, vol. 1 (1776), No. 1, p. 84–87; No. 4, p. 33–85 (see note on entry of 3 March 1779, below). The introduction to the first extracts, in a “Lettre d'un Banquier de Londres à M.*** à Anvers ... le 4 Mai 1776,” remarks (p. 83–84):
“... je puis vous dire un mot au-jourd'hui de la sensation que me paroît faire sur nos négociants, un écrit que l'on vient de recevoir d'Amérique, & qui a, dit-on, la plus grande vogue dans les Colonies.
“II est intitulé le Sens commun, & on l'attribue à M. Adams, fameux proscrit, que le général Gage a exclu, ainsi que M. Hancoks, de son amnistie. Vous savez que M. Adams est un des députées de la baie de Massachusets au Congrès général, où on le regarde comme un des premiers pivots de la révolution. Vous allez voir quelques extraits de son Ouvrage. C'est M. Adams qui parle [&c.].”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-11

Feb. 11. 1779.1

It is my indispensable Duty, to tell the Comte de Vergennes that I think one great Cause of this horrid Address of Mr. Deane is Mr. Franklins Certificate in his favour that he is an able and faithfull Negotiator, and that Mr. Franklin was deceived in this—that Mr. F.'s Knowledge actually in America, for a great Many Years has not been long2—that he was Upright in this but deceived. That there are such certain and Infallible Proofs of Vanity, Presumption, Ambition, Avarice, and Folly in Mr. Deane as render him very unworthy of Confidence and therefore that Dr. F. has been deceived.
1. Second entry of this date. In the MS a blank of nearly half a page separates the two entries so dated.
2. JA probably meant to write “wide” or “extensive”; or else he supposed, when completing this clause, that he had written “Residence” instead of “Knowledge” as subject of the clause.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-12

Feb. 12.

My Mind has been in such a State, since the Appearance of Mr. Deanes Address to the People, as it never was before. I confess it appeared to me like a Dissolution of the Constitution. It should be remembered that it first appeared from London in the English Papers—then in the Courier De L'Europe—and We had not received the Proceedings of Congress upon it. A few days after, Dr. Franklin received from Nantes, some Philadelphia Papers, in which were the Pieces signed Senex and Common Sense,1 and the Account of the Election of the New President Mr. Jay.2 When it was known that Congress had not censured Mr. Deane, for appealing to the People, it was looked upon as the most dangerous Proof that had ever appeared, of the Weakness of Government, and it was thought that the Confederation was wholly lost by some. I confess it appeared terrible to me indeed. It appeared to me that it would wholly loose us the Confidence of the French Court. I did not see how they could ever trust any of Us again—that it would have the worst Effects upon Spain, Holland and in England, besides endangering a civil War in America. In the Agony of my Heart, I expressed myself to one Gentleman Dr. Bancroft, with perhaps too much warmth.
But this Day, Dr. Winship3 arrived here, from Brest, and soon afterwards, the Aid du Camp of Le Marquis de Fayette, with Dispatches, from Congress, by which it appears that Dr. Franklin is sole Plenipotentiary, and of Consequence that I am displaced.
The greatest Relief to my Mind, that I have ever found since the Appearance of the Address. Now Business may be done by Dr. Franklin alone. Before it seemed as if nothing could be done.4
1. Articles in the Pennsylvania Packet, beginning 15 Dec. 1778, for and against Deane; reprinted in Deane Papers, 3:81 ff.
2. Henry Laurens resigned as president, 9 Dec. 1778, on the ground that Congress was not taking proper action on Deane's disrespect to Congress in his recent address to the public. Next day he was succeeded in office by John Jay, a partisan of Deane. See JCC, 12:1202–1206; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 3:528–529; entries of 20, 22 June, below.
3. Amos Windship, Harvard 1771, surgeon on the Alliance (Harvard Univ. Archives; Diary entries in April–May, below).
4. On 14 Sept. 1778 Congress dissolved the American Commission in France by electing Franklin sole minister plenipotentiary, but it did not get around to drawing up his instructions until 26 Oct., and these were not sent until Lafayette sailed for France in the Alliance in January (JCC, 12:908; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:807–809). Before JA had been in Paris six weeks he had warmly recommended that a single minister be placed in charge of American affairs in France (to Samuel Adams, 21 May 1778, NN:Bancroft Coll.; copied into JA's Autobiography under its date). On 12 Feb., within a few hours of sending off his agitated letter to Vergennes (entry { 354 } of 10–11 Feb., above), he learned of “the new Arrangement,” and in writing Vergennes again, 16 Feb. (as well as in private letters), he expressed satisfaction with what he called Congress' “masterly Measure,” which obviated any need for him to pursue with Vergennes the question of Deane's conduct and its consequences (LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:50–51). However, JA's notification by the Committee of Foreign Affairs did not recall him and gave him no instructions beyond a vague promise that something might follow, and “In the mean Time we hope you will exercise your whole extensive Abilities on the Subject of our Finances” (R. H. Lee and James Lovell to JA, 28 Oct. 1778, Adams Papers; same, 2:814–815).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0001-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-02-13

Feby. 13.

There is no such Thing as human Wisdom. All is the Providence of God. Perhaps few Men have guessed more exactly than I have been allowed to do, upon several Occasions, but at this Time which is the first I declare of my whole Life I am wholly at a Loss to foresee Consequences.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-03-03

1779 March 3.

Went to Versailles, in order to take Leave of the Ministry. Had a long Conversation, with the Comte De Vergennes, in french, which I found I could talk as fast as I pleased.
I asked him what Effect the Peace of Germany would have upon our War. He said he believed none, because neither the Emperor nor King of Prussia were maritime Powers.
I asked him, whether he thought that England would be able to procure any Ally among the northern Powers. That Congress would be anxious to know this.
He said I might depend upon it and assure Congress that in his Opinion England would not be able to procure any. That on the Contrary the northern Powers were arming, not indeed to war against England, but to protect their Commerce.
Quant a L'Espagne, Monsieur?—Ah! Je ne puis pas dire.
Called on Mr. De Sartine who was not at home. Called on Mr. Genet. Mr. Genets son went with me and my son to see the Menagerie.1
1. The elder Genet was Edmé Jacques (1715–1781), publicist, chief clerk for many years of the bureau of interpreters in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and an expert on England, where he had traveled and lived. His role at this time might be described as that of chief of the French information service (using that term in its modern meaning of propaganda). From early 1776 to late 1779 he edited the Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique. This journal, the bibliography of which is unbelievably complex, bore an imprint “A Anvers” but was actually prepared in the French foreign office, with substantial help from Franklin and his circle and, after his arrival in France, from JA. A complete set consists of fifteen volumes bound in seventeen, though since each volume contains numerous imperfect and confusing paginations, { 355 } references must be to the eighty-two “cahiers” or numbers as originally issued at irregular intervals. Even such references may sometimes prove baffling. A very summary collation of the work was provided by Paul L. Ford in PMHB, 13:222–226 (July 1889), and in his Franklin Bibliography, Brooklyn, 1889, p. 153–154, Ford listed a number of pieces known or believed to have been contributed by Franklin to the Affaires. Ford did not know who the real editor was, but Minnigerode (see further on in this note) mentioned Genet as editor, and Gilbert Chinard supplied further information in a valuable but tantalizingly brief analysis of the Affaires in the Newberry Library Bulletin, 2d ser., No. 8 (March 1952), p. 225–236. Mr. Chinard shows that the documents selected for publication and the commentary on them reflect the mind of Vergennes and the windings of French policy respecting Great Britain and America in a most revealing way.
It is clear from extensive surviving correspondence between JA and Edmé Jacques Genet that JA became an active contributor to the Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique during his first mission in France, 1778–1779. Some of his contributions are readily recognizable; others, drawn from letters and papers he received from America or elsewhere and then handed on to Genet, will not be identified until a very careful comparison can be made between JA's files and the contents of the Affaires.
Quite unintentionally JA threw students off the trail by remarking in a warm tribute to Genet's work in behalf of the American cause written thirty years later that Genet “conducted the Mercure de France, in which he published many little speculations for me” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 347). CFA repeated this statement without the explanation or amplification it requires (JA, Works, 7:59, note). JA's contributions to the political section of the Mercure de France belong to his second, or “peace,” mission in Europe, beginning in 1780, after the Affaires had ceased publication. See note on entry of 5 Feb. 1780, below.
The younger Genet, Edmond Charles (1763–1834), precociously succeeded his father in the French foreign office and enjoyed a distinguished diplomatic career before coming to America as the first minister of the French Republic, 1793, and there achieving a great deal more notoriety than he desired.
On both Genets see a study by Meade Minnigerode with the curious title Jefferson, Friend of France: The Career of Edmond Charles Genet, N.Y. and London, 1928. This is based on family papers then still in the possession of descendants, but it says little about the elder Genet's work as a publicist.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-03-04

1779. March 4.

Walked with Mr. Jennings to Calvare, with my son.1
1. Edmund Jenings (1731–1819) is an obscure but ubiquitous figure in the European scene during the American Revolution, and an important one in the history of JA's diplomatic missions. Born in Annapolis, he was named for his father, King's attorney and secretary of Maryland, and his grandfather, acting governor of Virginia early in the century. His sister Ariana married John Randolph the loyalist, and his family was also allied with the Grymes and Lee families of Virginia.
Jenings was educated at Eton, Cambridge, and the Middle Temple, and probably never returned to America thereafter. Being in what were then always called easy circumstances, he practiced little law but lived a life of cultivated leisure in London and maintained a large correspondence with American friends and relatives, notably with the Lee brothers. By early 1778 he had left London for the Continent and during the next five years lived mostly at Brussels, though he appeared recurrently at Paris, Boulogne, and elsewhere. He was put forward by the Lees, unsuccessfully, for diplomatic appointments. Probably Arthur Lee introduced him as a trustworthy and useful man to JA, who addressed a “Secret and confiden• { 356 } tial” letter to him within a fortnight of JA's own arrival in Paris, proposing the republication in London of one of JA's early political tracts ( 20 April 17781780, Adams Papers). It was in this role that Jenings was to prove remarkably assiduous and helpful to JA, for throughout the war he kept a channel open to the London press and, besides transmitting news and publications to JA, repeatedly placed pro-American writings, by both himself and JA, in British newspapers and journals. (For an example see the entry of 4 Dec. 1782, below, and note 1 there.)
JA thought so well of Jenings' abilities and character that he wished to have him appointed secretary to the American Peace Commission in Europe (letter to Henry Laurens, 15 Aug. 1782, LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:611), but to JA's annoyance William Temple Franklin was the choice of Franklin and Jay for this post. After the Preliminary Treaty was signed late in 1782, a bitter quarrel developed between Jenings and Henry Laurens over an anonymous letter that originated in the Dutch or Austrian Netherlands and had been in circulation for six months or more, in which Laurens was cautioned against alleged misconduct by JA. Laurens came to believe that Jenings knew a great deal more about the letter than he admitted and might indeed have written it, with the aim of sowing distrust among the American Commissioners. The quarrel led to the printing of three pamphlets in London in 1783, two by Jenings in his own defense and one by Laurens, together with a vast amount of correspondence among all concerned, but the mystery of the anonymous letter remains as yet unsolved.
JA himself never doubted Jenings' integrity and took pains to defend him in all quarters; see especially his letter to Thomas Brand Hollis, 5 Sept. 1787 (LbC, Adams Papers), proposing to put his entire correspondence with Jenings in Brand Hollis' hands for reading. (JA had by this time recovered all the letters he had written to Jenings during the war, possibly with the intention of later publication.)
Jenings continued to live quietly in London from 1783 until his death. He called on JQA when the latter passed through London on his way to his first diplomatic post at The Hague, and expressed the loyal American sentiments he had always expressed to JQA's father (JQA, Diary, 25 Oct. 1794; Memoirs, 53–54). That he was something of a busybody seems clear, but until much more explicit evidence of misconduct or disloyalty on his part is brought to light, the damning charges of Laurens, repeated by Francis (Wharton ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:285, note), cannot be accepted.
The personal data on Jenings in this note were largely furnished by Mr. John M. Jennings, Director of the Virginia Historical Society, where an Edmund Jenings letterbook, 1756–1769, and other papers of his are preserved. Much scattered information on him will be found in the biographies and published correspondence of Arthur, Richard Henry, and William Lee. The privately printed pamphlets exchanged by Jenings and Laurens, which are so rare as to have been seldom examined by scholars, are entered in Sabin 35984, 35985, 39258; no library in the United States is known to possess all three.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-03-12

1779 March 12. Fryday.1

About one O Clock arrived at Nantes at L'hotelle de la Comedie, Rue,2 after a Journey of near five days, having sett off from Passy Monday the 8th. This Journey, which was by Versailles, is thro the most barren and least cultivated Part of France.
After Dinner, I had the Honour to be visited by the following American Gentlemen. Mr. Williams, Mr. Williams my Pupil,3 Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Ridley,4 Mr. Wharton, Mr. Lee, Mr. Daubrèe [Dobrée], Mr { 357 } . Maese [Mease], Captn. Jones,5 Lt. Brown, Mr. Ingraham [Ingram], Mr. Cummings, Mr. Bradford, Mr. [blank in MS]
Mr. Jno. Lloyd is a sensible Man. He says that the french officers of Marine, consider Convoys as a disgracefull Service. They hate to be ordered to convoy Merchant Vessells. That when a Convoy is ordered, the officer is negligent and the Merchant dares not complain. The Marine officers and Police officers, and Custom house officers are connected together, and if a Merchant complains he is marked out as an obnoxious Person and Advantages are taken of him, so that he hold his Tongue.
1. First entry in “P[aper] B[ook] No. 29” (our D/JA/29), which consists of two gatherings of unstitched leaves without covers. These were evidently put together for JA to carry in his pocket, for use when his larger bound journal was packed up and inaccessible. Having made this single entry, JA did not recur to this “paper book” again until 28 April; the intervening entries were written in D/JA/47.
2. Thus in MS, but see the following entry.
3. On the two Jonathan Williamses, who were both from Boston and cousins, see note on 26 Jan. 1776, above.
4. Matthew Ridley, a Maryland merchant and agent for his state in Europe (Kathryn Sullivan, Maryland and France, 1774–1789, Phila., 1936, ch. 6). Ridley was a correspondent of JA's and kept valuable diaries of his European sojourn, which are with other papers of his in MHi.
5. John Paul Jones had recently secured, through the good offices of the French government, the vessel he named the Bonhomme Richard, and was fitting her out for a cruise later this year that was to become famous. Several of the persons mentioned here were Jones' officers or associates in this venture.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-14

1779. April 14. Wednesday.1

At Nantes, Hotel de la Comedie, Rue Bignonestar....2 Walked, this Morning with my Son over all the Bridges. There are several Islands in the River and they have built Bridges from one to another, and Houses upon the Islands. There are fine Meadows on each Side, and the mixed Appearance of Houses, Meadows, Water and Bridges is very uncommon and amuzing. The first Island is built on with very fine Houses, all stone. The Stone of this Place is very durable, which that of Paris is not.
I dined on Monday with Mr. Schweighauser, Tuesday with Mr. Johnson. Last Evening at the Comedie, where We had the Barbier de Seville, L'Epreuve nouvelle. The Stage here is not like that of Paris. A poor Building. The Company, on the Stage, great Part of it, and not very clean nor sweet. The Actors indifferent.
Last Evening I supped for the first Time, with the Company in the House. Had a good deal of Conversation, with a Gentleman, on the Subject of the Alliance and the War. He said it is not for Us Merchants to judge of the Interests of the State, the Court must conduct all { 358 } political Affairs, but it would have been better for Us, the Trade, if this Alliance had not been, provided that would have avoided a War. We have had so many Vessells taken, that many Houses and Individuals are ruined.
I told him that much of this Trade, had grown out of the Connection with America—that the Commerce of France was on a more respectable foot than it would have been, if Harmony had continued between G.B. and America, even after all their Losses. That the Loss to trade was not so great, because if half their Cargoes arrived, they sold them for near as much as the whole would have produced if it had all arrived—besides that a great deal was insured in England. That there would have been a War between England and France if Harmony had continued between England and America, for the two Nations were seldom at Peace more than 10 or 12 Years together. That if a War had happened in that Case, the maritime Power as well as Commerce of France would have been in danger of entire destruction. That it was essential to the Interest of France that there should be a separation between E. and A.—He asked what Subject there was or would have been for War, between E. and F.—I told him a subject could never be wanting. The Passions of the two Nations were so strong vs. each other that they were easily enkindled, and the English would have been so hauty that France could not have born it.—He seemed pleased with the Conversation and convinced by the Argument: But I find there is more coolness both in the Marine and the Trade, than there was a Year ago. Americans were more caressed and courted then than now. Yet they all think they must go on, and they think justly.
I have neglected my Journal.
Drank Tea and spent the Evening at Mr. Johnsons,3 with him and the two Messrs. Williams.
Had some Conversation with Mr. Johnson on the subject of a free Port. The Q[uestion] was between Nantes and L'orient. Johnson is in favour of Nantes. The Advantages of the River, and of the foreign Merchants settled there, are his chief Argument. You have the Productions and Manufactures of Paris, and the whole Country, at Nantes by Water, by means of the Loire.
1. JA had come to Nantes expecting to sail to America in the Continental frigate Alliance, commanded by Capt. Pierre Landais. But that vessel was still at Brest, “embarrassed” with forty unruly British prisoners. JA proceeded on 22 March to Brest and with some difficulty arranged for an exchange of prisoners, which later took place near Nantes, whither he himself had returned on 11 April. On 22 April he and JQA boarded the Alliance at Saint { 359 } Nazaire. See JA to John Jay, 3 Aug. 1779 (PCC, No. 84, I); printed from LbC, Adams Papers, in JA, Works, 7: 97–99; also the later entries in JA's Personal Receipts and Expenditures, printed at the end of 1778, above.
2. Suspension points in MS. The street was Rue de Bignon-Lestard, later incorporated in other streets (Edouard Pied, Notices sur les rues ... de la ville de Nantes, Nantes, 1906, p. 133).
3. JA to TBA, 25 Oct. 1797: “I congratulate you, on your new Acquisition of a Sister. I suppose this match grew out of a Spark that was kindled at Nantes in 1779 when your Brother was with me frequently in the Family of Mr. Johnson. But through whatever course it came down from Heaven, I pray for its Blessings on it” (original owned by Dr. Herbert E. Klingelhofer, Bethesda, Md., 1959). But it should be pointed out that JQA was nearly twelve and Louisa Catherine Johnson was only four in April 1779.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-15

1779. April 15. Thursday.

Dined at home.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-16


Dined with Mr. Williams. Mr. Johnson there. Walked after dinner along the River, and about the Town.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-17


Yesterday and to day in the forenoon, assisted my Son in translating Cicero's first Phillippick against Cataline.
Nantes is pleasantly situated on the River, and there are several agreable Prospects. The Views from the front Windows in the Row of Houses along the River is very beautiful. Mr. Schweighausser crauled up three Pair of Stairs to visit me this Morning.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-18

Ap. 18. Sunday.

Dined at Mr. Schweighaussers.
About six O Clock in the Evening, Captain Landais came into my Chamber. The Alliance is safe arrived at St. Lazar,1 with her Prisoners.
1. JA first wrote “Isle de Lazare” and then altered it to the present reading. But he certainly meant Saint Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-22

1779. April 22nd. Thursday.

Yesterday Morning, embarked at Nantes, with Mr. Hill, the first Lieutenant, and Mr. Parks, who is Captain of Marines, and my Son. We stopped and dined at Portlaunay, after Dinner crossed over to Pelerine [Le Pellerin], where We went to the House of a Mr. Char-michael, a Scotch Man who lives by salting Beef and making Bacon for the Navigation of this River. This Man I suppose was a Jacobite { 360 } who fled in 1745. We reached no farther than Paimboeuf where we went ashore and slept at a Tavern.
This Day We arrived safe, on board the Alliance and sent off to the Cartel Ship all the British Prisoners. Thus by my Excursion to L'orient and Brest, I have accomplished successfully, the Expedition of the Frigate [at]1 Brest and the Exchange of the Prisoners, and have happily joined the ship and got my Son and Baggage, on board. The Frigate lyes at St. Lazare, where are several french Vessells of War, but none so large as the Alliance.
My Idea of the Beauty, and Wealth and Convenience of Nantes and Paimbœuf, and indeed of the Country, on both Sides of the River is much hightened, since my Return from Brest, having taken a more leisurely View of it.
I thought it my Duty to come down, altho the Weather was disagreable and the Wind contrary and very strong, because I found the British Prisoners had not been discharged from the Frigate, and could not be untill an order went down, and because I feared that other Business would be neglected and my not being ready alledged as an Excuse for it. But I was obliged to leave Jos. Stevens, sick of the Measles at the Tavern. This was a painful Circumstance to me, altho I took all the Precautions in my Power, by speaking to Mr. Schweighausser, Mr. Daubray, Captain Landais, Dr. Winship, to look to him, and engaged a carefull Woman to Nurse him. I hope he will be well in a few days. He must have taken the Infection, at Brest, where he imprudently exposed himself I fear, on Shore. The Distemper it seems is prevalent in this Kingdom, at present. The Queen of France is said to be ill of it.
I have now had an Opportunity of seeing Bourdeaux, Nantes, L'orient, and Breast, and the Intermediate Countries. I could wish to have seen Rochfort, and Rochelle. At Brest I visited the Commandant, whose Name I have forgot, The Comte D'orvilliere [d'Orvilliers] who is the Marine General, and Monsieur De la Porte who is the Intendant of the Marine. At L'orient I did not visit the Intendant, nor Commandant—nor at Nantes.
The Zeal, The Ardor, the Enthusiasm, the Rage, for the new American Connection I find is much damped, among the Merchants since the Loss of so many of their East and West India Ships. The Adventurers to America, have lost so many Ships, and have received so small Returns for those which went Safe, that they are discouraged, and I cannot learn that any Expeditions are formed or forming for our Country.—But all their Chagrine cannot prevent the Court from { 361 } continuing the War. The Existence of french Commerce and Marine both, are at Stake, and are wholly undone without American Independance.
The Pleasure of returning home is very great, but I confess it is a Mortification to leave France. I have just acquired enough of the Language to understand a Conversation, as it runs at a Table at Dinner, or Supper, to conduct all my Affairs myself, in making Journeys through the Country, with the Port Masters, Postillions, Tavern keepers, &c. &c. I can go to a Shop, and examine the Goods, and understand all the Prattle of the Shop keeper—or I can sit down with a Gentleman, who will have a little Patience to speak a little more distinctly than common, and to wait a little longer for my Sentences than common, and maintain a Conversation pretty well.
In Travelling the best Way is to dine and sup at the Taverns, with the Company, avec les autres as they express it. You meet here, a vast Variety of Company, which is decent, and after a few Coups du Vin, their Tongues run very fast and you learn more of the Language, the Manners, the Customs, Laws, Politicks, Arts, &c. in this Way, perhaps than in any other. You should preserve your Dignity, talk little, listen much, not be very familiar with any in particular, for their are Sharpers, Gamblers, Quack Doctors, Strolling Comediens, in short People of all Characters, assembled at these Dinners and Suppers, and without Caution, you may be taken into Parties of Pleasure and Diversion that will cost you very dear.
Were I to come to France again, I would wait on the Intendant, Commandant, Mayor &c. of every Place. I would dine, and sup at the Taverns, with the Company. I would go to the Palais, and here the Causes, and to the Comedie and hear the Plays and that as constantly as possible. I would go to Church, whenever I could hear a Sermon. These are the Ways to learn the Language, and if to these are Added, a dilligent study of their Grammars, and a constant Use of their best Dictionaries, and Reading of their best Authors, a Man in one Year may become a greater Master in it. After all, if a Mans Character would admit of it, there is much of the language to be learn'd at the Shops. The female Shop keepers are the most chatty in the World. They are very complaisant—talk a great deal—speak pretty good french, and are very entertaining.
I took a Walk this Morning to the back Part of the little Town of Paimboeuf, and found behind it, a pleasant country Prospect, with one beautifull Country Seat of a Gentleman in sight.
1. MS: “and.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-23

Ap. 23. Fryday.

A violent Wind, and Rain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-24

24. Saturday.

The same.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-25

Ap. 25. Sunday.

Fair Weather again. My Time has been employed since I have been on board, in writing Answers to my Letters from Paris, Bourdeaux, Passy &c. and in assisting my Son to translate into English which he does in writing Ciceros first Phillippic against Cataline—which we have gone more than half thro. He is also translating into English the french Preface of the Abbey D'olivet, to his Translation of the Phillippics of Demosthenes and the Catalinaires of Cicero.1—Are these classical Amusements becoming my Situation? Are not Courts, Camps, Politicks and War, more proper for me?—No, certainly classical Amusements are the best I can obtain on board Ship, and here I can not do any Thing, or contrive any Thing for the public.
A Boat came on board to day with a Custom house Officer to examine and give an Acquit a Caution2 for a Chest of Tea, which is on board belonging to somebody, I know not whom.
I have been here so long that I find the Cabin to be rather a triste sejour. It is dull to be here alone.
Tullys offices and orations are an agreable Amusement but toujours Tully, is as bad as toujours Perdreaux and infinitely worse than toujours “Sa femme,” alluding to the Anecdote of H[enri] 4. which I was told by the Abbey Reynalle.
1. JA purchased “D'Olivets Phillippics” on 19 April at Nantes for 2 livres, 10 sous (Personal Receipts and Expenditures, printed at the end of 1778, above).
2. An acquit á caution was a customhouse bond.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-26

Ap. 26. Monday.

Spent the Morning in translating with my Son the Carmen Seculare, and the Notes.
There is a Feebleness and a Languor in my Nature. My Mind and Body both partake of this Weakness. By my Physical Constitution, I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame —and even these have not been able to give me, much. When I look in the Glass, my Eye, my Forehead, my Brow, my Cheeks, my Lips, { 363 } all betray this Relaxation. Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean <Scandals> Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion. Yet it is not like the Lion—there is Extravagance and Distraction in it, that still betrays the same Weakness.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-04-28

1779 Ap. 28. Wednesday.1

Went up to Nantes from Minden2 or St. Nazare, before Wind and Tide in 4 Hours. This Morning by C[aptain] Landais who came on board I received a Letter from Dr. F. inclosing one from M. de Sartine, both expressing a Desire, that the Alliance might not sail for some Time, and that I would take my Passage home, with M. Le Chevalier de la Luzerne, the new Ambassador, in one of the Kings Frigates.3
This is a cruel Disappointment.—To exchange May for July, and the Alliance for another Frigate, is too much.
Lodged at the Hotel de St. Julien, where I find the Accommodations better than at L'hotel de la Comedie....4
Dined at the Hotel, with a Number of Navy Officers, several with the Cross of St. Louis. Drank Tea, at Mrs. Johnsons. Had much Conversation with him about Consuls, Agents. He thinks one Consul enough for the Kingdom with Power of Deputation. This [also,] that a Duty of so much per Ton [should be levied] on all Ships, entering a french Port, for the Relief of unfortunate Americans, Prisoners, Shipwrecked Persons, &c.5 That no Man should be discharged from a Ship but by the Consul. That six, ten, or twelve Merchants should be appointed to inspect the Consuls accounts, once in 3 Months, &c.
1. From this point on, through 31 July 1779, the entries are in D/JA/29.
2. Pointe du Mindin, where the Alliance lay at anchor, is across from Saint Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire.
3. Sartine's letter, dated 20 April 1779, was addressed to Franklin; it requested on behalf of the King that the Alliance be ordered to Lorient (Adams Papers). The Alliance was soon afterward joined to John Paul Jones' squadron. Franklin's letter, 24 April, enclosing Sartine's, pointed out for JA's consolation that he would be traveling more safely and would have the company of the Chevalier de La Luzerne, “who appears to me a most amiable Man and of very sensible and pleasing Conversation” and “who is to set off in a few Days” (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:93–94). On the contrary La Luzerne and his party did not arrive at Lorient until 11 June; see entry of 12 June, below. There is a careful study, based mainly on records in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by William E. O'Donnell of The Chevalier de La Luzerne, French Minister to the United States, 1779–1784, Bruges and Louvain, 1938.
4. Suspension points in MS.
5. The words in brackets have been supplied by the editors to make sense of a defective sentence.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-07
Date: 1779-05-08

1779. May 7th or 8th. Fryday.1

Mr. Odea of Paimbœuf, Coll. Wibirt2 and Mr. Ford, dined in the Cabin. O. speaks English perfectly, appears to have read much, is an Admirer of Rousseau and Buffon. W. is silent; has something little in his Face and Air: and makes no great Discovery of Skill or Science.
F. talks as much as ever.3
Says, that the Americans at Paris, wished I had remained at Passy, instead of F[ranklin]—that Passy is deserted by the Americans since I came away—that nobody goes there now but B., W. and a young Williams, (which is my Ws. I suppose)4 who dine there every Sunday. That he has copied Papers for Mr. W[illiam] L[ee] which prove upon F. many Contradictions of himself, &c. That F. told him he did not believe I should go to America—that the Alliance would not be ready for some time—that a Commission would come for me, for some other Court, &c.
That F. did not shew his Greatness in the Contract for old Arms, for Soldiers Cloaths at 37 Livres a Suit, or for Virginia Tobacco. Is much puzzled at the Mystery of Jones's Ship, says she is private Property, that therefore L[andais] ought not to be under his Command &c. &c. &c.
I undertook to sound our Engineer this Evening and find he has Knowledge. He says one should begin with the Architecture of Vignol, and draw the five ordres, the Doric, Ionic, Tuscan, Corinthian and composite—Begin with a Pedastal, then the Column, then the Capital, then the ornaments—from civil you may go to military Architecture, and naval if you will. Ces cinque ordres D'Architecture se construissent, par le moyen d'une Echelle divisée en modules, le module en Parties, demi Parties et quart de Partie &c.
He made many Observations to my Son about the Ink, the Instruments, the Pens, the manner of holding the Hand, sitting to the Light of Day or Candle &c. which shew that he knows Something of these Sciences. He is a Designateur. He never had a Master he says.
This Evening arrived Capt. Jones from Baltimore. He sailed 28 March—brings no News Papers nor News. No Dispatches from Congress. No Letters but to Mr. Johnson, and a Packet for Bourdeaux.
1. Friday fell on 7 May 1779.
2. Antoine Felix Wuibert (Viebert, Weibert) de Mézières had served as a military engineer in America from June 1776, was captured and exchanged, and later in 1779 accompanied John Paul Jones on the voyage of the Bonhomme Richard as an officer of marines (Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:485–487).
3. Hezekiah Ford was an Anglican clergyman in Virginia before the Revolution (Frederick L. Weis, The Colonial Churches and the Colonial Clergy of the { 365 } Middle and Southern Colonies, Lancaster, Mass., 1938, p. 116), but there is the utmost variance between his own account and reports widely current in America of how he got to France in the spring of 1778. Ford told the American Commissioners in Paris that he had served as a fighting chaplain of two North Carolina regiments in the service of the United States and that he had been captured and brought to England, whence he “found his Way to Paris” (American Commissioners to Abraham Whipple, 13 June 1778, recommending Ford for the post of chaplain on Whipple's frigate Providence; LbC, Adams Papers, copied into JA's Autobiography under its date). (That he actually served in North Carolina is verified by an entry in The State Records of North Carolina, 16:1056.) Whipple needed no chaplain, and Ford started for America on a small cutter, only to be captured (again?) and carried into the island of Jersey, whence he made his way back once more to Paris (Ford to the Commissioners, 25 June, 21 July 1778, PPAmP). Arthur Lee now engaged him as secretary, and he served in that capacity for some months before JA encountered him at Nantes trying again to find passage to Virginia and (as the present and following entries show) displaying very little of the discretion suitable to an impostor, renegade, or spy. In Virginia, however, he was thought by influential persons to be all or at least most of these. When word had reached Virginia that Ford had become a member of Arthur Lee's staff in Paris, Gov. Patrick Henry wrote the Virginia delegates in Congress, 9 Jan. 1779, that Ford had left the state under British protection, charged with “seditious” activities, and suspected of counterfeiting, and consequently that “Every member of the privy council ... is exceedingly alarmed at the circumstance [of Ford's relationship with Lee], having the most perfect conviction that Mr. Ford is altogether unfit to be near the person[s] of the American commissioners” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 1:539–540). On 26 Jan. Congress voted to communicate this information to Lee and did so (JCC, 13:116). Lee and Izard refused to believe any part of it, but by the time they heard it Ford was at last on his way home. He arrived early in August and went directly to visit Richard Henry Lee, who advised him to seek a hearing before the Governor and Council of Virginia instead of going to Philadelphia to deliver his dispatches (R. H. Lee, Letters, ed., Ballagh, 2:112–113, 119, 122, 145). Soon afterward Ford appeared in Williamsburg and posted a bond of £1,000 for his appearance to answer charges “of certain treasonable practices,” but though witnesses were assembled and the hearing put off from time to time, it is not on record that Ford ever appeared to vindicate himself (Virginia Gazette [Dixon & Nicolson], 16 Oct. 1779).
4. Probably Bancroft, possibly one of the Whartons, and certainly the Jonathan Williams (d. 1780) who had been JA's law clerk. (Franklin's grandnephew Jonathan Williams was at Nantes at this time.)

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-09

1779. May 9. <Saturday> Sunday.

The Pilot came on Board this Morning from St. Nazare, and pronounced it unsafe to go out, with this Wind.
F. this Morning, fell to talking.— “Above half the Gentlemen of Paris are Atheists, and the other half Deists. No Body goes to Church but the common People. I wish I could find one honest Man among their Merchants and Tradesmen” &c. &c.
Mr. F., says I, let me be so free as to request of you, when you arrive in America, not to talk in this Style. It will do a great deal of Harm. These Sentiments are not just, they are contracted Prejudices, { 366 } and Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard too have hurt them selves and the public too by indulging in a similar Language.
F. “Oh! I am no Hypocrite.”—Thus this Prater goes on. Yesterday he wanted me, to get him a Passage on board the french Frigate, that I am to go in. I told him I did not think it would be practicable. And I hope it will not, for I dont wish such a Man to go, in that Ship.
At Dinner, much Conversation about the Electrical Eel which gives a Shock to a ring of Persons like the Touch of a Bottle or Conductor. —What is the Name of this fish?
The Magnet is nothing but Iron Oar, Somebody said at Table, and that the Tendency towards the Pole is in all Iron.—Q[uery].
This afternoon, a Mr. Watkin a Disciple of the great Whitfield as he calls himself, performed divine Service upon the Quarter Deck. He is not learned, but his Prayer was very good for the united States and their Allies, their Army and Gen[eral], their Navy and this Ship and her Commander. His Sermon also was passable.
Our Captain talks much about Batavia, is an Admir[er] of that Duch Settlement in the East Indies.1
This Gentleman has been disappointed in Love and in his Ambition—disappointed in the Promotion to which he aspired, and in a Marriage of which he thought himself sure. He has not so much Activity, Dispatch and Decision as [one?] could wish. He seems not to know how to gain or preserve the Affections of his Officers, nor yet how to keep them in Awe. Complaisance, firmness and Steadiness are necessary to the Command of a Ship. Whether it is his imperfect Knowledge of the Language, or his Absence of Mind when poring upon his Disappointments, or any defect in his Temper or Judgment, I know not, but this happy Mixture seems to be wanting. His Lieutenants are smart Men, quick and active—not lettered it is true, but good Seamen, and brave.
1. Landais had accompanied Bougainville in his voyage of circumnavigation, 1766–1769; see entry of 16 May, below. This officer's fantastically checkered career in the French, American, and French Republican navies has been narrated in Charles O. Paullin, “Admiral Pierre Landais,” Catholic Hist. Rev., 17:296–307 (Oct. 1931). Lasseray, Les français sous les treize çtoiles, 1:255–264, provides a more sympathetic estimate of Landais than can be found in American accounts.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-10

Monday May. 10.

This Morning the Wind at S.E. The Pilot came on board, the Alliance unmoored and set Sail, for L'orient. A gentle Breeze, fair Weather, and moderately warm.
{ 367 }
The I Lt. I have made by this War £120 of Prize Money, for which I got six Months Imprisonment, and spent the little that I had. This is all I have got by the War.
The Sand Droguers and Chimney Sweepers in Boston have all turned Merchants and made Fortunes.
Ingraham. Otis says when the Pot boils the Scum rises to the Top.
Eg[o]. The new Cyder, when it ferments sends all the Pummace, Worms, bruised seeds and all sorts of Nastiness to the Top.
People of Fortune have spent their Fortunes, and those who had none, have grown rich.
Ford. I came to France with the highest opinion of Dr. F.—as a Philosopher, a Statesman and as even the Pater Patriae. But I assure you Tempora mutantur.
He has very moderate Abilities, He knows nothing of Philosophy, but his few Experiments in Electricity: He is an Atheist, he dont believe any future State: Yet he is terribly afraid of dying.
This is Fords Opinion. This is his Character of the great Man.
I believe it is too much to say that he is an Atheist, and that he dont believe a future State: tho I am not certain his Hints, and Squibs sometimes go so far as to raise Suspicions:—and he never tells any Body, I fancy that he believes a G[od], a P[urgatory] or f[uture] s[tate].1 It is too rank to say that he understands nothing of Philosophy, but his own electrical Experiments, altho I dont think him so deeply read in Philosophy, as his Name impute[s].
He has a Passion for Reputation and Fame, as strong as you can imagine, and his Time and Thoughts are chiefly employed to obtain it, and to set Tongues and Pens male and female, to celebrating him. Painters, Statuaries, Sculptors, China Potters, and all are set to work for this End. He has the most affectionate and insinuating Way of charming the Woman or the Man that he fixes on. It is the most silly and ridiculous Way imaginable, in the Sight of an American, but it succeeds, to admiration, fullsome and sickish as it is, in Europe.
When I arrive, I must enquire—concerning Congress, Ennemys Army, R.I., N.Y., G[eorgia], our Army, our Currency, Mass. Bay, Boston &c.
1. The ambiguous punctuation of this sentence has been retained precisely as found in the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-11

1779. Tuesday. May 11.

Sailing by Belisle, which the English took last War after a Defence of Six Weeks with about 900 Men.
{ 368 }
F. still on the Subject. He says that the Contract made by F[ranklin] and D[eane] with the farmers general, was for £40 Pr. Ct.1 whereas Tobacco was then at 90 and T. Morris made a Contract with them before for £70.2
F. and D. to be sure were duped by the Farmers General but F[or]d has nothing accurate in his Head, nothing judicious. He must be mistaken about Tobacco's being at 90. He says farther it was to be du Poieds marquès which makes a difference of 8 Pound in the Hundred against Us.
He says, Deane received from the Banker £1700 st. after he knew he was recalled [and]3 1100 of it the Morning he went away. And he believes that Deane gave Money to Bancroft that he is now living upon. —It is impossible but he must be mistaken about the sum that D. received, and the Insinuation about Bancroft, is mere Suggestion and Conjecture. There is no End of such Whispers.
Dr. W[indship] told me of Tuckers rough tarry Speech, about me at the Navy Board.—I did not say much to him at first, but damn and buger my Eyes, I found him after a while as sociable as any Marblehead man.—Another of Hinman, that he had been treated with great Politeness by me, and his first Attention must be to see Mrs. Adams, and deliver her Letters.
1. per hundredweight.
2. Thomas Morris, half-brother of Robert Morris, had served as agent for both Congress and the Morris interests at Nantes until his death in Jan. 1778. See Deane Papers, 2:145–156; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:460–463; William Lee, Letters, ed. Ford, passim. William McCreery informed JA in a letter from Nantes, 29 Sept. 1777: “He [Thomas Morris] is Drunk at least Twentytwo Hours of every Twentyfour and never without one or two Whores in Company.... He neglects all business because he has rendered himself incapable of any. In short, I never saw a man in a more deplorable situation” (Adams Papers).
3. MS: “at.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-12

Wednesday May 12th.

L[andais] is jealous of every Thing. Jealous of every Body, of all his Officers, all his Passengers. He knows not how to treat his Officers, nor his Passengers nor any Body else.—Silence, Reserve, and a forbidding Air, will never gain the Hearts, neither by Affection nor by Veneration, of our Americans.
There is in this Man an Inactivity and an Indecision that will ruin him. He is bewildered—an Absent bewildered man—an embarrassed Mind.
This Morning he began “You are a great Man but you are deceived. The Officers deceive you! They never do their Duty but when you are { 369 } on deck. They never obey me, but when you are on deck. The Officers were in a Plott vs. me at Boston, and the Navy Board promised to remove them all from the ship and yet afterwards let them all come on Board.”
Conjectures, Jealousies, Suspicions.—I shall grow as jealous as any Body.
I am jealous that my Disappointment is owing to an Intrigue of Jones's. Jones, Chaumont, Franklin concerted the Scheme. Chaumont applied to Mr. De S[artine]. He wrote the Letter.1 If this Suspicion is well founded, I am to be made the Sport of Jones's Ambition to be made a Commodore. Is it possible that I should bear this? Another Suspicion is that this Device was hit upon by Franklin and Chaumont to prevent me from going home, least I should tell some dangerous Truths. Perhaps, Jones's Commodoreship, and my detention might both concur. Can I bear either? It is hard, very hard, but I must bear every Thing. I may as well make a Virtue of Necessity, for I cannot help my self.
Does the old Conjurer dread my Voice in Congress? He has some Reason for he has often heard it there, a Terror to evil doers.
I may be mistaken in these Conjectures, they may be injurious to J. and to F. and therefore I shall not talk about them, but I am determined to put down my Thoughts and see which turns out.
Mr. Chaumont and his son are here and have been 15 days. But no Chevalier de la Luzerne, nor any french Frigate.
It is decreed that I shall endure all Sorts of Mortifications. There is so much Insolence, and Contempt, in the Appearance of this. Do I see that these People despize me, or do I see that they dread me? Can I bear Contempt—to know that I am despized? It is my duty to bear every Thing—that I cannot help.2
As I set in my Quarter Gallery, We are sailing directly into Port Louis, at L'orient, before a fine pleasant Breeze. There is a strong Fortification at the Entrance of this Harbour, at which we were hailed, and asked Whence? Where—Name of Vessell—Captain &c. What an Advantage to Nantes, would such a Port and Harbour as this be?
Went ashore. C. Landais, myself and son, went on Board the poor Richard, saw C. Jones and his officers, Mr. Moylan, Captain Cazneau, Captain Young, &c.
Went to visit Mr. Grondell Commandant des Troupes de Terre, found there Mr. Thevenard, Commandant du Port, Mr. Desaudrèe India Merchant.
{ 370 }
Went then to visit Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, who has been here 15 days with his son.
Went then to visit Mr. Grandville, Commissaire General du Port. Then to the Commissaire des Classes.
Was very politely received, by all these Gentlemen, and Captn. Landais treated with particular respect.
I spoke very freely to Mr. Chaumont, about my situation—told him, I was ill treated—that I had many Jealousies and Suspicions— that I suspected it was an Intrigue.
1. Sartine's letter to Franklin of 20 April; see entry of 28 April, above. CFA omitted this and the two following paragraphs from his text of JA's Diary.
2. This paragraph was also omitted by CFA.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-13

Thursday. May 13th.

Went on Shore and dined with Captain Jones at the Epèe Royal. Mr. Amiel, Mr. Dick, Dr. Brooke, officers of the Poor Richard, Captain Cazneau, Captain Young, Mr. Ingraham, Mr. Blodget, Mr. Glover, Mr. Conant, Messrs. Moylans, Mr. Maese, Mr. Nesbit, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Tayler, made the Company, with Captain Landais, myself and my Son.
An elegant Dinner we had—and all very agreable.
No very instructive Conversation. But we practiced the old American Custom of drinking to each other, which I confess is always agreable to me.
Some hints about Language, and glances about Women, produced this Observation, that there were two Ways of learning french commonly recommended—take a Mistress and go to the Commedie. Dr. Brookes, in high good Humour—Pray Sir, which in your Opinion is the best? Answer in as good Humour—Perhaps both would teach it soonest, to be sure sooner than either. But, continued I, assuming my Gravity, the Language is no where better spoken than at the Comedie. The Pulpit, the Bar, the Accademie of Sciences, and the faculty of Medicine, none of them speak so accurately as the french Comedie.
After Dinner walked out, with C[aptain]s Jones and Landais to see Jones's Marines—dressed in the English Uniform, red and white. A Number of very active and clever Serjeants and Corporals are employed to teach them the Exercise, and Maneuvres and Marches &c. After which Jones came on Board our ship.
This is the most ambitious and intriguing Officer in the American Navy. Jones has Art, and Secrecy, and aspires very high. You see the Character of the Man in his uniform, and that of his officers and { 371 } Marines, variant from the Uniforms established by Congress. Golden Button holes, for himself—two Epauletts—Marines in red and white instead of Green.
Excentricities, and Irregularities are to be expected from him— they are in his Character, they are visible in his Eyes. His Voice is soft and still and small, his Eye has keenness, and Wildness and Softness in it.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-14

May 14. Fryday.

On Board all day, ill of a Cold. Many Gentlemen came on board to visit me. A Dr. Brooks, Surgeon to the Poor Richard, drank Tea with me. He seems to be well acquainted with Philosophical Experiments. I led him to talk upon this subject. He had much to say about Phlogiston, fixed Air, Gas &c. About absolute and sensible Heat, Experiments with the Thermometer, to shew the absolute and sensible Heat in Water, Air, Blood &c.
Finding he had Ideas of these Things, I led him to talk of the Ascent of Vapours in the Atmosphere, and I found he had considered this subject.
He mentioned a natural History of N. and S. Carolina, by Catesby in 4 Volumes folio with Stamps of all the Plants and Animals. Price 25 Guineas. He mentioned a Dr. Erving [Irvine] and a Dr. Black of Glasgow, as great Philosophers, whose Hints Priestly had taken.
This Dr. Brooks is a Gentleman of Family, whose father has a great Fortune and good Character in Virginia. Mr. Dick, Captain of Marines, on Board of Jones, is also of good family and handsome fortune in Virginia.
Mr. Gimaet came on board to visit me, Aid de Camp of the Marquis de la Fayette.1
1. Jean Joseph Sourbader de Gimat had accompanied Lafayette to America in the Victoire in 1777, returned there again in 1780, and achieved a distinguished military record (Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:418–420).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-15

15 May. Saturday.

Went on Shore, and dined with Captain Jones at the Mess, at L'Epee Royale. Mr. Hill, Capt. Cazneau, Captn. Young, Mr. Dick, Dr. Brooks &c. Mr. Gourlade, another Aid du Camp of the Marquis1 &c. Gourlade married a Scotch Lady.—Captain Jones this Morning shewed me a Letter from Lt. Browne, desiring or rather apologizing for leaving the Ship, because of the Word (first) in M. Amiels Com• { 372 } mission. I said, I thought Mr. Browne could not serve under M. Amiel. It would be in a manner giving up the Claims of many Lieutenants whose Commissions were dated between his and Mr. Amiels, as well as his own and would expose him to censure. That the Word first was agreed to be inserted by the Commissioners, because We expected that either We or C. Jones would fill up the Commissions to the other Lieutenants of that Ship, and it was intended to give him an Assurance that he should be the first, on board that Ship. It was not so well considered as it ought to have been, to be sure, but could not now be helped. That however the Word first was void; it could not supercede the Date of any former Commission. Mr. Amiel was so urgent to have it in, that it was agreed to, perhaps, too inconsiderately.
After dinner, took a Walk, out of Town, returned and went to view the two Churches, the [least?] of which has some fine Paintings. St. Joseph, St. Joachim, the Virgin, feeling the Babe leap in her Womb, at the sight of Elizabeth, and many others. Some handsome marble Pillars, and two fine Statues in Plaister of Paris.
In the Evening C[aptain] L[andais] chagrined—suspecting Plots among his Officers against him. Had written to Dr. Franklin relating Things to him, &c. &c. Mr. Blodget came in and said, he had one Chest in the Ward Room, which the Officers had ordered him to take away, but as he had but one and they so many, he ventured to wait for the C's orders. That the Officers were now about to treat him better, conscious that they could not treat him worse. Today they invited him to dine in the Ward Room. But he begged Mr. Diggs [Degge] not to invite him. They had d——d him and he could not dine there, yet did not love to refuse, so begged off.
Such is the Danger of Favouritism, in the Government of a Ship as well as of a State. I have had the Pleasure to restore this Ship to Peace and Harmony, and am perswaded, it would have continued. But when I leave here I see plainly all will become unhappy again. There is such a Mixture of Ductility and Obstinacy in the Government of her as will not keep her together. A tender Heart and an obstinate Will sometimes go together. The C. has told M.B.2 of my Advice that he should not live in the Cabbin. This will raise his Resentment vs. me. And B. will be the Idol still. Yet he will continue to be excluded the Cabin, which will make it worse, for what I know. The Captain is not of an accommodating Humour nor temper. His Resolutions when taken are without Conditions or Exceptions and unalterable, as one would think, yet sometimes too easily and too entirely altered. My Presence has had some degree of Awe upon the Capt. and all the other officers, { 373 } it has made them endeavour to respect one another. But the Fire is not extinguished, it will break out again.
L. said Honour and Delicacy, are his 2d God.—He shall die poor, and despized,—not by those who know him.—This is an honest Man—But Chagrin and Disappointment are visible in every Thing about him.3
He is incapable of all Art. Has no Address or Dexterity at all in managing Men.
P[arson] F[ord] this Morning was upon his Fights and Battles. At such a Time he fought in N.C., such a Time in &c. Once he [fought]4 half an Hour in his shirt tail. Then he got his Rheumatism.— Oh his Groin, his Swelling, his Pains in his Legs, Knees, joints, shoulders, his fever and Ague. If We should have a Battle and he should be sick and killed in his Bed. He had rather be killed ten times upon the Quarter deck, &c.
Coll. Wuibert tells a story. That at Angers a Bishop has been found unconsumed and uncorrupted after being buried many Years. They buried him up again, and is to be dug up again after a certain time, and if found entire, is to be made a saint. His Preservation is to be a Miracle, whereas the Truth is there is salt where he lies. This the Coll. calls Sottise.
1. In the MS this phrase is interlined without indication where it should be inserted. Lafayette's second aide is not clearly identifiable, but he was not Gourlade, who was a Lorient merchant in partnership with James Moylan (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index).
2. Mr. Blodget. Nathan Blodget was purser of the Alliance and a partisan of Landais in the latter's feud with his officers (same; see also Landais' Memorial, to Justify Peter Landai's Conduct during the Late War, Boston, 1784, passim).
3. The ambiguous punctuation of this paragraph has been retained as found in the MS.
4. MS: “found.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-16

May 16. Sunday.

Went on Shore, and dined with Mr. Moylan. Jones, Landais, Chaumont Pere et Fils, Moylan Frere, Maese, made the Company.
Maese made a sensible Observation, vizt., that he ever found five out of six of the People of England supporting the Measures of Government. That the People of America had been deceived by their Friends in England, by writing that the People were against these Measures.
Letters from England received to day, say, that the last Propositions of Spain for an Accommodation have been rejected by Government, with a Kind of Humour that We have been long used to.
Went after Dinner with Mr. Chaumont, to the House of Mr. { 374 } Bouvet, an old Officer of Marine, a Croix de St. Louis, to see the Modell of a Seventy four Gun Ship, that he was Twenty Years in making with his own Hand. Every Sparre, Block, Rope, Iron and Timber in the true Proportions. It is fine comme un Tabatier. In his Shop he has all his Tools, his Chizzells, his Files, &c. and his turning Wheel, Glasses, Mathematical Instruments, &c.
C[olonel] Wuibert told us this Evening of some very ancient and curious Pictures at La Fleche. In one Situation you see H[enri] 4.—in another, at a small distance you see one of his Mistresses, in another a second Mistress. In one Picture viewed from one Point you see a Man, from another Point a Beast.
C.L. told Us of a curious Grate at Nantes, which is ancient and no body knows how it was made. He also entertained Us with an Account of the Indians at Outaheite. The most dextrous Thieves in the World, but the best natured People. Mr. Bougainvilles People sold them, Iron, nails &c. for very great Prices. An Hog for a Deck nail, and a fowl for a Board Nail. He related several Instances of their Ingenuity, in picking Pocketts, and stealing Nails and Bitts of Iron. One of their Priests picked his Pocketts of all the Nails in it, which was all his Money. And a Drol Relation of a Single Combat between the Priest and the Indian that carried him over the River, on his shoulders, for a Nail—which consisted in clinching their Hands together and pushing, untill the Priest fell back, when the other gave him a Fillip upon his Forehead or Nose, which was the Tryumph, and decided the Question about the Property of the Nail.
My Son could not comprehend why they should be so fond of Iron. He was told that Iron made the principal Difference between savage and civilised Nations. That all Arts and Manufactures depended upon Iron &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-17

May 17. Monday.

L. gave Us an Account of St. George at Paris, a Molatto Man, Son of a former Governor of Guadaloupe, by a Negro Woman. He has a sister married to a Farmer General. He is the most accomplished Man in Europe in Riding, Running, Shooting, Fencing, Dancing, Musick. He will hit the Button, any Button on the Coat or Waistcoat of the greatest Masters. He will hit a Crown Piece in the Air with a Pistoll Ball.
Mr. Gimaet came on Board, to go to Port Louis with C[aptain] L[andais]. The Affectation, in the Eyes, features, laugh, Air, gate, { 375 } Posture, and every Thing of this Gentleman is so striking, that I cannot but think I see C.J.Q. or C.B. whenever I see him.1
Affectation proceeds from Vanity. Ease is the Opposite. Nature is easy, and simple. This Man thinks himself handsome, his Eyes, his Complexion, his Teeth, his Figure, his Step, and Air, have irresistable Charms, no doubt, in his Mind.
L. will never accomplish any great Thing. He has Honour—Delicacy—Integrity—and I doubt not Courage—and Skill, and Experience. But he has not Art.—And I firmly believe there never was, or will be a great Character, without a great deal of Art. I am more and more convinced every day of the Innocence, the Virtue and absolute Necessity of Art and Design.—I have arrived almost at 44 without any. I have less than L. and therefore shall do less Things than even he.
This Evening L. said that Mathematicians were never good Company. That Mathematicks made a Man unhappy. That they never were good writers.
I said no nor the Lawyers—it had been often observed that Lawyers could not write.
L. said that Observation is not just, there are many other Instances of that besides you.—This looks like Art, but was too obvious.
I said, the Roman Lawyers were good Writers. Justinians Institutes were pure as Classicks. Several French Lawyers had been fine Writer[s] as Cochin, &c. [] and some English Lawyers as Bacon, Clarendon, Couper, Blackstone. But it was a common Observation in England, and I found it as common in Paris, that Lawyers were generally bad Writers.
1. The first set of initials probably stands for Col. Josiah Quincy, but no satisfactory identification of “C.B.” has occurred to the editors.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-18

May 18 Tuesday.

On Board all day, reading Don Quixot.1
1. Surviving among JA's books in the Boston Public Library are a single volume of a six-volume set of Don Quixote in French, Paris, 1768, and a four-volume set in Spanish, Madrid, 1777 (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-19

May 19. Wednesday.

Pleasant. My State is tedious enough, waiting for the Chevalier, and loosing Time and Wind. Expectation is a painful Posture of the Mind, and Suspence, which is a little different, is worse.
This of L'orient is a fine Port and Harbour. Men of War can come up to the Wharf, and they commonly lie not far from it. But there is no such pleasant Prospects of the Country as in Boston Harbour.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-20

1779 May 20. Thursday.

Went ashore, met a Servant of Mr. Chaumont on the Wharf, who presented me his Masters Compliments and an Invitation to dine which I accepted.
He lodges at Monsieur [] who with his Lady and Daughter of Six Years, an Officer of the Navy, Mr. C, my Self and Son made the Company. A rich Dinner for so small a Company. The little Daughter of Six Years, shewed the Effects of early Culture. She sung at Table at my Desire several Songs, with great Ease and Judgment. She behaved as easily, as her mother, her Wit flowed and her Tongue run. Her Countenance was disciplined. Her Eyes and Lips were at her Command. She was very respectful to the Company and very attentive to Decency. Mr. C. went afterwards with me, to see a Magazine of Medicines belonging to the King, a very large Store, in order to get some Jesuits Bark, the best Kind of which I found was Seventeen Livres a Pound.
Found a Courier de l'Europe of the 7th. May. Paliser acquitted, tho reprehended, not unanimously nor honourably. Moultrie's Letter of the 4 Feb. to Lincoln and Putnams to Washington of 2. March.
It is said in this Paper that 121 Privateers and Letters of Marque from 6 to 36 Guns, have been fitted out at N. York, 1,976 Guns, 9,680 Men, and that they have taken 165 Prizes. This must be exagerated.
The 1st of May, the fleet at Portsmouth of more than 400 Sail for N. York, Quebec, Newfoundland and Ireland, put to Sea, convoyed by 6 ships of the Line, besides Frigates and armed Transports.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-21

21. Fryday.

Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Merrick dined with me, in the Cabbin.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-22

22 Saturday.

Went ashore. Dr. W[indship] revealed to me, a Secret concerning the Parson.—Good God! ...1 He is confident. He knows.—The Rheumatism never touches the Glands. It is a confirmed ——. He says, that B[lodget] knows so too.—It must come to an Head. It will break. It will be two months at least. He has purged himself off his Legs. Has exhausted himself by Purges.
(It gets into the Circulations—breaks out in Knots under the Arms —eats away the Roof [of] the Mouth—affects the Nose—if it seises the Lungs, &c.)
{ 377 }
A Man of his Cloth. His Character is ruined—&c.
This is the innocent, the virtuous, the religious—&c. This is melancholly, and humiliating indeed! There is English Beauty, at Paris—English Charmes as well as french. Innocence is not Proof against the Arts of Paris. Simplicity is a Prey—and Virtue is melted away, by Wine and Artifice....
Coll. Wuibert drank Tea with me alone this Evening. I had a long, free and familiar Conversation with him in french and he made me the Compliment several Times to say that I spoke french very well, that I understood French perfectly, that I had happily succeeded, tres heureusement reussi in learning French, that I spoke it fluently, &c. This flattery was uttered with as much Simplicity as the Duchess D'Anville. I understood him, perfectly, every Word he said altho he commonly speaks very indistinctly.
He says that he was several Times with the Solicitor General Wedderburne in London. That Wedderburne speaks and writes french, very correctly. That he told him, he had spent a dozen Years at Paris and made many Journeys there besides. That he treated him, with great Politeness, beaucoup d'honnètete. That he had a List of all the American Prisoners, with Notes against their Names. That he brought Letters for W. to some of the family of M. de Noailles, the late Ambassador. That We have many friends in London. That he liked London better than Paris, because the Walking was better, the Streets were cleaner, and there were Accommodations, on each Side, for People on foot.
That he has been two hundred Leagues to see his father and family who live in Champagne, near the frontiers of the Queen of Hungarys Dominions.
He ran over the Streets in Paris that were commonly the most embarrassed, with Carriages.—C'est un Cahos,2 &c—He has promised to look for me after Vignol's Architecture, &c.
We fell upon the Subject of Religion and Devotion on board the Men of War. Every french Man of War has a Chaplain who says Prayers Morning and Evening, regularly. I wished that ours were as regular.
We fell upon the Subject of Swearing. I asked him, if the french Sailors swore? He said chaque Instant, every Moment. That H[enri] 4 swore a great deal. Ventre St. Gris—litterally, holy grey belly. I asked him if this originally alluded to the Vierge. He believed not. I told him that most of the Oaths had originally Relation to Religion, and explained to him Zounds—G—ds Zounds—His Wounds—Gods Wounds. { 378 } s blood and wounds—His Blood and Wounds—relating to Christ. He said this made him shudder.
Ma foi, Faith, par dieu, &c. It is amazing how Men get the Habit of using these Words, without thinking. I see no Difference between F[rench] and E[nglish] on this Account.
This afternoon, C.L. brought seven or Eight French Gentlemen on board to see the ship, who all admired her. They were genteel, well bred Men.
This Man has a Littleness in his Mien and Air. His face is small and sharp. So that you form a mean Opinion of him from the first Sight. Yet his Eye is good. He maintained a good Character among the American Prisoners, and you find by close Conversation with him that he has a good deal in him of Knowledge.
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.
2. Spelling, and therefore the meaning, uncertain; possibly a simple mistake in spelling for “Chaos.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-23

23d. Sunday.

Waited in the Morning on Mr. Chaumont, agreed to go tomorrow Morning, on board the Sensible to make my Visit to the Commander.
Went to the Lodging of Mr. Ingraham and Blodget. where about 8 or 10 Americans Breakfast every Morning and drink Punch every Evening.
Took a Walk with Mr. Ingraham about the Town and then went and dined with Mr. Puchelberg. This is a modest and a decent German. He says there is no Protestant Church here. All is Levity, Legèrète. He says this Town is perdu. Amour, Jeu, et Vin, ruin all the Women. The Women drink Brandy like Water.
He says that France is capable of nourishing 48, or 50 Millions of People, but it is not half cultivated. The People are light and lazy.
At Bourdeaux there are 40,000 Protestants—but have no Church. The Workmen, Artisans &c. are Protestants.
This Man has a Laugh and a Grin, and a Bow that are very particular. His Grin is good natured, his Laugh is complaisant, his Bow is aukward to the last degree.
The Peasants in this Country are lazy, and no Wonder, for those who work the whole Year in planting Vines and in making Wine, are obliged to drink Water.
There are many Protestants here, who ne croient pas rien. Ils sont Athee.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-05-24

24. Monday.

Went with Mr. Chaumont to make my Visit to the Captain of the Sensible,1 the Frigate in which I am to embark, and was civilly received. Went next on Board the Pallas, where we breakfasted with the Officers, and then viewed the Ship. Went next on board the Poor Richard and took another look at her. Went ashore and dined with C. Jones. The Captain of the Pallas2 dined there and an Officer of his Marines. Mr. Maese, Mr. Dick, Mr. Hill, Captn. Parks &c.
The Sensible has 28 twelve Pounders upon one deck.
1. Bidé de Chavagnes, a French officer with whom JA and JQA were to cross the Atlantic twice and who maintained with JA an agreeable correspondence until 1785.
2. Cottineau de Kerloguin, a French naval officer in American service, commanded the Pallas, a 30-gun frigate, in John Paul Jones' squadron. In the famous action off Flamborough Head, Sept. 1779, the Pallas took the Countess of Scarborough. According to Lasseray, Cottineau was naturalized as an American citizen in the 1790's, resided in Philadelphia, and died at Savannah in 1808 (Les français sous les treize étoiles, 1:167–168).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-01

1779 June 1st.

Dined on Shore at the Coffee House with Jones, Landais, the two Aids de Camp of the Marquis de la Fayette, Capt. Cotineau.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-02

June 2d. Wednesday.

Dined on Board the Sensible, at the Invitation of the Captn. Mr. Chavan [Chavagnes], with Mr. Thevenard, Mr. Grandville, Mr. Chaumont, &c. &c.
On fait, et defait—mande et contremand. “A Strong Fleet is necessary to defend the Port of Brest.”
This Observation, which I had never heard before, struck me. The Dry Docks might be destroyed, the Stores burnt or demolished, the Magazines destroyed, &c. unless the Place could be defended, by the Castle and other Fortifications, with the Land Forces.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-08

1779. June 8. Tuesday.

Yesterday I sent one Boat with some of my Things, and this Morning another with the Remainder, on Board the Sensible.
Landais has torn open the old Sore, and in my Opinion, has now ruined the Peace of this Ship. He has [an] unhappy Mind. He must ever have something to complain of—something to peave and fret about. He is jealous.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-12

1779 Saturday [12 June].

Last night, the Chevalier de La Luzerne arrived, [and]1 took Lodgings at the Epee Royal, in a Chamber opposite to mine up two Pair of Stairs. He did me the Honour, together with Monsieur Marbois, his Secretary,2 or rather the Secretary of the Commission, [to visit me]3 in my Chamber this Morning, and invited me to dine, with him in his Chamber with my Son. The Ambassador, the Secretary, Mr. Chaumont, my Son and myself, made the Company. The Chevalier informs me that he dined with me once, at Count Sarsefields.4
I went in the Morning to the Lodging of Monsr. Marbois. He was out, but I found his two Clerks, one of them speaks English very well. They observed to me, that I had been waiting a long time. I said Yes, long enough to have made a sentimental Journey through the Kingdom.—This pleased the English Secretary very much. He said Yoricks Sentimental Journey was a very fine Thing, a charming Piece. I said Yes and that Sterne was the sweetest, kindest, tenderest Creature in the World, and that there was a rich Stream of Benevolence flowing like Milk and Honey, thro all his Works.
M. Marbois shewed me, a Paper from Philadelphia of the 16 Feb. in which is a long Piece, with the Name of Mr. Paine. In it is the Letter, which I remember very well from M.D. proposing P. Ferdinand or M—— B——to command in Chief.5 The Name was mentioned of a Marshall, whom I have often heard [Deane]6 say was one of the greatest Generals in Europe. This is curious—bien extraordinaire, one of the Gentlemen said.
After Dinner, I took a Walk in the Wood.
Beggars, Servants, Garçons, Filles, Decroteurs, Blanchisseuses. Barges, Batteaux, Bargemen. Coffee houses, Taverns. Servants at the Gates of Woods and Walks. Fruit, Cakes. Ice Creams. Spectacles. Tailors for setting a Stitch in Cloaths. Waiters for running with Errands, Cards &c. Cabbin Boys. Coach Hire. Walking Canes. Pamphlets. Ordonances. Carts.
1. MS: “at.”
2. François Barbé-Marbois, later Marquis de Barbé-Marbois (1745–1837), a French diplomat who was to be repeatedly and significantly concerned with American affairs during his long career; see E. Wilson Lyon, The Man Who Sold Louisiana ..., Norman, Okla., 1942. Marbois wrote his own account of his voyage to America in 1779, but it was addressed to a young lady and is on the whole more playful than informative. An English translation will be found in Eugene P. Chase, ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers: The Letters of François, Marquis de Barbé-Marbois during his Residence in the United States as Secretary of the French Legation, 1779–1785, N.Y., 1929, p. 37–64. See also 20 Nov. 1782, below.
3. Supplied by the editors for words omitted by the diarist.
{ 381 }
4. Guy Claude, Comte de Sarsfield (1718–1789), a French military officer of Irish antecedents (Dict. de la noblesse, 18:292; Edward MacLysaght, Irish Families, Dublin, 1957, p. 261–262; Ann. Register for 1789, p. 210). His seat was at Rennes, Brittany, but having gregarious habits he lived much in Paris and later sought out JA's company at The Hague and in London. He had a special fondness for Americans, entertained and corresponded with all those of any prominence who came to Europe, and apparently visited America after the Revolution. In the Adams Papers, besides a long series of letters from Sarsfield, 1778–1789, there is a book-length set of MS essays by him in French on the government and economy of the United Provinces, on Women, Slavery, and other topics, indicating that he had aspirations as a philosophe. (These are tentatively dated 1782–1783.) Long extracts from Sarsfield's journal in the Low Countries were copied by JA into his own Diary under date of 10 Oct. 1782, q.v. From London, 6 Sept. 1785, JA wrote Arthur Lee that Sarsfield was there and leading “the Life of a Peripatetic Philosopher.... He ... is the Happyest Man I know.... If a Man was born for himself alone, I would take him for a Model” (Adams Papers; R. H. Lee, Arthur Lee, 2:255). And to Sarsfield himself, 21 Jan. 1786, JA wrote:
“Among all my acquaintance I know not a greater Rider of Hobby Horses than Count Sarsfield—one of your Hobby Horses is to assemble uncommon Characters. I have dined with you 2 or 3. times at your House in Company with the oddest Collections of Personages that were ever put together. I am thinking if you were here, I would Invite you to a dinner to your taste. I would ask King Paoli, King Brant, Le Chevalier D'Eon, and if you pleased you might have Mr. and Mrs.—— with whom you dined in America. How much speculation would this whimsical association afford you?” (LbC, Adams Papers).
5. This article signed by Thomas Paine appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet, 16 Feb. 1779, and incorporates an extract from Silas Deane's letter to the Secret Committee of Foreign Affairs, Paris, 6 Dec. 1776, proposing Prince Ferdinand or Marshal Broglie as suitable persons “to take the lead of your armies” (Deane Papers, 1:404–405; 3:361–375)
6. Blank in MS.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-17

1779. June 17. Thursday.

At 6 O Clock this Morning, Monsieur Chavan, Capitain of the Sensible, sent his Canot, on Shore for me, and mine, and here I am, in full Possession of my Apartment.
Sailed about 3 o Clock, in Company with the Bon Homme Richard Captain Jones, the Alliance Captain Landais, the [] Captain Young, the [] Captain Cazneau, the Courier de L'Europe Capt.
The Three Friends Capt. Colman, belonging to Mr. Williams of Nantes, which is loaded with a large Quantity of the Chevaliers Baggage, was missing. The Chev[alier] discovered a good deal of sensibility at this. The whole Fleet is obliged to wait for this Captain Colman and loose this fair Wind.
The Chevalier has an Appartment about 8 Feet long and six Wide, upon the Starboard Side of the Quarter Deck. I have another of the same Dimensions, directly opposite to him, on the Larboard. Next behind the Chevalier is the Cabin of the Captain Monsieur Chavan. { 382 } Next behind me is the Cabbin of the second in Command of the Frigate. And behind us all at the stern is a larger Room, the Passage Way to which lies between the Chevaliers and the Captains Cabin on one Side, and mine and the Seconds on the other.
In this larger Room, which extends the whole Width of the Quarter Deck, all the Company loll and converse by day. Monsieur Marbois and my little son hang their Cotts there and sleep at night. All the Officers and all the Company, dine, below, in what is called the grand Cabbin.
The Chevalier is a large, and a strong Man, has a singular Look with his Eyes. Shutts his Eye Lids, &c.
M. Marbois the Secretary, is a tall, genteel Man and has a Countenance extreamly pleasant. He has the Appearance of Delicacy, in his Constitution....1
Mr. Marbois has two Persons with him, one a French Secretary, the other a Secretaire interprete, who speaks and writes English.
The Maitre D'Hotel has his Wife with him. She seems a well bred Woman....
We are to speak English. This is the Agreement, but there are so few who can speak a Word of English, that 9/10 of the Conversation in spight of our Intentions and Engagements runs into French. We have on board a Dictionary of the Marine, so that We shall soon understand the Names of Things and Actions on Board.
Brown of the Manufactory, is on Board as Pilot for the American Coast. He has received fifty Guineas for it. Such is the Reward for making a Stand, manfully, 10 or 11 Years ago. I told the Story to the Che[valier] who was much pleased with the Narration.2
Mr. Hill also, first Lieutenant of the Alliance is on Board but I know not by whose Influence. C. Jones or M. Chau[mont] probably.
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.
2. This “Story” cannot now be reconstructed.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-18

1779. June 18. Fryday.

This Morning, the Monsieur a french Privateer, which sailed out from L'orient as We went into it in the Alliance, came in with four English Prizes, having made Six this Cruise. She and her Prizes saluted the Sensible, and their Salutes were returned.
Received a Card from Mr. Williams 3d., apologising for the 3 friends that the Pilot refused to take charge of her untill the Morning.1
I asked a Gentleman how he slept.—Very badly, dans le Sainte { 383 } Barbe.—il faut chercher cet mot la, said I, dans le Dictionaire de Marine.—He ran and brought it and found Le Sainte Barbe to be the Gun Room.—Connoissez vous l'Etymologie Monsieur, said he—Que non, said I.
Sainte Barbe is the Tutelary Sainte of the Cannoniers—Gunners. Each Trade has its Patron. The Shoemakers have Sainte Crispin, &c. and the Gunners Sainte Barbe.
The Sainte Barbe therefore is the Gunroom or the Salle D'Armes, Place of Arms.
There are 9 Persons who sleep in the Sainte Barbe.
The Serruriers have chosen St. Cloud for their Patron, &c.
Mr. Marbois discovered an Inclination to day to slide into Conversation with me, to day. I fell down the Stream with him, as easily as possible. He Thought the Alliance beneficial, to both Countries, and hoped it would last forever. I agreed that the Alliance was usefull to both, and hoped it would last. I could not foresee any Thing that should interrupt the Friendship. Yes, recollecting myself, I could foresee several Things that might interrupt it.—Ay what were they?— I said it was possible, a King of France might arise, who being a wicked Man might make Attempts to corrupt the Americans. A King of France hereafter might have a Mistress, that might mislead him, or a bad Minister. I said I could foresee another Thing that might endanger our Confederation.—What was that?—The Court of France, I said, might, or their Ambassadors or Consuls might, attach themselves to Individuals or Parties, in America, so as to endanger our Union.—He caught at this, with great Avidity, and said it was a great Principle, not to join with any Party. It was the K's Determination and the Chevaliers, not to throw the Weight of the French Court into the Scale of any Individual or Party.
He said, he believed, or was afraid, it had been done: but it was disapproved by the King and would not be done again....2 He said that the Chevalier and himself would have the favour of the greatest Part, the Generality of the honest People in France, altho there would be Individuals against them.
He said He hoped the United States would not think of becoming Conquerors. I said it was impossible they should for many Ages. It would be Madness in them to think of conquering foreign Countries, while they had an immense Territory, near them uncultivated. That if any one State should have a fancy for going abroad it would be the Interest of all the rest and their Duty to hinder her.—He seemed to be pleased with this.
{ 384 }
He said We would explain ourselves wholly, on the Passage. I said, with all my Heart, for I had no Secrets.
All this Conversation was in french, but he understood me, very well, and I him.
He said Mr. Gerard was a Man of Wit, and had an Advantage of them in understanding the Language very well and speaking it easily. I said I believed not much. I had heard it affirmed, by some, that Mr. Gerard spoke English perfectly, but by others, very indifferently. That it was often affirmed that Mr. Franklin spoke French as fluently and elegantly, as a Courtier at Versailles, but every Man that knew and spoke sincerely, agreed that he spoke it very ill. Persons spoke of these Things, according to their Affections.
He said it was Flattery. That he would not flatter, it was very true that both Mr. F. and I spoke french, badly.
A Cutter and a Lugger, hove in Sight, about Noon, and dogged about all the afternoon.
Mr. Marbois began with me, again this Afternoon. Enquired who was Dr. Bancroft?—Who Dr. Berkenhout? &c. &c.3
1. The “Card” has not been found.
2. Suspension points in MS.
3. Here follow three and a half blank pages in the MS preceding the second entry dated 18 June. Obviously JA intended to continue his record of the afternoon's conversation with Marbois. In Marbois' epistolary journal of the voyage there is, curiously, only a single bare mention of the Adamses, and that not until 15 July: “I have not told you that Mr. John Adams and his son are passengers with us on the Sensible” (Eugene P. Chase, ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers, N.Y., 1929, p. 58).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-18

1779. June 18. Fryday.

The orders are to breakfast at 10., dine at 5. and sup at 10.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-19

19. Saturday.

The two Privateers, which were in Sight Yesterday, are so still with two others.
Our Captain at length laid too, hoisted his Colours and fired a Gun as a Challenge. One of them hoisted English Colours and fired a Gun, which I suppose was accepting the Challenge. Our Captain gave her two Broad Sides, for the Sake of exercising his Men, and some of his Balls went beyond her, some before and some behind her. I cannot say that any one hit, but there were two which went so well that it is possible they might. It is certain they were frightened, for upon our wearing to give her chase all 4 of them were about in an Instant and run.—But at Evening there were several others in Sight.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-20

20. Sunday.

Two Privateers have been in sight all this day. One advanced, and fired several Guns in order to make Us hoist our Colours. But Captain Chavan would not do them that Honour. They are afraid to come near. But this it is.1 Every day We have a No. in Sight, so that there is no Chance for a Vessell to pass without Convoy.
Our Captain Mr. Chavan has a Cross of St. Louis, and one of his Midshipmen has a Cross of St. Louis. His second has none—he is a youth of 18 or 19, an Enseigne du Vesseau, and very able for his Years. He has a fine Countenance.
The Chevalier de la Luzerne, and M. Marbois are in raptures with my Son. They get him to teach them the Language. I found this Morning the Ambassador, Seating on the Cushing in our State Room, Mr. Marbois in his Cot at his left Hand and my Son streched out in his at his Right—The Ambassador reading out loud, in Blackstones Discourse, at his Entrance on his Professorship of the Common Law at the University, and my Son correcting the Pronunciation of every Word and Syllable and Letter. The Ambassador said he was astonished, at my Sons Knowledge. That he was a Master of his own Language like a Professor. Mr. Marbois said your Son teaches Us more than you. He has Point de Grace—Point d'Eloges. He shews us no Mercy, and makes Us no Compliments. We must have Mr. John.
This Evening had a little Conversation with the Chevalier, upon our American Affairs, and Characters, Mr. Samuel Adams, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Jay—and upon American Eloquence in Congress and Assemblies as well as in Writing. He admired our Eloquence. I said that our Eloquence was not corrected. It was the Time of Ennius, with Us. That Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Jay had Eloquence, but it was not so chaste, nor pure, nor nervous as that of Mr. Samuel Adams. That this last had written some things, that would be admired more than any Thing that has been written in America in this Dispute.—He enquired after Mr. Dickinson, and the Reason why he disappeared. I explained, as well as I could in French, the Inconsistency of the Farmers Letters and his Perseverance in that Inconsistency in Congress. Mr. Dickensons Opposition to the Declaration of Independancy. I ventured as modestly as I could to let him know that I had the Honour to be the Principal Disputant in Congress against Mr. Dickinson upon that great Question. That Mr. Dickinson had the Eloquence, the Learning and the Ingenuity on his Side of the Question, but that I had the Hearts of the Americans on mine, and therefore my Side of { 386 } the Question prevailed. That Mr. Dickinson had a good Heart, and an amiable Character. But that his Opposition to Independency, had lost him the Confidence of the People, who suspected him of Timidity and Avarice, and that his Opposition sprung from those Passions: But that he had since turned out with the Militia, against the B[ritish] Troops and I doubted not might in Time regain the Confidence of the People.
I said that Mr. Jay was a Man of Wit, well informed, a good Speaker and an elegant Writer. The Chevalier said perhaps he will not be President when We arrive. He accepted only for a short Time. I said I should not be sorry to hear of his Resignation, because I did not much esteem the Means by which he was advanced to the Chair, it appearing to me that he came in by the Efforts of a Faction at that Moment dominant by Means of an Influence which I was afraid to mention. That I did not care to say what I thought of it.2
We fell into a great deal of other Conversation this Evening upon Litterature, and Eloquence ancient and modern, Demosthenes, Cicero, the Poets, Historians, Philosophers. The English, Bacon, Newton &c. Milton &c.
He said Milton was very ancient. I said no, in the Reign of Charles and the Protectorship of Cromwell and the Reign of Charles the Second.—He thought it was much more ancient.
I said there were three Epochas in the English History celebrated for great Men.—The Reign of Elizabeth, the Reign of C[harles] 1. and the Interregnum, and the Reign of Queen Anne.
The C. said Ld. Bolinbroke was a great Man. I said Yes and the greatest Orator that England ever produced.
Mr. Marbois upon this said, it would be easy in France to produce an Orator equal to Bolinbroke. I asked who? John Jac[ques?]—? No, Malesherbes. Malesherbes Orations might be placed on a Footing with Demosthenes and Cicero.
1. Perhaps JA meant to write: “But this is the way it is.”
2. See entry of 12 Feb., above, and note 2 there; also 22 June, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-21

Monday June 21.

This Morning I found Mr. Marbois recovered of his Sea Sickness. I fell into Conversation with him, about his illness, advised a Dish of Tea, which he readily accepted, told him he must learn to drink Tea in America in order to please the Ladies, who all drank Tea. That the american Ladies shone at the Tea Table. He said, he had heard they were very amiable and of agreable Conversation. I said Yes, but they { 387 } could not dance, nor sing, nor play Musick, nor dress so well as the European Ladies. But they had Wit and Sense and Virtue.—After a great deal of Chat like this, I asked him—Sir you mentioned last night Malsherbes Orations. Who and What was Malesherbes?—He said Malsherbes was President of the Court of Aids, during the Disputes between the late King and the Parliament of Paris. That he made his orations in the Course of those Disputes. That most of them were not printed, only a few of the latter ones were printed in the Newspapers. That He was banished by the late King with the Parliament, and after the Accession of the present King was recalled and made one of his Ministers, in which Place he continued 18 Months. But finding Things were likely to take a Turn not perfectly agreable to his Mind and that he could not continue in Place with Honour he resigned and lives a private Life in Paris and is happy. He is the Son of a Late Chancellor De lamoignon de Malesherbes, who was a famous Man. He goes by the Name of De la Moignon. He died about five Years ago, and it was thought his Son would take the same Name of Lamoignon, but he choses to go by that of Malesherbes. He is a great Man, an intimate Friend of Mr. De Turgot. Mr. Malesherbes is Uncle to the Chevalier de la Luzerne. I have dined twice, within a few Weeks past, with Mr. Franklin at the House of Mr. Malesherbes, and once with him at Mr. Franklins. The Acquaintance was formed upon Occasion of the Appointment of the C. De la Luzerne to go to America.
I lamented that I had not seen Mr. Malesherbes, said that I had the Pleasure to dine often with Mr. Turgot at his House and at ours. That Mr. Franklin was very intimate with Mr. Turgot, who I thought was a very good Man.—Yes says Mr. Marbois, but a little too systematical and a little too enthusiastical....1 I said Enthusiasm was sometimes a very good Quality, at least very usefull.—Not for a Minister, says M.M.—Yes for a Minister, in some Cases, and Circumstances.—Ay says he, at sometimes when he can communicate his Enthusiasm to All about him. But at others when his Enthusiasm will be opposed by Millions of People of great Weight, it will not do.
I am very happy to hear of these Connections. I shall discover more of them yet. This Mr. Marbois is one of the best informed, and most reflecting Men I have known in France. I warrant I shall have much Pleasure in his Conversation.
About Three O Clock, the Chevalier and I walking upon Deck, he took me under the Arm, and told me, he had something to communicate to me, which he had bound himself in Honour not to communicate, while he was in France.
{ 388 }
Les Espagnols viennent, de se declarer.—Comment, said I?—Aux Anglois said the Chevalier. They have declared that the Court of London having rejected all the Propositions for Peace, which they had made, they were now determined to declare them selves on the side of France, and to assist them with all their Force by Land and Sea, in every Part of the World, and accordingly they have ordered 17 Ships of the Line or 19 to join the Comte D'orvilliere, making up 50 Sail, in the whole. They have a Minister in America, at Congress. And they are to concert with Congress all their military Operations. Without saying any Thing about the Independance of America.2 —Je ne comprend pas le Politique D'Espagne said I. (This instantly struck me disagreably. I am jealous of some Scheme. The Subtilty, the Invention, the profound Secrecy, the Absolute Silence of these European Courts, will be too much for our hot, rash, fiery Ministers, and for our indolent, inattentive ones, tho as silent as they.) This within Crochets was not said, but is a Reflection of my own. The Chevalier added, The Basis of every Proposition for Peace that Spain has made was, an Acknowledgement of the Independance of Amerique.
He added farther, We i.e. the french have within this Month offered, that if the English would withdraw their Troops from N. York, Rhode Island and Long Island all Things should remain as they were.—Note, this I dont understand. What becomes of Georgia? What was to become of the Sea War? &c.
The Chevalier added, this was rejected by the Court of London....
By this it appears, the Court of Spain have given Mr. Lee the Go by. They may have made a Treaty with Congress by their Ambassador there.
I said the English would make great Depredations upon the Spanish Trade.—How, says the Chev[alier]?—By their little Cutters and Luggers said I.—Oh the Spaniards, said he, dont make an active Commerce like the French. Their Commerce is made in large Vessells, and always well escorted.
This News operates upon my Mind, like the Affair of Sarratoga. It is not good enough and therefore, the Disappointment makes me Melancholly.
The Chevalier said one other Thing worth Remembrance. He said that The Americans did not know, what their Commerce with France would be. The great and able Merchants had not yet traded to America. Who is it, said He, that has traded to America, but a Parcell of little Rascals, petits Coquins, and Adventurers who have sold the worst Merchandises, for great Prices.—This Conversation was all in french and may not be perfectly translated, but I believe it is.
{ 389 }
I have much Satisfaction in reflecting, that in all the Conversations I have yet had with the Chevalier, no unguarded Word has escaped me. I have conversed with that Frankness that makes a Part of my Character, but have said nothing that I did not mean to say.
I find a Gentleman in the Suit of the Chevalier, in the Character of Interpreter and English Master who has written a large Volume upon English Pronunciation and Accent. His Name is Carrè.
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.
2. Thus punctuated in the MS, but this phrase undoubtedly qualifies the preceding sentence. By the secret Convention of Aranjuez, 12 April 1779, Spain and France agreed that Spain would come into the war against Great Britain if the latter declined the terms of a Spanish proposal of mediation. In May Great Britain did decline, the Spanish and French fleets began to operate together, and on the day JA made the present entry in his Diary Spain declared war on Great Britain. But contrary to the urgent wish of Vergennes, the Spanish government had refused to include in the Convention any guarantee of American independence; Spain became an ally of France but not of the United States; and though she sent “observers” there, there was no officially accredited Spanish minister in the United States until 1784. See Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, ch. 7; Doniol, Histoire, vol. 3: ch. 13, especially p. 806–807, 850–851; Frances G. Davenport and Charles O. Paullin, eds., European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies, Washington, 1917–1937, 4:145–146.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-22

June 22. Tuesday.

We have had a fine Wind ever since We came out of L'orient, but it blows fresher today than ever. Yet We go but about 5 Knots, because being obliged to wait for the Three Friends, and the Foudroyant, which sail slow, We cannot carry Sail. With all our Sails We might now go eleven Knots. This is Mercantile Politicks of C[haumont] and W[illiams] in getting the Chevaliers Baggage on Board those Ships.
The Chevalier de la Luzerne, the other day at Mr. De Thevenards Table, gave a terrible Stroke to M. Chaumont. Chaumont said, M. Franklin parle Francais bien.—Oh que non, said the Chevalier, fort mal. Mr. Adams parle mieux que lui.—Yesterday, in a long Conversation with the Chevalier, on the Quarter Deck, he said to me, Vous connoissez les Fondemens de notre Langue tres bien. Vous parlez lentement et avec difficulté, comme un homme qui cherche pour les mots: mais vous ne pechez pas contre la Prononciation. Vous prononcez bien. Vous prononcez, beaucoup mieux que Mr. Franklin. II est impossible de l'entendre.
Mr. Marbois, with whom I fell into Conversation, this Afternoon very easily upon Deck, said a great many Things that deserve Notice.
He said that Mr. Franklin had a great many Friends among the Gens des Lettres in France, who make a great Impression in France, { 390 } that he had Beaucoup des Agremens, Beaucoup de Charlatagnerie, that he has Wit: But that he is not a Statesman. That he might be recalled at this Moment, and in that Case, that his Opinion was he would not return to America—But would stay in Paris.
That he heard many of the honest People in France lament that I left France, particularly the Count [] and the Marquis de []. That I might possibly return to France or to some other Part of Europe. That the Court of France would have Confidence in any Gentleman, that Congress should <appoint>have Confidence in. That there ought to be a Charge des Affairs or a Secretary, and a successor pointed out, in Case of the Death of Dr. F.
Mr. Marbois said some were of opinion, that as I was not recalled, I ought to have staid untill I was.
I told him that if Congress had directed me to return, I would have returned. If they had directed me to stay untill further orders I should have staid. But as they reduced me to a private Citizen I had no other Duties but those of a private Citizen to fulfill, which were to go home as soon as possible and take Care of my family. Mr. Franklin advised me to take a Journey to Geneva. My own Inclinations would have led me to Holland: But I thought my Honour concerned to return directly home.—He said I was right.
In the Evening I fell into Chat with the Chevalier. He asked me, about Governeur [Gouverneur] Morris. I said it was his Christian Name—that he was not Governor. The Chevalier said He had heard of him as an able Man. I said he was a young Man, chosen into Congress since I left it. That I had sat some Years with his Elder Brother in Congress. That Governeur was a Man of Wit, and made pretty Verses—but of a Character trés legere. That the Cause of America had not been sustained by such Characters as that of Governor Morris or his Colleague Mr. Jay, who also was a young Man about 30 and not quite so solid as his Predicessor Mr. Laurence [Laurens], upon whose Resignation in the sudden Heat Mr. Jay was chosen. That Mr. Lawrence had a great landed Fortune free from Debt, that he had long Experience in public life and an amiable Character for Honour And Probity. That he is between 50 and 60 Years of Age.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-23

June 23. Wednesday.

This Forenoon, fell strangely, yet very easily into Conversation with M.M.
I went up to him—M.M. said I, how many Persons have you in your { 391 } Train and that of the Chevalier who speak the German Language?— Only my Servant, said he, besides myself and the Chev[alier].—It will be a great Advantage to you said I in America, especially in Pensilvania, to be able to speak German. There is a great Body of Germans in P[ennsylvania] and M[aryland]. There is a vast Proportion of the City of Philadelphia, of this Nation who have their Churches in it, two of which one Lutheran the other Calvinist, are the largest and most elegant Churches in the City, frequented by the most numerous Congregations, where the Worship is all in the German Language.
Is there not one Catholic, said M.M.?—Not a German Church said I. There is a Roman catholic Church in Philadelphia, a very decent Building, frequented by a respectable Congregation, consisting partly of Germans, partly of French and partly of Irish.—All Religions are tolerated in America, said M.M., and the Ambassadors have in all Courts a Right to a Chappell in their own Way. But Mr. Franklin never had any.—No said I, laughing, because Mr. F. had no—I was going to say, what I did not say, and will not say here. I stopped short and laughed.—No, said Mr. M., Mr. F. adores only great Nature, which has interested a great many People of both Sexes in his favour.—Yes, said I, laughing, all the Atheists, Deists and Libertines, as well as the Philosophers and Ladies are in his Train—another Voltaire and Hume. —Yes said Mr. M., he is celebrated as the great Philosopher and the great Legislator of America.—He is said I a great Philosopher, but as a Legislator of America he has done very little. It is universally believed in France, England and all Europe, that his Electric Wand has accomplished all this Revolution but nothing is more groundless. He has [done]1 very little. It is believed that he made all the American Constitutions, and their Confederation. But he made neither. He did not even make the Constitution of Pensylvania, bad as it is. The Bill of Rights is taken almost verbatim from that of Virginia, which was made and published two or three Months before that of Philadelphia was begun. It was made by Mr. Mason, as that of Pensilvania was by Timothy Matlack, James Cannon and Thomas Young and Thomas Paine. Mr. Sherman of Connecticutt2 and Dr. F. made an Essay towards a Confederation about the same Time. Mr. Shermans was best liked, but very little was finally adopted from either, and the real Confederation was not made untill a Year after Mr. F. left America, and but a few Days before I left Congress.
Who, said the Chevalier, made the Declaration of Independance?— Mr. Jefferson of Virginia, said I, was the Draughtsman. The Committee consisted of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Harrison, Mr. R. { 392 } and myself,3 and We appointed [Mr.]4 Jefferson a subcommittee to draw it up.
I said that Mr. Franklin had great Merit as a Philosopher. His Discoveries in Electricity were very grand, and he certainly was a Great Genius, and had great Merit in our American Affairs. But he had no Title to the Legislator of America.
Mr. M. said he had Wit and Irony, but these were not the Faculties of Statesmen. His Essay upon the true Means of bring[ing] a great Empire to be a small one was very pretty.—I said he had wrote many Things, which had great Merit and infinite Wit and Ingenuity. His bonhomme Richard was a very ingenious Thing, which had been so much celebrated in France, gone through so many Editions, and been recommended by Curates and Bishops to so many Parishes and Diocesses.
Mr. M. asked, are natural Children admitted in America to all Priviledges like Children born in Wedlock.—I answered they are not Admitted to the Rights of Inheritance. But their fathers may give them Estates by Testament and they are not excluded from other Advantages.—In France, said M.M., they are not admitted into the Army nor any Office in Government.—I said they were not excluded from Commissions in the Army, Navy, or State, but they were always attended with a Mark of Disgrace.—M.M. said this, No doubt, in Allusion to Mr. Fs. natural Son and natural Son of a natural Son. I let myself thus freely into this Conversation being led on naturally by the Chevalier and Mr. Marbois, on Purpose because I am sure it cannot be my Duty nor the Interest of my Country that I should conceal any of my sentiments of this Man, at the same Time that I due5 Justice to his Merits. It would be worse than Folly to conceal my Opinion of his great Faults.
1. MS: “not.”
2. A mistake for Dickinson of Pennsylvania, though Sherman was a member of the committee appointed to draft the Articles, 12 June 1776 (JCC, 5:433). Franklin's rudimentary plan had been submitted to Congress almost a year earlier, July 1775.
3. A double mistake. The committee appointed on 11 June 1776 to draft a Declaration of Independence consisted of Jefferson, JA, Franklin, Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, in that order (same, p. 431). But these may have been lapses only of JA's pen and not of his tongue or memory; there is plentiful evidence that he wrote his notes of this conversation when he was sleepy.
4. MS: “by.”
5. Corrected by CFA to “do,” but JA may have meant to write “render due Justice.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-24

June 24. Thursday.

Mr. Marbois told a Story of an Ecclesiastic, who pronounced a funeral oration on Marshall Saxe.—He compared him to Alcides, who { 393 } ballanced long whether he should follow the Path of Virtue or of Sloth, and at last chose the former. But Saxe, after ballancing long, did better by determining to follow both, i.e. Pleasure and Virtue.
This Evening I went into our State Room, where I found Mr. Marbois, alone.—Mr. Marbois, said I, what Books are the best to give a Stranger an Idea of the Laws and Government of France.—I shall surprise you, Sir, said M. Marbois, and I shall make you laugh: But there is no other, but the Almanach Royal.—You say this, said I, laughing, on purpose to make me laugh.—No says he there is no Droit public in France. There are different Customs and Prerogatives in different Provinces....1 But if you wish I should talk with you, more seriously, there are several Books in which there are some good Notions upon this subject. There are 4 Volumes by Boulainvilliers, of Observations sur l'ancient Gouvernement de France, and 4 Volumes more by the Abby De Fleury on the same Subject.2 —He ran over a great deal more concerning the Salique Law and the Capitula Regnum francorum &c., which I will be more particular with him about another Time. I mentioned Domat. He said it was excellent on the civil Law: but had little on the Droit public.3
How happened it, said I, M.M., that I never saw you at Paris.— You have, said he.—Ay where? said I. I dont remember it.—I dined with you said he at the Count Sarsefields.—I said there was a great deal of Company, but that I had never seen any one of them before. They were all Strangers: but I remember the Count told me, they were all Men of Letters.—There were four Ladies, said M. Marbois, the handsomest of which was the Countess de la Luzerne, the Wife of the Count de la Luzerne. The Count himself was there, who is the Eldest Brother of the Chevalier de la Luzerne. There was another Lady there, who is not handsome and was never married. She is a Sister. —She was the Lady who sat at my left Hand at Table, said I, and was very sociable. I was charmed with her Understanding, altho I thought she was not handsome.
There was a Gentleman there, said I, who asked me if the Mahometan Religion was tolerated in America? I understood he had been in Constantinople, as Ambassador or Secretary to some Embassy. And there was a Bishop there, who came in after Dinner.—Yes said he, he is the Bishop of Langres, another Brother of the Chevalier de la Luzerne.—I fell, said I, unaccountably into a Dispute with that Bishop. He sat down by me, and fell into Conversation about the English and their Conduct, in America. In the Course of the Con[versation] I said it was the Misfortune of the English that there was { 394 } no consistent Character among those in Opposition to the Court. No Man who would Adhere to his Principles. The two Hows were in Opposition to the Ministry and the American <War> Measures. But when the Honor and Emoluments of Command were offered them, they accepted to serve under that Ministry and in support of those Measures. Even Keppell, who refused to serve vs. America, was induced to serve vs. France, who were only supporting the Americans.—The Bishop said it was the Will of the K[ing] that must controul public officers.—I said, an officer should beg to be excused, or resign rather than serve against his Conscience.—He said the King's Will must govern.—I said it was a Doctrine I could not understand.—There was a Gentleman present who attended to our Conversation in silence, till this when he said c'est un Doctrine Ecclesiastique, Monseigneur L'Eveque, said he, laughing.
This Bishop, said Mr. Marbois, is no slave, he is a Man of free sentiments. He is Duke et Pair. There are three Bishops, who are Dukes and Peers and Three others who are Counts and Peers, who are always present at the Consecration of our Kings. The Bishop of Langres is one. The Dukes of Normandy, and of Burgundy, used to be present, but as there are not [any?] at present, Monsieur and the Count D'Artois represented them at the Consecration of the present King, about 4 Years ago. The origin of the Custom is not known.
The Chevalier de la Luzerne, said I, is of an high Family.—Yes, said Mr. Marbois, he is of an ancient Family, who have formerly had in it Cardinals and Marechalls of France, but not lately. They were now likely to regain their Splendor for the Three Brothers are all very well at Court.
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. A copy of Henri, Comte de Boulainvilliers' work, Etat de la France ..., in 3 folio volumes, London, 1727–1728, is among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; so also is a copy of Claude Fleury's Droit public de France ..., 2 vols., Paris, 1769. The latter is inscribed: “Presented by Monsr. De Tournelle Consul of France at Corunna, on the 19 Deer. 1779 to John Adams”; see entry of 19 Dec., below.
3. On 30 March 1780, soon after his return to Paris, JA purchased a copy of Jean Domat's great treatise on civil law, Les loix civiles dans leur ordre naturel ..., nouv. édn., 2 vols. in 1, folio, Paris, 1777. It survives among his books in the Boston Public Library.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-25

June 25. Fryday.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-26

June 26 Saturday.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-27

27 Sunday.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-28

June 28 Monday.

We have been favoured, in our Voyage hitherto, beyond my utmost Expectations. We have enjoyed a Succession of favourable Winds and Weather, from the Time of our leaving L'orient to this Moment.
The Discipline, on Board this Ship, is a constant Subject of Speculation to me. I have seen no Punishments inflicted, no Blows struck, nor heard scarcely an Angry Word spoken, from the Captain to any of his officers, or from any of the officers to the Men. They live together in greater Intimacy and Familiarity than any Family I ever saw. The Galliard or Quarter Deck, seems to be as open to the foremast Men as the Captain. Captain, all other Officers, the Ambassador, his Train, Common Sailors, and domestic Servants are all walking upon Deck, and sitting round upon Seats on it, upon a footing of perfect Equality that is not seen in one of our Country Town Meetings in America. I never saw so much Equality and Levelling in any Society, whatever. Strange Contrast to a British, or even an American Frigate. Landais is a great Mogul, in Comparison of Chevan.
One of the Officers have favoured me with the following
Etat Major, De la Fregate du Roy la Sensible. Messieurs
Bidè de Chavaigne, Capitaine de Vaisseaux Commandant la Fregate.  
Le Chevalier de Goabriant [Goësbriand], Enseigne de Vaisseaux   Lieutenant de Fregate pour la Campagne.  
Le Chevalier D'Arriardant.   idem  
Le Chevalier de Pincaire.   idem  
   Du Breville.   idem  
Garde la Marine Messieurs
Le Chevalier de Guerivierre.    
La Roche de St. Andrè.    
   Bergèrac Chirurgien Major.    
Le Pere Usem Capucin et Aumonier.1    
The Diversions on Board the Ship are very curious. The Officers and Men sing and dance in a Ring round the Capstain,2 on the Quarter deck, in fine Weather. The Men are in Parties at Cards in all Parts of the Ship.
{ 396 }
1. Some of the names in this “Etat Major” are more or less phonetically spelled, according to JA's habit.
2. Thus in MS. Silently corrected by CFA to “capstan.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-06-30

1779. June 30. Wednesday.

Mr. Marbois, this Morning, upon my Enquiry, told me, that the Chevalier de la Luzerne is the Grandson of the famous Chancelier de la Moignon by his Mothers Side. That the Marchall Broglie is a Cousin to the Chevalier.
He also told me, that he himself, Mr. Marbois, was born in Metz, where the Comte de Broglie is Commandant. That going lately to Metz to be admitted a Counsellor in Parliament, he journeyed in Company with the Comte.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-02

July 2d. Fryday.

Walking this afternoon, with Mr. Marbois, upon the Quarter Deck, I said frankly to him, that I had expected that Mr. Garnier would have been sent to America. That I had observed some things in the Conduct of B. and C.1 which made me conjecture and believe that they were planning to have Mr. G[arnier] succeed Mr. G[érard]. That there was a great Intimacy between B. and Mr. G[arnier].
Between our selves, said Mr. Marbois, I believe that was a Reason, why he did not go.
Mr. G[arnier], said M. Marbois, is a Man of Spirit, and has a great deal of Merit, in England he did us good Service, and he speaks English very well, and understands Affairs very well, but in this Affair of his going out upon this Embassy, I cannot reconcile his Conduct, with a Man of Spirit.
I said, I had the Pleasure of some Acquaintance and a good deal of Conversation with Mr. G[arnier]. That he did me the Honour to visit me, several Times, and I had several long Conversations with him alone; that I was much pleased with his Knowledge of our Affairs from the Beginning, and with his Manners: But I thought him too much connected, and attached to a particular Circle, particularly to B. to whom he seemed to me to have a blind Attachment.
There is Reason to believe, said Mr. Marbois, that Dr. Franklin is not too much pleased with the Appointment of the Chevalier. What is the Reason of the Attachment of Dr. F. to B.?—Because B. is devoted to Mr. D[eane] and because he is the only American at Paris who loves him—all the Americans but him are at present very bitter vs. F....2 He would probably be very glad to get his G[rand] Son Secretary, but as I fancy he must think him too young to obtain the { 397 } Appointment, he will join with Mr. D. in endeavouring to get B.— D. I know from Authentic Information is endeavouring to get B. appointed. That B. was so irregular and excentric a Character, and his Conduct in American Affairs, had been such that I confessed I had an entire Distrust of him.
That at present he and Mr. C. had in a manner the Direction of American Affairs. That C[ongress] might as well appoint Mr. C. their Ambassador. But that he had not the Brains for the Management of such Affairs.
Mr. Marbois said, in Fact, he had the Management but it was altogether improper. That the K[ing] would never suffer any of his Subjects to represent foreign Courts at his, &c.
The Chevalier came up, and said as our Court would take it amiss, if an American Minister should meddle in the Cabals or Intrigues at Versailles, So the United States should resent a french Ministers taking a Part in any Disputes among them. That there was no need of Policy between France and the United States. They need only understand one another. Rien que s'entendre.
I said that in my Youth I had often heard of the Address and Intrigues of the french Court, but I could sincerely say, I had found more Intrigue and finesse among my own Countrymen, at Paris, than among the french.
It is true said the Chev[alier]—our Court at some Periods of our History have mis beaucoup de Ruses dans leur Politique. But, this had never any better Effect than to make Us distrusted by all Mankind.
1. Here and below in this entry these initials undoubtedly stand for Edward Bancroft and the elder Le Ray de Chaumont.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-04

1779 July 4th. Sunday.

This Morning, having stepped out of my Cabbin, for a few Minutes, I found upon my Return, that the Compliments of the following Gentlemen, were left chez Moy, on the Anniversary of American Independence,
Le Chevalier de La Luzerne.
Mr. De Marbois.
Mr. Bide de Chavagnes, Capne. des Vaux. du Roy de France, commdnt. la Sensible
Le Chev. de Goisbriand, the Second in Command
Mr. De la Forest.
Mr. [] Otto
Mr. [] Restif
{ 398 }
Mr. [] Carrè
I returned Compliments to the Chevr. and the Gentlemen and Thanks for their kind Congratulations on my Countries Independence, and sincerely wished, as this was the foundation of the happy Alliance between France and America, that the latest Posterity of both Countries might have Reason to rejoice in it.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-16

1779. July 16. Fryday.

Since I have been in this Ship I have read Robertsons History of America in 4 Volumes, in French,1 and four Volumes of the Observateur Anglois, in a series of Letters from my Lord All Eye to my Lord All Ear.2
I am now reading Les Negotiations De Monsieur Le President Jeannin.3 He was Ambassador from Henry the fourth, at the Hague, at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century, and is reputed one of the ablest and faithfullest Ambassadors that France ever had. Dossat, Jeannin and D'Estrades are the 3 first....4 I am pleased with this Work, as well because of the Similitude between the Circumstances of the united Provinces at this Time and those of the united States at present, as on account of the Wisdom, the Prudence, and Discretion and Integrity of the Minister.
The Observateur Anglois is extreamly entertaining but it is ruined, by an Intermixture of Debauchery and licentious Pleasure. It is vastly instructive to a Stranger, in many curious Particulars of the political state of France—gives Light upon many Characters. But probably has much Obloquy.
1. Among JA's books in the Boston Public Library are two French editions of this work, Paris, 1778, and Amsterdam, 1779, each in 4 volumes (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. An anonymous work by M. F. P. de Mairobert, first published, with a pretended London imprint, 4 vols., 1777–1778, and continued by another hand or hands; the whole (in 10 vols., 1777–1786) was given the title L'espion anglois; ou, Correspondance secréte entre Milord All‘Eye et Milord All'Ear, of which a partial set (vols. 2–5) remains among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (LC, Catalog, under Mairobert; BM, Catalogue, under “All'Eye, Milord, pseud.”; Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 157).
3. A copy of Jeannin's Négotiations is in MQA; see JA's Autobiography under 8 July 1778 and note 9 there. Pierre Jeannin had negotiated the momentous twelve-year truce between Spain and the Low Countries in 1609. C. A. Gérard wrote Vergennes from Philadelphia, 7 May 1779, that he had sounded “plusieurs Délégués [in Congress] des plus éclairés et des mieux intentionnés” on the important subject of peace terms. “Je leur ai fait lire les Lettres du Président Jeannin que j'avois apportées avec moi dans l'espérance d'en faire usage. lls sont convenus que la même méthode de terminer leur querelle auroit certains avantages et pourroit meme devenir indispensable” (Gérard, Despatches and Instructions, p. 626–627).
4. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-17

1779 July 17th. Saturday.

Three Days past We have sounded for the Grand bane but have not found it. By the Reckonings of all the officers, We ought to be now Ten Leagues upon the Banch.
It is surprizing to me, that We have not seen more Fish. A few Whales, a few Porpoises and two Sharks are all We have seen. The two Sharks, We caught, with a Shark Hook and a Bit of Pork for a Bait. We cutt up the first, and threw over board his Head and Entrails, all of which the other, which was playing after the Ship, snatched at with infinite Greediness and swallowed down in an instant. After We had taken him, We opened him, and found the Head and Entrails of his Companion in him.1
Mr. Marbois is indefatigable. As soon as he is up, he reads the Correspondance of Mr. Gerard, for some Hours. The Minister it seems has furnished them with a Copy of all Mr. Gerards Letters, which appear to be voluminous. After this He reads aloud, to Mr. Carrè, Mr. Otto, Mr. Restif or Mr. Forrest, one of Congreves or Garricks Plays. Then he writes some Hours.
He is unwilling to let me see Gerards Letters, or what he writes.
1. Marbois relates this incident, with variant details and some gusto, in his travel journal (Eugene P. Chase, ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers, N.Y., 1929, p. 54–55).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-20

1779. July 20. Tuesday.

I was struck with these Words in a Letter from the President Jeannin to M. Bellegarde of 28 Jany. 1609
Si le Roy “est content de ma Conduite, et de la Diligence et Fidelitè, dont j'use pour executer ponctuellement ce qu'il m'a commandé c'est deja une Espece de recompense qui donne grande Satisfaction à un homme de bien; et quand il ne m'en aviendra rien de mieux, j'en accuserai plutot mon malheur que le defaut de sa bonne volonté. Aussi suisje si accoustumé à travailler beaucoup, et profiter peu, que j'en ay acquis une habitude qui me rend plus capable de souffrir patiemment la rudesse de cette mauvaise Fortune, sans m'en plaindre, ni murmurer.”
It is said that H[enri] 4. altho he honoured Jeannin with his Confidence and Trusts, yet recompensed him very ill, notwithstanding the magnificent Rewards he gave to Sully, whose Modesty, and Delicacy did not hinder him from asking for them.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-30

1779, Fryday July 30.

We are not yet arrived to the Bane of St. George. Calms, contrary { 400 } Winds &c. detain Us. Saw a Whale spouting and blowing and leaping to day in our Wake—a Grampus they say.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0006-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-07-31

1779 July 31 Saturday.

Found Bottom this Morning on St. Georges Bane. The Weather, the Wind, the Discovery of our Longitude, give Us all, fine Spirits this Morning. The Wind is as good as We could wish it. We are now about to pass the Day and Night of greatest Danger. By the present Appearances, We are highly favoured. But Appearances are often deceitful.
At the Moment I am writing a thick fog comes up, on all Sides, as if directed specially to conceal us from our Ennemies.
I am not so presumptuous as to flatter myself that these happy Circumstances are all ordered for the Preservation of this Frigate, but not to remark them would be Stupidity, not to rejoice in them would be Ingratitude.
If We should be prospered so much as to arrive well, what News shall We find public or private? We may find Dissappointments on Shore.—But our Minds should be prepared for all.1
1. St. George's Bank is about 100 miles east of Cape Cod. On 3 Aug. the Sensible entered Boston Harbor.
“His Excellency [La Luzerne] and suit landed on General Hancock's wharf, about 5 o'Clock the same afternoon, where they were received by a Committee from the Hon. Council of this State, who were waiting with carriages for their reception; they were conducted to the house late the residence of the Continental General. He was saluted by a discharge of 13 cannon on his landing, from the fortress on Fort-Hill, and every other mark of respect shewn him which circumstances would admit” (Boston Evening Post and General Advertiser, 7 Aug. 1779).
From the last entry in JA's accounts printed at the end of 1778, above, it would appear that JA and JQA left the Sensible in Nantasket Roads and were rowed to Braintree on 2 August. But in a letter addressed to President John Jay from Braintree on 3 Aug., JA gives that day as the date of his arrival—in the letterbook copy as at “Boston Harbour,” and in the recipient's copy as at “Nantasket Road” (LbC, Adams Papers; RC, PCC, No. 84, I). The letter to Jay introduces La Luzerne and Marbois in very favorable terms.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-13

1779 November 13th. Saturday.1

Took Leave of my Family, and rode to Boston with my Son Charles, nine years of Age last May. At four O Clock went on board the french Frigate the Sensible, Mr. Thaxter,2 my Son John, twelve Years old last July, and my Servant Joseph Stevens having come on Board in the Morning.—I find the Frigate crouded with Passengers, and Sailors, full 350 Men. They have recruited a great Number here.3
1. First entry in “P[aper] B[ook] No. 30” as labeled and numbered by CFA (our D/JA/30), an unstitched gathering of leaves without cover bearing the { 401 } following title in JA's hand on the front leaf: “Journal from 13 Nov. 1779 to 6. January 1780.”
On 9 Aug. JA had been elected to represent Braintree in the convention called to frame a new state constitution (Braintree Town Records, p. 503). He attended the plenary sessions of that body in the First Church in Cambridge, 1–7 Sept., and presumably again from 28 Oct. to 11 Nov.— that is, throughout its second session, which ended two days before he sailed again for Europe. On 4 Sept. he was named one of a committee of thirty members to draft “a Declaration of Rights, and the Form of a Constitution,” to be laid before the Convention at its second session (Mass. Constitutional Convention, 1779–1780, Jour., p. 26). The payroll records of the Massachusetts Council indicate that he was paid £90 for twenty-five days' attendance at committee meetings between the first and second sessions (M-Ar: vol. 170, fol. 413; vol. 171, fol. 20). JA told Edmund Jenings in a letter of 7 June 1780: “I was by the Convention put upon the Committee—by the Committee upon the Subcommittee—and by the Subcommittee appointed a Sub Sub Committee—so that I had the honour to be principal Engineer” (Adams Papers). He was in fact sole draftsman of the earliest form of the instrument which, after some revisions in committee and others in convention, none of them drastic, was adopted by the people in 1780 and is still in force as the organic law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, though amended from time to time by later constitutional conventions. With its simple but eloquent preamble on the principle of government by compact, its elevated Declaration of Rights, and its unprecedented clauses requiring state support for education and the encouragement of “literature and the sciences,” it is JA's chief monument as a political thinker. In editing his grandfather's writings CFA provided a carefully edited text of the Constitution of 1780, together with commentary and notes showing the modifications of the author's draft (so far as it was then possible to do so) through the point of its adoption by the Convention in its third session, Jan.–March 1780 (Works, 4:213–267). Though JA's MS appears to be irretrievably lost, copies of the 1779 printings annotated by members while the Convention was in progress have now come to light, and these will make possible a more complete and accurate presentation of the evolution of the text. See entry of 19 Dec., below, and note 1 there.
Meanwhile, on 27 Sept. 1779, after “a great deal of disagreeable altercation and debate,” JA was elected by Congress, on the nomination of Henry Laurens, minister plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, and John Jay was elected minister to Spain, leaving Arthur Lee, who was persona non grata to the French government, without a post (JCC, 15:1107–1113; John Fell, Diary, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 4:439, 449; see also p. 437–438, 442–450; Lovell to JA, 27, 28 Sept. [1] and [2], Adams Papers; Gerry to JA, 29 Sept., same; and Gérard, Despatches and Instructions, p. 100–118, 893–898). Thus was settled an issue which had agitated Congress for months and of which perhaps the most lucid account is that by Burnett in his Continental Congress, ch. 23. JA's commissions (dated 29 Sept.) and his instructions (see below) were forwarded to him in a letter of 20 Oct. from Samuel Huntington, who had replaced Jay as president of Congress upon the latter's appointment to Spain (Adams Papers; printed in Works, 7:119–120). The instructions, though dated 16 Oct., had been adopted by Congress as early as 14 Aug., and the French minister in Philadelphia had had a material part in framing them (JCC, 14:956–966; copied, together with the commissions, from the originals in the Adams Papers, into JA's Autobiography at the beginning of its third and last section, entitled “Peace”). JA accepted his appointment in a letter to Huntington of 4 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers; also copied into his Autobiography). Gérard and La Luzerne proposed that he take passage in the Sensible, which was still in Boston Harbor, and gave orders to Capt. Chavagnes to that effect (La Luzerne to JA, 29 Sept. 1779, Adams Papers; copied into JA's Autobiography along with an { 402 } undated letter from La Luzerne to Chavagnes).
2. John Thaxter Jr. (1755-1791), of Hingham, Harvard 1774, first cousin to AA through her aunt, Anna (Quincy) Thaxter. He had studied law in JA's office from 1774 until his admission to the bar in 1777, had at the same time been tutor to the Adams sons, and in 1778 had served as clerk in the office of the Secretary of Congress at York and Philadelphia, He was now going to Europe as JA's private secretary, a post he held until Sep. 1783, when he returned to America bringing the Definitive Treaty with Great Britain. He later settled in Haverhill and practiced law there. This note is largely based on Thaxter's correspondence with various members of the Adams famiy in the Adams Papers and a small collection of Thaxter family papers in MHi: see also History of the Town of Hingham, Mass. [Hingham,] 1893, 3:233; MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):152, 158; JA, Works, 3:354–355, 383; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:377.
3. On the 14th the Sensible fell down to King's Roads (now President Roads), and on the 15th it sailed about 10 A.M. CJQA, Diary, 15 Nov. 1779; Francis Dana, Journal, 1779–1780, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0007-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-16


Found a Grammar, entitled, Élémens de la Langue Angloise, ou Méthode pratique, pour apprendre facilement cette Langue. Par M. Siret, A Paris, chez Ruault, Libraire, rue de la Harpe, près de la rue Serpente. 1773. Avec Approbation, et Permission.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-24

24. Wednesday.

On the grand Bank of N[ew] F[ound] L[and].—A few days ago, We spoke an American Privateer, the General Lincoln; Captain Barnes. Wrote Letters by him to my family. Mr. Dana wrote.1 Mr. Thaxter, Mr. John, and several others.2
Heard, since I came on board, several Hints concerning W.; Son of ——.3 That he has made a great Fortune—by Privateering, by Trade, by buying Sailors Shares, and by gambling. That he has won of C. a great Sum of Money. C., whom nobody pities. That —— has lost Rep[utation] by the Appointment of S., which is probable. That the Son has made Money, by knowing what was wanted for the Navy, and purchasing it, in great Quantities and then selling it, to the Board. That the Agent, B., has made a great fortune. That his Wife is a great Tory. Anecdotes of her Conversation.—That B. would certainly be hanged, if it was not that she was a Tory. Nasty, Poison Paper Money, &c. &c. &c. Not to put that nasty Paper, with our other Money.
Jer[emiah] A[llen] is a very different Man from his Brother J. None of that Wit, Humour, or Fun—none of that volatile Genius appears. There is a Softness, and a Melancholly, in his face, which indicates a Goodness. Not intemperate, or vicious, to Appearance.
{ 403 }
1. Francis Dana (1743–1811), Harvard 1762, lawyer, member of the Massachusetts Council, and delegate to the Continental Congress, 1777–1779, was accompanying JA as “Secretary to my Commission and Chargé D'Affaires” (JA, Autobiography). His later career as diplomat and judge is related in DAB and in W. P. Cresson, Francis Dana ..., N.Y. and Toronto, 1930, a work full of careless errors. Dana's papers are in MHi and include a journal kept from Nov. 1779 to Feb. 1780 that has proved useful in annotating JA's Diary for this period.
2. JQA's letter to his mother, “At Sea,” 20 Nov. 1779, is in Adams Papers.
3. Winslow, son of Gen. James Warren; see JA's Autobiography under this date. James Warren was currently a member of the Eastern Navy Board. His son Winslow sailed for Europe in the following June and wandered from Amsterdam to Lisbon in an unsuccessful search for commercial opportunities and consulships (Warren-Adams Letters, vol. 2, passim; Winslow Warren's European letters and journals, 1780–1785, MHi: Mercy Warren Papers).
As for the other persons alluded to by initials in this paragraph, plausible guesses as to their identity can be and have been made, but none of these guesses is wholly satisfactory.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-25

25. Thursday.

Arose at 4. A fair Wind and good Weather. We have passed the Grand Bank, sounded Yesterday afternoon and found bottom in 30 fathom of Water, on the Eastermost Edge of the Bank.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0007-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-11-26

26. Fryday.

Leur Gouvernement, (des Bataviennes) fut un Malange de Monarchie, d'aristocratie, et democratic On y voioit un chef, qui n'etoit proprement, que le premier des Citoiens, et qui donnoit, moins des ordres, que des Conseils. Les Grands, qui jugeoient les Procés de leur district, et commandoient les Troupes, etoient choisis, comme les rois dans les assemblees generales. Cent Personnes, prises dans la Multitude, servoient de Surveillans a chaque comte, et de chefs aux differens hameaux. La nation entiere étoit en quelque Sorte, une Armée toujours sur pied. Chaque famille y composoit un corps de Milice qui servoit sous le Capitaine qu'elle se donnoit.1
1. JA was reading a French work on early Dutch history, but it has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-05

1779 December [5]. Sunday.

We are now supposed to be within 100 Leagues of Ferrol or Corunna, to one of which Places We are bound. The Leak in the Frigate, which keeps two Pomps constantly going, has determined the Captn. to put into Spain.1
This Resolution is an Embarrassment to me. Whether to travail by Land to Paris, or wait for the Frigate. Whether I can get Carriages, { 404 } Horses, Mules &c. What Accommodations I can get upon the Road, how I can convey my Children, what the Expence will be, are all Questions that I cannot answer. How much greater would have been my Perplexity, If the rest of my family had been with me.
The Passage of the Pyrenees is represented as very difficult. It is said there is no regular Post. That we must purchase Carriages and Horses &c. I must enquire.
1. “29th [Nov.], The ship is very leaky the passengers are all called to the Pump four times per day 8 oclock A M. 12 oclock 4 oclock P M. and 8 oclock P M.” (JQA, Diary, 29 Nov.). Dana mentions (on the 28th) that Capt. Chavagnes and the other officers were all taking their turns at the pumps (Journal, 1779–1780, MHi). The Sensible had encountered heavy weather from the 25th to the 28th, and on the 26th the Courrier de l'Europe, a chasse marée that had accompanied it to Boston and thus far on the return voyage, was dismasted and probably lost at sea (same).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-07

1779 December 7. Tuesday.

About 11. O Clock discovered Land—two large Mountains, one sharp and steep, another large and broad.—We passed 3 Capes, Finisterre, Tortanes [Torinaña] and Veillane [Villano].
Yesterday the Chevr. de la Molion gave me some Nuts which he call'd Noix d'Acajou. They are the same which I have often seen, and which were called Cooshoo Nuts. The true name is Acajou Nuts. They are shaped like our large white Beans. The outside Shell has an Oil in it that is corrosive, caustic, or burning. In handling one of these Shells enough to pick out the meat I got a little of this oyl on my fingers, and afterwards inadvertently rubbing my Eyes, especially my Left, I soon found the Lids swelled and inflamed up to my Eyebrow.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-08

8 Wednesday.

Got into Ferrol, where We found the french Ships of the Line, went on Board the General Sade,1 went ashore, visited the Spanish General Don Joseph St. Vincent, took a Walk about Town, saw a great No. of Spanish and french Officers. Returned on Board the Frigate.2
1. See entry of 13 Dec., below.
2. JQA's Diary provides a great deal more detail on the entrance to the harbor and the events of this day. This is true occasionally on succeeding days, and Francis Dana's Journal in Spain is also very full. They are cited here, however, only when they clarify or correct JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-09

9. Thursday.

Came on Shore with all my family. Took Lodgings. Dined with the Spanish Lieutenant General of the Marine with 24 french and Spanish { 405 } officers. Don Joseph is an old Officer, but [has] a great deal of Vivacity and Bonhommie.
The Difference between the Faces and Airs of the French and Spanish Officers, is more obvious and striking than that of their Uniforms. Gravity and Silence distinguish the one—Gaiety and Vivacity and Loquacity the others. The Spanish are laced with a broad and even gold Lace, the french with scalloped. The french Wigs and Hair have rows of Locks over the Ears—the Spanish one. The french Bags are small—the Spanish large. The Spaniards have many of them very long Hair queued, reaching down to their Hams almost. They have all a new Cock Aid, which is made up of two a red one and a white in token of the Union of the two Nations.
Went to the Comedy, or Italien opera. Many Officers, few Ladies. Musick and Dancing tolerable. The Language, Italien, not understood. A dull Entertainment to me.
This Evening the French Consul arrived from Corunna,1 and was introduced to me at my Chamber by the french Vice Consul at this Place. Both made me the politest Offers of Assistance of every Sort.
1. His name was Detournelle (Almanach Royal, 1778, p. 501). The following entries record many kindnesses for which the Adams party were indebted to him.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-10

1779 December 10. Fryday.

Supped and slept at my Lodgings. Breakfasted on Spanish Chocolate which answers the Fame it has acquired in the World.
Every Body congratulates Us, on our Safe Arrival at this Place. The Leak in the Sensible, increases since she has been at Anchor, and every Body thinks We have been in great danger.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-13

13 Monday.

Yesterday, I walked about the Town but there is nothing to be seen, excepting two Churches and the Arsenals, dry docks, Fortifications and Ships of War.
The Inconvenience of this Harbour is, the Entrance is so narrow, that there is no Possibility of going out but when the Wind is one Way, i.e. South East, or thereabouts.
The Three french Ships of the Line here are the Triomphant, the Souverain and the Jason, the first of 80 Guns, the 2d. 74, the 3d. 64.
M. Le Comte de Sade is the Chef D'Escadre or General. Mr. Le Chevalier de Grasse Preville is the Capitaine de Pavilion.1
Mr. Le Chevr. de Glandevesse is Capitain of the Souverain.
Mr. de la Marthonie commands the Jason.
{ 406 }
1. The Chevalier de Gras Préville, capitaine de vaisseau, 1777 (G. Lacour-Gayet, La marine française sous la règne de Louis XVI, Paris, 1905, p. 635). In his Autobiography under this dateJA remembered, probably incorrectly, that this officer had been introduced to him as the brother of the famous naval commander Comte de Grasse.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-14

1779 Decr. 14. Tuesday.

Walked to the Barracks and dry docks, to shew them to Cha[rles]. The Stone of which these Works are made is about as good as Braintree Southcommon Stone. Went into the Church of St. Julien, which is magnificent—Numbers of Devots upon their Knees.
This afternoon We cross the Water to go to Corunna.
[]Street []near the Head the House
We have lodged en la Calle de la Madalena, junto coca, en casa
de Pepala Botoneca.
The Chief Magistrate of this Town is the Corregidor. Last Evening and the Evening before I spent, in Conversation with the Consul, on the Law of Nations and the Writers on that Law, particularly on the Titles in those Authors concerning Ambassadors and Consuls. He mentioned several on the Rights and Duties of Ambassadors and Consuls, and some on the Etiquette and formalities and Ceremonies.
I asked him many Questions. He told me that the Office of Consul was regulated by an Ordinance of the King, but that some Nations had entered into particular Stipulations with the King. That the Consuls of different Nations were differently treated by the same Nation. That as Consul of France he had always claimed the Priviledges of the most favoured Nation. That he enquired what Priviledges were enjoyed by the Consuls of England, Italy, <Holland> Germany &c.
That there is for the Province of Gallice, a Sovereign Court of Justice which has both civil and criminal Jurisdiction. That it is without Appeal in all criminal Cases: but in some civil cases an appeal lies to the Council. That there is not Time for an Application for Pardon for they execute forthwith. That hanging is the capital Punishment. They burn, some times, but it is after death. That there was lately a sentence for Parricide. The Law required that the Criminal should be headed up in an Hogshead, with an Adder, a Toad, a Dog, a Cat, &c. and cast into the Sea. That he looked at it, and found that they had printed those Animals on the Hogshead, and that the dead body was put into the Cask. That the ancient Laws of the Visigoths is still in Use, with the Institutes, Codes, Novelles &c. of Justinian the current law and ordonnances of the King.
{ 407 }
That he will procure for me a Passeport from the General, or Governor of the Province, who resides a[t] Corunna, which will secure me all Sorts of facilities as I ride the Country, but whether through the Kingdom or only through the Province of Galicia I dont know.
I have not seen a Charriot, Coach, Phaeton, Chaise, nor Sulky, since I have been in the Place. Very few Horses, and those small, poor and shabby. Mules and Asses are numerous, but small. There is no Hay in this Country. The Horses &c. eat Straw—Wheat Straw.
The Bread, the Cabbages, Colliflowers, Apples, Pears &c. are good. The Beef, Pork, Poultry &c. are good. The Fish are good, excellent Eels, Sardines and other fish and tolerable Oysters, but not like ours.
There has been no frost yet. The Verdure in the Gardens and fields is fresh. The Weather is so warm that the Inhabitants have no fires, nor fire Places but in their Kitchens. They tell us We shall have no colder Weather before May, which is the coldest Month in the Year. Men and Women and Children are seen in the Streets, with bare feet and Legs standing on the cold Stones in the Mud, by the Hour together. The Inhabitants of both Sexes, have black Hair, and dark Complexions with fine black Eyes. Men and Women have long Hair ramilied down to their Waists and even some times to their Knees.
There is little Appearance of Commerce or Industry except about the Kings Docks and Yards and Works. Yet the Town has some Symptoms of growth and Prosperity. Many new Houses are building of Stone, which comes from the rocky Mountains round about of which there are many. There are few goods in the Shops. Little show in their Markett or on their Exchange. There is a pleasant Walk, a little out of Town between the Exchange and the Barracks.
There are but two Taverns in this Town. Captain Chavagne and his Officers are lodged in one, at Six Livres each per day. The other is kept by a Native of America who speaks English and french as well as Spanish and is an obliging Man. Here We could have loged at <Six Livres> a dollar a day each, but We were obliged to give 129 dollars for six days besides the Barber, and a multitude of other little Expences, and besides being kept constantly unhappy by an uneasy Landlady.
Finding that I must reside some Weeks in Spain, either waiting for a Frigate or travelling through the Kingdom, I determined to acquire the Language, to which Purpose, I went to a Bookseller and purchased Sobrino's Dictionary in three Volumes in Quarto, and the Grammatica Castellana which is an excellent Spanish Grammar, in their own Tongue, and also a Latin grammar in Spanish, after which { 408 } Monsr. de Grasse made me a Present of a very handsome Grammar of the Spanish Tongue in french by Sobrino.1 By the help of these Books, the Children and Gentlemen are learning the Language very fast. To a Man who understands Latin it is very easy. I flatter myself that in a Month I should be able to read it very well and to make myself understood as well as understand the Spaniards.2
The Consul and Mr. Linde an Irish Gentleman a Master of a Mathematical Academy here, say that the Spanish Nation in general have been of Opinion that the Revolution in America was of a bad Example to the Spanish Colonies and dangerous to the Interests of Spain, as the United States if they should become ambitious and be seised with the Spirit of Conquest might aim at Mexico and Peru.
The Consul mentioned Reynalles Opinion that it was not for the Interest of the Powers of Europe, that America should be independant.
I told the Irish Gentleman, that Americans hated War: that Agriculture and Commerce were their Objects, and it would be their Interest as much as that of the Dutch to keep Peace with all the World, untill their Country should be filled with Population which could not be in many Centuries. That War and the Spirit of Conquest was the most diametrically opposite to their Interests, as they would divert their Attention, Wealth, Industry, Activity &c. from a certain Source of Prosperity, and even Grandeur and Glory, to an uncertain one, nay to one that it is certain they could never make any Advantage of. That the Government of Spain over their Colonies had been such that she never could attempt to introduce such fundamental Innovations as those by which England had provoked and compelled hers to revolt, and the Spanish Constitution was such as could extinguish the first Sparks of discontent, and quel the first risings of the People. That it was amazing to me that a Writer so well informed as Reynale could ever give an Opinion that it was not for the Interest of the Powers of Europe, that America should be independant, when it was so easy to demonstrate that it was for the Interest of every one, except England. That they could loose nothing by it, but certainly would every one gain Something, many a great deal.
It would be a pretty Work to shew, how France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Russia, Sweeden, Denmark would gain. It would be easy to shew it.
1. The first volume of Francisco Sobrino's Diccionario nuevo de las lenguas española y francesca, 6th edn., Brussels, 1760, and the same author's Grammaire nouvelle espagnolle et françoise ..., 6th edn., Brussels, 1745, survive among { 409 } JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. But see JA's second thoughts on learning Spanish, in his Autobiography under this date.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-15

1779 December 15. Wednesday.

This Morning We arose at 5 or 6 O Clock, went over in a Boat, and mounted our Mules. Thirteen of them in Number and two Mulateers —one of whom went before for a Guide and the other followed after, to pick up Stragglers. We rode over very bad roads, and very high Mountains, where We had a very extensive Country, appearing to be a rich Soil and well cultivated but very few Plantations of Trees.— Some orange Trees and some Lemmon Trees, many Nut trees, a few Oaks &c. We dined at Hog Bridge, about half Way, upon Provision made by the french Consul, whose Attention and Politeness has been very conspicuous, so has that of the Vice Consul at Ferrol. We arrived at Corunna about seven 0 Clock and put up at a Tavern kept by Persons who speak french. An Officer who speaks English kept open the Gate for Us to enter, attended Us to our Lodgings, and then insisted on our Visiting the General who is Governor of the Province1 and a Coll., who commands under him and is Military Governor of the Town. These are both Irish Gentlemen. They made many Professions of Friendship to our Cause and Country. The Governor of the Province, told me he had orders from Court to treat all Americans as their best friends. They are all very inquisitive about Mr. Jays Mission, to know who he is, where he was born, whether ever Member of Congress, whether ever President. When he embarked, in what Frigate, where he was destined, whether to France or Spain, and to what Port of France, Brest, L'orient or Nantes.
The General politely invited me to dine. Said that Spaniards made no Compliments, but were very sincere.
He asked me when this War would finish? I said Pas encore—But when the Kings of France and Spain would take the Resolution to send 20 or 30 more line of Battle Ships to reinforce the Comte d'Estain and enable him to take all the British Forces and Possessions in America.
1. Don Pedro Martin Cermeño (or Sermeño), who on 18 Dec. issued a passport to JA and his party for their expedition to France. The Passport for John Adams and His Party in Spain, Issued by the Governor of Galicia, 1779 facing page 290passport is in the Adams Papers and is reproduced in this volume.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-16

16. Thursday.

This Morning the Governor of the Province of Gallice, and the Governor of the Town of Corunna came to my Lodgings at the Hotel { 410 } du grand Amiral, to return the Visit I made them last Evening. His Excellency invited me to dine with him tomorrow with all my family. He insisted upon seeing my Sons. Said I run a great Risque in taking with me, my Children. Said he had passed not far from my Country, in an Expedition vs. the Portugees. Said that he and every Thing in his Power was at my Service, &c. That he did not speak English, &c— I told him I was studying Spanish, and hoped that the next Time I should have the Honour to see his Excellency I should be able to speak to him in Spanish. He smiled and bowed. He made some Enquiries about American Affairs and took Leave.
Mr. Dana and I walked about the Town, saw the Fortifications, the Shipping, the Markett, Barracks &c. and returned.
After dinner Mr. Trash and his Mate, of a Schooner belonging to the Traceys of Newbury Port, who have been obliged by bad Weather and contrary Winds to put in here from Bilboa, came to visit me. I gave them Letters to Congress and to my family.1
The french Consul came in, and Mr. Dana and I walked with him to the Tour de Fer. This is a very ancient Monument. It is of Stone an hundred foot high. It was intended for a Lighthouse, perhaps as it commands a very wide Prospect of the Sea. It sees all the Vessells coming from the East and from the West. There was formerly a magnificent Stair Case Escalier, winding round it in a Spiral from the Ground to the Top, and it is said that some General once rode to the Top of it, in a Coach, or on horse back. But the Stairs are all taken away and the Stones employed to pave the Streets of Corunna. The Mortar, with which the Stones are cemented is as hard as the Stones themselves, and appears to have a large Mixture of powdered Stone in it.
There are in this Town Three Convents of Monks and two of Nuns. One of the Nunneries, is of Capuchins, very austere. The Girls eat no meat, wear no linnen, sleep on the floor never on a bed, their faces are always covered up with a Veil and they never speak to any Body.
1. A letter from JA to AA, 16 Dec., is in Adams Papers, and one to Pres. Huntington written the same day in PCC, No. 84, I (copied from LbC, Adams Papers, into JA's Autobiography under this date).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-17

1779 December 17. Fryday.

The Consul conducted me to the Souvereign Court of Justice. There are three Halls—one of civil Jurisdiction, another of Criminal, and a third of both. The three youngest Judges are the criminal Judges.
{ 411 }
The Consul introduced me to the President, and the other Judges and to the Attorney General in their Robes. The Robes, Wigs and bands both of the Judges and Lawyers are nearly like ours at Boston. The President and other Judges and the Procureur du Roi treated me with great Ceremony, conducted me into the Place in the Prison, where the Prisoners are brought out who have any Thing to say to the Judges. Waited on me, into each of the three Halls. Shewed me the Three folio Volumes of the Laws of the Country, which are the Laws of the Goths, Visigoths, Ripuarians &c., incorporated on the Corpus Juris. There are no Seats for any Body in the Halls but for the Judges. Every Body stands. The President told me, that on Monday next there would be an interesting Cause, invited me to come, said he would receive me in Character, and place me by the side of himself on the Bench. Or if I chose to avoid this Parade, he would order an Officer to shew me, a convenient Place to see and hear.
Soon after a Part of an Irish Battalion of Troops was drawn up before the Court House, and made a fine Appearance.
Dined with the Governor, of the Province of Gallicia. Mr. Dana, Mr. Thaxter, Mr. Allen and myself. By the help of two Irish Officers, I had much Conversation with the Governor, who speaks only Spanish.
We sent for our Book of Maps and shewed him, the Position of N.Y. and R. Is., and the Possessions of the English there &c.
Went with the Consul into a Convent of Franciscans. Walked into the Church, and all about the Yards, and Cells.—Here are the Cells of Jealousy, Hatred, Envy, Revenge, Malice, Intrigue &c. said the Consul. There is more Intrigue in a Chapter of Monks for the Choice of a Prior than was employed to bring about the entire Revolution in America. A Monk has no Connections, nor Affections to soften him, but is delivered up to his Ambition, &C.1—The Inscriptions over the Cells in Latin Verse were ingenious and good Morals.
Drank Tea with the Consul. The Attorney General was there, and Mr. Logoanere,2 and the Captain of the french Frigate the [Belle Poule.]3
Inscribed over the Cell of a Monk, at Corunna.

Si tibi pulchra domus, si splendida mensa, quid inde?

Si Species Auri, atque Argenti massa, quid inde?

Si tibi sponsa decens, si sit generosa; quid inde?

Si tibi sint nati; si prasdia magna, quid inde?

Si fueris pulcher, fortis, divesve, quid inde?

longus Servorum, si serviat Ordo; quid inde?

{ 412 }

Si doceas alios in qualibet Arte; quid inde?

Si rideat mundus; si prospera cuncta; quid inde?

Si prior, aut Abbas, si Rex, si Papa; quid inde?

Si Rota fortunae te tollat ad astra; quid inde?

Annis si faelix regnes mille; quid inde?

tam cito praetereunt haec omnia, quae nihil inde?

Sola manet Virtus, qua glorificabimur inde:

Ergo Deo servi; quia sat tibi provenit inde,4

quod fecisse volens in tempore quo morieris

Hoc facias Juvenis, dum corpore sanus haberis.

quod nobis concedas Deus noster. Amen.

1. In JA's Autobiography under this date the three foregoing sentences are enclosed in quotation marks.
2. Michel Lagoanere, “a Gentleman who has acted for some time as an American Agent at Corunna” (JA to Huntington, 16 Jan. 1780, LbC, Adams Papers). He gave indispensable aid to the Adams party by arranging for their trip across northern Spain. In addition to long letters of advice on routes and means of travel (17, 26 Dec., Adams Papers), Lagoanere sent JA as a gift a copy of Joseph Mathias Escrivano's Itinerario espanol, o guia de caminos, para ir desde Madrid a todas las ciudades ..., 3d edn., Madrid, 1767, which survives among JA's books in the Boston Public Library and has been useful in verifying contemporary spellings of Spanish place names.
3. Blank in MS; the name has been supplied from JA's Autobiography.
4. The sense calls for a full stop here: “Therefore serve God, because it is (will be) to your advantage hereafter. / What you will wish at the time of your death you had done, / Do now while young,” &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-18

1779 Decr. 18 Saturday.

Walked all round the Town, round the Wharves, Slips &c. on the Water and round the Walls vs. the Country.
Afternoon walked, to see the Artillery. 12 Stands of Arms, Cannon, Bombs, Balls, Mortars &c. have been all packed up for Sometime. By the last Post Orders arrived to put up 5000 more in the same Manner, ready to embark, nobody knows where. Saw the Magazines, Arsenals, Shops &c., Carpenters, Wheelwrights, Blacksmiths &c—shewn Us by the Commandant of Artillery, the Consuls Brother in Law.
The Consuls <Name> Address is De Tournelle Consul de France a la Corogne.
The Governor of the Town is Patricio O Heir.
Martin Sermenio.
Went into the Church of a Convent, found them all upon their Knees, chanting the Prayers to the Virgin, it being the Eve of the Ste. Vierge. The Wax Candles lighted, by their Glimmerings upon the Paint and Gilding made a pretty Appearance and the Music was good.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-19

1779 December 19. Sunday.

Dined, with Monsieur De Tournelle the French Consul, in Company, with all my Family, the Regent, or President of the Sovereign Court of the Province of Galicia, the Attorney General, the Administrator of the Kings Revenue of Tobacco, and the Commandant of Artillery, Mr. Lagonaore, &c.
We had every Luxury, but the Wines were Bourdeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Sherry, Alicante, Navarre, and Vin de Cap. The most delicious in the World.
The Chief Justice and Attorney General expressed a great Curiosity, to know our Forms