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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0011-0027

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

27th. Sunday.

This morning I went with Mr. Artaud to Mr. Rimberts and from thence we set out, eight in one large carriage and two other gentlemen in another small one for Czarsko-Zelo her Majesty's ordinary residence in the summer.1 Before we had got half ways the small carriage's axletree broke and we were obliged to take the two other gentlemen in; so that we went all ten in the same carriage. We arrived there at about 12 o'clock and went directly to see the palace the inside of which is not yet wholly finished. After having seen the palace we return'd into the city and arriv'd at about half past seven o'clock; and returned to our sev• { 153 } eral destinations. Czarsko-Zelo is distant from Petersbourg 22 wersts.
1. The famous summer residence of Catherine the Great at Tsarkoe Selo (renamed Pushkin), located about fifteen miles south of St. Petersburg, was originally a residence of Catherine I. About 1750 it was enlarged and embellished for the Empress Elizabeth in baroque style by the Italian architect Bartolommeo Rastrelli (1700–1771), but its completion and redecoration in neoclassical style was done for Catherine II by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron in the latter part of the century (Storch, Picture of Petersburg, p. 74–78; John Parkinson, A Tour of Russia, Siberia and the Crimea 1792–1794, ed. William Collier, London, 1971, p. 253).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0011-0028

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

28th. Monday.

This forenoon I went with Mr. Peyron to the Baron Albedhyl's1 to take his orders for Stockholm. In the afternoon Mr. Gummer came here and I went with him to the concert. Return'd at about 9 o'clock.
1. Gustaf Baron von Albedhyll, Swedish chargé d'affaires to Russia, 1782–1783, and later minister to Denmark, 1785–1789 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 405, 414).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0011-0029

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

29th. Tuesday.

This forenoon I went to the shops and bought some things. After dinner I went and took leave of Mr. Wolff who gave me a letter of recommendation for Hamborough [Hamburg]. Went to Mr. Rimberts'.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0011-0030

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

30th. Wednesday.

This morning I went and took leave of the Baron Albedyhll the Swedish chargé d'affaires here, and he gave me a couple of letters for Stockholm. At about noon I took leave of Mr. D. and of Mr. Artaud and set out upon the road for Wibourg [Vyborg]. We arrived at about 11. o'clock P.M. at the third station and as it was extraordinarily dark we stay'd there till 7 o'clock the next morning.1
1. For 30 Oct. through 1 Nov., indicating dates in the margins, JQA made one continuous Diary entry, which here has been divided up by days.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0011-0031

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

Thursday. 31st.

We rode all day that day and all the night and arriv'd at the gates of Wibourg the next morning at about 5 o'clock.

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

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

N(1782.)S. November
1. Friday.

We were obliged to wait about 2 hours at a Dram Shop out of the city waiting for the gates to be opened. And there Mr. Gummer overtook us. He had left St. Petersbourg the same day with us, at about 4 o'clock. P.M. At seven o'clock the gates were opened and we went and stopp'd at the tavern. Mr. Gummer dined out. I was very unwell. The Count and Mr. Gummer spent the evening out: I was so unwell I did not go.
List of the roads from [S]t Petersbourg to Wibourg.
From St. Petersbourg to   wersts  
Dranizoukow [Dranichnikowa]1   25.  
Walkiasiary2   15.  
Lindola [Lindoulia]   18.  
Weremcki3   20.  
Surenoja [Souvenoya]   19  
Kamerala [Kämära]   20.  
Wibourg   22.  
In general people take for the first post private horses. We paid 4 Roubles for 4 horses. For post horses you pay for the first station 2. copicks. pr. horse pr. werst. From Draniznikow to Lindola you pay 1. copick pr. horse pr. werst, and from Lindola forward you pay only 8 copicks pr. 10 wersts for each horse. When we arrived at Draniznikow we gave 30 copicks to the post master and had our horses directly. We gave at every post 5. 6. or 8 copicks to the post master and were very well served for horses. We gave the postillions from 5. to 15 Copicks, but never 15. unless in the night. The roads in general are very bad from Petersbourg to Wibourg, at the present season of the year, because the Land is pretty good and the frequent rains have made a great deal of mud. There are no houses where to lodge, and if one does not go night and day, one must sleep in the carriage.
Wibourg is a small city situated upon the river: []4 very strongly fortified: the houses are almost all of wood; there is but one tavern in the town; and that is not very good.
1. Because JQA's spellings of town names along the route from St. Petersburg to Stockholm often vary widely from contemporary sources, alternate spellings have been supplied from “Carte de la partie européenne de l'empire de Russie avec l'indication des chemins de poste, ainsi que des douanes frontières et de la reparti• { 155 } | view tion actuelle en gouvernements et districts,” St. Petersbourg, 1809.
2. The map, referred to above, lists Bieloostrowskaya Kirka as 18 versts from Lindoulia.
3. The same map lists Pampola as 20 versts from Lindoulia.
4. Left blank in MS.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0002

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

2d Saturday.

This morning at about 11 o'clock we set off from Wibourg for Frederichshamm; we rode all night and arriv'd, the next day at about 4. o'clock P.M.1
1. The Diary continues into the following day's entry without a break.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0003

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

3d. Sunday.

Mr. Gummer arrived there at about 8 o'clock in the morning. Here people generally change their russian money for Swedish Rixdallers. We paid 1 Rbl. 40 cop. for each Rixdaller. Mr. Gummer supped out.
List of the roads from Wibourg to Frederichshamm.
From Wibourg to   wersts  
Terwajoki [Tervayokki]   20.  
Willajoki [Willayokki]   17.  
Urpala [Urpola]   23.  
Pytterlax [Puterlar]   16  
Kouckis1   18  
Frederichshamm   16.  
From Wibourg to Frederichshamm you pay the same for the horses and for the postillions as from Lindola to Wibourg; the roads in general are at present very bad, and no such thing as a tavern upon the whole way.
1. In the “Carte de la partie européenne de l'empire de Russie,” Hrenwik is listed as 16 versts from Frederichshamm. See entry for 1 Nov., note 1 (above).

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

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

4th. Monday.

This forenoon at about 10 ½ o'clock we left Frederichshamm and rode till about 7. P.M. when we arriv'd at the last russian station. There we stopped.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0005

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

5th. Tuesday.

This morning at about 10 o'clock we pass'd the russian frontiers and arriv'd at Abbo[r]fors which is the first place in Swedish Finland. Here we were visited. We arriv'd at Lovisa at about 12. o'clock. Mr. Gummer arrived last night about 10 o'clock.

List of the roads from Frederichshamm to Lovisa.1

When you come into Swedish Finland you pay every thing in Swedish money. You give 4. schillings pr. horse for each Swedish mile which is 10. russian wersts. They count here the money in Rixdallers schillings, and stübers. A Rixdaller is 48 schillings or about 1 ½ Rouble<s> Russian. A schilling is 4. stübers, or a little more than 3 russian copecks. The postillions commonly have 4. schillings for 3. You are not obliged to give anything, and they are very content for 1 schilling each. There are no regulated posts in Sweden. Each peasant is obliged to furnish a certain number of horses according as he is able, and to prevent their making travellers stop too long, at each post there is a paper where you write your name, where you come from where you go, how many horses you take, and whether you was served quick. At the end of every month the paper is carried before the judge of the village who examines it, and if he finds any complaint against the peasants they are punish'd accordingly. But I should advise travellers always to have their horses ordered before hand for 8 or 10 miles, for then you are sure of having the horses all ready when you arrive at the post. Whereas when you do not have them ordered before hand it is sometimes impossible for them to have their horses ready in less than an hour and sometimes an hour and a half, and it costs but a trifle, to have the horses ordered beforehand.
1. Here follows a blank space of about four lines.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-11-06

6th. Wednesday.

This day we dined with the major of the garrison here whose name is Grippenwald. After dinner we set off from Lovisa for Helsingfors [Helsinki] and went two stations. Lovisa is as yet but a village without fortifications, or gates. It is but about twenty years since it was founded but it is said they intend to begin soon to fortify it.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1782-11-07 - 1782-11-08

7th Thursday [–8th Friday].1

This afternoon at about 4 o'clock we passed thro' Borgo [Borga] which is a small fortified town. We rode all night and arrived at about 7 o'clock in the morning on the 8th. at Helsingfors, a small town not very strongly fortified, but remarkable for the fortress of Sweaborg [Sveaborg] an island situated at about ¼ of a Swedish mile from Helsingfors and which they say is as strong as Gibraltar. At about 11. o'clock we went and paid a visit to the Count Posse2 governor general of all the troops in Swedish Finland. We desired of him a permission to see the fortress of Sweaborg. He told us that it was impossible for us to go to day because the wind was high and contrary so that we should arrive there too late, but that tomorrow he would willingly give us a permission. We dined and supped with him at his house.
1. Entries for 7–8 Nov. continue without interruption in the Diary; date lines are in the margin, however.
2. Fredrik Arvidsson Posse, a close associate of King Gustav III, who was given full command of the Swedish army in Finland in 1780 and served as commander-in-chief of the Finnish division during the war with Russia in 1788 (Biographiskt Lexicon öfver Namnkunnige Svenska Män, 23 vols., Orebo and Uppsala, 1836–1857).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0008

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

9th. Saturday.

This morning we went to see the fortress of Sweaborg. Dined with the General Posse. Prince Galitzin1 arrived here this evening.
1. Possibly a brother or son of Prince Dmitri A. Gallitzin (1734–1803), a man of letters and Russian ambassador at Paris, 1763–1768, and at The Hague, 1770–1782 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 354, 359; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:3, 15, 29; Eufrosina Dvoichenko-Markoff, “Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society, and the Russian Academy of Science,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 91 [1947]:252–253).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0009

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

10th. Sunday.

This morning at about 8 o'clock we left Helsingfors, at the same time as the Prince Galitzin. We went this day, three stations. The Prince went but two.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0010

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

11th. Monday.

This day we went only two stations and stopp'd at the country seat of Mr. Hising an acquaintance of Mr. Gummer's at Fagerwik.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0011

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

12th. Tuesday.

We went only 3. swedish miles. Stay'd at the country house of Captain Anrinoff son in law to Mr. Hising, at Åmine.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1782-11-13 - 1782-11-14

13th. Wednesday [– 14th Thursday].1

We left Åmine at about 10 o'clock A.M. and rode all day, and all the night and arrived at about 12. o'clock at Åbo, on the 14th. This is a small town not much fortified but it is the capital of the province of Finland and is said to be the largest town in Sweden except Stockholm.
List of the roads from Lovisa to Åbo.
From Lovisa to   Swed: Miles  
Perna   1   1/4.  
Forsby.   1.    
Ilby.   1   1/4  
Borgo.   1.    
Wäkaski   1   1/4  
Sibbokykeky [Sibbo]   1   1/4  
Hakbolo [Haxböle]   1   1/2  
Helsingfors   1   3/4.  
1. This entry continues into the next day without a pause; the dateline is in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-11-15

15th. Friday.

This forenoon we went and paid a visit to General Armfeldt1 governor of Finland. We dined at his hotel with the Prince Galitzin who arriv'd last night. After dinner we went to see the curiosities of the town, but there is nothing extraordinary altho there is a famous University2 here. In the evening the General Armfeldt came and paid us a visit.
1. Gustaf Mauritz, Baron von Armfelt, a native of Finland, who served as a Swedish diplomat and president of the Council of Finland (Biographiskt Lexicon öfver Namnkunnige Svenska Män, 23 vols., Orebo and Uppsala, 1836–1857).
2. Abo Akademi or Universität Abo, the Finnish national university, which was removed to Helsinki in 1827 after a fire. General Armfelt served as its chancellor (Eino Kaila, Les trois sièecles du l'Université de Finlande, 1640–1940, Helsinki, 1940, p. 59–60; Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 492).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-11-16

16th. Saturday.

This morning at about 10 o'clock we left Åbo at the same time with the Prince Galitzin, but Mr. Gummer intends to stay there { 159 } about a week because he has all his family here and has been a long time absent. We went this day 7 ½ Miles as far as the first passage at Helsings.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0015

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

17th. Sunday.

This morning we took boat and went as far as Varsala [Wartsala] i.e. two miles: we could go no farther.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0016

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

18th. Monday.

This morning we set off from Varsala in a boat and went 5. miles as far as Kůmlinge. Fine weather.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0017

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

19th. Tuesday.

This day we passed from Kůmlinge to Skarpans by water. The distance is, 6. Swedish miles. We went also two stations by land.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0018

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

20th. Wednesday.

This day at about 4 o'clock P.M. we arrived at Eckerö. The Prince Galitzin arrived at about eight o'clock.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0019

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

21st. Thursday.

This morning at 7 ¾ o'clock we set off from Eckerö in a boat and arrived at Grisselham distant 7. Miles at about 11.¼. We stay'd there till 2. o'clock P.M. and went 4 stations after.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0020

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

22d. Friday.

This evening at about 11.o'clock we arrived at Stockholm. We found all the taverns in the town shut up, and could not get one opened.
List of the roads from Åbo to Stockholm.
From Åbo to   Swed: miles  
Nussis Nummis     2.    
Tursanparo     1.    
Laertes     1   1/2  
Botila     1   1/4  
Helsings     1   3/4.  
à Varsala (par eau) by water     2.    
Bränden. [Brandö] do.     2   1/4  
{ 160 }
Kumlinge   do.     2   1/2  
Wargata.   do.     3   1/4.  
Skarpans.   do.     3.    
Haral[d]sby (par terre) by land     1   1/2  
a river        
Enkarby [Emkarby]     1   1/4  
Trebenby     1   1/4.  
Marby. . (by water)       1/8.  
Eskerö       7/8.  
Grisselham[n] (by water)     7.    
a river        
Taefta (land) [Täfteå]       3/4.  
Stubby     1   1/2  
Swanberg [Svanberga]     1   1/2  
Kragstad     1   1/4.  
Rylanda     1.    
Hall     1   1/4.  
Östby     1.    
Enstad     2.    
Stockholm     2.    
  Swedish Miles   44.   6/8  
Better than one half of the way you are obliged to go by water. And what is worse a traveller is very often obliged to stop at one or another of the passages, especially, at that from Eckerö to Grisselham for whenever the wind is contrary, or if there is no wind at all, you will find no boats, because the mariners will not risk to go over. This is only at the great passage,1 for a calm weather is the best for the small ones because there are a great number of rocks on all sides, at the small passages, and the best way is to row. For the same reason, when the wind is strong, you can't pass the small passages. But at this season of the year it is impossible to row over the passage of the Ålandshaff in a day; and it is dangerous to arrive in the night. When we arrived at Eckerö we found there the post from Åbo, that had stay'd there for want of wind a whole week, and we were very lucky not to stay more than one night. Upon the whole all the passages are very disagreable especially at this season of the year, when the weather is commonly bad. There is another road which some travellers take in winter, which they call here, making the northern tour; but this is never done unless it is impossible to go { 161 } the other way; because it makes a difference of noless than 240. Swedish miles which makes about 1700. English.
1. That is, from Eckerö to Grisselhamn, across the Ålands Haf, or Ålands Sea, the body of water which separates the Åland Islands archipelago and the Swedish mainland, at the entrance of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0004-0012-0021

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

23d. Saturday.

After having passed the whole night in the street, at last, we found a publick house at the Swedish arms, said to be the best in the city; but if it is the best is not good for much. This forenoon Mr. Brandenburg came here and gave me a letter from Mr. D.1 After dinner we went into a bookseller's shop to buy some books. We found there a gentleman whose name is Watström; he is director of the mines.2 As soon as he found we were strangers without knowing us, he offered to show us every thing that is to be seen in town; and could not have been more polite if we had been strongly recommended to him: indeed I have found from our first entrance into Sweden; that strangers are treated with a great deal of Politeness and civility all over the country.3
1. Probably Dana to JQA, 21 Oct. (Adams Papers), in which Dana gave JQA directions for the delivery of letters to JA, who would probably be in Paris when JQA reached The Hague, and instructions to have the ciphers intended for America thrown overboard in case of capture.
2. Charles Bernard Wadström, with whom JQA was to stay during part of the coming winter, was a Swedish mechanical and mining engineer in government service. In 1769 he was responsible for making navigable the cataract of Trollhättan (sometimes Trolhaéetta or Drolhetta), which JQA saw on 20 Jan. 1783 (below). In 1787 Wadström went to Africa, where he remained for two years. Afterward he visited England, where he advocated the abolition of the slave trade and encouraged the establishment of philanthropic colonies in Africa. While in London he published in 1789 his Observations on the Slave Trade, and a Description of Some Part of the Coast of Guinea . . ., as well as subsequent works of a similar nature. Later, while minister resident to the Netherlands, JQA renewed his friendship with Wadström by correspondence (Helen Maria Williams, “Memoirs of the Life of Charles Berns [Bernard] Wadström,” The Annual Register . . . For the Year 1799, new edn., London, 1813, p. 326–330; Wadström to JQA, 5 Dec. 1795, and JQA to Wadström, 5 July 1797, LbC, Adams Papers).
3. JQA spent the next five weeks (24 Nov.–31 Dec. 1782) in Stockholm, but little is known about his activities there. His seventh Diary, which was written on the blank pages in a Swedish almanac, contains numerous markings by the names of various Swedish officials, presumably those he met while staying in Stockholm. In addition, JQA makes mention, in the few extant letters he wrote during his stay in the country, of Swedish merchants he met in Stockholm, as well as other towns and villages, who were interested in beginning trade with the United States (JQA to JA, 1 Feb. 1783, Adams Papers; JQA to AA, 23 July 1783, Writings, 1:8).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-12-31

December 31. 1782.1

This morning I left Stockholm at about 9 o'clock A M. in company with the Count Greco and Mr. Fyrbergs a Swedish gentleman who intends to go as far as Norrkiöping. We arrived at Nykiöping at about 12. o'clock at Night, we stay'd there a couple of hours and then set out and arrived at Norrkiöping at about 2. o'clock P.M.2
1. First entry of D/JQA/6, which has no titlepage and consists of two 4¾″ × 7⅝″ sets of four sheets of paper folded over to make 32 pages. JQA filled 21 of them before he discontinued this Diary. The period covered is 31 Dec. 1782–26 Feb. 1783; no entries exist for 4, 5, 7, 9, and 21 Feb.
2. In the margin of this page in the Diary, containing this and part of the following day's entry, are two small animal-like figures sketched in pencil.

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

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

January 1st. 1783.

We found here Mr. Schiebe a gentleman who left Stockholm about a week before us.
Norrkiöping is distant from Stockholm eighteen swedish miles or 120. English. Its situation is exceeding fine, at present every thing is covered with Snow;1 but it is in the midst of a plain which is bordered all round at about 6. or 8 English Miles from the town by high mountains from which you at first discover the city and in summer it seems to be in the midst of a large garden.
After having dined I went to the coffee house, and found there Mr. Charles Bernard Wadström a gentleman whom I knew in Stockholm and whom I owed a great many obligations during my stay there; he presented me to all his family which was assembled together at one of his brother's, where I stay'd and supped.
1. Reporting to AA on his journey from St. Petersburg to The Hague, JQA wrote that he “was obliged to stop at a small town, called Norrköping ... for a fortnight, because of a very heavy fall of snow, which happened just at that time” (JQA to AA, 23 July, Writings, 1:8).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-02

Jany. 2d.

This day I dined at Mr. C. B. Wadström's. In the evening I went to the coffee house.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-03


This morning the Count set off from here and continued his route for Carlscrona [Karlskrona]. I went with Mr. Wadström { 163 } about 3. Swedish miles out of town, to pass there this day and tomorrow.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-04


This afternoon at about 3 o'clock, we set out to return in town and arrived at about 6. o'clock. We went to the coffee house after our return.

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

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


This forenoon I went with Mr. Schiebe to the german church, but it happened this day that we had a Swedish sermon.1 I dined at Mr. C. B. Wadström's. After dinner I went with him out of town to his brother's where we stay'd till after supper, and then return'd in town.
1. In the margin of the entry is a small pencil sketch of a minister at his pulpit with his congregation below.

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

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


This day I dined at Mr. C. B. Wadström's. In the evening I went to the assembly here, of which there are sixteen every winter.1 This was the first for this winter. I return'd home at about 11. o'clock.
1. In the margin of the entry are three small pencil sketches: several figures seated around a table; a man and woman dancing; and two couples dancing in a circle.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-07


I dined at Mr. C. B. Wadström's with a great deal of company. In the evening I went to the play,1 which can indeed hardly be call'd a play. However, it is as much as this small town can allow. After the play I return'd to Mr. Wadström's where [with?] all the company.2
1. In the margin is a small pencil sketch of two figures standing before a backdrop.
2. Laid in between pages two and three of the Diary is the following four-line poem, written presumably in Wadström's hand:

Monsieur et chèr Ami !

Tout se passe avec le Tems

Le Tems se passe de même

L'Eternité n'a point de Tems

Mon Amitié de meme

a Norrköping en Ostrogothie

CB: Wadström.
le 7me. Janvier 1783

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-08


I dined at Mr. Pasch's with a great deal of company. We had a ball, in the evening which did not break up till about 4 o'clock in the morning of the 9th.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-09


Dined at Mr. Körners. In the evening I went to the assembly; at about 10 o'clock I return'd and supp'd at Mr. Körners.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-10


Dined with Mr. C. B. Wadström: bad weather all day.

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

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


Snow storm, all day. Dined at Mr. Wadström's.

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

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


This day I went into the country, and spent the day at Mr. Kanterberg's the brother in law of Mr. Wadström.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1783-01-13 - 1783-01-16


This morning Mr. Schiebe set out for Gottenburgh [Göteborg]. I am to overtake him to morrow morning in Linkiöping. I dined at old Mr. Wadström's and in the evening I went to the assembly. At about 10 o'clock I return'd and supped at old Mr. Wadström's; went to my Lodgings and ordered horses, and at about 2. o'clock. A.M. of the 14th. I set out for Linkiöping where I arriv'd at about 7. o'clock. It is only 4. Swedish miles from Norrkiöping. I found here Mr. Schiebe, and at about 10 o'clock we set out to continue our journey to Gottenburgh, where we arrived on Thursday the 16th. at about eleven o'clock at night. The distance is about 250 Engh. miles. One part of the road is very good because of the snow, but there are some places in the province of Scania [Skåne] where there is no snow at all. It is very troublesome to travel these roads in the winter because from Stockholm to the entry of the Province you cannot go otherwise than in slays, and then very often you find no Snow at all; thro' the whole Province of Scania there is never Snow enough for { 165 } Slaying until the latter end of this month: and sometimes not even then.
1. This diary entry continues through 16 Jan. without a pause or break; the datelines for the 14th and the 16th (omitted here) are in the margin.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-17


This Day I went with Mr. Schiebe to the exchange, and met there with Count Greco, who has been here already a week. He proposed to me to go with him and two other gentlemen to take a tour to Drolhetta [Trollhättan] where there are famous water falls about 8. Sweedish miles from this Place; he told me they shall set out to morrow, and I agreed to go with them. In the afternoon I went and delivered a letter of introduction to Mr. Lars Kåhre, a capital merchant of this town.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-18


I left Gottenburg this morning in Company with Count Greco, Mr. Khrumppöck a Sea officer in the Dutch service, and Mr. Gadelius a young Swedish gentleman who belongs to Ud[d]evalla, we are at present (10 o'clock. P.M.) about half ways to Drolhetta; the roads are not very agreable (as we are with a coach,) on account of the Snow.

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

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


We arrived at Drolhetta at about 5. o'clock this afternoon, but at the last post we were obliged to leave our carriage on account of the quantity of Snow, and take Slays.

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

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


This morning we went to see the falls which did not answer my expectations, but this place is still more famous for the expence the Sweeds have been at to cut a canal from hence to the sea so that Swedish vessels might come from the Atlantic, without being obliged to pass the Sound:1 but after all they have not been able to succeed in their enterprize.2 After having seen everything remarkable here, we return'd in Slays to the first Post and then we took our carriage; but could not get further on than Wennersborg [Vänersborg], which is the first Station. The road we took [could?] have taken to return is not the same as the { 166 } one we went. And there has fallen more Snow here than on the other road. Here the Count left us at about 10 o'clock in the evening and set out to return to Gottenburg in A Slay; as he is obliged to continue his journey.
1. That is, Öresund (the Sound), the strait between Sjælland Island, Denmark (on which Copenhagen is located), and southwest Sweden, connecting the Kattegat, an arm of the North Sea, with the Baltic. At its narrowest point the strait is two and one-half miles wide.
2. The Göta Canal, a waterway of canals, lakes, and rivers which passes around the Trollhättan Falls and connects Göteborg with Stockholm, was not completed until 1832.

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

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


This morning we left our carriage at Wennersborg, and took slays, for Udevalla where we arrived at about 5. o'clock P. M. This is the town to which Mr. Gadelius belongs.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-22


This day we dined and supped at Mr. Gadelius's mother's, in company with several Gentlemen of this town.

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

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


We dined at Mr. Williamson's; a merchant of this place; in the evening we went to the assembly where we stay'd till about 1 o'clock in the morning, very stormy windy weather the greatest part of the day.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-24


This morning at about 10 o'clock I set out from Udevalla all alone in a Slay for Gottenburgh. When I came to the third station I was obliged to Stop on account of the Storm, at the end of a couple of hours the Snow abated and I continued My Journey till about midnight when I arrived at the last Post where I shall be obliged to Stay untill the morning as the gates of Gottenburg are not opened before 7. o'clock. Very stormy weather.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-25


This morning I arrived at Gottenburg at about 9 o'clock in the morning. Went to Change; found the Count left Gottenburg the day before yesterday. Mr. Lars Kåhre presented me to the { 167 } French Consul here Mr. De L'isle who appears to be a clever sort of a gentleman. I dined with him at a tavern in the town and in the evening I went to the Coffee House.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-26

26th. Sunday.

I Dined this day at Mr. Kåhre's in company with Mr. De L'isle and Mr. Cederström1 a merchant of this town who has a brother lately established in Boston.
1. Carl Söderström was the brother of Richard Söderström, Swedish merchant and consul at Boston, whom JQA met on 27 July 1785, after his return to America (The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from the Signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace, 10th September 1783, to the Adoption of the Constitution, March 4, 1789 . . ., 7 vols., Washington, 1833–1834, 7:478–480).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-27

27th. Monday.

This morning I carried my Letters of introduction to the Baron Ahlströmmer's and Mr. Arfvidson's. I dined at Baron Claes Ahlströmmer;1 after dinner Mr. Podolyn, a gentleman who lives with Baron Claes, shew me a very compleat Cabinet of Roman medals. This gentleman has travell'd almost all over Europe; and speaks almost all the Languages of Europe very correctly, I went with him in the evening to the concert. Baron Patrick Ahlströmmer2 is a very great Lover of musick; and plays very well himself upon the violin.
1. Clas Alströmer was originally an agriculturalist who studied sheep breeding in six European countries from 1760 to 1764. After his return to Sweden he joined the East Indian Company of Göteborg, an internationally known business firm. Later he formed a partnership with his brother Patrick. During the American Revolution the brothers, through the East Indian Company, planned a great trading venture in metal and cloth products to the American colonies, borrowing considerable capital for the purpose. As soon as peace was established, however, the market for Swedish goods collapsed, and the East Indian Company suffered a loss of 300,000 riksdalers (Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon).
2. Trained in the management of cloth manufacturing, Patrick Alströmer became director of manufactures of Alingsås, a town northeast of Göteborg, in 1758; four years later he visited cloth-manufacturing facilities in St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. After a catastrophic fire in Alingsås ruined Patrick's business, he accepted an invitation from his younger brother Clas to enter into partnership with him. Patrick became director of the East Indian Company in 1777, and the two brothers were raised to the rank of baron the following year (same).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0001-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-28

28th. tuesd.

Dined at Mr. Cederströms this day. In the afternoon I went to see a Gentleman whose name is Beckmann.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0001-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-29

29th. Wednesd.

I receiv'd this day several letters from Messrs. Wadström at Norrkiöping.1
1. Letters not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0001-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-30

30th. Thursd.

This day I din'd at Mr. Greigg's1 a merchant of this Place. In the evening I went to the assembly, which is much more brilliant here than I have seen it any where: in Stockholm they are much more so, but there were no assemblies there while I was in town on account of the mourning for the Death of the Queen Dowager,2 which is at present finish'd: this is said to be for [opu]lence3 the second City in the King[dom]. I believe there is no Country in Europe where the people are more hospitable and affable to Strangers, or more hospitable among themselves than the Sweeds. In almost every town however small it may be they have these assemblies at least once a week during three months. They are by subscription, but a Stranger may enter by paying 1 half of a Rixdaller. There one may dance Country dances minuets, or play cards just as it pleases you; and every body is extremely polite to Strangers. Besides this they have very often private balls, which without being expensive are very well calculated to pass away agreably, the long winter evenings which they have in this country. Even the peasants, the people of the lowest class are very polite here, and that I believe no other country can boast of. In general I think there can be no country in Europe where the Strangers are more civilly treated than in Sweden.
1. Henry Greig, who had earlier forwarded letters to JA and offered his services “in these parts” to JA or his friends (Greig to JA, 12 May 1781, Adams Papers; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:111, 390).
2. Louisa Ulrica of Hohenzollern, sister of Frederick the Great and wife of Adolphus Frederick V, King of Sweden, 1751–1771. Her son, Gustavus III (1746–1792), was King at this time (Brockhaus Enzyklopadie, Wiesbaden, 1969).
3. Words here and below partially obscured by water damage.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0001-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01-31


This day I dined at a tavern in town with the French Consul and several other Gentlemen: in the evening I went to the Play, which is certainly nothing extraordinary, but is as much as can be expected from such a Place as this.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0001-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-01

Januarius. 1783.1

Parti de Stockholm le 31. Dec're 1782. Arrivé à Norrkiöping le 1. Janvier. 1783. Depart de Norrkiöping le 14. à 2 heures du matin, arrivé á Gothenbourg le 17.2 à 11. heures du soir. Le 19. je partis de Gottenbourg pour Drolhetta, nous y arrivâmes le 20. Le 21. nous vîmes la cascade et nous partîmes pour Udevalla. Nous fûmes obligés de laisser nôtre voiture à Wennersborg à 3. lieues d'Udevalla à cause de la neige.3 Nous arrivames le 22 à Udevalla.4 Le 24. Je partis tout seul pour Gothenbourg et J'y arrivai le 25. à 9 heures du matin.
1. This monthly summary comes from the first entry in D/JQA/7, a small pocket almanac of 348 pages, approximately 2⅞″ × 5″, entitled Historisk Almanach För Året 1783 . . ., Stockholm [1783]. The first 13 pages consist of a calendar for the year 1783, interleaved with 12 blank pages on which JQA wrote in French short, scattered notes of his activities from 31 Dec. 1782 to 17 Oct. 1783. JQA began writing in this Diary in the form of a monthly summary of his activities, particularly his constant arrivals and departures as he traveled from country to country, but gradually the entries became scattered line-a-day memoranda. Monthly summaries from January through April are placed in the published Diary as the final entry for each respective month. After 26 Feb., when D/JQA/6 ends, D/JQA/7 constitutes the only Diary JQA kept until 6 Aug., when he briefly resumed longer entries in another Diary booklet, D/JQA/8. Entries in D/JQA/7 for 6, 9, 12, 16, and 22 Aug. and 22 Sept. have been omitted in favor of the fuller corresponding entries in D/JQA/8; in one instance, 29 Aug., entries from both of these Diaries have been printed because they contain different information. All other entries from D/JQA/7 after 6 Aug. have been retained.
2. According to JQA's main entry, above, he arrived in Göteborg on 16 Jan.
3. JQA arrived at Trollhättan on 19 Jan., and the events recorded here for 21 Jan. occurred on the previous day.
4. Likewise, JQA arrived at Uddevalla the day before, 21 Jan.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-01

February 1783. 1st. Saturday.

This morning Mr. Schiebe left this place to go to Marstrand where he intends to stay some days.

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

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

2d. Sunday.

I dined this day at Mr. Erskine's the English Consul: in the evening I went to the play. Supped at Baron Patrick Ahlströmmer's.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-03

3d. Monday.

I spent the evening and supped with a numerous company at counseller Arvidson's.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-06

6th. Thursd.

Dined this day with a great deal of Company at Baron Claes Ahlströmmers; in the evening I went to the play and afterwards I return'd again to Baron Ahlströmmers where I supp'd.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-08

8th. Saturday.

This forenoon Mr. Schiebe arrived here from Marstrand, we decided to set out next Tuesday for Copenhagen.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1783-02-10 - 1783-02-11

[10th.–]11th. [Monday–]Tuesday.

Last evening at about 10 o'clock I went to a Mascarade Ball which we had in Town. As it was but the second that has ever been given in this place it was not very brilliant And the masks were almost all the same; the men dressed in sailors, and the women [in]1 Country girls almost universally, but [it] was very well for a beginning. I stay'd there till about 4. o'clock this morning, when I return'd to my Lodgings threw myself upon a bed and slept till about 7. o'clock then pack'd up my trunks, and set away from Gottenburg with Mr. Schiebe at about half past 8. We arrived at Kungsbacka which is 3 1/2. Swed: miles. from Gottenburg, at about 5. o'clock. P.M. We cannot go any further this night on account of the weather and roads which are very bad as within these three weeks there has been nothing but a continual rain. The winter in this part of Sweden is not agreable, as it is either extremely cold or else it rains continually.
1. Editorially supplied here and below; words are obscured in MS owing to some water damage.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-12

12th. Wednesd.

We came this day as far as Warberg [Varberg] which is about 6. miles Swed: from Kungsbacka. The roads are so terrible bad that we shall not be able to go at all, the nights. The weather has been pretty good all day, but very cold.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-13

13th. Thursd.

We rose this morning at about 7. o'clock and left Warberg, we rode till about Nine o'clock this evening when we arrived at Halmstad. The distance is about 7. Swed: miles. The roads are extremely bad all the way.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-14

14th. Friday.

After having rode this day about 8. miles Swedish, we arrived at about 9. o'clock, P.M. At Helsingborg [Hälsingborg] which is the last town in Sweden.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-15

15th. Saturd.

Having left Helsingborg this morning at about 10' o'clock, we pass'd the Sound and at about 11. we arriv'd at Elseneur [Helsingör] which is the first Danish town. We stay'd there about 2 hours to refresh ourselves and have our trunks examined and set out from there at about 1' o'clock afternoon, and arrived at Copenhagen at about 7. o'clock. Copenhagen is distant from Elseneur 5 German Miles; we took up our lodgings at Vassal's in the Strand, and I found here the Count, who has already been here a fort'night, and who has engaged a place in a Vessel, which is to sail next Tuesday for Kiel. As I have nothing of any consequence to do here and as there is nothing very extraordinary to be seen here, I believe I shall go at the same time if there is any more Place in the Vessel.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-16


This morning I went with the Count and Mr. Schiebe to see the royal Cabinet of curiosities which is vast; but not much in order; there [are] some very curious things in it; but there are others which are not worth looking at. There are two pieces of silver just as they came out of the mines in Norway, one of which is worth 5,000 Rxdallers, Danish and the other about 3,000. One would think seeing such enormous masses that the mines are very rich and that money is plenty, but it is quite the contrary, there is not scarce any specie in Copenhagen, all goes by bank bills, which are falling, and depreciating because they cannot be realized: if you carry one of these bills to the bank; suppose it to be a bill of 100. Rxdallers you will receive 10 Rxdallers Specie and all the rest in smaller bills.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-17

17th. Mond.

This forenoon We went to see a Gentleman who has a Cabinet of Curiosities, in Painting, sea shells and insects. His Cabinet is pretty well furnish'd but not entirely in order. In the evening we { 172 } all went to the play but stay'd there only a few minutes because it was so full. The King goes almost every Night to the play, but was not there this evening because the Prince Frederick's consort is unwell, and the King never stirs out of the Palace without having Prince Frederick, with him.1
1. Christian VII (1749–1808) became progressively more insane during his reign, and in 1784 his son, Prince Frederick (1768–1839), was made regent until his father's death, when he assumed the throne as Frederick VI. The Prince Frederick mentioned here is Christian's half-brother (1753–1805), who married Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1774 (La grande encyclopédic: inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres et des arts, 31 vols., Paris, [1886–1902]; Almanach royal, 1784).

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

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

18th. Tuesd.

Mr. Schiebe and I have engaged places in the vessel that is to sail for Kiel but the wind is contrary at present. This day I went and carried a letter of Introduction I had for Mr. Soeren Lycke a merchant of this town. I walk'd about the town in the afternoon with Count Greco. In the evening we went to a Coffee House.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-19

19th. Wednesd.

This forenoon Mr. Heiliger;1 a Gentleman from the Danish West India's, and who has liv'd in America some time, came to see me. The wind continues still bad.
1. John Heyliger (sometimes Hyleger or Heiliger), a member of a trading and planting family from St. Croix with New York connections; JQA later recalled that he “was under many obligations” to Heyliger during his three-week stay in Copenhagen (entry for 10 Aug. 1785, below; NYHS, Colls., 14 [1905]:270.)

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-20

20th. Thurd.

This forenoon I went and pay'd a visit to Mr. Heiliger, who invited me to dine with him at a Club of which he is member; he invited at the same time Mr. Schiebe. We accepted his invitation. After dinner we left him, and return'd in the evening to sup with him at his own house.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-22

22d. Saturday.

We dined this day with a numerous company at Mr. Lycke's. In the evening I went to the play and had there an occasion of seeing the King, and Prince royal. As I was in Company with a gentleman of the town I ask'd him some question about the King { 173 } and royal Family; he did not say much about the King but when I spoke of the Prince royal ah! says he, “nôtre Jeune prince a beaucoup d'esprit.” As for the King he is neither remarkable for his wit nor for his understanding, and the people all over the City make no scruple to say it publicly.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0002-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-23

23d. Sunday.

This afternoon I went and paid a visit to the Baron de la Houze1 the French Minister here; he offer'd to send any letter I should write to my Father with his Dispatches to Mr. De Vergennes.2
1. Matthieu de Basquiat, Baron de la Houze, French minister plenipotentiary to Denmark, 1779–1792 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 112).
2. Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes, minister of foreign affairs during the American Revolution.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0002-0018

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

24th. Mond.

This morning I went to pay a visit to the Baron de la Houze. When I return'd to the Hotel at about 12 o'clock I found the Count and Mr. Schiebe packing up, as the Captain has sent word that the wind is Good and that he intends to set sail this afternoon. (8. o'clock P.M.) We dined at about twelve o'clock and came on board soon after dinner. Since we are on board the wind has chang'd and is at present contrary but we hope it will become favourable in the night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0002-0019

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


The wind continued bad all day. In the afternoon the Count went on shore.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0002-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02-26


The Count came on board to take us on shore with him so we left our trunks on board and having told the Captain to let us know when the wind became favourable, we return'd on shore.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0002-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-02

Februarius. 1783.

11. Depart de Gottenbourg a 8. heures du matin. Nous arrivames á Copenhague le 15. à 8 heures du soir.1
{ 174 }
1. Times of departure and arrival vary slightly from the main entries (above).
JQA's return to The Hague from Copenhagen, sketchily presented in this and the following two entries in his Diary, was marked with numerous delays, which characterized his entire journey from St. Petersburg. Arriving in the Danish capital on 15 Feb., he decided to go to Kiel by boat to avoid bad roads and an expensive fare. But after he had waited for nearly three weeks for a good wind, the harbor froze up and he was obliged to go to Hamburg by land. Arriving there on or about 10 March, he stayed for nearly a month before traveling to Bremen, where he remained four days before continuing his journey to Amsterdam. During his stay in the two German cities, he studied the commercial life and concluded that Hamburg would “carry on hereafter a great deal of Trade with America.” JQA arrived in Amsterdam on 15 April and settled in The Hague at his father's residence, the Hôtel des Etats Unis, on 21 April (JQA to JA, 20 Feb., 1412 March; JQA to AA, 23 July, all in Adams Papers; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:ix–x).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-03

Martius. 1783.

5. Depart de Copenhague et l'10 arriveé à Hambourg.1
1. JA wrote to AA on 28 March, informing her that JQA had been impeded by “terrible Weather” on his journey from St. Petersburg and that “my Son has been another Source of Distress to me.” Receiving a letter from JQA dated 1412 March from Hamburg, JA was hopeful that his son would arrive at The Hague by the end of March, but it was another three weeks before JQA reached his destination (Book of Abigail and John, p. 344).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-04

Aprilis. 1783.

5. Depart de Hambourg arriveé à Breme [Bremen] le. 6. Nous y restames jusques au 12. À 3. heures de l'aprés midi que nous partimes pour Amsterdam. Nous voyageames nuit et jour jusques au 16. que nous y arrivames a 11. heures avant midi. J'y restai jusques au 20. Alors j'en partis et j'arrivai à la Hay le 21. à 9. heures du matin.

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

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

Majus. 1783. 20me.

Diné à Rotterdam chés Mr. Van Berkel ancien bourguemaitre de la ville, et presentement ministre Plenipotentiaire de L. L. H. H. P. P.1 auprés du Congrés.2
1. JQA means L.H.P., Les Hautes Puissances, or Their High Mightinesses, the name given to the Dutch States General as a body (Guthrie, Geographical Grammar, p. 406).
2. JA was concerned about his son's course of studies, but owing to the treaty negotiations with Britain being carried forward in Paris, he was not in the Netherlands when JQA returned from St. Petersburg. JA allowed his son a choice of either returning to Leyden to study with his former tutor or staying at The Hague and continuing his studies under the direction of C. W. F. Dumas, a close friend whom JA later described as “A Walking Library, and so great a Master of Languages ancient and modern [which] is rarely seen.” JA also encouraged JQA to improve his penmanship and writing style and recom• { 175 } mended that he continue his study of mathematics, especially algebra. JQA decided to study with Dumas, in part because of the uncertainty of JA's stay in Europe. Within a month he was beginning to translate Suetonius' life of Caligula and the Greek testament; later he began to read the works of Plautus and Terence (JA to JQA, 18 Feb; JQA to JA, 2122 April, 12 May; Dumas to JA, 18 July, all in Adams Papers; Book of Abigail and John, p. 349).
For relaxation, JA suggested that JQA read some books, “along with your Severe Studies and laborious Exercises,” and recommended several volumes on morals. But for “amusement,” JQA turned to Virgil, reading a hundred verses of the Aeneid at a time with Dumas, who “explain[ed to] me every thing which regards the ancient rites; and ceremonies”; then he compared Dryden's translation with the original (JA to JQA, 19 May; JQA to JA, 24 May, both in Adams Papers). JQA studied with Dumas for three and a half months before leaving The Hague with JA. Besides the translation of Suetonius, which is probably the one in French in the Adams Papers (M/JQA/45, Microfilms, Reel No. 240), he copied and translated into English verse ten Eclogues of Virgil (M/JQA/43, Microfilms, Reel No. 238) and began a series of translations into French of Horace's Odes, Books I and II (M/JQA/42, Microfilms, Reel No. 237). The direction and stimulus provided by Dumas seem evident from JQA's later readings and translations done while living in France and England, discussed in notes for entries of 20 Oct. 1783, and 8 Aug. 1784 (below).

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

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


Diné à Schevening sur les dunes.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-05-24


Partis pour Amsterdam, y arrivai le 25. à 6 heures du matin.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-05-27

Le 27.

J'en partis a 11. heures et J'arrivai á la Haye le même jour à dix heures du soir.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-06-03

Junius. 1783. 3me.

Je fus diner à Rotterdam avec Monsieur Baron qui s'en retourne à Paris.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-14

Julius. 1783. 14.

Je fus à Delft avec Monsr. Fitch1 et sa compagnie, qui partent pour L'Angleterre.
1. Most likely Eliphalet Fitch, a native Bostonian, reputedly very rich, who may have held a crown office in Jamaica, and whom JA described to JQA as a grandson of Dr. Thomas Boylston “and consequently your Relation” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:134; JA to JQA, 12 June, LbC, Adams Papers).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-22


A 11 heures du soir mon Pere arriva de Paris.1
1. Absent from The Hague since late Oct. 1782, JA returned there on this day, and after two weeks of discussions with his Patriot friends at The Hague and merchants and bankers in Amsterdam, he departed for Paris with JQA. JA thought his stay in Europe would end shortly after negotiations with Great Britain were completed, and he wanted his son to come with him and serve as his secretary during the interim (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:141–142; Book of Abigail and John, p. 360–362).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-26


Je partis de la Haye á 6 heures du matin avec mon Pere, arrivé a Amsterdam á 1. heure aprés midi.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-28


Diné chés Mr. W. Willink.1
1. Wilhem Willink of Wilhem and Jan Willink, one of the three Amsterdam banking houses which raised the first Dutch loan for the United States in 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:125; 2:451).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-29


Diné chés Mr. Ingraham.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0007-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-07-30


Nous retournames à la Haye.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1783-08 - 1783-12


J.Q.A. Diary
Aug 6 1783 – Dec 5 1783.1
1. Titlepage of D/JQA/8, on the cover of a leather-bound 7¼″ × 4⅜″ writing book with the inscription in an unknown hand. The Diary book covers the period 629 Aug. (with no entries for 13–14, 17–19, and 24–26 Aug.) and 2022 Sept. 1783, only, taking up 34 of the book's 104 pages. These entries are printed with those remaining from D/JQA/7; but see entry for Januarius 1783, note 1 (post 31 Jan., above).

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

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

August. 6th. 1783. Wednesday.

This morning, I set out from the Hague, in Company with my Father; at about half past 4. o'clock in the morning. At 7. we arrived at Rotterdam; passed the Maes [Meuse], and rode as far as Moerdyk, where we arrived at about 12. We were obliged to stay { 177 } till 4. o'clock, because the wind, and tide were both contrary. We arrived at about 11. o'clock at night at the last Post before Antwerp, and cannot go any further because the gates of the City are shut from 9. o'clock at night untill 4. in the morning. The Land from the Hague to Moerdyk is good; and is for the most part planted with wheat, oats, and horsebeans; but for the 5. last Leagues the Land is very bad and produces nothing at all.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-07

Aug. 7th. Thursday.

We were going this morning at about 3. We arrived at 7. at Antwerp. After breakfast we went to the cathedral Church, to see the Paintings. The most remarkable of them are.
The descent from the Cross, regarded as the master Piece of Rubens. It is indeed most admirable: every Figure looks alive except the capital one and that equally accurately represents nature. On one side of the Picture is, another representing the annunciation, and on the other, is one representing the Purification. On the reverse is St. Christopher fording a river in the figure of an Hercules with the Child Jesus upon his back, and a Hermit holding a Lantern to Light him. Rubens has painted one of his wive's for the Virgin Mary, and his Daughter for Mary Magdalen.
The Ascencion of the Virgin, Mary: which being placed over the Altar, and the Priests saying Mass, I could not get a good look at. It is also one of the best Paintings, of Rubens; according to the Connoisseurs.
The Martyr of St. Sebastian who is tied to a tree and pierced with arrows, by an Italian painter named Cocci. It is a good Picture.
The battle of the Angels by Francis Florus. This Picture is good, but is the most remarkable for an Anecdote upon it. The Painter had a Daughter, who was beloved by a Black smith called Quintus Mezzus who demanded her in Marriage, but he would not consent to his Daughter's marrying a Black Smith and refused him. Upon this, Mezzus set out for Rome and stay'd there 7. years, to learn the art of Painting. When he return'd, { 178 } Florus, was about, (and had nearly finish'd) this picture. Mezzus one day went into his Cabinet while he was out; and painted a bumble bee upon the thigh of one of the fallen Angels. When Florus return'd to his work, he was deceiv'd and attempted to knock off the bee. But when he saw his mistake and found that Mezzus had done it; he granted him his request, and gave him his daughter. There are a number of other Paintings in this Church, but none of them are extraordinary.
From thence we went to the Eglise de St. Ja[c]ques, which is only remarkable for the tomb of Rubens, and his Family. There is in it a Picture by Rubens: in which he has represented, his Grand-Father; his Father, himself, his two wives, his two Daughters, and his son.1 The Picture is a very fine one.
We went also to see several private Collections; Mr. Stevens's, Mr. van Lancker's, and Mr. Beckman's. There are a great number of very fine Picture's at all of them; but, there is one, at Mr. Beckman's representing Rembrandt's mother; painted by Rembrandt; which surpasses all description. The art of portrait Painting was perhaps, never carried to so great a Perfection as in this Picture. She is represented with an old bible in her Lap; with a paper in it, her Spectacles in one hand, and the other; upon her breast, reflecting upon what she is supposed to have just been reading. Every step you take the bible shows itself in a different position. It is nature itself.
At about 2. we left Antwerp, to continue our Journey, we rode as far as Halle, which is two Posts from Bruxelles on the Road to Paris. We arrived at about 9 o'clock in the evening.
1. Probably Virgin with Saints, painted ca. 1637 (Edward Dillon, Rubens, London, 1909, p. 211, but note also p. 68).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0003

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

Aug. 8th. Friday.

This morning we set out from Halle at about 3 o'clock, and rode without interruption untill we arrived at Cambray at about 2 1/2 afternoon. We dined at Cambray, and after dinner we went to the Cathedral Church, and saw the tomb of François de Salignac de la Mothe, Fenelon; Archbishop, of Cambray, and author of Telemachus.1 At 4. we left Cambray and rode till 10, when we arrived at Roye where we put up for the Night.
1. Fénelon, French prelate and author of Les aventures de Télémaque, fils d'Ulysse, first published in 1699; it was construed as a satire on Louis XIV and his policies and brought Fénelon into disfavor (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-09

Aug. 9th. Saturday

We Left Roye this morning about 5. o'clock and rode as far as Chantilly without Interruption. We dined at Chantilly, and I went to see the Gardens and Stables of the Prince de Condé1 to whom this Place belongs. The Stables are a fine Piece of Architecture, and every thing is in order. There are 240. horses in them, and each horse has his own manger; with his name over it. Inside of the building is this Inscription.
Louis Henri, de Bourbon.2
7 me. Prince de Condé
À fait Construire ces batimens,
Et ceux qui en dependent, commencés
en 1719, et achevés, en 1735.
The Gardens are Superb; there is a small river which runs down from above the Gardens, and furnishes all the jet d'eau's with water. There are in the Gardens several small, houses, which on the outside look like Peasants hut's, but are most elegantly furnish'd, and are beautiful inside. There is an equestrian Statue of the Connetable de Montmarenci3 in bronze, and a marble Statue of the grand Condé.4 We left Chantilly at about 4. o'clock P.M. and arrived at Paris at about 7. o'clock in the evening. The Land as I have already said is very good thro' Holland but is miserable from the entrance of the Emperor's Dominions to Antwerp, for the Space of 10 leagues, from Antwerp, to several Posts this side of Cambray; there is perhaps not better Land, nor more universally cultivated, in Europe. From thence to Paris, it is still good, but not extraordinary. The Road is as Follows.
From the Hague to Rotterdam. 3 Dutch, Hours5 which make about 12. English Miles.
From Rotterdam (after passing the Maes) to Moerdyk 6. Hours.
Passage of the Moerdyk about 3. English Miles.
From Moerdyk to —— 3 Hours.
From —— to —— 5.6
From —— to Antwerp. 5.
From Antwerp to   Mechlin   2.    
  Bruxelles.   2   1/2  
  Halle.   1   1/2.  
From Halle to   Braine le Comte   2.    
{ 180 } | view
  Castillan [Casteau?]   1   1/2  
  Carignan [Quaregnon]   1   1/2  
  Quievraing   1   1/2  
  Valenciennes8   1   1/2.  
  Bouchain   2.    
  Cambray   1   1/2  
  Bon-Avis [Bonavy?]   1   1/2  
  Fins   1   1/2  
  Peronne   2.    
  Marché le Pot   1   1/2  
  Fonches   1.    
  Roye   1.    
  Conchy les Pots   1   1/2  
  Cuvilly   1.    
  Gournay   1.    
  Le Bois de Liheu   1.    
  Chantilly   2.    
  Luzarches   1   1/2.  
  Ecouen   1   1/2.  
  Saint Denys   1.    
  Paris   1.   Post Royal9  
In Holland there are no establish'd Posts. If a Person wants horses, he must make a private agreement for them. In the Dominions of the Emperor you pay 3. schellings, (near 2. shillings sterling) for each horse per post and commonly 2. schellings to the Guide, and in France you pay 1. Livre 5. Sols. per post for each horse, and to the Postillions commonly 15. sols, altho' their due is no more than 5.
1. Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé (1736–1818), later a strong supporter of the monarchy at the time of the French Revolution (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale;Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
2. Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon, afterward Prince de Condé (1692–1740), usually known as Monsieur le Duc, who served as French prime minister until 1726 (same).
3. Henri I, Duc de Montmorency (1534–1614), whose family intermarried with the Condés, was created constable of France by Henry IV in 1593 (same).
4. Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé(1621–1686), important 17th-century commander of the French army (same).
5. Uur, a Dutch league, equivalent to the distance traveled in an hour. Two such measurements were in use in Holland at this time, one, “20000 anciens pieds d'Amsterdam,” or 3.5 English miles, and the other, “20000 pieds de Rhin,” the more likely unit, equal to 3.9 English miles (Horace Doursther, Dictionnaire universel des poids et mesures anciens et modernes, contenant des tables des monnaies de tous les pays, Brussels, 1840; repr., Amsterdam, 1965, p. 209–210).
6. In the margin: “Here you enter the Emperor's Dominions.”
{ 181 }
7. In the margin: “A Post is 6. English Miles.”
8. In the margin: “Just before you come to Valenciennes you enter into the Dominions of the King of France.”
9. In the margin:
Post Royal
“A l'entrée et a la sortie des lieux ou le Roi fait son sejour momentanément la premiere Poste se paye double: mais a compter seulement de l'heure Le minuit qui suit le jour ou le Roi est arrivé, et jusqu'à minuit aprés le jour qu'il est parti. (Ordonnance du 25. Juillet 1739.)
A l'entrée et a la sortie des Villes de Paris, de Versailles et Lyon, Même pendant l'absence du Roi, la premiere post se paye double. (Ord: des 8. Dec: 1738 et 28 Nov. 1756.)
Extracts from the Post Book.”

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-10

Aug. 10th. Sunday.

This morning, at about 10 o'clock, I accompanied my Father to Passy, to see Dr. Franklin whom I knew already, and Mr. Jay, the american Minister at Madrid, whom I had never seen before; they were at breakfast and had a great deal of Company. Mr. Jay and my Father took a walk in the Garden and had a Conversation upon politicks, which, is of no Necessity here.1 From thence we went to Auteuil; to see Mr. Barclay,2 the American ConsulGeneral in France, but found he was gone, and therefore we saw only Mr. Ridley.3 The House where they are is a very fine one; but, above all there is in it, one thing, which is very curious. It is a small octogonal room with a bath in the middle of it, and in every one of the eight corners of it is a Looking-glass. The cieling, is also made of a Looking-glass; so that a person can see himself in more than thirty different positions in it. The garden is a small and pretty one filled with fruit Trees; we took a walk in it. Mr. Ridley told me that Sammy Cooper Johonnot and Ben. Bache, two of my old schoolmates here had returned from Geneva, where they have been for some time, and that Sam Cooper is gone to Nantes.
1. JQA probably means, as is hinted in the following entry, that at this time political discussions were of no interest to him.
2. Thomas Barclay, a merchant from Philadelphia, American consul in France from 1781, and consul general there from 1783; he was also a partner in the firm of Barclay & Moylan at Lorient. Barclay also rented the Hôtel de Rouault at Auteuil, in which JA and JQA occupied an apartment, 22 Sept.–20 Oct., following the execution of the Definitive Treaty, and to which JA brought his family the following summer (entries for 22 Sept., 20 Oct., below; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:143–144, 171; JCC, 20:698; 24:3; Jefferson, Papers, 11:496; Howard C. Rice Jr., ed., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785 . . ., MHS Picturebook, Boston, 1956).
3. Matthew Ridley, a Maryland merchant and agent for the state appointed to obtain a loan in Europe (Herbert E. Klingelhofer, “Matthew Ridley's Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782,” WMQ, 3d ser., 20:95–98 [Jan. 1963]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-11

Aug. 11th. Monday.

This morning Mr. Hartley1 the British Minister for making Peace, came to pay a visit to my Father, but as he was out he desired to see me. I had some Conversation with him. He says he hopes the Peace will be soon signed. In the afternoon I went with my Father to Passy, and saw there Dr. Franklin and Mr. and Mrs. Jay. I also renewed my acquaintance with young Mr. Bache.
We went at the same time to see the Abbés Chalut and Arnauld2 two gentlemen of letters, with whom my Father has been familiarly acquainted ever since his first arrival in Europe. We found with them the Abbé de Mably,3 famous for being the author of a work entitled Le Droit public de l'Europe; and of another entitled principes des Negociations, and the Abbé le Monnier4who has given to the world an elegant French Translation of Terence's Comedies. As the general Turn of the Conversation was upon Politicks; there was nothing in it, necessary to be transcribed here.
1. David Hartley the younger (1732–1813), M.P. for Hull and opponent of the war with America, had been serving the Fox-North coalition since April as plenipotentiary to negotiate and sign the Definitive Treaty (DNB; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:303; 3:112–113).
2. The Abbés Chalut and Arnoux taught JA French and advised him on book purchases (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:317; 4:60).
3. Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably, French publicist, historian, and philosopher, with the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux, was a regular visitor to the Adamses. The two works to which JQA refers, Des principes des négociations, pour servir d'introduction au droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traités, The Hague, 1767, and Le droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traités conclus jusqu'en l'année 1740 . . ., Amsterdam, 1748, are among JA's books (Catalogue of JA's Library). For the significance of the JA-Mably friendship, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:315; 3:102, and the source cited there.
4. Guillaume Antoine Lemonnier's three-volume Comédies de Térence was published in Paris in 1770.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-12

Aug. 12th. Tuesday.

This morning my Father went to Versailles. At half past 12. I met the Abbé Arnaud at the Thuileries, and we walk'd together to Passy. I dined at the Abbé Chalut's there, in Company with the Abbé de Mably and some other Gentlemen. The Abbé has travelled thro' Poland, and talk'd a good deal about that Country. For the Climate he says that for the first fortnight in November it commonly snows there continually, and from that time untill the latter end of February, a continuation of very severe, colds. { 183 } He has seen Reaumur's Thermometer at the degree of 28 below.0. This is quite different from the weather at Petersburg. There, it snows every day more or less from the middle of November to the middle of January, and then commonly they have 3. weeks or a month of extreme colds. I have seen Réaumur's thermometer in Petersburg at 31. degrees below.0. He also said something upon the Constitution of Poland, upon the Slavery of the people, the Tyranny of the Nobles, and the humiliations the Kings of Poland are obliged to undergo, and yet he said the Ambition of every one of the nobles was to be King. As they might expect it, because the Kingdom was Elective, and that they seldom choose, a King out of the Family of the preceding one, he said that in Poland the nobility had the vanity of desiring to be King, as the nobility in France, had the vanity of wishing to be a Duke. He says also that they could not Live in Poland without the Jews. T'was they who carried on all the commerce. The Nobility were too proud to engage in Commerce, the Slaves could not; every thing that was done there in that way, was done by the Jews, As there were very few other foreigners, who would chuse to settle in that Country. In the evening as my Father return'd from Versailles to Paris, he stopp'd at the Abbés, and took me in his Carriage. Mr. Hartley came and paid a visit to my Father; but it was intirely Political.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-15

Aug. 15th. Friday.

This day I dined at Passy at Dr. Franklin's with a numerous Company. In the evening I went to the Comedy at the Bois de Boulogne. Beverlei1 and le Français a Londres2 were the plays represented. Beverlei is what the French call a Tragedie bourgeoise, as Barnwell in English.3 The Subject of it is, a Man addicted to gaming, who ruins himself by it, or rather is ruined by a villain who pretends to be his Friend; and at last puts an end to his Life by Poison. It was intended to set the passion of gaming in its worst Light but the execution has not answered its Purpose, for it seems to encourage, a still worse passion; I mean suicide. However that was not the author's intention. His design was very Laudable. Le Français a Londres is a Farce, calculated to show the difference of the French and English Characters and the author has carried both to a pleasing extravagance. I met at the Comedy, Mr. de Chaumont,4 whom I had not seen since I re• { 184 } turned to Paris. He asked me a great many Questions, about Sweeden, Russia, Denmark, and all the Countries thro' which I have been.
1. By Bernard Joseph Saurin, Paris, 1768 (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
2. By Louis de Boissy, first performed in Paris in 1727 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
3. The London Merchant: Or, The History of George Barnwell, London, 1731, by George Lillo.
4. Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, strong French supporter of American independence, who speculated in contracts supplying the Continental army and outfitting the navy. He also was landlord of the Hôtel de Valentinois, where Franklin maintained his residence rent-free from 1776 until his return to America in 1785 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:298).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-16

Aug. 16th. Saturday.

Dined at Mr. Brantsen's;1 the Dutch Ambassadors, with a great deal of Company. In the evening I went to the French Comedy; the pieces represented were Rhadamiste et Zenobie a Tragedy by Crebillon2 and Le Français a Londres. The author of the Tragedy is regarded as one of the best dramatick poets of France. His Tragedies are all very deep, indeed, they are so much so, that several of them miscarried at their first Representation, on that account. The French in general are not Lovers of Tragedy, and it is but lately, that they can bear any, which finishes with the Death of the Hero. The Denouement of this piece is a King, who discovers he has killed his own Son without knowing him. Rhadamistus is sent to the King of Iberia, as Ambassador from Rome, to complain to him; for his arming his People, and to tell him they suspect him. In the midst of his discourse to the King he says.

Rome de tant d'apprets qui s'indigne et se lasse

N'a point accoutumé les Rois à tant d'audace.3

When the actor pronounced those verses, they rose an universal applause; which lasted for some minutes.
1. Gerard Brantsen, Dutch minister plenipotentiary to Paris, 1782–1787, who was appointed ambassador extraordinary plenipotentiary in 1782 to negotiate the terms of peace with Great Britain (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 263; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:665).
2. Rhadamiste et Zénobie, Paris, 1711, was the chief work of Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
3. Act II, scene ii, lines 7–8 (Crébillon, Oeuvres. Nouvelle édition . . ., 3 vols., Paris, 1772, 2:31, in JA's library at MB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-20

Aug. 20th. Wednesday.

Dined at Passy with the Abbé de Chalut.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-21

Aug. 21st. Thursday.

This day My Father had a great Company to dine with him.1
1. The occasion for the dinner party is not known.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-22

Aug. 22d. Friday.

This forenoon at 11 o'clock, I went, in Company with My Lord Ancram, Mr. Stewart1 and my father to see the Academy of the Abbe L'epée,2 who has undertaken to teach, people born deaf and dumb, not only to converse with one another very fluently, but also, to read and write, and he has succeeded entirely. It is astonishing to see how fast and how easily they make themselves understood, to one another, and still, more so to see them write, whatever he pleases, by the signs he makes them; there is not a word in the French Language which he has not found some way of expressing, and making them understand. He does it all gratis and receives whoever chooses to come to his Lessons. When the present Emperor of Germany3 visited Paris this was what pleased him the most in the whole City. He sent afterwards his Picture set in Diamonds to the Abbé, and accompanied it with a Letter written with his own hand; praising this humane institution.
I Dined at the Duke de la Vauguyon's the French Ambassador at the Hague, here by Congé4 at present. In the Evening I went to the French Comedy, where were represented Le Philosophe sans le savoir, and La Maison de Campagne;5 The first piece seems to be very Confused; all I could make of it was, that it was Calculated to show the foolishness and the wickedness of the Custom of Duelling: which have been shown many and many a Time; but always without effect and will be always so: as long as the laws which subsist about Duelling, have force in this Country. A Person here who fights a Duel is condemned to Death, and if any body is provoked and refuses to fight he is regarded as infamous, and if in the Army, he is broke and declared incapable of serving the King. This is exposing every one who is insulted by a scoundrel to the cruel alternative of infamy or Death.
{ 186 }
1. William Kerr (1763–1824), Earl of Ancram; Dugald Stewart, Scottish philosopher and professor at the University of Edinburgh (The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant by G[eorge] E[dward] C[okayne], ed. Vicary Gibbs and others, London, 1910–1959, 8:154–155; Benjamin Vaughan to JA, 8 Aug., Adams Papers; DNB).
2. Charles Michel, Abbé de L'Epée, celebrated French philanthropist (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
3. Joseph II.
4. On leave.
5. Michel Jean Sedaine, Le philosophe sans le savoir, Paris, 1766, and Florent Carton Dancourt, La maison de campagne, Paris, 1691 (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Cioranescu, Bibliographie du dix-septième siècle).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-23

Aug 23d. Saturday.

This morning I went and paid a visit to the Baron de la Houze the Minister of France at the Court of Denmark, who is here at present by Congé, and whom I had the honour of seeing at Copenhagen. He talked to me a great deal about America. He said he believed that France, England and Holland would carry on the greatest part of our Commerce; that the Nations of the North wanted a number of our Commodities, but had nothing but ready money (and very little of that) to give us in return. He said he believed that the population of America was equal to that of Sweeden and Denmark together; that he had made a Calculation, and that those two Kingdoms did not contain more than four millions of souls, that Denmark would never be more peopled, while the present Constitution lasted, for the whole Nation consisted of the Nobility and the Serfs: and that Nothing could discourage Population more than personal Slavery, that Sweeden it was true was not in that State; that the Peasantry were free, but that both the Population and the Finances of that Country had been exhausted, by the ruinous Wars of Charles the 12th. and their Consequences which were still felt in Sweeden, but that the Commerce of that Kingdom was increasing every day, and that it promised soon to be in a flourishing Condition, and in that Case, the Population would also increase. He then Spoke of the Duties which ships were obliged to pay for the passage of the Sound, he said it was an unjust tribute which all Nations were obliged to pay to Denmark, and it was the fault of the other Nations that suffered it. I asked him, how Denmark came by it, rather than Sweeden, the coasts of which are on the opposite Side. He said that all those coasts belonged formerly to Denmark when this imposition began, by some Dutch Ships having paid voluntarily a duty; and Denmark made herself a right of it, { 187 } and have obliged every ship that passes to pay the duty; and altho' the province of Scania which forms the Coast on the other Side, has been since ceded to Sweeden still Denmark has kept up that right; besides, he said, there was another reason, which was that on the Sweedish side there were several sand banks, and the water was not deep enough for large vessells to pass over, so that they were obliged to pass very near the Danish side. He said it brought the King a revenue of about 6 millions of livres per annum: and that the expences of the fortress &c. mounted to about two millions.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-24


Comédie Italienne voyage de Rosine et Felix ou l'enfant trouvé.1
1. Pierre Antoine Augustin de Piis and Pierre Yves Barré, Les voyages de Rosine, Paris, 1783; Felix, ou l'enfant trouvé, Paris, 1777, by Michel Jean Sedaine, with music by Pierre Alexandre de Monsigny (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-25


Comédie Italienne le bon ménage, et Blaise et Babet.1 Mr. T——r returned.2
1. Jean Pierre Claris de Florian, Le Bon ménage, ou, la suite des deux billets, Paris, 1783; Blaise et Babet, ou, la suite des trois fermiers, Paris, 1783, by Jacques Marie Boutet de Monvel, with music by Nicolas Dezède (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
2. John Thaxter had decided to visit London while JA was away from Paris in Holland and just shortly before his own return to the United States (John Thaxter to John Thaxter Sr., 28 July, MHi:Thaxter Papers; JQA to Samuel Cooper Johonnot, 25 Aug., CtY:Beinecke Library).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-27

Aug. 27th.

This forenoon I went to see the Pictures which are exposed to view in the Gallery of the Louvre; there are some good paintings there amongst a great number of indifferent ones. After dinner I went to see the experiment, of the flying globe. A Mr. Montgolfier1 of late has discovered that, if one fills a ball with inflammable air, much lighter than common air, the ball of itself will go up to an immense height of itself. This was the first publick experiment of it, at Paris. A Subscription was opened some time agone and filled at once for making a globe; it was of taffeta glued together with gum, and lined with parchment: filled with in• { 188 } flammable air: it was of a spherical form; and was 14 foot size in Diameter. It was placed in the Champ de Mars. At 5. o'clock 2. great guns fired from the Ecole Militaire, were the signal given for its going, it rose at once, for some time perpendicular, and then slanted. The weather, was unluckily very Cloudy, so that in less than 2. minutes it was out of sight: it went up very regularly and with a great swiftness. As soon as it was out of sight, 2. more cannon were fired from the Ecole Militaire to announce it. This discovery is a very important one, and if it succeeds it may become very useful to mankind.
1. The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne, had made the first successful unmanned balloon flight on 5 June 1783 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-28

Aug. 28th. Thursday.

The Journal de Paris of this day, says a great deal about the flying globe. It speaks of it as follows.
“L'experience ingenieuse que M. M. de Montgolfier ont fait à Annonay interesse assés pour qu'on ne soit pas surpris de l'empressement qu'on a mis à la repeter. A peine la souscription qui devoit en faciliter les moyens fut elle ouverte par M. Faujas de Saint Fond1 et deux ou trois de ses amis, que le Public s'empressa de la remplir. Des Princes, des Ministres, les Academies, les Gens de Lettres, les Artistes envoyerent leur souscription; et l'ardeur generale prouva que si l'on présentait plus souvent aux Francois des experiences utiles ou brillantes, on leur trouverait le zele qu'on vante chéz leurs rivaux.”
“M. Faujas fut chargé par l'assemblée des premiers Souscripteurs de diriger l'operation. On doit rendre justice à l'activité, à l'intelligence, à la chaleur qu'il mit a repondre à leur confiance. Il imagina d'employer le taffetas enduit de gomme elastique et l'air inflammable. Le gaz et l'enveloppe dont s'etoient servi M. M. de Montgolfier n'etant pas connus, Mr. Faujas instruit que M. M. Robert, jeunes Mecaniciens du premier merite, possedaient le secret de dissoudre la gomme elastique, eut recours à leur talent, à leurs lumieres. Mr. Charles2 voulut bien se preter et contribuer aux diverses experiences qu'on fit chéz lui.
Jusqu'alors on n'avoit observé l'air inflammable que dans les pistolets de Volta, dans des bouteilles de gomme elastique, dans des bulles de savon; il etait à craindre qu'un grand volume de matiere aussi subtile ne donnat des resultats dangereux. Il parut { 189 } prudent de n'assembler le Public qu'aprés quelques essais: ils furent faits, et tranquiliserent.
Le vingt trois, la machine s'eleva jusqu'au dessus des toits. L'affluence du peuple indiqua quelle serait sa curiosité le jour de l'experience. On craignit que les barrieres du terrain de M. M. Perrier ne fussent trop foibles: cette sage consideration fit preferer le Champ de Mars. La nuit du 25 au 26. M. M. Robert et Mr. Charles ont poussé le zele jusqu'à se charger de porter et de veiller eux mêmes la machine.
L'operation indiquée a eu lieu hier a cinq heures précises. Une mêche allumée a donné le signal, et deux coups de canon ont annoncé au Public le moment de l'experience; Ils avoient aussi pour object d'avertir les Observateurs, placés a differentes stations. Aussitôt aprés le signal, le Globe s'est élevé, et au bout de quelques minutes il a disparu. Deux autres coups de canon ont annoncé ce dernier moment, Le nuage qui eclipsait le Globe s'est dissipé, on la vu de nouveau. Son petit volume apparent a fait juger qu'il etait à une hauteur considerable, et la circonstance du mauvais tems en aura sans doute rendu l'appreciation difficile. Des applaudissemens réitérés on êtê de nouvelles preuves de l'interet du Public. On prie les personnes qui trouveront cette machine d'en donner avis au Bureau de ce Journal et d'en constater l'etat autant qu'il sera possible.
Toute la gloire de cette decouverte appartient à M. M. de Montgolfier; cette experience n'a été faite, que pour la constater. Les Souscripteurs se croiront trop heureux si leur exemple excite a servir les Sciences et les Arts, en facilitant des épreuves trop couteuses pour être faites par de simple particuliers.
Des esprits paresseux fatiguent de cette question: A quoi tout cela mene 't'il? On prendra la liberté d'ajouter à ce qu'on leur a deja repondu, que le Sage ne presente les calculs de son imagination qu'aprés les avoir appuyés d'experiences qu'on n'a eu ni le tems ni la facilité de faire à l'aide du Globe aérostratique.”
The following verses were also in the Journal de Paris of this day.
Sur le Globe Ascendant.3
1. Barthélemy Faujas de Saint Fond, geologist and traveler (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2.  Jacques Alexandre César Charles, physicist and aeronaut, who, with the Montgolfiers, tested a hydrogen-filled balloon at Champ de Mars on 2 Aug. and took part in manned experiments several months later (same).
3. There follows a 62-line poem, omitted here, by Paul Philippe Gudin de la Brenellierie, dramatist, essayist, and occasional poet (same).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-29

Aug 29th. Friday.1

The Journal de Paris of this day, speaks as follows of the flying globe.
“Nous venons d'apprendre que le Ballon, aprés avoir voyagé pendant trois quarts d'heure dans les regions de l'air et hors de la vue, est tombé à Gonesse, distant de Paris de quatres lieues; l'on y a reconnu une ouverture produite par l'explosion qui a dû se faire, lorsque ce Globe a atteint un air qui, lui opposant moins de resistance, a permis au gaz inflammable de réagir à son tour contre l'air atmosphérique. Cet accident ne seroit certainement pas arrivé, et l'on auroit eu le plaisir de jouir plus longtems de cette superbe experience et d'y appliquer les calculs, si l'on ne l'avait pas rempli d'une trop grande quantité de gaz. Plusieurs Savans Academiciens, et M. Faujas de S. Fond lui même etoient d'avis, avant l'operation de ne pas remplir le ballon en entier; mais une circonstance particuliere n'ayant pas permis à ces Messieurs dans l'enceinte, le ballon a été remplir sans combinaison et sans methode, et c'est ce qui a occasionné cet accident, qu'il serait injuste d'attribuer a M. Faujas de St. Fond, ni même à M. M. Robert. Lon doit dire aussi que le Public a été trés étonné de ce qu'on n'a pas admis dans cette même enceinte M. de Montgolfier que le voeu general y appellait, et que tout ce qu'il y a de plus illustre dans la Nation desiroit de voir.”
1. In D/JQA/7 for this day, JQA has written: “Opéra Alexandre aux Indes et la Rosiere ballet,” references to Étienne Morel de Chefdeville's Alexandre aux Indes, Paris, 1783, with music by Jean Nicholas Le Froid de Méreaux; and Maximilien Joseph Léopold Philippe Gardel, La rosière, Paris, 1783, which were performed that day at the Académie Royale de Music (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Journal de Paris, 29 Aug.).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-02

September. 2d. 1783.

Dined at Auteuil. French Comedy: le Joueur et le Retour imprévu.1
1. Jean François Regnard, Le joueur, Paris, 1697, and Le retour imprévu, Paris, 1700 (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Cioranescu, Bibliographic du dix-septième siècle).

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

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


Signature of the Definitive Treaty.1
1. Unable to make any appreciable progress with their negotiations since the signing of the Preliminary Treaty on 30 Nov. 1782, the British ministry and American commissioners finally accepted those preliminary articles, with some changes, { 191 } at Hartley's lodgings in the Hôtel d'York on this day (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:142; Richard B. Morris, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence, N.Y., 1965, p. 461–465, 548, 552).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-04


Dined at Mr. Hartley's.

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

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


C. Ital: Blaise et Babet,1 a la Clochette.2
1. See entry for 25 Aug., note 1 (above).
2. La clochette, Paris, 1766, by Louis Anseaume, with music by Egide Romuald Duni (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

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

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


Diné à Passi. C. Ital: Jeannot et Colin, l'heureuse Erreur et les Vendangeurs.1
1. Florian, Jeannot et Colin, Paris, 1780; Joseph Patrat, L'heureuse erreur, Paris, 1783; Pierre Antoine Augustin de Piis and Pierre Yves Barré, Les vendangeurs, ou, les deux baillis, Paris, 1780 (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-10


Diné à Auteuil. Eclipse totale de la Lune.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-11


C. Ital: Blaise et Babet1 et Isabelle et Gertrude.2
1. This was the third time JQA had seen this musical comedy in less than three weeks.
2. Isabelle et Gertrude, ou, les sylphes supposés, Paris, 1765, by Charles Simon Favart, with music by Adolphe Blaise (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-13


C. Fr: Mercure galant et Partie de Chasse de Henri 4.1
1. Edme Boursault, Le mercure galant, ou, la comédie sans titre, Paris, 1679; Charles Collé, La partie de chasse de Henri IV, Paris, 1766 (Cioranescu, Bibliographie du dix-septième siècle; Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-14


Fete de S: Cloud.1 Diné entre là et Auteuil. M: T——r parti.2
{ 192 }
1. An annual festival held on the grounds of the royal palace of St. Cloud (Journal de Paris, 4 Sept. 1785).
2. John Thaxter left for Philadelphia, carrying with him the Definitive Treaty with Great Britain, and the original Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Netherlands, the latter signed at The Hague on 8 Oct. 1782 (JA to Benjamin Rush, and to the President of Congress [Elias Boudinot], both 14 Sept., LbC, Adams Papers; Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, 8 vols., Washington, 1931–1948, 2:59–90).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-16


Varietés Amusantes Foire St. Laurent.1
1. An annual fair held from July to September (Jacques Antoine Dulaure, Histoire civile, physique et morale de Paris . . ., 10 vols., rev. and corr., Paris, 1825, 8:199–203; Almanach royal, 1783, p. 628).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-20

Saturday Septr. 20th.

The enthusiasm of the People of Paris for the flying Globes is very great, several Propositions have been made from Persons, who to enjoy the honour of having been the first Travellers through the air, are willing to go up in them and run ten risques to one of breaking their necks: one of the queerest propositions, is the following one taken from the Journal de Paris of Yesterday.
À Messieurs les Navigateurs Aérieus.
Je partage avec vous Messieurs, le désir de voyager dans les airs, et je crois devoir vous faire part de la premiere idée que m'a fait naitre l'elevation du Globe Aérostatique au Champ de Mars. Je desirerois en qualité d'Amateur des Beaux Arts que la grace de la machine fut jointe à la facilité des mouvemens, et à la sureté du voyageur; cela m'a fait croire que la forme la plus heureuse seroit celle du Cheval Pegasse, d'une grandeur beaucoup plus forte, sans doute que Nature.
Son corps servirait de recipient au gaz; sa tête, les crins en avant, feroit l'office de la proue; ses ailes modereraient l'elevation et determineroient la vitesse; sa queue seroit le gouvernail; et les quatre pieds, dans l'attitude d'un cheval qui galope, chargés dans leurs extrémités d'un corps pesant, proportionné au reste de la machine, serviroient de lest, et assuréroient au Cavalier Aérien une attitude constante. Tout seroit construit avec une legere carcasse de baleine recouverte d'un taffetas enduit de gomme élastique.
On dévine aisément la place d'une soupape qui s'ouvrant à la { 193 } volonté du Navigateur, laisseroit echapper promptement, par le rapprochement de ses genoux, une portion du gaz et tempereroit la legerete du Cheval dans le cas ou il voudroit s'emporter par de lá les nués.
Je joins ici un Croquis de mon idee
J'ai l'honneur d'être &c. περσηΪθ.1
Note des Redacteurs
Ayant reçu, de la part de l'Amateur, la planche gravée, nous avons cru faire plaisir à nos Souscripteurs, en eu faisant tirer le nombre d'exemplaires suffisant pour joindre à chaque feuille de ce Journal.”
This is nearly a Copy of the print which was with the Journal de Paris.2
As this discovery is a very important one, it is worth while to collect every good thing that has any Relation to it, the following are some verses upon the Subject, also printed in the Journal de Paris of yesterday.
Les Prodiges des Sciences et des Arts.3
Yesterday a ballon Aërostatique, was sent up from Versailles, the following is the account given of it in the Journal de Paris of this day.
“L'experience dont nous avons parlé dans nôtre feuille d'avant hier a été faite hier dans la premiere Cour du Chateau de Versailles, au milieu d'un concours prodigieux de Spectateurs. On tira une premiere boite à une heure aprés midi, pour annoncer le moment de l'introduction du gaz dans la Machine; une seconde boite indiqua celui ou elle fut remplie, sous les ordres de M de Montgolfier. Cette operation dura dix minutes ou environ. Une troisieme boite annonça l'instant ou l'on coupa les cordes qui la retenaient pour la livrer à elle même. Elle s'enleva aussitôt, et produisit sur tous les spectateurs une espece d'admiration par son volume imposant. On avoit attaché à la partie inferieure de ce Ballon, un panier d'osier, dans lequel etoient un mouton un canard et un coq, et au dessous, un barometre. L'ascension de cette machine paroit avoir été d'environ deux cent toises; le vent d'ouest l'a forcé à prendre un cours horisontal qui a dure vingt-sept secondes, aprés quoi elle a commence à decliner plus sensiblement, et a fini par tomber dans le bois de Vaucresson, au lieu appellé le Carrefour-Maréchal, distant d'une demi lieue du point de son depart. M. Pilatre de Rozier, y est arrivé le premier; il a trouvé le Ballon separé du panier ou { 194 } etoient les animaux par un amas de bois coupé. Le mouton mangeoit dans sa cage; le canard et le coq paroissoient n'avoir point souffert, et le baromêtre etoit renversé sans fracture.”
1. That is, descended from Perseus (Charles Du Fresne Du Canage, Glossarium ad Scriptores Mediae et Infimae Graecitatis..., Lyons, 1688, repr., Graz, 1958).
2. Pasted into D/JQA/8 on p. 30 is a pencil sketch, approximately 3″ × 4″, traced from the original printed one, of a winged horse and rider which appeared as an insert in the Journal de Paris. The original is laid in between p. 30 and 31.
3. Here follows a forty-line poem, omitted here, by Michel de Cubières (known as Cubières-Palmézeaux) (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-22

Monday Septr. 22th.

This morning (as my Father has been for some days very ill and the Country air being thought necessary for him) we removed from Paris to Auteuil at Mr. Barclay's.1 The flying Globes are still much in Vogue: they have advertised a small one of eight inches diameter, at 6 livres a piece without air and 8 livres with it, but it has been carried so far that several accidents have happened to persons who have attempted to make inflammable air, which is a dangerous operation, so that government have prohibited them.
1. Less than three weeks after the signing of the Definitive Treaty, the Adamses moved from Paris into the lodgings of Thomas Barclay at Auteuil so that JA might recover from a debilitating fever. They remained there until 6 Oct. (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:142–144; entry for 10 Aug., note 2, above).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-24


Mme. Ridley accouchée.1
1. Ann Richardson, whom Matthew Ridley married in England in 1775, gave birth to a son, Lucius, on this day. They were also living in the house of the Comte de Rouault at Auteuil to which they had moved for the sake of Mrs. Ridley's health (Herbert E. Klingelhofer, “Matthew Ridley's Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782,” WMQ, 3d ser., 20:95 [Jan. 1963]; Matthew Ridley, Journals, 24 Sept. 1783, MHi:Matthew Ridley Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-26


Diné chés M: Franklin.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0010-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-09-30


Départ de M. Barclay.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-10-17

October. 17. 1783.

Diné chéz M: l'Abbé de Chalut.

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

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

Monday October 20th. 1783.1

Left Auteuil, with my Father, for London,2 at about 9 o'clock in the morning; rode 9 ½ posts as far as St. Just and stopp'd for the night. We dined at Chantilly.
1. First entry in D/JQA/9, which covers the period 20 Oct.–6 Dec., but lacks entries for 27 Oct.; 5, 19, 22, 27–28 Nov.; and 3–4 Dec. This Diary booklet, measuring approximately 4½″ × 7¼″, consists of nine sheets of folded paper to create 36 pages, only 17 of which were eventually used by JQA. The booklet is accompanied by a thinner sheet of paper, folded over like the booklet, though somewhat shorter and wider, which is laid in at the end of diary entries for 1783. With some gaps, it contains entries for 8 Aug.–11 Sept. 1784.
2. While resting in Auteuil, JA gradually recovered from his fever, but was still “extremely emaciated and weak.” He was urged by his friends and doctor to travel to England and take the waters at Bath. By mid-October he had decided upon a stay there of six weeks. During all this time JQA kept up with some of his studies. He began translating Caesar's Commentaries (M/JQA/44, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 239), probably continued to translate some of Horace's Odes (M/JQA/42, same, Reel No. 237), a task begun under the tutelage of Dumas, and copied various pieces of English poetry from William Enfield's highly popular anthology and elocutionary book, The Speaker, or Miscellaneous Pieces, Selected from the Best English Writers . . ., London, 1774 (M/JQA/43, same, Reel No. 238). Most of his time, however, was probably spent as secretary to his father, who commented that JQA wrote in “a good hand very fast, and is very Steady, to his Pen and his Books” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:142–144; Book of Abigail and John, p. 364).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0003

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

Tuesday. 21st.

Set away from St. Just at about 7 ½ o'clock; dined at Amiens; the Capital of the Province of Picardy: stopp'd at Abbeville; after having rode 11. posts.

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

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

Wednesday 22d.

In our Carriage at 6 o'clock, went 9 posts before dinner. Dined at Boulogne. Arrived at Calais at about 7 ½ o'clock having rode 13. posts. Lodged at Monsr. Dessein's: Hotel d'Angleterre.1
1. Pierre Quillacq, or M. Dessein (or Dessin) as he was called, gained a great reputation from Laurence Sterne's allusions to him and his hotel in A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:8; A Sentimental Journey, ed. Gardner D. Stout, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1967, P. 87, 336–338).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1783-10-23 - 1783-10-24

Thursday 23d [–Friday. Octr. 24th.].

This morning at 10 o'clock we went on board the Packet Boat; for Dover. We got out of the harbour with a great deal of difficulty as the wind was quite Contrary, but as soon as we were out a Calm came on which lasted till about 11. o'clock at night. Some wind then arose which brought us near the Port of Dover: at about 2 in the morning; but the wind being very strong; we were obliged to go on board a Pilot Boat: which put us on shore at about 3: in the morning of Friday. Octr. 24th.
Stay'd all day at Dover; we went up on the top of one of the cliffs: they are extremely high: the weather was somewhat foggy, but upon a clear day; the view must be very extensive, out at sea; and the coasts of France (which are about 20 miles distant) must be very easily seen; and make a fine appearance. We saw upon this hill several sheep; much larger, than any I have ever seen in France, owing probably to the manner of keeping: the Land appears more covered with verdure, and richer than that of France; this, my father thinks, is entirely owing to the different cultivation, as the soil seems to be the same here as that on the other side.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0006

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

Saturday. Octr. 25.

We set away from Dover in a post chaise and pair; went through Canterbury; the chief see of all England. We were told there was a curious1 Cathedral there but had not time to go to see it. We dined at Rochester: a considerable city: 43 miles distant from Dover. We arrived at Dartford at about 4 ½ and stopp'd there for the Night.
1. JQA's probable connotation here is “interesting” or “noteworthy” (OED).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0007

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

Sunday Octr. 26th.

We came away from Dartford at about 8. o'clock; and arrived at London at about 11: the distance from Dover is. 72, miles: we took up Lodgings at Osborn's Adelphi Hotel John Street; in the Strand.1
1. Osborne's Hotel was in the Adelphi Buildings, extending from the Strand to the Thames, which were constructed in 1768 by the Adam brothers and used as dwellings and warehouses; John Street, off the Strand, was created by this development (Wheatley, London Past and Present; Walter Harrison, A New and Univer• { 197 } sal History, Description and Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, The Borough of Southwark, and Their Adjacent Parts . . ., London, 1775, p. 525 and illustration facing that page).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-10-28

Tuesday. 28th.

The forenoon we went to see the Monuments in Westminster Abbey: we saw a great Collection of tombs of Kings, Heroes, Statesmen, and Poets. There are some very ancient monuments: a number of figures in wax and the chairs in which the kings and Queens of England are crowned: they are said to be more than 1400. years old: we had not time to examine very attentively this building: and shall probably pay it another visit: At 6 o'clock. P.M. I went to the Drury Lane Thêatre, where was represented the Tragedy of Hamlet, with the Citozen.1 I must confess; I do not think they act Tragedy so well here as in Paris: the Tragedy was not acted, as I expected it would be: there is I think something like affectation; throughout the actors. They lay an emphasis upon almost every word; yet in some places they speak, both too low and too slow. For Instance, when the Ghost first appears to Hamlet he starts and cries out

“Angels and ministers of Grace defend us,” &c.

and speaks a speech of about 20 lines: which the actor is <above> full a quarter of an hour delivering; continually in the same situation; which makes the action of the stage languish a great deal. As for the small piece they play'd that, I think as well as they do in France, but if I judge by this one play they do not equal the French in Tragedy.
1. The Citizen, by Arthur Murphy, was published in 1763 (Biographia Dramatica).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-10-29

Wednesday 29th.

Took private lodgings; at Mr. Stockdale's,1 opposite Burlington House Piccadilly.
1. John Stockdale, London publisher and bookseller, became a long-time friend and correspondent of JA and later of JQA. He began shortly hereafter to publish works of American authors, including a reprint of John Almon's edition of JA's Novanglus letters, History of the Dispute with America . . ., in London, 1784 (DNB; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:149, 189, 313–314).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0011-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-10-30

Thursday 30th.

This forenoon I went with some Gentlemen and Ladies to dine out of town. We pass'd over Westminster Bridge and Black Friars, and went through Islington, over High gate hill, to Ham[p]ste[a]d; where we dined. The appearance of the Land on this [road?] is extremely rich, and at this time of year, the verdure is nearly as great, as it is in France in the Month of May. The Prospect is said to be the finest near London. It is very beautiful. We dined at the assembly house in Hamsted, and returned into Town by a different Road from that out of which we went.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-10-31

Friday Octr. 31st.

Dined at Mr. Vaughan's:1 in the evening we went to the Drury Lane Theatre, where Isabella, or the Fatal marriage and the Irish Widow,2 were represented. Mrs. Siddons;3 supposed to be the first Tragick performer in Europe, play'd the part of Isabella. A young Lady, in the next Box to where we were, was so much affected by it as to be near fainting and was carried out. I am told that every Night Mrs. Siddons performs; this happens, to some persons. I never heard of anything like it, in France: Whether this proves there is more Sensibility here, that the Tragedies are deeper, or that they are better performed, is a problem. Perhaps all those Reason's may be given.
1. Probably William or Benjamin Vaughan, sons of Samuel Vaughan, a London merchant, and Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Hallowell of Boston. The younger Vaughans were sympathetic to the American cause, and several later resettled in America; Benjamin, as secretary to Lord Shelburne, was instrumental in obtaining concessions for the American commissioners in 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:54; Early Recollections of Robert Hallowell Gardiner, 1782–1864, Hallowell, Maine, 1936, p. 118; entries for 6 Nov. 1783, 2 Oct. 1788, below).
2. David Garrick, Isabella; or, The Fatal Marriage, London, 1757; and The Irish Widow, London, 1772, also by Garrick (Biographia Dramatica).
3. Mrs. Sarah Siddons had made her triumphal return to the London stage the previous year in this role (DNB).

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

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

Saturday November 1. 1783.

This morning I went with Mr. W. Vaughan to see the Paintings of Mr. Pine,1 and Mr. Copley, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Death of the Earl of Chatham, by Mr. Copley, is the most Remarkable of the Paintings We saw; it is very Beautiful. We went also to see Mrs. Wright's waxwork.2 Dined at Mr. Bingham's.3
{ 199 }
1. Robert Edge Pine was born in London and emigrated to Philadelphia in 1784 with the intention of executing an ambitious plan of American historical paintings and portraits of Revolutionary leaders (DNB).
2. Mrs. Patience Lovell Wright, the American wax modeler and Revolutionary spy for America, who moved to England in 1772 and opened a popular waxworks in London (DAB).
3. William Bingham, Philadelphia banker, land speculator, and later U.S. senator. Bingham had come to Europe, for business and pleasure, with his wife, Ann Willing, and remained there until 1786, seeing much of the Adamses at The Hague, Paris, and London. JQA found Bingham “Very ignorant, very vain and very empty” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:149; entry for 18 April 1785, below).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-02

Sunday Novr. 2. 1783.

I went this forenoon to take a view of St. Paul's Church, which is the largest, and most magnificent Protestant church now standing and excepting St. Peter's at Rome the largest in the World. But we could not get into it, because on Sundays it is open only in Service time; and we were there between services, so we saw only the outside of it. It was built of a whitish stone, but the lower Parts of it are now of a browny, smoaky Colour, occasioned by the smoke of the City; they say this gives it a Venerable appearance; but for my Part I think it would look much better in its first Colour. Several gentlemen dined with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-03

Monday Novr. 3. 1783.

Went in the Evening to the theatre, Drury Lane where Measure for Measure, with the Apprentice1 were represented. Mrs. Siddons play'd the part of Isabella in measure for measure, because it had been said, she could not speak Shakespeare's lines; and that she could not play in Comedy; for the first part she prov'd the contrary; as she play'd extremely well, but the critics say she has not yet play'd in Comedy; as the Character of Isabella has nothing Comick in it; in this play; and the piece itself Notwithstanding it's ending well, being more a Tragedy than a Comedy.
1. By Arthur Murphy, London, 1756 (Biographia Dramatica).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-04

Tuesday Novr. 4th.

This forenoon we went with Messrs. Jay, Bingham, and W. Vaughan, to see the Holophusicon, or Sir Ashton Lever's1 Museum; there is an immense Collection, of all sorts of Natural History; But the most Compleat part is that of the birds, of { 200 } which he has between three and four thousand; they are extremely Curious; and worth more examination than we had time to give to them. But besides this he has a Room full of curiosities all collected in the Countries which were discovered in the last Voyage of Captn. Cook. There are a Number of their Idols made of Wood: others of feathers of bird: and also a kind of Robe which their Chiefs put on upon certain occasions, made of birds feathers, their cloths and their war instruments, and their fishhooks with the ropes. All these things are very curious, and for the most part, they are very ingeniously done, and show those People had arrived at a certain degree of Civilization. Their Ropes are made as well as any in Europe, and their fishhooks tho' of stone are very well made. From Sir Ashton Lever's we went to the British Museum: which is much more extensive, and Comprehends all sorts of Curiosities. 1. a Library of printed books. 2. a Library of Manuscript Books. 3. Antiquities. 4. Coins and Medals and 5. Natural History. For this Last article, Sir Ashton Lever's Collection is much more perfect: but among the others' there are some very curious things, particularly in the Manuscripts. We saw some original Letters of Henry the 8th. and the ensuing Kings and Queens of England to Charles the 1st. Letters also of Oliver Cromwell, and Pope's first Rough transcript of the Iliad. There are many more very Curious things in this Place, but we had not time to examine them attentively.
1. Sir Ashton Lever, English collector and naturalist, founded his museum of natural history, the Holophusikon, in Leicester Square in 1774 (DNB).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-06

Thursday Novr. 6th. 1783.

This day, being Term day,1 we went, with Mr. Jennings, and saw the procession of the Lawyers, and Judges to Westminster Hall; and we saw the four Courts; the Kings Bench, Common Pleas, Chancery, and Exchequer, all sitting. Dined at M: W. Vaughan's.
1. That is, the beginning of Michaelmas Term, one of four yearly sessions of English courts of law.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-07

Friday Novr. 7th.

In the forenoon I went with M: W. Vaughan; and saw the Pantheon;1 a place of public entertainment; it is only remarkable for { 201 } one Room which is very large and elegant. We went also to see the Cathedral of St Paul's; the largest Protestant Church, extant. It is very magnificent on the outside; but the inside is by no means extraordinary; there is one thing which they say is to be met with no where else. It is a gallery which is about 100 yards in circumference. If a Person whispers in it: what he says is as distinctly heared on the opposite side as if the person was near. It is called the whispering gallery: we went up to the top of the Church, from which we had a very fine view of the City. From thence went to the academy of arts in the Adelphi; to see a Series of Paintings, by a Mr. Barry; representing the Progress of Society, in six different Pictures.2
Dined at Mr. Copley's.
1. Originally a theater and public promenade, the Pantheon on Oxford Street was redesigned by James Wyatt and reopened in 1772; the renovated building was noted chiefly for its promenade in the rotunda (Wheatley, London Past and Present).
2. JQA has confused the Royal Academy of Arts, whose exhibition room was in the New Somerset House, up the Strand from the Adelphi Buildings, with the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, which was located at the Adelphi. James Barry's major work, the Progress of Society, which portrayed in six pictures illustrating the cultivation of “human faculties” in the civilization of mankind, was exhibited in the Great Room of the Society of Arts (Walter Harrison, A New and Universal History Description and Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, The Borough of Southwark and Their Adjacent Parts . . ., London, 1775, p. 525; Wheatley, London Past and Present, 3:272; The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence, ed. W. S. Lewis and others, New Haven, 1937– ,29:33; Ralph N. Wornum, ed., Lectures on Painting by the Royal Academicians, Barry, Opie and Fusel, London, 1848, p. 42–43).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-08

Saturday Novr. 8. 1783.

Went with Mr. West1 to see the Queen's Palace called Buckingham House; from its having been built by Villiers: Duke of Buckingham;2 in the first Chamber, are the famous Cartoons of Raphael; which were Painted on Paper to be taken on Tapestry; at Brussels; there are 7. of them; they represented several of the Acts of the apostles; the name of the Painter makes it unnecessary to say, in what manner they are executed. In another Room we saw a Number of Paintings of Vandyk, among which was a Picture of Charles the 1st. on horseback; a striking likeness and an admirable Picture. Another Room full of Pictures of Rubens —a Room decorated by Paintings of Mr. West: among which are, the death of General Wolfe, of the Chevalier Bayard; and of Epaminondas, Regulus coming out of the Senate, and Hannibal, swearing eternal enmity to the Romans.3 The Kings Library, in { 202 } which there are 90. folio volumes of Maps. His private model chamber—this is very curious. There are the models of all the ships in the Kings service, of all the dock yards, and fortifications: and an exact model of the fortress of Gibraltar. These are the Principal curiosities in this House; tho' there are a great many other things in it, worth seeing. Dined at Mr. Roger's.4
1. Benjamin West, the leading American-born neoclassical painter.
2. Buckingham House was built by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and of Normanby, not George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham. It was subsequently sold to George III in 1762 (Compton Mackenzie, The Queen's House, London, 1953, p. 10–12).
3. The West paintings, commissioned by George III, are listed in John Galt, The Life of Benjamin West, London, 1816–1820, repr., Gainesville, Fla., 1960, p. 207.
4. Daniel Denison Rogers, a Boston merchant, who was traveling in Europe with his wife “in Hopes of reestablishing her Health” (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:348; Samuel Cooper to JA, 22 July 1782, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-09

Sunday [9th.]

Dined at Dr. Jebbs.1
1. John Jebb, doctor of medicine, encyclopedic scholar, and a thoroughgoing supporter of America from the outset of the quarrel between England and her colonies. JA described him as a man “for whom I have the highest Esteem; as one of the best Citizens of the little Commonwealth of the just upon Earth” (Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman ..., Cambridge, 1959, p. 370–372; JA to John Stockdale, 31 Jan. 1784, LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-10

Monday Novr. 10th.

Went to the Covent Garden Theatre. King Henry VIII. and the Lord Mayor's day, or a flight to Lapland; with the Grand Procession. Lord Mayor's day.1
1. The day of the lord mayor of London's inauguration, held usually every 9 Nov., is marked with a pageant known as the Lord Mayor's Show. JQA saw Lord Mayor's Day; or, A Flight from Lapland, a speaking pantomime, originally produced in 1782, representing this show, with songs and dialogue added by John O'Keeffe. The “Grand Procession” was the afterpiece, advertised as “an Historical Procession of the Several Companies with their respective Pageants” (Biographia Dramatica; Hogan, ed., London Stage, 1660–1800).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0010

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

Tuesday Novr. 11th.

This day the Parliament met for the first Time; the Prince of Wales1 took his seat in the House of Peers, as duke of Cornwall, the King also made his most gracious speech from the Throne: All the Peers were in their Robes which are scarlet and white; the Kings, and the Prince of Wales's were of purple velvet.
{ 203 }
1. George Augustus Frederick (1762–1830), Prince Regent, 1811–1820, and afterward King George IV.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-12

Wednesday Novr. 12th. 1783.

Went to the Drury Lane Theatre; the pieces represented were, the West Indian and Fortunatus.1
1. The West Indian, London, 1771, by Richard Cumberland; Fortunatus, an unpublished pantomime, by Henry Woodward, originally produced in 1753 (Biographia Dramatica).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-13

Thursday Novr. 13th.

Dined at Mr. J. Johnson.1 In the evening we went to see the Transactions of the Royal Society; but unluckily we happened to come on a very barren Night: nothing was read, except a dry, unphilosophical account of the late Earthquake in Calabria:2 after which we went and supp'd with the Club at the London Coffee House.3
1. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), Maryland merchant, who undertook various commissions for the congress and his native state during and after the Revolution, and eventually served as U.S. consul in London, 1790–1797. He was the father of Louisa Catherine, JQA's future wife, who was eight years old at this time. On JQA's first trip to Europe he had met Johnson in Nantes, where the Johnsons were then living (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:300).
2. “Account of the Earthquake in Calabria, March 28, 1783, In a Letter from Count Francesco Ippolito to Sir W[illiam] Hamilton. From the Italian,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London . . ., abridged edn., ed. Charles Hutton and others, 15 (1809):373, 383–386.
3. Styled by Franklin, “the Club of Honest Whigs,” it met fortnightly on Thursdays at the London Coffeehouse, Ludgate Hill. Its members were primarily dissenting clergymen and men of scientific interests, and it was frequented by visiting Americans (Verner W. Crane, “The Club of Honest Whigs: Friends of Science and Liberty,” WMQ, 3d ser., 23:210–233 [April 1966]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-14

Friday Novr. 14th.

Dined with Mr. Grierson. In the evening; we went to see Hughes's Royal Circus, or exercises of equitation, which are not equal to those performed by Astley at Paris which I saw some time agone.1
1. Both Charles Hughes and Philip Astley were English equestrian performers who set up rival shows (Raymond Toole-Scott, Circus and Allied Arts: A World Bibliography, 1500–1970, 4 vols., Derby, England, 1958–1971, 4:95; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-15

Saturday Novr. 15th.

Dined at Mr. West's. In the evening I went to the Covent Garden Theatre, and saw Douglas, and the Poor Soldier:1 Mrs. { 204 } Crawford2 appeared in the Character of Lady Randolph in Douglas.
1. Douglas, London, 1757, by John Home; The Poor Soldier, a comic opera by John O'Keeffe, first produced on 4 Nov. (Biographia Dramatica; Hogan, ed., London Stage, 1660–1800).
2. That is, Mrs. Ann Spranger Barry, née Street, whose Lady Randolph in Douglas was regarded as one of her two greatest characterizations. At this time she was known by her stage name, Mrs. Crawford (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-16

Sunday Novr. 16th.

Dined at Mr. Hartley's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-17

Monday Novr. 17th.

Dined at Mr. W. Vaughan's: spent the evening at Mr. Fitch's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-18

Tuesday Novr. 18th.

Dined at Mr. Oswald's.1
1. Richard Oswald, the British peace commissioner who negotiated and signed the preliminary articles of peace with the United States on 30 Nov. 1782 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:81–82).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-20

Thursday Novr. 20th.

Dined at Mr. Rogers's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-21

Friday Novr. 21st.

Dined with Mr. Fitch at the St. Albans Tavern.1
1. The Tavern, on St. Albans Street, Pall Mall, was renowned for political and fashionable dinners and meetings (Wheatley, London Past and Present, 1:12).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-23

Sunday. Novr. 23d.

Dined with Mr. Champion.1
1. Probably Richard Champion, a Bristol ceramist and close friend of American Commissioner Henry Laurens after his release from the Tower. In 1782 Burke had Champion appointed to government office, in which capacity he established contact with other Americans. In 1784 he anonymously published Considerations on the Present Situation of Great Britain and the United States of America . . ., urging free trade in American-West Indian commerce; a presentation copy is among JA's books at MB (Dixon Wecter, “An Unpublished Letter of George Washington,” S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 39:151–156 [Oct. 1938]; David Duncan Wallace, The Life of Henry Laurens . . ., N.Y., 1915, p. 390–391; Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-24

Monday Novr. 24th.

Genl. Roberdeau, and his Son1 dined with us. In the Evening, we went with Mr. West to the Academy of Painting sculpture and Architecture:2 we first went into a Room where there was a naked man standing and about 25 or 30 students taking his figure, either in drawing, or in plaister: afterwards we went and heard a very good Lecture upon Anatomy: these Lectures are Read every monday evening. After the Lecture we went into a Room, where were a Number of Casts from the most Remarkable Antique Statues. Some of the finest of which were 1. Apollo Pythonem Jaculans, Apollo is represented as just having shot his arrow at the serpent Pytho: it is a very much admired Statue. 2dly. the Gladiator Repellens. This Piece is very famous and casts of it are very Common. 3dly. the Gladiator moriens, where he is represented as sitting down, to die after receiving the Wound. 4th. An Hercules: or rather a fragment of an Hercules for the Head and neck, both the arms, and both the legs are lost—what Remains is said to be very fine by Connoisseurs. 5th. a Venus de Medicis. This is so well known all over the world as needs nothing to be said of it. 6th. a Laocoon which is perhaps, the finest of them all. It is supposed to be about 2500 years old; and Virgil is said to have taken his beautiful description from it. (Aeneid Book 2. verse. 200, et seq:)3 The institution was made by the present king and, he made a present of Somerset House a very grand building to the Royal, and Antiquarian Societies4 and to the academy of Painting &c.
1. Daniel Roberdeau, Philadelphia merchant and member of the Continental Congress, 1777–1779, who spent 1783–1784 traveling in Europe with his eldest son, Isaac. The Roberdeau and Adams families remained close friends for three generations (Adams Family Correspondence, 2:352–353; CFA, Diary, 2:132, 133, 135; 4:130–131 and passim).
2. The Royal Academy of Arts.
3. Verses 201–227 (Virgil, Works, in Latin and English . . ., ed. Joseph Warton, 3d edn., 4 vols., London, 1778, 2:150–153, one of several editions JQA owned at this time, and now at MQA).
4. The Royal Society of London for the Advancement of Natural Science, chartered by Charles II in 1663 and given apartments in the new Somerset House in 1782, and the Society of Antiquaries of London, chartered by George II in 1751 and given apartments in 1781 (Wheatley, London Past and Present).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-25

Tuesday Novr. 25th.

Went to the Covent Garden Theatre, and saw the Castle of Andalusia, with the Devil upon two Sticks.1
{ 206 }
1. Castle of Andalusia, by John O'Keeffe, with music by Samuel Arnold, first performed in 1782; and Samuel Foote's highly successful comedy first produced in 1768 (Biographia Dramatica; Hogan, ed., London Stage, 1660–1800).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-26

Wednesday Novr. 26th.

Went again to the Covent Garden Theatre, and saw the Magic Picture with the Quaker.1
1. The Magic Picture, London, 1783, by Henry Bate Dudley; The Quaker, London, 1777, by Charles Dibdin (Biographia Dramatica; DNB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-29

Saturday Novr. 29th.

In the morning at about 9 o'clock, set out for Richmond which is 10. miles from London, and said to be the most Beautiful Spot in England, and perhaps in Europe. It is upon a hill, which Commands a vast plain in which Plain the River Thames runs winding about for a great ways <in the midst> of the Meadows, which even at this Time are covered with verdure.1 Returned to Town to Dine.
1. The purpose of the excursion, JA later recalled, was to visit former Massachusetts governor Thomas Pownall and Pennsylvania proprietor Richard Penn (Diary and Autobiography, 3:151).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0012-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-11-30

Sunday. Novr. 30th.

Dined at Mr. Bingham's.

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

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

Monday Decr. 1st. 1783.

This evening I went with Mr. West to the Academy of Painting &c. and had the same entertainment as that of which I spoke last Monday.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-12-02

Tuesday Decr. 2d.

This day my father dined out; in the evening I went to the Drury Lane Theatre, had the Beaux Stratagem with the Ladies Frolick.1
1. George Farquhar's The Beaux' Strategem, London, 1707; The Ladies' Frolick, London, 1770, by James Love, pseudonym for James Dance (Biographia Dramatica; Allardyce Nicoll, A History of English Drama, 1600–1900, 6 vols., Cambridge, Eng., 1952–1959, 2:322; 3:283).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0013-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-12-05

Friday Decr. 5th. 1783.

In the evening I went to the Covent Garden Theatre, and saw the Merchant of Venice, with Love a la Mode;1 a young Lady appeared for the first Time she play'd upon any Stage in the part of Portia.
1. Love à la Mode, London, 1793, by Charles Macklin, first produced in 1760 (Biographia Dramatica; Hogan, ed., London Stage, 1660–1800).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0013-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-12-06

Saturday. Decr. 6th. 1783.

Dined at Mr. W. Vassal's1 at Clapham.
1. William Vassall, once a prominent Bostonian, now a loyalist refugee, whom JA later described as “one of my old friends and clients ... a man of letters and virtues, without one vice that I ever knew or suspected, except garrulity” (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 9:349–359; JA, Works, 10:214–215).

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

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

Sunday August 8th. [1784].1

Left London, travelled to Sittingbourne. 43. miles.
1. In the latter part of Dec. 1783, JA and JQA traveled from London to Bath via Oxford, but were unable to remain long at the famous spa because of the unsettling news that the Dutch loan which JA had obtained the previous summer had been overdrawn. Although JA's health had improved little during his short stay in England, he and JQA left London on 2 Jan. 1784 for Amsterdam in order to secure another loan. They arrived at The Hague ten days later, after a long, exhausting, and disagreeable journey across the channel and a difficult trip, partially by foot, across the Dutch islands of Goeree and Over Flackee and then to the mainland by iceboat (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:151–154; JQA to Peter Jay Munro, 13, 16 Jan. 1784, NNMus).
During winter and spring at The Hague, JQA was “wholly devoted to his studies” and giving JA “intire Satisfaction” with his work (Book of Abigail and John, p. 374). In these months JQA completed a 237-page English translation of the Aeneid (M/JQA/45, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 240), a 462-page French translation of Suetonius' Lives of the Twelve Caesars (M/JQA/44, same, Reel No. 239), and a 60-page French translation of Tacitus' Life of Gnaeus Julius Agricola (same).
JQA's studies were interrupted by his trip to London in May 1784. For some time AA had entertained the hope of eventually joining her husband in Europe, but it was not until the completion of the Definitive Treaty and the prospect of termination by congress of JA's commission in the near future that JA wrote and insisted that she and AA2 join him and JQA as soon as they were able to come. Believing that AA and AA2 would take passage on John Callahan's ship, scheduled to sail in April 1784, JA sent JQA to London in May to meet his mother and sister. JQA's trip served a double purpose, as JA also wanted him to visit the House of Commons and the law courts. But as the weeks went on with no sign of the Adams women, JA impatiently recalled his son, remarking that “you have had a Taste of the Eloquence of the Bar and of Parliament: but you will find Livy and Tacitus, more elegant, more profound and Sublime Instructors, as well as Quinctilian Cicero and Demosthenes” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:156; Book of Abigail and John, p. 363–364; AA to JA, 3 Jan. 1784; Isaac Smith Sr. to JA, 13 March 1784; JQA to JA, 20 May, 1 June 1784; JA { 208 } to JQA, 28 May, 21 June 1784, all in Adams Papers).
In late July, a month after JQA's return to The Hague, he and his father received word that AA and AA2 had arrived in London and were staying at Osborn's Adelphi Hotel. On 30 July, JQA was in London, and within a little more than a week the Adamses were joined by JA (William Vans Murray to JQA, 23 July; JQA to JA, 30 July; JA to JQA, 1 Aug., Adams Papers). The whole family soon left for Paris and Auteuil, where JQA was to remain until the following May, when he returned to America. Throughout the remainder of 1784, JQA continued with his classical studies, making another English translation of Horace's Art of Poetry (M/JQA/45, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 240) and a 253-page English translation of Sallust's History of Catiline (M/JQA/27, same, Reel No. 222); possibly he continued his English translations of Tacitus (M/JQA/45, same, Reel No. 240), whose works he had begun earlier in the year. JQA's scattered and somewhat sketchy diary entries from this point until the end of the year, when he began a more complete day-by-day accounting of his activities, are supplemented in part by AA2's journal.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-09


Monday arrived at Dover and sailed for Calais.1
1. The trip from London to Paris is reported in fuller detail by AA2 (Jour. and Corr., 1:7–14).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-10


Tuesday 5. A. M. arrived at Calais, in the afternoon took Post, and went as far as Boulogne, 4. Posts.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-11


Wednesday went from Boulogne to Amiens.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-12


Thursday, from Amiens to Chantilly.

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

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


Friday, visited the curiosities at Chantilly.1 Arrived at Paris.
1. The Adamses visited the seat of the Prince of Condé and saw his kennel, stables, theater, and gardens (same, p. 11–14).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-15

Sunday August 15th. 1784.

Dined at Mr. Barclay's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-16

Monday [16th.]

Dined at Mr. Hartleys.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0009

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

Tuesday [17th.]

Moved out to Auteuil.1
1. Over the course of the preceding four months, JA in correspondence with Thomas Barclay had made arrangements to rent the house in which he and JQA had obtained apartments shortly after the signing of the Definitive Treaty (entry for 10 Aug. 1783, note 12, above). The Hôtel de Rouault and the Adamses' life there are colorfully described by AA in Howard C. Rice Jr., ed., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785 . . ., MHS Picturebook, Boston, 1956.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-18

Wednesday [18th.]

Coll. Humphreys1 arrived.
1. David Humphreys, a former aide-decamp to Washington, was appointed on 12 May secretary to the Commission (which included JA, Franklin, and Jefferson) to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with foreign powers (DAB; JCC, 27:375). Humphreys later became known as one of the Hartford Wits.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-19


Thursday went into Paris shopping.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-21

Saturday. [21st].

Went to Paris. Gave Gregson a watch to repair. Am to have it again, Wednesday next.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-22

Sunday August 22d.

Mr. Jefferson and his Daughter,1 Coll: Humphreys, and Genl.2[] dined with us.
1. Martha Jefferson had only recently arrived with her father in Paris from America. She remained in France, attending school and studying French, until the end of Jefferson's diplomatic mission in 1789 (Edward T. James and others, eds., Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary, 3 vols., Cambridge, 1971).
2. Left blank in MS. Probably Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who sailed from New York on 15 July and left Paris for Poland on 27 Aug. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:16; Memorial Exhibition: Thaddeus Kosciuszko . . . Revealed in a Collection of Autograph Letters by Him . . . Being the Collection Formed by Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Kahanowicz, N.Y., [1927], introduction, p. 3, text, p. 14).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-24


Tuesday morning. Went to Paris.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-25


Wednesday dined at the Abbé de Chalut's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-26

Thursday [26th].

Went to Gregson's for Watches. He was not at home.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-27


Friday dined with the Abbés at Passi.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-28


We had a large Company to dine with us.1
1. The company included the Abbés Arnoux, Chalut, and Mably, Benjamin Franklin, David Hartley, and John Paul Jones (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:17).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0001-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-08-30


Monday afternoon went into Paris. Subscribed for the Journal de Paris. Drank tea with Mrs. Valnais.1
1. Mrs. Joseph Dupas de Iden de Valnais, née Eunice Quincy (1760–1793), daughter of Henry Quincy (1727–1780) and distant cousin of JQA. Eunice married Valnais in 1781 while he served as French consul in Boston. He was recalled to France shortly thereafter (Descendants of Edmund Quincy, comp. Holly, p. 8; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:667–670).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-01

Wednesday September 1st.

Dined at Dr. Franklin's.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-02


Thursday morning went into Paris.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-03

Friday [3d].

Mr. and Mrs. Mather,1 and Mrs. Hay2 dined with us. Went to the French Comedy and saw le mariage de Figaro.
1. Samuel Mather and his wife, Margarette (Gerrish) Mather; he was the son of the Rev. Samuel Mather. Young Samuel had been chief clerk of the Boston customs office until he fled to England with the loyalists, but he returned to Massachusetts after his father's death (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 7:233).
2. Mrs. Katharine Hay, wife of Capt. John Hay and daughter of Daniel Farnham, a tory lawyer in Newburyport. She was a traveling companion of the Mathers { 211 } while in France (Thomas Aston Coffin to Mary Aston Coffin [Mrs. William Coffin], 21 March 1786, MHi:Thomas Aston Coffin Coll.; Samuel Jr. to Rev. Samuel Mather, 7 May 1785, MHi:Samuel Mather Coll.; Currier, Newburyport, 2:258–260).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-04


Dined with Mr. Jefferson. Went to the Italian Comedy in the Evening; had la fausse magie, and Zemire et Azor.1
1. La fausse magie, Paris, 1775, by Jean François Marmontel, with music by André Ernest Modest Grétry. The pair also collaborated on Zémire et Azor, Paris, 1771 (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-05


Sunday dined at Mr. Grand's1 at Passy. Went after dinner to the Chateau de la Muette2 and saw the Dauphin.
1. Ferdinand Grand, the Paris banker of the American ministers, lived at La Chaise, Passy (MHS, Procs., 54 [1920]: 107–108).
2. The Château de la Muette, originally a hunting lodge in the Bois de Boulogne, was rebuilt by Louis XV, and Louis XVI often resided there (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-06


Monday Mr. Tracy1 dined with us.
1. Nathaniel Tracy had come to France via Cowes with Jefferson and his daughter Martha aboard his vessel Ceres, which had sailed from Boston in early July. His purpose was to settle claims against his firm; his lack of success eventually contributed to his worsening financial plight (Jefferson, Papers, 7:363–364; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:250).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-07


Dined at Mr. Tracy's and went in the evening to see la métromanie, and Crispin Rival de son Maitre,1 at the french Comedy.
1. Alexis Piron, La métromanie, ou, le poète, Paris, 1738 (Brenner, Bibliographical List). JQA had seen Le Sage's Crispin while living in St. Petersburg.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-10


Friday went into Paris in the afternoon.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-11


[Had] Company to dine with us.1
{ 212 }
1. Following this last entry in D/JQA/9 are the following notations:
Wednesday Octr. 13th. first made a fire in my Chamber.
Filled my J. S. Decr. 4th. took 3. p:
March 20. 1785. no fire.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1785 - 1786


Volume. I.1
From January 1st. 1785. to June 30th. 1786

La Mol[l]esse est douce, et sa suite est cruelle.2

[signed] Voltaire.
1. Titlepage for D/JQA/10, covering the inclusive dates mentioned, with only occasional gaps. The top line on this and the following page are written in an earlier hand, presumably the date on which he purchased the blank book. The same inscription appears on the top of the titlepages of D/JQA/11 and 12, which are identical 380-page leather-bound books all measuring 4¼” × 6¾”.
2. Indolence is sweet and its consequence is bitter (Voltaire, Zäire, Act I, scene ii, [line 13], in Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 72 vols., Kehl, Germany, 1784–1801, 2:43).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1785 - 1786


Vitanda est improba Syren, Desidia.1

1. Horace, Opera, London, 1744, p. 149 (inscribed “J.Q. Adams, Paris, March 15, 1785,” in MQA), Bk. II, Satire III, lines 14–15: “You must shun the wicked Siren Sloth [the quotation continues] or be content to drop whatever honour you have gained in nobler hours” (Horace, Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, transl. Fairclough, p. 153). These two lines appear on the second leaf, between the titlepage and first page of Diary entries.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0001

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

January 1st. 1785. Saturday.

Compliments to the Royal family at Versailles. My father carried twenty Guineas to distribute among the servants of the great folks, a tribute every minister is obliged to pay annually.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-04


Paris. Varietés; at the palais Royal. Small Théatre, built in three weeks time. Le nouveau parvenu. Le palais du bon gout. L'lntendant Comédien malgré lui. Le mensonge excusable.2Volange,3 an excellent actor for the lowest kind of Comic-plays seven or eight parts in one piece with a wonderful facility. One or two other actors, good in their way. Yet I wonder how people of any delicacy, and especially Ladies can frequent this and the other small { 213 } { 214 } Théatres in Paris. The plays acted have seldom much wit, and almost universally are very indecent. I know not what this People would not run to; their taste seems to be entirely corrupted. The french Théatre is deserted, when those pieces, which do honour to the nation are represented, and these theatres are always crowded, though they present nothing but low buffoonery, and scrurrility. O tempora, O mores! Letters from America4 when we return'd. None for me.
1. JQA most likely intended to continue his Diary on 2 Jan., but “4th.” has been written over in its place. The fourth is probably the correct date (and hence, the entry following this is incorrect), as AA in letters she wrote between 3 and 7 Jan. makes several references to letters received on 4 Jan. (See letters by her cited in note 54, below.) On the other hand, AA2 has placed these events in her diary on 3 Jan. (Jour. and Corr., 1:39–40).
2. Le nouveau parvenue, Paris, 1782, Le palais du bon goût, n.p., n.d., but first produced in 1785, and Le mensonge excusable, Paris, 1783, all by Charles Jacob Guillemain; La fête de campagne, ou, l'intendant comédien malgré lui (title and subtitle are sometimes reversed), Paris, 1784, by Louis Dorvigny (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
3. Maurice François Rochet, called Volange (Lyonnet, Dict. des comédiens français).
4. These included at least four letters, all dated 6 Nov. 1784: Elizabeth Cranch to AA, Adams Papers (reply, 3[–4] Jan., in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 222–226); Royall Tyler to JA, and to AA2 (letters not found, but referred to in AA to Tyler, [4 Jan.], Adams Papers); and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, Adams Papers (reply, 7 Jan., MWA).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-04


Old Mr. Grand, and Dr. Bancroft.1 In the evening Mr. Chaumont and Mr. Franklin.
1. Dr. Edward Bancroft, physician, scientist, and writer, Franklin's confidential associate, and double agent during the Revolution (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:71–72; Julian Boyd, “Silas Deane: Death by a Kindly Teacher of Treason?” WMQ, 3d ser., 16:176–182, 319–342, 515–550 [April, July, Oct. 1959]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-07


Company to dine. The Abbés wrote a billet to excuse themselves.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-10


Varietés. Le faux talisman, La théatromanie; Oui ou non.1 Poor Stuff. A good deal of genteel Company.
1. Le faux talisman, ou, rira bien qui rira le dernier. Paris, 1782, by Charles Jacob Guillemain; La théâtromanie. Paris, 1783, by Pierre (Baron) de La Montagne; Oui ou non, Paris, 1780, by Louis Archambault Dorvigny (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-14


Paris. At the post; paid 235. livres for a parcel of packets. Walk'd in the Palais Royal. Large Company. Few Ladies.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-17


Paris. Italian Theatre. 1st. Representation of Alexis et Justine.1 Went before 5. o'clock. Could not find one place high nor low. Went to the Grands Danseurs du Roi,2 in a fiacre,3 for neither Servants nor carriage were to be found. Le trousseau d'Agnes. Le Qui-pro-quo de l'hotellerie.4Rope dancing. Sophie de Brabant, Pantomime. Just such another Théatre as the Varietés. Plays just calculated to please the mob. Rope dancing, is surprizing at first sight, and pleases. Placide. Le petit Diable et la jeune Anglaise,5 very good. Comedy of Errors all this evening. Lost Appleton, and the Ladies. We however all met at Mr. Jefferson's, where my father spent the Evening. Late before we got home.
1. Alexis et Justine, Paris, 1785, by Jacques Marie Boutet de Monvel, with music by Nicolas Dezède (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
2. A vaudeville troupe founded by Jean Baptiste Nicolet, which performed “au fronton de” Théâtre de Nicolet on the Boulevard du Temple. These outdoor performances or “parades” were used to draw a crowd, and this company, within the theater, performed comic opera from the repertoire of the Comédie Italienne. Louis XV gave the troupe its title of the Grands Danseurs du Roi in 1772. They performed the two pieces described in note 4 (Emile Campardon, Les spectacles de la foire, 2 vols., Paris, 1877, 1:384; 2:151–152; René Héron de Villefosse, Histoire de Paris, Paris, 1950, p. 225–226; Journal de Paris, 17 Jan.; Brenner, Bibliographical List).
3. A small French hackney coach.
4. Le trousseau d'Agnès, ou, la veuve à marier, an unpublished parade by Alexandre Louis Bertrand Robineau Beaunoir; Le quiproquo de l'hôtellerie, Paris, 1779, by Antoine François Quétant (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
5. Placide is probably a verse tragedy, London, 1786, by Père Joseph Romain Joly (same). Petit diable et la jeune anglaise has not been identified."Placide" was Alexandre Placide (1750–1812), a French ballet dancer and acrobat, who performed in London from 1780 to 1785. "Le petit Diable was probably Placide’s friend Pol; "le jeune Anglaise, likely another member of Placide's performance troupe, has not been identified (ANB; Sylvie Chevalley, "The Death of Alexandre Placide," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 58:63 [April 1957]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-18


Ambassador's day at Versailles, every Tuesday. Mr. A. went. Alexis et Justine, succeeded very well last night at the Italians. Words, Monvel, music, de Zede, celebrated authors. Dr. Jemm1 dined with us. A singular Character.
1. Possibly Guillaume Jaume, of Lyons, a friend of the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux, who advised Franklin and Col. Gabriel Johonnot on the education of their grandson and son, respectively (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:409; 4:64, 446).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-19


Paris. Mr. Appleton, and Mr. Parker,1 went for England. Saw Mr. Waring.2 Breakfasted at the Hôtel de Modene. Appleton and Parker set off in the diligence, at about 12 1/2.
1. John Parker Jr., a South Carolinian admitted to the Middle Temple in 1775 who later served in the Continental Congress (Edward Alfred Jones, American Members of the Inns of Court, London, 1924, p. 166; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Possibly Dr. Thomas Waring, who was in Europe to complete his medical education (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 3:69, 4:100; Joseph I. Waring, The History of Medicine in South Carolina, 1670–1900, 2 vols., Columbia, S.C., 1964, 1:343).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-20


Mlle: Remaldi, appeared last night at the Italian Comedy, for the first time, in the part of Lyse, in le jugement de Midas,1 and succeeded very well.
1. By Thomas Hales, known as d'Hèle, Paris, 1778, with music by André Grétry (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-21


Paris. Dined at Mr. Jeffersons. Captn. Paul Jones1 told us the Marquis de la Fayette was arrived.2Vrais Principes de la Langue Française, Synonimes François de M: l'Abbe Girard.3Abdir, a new piece was announced for to day at the French Théatre, but is put off to next Wednesday.4 Mr. Blanchard cross'd from Dover to Calais in an air balloon, the 7th of the month, accompanied by Dr. Jefferies.5 They were obliged to throw over their cloathes to lighten their balloon. Mr. Blanchard met with a very flattering reception at Calais, and at Paris. He and his companion, have been applauded at the Théatres. The king has given him twelve thousand livres, and a pension of 1200 [livres] a year. All that has as yet been done relative to this discovery, is the work of the French. Montgolfier, Pilâtre de Rozier, and Blanchard will go down, hand in hand to Posterity.
1. Jones was in Paris as congressional agent to recover prize money due officers and men of three ships. Shortly after his arrival in Dec. 1783, Franklin augmented Jones' authority to include the prize money due to any American ship formerly under his command. Jones' negotiations with the French minister of Marine concluded in Oct. 1784, but payment was long delayed (Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography, Boston, 1959, p. 336–341).
2. Lafayette was returning from a short, sentimental, and successful tour of the United States begun the previous August (Gottschalk, Lafayette, 4:83–138).
3. Gabriel Girard, Synonymes françois . . . nouvelle édition . . . augmentée . . . de notes, par M. Beauzée, 2 vols., Paris, 1769, and his Les vrais principes de la langue françoise, 2 { 217 } vols., Paris, 1747. These are both in JA's library at MB. A copy of Synonymes françois, Amsterdam, 1766, with JQA's bookplate is at MQA; there are also three copies of Les vrais principes, two in JA's library, and another at MQA, but none bears JQA's bookplate.
4. Abdir, Paris, 1785, by Edme Louis Billardon de Sauvigny, was first produced the following Wednesday, 26 Jan., then reduced to three acts on 31 Jan., when JQA saw and described it (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Journal de Paris, 26 Jan.).
5. François Blanchard (usually called Jean Pierre), the French aeronaut, and John Jeffries, the Massachusetts-born loyalist and physician to the Adamses when they later lived in London. After an initial experimental flight together on 30 Nov., Blanchard and Jeffries made their historic crossing of the Channel on 7 Jan., landing in the Forest of Guines, near Calais (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Mary Beth Norton, “America's First Aeronaut: Dr. John Jeffries,” History Today, 18:722–729 [Oct. 1968]; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 25–27 Feb. 1787, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-25


Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. Short.1 The Marquis de la Fayette is not arrived. Mrs. Barclay.
1. William Short, private secretary to Jefferson in Paris from 1785 to 1789 (George Green Shackelford, “William Short, Diplomat in Revolutionary France,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 102:596–612 [Dec. 1958]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-26


Mr. A: Paris. A Gentleman brought a Letter from Mr. Jay, which came by the Marquis de la Fayette:1 who will arrive this evening at Versailles.
1. John Jay to JA, 13 Dec. 1784 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-27


Company to dine Mr. d'Asp,1 and another Swedish gentleman. Mr. Setaro a Portuguese gentleman in the Evening. Mr. Williams2 spent the evening with us. Coll. Humphreys presented to Mr. A: a copy of his Poem address'd to the Armies of the United States.3 It appears very well written. The versification is in general noble, and easy. It is a recapitulation of some of the principal events that happened during the course of the late Revolution, and contains predictions concerning the future grandeur of the United States. May they be verified!4
1. Per Olof von Asp, secretary of the Swedish embassy at Paris (Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon; entry for 18 April, below).
2. Jonathan Williams Jr., who joined his great-uncle Benjamin Franklin in France in 1776 and served as U.S. commercial agent at Nantes (DAB).
3. “A Poem, Addressed to the Armies of the United States of America,” New Haven, 1780, repr. Paris and London, 1785 { 218 } (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:417–418). JA's presentation copy, presumably of the Paris edition (see AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:45), has not been found.
4. A red exclamation mark here was probably added after 1 Feb., when JQA began to record dates in red ink.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-28


Paris in the Evening. French Theatre. Iphigenie en Aulide, of Racine, and l'Aveugle Clairvoyant.1 Though the tragedy is perhaps the best that is acted upon the Theatre, and though they had last night several of the best players, to act it, the House was not half full. Such is the present taste in this Kingdom. Brizards2 in Agamemnon is not I think so good as in some other parts: though it is a very disagreeable Character to support. De la Rive, in Archilles is excellent. Mlle. Saintval in Iphigenia, Mlle. Raucourt in Clytemnestra, and Mlle. Thenard3 in Eriphile, are good. Fleury4 in the small piece was, admirable. When we returned, found 3. Letters, for me. W. Warren. C. Storer. Mr. Dumas.5
1. Paris, 1674; and Paris, 1716, by Marc Antoine Legrand (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
2. Jean Baptiste Britard, called Brizard (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
3. Probably Jean Mauduit de La Rive or Larive; Marie Blanche Alziari de Roquefort, called Saint-val; Françoise Clairien, called Saucerotte, but more familiarly known as Raucourt; Marie Magdalaine Claudine Chevalier Perrin, called Thenard (same; Michaud, Biog. universelle;Lyonnet, Dict. des comédiens français).
4. Abraham Joseph Bénard, known as Fleury, the celebrated French comedian (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
5. Winslow Warren to JQA, 4 Jan.; C. W. F. Dumas to JQA, 21 Jan.; the third not found (both in Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-29


Paris afternoon, alone. Mr. Jeffersons. He looks much afflicted. The last letters, brought him news of the death of one of his daughters:1 he has a great deal of Sensibility. Bought books.2
1. Jefferson received the news of the death of Lucy Elizabeth (b. 1782), his second daughter by that name, in a letter from James Currie, 20 Nov. 1784, which was received on 26 Jan., carried by Lafayette (Jefferson, Papers, 6:186; 7:441, 538–539).
2. None has been positively identified.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-30


Mr. A. met Mr. Jefferson, at Paris, in the forenoon.
<31> The Marquis de la Fayette was here in the evening. He appears very well satisfied with his last voyage to America.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0018

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


Paris in the afternoon. French Theatre. Abdir, and le Roi de Cocagne.1 Abdir is a new piece. This was only the 2d. Representation: ’tis the history of young Asgill,2 brought upon the Stage, under feigned names. G. Britain is Nangés. Vazercan is General Washington. Abdir is Asgill. The King of Persia is the King of France, who at the end of the Piece sends an Ambassador to the new Republic, requesting the pardon of Abdir. The Author has not given so much interest I think to the piece, as the Subject is susceptible of; and it is something so new, that I don't know by what name to call it. It is not a Tragedy: for the Hero of the piece is a private person, who is known only by that even which was produced merely by chance. It is not a Comedy, for there is not a character in it, that has any thing comic in it, and the drift of the Piece, is entirely tragic. There are however a number of excellent, and very liberal sentiments. The compliments paid to the French king and nation, are not outrés. Much is said in praise of Liberty, and of the People that defended it. Even the British are treated in a very generous manner, as they always are upon the french Stages although the English upon their Theatres take every opportunity they can to ridicule and debase this Nation. Nolé3 in Abdir, and Madame Vestris4 in the mother, made as much of their parts as they could. Le Roi de Cocagne, is one of the most laughable, and most absurd pieces I ever saw; Dugazon,5 delivered the part of the King very well.
1. A musical comedy by Marc Antoine Legrand, Paris, 1719, with music by the actor Jean Baptiste Maurice Quinault (Brenner, Bibliographical List); for Abdir, see entry for 21 Jan., note 4 (above).
2. Charles Asgill, the British officer captured at Yorktown, who was selected for execution in retaliation for the hanging by American loyalists of Capt. Joshua Huddy of the New Jersey militia. His ultimate release came through the initiative of his mother, who sent an appeal for her son's life to Vergennes, who, in turn, laid the matter before Louis XVI and his queen. So moved were they by the plea, that they directed Vergennes to write to Washington, who sent the letter to the congress, which voted for Asgill's release (DNB).
3. Not identified.
4. Françoise Rose Gourgaud was known on stage by her married name (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
5. Jean Baptiste Henri Gourgaud (or Gourgault), called Dugazon, the brother of Mme. Vestris (Lyonnet, Dict. des comédiens français).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-03


Paris. In the afternoon with Mr. A. went for the books arrived from London. Not to be found. Bought other books.2 Weather somewhat cold. The whole month of January very mild.
{ 220 }
1. JQA began this month with the date “Tuesday February 1st. 1785.,” but his first entry is on the third.
2. Neither set of books has been identified.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-04


Snowy, stormy weather all the morning, but clear in the afternoon. Mrs. and Miss A. went to Paris, and at length got, the long expected Books.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-05


Stormy Weather. Mr. A. went to Passy in the morning, and to the Marquis's afternoon. A Letter from Mr. Dana:1 a vessel arrived at L'Orient from Boston.
1. Dana to JA, 12 Dec. 1784 (Adams Papers).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-06


Enter Miss A. in the evening, and cries out, “Callahan1 is arrived, and a bushel of Letters. One for you Sir from C. Storer:”2 and away she flew. Miss had a dozen at least: there were very few for any body else.3
1. Presumably Capt. John Callahan, Boston shipmaster; it was probably his vessel that JQA referred to in his previous entry (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:215–216).
2. Letter not found.
3. Among them probably was Mary (Smith) Cranch to AA, 6 Dec. 1784 (Adams Papers), as referred to in AA to Mary (Smith) Cranch, 20 Feb.–13 March 1785 (MWA). The letters to AA2 are presumably lost.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-07


Dined at Mr. Jefferson's. Masks in the [rue de] Fauxbourg St. Antoine and in the ruë St. Honoré.1 With reason, are the Parisians called by all the rest of the Nation badauds2 de Paris, for nothing can be conceived more stupid, than this Carnaval amusement. An hundred people perhaps run about the streets in masks, and there are ten thousand people without masks looking upon them: it is said however that this diversion is going much out of fashion; and that the Police, are obliged to hire a vast number of People, to set the example: two thirds of the Masks, are paid, say they. Thus does this government take every measure imaginable, to keep the eyes of the People shut, upon their own situation: and they really do it very effectually.
{ 221 }
1. A pre-Lenten carnival culminating in a masked ball that evening (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:46–47).
2. Idle, frivolous persons.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-08


Coll. Humphreys. In the afternoon, went through Passy, to Paris. Mr. Jefferson's. Saw the Masks again, a vast number more to day than yesterday. Shrove Tuesday last day of the Carnaval. French Comedy. But could get no places. A rare thing.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-11


Paris Afternoon. Coll. Humphreys and Mr. Short, went with us to see Astley's equestrian exercises which, may be seen once or twice with pleasure, but which are tiresome, to one who has seen them as often as I have. Astley exhibits from October till february in Paris, and the rest of the year in London. His Amphitheatre here, is generally very full: he might make a very large fortune, but spends as much as he gains. Ce qui vient par la flute, s'en retourne par le tambour say the french. This evening a contest arose between two persons about a place; one of them appeared to be a Gentleman, and was well drest. The other look'd like an upper Servant: he was there to keep three places which had been taken beforehand. The Gentleman wanted to place a Lady he had with him, in one of the Places, and after a few words had passed, he called for the Officer that was to <keep the Peace> maintain order who immediately decided that the Gentleman was in the right: this is always the case, in France, and I believe that had the other Person, been a Chevalier de St. Louis, or a person of distinction, the Officer would have decided the matter very differently. In England they fall into the other extreme, and the Populace commit the most outrageous disorders, unpunish'd. Of the two evils, the french I think is the most supportable; you are only exposed to humiliation, whereas in England, your life is really not out of danger. Mr. Jefferson informed us that he has learnt by a Letter from New-York dated Jany. 5 that Congress are sitting in that City.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-12


Mr. A. Dined in Paris at the Duke of Dorset's.1 Very cold weather: as much so, I think, as any, we have had this Season.
{ 222 }
1. John Frederick Sackville, third Duke of Dorset, the English ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Paris, 1783–1789 (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-14


Dined at Dr. Franklin's with a great deal of Company, among the rest Dr. Jeffries who lately cross'd with Mr. Blanchard, from Dover to Calais. He is a small man: has not an agreeable address, but seems to be very sensible: he related his voyage: in which his intrepidity had well nigh been fatal to him: the balloon descended he says, ¾ of a mile in 2. minutes: he and Mr. Blanchard were both of them obliged to throw almost all their cloaths in the water. At one time they were not more than 20 yards above the surface. Mr. B——g——m1 who decides upon all subjects in a more positive manner than I think he would if he was versed well in any, said it was impossible for a balloon to remain steady in one place; because said he, there is nothing to resist it: Messrs. Roberts in the account they gave of their last voyage in the air say that at one time for five minutes their balloon did not stir forward: they saw the shadow of it upon the ground, and were therefore sure of what they advanced: this was alledged but Mr. B——g——m said M: M: Roberts were fools: this was the shortest way by which he could prove the truth of his assertion.
1. That is, William Bingham, Philadelphia banker and land speculator, whom JQA met in London.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-15


Paris, afternoon. Carried Mr. A's Letter to the Abbé de Mably,1 requesting him to write a moral, and political Catechism. The Abbés de Chalût and Arnoux read it. Went to Messieurs le Couteulx,2 for money, and was bad to come tomorrow. Bought the abridgement of Wolff's course of Mathématics in french.3
1. Letter not found, but see Mably's reply, 25 Feb. (Adams Papers).
2. Le Couteulx & Cie., Paris merchant bankers (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:61, 151).
3. JQA's “abridged” version has not been found, but JA's library contains a copy of Christian Wolff's Cours de mathématique, contenant toutes les parties de cette science... Traduit en François, & augmenté, ed. Charles Antoine Jombert, 3 vols., Paris, 1757.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-16


Paris, afternoon. Returned to Messrs: le Couteulx, for Mr. Gs1 business and finished it. Mr. Jefferson's. A man of universal learning and very pleasing manners. Memorandum: borrowed 2 vols. of the Tableau de Paris.2
1. Either Ferdinand or Georges Grand, Paris bankers.
2. [Louis Sebastien Mercier], Tableau de Paris. Nouvelle édition corrigée & augmentée. Jefferson had only the first six of twelve volumes, which were published in Amsterdam in 1782–1783 (E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 5 vols., Washington, 1952–1959, 4:122–123; entry for 11 March, below).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-19


Dined at the Swedish Ambassadors:1 the Company was not very numerous: a number of Sweeds, one, who lately came from America: the Ambassador said to me: mon dieu que Mlle. vôtre soeur est jolie! j'ai vu peu d'aussi jolies femmes qu'elle: he thought doubtless, that I should tell her what he said: he is a very agreeable man. The Gentleman lately from America, professes to be charmed with the Country: especially with NewPort in Rhode Island: he admired the Ladies very much. We had a very elegant dinner, served entirely in silver, but it was not so splendid, as I have seen at the same table: the generality of the foreign Ambassadors here live in a great degree of magnificence: the Sweedish Ambassador pays nine thousand livres a year for his house without an article of furtinure in it. Mr. Brantzen, one of the Dutch Ambassadors gives for his house, all furnished eighteen thousand livres per an: and I have heard him boast of his having it very cheap. Count d'Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador gives twenty eight thousand livres every year for his house: every thing else must be in proportion; the same Count d'Aranda has sixty persons in his service, and spends doubtless more than ten thousand pound sterling annually. No Ambassador at this Court spends less, I am persuaded, than 6,000 sterling.
1. Erik Magnus, Baron Staël-Holstein, minister plenipotentiary and ambassador extraordinary to France, 1783–1796, 1798–1799 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 408).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-21


All dined at the Marquis de la Fayette. There was a considerable company, mostly composed of Americans. We saw two of the Marquis's children; he has three; but the other is out at nurse at Versailles. His son is called George Washington: about 4 years old, a very pretty child: the Legislature of the State of Connecticut have lately made his father and him, citizens of that State. The Marquis's youngest daughter is named Virginia. Madame is a very agreeable woman, and has a pleasing countenance: She is extremely fond of her husband and children, which is a most uncommon circumstance: especially as when they were married, neither of them was more than 12 years old: She told my father that Mrs. Jay, did not like the french Ladies. “Ni moi, non plus.” And that if Monsr. le Marquis goes to America again, she will go with him.1 The Marquis brought with him from America, a young Gentleman, of the age of about 14: his name is Colwel2 and his father was barbarously murdered by the British, during the War in New Jersey.
1. Anastasie Louise Pauline de Lafayette, later Comtesse de Latour-Maubourg; George(s) Washington de Lafayette, godson of Washington, and later a soldier and politician; Marie Antoinette Virginie de Lafayette, later Marquise de Lasteyrie; Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles de Lafayette, wife of the Marquis (Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790, ed. Stanley J. Idzerda and others, Ithaca, N.Y., 1977– , I:xliv-xlv, 477–478; Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2. John Edwards Caldwell, son of Rev. James Caldwell of Elizabethtown, N.J., whom Lafayette had educated in a French boarding school. Caldwell later returned to the United States, where he was a philanthropist in New York city and a founder of the American Bible Society (Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette, 4:142, 161–162; Nicholas Murray, “A Memoir of the Rev. James Caldwell, of Elizabethtown,” N.J. Hist. Soc., Procs., 1st ser., 3:88 [May 1848]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-22


My father went to Versailles. Mr. Short went with him to be presented at Court. Variable Weather: much Snow in the morning, fair weather at noon, and Stormy again, in the Evening. The Duke of Dorset said to my father, while they were passing from one chamber to another “what nonsensical business all this noisy parade is!” My father said it was curious that a person like him, who had from his Childhood been brought up to it, should speak in that manner of it: “I have always hated it,” replied the Duke, “and I have avoided it whenever I possibly could.” Thus { 226 } it is almost universally. People who pass all their lives in Pomp and Parade, are as much averse to it, as any body; and yet they do not abolish it; and nothing is more difficult than laying aside established customs, though every body agrees, that they are absurd.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-24


Paris in the morning. Mr. Williams and Mr. Franklin went with us. They breakfasted at M: de St. Olympe's.1 I went to Gogué et Née de la Rochelle, booksellers Quai des Augustins. Bought Rollin's histoire Romaine, and Mr. Necker's book.2 Mr. Jefferson was not at home: nor any body at his House. Mr. Franklin3 has taken lessons of animal magnetism, he laugh'd at it much; yet said it was a very useful discovery.
1. A French West Indian with business interests in Martinique and North America (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:50–51; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 3:168; 4:110, 116).
2. Charles Rollin, L' Histoire romaine, depuis la fondation de Rome jusqu'à la bataille d'Actium . . ., 7 vols., Paris, 1738–1741. JQA's set mentioned here may be one of two different sixteen-volume editions at MQA, both of which bear his bookplate, and one of which also carries his autograph. Of the several works of Jacques Necker, French financier and statesman, in the Adams libraries, the only contemporary publication bearing JQA's bookplate is De l'administration des finances de la France, 3 vols., [Paris], 1784.
3. William Temple Franklin, the natural son of Benjamin Franklin's natural son William, had served as his grandfather's secretary since 1776. Temple was a member of the Paris Société de L'Harmonie, a group founded by the followers of Frederick Anthony Mesmer. Mesmer, a Vienna-trained physician, claimed to have discovered the property of animal magnetism, a fluid conducted by a kind of occult force in himself which contained curative powers. Owing in large part to Mesmer's great success in Paris, Louis XVI appointed Benjamin Franklin in March 1784 a member of a royal commission to examine the subject of animal magnetism, which was denounced in their report that summer. Franklin doubted its existence, and the cures claimed for it strengthened his belief in mankind's credulity (Franklin, Papers, 1:lxii; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:356; 3:102–103, 169; Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, The Private Franklin, N.Y., 1975, p. 255–258).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-25


Paris. At the Opera. Panurge dans l'lsle des Lanternes;1 a new Opera. 12th time. Words, which are very indifferent M: Morel: music, which is exquisite M: Gretri. I dont know how it happens, but the more this gentleman composes, the better his music is, I think. The dancing was also admirable, Gardel,2 and Vestris,3 perhaps the two best dancers in the world, performed together; and strove to surpass one another. Mesdemoiselles Saunier, Langlois and Zacharie, were much applauded. Such { 227 } magnificent Scenery, such rich dresses, such delicious music, vocal and instrumental, and such inimitable dancing, combined together, appear rather an effect of enchantment than of art: I never yet saw an Opera, with so much Pleasure. The words are very bad.
1. A comedy by Étienne Morel de Chédeville (sometimes Chefdeville), Paris, 1785, with music by André Grétry; it was performed at the Académie Royal de Musique (Brenner, Bibliographical List;Journal de Paris, 25 Feb.).
2. Probably Pierre Gabriel Gardel, “le jeune,” French dancer and choreographer and brother of Maximilien Joseph Léopold Gardel (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale;Journal de Paris, 1 March 1783).
3. Probably Marie Auguste Vestris, son of the Italian dancer Gaetano Apollino Baldassare Vestri, called Vestris (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-26


M: de St: Olympe: Mr. Franklin and Mr. Williams dined with us. The first is a west Indian; who is going in a short time to America: Mr. Franklin has been so long in France, that he is more a Frenchman than an American: I doubt whether he will enjoy himself perfectly if he returns to America.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-27


Mr. Pickman1 brought a Letter2 from Mr. Tracey. Cold weather.
1. Benjamin Pickman, son of the Salem merchant of the same name. The father disapproved of the course of pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts politics and left America for England in 1775. The son was making a tour of France and returned to Boston via London with his father in the spring. Later he studied law, spending some time in Theophilus Parsons' law office with JQA; but like his father, he entered commerce (George Francis Dow, The Diary and letters of Benjamin Pickman . . . and Genealogy of the Pickman Family, Newport, R.I., 1928, p. 27–28, 146; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:489–492; entry for 23 Feb. 1788, below).
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-28


Paris. Bought of Froullé bookseller quai des Augustins Crevier's Histoire des Empereurs Romains.1 Spent half an hour with Mr. Blakely: he goes for London next monday. Mr. Pickman was not at home, nor Mr. Waring, nor any body at Mr. Jefferson's; I waited there an hour for them to return; but in vain. I passed an hour with the abbés de Chalût and Arnoux: Abbé de Mably was with them. This gentleman is very famous in the litterary world: he has written a great deal; upon the subject of { 228 } morals and politics, and of late four letters containing Observations upon the Constitutions of America,2 which he addressed to my father.
1. This may be the twelve-volume, Paris, 1749–1755, edition of Jean Baptiste Louis Crevier's Histoire des empereurs romains, depuis Auguste jusqu'a Constantin at MQA, which bears JQA's bookplate.
2. Observations sur le gouvernment et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784; transl. Remarks Concerning the Government and Laws of the United States of America: In Four Letters, Addressed to Mr. Adams, London, 1784. Copies of both are in JA's library at MB.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-01

Tuesday March 1st. 1785.

Coldest weather we have had this year. Reaumur's thermometer at 8 degrees below the freezing point. Abbé de Chalût told me last evening, that neither he nor his brother, (and they are both turned of seventy,) remember ever to have experienced so cold weather in the beginning of March.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-02


Paris afternoon. La Servante Maitresse,1 and, the 20th. Representation of Richard Coeur de Lion, an Opera, at the Italian Comedy. The words are of Sèdaine and the Music of Gretri. It is a delightful Piece, and the music like all the rest of Mr. Gretri's compositions is admirable. We were early, but could get only very bad places; I never saw any Théatre more crowded, and a vast number of persons could get no Places at all. Philippe play'd Richard, and Clairval Blondel: this is a charming Character, and was very well acted. Mlle. Rosalie in Blondel's guide, was interesting, as also Mlle. Colomb, in the Countess of Flanders. The First Piece, is a translation of the Serva padrona, of the famous Pergolezzi, but it is a very bad one. The music, is perhaps some of the best ever composed, but the piece has no effect upon the Théatre. There are in this Piece only two speaking Characters and one mute personage.
1. By Pierre Baurans, Paris, 1754, with music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-04


Letters from America as late as January 1st.1 by the way of England: One from Mr. Jay at New York, of Jany 14th2 to the Ministers, informing them of his having accepted the place of Minister for foreign affairs.
{ 229 }
{ 230 }
1. These included: Cotton Tufts to JA, 1 Jan., not found; Tristram Dalton to JA, 21 Dec. 1784 (Adams Papers); and probably Francis Dana to JA, 12 Dec. 1784 (same).
2. “Jany. 14th” was written over a date in December (day illegible), which accounts for the inconsistency with the first clause in this entry. The letter is printed in Jefferson, Papers, 7:606.

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

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


Company to dine. Mr. Bleakly took charge of some Letters for London, one for Mr. Elworthy.1 He goes on Monday. Mr. Pickman sets out for London too, in the Course of the next week. I dined with him last June at London, on board Captn. Callahan's ship. He belongs to Salem, and is a very agreeable young Gentleman. Mr. Waring thinks of going to America in May, about the time I shall: Indeed it is not improbable that we shall go together: though he wishes to go from London, first. Mrs. Bingham came in the evening, and spent an hour with the Ladies. She looks very unwell: has had the tooth ache, violently for almost ten days. She is going to Switzerland, and to Italy next summer. Mr. B. made a very large fortune during the War by privateering, and since the Peace, came to Europe to enjoy it.
1. JA to James Elworthy, 5 March (LbC, Adams Papers).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-07


Dined at the Marquis de la Fayettes. The Chevalier de la Luzerne1 dined there has been in the Country for some Months past. M: de Camaran a young french gentleman who went to America with the Marquis the last time was asked by Mrs. B. what part of America he liked best. He did not know from what part she was, and answered Boston. “I never was there” said Mrs. B. The Gentleman was embarass'd when he found she was a Philadelphian; but she added j'aime beaucoup mieux l'Europe que l'Amerique. Mrs. B. is handsome, about 20 years of age, and her husband is supposed to be, and lives as if he was, very rich; so it is not very astonishing that she prefers Europe to her own Country.
1. Anne César, Chevalier de La Luzerne, the masterful French minister to the United States, 1779–1784, described by Bemis as having “exercised a more complete ascendency over the Government of the United States than any foreign envoy since his time.” JA and JQA had first become acquainted with La Luzerne on their return from France in 1779. On board La SensibleJQA taught English to the French minister, who was impressed with young Adams' mastery of the language (Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution, N.Y., 1935, p. 102–103; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:385).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-09


Paris. Mr. Williamos1 went with us to see the Gallery of Pictures belonging to the Duke de Chartres in the Palais Royal. It is one of the finest Collections in Europe. There are a great number of Pictures by the first Masters of the Art. More of Raphael, than in any Collection I ever saw. The cieling is painted in Fresco by Antony Coypel.2 The paintings are very fine, and it is a pity they will be destroyed as the building will soon be demolished in order to continue those, they are now erecting.3 Among the numerous admirable paintings in this gallery I distinguished particularly the few following. Our Saviour dead, with four women round him by Raphael.4 The Swiss said to us, “c'est le tableau le plus precieux qu'il y ait dans l'univers.” The virgin Mary is represented in a swoon. The expression of grief in the other faces is such as one cannot conceive without seeing the painting. Inexpressible distress is seen in all. Yet the character of each is different; it is impossible to see it without being deeply affected. The colouring is still extremely fresh, though the picture is two hundred years old. A Saint John5 placed above the other. It is only St. John with his Gospel before him; but it is a Master Piece. A child Jesus receiving cherries from St. Joseph, by Raphael also which is admirable. The history of Constantine in a course of painting by Jules Romano and Raphaël. A Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen, by Raphael. A judgment of Paris by Rubens. This is the only remarkable painting of that Master in the Collection. Among the Portraits, a burgermaster of Amsterdam by Rembrandt is admirable. As indeed are almost all the pictures there. There are however some so bad, that I was astonished to find them there, and some that are absurd and ridiculous. There is one where St. Joseph is at work as a Carpenter; our saviour as a child is holding a line, and the virgin Mary, devoutly sewing a shirt. In another she is washing linen, Christ is taking it as she washes it, gives it to Joseph, who hands it up to a parcel of angels: and they hang it upon the branches of a tree to dry. I am not a sufficient connoisseur in Pictures to decide whether they were good, but I know that the Ideas are groveling, despicable, and impious. There are several allegories, such as Mars and Venus tied together by Cupid. Mars is Henry the fourth, and Venus Gabrielle d'Estrées; but allegories are not the thing in Painting. Upon the whole I don't know of any Collection of Pictures I have ever seen that gave me so much Pleasure. There are { 232 } in this gallery a number of models of the different trades. The Shops of the artists in each trade are compleat, and all are made at the rate of an inch per foot. The Duke de Chartres intended to have the whole Encyclopedia, thus in miniature, but his buildings in the Palais Royal have been so amazingly expensive, and he pays so high an interest for the money he borrows, that he wanted money I suppose to continue the models, he has already the joiner, Carpenter, Apothecary, Chimist, Anatomist and a number of others. It were to be wished he had completed the Collection.
We afterwards went to see Mademoiselle Bertin's magazin de modes. She is the Queens milliner, and the first millener in Europe. Mademoiselle Bertin is the most celebrated person in the Kingdom: the heroes that have acquired so much naval glory must all strike their flaggs before Mlle. Bertin. Their reputation lasted perhaps a month in Paris. Hers has lasted years and will last years still if she lives. She keeps her Equipage, and makes I suppose 100,000 livres a year. She has at least twenty women working in her magazine at a time. She is at this time occupied in making dresses for an Infanta of Spain aged 10 years who is to be married in a short time to a Prince of Portugal aged 12. Three hundred thousand livres have already been advanced to Mlle. Bertin. But as this sum, which is only 12000 guineas is so small a trifle, she is left at her own Discretion: and that discretion is such that she will probably go to four times the sum that has been advanced. We saw a petticoat there, which at a moderate evaluation, I suppose amounts to about a thousand guineas, and all the rest is in Proportion. All this is very pretty; but some morose, surly fellow might say, where does all this money come from. “Ay, there's the rub.” We must be contented with admiring the magnificence of the Robes and go no further. I dined at Dr. Franklin's. M: de St. Olympe was there; and M: Dusaulx a Member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres; who has published a translation of Juvenal, of which he spoke with sufficient complaisance.
1. Charles Williamos, an intimate of the Jefferson-Adams circle in Paris in 1784–1785, who was described by AA after his death as “this curious adventurer, who possesst Benevolence, without conduct, and learning without sense.” Swiss by birth, he served with British forces in America in the late 1750s and traveled widely there, becoming an expert on Indian affairs and a correspondent with British cabinet officers. Jefferson severed relations with him in July after learning that he was quite likely a spy for the British or at least in their pay. “He tarried in { 233 } Paris,” AA later wrote to JQA, “untill he could not leave it, for debt; and he had borrowd of every American there; untill he could get no further credit” (Jefferson, Papers, 8:269–273; AA to JQA, 16 Feb. 1786, Adams Papers).
2. Antoine Coypel, painter for the Duc d'Orleans, who was placed in charge of the interior decoration of the Palais Royal (Bénézit, Dict, des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs).
3. The Palais Royal was of course not demolished.
4. This painting may be a copy of The Entombment. The original was painted in 1507 and is now at the Galleria Borghese in Rome (Luitpold Dussler, Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of His Pictures, Wall-Paintings and Tapestries, London, 1971, p. 23–24).
5. Possibly Raphael's Saint Jean au desert (Casimir Stryienski, La galerie du Régent Philippe Duc D'Orleans, Paris, 1913, p. 158–159), but JQA's descriptions are usually too vague to identify particular paintings.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-11


Paris afternoon. Got of Froullé Brindley's Virgil.1 Went to see Mr. Pickman, at the Hotel de york. He intends setting away for London, next Monday. Spent the evening with Mr. Jefferson whom I love to be with, because he is a man of very extensive learning, and pleasing manners. Memorandum took the 4 last volumes of The tableau de Paris. Mr. Williamos, with Mr. and Mrs. Rooker,2 were at Auteuil in the morning.
1. Opera, London, Brindley edn., 1744, and inscribed with JQA's name (MQA).
2. Mr. and Mrs. John Rucker, who became intimate with the Adamses when they moved to London later in the year. Rucker was a partner in Robert Morris' New York commercial house. In 1787 he got into difficulties which caused him to leave England under a cloud and required JA to journey to Holland at two days' notice to sign bonds for a new loan so that the interest on the Dutch loan could be paid (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 3:210; AA2 to JQA, 10 June–16 July 1787, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-12


Paris afternoon with Mrs. A. upon some business for Mrs. Hay, who is at Beaugency. Mr. Graff au magazin de dentelles Rue des deux portes St. Sauveur. Beaumarchais the author of the too famous Comedy la folle journée ou le mariage de Figaro was taken up the other day, immediately after supper, and carried to St. Lazare where he is imprisoned. I ask'd of somebody what reasons were given for the measure. That is the beauty of the french government, said the gentleman; to lock up a Man without saying why nor wherefore. It is supposed that it was because Beaumarchais wrote a song upon a mandement1 of the Archbishop of Paris, which warned his People, not to go to see the Comedy, and not to buy the edition of Voltaire that Beaumarchais is printing, or because in a Letter which he printed some days since in the { 234 } Journal de Paris, he boasted of having surmonté tigres et Lions pour faire jouer sa piece. By tigers and Lions he meant the king and his ministers who were very averse to Figaro's being acted: but the Queen who favoures it extremely prevailed, and the success the piece had is wonderful. It has run through 74. representations, and unless this event occasions its being stopp'd, it will probably be played a number more times. However that may be, Beaumarchais is not in an agreeable situation now. It is not an easy thing to get out of those prisons.

............“facilis descensus Averni


Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras.

Hoc opus, hic labor est.”2

His friends it is said, are not sorry that he is taken up; but are very much offended at his being put into St. Lazare, where none but low fellows are sent: had he been conducted to the Bastille, they would have been quite silent.3
1. A bishop's letter or mandate.
2. “. . . easy is the descent to Avernus . . . but to recall thy steps and pass out to the upper air, this is the task, this the toil!” from Virgil's Aeneid, Bk. VI, lines 126, 128–129 (Virgil, transl. H. Ruston Fairclough, 2 vols., N.Y., 1930, 1:514–515). Despite some errors in copying, JQA doubtless used the Brindley edition (p. 177), which he had purchased the day before.
3.  JQA's account of Beaumarchais' outspoken attack is essentially correct. On reading Le mariage de Figaro, Louis XVI determined never to allow it to be played, but was forced by court pressure and by the persuasion of his wife, Marie Antoinette, to allow a private performance in Sept. 1783. This was followed a year later with a public production, which proved an instant success, especially effective in its assault upon the ancien régime and the censorship of the press. Beaumarchais' replies to his critics at this time offended a prince of the blood, who asked Louis to arrest him. Finally, after public outrage, the French playwright was released from St. Lazare on 15 March (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel; entry for 15 March, below). On 16 April JQA bought a copy of Beaumarchais' play (n.p., 1785), which is now in the JQA pamphlet collection at MBAt.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-14


Walk'd into Paris in the morning. Hôtel de York Rue Jacob. Mr. Pickman set away for England by the Diligence, at noon. Found Mr. Boling at the Hotel de York. He arrived in Paris only three or four days ago. Mr. West of Philadelphia, arrived from London, at the Hôtel; before Mr. Pickman went away: he said he had a letter from Mr. Jackson, for my father.1 I went with Mr. Boling, to the hotel de Bretagne, and saw Mr. Waring, who thinks of { 235 } going to England, in the Course of next week. Returned to Auteuil on foot. The walk was too long. The distance from the village to the place de Louis 15. is more than 3 miles and I did not walk less than 2. about the City. A Large Company to dine with us. Mr. Brantsen, the Dutch Ambassador extraordinary, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Marquis and Marquise de la Fayette, Mr. and Mrs. Rooker, Miss Ramsay, Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, and Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Williamos, &c. Mr. and Mrs. Rooker lately arrived in Paris and propose staying here about a fort'night. They came in a very dull time for, the Theatres were shut up last Sunday, for Three weeks, as they are yearly. The only public amusements open during that time are at the foire St. Germain, and three concerts a week at the Chateau des Tuileries.
1. See entry for 16 March, note 1 (below).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-15


Paris in the afternoon, with Mr. A. Got of Froullé, the Horace and Ovid of Brindleys edition.1 While I was in the Shop, we heard a little bell in the Street; immediately every body in the shop, but myself, fell on their knees, and began to mutter prayers and cross themselves. It was a priest, carrying le bon dieu, to a dying man. This is one of the most revered ceremony of the Romish Religion. Whenever this bell rings, (which is to inform People, that god is passing by) every man woman and child fall upon their knees and remain so till it has passd quite by. Every carriage that meets it, even the kings, is obliged to stop; and the persons in it bend the knee: formerly they were obliged to get out of the carriage and kneel in the street: but this is no longer customary. The Priest that performs this ceremony is called porte-dieu. (The word is to revolting for me to translate it.)
Louis 15 revenant du palais de la justice, ou il venait d'exercer un acte d'autorité envers le parlement de Paris, rencontra au bas du Pont Neuf le viatique de la paroisse Saint Germain l'Auxerrois. Tout son cortège royal s'arrêta; il descendit précipitamment de son carrosse, se mit à genoux dans les boues, et le prêtre sortant de dessous son dais, jadis rouge, lui donna la bénédiction. Le peuple émerveillé de cet acte pieux, oublia l'acte d'autorité qui lui déplaisait, et se mit à crier vive le roi! Et tout le long du jour il répéta: il s'est mis a genoux dan les boues!
{ 236 }
Le porte-dieu à qui cette bonne chance arriva, eut une pension de la cour.
Tableau de Paris vol: 4: ch: 28. title porte-dieu
Went to see Messrs. les abbés. Abbé Arnoux told me that Beaumarchais was set at Liberty. I imagine he will be pretty humble, after this lesson. We spent all the evening with Mr. Jefferson.
1. Horace, Opera, London, 1744; Ovid, Opera, 5 vols., London, 1745; both are inscribed “J.Q. Adams, Paris, March 15, 1785” (Catalogue of JQA's Books).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-16


Mr. West, came out, and brought to Mr. Adams, two letters from Mr. Jackson.1
1. Jonathan Jackson to JA, 25 Feb. (Adams Papers); the other letter has not been found and is not mentioned in JA's reply of 18 March (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-17


Dined at Dr. Franklin's with a considerable large Company. Mr. Brillon,1 an old french gentleman very gay and talkative. Young Mr. Chaumont2 who goes to America by the April packet from l'Orient. Mr. Boling, a descendent of an Indian Queen, of somewhat a dark complexion, and his manners, are not perfectly pleasing to the Ladies. Mr. Norris, an American Quaker, turned Catholic. His turns of mind seems rather melancholic, and while Mr. B. gave himself up to unbounded laughter at the wit of our old french guest, Mr. N. did not relax one feature of his face: he hardly spoke a word the whole time. Mr. Dalrymple, Secretary to Mr. Crawford the British Commissary, for making a Treaty of Commerce with France. The Treaty of Commerce, is said to be just as far advanced as it was, when Mr. C. left England, which was about 9 months ago. In the meantime Mr. C. is determined to be of some service to his Country and has been employing his time in forming a project, to pay off the national debt of G. Britain which he proposes to accomplish by borrowing more money. He pretends that his scheme will suit as well for America as for England; and in that he is very right. This project has nothing in common with my dining at Dr. Franklin's, but the anecdote is so curious that I cannot help taking notice of it, here. But it must be known that Mr. C. is a great partisan for Mesmer, who he says, { 237 } has, mended his health very materially. I think however, that a few grains of hellebore, would be of still more use to him. Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, and Commodore Jones, Coll. Humphreys', and Mr. Williamos, and several other gentlemen dined at the Doctor's. The old gentleman, is perfectly well, except the Stone, which prevents him from riding in a Coach, and even from walking; he says he is determined to return to America this Spring. The motion of a Vessel, would not, he thinks, be painful to him.
1. M. de Jouy Brillion, receiver-general of trusts of Parlement, who lived at Passy and was a friend of Franklin (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 5:42; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:46–47).
2. Jacques Le Ray de Chaumont, also known as James Le Ray, was the son of Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, the commissary of the American fleet and landlord of Franklin at Passy. Young Chaumont was about to begin a tour of America; he returned in 1790 representing European land speculation interests in northern New York, where he lived for the next forty years (Franklin B. Hough, American Biographical Notes . . ., Albany, 1875, p. 254; JA to John Hancock, 14 April, LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-18


Paris afternoon. Went to see Mr. and Mrs. Rooker and Mr. West, but neither were at home. Walk'd an hour in the Palais Royal: met Mr. Waring there: he tells me that Beaumarchais has written to the king, to complain for his having been sent to St. Lazare. I got of Froullé, the Juvenal with Monsr. Dusaulx's translation.1
1. Satires de Juvénal, traduites par M. Dusaulx, Paris, 1770 (MQA).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0014

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


My father went to Versailles in the morning to see the Count de Vergennes, upon the subject of a Treaty between the U. States, and the Powers of Barbary. The Emperor of Morocco has taken an American vessel belonging to Mr. Fitz Simmons of Philadelphia.1 He has made the Master and the crew prisoners; but has not suffered them to be made slaves. He has ordered his People not to take any more untill Congress may send a Consul to him: and he offers to treat with us, upon the same footing that he does with all the Powers of Europe. This matter gives the American Commissioners, a great deal of trouble at present. Mr. West, Mr. Norris, Mr. Waring and Mr. Boling dined with us. I promised Mr. West to introduce him to the Marquis de la { 238 } Fayette, someday this week. Mr. Boling sets off for London tomorrow. The Foire St. Germain2 closed last evening.
1. For this incident and its significance for relations between the United States and Mediterranean powers, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:173–174 and references there.
2. A Paris fair devoted more to amusements than to business and trade, which began on 3 Feb. and ended on the Saturday before Palm Sunday; its popularity destroyed by the Galeries du Palais Royal, it closed in 1786 (Jacques Antoine Dulaure, Histoire civile, physique et moral de Paris, 10 vols., Paris, 1825, 8:197–199).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-23


Paris. Hotel de york, rue Jacob: for Mr. West. I went with him and presented him to the Marquis de la Fayette, and afterwards to Mr. Jefferson. Walk'd after that, in the Palais Royal. This place furnishes a vast fund of entertainment to an observer. It is the most frequented walk in Paris. At every hour of the day, and of the night too, you will never fail of finding company there, and it is very curious to see the different dresses and appearances of the People you find there. Dined at the hotel de York with Mr. Rooker. In the afternoon the Ladies went to Auteuil, and I went with Mr. West, to the Theâtre des Varietés, to see le sieur Pinetti1professeur de Physique, Mathématiques, &c. perform his Experiences. Le sieur Pinetti, is a very great quack, and his Experiences, are nothing but a parcel of jugglers tricks, which every mountebank of a fair, performs as well for 12 sols, as he does for 6. livres. He had not much Company this evening; I suppose on account of the promenade de Longchamps, which began this day.
1. Doubtless, the conjurer Giuseppe Pinetti de Willedal, author of Amusemens physiques, et différentes expériences divertissantes, composées & exécutées, tant à Paris que dans les diverses cours de l'Europe, Paris, 1784.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-24


Mr. Adams and the Ladies went to the church of St. Sulpice, and afterwards to Longchamps. This day the king washes the feet of 12 poor children in imitation of our Saviour's washing those of the apostles. The kings brothers serve those children at dinner, and they have some peculiar privileges; such as being pardoned twice for crimes for which any other persons would be hang'd &c. Some of the great noblemen, follow the example of the king; and the archbishop of Paris performs the same ceremony at the Church of Nôtre Dame.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-25


Good Friday. Went in the afternoon to Longchamps. This is the last Day. Every year; the wednesday, thursday, and friday, of the week preceding Esther, which is called Semaine Sainte, there is a kind of procession in the Bois de Boulogne, and it is called Longchamps. There are perhaps each of those Days a thousand carriages, that come out of Paris to go round one of the Roads in the wood one after the other. There are two rows of carriages, one goes up and the other down so that the People in every carriage, can see all the others. Every body that has got a splendid carriage, a fine set of horses, or an elegant Mistress, send them out on these days to make a show at longchamps. As all the Théatres, and the greatest part of the public amusements, are shut all this week, the concourse is always very considerable for those, that cannot go there to be seen, go to see, and as it commonly happens upon the like occasions, there are always twenty to see for one there is to be seen. It is very genteel, for there are always there some of the first people in the kingdom. The hours are from five to seven, by which time very few carriages remain there; for they all go off together, so that one quarter of an hour before the place is entirely deserted, the concourse is the greatest. The origin of this curious custom, was this. There is a convent of women called Longchamps, somewhere near the Bois de Boulogne, where formerly, there was some very fine music, performed on these days, which drew a vast number of Persons out from Paris to hear it: but one year there was an uncommon concourse, and some disorders happened, which induced the Archbishop of Paris, to forbid this music on these days, but the Public, who had commonly taken a ride round part of the wood after hearing the music, continued taking the latter part of the amusement, when they were deprived of the first, and the custom has been kept up, to this day.
After it was over we went and drank tea with Dr. Franklin. Saw Mr. Dalrymple there. The weather is very cold and disagreeable yet.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-26


Paris afternoon. Froullé, books upon astronomy. Went to see Mr. West and Mr. Waring but neither was at home. Messieurs Van den Yver bankers Ruë Royale, Butte St. Roch.1 Spent part of { 240 } the evening with the abbés. While I was there a Gentleman came in, who was a great partisan, for animal magnetism, that he very strenuously defended. Speaking of Dr. Franklin, he said j'aime beaucoup M: Franklin, c'est un homme de beaucoup d'esprit et de génie; je suis seulement faché pour lui, qu'il ait signé ce rapport des Commissaires. He spoke this with so much naïveté that I could not help smiling. When he went away the abbés told me he was a man, worth 50,000 livres a year, of an exceeding benevolent disposition, and that he does a great deal of good: a sensible man, but very firmly persuaded of the reality of animal magnetism. Mesmer the pretended discoverer, has certainly as yet, behaved like a mountebank, and yet he has persuaded a great number of People, and some persons of great Sense and learning, that he has made an important discovery. An extraordinary System, a great deal of mystery, and the art of making People, pay a hundred louis d'ors for a secret which no body receives, have persuaded almost half this kingdom, that Mesmer really has the secret that he pretends to have.
1. Van den Yver Frères was the Paris agent for W. and J. Willink, Amsterdam bankers. On this day JA drew an order of 4,800 livres on the firm for JQA (Diary and Autobiography, 3:172).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-27


Sunday. Mr. Adams dined with Mr. de St. Olympe's and spent the evening at Mr. Jefferson's. At about seven o'clock in the evening the Queen, was delivered of a Son, who is Monseigneur le Due de Normandie:1 this is one of the most important events that can happen in this kingdom; and every Frenchman has been expecting it, as if the fate of his life depended upon it. One would think that after having a Dauphin they would be easy, and quiet, but say they, the Dauphin is young and may die; and tho' the king has two brothers one of whom has several children, yet the Capital point is that the crown should pass down eternally from father to Son: insomuch that they would prefer being governed by a fool or a tyrant, that should be the Son of his predecessor, than by a sensible and good prince, who should only be a brother. The Canons announced to us the birth of the Prince. The Queen was taken ill only an hour before her delivery, a Circumstance which must have been very agreeable to her, for a few minutes before she is delivered, the doors of her apartment are always { 241 } opened, and every body that pleases is admitted, to see the child come into the world, and if there had been time enough, all Paris would have gone pour voir accoucher la Reine. The name of the young Duke of Normandy, is not yet known.
1. Louis Charles de France (1785–1795), later Louis XVII (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-28


Snow in the morning sufficient to cover the ground. Dined at the Marquis de la Fayette's. When I arrived there the Marquis was not returned from Versailles, where he went last evening immediately upon hearing of the Queen's delivery, but could not get there soon enough to be present at the Christening. He told me a curious Circumstance. The Queen was so large, that it was suspected she might have twins, and Mr. de Calonne, the controuler general had prepared two blue ribbands, in case two Princes should be born, for the kings children must be decorated with those badges, immediately after they come into the world. The Count1 and Chevalier de la Luzerne dined with us. After dinner I went with Mr. West to see Mr. and Mrs. Rucker, and afterwards we took a walk together in the Palais Royal. It is curious to hear the sagacious reflections and remarks upon the event of yesterday, made by the badauds: and it is pleasing to see how joyful how contented they look. All take the title given to the Prince, as a doubtless presage, of his future Conquests, and are firmly perswaded that it was expressly given him, that England may be a second time subdued by a Duke of Normandy: if they dared, they would mention another point, in which, the pretended, conqueror may resemble the real one.2 The Palais Royal, the Spanish Ambassador's hotel, the Hôtel des Invalides, the Ecole militaire, and several other buildings were illuminated in the evening.
1. César Henri, Comte de La Luzerne, administrator and brother of the Chevalier de La Luzerne (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
2. Common speculation was that the young duc might be a bastard like William the Conqueror, his predecessor to the title. From 1783 to 1787 there was a liaison between Marie Antoinette and Count Axel de Fersen, colonel commandant of the Royal Swedish Regiment in the French army. While rumors abounded, there is no hard evidence that the Duc de Normandie was Fersen's son (Philippe Huisman and Marguerite Jallut, Marie Antoinette, London, 1971, p. 156–157).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-29


Dr. Franklin's early in the morning. Coll. Humphreys breakfasted with us, and went with Mr. Adams to Versailles, where they were presented for the first time, to the new born Prince, who received them in bed: there were half a dozen ladies in the chamber. There were three beds joining each other, and in the middle one laid M: le Duc. Probably that in the night one of the Ladies sleep in each of the other beds to prevent Monseigneur from falling out. The king was exceedingly gay, and happy, and his brothers appeared so too.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-30


Mr. Adams dined at the Spanish Ambassador's, Count d'Aranda, an old man 70 years of age, who married, last year a young woman of 20. Peace be with him!

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-31


Madame de la Fayette sent a Card1 to offer us places for the Te Deum, which is to be sung tomorrow at Nôtre Dame, when the king is to be present. Mr. Adams dined at Count Sarsfield's.2
1. Not found.
2. A social and intellectual friend of the Americans in Paris, Guy Claude, Comte de Sarsfield, was a French military officer of Irish extraction, who lived in Paris and traveled frequently between the Netherlands, London, and Paris, where he was often in JA's company (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:381).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-01

Friday April 1st. 1785.

The Marchioness appointed two o'clock for us to be at her Hôtel. We dined at half after twelve, and were in the Rue de Bourbon at two, but it was too early. Mrs. Rucker, Mr. Jefferson, Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Williamos, Mr. West, went all with us. At about half past three we went from the Marquis's hôtel and by the time we got to the Pont Royal, both sides of the quay were so amazingly crowded with People, that there was but just space sufficient for the carriages to pass along: and had there not been guards placed on both sides at a distance not greater than ten yards from one another, there would have been no passage at all for coaches. For as it was, the troops had the utmost difficulty to restrain the mob: we pass'd along, on the Quai des Augustins till we came to the Pont Neuf, went over part of that, turn'd down { 243 } onto the Isle de Nôtre Dame; and then proceeded on in a direct line to the Church. We were placed in a gallery that commanded the choir, and were in as good a place as any in the Church, which we owed to the Politeness of Mme. de la Fayette. In the middle of the choir below us were several rows of benches, upon which the kings train sat when he came, while he and his two brothers were before all the benches, and directly opposite the altar. When we arrived we found the Parliament setting in the Choir on the right side, in scarlet and black Robes; the Chambre des Comptes were seated in the same manner on the left Sides, in black and white Robes. The Foreign Ambassadors were in an enclosure at the right of the alter, and between them and the parliament, was a small throne upon which the archbishop of Paris officiated. Soon after we got there the bishops arrived two by two. There were about twenty five of them. They had black Robes on, with a white muslin skirt which descended from the waste, down two thirds of the way to the ground; and a purple kind of a mantle over their shoulders. The Archbishop of Paris had a mitre upon his head. When the king came, he went out to the Door of the Church to receive him: and as soon as his Majesty had got to his place and fallen upon his knees, they began to sing the Te Deum, which lasted about half an hour, and in which we heard some exceeding fine music. The voices were admirable. The Archbishop of Paris sung for about a Couple of Minutes, near the end, that it might be said, he had sung the Te Deum. His voice seems to be much broken. As soon as the singing was over the king and the Court immediately went away.
What a charming sight: an absolute king of one of the most powerful Empires on earth, and perhaps a thousand of the first personages in that Empire, adoring the divinity who created them, and acknowledging that he can in a moment reduce them to the Dust from which they sprung. Could we suppose their Devotion real and sincere, no other proof would be necessary to demonstrate the falsity of the supposition that religion is going to decay. But oh! if the hearts of all those persons, could have been sounded, and everything that was lurking there while the exterior appeared offering up prayers to god, could be produced to light; I fear the rigid moralist, would have a confirmation of his fears. The reflection of the Chevalier de Gouvion1 shew he was of this opinion. I don't know said he, whether all this will be very acceptable to God almighty: but very few persons came here for { 244 } him. I was however vastly pleased with the Ceremony; and should have been so, if it was only, that it gave me an opportunity to see so numerous an assembly of men, of the first rank in the kingdom. The king and all the court were dress'd in cloaths vastly rich but in no peculiar form.
After the Ceremony was finished, we had to wait a long time for our Carriages and could not at last get them all; so that we were obliged to go away, five in one Charriot. We returned to the Hôtel de la Fayette, and drank tea with Madam. A number of Houses, were considerably illuminated, but nothing to be compared to what there was six years ago, when the kings first child was born, although it was only a Princess. We returned home at about nine, and were more than half an hour getting over the Pont Neuf, such was the crowd of Carriages: in the passage of the Cours la Reine, we saw a number of fellows, throwing up the sand, to see if there were no 12 sols pieces remaining for upon these occasions, when the Mob cry out vive le Roi, he throws out of his Coach handfuls of small pieces of money, and is thereby the cause of many a squabble, and some broken heads, though the Police is so attentive that few such misfortunes happen.
The title of Duke of Normandy, has not been borne, by any person, for more than three hundred years, untill the birth of the young Prince.
1. Doubtless, Jean Baptiste de Gouvion, a military engineer who served in the Continental Army; after Yorktown, he resumed his military career in France (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 1:234–237).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-03


Mrs. and Miss Adams, went into Paris in the evening: and went with young Mr. Franklin and Mrs. Hewson1 to the Concert Spiritual.2
1. Mary (Polly) Hewson, daughter of Benjamin Franklin's London landlady, Margaret Stevenson. In 1770 she married Dr. William Hewson, who became a respected London physician and anatomist, but he wounded himself during a dissection in 1774 and subsequently died. Shortly thereafter, Franklin urged Polly, with whom he had a long and warm friendship, to settle in America, but he did not succeed in his efforts until 1786. She was visiting him in Passy with her family in 1784–1785 (Franklin, Papers, 8:122; DNB).
2. That is, a concert, composed largely of religious music, given during Holy Week when the theaters were closed (Littré, Dict, de la langue française).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-04


All the family dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, who entertains all the Americans every Monday. There were however very few there this Day. Le Chevalier de la Touche, General Armand,1 and some other french gentlemen dined there. Mr. Williamos promised to get me a ticket for the Session of the Academie des Sciences on Wednesday.
1. Louis René Madeleine Le Vassor, Comte de La Touche-Tréville, who briefly served as commander of the French West Indian squadron during the American Revolution, was director, under the Marquis de Castries, of the Ministry for the Marine Department; Armand Charles Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouërie, known in America as Col. Armand, was a highly commended volunteer in American service during the Revolution (Jonathan R. Dull, The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy,1774–1787, Princeton, 1975, p. 221–222; Jefferson, Papers, 10:221; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 2:454–462).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-06


Went and dined in Paris with Mr. Jefferson. Immediately after dinner Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Williamos and myself went to the Louvre, where the Academy were setting, but we were so late that we could not get places, to sit, and the Room was much crowded. Several memoirs were read, but all in such technical expressions that I could not understand much of them. There was also read an éloge of some German, I did not perfectly make out his name. It is an established custom in this Academy, that at every Session the Secretary reads a short account of the Life, and of the productions, of the Members of the Academy, that died since the preceding Session. Coll. Humphreys finding there was no good place, went immediately away: Mr. Williamos and I stay'd till about five o'clock: and then retired, as we saw no Prospect of getting in a better situation, and as we were not quite at our ease on account of the crowd. We afterwards went to the Hôtel de Bretagne, Rue de Richeslieu, where we found Mr. West. Mr. Williamos soon after returned to Mr. Jefferson's, and I went with West to the Théatre des Varietés in the Palais Royal. Fausses Consultations; à bon vin point d'Enseigne. Boniface Pointu et sa famille: Les pêcheurs Provençaux a ballet.1 The last piece but one, is the best I have seen upon this Stage: I was much surprized to find but very little Company in the House, which was not above half full: but the public are very capricious. After the { 246 } | view { 247 } entertainment was over we walk'd half an hour under the arcades.
1. Louis François Archambault Dorvigny, Les fausses consultations, Paris, 1781; A bon vin point d'enseigne, Paris, 1781, by Phillippe Alexandre Louis Pierre Plancher-Valcour, called Aristide Valcour; Charles Jacob Guillemain, Boniface Pointu et sa famille, Paris, 1782; Anon., Lespêcheurs provençaux, first performed at the Variétés Amusantes the previous evening (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-07


Mrs. Hewson, and her children Mr. Franklin, Mr. Ruston,1 Mrs. Barclay, and Mr. West dined with us. Mrs. Hewson, goes next week for England.
1. Dr. Thomas Ruston, who practiced medicine in London and Exeter and wrote numerous essays on American finance. He was briefly visiting Jefferson and Franklin in Paris before his permanent return to Philadelphia later in the year (James McLachlan, Princetonians, 1748–1768: A Biographical Dictionary, Princeton, 1976, p. 402–407).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-09


In the afternoon went into Paris. Carried 21. Louis d'ors to Mrs. Barclay. Got of Froullé an Eutropius, and a Historiae Augustae Scriptores;1 called at Mr. West's lodgings but he was not at home. Walked half an hour in the Palais Royal. Not much Company. Met Captn. Paul Jones, and Mr. Starke,2 who offered to take any thing for the Hague. He goes on Monday. Went to Mr. Jefferson's and spent the evening there. They are all ill with Colds: Mr. Williamos was not there: the Marquis de la Fayette came in while I was there. He is going into the Country in a short time. He talk'd upon various subjects; and among others concerning the Dukes and Peers, he said, he did not believe that upon the face of the Earth, an order of men could be found, so numerous, in which there are so few men of Sense: they are a parcel of fools, said he and in the whole band there are not more than five or six men of any tolerable understanding. The only privilege of any consequence attached to their title is, the right to take a seat in Parliament: where if they had any ambition and abilities, they might serve to counterpoise in some manner the power of the king: but he gives them to understand, that he wishes they would not go to the Parliament and in true Courtiers they give up this precious right. “I3 am continually spurring them up, (continued he) and I tell them, it is folly in them { 248 } not to assert their rights, but all without effect, and among all those I know, the only one of knowledge and abilities, I am acquainted with is the Duke de la Rochefoucauld:4 he is a true patriot; but is not an eloquent man, and being entirely alone, he can do nothing.” I thought the Marquis spoke somewhat openly and freely for a french nobleman: especially for one so nearly allied as he is to two or three Dukes. Perhaps he thought that among Americans, he could freely speak his mind without any danger.
1. Flavius Eutropius, Breviarium Historiae Romanae, Leyden, 1762 (Catalogue of JQA's Books); Historiae Augustae Scriptores VI Aelius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Aelius Lampridius, Vulcatius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio, et Flavius Vopiscus, Leyden, 1661. Both are now at MQA.
2. Possibly Edward Stack, an Irish officer attached to the French navy on Jones' Bonhomme Richard (Augustus C. Buell, Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy: A History, 2 vols., N.Y., 1902, 2:2–3; A Calendar of John Paul Jones Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, comp. Charles Henry Lincoln, Washington, 1903, p. 191–192).
3. Quotation marks have been editorially supplied.
4. Louis Alexandre, Due de La RocheGuyon and La Rochefoucauld d'Enville, who took an active interest in French science and learning and politics (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-10


Mr. Jefferson came out to Auteuil in the morning. Count Sarsfield walk'd out. Fine weather though somewhat cold. Some rain too is wanted very much, there has been none these four months, and very little Snow.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-11


Dined with Mr. Adams at the Marquis de la Fayette's. There was not much American Company: M: le Marquis de St. Simon,1 who has served in America. Mr. Grandchamp, Capitaine de Vaisseau, and M: le Marquis de Rosanbot premier president au Parlement de Paris. Mr. Ruston was there. This is the first comfortable day we have had this Season: the roads are exceedingly dusty for want of Rain. Madam Helvetius,2 one of our neighbours is very ill. Mrs. A. sent to know how, she was, and received a curious handbill for answer.3
1. Probably Claude Anne de Rouvroy, Marquis de Saint-Simon-Montbléru, commander of the army from the West Indies, who was at Yorktown (Howard C. Rice Jr. and Anne S. K. Brown, transls. and eds., The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 2 vols., Princeton, 1972, 1:325–326).
2. Anne Catherine de Ligniville d'Autricourt Helvétius, widow of the philosopher Claude Adrien Helvétius, was a close friend of Franklin, and neighbor and social acquaintance of the Adamses (AA to Lucy Cranch, 5 Sept. 1784, AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 199–200).
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-12


Mr. Williamos came out in the morning, and went with Mr. A, to Versailles. Good weather: very mild; but rain is much wanted.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-14


Marquis de la Fayette and his Lady, Count and Countess d'Ouradou the Abbés de Chalût and Arnoux dined with us. M: d'Ouradou, is a french nobleman, of Auvergne who possessed a very considerable estate, but has lately been almost ruined, by the loss of a lawsuit, which after he had gained twice, was finally, unjustly decided against him: Moliere says somewhere, with great truth: nothing is so unjust as the justice of this Country. The Count intends at present to go to America, and with the wreck of his fortune, which will amount, to 100, or 150 thousand livres, he means to buy an estate in Virginia, and settle there, as mediocrity of fortune, can be more easily borne, there than in this Country. He leaves his title here, and as he has a Son; if he or any of his descendents acquire a fortune, sufficient to support the title; they may return here and resume it again. M: Hailes the secretary of the English Embassy, dined with us also. Count Sarsfield came, and spent some time with us after dinner: I received a Card from Mr. West, who is very ill. In the morning I went to Passy, and carried some Letters of Introduction to M: Le Rey de Chaumont, who goes to America, by this Months Packet, and who set off for L'orient this day. The February packet, that sailed from New York the 19th. is at length, arrived, but no body as yet has any Letters, except the Marquis de la Fayette.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-15


Went to Paris in the morning with Mr. A. At the Pont Royal, I got out of the Carriage, and went to see my friend Mr. West. He has been ever since Tuesday, afflicted, with an inflammatory Rheumatism: what makes it insupportable, is that he has it in his right hand, which is very much swelled: and though he is here upon business, and has received several letters of consequence, which require immediate answers, he cannot do any thing. I sat with him sometime, and from the Hôtel de Bretagne, Rue de Richelieu, where he is I went on foot to Mr. Jefferson's, { 250 } who was out: found my father there; and as Mr. Jefferson, did not return, we came away, after staying, half an hour.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-16


Went with Mrs. A into Paris in the afternoon. Got a book of Pissot,1 and Brindley's Terence, la folle journée, and Vossius de hist. grae: of Froullé.2 Left the Ladies, on the quai des Augustins, and went to see Mr. West, whose hand is still very much swelled. The Ladies came, in the evening, and took me at the Hôtel de Bretagne.
1. Pissot, a publishing firm in Paris. The book has not been identified.
2. Terence, Comoediae sex, London, J. Brindley edn., 1744 (at MQA); Gerard John Vos, De Historicis Graecis libri quatuor, The Hague, 1624. For La folle journée, see entry for 12 March, note 3 (above).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-18


Mr. D'Asp, the secretary of the Swedish Ambassy, came out and dined with us en famille. After dinner I went into Paris. Mr. West is still very ill: his hand is swolen amazingly: his spirits were very low when I went there: but before I came away he began to be quite sociable. He spoke of Mr. B——g——m; who with his Lady left Paris, Sunday the 10th. instn. Mr. W: seems to have of Mr. B. very nearly the same opinion I have, that he is very ignorant, very vain, and very empty. He is very rich: but if he acquired his riches in the manner Mr. W. tells me he did; he is hardly authorised to plume himself upon them as much as he does. That he is extremely ignorant, I think the following anecdote which is litterally true, will sufficiently prove. I was with him one evening last winter at the French Comedy. La mort de César a Tragedy of Voltaire's1 was acted. After it was over the following Conversation, took place between him and me; exactly as it is here.
Mr. B. Oh; how much Superior to this is Shakespeare's Julius Caesar! <to this!>
A.  Voltaire to be sure was not comparable to Shakespeare in point of genius, but his play is more regular.
B.  Regular! Why he has not introduced the Battle of Philippi; nor does he bring Augustus upon the Stage.
A. But if I remember right the Battle of Philippi did not happen till more than a year after the Death of Caesar, and has { 251 } nothing to do in that event. So that all three unities must be broken through to introduce it. Nor could Augustus appear for the same reason.
B. What do you mean by unities.
A. You know very well Sir, that plays upon the french Stage, are confined, to 24 hours for time, to one and the same place, and to one plot for action, and. . . .2
B. Oh, you are entirely mistaken! Why do you think Shakespeare did not know the rules of the Stage, and yet he brings Augustus, and the action at Philippi on, in his piece. Besides, Voltaire supposes that Brutus was the Son of Caesar, which is contrary to history; and would it not be absurd to be so strict upon such trifles as you are speaking of, and yet take such licences as to suppose Brutus to be the Son of Caesar.
Finding it would be in vain to say any thing more of the Rules of the Drama, I was determined to see if he was as well inform'd upon the Subject of History so I replied You know that several historians hint, that Caesar was supposed to be the father of Brutus, and that he supposed so himself: and any Poet has a right to make use of any such Circumstances, and to give for a certainty, what in fact was only a supposition.
B. No Sir, not one historian mentions any such a connection between them.
A. I think Suetonius says, that when Brutus stab'd Caesar, among the rest, Caesar said in greek Are you with them, my Son? We have no better authority than Suetonius, for there are very few original historians of that period, remaining.
B. He certainly did not speak in Greek: he said et tu Brute. I don't know what Suetonius may say, but Rollin, in his Roman history does not mention a word of it; and do you think he could have omitted so important a circumstance, if there had been any truth in it? As you say there, are not many original historians of that period extant. I think there are only Suetonius, and LIVY, and Plutarch and HERODOTUS.
Here our conversation finish'd. I was amazed to see a man, with so many pretensions to great knowledge, as Mr. B. had, entirely ignorant of the rules of the Drama: and in a point of Roman History quote the authority of Rollin, against that of Suetonius. But I have since found that he spoke without knowledge, even on the Subject of Rollin: for that author speaking of Brutus, says, that notwithstanding his conduct, Caesar loved him, as the { 252 } Son of Servilia, and perhaps as his own. If a boy of 18 years old, can detect Mr. B. in such gross errors, in Questions so plain, and so universally understood: how empty must he appear before a person, of ripe Judgment, and deep knowledge.
Should anyone see this he might say what has Mr. B. done to you to make you treat him so? I answer, nothing but what he does to every body else. He is as vain and self sufficient as he is ignorant: and assumes airs of superiority, not only over me (which would not perhaps be improper) but over persons of much more real merit than he is, or than he ever will be, if I am not much mistaken. He has never done me any harm; nor has he ever had it, (thank god) in his power to hurt me, but I have no obligations to him, nor ever will, if I can help it. The only knowledge he appears to possess well, is Commercial: of that he has had sufficient to make a very considerable fortune, which has turn'd the little brains he had.

Those who their ignorance confest

I ne'er offended with a jest.

But laugh to hear an idiot quote

A verse from Horace learnt by rote.

When I came home from Paris, I found Letters for me from Mr. Dumas and C. Storer.3
1. Published in Amsterdam, 1735 (Brenner, Bibliographical List).
2. JQA's ellipsis.
3. The Storer letter is probably that of 12 April (Adams Papers), while the only extant Dumas letter to JQA for this period is 1 April (Adams Papers), probably too early to be referred to here.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-19


Went all to dine with Mr. Jefferson. The two abbés Dr. McMahon1 and Dr. Ruston, were there. After dinner I walk'd to the Hôtel de Bretagne, and found Mr. West better, though his hand is still very much swelled. Dr. Ruston appears to be a man of learning; very well versed in English reading.
1. Dr. I. MacMahon was apparently an Irish physician living in France whom Franklin met in Paris shortly after the beginning of the Revolution; he became a member of the American minister's social circle, a source of some American news, and a partisan for both America and his native Ireland (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., index).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-21


In the morning Coll. Humphreys, and Mr. Williamos, called upon me, and I went out with them as far as St. Germain en Laye where James the 2d. held his Court after he was driven away from England; and where Mr. Short, has been these 6 weeks learning the french Language. We went through the Bois de Boulogne, and over the Pont de Neuilli. The distance from Paris to St. Germain is about 12 miles. We go along by the side of the Seine, almost all the way: the Lands are either cultivated in wheat, or in Vines for the most Part. The road is very good. St. Germain, is situated, on the top of a hill, which is not very steep, but which I suppose to be a mile long. I should imagine it contains about 10,000 inhabitants but may be much mistaken, as I guess only from the apparent extent of the town: a great number of them are the descendents from those british families that follow'd the fortunes of James the 2d. The Castle which he inhabited belongs as I was told, to the King, and has a charming terrass before it. We descended at the Prince de Galles tavern, and went immediately to Mr. Shorts lodgings but found he was out: we then walk'd about the place, which is very agreeably situated. From the terrass you may see Mont Calvaire, Montmartre, and the Church of the Invalids. In a clear day I suppose part of Paris may be also seen from thence. Mr. Short came to us, and dined with us. Mr. Williams, is gone to Paris, to set off for England. His Lady1 and the Alexander family live in the Castle, but were not to be seen this day: on account of the Death of a friend. After dinner we walk'd again, in the Gardens of the Maréchal de Noailles,2 grandfather of the Marquise de la Fayette, who owns here a fine house and a good Estate. Mr. Short is vastly pleased with St. Germain, and thinks it a very excellent place for learning the Language. If we may judge from him it is certainly so: for he has made a wonderful proficiency in the short space of time he has been there. We left him about five, and as we return'd we look'd at the Machine de Marli, which is very famous, but which appears to me very clumsy; and it is very complicated so that I could not understand any thing in it. The principle is very simple. The current of the river sets a number of mills going; they put in motion a quantity of pumps which transport water from that place to Versailles about 2 leagues distant from it. But this machine was built more than a century ago, and has been very { 254 } much celebrated; if it were to be built at present, it would be considered in a ridiculous light. When we return'd we found Mr. and Mm. d'Ouradou getting into their Carriage, to return: they had been some time here. Mrs. and Miss A. were gone to Paris. Mr. Jefferson was with my father. Young Mr. Franklin is very ill of a fever. It seems to be a sickly Time.
1. Mariamne Alexander, wife of Franklin's grandnephew Jonathan Williams Jr., daughter of William Alexander, and granddaughter of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh of the same name (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 5:5; Jefferson, Papers, 7:256).
2. Louis de Noailles, Duc d'Ayen from 1737, Duc de Noailles from 1766, and Maréchal de France, 1775 (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Dict. de la noblesse).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-22


Mr. A. received in the morning a Card from Dr. Franklin1 informing him that a person who came in the Packet had called upon him last evening: and told him he had a pacquet for my father addressed at the Hague. My father immediately went to Dr. Franklin's, and from thence to the Hôtel d'Orleans, where he found two gentlemen who came in the Packet. Mr. Jervais,2 an American, and Mr. Lefevre, a French man, whom I saw two years ago at Hamborough. I left Mr. A. at the Place de Louis Quinze and went on foot to the Hôtel de Bretagne, where I found Mr. West, who is much better, though his hand is as much swelled as ever. When I had been there about ½ an hour, Mr. A: came and took me up. We went to Mr. Jefferson's. Mr. A. received a Letter from Mr. Gerry and a packet from Mr. Jay,3 by Mr. Jarvis, Who came out with Mr. Lefevre and spent the evening at Auteuil.
1. Not found.
2.  James Jarvis was described by Elbridge Gerry as “lately of Boston, but formerly of this City [New York], Son in Law to Mr. [Samuel] Broom.” Jarvis had been a New York merchant before the Revolution (Gerry to JA, 14 Feb., Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, 8:178, 247).
3. Gerry to JA, 14 Feb. (Adams Papers); Jay to JA, 11 Feb. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-23


In the afternoon I went into Paris. Saw Mr. West and Dr. Ruston who propose going to England, next week. I afterwards went to see for a Cabriolet; I saw several, but they ask 120 livres for the hire of one, from this place to L'Orient. Spent the evening { 255 } with Mr. Jefferson, who is a great admirer of Ossian's poems: which he thinks are indisputably genuine.1
1. The Poems of Ossian, Edinburgh, 1762, were allegedly translated from authentic Gaelic by the Scottish poet James Macpherson. Dr. Samuel Johnson, among others, thought that they were traditional elements blended together and passed off as an ancient poem, a verdict generally agreed upon after Macpherson's death. Jefferson had maintained a strong interest in the work for years (Jefferson, Papers, 1:96–97; 100–102).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-24


Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Lefevre, came out and dined with us. Mr. Jarvis offers me the carriage they came in from L'Orient: but it is at Versailles.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-25


The Ladies dined with the Marquis de la Fayette. We went there before dinner. Mr. Williamos tells me the Abbé de Mably is dead. He was very old; not less I think, than 78. Yet although it is probable, that had he lived many years longer, I should not have seen him, above once more, still I was much affected at the news, because he was not only a man of great genius, and learning, but was one of the best men in the world.

A wit's a feather, and a chief's a Rod,

An honest man, is the noblest work of God1

He has written a number of works, that are published, and he has left several to appear after him. 2. vols. of Observations upon the History of France,2 a Treatise, sur le beau, and another on the Course of Passions in Society are ready for the Press.3
We dined at Count Sarsfield's, where there was a small, but chosen Company. He shew us some of the drawings of Countess Spencer,4 which were exceedingly well done. In the evening, we went and took up the Ladies at the Marquis's.
1. “An Essay on Man,” Epistle IV, lines 247–248.
2. Mably's Observations sur l'histoire de France, first published in 2 vols., Geneva, 1765, was continued by Claude Caroloman de Rulhière and published in 4 vols., in Kehl, Germany, 1788.
3. Mably's essays “Du Beau” and “Du Cours et de la march des passions dans la société” both appear in Oeuvres completes . . ., 16 vols., London, 1789–1795.
4. Lavinia Bingham, wife of the second Earl Spencer, was a leader of London society, befriending a large number of eminent men in politics and the arts; she was a painter and etcher (Thieme and Becker, Lexikon).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-26


I went in the morning to the Sweedish Ambassador's Hôtel to go with Mr. d'Asp, and see the Abbé Grenet, but I was too late and Mr. d'Asp was gone out, I went to see Mr. Jarvis: and afterwards Count d'Ouradou, at the hôtel de Nassau, Ruë de la Harpe. We agreed to go together to l'Orient. Went to see West, but did not find him at home. Walk'd in the Palais Royal, where I met Mr. Williamos; and as I had sent our carriage back to Auteuil and, it was too late to walk home, I went with him and dined at Mr. Jefferson's. A few minutes after Dinner, Some Letters came, in from America, and I was inform'd by Mr. J. that the Packet le Courier de L'Orient, which sail'd from New York, the 23d of March, is arrived: Mr. J. and Coll. Humphreys had Letters from Genl. Washington, and a Letter from Mr. Gerry, of Feby. 25th. says, Mr. Adams, is appointed Minister to the Court of London.1 I believe he will promote the Interests of the United States, as much as any man: but I fear his Duty will induce him to make exertions which may be detrimental to his Health: I wish however it may be otherwise. Were I now to go with him, probably my immediate Satisfaction, might be greater than it will be in returning to America. After having been travelling for these seven years, almost all over Europe, and having been in the world and among Company for three: to return and spend one or two years in the Pale of a College, subjected to all the rules, which I have so long been freed from: then to plunge into the Dry and tedious study of the law; for three years, and afterwards not expect, (however good an Opinion I may have of myself), to bring myself into Notice, under three or four years more; if ever: it is really a Prospect some what discouraging for a youth of my Ambition (for I have Ambition, though I hope its object is laudable).

But still ... Oh! how wretched

Is that poor Man, that hangs on Princes favours.2

or on those of any body else. I am determined that as long as I shall be able to get my own living, in an honorable manner, I will depend upon no one. My father has been so much taken up all his lifetime, with the Interests of the public, that his own fortune has suffered by it: So that his children will have to provide for themselves; which I shall never be able to do, if I loiter away { 257 } my precious time in Europe; and shun going home untill I am forced to it. With an ordinary share of common Sense, which I hope I enjoy, at least in America, I can live independent and free, and rather than live other wise, I would wish to die, before, the time, when I shall be left at my own Discretion. I have before me a striking example, of the distressing and humiliating Situation a person is reduced to by adopting a different line of Conduct and I am determined not to fall into the same error.3
I came out to Auteuil in the afternoon, with Mr. Jefferson, in his Carriage. Found Mr. Jarvis there. Dr. Franklin has a Letter by the last packet, dated March 22d.
1. The congress appointed JA minister on 24 Feb., and he received his commission on 2 May (JCC, 28:98; Diary and Autobiography, 3:177).
2. King Henry VIII, Act III, scene ii, lines 366–367.
3. JQA's allusions to financial independence and his decision to leave Europe suggest that he is referring here to William Temple Franklin. See also JQA's comment about the younger Franklin in his entry for 26 Feb. (above).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-27


In the afternoon I went into Paris with the Ladies; left them before the Jardin des Tuileries. Walk'd to the Hotel de Bretagne; West was out. Walk'd some time in the Palais Royal; and met Mr. Ruston, and soon after Mr. West. His arm is much better but still swolen.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-28


Mr. West came out to Auteuil and dined with us. After dinner I went into Paris, with him: we went to meet Dr. Ruston and then proceeded all together to the Italian Comedy, where we saw Theodore,1 a new Opera Comique, acted for the first time, with l'heureuse Erreur, this evening. Theodore, had not a brilliant success, but a tolerable one. The Subject, is as old, as the Theatre I believe. A Man who proposes marrying his daughter to one of his friends of his own age, instead of which she marries the young man she loves, is the whole plot. Nothing new is introduced, but there are some pretty good sallies, and some excellent Sentiments (which by, the by, the french don't consider as ornaments to a dramatic performance, especially in the Comic Pieces). The Music, is I am told the first performance of Mr. Davaux, in this way: its success was pretty much like that of the Words: there was however one arriette which began thus.
{ 258 }

Le Coeur d'une fillette

Est assez souvent

Comme une girouette

Que tourne au moindre vent.

That was encored, and another,

La tendresse

Ne Vaut pas la sagesse

Mais encore, elle a son prix,

was very highly applauded. After the play was over I went and met my father at Mr. Jefferson's. Coll. Humphreys, was this morning suddenly taken very ill. He has been twice bled this day, and is at present much better than he was, although he has yet a fever upon him.
1. Théodore, ou, le bonheur inattendu, an unpublished musical comedy by Benoît Joseph Marsollier des Vivetières, with music by Jean Baptiste Davaux. It was first performed at Fontainebleau on 4 March (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-29


We expected to have had a large Company to dine with us; but Mr. Hailes brought the excuses of the Duke of Dorset; who was this morning sent for at Versailles; and could not therefore come. M: de Gouvion, has also excused himself, and Coll. Humphreys's illness prevented him from coming, so that we were reduced to eleven only. Marquis de la Fayette and Lady: Count Sarsfield, M: de la Bourdonnais, Mr. Hailes, Mr. Williamos and Mr. Jarvis. The Marquis brought us a number of American News Papers, as he receives them very regularly. Mr. A.s appointment to England, is in one of the New York Gazettes of march 3d. Coll. William Smith,1 of New York, who has been heretofore Aid de Camp to Genl. Washington, is appointed Secretary to the Legation.
Memorandum: Count Sarsfield made me promise him, I would write him a Letter in french the 29th. of next October.2
1. William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), designated as WSS by the Adams Papers, was appointed by the congress without the prior knowledge of JA, who initially had some doubts about his suitability. WSS, who had received a certificate of commendation from Washington for his military service, was a member of the Society of Cincinnati, a distinction that both AA and JA thought incompatible with republicanism; but they were mollified by his high sense of honor and modesty of demeanor and soon came to like him. AA2, having rejected her suitor Royall Tyler, became en• { 259 } gaged in due course to WSS, and they were married on 11 June 1786. The marriage was not a happy one. None of the variety of offices which WSS subsequently held turned out well for him; his ambition, extravagant habits, and unwise investments led to desperate straits, and AA2 had to endure periods of drunkenness and desertion (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:183–184 and sources cited there; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 10 May 1785; JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795; and M/LCA/6, p. 147, all in Adams Papers).
2. If written, not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-30


I went into Paris in the morning, and called upon Mr. d'Asp the secretary of the Sweedish Embassy, and we went together, to the Abbé Grenet's, a professer of the College of St. Jean de Beauvais, who has invented a curious sort of Sphere, with brass circles round it, by which he shows the motion of the Sun, and moon, and by means of which he has made some, astronomical observations, unknown before. He has also published an Atlas, which is extremely usefull in Schools, and for all persons that Study the Classic authors, he has made double maps, of all those parts of the world that were known in Antiquity: one side represents the Country as the ancients knew it, and the other shows the same, in its present State. He is at present employ'd in making detailed maps of the kingdom of France, which will also, be a very interesting work. I took a Copy of his Atlas.1 Went to see a painter in the Louvre. Walk'd in the Tuileries with Mr. d'Asp. Went to Mr. West's and to Mr. Ruston's lodgings but neither was at home. Late before I got out to Auteuil.
1. Atlas portatif à l'usage des collèges, pour servir à l'intelligence des auteurs classiques, [Paris, 1779–1782?]. JQA's copy is at MHi.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-01

Sunday May 1st. 1785.

Mr. Jarvis came out and dined with us at Auteuil. In the afternoon, Mr. Jefferson came out; he drank tea with us. No Rain yet: the drought is very great: the verdure is but small, tho' the trees are covered with Leaves.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-02


Mr. A and myself went and dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, Comte and Chevalier de la Luzerne, Comte de la Touche, General du Portail:1 A Letter was brought after dinner to my father from Dr. Franklin,2 informing him that Mr. Randall3[arrived] from New York in the last Packet, and that he has { 260 } Letters from Mr. Jay for my father.4 We went immediately to the Hôtel d'Orléans Rue St. Anne, and found Mr. Randall out, but he had left the Packets for my father, to be given to him, in case he should call for them. They contained two Vols, of the Journals of Congress, A Commission, Credentials, and Instructions for the Court of St. James's.5 We went to Mr. Jefferson's, and spent an hour there; he has received a Commission for this Court, and the resignation of Dr. Franklin is accepted.6 Congress have resolved to send a Minister to Holland, and one to Spain, but as yet, none is appointed.
We went to see the Abbés de Chalût and Arnoux, and found them in affliction for the Death of their friend the Abbé de Mably. Abbé Chalût has written the following epitaph for him.

D. O. M.

Hic jacet

Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, Delphinas

Juris naturae

Indagator audax, felix, indefessus:

Dignitatis humani generis labefactatae vindex

Rectae rationis assecla tenacissimus

Ad Respublicas instituendas, restituendas, stabiliendas

Ad Populos sanandos, politiarum errores profligandos

Quae indesinenter scripsit

Orbis utriusque suffragio, plausu comprobata.

Assiduâ historiarum meditatione

E variis gentium institutis, moribus, regiminibus

Praeteritorum eventuum causas latentes detexit,

futuros praenuntiavit.

Strictae semper addicta veritati

Mens flecti nescia

Honores, divitias, omnimoda servitii vincula

In re tenui

Constanter aspernata est.

Vita Innocué elapsâ, avitae religionis cultor sapiens

Sacris vitibus accuraté servatis

Æquissimo animo

Obiit, 23d. die Aprilis 1785, ineunte aetatis anno 770.

H. M.

Amici moerentes P. C.7

The abbé was a character, that would be uncommon at any { 261 } time, but almost unknown at present in this Kingdom. Every thing that he has left, as I am told will not amount to two hundred louis d'ors. The two abbés his friends are his executors, and he begs of them to accept his library which is composed of about 250 volumes. Of all the Literati in Paris, he owned the least books: but he used to borrow those he wanted; from the bibliotheque du Roi, and made extracts from them: his works are less known than they ought to be, because he was neither an Academician nor a Courtier: But he always maintained the Reputation of a good Man, which is preferable, to any that either Courts or Academies can give. Return'd home at about 10. in the evening.
1. Louis Le Bègue de Presle Duportail, French military engineer in American service who later became French minister and secretary of state for war (Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 1:272–277).
2. That of 2 May (Adams Papers).
3. Paul Randolph Randall, a New York lawyer, who later participated in the unsuccessful negotiations with Algiers and other Barbary powers (John Jay to JA, 8 March (bis), Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, 8:544, 610–611; 10:649–651).
4. Jay to JA, 8 March (bis), 15 March, 18 March (Adams Papers).
5. Jay's letter of 18 March included JA's instructions, dated 7 March; JA's commission, dated 24 Feb., is also among the Adams Papers.
6. The congress elected Jefferson on 10 March 1785, and Franklin notified Vergennes on 3 May that the congress had permitted him to return (JCC, 28:134; Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth, 9:321).
7. To God the Best and Greatest. Here lies Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, of Dauphiné. A bold enquirer, successful, unwearied, of the Law of Nature: Defender of the damaged integrity of the human race, most tenacious servant of right reason in establishing states, restoring them, stabilizing them, in leading peoples, and casting down the errors of political treatises. What he unceasingly wrote has been approved by the vote and applause of both worlds. By assiduous meditation on history, from the varied institutions of peoples, their customs, their governments, he uncovered the hidden causes of past events, and foretold the future ones. Ever devoted to strict truth, his mind, uninfluenced by his humble estate, constantly spurned honors, wealth, and all sorts of bonds of slavery. After having spent his life doing no harm to anybody, and wisely fostering his ancestral religion, he died with the most tranquil mind on the 23rd day of April 1785, as the seventy-seventh year of his life was beginning. This monument his grieving friends have erected.

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

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


Mr. A: went to Versailles, it being Ambassador's Day. As he was passing through an entry at the Count de Vergennes's, a Servant presented him a small canister, containing perhaps a little more than half a pound of tea, and ask'd him if he did not want some very excellent tea, that had come through Russia, by land from China; my father could not Refuse it, and enquired the price. Un Louis, Monsieur, said the fellow very coolly; and in that manner he put every one of the foreign Ministers to contri• { 262 } bution, even in the House, of the King of France's prime Minister. I don't know whether such practices correspond, with their ideas of dignity; if so they are very different from mine.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-04


In the afternoon I went into Paris alone: went to the Griffon, Rue de Bussy and bought some Stationary. To the Hôtel de Nassau Rue de la Harpe, to see Mm. la Comtesse d'Ouradou, but she was not within. Bought me a Couple of Trunks. Went to Mr. Jefferson's: he tells me, that the Count, thinks of not going in the next Packet. I fear Mr. Williamos, after failing me, himself, has been endeavouring to persuade the Count to do so too, which I do not think is very polite. Mr. Jefferson, spoke concerning Virginia, a State, which he knows very particularly as it is his native Country. The blacks, he tells me, are very well treated there; and increase in population, more in proportion, than the whites. Before the War, he says the negroes, were to the whites, in the proportion of 3 to 4. Now they are as 10 to 11. which is a very material difference. He supposes about 500,000 souls in the State. He disapproves very much the Cultivation of Tobacco, and wishes, it may be laid entirely aside. He thinks wheat would be much more advantageous, and profitable, much less Laborious, and less hurtful to the ground: he is a man of great Judgment.

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

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


All dined at Mr. Jefferson's, with Marquis and Marquise de la Fayette, Count and Countess d'Ouradou, Chevalier de la Fayette another french gentleman, Mr. Short, who this morning arrived from St. Germains, Mr. Bowdoin from Virginia, Mr. Jarvis, &c. I there learnt that Mr. West and Dr. Ruston, were not gone for England: after dinner I went with Mr. Jarvis, to the Hôtel d'Orleans, Rue St. Anne, to see Mr. Randall, who dined at Dr. Franklin's to day. I went to West's lodgings, but he was out. Saw Dr. Ruston, who does not go, till next week. Mr. Jarvis, brought me out as far as the Barriere de la Conference,1 where I luckily found our Carriage which was just passing by.
The weather has been exceeding fine, for a long time, but the drought is very great. All the Roads, are very inconveniently dusty, and daily Church processions are made to obtain Rain { 263 } from Heaven. Grain, and Hay are extravagantly dear so that numbers of farmers, have been obliged to kill their Cattle, that they might not Starve to Death. Butter is 2 livres a pound, whereas, in the depth of winter, it is not commonly higher than 30 Sols, and in short if the present weather continues, I know not what will be the consequence the ensuing Fall and Winter.
1. The Barrière de la Conférence, one of twenty-four principal barriers ringing Paris at the time, was a customs post where goods were taxed and traffic was examined for contraband (Robert de Hesseln, Dictionnaire universel de la France . . ., 6 vols., Paris, 1771, 5:110).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-06


After dinner the Ladies went into Paris: I left them at the Place de Louis 15. and went to Mr. West's lodgings: he had been out to Auteuil in the morning with Mr. Bowdoin, and had promised to meet me in the afternoon at his lodgings, but did not. I walk'd from 5. o'clock till 9 in the Palais Royal. Met M: de Gouvion there, and walk'd with him, about an hour and an half. He was much averse to the Packets, coming round from L'Orient to Le Havre, which has at length been determined upon; but they have been so slow and dilatory about it, that the time for the May Packet to go round has been lost, and I shall still be obliged to go down to L'Orient. M: de Gouvion says it will lengthen the Passage very considerably, and increase the danger. That besides, the greatest part of the Passengers in those Packets come from Marseilles, Bordeaux, and Nantes, and don't come to Paris. All those, says he, will rather go home in Merchant Vessels, than, go so far as Le Hâvre. But Mr. de Gouvion, does not consider that great numbers of Americans, that cross the Atlantic from England, in merchants vessels, or the English packet, will in future, prefer to either the french Packet, as it will be so near, and much less expensive: I reminded him of this, and he agreed it was true.
Met Messrs. Jefferson, Short and Williamos: the Ladies made me wait so long, that I had well nigh taken a fiacre, to return home. Ten o'clock before we got to Auteuil.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-07


Went into Paris early in the morning. Called at the Hôtel d'Orleans, Rue St. Anne. Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Warburton, were going { 264 } for England at Noon. Hotel d'Orleans, Palais Royal: Dr. Ruston found West there, and accompanied him, to the Diligence, Rue Montmartre; at 12 o'clock they all went off. I walk'd with Mr. Jarvis in the Palais Royal, and afterwards went and dined with him, at the hotel d'Orleans, Rue des Petits Augustins. After dinner I called upon Mr. Randall, at the Hotel de l'Union, Rue St. Thomas du Louvre, and bought of him, the Carriage, in which he came from L'Orient. Gave him 20 louis d'or's for it. Called upon the abbés and Mr. Grand, but did not find them.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-08


Mr. Randall, Mr. Short, Mr. Jarvis, Dr. Ruston, Mr. Williamos, and Mr. Bowdoin, dined with us.
The drowth continues, and there is as yet no appearance of Rain.

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

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


Walk'd into Paris in the morning, to the Marquis de la Fayette's; to go with him to Mr. Jefferson's upon the subject, of the Importation of our whale oil, into this Country.1 I was told the Marquis was gone out of Town, on horseback. Call'd upon Mr. Williamos and from thence went to Mr. Jefferson's, where I waited till past noon for the Marquis, but, as he did not come then, I walk'd back again to Auteuil: was very much fatigued as it was exceeding warm. All the family, but myself dined at the Marquis's, and did not return till late in the evening.
1. Lafayette had lent his diplomatic and political skills to help gain for Boston and New England merchants engaged in the whale oil trade an important French market after they had lost their largest customer, Great Britain, as a result of the war. He negotiated an arrangement with M. Tourtille Sangrain, who had a contract to light the streets of Paris, to buy about a thousand tons of oil from American merchants. Returning to America, JQA carried with him Sangrain's proposals, copies of government passports, samples of oil, and letters from Lafayette to Jeremiah Wadsworth of Hartford and Samuel Breck of Boston (Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette, '4:116–117, 165–167; Lafayette to JQA, 14 May, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-10


Mr. A: went to Versailles, to take leave, of the Court. Mr. Carnes1 came out. Was all day preparing for my departure, in the evening Mm. de la Fayette, with two of her Children, came out: and Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Randall.
{ 265 }
1. Burrill Carnes, a merchant at Nantes, appointed American agent there in 1786 by Thomas Barclay (Jefferson, Papers, 9:303).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-11


This Day, the King made his grand review, on the Plaines de Sablons. Mr. A. and the Ladies dined at the Sweedish Ambassadors; I had so much to do, that I could not. Early in the morning I had a remise,1 and went first to Dr. Franklin, to take his Commands and ask for a Passport;2 which I could not get, because, M: de la Motte his secretary, was gone to the Review. Went to Mr. Jefferson's who was also gone; the whole road to Paris was strow'd with Carriages. I got an order for Horses at the Post Office. Went to Mr. Grand's and to the Abbés: but found nobody. Cross'd the river to the Marquis de la Fayette's and saw Madam; Called at the Hotel d'Orleans, R. des p: Augustins, at that du Roi George, Rue du Colombier for Mr. Chew and Mr. Chamberlaine, who brought me letters from my friend Murray in England,3 but every body was gone to the Review. Went to Froullé my Bookseller, and got a number of Books of the Brindley Edition.4 Paid him his account. Walk'd half an hour in the Palais Royal, and met Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Short, Mr. Bowdoin, Mr. Jarvis, Mr. Williamos, and Mr. Randall; who were all to dine with Mr. Jefferson: we walk'd till four o'clock, and then went together, to the Cul de Sac Taitbout, where we found the Marquis de la Fayette, Mr. Norris and Mr. Carnes, who dined there also. After dinner I went with Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Randall, and walk'd half an hour in the Palais Royal. Return'd and took leave of Mr. Jefferson, and his family: on my way home I stopp'd at Dr. Franklin's, and saw his grandson, who is ill: he told me that the Dr. had some thoughts of going to Boston; and from thence to Philadelphia by water: as he cannot bear the motion of a land Carriage. He talks of going in July or August.
About an hour after I got home, the Count d'Oradour, came, and told me that two large trunks, could not go on my Cabriolet, and that it would be therefore impossible for him to go with me. I desired him to bring the matter to a certainty, and in case he could not come, to send me the Carriage as early in the morning as possible.
1. A hired carriage.
2. JQA's passport, signed by Franklin and dated 1 May, is in the Adams Papers.
3. William Vans Murray to JQA, 27, 28 April (Adams Papers). JQA met Murray shortly after the Marylander had become a { 266 } student at the Middle Temple in the spring of 1784; they next saw each other in 1797 when Murray became JQA's successor as minister resident at The Hague (JQA to JA, 15 June 1784, Adams Papers; JQA, Memoirs, 1:189).
4. While JQA's library contains copies of the works of Caesar, Tacitus, Juvenal, Persius Flaccus, Nepos, and Lucan in the Brindley edition, only the works of Sallust, London, 1744, and Phaedrus, London, 1750, in addition to those already cited in notes, show evidence that they were purchased at this time.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-12

Thursday May 12th. 1785.

At about 9 o'clock the Cabriolet arrived, and the postillion brought me a Letter from the Countess d'Oradour,1 by which she informs me that the Count cannot go with me, as it is impossible to fix two large trunks upon the Carriage; so that I shall finally be obliged to go down to L'Orient alone, after having been led to expect the Company of three different persons. I suspect that Mr. W.2 has used his influence, to perswade the Count to wait for the next Packet: though I know not what reason he has to wish the Count would go with him. One thing is certain, which is, that it would be far more advantageous for the Count to go in the May Packet.
Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Carnes came out and gave me Letters for America. Mr. Jefferson sent out his Letters with two bottles of oil, in two cases, which are to serve as samples for oil to be imported from America. The Marquis de la Fayette's servant arrived with his Letters3 only a quarter of an hour before my departure. I took leave of my Parents and my Sister, and got into my Carriage, at ½ after 12, with such feelings, as no one that has not been seperated from Persons so dear, can conceive. My Postillions drove me very well, so that at ½ past 8 in the evening I was at Dreux, which is 9 ½ posts or 57 Miles from Paris. The roads are very good on this route. On leaving Versailles, you enter into the Province of Normandy, which extends more than half the way to L'Orient. This Province produces no Wine, but a great deal of Cyder, and the best in France; it furnishes also very considerable Quantities of grain; the fields of grass look now as dry and as yellow as in the month of January, for want of Rain: those of grain are in a better condition but look very thin. Between Paris and this place you pass through Versailles, the royal residence: not far from thence is the famous abbaye de Saint Cyr, founded by Madame de Maintenon, in order to educate a number of young Ladies of noble family and small fortune. Verneuil is the most considerable town on the road.
{ 267 }
1. Not found. The Count sailed on a later packet and was in Virginia during the fall and winter. Virginians noted his disappointment with the lands, which were more expensive than he had imagined, and with Americans, whom he had assumed all spoke French. Nevertheless, he made “a considerable tramontane purchase,” before returning to France (Jefferson, Papers, 8:147; 9:3, 93, 251; 10:616).
2. Charles Williamos; see entry for 4 May (above).
3. See note for entry of 9 May (above), and Lafayette: A Guide to the Letters, Documents, and Manuscripts in the United States, ed. Louis Gottschalk and others, Ithaca, N.Y., 1975, p. 84.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-13

May 13th.

At four in the morning I left Dreux, and rode, till 9 in the evening without stopping at all: But was then so much fatigued as my Carriage goes very hard, and the roads being very dusty I determined to go no further than Préz en Pail, which is 16 posts from Dreux, the country is mountaneous, and the roads are not so good as might be wish'd. This place is in the Province of Maine which forms part of Normandy. The produce of this province, is for the most part in grain. The fields of grass look miserably. In the morning, I met an whole village, men, women and children, with the curate at their head, going out in procession to implore rain of the virgin Mary. I have got into a very indifferent house: they tell me, they can give me nothing to eat because it is Friday; and no good Catholic ever eats meat on fridays.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-14


At 5 in the morning I was in my Cabriolet, and never stopp'd anywhere untill I arrived at Rennes, which was at 11. at night. By coming through a cross road I shortened the Journey 3 posts; so that I came only 13 ½ or 81. miles. The roads were so bad that I could not ride more speedily. I trembled whenever I saw a town before me: for they are all paved in such a manner, that it seems done on purpose to break every Carriage that passes through them: mine with the heat of the Sun, and these dreadful roads is split in several places. At 7 posts from Rennes I entered into the Province of Britanny: I expected to be visited very strictly; but was agreeably disappointed: a Custom house officer, came, and ask'd if I had anything in my baggage, contrary to the king's ordinances: on my answering no; he told my postilion to drive on, without any further searching: and what surprised me most was that he did not beg a half crown piece. At Rennes { 268 } my postilion first drove me, to the sign of the sheep, (au mouton) which by all accounts is a very good house: but there was not one empty room in the house: he then brought me, to such a tavern, as has not I really believe its equal in France. When I went into the house a dirty, ill looking woman, led me up a rotten pair of stairs, into a room, where there were a few remnants of paper hangings, which had formerly decorated it, a table, which was as good as tables in France commonly are, a chair, in which I dare not sit at ease, lest it should fall to pieces, a bed stead, that is of a piece with the rest, and numberless cobwebs

Where half starv'd spiders, feed on half starv'd flies

compose the furniture of this apartment. I enquired whether there was any provisions in the house, and was answered, that I might have some bread and butter. I was glad to get any thing and ask'd for any thing they could find, but when they had made me wait an hour, they discovered that they had no butter in the house: I determined to go to bed but when I endeavoured to lock the door of my Chamber, I found it impracticable. I heartily wish'd myself out of the house, and went to bed, endeavouring to keep awake, as much as possible, notwithstanding, I was so much fatigued.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-15


Left the Hotel d'Artois, at about 5 in the morning, and was determined not to stop again before I arrived at L'Orient; for I had no Inclination to lodge in another house like those at Rennes and at Préz-en-Pail. At Josselin a small village, about half way between Rennes and L'Orient I saw a mountabank, curiously dress'd riding about in the Streets on horseback beating a drum, with a number of Peasants following him. He made a stop, in a square, and began to harangue the assembly. I was in my Carriage at the Post office, and while they were changing horses I was near enough to hear the speech of the Quack. He had the honour to inform the gentlemen and Ladies that he was the greatest man in the world at slight hand, that he had exhibited before, the kings of France, Spain and Holland, to their astonishment and admiration. He continued a considerable time in the same style, and concluded by saying, that he should this evening give the first representation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and as it was merely out of regard for them, and from no motive of inter• { 269 } | view est that he meant to exhibit,1 his first places should be only 2 sous each. I could not help laughing heartily to see the fellow go on in that manner while all the peasants round him stood in admiration of his talents

Grands yeux ouverts, bouche béante.

At about 6 o'clock I arrived at Lo[c]miné; which is 6 ½ posts from L'Orient. They gave me a Postillion who was so drunk that he could hardly keep on his horse. Before he got out of the town he run one of the wheels, against the corner of an house, with so much violence, that I expected the wheel was broke: but luckily it was not. I was in continual fear of being overset and having my Carriage, if not my bones broke. I got however safe to the End of my Post: owing more to my good fortune than any thing else: for the roads were very bad. I rode all night and at 4 o'clock Monday morning arrived at L'Orient. I went to the Epée Royale, and to the Hotel d'Artois, but there was no Chamber vacant in either. The Postillion then brought me to the Hotel de la Marine, which is not a good house, but is a Palace in comparison with those I stopp'd at on the way. The roads between Rennes and this Place, are very hilly and rough, but are not I think, so bad as those, between Alençon and Rennes. The Country looks very poor; and the fields seem to produce nothing: but the Country people look neater and gayer than in any other part of France, and I saw less beggars than I have commonly met with. What it is owing to I cannot say; but this Province boasts of enjoying peculiar privileges, and of having a greater portion of liberty than any other. The Bretons say that their Parliament is the firmest and most respectable in the kingdom: how far this is true I know not, but it is certain, that the Parliament of Rennes have distinguished themselves, upon several occasions, when the others did not show the same courage.
The Expenses of a single person from Paris to L'Orient, in a Cabriolet, the carriage that is commonly made use of in France, for travelling, are as follows.
Hire of a Cabriolet     120.  
60 posts. 2 horses at 30 sols per post, each     180.  
the 3d. horse, about 12 posts     18.  
Postillions 1 livre per Post     60  
Lodging on the road, and the 2 posts Royal     32  
  Total.   410.  
{ 270 }
If two persons travel together they take only three horses, and the expences being thus divided, will not amount to more than 300 livres each. The first thing a traveller should purchase, when he arrives in France, is a Post Book. They are published every six months and contain every information relative to travelling Post, necessary. They are to be found at every bookseller's shop.
1. Punctuation supplied.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0016

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


I went to bed immediately on my arrival; rose at about 10 in the morning, sent a man to find out Mr. Barclay. He return'd and told me he was vis-à-vis la maison de Ville. I went and found him very unwell: he had meant to leave L'Orient four or five days ago; but has been very ill with an humour in his head; but he is now much better, and thinks to set off next Thursday. I found Mr. Champion1 there, who went with me to Mr. Rucker's lodgings. I found him, and Mr. Grub2 a Gentleman from Carolina. They accompanied me to the man who sold my Cabriolet, to Mr. Randall; he was much more reasonable, than I expected he would be, for notwithstanding all the damage, which the heat of the Sun, and the badness of the roads have done to the Carriage, he gave me 25 louis d'ors for it: and took it just as it was. His name is Soret. I think I can recommend him to any person who might want to hire or to buy a carriage at L'Orient. Dined with Mr. Barclay. After dinner, I went with Mr. Champion, to Mr. Mazois the director of the Packets, and paid him 500 livres for a passage, on board the Courier de l'Amerique, Captain Fournier. I was much astonished to hear that the Packet will sail tomorrow if the wind remains as it is. It is very extraordinary that Mr. le Couteulx himself, the director of the Packets at Paris, should not know when the Packets sail: he tells every passenger who goes to him, that they are obliged to wait for the Post that arrives from Paris Wednesday morning.3 A Gentleman who will pass with us, depending upon this, arrived 6 hours too late for the last Packet, and has been obliged to wait an whole month at L'Orient. I saw the Captain who gave me a respite; he will not go till to morrow evening, but I depend only upon a change of wind, for all the Letters which I expect by the next Post. It is very disagreeable to be thus disappointed by the unpardonable negligence, of those very persons, on whom, we depend the most.
{ 271 }
I bought My bedding, viz: a matrass, a pair of sheets: so large that one will be sufficient at a time, a pillar, and two pillar Cases. I brought with me from Paris a Coverlid, and half a dozen napkins, all these articles a person must necessarily have: on board the Packet you are furnished with every thing else, as I am told.
Spent the evening and Supp'd at Mr. Barclay's; with Mrs. Moylan, Miss Fermier her Sister, and Mr. Nesbitt.4 Return'd to my Hotel at about 12. at night.†.5
1. Probably Henry Champion, a merchant at Lorient (Jefferson, Papers, 8:448; 10:87; 11:112, 173, 582–583).
2. James Grubb, a Virginia merchant at Lorient. Thirty years later JQA employed Grubb as his private secretary in London. “He was then [in the 1780s] flourishing in Youth and Prosperity,” JQA wrote to his mother, “but has since been unfortunate, and now with a wife and six children, even the employment that I give him is a relief to him” (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 2:450; 3:97; JQA to AA, 24 Aug. 1815, Adams Papers).
3. 18 May, two days hence.
4. Jonathan Nesbitt, a merchant banker at Lorient since 1775, and brother of John Maxwell Nesbitt, the Philadelphia Revolutionary leader and merchant (The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781–1784, ed. E. James Ferguson and John Catanzariti, Pittsburgh, 1973– , 3:298, 520; Blanche Taggart Hartman, A Genealogy of the Nesbit, Ross, Porter, Taggart Families of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 1929, p. 7, 8).
5. JQA's cross mark probably refers, as others have, to letters he wrote which were gleaned from his Diary entries. In this case it is undoubtedly his letter to AA2, 1112–17 May [1785], Adams Papers, in which he describes his journey from Dreux to Lorient.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-17


Immediately after breakfast I went to Mr. Barclay's. The wind has changed, so that we shall not sail this day. This gives me pleasure, as I expect a number of Letters, by the Post that arrives to morrow morning: I went with Captain Fournier to the Hôtel of Mr. Thevenard the Commandant, but he was not at home. Saw him upon the place of Parade. Dined with Mr. Grub and Mr. Champion at Mr. Barclay's. After dinner my Captain came, and took me in his barge, on board the Packet. Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Williamos were kind enough to write a fortnight ago to the Captain, informing him of my design to go with him: so that the round house has been kept for me. It is by far the best apartment in the Packet, except those of the Captain and officers. The Rooms below the deck are very inconvenient, so small that two persons cannot easily fit together in one of them. They have no windows in them, which makes them so dark that it is impossible to read without a candle and must render the air extremely unwholsome. But the roundhouse has a large window and two { 272 } small ones that open and being upon the deck it is not subject to the bad air that reigns continually below. Remained on board a couple of hours. Returned and spent the evening with Mr. Barclay. Mm: Cardan, and her two Daughters supped there. Return'd home, at 11. o'clock.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-18


In the morning I went to the Post office, and enquired if there were any Letters for me; there were none. I immediately went to Monsr. Mazois, to whom I supposed my Letters would be addressed, but he had none for me neither. I don't know how it happens. I can only suppose that they were put in the Post Office, so late that they failed, coming by the Saturday Post; and even if that is the Case, I shall lose them, unless we are retained here by contrary winds, till friday, which I cannot expect. Early in the morning I went on board the Packet, with my trunks. One of them was carried down into the magazine: the other, I had placed in my Room.
Mr. Mazois invited me to sup with him this evening. Dined with Mr. Barclay. Mr. Grub was there. I went with him to see Mr. McCarty.1 At about 7. in the evening I felt much fatigued and unwell. Took leave of Mr. Barclay, who leaves this place tomorrow for Paris. Return'd home, and went immediately to bed.
1. Probably William McCarty, an American merchant at Lorient engaged in the importation of whale oil and tobacco (Jefferson, Papers, 9:330–331, 537–538; 10:195).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-19


At about 6 o'clock, the Captain of the Packet, and Mr. Salvius, a Sweedish Gentleman, who intends to go with us, called upon me, to go on board and put all our things in order, so as to be ready at an hours warning. We first went and took with us a Dutch Gentleman named Mölich who was to sail in the last Packet, but having been misinform'd by Monsr. le Couteulx, arrived here 6 hours too late, and has been waiting here ever since. We went all together on board, in the Captain's barge. I placed all my linen, and whatever I supposed would be necessary for the voyage, in the draws, in my apartment: we dined on board at twelve o'clock, and immediately after dinner return'd on shore. I went with Mr. Mölich to the Chambre de Literature. This is a considerable Library supported by subscription. Every subscriber { 273 } has a right to introduce, a friend, and a stranger being once introduced may go whenever he pleases. Remained there till 4 o'clock. Mr. Mölich then return'd to my lodgings with me. Was dress'd, and then went with him to the Comedy, where we saw le Sorcier, with les femmes vengées.1 The actors are very indifferent, though we were told that they play'd the second piece uncommonly well. Supped with Mr. Mölich at the Epée Royale. Returned home at about 11. o'clock. I called in the afternoon at Mr. Barclay's house. He set off for Paris this morning at 7 o'clock.
1. Le sorcier, Paris, 1764, by Antoine Alexandre Henri Poinsinet, with music by François André Danican, called Philidor; Les femmes vengées, ou, les feintes infidélités, Paris, 1775, by Michel Jean Sedaine, with music by Philidor (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-20


I went down into the Port at about 10 o'clock in the morning. Met Mr. Grub who told me, that Mr. Thevenard, had a packet of Letters for me. I immediately went to his Hôtel, and he gave me the packet: it was from the Marquis de la Fayette and inclosed a number of Letters for America,1 with a sheet of the Leyden gazette2 which says that 20,000 Imperial troops have taken possession of Bavaria, in the name of the Emperor, and that the elector has left his Capital with his guards, and all his Court, with the intention to go to the low Countries. If this is true, the exchange, between the Emperor and the Elector of Bavaria, so much talk'd of, and so positively denied by the parties, has really taken place; the Marquis writes, that although the news is by no means certain; he thought the sooner it is known in America, the better. As I was returning home I met Mr. Mölich in the street, and told him the news, which was peculiarly interesting to him, as it is to his Country. We went to the Caffé de la Comedie, and afterwards took a walk out of the town. Went to the Chambre de Literature; remained there till 2 o'clock. Mr. Mölich then went with me, and dined at my lodgings. Just as we had done dinner Captain Fournier came in, and delivered a packet, he received this morning from Mr. Williamos.3 It contained all the Letters that I expected from Paris:4 they must have been put into the Post office at Paris too late to come by the Saturday post.
Went in the afternoon, and spent a couple of hours with Mr. Rucker. Return'd home, and wrote all the evening to my Sister. The Wind changed this afternoon, and is now quite fair for us to go out.
{ 274 }
1. 14 May (Adams Papers), which contained documents and the account from the Leyden Gazette, discussed below, but no mention of “letters for America,” and possibly, though not likely, his letter of 18 May (Adams Papers). Probably the latter never reached JQA before he sailed on 21 May.
2. Not found. The Gazette was reporting rumors. Although Emperor Joseph II had schemed to round off his Austrian dominions and acquire Bavaria in exchange for the troublesome Austrian Netherlands and the title of King of Burgundy, no war or invasion of Bavaria to effect the exchange took place (The Cambridge Modern History, A. W. Ward and others, 13 vols., Cambridge, England, 1902–1911, repr. 1969, 6:646–647; Paul P. Bernard, Joseph II and Bavaria, The Hague, 1965).
3. Dated 14 May (Adams Papers), which included a letter of introduction to Col. Burr, presumably Thaddeus Burr, to whom JQA delivered a letter on 17 Aug.
4. According to JQA's letter to his sister started on the 17th and completed on the 20th (Adams Papers), referred to later in the entry, these letters included: one from AA2 (not found); David Humphreys ([ca. May 1785], Adams Papers, enclosing four letters of introduction for JQA, none identified, though perhaps one to Gov. Jonathan Trumbull); and “Letters from Miss Nancy, and from her Parents” (not found).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-21

Saturday May 21st. 1785.

At 6 o'clock in the morning a person came from the Captain, to inform me that the wind was fair, and that I must be on board at 9 o'clock. I went to Mr. Mölich's lodgings. Called at Mr. Barclay's house and breakfasted with Mr. Champion. Bought four pieces of Nankin at 6. lis: 10 sols: the piece. Saw Mr. Lanchon1 a merchant of Reputation of this Town. He took charge of my Letter for my Sister. At 9 o'clock Mr. Champion came on board the Packet with us. Immediately they began to weigh our anchors, but before we could get clear of the harbour, the winds changed, so that we were obliged to anchor, before Port Louis. At about 11. o'clock, an American Ship came into the harbour: and as I supposed, it might bring some news, that I might be glad to know, I ask'd leave to go on board. Mr. Cuyler, a young American who came in this Packet last March, Mr. Mölich and myself, went on board, but found it was a vessel from Baltimore, that had been 50 days out.
We returned on board our Packet, and dined. After dinner I went on shore at Port Louis, with our Captain. We walk'd about the place, till near 6 o'clock, when the Captain perceived that the wind had come round again. We immediately return'd on board, weigh'd our anchors and set sail. At 11. o'clock we had got clear of the island of Groix and were at Sea. I felt very disagreeably, and went immediately to bed: but I could not sleep; on account of the noise that was made all night, on the deck.2
{ 275 }
1. Of Lanchon Frères & Cie., a commercial house at Lorient and Le Havre (Jefferson, Papers, 11:546).
2. After the following day's entry, JQA wrote irregularly in his Diary throughout the voyage.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-22


When we rose in the morning, we were out of sight, of Land. We have nothing now but the ocean and the sky around us. The weather being very fine none of us was very sick: but almost all the passengers felt such qualms as prevented them from eating any thing all day: myself among the rest.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-25


We have had fine weather on board ever since we left L'Orient, but have not in general been able to enjoy it on account of sea sickness. We begin now to stand a little firmer upon our legs. The Events that happen on board a Vessel are very seldom interesting, and the life we lead is very lazy and tiresome. Our Company on board is very gay and sociable, but is not in general such as I should have wished.
Captain le Fournier is an excellent Seaman; he is 37 years old and has pass'd more than half that time at Sea; no one could wish to be with a better Captain. He is only 1st. Lieutenant, but commands the packet, because the Chevalier d'Abouville, is now in America, building another packet, which he is to command. Captain Fournier expected to receive a Commission as lieutenant of a Frigate, but such is the delay that the Ministers cause before they grant the least favour, that he did not receive it: it will probably come to him by the next Packet: he will then have the command of this Vessel. I heartily wish he may succeed: for he is not only a good Seaman but an excellent man. If such men had the command in the french Navy, they would not be so often exposed to lose their fleets as they are, but in France, few persons of merit can make their way in the military profession; without credit at Court. A Man must have an education as a fine gentleman, must be a Courtier and an intriguer to obtain any rank. The exceptions to this rule are few. They would be numerous if the Event was consulted. Monsr. de la Motte Piquet, one of the best officers in the French Navy had nothing but his merit to recommend him, and certainly among their noble Seamen they { 276 } can find none that behaved better in the course of the last war. Very few did their duty so well.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-27


Still the same scene fine weather, little wind. At about noon, we spoke to an English brig, Coming from Cadiz, and bound to Ordiné, a small town, in the british Channel.
Mr. Le Bel our first Lieutenant is a man of about 35 years; who is also an excellent Seaman. I believe he has pass'd a great part of his Life at Sea. His Character is much that of a mariner who has lost by the life he has lead all the tender feelings that form in my opinion the charms of Life. He has all the exteriors of Complaisance but he is a perfect egoist, so far as to declare in Conversation that he cares not what happens to the whole Universe, when he is once dead. His principles are always such as his Interest requires, and he makes no mystery to declare it publicly. He was a prisoner in England during the war, and was in America, with the french fleet; he was married there, to an American. It does not give me pleasure to see my Countrywomen form such connections: but as he will never settle in America, the harm is not so great. I shall endeavour to keep upon good terms with all the officers, and passengers during the voyage, but this is not certainly the person whose company I shall regret [losing?] after our arrival at New York.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0007-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-31


High Wind, directly contrary. The Vessel roll'd so much that most of the passengers were sick. We saw yesterday a great number of Porpoises, which according to the opinion of Seamen in general, is always a certain sign of much wind. We have made very little progress as yet.
Mr. Halley our second Lieutenant is a young man, under 20. He has pass'd a great part of his time at Sea, and is much of a gentleman. The Character I have found this person to possess is for me, a lesson which has been often repeated to me, never to judge any one from his first appearance; had my opinion been ask'd concerning our officers, I should have supposed Mr. Halley, had a hard Character, and was very inflammable, whereas he is the most agreeable of the 3 officers on board; he has been in this packet ever since the Institution: consequently, this is his fourth { 277 } Voyage to New-York. He tells me we shall in all probability have a passage of at least 50 days. This packet has never had a shorter one from L'Orient to New York. The Captain has determined to go down for the trade Winds.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-01

Wednesday June 1st. 1785.

Small wind. The Season for Calm weather is coming forward, and I am afraid we shall have a long passage; in the afternoon we saw a ship and pass'd within a mile from her but the weather being dark and foggy we could not see her distinctly. Towards night the wind freshened.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-04


Our Wind has been very low for several days. 15 or 20 leagues a day is the utmost extent of our route.
Mr. Well de Singler is a youth 18 years old, consequently he cannot be a good Seaman; this is only his second voyage. His first was to India. His manners are by no means agreeable. He has some reading, and was two or three years in a College at Paris. He is full of his knowledge, and does not doubt but he is the most learned man on board though the youngest. He commonly engroces the conversation wherever he is, and maintains his opinion in the most positive manner, upon any subject whatever. His principles are to fight with every body, and upon the most trivial occasions; he even gives to understand, that if opportunities fail, he takes care to create them. He pretends to be of noble birth and affects to despise every body who is not noble. In short I think it an unlucky circumstance that I am obliged to remain with him during 50 days. I cannot conceive how the lives of 50 or 60 persons can be sported with so far as to place a boy commanding officer on board a kings ship, but so it is, and every thing in France depends upon protection at Court. I don't wonder their marine has never been able to resist the English Navy. Very luckily for us, there is another officer on board who keeps the watch with Mr. Singler; so that I am not anxious as I should be if a person who knows very little more than I, of the Sea was in bad weather alone to command on deck.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-08


Continual calms, and contrary winds. We are now at about 38 degrees of Latitude, and are not far from the western Islands. Consequently we have not yet run 400 leagues. We saw in the forenoon a brigg and in the afternoon, she pass'd about 2 leagues from us, and hoisted an English flag. It is a common custom when 2 vessels meet at Sea, they hoist the flag of their respective nations: in peace I mean; for in war it is different.
Mr. Le Breton of about 32 years, has been a Seaman at least 20. During the late war he commanded a privateer from Dunkirk and another from Zierikze'e. He was sometime prisoner in England. He is on board this Packet as a subaltern officer, but pays the Captain, to live at his table. The reason of this is, that Mr. Le Breton has a vessel building for him to command, when he has his campaigns. The Undertakers in France, will never insure a merchant vessel unless her Captain, has serv'd as officer in the kings service, at least two campaigns of three months each, and this is called to have their campaigns, and is what Mr. Le Breton is performing. He is one of the most agreeable persons on board. He sings very prettily, and entertains us highly almost every evening with his songs. He always keeps the watch with Mr. de Singler, which relieves me from a vast deal of anxiety.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-11


This day being Captain Fournier's, jour de fête, he gave us an excellent entertainment on board: and when his health was drank at the desert, 5 guns were fir'd in his Honour. As there was a more considerable space of time between the fourth and fifth than between the others Mr. Le Bel was very much irritated: fearing that the fifth would not be fired; a salute in an even number is English, and of course the odd number, is French. But an even number on board a french vessel, and an odd one on board an Englishman, are equally look'd upon as an insult. I had in the evening a disagreeable dispute with Mr. Singler, who is some times really insupportable. Calm weather still all day.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-14


Last Evening the wind freshened considerably, and we have now a very fine breeze. It began to be necessary, for the continual { 279 } calm, that has reign'd, almost all the time, since we left L'Orient have lengthened our Voyage very much. I have now no hopes of being less than 50 days at Sea. I fear more. By coming for the trade winds, the passage may be much longer than to go northward of the western islands, but, it is commonly much surer. By the other way a vessel in this Season, may be 3 or 4 months at Sea, which very seldom happens when they take this route.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-15


Still a fine wind. Yesterday, we ran 50 leagues, and in all probability we shall not do less to day. By yesterday I mean the Solar day from noon to noon, the manner in which all nations compute time, at Sea. At about noon we saw a sail at a considerable distance, but we did not remain long in sight of one another. In the evening our wind fell a little.
Mr. Bouchant the surgeon of the Packet is about 30 years old. The surgeons on board all the vessels belonging to the King of France are called chirurgiens majors and in conversation they are address'd monsieur le major, so that I have been obliged to day to ask his name: he appears to be a very good man, and to be well versed in his profession. He affects no pedantry, and is an excellent Companion, as well as a good surgeon. These are the officers on board the Packet, who keep the Captains Company, and live at his table. On board their frigates and men of war the officers are in greater number and there is commonly a chaplain in addition to the rest at the Captain's table. On board the English ships, the Captain has his own table, and the officers a seperate one. There is in the English Navy, a much greater distance between the Captain and the officers, than in the French. I don't know which custom is preferable but in case of an action, in war, you hear much oftener the french officers complain of their orders being disobey'd, than among the English. I don't know but it is owing to this manner of affecting a great distance between the rank of their officers. The old maxim familiarity creates contempt is certainly a very good one, and is almost always true.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-18


Our wind is still good but is almost all gone, and we have not run more than 20 or 25 leagues, within the last 48 hours. This forenoon we saw something at Sea, but we could not distinguish { 280 } what. Some said it was a very large piece of wood. Others, were of opinion, that it was a boat overset. It pass'd at a small distance, and amused us for half an hour. At Sea, such is the continual sameness of the surrounding objects that the smallest trifle becomes interesting, and is sufficient to excite our curiosity and occupy our attention.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-20


Continual calms. Our passage will I fear be a very long one. We have fine weather, but we would willingly agree to have less Sun, and more wind. The weather begins to be very hot and we are in the Latitude of 26d. 30m. But the Sea air makes the warmth more supportable. This evening, as we were near the tropic one of the officers, according to the custom universally established, of wetting all the persons on board who have not cross'd the tropic, sprinkled us with a little water: one of the passengers, who is fond of such amusements; as the french in general are; returned the officer's Compliment, with an whole bucket of water. This was as a signal to us all; we immediately form'd two parties, and we were all, officers and passengers, wet from head to foot before we ended. I believe more than 200 buckets of water were spilt upon the deck in the course of the evening. One of the passengers alone receiv'd thirty buckets. Such a diversion is not very instructive nor very agreeable, but may be pass'd over for once: I hope it will not be repeated.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-24


We have been for several days in the trade winds: But have had calm weather till yesterday morning, since when we have had a breeze, which makes us run 40 leagues in 24 hours. This is St. John's day, a great holiday, wherever the Roman Catholic Religion is dominant. O! grand Saint Jean c'etait alors ta fête!
Mr. Mölich, is a young merchant of Amsterdam, 23 years old. Since the Peace he has in society with one of his Countrymen, set up a commercial house in Charlestown,1 under the firm of Schmidt & Mölich. He is now going to join his partner, and proposes going by Land from New York to Charlestown. I believe his journey, will not be a very agreeable one. He has travelled almost all over Europe, and has been twice to the West Indies. He has by this means acquired a considerable knowledge of the { 281 } world, and a genteel appearance. His manners are pleasing, and he possesses a virtue which is met with oftener in Holland than in France; that of sincerity: He is serious as the Dutch in general are: and is subject to absence of mind very often, in so much, that we tell him he is deeply in love; and I really believe he is. A good quality but which leads him now and then into error is a fondness for his Country, which cannot bear that any one should speak slightly of it. He is the person on board with whom I am the most intimate, and whose Sentiments agree the most with my own.
1. That is, Charleston, S.C. The firm is listed in Jacob Milligan's The Charleston Directory, Charleston, [1790].

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-28


Fine Wind, and good weather. We have for several days run between 40 and 50 leagues every day. In the evening we spoke to an american brig from New London, bound to Santa Cruce1 loaded with horses. Her Longitude, was 55 from the meridian of London. Ours was 56d. 30m. from that of Paris, so that the difference was very small. We saw another vessel to day, and a sail yesterday, but at a considerable distance.
Mr. Fontfreyde,2 is a frenchman by birth, but he has pass'd several years in America; and he is settled at Albany. He was formerly an officer in the french army. All things considered I believe this gentleman is the most accomplished person on board. His manners are very soft and agreeable. He has received a very good education, and to the Complaisance natural to all the French Nation, his knowledge, of the world has united a Candour, which is not so often to be found among them. 36 years have tempered the vivacity of his youth, and though a person of the strictest honour he has a character of the most pacific kind. In short if all the officers and passengers on board were like this gentleman, the passage would have appeared, much shorter, and much more agreeable to me.
1. Probably Saint Croix, also known as Santa Cruz, the largest of the Virgin Islands.
2. Probably John (Jean Baptiste?) Fontfreyde, a merchant who purchased a freedom from the corporation of Albany in 1781, that is, his right to the privileges of the town (Joel Munsell, The Annals of Albany, 10 vols., Albany, N.Y., 1850–1859, 10:153; Lasseray, Les français sous les treize étoiles, 1:218).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0008-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-06-30


The weather is very good, but the winds begin to be very variable as we approach to the term of the trade winds: by our observation we are now about an hundred leagues from the Bermudas. We have had calm weather all day, extremely warm, so that no body could bear a coat. These seas are subject to very frequent squalls, and thunder storms, which are sometimes dangerous: we must expect to meet with three or four: but the mariners have been so often taught by cruel experience to be prudent that they now always begin to lessen their Sail before the Storm gets to them, and they are in general prepared for it when it comes.
Mr. Huron Du Rocher1 is a merchant from Nantes, about 34 years old. He has form'd a commercial house in Philadelphia since the war, but has suffered as so many other persons have. He is now going over to America, in order to settle his affairs there. He proposes to remain there, about an year. He has received a liberal education, and has a great deal of wit, with a character a little inclined to Satyrical observations. His reflections, under the mask of gaiety are biting and severe; and have the more effect because it is impossible to take them ill. He does not however make a bad use of the Talent he is endow'd with: which when kept within proper bounds is useful and agreeable: but which becomes: very hurtful and dangerous if the person who has it cannot restrain it on many occasions. Mr. Huron does not intend to remain any time at New-York; but to set out for Philadelphia, the day we shall go on shore.
1. This may be Lawrence Huron (see following entry), listed as a Philadelphia merchant in 1785. In addition to interests in Philadelphia, Lawrence was involved with his brother, Jean Baptiste, in landholdings in several Kentucky counties (Macpherson's Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia..., Philadelphia, 1785; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 4:358; Jefferson, Papers, 9:49–50).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-01

Friday July 1st. 1785.

Calm weather all day. In the evening it began to lighten, and our thunder spire was fix'd; this is a small chain, fastened at the mast head; the other end of which hangs in the water, but as it is made, I believe in case of a thunder storm, it must be rather hurtful than of service. For the chain is so small, that I cannot think it would conduct much lightening; besides which it touches to a great number of ropes, and to the hull of the ship { 283 } itself; which I believe, must infallibly take fire in case, the lightening should fall on this spire. The evening was extremely warm and the passengers, all except Mr. Huron and myself, went early to their chambers. We remained on deck till 3 o'clock in the morning. At about one, the air was very heavy, the weather was as calm as possible. The darkness of the night, was heightened, by a number of black threatening Clouds, that surrounded us, and by the flashes of lightening, which were very frequent, and sharp. I was observing to Mr. Huron what a profound calm reign'd in the atmosphere, when a gust of wind sufficient to blow a hat from ones head, came as if on purpose to give me the lye. Immediately Mr. Halley who had the watch ordered all the sails except the four largest, to be lowered: the wind from North west changed in an instant to West, and for half an hour were not five minutes at the same point. The squall pass'd at a small distance from us and we felt but little of it. At 2 o'clock, the weather was as calm as it had been all the evening. These squalls and thunderstorms, which are very frequent in these Seas; are what mariners dread very much. Such a leap in the wind when the vessel has all sail out, and a storm of this kind falls suddenly upon it may often dismast it: so that a great deal of precaution is necessary, in order to be prepared for the reception of these gusts. Very few Vessels pass near the Bermudas, without meeting with more or less of this kind of weather.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-04


Calm weather continually: and so warm that it is almost insupportable. We still esteem ourselves 50 leagues East of the Bermudas. I wish'd very much to arrive in America before this day, which is the greatest day in the year, for every true American. The anniversary of our Independance. May heaven preserve it: and may the world still see

A State where liberty shall still survive

In these late times, this evening of mankind

When Athens, Rome and Carthage are no more

The world almost in slavish sloth dissolv'd.1

1. JQA's quotation is from “Britannia,” lines 195–199, by James Thomson, a particular favorite of AA, who committed some of his work to memory. In Thomson's poem, the first line given above actually reads: “A state, alone, where Liberty should live” (The Complete Poetical Works of James Thomson, ed. J. Logie Robertson, London, 1908, p. 477; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:391).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-07


At length we have reason to hope that an end is put to the calms with which we have been almost incessantly tormented, and which has kept us already, nearly fifty days at Sea: with 200 leagues still before us. This morning we had a small breeze that carried us about 3 knots an hour but it lasted only a short time and fell again into the same insipid state of nullity it had been in for a week past. At 11 o'clock another breeze came, which continued longer, and carried us more than 4 knots. The air was however still very heavy, and the atmosphere seemed crowded with thunder clouds. At about 6 in the evening it began to lighten and before 8 o'clock the rain pour'd down like a torrent. 5 or 6 storms from different parts of horizon pass'd over our heads, and burst one after the other. One clap of thunder was very heavy, and fell at a small distance from the ship. I cannot imagine a more striking situation than that of a vessel at Sea, at midnight, with no moon, having five or six such storms around her. At about 10 o'clock the air which had been all the evening intolerably warm, grew suddenly very fresh, but the storms continued almost all night, and at two o'clock in the morning it rain'd almost as hard as ever. I then went to bed.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-09


The air was so effectually cleared by the breaking up of the storms which occupied the atmosphere, that we have had since yesterday morning, a fine breeze, which has sometimes made the ship run 8 knots an hour. In the last 24 hours we have shortened our voyage 53 leagues. Yesterday morning we saw a sloop, which pass'd about ½ a league starboard of us. She had no topmast. I wish'd the Captain to bear down, and speak to her, in order to be more certain where we are: but there is among mariners an unbecoming vanity, which induces them, to think, they must trust to their own point alone, and that it is dishonourable to be obliged to consult any other person. Such trivial passions seem to be in possession of the heart of man; every profession has some such false point of honour, which is productive of much harm, and of no good, but such is the force of prejudice, that few persons have force sufficient to surmount it. We suppose ourselves now about 150 leagues from New York. Such weather would carry us there in a very short time. I wish it may continue as it is.
{ 285 }
Mr. Salvius is a Sweedish merchant about 24 years old: I have spoken of all the other passengers on board before him, because his character is the most extraordinary of all. The moon has certainly a considerable influence on his mind. Upon the whole he has I believe a good heart: but he will quarrel with a person without any reason at all. His passion immediately vents itself, in terms, which one would be obliged to resent, if they were made use of by any other person, but which are not to be taken notice of coming from him: an hour afterwards, he will come and ask your pardon for what he has said, and yet, will begin again with as little reason as before. His head is full of plans and projects, which have not a shadow of comonon Sense; yet he has had a good education and often talks upon different subjects very sensibly and with much knowledge. Politeness and cleanliness seem excluded from his System of life; and one of our witty passengers wrote these four lines which form a curious epigram.

Salvius ce nom me parait admirable

A qui le porte il ne convient pas mal

Car en le voyant soit au lit soit à Table

Chacun s'ecrie, ah! bon dieu qu'il est Sal,! vius &c.

He sail'd about 15 months ago from Hamborough for Philadelphia and pass'd in this Packet, last February: he remained from that time till we sail'd; at L'Orient, and he owns himself that he had nothing to do there. He now returns to America, and it would not be extraordinary, if he should sail with this Packet again for France, in August. He is so mysterious and mistrusting, that he tells nobody who or what he is: and never lets a word slip that may hint what are his intentions of any kind. He is not an agreeable companion, and I would not be obliged to live with him, upon any account.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-11


A fresh breeze, and good wind, at about 11 o'clock, we spy'd a sail, and at ¾ after 12 we spoke to her. Found her to be an English Schooner from New York, bound to Jamaica. She left New York five days ago, and they suppose her at 69d. 40m. Longitude meridian of London which is two degrees, thirty minutes, west from Paris. Our Captain supposes us, at 72d. 55m. from Paris: which makes 45 minutes, or 16 leagues difference. ¼ of an hour { 286 } after we spoke to her we saw another sail, which was a large ship. She pass'd about a league windward of us. At about 3 o'clock we made a third, and as the wind blew very fresh in an hour's time she was as far behind us as she was when we first perceiv'd her. It was a large brig, and seem'd going directly opposite to our course. At about 6 o'clock, the wind blew hard, and for a quarter of an hour we ran at least at the rate of 10 knots. In the evening: it lightened so sharp and so frequently that the horizon appeared all in a flame. At midnight, it blew a storm, notwithstanding which we sounded but found no bottom.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-14


Yesterday at about 8 o'clock in the morning, we spied a sail, at our windward; her course was nearly the same with ours. We sailed swifter than she, and gained ground so fast that at 6 in the evening she was not more than a league distant from us, to the leward. The night coming on, made us lose sight of her. In the evening we had about the ship at least a dozen of small birds of the size of a swallow, which the french call Alcides;1 I don't know the English name. They are black all, except in the hind part of the back, which is white: they made a very disagreeable, and a very clamorous noise. The mariners, who find presages and omens, in almost every object they see, pretend, that they never appear except before, or after bad weather. I must however own that in this case their prognostics happen to be true. This morning at day light, we found the sloop within gun shot of us at leeward, and at about 7 o'clock we made two other sail at windward. At 2 o'clock afternoon the sloop came, and spoke to us. She was from Charlestown bound to New port, and supposes herself 45 leagues from land. From the number of persons we saw on deck, we supposed it was the Packet. Our weather has been very variable for these four or five days. We have run one day with another from 20 to 25 leagues. We have sounded at midnight these three last nights but without success.
1. A ducklike sea bird; in this case, JQA appears to be describing a guillemot (Paul Robert, Dictionnaire alphabétique et analogique de la langue française, 9 vols., Paris, 1951–1964).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-15


This morning with a fine breeze and good wind, we sounded and found bottom, at about 35 fathom of water: we were from { 287 } thence convinced that the vessel we spoke to yesterday had deceived us with respect to our distance from land, or was very much mistaken, for so little water as 25 fathom is not to be found more than 15 or 20 leagues from the coast. We sail'd directly North, to get into our Latitude and at noon were at 39d. 45m. The wind had fallen, and became unfavourable, but it did not last so long. We found bottom at 18 fathom, in the afternoon; but at about 5 o'clock, a very threatning thunder storm arose; the Captain wishing to keep clear of the coast in case of a storm directed the ship towards the N. E. At about 7. o'clock, the gust came, upon us in a very sudden, and a very violent manner: the wind was exceeding high, and the rain pour'd down in showers. It did not last more than an hour, and then the wind abated considerably. At 5 o'clock we found 40 fathom of water, and at 7. 25.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-16


This morning at 7 ½ o'clock the weather, which had been all night very cloudy, began to clear up and a sailor came from the top of the mast and told us he had made land in the N. N. W. As we had yesterday a false alarm, we did not at first believe it: some of our officers, went to the mast head, and ascertained the reality of the fact. The land which extended a considerable way, was the coast of the Jerseys, as far, as the heights of Neversunk [Neversink]. By noon we were within 5 leagues of land, and we fired several guns for a pilot to come, on board: at about 1: we had one, and we were in hopes of getting up to New York this evening, but by 3 o'clock, the breeze fell away, and the wind came round to the west: so that the tide being also against us, we could not proceed, and we anchored about a league from the light house on sandy hook. We remained there till 10 at night, when the tide became favourable to us: we then again set sail and with some difficulty got into North River. At about 12 o'clock at night we pass'd by the Martinique, the french packet; the Captain hail'd us, and inform'd ours that he intended to sail early in the morning for France: he sent his boat on board, and I had just time to write a Line to my mother,1 to inform her of my arrival.
1. That of 17 July (Adams Papers).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-17

Sunday July 17th. 1785.

At four in the morning we came to anchor, and weigh'd it again at eight o'clock: we sailed up the North River, and pass'd by the ruins of the forts built by the British while they were in possession of New York. Upon Staten Island they are numerous. The Entrance of this river furnishes a number of very beautiful prospects; and the Situation of a number of country Seats upon Long Island is exceeding fine. At about noon we arrived directly before the City, and anchored near the shore. All the other passengers immediately went on shore. I waited to have my trunks cleared, and at about 2 went on shore at Long Island and dined with Monsr. de Marbois1 the french Consul. He has from his house, (which stands on an elevation, and commands at once the City, the river, Staten and Governor's Islands, and the harbour) one of the finest prospects I ever saw. After dinner I went with the Captain, over to the City, and walk'd about with him. Took a lodging at Cape's tavern, which appears not to be a good one, but is said to be the most tolerable in town. We met Mr. Sears2 at the Coffee house, and went with him, to his house: set half an hour with him, and then we again return'd on board, where I preferred passing the night (as my trunks were there,) rather than at Capes. Found Mr. Salvius and Mr. Fontfreyde, on board, for the same reason that I was there.
The french packets are certainly an excellent institution, but they are extremely expensive to the french government. The six packets do not cost the king less than 200,000 livres a year: for this reason it is said there are to be only four which will sail every two months. Every passenger pays five hundred livres for his passage, and it is customary to give about 2 louis d'ors among the Servants on board and the ships Crew. You live at the Captains table, and have a small apartment on board, to yourself. You must provide whatever refreshments you may be in need of: and must find your own sheets, and pillows and napkins. You are allow'd one matrass, and you may embark with you 2 trunks of four feet cube; if you have any thing more you pay freight. All the french packets are ships. The Courier de l'Amerique, has 96 feet of keel, and bears about 200 tuns. The others are nearly of the same size.
1. François Marbois, later Comte and Marquis de Barbé-Marbois, a French diplomat long involved in American affairs, beginning in 1779 as secretary to the French minister, the Chevalier de La Luzerne, then as chargé d'affaires a year later, and finally consul general in 1783. Marbois and the Chevalier de La Luzerne { 289 } had sailed to America with the Adamses on La Sensible in 1779 and learned English from JQA during the voyage. The Frenchmen were “in raptures with my Son,” JA commented, who was, they insisted, the “Master of his own Language like a Professor.” After the completion of the voyage, Marbois wrote to the elder Adams, encouraging him to take JQA back to France where the young man could obtain educational advantages unequaled in America (Howard C. Rice, “French Consular Agents in the United States, 1778–1791,” The Franco-American Review, 1:369 [Spring 1937]; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:385; Marbois to JA, 29 Sept. 1779, Adams Papers).
2. Isaac Sears, the New York merchant who had emerged as a leader of the Sons of Liberty during the Stamp Act crisis and was one of the earliest in New York to call for a general congress of the colonies. Sears was serving in the state legislature and the chamber of commerce (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-18


At about 9 in the morning, I went on shore with my trunks, which were search'd, so that I almost thought myself in Europe again. I went to Cape's, and after I had put all in order, went immediately to Mr. Jay, N: 8. Broadway. I then went to his office, which is at the corner of Dock Street, and found him there. I deliver'd to him all the Letters I had for him, and remain'd with him half an hour. I then return'd and visited Mr. van Berkel the Dutch Minister. Dined with Mr. Jay and after dinner, went immediately, to see Mr. Gerry (N: 61. King Street). Spent some time with him, and then went with him and Mr. King,1 and was introduced to the president of Congress,2 to Mr. Hardy,3 and Mr. Monroe of the Virginia delegation and to several other gentlemen. I went to governor Clinton's,4 but he was not within. We walk'd round the rampart, and waited upon Mr. Gardoqui5 the spanish chargé des affaires. He was not at home. We met Mr. Ellery and Mr. Howell of the Rhode Island delegation,6 and Mr. McHenry7 of the Maryland. Spent part of the Evening with Mr. Osgood,8 and return'd to my lodging at about 9 o'clock.
1. Elbridge Gerry and Rufus King were Massachusetts delegates to the congress, 1776–1781 and 1782–1785, and 1784–1787, respectively (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate 1774–1780, 1784–1787, and president from Nov. 1784 for one year (same; JCC, 27:649).
3. Samuel Hardy, Virginia member of the congress 1783–1785 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
4. George Clinton, governor of New York, 1777–1795 (same).
5. Diego de Gardoqui, the Spanish chargé d'affaires, 1785–1789, the son of Joseph de Gardoqui of Bilbao, whom JA and JQA visited in Jan. 1780 and whose firm, Gardoqui & Sons, was the chief conduit of military stores to America for the Spanish court during the Revolution (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder, p. 445; Samuel Flagg Bemis, Pinckney's Treaty: A Study of America's Advantage from Europe's Distress, 1783–1800, Baltimore, 1926, p. 71–73).
6. William Ellery and David Howell, delegates 1776–1781 and 1783–1785, and 1782–1785, respectively (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
7. James McHenry, member 1783–1786, and later secretary of war, 1796–1800 (same).
{ 290 }
8. Samuel Osgood, Massachusetts delegate, 1780–1784, had been elected commissioner of the United States Treasury by the congress earlier in the year and lived in New York (same; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:412–419).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-19


Breakfasted with Mr. Gerry and Mr. King. The President of Congress, who was there was so kind as to offer me, a room in his house. I delivered almost all the remainder of my Letters for this place. Saw Coll. Wadsworth,1 and delivered to him a Copy of the proposals concerning whale oil, which I received from the Marquis de la Fayette. Dined with the President of Congress, in company with General Howe.2 After dinner I carried to General Webb,3 a letter from Coll. Humphreys. Walk'd in the mall, and met Mr. Baldwin,4 a delegate from Georgia. Went to his house, sat half an hour, and return'd to my lodgings. Mr. Mölich came in soon after, and told me he intended leaving New York early to-morrow morning, upon business, and to return here on Saturday.
1. Jeremiah Wadsworth, a Connecticut merchant, who had served as deputy and commissary general of the Continental Army, 1777–1779, and also as commissary for Rochambeau's forces until the end of the war (DAB).
2. Robert Howe, commander of the Southern Department of the Continental Army, 1777–1778, was appointed by the congress the following month to work on boundary negotiations with the western Indians (DAB; JCC, 29:620).
3. Samuel Blachley Webb of Connecticut, stepson and private secretary of Silas Deane and Continental officer during the Revolution (Correspondence and Journals of Samuel Blachley Webb, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford, 3 vols., N.Y., 1893–1894, 3:254, 261, 386).
4. Abraham Baldwin, delegate, 1785–1788 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-20


Mr. Mölich went away at about 6 o'clock. In the forenoon, I delivered the remaining Letters, I had still on my hands. Saw Mr. Searle, with whom I was formerly acquainted in Holland. Dined with Mr. Leroy. Mr. Chabanel his Cousin, is to sail for Europe, in the course of three weeks. Drank tea at Mr. Ramsay's and found a considerable company there. Mr. van Berkel, Mr. Gardoqui, and Mr. Randon, his secretary, who it is said is shortly to marry Miss Marshall. I received a Card1 from the president offering me again an apartment in his House; I have endeavoured to excuse myself: but it is offered again with so much kindness and politeness that I do not think I can refuse it. I promised to { 291 } | view { 292 } wait upon the president in the morning. Paid a visit to Mrs. Price.
1. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-21


At 7 o'clock in the morning I left Cape's tavern, and went to carry one of my trunks, to Water Street N: 7. where Mr. Fontfreyde lives, as I intend to send the trunk by the first opportunity to Boston, and I preferr'd leaving it with a friend, to taking it with me. Dr. A. Lee,1 arrived last night; and lodges with the president, his brother. I went and delivered a letter to Governor Clinton, who inform'd me, that the English packet came in last night. I immediately went with the governor's Nephew2 to Mr. Jay, and inquired if there was any account from my father. He had just sent the Letters to Congress. The 1st. of June my father was presented to the King of England, and was pretty well receiv'd. I met Mr. Curson at the Coffee house. He saw my father the last day of May, but did not bring me any Letters. O! my dear Sister! do you already forget your promise? Dined with the delegates from Massachusetts.3 They live with a Mrs. Mercer. Miss Mercer, is a very fine young lady, and I believe a most amiable character. She appears very young, and though not a perfect beauty, the sweetness, that is to be seen in her countenance, is in my eyes preferable to it. I met Mr. Fontfreyde at 7 o'clock, and we went and bathed together in the river a little ways out of town. Went in the evening to see Mr. Salvius but found him not at home.
1. Arthur Lee, Scottish- and English-trained physician and lawyer, commissioner to France in 1776 and Spain in 1777, and congressional delegate from Virginia, 1781–1784 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Probably Alexander Clinton, eldest son of James Clinton, the Revolutionary general; Alexander was his uncle's private secretary until his unexpected death two years later (E. Wilder Spaulding, His Excellency George Clinton: Critic of the Constitution, N.Y., 1938, p. 161).
3. In addition to Elbridge Gerry and Rufus King, the Massachusetts delegation included Samuel Holten and George Partridge, who had been elected a delegate but apparently was not present in New York at this time (JCC, 27:642; Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-22


Waited upon Mr. Salvius in the morning. He is in a disagreeable situation here; his trunk having been seized by a custom• { 293 } house officer. I applied to the delegates of Massachusetts, to know if any thing was to be done for him, and Mr. King was so kind as to go with me, to two other gentleman: but nobody, could assist him: I am really sorry for what has happened to him, and wish I could assist him; but in this Country the laws are superior to every thing, and I fear Mr. Salvius will lose his trunk. I walk'd an hour with Mr. Osgood, went home and was dress'd. Dined with Mr. van Berkel, where I met with Major L'Enfant,1 who appears to be a sensible man. Drank tea, at Mr. Secretary Thomson's.2 A number of ladies were present: one very handsome. Visited Mr. Sears in the Evening. Saw his Lady, he himself, was not at home. The weather has been uncommonly hot to day.
1. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, French volunteer in the American army, had become since the war's end well-known in New York for his artistic and architectural designs. He later employed his talents in redesigning for the new federal congress what became Federal Hall in New York city and was responsible for the plan of the federal city along the Potomac years later (DAB).
2. Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress during its entire existence (same).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-23


After breakfast I went to see Coll. Monroe, and Mr. Hardy, of the Virginia delegation. Call'd upon Mr. Fontfreyde. Lounged about untill near two o'clock, and then return'd again to N (189) where the gentlemen of the Virginia delegation lodge. Mr. Gerry, Mr. King, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Smith,1 and myself, went all in the president's Carriage, to General Knox,2 who lives about 2 miles out of town. There was a considerable company at dinner. Miss R. Sears, was remarkable among the Ladies, and was exceedingly pretty. She has lately been ill, and is a little pale, but had she sufficient colour, she would I think be a compleat beauty.
Mr. Hardy, advised me to spend sometime in Virginia, with Mr. Wythe,3 who has form'd a sort of a law academy, which, he as well as Mr. Jefferson, and the president think a most usefull institution. Mr. Hardy wishes that there may be much intercourse between the different States, in order to increase, our Union. And for that purpose he thinks that it would be very useful for the youths of one State, to be educated in another.
Went in the Evening to the Coffee house and at about 9 o'clock returned home.
{ 294 }
1. Probably Melancthon Smith, New York delegate, 1785–1788 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. Henry Knox had been appointed by the congress in March secretary at war, in which position he continued to serve until the formation of the government under the federal constitution (DAB).
3. George Wythe, judge of Virginia's chancery court, was appointed in 1779, while Jefferson was governor, to the first chair of law in America, at William and Mary College (same).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-24


Went in the forenoon to St. Paul's church and heard Mr. Doughty preach a sermon upon a text in Corinthians, concerning the knowledge of ourselves. He spoke to the general satisfaction of the Congregation. I afterwards went with the Captain on board our packet, and dined there. Saw Mr. B. Jarvis1 who invited me to go over next Sunday to Long Island. We went and engaged a Phaèton at Brooklyn, a small town on the island, opposite to N. York. Return'd to the City, and drank tea with Mr. Smith. Walk'd with Mr. Jarvis, on the batteries, till about 9 o'clock.
1. Benjamin Jarvis was the brother of Charles Jarvis and Mary (“Polly” ) Jarvis Bowden, mentioned in later entries (entries for 31 July, 16 Aug., below).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-25


Waited upon Major L'Enfant in the morning; gave him a Letter for le Chevalier d'Antroches. The President dined at the french Consul's on Long Island. I went in the afternoon to see Mr. Salvius, and found the officers of the packet with him. Called upon Mr. Jay who was not at home.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-26


I stroll'd about the town almost all the forenoon; dined with Coll. Monroe, and Mr. Hardy, from Virginia. Mr. A. Lee left town in the afternoon. I walk'd with Mr. Gerry and Mr. King till 7 o'clock, when I went and called on Mr. Mölich who returned last evening from his trip into the Country. Sat with him till about 9.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-27


Breakfasted with Mr. Gerry in Company, with Mr. Söderström the Sweedish Consul at Boston who arrived here lately. Went with Mr. Mölich and visited Mr. van Berkel, and { 295 } Mr. Le Roi; Dined at Mr. Ramsay's in Company with Mr. Gardoqui, Mr. Randon, General Howe, General Knox, Miss Susan Livingston for whom I had a Letter, and several other persons. Miss L. appears to me to be a great talker, but says very little. Somewhat superficial, if I am not mistaken; which must always be pardoned in a Lady. Miss Marshall, is much more pleasing to me. Perhaps I judge wrong. Major L'Enfant is a true frenchman. I don't know what to make of Don Francisco.
It was between five and six o'clock, when we sat down to dinner, and it was near nine, before I came away.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-28


Dr. Crosby1 came and paid me a visit in the morning. I went to see Mr. Jay, and staid about an hour with him. Dined at Cape's tavern with the Captain and officers of the Packet. The stage for New Haven leaves this place every Monday, and thursday; it goes from Cape's: I wish much to get away by next monday but fear I shall not be able to. Saw Major L'Enfant, and Mr. van Berkel in the Evening.
1. Ebenezer Crosby was the son of Joseph Crosby, a Braintree justice of the peace. From 1785 until his death, Crosby was professor of midwifery at Columbia (Joshua Chamberlain, Universities and Their Sons: History, Influence and Characteristics of American Universities with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Alumni and Recipients of Honorary Degrees . . . , 5 vols., Boston, 1898–1900, 4:332).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-29


Dined with the president and Mr. Harrison, Mr. Osgood was so kind as to give me a Letter for Mr. Clarke at Providence, to whom I can send my trunk. Drank tea at Mrs. Sears's. Harrison appears to be much attached to Miss Becca. Went on board the Packet in the evening, and spent a couple of hours there. She is to sail the 15th. instant the british Packet will sail the 4th.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-30


Called upon the Massachusetts delegates in the morning, and afterwards upon those of Virginia. Dined with a large Company, at the president's. He entertains three times a week, and has commonly about 25 persons at his table; all men. I was introduced to Captain Kortright who it is said has two fine Sisters. I went and spent the evening with Mr. Mölich who leaves this place to morrow for Philadelphia.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0009-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-07-31


At about 10 in the morning I cross'd the river with Mr. B. Jarvis and found his brother Charles at Brooklyn. We went from thence to Jamaica which is 12 miles from the ferry. It is a beautiful island though the soil is very sandy. After dining at the Tavern we went to Church, where we saw Mr. Harrison, Miss S. Sears. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Bordieu. After Church we went to a Mr. Ogden's, where, Miss Jarvis lives: she is very fair but Miss Ogden is a beauty. I went with Messrs. Jarvis to see the Mother1 and Sisters of Coll. Smith who is now in London, Secretary to the Legation. There are five or six young Ladies in the family, one only of which is handsome. Her name is Sally.2 Mrs. Smith has had Letters from her Son dated as late as the 30th. of May.
We return'd from thence to Mr. Ogden's, and remain'd there about half an hour. Mr. C. Jarvis and I then return'd in the shay to the ferry. His brother remain'd all night at Jamaica. It was past nine in the evening when we got to the ferry, and it was then so late, that none of the ferrymen would carry us over. We lodg'd at a tavern in Brooklyn.
1. Margaret Stephens Smith (1739–1812), wife of John Smith (d. ca. Feb. 1785), a New York merchant (Marcus D. Raymond, “Colonel William Stephens Smith,” N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Rec., 25:153 [Oct. 1894]; NYHS, Colls., 1904, p. 100–101).
2. Sarah Smith (1769–1828), married CA in 1795.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-01

Monday August 1st. 1785.

Return'd to the City at 7 in the morning. Breakfasted with Mr. Jarvis in William Street. Mr. Harrison did not return before noon. Dined with Mr. Constable, but found him at dinner when I went there. Drank tea there too, in Company with a number of ugly Ladies. I went in the evening to see Mr. Gerry but found him not at home. Walk'd on the batteries about an hour, and then return'd to the President's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-02


Remain'd at home all the morning, writing Letters1 for Europe, as the british Packet is to sail the day after tomorrow. Dined with Doctor Crosby, and spent the evening with Mr. Searle. Return'd at about 9 o'clock.
{ 297 }
1. JQA to AA2, 1–8 Aug. (Adams Papers), is the only extant letter written (in part) on this date.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-03


Was all the morning writing for the Packet.1 Dined with the Delegates from Virginia. Coll. Monroe, was a little indisposed: he and Mr. Hardy, intend in a short time to take a tour to Boston. In the afternoon I carried my Letters to Mr. Church, who sails in the packet tomorrow morning. I then went and visited Mr. Gerry and Mr. King. There, was a number of persons at Mrs. Mercer's. Two Miss Bostwick's and Miss Alsop.2 Miss Mercer shew me, some lines intended as a Satire upon the young Ladies in the City, but the receipt for a wife,3 has neither wit, pleasantry, nor truth, in short it is not worth speaking of. Yet it has turn'd me poetaster. I am trying to see if I can say something not so bad in the same way. And although I see I have no talent at-all at versifying, yet like all fathers, I have a partiality for my own offspring however ugly they may be.
1. Probably JQA to JA, 3 Aug. (Adams Papers).
2. Undoubtedly Mary Alsop, daughter of New York merchant and Continental Congress delegate John Alsop; she married Rufus King the following year (The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King: Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents, and His Speeches, ed. Charles R. King, 6 vols., 1894–1900, 1:130–131; JQA to AA2, 1–8 Aug., Adams Papers).
3. Parts of this poem are quoted in JQA's letter to AA2, 1–8 Aug. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-04


The british Packet sailed at about 10, in the morning. The weather was rainy, so I did not go out till almost noon. I then went with Mr. Harrison, and was by him introduced to Mrs. Swift and Miss Riché, from Philadelphia. Dined at Mr. Osgood in a pretty large Company. Young Mr. van Berkel said his Sister had arrived, somewhat sooner than he expected she would. The minister is gone to Philadelphia, to meet her, and she is expected here to-morrow or the next day. I made a very foolish mistake at dinner. At about 6 ½ in the evening, I went to drink tea with Mrs. Sears. There was a numerous Company. Miss Riché sung and Miss Eccles play'd on the harpsicord: the first sings with much grace, though she has not a clear nor a strong voice; and what I admire her for, is that she sings without requiring to be { 298 } urged as some Ladies do: for I prefer hearing a person sing ill if it is requested, than to hear a good song extorted from any one. “One fond kiss before we part” is a favourite song with Miss R. and she sung one of her own Composition, the words of which appeared very pretty. Miss Eccles, plays the best on the harpsichord, of any Lady in Town: I don't know of ever having heard any person who consider'd music only as a diversion, perform better. She has certainly acquired great perfection in the art.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-05


I went and spent some time with Mr. Fontfreyde, in the forenoon. Dined with a large Company at the President's. It was his musical day, for once a week, he has Company, some of whom sing after dinner. Mr. Young, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Sayre,1 Mr. Read2 and General Howe, all sung. The first is the best singer, but I was wishing to be gone, for a long time after dinner. It was however between 7 and 8 o'clock before we could get away. We then went, and drank tea, with Miss Eccles, who again play'd admirably well upon the harpsichord. Miss Riché sung again the two songs, she favoured us with last evening: she sung so prettily that when I return'd home, instead of continuing my Satirical lines,3 I immediately began upon the most insipid stile of panegyric: but a few days will cure me.
1. Possibly Stephen Sayre, a New York merchant and banker, who was a diplomatic agent in Europe during the Revolution (DAB).
2. Possibly Jacob Read, a delegate to the congress from South Carolina, 1783–1786 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-06


Visited young Mr. Chaumont in the morning, who arrived a few days since from Philadelphia. I went with him to introduce him to the delegates from Massachusetts but they were gone upon Long Island, and are not expected back untill Monday. Dined at the president's in Company with Coll. Cropper from Virginia. In the afternoon Mr. Harrison went to accompany the Ladies, an employment of which he and they are very fond. I went and spent part of the evening with the officers of the packet; went on board and supped with them; after supper Mr. Le Bel and Mr. Le Breton came as far as shore with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-07


Went in the morning to Church: Mr. Harrison who is always with the Ladies squired them there

“E'en Churches are no Sanctuaries now.”

A gentleman preach'd from a text in the Psalms. He spoke well, but was so slow that the first part of a phrase was lost before he finish'd the last. After Church I paid a visit with Mr. D. Le Roi1 and Captain Kortright, to Miss van Berkel, who arrived two days agone; she was not within, and to Miss Alsop, who is a little too much the Coquet, and injures her appearance by affectation. Dined with Mr. Le Roi. At 7. in the evening I went and drank tea with Miss Marshall: there was a considerable party there, and I was introduced to Miss van Berkel whom I had formerly seen in Holland. She cannot be called handsome but has that affability which is to me much more agreeable in a Lady than Beauty alone. She complains much of her misfortune in not speaking the Language, and is fearful that she appears awkward and ill bred, because she does not speak: and really, no person can, have an idea, how disagreeable it is to be in a Country, and not speak the Language; without having been himself in that predicament. Here it is worse than anywhere else, because there are fewer persons who speak any foreign Language: and the few Ladies, that can speak a little french, are so bashful, that there is no persuading them to talk. Miss Susan Livingston pleases me much better now than she did the first times I was in Company with her. We walk'd in the evening half an hour on the mall, in Broad way, after which I waited upon Miss van Berkel home.
1. Daniel Le Roy, son of New York merchant Jacob Le Roy and younger brother of Herman Le Roy (Alexander Du Bin, ed., Le Roy Family and Collateral Lines . . ., Phila., 1941, p. 6).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-08


I went out with Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Swift, and Miss Riché, to Content to see Lady Wheate,1 who is one of the most reputed beauties in the Town. I own I do not admire her so much as I expected to, before I saw her. She is like too many, of the handsome Ladies here, very affected. The most pleasing Characters here, are of those who are pretty without enjoying any share of beauty. When shall I see a beauty without any conceit? Dined at { 300 } the Presidents with a large Company among others Genl. Greene, Governor Clinton, Mr. Osgood and Mr. W. Livingston.2 In the evening I went and drank tea, at Miss S. Livingston's, where there was a large Company of Ladies. Miss Riché, sung again and repeated the former songs. Notwithstanding the admiration my friend Harrison has for her, I think upon closer examination, that she is not free from that affectation which some Ladies here seem to take for grace.
I endeavoured to excuse myself to Miss Livingston for not having waited on her before, but she said I should do better if I made no apology at all. Madam de Marbois too appeared very cold, and I fear I have offended many persons by not waiting on them, which I have not been able to do. Miss van Berkel was sociable.
1. The eighteen-year-old widow of Sir Jacob Wheate, a sixty- or seventy-year-old British officer who left for the West Indies shortly after his marriage and there died. “Content” was the name of their country seat, located about three miles out of town (JQA to AA2, 1–8 Aug., Adams Papers).
2. Walter Livingston, a New York delegate to the congress in 1784 and 1785, who was appointed commissioner of the United States Treasury in 1785 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-09


Dr. Witherspoon1 visited the President in the morning. I went with Mr. Söderström out of town about a mile, to Mr. Bayard's, who has two fine Daughters, the eldest, to whom I was introduced last evening by Miss Livingston, was gone to Town; the other was there. I see with much pain that the connections of almost all the finest girls in and about N. York, were of the british party during the late war. It has been said that women have no Country at all; I hope, for the friendship I bear to them that this odious reproach is not true; I am sure it is not universally so. But their Sentiments must naturally depend upon those of their Connections: and I therefore think the Ladies here are excusable, for having sided with the British: their fathers, husbands, and brothers are not so.
Dined at the Presidents with Mr. Harrison, Mr. Heuston2 and Mr. de Chaumont. The President himself dined out. After dinner I took a ride with Mr. Chaumont about 3 miles out of town. Drank tea with Mrs. Smith, with a considerable Company. I there saw the two Miss Thomson's3 who appear to me to have more celebrity than Beauty. Congress this day adjourned till { 301 } next monday:4 as there are only 8 States on the floor; which is not sufficient to do business.
1. John Witherspoon, Presbyterian minister, president of the College of New Jersey from 1768, and delegate to the congress from that state, 1776–1782 (DAB).
2. Probably William Houstoun, delegate from Georgia, 1784–1787 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. One was probably Ann, daughter of New York merchant James Thompson, who married Elbridge Gerry the following year {Massachusetts Spy, 26 Jan. 1786).
4. That is, 15 Aug.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-10


In the forenoon I went, and sat about an hour with Mr. King. Mr. Gerry was sitting at the grand Committee of Congress in the City Hall. I left 50 french louis d'ors, which Mr. Gerry wishes to have for bank Bills on Boston. Dined at the Presidents in a large Company, Mr. van Berkel, Mr. Jay, Mr. Paine,1 Dr. Gordon,2 Dr. Witherspoon, &c. After Dinner young Mr. van Berkel, and Major L'Enfant, went out to drink tea with the Miss Bayard's. Mr. Harrison went and introduced me to the two Miss Kortright's, who I find, are the Sisters of Mrs. Heiliger, whom I was well acquainted with in Copenhagen, and to whose Husband I was under many obligations, while I was there. These young Ladies are very agreeable, and the youngest (Eliza)3 is beautiful. I afterwards left Mr. Harrison, and pass'd the evening in Company with the officers of the Packet and Mr. Fontfreyde, who intends to leave town to-morrow at noon, for Albany where he is settled.
1. Thomas Paine, who was living in Bordentown, N.J., and New York until his return to Europe in 1787 (DAB).
2. William Gordon, historian of the Revolution, who had left England in 1770 out of sympathy for the American cause and returned there in 1786 (DAB).
3. Elizabeth Kortright, daughter of New York merchant Lawrence Kortright, married James Monroe in Feb. 1786 (Edward T. James and others, eds., Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary, 3 vols., Cambridge, 1971).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-11


Breakfasted on board the Packet, which is to sail for L'orient next monday; from thence I went a shore on Long Island, and paid a visit to Madam de Marbois, which I ought to have done before. People here are much more attached to ceremony and etiquette than I expected to find them. I found Mr. Chaumont there and we read part of Phedre1 together. Mm. de Marbois speaks french very prettily: I return'd from the island with her husband. They were to dine at Genl. Knox's. Dined at Mr. Gerry's, { 302 } { 303 } and at five o'clock went with Mr. Chaumont and visited Genl. Knox; who was vastly polite: told me he would have sent me a Card had he not supposed I was gone to Boston, and said I should have come without ceremony, and dined. There was a great deal of company there. Baron Steuben,2 a number of the delegates, and the president of Congress, the Dutch, Spanish, and French Ministers &c. Miss S. Livingston, is a wild girl. Mr. Chaumont went with Mr. de Marbois, and I return'd to town in his chaise; after which I went and spent the evening with several of our officers.
1. Presumably Racine's Phédre (1677).
2. Baron von Steuben became a prominent and popular social figure in New York in the years after the Revolution (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-12


This morning Mr. Chaumont came, and proposed to me, to buy an horse, so that we might go to Boston together.1 I have a great inclination, and have been advised by many friends to go from hence by land to Boston, in order to form some opinion of the Country, and make some acquaintances which may be of use to me hereafter. If I go by the stage, I shall see very little of the Country, as they go over it so fast and the carriages are very close: I am told too that they are <very> dangerous as the drivers ride very carelessly, and frequently overset: I suppose however that more is said of this than is really the fact: upon the whole I agreed to look out and see if I could find a proper horse, and if I could upon good terms, to buy one. I went to see a number but found only one that pleased me, and him I thought too fine and too costly a one for me. He belongs to the Dutch minister who demands 50£ for him. Upon the whole I believe I had best go by the Stage next monday. Paid a visit to Mr. Jay but he was not at home. Dined at the President's, with about a dozen persons: Mr. Harrison is very unwell. In the afternoon I saw Mr. Chaumont, who went over to Mr. de Marbois to pass the night there. I sent to Mr. van Berkel and offered him 40£ for the horse, but he would not accept it. Spent part of the evening at Dr. Crosby's. I was told that Dr. Gordon had called to know if I would go in the Packet on monday, to Providence.
1. Terminal punctuation supplied.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-13


This morning the President intended to take a sail down to Sandy-Hook, for the recovery of his Health, but found himself so unwell, that he could not go; the Virginia Delegates went, and Mr. Harrison went down also with his uncle, who came from England in the last British Packet, but finding his Estate here confiscated, sails for England this day. I went early in the morning to Mr. de Chaumont's lodgings; but he was not return'd from Long Island. Breakfasted with Mr. King, and return'd to the New York Hotel, where Mr. Chaumont return'd at about 10 o'clock. I then agreed to send and offer 45£ for Mr. van Berkel's horse, and if he would not take that, Mr. C agreed to go in the Packet to Providence with me. The minister accepted, and I immediately prepared every thing for our departure. I sent my large trunk on board the packet, and took a small one, with Cloaths and linen sufficient for the Journey. I was much surprised to meet Mr. Huron at the N. York Hôtel. He has just return'd from Philadelphia, and is going again to France in the Packet. I dined with them there, having previously taken my leave of the President, and thank'd him for all his civility and kindness to me, during my stay at New York; at about 4 o'clock we set out, Mr. Chaumont's two horses being tackled in his Chaise, one before the other, and his servant rode my horse: but whether through the stupidity of the rider, who is not used to riding, or any fault in the horse, I don't know, we had not rode two miles before the horse fell and threw the man; I was then fully sensible how imprudent I had been, in buying the horse, and determined to return to N. York, and desire Mr. van Berkel to take back his horse; which I suppose he will do, since the horse proves to be a bad one, though he sold him as a good one, and said himself he was no horse jockey. I sent as soon as I got back, but there was only his son at home, who said his father would not wish any person should lose by a bargain with him but added he himself was much surprised to hear that the horse had fallen, as they had never seen any fault in him though his father had own'd him two years. To'morrow I shall see what the father says. Mr. de Chaumont continued his journey, but will wait for me part of the day to'morrow.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-14


After several attempts to see Mr. van Berkel, he was at length found at home, and declined taking back the horse, though he de• { 305 } clared he had never discovered any fault in him. The son said he was sorry his father persisted in refusing. At about 4 afternoon I again mounted the horse, and rode him ten miles as far as Mr. Hall's tavern, which is a very elegant one; and where I found Mr. de Chaumont: who has been waiting for me all day. He had concluded to change his plan, in case I did not return, and go directly to Albany, where his father owns an Estate; but he has now agreed to go on with me to Boston. My horse stumbles considerably, but I hope will not fall again nor throw his rider.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-15


Rose at about 6 o'clock in the morning; and tried my horse in the Chaise before one of Mr. Chaumont's: but we could not make him go at all, so we were obliged to go on as we first set out. Before we got to Kingsbridge, which was 6 miles from Mr. Hall's, we took a wrong road and proceeded more than two miles out of our way: this delay'd us so much that we did not get to East Chester, which is 21 miles from N. York till after 10 o'clock. We were obliged to stay there, till 3 o'clock it was so intensely hot: and we were then obliged to go so slow that we got no further than Rye, before dark: we were so unlucky as to mistake the roads twice. We put up for the night at Rye, which is near the boundaries of the State of N. York, and 32 miles from the City. This has been I think the hottest day I have felt since I arrived.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-16


We were going this morning by 5 o'clock, and proceeded as far as Stamford, 12 miles from Rye; 5 miles from which there is a small river,1 which seperates the States of N. York and Connecticut, at a place called Horseneck. The roads from Rye, are some of the worst I ever saw. The crops of hay and of grain are all very fine this year, except those of indian corn, which have not had hot weather enough. The State of N. York produces Wheat, rye, barley and all sorts of grain as all the Northern States do. Connecticut produces in addition large quantities of flax. We got to Stamford at about 9 o'clock, and found the heat so powerful, that { 306 } we could not proceed any further before dinner. I had a letter from Coll. Humphreys, to Major Davenport2 in Stamford, but he was gone to the Court which is now sitting at Fairfield. At 3 o'clock we again set off, and went till about 8 when we arrived at Norwalk 12 miles from Stamford. Mr. B. Jarvis gave me a letter for his brother in law, Mr. Bowden,3 the minister at Norwalk; but it was so late; when we got there that I did not carry it. Mr. Chaumont and I went and bath'd in the river, and found ourselves greatly refresh'd by it.
1. The Byram River.
2. John Davenport, known as a major from his service in the commissary department of the Continental Army, was a lawyer and representative from Stamford in the Connecticut legislature, 1776–1796 (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:376–378).
3. John Bowden, Episcopal minister and later a professor at Columbia (Joshua L. Chamberlain, Universities and Their Sons: History, Influence and Characteristics of American Universities with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Alumni and Recipients of Honorary Degrees . . ., 5 vols., Boston, 1898–1900, 2:103–104).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-17


At 5 o'clock we were going, and reach'd Fairfield by 9. I there delivered my letters to Mr. Burr1 and Major Davenport: We were obliged to stay there to dinner; through the extreme heat of the weather. At four in the afternoon, we again set out, and rode 10 miles to Stratford. We waited there about half an hour, and set out again. 3 miles from Stratford we cross'd Connecticut River,2 and rode about 11. miles after; besides more than 2 miles in a wrong road, we were obliged to proceed so slowly, in the dark that it was near 12 o'clock when we arrived at New-Haven; and when we got there nobody, in the place was up, so that it was with great difficulty that we got to an indifferent inn. Mr. de Chaumont's horses, are both badly gall'd. We could get but one apartment for both of us, and found some difficulty even to get one.
1. Presumably Thaddeus Burr, owner of several large inherited estates in the Fairfield area, former representative in the Connecticut legislature, and holder of local offices (Charles Burr Todd, A General History of the Burr Family in America. With a Genealogical Record from 1570 to 1878, N.Y., 1878, p. 76–79).
2. A mistake for the Housatonic River.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-18


In the morning I went to pay a visit to Mr. Platt,1 and found my old friend Brush there. He introduced me to Mr. Broome, for { 307 } whom I had Letters from his son in law Mr. Jarvis. He immediately went up with me to our lodgings and I introduced Mr. de Chaumont to him. He insisted upon our going, both of us and staying at his house while we remain here. I was in great hopes of seeing Mrs. Jarvis,2 but she was at Huntington, and is not expected home under a month. Miss Betsey Broome is here, but is not at all sociable. In this she does not resemble her father, who is a sincere, open-hearted good man. He lives in a most agreeable Situation: his house is upon an eminence just opposite the harbour, so that the tides come up, within ten rods of it. Mr. Platt lives near him in the same position. Broome, Platt, and Brush have been partners in trade, but have now dissolv'd their connection. We dined at Mr. Broome's. After dinner we were going to see a cave, a few miles out of town, famous for having been the shelter of two of the regicides,3 in the time of Charles the 2d. but a violent thunder shower arose, and prevented us. It did not last more than half an hour; but for that time the wind blew like an hurricane, the rain shower'd down, and there were several of as heavy peals of thunder as I ever remember to have heard: we saw the lightning fall, into the water, about 20 rods from us. After it was over we went and drank tea with Mrs. Platt. Mr. Chaumont lodg'd at Mr. Broomes, and I at Mr. Platt's house.
1. Jeremiah Platt, a New York merchant, was the business partner and brother-in-law of Samuel Broome, mentioned below, who had moved to New Haven in 1775 (Frederic Gregory Mather, The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut, Albany, 1913, p. 664, 680; Donald Lines Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 8 vols, in 3, Baltimore, 1974, 2:344–345).
2. Amelia Broome Jarvis, daughter of Samuel Broome and wife of James Jarvis of New York (Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven, 2:344–345).
3. William Goffe and his father-in-law, Edward Whalley, had been military leaders in the English Civil War and had signed the death warrant of Charles I. With the return of the monarchy a decade later, both men refused to surrender and were exempted from pardon. They fled England for Boston, and in 1661 went to New Haven, where they camped out in a cave that summer. The pair settled in Hadley, Mass., three years later (Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony, New Haven, 1934, p. 221–226).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-19


This morning I went with Mr. Brush, and delivered the Letters I had for this place. Mr. Chancey1 for whom Coll. Humphreys gave me a Letter went with me, to Dr. Stiles2 the President of the College; who is a curious character. Mr. Jefferson once told, me, he thought him an uncommon instance of the { 308 } deepest learning without a spark of genius. He was very polite to me, and shew me, the Library, and the apparatus of the College: he has a few natural curiosities; but nothing very extraordinary. We dined at Mr. Platt's, and afterwards went to see Coll. Wadsworth, who arrived in town this day; and leaves it to-morrow morning for Hartford. Mr. Chaumont and myself afterwards went to the Ball. There has been for these last two months a dancing master here and has given a ball once a fort'night. He had not a very large number of scholars, and there were more ladies than gentlemen. The master of the school does not appear to be a good dancer himself; and do not think his pupils in general have made any great progress for the time they have been learning: there were a few very genteel young Ladies; a great many appear to have been favoured by nature, but not by the graces. At about 11. o'clock, Mr. Chaumont and myself retired, as we intend to leave this place early in the morning.
1. Undoubtedly Charles Chauncy, New Haven lawyer, town officer, and representative in the legislature, who later served on the superior court (The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D. President of Yale College, ed. Franklin Bowditch Dexter, 3 vols., N.Y., 1901, 2:407; 3:107, 111, 351, 354).
2. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, 1778–1795 (Edmund S. Morgan, The Gentle Puritan: A Life of Ezra Stiles, 1727–1795, New Haven, 1962). JQA presented to Stiles letters of introduction from JA and David Humphreys at this time (LbC, Adams Papers; Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles . . ., ed. Dexter, 3:177).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-20


We tried my horse this morning in Mr. Chaumont Chaise, but could not make him go at all: so we put him before one of his horses and Dupré, his servant mounted him, in that manner he went very well. Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, who are so kind as to keep us Company as far as Hartford rode in a Chaise of their own. We went only sixteen miles before dinner. The weather is still very warm notwithstanding, the late thunder shower. After dinner we rode 12 miles further to Middletown. Dr. Johnson1 whom I met at Fairfield, gave me a letter for Genl. Parsons,2 one of the aldermen of this City. About 18 months agone five towns in this State, New-Haven, Hartford, New-London, Norwich and Middletown, form'd themselves into Corporations, and are now called Cities. Genl. Parsons told me, he was three years in College with my father, and was then very intimate with him. It gave me peculiar pleasure to meet with so old a friend of my fa• { 309 } ther, and that circumstance greatly increased my reverence for the person.
We walk'd about the City which is one of the smallest of the five. But is very pleasantly situated on Connecticut River. The views from some parts of it are enchanting; and the river is a very beautiful one. In the evening Mr. Chaumont, Mr. Brush, and myself, went and bath'd in it. The general spent some time with us.
1. William Samuel Johnson was a Connecticut lawyer, pre-Revolutionary political leader, but loyalist after independence was declared. He served later as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and as president of Columbia College, 1787–1800 (DAB).
2. Samuel Holden Parsons, brigadier, and later, major general in the Continental Army (Heitman, Register Continental Army, p. 9–10). Parsons was a correspondent of JA's in the early stages of the war.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-21


At six in the morning, we all left Middleton: and rode on to Hartford, where we arrived at about 9. The distance is 14 miles. For several miles on this side of Middleton, we rode along by the side of the river: and after we left it, we had from the top of an hill a most elegant prospect. Indeed there are a number in this Country, which looks as prosperous, and as fertile, as any I remember ever to have been through. We had some thoughts of stopping at Weathersfield, which is 3 miles from Hartford; and going to meeting there: this State is very famous for psalm singing, and Weathersfield is peculiarly distinguish'd: but we thought best upon the whole to go forward directly to Hartford. I was much fatigued when I arrived, and took a nap; after which I went and visited Coll. Wadsworth, who arrived in town last evening. We dined at our tavern, and after dinner, went to the meeting. Mr. Chaumont was struck with, the singing: he is a connoisseur in music, and was surprised to find so much harmony here. After Meeting I went and delivered a letter from my father to Mr. Trumbull,1 the author of McFingal, who formerly studied law with him. I sat about 2 hours with him, and had some conversation with him, mostly upon the french poets, in which he is well versed. He is not very partial to Voltaire, and in that I agree perfectly in opinion with him. We afterwards went and Drank tea with Coll. Wadsworth, who lives in a very elegant manner: { 310 } he made a very large fortune, by being agent for the french army, with Mr. Carter, or rather Church:2 he has two fine daughters. Harriot, is not handsome, but very genteel. Betsey is only 11. years old, but promises to be a Beauty. After tea, we went and took a walk round the town, and on the banks of the river which is about 15 feet deep here but there is a bar at some distance from this place, which prevents large vessels from coming up to the town except in the spring when the river overflows. This is considered as the capital of the State, though New-Haven, has some pretensions to that title, and in a commercial view is better situated. We spent the Evening at Coll. Wadsworth's.
1. Dated 28 April (LbC, Adams Papers). John Trumbull, the Connecticut poet and lawyer, had studied with JA in 1773–1774. He published the first part of his widely popular poem McFingal in 1775. Consisting of four cantos in Hudibrastic verse, it described the blunders of British leaders during the Revolution (Victor E. Gimmestad, John Trumbull, N.Y., 1974).
2. John Barker Church, an Englishman who came to America under the assumed name of John Carter, was Wadworth's business partner during the war (P. H. Woodward, One Hundred Years of the Hartford Bank, Now the Hartford National Bank of Hartford, Conn., Hartford, 1892, p. 32–33).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-22


At about 9 this morning, Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, left us and set out to return to New-Haven. Breakfasted with Coll. Wadsworth, who afterwards went with us three or four miles out of town, to shew us his farm. We saw there a couple of the largest oxen I ever beheld; and a number more uncommonly stout. This place is celebrated over the Continent for producing exceeding fine oxen, and it furnishes the New York and Boston markets with great quantities of Beef. The Coll. shew us his fields of grain and of grass, and his orchards. We return'd a little before noon: and left the Coll. for a short time. I went into a bookseller's shop, and there found a new publication, called the Conquest of Canaan, an american epic Poem, in eleven books, by Mr. T. Dwight. It is but lately that it was printed, and I have heard a very high Character of it, which induced me, to purchase it.1 Mr. Wadsworth was so kind as to give me a copy of McFingal,2 and these are the two pieces in which americans have endeavour'd most to soar as high, as European bards. McFingal is generally agreed to be equal, if not superior to Hudibras. Of the serious poem, no criticism has appeared; owing I suppose, to its being so lately publish'd.
{ 311 }
I met just before dinner with my old fellow scholar, Deane, who came from Weathersfield this morning. I was told he was in New London: had I known he was at Weathersfield, I should have stop'd there, on purpose to see him. For there is nothing I think more shameful, than to forget our old acquaintance. We all dined with Coll. Wadsworth, and at about 4 Mr. Chaumont, and myself, left them, and set away from the inn, about half an hour, afterwards. We rode only 16 miles this afternoon, to Captain Cox's tavern and it was after 9 in the evening when we got there. We could travel, but slowly, as the weather though cloudy, was very warm, and the horses were somewhat galled.
1. JQA's copy, Hartford, 1785, is at MQA. Timothy Dwight was minister at Greenfield Hill, Conn., at this time and was president of Yale from 1795 to 1817. The Conquest of Canäan, Dwight's first important literary production, is filled with allusions to contemporary persons and events (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:321–333).
2. JQA's copy has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-23


It was almost seven o'clock before we got under way this morning. We rode about 10 miles and then cross'd Connecticut River; which serves there as a boundary between that State and Massachusetts.1 Two miles after we had cross'd the river we came to Springfield. We breakfasted there, and stopp'd about an hour; after which we proceeded on our Journey about 14 miles further before dinner. The mistress of the tavern where we dined, told me my name, and said she knew me from my resemblance to my father who had passed several times this way.2 At 4 o'clock we again set out, and found the roads so very bad, that it was almost ten before we got to <East Chester> Marlborough3 which was only 12 miles. Hills and rocks seem to have been the only things we have this day come across. I cannot recommend the roads of Massachusetts as a model.
1. JQA is, of course, mistaken.
2. Possibly JQA dined at Scott's Tavern in Palmer, fifteen miles from Springfield, whose owner and wife had been described as “great Patriots” by JA when he lodged there in Nov. 1774 (Fleet's Pocket Almanack and Massachusetts Register, 1786; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:160).
3. Neither location is correct; they probably stayed in either Western [now Warren] or Brookfield, Mass., that night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-24


One of the breast plates was broke, and we were obliged to send it a mile and half to be mended this morning, before we { 312 } could proceed on our journey; so it was past eight when we left our tavern. Before one, we came to a very good inn: the best I think, that we have found on the road except Mr. Hall's. We had come 16 miles without stopping, and therefore we concluded to dine there. Between 3 and 4 we went again, and rode about 15 miles to1 where we arrived at about 8, in the Evening; our roads have been much better and the weather more agreeable than what we have had in general since we left N. York. We are now only 42 miles from Boston, and hope to get there to-morrow; as we are told the roads are upon the whole pretty good.
1. Left blank in MS; JQA was probably in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-25

Thursday. August 25th. 1785.

St. Louis's day, a great holiday all over France, because it is the fête of their king's patron. Dupré called me up at three o'clock, being determined that we should not set out too late to day. Before 4. we were in the carriage, and rode 14 miles to Marlborough before 9. We breakfasted there; and dined at Waltham, which is 12 miles further. It was almost 5 when we finally set off upon our last Stage; and we got into Boston at about 9 o'clock; we first went to Bracket's tavern, but there was not a vacant apartment in the house. We then went to Mrs. Kilby's in State Street, where we found one chamber for us both. We were obliged to take up with this for the present: for we were extremely fatigued, both of us: and could not think of seeking any further at 10 o'clock at night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-26


A tous les coeurs bien nés que la patrie est chere

Qu'avec ravissement je revois ce séjour.1

No person who has not experienced it can conceive how much pleasure there is in returning to our Country after an absence of 6 years especially when it was left at the time of life, that I did, when I went last to Europe. The most trifling objects now appear interesting to me: in the morning I went to see my uncle Smith, but he was not at home. I saw my aunt2 and Mr. Smith,3 who went with me to the Treasury office, where I found my uncle Cranch.4 I was introduced to a number of gentlemen, and met several of my old acquaintances. I delivered a Letter to Mr. { 313 } Breck5 from the Marquis. Dined at Mr. Cranch's lodgings, where I found my Cousins Betsey6 and Lucy. In the afternoon they went to Cambridge, and I followed them there with Mr. Smith. At College I met my Cousin, and brother Charles, who entered about 6 weeks agone. We spent an hour with them, and were then obliged to return to Boston. I lodged at Deacon Smith's.
I shall not attempt to describe the different Sensations I experienced in meeting after so long an absence, the friends of my childhood, and a number of my nearest and dearest relations. This day will be forever too deeply rooted in my Memory, to require any written account of it. It has been one of the happiest I ever knew.
1. Voltaire, Tancrède, Act III, scene i (Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 72 vols., Kehl, Germany, 1784–1801, 4:391).
2. Elizabeth Storer Smith (1726–1786), wife of Isaac Smith Sr., and aunt of AA.
3. William Smith (1755–1816), a Boston merchant and son of Isaac Smith Sr.
4. Richard Cranch (1726–1811) married Mary Smith, the sister of AA, in 1762. Cranch was at this time employed in the commonwealth's treasury office in Boston.
5. Samuel Breck Sr., a prominent Boston merchant, maritime agent of Louis XVI, and representative of the town in the legislature, 1782–1788 (NEHGR, 17:180 [April 1863]).
6. Elizabeth Cranch (1763–1811), called Betsy by her family, was the daughter of Richard and Mary (Smith) Cranch, and married Jacob Norton, minister at Weymouth, in 1789.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-27


Brother Charles came to town this morning. I paid a number of visits and dined, at Deacon Smith's, with Mr. Otis1 and his family. At about 4 o'clock I mounted on horseback: and Mr. Chaumont in his Chaise with Mr. Toscan the french Consul; we went out and stopp'd first at Mr. Swan's2 house in Dorchester, where the former governor Mr. Hancock3 lives, at present. He is much afflicted with the gout, and has it at this time. After spending about half an hour with him We went to Mr. Hichborne's4 Summer seat and drank tea. We found there the lieutenant governor5 with his Lady, and Mr. and Mrs. Swan. I left the Consul and Mr. Chaumont, and went as far as Genl. Warren's6 at Milton. He introduced me to his four sons, one of whom, Charles, is to sail in a few days for Europe: he means to spend the Winter at Lisbon, where his brother Winslow is: But I fear very much he will never reach Europe, I don't know that I ever saw a person look more wretchedly. He has been consumptive for a long time, and went last fall to the West Indies, where he recover'd his health in some measure, but lost it again by return• { 314 } ing here in the spring. If he lives to reach Lisbon, I hope the Climate of Europe, which is so much better than that of St. Domingo, will restore him entirely.7 I left Milton between 7 and 8 and before I got to Mr. Cranch's, I again stopp'd at my uncle Adams's,8 and there saw my aged Grandmother,9 who enquired much after my Parents, and wishes them to return. I at length arrived at the end of my journey, at about 9 o'clock, and was welcomed by my aunt;10 I also found Mr. Tyler11 there and was introduced to him.
1. Samuel Allyne Otis, a Boston merchant and son-in-law of Deacon Isaac Smith (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:471–480).
2. James Swan, a Boston merchant and speculator, and Revolutionary officer (DAB).
3. John Hancock was governor of Massachusetts (except for the years 1785–1787) from 1780 to 1793 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:416–446).
4. Benjamin Hichborn, Boston lawyer and Revolutionary officer, was well known to JA as carrier of his letters that were intercepted by the British (same, 17:36–44; JA, Papers, 3:90, 255–257).
5. Thomas Cushing, a moderate revolutionary who lost his place in the congress, was lieutenant governor, 1780–1788 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:377–395).
6. James Warren, who served briefly as paymaster general in the Continental Army and major general in the militia, was on the Navy Board, 1777–1782, and was in and out of Massachusetts politics throughout his life (same, 11:584–606).
7. Charles died in Spain in November. Winslow, for whom JA was to seek an appointment as consul in Portugal, was a merchant in Lisbon at this time; he returned permanently to America later in the year (Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, Richard Warren of the Mayflower and Some of His Descendants, Boston, 1901, p. 28; Winslow Warren to JQA, 13 July 1784; JA to John Jay, 3 Dec. 1785, LbC, Adams Papers).
8. Peter Boylston Adams (1738–1823), JA's younger brother, a militia captain and Braintree officeholder.
9. Mrs. John Hall (1709–1797), formerly Susanna Boylston Adams, who lived with her son Peter Boylston after the death of her second husband in 1780 (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:3).
10. Mary (Smith) Cranch (1741–1811), AA's sister and wife of Richard Cranch.
11. Royall Tyler, a Braintree lawyer and later an important early playwright and novelist. Tyler had been courting AA2 before her departure for Europe with AA in 1784. Subsequently the romance cooled, owing to Tyler's failure to answer her letters and to stories about his behavior sent to the Adamses by Mary Cranch, in whose house Tyler lived. For a full account, see JA, Earliest Diary, p. 18–30.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-28


Attended Mr. Wibird's1 meeting forenoon, and afternoon. His voice and look was as familiar to me, as if I had not been absent. Among the People that were grown up before I went away, there were few or no new faces in the house: but there were but few young People, that I could recollect, 6 years have very little effect upon the appearance of men, and women, but a surprising one, upon that of Children. But of all the persons I have seen none have so compleatly altered as my Cousin W. Cranch. I { 315 } never can realize the idea, of his being the same little boy I left in 1779, and I am told that I myself have alter'd nearly as much. When the afternoon service was over I went with Mr. Tyler down to my father's house,2 and no object ever brought to my mind such a variety of different Sensations. It reminded me of the days of my Childhood, most of which were past in it, but it look'd so lonely, and melancholy without its inhabitants, as drew a deep sigh from my breast. I paid a visit to the Library, and found it in pretty good order.
1. Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister at the First Church of Braintree (later Quincy) from 1755 until his death in 1800 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:226–230).
2. This house on Franklin Street in Quincy is known today as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace and was JA's and AA's home from the time of their marriage in 1764. JA had given Tyler access to his law library in the house during his absence (JA, Earliest Diary, p. 25–26). For an illustration of the house and the John Adams Birthplace next to it, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:facing 256; a description of the two houses is in HA2, “The Birthplaces of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts,” Old-Time New England, 26:79–99 (Jan. 1936). The two houses are now part of the Adams National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-29


At about 9 o'clock I set off for Boston, and stopp'd half an hour, at my uncle Adams's. Saw my Grandmother. I had agreed with Mr. Tyler, to wait for him at Genl. Warren's, half an hour. I stay'd more than an hour but he did not come. Mrs. Warren surprized me very much by informing me that Mr. Otis, with whom I dined on Saturday; had failed that evening. She said it was a very unexpected stroke to the family themselves. I believe before long every merchant in Boston will fail: for they seem all, to be breaking, one after the other. Charles Warren is to sail the latter end of this week for Cadiz. He was worse to day than common. It was noon before I got to Boston. I dined at Mr. Breck's in Company with the french Consul Mr. Toscan, and Mr. Appleton the brother of the gentleman I was acquainted with in England and France. It rain'd hard in the afternoon, so that we were obliged to stay; all the afternoon. At about 8 o'clock I left them all there, just ready to sit down to Cards. I thought if once I sat down there would be no getting away till very late. I found Deacon Smith and his family at Dr. Welch's.1 They all look'd very dull: the old gentleman especially appeared very much affected, Mr. Otis married his Daughter,2 and his failing, was very unexpected to him.
{ 316 }
1. Thomas Welsh (1752–1831), a Boston physician and an army surgeon at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill. His wife, Abigail Kent (1750–1825), was a niece of Deacon Isaac Smith and a cousin of AA.
2. Deacon Smith's daughter Mary (1757–1839) married Samuel Allyne Otis, a second marriage for both, in 1782.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-30


This day the Supreme Judicial Court met, and I went and heard the chief justice, Mr. Cushing1 deliver the charge to the grand Jury. He spoke with much dignity, and animadverted peculiarly upon the neglect, which many of the towns in the Commonwealth, have shown of late with respect to public schools. After the charge was deliver'd Mr. Thatcher2 was called upon for a prayer, and although he had not a minute's warning spoke very well, and without the least embarassment. I dined at Deacon Smith's, and after dinner waited upon Miss Betsey Cranch, to her lodgings. I afterwards mounted my horse, and went to Cambridge where I shall pass the night with my brother. I was caught in the rain, on the road and was almost wet through and through. Charles is much pleased with his situation; and has acquired an additional importance since he enter'd College.3
1. William Cushing, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1777 and later an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court for twenty-one years (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:26–39).
2. Peter Thacher, well-known for his orations and addresses during the Revolutionary era, was pastor of the Brattle Street Church from 1785 to 1802. He recorded in his diary this day that he gave a “prayer unexpectedly in the Supreme Court” (same, 17:237–247; MHi:Thacher Papers).
3. JQA probably is commenting upon CA's good fortune in acquiring a college room and showing promise as a scholar since entering Harvard earlier in the month. He elaborated to AA2 that “Charles is very much pleased with his situation here: and comes on well with his Studies. His Class is one of the most numerous of any that have entered” (JQA to AA2, 29 Aug.–7 Sept., Adams Papers). Unlike many of his classmates who were forced to live in town, CA roomed in Hollis Hall, where “cousin Billy” also lived (Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 Aug.–[15?] Sept., Adams Papers). JQA seemed pleased with CA's “Chambermate,” Samuel Walker, “a youth, whose thirst for knowledge is insatiable. . . . I am perswaded it will afford peculiar Satisfaction to our Parents, who well know how much benifit is derived from the Spur of Emulation” (JQA to AA2, 20–28 Aug., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0031

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-31


This morning Mr. Chaumont came to the College, with Mr. Toscan, and two other french gentlemen, Mr. Issotier, and Mr. Serano. We went and saw all the curiosities belonging to the Col• { 317 } lege, which are not very numerous. There are several exceeding fine pictures done by Mr. Copley, all portraits. The library is good, without being magnificent. We all paid a visit to Mr. Willard the president of the College. The other gentlemen left me with him, and after he had made enquiries concerning my acquisitions: he advised me to wait till next spring before I offer: and then enter for three months in the junior Sophister Class.1 I left him and return'd to the gentlemen. We went back to Boston, and got there at about 11. I paid a number of visits, and dined with Deacon Storer.2 After dinner I went with Mr. Chaumont and visited Mr. Cushing the lieutenant Governor: but he was not at home. I met Mr. Appleton, and went with him to his father's house. Return'd in the evening to Mr. Storer's, and supped there. Rec'd a letter from my Sister, through N. York.3
1. Joseph Willard, president of Harvard, 1781–1804. Willard advised JQA to study Greek and Latin, two studies in which he needed further preparation, with his uncle John Shaw in Haverhill (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 16:253–265; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 Aug.–[15?] Sept. 1785, Adams Papers).
2. Ebenezer Storer, a Boston merchant, treasurer of Harvard College since 1777, and deacon of the Church in Brattle Square (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:208–214).
3. AA2 to JQA, 13 June, not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-01

Thursday September 1st. 1785.

Went and sat with Mr. de Chaumont a couple of hours, and afterwards accompanied him, and Mr. Toscan &c to Concert hall; to see Mr. Turner's1 scholars dance. Once every fortnight, there is such a forenoon ball, from 1. o'clock to three. There were a number of minuets and country dances performed pretty well: and all the beauties of Boston seem'd to be assembled there in one bright constellation. At about 2 ½, we retired, and waited upon Mr. Cushing the L. Govr. to dinner. There was not a large Company: perhaps a dozen or 14 persons. After dinner we went to pay a visit to Mr. Swan but we met him in the Street going for his Lady. We accompanied him, and sat an hour at Mr. Deneufville's. I do not admire to see this man's wife go into the best Company in this City: I think the people here, should have a Sense of their own Dignity; and not suffer their hospitality to overcome their delicacy.2 In Holland no Gentleman or Lady would have kept Company with this woman: and I think it would be better if it was so here.
{ 318 }
1. William Turner, the owner of Boston's Concert Hall, started dancing classes there in 1773 (David McKay, “William Selby, Musical Emigré in Colonial Boston,” The Musical Quarterly, 57:612–613 [Oct. 1971]).
2. De Neufville's second wife, Anna Margaretha Langmak, was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter on 7 Sept. (Nieuw Ned. Biog. Woordenboek, 8:1213–1214).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-02


Mr. Chaumont intended to set out early in the morning for Philadelphia (or rather Albany,) but it rain'd so hard that he was obliged to postpone it till the afternoon. I went to his lodgings at about 9 o'clock, and stay'd till about noon. We then went to a billiard table, and play'd a game. I dined at Mr. Smith's. After dinner I return'd to Mr. de Chaumont's lodgings, and found him, making preparations for his departure. At about 4 o'clock he set out in his Chaise with the Consul: Mr. Issotier Mr. Serane, and myself accompanied him on horseback. Mr. Toscan, went only to the neck, and then left us. The rest of us, went about 4 miles further and at 5 o'clock or thereabouts we took our leave of Mr. Chaumont who proposes going as far as Waltham to night. I spent the evening at Mr. Foster's1 house, with my uncle Cranch, and Dr. Tufts.2
1. Probably William Foster, a Boston merchant, brother and business partner of Joseph Foster, whom AA and AA2 had met on board the Active on their way to Europe in 1784. Soon after JQA's arrival in Boston, Mary Smith Cranch arranged to board the Adams boys at Mr. Foster's, “whenever they are not invited else Where” (Frederick Clifton Pierce, Foster Genealogy; Being The Record of the Posterity of Reginald Foster . . ., 2 vols., Chicago, 1899, 2:940–941; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:156, 164; Thwing Catalogue, MHi; Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 14 Aug.–[15?] Sept., Adams Papers).
2. Dr. Cotton Tufts Sr. (1732–1815) was AA's uncle by marriage. While JA and AA were in Europe, Tufts had a power of attorney to handle JA's business affairs, including those related to the education of his sons (JA to Cotton Tufts, 6 Sept. 1784, Adams Papers, Fourth Generation).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-03


Visited the Consul in the morning, and spent an hour with him. At about noon I left Boston, and went before dinner as far as Milton. When I got there, I found Mrs. Warren had just left it with her son Charles for Boston where he is now gone to embark; the vessel is to sail on monday or Tuesday. I dined with the genl., and his three remaining sons, James, Harry, and George. The genl. bought this seat at Milton about 4 years ago; it formerly belonged to Governor Hutchinson, and is a very beautiful { 319 } situation.1 Yet the genl. talks of selling it again, and going back to live on his farm at Plimouth: At about 4 o'clock I set out again, for Braintree; stopp'd at My uncle Adams's and drank tea; and got to Mr. Cranch's, at about 7 o'clock.
1. The Hutchinson-Warren House on Milton Hill is illustrated in Adams Family Correspondence, 4:facing 189, and described in same, p. ix–x.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-04


Attended the meeting; forenoon, and afternoon. I went after meeting and drank tea, and spent a couple of hours with my uncle Adams. Past 6 o'clock before I got home. If the weather should be good I shall set out to-morrow with my aunt, to go to Haverhill.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0005

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


The weather look'd so much like rain in the morning, that we concluded to defer our journey to Haverhill, till to-morrow. Mr. Cranch went to Boston in the morning. I was employ'd, a great part of the day in putting my things in order. I find, that the largest of all my trunks is missing, and I know not where it is. I wrote to my uncle Smith, for Information on the subject. In the afternoon I tried my horse, in my uncle's Chaise, and find he goes as well as if he had been broken to it. I rode him backwards and forwards 2 or 3 miles and he did not give me the least trouble. This is a very pleasing circumstance to me; and the more so, because I did not expect it; for at New Haven, we could not make him go at all. Genl. Palmer1 came and drank tea with Mrs. Cranch. The weather cleared up in the afternoon.
1. Joseph Palmer (1716–1788), Revolutionary soldier and Massachusetts politician, had been involved since 1783 in various business ventures in Germantown and Dorchester. Palmer was the husband of Mary Cranch, the sister of AA's brother-in-law Richard Cranch.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-06


At about 9 o'clock in the morning I again tackled my horse into my uncle's Chaise, and we put every thing into it, and set out, and arrived at Boston at about 11. I immediately went to my uncle Smith's store, and enquired after the missing trunk. I found it was in one corner of the Store. I then went to his House and found there a Letter from the Marquis de la Fayette:1 I also { 320 } received Letters from My father, mother and Sister dated as late as June 27th.2 Waited on Mr. Breck with a paper upon the subject of refining oil. Dined at Mr. Foster's and immediately after dinner had the horse again tackled in the Chaise. By 3 ½ o'clock we were ready, and as the wind was somewhat high my aunt did not incline to cross the ferry: so we went round, over the neck. We stopp'd at Mr. Gannett's, the steward of the College. We at first intended to go as far as Lincoln, to night, but have been perswaded to remain here. My Brother and Cousin drank tea with us, and I spent the evening with them, at the College.
1. 12 June (Adams Papers). The paper for Samuel Breck referred to later in the entry was enclosed in Lafayette's letter.
2. JA to JQA, 26 June; AA to JQA, 26–27 June (Adams Papers). AA2's letter has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-07


We breakfasted early and were on our way by 8 o'clock. We stopp'd at Captain Brookes's1 house in Mystic, four miles from Cambridge, [and?] about a quarter of a mile. We then rode 10 miles further; after which we stopp'd an hour to rest our horse. So far we found the roads very good: but the next 6 miles, to Mr. French,2 (the minister at Andover)'s house are very sandy and heavy. We dined there: Mr. French was not at home. At 3 o'clock, we left Andover and at about 5 ½ got to the river which runs by Haverhill. The roads were not good, being sometimes sandy, and sometimes very hilly. We cross'd the river in a flat bottom'd boat, and at 6 o'clock arrived at Mr. Shaw's;3 where I found my brother Tom, who when I left him was not 7 years old, and is now 13. Mr. Thaxter too who sailed in the first french Packet immediately after the Peace is here, and spent the evening at my uncle's. He is practising the Law and has a good run of business.
1. Capt. Caleb Brooks Jr. (1745–1812), brother of Gen. John Brooks and a distant cousin of JQA's through his father's (Boylston) family (Henry Bond, Family Memorials. Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts . . ., 2 vols. in 1, Boston, 1855, p. 703–704, 723–724; Richard B. Coolidge, “The Brooks Estates in Medford from 1660 to 1927,” Medford Hist. Register, 30:5–7 [March 1927]).
2. Jonathan French, minister at South Church from 1772 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:514–520).
3. John Shaw (1748–1794), brother-in-law of AA, minister at Haverhill from 1777. JQA was to live in his house until the following March. Shaw had been the preceptor of CA and TBA since 1783. JQA had been advised to study with Shaw until the following spring, though Shaw at this date had apparently not yet decided to take him as a student because of the great responsibility in trying “to qualify a young Gentle man to enter the University as Junior Sophister” (AA to JA, 28 April 1783; Elizabeth Smith Shaw to AA, 7 Sept. 1785, both Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-08


I went in the morning down to Mr. Thaxter's office, and spent all the forenoon with him, talking over, old matters. He dined with us, at my uncle's; and spent part of the afternoon here. I am told he is paying his addresses to a Miss Duncan,1 who is reputed the greatest beauty in Haverhill, but he will not own it.
1. Elizabeth Duncan, daughter of James Sr. and Elizabeth (Bell) Duncan, eventually married John Thaxter in Nov. 1787 (James Duncan Phillips, “James Duncan and Son: Merchants, Capitalists, and Chain Store Operators,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 89:53 [Jan. 1953]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-09


Spent the forenoon with Mr. Thaxter at his office. He went with me, and introduced me, to Mr. White1 and his family. His Daughter Miss Peggy, is one of the belles of this place. I had heard much said of her before I went to the house; and when I saw her, I supposed that must be Mrs. White.2 She is very fat and appears much older than she is: I should certainly suppose her not under 30, and she is not yet 20. But she is as fair as any person I ever saw: too much so, I think, to be beautiful: this may be a paradox: but my ideas of beauty are not like those of many People, and I do not admire a complexion over fair. Dined at My uncle's, and directly after dinner I went with my uncle, and two aunts, over the river, to pay a visit to Mr. Symme's, the minister at Andover, about 7 miles from the ferry. We found the old gentleman laid up; but he received his Company with politeness. After staying there about 2 hours, we return'd again to Haverhill. The roads are pretty good, but for want of rain are now disagreeably dusty. We found on our return a large Company of young ladies, with Miss Hazen.3 This is a neice of General Hazen and has boarded in my uncle's house about a twelve month. She appears to me to have something peculiar in her Character: I shall therefore wait, till I have a better acquaintance with her; before I attempt to give any description of it.
1. John White Sr. (1725–1800), a Haverhill merchant (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:154–156).
2. Sarah Leonard LeBaron White, the second wife of John Sr., and mother of Peggy and Leonard (same, 6:326).
3. After the death of Anna (Nancy) Hazen's father, Capt. John Hazen, and the remarriage of her mother, she became the ward of her uncle, Gen. Moses Hazen of Haverhill, Mass., and Troy, N.Y., who was a cousin of the Whites. Nancy was to become the first girl JQA was really attracted to, but her continued presence was to cause him much discomfort eventually (Tracy Elliot Hazen, The Hazen Family in America, ed. Donald Lines Jacobus, Thomaston, Conn., 1947, p. 89–90).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-10


We all dined this day at Mr. White's. The only other strangers present, were Mr. Smith,1 the minister of the other meeting house in this place, and Mr. B. Bartlett,2 a merchant. Mr. Smith proposes going into the Jersies, and to set out in the beginning of next week. A Vessel belonging to Mr. White was launch'd in the afternoon, but we missed seeing it, as it went sooner than was expected.
1. Hezekiah Smith was installed as minister in 1766, just after Haverhill's New Lights had formed a Baptist society; there he remained throughout his life (James McLachlan, Princetonians, 1748–1768: A Biographical Dictionary, Princeton, 1976, p. 411–413).
2. Bailey Bartlett married Peggy White, sister of JQA's Harvard classmate Leonard White, in Nov. 1786 (Daniel Appleton White and Annie Frances Richards, The Descendants of William White, of Haverhill, Mass. . . ., Boston, 1889, p. 77–78).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-11


Attended Mr. Shaws meeting; forenoon, and afternoon. Took a walk down by the side of the river; with Mr. Thaxter. The Situation of the town is very agreeable.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-12


Spent part of the forenoon with Mr. Thaxter at his Office. At 12 o'clock, we went, to a Collation, given by Dr. Woodbury who is building an house, and who moreover was yesterday first published for marriage; it seems that upon both these occasions it is Customary here, for a man to invite all his male friends, to an entertainment of this kind, and I as a visitor at Mr. Shaw's was ask'd. After dinner, I went out with my brother and a gun, but could meet with no game. A solitary Robin, was all we brought, back. We found Company when we return'd. Mr. Collins, the minister of a neighbouring town. Miss Hazen thinks he is not sufficiently attentive to his wife, and I am of her opinion. His looks I think are enough to chill one in a hot day. I should rather take him for a dutchman, than an American.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-13


At about 9 this morning we left Haverhill, cross'd the river, and stopp'd first at Mr. Symmes's, and afterwards at Mr. French's, but a few minutes at each. After we had rode, about a { 323 } mile beyond Mr. French's house, we turn'd away from the road we came to Haverhill by, and took the Lincoln road: but I was very much surprised, to see that very few persons knew, any thing about Lincoln, although it is not more than 22 miles distant from Andover: I met a man whom I judg'd by his appearance to be turn'd of sixty: when I enquired of him the road to Lincoln; his answer was, that he knew of no such place: how many mortals,

On the self same spot,

Are born, take nurture, propagate, and rot,1

entirely ignorant of every thing that lies ten miles beyond it? But in this Country, where every man has an opportunity of displaying the talents he possesses; and where the education of the People, is so much more attended to, than in any part of Europe, or perhaps of the world, I did not expect to find beings of that sort.

[]rich [] poor [][][] august

How great! how low! how abject! How sublime!

How wonderful! how complicate is man!2

We rode through about 8 miles of sand, and 4 of rocks, after which the road was better: at about 6 o'clock, we arrived at Lincoln, and immediately went to my aunt Smith's.3 She has five children with her, and one at Mr. Shaw's.4 Billy, Louisa, Polly, Isaac, and Charles are here. The eldest is not more than 14 years old: the youngest is about 6. Oh! it almost makes my heart, shrink within me; when I look on these fine Children; to think of the Prospects before them: entirely the effects of extravagance in a father: what a Lesson! Surely providence makes sometimes use of these means, to terrify those who can be actuated by no other principle, into the performance of their duty.
1. “An Essay on Man,” Epistle II, line 63.
2. “How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,/How complicate, how wonderful, is man!” (Edward Young, “The Complaint; Or, Night Thoughts,” Night I, lines [68–69], Poetical Works, 2 vols., Boston, 1854, 1:6).
3. Catharine Louisa Salmon Smith (1749–1824), wife of William Smith Jr., the brother of AA. Smith (1746–1787), as the rest of JQA's entry suggests, had burdened his wife and children with cares through his improvidence and neglect, though his precise activities have not been fully pieced together. He had settled his family on his father's property in Lincoln before the Revolution and was undoubtedly engaged in trade during the years after the war. Smith had been absent from his family for the past two years and was seldom heard from, and his wife, in a { 324 } letter to AA of 26 Oct. (Adams Papers), hoped “for his reformation and restoration to virtue and to his family.” According to other family members, Smith suffered from alcoholism. Besides having deserted his family, Smith was on trial in New York during these months on a charge of counterfeiting, of which he was later acquitted. When he died two years later, he was still separated from his family (Mary Smith Cranch to AA, 10 Dec. 1785; 22 March–9 April 1786, 21 Oct. 1787, Adams Papers; CFA, Diary, 5:143–144).
4. This was Elizabeth (1771–1854), the youngestoldest of the Smiths' six children.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-14


Dined at Lincoln, and immediately after dinner we again proceeded on our journey and by 5 o'clock, got to Cambridge, which is 12 miles: we came through Concord, and Lexington which 12 years ago were of no note, but which have been since rendered ever memorable, by being the place, where the first martyrs in the glorious cause of American Liberty, bled, (April 19th. 1775). Posterity will revere this spot of Land, more, than the Dutch do the place where Egmont and Horn, suffered; which is at Brussels.
We drank tea at Cambridge, and at about 6 we set out for Boston. We cross'd the ferry at about dusk; and got to Mr. Cranch's lodgings, just in good Season. We found Miss Betsey had been very unwell, but recovering. Mr. I. Smith,1 came in a few minutes after we got there: and I went with him to a Club2 of which he was member. I found there Dr. Welch, Dr. Dexter,3 Dr. Appleton,4 and Mr. Brewster. It was at Mr. Clarkes5 house; this gentleman is collegue to Dr. Chauncy, in the Ministry, and bears a good Character as a preacher. At about 9. I went home with Mr. Smith. His father and mother yesterday left the Town, with the Governor,6 Lieutenant Governor, and their Ladies to go to Princeton, to Mr. Gill's7 Seat. He gave me a Letter from my friend Brush, in New Haven.8
1. Isaac Smith Jr. (1749–1829), son of Deacon Isaac Smith and cousin of AA. Smith fled to England as a loyalist in 1775, but returned to America in 1784. Trained in the ministry, he preached in various places after his return but never received a call. Later he served as Harvard librarian, 1787–1791, and preceptor of Dummer Academy, 1791–1809 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 16:523–530).
2. This was undoubtedly the Wednesday Evening Club, founded in 1777 by four clergymen, four doctors, four lawyers, and four “merchants, manufacturers and gentlemen of literature and leisure.” Neither Brewster nor Isaac Smith Jr. were apparently members, however, although Smith's brother, William, was (The Centennial Celebration of the Wednesday Evening Club: Instituted June 21, 1777, Boston, 1878, p. 142–145).
3. Aaron Dexter, Boston physician and Erving Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica at Harvard, 1783–1816 { 325 } ([Charles C. Smith], “Notice of Aaron Dexter, M.D.,” MHS, Procs., 1 [1791–1835]:421–423).
4. Nathaniel Walker Appleton, half-brother of John and Thomas Appleton, was a Boston physician and a founder of the Massachusetts Medical Society (Walter L. Burrage, History of the Massachusetts Medical Society with Brief Biographies of the Founders and Chief Officers, 1781–1922 Boston, 1923, p. 34–36; W. S. Appleton, Genealogy of the Appleton Family, Boston, 1874, p. 14).
5. John Clarke was later minister of the First Church of Boston (“Sketch of the Life and Character of the Late Rev. Dr. Clarke,” MHS, Colls., 1st ser., 6 [1800]:iii–ix).
6. James Bowdoin served two terms as governor of Massachusetts, 1785–1787 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11: 514–550).
7. John Gill, captain of the Continental artillery during the Revolution and owner of extensive potash lands in Princeton, Mass. (same, 17:521–522).
8. Presumably Eliphalet Brush to JQA, 29 Aug. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-15


This morning my brother Charles and Cousin Cranch, came from Cambridge to see us. I at length went, and got my sword and hat, which have been at Mrs. Kilby's, ever since I arrived here first: Dined with Mr. Smith; I intended to go to Braintree in the afternoon, but was deterred, by an appearance of bad weather, but as it cleared up at about 5 o'clock, I rode, over the neck with my Cousin Betsey. When we got to Roxbury we turn'd back again. Spent some time with my uncle Cranch, and then return'd to Deacon Smith's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0016

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


At about 9 this morning I went to Mr. Foster's, and found my Cousin Betsey Cranch ready to go with me. We then set out in the Chaise, and at about 11. got to Braintree where we found only Mr. Tyler, and cousin Lucy. She had a letter from Miss Hazen which I had a great curiosity to see; but could not prevail upon her to show it me. Mr. Tyler came up from Boston last Evening. Parson Wibird was here in the evening but I did not see him.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-17


Great part of the day was spent in reading; and writing to my friends in Europe;1 a vessel is to sail e'er long. At about 4 o'clock, Mr. and Mrs. Cranch return'd home. Mr. Tyler too, went out early in the morning and did not return till the evening.
1. The only extant letter written (in part) on this day was to AA2, 8–18 Sept. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-18


The weather in the morning look'd stormy, and was showery at different times all day. I attended however Mr. Wibird's sermons forenoon and afternoon; he was this day remarkably short, and did not either time keep us more than an hour and an half: A shower fell just as the afternoon meeting, was over; and Mr. Tyler and myself went over the way, to Mrs. Church's. We borrow'd her Chaise of her, and went down first to Mrs. Quincy's.1 We found Mr. and Mrs. Guild2 there; they both appear in an ill State, of health; they have been unfortunate of late, but bear it with exemplary firmness. Mrs. Quincy is an agreeable old Lady, and Nancy,3 has always the Complaisant smile on her Countenance. She is small, and fat, consequently not a beauty: yet, considering the amiable Character she bears, and her fortune which is in this Country, far from being mean, I wonder she has not yet got married: her time is not come say the girls. After drinking tea we left Mrs. Quincy's House, and on our road home, stop'd at Mr. Alleyne's and spent half an hour there. We found Mr. Boice Miss Hannah Clark's admirer: it is said they are to be married ere long. We return'd home at about 8 o'clock.
1. Ann Marsh Quincy (ca. 1723–1805), the third wife of Josiah Quincy Sr. (1710–1784).
2. Elizabeth Quincy Guild (1757–1825), daughter of Josiah Quincy Sr. by his second wife, Elizabeth Waldron Quincy (1722–1759), and wife of Benjamin Guild.
3. Ann (Nancy) Quincy (1763–1844), daughter of Josiah Quincy Sr. and Ann Marsh Quincy.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-19


Mr. Cranch went to Boston in the morning. I staid a great part of the day at home writing. Mr. Tyler, was engaged all day, in business.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-20


Mr. Tyler was again taken up the whole day. In the afternoon I went with my Cousins, over to Weymouth to see Mrs. Tufts1 who is recovering from a long and dangerous illness. We spent about an hour and drank tea there. I saw at a distance the solitary house which was my Grandfather's:2 but had no inclination. Whence arises this antipathy, to places where those who are dear to us have died? Why does the involuntary tear, start from the eye, at the sight of them? It surely must arise from a { 327 } good principle, for although these feelings are painful, yet I would not be free from them.
While we were gone, Miss Lucy Apthorp, with her future husband Mr. Nash,3 came in to pay a visit to my Cousins. They afterwards set off together for Boston, where they are next Saturday, to be united. The family will go to-morrow.
1. Lucy Quincy Tufts (1729–1785), wife of Dr. Cotton Tufts Sr., and JQA's great-aunt; she died after a lingering illness on 30 Oct.
2. Rev. William Smith (1707–1783), father of AA, had been minister of the First Church of Weymouth.
3. Lucy Ann Apthorp, daughter of James Apthorp, of Braintree, married Richard Nash of Cornwall, England, an officer in the British navy, four days later (entry for 24 Sept., below; John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy, 2 vols., Boston, 1870, 1:306; Boston Gazette, 26 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-21


Hazy disagreeable weather: was confined all day to the House, and was for the most part employ'd in preparing my trunks, that are to go to Haverhill. Mr. Tyler's business was finish'd last night, he was the greatest part of this day writing to Europe.1
1. If this included letters to the Adamses in Europe, none has been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-22


This morning I sent down a Cart with my two trunks that are going to Haverhill. I intended to go myself in the forenoon, but at length resolv'd to go and dine with Mrs. Quincy, and from thence go forward to Boston. My two good Cousins went in the Chaise; I walk'd it, with Mr. Tyler. We were not expected, and somewhat late: we found Parson Wibird there, who ask'd me abundance, of questions, mostly concerning the Women of the different Countries I had been in. I observed this to him, and he said, “Yes I always inquire about the best things first” an honourable testimony in favour of the Ladies, as it comes from an old Batchelor; who I believe would have spent his days much more pleasantly than he has, had he taken to himself, one of these best things thirty five years ago. Of all negative happiness, I think, that attending the life of an old batchelor is the most insipid.

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires.1

After dinner Mr. Tyler, and I mounted our horses, and trudg'd { 328 } on towards Boston: at Milton, we stopp'd for half an hour at Genl: Warren's, and found Mrs. Otis there. At about 5 o'clock, we got to the neck: there Mr. Tyler left me, and went to Jamaica Plains where his mother lives. When I got to my uncle Cranch's lodgings, he told me, that the Stage between this and Haverhill, will not go this week; so that my trunks cannot be sent. Went to my uncle Smith's. Mrs. Otis and Mrs. Welch spent the evening there, and I was obliged to take a hand at whist, which is never very agreeable to me, but which I always think myself obliged to do, when a party cannot otherwise be made.
1. Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” lines 89–90. On 29 Sept. 1782 JQA copied this poem into one of his poetical commonplace books (M/JQA/26, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 221). JQA also may have had in his possession at this time the Poetical Works of Mr. Gray, new edn., London, 1785, now at MQA, which contains his bookplate.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-23


At 9 this morning I went to see about getting my trunks to Haverhill: Mr. Cranch told me; they have been put on board a vessel, that will sail in two or three days for Newbury Port and from thence, a conveyance will easily be found for sending them to Haverhill. I visited Mr. Toscan; and was afterwards introduced to Mr. Hughes, Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Gardiner, all three Lawyers. The last, on the 4th. of July, pronounced the most curious, blank verse discourse, that I ever read.1 He shows beyond all dispute that he is a great admirer of blank verse. Some critics pretend that blank verse is the most noble, and most perfect, in English Poetry. Mr. G: opinion on that subject seems to go further still. He seems to think that it is preferable even upon common occasions to prose, and when I was introduced, I expected to hear him break out into some Raphsody.
Dined at the French Consuls, and in the afternoon went with him and visited the Governor, and Mr. Russel: I there saw Mr. Seaver who arrived yesterday in a vessel from St. Petersburg. He inform'd us that the Russian Army in time of Peace was composed of 450,000 men. This was a piece of news to me, and would be I fansy to a Russian: I went with the Consul and Mr. Serane, and drank tea at Mr. Tudor's,2 who was very polite. Mr. Serane, sung, play'd on the violin, and on the guittar; this gentleman, though only nineteen years old, is quite a virtuose. I spent the evening, and supped at Mr. B. Austin's.3 I was again, unwillingly { 329 } obliged to play all the evening at Whist. I used formerly to be very fond of cards, and could spend evening after evening at play. Whence my present aversion to them arises I know not: but wish it may continue; for I think, that if playing cards is excusable in a woman, it is, for a man, but a miserable loss of time at best. When we rose from Supper it was so late, that I supposed Deacon Smith's family would be in bed: and went with Mr. Tyler who lodges at Mr. Palmer's. It was 12 before we retired.
1. An Oration, Delivered July 4, 1785, At the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, In Celebration of the Anniversary of American Independence, [Boston], 1785.
2. William Tudor, judge advocate in the Continental Army and a Boston lawyer, who had studied law with JA from 1769 to 1772 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:252–265).
3. Benjamin Austin, a popular Boston political figure (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-24


This forenoon I was present at the marriage, of Mr. Nash and Miss Apthorp. They were married in the Chapel by Mr. Parker,1 as Mr. Freeman,2 the minister there, not having receiv'd orders, cannot perform the Ceremony. He was however present and in the Pulpit, where he was kind enough to give me a place. Mr. Tyler, who is intimate with him, introduced me to him. Mr. Nash was dress'd in his uniform, plainly, as becomes an Officer, and a gentleman. Miss Apthorp, was elegantly dress'd, though the colour of her gown appear'd to me, sober for the occasion. The old man3 look'd happy, as if he was giving his Daughter to a member of the British royal family. The mother appeared dejected, nor can any person, who considers the consequences of this event, wonder at it. The poor girl herself, as the ceremony was performing, trembled like a leaf—and for my heart I could not help trembling for her too. Her prospects are not, I think to be envied. Her father may think it, an honour for her to be connected with a british officer.

Mais sans argent l'honneur n'est qu'une maladie.4

The gentleman's father is purser on board a king's ship. He himself is 1st. Lieutenant on board another; his fortune independent of his pay, is not large I am told, and surely if an officer's pay is scarcely sufficient to maintain him alone, it must fall short when he has a wife and family to support. But what with many People, would be a still greater objection to their union, is that this pair 3 { 330 } months ago were perfect strangers to each other. Tinder, is but too often the emblem of a sudden passion: I wish it may not be in this Case. I sincerely hope, that the maxim audaces fortuna juvat,5 may prove just, and that every sort of Happiness may attend them through Life.
Dined at Mr. Palmer's, and sent an excuse to Mr. Russel, who had invited me. The weather was disagreeable all the morning, and at about noon it began to be hazy. It continued so, all the afternoon; but I intended notwithstanding that, to go out this evening as far as Genl. Warren's. I had my horse saddled and bridled, when the rain began to shower down in such a manner, that I determined at length to remain in town. I went with Mr. Tyler, and spent the evening with Mr. Gore,6 a lawyer. He spoke of a Mr. le Washington,7 who arrived here in the last vessel from London; a traveller greatly improved in the art of fiction. Slept again at Mr. Palmer's.
1. Samuel Parker was installed as minister of Trinity Church in Boston in 1774 and was elected Episcopal Bishop of the Eastern Diocese in 1804 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 16:76–84).
2. James Freeman, appointed reader at King's Chapel, Boston, in 1783 and ordained rector by the congregation in 1787 after higher Episcopal authorities in New York refused to ordain him because of his unorthodox views (Francis William Pitt Greenwood, History of King's Chapel in . . ., Boston, 1833, p. 135, 139–142).
3. James Apthorp, of Braintree, the father of Lucy Ann (John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy, 2 vols., Boston, 1870, 1:300–301, 306).
4. “Mais l'honneur sans argent n'est qu'une maladie,” Jean Racine, Les Plaideurs, Act I, scene i, [line 11] (Oeuvres de Jean Racine avec des commentaires, 8 vols., Paris, 1768, 2:178). There are two editions of Racine's works at MQA published before this date, both with JQA's bookplate.
5. Fortune favors the bold.
6. Christopher Gore, member of the state constitutional convention in 1788 and in 1796 commissioner to settle American claims against England under Jay's Treaty. He later served Massachusetts as governor and U.S. Senator (Hist. of Suffolk Co., Mass., 1:225; Biog. Dir. Cong.).
7. Cited in the Massachusetts Spy, 15 Sept., as “Mr. Washington,” but otherwise unidentified. JQA's letter to AA2, 19–30 Sept. (Adams Papers) makes it clear that Washington was a teller of “extravagant Stories” and not a writer of fiction.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-25


It continued raining all night, and in the morning so that I could not go out of town. We went to the Chapel, and heard Mr. Freeman preach. This gentleman has adopted the antetrinitarian1 System, which has of late appear'd in this Country. Such religious freedom, as America, enjoys, must always have a tendency to increase the number of religious sects: but if this be a disadvantage, it is more than balanced by the liberal Sentiments which every sect adopts with respect to all the rest. After { 331 } Church was over Mr. Tyler and myself, mounted our horses and cross'd the neck together; at Roxbury he left me, and went to his Mamma's. I proceeded to Braintree. I got to the meeting house, a little before the service began, and attended it. The weather clear'd up this afternoon, and promises to continue fair.
1. That is, Anti-Trinitarian. Freeman, with his strong liberal tendencies, was moving King's Chapel from Anglicanism toward Unitarianism (Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, New Haven, 1972, p. 388–389, 392).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-26


Mr. Tyler, was to return last evening, but did not. My two Cousins went last Saturday to Boston and will not return this week. My uncle, went this afternoon to Boston so that my aunt and I are now at home quite alone. In the forenoon, I went out with my gun; and took a long walk: but found no game of any kind. In the afternoon I went down to our house, and looked over many of the things. I can never feel gay in this house, while its owners are absent, and this evening my aunt accused me of being melancholy; a reproach I am very seldom loaded with. I had a disagreeable head ache, and really felt very dull.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-27


Mr. Tyler came from Boston last evening; was pretty busy in the forenoon; I went and paid a visit to Mr. Apthorp, next door neighbour to my uncle: he came from Boston this morning and is going back this afternoon: he is a man of Sense, and much reading, but he has a certain wildness in his eyes, which indicates something extraordinary, in his character, which I am told is really the case. He has an extravagant fondness for England, and for everything that is English: he talks sensibly upon diverse subjects, but as I had heard his Character before I saw him, I purposely spoke in the highest terms, of the french Nation and their Country: he never said he was of a different opinion, but he observed that though the beauties of England were not of the same kind, they were very great, and like a true Englishman contrasted, french politeness and outward accomplishments, to English dignity and Sincerity. I did not think it was necessary to contest any point, and therefore humoured him in his Admiration for Britain; in which, however I am very far from joining with him. After dinner I went down with Mr. Tyler, and drank { 332 } tea with my uncle Quincy,1 and from his house saw the tender, which came lately from Hallifax, to carry back Mr. Nash, and his new bride.
I intended to go as far as Milton this evening, but it was so late when we return'd from my uncle's, that I could not. As we were walking home, I had with Mr. Tyler some very curious conversation, on a subject as curious. We smoked a sociable pipe in the Evening at his office: and there continued it. He was somewhat in a prophetic mood, but I imagine, he will never have occasion to say
Cet oracle, est plus sûr que celui de Chalcas [Calchas].2
1. Norton Quincy (1716–1801), JQA's great-uncle. He was formerly a Boston merchant, but after the death of his wife soon after marriage, he retired to Braintree, where he lived a reclusive life in the Quincy estate. His refusal to seek company and to accept other than minor town offices bothered the Adamses, who, though they were very fond of him, felt that his name and position should have led him to accept greater responsibilities (L. H. Butterfield, A Pride of Quincys, MHS Picturebook, Boston, 1969, [p. 7–8]).
2. That is, JQA believed that Tyler would never have absolute conviction that a certain event, presumably marriage to AA2, would take place. The quotation is from Racine's tragedy Iphigénie (1674), Act III, scene vii, last line.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-28


Doctor Tufts went by in the morning, and took with him, a small trunk for me, to Boston. At about 10 I went for my horse, to Mr. Veasy's. Mr. Tyler went with me. At the meeting house he left me, and I went to Milton. Stopp'd half an hour at Genl: Warren's. Their only son now at home is James: Harry yesterday stopp'd in at my uncle's, on his road to Plymouth. Mrs. Warren has been ill; and is not yet entirely recovered. It was near one afternoon, when I got to Boston. Upon Change I met Dr. Waterhouse; and found him the same man, he was four years, ago, when I was acquainted with him in Holland. Dined at Mr. Foster's: and after Dinner went to Deacon Smith's: as I had not been there, since last Friday morning; and did not know when I came out of the house, that I should not return that day: they all said they thought I had been cast away; and could not find the way to their house. Received a letter from Mr. Brush, with, le mariage de Figaro.1 Went and spent an hour with Dr. Waterhouse, at his lodgings, and at about dusk, cross'd the river, and went to spend this night and to-morrow, with my Cousin Cranch and my { 333 } brother. It was near 8 o'clock before I got to Cambridge. Weather quite cool. A fire very comfortable.
1. Letter not found; Brush had borrowed JQA's copy of Beaumarchais' play (Eliphalet Brush to JQA, 29 Aug., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-29


Paid a visit this morning to Mr. Tracey, but he was not at home. At about eleven in the morning I received a billet from my Cousin Betsey, telling me I must be in Boston before dinner, as Mr. Peabody, would certainly leave town this afternoon, for Haverhill. That she could not go with me, as we had intended, another woman, having engaged a place in the Chaise. I immediately hastened to Boston; got there just at Dinner time, and was then told, that matters were again alter'd, and that we were not to go till to morrow morning. I was not displeased with this information. Dined with my uncles. After dinner I met Mr. Hughes in the Street, and went and spent an hour with him at his Office. Met Mr. W. Smith in the Street. He has been gone ever since my arrival, on a journey; and return'd last evening. I was lounging about all the afternoon; and spent the Evening, and supp'd at Doctor Welch's. Slept at Uncle Smith's.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-30


This morning at 7 o'clock I cross'd Charlestown ferry. At about 8 I got into a Chaise with a Mrs. Webster a lady, that I never saw but who has de grands talens pour le silence. We went through Cambridge, but the horse was so restless, that I could not get out to speak to my brother or Cousin. We stopp'd and dined about 16 miles from Haverhill. Had an exceeding good Dinner, and at a very moderate charge, which I have seldom found in my own Country. It was about 6 in the evening when, we got to Haverhill; in the whole day, there was about the value of a quarter of an hour's conversation pass'd between us. How much more agreeable would my journey have been, had I come with My Cousin. I was heartily glad when I got to my Uncle's house.
My Aunt was drinking Tea at Mrs. Payson's, and I went over there with Mr. Shaw. In the Evening I delivered Lucy Cranch's message, with the wedding Cake to Miss Hazen.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-01

Saturday October 1st. 1785.

I have been arguing with myself, whether I had best continue my Journal, or break it off at present. The events for the future will probably be a continual repetition one of the other: and will contain nothing that even I myself may desire to Remember. But I have thought that I shall surely have often observations to make upon diverse subjects, which it may be proper to commit to Paper. And I can again employ the Resource of sketching Characters, which however imperfect, and however unlike they may be, yet will serve in future to remind me of the opinion I shall have formed, of the respective persons. My Journal till now has almost entirely consisted in an account of my peregrinations: with very few reflections or observations. My Plan will now be very different. Little narrative, and the most part of what I write will be observations.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-02


Attended the meeting forenoon, and afternoon. In the evening I took a walk with Mr. Thaxter. Return'd home early and wrote a Letter to Mr. Tyler.1 Mr. Shaw had a number of persons to spend the evening with him. Sunday evenings in this Country, the minister of the Parish, commonly has Company. To-morrow Mr. and Mrs. Shaw set out on a Journey for near three weeks.
1. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-03


The Weather was so disagreeable in the morning, that my uncle, and Aunt were undetermined whether to set out, or wait till to'morrow, but it cleared up, and at about 10 they went away. I this day began upon my Studies, and found it by no means an agreeable thing to learn grammar by heart. If I only read twice or thrice over a thing that pleases me, I can commonly retain it in my memory: but when there is nothing but words, my head seems determined not to receive them, and I am obliged to beat them into it. But it must be so, and it is quite useless to complain.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-04


I began this day to translate the Eclogues of Virgil.1 What a difference between this Study, and that of a dry barren greek Grammar. But without sowing the grain there certainly can be no harvest, and there is no Rose, without a thorn. I have been invited to several places, but as yet have had to plead, as an excuse, that my trunks are not come, and I have no Clothes to appear decently in. Although I am much in want of my trunks, yet I should be glad if I could make the excuse serve, longer, than I shall be able to: for I feel every day the desire of forming new Acquaintances, diminishing. I have been for these eight years continually changing my Society: as soon as I have been able to distinguish good Characters from bad, and have obtained any friends, I could have any Confidence in, I have been obliged to leave them, probably never to see them more. My heart instead of growing callous by a frequent repetition of the same pain, seem'd to feel every seperation more than, any of the former ones. I am really weary of this wandering, strolling kind of Life, and now I wish to form few new acquaintances, have few friends, but such as I may

Grapple to my heart with hooks of steel.2

1. JQA's translation of Virgil's Eclogues, mentioned here, is undoubtedly the undated MS, M/JQA/43 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 238), which contains only the first four eclogues. Two years earlier he had copied all ten of the eclogues in Latin, each (except the last) followed by Dryden's English translation (4 vols., London, 1782, at MQA). The Latin text used here is uncertain; JQA had bought the Brindley edition, London, 1744 (at MQA), in Paris on 11 March 1785, but there were at least two other editions of Virgil's works previously purchased by JQA, now also at MQA, which may have been in his possession at this time ([Christian Lotter], Inventory of JQA's books, 6 Nov. 1784, Adams Papers).
2. ”Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,” Hamlet, Act I, scene iii, line 63.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-05


Mr. Thaxter came and dined with us, to day, the first time he has been to see us, since Mr. Shaw went away. In the evening Miss Nancy had Company to Visit her. Mr. W. Osgood, who is said to be her very humble Servant, and something like a Mr. Hickman, to a Miss Howe.1 Mr. Ca[leb] Blodget, who bears the same title, but if fame be true, with still less Success. I am afraid she either treats her admirers too well or too ill. Miss B. Duncan, Mr. Thaxter's reputed flame, she is in my opinion the greatest { 336 } beauty in Haverhill: at least of the Ladies I have seen. Her hair alone is sufficient to justify the admiration of the ancients for golden locks. Her face is very pretty, and her eye sparkles with Vivacity, and good nature, without that wildness which indicates want of thought. She is as Fielding says, too tall for a pretty woman, and too short for a fine Woman: that is no one can wish her an inch taller or an inch lower. Her shape, is inferior to none I ever saw, and her taste in dress is elegant, with the utmost simplicity. If her mind is equal to her Person, I hope she is destined, to complete the happiness of a Person for whom I have the greatest Esteem and Affection. Her Sister Peggy was here too this evening, and Miss Debby Perkins, of whom I shall speak all in good time.
1. Hickman and Howe are characters in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-06


Was invited to Drink tea at Judge Sargeants.1 But was obliged still to plead the excuse I have already mentioned. I say obliged, because, this is one of the families I would wish to be acquainted with the most. My Brother was gone all the afternoon after nuts. Just before dark I went out with the gun, for half an hour, but saw no game. Miss Nancy Spent part of the Evening at Judge Sargeants. The judge himself is now absent riding the Circuits, and is so more than 6 months in 12, but he is expected home soon. He has two Sons and five Daughters, One only of whom I have seen: her name is Tabitha. Quite a patriarchical name; and a Lady that pleases me mightily. She is uncommonly tall, for a woman, but well proportioned; her countenance is rather agreeable than handsome, and it has an appearance of prudence, and solidity, which I wish I could perceive in all the other young Ladies here. She behaves with a propriety which I think might serve as an example to others.
1. Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant, justice of the Supreme Judicial Court (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:574–580).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-07


Last Evening Betsey Cranch arrived, and came this morning to see us. She came with Mr. Ben Blodget, the youngest of that family. She is to live at Mr. White's, at least a great part of the { 337 } time she will stay in Haverhill. I cannot help wishing she was to spend more of the time in this House, for several Reasons.
I went down and spent an hour with Mr. Thaxter at his Office; He told me he thought B. Duncan, the girl of the most Reason, and good Sense in Haverhill: this was enough for a friend but not sufficient for a Lover. He spoke of several other girls in this Place, but not with the most favourable partiality. Dined at home, Miss Perkins favoured us with her Company. She is about as tall as Miss Duncan, and her shape is nearly as fine. Her face is perhaps as pretty, and her hair is more adapted to the taste of mankind at this day: but there is something in the other Lady's Eye, that window of the Soul, which must I think determine the generality of mankind in her favour. Miss Perkins, appears very young; I doubt whether she is yet seventeen: And she shows all the levity which commonly distinguishes girls at that time of Life. I would call her a Romp, but her pretty face forbids me to; I would say that she has too much of

The loud laugh, that speaks the vacant mind.1

but, a pair of dangerous eyes, threaten me with Revenge, if I dare be guilty of such a crime.
1. Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village” [line 122] (Poems, Plays and Essays . . ., Boston, 1854, p. 90).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-08


Mr. Thaxter spent half an hour with us in the forenoon; after dinner my Brother and myself went gunning, from 3 o'clock till dark. The only game to be found here, are Larks and Robins, and black birds: there were great numbers of them. We brought home 17 and should probably have had many more, had I been as good a marksman as my brother. At length the long expected trunks are come; and Mr. Peabody, to whose care they were addrest, says they have been here ever since, Tuesday, but he has not been able to find them out; I believe the plain fact is, he forgot to leave any body, to deliver them, in Case, they came, while he was at Boston, and since his return has not thought of them till now. I am however very glad to have them at last safe. One of the trunks was wet in the bottom: and the clothes in it were somewhat moist.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-10


At about 12 o'clock, I went down to Mr. Thaxter's Office. And soon after I went with him, and paid a visit to Judge Sargeant, who return'd last Friday. He and his Lady were, both of them very polite: and invited me to come often to their house. Mrs. Sargeant,2 has in her countenance, all that placid mildness, which so much becomes a Lady at that time of Life. If I mistake not, I also perceived in it, a small degree of Melancholy, which always strikes me, and makes a person more interesting to me. Dined at home. Miss Nancy spent the afternoon and Evening out, as indeed she always does. I intended to have gone down to Master White's; but a thunder shower came up a little before dark, and prevented me. It lasted about two hours, and the lightening was exceeding sharp, though, the Thunder was not hard. Mr. Ben Blodget came home with Nancy, but staid only a few minutes. I am apt to believe he is another admirer of her Charms, and I tell her she has the gantlet to run through that family. Indeed she seems to have ingrossed the attentions of almost every youth in Haverhill. The girl has surely something bewitching in her, for she treats them all very ill.
1. In the MS, “10th” appears to be marked over “9th”; JQA's letter to AA2, 1–22 Oct. (Adams Papers), under the part written on 12 Oct., confirms the former date.
2. Mary Pickering Leavitt Sargeant, sister of Timothy Pickering, who was later secretary of state, and mother of Mrs. Sarah Leavitt White Payson, also of Haverhill (Harrison Ellery and Charles Pickering Bowditch, The Pickering Genealogy: Being An Account of the . . . Pickering Family of Salem, Mass. . . ., 3 vols., Cambridge, 1897, 1:112–118, 133).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-11


The weather begins to grow Cold: and the winter is advancing with hasty strides. In the afternoon I went down to Mr. White's, but they were all gone out: Went and spent half an hour at Mr. Blodget's, then return'd home. I accompanied the inseparables Nancy, and Debby, to Judge Sargeants, where we remain'd all the evening. Those two girls in particular, ate such a quantity of peaches, as astonished me. I should not have thought that five persons could devour so many in one Evening. From thence we went to see Miss Perkins home, and after staying there a quarter of an hour, retired to our Respective Stations. Mr. Osgood accompanied Miss Nancy home, and I Miss T. Sargeant, who spends a great part of her time with Mrs. Payson her Sister, who { 339 } is in poor Health. I expect to hear to morrow that Miss Nancy cannot leave her Chamber. Oh! Prudence, what a charming virtue art thou! But how few are so happy as to possess thee!

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-12


There were not those effects which I expected from last Night's frolic. Though Miss Nancy was not perfectly well to day. In the afternoon I went with her, down as far as Mr. Duncan's, left her there, and went myself down to Mr. White's. They all complain'd of my not having been more to see them since I arrived here. They expect their Son1 home to-morrow. They have some thoughts of his going to London, in the first vessel, that sails; if he should be able to obtain Leave from the government of the College. The young Ladies are learning to play upon the harpsichord, and play'd a number of tunes. This family is an exceeding agreeable one; Mrs. White appears to be exceedingly fond of her family, and to possess those virtues which in this Country are most peculiarly requisite, but which our young Ladies seem too fond of shaking off. In short I think our matrons in general, must strike an impartial person, in a more amiable light than most of our maiden toasts. A warm affection for her family, and an humane and benevolent heart for the rest of the world, are in my opinion a woman's greatest ornaments. Miss Peggy is about 20 years old, and is called a Beauty. Her face has a great deal of Dignity, perhaps a little Severity in it; but when adorn'd with a smile is extremely pleasant. Last Winter, she was in a very unfortunate State of mind: a melancholy seiz'd her, which greatly distress'd her Parents; but she recovered in the Spring, and has since that time enjoyed a most uncommon flow of Spirits. When a scale is weigh'd down on one side, it is extremely difficult to lighten it immediately just as much as is necessary to make the balance just; the danger is that the other side, should in its turn weigh down. Her brother Leonard is my Cousin Cranch's Chamber mate at College: and has studied with him these three years.
1. Leonard White, who became one of JQA's most intimate friends in Haverhill and later at Cambridge, where they were classmates. White held numerous public offices in Haverhill throughout his life and served a term as representative in the state legislature in 1809 and as a member of the congress, 1811–1813. After his return from Washington, he became cashier of the Merrimack Bank of Haverhill from 1814 to 1836 (Essex Antiquarian, 11:37 [Jan. 1907]; Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-13


Miss Nancy, My Brother and myself dined with Mr. Dodge, to day: Mr. Thaxter was there. He went two or three days ago to Newbury and return'd last night. Mr. Dodge is a person of extensive reading, and is fond of enquiring, which is always very agreeable to a traveller. In the afternoon I went with Mr. Thaxter to Mr. Osgood's1 Store, and afterwards to his own office. We return'd and drank tea at Mr. Dodge's: after that return'd home: Miss Hazen spent the Evening out. Cold weather.
1. Isaac Osgood, a Haverhill merchant in West Indian goods and the London trade (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:472–473).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-14


Dined this day at Judge Sargeants. Mr. Payson, his Son in Law, Mr. Thaxter, and my brother were there. The judge will set out to-morrow, to ride the Circuit again; the manner in which three quarters of his time are taken up. Spent an hour with Mr. Thaxter at his office, and he then went with me to our House, where we found a number of Ladies at tea. They soon after went away: as there were a number of Ladies and no gentlemen, I offer'd to wait upon two of the Ladies, and had before the end of the evening reason to repent for my Complaisance. We first, all went down to Mr. Blodget's, and after staying there about a quarter of an hour, to Mr. Bartlets. We were there, 14 or 15 persons in a small Room, gazing at one another, and making I think as silly a figure, as was necessary. There we sat two long hours, and I was weary'd to Death. However for one Comfort, I had a little dish of Scandal with Betsey Cranch, who was as much fatigued as I. At length we all return'd to our Respective homes; for which I was not a Little thankful.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-15


We had this day, two young Gentlemen, to dine with us. Mr. Saml. Brooks from the Academy, at Exeter, where they have at present a vacation for three weeks; and Sam: Walker, my brother Charles's Chum, at College: their vacancy will not begin till next Wednesday, but he has obtained leave to come home already. Leonard White too, was here in the afternoon. He came home on Wednesday, returned on Thursday to Boston, and came { 341 } back last Evening. The Government of the University, would not give him leave of absence, so that he will not go to England at present. We had this afternoon some of the most extraordinary weather, I remember ever to have known. At about 3 o'clock afternoon, the Clouds look'd uncommonly yellow, and it grew so dark, that I could with difficulty read a small print: and although it was quite cold, it began to thunder. It call'd to the memory of most persons, the famous dark day, which happened in 1780,1 but which was much more remarkable than this. It cleared up however in some measure before Sun set, and the weather in the Evening was not disagreeable.
N.B. Miss Nancy did not go out of the House, once during the whole course of this day.
1. For accounts of the “dark day,” see Adams Family Correspondence, 3:355–356, 386–388.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-16


We had no minister to day, at our meeting house. Nancy went to the other in the forenoon, and Tommy in the afternoon. I stayd at home all day. Miss Hazen, has been very unwell, for some days past, and had this afternoon, one of her teeth drawn. I wish she could be persuaded to take care of them: The want of proper attention to the teeth, is an universal failing in this Country, and is very hurtful both to the beauty, and the Health of our Ladies.
Mr. Thaxter last night, promised to come, and dine with us to day, but, went over, to meeting at Bradford. I forgot last Sunday to mention, that we had Mr. Moody of Pelham, to preach here, and I attended forenoon, and afternoon. A very sober preacher, who made use of a vast Quantity of Quotations.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-17


There happened a very considerable alteration in the weather, during the course of the last Night. Yesterday the weather was uncommonly warm, and has been to day very cold; more like winter than any we have yet had. In the afternoon, Leonard White came up, and waited upon Miss Nancy down to his father's house. I went soon after, and drank tea, there: Mrs. and Miss Williams the professor's Lady and Daughter,1 were there upon a visit. Miss Williams, is tall and pretty, that is all I can say, of her, after so transient a view: an intimate friend of { 342 } Nancy's: they appear'd both very much pleased to see one another. There was in the Evening considerable Company; who they were is easily guess'd. At eight o'clock I return'd. Miss Hazen spent the remainder of the Evening at Mr. Duncan's.
1. Jane Kilbourn Williams and Jane, the wife and daughter of Prof. Samuel Williams, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural and Experimental Philosophy, 1780–1788 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 15:134–146).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-18


This morning I rose about half an hour before the Sun, and walk'd two or three miles before breakfast. Spent half an hour, with Mr. Thaxter at his office. After breakfast went down to Mr. White's and there agreed with them in what manner to go to Newbury. Dined with them, and at about half after two, Mr. J: Duncan,1 set out with Miss White, I with my Cousin and Leonard, on horse back. We cross'd the ferry about 3 miles off, and at about 5, we got to Newbury; we went to Mr. Dalton's, who was not then at home. We found it exceedingly cold on the road, and both Leonard, and I had forgot our Surtouts, for which we suffer'd, and I dare say this Circumstance, will teach us more prudence another time, more effectually than a sermon would. Mr. Dalton return'd to tea, and we spent the Evening there. His eldest Daughter, Ruth, is the fattest Person of her age I ever saw. Moderately speaking I suppose, her circumference equal to her height, and she is not short. She is but little turn'd of 18 years. Mr. Dalton has three other Daughters, one of whom is unwell. I have not for a long while seen a family, that has struck me so agreeably, as this. Mr. Dalton, was my father's classmate at College, and has been his friend ever since.2 He is universally affable and polite, and unites to an high degree the gentleman with the scholar. His [wife] has something in her Countenance, which would authorize any one at first sight, to pronounce, her amiable and benovelent.

Of manners gentle, and affections mild.

The Children all seem to inherit, the soft, placid turn of mind which distinguishes both the parents. Who after seeing such a family, as this can relish the idle Pomp and Pageantry of a Court. He who could must have ideas of happiness, very different from mine.
{ 343 }
We all slept, at Mr. Dalton's. Mr. Duncan, Leonard and I in one Chamber.
1. James Duncan Jr., son of the Haverhill merchant and brother of Betsy (James Duncan Phillips, “James Duncan and Son: Merchants, Capitalists, and Chain Store Operators,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 89:51 [Jan. 1953]).
2. Tristram Dalton, a Newburyport merchant and member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1782–1788, later served briefly as a U.S. senator. Dalton and JA corresponded over many years (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:569–578; JA, Earliest Diary, p. 67–68).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-19


We went out between 9 and 10 this morning, in order to take, a walk, and look at the troops, for this day there happened to be a regimental muster here, and training day for the militia. When we went out we had no idea of being gone more than an hour, but it was near two before we return'd. 10 Companies from Newbury, march'd about two miles out, and met 7 others from Almesbury [Amesbury]. There were in all, I imagine about a thousand men under arms. All the officers and the artillery Company composed of 39 men, were in a dark blue uniform, faced with scarlet: the troops were not in any uniform. They paraded tolerably well, all things consider'd, though it would take I imagine considerable time to make Prussian troops of them. The Coll. Lieutt. Coll. and Adjudant were on white horses. There was none of the officers that appeared so much to advantage as the adjutant, a joiner by trade, named Herriman. Many officers who have from their childhood brought up in regular armies, would not appear more graceful or show more dignity at a parade, than this person did. Some men whatever their Station in Life may be, have a natural grace and elegance, which never leave them; others though possess'd of the highest advantages, and train'd from their Infancy to the Science of politeness, can never acquire that easy agreeable manner which has so great a tendency:

To make men happy and to keep them so.1

When the two parties had join'd after a short pause, they march'd all together back into the town, and we left them. We dined at Mr. Dalton's, but he was so unwell, that he could not favour us with his Company. He caught yesterday a bad cold, at New town, a seat which he owns, about half way between this and Haverhill. Mr. Symmes2 dined with us, a young Gentleman, { 344 } whose manners are very easy and agreeable. At about 4. we proceeded in the order we went yesterday, to return home; we got to Mr. White's house, just before dark. I came from the ferry on horseback. Spent the Evening very agreeably, there, and return'd home, at about 9 o'clock. Found Mr. Thaxter there, but he soon after went away.
1. Horace, Epistles, Bk. I, Ep. vi, line 2 (Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, transl. Fairclough, p. 286, 287).
2. William Symmes, an Andover lawyer and son of Rev. William Symmes (John Adams Vinton, The Symmes Memorial. A Biographical Sketch of Rev. Zechariah Symmes . . . with a Genealogy and Brief Memoirs of Some of His Descendants . . ., Boston, 1873, p. 59–61).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-20


Spent the whole day at home. Miss Nancy spent the afternoon and evening at Mr. Duncan's. In the beginning of the Evening my uncle and Aunt arrived, although they were not expected before to-morrow. I am rejoyced at it, for the time they have been gone has appeared long to me, and somewhat dull. My Aunt brought me Letters from London, as two vessels have arrived. I have two from my Mother, which excite my curiosity to an high degree;1 and it cannot be gratified without those from my Sister, which I hope will come by the Post to morrow. I know not, that I was ever so impatient, and I cannot Reason myself out of it.
1. AA to JQA, 11, 23 Aug.; also received was one from William Vans Murray to JQA, 2 Aug., all in Adams Papers (JQA to AA2, 1–22 Oct., Adams Papers). JQA knew some decision had been made about Royall Tyler, but not yet exactly what. In the first of AA's letters to her son, she wrote that he would be surprised by the contents of some of the letters arriving in packets, but added that “at the same time you will approve the wise conduct of the writer [AA2] who has shewn a firmness of mind and prudence which do her honour. Be Silent! We are all rejoiced because it came of her own accord free and unsolicited from her, and was the result I believe of many Months anxiety as you were witness.” For AA2's letter, which was being concluded as AA wrote, see entry for 29 Oct. (below). AA2 wrote a one-sentence letter to Tyler breaking the engagement, returning his miniature and letters, and asking that he give hers to Richard Cranch (JA, Earliest Diary, p. 27).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-21


Stormy weather all day. It is a very lucky circumstance, that Mr. and Mrs. Shaw return'd yesterday, as they would have had a very disagreeable time to day. In the morning I went down to Mr. White's with the Chaise, for my Cousin, who came to spend the day, and will not return this Night, as the Storm rather increases than otherwise.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-22


The weather has been all day, pretty much the same as it was yesterday, an high wind, with incessant rain. It begins however this evening to abate in some measure. My Cousin was troubled very much all this afternoon, with the Head-ache a Complaint she is much subject [to]. I have been struck with the contrast between the two young Ladies that are now under this Roof. Eliza, is about 21. Her complexion is dark, and her face, though not beautiful, has a sweetness, and benign candour in it, which my gothic taste prefers vastly, to that insipid thing called beauty. Her eye expresses the exquisite Sensibility of her heart. Perhaps this is too great for her own happiness, but although I think that feeling so keenly for the distress of others, may be productive of pains without which a person would be happier, yet I believe that this quality, (especially in a Lady) is the most amiable of all those in the human heart. Her imagination has much vivacity, but has not been spoilt by unmeaning novels, or immoral plays. She is fond of reading, but of that reading which tends to cultivate, and improve, as well as to entertain and delight the mind, and she knows how to improve what she reads. Her affability and good nature, endear her to those who are acquainted with her, and must always be pleasing to a Stranger. This would be thought a panegyric, not a Character, by any person unacquainted with her, but I shall not be accused of partiality by those, who have an opportunity of examining into the truth of it.
Nancy, is only 17. She had the misfortune of losing her Father, while she was very young indeed. She is not a regular beauty, but has one of the most expressive Countenances, I have ever seen; her shape is uncommonly fine, and her eye seems to have magic in it. She boarded, for a considerable time with Mrs. Sheaffe in Boston, and there, had a great number of admirers, when she was too young to distinguish between the sincere friend, and the pretended Lover. She acquired unawares a fondness for being admired, which I am mistaken if she has entirely thrown off. By seeing a great deal of Company, she has been brought to believe she cannot be contented at home, and to desire to shine in a large circle. She asserts in the most positive manner that her heart is entirely free from any engagement, yet she suffers the world to suppose, and to publish that she is upon the point of being connected with a gentleman in this place, and I am { 346 } perswaded it would give her pain, was he to pay his addresses to any other Lady. Yet her heart is kind, tender and benevolent; and was she sensible of the pain she causes, she would be the first to condemn herself. She will listen with attention to advice, and hear her conduct censur'd without being offended. With a large share of wit, she has an inexhaustible fund of good Nature; she has an uncommon flow of Spirits, but can be properly serious if an occasion requires. She reads much, but I fear not with so much advantage, as she would, had she not been drawn so young into the stream of Dissipation. When time shall convince her, of those errors, which she has unavoidably fallen into, she will I am perswaded free herself from them, and then she will be an honour and an ornament to her sex.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-23


Attended the meeting forenoon, and afternoon. After tea, I went down with my Cousin to Mr. White's. We met Leonard at the door; he was just coming up to my uncle's, but went back when we got there. Staid but a few minutes there, and when I return'd found Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Redington there: the Storm subsided in the Course of the last night, but the weather to day has been hazy, and disagreeable. I never saw in Europe, saw it Storm and reign 48 hours at a time, with incessant violence. It is however not uncommon in this Country: especially at this Season of the year.
The river is exceeding high, and will probably rise much higher still, in the Course of a day or two. There was yesterday a man belonging to this town, drown'd between here and Newbury.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-24


The river has risen higher than was ever known, Insomuch that the great Street is in many places full of water. I have been twice down to day to see it. The Current is very swift, and wafts down a greater number of stumps of trees, and logs of wood. There are a number of boats continually going out, and bringing back this wood. If the piece is not mark'd it is entirely the perquisite of the Person who gets it. If there is a mark on it, only one quarter belongs to the finder. Many People up in the Country send down trees in this manner, to have boards made here. One { 347 } quarter is deducted for the recoverer of the log, and one quarter for the miller who saws it so that one half remains for the original possessor. This is the cheapest way of sending, the trees, but great numbers, pass by without being caught, and are carried out to sea. This afternoon, there was another man drown'd near here.
Went and spent an hour at Mr. White's. The more I see of this family the more I am pleased with it. It would inspire a Courtier with fondness for domestic happiness. They are at present uneasy because Mrs. White is very unwell: we did not see her. We left Betsey and Peggy Duncan there and Mr. Thaxter, at about 7 and return'd home. The Weather has been chilly the greatest part of the day, but grew very warm in the Evening. At about 11. at night there was a thunder shower, with a great deal of hail, but the thunder was not heavy.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-25


The river begins at length to fall, but rose, continually, till this morning; and was much higher than it ever was before. A shop on the banks, was yesterday carried off, run a foul, of a vessel on the stocks, and dismounted her. Much damage has been done by this uncommon freshet.
I this day concluded the greek Grammar, for which I am heartily thankful. I shall immediately begin upon the Greek testament.
This afternoon, Lucy, and Billy Cranch, and my brother Charles, arrived here. There is a vacancy now at the University, for a fortnight, and my brother will spend the remainder of it here. My Cousins stopp'd at Mr. White's, and I went down there to meet them. We soon return'd back all together, and spent the evening. I had not been with both my brothers together, these six years. The meeting was a very happy one; it made me wish for another. Miss Nancy went out yesterday morning to spend the week.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-26


I was greatly disappointed to find, that neither of my Cousins nor my brother had any Letters for me from Europe. Surely my Sister did not let both opportunities slip. I began to day upon the { 348 } Testament but shall not I fear proceed far this week. Company in the afternoon to drink tea.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-27


This morning Miss Nancy return'd, upon hearing Lucy Cranch, was here, as they are very intimate together; not from a similarity of character however, for Lucy, has still more gravity and seriousness in her disposition, than her Sister. Every person I believe has, in some measure, a double Character; the one implanted by nature, and the other form'd by education. A Character naturally vicious, may by proper training, be led in the right path, and a mind originally excellent, may be injured, by an erroneous method of raising it. How fortunate are those, who enjoy both the blessings! and I know of nobody who has them to a greater degree, than both of my Cousins. They have been taught to admire, and to know, what is useful, and durable, and not to spend three quarters of their time thinking, how they shall do, to be stared at the fourth. Mr. Thaxter and Leonard White dined with us; in the afternoon, Mr. Shaw, and the Ladies went down and drank tea at Doctor Saltonstall's. We went out on a gunning party, but had not, any great success. Spent part of the evening at Mr. White's, and part, at Mr. Duncan's, where I had not yet been. Felt very dull all the evening, owing to a number of circumstances. Mr. Duncan supped here.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-28


This morning My two Cousins left us, to return to Braintree, at about 9. Nancy, and Cousin Betsey, went down to Mr. White's; So that our house was very considerably thinn'd. Mrs. Shaw spent the afternoon out. In the Evening Charles and myself went and stayd an hour at Mr. Duncan's. Found Mr. Thaxter there. The weather is uncommonly mild for the Season; I was obliged to make a fire last Fall, in France, by the middle of this month, and I have, not as yet felt the necessity of one, here, although the Season is further advanced and the winters are colder, than there.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-29


I began to give over all hopes of receiving any Letters from my Sister by the last Vessels, but this morning while we were at { 349 } Breakfast A large packet came in from Boston; inclosing me a very long Letter, with the account untill the 15th. of August. The pleasure I received was enhanced, by having it when it was unexpected. But it has not satisfied me, upon one subject, which gives me still a great deal of anxiety. Doubts, hopes, and fears alternately rise in my Breast, and I know not what to Conclude. The subject is of great importance to me, as it regards the happiness of a Sister, for whom I have the tenderest and sincerest affection.1 Between 12 and 1 I went down to Mr. White's, and read my Letter to the Ladies. Stay'd and dined there. Spent part of the afternoon with Mr. Thaxter: he gave me a piece of information which surprised me very much, but which I sincerely hope to be true. Nancy came home, this Evening. I have been endeavouring for some time past, to climb, up some steps upon the hill of the muses but, Boileau says with great truth

C'est en vain qu'au Parnasse un téméraire auteur

Pense de l'art des vers atteindre la hauteur

S'il n'a reçu du ciel, l'influence secrete,

Si son astre en naissant ne l'a formé Poete.2

The hill I fear is by far too slippery for me.
1. This is AA2's 32-page letter dated 4 July–11 Aug. (Adams Papers), but it contains no mention of her breaking the engagement with Royall Tyler.
2. Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux, “L'Art poetique,” from Oeuvres choisies, 2 vols., Paris, 1777, 2:[3], a copy of which is at MQA with JQA's bookplate and MS signature with the date 1781. JQA quotes the first four lines of the first song, line three of which should read: “S'il ne sent point du ciel.”

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-30


Attended the meeting forenoon and afternoon; in the morning Cousin Betsey came, here, and spent the day with us. I return'd with her after tea, and found nobody at home, at Mr. White's. Nancy and Charles went in the afternoon to the other meeting-house. Mr. Smith, after an absence of near two months, return'd home, a day or two since. Mr. Hunt spent the evening here; a gentleman from Boston, who it is said comes to take one of the ladies from Haverhill. Miss Becca White1 is the person; Common fame, gives to Mr. J: Duncan the title of his rival; But common fame, is so fond of making matches, that there is no knowing how to depend upon it.
Rain in the Evening.
{ 350 }
1. Rebecca White, daughter of “Squire” Samuel White, married James Duncan Jr. in 1790 (Daniel Appleton White and Annie Frances Richards, The Descendants of William White, of Haverhill, Mass. . . ., Boston, 1889, p. 27).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0012-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-10-31


Mr. Allen, and Mr. Quarles,1 two clergymen, dined here to day. In the afternoon Charles went over to Bradford, to visit Walker, his Chum: We spent the Evening, and supp'd at Mr. White's; there were several ladies and gentlemen from Boston there: Charles made it so late before he came from Bradford that he did not go with us. It was about 10. when we return'd home. The Company at Mr. White's propose returning to-morrow to Boston; One of the Ladies appeared very impatient to be gone, and I believe had particular Reasons, for wishing it.
The Weather is still very mild for the Season. I do not find a fire necessary as yet.
1. Jonathan Allen was minister at Bradford, Mass.; probably Francis Quarles, minister at Hamilton, Mass. (MH-Ar:Quinquennial File; Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764–1904, Providence, R.I., 1905).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-01

Tuesday November 1st. 1785.

Walker came over, and dined here to day. In the afternoon all the family, except my brother Tom, and myself went to Mr. Redington's. They pressed me to go too, but I wish to go as little into Company, while I am here as possible. An hundred things which I can neither foresee, nor prevent, draw me away from my studies and delay them: but where I can help it, I will not suffer them to be interrupted. Time, is too precious a thing to be trifled with, and I have already lost but too much.
This morning Mr. Thaxter set out, for Salem, where the Court is now setting: he will not return before next Saturday.
Betsey Cranch spent the day with us.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-02


Young Mr. Symmes lodged here last Night. This morning before breakfast My Brother Charles left us, for Cambridge, as the fall vacancy ends to day. He went with Leonard White, and Walker, and several other Gentlemen and Ladies who were going to Boston. I have lost in Leonard and Charles two good friends who in my leisure hours were great sources of pleasure { 351 } to me; but the separation from them is necessary, and from that I must derive my Consolation. Finished the first chapter of John. I hope I shall not continue to proceed as slowly as I have done; and I believe it is in Learning Languages, as the french proverb says, il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte. Cloudy, chilly weather all day; in the Evening it rain'd considerably. Very stormy in the Night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-03


Mr. Shaw went to the lecture of a neighbouring brother, and dined out; I was pretty close, all day, and did not go out of the house. Events cannot be interesting, when one is in this Situation, and few Reflections can be made, by one entirely employ'd in acquiring those of others.
I feel a degree of Melancholy which may be owing to my having been so much confined these three or four days, but I rather imagine proceeds from another Cause. When our Reason is at variance with our heart, the mind cannot be in a pleasing State: I have heretofore more than once, been obliged to exert all my Resolution, to keep myself free from a Passion, which I could not indulge, and which would have made me miserable had I not overcome it. I have escaped till now more perhaps owing to my good Fortune, than to my own firmness, and now again, I am put to a trial. I have still more Reason, than I ever had, to repress my feelings; but I am also perswaded, that I never was in greater danger; one Circumstance there is, which gives me hopes; and if it takes place, will put an end to my danger and my fears.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-04


Reading over the Salem paper to day, I found an account of the death, and funeral of Mr. Hardy, a delegate in Congress from the State of Virginia, a gentleman, from whom I received the politest treatment while I was in New York, but what is of Consequence, a firm and steady friend to his Country, a mild Republican, and a worthy man. In the evening Mr. Thaxter return'd from Salem, where he heard of the decease of my aunt Tufts, whose excellent Qualities endeared her, to her relations and to all her acquaintance: The continual occasion which every person has to reflect upon the slender thread of life, has drawn from great and ingenious minds every observation, that can be made respecting mor• { 352 } tality: happy is it in this aweful seperation from those that are near to us, when we have only to grieve for our own sakes. What a source of Consolation in these Circumstances, is the perswasion, that our friends, have gained in the Change, an advantage incomparably greater than our loss. Ah! what can the reflections of an Atheist be, at the death of a dear friend; (if a mind of that cast is capable of friendship) what Idea, can support him: the mind which contributed once so greatly to his happiness; he supposes to be annihilated with the body, it animated, and he can derive no soothing thoughts from resignation to a Providence the existence of which he denies. Just Heaven! whatever misfortunes it may be my lot to be afflicted with hereafter, grant, that the frenzy of infidelity, may never be of the number! Mrs. Tufts died on Sunday the 30th. of last month. A few days before, when not only she herself, but all those around her were in hourly expectition of her dissolution, her only Son1 to whom she has always been the tenderest, the most affectionate of mothers set off on a journey: and has nature given to any human hearts, the coldness, and the hardness of marble, who, that is blest with the smallest degree of Sensibility, would not shudder at the idea, of abandoning a dying parent, was it for the dominion of the world? Heaven, be praised! I know only this Character in this family, that is deprived, of every amiable virtue of the heart.
Mr. Hardy died October 17th. and in him these States have lost, a patriot, from whose virtues, they would I doubt not, have derived great advantages, had the all wise ruler of Events, thought proper to continue him longer in the world. The respect shown him, after his death by the august body, of which he was a member, proves how much he was esteemed and beloved by them.
1. Cotton Tufts Jr. (1757–1833), AA's cousin and longtime postmaster of Weymouth, whom JQA later described as “a man who has lived nearly to the age of four score; having had a liberal education, but never emerged from obscurity and retirement” (JQA, Diary, 6 May 1833).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-05


Eliza Spent the day with us. I accompanied her home, in the Evening, and spent half an hour at Mr. White's. Miss Betsey Duncan, return'd this Evening from Boston, and brought me a Letter from my Cousin Cranch.1 He attended Mrs. Tufts's funeral last Tuesday, and very justly admires the Doctor's Behav• { 353 } iour upon the occasion: it was that of a Christian, and of a Philosopher. He had always lived in an uninterrupted union with his Lady; and though fully Sensible of his loss, he did not show it, by tears, or by any outward manifestation. He was not dressed in black, considering a mourning suit but as the trappings and the suits of woe.2
1. Not found.
2. Hamlet, Act I, scene ii, line 86.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-06


Attended the meeting, forenoon, and afternoon. Went home with my Cousin. Was employ'd all the Evening, in writing to my Sister.1
The Weather somewhat chilly.
1. Letter not found; undoubtedly the same to which he refers on 8 Nov. (below).

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-07


Mr. Thaxter went again this morning to Newbury, to attend the trial of a number of Pirates, lately taken.1 I wish'd much to go with him, on that account, and for several other Reasons; but, I was afraid of interrupting my Studies, which at this Time, cannot suffer any loss of time; and they must be attended to, before every thing else. N. B. Guardian N: 49.2
1. Several men who had taken possession of the schooner Amity off the Essex co. coast in mid-August were captured and indicted a month later. In mid-November two were convicted of robbery and felony; three were declared not guilty (Massachusetts Spy, 8, 22 Sept., 17, 24 Nov.).
2. An essay on the “natural” and “fantastical” “pleasures which constitute human happiness.” JQA may have used the two-volume edition of The Guardian, London, 1745, 1:213–217, listed among his books in 1784 and now at MQA ([Christian Lotter], Inventory of JQA's books, 6 Nov. 1784, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-08


My Aunt spent the afternoon at Mr. White's. I was not outside of the gate once. Closed my Letter to my Sister N:8.1 But I shall not be able to send it before next Week.
1. Letter not found. Extant letters to his sister suggest that his reference here is misnumbered and might have been letter thirteen. Letter eight was dated 29 Aug.–7 Sept. (Adams Papers), and JQA had sent at least four other letters to AA2 by this time. For another inexplicable instance of misnumbering, see entry for 28 Nov. (below).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-09


Drank tea at Mrs. West's,1 where our ladies spent the afternoon. I afterwards went home with Eliza; went in to Mr. White's. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan2 were there. This Lady, in Consequence, of a fit of sickness, has for these two or three months been deprived of her Reason: a little before 7 she went home with her husband; about half an hour after, Mr. J Duncan, came in, and enquired if she was there: we were immediately alarmed, and I went up with Miss Peggy, to Mr. Duncan's. The whole neighbourhood was stirring in a short time, and she has been fruitlessly search'd after, for three hours. The Circumstances of her disappearing, are very singular; Mr. Duncan had not been 2 minutes from her, when she was first miss'd, and she went off without any Cloak. It is generally feared that she went to the River with the intention to put an end to her existence; as she has already attempted it twice. The hopes conceived are but small: the whole family, are deeply affected, and in a State of Suspense, more dreadful than a certainty of the worst could be: Mrs. White, who is the Lady's Sister, is in great distress. Peggy fears the worst, and is prepared for it. If she is gone, said she to me, as we were going up the hill, there is a god, who rules all with infinite Wisdom; we must hope for the best, and submit to whatever he may inflict upon us. Such Reflections, are often made by persons when their passions are cool, but such philosophical and Christian resignation is not common in so young a mind, when it receives a sudden, and violent shock like this. I admired it exceedingly.
1. Possibly Joanna Kast, wife of Henry West, a Haverhill merchant (Haverhill, Vital Records;Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 71:91–92 [Jan. 1935]).
2. Elizabeth Leonard Duncan was the second wife of James Sr. and stepmother of the Duncan children (James Duncan Phillips, “James Duncan and Son: Merchants, Capitalists and Chain Store Operators,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., 89:51 [Jan. 1953]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-10


My Uncle, went out, early this morning, and when he return'd put an end to our hopes with Respects to Mrs. Duncan, and realized our fears. She was found dead, in the River, near the shore, in a place where there is not more than two foot of water. In this distressing Calamity, it is in some measure a consoling circumstance that she was found: the family must necessarily have suf• { 355 } fered beyond measure, had she never been heard of after she disappeared. I never felt my Spirits so depress'd, as they have been all this day. A Sentiment of Humanity in general, always makes me feel, for a disaster of this sort, but I was never before witness to one, when my attachment to an Amiable family in particular, has heightened the natural feelings to such a degree.
The God, who disposes every thing, for the best, when he bereaves an human creature thus of its Reason, does it perhaps with a view to make the rest sufficiently sensible of the inestimable blessing he has bestow'd upon them. For such is the mind of man, that it can never be grateful for the gifts it possesses, unless it sees the dreadful Consequences attending the want of them; and it is adversity that makes the good man.

The ways of Heaven, are dark and intricate,

Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors.

My Aunt, and Nancy spent the day at Mr. Duncan's. Mrs. Shaw, was greatly affected, but her conduct proved, this was not the first time, her Sensibility, had been thus called forth. Nancy was distress'd to a great degree: she could not contain her grief; it has heightened my opinion of her: the heart that feels so keenly for other's woes, may be led into errors, but never can be unamiable.
Mr. Thaxter return'd to day from Salem. He is deeply interested in this misfortune; and bears it with the fortitude, for which he is distinguished, and which he has often, been called upon to exert.
He left Salem this morning, and the jury upon the affair, had not then given their Verdict. He seems to be of opinion that they were not guilty of Piracy; but thinks it probable they will be condemned.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-11


Attended Mrs. Duncan's funeral, in the afternoon: Mr. Smith made a prayer, very proper and adapted to the Circumstances. There were as I imagine, about 40 couple attending. As we return'd, several couple went out of the row as they came to their Respective homes. I was with my Cousin, and went in to Mr. White's; where I spent a couple of hours. Mrs. McKinstry,1 a Sister of Mrs. Duncan, was there: and it was a solemn, mournful { 356 } time with them. Most of the Company returnd to Mr. Duncan's house. My Aunt spent the evening with Mrs. Payson.
1. Mrs. Priscilla Leonard McKinstry, widow of loyalist Dr. William McKinstry, of Taunton, was the sister of both Mrs. Elizabeth Duncan and Sarah LeBaron White, the second wife of John White Sr., of Haverhill (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 6:326; William Willis, “Genealogy of the McKinstry Family, With A Preliminary Essay on the Scotch-Irish Immigrations to America,” NEHGR, 12:325–326 [Oct. 1858]).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-12


All day at home. Miss Nancy came in the Evening, but did not stay more than half an hour: she has been since Thursday morning, at Mr. Duncan's, and proposes staying there, all next Week. Though I cannot conceal from myself, that this gives me pain at present, yet I can sincerely say, I wish she would in this manner keep away, week after week from this house, untill I leave it: In the Evening, I was reminded, of the great disadvantages, a youth must labour under, who suffers himself to be subdued by the tender passion. I needed not the Caution; and shew that I was fully sensible of it. I consider it the greatest misfortune; that can befall a young man to be in Love. Does not Reason alone suffice to show that, when the Passions are high and the blood is warm, it is impossible to make a Choice, with the prudence necessary upon such an occasion. Do we not see daily men, of great Sense and experience, and at an age when discretion should guide all their actions, fall into fatal errors, in this case, how much more exposed then, is a person incapable of Reflection, and led on by passion. May it be my lot, at least for ten years to come, never to have my heart exclusively possessed by any individual of the other sex. A man courting appears to me at any time of life, much below his natural dignity; but in a youth it is exceedingly absurd and ridiculous.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-13


The late misfortune, was the subject of our afternoon sermon. Nobody from the family was present, as they attend Mr. Smith's meeting. My Cousin, was at ours the latter part of the day, and dined with us. Mr. Redington, spent part of the Evening, here. Mr. Shaw was called out, upon two occasions, very different from one another. To attend three persons in one family, at the point of death, and to marry a couple: thus it is, while one part of { 357 } the world, are crumbling to dust, others, are feasting and rejoying and hastening to the same situation.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-14


I pass'd half an hour before dinner at Mr. Thaxters office: at home all the rest of the day, with the same scene perpetually renew'd: A person that passes the days in study and the nights in sleep knows little of variety. The rules of the house, are exceedingly regular, and must be strictly attended to. Breakfast at 8. dinner at 1: prayers at 9 and retirement a short time after, are the Laws: and as I think every person ought to pay due respect to the Regulations of the house he is in, I have never been out of this after 10 at night, since I have been, here: but once after 9. Severity in this article, is absolutely necessary in a Clergyman's house: such is the attention every gentleman of that profession, must pay to the prejudices of ignorance, and enthusiasm. In short the discouragement every person, inclined to the study of divinity must meet with in this Country has restrained many of late years from following that line of life, and will lessen the number very greatly in a little Time. The laws exclude them from any civil employment, the Salaries allow'd them are very small, and in many places miserably paid; so that one can have no hopes of gratifying, ambition or prospects of fortune, yet they are subjected to every ill natured reflection, that envy or malice can invent. Every individual seems to think he has the direction, and superintendency of their Conduct. In this land of freedom, they are the only persons that enjoy it not; and they have not like the Roman Vestals, the Satisfaction of having uncommon Respect paid them; as a reward for, all these disagreeable Circumstances. I think proper care ought to be taken, to prevent the Clergy, as a body from growing too rich or too powerful; but I think it both false and unjust policy, to make odious distinctions between them, and other Citizens.
Weather quite cold to day.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-15


All day at home. My Uncle, was applied to last Saturday by a man, to do a little jobb for him, as he term'd it, which was to marry him. So he went in the afternoon: My Aunt and Eliza went in the Chaise.
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I made in the Evening a few reflections, which I had not time to write down, now, but, must remember to do it some other day. The weather begins to grow cold, and it is probable, we shall have Snow very soon; it is now full time, for there is often snow on the ground here, by the middle of October.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-16


Two persons in the town, died in the Course of this day. A young Woman by the name of Bradly, and a Grandson of Dr: Cast, a boy about 11 years old. He was one of my brothers Companions, and died in Consequence, of having leapt from too great an height.
Eliza dined here, and went in the afternoon with my aunt to see Mr. Adams1 a neighbouring minister. I pass'd the Evening at Mr. White's. There was some Company there: Mrs. White is still somewhat Melancholy. Peggy in as good Spirits as could be expected. Upon the whole it was an agreeable evening. When I got home, I found Mr. Allen, at the house; he will lodge here, this night. Mr. Thaxter went this day to Newbury, and return'd. I saw him at Mr. Duncan's as I came by the house.
1. Phineas Adams, minister of the Haverhill Third or West Church, 1771–1801 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 15:150–151).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-17