Diary of John Adams, volume 4

vii Illustrations Illustrations

[Note: for permissions reasons, not all illustrations from the letterpress volumes are available in this digital edition.]

“John Adams — Président Des États-Unis, D'Après Nature Au Phisionotrace 1800 À 1801,” by Saint-Mémin facing page 98[unavailable]

Black and white crayon physiognotrace portrait of John Adams done in Philadelphia by the French émigré artist Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin. The portrait is on pink paper, measuring 21⅜″ × 15⅛″, with the above inscription on the back. The “physiognotrace” or mechanical instrument used as an aid for tracing profiles is described in detail by Howard C. Rice Jr. in “Saint-Mémin's Portrait of Jefferson,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 20:191–192 (Summer 1959).

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

First Page of John Adams' “Travels and Negotiations” (Part Two of His Autobiography) facing page 99[unavailable]

Begun on 1 December 1806, the second part of Adams' Autobiography, to which he gave the title “Travels and Negotiations,” records his voyage to France in the winter of 1777–1778 and the events of his first diplomatic mission through July 1778, where it then abruptly breaks off. For some account of the manuscript of the Autobiography, see the Introduction.

From the original in the Adams Papers.

Circular Letter of the American Commissioners in Paris, 1778, on the Sailing of a British Fleet facing page 99[unavailable]

Broadside of a circular first distributed by the American Commissioners in manuscript and subsequently by Congress in print. John Adams reported that twenty copies of the letter were written in Paris on 18 May 1778 and sent to state authorities in America; on 8 July Congress ordered it to be published as a broadside and sent some examples to the Commissioners in France, where the only currently known copies survive, including this one with a note below the text apparently added in Franklin's hand. See in the present volume, p. 102.

Courtesy of the Archives Nationales, Marine, Paris.

John Adams' Spanish Guidebook facing page 130[unavailable]

Titlepage of Joseph Mathìas Escrivano's Itinerario español, o guia de caminos, para ir desde Madrid à todas las ciudades ..., 3d edition, Madrid, 1767. It is inscribed in John Adams' hand, “Presented by Mr. Michel Lagoanere, American Agent at Corunna to John Adams, Deer. 20, 1779,” and remains among his books in the Boston Public Library. On Lagoanere, who warmly befriended viiithe Adams party in Spain, see a note under the Diary entry of 17 December 1779, vol. 2:412.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.

John Adams' French Guidebook facing page 130[unavailable]

Titlepage of J. A. Piganiol de La Force, Nouveau voyage de France; avec un itinéraire, et des cartes ... , nouvelle édition, Paris, 1780. John Adams purchased this book in Paris, 7 April 1780, and it remains among his books in the Boston Public Library. See his Personal Expenditures, February–July 1780, vol. 2:438.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.

The American Commissioners at Work in 1778: Letter Begun by John Adams and Corrected and Completed by Benjamin Franklin facing page 131[unavailable]

Apparently the recipient's copy of a letter in the Presidents Collection in the William L. Clements Library showing a remarkable instance of cooperation between Adams and Franklin in their joint role as American representatives in France. Adams' retained version of the letter is printed in the present volume, p. 110–111.

Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library.

Hôtel de Valentinois, Residence of the American Commissioners at Passy facing page 162[unavailable]

Anonymous gouache painting of the mansion owned by Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont in Passy. Benjamin Franklin occupied quarters on the grounds from 1777 to 1785; John Adams joined his entourage there in April 1778 in succession to Silas Deane. The Hôtel de Valentinois “had two wings, each terminated by a belvedere, ornamented with balustrades and supported by Tuscan columns. In the right wing was a drawing-room, ornamented with busts, and, at the side, near a little quincunx, a conservatory. By means of a flight of steps in the courtyard, Franklin could reach a garden consisting of four separate plots surrounding an octagonal piece of water, bordered by two fine alleys of linden-trees, which were trimmed after the Italian style. Various contiguous buildings led to a gallery, filled with pictures and busts, at the end of which was a small bedroom and a terrace where Franklin could sit and take in a wonderful view of the Seine and its shady banks, in the immediate foreground, and of the wooded slopes of Issy, Meudon, and St. Cloud in the distance” (Frederick Lees, “The Parisian Suburb of Passy,” Architectural Record, 12:671–673 [December 1902]). See Adams' Diary entry of 9 April 1778 and note, vol. 2:297.

Courtesy of the Musée de Blérancourt, France.

Vergennes, French Minister of Foreign Affairs facing page 162[unavailable]

Engraving of Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes (1717–1787), dated 1791, by the Amsterdam engraver, Reinier Vinkeles.

Courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum.

Map of the North Atlantic Fisheries in the 18th Century facing page 163[unavailable]

Folded map, 7¾″ × 9¾″, engraved by Thomas Kitchin, in William Bollan, The Ancient Right of the English Nation to the American Fishery ..., London, 1764. The map admirably illustrates the recurrent and extensive discussions by John Adams of the problem of American rights in the Atlantic fisheries. See for example the Diary entries for 25–30 November 1782 and notes, vol. 3:72–85; and a passage in the present volume, p. 247 .

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

John Adams' Commission to Treat of Peace with Great Britain, 1779 facing page 194[unavailable]

Adams copied this commission into his Autobiography, at p. 178–179 in the present volume. On his election by Congress as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain, see the note under the Diary entry of 13 November 1779, vol. 2:401.

From the original in the Adams Papers.

Sketch, Wash Drawing, and Woodcut of the “Old House,” Residence of the Adams Family in Quincy from 1788 to 1927 facing page 195[unavailable]

This view of the Adams Mansion in Quincy, here shown in three mediums, was the work of Mrs. George Whitney of Roxbury in August 1828; the woodcut was printed in the American Magazine, 3:449 (September 1837). The accompanying article said of the engraving:

“We turn now to the vignette engraving. For our information on these matters we are indebted to the Honorable John Quincy Adams. He traces back the existence of this house only as far as the Revolution. Perhaps the registry of deeds would afford an earlier account. At that time it was owned by one Leonard Vassal Borland [actually his father, John Borland, who died in Boston in 1775]. He was a refugee; the estate was confiscated, and his family withdrew. The Honorable Judge Cranch, then a citizen of Quincy, was one of the commissioners for managing the confiscated estates; and while in his hands, Major General Joseph Palmer, of the Massachusetts militia, made the house his headquarters. Other individuals occupied the place till 1787, when a son of Mr. Borland [Leonard Vassall Borland] returned and recovered it. The regular forms of confiscation had not been complied with, and he sued out and took possession of it. He gave the deed, dated twenty-sixth September, 1787, by which it passed into the hands of John Adams. The estate comprised between eighty and ninety acres of land, and was sold for six hundred pounds lawful money. It was purchased by Dr. Tufts, of Weymouth, for John Adams, who was then in England. He returned in June, 1788, passed a few days with his family at Governor Hancock's, in Boston, came out to Quincy, and went into his house while still the workmen were repairing it. One old barn was standing, which was taken down by him. He erected the two xstables, and an addition was made on the right end of the house in the year 1798. The house has been twice on fire — in the year 1804 or 1805, and in September, 1821, when it narrowly escaped entire destruction.

“The vane which is seen on the mound in front of the house was placed there by President Adams senior, a few years before his death. It had been on one of the old churches of the Congregational Society with which he worshipped until the church was struck by lightning; and from his love of the relics of antiquity he had it placed where he could see it from the window of his chamber. It is supposed that the house was built about the year 1730.”

For further information on the purchase and occupancy of the “Old House,” as it has long been called by the family, see vol. 1:72, 74–75; vol. 3:217. Having been occupied by five generations of Adamses, it was opened to the public by the Adams Memorial Society in 1927, and was presented to the nation by the family in 1946. It is now the Adams National Historic Site.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.