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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-05-20

20th.

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.
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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
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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.
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/