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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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]
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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.
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/