A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-29

29th.

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

30th.

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

2d.

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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/