Diary of John Adams, volume 3

97 1782 December 19. Thursday. JA 1782 December 19. Thursday. Adams, John
1782 December 19. Thursday.

Visited M. Louis Secretary of the Royal Colledge of Surgery, in order to form a Correspondance, between it and the medical Society at Boston. Was very politely received, and promised every Thing that the Colledge could do. Mr. Louis talked a great deal, and very ingeniously and entertainingly.1

Spent the Evening, at the Abby Chalut's with the Abby de Mably, two other Abbys and two Accademicians. The Abby de Mably has just published a new Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire. He is very agreable in Conversation, polite, good humoured and sensible. Spoke with great Indignation against the practice of lying, chicaning and finessing, in Negotiations. Frankness, Candour, and Probity, were the only means of gaining Confidence. He is 74 or 75 Years old.

Mr. L.2 told me this Morning that the Salt Pits in England are directly under the River Dee and that Ships sail over the Heads of the Workmen. Bay Salt is such as is made in France and Spain, round the Bay of Biscay. Rock Salt from Saltertudas.3


In a letter from Weymouth, 26 Sept. 1782, announcing the formation of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Cotton Tufts had requested JA to solicit “the Aid and Communications of the Gentlemen of the Faculty in Europe” for the new organization (Adams Papers). Hence JA's visit to the Académie Royale de Chirurgie and apparently other similar visits, from which a flurry of somewhat ceremonial communications resulted in the following months; see entry of 23 Dec. and note, below.


Presumably Henry Laurens.


That is, Salt Tortuga, an uninhabited island off the coast of Venezuela. The name was spelled with wild variety by American traders who loaded salt there; see Richard Pares, Yankees and Creoles: The Trade between North America and the West Indies before the American Revolution, London, &c., 1956, p. 103–104 and notes.

1782 Decr. 20. Fryday. JA 1782 Decr. 20. Fryday. Adams, John
1782 Decr. 20. Fryday.

Dined with Mr. Laurens.

Decr. 21. Saturday. JA Decr. 21. Saturday. Adams, John
Decr. 21. Saturday.

Visited Mr. Jay and then went out to Passy to shew Dr. Franklin, Mr. Dana's Letter.1 The Dr. and I agreed to remit Mr. Dana the Money, to pay the Fees to the Russian Ministers according to the Usage, upon the Signature of a Treaty. Six Thousand Roubles to each Minister who signs the Treaty.

The C. de Lynden told me the other Day that the King of Sweeden was the first Inventer and Suggester of the Plan of the armed Neutrality. That his Minister first proposed it to the C. Panin, where it 98 slept some time. Lynden says that the King of Sweeden has Penetration and Ambition, and that his Ambition to be the first Power, to propose an Alliance with Us, is perfectly in Character. This Step, however I conjecture, was suggested to his Minister here, in order to support Dr. Franklin, by the C. de Vergennes.

The C. de Lynden shewed me his gold Snuff Box set with Diamonds, with the Miniature of the King of Sweeden, presented to him, on taking leave of that Court. The King is like Mr. Hancock.

Dr. Franklin went to Versailles Yesterday, and was assured of the Six millions, and all is fair Weather—all friendly and good humoured. So may it remain. I suspect however, and have Reason, but will say nothing. Our Country is safe.

Mr. Jay is uneasy, about the French Troops in America— afraid that more are going, and that they will overawe our Councils. That France is agreed with England upon her Points, and that the War will be continued for Spanish Objects only. In that Case We are not obliged to continue it.


Dana to JA, St. Petersburg, 14/25 Nov. 1782 (Adams Papers).