Diary of John Adams, volume 3

London Thursday March 30. JA


London Thursday March 30. Adams, John
London Thursday March 30.

Presented Mr. Hamilton to the Queen at the Drawing Room.1 Dined at Mr. Paradices.2 Count Warranzow Woronzow and his Gentleman and Chaplain, M. Sodorini the Venetian Minister, Mr. Jefferson, Dr. Bancroft, Coll. Smith and my Family.

Went at Nine O Clock to the French Ambassadors Ball, where were two or three hundred People, chiefly Ladies.3 Here I met the Marquis of Landsdown and the Earl of Harcourt. These two Noblemen ventured to enter into Conversation with me. So did Sir George Young Yonge. But there is an Aukward Timidity, in General. This People cannot look me in the Face: there is conscious Guilt and Shame in their Countenances, when they look at me. They feel that they have behaved ill, and that I am sensible of it.


William Hamilton (1745–1813), Pennsylvania land magnate and patron of landscape gardening, whose house called Bush Hill on the outskirts of Philadelphia the Adamses were to occupy when the government moved to that city in 1790; his niece Ann Hamilton was a great favorite in the Adams household in Grosvenor Square (Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania ..., Phila., 1883, p. 135–136; AA to Charles Storer, 22 May 1786, Adams Papers; AA to Mrs. Cranch, 12 Dec. 1790, MWA, printed in AA, New Letters , p. 65–67).


John Paradise (1743–1795), a scholarly and eccentric Englishman of partly Greek descent, who had married the Virginia heiress Lucy Ludwell (1751–1814) in London in 1769; they lived and kept a salon in Charles Street, Cavendish Square. This dinner may have been the occasion on which Jefferson met the Paradises, whose adviser and protector during their endless personal and financial difficulties he became. See Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg, Richmond, 1942.


On 2 April AA wrote her nieces Elizabeth and Lucy Cranch a letter apiece on the Comte d'Adhémar's supper and ball, dwelling at length on what the ladies wore (in MHi: Norton Papers, and MWA, respectively; both printed in AA, Letters , ed. CFA, 1848, p. 278–286).