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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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/