A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0009

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1778-04-09 - 1778-08-24

Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy

    [Debit]   [Credit]1  
1778     Livs.   s   d   Livs.   s   d  
  Brought forward   11706.   18.     11418.   17.    
9 April   To Commissioners by an order upon Monsr. Grand         4800.2      
  a Commissioner to Paris   1.   10.          
10   Brunel Joiner for Work done at Passy   124.   5.          
  Baton for the hire of Carriage and Horses for B. F. 2 Months less one Day   660.            
  Coachman   3.            
  Bringing of Mr. Adams's Things from Paris   3.   12.          
15   Dr. Franklin's Shoemaker for Work brought home   36.            
16   Wheel-Wright for Work done for Mr. Deane   168.            
  Advanced Madame Lefark in Part of Account for Family Expences   240.            
  Pair of Shoe Buckles for Mr. John Adams. (Silver)   36.            
  Pair of Knee [buckles?]for Do. (Stone)   18.            
22   Advanced John Adams Esqr   480.3            
23   Wood Merchant   440.            
  Benjamin F. Baches's Schooling   451.   18.          
24   Dumont, his Wages from 10th. Decr. to 10th. April. his Allowance for Wine during that time and Washing from 10. Feb. to 10. April Likewise his Account of his Dinners, when at Paris-The whole ammounting to   174.   5.          
{ 17 } | view
  John Chandler by order of the Commissioners, to bear his Expenses to Bourdeaux   180.            
25   Made. Lefark for Washing for B. F. and Grandson from 14. Novr. to 14. March   57.   4.          
  Nine hundred Glass Bottles for the Burgundy Wine   243.            
1 May   Advanced Made. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences   360.            
  Hire of Horses for Mr. Silas Deane (by Account)   120.            
  Hill, Taylor, the Remainder of Mr. Silas Deanes Account   278.            
4   St. Louis, his Wages &ca. from 21 March to this Day   34.   12.          
  St. Louis Account of his Dinners when obliged to dine from home   41.   18.          
  Advanced B. Franklin   72.            
6   To Commissioners by an Order upon Mr. Grand         4800.      
  Advanced Mr. John Adams   480.            
7   Paid Blondin the remainder of his Account when in the Service of Silas Deane Esqr.   414.   1.          
  Blondin´s Brother, Servant likewise of Mr. Silas Deane his Account   244.   16.          
  Mr. Silas Deanes Account with the Sadler for Work done   6.            
  B. Franklin's Account with Sadler   11.   10.          
8   Dinner for some Americans at Versailles when Mr. Adams was presented to the King   24.            
11   Mr. Holker's Account of Expences for conveying the Mocurr" rend="CSS(vertical-align: bottom)ent of General Montgomery from Paris to Rouen   184.   11.          
{ 18 } | view
12   Washerwoman   18.            
13   Advanced Me. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences   480.            
14   Half a Pound of Sealing Wax and other Stationers Ware   6.            
15   Mr. Chaumont for I. Months hire of Carriage and Horses   336.            
18   Washing   24.            
  Passing the Ferry in going to Sourenne   16.            
19   Advanced Bn. Franklin   288.            
  Three Hatts for B. Franklins Coachman and Servants   33.            
  Stationers Ware   13.            
  Advanced Me. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences   1200.            
21   Blank Book   4.   0.   0        
22   Maps of Europe and others   12.   10.          
30   For the keeping of the Bay Horse from 1st. March to 10th. May at 30 Sols pr. Day.   105.            
  Postage of Letters that come under Cover to Mr.Chaumont   32.            
4 June   Dennis. (the Froteur,) his Wages from 26 Novr. 77. to 26 May 78 including Wine. Washing &ca   159.   6.          
5   Advanced Me. Lefark in part of account of Family Expences   360.            
  Blondin. for I. Month in B. Franklin's Service. including Wine Washing &ca   61.   17.          
6   Dumont. his Account of Dinners. when from home. Postage of Letters. & other small Expences   44.   13.          
9   Mr. Whithall, for Books for B. Franklin   75.            
{ 19 } | view
15   To Commissioners by an Order upon M. Grand         4800.      
  Gave a poor Sailor from Dunkirk, by order of B. Franklin   6.            
  B. Franklins Shoemaker   18.            
  Advanced B. Franklin   1800.            
  Subscription for the Courier de 1'Europe   48.            
19   Paid Made. Lafark the Remainder of her Account for Family Expences from 8. of March to 8th. of this Month   2246.   15.          
  (N.B. Her providing the Family ceased the 8. Day of this Month.)              
22   Pd. Calais his Dinners when from Home, and Money he had advanced in paying Expresses to Versailles and Paris   32.   6.          
4 July   Pd. Monsr. Brillon for 5 Vol. of Atlas Maritime   120.            
5   Pd. B. Fs. Washing from 18 May to this Day   60.   7.          
9   Stationers Ware as by Account   57.   16.          
10   Pd. the Tapissier for 6 Months hire of 2 Beds and other Charges   78.            
13   La Veuve Soubrilland, Traiteur, on Account of Silas Deane   12.   11.          
  Silas Deanes Account with Blacksmith, at Passy   80.   10.          
  B. Franklins Account with Do   37.            
20   Advanced Monsr. Montaigne (Maitre D'Hotel) in Part of Account of Family Expences   288.            
22   Pd. Calais, Dinners when from home and other small Charges   48.            
{ 20 } | view
8 August   To Commissioners by an Order <from> upon M. Grand         4800.      
  Pd. M. Montaigne (Maitre d'hotel) the Family Expences from 8. June to I. July, having deducted the 288. Livs. Advanced him the 20. of June   737.   8.          
  To Do. for Postage of Letters and Expresses to Versailles and Paris from 8th. of June to 1st. July   283.   11.          
  To Do. for Family Expences from 1st. July to 1st. August   2346.   5.          
  N.B. The Dinner of the 4. July, to Celebrate American Independency, amounts to 600 Livs. 7. Sols and is included in the Above Sum.              
  M. Montaigne for Postage and Expresses from 1st. July to 1st. Agust   127.   14.          
  Pd. Dumont (on his Departure) his Wages from 10 April to 10 August. Likewise his Account of Dinners when from home and other small Expences. the whole amounting to   154.   19.          
12   Pd. Bowin, for 29 Cord of Wood, bought last June at Boulogne, at the Rate of 40 Livs. pr. Cord   1160.            
  Gave the Commis. to drink   1.   4.          
24   Pd. B. Franklin's Washer woman in part of Account   39.   15.        
    Livs. 30332.   13.     Livs. 30618.   17.    
  Ballance due to Commissioners   L[ivre]s 286.   4.          
Error in the Article of the 6 Feb. 78. in putting the 88 Louis in livres—having put 30 Less—Deduct 30.Errors excepted
[signed] W. T. Franklin
{ 21 }
MS (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); LbC (Adams Papers). The accounts printed here cover the first four and one-half months of JA's residence at Passy and are taken from the account book kept by William Temple Franklin from 16 Jan. 1777 to 24 Aug. 1778. Because of JA's concern about the Commissioners' expenses at Passy, which was first expressed in a letter to Benjamin Franklin of [6] Sept. (LbC, Adams Papers, not sent) and probably then taken up in private conversations, Temple Franklin delivered the account book to JA on the morning of 13 Sept. with the understanding that JA would keep the accounts in the future. JA copied Temple Franklin's figures into a Letterbook and then, with an entry for 1 Oct., began keeping the household accounts. No entries for the period from 24 Aug. to 1 Oct. have been found, apparently because during that period JA and Franklin were discussing the future form and content of the accounts (JA to Franklin, 22 Sept., LbC; Franklin to JA, 26 Sept., Adams Papers). For a complete picture of JA's and the Commissioners' expenses, the household accounts should be compared with the Commissioners' public accounts printed elsewhere in this volume under the dates of 30 March, 30 June, and 9 Aug., as well as with JA's personal accounts in Diary and Autobiography, 2:325–342.
1. In Temple Franklin's account book the debits were entered on the pages intended for credits and vice versa.
2. In the middle of the Letterbook page on which JA copied this entry, he wrote:
“Passi September 27 1778 The above order of April 9th for 4800 Livres was signed by Dr. Franklin and me, it was the first that I signed. I arrived at Paris on the Evening of the 8th of April, and the next Morning, waited on Dr. Franklin at Passi, where I have resided from that Time. The order was presented to me for signature, by the Dr., on the day of my Arrival at Passi, the following sheets contain Mr. W. T. Franklins account of the Expenditure of it, as well as of the other orders drawn Since. Copied by. John Adams.”
3. Immediately below this entry in the Temple Franklin account book JA wrote “Error 10 sous.” That is, Temple Franklin had erred in adding the sums given on that page to the amount carried over from the previous page with the result that the balance given at the bottom of the page should have been 13,477.5 livres rather than 13,477.15.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0010

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Date: 1778-04-10

This is a summary of a document and does not contain a transcription. If it is available elsewhere in this digital edition, a page number link will be provided below in the paragraph beginning "Printed."

The Commissioners to C. W. F. Dumas

Passy, 10 April 1778. printed: JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:44–46. Drafted by Benjamin Franklin and, according to Adams, “the only public Letter I believe which he wrote while I was with him, in that Commission,” it began by informing Dumas of Adams' arrival and reporting on his voyage. The Commissioners then noted that the appointment of a minister to the Netherlands had been moved in the congress, but had been postponed until the sentiments of the Dutch government were known in order to avoid embarrassment. They pointed to the Franco-American treaties as evidence of the stability of American independence and expressed the American desire for close, friendly relations based in part on the similarities of “Circumstances and Constitutions.” Citing the advantages to the Netherlands of engaging in commercial intercourse with the United States, the Commis• { 22 } sioners hoped that arms shipments could soon be resumed in order to remove any unfavorable impressions of Dutch intentions caused by their abrupt curtailment. Finally, the letter emphasized the strength of the Continental army and the fact that over 10,000 British troops were held prisoner.
Charles William Frederick Dumas was the American agent at The Hague and a tireless advocate of the American cause (see sketch in Diary and Autobiography, 3:9–10). The importance of this letter stems from Dumas' use of it in obedience to instructions from the Commissioners, as well as from the enclosed draft letter to the Grand Pensionary, Pieter van Bleiswyck. Dumas had advised the Commissioners to draft such a document in letters of 3 and 7 April (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:388, 391) and was here asked to approve it. See Dumas' reply of 23 April and the final version of the letter to van Bleiswyck of 28 April (both below).
The letter bears the earliest date of those copied into Lb/JA/4 (Microfilms, Reel No. 92), which contains copies of the Commissioners' official correspondence between 10 April 1778 and 12 Feb. 1779. This Letterbook was later copied by John Thaxter and sent by Adams to the president of the congress in a letter of 7 Nov. 1779 (PCC, No. 84, I). It is one of two Letterbooks in a green binding (for the second, see JA to William Vernon, 12 May, calendared below) that Adams probably obtained on 9 May when he paid for “two blank Paper Books,” apparently because the “Business of the Commission had been delayed and neglected in a manner that gave me much uneasiness” and he was determined to put its affairs in order. JA made this comment in his Autobiography immediately before inserting a letter to Bersolle of 3 May (calendared below). That letter was the first copied into this book and apparently represents Adams' initial effort to review the Commissioners' files in order to bring the record of their correspondence up to date (Diary and Autobiography, 2:327; 4:88). The presence in this Letterbook of a letter to Dumas of 10 April indicates that Adams decided that he should include letters sent even earlier than 3 May. This conjecture is supported by the dates, number, and order of the letters. Those for 10 (2) and 13 (5) April appear after the first and secondtwo letters of 19 May and before that of the 22d, and the first and secondtwo letters of 19 April appear between those of [16] and 23 June. This order seems to indicate that, on two occasions following the letter of 19 May, Adams decided to insert the letters that had gone out before 3 May, but managed to copy only nine. The failure of his effort can be seen in the absence of any Letterbook copies of the Commissioners' correspondence between 19 April and 3 May, although it is clear from incoming letters that they were writing; thus a portion of their correspondence for the period is probably lost. For additional information on this Letterbook, particularly its use by John Adams to record drafts of the Commissioners' correspondence and Arthur Lee's contributions, see Introduction and notes 33 and 34.
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, 2018.