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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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.
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/