Papers of John Adams, volume 6

From Peter McIntosh

The Commissioners to C. W. F. Dumas

16 image Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy, 9 April – 24 August 1778 JA Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy, 9 April – 24 August 1778 Adams, John
Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy
9 April – 24 August 1778
Debit Credit 1
1778 Livs. s d Livs. s d
Brought forward 11706. 18. 11418. 17.
9 April To Commissioners by an order upon Monsr. Grand 4800.2
a Commissioner to Paris 1. 10.
10 Brunel Joiner for Work done at Passy 124. 5.
Baton for the hire of Carriage and Horses for B. F. 2 Months less one Day 660.
Coachman 3.
Bringing of Mr. Adams's Things from Paris 3. 12.
15 Dr. Franklin's Shoemaker for Work brought home 36.
16 Wheel-Wright for Work done for Mr. Deane 168.
Advanced Madame Lefark in Part of Account for Family Expences 240.
Pair of Shoe Buckles for Mr. John Adams. (Silver) 36.
Pair of Knee bucklesfor Do. (Stone) 18.
22 Advanced John Adams Esqr 480.3
23 Wood Merchant 440.
Benjamin F. Baches's Schooling 451. 18.
24 Dumont, his Wages from 10th. Decr. to 10th. April. his Allowance for Wine during that time and Washing from 10. Feb. to 10. April Likewise his Account of his Dinners, when at Paris-The whole ammounting to 174. 5.
John Chandler by order of the Commissioners, to bear his Expenses to Bourdeaux 180.
25 Made. Lefark for Washing for B. F. and Grandson from 14. Novr. to 14. March 57. 4.
Nine hundred Glass Bottles for the Burgundy Wine 243.
1 May Advanced Made. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences 360.
Hire of Horses for Mr. Silas Deane (by Account) 120.
Hill, Taylor, the Remainder of Mr. Silas Deanes Account 278.
4 St. Louis, his Wages &ca. from 21 March to this Day 34. 12.
St. Louis Account of his Dinners when obliged to dine from home 41. 18.
Advanced B. Franklin 72.
6 To Commissioners by an Order upon Mr. Grand 4800.
Advanced Mr. John Adams 480.
7 Paid Blondin the remainder of his Account when in the Service of Silas Deane Esqr. 414. 1.
Blondin´s Brother, Servant likewise of Mr. Silas Deane his Account 244. 16.
Mr. Silas Deanes Account with the Sadler for Work done 6.
B. Franklin's Account with Sadler 11. 10.
8 Dinner for some Americans at Versailles when Mr. Adams was presented to the King 24.
11 Mr. Holker's Account of Expences for conveying the Mocurr" rend="CSS(vertical-align: bottom)ent of General Montgomery from Paris to Rouen 184. 11.
12 Washerwoman 18.
13 Advanced Me. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences 480.
14 Half a Pound of Sealing Wax and other Stationers Ware 6.
15 Mr. Chaumont for I. Months hire of Carriage and Horses 336.
18 Washing 24.
Passing the Ferry in going to Sourenne 16.
19 Advanced Bn. Franklin 288.
Three Hatts for B. Franklins Coachman and Servants 33.
Stationers Ware 13.
Advanced Me. Lefark in part of Account of Family Expences 1200.
21 Blank Book 4. 0. 0
22 Maps of Europe and others 12. 10.
30 For the keeping of the Bay Horse from 1st. March to 10th. May at 30 Sols pr. Day. 105.
Postage of Letters that come under Cover to Mr.Chaumont 32.
4 June Dennis. (the Froteur,) his Wages from 26 Novr. 77. to 26 May 78 including Wine. Washing &ca 159. 6.
5 Advanced Me. Lefark in part of account of Family Expences 360.
Blondin. for I. Month in B. Franklin's Service. including Wine Washing &ca 61. 17.
6 Dumont. his Account of Dinners. when from home. Postage of Letters. & other small Expences 44. 13.
9 Mr. Whithall, for Books for B. Franklin 75.
15 To Commissioners by an Order upon M. Grand 4800.
Gave a poor Sailor from Dunkirk, by order of B. Franklin 6.
B. Franklins Shoemaker 18.
Advanced B. Franklin 1800.
Subscription for the Courier de 1'Europe 48.
19 Paid Made. Lafark the Remainder of her Account for Family Expences from 8. of March to 8th. of this Month 2246. 15.
(N.B. Her providing the Family ceased the 8. Day of this Month.)
22 Pd. Calais his Dinners when from Home, and Money he had advanced in paying Expresses to Versailles and Paris 32. 6.
4 July Pd. Monsr. Brillon for 5 Vol. of Atlas Maritime 120.
5 Pd. B. Fs. Washing from 18 May to this Day 60. 7.
9 Stationers Ware as by Account 57. 16.
10 Pd. the Tapissier for 6 Months hire of 2 Beds and other Charges 78.
13 La Veuve Soubrilland, Traiteur, on Account of Silas Deane 12. 11.
Silas Deanes Account with Blacksmith, at Passy 80. 10.
B. Franklins Account with Do 37.
20 Advanced Monsr. Montaigne (Maitre D'Hotel) in Part of Account of Family Expences 288.
22 Pd. Calais, Dinners when from home and other small Charges 48.
8 August To Commissioners by an Order from upon M. Grand 4800.
Pd. M. Montaigne (Maitre d'hotel) the Family Expences from 8. June to I. July, having deducted the 288. Livs. Advanced him the 20. of June 737. 8.
To Do. for Postage of Letters and Expresses to Versailles and Paris from 8th. of June to 1st. July 283. 11.
To Do. for Family Expences from 1st. July to 1st. August 2346. 5.
N.B. The Dinner of the 4. July, to Celebrate American Independency, amounts to 600 Livs. 7. Sols and is included in the Above Sum.
M. Montaigne for Postage and Expresses from 1st. July to 1st. Agust 127. 14.
Pd. Dumont (on his Departure) his Wages from 10 April to 10 August. Likewise his Account of Dinners when from home and other small Expences. the whole amounting to 154. 19.
12 Pd. Bowin, for 29 Cord of Wood, bought last June at Boulogne, at the Rate of 40 Livs. pr. Cord 1160.
Gave the Commis. to drink 1. 4.
24 Pd. B. Franklin's Washer woman in part of Account 39. 15.
Livs. 30332. 13. Livs. 30618. 17.
Ballance due to Commissioners Livres 286. 4.
Error in the Article of the 6 Feb. 78. in putting the 88 Louis in livres—having put 30 Less—Deduct 30. Errors excepted Passy Septr. 14th. 1778 W. T. Franklin

MS (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); LbC (Adams Papers). The accounts printed here cover the first four and one-half months of JA's residence at Passy and are taken from the account book kept by William Temple Franklin from 16 Jan. 1777 to 24 Aug. 1778. Because of JA's concern about the Commissioners' expenses at Passy, which was first expressed in a letter to Benjamin Franklin of 6 Sept. (LbC, Adams Papers, not sent) and probably then taken up in private conversations, Temple Franklin delivered the account book to JA on the morning of 13 Sept. with the understanding that JA would keep the accounts in the future. JA copied Temple Franklin's figures into a Letterbook and then, with an entry for 1 Oct., began keeping the household accounts. No entries for the period from 24 Aug. to 1 Oct. have been found, apparently because during that period JA and Franklin were discussing the future form and content of the accounts (JA to Franklin, 22 Sept., LbC; Franklin to JA, 26 Sept., Adams Papers). For a complete picture of JA's and the Commissioners' expenses, the household accounts should be compared with the Commissioners' public accounts printed elsewhere in this volume under the dates of 30 March, 30 June, and 9 Aug., as well as with JA's personal accounts in Diary and Autobiography , 2:325–342.


In Temple Franklin's account book the debits were entered on the pages intended for credits and vice versa.


In the middle of the Letterbook page on which JA copied this entry, he wrote:

“Passi September 27 1778 The above order of April 9th for 4800 Livres was signed by Dr. Franklin and me, it was the first that I signed. I arrived at Paris on the Evening of the 8th of April, and the next Morning, waited on Dr. Franklin at Passi, where I have resided from that Time. The order was presented to me for signature, by the Dr., on the day of my Arrival at Passi, the following sheets contain Mr. W. T. Franklins account of the Expenditure of it, as well as of the other orders drawn Since. Copied by. John Adams.”


Immediately below this entry in the Temple Franklin account book JA wrote “Error 10 sous.” That is, Temple Franklin had erred in adding the sums given on that page to the amount carried over from the previous page with the result that the balance given at the bottom of the page should have been 13,477.5 livres rather than 13,477.15.