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

Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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

6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
of
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 of Government, and I sent to my Lodgings and presented each of them with a Copy of the Report of the Committee of Convention of Mass. Bay.1 They said they would have them translated into Spanish, and they should be highly entertained with them.
I have found the Pork of this Country, to day and often before, the most excellent and delicious, as also the Bacon, which occasioned My Enquiry into the manner of raising it. The Chief Justice informed me, that much of it was fatted upon Chesnuts and much more upon Indian Corn, which was much better, but that in some Provinces of Spain they had a peculiar Kind of Acorns, growing upon old Pasture Oaks, which were very sweet and produced better Pork than either Chesnuts or Indian Corn. That there were Parts of Spain, where they fatted Hogs upon Vipers—they cutt off their Heads and gave the Bodies to their Swine, and they produced better Pork than Chesnuts, Indian Corn or Acorns.
These Gentlemen told Us that all Kinds of Grain, would come to a good Markett in this Country even Indian Corn for they never raised more than their Bread and very seldom enough. Pitch, Tar, Turpentine, Timber, Masts &c. would do. Salt Fish, Sperma Cceti Candles, &c. Rice &c. Indigo and Tobacco came from their own Colonies. The Administrator of the Kings Tobacco told me that Ten Million Weight was annually consumed in Spain in Smoking.
We enquired concerning the manner of raising the Kings Revenue. We [were] told that there were now no Farmers General in Spain. That they had been tried, and found prejudicial and abolished. That all was now collected for the King. That he appointed Collectors, for particular Towns or other Districts. That Duties were laid upon Exports and Imports and Taxes upon Lands.
We enquired the manner of raising the Army. Found that some were enlisted for a Number of Years. That others were draughted by Lot, { 414 } for a Number of Years. And that a Number of Years service entituled to several valuable Priviledges and Exemptions—but the Pay was small. The Consul gave me two Volumes, Droit public de France: Ouvrage posthume de M. l'Abbé Fleury, compose pour l'education des Princes; Et publié avec des Notes Par J. B. Daragon Prof, en 1'Université de Paris.2
1. The Report of a Constitution or Form of Government for the Common wealth of Massachusetts: Agreed upon by the Committee . . ., Boston, 1779, a “committee print” of the earliest text of the Massachusetts Constitution, which was largely JA's own composition; see note 1 on entry of 13 Nov., above.
In his Autobiography under this dateJA enlarges on the conversation at this dinner party.
2. Still among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library'). See also entry of 24 June, above, and note 2 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-20

1779 Decr. 20. Monday.

Went to the Audiencia, where We saw the four Judges setting in their Robes, the Advocates in theirs a little below and the Attorneys lower down still. We heard a Cause argued. The Advocates argued sitting, used a great deal of Action with their Hands and Arms, and spoke with Eagerness. But the Tone of oratory seemed to be wanting.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-22

1779. December 22. Wednesday.

Drank Tea, at Senior Lagoaneres. Saw the Ladies drink Chocolat in the Spanish Fashion.
A Servant brought in a Salver, with a Number of Tumblers, of clean, clear Glass, full of cold Water, and a Plate of Cakes, which were light Pieces of Sugar. Each Lady took a Tumbler of Water and a Piece of Sugar, dipped her Sugar in her Tumbler of Water, eat the one and drank the other. The Servant then brought in another Salver, of Cups of hot Chocolat. Each Lady took a Cup and drank it, and then Cakes and bread and Butter were served. Then each Lady took another cup of cold Water and here ended the Repast.
The Ladies were Seniora Lagoanere, and the Lady of the Commandant of Artillery, the Consuls sister, and another. The Administrator of the Kings Tobacco, the french Consul, and another Gentleman, with Mr. Dana, Mr. Thaxter and myself made the Company.
Three Spanish Ships of the Line, and two french Frigates came into this Harbour this afternoon. A Packet arrived here Yesterday from Havannah.
The Administrator gave me a Map of Gibraltar and the Spanish Ships about it by Sea, and Lines by Land.
{ 415 }
Orders of Ecclesiasticks
Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustins, only at Corrunna. Nuns of St. Barbe. Capuchins,1
1. Thus in MS. In his Autobiography under this dateJA expands these notes considerably.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-24

1779 December 24. Fryday.

Dined on Board the Bellepoule, with the Officers of the Galatea and the Bellepoule.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-25

1779 December 25. Saturday. Christmas.

Went to the Palace, at 11. o Clock, to take my Leave of his Excellency. Mr. O Heir the Governor of the Town went with me. The general repeated a Thousand obliging Things, which he had said to me, when I first saw him and dined with him.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-26

26. Sunday.

At half after two, We mounted our Carriages and Mules, and rode four Leagues to Betanzos, the ancient Capital of the Kingdom of Gallicia, and the Place where the Archives are still kept.1 We saw the Building, a long Square stone Building without any Roof, opposite the Church. There are in this Place two Churches and two Convents. The last League of the Road was very bad, mountainous and rocky to such a degree as to be very dangerous. Mr. Lagoanere did Us the Honour to bear Us company to this Place. It would appear romantick to describe the House, the Beds, and the People.
1. The hire of the mules, muleteers, and three carriages (or “calashes”) was arranged by the assiduous Lagoanere in an elaborate contract with one Ramon San (or Sanz) of Santiago. The terms, which JA thought piratical, are detailed in Lagoanere's letter to JA of the present date (Adams Papers); see also entry of 4 Jan. 1780 and JA's Autobiography. When departing from La Corufia JA was as yet uncertain whether to proceed to Bilbao and Bayonne by way of Madrid in order to have better roads or to take the shorter but less traveled route directly eastward across northern Spain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-27

27.

Travelled from Betanzos to Castillano. The Roads still mountainous and rocky. We broke one of our Axletrees, early in the day, which prevented Us from going more than 4 Leagues in the whole.
The House where We lodge is of Stone, two Stories high. We entered into the Kitchen. No floor but the ground, and no Carpet but Straw, trodden into mire, by Men, Hogs, Horses, Mules, &c. In the { 416 } Middle of the Kitchen was a mound a little raised with earth and Stone upon which was a Fire, with Pots, Kettles, Skillets &c. of the fashion of the Country about it. There was no Chimney. The Smoke ascended and found no other Passage, than thro two Holes drilled thro the Tiles of the Roof, not perpendicularly over the fire, but at Angles of about 45 deg[rees]. On one Side, was a flew oven, very large, black, smoaky, and sooty. On the opposite Side of the Fire was a Cabbin, filled with Straw, where I suppose the Patron del Casa, i.e. the Master of the House, his Wife and four Children all pigged in together. On the same floor with the Kitchen was the Stable. There was a Door which parted the Kitchen and Stable but this was always open, and the floor of the Stable, was covered with miry Straw like the Kitchen. I went into the Stable and saw it filled on both Sides, with Mules belonging to Us and several other Travellers who were obliged to put up, by the Rain.
The Smoke filled every Part of the Kitchen, Stable, and other Part[s] of the House, as thick as possible so that it was <almost impossible> very difficult to see or breath. There was a flight of Steps of Stone from the Kitchen floor up into a Chamber, covered with Mud and straw. On the left Hand as you ascended the stairs was a stage built up about half Way from the Kitchen floor to the Chamber floor. On this stage was a bed of straw on which lay a fatting Hog. Around the Kitchen Fire, were arranged the Man, Woman, four Children, all the Travellers, Servants, Mulatiers &c. The Chamber had a large Quantity of Indian Corn in Ears, hanging over head upon Sticks and Pieces of slit Work, perhaps an hundred Bushells. In one Corner was a large Bin, full of Rape seed, or Colzal, on the other Side another Bin full of Oats. In another Part of the Chamber lay a Bushell or two of Chesnutts. Two frames for Beds, straw Beds upon them. A Table, in the Middle. The floor had never been washed nor swept for an hundred Years—Smoak, soot, Dirt, every where. Two Windows in the Chamber, i.e. Port holes, without any Glass. Wooden Doors to open and shut before the Windows.
Yet amidst all these Horrors, I slept better than I have done before, since my Arrival in Spain.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-28

1779. Decr. 28. Tuesday.

Went from Castillan to Baamonde. The first Part of the Road, very bad, the latter Part tolerable.
The whole Country We have passed, is very mountainous and { 417 } rocky. There is here and there a Vally, and here and there a Farm that looks beautifully cultivated. But in general the Mountains are covered with Furze, and are not well cultivated. I am astonished to see so few Trees. Scarce an Elm, Oak, or any other Tree to be seen. A very few Walnut Trees, and a very few fruit Trees.
At Baamonde, We stop untill Tomorrow to get a new Axletree to one of our Calashes.
The House where We now are is better, than our last nights Lodgings. We have a Chamber, for seven of Us to lodge in. We shall lay our Beds upon Tables, Seats and Chairs, or the floor as last night. We have no Smoke and less dirt, but the floor was never washed I believe. The Kitchen and Stable are below as usual, but in better order. The Fire in the Middle of the Kitchen, but the Air holes pierced thro the Tiles of the Roof draw up the smoke, so that one may set at the fire without Inconvenience. The Mules, Hogs, fowls, and human Inhabitants live however all together below, and Cleanliness seems never to be tho't of.—Our Calashes and Mules are worth describing. We have three Calashes in Company. In one of them I ride with my two Children John and Charles. In another goes Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter. In a third Mr. Allen and Sam. Cooper Johonnot.1 Our three servants ride on Mules. Sometimes the Gentlemen mount the servants mules— sometimes the Children—sometimes all walk.
The Calashes are like those in Use in Boston fifty Years ago. There is finery about them in Brass nails and Paint, but the Leather is very old and never felt Oil, since it was made. The Tackling is broken and tied with twine and Cords &c. but these merit a more particular Description. The Furniture of the Mules is equally curious. This Country is an hundred Years behind the Massachusetts Bay, in the Repair of Roads and in all Conveniences for travelling.
The natural Description of a Mule may be spared. Their Ears are shorn close to the skin, so are their Necks, Backs, Rumps and Tails at least half Way to the End. They are lean, but very strong and sure footed, and seem to be well shod. The Saddles have large Ears, and large Rims or Ridges round behind. They have a Breast Plate before, and a Breech Band behind. They have large Wooden Stirrips made like Boxes in a semicircular Form, close at one End, open at the other, in which you insert your foot, which is well defended by them against rain and Sloughs. The wooden Boxes are bound round with Iron.
We have magnificent Curb Bridles to two or three. The rest are guided by Halters. And there is an Halter as well as a Curb Bridle to each of the others.
{ 418 }
There are Walletts, or Saddle bags, on each made with Canvas, in which We carry Bread and Cheese, Meat, Knives and forks, Spoons, Apples and Nutts.
Mr. Lagoanere told Us, that the Original of the affair of St. Iago, was this. A Shepherd saw a bright Light there in the night. Afterwards it was revealed to an Archbishop, that St. James was buried there. This laid the foundation of a Church, and they have built an Altar, on the Spot, where the Shepherd saw the Light. Some time since, the People made a Vow, that if the Moors should be driven from this Country they would give so much of the Income of their Lands to St. James. The Moors were driven away, and it was reported that St. James was in the Battle on Horse back with a drawn Sword, and the People fulfilled their Vows by Paying the Tribute, but lately a Duke of Alva, a Descendant of the famous Duke, has refused to pay for his Estate, which has occasioned a Law suit, which is carried by Appeal to Rome. The Duke attempted to prove that St. James was never in Spain. The Pope has suspended it. This looks like a Ray of Light. Upon the Supposition that this is the Place of the Sepulture of St. James, there are great Numbers of Pilgrims who visit it every Year from France, Spain, Italy and other Parts of Europe, many of them on foot. St. Iago is called the Capitol of Galicia, because it is the Seat of the Archbishop, and because St. James is its Patron, but Corunna is in fact the Capital as it is the Residence of the Governor, the Audience &c. &c.
1. Samuel, an eleven-year-old son of Col. Gabriel Johonnot, a merchant of Boston, was being sent to Europe for schooling; see a letter from Sammy's grandfather, Rev. Samuel Cooper, to JA, 14 Nov. 1779 (Adams Papers). JQA's Diary of the voyage and of the journey across Spain naturally contains numerous references to Johonnot, and a boyish but interesting journal of the voyage that was kept by Johonnot himself has also come to rest in the Adams Papers. It bears the title “A Journal by George Beaufort,” but internal evidence shows that this is unquestionably a pseudonym, and JQA added a notation, “J. Q. Adams / given him by / S. C. Johonnot” (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 330). Placed in school in Passy and later in Geneva, Johonnot became acquainted with young Albert Gallatin, and it was through Johonnot and his grandfather Cooper that Gallatin obtained a post teaching French at Harvard soon after arriving in America (HA, Gallatin, p. 15, 38, 39). Johonnot took a bachelor's degree at Harvard in 1783, practiced law in Portland, and in 1791 went to Demerara, British Guiana, “upon a speculation”; he became United States vice-consul and died there in 1806 (JQA, Diary, 3 April 1791; NEHGR, 7 [1853]:142).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-30

1779. Decr. 30. Thursday.

At Lugo, where We arrived Yesterday. We passed Yesterday the River Minho which originates in the Mountains of Asturies, and flows thro Portugal. We went to see the Cathedral Church at Lugo, which is { 419 } very rich. A Youth came to me in the street and said he was a Bostonian, a Son of Mr. Thomas Hickling. Went a Privateering in an English Vessell and was taken by the Spaniards.—Unfortunately taken he said.—Unfortunately inlisted I said.—He wanted to make his fortune he said.—Out of your Country, and by fighting against your Country said I.
Two Irish Gentlemen came to pay their Respects to me, Michael Meagher Oreilly and Lewis Obrien. Obrien afterwards sent me a Meat Pie and a minced Pie and two Bottles of Frontenac Wine, which gave Us a fine Supper.
Arrived at Galliego, in very good Season having made Six Leagues and an half from Lugo ....1Mountainous, but not dangerous as heretofore. About a league back, We passed over a large Bridge over a River called Cara Sedo, which emptyes itself into the Minho, not far from Lugo.
I see nothing but Signs of Poverty and Misery, among the People. A fertile Country, not half cultivated, People ragged and dirty, and the Houses universally nothing but Mire, Smoke, Fleas and Lice. Nothing appears rich but the Churches, nobody fat, but the Clergy. The Roads, the worst without Exception that ever were passed, in a Country where it would be easy to make them very good. No Simptoms of Commerce, or even of internal Trafic, no Appearance of Manufactures or Industry.
We are obliged, in this Journey to carry our own Beds, Blanketts, Sheets, Pillows &c., our own Provisions of Chocolat, Tea, Sugar, Meat, Wine, Spirits, and every Thing that We want. We get nothing at the Taverns, but Fire, Water, and Salt. We carry our own Butter, Cheese, and indeed Salt and Pepper too.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-31

Decr. 31. Fryday.

Rode from Galliego to Sebrero, Seven Leagues. The Journey Yesterday and to day has been very agreable. The Weather, remarkably fair, and dry, and the Roads not so bad as We expected.
There is the grandest Profusion of wild irregular Mountains, that I ever saw—Yet laboured and cultivated every one, to its Summit. The Fields of Grain, are all green. We passed a Rang of Mountains that were white with Snow, and there were here and there banks of Snow on the Mountains We passed over, but no Frost at all in the Ground.
We are now on the highest Ground of all, and within Gun shot of the Line, between Gallice and Leon. The Houses all along are small { 420 } and of Stone. Some covered with Brick Tile, some with Tile of Stone, but chiefly with Thatch. They interweave a Shrub, of which they make Brooms, among the Straw and bind both together with Wythes. These thatched Roofs are very numerous—But universally dirty, and smoaky. The People wear broad brimmed Hats, or caps made of woolen Cloth like their Coats, Jackets and Breeches which are all of a Colour, made of black sheeps Wool without Dying. The Maragatoes are dressed particularly, in a greasy leathern Jackett &c. But these People will be hereafter more exactly described.1
The Mules, the Asses, the Cattle, Sheep, Hogs, &c. of this Country, ought to be more particularly remarked.
1. This was not done, but see entry of 4 Jan. 1780, below, and CFA's note in JA, Works, 3:245

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-01

1780. January 1st. Saturday.

Arrived at Villa Franca, Seven Leagues. The Road at first was very bad. Steep, sharp Pitches, ragged Rocks, &c. We then came into the Road of Leon, which is made seemingly out of a Rock. It was an excellent Road for a League and an half. We then came to a River, and travelled along the Banks of it for some Leagues. This Way was as bad as the other was good. Miry, rocky, up and down untill We came into a new Road, about two Leagues from Villa franca. Here We found a Road again made entirely by Art, at an immense Expence, but it seems to be made forever. They are going on with the Work. This Work is an Honour to the Nation. It shews that Improvements are coming in, and that Attention is paid to the Ease, Convenience, Utility, Commerce &c. of the People.
The Country We have travelled over to day is the greatest Curiosity I ever beheld—an uninterrupted succession of Mountains of a vast hight. The River Barcarcel flows between two Rows of Mountains, rising on each hand to a vast hight. The most grand, sublime, awful Objects, yet they are cultivated up to their highest summits. There are flourishing fields of Grain, on such steep declivities, near the Summits of Mountains, as I cannot conceive it possible for Horses or Cattle to stand upon them to plough. It must be done with Mules, and I know not even how these or Men either could stand.
The Houses are uniformly the same through the whole Country hitherto—common habitations for Men and Beasts. The same smoaky, filthy holes. Not one decent House have I seen from Corunna.
We passed this Day, the Ruins of an Ancient Castle of the Moors, { 421 } on the Summit of one of the steepest and one of the highest and one of the most rugged Mountains.
There are in Villa Franca three Parish Churches, one Convent of Men and one of Women. There is an old brick Castle built in feudal Times when Lord was at War with Lord, a defence against Lances, Bows and Arrows and no more—possibly vs. Musquet Balls.
This Evening I bought a Mule, Saddle, Bridle &c. for 62 dollars and an half.
A Description of my Postilion. A little Hat, covered with oyl Cloth, flapped, before. A black, silk Cap of curious Work, with a braided Tail, hanging down his Back in the Spanish fashion. A cotton Handkerchief spotted red and white, around his neck. A double breasted short Jacket and Breeches.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-02

1780. January 2. Sunday.

Rode from Villa franca de el Bierzo Rio P[uen]te. We dined at Ponferrada. We passed through several Villages and over Bridges and Rivers. We passed Campo de Narraya, Cacabelos Rio P[uente] and Ponferrada where We dined. The Country grows smoother.1
1. The cavalcade stopped this night at Bembibre, a village seven leagues beyond Villafranca del Bierzo; both JQA and Dana had difficulty spelling its name in their journals, and JA did not even attempt to in his.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-03

3. M[onday].

Rode to Astorga. We passed through the Town and Country of the Marragattoes. The Town is small—stands on a Brook in a great Plain. We met Coaches, and genteel People as We went into Astorga.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-04

4. T[uesday].

Found clean Beds and no fleas for the first Time in Spain. Walked twice, round the Walls of the City, which are very ancient. Saw the Road to Leon and Bayonne, and the Road to Madrid.1 There is a pleasant Prospect of the Country, from the Walls. Saw the Market of Vegetables, onions and Turnips the largest I ever saw, Cabbages, Carrots &c. Saw the Market of Fuel—Wood, Coal, Turf and brush. Saw Numbers of the Marragato Women, as fine as Squaws and a great deal more nasty.
Crucifixes, Beads and Chains, Earrings and fingerrings in silver, brass, glass &c. about their Necks &c.
Saw the Cathedral Church, which is the most magnificent I have yet seen in Spain. Saw the Parliament House or Casa del Cieudad, { 422 } where the Corregidor and City Magistrates assemble, to deliberate, and to execute the orders of the King.
This day, was brought me the Gazetta de Madrid of the 24 of December, in which is this Article
Coruña 15 de Diciembre.
Hoy mismo han llegado á esta Plaza el Caballero Juan Adams miembro del Congreso Americano y Su Ministro Plenipotenciario á la Corte de Paris y Mr. Deane2 Secretario de Embaxada, quienes salieron de Boston el 15 de Noviembre ùltimo á bordo de la Fregata Francesa de Guerra la Sensible que entró en el Ferrol el dia 8 del corriente. Trahe la Noticia de que habiendo los Ingleses evacuado a Rhode Island y retirado todas sus Tropas á Nueva Yorck, los Americanos tomaron Possesion de todos los Puestos evacuados.
The Names of the Owner of the Post Chaises,
the Postilions, and the two Lads on foot,
who are with me and my Suite
Senior Raymon San, the Owner of all the Post Chaises and the Mules that draw them, and the Man with whom Mr. Lagoanere made the Contract.
Senior Eusebioo Seberino, the Postilion that drives my Chaise.
Diego Antonio, the Postilion that drives Mr. Allen and S. C. Johonnot.
Joseph Diaz, the Postillion that drives Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter. The Writer, educated at St. Iago.3
Juan Blanco.
Bernardo Bria.4
This Afternoon a genteel Spaniard came to my Lodgings, to offer me, all sorts of services and good offices, and to enquire if I wanted any kind of Assistance, or if I wanted Cash.—Said he had received a Letter from Mr. Lagoanere at Corunna desiring him, to afford me every Aid in his Power and to furnish me with Money if I wanted.—I thanked him, and desired him to thank Mr. Lagoanere, but to assure him that I wanted nothing, and that I had got so far very well.
1. At Astorga the party was delayed a day by carriage repairs; and here JA determined to continue eastward through León and Burgos and north to Bilbao instead of turning southeast to Madrid (JQA, Diary, 1, 4 Jan.).
2. An error (presumably by the newspaper) for “Dana.”
3. "The Writer" was Diaz, but what is meant by this term is uncertain.
4. JQA made a similar listing in his Diary under 6 Jan. and added the name of the guide and interpreter who completed the staff of the expedition, namely “Senior Miguel Martinus” (i.e. Martinez). See Lagoanere to JA, 26 Dec. 1779 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-05

1780. Jany. 5. Wednesday.

Rode from Astorga to Leon, eight Leagues. This is one great Plain. The Road very fine. Great Flocks of Sheep and Cattle. The Sheep of an handsome size, the fleeces of Wool thick, long and extremely fine. The soil rather thin and barren. We passed several smal Villages. The vast rang of Asturias Mountains covered with Snow on our left. The Weather as pleasant as could be, tho cold—some frost and Ice on the Roads. We passed the River and Bridge Orbigo, which in the Spring when swelled with Freshes of melted Snow from the Mountains of Asturias, is a very great River.
Leon, which We entered in the Night, has the Appearance of a large City.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-06

6 Thursday.

Went to view the Cathedral Church which is magnificent, but not equal to that at Astorga if to that at Lugo. It was the day of the Feast of the King, and We happened to be at the Celebration of high Mass. We saw the Procession, of the Bishop and of all the Canons, in rich Habits of Silk, Velvet, Silver and Gold. The Bishop, as he turned the Corners of the Church, spread out his Hand to the People, who all prostrated themselves on their Knees as he passed. Our Guide told Us, We must do the same, but I contented myself with a Bow.1
Went to see the Council Chamber of the Bishop and Chapterhung with crimson Damask, the Seats all round crimson Velvet. This Room and a smaller, where the Bishop sometimes took aside some of the Cannons, were very elegant.
Saw the Casa del Ciudad, and the old Castle of King Alphonsus, which is said to be 1936 Years old. It is of Stone, and the Work very neat.
But there is no Appearance of Commerce, Manufactures or Industry. The Houses are low, built of brick and Mud and Pebble stones from the fields. No Market worth notice. Nothing looks either rich or chearfull but the Churches and Churchmen. There is a Statue of Charles 5 in this Church, but very badly done.
There is a School of Saint Mark here as it is called, an Institution for the Education of noble Youths here in Mathematicks and Philosophy.
Dined in Leon, got into our Carriages and upon our Mules about one O Clock, to proceed on our Journey, passed the new Bridge of Leon, which is a beautiful new Piece of Work. It is all of Stone. The { 424 } River, which comes down from the Mountains of Asturias, is not now very large, but in the Spring when the Snows melt upon the Mountains it is swelled by the freshes to a very great Size. This River also runs down into the Kingdom of Portugal. Not long after We passed another Bridge and River, which the Peasants told me to call Rio y Puente de Biliarente. This River also comes down from the Asturias and flows down into Portugal. We passed thro several, very little Villages, in every one of which We saw the young People Men and Women dancing, a Dance that they call Fandango. One of the young Women beats a Machine, somewhat like a section of a Drum. It is covered with Parchment. She sings and beats on her drum, and the Company dance, with Each a Pair of Clackers in his and her Hand. The Clackers are two Pieces of Wood, cut handsomely enough, which they have the Art to rattle in their Hands to the Time of the Drum. They had all, Males and Females, wooden shoes, in the Spanish fashion, which is mounted on stilts. We stopped once to look and a Man came out with a Bottle of Wine and a glass to treat Us. We drank his Wine in Complaisance to his Urbanity, tho it was very Sour, and I ordered our Guide to give him somewhat.
We stop to night at a Village called Mansillas, thro which runs another large River from the Asturias, stretching down to Portugal. A great Stone Bridge over it, appears to have been half carried away by the Water in some freshet. This was once a Walled City. The Tours are yet standing all round the Town and the Ruins and Fragments of the Wall and the Appearance of a Foss round it. The Towers were all made of small round Stones, not bigger than two fists, which is the only Kind of Stone to be had here. The Cement is the ancient, which is as hard and as durable as the Stones them selves. I went upon the Top of one of the Towers with Mr. D., Mr. A., and Mr. Charles. The Town appears to be gone to decay, yet there are four or five Churches here still. The People are [ sentence unfinished ]
There are in Leon two Convents of Franciscans, one of Dominicans, one of St. Claudio Benito.
One Convent of Nuns of St. Benito, one of the Conception, one of Descalzas, one of Recoletas.
Canonigos. Cassa de San Isi[dro] one, one Cassa de San Marcus. Nine Parish Churches, including the Cathedral.
The Grandee who is the Proprietor of the Land in and about Leon is the Comte de Luna, a Descendant from the ancient Kings of Leon. He resides in Madrid, and receives about sixty thousand Ducats, or about thirty thousand dollars a Year of Rent, from the Tenants, partly { 425 } in cash and partly in Grain. He has a Secretary and some other Agents who reside at Leon to collect his Rents. The Grandees of Spain all reside at Madrid. Former Kings, in order to break up the Barons Wars, called all the Nobles to Court, and gave them Employments.
1. JA enlarges on this incident in his Autobiography under this date. JQA followed the guide's instructions and received a benediction, but remarked in his Diary: “I did not feel the better for it.”

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-07

[7? January 1780.]1

I have not seen a Chimney in Spain, except one of the french Consul at Corunna. One or two half Imitations of Chimneys in the Kitchens are all that I have seen. The Weather is very cold, the frosts hard, and no fire when We stop, but a few Coals or a flash of Brush in the Kitchen, full of Smoke and dirt, and covered with a dozen Pots and Kettles, and surrounded by 20 People looking like Chimney Sweepers.
1. First entry in Diary booklet No. 31 as numbered by CFA (our D/JA/31), an unstitched gathering of leaves without cover which contains entries as late as 6 Aug. 1780 but none between 5 Feb. and 27 July. (This is the last of the Diary booklets to which CFA assigned a number.) The present entry, written on the outside front page, is without date but may be reasonably assigned to 7 Jan. in the absence of any entry bearing that date. On the 7th the party traveled six leagues, from Mansilla de las Mulas through the village of El Burgo Ranero, where they dined, to Sahagún, where they visited “the Convent of St. Benedo,” which had “nothing singular in it, unless a very large Library shou'd be accounted so,” and the Cathedral (Francis Dana, Journal, 1779–1780, MHi).

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-08

1780 January 8. Saturday.

Rode from San Juan Segun, to Paredese de Nava. We have passed thro a Village every League. The Villages are all built of Mud and Straw. They have no Timber nor Wood nor Stone. The Villages all appear going to decay. Every Village has Churches and Convents enough in it, to ruin it, and the whole Country round about it, even if they had nothing to pay to the King or the Landlord. But all three together, Church, State and Nobility, exhaust the People to such a degree, I have no Idea of the Possibility of deaper Wretchedness. There are in this little Village, four Parish Churches and two Convents one of Monks and one of Nuns, both of the order of St. Francis.
The Parish Churches, and their Curates are supported here by the Tythes paid by the People. They pay every tenth Pound of Wool, every Tenth Part of Wine, Grain, Honey, in short of every Thing. The good Curates sometimes alieviate the Severity of this by Compositions or Modus's.1
{ 426 }
The Archbishop has Power to do every Thing for the good of the People, that is to make new Parishes or alter old ones at his Pleasure. There are but four Archbishops in Spain. The Archbishop of Saint Iago, has one hundred and Eighty thousand Ducats of Rent a Year.
This War is popular in Spain, the Clergy, the Religious Houses and other Communities have offered to grant large Sums to the King for the Support of it. The English had become terrible to them.
From Astorga to this Place, the face of the Country is altered. It is a plain. But there is little Appearance of Improvement, Industry, or Cultivation. No Trees, of any Kind scarcely. No forrest or Timber or fruit trees. Scarcely any fences except a few mud Walls for Sheep folds.
1. See OED under Modus, 4: “A money payment in lieu of tithe.”

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-11

1780. January. 11th. Tuesday.

Arrived at Burgos.1 We came from Sellada el Camino, 4 Leagues. We had Fog, and Rain and Snow, all the Way, very chilly, and raw. When We arrived at the Tavern, (which is the best in the City, as I am informed, and my Servant went to examine the others,) We found no Chimney. A Pan of Coals in a Chamber without a Chimney was all the Heat We could get. We went to view the Cathedral, which is ancient and very large. The whole Building is supported upon four grant2Pillars, the largest I ever saw. Round the great Altar are represented our Saviour from the Scene of his Agony, on the Mount, when an Angel presents him the Cup, to his Crucifixion, between 2 thieves, his Descent from the Cross and his Ascention into Heaven. The Chapells round the great Altar are the largest I have seen.
Round the Altar, the several Stages are represented. 1. The Agony in the Garden. 2. Carrying the Cross. 3d. Crucifixion between 2 Thieves. 3. Descent. 4. Ascention.
There is no Archbishop, at Burgos. There was one, which made five, but the K[ing] abolished it, and now there are but 4, in the whole Kingdom. There is a Chapell of Saint Iago.
Went into three Booksellers Shops, to search for a Chart or Map of Spain, but could find none, except a very small and erroneous one in a Compendio of History of Spain.
It is five and Twenty Years that I have been, almost constantly, journeying and voyaging, and I have often undergone severe Tryals, great Hardships, cold, wet, heat, fatigue, bad rest, want of sleep, bad nourishment, &c. &c. &c. But I never experienced any Thing like this Journey.—Every Individual Person in Company has a great Cold. We { 427 } go along <barking, and> sneezing and coughing, as if We were fitter for an Hospital than for Travellers, on the Road.
My Servant and all the other Servants in Company, behave worse than ever I knew servants behave. They are dull, inactive, unskillfull. The Children are sick, and in short my Patience was never so near being exhausted as at Present.
Mr. Thaxter is as shiftless as a Child. He understands no Language, neither French nor Spanish, and he dont seem to think himself obliged to do any Thing, but get along, and write his Journal.3—In short, I am in a deplorable situation, indeed.—I know not what to do.—I know not where to go.4
From this Place We go to Monasterio, which is four Leagues, from thence to Berebiesca [Briviesca], which is four more, from thence to Santa Maria del Courbo, which is two more, from thence to Courbo, which is one, thence to Pancourbo which is two, where the Road parts, to Vitoria and to Bilbao.
Burgos      
Monasterio   4.    
Berebiesca   4.    
S.M. del Courbo   2    
Courbo   1    
Pancourbo   2    
  13.   Leagues to the Parting of the Roads.  
I have taken a Walk about the Town a little. A River runs directly through the Town, and there are several Bridges over it. There is a great Number of Monasteries in it. There is an old ruined Castle on a Hill. But I have not had time to see much. There is a little Appearance of Business, here. Some Trades.
Upon my Inquiry after the Religious Houses in Burgos, our Guide went out and procured me the following Information.
Combentos de Fraires  
Franciscos   1.  
La Trinidad   1.  
Benitos   1.  
Augustinos   2  
Dominicos   1.  
Mercenarios   1.  
Carmelitos   1  
  8  
{ 428 }
Combentos de Monjas  
Sta. Dorotea Agustinas   1.  
Sta. Franciscas   2  
Carmelitas   1  
Agustinas   1  
Trinitarias   1  
Bernardas   2  
Benitas   1  
Calatrabas   1  
Sn. il de fonso   1  
Parroquias 15  
Cathedral y St. Iago de la Capilla   2  
St. Nicolas   1  
Sn. Roman   1  
La Blanca   1  
Bejarua   1  
Sn. Martin   1  
Sn. Pedro   1  
Sn. Cosmes   1  
Sn. Lesmes   1  
Sn. Esteban   1  
Sn. Gil   1  
Total.  
De Monjas   10  
Frailes   8  
Parroquias   15  
  33.5  
We passed through several Villages, this day and rode along a River, and arrived at Bribiesca. The Country a little more hilly than for some time past. But it has a naked and poor Appearance.
1. From Paredes de Nava the party traveled on 9 Jan. through Palencia to Torquemada, seven leagues; on the 10th from there to a village called by both JA and JQA Sellada el Camino, eight leagues; they reached Burgos just before noon on the nth (JQA, Diary, 911 Jan.; Francis Dana, Journal, 1779–1780, MHi).
2. Thus in MS. JA may have meant either “granite” or “grand.”
3. No such journal has come to light. Thaxter wrote a number of letters from Spain to his father and to AA that survive but are not very informative.
4. “... we shall determine at this place whether to go to Bilboa or directly to Bayonne” (JQA, Diary, 11 Jan.). { 429 } The decision, as the following itinerary shows, was for Bilbao.
5. In his Autobiography under this dateJA noted that “the sum total is not conformable to the List,” and supposed that some establishments had been omitted by his informant.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-12

1780. January 12. Wednesday.

Arrived at Bribiesca, where there [are] two Convents, one of Men, the other of Women, both Franciscans, and two Parish Churches.
The Tavern We are in is a large House and there are twelve good Beds in it, for Lodgers. Yet no Chimneys, and the same Indelicacy as in all the others.—Smoke and dirt, yet they give us clean Sheets.
A Spanish Kitchen is one of the greatest Curiosities in the World, and they are all very much alike.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-13

1780. January 13. Thursday.

Rode from Bribiesca to Pancourbo where we dined. We passed thro Courbo, which is a little Village with half a dozen other small Villages in Sight. In every one of them is a Church. Pancourbo is at the Beginning of the Rocks. There is the Appearance of an ancient Carriage Way, up the steepest Part of the Rocks. We passed between two Rows of Mountains consisting wholly of Rocks, the most lofty, and craggy Precipices that I ever saw. These rocky Mountains made the Boundary between the ancient Castile and Biscay. Pancourbo is the last Village in old Castile. At Puente de la Rada, We were stopped by a No. of Officers, and asked if We had a Passeport. I produced my Passport of the Governor of Galicia, they read it, with much Respect and let Us Pass. We came 4 good Leagues this afternoon, and are now at Ezpexo.
We are now at the best public House that I have seen. Yet the Kitchen is a Spanish Kitchen, like all the others, and there is no Chimney in the House.
There is not a Tavern We have been in, but is filled with religious Prints and Images. The Chamber where I now write has two Beds, at the Head of each is a Delph Vessell, for holy Water Agua Santa, or Agua benita. At the Head of each also is a neat Cross about 9 Inches long, with an Image of J.C. in some Metal, Tin, Belmetal, [or] Pewter, upon it. Upon the Wall is a Picture of Vierge de Montcarmel, or Virgo Maria de Monte Carmelo—a great Number of others that I have not Patience to transcribe.
From Ezpexo where We now are, We go to Orduña, which is 4 Leagues, and to Bilbao, which is six.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-14

1780. January 14. Fryday.

Rode from Ezpexo to Orduña, four Leagues. The Road is made all the Way, at a great Expence, but the Descent of the Mountains of Orduña is a great Curiosity. These Mountains are chiefly Rocks, of a vast hight: But a Road has been blown out of the Rocks, from the Hight of the Mountains, quite down into the Valey. After winding round and round a great Way, and observing the Marks of the Drills remaining in the Rocks, the Road at last came to a Steep where the only Method of making a Road for a Carriage up and down is by Serpentining it thus.
graphic here
There is a fertile Valley, and well cultivated at the feet of these Mountains, in the Center of which is the Village of Orduña. In this narrow Space they have crowded two Convents, one of Frailes the other of Monjas. I saw the lazy Drones of Franciscans at the Windows of their Cells, as We passed. At the Bottom of the Mountains We had a small Toll to pay, for the Support of the Road. The Administrator sent to search our Trunks, but We sent him our Passport which produced a polite Message by his Clerk, that he had seen my Name in the Gazette, that he was very glad I was arrived, wished me Success and Prosperity, and desired to know if I wanted any Thing, or if he could be any Way usefull to me. I returned the Message that I was obliged &c. but wanted nothing.
In the Afternoon, We followed the Road, which pursues the Course of a little River, which originates in the Mountains of Orduña, and rode down between two Rows of Mountains to Lugiando where We put up for the night, four Leagues from Bilbao. It is as dirty and uncomfortable a House as almost any We have seen.
We have met, to day and Yesterday, great Numbers of Mules loaded with Merchandizes from Bilbao. The Mules and their Drivers look very well, in comparison of those We have seen before. Their Burdens are Salted Fish, Sardines, Cod, and a Sort of Fish that We see here very plenty called Besugo. They carry also Horse shoes, ready made in Bilboa, to sell in various Parts of the Kingdom.
The Mountains of Biscay, of Bilboa, of Orduna, and Pancourbo, for by these Names they are called, are the most remarkable that I have seen. Phillip 5. made the first Carriage Road through those of Pancourbo. The present King has done most to those of Orduña.
{ 431 }
It was a vexatious Thing to see the beautifull Valley of Orduna, devoured by so many Hives of Drones. It is a beautifull, a fertile and a well cultivated Spot, almost the only one, We have yet seen in Biscay, capable of Cultivation.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-15

1780. January 15. Saturday.

Followed the Road by the Side of the River, between two Rows of Mountains, untill We opened upon Bilboa. We saw the Sugar Loaf some time before. This is a Mountain, in the shape of a Piramid, which is called the Sugar Loaf. The Town is surrounded with Mountains.—The Tavern where We are is tolerable, situated between a Church and a Monastry. We have been entertained with the Musick of the Convent since our Arrival.
Soon after our Arrival Captain Babson and Capt. Lovat made Us a Visit. Lovat is bound for America, the first Wind, and Babson very soon, both in Letters of Mark.
Took a Walk, down the River, which is pleasant enough.
While We were absent our Walk, Mr. Gardoqui and Son came to visit me.1
1. Gardoqui & Son was a mercantile firm at Bilbao with American interests. From Bayonne on 24 Jan.JA wrote to thank the Gardoquis for “the Thousand Civilities and the essential assistance We received at Bilboa” (LbC, Adams Papers). Later correspondence shows that he gave the firm various personal commissions.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-16

January 16. Sunday.

Reposed and wrote.1
1. Among other letters written this day JA addressed a very long one to Pres. Huntington devoted mainly to the geography, commerce, and governmental administration of the maritime provinces of Galicia and Biscay (PCC, No. 84, I; copied from LbC, Adams Papers, into JA's Autobiography under its date).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-17

17. Monday.

Dined, with the two Messrs. Gardoquis and a Nephew of theirs. After Dinner the Gentlemen accompanied Us, to the Parish Church over the Way, then to the old Parish Church of St. Iago, which was certainly standing in the Year 1300. The high Altar appears very ancient, wrought in Wooden figures, the Work very neat. The Choir, and the Sacristie &c. as in all others.—We then went to the Chambers of the Board of Trade.
This is a curious Institution. On a certain Day annually in the { 432 } Beginning of January all the Merchants of Bilbao meet, write their Names on a Ball or Ballot which is put into a Box, from whence four are drawn by Lott. These four name a certain Number of Councillors or Senators.—But this must be further enquired.
This Board of Trade, first endeavours to make all disputing Merchants agree. If they cant succeed, Application must be made to the Board by Petition in Writing. It is then heard and determined, subject to an Appeal, somewhere.—There is no Consul here from France, England, or Holland—Nor any other Nation. The Board of Trade oppose it.—The Chamber is hung round with Pictures of the present King and Queen, the late King and Queen, &c., with Pictures of the royal Exchange London, the Exchange of Amsterdam, of Atwerp &c.
Captains Babson, Lovatt and Wickes dined with Us. I spoke to Mr. Gardoqui in behalf of fifteen American Prisoners escaped from Portugal, and he consented to furnish them Cloaths to the Amount of six dollars a Man. I told him I had no Authority, and that I could not assure him Repayment, but I believed Congress would do all in their Power to repay him.
There is an Accademy at Bergara, for the Youth of Biscay, Guipuscoa, and Alava.
Yesterday, a Mr. Maroni an Irish Gentleman came to visit me.
The Lands in Biscay are chiefly in the Hands of the People—few Lordships. The Duke of Berwick and the Duke of Medina Coeli have some Estates here, but not considerable. In the Spring Freshes, the Water is deep enough upon Change and in the Streets for Vessells of 100 Tons to float.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-18

1780. January. 18. Tuesday.

Spent the Day in Walking about the Town. Walked round the Wharf upon the River, through the Market. Saw a plentiful Markett of Fruit and Vegetables, Cabages, Turnips, Carrots, Beets, Onions &c. Apples, Pairs &c. Raisens, Figs, nuts &c—Went as far as the Gate, where We entered the Town—then turned up the Mountain by the Stone Stairs, and saw fine Gardens, Verdure and Vegetation. Returned, and viewed a Booksellers Stall. Then walked in succession thro every Street in the Town. Afterwards met Messrs. Gardoquis who went with Us to shew Us a No. of Shops. Glass Shops, China Shops, Trinket Shops, Toy Shops and Cutlary Shops. I did not find any Thing very great. There are several Stores and Shops, however, pretty large and pretty full.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-19

1780. January 19. <Tuesday> Wednesday.

Went down the River, on a Visit to the Rambler a Letter of Mark, of 18 Guns, belonging to Mr. Andrew Cabot of Beverly, Captain Lovatt Commander, and the Phoenix a Brig of 14 Guns belonging to Messrs. Traceys at N[ewbury] Port, Captain Babson Commander.
We were honoured, with two Salutes of 13 Guns each, by Babson and with one by Lovat. We dined at the Tavern on shore and had an agreable day. Went to see a new Packett of the Kings on the Stocks, and his new Rope walks, which are two hundred and ten fathoms long.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0001-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-01-31

1780 January 31. Monday.1

On the 20th We left Bilbao, arrived at Bayonne the 23d. Staid one day, there. Sat off for Bourdeaux the 25th. Arrived at Bourdeaux Saturday 29th. Dined Yesterday at the Hotel D'Angleterre at the Invitation of Mr. Bondfield with Sir Robert Finlay and Mr. Le Texier and Mr. Vernon.
Went to the Comedy, saw Amphitrion and Cartouche. Mr. A[rthur] L[ee] at Paris. Mr. I[zard] at Amsterdam. Mr. W[illiam] L[ee] at Brussells.
1. No space was left in the Diary for the gap of eleven days during which the party traveled on muleback to Bayonne, paid off and dismissed their Spanish retinue of men and mules, bought a post chaise and hired others, and proceeded to Bordeaux. Some details concerning this portion of the journey are provided in JA's Autobiography and in Dana's Journal, 1779–1780 (MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-01

1780. Feb. 1. Tuesday.

Dined Yesterday, at the Hotel D'Angleterre, with Mr. Maccartey, Mr. Delap, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Bondfield, and my Company, at the Invitation of Sir Robert Finlay. Towards Evening Mr. Cabarras came in with the News of [a] Blow struck by Rodney upon the Spaniards, off Gibraltar.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-02-05

1780 Feb. 5. Saturday.

On Wednesday, the second of Feb. We took Post for Paris, and on Fryday the 4 arrived at Coué, where We lodged, but in the night it rained and froze at the same time untill the Roads were a glare [of] Ice, so that the Postillions informed Us, it was impossible for their Horses which in this Country are never frosted to go.
We passed by Angouleme Yesterday Morning and encircled almost { 434 } the whole Town. It stands upon an high Hill and is walled all round— a fine, Airy, healthy Situation with several Streams of Water below it and fine Interval Lands. The River Charente runs by it. The Lands are chiefly cultivated with Wines from Bordeaux to this Place, which afford but a poor Prospect in the Winter. In some Places Wheat is sown and Vines planted alternately in Ridges.
Great Numbers of the Vineyards are in a Soil that has the greatest Appearance of Poverty. It is a red Loom, intermixed with so many Pebbles or small Stones of a reddish Colour, that it looks like an heap of Stones, or a dry gravell. One would think there was not Earth enough for the Vines to take root.
Other Vineyards are in a black Sand intermixed with a few small stones. Others in fine, black, fat, mellow mould.
The numerous Groves, Parks and Forrests in this Country form a striking Contrast with Spain where the whole Country looks like a Mans face that is newly shaved, Every Tree, bush and shrub being pared away.1
1. In the MS a single blank leaf separates the present entry and the next, which is dated 27 July 1780, the day on which JA set out from Paris with JQA and CA for Amsterdam. The Adams party had arrived in Paris from Bordeaux in the evening of 9 February. (Dana's Journal, 1779–1780, MHi, furnishes details on the last leg of their long journey; JQA kept no diary between 31 Jan. and 25 July 1780.) In Paris they stopped at the Hotel de Valois in the Rue de Richelieu, though from entries recording payments of rent in the personal accounts that follow it appears that they took a separate house attached to the hotel. This remained JA's headquarters until he left Paris in July. JQA, CA, and young Johonnot were placed in a pension academy in Passy conducted by one Pechigny, to whom payments are also recorded in the accounts that follow. Unsatisfactory as they may be in lieu of a regularly kept diary, the accounts tell us a good deal about JA's daily activities, especially his book buying. But for his attempts to discharge his public mission and to be otherwise useful, one must turn to his Autobiography (which does not, however, go beyond March) and to his correspondence. There one may see with what assiduity he read the news from all quarters of Europe and reported it to Congress. Late in May he told a friend in Philadelphia: “I have written more to Congress, since my Arrival in Paris, than they ever received from Europe put it all together since the Revolution [began]” (to Elbridge Gerry, 23 May, CtY). This may be literally true. He filled one letterbook after another; for weeks on end he wrote almost daily dispatches, on some days addressing two, three, and even four letters to Samuel Huntington, filling them with documents copied in extenso from French, British, and Dutch newspapers. Prevented by Vergennes from publicly announcing any part of his mission until the end of March, JA undertook to improve both his own time and European opinion of the American cause by concocting paragraphs and articles for publication in whatever journals would print them. The elder Genet had discontinued his Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amerique (see note on entry of 3 March 1779, above), but he had ready access to the new political supplement of the venerable Mercure de France, which served as a continuation of the Affaires, and for several months JA happily fed American propaganda to it. One of his contributions, explaining and defending Congress' recent fiscal measures, had momentous { 435 } effects, altering the coolness with which Vergennes had viewed JA for some time into anger and hostility, complicating JA's relations with Franklin, and rendering his position in Paris highly uncomfortable. The story is too long to tell here, but it is well summarized by CFA in JA's Works, 1:314 ff., see also the relevant documents in same, 7:188–203, 211–214; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:827, 844; 4:18–19.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-02-13 - 1780-07-28

[Personal Expenditures, February–July 1780.1]

The Dates of Receipts, by whom given and for what Sums.
1780       £   s   d  
Feby.   13th.   Joseph Stevens for three Month Wages. 30 Dolls.2   150:   0:   0  
  15th.   John Thaxter for thirty Louis D'Ors on Account   720:   0:   0  
  15th.   Joseph Stevens for Sundries bo't   31:   4:   0  
  14th.   C. Hochereau for Books   19:   10:   0  
  16.   Mr. Morbut for Bread & Butter   10:   16:   0  
  19.   Auris for Hats   63:   0:   0  
  21st.   De Montigny for Courier de L'Europe, & Hague Gazette   84:   0:   0  
  21st.   Arnoux for Gazette de France   12:   0:   0  
  21st.   Panckoucks, for Mercure de France   30:   0:   0  
  26th.   Montagne for Cheese, Prunes &c.   39:   2:   0  
March   2   Dinner at Versailles   12:   4:   0  
  6   De Montigny for the Gazettes of Leide and Amsterdam   78:   0:   0  
    Books   82:   10:   0  
  8.   Hill for Cloaths   681:   15:   0  
    Hochereau for Books   17:   6:   0  
  9.   Mad[am]e Ruel the Traiteur for Provisions   400:   0:   0  
    Mademoiselle Carnu for Handkerfs. Ruffles & Stocks   154:   10:   0  
    Joseph Stevens for one Month's Wages ending 13th. of March   50:   0:   0  
    Miston (Peruquier) for Wigs and dressing   67:   4:   0  
    St. Clair (Caffee) for Tea, Milk, Bread and Butter   78:   1:   0  
    Joseph Stevens for Sundries bo't   55:   10:   0  
    Coquelle for Washing, Postage of Letters &c.   27:   10:   0  
{ 436 }
    Parmentiers for Rent of his House, Wood & Wine   542:   14:   0  
    John Thaxter for ten Louis D'Ors on Acct.   240:   0:   0  
    Washerwoman   2:   10:   0  
    Pacquenot for Wine   26:   0:   0  
    John Thaxter for Tea and Sugar   21:   15:   0  
    Griffon For Books and Paper   61:   2:   0  
    Omitted, paid Mr. Dana for one Dozen of Tea Spoons   95:   6:   8  
  13th.   Gouyot for Carriage and Horses one month   360:   0:   0  
  13th.   Gerante for two Pieces of Wine   250:   0:   0  
  10.   Paid for half a Dozen Stocks, @ 3:10:0   21:   0:   0  
    De la vals Rect for Tea, Sugar, Raisins Candles and Flambeau   28:   14:   0  
    Backelier Epicier for Dutch Cheese   4:   1:   0  
  11   Paid Subscription for the Philosophicand politic History of the two Indies3   24:   0:   0  
  12   Paid for M. Moreaus Discourses on the History of France 9. Vol.4   41:   0:   0  
  17.   Paid Mazars for Shoes and Boots   54:   0:   0  
    Paid for Sewing Silk 6 Ozs.   18:   0:   0  
    Paid for the hire of a Carriage three Days & Coachman   39:   12:   0  
  19   Hochereau for Books&mdash;Theatre D'Education 4 Vol. bound   24:   0:   0  
    Dto. for Postage of a Letter   1:   0:   0  
    Paid for the American Atlas, Pilot &c. in one Volume5 4 1/2 Louis   108:   0:   0  
    Paid the Abbè Chalut['s] Servt. for Corks, Shot & bottleing Wine   7:   10:   0  
  20   Paid for four Quires of Cartridge Paper   10:   0:   0  
    Paid Piebot Epicier, for Tea, Sugar &c.   21:   10:   6  
    Paid Hochereau Bookseller, 30 Louis D'ors, towards the Payment for La Description des Arts et Metiers, in 18 Volumes in Folio, for which I was to { 437 } give him 750 Liv. and for the Encyclopedia in 39 Volumes in Quarto for which I was to give him 360 Livres6   720:   0:   0  
  21   Paid Pissot for a Grammar of french Verbs, and for Nugents Dictionary7   7:   10:   0  
    Paid for two Pair of black Silk Stockings one Louis D'or.   24:   0:   0  
    Paid for a Purse   3:   0:   0  
  22d.   Paid Pissot for another Grammar of French Verbs   3:   0:   0  
    Paid Dto. for The Abbè de Mablys Droits public L'Europe8   6:   0:   0  
    Paid the Coachman for three day's driving   3:   12:   0  
  23   Paid Daniel, Engraver for two Seals   42:   0:   0  
    Paid Mr. Langlois for Carriage three Days   36:   0:   0  
  24   Paid for 6 yds. Silk 6 Liv. each and 2 oz black sewing Silk, &mdash;Fleury   42:   0:   0  
  29   Paid for the Works of Tacitus with a French Transn.9   21:   0:   0  
    Paid for the Latin Dicty. of Robert Stephens10   48:   0:   0  
    Paid for the Eulogium of M: Colbert by Mr. Neckar   1:   16:   0  
    Paid for the Journal of Paris   24:   0:   0  
    Paid for Domats civil Law 26. Liv. and the Voyage Pitoresque de Paris et des Environs 811   34:   0:   0  
April   1.   Paid for two Trunks £ 40 for a large one and 12 for the Small   52:   0:   0  
  2   Paid for Duties and Waggonage of a Cask of old red wine of Tonnere. Feuillette de vieux vin rouge de Tonnere.   39:   16:    
  4   Paid for Chocolat Wine &c.   20:   9:   0  
  5.   Paid for Tea, Almonds &c.   23:   3:   9  
  6.   Paid Hochereau for Books. D'Aguesseau, Cochin and Dictionaire D'His• { 438 } toire naturell.12   647:   0:   0  
    Paid Hill the Tayler one Bill   144:   10:   0  
    another   223:   0:   0  
  7.   Paid Chevr. O'Gormon for a Piece of Wine   150:   0:   0  
    Paid for Raynals Works and a Voyage thro France13   24:   0:   0  
  7.   Paid for 2 Pieces d'Indien and for Ruffles Necks &c.   153:   0:   0  
  9   Paid for Dictionaire de l'orthographie14   7:   0:   0  
  10   Paid for Caffees Account for the last Month   18:   13:   0  
    Paid Hochereaus Account for Books   188:   0:   0  
  12.   Paid for the House Rent and furniture, Bottles, Wine &c.   576:   17:   0  
    Paid Pacquenot for Wine   10:   0:   0  
    Paid Dalley the Baker   15:   0:   0  
    Paid Coquelle the Washerwoman   9:   0:   0  
    Paid Do. for Postage of Letters   23:   18:   0  
    Paid J. Thaxter on Account   240:   0:   0  
    Paid Do. for Money lent   26:   8:   0  
    Paid Joseph Stevens one Months Wages ending the 13th. of April   52:   10:   0  
    Paid Do. for Sundries bo't by him   60:   1:   6  
    Paid Ruelle Traiteur   428:   0:   0  
  13   Paid Hochereau for the Corps diplomatique &c.15   940:   0:   0  
  15   Paid Piebot for Cheese & Tea   56:   13:   6  
  20   Paid for two Pair of Black Silk Stockings   24:   0:   0  
  26   Paid for 30 days hire of the Coach, Horses, Coachman &. 15 Louis   360:   0:   0  
    Sent by Captn. C. to Mr. D.16 in London to pay for Pamphlets &c. 4 Louis   096:   0:   0  
    Gave my Son to pay for La Fontaines Fables17 and for his Brother & S. Cooper at the Comedy   6:   0:   0  
    Paid for La Fontaines Fables for Charles   2:   10:   0  
{ 439 }
  28   Paid for Singing Birds and Cages   35:   10:   0  
May   1   Gave at Biçetre, the bedlam of Paris18   9:   0:   0  
  2   Paid for a Pound of black sealing Wax, a Pound of red, and a blank Letter Book   22:   0:   0  
    Paid Subscription for the Journal des Scavans19   16:   0:   0  
  5   Paid Dt. for Annales Politiques, Civiles, et literaires20   48:   0:   0  
    Paid the Garçon   1:   4:   0  
    Paid for 6 Bottles of white Wine   4:   10:   0  
  15   Paid Ruel Traiteur to 10 May   423:   15:   0  
    House   432:   0:   0  
    Joseph Stevens   171:   12:   0  
    Denis Wages and Dinners   68:   8:   0  
    Bread   15:   0:   0  
    Postage &c.   44:   9:   0  
    Mr. Thaxter   240:   0:   0  
    Stephens's Wages ending 13 May   52:   10:   0  
    Marchande de Vin, Garante   180:   0:   0  
    To Caffees Account   2:   9:   0  
    Settled with Mr. Dana so far.        
  17   Paid Mr. Pechini's Account for my Sons John and Charles,21   980:   10:   0  
  19   Paid Mr. Court de Gebelin,22 for Subscription for his Greek Dictionary and the Seventh Volume of his Monde primitif and a Thermometer of Raumur   31:   10:   0  
  20   Paid the Coach Hire for a Month ending the 17th. 15 Louis and for a pair of additional Horses to go to Versailles on the Day of Pentecote 18 liv.   378:   0:   0  
  27   Paid for the Carriage of a Box of Newspapers and pamphlets from London   9:   6:   0  
    Paid for the Cariage of an hoghead and Case of Bordeaux Wine, and the Duties on the Road   99:   10:   0  
{ 440 }
  30   Paid the Duties for the Entry into Paris   57:   13:   0  
June   1   Paid Cabaret for three Reams of Paper and two Ivory Knives   52:   0:   0  
  9   Paid for Spoons &c—Mr. Taillepied   823:   0:   0  
  19   Paid for the Waggonage of three Trunks from Brest   72:   0:   0  
  21   Paid for the Coach to the 16 June 15 Louis   360:   0:   0  
  26   Paid for Washing   8:   12:   0  
  28   Paid Paule Tailors Account   644:   0:   0  
    Paid Mr. Tyler a Bill of Exchange drawn upon me by Mrs. Adams in favour of Thomas Bumstead & by him inclosed to Mr. John Tyler—100 dollars   535:   0:   0  
July   1   Paid for 12 Ells of Cambrick @ 10 Liv.   120:   0:   0  
  7   Paid Mr. Borzachini for 2 Italian Grammars and 11 Lessons   60:   0:   0  
    Paid for a Piece of Cambrick 12 Ells & 1/2   120:   0:   0  
  8   Paid Molini for Baretti's Italien Dictionary   48:   0:   0  
    Dellitti e Pene   3:      
    Grammatica Del Buomattei23   9:   0:   0  
  17   Paid for Linen   67:   10:   0  
    Paid for 6 Bottles of Liqueur   27:   0:   0  
    [In margin:] Settled with Mr. Dana        
  19   Paid Porters Bill for Postage of Letters &c.   112:   7:   0  
  26   Paid for a months Coach hire   360:   0:   0  
  27   Paid Mr. Pechini one Quarter for my two Sons   650:   18:   0  
  28   Paid Taylors Account   170:   18:   6  
  6   Paid Joseph Stevens's Account   100:   19:   0  
1. From Lb/JA/34 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 122), a folio ledger with a trade card inside the front cover reading: “A la Tête Noire, Furgault, { 441 } Marchand de Papiers, A l'entrée de la rue de Richelieu, près des QuinzeVingts,... à Paris.” Following eight pages of accounts, which are at first in Thaxter's hand, including the caption, and afterward in both JA's and Thaxter's hands, the volume contains copies of JA's letters of a much later period, May 1814 — Nov. 1816.
2. This entry indicates that the exchange rate between the Spanish dollar and the French livre tournois was one to five, at least for purposes of common reckoning.
3. By Abbé Raynal; see Diary entry of 2 Feb. 1779 and note there.
4. Jacob Nicolas Moreau, Principes de morale, de politique et de droit public ... ou discours sur I'histoire de France, Paris, 1777–1779; 9 vols. (Catalogue of JA's Library).
5. Atlas amériquain septentrional contenant les détails des différentes provinces, de ce vaste continent ..., Paris, 1778. Pilote américain ..., Paris, 1779; 2 vols. in 1. Both of these collections were French reissues of English works and were published by Lerouge, under whose name they are entered in Catalogue of JA's Library.
6. This entry records JA's acquisition of two of the major works of French scholarship of the era. The first was Descriptions des arts et métiers, faites ou approuvées par Messieurs de l'Academic royale des sciences, Paris, 1761–1788; 113 cahiers, folio. JA's set, bound in 18 vols., was nearly but not quite complete, only a few parts being published after 1779. He presented it to Harvard College on 5 June 1789, and it is now in the Houghton Library. See Arthur H. Cole and George B. Watts, The Handicrafts of France as Recorded in the Descriptions des Arts et Metiers 1761–1788, Boston, 1952, for a history and appraisal of this work and a record of sets in American libraries. The second work was the Diderot-d'Alembert Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des metiers, par une société de gens de lettres, 3d edn., Geneva, &c., 1778–1779, of which JA's nearly complete set in 38 vols. survives among his books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 74); see also Harvard Library Bull., 9:235 (Spring 1955).
7. The Catalogue of JA's Library lists Les verbes francois ... en forme de dictionnaire, by Demarville, London, 1773, but only a later edition of Thomas Nugent, The New Pocket Dictionary of the French and English Languages ..., London, 1781.
8. The Catalogue of JA's Library lists two sets of Mably, Le droit public de l'Europe ..., the first published at Amsterdam in 2 vols., 1748, the second at Geneva in 3 vols., 1776. On Mably see Diary entry of 29 May 1778, above, and note there.
9. Traduction complette de Tacite, Paris, 1777–1779; 7 vols.; Latin and French texts (Catalogue of JA's Library).
10. Robert Estienne, Thesaurus linguae latinae in IV tomos divisus ..., Basel, 1740–1743; 4 vols., folio (Catalogue of JA's Library).
11. For Domat see Diary entry of 24 June 1779, above, and note 3 there. For the Voyage pittoresque de Paris and Voyage pittoresque des environs de Paris, frequently cited in notes above, see Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 73.
12. Aguesseau and Cochin were legal writers; see Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 8–9, 54. The Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle, Paris, 1775, in 6 vols., was by Valmont de Bomare (same, p. 253).
13. Probably J. A. Piganiol de La Force, Nouveau voyage de France; avec un itinéraire, et des cartes ..., nouv. édn., Paris, 1780 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
14. [Charles Le Roy,] Traité de Vorthographe françoise, en forme de dietionaire, nouv. edn., Poitiers, 1775 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
15. Jean Dumont, comp., Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens; contenant un recueil des traitez d'alliance, de paix, de trève, de neutralité, decommerce, d'éhange ..., Amsterdam, 1726–1739; 14 vols. in 15, folio (Catalogue of JA's Library).
16. Doubtless Thomas Digges, on whom see Diary entry of 20 April 1778 and note 2, above; also 4 Dec. 1782, note 1, below.
17. There are copies of La Fontaine's Fables choisies, mises en vers, listed in { 442 } both the Catalogue of JA's Library and in Boston Athenaeum, Catalogue of JQA's Books. Probably one of these belonged to CA, who, as the next entry in these accounts suggests, wanted a copy of his own.
18. Described at length in JA to AA, 5 May 1780 (Adams Papers).
19. JA acquired five volumes of the Journal des sçavans (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 132). On this day also, according to a separate and fragmentary record of book purchases elsewhere in the present letterbook, he bought “14 Exemplaires Loix de l'Amerique,” paying 35 livres for them. This was a work entitled Recueil des loix constitutives des colonies angloises, confédéréés sous la dénomination d'Etats-Unis de l'Amérique-Septentrionale ..., Paris, 1778, compiled by one Regnier from the texts of the state constitutions and other American state papers that had appeared in the Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amérique. Its curious bibliographical history has been related by Gilbert Chinard in Amer. Philos. Soc, Year Book 1943, p. 89–96. Five copies remain among JA's books in the Boston Public Library, one of them bearing MS notes in his hand.
20. “Dt.” probably means “ditto,” but JA's copy of the Annales has not been found.
21. Spelled by JQA, probably more correctly, Pechigny. He and his wife conducted the boarding school in Passy in which the Adams boys were placed. JQA wrote engagingly about his school work in a letter to his father without date [ante 17 March 1780] and in another to his cousin, William Cranch, 17 March 1780 (both in Adams Papers).
22. See entry of 30 Oct. 1778, above, and note.
23. Copies of Baretti's Dictionary of the English and Italian Languages ..., new edn., London, 1771, in 2 vols., and Beccaria's Dei delitti e delle pene, Haarlem and Paris, 1780, remain among JA's books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library). The Grammatica here mentioned may or may not be Buommattei's Delia lingua toscana ... libre due, 5th edn., Florence, 1760, which is listed in the Catalogue.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-07-27

1780 July 27. Thursday.

Setting off on a Journey, with my two Sons to Amsterdam.1 —Lodged at Compiegne. Fryday night, lodged at Valenciennes. Saturday arrived at Brussells.—This Road is through the finest Country, I have any where seen. The Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Peas, Beans and several other Grains, the Hemp, Flax, Grass, Clover, Lucerne, St. Foin, &c., the Pavements and Roads are good. The Rows of Trees, on each side the Road, and around many Squares of Land.—The Vines, the Cattle, the Sheep, in short every Thing upon this Road is beautiful and plentifull. Such immense fields and heavy Crops of Wheat I never saw any where. The Soil is stronger and richer, than in other Parts.
I lodged in Brussells at L'hotel de L'Imperatrice. The Cathedral Church, the Park, the Ramparts and Canals of this Town, are very well worth seeing.2
1. Having met with absolute resistance at Versailles to discharging any part of his mission to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, and having offended Vergennes by his importunity on this and unwelcome advice on other matters, JA determined to go to Amsterdam, “to try,” as Franklin reported to Congress, “whether something might not be done to render us less dependent on France” (Franklin to Huntington, 9 Aug. 1780, { 443 } Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:128). JA went to the Netherlands as a private citizen, not knowing that on 20 June Congress had commissioned him its agent, until Henry Laurens should arrive, to procure a loan there (JCC, 17:535–537); his commission, received on 16 Sept., was enclosed in a letter from Lovell and Houston, the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Adams Papers).
2. Only the first two sentences of the present entry could have been written on 27 July. According to JQA's Diary, which is much more detailed than his father's during this journey, the party arrived in Brussels at 5:30 in the afternoon of the 29th, and JA had a long conversation with Edmund Jenings that evening.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0004-0002

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

1780. July 30. Sunday.

Went to the Cathedral Church. A great Feast. An infinite Crowd.1 The Church more splendidly ornamented than any that I had seen. Hung with Tapestrie. The Church Music here is in the Italian style.
A Picture in Tapestry was hung up, of a No. of Jews stabbing the Wafer, the bon Dieu, and blood gushing in streams, from the B[read?]. This insufferable Piece of pious Villany, shocked me beyond measure. But thousands were before it, on their Knees adoring. I could not help cursing the Knavery of the Priesthood and the brutal Ignorance of the People—yet perhaps, I was rash and unreasonable, and that it is as much Virtue and Wisdom in them to adore, as in me to detest and despise.—Spent the Afternoon, and drank Tea, with Mr. W. Lee, Mr. Jennings, and his Nephew,2 Mrs. Izard, her two Daughters and Son, and Miss [Steed,]3 Mrs. Lee and her Children &c. An agreable Circle of Americans.
In the Evening Mr. Lee, Mr. Jennings and his Nephew, My two Sons, &c. took a Walk to see the Canals. Vessells of some Burthen come up here, in the Canal which reaches to the Sea. We afterwards walked upon the Ramparts.
In this Town is a great Plenty of stone, which I think is the same with our Braintree North Common stone. It is equally hard, equally fine grain—capable of a fine Polish. I think the Colour is a little darker, than the Braintree stone. There is a new Building here, before which is the Statue of the late Prince Charles, in Front of which are six Pillars, wholly of this stone. Indeed the Steps, and the whole Front is of the same stone.
This Town is the Capital of Brabant, in the Austrian Netherlands. The late Prince Charles was a Brother of the Empress Queen, L'lmperatrice Reine, Unkle of the Emperor and the Queen of France. He was extreamly beloved, by the People, and has left an excellent Character. The Emperor did not like him, it is said. In the late War, the Emperor called upon this Prince for Money. The Prince wrote to { 444 } dissuade him from it. The Emperor sent again. The Prince wrote back, that he saw They were determined, and they must appoint another Governor of this Province, for he could not execute their orders. Upon this the Imperial Court desisted.
We lodged one night at Antwerp, viewed the Cathedral and the Exchange &c. and went by Moerdyck to Rotterdam, where We arrived, the 4th. August.4
1. MS: “Crown.”
2. “Bordly” (i.e. Bordley), according to JQA's Diary.
3. Blank in MS; name supplied from JQA's Diary.
4. According to JQA's Diary the Adamses spent the 31st, 1st, and 2d in sightseeing and in visiting with William Lee and Edmund Jenings in Brussels; on the 3d they traveled in their own carriage to Antwerp; and on the 4th continued in hired carriages to Rotterdam, leaving their carriage in Antwerp.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-07 - 1780-08

[List of Persons and Firms to Be Consulted in the Netherlands, July–August 1780.1]

Mr. John de Neufville, et Fils.
Le Chr. de Luxembourg.
Le Chr. de Launay. Cs.
Van der Oudermeulen
M. Grand.
M. Fizeaux.
G. H. Matthes.
Henry du Bois. Hodshon
Mr. Jean Luzac, Avocat, Leide.
Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst.
Mr. Vinman.
Mr. John Gabriel Tegelaer, by the new Market.
Mr. Daniel Crommelin and Sons.2
1. This undated list appears on the last page but one of D/JA/31, separated from the last dated entry (6 Aug. 1780) in that booklet by seventeen blank leaves. It is a fair conjecture that the names, written in JA's most careful, un-hurried hand at two different sittings, were put down before JA reached the Netherlands—in Paris, in Brussels, or in both places.
2. The names are mostly those of Amsterdam merchants or bankers who had American interests that are dealt with in P. J. van Winter's comprehensive study, Het aandeel van den Amster damschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, notably Jan de Neufville & Zoon; Fizeaux, Grand & Cie. (which through its partner George Grand was closely associated with Ferdinand Grand, George's brother, the Paris banker for the United States); John Hodshon & Zoon; Nicolaas & Jacob van Staphorst; Jan Gabriel Tegelaar; and Daniël Crommelin & Zoonen. With two of the firms here listed JA was to have very close relations. Jan (or Jean) de Neufville had negotiated with William Lee at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1778 the { 445 } unauthorized and abortive “treaty” between the Netherlands and the United States, the text of which, when captured by the British among Henry Laurens' papers in 1780, led to the breach between Great Britain and the Netherlands. The De Neufville firm had refitted John Paul Jones' squadron in 1779 and did its best, after JA's arrival in Amsterdam, to raise a loan for the United States, though the results were extremely disappointing. Besides Van Winter's monograph see his article on De Neufville in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1211–1214. With the Van Staphorst brothers, ardent adherents of the Patriot, or anti-Orangist, party, JA got in touch immediately upon his arrival in Amsterdam (JQA, Diary, 14 Aug. 1780). After American independence was recognized by the Dutch in 1782, the Van Staphorst firm was one of the syndicate of Amsterdam bankers that floated a succession of loans negotiated by JA. Besides Van Winter's monograph see his article on Nicolaas van Staphorst in Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1285–1286.
Jean Luzac, on the other hand, was a Leyden lawyer, editor of the Nouvelles extraordinaires de divers endroits (commonly known as the Gazette de Leyde), and professor at the University of Leyden; he became one of JA's most admired and admiring friends and most useful collaborators in the Netherlands (JA-Luzac correspondence, Adams Papers; Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 290–1294).

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-05

1778 [i.e. 1780] Aug. 5.

Lodged at the Mareschall De Turenne. Dined with Mr. Dubblemets.1 Went to see the Statue of Erasmus, the Exchange, the Churches &c. Mr. Dubblemets sent his Coach in the Evening and one of his Clerks. We rode, round the Environs of the Town, then to his Country Seat, where We supped.—The Meadows are very fine, the Horses and Cattle large. The Intermixture of Houses, Trees, Ships, and Canals throughout this Town is very striking. The Neatness here is remarkable.
1. The mercantile firm of F. & A. Dubbeldemuts in Rotterdam had some tenuous American connections and was eager to improve them. Probably Franklin, to whom they had addressed various appeals, commended them to JA's attention. They were later vigorous supporters of JA's campaign to obtain Dutch recognition of American independence. See Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index, and JA-Dubbeldemuts correspondence in Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-06

1778 [i.e. 1780] Aug. 6.

Went to the English Presbyterian Church, and heard a sensible sermon, the mode of Worship differs in nothing from ours but in the organ, whose Musick joins in the Singing.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-28

1780 Aug. 28th. Monday.1

Heeren Graagt, by de Veisel Straagt. Burgomaster Hooft, D.Z.2
Mr. Hartzinck. Scheepen. Heeren Gragt.
M. G. H. Matthes.—burgwal opposite the Lombard.
J. Vandevelde. Agter zyds burgwal.
{ 446 }
Mr. Hartzinck is the Son in Law of Madam Chabanel, Mr. Le Roy's Aunt.
Keep us poor. Depress Us. Keep Us weak. Make Us feel our Obligations. Impress our Minds with a Sense of Gratitude. Let Europe see our dependance. Make Europe believe We are in great distress and danger, that other nations may be discouraged from taking our Part. Propagate bad news, to discourage the Merchants and Bankers of Holland from lending Us Money. Is there any Thing in these Jealousies and Insinuations?
Dined with M. Jacob Van staphorst. A dutch minister from St. Eustatia there. A Lawyer, Mr. Calcoon,3 Mr. Cromellin, Mr. Le Roi, Gillon,4 Joiner and a Merchant from Hamborough. The Parson is a warm American. The Lawyer made one observation which [I once?] made to Dr. Franklin, that English would be the general Language in the next Century, and that America would make it so. Latin was in the last Century, French has been so in this, and English will be so, the next.
It will be the Honour of Congress to form an Accademy for improving and ascertaining the English Language.5
1. First entry in D/JA/32, a pocket memorandum book with a cover of Dutch decorated paper over boards which have loops for a pencil at the fore-edge. Most of the entries are in pencil, and most of them are undated, but all belong to JA's first months in the Netherlands. Inside the front cover is a notation, probably in the hand of Harriet Welsh, a relative who lived in Boston and who acted occasionally as JA's amanuensis during his old age: “The Dutch book of Mr. John Adams when in Holland in the revolution. June 1823.” Among the leaves left blank by JA in the middle of the book are six scattered pages of accounts which are in a hand not even tentatively identified but unquestionably later than 1800. These have been disregarded in the present text. Since this is not a diary in the conventional sense, but a pocket engagement and address book containing occasional diary-like entries, CFA included nothing from it in his edition of JA's Diary. Yet the contents, fragmentary and sometimes cryptic as they are, throw some light on the beginnings of JA's mission to the Netherlands.
From JQA's Diary we learn that the Adamses left Rotterdam on 7 Aug. by canal boat for Delft and went on to The Hague, where JA consulted with the American agent, Charles William Frederic Dumas, and the French ambassador, the Due de La Vauguyon. They visited Leyden on the 9th, stopping there one night, and proceeded by canal boat via Haarlem to Amsterdam on the 10th, putting up at “l'Hotel des Armes d'Amsterdam.” In this city they found numerous Americans, including Alexander Gillon, who enjoyed the title of commodore of the South Carolina navy (Arthur Middleton to JA, 4 July 1778, Adams Papers). Gillon had Dutch relatives and found lodgings for the Adamses next door to his own (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 345–346). JA at once set about establishing such commercial, political, and journalistic connections as he could.
2. That is, Henrik Hooft, Danielszoon, a burgomaster of strongly republican (anti-Orangist) sentiments, who lived on the Heerengracht (Lords' Canal) near Vyzelstraat (Johan E. Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, Haarlem, 1903–1905, 2:726).
{ 447 }
3. Hendrik Calkoen (1742–1818), later described by JA as “the giant of the law in Amsterdam.” See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 3:195–197. Three days later Calkoen addressed a series of questions about the United States and its resources to JA in writing (Adams Papers), to which JA replied in a MS dated 4–27 Oct. 1780 (Adams Papers), afterward printed as Twenty-Six Letters, upon Interesting Subjects, respecting the Revolution of America ..., London, 1786; reprinted New York, 1789. JA included them among his letters to the Boston Patriot, preceded by an explanation of how they came to be written and the use Calkoen made of them to spread “just sentiments of American affairs” in the Netherlands (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 194). CFA also included them, with the explanation, in JA's Works, 7:265–312.
4. Alexander Gillon, of Charleston, S.C., but probably of Dutch origin, had recently acquired a Dutch-built frigate for the use of South Carolina and had named it for that state. He was also attempting to negotiate a loan for his state in Amsterdam and had gone the rounds of the banking and brokerage houses. JA held a respectful opinion of Gillon until after the fiasco of the latter's voyage of 1781, with CA on board. Gillon started from the Texel for America, but after six weeks put in at La Corufia, Spain, where his American passengers made haste to leave the South Carolina. See D. E. Huger Smith, “Commodore Alexander Gillon and the Frigate South Carolina,” So. Car. Hist. & Geneal. Mag., 9:189–219; John Trumbull, Autobiography, ed. Theodore Sizer, New Haven, 1953, p. 75–77.
5. On 5 Sept.JA developed this idea in a letter to Pres. Huntington proposing the establishment of an “American Accademy, for refining, improving and ascertaining the English Language,” to be maintained by Congress in conjunction with “a Library consisting of a compleat Collection of all Writings concerning Languages of every Sort ancient and modern” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-29

29 Aug.1

30 Wednesday. Mr. Vanberckle2
31 Thursday. Mr. Crommelin opde Keyzers Gragt.
Septr.
1 Fryday. Mrs. Chabanels.
3 Sunday. M. De Neuville, De Neuville
[6] Wednesday. Bicker3
[7] Thursday.
[10] Sunday. Cromelin
[12] Tuesday. Grand
[13] Wednesday. Chabanell
[14] Thursday. De Neufville
1. This list of engagements appears on the last page but one of D/JA/32. The entries may or may not have all been put down on 29 Aug.; space was left for insertions between those that do not fall on successive days.
2. Engelbert Francois van Berckel (1726–1796), pensionary of Amsterdam, an early enthusiast in the American cause, and younger brother of Pieter Johan van Berckel, who became the first minister from the Netherlands to the United States, 1783 (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 4:109–111; 2:128–129).
3. Henrick Bicker (1722–1783), an Amsterdam merchant who in the following month advised JA on his first steps to secure a Dutch loan to the { 448 } United States and who proved to JA “a sincere friend and faithful counsellor, from first to last” (Johan E. Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, Haarlem, 1903–1905, 1:361; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 171).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1780-08-30

[30 August.]

School op de Cingel.
30 of August, my Sons went to the Latin School.1
Dined at Mr. Vanberkles Pensionary of Amsterdam, with Mr. Bicker and an Officer of the Army.
Mr. Calkoen Keyzers Gragt.
1. This was the well-known Latin school or academy on the Singel (a canal in the heart of Amsterdam) near the Muntplein (Mint Square). The building is now occupied by the Amsterdam police. There is a contemporary account of the school in Le guide, ou nouvelle description d'Amsterdam ..., Amsterdam, 1772, p. 220–222, an anonymous but excellent guidebook, of which JA's copy survives among his books in the Boston Public Library. JQA translated and copied this account into his Diary, 31 Aug., and in later entries tells a little of life at the school. Things did not go well, however, for the precocious JQA under Dutch scholastic discipline. Since he did not know Dutch, he was kept in a lower form, and the Rector, H. Verheyk, found him disobedient and impertinent. As a result, on 10 Nov.JA instructed Verheyk to send both of his sons home (JA-Verheyk correspondence in Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0010-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1780-08 - 1780-09

[Miscellaneous Memoranda in Amsterdam, August–September 1780.]1

H. Grotius, de Jure Belli ac Pacis.2
C. van Bynkershoek
G. Noodt Opera
Apologeticus eorum qui Hollandiae praefuerunt ab H. Grotio Considerations sur 1'Etude de la Jurisprudence par M. Perrenot. Janiçon Republik der Vereenigde Nederlanden3 Ploos Van Amstel, the first Lawyer of Holland. Mr. Calkoen the next.
Heerens Gragt, pres Vissel Straat. Burgomaester Hooft.
Q. A Society or Academy for the dutch Language, in Germany, Russia, Sweeden, Denmark. The Italian Academy.
2000 Plants and Trees, many Americans.
38,000 florins for the Seat, 216 Acres of Land, between 30 and 40 thousand Vessells pass in a Year in Sight. Velserhooft.
Muyden. Sluices
Weesop. G in Hogs.4
De Geen. [Fine?] Seats
{ 449 }
Hofrust. Muyderberg. Mr. Crommelin.
Mr. Crommelin Op de Keyzers Gragt, over de Groenlandse Pakhuyzen. On the Keyzers Gragt opposite the Greenland Warehouses.
M. Van Berckel. Upon the Heerens Gragt, by de Konings Plein.
M. Bicker. Opposite.
M. Hooft—op de Heerens Gragt, by de Vyselstraat.
M. Vanhasselt at M. Wm. Hoofts on the Keysers Gragt, near the Amstel.
M. John Gabriel Tegelaar op de nieuwe Maart.
M. Nicholas Vanstaphorst, op de Cingel, about 50 doors from Jacob.
De La Lande & Fynje—op de Cingel.5
Questions. Is it necessary, or expedient to make any Representation, Communication, or Application to the Prince? or States General?
2. Is it prudent to apply to the City of Amsterdam, their Regency or any Persons, concerned in the Government?
3. To what Persons is it best to make the first Communication of my Commission? To Mr. Hooft, Mr. Vanberckel?
4. What House would you advise me to choose? or Houses?
5. Whether it is probable that any Number of Houses would unite in this Plan? and what Houses?
6. Whether any Number of Houses, might be induced, to become responsable for the punctual Payment of the Interest?
7. How much per Cent Interest must be given?
8. How much per Cent Commission to the Banker, or Bankers, House or Houses?
9. Whether it will be necessary to employ Brokers? What Brokers, and what Allowance must they have?
Jan and Dirk van Vollenhoven. Sur le meme Canal avec M. Berckel.
un Courtier. Maakalaar.6
Gulian Crommelin; at Mr. John Gasquet on the Rookin opposit the New Chapel.7
The Theatre of the War in N. America with the Roads and Tables of the superficial Contents, Distances &c. by an American. Annexed a compendious Account of the British Colonies in North America.
Van Arp. Maakalaar. Next to Mr. Matthes, op de Verweelé Burgwal, over de Lombard
{ 450 }
What is the manner of doing Business with the Brokers?
What must be given them?
2100 Guilders, double Rect. to receive for one, 400 Ducats8
Monitier & Merckemaer. Brokers in Loans9-13
Mandrillon.
Messrs. Curson & Gouvernieur Cont[inenta]l Agents at St. Eustatia9-13
Monitier & Merckemaer Brokers in Loans.
In het Rondeel op de hoek van de doele Straat9-13
Demter dans le Pijlsteeg9-13
Daniel Jan Bouwens, op de Heeregragt, by de Reguliersgragt.9-13
Reguliers Gragt
<Verlam> Printer. Verlem in de graave Straat. Printer of the North holland Gazette.
Daniel Jan Bowens, op de Heeregragt, bij de reguliers Gragt over de hoofd Officier.
In 1708  
La Gueldre   4   1/2  
La Hollande   55   1/2  
La Zelande   13   1/2  
   Utrecht   5   3/4  
LaFrise   11   1/2  
L'Overyssell   2   3/4  
Groningue & les Ommelandes   6   1/214  
8 feet long.
[9?] Inches diameter of the Mirour.
L'Angle aggrandit 300 fois, the least.
Jacobus van de Wall, over de laaste molen op de Overtoomseweg15
Mr. Ploos van Amstel Makelaar
B[ . . . ] te Amsterdam
In de Kalverstraat bij Intema & Tiboel boekverkoper. Een Frans en Duits [ . . . ], van het werk door Ploos v. Amstel
Agterburgwal by de Hoogstraat16
Mr. Wilmart Prince Gragt.
Mr. McCreery lodges, a Pension
Searle17
{ 451 }
1. These memoranda are undated and are probably not in chronological order. The “Questions” must have been formulated after JA received, 16 Sept., his temporary commission of 20 June to procure a loan in the Netherlands; see also note 8. A number of the entries, indicated by notes below, were written by persons other than JA, no doubt at his request when he wished to get unfamiliar names, addresses, and other information correctly recorded.
2. This and the following three entries are in an unidentified hand, perhaps Hendrik Calkoen's. For works by the eminent legal writers Hugo Grotius, Cornelis van Bynkershoek, and Gerard Noodt eventually acquired by JA, see Catalogue of JA's Library under their respective names.
3. JA later acquired an edition in French of Janiçon's Etat present de la république des Provinces-Unies ..., 4th edn., The Hague, 1755; 2 vols. (Catalogue of JA's Library).
4. Thus in MS. What JA meant by it is unknown to the editors.
5. The firm of De la Lande and Fynje was the third of the three Amsterdam banking houses (the others being the Van Staphorsts and the Willinks) that joined to raise the first Dutch loan to the United States in 1782.
6. Courtier (French) and makelaar (Dutch) are equivalent to the English word broker.
7. This entry is in an unidentified hand.
8. This entry can be explained and precisely dated from an isolated entry in LbJA/14 reading: “1780 Septr. 21. Reed, of Messrs. Fizeau Grand & Co. Four hundred Ducats or Two Thousand one hundred Guilders, for which I gave a double Rect. to serve as one. This I reed, on Account of M. F. Grand at Paris.”
9-13. These entries are in various unidentified hands.
14. This table, on a page by itself, doubtless represents the proportions of revenue paid into the common treasury by the seven provinces of the United Netherlands in 1708.
15. This and the following four entries are in various unidentified hands.
16. This was JA's own address, written down for him by someone who knew how to spell it, from mid-August 1780 to Feb. 1781. The Agterburgwal was a street on a canal “behind the city wall,” and JA lived on it “near High Street.” His landlady was “Madame La Veuve du Mr. Henry Schorn” (JA to Francis Dana, 18 Jan. 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). In his letters to the Boston PatriotJA remembered that there had been some “remarks” and “whisperings” among the Dutch and among Americans in Amsterdam “that Mr. Adams was in too obscure lodgings,” but he considered that these originated with “English spies” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 346). Whatever it may have been then, this section of Amsterdam, near the harbor and railroad station, is anything but respectable now, being on the edge of the area reserved for licensed prostitution. The most prominent landmark nearby is the Oude Kerk.
17. James Searle of Philadelphia, a member of the Continental Congress, who arrived in Europe in Sept. 1780 to try to obtain a foreign loan for Pennsylvania. See Mildred E. Lombard, “James Searle: Radical Business Man of the Revolution,” PMHB, 59:284–294 (July 1935).

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-11

1781 January 11. Thursday.1

Returned from the Hague to Leyden. Was present from 12. to one O Clock, when the Praeceptor gave his Lessons in Latin and Greek to my Sons. His Name is Wenshing.2 He is apparently a great Master of the two Languages, besides which he speaks French and Dutch very well, understands little English, but is desirous of learning it. He obliges his Pupills to be industrious, and they have both made a great Progress for the Time. He is pleased with them and they with him. { 452 } John is transcribing a Greek Grammar of his Masters Composition and Charles a Latin one. John is also transcribing a Treatise on Roman Antiquities, of his masters writing. The Master gives his Lessons in French.
This Day Dr. Waterhouse, Mr. Thaxter and my two Sons dined with me at the Cour de Hollande, and after Dinner, went to the Rector Magnificus, to be matriculated into the University. Charles was found to be too young, none under twelve Years of Age being admitted. John was admitted, after making a Declaration that he would do nothing against the Laws of the University, City or Land.
I wish to be informed concerning the Constitution and Regulations of this University. The Number of Professors, their Characters. The Government of the Students both in Morals and Studies. Their Manner of Living—their Priviledges &c. &c.3
1. This and the following scattered entries in Jan.–Feb. 1781 are from Lb/JA/28 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 116), which since it contains copies of a few of JA's letters in 1793–1794 has long been classed as a letterbook though it was begun as a diary. It is a small quarto-sized gathering of leaves stitched into a cover of marbled paper.
It is extremely unfortunate that JA kept no journal during the last months of 1780 when Anglo-Dutch relations came to a crisis that led to war between the two powers, vitally affected JA's status in the Netherlands, and greatly benefited the American cause. However, JA's long and frequent letters to Pres. Huntington and other correspondents constitute a more or less weekly and sometimes daily record of the events leading up to the rupture. Many of these letters were printed first in JA's self-justifying communications to the Boston Patriot, 1809–1812 (partly gathered and reprinted in his Correspondence in the Boston Patriot); another selection from them was made by CFA in JA's Works, vol. 7; and still another (though largely based on earlier printings) by Wharton in his edition of the Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence, vol. 4. Since relatively little use has been made, especially by European historians, of this mass of information and reflection by a lively observer, JA's correspondence will be printed comprehensively in Series III of the present edition.
The explosion in Anglo-Dutch relations was touched off by the capture at sea of Henry Laurens, when he was at last on his way to his post in the Netherlands, by a British ship in Sept. 1780. In a chest which he threw overboard but which was recovered were found papers which the British government considered evidence of unforgivable conduct on the part of Dutch citizens and especially of E. F. van Berckel, pensionary of Amsterdam and sponsor of the proposed treaty agreed upon at Aixla-Chapelle, Sept. 1778, by William Lee representing the United States and Jean de Neufville representing the Regency of Amsterdam. (See JA to Huntington, 27 Oct. 1780, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:320–321. See also Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:787–798.) The texts were dispatched at once to the British minister at The Hague, Sir Joseph Yorke, submitted by him to the Stadholder, and a disavowal of the conduct of the Amsterdam Regency demanded. In the Adams Papers, under date of 20 Oct. 1780, are printed texts, in English and Dutch, of the treaty draft and the other offending papers, and also a printed reply (with an English translation in MS) from the Burgomasters of Amsterdam. The latter defended their conduct against the British charges on the grounds, first, that the treaty was contingent on the United States' gain• { 453 } ing independence, and second, that a commercial treaty with the United States was in the ultimate interest of the whole Dutch trading community. These arguments were not likely to mollify Yorke, who memorialized the States General directly, 10 Nov., demanding that the Amsterdammers be punished for an attempt to violate the sovereignty of the nation and an abrogation of its treaties with England. JA observed that Yorke's action was “outrageous,” that Van Berckel had been singled out “for the Fate of Barnevelt, Grotius or De Wit,” and that the British were treating a sovereign power as if it were a recalcitrant colony of their own—very much as they had treated America in fact (JA to Huntington, 16, 17 Nov., and to Franklin, 30 Nov.; all letterbook copies, Adams Papers; Works, 7:329–330, 331, 338). From this point affairs deteriorated rapidly, but since JA provided a chronology of the climactic events in a letter to Huntington of 5 Jan. 1781 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:352–353), it is unnecessary to say more than that Yorke left The Hague on Christmas or the day before, without taking leave. The question in January, when JA briefly resumed his Diary, was whether the British threats and attacks on there shipping and colonies would bring the Dutch to an abject surrender. Their own dissensions prevented this, and they drifted into war.
2. Thaxter spells his name “Wensing” (to JA, 22 Dec. 1780, Adams Papers).
3. On 13 Dec. Benjamin Waterhouse, who was studying for a medical degree at Leyden, responded to inquiries from JA about schools, tutors, and accommodations for the Adams boys in that city (Adams Papers; see also JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 572). Encouraged by Waterhouse's reply, JA sent the boys off under Thaxter's care on the 18th (JA to AA, 18 Dec. 1780, Adams Papers). They secured rooms in the house where Waterhouse was living, F. Weller's (or Willer's) on the Langebrug, not far from the Kloksteeg where John Robinson had ministered to his congregation of English Separatists before they sailed to Cape Cod in 1620 (Thaxter to JA, 19 Dec.; JQA to JA, 21 Dec. 1780; both in Adams Papers). As JA notes here, JQA was regularly enrolled as a student in the University early in January; CA was enrolled by special permission on the 29th (Thaxter to JA, 1 Feb. 1781, Adams Papers; Register of Students, MS, Leyden Univ. Libr.). Letters exchanged by JA and JQA in the following months record the older son's progress in his studies, which he found congenial.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-12

12. Fryday.

Mr. Mitchel, Mr. Luzac, Dr. Waterhouse, Mr. Thaxter and my two Sons supped with me at the Cour de Holland.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-13

13 Saturday.

Returned to Amsterdam, having dined at Haerlem, at the Golden Lion. Went in the Evening to see Ingraham and Sigourney1 and C[ommodore] Gillon.
Chez la V[euv]e Wynen, dans le premier Wezelstraat, à main gauche. Address of Cerisier.2
1. “There are three Gentlemen, in the Mercantile Way, Mr. Sigourney, Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Bromfield, who are now in this City, and propose to reside here and establish a mercantile House. These Gentlemen are very well known in the Massachusetts, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to say any Thing about their Characters” (JA to the Massachusetts Board of War, 16 Jan. 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). The three established themselves promptly in business, { 454 } for in a series of letters in April JA commissioned them to rent and furnish a house in Amsterdam suitable for his residence as minister plenipotentiary; see note on entry of 28 Feb., below.
2. Antoine Marie Cerisier (1749–1828), a French publicist and historical writer who had resided for some time in the Netherlands and was active in the Patriot movement (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générate). Quite possibly his journalistic activities were subsidized by the French government. JA later said that after reading one of Cerisier's works on Dutch history he traveled to Utrecht to meet the author and found him an agreeable and learned man, at home in French, Dutch, and English, and deeply interested in American affairs. Cerisier moved to Amsterdam, apparently at just this time (early in 1781), “and proposed to publish a periodical paper, with a view to serve our cause. I encouraged this very cordially, and he soon commenced the work, under the title of Le Politique Hollandais, or the Dutch Politician. In this he inserted every thing that he thought would do honor to America, or promote our reputation and interest. His paper was much read, and had a great effect. He was always ready to translate any thing for me into French or Dutch, or out of Dutch into French or English” (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 256). In short, Cerisier became one of JA's principal coadjutors in his press campaign to win support for America. In a letter to R. R. Livingston, 16 May 1782, JA commended Cerisier in the warmest terms to the generosity of Congress (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:589–590). JA's copies of Le politique hollandais survive in the Boston Public Library, and a number of contributions by JA to this journal have been identified. A study of Le politique hollandais by W. P. Sautyn Kluit is illuminating on Dutch journalism at this period but not adequate on Cerisier's career (Handelingen en mededeelingen van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden over het jaar 1882, p. 3–36). From documents in the Adams Papers it now appears that Cerisier was also the author of the principal statement of the Patriot party's program, a learned and influential work in two volumes entitled Grondwettige herstelling van Nederlands staatswezen, Amsterdam, 1784–1786, though his authorship was a secret long and well kept in the Netherlands (Cerisier to JA, 10 Aug. 1786, laid in a presentation copy of the second volume of the Herstelling among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; see also JA to John Jay, 3 Oct. 1786, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:676–677). When the Prussian army invaded the Netherlands in the fall of 1787 and crushed the Patriots' hopes and efforts, Cerisier fled to Paris (letter to JA, 3 Nov. 1787, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-14

1781. Sunday. Jan. 14.

Questions.—How many Ships of War, are determined to be equipped? How much Money have the States General granted for the Navy? Have the States General resolved to issue Letters of Marque? Are the Letters issued? Is there a Disposition to demand them? Will there be many Privateers? How many? Will the Manifesto be published? When? How many Troops are ordered to Zealand? Have the States General taken any Sweedish or Danish Men of War, into their Service? How many? On what Terms?
When will the Decision of the Court of Holland, be made, upon the Conduct of Amsterdam? Will it be this month or next? Who knows what it will be? Why is the decision delayed? What are the { 455 } Reasons, Causes, Motives, End and design? Is it not the Influence of the English Party, that still obstructs and retards?
Has Zealand, proposed, or advised, to open a Negotiation, to make up the Quarrel? When. What measures does she propose?1
The B. V. Capellen came in.2 He fears that the Prince and the Proprietors of English Funds will unite, in endeavours to make it up, by a dishonourable Peace.—Mr. V. B. persists that there will be no war. Says it is a Rhodomontade, a Bombino of the English &c. That some Persons have underwritten upon Vessells, on the Faith of Mr. Van berkel, &c.
This Evening call'd upon M. V. Berkel, who was alone, among a Multitude of Papers, obliged to go out at 5 upon Business, made many polite Excuses, and invited me to call the Day after tomorrow, at 4 o clock, being engaged tomorrow. I agreed. I asked him however, whether the States General had resolved to grant Letters of Mark, and he said Yes.—If they were distributed? and he hesitated, as if uncertain. I then excused myself from staying longer, and prayed him to keep his Chamber, but according to the Dutch Fashion he would accompany me to the Door, and make me all the Bows, which the Custom demands, which obliged me to return him, as many.
Q. Is it certain that the Empress of Russia is well inclined towards America? Who has such Information? Has there been any deliberation or Consultation, between the maritime Powers in forming the armed Neutrality, concerning the American Question?
1. The Province of Zeeland, where the Stadholder's influence was stronger than anywhere else in the country, continued to hold out for pacification instead of war with England; see JA's short treatise on Zeeland in a letter to Congress, 30 Dec. 1780, PCC, No. 84, II, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:214–218; also JA to Congress, 15 Jan. 1781, PCC, No. 84, III, printed in same, p. 232, and in JA, Papers, (vol. 11:50).
2. Joan Derk, Baron van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741–1784), of Zwolle in Overyssel, philosophical leader of the Patriot party in the United Provinces, reformer, and friend of America (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 1:578–581). Van der Capellen had been in correspondence with Gov. Jonathan Trumbull for several years, had in 1779 proposed that an American minister be sent to The Hague, and proved an encouraging friend and faithful adviser to JA throughout his Dutch mission. Virtually all of their correspondence has been published in Van der Capellen's Brieven, ed. W. H. de Beaufort, Utrecht, 1879.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-01-15

1781. Monday. Jan. 15.

Visited old Mr. Crommelin and Mr. De Neufville. There is a wonderful Consternation among the Merchants. Many Houses have great difficulty to support their Credit.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-23

1781. Feb 24 [i.e. 23]. Fryday.

Went to the Hague, in the Trecht Schuit.1 At Leyden I have seen Mr. Vander Kemp,2 and Mr. [] and Mr. []I also visited two large Manufactures, one of Cloth, another of Camblet.
1. Canal boat or tow-boat. “... partly by the Trech Schuits, that is the Barks which ply in this Country in the Canals” (JA to Huntington, 6 April 1781, LbC, Adams Papers). JA spells the word in a multitude of ways.
2. Francois Adriaan van der Kemp (1752–1829), Mennonite clergyman, author, and political radical, was a disciple of J. D. van der Capellen's. He suffered imprisonment for his anti-Orangist activities and after the collapse of the Patriot movement fled the Netherlands and emigrated to the United States, 1788. He settled in upper New York State and lived a scholarly life in bucolic surroundings for many years. See Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:953–958, and Van der Kemp's Autobiography, ed. Helen L. Fairchild, N.Y., 1903, a charming book containing selections from Van der Kemp's extensive correspondence with JA and others, and much information on the Dutch Patriots, with numerous portraits.

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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1781-02-28

1781 Feb. 28. Wednesday.

At the Arms of Amsterdam.1
What can be the Ground of the Malice, of so many, against America?
1. This implies that JA had given up his lodgings at Madame Schorn's in the Agterburgwal. During the early months of 1781 he was much on the move between Amsterdam, Leyden, and The Hague, but on 27 April he wrote Edmund Jenings: “I have taken an House on the Keysers Gragt near the Spiegel Straat, and am about becoming a Citizen of Amsterdam—unless their High mightinesses should pronounce me a Rebel, and expel me their Dominions, which I believe they will not be inclined to do” (Adams Papers). The arrangements were made by the new American firm in Amsterdam, Sigourney, Ingraham, & Bromfield, to whom JA wrote a succession of letters from Leyden commissioning them to rent a “large, roomly [sic] and handsome” house “fit for the Hotel des Etats Unis de L'Amerique,” with detailed directions about furniture, a carriage, servants, and much else (9, 11, 13 April, all letterbook copies, Adams Papers; partly printed in JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 426–428). His new house on the Emperor's Canal near the Looking-Glass Street was in keeping with his new status; on 25 Feb. he had received a letter from Pres. Huntington of 1 Jan. enclosing a commission, with full powers and instructions voted by Congress on 29 Dec, as “Commissioner ... to confer, treat, agree and conclude” with the States General of the United Provinces “concerning a treaty of Amity and Commerce” (Adams Papers). His letter of credence, however, denominated him “minister plenipotentiary” (enclosure, dated 1 Jan., in Huntington to JA, 9 Jan. 1781, Adams Papers; see JCC, 18:1204–1217; 19: 17–19) See illustrations of present Keizersgracht No. 529 in this volume.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0011-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1781-07-02 - 1781-07-09

[Accounts, July 1781.]1

Expences of a Journey from Amsterdam to Paris. Sat off the 2d of July from Amsterdam, passed by Utrecht, Gorcum, Breda, Antwerp, { 457 } Brussells, Valenciennes &c. and arrived at the Hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu, Paris the 6th of July, 1781.2
  £   s   d  
July 6. 1781. Expences, on the Road, Fifty four Ducats        
1781. July 9. Reed, of Mr. F. Grand at Paris four Thousand Eight hundred Livres, for which I gave him a Rect.   4800:   0:   0  
1. This fragment is the sole entry in an account book (M/JA/2; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 181) apparently purchased for use during JA's hurried visit to Paris in the summer of 1781. The volume is a small quarto bound in parchment; the leaves are ruled lengthwise for double-entry accounts, but all except the first two facing pages are blank. On the back cover is a notation in JA's hand: “1781 / Peace.”
On 12 March 1781 the States General of the United Provinces at last issued a counter-manifesto to the British denunciation (21 Dec. 1780) of the Anglo-Dutch alliance. JA embodied the counter-manifesto in his letter to Huntington of 18 March (PCC, No. 84, III; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:306–313). Now that the long and intense debate over war or submission was finished, JA could consider the timing and method of announcing his powers to treat for an alliance between the United States and the Netherlands —which would require as an antecedent condition Dutch recognition of American sovereignty and would in itself be a necessary antecedent, it was now clear to JA, to raising a substantial loan among the Amsterdam bankers. In consequence he spent the last part of March and the early part of April quietly in Leyden drafting a memorial which emphasized the historical ties between the two nations and the advantages that would flow from close commercial relations between them. This paper, which was to become famous, went through successive drafts and was completed and signed on 19 April, the sixth anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. On this very day JA went to The Hague and began a series of interviews with La Vauguyon, the French ambassador, who, under instructions from Vergennes, did everything in his power to dissuade JA from his purpose but did not succeed. The account of his tussle with La Vauguyon in JA's Correspondence in the Boston Patriot (p. 431–434) is, or at least deserves to be, a classic piece of diplomatic narrative; it is reprinted in a long note in JA, Works, 7:404–406. In the first days of May, after copies and translations had been prepared, JA first submitted his memorial to Van Bleiswyck, grand pensionary of Holland, which was by far the most powerful of the seven provinces and the one most inclined to be sympathetic to JA's appeal; and next to Baron Lynden van Hemmen, president of the week of the States General. Neither dignitary would receive it officially, but the latter reported his interview with JA to the body over which he presided, and copies of the paper were called for by the deputies to refer to their provincial assemblies. During their interview JA had informed Lynden van Hemmen that he would feel it his duty to have the memorial printed; no objection was raised; and JA's man-of-all-work in The Hague, C. W. F. Dumas, arranged for its publication and distribution in Dutch, French, and English throughout the Netherlands. It was also widely reprinted in Dutch and other newspapers. See JA to Huntington, 3, 7 May 1781, PCC, No. 84, III, printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:398–399, 401–403; also Dumas to Huntington, 1 May–13 July 1781, same, p. 393–397. Contemporary printings of the memorial in Dutch, French, and English are listed in W. P. C. Knuttel, comp., Catalogus van de pamflettenverzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1889–1916, Nos. 19506, 19506a, 19507; English texts will be found in JA's Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 439–448; Works, 7:396–404; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:370–376.
{ 458 }
2. In the spring of 1781 the proposals of the Russian and Austrian courts for a mediation between the warring powers took definite shape, and Vergennes, with some reluctance, was obliged to summon JA, the only American representative abroad empowered to discuss peace terms, to Paris for consultation upon them (Bérenger to JA, 5 June 1781, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:423–424). At Versailles on 11 July Vergennes laid before JA those terms of the proposed mediation which he chose to let him see and which JA, in a series of letters that followed and overwhelmed Vergennes, rejected on the part of the United States. JA later said that these letters “defeated the profound and magnificent project of a Congress at Vienna, for the purpose of chicaning the United States out of their independence” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 133). The essential truth of this assertion has been confirmed by later historians, since it is clear that Vergennes was almost ready at this critical point in the war to compromise France's pledge of independence and throw the United States on the mercy of Great Britain. See CFA in JA's Works, 1:334–340; Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, ch. 13, “The Imperial Mediators and France in 1781,” especially p. 184, 186–187. The articles of the imperial mediation proposed on 20 May 1781, with the answers of the belligerent powers in Europe, are printed in English in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 4:860–867. JA's record of his part in the abortive negotiation is in Lb/JA/17 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 105), together with rejected and corrected drafts of his own papers and some important sequels. Nearly all of these documents were reprinted in his “second autobiography” (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 107–148).
JA left Paris and returned to Amsterdam in the last days of July.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/