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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0069

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1778-10-01 - 1779-02-23

Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy

1778               1778            
Octr.   1   Passy Octr. 1. 1778                      
Pay to the honble. John Adams Esqr., or order the Sum of Six thousand Livres, and Charge the Same to Account of the Commissioners  
    B. Franklin2
John Adams  
              Oct.   2   Cabaret for Stationary, per Receipt   84.   10.    
                6   Washerwomans Account for D. Franklin   78.      
                12   Dennis Account   42.   6.    
                14   Monsieur Le Cours Memoire, for the Schooling of M. John Quincy Adams, for one Quarter ending the 13th   477.   16.    
                  Monsieur Montagne his Account of Family for the Month of August   1391.   9.   6.  
                  for the Month of September ...   1397.   19.   3.  
                  Postage of Letters in the Month of August   117.   1.    
                  Ditto in the Month of September   228.   2.    
                  The Receipt for the four forgoing sums amounting in all to 3134: 11s: 9d is dated the 1st of October.        
{ 90 } | view
                  Memoire of M. De Chaumont, for five Months Use of the Voiture Horses &c. and Postage of Letters ending 10 Octr   1732.      
                  Memoire of M. De Chaumont for the Chival De Cabriolet ending 10 October   248.   2.   6.  
                  Memoire de Peruquier, for dressing Mr. Adams's Wig, for Six Months ending 9 Octr   48.      
                15   Mr. Adams's shoemakers Account   49.      
                  Ballance remaining in hand   105.   13.   9.  
Oct.   31   Ballance remaining on the other side   105.   13.   9.         Oct. 31. The above Account was examined, and compared with the Receipts and found right by us,        
    Received of Mr. Grand the Sum of Four Thousand Eight hundred Livres, tournois, on Account by Us.   4800.             B Franklin4
John Adams.  
    B Franklin
John Adams  
4905.   13.   9.                
              Novr.   3   Paid for the Roulage of Wine from Bordeaux   170.   8.   4.  
{ 91 } | view
                  addition paid   11.   [8.]5    
                4   Paid Mr Montagne for Family Expences, Post of Letters, his Wages, and other Articles up to the last of October according to his Books of Account in which he has given another Receipt ...   1963.   11.   2.  
                20   Paid for Duties &c. for 50 Bottles of Rum   75.      
                21   Paid Mr. W. T. Franklin for his Expences to Dieppe 16 Louis   384.      
                  Paid Stevens Account   493.   16.    
                30   Paid Le Roy the Tailer his Bill   257.   15.    
              Decr.   1   Paid Dennis Account for Wages from the 20 May to 20 Novr. and Allowance for Wine &c.   153.      
                  Paid Dennis Account for Dinners, at Paris &c.   28.   18.    
                4   Paid Mr. Fremont, for his Account of Family Expences for the Month of November   1165.   8.   6.  
{ 92 } | view
                  Paid Mr Fremont for his Account of Postage of Letters   78.   17.    
                6   Paid the Glazier for his Memoire   153.      
                  Another Small Memoire   6.      
                    4930.   5.   8.  
                    4905.   13.   9.  
                  Ballance in favour of Mr. Adams   24.   11.   11.  
                  Passy, Dec. 11. 1778. The above Account was examined, compar'd with the Receipts, and found right, by us,        
                  B Franklin
John Adams  
Decr.   16   Received Decr. 16 1778 of Mr. Grand Five Thousand Livres Tournois on Account by Us   5000.                    
    B. Franklin
John Adams  
      4899.   2.   11.                
    Ballance Spent by Mr. Adams for which he is accountable.   100.   17.   1.                
                  Ballance brought forward   24.   11.   11.6  
                20   Washerwomans Account   45.   4.    
                22   Monsieur Pichinis Memoire   310.   15.    
                  Arbelots Memoire   34.      
                  Calais Memoire   178.   16.    
                  Coimets Memoire   204.      
                  Paid for Washerwoman for Dr. F.   86.      
                  Mr. Le Cour Memoire for B. F.   781.   10.    
{ 93 } | view
                  For Mr. F's. Italian Master   30.      
                  Fencing Master ...   84.      
                30   Delivered Mr. W. T. F. for Dr. Franklin, 4 Louis   96.      
                  Paid for mathematical Instruments for Mr. Ad.   36.      
                  Paid for a Pair of little Gloves for Mr. Adams   11.      
              Jany.   4   Paid Mr. Fremont for Family Expences   1841.   2.    
                  for Postage of Letters   244.   4.    
                8   Paid Louis Tardy for Worsted stockings for Mr. Adams   44.      
    Jan. 13. 1779. The opposite Account was examin'd, compar'd with the Accounts and found right agreable to the Receipts,             13   Paid the Maistre D'Hotel of M. Chaumont in Part for the Voiture Horses &c. from Oct 10 to Jany. 10   780      
    B. Franklin
John Adams  
            Taken by Mr. Adams to pay for Some school Books for his son John Quincy Adams   33.      
{ 94 } | view
                  Paid the Surgeons Bill for attending Stephens, after his Fall from the Carriage   12.      
                    4876.   2.   11.  
                  Paid for Razors for Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams   23.      
                    4899.   2.   11.  
Jany.     By Ballance   100.   17.   1.                
    An order on Mr. Grand for   4800.                    
      4900.   17.   1.                
    Sum total on the other side   4734.   3.   7.                
    Ballance in Mr. Adams's Hands for which he is accountable for this and the last Months. But the Money is all gone.7   166.   13.   5.8                
                25   Paid the Remainder of M. Chaumonts Account   600.   8.    
                28   Duties on D'Andaye   37.   2.   1.  
                  Tapissions Memoire   70.      
                29   Paid Hill the Taylors Account   344.   1.    
                31   Paid Mr. Whithall for the Remembrancers   53.      
              Feb.   1   Paid for L'Histoire philosophique et politique des Etablissimens des Europeans dans les deux Indes,9 for Mr. Adams 48 Livres, for 3 ounces of lenitive Electuary10 2 L, for a Writing Book 3 Liv. for a Nick. Buckle 5 Livres—for Ditto in all for which no Receipt { 95 } | view was taken   58.      
                  Paid the Washerwoman for Mr. Adams   14.      
                3   Paid the Wood Merchant for Wood   470.   10.    
                  Paid M. Fremont Maitre D'hotel for Family Expences to the 1 Feby   1421.   5.   6.  
                  Paid Ditto for Postage of Letters   335.   17.    
                  Paid Francois Memoire   12.      
                7   Paid Taylors Bill Dieu donnés Memoire for Dr. F.   322.      
                  Paid Ditto for Dr. F.   500.   9.    
                9   Paid Chaberts Bill for shoes for M. Adams   10.      
                10   Paid the Glazier   12.   18.    
                12   Paid Stevens his Memoire for Wages and Wine   252.      
                23   Paid De Bause his Memoire   107.   15.    
                  Paid Dennis Memoire for Wages &c.   89.   10.    
                  Paid Dennis other Memoire   23.   8.    
                    4734.   3.   7.  
{ 96 }
LbC (Adams Papers); FC in William Temple Franklin's hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). For JA's assumption of the responsibility for keeping the household accounts, see his letter to Franklin of [6] Sept., and note 3 (above); and the descriptive note to the household accounts for [9 April – 24 Aug.] (vol. 6:21). The household accounts printed here should be compared with the earlier set (vol. 6:16–20), as well as with JA's personal accounts in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:325–342.
1. Ferdinand Grand.
2. JA copied Benjamin Franklin's signature here and in the entries in this column for 31 Oct. and 16 Dec.
3. The total expenditure for this period was 5,894. 6. 3 livres.
4. Franklin's signature on this certification, as well as on those dated 11 Dec. and 13 Jan., was in his own hand. Only JA signed the corresponding certifications on Temple Franklin's copy.
5. In the Letterbook an ink blot makes it difficult to determine whether JA wrote an “8” or a “o.” Temple Franklin construed it as a “o” and entered it as such on his copy, but the sum given by JA for the total expenditures for the period, 4,930. 5. 8 livres, indicates that he meant it to be an “8.”
6. That is, the balance owed JA and thus an expenditure.
7. JA did sign the corresponding certification for the period from 25 Jan. to 23 Feb. on William Temple Franklin's copy of the accounts. The absence of Benjamin Franklin's signature from the certification was probably owing to the fact that he was too ill with the gout to conduct business (JA to the Board of Treasury, 19 Sept. 1779, below).
8. This should be 166.13. 6 livres.
9. By Guillaume Thomas Francois, Abbé Raynal. Two sets of this work remain in JA's library: a Geneva, 1780, edition and an English translation, London, 1777 (Catalogue of JA's Library).
10. A gentle laxative (OED).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0070

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Izard, Ralph
Date: 1778-10-02

To Ralph Izard

[salute] Sir

I have the Pleasure of yours of the 28th, and agree with you in Sentiment that if the Money which has heretofore been Squandred upon Articles of Luxury, could for the future be applied to discharge our national Debt, it would be a great Felicity. But is it certain that it will? Will not the national Debt itself, be the Means, at least a Temptation to continue if not increase the Luxury? It is with great Pleasure that I see you mention Sumptuary Laws? But is there Room to hope that our Legislaters will pass such Laws, or that the People have or can be perswaded to acquire those Qualities which are necessary to execute such Laws?
I wish your Answer may be in the Affirmative, and that it may be found true in Fact and Experience. But much Prudence and Delicacy will be necessary I think, to bring all our Countrymen to this just Way of thinking1 upon this Head. There is Such a Charm to the human Heart in Elegance, it is so flattering to our self Love to be distinguished from the World in general by extraordinary Degrees of Splendor in Dress in Furniture, Equipage, Buildings &c and our Country• { 97 } men by their Connections with Europe, are so much infected with the Habit of this Taste and these Passions that I fear, it will be a Work of Time, and Difficulty if not quite impracticable to introduce an Alteration,2 to which besides the great Inequalities of Fortune, introduced by the late Condition of our Trade, and Currency and the late Enterprizes of Privateers are dangerous Ennemies.
You ask my opinion whether the Reasons in your last Letter, are well founded.
It is observable that the French Court, were not content with the Treaty proposed by Congress, which contained all, in my opinion, which is contained in the Article as it now Stands in the Treaty of the 6 of Feb.3
What Motive they had for inserting the Words “Indefinite and exclusive” is left to conjecture. The suspicion that they meant more than the Treaty proposed by Congress expressed, arises from a Fact which you remember vizt. that the French at the Time of the last Peace claimed more. I wish to know if there is any Letter or Memorial, extant in which such a Claim is contained, or whether it was only a Verbal Claim made by their Embassadors. Whether any of the Magazines of that Time mention and discuss any such Claim.
If the Fact is incontestible that they made such Claim, it is possible that it may be revived under the Words “indefinite and exclusive.” But I hope it will not, and I hope it was not intended when these Words were inserted. Yet I confess I cannot think of any other Reason for inserting them. The Word indefinite is not amiss—for it is a Right of catching fish and drying them on Land, which is a Right indefinite enough. But the Word Exclusive is more misterious. It cannot mean that Americans and all other Nations shall be “excluded” from the same right of fishing and drying on Land between the same Limits of Bonavista and Riche.4 It would be much easier to suppose, that the following Words “in that Part only and in no other Besides that” gave rise to the Word “exclusive.” That is that right, of fishing and drying, within those limits, for which We have excluded ourselves from all others. I will undertake to shew better reasons, or at least as good for this sense of the Word exclusive, as the most subtle Interpreter of Treaties can offer for the other—altho I think them both untenable.
My opinion further is this, that as Contemporaneous Exposition is allowed by all Writers on the Law of Nations to be the best Interpreter of Treaties as well as of all other Writings; and as Neither the Treaty of Eutrecht, or the Treaty of Paris in 1763 ever received such an Interpretation, as you are apprehensive may hereafter be contended for5 { 98 } and as the uninterupted Practice has been against such a Construction; So I think that the Treaty of Paris of the 6 of Feb. 1778 is not justly liable to such a Construction, and that it cannot be attempted with any Prospect of success.
I agree with you however, that as We are young States, and not practiced in the Art of Negociations, it becomes Us to look into all these Things with as much Caution and Exactness as possible, and furnish ourselves with the best Historical Lights and every other honest Means of Securing our Rights, for which Reason I requested your sentiments upon this subject in Writing, and continue to desire in the same Way your Observations upon the other Parts of the Treaty. Reduced to Writing such Things remain in Letters and Letter Books,6 as well as more distinctly in Memory and the same Man or other Men may recur to them at future opportunities, whereas transient Conversations, especially among Men who have many Things to do and think of, slip away and are forgotten. I shall make Use of all the Prudence I can, that these Letters may not come to the Knowledge of improper Persons, or be used to the disadvantage of our Country, or to you or me, in our present Capacity.
I am &c
1. The following three words were interlined for insertion here.
2. The remainder of this sentence was interlined for insertion at this point.
3. JA refers to Art. 10 of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:10).
4. For the applicable text for Art. 13 of the Treaty of Utrecht, see Izard's letter of 24 Sept. (above).
5. The following eleven words were interlined for insertion here.
6. The following seven words were interlined for insertion here.
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.