A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-21

Oct. 21. Monday.

Went to the Cathedral Church, where We saw the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the famous Altar Piece of Reubens, the Figures and Colouring are beautifull beyond description—and the Descent of Jesus from the Cross. Reubens has placed in this Piece his three Wives and Daughter, and his own head. The Colouring is all gloomy, accommodated to the Subject.
In this Church each Trade has its Altar. We remarked the Martyrdom of Crispin, Patron of the Shoemakers, in another Part the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian shot by Arrows. This Church is remarkably clean. No Dust upon any of the Figures.
Went next to the Church of St. James, principally To see the Tomb of Rubens. There is a Picture drawn by Rubens, containing in one Piece the Figures of his Grandfather, Father, two of his Wives and three of his Children. An Inscription at the Door, Ostium Monumenti Familiae Rubenianae.
Rubens was born at Cologne, but removed at the Age of 10 Years, with his Family to Antwerp. He travelled into Italy. Mass is said 4 times a day at this Altar.
Went next to see the private Collection of Jaques Van Lancker. Here is an Head of his second Wife by Reubens and a larger Picture of the Saviour delivering the Keys to St. Peter. There is a Jealousy very remarkable in the face of one of the Apostles. A Christ by Reubens, a Magdalene by Paul Veronese, an Italian, A Man and his Wife by Rembrant, and several other Pieces by him, Vandyke &c.
We went in the last Place to see the private Collection of Pilaer and Beekmans, Negotiants en Dentelles, Diamans, Tableaux, Desseins, Estampes &c. Place de Mier.
The most remarkable Piece in this Collection is an old Woman, his Mother, with a Bible on the Table before her, by Rembrant. This is called his Master Piece. It is indeed an Admirable Picture.
{ 32 }
The Son in Law of this house told me, there was a Society formed in this Town, which had begun to send Ventures to America.
After Dinner, We rode to Bruxelles, and put up, at the Hotel de belle Vue. Mr. Jennings came in, and We had a very agreable hour with him.
The Gate was shut before our Arrival. The Porter demanded my Name and Quality, in order to send them to a Burgomaster of the City, for a Billet du Porte. The Messenger returned with an order to admit Mr. Adams Minister Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis &c. in stronger terms than usual. I did not know but the Burgomaster would have omitted the Quality in the order. But I am told that every body here is American.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-22

October 22. Tuesday.

Visited Mr. William Lee, in the Place de St. Mitchell with Mr. Jennings. Mr. Lee said that the Swallow was a Sign of Summer. My Appearance denoted Peace.
Mr. Jennings let me into the Character of Mr. Fitsherbert....1 His Father was prevailed on by Ld. North to vote with him, but he was never easy in his mind about it, and finally cut his own Throat. The Gentleman at Paris is about 33, wholly dependent on Ld. Shelbourne. Has Parts but very conceited, and assuming. Not liked by the English while at Brussells, because he did not keep a Table. He was only Resident and his Appointment small, not more than 1500£.
He writes from Paris, that the C. de Vergennes has a Great Character, but that he sees nothing in him.... This is evidence of Vanity, for that Minister has at least a vast Experience, and too much reserve to give Proofs of Great or little Qualities so soon to this young Gentleman.... His Parts are quick and his Education has been good.... He has sometimes treated the English with cool Contempt and sometimes with hot Pride.
We set off on our Journey about Twelve but before We reached Halle, the Iron Axletree of our fore Weels snapped off like a Piece of Glass, our Carriage fell, and We were put to great difficulty to drag it, to the Porte Verde a Tavern in this Village. Being thus detained for the Reparation of our Carriage, after Dinner We walked about the Village and visited the Church of Notre Dame de Halle, but saw nothing but what is very common. The Village is dirty and poor.... What a Contrast to the Villages of Holland.
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS.
{ [facing 32] } { [facing 33] }

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-23

Oct. 23. Wednesday.

Rode to Mons in a great Rain, dined at the Couronne De L'Impereur, very well and very cheap, rode to Valenciennes and found our Axletree broken again. Put up at the Post house.
Walked about the Town, the Churches all shut, and nothing remarkable.

The bright rosy morning, peeps over the Hills

With blushes adorning, the Meadows and Fields.

The merry, merry, merry horn, calls come, come away

Awake from your Slumbers, and hail the new Day.

The Stag rous'd before Us, away seems to fly

And pants to the Chorus of Hounds in full Cry.

The follow, follow, follow, follow, the musical Chase

While Pleasure and Vigour each other embrace.

The day Sports being over, makes blood circle right

And gives the brisk Lover, fresh Charms for the night.

Then Let Us, Let us now enjoy, all We can while We may

Let Love crown the night Boys, as our Sports crown the day.

The Banks of the Dee.

T'was Summer, when softly the Breezes were blowing

And sweetly the Nightingale sang from the Tree

At the Foot of a Rock, where the River was flowing

I sat myself down on the Banks of the Dee.

Flow on lovely Dee! flow on thou sweet River

Thy Bank's, purest Stream! shall be dear to me, ever

For then I first gain'd the Affections and favour

Of Jemmy, the Glory and Pride of the Dee.

But now he is gone and has left me, thus mourning

To quel the proud Tyrant, for valiant is he

And Ah! there's nae hope of his speedy returning

To stroll here again on the Banks of the Dee.

He's gone hapless youth, o'er the wide roaring Billows

The kindest the sweetest of all the young Fellows

And has left me to wander among the green Willows

The loneliest Lass, on the Banks of the Dee.

{ 34 }

But time and my Prayers may perhaps yet restore him

Sweet Peace may return my dear Soldier to me

And when he returns, with such Care, I'll watch o'er him

He n'eer shall again leave the Banks of the Dee.

The Dee then shall flow all its Beauties displaying

The Lambs shall again on its Banks be seen playing

Whilst I with my Jemmy, am carelessly straying

And tasting afresh all the Sweets of the Dee.

All the Cities and Villages of Brabant are very different from those of Holland. The Streets very foul. The Houses very dirty, the Doors and Windows broken, Bricks and Glass wanting. The People, Men, Women and Children filthy and rag[g]ed.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-24

Oct. 24. Thursday.

Visited the Church at Valenciennes. Saw a notre Dame De Hall. She appears pregnant. A Collection of Portraits ancient and modern, and a Picture of the Virgin Mary in the Air, sending by Angels a Cord round the City with an Inscription importing, Valenciennes surrounded with a Cord by the blessed Virgin, and saved from the Plague Anno 1008.
Dined at Cambray, visited the Cathedral, saw the Tomb of Fenelon, his Statue, Picture &c. Saw the Chapter where the Chanoines meet twice a Week, and saw also the Room where are the Portraits of all the Archbishops and Bishops ancient and Modern, and Fenelon among the rest. There is also in this Church a curious Piece of Clock Work, which represents the whole Proscess with Jesus Christ like that in the 7 Chappells of Mount Calvare.—Lodged at Peronne.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-25

Oct. 25. Fryday.

Dined at Gourney. Carriage broke again. Arrived at Night, at Pont-Sainte-Maxence, two Posts from Chantilly and one and an half from Senlis.
The Ecchoing horn

The ecchoing horn calls the Sportsmen abroad

To horse, my brave Boys, and away

The morning is up and the Cry of the hounds

Upbraids our too tedious Delay.

{ 35 }

What Pleasure We find in pursuing the Fox

O'er hills and o'er Valleys he flies

Then follow, W'ell soon overtake him. Huzza

The Traitor is seized on and dies.

Tryumphant returning at night with our Spoils

Like Bacchanals shouting and gay

How Sweet with a Bottle and Lass to refresh

And loose the Fatigues of the Day.

With Sport, Love and Wine fickle Fortune defy

Dull Wisdom all Happiness sours

Since Life is no more than a Passage at best

Let's strew the Way over with Flowers.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-26

1782 October 26. Saturday.

Parted from Pont Sainte Maxence, for Chantilly. The distance is two Postes, and We found the Road very good. We went to see the Stables, and Horses. I had on my travelling Gloves, and one of the Grooms run up to Us, with 3 Whip Sticks, and presented them to Us. This is an Air which the Grooms give themselves, in order to get Something to drink. They do the same to the Prince of Condé himself, if he enters the Stables with Gloves on his hands. I gave them six Livres, but if I had been in a private Character, I should have thought 24s. or even half of it, enough.
We went round the Castle, and took a Look at the Statue of the grande Condé, in marble, half Way up the great Stair Case, and saw the Statue on Horseback in Bronze, of the grand Constable Montmorency. Walked round the Gardens, Fish Ponds, Grottoes and Waterspouts. And looked at the Carps and Swan that came up to Us for Bread. Nothing is more curious than this. Whistle or throw a Bit of Bread into the Water and hundreds of Carps large and fat as butter will be seen swimming near the Top of the Water towards you, and will assemble all in a huddle, before you. Some of them will thrust up their Mouths to the Surface, and gape at you like young Birds in a Nest to their Parents for Food.
While We were viewing the Statue of Montmorency Mademoiselle de Bourbon came out into the Round house at the Corner of the Castle dressed in beautifull White, her Hair uncombed hanging and flowing about her Showlders, with a Book in her Hand, and leaned over the Bar of Iron, but soon perceiving that she had caught my Eye, { 36 } and that I viewed her more attentively than she fancied, she rose up with that Majesty and Grace, which Persons of her Birth affect, if they are not taught, turned her Hair off of both her Showlders, with her Hands, in a manner that I could not comprehend, and decently stepped back into the Chamber and was seen no more. The Book in her hand is consistent, with what I heard 4 Years ago at the Palais de Bourbon in Paris, that she was fond of Reading....1
The Managery, where they exercise the Horses is near the end of the Stables and is a magnificent Piece of Architecture. The orangery appears large, but We did not look into it.
The Village of Chantilly, appears a small Thing. In the Forest or Park We saw Bucks, Hares, Pheasants, Partridges &c. but not in such Plenty as one would expect.
We took a Cutlet and glass of Wine, at ten at Chantilly, that We might not be tempted to stop again, accordingly We arrived, in very good Season at the Hotel de Valois, Rue de Richelieu, where the House however was so full that We found but bad Accommodations.

Now the Hill Tops are burnished, with Azure and Gold

And the Prospect around Us most bright to behold

The hounds are all trying the Mazes to trace

The Steeds are all neighing and pant for the Chase

Then rouse each true Sportsman, and join at the Dawn

The Song of the Huntsman, and Sound of the Horn.

The Horn, The Horn, the Song of the Huntsman

and Sound of the Horn.

Wherever We go Pleasure waits on Us still

If We sink in the Valley, or rise on the Hill

See the Downs now we leave, and the Coverts appear

As eager We follow, the Fox or the Hare.

The Horn, The Horn, the Song of the Huntsman

and Sound of the Horn.

O'er Hedges and Ditches We valiantly fly

For fearless of Death We ne'er think we shall die.


From Ages long past by the Poets we are told

That Hunting was lov'd by the Sages of old

That the Soldier and Huntsman were both on a Par

That the health giving Chase made them bold in the War.


{ 37 }

The Chase being over away to the Bowl

The full flowing Bumper shall chear up our Soul

Whilst Jocund our Songs shall with Chorus's ring

A Toast to our Lasses, our Country and King.



Arrived, at night at the Hotel de Valois, Rue de Richelieu, after a Journey of ten Days from the Hague, from whence We, Mr. John Thaxter, Mr. Charles Storer and I parted last Thursday was a Week.
The first Thing to be done, in Paris, is always to send for a Taylor, Peruke maker and Shoemaker, for this nation has established such a domination over the Fashion, that neither Cloaths, Wigs nor Shoes made in any other Place will do in Paris. This is one of the Ways, in which France taxes all Europe, and will tax America. It is a great Branch of the Policy of the Court, to preserve and increase this national Influence over the Mode, because it occasions an immense Commerce between France and all the other Parts of Europe. Paris furnishes the Materials and the manner, both to Men and Women, every where else.
Mr. Ridley lodges in the Ruë de Clairi [Cléry], No. 60.
Mr. Jay. Rue des petits Augustins, Hotel D'Orleans.
1. Suspension points in MS. The romantic figure JA saw so fleetingly was Louise Adélaïde de Bourbon-Conde, later Princesse de Condé (1757–1824), who was born at Chantilly, fled to Brussels in 1789, entered a convent at Turin in 1795, and, largely owing to the vicissitudes of war, led a wandering life in Switzerland, Poland, England, and France; her letters to a lover she never married were published in 1834 (La Grande Encyclopedie, 12:341–342).
2. At this point the present Diary booklet (D/JA/34) ends; the next sentence, continuing the record of 26 Oct. (though perhaps written on the 27th), begins a new booklet (D/JA/35) which is identical in format with its predecessor.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-27

1782 Oct. 27. Sunday.

Went into the Bath, upon the Seine, not far from the Pont Royal, opposite the Tuilleries. You are shewn into a little Room, which has a large Window looking over the River into the Tuilleries. There is a Table, a Glass and two Chairs, and you are furnished with hot linnen, Towels &c. There is a Bell which you ring when you want any Thing.
Went in search of Ridley and found him.1 He says F[ranklin] has broke up the Practice of inviting every Body to dine with him on { 38 } Sundays at Passy. That he is getting better. The Gout left him weak. But he begins to sit, at Table.
That J[ay] insists on having an exchange of full Powers, before he enters on Conference or Treaty. Refuses to treat with D'Aranda, untill he has a Copy of his Full Powers. Refused to treat with Oswald, untill he had a Commission to treat with the Commissioners of the United States of America.—F. was afraid to insist upon it. Was afraid We should be obliged to treat without. Differed with J. Refused to sign a Letter &c. Vergennes wanted him to treat with D'Aranda, without.2
The Ministry quarrel. De Fleury has attacked De Castries, upon the Expences of the Marine. Vergennes is supposed to be with De Fleury.—Talk of a Change of Ministry.—Talk of De Choiseul, &c.
F. wrote to Madrid, at the Time when he wrote his pretended Request to resign, and supposed that J. would succeed him at this Court and obtained a Promise that W. should be Sec[retary]. Jay did not know but he was well qualified for the Place.3
Went to the Hotel D'orleans, Rue des petites Augustins, to see my Colleage in the Commission for Peace, Mr. Jay, but he and his Lady were gone out.
Mr. R. dined with me, and after dinner We went to view the Appartements in the Hotel du Roi,4 and then to Mr. J. and Mrs. Iz[ard], but none at home. R. returned, drank Tea and spent the Evening with me. Mr. Jeremiah Allen, our Fellow Passenger in the leaky Sensible, and our Fellow Traveller through Spain, came in and spent the Evening. He has been home since and returned.
R. is still full of Js. Firmness and Independance. Has taken upon himself, to act without asking Advice or even communicating with the C[omte] de V[ergennes]—and this even in opposition to an Instruction.5 This Instruction, which is alluded to in a Letter I received at the Hague a few days before I left it, has never yet been communicated to me. It seems to have been concealed, designedly from me. The Commission to W. was urged to be filled up, as soon as the Commission came to O[swald] to treat with the Min[ister]s of the united States, and it is filled up and signed. W. has lately been very frequently with J. at his house, and has been very desirous of perswading F. to live in the same house with J.—Between two as subtle Spirits, as any in this World, the one malicious, the other I think honest, I shall have a delicate, a nice, a critical Part to Act. F.s cunning will be to divide Us. To this End he will provoke, he will insinuate, he will intrigue, he will maneuvre. My Curiosity will at least be employed, { 39 } in observing his Invention and his Artifice. J. declares roundly, that he will never set his hand to a bad Peace. Congress may appoint another, but he will make a good Peace or none.
1. In a letter to the Boston Patriot, published 24 July 1811, JA has more to say about why he sought out Matthew Ridley as soon as he reached Paris, and about what passed between them concerning the views of Franklin and Jay and other matters. Ridley had no official status (beyond his commission to borrow money for the State of Maryland), but he was a confidant of a surprising number and variety of Americans and others, and his journals for 1782–1783 (in MHi) are therefore a valuable source of information on persons and events connected with the peace negotiations.
2. See Jay's own account of the negotiation, from the time of his arrival in Paris from Madrid late in June to the arrival of JA in Paris four months later, in a long and remarkable letter to Secretary Livingston, 17 Nov. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:11–49). See also JA's Diary entry of 3 Nov., below. The “first set” of articles for the preliminary treaty had been agreed on between Franklin and Jay on the one hand and the British Commissioner, Richard Oswald, on the other, 8 Oct.; a copy of these is in Lb/JA/21 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 109; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:805–808). These were sent to London for the consideration of the British government.
3. ”W.” is William Temple Franklin. His commission as secretary to the American peace commission, dated 1 Oct. 1782, is printed in same, p. 789–790. It was signed by Franklin and Jay on that date and by Laurens and JA retroactively in 1783. JA was nettled because he had not been consulted about the appointment, but at Franklin's request Jay later categorically denied that he (Jay) had been solicited by Franklin in behalf of his grandson; see Jay to Franklin, 26 Jan. 1783 (same 6:231). See also entry of 11 Jan. 1783, below.
4. In the Place du Carrousel, between the Palais Royal and the Quai du Louvre, now in the courtyard of the (enlarged) Louvre. JA occupied apartments here from the end of Oct. 1782 until after the signing of the Definitive Treaty in Sept. 1783, though he found them both expensive and noisy. See his letter published in the Boston Patriot, 29 April 1812, and his Diary entry for 14 Sept. 1783, below.
5. Of 15 June 1781: “... you are to make the most candid and confidential communications upon all subjects to the ministers of our generous ally, the King of France; to undertake nothing in the negotiations for peace or truce without their knowledge and concurrence; and ultimately to govern yourselves by their advice and opinion” (JCC, 20:651). JA received this instruction on 24 Aug. 1781, but, as he declared to Livingston on 31 Oct. 1782, he never supposed that it was intended to take “away from Us, all right of Judging for ourselves, and obliging Us to agree to whatever the french Ministers shall advise Us too [sic], and to [do] nothing without their Consent.” If this was indeed Congress' intention, JA continued, “I hereby resign my Place in the Commission” (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:653; see also JA to Livingston, 18 Nov. 1782, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in same 8:11–13).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-28

1782. October 28. Monday.

Dined with Mr. Allen.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-29

Oct. 29. Tuesday.

Dined at the Hotel du Roi. Mr. R. dined with Us. In the Evening, I went out to Passy to make my Visit to Franklin.1
{ 40 }
“Tuesday Oct. 29h: Called to see Mr. Adams. Dined with him. He is much pleased with Mr. Jay. Went in the Morning to see D: Franklin—did not know of Mr. Adams Arrival. Spoke to Mr. A. about making his visit to Dr. F. He told me it was time enough—represented to him the necessity of meeting. He replied there was no necessity —that after the usage he had received from him he could not bear to go near him. I told him whatever their differences were he would do wrong to discover any to the World and that it might have a bad effect on our Affairs at this time. He said the D: might come to him. I told him it was not [his] place—the last comer always paid the first visit. He replied the Dr. was to come to him [since] he was first in the Comm[issio]n. I ask[ed] him how the D: was to know he was here unless he went to him. He replied that was true, he did not think of that and would go. Afterwards when pulling on his Coat he said he would not, he could not bear to go where the D: was. With much persuasion I got him at length to go. He said he would do it, since I would have it so; but I was always making mischeif and so I should find” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0028

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-30

Oct. 30. Wednesday.

Dined with Mr. Jay.1
“Wednesday Oct. 30h: Dined at Mr. Jays, Dr. Franklin, Mr. Adams, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Strachey there—also two Mr. Vaughans. All Things do not seem to go clever. Strachey insisting on changing the boundaries, a Mr. Roberts is with him” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0003-0029

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-10-31

Oct. 31. Thursday.

Dined with Mr. Oswald. Dr. F., Mr. Jay, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Stretchy,1 Mr. Roberts2 and Mr. Whitford.3
1. Henry Strachey (whose name JA always had difficulty in spelling) was a British under-secretary of state who had been sent to Paris to stiffen what was thought to be a too pliant attitude on the part of Oswald; his instructions concerning the British right to Sagadahock (eastern Maine), western lands (“as a means of providing for the Refugees”), restraints on American fishing rights, and a provision for the payment of American debts to British merchants, are embodied in a Cabinet Minute of 17 Oct. (Correspondence of King George the Third . . ., ed. Sir John Fortescue, London, 1927–1928, 6:143–144). There is a sketch of Strachey in DNB.
2. W. Roberts, according to JA's recollections, was “the oldest clerk in the board of trade and plantations, and a very respectable character. He was sent over by the British cabinet with huge volumes of ... original records ... in order to support their incontestible claim to the Province of Maine” (letter published in the Boston Patriot, 23 Oct. 1811). It was Roberts whom JA astonished by producing still more impressive records of Massachusetts' claim to Maine; see entry of 10 Nov., below, and note 1 there.
3. Caleb Whitefoord, Oswald's secretary; he signed the Preliminary Articles of 30 Nov. as a witness (DNB). Some scanty correspondence and papers of Whitefoord relating to the peace negotiations are in W. A. S. Hewins, ed., The Whitefoord Papers . . ., Oxford, 1898.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-01

November 1. Fryday.

Dined at Passy with Mr. F.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-02

Nov. 2. Saturday.

Mr. Oswald, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay, Mr. Strechy, Mr. W. Franklin, dined with me at the Hotel du Roi, Rue du Carrousel.
Almost every Moment of this Week has been employed in Negotiation, with the English Gentlemen, concerning Peace. We have made two Propositions. One the Line of forty five degrees. The other a Line thro the Middles of the Lakes. And for the Bound between Mass. and Nova Scotia—a Line from the Mouth of St. Croix to its Source, and from its Source to the high Lands.1
1. The foregoing paragraph is the first in JA's “Peace Journal,” extending (with omissions) from this point through 13 Dec. 1782, which has a curious and still partly obscure history and which acquired much contemporary notoriety. It is the only portion of JA's Diary that became publicly known while he was still in public life, and he had cause to regret that it did.
The long-standing and never-questioned explanation of how the “Peace Journal” got into circulation is that given by CFA in a note in JA's Works, 3:349:
“Here ends that portion of the Diary, beginning at the place marked with an asterisk on page 300, from which extracts were made by Mr. Adams, and sent home to one of the delegates of Massachusetts in the Congress of the Confederation, Mr. Jonathan Jackson, for the sake of furnishing unofficial, but interesting information, respecting the negotiation. By some mistake in sealing up the packages, these went with the despatches to Mr. Livingston, and not with the letter to Mr. Jackson; and they were deemed so valuable that they were not given up to that gentleman when he went to claim them, and thus became official papers. This statement is necessary to explain the facts which were eighteen years afterwards made the ground of a political and personal attack upon the author, involving an insinuation even against his veracity, by Mr. Hamilton.”
This is a highly inaccurate and misleading explanation, though the fault lies by no means entirely with the conscientious editor of JA's Works. CFA was simply summarizing the diarist's own garbled explanation of this affair, in a letter dated 18 June 1811 which was published in the Boston Patriot the following 7 Sept.—one of the long series of communications in which JA tried to answer all the detractions uttered against him throughout his career that he could remember, and especially those of Alexander Hamilton. In short, this letter to the Boston Patriot is a conspicuous example of how JA's memory played tricks on him when he described political battles in which he had fought long ago. CFA's paragraph being on the whole an acceptable condensation of JA's several columns, no more needs to be said of the latter here. The task is to try to discover, from strictly contemporary evidence, how “that obnoxious Journal” (JA's own phrase) was prepared, transmitted, and received in 1782–1783.
The “Peace Journal” itself is a paper, or series of papers, totaling 55 pages of text, of which portions are alternately in the hands of John Thaxter and Charles Storer, on file among JA's dispatches to R. R. Livingston in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 84, IV, 242–296, between dispatches dated from Paris 11 and 21 Nov. 1782, respectively. (This may have been where Livingston himself placed it after it was read to Congress, although it could not have been received in its entirety with either of those dispatches, and its present location was more likely fixed by William A. Weaver, the State Department clerk who in the 1830's arranged the Papers of the Continental Congress in the order that they have ever since retained. See Carl L. Lokke, “The Continental Congress Papers: Their History, 1789–1952,” National Archives Accessions, { 42 } No. 51 [June 1954], especially, p. 9–10.) The Thaxter-Storer transcript contains most of the contents of JA's Diary as found in the MS (and as printed in the present edition), 2 Nov.–13 Dec. 1782, but with frequent and sometimes substantial omissions, which have been indicated in our edition; see entry of 3 Nov., below, and note 3 there. The text was first printed from the MS in PCC by Jared Sparks in his Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Boston, 1829–1830, 6:465–512, with at least one further omission prompted by Sparks' extreme discretion; see entry of 10 Nov., below, and note 2 there. It was printed again by Wharton, but distributed under its dates, and docked, apparently inadvertently, of its last two entries (Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., vols. 5–6).
The Thaxter-Storer transcript was prepared in parts, and the first part was ready by 17 Nov., when JA concluded a confidential letter to Jonathan Jackson as follows:
“When We see the French intriguing with the English against Us, We have no Way to oppose it, but by Reasoning with the English to shew that they are intended to be the Dupes. Inclosed are a few broken Minutes of Conversations, which were much more extended and particular, than they appear upon Paper. I submit them to your Discretion” (RC, MHi:Misc. Coll.; LbC, Adams Papers, has the direction at foot of text: “Jonathan Jackson Esqr. Member of Congress or in his Absence to any Delegate of Massachusetts”).
But in spite of the lack of any explanation about a missing or an unexpected enclosure, either to Jackson or to Livingston, these “broken Minutes” were sent to Livingston rather than to Jackson—and (as will be seen) not by any “mistake” on JA's part. Two further installments followed (or accompanied) them, extending in date a fortnight beyond the signing of the Preliminary Articles at the end of November, without any (recorded) explanation by JA to Livingston or acknowledgment by the latter. Livingston's Despatch Book, however, contains an entry under 12 March 1783 recording his receipt, by Capt. Joshua Barney of the packet Washington, of JA's letters dated 4, 6, 11, 18 Nov., and 14 Dec. 1782, together with “Extracts from Mr. Adam's Journal”—presumably all the installments (PCC, No. 126). No doubt, then, the “Extracts” were read in Congress as soon as the Preliminary Articles and the numerous letters from the Commissioners, also brought by Barney, had been read. This seems to be confirmed by an entry in Charles Thomson's Despatch Book dated 14 and 15 March: “Extract of a Journal [by JA] from Nov. 2 to 9 Dec.” (PCC, No. 185, II).
On 7 Dec. 1783 Samuel Osgood, a Massachusetts delegate to Congress, which was then sitting at Annapolis, wrote a very long letter to JA, ventilating his embittered feelings about American subservience to French policy and explaining what had happened to JA's “Peace Journal”:
“You will pardon me in candidly mentioning to you the Effects of your long Journal, forwarded after the signing of the provisional Treaty. It was read by the Secretary in Congress. It was too minute for the Delicacy of several of the Gentlemen. They appeared overmuch disposed to make it appear as ridiculous as possible; several ungenerous Remarks were made upon it, as being unfit to be read in Congress, and not worth the Time expended in reading it. The Day after it was read, the Delegates of Masstts. found on the Table of Congress your Letter addressd to J. Jackson or the Delegates. A Passage in that Letter led them to conclude that your Journal was not intended for Congress, as you mention that you had enclosed for his Perusal a Journal; and there was none enclosed. They therefore agreed to move that the Journal might be delivered to them. This Motion soon found Opponents. It was then said that it contained Matters of great Importance, which you had not mentioned in your other Letters—but we examined your other Letters, and found all the great Matters touch'd upon, and the smaller ones omitted. The Secretary for foreign Affairs, was sent for to know whether it came address'd to him; he produced three several Covers with your Seal, all directed to him, and the foldings corresponded to those of the Jour• { 43 } nal: after this, we let the Matter subside, as we found we should loose the Question; and also, that a Number of the Members were convinced, that there was some Mistake: nothing was said against it afterwards. Whatever your Intentions were respecting your Journal, it was necessary for us to take the Measure we did; and it had a very happy Effect” (NN).
This tells much, but JA's answer tells more. On 30 June 1784 he replied to Osgood from Paris:
“The Journal which caused such Wonder, was intended to be sent to Mr. Jackson. But recollecting the frequent Injunctions of your Secretary [Livingston], to be minute: to send him even the Looks of Ministers to be sure, Conversations, and considering that in the Conferences for the Peace, I had been very free, which I had Reason to expect would be misrepresented by Franklin, I suddenly determined to throw into the Packet for Livingston, what was intended for another.—Let them make the most and the worst of it” (LbC, Adams Papers).
If the “most” was made of it when it was read in Congress in 1783 amid warm debates on the conduct of the American Commissioners in violating their instruction to defer to the French ministry, the “worst” was made of JA's “Peace Journal” seventeen years later, by Alexander Hamilton; see entry of 10 Nov., below, note 2.
It is clear that JA caused still another copy of his journal of the negotiations of 1782 to be prepared, though where it is now is unknown to the editors. On 28 Dec.JA wrote AA: “I dare say there is not a Lady in America treated with a more curious dish of Politicks, than is contained in the inclosed Papers. You may shew them to discrete Friends, but by no means let them go out of your hands or be copied. Preserve them in Safety against Accidents” (Adams Papers). This is cryptic enough, but AA certainly referred to this budget of material in replying on 28 April 1783: “Your journal has afforded me and your Friends much pleasure and amusement. You will learn, perhaps from Congress that the journal, you meant for Mr. Jackson, was by some mistake enclosed to the Minister for foreign affairs; and consequently came before Congress with other publick papers. The Massachusetts Delegates applied for it, but were refused it. Mr. Jackson was kind enough to wait upon me, and shew me your Letter to him, and the other papers inclosed, and I communicated the journal to him” same. If by “communicated” AA meant she gave the journal to Jackson, this would explain its disappearance from the family papers; and though she would thus have violated the letter of JA's injunction to her, she might well have thought that Jackson was entitled to this copy since his own was irrecoverable. All this, however, is conjectural.
Even though it is now lost, we can say with some confidence that the copy sent to AA was fuller than that sent to Livingston, for the markings (“C”) in the original Diary MS that indicate what was to be copied (or possibly what had been copied) include more than one substantial passage edited out of the “Peace Journal” now in the Papers of the Continental Congress; these markings in the MS extend in fact through the entry of 26 Dec. 1782. It would be impossible to make sense of them without supposing that another transcript of the journal once existed—in all likelihood the one first begun and continued longest, from which the shorter transcript in PCC, No. 84, IV, was taken.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-03

1782. November 3. Sunday.

In my first Conversation with Franklin on Tuesday Evening last, he told me of Mr. Oswalds Demand of the Payment of Debts and Compensation to the Tories. He said their Answer had been, that We had not Power, nor had Congress. I told him I had no Notion of cheating any Body. The Question of paying Debts, and that of com• { 44 } pensating Tories were two.—I had made the same Observation, that forenoon to Mr. Oswald and Mr. Stretchy, in Company with Mr. Jay at his House.... 1 I saw it struck Mr. Stretchy with peculiar Pleasure, I saw it instantly smiling in every Line of his Face. Mr. O. was apparently pleased with it too.
In a subsequent Conversation with my Colleagues, I proposed to them that We should agree that Congress should recommend it to the States to open their Courts of Justice for the Recovery of all just Debts. They gradually fell in to this Opinion, and We all expressed these Sentiments to the English Gentlemen, who were much pleased with it, and with Reason, because it silences the Clamours of all the British Creditors, against the Peace, and prevents them from making common Cause with the Refugees.
Mr. J. came in and spent two hours, in Conversation, upon our Affairs, and We attempted an Answer to Mr. Oswalds Letter.2 He is perfectly of my Opinion or I am of his respecting Mr. Dana's true Line of Conduct as well as his with Spain, and ours with France, Spain and England.
I learn from him that there has not been an Harmony, between him and C[armichael]. The latter aimed at founding himself upon a French Interest, and was more supple to the french Ambassador at Madrid, and to Mr. G[érard] than was approved by the former. G. endeavoured to perswade him to shew him, his Instructions, which he refused at which offence was taken.3
V[ergennes] has endeavoured to perswade him to treat with D'Aranda, without exchanging Powers. He refuses. V. also pronounced Oswalds first Commission sufficient, and was for making the Acknowledgement of American Independance the first Article of the Treaty. J. would not treat. The Consequence was, a compleat Acknowledgment of our Independence by Oswalds new Commission under the great Seal of G.B. to treat with the Commissioners of the United States of America.—Thus a temperate Firmness has succeeded every where, but the base System nowhere.
R[idley] says that Jennings is in easy Circumstances, and as he always lives within his Income, is one of the most independent Men in the World. He remitted him 3000£ St. when he came over to France. His Father left him Ten Thousand Pounds. He kept great Company in England and no other. He is related to several principal Families in America, and to several great Families in England. Was bred to the Law in the Temple, and practised as Chamber Council, but no otherwise.
{ 45 }
D'Estaing has set off for Madrid and Cadix. Reste a Scavoir, what his Object is. Whether to take the Command of a Squadron, and in that Case where to go—whether to R. Island to join Vaudreul, and go vs. N. York, or to the W. Indies. Will they take N. York, or only prevent the English from evacuating it.—O. proposed solemnly to all 3 of Us, Yesterday, at his House, to agree not to molest the British Troops in the Evacuation, but We did not. This however shews they have it in Contemplation. Suppose they are going against W. Florida—how far are We bound to favour the Spaniards? Our Treaty with France must and shall be sacredly fulfilled, and We must admit Spain to acceed when She will, but untill She does our Treaty does not bind Us to France to assist Spain.
The present Conduct of England and America resembles that of the Eagle and Cat. An Eagle scaling over a Farmers Yard espied a Creature, that he thought an Hair. He pounced upon him and took him up. In the Air the Cat seized him by the Neck with her Teeth and round the Body with her fore and hind Claws. The Eagle finding Herself scratched and pressed, bids the Cat let go and fall down.—No says the Cat: I wont let go and fall, you shall stoop and set me down.4
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. There is no letter from Oswald to the American Commissioners on record to which this could pertain except one dated 4 Nov. concerning the compensation of loyalists (Tr, Adams Papers), which was answered by JA, Franklin, and Jay on the 7th (RC, Public Record Office, London) after several conferences. These letters are printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:848, 849–850 (the answer under date of 5 Nov.).
3. Passages preceded and followed by dagger signs were not included in the transcript of his Diary furnished by JA to Secretary Livingston; see note on preceding entry. In view of JA's purpose and of the noise made by his “Peace Journal” when it was read in Congress, JA's “editing” of the text is of some interest.
4. JA later told this fable in more detail and in a different context but with the same point, and attributed it to Franklin (Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 45–46).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-04

November 4. Monday.

Called on J. and went to Oswalds and spent with him and Stretchy from 11. to 3. in drawing up the Articles respecting Debts and Tories and Fishery.1
I drew up the Article anew in this form—“That the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty, and the People of the said United States, shall continue to enjoy unmolested, the Right to take fish of every kind, on all the Banks of Newfoundland, in the Gulph of St. Laurence and all other Places, where the Inhabitants of both Countries used, at any time heretofore, to fish: and also to dry and cure their Fish, on the { 46 } Shores of Nova Scotia, Cape Sable, the Isle of Sable, and on the Shores of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours or Creeks of Nova Scotia, and the Magdalene Islands, and his Britannic Majesty and the said United States will extend equal Priviledges and Hospitality to each others Fishermen as to his own.”2
Dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, with the Prince du Poix, the Viscount de Noailles and his Lady, Mr. Jay, Mr. Price and his Lady, Mrs. Izard and her two Daughters, Dr. Bancroft, Mr. W. Franklin.
The Marquis proposed to me in Confidence his going out with D'Estaing, to the W. Indies. But he is to go a Month hence in a Frigate.—Mem.
All the forenoon from 11 to 3 at Mr. Oswalds, Mr. Jay and I. In the Evening there again, untill near II.
Stretchy is as artfull and insinuating a Man as they could send. He pushes and presses every Point as far as it can possibly go. He is the most eager, earnest, pointed Spirit.
We agreed last night to this.
Whereas certain of the united States, excited thereto by the unnecessary Destruction of private Property, have confiscated all Debts due from their Citizens to British Subjects and also in certain Instances Lands belonging to the latter. And Whereas it is just that private Contracts made between Individuals of the two Countries before the War, should be faithfully executed, and as the Confiscation of the said Lands may have a Latitude not justifiable by the Law of Nations, it is agreed that british Creditors shall notwithstanding, meet with no lawfull Impediment, to recovering the full value, or Sterling Amount of such bonâ fide Debts as were contracted before the Year 1775, and also that Congress will recommend to the said States, so to correct, if necessary, their said Acts respecting the Confiscation of Lands in America belonging to real british Subjects as to render their said Acts consistent with perfect Justice and Equity.3
1. This conference resulted in a “second set” of provisional articles, which were taken by Strachey to London for consideration by the British ministry; they are printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:851–853.
2. For a later draft by JA of this article, see entry of 28 Nov., below.
3. Copied from a draft in Jay's hand now in Adams Papers under the assigned date of Nov. 1782.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-05

November 5. Tuesday.

Mr. Jay likes Frenchmen as little as Mr. Lee and Mr. Izard did. He says they are not a Moral People. They know not what it is. He { 47 } dont like any Frenchman. —The Marquis de la Fayette is clever, but he is a Frenchman.‡—Our Allies dont play fair, he told me.1 They were endeavouring to deprive Us of the Fishery, the Western Lands, and the Navigation of the Missisippi. They would even bargain with the English to deprive us of them. They want to play the Western Lands, Missisippi and whole Gulph of Mexico into the Hands of Spain.
Oswald talks of Pultney, and a Plott to divide America between France and England. France to have N. England. They tell a Story about Vergennes and his agreeing that the English might propose such a division, but reserving a Right to deny it all. These Whispers ought not to be credited by Us.2
1. Because of the omission of preceding matter, this sentence in JA's “Peace Journal” furnished to Congress reads: “Mr. Jay told me our Allies did not play fair.”
2. Oswald had told this highly improbable “Story” earlier to Jay in greater detail; see John Jay, Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782, ed. Frank Monaghan, New Haven, 1934, p. 12. For a related story see entry of 24 Dec. and note, below.
Though he made no entries in his Diary during the next three days, JA summarized the state of the negotiation in a long letter to Livingston, 6 Nov. (PCC, No. 84, IV; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:854–858).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-09

November 9. Saturday.

The M. de la Fayette came in, and told me he had been to Versailles and in Consultation with him [Vergennes] about the Affair of Money as he and I had agreed he should.—He said he found that the C. de Vergennes and their Ministry were of the same Opinion with me. That the English were determined to evacuate New York.—After Sometime he told me in a great Air of Confidence, that he was afraid the Comte took it amiss that I had not been to Versailles to see him. The C. told him that he had not been officially informed, of my Arrival, he had only learn'd it from the Returns of the Police.
I went out to Passy to dine with Mr. F. who had been to Versailles and presented his Memorial and the Papers accompanying it.1 The C. said he would have the Papers translated to lay them before the King, but the Affair would meet with many Difficulties. F. brought the same Message, to me from the C. and said he believed it would be taken kindly if I went. I told both the Marquis and the Dr. that I would go tomorrow Morning.2
1. Concerning a further loan to the United States; see Franklin to Vergennes, 8 Nov. (Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:619–620).
2. In 1811, after quoting the foregoing paragraph in one of his letters to the Boston Patriot, JA added this remark: “Though I hinted nothing to either, yet Dr. Franklin, if he recollected his own, and the Comte's complaints to Congress against me, and the declaration of the letter [latter?], that he would have noth• { 48 } ing to do with me, could be at no loss for the motives of my want of assiduity in paying my court to Versailles” (Boston Patriot, 31 Aug. 1811). Thus when he went to Versailles the next day JA could hardly help wondering whether he was going “to hear an expostulation? a reproof? an admonition? or in plain vulgar English, a scolding? or was there any disposition to forget and forgive? and say, all malice depart?” same, 4 Sept. 1811). It is in this context that the following entry, which became notorious because it recorded so many compliments to himself, should be read.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-10

November 10. Sunday.

Accordingly at 8 this Morning I went and waited on the Comte. He asked me, how We went on with the English? I told him We divided upon two Points the Tories and Penobscot, two ostensible Points, for it was impossible to believe that My Lord Shelburne or the Nation cared much about such Points. I took out of my Pocket and shewed him the Record of Governour Pownals solemn Act of burying a Leaden Plate with this Inscription, May 23. 1759. Province of Massachusetts Bay. Penobscot. Dominions of Great Britain. Possession confirmed by Thomas Pownal Governor.
This was planted on the East Side of the River of Penobscot, 3 miles above Marine Navigation. I shew him also all the other Records —the Laying out of Mount Desert, Machias and all the other Towns to the East of the River Penobscot, and told him that the Grant of Nova Scotia by James the first to Sir William Alexander, bounded it on the River St. Croix. And that I was possessed of the Authorities of four of the greatest Governors the King of England ever had, Shirley, Pownal, Bernard and Hutchinson, in favour of our Claim and of Learned Writings of Shirley and Hutchinson in support of it. —The Comte said that Mr. Fitzherbert told him they wanted it for the Masts: but the C. said that Canada had an immense quantity. I told him I thought there were few Masts there, but that I fancied it was not Masts but Tories that again made the Difficulty. Some of them claimed Lands in that Territory and others hoped for Grants there.1
The Comte said it was not astonishing that the British Ministry should insist upon Compensation to them, For that all the Precedents were in favour of it. That there had been no Example of an Affair like this terminated by a Treaty, without reestablishing those who had adhered to the old Government in all their Possessions. I begged his Pardon in this, and said that in Ireland at least their had been a Multitude of Confiscations without Restitution.—Here We ran into some Conversation concerning Ireland, &c. Mr. Rayneval, who was present talked about the national honour and the obligation they were under to support their Adherents.—Here I thought I might indulge a { 49 } little more Latitude of Expression, than I had done with Oswald and Stratchey, and I answered, if the Nation thought itself bound in honour to compensate those People it might easily do it, for it cost the Nation more Money to carry on this War, one Month, than it would cost it to compensate them all. But I could not comprehend this Doctrine of national honour. Those People by their Misrepresentations, had deceived the Nation, who had followed the Impulsion of their devouring Ambition, untill it had brought an indelible Stain on the British Name, and almost irretrievable Ruin on the Nation, and now that very Nation was thought to be bound in honour to compensate its Dishonourers and Destroyers. Rayneval said it was very true.
The Comte invited me to dine. I accepted. When I came I found the M. de la Fayette in Conference with him. When they came out the M. took me aside and told me he had been talking with the C. upon the Affair of Money. He had represented to him, Mr. Morris's Arguments and the Things I had said to him, as from himself &c. That he feared the Arts of the English, that our Army would disbande, and our Governments relax &c. That the C. feared many difficulties. That France had expended two hundred and fifty Millions in this War &c. That he talked of allowing six millions and my going to Holland with the Scheme I had projected, and having the Kings Warranty &c. to get the rest. That he had already spoken to some of Mr. De Fleury's Friends and intended to speak to him &c.
We went up to Dinner. I went up with the C. alone. He shewed me into the Room where were the Ladies and the Company. I singled out the Comtesse and went up to her, to make her my Compliment. The Comtess and all the Ladies rose up, I made my Respects to them all and turned round and bowed to the reste of the Company. The Comte who came in after me, made his Bows to the Ladies and to the Comtesse last. When he came to her, he turned round and called out Monsieur Adams venez ici. Voila la Comtesse de Vergennes. A Nobleman in Company said Mr. Adams has already made his Court to Madame la Comtess. I went up again however and spoke again to the Comtess and she to me.—When Dinner was served, the Comte led Madame de Montmorin, and left me to conduct the Comtesse who gave me her hand with extraordinary Condescention, and I conducted her to Table. She made me sit next her on her right hand and was remarkably attentive to me the whole Time. The Comte who sat opposite was constantly calling out to me, to know what I would eat and to offer me petits Gateaux, Claret and Madeira &c. &c.—In { 50 } short I was never treated with half the Respect at Versailles in my Life.
In the Antichamber before Dinner some French Gentlemen came to me, and said they had seen me two Years ago. Said that I had shewn in Holland that the Americans understand Negotiation, as well as War.
The Compliments that have been made me since my Arrival in France upon my Success in Holland, would be considered as a Curiosity, if committed to Writing. Je vous felicite sur votre Success, is common to all. One adds, Monsieur, Ma Foi, vous avez reussi, bien merveilleusement. Vous avez fait reconnoitre votre Independance. Vous avez fait un Traité, et vous avez procuré de l'Argent. Voila un Succés parfait.—Another says, vous avez fait des Merveilles en Hollande. Vous avez culbute le Stathouder, et la Partie angloise. Vous avez donné bien de Mou[ve]ment. Vous avez remué tout le Monde.—Another said Monsieur vous etes le Washington de la Negotiation.—This is the finishing Stroke. It is impossible to exceed this.
Compliments are the Study of this People and there is no other so ingenious at them.2
1. JA was well prepared for his call on the French minister of foreign affairs. The documents he carried with him or was prepared to show when wanted were attested copies of the Massachusetts charters and attested extracts from the records of the General Court relative to the boundaries of Massachusetts. These had been made at JA's request by the clerk of the General Court when JA had sailed for Europe late in 1779 as sole commissioner to treat for peace with Great Britain; they survive in the JA Miscellany (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 191). In four long communications to the Boston Patriot, 23, 26 Oct., 6, 9 Nov. 1811, JA later told how they proved useful in establishing the northeastern boundary of the United States in the preliminary negotiations of 1782; these letters are partly reprinted in an appendix to JA's Works, 1:665–669.
2. The several foregoing paragraphs were clearly those that evoked amusement at JA's expense when his “Peace Journal” was read in Congress in 1783; see note on entry of 2 Nov., above. Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to Congress at the time, and in 1800, when assembling all the evidence he could gather to discredit JA as a Federalist candidate for the Presidency, he cited the “Peace Journal” as proof of JA's boundless vanity and jealousy.
“The reading of this Journal [Hamilton went on], extremely embarrassed his friends, especially the delegates of Massachusetts; who, more than once, interrupted it, and at last, succeeded in putting a stop to it, on the suggestion that it bore the marks of a private and confidential paper, which, by some mistake, had gotten into its present situation, and never could have been designed as a public document for the inspection of Congress. The good humor of that body yielded to the suggestion” (Letter from Alexander Hamilton, concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States, N.Y., 1800, p. 7–8).
JA's reply to this passage in Hamilton's tract is in a letter published in the Boston Patriot, 4, 7 Sept. 1811.
It is worth noting that when Jared Sparks printed the “Peace Journal” from the Papers of the Continental Congress he silently omitted the whole paragraph recording the French comparison of JA { 51 } with Washington, thus cutting the ground from under Hamilton's charge (Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Boston, 1829–1830, 6:471). It may also be worth noting that Matthew Ridley reported in his Diary (MHi), 10 Nov. 1782, that “Some time ago he [JA] was told that Mr. Washington was the greatest General in the World and that he Mr. A. was the General Washington in politics. —All this makes no Impression on him.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-11

1782 November 11. Monday.

Mr. Whitefoord the Secretary of Mr. Oswald came a second Time, not having found me at home Yesterday, when he left a Card, with a Copy of Mr. Oswalds Commission attested by himself (Mr. Oswald).1 He delivered the Copy and said Mr. Oswald was ready [to] compare it to the original with me. I said Mr. Oswalds Attestation was sufficient as he had already shewn me his original. He sat down and We fell into Conversation, about the Weather and the Vapours and Exhalations from Tartary which had been brought here last Spring by the Winds and given Us all the Influenza. Thence to french Fashions and the Punctuality with which they insist upon Peoples wearing thin Cloaths in Spring and fall, tho the Weather is ever so cold, &c. I said it was often carried to ridiculous Lengths, but that it was at Bottom an admirable Policy, as it rendered all Europe tributary to the City of Paris, for its Manufactures.
We fell soon into Politicks. I told him, that there was something in the Minds of the English and French, which impelled them irresistably to War every Ten or fifteen Years. He said the ensuing Peace would he believed be a long one. I said it would provided it was well made, and nothing left in it to give future Discontents. But if any Thing was done which the Americans should think hard and unjust, both the English and French would be continually blowing it up and inflaming the American Minds with it, in order to make them join one Side or the other in a future War. He might well think, that the French would be very glad to have the Americans join them in future War. Suppose for Example they should think the Tories Men of monarchical Principles, or Men of more Ambition than Principle, or Men corrupted and of no Principle, and should therefore think them more easily seduced to their Purposes than virtuous Republicans, is it not easy to see the Policy of a French Minister in wishing them Amnesty and Compensation? Suppose, a french Minister foresees that the Presence of the Tories in America will keep up perpetually two Parties, a French Party and an English Party, and that this will compell the patriotic and independant Party to join the French Party is it not natural for him to wish them { 52 } restored? 3. Is it not easy to see, that a French Minister cannot wish to have the English and Americans perfectly agreed upon all Points before they themselves, the Spaniards and Dutch, are agreed too. Can they be sorry then to see us split upon such a Point as the Tories? What can be their Motives to become the Advocates of the Tories? The french Minister at Philadelphia has made some Representations to Congress in favour of a Compensation to the Royalists, and the C. de Vergennes no longer than Yesterday, said much to Me in their favour. The Comte probably knows, that We are instructed against it, that Congress are instructed against it, or rather have not constitutional Authority to do it. That We can only write about it to Congress, and they to the States, who may and probably will deliberate upon it 18 Months, before they all decide and then every one of them will determine against it.—In this Way, there is an insuperable Obstacle to any Agreement between the English and Americans, even upon Terms to be inserted in the general Peace, before all are ready.—It was the constant Practice of The French to have some of their Subjects in London during the Conferences for Peace, in order to propagate such Sentiments there as they wished to prevail. I doubted not such were there now. Mr. Rayneval had been there. Mr. Gerard I had heard is there now and probably others. They can easily perswade the Tories to set up their Demands, and tell them and the Ministers that the Kings Dignity and Nations honour are compromised in it.
For my own Part I thought America had been long enough involved in the Wars of Europe. She had been a Football between contending Nations from the Beginning, and it was easy to foresee that France and England both would endeavour to involve Us in their future Wars. I thought [it] our Interest and Duty to avoid [them] as much as possible and to be compleatly independent and have nothing to do but in Commerce with either of them. That my Thoughts had been from the Beginning constantly employed to arrange all our European Connections to this End, and that they would be continued to be so employed and I thought it so important to Us, that if my poor labours, my little Estate or (smiling) sizy blood could effect it, it should be done. But I had many fears.
I said the King of France might think it consistent with his Station to favour People who had contended for a Crown, tho it was the Crown of his Ennemy. Whitefoord said, they seem to be, through the whole of this,2 fighting for Reputation. I said they had acquired it and more. They had raised themselves high from a low Estate by it, and they were our good Friends and Allies, and had conducted { 53 } generously and nobly and We should be just and gratefull, but they might have political Wishes, which We were not bound by Treaty nor in Justice or Gratitude to favour, and these We ought to be cautious off. He agreed that they had raised themselves very suddenly and surprisingly by it.
We had more Conversation on the State of Manners in France, England, Scotland and in other Parts of Europe, but I have not Time to record this.
1. Oswald's second commission, dated 21 Sept. 1782, empowering him to treat with “any Commissioners or Persons vested with equal Powers, by and on the part of the Thirteen United States of America”—the recognition that Jay had insisted on before treating with a British commissioner. A copy is in the Adams Papers under date of 9 Nov. 1782, the day it was attested by Oswald for presentation to JA; a printed text is in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:748–750.
2. Comma supplied for clarity, but the passage is obscure in the MS, and a word may have been omitted by JA.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-12

1782 November 12. Tuesday.

Dined with the Abby Chalut and Arnoux. The Farmer General, and his Daughter, Dr. Franklin and his Grand Son, Mr. Grand and his Lady and Neice, Mr. Ridley and I with one young French Gentleman made the Company. The Farmers Daughter is about 12 Years old and is I suppose an Enfant trouvee. He made her sing at Table, and she bids fair to be an accomplished Opera Girl, though she has not a delicate Ear....1
The Compliment of “Monsieur vous etes le Washington de la Negotiation” was repeated to me, by more than one Person. I answered Monsieur vous me faites le plus grand honour et la Compliment le plus sublime possible.—Eh Monsieur, en Verite vous l'avez bien merité.— †A few of these Compliments would kill Franklin if they should come to his Ears.
This Evening I went to the Hotel des treize Etats Unis to see the Baron de Linden, to the Hotel de York to see the Messrs. Vaughans,2 and to the Hotel D'orleans to see Mr. Jay, but found neither. Returned through the Rue St. Honorée to see the decorated Shops, which are pretty enough. This is the gayest Street in Paris, in point of ornamented Shops, but Paris does not excell in this respect.
The old Farmer General was very lively at dinner. Told Stories and seemed ready to join the little Girl in Songs like a Boy.—Pleasures dont wear Men out in Paris as in other Places.
The Abby Arnoux asked me at Table, Monsieur ou est votre Fils Cadet qui chant, come Orphée.—Il est du retour en Amerique.—To { 54 } Mademoiselle Labhard, he said Connoissez vous que Monsieur Adams a une Demoiselle tres aimable en Amerique?
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. Benjamin Vaughan and probably his brother Samuel (see 25 Feb. 1783, below). Benjamin (1751–1835), a political liberal and a devoted admirer of Franklin, served as Lord Shelburne's confidential observer at the peace negotiations and, shuttling between Paris and London, worked hard to obtain the concessions that the American Commissioners felt they must have from Great Britain. He later settled at Hallowell, Maine, and maintained an extensive correspondence for many years. A large collection of his papers is now in the American Philosophical Society; see its Procs., 95 (1951) 209–216; but no adequate biography of him exists. In 1828 Vaughan commenced a correspondence with JQA on the peace negotiations of 1782–1783, and in the course of it sent a voluminous mass of copies of his own papers relating thereto, which remain among the Adams Papers (Microfilms, Reel Nos. 256, 488).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-13

November 13. Wednesday.

This is the Anniversary of my quitting home. Three Years are compleated. Oh when shall I return?—Ridley dined with me. Captain Barney called in the Evening and took my dispatches. One set he is to deliver to Capt. Hill, another to Capt. [] and the 3d he takes himself.1
1. “According to Your request I have to inform You, that the letters intrusted to my care to go by the Ships Cicero and Buccaneir I have Deliver'd to the Captns. Hill and Phearson. . . . their Sailing is still Very uncertain” (Joshua Barney to JA, Lorient, 18 Dec. 1782, Adams Papers). Hugh Hill commanded the Cicero (in which CA had sailed home from Bilbao the year before), and Jesse Fearson the Buccanier; both vessels belonged to the Cabots of Beverly (L. Vernon Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Cabot Family, Boston, 1927, 1:77, 83–84, 95–98).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-14

November 14. Thursday.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-17

November 17. Sunday.

Have spent several Days in copying Mr. Jays dispatches.1
On Fryday the 15, Mr. Oswald came to Visit me, and entered with some Freedom into Conversation. I said many Things to him to convince him that it was the Policy of my Lord Shelburne and the Interest of the Nation to agree with Us upon the advantageous Terms which Mr. Stratchey carried away on the 5th. Shewed him the Advantages of the Boundary, the vast Extent of Land, and the equitable Provision for the Payment of Debts and even the great Benefits stipulated for the Tories.
He said he had been reading Mr. Paines Answer to the Abby Raynal, and had found there an excellent Argument in favour of the Tories.2 Mr. Paine says that before the Battle of Lexington We were { 55 } so blindly prejudiced in favour of the English and so closely attached to them, that We went to war at any time and for any Object, when they bid Us. Now this being habitual to the Americans, it was excuseable in the Tories to behave upon this Occasion as all of Us had ever done upon all the others. He said if he were a Member of Congress he would shew a Magnanimity upon this Occasion, and would say to the Refugees, take your Property. We scorn to make any Use of it, in building up our System.
I replied, that We had no Power and Congress had no Power, and therefore We must consider how it would be reasoned upon in the several Legislatures of the separate States, if, after being sent by Us to Congress and by them to the several States in the Course of twelve or fifteen Months, it should be there, debated. You must carry on the War, Six or Nine months certainly, for this Compensation, and consequently spend in the Prosecution of it, Six or Nine times the Sum necessary to make the Compensation for I presume, this War costs every Month to Great Britain, a larger Sum than would be necessary to pay for the forfeited Estates.
How says I will an independant Man in one of our Assemblies consider this. We will take a Man, who is no Partisan of England or France, one who wishes to do Justice to both and to all Nations, but is the Partisan only of his own.3
Have you seen says he, a certain Letter written to the C. de V. wherein Mr. S.A. is treated pretty freely.4—Yes says I and several other Papers in which Mr. J. Adams has been treated so too. I dont know, what you may of heard in England of Mr. S.A. You may have been taught to believe, for what I know, that he eats little Children. But I assure you he is a Man of Humanity and Candour as well [as] Integrity, and further that he is devoted to the Interest of his Country and I believe wishes never to be, after a Peace, the Partisan to France or England, but to do Justice and all the good he can to both. I thank you for mentioning him for I will make him my orator. What will he say, when the Question of Amnesty and Compensation to the Tories, comes before the Senate of Massachusetts. And when he is informed that England makes a Point of it and that France favours her. He will say here are two old, sagacious Courts, both endeavouring to sow the Seeds of Discord among Us, each endeavouring to keep Us in hot Water, to keep up continual Broils between an English Party and a french Party, in hopes of obliging the Independent and patriotic Party, to lean to its Side. England wishes them here and compensated, not merely to get rid of them and to save them selves the Money, but to { 56 } plant among Us Instruments of their own, to make divisions among Us and between Us and France, to be continually crying down the Religion, the Government, the Manners of France, and crying up the Language, the Fashions, the Blood &c. of England. England also means by insisting on our compensating these worst of Ennemies to obtain from Us, a tacit Acknowledgment of the Right of the War—an implicit Acknowledgment, that the Tories have been justifiable or at least excuseable, and that We, only by a fortunate Coincidence of Events, have carried a wicked Rebellion into a compleat Revolution.
At the very Time when Britain professes to desire Peace, Reconciliation, perpetual Oblivion of all past Unkindnesses, can She wish to send in among Us, a Number of Persons, whose very Countenances will bring fresh to our Remembrance the whole History of the Rise, and Progress of the War, and of all its Atrocitys? Can she think it conciliatory, to oblige Us, to lay Taxes upon those whose Habitations have been consumed, to reward those who have burn'd them? upon those whose Property has been stolen, to reward the Thieves? upon those whose Relations have been cruelly destroyed, to compensate the Murtherers?
What can be the design of France on the other hand, by espousing the Cause of these Men? Indeed her Motives may be guessed at. She may wish to keep up in our Minds a Terror of England, and a fresh Remembrance of all We have suffered. Or She may wish to prevent our Ministers in Europe from agreeing with the British Ministers, untill She shall say that She and Spain are satisfyed in all Points.
I entered largely with Mr. Oswald, into the Consideration of the Influence this Question would have upon the Councils of the British Cabinet and the Debates in Parliament. The King and the old Ministry might think their personal Reputations concerned, in supporting Men who had gone such Lengths, and suffered so much in their Attachment to them.—The K. may say I have other dominions abroad, Canada, Nova Scotia, Florida, the West India Islands, the East Indies, Ireland. It will be a bad Example to abandon these Men. Others will loose their Encouragement to adhere to my Government. But the shortest Answer to this is the best, let the King by a Message recommend it to Parliament to compensate them.
But how will My Lord Shelburne sustain the shock of Opposition? When Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke shall demand a Reason why the Essential Interests of the Nation, are sacrificed to the unreasonable demands of those very Men, who have done this great Mischief to the Empire. Should these Orators indulge themselves in Philippicks against the { 57 } Refugees, shew their false Representations, their outragious Cruelties, their innumerable demerits against the Nation, and then attack the first Lord of the Treasury for continuing to spend the Blood and Treasure of the Nation for their Sakes.
Mr. Vaughan came to me Yesterday, and said that Mr. Oswald had that morning called upon Mr. Jay, and told him, if he had known as much the day before as he had since learned, he would have written to go home. Mr. V. said Mr. Fitzherbert had received a Letter from Ld. Townsend,5 that the Compensation would be insisted on. Mr. Oswald wanted Mr. Jay to go to England. Thought he could convince the Ministry. Mr. Jay said he must go, with or without the Knowledge and Advice of this Court, and in either Case it would give rise to jealousies. He could not go. Mr. Vaughan said he had determined to go, on Account of the critical State of his Family, his Wife being probably abed. He should be glad to converse freely with me, and obtain from me, all the Lights and arguments against the Tories, even the History of their worst Actions, that in Case it should be necessary to run them down it might be done or at least expose them, for their true History was little known in England.—I told him that I must be excused. It was a Subject that I had never been desirous of obtaining Information upon. That I pitied those People too much to be willing to aggravate their Sorrows and Sufferings, even of those who had deserved the Worst. It might not be amiss to reprint the Letters of G[overnor] Bernard, Hutchinson and Oliver, to shew the rise. It might not be amiss to read the History of Wyoming in the Annual Register for 1778 or 9, to recollect the Prison Ships, and the Churches at New York, where the Garrisons of Fort Washington were starved in order to make them inlist into Refugee Corps. It might not be amiss to recollect the Burning of Cities, and The Thefts of Plate, Negroes and Tobacco.
I entered into the same Arguments with him that I had used with Mr. Oswald, to shew that We could do nothing, Congress nothing. The Time it would take to consult the States, and the Reasons to believe that all of them would at last decide against it. I shewed him that it would be a Religious Question with some, a moral one with others, and a political one with more, an Economical one with very few. I shewed him the ill Effect which would be produced upon the American Mind, by this Measure, how much it would contribute to perpetuate Alienation against England, and how french Emmissaries might by means of these Men blow up the flames of Animosity and { 58 } War. I shewed him how the Whig Interest and the Opposition might avail themselves of this Subject in Parliament, and how they might embarrass the Minister.
He went out to Passy, for a Passport, and in the Evening called upon me again. Said he found Dr. Franklins Sentiments to be the same with Mr. Jays and mine, and hoped he should be able to convince Lord Shelburne. He was pretty confident that it would work right.—The Ministry and Nation were not informed upon the Subject. Ld. Shelburne had told him that no Part of his office gave him so much Paine as the Levy he held for these People, and hearing their Stories of their Families and Estates, their Losses, Sufferings and Distresses. Mr. V. said he had picked up here, a good deal of Information, about those People, from Mr. Allen and other Americans.
Ridley, Allen and Mason, dined with me, and in the Evening Capt. Barney came in, and told me that Mr. Vaughan went off to day at noon. I delivered to Barney, Mr. Jays long Dispatches, and the other Letters.
In the Evening the Marquis de la Fayette came in and told me, he had been to see Mr. de Fleuri, on the Subject of a Loan. He told him that he must afford America this Year a Subsidy of 20 millions. Mr. de Fleuri said France had already spent 250 millions in the American War, and that they could not allow any more Money to her. That there was a great deal of Money in America. That the Kings Troops had been subsisted and paid there. That the British Army had been subsisted and paid there, &c. The Marquis said that little of the Subsistance or pay of the British had gone into any hands but those of the Tories within their Lines. I said that more Money went in for their Goods than came out for Provisions or any Thing. The Marquis added to Mr. Fleury that Mr. Adams had a Plan for going to the States General, for a Loan or a Subsidy. Mr. Fleury said he did not want the Assistance of Mr. Adams to get Money in Holland, he could have what he would. The M. said Mr. A. would be glad of it. He did not want to go, but was willing to take the Trouble, if necessary.
The Marquis said he should dine with the Queen tomorrow and would give her a hint, to favour Us. That he should take Leave in a few days and should go in the fleet that was to sail from Brest. That he wanted the Advice of Mr. F., Mr. J. and me before he went, &c. Said there was a Report that Mr. Gerard had been in England, and that Mr. de Rayneval was gone. I told him I saw Mr. Gerard at Mr. Jays a few Evenings ago.
He said he did not believe Mr. Gerard had been. That he had men• { 59 } tioned it to C. de V. and he did not appear confused at all, but said Mr. Gerard was here about the Limits of Alsace.
The Marquis said that he believed, the Reason why C. de Vergennes said so little about the Progress of Mr. Fitsherbert with him, was because the difficulty about Peace was made by the Spaniards and he was afraid of making the Americans still more angry with Spain....6 He knew the Americans [were]7 very angry with the Spaniards.
1. That is, Jay's long memoir, including copies of his correspondence, relative to the negotiations from the time that he had arrived in Paris late in June to the time JA arrived late in October; dated 17 Nov. 1782, it is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:11–49. It is a severe indictment of the motives and conduct of the French ministry toward America on the eve of the peace settlement, and by implication a defense of the Commissioners' breach of their instructions to do nothing without French concurrence; see especially its last dozen paragraphs. JA's copy is in Adams Papers under the present date.
2. Thomas Paine, Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North-America ..., Philadelphia, printed; Boston, reprinted, 1782; see p. 44–45.
3. The present Diary booklet (D/JA/35) ends here, and JA's conversation with Oswald this day continues without break in the next booklet (D/JA/ 36), identical in format with its predecessor.
4. Marbois to Vergennes, No. 225, Philadelphia, 13 March 1782, in which Marbois reported that Samuel Adams, who “delights in trouble,” was the leader of an anti-French party opposed to any peace which excluded New Englanders from the Newfoundland and other North Atlantic fisheries. The writer went on to give suggestions how such “enthusiasts” could be quieted by a statement from the King of France disapproving their stand. See the text in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:238–241. This dispatch was intercepted by the British and a copy placed in Jay's hands with the intent of splitting the Franco-American alliance. For its effect on Jay, see his letter to Livingston transmitting a copy, 18 Sept. 1782 (same, p. 740). In Congress it led to a reconsideration of the instructions of 15 June 1781, though the effort to revise them did not succeed; see Madison's Notes of Debates, 24, 30 Dec. 1782, 1 Jan. 1783 (JCC, 23:870–874; 25:845). When imparted to JA (enclosed in a letter from Jay of 1 Sept., Adams Papers), it confirmed his worst suspicions of French policy; see entries of 20 Nov. 1782 and 2 May 1783, below. Several copies of the offending dispatch, in English translation, are among his papers, and in old age he devoted to it a whole series of his communications to the Boston Patriot, 14–24 Aug. 1811 (partly printed in Works, 1:669–674).
5. Thomas Townshend, later 1st Viscount Sydney, home secretary in Shelburne's ministry (DNB).
6. Suspension points in MS.
7. MS: “very.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-18

November 18. Monday.

Returned Mr. Oswalds Visit. He says Mr. Stratchey who sat out the 5 did not reach London untill the 10....1 Couriers are 3, 4, or 5 days in going according as the Winds are.
We went over the old ground, concerning the Tories. He began to use Arguments with me to relax. I told him he must not think of that, but must bend all his Thoughts to convince and perswade his Court to { 60 } give it up. That if the Terms now before his Court, were not accepted, the whole negotiation would be broken off, and this Court would probably be so angry with Mr. Jay and me, that they would set their Engines to work upon Congress, get us recalled and some others sent, who would do exactly as this Court would have them. He said, he thought that very probable....
In another Part of his Conversation He said We should all have Gold Snuff Boxes set with Diamonds. You will certainly have the Picture.2 I told him no. I had dealt too freely with this Court. I had not concealed from them any usefull and necessary Truth, although it was disagreable. Indeed I neither expected nor desired any favours from them nor would I accept any. I should not refuse any customary Compliment of that Sort, but it never had been nor would be offered me.... My fixed Principle never to be the Tool, of any Man, nor the Partisan of any Nation, would forever exclude me from the Smiles and favours of Courts.
In another Part of the Conversation, I said that when I was young and addicted to reading I had heard about dancing on the Points of metaphisical Needles. But by mixing in the World, I had found the Points of political Needles finer and sharper than the metaphisical ones.
I told him the Story of Josiah Quincys Conversations with Lord Shelburne in 1774, in which he pointed out to him, the Plan of carrying on the War, which has been pursued this Year, by remaining inactive at Land and cruising upon the Coast to distress our Trade.
He said he had been contriving an artificial Truce since he found we were bound by Treaty not to agree to a separate Truce. He had proposed to the Ministry, to give Orders to their Men of War and Privateers, not to take any unarmed American Vessells.
I said to him, supposing the armed Neutrality should acknowledge American Independence, by admitting Mr. Dana who is now at Petersbourg with a Commission for that Purpose in his Pocket, to subscribe the Principles of their marine Treaty? The K. of G.B. could find no fault with it. He could never hereafter say, it was an Affront or Hostility. He had done it himself. Would not all Newtral Vessells have a right to go to America?—and could not all American Trade be carried on in Neutral Bottoms.
I said to him that England would always be a Country which would deserve much of the Attention of America, independently of all Considerations of Blood, Origin, Language, Morals &c. Merely as a commercial Country, She would forever claim the Respect of America, { 61 } because a great Part of our Commerce would be with her provided She came to her Senses and made Peace with Us without any Points in the Treaty that should ferment in the Minds of the People. If the People should think themselves unjustly treated, they would never be easy, and they were so situated as to be able to hurt any Power. The Fisheries, the Mississippi, the Tories were points that would rankle. And that Nation that should offend our People in any of them, would sooner or later feel the Consequences.
Mr. Jay, Mr. Le Couteulx and Mr. Grand came in. Mr. Grand says there is a great Fermentation in England, and that they talk of uniting Lord North and Mr. Fox in Administration. D. of Portland to come in and Keppel go out.—But this is wild.
You are afraid says Mr. Oswald to day of being made the Tools of the Powers of Europe.—Indeed I am says I.—What Powers says he.—All of them says I. It is obvious that all the Powers of Europe will be continually maneuvring with Us, to work us into their real or imaginary Ballances of Power. They will all wish to make of Us a Make Weight Candle, when they are weighing out their Pounds. Indeed it is not surprizing for We shall very often if not always be able to turn the Scale. But I think it ought to be our Rule not to meddle, and that of all the Powers of Europe not to desire Us, or perhaps even to permit Us to interfere, if they can help it.
I beg of you, says he, to get out of your head the Idea that We shall disturb you.—What says I do you yourself believe that your Ministers, Governors and even Nation will not wish to get Us of your Side in any future War?—Damn the Governors says he. No. We will take off their Heads if they do an improper thing towards you.
Thank you for your good Will says I, which I feel to be sincere. But Nations dont feel as you and I do, and your nation when it gets a little refreshed from the fatigues of the War, when Men and Money are become plenty and Allies at hand, will not feel as it does now.—We never can be such damned Sots says he as to think of differing again with you.—Why says I, in truth I have never been able to comprehend the Reason why you ever thought of differing with Us.3
1. Suspension points, here and below, are in MS.
2. Of the King. See JA's conversation with Lynden van Blitterswyck, former Dutch minister to Sweden, 21 Dec., below.
3. Below the last line in this entry JA wrote the words “thus far,” which CFA attached to the last sentence of this paragraph, where they make perfectly good sense. But from the position of the phrase in the MS and from its not being copied in the “Peace Journal” sent to Livingston, it seems much more likely to have been a direction to the copyists than a part of the Diary text.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-19

1782. November 19. Tuesday.

In the Morning Mr. Jay called and took me with him in his Carriage to Versailles. We waited on the C. de Vergennes and dined with him, in Company with all the Foreign Ministers, and others to the Number of forty four or five.
Mr. Berkenrode the Dutch Ambassador, told me, that he thought We should see something very singular in England. The Conflicts of Parties and contentions for the Ministry were such, that he did not know where it would end. It was thought that Lord Shelburne could not support himself without an Union with Ld. North or Mr. Fox, and that the Choice of either would determine the Intentions of the Court and Parliament.
Mr. Brantzen told me, that they had begun the Negotiations on their Part, but were as yet very far asunder, but hoped they should approach nearer in a little Time. Both he and Berkenrode asked me how We advanced? I told him Mr. Oswald was waiting for a Courier, in answer to his of the 5. which arrived the 10th. I told them both that We should not be behind hand of them. That if it was once said that France, Spain and Holland were ready, the British Ministry would not hesitate upon any Points between Us that remained. They both said they believed We should find less difficulty to arrange our affairs with England, than any of the others would.
The Sweedish Minister went to a Gentleman and asked him to introduce him to Mr. Jay and me which he did. The Minister told us he had been here since 1766.1
The same Ministers are here from Russia, Denmark and Sardinia, whom I knew here, formerly.
Mr. Jay made his Compliment to Count D'Aranda, who invited him to come and see him and dine with him.
I see, by a long Conversation at Table with the Baron de Linden, that he has an Inclination to go to America, Yet he modestly gives Place to Mr. Vanberckel.
The Marquis de la Fayette took leave of the King to day in his American Uniform and Sword. He told me, that the C. de Vergennes told him the day before that, Mr. de Rayneval was gone to England again. That he did not think the English so sincere, as he wished, for a speedy Peace. He wished it himself, but could not see a Prospect of it, suddenly, &c.
In returning I asked Mr. Jay what he thought of the K. of Great Britains sending an Ambassador to Congress. After Mr. Oswalds Com• { 63 } mission, he might do it, and Congress must receive him.—Jay said do you think with me upon that Point too? If I were the K. of G.B. I would send a Minister in the highest Character, he should be Ambassador Extraordinary, and I would accredit him, to our dear and beloved Friends. And I would instruct that Minister to treat Congress with as high Respect as any crowned head in Europe.
But says I, he ought to be well instructed too in other Points—vizt. never to hint or to suffer an hint against the Treaties with France and Holland, never to admit the Idea of our failing in our public faith or national Honour—and farther never to interfere in our Parties, general or particular, with our internal Policy, or particular Governments, and to warn our People not to let the French Ministers do it.
If the Britons should strike with Us, I would agree with you after the terms are signed to advise to the Measure. If I were the King of G. Britain, I would give Orders to all my Ambassadors at the Neutral Courts, to announce to those Courts the Independence of America, that I had acknowledged it, and given a Commission under the Great Seal to treat with the Ministers of the United States of America. That I recommended to these Courts to follow the Example, and open Negotiations with the said United States. That I recommended to those neutral States to send their Vessells freely to and receive Vessells freely from, all the Ports of the United States. I would send the Earl of Effingham Ambassador to Congress, instructed to assure them that I would do them my best Offices, to secure to them the Fisheries, their Extent to the Missisippi and the Navigation of that River. That I would favour all their Negotiations in Europe, upon their own Plan of making commercial Treaties with all Nations. That I would interpose my good offices with the Barbary States, to procure them Mediterranean Passes, &c.
1. Gustaf Philip, Count Creutz, whose character JA praised in a letter to Edmund Jenings, 14 Feb. 1783 (Adams Papers), and who shortly afterward signed on behalf of Sweden a treaty of amity and commerce with the United States (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:123 ff.).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-20

Nov. 20 Wednesday.

Dr. Franklin came in, and We fell into Conversation. From one Thing to another, We came to Politicks. I told him, that it seemed uncertain whether Shelburne could hold his Ground without leaning Upon Ld. North on one hand or Fox on the other. That if he joined North, or North & Co. should come in, they would go upon a contracted System, and would join People at this Court to deprive Us of { 64 } the Missisippi and the Fisheries &c. If Fox came in or joined Shelburne they would go upon a liberal and manly System, and this was the only Choice they had. No Nation had ever brought itself into such a Labyrinth perplexed with the demands of Holland, Spain, France and America. Their Funds were failing and the Money undertaken to be furnished was not found. Franklin said, that the Bank came in Aid, and he learned that large Sums of Scrip were lodged there.—In this Situation says I they have no Chance but to set up America very high—and if I were King of G.B. I would take that Tone. I would send the first Duke of the Kingdom Ambassador to Congress, and would negotiate in their favour at all the Neutral Courts &c. I would give the strongest Assurances to Congress of Support in the Fisheries, the Missisippi &c. and would compensate the Tories myself.
I asked what could be the Policy of this Court in wishing to deprive Us of the Fisheries? and Missisippi? I could see no possible Motive for it, but to plant Seeds of Contention for a future War. If they pursued this Policy they would be as fatally blinded to their true Interests as ever the English were.
Franklin said, they would be every bit as blind. That the Fisheries and Missisippi could not be given up. That nothing was clearer to him than that the Fisheries were essential to the northern States, and the Missisippi to the Southern and indeed both to all. I told him that Mr. Gerard had certainly appeared to America, to negotiate to these Ends, vizt. to perswade Congress to give up both. This was the Reason of his being so unpopular in America, and this was the Cause of their dislike to Sam Adams, who had spoken very freely both to Gerard and [in?]1 Congress on these heads. That Marbois appeared now to be pursuing the same Objects. Franklin said he had seen his Letter.2 I said I was the more surprized at this, as Mr. Marbois, on our Passage to America, had often said to me, that he thought the Fisheries our natural Right and our essential Interest, and that We ought to maintain it and be supported in it. Yet that he appeared now to be maneuvring against it.
I told him that I always considered their extraordinary Attack upon me, not as arising from any Offence or any Thing personal, but as an Attack upon the Fishery. There had been great debates in Congress upon issuing the first Commission for Peace, and in Setting my Instructions—that I was instructed not to make any Treaty of Commerce with Britain, without an express Clause acknowledging our Right to the Fishery. This Court knew that this would be, when communicated to the English, a strong Motive with them to acknowledge our Right, and to take away this they had directed their Intrigues against me,
{ [facing 64] } { [facing 65] } { 65 }
to get my Commission annulled, and had succeeded.3 They hoped also to gain some Advantage in these Points by associating others with me in the Commission for Peace. But they had failed in this for the Missisippi and Fishery were now much securer than if I had been alone. That Debates had run very high in Congress. That Mr. Drayton and Governieur Morris had openly espoused their Plan and argued against the Fishery.4 That Mr. Laurens and others of the Southern Gentlemen, had been staunch for them, and contended that as Nurseries of Seamen and Sources of Trade the Southern States were as much interested as the Northern. That Debates had run so high that the Eastern States had been obliged to give in their Ultimatum in Writing and to say they would withdraw, if any more was done, and that this Point was so tender and important that if not secured it would be the Cause of a Breach of the Union of the States—and their Politicks might for what I knew be so profound as to mean to lay a foundation for a rupture between the States, when in a few Years they should think them grown too big. I could see no possible Motive they had, to wish to negotiate the Missisippi into the Hands of Spain, but this. Knowing the fine Country in the Neighbourhood, and the rapidity with which it would fill with Inhabitants, they might force their Way down the Missisipi and occasion another War. They had certainly Sense enough to know too that We could not and would not be restrained from the Fishery. That our People would be constantly pushing for it, and thus plunge themselves into another War, in which We should stand in need of France.
If the old Ministry in England should come in again, they would probably join this Court in attempting to deprive Us. But all would not succeed. We must be firm and steady, and should do very well. —Yes he said he believed We should do very well, and carry the Points.
I told him I could not think that the K. and Council here had formed any digested Plan against Us upon these Points. I hoped it was only the Speculation of Individuals.
I told him, that if Fox should know that Shelburne refused to agree with Us merely because We would not compensate the Tories, that he would attack the Minister upon this Ground and pelt him so with Tories as to make him uncomfortable. I thought it would be very well to give Fox an hint.—He said he would write him a Letter upon it. He had sometimes corresponded with him, and Fox had been in Conversation with him here, before I arrived.
I walked before Dinner to Mr. Jays, and told him, I thought there was danger, that the old Ministry would come in, or Shelburne unite { 66 } with North. That the King did not love Us, and the old Ministry did not love Us: but they loved the Refugees, and thought probably their personal Characters concerned to support them. Rayneval was gone to England, and I wanted to have him watched to see, if he was ever in Company with North, Germain, Stormont, Hillsborough, Sandwich, Bute or Mansfield. If the wing clipping System and the Support of the Tories should be suggested by this Court to any of them it would fall in with their Passions and Opinions, for several of the old Ministry, had often dropped Expressions in the Debates in Parliament, that it was the Interest of England to prevent our Growth to Wealth and Power.
It was very possible, that a Part of the old Ministry might come in, and Richmond, Keppel, Townsend and Cambden go out, and in this Case, tho they could not revoke the Acknowledgment of our Independence, they would certainly go upon the contracted plan of clypping our Wings. In this Case it is true, England would be finally the Dupe, and it would be the most malicious Policy possible against her. It is agreed that if the Whigs go out, and Richmond, Keppell, Townsend, Cambden &c. join Fox and Burke in Opposition, there will be great Probability of a national Commotion and Confusion.
Mr. Jay agreed with me, in all I had said, and Added that six days would produce the Kings Speech. If that Speech should inform Parliament that he had issued a Commission to treat with the United States, and the two Houses should thank him for it, it would look as if a good Plan was to prevail: but if not, We should then take Measures to communicate it far, and wide.
I told him I thought, in that Case We should aid Opposition as much as We could, by suggesting Arguments, to those who would transmit them in favour of America, and in favour of those who had the most liberal Sentiments towards America, to convince them that the Wing clipping Plan was ruinous to England, and the most generous and noble Part they could Act towards America, the only one that could be beneficial to the Nation, and to enable them to attack a contracted Ministry with every Advantage, that could be.
I thought it was now a Crisis, in which good Will or Ill will towards America would be carried very far in England, a time perhaps when the American Ministers may have more Weight in turning the Tide of Sentiment, or influencing the Changes of Administration than they ever had before and perhaps than they would have again. That I thought it our Duty, Upon this Occasion to say every Thing We could, to the Englishmen here, in order that just Sentiments might prevail { 67 } in England at this Moment, to countenance every Man well disposed, and to disabuse and undeceive every body.
To drive out of Countenance and into Infamy, every narrow Thought of cramping, stinting, impoverishing or enfeebling Us. To shew that it is their only Interest to shew themselves our Friends, to wear away, if possible, the Memory of past Unkindnesses. To strike with Us now upon our own Terms, because tho We had neither Power nor Inclination to make Peace, without our Allies, yet the very report that We had got over all our difficulties would naturally make all Europe expect Peace, would tend to make Spain less exorbitant in her demands, and would make Holland more ardent for Peace, and dispose France to be more serious in her Importunities with Spain and Holland, and even render France herself easier, tho I did not imagine she would be extravagant in her Pretentions. To shew them the ruinous Tendency of the War if continued another Year or two. —Where would England be if the War continued 2 Years longer? What the State of her Finances? What her Condition in the E. and W. Indies, in N. America, Ireland, Scotland and even in England? What hopes have they of saving themselves from a civil War? If our Terms are not now accepted, they will never again have such offers from America. They will never have so advantageous a Line—never their Debts—never so much for the Tories, and perhaps a rigorous demand of Compensation for the Devastations they have committed.
Mr. Jay agreed with me in Sentiment, and indeed they are the Principles he has uniformly pursued thro the whole Negotiation before my Arrival. I think they cannot be misunderstood or disapproved in Congress.
There never was a Blunder in Politicks more egregious than will be committed by the present Ministry, if they attempt to save the Honour of the old Ministry and of the Tories. Shelburne may be too weak to combat them: but the true Policy would be to throw all the Odium of the War, and all the Blame of the Dismemberment of the Empire upon the old Ministers and the Tories. To run them down, tarnish them with Votes, envey against them in Speeches and Pamphlets, even strip them of the Pensions and make them both ridiculous, insignificant and contemptible, in short make them as wretched as their Crimes deserve. Never think of sending them to America.—But Shelburne is not strong enough. The old Party with the King at their Head, is too powerful, and popular yet.
I really pitty these People, as little as they deserve it. For surely no Men ever deserved worse of Society.
{ 68 }
If Fox was in, and had Weight enough, and should take this decided Part which is consistent enough with the Tenor of his Speeches, which have been constant Phillippicks against the old Ministry and frequent Sallies against the Refugees, and should adopt a noble Line of Conduct towards America, grant her all She asks, do her honnour and promote her Prosperity, he would disarm the hostile Mind, and soften the resentful heart, recover much of the Affection of America, much of her Commerce, and perhaps equal Consideration and Profit and Power from her as ever. She would have no Governors nor Armies there and no Taxes, but She would have Profit, Reputation and Power.
Today I received a Letter from my Excellent Friend Mr. Laurens 12 Nov. London in answer to mine of the 6. agreeing as speedily as possible to join his Colleagues. “Thank God, I had a Son, who dared to die for his Country!”5
1. MS: “his”—which scarcely makes sense.
2. See entry of 17 Nov., above, and note 4 there.
3. For Vergennes' efforts in 1780–1781 to obtain JA's recall, or at least to restrict his powers, see William E. O'Donnell, The Chevalier de La Luzerne ..., Bruges and Louvain, 1938, p. 124–371, with notes citing Vergennes' instructions and La Luzerne's dispatches in reply. One result was the joining of JA with other commissioners and the highly restrictive instructions from Congress of 15 June 1781. See also Bemis, Diplomacy of the Amer. Revolution, p. 176–177, 189–190.
4. A note added by JA in the margin of the MS opposite this sentence reads: “A mistake, as Mr. J[ay] tells me.”
5. Approximately quoted from Henry Laurens' letter to JA, 12 Nov. 1782 (Adams Papers), in answer to JA's note of 6 Nov., enclosing an order of Congress for Laurens to attend the peace conference in Paris (LbC, Adams Papers). Col. John Laurens had been killed in an obscure action in South Carolina, Aug. 1782.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-21

1782 Nov. 21. Thursday.

Paid a Visit to Mr. Brantzen, and then to the Comte de Linden; spent 2 hours with him.
He says the King of Sweeden has overwhelmed him with his Goodness, is perpetually writing to his Ministers to compliment and applaud him for the Part he has acted in refusing to go to Vienna and for the Reason he gave for it.
Says the Revolution in Sweeden, was advantageous to France, in Point of Oeconomy, for France used to pay very dear, for Partisans, in Pensions. That Russia too, used to have a Party there and pay Pensions. Now by means of the Court, France predominates, more easily.
He said that on Tuesday he prayed the Introductor of Ambassadors to speak to the Prince de Tingry to put him upon the List to go to the Comedy, with the King, Queen and Royal Family, in the little Salle de Spectacle. That the K. and Q. eyed him the whole Evening, and as they { 69 } came out the Introductor told the K. that it was the Comte de Linden, a Man very zealous for the patriotic System. The K. said Oui, Je scais son Affair.
He says that there is no Man in the Republic who receives any Thing, from any foreign Prince or State. That the Law is very strict against it, and obliges every Man to take an Oath that he has not and will not—and no Man dares. He dont believe that the Duke1 ever did. It would be a blunder in the English to offer it, for he is by his Name and Family enough attached without it.
He says, that he has followed the Principles which were given him by his Uncle, Boerslaer [Boetzelaer], who was high in favour at Court and in great Power thro the Rep[ublic]. That his Age and Family would be an Objection against his going to America, but after Affairs shall be a little settled, he expects that his Friends will ask him what will be agreable to him, but if not, he shall take his Place in the States General and retire to his Estate in Zealand.
Ridley and Bancroft came in and spent the Evening. B. says that Mr. Oswald dont feel very well, that he thinks of going home. That the K. will bring in some of the old Minsters, &c.
1. The Duke of Brunswick, for many years the principal adviser of Willem V, Stadholder of the Dutch Republic.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-22

Nov. 22. Fryday.

Made a Visit to Dr. Bancroft, and spent an hour or two with him. Mr. Walpole he says is a Correspondent of Mr. Fox. I told him I wished I could have two hours Time with Fox.—Visited Mr. Mayo, Livingston, Vaughan, Rogers and Lady and Mr. Jay.
Mr. Jay says that Oswald received a Courier from London last Evening. That his Letters were brought in while he was there. That Oswald read one of them and said, that “the Tories stick.” That Stratchey is coming again, and may be expected today. Oswald call'd upon him this morning, but young Franklin was there: so he said nothing, as he would not speak before him. Jay says We had now to consider, whether We should state the question in writing to the Comte de Vergennes, and ask his Answer.
I said to him We must be more dry and reserved and short with him (Oswald) than We had been. He said We must endeavour to discover, whether they agree to all the other Points. I asked what he thought of agreeing to some Compensation to the Tories, if this Court advised to it. He said they would be very mad if We did. He said that a Tract of Land, with a Pompous Preamble, would satisfy the English. But he { 70 } would call upon Oswald this Afternoon, and endeavour to know more, and call upon me in the Evening.
Bancroft said to day, that Fitsherbert was sensible but conceited, that the Englishmen who were acquainted with him however said he was reserved about the Secrets of his Negotiation: But he expressed openly his Feelings, when Rayneval went over to England, as it implied or seemed to imply a Want of Confidence in him. He was displeased...1 That he had dined with him and Mr. Jay, at Mr. Oswalds.
He said he found that the Englishmen here, were prepared with their Quibbles, about the Acknowledgment of American Independence. That the enabling Act did not impower the King, to grant such a Commission. It enabled him to make Peace with the Colonies, and to treat and conclude with any Discription of Men, but not expressly to acknowledge them independent States. So that it might be cast upon the Crown or Ministry as an illegal Act. Ld. Cambden had given his Opinion that the Act did not authorize the K. to acknowledge the Independence of America.
To this it may be answered that the King or Crown cannot go back. That an Act of Parliament only can annul it. The K. would make himself ridiculous in the Eyes of all Men, Souvereigns especially, if he should consent to such an Act. That a Vote of either House of Parliament, declaring the Commission illegal and null, would never pass. It would break off all Negotiations, allarm America and raise a Rebellion in England.
But the Truth is, the Crown of England is absolute in War and Peace. There is not even a fundamental Law, as there is, in France, that the King can not allienate the domains of the Crown. On the contrary by the British Constitution, the King has Power to cede and Alienate Parts and indeed all his Dominions, i.e. there is no Limitation.
Bancroft said there is an Act of Parliament that the King shall never alienate Gibraltar. So that Gibraltar cannot be ceded to Spain without an Act of Parliament.
B. says that Mr. Ganier is in Burgundy upon his Estate, where he passes the Summers, and comes only to Paris in the Winter.
B. said if the K. in his Speech should not announce Mr. Oswalds Commission, you Gentlemen Commissioners would do well to take some measures for the Publication of it, in England and abroad.
I said I wondered, that Mr. Fox had not sent over some Friend here, during the Conferences, to pick up what he could of Intelligence. But upon Recollection, I said his Friends, Richmond, Keppell, Townsend, Cambden &c. were in the Council and Cabinet, and therefore no { 71 } doubt informed him, of all Intelligence, and let him into all the Secret of Affairs.2
Dr. Franklin, upon my saying, the other day, that I fancied he did not exercise so much as he was wont, answered, “Yes, I walk a League every day in my Chamber. I walk quick and for an hour, so that I go a League. I make a Point of Religion of it.” I replied, that as the Commandment Thou shalt not kill, forbid a Man to kill himself as well as his Neighbor, it was manifestly a Breach of the 6. Commandment not to exercise. So that he might easily prove it to be a religious Point.
Bancroft said to day, That it was often said among the French People, that M. de Vergennes loved Spain too well, and was too complaisant to the Spanish Court. That he was ambitious of being made a Grandee of Spain, in order to cover his Want of Birth, for that he was not nobly born.—This I fancy is a Mistake. But such are the Objects, which Men pursue. Titles, Ribbons, Stars, Garters, Crosses, Keys, are the important Springs that move the Ambition of Men in high Life.—How poor! how mean! how low! Yet how true.—A low Ambition indeed! The Pride of Nobles and of Kings.

Let us, since Life can little more supply

Than just to look about Us and to die,

Expatiate free.

1. Suspension points in MS.
2. The present Diary booklet (D/JA/36) ends here, and the record of this day continues without break in the next booklet (D/JA/37), identical in format with its predecessor.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-23

1782 November 23. Saturday.

Mr. Jay called at 10 and went out with me to Passy to meet the Marquis de la Fayette, at the Invitation of Dr. F. The Marquis's Business was to shew Us a Letter he had written, to the C. de V. on the Subject of Money.1 This I saw nettled F. as it seemed an Attempt to take to himself the Merit of obtaining the Loan if one should be procured. He gave Us also a Letter to Us 3, for our Approbation of his going out, with the C. D'Estaing. He recites in it that he had remained here by our Advice, as necessary to the Negotiations.2 This nettled both F. and J. I knew nothing of it, not having been here, and they both denied it.
This unlimited Ambition will obstruct his Rise. He grasps at all civil, political and military, and would be thought the Unum necessarium in every Thing. He has so much real Merit, such Family Supports, and so much favour at Court, that he need not recur to Artifice.
{ 72 }
—He said that C. de V. told him as the Chev. de la Luzernes Dispatches were not arrived, the Ct. 3 could do nothing in the affair of Money, without Something french to go upon. His Letter therefore was to supply the Something French.—He told us that the C. D'Aranda had desired him to tell Mr. Jay, as the Lands upon the Missi[ssi]ppi, were not yet determined, whether they were to belong to England or Spain, he could not yet settle that matter. So that probably the Attempt will be to negotiate them into the Hands of the Spaniards, from the English. D'Aranda, Rayneval, Grantham, &c. may conduct this without Fitzherbert.
Spent part of the Evening at Mrs. Izards. Mr. Oswald sent for Mr. Jay, desired to meet him at either house. Mr. Jay went and I came off.4
1. To Vergennes, 22 Nov. 1782 (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:67–70).
2. This letter has not been found; perhaps it was withdrawn.
3. “Count” or “Court”? JA's usual abbreviation for Count was “C”; when written out, “Comte.”
“Saturday Novr. 23d.... Mr. Strachey is returned from England. I find the Ministers here Mr. Oswald and Fitzherbert are very doubtful about Peace and are indeed doubtful of Ld. Shelburne keeping his Ground.—Mr. Vaughan went to England in consequence of Reneval's going that he might be at hand to prompt Ld. Shelburne to the Peace—his pretence was going to see Mrs. Vaughan” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-25

1782 November 25. Monday.

Dr. F., Mr. J. and myself at 11. met at Mr. Oswalds Lodgings.1
Mr. Stratchey told Us, he had been to London and waited personally on every one of the Kings Cabinet Council, and had communicated the last Propositions to them. They every one of them, unanimously condemned that respecting the Tories, so that that unhappy Affair stuck as he foresaw and foretold that it would.
The Affair of the Fishery too was somewhat altered. They could not admit Us to dry, on the Shores of Nova Scotia, nor to fish within three Leagues of the Coast, nor within fifteen Leagues of the Coast of Cape Breton.
The Boundary they did not approve. They thought it too extended, too vast a Country, but they would not make a difficulty.
That if these Terms were not admitted, the whole Affair must be thrown into Parliament, where every Man would be for insisting on Restitution, to the Refugees.
He talked about excepting a few by Name of the most obnoxious of the Refugees.
I could not help observing that the Ideas respecting the Fishery { 73 } appeared to me to come piping hot from Versailles. I quoted to them the Words of our Treaty with France, in which the indefinite and exclusive Right, to the Fishery on the Western Side of Newfoundland, was secured against Us, According to the true Construction of the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris. I shewed them the 12 and 13 Articles of the Treaty of Utrecht, by which the French were admitted to Fish from Cape Bona Vista to Cape Rich.2
I related to them the manner in which the Cod and Haddock come into the Rivers, Harbours, Creeks, and up to the very Wharfs on all the northern Coast of America, in the Spring in the month of April, so that you have nothing to do, but step into a Boat, and bring in a parcel of Fish in a few Hours. But that in May, they begin to withdraw. We have a saying at Boston that when the Blossoms fall the Haddock begin to crawl, i.e. to move out into deep Water, so that in Summer you must go out some distance to fish. At Newfoundland it was the same. The fish in March or April, were inshore, in all the Creeks, Bays, and Harbours, i.e. within 3 Leagues of the Coasts or Shores of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. That neither French nor English could go from Europe and arrive early enough for the first Fare. That our Vessells could, being so much nearer, an Advantage which God and Nature had put into our hands. But that this Advantage of ours, had ever been an Advantage to England, because our fish had been sold in Spain and Portugal for Gold and Silver, and that Gold and Silver sent to London for Manufactures. That this would be the Course again. That France foresaw it, and wished to deprive England of it, by perswading her, to deprive Us of it. That it would be a Master Stroke of Policy, if She could succeed, but England must be compleatly the Dupe, before She could succeed.
There were 3 Lights in which it might be viewed. 1. as a Nursery of Seamen. 2 as a Source of Profit. 3. as a Source of Contention. As a Nursery of Seamen, did England consider Us as worse Ennemies than France. Had She rather France should have the Seamen than America. The French Marine was nearer and more menacing than ours. As a Source of Profit, had England rather France should supply the Marketts of Lisbon and Cadiz, with Fish and take the Gold And Silver than We. France would never spend any of that Money in London, We should spend it all very nearly. As a Source of Contention, how could We restrain our Fishermen, the boldest Men alive, from fishing in prohibited Places. How could our Men see the French admitted to fish and themselves excluded by the English; it would then be a Cause of Disputes, and such Seeds France might wish to sow.
{ 74 }
—That I wished for 2 hours Conversation on the Subject with one of the Kings Council, if I did not convince him he was undesignedly betraying the Interest of his Sovereign, I was mistaken. Stratchey said perhaps I would put down some Observations in Writing upon it. I said, with all my heart, provided I had the Approbation of my Colleagues. But I could do nothing of the Kind, without submitting it, to their Judgments, and that whatever I had said or should say, upon the Subject however strongly I might express myself, was always to be understood with Submission to my Colleagues. I shewed them Capt. Coffins Letter and gave them his Character. His Words are,
“Our Fishermen from Boston, Salem, Newbury, Marblehead, Cape Ann, Cape Cod and Nantucket, have frequently gone out on the Fisheries, to the Streights of Bell Isle, North Part of Newfoundland, and the banks adjacent thereto, there to continue the whole Season, and have made Use of the North Part of Newfoundland, the Bradore [Labrador] Coast in the Streights of Bell Isle, to cure their Fish, which they have taken in and about those Coasts. I have known several Instances of Vessells going there to load in the Fall of the Year, with the Fish taken and cured at those Places for Spain, Portugal and &c. I was once concerned in a Voyage of that kind myself and speak from my own Knowledge.
“From Cape Sable, to the Isle of Sable and so on to the Banks of Newfoundland, are a Chain of Banks, extending all along the Coast, and almost adjoining each other, and are those Banks where our Fishermen go for the first Fare, in the early Part of the Season. Their second Fare is on the Banks of Newfoundland, where they continue to Fish till prevented by the tempestuous and boisterous Winds, which prevail in the Fall of the Year on that Coast. Their third and last Fare is generally made near the Coast of Cape Sables or Banks adjoining thereto, where they are not only relieved from those boisterous Gales, but have an Asylum to fly to in Case of Emergency, as that Coast is lined, from the head of Cape Sable to Hallifax, with most excellent Harbours.
“The Sea Cow Fishery was before the present War, carried on to Great Advantage, particularly from Nantucket and Cape Cod, in and about the River St. Laurence, at the Islands of St. Johns and Anticoste, Bay of Shalers [Chaleurs] and the Magdalene Islands, which were the most noted of all for that Fishery. This Oil has the Preference to all other except Sperma Coeti.”3
Mr. Jay desired to know, whether Mr. Oswald had now Power to conclude and sign with Us?
{ 75 }
Stratchey said he had absolutely.
Mr. Jay desired to know if the Propositions now delivered Us were their Ultimatum. Stratchey seemed loth to answer, but at last said No.
—We agreed these were good Signs of Sincerity.
Bancroft came in this Evening and said, it was reported that a Courier had arrived from Mr. Rayneval in London, and that after it, the C. de Vergennes told the King, that he had the Peace in his Pocket. That he was now Master of the Peace.
1. At this conference the Commissioners of both powers took up the “third set” of provisional articles, formulated by the British ministry and brought to Paris by Strachey. A copy of these in JA's hand is in Lb/JA/21 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 109); a printed text is in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:74–77. A summary of Oswald's new instructions brought by Strachey is in Thomas Townshend to the King, 19 Nov. (Correspondence of King George the Third ..., ed. Sir John Fortescue, London, 1927–1928, 6:156–157).
2. JA means Point Riche, but there was much dispute about its location (and consequently about control over the western coast of Newfoundland) for nearly two centuries after the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713. See entry of 26 Nov., below; also Ralph G. Lounsbury, The British Fishery at Newfoundland, 1634–1763, New Haven, 1934, p. 240 and passim, especially the map following the index.
3. Quoted (with omissions and insignificant alterations) from Alexander Coffin to Charles Storer, Amsterdam, 12 Nov. 1782 (Adams Papers); see also entry of 30 Nov., below. The “Sea Cow” is the walrus.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-26

Nov. 26. Tuesday.

Breakfasted at Mr. Jays, with Dr. Franklin, in Consultation upon the Propositions made to Us Yesterday by Mr. Oswald. We agreed unanimously, to answer him, that We could not consent to the Article, respecting the Refugees as it now stands. Dr. F. read a Letter upon the Subject which he had prepared to Mr. Oswald, upon the Subject of the Tories, which We had agreed with him that he should read as containing his private Sentiments.1—We had a vast deal of Conversation upon the Subject. My Colleagues opened themselves, and made many Observations concerning the Conduct, Crimes and Demerits of those People.
Before Dinner Mr. Fitsherbert came in, whom I had never seen before. A Gentleman of about 33, seems pretty discreet and judicious, and did not discover those Airs of Vanity which are imputed to him.
He came in Consequence of the desire, which I expressed Yesterday of knowing the State of the Negotiation between him and the C. de Vergennes, respecting the Fishery. He told Us that the C. was for fixing the Boundaries, where each Nation should fish. He must confess he thought the Idea plausible, for that there had been great dissentions between the Fishermen of the two nations. That the french { 76 } Marine Office had an whole Appartment full of Complaints and Representations of disputes. That the French pretended that Cape Ray was the Point Riche.
I asked him if the French demanded of him an exclusive [Right]2 to fish and dry between Cape Bona Vista and the Point riche. He said they had not expressly, and he intended to follow the Words of the Treaty of Utrecht and Paris without stirring the Point.
I shewed him an Extract of a Letter from the Earl of Egremont to the Duke of Bedford, March 1. 1763, in which it is said that by the 13 Art[icle] of the Treaty of Utrecht, a Liberty was left to the French to fish, and to dry their fish on Shore; and for that Purpose to erect the Necessary Stages and Buildings, but with an express Stipulation de ne pas sejourner dans la dite Isle, au dela du tems necessaire pour pêcher et sêcher le Poisson.—That it is a received Law among the Fishermen, that whoever arrives first, shall have the Choice of the Stations. That the Duke de Nivernois insisted, that by the Treaty of Utrecht the French had an exclusive Right to the Fishery from Cape Bona Vista to Point Riche. That the King gave to his Grace the D. of Bedford express Instructions to come to an Ecclaircissement upon the Point with the French Ministry, and to refuse the Exclusive Construction of the Treaty of Utrech &c.
I also shew him a Letter, from Sir Stanier Porteen, Lord Weymouths Secretary, to Ld. Weymouth, inclosing an Extract of Ld. Egremonts Letter to the Duke of Bedford, by which it appears that the Duke of Nivernois insisted.
“That the French had an exclusive right to the Fishery from Cape Bona Vista to Point Riche, and that they had, on ceding the Island of Newfoundland to G. Britain by the 13 Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, expressly reserved to themselves such an exclusive Right, which they had constantly been in Possession of, till they were entirely driven from North America in the last War.”
For these Papers I am obliged to Mr. Izard.3 Mr. Fitsherbert said it was the same Thing now Word for Word: but he should endeavour to have the Treaty conformable to those of Utrecht and Paris. But he said We had given it up, by admitting the Word “exclusive” into our Treaty.—I said perhaps not, for the whole was to be conformable to the true Construction of the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris, and that if the English did not now admit the exclusive Construction they could not contend for it vs. Us. We had only contracted not to disturb them, &c.
I said it was the Opinion of all the Fishermen in America that England could not prevent our Catching a fish without preventing them• { 77 } selves from getting a Dollar. That the 1st. Fare was our only Advantage. That neither the English nor French could have it. It must be lost if We had it not.
He said, he did not think much of the Fishery as a Source of Profit, but as a Nursery of Seamen. I told him the English could not catch a fish the more, or make a Sailor the more, for restrain[in]g Us. Even the French would rival them in the Markets of Spain and Portugal. It was our Fish which they ought to call their own, because We should spend the Profit with them. That the southern States had Staple Commodities, but N. England had no other Remittance but the Fishery. No other Way to pay for their Cloathing. That it entered into our Distilleries and West India Trade as well as our European Trade, in such a manner that it could not be taken out or diminished, without tearing and rending. That if it should be left to its natural Course We could hire or purchase Spots of Ground on which to erect Stages, and Buildings, but if We were straightened by Treaty, that Treaty would be given in Instructions to Governors and Commodores whose duty it would be to execute it. That it would be very difficult to restrain our Fishermen, they would be frequently transgressing, and making disputes and Troubles.
He said his principal Object was to avoid sowing Seeds of future Wars.—I said it was equally my Object, and that I was perswaded, that if the Germ of a War was left any where, there was the greatest danger of its being left in the Article respecting the Fishery.
The rest of the Day, was spent in endless Discussions about the Tories. Dr. F. is very staunch against the Tories, more decided a great deal on this Point than Mr. Jay or my self.4
1. Article V in the “third set” of provisional articles read: “It is agreed that restitution shall be made of all estates, rights, and properties in America which have been confiscated” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:76). Franklin's famous letter to Oswald, 26 Nov., proposing to balance American losses against loyalist losses, is in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:621–627. See, further, 29 Nov. below, and note 1 there.
2. MS: “Rich.”
3. Copies of the letters quoted are in Adams Papers under the assigned date of Nov. 1782. They are printed in the Autobiography, below, following the record of Congress' instructions to JA for negotiating a commercial treaty with Great Britain, 16 Oct. 1779||: Sir Stanier Porten to Lord Weymouth, no date, and Earl of Egremont to the Duke of Bedford, 1 March 1763||.
“Tuesday Novemr. 26h. Dined at Mr. Adams's. Mr. Strachey who is arrived from England insists much on the Affair of the Refugees. It seems however to be inadmissible and unless he has Instructions to get over this the Negotiations will probably break off” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-27

1782 Nov. 27. Wednesday.

Mr. Benjamin Vaughan came in, returned from London where he had seen Lord Shelburne.
{ 78 }
He says he finds the Ministry much embarrassed with the Tories, and exceedingly desirous of saving their Honour and Reputation in this Point. That it is Reputation more than Money &c.
Dined with Mr. Jay and spent some time before Dinner with him and Dr. Franklin, and all the Afternoon and Evening with them and Mr. Oswald, endeavouring to come together, concerning the Fisheries and Tories.1
“Wednesday Novr. 27h. Dined at Mr. Jay's. Mr. Franklin Mr. Adams and many others there. Mr. Vaughan is returned from England. At the same time another Courier came from there supposed to bring more conciliating propositions with respect to the Tories. It is said the French Negotiation is in great forwardness.—Called upon Vaughan in the Evening—says there are no signs of a change of Ministry. ... It is said the French Negotiation is not so forward as reported. The Dutch Minister knows not of it. Mr. Strachey pretends it is very nigh—says that if America will consent to give liberty to the Refugees to purchase in their property at the last sum sold at it would be assented to, but that something was necessary to save the Kings Honor in respect to those who had adhered to him. His former language was, nothing short of a restoration of property would do—and had even said the King would admit of exceptions to six or Seven of the most Obnoxious.—He is working to do all he can but our principal will not be departed from” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-28

Nov. 28. Thursday.

This Morning I have drawn up, the following Project―
Art. 3.
That the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty, and the People of the said United States, shall continue to enjoy, unmolested, the Right to take Fish of every kind, on the Grand Bank and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland: also in the Gulph of St. Laurence, and in all other Places, where the Inhabitants of both Countries, used at any time heretofore to fish; and the Citizens of the said United States shall have Liberty to cure and dry their Fish, on the Shores of Cape Sables, and of any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours or Creeks of Nova Scotia, or any of the Shores of the Magdalene Islands, and of the Labradore Coast: And they shall be permitted in Time of Peace to hire Pieces of Land, for Terms of Years, of the legal Proprietors in any of the Dominions of his said Majesty, whereon to erect the necessary Stages and Buildings and to cure and dry their Fish.1
1. Compare the earlier draft in the entry of 4 Nov., above; also Article III in the “third set” of propositions (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:75–76); and that in the Preliminary Articles as signed on 30 Nov. (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:98).
“Thursday Novemr. 28h.... In the Evening called again on Mr. Adams. He had dined at Passy, was to meet the Commrs. again this Evening, desired to see us at 1/2 past Nine.... He said he had laid down a line and beyond that he would not go let who would be { 79 } ready.—At 1/2 past Nine he returned from the meeting—was in Spirits and said all was going well—but some difficulties had been started which he was sure had been in Consequence of Renevals going to England. Had a pretty long Conversation with him. He says Dr. F is the most Violent of the three for not admitting the Tories—but speaks very well of him in the course of the Negotiation” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-29

1782 November 29. Fryday.

Met Mr. Fitsherbert, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay, Mr. Laurens and Mr. Stratchey at Mr. Jays, Hotel D'Orleans, and spent the whole Day in Discussions about the Fishery and the Tories. I proposed a new Article concerning the Fishery. It was discussed and turned in every Light, and multitudes of Amendments proposed on each Side, and at last the Article drawn as it was finally agreed to. The other English Gentlemen being withdrawn upon some Occasion, I asked Mr. Oswald if he could consent to leave out the Limitation of 3 Leagues from all their Shores and the 15 from those of Louisbourg. He said in his own Opinion he was for it, but his Instructions were such, that he could not do it. I perceived by this, and by several Incidents and little Circumstances before, which I had remarked to my Colleagues, who were much of the same opinion, that Mr. Oswald had an Instruction, not to settle the Articles of the Fishery and Refugees, without the Concurrence of Mr. Fitsherbert and Mr. Stratchey.
Upon the Return of the other Gentlemen, Mr. Stratchey proposed to leave out the Word Right of Fishing and make it Liberty. Mr. Fitsherbert said the Word Right was an obnoxious Expression.
Upon this I rose up and said, Gentlemen, is there or can there be a clearer Right? In former Treaties, that of Utrecht and that of Paris, France and England have claimed the Right and used the Word. When God Almighty made the Banks of Newfoundland at 300 Leagues Distance from the People of America and at 600 Leagues distance from those of France and England, did he not give as good a Right to the former as to the latter. If Heaven in the Creation gave a Right, it is ours at least as much as yours. If Occupation, Use, and Possession give a Right, We have it as clearly as you. If War and Blood and Treasure give a Right, ours is as good as yours. We have been constantly fighting in Canada, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia for the Defense of this Fishery, and have expended beyond all Proportion more than you. If then the Right cannot be denied, Why should it not be acknowledged? and put out of Dispute? Why should We leave Room for illiterate Fishermen to wrangle and chicane?
Mr. Fitsherbert said, the Argument is in your Favour. I must con• { 80 } fess your Reasons appear to be good, but Mr. Oswalds Instructions were such that he did not see how he could agree with Us. And for my Part, I have not the Honour and Felicity, to be a Man of that Weight and Authority, in my Country, that you Gentlemen are in yours (this was very genteelly said), I have the Accidental Advantage of a little favour with the present Minister, but I cannot depend upon the Influence of my own Opinion to reconcile a Measure to my Countrymen. We can consider our selves as little more than Pens in the hands of Government at home, and Mr. Oswalds Instructions are so particular.
I replied to this, The Time is not so pressing upon Us, but that We can wait, till a Courier goes to London, with your Representations upon this Subject and others that remain between Us, and I think the Ministers must be convinced.
Mr. Fitsherbert said, to send again to London and have all laid loose before Parliament was so uncertain a Measure—it was going to Sea again.
Upon this Dr. Franklin said, that if another Messenger was to be sent to London, he ought to carry Something more respecting a Compensation to the Sufferers in America. He produced a Paper from his Pocket, in which he had drawn up a Claim, and He said the first Principle of the Treaty was Equality and Reciprocity. Now they demanded of Us Payment of Debts and Restitution or Compensation to the Refugees. If a Draper had sold a Piece of Cloth to a Man upon Credit and then sent a servant to take it from him by Force, and after bring his Action for the Debt, would any Court of Law or Equity give him his Demand, without obliging him to restore the Cloth? Then he stated the carrying off of Goods from Boston, Philadelphia, and the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia &c. and the burning of the Towns, &c. and desired that this might be sent with the rest.1
Upon this I recounted the History of G[eneral] Gages Agreement with the Inhabitants of Boston, that they should remove with their Effects upon Condition, that they would surrender their Arms. But as soon as the Arms were secured, the Goods were forbid to be carried out and were finally carried off in large Quantities to Hallifax.
Dr. Franklin mentioned the Case of Philadelphia, and the carrying off of Effects there, even his own Library.
Mr. Jay mentioned several other Things and Mr. Laurens added the Plunders in Carolina of Negroes, Plate &c.
After hearing all this, Mr. Fitsherbert, Mr. Oswald and Mr. Stratchey, retired for some time, and returning Mr. Fitsherbert said that { 81 } upon consulting together and weighing every Thing as maturely as possible, Mr. Stratchey and himself had determined to advise Mr. Oswald, to strike with Us, according to the Terms We had proposed as our Ultimatum respecting the Fishery and the Loyalists.—Accordingly We all sat down and read over the whole Treaty and corrected it and agreed to meet tomorrow at Mr. Oswalds House, to sign and seal the Treaties which the Secretaries were to copy fair in the mean time.
I forgot to mention, that when We were upon the Fishery, and Mr. Stratchey and Mr. Fitsherbert were urging Us to leave out the Word Right and substitute Liberty, I told them at last In Answer to their Proposal, to agree upon all other Articles, and leave that of the Fishery to be adjusted, at the definitive Treaty. I said, I never could put my hand to any Articles, without Satisfaction about the Fishery. That Congress had, 3 or 4 Years ago, when they did me the Honour to give me a Commission, to make a Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain, given me a positive Instruction, not to make any such Treaty, without an Article in the Treaty of Peace, acknowledging our Right to the Fishery, that I was happy that Mr. Laurens was now present who I believed was in Congress at the Time, and must remember it.2
Mr. Laurens upon this said, with great Firmness, that he was in the same Case, and could never give his Voice for any Articles without this.
Mr. Jay spoke up and said, it could not be a Peace, it would only be an insidious Truce without it.3
1. A copy of Franklin's counter-proposal is in Adams Papers, Nov. 1782, docketed “An Article proposed & read to the Commissioners before signing the preliminary Articles, with a state of facts”; a printed text is in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:632, note. In reporting the end of the preliminary negotiation, Franklin said that “Apparently ... to avoid the discussion” of his proposed new article, the British Commissioners “suddenly changed their minds, dropped the design of recurring to London, and agreed [also] to allow the fishery as demanded” (to Livingston, 5 Dec. 1782; same, p. 632–633). For the tame compromise on the question of restoring loyalist property (a recommendation by Congress to the state legislatures), see Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:98–99.
2. Instructions of 16 Oct. 1779, q.v. in JA's Autobiography. Those for negotiating peace had of course been superseded by fresh instructions to the joint commissioners, 15 June 1781, prepared under the eye of La Luzerne (JCC, 20:651–654); and JA's instructions to negotiate a treaty of commerce had been revoked by a resolution of Congress, 12 July 1781 (same, p. 746).
“Friday Novemr. 29.... Dined at Mr. Adams—in good Spirits. Said he on being asked if he would fish at Dinner, No laughingly—‘he had had a pretty good Meal of them today.' I told [him] ‘I was glad to hear it as I knew a small Quantity would not satisfy him.'
“In the Evening I learned every thing was going right and that in all probability the whole would be finished tomorrow off or on. I am well satisfied it will be on. All goes well and we have all that can be wished. Mr. A is well satisfied with Dr. F's Conduct and says he has behaved well and Nobly; particularly this day” (Matthew Ridley, Diary, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0004-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-11-30

November 30. Saturday. St. Andrews Day.

We met first at Mr. Jays, then at Mr. Oswalds, examined and compared the Treaties. Mr. Stratchey had left out the limitation of Time, the 12 Months, that the Refugees were allowed to reside in America, in order to recover their Estates if they could. Dr. Franklin said this was a Surprize upon Us. Mr. Jay said so too. We never had consented to leave it out, and they insisted upon putting it in, which was done.
Mr. Laurens said there ought to be a Stipulation that the British Troops should carry off no Negroes or other American Property. We all agreed. Mr. Oswald consented.
Then The Treaties were signed, sealed and delivered, and We all went out to Passy to dine with Dr. Franklin.1 Thus far has proceeded this great Affair. The Unravelling of the Plott, has been to me, the most affecting and astonishing Part of the whole Piece.—
As soon as I arrived in Paris I waited on Mr. Jay and learned from him, the rise and Progress of the Negotiation. Nothing that has happened since the Beginning of the Controversy in 1761 has ever struck me more forcibly or affected me more intimately, than that entire Coincidence of Principles and Opinions, between him and me. In about 3 days I went out to Passy, and spent the Evening with Dr. Franklin, and entered largely into Conversation with him upon the Course and present State of our foreign affairs. I told him without Reserve my Opinion of the Policy of this Court, and of the Principles, Wisdom and Firmness with which Mr. Jay had conducted the Negotiation in his Sickness and my Absence, and that I was determined to support Mr. Jay to the Utmost of my Power in the pursuit of the same System. The Dr. heard me patiently but said nothing.
The first Conference We had afterwards with Mr. Oswald, in considering one Point and another, Dr. Franklin turned to Mr. Jay and said, I am of your Opinion and will go on with these Gentlemen in the Business without consulting this Court. He has accordingly met Us in most of our Conferences and has gone on with Us, in entire Harmony and Unanimity, throughout, and has been able and use-full, both by his Sagacity and his Reputation in the whole Negotiation.
I was very happy, that Mr. Laurence came in, although it was the last day of the Conferences, and wish he could have been sooner. His Apprehension, notwithstanding his deplorable Affliction under the recent Loss of so excellent a Son, is as quick, his Judgment as sound, and his heart as firm as ever. He had an opportunity of examining the { 83 } whole, and judging, and approving, and the Article which he caused to be inserted at the very last that no Property should be carried off, which would most probably in the Multiplicity and hurry of Affairs have escaped Us, was worth a longer Journey, if that had been all. But his Name and Weight is added which is of much greater Consequence.
These miserable Minutes may help me to recollect, but I have not found time amidst the hurry of Business and Crowd of Visits, to make a detail.
I should have before noted, that at our first Conference about the Fishery, I related the Facts as well as I understood them, but knowing nothing Myself but as an Hearsay Witness, I found it had not the Weight of occular Testimony, to supply which defect, I asked Dr. Franklin if Mr. Williams of Nantes could not give Us Light. He said Mr. Williams was on the Road to Paris and as soon as he arrived he would ask him. In a few days Mr. Williams called on me, and said Dr. Franklin had as I desired him enquired of him about the Fishery, but he was not able to speak particularly upon that Subject, but there was at Nantes a Gentleman of Marblehead, Mr. Sam White, Son in Law to Mr. Hooper, who was Master of the Subject and to him, he would write.
Mr. Jeremiah Allen a Merchant of Boston, called on me, about the same time. I enquired of him. He was able only to give such an hearsay Account as I could give myself, but I desired him to write to Mr. White at Nantes, which he undertook to do and did. Mr. White answered Mr. Allens Letter by referring him to his Answer to Mr. Williams, which Mr. Williams received and delivered to Dr. Franklin, who communicated it to Us, and it contained a good Account.
I desired Mr. Thaxter to write to Messrs. Ingraham and Bromfield, and Mr. Storer to write to Captn. Coffin at Amsterdam. They delivered me the Answers.2 Both contained Information, but Coffins was the most particular, and of the most importance, as he spoke as a Witness. We made the best Use of these Letters, with the English Gentlemen and they appeared to have a good deal of Weight with them.
From first to last, I ever insisted upon it, with the English Gentlemen, that the Fisheries and the Missisippi, if America was not satisfied in those Points, would be the sure and certain Sources of a future War. Shewed them the indispensible Necessity of both to our Affairs, and that no Treaty We could make, which should be unsatisfactory to our People upon these Points, could be observed.
That the Population near the Missisippi would be so rapid and the { 84 } Necessities of the People for its navigation so rapid, that nothing could restrain them from going down, and if the Force of Arms should be necessary it would not be wanting. That the Fishery entered into our Distilleries, our coasting Trade, our Trade with the Southern States, with the West India Islands, with the Coast of Affrica and with every Part of Europe in such a manner, and especially with England, that it could not be taken from Us, or granted Us stingily, without tearing and rending. That the other States had Staples. We had none but fish. No other Means of remittances to London or paying those very Debts they had insisted upon so seriously. That if We were forced off, at 3 Leagues Distance, We should smuggle eternally. That their Men of War might have the Glory of sinking now and then a fishing Schooner but this would not prevent a repetition of the Crime, it would only inflame and irritate and inkindle a new War. That in 7 Years We should break through all restrain[ts] and conquer from them the Island of Newfoundland itself and Nova Scotia too.
Mr. Fitsherbert always smiled and said, it was very extraordinary that the British Ministry and We should see it, in so different a Light. That they meant the Restriction, in order to prevent disputes and kill the Seeds of War, and We should think it so certain a Source of disputes, and so strong a Seed of War. But that our Reasons were such that he thought the Probability of our Side.
I have not time to minute the Conversations about the Sea Cow Fishery, the Whale Fishery, the Magdalene Islands and the Labradore Coasts and the Coasts of Nova Scotia. It is sufficient to say they were explained to the Utmost of our Knowledge and finally conceeded.
I should have noted before the various deliberations, between the English Gentlemen and Us, relative to the Words “indefinite and exclusive” Right, which the C. de Vergennes and Mr. Gerard had the Precaution to insert in our Treaty with France.3 I observed often to the English Gentlemen that aiming at excluding Us, from Fishing upon the North Side of Newfoundland, it was natural for them to wish that the English would exclude Us from the South Side. This would be making both alike, and take away an odious Distinction. French Statesmen must see the Tendency of our Fishermen being treated kindly, and hospitably like Friends by the English on their Side of the Island, and unkindly, inhospitably and like Ennemies on the French Side. I added, farther, that it was my Opinion, neither our Treaty with the French, nor any Treaty or Clause to the same Purpose which the English could make, would be punctually observed. Fishermen both from England and America would smuggle, especially { 85 } the Americans in the early Part of the Spring before the Europeans could arrive. This therefore must be connived at by the French, or odious Measures must be recurred to, by them or Us, to suppress it, and in either Case it was easy to see what would be the Effect upon the American Mind. They no doubt therefore wished the English to put themselves upon as odious a footing, at least as they had done.
Dr. Franklin said there was a great deal of Weight in this Observation, and the Englishmen shewed plainly enough that they felt it.
I have not attempted in these Notes to do Justice to the Arguments of my Colleagues <both> all of whom were, throughout the whole Business when they attended, very attentive, and very able, especially Mr. Jays, to whom the French, if they knew as much of his negotiations as they do of mine, would very justly give the Title with which they have inconsiderately decorated me, that of Le Washington de la Negotiation, a very flattering Compliment indeed, to which I have not a Right, but sincerely think it belongs to Mr. Jay.
1. JA made a copy in his own hand of the Preliminary Articles, including the separate and secret article (concerning the boundary between the United States and Florida if England recovered Florida in the general peace settlement), which is in Lb/JA/21 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 109). The single known original text, as signed by the Commissioners of both powers, is in the Public Record Office, London. This is printed in Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:96–107, with notes on the tangled history of the transmission of the two signed originals (one of which is lost) and the certified copies, with their textual variations and present locations. After lengthy debate Congress ratified and proclaimed the Preliminary Articles (not including the secret article, which never went into effect because Spain retained Florida) on 15 April 1783; see JCC, 24:241–251, and Madison's Notes on Debates, same, 25:924–926, 928–936, 938–945, 957-960. The British ratification, under the King's seal, took place on 6 Aug., and exactly a week later, the ratifications were exchanged between Hartley and the three American ministers in Paris (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:633, 645).
2. See entry of 25 Nov., above. The letter from Ingraham & Bromfield to Thaxter, Amsterdam, 14 Nov., is in Adams Papers.
3. In Article X of the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1778; see Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:10.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1782-12-01 - 1782-12-02

1782 December 1. Sunday, and 2. Monday.1

Made many Visits &c.
1. First entry in D/JA/38, which is identical in format with the Diary booklets that immediately precede it.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-03

December 3. Tuesday.

Visited Mr. Brantzen Hotel de la Chine. Mr. Brantzen asked me, how We went on. I told him We had come to a full Stop, by signing and sealing the Preliminaries, on the 30. of November. I told him that { 86 } We had been very industrious, having been at it, forenoon, Afternoon and Evening, ever since my Arrival, either with one another or with the English Gentlemen.
He asked if it was definitive and seperate? I said by no Means. They were only Articles to be inserted in the definitive Treaty. He asked if there was to be any Truce, or Armistice in the mean time? I said again by no means.
He then said that he believed, France and England had agreed too. That the C. de Vergennes's Son was gone to England with Mr. De Rayneval; but he believed the Spaniards had not yet agreed. And the Dutch were yet a great Way off, and had agreed upon Nothing. They had had several Conferences. At the first, he had informed Mr. Fits-herbert, that their H. Mightinesses insisted upon the Freedom of Navigation as a Preliminary and a Sine qua non. Mr. Fitsherbert had communicated this to his Court, but the Answer received was that his Court did not approve of conceeding this as a Sine qua non, but choose to have all the Demands of their H.M. stated together. Mr. Brantzen answered that his Instructions were, not to enter into any Conferences, upon other Points untill this was agreed to. That it was the Intention of the British Court to agree to this. That he could not consider any Changes in the Ministry as making any Alteration, they were all Ministers of the same King and Servants of the same Nation. That Mr. Fox when he was Secretary of State, by his Letter to the Russian Minister, had declared the Intention of the King to consent to the Freedom of Navigation &c.
Mr. Brantzen said, however, that he had in his private Capacity and without compromising his Ministerial Character, entered into Explanations with Mr. Fitsherbert, and had told him that he should insist upon 3 Points, the Freedom of Navigation, the Restitution of Territories in the East and West Indies, and Compensation for Damages. The two first Points could not be disputed, and the 3d. ought not, for the War against them had been unjust, the Pretences for it were groundless, their Accession to the armed Neutrality must now be admitted, even by Britains Accession to it, to have been an illegitimate Cause of War, and the Project of a Treaty with America, could not be seriously pretended to be a just Cause of War. And Many Members of Parliament, had in the time of it, declared the War unjust, and some of those Members were now Ministers. Even the Prime Minister, My Lord Shelburne himself had freely declared the War unjust in the House of Peers, and if the War was unjust, the Damages and Injustice ought to be repaired.
{ 87 }
Mr. Fitsherbert said, that there was no Precedent of Compensation for Damages in a Treaty of Peace.
Mr. Brantzen begged his Pardon and thought there had been Instances. One Example in particular which the English themselves had set against the Dutch which just then came into his Head. Cromwell had demanded Compensation of them, and they had agreed, as now appears by the Treaty, to pay an hundred thousand Pounds Sterling as a Compensation.
Mr. Brantzen was not furnished with a full Account of all the Losses of Individuals and therefore could not precisely say, what the Amount would be. That perhaps they might not insist upon prompt Payment, nor upon a stated Sum, but might leave both the Sum and Time of Payment to be ascertained by Commissioners at their Leisure after the Peace.
I observed to him that We intended to write to Mr. Dana and send him a Copy of our Preliminaries that he might commence his Negotiations with the neutral Powers, and if he succeeded We could then make common Cause with Holland, and insist on an Article to secure the Freedom of Navigation. This Idea he received with great Pleasure, and said he would write about it to the States. Upon this I asked him, with whom, he and the other Dutch Ministers abroad, held their Correspondence? He answered that the Secretary Fagel was properly speaking the Minister of foreign Affairs. That their principal Correspondence was with him: but that they had a Correspondence with the Grand Pensionary Bleiswick too. That the Letters received by the Secretary, were laid before the Besogne Secrete, or Committee of Secrecy. This Committee consisted of so many Members, one at least for each Province, that it was very difficult to keep any Thing secret. Foreign Ministers were very inquisitive, and the Duke de la Vauguion would be likely to get at it. So that if they had any Thing to write which they wished Secreeted, they wrote it to the G. Pensionary who is not obliged to lay before the States Letters entire. He selects such Parts as he judges proper and prints them to be taken ad Referendum, and laid before the Regencies of the Cities. That they had sometimes a little Diffidence of this Court, (quelque Mefiance) for this Court was very fine, (diablement fin) and when this happened, they wrote to the G. Pensionary, that it might not be communicated to the french Minister and consequently to his Court. These People are vastly profound. They will not favour the Spaniards in obtaining the Floridas. They will play England against Spain and Spain against England, England against you and you against England, and all of you against Us and Us { 88 } against all of you, according to their own Schemes and Interests. They are closely buttoned up about Gibraltar, and as to Jamaica, they wont favour Spain in that View. I expect they will get their own affair arranged, and then advise England to agree to the Freedom of Navigation and a Restitution of Territory and then advise Us to be easy about Compensation. Thus Mr. Brantzen.
I next visited Mr. Jay to talk about writing to Mr. Dana and communicating to the neutral Powers the Preliminary Articles. Mr. Jay says that Mr. Oswald is very anxious, that his Court should do that —and he has been writing to the Ministry to perswade them to it.
Had a long Conversation with Mr. Jay about the manner of settling the Western Lands. This I cannot now detail.
Went next to Mr. Lawrens, upon the Subject of writing to Mr. Dana, and found him full in my Sentiments. And at my return found answers from Dr. Franklin and Mr. Laurens to the Letters I wrote them, both agreeing, that this is the critical Moment for Dana to commence his Negotiations. Dr. Franklin promises to have an authentic Copy made to send to Mr. Dana.1
In the Evening many Gentlemen came in, among the rest Mr. Bourse, the Agent of the Dutch East India Company, who expressed a good deal of Anxiety about their Negotiation and feared they should not have Justice in the East Indies.
1. See JA to Franklin and to Laurens, 3 Dec. (letterbook copies in Adams Papers; the former is printed in JA's Works, 8:15–16); Franklin to JA, 3 Nov. [i.e. Dec], and Laurens to JA, 4 Dec. (Adams Papers; Franklin's letter is printed in JA's Works, 7:656, with the mistaken date Franklin gave it). See also entry of 12 Dec., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-04

December 4. Wednesday.

It is proper that I should note here, that in the Beginning of the Year 1780, soon after my Arrival at Paris Mr. Galloways Pamphlets fell into my Hands. I wrote a long Series of Letters to a Friend in Answer to them. That Friend sent them to England: But the Printers dared not to publish them. They remained there untill the last Summer, when they were begun to be printed, and are continued to this day, not being yet quite finished, in Parkers General Advertiser, but with false dates, being dated in the Months of January and February last, under the Title of Letters from a distinguished American. They appear to have been well received and to have contributed somewhat, to unite the Nation in accellerating the Acknowledgment of American Independance, and to convince the nation of the Necessity, of respecting our Alliances and of making Peace.1
{ 89 }
I hope it will be permitted to me or to some other who can do it better, some Ten or fifteen Years hence, to collect together in one View, my little Negotiations in Europe. Fifty Years hence it may be published, perhaps 20.1 will venture to say, however feebly I may have acted my Part or whatever Mistakes I may have committed, yet the Situations I have been in between angry Nations and more angry Factions, have been some of the most singular and interesting that ever happened to any Man. The Fury of Ennemies as well as of Elements, the Subtilty and Arrogance of Allies, and what has been worse than all, the Jealousy, Envy, and little Pranks of Friends and CoPatriots, would form one of the most instructive Lessons in Morals and Politicks, that ever was committed to Paper.2
1. In June 1780 JA acknowledged to Thomas Digges, his secret correspondent in London, the receipt of several parcels of English newspapers, pamphlets, and books; among them were copies of Joseph Galloway's Cool Thoughts on the Consequences to Great Britain of American Independence, London, 1780, and other tracts recently published by the Pennsylvania loyalist in London (JA to Digges, 22 June 1780, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 7:203–204, under date of 24 June). Galloway's thesis was that the loss of America would mean the eclipse of Great Britain as a great power, and therefore that the British government and public could not for a moment entertain the idea of a peace with American independence. JA, who then held an exclusive commission to treat for peace and believed that these able pamphlets might influence British policy, at once set himself the task of answering them, particularly the Cool Thoughts. His view was that the conclusion to be drawn from Galloway's arguments was the opposite of what the writer intended: if England stood to lose so much by the separation of America, as Galloway maintained, she would lose vastly more by continuing the war; her best course would be to make a good peace before England and America were both exhausted. See JA to the President of Congress, 16 and 17 June 1780, PCC, No. 84, II; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 3:787–793, 794–798. The answers that he prepared for publication he sent to Edmund Jenings at Brussels, who transmitted them to a friend in England, but nothing happened concerning them for two years. When peace became imminent, however, the letters began to appear, to JA's surprise, in Parker's [London] General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer, as “from a Distinguished American,” running from 23 Aug. to 26 Dec. 1782 and with false dates affixed to them, as if they had been written in the first two months of that year instead of nearly two years earlier (photostats in Adams Papers Editorial Files from the British Museum file of the General Advertiser). Some part of the series was reprinted in the Amsterdam Politique Hollandais, but no separate and complete publication of them, such as JA hoped for, has been found, and JA apparently never recovered the originals that would have made such a publication possible. See JA to Jenings, 16, 27 Sept. 1782 (Adams Papers), and JA to Cerisier, 9 June 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers).
JA's own copies of two and possibly three of Galloway's pamphlets of 1780, including the Cool Thoughts, with marginal summaries and other markings in JA's hand, have been identified among the bound tracts in the Boston Athenaeum while the present volume was in the press.
2. On this day JA wrote a letter to Livingston resigning “all my Employments in Europe”; he proposed that Laurens be appointed minister at The Hague and that Dana be joined to the commission to complete and sign the Definitive Treaty (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 8:16).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-05

December 5. 1782.

The Duke de la Vauguion came in. He says that France and England are agreed, and that there is but one Point between England and Spain. England and Holland are not yet so near. I shewed him our preliminary Treaty, and had some difficulty to prevent his seeing the seperate Article, but I did prevent him, from seeing any Thing of it, but the Words “Seperate Article.”
Dined at Mr. Jays with Mr. Fitsherbert, Oswald, Franklin, Laurens, and their Secretaries, Ellis, Whitefoord, Franklin and Laurens.1 Mr. Jennings was there too, he came home and spent the Evening with me.
1. Henry Laurens Jr.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-06

December 6. 1782.

Spent the Evening with Mr. Laurens, at his own Lodgings hotel de York and on a Visit to Mr. Curson, hotel de York.
Mr. Laurens said, that We should very soon raise Figs and Olives and make Oil in America. That he had raised great Quantities of Figs in his own Garden in Carolina and that the Figs in Carolina and Georgia were the most delicious, he had ever tasted. That he had raised in one Year in his own Garden in Carolina, between fifty and an hundred Bushells of Olives. That there were large Quantities and a great Variety of wild Grapes in Carolina and Georgia, of some of which very good Wine had been made.
As Mr. Curson talked of going to Marsailles, Mr. Laurens advised him to send to America some Barbary Sheep. He says he had one in Carolina, but never could make the American Rams go to that Sheep.
He gives a beautifull description of Marsailles. Says it will rival Bourdeaux, in the Wine Trade with America. The Levant Trade furnishes it with Carpets, Cottons, Silks, Raw Silk, and Drugs, and it has a large Manufactory of Castile Soap.
Mr. Laurens's Appartments at the hotel de York are better than mine, at the hotel du Roi, au Carrousel. Yet he gives but twelve Louis and I am obliged to give Eighteen. He has two large Rooms, besides a large commodious Bed Chamber, and a large Antichamber for Servants.
He says there will be an outrageous Clamour in England, on Account of the Fisheries and the Loyalists.—But what is done, is irrevocable.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-07

December 7. Saturday.

Dined with my Family, at the Place Vendome the Abby Chaluts. An Abby there crys voila la Semence d'une autre Guerre.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-08

December 8. Sunday.

At home all Day. Mr. Jennings, Mr. Grand Pere et Fils, Mr. Mason and Mr. Hoops called upon me.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-09

1782. December 9. Monday.

Visited C. Sarsfield who lent me his Notes upon America.1 Visited Mr. Jay, Mr. Oswald came in. We slided, from one Thing to another into a very lively Conversation upon Politicks.—He asked me what the Conduct of his Court and Nation ought to be, in Relation to America. I answered the Alpha and Omega of British Policy, towards America, was summed up in this one Maxim—See that American Independence is independent, independant of all the World, independent of yourselves as well as of France, and independent of both as well as of the rest of Europe. Depend upon it, you have no Chance for Salvation but by setting up America very high. Take care to remove from the American Mind all Cause of Fear of you. No other Motive but Fear of you, will ever produce in the Americans any unreasonable Attachment to the house of Bourbon.—Is it possible, says he that the People of America should be afraid of Us, or hate Us? —One would think Mr. Oswald says I, that you had been out of the World for these 20 Years past. Yes there are 3 millions of People in America who hate and dread you more than any Thing in the World. —What says he now We are come to our Senses?—Your Change of System, is not yet known in America, says I.— Well says he what shall We do to remove these Fears, and Jealousies?
In one Word says I, favour and promote the Interest, Reputation and Dignity of the United States in every Thing that is consistent with your own. If you pursue the Plan of cramping, clipping and weakening America, on the Supposition that She will be a Rival to you, you will make her really so, you will make her the natural and perpetual Ally of your natural and perpetual Ennemies.—But in what Instance says he have We discovered such a disposition?—In the 3 Leagues from your Shores and the 15 Leagues from Cape Breton, says I to which your Ministry insisted so earnestly to exclude our Fishermen. Here was a Point that would have done Us great harm and you no good, on the contrary harm. So that you would have hurt yourselves to hurt { 92 } Us. This disposition must be guarded against.—I am fully of your Mind about that, says he. But what else can We do?—Send a Minister to Congress, says I, at the Peace, a clever Fellow, who Understands himself, and will neither set Us bad Examples, nor intermeddle in our Parties. This will shew that you are consistent with yourselves, that you are sincere in your Acknowledgment of American Independence, and that you dont entertain hopes and designs of overturning it. Such a Minister will dissipate many fears, and will be of more Service to the least obnoxious Refugees than any other Measure could be. Let the King send a Minister to Congress and receive one from that Body. This will be acting consistently and with Dignity, in the Face of the Universe.
Well what else shall We do says he?—I have more than once already says I, advised you to put your Ministers upon negotiating the Acknowledgment of our Independence by the Neutral Powers.—True says he and I have written about it, and in my Answers, says he, laughing, I find myself charged with Speculation. But I dont care, I will write them my Sentiments. I wont take any of their Money. I have spent already twelve or thirteen hundred Pounds, and all the Reward I will have for it shall be the Pleasure of writing as I think. My opinion is that our Court should sign the armed Neutrality, and announce to them what they have done with you, and negotiate to have you admitted to sign too. But I want to write more fully upon the Subject, and I want you to give me your Thoughts upon it, for I dont understand it so fully as I wish. What Motives can be thrown out to the Empress of Russia? or what Motives may she be supposed to have to acknowledge your Independence? and what Motives can our Court have to interfere, or interceed with the Newtral Powers to receive you into their Confederation?
I will answer all these Questions says I, to the best of my Knowledge and with the Utmost Candour. In the first Place, there has been with very little Interruption a Jealousy, between the Courts of Petersbourg and Versailles for many Years. France is the old Friend and Ally of the Sublime Port the natural Ennemy of Russia. France not long since negotiated a Peace between Russia and the Turk, but upon the Empresses late Offers of Mediation, and especially her Endeavours to negotiate Holland out of the War, France appears to have been piqued, and as the last Revolution in the Crimea happened soon after, there is Reason to suspect that French Emmissaries excited the Revolt against the new independent Government which the Empress had taken so much Pains to establish. Poland has been long a Scaene of { 93 } Competition between Russian and French Politicks, both Parties having spent great Sums in Pensions to Partisans untill they have laid all Virtue and public Spirit prostrate in that Country.
Sweeden is another Region of Rivalry between France and Russia, where both Parties spent such Sums in Pensions, as to destroy the Principles of Liberty and prepare the Way for that Revolution which France favoured from a Principle of OEconomy rather than any other. These hints were sufficient to shew the opposition of Views and Interests between France and Russia, and We see the Consequence of it, that England has more Influence at Petersbourg than France. The Empress therefore would have two Motives, one to oblige England, if they should interceed for an Acknowledgment of American Independence, and another to render America less dependent upon France. The Empress moreover loves Reputation, and it would be no small Addition to her Glory, to undertake a Negotiation with all the neutral Courts to induce them to admit America into their Confederacy. The Empress might be further tempted. She was bent upon extending her Commerce and the Commerce of America, if it were only in Hemp and Duck, would be no small Object to her.
As to the Motives to your Court. Princes often think themselves warranted if not bound to fight for their Glory. Surely they may lawfully negotiate for Reputation. If the Neutral Powers should <receive> acknowledge our Independence now, France will have the Reputation, very unjustly, of having negotiated it. But if your Court now takes a decided Part in favour of it, your Court will have the Glory of it, in Europe and America, and this will have a good Effect upon American Gratitude.
But says he, this would be negotiating for the Honour and Interest of France, for no doubt France wishes all the World to acknowledge your Independence.
Give me leave to tell you, Sir, says I, you are mistaken. If I have not been mistaken in the Policy of France from my first Observation of it to this hour, they have been as averse to other Powers acknowledging our Independence as you have been.—Mr. Jay joined me in the same Declaration.—God! says he I understand it now. There is a Gentleman going to London this day. I will go home and write upon the Subject by him.
1. These are regrettably not among the papers by Sarsfield retained by JA; see note 4 on entry of 12 June 1779, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-10

December 10. Tuesday.

Visited Mr. Oswald, to enquire what News from England. He had the Courier de L'Europe in which is Mr. Secretary Townsends Letter to the Lord Mayor of London dated the 3d. of this Month in which he announces the Signature of Preliminaries on the thirtieth of November, between the Commissioner of his Majesty and the Commissioners of the U. States of America.
He had also received the Kings Speech, announcing the same Thing.
Mr. Oswald said that France would not seperate her Affairs from Spain. That he had hoped that America would have assisted them, somewhat, in compromising Affairs with France &c. Dr. Franklin, who was present, said he did not know any Thing of the other Negotiations. He said that neither Mr. Fitsherbert, nor the C. de Vergennes, nor the C. D'Aranda communicated any Thing to him. That he understood, the Dutch were the farthest from an Agreement.
Upon this I said, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Fitsherbert cant, I think, have any difficulty, to agree with Mr. Brantzen. There are 3 Points. 1. The Liberty of Navigation. 2. Restitution of Possessions. 3. Compensation for Damages. The Liberty of Navigation I suppose, is the Point that sticks. But why should it stick? When all Nations are agreed in the Principle, why should England stand out? England must agree to it! She has already in Effect agreed to it, as it affects all Nations but Holland and America, and if She were disposed, She could not prevent them from having the Benefit.
Upon this Dr. Franklin said the Dutch would be able in any future War, to carry on their Commerce even of naval Stores, in the Bottoms of other neutral Powers.
Yes says Mr. Oswald, and I am of Opinion that England ought to subscribe the armed Neutrality.
Very well, says I, then let Mr. Fitsherbert agree this Point with Mr. Brantzen, and let Mr. Harris at Petersbourg, take Mr. Dana in his hand, and go to the Prince Potempkin or the C. D'osterman, and say the K[ing] my Master has authorized me to subscribe the Principles of the armed Neutrality, and instructed me to introduce to you Mr. Dana, Minister from the United States of America, to do the same; let him subscribe his Name under mine.—At this they all laughed very heartily. Mr. Oswald however recollecting himself, and the Conversation between him and me Yesterday on the same Subject, { 95 } very gravely turned it off, by saying he did not see a necessity to be in a hurry about that. America was well enough.
I said, as to Restitution of the Dutch Territories, I suppose your Court wont make much difficulty about that if this Court does not, as it is not probable she Will. And as to Compensation for damages, the Dutch will probably be as easy as they can about that.
Dr. Franklin said he was for beginning early to think about the Articles of the difinitive Treaty. We had been so happy as to be the first in the Preliminaries, and he wished to be so in the definitive Articles.—Thus We parted.
It may be proper for me to minute here some Points to propose in the difinitive Treaty.
1. The Liberty of Navigation. 2. That no Forts shall be built or Garrisons maintained upon any of the Frontiers in America, nor upon any of the Land Boundaries. 3. That the Island of Bermudas be ceeded to Us—or independent, or not fortified, or that no Privateers be fitted or sent out from thence or permitted to enter there, or prizes carried in. 4. That the Isle of Sables remain the Property of its present owner, and under the Jurisdiction of the United States or Massachusetts. 5. That the Account of Prisoners be ballanced, and the Sums due for their subsistence &c. be paid, and the Ballance of Prisoners paid for according to the Usages of Nations.1
1. This list of proposals is interestingly amplified by a separate list in JA's hand of “Articles to be proposed in the definitive Treaty,” without date but filed (with related drafts) in the Adams Papers under Dec. 1782–June 1783.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-11

Dec. 11. Wednesday.

Dined with Mr. Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-12

12. Thursday.

Met at Mr. Laurens's, and signed the Letter, I had drawn up to Mr. Dana, which I sent off inclosed with a Copy of the Preliminaries1 — and consulted about Articles to be inserted in the definitive Treaty. Agreed that Mr. Jay and I should prepare a joint Letter to Congress.
At 7.1 met Mr. Jay at his House and We drew a Letter.2
1. Signed by the four American Commissioners and dated this day, this letter is in MHi:Dana Papers; a facsimile is in Cresson, Francis Dana, facing p. 278.
2. The version finally agreed upon, dated 14 Dec., signed by the four Commissioners, and sent to Secretary Livingston, is in PCC, No. 85; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:131–133. In the Adams Papers is JA's “rough draught of a common [i.e. joint] Letter,” dated one day earlier. See also the following entry in this Diary. This dispatch and its enclosure, a certi• { 96 } fied copy of the Preliminary Articles, were carried to Philadelphia by Capt. Joshua Barney in the packet Washington. Barney did not sail from Lorient, however, until mid-January and did not arrive until 12 March (Pres. Boudinot to George Washington, 12 March 1783; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:71).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-13

1782 December 13. Fryday.

I went first to Mr. Jay, and made some Additions to the joint Letter, which I carried first to Mr. Laurens, who made some Corrections and Additions, and then to Passy to Dr. Franklin who proposed a few other Corrections, and shewed me an Article he has drawn up for the definitive Treaty to exempt Fishermen, Husbandmen and Merchants as much as possible from the Evils of future Wars. This is a good Lesson to Mankind at least. All agreed to meet at my House at 11 tomorrow to finish the joint Letter.1
1. See the preceding entry and note 2 there. With the present entry the extracts copied by Thaxter and Storer from JA's Diary of the preliminary peace negotiation and sent to Livingston come to an end, at least so far as they are found in PCC, No. 84, IV; see note on entry of 2 Nov., above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-14

December 14. Saturday.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-15

15 Sunday.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-16

Dec. 16. Monday.

Mr. Fitsherbert and Mr. Oswald, Mr. Laurens &c. dined with me.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-17

Decr. 16 [i.e. 17]. Tuesday.

The 4 Commissioners dined with Mr. Fitsherbert. Ld. Mountnorris a celebrated Speaker in the Irish house of Lords dined there, and several English Gentlemen.
The Rock Salt is taken out of the Salt Pits in England, Ld. Mountnorris said. He gave me a Description of the Caverns, and the kind of Architecture with which they support them, like the Pillars of a Temple.
We met at Mr. Laurens's at Dr. Franklins Summons or Invitation at 11 O Clock. He produced a Letter to him from the Comte de Vergennes, and a Project of an Answer which he had drawn up which We advised him unanimously to send.1
1. Vergennes' letter to Franklin, 15 Dec., complaining of the American Commissioners' failure to consult with him before concluding their negotiation with the British, and Franklin's famous reply thereto, 17 Dec., are both printed in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:641–643.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-19

1782 December 19. Thursday.

Visited M. Louis Secretary of the Royal Colledge of Surgery, in order to form a Correspondance, between it and the medical Society at Boston. Was very politely received, and promised every Thing that the Colledge could do. Mr. Louis talked a great deal, and very ingeniously and entertainingly.1
Spent the Evening, at the Abby Chalut's with the Abby de Mably, two other Abbys and two Accademicians. The Abby de Mably has just published a new Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire. He is very agreable in Conversation, polite, good humoured and sensible. Spoke with great Indignation against the practice of lying, chicaning and finessing, in Negotiations. Frankness, Candour, and Probity, were the only means of gaining Confidence. He is 74 or 75 Years old.
Mr. L.2 told me this Morning that the Salt Pits in England are directly under the River Dee and that Ships sail over the Heads of the Workmen. Bay Salt is such as is made in France and Spain, round the Bay of Biscay. Rock Salt from Saltertudas.3
1. In a letter from Weymouth, 26 Sept. 1782, announcing the formation of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Cotton Tufts had requested JA to solicit “the Aid and Communications of the Gentlemen of the Faculty in Europe” for the new organization (Adams Papers). Hence JA's visit to the Académie Royale de Chirurgie and apparently other similar visits, from which a flurry of somewhat ceremonial communications resulted in the following months; see entry of 23 Dec. and note, below.
2. Presumably Henry Laurens.
3. That is, Salt Tortuga, an uninhabited island off the coast of Venezuela. The name was spelled with wild variety by American traders who loaded salt there; see Richard Pares, Yankees and Creoles: The Trade between North America and the West Indies before the American Revolution, London, &c., 1956, p. 103–104 and notes.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-20

1782 Decr. 20. Fryday.

Dined with Mr. Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-21

Decr. 21. Saturday.

Visited Mr. Jay and then went out to Passy to shew Dr. Franklin, Mr. Dana's Letter.1 The Dr. and I agreed to remit Mr. Dana the Money, to pay the Fees to the Russian Ministers according to the Usage, upon the Signature of a Treaty. Six Thousand Roubles to each Minister who signs the Treaty.
The C. de Lynden told me the other Day that the King of Sweeden was the first Inventer and Suggester of the Plan of the armed Neutrality. That his Minister first proposed it to the C. Panin, where it { 98 } slept some time. Lynden says that the King of Sweeden has Penetration and Ambition, and that his Ambition to be the first Power, to propose an Alliance with Us, is perfectly in Character. This Step, however I conjecture, was suggested to his Minister here, in order to support Dr. Franklin, by the C. de Vergennes.
The C. de Lynden shewed me his gold Snuff Box set with Diamonds, with the Miniature of the King of Sweeden, presented to him, on taking leave of that Court. The King is like Mr. Hancock.
Dr. Franklin went to Versailles Yesterday, and was assured of the Six millions, and all is fair Weather—all friendly and good humoured. So may it remain. I suspect however, and have Reason, but will say nothing. Our Country is safe.
Mr. Jay is uneasy, about the French Troops in America— afraid that more are going, and that they will overawe our Councils. That France is agreed with England upon her Points, and that the War will be continued for Spanish Objects only. In that Case We are not obliged to continue it.
1. Dana to JA, St. Petersburg, 14/25 Nov. 1782 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-22

22 Sunday.

Made several Visits &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

23 Monday.

Received from Monsieur Geoffroy, Docteur Regent de la Faculté de Medicine de Paris, a Letter of Thanks from the Societe Royale de Medecine, for my Letter to him proposing a Correspondence between that Society and the Medical Society at Boston.1
Made several Visits. &c. Went to the Italian Comedy, saw Les Troqueurs, the two Harlequins &c.
1. Geoffroy's letter, together with others of the same character addressed to JA by French medical men and institutions, 1782–1783, are now in the Boston Medical Library (MBM). Copies are in Adams Papers, Lb/JA/22 (Microfilms, Reel No. 110). See entry of 19 Dec. and note, above; also JA to Edward Augustus Holyoke, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 10 June 1783, 3 April 1786 (letterbook copies, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-24

December 24. Tuesday.

There are Men who carry the Countenance and Air of Boys through Life.
This Evening Mr. Jay told me an extraordinary Story of Lord Mount Steuart, the British Minister at Turin, which he had from Mr. Oswald.1
{ 99 }
1. Of a rumored plan to divide America between England and France. See John Jay, Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782, ed. Frank Monaghan, New Haven, 1934, p. 15–17; also entry of 5 Nov. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-25

Decr. 25. Wednesday. Christmas.

Lady Lucans Verses on Ireland1

Hear this, Ye Great, as from the Feast Ye rise

Which every Plundered Element supplies!

Hear, when fatigued, not nourish'd Ye have din'd

The Food of Thousands is to roots confin'd.

Eternal Fasts that know no Taste of Bread:

Nor where who sows the Corn by Corn is fed.

Throughout the Year, no feast e'er crowns his board

Four Pence a day, ah! what can that afford? &c.

Open our Ports at once with generous Minds,

Let Commerce be as free as Waves and Winds.

Seize quick the Time, for now, consider well

Whole Quarters of the World, at once rebel.

1. Margaret (Smyth) Bingham, wife of an Irish peer, the first Baron Lucan, was better known for her paintings than for her verse (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-26

Dec. 26. Thursday.

Mr. Brantzen call'd upon me, at one. He says that Mr. Fitzherbert and he are yet a great Way asunder. The first Point of the Freedom of Navigation sticks. The other Points they have agreed on, or may agree on, not being far off. Mr. F. has no Answer from London to the Dutch Propositions.
I told him he might make himself very easy about the Freedom of navigation, for that the English must come into it. I suspected My Lord Shelburne was maneuvring, to save a little Pride. That he thought, it would be less humiliating to the English and less flattering to the Dutch, to conceed that Point, to the armed Neutrality, first. I knew it had been recommended to his Lordship by Mr. Oswald and other English Gentlemen here, and I had seen in the English Papers, that Couriers had been sent off, from the Secretary of States Office, to all the foreign Courts. Combining these Circumstances together I suspected, that they had given orders to their Minister at Petersbourg to sign the Treaty of armed Neutrality as France and Spain have done, and after this negotiation shall be accomplished they will have no difficulty to agree with the Dutch, for they demand no more than the Principle of the armed Neutrality.
{ 100 }
Mr. Brantzen said this never had occurred to him, but [that he]1 thought it possible and natural.2
I gave him Mr. Higginsons Letter and Papers3 and a Copy of our Treaty, in Confidence, all but the Sep[arate] Art[icle]. He says Mr. Bourse will not do for Minister to America. He is of the wrong Side and will not be gouté du tout.
The Duke de la Rochefoucault made me a Visit to day, and desired me to explain to him some Passages in the Connecticut Constitution, which were obscure to him, which I did.
Sir James Jay too came in from the Hague, full of Projects of burning Towns and making fifty Gun Ships equal to 110 Guns Ships. I told him that this Country abounded so much with Projects and Projectors, that there would be a Presumption and Prejudice against him, at first blush: but he is going to the Marquis de Castries.
Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Brantzen both told me today that the C[omte] de V[ergennes] sent off a Courier to London the night before Christmas. Mr. Brantzen told me, that he had twice seen Dr. Franklin, once at Versailles and once at Mr. Grands. That he appeared to him heavy and inactive and that if he had been alone, America would not have obtained such good Terms. I said he was right, for if he had been alone, We should not at this Moment have had any Terms at all. That our Negotiation would have trained on as heavily and confusedly as all the rest. That if his Advice and that of the C. de V. had been followed We should now have been treating under Mr. Oswalds first Commission. It was the Refusal of Mr. Jay and me to treat under that Commission, against the Opinion and Advice of V. and F. that produced Mr. Oswalds new Commission, acknowledging our Independence.
That was a noble Tryumph for You, says Mr. Brantzen.
Mr. Vaughan shew'd me, to day, a parcel of new French Books. Le Systeme naturelle, Le Systeme moral, Le Systeme Social, Le Systeme Politique. There is one Shop tolerated in selling forbidden Books. —Vaughan has a Brother in Philadelphia, who has written him a long Letter about the Constitutionists and the Republicans. They have chosen Mr. Dickinson Governor, and Mr. Mifflin into Congress.
1. MS: “the.”
2. On the contrary, Great Britain refused the Dutch sine qua non and contrived altogether to avoid subscribing to the principle of free navigation as laid down by the Armed Neutrality. Owing to the indifference of France and the intransigence of England, to mention no other circumstance, the preliminaries between England and the Netherlands were not concluded until 2 Sept. 1783, the day before the definitive treaties between the other powers at war were signed. The definitive Anglo-Dutch settlement was delayed until the following May, and its terms were humiliating to the Republic. See entry of 20 Jan. 1783, below, and, for the peace settlement { 101 } generally, Friederich Edler, The Dutch Republic and the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1911, ch. 9. JA was greatly distressed by all this, as his correspondence during 1783–1784 shows, but he found himself powerless to help his Dutch friends.
3. Not found and probably not addressed to JA. In 1785 Stephen Higginson, Boston shipmaster, merchant, and partner of JA's friend Jonathan Jackson, commenced a correspondence with JA on Massachusetts' foreign trade; see “Letters of Stephen Higginson, 1783–1804,” Amer. Hist. Assoc, Ann. Rpt. for 1896, 1:704–841.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-01

1783. Paris January 1.1

Went to Versailles, made my Visit and Compliments of the Season to M. Le C. de Vergennes and delivered him a Copy of our Treaty and Convention with the States General. He received me with Politeness, made me the Compliments of the Season, tres sincerement, and was sensibly obliged to me for the Copies and invited me to dine.
I went to see the Ceremony of the Knights of the St. Esprit, in the Chappell, where the Queen shone in great Splendour, dined with an immense Company at the Comtes and returned to Paris.
One of these first days of January I had a Conversation with Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, upon the Liberty of Navigation as claimed by the confederated neutral Powers and the Dutch. Shewed him the Necessity England was in, of acceeding to it, and the Importance of doing it soon that they might have it to say, that they had arranged their Affairs with the Dutch, as well as with the United States.
He said he saw the Importance, of pulling at the hairs one by one, when you could not pull out the whole Tail at once. That he had written and would write again to my Lord Shelburne upon the Subject: but says he you can not blame us for endeavouring, to cary this point to Market, and get Something by it. We can not prevent the French from getting some Territory in the East Indies more than they had and perhaps We may buy this of the Dutch for this Point.
The same day I called upon Mr. Jay, and asked him to speak with Mr. Oswald upon the same Subject, called next upon Mr. Laurens and mentioned the same Idea to him, called at Mr. Oswalds to talk with him upon it, but he was gone out.
1. First entry in D/JA/39, which is identical in format with the several preceding Diary booklets.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-05

January 5. Sunday.

Dined with M. Vaughan, in Company with the Abbys de Mably, Chalut, Arnoux and Ter Saint [Tersan].—Had more Conversation with de Mably than at any Time before. He meditates a Work upon { 102 } our American Constitutions.1 He says the Character he gives of Herodian in his last Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire, has procured to his Bookseller, Purchases, for all the Copies of that Historian which he had in his Shop.—Arnoux said that Rousseau, by his Character of Robinson Crusoe, helped his Bookseller to the Sale of an whole Edition of that Romance in a few days.
1. As a result of this conversation, and at the request of those present, JA on 15 Jan. addressed a long letter to Mably listing the chief sources from which a comprehensive history of the American Revolution would have to be drawn, together with advice on the subjects to be treated, including those in what would today be called social and institutional as well as political history (LbC, Adams Papers; printed in Works, 5:492–496, with an approximate date, “1782,” supplied by JA from memory). Two days later JA prepared a second letter to Mably listing his own political writings from 1761 to 1779, which he had earlier excluded; but at the foot of his retained copy he wrote: “This Letter was never sent, but the Original was burned by me. It may remain here, without Imputation of Vanity” (Lb/JA/20, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108).
JA arranged with Cerisier for the publication at Amsterdam of Mably's Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amerique, 1784 (JA to Cerisier, 16 Oct. 1783, LbC, Adams Papers). An English translation, Remarks concerning the Government and the Laws of the United States of America: In Four Letters, Addressed to Mr. Adams, appeared in London later the same year. Copies of both are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-11

January 11. Saturday.

Mr. W. T. Franklin came in to talk with me, about a Subject which he said he did not often talk about, and that was himself. He produced a Commission, drawn up, for Messrs. Franklin and Jay to sign, when they only were here, before I arrived, and in fact signed by them. I took the Commission and read it. He asked me to sign it. I told him, that I considered myself as directly affronted in this Affair. That considering that I came out to Europe without any Solicitation of mine, single in the Commission for Peace, and considering that Congress had done me the Honour to place me at the head of the new Commission, I had a right to be consulted in the Appointment of a Secretary to the Commission. But that without saying or writing a Word to me, Dr. Franklin had wrote to Mr. Jay at Madrid and obtained a Promise from him. That considering the Relation to me in which Mr. Thaxter came out, and his Services and Sufferings in the Cause and the small Allowance he had received, I thought he had a better right to it. That I thought my self ill treated in this as in many other Things. That it was not from any disrespect to him, Mr. W.T.F., that I declined it. That I should not, if my Opinion had been asked, have named Mr. Thaxter but another Gentleman.1
{ 103 }
He told me, how his Grandfather was weary, that he had renewed his Solicitation to Congress, to be relieved. That he wanted to be with his Family at Philadelphia &c. &c. &c.
I told him I was weary too, and had written an unconditional Resignation of all my Employments in Europe.2 That an Attack had been made upon me by the C. de Vergennes, and Congress had been induced to disgrace me. That I would not bear this disgrace if I could help it. That I would wear no Livery with a Spot upon it. The Stain should be taken out or I would not wear the Coat. That Congress had placed me now in a Situation, that I could do nothing without being suspected of a sinister Motive, that of aiming at being restored to the Mission to Great Britain. The Conduct of the American Cause in Europe had been a constant Scramble for Offices and was now likely to be a new and more passionate Scaene of Factions for Places. That I would have nothing to do with it, had not been used to it.
He said that Congress would have now a Number of Places and would provide for Mr. Thaxter. That they would undoubtedly give me full Satisfaction &c.
I told him that the first Wish of my Heart was to return to my Wife and Children &c.
He shewed me, Extract of a Letter of Dr. F. to Congress concerning him, containing a studied and long Eulogium—Sagacity beyond his Years, Diligence, Activity, Fidelity, genteel Address, Facility in speaking French. Recommends him to be Secretary of some Mission, thinks he would make an excellent Minister, but does not propose him for it as yet.3
This Letter and other Circumstances convince me, that the Plan is laid between the C. de Vergennes and the Dr., to get Billy made Minister to this Court and not improbably the Dr. to London. Time will shew.
1. See entry of 27 Oct. 1782, above, and note 3 there. JA's candidate, if Thaxter was not to be chosen, was Edmund Jenings; see JA to Laurens, 15 Aug. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:611), and JA's letter in the Boston Patriot, 24 July 1811.
2. JA to Livingston, 4 Dec. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 8:16).
3. Franklin to Pres. Huntington, 12 March 1781; for the passage shown to JA, see Franklin Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:221–223.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-12

January 12. Sunday.

Mr. B. Vaughan came in. I told him, I had some Facts to communicate to him in Confidence. They affected my personal Interest, Character, and Feelings so intimately, that it was impossible for me to { 104 } speak of them without being suspected of personal Resentments and sinister Motives. But that these Facts were at the same time so connected, with public Affairs, with the Interests of the House of Bourbon, and with the essential Interests of Great Britain and America and the true System of Policy, which the two last ought in future to pursue towards each other, that it was my indispensable Duty to communicate them to some English Gentleman who might put their Government upon their Guard.
The two Facts I should now mention were two Instances of the Policy of the C. de Vergennes to defeat the good Intentions of Congress, towards G. Britain. I then shewed him my two original Commissions—one as Minister Plenipotentiary for making Peace, the other as Minister Plenipotentiary to make a Treaty of Commerce with the Ambassador or Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, vested with equal Powers, and whatever shall be so agreed and concluded for Us and in our Name to sign and thereupon make a Treaty of Commerce, and to transact every Thing that may be necessary for compleating, securing and strengthening the same, in as ample Form and with the same Effect, as if We were personally present and acted therein, 29. Sept. 1779.
Mr. Vaughan said he was astonished at my Secrecy and Patience, in never communicating this before. That they never had any Idea of this in London. I told him the C. de Vergennes had required me in thename of the King not to communicate it.
I then shew him the Resolution of Congress of 12 July 1781, by which the Commission and Instructions for negotiating a Treaty of Commerce between the U. States and G. Britain given me on the 29. day of Sept. 1779, were revoked.1
I then read to him the following Part of my Instructions of the 16. Oct. 1779, vizt. That the common Right of Fishing shall in no Case be given up. That it is essential to the Welfare of all these United States, that the Inhabitants there of, at the Expiration of the War should continue to enjoy the free and undisturbed Exercise of their common Right to fish on the banks of Newfoundland and the other fishing Banks and Seas of North America. That our Faith be pledged to the Several States, that without their unanimous Consent no Treaty of Commerce shall be entered into nor any Trade or Commerce whatever carried on with G. Britain without the Explicit Stipulation herein after mentioned. You are therefore not to consent to any Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain, without an explicit Stipulation on her Part not to molest or disturb the Inhabitants of the United States of { 105 } America in taking fish on the Banks of Newfoundland and other Fisheries in the American Seas &c—Here I stopped.
You see here says I Mr. Vaughan, a proof of a great Confidence in me. And what was the Cause of it? No other than this, My Sentiments were known in Congress, to be unalterable for Independence, our Alliance, Fisheries and Boundaries. But it was known also to be a fixed Principle with me, to hurt G. Britain no farther than should be necessary to secure our Independence, Alliance and other Rights.
The C. de Vergennes knew my Character, both from his Intelligences in America and from my Conversation and Correspondence with him. He knew me to be a Man who would not yield to some of the designs he had in View. He accordingly sets his Confidential Friend Mr. Marbois, to negotiating very artfully with Congress. They could not get me removed or recalled, and the next Scheme was to get the Power of the Commission for Peace into the hands of Dr. Franklin.
To this End the Choice was made to fall upon him, and four other Gentlemen who could not attend.2 They have been however mistaken, and no Wrestler was ever so compleatly thrown upon his Back as the C. de Vergennes.
But their Policy did not stop here. I had still a Parchment, to make a Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain, and an Instruction annexed to it, which would be a powerfull Motive with G.B. to acknowledge our Right to the Fisheries. This Commission and these Instructions were to be and were revoked.
Mr. Vaughan said this was very important Information and entirely new. That he was much enlightened and had Sentiments upon the Occasion. That he would write it to the E. of Shelburne, and his Lordship would make great Use of it, without naming me, &c.
1. This resolution, which JA long considered the most humiliating stroke he had sustained in the course of his puhlic life, was entered on the Secret Journal of Congress in the following terse form: “A motion was made by Mr. [James] Madison, seconded by Mr. [John] Mathews, That the commission and instructions for negotiating a treaty of commerce between these United States and Great Britain, given to the honourable John Adams on the 29 day of September, 1779, be and they are hereby revoked” JCC, 20:746). JA expressed his long pent-up feelings concerning this action in a letter he addressed to Robert R. Livingston on 5 Feb. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:33–34). In his Diary for 30 April 1783 he attributed it to the baleful influence of Vergennes. Still later James Madison, who had moved the resolution of 12 July 1781, alluded to the circumstances of both the grant and the withdrawal of JA's commission, but he failed to give an explanation of either of them that is at all helpful to students of JA's career (Madison to Jefferson, 16 March 1784; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:34)
2. Insert after the word “who” in this sentence a parenthetical phrase, “it was supposed,” or some equivalent. Of the five appointees only Thomas Jefferson, as things turned out, “could not attend.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-13

January. 13. Monday.

Mr. Oswald came to take Leave and shewed me a Letter from the Secretary of State for him to come home. He goes off, on Wednesday.
I told him if he was going home, I would communicate to him, what I had not intended.
I told him what I told Yesterday to Vaughan and gave him some short Account of my Correspondence with the C. de Vergennes, upon the Question whether I should communicate to Lord G. Germain, my Commissions, and his Requisition from the King, not to do it, &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-19

1783. January 19. Sunday.

Received a Note from Mr. Franklin, that the C. de Vergennes had written to him to desire me, to meet him at his office, tomorrow at ten.1 Went out to Passy, told Mr. Franklin that I had been informed last night, that the Comte was uneasy at Mr. Oswalds going away, because he expected to sign the Preliminaries in a day or two.
1. Vergennes' note and Franklin's reply, both dated 18 Jan., and Franklin's note to JA, 19 Jan., are all printed in Franklin Writings, ed. Smyth, 9:8–9.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-20

January 20. Monday.

Mr. Franklin and I met the Comte de Vergennes at his office at Ten. He told us, he was going to sign Preliminaries and an Armistice. At Eleven the C. D'Aranda came in, and Mr. Fitsherbert. After examining the Papers, D'Aranda and Fitsherbert signed the Preliminary Treaty, between the Crowns of G. Britain and Spain. De Vergennes and Fitsherbert that between Britain and France. Then Fitsherbert on one Part and Adams and Franklin on the other, signed, sealed and exchanged Declarations of an Armistice between the Crown of Great Britain and the United States of America.1
Previous to the Signature all the original Commissions were shewn. The C. D'Aranda shewed his. The C. de Vergennes his. Mr. Fitsherbert his—and Adams and Franklin theirs. Fitsherbert agreed to exchange Copies with Us.—Thus was this mighty System terminated with as little Ceremony, and in as short a Time as a Marriage Settlement.
Before the British and Spanish Ministers came in I asked the C. de Vergennes what was to become of Holland. He smiled and said, that We had nothing to do with that. I answered, with a Smile too, it was very true We had nothing to do with it, but that I interested myself very much, in the Welfare and Safety of that People. He then { 107 } assumed an affected Air of Seriousness and said he interested himself in it too a good deal, and then told me, that the English had first wished to retain Demerary and Essquibo, but the King would not hear to that. Then they wanted Trincamale in the East Indies. But the King would not agree to that. Then they wanted Negapatnam. This the King left them to settle with the Dutch, but insisted on a Declaration from the King of G. Britain that he would restore all the other Possessions.
Fitsherbert told me afterwards it was the Severity of the Spaniards, that obliged his Court to be so hard with the Dutch. The Spaniards would do nothing without Minorca and the Floridas.
Returned to Paris and dined with the Duchess D'Anville and the Duke de la Rochefaucault.
1. Copies, in French, of the declarations of cessation of hostilities, as agreed upon and exchanged by the American Commissioners (JA and Franklin) and the British Commissioner (Alleyne Fitzherbert), are in the Adams Papers under this date; English translations are printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:223–224. John Jay had
“gone upon a little Excursion to Normandie and Mr. Laurens was gone to Bath, both for their health....Thus drops the Curtain upon this mighty Trajedy ... and Heaven be praised.... I hope to receive the Acceptance of my Resignation so as to come home in the Spring Ships” (JA to AA, 22 Jan. 1783, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-21

January 21. Tuesday.

Went to Versailles to pay my Respects to the King and Royal Family, upon the Event of Yesterday. Dined with the foreign Ambassadors at the C. de Vergennes's.
The King appeared in high Health and in gay Spirits: so did the Queen. M[adam]e Elizabeth is grown very fat. The C. D'Artois seems very well. Mr. Fitsherbert had his first Audience of the King and Royal Family and dined for the first time with the Corps Diplomatique.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

1783. January 23. Thursday.

Mr. Whitefoord made me a Visit. He said it was the fatal Policy of the Earl of Chatham, in supporting the K. of Prussia against the House of Austria, that had given an Austrian Queen to France. That the French had contrived too to marry the Kings two Brothers to Princesses of Savoy, by which they had damped the Zeal of another of the Allies of England the King of Sardinia.
I told him the Story of my Correspondence with the C. de Vergennes in 1780, about communicating my Mission to Lord G. Germain. He said if I had followed my own Opinion, and written to his Lordship and published the Letter, it would have turned out the old { 108 } Ministry. I told him I was restrained by a Requisition from the King. Besides the Defeat of D'Estaing and Langara, had turned the Heads of the People of England at that time.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-18

1783 Tuesday. Feb. 18.

Received a Letter from my Son John, dated at Gottenburgh the 1. of Feb. This Letter gave me great Joy, it is the first I have received from him since he left Petersbourg, and the first News I have had of him since the Beginning of December, when he was at Stockholm.— I have suffered extream Anxiety on his Account.1
I have omitted my Journal, and several Things of some Consequence, but I am weary, disgusted, affronted and disappointed. This State of Mind I must alter—and work while the day lasts.
I have been injured, and my Country has joined in the Injury. It has basely prostituted its own honour by sacrificing mine. But the Sacrifice of me for my Virtues, was not so servile, and intollerable as putting Us all under Guardianship. Congress surrendered their own Sovereignty into the Hands of a French Minister. Blush blush! Ye guilty Records! blush and perish! It is Glory, to have broken such infamous orders. Infamous I say, for so they will be to all Posterity. How can such a Stain be washed out? Can We cast a veil over it, and forget it?
1. JQA's letter is in Adams Papers. He had left St. Petersburg in company with a Count Greco, 30 Oct. 1782, and traveled via Helsingfors (Helsinki) to Stockholm, which he reached on 22 Nov.; he and his companion left there on 31 Dec. and arrived at Göteborg on 16 Jan. after a tedious delay on account of bad weather; from there, traveling for the most part alone, he proceeded on 11 Feb. to Copenhagen and thereafter to Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, and The Hague, arriving at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis on 21 April (JQA, Diary). JA's correspondence during the first several months of 1783 shows that officers of the Dutch and French diplomatic and consular services were constantly scouring the Baltic and North Sea ports looking for the fifteen-year-old boy. “My Younker ought to think himself highly honoured, by the Notice that has been taken of him by so many respectable Personages” (JA to Dumas, 19 March 1783, LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-24

1783 Feb. 24. Monday.

Dined in Company with Mr. Malesherbes, the famous first President of the Court of Aids, Uncle of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, and Son of the Chancellor de la Moignon. He is about half Way in Appearance, between Mr. Otis and Mr. A. Oliver.
F[ranklin] this Morning mentioned to me the Voyage de la Fonte, who mentions a Captain Chapley, and a Seymour Gibbons. F. thinks { 109 } it is translated from the Spanish, and that the Translator or Printer has put Seymour for Seignor. He had once a Correspondence about this Voyage, and Mr. Prince found there had been a Captain Chapelet at Charlestown and a Gibbons but not named Seymour.1
1. This “Voyage” was supposed to have taken place in 1640; an account of it was first published in a London periodical in 1708. The purported leader and narrator, Admiral Bartholomew de Fonte, claimed to have sailed from Lima in Peru up the west coast of North America and to have found a water route to Hudson Bay, since he encountered a Boston ship which must have entered the Bay from the northeast. These claims were disputed with some warmth on both sides of the question during the middle decades of the 18th century, and French and English maps showing the discoveries in detail were published by those who believed a northwest passage existed. By the end of the century they were totally discredited; modern geographers consider Admiral de Fonte an entirely fictitious person. See Henry R. Wagner, “Apocryphal Voyages to the Northwest Coast of America,” Amer. Antiq. Soc., Procs., 41 (1931): 179–234, which includes a reprint of the De Fonte “Letter” and facsimiles of several pertinent maps.
In his Diary entries for 17, 19 June, below, JA records more speculation and conversation on the controversy over the northwest passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-25

Feb. 25. Tuesday.

Mr. Samuel Vaughan says that Cooks Voyage will be 3 Volumes 60 Plates, and will not be out these 12 Months. The Plates are of Islands discovered &c.
He mentions a new Sort of Bark, much redder and much stronger, than any known before.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-27

Feb. 27. Thursday.

Dined at the Farmer Generals, in Company with the Comte de Polastron, Father of the Duchesse de Polignac. No Friend of D'Estaing.
Spent the Evening in Company with the Abby de Mably, some other Abbys and Accademicians. De Mably says There are in France Three Orders of Citizens. The first Order is of the Clergy. 2. The Second of the Nobility. 3. And the third is called Le Tiers Etat.— There are several Classes in the Order of the Clergy, 7 or 8 Classes in the Order of Nobles, and Thirty Classes in the Tiers Etat. The Nobles all believe that their Nobility is from God. And therefore, the Nobles are all equal, and that the King cannot confer Nobility.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-07

Fryday March 7.

In the Morning Chronicle of Saturday February 22, Mr. Secretary Townsend in the Debate upon the five Propositions of Lord John Cavendish, is represented to have said “He was willing to give his full Assent to the first Proposition, because such a Declaration from Parlia• { 110 } ment was, after the Address voted on Monday last, indispensably necessary. To the second, and to the third Resolutions, likewise he had no Objections. The fourth he certainly should resist, because it conveyed a direct Censure upon Ministers, reprobated and condemned the Peace, would give Alarm and Umbrage to the foreign Powers, with whom the Peace had been made, and be attended with a Variety of bad Consequences.
”With Regard to the fifth, that respecting the Loyalists, it would produce much Evil. It would totally defeat the Recommendations which Congress were pledged to make in favour of the Loyalists, and put them in a worse Predicament than that they already stood in, by the Treaty. In order to support this Assertion Mr. Townsend reasoned a good deal on the great danger arising at all times from creating Jealousies and Suspicions in Parties negotiating; but if there was any Party more prone to Jealousy, any State more liable to catch Suspicion sooner than another, it must be the United States of America, on Account of their having been little accustomed to the Business of negotiating, and being obliged to trust their first and dearest Interests in the hands of Persons of whose Fidelity they had scarcely any pledge of Security. Mr. Townsend concluded with saying, that for these Reasons he should resist the fifth Resolution as well as the fourth.”1
1. Lord John Cavendish's resolutions of censure on the provisional peace settlements were debated in the House of Commons on 21 Feb.; the debate resulted in a vote of 207 to 190 against the Shelburne ministry on the ground of its having made greater “concessions ... to the adversaries of Great Britain ... than they were entitled to” (Parliamentary Hist., 23:498–571). On 24 Feb., as a direct upshot, Shelburne resigned, and an “inter-ministerium” of seven weeks followed, postponing negotiations for the Definitive Peace which JA had expected in January would be completed within a few weeks. See Horace Walpole, Last Journals ..., 1771–1783, ed. A. Francis Steuart, London, 1910, 2:487, 508.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-08

March 9 [i.e. 8]. Saturday.

Dined at Passy, the Spanish Ambassador, the Comte de Rochambeau, the Chevalier de Chatelux [Chastellux], Mr. Jay &c. present.
Chatelux said to the Abby Morlaix that I was the Author of the Massachusetts Constitution, and that it was the best of em all, and that the People were very contented with it.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-09

March 9. 1783 Sunday.

Mercure de France 1. Feb. 1783, p. 26
Academie Royale de Musique.
Lorsqu'un homme entre dans la carriere des Arts, n'ayant pour { 111 } guide et pour Appui que son Genie; lorsque L'Intrigue et la Charlatanerie, ces deux grandes Ressources des petits talens, lui sont etrangéres, il doit s'attendre á être long tems persecuté, méconnu, arrêté á chaque pas. Mais qu'il ne perde point courage; tous les Obstacles s'applanissent peu-a-peu devant lui; ses Ennemis se lassent ou deviennent odieux et suspects; et le public, éclairé par ces memes productions qu'il n'avoit pas d'abord appreciees, rend enfin Justice à leur Auteur.
Il est vrai qu'un Artiste qui se presente apres vingt-cinq ans de gloire et de Succès ne devroit pas eprouver les mêmes degouts; son nom fameux dans l'Empire des Arts, paroitroit fait pour en imposer à ses dètracteurs; mais si dans le nouveau pays ou il arrive, son Art est encore ignoré; s'il y règne un faux Savoir, pire que L'lgnorance; si Ton y a la manie des Preferences, des Preferences exclusives, et que Ton ait deja choisi l'Objet de ces Preferences, son nom lui devient inutile ou meme dangereux; et la Reputation qui le précède, en éveillant l'Envie, n'est pour lui qu'un Obstacle de plus.
On se rappelle aujourd hui, avec une espece de honte, les excès où Ton se porta d'abord contre l'Auteur de Roland. Les quolibets, les plattes Epigrammes, les comparaisons injurieuses, rien ne fut épargné.
Mr. Picini [Piccinni] is the Author of Roland.
In this Country, the Demon of Monarchy haunts all the Scaenes of Life. It appears in every Conversation, at every Table and upon every Theatre. This People can attend to no more than one Person at a Time. They can esteem but one, and to that one their Homage is Adulation and Idolatry.
I once heard the Baron Van der Capellen de Poll say that the Daemon of Aristocracy appeared every where in that Republick. That he had collected together a Number of Merchants to sign a Requête. They agreed upon the Measure but insisted upon appointing a Committee to sign it. Many of them declared they would not sign it, with a Crowd, avec une foule.
Thus it is that the human Mind contracts habits of thinking from the Example of the Gouvernment. Accustomed to look up to a few as all in an Aristocracy, they imitate the same practice in private Life, and in common Things. Accustomed in monarchies to look up to one Man in great Affairs, they contract a similar disposition in little ones.
In the same manner in Democracies We contract an habit of de• { 112 } ciding every Thing by a Majority of Votes. We put it to vote whether the Company will sing a Song or tell a Story. In an Aristocracy they ask 2 or 3 of the better Sort. In a Monarchy they ask the Lady or the Gentleman, in whose honour the feast was made.
I dined with the Comte de Pilo, under the Incognito name of Mr. D'Olavide, heretofore Intendant of Seville who established the Colony of Sierra Morena in Spain, Mr. Boystel Consul General of France in Spain, the Comte de Jaucourt Marechal de Camp, the C. de Lusignem M. de Camp and the C. de Langeron M. de Camp, Commandant a Brest, at C. Sarsefields.
Ephemerides du Cytoyen par L'Abbe Baudau.
Memoire sur les Administrations provincials par Mr. Throne.
Dialogue sur les Bleds par L'Abbe Galliany.1
1. These are books JA purchased or intended to purchase. The Ephémérides du citoyen was a French periodical devoted to the ideas of the Physiocrats, of which scattered volumes are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; he also obtained a copy of G. F. Le Trosne's tract, De l'administration provinciale, et de la réforme de l'impôt, Basle, 1779 (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 84, 144). But no copy of Ferdinand Galiani's Dialogues sur les blés, 1770, has been found among his books.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-27

1783 Paris April 27. 1783.

Mr. Hartley met Mr. Franklin, Laurens, Jay and me, at my Lodgings, and shewed Us an Instruction under the Kings Privy Seal, and signed George Rex, in which his Majesty recites that he had appointed Mr. Hartley his Minister Plenipotentiary to treat with Us &c.1
The American Ministers unanimously required a Commission under the great Seal, and promising to ratify what he should do.—Mr. Hartley was chagrin'd.2
Much Conversation passed, which might as well have been spared. Mr. Hartley was as copious as usual. I called on Mr. Jay in the Evening and We agreed to meet at my House next Morning at 10.
1. The weeks that followed the signing of the provisional treaties between Great Britain and France, and Great Britain and Spain, made “a very dull Pause,” as JA wrote Arthur Lee (12 April, Adams Papers), during which JA worried about his health and in long letters to intimate correspondents poured out his suspicions of “French and Franklinian Politicks” (to AA, 16 April, Adams Papers). After what seemed interminable delays the Coalition government of Fox and North was at length formed, and on 18 April David Hartley received his instructions, as successor to Richard Oswald, to treat with the American Commissioners for a definitive peace settlement. Hartley, an old friend of Franklin's whom JA had first encountered, without being favorably impressed, five years earlier (see 19 April 1778, above), arrived in Paris on 24 April. JA was to change his estimate { 113 } of Hartley and eventually to recognize his intense sincerity in endeavoring to obtain a liberal settlement, especially in respect to trade relations, but the negotiations in Paris from April to September proved perfectly fruitless. They are well summarized in a single sentence in the Commissioners' letter to Pres. Boudinot of Congress, 10 Sept. 1783: “We had many conferences and received long memorials from Mr. Hartley on the subject [of new commercial regulations]; but his zeal for systems friendly to us constantly exceeded his authority to concert and agree to them” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:688). The best secondary account of this negotiation, which has been little studied but was not unimportant in spite of its failure, is in George H. Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P., an Advocate of Conciliation, Berkeley, 1926, ch. 4. There is need for a more detailed and comprehensive study.
2. For Hartley's new commission see entries of 19, 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-28

April 28. Monday.

At 10 Mr. Jay came in, and I shewed him a Variety of Projects, which I had drawn up last night, concerning the Removal of the Troops, opening the Ports, tranquilizing the Tories now within the Lines, Articles for Commerce, in Explanation of the provisional Treaty &c.
We drew together a Proposition, for withdrawing the Troops, opening the Ports and quieting the Tories, and went with it in my Carriage to Mr. Laurens, who thought it might do.1 I said to my Brothers, I shall be very ductile about Commerce. I would agree at once to a mutual Naturalization, or to the Article as first agreed on by Dr. F. and Mr. Jay with Mr. Oswald, or I would agree to Mr. Hartleys Propositions, to let the Trade go on as before the War or as with Nova Scotia. I could agree to any of these Things because that Time and the natural Course of Things will produce a good Treaty of Commerce. G.B. will soon see and feel the Necessity of alluring American Commerce to her Ports, by Facilities and Encouragements of every kind. We called at Mr. Hartleys Hotel de York. He was out.—At Mr. Jays, Mr. Hartley came in. We told him, We thought of making him a Proposition, tomorrow, and would meet him at Mr. Laurens's at one. Wrote to Dr. Franklin and W. T. Franklin, desiring their Attendance at Mr. Laurens's Hotel de L'Empereur at 11. tomorrow. Received an Answer that they would attend.2 Mr. Hartley desired of me Letters of Introduction for II Comte di Ferme a Cousin of the Neapolitan Ambassader in London, who is going to America, which I promised him and wrote in the Evening.3
1. As presented to Hartley on 29 April, these projets will be found in the next entry of this Diary.
2. The note to the Franklins, in JA's hand, is in DeHi; the answer has not been found.
3. The letters of introduction, addressed to John Hancock, James Bowdoin, and Benjamin Lincoln, are dated this day in Lb/JA/20 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108). Conte Francisco dal Verme, of Milan, visited the United { 114 } States and traveled from New Hampshire to South Carolina later this year; in 1787 he extended kindnesses to during the latter's brief visit to Italy (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 27:79 and note, 165–166 and note; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 11:437; 12:38–39, 42–43, 587–589).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-29

April 29. Tuesday.

At 11, We all met at Mr. Laurens's near the new French Comedy, and agreed upon a Proposition to open the Ports as soon as the U. States should be evacuated. At one Mr. Hartley came and We shewed it to him, and after some Conversation with him, We agreed upon 3 Propositions. 1. To open the Ports as soon as the States should be evacuated. 2. To set all confined Tories at Liberty at the same time and 3. To set all Prisoners of War at Liberty, upon the same terms respecting the Accounts of their Expences as those between France and England.
Three Articles proposed by the American Ministers and delivered to Mr. David Hartley, 29. April 1783.1
No. 1.
It is agreed, that so soon, as his Britannick Majesty shall have withdrawn all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets, from the United States of America, and from every Port, Post, Place and Harbour within the same, as stipulated by the 7 Article of the Provisional Treaty of 30. Nov. 1782, Then and from thenceforth, for and during the Term of [] Years, all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places, belonging to the United States, or any of them, shall be open and free, to the Merchants and other Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and their trading Vessells; who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of the State in which they may be, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties.
And reciprocally all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places under the Dominion of his Britannic Majesty, shall, thenceforth be open and free to the Merchants and trading Vessells of the said United States, and of each and every of them, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of Great Britain, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties: saving Always to the Chartered Trading Companies of Great Britain, such exclusive Use, and Trade of their respective Ports and Establishments, as neither the other Subjects of Great Britain, or any the most favoured Nation, participate in.
{ 115 }
No. 2.
It is agreed that such Persons as may be in Confinement, in the United States of America for or by Reason of the Part which they may have taken in the late war, shall be set, at Liberty, immediately on the Evacuation of the said States by the Troops and Fleets of his Britannic Majesty.
And it is likewise agreed, that all such Persons who may be in confinement in any Parts under the Dominion of his Britannic Majesty for and by Reason of the Part which they may have taken in the late War, shall at the same time be also immediately set at Liberty.
No. 3.
The Prisoners made respectively by the Arms of his Britannick Majesty, and those of the United States of America, both by Land and Sea, shall be immediately set at Liberty, without Ransom, on paying the Debts they may have contracted during their Captivity: And each contracting Party shall respectively reimburse the Sums which shall have been advanced for the Subsistence and Maintenance of their Prisoners, by the Sovereign of the Country, where they shall have been detained, according to the Receipts and attested Accounts and other authentic Titles, which shall be produced on each Side.
1. The text of the three proposed articles appears, not in the present Diary booklet, but in that which follows (D/JA/40), in the left-hand margin across from entries beginning 3 May. For Hartley's answer, 21 May, to the first and principal proposition, see entry of 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-30

1783. April 30. Wednesday.

Mr. Hartley did me the Honour of a Visit to assure me, as he said of the Satisfaction he had in reflecting, upon what passed Yesterday, and upon what We had agreed upon. He thought it was exactly as it should be. I was glad to hear of his Satisfaction and expressed my own. I told him that I was so vinced, that Great Britain and America would soon feel the Necessity and Convenience of a right Plan of Commerce that I was not anxious about it. That it was simply from a pure regard to Great Britain, and to give them an opportunity of alluring to themselves as much of our Commerce, as in the present State of Things would be possible, that I should give myself any Trouble about it. That I had never had but one Principle and one System, concerning this Subject, before, during or since the War, and that had generally been the System of Congress viz. That it was not our Interest { 116 } to hurt Great Britain any further than was necessary to support our Independence and our Alliances. That the French Court had sometimes endeavoured to warp us from this System, in some degrees and particulars, that they had sometimes succeeded with some American Ministers and Agents, Mr. Deane particularly, and I must add that Dr. Franklin had not adhered to it at all times with so much Firmness as I could have wished, and indeed Congress itself from the Fluctuation of its Members, or some other Cause had sometimes appeared to loose Sight of it. That I had constantly endeavoured to adhere to it, but this Inflexibility had been called Stubbornness, Obstinacy, Vanity &c. and had expossed me to many Attacks, and disagreable Circumstances. That it had been to damp the Ardour of returning Friendship as I supposed, which had induced the French Minister, to use his Influence to get the Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, revoked without appointing another. That I did not care a Farthing for a Commission to Great Britain, and wished that the one to me had never existed, but that I was very sorry it was revoked without appointing another. That the Policy of this Court he might well think would be, to lay every stumbling Block between G. Britain and America. They Wished to deprive Us of the Fisheries and Western Lands for this Reason. They espoused the Cause of the Tories for this Reason.
I told him the Comte de Vergennes and I were pursuing different Objects. He was endeavouring to make my Countrymen meek and humble and I was labouring to make them proud. I avowed it was my Object, to make them hold up their Heads, and look down upon any Nation that refused to do them Justice. That in my Opinion Americans had nothing to fear, but from the Meekness of their own Hearts. As Christians I wished them Meek, as Statesmen I wished them proud, and I thought the Pride and the Meekness very consistent. Providence had put into our hands such Advantages, that We had a just Right and it was our Duty to insist upon Justice from all Courts, Ministers and Nations.
That I wished him to get his Commission as soon as possible and that We might discuss every Point and be perfectly ready to sign the definitive Treaty.
He said his Commission would come as soon as the Courier could go and return, and that he would prepare his Propositions for the definitive Treaty, immediately. He said he had not imagined that We had been so stout as he found Us.—But he was very silent and attentive. He has had hints I suppose, from Laurens and Jay, and Franklin too. { 117 } He never before discovered a Capacity to hearken. He ever before took all the Talk to himself. I am not fond of talking, but I wanted to convey into his Mind a few Things, for him to think upon. None of the English Gentlemen have come here apprized of the Place where their danger lay.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-01

1783 May 1. Thursday.

Dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, with the other American Ministers and others.
Visited the Duke and Dutchesse de la Vauguion at the petite Luxembourg. The Duke is to stay here some time.
I told him he and I were in the same Case, and explained to him my Situation and gave him my frank Sentiments of a certain Minister. He said he was veritablement touché.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-02

Fryday. May 2.

Mr. Hartley came in to introduce to me his Secretary Mr. Hammond, whom he introduced also to mine, Mr. Thaxter and Storer.
He told me that the C. de Vergennes had been treating with Mr. Fitsherbert about the Post of Panmure at the Natches, which is within the Limits which England has acknowledged to be the Bounds of the United States. The Spaniards want to keep it, and the C. de Vergennes wants to make a Merit of procuring it for them with a few Leagues round it.—I told Mr. Hartley that this Subject was within the exclusive Jurisdiction of Mr. Jay. That the Minister for Peace had nothing to say in it.
I told Mr. Hartley the Story of my Negotiations with the C. de Vergennes about communicating my Mission to Ld. G. Germaine 3 Years ago and the subsequent Intrigues and Disputes &c. It is necessary to let the English Ministers know where their danger lies, and the Arts used to damp the Ardour of returning friendship.
Mr. Jay came, with several Pieces of Intelligence. 1. The Story of Panmure. 2. The Marquis de la Fayette told him that no Instructions were ever sent by the C. de Vergennes to the C. Montmorrin to favour Mr. Jays Negotiations at Madrid and that Montmorrin told la Fayette so.
Mr. Jay added that the Marquis told him, that the C. de Vergennes desired him to ask Mr. Jay why he did not come and see him? Mr. Jay says he answered how can he expect it? when he knows he has endeavoured to play Us out of the Fisheries and vacant Lands? Mr. { 118 } Jay added that he thought it would be best to let out by degrees, and to communicate to some French Gentlemen, the Truth and shew them Marbois's Letter. Particularly he mentioned C. Sarsefield.
Mr. Jay added, every Day produces some fresh Proof and Example of their vile Schemes. He had applied to Montmorin, to assist him, countenance him, support him, in his Negotiation at Madrid, and shewed him a Resolution of Congress by which the King of France was requested to Aid him. Montmorin said he could not do it, without Instructions from his Court, that he would write for Instructions, but Mr. Jay says he never heard any farther about it. But Yesterday La Fayette told him that Montmorin told him, no such Instruction had ever been sent him.
In Truth Congress and their Ministers have been plaid upon like Children, trifled with, imposed upon, deceived. Franklin's Servility and insidious faithless Selfishness is the true and only Cause why this Game has succeeded. He has aided Vergennes with all his Weight, and his great Reputation, in both Worlds, has supported this ignominious System and blasted every Man and every Effort to shake it off. I only have had a little Success against him.1
1. The foregoing paragraph was omitted by CFA in his edition of JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-03

1783 May 3. Saturday.1

When We met Mr. Hartley on Tuesday last at Mr. Laurens's, I first saw and first heard of Mr. Livingstons Letter to Dr. Franklin upon the Subject of Peace dated Jany. 7. 1781, but indorsed by Dr. F. Jany. 7. 1782.2 The Peace is made, and the Negotiations all passed before I knew of this Letter and at last by Accident.—Such is Dr. Franklin.
Visited Mr. Jay. Found him, his Lady, Miss Laurens and Marquis de la Fayette at Breakfast going out of Town. Visited Mr. Laurens— not at home. Duke de la Vauguion—not at home. Mr. Hartley at home, Mr. Laurens came in soon after. I agreed to make a Visit to the Duke of Manchester this Evening. His Rank, as Duke and as Ambassador, and the Superiority of the State he represents, make it unnecessary to attend to the Rule in this Town, which is that the last comer make the first Visit, or to enquire very nicely what the sublime Science of Etiquette dictates upon this Occasion.
Mr. Hartley proposes that We should agree that the English should continue their Garrisons in Detroit, Niagara and Michillimachinac for a limited Time, or that Congress should put Garrisons into those Places, to protect their People, Traders and Troops from the Insults { 119 } of the Indians. The Indians will be enraged to find themselves betrayed into the hands of those People against whom they have been excited to War.
Mr. Hartley proposes allso that We should agree that all the Carrying Places should be in Common. This is a great Point. These Carrying Places command the Fur Trade.—Mr. Laurens hinted to me, between Us, that this was the Complaint in England against the Ministry who made the Peace. That they had thrown the whole Fur Trade, into the Hands of the United States by ceeding all the Carrying Places, and that the Lakes and Waters were made useless to them by this means.
Mr. Laurens quoted a Creek King, who said he would not be for quarrelling with either Side, especially with Us Americans for We were all born of the same Mother and sucked at the same Breast. But turning to his young Men he said with Tears in his Eyes, whichever Side prevails I see that We must be cutt off.
Mr. Hartley talked about Passamaquaddi, and the Islands at the Mouth of the River St. Croix. He is for settling this matter, so as to prevent Questions.
Between 5 and 6 I made my Visit to the Duke of Manchester the British Ambassador upon his Arrival. Not at home. Left my Card.
The next day or next but one, the Duke returned my Visit. Came up to my Appartement and spent an half hour in familiar Conversation. He is between 50 and 60. A composed Man—plain Englishman.
One day this Week I visited the Duke de la Vauguion, upon his Arrival [from]3 the Hague, who returned my Visit in a day or two.
1. With this entry JA began a new Diary booklet (D/JA/40), identical in format with those preceding. The marks “C” (standing for “To be copied” or “Copied”) run throughout this booklet at the foot of the pages, as they do also in D/JA/41-42, ending with the entry of 27 Oct. 1783. No transcript of this portion of his Diary has, however, been found. Perhaps the sensation stirred up by his earlier “Peace Journal” (see note on entry of 2 Nov. 1782, above) dissuaded him from sending any more such papers home.
2. The correct date was certainly 7 Jan. 1782, since Livingston was not appointed secretary for foreign affairs until Aug. 1781. Livingston's letter embodied American arguments for claiming all territory to the Mississippi and undisturbed rights in the Newfoundland fishery, and arguments against the restitution of loyalist property (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:87–94).
3. MS: “at.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-05

1783 Monday May 5.

Dined with my Family at C. Sarsefields. The Dukes de la Vauguion and de la Rochefaucault, Mr. Jay &c. of the Party.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-06

Tuesday May 6.

Dined at Mr. Jays. Lt. General Mellville, who is here to solicit for the Inhabitants of Tobago, the Continuance of their Assembly and Tryals by Jury, was there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-07

Wednesday May 7.

Dined at Mr. Caluns [Calonne's].

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-08

Thursday May 8.

The Duke de la Vauguion and Mr. Hartley, Mr. Laurens and Jay, Mr. Barclay1 and Ridley, dined with me.
1. Thomas Barclay (1728–1793), a Philadelphia merchant, had been elected by Congress United States consul in France, 5 Oct. 1781; on 2 Jan. 1783 he was named consul general. He had business interests at Lorient, but JA first encountered him in Amsterdam, and before long Barclay rented a large house in semirural Auteuil on the outskirts of Paris. Here JA was to be his guest during a period of illness in the fall of 1783, and afterward JA rented the house for the use of himself and family. In 1782 Barclay was given a commission to settle the accounts of all American ministers and agents in Europe; from 1785 he served as United States agent in protracted and futile negotiations with Morocco. See JCC, 21:1036; 23:730; 24:3; Barclay's letters in PCC, Nos. 91, 118; JA-Barclay correspondence in Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–12, passim; VMHB, 8:19, 21 (July 1900); scattered references in PMHB, Diary entries of 14 Sept., 7 Oct. 1783, 17 Aug. 1784, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-09

Fryday May 9.

Dined with Mr. Laurens, with a large Company. The M. de la Fayette shewed me, the Beginning of an Attack upon the Chancellor &c. &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-10

Saturday. May. 10.

Dined with the M. de la Fayette, with a large American Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-19

Monday May. 19.

The American Ministers met Mr. Hartley at my House, and he shewed Us his Commission and We shewed him ours. His Commission is very magnificent, the Great Seal in a Silver Box with the Kings Arms engraven on it, with two large gold Tassells &c. as usual.1
[In the margin: The Commissions of the Comtes de Vergennes and D'Aranda, on the 20. of January, were plainer than ours, and upon Paper. The French reserve their Silver Boxes to the Exchange of Ratifications.]
{ 121 }
Dined with Mr. Laurens and Mr. Jay at Mr. Hartleys, Hotel de York.
We are to meet of Evenings at 6 O Clock, De Die, in Diem, at my House.
Mr. Hartley informed Us to day that the Kings Council had not agreed to our Proposition, of putting Britons upon the Footing of Americans in all American Ports, Rivers &c. and Americans on the Footing of Britons in all British Ports, Rivers &c. He says he is very sorry for this because he thinks it just and politick And that he shall ever be in Parliament for bringing Things to that point.
1. Hartley's full power under the Great Seal, as required by the American Commissioners (see 27 April, above), was dated 14 May 1783; of the several copies in the Adams Papers, one forms a part of JA's Diary record for 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-20

Tuesday May 20.

Saw Philadelphia Papers to the 12 of April. The Corvette dispatched from Cadiz by the Comte D'Estaing, carried the first News of the Preliminaries of the 20 of January. Mr. Livingston wrote it to Carlton and Digby, but they thought it, however respectable, not authentic for them. Soon after the February Packet arrived, at New York, from whence English News Papers were sent out and the Provisional and Preliminary Treaties all published in the Philadelphia Papers.
Visited Mr. Hartley. He said he thought the Dutch Negotiation in a bad Way, and that there would be a civil Contest in Holland; a Struggle between the Statholder and the States.
Mr. Hartley said, that some Dutch Friends he had in London, had told him there would be a civil dissention in Holland, and he was now more convinced of it. He said the K. of Prussia and the King of England would take the Part of the Statholder. I answered they would do well to consider whether in that Case, France and the Emperor would not assist the Republicans, and thus throw all Europe into a Flame. I told him I thought the English Policy towards the Republick, all wrong. They were wrong to make themselves Partisans of the Statholder vs. the Republicans. That they ought to be impartial. That they were interested in the Conservation of the Liberties of that Country. If that Spot should be annexed to the Empire or to France it would be fatal to Great Britain. That without its Liberty it could not maintain its Independency. Human Life, in that Country, struggling against the Sea, and in danger from so many Quarters, would be too painfull and discouraging without Liberty. That the K. of England and the Statholder would make a fatal Mistake, if they thought of making the { 122 } lat[t]er Sovereign, or of increasing his Power. The Country would not be worth the Governing. That the Families of Orange and Brunswick owed their Grandeur to the Cause of Liberty, and if they now engaged in a Conspiracy against it they must go to Italy after the Stewarts.
I added that Sir Joseph York had been wrong to attach himself so closely to the Court, and declare War so decidedly against the Patriots. That he should have kept upon good Terms with the Capellens, Vanberckel, Gyzelaer, Visher &c.
I had reflected much upon this Subject. I had always been ready to acknowledge that I could not distinctly foresee, what would be the Consequence of our Independence in Europe. It might depress England too much and elevate the House of Bourbon too high. If this should be the Case, neither England nor America could depend upon the Moderation of such absolute Monarchies and such ambitious Nations. America might find France and Spain demanding of her Things which she could not grant. So might England. Both might find it necessary to their Safety to join, and in such a Case it would be of great Importance to both to have Holland join them. Whereas the Policy of the British Court if pursued would drive the Dutch into the Arms of France and fix them there. That I hoped the Case put would never happen, but England would have a stronger reason than ever now, to cultivate the Friendship of Holland. That in my Opinion she ought to give up Negapatnam and the Liberty of Navigation, give Satisfaction to the Duch, and carry an even hand in future between the Court and the States. That the British Minister ought to seek the Acquaintance and Friendship of the principal Patriots in all the Provinces and give them the Assurances of his Court that nothing should be attempted against their Constitution.
Mr. Hartley said he was of my Mind and had said as much to Mr. Fox before he left London. But the King would stand by the Statholder. The King, says he, will go wrong in Holland and in Ireland and Scotland too, but it will all work against himself. There are discontents in Scotland, as well as Ireland. We shall have Struggles, but I dont dread these. We shall have settled with America, and the American War was all that I dreaded.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-21

Wednesday. May 21.

What is it, in the Air, which burns? When We blow a Spark with the Bellows, it spreads. We force a current of Air to the Fire, by { 123 } this machine, and in this Air, are inflammable Particles. Can it be in the same manner that Life is continued by the Breath. Are there any Particles conveyed into the Blood of Animals through the Lungs, which increase the heat of it, or is the Pulse caused by rarifying the Blood or any Part of it, into Vapour, like the Experiment made with Spirits of Wine in a Glass Tube, with a globule at each End. If one End, or Globule, is placed in a Position a little Warmer, than the other, you see a Pulsation, caused by repeated rarefactions of the Spirits of Wine into Vapour at one End, which flows to the other and then reflows Again to its former Position where it is again rarified, and protruded.
The external Air, drawn into the Lungs in Breathing, through the Mouth or Nostrils, either Leaves some Particles behind, in the Lungs, or in the Blood, or carries some Particles off with it. It may do both, i.e. carry in some Particles that are salubrious, and carry out others which are noxious. The Air once breathed is certainly altered. It is unfit to be breathed again. The Body is said to render unfit for Respiration a Gallon of Air in a Minute. 4 Persons in a Coach would render unfit, 4 Hogsheads of Air in an Hour, which is more than the Coach would hold, which shews the Necessity of keeping the Windows open, and of frequently airing your dining Rooms, keeping Rooms and Bed Chambers. I suspect that the Health of Mankind is much injured by their Inattention to this Subject.1
Mr. Hartley, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay, Mr. Laurens, met me, at my House, Hotel du Roi, Au Carrousel, this Evening, and We exchanged with Mr. Hartley Full Powers, and entered into Conferences.
Mr. Hartley made Us the following Proposition in writing, viz.
”Whereas it is highly necessary that an Intercourse of Trade and Commerce should be opened, between the People and Territories, belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, and the People and Territories of the United States of America, and whereas it is highly expedient, that the Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States, should be established, on the most enlarged Principles of reciprocal Benefit to both Countries; but from the Distance between Great Britain and America, it must be a considerable Time, before any Convention or Treaty for establishing and regulating the Trade and Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States of America, upon a permanent Foundation can be concluded: Now, for the Purpose of making a temporary Regulation of the Commerce and Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States of America
”It is agreed, that all the Citizens of the United States of America, { 124 } shall be permitted to import into, and export from any Part of his Britannick Majestys Dominions in American Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandises, which have been so imported or exported by the Inhabitants of the British American Colonies, before the Commencement of the War, upon payment of the same Duties and Charges, as the like sort of Goods or Merchandize, are now or may be subject and liable to, if imported by British subjects, in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America. And that all the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty shall be permitted to import and to export from any Part of the Territories of the thirteen United States of America, in British Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandizes, which might have been so imported or exported by the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty, before the Commencement of the War, upon Payment of the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods, Wares and Merchandizes are now or may be subject and liable to if imported in American Ships, by any of the Citizens of the United States of America.
“This Agreement to continue in Force untill—
“Provided always that nothing contained in this Agreement, shall at any Time hereafter, be argued, on either Side, in Support of any future demand or Claim.”2
Mr. Hartley withdrew and We entered into Consultation, upon his Proposition.
We agreed to write a Line to Mr. Hartley to enquire if he thought himself authorized to sign that Agreement without further orders from St. James's. The Gentlemen proposed that I [should write it]3 as first in the Commission. I answered that in that Case I must have their Sanction to the Letter. They desired me to draw one. I sat down to the Table and wrote

[salute] Sir

The American Ministers have done me the Honour to direct me, to present you their Compliments, and desire to be informed whether you think yourself sufficiently authorized to agree and subscribe to the Proposition you have made them this Evening, without further Instructions or Information from your Court.
Dr. Franklin moved that the Secretary should sign and send it, which was agreed, the Letter being approved in the foregoing Words. The Gentlemen desired me to draw an Answer to Mr. Grands Letter, { 125 } and a Letter to the Bankers in Amsterdam which I agreed to do and lay it before them at their next Meeting.
1. This passage shows some advance in JA's views on fresh air since his dispute with Franklin over open or closed windows when they lodged together on their way to the conference with Lord Howe on Staten Island; see JA's Autobiography under date of 9 Sept. 1776.
2. Quotation marks have been regularized by the editors in the foregoing projet by Hartley.
3. Words in brackets have been supplied by the editors. In the MSJA inserted a caret at this point but did not fill the gap in sense.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-22

May 22. Thursday.

This Morning I drew the following Letters to be laid before the Ministers this Evening.

[salute] Sir

We have received the Letter you did Us the Honour to write Us on the [] day of this Month, containing a brief State of the Affairs of the United States in your hands. We see the Difficulties you are in, and are sorry to say that it is not in our Power to afford you any Relief.
We have &c.

[addrLine] Mr. Grand1

[salute] Gentlemen

Mr. Grand has laid before Us, a State of the Affairs of the United States, under his Care, and the Demands upon him for Money to discharge the Bills drawn upon him, are such as to require some Assistance from you, if the Demands upon you will admit of it.
If therefore, the State of the Cash in your Hands compared with the Draughts made upon you, will allow of it, We advise you to remit to Mr. Grand, on Account of the United States, the Amount of five Millions of Livres Tournois, and We doubt not that Congress and their Minister of Finances will approve of it, although We have not in Strictness Authority to give orders for it.

[salute] We have &c.

[addrLine] Messrs. Wilhem and Jan Willink Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst and Dela Lande and Fynje, Bankers of the United States of America, at Amsterdam.

This Morning I also drew the following to be laid before the Gentlemen this Evening.
{ 126 }
Agreed upon by and between David Hartley Esq., Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty for [line and a half left blank in MS] in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one part and J.A. B.F. J.J. and H.L. Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, for treating of Peace with the Minister Plenipotentiary of his said Majesty, on their behalf on the other Part
In Addition
to those agreed upon, on the 30th day of November 1782, by and between Richard Oswald Esq., the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty for treating of Peace, with the Commissioners of the United States of America, in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one Part, and the said J.A. B.F. J.J. and H.L. Commissioners of the said States for treating of Peace, with the Commissioner of his said Majesty, on their Behalf, on the other Part.
Whereas it is expedient, that an Intercourse and Commerce should be opened, between the People and Territories subject to the Crown of Great Britain, and those of the United States of America, and that this Intercourse and Commerce, should be established, on the most enlarged Principles of reciprocal Benefit to both Countries
1. It is agreed that Ministers shall be forthwith nominated and vested with full Powers to treat, agree and conclude upon a permanent Treaty of Commerce, between the two Powers and their respective Citizens, Subjects and Countries.
2. For the Purpose of a temporary Regulation of such Intercourse and Commerce it is agreed, that the Citizens of the United States shall import into and export from, any part of the Dominions subject to the Crown of Great Britain, in American Ships, any Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, which have been so imported or exported, by the Inhabitants of the British American Colonies before the Commencement of the late War, paying only the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods or Merchandises, are now, or may be subject to, if imported by British Subjects in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America: And that the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty, shall import to and export from any Part of the Territories of the United States of America, in British Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandize, which might have been so imported or exported, by the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty, before the Commencement of the War, paying the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods, Wares and Merchandizes, are now or may be sub• { 127 } ject to, if imported in American Ships, by any of the Citizens of the said United States.
This Agreement to continue in force for all Vessells which shall sail from any Port of either Party, on or before the day of and no longer.
Provided Always that nothing in this Agreement shall at any time hereafter be argued on either Side, in support of any Proposition which may be made, in the future negotiation of a permanent Treaty of Commerce.
It was observed last Evening that all the Laws of Great Britain, for the Regulation of the Plantation Trade, were contrived solely for the Benefit of Great Britain.
These Laws therefore ought not now to be the Regulation, which ought now to be for the reciprocal Benefit of both. The new System of Commerce, the permanent Treaty ought to be framed for the Benefit of the United States, as much as for that of G. Britain. Will not this temporary Revival of the old partial System, encour[a]ge British Merchants and Statesmen to aim at the perpetuation of it in the Treaty? Will not our making such a Convention, be a temptation to the British Court to postpone the definitive Treaty? perhaps to be indifferent about ever signing a definitive Treaty.
By this Project of Mr. Hartleys, American Manufactures are excluded from the British Dominions, but British Manufactures are not excluded from the United States. Americans are excluded from carrying the Productions of other Countries to the British Dominions: But Britains are not excluded, from carrying the Productions of other Countries to America.—Two Instances of Partiality, and Inequality, which may be Seeds of discord. Mens Minds cannot be contented, under Partiality, among Equals. They think it as it is Injustice. It is humiliating. It is thought disgracefull.
The Dutch will allow Americans to bring their Manufactures, and those of other Countries to Amsterdam, and this Attraction will draw our ships to that Market. We may carry hatts, Sperma Coeti Candles, &c. from America, Wines from Portugal, Spain or France to Holland, Sugars &c. from the W. India Islands, to Holland &c.
If other Nations allow Americans, to carry any Thing to them which Britain forbids, this will allure them to foreign Ports, and drive them from those of Britain.
At 10 this morning Mr. Hartley called upon me. Said he had received our Note of last night, and had reflected upon our Question, { 128 } reviewed his Instructions and called upon the Duke of Manchester to consult with him, and upon the whole he thought he must wait the Return of a Courier which he should send off tomorrow.
I told him that his Court must be sensible, if the Trade was renewed upon the old System, it must be upon that System entire, and even then it would be a Reciprocity all on one Side, all in favour of Great Britain. That if they thought of excluding Us from the West India Trade, they must think, it would obstruct our Agreement, and I was afraid if he mentioned it, and thus put it into the Heads of the Council, they would embarrass him with some wrong orders about it. He said he should support what was right as We wished it in his Dispatches, and so would the Duke of Manchester, but they thought it most prudent to send to London for orders.
He then said he had heard a Story, in which the Marquis de la Fayette was named, that the French Court had applied to the American Ministers to know if they would come into the definitive Treaty, under the Mediation of the two Imperial Courts. That We answered that such a Thing might be very well, but We could not help observing, that those Courts had not acknowledged our Independence as yet. The Reply was that accepting the Mediation would be acknowledging our Independance.—Whence came this Story? Secrets will always be thus kept, while Negotiations are carried on by such circuitous Messages.2
At Eleven returned Visits to Mr. Fitch and Mr. Boylstone, and then to the Baron de Waltersdorf, Chamberlain of the King of Denmark, who remarked to me, that he was surprized that his Court had never been informed, that Mr. Dana had Powers to treat with Denmark. I told him that Mr. Dana had been advised against communicating it. But that his Court might send a Full Power to their Minister at Petersbourg, to treat and conclude with any Minister of the United States vested with equal Powers. And the Conferences might begin as soon as they please. He said that he hoped the Dutch would not regain all their Trade but that the Northern Nations would retain some of it. That he thought St. Eustatia would be of no Value in future, as the King had made St. Thomas's a free Port. That Vessells might lie in Safety at St. Thomas's in the hurricane Months but not at St. Eustatia. He said that some Danish Vessells had gone to America loaded with Linnens, Duck, Sail Cloth, &c.

The following is a Copy of the order in Council of 14 May 1783, delivered to Us last night by Mr. Hartley.
{ 129 }
At the Court Of St. James 14 May 1783
The Kings Most Excellent Majesty In Council.
Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed this Session, intituled, “an Act for preventing certain Instruments from being required, from Ships belonging to the United States of America, and to give to his Majesty for a limited Time certain Powers for the better carrying on Trade and Commerce between the Subjects of his Majestys Dominions and the Inhabitants of the said States,” it is among other Things enacted that during the Continuance of the said Act, it shall and may be lawful for his Majesty, in Council, by order or orders to be issued and published, from Time to Time, to give such Directions, and to make such Regulations, with Respect to Duties, Drawbacks or otherwise for carrying on the Trade and Commerce between the People and Territories belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, and the People and Territories of the said United States, as to his Majesty in Council shall appear most expedient and salutary, any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding:
His Majesty doth therefore, by and with the Advice of his Privy Council, hereby order, and direct, that any Oil, or any unmanufactured Goods or Merchandizes, being the Growth or Production of any of the Territories of the said United States of America, may untill further order, be imported directly from thence into any of the Ports of this Kingdom, either in British or American Ships, by British Subjects, or by any of the People inhabiting in and belonging to the said United States, or any of them, and such Goods or Merchandizes shall and may be entered and landed in any Port in this Kingdom, upon Payment of the same Duties as the like Sort of Goods, are, or may be subject and liable to, if imported by British Subjects, in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America and no other, notwithstanding such Goods or Merchandizes, or the Ships in which the same may be brought, may not be accompanied with the Certificates or Documents heretofore required by Law. And it is hereby further ordered and directed that there shall be the same Drawbacks, Exemptions and Bounties on Merchandizes and Goods exported from Great Britain into the Territories of the said United States of America, or any of them, as are allowed upon the Exportation of the like Goods or Merchandizes, to any of the Islands, Plantations or Colonies, belonging to the Crown of Great Britain in America; and it is hereby farther ordered and directed, that all American Ships and Vessells which { 130 } shall have voluntarily come into any Port of Great Britain since the 20th. of January 1783, shall be admitted to an Entry and after such Entry made, shall be entitled together with the Goods and Merchandizes on board the same Ships and Vessells, to the full Benefit of this order. And the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majestys Treasury and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, are to give the necessary Directions herein, as to them may respectively appertain. Signed Wm. Fawkener.3
Copy of Mr. Hartleys Full Power, exchanged with that of the American Ministers 19 May 1783.
George R.
George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenbourgh, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire &c. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.
Whereas for the perfecting and establishing the Peace, Friendship, and good Understanding, so happily commenced by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris the thirtieth Day of November last by the Commissioners of Us and our good Friends, the United States of America, vizt., New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the Three lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, in North America, and for opening, promoting and rendering perpetual, the mutual Intercourse of Trade, and Commerce, between our Kingdoms and the Dominions of the said United States, We have thought proper to invest some fit Person with full Powers, on our Part, to meet and confer, with the Ministers of the said United States now residing at Paris, duly authorized for the accomplishing of such laudable and salutary Purposes. Now know Ye, that We, reposing special Trust and Confidence, in the Wisdom, Loyalty, Diligence and Circumspection of our Trusty and Welbeloved, David Hartley Esquire (on whom We have therefore conferred the Rank of our Minister Plenipotentiary), have nominated, constituted and appointed, and by these Presents do nominate, constitute and appoint our true, certain and undoubted Commissioner, Procurator and Plenipotentiary; giving and granting to him all and all manner of Faculty, Power and Authority, together with General as well as Special order (so as the General do not derogate from the Special, nor the Contrary) for Us and in our Name, to meet, confer, treat and conclude, with the Minister or Ministers furnished with sufficient Powers, on the Part { 131 } of our said Good Friends, the United States of America, of and concerning all such Matters and Things as may be requisite and necessary for accomplishing and compleating the several Ends and Purposes, herein before mentioned, and also for Us and in our Name to sign such Treaty or Treaties, Convention or Conventions, or other Instruments whatsoever as may be agreed upon in the Premisses, and mutually to deliver and receive the same in Exchange, and to do and perform all such other Acts, matters and Things as may be any Ways proper and conducive to the Purposes abovementioned, in as full and ample Form and manner, and with the like Validity and Effect as We Ourself, if We were present, could do and perform the same: Engaging and promising our Royal Word, that We will accept, ratify and confirm in the most effectual manner, all such Acts, matter and Things, as shall be so transacted and concluded by our aforesaid Commissioner, Procurator and Plenipotentiary, and that We will never suffer any Person to violate the same, in the whole or in Part, or to act contrary hereto.
In Testimony and Confirmation of all which, We have caused our Great Seal of Great Britain to be affixed to these Presents signed with our Royal Hand. Given at our Palace at St. James's, the fourteenth Day of May in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty three and in the Twenty third Year of our Reign.
I David Hartley the Minister above named certify the foregoing to be a true Copy, from my original Commission; delivered to the American Ministers this 19 Day of May 1783. Signed D. Hartley.
Mr. Hartleys Observations and Propositions left with the American Ministers the 21. May 1783.4
A Proposition having been offered by the American Ministers for the Consideration of his Britannick Majestys Ministers, and of the British Nation, for an entire and reciprocal Freedom of Intercourse and Commerce between Great Britain and the American United States, in the following Words, viz.
“That all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places belonging to the United States or any of them, shall be open and free to the Merchants and other Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and their trading Vessells, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of the State in which they may be, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties.—And reciprocally, that all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places under the Dominion of his { 132 } Britannic Majesty, shall be open and free to the Merchants and trading Vessells of the said United States, and of each and every of them, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of Great Britain, and be liable to no other Charges and Duties, saving always to the Chartered Trading Companies of Great Britain, such exclusive Use and Trade of their respective Ports and Establishments, as neither the other Subjects of Great Britain, or any the most Favoured Nation participate in.”
It is to be observed that this Proposition implies a more ample Participation of British Commerce than the American States possessed, even under their former Connection of dependence upon Great Britain, so as to amount to an entire Abolition of the British Act of Navigation, in respect of the thirteen United States of America; and although Proceeding on their Part, from the most conciliatory and liberal Principles of Amity and Reciprocity, nevertheless, it comes from them as newly established States and who in Consequence of their former Condition of Dependence, have never yet had any established System of national Commercial Laws, or of commercial Connections by Treaties with other nations, free and unembarrassed of many weighty Considerations which require the most scrupulous Attention and Investigation on the Part of Great Britain, whose antient System of national and commercial Policy, is thus suddenly called upon to take a new Principle for its Foundation, and whose Commercial Engagements with other ancient States may be most materially affected thereby. For the Purpose therefore of giving sufficient Time, for the Consideration and discussion of so important a Proposition, respecting the present established System of the commercial Policy and Laws of Great Britain, and their subsisting commercial Engagements with foreign Powers, it is proposed that a temporary Intercourse of Commerce shall be established between Great Britain and the American States, previously to the Conclusion of any final and perpetual Compact. In this intervening Period, as the strict Line and Measure of Reciprocity from various Circumstances, cannot be absolutely and compleatly adhered to, it may be agreed, that the Commerce between the two Countries shall revive, as nearly as can be, upon the same Footing and Terms as formerly subsisted, between them; provided always that no Concession on either Side, in the proposed temporary Convention, shall be argued hereafter, in support of any future Demand or Claim. In the mean time, the Proposition above stated may be transmitted to London, requesting with his Majestys Consent that it may be laid before Parliament for their Consideration.
{ 133 }
It is proposed therefore, that the unmanufactured Produce of the United States should be admitted into Great Britain, without any other Duties, those imposed during the War excepted, than those to which they were formerly liable. And it is expected in return that the Produce and Manufactures of Great Britain, should be admitted into the United States in like manner. If there should appear any Want of Reciprocity in this Proposal, upon the Grounds of asking Admission for British Manufactures into America, while no such Indulgence is given to American Manufactures in Great Britain; the Answer is obvious, that the Admission of British Manufactures into America, is an Object of Great Importance, and equally productive of Advantages to both Countries; while on the other hand, the Introduction of American Manufactures into Great Britain, can be of no Service to either, and may be productive of innumerable Frauds, by enabling Persons so disposed, to pass foreign European Goods, either prohibited or liable to great Duties, by the British Laws, for American Manufactures.
With regard to the West Indies, there is no Objection to the most free Intercourse between them and the United States. The only Restriction proposed to be laid upon that Intercourse is prohibiting American Ships carrying to those Colonies any other Merchandize than the Produce of their own Country. The same Observation may be made upon this Restriction as upon the former. It is not meant to affect the Interest of the United States, but it is highly necessary, least foreign Ships should make Use of the American Flagg to carry on a Trade with the British West Indian Islands.
It is also proposed upon the same Principle to restrain the Ships that may trade to Great Britain from America, from bringing foreign Merchandize into Great Britain. The Necessity of this Restriction is likewise evident, unless Great Britain meant to give up her whole Navigation Act. There is no Necessity of any similar Restrictions, on the Part of the American States; those States not having as yet, any Acts of Navigation.
1. Ferdinand Grand's letter to the Commissioners, 10 May, to which the foregoing is a reply, is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:420–421.
2. See Lafayette to the Commissioners, 12 May (same, p. 424).
3. After quoting this document in his “second autobiography,” JA added the following comment:
“Quincy. Dec. 15, 1811.—This Order in Council is the first link in that great chain of Orders in Council, which has been since stretched and extended, till it has shackled the commerce of the whole globe; that of Great Britain herself, as much as any other. Poor unfortunate commerce! Universal commerce! The commerce of the world! Thou art become, like the author of all our calamities, an object of commiseration to every humane and feeling mind! Bound with strong cords and bandages, by the head and shoulders, arms and hands, thighs, legs, and feet, like the { 134 } unhappy patient in Dr. Rush's tranquilizing chair.
”I have before observed that this moment in English and American history, appeared to me of great importance. That coalition administration, which afterwards subverted the British constitution by the India bill, in one point now subverted it in another by making the thing [i.e. king] absolute in all commercial matters. The law of nature and nations was a part, of the common law of England, and a part an essential part of the constitutional law of the British empire. The maratime and naval law of nations was also a part of the constitutional law of England. Parliament itself had no more authority over it than the king, and the king no more than Zingis Can, or the king of Otaheite. Yet this combination of nobles of all parties undertook by an act of parliament, to divest themselves and the nation of all authority in matters of commerce and navigation, and to make the thing [king] absolute over commerce and the seas, that he might have the power to deprive America of the rights he had so recently acknowledged by the preliminary and provisional treaty. I mean the rights of an independent maratime power” (Boston Patriot, 4 Jan. 1812).
4. In answer to the proposal for complete commercial reciprocity, the first of the three American projets of 29 April, q.v. in the entry of that date, above. This memorial by Hartley is dated 19 May in the Hartley Papers (MiU-C).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-23

1783 May 23. Fryday.1

Last Evening, the American Ministers and Secretary met, again at my House, and signed the Letters to Mr. Grand and to the Bankers at Amsterdam.
Mr. Laurens gave it as his Opinion that the Ballance of Trade, for the future between Great Britain and America would be in favour of the latter. I asked him what in that Case would become of the former? He replied She must be humble....2 She has hitherto avoided trading with any Nation when the Ballance was against her. This is the Reason why She would not trade with France.
This Morning Mr. Laurens called upon me to introduce to me a West India Gentleman from Jamaica, a Mr. []3
Mr. Laurens says the English are convinced that the Method of coppering Ships is hurtfull. The Copper corrodes all the Iron, all the Bolts, Spikes and Nails, which it touches. The Vessell falls to Pieces all at once. They attribute the late Losses of so many Ships to this. That Mr. Oswald made an experiment 20 Years ago, which convinced him that Copper was fatal. He lost a Ship by it.
Mr. Laurens, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Jarret and Mr. Fitch, two West India Gentlemen said to be very rich, dined with me. Mr. Fitch is a Native of Boston, holds an office of Receiver General, I think in Jamaica. Ward Nicholas Boylston was to have dined with me but was taken sick.
Mr. J. told me that the C. de Vergennes turned to him and Mr. Franklin and asked “Ou est Mr. Adams?” Franklin answered “Il est a Paris.”—Then turning to Jay he said Ce Monsieur a Beaucoup de { 135 } L'Esprit, et beaucoup de Tête aussi.—Jay answered, Ouy Monsieur, Monsieur Adams a beaucoup D'Esprit.4
1. First entry in D/JA/41, which is identical in format with the Diary booklets that precede it.
2. Suspension points in MS.
3. Probably the “Mr. Jarret” mentioned below in this entry.
Note—The word tête was an equivoke. It might mean, resolution, or judgment, or obstinacy. This was the first and the last trait which escaped the comte of any pique against me, on account of our former disputes. From my arrival from Holland, in October 1782, to my final departure from France to England in the month of May 1785, I lived on terms of entire civility with the comte de Vergennes, as if no asperity had ever passed between us on either side” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-25

1783 Sunday May 25.

Mr. Hartley came in, and shew me a Letter concerning his Beloved Sister whose Case is very dangerous and keeps him in deep Affliction. She is his Housekeeper and Friend. She examines his Writings, and proposes Corrections. She has transcribed his Papers, his American Letters &c. She has laboured much for America, &c.
I made a Transition, and asked what News from England? He said none. I told him I had heard that it was expected by some, that Shelburne would come in. He said No.—I asked him why cant you coalesse with Shelburne as well as North? He said Shelburne is an Irishman, and has all the Impudence of his Nation. He is a Parlaverer beyond all description. He parlavers every Body, and has no Sincerity.1
Mr. Barclay dined with me, after having been out to see Dr. Franklin. The Doctor he says is greatly disappointed in not having received Letters from Congress, containing his Dismission. He wants to get out of this, and to be at home with his Family. He dont expect to live long.
“Note, in 1812.—I said nothing to Mr. Hartley, but I had not known and I have never known any proofs of insincerity in Shelburne, more than in Fox and Burke. He was certainly a better friend to America than either of them. I could see nothing in all these attractions and repulsions, these dissolutions and coalitions, these conjunctions and oppositions in London, but national prejudices and family feuds between England, Scotland and Ireland” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-26

Monday May 26.

I hope for News to day, from the Hague.1
1. Probably concerning the sailing date of P. J. van Berckel, who had been appointed minister from the Dutch Republic to the United States. JA had for some time entertained the hope that the negotiation in Paris would be completed in time for him to accompany Van Berckel. In a letter of 23 May Dumas informed JA that the Dutch minister would sail about 15 June, and also that { 136 } he (Dumas) had received Congress' instrument ratifying the Dutch treaty (Adams Papers). On 29 May JA answered that he could not leave Paris and ordered Dumas to exchange ratifications with the Dutch government (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-01

1783 June 1. Sunday.

The Loadstone is in Possession of the most remarkable, wonderfull and misterious Property in Nature. This Substance is in the Secret of the whole Globe. It must have a Sympathy with the whole Globe. It is governed by a Law and influenced by some active Principle that pervades and operates from Pole to pole, and from the Surface to the Center and the Antipodes. It is found in all Parts of the Earth. Break the Stone to Pieces, and each Morcel retains two Poles, a north and a south Pole, and does not loose its Virtue. The Magnetic Effluvia are too subtle, to be seen by a Microscope, yet they have great Activity and Strength. Iron has a Sympathy with Magnatism and Electricity, which should be examined by every Experiment, which Ingenuity can devise.
Has it been tryed whether the Magnet looses any of its Force in Vacuo? in a Bottle charged with Electrical Fire? &c. This Metal called Iron may one day reveal the Secrets of Nature. The primary Springs of Nature may be too subtle for all our Senses and Faculties. I should think however that no Subject deserved more the Attention of Philosophers or was more proper for Experiments than the Sympathy between Iron and the magnetical and Electrical Fluid.
It would be worth while to grind the Magnet to Powder and see if the Dust still retained the Virtue. Steep the Stone or the Dust in Wine, Spirits, Oyl and other fluids to see if the Virtue is affected, increased or diminished.
Is there no Chimical Proscess, that can be formed upon the Stone or the Dust to discover, what it is that the magnetic Virtue resides in.
Whether boiling or burning the Stone destroys or diminishes the Virtue.
See whether Earth, Air, Water or Fire any wise applied affects it, and how.1
Mr. Laurens came in, in the Morning and We had a long Conversation upon his proposed Journey to England to borrow some Money. I explained to him the Manner and Conditions of my Loan in Holland.
Dined at the Spanish Ambassadors with the Corps Diplomatick. Mr. Markoff was there, and was very civil.
D'Aranda lives now in the End of the New Buildings which compose the Façade de la Place de Louis 15. From the Windows at the End you look into the grand Chemin, the Champs eliseés, and the { 137 } Road to Versailles. From the Windows and Gallery in the Front you see the Place de Louis 15, the Gardens of the Tuilleries, the River and the fine Rowe of Houses beyond it, particularly the Palais du Bourbon and the Dome of the Invalids. It is the finest Situation in Paris.
Mr. Fitzherbert told me, I might depend upon it the present Ministry would continue, at least untill the next Meeting of Parliament. He says there is little to be got in the Company of the Corps Diplomatick. They play deep, but there is no Conversation.
He says he is acquainted with half a Dozen of the Women of the Town, who live in houses which with their Furniture could not have cost less than twenty five Thousand Pounds. They live in a style he says which cannot be supported for less than two Thousand a Year. These are kept by grave People, Men of the Robe, &c. He says there is nothing like this in London. That the Corruption of manners, is much greater here, than there.2
Mr. De Stutterheim the Minister from Saxony came to me and said, he had received orders from his Court to propose a Treaty of Commerce with the United States. He said he had spoken to Mr. Franklin about it. I asked him if Mr. Franklin had written to Congress upon it. He said he did not know. I told him that I thought Mr. Dana at Petersbourg had Power to treat tho not to conclude. He said he would call upon me, some Morning at My House, to consult about it.
Herreria dined there and the Duke of Berwick.
Note—If anyone should ask how it happened that I should amuse myself with subjects and questions so entirely out of my sphere, my answer is, that Mr. Hartley's communications had convinced us that the coalition had determined to do nothing by treaty, but determined all things ex parte, by their orders in Council. I was therefore idle as well as ignorant” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).
2. This paragraph was omitted by CFA in editing JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-08

1783 June [8].

Went to Versailles on the Day of Pentecôte.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-17

June 17. Tuesday.1

Went to Versailles, had a Conference with the C[omte] de V[ergennes].—Made my Court with the Corps Diplomatick, to the King, Queen, Monsieur, Madame, the C. D'Artois, Madame Elizabeth, Madames Victoire and Adelaide.2 Dined with the Ambassadors. Had much Conversation with the Ambassadors of Spain, Sardinia, Mr. Markoff, from Russia, the Dutch Ambassadors, &c.—It was to me, notwithstanding the Cold and Rain, the Equinoxial Storm at the Time { 138 } of the Solstice, when all the Rooms had Fires like Winter, the most agreable Day I ever saw at Versailles. I had much Conversation too with the Duke of Manchester and Mr. Hartley, Dr. Franklin and his Son, Mr. Waltersdorf &c. Mr. Maddison and Mr. Shirley &c.
The C. de. V. observed, that Mr. Fox was startled at every Clamour of a few Merchants. I answered C'est exactement vrai—and it is so. The C. recommended to Us to discuss and compleat the definitive Treaty, and Leave Commerce to a future Negotiation.—Shall We gain by Delay? I ask myself. Will not French Politicks be employed, to stimulate the English to refuse Us, in future, Things that they would agree to now? The C. observed, that to insist on sending British Manufactures to America, and to refuse to admit American Manufactures in England was the Convention Leonine.3
The Duke of Manchester told me, that the Dutch had offered them Sumatra and Surinam, for Negapatnam. But We know says the Duke that both those Settlements are a charge, a Loss.
Brantzen told me he had not desplayed his Character of Ambassador, because, it would be concluded from it, that he was upon the Point of concluding the Peace.
The C. D'Aranda told me he would come and see me. He said Tout, en ce monde, a été Revolution.—I said true—universal History was but a Series of Revolutions.4 Nature delighted in Changes, and the World was but a String of them. But one Revolution was quite enough for the Life of a Man. I hoped, never to have to do with another.— Upon this he laughed very hartily, and said he believed me.
The Sardinian Ambassador said to me, it was curious to remark the Progress of Commerce. The Furs which the Hudsons Bay Company sent to London from the most northern Regions of America, were sent to Siberia, within 150 Leagues of the Place where they were hunted. He began to speak of La Fonte's Voyage and of the Boston Story of Seymour or Seinior Gibbons, but other Company came in, and interrupted the Conversation.
1. JA does not mention in his Diary that on 14 June Hartley addressed a long letter, enclosing an equally long memorial (of 1 June), to the Commissioners, the burden of which was that the British navigation acts were not likely to be suddenly altered in favor of the United States, and that the working out of mutually agreeable trade regulations would take considerable time (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:465–469, 483–487). From London Henry Laurens wrote his fellow Commissioners on 17 June that Secretary Fox had told him: “The navigation act is the vital of Great Britain, too delicate to bear a touch” (same, p. 493).
2. “Monsieur” was the Comte de Provence, afterward Louis XVIII; “Madame” was the Comtesse de Provence. The Comte d'Artois, another brother of the King, was afterward Charles X. Madame Elisabéth was the King's sister, and Mesdames Victoire and Adélaïde his { 139 } aunts. Madame Campan (née Genet), daughter of Edmé Jacques Genet, JA's friend in the French foreign office, gives intimate views of all these royal personages in her Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette ..., Paris, 1823; 3 vols. Further reflections on court life inspired by this visit to Versailles were recorded in a letter from JA to AA, 19 June. (Adams Papers; JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:96–99).
3. A term in Roman law: “a contract in which the advantage is, in the judgement of the Court, manifestly and unfairly one-sided” (OED).
4. Dash supplied in this sentence.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-18

Wednesday. June 18.

Visited the Duke de la Vauguion, and had a long Conversation with him. He was glad to hear I had been plusieurs fois a Versailles dernierement. The Duke said he had conversed with the C. de V. and had told him, he thought it would be for the Good of the common Cause, if there were more Communication between him and me. I told him that I had expressed to the C. a desire to be informed of the Intentions of the King concerning the Communication between the U.S. and his Islands, and that the C. had answered, that if I would give him a Note, he would consult with the Marquis de Castries and give me an Answer. He added smiling, you will leave to Us, the Regulation of that, and let Us take a little Care of our Marine, and our Nurseries of Seamen, because We cannot go to your Assistance (Secours) without a Marine.
The Duke said it would be very difficult to regulate this Matter. They could not let Us bring their Sugars to Europe, neither to France nor any other Part. This would lessen the Number of French Ships and Seamen. But he thought We should be allowed to purchase Sugars for our own Consumption. (How they will estimate the quantity, and prevent our exceeding it, I know not.) He said there were Provinces in France, as Guienne and Provence, which depended much upon supplying their Islands with Provisions, as Wheat and Flour &c. I asked him if We should be allowed to import into their Islands, Wheat, Flour, Horses, Live Stock, Lumber of all Sorts, Salt Fish &c. He said it would be bien difficile for Wheat and Flour &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-19

1783. June 19. Thursday. Fete Dieu.

The Processions were less brillant than ordinary on Account of the Storm.
Went with Mr. Hartley in his Carriage to Passy where he made his Propositions for the Definitive Treaty.1 We had a long Conversation about De Fonte's Voyage from Peru to Hudsons Bay.2 He says he found an Inlet and a River which he entered, and navigated untill he { 140 } came to a Lake in which he left his Ship and followed the Course of a River, which descended, with Falls in it, or rather Rapides, in his Boats untill he came to Hudsons Bay where he found Seimor Gibbons or Sennor Gibbons, Major General Edward Gibbons of Boston as Dr. Franklin supposes. Dr. Franklin had once a Correspondence with Mr. Prince upon this Voyage, and perhaps Mr. Gill in the Journal of Mr. Prince, has some Information about it. The Trade to Hudsons Bay was carried on, by Boston People from its first discovery, untill after the Restoration of Charles the 2d., from whom the Hudsons Bay Company obtained their Charter, and there are several Families in New England descended from Persons who used that Trade, vizt. The Aldens.3 De Fonte's Voyage was printed in English in a Collection called Miscellanea Curiosa in 1708 and has been lately printed in French in a large Collection of Voyages in 20 Volumes. Dr. Franklin once gave to Lord Bute his Reasons in Writing for believing this a genuine Voyage. De Fonte was either a Spaniard or Portuguese. Enquiry has been made at Madrid, but no Traces could be discovered there of De Fonte or his Voyage.
Cook in one of his Voyages, anchored in the Latitude of Philadelphia 40, on the West Side of the Continent of America and ascertained the Longitude, from whence Dr. F. computes the Distance from Philadelphia to the South Sea to be 2000 Miles. Cook saw several Inlets and he entered that between America and Asia, Kamskatska, where the Passage is not wider than that between Calais and Dover.
The Seperation of America from Asia is between the 60th. and 70th. degree of North Latitude, precisely at the Arctick polar Circle. It is called in the French Maps Detroit du Nord. The northern Streight or Streight of the North. It is near the Archipel du Nord or northern Archipelago. The Point of Land in Asia is under the Dominion of Russia, and is called Russian Tartary. The Streight forms the Communication between the Eastern and the frozen Oceans, the Mer Orientale and the Mer Glaciale. There is a Number of Islands in the Archipelago, and one in the Streight itself called on the Map, Alaschka Island. There is a Sea and a Promontory called Kamskatska situated on the Eastern Ocean within 10 or 12 degrees of the Streight. The 3 Tartarys, Independent Tartary, Chinese Tartary and Russian Tartary form a vast Country, extending from Persia, Indostan and China, to the Point of Asia at the Streights of the North, which divide Asia from America.
What should hinder the Empress of Russia, from establishing a trading City on the Sea of Kamskatska, and opening a Commerce with { 141 } Pekin, Nankin and Canton, the Cities of China? It is so near the Islands of Japan, the Phillippines, the Moluccas, that a great Scaene may one day be opened here.
Lima the Capital of Peru is in 10 degrees of S. Lat. So that De Fonte must have sailed by the Istmus of Panama, Mexico, California, New Mexico, C[ape] Mendocin, Canal du Roi George, and entered the River at the Mouth of which is the Isle San Carlos. About half Way between the South Sea and Hudsons Bay is a great Lake. Here it is to search for a North West Passage to the East Indies.
Baffins Bay, Baffins Streight, Davis's Streight, Hudsons Bay, Hudsons Streight, are all one great Inlet of Water, the Entrance of which is a Streight formed by Greenland on one Side and Labradore, on the other.
1. These are presumably “Mr. Hartley's Six Propositions—June 1783,” found, together with the Commissioners' “Answers” (of 29 June), in Lb/JA/15 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 103). Both the propositions and the answers are printed under the arbitrary date 1 June 1783 in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:469–470.
2. See entry of 24 Feb., above, and note there.
3. The three preceding words were added by JA in the margin of the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-23

The Hague July 23 1783.1

I satt off in October for Paris where I arrived on the 26th of Oct. 1782, where the Peace has been made, and I returned here last Night.
1. This memorandum appears in a letterbook entitled by JA “Holland Vol. 3” (Lb/JA/18, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 106).
Before the end of June JA was convinced that there was no hope of obtaining any commercial concessions from Great Britain, and an order in council of 2 July that excluded American vessels from British West Indies ports confirmed his conviction (text of order in JA's letter to Livingston, 14 July, LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:540–542). Since this action came as a complete surprise to Hartley and undermined all his proposals for liberalizing trade relations between the two countries, JA surmised that “Mr. Hartley ... is probably kept here if he was not sent at first merely to amuse Us, and to keep him out of the Way of Embarrassing the Coalition” (to Livingston, 18 July, LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 560). Bored with the listless and fruitless negotiation in Paris and believing that the Dutch would be quick to take advantage of British restrictions on American trade, JA decided, as he told Livingston in the same letter, to pay a visit to the Netherlands in order “to assist the Loan and to turn the Speculations of the Dutch Merchants, Capitalists and Statesmen, towards America.” He also hoped to mend his own health by travel and a change of scene, and he planned to bring JQA back with him to Paris.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-09-07

Paris Septr. 7. 1783.1

This Morning, I went out to Passy, and Dr. Franklin put into my hand the following Resolution of Congress, which he received last night, vizt., { 142 }
By the United States in Congress assembled, May 1. 1783. on the Report of a Committee, to whom was referred a Letter of Feb. 5 from the Honble. J. Adams.
Ordered that a Commission be prepared to Mess[rs]. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, authorizing them, or either of them in the Absence of the others, to enter into a Treaty of Commerce, between the United States of America, and Great Britain, subject to the Revisal of the contracting Parties, previous to its final Conclusion, and in the meantime, to enter into a Commercial Convention, to continue in Force, one Year.
That the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, lay before Congress, without Delay, a Plan of a Treaty of Commerce and Instructions, relative to the same, to be transmitted to the said Commissioners. Signed Cha's. Thomson Secy.2
1. This memorandum appears in Lb/JA/20, (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108).
JA spent a busy fortnight in the Netherlands conversing with his Patriot friends at The Hague and with bankers and merchants in Amsterdam, paying his respects to the Stadholder, and writing lengthy letters to Livingston on the sugar trade, on American commercial opportunities generally, and on European politics. With JQA he left The Hague on 6 Aug. and was back at the Hôtel du Roi on the 9th (JA to Livingston, 10 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:641; see also JQA, Diary, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Aug. 1783).
He found that no appreciable progress had been made in the negotiation at Paris, and on the very day of his return the real explanation of the British ministry's tactics was set down in a letter from London by Henry Laurens to his fellow commissioners. Laurens had seen Secretary Fox, who conceded that the Preliminary Articles left much to be desired but was unwilling to negotiate new terms “under the eye of, or in concert with, the court of France”; it would be much better to start over again by the appointment of an American minister to London, a measure that Fox said would be very acceptable to the British government (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:637–640). It was therefore agreed in Paris that the Preliminary Articles would be ratified without change except for a preamble declaring them to be the Definitive Treaty (JA to Livingston, 13 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 645). On 3 Sept. this was done, at Hartley's lodgings in the Hotel d'York (now 56 Rue Jacob in the 6th Arrondissement, a building occupied by the publishing firm of Firmin Didot). In the Adams Papers are copies of the exchange of full powers and a text of the Definitive Treaty as signed and sealed. For a printed text (from one of the two originals in the State Department Treaty File), see Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:151–157, with notes on the transmittal and ratification of the Definitive Treaty. John Thaxter brought one of the originals to Congress; see entry of 14 Sept., below. The Commissioners' final report on the five-month negotiation was dated 10 Sept. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:687–691); for some reason the original report sent to Congress is not in place among the Commissioners' dispatches in PCC, No. 85, though a long series of the proposals exchanged by Hartley and the American Commissioners, selected in a somewhat hit-or-miss fashion and not carefully dated, originally enclosed in that dispatch, is present in that volume.
2. JA's letter to the President of Congress, 5 Feb. 1783, was a protest over the unexplained revocation in July 1781 of JA's commission to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, together with a strong plea for the appointment { 143 } of an American minister to London in order to perform this and other tasks (LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:242–247). On 1 May a committee of Congress of which Alexander Hamilton was chairman brought in a report on JA's letter which led to the foregoing vote ( JCC, 24:320–321). For James Madison's sarcastic observations on JA's letter see his letter to Jefferson, 6 May (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:265). Secretary Livingston resigned early in June before carrying out Congress' order of 1 May; new instructions were not agreed upon until 29 Oct., and then in terms that omitted Great Britain (JCC, 25:753–757). No commissions were issued under this order, and the new arrangement of the United States foreign service was not settled until the following May; see note 1 on JA's Diary entry of 22 June 1784, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1783-09-14 - 1783-10-06

Paris Septr. 14[–6 October] 1783.1

Septr. 14. Mr. Thaxter took his Leave of me to return to America, with the definitive Treaty of Peace and the original Treaty with the States General.—I had been some days unwell, but soon fell down in a Fever. Sir James Jay, who was my Physician, gave me a vomit, &c. &c.
On the 22d of September, I removed from the grand Hotel du Roi, to Mr. Barclays at Auteuil, where I have continued to this Sixth day of October 1783.2
Mr. Thaxter sailed in the Packet, from L'Orient, or rather from the Island of Groa [Groix], on the 26 of Septr. with a good Wind.3
At first I rode twice a day in my Carriage, in the Bois de Boulogne: but afterwards I borrowed Mr. Jays Horse, and have generally ridden twice a day, untill I have made my self Master of this curious Forest.
The Pavillon of Bagatelle, built by Mgsr. Comte D'Artois. The Castle of Madrid. The Outlet of the Forest near Pont Neuilly, the Porte which opens into the Grand Chemin, the Castle of Muet [La Muette] at Passy. The Porte which opens to the great Road to Versailles. The other Porte which opens into a large Village, nearly opposite to St. Cleod [Cloud], are the most remarkable Objects in this Forest.4
1. First entry in D/JA/42, a booklet identical in format with those preceding.
2. See Howard C. Rice Jr., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785 ..., Boston, 1956. Since the publication of this admirably illustrated brochure on the Hotel de Rouault and its spacious garden pleasantly dotted with antique statuary, the garden has been filled with a complex of towering metal-and-glass office buildings, the headquarters of La Compagnie Française Pétrole.
3. He reached Philadelphia, where Pres. Mifflin then was, on 22 Nov. 1783 (Thaxter to JA, 19 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers).
4. In one of the last of his autobiographical communications to the Boston PatriotJA had more to say about his illness in Paris, his move to Auteuil, and his life there than appears in his Diary:
“Mr. Thaxter was gone, and I soon fell down in a fever, not much less violent than that I had suffered two years before at Amsterdam. Sir James Jay who had been sometime in Paris, and had often visited at my house, became { 144 } my physician, and I desired no better. The grand hotel du Roi, place du Carrousel, where I had apartments, was situated at the confluence of so many streets, that it was a kind of thoroughfare. A constant stream of carriages was rolling by it over the pavements for one and twenty hours out of the twenty-four. From two o'clock to five in the morning there was something like stillness and silence, but all the other one and twenty hours was a constant roar, like incessant rolls of thunder. When I was in my best health I sometimes thought it would kill me. But now reduced to extreme weakness and burning with a violent fever, sleep was impossible. In this forlorn condition, Mr. Thaxter, who had been to me a nurse, a physician and a comforter at Amsterdam, was now separated from me forever. . . . With none but French servants about me, of whom however I cannot complain, for their kindness, attention and tenderness surprised me, I was in a deplorable condition, hopeless of life, in that situation.
In this critical and desperate moment, my friends all despairing of my recovery in that thoroughfare, Mr. Barclay offered me apartments in his hotel at Auteul, and sir James Jay thought I might be removed and advised it. With much difficulty it was accomplished.
On the 22d of September I was removed, and the silence of Auteul exchanged for the roar of the carousal, the pure air of a country garden in place of the tainted atmosphere of Paris, procured me some sleep and with the skill of my physician gradually dissipated the fever, though it left me extremely emaciated and weak. . . .
Lost health is not easily recovered.— Neither medicine nor diet nor any thing would ever succeed with me, without exercise in open air: and although riding in a carriage, has been found of some use, and on horseback still more; yet none of these have been found effectual with me in the last resort, but walking.— Walking four or five miles a day, sometimes for years together, with a patience, resolution and perseverance, at the price of which, many persons would think, and I have been sometimes inclined to think, life itself was scarcely worth purchasing. Not all the skill and kind assiduity of my physician, nor all the scrupulous care of my regimen, nor all my exercise in carriage and on the saddle was found effectual for the restoration of my health. Still remaining feeble, emaciated, languid to a great degree, my physican and all my friends advised me to go to England, and to Bath, to drink the waters and to bath[e] in them. The English gentlemen politely invited me with apparent kindness to undertake the journey.
But before I set out I ought not to forget my Phisician. Gratitude demands that I should remember his benevolence. His attendance had been voluntarily assiduous, punctual, and uniformly kind and obliging; and his success had been equal to his skill in breaking the force of the distemper and giving me a chance of a complete recovery in time. I endeavored to put twenty guineas into his hand, but he positively refused to accept them. He said the pleasure of assisting a friend and countryman in distress in a foreign country, was reward enough for him, and he would have no other. I employed all the arguments and persuasions with him in my power at least to receive the purchase of his medicines. He said he had used no medicines but such as he had found in my house among my little stores, and peremptorily and finally refused to receive a farthing for any thing” (Boston Patriot, 29 April, 2 May 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-07

Auteuil October 7. 1783. Tuesday.

I am now lodged in Mr. Barclays House, which he hires of the Comte de [Rouault].
There is a large Garden, full of all Vegetables and Fruits as Grapes, Pears, Peaches. There is besides a large Flower Garden.
{ 145 }
From the Windows in my Chamber and more distinctly, from those of the Chambers, one Story higher, you have a View of the Village of Isis [Issy], of the Castle Royal of Muydon [Meudon], of the Pallace of Belle Vue, of the Castle of the Duke of Orleans at St. Cleod and of Mont Calvare. Upon the Bank of the River Seine, at the Foot of the Hill, on which stands the Palace of Belle Vue, is a Glass House, which smoakes night and Day. But in the Night, it blazes at every Window and exhibits a very gay appearance.
Opposite to St. Cleod, is the Village of Boulogne, from whence the Grove or Forest takes its Name. This Wood merits a particular Description.
From Mr. Barclays House, where I now am, I go to the Gate, by which you enter the Bois de Boulogne, from the Village of Auteuil. I turn to the left and follow the Path, which runs in sight of the Stone Wall of 12 feet high which bounds the Forrest, untill I come to a Gate which they call Porte Royal, out of which you go to Versailles. From this Gate I follow the Path which runs near the Boundary Stone Wall, untill I come to the Gate which opens into the Village of Boulogne. I pursue to this Path by the Wall untill I come to the Pavilion of Bagatelle, belonging to the Comte D'Artois. The Estate of the Comte is seperated from the Forest only by a Treillage or a kind of Picketted Wooden Fence. Having passed the Bagatelle you come to the Royal Castle of Madrid, passing this you go out of the Wood into the Grand Chemin, by the Gate called Porte Neuilly, near the new Bridge of that Name. But by following the Path in Sight of the Stone Wall which seperates the Forrest from the Grand Chemin, you come to the Gate, which is called Porte Maillot, at the Plain de Sablons. By following the Grand Road from this Gate, you come to the Royal Castle of Muet, at Passy, near which is the Gate by which you enter the Forest from Passy. By following the Path near the Stone Wall, which bounds the Wood, You come to the Gate, at Auteuil, by which We first entered the Forest.1
Near the Center of the Forest, is a Circle, of clear Ground, on which are no Trees or Shrubbs. From the Center of this Circle, proceed Avenues in all Directions. One goes to the Porte Royale, another to the Village of Boulogne, another to the Castle of Madrid, another to the Castle of Muet at Passy, and another to the Gate of Auteuil.
In riding over this Forrest, you see some neat Cattle, some Horses, a few Sheep, and a few Deers, Bucks, Does and Fawns, now and then a Hare and sometimes a few Patridges. But Game is not plenty in this Wood.
{ 146 }
In this Village of Auteuil, is the Seat of the famous Boileau. It is in the Rue des Garrennes. I have been twice to see it. The Gardener has not the Keys of the Appartements, so that I could not see the Inside of the House: But the Gardiner shew me the Stables, Coach House, and all the Outhouses, and the Garden, which is very large, containing perhaps five or six Acres. It is full of Flowers and of Roots and Vegetables of all Kinds, and of Fruits. Grapes of several sorts and of excellent Quality. Pears, Peaches &c. But every Thing suffers for want of Manure. There is an Acre or two of Ground, without the Garden Fence which belongs to the Estate, which affords Pasture for a Cow, but the Land is poor.
There is an Head of Boileau over the Door, behind the House, and the Heads of two Children, one on each Side of the Door, which are said to be the heads of two Children of his Gardiner, that he was fond of, and ordered to be placed there near him.
The Estate now belongs to Madame Binet, who advertises it for Sale, and it is said asks forty five Thousand Livres for it. She declines letting it, or I should have hired it.
The Principal People in this Village of Auteuil, are Madam Helvetius, who lives but a few Doors from this House, Madame Boufleurs, who lives opposite, &c.
1. JA's circuit may be traced quite readily on a detail of Jean Rocque's map of 1792, reproduced in Rice, The Adams Family in Auteuil, pl. 3.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-20

1783. October 20. Monday.

Set out with my Son and one Servant, Leveque, on a Journey to London. We went from Auteuil, thro the Bois de Boulogne, and went out at the Port de Maillot to St. Dennis, where We took Post Horses. We dined at Chantilly, and lodged at Night at St. Just.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-21

October 21. Tuesday.

Dined at Amiens, and put up, at night, at Abbeville. The Roads are the best I have ever seen in France. They are not paved, or if they are, the Pavement is covered, with Flynt Stones. They Pick up in the neighbouring Fields, a Species of small Flynt Stones, which they lay along in heaps on the Side of the Road, and with these they mend the high Ways from time to time. The Wheels of the Carriages crushes them to Dust, and they made admirable Roads.
There are no Vines, on this Road. The Country is all sown with Wheat. They are every where, cutting up by the Roots the Elms and other Forest Trees, which formerly <grew> were planted on the Sides of { 147 } the Roads and introducing Apple Trees in their stead. We found Tea Apparatus's generally in the publick houses, and the hand Irons, Tongs &c. and several other Things more in the English Style than you find in other Parts of France.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-22

1783. Octr. 22. Wednesday.

Went to Calais. Dined at Boulogne sur mer. Put up at Mr. Dessins.1
1. “When we arrived at Calais, as soon as we had set down in our Chamber, up comes the master of the House, and with a low bow says, Messieurs je suis vôtre trés humble serviteur; Je suis Dessein (Yorick's man) et je viens vous rendre mes devoirs; savoir si vous voulez de Vargent &c.” (JQA to Peter Jay Munro, 19 Nov. 1783, NNMC). Pierre Dessin kept the Hôtel d'Angleterre and had been considerably enriched and in some degree immortalized by Laurence Sterne's entertaining portrait of him in A Sentimental Journey, 1768. In Aug. 1784 the whole Adams family stopped at the Hôtel d'Angleterre when traveling from London to Paris, and AA2 playfully supposed she saw Yorick's “very Monk” passing her window on his way “to present himself to papa” (AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:8). They were there again in 1785 when returning to London; see JA to Jefferson, 23 May 1785 (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:161). Dessin proved useful to Jefferson in the troublesome business of importing purchases from England to France; see their correspondence (which establishes Dessin's name, spelled in a great variety of ways by travelers), in same, 9:438, 542; 10:206, 292, 333.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-23

Oct. 23. Thursday.

Went on board the Packet at Nine, put off from the wharf at Ten, but had such contrary Winds and Calms, that We did not arrive at Dover untill 3 O'Clock next Morning. I was 18 hours on the Passage. The Packet was 17. She could not come in to the Harbour, made Signals for a Boat, which carried Us ashore for five shillings a head.
I was never before so Sea sick, nor was my Son. My Servant was very bad. Allmost all the Passengers were sick. It is a remarkable Place for it. We are told that many Persons Masters of Vessells and others who were never Sea sick before have been very bad in making this Passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-24

Oct. 24. Friday.

We are lodged at Dover, at the Royal Hotel Inn, kept by Charles Mariee. On the Backside of his house is one of the Dover Cliffs; it is an high Mountain, and at this Place is perpendicular, and there is an Appearance of Danger that the Rocks at Top, might split off by their own Weight, and dash to Pieces some of the small brick Houses at its Foot.—White Stone.
I walked round with my Son to the Coach road, and ascended to the { 148 } Top of this Mountain. It is very steep. It is covered with a thick Sward, and with a Verdure quite to the Top. Upon the Top of the Mountain, there is a plowed Field, sown with Turnips, which look very vigorous. I went into the ploughed ground to examine its Composition, and found it full of Flynt Stones, such as the Road from Chantilly to Calais is made of, and all the Fields on that road are full of. In short the White Stone of the Cliffs, and the Flynt Stone of the Fields, convince me that the Lands here are the same with those on the other Side of the Channell and but a Continuation of the same Soil. From this Mountain, We saw the whole Channel, the whole Town and harbour of Dover. The Harbour is but a Basin and the Town, but a little Village. We saw three small Vessells on the Stocks, building or repairing, and fifteen or twenty small Craft, Fishing Sloops and schooners chiefly in the harbour. It has not the Appearance of a Place of any Business at all. No Manufacture, No Commerce, and no Fishery of any Consequence, here.
The Sheep here are very large, and the Country all around has a Face of Verdure and Fertility beyond that of France in general: but this is owing no doubt to the difference of Cultivation. The Valleys only in France look rich, Plains and Mountains look meagre. Here the Mountain is rich.
The Channell between this and Calais, is full of Vessells, french and English, fishing for Herrings. The Sardine are not caught here.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-25

Saturday Oct. 25.

Went in a Post Chaise, from Dover through Canterbury, Rochester, &c. to Dartford, where We lodged.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-26

Sunday Octr. 26.

Went to London and the Post Boy carried Us to the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand, to John's Street.1
We are at Osbornes Adelphi hotel. I am obliged here to give Thirteen Shillings a day, for a Parler, a bed Chamber, and another Bed Chamber over it for my Son, without any dining Room or Antichamber. This is dearer than my Lodgings at the Hotel du Roi in Paris—half a Guinea for my bed Chamber and Parlour, and half a Crown for my Sons bed Chamber. My Servants Lodging is included in the half Guinea. The Rooms and Furniture are more to my Taste than in Paris, because they are more like what I have been used to in America.
“1783. Sunday, October 26–Went to London; and the post-boy (who upon asking where I would be carried, was answered, to the best inn in London, for { 149 } all are alike unknown to me) carried us to the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand. Whether it was the boy's cunning, or whether it was mere chance, I know not; but I found myself in a street which was marked John‘s-street,' the postilion turned a corner, and I was in ‘Adams-street.' He turned another corner, and I was in ‘John Adams-street.' I thought surely we are arrived in fairy land. How can all this be?” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 6 May 1812).
The Adelphi Buildings had been erected in 1768 by the Adam brothers on arches thrown over the slope below the Strand to the Thames, and handsome streets, some of them named for the builders, were laid out around them (Wheatley, London Past and Present, 1:4–7).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-27

1783. October 27. Monday.

Went to see Mr. Jay who is lodged with Mr. Bingham, in Harley Street, Cavendish Square, No. 30.1 And in the Afternoon went to see Mr. Johnson, Great Tower Hill,2 who informed me that a Vessell with 1000 Hogsheads of Tobacco is passed by, in the Channel, from Congress to Messrs. Willinks. I gave Mr. Johnson his Letter, as I had left Mr. Hartleys for him at his House, who is gone into the Country, to Bath as he says.
These Adelphi Buildings are well situated on the Thames. In sight of the Terrace is Westminster Bridge one Way, and Black Fryars Bridge on the other. St. Pauls is by Black Fryars Bridge.3
1. William Bingham (175 2–1804), Philadelphia financier, land speculator, and (later) U.S. senator, had recently brought his young wife, the former Ann Willing, to Europe on a combined business and pleasure trip; in 1784–1786 the Adamses were to see much of the Binghams at The Hague, Paris, and in London again (DAB, under both husband's and wife's names; Margaret L. Brown, “Mr. and Mrs. William Bingham of Philadelphia,” PMHB, 61:286–324 [July 1937], which quotes relevant material from published Adams correspondence and journals).
2. Joshua Johnson, who had now returned with his family from Nantes to London and was living in Cooper's Row, Great Tower Hill, which the Adamses used as a mailing address during this visit to England.
3. There being no further entries in JA's Diary for nearly eight months, this is a fitting place to insert his last autobiographical communication to the Boston Patriot, dated at Quincy, 17 Feb. 1812. This extraordinary letter covers the rest of his sojourn in England (to the end of 1783) and his heroic January crossing of the North Sea, with JQA, in order to save the credit of the United States in Amsterdam. For vivid detail there is perhaps nothing in all of JA's writings that surpasses the latter part of this narrative, and it therefore made an appropriate, though apparently unexpected, finale to his “second autobiography” as published in the Patriot. (Precise dates for some of the occurrences recorded in the letter have been editorially supplied, in brackets, from JA's correspondence and JQA's Diary and correspondence.)
“To the Printers of the Boston Patriot
I was not long at the Adelphi, but soon removed to private lodgings, which by the way were ten times more public, and took apartments at Mr. Stokdale's, in Piccadilly [29 Oct.], where Mr. Laurens had lately lodged before me.— Here I had a great opportunity of learning, for Dr. Bret [typographical error for John Debrett, London bookseller] was at the next door, the state of the current literature of London. I will not enlarge upon this subject at present, if ever...
{ 150 }
Curiosity prompted me to trot about London as fast as good horses in a decent carriage could carry me. I was introduced by Mr. Hartley, on a merely ceremonious visit [15 Nov.], to the Duke of Portland, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Fox; but finding nothing but ceremony there, I did not ask favours or receive any thing but cold formalities from ministers of state or ambassadors. I found that our American painters had more influence at court to procure all the favors I wanted, than all of them. Mr. West asked of their majesties permission to shew me and Mr. Jay, the originals of the great productions of his pencil, such as Wolf, Bayard, Epaminondas, Regulus, &c. &c. &c. which were all displayed in the Queen's Palace, called Buckingham House. The gracious answer of the king and queen was, that he might shew us ‘the whole house.' Accordingly, in the absence of the royal family at Windsor, we had an opportunity at leisure [8 Nov.], to see all the apartments, even to the queen's bedchamber, with all its furniture, even to her majesty's German bible, which attracted my attention as much as any thing else. The king's library struck me with admiration; I wished for a weeks time, but had but a few hours. The books were in perfect order, elegant in their editions, paper, binding, &c. but gaudy and extrava[ga]nt in nothing. They were chosen with perfect taste and judgment; every book that a king ought to have always at hand, and as far as I could examine, and could be supposed capable of judging, none other. Maps, charts, &c. of all his dominions in the four quarters of the world, and models of every fortress in his empire.
In every apartment of the whole house, the same taste, the same judgment, the same elegance, the same simplicity, without the smallest affectation, ostentation, profusion or meanness. I could not but compare it, in my own mind, with Versailles, and not at all to the advantage of the latter. I could not help comparing it with many of the gentlemen's seats which I had seen in France, England, and even Holland. The interior of this palace was perfect; the exterior, both in extent, cost and appearance, was far inferior not only to Versailles, and the seats of the princes in France, but to the country houses of many of the nobility and gentry of Great Britain. The truth is, a minister can at any time obtain from parliament an hundred millions to support any war, just or unjust, in which he chooses to involve the nation, much more easily than he can procure one million for the decent accommodation of the court. We gazed at the great original paintings of our immortal countryman, West, with more delight than on the very celebrated pieces of Vandyke and Reubens; and with admiration not less than that inspired by the cartoons of Raphaeel.
Mr. Copely, another of my countrymen, with whom I had been much longer acquainted, and who had obtained without so much royal protection, a reputation not less glorious; and that by studies and labours not less masterly in his art, procured me, and that from the great Lord Mansfield, a place in the house of lords, to hear the king's speech at the opening of parliament [11 Nov.], and to witness the introduction of the Prince of Wales, then arrived at the age of twenty one. One circumstance, a striking example of the vicissitudes of life, and the whimsical antithesis of politics, is too precious for its moral, to be forgotten. Standing in the lobby of the house of lords, surrounded by a hundred of the first people of the kingdom, Sir Francis Molineux, the gentlemen usher of the black rod, appeared suddenly in the room with his long staff, and roared out with a very loud voice—'Where is Mr. Adams, Lord Mansfield's friend!' I frankly avowed myself Lord Mansfield's friend, and was politely conducted by Sir Francis to my place. A gentleman said to me the next day, ‘how short a time has passed, since I heard that same Lord Mansfield say in that same house of lords, “My Lords, if you do not kill him, he will kill you.”' Mr. West said to me, that this was one of the finest finishings in the picture of American Independence.
Pope had given me, when a boy, an affection for Murray. When in the study and practice of the law, my admiration of the learning, talents and eloquence of Mansfield had been constantly increasing, though some of his opinions I could not approve. His politics in American { 151 } affairs I had always detested.—But now I found more politeness and good humor in him than in Richmond, Cambden, Burke or Fox.
If my business had been travels I might write a book. But I must be as brief as possible.
I visited Sir Ashton Lever's museum [4 Nov.], where was a wonderful collection of natural and artificial curiosities from all parts and quarters of the globe. Here I saw again that collection of American birds, insects and other rarities, which I had so often seen before at Norwalk, in Connecticut, collected and preserved by Mr. Arnold, and sold by him to Governor Tryon for Sir Ashton. [See JA to Waterhouse, 7 Aug. 1805 (MHi: Adams-Waterhouse Coll.; Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 22–29).] Here also I saw Sir Ashton and some other knights, his friends, practising the ancient but as I thought long forgotten art of archery. In his garden, with their bows and arrows, they hit as small a mark and at as great a distance as any of our sharpshooters could have done with their rifles.
I visited also Mr. Wedgwood's manufactory, and was not less delighted with the elegance of his substitute for porcelain, than with his rich collection of utensils and furniture from the ruins of Herculaneum, bearing incontestible evidence in their forms and figures of the taste of the Greeks, a nation that seems to have existed for the purpose of teaching the arts and furnishing models to all mankind of grace and beauty, in the mechanic arts no less than in statuary, architecture, history, oratory and poetry.
The manufactory of cut glass, to which some gentlemen introduced me, did as much honor to the English as the mirrors, the seve China, or the gobeline tapestry of France. It seemed to be the art of transmitting glass into diamonds.
Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls, the Exchange and other public buildings, did not escape my attention. I made an excursion to Richmond Hill [29 Nov.] to visit Gov. Pownal and Mr. Penn, but had not time to visit Twickenham. The grotto and the quin cunce [quincunx], the rendezvous of Swift, Bolinbroke, Arbuthnot, Gay, Prior, and even the surly Johnson and the haughty Warburton, will never be seen by me, though I ardently desired it.
I went to Windsor and saw the castle and its apartments, and enjoyed its vast prospect. I was anxiously shewn the boasted chambers where Count Tallard, the captive of the Duke of Marlborough, had been confined. I visited the terrace and the environs, and what is of more importance I visited the Eaton school; and if I had been prudent enough to negotiate with my friend West, I doubt not I might have obtained permission to see the queen's lodge. But as the solicitation of these little favors requires a great deal of delicacy and many prudent precautions, I did not think it proper to ask the favor of any body. I must confess that all the pomps and pride of Windsor did not occupy my thoughts so much as the forest, and comparing it with what I remembered of Pope's Windsor forest.
My health was very little improved by the exercise I had taken in and about London; nor did the entertainments and delights assist me much more. The change of air and of diet from which I had entertained some hopes, had produced little effect. I continued feeble, low and drooping. The waters of Bath were still represented to me as an almost certain resource. I shall take no notice of men nor things on the road. I had not been twenty minutes at the hotel in Bath [24 Dec]. before my ancient friend and relation, Mr. John Boylston called upon me and dined with me. After dinner he was polite enough to walk with me, about the town, shewed me the crescent, the public buildings, the card rooms, the assembly rooms, the dancing rooms, &c. objects about which I had little more curiosity than about the bricks and pavements. The baths and the accommodations for using the waters were reserved for another day. But before that day arrived, I received dispatches from America, from London, and from Amsterdam, informing me that the drafts of congress by Mr. Morris, for money to be transmitted, in silver, through the house of Le Couteux, at Paris, and through the Havana to Philadelphia; together with the bills drawn in favor of individuals in France, England and Holland, had exhausted all my loan of { 152 } the last summer which had cost me so much fatigue and ill health; and that an immense flock of new bills had arrived, drawn in favour of Sir George Baring, or Sir Francis Baring, I forget which, of London, and many other persons; that these bills had been already presented, and protested for non-acceptance; and that they must be protested in their time for non-payment, unless I returned immediately to Amsterdam, and could be fortunate enough to obtain a new loan, of which my bankers gave me very faint hopes. [See Willinks, Van Staphorsts, and De la Lande & Fynje to JA, 2, 23 Dec. (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:161–164, 166–168), and JA's reply, 29 Dec. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers).] It was winter; my health was very delicate, a journey and voyage to Holland at that season would very probably put an end to my labours. I scarcely saw a possibility of surviving it. Nevertheless no man knows what he can bear till he tries. A few moments reflection determined me, for although I had little hope of getting the money, having experienced so many difficulties before, yet making the attempt and doing all in my power would discharge my own conscience, and ought to satisfy my responsibility to the public. I returned to London [28 Dec], and from thence repaired to Harwich [3 Jan. 1784]. Here we found the packet detained by contrary winds and a violent storm. For three days detained, in a very uncomfortable inn, ill accommodated and worse provided, myself and my son, without society and without books, wore away three days of ennui, not a little chagrined with the unexpected interruption of our visit to England, and the disappointment of our journey to Bath; and not less anxious on account of our gloomy prospects for the future.
On the fourth day [5 Jan.] the wind having veered a little, we were summoned on board the packet. With great difficulty she turned the point and gained the open sea. In this channel, on both sides the island of Great-Britain, there is in bad weather a tremulous, undulating, turbulent kind of irregular tumbling sea that disposes men more to the mal de mer than even the surges of the gulph stream, which are more majestic. The passengers were all at extremities for almost the whole of the three days that we were struggling with stormy weather and beating against contrary winds. The captain and his men, worn out with fatigue and want of sleep, despaired of reaching Helvoet Sluice, and determined to land us on the island of Goree [Goeree, Province of Zeeland]. We found ourselves, upon landing [8 Jan.], on a desolate shore, we knew not where. A fisherman's hut was all the building we could see. There we were told it was five or six miles from the town of Goree. The man was not certain of the distance; but it was not less than four miles nor more than six. No kind of conveyance could be had. In my weak state of health, rendered more impotent by bad nourishment, want of sleep, and wasting sickness on board the packet, I thought it almost impossible, that in that severe weather, I could walk through ice and snow, four miles before I could find rest. As has been said before, human nature never knows what it can endure before it tries the experiment. My young companion was in fine spirits; his gaiety, activity, and attention to me encreased as difficulties multiplied, and I was determined not to despair. I walked on, with caution and moderation, and survived much better than could have been expected, till we reached the town of Goree. When we had rested and refreshed ourselves at the inn, we made enquiries concerning our future rout. It was pointed out to us, and we found we must cross over the whole island of Goree, then cross the arm of the sea to the island of Over Flackee, and run the whole length of that island to the point from whence the boats pass a very wide arm of the sea, to the continent, five or six miles from Helvoet Sluice. But we were told that the rivers and arms of the sea were all frozen over, so that we could not pass them but upon the ice, or in ice boats. Inquiring for a carriage of some kind or other, we were told that the place afforded none better, and indeed none other than boor's waggons. That this word boor may not give offence to any one, it is necessary to say, that it signifies no more in Dutch, than peasant in France, or countryman, husbandman or farmer in America. Finding no easier { 153 } vehicle, we ordered a waggon, horses and driver to be engaged for us, and departed on our journey. Our carriage had no springs to support, nor cushions to soften the seats. On hard benches, in a waggon fixed to the axle-tree, we were trotted and jolted over the roughest road you can well imagine. The soil upon these islands is a stiff clay, and in rainy weather becomes as soft and miry as mortar. In this state they have been trodden by horses, and cut into deep rutts by waggon wheels, when a sudden change of the weather had frozen them as hard as rocks. Over this bowling green, we rolled, or rather hopped and skipped, twelve miles in the island of Goree, and I know not how many more in Over-flackee, till we arrived at the inn at the ferry, where we again put up. Here we were obliged to wait several days, because the boats were all on the other side. The pains of waiting for a passage were much alleviated here by the inexpressible delight of rest after such violent agitations by sea and land, by good fires, warm rooms, comfortable beds, and wholesome Dutch cheer. And all these were made more agreeable by the society of a young English gentleman, not more than twenty, who happening to come to the inn, and finding we had the best room and the best fire, came in, and very modestly and respectfully requested to sit with us. We readily consented and soon found ourselves very happy in his company. He was cheerful, gay, witty, perfectly well bred, and the best acquainted with English literature of any youth of his age I ever knew. The English classics, English history, and all the English poets were familiar to him. He breakfasted, dined, supped, and in short lived with us, and we could not be dull, and never wanted conversation while we staid. As I never asked his name, or his history, I cannot mention either.
We were obliged to bid high for a passage, and promise them whatever they demanded. Signals were made and at last an ice-boat appeared. An ice-boat is a large ferry boat placed and fastened on runners. We embarked early in the morning. The passage is very wide over this arm of the sea. We were rowed in the water till we came to the ice, when the skipper and his men, to the number of eight or ten perhaps, leaped out upon the ice and hauled the boat up after them, when the passengers were required to get out of the boat and walk upon the ice, while the boatmen dragged the boat upon her runners. Presently they would come to a spot where the ice was thin and brittle, when all would give way and down went the boat into the water. The men were so habituated to this service that they very dexterously laid hold of the sides and leaped into the boat—then they broke away the thin ice till the boat came to a part thick enough for the passengers to leap in, when the men broke away the thin ice forward and rowed the boat in the water till she came to a place again strong enough to bear, when all must disembark again and march men and boat upon the ice. How many times we were obliged to embark and disembark in the course of the voyage I know not, but we were all day and till quite night in making the passage. The weather was cold—we were all frequently wet—I was chilled to the heart, and looked I suppose, as I felt, like a withered old worn out carcase. Our polite skipper frequently eyed me and said he pitied the old man. When we got ashore he said he must come and take the old man by the hand and wish him a safe journey to the Hague. He was sorry to see that I was in such bad health and suffered so much as he had observed upon the passage. He had done every thing in his power and so had his men, to make it easy and expeditious; but they could do no better. This I knew to be true. We parted very good friends, well satisfied with each other. I had given them what they very well loved and they had done their best for me.
I am weary of my journey and shall hasten to its close. No carriage was to be had and no person to be seen; but by accident a boor came along with an empty waggon. We offered him any thing he would ask to take us to the Briel. Arrived there [10 Jan.] we obtained a more convenient carriage; but the weather was so severe and the roads so rough that we had a very uncomfortable journey to the Hague. Here [12 Jan.] I was at home in the Hotel Des Etats Unis, but could not indulge myself. My duty lay at Amsterdam among under• { 154 } takers and brokers, with very faint hopes of success. I was however successful beyond my most sanguine expectations, and obtained a loan of millions enough to prevent all the bills of congress from being protested for non-payment and to preserve our credit in Europe for two or three years longer, after which another desperate draft of bills from congress obliged me once more to go over from England to Holland to borrow money. I succeeded also in that which preserved our credit till my return to America, in 1788, and till the new government came into operation and found itself rich enough.
In the course of my correspondence with you I might have related many anecdotes and made many sketches of characters and drawn many portraits at full length, but I have avoided such things as much as I could. I was never a traveller, nor a book-maker, by profession, and shall never be likely to make profit by making a book.
Here ends the very rough and uncouth detail of my voyages, journies, labors, perils and sufferings under my commissions for making peace with Great-Britain” (Boston Patriot, 9, 13, 16 May 1812).
This was not the end of the present letter, nor did JA intend this letter to be the last installment of his apologia for his public life, for at the end he added a parenthetical paragraph: “As it is not my intention, Messrs. Printers, that my correspondence with you shall be eternal, I have hastened over every thing but documents; and shall continue to be in future, as brief as possible.” But no more of his autobiographical letters were printed in the Patriot. Perhaps no more were written.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-20

Sunday June 20 1784.

Embarked on Board the ship Active Capt. Lyde commander, with my daughter and 2 servants for London.2 To go back to the painfull Scenes I endured in taking leave of my Friends and Neighbours will but excite them over again. Suffice it to say that I left my own House the 18 of June. Truly a house of mourning; full of my Neighbours. Not of unmeaning complimenters, but the Honest yeomanary, their wifes and daughters like a funeral procession, all come to wish me well and to pray for a speedy return.—Good Heaven, what were my sensations? Heitherto I had fortified my mind. Knowing I had to act my little part alone, I had possessd myself with calmness, but this was too much for me, so I shook them by the hand mingling my tears with theirs, and left them. I had after this to bid my neices, adieu. And then another scene still more afflictive, an aged Parent from whom I had kept the day of my departure a secret knowing the agony she would be in.3 1 calld at her door. As soon as the good old Lady beheld me, the tears rolled down her aged cheek, and she cried out O! why did you not tell me you was going so soon? Fatal day! I take my last leave; I shall never see you again. Carry my last blessing to my son.—I was obliged to leave her in an agony of distress, myself in no less. My good { 155 } Sister Cranch who accompanied me to Town endeavourd to amuse me and to console me. I was glad to shut myself up the remainder of the day and to be denied to company. Saturday I had recoverd some from my fatigue and employed the day in writing to several of my Friends and in getting my baggage on Board. Several of the Passengers calld upon me, amongst whom was a Col. Norton from Marthas Vinyard a Member of our Senate, a grave sedate Man about 50 Years of age. A Mr. Green an english Gentleman who was Seceretary to Admiral Arbuthnot when he was at Charlestown, a high monarckacal man you may easily discover but he behaves like a Gentleman. A Dr. Clark and Mr. Foster, Mr. Spear and a Capt. Mellicot make up the number of our male passengers. We have one Lady a name sake of mine, Mrs. Adams Daughter of the late Revd. Mr. Laurence of Lincoln whose Husband has been absent ever since the War, is a physician and setled abroad. A modest, amiable woman well educated with whom I had a passing acquaintance before I came on Board. Sund[ay] at 12 oclock Mr. Foster sent his carriage for myself and daughter. We bid adieu to our Friends and were drove to Rows Wharf, from whence we allighted amidst an 100 Gentlemen who were upon the Wharf, to receive us. Mr. Smith handed me from the Carriage and I hastned into the ship from amidst the throng. The ship was soon under sail and we went of with a fine wind. About 2 oclock we reachd the light when the Capt. sent word to all the Ladies to put on their Sea cloaths and prepare for sickness. We had only time to follow his directions before we found ourselves all sick. To those who have never been at Sea or experienced this disspiriting malady tis impossible to discribe it, the Nausia arising from the smell of the Ship, the continual rolling, tossing and tumbling contribute to keep up this Disorder, and when once it seazeis a person it levels Sex and condition. My Servant Man was very attentive the first day, not sick at all, made our beds and did what I should not have put him upon in any other Situation for my maid was wholy useless and the sickest of either.4 Monday mor[nin]g very fogy every Body on Board Sick except the Dr. and 3 or 4 old sea men. My Servant as bad as any. I was obliged to send a petition to the Capt. to release to me Jobe Feild whose place on board the ship I had procured for him.5 He came and amply supplied the others place. Handy, attentive, obligeing and kind, an excellent Nurse, we all prized him. He continued untill tuesday when we had a fine mor'g. Our sickness abated and we went upon Deck, beheld the vast and boundless ocean before us with astonishment, and wonder. How great, how Excellent, how stupendous He who formed, governs, and directs it.
{ 156 }
1. This record of the voyage of AA and AA2 to Europe is inserted here from a duodecimo volume bound in brown boards (M/AA/1, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197) that contains three brief journals kept by AA. The others (20–28 July 1787, 30 March-1 May 1788), since they help to fill large gaps in JA's own Diary, are inserted in their chronological places below. These are the only three diaries known to have been kept by AA.
As far back as 1782 AA had proposed joining her husband in Europe, and had even begged to do so. At first JA gave her qualified encouragement, but on 28 Dec. of that year he informed her that, having resigned all his commissions, he was waiting only for word from Congress to come home himself (Adams Papers). Expecting that the the Definitive Treaty would be settled and signed early in 1783, he was determined to sail home in one of the spring ships from the Texel. The delay in Hartley's arrival in Paris rendered this impossible, and upon receipt of Congress' vote of 1 May approving in principle (though not yet fully authorizing) a negotiation for a commercial treaty with Great Britain, he at once wrote to urge his wife to come over with their daughter, either immediately or in the spring (7 Sept. 1783, Adams Papers). He wrote still more urgently on 14 Oct., adding that “The Family affair which has been mentioned in Several of your Letters, may be managed very well. The Lady comes to Europe with you.—If the Parties preserve their Regard untill they meet again and continue to behave as they ought, they will be still young enough” (Adams Papers). These allusions are to AA2 and Royall Tyler, a young Harvard graduate (Class of 1776) and lawyer who had recently settled in Braintree and laid siege to AA2's affections; see AA to JA, 23 Dec. 1782, and JA's apprehensive reply, 22 Jan. 1783 (Adams Papers). On Tyler, who later gained celebrity as the first American playwright and distinction as a scholarly judge in Vermont, see DAB. His eventually unsuccessful suit of AA2 is fully documented in letters to be printed in the Adams Family Correspondence, Series II of the present edition. See also JA's Diary, 1 July 1786, below, and note there.
Despite trepidation about the rigors of the voyage itself and about her responsibilities as an American diplomat's wife in European capitals, AA began preparations late in 1783, but she did not sail until she received absolute assurance that JA was appointed one of the commissioners to negotiate commercial treaties; because of Congress' divided and vacillating mood, this was long in coming (AA to JA, 20 Nov. 1783, 3 Jan. 1784; Elbridge Gerry to AA, 16 April, 7 May 1784; all in Adams Papers). Thomas Jefferson, who on 7 May had been joined with JA and Franklin in the commission, replacing John Jay, hastened to Boston, as he wrote JA, 19 June, “in hopes of having the pleasure of attending Mrs. Adams to Paris and of lessening some of the difficulties to which she may be exposed” (Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:309). But he was too late to forestall her sailing in the Active, which was “much crowded” with passengers, as he reported the day after she sailed (to David Humphreys, 21 June; printed in same, p. 311).
2. The Active was owned, in part, by Joseph Foster of Boston, a fellow passenger on the voyage, as AA notes below; see also her Diary entry of 6 July. The master was Nathaniel Byfield Lyde, also of Boston. The activities of both owner and master may be traced to some extent in the Thwing Catalogue, MHi.
3. JA's mother, Susannah (Boylston) Adams Hall.
4. AA reported to JA, 11 Feb. 1784, that she had found “an honest faithfull Man Servant,” one John Briesler, “who was brought up in the family of Genll. Palmer, has since lived with Col. Quincy and is recommended by both families” (Adams Papers). Briesler later married Esther Field, the daughter of a Braintree neighbor of the Adamses, who accompanied AA on this voyage, and the two remained fixtures in the households of the Adams family in Europe and America for many years. See AA to Mrs. Cranch, 10 Feb. 1788 (MWA).
5. Probably the Job Field who had been confined in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, as a prisoner of war and to { 157 } whom JA had sent two guineas, 24 Oct. 1781, signing himself “your affectionate Friend and Neighbour” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-23

Wedensday [23 June].

Our ship dirty, ourselves sick. Went upon deck and sent the servants down to clean her up: very little attention is paid on Board this Ship to that first of virtues cleanliness. I wonder this necessary virtue was not ranked amongst those which are called Cardinel and Deified. I have often reflected upon the observation of my best Friend, that of all Beings a Lady at Sea was the most dissagreable. To which I will add an other. That I cannot conceive any inducement sufficient to carry a Lady upon the ocean, but that of going to a Good Husband and kind parent. With the best accommodations it will be dreadfull, to a Lady of any delicacy. All the Gentlemen endeavour to make every thing agreable as possible. But we are but poor company, so sick, and so tosst with the motion of the Ship, which is excessive dissagreable from being too tight, loaded partly with oil which leaks and adds to the flavour. You who have never tried the Sea can form no Idea of it. Our state room is about 8 foot square with a small grated window. In this room were 3 cabbins for 3 persons, between which one chair could stand. The door opened into the cabbin where the Gentlemen slept. We were obliged to keep open our Door or be suffocated and poisoned so that we only closed it, to undress, and dress and sometimes so sick that we fell from side, to side, in doing it. The first days Jobe was obliged to put on and take of our shoes as moveing a finger would set us going. He layd himself down by the side of our door and slept upon the trunks two nights. He is the favorite of the whole Ship. Poor Brisler is not yet come to himself.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-24

Thursday [24 June].

A fine wind and clear air but the Ship going before the wind rolls sadly. Dr. Clark has been well through the whole, and kindly attentive to us. If he had been our Brother he could not have been more so. I know not what we should have done without him. No airs, but a pleasent, Benevolent, friendly kindness, as tho he was rewarded by the disposition alone of doing good. Our Captain an exelent Sea man, but little attention to any thing besides his Sails and his ropes. The Stores on Board good, but the cook misirable. Not a Quarter part utensials enough for the passengers. I regret that I did not know what my Situation was to be. My silver poringer of vast Service, it being the only bowl, poringer or cup belonging to the Ship. I should not have { 158 } been in this condition if I had not been assured that the Ship supplied every thing. I think the price we paid intitled us to better accommodations. In short I have been obliged to turn cook myself and have made two puddings, the only thing I have seen fit to eat. I have been obliged to order and direct sick as I have been to the cleaning out of the cabbin every day. It is a great misfortune that Ester is so sick. I have been obliged to see to the cleaning of the milk pail which has been enough to poison any body. If we do not die of Dirt now we shall at least eat our peck.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-27

Sunday June 27.

I have been so sick that I could not be regular in my journal. We have had two days calm since we came to Sea. The rest of the time good winds which have brought us on our Way rejoiceing, for we have not had any bad weather except rain, thunder and lightning one evening which was not severe. I have been surprized at myself to find that I can sleep notwithstanding the lasshing of the waves; and the tumbling of the vessel. This is the 8th day of our imprisonment. We are now about 200 and 50 leagues from Boston. Our Gentleman all civil and polite. This Mr. G——n mentiond in the former part of this journal as an englishman, I rather think is Scotch, and appears to have inflamibility enough to furnish a Waggon load of Baloons. He talks much. His countanance planly speaks the ruleing passions of his mind. He governs himself as he appears to know what belongs to a Gentleman. Our Captain appears more amiable at sea than on shore, his men all still and quiet, nothing severe towards them has yet appear'd. The mate a droll being; swears for all the rest of the Ship. A Good deal in his manners like Captn. Newcombe, has been several time[s] taken during the war, and has many a sad as well as diverting Story to tell which he does with a countanance as droll as you please. He is a right Tar in his manners.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-28

Monday Mor'g 28 June.

A very dissagreeable Night. Wind at the southard near the Banks of Newfoundland. The morning damp. A most voilent Headack. Sick every one of us. Our Ship goes at about nine and 8 knots an hour. No going upon deck. Their is so much confinement on Board a Ship and such a Sameness that one knows not what to do. I have been reading since I came on Board Buchan Domestick Medicine. He appears a sensible, judicious and rational writer.1
{ 159 }
I endeavour to bear my voyage with patience. It was at the request of my dear long absent Friend that I undertook it. I expected it would be dissagreable to be at sea. I can bear every thing I meet with better than the Nausias Smells: it is utterly impossible to keep nice and clean. I strive for Decency, and that can hardly be obtained. How flattering is attention and how agreeable does it render a person when it appears the result of a good Heart, disposed to make every one happy. This Dr. Clark is a very agreable Man. His kindness is of that Benevolent nature which extends to all: to the Servant as well as the Master. He has renderd our passage much pleasenter than it could have been without him, and we have been so sick, that his advise has been of great use to us. By tomorrow we hope to make a quarter part of our passage. When may I begin to look forward to the joyfull day of meeting my long absent partner. Heaven grant it may be a joy, without alloy.
1. William Buchan, Domestic Medicine; or, the Family Physician, Edinburgh, 1769, which went through 21 editions in English by 1813 (BM, Catalogue). Among JA's books in the Boston Public Library is listed an edition in French published at Geneva, 1781–1782, in 7 vols., 12mo (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-01

Thursday July 1 1784.

“And thou, Majestick, Main,

A Secret World of Wonders in thyself

Sound his stupendous praise; whose greater voice

Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.”

I have not been able to write a line since Monday when a North east Storm came on and held till Wednesday Mor'g. It was with the utmost difficulty that we could set or lie only by holding by each other with our feet against a table braced with ropes, that we could keep up; and when in bed I was obliged to hold fast by the sides till my hands and wrists aked to keep in: only conceive a great cradle rocking with amaizing force from side, to side, whilst a continual creek from every part of the Ship responded to the roll: not a wink of Sleep to be had, bottles, mugs, plates, every thing crashing to peices.
The Sailors call it a Breize only. But if it was only of that kind: good heaven defend me from a storm. Tho they all allow that it is very unusual at this Season of the year to meet with such a Breize there is no time when the vessel does not roll like the moderate rocking of a cradle; it is easily accounted for. The writing shews the constant motion { 160 } of the Vessel when not one letter in ten, can be made in its proper Shape.1
I am more and more of the mind that a Lady ought not to go to sea. It is impossible to preserve that Decency and Cleanliness which ought to be an inherint principal in every female. Even those times which by Gentlemen are Esteemed fine and pleasent cannot fail to be dissagreable to a Lady. I have reflected upon Mrs. Hayley['s] observation to me, that altho she was surrounded with every accommodation that could be obtained on Board a fine large Ship, with agreable company, yet it was a terrible thing for a Lady to attempt, and nothing but the ardent desire she had to visit a Country so distinguished for its noble and ardent defence of the rights of Mankind, could have tempted her at her advanced age to have undertaken a sea voyage.2 What ever curiosity might prompt, I think I should content myself with the page of the Historian if I had no superiour inducement to visit foreign climes, but when I reflect that for ten years past I have been cut of from a large Share of Domestick happiness by a Seperation from my partner, I think my Sufferings small when I look forward to the recompence and the reward.

Unutterable happiness! which Love

alone bestows, and on a favourd few

those sacred feelings of the Heart, informed

by reasons purest ray.

We have on Board a Mr. Spear, the only single Gentleman of all the passengers. He is a droll mortal and keeps us in good Spirits, which is very necessary on board a Ship. Change of Ideas, says the medical writer, is as necessary for Health, as change of posture. Learned Men often contract a contempt for what they call trifling company. They are ashamed to be seen with any but philosophers. This however is no proof of their being philosophers themselves. No Man deserves that Name who is ashamed to unbend his mind, by associating with the cheerfull and gay. Even the Society of children will relieve the mind, and expell the Gloom which application to study is too apt to occasion.
I transcribe this passage because I think the Health of my best Friend has sufferd from too intense application to study and the perplexing Science of politicks in which he has been constantly engaged. I believe he has sufferd greatly; for Want of his family and a thousand little attentions which sooth the mind and warm the heart. Of all happiness domestick is the sweetest. It is the sun shine of the Heart.
I have great satisfaction in the behaviour of my daughter. The { 161 } Struggle of her mind was great, her passions strong, never before calld into opposition; the parting of two persons strongly attached to each other is only to be felt; discription fails.
Yet when once the struggle was over, she has obtaind a Calmness and a degree of cheerfulness which I feard she would not be able to acquire. To this the kindness and attention of Dr. Clark has contributed, tho he knew not that there was more than ordinary occasion for them. His manners are soothing and cheerfull. I do not however esteem him as a Man of superiour parts but he has the art of making Men happy and keeping them so. Says Buchan all that is necessary for Man to know in order to be happy, is easily obtaind and the rest like the forbiden fruit serves only to encrease his misiry.
This if true is no great compliment to Learning, but it is certain that your deep thinkers seldom enjoy Health, or Spirits.
1. In the two foregoing paragraphs AA's punctuation, unsystematic at best, is unusually difficult to interpret and may not have been rendered exactly according to her intentions, especially in respect to breaks between sentences.
2. Mrs. Hayley was Mary, sister of the radical politician John Wilkes and the widow of George Hayley, an alderman of London who had had mercantile connections with the Hancock firm in Boston. Renowned for her eccentricities, the Widow Hayley had come to Boston toward the close of the Revolution not merely because she was a devotee of “the rights of Mankind” but because she intended to collect debts due her late husband. The best account of her is that by George Lyman Kittredge in The Old Farmer and His Almanack ..., Boston, 1904, p. 9–14, which cites, corrects, and amplifies numerous earlier accounts of a figure who has become part of Boston folklore.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-02

Fryday 2 of July.

A fine wind and a pleasent day. Our sea sickness has left us in a great measure. Went all of us upon Deck to enjoy the fresh air, had our rooms cleaned out, begin to feel a little more reconciled to our confinement. Hemd a hankerchief upon Deck. Yesterday mor'g the Capt. sent an embassy to the Ladies representing the distressed state of our poor cow, who by the late Storm had been disabled from standing for several days and tho several attempts had been made to raise her, they had proved unsuccessfull, but as she was particularly devoted to the Ladies, he thought himself under obligation to consult them whether she should be put out of her misiry; or die a lingering Death. Col. Norton was charged with the message and deliverd it in form— upon which Sentance of Death was pronounced upon her; and she was accordingly consigned to a watery grave; but not without mourning for we feel her loss most essentially.—This Day fortnight I left my habitation! Dear Cottage how often do I look back to your peacefull Walls, and Breath a Sigh to your memory. Where is my next abode? { 162 } No matter where: so that it only be, in the arms of my dearest, best of Friends. I hardly dare trust my immagination or anticipate the day. Cruel sleep how have you tormented me?

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-03

Saturday 3 July.

A fine morning. Rose by six o clock. Went upon deck. None of the Gentlemen up; our Second Mate, a grand son of the Revd. Dr. Chauncy of Boston. He was upon deck and handed me out. A likely young fellow whose countanance is a good Letter of recommendation. We were all prejudiced in his favour as soon as we saw him; he told me to day that he was taken a prisoner during the War, and carried to Plimouth jail in England where after being confined a Year he made his escape and got to Holland, where he saw Mr. Adams, who gave him money and a letter to Commodore Gillion but that he had sailed for America before he reached the Vessel. He said there were several other prisoners with him at that time who received Money from Mr. Adams. It always give me pleasure when I hear of the kindness of my best Friend to the poor and the needy. The Blessing of him that is ready to perish come upon him. By this said our Blessed saviour shall all Men know that ye are my diciples, if ye have Love to one an other; how many inducements does the Christian Religion offer to excite us to universal Benevolence and Good will towards each other, and yet how often do we suffer the vilest of passions to Dominer over us and extinguish from our Bosoms every generous principal.
This afternoon saw a sail. She bore down to speak with us. Said she was from Abberdeen bound to Novia Scotia, was full of Emigrants —men, women and children. Capt. Cullen in the brigg John, designd afterward for Philadelphia, wanted to put some Letters on Board of us. Our Capt. offerd to lay too, if she would higst out her Boat, but instead of that they attempted to come so near as to throw them on Board, and by that means were in danger of running on Board of us. The Capt. was allarmed, and gave them a hearty broad side: obliged to croud all our sails to keep clear; and tho I was first pleased with the sight of her, I was so much allarmed by our danger, that I wished her many leagues of. We put away as fast as possible without her Letters. —We suppose ourselves in Latitude 42.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-04

Sunday July 4th 1784.

This is the Anniversary of our Glorious Independance.

O thou! by whose Almighty Nod the Scale,

of Empires rises, or alternate falls,

{ 163 }

Send forth the Saveing virtues round our land

In bright patrol; white peace, and social Love,

The tender looking Charity, intent

on Gentle Deeds, and sheding tears through Smiles,

Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind

Courage composed and keen; sound temperance

Healthfull in Heart and look; Clear Chastity

with blushes reddening as she moves along

Disordered at the deep regard she draws;

Rough Industery; Activity untir'd,

With copious Life informed and all awake;

While in the Radient front, superiour shines

That first parental virtue, publick Zeal;

Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey;

And ever museing on the common Weal,

Still Labours glorious with some great design;

Whilst the Nations of Europe are enveloped in Luxery and dissipation; and a universal venality prevails throughout Britain, may the new empire, Gracious Heaven, become the Guardian and protector of Religion and Liberty, of universal Benevolence and Phylanthropy. May those virtues which are banished from the land of our Nativity, find a safe Assylum with the inhabitants of this new world.
We have a fine wind and a clear sky. We go at 7 knots an hour; I hope two Sundays more, will bring us safe to land but we have all conquerd our Sea Sickness, and are able to do much better than for the first ten days. It is said of Cato, that one of the three things which he regreted at the close of Life; was that he had once gone by sea when he might have made his journey by land; alass poor Cato! I fancy thy Philosophy was not proof against this dispiritting disease.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-06

Tuesday July 6th.

I was not able to write yesterday the wind blew so fresh; and not very fair, so that there was too much motion of the Ship. In the afternoon it came on rainy, and continued so through the night, this morning a small north east wind cloudy and unpleasent. Whilst our Friends on shore are melting under a mid Summer Sun; there has been no day so warm at Sea; but what I could wear a double calico Gown, a Green Baize over that a cloth Cloak; and a camblet cloak; lined with Baize; wraped round me, when ever I went up upon Deck.1 I had no Idea of the difference before I came on Board; this morning before I { 164 } rose the Dr. came down into the Cabbin and invited us to come up upon Deck and see a porpoise which the mate had killd with a harpoon; this creature has a fine smooth skin; a head resembling a Hog, two fins which he throughs out of water when he swims and rolls over as we often see them; a tail like an anchor and cross way of his Body, a very small Eye, in proportion to its Body; his inwards resemble those of a Humane Body.
We have so few objects to take up our attention on Board that we hardly know how to amuse ourselves. There is no great pleasure in working. I read as much as possible, but sometimes I feel unfit even for that, my Head swims and my sight leaves me. In the evening we generally make a party at Cards. This Mr. Foster who is a passenger with us, is the youngest son of Deacon Foster of Boston; lately married to a daughter of Mr. John Cutlers of Boston; he is in partnership with his Brother William and part owner of this ship. He is a Gentleman of soft and delicate manners, natural good understanding, a merchant, not much acquainted with Books, appears to have a taste for domestick Life, and speaks of his wife as I love to hear every married man speak; with tenderness and affection.
We shall make but small progress to day; our ship moves but slowly.
1. Thus punctuated in MS. It is not easy to say how many layers of clothing AA is here enumerating.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-08

Thursday July 8th.

If I did not write I should lose the Days of the Weeks. Yesterday a cold wet day. Could not go upon deck. Spent a large part of the day in writing to Mrs. Cranch.1 Any thing for amusement is agreeable, where there is such an unavoidable sameness.

“Were e'en paridice my prison,

I should long to leap, the cristal walls.”

The Ship itself is a partial prison, and much more so, when we are confined to our cabbin; we work, read; write; play; calculate our Distance; and amuse ourselves with conjectures of our arriving in port. Some say 28 days, some 30, and some 33, which to me is most likely; if we meet with no worse weather than we have already; we may set it down for an excellent passage tho it should amount to 33 days. To day is wet and fogy, but a fine fair wind, which must reconcile us to the weather. Last evening Mr. Foster came and invited me upon deck; to see what he had heard me express a wish for, the sparkling of the Water, and its firery appearence; this is a phenominan in Nature hitherto unaccounted for; the ocean looks in a light flame, with { 165 } millions of sparkling Stars, which resemble the fire flies in a dark Night.
This morning saw a large Ship a stern; scarcly a day but what we have seen Birds. The Sailors call them Mother Carys Chickens, and that they portend wind. They have an other adage. That there is no want of wind, when they have women on Board.
1. On 6 JulyAA had begun an epistolary journal of her voyage addressed to her sister Mrs. Cranch; this amplifies the present journal at some points, and it continues well beyond it (through 30 July). The original is now in MWA; it was printed by CFA in AA's Letters, 1848, p. 157–186||, and has since been printed in Adams Family Correspondence, 5:358–386.||

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0007

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-09

Fryday July 9.

A fine day; but little wind; have been upon Deck the chief of the Day, engaged in reading Campbles political Survey of Great Britain.1 None of the advantages which he has enumerated belonging to Britain of Soil, climate, water; &c. but what America possesses in an equal if not superiour degree. As our Country becomes more populous, we shall be daily makeing new discoveries and vie in some future day, with the most celebrated European Nation; for as yet; we may say, with the Queen of Sheby, the one half has not been told. We are in the infancy of Science, and have but just begun to form Societies for the propagation and encouragement of the fine Arts. The <3> 2 most celebrated painters now in Britain are Americans <Mrs. Wright> Mr. Copely and Mr. West.2
1. John Campbell, A Political Survey of Britain; Being a Series of Reflections on the Situation, Lands, Inhabitants, Revenues, Colonies and Commerce of This Island, London, 1774; 2 vols.
2. AA very properly struck Mrs. Wright's name from this list, but it is not determinable whether she did so immediately or after her visit to Patience Wright's “repository” or museum of wax portraits in Cockspur Street, London, later this month; see her journal-letter to Mrs. Cranch, 6–30 July 1784 (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 177–178). The present journal being otherwise uncorrected, it is likely that she did so at once, feeling that she had overstated American claims to artistic eminence. On the eccentric Quaker artist and supposed American spy Patience (Lovell) Wright, see DAB; also Lewis Einstein, Divided Loyalties . . . , Boston and N.Y., 1933, p. 390–395. There is a lively and amusing characterization of her by AA2 in her journal-letter to JQA, 4 July–11 Aug. 1785 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0008

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-17

Saturday 17 of July.

I have neglected my journal for a week. During that time we have had 3 calm days, some wet weather but nothing worth remarking has occur'd. I have been several days sick of the Rheumatisim, occasiond I suppose by the dampness of the Ship, which made my Bed so too. I had the precaution to take some medicine on Board proper for the Disease, which the Dr. administerd, and I have in a great measure got { 166 } the better of it. This day makes 27 since we came to Sea. From observation to day we were in Latitude 49 and a half,1 Long[itude] 6. We have seen a great Number of Vessels to day which lead us to think we are not far from the Channel. A small Sail Boat spoke with us out 3 days from Morlay, told us we were nearer the channel than we imagind, upon which the Capt. sounded and found bottom 55 fathom.
We have a head wind, but go at about 4 knots an hour. Hope to make land to morrow. Can it be that I have past this great ocean with no more inconvenience, with such favourable weather upon the whole. Am I so near the land of my fore Fathers? And am I Gracious Heaven; there to meet, the Dear long absent partner of my Heart? How many how various how complicated my Sensations! Be it unto me according to my wishes.
1. MS reads: “... in Latitude in 49 and half.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0009

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-18

Sunday July 18th.

This Day about 2 oclock made land. It is almost a Calm, so that we shall gain but little. We hope to land at Portsmouth a tuesday; this is doing very well; I have great reason to be thankfull for so favourable a passage. The mate caught a shark this morning but he got away, after receiving several wounds with a harpoon. I believe I could continue on Board this Ship 8 or ten days more, and find it less urksome than the first 8 or ten hours, so strong is habit and so easily do we become reconciled to the most dissagreeable Situation.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0010

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-19

Monday Morning July 19th.

A calm. The vessel rolling: the wind freshning towards Night. We hope for a speedy passage up the Channel. Tuesday a fine wind but squally.1 We have seen land supposed to be Dover cliffs.
1. AA's chronology here and in the next entry is confused, which is perhaps not surprising in view of her having slept only four hours between Saturday the 17th and Tuesday the 20th (which was in fact the day she landed), as she told her sister Cranch in her journal-letter of 6–30 July (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 168).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-20

Wedensday [i.e. Tuesday, 20 July.]

Early in the morning a pilot Boat came of to us from Deal. The wind blew very high and the Sea ran with a great Swell.1
1. In her journal-letter of 6–30 JulyAA gives a colorful account of the landing of the Active's passengers in the surf at Deal and of their trip through Canterbury, Rochester, Chatham, and Blackheath (where a highwayman had just been apprehended) to London. They arrived at 8 in the evening of the 21st, and mother and daughter were “set down at Lows Hotel in Covent Gardens” { 167 } (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 169–172). On the 23d, having been discovered and advised by solicitous American friends, AA wrote JA from “Osbornes new family Hotel—Adelphi at Mrs. Sheffields No. 6” (Adams Papers).
JA had confidently expected the arrival of his wife and daughter by an earlier vessel and had sent JQA from The Hague to London to meet them in mid-May; after awaiting them there for more than a month, JQA had returned to the Netherlands. On receipt of AA's letter of 23 July, JA replied that it had made him “the happiest Man upon Earth. I am twenty Years younger than I was Yesterday. It is a cruel Mortification to me that I cannot go to meet you in London, but there are a Variety of Reasons decisive against it, which I will communicate to you here. Meantime I send you a son who is the greatest Traveller, of his Age” (26 July, Adams Papers). On 30 July both mother and son announced to JA their reunion in London, JQA reporting also his negotiation for the purchase of a coach that would accommodate the whole family (both letters in Adams Papers). Two days later JA canceled all previous plans. “Stay where you are,” he told his wife, “untill you see me” (1 Aug., Adams Papers). What followed is recorded in the brief entries in JA's own Diary (see 4, 7 Aug., below), which must now be resumed at a slightly earlier date.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-22

The Hague June 22. 1784. Tuesday.1

Last night at Court one of the Ladies of Honour, told me, that the Supper was given, in a great Measure, for Mrs. Bingham. Cette Super a été donne, en grande Partie, pour elle. There was great Enquiry after her, and much Admiration expressed by all who had seen her, of her Beauty. As the Princess of Orange was enquiring of me concerning her, and her Journey to Spa, Paris, Italy, the Spanish Minister said “She would form herself at Paris.” I replied very quick but smiling “J'espere qu'elle ne se formera a Paris qu'elle est deja formée.” This produced as hearty a laugh as is permitted at Court both from the Princess and the Comte. The Princess asked me immediately, if I had not been pleased at Paris? I answered that I had: that there was something there for every Taste [added in the margin: but that such great Cities as Paris and London were not good Schools for American young Ladies at present.] The Princess replied that Mrs. B. might learn there the French Language.
I made Acquaintance with Mr. Kempar of Friesland, once a Professor, at Franaker, who says there are but two Millions of People in the 7 Provinces. He quoted to me two Authors who have written upon the Subject, one 20 Years ago, and the other 10, and that they have decided this Subject. Stated the Numbers in each Province, City, Village. Accurate Accounts are kept of Births and Deaths, Baptisms and Funerals. The Midwives and Undertakers are obliged to make returns of all they bring in or carry out of the World.—This last fact I had from Linden de Blitterswick the first Noble of Zealand.
{ 168 }
Mirabel repeated what he had said often before, as well as Reichack and Calischef, that their Courts expected a Letter from Congress, according to the Rules and Precedents, to inform them of their Independence.2—Mem. I think Congress should inform them that on the 4. July 1776 they assumed their Sovereignty, that on the [] day of [] France made a Treaty, on the 7 of Oct. 1782, Holland—on the [] G.B.—on the [] day of [] Sweeden.3
1. First entry in D/JA/43, a stitched gathering of leaves identical in format with its predecessors but containing only very scattered entries from the present date through May 1785.
After a day or two of rest at The Hague following his hazardous trip from London in January, JA went on to Amsterdam and applied, as his bankers had suggested, to the Regency of that city for emergency aid to the languishing American loan so that Robert Morris' heavy overdrafts for the United States would not be protested. But on 24 Jan. he reported to Franklin that all such efforts were in vain: “I am here only to be a Witness that American Credit in this Republick is dead, never to rise again” (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:171). Nevertheless, when he proposed a few days later that a separate loan be raised at a higher premium, the bankers responded eagerly, and after numerous exchanges between them JA signed a contract on 9 March for a new loan of 2,000,000 guilders, to be repaid by 1807, on terms that JA declared “exorbitant” but was in no position to refuse since fresh drafts from Morris continued to come in. See correspondence between JA and the Willinks, Van Staphorsts, and De la Lande & Fynje, 29 Jan.–9 March 1784, Adams Papers; partly printed in JA, Works, 8:172–183. Copies of the contract, in Dutch and English, with Congress' instrument of ratification, 1 Feb. 1785, are also in Adams Papers. The extraordinarily complicated terms of this loan are set forth in P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, 1:80–85.
Meanwhile JA remained ignorant of Congress' intentions respecting the foreign establishment of the United States in general and how Congress meant to dispose of him in particular. The reason was that Congress did not know its own intentions; see note 2 on entry of 7 Sept. 1783, above. On 15 Dec. 1783 a committee consisting of Jefferson, Gerry, and Hugh Williamson was appointed to report on letters from JA, Franklin, Dana, Dumas, and Barclay; on the 20th the committee reported a draft, largely the work of Jefferson, which pointed out that the instructions to JA, Franklin, and Jay of 29 Oct., for negotiating treaties “with the commercial powers of Europe,” had not yet been implemented with commissions but that such treaties would be advantageous to the United States, and it went on to frame detailed instructions for this purpose (JCC, 25: 813, note, 821–828; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:393–400). The complex history of this report, which was frequently debated and three times recommitted during the next six months, is given by Mr. Boyd in an editorial note (same, p. 400–402) and therefore need not be repeated here. On 7 and 11 May 1784 the report as finally amended was adopted, authorizing the negotiation of treaties of amity and commerce with sixteen nations (JCC, 26:357–362; 27: 369–374). On the same day that the first part of the report was agreed to, Thomas Jefferson was elected to succeed John Jay as a minister plenipotentiary and joint commissioner in Europe, and Jay was elected secretary for foreign affairs to succeed Robert R. Livingston, who had resigned almost a year earlier (same, 26:355–357). A few days later Jefferson left Annapolis for the north, hoping to accompany AA to Europe (see note 1 on entry in AA's Diary of 20 June, above). On 16 May Secretary Thomson sent him commissions accrediting the three plenipotentiaries jointly to twenty nations, four of the Barbary Powers having been added to the list (Thomson { 169 } to Jefferson, 16 May, with enclosures; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:261–271). The commissions, dated 12 May, were to the following powers: Russia, Austria, Prussia, Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sardinia, Rome, Venice, Genoa, Tuscany, the Ottoman Porte, Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. To these Congress added on 3 June three further commissions, for supplementary treaties of commerce with France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, sent by Thomson to the ministers in a letter of 18 June JCC, 27:529–530; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:308–309).
All this explains the long delay in AA's departure for Europe and the longer uncertainty in JA's mind where he should establish himself in Europe or whether he should sail home without being recalled. On 16 April Elbridge Gerry wrote AA from Annapolis that “probably” Congress would “make their Arrangements, for negotiating commercial Treaties this Week. The Subject has several Months been prepared, for Deliberation, but this has been prevented by the Want of a full Representation; untill of late, there being eleven States on the Floor, the Matter has been much discussed” (Adams Papers). In a letter to JA after this involved affair had been settled, Gerry furnished more of its inner history: Congress' indecision, he explained, was in considerable part owing to disagreement between supporters of JA and supporters of Franklin; the placing of JA at the head of the new commission and the replacement of William Temple Franklin as secretary by David Humphreys signalized a victory for the former (16 June, Adams Papers; extract printed in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:554). See further on this contest Stephen Higginson to Jonathan Jackson, April 1784 (Tr in JQA's hand, Adams Papers; Amer. Hist. Assoc., Ann. Rpt. for 1896, 1:717–719).
2. Reischach and Kalicheff were ministers at The Hague from Austria and Russia respectively.
3. The omitted dates of the treaties are as follows: with France, 6 Feb. 1778; with Great Britain, 3 Sept. 1783; with Sweden, 3 April 1783, although there is some confusion about the date of the last of these (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:3, 151, 123, 149).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-10

July 10. 1784 Saturday.

May not the Ascent of Vapours be explained, or rather accounted for upon the Principle of the Air Balloon? Is not every Bubble of Vapour, that rises, an Air Balloon? Bubbles are formed at the Bottoms of Canals, Rivers, Ponds, rise to the Top, and mount up. These Bubbles are particles, or small quantities of inflammable Air, surrounded with a thin film of Water.
Champaign Wine, Bottled Porter &c. are full of Air Bubbles or Balloons. Set a Decanter or Tumbler of Water in the Sun, and thousands of Air Balloons are formed in the Water at the Bottom and on the Sides of the Glass. Turn the Glass aside so as to expose these Bubbles to the Air, many of them burst in an Instant, others do not, but continue sometime covered with a thin film of Water. Inflammable Air being lighter, than common Air, rises in it.
In the common Experiment with which Boys amuse them selves, the Air which is blown through the Tobacco Pipe, into the Soap Suds, is common Air, of equal Weight with that which surrounds the Bub• { 170 } ble and therefore will not ascend very high. But if inflammable Air were blown thro the Pipe instead of common Air, we should have a Series of Ballons aerostatiques, which would ascend like those of Montgolphier.1
1. The earliest “aerostatic experiments” (balloon flights), by the Montgolfier brothers and others in France, 1783–1784, attracted world-wide attention and are frequently alluded to in the correspondence of JA, Franklin, and Jefferson at this period. Among the Adams Papers is a colored “Aerostatic Experiments” in Paris, 1783 facing page 289drawing entitled “Bon Voyage, ” reproduced in this volume, showing the “Nouveau Globe Aérostatique inventée par M[essieu]rs. Charles et Robert; enlevé devant la Famille Royale le lundi 1er. Décembre 1783, à 1. heure 40. minutes.” On 19 Sept. 1784 the Adams family watched a balloon ascension from the Tuileries Gardens (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:18–19).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-03

1784. August. 3.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-04

Aug. 4.

Sett off, for London, had a tedious Passage from Helvoet, of near two days. Obliged to put in at Leostoff [Lowestoft], and ride from thence 24 miles in a Cart.1
1. JA's sudden decision to go to London himself and take his family directly to Paris without a pause of some weeks at The Hague, was prompted by the news of Jefferson's arrival in Europe a month or so before JA expected him; see JA to AA, 1 Aug. (Adams Papers), and Jefferson to JA, “On board the Ceres off Scilly,” 24 July (Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:382–383, with note quoting JA's expressions of pleasure in the appointment of Jefferson as a fellow commissioner).
In JA's accounts as settled by Congress there appears the following entry:
“Expences of his Removal with his Family from the Hague & London to Auteuil in August 1784 including extra Expences of Carriages, Post Horses, Passages by Sea from Helvoet to Harwich & from Dover to Calais &c. £100.... Purchase of a Carriage in London. £120” (DNA: RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 267).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-07

Aug. 7.

Arrived at the Adelphi Buildings and met my Wife and Daughter after a seperation of four Years and an half. Indeed after a Seperation of ten Years, excepting a few Visits. Set off the next Day for Paris.1
1. On this date the Diary of AA2, so far as it is known (no MS has been found), begins. The first entry reads:
“London, Aug. 7th, 1784. At 12, returned to our own apartments; when I entered, I saw upon the table a hat with two books in it; every thing around appeared altered, without my knowing in what particular. I went into my own room, the things were moved; I looked around—'Has mamma received letters, that have determined her departure?— When does she go?—Why are these things moved?' All in a breath to Esther. ‘No, ma'm, she has received no letter, but goes to-morrow morning.' ‘Why is all this appearance of strangeness?—Whose hat is that in the other room?—Whose trunk is this?—Whose sword and cane?— It is my father's,' said I. Where is he?' { 171 } 'In the room above.' Up I flew, and to his chamber, where he was lying down, he raised himself upon my knocking softly at the door, and received me with all the tenderness of an affectionate parent after so long an absence. Sure I am, I never felt more agitation of spirits in my life; it will not do to describe” (Jour. and Corr., i:viii).
AA2's Diary is quite full for the family's journey to Paris, which was by way of Dover, Calais, Boulogne, Montreuil, Amiens, and Chantilly (same, p. 7–14).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-13

Aug. 13.

Arrived at Paris, at the Hotel de York on the [].1
1. In the present entry and the next, the blank space (which is in the MS) is meant to be filled up with the date at the head of the entry.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-17

Aug. 17.

Removed to Auteuil the [] at the House of the Comte de Rouault, opposite the Conduit. The House, the Garden, the Situation near the Bois de Boulogne, elevated above the River Seine and the low Grounds, and distant from the putrid Streets of Paris, is the best I could wish for.1
1. The arrangements with the Comte de Rouault had been made at JA's request by Thomas Barclay, who had formerly rented the house; see JA-Barclay correspondence, 23 April–9 Aug. 1784 (Adams Papers). The reader is again referred to the detailed and colorful letters of AA describing the Hôtel de Rouault and the Adamses' life there during the following eight months, a selection of which appears in Howard C. Rice Jr., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785, Boston, 1956, and more of which will be included in Series II of the present edition. The journal kept by AA2 at Auteuil from Aug. 1784 through May 1785 is also valuable despite its rather girlish concentration on the guests present at social affairs given or attended by the family; see AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:14–78. This portion of her journal contains numerous glimpses of Jefferson, Franklin, the Binghams, David Humphreys, William Short, the Lafayettes, Mme. Helvétius, and the Adamses' friends among the corps diplomatique, as well as sometimes entertaining and illuminating passages on Paris fashionable life and amusements, religious ceremonies, balloon ascensions, and the like. If the MS were available, the entries for this period would have been printed here to help fill in a long gap in JA's Diary, but as edited by AA2's daughter, Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt, in 1841, the text is far from dependable: there are obvious mistakes in transcription, names are given as blanks and initials, and editorial cuts have probably been made.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1784-09 - 1785-05

[Orders Drawn on Messrs. Van Den Yver for Personal and Family Expenses, September 1784–May 1785.]1

  £   s   d  
Auteuil Sept. 10. 1784. Drew an order on M.M. Van den Yvers in favour of my son J.Q.A. for two hundred Louis D'ors or 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
{ 172 }
Oct. 11. drew an Order on M. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
Nov: 15. drew an order on Mr. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
Decr. 23. drew an order on M[ess]rs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J. Q. Adams for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
1785. Feb. 11. drew an order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of My son J.Q.A. for 4800 Liv.   4800:   0:   0  
March 5. Accepted a Bill of Dr. Tufts for £50, payable at the House of Messrs. Richard and Charles Puller No. 10 Broadstreet Buildings London, to be paid at Sight   1200:   0:   0  
March 26 drew an order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Liv.   4800:   0:   0  
May 4. drew an Order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800£.   4800:   0:   0  
May 18 drew an Order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of the Bearer Mrs. Adams for   4800:   0:   0  
1. Taken from Lb/JA/19 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 107). The firm of Van den Yver Frères acted as agents in Paris for the Amsterdam banking house of W. & J. Willink. JA had drawn his salary through the Van den Yvers during the peace negotiations.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-01-31

January 31. 1785. Monday.1

Last Evening the Marquis de la Fayette, lately returned from America, called upon me, in his Way home from Versailles. He gave me, a very pleasing Account of the Commerce, the Union &c. in America, and then began to discourse of another Subject. He interrogated me, whether I had any Correspondents in Holland, whether I received Letters, from Week to Week and from Post to Post from thence? Who were the Heads of the Republican Party? Whether I knew any Thing of the Intentions of the States Gen[eral] to place Mr. de Maillbois at the Head of their Armies. He then talk'd of Mailbois, said he had great Abilities, and that he had heard him justify himself very well in the Affair of D'Etrees. Said that M. de Vergennes was his Friend.— I said that I knew it, for that I had once in 1778 heard the Comte wish [that]2 Mr. de Mailbois had the Command of our Army in America.3 He said that the Cte. de Broglie wished for the Command in America at the same time.
As he went out he took me aside and whispered, that altho he would not serve a foreign Prince, he would serve a Republick, and although he should hurt himself with the Queen and her Party to a great degree, yet if the States General would invite him, without his soliciting or { 173 } appearing to desire it, he would accept the Command. Mailbois loved Money, and demanded splendid Appointments. He did not regard Money so much and would be easy about that. I was the first Mortal to whom he had suggested the Idea, he wished I would think of it, and he would call and see me again in a few days.4
1. The first formal meeting of the American Commissioners to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce took place at Passy on 30 Aug., David Humphreys, secretary to the mission, being present and beginning that day a record of its proceedings. This record, preserved in a volume sometimes called “Minutes of the Commissioners” (PCC, No. 116), contains, besides actual minutes of their meetings, copies of the Commissioners' commissions and instructions, of their correspondence with the diplomatic agents of the powers to which they were accredited (with the accompanying treaty projets, &c.), and of their joint “Reports” or dispatches to the President of Congress and Secretary Jay, numbered “First” through “Ninth” (11 Nov. 1784 to 2–11 Oct. 1785), thus extending beyond the time when Franklin left for home and JA and Jefferson were appointed ministers plenipotentiary at London and Paris respectively, while retaining their joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties (see note on entry of 3 May, below). The original letters received by the Commissioners (with enclosures), together with drafts and originals of most of their reports to Congress, are filed in PCC, No. 86. All this documentation for JA's last joint commission in Europe is printed in a single sequence in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:499–600, but much more reliable texts and indispensable annotation are provided in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–8, where these letters and papers are distributed under their dates. The best way to follow the Commissioners' work, which was arduous but only very partially successful, is to read their reports. Those that are germane to the present gap in JA's Diary are the First, Second, and Third, dated 11 Nov., 15 Dec. 1784, and [9] Feb. 1785 (same, 7:493–500, 573–574, 646–647).
2. MS: “the.”
3. The Comte de Maillebois, a marshal of France, assumed the command of the Dutch army, but, as JA later remarked., with little credit to himself; see JA's Autobiography under date of 29 April 1778. CFA has a learned note on Maillebois' notorious quarrel with the Maréchal d'Estrées, alluded to above (JA, Works, 3:389).
“Last Night, I had a visit from the Marquis, whom I was glad to see, for a variety of Reasons. ... His views are now opening, at least in confidence to me, and his aspiring Soul aims at Objects in Europe, as grand and glorious as those he has obtained in America. ... From these Hints you may guess the whole matter. His Plan, I must say, is as laudable, as it is sublime; but I doubt the possibility of his Success” (JA to Jay, 31 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers).
On Lafayette's interest in the situation of the Dutch Republic, which was in the midst of a crisis with the Austrian Empire over the issue of opening the navigation of the Scheldt, see Gottschalk, Lafayette, 4:152–153.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-03-19

1785. March 19. Saturday.

Saturday. Met Mr. F[ranklin] and Mr. J[efferson] at Passy, read the Letter from Mr. Carm[ichael] at Madrid, with the Letters from C. de Florida Blanca, the Letters from Morocco to Mr. Harrison at Cadiz, and the Letters from Morocco to Dr. F. concerning the Vessell of Mr. Fitzsimmons of Philadelphia, taken by a Morrocco Frigate.
{ 174 }
I asked for Books and Collections of Treaties. They were brought. I looked for and read the Treaty between Louis 14. and Algiers, and the Treaties between Holland and Algiers, and found a Multitude of Treaties between Algiers and Morrocco and the Christian States as France, Holland, England, &c. with the Passes, in the Corps Diplomatique.
We came to no Resolution, but that I should go, Tomorrow to Versailles and ask the Advice of the C[omte] de V[ergennes].—Dr. F. being confined by his Stone, could not go, and Mr. Jefferson, being worse with his Disorder cannot go. I was for writing a Letter to the C. —but my Colleagues were not.1—F. and J. are confident that England has no right to appoint a Consul, without a Treaty or Convention for that Purpose. I think, they have a Right by the Law of Nations.2
1. This and the following entry mark the beginning of prolonged efforts by the Commissioners to reach an accord, on behalf of the United States, with several of the piratical Barbary States in order to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean. The efforts were prompted by seizures of American vessels reported in the letters mentioned in the first paragraph of the present entry; extracts from these were handed by JA to Vergennes next day, and copies were forwarded by the Commissioners to Jay in their Fifth Report, 13 April 1785 (PCC, No. 86); a list of them, with their dates and locations, is given in a note on JA's report to his colleagues on his interview with Vergennes, 20 March (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:46–48, q.v.). For a connected narrative of early American negotiations with the Barbary Powers, see Ray W. Irwin, The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers, 1776–1816, Chapel Hill, 1931, chs. 2–3. The correspondence and other documents are printed under their dates in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–10.
2. This doubtless alludes to the appointment in February of John Temple as British consul general in the United States; see JA to James Warren, 26 April 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:250–261). Though the sentiments of Congress were divided on whether or not to recognize Temple, a vote of that body did so on 2 Dec. 1785 (JCC, 29:897–898).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-03-20

Auteuil Near Paris March 20. 1785.

Sunday. Went early to Versailles, and found the C. De V.—communicated to him my Errand and Papers. He read those in Italian, Spanish and French, and Mr. Charmichaels Letter in English. I asked him, whether the French Treaty with Algiers, was renewed? He said it was upon the Point of expiring, but he could not tell me whether it was renewed as it was not in his Department but in that of the M. de Castries. I asked him if he would be so good as to inform me, what Presents were sent annually to the several Barbary Powers, by the King, in what they consisted, and to what they amounted? He said He did not know, but if We would make an Office of it, he would communicate it to the Minister of Marine, and obtain for Us all the Information he could. I told him, I had obtained Information, authen• { 175 } tically from Holland, from Mr. Bisdom and Mr. Van der Hope.1 I asked him if he would be so good as to convey a Letter from Us to the Emperor of Morocco, by means of the French Consull. He said that I might depend upon it whenever We made an Office, it should be punctually attended to. But he said that Cadiz would be the best Place from whence to send Presents. That the Emperor of Morocco was the most interested Man in the World and the most greedy of Money.
He asked if We had written to Congress and obtained their Instructions. I told him We had received Full Powers to treat with Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and all the Rest and had written for Instructions upon the Article of Money and Presents. He said that there was a frequent Communication between Marseilles and the Coast of Barbary, but that as these Things were not in his Department, We must state our Desires in Writing, which I agreed to do. I asked him if he thought it adviseable for Us to send any one to Morro[cco]. He said yes, but as We could neither go nor were authorized to substitute, We should write to the Emperor untill Congress could send a Consull. I asked what he thought of our leaving it by our Letter in the Option of the Emperor, to send a Minister here to treat with Us, or to wait untill We could write to Congress and recommend to them to send him a Consull. He said by no means, for the Expence of receiving his Minister here would be much greater, for We must maintain him and pay all his Expences. He said that the King of France never sent them any naval Stores. He sent them Glaces2 and other Things of rich Value, but never any military stores.
1. JA's views on American policy toward the piratical states of Barbary are embodied in a letter to John Jay, 15 Dec. 1784 (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr. , 1783–1789, 1:470–472). On 22 Dec. he had addressed a letter to Dumas at The Hague asking the latter to inquire what tribute in the form of gifts was paid by the Dutch Republic to the Barbary Powers for the protection of its commerce (LbC, Adams Papers). Dumas' answer, 25 Feb. 1785, enclosed a copy of the written information obtained from J. C. van der Hoop, “Conseiller Fiscal du College de l'Amirauté d'Amsterdam,” and D. R. W. Bisdom, “Conseiller Fiscal de l'Amirauté de la Meuse” (Adams Papers; text of questions and answers printed in a note on the American Commissioners' Fourth Report, 18 March, Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:38).
2. Thus in MS, but JA's report to Franklin and Jefferson on this interview has “glasses,” i.e., doubtless, looking-glasses (20 March, LbC, Adams Papers, in JQA's hand; printed in same, p. 46–47).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-03

Auteuil May 3. 1785.

Tuesday. At Versailles, the C. de Vergennes said he had many Felicitations to give me upon my apointment to England. I Answered that I { 176 } did not know but it merited Compassion more than felicitation.—Ay why?—Because, as you know it is a Species of Degradation in the Eyes of Europe, after having been accredited to the King of France to be sent to any other Court.—But permit me to say, replies the Comte it is a great Thing to be the first Ambassador from your Country to the Country you sprung from. It is a Mark.—I told him that these Points would not weigh much with me. It was the difficulty of the service, &c.
I said to him, as I would not fail in any Point of Respect or Duty to the King, nor any of our Obligations to this Country, I wished to be advised, whether an Audience in particular of Congé, was indispensable. He said he would inform himself.
The Duke of Dorsett said to me, that if he could be of any Service to me by Writing either to publick or private Persons he would do it with Pleasure. I told his Grace that I should be glad of half an hours Conversation with him, in private.—I will call upon you at Auteuil says he, any Morning this Week.—I answered that any Morning and any hour, agreable to him, should be so to me.—Saturday says he at 12 O Clock.—I shall be happy to receive you, says I.—He repeated that if he could be of any Service, he would be glad. I said it may probably be in your Graces Power to do great service to me, and what was of infinitely more importance to his Country as well as mine, if he thought as I did upon certain Points, and therefore I thought it was proper We should compare Notes. He said he believed We did think alike and would call on Saturday. He said that Lord Carmaerthen was their Minister of foreign Affairs, that I must first wait upon him, and he would introduce me to his Majesty. But that I should do Business with Mr. Pitt very often. I asked him Lord Caermaerthens Age. He said 33. He said I should be stared at a good deal. I told him I trembled at the Thoughts of going there, I was afraid they would gaze with evil Eyes. He said no he believed not.
One of the foreign Ambassadors said to me, You have been often in England.—Never but once in November and December 1783.— You have Relations in England no doubt.—None at all.—None how can that be? You are of English Extraction?—Neither my Father or Mother, Grandfather or Grandmother, Great Grandfather or Great Grandmother nor any other Relation that I know of or care a farthing for have been in England these 150 Years. So that you see, I have not one drop of Blood in my Veins, but what is American.—Ay We have seen says he proofs enough of that.—This flattered me no doubt, and I was vain enough to be pleased with it.1
{ 177 }
1. In their First Report to the President of Congress, 11 Nov. 1784, the Commissioners stated that on 31 Aug. they had notified David Hartley and on 28 Oct. the Duke of Dorset (the British ambassador who had succeeded the Duke of Manchester in Paris) that they had powers for entering into a treaty of amity and commerce with Great Britain; but Hartley had been ordered to England and Dorset had replied that he could only notify his government (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:494–495; see also p. 456–457). On 24 Nov. Dorset informed the Commissioners of his government's view “that the United States should send a Person properly authorized and invested with the necessary powers to London, as more suitable to the dignity of either Power, than would be the carrying on at any third Place a negotiation of so great importance” same, p. 547). Dorset's letter was transmitted to Congress in the Commissioners' Second Report, 15 Dec. (same, p. 573–574). Before this report was received, presumably, Secretary Jay submitted to Congress a draft of “Instructions for the Ministers to be sent by the United States to the Court of London,” which was read in Congress on 7 Feb., debated from time to time, and exactly a month later was adopted with some omissions and the highly significant alteration of the word “Ministers” in the title to “Minister” (JCC, 28:45–46, 123). In the meanwhile a tussle had taken place over who should be the first American minister accredited to the Court of St. James's. It turned out to be JA, who was elected on 24 Feb., but the bare result recorded in the journal (same, p. 98) conveys no idea of the length of the struggle or the views of the members who were for and against his appointment. Fortunately Elbridge Gerry, in a letter written on the day the contest ended, supplied what is wanting elsewhere. The other nominees, he told JA, were Robert R. Livingston and John Rutledge; some southern members opposed JA on the ground that he was “totally averse to the Slave Trade” and would not exert himself “to obtain Restitution of the Negroes taken and detained from them in Violation of the Treaty”; other members thought he would not be as firm as he should be on the issue of American debts; and finally some of JA's communications to Congress, notably his “Peace Journal” of 1782 (see note on entry of 2 Nov. 1782, above), were cited as evidence of his vanity, “a weak passion, to which a Minister ought never to be subject” because it would make him vulnerable to flattery by “an artful Negotiator” (Gerry to JA, 24 Feb. 1785, Adams Papers; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:39–40).
JA's commission to Great Britain is in the Adams Papers, 24 Feb.; it was brought to him, with his instructions and other papers, by Col. William Stephens Smith (subsequently JA's son-in-law and referred to in this work as WSS), whom Congress had appointed on 1 March “Secretary to our legation to his Britannic Majesty” (JCC, 28:111, 149–150). On 7 March Congress gave leave to Benjamin Franklin “to return to America as soon as convenient,” and on the 10th Thomas Jefferson “was unanimously elected” to succeed Franklin at the Court of Versailles (same, p. 122, 134). JA and Jefferson retained their joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties with European and African nations.
JA learned of these new arrangements toward the close of April, and on the 28th of that month he addressed a letter to Gerry expressing profound thanks for his confidential account of the election contest and commenting in a temperate manner on the objections Gerry had reported as having been raised against his appointment (LbC, Adams Papers). On the day before the present Diary entry was written JA wrote a second answer to Gerry which is one of the most remarkable letters he ever composed. It is an historical and analytical discourse on the “various kinds of Vanity” to which men have been subject—the dangerous kinds that JA had had to contend with, as he explained, in his adversaries and even among his colleagues, and his own kind, which he conceded was a marked trait of his character but which was innocent and harmless. Since what appears to be the copy intended for the recipient remains among the Adams Papers, since no letterbook copy was made, and since, finally, no acknowledgment { 178 } by Gerry of such a letter has been found, JA evidently decided against sending it; but happily he did not destroy it, and it will be published in its place among his papers in Series III of the present edition.
The state of Anglo-American relations on the eve of JA's mission to London is well summarized and documented in an editorial note on the Duke of Dorset's letter to the American Commissioners, 26 March 1785, in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:56–59.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-09
Date: 1785-05-16

Auteuil May [9 or 16] 1785.

Monday. The Posts within the Limits of the United States, not yet surrendered by the English, are
Oswegatchy in the River St. Lawrence
Oswego Lake Ontario
Niagara and its dependencies
Presqu'Isle East Side of Lake Erie.
Sandusky Ditto.
St. Mary's. South Side of the Streight between Lakes Superiour
and Huron.
Bottom of the Bay des Puantz
St. Joseph. bottom of Lake Michigan.
1. This memorandum, the last entry in D/JA/43 and the last written by JA in his Diary for a period of more than ten months, must have been made on either 9 or 16 May, since it was written at Auteuil on a Monday and follows an entry dated there on 3 May, and since on 20 May JA set out with his wife and daughter for London (JA to Jefferson, 22 May, NNP; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:159–160). Congress' instructions of 7 March required JA to “insist, that the United States be put without further delay in possession of all the posts and territories within their limits which are now held by British Garrisons” (JCC, 28:123). On 1 May JA had a conversation with Daniel Hailes, secretary of the British embassy in Paris, and he had another with Dorset on the same subject, apparently on 10 May (AA to Cotton Tufts, 2 May, Adams Papers; JA to Jay, 13 May, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1: 495–498). He was to make the question of British occupation of posts on the northern lakes the first and indeed a standing order of business during his London mission, but, for reasons that were hinted at by David Hartley two years earlier and that have been very fully set forth by Mr. Bemis, the British did not evacuate them for a decade; see entry of 3 May 1783, above, and Samuel F. Bemis, Jay's Treaty, N.Y., 1923, ch. 1.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1785-06 - 1785-07

[List of Visits Paid and Returned in London, June–July? 1785]1

Le Comte de Lusi. Minister [] of Prussia. Great Pultney Street. r
De Tribolet Hardy. Secretaire de Legation de S.M. Prussienne. r
{ 179 }
Mr. De Jeanneret de Dunilac late Chargé D'Affairs of his Prussian Majesty at the British Court. South Moulton Street Oxford Street. No. 49. r
Lord Mahon. Downing Street. r
The Earl of Abbington. r.
The Earl of Effingham. r.
Mr. Cottrell Assistant Master of the Ceremonies Berners Street. r
Mr. Grand. Great Marlborough Street No. 54. r
Mr. Horn and Tooke. r
Mr. Brand Hollis. Bruton Street Berkley Square. 1st House on the right.
Mr. Bridgen. r.
Mr. R. Penn. Queen Ann Street, West Cavendish Square. r.
Mr. Strachy. Portman Square. No. 18. r
Lt. General Melvill Brower Street No. 30. r
Mr. Nicholls Queen Ann Street West. No. 42. r.
Sir Clement Cottrell Dormer. r. Wimpole Street. r.
Le Comte de Pollon, Lincolns Inn Fields. Brother of the Chevalier. Min[ister] of Sardinia. r.
Mr. Winchcomber Hartley. Golden Square. r.
Mr. Chamberlain Palsgrave Place Strand. No. 5. r
Mr. Chew. Charles Street St. James's Square No. 23. r
Mr. Granville Penn.
Count Woronzow Envoy Extr. & M.P. from the Empress of Russia. r
Mr. Frances, at Ray's Saddler Piccadilly No. 83. r.
Mr. Martin New Street. Bishops Gate Street. r.
Mr. Middleton Bryanston Street.
General Stewart. Norfolk Street Strand No. 33
Mr. Cunningham Dto.
Mr. Lane, Nicholas lane.
<Mr. Martin. New Street. Bishopsgate Street>
Jos. & Isaac Saportas. Great Crescent Minories. No. 5.
Mr. Wallace Bedford Street.
Mr. Bordieu.
Jos. & Isaac Saportas. Great Crescent Minories No. 5.
Brigr. General Forbes, in the Service of Portugal George Street. York Buildings No. 17. r
Sir James Harris. Park Street. Westminster. r
Mr. Wallace Bedford Street.
I. Heard Garter. r
{ 180 }
Lord Hood. r
Mr. Jennings. Soho. Wrights Hotel.
1. A loose, folded sheet, without date, in JA's hand and docketed by him: “List”; filed in Adams Papers under the assigned date 1785?. This sheet was afterward used as a cover for other papers, for on its blank fourth page appears a docketing notation in the hand of WSS: “Illegal Captures & Complaints of Injuries receiv'd.”
From scattered allusions in JA's and AA's correspondence during June-July 1785 there can be little doubt that this is a list of some (though by no means all) of the visitors received by the Adamses during their first weeks in London. The calls they returned are indicated by the abbreviation “r.” Only a few of the calls recorded were of the ceremonial, diplomatic kind, the explanation of which may be that, as the Dutch minister in London, D. W. Lynden van Blitterswyck, told JA, “Here the New Minister receives the first Visit, from all the foreign Ministers, whereas in France and Holland the New Minister makes the first visit to all the foreign Ministers and notifies formally to them his reception. This saves me,” JA went on to say, “from an Embarrassment, and we shall now see who will and who will not” (to Jefferson, 27 May, LbC, Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:167). Other visits were from persons like the Penns who had American connections (though it should be noted that there are no loyalist refugees on the list) or who were favorably disposed toward America (e.g. the Earls of Effingham and Abingdon, Lord Mahon [later 3d Earl Stanhope], John Home Tooke, Thomas Brand Hollis, and David Hartley's brother Winchcombe). Still others were old friends or former acquaintances (e.g. Edward Bridgen, Henry Strachey, Gen. Robert Melville, and Edmund Jenings). The purpose of Admiral Lord Hood's very unexpected visit is interestingly detailed in a letter JA wrote to John Jay, 26 June, a few days after it occurred (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:387).
The new minister's family had been reduced by one before leaving Auteuil. In the preceding fall JA and AA had decided that their eldest son should return to America to take a degree at Harvard and prepare himself for the bar. JA accordingly wrote President Joseph Willard of Harvard, 8 Sept. (MH), and Willard replied on 14 Dec. enclosing a vote of the President and Fellows to admit JQA to whatever class an examination showed him qualified to enter (Adams Papers). JA's letters to Willard and to Professor Benjamin Waterhouse, dated 22 and 24 April respectively, describing the studies his son had pursued while in Europe are of the highest interest (letterbook copies, Adams Papers; the letter to Willard is printed in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 13 [1910–1911]:115–116; that to Waterhouse in Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 5–8, under date of 23 April). JQA left Auteuil for Lorient on 12 May, went on board the French packet Courier de l'Amérique on the 18th (where he found seven dogs being sent by Lafayette to George Washington, which JQA was charged to see were “well fed” during the voyage), sailed on the 21st, kept a careful journal of the passage to send to his sister, and arrived in New York on 17 July (JQA to AA2, 1112 May, 25 May-17 July; JQA to JA, 18 May; Lafayette to JQA, 18 May; all in Adams Papers; see also JQA's Diary, which is very regular and full for the period concerned).
On 20 May the three remaining Adamses left Auteuil by carriage and traveled via Montreuil to Calais, where they put up again at “Dessin's,” beguiling a dusty journey by reading a copy of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia presented to them by the author; they reached London on the 26th and stopped at the Bath Hotel in Piccadilly, where Charles Storer had engaged rooms for them (JA to Jefferson, 22, 23, 27 May, and AA to Jefferson, 6 June; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:159–161, 167, 178–181). On the very night of his arrival JA announced his presence in London to Foreign Secretary Lord Carmarthen, who received him the following day. On 1 June he was formally received by George III; both men were deeply moved by the circumstances in which they { 181 } found themselves, and both distinguished themselves by their words and conduct (JA to Carmarthen, 26 May, LbC, Adams Papers; Carmarthen to JA, 27 May, Adams Papers; JA to Jay, 2 June, reporting verbatim what the King and he had said to each other, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 8:255–259). As a result of AA's house-hunting efforts, JA signed on 9 June a lease for a house “in the North East Angle of Grosvenor Square in the Parish of Saint George Hanover Square,” owned by the Hon. John Byron of Purbright, for the term of 21 months at an annual rental of £160 (Lease in Adams Papers; see also AA to Mrs. Cranch, [22]24–28 June, MWA, printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 252). This, the first United States legation in London, is still standing, unoccupied in 1959, at the junction of Duke and Brook Streets, overshadowed by the immense new American Embassy building on the west side of Grosvenor Square. Into it the Adamses moved their furnishings and books, just arrived from the Hôtel des Etats Unis at The Hague, during the first day or two of July; and in a remarkable journal-letter begun on 2 July AA2 provided her brother with a chatty description of the “appartments” in the house, their furnishings, the servants, the neighbors in Grosvenor Square (one of whom was Lord North), visitors and visits, &c., &c. (to JQA, 24 July-11 Aug. 1785, Adams Papers). Subsequent installments of her journal-letters—carefully numbered, each of them running to many pages, and none of them published— furnish by far the fullest account of the Adamses' domestic and social life in London, 1785–1788, compensating in some measure for JA's near-abandonment of his Diary during this period.
On 17 June JA had begun his conferences with Secretary Carmarthen concerning the principal points to be adjusted between the United States and Great Britain; see his letter to Jay of that date (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:378–382).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-27

Grosvenor Square Westminster March 27. 1786.1

March 26. Sunday, dined in Bolton Street Piccadilly, at the Bishop of St. Asaphs.2 Mr. and Mrs. Sloper, the Son in Law and Daughter of the Bishop; Mrs. and Miss Shipley the Wife and Daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan, Mr. Alexander and Mrs. Williams, Mr. Richard Peters and myself, were the Company. In the Evening other Company came in, according to the Fashion, in this Country. Mrs. Shipley at Table asked many Questions about the Expence of living in Philadelphia and Boston. Said she had a Daughter, who had married, less prudently than they wished, and they thought of sending them to America.
1. First entry in D/JA/44, a stitched gathering of leaves identical in format with the preceding booklets and containing scattered entries through 21 July 1786; more than half of this booklet consists of blank leaves.
It is not possible in a paragraph or two to fill the preceding gap of some ten months in JA's Diary with any adequacy. During his first months in England the new American minister wrote often to Carmarthen on the subjects at issue between the two powers, and late in August he sought and obtained an interview with William Pitt, but on 15 Oct. he told Jay that he could “obtain no Answer from the Ministry to any one demand, Proposal or Inquiry” (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:479). Five days later he had a long conversation with Carmarthen covering ground well trod before—the western posts, British trade restrictions, the slaves carried off during the war, American debts to British creditors, &c. Carmarthen was civil but not really responsive, and JA { 182 } characterized the discussion as “useless” (to Jay, 21 Oct., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 483–491). At length in an interview on 8 Dec. JA submitted a memorial (dated 30 Nov.) requesting that in accordance with the seventh article of the Definitive Treaty the British garrisons in the Northwest be withdrawn (LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 542–543; see also p. 543–544). Carmarthen took nearly three months to answer, and when he did he counterbalanced the British retention of the posts in violation of the seventh article against impediments erected by most of the American states in the way of collecting debts due to British creditors, in violation of the fourth article of the Treaty (Carmarthen to JA, 28 Feb. 1786, Adams Papers; printed as an enclosure, together with supporting papers, in JA to Jay, 4 March, in same, p. 580–591). These issues were to remain thus poised until the Jay Treaty of 1794.
The discussions begun at The Hague between JA and Baron von Thulemeier in March 1784 had finally been brought to an end, after a lengthy and many-sided correspondence and much maneuvering about protocol, in a treaty of amity and commerce between Prussia and the United States which was signed by Franklin at Passy on 9 July, by Jefferson at Paris on 28 July, by JA at London on 5 Aug., and by Thulemeier at The Hague on 10 Sept. 1785 (see facsimile in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vol. 8: facing p. 566). The treaty was transmitted to Congress in a joint letter from JA and Jefferson, London and Paris, 2–11 Oct., being the Commissioners' “Ninth Report” (PCC, No. 86; same, p. 606). The treaty itself is printed in Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:162–183. In Aug. 1786 JA decided to go himself to The Hague to exchange the ratifications.
Concerning other negotiations of 1785–1786 for which Jefferson was jointly responsible with JA, see note 2 on entry of 29 March, below.
2. Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph and an intimate friend of Franklin, had long been a popular figure in America because of his early and vigorous criticism in the House of Lords of the British ministry's American policy (DNB). In June Shipley was to officiate at the wedding of AA2.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-29

Wednesday [29 March.]

Dined at Mr. Blakes.1 Mr. Middleton and Wife, Mr. Alexander and Mrs. Williams, Mr. Jefferson.2 Coll. Smith3 and my Family.
1. William Blake (1739–1803), a wealthy and well-connected South Carolina planter, lived much of his life in England but contrived to save most of his property in America; his wife was the former Anne Izard (S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 2:231–232 [July 1901]; 9:81–82 [April 1908]; 34:199 [Oct.1933]).
2. The joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties held by JA and Jefferson (Franklin having returned to Philadelphia) was due to expire on 12 May of this year. Much of the Commissioners' correspondence between London and Paris during the past ten months had dealt with arrangements for the complicated negotiations with Morocco and Algiers which they were authorized to depute to Thomas Barclay and John Lamb respectively, who were exasperatingly deliberate in their movements. See the documents prepared for these agents by JA and Jefferson in Sept.–Oct. 1785, which are printed in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:610–624. The advent of an envoy from Tripoli in London, one Abdrahaman, gave JA an opportunity to discover whether that piratical power would offer terms that the United States would or could accept; and on 17 Feb. 1786 he sent Jefferson a famous and inimitable account of his first discussion with “the Tripoline Ambassador,” during which JA smoked a pipe which reached to the floor and exchanged “in aweful pomp ... Wiff for Wiff” with his host (LbC, Adams Papers; same, 9:285–288). A further interview prompted JA to urge his colleague to come at once to London, not only in order to try to conclude a treaty with Tripoli but to finish { 183 } a negotiation begun in November with the Chevalier de Pinto, the minister from Portugal in London (to Jefferson, 21 Feb., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 295). They were also to make one last effort to interest the British government in a commercial treaty with the United States. On 13 March JA announced in a note to Carmarthen the arrival of Jefferson and requested an interview on behalf of both Commissioners (LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 327). This first and sole visit of Jefferson to London lasted until 26 April. In respect to treaty-making it accomplished nothing. See the Commissioners' reports to Jay of 28 March and 25 April and the documents (mainly from the Adams Papers) relative to the commercial treaty with Portugal, which was signed by the American ministers on 25 April but which the Portuguese government allowed to lapse unratified (same, p. 357–359, 406–409, 410–433); also Jefferson's account of his English sojourn in his Autobiography (Jefferson, Writings, ed. Ford, 1:88–90).
3. William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), JA's secretary of legation and soon to be his son-in-law; he is designated in the present work as WSS. He was the son of John Smith, a merchant in New York City, was graduated from Princeton in 1774, studied law briefly, and served as an officer in the Continental Army, beginning in Aug. 1776, throughout the war, under the command or on the staff, successively, of Sullivan, Lee, Lafayette, and Washington. The best summary and appraisal of his service to June 1782 is in a certificate from Washington himself, stating that WSS in all his “several Military Stations” had “behaved with great fidelity, bravery, and good conduct” (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 24:377). His last assignment was overseeing the British evacuation of New York City, and he left the army in Dec. 1783 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Appointed by Congress secretary to the legation in London, he arrived just ahead of the Adamses and quickly overcame their doubts about him on the score of his being “a Knight of Cincinnatus” (JA to Gerry, 28 April 1785, and to Lafayette, 3 June 1785, letterbook copies, Adams Papers). Before long he also made a deep impression on AA2, and on 11 June 1786 they were married; see note on entry of 1 July, below. WSS's dispatches as secretary of legation, 1785–1787, are in PCC, No. 92; they have more autobiographical than historical value. In 1788 the Smiths returned to America and settled in New York City. WSS held a succession of civil and military appointments but in 1806 virtually wrecked his career by complicity in the scheme of his old friend Francisco de Miranda to liberate Venezuela from Spanish rule. (He furnished a vessel for the expedition, and his son William Steuben Smith, to the infinite distress of JA, who profoundly disapproved of the whole enterprise, was captured by the Spanish authorities.) Having won an acquittal in a federal court on charges of violating the neutrality of the United States, but having also lost his post as surveyor of the Port of New York, WSS retired to “Smith's Valley,” Lebanon, Hamilton co., N.Y., emerging only to serve a term in Congress 1813–1815, before his death. According to JQA, he left his worldly affairs “in inextricable confusion” (JQA, Diary, 4 May 1819). A memoir of WSS was prepared by his daughter Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt and published, together with some of his correspondence, in AA2's Jour. and Corr., 1841–1842; the memoir, which is highly filial, is at 1:99–117. Katharine Metcalf Roof's Colonel William Smith and Lady, published in 1929, is based on both printed and MS sources (including some family papers which cannot currently be traced), but is excessively romantic and chatty in tone and is not documented. An earlier and briefer account is still useful, especially respecting WSS's family: Marcius D. Raymond, “Colonel William Stephens Smith,” N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Record, 25:153–161 (Oct. 1894). In 1795 WSS purchased an estate on the East River, built an elegant seat there which he called Mount Vernon, and planned a great stone stable which still survives at 421 East 61st Street, almost under the Queensboro Bridge in New York City. The history of the estate and the buildings on it has been related and illustrated by Joseph Warren Greene in “Mount Vernon on the East River and Colonel William Stephens { 184 } Smith,” NYHS Quart., 10:115–130 (Jan. 1927). Because he had greatly overreached himself financially, WSS was obliged to sell this property in 1796, and in 1826 the mansion was destroyed by fire. But the stone stable, after many vicissitudes, was acquired in 1924 by the Colonial Dames of America, which uses it as a national headquarters under the name of the Abigail Adams Smith House; see a pamphlet by Katharine Metcalf Roof, The Story of the Abigail Adams Smith Mansion and the Mount Vernon Estate, issued by the Colonial Dames of America in 1949.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-30

London Thursday March 30.

Presented Mr. Hamilton to the Queen at the Drawing Room.1 Dined at Mr. Paradices.2 Count Warranzow [Woronzow] and his Gentleman and Chaplain, M. Sodorini the Venetian Minister, Mr. Jefferson, Dr. Bancroft, Coll. Smith and my Family.
Went at Nine O Clock to the French Ambassadors Ball, where were two or three hundred People, chiefly Ladies.3 Here I met the Marquis of Landsdown and the Earl of Harcourt. These two Noblemen ventured to enter into Conversation with me. So did Sir George Young [Yonge]. But there is an Aukward Timidity, in General. This People cannot look me in the Face: there is conscious Guilt and Shame in their Countenances, when they look at me. They feel that they have behaved ill, and that I am sensible of it.
1. William Hamilton (1745–1813), Pennsylvania land magnate and patron of landscape gardening, whose house called Bush Hill on the outskirts of Philadelphia the Adamses were to occupy when the government moved to that city in 1790; his niece Ann Hamilton was a great favorite in the Adams household in Grosvenor Square (Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania ..., Phila., 1883, p. 135–136; AA to Charles Storer, 22 May 1786, Adams Papers; AA to Mrs. Cranch, 12 Dec. 1790, MWA, printed in AA, New Letters, p. 65–67).
2. John Paradise (1743–1795), a scholarly and eccentric Englishman of partly Greek descent, who had married the Virginia heiress Lucy Ludwell (1751–1814) in London in 1769; they lived and kept a salon in Charles Street, Cavendish Square. This dinner may have been the occasion on which Jefferson met the Paradises, whose adviser and protector during their endless personal and financial difficulties he became. See Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, Richmond, 1942.
3. On 2 April AA wrote her nieces Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch a letter apiece on the Comte d'Adhémar's supper and ball, dwelling at length on what the ladies wore (in MHi: Norton Papers, and MWA, respectively; both printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 278–286).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1786-04-04 - 1786-04-10

[Notes on a Tour of English Country Seats, &c., with Thomas Jefferson, 4–10? April 1786.]1

Mr. Jefferson and myself, went in a Post Chaise to Woburn Farm,2 Caversham, Wotton, Stowe, Edghill, Stratford upon Avon, Birmingham, the Leasowes, Hagley, Stourbridge, Worcester, Woodstock, Blenheim, Oxford, High Wycomb, and back to Grosvenor Square.
{ 185 }
Edgehill and Worcester were curious and interesting to us, as Scaenes where Freemen had fought for their Rights. The People in the Neighbourhood, appeared so ignorant and careless at Worcester that I was provoked and asked, “And do Englishmen so soon forget the Ground where Liberty was fought for? Tell your Neighbours and your Children that this is holy Ground, much holier than that on which your Churches stand. All England should come in Pilgrimage to this Hill, once a Year.” This animated them, and they seemed much pleased with it. Perhaps their Aukwardness before might arise from their Uncertainty of our Sentiments concerning the Civil Wars.
Stratford upon Avon is interesting as it is the Scaene of the Birth, Death and Sepulture of Shakespear. Three Doors from the Inn, is the House where he was born, as small and mean, as you can conceive. They shew Us an old Wooden Chair in the Chimney Corner, where He sat. We cutt off a Chip according to the Custom. A Mulberry Tree that he planted has been cutt down, and is carefully preserved for Sale. The House where he died has been taken down and the Spot is now only Yard or Garden. The Curse upon him who should remove his Bones, which is written on his Grave Stone, alludes to a Pile of some Thousands of human Bones, which lie exposed in that Church. There is nothing preserved of this great Genius which is worth knowing—nothing which might inform Us what Education, what Company, what Accident turned his Mind to Letters and the Drama. His name is not even on his Grave Stone. An ill sculptured Head is sett up by his Wife, by the Side of his Grave in the Church. But paintings and Sculpture would be thrown away upon his Fame. His Wit, and Fancy, his Taste and Judgment, His Knowledge of Nature, of Life and Character, are immortal.
At Birmingham, We only walked round the Town and viewed a manufactory of Paintings upon Paper.
The Gentlemens Seats were the highest Entertainment, We met with. Stowe, Hagley and Blenheim, are superb. Woburn, Caversham and the Leasowes are beautifull. Wotton is both great and elegant tho neglected. Architecture, Painting, Statuary, Poetry are all employed in the Embellishment of these Residences of Greatness and Luxury. A national Debt of 274 millions sterling accumulated by Jobs, Contracts, Salaries and Pensions in the Course of a Century might easily produce all this Magnificence. The Pillars, Obelisks &c. erected in honour of Kings, Queens and Princesses, might procure the means. The Temples to Bacchus and Venus, are quite unnecessary as Mankind have no need of artificial Incitements, to such Amuze• { 186 } ments.3 The Temples of ancient Virtue, of the British Worthies, of Friendship, of Concord and Victory, are in a higher Taste. I mounted Ld. Cobhams Pillar 120 feet high, with pleasure, as his Lordships Name was familiar to me, from Popes Works.
Ld. Littletons Seat interested me, from a recollection of his Works, as well as the Grandeur and Beauty of the Scaenes. Popes Pavillion and Thompsons [Thomson's] Seat, made the Excursion poetical. Shen-stones Leasowes is the simplest and plainest, but the most rural of all. I saw no Spot so small, that exhibited such a Variety of Beauties.
It will be long, I hope before Ridings, Parks, Pleasure Grounds, Gardens and ornamented Farms grow so much in fashion in America. But Nature has done greater Things and furnished nobler Materials there. The Oceans, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Valleys are all laid out upon a larger Scale.—If any Man should hereafter arise, to embellish the rugged Grandeur of Pens Hill, he might make some thing to boast of, although there are many Situations capable of better Improvement.
Since my Return4 I have been over Black Fryars Bridge to see Viny's Manufacture of Patent Wheels made of bent Timber.
Viny values himself much upon his mechanical Invention. Is loud in praise of Franklin who first suggested to him the Hint of a bent Wheel. Franklin once told me, he had seen such a Wheel in Holland, before he set Viny to work. Viny says that Franklin said to him, “Mankind are very superficial and very dastardly. They begin upon a Thing but meeting with a difficulty they fly from it, discouraged. But they have Capacities if they would but employ them.” “I,” says Viny, “make it a Rule to do nothing as others do it. My first Question is how do others do this? and when I have found out, I resolve to do it, another Way, and a better Way. I take my Pipe and Smoke like a Lim-burners Kiln, and I find a Pipe is the best Aid to thinking.” This Man has Genius, but has Genius always as much Vanity? It is not always so open. It is really modest and humble sometimes. But in Viny it is very vain. His Inventions for boiling and bending his Timber, and for drilling his Irons, are very ingenious. The force requisite for bending a Stick of Ash into a hoop, suitable for a large Wheel, or a small one, is prodigious.5
1. In the MS the present entry has the bare caption “London April,” indicating, as does the substance of the entry itself, that it was written after the tourists had returned from their circuit from London to scenic and historic sites in Surrey, Berks, Bucks, and Warwick, as far as The Leasowes in Shropshire, and back through Worcester and Oxford to London. The dates of the tour have been { 187 } | view well worked out by Julian P. Boyd in his editorial notes on Jefferson's “Memorandums” taken on the tour, the entries in Jefferson's Account Book being especially helpful for that purpose (Jefferson, Papers, 9:374). Readers comparing JA's and Jefferson's records of this pleasure jaunt should take note that the latter began his tour two days earlier (visiting Twickenham, Hampton Court, Woburn Farm, and other nearby points) and returned to London where he was joined by JA on 4 April, and also that Jefferson's notes have an addendum for his separate trip or trips to Moor Park, Enfield Chace, and Kew, which took place after he and JA had finished their tour together. They will further notice that while Jefferson mentions only those sites they visited that are dealt with in Thomas Whately's Observations on Modern Gardening, Illustrated by Descriptions, London, 1770, JA by no means confined himself to famous gardens, though he entered in the margins of his own copy of Whately's book (4th edn., 1777, in MB) every garden he visited with Jefferson.
2. This was a return visit for Jefferson to Woburn Farm, near Weybridge, Surrey; see his Account Book, 1783–1790 (MHi), under both 3 and 4 April 1786.
3. Contrast Jefferson's memorandum at Hagley, Lord Lyttelton's seat near Stourbridge, Worcester:
“From one of these [ponds] there is a fine cascade; but it can only be occasionally, by opening the sluice. This is in a small, dark, deep hollow, with recesses of stone in the banks on every side. In one of these is a Venus pudique, turned half round as if inviting you with her into the recess” (Papers, ed. Boyd, 9:372).
4. The evidence is indeterminate on the exact date of the return to London. When the two friends started they did not know how far they would go. “We have seen Magnificence, Elegance and Taste enough to excite an Inclination to see more,” JA wrote his wife from the village of Buckingham, 5 April (NhD). “We conclude to go to Birmingham, perhaps to the Leasowes, and in that Case shall not have the Pleasure to see you, till Sunday or Monday” (i.e. till the 9th or 10th). From entries in Jefferson's Account Book it is clear that on the 9th they visited Blenheim and Oxford and came on to Tatsworth and High Wycombe (where Jefferson paid for “ent[ertainmen]t” 10s. 10d.), which seems to indicate that they lodged there for the night. But he also recorded paying that day for horses as far as Uxbridge, which is closer to London than High Wycombe. Considering the distance and the stops, it is most likely that the travelers spent the night of the 9th on the road and came on to London next day.
On the 9th Jefferson also recorded in his Account Book: “received of Mr. Adams £9–9 in part towards preceding expences from our leaving London Apr. 4. which are joint.” A later, separate account (DLC: Jefferson Papers, under date of Aug. 1786) is fuller:
Whole expences of our journey   £35–   16–   9    
One half is   17–   18–   4   1/2  
Mr. Adams furnished   9–   9      
  £ 8–   9–   4   1/2  
5. The date of the visit to the works of John Viney, “Timber-bender, Great Surry-Str. Blackfri[ars]” (The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture, 3d edn., London, 1797, 1:319), is also indeterminate, but it must have occurred between 10 and 15 April, since the next entry in the Diary bears the latter date. Jefferson was also in the party, and if JA was inclined to belittle Viney's bent-timber wheels because the proprietor admired both himself and Franklin too highly to suit JA's taste, Jefferson was later indignant on patriotic grounds. In a letter to St. John de Crèvecoeur about published claims for Viney's process, Jefferson recalled his visit to Viney's works and pointed out that farmers in New Jersey had long made cartwheels by bending saplings into circles and had probably learned the process from Book IV of the Iliad, “because ours are the only farmers who can read Homer” (15 Jan. 1787; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 11:43–45).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-15

Saturday Ap. 15.

Dined with Mr. Brand Hollis in Chesterfield Street.1 His Mantle Trees are ornamented with Antiques. Penates. Little brazen Images of the Gods. Venus, Ceres, Apollo, Minerva &c. Hollis is a Member of the Antiquarian Society. Our Company were Price,2 Kippis, Bridgen, Romilly, and another besides Jefferson, Smith and myself.
1. Thomas Brand (1719–1804), who had in 1774 assumed the name Hollis upon inheriting the estate of Thomas Hollis, the well-known benefactor of Harvard College. Brand Hollis was a wealthy dissenter, political radical, and antiquarian. In July the Adamses were to visit his country seat in Essex (see entries of 2427 July, below), and for some years thereafter they corresponded with him. Some of their letters are printed in John Disney's Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, Esq., London, 1808, p. 30–40. See also Caroline Robbins, “Thomas Brand Hollis (1719–1804), English Admirer of Franklin and Intimate of John Adams,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 97 (1953):239–247.
2. Richard Price (1723–1791), of Newington Green, dissenting minister, writer on government and finance, and friend of America (DNB). JA and Price had been correspondents for some years and continued to be so until the latter's death. During their stay in London the Adamses regularly attended Price's religious meeting at Hackney.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-18

Ap. 18. Tuesday.

Yesterday dined here, Mr. Jefferson, Sir John Sinclair, Mr. Heard, Garter King at Arms, Dr. Price, Mr. Brand Hollis, Mr. Henry Loyd of Boston, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Bridgen, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Murray,1 Coll. Smith.
1. William Vans Murray (1760–1803), a young Marylander studying at the Middle Temple. He had formed a close friendship with JQA, was liked by all the Adamses, and became a valued political disciple of JA. A Federalist member of Congress, 1791–1797, he was appointed by Washington successor to JQA as minister at The Hague, and it was largely through his efforts, concluding in the Franco-American Convention of Mortefontaine, Sept.-Oct. 1800, that JA as President was able to end the quasi-war with France. See DAB; JQA's anonymous obituary of Murray in the Port Folio, 1st ser., 4:5–6 (7 Jan. 1804); articles by Alexander DeConde on Murray's diplomacy, Md. Hist. Mag., 48: 1–26 (March 1953), and on his Political Sketches, London, 1787 (a work dedicated to JA), MVHR, 41:623–640 (March 1955); and “Letters of William Vans Murray,” ed. W. C. Ford, Amer. Hist. Assoc., Ann. Rpt. for 1912, p. 341–715 (mainly letters to JQA, from the Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-19

London April 19. 1786. Wednesday.

This is the Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, and of my Reception at the Hague, by their High Mightinesses. This last Event is considered by the Historians, and other Writers and Politicians of England and France as of no Consequence: and Congress and the Citizens of the United States in General concur with them in Sentiment.
{ 189 }
I walked to the Booksellers, Stockdale, Cadel, Dilly, Almon, and met Dr. Priestly for the first Time.1—The Conquest of Canaan, the Vision of Columbus, and the History of the Revolution in S. Carolina, were the Subject. I wrote a Letter to Jn. Luzac, for Dilly.2
This Day I met Dr. Priestly and Mr. Jennings, with the latter of whom I had a long Walk. I spent the Day upon the whole agreably enough. Seeds were sown, this Day, which will grow.3
1. Joseph Priestley (1732–1804), dissenting clergyman, discoverer of oxygen, political radical, and voluminous writer on theology and other subjects (DNB). This was the beginning of a long but not untroubled relationship, for Priestley fled from Birmingham to Pennsylvania in 1794 and his political views and utterances during JA's Presidency led to suggestions that he be deported under the Alien Act—suggestions which JA refused to act on (JA, Works, 9:5–6, 13–14). There is an excellent brief account of their relationship in Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress, ch. 14, which includes JA's marginalia in his own copies of some of Priestley's theological writings.
2. Not found.
3. This must pertain, at least in part, to JA's efforts to arrange for publication in London of the works of the American authors mentioned in the preceding paragraph. On 5 March David Humphreys, a poet himself and a member of the Connecticut circle that included Timothy Dwight and Joel Barlow, had written JA from Paris to say that WSS was bringing to London a printed copy of Dwight's Conquest of Canaan (which had been published at Hartford, 1785) and a MS copy of Barlow's Vision of Columbus (eventually published at Hartford, 1787), which their authors hoped could be published in London (Adams Papers). JA wrote Dwight on 4 April that he knew “of no heroick Poem superior to [The Conquest of Canaan], in any modern Language, excepting always Paradise lost,” but after consulting with Dr. Price and others about the poems he predicted “a cold reception” for them from British publishers and readers (LbC, Adams Papers). On the same day he wrote Barlow in more or less similar terms (LbC, Adams Papers). By one means or another, however, both poems were eventually published in London, Barlow's by Dilly and Stockdale in 1787, and Dwight's by J. Johnson the next year. See Blanck, Bibliog. Amer. Lit., 865, 5040; Sabin 3435, 21548.
At the end of 1785 David Ramsay, a literary physician and a delegate to the Continental Congress from South Carolina, had published at Trenton his two-volume History of the Revolution of South-Carolina and optimistically sent 1600 copies to Charles Dilly for sale in England. See Ramsay to JA, 23 Dec. 1785 (DSI), and JA's characteristic reply, 9 Feb. 1786 (LbC, Adams Papers). Ramsay later informed JA that Dilly had “declined publishing my history from an apprehension that it would expose him to prosecutions” (14 May 1786, Adams Papers). There were proposals to cut out passages that would give offense in England, but as JA told Ramsay, “your Friends have expressed so much Indignation at them that I hope and believe they will be laid aside, and that by degrees the American Edition may be sold” (1 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers). See, further, Robert L. Brunhouse, “David Ramsay's Publication Problems, 1784–1808,” Bibliog. Soc. Amer., Papers, 39 (1945):51–67.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-20

London April 20 1786 Thursday.

Went with Mr. Jefferson and my Family to Osterly, to view the Seat of the late Banker Child.1 The House is very large. It is Three Houses, fronting as many Ways—between two is a double row of Six { 190 } Pillars, which you rise to by a flight of Steps. Within is a Square, a Court, a Terrace, paved with large Slate. The Green House and Hot House were curious. Blowing Roses, ripe Strawberries, Cherries, Plumbs &c. in the Hot House. The Pleasure Grounds were only an undulating Gravel Walk, between two Borders of Trees and Shrubs. All the Evergreens, Trees and Shrubbs were here. There is a Water, for Fish Ponds and for Farm Uses, collected from the Springs and wet Places in the farm and neighbourhood. Fine flocks of Deer and Sheep, Wood Doves, Guinea Hens, Peacocks &c.
The Verdure is charming, the Music of the Birds pleasant. But the Ground is too level.—We could not see the Apartments in the House, because We had no Tickett. Mrs. Child is gone to New Markett it seems to the Races.
The beauty, Convenience, and Utility of these Country Seats, are not enjoyed by the owners. They are mere Ostentations of Vanity. Races, Cocking, Gambling draw away their attention.
On our Return We called to see Sion House belonging to the Duke of Northumberland. This Farm is watered, by a rivulet drawn by an artificial Canal from the Thames. A Repetition of winding Walks, gloomy Evergreens, Sheets of Water, Clumps of Trees, Green Houses, Hot Houses &c. The Gate, which lets you into this Farm from the Brentford Road, is a beautifull Thing, and lays open to the View of the Traveller, a very beautifull green Lawn interspersed with Clumps and scattered Trees.
The Duke of Marlborough owns a House upon Sion Hill, which is only over the Way.
Osterly, Sion Place and Sion Hill are all in Brentford, within Ten Miles of Hide Park Corner. We went through Hide Park and Kensington to Brentford. We passed in going and returning, by Lord Hollands House, which is a Modern Building in the gothic manner.
1. Osterley Park, Heston, Middlesex, the seat of Robert Child (d. 1782), of the Child banking dynasty, a 16th-century mansion that had been remodeled by Robert Adam; see Walpole, Letters, ed. Mrs. Toynbee, 8:291–292; 12:306; Walpole, Corr., ed. W. S. Lewis, 28: 413–414.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-23

Sunday. Ap. 23.

Heard Dr. Priestley at Mr. Linseys in Essex Street.1
1. Theophilus Lindsey (1723–1808), minister of the Essex Street Chapel; the first avowedly Unitarian place of worship in London (DNB; Thomas Belsham, Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey ..., London, 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-24

Monday [24 April.]

Viewed the British Musaeum. Dr. Grey who attended Us spoke very slightly of Buffon. Said “he was full of mauvais Fois. No Dependence upon him. Three out of four of his Quotations not to be found. That he had been obliged to make it his Business to examine the Quotations. That he had not found a quarter of them. That Linnaeus was quoted from early Editions long after the last Edition was public of 1766 the 12th, which was inexcuseable. He did not think Buffon superiour to Dr. Hill. Both had Imagination &c.”—This is partly national Prejudice and Malignity, no doubt.1
1. This visit was arranged by Benjamin Vaughan. “Dr. Gray makes a private party for Mr. V:, and of course will be happy to see Mrs. and Miss Adams, with Col. Jefferson and Col. Smith” (Vaughan to JA, 20 April 1786, Adams Papers). Their guide was Edward Whitaker Gray, botanist and keeper of the collections of natural history and antiquities at the British Museum (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-06-26

London June 26. 1786.

On Saturday night returned from a Tour to Portsmouth, in which We viewed Paines Hill in Surry, as We went out; and Windsor as We returned. We were absent four days. Paines Hill is the most striking Piece of Art, that I have Yet seen. The Soil is an heap of Sand, and the Situation is nothing extraordinary. It is a new Creation of Mr. Hamilton. All made within 35 Years. It belongs to Mr. Hopkins, who rides by it, but never stops. The owners of these enchanting Seats are very indifferent to their Beauties.—The Country from Guilford to Portsmouth, is a barren heath, a dreary Waste.1
1. “Painshill” (as spelled by Whately) was formerly “The seat of Mr. [Charles] Hamilton, near Cobham in Surry” (Observations on Modern Gardening, 4th edn., London, 1777, p. 184 and note). According to a marginal note in JA's copy of Whately, the Adamses' visit took place on 21 June, so that their excursion began on the 20th and ended on the 24th. In a letter to Lucy Cranch, 20 July, AA gave her impressions of Windsor at length (MHi:Misc. Bound Coll.; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 297–298).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-01

London July 1. 1786.

Last night, Coll. Smith and his Lady, took their Leave of Us, and went to their House in Wimpole Street.1
Yesterday visited Desenfans's Collection of Pictures. A Port in Italy by Claude Lorraine, is the best Piece that remains. A Sampson sleeping in the Lap of Dalilah, while the Philistines cutt of his Locks, is said to be by Rubens, but Mr. Copely who was present doubts it. { 192 } Supposes it to be by some one of Reubens's School. Fine Colours and the Air of one of Reubens's Wives, is given to Dalilah.
This Art shews Us Examples of all the various Sorts of Genius which appear in Poetry. The Epic Poet, the Trajedian, the Comedian, The Writer of Pastorals, Elegies, Epigrams, Farces, and Songs. The Pleasure, which arises from Imitation, We have in looking at a Picture of a Lanscape, a Port, a Street, a Temple, or a Portrait. But there must be Action, Passion, Sentiment and Moral to engage my Attention very much. The Story of the Prince, who lost his own Life in a bold attempt to save some of his Subjects from a flood of Water is worth all the Paintings that have been exhibited this Year.
Copleys Fall of Chatham or Pierson, Wests Wolf, Epaminondas, Bayard &c. Trumbulls Warren and Montgomery, are interesting Subjects, and useful. But a Million Pictures of Flours, Game, Cities, Landscapes, with whatever Industry and Skill executed, would be seen with much Indifference. The Sky, the Earth, Hills and Valleys, Rivers and Oceans, Forrests and Groves, Towns and Cities, may be seen at any Time.
1. The severing of the engagement between AA2 and Royall Tyler (see note 1 on entry of 20 June 1784 in AA's Diary, above), and the engagement and marriage of AA2 and WSS make a long story that is told in abundant detail in the family correspondence and can only be summarized here, with a general reference to the years 1784–1786 in Series II of the present edition. For a time after the Adams ladies' departure for Europe all went well enough with the engaged couple. AA2 commenced a correspondence with Tyler, and they exchanged miniature portraits. By the spring of 1785, however, AA2 became convinced that Tyler was not writing her, and after much silent suffering she complained to him on this score. This letter of hers, written soon after her arrival in London, has not been found, nor has his reply, which in her own opinion and that of her mother was a prevarication rather than a justification. Late in the summer of 1785, therefore, she returned him his few letters and his picture and requested him to deliver hers to her uncle, Richard Cranch (Grandmother Tyler's Book: The Recollections of Mary Palmer Tyler ..., ed. Frederick Tupper and Helen Tyler Brown, N.Y. and London, 1925, p. 76). In imparting this news to Mrs. Cranch (in whose house in Braintree Tyler boarded), AA quoted the maxim that “a woman may forgive the man she loves an indiscretion, but never a neglect” (15–16 Aug. 1785, MWA). During the following months Mrs. Cranch wrote long and gossipy letters saying that Tyler refused to admit that he had been dismissed, was otherwise uncandid with the Cranches, continued to wear AA2's miniature, and was in general behaving badly. When he could no longer conceal a situation that everyone in Braintree knew and discussed, Tyler declared, said Mrs. Cranch, that he would go to London and settle the little “misunderstanding” between himself and AA2, which he attributed to the prejudice and malice of her relatives at home (to AA, 10 Dec. 1785, 9 Feb. 1786, Adams Papers).
Meanwhile in London AA2 and WSS had of course been thrown much together, and by Aug. 1785 the secretary of legation had learned enough about the young lady's situation to conclude that, from motives of delicacy, he ought to step out of the scene for a time. He therefore requested and obtained a leave of absence to tour the Continent and { 193 } was gone for several months. Returning toward the end of the year, he composed, in properly gallant and circumlocutory language, a formal request to AA for the hand of her daughter (29 Dec., Adams Papers). His suit, at least, was approved by both AA and JA, who had a very favorable opinion of his character and conduct, and in January and February AA dropped hints to JQA, her sister Cranch, and other family connections in America that AA2's marriage to a very worthy partner might be expected before long, though AA herself wished that there might be a longer interval in view of the broken engagement. The wedding took place on 11 June, and, by special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the Legation in Grosvenor Square, with only the Copley family and a few other American friends present. The Bishop of St. Asaph officiated, because, as JA explained to Richard Cranch, “Dissenting Ministers have not authority to marry” (4 July, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-06

July [6] Thursday.

Dined at Clapham, at Mr. Smiths. Dr. Kippis, Dr. Reese, Dr. Harris, Mr. Pais, Mr. Towgood and his two Sons, Mr. Channing were the Company.1
Mr. Pais told a Story, admirably well of a Philosopher, and a Scotsman. The Wit attempted to divert himself, by asking the Scot if he knew the immense Distance to Heaven? It was so many Millions of Diameters of the Solar System, and a Cannon Ball would be so many Thousand Years in running there. I dont know the Distance nor the Time says the Scot, but I know it will not take you a Millionth part of the Time to go to Hell.—The Scottish Dialect, and Accent was admirably imitated. The Conversation was uniformly agreable. Nothing to interrupt it.
1. The host was William Smith (1756–1835), M.P. for Sudbury, Suffolk, and a noted advocate of parliamentary reform, the repeal of religious tests, the abolition of the slave trade, and other liberal causes. The guests were mainly if not entirely dissenting clergymen and laymen. For Rev. Andrew Kippis and the encyclopedist Abraham Rees see DNB. Joseph Paice, who told the story that follows, was a patron and trustee of dissenting academies (Thomas Belsham, Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey, London, 1812, p. 291 and note).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-08

London July 8. Saturday.

In one of my common Walks, along the Edgeware Road, there are fine Meadows, or Squares of grass Land belonging to a noted Cow keeper. These Plotts are plentifully manured. There are on the Side of the Way, several heaps of Manure, an hundred Loads perhaps in each heap. I have carefully examined them and find them composed of Straw, and dung from the Stables and Streets of London, mud, Clay, or Marl, dug out of the Ditch, along the Hedge, and Turf, Sward cutt up, with Spades, hoes, and shovels in the Road. This is laid in vast heaps to mix. With narrow hoes they cutt it down at each End, and { 194 } with shovels throw it into a new heap, in order to divide it and mix it more effectually. I have attended to the Operation, as I walked, for some time. This may be good manure, but is not equal to mine, which I composed in similar heaps upon my own Farm, of Horse Dung from Bracketts stable in Boston, Marsh Mud from the sea shore and Street Dust, from the Plain at the Foot of Pens hill, in which is a Mixture of Marl.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-16

London July 16, 1786. Sunday.

At Hackney, heard a Nephew of Dr. Price, who is settled at Yarmouth.
It may be of Use to minute miscellaneous Thoughts like Selden, Swift &c.
It is an Observation of one of the profoundest Inquirers into human Affairs, that a Revolution of Government, successfully conducted and compleated, is the strongest Proof, that can be given, by a People of their Virtue and good Sense. An Interprize of so much difficulty can never be planned and carried on without Abilities, and a People without Principle cannot have confidence enough in each other.
Mr. Langbourne of Virginia, who dined with Us on Fryday at Col. Smiths, dined here Yesterday. This Gentleman who is rich, has taken the Whim of walking all over Europe, after having walked over most of America. His Observations are sensible and judicious. He walks forty five or fifty miles a day. He says he has seen nothing superiour to the Country from N. York to Boston. He is in Love with N. England, admires the Country and its Inhabitants. He kept Company with the King of Frances Retinue, in his late Journey to Cherbourg. He says the Virginians have learned much in Agriculture as well as in Humanity to their Slaves, in the late War.1
1. William Langborn (d. 1814), of King William co., Va., who had served as aide-de-camp to Lafayette in America and was in 1783 breveted lieutenant colonel. According to family tradition he wandered for many years on his walking tours. He had just arrived in England from France, where on 15 June Jefferson had issued him a passport. See Heitman, Register Continental Army; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 5:637–638; 9:643–644; WMQ, 1st ser., 4:184 (Jan. 1896); 11:257–260 (April 1903); also entry of 21 July and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-20

London July 20. Thursday.

“Every Act of Authority, of one Man over another for which there is not an absolute Necessity, is tyrannical.”
“Le Pene che oltre passano la necessita di conservare il deposito della Salute pubblica, sono ingiuste di lor natura.” Beccaria.1
{ 195 }
The Sovereign Power is constituted, to defend Individuals against the Tyranny of others. Crimes are acts of Tyranny of one or more on another or more. A Murderer, a Thief, a Robber, a Burglar, is a Tyrant.
Perjury, Slander, are tyranny too, when they hurt any one.
1. “All punishments that go beyond the requirements of public safety are by their very nature unjust” —Beccaria, Deidelitti e delle pene, ch. 2. JA is quoting from his own copy of the Italian text (new edn., Haarlem and Paris, 1780, p. 10), which he had acquired in July 1780. This passage is near the end of ch. 2. The quotation in English in the preceding paragraph of this entry is also from Beccaria, ch. 2 (near the beginning of that chapter), but is taken from JA's copy of the English translation (An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, London, 1775, p. 7). This shows that JA used the original and the translation together, but the new Italian edition of 1780 varies markedly in its text from the version on which the earlier translation was based. Both volumes are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; JA presented the English translation to his son TBA in 1800.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-21

London July 21. Fryday.

Maj. Langbourne dined with Us again. He was lamenting the difference of Character between Virginia and N. England. I offered to give him a Receipt for making a New England in Virginia. He desired it and I recommended to him Town meetings, Training Days, Town Schools, and Ministers, giving him a short Explanation of each Article. The Meeting house, and Schoolhouse and Training Field are the Scaenes where New England men were formed. Col. Trumbul, who was present agreed, that these are the Ingredients.1
In all Countries, and in all Companies for several Years, I have in Conversation and in Writing, enumerated The Towns, Militia, Schools and Churches as the four Causes of the Grouth and Defence of N. England. The Virtues and Talents of the People are there formed. Their Temperance, Patience, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, as well as their Sagacity, Knowledge, Judgment, Taste, Skill, Ingenuity, Dexterity, and Industry.—Can it be now ascertained whether Norton, Cotton, Wilson, Winthrop, Winslow, Saltonstall, or who, was the Author of the Plan of Town Schools, Townships, Militia Laws, Meeting houses and Ministers &c.
1. Many years later Richard Rush, while serving as American minister in England, wrote JA that “An old Scotch woman, in North-Shields, signing herself Ann Hewison,” had sent him (Rush) “a manuscript Quarto” of extracts from the diary of William Langborn “during his travels through several parts of Europe.” No trace of Langborn's diary has been found, but Rush copied into his letter the following passage from it:
“London July 18. 1786. Saturday—Did myself the pleasure, agreeably to yesterdays invitation, of dining with Mr. Adams and his family. We had but one stranger, he remarkable for his American attachments. Our dinner was plain, neat, and good. Mrs. Adams's accomplish• { 196 } ments and agreeableness would have apologized for any thing otherwise; after dinner took an airing in the park.
”Thursday the 23. Dined again with Mr. Adams. Mr. Trumball, a student of Mr. Wests was there. The English custom although bad still exists; we set to our bottle; I not for wine, but for the conversation of the Minister, which was very interesting, honest and instructive. He informed us that the Portuguese Minister had by order of his Queen a pleasing piece of intelligence, which was, that her fleet in the Mediterranean had her orders to give the same protection to all American vessels as to her own. I must not forget Mr. Adams's requisites to make citizens like those republicans of New England; they were, that we should form ourselves into townships, encourage instruction by establishing in each public schools, and thirdly to elevate as much the common people by example and advice to a principle of virtue and religion” (Rush to JA, 2 May 1818, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-24

July 24. 1786. Monday.1

Went with Mr. Bridgen, Col. Smith, Mrs. Smith, to The Hide in Essex, the Country Seat of Brand Hollis Esqr.2 We breakfasted at Rumford, and turned out of the Way to see the Seat of Lord Petre at Thorndon. Mr. Hollis prefers the Architecture of this House to that at Stow, because it is more conformable to Paladio, his Bible for this kind of Knowledge. There are in the back Front six noble Corinthian Pillars. There is a grand Saloon unfinished in which are many ancient Pictures, one of Sir Thomas More, his Wife and two Daughters, with a Group of other Figures. There is in another Appartment, a Picture of the Cornaro Family by Titian. This House is vast, and the Appartements are grand and the Prospects from the Windows are extensive and agreable. The furniture is rich and elegant. The Pictures of King James the 2d, of Lord Derwentwater who was beheaded in 1715, as well as many others besides that of Sir Thomas More, shew that the Family is Catholick. The Library shews this more fully as the Books are generally of that kind, but the Chapel furnishes full proof. The Library is semicircular, with Windows and Mahogany Collonades, very elegant, but contrived more as an ornamented Passage to the Chappell, than for Study. There are two Stoves, but at neither of them could a Student be comfortable in cold Weather. I might talk of Glades and Forrests, Groves and Clumps, with which this House is surrounded like all other Palaces of the kind.
We dined at the Hide, with Mr. Brand Hollis and his Sister Miss Brand. This is a curious Place. The House is the Residence of an Antiquarian, as most of the Apartments as well as the great Hall, sufficiently shew. I will perhaps take a List of all the Antiques in this Hall. The most interesting to me is the Bust of my Friend as well as Mr. Brands Friend, the late Thomas Hollis Esq., in beautifull white Marble.
{ 197 }
This House which is a decent handsome one was the Seat of Mr. Brands Father, and the Chamber where We lodge, is hung round with the Portraits of the Family. It is at the End of the House, and from two Windows in front and two others at the End, We have a pleasant View of Lawns and Glades, Trees and Clumps and a Piece of Water, full of Fish. The Borders, by the Walks, in the Pleasure Grounds, are full of rare Shrubbs and Trees, to which Collection America has furnished her full Share. I shall here have a good Opportunity to take a List of these Trees, Shrubbs and Flours. Larches, Cypruses, Laurells are here as they are every where. Mr. Brand Hollis has, planted near the Walk from his Door to the Road, a large and beautifull Furr, in Honour of the late Dr. Jebb his Friend. A Tall Cyprus in his Pleasure Grounds he calls General Washington, and another his Aid du Camp Col. Smith.
1. First entry in D/JA/45, an unstitched gathering of leaves identical in format with the preceding booklets and containing entries only through 29 [i.e. 28] July 1786; most of the leaves are blank.
2. Near Ingatestone. Brand Hollis himself used the spelling “The Hide,” but his heir and biographer, John Disney, whose Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, Esq., London, 1808, contains a number of views of the house and grounds, used the presumably more elegant form, “The Hyde.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-25

The Hide July 25 1786 Tuesday.

Mr. Brand Hollis and Mr.1 Brand, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Adams, took a ride to Chelmsford, stopped at a Booksellers, the Printer of a Newspaper in which Mr. B. Hollis had printed the late Act of Virginia in favour of equal religious Liberty. We then went to Moulsham Hall, built originally by Lord Fitzwalter, but lately owned by Sir William Mildmay, one of the Commissaries2 with Governor Shirley at Paris in 1754, for settling the Boundaries between the French and English in America. Lady Mildmay owns it, at present, but is not yet come down from London. Mr. B. Hollis admires the Architecture of this House, because it is according to the Principles of Palladio. The Apartments are all well proportioned in Length, Breadth and Height. There is here a Landscape of Rembrandt. The Words Halls, Parlours, Saloons and Drawing Rooms occur upon these Occasions, but to describe them would be endless. We returned by another road through the race grounds, to the Hide and after Dinner, made a Visit to the Gardiners House to see his Bees. He is Bee mad, Mr. B. Hollis says. He has a number of Glass Hives, and has a curious Invention to shut out the Drones. He has nailed thin and narrow Laths at the Mouth of the Hive, and has left Spaces between them barely wide { 198 } enough for the small Bees to creep through. Here and there he has made a Notch in the lath large enough for a Drone to pass, but this Notch he has covered with a thin light clapper which turns easily upwards upon a Pivot. The Drone easily lifts up the Clapper and comes out, but as soon as he is out, the Clapper falls and excludes the Drone, who has neither Skill nor Strength to raise it on the outside. Thus shut out from the Hive the Gardiner destroys them because he says they do nothing but eat Honey. The Gardiner who is a Son of Liberty, and was always a Friend to America, was delighted with this Visit. Dame says he to his Wife, you have had the greatest honour done you to day that you ever had in your Life.—Mr. B. Hollis says he is a proud Scotchman, but a very honest Man and faithfull Servant.—After Tea Mr. B. Hollis and I took a circular Walk, round the Farm. He shew Us a kind of Medallion, on which was curiously wrought a Feast of all the Heathen Gods and Goddesses sitting round a Table. Jupiter throws down upon the Middle of it, one of his Thunder bolts, flaming at each End with Lightning, and lights his own Pipe at it, and all the others follow his Example. Venus is whiffing like a Dutchman, so is Diana and Minerva, as well as Mars, Bachus and Apollo.
Mr. B. Hollis is a great Admirer of Marcus Aurelius. He has him in Busts, and many other Shapes. He observed to me, that all the Painters of Italy, and from them most others, have taken the Face of Marcus Aurelius, for a Model in painting Jesus Christ. He admires Julian too, and has a great veneration for Dr. Hutchinson, the Moral Writer who was his Tutor, or Instructor.3 He has a Number of Heads of Hutchinson, of whom he always speaks with Affection and Veneration. Ld. Shaftesbury too is another favourite of his.
In the dining room are two Views of that Estate in Dorsetshire, which the late Mr. Hollis gave to Mr. Brand. There is only a Farm House upon it. Here are to be seen Hollis Mede and Brand Pasture. In Hollis Mede, Mr. Hollis was buried, ten feet deep, and then ploughed over, a Whim to be sure. But Singularity was his Characteristic. He was benevolent and beneficient, however, throughout.—In the Boudoir is a Dagger, made of the Sword which killed Sir Edmunbury Godfrey. An Inscription—Memento Godfrey, Protomartyr, pro Religione Protestantium.
Mr. Hollis's Owl, Cap of Liberty and Dagger are to be seen every where. In the Boudoir, a Silver cup with a Cover, all in the shape of an Owl, with two rubies for Eyes. This piece of Antiquity was dug up, at Canterbury, from ten feet depth. It was some monkish conceit.
1. Doubtless a slip of the pen for “Miss.”
{ 199 }
2. JA probably meant to write “Commissioners.”
3. Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow, where Brand Hollis had studied.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-26

July 26. Wednesday.

Mr. B. Hollis, Miss Brand, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Smith, and I walked to Mill Green, or Mill Hill the Seat of a Mr. Allen a Banker of London.1 We walked over the Pleasure Grounds and Kitchen Garden and down to Cocytus, a canal or Pond of Water surrounded with Wood in such a Manner as to make the Place gloomy enough for the Name. This is a good Spot, but Mr. Allen has, for want of Taste, spoiled it by new Pickett Fences at a great Expence. He has filled up the Ditches and dug up the Hedges and erected wooden Fences and brick Walls, a folly that I believe in these days is unique. They are very good, civil People, but have no Taste.
1. According to AA2, who in a journal-letter to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug., adds many details about this excursion to Essex that are not found elsewhere, Allen was a retired wine merchant (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-27

The Hide July 28 [i.e. 27.] 1786. Thursday.

Went with Mrs. Adams to Braintree about Eighteen miles from the Hide. As our Objects were fresh Air, Exercise and the Gratification of Curiosity, I thought We ought to make a little Excursion to the Town after which the Town in New England where I was born and shall die was originally named. The Country between Chelmsford and Braintree, is pleasant and fertile, tho less magnificent in Buildings and Improvements than many other Parts of England: but it is generally tillage Land and covered with good Crops of Barley, Oats, Rye,1 Wheat and Buckwheat.
Braintree is a Markett Town, and Fairs are held here at certain Seasons. I went to the Church, which stands in the Middle of a triangular Piece of Ground, and there are parallell to each Side of the Tryangle, double Rows of handsome Lime Trees, which form the Walks and Avenues to the Church. The Church is a very old Building of Flint Stones. Workmen were repairing it, and I went all over it. It is not much larger than [Mr?]2 Cleverleys Church at Braintree in New England. I examined all the Monuments and Grave Stones in the Church and in the Church Yard, and found no one Name of Person or Family of any Consequence, nor did I find any Name of any of our New England Families except Wilson and Joslyn, Hawkins, Griggs and Webb. I am convinced that none of our Braintree Families came from this Village, and that the Name was given it by Mr. Cod• { 200 } dington in Compliment to the Earl of Warwick, who in the Begginning and Middle of the Seventeenth Century had a Manor here, which however at his death about 1665 went out of his Family. The Parish of Bocking has now more good Houses. Braintre is at present the Residence only of very ordinary People, manufacturers only of Bays's.3
Chelmsford was probably named in Compliment to Mr. Hooker who was once Minister of that Town in Essex, but afterwards in Holland, and after that Minister at “Newtown” (Cambridge) and after that at <New Haven> Hartford in New England. We returned to Dinner, and spent the Evening in examining the Curiosities of Mr. Thomas Brand Hollis's House. His Library, his Miltonian Cabinet, his Pictures, Busts, Medals, Coins, Greek, Roman, Carthaginian and Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, are a Selection of the most rare, and valuable. It would be endless to go over the whole in Description.
We have had, with Alderman Bridgen, an agreable Tour and an exquisite Entertainment.
I should not omit Alderman Bridgens Nuns, and Verses. About 30 Years ago Mr. Bridgen in the Austrian Netherlands purchased a compleat Collection of the Portraits of all the orders of Nuns, in small duodecimo Prints. These he lately sent as a Present to the Hide, and Mr. Hollis has placed them in what he calls his Boudoir, a little room between his Library and Drawing Room. Mr. Bridgen carried down with him a Copy of Verses of his own Composition, to be hung up with them. The Idea is that banished from Germany by the Emperor they were taking an Asylum at the Hide, in sight of the Druid, the Portico of Athens and the verable4 Remains of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Carthaginian Antiquities.5
1. MS: “Rue”—clearly an inadvertence.
2. Overwritten, possibly with an initial letter, and not clear. At any rate, Joseph Cleverly, JA's old schoolmaster, is meant; he conducted services at Christ Church, Braintree, during the Revolution while no Anglican clergyman resided there (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p.255).
“At 2 Pappa and Mamma returnd not much pleased with the appearance of the Town they had been to visit. Mr. H. told us it was a Poor, dirty, miserable village and such they found it” (AA2 to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug., Adams Papers).
4. Thus in MS.
5. A large broadside printed text of Alderman Bridgen's verses, “On sending some Pictures of Nuns and Fryers to Thomas Brand Hollis, Esq. at the Hyde in Essex, supposed to be Real Personages turned out of the Convents and Monasteries in Flanders by the Emperor,” without author's name, imprint, or date, is in the Adams Papers under the assigned date of July 1786.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-28

July 29 [i.e. 28.] 1786. Fryday.

Returned to Grosvenor Square to Dinner.1
{ 201 }
1. The Adams party's return to London on Friday, 28 July, is verified by a passage in AA2's letter to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug. (Adams Papers).
Here ensues a gap in JA's Diary of a full year, his next (and last European) entries being the fragmentary notes of his tour with AA and AA2 to the west of England in July-Aug. 1787.
American relations with Great Britain during this year remained in statu quo, no new issues of any magnitude arising and no standing issues being settled. During the spring and early summer of 1786 JA had reiterated to both official and private correspondents that no diplomatic progress would be made in London until the various state acts impeding payment to British creditors were repealed, for, as he observed to Samuel Adams, “When We have done Equity We may with a good Grace, demand Equity” (2 June 1786, NN; see also JA to Jay, 25 May, 16 June, letterbook copies, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:659–661, 668–670). Ten months after JA had made his first recommendation on this point to Congress as urgently as he knew how to do, that body unanimously adopted a report by Foreign Secretary Jay that had long been on its table, the heart of which was “That all such acts or parts of Acts as may be now existing in any of the States repugnant to the treaty of Peace ought to be forthwith repealed” (21 March 1787; JCC, 32:124–125); this was to be embodied in a circular letter to the states, adopted 13 April (same, p. 177–184).
On 25 Jan. 1787 JA had the satisfaction of signing, at last, the treaty, or rather the “unilaterally executed grant” of protection for American shipping, which the gifts conveyed by Thomas Barclay to the Emperor of Morocco had purchased. Jefferson had signed this document in Paris on 1 Jan.; an English text is printed as an enclosure in Barclay's letter to the Commissioners, Cadiz, 2 Oct. 1786, together with valuable editorial notes, in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 10:418–427; see also Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:185–227.
More important than any of the occurrences mentioned above was the Adamses' visit during Aug.-Sept. 1786 to the Netherlands. Its importance is owing to a consequence that was unexpected and has been too often overlooked. On his return from the family excursion to Essex at the end of July, JA found Congress' tardy ratification, dated 17 May 1786, of the commercial treaty with Prussia (see note 1 on entry of 27 March, above). Since by its Article 27 an exchange of ratifications was required within one year of the signing of the treaty, that is to say by 10 Sept. 1786, since there was no Prussian minister residing at either London or Paris, and since time was short, JA felt obliged to go himself to The Hague for that purpose. This would also enable him to pay his respects to officials and friends in the republic to which he was still the accredited United States minister and, by taking AA with him, to show her the country she had expected to but did not visit three years earlier. Leaving London on 3 Aug., JA and AA traveled by way of Harwich, Hellevoetsluis, and Rotterdam to The Hague, where they arrived on the 8th. On that very day JA signed and exchanged ratifications with the Prussian minister Thulemeier. The Adamses were now free for diversions, and AA characteristically provided in her letters a full and colorful record of Dutch modes of travel, social activities, and sightseeing during their stay of nearly a month; her letters to her daughter are in AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:53–64; see also AA to Mrs. Cranch, 12 Sept., MWA, printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 300–305.
Among other places, they visited Utrecht, where they happened to be present when the new magistrates of that city, which had undergone a constitutional reform at the hands of the Patriot party, were sworn into office. The incident had a profound effect on JA. “In no Instance, of ancient or modern History,” he wrote Jefferson, 11 Sept., “have the People ever asserted more unequivocally their own inherent and unalienable Sovereignty” (LbC, Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 10:348). And in a letter to Jay he represented this event, which was a high-water mark in the efforts of the Dutch Patriots, as the first visible fructification in Europe of the principles of the American Revolu• { 202 } tion (3 Oct., LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:676–677). His discussions with Dutch friends and his reflections on the significance of what was happening in their country became one of JA's principal motives in undertaking the most ambitious literary work of his life, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. The root of this treatise lay, as is well known, in JA's objections to Turgot's critique of the American state constitutions, embodied in Turgot's letter to Price written in 1778 but first published in 1784 (see note on Turgot and JA under the entry of 9 April 1778, above). But its other immediate inspiration (besides the events occurring in the Dutch Republic) was the disturbing news he read in London about “the Seditious Meetings in the Massachusetts” that were to lead to Shays' Rebellion; see JA to Richard Cranch, 15 Jan. 1787 (NN; JA, Works, 1:432–433), and also Letter I in the Defence itself, which seriously suggested that the discontented people in Massachusetts wished to depose the governor and senate of that state “as useless and expensive branches of the constitution” because they had been reading Turgot's letter to Price (JA, Defence [vol. 1], London, 1787, p. 4).
Upon his return from the Netherlands JA began with almost feverish haste and concentration to read for and compose his treatise on the dangers of republican government and the means of averting them. The first volume, an octavo of 392 pages, was published before the middle of Jan. 1787. A second followed in September, and a third in 1788. He was so absorbed in the task that he abandoned his Diary altogether; and his letterbooks during the fall, winter, and spring of 1786–1787 are more meager than at any other period of his decade in Europe. AA took up part of the burden he dropped, writing with greater frequency to American correspondents and explaining that “Mr. Adams ... says his friends must not expect any letters but printed ones from him” (to Cotton Tufts, 29 April 1787, Adams Papers). (The Defence was composed in the form of letters, nominally addressed to JA's son-in-law, WSS.) JA recognized that the Defence was a “strange” and faulty book, but it was his chief political testament, and its composition, the complex bibliography of its successive editions, and its reception and influence in Europe and America, as well as upon his own career, deserve closer study than they have yet had—indeed could have had until his papers bearing on the subject, including a mass of notes and drafts still only partially arranged, were made available. Pending such a comprehensive study, the reader may be referred to three especially pertinent chapters in Zoltán Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress (chs. 3, 8, 9), and to the excellent analysis of JA's political theory in a world context which will be found in Robert R. Palmer's Age of the Democratic Revolution . .. : The Challenge, Princeton, 1959, p. 269 ff.
JA was obliged to interrupt work on Volume 2, dealing with the history of Italian republics, by another and quite unexpected trip to the Netherlands in May-June 1787. He went in order to execute a contract for a third American loan in Amsterdam, essential to meeting a large interest payment for which the measures of the Board of Treasury in New York had proved inadequate. Leaving London on 25 May with John Brown Cutting as a traveling companion and temporary secretary, he arrived just in time to save American credit in the Netherlands once more. Despite the serious civil disturbances then going on (there was rioting in Amsterdam during his first two nights there that presaged the extinction of the Patriot party), the bankers had prepared a contract for a loan of a million guilders at 5 per cent interest, to be redeemed in 1798–1802; JA signed it on 1 June, and during the following days signed 2,000 obligations on behalf of the United States. By 9 June he was back in London. (See JA's correspondence with the Willinks and Van Staphorsts, May–June 1787; J. B. Cutting to AA, 25, 28 May; JA to AA, 1, 2 June; all in Adams Papers; P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amster-damschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, 1:175–178.) JA had some qualms about this transaction, since he had acted in the financial { 203 } emergency without specific authorization from Congress; see his report to Jay, 16 June, enclosing the contract (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:787–792). Congress, however, promptly ratified the contract, 11 Oct. (JCC, 33:649); an English translation of the contract, with the ratification signed by Pres. Arthur St. Clair and Secretary Thomson, is in Adams Papers.
In March 1787 the Smiths moved from Wimpole Street to the Legation in Grosvenor Square because AA2 was expectant. On 2 April, with Dr. John Jeffries, a former Bostonian and loyalist, in attendance, JA's first grandchild was born; it was a boy and was christened, by Dr. Price, William Steuben Smith (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 20 Jan., 25–27 Feb.; to Lucy Cranch, 26 April; all in MWA). In announcing this news to C. W. F. Dumas, 3 April, JA said he now expected to have “some Amusement” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-20

Fryday July 20 1787 London.

This day three years I landed at Deal. Since that time I have travelld to France, to Holland and several parts of England but have never kept any journal, or record except what my Letters to my Friends may furnish nor have I ever perused this Book since it was first written till this Day when looking into the first page, it excited all my former emotions and made the Tears flow affresh. I have now determined on this journey to keep a journal. This Day we set out from Grosvenour Square on a Tour to Plimouth. Mr. Adams, myself, Mrs. Smith and Son about 3 months old, her Nursery maid, Esther my own maid and Edward Farmer a footman, our own Coachman and a postilion. Our first Stage was to Epsom in the county of Surry where we dinned. This place is famous for the races which are held there. From Epsom we proceeded to Guilford where we put up for the Night. This is an agreeable road and a highly cultivated Country.
1. From a MS designated as M/AA/r (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197), described in note 1 on the entry of 20 June 1784 in AA's Diary, above. Though AA, JA, and AA2 all kept journals at times during their excursion to the west of England, the results, even when combined, are meager and leave numerous gaps. JA's few fragmentary notes have been placed after AA's journal entries, which cover only the first nine days of a month's trip of some 600 miles. AA2's record is longer than either her mother's or her father's, but since the MS has not been found and the text as published (AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:84–94) is not trustworthy, it has not been included in the present edition, though it has been occasionally quoted or cited in editorial notes.
The excursion had been recommended by the Adamses' physician, Dr. John Jeffries, because AA's health had been poor throughout the winter and spring (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 16 July 1787, owned by Dr. Eugene F. DuBois, N.Y. City, 1957). JA and AA had also been warmly and repeatedly urged by John Cranch of Axminster, nephew of AA's brother-in-law, Richard Cranch, to visit Devon, the county from which the Cranches and Palmers of Braintree, Mass., had emigrated. JA having completed the second volume of his Defence for the printer (though only just in time), and WSS being absent on a mis• { 204 } sion for Congress to the Queen of Portugal, the moment was opportune for a family excursion. (On WSS's mission to Portugal, April–Aug. 1787, see his report to Jay, 12 Sept., with enclosures; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 3:69–84.)

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-21


We set out about 9 in the morning, stoped and baited at Farnham, dinned at Alton and reached Winchester about 8 oclock. Robert Quincy Earl of Winchester formerly resided here and was I presume an ancestor of my mothers, bearing the same arms. There is a Cathedral Church here, it being a Bishops See. The present Bishop of Winchester is Brother to Lord North whose Seat and park is in Farnham. There is a remarkable high Hill calld Catharine Hill just after you quit Guilford near two miles long from which one has a good view of the Town which seems to be placed between 2 Hills. The Houses are very old. In further examining respecting this earl of Winchester, I find that Saar de Quincy was created first Earl of Winchester by King John in 1224 and signed Magna Charta. In 1321 the title is said to be extinct, but this I do not believe as my Ancestors who went to America bore the same Name and Arms. And I well remember seeing when I was a child a parchment containing the Descent of the families in the possession of my Grandfather and that it was traced back to William the conquerer who came from Normandy. Saer de Quincy was a French Marquiss. Mr. Edmund Quincy borrowed this Genealogicall Table of my Grandmother for some purpose and lost it as he says.1 If the Tittle had been extinct for want of Male Heirs, it is not probable that an illegitimate ospring would have taken pains to have preserved the Geneoligy. These matters have heitherto been of so little consideration in America that scarcly any person traces their desent beyond the third Generation by which means the Britains sometimes twit us of being descended from the refuse of their Goals and from transported convicts. But it is well known that the first setlers of New England were no such persons, but worthy conscientious people who fled from Religious percecution to a New World and planted themselves amidst Savages that they might enjoy their Religion unmolested.
“As the old Gentleman [Col. Edmund Quincy] is still living, I wish Mr. Cranch would question him about it, and know what Hands it went into, and whether there is any probability of its ever being recoverd, and be so good as to ask uncle [Norton] Quincy how our Grandfather came by it, and from whence our Great-granfather came? where he first settled? and take down in writing all you can learn from him, and Mr. Edmund Quincy respecting the family. You will smile at my Zeal, perhaps on this occasion, but can it be wonderd at that I should wish to Trace an Ancestor amongst the Signers of Magna Carta” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-22

Sunday 23 [i.e. 22 July.]

Went to the Cathedral Church at Winchester. It is a very curious structure. It is said to have been part built by Bishop Walkelyne in the year 1079. In a Chaple belonging to this Edifice Queen Mary was married to King Philip, and the Chair in which she was seated during the ceremony is still to be seen. There is also a Statue of James the 1 and Charles the first. This place since its first foundation has been 3 time[s] nearly destroyd by fire. It has been the residence of many Kings, and this place was the first that obtaind a free Charter which King Henry the first Granted. After hearing divine service, we proceeded to South hampton which is bounded by the Sea and is a very pretty Town much resorted to during the Summer Months as a Sea Bathing place, which for the first time in my Life I tried this morning, 24th of July.1
1. Error for 23 July. AA's dates are one day in advance until her entry for 26 July, which is correct because, inadvertently or not, she included two days in the entry she dated 25 July.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-23

24 [i.e. 23] July.

We dinned at South hampton and set out after dinner for Salsbury 22 miles, where we meant to have passt the night and taken a view of the Town, but when we reachd the Inn we found it fully occupied, and not a single Bed to be had neither at the Inn we went to, or any other in Town, the Court of Assize being held there for the week. Tho nine oclock we were obliged to proceed to the next stage eleven miles, which we did not accomplish till eleven oclock. We then put up at an inn in a small thatchd villiage Woodyats by Name. We were neatly accommodated, but not a single Hut in sight. Through a Country as fertile as Eden and cultivated like a Garden you see nothing but misirable low thatchd Huts moulderd by time with a small old fashiond glass window perhaps two in the whole House. A stone floor is very common. One may travell many miles without seeing a House. On some lone Heath a Shepeards Cottage strikes your Eye, who with his trusty dog is the keeper of a vast flock owned by some Lord, or Duke. If poverty, hunger and want should tempt him to slay the poorest Lamb of the flock, the penal Laws of this Land of freedom would take his Life, from thence I presume the old proverb took its rise, one had as goods be hanged for a Sheep as a Lamb, and if the Lord or Duke was murderd the poor man would no more forfeit his life, than for the Sheep or Lamb, yet surely the crime is very different.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-24

July [24–]25

We left this village and proceeded on our way to Blanford where we put up for the Night. Saw nothing striking in this place and met with poor accommodations oweing chiefly to the Assizes, which were to commence the next Day and the House was nearly occupied when we arrived. We stayd only untill the next morning and then persued our route. Arrived at diner time at Dorchester an other very old Town. It is famous for Beer and Butter. It resembles Dorchester in New England, in the Hills and in the appearence of the Land. About four miles from the middle of the Town on the road to Weymouth is a very Regular entrenchment upon a very high Hill: this must have been the encampment of some Army. Some say it was a Danish encampment, others that it was a Roman. There is an Amphitheatre in the middle of a mile circumference and a castle calld Maiden Castle. Weymouth lies 8 miles from Dorchester, is a Sea port and esteemed a very Healthey Situation, a Noted Bathing place and much resorted to during the Summer Months.1 The whole Town draws its Support from the company which frequent it. It is a small place and little Land which is not occupied by Buildings for the conveniency of the company. It has no Manufactory of any kind. Some vessels are built here. We tarried here only one Night.
1. “we ... went ten miles out of our way in order to visit Weymouth merely for its Name” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1787-07-26 - 1787-07-27

July 26[–27]

Our next Stage was Bridport a small Sea port but a very bad harbour. No trade only in coal which is carried there by water for the supply of the inhabitants. We dinned there, and then proceeded for Axmister, the first town in the County of Devonshire. Here we put up at the best Inn I ever saw, the George kept by a Mr. Ellis.1 The appartments were not only neat and convenient, but every thing had an air of Elegance and taste. Here we were visited by Mr. John Cranch a Nephew of my Brother Cranch who is an Attorney and resides here.2 The Town is a little narrow dirty village, but a great through fare, all the Plimouth, Exeter and many other Stages passing through it. Went with Mr. Cranch to see the Manufactory of carpets for which this place is famous. The building in which this buisness is carried on is by no means equal to an American Barn. The whole Buisness is performd by women and children. The carpets are equally durable with the Turky, but surpass them in coulours and figure. { 207 } They are made of coars wool and the best are 24 shillings a square yd., others at fourteen. They have but two prices. From thence we went to a tape manufactory which are the only two manufactories in the Town. Mr. Cranch invited us to drink Tea with him. He is a single man, of a delicate complexion, small features, about 26 or 27 years old. He never looks one in the face and appears as if he had been cramped and cowed in his Youth. He has a good understanding, which he has improved by reading, and appears a virtuous amiable man. He accompanied us to Exeter and Plimouth.3
“In obedience to your command about the inns, permit me to acquaint you, that I think you will be accomodated much to your satisfaction at the George, here; and I shall expect to be honor'd in due time with your preparatory commands to the host and hostess (Ellard) as to beds, horses, time, &c, if necessary, that you may suffer no inconvenience which it might have been put into my power to prevent” Cranch to AA, Axminster, 17 July 1787, Adams Papers).
2. Upon learning of JA's presence in London during his first visit there late in 1783, John Cranch had sent him compliments and a present of two hares for his table (Cranch to JA, 17 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers). (The hares had to be eaten by the bookseller John Stockdale, to whose care they were sent, because JA and JQA had left England for Amsterdam; see Stockdale to JA, 20 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers.) Other gifts followed after the Adamses settled in Grosvenor Square. From his letters Cranch appears to have been warmly pro-American in his politics; see especially Cranch to AA, 7 Nov. 1786 ( Adams Papers), commenting on Ramsay's History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, a copy of which the Adamses had presented to him.
“27th..., Mr. C. dined with us, and requested we would take tea at his cottage; he came at six to attend us. He lives in a small, neat cottage; every thing around him has an air of taste, united with neatness. He has a variety of small prints, the heads of many eminent persons, and the six prints, Hogarth's representation of la marriage a la mode. He has also a painting of Sir Walter Raleigh, which is thought an original picture; it was lately left, by an old gentleman who died, to the British Museum. Mr. C. says he has a great inclination never to deliver it; he thinks it ought to be preserved sacred in this county, because its original was born here in the parish of Baidley, and that Sir Walter's character stands very high throughout the county of Devonshire. Papa observed that his character did not appear unexceptionable; he answered that none of his faults were known here; they believed only in his virtues and excellencies” (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:86).
This portrait of Raleigh by the Dutch-English artist “Cornelius Jansen, at Mr. J. Cranch's, Axminster,” is also mentioned by JA (entry of July-Aug., below). It appears not to have survived; at any rate it is not entered in Alexander J. Finberg's “A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson, or Jonson,” Walpole Society, 10 (1921–1922):1–37; and recent searches by museum officials in England have not brought it to light.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0007

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-28


We left Axminster and proceeded to Exeter. Here we put up at the Hotell in the Church yard and opposite to the Cathedral Church. At this place lives Mr. Andrew Cranch the Eldest Brother of Mrs. Palmer { 208 } and Mr. R. Cranch. We went to visit him. A Mr. Bowering a very Worthy Tradesman came to see us, and as he lives near to Mr. Cranch, he persuaded the old Gentleman to come and drink Tea with him. He is very infirm and about 78 years old, is very poor and past his labour, bears a Good Character as a man of great integrity and industery. His wife is near as old as he, a small woman, but very lively and active and looks like to last many years. Mr. Bowerings Brother married with1
1. Here AA's journal breaks off, but the substance of this incomplete sentence is supplied in her letter to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787 (MWA): “Mr. [Andrew] Cranchs daughter married Mr. Bowerings [John Bowring's] Brother, they have three Sons. She is a sprightly woman like her Mother, and Mr. Bowering's daughter married a Son of Mr. Natll. Cranchs, so that the family is doubly linked together.”
The travelers remained in Exeter from Saturday the 28th until Monday the 30th. “From Exeter we went to Plimouth. There we tarried several days [30 July-4 Aug], and visited the fortifications, Plimouth Dock, and crossed over the Water to Mount Edgcume [Edgcumb Mount, Devon, on the Tamar River, near Saltash]; a Seat belonging to Lord Edgcume” (same).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1787-07 - 1787-08

[Memoranda on a Tour from London to Plymouth, July–August 1787.]1

Michael Sawrey, at Plymouth2
Gillies St. Martins Lane. Garthshores
Sastres Edgware Road. No. 20.

fallitur egregio quisquis sub Principe credit,

Servitium: nunquam Libertas, gratior exit [extat]

quam sub Rege pio. Claud. Lib. 3. in Stillic.

quos praefecit ipsi [praeficit ipse], regendis rebus, ad arbitrium Plebis, Patrumque reducit.3

Mad. La Marquise de Champsenets au Chateau de Thuilleries.
To Epsom, Guilford, Farnham, Alton, Winchester, Salisbury. Blandford, Dorchester, Bridport, Axminster, Honniton (Valley), Exeter.
Niccolaides. Chambourgs Rhodes.
Gentlemans Pocket Farrier.
Truslers practical Husbandry. Baldwins P[ater] N[oster] Row.
O fair Columbia, hail.
An original Sir. W. Rawleigh, by Cornelius Jansen, at Mr. J. { 209 } Cranch's, Axminster.4 Sir W. was born at Hays in the Parish of Bodley, Devon.—John Bowering. Andrew Cranch.
Ingratitude thou marble hearted fiend, more hideous when thou shewest thee in a Child than a sea Monster. S'pear.
1. These highly miscellaneous jottings are on a loose folded sheet separated from the Diary and filed under its assigned date in the Adams Papers. On the fourth and last page is a list in JA's hand of six military companies in Boston, with their commanders, beginning “Boston Troop of Horse, Swan.” Possibly this list was put down from a newspaper account of forces mustered to deal with the Shays insurgents during the winter of 1786–1787. The notes printed here are mere scraps of information that JA wished to remember and were doubtless mainly taken down during the family excursion to the west of England. But from the fact that the name of Michael Sawrey of Plymouth heads the list they may have been begun in London, for some of the notes that follow pertain to persons and things encountered by JA before he reached Plymouth.
“At Plimouth we were visited by a Mr. and Mrs. Sawry; with whom we drank Tea one afternoon; Mr. Sawry is well known to many Americans, who were prisoners in Plimouth jail during the late war. The money which was raised for their relief, past through his Hands and he was very kind to them, assisting many in their escape” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. From Claudian's Consulship of Stilicho, book 3, lines 113–116, but carelessly copied by JA as usual. Corrections have been inserted from the Loeb Classical Library text of Claudian (London and N.Y., 1922). The Loeb translation is as follows: “He errs who thinks that submission to a noble prince is slavery; never does liberty show more fair than beneath a good king. Those he himself appoints to rule he in turn brings before the judgment-seat of people and senate.”
4. See note 3 on entry in AA's Diary for 26[–27] July, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1787-08-06

1787. August 7 [i.e. 6?]1

At Kin[gsbridge, the southerly] Point of the County of Devonshire, the birth Place of my Brother Cranch. [Wen]t Y[ester]day to Church in the Morning, dined with Mr. Burnell, went to the Presbyterian Meeting afternoon, drank Tea with Mr. Trathan,2 and went to the Baptist Meeting in the Evening.—Lord Petre is the Lord of this mannor.—The Nephew of my Brother Cranch possesses the Family Estate, which I saw, very near the Church, four Lotts of very fine Land in high Cultivation. The Nephews and Nieces are married and settled here, all Tradesmen and Farmers in good Business and comfortable Circumstances and live in a harmony with each other, that is charming.—On Saturday We passed thro Plympton And Modbury. From the last Town emigrated my Brother Cranch with Mr. Palmer. It is a singular Village at the Bottom of a Valley formed by four high and steep hills. On Fryday We went out from Plymouth to Horsham, to see Mr. Palmer, the Nephew of our Acquaintance in America. His sister only was at home. This is a pleasant Situation.3 We had before seen Mr. Andrew Cranch at Exeter, the aged Brother of my friend, { 210 } and Mr. William Cranch, another Brother deprived by a Paralytick Stroke of all his faculties.
[Mr. Bowring, at Exe]ter, went with me to see Mr. Towg[ood, the au]thor of the dissenting Gentlemans answer [to] Mr. Whites three Letters, 87 years of age.4
Brook is next Door to Swainstone and Strachleigh, near Lee Mill Bridge, about two miles from Ivy Bridge.5 Strachleigh did belong to the Chudleighs the Dutchess of Kingstons Family.
Haytor Rock is at the Summit of the highest Mountain in Dartmore Forrest. Brentor is said by some to be higher.
1. Here begin the scraps of JA's Diary, nine paper booklets or folded sheets, of various sizes and shapes, which are collectively designated D/JA/46 in the Adams Papers and which complete the MS of the Diary as JA kept it, very intermittently, from 1787 to 1804.
As to the date of this entry, since JA says he attended church and meeting three times “Yesterday,” it can only be supposed that he was writing on Monday, 6 August.
The top edge of this sheet of the MS is charred. Some words and parts of words have been supplied, in brackets, from the text printed by CFA.
2. Both Burnell and Trathan were connections of the Cranches in Kingsbridge, a village which was so overwhelmingly “the Chief resort of the Cranch family” that bells were set ringing soon after the Adamses' arrival, and no fewer than fifteen members and connections of the family called on the travelers during their first evening there (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. In a letter to her niece Elizabeth Cranch, 1 Oct. 1787 (Dft, Adams Papers), AA furnished a detailed and vivid account of the expedition from Plymouth to Horsham on 3 August. Since “we were the first coach and four that ever attempted Horsham House,” the trip was full of difficulties and perils, which John Cranch proved himself a veritable Samson in overcoming.
4. Michaijah Towgood, a nonconformist clergyman and prolific writer of theological tracts (DNB).
5. These were places in Devon that the Adamses passed through or near on Saturday, 4 Aug., while traveling from Plymouth to Kingsbridge. They dined at Ivybridge, and JA made a side trip of several miles to Brook to visit William Cranch, another of Richard's brothers (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA). In AA's Diary (M/AA/i) there is an undated, detached note on the final leaf: “Cadleigh, Brook, Strashleigh, Ivey Bridge, visited by Mr. A in company with Mr. J. Cranch.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1787-08-06

Monday. Aug. 6.1

Dined at Totness, thro which the River Dart runs to Dartmouth. Slept at Newton bushell.2
1. This date is evidently correct, being a second entry written this day (see note 1 on preceding entry). On the 7th the Adamses were back in Exeter, for on that day JA recorded receiving a supply of cash at the bank in Exeter (Accounts, 31 May 1785–10 April 1788, Lb/JA/36, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 124).
2. These places were along the road from Kingsbridge to Exeter. By the 12th the tourists were in Bristol, where according to AA2 “We visited Lord Clifford's grounds.” On the 15th, probably, they toured the colleges and other sights of Oxford, and they devoted the following day to a very thorough inspection of Blenheim Palace. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:89–94; AA to Lucy Cranch, 3 Oct. 1787, MWA, printed in AA, Letters, { 211 } ed. CFA, 1848, p. 336–340. The precise date of their return to London is not known, but it was probably about 20 August.
Thus ends JA's European Diary. His commission to Great Britain, limited to three years, was due to expire on 24 Feb. 1788, and exactly a year and a month before that date he had written to Secretary Jay formally requesting that Congress recall him, not only from the British Court but from his mission to the Netherlands and his joint mission (with Jefferson) to the Barbary Powers, so that he would be able to embark “in the Early Spring Ships in 1788” (24 Jan. 1787, LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:691–693). To make certain that his intention would not be doubted, JA addressed a letter next day to the Massachusetts delegates in Congress announcing his “fixed resolution” against remaining longer in Europe even if Congress voted to extend his appointments: “To be explicit I am determined to come home” (25 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers). While the convention to frame a new federal constitution sat, Congress was even more depleted than usual, and it took no action on JA's request (on which Jay had reported favorably on 26 July) until 5 Oct. 1787, when it voted that “the honble. John Adams ... be permitted agreeably to his request, to return to America at any time after the 24th. day of February ... 1788,” and also that “the thanks of Congress be presented to him for the patriotism, perseverence, integrity and diligence with which he has ably and faithfully served his Country” ( JCC, 33:612–613).
Jay's letter of 16 Oct. transmitting this intelligence reached JA in mid-December. The resolves were gratifying to the recipient (who had not, however, waited for them in order to begin winding up his affairs and preparing for his homeward voyage), but Congress' failure to send with them actual letters of recall, as JA had requested, posed a problem of protocol for him, especially with respect to the Dutch government. Without a letter of recall it would be difficult to terminate his mission to The Hague with due politeness except in person, and JA did not relish the prospect of either another winter's crossing and recrossing of the North Sea or visiting again a country in which his best friends had been swept out of power, or worse, by the recent counter-revolution in the Dutch Republic. As time grew short he adopted the expedient of writing, so to speak, his own letters of recall, in the form of memorials to the Stadholder and the States General that explained why a personal leave-taking was almost impossible. To his mortification the memorials were returned by Secretary Fagel, who politely but firmly pronounced them unsatisfactory unless accompanied by letters of recall. At first JA thought he would risk the offense of returning to America without taking formal leave, but on second thought he reluctantly decided to pay a last visit to The Hague, and he so informed Jay on the day after he had his final and perfunctory audience with George III. (Jay to JA, 16 Oct. 1787, with enclosed resolves of Congress, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:796–800. JA to Jay, 16 Dec, LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 824. JA to the Prince of Orange and to the States General of the United Provinces, 25 Jan. 1788, enclosed in a letter of the same date to Hendrik Fagel, letter-book copies, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:470–472. Fagel to JA, 12 Feb., Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:828–829. JA to Jay, 16, 21 Feb., letterbook copies, Adams Papers; same, p. 827–828, 832. JA, draft of remarks on taking leave of George III, 20 Feb., Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:480, note.)
Though he did not know it when he left London (29 Feb.) for Hellevoetsluis and The Hague (where he arrived on 4 March), JA was to transact much more important business in the Netherlands than his ceremonial leave-takings. A day or two after he completed those ceremonies he wrote AA from Amsterdam to tell her that he “should have been in London at this hour if you had not ... laid a Plott, which has brought me to this Town.—Mr. Jefferson at the Receipt of your Letter [of 26 Feb., mentioning JA's forthcoming trip to The Hague; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 12:624], come post to meet me, and he cutts out so much Business for me, to put the Money Matters of the United States upon { 212 } a sure footing, that I certainly shall not be able to get into the Packet at Helvoet before Saturday.... I thought myself dead, and that it was well with me, as a Public Man: but I think I shall be forced, after my decease, to open an additional Loan. At least this is Mr. Jeffersons opinion, and that of Mr. Vanstaphorst” (11 March, Adams Papers). The fourth and final loan that JA negotiated with the Willinks and Van Staphorsts was in the amount of one million guilders, at 5 per cent interest, to be entirely redeemed in fifteen years; the contract was signed on 13 March, and JA as usual spent the following days in signing obligations, to the number of one thousand. Though undertaken at JA's sole discretion, the loan was promptly ratified by Congress, 2 July (JCC, 34:283; an English text, followed by a signed copy of the ratification, is in DLC:Continental Congress Miscellany). Jefferson's purpose in urging JA to execute a new loan, as he told Jay in a dispatch from Amsterdam, 16 March, had been to secure funds sufficient not only to meet immediate and very pressing needs but to carry the credit of the United States safely through the “trying interval” of the next two years while the new government was establishing itself (Papers, ed. Boyd, 12:671–672; see also Jefferson's account in his Writings, ed. Ford, 1:114–117; and P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, vol. 1: ch. 6, esp. p. 179–186).
JA returned to London a few days before the end of March and found that AA had moved to the Bath Hotel in Picadilly so that the furniture and books in the Grosvenor Square legation could be packed for shipping. WSS, AA2, and their infant son had already left for Falmouth, where they were to embark on a vessel bound for New York. On 30 March, just as he was stepping into his carriage to leave for Portsmouth, JA received the official letters of recall from the British and Dutch governments he had so ardently wanted earlier. He posted one to Lord Carmarthen and the other to the new Dutch ambassador in London, Baron van Nagell, and set off. (The original letters of recall, dated 12 Feb. and signed by Pres. Cyrus Griffin and Secretary Jay, are in the Public Record Office, London, F.O. 4, vol. 6, and in the Rijksarchief, The Hague, respectively; letterbook copies of the covering letters are in Adams Papers.)

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0007-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1788-03-30 - 1788-05-01

Abigail Adams' Diary of her Return Voyage to America, 30 March–1 May 17881

Sunday London March 30. We took our departure from the Bath Hotell where I had been a Fortnight, and sat out for Portsmouth, which we reachd on Monday Evening. We put up at the Fountain Inn. Here we continued a week waiting for the Ship which was detaind by contrary winds in the River.2 The wind changing we past over to the Isle of Wight and landed at a place call'd Ryed, where we took post Chaises and proceeded to Newport to dine. From thence to Cows where our Ship was to call for us. Here Mr. Adams, myself and two Servants took up our abode at the Fountain Inn kept by a widow woman whose Name is Symes.3 Our Lodging room very small, and the drawing room Confind and unpleasent. I found myself on the first Night much disposed to be uneasy and discontented. On the next day I requested the Land Lady to let me have a very large Room from { 213 } whence we had a fine view of the Harbour, vessels, east Cowes and surrounding Hills. I found my Spirits much relieved. Never before experienced how much pleasure was to be derived from a prospect, but I had been long used to a large House, a large Family and many and various cares. I had now got into an unpleasent place without any occupation for mind or Body. Haveing staid at Portsmouth untill I had read all our Books and done all the Work I had left out, I never before experienced to such a degree what the French term enui. Monday took a walk to the Castle and upon a Hill behind it which commanded a pleasent view of the Harbour and Town which is a small villiage subsisting chiefly by fishing and piloting Vessels. Cowes is a safe and commodious Harbour. Here many Boats ply to take up the oyster which is always found in an Infant State. Small Vessels calld Smacks receive them and carry them to Colchester where they throw them again into water where the Sea only flows up by tides, and there they fatten and are again taken up and carried [to] the London market. The Isle of Wight is taken all together a very fertile agreable place 24 miles Long and 12 Broad. Produces great plenty of Grain, Sheep and Cattle, is a hilly country and a very Healthy Situation. On tuesday we went to Newport in order to visit Carisbrook Castle. This is a very ancient Ruins. The first account of it in English History is in the year 1513. This is the castle where Charles the first was kept a prisoner and they shew you the window from whence he attempted to escape. In this castle is a well of such a depth that the water is drawn from it by an ass walking in a wheel like a turn spit dog. The woman who shew it to us told us it was 300 feet deep. It is Beautifully stoned and in as good order as if finishd but yesterday. She lighted paper and threw [it] down to shew us its depth and dropping in a pin, it resounded as tho a large stone had been thrown in. We went to the Top of the citidal which commands a most extensive prospect. We returnd to Newport to dine. After dinner a Gentleman introduced himself to us by the Name of Sharp. Professed himself a warm and zealous Friend to America. After some little conversation in which it was easy to discover that he was a curious Character he requested that we would do him the Honour to go to his House and drink Tea. We endeavourd [to] excuse ourselves, but he would insist upon it, and we accordingly accepted. He carried us home and introduced to us an aged Father of 90 Years, a very surprizing old Gentleman who tho deaf appeard to retain his understanding perfectly. Mrs. Sharp his Lady appeard to be an amiable woman tho not greatly accustomed to company. The two young Ladies soon made their appearence, the Youngest about 17 very Beautifull. { 214 } The eldest might have been thought Handsome, if she had not quite spoild herself by affectation. By aiming at politeness she overshot her mark, and faild in that Symplicity of manners which is the principal ornament of a Female Character.
This Family were very civil, polite and Friendly to us during our stay at Cowes. We drank Tea with them on the Sunday following and by their most pressing invitation we dined with them the tuesday following. Mr. Sharp is a poet, a man of reading and appears to possess a good mind and Heart and [is] enthusiastick in favor of America. He collected a number of his Friends to dine with us all of whom were equally well disposed to our Country and had always Reprobated the war against us. During our stay at Cowes we made one excursion to Yarmouth about 15 miles distant from Cowes, but the road being Bad it scarcly repaid us for the trouble as we did not meet with any thing curious. After spending a whole fortnight at Cowes the Ship came round and on Sunday the 20 of April we embarked on Board the ship Lucretia Captain Callihan with three Gentlemen passengers viz. Mr. Murry a Clergyman,4 Mr. Stewart a grandson of old Captain Erwin of Boston who is going out to Bermudas collector of the Customs in that Island, His parents being British subjects, Mr. Boyd of Portsmouth a young Gentleman who received His Education in this Country.
The wind with which we saild scarcly lasted us 5 hours, but we continued our course untill Monday Evening when it blew such a gale that we were driven back and very glad to get into Portland Harbour. Here we have lain ever since, now 8 days,5 a Situation not to be desired, yet better far than we should have been either at Sea or in the downs. Whenever I am disposed to be uneasy I reflect a moment upon my preferable Situation to the poor Girl my maid, who is very near her Time, in poor Health and distressingly Sea sick, and I am then silent. I Hush every murmer, and tho much of my anxiety is on her account, I think that God will suit the wind to the shorn Lamb, that we may be carried through our difficulties better than my apprehensions. Trust in the Lord, and do good. I will endeavour to practise this precept. My own Health is better than it has been. We fortunately have a Doctor on Board, and I have taken an old woman out of kindness and given her a passage who seems kind, active and cleaver, is not Sea sick and I hope will be usefull to me. I am much better accommodated than when I came and have not sufferd so much by Sea Sickness. Want of Sleep is the greatest inconvenience I have yet sufferd but I shall not escape so. This day 3 weeks Mr. and Mrs. Smith saild and my dear Grandson just one Year old for New York in the Thyne packet. { 215 } I fear they will have a bad time as the Westerly Winds have been so strong. God protect them and give us all a happy meeting in our Native Land.6 We Lie Here near the Town of Weymouth, and our Gentlemen go on shore almost every day which is an amusement to them and really some to me, as they collect something or other to bring Back with them either Mental or Bodily food. This is Sunday 27 April. Mr. Murry preachd us a Sermon. The Sailors made them-selves clean and were admitted into the Cabbin, attended with great decency to His discourse from these words, “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him Guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.” He preachd without Notes and in the same Stile which all the Clergymen I ever heard make use of who practise this method, a sort of familiar talking without any kind of dignity yet perhaps better calculated to do good to such an audience, than a more polishd or elegant Stile, but in general I cannot approve of this method. I like to hear a discourse that would read well. If I live to return to America, how much shall I regreet the loss of good Dr. Prices Sermons. They were always a delightfull entertainment to me. I revered the Character and Loved the Man. Tho far from being an orator, his words came from the Heart and reached the Heart. So Humble, so diffident, so liberal and Benevolent a Character does honour to that Religion which he both professes and practises.
On Sunday Eve the wind changed in our favour, so much as to induce the Captain to come to sail. This is Thursday the first of May, but we have made very small progress, the winds have been so light; yesterday we past Sylla and are now out of sight of Land. The weather is very fine and we only want fresher winds. The confinement of a Ship is tedious and I am fully of the mind I was when I came over that I will never again try the Sea. I provided then for my return in the Resolution I took, but now it is absolute. Indeed I have seen enough of the world, small as [it?] has been, and shall be content to learn what is further to be known from the page of History. I do not think the four years I have past abroad the pleasentest part of my Life. Tis Domestick happiness and Rural felicity in the Bosom of my Native Land, that has charms for me. Yet I do not regreet that I made this excursion since it has only more attached me to America.7
1. This third and last of AA's fragmentary diaries is in M/AA/1 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197).
2. The ship was the Lucretia, Capt. John Callahan, of Boston, for whose wife the ship was named; the Adamses paid £200 for their passage and the transportation of their furniture, &c., in the Lucretia (Thwing Catalogue, MHi, under Callahan's name; Callahan to AA, 31 Jan. 1788, Adams Papers). On 8 April Callahan wrote AA from London { 216 } that the weather had been so “Boysterous” that the pilot “Would not venter to moove the Ship, but She is Now in the Downes and will be at Portsmouth the first fair wind” (Adams Papers).
3. AA is casual about dates, but apparently the Adamses left Portsmouth and arrived at Cowes on Sunday, 6 April; they stayed there until Sunday, 20 April, making occasional excursions to points nearby.
4. John Murray (1741–1815), a native of England, minister of the Church of Christ in Gloucester, Mass., and the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States. Murray gave an account of this voyage in his autobiography, The Life of Rev. John Murray, Preacher of Universal Salvation ..., new edn., Boston, 1870, p. 349–350. The other passengers mentioned by AA were, according to the Massachusetts Centinel, 18 June, John Stuart and William Boyd.
5. Actually seven: from Monday the 21st through Sunday the 27th.
6. The Smiths sailed on 5 April from Falmouth in the Tyne packet, reached Halifax in one month, and probably disembarked at New York on 13 May (AA2 to AA, 18 [i.e. 13]–20 May 1788; Jour. and Corr., 2:70–76).
7. AA reported part of the rest of the voyage, which was stormy and protracted, in a letter to AA2 written at sea, 29 May. The Lucretia aided a dismasted American vessel bound for Baltimore, and on 28 May the Brieslers' child, a daughter, was born (same, p. 76–79).
The ship arrived in Boston Harbor on 17 June. As early as 7 May Gov. John Hancock had placed a letter in the hands of the pilot at Boston Light announcing to JA the arrangements for his public reception (Adams Papers). These were elaborate and, as carried out, were reported fully in the Massachusetts Centinel of 18 June:
“Yesterday, after an absence of nine years, arrived in this metropolis, from England, his Excellency JOHN ADAMS, Esq. late Ambassadour from the United States of America, to the Court of Great-Britain—with his lady. His Excellency the Governour having previously ordered, that every mark of respect be paid his Excellency on his arrival, the approach of the ship in which he arrived, was announced by a signal from the Light and a discharge of cannon from the Castle—when off the Castle he was saluted with a federal discharge of cannon from that fortress, and when the ship had arrived at her moorings, the Secretary of the State, by order of his Excellency the Governour repaired in his Excellency's carriage to the end of the pier, from whence, in the State barge, the Secretary waited on the Ambassadour on board, and in his Excellency the Governour's name, congratulated him on his arrival, and invited him and family to his Excellency's seat. The wind being fresh and fair, the ship arrived at town too early to admit our fellow citizens receiving his Excellency in the manner they had previously intended—Notwithstanding, short as the time was, the Pier was crowded—and his Excellency welcomed on shore by three huzzas from several thousand persons. The Secretary of the State accompanied his Excellency in the barge on shore, where his Excellency the Governour's Carriage waited for him—in which he, his lady, the Secretary of the State, and others, rode to the Governour's house, receiving as he passed the compliments and congratulations of his fellow-citizens. The bells in the several churches rang during the remainder of the day—every countenance wore the expressions of joy—and every one testified that approbation of the eminent services his Excellency has rendered his country, in a manner becoming freemen, federalists, and men alive to the sensations of gratitude.
Mr. Adams resides at the House of his Excellency the Governour—where he yesterday received the congratulations of his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, the Hon. Council and, the heads of the several departments of government, on his safe arrival in his native country.”
On the 18th JA was received by the General Court, informed that on the 6th he had been elected a member of the Massachusetts delegation to the First Congress under the Federal Constitution (John Avery Jr., Secretary to the Council, to JA, 6 June, Adams Papers), { 217 } assigned a chair in the House for his use “whenever he may please to attend the debates” (Order of the House, 18 June, Adams Papers), and tendered an address of welcome and gratitude by both houses, to which he replied in two brief and moving paragraphs (Address in Adams Papers; Answer, in JA's hand, facsimiled in Stan V. Henkels, Catalogue of Sale No. 1372, 19 March 1925; both printed in Mass. Centinel, 21 June 1788).
At Newburyport on the 18th JQA learned of his parents' arrival, but could not get accommodations to Boston until the 20th, when he got a horse and rode over to Boston. He found his father gone to Braintree but his mother still at the Governor's house; they went to Braintree together in the afternoon. JQA spent much of the next ten days unpacking books and other goods, which came by lighters from the Lucretia, in the house his parents had bought in preparation for their return (JQA, Diary, 1830 June; JQA, Life in a New England Town, p. 143–146). This was the former John Borland house, which had been briefly owned by Royall Tyler in the 1780's but which reverted to the possession of Leonard Vassall Borland, son of John and Anna Vassall Borland, and was purchased from him by JA for £600 on 26 Sept. 1787 through the agency of Cotton Tufts and Thomas Welsh (Deed recorded in Suffolk co. Registry of Deeds, 161:123, under date of 20 Oct. 1787; see note 1 on the second entry of Jan. 1759, above). For AA's lively impressions of the new house and the difficulties of repairing and settling it, see her letter to AA2 of 7 July (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:84–86).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-07-15

[Notes of Debates in the United States Senate] July 15. 1789.1

Power of Removal.
Mr. Carrol. The Executive Power is commensurate with the Legislative and Judicial Powers.
The Rule of Construction of Treaties, Statutes and deeds.
The same Power which creates must annihilate.—This is true where the Power is simple, but when compound not.
If a Minister is suspected to betray Secrets to an Ennemy, the Senate not sitting, cannot the President displace, nor suspend.
The States General of France, demanded that offices should be during good behaviour.
It is improbable that a bad President should be chosen—but may not bad Senators be chosen.
Is there a due ballance of Power between the Executive and Legislative, either in the General Government or State Governments.
Montesquieu. English Liberty will be lost, when the Legislative shall be more corrupt, than the Executive.—Have We not been witnesses of corrupt Acts of Legislatures, making depredations? Rhode Island yet perseveres.
{ 218 }
Mr. Elsworth. We are sworn to support the Constitution.
There is an explicit grant of Power to the President, which contains the Powers of Removal.
The Executive Power is granted—not the Executive Powers hereinafter enumerated and explained.
The President—not the Senate appoint. They only Consent, and Advise.
The Senate is not an Executive Council—has no Executive Power.
The Grant to the President express, not by Implication.
Mr. Butler. This Power of Removal would be unhinging the equilibrium of Power in the Constitution.
The Statholder witheld the fleet from going out, to the Anoyance of the Ennemies of the nation.
In Treaties, all Powers not expressly given are reserved.
Treaties to be gone over, Clause by Clause, by the President and Senate together, and modelled.
The other Branches are imbecil.
Disgust and alarm.
The President not sovereign. The U.S. sovereign, or People, or Congress sovereign.
The House of Representatives would not be induced to depart, so well satisfied of the Grounds.
Elsworth. The Powers of this Constitution are all vested—parted from the People, from the States, and vested not in Congress but in the President.
The Word Sovereignty is introduced without determinate Ideas.— Power in the last Resort. In this sense the Sovereign Executive is in the president.
The U.S. will be Parties to 1000 Suits. Shall Proscess issue in their Name vs. or for themselves.
The President it is said, may be put to Goal for Debt.
Lee. U.S. merely figurative meaning the People.
Grayson. The President is not above the Law. An Absurdity to admit this Idea into our Government. Not improbable that the President may be sued. Christina Q. of Sweeden committed Murder. France excused her. The Jurors of our Lord the President, present that the President committed Murder.
A Monarchy by a Sidewind. You make him Vindex Injuriarum. The People will not like The Jurors of our Lord the President—nor the Peace of our Lord the President, nor his Dignity. His Crown will be { 219 } left out. Do not wish to make the Constitution a more unnatural monstrous Production than it is.—The British Constitution a three legged Stool. If one legg is longer than another, the Stool will not stand.
Unpallatable. The removal of Officers not palatable. We should not risk any Thing for nothing. Come forward like Men, and reason openly, and the People will hear more quietly than if you attempt side Winds. This Measure will do no good and will disgust.
Mr. Lee. The Danger to liberty greater from the disunited Opinions and jarring Plans of many, than from the energetic operations of one. Marius, Sylla, Caesar, Cromwell trampled on Liberty with Armies.
The Power of Pardon—of adjourning the Legislature.
Power of Revision, sufficient to defend himself. He would be supported by the People.
Patronage. Gives great Influence. The Interference more nominal than real.
The greater Part of Power of making Treaties in the President.
The greatest Power is in the President, the less in the Senate.
Cannot see Responsibility, in the President or the great Officers of State.
A masqued Battery of constructive Powers would compleat the destruction of Liberty.
Can the Executive lay Embargoes, establish Fairs, Tolls &c.?
The foederal Government is limited, the Legislative Power of it is limited, and therefore the Executive and judicial must be limited.
The Executive not punishable but by universal Convulsion, as Charles 1st.
The Legislative in England not so corrupt as the Executive.
There is no Responsibility, in the President, or Ministry.
Blackstone. The Liberties of England owing to Juries. The greatness of England owing to the Genius of that People.
The Crown of England can do what it pleases, nearly.
There is no ballance in America, to such an Executive as that in England.
Does the Executive Arm, mean a standing Army?
Willing to make a Law, that the President, if he sees gross misconduct may suspend pro tempore.
Mr. Patterson. Laments that We are obliged to discuss this question. Of great Importance and much difficulty.
The Executive co extensive with the Legislative. Had the Clause stood alone, would not there have been a devolution of all Executive Power?
{ 220 }
Exceptions are to be construed strictly. This is an invariable Rule.
Mr. Grayson. The President has not a continental Interest, but is a Citizen of a particular State. A K[ing] of E[ngland] otherwise. K. of E. counteracted by a large, powerful, rich and hereditary aristocracy.—Hyperion to a Satyr.
Where there are not intermediate Powers, an alteration of the Government must be to despotism.
Powers ought not to be inconsiderately given to the Executive, without proper ballances.
Triennial and septenial Parliaments made by Corruption of the Executive.
Bowstring. General Lally. Brutus's Power to put his Sons to death.
The Power creating shall have that of uncreating. The Minister is to hold at Pleasure of the Appointor.
If it is in the Constitution, why insert it, in the Law? Brought in by a Sidewind, inferentially.
There will be every endeavour to increase the consolidatory Powers, to weaken the Senate, and strengthen the President.
No Evil in the Senates participating with the P. in Removal.
Mr. Reed. P. is to take care that the Laws be faithfully executed. He is responsible. How can he do his duty or be responsible, if he cannot remove his Instruments.
It is not an equal sharing of the Power of Appointment between the President and senate. The Senate are only a Check to prevent Impositions of the President.
The Minister, an Agent a Deputy to the great Executive.
Difficult to bring great Characters to Punishment or Tryal.
Power of Suspension.
Mr. Johnson. Gentlemen convince themselves that it is best the President should have the Power, and then study for Arguments.
Not a Grant. Vested in the President, would be void for Uncertainty. Executive Power is uncertain. Powers are moral, mechanical, natural. Which of these Powers—what Executive Power? The Land. The Money. Conveys nothing. What Land? What Money.
Unumquodque dissolvitur, eodem modo, quo ligatur.
Meddles not with the question of Expediency.
The Executive wants Power, by its duration and its want of a Negative, and Power to ballance. Foederalist.
{ 221 }
Mr. Elsworth. What is the difference between a Grant and a Partition.
Mr. Izard. Cujus est instituere ejus est abrogare.
1. First entry by JA in his Diary since his return from Europe; written, like those that follow, in a small, detached gathering of leaves that the diarist seized for his immediate purpose and that constitutes one of the numerous segments of D/JA/46. Since the story of the first national election in 1788–1789, of JA's own election as Vice-President, and of the first steps in organizing the new government in New York would require a very long summary, and since JA's Diary from this point on is a mere collection of fragments, the editors have made no attempt to fill in this or later gaps in the Diary record. The reader may be referred, however, to the Chronology of JA's life preceding the index in vol. 4, below.
The debate here recorded was upon the House bill organizing a department of foreign affairs. This bill was sent to the Senate on 24 June, and the point at issue in the Senate was whether the President possessed, or should possess, the exclusive power to remove officers whom he had appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. In a long note on the history of the bill CFA pointed out that JA probably took these minutes “for the sake of guiding his judgment in the contingency which happened of his being called to decide the disputed question by his casting vote” (JA, Works, 3:408). According to Senator William Maclay, who was as usual in the minority and who left a characteristically lively and acidulous record of this debate, JA twice cast tie-breaking votes which reserved to the President the unqualified power of removing his appointees from office, as has ever since been the practice (Maclay, Journal, 1890, p. 109–121, especially p. 116, 119; see also U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 1st sess., under dates of 24–25 June, 14–18 July 1789).
A comparison of JA's notes with Maclay's shows that the former pertain to speeches delivered on more than one day, but systematic assignment of dates to all the speeches is not now possible.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-16

1789 Septr. 16. Wednesday.

Mr. Elsworth informed me That Governor Randolph of Virginia, opened the Convention at Philadelphia, and offered a Project of a Constitution. After him several other Members proposed Plans, some in Writing, others verbally. A Committee was at length appointed to take them all into Consideration, the Virginia Scheme being the Ground Work. This Committee consisted of Governor Rutledge of S.C., Mr. Wilson of Philadelphia, Mr. Gorham of Massachusetts, and Mr. Elsworth of Connecticut. When the Report of this Committee, had been considered and discussed, in the Convention it was recommitted to Governeur Morris, Mr. Maddison and some others.1
1. Ellsworth's information was substantially correct though incomplete, at least as JA recorded it. Edmund Randolph introduced “the Virginia plan” on 29 May 1787. The Committee of Detail was appointed on 24 July, and besides the four members mentioned here, Randolph was also a member (Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, 2:97). The members of the Committee of Style, appointed 8 Sept., were William Samuel Johnson, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, James Madison, and Rufus King (same, p. 547).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-22

[Notes of Debates in the Senate on the Residence Bill] Sept. 22. 1789.

Permanent Seat.1
Mr. Grayson. No Census yet taken, by which the Center of Population—
We have Markets, Archives, Houses, Lodgings.—Extreamly hurt at what has passed in the House of Rep[resentative]s. The Money. Is your Army paid? Virginia offered £100,000. towards the federal Buildings. The Buildings may be erected without Expence to the Union. Lands may be granted—these Lands laid out in Lots and sold to Adventurers.
Mr. Butler. . . .2 The recent Instance in France shews that an Attempt to establish a Government vs. Justice and the Will of the People is vain, idle, and chimerical.
1. After warm debates the House of Representatives sent to the Senate this day a bill to establish the seat of national government at a site ten miles square, to be chosen by commissioners who were to be appointed by the President, “at some convenient place on the banks of the river Susquehannah, in the state of Pennsylvania” ( Penna. Packet, 28 Sept. 1789). The Pennsylvania delegation in the House, which had carried its objective against a strong Southern bloc that favored a site on the Potomac, had in mind the area surrounding the village of Wright's Ferry, now Columbia, Penna. Thanks to the determination and skill of Senator Robert Morris, the proposed Susquehanna site and an amendment substituting a site on the Potomac were both defeated, and the new site agreed on by the Senate was Germantown and the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia, Vice-President Adams casting the deciding vote. The fullest record of the debate in the Senate, including the bargaining maneuvers that accompanied it and incorporating the usual severities on JA's conduct as presiding officer, is in William Maclay's Journal, 1890, p. 158–165; see also Rufus King's notes in King, Life and Corr., 1:370–375; U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 1st sess., under 22–24 Sept.; Bryan,Hist, of the National Capital, 1:27–35; McMaster, History, 1:555–563. Congress adjourned before agreement could be reached between the two houses, and the Residence Act that eventually passed in July 1790 placed the capital at Philadelphia for ten years and then permanently on the Potomac.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-23

[Notes of Debates on the Residence Bill, continued] Sept. 23. Wednesday.

Mr. Lee. Navigation of the Susquehannah.
Mr. Grayson. Antwerp and the Scheld. Reasons of State have influenced the Pensilvanians to prevent the navigation from being opened. The limiting the Seat of Empire to the State of Pen. on the Delaware is a characteristic Mark of Partiality. The Union will think that Pen. governs the Union, and that the general Interest is sacrificed to that of one State.
{ 223 }
The Czar Peter took time to enquire and deliberate before he fixed a Place to found his City.
We are about founding a City which will be one of the first in the World, and We are governed by local and partial Motives.
Mr. Morris moves to expunge the Proviso.1
Mr. Carrol. Against the Motion to expunge the Proviso. Considers the Western Country of great Importance. Some Gentlemen in both houses seem to undervalue the Western Country or despair of commanding it. Government on the Potowmack would secure it.
Mr. Butler. The question is not whether Pensilvania or Maryland shall be benefited—but how are the United States benefited or injured.
Mr. Macclay. Pensilvania has altered the Law this month respecting the navigation of the Susquehannah.
1. A proviso in the House bill required Pennsylvania and Maryland to consent to improving the navigation of the Susquehanna. Morris opposed this proviso on the ground that it would give commercial advantages to Baltimore over Philadelphia; see his speech and Carroll's and Maclay's replies as reported in King, Life and Corr., 1:371–372, and in Maclay, Journal, 1890, p. 159–161.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-24

[Notes of Debates on the Residence Bill, continued] Sept. 24. Thursday.

Mr. Grayson. moves to strike out the Words, “in the State of Pensilvania.”1
Mr. Butler. The Center of Population the best Criterion. The Center of Wealth and the Center of Territory.
Mr. Lee. The Center of Territory is the only permanent Center. Mr. Macclay. See his minutes.2
1. That is, following the words “river Susquehannah” in the House bill, and thus assigning the federal capital to Maryland; all the senators present from the South voted for this amendment, but it lost by ten votes to eight.
2. Maclay's “minutes” of this day's debate are very full, but it would have been remarkable if he had offered to let JA see them, since they accuse him of grossly unfair conduct in the chair (Journal, 1890, p. 162–165).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0009-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1790-01-25

[Notes of Debates in the Senate concerning unfinished business] 1790 Jan. 25. Monday.1

It was not the sense of either House, or of any member of either, that the Business pending at the Adjournment should be lost.2
Where is the Oeconomy of repeating the Expence of Time?
Can this opinion be founded on the Law of Parliament? The K[ing] can prorogue the Parliament. But there is no such Power here.
The Rule of Parliament that Business once acted on, and rejected { 224 } shall not be brought on again, the same session, is a good Rule, but not applicable to this Case.
Mr. Elsworth. In Legislative Assemblies, more to be apprehended from precipitation than from Delay.
1. Early in the second session the question arose whether business not finished between the two houses in the former session could “now be proceeded in, as if no adjournment had taken place.” On 20 Jan. a committee of the Senate was appointed to confer with a committee of the House on this subject, and on the 25th the Senate debated the joint committee's report. JA doubtless took his brief minutes of the debate in anticipation of the possibility of a tie vote. But the Senate voted, ten to eight, to accept the report, in these words: “Resolved, That the business unfinished between the two Houses at the late adjournment, ought to be regarded, as if it had not been passed upon by either”; and next day the House concurred. See U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 2d sess., under dates of 20–26 Jan. 1790.
2. Though JA failed to name this speaker, it was almost certainly Maclay of Pennsylvania, who both in the joint committee and in the Senate had vigorously contested the view that business between the two houses should be begun de novo in each session. During the debate on the 25th, Maclay wrote, “I was four times up in all.” See his Journal, 1890, p. 179–186.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0010-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1790


Interest, Corruption, Prejudice, Error, Ignorance. Causes of wrong Judgments.
Have not these Causes, as much Influence in one Assembly as in two? If either or all of these Causes should prevail, over Reason, Justice, and the public good in one Assembly, is not a Revision of the Subject in another a probable means of correcting the false decree?
1. The notes or reflections which follow were written in pencil on the verso of the Diary leaf which has the entry of 25 Jan. 1790 on its recto. There is no other clue to their date, and their substance is so perfectly typical of JA's political thought that it does not suggest the occasion of his putting them down on paper.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0011-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1791-11

[November? 1791.]1

Williamson.2 Great Numbers emigrate to the back parts of North and S.C. and G. for the Sake of living without Trouble. The Woods, such is the mildness of the Climate, produce grass to support horses and Cattle, and Chesnuts, Acorns and other Things for the food of hogs. So that they have only a little corn to raise which is done without much Labour. They call this kind of Life following the range. They are very ignorant and hate all Men of Education. They call them Pen and Ink Men.
1. Written on a detached, folded sheet which JA, probably at a much later date, docketed “Scrap.” The only clue to the date when this note of a conversation was written down is the fact that the next entry, precisely dated 11 Nov. 1791, appears overleaf.
2. Hugh Williamson (1735–1819), { 225 } who held an M.D. from the University of Utrecht and had represented North Carolina in the Federal Convention of 1787, was a member of the First and Second Congresses and a writer on scientific and other subjects (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0011-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1791-11-11

Fryday. Nov. 11. 1791.

Yesterday a No. of the national Gazette was sent to me, by Phillip Freneau, printed by Childs and Swaine. Mr. Freneau, I am told is made Interpreter.1
1. The first number of the National Gazette, edited by the poet journalist Philip Freneau, was published in Philadelphia on 31 Oct. 1791. The aim of Jefferson and Madison in encouraging Freneau in this venture was to offset the influence of John Fenno's “tory” Gazette of the United States, which had moved from New York to Philadelphia in Nov. 1790 and to which JA had contributed his “Discourses on Davila,” April 1790-April 1791. At the same time that Freneau attacked Administration measures and especially Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, he held a small post as clerk for foreign languages in the State Department, presided over by Thomas Jefferson. See Brant, Madison, 3:334–336.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0012-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-21

1795 June 21.

Lime dissolves all vegetable Substances, such as Leaves, Straws, Stalks, Weeds, and converts them into an immediate food for Vegetables. It kills the Eggs of Worms and Seeds of Weeds. The best method is to spread it in your Barn Yard among the Straw and Dung. It succeeds well when spread upon the Ground. Burning Lime Stones or Shells, diminishes their Weight: but slaking the Lime restores that Weight. The German farmers say that Lime makes the father rich, but the Grandson poor—i.e. exhausts the Land. This is all from Mr. Rutherford.1 Plaister of Paris has a vitriolic Acid in it, which attracts the Water from the Air, and operates like watering Plants. It is good for corn—not useful in wet Land. You sprinkle it by hand as you sow Barley, over the Ground, 5 Bushells powdered to an Acre. Carry it in a Bag as you would grain to sow.
1. John Rutherfurd, U.S. senator from New Jersey, 1791–1798 (Biog. Dir. Cong.); see entry of 3 Aug. 1796, below, and note there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0012-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1795


Mr. Meredith at Mr. Vaughans explained to me his Method.1 He takes a first Crop of Clover early: then breaks up the Ground, cross ploughs and harrows it. Then plants Potatoes. He only ploughs a furrow, drops the Potatoes a foot a sunder and then covers them with another furrow. He ploughs now and then between these Rows: but { 226 } never hoes. As soon as the Season comes for sowing his Winter Barley: He diggs the Potatoes, ploughs and harrows the Ground, sows the Winter Barley with Clover Seeds and orchard Grass Seeds: and the next Spring he has a great Crop of Barley and afterwards a great Burthen of Grass.—He prefers Orchard Grass to Herds Grass as much more productive.
1. JA's informant was doubtless Samuel Meredith, formerly a member of the Continental Congress and from 1789 to 1801 treasurer of the United States (Biog. Dir. Cong.). His host was John Vaughan, brother of JA's old friend Benjamin Vaughan. John Vaughan settled in Philadelphia and was perpetual secretary of the American Philosophical Society (Robert Hallowell Gardiner, Early Recollections, Hallowell, Maine, 1936, p. 118–120).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-20

June 20 [1796].1

Sullivan Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 12 1/2.
1. Here begins a brief revival of JA's Diary, extending through the summer of 1796 and comprising the only regular series of entries he made after his return from Europe in 1788. JA had come home from Philadelphia in mid-May, following the long and highly partisan struggle in Congress over Jay's Treaty, and though there was to be a national election in November in which he was in the highest degree interested, the following entries deal almost entirely with farming activities.
CFA printed the Diary entries for 1796 very selectively and frequently omitted personal names or disguised them by reducing them to their initials.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-22

June 22.

Thomas Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 9.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-12

Quincy July 12. Tuesday.

Yesterday mow'd all the Grass on Stony field Hill. To day ploughing for Hilling among the Corn over against the House. Brisler laying the foundation of the new Barn which is to be rais'd tomorrow, at the East End of my Fathers barn. Puffer and Sullivan Lathrop ploughing among Potatoes in the lower Garden.
This Journal is commenced, to allure me into the habit of Writing again, long lost. This habit is easily lost but not easily regained. I have, in the Course of Life, lost it several times and regained it as often. So I will now. I can easily credit the Reports I have heard of Dr. Robertson the Scottish Historian, who is said to have lost the Habit of Writing for many Years: but he reacquired it, before his death, and produced his Inquiry into the Knowledge of the Ancients of India.
In the Course of my Walk, this morning to my new Barn, I met Major Miller, who offered to sell me his Cedar Swamp and Woodlot of 20 Acres, beyond Harmans, descended from his Grandfather and { 227 } Father. His Price £9 = 30 dollars per Acre. Part of it has never been cutt—Part cutt 20 Years ago and grown up very thick. Billings came home before dinner, but did no Work.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-13

July 13. Wednesday.

My new Barn is to be raised this Afternoon, a Rod or two from my Fathers which he built when I was two or three Years old—about 58 years ago, or 59.
Billings went out to hoe this morning but soon came in. Said he had sprained his Arm and could not work.
Billings soon went out towards Captn. Beales's.1 Puffer, one of my Workmen from Stoughton, came home late last night. Said Captn. Lindzee had call'd him in and given him a Bottle of Brandy.2 By what Sympathy do these Tipplers discover one another?
This Day my new Barn was raised near the Spot where the old Barn stood which was taken down by my Father when he raised his new barn in 1737. The Frame is 50 by 30–13 foot Posts.
1. Capt. Benjamin Beale had built a large house just to the west of JA's property in 1792 (HA2, MS Notes in Adams Papers Editorial Files). This house is still standing.
2. John Linzee, a former British naval officer who had married a niece of the Boston merchant John Rowe, resigned his commission in 1791 and settled in Milton (Rowe, Letters and Diary, p. 10–13 and passim).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-14

July 14. 1796 Thursday.

The Wind N.W. after a fine rain. A firing of Cannon this morning in the Harbour. I arose by four O Clock and enjoyed the Charm of earliest Birds. Their Songs were never more various, universal, animating or delightful.
My Corn this Year, has been injured by two Species of Worms. One of the Size and Shape of a Catterpillar, but of a mouse Colour, lies at the root, eats off the Stalk and then proceeds to all the other Plants in the Hill, till he frequently kills them all. The other is long and slender as a needle, of a bright yellow Colour. He is found in the Center of the Stalk near the Ground where he eats it off, as the Hessian fly eats the Wheat. My Brother taught me, the Method of finding these Vermin, and destroying them. They lie commonly near the Surface.
I have been to see my Barn, which looks very stately and strong. Rode up to Braintree and saw where Trask has been trimming Red Cedars. He has not much more to do. He was not at Work. He has probably worked two days since I was there last.
{ 228 }
It rains at 11. O Clock. The Barley is growing white for the Harvest. My Men are hilling the Corn over the Road. A soft fine rain, in a clock calm is falling as sweetly as I ever saw in April, May or June. It distills as gently as We can wish. Will beat down the grain as little as possible, refresh the Gardens and Pastures, revive the Corn, make the fruit grow rapidly, and lay the foundation of fine Rowen and After feed.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-15

July 15. Fryday.

A very heavy Shower of Rain. Thunder in the morning. Billings still unable to work—goes over towards Basses first, then up in Town with Seth.
Went with 3 hands, Puffer, Sullivan Lathrop and Mr. Bass, to Braintree and cutt between 40 and 50 Red Cedars and with a team of five Cattle brought home 22 of them at a Load. We have opened the Prospect so that the Meadows and Western Mountain may be distinctly seen.
Burrell had two hands employed in heaping up Manure in his Barn Yard. The Cattle have broken into his Corn field, through the Gap which We left unfinished in the great Wall, and eaten an hundred hills.
The new Barn is boarded on the Roof, and the underpinning is finished.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-16

July 16. 1796 Saturday.

Paid off Puffer, for Eleven Days Works at a Dollar a Day. Trask and Stetson at work in the Garden. Sullivan and Bass gone for another Load of Red Cedar Posts. Billing over at Bass's in the Morning and going up in Town with Seth as usual.
Trask told me he had worked 20 days. This day in the Garden makes 21. Monday he is to cutt the Wood in the Swamp on Pens Hill. We got in two Loads the last of our English Hay, and bro't home a Load of Red Cedars.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-17

July 17. 1796 Sunday.

Warm but clear. Billings at home but running down Cellar for Cyder.
We are to have a Mr. Hilliard.
Yesterday Dr. Tufts and Mr. Otis and Family dined with me. Otis was very full of Elections and had many Things to say about Pinckney { 229 } and Henry, Jefferson and Burr. He says there was a Caucus at Philadelphia, that they agreed to run Jefferson and Burr—that Butler was offended and left them. O. takes it for granted the P. will retire. Pickering has given out publickly that he will. Mrs. W. takes it for granted that he will. Collections, Packages and Removals of Cloaths and furniture of their own have been made. Anecdotes of Dandridge, and Mrs. W.s Negro Woman. Both disappeared—never heard of— know not where they are. When the Electors are chosen the Declaration is to be made.—Q. Is this Arrangement made that the Electors may make him the Compliment of an Election after a Nolo, and thus furnish an Apology for Accepting after all the Talk?1
Mr. Otis confirms the Account of the nomination and Appointment of my Son to be Minister Plenipotentiary of the U.S. at the Court of Portugal.2 He also confirms the Adjournment of Congress to the Constitutional Day, 1. Monday in December. Mrs. W. is not to return to Phil[adelphia] till November.
Mr. Hilliard of Cambridge preached for Us. He is the Son of our old Acquaintance Minister of Barnstable and afterwards at Cambridge. Mr. Quincy and Mr. Sullivan drank Tea with Us.
1. JA's informant on the political situation was Samuel Allyne Otis, secretary of the U.S. Senate, whose second wife, the former Mary Smith, was AA's first cousin (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog., 4:607). The maneuvers by both Federalists and Republicans to obtain the succession to the Presidency were in some degree checked by Washington's silence concerning his own intentions until the publication of his advice to his countrymen, ever since known as his “Farewell Address,” in Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, 19 Sept. 1796.
CFA omitted two sentences in the foregoing paragraph: (1) that beginning “Anecdotes of Dandridge,” and (2) JA's final query to himself. On the sudden disappearance of Bartholomew Dandridge, Mrs. Washington's nephew and one of the President's secretaries, see Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 35:77–79, 135–136, 159, 162. The reasons for it were less discreditable than gossip imputed.
2. JQA, who had been serving as minister resident of the United States at The Hague since 1794, was appointed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate, minister plenipotentiary to Portugal on 30 May 1796 (Commission in Adams Papers under that date; see also AA to JQA, 10 Aug. 1796, Adams Papers). But because of orders from Secretary of State Pickering to remain at The Hague until a replacement could be sent there, JQA never went to Lisbon; instead, he was commissioned in 1797 by his father, now President, to go to Berlin to negotiate a new commercial treaty with Prussia (Commission, 1 June 1797, in Adams Papers; see also Bemis, JQA, 1:88–90).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-18

July 18 1796. Monday.

Billings is at hoe. The Kitchen Folk say he is steady. A terrible drunken distracted Week he has made of the last. A Beast associating with the worst Beasts in the Neighborhood. Drunk with John Cope• { 230 } land, Seth Bass &c. Hurried as if possessed, like Robert the Coachman, or Turner the Stocking Weaver. Running to all the Shops and private Houses swilling Brandy, Wine and Cyder in quantities enough to destroy him. If the Ancients drank Wine as our People drink rum and Cyder it is no wonder We read of so many possessed with Devils.
Went up to Penns hill. Trask has the Rheumatism in his Arm and is unable to work. He told me that Rattlesnakes began to appear—two on Saturday by Porters and Prays. One kill'd. The other escaped. He told me too of another Event that vex'd, provoked and allarm'd me much more—vizt, That my Horses were Yesterday in such a frenzy at the Church Door, that they frightened the Crowd of People, and frightened a Horse or the People in the Chaise so that they whipp'd their Horse, till he ran over two Children. The children stooped down or fell down, so that the chaise went over them without hurting them. But it must have been almost a Miracle, that they were not kill'd or wounded. I know not when my Indignation has [been] more excited, at the Coachman for his folly and Carelessness: and indeed at others of the Family for the Carriage going to Meeting at all. As Mrs. A. could not go the Coach ought not to have gone. The Coachman and Footman ought to have gone to Meeting—and the Girls to have walk'd. L. Smith has no Pretentions to ride in a Coach more than Nancy Adams or even Polly Howard. It is spoiling her Mind and her Reputation both, to indulge her Vanity in that Manner.1 I scolded at the Coachman first and afterwards at his Mistress, and I will scold again and again. It is my Duty. There is no greater Insolence or Tyranny, than sporting with Horses and Carriages among Crouds of People.
1. Louisa CatherineCatharine Smith (1773?–1857), who never married, was the daughter of AA's errant brother William Smith of Lincoln; she lived for many years with the Adamses, serving as JA's amanuensis in his old age, and was generously remembered in the wills of both AA and JA (Quincy, First Church, MS Records, 6 June 1857; AA to JA, 3 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers; AA, New Letters, passim). “Nancy” was Ann (1773–1818), daughter of Peter Boylston Adams, JA's brother; in Jan. 1797 she married Josiah Bass of Quincy (Quincy, First Church, MS Records, 2 May 1773; A. N. Adams, Geneal. Hist, of Henry Adams of Braintree, p. 408). Polly Howard has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-19

July 19. 1796. Tuesday.

A plentifull Shower of Rain with Thunder and Lightning this Morning. Took a Tea spoonful of Bark in Spirit.
Billings steady: but deep in the horrors, gaping, stretching, groaning.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-20

July 20. 1796. Wednesday. Commencement.

Rode to the Swamp, at the Top of Penns hill. Trask is mowing the Bushes, cutting the Trees, and leaves only the White Oaks which he trims and prunes as high as he can reach. My design is to plough up a Corn field for Burrell, against next Year, in that Inclosure. Walked in the Afternoon over the Hills and across the fields and Meadows, up to the old Plain. The Corn there is as good as any I have seen, excepting two or three Spots. Brisler and Sullivan cutting Sleepers for the Barn. My beautiful Grove, so long preserved by my Father and my Uncle, proves to be all rotten. More than half the Trees We cutt are so defective as to be unfit for any Use but the fire. I shall save the White Oaks, and cutt the rest.
I was overtaken with the Rain, at the End of my Walks and return[ed] home in it. Mrs. Tufts, Mrs. Norton,1 Mrs. Cranch and Mrs. Smith were here.
1. AA's niece, the former Elizabeth Cranch (1763–1811); in 1789 she had married Rev. Jacob Norton, Harvard 1785, recently settled as minister of the First Church of Weymouth (Weymouth Hist. Soc., History of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Weymouth, 1923, 4:444–445).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-21

July 21. Thursday.

Sullivan Lathrop and Bass carting earth into the Yard from the Ground which is to be thrown into the High Way over against my House. The old Appletree, probably an hundred Years of Age is to fall.
Billings and Thomas Lathrop mowing in the Meadow.
Six hogsheads of Lime, 50 Gallons each were brought home Yesterday for Manure. I have it of Mr. Brackett, at 15s. the Hdd.
I am reading Dr. Watsons Apology for the Bible in Answer to T. Paines 2d Part of Age of Reason.
That Appletree, over the Way, to which the Beauty and Convenience of the Road has been sacrificed for an hundred Years, has now in its turn, with Apples enough upon it to make two Barrells of Cyder, fallen a Sacrifice to the Beauty and Convenience of the Road. It has been felled this morning, never to rise again and the Road is to be widened and enlarged. The Stump and Roots are to be dug out of the Ground and the Wall to be removed Back and made an Ha! Ha!
Billings had a mind to go upon Wall. I went with him from Place to Place, and could resolve on nothing. I then set him to split and mortise some Posts for the fence vs. Mrs. Veasie. We went up, carried the Posts but when We came there We found that the Wall was too { 232 } heavy and Stones too large for two hands—four at least were necessary. Billings was wild and We came to some Explanation. He must go off &c. Mrs. Adams paid him off, and then He thought he would not go. After long Conversations Billings came to a Sort of Agreement to stay a Year from this day, at £45. He declared he would not drink Spirit nor Cyder for the whole Year. He reserved however twelve days for himself. We shall see tomorrow Morning how he behaves.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-22

July 22. Fryday.

Billings sober and steady, persevering in his declaration that he will not drink, these 12 months. Paid Trask in full sixteen Dollars for 24 Days Works. He insisted on 4s. a Day. He has finished clearing the Swamp on Penns Hill this day.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-23

July 23. 1796. Saturday.

Rode down to the Barley and Black grass at the Beach. The Barley is better than I hoped. The Clover has taken pretty well in general. Parts where the Tide has flowed are kill'd. Weeds very thick round the Margin of the Salt Meadow, or rather Black grass meadow. Twitch Grass scattering and thin. Billings sober, composed as ever. Bass and Brisler mowing with him. James the Coachman, enjoying the Pleasures of a Sportsman, shooting marsh Birds instead of mowing.
I rode up to Burrells in Braintree to tell Sullivan and Thomas that they might stay with the Team till they had got in all Burrells Hay. Billings thinks there will be 30 Bushells of Barley at the Beach and 30 Bushells to an Acre on Stony field Hill.
Burrells Barn is already nearly full of English Hay and fresh. His Salt Hay, he must stack or stow it in his Barn floor. He has collected his Summer Dung into heaps in his Barn Yard, and has a good deal of it. He will have manure enough, from his Cows and young Cattle, to serve a good Cornfield next Year. His Hogs besides will make a good deal.
I have concluded to break up upon Penns Hill a good Corn field on each side of the new Wall, one for Burrell and one for French and Vinton. They may sled or cart the manure in the Winter, and that Land will produce Clover and Herds grass much better than the plain below. I am weary of wasting so much labour and manure upon that dry plain, which is scortched and burnt up in a dry Season.
Still reading Bishop Watsons Apology. Finished.
My Men mowed the Black Grass and Barley at the Beach, came home and split all the Red Cedars into Posts and morticed some of { 233 } them. Sullivan morticed after having assisted Burrell to get in all his fresh Hay.
Began The Life of Petrarch by Susanna Dobson.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-24

July 24. 1796. Sunday.

We are to have for a Preacher a Mr. Whitcomb.
Billings is still cool and steady.
In the 1st. Vol. of the Life of Petrarch page 52. it is said that Pope John the 22d believed that the Souls of the Just would not enjoy The Vision of God till after the Universal Judgment and the Resurrection of their Bodies. This Opinion is Priestleys and Price was much inclin'd to it. This Popes imprudent Endeavours to establish this Doctrine, produced an Insurrection of the Cardinals and Court of Rome—Decisions of the Doctors in Theology at Paris &c. and obliged the Pope to retract. Petrarch appears to have favoured his Opinion concerning The Vision of God.
Went to Church Forenoon and Afternoon, and heard Mr. Whitcomb of Bolton.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-25

July 25. 1796. Monday.

Dull Weather but no Rain. The Lathrops with the Team are going to the Swamp on Penns Hill for a Load of Wood that Trask has cutt.
Rode up to the Swamp on Penns hill. Sullivan and Bass loaded up a Cord of Wood and Sullivan drove it home. Bass staid and cutt down and cutt up an old Walnut, murdered: by the Women and Children for their Dye Potts, cutt down and cutt up an old Appletree and a Buttonwood Tree. When Sullivan returned he climbed and trimmed two large Buttonwoods. I then left Bass and Sullivan to load their Waggon with the Wood and came home to dinner.
Brisler, Billings, Thomas, James and Prince, after mowing the Barley on Stoney field Hill, were gone down to the Beech to rake and heap the Barley ready for Sullivan to bring home, after he shall have unloaded his Wood. The Weather is warm and clear. Sullivan came home, unloaded his Wood, went down to the Beech and brought up all the Black Grass and Barley at one Load, which was so heavy however that he could not ascend the Hill to the little Barn. Brisler, Bass and James raked upon Stony field hill.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-26

July 26. 1796. Tuesday.

Cloudy and begins to rain, the Wind at N.E. The Men gone up the Hill to rake the Barley.
{ 234 }
In conformity to the fashion I drank this Morning and Yesterday Morning, about a Jill of Cyder. It seems to do me good, by diluting and dissolving the Phlegm or the Bile in the Stomach.
The Christian Religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern Times, The Religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity and Humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will. It is Resignation to God—it is Goodness itself to Man.