Diary of John Adams, volume 2

1778 April 18. Samedi.

Ap. 20. Lundi.

Ap. 19. Dimanche. JA


Ap. 19. Dimanche. Adams, John
Ap. 19. Dimanche.

Dined at home, with Mr. Grand our Banker, his Lady, Daughter and Sons,1 Mr. Austin, Mr. Chaumont, and a great deal of other Company.

Mr. David Hartley, a Member of the British House of Commons came to visit Dr. F., a Mr. Hammond with him.2

Went with Mr. Chaumont in his Carriage to the Concert Spirituel. A vast Croud of Company of both Sexes, a great Number of Instruments. A Gentleman sung and then a young Lady.3


The Grands, originally a Swiss family, were bankers in Paris and Amsterdam. In his Autobiography under the present date JA says that it was through the influence of Vergennes, Sartine, and Chaumont that Ferdinand Grand of Paris “obtained the Reputation and Emoluments of being the Banker to the American Ministers.” The Grands had a country seat near the Hotael de Valentinois in Passy and were hospitable to JA and particularly kind to JQA.


David Hartley the younger (1732–1813), M.P. for Hull, was acting as an unofficial agent for Lord North; he had known Franklin intimately in England and was a tireless opponent of the American war, in Parliament and out ( DNB ). In his Autobiography under this date JA gives an unfavorable view of “This mysterious Visit” to Passy by the two Englishmen, the other of whom was William Hammond, father of George Hammond, later to be the first British minister to the United States. In 1783 Hartley was appointed by the Fox-North Coalition commissioner to negotiate and sign the Definitive Treaty; see entry of 27 April 1783 and notes, below.


For an account of the concerts spirituels see Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris , 1784, p. 212.