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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-12

12. Thursday.

Met at Mr. Laurens's, and signed the Letter, I had drawn up to Mr. Dana, which I sent off inclosed with a Copy of the Preliminaries1 — and consulted about Articles to be inserted in the definitive Treaty. Agreed that Mr. Jay and I should prepare a joint Letter to Congress.
At 7.1 met Mr. Jay at his House and We drew a Letter.2
1. Signed by the four American Commissioners and dated this day, this letter is in MHi:Dana Papers; a facsimile is in Cresson, Francis Dana, facing p. 278.
2. The version finally agreed upon, dated 14 Dec., signed by the four Commissioners, and sent to Secretary Livingston, is in PCC, No. 85; printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:131–133. In the Adams Papers is JA's “rough draught of a common [i.e. joint] Letter,” dated one day earlier. See also the following entry in this Diary. This dispatch and its enclosure, a certi• { 96 } fied copy of the Preliminary Articles, were carried to Philadelphia by Capt. Joshua Barney in the packet Washington. Barney did not sail from Lorient, however, until mid-January and did not arrive until 12 March (Pres. Boudinot to George Washington, 12 March 1783; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:71).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-13

1782 December 13. Fryday.

I went first to Mr. Jay, and made some Additions to the joint Letter, which I carried first to Mr. Laurens, who made some Corrections and Additions, and then to Passy to Dr. Franklin who proposed a few other Corrections, and shewed me an Article he has drawn up for the definitive Treaty to exempt Fishermen, Husbandmen and Merchants as much as possible from the Evils of future Wars. This is a good Lesson to Mankind at least. All agreed to meet at my House at 11 tomorrow to finish the joint Letter.1
1. See the preceding entry and note 2 there. With the present entry the extracts copied by Thaxter and Storer from JA's Diary of the preliminary peace negotiation and sent to Livingston come to an end, at least so far as they are found in PCC, No. 84, IV; see note on entry of 2 Nov., above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-14

December 14. Saturday.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-15

15 Sunday.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-16

Dec. 16. Monday.

Mr. Fitsherbert and Mr. Oswald, Mr. Laurens &c. dined with me.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-17

Decr. 16 [i.e. 17]. Tuesday.

The 4 Commissioners dined with Mr. Fitsherbert. Ld. Mountnorris a celebrated Speaker in the Irish house of Lords dined there, and several English Gentlemen.
The Rock Salt is taken out of the Salt Pits in England, Ld. Mountnorris said. He gave me a Description of the Caverns, and the kind of Architecture with which they support them, like the Pillars of a Temple.
We met at Mr. Laurens's at Dr. Franklins Summons or Invitation at 11 O Clock. He produced a Letter to him from the Comte de Vergennes, and a Project of an Answer which he had drawn up which We advised him unanimously to send.1
1. Vergennes' letter to Franklin, 15 Dec., complaining of the American Commissioners' failure to consult with him before concluding their negotiation with the British, and Franklin's famous reply thereto, 17 Dec., are both printed in Franklin's Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:641–643.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-19

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
1. 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.
2. Presumably Henry Laurens.
3. 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.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-20

1782 Decr. 20. Fryday.

Dined with Mr. Laurens.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-21

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

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-22

22 Sunday.

Made several Visits &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-23

23 Monday.

Received from Monsieur Geoffroy, Docteur Regent de la Faculté de Medicine de Paris, a Letter of Thanks from the Societe Royale de Medecine, for my Letter to him proposing a Correspondence between that Society and the Medical Society at Boston.1
Made several Visits. &c. Went to the Italian Comedy, saw Les Troqueurs, the two Harlequins &c.
1. Geoffroy's letter, together with others of the same character addressed to JA by French medical men and institutions, 1782–1783, are now in the Boston Medical Library (MBM). Copies are in Adams Papers, Lb/JA/22 (Microfilms, Reel No. 110). See entry of 19 Dec. and note, above; also JA to Edward Augustus Holyoke, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 10 June 1783, 3 April 1786 (letterbook copies, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-24

December 24. Tuesday.

There are Men who carry the Countenance and Air of Boys through Life.
This Evening Mr. Jay told me an extraordinary Story of Lord Mount Steuart, the British Minister at Turin, which he had from Mr. Oswald.1
{ 99 }
1. Of a rumored plan to divide America between England and France. See John Jay, Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782, ed. Frank Monaghan, New Haven, 1934, p. 15–17; also entry of 5 Nov. and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-25

Decr. 25. Wednesday. Christmas.

Lady Lucans Verses on Ireland1

Hear this, Ye Great, as from the Feast Ye rise

Which every Plundered Element supplies!

Hear, when fatigued, not nourish'd Ye have din'd

The Food of Thousands is to roots confin'd.

Eternal Fasts that know no Taste of Bread:

Nor where who sows the Corn by Corn is fed.

Throughout the Year, no feast e'er crowns his board

Four Pence a day, ah! what can that afford? &c.

Open our Ports at once with generous Minds,

Let Commerce be as free as Waves and Winds.

Seize quick the Time, for now, consider well

Whole Quarters of the World, at once rebel.

1. Margaret (Smyth) Bingham, wife of an Irish peer, the first Baron Lucan, was better known for her paintings than for her verse (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0001-0005-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1782-12-26

Dec. 26. Thursday.

Mr. Brantzen call'd upon me, at one. He says that Mr. Fitzherbert and he are yet a great Way asunder. The first Point of the Freedom of Navigation sticks. The other Points they have agreed on, or may agree on, not being far off. Mr. F. has no Answer from London to the Dutch Propositions.
I told him he might make himself very easy about the Freedom of navigation, for that the English must come into it. I suspected My Lord Shelburne was maneuvring, to save a little Pride. That he thought, it would be less humiliating to the English and less flattering to the Dutch, to conceed that Point, to the armed Neutrality, first. I knew it had been recommended to his Lordship by Mr. Oswald and other English Gentlemen here, and I had seen in the English Papers, that Couriers had been sent off, from the Secretary of States Office, to all the foreign Courts. Combining these Circumstances together I suspected, that they had given orders to their Minister at Petersbourg to sign the Treaty of armed Neutrality as France and Spain have done, and after this negotiation shall be accomplished they will have no difficulty to agree with the Dutch, for they demand no more than the Principle of the armed Neutrality.
{ 100 }
Mr. Brantzen said this never had occurred to him, but [that he]1 thought it possible and natural.2
I gave him Mr. Higginsons Letter and Papers3 and a Copy of our Treaty, in Confidence, all but the Sep[arate] Art[icle]. He says Mr. Bourse will not do for Minister to America. He is of the wrong Side and will not be gouté du tout.
The Duke de la Rochefoucault made me a Visit to day, and desired me to explain to him some Passages in the Connecticut Constitution, which were obscure to him, which I did.
Sir James Jay too came in from the Hague, full of Projects of burning Towns and making fifty Gun Ships equal to 110 Guns Ships. I told him that this Country abounded so much with Projects and Projectors, that there would be a Presumption and Prejudice against him, at first blush: but he is going to the Marquis de Castries.
Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Brantzen both told me today that the C[omte] de V[ergennes] sent off a Courier to London the night before Christmas. Mr. Brantzen told me, that he had twice seen Dr. Franklin, once at Versailles and once at Mr. Grands. That he appeared to him heavy and inactive and that if he had been alone, America would not have obtained such good Terms. I said he was right, for if he had been alone, We should not at this Moment have had any Terms at all. That our Negotiation would have trained on as heavily and confusedly as all the rest. That if his Advice and that of the C. de V. had been followed We should now have been treating under Mr. Oswalds first Commission. It was the Refusal of Mr. Jay and me to treat under that Commission, against the Opinion and Advice of V. and F. that produced Mr. Oswalds new Commission, acknowledging our Independence.
That was a noble Tryumph for You, says Mr. Brantzen.
Mr. Vaughan shew'd me, to day, a parcel of new French Books. Le Systeme naturelle, Le Systeme moral, Le Systeme Social, Le Systeme Politique. There is one Shop tolerated in selling forbidden Books. —Vaughan has a Brother in Philadelphia, who has written him a long Letter about the Constitutionists and the Republicans. They have chosen Mr. Dickinson Governor, and Mr. Mifflin into Congress.
1. MS: “the.”
2. On the contrary, Great Britain refused the Dutch sine qua non and contrived altogether to avoid subscribing to the principle of free navigation as laid down by the Armed Neutrality. Owing to the indifference of France and the intransigence of England, to mention no other circumstance, the preliminaries between England and the Netherlands were not concluded until 2 Sept. 1783, the day before the definitive treaties between the other powers at war were signed. The definitive Anglo-Dutch settlement was delayed until the following May, and its terms were humiliating to the Republic. See entry of 20 Jan. 1783, below, and, for the peace settlement { 101 } generally, Friederich Edler, The Dutch Republic and the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1911, ch. 9. JA was greatly distressed by all this, as his correspondence during 1783–1784 shows, but he found himself powerless to help his Dutch friends.
3. Not found and probably not addressed to JA. In 1785 Stephen Higginson, Boston shipmaster, merchant, and partner of JA's friend Jonathan Jackson, commenced a correspondence with JA on Massachusetts' foreign trade; see “Letters of Stephen Higginson, 1783–1804,” Amer. Hist. Assoc, Ann. Rpt. for 1896, 1:704–841.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-01

1783. Paris January 1.1

Went to Versailles, made my Visit and Compliments of the Season to M. Le C. de Vergennes and delivered him a Copy of our Treaty and Convention with the States General. He received me with Politeness, made me the Compliments of the Season, tres sincerement, and was sensibly obliged to me for the Copies and invited me to dine.
I went to see the Ceremony of the Knights of the St. Esprit, in the Chappell, where the Queen shone in great Splendour, dined with an immense Company at the Comtes and returned to Paris.
One of these first days of January I had a Conversation with Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, upon the Liberty of Navigation as claimed by the confederated neutral Powers and the Dutch. Shewed him the Necessity England was in, of acceeding to it, and the Importance of doing it soon that they might have it to say, that they had arranged their Affairs with the Dutch, as well as with the United States.
He said he saw the Importance, of pulling at the hairs one by one, when you could not pull out the whole Tail at once. That he had written and would write again to my Lord Shelburne upon the Subject: but says he you can not blame us for endeavouring, to cary this point to Market, and get Something by it. We can not prevent the French from getting some Territory in the East Indies more than they had and perhaps We may buy this of the Dutch for this Point.
The same day I called upon Mr. Jay, and asked him to speak with Mr. Oswald upon the same Subject, called next upon Mr. Laurens and mentioned the same Idea to him, called at Mr. Oswalds to talk with him upon it, but he was gone out.
1. First entry in D/JA/39, which is identical in format with the several preceding Diary booklets.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-05

January 5. Sunday.

Dined with M. Vaughan, in Company with the Abbys de Mably, Chalut, Arnoux and Ter Saint [Tersan].—Had more Conversation with de Mably than at any Time before. He meditates a Work upon { 102 } our American Constitutions.1 He says the Character he gives of Herodian in his last Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire, has procured to his Bookseller, Purchases, for all the Copies of that Historian which he had in his Shop.—Arnoux said that Rousseau, by his Character of Robinson Crusoe, helped his Bookseller to the Sale of an whole Edition of that Romance in a few days.
1. As a result of this conversation, and at the request of those present, JA on 15 Jan. addressed a long letter to Mably listing the chief sources from which a comprehensive history of the American Revolution would have to be drawn, together with advice on the subjects to be treated, including those in what would today be called social and institutional as well as political history (LbC, Adams Papers; printed in Works, 5:492–496, with an approximate date, “1782,” supplied by JA from memory). Two days later JA prepared a second letter to Mably listing his own political writings from 1761 to 1779, which he had earlier excluded; but at the foot of his retained copy he wrote: “This Letter was never sent, but the Original was burned by me. It may remain here, without Imputation of Vanity” (Lb/JA/20, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108).
JA arranged with Cerisier for the publication at Amsterdam of Mably's Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amerique, 1784 (JA to Cerisier, 16 Oct. 1783, LbC, Adams Papers). An English translation, Remarks concerning the Government and the Laws of the United States of America: In Four Letters, Addressed to Mr. Adams, appeared in London later the same year. Copies of both are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-11

January 11. Saturday.

Mr. W. T. Franklin came in to talk with me, about a Subject which he said he did not often talk about, and that was himself. He produced a Commission, drawn up, for Messrs. Franklin and Jay to sign, when they only were here, before I arrived, and in fact signed by them. I took the Commission and read it. He asked me to sign it. I told him, that I considered myself as directly affronted in this Affair. That considering that I came out to Europe without any Solicitation of mine, single in the Commission for Peace, and considering that Congress had done me the Honour to place me at the head of the new Commission, I had a right to be consulted in the Appointment of a Secretary to the Commission. But that without saying or writing a Word to me, Dr. Franklin had wrote to Mr. Jay at Madrid and obtained a Promise from him. That considering the Relation to me in which Mr. Thaxter came out, and his Services and Sufferings in the Cause and the small Allowance he had received, I thought he had a better right to it. That I thought my self ill treated in this as in many other Things. That it was not from any disrespect to him, Mr. W.T.F., that I declined it. That I should not, if my Opinion had been asked, have named Mr. Thaxter but another Gentleman.1
{ 103 }
He told me, how his Grandfather was weary, that he had renewed his Solicitation to Congress, to be relieved. That he wanted to be with his Family at Philadelphia &c. &c. &c.
I told him I was weary too, and had written an unconditional Resignation of all my Employments in Europe.2 That an Attack had been made upon me by the C. de Vergennes, and Congress had been induced to disgrace me. That I would not bear this disgrace if I could help it. That I would wear no Livery with a Spot upon it. The Stain should be taken out or I would not wear the Coat. That Congress had placed me now in a Situation, that I could do nothing without being suspected of a sinister Motive, that of aiming at being restored to the Mission to Great Britain. The Conduct of the American Cause in Europe had been a constant Scramble for Offices and was now likely to be a new and more passionate Scaene of Factions for Places. That I would have nothing to do with it, had not been used to it.
He said that Congress would have now a Number of Places and would provide for Mr. Thaxter. That they would undoubtedly give me full Satisfaction &c.
I told him that the first Wish of my Heart was to return to my Wife and Children &c.
He shewed me, Extract of a Letter of Dr. F. to Congress concerning him, containing a studied and long Eulogium—Sagacity beyond his Years, Diligence, Activity, Fidelity, genteel Address, Facility in speaking French. Recommends him to be Secretary of some Mission, thinks he would make an excellent Minister, but does not propose him for it as yet.3
This Letter and other Circumstances convince me, that the Plan is laid between the C. de Vergennes and the Dr., to get Billy made Minister to this Court and not improbably the Dr. to London. Time will shew.
1. See entry of 27 Oct. 1782, above, and note 3 there. JA's candidate, if Thaxter was not to be chosen, was Edmund Jenings; see JA to Laurens, 15 Aug. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 7:611), and JA's letter in the Boston Patriot, 24 July 1811.
2. JA to Livingston, 4 Dec. 1782 (LbC, Adams Papers; Works, 8:16).
3. Franklin to Pres. Huntington, 12 March 1781; for the passage shown to JA, see Franklin Writings, ed. Smyth, 8:221–223.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-12

January 12. Sunday.

Mr. B. Vaughan came in. I told him, I had some Facts to communicate to him in Confidence. They affected my personal Interest, Character, and Feelings so intimately, that it was impossible for me to { 104 } speak of them without being suspected of personal Resentments and sinister Motives. But that these Facts were at the same time so connected, with public Affairs, with the Interests of the House of Bourbon, and with the essential Interests of Great Britain and America and the true System of Policy, which the two last ought in future to pursue towards each other, that it was my indispensable Duty to communicate them to some English Gentleman who might put their Government upon their Guard.
The two Facts I should now mention were two Instances of the Policy of the C. de Vergennes to defeat the good Intentions of Congress, towards G. Britain. I then shewed him my two original Commissions—one as Minister Plenipotentiary for making Peace, the other as Minister Plenipotentiary to make a Treaty of Commerce with the Ambassador or Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, vested with equal Powers, and whatever shall be so agreed and concluded for Us and in our Name to sign and thereupon make a Treaty of Commerce, and to transact every Thing that may be necessary for compleating, securing and strengthening the same, in as ample Form and with the same Effect, as if We were personally present and acted therein, 29. Sept. 1779.
Mr. Vaughan said he was astonished at my Secrecy and Patience, in never communicating this before. That they never had any Idea of this in London. I told him the C. de Vergennes had required me in thename of the King not to communicate it.
I then shew him the Resolution of Congress of 12 July 1781, by which the Commission and Instructions for negotiating a Treaty of Commerce between the U. States and G. Britain given me on the 29. day of Sept. 1779, were revoked.1
I then read to him the following Part of my Instructions of the 16. Oct. 1779, vizt. That the common Right of Fishing shall in no Case be given up. That it is essential to the Welfare of all these United States, that the Inhabitants there of, at the Expiration of the War should continue to enjoy the free and undisturbed Exercise of their common Right to fish on the banks of Newfoundland and the other fishing Banks and Seas of North America. That our Faith be pledged to the Several States, that without their unanimous Consent no Treaty of Commerce shall be entered into nor any Trade or Commerce whatever carried on with G. Britain without the Explicit Stipulation herein after mentioned. You are therefore not to consent to any Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain, without an explicit Stipulation on her Part not to molest or disturb the Inhabitants of the United States of { 105 } America in taking fish on the Banks of Newfoundland and other Fisheries in the American Seas &c—Here I stopped.
You see here says I Mr. Vaughan, a proof of a great Confidence in me. And what was the Cause of it? No other than this, My Sentiments were known in Congress, to be unalterable for Independence, our Alliance, Fisheries and Boundaries. But it was known also to be a fixed Principle with me, to hurt G. Britain no farther than should be necessary to secure our Independence, Alliance and other Rights.
The C. de Vergennes knew my Character, both from his Intelligences in America and from my Conversation and Correspondence with him. He knew me to be a Man who would not yield to some of the designs he had in View. He accordingly sets his Confidential Friend Mr. Marbois, to negotiating very artfully with Congress. They could not get me removed or recalled, and the next Scheme was to get the Power of the Commission for Peace into the hands of Dr. Franklin.
To this End the Choice was made to fall upon him, and four other Gentlemen who could not attend.2 They have been however mistaken, and no Wrestler was ever so compleatly thrown upon his Back as the C. de Vergennes.
But their Policy did not stop here. I had still a Parchment, to make a Treaty of Commerce with G. Britain, and an Instruction annexed to it, which would be a powerfull Motive with G.B. to acknowledge our Right to the Fisheries. This Commission and these Instructions were to be and were revoked.
Mr. Vaughan said this was very important Information and entirely new. That he was much enlightened and had Sentiments upon the Occasion. That he would write it to the E. of Shelburne, and his Lordship would make great Use of it, without naming me, &c.
1. This resolution, which JA long considered the most humiliating stroke he had sustained in the course of his puhlic life, was entered on the Secret Journal of Congress in the following terse form: “A motion was made by Mr. [James] Madison, seconded by Mr. [John] Mathews, That the commission and instructions for negotiating a treaty of commerce between these United States and Great Britain, given to the honourable John Adams on the 29 day of September, 1779, be and they are hereby revoked” JCC, 20:746). JA expressed his long pent-up feelings concerning this action in a letter he addressed to Robert R. Livingston on 5 Feb. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:33–34). In his Diary for 30 April 1783 he attributed it to the baleful influence of Vergennes. Still later James Madison, who had moved the resolution of 12 July 1781, alluded to the circumstances of both the grant and the withdrawal of JA's commission, but he failed to give an explanation of either of them that is at all helpful to students of JA's career (Madison to Jefferson, 16 March 1784; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:34)
2. Insert after the word “who” in this sentence a parenthetical phrase, “it was supposed,” or some equivalent. Of the five appointees only Thomas Jefferson, as things turned out, “could not attend.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-13

January. 13. Monday.

Mr. Oswald came to take Leave and shewed me a Letter from the Secretary of State for him to come home. He goes off, on Wednesday.
I told him if he was going home, I would communicate to him, what I had not intended.
I told him what I told Yesterday to Vaughan and gave him some short Account of my Correspondence with the C. de Vergennes, upon the Question whether I should communicate to Lord G. Germain, my Commissions, and his Requisition from the King, not to do it, &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-19

1783. January 19. Sunday.

Received a Note from Mr. Franklin, that the C. de Vergennes had written to him to desire me, to meet him at his office, tomorrow at ten.1 Went out to Passy, told Mr. Franklin that I had been informed last night, that the Comte was uneasy at Mr. Oswalds going away, because he expected to sign the Preliminaries in a day or two.
1. Vergennes' note and Franklin's reply, both dated 18 Jan., and Franklin's note to JA, 19 Jan., are all printed in Franklin Writings, ed. Smyth, 9:8–9.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-20

January 20. Monday.

Mr. Franklin and I met the Comte de Vergennes at his office at Ten. He told us, he was going to sign Preliminaries and an Armistice. At Eleven the C. D'Aranda came in, and Mr. Fitsherbert. After examining the Papers, D'Aranda and Fitsherbert signed the Preliminary Treaty, between the Crowns of G. Britain and Spain. De Vergennes and Fitsherbert that between Britain and France. Then Fitsherbert on one Part and Adams and Franklin on the other, signed, sealed and exchanged Declarations of an Armistice between the Crown of Great Britain and the United States of America.1
Previous to the Signature all the original Commissions were shewn. The C. D'Aranda shewed his. The C. de Vergennes his. Mr. Fitsherbert his—and Adams and Franklin theirs. Fitsherbert agreed to exchange Copies with Us.—Thus was this mighty System terminated with as little Ceremony, and in as short a Time as a Marriage Settlement.
Before the British and Spanish Ministers came in I asked the C. de Vergennes what was to become of Holland. He smiled and said, that We had nothing to do with that. I answered, with a Smile too, it was very true We had nothing to do with it, but that I interested myself very much, in the Welfare and Safety of that People. He then { 107 } assumed an affected Air of Seriousness and said he interested himself in it too a good deal, and then told me, that the English had first wished to retain Demerary and Essquibo, but the King would not hear to that. Then they wanted Trincamale in the East Indies. But the King would not agree to that. Then they wanted Negapatnam. This the King left them to settle with the Dutch, but insisted on a Declaration from the King of G. Britain that he would restore all the other Possessions.
Fitsherbert told me afterwards it was the Severity of the Spaniards, that obliged his Court to be so hard with the Dutch. The Spaniards would do nothing without Minorca and the Floridas.
Returned to Paris and dined with the Duchess D'Anville and the Duke de la Rochefaucault.
1. Copies, in French, of the declarations of cessation of hostilities, as agreed upon and exchanged by the American Commissioners (JA and Franklin) and the British Commissioner (Alleyne Fitzherbert), are in the Adams Papers under this date; English translations are printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:223–224. John Jay had
“gone upon a little Excursion to Normandie and Mr. Laurens was gone to Bath, both for their health....Thus drops the Curtain upon this mighty Trajedy ... and Heaven be praised.... I hope to receive the Acceptance of my Resignation so as to come home in the Spring Ships” (JA to AA, 22 Jan. 1783, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-21

January 21. Tuesday.

Went to Versailles to pay my Respects to the King and Royal Family, upon the Event of Yesterday. Dined with the foreign Ambassadors at the C. de Vergennes's.
The King appeared in high Health and in gay Spirits: so did the Queen. M[adam]e Elizabeth is grown very fat. The C. D'Artois seems very well. Mr. Fitsherbert had his first Audience of the King and Royal Family and dined for the first time with the Corps Diplomatique.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0001-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-01-23

1783. January 23. Thursday.

Mr. Whitefoord made me a Visit. He said it was the fatal Policy of the Earl of Chatham, in supporting the K. of Prussia against the House of Austria, that had given an Austrian Queen to France. That the French had contrived too to marry the Kings two Brothers to Princesses of Savoy, by which they had damped the Zeal of another of the Allies of England the King of Sardinia.
I told him the Story of my Correspondence with the C. de Vergennes in 1780, about communicating my Mission to Lord G. Germain. He said if I had followed my own Opinion, and written to his Lordship and published the Letter, it would have turned out the old { 108 } Ministry. I told him I was restrained by a Requisition from the King. Besides the Defeat of D'Estaing and Langara, had turned the Heads of the People of England at that time.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-18

1783 Tuesday. Feb. 18.

Received a Letter from my Son John, dated at Gottenburgh the 1. of Feb. This Letter gave me great Joy, it is the first I have received from him since he left Petersbourg, and the first News I have had of him since the Beginning of December, when he was at Stockholm.— I have suffered extream Anxiety on his Account.1
I have omitted my Journal, and several Things of some Consequence, but I am weary, disgusted, affronted and disappointed. This State of Mind I must alter—and work while the day lasts.
I have been injured, and my Country has joined in the Injury. It has basely prostituted its own honour by sacrificing mine. But the Sacrifice of me for my Virtues, was not so servile, and intollerable as putting Us all under Guardianship. Congress surrendered their own Sovereignty into the Hands of a French Minister. Blush blush! Ye guilty Records! blush and perish! It is Glory, to have broken such infamous orders. Infamous I say, for so they will be to all Posterity. How can such a Stain be washed out? Can We cast a veil over it, and forget it?
1. JQA's letter is in Adams Papers. He had left St. Petersburg in company with a Count Greco, 30 Oct. 1782, and traveled via Helsingfors (Helsinki) to Stockholm, which he reached on 22 Nov.; he and his companion left there on 31 Dec. and arrived at Göteborg on 16 Jan. after a tedious delay on account of bad weather; from there, traveling for the most part alone, he proceeded on 11 Feb. to Copenhagen and thereafter to Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, and The Hague, arriving at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis on 21 April (JQA, Diary). JA's correspondence during the first several months of 1783 shows that officers of the Dutch and French diplomatic and consular services were constantly scouring the Baltic and North Sea ports looking for the fifteen-year-old boy. “My Younker ought to think himself highly honoured, by the Notice that has been taken of him by so many respectable Personages” (JA to Dumas, 19 March 1783, LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-24

1783 Feb. 24. Monday.

Dined in Company with Mr. Malesherbes, the famous first President of the Court of Aids, Uncle of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, and Son of the Chancellor de la Moignon. He is about half Way in Appearance, between Mr. Otis and Mr. A. Oliver.
F[ranklin] this Morning mentioned to me the Voyage de la Fonte, who mentions a Captain Chapley, and a Seymour Gibbons. F. thinks { 109 } it is translated from the Spanish, and that the Translator or Printer has put Seymour for Seignor. He had once a Correspondence about this Voyage, and Mr. Prince found there had been a Captain Chapelet at Charlestown and a Gibbons but not named Seymour.1
1. This “Voyage” was supposed to have taken place in 1640; an account of it was first published in a London periodical in 1708. The purported leader and narrator, Admiral Bartholomew de Fonte, claimed to have sailed from Lima in Peru up the west coast of North America and to have found a water route to Hudson Bay, since he encountered a Boston ship which must have entered the Bay from the northeast. These claims were disputed with some warmth on both sides of the question during the middle decades of the 18th century, and French and English maps showing the discoveries in detail were published by those who believed a northwest passage existed. By the end of the century they were totally discredited; modern geographers consider Admiral de Fonte an entirely fictitious person. See Henry R. Wagner, “Apocryphal Voyages to the Northwest Coast of America,” Amer. Antiq. Soc., Procs., 41 (1931): 179–234, which includes a reprint of the De Fonte “Letter” and facsimiles of several pertinent maps.
In his Diary entries for 17, 19 June, below, JA records more speculation and conversation on the controversy over the northwest passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-25

Feb. 25. Tuesday.

Mr. Samuel Vaughan says that Cooks Voyage will be 3 Volumes 60 Plates, and will not be out these 12 Months. The Plates are of Islands discovered &c.
He mentions a new Sort of Bark, much redder and much stronger, than any known before.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-02-27

Feb. 27. Thursday.

Dined at the Farmer Generals, in Company with the Comte de Polastron, Father of the Duchesse de Polignac. No Friend of D'Estaing.
Spent the Evening in Company with the Abby de Mably, some other Abbys and Accademicians. De Mably says There are in France Three Orders of Citizens. The first Order is of the Clergy. 2. The Second of the Nobility. 3. And the third is called Le Tiers Etat.— There are several Classes in the Order of the Clergy, 7 or 8 Classes in the Order of Nobles, and Thirty Classes in the Tiers Etat. The Nobles all believe that their Nobility is from God. And therefore, the Nobles are all equal, and that the King cannot confer Nobility.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-07

Fryday March 7.

In the Morning Chronicle of Saturday February 22, Mr. Secretary Townsend in the Debate upon the five Propositions of Lord John Cavendish, is represented to have said “He was willing to give his full Assent to the first Proposition, because such a Declaration from Parlia• { 110 } ment was, after the Address voted on Monday last, indispensably necessary. To the second, and to the third Resolutions, likewise he had no Objections. The fourth he certainly should resist, because it conveyed a direct Censure upon Ministers, reprobated and condemned the Peace, would give Alarm and Umbrage to the foreign Powers, with whom the Peace had been made, and be attended with a Variety of bad Consequences.
”With Regard to the fifth, that respecting the Loyalists, it would produce much Evil. It would totally defeat the Recommendations which Congress were pledged to make in favour of the Loyalists, and put them in a worse Predicament than that they already stood in, by the Treaty. In order to support this Assertion Mr. Townsend reasoned a good deal on the great danger arising at all times from creating Jealousies and Suspicions in Parties negotiating; but if there was any Party more prone to Jealousy, any State more liable to catch Suspicion sooner than another, it must be the United States of America, on Account of their having been little accustomed to the Business of negotiating, and being obliged to trust their first and dearest Interests in the hands of Persons of whose Fidelity they had scarcely any pledge of Security. Mr. Townsend concluded with saying, that for these Reasons he should resist the fifth Resolution as well as the fourth.”1
1. Lord John Cavendish's resolutions of censure on the provisional peace settlements were debated in the House of Commons on 21 Feb.; the debate resulted in a vote of 207 to 190 against the Shelburne ministry on the ground of its having made greater “concessions ... to the adversaries of Great Britain ... than they were entitled to” (Parliamentary Hist., 23:498–571). On 24 Feb., as a direct upshot, Shelburne resigned, and an “inter-ministerium” of seven weeks followed, postponing negotiations for the Definitive Peace which JA had expected in January would be completed within a few weeks. See Horace Walpole, Last Journals ..., 1771–1783, ed. A. Francis Steuart, London, 1910, 2:487, 508.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-08

March 9 [i.e. 8]. Saturday.

Dined at Passy, the Spanish Ambassador, the Comte de Rochambeau, the Chevalier de Chatelux [Chastellux], Mr. Jay &c. present.
Chatelux said to the Abby Morlaix that I was the Author of the Massachusetts Constitution, and that it was the best of em all, and that the People were very contented with it.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-03-09

March 9. 1783 Sunday.

Mercure de France 1. Feb. 1783, p. 26
Academie Royale de Musique.
Lorsqu'un homme entre dans la carriere des Arts, n'ayant pour { 111 } guide et pour Appui que son Genie; lorsque L'Intrigue et la Charlatanerie, ces deux grandes Ressources des petits talens, lui sont etrangéres, il doit s'attendre á être long tems persecuté, méconnu, arrêté á chaque pas. Mais qu'il ne perde point courage; tous les Obstacles s'applanissent peu-a-peu devant lui; ses Ennemis se lassent ou deviennent odieux et suspects; et le public, éclairé par ces memes productions qu'il n'avoit pas d'abord appreciees, rend enfin Justice à leur Auteur.
Il est vrai qu'un Artiste qui se presente apres vingt-cinq ans de gloire et de Succès ne devroit pas eprouver les mêmes degouts; son nom fameux dans l'Empire des Arts, paroitroit fait pour en imposer à ses dètracteurs; mais si dans le nouveau pays ou il arrive, son Art est encore ignoré; s'il y règne un faux Savoir, pire que L'lgnorance; si Ton y a la manie des Preferences, des Preferences exclusives, et que Ton ait deja choisi l'Objet de ces Preferences, son nom lui devient inutile ou meme dangereux; et la Reputation qui le précède, en éveillant l'Envie, n'est pour lui qu'un Obstacle de plus.
On se rappelle aujourd hui, avec une espece de honte, les excès où Ton se porta d'abord contre l'Auteur de Roland. Les quolibets, les plattes Epigrammes, les comparaisons injurieuses, rien ne fut épargné.
Mr. Picini [Piccinni] is the Author of Roland.
In this Country, the Demon of Monarchy haunts all the Scaenes of Life. It appears in every Conversation, at every Table and upon every Theatre. This People can attend to no more than one Person at a Time. They can esteem but one, and to that one their Homage is Adulation and Idolatry.
I once heard the Baron Van der Capellen de Poll say that the Daemon of Aristocracy appeared every where in that Republick. That he had collected together a Number of Merchants to sign a Requête. They agreed upon the Measure but insisted upon appointing a Committee to sign it. Many of them declared they would not sign it, with a Crowd, avec une foule.
Thus it is that the human Mind contracts habits of thinking from the Example of the Gouvernment. Accustomed to look up to a few as all in an Aristocracy, they imitate the same practice in private Life, and in common Things. Accustomed in monarchies to look up to one Man in great Affairs, they contract a similar disposition in little ones.
In the same manner in Democracies We contract an habit of de• { 112 } ciding every Thing by a Majority of Votes. We put it to vote whether the Company will sing a Song or tell a Story. In an Aristocracy they ask 2 or 3 of the better Sort. In a Monarchy they ask the Lady or the Gentleman, in whose honour the feast was made.
I dined with the Comte de Pilo, under the Incognito name of Mr. D'Olavide, heretofore Intendant of Seville who established the Colony of Sierra Morena in Spain, Mr. Boystel Consul General of France in Spain, the Comte de Jaucourt Marechal de Camp, the C. de Lusignem M. de Camp and the C. de Langeron M. de Camp, Commandant a Brest, at C. Sarsefields.
Ephemerides du Cytoyen par L'Abbe Baudau.
Memoire sur les Administrations provincials par Mr. Throne.
Dialogue sur les Bleds par L'Abbe Galliany.1
1. These are books JA purchased or intended to purchase. The Ephémérides du citoyen was a French periodical devoted to the ideas of the Physiocrats, of which scattered volumes are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; he also obtained a copy of G. F. Le Trosne's tract, De l'administration provinciale, et de la réforme de l'impôt, Basle, 1779 (Catalogue of JA's Library, p. 84, 144). But no copy of Ferdinand Galiani's Dialogues sur les blés, 1770, has been found among his books.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-27

1783 Paris April 27. 1783.

Mr. Hartley met Mr. Franklin, Laurens, Jay and me, at my Lodgings, and shewed Us an Instruction under the Kings Privy Seal, and signed George Rex, in which his Majesty recites that he had appointed Mr. Hartley his Minister Plenipotentiary to treat with Us &c.1
The American Ministers unanimously required a Commission under the great Seal, and promising to ratify what he should do.—Mr. Hartley was chagrin'd.2
Much Conversation passed, which might as well have been spared. Mr. Hartley was as copious as usual. I called on Mr. Jay in the Evening and We agreed to meet at my House next Morning at 10.
1. The weeks that followed the signing of the provisional treaties between Great Britain and France, and Great Britain and Spain, made “a very dull Pause,” as JA wrote Arthur Lee (12 April, Adams Papers), during which JA worried about his health and in long letters to intimate correspondents poured out his suspicions of “French and Franklinian Politicks” (to AA, 16 April, Adams Papers). After what seemed interminable delays the Coalition government of Fox and North was at length formed, and on 18 April David Hartley received his instructions, as successor to Richard Oswald, to treat with the American Commissioners for a definitive peace settlement. Hartley, an old friend of Franklin's whom JA had first encountered, without being favorably impressed, five years earlier (see 19 April 1778, above), arrived in Paris on 24 April. JA was to change his estimate { 113 } of Hartley and eventually to recognize his intense sincerity in endeavoring to obtain a liberal settlement, especially in respect to trade relations, but the negotiations in Paris from April to September proved perfectly fruitless. They are well summarized in a single sentence in the Commissioners' letter to Pres. Boudinot of Congress, 10 Sept. 1783: “We had many conferences and received long memorials from Mr. Hartley on the subject [of new commercial regulations]; but his zeal for systems friendly to us constantly exceeded his authority to concert and agree to them” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:688). The best secondary account of this negotiation, which has been little studied but was not unimportant in spite of its failure, is in George H. Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P., an Advocate of Conciliation, Berkeley, 1926, ch. 4. There is need for a more detailed and comprehensive study.
2. For Hartley's new commission see entries of 19, 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-28

April 28. Monday.

At 10 Mr. Jay came in, and I shewed him a Variety of Projects, which I had drawn up last night, concerning the Removal of the Troops, opening the Ports, tranquilizing the Tories now within the Lines, Articles for Commerce, in Explanation of the provisional Treaty &c.
We drew together a Proposition, for withdrawing the Troops, opening the Ports and quieting the Tories, and went with it in my Carriage to Mr. Laurens, who thought it might do.1 I said to my Brothers, I shall be very ductile about Commerce. I would agree at once to a mutual Naturalization, or to the Article as first agreed on by Dr. F. and Mr. Jay with Mr. Oswald, or I would agree to Mr. Hartleys Propositions, to let the Trade go on as before the War or as with Nova Scotia. I could agree to any of these Things because that Time and the natural Course of Things will produce a good Treaty of Commerce. G.B. will soon see and feel the Necessity of alluring American Commerce to her Ports, by Facilities and Encouragements of every kind. We called at Mr. Hartleys Hotel de York. He was out.—At Mr. Jays, Mr. Hartley came in. We told him, We thought of making him a Proposition, tomorrow, and would meet him at Mr. Laurens's at one. Wrote to Dr. Franklin and W. T. Franklin, desiring their Attendance at Mr. Laurens's Hotel de L'Empereur at 11. tomorrow. Received an Answer that they would attend.2 Mr. Hartley desired of me Letters of Introduction for II Comte di Ferme a Cousin of the Neapolitan Ambassader in London, who is going to America, which I promised him and wrote in the Evening.3
1. As presented to Hartley on 29 April, these projets will be found in the next entry of this Diary.
2. The note to the Franklins, in JA's hand, is in DeHi; the answer has not been found.
3. The letters of introduction, addressed to John Hancock, James Bowdoin, and Benjamin Lincoln, are dated this day in Lb/JA/20 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108). Conte Francisco dal Verme, of Milan, visited the United { 114 } States and traveled from New Hampshire to South Carolina later this year; in 1787 he extended kindnesses to during the latter's brief visit to Italy (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 27:79 and note, 165–166 and note; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 11:437; 12:38–39, 42–43, 587–589).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-29

April 29. Tuesday.

At 11, We all met at Mr. Laurens's near the new French Comedy, and agreed upon a Proposition to open the Ports as soon as the U. States should be evacuated. At one Mr. Hartley came and We shewed it to him, and after some Conversation with him, We agreed upon 3 Propositions. 1. To open the Ports as soon as the States should be evacuated. 2. To set all confined Tories at Liberty at the same time and 3. To set all Prisoners of War at Liberty, upon the same terms respecting the Accounts of their Expences as those between France and England.
Three Articles proposed by the American Ministers and delivered to Mr. David Hartley, 29. April 1783.1
No. 1.
It is agreed, that so soon, as his Britannick Majesty shall have withdrawn all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets, from the United States of America, and from every Port, Post, Place and Harbour within the same, as stipulated by the 7 Article of the Provisional Treaty of 30. Nov. 1782, Then and from thenceforth, for and during the Term of [] Years, all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places, belonging to the United States, or any of them, shall be open and free, to the Merchants and other Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and their trading Vessells; who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of the State in which they may be, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties.
And reciprocally all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places under the Dominion of his Britannic Majesty, shall, thenceforth be open and free to the Merchants and trading Vessells of the said United States, and of each and every of them, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of Great Britain, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties: saving Always to the Chartered Trading Companies of Great Britain, such exclusive Use, and Trade of their respective Ports and Establishments, as neither the other Subjects of Great Britain, or any the most favoured Nation, participate in.
{ 115 }
No. 2.
It is agreed that such Persons as may be in Confinement, in the United States of America for or by Reason of the Part which they may have taken in the late war, shall be set, at Liberty, immediately on the Evacuation of the said States by the Troops and Fleets of his Britannic Majesty.
And it is likewise agreed, that all such Persons who may be in confinement in any Parts under the Dominion of his Britannic Majesty for and by Reason of the Part which they may have taken in the late War, shall at the same time be also immediately set at Liberty.
No. 3.
The Prisoners made respectively by the Arms of his Britannick Majesty, and those of the United States of America, both by Land and Sea, shall be immediately set at Liberty, without Ransom, on paying the Debts they may have contracted during their Captivity: And each contracting Party shall respectively reimburse the Sums which shall have been advanced for the Subsistence and Maintenance of their Prisoners, by the Sovereign of the Country, where they shall have been detained, according to the Receipts and attested Accounts and other authentic Titles, which shall be produced on each Side.
1. The text of the three proposed articles appears, not in the present Diary booklet, but in that which follows (D/JA/40), in the left-hand margin across from entries beginning 3 May. For Hartley's answer, 21 May, to the first and principal proposition, see entry of 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-04-30

1783. April 30. Wednesday.

Mr. Hartley did me the Honour of a Visit to assure me, as he said of the Satisfaction he had in reflecting, upon what passed Yesterday, and upon what We had agreed upon. He thought it was exactly as it should be. I was glad to hear of his Satisfaction and expressed my own. I told him that I was so vinced, that Great Britain and America would soon feel the Necessity and Convenience of a right Plan of Commerce that I was not anxious about it. That it was simply from a pure regard to Great Britain, and to give them an opportunity of alluring to themselves as much of our Commerce, as in the present State of Things would be possible, that I should give myself any Trouble about it. That I had never had but one Principle and one System, concerning this Subject, before, during or since the War, and that had generally been the System of Congress viz. That it was not our Interest { 116 } to hurt Great Britain any further than was necessary to support our Independence and our Alliances. That the French Court had sometimes endeavoured to warp us from this System, in some degrees and particulars, that they had sometimes succeeded with some American Ministers and Agents, Mr. Deane particularly, and I must add that Dr. Franklin had not adhered to it at all times with so much Firmness as I could have wished, and indeed Congress itself from the Fluctuation of its Members, or some other Cause had sometimes appeared to loose Sight of it. That I had constantly endeavoured to adhere to it, but this Inflexibility had been called Stubbornness, Obstinacy, Vanity &c. and had expossed me to many Attacks, and disagreable Circumstances. That it had been to damp the Ardour of returning Friendship as I supposed, which had induced the French Minister, to use his Influence to get the Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, revoked without appointing another. That I did not care a Farthing for a Commission to Great Britain, and wished that the one to me had never existed, but that I was very sorry it was revoked without appointing another. That the Policy of this Court he might well think would be, to lay every stumbling Block between G. Britain and America. They Wished to deprive Us of the Fisheries and Western Lands for this Reason. They espoused the Cause of the Tories for this Reason.
I told him the Comte de Vergennes and I were pursuing different Objects. He was endeavouring to make my Countrymen meek and humble and I was labouring to make them proud. I avowed it was my Object, to make them hold up their Heads, and look down upon any Nation that refused to do them Justice. That in my Opinion Americans had nothing to fear, but from the Meekness of their own Hearts. As Christians I wished them Meek, as Statesmen I wished them proud, and I thought the Pride and the Meekness very consistent. Providence had put into our hands such Advantages, that We had a just Right and it was our Duty to insist upon Justice from all Courts, Ministers and Nations.
That I wished him to get his Commission as soon as possible and that We might discuss every Point and be perfectly ready to sign the definitive Treaty.
He said his Commission would come as soon as the Courier could go and return, and that he would prepare his Propositions for the definitive Treaty, immediately. He said he had not imagined that We had been so stout as he found Us.—But he was very silent and attentive. He has had hints I suppose, from Laurens and Jay, and Franklin too. { 117 } He never before discovered a Capacity to hearken. He ever before took all the Talk to himself. I am not fond of talking, but I wanted to convey into his Mind a few Things, for him to think upon. None of the English Gentlemen have come here apprized of the Place where their danger lay.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-01

1783 May 1. Thursday.

Dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, with the other American Ministers and others.
Visited the Duke and Dutchesse de la Vauguion at the petite Luxembourg. The Duke is to stay here some time.
I told him he and I were in the same Case, and explained to him my Situation and gave him my frank Sentiments of a certain Minister. He said he was veritablement touché.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-02

Fryday. May 2.

Mr. Hartley came in to introduce to me his Secretary Mr. Hammond, whom he introduced also to mine, Mr. Thaxter and Storer.
He told me that the C. de Vergennes had been treating with Mr. Fitsherbert about the Post of Panmure at the Natches, which is within the Limits which England has acknowledged to be the Bounds of the United States. The Spaniards want to keep it, and the C. de Vergennes wants to make a Merit of procuring it for them with a few Leagues round it.—I told Mr. Hartley that this Subject was within the exclusive Jurisdiction of Mr. Jay. That the Minister for Peace had nothing to say in it.
I told Mr. Hartley the Story of my Negotiations with the C. de Vergennes about communicating my Mission to Ld. G. Germaine 3 Years ago and the subsequent Intrigues and Disputes &c. It is necessary to let the English Ministers know where their danger lies, and the Arts used to damp the Ardour of returning friendship.
Mr. Jay came, with several Pieces of Intelligence. 1. The Story of Panmure. 2. The Marquis de la Fayette told him that no Instructions were ever sent by the C. de Vergennes to the C. Montmorrin to favour Mr. Jays Negotiations at Madrid and that Montmorrin told la Fayette so.
Mr. Jay added that the Marquis told him, that the C. de Vergennes desired him to ask Mr. Jay why he did not come and see him? Mr. Jay says he answered how can he expect it? when he knows he has endeavoured to play Us out of the Fisheries and vacant Lands? Mr. { 118 } Jay added that he thought it would be best to let out by degrees, and to communicate to some French Gentlemen, the Truth and shew them Marbois's Letter. Particularly he mentioned C. Sarsefield.
Mr. Jay added, every Day produces some fresh Proof and Example of their vile Schemes. He had applied to Montmorin, to assist him, countenance him, support him, in his Negotiation at Madrid, and shewed him a Resolution of Congress by which the King of France was requested to Aid him. Montmorin said he could not do it, without Instructions from his Court, that he would write for Instructions, but Mr. Jay says he never heard any farther about it. But Yesterday La Fayette told him that Montmorin told him, no such Instruction had ever been sent him.
In Truth Congress and their Ministers have been plaid upon like Children, trifled with, imposed upon, deceived. Franklin's Servility and insidious faithless Selfishness is the true and only Cause why this Game has succeeded. He has aided Vergennes with all his Weight, and his great Reputation, in both Worlds, has supported this ignominious System and blasted every Man and every Effort to shake it off. I only have had a little Success against him.1
1. The foregoing paragraph was omitted by CFA in his edition of JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-03

1783 May 3. Saturday.1

When We met Mr. Hartley on Tuesday last at Mr. Laurens's, I first saw and first heard of Mr. Livingstons Letter to Dr. Franklin upon the Subject of Peace dated Jany. 7. 1781, but indorsed by Dr. F. Jany. 7. 1782.2 The Peace is made, and the Negotiations all passed before I knew of this Letter and at last by Accident.—Such is Dr. Franklin.
Visited Mr. Jay. Found him, his Lady, Miss Laurens and Marquis de la Fayette at Breakfast going out of Town. Visited Mr. Laurens— not at home. Duke de la Vauguion—not at home. Mr. Hartley at home, Mr. Laurens came in soon after. I agreed to make a Visit to the Duke of Manchester this Evening. His Rank, as Duke and as Ambassador, and the Superiority of the State he represents, make it unnecessary to attend to the Rule in this Town, which is that the last comer make the first Visit, or to enquire very nicely what the sublime Science of Etiquette dictates upon this Occasion.
Mr. Hartley proposes that We should agree that the English should continue their Garrisons in Detroit, Niagara and Michillimachinac for a limited Time, or that Congress should put Garrisons into those Places, to protect their People, Traders and Troops from the Insults { 119 } of the Indians. The Indians will be enraged to find themselves betrayed into the hands of those People against whom they have been excited to War.
Mr. Hartley proposes allso that We should agree that all the Carrying Places should be in Common. This is a great Point. These Carrying Places command the Fur Trade.—Mr. Laurens hinted to me, between Us, that this was the Complaint in England against the Ministry who made the Peace. That they had thrown the whole Fur Trade, into the Hands of the United States by ceeding all the Carrying Places, and that the Lakes and Waters were made useless to them by this means.
Mr. Laurens quoted a Creek King, who said he would not be for quarrelling with either Side, especially with Us Americans for We were all born of the same Mother and sucked at the same Breast. But turning to his young Men he said with Tears in his Eyes, whichever Side prevails I see that We must be cutt off.
Mr. Hartley talked about Passamaquaddi, and the Islands at the Mouth of the River St. Croix. He is for settling this matter, so as to prevent Questions.
Between 5 and 6 I made my Visit to the Duke of Manchester the British Ambassador upon his Arrival. Not at home. Left my Card.
The next day or next but one, the Duke returned my Visit. Came up to my Appartement and spent an half hour in familiar Conversation. He is between 50 and 60. A composed Man—plain Englishman.
One day this Week I visited the Duke de la Vauguion, upon his Arrival [from]3 the Hague, who returned my Visit in a day or two.
1. With this entry JA began a new Diary booklet (D/JA/40), identical in format with those preceding. The marks “C” (standing for “To be copied” or “Copied”) run throughout this booklet at the foot of the pages, as they do also in D/JA/41-42, ending with the entry of 27 Oct. 1783. No transcript of this portion of his Diary has, however, been found. Perhaps the sensation stirred up by his earlier “Peace Journal” (see note on entry of 2 Nov. 1782, above) dissuaded him from sending any more such papers home.
2. The correct date was certainly 7 Jan. 1782, since Livingston was not appointed secretary for foreign affairs until Aug. 1781. Livingston's letter embodied American arguments for claiming all territory to the Mississippi and undisturbed rights in the Newfoundland fishery, and arguments against the restitution of loyalist property (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:87–94).
3. MS: “at.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-05

1783 Monday May 5.

Dined with my Family at C. Sarsefields. The Dukes de la Vauguion and de la Rochefaucault, Mr. Jay &c. of the Party.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-06

Tuesday May 6.

Dined at Mr. Jays. Lt. General Mellville, who is here to solicit for the Inhabitants of Tobago, the Continuance of their Assembly and Tryals by Jury, was there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-07

Wednesday May 7.

Dined at Mr. Caluns [Calonne's].

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-08

Thursday May 8.

The Duke de la Vauguion and Mr. Hartley, Mr. Laurens and Jay, Mr. Barclay1 and Ridley, dined with me.
1. Thomas Barclay (1728–1793), a Philadelphia merchant, had been elected by Congress United States consul in France, 5 Oct. 1781; on 2 Jan. 1783 he was named consul general. He had business interests at Lorient, but JA first encountered him in Amsterdam, and before long Barclay rented a large house in semirural Auteuil on the outskirts of Paris. Here JA was to be his guest during a period of illness in the fall of 1783, and afterward JA rented the house for the use of himself and family. In 1782 Barclay was given a commission to settle the accounts of all American ministers and agents in Europe; from 1785 he served as United States agent in protracted and futile negotiations with Morocco. See JCC, 21:1036; 23:730; 24:3; Barclay's letters in PCC, Nos. 91, 118; JA-Barclay correspondence in Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–12, passim; VMHB, 8:19, 21 (July 1900); scattered references in PMHB, Diary entries of 14 Sept., 7 Oct. 1783, 17 Aug. 1784, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-09

Fryday May 9.

Dined with Mr. Laurens, with a large Company. The M. de la Fayette shewed me, the Beginning of an Attack upon the Chancellor &c. &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-10

Saturday. May. 10.

Dined with the M. de la Fayette, with a large American Company.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-19

Monday May. 19.

The American Ministers met Mr. Hartley at my House, and he shewed Us his Commission and We shewed him ours. His Commission is very magnificent, the Great Seal in a Silver Box with the Kings Arms engraven on it, with two large gold Tassells &c. as usual.1
[In the margin: The Commissions of the Comtes de Vergennes and D'Aranda, on the 20. of January, were plainer than ours, and upon Paper. The French reserve their Silver Boxes to the Exchange of Ratifications.]
{ 121 }
Dined with Mr. Laurens and Mr. Jay at Mr. Hartleys, Hotel de York.
We are to meet of Evenings at 6 O Clock, De Die, in Diem, at my House.
Mr. Hartley informed Us to day that the Kings Council had not agreed to our Proposition, of putting Britons upon the Footing of Americans in all American Ports, Rivers &c. and Americans on the Footing of Britons in all British Ports, Rivers &c. He says he is very sorry for this because he thinks it just and politick And that he shall ever be in Parliament for bringing Things to that point.
1. Hartley's full power under the Great Seal, as required by the American Commissioners (see 27 April, above), was dated 14 May 1783; of the several copies in the Adams Papers, one forms a part of JA's Diary record for 22 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-20

Tuesday May 20.

Saw Philadelphia Papers to the 12 of April. The Corvette dispatched from Cadiz by the Comte D'Estaing, carried the first News of the Preliminaries of the 20 of January. Mr. Livingston wrote it to Carlton and Digby, but they thought it, however respectable, not authentic for them. Soon after the February Packet arrived, at New York, from whence English News Papers were sent out and the Provisional and Preliminary Treaties all published in the Philadelphia Papers.
Visited Mr. Hartley. He said he thought the Dutch Negotiation in a bad Way, and that there would be a civil Contest in Holland; a Struggle between the Statholder and the States.
Mr. Hartley said, that some Dutch Friends he had in London, had told him there would be a civil dissention in Holland, and he was now more convinced of it. He said the K. of Prussia and the King of England would take the Part of the Statholder. I answered they would do well to consider whether in that Case, France and the Emperor would not assist the Republicans, and thus throw all Europe into a Flame. I told him I thought the English Policy towards the Republick, all wrong. They were wrong to make themselves Partisans of the Statholder vs. the Republicans. That they ought to be impartial. That they were interested in the Conservation of the Liberties of that Country. If that Spot should be annexed to the Empire or to France it would be fatal to Great Britain. That without its Liberty it could not maintain its Independency. Human Life, in that Country, struggling against the Sea, and in danger from so many Quarters, would be too painfull and discouraging without Liberty. That the K. of England and the Statholder would make a fatal Mistake, if they thought of making the { 122 } lat[t]er Sovereign, or of increasing his Power. The Country would not be worth the Governing. That the Families of Orange and Brunswick owed their Grandeur to the Cause of Liberty, and if they now engaged in a Conspiracy against it they must go to Italy after the Stewarts.
I added that Sir Joseph York had been wrong to attach himself so closely to the Court, and declare War so decidedly against the Patriots. That he should have kept upon good Terms with the Capellens, Vanberckel, Gyzelaer, Visher &c.
I had reflected much upon this Subject. I had always been ready to acknowledge that I could not distinctly foresee, what would be the Consequence of our Independence in Europe. It might depress England too much and elevate the House of Bourbon too high. If this should be the Case, neither England nor America could depend upon the Moderation of such absolute Monarchies and such ambitious Nations. America might find France and Spain demanding of her Things which she could not grant. So might England. Both might find it necessary to their Safety to join, and in such a Case it would be of great Importance to both to have Holland join them. Whereas the Policy of the British Court if pursued would drive the Dutch into the Arms of France and fix them there. That I hoped the Case put would never happen, but England would have a stronger reason than ever now, to cultivate the Friendship of Holland. That in my Opinion she ought to give up Negapatnam and the Liberty of Navigation, give Satisfaction to the Duch, and carry an even hand in future between the Court and the States. That the British Minister ought to seek the Acquaintance and Friendship of the principal Patriots in all the Provinces and give them the Assurances of his Court that nothing should be attempted against their Constitution.
Mr. Hartley said he was of my Mind and had said as much to Mr. Fox before he left London. But the King would stand by the Statholder. The King, says he, will go wrong in Holland and in Ireland and Scotland too, but it will all work against himself. There are discontents in Scotland, as well as Ireland. We shall have Struggles, but I dont dread these. We shall have settled with America, and the American War was all that I dreaded.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-21

Wednesday. May 21.

What is it, in the Air, which burns? When We blow a Spark with the Bellows, it spreads. We force a current of Air to the Fire, by { 123 } this machine, and in this Air, are inflammable Particles. Can it be in the same manner that Life is continued by the Breath. Are there any Particles conveyed into the Blood of Animals through the Lungs, which increase the heat of it, or is the Pulse caused by rarifying the Blood or any Part of it, into Vapour, like the Experiment made with Spirits of Wine in a Glass Tube, with a globule at each End. If one End, or Globule, is placed in a Position a little Warmer, than the other, you see a Pulsation, caused by repeated rarefactions of the Spirits of Wine into Vapour at one End, which flows to the other and then reflows Again to its former Position where it is again rarified, and protruded.
The external Air, drawn into the Lungs in Breathing, through the Mouth or Nostrils, either Leaves some Particles behind, in the Lungs, or in the Blood, or carries some Particles off with it. It may do both, i.e. carry in some Particles that are salubrious, and carry out others which are noxious. The Air once breathed is certainly altered. It is unfit to be breathed again. The Body is said to render unfit for Respiration a Gallon of Air in a Minute. 4 Persons in a Coach would render unfit, 4 Hogsheads of Air in an Hour, which is more than the Coach would hold, which shews the Necessity of keeping the Windows open, and of frequently airing your dining Rooms, keeping Rooms and Bed Chambers. I suspect that the Health of Mankind is much injured by their Inattention to this Subject.1
Mr. Hartley, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Jay, Mr. Laurens, met me, at my House, Hotel du Roi, Au Carrousel, this Evening, and We exchanged with Mr. Hartley Full Powers, and entered into Conferences.
Mr. Hartley made Us the following Proposition in writing, viz.
”Whereas it is highly necessary that an Intercourse of Trade and Commerce should be opened, between the People and Territories, belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, and the People and Territories of the United States of America, and whereas it is highly expedient, that the Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States, should be established, on the most enlarged Principles of reciprocal Benefit to both Countries; but from the Distance between Great Britain and America, it must be a considerable Time, before any Convention or Treaty for establishing and regulating the Trade and Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States of America, upon a permanent Foundation can be concluded: Now, for the Purpose of making a temporary Regulation of the Commerce and Intercourse between Great Britain and the said United States of America
”It is agreed, that all the Citizens of the United States of America, { 124 } shall be permitted to import into, and export from any Part of his Britannick Majestys Dominions in American Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandises, which have been so imported or exported by the Inhabitants of the British American Colonies, before the Commencement of the War, upon payment of the same Duties and Charges, as the like sort of Goods or Merchandize, are now or may be subject and liable to, if imported by British subjects, in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America. And that all the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty shall be permitted to import and to export from any Part of the Territories of the thirteen United States of America, in British Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandizes, which might have been so imported or exported by the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty, before the Commencement of the War, upon Payment of the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods, Wares and Merchandizes are now or may be subject and liable to if imported in American Ships, by any of the Citizens of the United States of America.
“This Agreement to continue in Force untill—
“Provided always that nothing contained in this Agreement, shall at any Time hereafter, be argued, on either Side, in Support of any future demand or Claim.”2
Mr. Hartley withdrew and We entered into Consultation, upon his Proposition.
We agreed to write a Line to Mr. Hartley to enquire if he thought himself authorized to sign that Agreement without further orders from St. James's. The Gentlemen proposed that I [should write it]3 as first in the Commission. I answered that in that Case I must have their Sanction to the Letter. They desired me to draw one. I sat down to the Table and wrote

[salute] Sir

The American Ministers have done me the Honour to direct me, to present you their Compliments, and desire to be informed whether you think yourself sufficiently authorized to agree and subscribe to the Proposition you have made them this Evening, without further Instructions or Information from your Court.
Dr. Franklin moved that the Secretary should sign and send it, which was agreed, the Letter being approved in the foregoing Words. The Gentlemen desired me to draw an Answer to Mr. Grands Letter, { 125 } and a Letter to the Bankers in Amsterdam which I agreed to do and lay it before them at their next Meeting.
1. This passage shows some advance in JA's views on fresh air since his dispute with Franklin over open or closed windows when they lodged together on their way to the conference with Lord Howe on Staten Island; see JA's Autobiography under date of 9 Sept. 1776.
2. Quotation marks have been regularized by the editors in the foregoing projet by Hartley.
3. Words in brackets have been supplied by the editors. In the MSJA inserted a caret at this point but did not fill the gap in sense.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-22

May 22. Thursday.

This Morning I drew the following Letters to be laid before the Ministers this Evening.

[salute] Sir

We have received the Letter you did Us the Honour to write Us on the [] day of this Month, containing a brief State of the Affairs of the United States in your hands. We see the Difficulties you are in, and are sorry to say that it is not in our Power to afford you any Relief.
We have &c.

[addrLine] Mr. Grand1

[salute] Gentlemen

Mr. Grand has laid before Us, a State of the Affairs of the United States, under his Care, and the Demands upon him for Money to discharge the Bills drawn upon him, are such as to require some Assistance from you, if the Demands upon you will admit of it.
If therefore, the State of the Cash in your Hands compared with the Draughts made upon you, will allow of it, We advise you to remit to Mr. Grand, on Account of the United States, the Amount of five Millions of Livres Tournois, and We doubt not that Congress and their Minister of Finances will approve of it, although We have not in Strictness Authority to give orders for it.

[salute] We have &c.

[addrLine] Messrs. Wilhem and Jan Willink Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst and Dela Lande and Fynje, Bankers of the United States of America, at Amsterdam.

This Morning I also drew the following to be laid before the Gentlemen this Evening.
{ 126 }
Agreed upon by and between David Hartley Esq., Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty for [line and a half left blank in MS] in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one part and J.A. B.F. J.J. and H.L. Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, for treating of Peace with the Minister Plenipotentiary of his said Majesty, on their behalf on the other Part
In Addition
to those agreed upon, on the 30th day of November 1782, by and between Richard Oswald Esq., the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty for treating of Peace, with the Commissioners of the United States of America, in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one Part, and the said J.A. B.F. J.J. and H.L. Commissioners of the said States for treating of Peace, with the Commissioner of his said Majesty, on their Behalf, on the other Part.
Whereas it is expedient, that an Intercourse and Commerce should be opened, between the People and Territories subject to the Crown of Great Britain, and those of the United States of America, and that this Intercourse and Commerce, should be established, on the most enlarged Principles of reciprocal Benefit to both Countries
1. It is agreed that Ministers shall be forthwith nominated and vested with full Powers to treat, agree and conclude upon a permanent Treaty of Commerce, between the two Powers and their respective Citizens, Subjects and Countries.
2. For the Purpose of a temporary Regulation of such Intercourse and Commerce it is agreed, that the Citizens of the United States shall import into and export from, any part of the Dominions subject to the Crown of Great Britain, in American Ships, any Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, which have been so imported or exported, by the Inhabitants of the British American Colonies before the Commencement of the late War, paying only the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods or Merchandises, are now, or may be subject to, if imported by British Subjects in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America: And that the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty, shall import to and export from any Part of the Territories of the United States of America, in British Ships, any Goods, Wares and Merchandize, which might have been so imported or exported, by the Subjects of his Britannick Majesty, before the Commencement of the War, paying the same Duties and Charges, as the like Sort of Goods, Wares and Merchandizes, are now or may be sub• { 127 } ject to, if imported in American Ships, by any of the Citizens of the said United States.
This Agreement to continue in force for all Vessells which shall sail from any Port of either Party, on or before the day of and no longer.
Provided Always that nothing in this Agreement shall at any time hereafter be argued on either Side, in support of any Proposition which may be made, in the future negotiation of a permanent Treaty of Commerce.
It was observed last Evening that all the Laws of Great Britain, for the Regulation of the Plantation Trade, were contrived solely for the Benefit of Great Britain.
These Laws therefore ought not now to be the Regulation, which ought now to be for the reciprocal Benefit of both. The new System of Commerce, the permanent Treaty ought to be framed for the Benefit of the United States, as much as for that of G. Britain. Will not this temporary Revival of the old partial System, encour[a]ge British Merchants and Statesmen to aim at the perpetuation of it in the Treaty? Will not our making such a Convention, be a temptation to the British Court to postpone the definitive Treaty? perhaps to be indifferent about ever signing a definitive Treaty.
By this Project of Mr. Hartleys, American Manufactures are excluded from the British Dominions, but British Manufactures are not excluded from the United States. Americans are excluded from carrying the Productions of other Countries to the British Dominions: But Britains are not excluded, from carrying the Productions of other Countries to America.—Two Instances of Partiality, and Inequality, which may be Seeds of discord. Mens Minds cannot be contented, under Partiality, among Equals. They think it as it is Injustice. It is humiliating. It is thought disgracefull.
The Dutch will allow Americans to bring their Manufactures, and those of other Countries to Amsterdam, and this Attraction will draw our ships to that Market. We may carry hatts, Sperma Coeti Candles, &c. from America, Wines from Portugal, Spain or France to Holland, Sugars &c. from the W. India Islands, to Holland &c.
If other Nations allow Americans, to carry any Thing to them which Britain forbids, this will allure them to foreign Ports, and drive them from those of Britain.
At 10 this morning Mr. Hartley called upon me. Said he had received our Note of last night, and had reflected upon our Question, { 128 } reviewed his Instructions and called upon the Duke of Manchester to consult with him, and upon the whole he thought he must wait the Return of a Courier which he should send off tomorrow.
I told him that his Court must be sensible, if the Trade was renewed upon the old System, it must be upon that System entire, and even then it would be a Reciprocity all on one Side, all in favour of Great Britain. That if they thought of excluding Us from the West India Trade, they must think, it would obstruct our Agreement, and I was afraid if he mentioned it, and thus put it into the Heads of the Council, they would embarrass him with some wrong orders about it. He said he should support what was right as We wished it in his Dispatches, and so would the Duke of Manchester, but they thought it most prudent to send to London for orders.
He then said he had heard a Story, in which the Marquis de la Fayette was named, that the French Court had applied to the American Ministers to know if they would come into the definitive Treaty, under the Mediation of the two Imperial Courts. That We answered that such a Thing might be very well, but We could not help observing, that those Courts had not acknowledged our Independence as yet. The Reply was that accepting the Mediation would be acknowledging our Independance.—Whence came this Story? Secrets will always be thus kept, while Negotiations are carried on by such circuitous Messages.2
At Eleven returned Visits to Mr. Fitch and Mr. Boylstone, and then to the Baron de Waltersdorf, Chamberlain of the King of Denmark, who remarked to me, that he was surprized that his Court had never been informed, that Mr. Dana had Powers to treat with Denmark. I told him that Mr. Dana had been advised against communicating it. But that his Court might send a Full Power to their Minister at Petersbourg, to treat and conclude with any Minister of the United States vested with equal Powers. And the Conferences might begin as soon as they please. He said that he hoped the Dutch would not regain all their Trade but that the Northern Nations would retain some of it. That he thought St. Eustatia would be of no Value in future, as the King had made St. Thomas's a free Port. That Vessells might lie in Safety at St. Thomas's in the hurricane Months but not at St. Eustatia. He said that some Danish Vessells had gone to America loaded with Linnens, Duck, Sail Cloth, &c.

The following is a Copy of the order in Council of 14 May 1783, delivered to Us last night by Mr. Hartley.
{ 129 }
At the Court Of St. James 14 May 1783
The Kings Most Excellent Majesty In Council.
Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed this Session, intituled, “an Act for preventing certain Instruments from being required, from Ships belonging to the United States of America, and to give to his Majesty for a limited Time certain Powers for the better carrying on Trade and Commerce between the Subjects of his Majestys Dominions and the Inhabitants of the said States,” it is among other Things enacted that during the Continuance of the said Act, it shall and may be lawful for his Majesty, in Council, by order or orders to be issued and published, from Time to Time, to give such Directions, and to make such Regulations, with Respect to Duties, Drawbacks or otherwise for carrying on the Trade and Commerce between the People and Territories belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, and the People and Territories of the said United States, as to his Majesty in Council shall appear most expedient and salutary, any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding:
His Majesty doth therefore, by and with the Advice of his Privy Council, hereby order, and direct, that any Oil, or any unmanufactured Goods or Merchandizes, being the Growth or Production of any of the Territories of the said United States of America, may untill further order, be imported directly from thence into any of the Ports of this Kingdom, either in British or American Ships, by British Subjects, or by any of the People inhabiting in and belonging to the said United States, or any of them, and such Goods or Merchandizes shall and may be entered and landed in any Port in this Kingdom, upon Payment of the same Duties as the like Sort of Goods, are, or may be subject and liable to, if imported by British Subjects, in British Ships, from any British Island or Plantation in America and no other, notwithstanding such Goods or Merchandizes, or the Ships in which the same may be brought, may not be accompanied with the Certificates or Documents heretofore required by Law. And it is hereby further ordered and directed that there shall be the same Drawbacks, Exemptions and Bounties on Merchandizes and Goods exported from Great Britain into the Territories of the said United States of America, or any of them, as are allowed upon the Exportation of the like Goods or Merchandizes, to any of the Islands, Plantations or Colonies, belonging to the Crown of Great Britain in America; and it is hereby farther ordered and directed, that all American Ships and Vessells which { 130 } shall have voluntarily come into any Port of Great Britain since the 20th. of January 1783, shall be admitted to an Entry and after such Entry made, shall be entitled together with the Goods and Merchandizes on board the same Ships and Vessells, to the full Benefit of this order. And the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majestys Treasury and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, are to give the necessary Directions herein, as to them may respectively appertain. Signed Wm. Fawkener.3
Copy of Mr. Hartleys Full Power, exchanged with that of the American Ministers 19 May 1783.
George R.
George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenbourgh, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire &c. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.
Whereas for the perfecting and establishing the Peace, Friendship, and good Understanding, so happily commenced by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris the thirtieth Day of November last by the Commissioners of Us and our good Friends, the United States of America, vizt., New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the Three lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, in North America, and for opening, promoting and rendering perpetual, the mutual Intercourse of Trade, and Commerce, between our Kingdoms and the Dominions of the said United States, We have thought proper to invest some fit Person with full Powers, on our Part, to meet and confer, with the Ministers of the said United States now residing at Paris, duly authorized for the accomplishing of such laudable and salutary Purposes. Now know Ye, that We, reposing special Trust and Confidence, in the Wisdom, Loyalty, Diligence and Circumspection of our Trusty and Welbeloved, David Hartley Esquire (on whom We have therefore conferred the Rank of our Minister Plenipotentiary), have nominated, constituted and appointed, and by these Presents do nominate, constitute and appoint our true, certain and undoubted Commissioner, Procurator and Plenipotentiary; giving and granting to him all and all manner of Faculty, Power and Authority, together with General as well as Special order (so as the General do not derogate from the Special, nor the Contrary) for Us and in our Name, to meet, confer, treat and conclude, with the Minister or Ministers furnished with sufficient Powers, on the Part { 131 } of our said Good Friends, the United States of America, of and concerning all such Matters and Things as may be requisite and necessary for accomplishing and compleating the several Ends and Purposes, herein before mentioned, and also for Us and in our Name to sign such Treaty or Treaties, Convention or Conventions, or other Instruments whatsoever as may be agreed upon in the Premisses, and mutually to deliver and receive the same in Exchange, and to do and perform all such other Acts, matters and Things as may be any Ways proper and conducive to the Purposes abovementioned, in as full and ample Form and manner, and with the like Validity and Effect as We Ourself, if We were present, could do and perform the same: Engaging and promising our Royal Word, that We will accept, ratify and confirm in the most effectual manner, all such Acts, matter and Things, as shall be so transacted and concluded by our aforesaid Commissioner, Procurator and Plenipotentiary, and that We will never suffer any Person to violate the same, in the whole or in Part, or to act contrary hereto.
In Testimony and Confirmation of all which, We have caused our Great Seal of Great Britain to be affixed to these Presents signed with our Royal Hand. Given at our Palace at St. James's, the fourteenth Day of May in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty three and in the Twenty third Year of our Reign.
I David Hartley the Minister above named certify the foregoing to be a true Copy, from my original Commission; delivered to the American Ministers this 19 Day of May 1783. Signed D. Hartley.
Mr. Hartleys Observations and Propositions left with the American Ministers the 21. May 1783.4
A Proposition having been offered by the American Ministers for the Consideration of his Britannick Majestys Ministers, and of the British Nation, for an entire and reciprocal Freedom of Intercourse and Commerce between Great Britain and the American United States, in the following Words, viz.
“That all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places belonging to the United States or any of them, shall be open and free to the Merchants and other Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and their trading Vessells, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of the State in which they may be, and be liable to no other Charges or Duties.—And reciprocally, that all Rivers, Harbours, Lakes, Ports and Places under the Dominion of his { 132 } Britannic Majesty, shall be open and free to the Merchants and trading Vessells of the said United States, and of each and every of them, who shall be received, treated and protected, like the Merchants and trading Vessells of Great Britain, and be liable to no other Charges and Duties, saving always to the Chartered Trading Companies of Great Britain, such exclusive Use and Trade of their respective Ports and Establishments, as neither the other Subjects of Great Britain, or any the most Favoured Nation participate in.”
It is to be observed that this Proposition implies a more ample Participation of British Commerce than the American States possessed, even under their former Connection of dependence upon Great Britain, so as to amount to an entire Abolition of the British Act of Navigation, in respect of the thirteen United States of America; and although Proceeding on their Part, from the most conciliatory and liberal Principles of Amity and Reciprocity, nevertheless, it comes from them as newly established States and who in Consequence of their former Condition of Dependence, have never yet had any established System of national Commercial Laws, or of commercial Connections by Treaties with other nations, free and unembarrassed of many weighty Considerations which require the most scrupulous Attention and Investigation on the Part of Great Britain, whose antient System of national and commercial Policy, is thus suddenly called upon to take a new Principle for its Foundation, and whose Commercial Engagements with other ancient States may be most materially affected thereby. For the Purpose therefore of giving sufficient Time, for the Consideration and discussion of so important a Proposition, respecting the present established System of the commercial Policy and Laws of Great Britain, and their subsisting commercial Engagements with foreign Powers, it is proposed that a temporary Intercourse of Commerce shall be established between Great Britain and the American States, previously to the Conclusion of any final and perpetual Compact. In this intervening Period, as the strict Line and Measure of Reciprocity from various Circumstances, cannot be absolutely and compleatly adhered to, it may be agreed, that the Commerce between the two Countries shall revive, as nearly as can be, upon the same Footing and Terms as formerly subsisted, between them; provided always that no Concession on either Side, in the proposed temporary Convention, shall be argued hereafter, in support of any future Demand or Claim. In the mean time, the Proposition above stated may be transmitted to London, requesting with his Majestys Consent that it may be laid before Parliament for their Consideration.
{ 133 }
It is proposed therefore, that the unmanufactured Produce of the United States should be admitted into Great Britain, without any other Duties, those imposed during the War excepted, than those to which they were formerly liable. And it is expected in return that the Produce and Manufactures of Great Britain, should be admitted into the United States in like manner. If there should appear any Want of Reciprocity in this Proposal, upon the Grounds of asking Admission for British Manufactures into America, while no such Indulgence is given to American Manufactures in Great Britain; the Answer is obvious, that the Admission of British Manufactures into America, is an Object of Great Importance, and equally productive of Advantages to both Countries; while on the other hand, the Introduction of American Manufactures into Great Britain, can be of no Service to either, and may be productive of innumerable Frauds, by enabling Persons so disposed, to pass foreign European Goods, either prohibited or liable to great Duties, by the British Laws, for American Manufactures.
With regard to the West Indies, there is no Objection to the most free Intercourse between them and the United States. The only Restriction proposed to be laid upon that Intercourse is prohibiting American Ships carrying to those Colonies any other Merchandize than the Produce of their own Country. The same Observation may be made upon this Restriction as upon the former. It is not meant to affect the Interest of the United States, but it is highly necessary, least foreign Ships should make Use of the American Flagg to carry on a Trade with the British West Indian Islands.
It is also proposed upon the same Principle to restrain the Ships that may trade to Great Britain from America, from bringing foreign Merchandize into Great Britain. The Necessity of this Restriction is likewise evident, unless Great Britain meant to give up her whole Navigation Act. There is no Necessity of any similar Restrictions, on the Part of the American States; those States not having as yet, any Acts of Navigation.
1. Ferdinand Grand's letter to the Commissioners, 10 May, to which the foregoing is a reply, is printed in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:420–421.
2. See Lafayette to the Commissioners, 12 May (same, p. 424).
3. After quoting this document in his “second autobiography,” JA added the following comment:
“Quincy. Dec. 15, 1811.—This Order in Council is the first link in that great chain of Orders in Council, which has been since stretched and extended, till it has shackled the commerce of the whole globe; that of Great Britain herself, as much as any other. Poor unfortunate commerce! Universal commerce! The commerce of the world! Thou art become, like the author of all our calamities, an object of commiseration to every humane and feeling mind! Bound with strong cords and bandages, by the head and shoulders, arms and hands, thighs, legs, and feet, like the { 134 } unhappy patient in Dr. Rush's tranquilizing chair.
”I have before observed that this moment in English and American history, appeared to me of great importance. That coalition administration, which afterwards subverted the British constitution by the India bill, in one point now subverted it in another by making the thing [i.e. king] absolute in all commercial matters. The law of nature and nations was a part, of the common law of England, and a part an essential part of the constitutional law of the British empire. The maratime and naval law of nations was also a part of the constitutional law of England. Parliament itself had no more authority over it than the king, and the king no more than Zingis Can, or the king of Otaheite. Yet this combination of nobles of all parties undertook by an act of parliament, to divest themselves and the nation of all authority in matters of commerce and navigation, and to make the thing [king] absolute over commerce and the seas, that he might have the power to deprive America of the rights he had so recently acknowledged by the preliminary and provisional treaty. I mean the rights of an independent maratime power” (Boston Patriot, 4 Jan. 1812).
4. In answer to the proposal for complete commercial reciprocity, the first of the three American projets of 29 April, q.v. in the entry of that date, above. This memorial by Hartley is dated 19 May in the Hartley Papers (MiU-C).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-23

1783 May 23. Fryday.1

Last Evening, the American Ministers and Secretary met, again at my House, and signed the Letters to Mr. Grand and to the Bankers at Amsterdam.
Mr. Laurens gave it as his Opinion that the Ballance of Trade, for the future between Great Britain and America would be in favour of the latter. I asked him what in that Case would become of the former? He replied She must be humble....2 She has hitherto avoided trading with any Nation when the Ballance was against her. This is the Reason why She would not trade with France.
This Morning Mr. Laurens called upon me to introduce to me a West India Gentleman from Jamaica, a Mr. []3
Mr. Laurens says the English are convinced that the Method of coppering Ships is hurtfull. The Copper corrodes all the Iron, all the Bolts, Spikes and Nails, which it touches. The Vessell falls to Pieces all at once. They attribute the late Losses of so many Ships to this. That Mr. Oswald made an experiment 20 Years ago, which convinced him that Copper was fatal. He lost a Ship by it.
Mr. Laurens, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Jarret and Mr. Fitch, two West India Gentlemen said to be very rich, dined with me. Mr. Fitch is a Native of Boston, holds an office of Receiver General, I think in Jamaica. Ward Nicholas Boylston was to have dined with me but was taken sick.
Mr. J. told me that the C. de Vergennes turned to him and Mr. Franklin and asked “Ou est Mr. Adams?” Franklin answered “Il est a Paris.”—Then turning to Jay he said Ce Monsieur a Beaucoup de { 135 } L'Esprit, et beaucoup de Tête aussi.—Jay answered, Ouy Monsieur, Monsieur Adams a beaucoup D'Esprit.4
1. First entry in D/JA/41, which is identical in format with the Diary booklets that precede it.
2. Suspension points in MS.
3. Probably the “Mr. Jarret” mentioned below in this entry.
Note—The word tête was an equivoke. It might mean, resolution, or judgment, or obstinacy. This was the first and the last trait which escaped the comte of any pique against me, on account of our former disputes. From my arrival from Holland, in October 1782, to my final departure from France to England in the month of May 1785, I lived on terms of entire civility with the comte de Vergennes, as if no asperity had ever passed between us on either side” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-25

1783 Sunday May 25.

Mr. Hartley came in, and shew me a Letter concerning his Beloved Sister whose Case is very dangerous and keeps him in deep Affliction. She is his Housekeeper and Friend. She examines his Writings, and proposes Corrections. She has transcribed his Papers, his American Letters &c. She has laboured much for America, &c.
I made a Transition, and asked what News from England? He said none. I told him I had heard that it was expected by some, that Shelburne would come in. He said No.—I asked him why cant you coalesse with Shelburne as well as North? He said Shelburne is an Irishman, and has all the Impudence of his Nation. He is a Parlaverer beyond all description. He parlavers every Body, and has no Sincerity.1
Mr. Barclay dined with me, after having been out to see Dr. Franklin. The Doctor he says is greatly disappointed in not having received Letters from Congress, containing his Dismission. He wants to get out of this, and to be at home with his Family. He dont expect to live long.
“Note, in 1812.—I said nothing to Mr. Hartley, but I had not known and I have never known any proofs of insincerity in Shelburne, more than in Fox and Burke. He was certainly a better friend to America than either of them. I could see nothing in all these attractions and repulsions, these dissolutions and coalitions, these conjunctions and oppositions in London, but national prejudices and family feuds between England, Scotland and Ireland” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-05-26

Monday May 26.

I hope for News to day, from the Hague.1
1. Probably concerning the sailing date of P. J. van Berckel, who had been appointed minister from the Dutch Republic to the United States. JA had for some time entertained the hope that the negotiation in Paris would be completed in time for him to accompany Van Berckel. In a letter of 23 May Dumas informed JA that the Dutch minister would sail about 15 June, and also that { 136 } he (Dumas) had received Congress' instrument ratifying the Dutch treaty (Adams Papers). On 29 May JA answered that he could not leave Paris and ordered Dumas to exchange ratifications with the Dutch government (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-01

1783 June 1. Sunday.

The Loadstone is in Possession of the most remarkable, wonderfull and misterious Property in Nature. This Substance is in the Secret of the whole Globe. It must have a Sympathy with the whole Globe. It is governed by a Law and influenced by some active Principle that pervades and operates from Pole to pole, and from the Surface to the Center and the Antipodes. It is found in all Parts of the Earth. Break the Stone to Pieces, and each Morcel retains two Poles, a north and a south Pole, and does not loose its Virtue. The Magnetic Effluvia are too subtle, to be seen by a Microscope, yet they have great Activity and Strength. Iron has a Sympathy with Magnatism and Electricity, which should be examined by every Experiment, which Ingenuity can devise.
Has it been tryed whether the Magnet looses any of its Force in Vacuo? in a Bottle charged with Electrical Fire? &c. This Metal called Iron may one day reveal the Secrets of Nature. The primary Springs of Nature may be too subtle for all our Senses and Faculties. I should think however that no Subject deserved more the Attention of Philosophers or was more proper for Experiments than the Sympathy between Iron and the magnetical and Electrical Fluid.
It would be worth while to grind the Magnet to Powder and see if the Dust still retained the Virtue. Steep the Stone or the Dust in Wine, Spirits, Oyl and other fluids to see if the Virtue is affected, increased or diminished.
Is there no Chimical Proscess, that can be formed upon the Stone or the Dust to discover, what it is that the magnetic Virtue resides in.
Whether boiling or burning the Stone destroys or diminishes the Virtue.
See whether Earth, Air, Water or Fire any wise applied affects it, and how.1
Mr. Laurens came in, in the Morning and We had a long Conversation upon his proposed Journey to England to borrow some Money. I explained to him the Manner and Conditions of my Loan in Holland.
Dined at the Spanish Ambassadors with the Corps Diplomatick. Mr. Markoff was there, and was very civil.
D'Aranda lives now in the End of the New Buildings which compose the Façade de la Place de Louis 15. From the Windows at the End you look into the grand Chemin, the Champs eliseés, and the { 137 } Road to Versailles. From the Windows and Gallery in the Front you see the Place de Louis 15, the Gardens of the Tuilleries, the River and the fine Rowe of Houses beyond it, particularly the Palais du Bourbon and the Dome of the Invalids. It is the finest Situation in Paris.
Mr. Fitzherbert told me, I might depend upon it the present Ministry would continue, at least untill the next Meeting of Parliament. He says there is little to be got in the Company of the Corps Diplomatick. They play deep, but there is no Conversation.
He says he is acquainted with half a Dozen of the Women of the Town, who live in houses which with their Furniture could not have cost less than twenty five Thousand Pounds. They live in a style he says which cannot be supported for less than two Thousand a Year. These are kept by grave People, Men of the Robe, &c. He says there is nothing like this in London. That the Corruption of manners, is much greater here, than there.2
Mr. De Stutterheim the Minister from Saxony came to me and said, he had received orders from his Court to propose a Treaty of Commerce with the United States. He said he had spoken to Mr. Franklin about it. I asked him if Mr. Franklin had written to Congress upon it. He said he did not know. I told him that I thought Mr. Dana at Petersbourg had Power to treat tho not to conclude. He said he would call upon me, some Morning at My House, to consult about it.
Herreria dined there and the Duke of Berwick.
Note—If anyone should ask how it happened that I should amuse myself with subjects and questions so entirely out of my sphere, my answer is, that Mr. Hartley's communications had convinced us that the coalition had determined to do nothing by treaty, but determined all things ex parte, by their orders in Council. I was therefore idle as well as ignorant” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 25 Jan. 1812).
2. This paragraph was omitted by CFA in editing JA's Diary.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-08

1783 June [8].

Went to Versailles on the Day of Pentecôte.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-17

June 17. Tuesday.1

Went to Versailles, had a Conference with the C[omte] de V[ergennes].—Made my Court with the Corps Diplomatick, to the King, Queen, Monsieur, Madame, the C. D'Artois, Madame Elizabeth, Madames Victoire and Adelaide.2 Dined with the Ambassadors. Had much Conversation with the Ambassadors of Spain, Sardinia, Mr. Markoff, from Russia, the Dutch Ambassadors, &c.—It was to me, notwithstanding the Cold and Rain, the Equinoxial Storm at the Time { 138 } of the Solstice, when all the Rooms had Fires like Winter, the most agreable Day I ever saw at Versailles. I had much Conversation too with the Duke of Manchester and Mr. Hartley, Dr. Franklin and his Son, Mr. Waltersdorf &c. Mr. Maddison and Mr. Shirley &c.
The C. de. V. observed, that Mr. Fox was startled at every Clamour of a few Merchants. I answered C'est exactement vrai—and it is so. The C. recommended to Us to discuss and compleat the definitive Treaty, and Leave Commerce to a future Negotiation.—Shall We gain by Delay? I ask myself. Will not French Politicks be employed, to stimulate the English to refuse Us, in future, Things that they would agree to now? The C. observed, that to insist on sending British Manufactures to America, and to refuse to admit American Manufactures in England was the Convention Leonine.3
The Duke of Manchester told me, that the Dutch had offered them Sumatra and Surinam, for Negapatnam. But We know says the Duke that both those Settlements are a charge, a Loss.
Brantzen told me he had not desplayed his Character of Ambassador, because, it would be concluded from it, that he was upon the Point of concluding the Peace.
The C. D'Aranda told me he would come and see me. He said Tout, en ce monde, a été Revolution.—I said true—universal History was but a Series of Revolutions.4 Nature delighted in Changes, and the World was but a String of them. But one Revolution was quite enough for the Life of a Man. I hoped, never to have to do with another.— Upon this he laughed very hartily, and said he believed me.
The Sardinian Ambassador said to me, it was curious to remark the Progress of Commerce. The Furs which the Hudsons Bay Company sent to London from the most northern Regions of America, were sent to Siberia, within 150 Leagues of the Place where they were hunted. He began to speak of La Fonte's Voyage and of the Boston Story of Seymour or Seinior Gibbons, but other Company came in, and interrupted the Conversation.
1. JA does not mention in his Diary that on 14 June Hartley addressed a long letter, enclosing an equally long memorial (of 1 June), to the Commissioners, the burden of which was that the British navigation acts were not likely to be suddenly altered in favor of the United States, and that the working out of mutually agreeable trade regulations would take considerable time (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:465–469, 483–487). From London Henry Laurens wrote his fellow Commissioners on 17 June that Secretary Fox had told him: “The navigation act is the vital of Great Britain, too delicate to bear a touch” (same, p. 493).
2. “Monsieur” was the Comte de Provence, afterward Louis XVIII; “Madame” was the Comtesse de Provence. The Comte d'Artois, another brother of the King, was afterward Charles X. Madame Elisabéth was the King's sister, and Mesdames Victoire and Adélaïde his { 139 } aunts. Madame Campan (née Genet), daughter of Edmé Jacques Genet, JA's friend in the French foreign office, gives intimate views of all these royal personages in her Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette ..., Paris, 1823; 3 vols. Further reflections on court life inspired by this visit to Versailles were recorded in a letter from JA to AA, 19 June. (Adams Papers; JA, Letters, ed. CFA, 2:96–99).
3. A term in Roman law: “a contract in which the advantage is, in the judgement of the Court, manifestly and unfairly one-sided” (OED).
4. Dash supplied in this sentence.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-18

Wednesday. June 18.

Visited the Duke de la Vauguion, and had a long Conversation with him. He was glad to hear I had been plusieurs fois a Versailles dernierement. The Duke said he had conversed with the C. de V. and had told him, he thought it would be for the Good of the common Cause, if there were more Communication between him and me. I told him that I had expressed to the C. a desire to be informed of the Intentions of the King concerning the Communication between the U.S. and his Islands, and that the C. had answered, that if I would give him a Note, he would consult with the Marquis de Castries and give me an Answer. He added smiling, you will leave to Us, the Regulation of that, and let Us take a little Care of our Marine, and our Nurseries of Seamen, because We cannot go to your Assistance (Secours) without a Marine.
The Duke said it would be very difficult to regulate this Matter. They could not let Us bring their Sugars to Europe, neither to France nor any other Part. This would lessen the Number of French Ships and Seamen. But he thought We should be allowed to purchase Sugars for our own Consumption. (How they will estimate the quantity, and prevent our exceeding it, I know not.) He said there were Provinces in France, as Guienne and Provence, which depended much upon supplying their Islands with Provisions, as Wheat and Flour &c. I asked him if We should be allowed to import into their Islands, Wheat, Flour, Horses, Live Stock, Lumber of all Sorts, Salt Fish &c. He said it would be bien difficile for Wheat and Flour &c.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-19

1783. June 19. Thursday. Fete Dieu.

The Processions were less brillant than ordinary on Account of the Storm.
Went with Mr. Hartley in his Carriage to Passy where he made his Propositions for the Definitive Treaty.1 We had a long Conversation about De Fonte's Voyage from Peru to Hudsons Bay.2 He says he found an Inlet and a River which he entered, and navigated untill he { 140 } came to a Lake in which he left his Ship and followed the Course of a River, which descended, with Falls in it, or rather Rapides, in his Boats untill he came to Hudsons Bay where he found Seimor Gibbons or Sennor Gibbons, Major General Edward Gibbons of Boston as Dr. Franklin supposes. Dr. Franklin had once a Correspondence with Mr. Prince upon this Voyage, and perhaps Mr. Gill in the Journal of Mr. Prince, has some Information about it. The Trade to Hudsons Bay was carried on, by Boston People from its first discovery, untill after the Restoration of Charles the 2d., from whom the Hudsons Bay Company obtained their Charter, and there are several Families in New England descended from Persons who used that Trade, vizt. The Aldens.3 De Fonte's Voyage was printed in English in a Collection called Miscellanea Curiosa in 1708 and has been lately printed in French in a large Collection of Voyages in 20 Volumes. Dr. Franklin once gave to Lord Bute his Reasons in Writing for believing this a genuine Voyage. De Fonte was either a Spaniard or Portuguese. Enquiry has been made at Madrid, but no Traces could be discovered there of De Fonte or his Voyage.
Cook in one of his Voyages, anchored in the Latitude of Philadelphia 40, on the West Side of the Continent of America and ascertained the Longitude, from whence Dr. F. computes the Distance from Philadelphia to the South Sea to be 2000 Miles. Cook saw several Inlets and he entered that between America and Asia, Kamskatska, where the Passage is not wider than that between Calais and Dover.
The Seperation of America from Asia is between the 60th. and 70th. degree of North Latitude, precisely at the Arctick polar Circle. It is called in the French Maps Detroit du Nord. The northern Streight or Streight of the North. It is near the Archipel du Nord or northern Archipelago. The Point of Land in Asia is under the Dominion of Russia, and is called Russian Tartary. The Streight forms the Communication between the Eastern and the frozen Oceans, the Mer Orientale and the Mer Glaciale. There is a Number of Islands in the Archipelago, and one in the Streight itself called on the Map, Alaschka Island. There is a Sea and a Promontory called Kamskatska situated on the Eastern Ocean within 10 or 12 degrees of the Streight. The 3 Tartarys, Independent Tartary, Chinese Tartary and Russian Tartary form a vast Country, extending from Persia, Indostan and China, to the Point of Asia at the Streights of the North, which divide Asia from America.
What should hinder the Empress of Russia, from establishing a trading City on the Sea of Kamskatska, and opening a Commerce with { 141 } Pekin, Nankin and Canton, the Cities of China? It is so near the Islands of Japan, the Phillippines, the Moluccas, that a great Scaene may one day be opened here.
Lima the Capital of Peru is in 10 degrees of S. Lat. So that De Fonte must have sailed by the Istmus of Panama, Mexico, California, New Mexico, C[ape] Mendocin, Canal du Roi George, and entered the River at the Mouth of which is the Isle San Carlos. About half Way between the South Sea and Hudsons Bay is a great Lake. Here it is to search for a North West Passage to the East Indies.
Baffins Bay, Baffins Streight, Davis's Streight, Hudsons Bay, Hudsons Streight, are all one great Inlet of Water, the Entrance of which is a Streight formed by Greenland on one Side and Labradore, on the other.
1. These are presumably “Mr. Hartley's Six Propositions—June 1783,” found, together with the Commissioners' “Answers” (of 29 June), in Lb/JA/15 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 103). Both the propositions and the answers are printed under the arbitrary date 1 June 1783 in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:469–470.
2. See entry of 24 Feb., above, and note there.
3. The three preceding words were added by JA in the margin of the MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-06-23

The Hague July 23 1783.1

I satt off in October for Paris where I arrived on the 26th of Oct. 1782, where the Peace has been made, and I returned here last Night.
1. This memorandum appears in a letterbook entitled by JA “Holland Vol. 3” (Lb/JA/18, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 106).
Before the end of June JA was convinced that there was no hope of obtaining any commercial concessions from Great Britain, and an order in council of 2 July that excluded American vessels from British West Indies ports confirmed his conviction (text of order in JA's letter to Livingston, 14 July, LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:540–542). Since this action came as a complete surprise to Hartley and undermined all his proposals for liberalizing trade relations between the two countries, JA surmised that “Mr. Hartley ... is probably kept here if he was not sent at first merely to amuse Us, and to keep him out of the Way of Embarrassing the Coalition” (to Livingston, 18 July, LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 560). Bored with the listless and fruitless negotiation in Paris and believing that the Dutch would be quick to take advantage of British restrictions on American trade, JA decided, as he told Livingston in the same letter, to pay a visit to the Netherlands in order “to assist the Loan and to turn the Speculations of the Dutch Merchants, Capitalists and Statesmen, towards America.” He also hoped to mend his own health by travel and a change of scene, and he planned to bring JQA back with him to Paris.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-09-07

Paris Septr. 7. 1783.1

This Morning, I went out to Passy, and Dr. Franklin put into my hand the following Resolution of Congress, which he received last night, vizt., { 142 }
By the United States in Congress assembled, May 1. 1783. on the Report of a Committee, to whom was referred a Letter of Feb. 5 from the Honble. J. Adams.
Ordered that a Commission be prepared to Mess[rs]. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, authorizing them, or either of them in the Absence of the others, to enter into a Treaty of Commerce, between the United States of America, and Great Britain, subject to the Revisal of the contracting Parties, previous to its final Conclusion, and in the meantime, to enter into a Commercial Convention, to continue in Force, one Year.
That the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, lay before Congress, without Delay, a Plan of a Treaty of Commerce and Instructions, relative to the same, to be transmitted to the said Commissioners. Signed Cha's. Thomson Secy.2
1. This memorandum appears in Lb/JA/20, (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 108).
JA spent a busy fortnight in the Netherlands conversing with his Patriot friends at The Hague and with bankers and merchants in Amsterdam, paying his respects to the Stadholder, and writing lengthy letters to Livingston on the sugar trade, on American commercial opportunities generally, and on European politics. With JQA he left The Hague on 6 Aug. and was back at the Hôtel du Roi on the 9th (JA to Livingston, 10 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:641; see also JQA, Diary, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Aug. 1783).
He found that no appreciable progress had been made in the negotiation at Paris, and on the very day of his return the real explanation of the British ministry's tactics was set down in a letter from London by Henry Laurens to his fellow commissioners. Laurens had seen Secretary Fox, who conceded that the Preliminary Articles left much to be desired but was unwilling to negotiate new terms “under the eye of, or in concert with, the court of France”; it would be much better to start over again by the appointment of an American minister to London, a measure that Fox said would be very acceptable to the British government (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:637–640). It was therefore agreed in Paris that the Preliminary Articles would be ratified without change except for a preamble declaring them to be the Definitive Treaty (JA to Livingston, 13 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 645). On 3 Sept. this was done, at Hartley's lodgings in the Hotel d'York (now 56 Rue Jacob in the 6th Arrondissement, a building occupied by the publishing firm of Firmin Didot). In the Adams Papers are copies of the exchange of full powers and a text of the Definitive Treaty as signed and sealed. For a printed text (from one of the two originals in the State Department Treaty File), see Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:151–157, with notes on the transmittal and ratification of the Definitive Treaty. John Thaxter brought one of the originals to Congress; see entry of 14 Sept., below. The Commissioners' final report on the five-month negotiation was dated 10 Sept. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:687–691); for some reason the original report sent to Congress is not in place among the Commissioners' dispatches in PCC, No. 85, though a long series of the proposals exchanged by Hartley and the American Commissioners, selected in a somewhat hit-or-miss fashion and not carefully dated, originally enclosed in that dispatch, is present in that volume.
2. JA's letter to the President of Congress, 5 Feb. 1783, was a protest over the unexplained revocation in July 1781 of JA's commission to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, together with a strong plea for the appointment { 143 } of an American minister to London in order to perform this and other tasks (LbC, Adams Papers; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 6:242–247). On 1 May a committee of Congress of which Alexander Hamilton was chairman brought in a report on JA's letter which led to the foregoing vote ( JCC, 24:320–321). For James Madison's sarcastic observations on JA's letter see his letter to Jefferson, 6 May (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:265). Secretary Livingston resigned early in June before carrying out Congress' order of 1 May; new instructions were not agreed upon until 29 Oct., and then in terms that omitted Great Britain (JCC, 25:753–757). No commissions were issued under this order, and the new arrangement of the United States foreign service was not settled until the following May; see note 1 on JA's Diary entry of 22 June 1784, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1783-09-14 - 1783-10-06

Paris Septr. 14[–6 October] 1783.1

Septr. 14. Mr. Thaxter took his Leave of me to return to America, with the definitive Treaty of Peace and the original Treaty with the States General.—I had been some days unwell, but soon fell down in a Fever. Sir James Jay, who was my Physician, gave me a vomit, &c. &c.
On the 22d of September, I removed from the grand Hotel du Roi, to Mr. Barclays at Auteuil, where I have continued to this Sixth day of October 1783.2
Mr. Thaxter sailed in the Packet, from L'Orient, or rather from the Island of Groa [Groix], on the 26 of Septr. with a good Wind.3
At first I rode twice a day in my Carriage, in the Bois de Boulogne: but afterwards I borrowed Mr. Jays Horse, and have generally ridden twice a day, untill I have made my self Master of this curious Forest.
The Pavillon of Bagatelle, built by Mgsr. Comte D'Artois. The Castle of Madrid. The Outlet of the Forest near Pont Neuilly, the Porte which opens into the Grand Chemin, the Castle of Muet [La Muette] at Passy. The Porte which opens to the great Road to Versailles. The other Porte which opens into a large Village, nearly opposite to St. Cleod [Cloud], are the most remarkable Objects in this Forest.4
1. First entry in D/JA/42, a booklet identical in format with those preceding.
2. See Howard C. Rice Jr., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785 ..., Boston, 1956. Since the publication of this admirably illustrated brochure on the Hotel de Rouault and its spacious garden pleasantly dotted with antique statuary, the garden has been filled with a complex of towering metal-and-glass office buildings, the headquarters of La Compagnie Française Pétrole.
3. He reached Philadelphia, where Pres. Mifflin then was, on 22 Nov. 1783 (Thaxter to JA, 19 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers).
4. In one of the last of his autobiographical communications to the Boston PatriotJA had more to say about his illness in Paris, his move to Auteuil, and his life there than appears in his Diary:
“Mr. Thaxter was gone, and I soon fell down in a fever, not much less violent than that I had suffered two years before at Amsterdam. Sir James Jay who had been sometime in Paris, and had often visited at my house, became { 144 } my physician, and I desired no better. The grand hotel du Roi, place du Carrousel, where I had apartments, was situated at the confluence of so many streets, that it was a kind of thoroughfare. A constant stream of carriages was rolling by it over the pavements for one and twenty hours out of the twenty-four. From two o'clock to five in the morning there was something like stillness and silence, but all the other one and twenty hours was a constant roar, like incessant rolls of thunder. When I was in my best health I sometimes thought it would kill me. But now reduced to extreme weakness and burning with a violent fever, sleep was impossible. In this forlorn condition, Mr. Thaxter, who had been to me a nurse, a physician and a comforter at Amsterdam, was now separated from me forever. . . . With none but French servants about me, of whom however I cannot complain, for their kindness, attention and tenderness surprised me, I was in a deplorable condition, hopeless of life, in that situation.
In this critical and desperate moment, my friends all despairing of my recovery in that thoroughfare, Mr. Barclay offered me apartments in his hotel at Auteul, and sir James Jay thought I might be removed and advised it. With much difficulty it was accomplished.
On the 22d of September I was removed, and the silence of Auteul exchanged for the roar of the carousal, the pure air of a country garden in place of the tainted atmosphere of Paris, procured me some sleep and with the skill of my physician gradually dissipated the fever, though it left me extremely emaciated and weak. . . .
Lost health is not easily recovered.— Neither medicine nor diet nor any thing would ever succeed with me, without exercise in open air: and although riding in a carriage, has been found of some use, and on horseback still more; yet none of these have been found effectual with me in the last resort, but walking.— Walking four or five miles a day, sometimes for years together, with a patience, resolution and perseverance, at the price of which, many persons would think, and I have been sometimes inclined to think, life itself was scarcely worth purchasing. Not all the skill and kind assiduity of my physician, nor all the scrupulous care of my regimen, nor all my exercise in carriage and on the saddle was found effectual for the restoration of my health. Still remaining feeble, emaciated, languid to a great degree, my physican and all my friends advised me to go to England, and to Bath, to drink the waters and to bath[e] in them. The English gentlemen politely invited me with apparent kindness to undertake the journey.
But before I set out I ought not to forget my Phisician. Gratitude demands that I should remember his benevolence. His attendance had been voluntarily assiduous, punctual, and uniformly kind and obliging; and his success had been equal to his skill in breaking the force of the distemper and giving me a chance of a complete recovery in time. I endeavored to put twenty guineas into his hand, but he positively refused to accept them. He said the pleasure of assisting a friend and countryman in distress in a foreign country, was reward enough for him, and he would have no other. I employed all the arguments and persuasions with him in my power at least to receive the purchase of his medicines. He said he had used no medicines but such as he had found in my house among my little stores, and peremptorily and finally refused to receive a farthing for any thing” (Boston Patriot, 29 April, 2 May 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-07

Auteuil October 7. 1783. Tuesday.

I am now lodged in Mr. Barclays House, which he hires of the Comte de [Rouault].
There is a large Garden, full of all Vegetables and Fruits as Grapes, Pears, Peaches. There is besides a large Flower Garden.
{ 145 }
From the Windows in my Chamber and more distinctly, from those of the Chambers, one Story higher, you have a View of the Village of Isis [Issy], of the Castle Royal of Muydon [Meudon], of the Pallace of Belle Vue, of the Castle of the Duke of Orleans at St. Cleod and of Mont Calvare. Upon the Bank of the River Seine, at the Foot of the Hill, on which stands the Palace of Belle Vue, is a Glass House, which smoakes night and Day. But in the Night, it blazes at every Window and exhibits a very gay appearance.
Opposite to St. Cleod, is the Village of Boulogne, from whence the Grove or Forest takes its Name. This Wood merits a particular Description.
From Mr. Barclays House, where I now am, I go to the Gate, by which you enter the Bois de Boulogne, from the Village of Auteuil. I turn to the left and follow the Path, which runs in sight of the Stone Wall of 12 feet high which bounds the Forrest, untill I come to a Gate which they call Porte Royal, out of which you go to Versailles. From this Gate I follow the Path which runs near the Boundary Stone Wall, untill I come to the Gate which opens into the Village of Boulogne. I pursue to this Path by the Wall untill I come to the Pavilion of Bagatelle, belonging to the Comte D'Artois. The Estate of the Comte is seperated from the Forest only by a Treillage or a kind of Picketted Wooden Fence. Having passed the Bagatelle you come to the Royal Castle of Madrid, passing this you go out of the Wood into the Grand Chemin, by the Gate called Porte Neuilly, near the new Bridge of that Name. But by following the Path in Sight of the Stone Wall which seperates the Forrest from the Grand Chemin, you come to the Gate, which is called Porte Maillot, at the Plain de Sablons. By following the Grand Road from this Gate, you come to the Royal Castle of Muet, at Passy, near which is the Gate by which you enter the Forest from Passy. By following the Path near the Stone Wall, which bounds the Wood, You come to the Gate, at Auteuil, by which We first entered the Forest.1
Near the Center of the Forest, is a Circle, of clear Ground, on which are no Trees or Shrubbs. From the Center of this Circle, proceed Avenues in all Directions. One goes to the Porte Royale, another to the Village of Boulogne, another to the Castle of Madrid, another to the Castle of Muet at Passy, and another to the Gate of Auteuil.
In riding over this Forrest, you see some neat Cattle, some Horses, a few Sheep, and a few Deers, Bucks, Does and Fawns, now and then a Hare and sometimes a few Patridges. But Game is not plenty in this Wood.
{ 146 }
In this Village of Auteuil, is the Seat of the famous Boileau. It is in the Rue des Garrennes. I have been twice to see it. The Gardener has not the Keys of the Appartements, so that I could not see the Inside of the House: But the Gardiner shew me the Stables, Coach House, and all the Outhouses, and the Garden, which is very large, containing perhaps five or six Acres. It is full of Flowers and of Roots and Vegetables of all Kinds, and of Fruits. Grapes of several sorts and of excellent Quality. Pears, Peaches &c. But every Thing suffers for want of Manure. There is an Acre or two of Ground, without the Garden Fence which belongs to the Estate, which affords Pasture for a Cow, but the Land is poor.
There is an Head of Boileau over the Door, behind the House, and the Heads of two Children, one on each Side of the Door, which are said to be the heads of two Children of his Gardiner, that he was fond of, and ordered to be placed there near him.
The Estate now belongs to Madame Binet, who advertises it for Sale, and it is said asks forty five Thousand Livres for it. She declines letting it, or I should have hired it.
The Principal People in this Village of Auteuil, are Madam Helvetius, who lives but a few Doors from this House, Madame Boufleurs, who lives opposite, &c.
1. JA's circuit may be traced quite readily on a detail of Jean Rocque's map of 1792, reproduced in Rice, The Adams Family in Auteuil, pl. 3.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-20

1783. October 20. Monday.

Set out with my Son and one Servant, Leveque, on a Journey to London. We went from Auteuil, thro the Bois de Boulogne, and went out at the Port de Maillot to St. Dennis, where We took Post Horses. We dined at Chantilly, and lodged at Night at St. Just.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-21

October 21. Tuesday.

Dined at Amiens, and put up, at night, at Abbeville. The Roads are the best I have ever seen in France. They are not paved, or if they are, the Pavement is covered, with Flynt Stones. They Pick up in the neighbouring Fields, a Species of small Flynt Stones, which they lay along in heaps on the Side of the Road, and with these they mend the high Ways from time to time. The Wheels of the Carriages crushes them to Dust, and they made admirable Roads.
There are no Vines, on this Road. The Country is all sown with Wheat. They are every where, cutting up by the Roots the Elms and other Forest Trees, which formerly <grew> were planted on the Sides of { 147 } the Roads and introducing Apple Trees in their stead. We found Tea Apparatus's generally in the publick houses, and the hand Irons, Tongs &c. and several other Things more in the English Style than you find in other Parts of France.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-22

1783. Octr. 22. Wednesday.

Went to Calais. Dined at Boulogne sur mer. Put up at Mr. Dessins.1
1. “When we arrived at Calais, as soon as we had set down in our Chamber, up comes the master of the House, and with a low bow says, Messieurs je suis vôtre trés humble serviteur; Je suis Dessein (Yorick's man) et je viens vous rendre mes devoirs; savoir si vous voulez de Vargent &c.” (JQA to Peter Jay Munro, 19 Nov. 1783, NNMC). Pierre Dessin kept the Hôtel d'Angleterre and had been considerably enriched and in some degree immortalized by Laurence Sterne's entertaining portrait of him in A Sentimental Journey, 1768. In Aug. 1784 the whole Adams family stopped at the Hôtel d'Angleterre when traveling from London to Paris, and AA2 playfully supposed she saw Yorick's “very Monk” passing her window on his way “to present himself to papa” (AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:8). They were there again in 1785 when returning to London; see JA to Jefferson, 23 May 1785 (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:161). Dessin proved useful to Jefferson in the troublesome business of importing purchases from England to France; see their correspondence (which establishes Dessin's name, spelled in a great variety of ways by travelers), in same, 9:438, 542; 10:206, 292, 333.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-23

Oct. 23. Thursday.

Went on board the Packet at Nine, put off from the wharf at Ten, but had such contrary Winds and Calms, that We did not arrive at Dover untill 3 O'Clock next Morning. I was 18 hours on the Passage. The Packet was 17. She could not come in to the Harbour, made Signals for a Boat, which carried Us ashore for five shillings a head.
I was never before so Sea sick, nor was my Son. My Servant was very bad. Allmost all the Passengers were sick. It is a remarkable Place for it. We are told that many Persons Masters of Vessells and others who were never Sea sick before have been very bad in making this Passage.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-24

Oct. 24. Friday.

We are lodged at Dover, at the Royal Hotel Inn, kept by Charles Mariee. On the Backside of his house is one of the Dover Cliffs; it is an high Mountain, and at this Place is perpendicular, and there is an Appearance of Danger that the Rocks at Top, might split off by their own Weight, and dash to Pieces some of the small brick Houses at its Foot.—White Stone.
I walked round with my Son to the Coach road, and ascended to the { 148 } Top of this Mountain. It is very steep. It is covered with a thick Sward, and with a Verdure quite to the Top. Upon the Top of the Mountain, there is a plowed Field, sown with Turnips, which look very vigorous. I went into the ploughed ground to examine its Composition, and found it full of Flynt Stones, such as the Road from Chantilly to Calais is made of, and all the Fields on that road are full of. In short the White Stone of the Cliffs, and the Flynt Stone of the Fields, convince me that the Lands here are the same with those on the other Side of the Channell and but a Continuation of the same Soil. From this Mountain, We saw the whole Channel, the whole Town and harbour of Dover. The Harbour is but a Basin and the Town, but a little Village. We saw three small Vessells on the Stocks, building or repairing, and fifteen or twenty small Craft, Fishing Sloops and schooners chiefly in the harbour. It has not the Appearance of a Place of any Business at all. No Manufacture, No Commerce, and no Fishery of any Consequence, here.
The Sheep here are very large, and the Country all around has a Face of Verdure and Fertility beyond that of France in general: but this is owing no doubt to the difference of Cultivation. The Valleys only in France look rich, Plains and Mountains look meagre. Here the Mountain is rich.
The Channell between this and Calais, is full of Vessells, french and English, fishing for Herrings. The Sardine are not caught here.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-25

Saturday Oct. 25.

Went in a Post Chaise, from Dover through Canterbury, Rochester, &c. to Dartford, where We lodged.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-26

Sunday Octr. 26.

Went to London and the Post Boy carried Us to the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand, to John's Street.1
We are at Osbornes Adelphi hotel. I am obliged here to give Thirteen Shillings a day, for a Parler, a bed Chamber, and another Bed Chamber over it for my Son, without any dining Room or Antichamber. This is dearer than my Lodgings at the Hotel du Roi in Paris—half a Guinea for my bed Chamber and Parlour, and half a Crown for my Sons bed Chamber. My Servants Lodging is included in the half Guinea. The Rooms and Furniture are more to my Taste than in Paris, because they are more like what I have been used to in America.
“1783. Sunday, October 26–Went to London; and the post-boy (who upon asking where I would be carried, was answered, to the best inn in London, for { 149 } all are alike unknown to me) carried us to the Adelphi Buildings in the Strand. Whether it was the boy's cunning, or whether it was mere chance, I know not; but I found myself in a street which was marked John‘s-street,' the postilion turned a corner, and I was in ‘Adams-street.' He turned another corner, and I was in ‘John Adams-street.' I thought surely we are arrived in fairy land. How can all this be?” (JA in the Boston Patriot, 6 May 1812).
The Adelphi Buildings had been erected in 1768 by the Adam brothers on arches thrown over the slope below the Strand to the Thames, and handsome streets, some of them named for the builders, were laid out around them (Wheatley, London Past and Present, 1:4–7).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0002-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1783-10-27

1783. October 27. Monday.

Went to see Mr. Jay who is lodged with Mr. Bingham, in Harley Street, Cavendish Square, No. 30.1 And in the Afternoon went to see Mr. Johnson, Great Tower Hill,2 who informed me that a Vessell with 1000 Hogsheads of Tobacco is passed by, in the Channel, from Congress to Messrs. Willinks. I gave Mr. Johnson his Letter, as I had left Mr. Hartleys for him at his House, who is gone into the Country, to Bath as he says.
These Adelphi Buildings are well situated on the Thames. In sight of the Terrace is Westminster Bridge one Way, and Black Fryars Bridge on the other. St. Pauls is by Black Fryars Bridge.3
1. William Bingham (175 2–1804), Philadelphia financier, land speculator, and (later) U.S. senator, had recently brought his young wife, the former Ann Willing, to Europe on a combined business and pleasure trip; in 1784–1786 the Adamses were to see much of the Binghams at The Hague, Paris, and in London again (DAB, under both husband's and wife's names; Margaret L. Brown, “Mr. and Mrs. William Bingham of Philadelphia,” PMHB, 61:286–324 [July 1937], which quotes relevant material from published Adams correspondence and journals).
2. Joshua Johnson, who had now returned with his family from Nantes to London and was living in Cooper's Row, Great Tower Hill, which the Adamses used as a mailing address during this visit to England.
3. There being no further entries in JA's Diary for nearly eight months, this is a fitting place to insert his last autobiographical communication to the Boston Patriot, dated at Quincy, 17 Feb. 1812. This extraordinary letter covers the rest of his sojourn in England (to the end of 1783) and his heroic January crossing of the North Sea, with JQA, in order to save the credit of the United States in Amsterdam. For vivid detail there is perhaps nothing in all of JA's writings that surpasses the latter part of this narrative, and it therefore made an appropriate, though apparently unexpected, finale to his “second autobiography” as published in the Patriot. (Precise dates for some of the occurrences recorded in the letter have been editorially supplied, in brackets, from JA's correspondence and JQA's Diary and correspondence.)
“To the Printers of the Boston Patriot
I was not long at the Adelphi, but soon removed to private lodgings, which by the way were ten times more public, and took apartments at Mr. Stokdale's, in Piccadilly [29 Oct.], where Mr. Laurens had lately lodged before me.— Here I had a great opportunity of learning, for Dr. Bret [typographical error for John Debrett, London bookseller] was at the next door, the state of the current literature of London. I will not enlarge upon this subject at present, if ever...
{ 150 }
Curiosity prompted me to trot about London as fast as good horses in a decent carriage could carry me. I was introduced by Mr. Hartley, on a merely ceremonious visit [15 Nov.], to the Duke of Portland, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Fox; but finding nothing but ceremony there, I did not ask favours or receive any thing but cold formalities from ministers of state or ambassadors. I found that our American painters had more influence at court to procure all the favors I wanted, than all of them. Mr. West asked of their majesties permission to shew me and Mr. Jay, the originals of the great productions of his pencil, such as Wolf, Bayard, Epaminondas, Regulus, &c. &c. &c. which were all displayed in the Queen's Palace, called Buckingham House. The gracious answer of the king and queen was, that he might shew us ‘the whole house.' Accordingly, in the absence of the royal family at Windsor, we had an opportunity at leisure [8 Nov.], to see all the apartments, even to the queen's bedchamber, with all its furniture, even to her majesty's German bible, which attracted my attention as much as any thing else. The king's library struck me with admiration; I wished for a weeks time, but had but a few hours. The books were in perfect order, elegant in their editions, paper, binding, &c. but gaudy and extrava[ga]nt in nothing. They were chosen with perfect taste and judgment; every book that a king ought to have always at hand, and as far as I could examine, and could be supposed capable of judging, none other. Maps, charts, &c. of all his dominions in the four quarters of the world, and models of every fortress in his empire.
In every apartment of the whole house, the same taste, the same judgment, the same elegance, the same simplicity, without the smallest affectation, ostentation, profusion or meanness. I could not but compare it, in my own mind, with Versailles, and not at all to the advantage of the latter. I could not help comparing it with many of the gentlemen's seats which I had seen in France, England, and even Holland. The interior of this palace was perfect; the exterior, both in extent, cost and appearance, was far inferior not only to Versailles, and the seats of the princes in France, but to the country houses of many of the nobility and gentry of Great Britain. The truth is, a minister can at any time obtain from parliament an hundred millions to support any war, just or unjust, in which he chooses to involve the nation, much more easily than he can procure one million for the decent accommodation of the court. We gazed at the great original paintings of our immortal countryman, West, with more delight than on the very celebrated pieces of Vandyke and Reubens; and with admiration not less than that inspired by the cartoons of Raphaeel.
Mr. Copely, another of my countrymen, with whom I had been much longer acquainted, and who had obtained without so much royal protection, a reputation not less glorious; and that by studies and labours not less masterly in his art, procured me, and that from the great Lord Mansfield, a place in the house of lords, to hear the king's speech at the opening of parliament [11 Nov.], and to witness the introduction of the Prince of Wales, then arrived at the age of twenty one. One circumstance, a striking example of the vicissitudes of life, and the whimsical antithesis of politics, is too precious for its moral, to be forgotten. Standing in the lobby of the house of lords, surrounded by a hundred of the first people of the kingdom, Sir Francis Molineux, the gentlemen usher of the black rod, appeared suddenly in the room with his long staff, and roared out with a very loud voice—'Where is Mr. Adams, Lord Mansfield's friend!' I frankly avowed myself Lord Mansfield's friend, and was politely conducted by Sir Francis to my place. A gentleman said to me the next day, ‘how short a time has passed, since I heard that same Lord Mansfield say in that same house of lords, “My Lords, if you do not kill him, he will kill you.”' Mr. West said to me, that this was one of the finest finishings in the picture of American Independence.
Pope had given me, when a boy, an affection for Murray. When in the study and practice of the law, my admiration of the learning, talents and eloquence of Mansfield had been constantly increasing, though some of his opinions I could not approve. His politics in American { 151 } affairs I had always detested.—But now I found more politeness and good humor in him than in Richmond, Cambden, Burke or Fox.
If my business had been travels I might write a book. But I must be as brief as possible.
I visited Sir Ashton Lever's museum [4 Nov.], where was a wonderful collection of natural and artificial curiosities from all parts and quarters of the globe. Here I saw again that collection of American birds, insects and other rarities, which I had so often seen before at Norwalk, in Connecticut, collected and preserved by Mr. Arnold, and sold by him to Governor Tryon for Sir Ashton. [See JA to Waterhouse, 7 Aug. 1805 (MHi: Adams-Waterhouse Coll.; Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 22–29).] Here also I saw Sir Ashton and some other knights, his friends, practising the ancient but as I thought long forgotten art of archery. In his garden, with their bows and arrows, they hit as small a mark and at as great a distance as any of our sharpshooters could have done with their rifles.
I visited also Mr. Wedgwood's manufactory, and was not less delighted with the elegance of his substitute for porcelain, than with his rich collection of utensils and furniture from the ruins of Herculaneum, bearing incontestible evidence in their forms and figures of the taste of the Greeks, a nation that seems to have existed for the purpose of teaching the arts and furnishing models to all mankind of grace and beauty, in the mechanic arts no less than in statuary, architecture, history, oratory and poetry.
The manufactory of cut glass, to which some gentlemen introduced me, did as much honor to the English as the mirrors, the seve China, or the gobeline tapestry of France. It seemed to be the art of transmitting glass into diamonds.
Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls, the Exchange and other public buildings, did not escape my attention. I made an excursion to Richmond Hill [29 Nov.] to visit Gov. Pownal and Mr. Penn, but had not time to visit Twickenham. The grotto and the quin cunce [quincunx], the rendezvous of Swift, Bolinbroke, Arbuthnot, Gay, Prior, and even the surly Johnson and the haughty Warburton, will never be seen by me, though I ardently desired it.
I went to Windsor and saw the castle and its apartments, and enjoyed its vast prospect. I was anxiously shewn the boasted chambers where Count Tallard, the captive of the Duke of Marlborough, had been confined. I visited the terrace and the environs, and what is of more importance I visited the Eaton school; and if I had been prudent enough to negotiate with my friend West, I doubt not I might have obtained permission to see the queen's lodge. But as the solicitation of these little favors requires a great deal of delicacy and many prudent precautions, I did not think it proper to ask the favor of any body. I must confess that all the pomps and pride of Windsor did not occupy my thoughts so much as the forest, and comparing it with what I remembered of Pope's Windsor forest.
My health was very little improved by the exercise I had taken in and about London; nor did the entertainments and delights assist me much more. The change of air and of diet from which I had entertained some hopes, had produced little effect. I continued feeble, low and drooping. The waters of Bath were still represented to me as an almost certain resource. I shall take no notice of men nor things on the road. I had not been twenty minutes at the hotel in Bath [24 Dec]. before my ancient friend and relation, Mr. John Boylston called upon me and dined with me. After dinner he was polite enough to walk with me, about the town, shewed me the crescent, the public buildings, the card rooms, the assembly rooms, the dancing rooms, &c. objects about which I had little more curiosity than about the bricks and pavements. The baths and the accommodations for using the waters were reserved for another day. But before that day arrived, I received dispatches from America, from London, and from Amsterdam, informing me that the drafts of congress by Mr. Morris, for money to be transmitted, in silver, through the house of Le Couteux, at Paris, and through the Havana to Philadelphia; together with the bills drawn in favor of individuals in France, England and Holland, had exhausted all my loan of { 152 } the last summer which had cost me so much fatigue and ill health; and that an immense flock of new bills had arrived, drawn in favour of Sir George Baring, or Sir Francis Baring, I forget which, of London, and many other persons; that these bills had been already presented, and protested for non-acceptance; and that they must be protested in their time for non-payment, unless I returned immediately to Amsterdam, and could be fortunate enough to obtain a new loan, of which my bankers gave me very faint hopes. [See Willinks, Van Staphorsts, and De la Lande & Fynje to JA, 2, 23 Dec. (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:161–164, 166–168), and JA's reply, 29 Dec. 1783 (LbC, Adams Papers).] It was winter; my health was very delicate, a journey and voyage to Holland at that season would very probably put an end to my labours. I scarcely saw a possibility of surviving it. Nevertheless no man knows what he can bear till he tries. A few moments reflection determined me, for although I had little hope of getting the money, having experienced so many difficulties before, yet making the attempt and doing all in my power would discharge my own conscience, and ought to satisfy my responsibility to the public. I returned to London [28 Dec], and from thence repaired to Harwich [3 Jan. 1784]. Here we found the packet detained by contrary winds and a violent storm. For three days detained, in a very uncomfortable inn, ill accommodated and worse provided, myself and my son, without society and without books, wore away three days of ennui, not a little chagrined with the unexpected interruption of our visit to England, and the disappointment of our journey to Bath; and not less anxious on account of our gloomy prospects for the future.
On the fourth day [5 Jan.] the wind having veered a little, we were summoned on board the packet. With great difficulty she turned the point and gained the open sea. In this channel, on both sides the island of Great-Britain, there is in bad weather a tremulous, undulating, turbulent kind of irregular tumbling sea that disposes men more to the mal de mer than even the surges of the gulph stream, which are more majestic. The passengers were all at extremities for almost the whole of the three days that we were struggling with stormy weather and beating against contrary winds. The captain and his men, worn out with fatigue and want of sleep, despaired of reaching Helvoet Sluice, and determined to land us on the island of Goree [Goeree, Province of Zeeland]. We found ourselves, upon landing [8 Jan.], on a desolate shore, we knew not where. A fisherman's hut was all the building we could see. There we were told it was five or six miles from the town of Goree. The man was not certain of the distance; but it was not less than four miles nor more than six. No kind of conveyance could be had. In my weak state of health, rendered more impotent by bad nourishment, want of sleep, and wasting sickness on board the packet, I thought it almost impossible, that in that severe weather, I could walk through ice and snow, four miles before I could find rest. As has been said before, human nature never knows what it can endure before it tries the experiment. My young companion was in fine spirits; his gaiety, activity, and attention to me encreased as difficulties multiplied, and I was determined not to despair. I walked on, with caution and moderation, and survived much better than could have been expected, till we reached the town of Goree. When we had rested and refreshed ourselves at the inn, we made enquiries concerning our future rout. It was pointed out to us, and we found we must cross over the whole island of Goree, then cross the arm of the sea to the island of Over Flackee, and run the whole length of that island to the point from whence the boats pass a very wide arm of the sea, to the continent, five or six miles from Helvoet Sluice. But we were told that the rivers and arms of the sea were all frozen over, so that we could not pass them but upon the ice, or in ice boats. Inquiring for a carriage of some kind or other, we were told that the place afforded none better, and indeed none other than boor's waggons. That this word boor may not give offence to any one, it is necessary to say, that it signifies no more in Dutch, than peasant in France, or countryman, husbandman or farmer in America. Finding no easier { 153 } vehicle, we ordered a waggon, horses and driver to be engaged for us, and departed on our journey. Our carriage had no springs to support, nor cushions to soften the seats. On hard benches, in a waggon fixed to the axle-tree, we were trotted and jolted over the roughest road you can well imagine. The soil upon these islands is a stiff clay, and in rainy weather becomes as soft and miry as mortar. In this state they have been trodden by horses, and cut into deep rutts by waggon wheels, when a sudden change of the weather had frozen them as hard as rocks. Over this bowling green, we rolled, or rather hopped and skipped, twelve miles in the island of Goree, and I know not how many more in Over-flackee, till we arrived at the inn at the ferry, where we again put up. Here we were obliged to wait several days, because the boats were all on the other side. The pains of waiting for a passage were much alleviated here by the inexpressible delight of rest after such violent agitations by sea and land, by good fires, warm rooms, comfortable beds, and wholesome Dutch cheer. And all these were made more agreeable by the society of a young English gentleman, not more than twenty, who happening to come to the inn, and finding we had the best room and the best fire, came in, and very modestly and respectfully requested to sit with us. We readily consented and soon found ourselves very happy in his company. He was cheerful, gay, witty, perfectly well bred, and the best acquainted with English literature of any youth of his age I ever knew. The English classics, English history, and all the English poets were familiar to him. He breakfasted, dined, supped, and in short lived with us, and we could not be dull, and never wanted conversation while we staid. As I never asked his name, or his history, I cannot mention either.
We were obliged to bid high for a passage, and promise them whatever they demanded. Signals were made and at last an ice-boat appeared. An ice-boat is a large ferry boat placed and fastened on runners. We embarked early in the morning. The passage is very wide over this arm of the sea. We were rowed in the water till we came to the ice, when the skipper and his men, to the number of eight or ten perhaps, leaped out upon the ice and hauled the boat up after them, when the passengers were required to get out of the boat and walk upon the ice, while the boatmen dragged the boat upon her runners. Presently they would come to a spot where the ice was thin and brittle, when all would give way and down went the boat into the water. The men were so habituated to this service that they very dexterously laid hold of the sides and leaped into the boat—then they broke away the thin ice till the boat came to a part thick enough for the passengers to leap in, when the men broke away the thin ice forward and rowed the boat in the water till she came to a place again strong enough to bear, when all must disembark again and march men and boat upon the ice. How many times we were obliged to embark and disembark in the course of the voyage I know not, but we were all day and till quite night in making the passage. The weather was cold—we were all frequently wet—I was chilled to the heart, and looked I suppose, as I felt, like a withered old worn out carcase. Our polite skipper frequently eyed me and said he pitied the old man. When we got ashore he said he must come and take the old man by the hand and wish him a safe journey to the Hague. He was sorry to see that I was in such bad health and suffered so much as he had observed upon the passage. He had done every thing in his power and so had his men, to make it easy and expeditious; but they could do no better. This I knew to be true. We parted very good friends, well satisfied with each other. I had given them what they very well loved and they had done their best for me.
I am weary of my journey and shall hasten to its close. No carriage was to be had and no person to be seen; but by accident a boor came along with an empty waggon. We offered him any thing he would ask to take us to the Briel. Arrived there [10 Jan.] we obtained a more convenient carriage; but the weather was so severe and the roads so rough that we had a very uncomfortable journey to the Hague. Here [12 Jan.] I was at home in the Hotel Des Etats Unis, but could not indulge myself. My duty lay at Amsterdam among under• { 154 } takers and brokers, with very faint hopes of success. I was however successful beyond my most sanguine expectations, and obtained a loan of millions enough to prevent all the bills of congress from being protested for non-payment and to preserve our credit in Europe for two or three years longer, after which another desperate draft of bills from congress obliged me once more to go over from England to Holland to borrow money. I succeeded also in that which preserved our credit till my return to America, in 1788, and till the new government came into operation and found itself rich enough.
In the course of my correspondence with you I might have related many anecdotes and made many sketches of characters and drawn many portraits at full length, but I have avoided such things as much as I could. I was never a traveller, nor a book-maker, by profession, and shall never be likely to make profit by making a book.
Here ends the very rough and uncouth detail of my voyages, journies, labors, perils and sufferings under my commissions for making peace with Great-Britain” (Boston Patriot, 9, 13, 16 May 1812).
This was not the end of the present letter, nor did JA intend this letter to be the last installment of his apologia for his public life, for at the end he added a parenthetical paragraph: “As it is not my intention, Messrs. Printers, that my correspondence with you shall be eternal, I have hastened over every thing but documents; and shall continue to be in future, as brief as possible.” But no more of his autobiographical letters were printed in the Patriot. Perhaps no more were written.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-20

Sunday June 20 1784.

Embarked on Board the ship Active Capt. Lyde commander, with my daughter and 2 servants for London.2 To go back to the painfull Scenes I endured in taking leave of my Friends and Neighbours will but excite them over again. Suffice it to say that I left my own House the 18 of June. Truly a house of mourning; full of my Neighbours. Not of unmeaning complimenters, but the Honest yeomanary, their wifes and daughters like a funeral procession, all come to wish me well and to pray for a speedy return.—Good Heaven, what were my sensations? Heitherto I had fortified my mind. Knowing I had to act my little part alone, I had possessd myself with calmness, but this was too much for me, so I shook them by the hand mingling my tears with theirs, and left them. I had after this to bid my neices, adieu. And then another scene still more afflictive, an aged Parent from whom I had kept the day of my departure a secret knowing the agony she would be in.3 1 calld at her door. As soon as the good old Lady beheld me, the tears rolled down her aged cheek, and she cried out O! why did you not tell me you was going so soon? Fatal day! I take my last leave; I shall never see you again. Carry my last blessing to my son.—I was obliged to leave her in an agony of distress, myself in no less. My good { 155 } Sister Cranch who accompanied me to Town endeavourd to amuse me and to console me. I was glad to shut myself up the remainder of the day and to be denied to company. Saturday I had recoverd some from my fatigue and employed the day in writing to several of my Friends and in getting my baggage on Board. Several of the Passengers calld upon me, amongst whom was a Col. Norton from Marthas Vinyard a Member of our Senate, a grave sedate Man about 50 Years of age. A Mr. Green an english Gentleman who was Seceretary to Admiral Arbuthnot when he was at Charlestown, a high monarckacal man you may easily discover but he behaves like a Gentleman. A Dr. Clark and Mr. Foster, Mr. Spear and a Capt. Mellicot make up the number of our male passengers. We have one Lady a name sake of mine, Mrs. Adams Daughter of the late Revd. Mr. Laurence of Lincoln whose Husband has been absent ever since the War, is a physician and setled abroad. A modest, amiable woman well educated with whom I had a passing acquaintance before I came on Board. Sund[ay] at 12 oclock Mr. Foster sent his carriage for myself and daughter. We bid adieu to our Friends and were drove to Rows Wharf, from whence we allighted amidst an 100 Gentlemen who were upon the Wharf, to receive us. Mr. Smith handed me from the Carriage and I hastned into the ship from amidst the throng. The ship was soon under sail and we went of with a fine wind. About 2 oclock we reachd the light when the Capt. sent word to all the Ladies to put on their Sea cloaths and prepare for sickness. We had only time to follow his directions before we found ourselves all sick. To those who have never been at Sea or experienced this disspiriting malady tis impossible to discribe it, the Nausia arising from the smell of the Ship, the continual rolling, tossing and tumbling contribute to keep up this Disorder, and when once it seazeis a person it levels Sex and condition. My Servant Man was very attentive the first day, not sick at all, made our beds and did what I should not have put him upon in any other Situation for my maid was wholy useless and the sickest of either.4 Monday mor[nin]g very fogy every Body on Board Sick except the Dr. and 3 or 4 old sea men. My Servant as bad as any. I was obliged to send a petition to the Capt. to release to me Jobe Feild whose place on board the ship I had procured for him.5 He came and amply supplied the others place. Handy, attentive, obligeing and kind, an excellent Nurse, we all prized him. He continued untill tuesday when we had a fine mor'g. Our sickness abated and we went upon Deck, beheld the vast and boundless ocean before us with astonishment, and wonder. How great, how Excellent, how stupendous He who formed, governs, and directs it.
{ 156 }
1. This record of the voyage of AA and AA2 to Europe is inserted here from a duodecimo volume bound in brown boards (M/AA/1, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197) that contains three brief journals kept by AA. The others (20–28 July 1787, 30 March-1 May 1788), since they help to fill large gaps in JA's own Diary, are inserted in their chronological places below. These are the only three diaries known to have been kept by AA.
As far back as 1782 AA had proposed joining her husband in Europe, and had even begged to do so. At first JA gave her qualified encouragement, but on 28 Dec. of that year he informed her that, having resigned all his commissions, he was waiting only for word from Congress to come home himself (Adams Papers). Expecting that the the Definitive Treaty would be settled and signed early in 1783, he was determined to sail home in one of the spring ships from the Texel. The delay in Hartley's arrival in Paris rendered this impossible, and upon receipt of Congress' vote of 1 May approving in principle (though not yet fully authorizing) a negotiation for a commercial treaty with Great Britain, he at once wrote to urge his wife to come over with their daughter, either immediately or in the spring (7 Sept. 1783, Adams Papers). He wrote still more urgently on 14 Oct., adding that “The Family affair which has been mentioned in Several of your Letters, may be managed very well. The Lady comes to Europe with you.—If the Parties preserve their Regard untill they meet again and continue to behave as they ought, they will be still young enough” (Adams Papers). These allusions are to AA2 and Royall Tyler, a young Harvard graduate (Class of 1776) and lawyer who had recently settled in Braintree and laid siege to AA2's affections; see AA to JA, 23 Dec. 1782, and JA's apprehensive reply, 22 Jan. 1783 (Adams Papers). On Tyler, who later gained celebrity as the first American playwright and distinction as a scholarly judge in Vermont, see DAB. His eventually unsuccessful suit of AA2 is fully documented in letters to be printed in the Adams Family Correspondence, Series II of the present edition. See also JA's Diary, 1 July 1786, below, and note there.
Despite trepidation about the rigors of the voyage itself and about her responsibilities as an American diplomat's wife in European capitals, AA began preparations late in 1783, but she did not sail until she received absolute assurance that JA was appointed one of the commissioners to negotiate commercial treaties; because of Congress' divided and vacillating mood, this was long in coming (AA to JA, 20 Nov. 1783, 3 Jan. 1784; Elbridge Gerry to AA, 16 April, 7 May 1784; all in Adams Papers). Thomas Jefferson, who on 7 May had been joined with JA and Franklin in the commission, replacing John Jay, hastened to Boston, as he wrote JA, 19 June, “in hopes of having the pleasure of attending Mrs. Adams to Paris and of lessening some of the difficulties to which she may be exposed” (Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:309). But he was too late to forestall her sailing in the Active, which was “much crowded” with passengers, as he reported the day after she sailed (to David Humphreys, 21 June; printed in same, p. 311).
2. The Active was owned, in part, by Joseph Foster of Boston, a fellow passenger on the voyage, as AA notes below; see also her Diary entry of 6 July. The master was Nathaniel Byfield Lyde, also of Boston. The activities of both owner and master may be traced to some extent in the Thwing Catalogue, MHi.
3. JA's mother, Susannah (Boylston) Adams Hall.
4. AA reported to JA, 11 Feb. 1784, that she had found “an honest faithfull Man Servant,” one John Briesler, “who was brought up in the family of Genll. Palmer, has since lived with Col. Quincy and is recommended by both families” (Adams Papers). Briesler later married Esther Field, the daughter of a Braintree neighbor of the Adamses, who accompanied AA on this voyage, and the two remained fixtures in the households of the Adams family in Europe and America for many years. See AA to Mrs. Cranch, 10 Feb. 1788 (MWA).
5. Probably the Job Field who had been confined in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, as a prisoner of war and to { 157 } whom JA had sent two guineas, 24 Oct. 1781, signing himself “your affectionate Friend and Neighbour” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-23

Wedensday [23 June].

Our ship dirty, ourselves sick. Went upon deck and sent the servants down to clean her up: very little attention is paid on Board this Ship to that first of virtues cleanliness. I wonder this necessary virtue was not ranked amongst those which are called Cardinel and Deified. I have often reflected upon the observation of my best Friend, that of all Beings a Lady at Sea was the most dissagreable. To which I will add an other. That I cannot conceive any inducement sufficient to carry a Lady upon the ocean, but that of going to a Good Husband and kind parent. With the best accommodations it will be dreadfull, to a Lady of any delicacy. All the Gentlemen endeavour to make every thing agreable as possible. But we are but poor company, so sick, and so tosst with the motion of the Ship, which is excessive dissagreable from being too tight, loaded partly with oil which leaks and adds to the flavour. You who have never tried the Sea can form no Idea of it. Our state room is about 8 foot square with a small grated window. In this room were 3 cabbins for 3 persons, between which one chair could stand. The door opened into the cabbin where the Gentlemen slept. We were obliged to keep open our Door or be suffocated and poisoned so that we only closed it, to undress, and dress and sometimes so sick that we fell from side, to side, in doing it. The first days Jobe was obliged to put on and take of our shoes as moveing a finger would set us going. He layd himself down by the side of our door and slept upon the trunks two nights. He is the favorite of the whole Ship. Poor Brisler is not yet come to himself.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-24

Thursday [24 June].

A fine wind and clear air but the Ship going before the wind rolls sadly. Dr. Clark has been well through the whole, and kindly attentive to us. If he had been our Brother he could not have been more so. I know not what we should have done without him. No airs, but a pleasent, Benevolent, friendly kindness, as tho he was rewarded by the disposition alone of doing good. Our Captain an exelent Sea man, but little attention to any thing besides his Sails and his ropes. The Stores on Board good, but the cook misirable. Not a Quarter part utensials enough for the passengers. I regret that I did not know what my Situation was to be. My silver poringer of vast Service, it being the only bowl, poringer or cup belonging to the Ship. I should not have { 158 } been in this condition if I had not been assured that the Ship supplied every thing. I think the price we paid intitled us to better accommodations. In short I have been obliged to turn cook myself and have made two puddings, the only thing I have seen fit to eat. I have been obliged to order and direct sick as I have been to the cleaning out of the cabbin every day. It is a great misfortune that Ester is so sick. I have been obliged to see to the cleaning of the milk pail which has been enough to poison any body. If we do not die of Dirt now we shall at least eat our peck.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-27

Sunday June 27.

I have been so sick that I could not be regular in my journal. We have had two days calm since we came to Sea. The rest of the time good winds which have brought us on our Way rejoiceing, for we have not had any bad weather except rain, thunder and lightning one evening which was not severe. I have been surprized at myself to find that I can sleep notwithstanding the lasshing of the waves; and the tumbling of the vessel. This is the 8th day of our imprisonment. We are now about 200 and 50 leagues from Boston. Our Gentleman all civil and polite. This Mr. G——n mentiond in the former part of this journal as an englishman, I rather think is Scotch, and appears to have inflamibility enough to furnish a Waggon load of Baloons. He talks much. His countanance planly speaks the ruleing passions of his mind. He governs himself as he appears to know what belongs to a Gentleman. Our Captain appears more amiable at sea than on shore, his men all still and quiet, nothing severe towards them has yet appear'd. The mate a droll being; swears for all the rest of the Ship. A Good deal in his manners like Captn. Newcombe, has been several time[s] taken during the war, and has many a sad as well as diverting Story to tell which he does with a countanance as droll as you please. He is a right Tar in his manners.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0001-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-06-28

Monday Mor'g 28 June.

A very dissagreeable Night. Wind at the southard near the Banks of Newfoundland. The morning damp. A most voilent Headack. Sick every one of us. Our Ship goes at about nine and 8 knots an hour. No going upon deck. Their is so much confinement on Board a Ship and such a Sameness that one knows not what to do. I have been reading since I came on Board Buchan Domestick Medicine. He appears a sensible, judicious and rational writer.1
{ 159 }
I endeavour to bear my voyage with patience. It was at the request of my dear long absent Friend that I undertook it. I expected it would be dissagreable to be at sea. I can bear every thing I meet with better than the Nausias Smells: it is utterly impossible to keep nice and clean. I strive for Decency, and that can hardly be obtained. How flattering is attention and how agreeable does it render a person when it appears the result of a good Heart, disposed to make every one happy. This Dr. Clark is a very agreable Man. His kindness is of that Benevolent nature which extends to all: to the Servant as well as the Master. He has renderd our passage much pleasenter than it could have been without him, and we have been so sick, that his advise has been of great use to us. By tomorrow we hope to make a quarter part of our passage. When may I begin to look forward to the joyfull day of meeting my long absent partner. Heaven grant it may be a joy, without alloy.
1. William Buchan, Domestic Medicine; or, the Family Physician, Edinburgh, 1769, which went through 21 editions in English by 1813 (BM, Catalogue). Among JA's books in the Boston Public Library is listed an edition in French published at Geneva, 1781–1782, in 7 vols., 12mo (Catalogue of JA's Library).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-01

Thursday July 1 1784.

“And thou, Majestick, Main,

A Secret World of Wonders in thyself

Sound his stupendous praise; whose greater voice

Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.”

I have not been able to write a line since Monday when a North east Storm came on and held till Wednesday Mor'g. It was with the utmost difficulty that we could set or lie only by holding by each other with our feet against a table braced with ropes, that we could keep up; and when in bed I was obliged to hold fast by the sides till my hands and wrists aked to keep in: only conceive a great cradle rocking with amaizing force from side, to side, whilst a continual creek from every part of the Ship responded to the roll: not a wink of Sleep to be had, bottles, mugs, plates, every thing crashing to peices.
The Sailors call it a Breize only. But if it was only of that kind: good heaven defend me from a storm. Tho they all allow that it is very unusual at this Season of the year to meet with such a Breize there is no time when the vessel does not roll like the moderate rocking of a cradle; it is easily accounted for. The writing shews the constant motion { 160 } of the Vessel when not one letter in ten, can be made in its proper Shape.1
I am more and more of the mind that a Lady ought not to go to sea. It is impossible to preserve that Decency and Cleanliness which ought to be an inherint principal in every female. Even those times which by Gentlemen are Esteemed fine and pleasent cannot fail to be dissagreable to a Lady. I have reflected upon Mrs. Hayley['s] observation to me, that altho she was surrounded with every accommodation that could be obtained on Board a fine large Ship, with agreable company, yet it was a terrible thing for a Lady to attempt, and nothing but the ardent desire she had to visit a Country so distinguished for its noble and ardent defence of the rights of Mankind, could have tempted her at her advanced age to have undertaken a sea voyage.2 What ever curiosity might prompt, I think I should content myself with the page of the Historian if I had no superiour inducement to visit foreign climes, but when I reflect that for ten years past I have been cut of from a large Share of Domestick happiness by a Seperation from my partner, I think my Sufferings small when I look forward to the recompence and the reward.

Unutterable happiness! which Love

alone bestows, and on a favourd few

those sacred feelings of the Heart, informed

by reasons purest ray.

We have on Board a Mr. Spear, the only single Gentleman of all the passengers. He is a droll mortal and keeps us in good Spirits, which is very necessary on board a Ship. Change of Ideas, says the medical writer, is as necessary for Health, as change of posture. Learned Men often contract a contempt for what they call trifling company. They are ashamed to be seen with any but philosophers. This however is no proof of their being philosophers themselves. No Man deserves that Name who is ashamed to unbend his mind, by associating with the cheerfull and gay. Even the Society of children will relieve the mind, and expell the Gloom which application to study is too apt to occasion.
I transcribe this passage because I think the Health of my best Friend has sufferd from too intense application to study and the perplexing Science of politicks in which he has been constantly engaged. I believe he has sufferd greatly; for Want of his family and a thousand little attentions which sooth the mind and warm the heart. Of all happiness domestick is the sweetest. It is the sun shine of the Heart.
I have great satisfaction in the behaviour of my daughter. The { 161 } Struggle of her mind was great, her passions strong, never before calld into opposition; the parting of two persons strongly attached to each other is only to be felt; discription fails.
Yet when once the struggle was over, she has obtaind a Calmness and a degree of cheerfulness which I feard she would not be able to acquire. To this the kindness and attention of Dr. Clark has contributed, tho he knew not that there was more than ordinary occasion for them. His manners are soothing and cheerfull. I do not however esteem him as a Man of superiour parts but he has the art of making Men happy and keeping them so. Says Buchan all that is necessary for Man to know in order to be happy, is easily obtaind and the rest like the forbiden fruit serves only to encrease his misiry.
This if true is no great compliment to Learning, but it is certain that your deep thinkers seldom enjoy Health, or Spirits.
1. In the two foregoing paragraphs AA's punctuation, unsystematic at best, is unusually difficult to interpret and may not have been rendered exactly according to her intentions, especially in respect to breaks between sentences.
2. Mrs. Hayley was Mary, sister of the radical politician John Wilkes and the widow of George Hayley, an alderman of London who had had mercantile connections with the Hancock firm in Boston. Renowned for her eccentricities, the Widow Hayley had come to Boston toward the close of the Revolution not merely because she was a devotee of “the rights of Mankind” but because she intended to collect debts due her late husband. The best account of her is that by George Lyman Kittredge in The Old Farmer and His Almanack ..., Boston, 1904, p. 9–14, which cites, corrects, and amplifies numerous earlier accounts of a figure who has become part of Boston folklore.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-02

Fryday 2 of July.

A fine wind and a pleasent day. Our sea sickness has left us in a great measure. Went all of us upon Deck to enjoy the fresh air, had our rooms cleaned out, begin to feel a little more reconciled to our confinement. Hemd a hankerchief upon Deck. Yesterday mor'g the Capt. sent an embassy to the Ladies representing the distressed state of our poor cow, who by the late Storm had been disabled from standing for several days and tho several attempts had been made to raise her, they had proved unsuccessfull, but as she was particularly devoted to the Ladies, he thought himself under obligation to consult them whether she should be put out of her misiry; or die a lingering Death. Col. Norton was charged with the message and deliverd it in form— upon which Sentance of Death was pronounced upon her; and she was accordingly consigned to a watery grave; but not without mourning for we feel her loss most essentially.—This Day fortnight I left my habitation! Dear Cottage how often do I look back to your peacefull Walls, and Breath a Sigh to your memory. Where is my next abode? { 162 } No matter where: so that it only be, in the arms of my dearest, best of Friends. I hardly dare trust my immagination or anticipate the day. Cruel sleep how have you tormented me?

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-03

Saturday 3 July.

A fine morning. Rose by six o clock. Went upon deck. None of the Gentlemen up; our Second Mate, a grand son of the Revd. Dr. Chauncy of Boston. He was upon deck and handed me out. A likely young fellow whose countanance is a good Letter of recommendation. We were all prejudiced in his favour as soon as we saw him; he told me to day that he was taken a prisoner during the War, and carried to Plimouth jail in England where after being confined a Year he made his escape and got to Holland, where he saw Mr. Adams, who gave him money and a letter to Commodore Gillion but that he had sailed for America before he reached the Vessel. He said there were several other prisoners with him at that time who received Money from Mr. Adams. It always give me pleasure when I hear of the kindness of my best Friend to the poor and the needy. The Blessing of him that is ready to perish come upon him. By this said our Blessed saviour shall all Men know that ye are my diciples, if ye have Love to one an other; how many inducements does the Christian Religion offer to excite us to universal Benevolence and Good will towards each other, and yet how often do we suffer the vilest of passions to Dominer over us and extinguish from our Bosoms every generous principal.
This afternoon saw a sail. She bore down to speak with us. Said she was from Abberdeen bound to Novia Scotia, was full of Emigrants —men, women and children. Capt. Cullen in the brigg John, designd afterward for Philadelphia, wanted to put some Letters on Board of us. Our Capt. offerd to lay too, if she would higst out her Boat, but instead of that they attempted to come so near as to throw them on Board, and by that means were in danger of running on Board of us. The Capt. was allarmed, and gave them a hearty broad side: obliged to croud all our sails to keep clear; and tho I was first pleased with the sight of her, I was so much allarmed by our danger, that I wished her many leagues of. We put away as fast as possible without her Letters. —We suppose ourselves in Latitude 42.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-04

Sunday July 4th 1784.

This is the Anniversary of our Glorious Independance.

O thou! by whose Almighty Nod the Scale,

of Empires rises, or alternate falls,

{ 163 }

Send forth the Saveing virtues round our land

In bright patrol; white peace, and social Love,

The tender looking Charity, intent

on Gentle Deeds, and sheding tears through Smiles,

Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind

Courage composed and keen; sound temperance

Healthfull in Heart and look; Clear Chastity

with blushes reddening as she moves along

Disordered at the deep regard she draws;

Rough Industery; Activity untir'd,

With copious Life informed and all awake;

While in the Radient front, superiour shines

That first parental virtue, publick Zeal;

Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey;

And ever museing on the common Weal,

Still Labours glorious with some great design;

Whilst the Nations of Europe are enveloped in Luxery and dissipation; and a universal venality prevails throughout Britain, may the new empire, Gracious Heaven, become the Guardian and protector of Religion and Liberty, of universal Benevolence and Phylanthropy. May those virtues which are banished from the land of our Nativity, find a safe Assylum with the inhabitants of this new world.
We have a fine wind and a clear sky. We go at 7 knots an hour; I hope two Sundays more, will bring us safe to land but we have all conquerd our Sea Sickness, and are able to do much better than for the first ten days. It is said of Cato, that one of the three things which he regreted at the close of Life; was that he had once gone by sea when he might have made his journey by land; alass poor Cato! I fancy thy Philosophy was not proof against this dispiritting disease.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-06

Tuesday July 6th.

I was not able to write yesterday the wind blew so fresh; and not very fair, so that there was too much motion of the Ship. In the afternoon it came on rainy, and continued so through the night, this morning a small north east wind cloudy and unpleasent. Whilst our Friends on shore are melting under a mid Summer Sun; there has been no day so warm at Sea; but what I could wear a double calico Gown, a Green Baize over that a cloth Cloak; and a camblet cloak; lined with Baize; wraped round me, when ever I went up upon Deck.1 I had no Idea of the difference before I came on Board; this morning before I { 164 } rose the Dr. came down into the Cabbin and invited us to come up upon Deck and see a porpoise which the mate had killd with a harpoon; this creature has a fine smooth skin; a head resembling a Hog, two fins which he throughs out of water when he swims and rolls over as we often see them; a tail like an anchor and cross way of his Body, a very small Eye, in proportion to its Body; his inwards resemble those of a Humane Body.
We have so few objects to take up our attention on Board that we hardly know how to amuse ourselves. There is no great pleasure in working. I read as much as possible, but sometimes I feel unfit even for that, my Head swims and my sight leaves me. In the evening we generally make a party at Cards. This Mr. Foster who is a passenger with us, is the youngest son of Deacon Foster of Boston; lately married to a daughter of Mr. John Cutlers of Boston; he is in partnership with his Brother William and part owner of this ship. He is a Gentleman of soft and delicate manners, natural good understanding, a merchant, not much acquainted with Books, appears to have a taste for domestick Life, and speaks of his wife as I love to hear every married man speak; with tenderness and affection.
We shall make but small progress to day; our ship moves but slowly.
1. Thus punctuated in MS. It is not easy to say how many layers of clothing AA is here enumerating.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-08

Thursday July 8th.

If I did not write I should lose the Days of the Weeks. Yesterday a cold wet day. Could not go upon deck. Spent a large part of the day in writing to Mrs. Cranch.1 Any thing for amusement is agreeable, where there is such an unavoidable sameness.

“Were e'en paridice my prison,

I should long to leap, the cristal walls.”

The Ship itself is a partial prison, and much more so, when we are confined to our cabbin; we work, read; write; play; calculate our Distance; and amuse ourselves with conjectures of our arriving in port. Some say 28 days, some 30, and some 33, which to me is most likely; if we meet with no worse weather than we have already; we may set it down for an excellent passage tho it should amount to 33 days. To day is wet and fogy, but a fine fair wind, which must reconcile us to the weather. Last evening Mr. Foster came and invited me upon deck; to see what he had heard me express a wish for, the sparkling of the Water, and its firery appearence; this is a phenominan in Nature hitherto unaccounted for; the ocean looks in a light flame, with { 165 } millions of sparkling Stars, which resemble the fire flies in a dark Night.
This morning saw a large Ship a stern; scarcly a day but what we have seen Birds. The Sailors call them Mother Carys Chickens, and that they portend wind. They have an other adage. That there is no want of wind, when they have women on Board.
1. On 6 JulyAA had begun an epistolary journal of her voyage addressed to her sister Mrs. Cranch; this amplifies the present journal at some points, and it continues well beyond it (through 30 July). The original is now in MWA; it was printed by CFA in AA's Letters, 1848, p. 157–186||, and has since been printed in Adams Family Correspondence, 5:358–386.||

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0007

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-09

Fryday July 9.

A fine day; but little wind; have been upon Deck the chief of the Day, engaged in reading Campbles political Survey of Great Britain.1 None of the advantages which he has enumerated belonging to Britain of Soil, climate, water; &c. but what America possesses in an equal if not superiour degree. As our Country becomes more populous, we shall be daily makeing new discoveries and vie in some future day, with the most celebrated European Nation; for as yet; we may say, with the Queen of Sheby, the one half has not been told. We are in the infancy of Science, and have but just begun to form Societies for the propagation and encouragement of the fine Arts. The <3> 2 most celebrated painters now in Britain are Americans <Mrs. Wright> Mr. Copely and Mr. West.2
1. John Campbell, A Political Survey of Britain; Being a Series of Reflections on the Situation, Lands, Inhabitants, Revenues, Colonies and Commerce of This Island, London, 1774; 2 vols.
2. AA very properly struck Mrs. Wright's name from this list, but it is not determinable whether she did so immediately or after her visit to Patience Wright's “repository” or museum of wax portraits in Cockspur Street, London, later this month; see her journal-letter to Mrs. Cranch, 6–30 July 1784 (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 177–178). The present journal being otherwise uncorrected, it is likely that she did so at once, feeling that she had overstated American claims to artistic eminence. On the eccentric Quaker artist and supposed American spy Patience (Lovell) Wright, see DAB; also Lewis Einstein, Divided Loyalties . . . , Boston and N.Y., 1933, p. 390–395. There is a lively and amusing characterization of her by AA2 in her journal-letter to JQA, 4 July–11 Aug. 1785 (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0008

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-17

Saturday 17 of July.

I have neglected my journal for a week. During that time we have had 3 calm days, some wet weather but nothing worth remarking has occur'd. I have been several days sick of the Rheumatisim, occasiond I suppose by the dampness of the Ship, which made my Bed so too. I had the precaution to take some medicine on Board proper for the Disease, which the Dr. administerd, and I have in a great measure got { 166 } the better of it. This day makes 27 since we came to Sea. From observation to day we were in Latitude 49 and a half,1 Long[itude] 6. We have seen a great Number of Vessels to day which lead us to think we are not far from the Channel. A small Sail Boat spoke with us out 3 days from Morlay, told us we were nearer the channel than we imagind, upon which the Capt. sounded and found bottom 55 fathom.
We have a head wind, but go at about 4 knots an hour. Hope to make land to morrow. Can it be that I have past this great ocean with no more inconvenience, with such favourable weather upon the whole. Am I so near the land of my fore Fathers? And am I Gracious Heaven; there to meet, the Dear long absent partner of my Heart? How many how various how complicated my Sensations! Be it unto me according to my wishes.
1. MS reads: “... in Latitude in 49 and half.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0009

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-18

Sunday July 18th.

This Day about 2 oclock made land. It is almost a Calm, so that we shall gain but little. We hope to land at Portsmouth a tuesday; this is doing very well; I have great reason to be thankfull for so favourable a passage. The mate caught a shark this morning but he got away, after receiving several wounds with a harpoon. I believe I could continue on Board this Ship 8 or ten days more, and find it less urksome than the first 8 or ten hours, so strong is habit and so easily do we become reconciled to the most dissagreeable Situation.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0010

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-19

Monday Morning July 19th.

A calm. The vessel rolling: the wind freshning towards Night. We hope for a speedy passage up the Channel. Tuesday a fine wind but squally.1 We have seen land supposed to be Dover cliffs.
1. AA's chronology here and in the next entry is confused, which is perhaps not surprising in view of her having slept only four hours between Saturday the 17th and Tuesday the 20th (which was in fact the day she landed), as she told her sister Cranch in her journal-letter of 6–30 July (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 168).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-20

Wedensday [i.e. Tuesday, 20 July.]

Early in the morning a pilot Boat came of to us from Deal. The wind blew very high and the Sea ran with a great Swell.1
1. In her journal-letter of 6–30 JulyAA gives a colorful account of the landing of the Active's passengers in the surf at Deal and of their trip through Canterbury, Rochester, Chatham, and Blackheath (where a highwayman had just been apprehended) to London. They arrived at 8 in the evening of the 21st, and mother and daughter were “set down at Lows Hotel in Covent Gardens” { 167 } (MWA; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 169–172). On the 23d, having been discovered and advised by solicitous American friends, AA wrote JA from “Osbornes new family Hotel—Adelphi at Mrs. Sheffields No. 6” (Adams Papers).
JA had confidently expected the arrival of his wife and daughter by an earlier vessel and had sent JQA from The Hague to London to meet them in mid-May; after awaiting them there for more than a month, JQA had returned to the Netherlands. On receipt of AA's letter of 23 July, JA replied that it had made him “the happiest Man upon Earth. I am twenty Years younger than I was Yesterday. It is a cruel Mortification to me that I cannot go to meet you in London, but there are a Variety of Reasons decisive against it, which I will communicate to you here. Meantime I send you a son who is the greatest Traveller, of his Age” (26 July, Adams Papers). On 30 July both mother and son announced to JA their reunion in London, JQA reporting also his negotiation for the purchase of a coach that would accommodate the whole family (both letters in Adams Papers). Two days later JA canceled all previous plans. “Stay where you are,” he told his wife, “untill you see me” (1 Aug., Adams Papers). What followed is recorded in the brief entries in JA's own Diary (see 4, 7 Aug., below), which must now be resumed at a slightly earlier date.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-06-22

The Hague June 22. 1784. Tuesday.1

Last night at Court one of the Ladies of Honour, told me, that the Supper was given, in a great Measure, for Mrs. Bingham. Cette Super a été donne, en grande Partie, pour elle. There was great Enquiry after her, and much Admiration expressed by all who had seen her, of her Beauty. As the Princess of Orange was enquiring of me concerning her, and her Journey to Spa, Paris, Italy, the Spanish Minister said “She would form herself at Paris.” I replied very quick but smiling “J'espere qu'elle ne se formera a Paris qu'elle est deja formée.” This produced as hearty a laugh as is permitted at Court both from the Princess and the Comte. The Princess asked me immediately, if I had not been pleased at Paris? I answered that I had: that there was something there for every Taste [added in the margin: but that such great Cities as Paris and London were not good Schools for American young Ladies at present.] The Princess replied that Mrs. B. might learn there the French Language.
I made Acquaintance with Mr. Kempar of Friesland, once a Professor, at Franaker, who says there are but two Millions of People in the 7 Provinces. He quoted to me two Authors who have written upon the Subject, one 20 Years ago, and the other 10, and that they have decided this Subject. Stated the Numbers in each Province, City, Village. Accurate Accounts are kept of Births and Deaths, Baptisms and Funerals. The Midwives and Undertakers are obliged to make returns of all they bring in or carry out of the World.—This last fact I had from Linden de Blitterswick the first Noble of Zealand.
{ 168 }
Mirabel repeated what he had said often before, as well as Reichack and Calischef, that their Courts expected a Letter from Congress, according to the Rules and Precedents, to inform them of their Independence.2—Mem. I think Congress should inform them that on the 4. July 1776 they assumed their Sovereignty, that on the [] day of [] France made a Treaty, on the 7 of Oct. 1782, Holland—on the [] G.B.—on the [] day of [] Sweeden.3
1. First entry in D/JA/43, a stitched gathering of leaves identical in format with its predecessors but containing only very scattered entries from the present date through May 1785.
After a day or two of rest at The Hague following his hazardous trip from London in January, JA went on to Amsterdam and applied, as his bankers had suggested, to the Regency of that city for emergency aid to the languishing American loan so that Robert Morris' heavy overdrafts for the United States would not be protested. But on 24 Jan. he reported to Franklin that all such efforts were in vain: “I am here only to be a Witness that American Credit in this Republick is dead, never to rise again” (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:171). Nevertheless, when he proposed a few days later that a separate loan be raised at a higher premium, the bankers responded eagerly, and after numerous exchanges between them JA signed a contract on 9 March for a new loan of 2,000,000 guilders, to be repaid by 1807, on terms that JA declared “exorbitant” but was in no position to refuse since fresh drafts from Morris continued to come in. See correspondence between JA and the Willinks, Van Staphorsts, and De la Lande & Fynje, 29 Jan.–9 March 1784, Adams Papers; partly printed in JA, Works, 8:172–183. Copies of the contract, in Dutch and English, with Congress' instrument of ratification, 1 Feb. 1785, are also in Adams Papers. The extraordinarily complicated terms of this loan are set forth in P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, 1:80–85.
Meanwhile JA remained ignorant of Congress' intentions respecting the foreign establishment of the United States in general and how Congress meant to dispose of him in particular. The reason was that Congress did not know its own intentions; see note 2 on entry of 7 Sept. 1783, above. On 15 Dec. 1783 a committee consisting of Jefferson, Gerry, and Hugh Williamson was appointed to report on letters from JA, Franklin, Dana, Dumas, and Barclay; on the 20th the committee reported a draft, largely the work of Jefferson, which pointed out that the instructions to JA, Franklin, and Jay of 29 Oct., for negotiating treaties “with the commercial powers of Europe,” had not yet been implemented with commissions but that such treaties would be advantageous to the United States, and it went on to frame detailed instructions for this purpose (JCC, 25: 813, note, 821–828; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 6:393–400). The complex history of this report, which was frequently debated and three times recommitted during the next six months, is given by Mr. Boyd in an editorial note (same, p. 400–402) and therefore need not be repeated here. On 7 and 11 May 1784 the report as finally amended was adopted, authorizing the negotiation of treaties of amity and commerce with sixteen nations (JCC, 26:357–362; 27: 369–374). On the same day that the first part of the report was agreed to, Thomas Jefferson was elected to succeed John Jay as a minister plenipotentiary and joint commissioner in Europe, and Jay was elected secretary for foreign affairs to succeed Robert R. Livingston, who had resigned almost a year earlier (same, 26:355–357). A few days later Jefferson left Annapolis for the north, hoping to accompany AA to Europe (see note 1 on entry in AA's Diary of 20 June, above). On 16 May Secretary Thomson sent him commissions accrediting the three plenipotentiaries jointly to twenty nations, four of the Barbary Powers having been added to the list (Thomson { 169 } to Jefferson, 16 May, with enclosures; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:261–271). The commissions, dated 12 May, were to the following powers: Russia, Austria, Prussia, Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sardinia, Rome, Venice, Genoa, Tuscany, the Ottoman Porte, Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. To these Congress added on 3 June three further commissions, for supplementary treaties of commerce with France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, sent by Thomson to the ministers in a letter of 18 June JCC, 27:529–530; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:308–309).
All this explains the long delay in AA's departure for Europe and the longer uncertainty in JA's mind where he should establish himself in Europe or whether he should sail home without being recalled. On 16 April Elbridge Gerry wrote AA from Annapolis that “probably” Congress would “make their Arrangements, for negotiating commercial Treaties this Week. The Subject has several Months been prepared, for Deliberation, but this has been prevented by the Want of a full Representation; untill of late, there being eleven States on the Floor, the Matter has been much discussed” (Adams Papers). In a letter to JA after this involved affair had been settled, Gerry furnished more of its inner history: Congress' indecision, he explained, was in considerable part owing to disagreement between supporters of JA and supporters of Franklin; the placing of JA at the head of the new commission and the replacement of William Temple Franklin as secretary by David Humphreys signalized a victory for the former (16 June, Adams Papers; extract printed in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 7:554). See further on this contest Stephen Higginson to Jonathan Jackson, April 1784 (Tr in JQA's hand, Adams Papers; Amer. Hist. Assoc., Ann. Rpt. for 1896, 1:717–719).
2. Reischach and Kalicheff were ministers at The Hague from Austria and Russia respectively.
3. The omitted dates of the treaties are as follows: with France, 6 Feb. 1778; with Great Britain, 3 Sept. 1783; with Sweden, 3 April 1783, although there is some confusion about the date of the last of these (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:3, 151, 123, 149).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-07-10

July 10. 1784 Saturday.

May not the Ascent of Vapours be explained, or rather accounted for upon the Principle of the Air Balloon? Is not every Bubble of Vapour, that rises, an Air Balloon? Bubbles are formed at the Bottoms of Canals, Rivers, Ponds, rise to the Top, and mount up. These Bubbles are particles, or small quantities of inflammable Air, surrounded with a thin film of Water.
Champaign Wine, Bottled Porter &c. are full of Air Bubbles or Balloons. Set a Decanter or Tumbler of Water in the Sun, and thousands of Air Balloons are formed in the Water at the Bottom and on the Sides of the Glass. Turn the Glass aside so as to expose these Bubbles to the Air, many of them burst in an Instant, others do not, but continue sometime covered with a thin film of Water. Inflammable Air being lighter, than common Air, rises in it.
In the common Experiment with which Boys amuse them selves, the Air which is blown through the Tobacco Pipe, into the Soap Suds, is common Air, of equal Weight with that which surrounds the Bub• { 170 } ble and therefore will not ascend very high. But if inflammable Air were blown thro the Pipe instead of common Air, we should have a Series of Ballons aerostatiques, which would ascend like those of Montgolphier.1
1. The earliest “aerostatic experiments” (balloon flights), by the Montgolfier brothers and others in France, 1783–1784, attracted world-wide attention and are frequently alluded to in the correspondence of JA, Franklin, and Jefferson at this period. Among the Adams Papers is a colored “Aerostatic Experiments” in Paris, 1783 facing page 289drawing entitled “Bon Voyage, ” reproduced in this volume, showing the “Nouveau Globe Aérostatique inventée par M[essieu]rs. Charles et Robert; enlevé devant la Famille Royale le lundi 1er. Décembre 1783, à 1. heure 40. minutes.” On 19 Sept. 1784 the Adams family watched a balloon ascension from the Tuileries Gardens (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:18–19).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-03

1784. August. 3.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-04

Aug. 4.

Sett off, for London, had a tedious Passage from Helvoet, of near two days. Obliged to put in at Leostoff [Lowestoft], and ride from thence 24 miles in a Cart.1
1. JA's sudden decision to go to London himself and take his family directly to Paris without a pause of some weeks at The Hague, was prompted by the news of Jefferson's arrival in Europe a month or so before JA expected him; see JA to AA, 1 Aug. (Adams Papers), and Jefferson to JA, “On board the Ceres off Scilly,” 24 July (Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:382–383, with note quoting JA's expressions of pleasure in the appointment of Jefferson as a fellow commissioner).
In JA's accounts as settled by Congress there appears the following entry:
“Expences of his Removal with his Family from the Hague & London to Auteuil in August 1784 including extra Expences of Carriages, Post Horses, Passages by Sea from Helvoet to Harwich & from Dover to Calais &c. £100.... Purchase of a Carriage in London. £120” (DNA: RG 39, Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787, p. 267).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-07

Aug. 7.

Arrived at the Adelphi Buildings and met my Wife and Daughter after a seperation of four Years and an half. Indeed after a Seperation of ten Years, excepting a few Visits. Set off the next Day for Paris.1
1. On this date the Diary of AA2, so far as it is known (no MS has been found), begins. The first entry reads:
“London, Aug. 7th, 1784. At 12, returned to our own apartments; when I entered, I saw upon the table a hat with two books in it; every thing around appeared altered, without my knowing in what particular. I went into my own room, the things were moved; I looked around—'Has mamma received letters, that have determined her departure?— When does she go?—Why are these things moved?' All in a breath to Esther. ‘No, ma'm, she has received no letter, but goes to-morrow morning.' ‘Why is all this appearance of strangeness?—Whose hat is that in the other room?—Whose trunk is this?—Whose sword and cane?— It is my father's,' said I. Where is he?' { 171 } 'In the room above.' Up I flew, and to his chamber, where he was lying down, he raised himself upon my knocking softly at the door, and received me with all the tenderness of an affectionate parent after so long an absence. Sure I am, I never felt more agitation of spirits in my life; it will not do to describe” (Jour. and Corr., i:viii).
AA2's Diary is quite full for the family's journey to Paris, which was by way of Dover, Calais, Boulogne, Montreuil, Amiens, and Chantilly (same, p. 7–14).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-13

Aug. 13.

Arrived at Paris, at the Hotel de York on the [].1
1. In the present entry and the next, the blank space (which is in the MS) is meant to be filled up with the date at the head of the entry.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0005-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1784-08-17

Aug. 17.

Removed to Auteuil the [] at the House of the Comte de Rouault, opposite the Conduit. The House, the Garden, the Situation near the Bois de Boulogne, elevated above the River Seine and the low Grounds, and distant from the putrid Streets of Paris, is the best I could wish for.1
1. The arrangements with the Comte de Rouault had been made at JA's request by Thomas Barclay, who had formerly rented the house; see JA-Barclay correspondence, 23 April–9 Aug. 1784 (Adams Papers). The reader is again referred to the detailed and colorful letters of AA describing the Hôtel de Rouault and the Adamses' life there during the following eight months, a selection of which appears in Howard C. Rice Jr., The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785, Boston, 1956, and more of which will be included in Series II of the present edition. The journal kept by AA2 at Auteuil from Aug. 1784 through May 1785 is also valuable despite its rather girlish concentration on the guests present at social affairs given or attended by the family; see AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:14–78. This portion of her journal contains numerous glimpses of Jefferson, Franklin, the Binghams, David Humphreys, William Short, the Lafayettes, Mme. Helvétius, and the Adamses' friends among the corps diplomatique, as well as sometimes entertaining and illuminating passages on Paris fashionable life and amusements, religious ceremonies, balloon ascensions, and the like. If the MS were available, the entries for this period would have been printed here to help fill in a long gap in JA's Diary, but as edited by AA2's daughter, Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt, in 1841, the text is far from dependable: there are obvious mistakes in transcription, names are given as blanks and initials, and editorial cuts have probably been made.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0006-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1784-09 - 1785-05

[Orders Drawn on Messrs. Van Den Yver for Personal and Family Expenses, September 1784–May 1785.]1

  £   s   d  
Auteuil Sept. 10. 1784. Drew an order on M.M. Van den Yvers in favour of my son J.Q.A. for two hundred Louis D'ors or 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
{ 172 }
Oct. 11. drew an Order on M. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
Nov: 15. drew an order on Mr. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
Decr. 23. drew an order on M[ess]rs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J. Q. Adams for 4800 Livres   4800:   0:   0  
1785. Feb. 11. drew an order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of My son J.Q.A. for 4800 Liv.   4800:   0:   0  
March 5. Accepted a Bill of Dr. Tufts for £50, payable at the House of Messrs. Richard and Charles Puller No. 10 Broadstreet Buildings London, to be paid at Sight   1200:   0:   0  
March 26 drew an order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800 Liv.   4800:   0:   0  
May 4. drew an Order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of my son J.Q.A. for 4800£.   4800:   0:   0  
May 18 drew an Order on Messrs. Van den Yver in favour of the Bearer Mrs. Adams for   4800:   0:   0  
1. Taken from Lb/JA/19 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 107). The firm of Van den Yver Frères acted as agents in Paris for the Amsterdam banking house of W. & J. Willink. JA had drawn his salary through the Van den Yvers during the peace negotiations.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-01-31

January 31. 1785. Monday.1

Last Evening the Marquis de la Fayette, lately returned from America, called upon me, in his Way home from Versailles. He gave me, a very pleasing Account of the Commerce, the Union &c. in America, and then began to discourse of another Subject. He interrogated me, whether I had any Correspondents in Holland, whether I received Letters, from Week to Week and from Post to Post from thence? Who were the Heads of the Republican Party? Whether I knew any Thing of the Intentions of the States Gen[eral] to place Mr. de Maillbois at the Head of their Armies. He then talk'd of Mailbois, said he had great Abilities, and that he had heard him justify himself very well in the Affair of D'Etrees. Said that M. de Vergennes was his Friend.— I said that I knew it, for that I had once in 1778 heard the Comte wish [that]2 Mr. de Mailbois had the Command of our Army in America.3 He said that the Cte. de Broglie wished for the Command in America at the same time.
As he went out he took me aside and whispered, that altho he would not serve a foreign Prince, he would serve a Republick, and although he should hurt himself with the Queen and her Party to a great degree, yet if the States General would invite him, without his soliciting or { 173 } appearing to desire it, he would accept the Command. Mailbois loved Money, and demanded splendid Appointments. He did not regard Money so much and would be easy about that. I was the first Mortal to whom he had suggested the Idea, he wished I would think of it, and he would call and see me again in a few days.4
1. The first formal meeting of the American Commissioners to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce took place at Passy on 30 Aug., David Humphreys, secretary to the mission, being present and beginning that day a record of its proceedings. This record, preserved in a volume sometimes called “Minutes of the Commissioners” (PCC, No. 116), contains, besides actual minutes of their meetings, copies of the Commissioners' commissions and instructions, of their correspondence with the diplomatic agents of the powers to which they were accredited (with the accompanying treaty projets, &c.), and of their joint “Reports” or dispatches to the President of Congress and Secretary Jay, numbered “First” through “Ninth” (11 Nov. 1784 to 2–11 Oct. 1785), thus extending beyond the time when Franklin left for home and JA and Jefferson were appointed ministers plenipotentiary at London and Paris respectively, while retaining their joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties (see note on entry of 3 May, below). The original letters received by the Commissioners (with enclosures), together with drafts and originals of most of their reports to Congress, are filed in PCC, No. 86. All this documentation for JA's last joint commission in Europe is printed in a single sequence in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1:499–600, but much more reliable texts and indispensable annotation are provided in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–8, where these letters and papers are distributed under their dates. The best way to follow the Commissioners' work, which was arduous but only very partially successful, is to read their reports. Those that are germane to the present gap in JA's Diary are the First, Second, and Third, dated 11 Nov., 15 Dec. 1784, and [9] Feb. 1785 (same, 7:493–500, 573–574, 646–647).
2. MS: “the.”
3. The Comte de Maillebois, a marshal of France, assumed the command of the Dutch army, but, as JA later remarked., with little credit to himself; see JA's Autobiography under date of 29 April 1778. CFA has a learned note on Maillebois' notorious quarrel with the Maréchal d'Estrées, alluded to above (JA, Works, 3:389).
“Last Night, I had a visit from the Marquis, whom I was glad to see, for a variety of Reasons. ... His views are now opening, at least in confidence to me, and his aspiring Soul aims at Objects in Europe, as grand and glorious as those he has obtained in America. ... From these Hints you may guess the whole matter. His Plan, I must say, is as laudable, as it is sublime; but I doubt the possibility of his Success” (JA to Jay, 31 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers).
On Lafayette's interest in the situation of the Dutch Republic, which was in the midst of a crisis with the Austrian Empire over the issue of opening the navigation of the Scheldt, see Gottschalk, Lafayette, 4:152–153.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-03-19

1785. March 19. Saturday.

Saturday. Met Mr. F[ranklin] and Mr. J[efferson] at Passy, read the Letter from Mr. Carm[ichael] at Madrid, with the Letters from C. de Florida Blanca, the Letters from Morocco to Mr. Harrison at Cadiz, and the Letters from Morocco to Dr. F. concerning the Vessell of Mr. Fitzsimmons of Philadelphia, taken by a Morrocco Frigate.
{ 174 }
I asked for Books and Collections of Treaties. They were brought. I looked for and read the Treaty between Louis 14. and Algiers, and the Treaties between Holland and Algiers, and found a Multitude of Treaties between Algiers and Morrocco and the Christian States as France, Holland, England, &c. with the Passes, in the Corps Diplomatique.
We came to no Resolution, but that I should go, Tomorrow to Versailles and ask the Advice of the C[omte] de V[ergennes].—Dr. F. being confined by his Stone, could not go, and Mr. Jefferson, being worse with his Disorder cannot go. I was for writing a Letter to the C. —but my Colleagues were not.1—F. and J. are confident that England has no right to appoint a Consul, without a Treaty or Convention for that Purpose. I think, they have a Right by the Law of Nations.2
1. This and the following entry mark the beginning of prolonged efforts by the Commissioners to reach an accord, on behalf of the United States, with several of the piratical Barbary States in order to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean. The efforts were prompted by seizures of American vessels reported in the letters mentioned in the first paragraph of the present entry; extracts from these were handed by JA to Vergennes next day, and copies were forwarded by the Commissioners to Jay in their Fifth Report, 13 April 1785 (PCC, No. 86); a list of them, with their dates and locations, is given in a note on JA's report to his colleagues on his interview with Vergennes, 20 March (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:46–48, q.v.). For a connected narrative of early American negotiations with the Barbary Powers, see Ray W. Irwin, The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers, 1776–1816, Chapel Hill, 1931, chs. 2–3. The correspondence and other documents are printed under their dates in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vols. 7–10.
2. This doubtless alludes to the appointment in February of John Temple as British consul general in the United States; see JA to James Warren, 26 April 1785 (LbC, Adams Papers; Warren-Adams Letters, 2:250–261). Though the sentiments of Congress were divided on whether or not to recognize Temple, a vote of that body did so on 2 Dec. 1785 (JCC, 29:897–898).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-03-20

Auteuil Near Paris March 20. 1785.

Sunday. Went early to Versailles, and found the C. De V.—communicated to him my Errand and Papers. He read those in Italian, Spanish and French, and Mr. Charmichaels Letter in English. I asked him, whether the French Treaty with Algiers, was renewed? He said it was upon the Point of expiring, but he could not tell me whether it was renewed as it was not in his Department but in that of the M. de Castries. I asked him if he would be so good as to inform me, what Presents were sent annually to the several Barbary Powers, by the King, in what they consisted, and to what they amounted? He said He did not know, but if We would make an Office of it, he would communicate it to the Minister of Marine, and obtain for Us all the Information he could. I told him, I had obtained Information, authen• { 175 } tically from Holland, from Mr. Bisdom and Mr. Van der Hope.1 I asked him if he would be so good as to convey a Letter from Us to the Emperor of Morocco, by means of the French Consull. He said that I might depend upon it whenever We made an Office, it should be punctually attended to. But he said that Cadiz would be the best Place from whence to send Presents. That the Emperor of Morocco was the most interested Man in the World and the most greedy of Money.
He asked if We had written to Congress and obtained their Instructions. I told him We had received Full Powers to treat with Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and all the Rest and had written for Instructions upon the Article of Money and Presents. He said that there was a frequent Communication between Marseilles and the Coast of Barbary, but that as these Things were not in his Department, We must state our Desires in Writing, which I agreed to do. I asked him if he thought it adviseable for Us to send any one to Morro[cco]. He said yes, but as We could neither go nor were authorized to substitute, We should write to the Emperor untill Congress could send a Consull. I asked what he thought of our leaving it by our Letter in the Option of the Emperor, to send a Minister here to treat with Us, or to wait untill We could write to Congress and recommend to them to send him a Consull. He said by no means, for the Expence of receiving his Minister here would be much greater, for We must maintain him and pay all his Expences. He said that the King of France never sent them any naval Stores. He sent them Glaces2 and other Things of rich Value, but never any military stores.
1. JA's views on American policy toward the piratical states of Barbary are embodied in a letter to John Jay, 15 Dec. 1784 (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr. , 1783–1789, 1:470–472). On 22 Dec. he had addressed a letter to Dumas at The Hague asking the latter to inquire what tribute in the form of gifts was paid by the Dutch Republic to the Barbary Powers for the protection of its commerce (LbC, Adams Papers). Dumas' answer, 25 Feb. 1785, enclosed a copy of the written information obtained from J. C. van der Hoop, “Conseiller Fiscal du College de l'Amirauté d'Amsterdam,” and D. R. W. Bisdom, “Conseiller Fiscal de l'Amirauté de la Meuse” (Adams Papers; text of questions and answers printed in a note on the American Commissioners' Fourth Report, 18 March, Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:38).
2. Thus in MS, but JA's report to Franklin and Jefferson on this interview has “glasses,” i.e., doubtless, looking-glasses (20 March, LbC, Adams Papers, in JQA's hand; printed in same, p. 46–47).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-03

Auteuil May 3. 1785.

Tuesday. At Versailles, the C. de Vergennes said he had many Felicitations to give me upon my apointment to England. I Answered that I { 176 } did not know but it merited Compassion more than felicitation.—Ay why?—Because, as you know it is a Species of Degradation in the Eyes of Europe, after having been accredited to the King of France to be sent to any other Court.—But permit me to say, replies the Comte it is a great Thing to be the first Ambassador from your Country to the Country you sprung from. It is a Mark.—I told him that these Points would not weigh much with me. It was the difficulty of the service, &c.
I said to him, as I would not fail in any Point of Respect or Duty to the King, nor any of our Obligations to this Country, I wished to be advised, whether an Audience in particular of Congé, was indispensable. He said he would inform himself.
The Duke of Dorsett said to me, that if he could be of any Service to me by Writing either to publick or private Persons he would do it with Pleasure. I told his Grace that I should be glad of half an hours Conversation with him, in private.—I will call upon you at Auteuil says he, any Morning this Week.—I answered that any Morning and any hour, agreable to him, should be so to me.—Saturday says he at 12 O Clock.—I shall be happy to receive you, says I.—He repeated that if he could be of any Service, he would be glad. I said it may probably be in your Graces Power to do great service to me, and what was of infinitely more importance to his Country as well as mine, if he thought as I did upon certain Points, and therefore I thought it was proper We should compare Notes. He said he believed We did think alike and would call on Saturday. He said that Lord Carmaerthen was their Minister of foreign Affairs, that I must first wait upon him, and he would introduce me to his Majesty. But that I should do Business with Mr. Pitt very often. I asked him Lord Caermaerthens Age. He said 33. He said I should be stared at a good deal. I told him I trembled at the Thoughts of going there, I was afraid they would gaze with evil Eyes. He said no he believed not.
One of the foreign Ambassadors said to me, You have been often in England.—Never but once in November and December 1783.— You have Relations in England no doubt.—None at all.—None how can that be? You are of English Extraction?—Neither my Father or Mother, Grandfather or Grandmother, Great Grandfather or Great Grandmother nor any other Relation that I know of or care a farthing for have been in England these 150 Years. So that you see, I have not one drop of Blood in my Veins, but what is American.—Ay We have seen says he proofs enough of that.—This flattered me no doubt, and I was vain enough to be pleased with it.1
{ 177 }
1. In their First Report to the President of Congress, 11 Nov. 1784, the Commissioners stated that on 31 Aug. they had notified David Hartley and on 28 Oct. the Duke of Dorset (the British ambassador who had succeeded the Duke of Manchester in Paris) that they had powers for entering into a treaty of amity and commerce with Great Britain; but Hartley had been ordered to England and Dorset had replied that he could only notify his government (Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 7:494–495; see also p. 456–457). On 24 Nov. Dorset informed the Commissioners of his government's view “that the United States should send a Person properly authorized and invested with the necessary powers to London, as more suitable to the dignity of either Power, than would be the carrying on at any third Place a negotiation of so great importance” same, p. 547). Dorset's letter was transmitted to Congress in the Commissioners' Second Report, 15 Dec. (same, p. 573–574). Before this report was received, presumably, Secretary Jay submitted to Congress a draft of “Instructions for the Ministers to be sent by the United States to the Court of London,” which was read in Congress on 7 Feb., debated from time to time, and exactly a month later was adopted with some omissions and the highly significant alteration of the word “Ministers” in the title to “Minister” (JCC, 28:45–46, 123). In the meanwhile a tussle had taken place over who should be the first American minister accredited to the Court of St. James's. It turned out to be JA, who was elected on 24 Feb., but the bare result recorded in the journal (same, p. 98) conveys no idea of the length of the struggle or the views of the members who were for and against his appointment. Fortunately Elbridge Gerry, in a letter written on the day the contest ended, supplied what is wanting elsewhere. The other nominees, he told JA, were Robert R. Livingston and John Rutledge; some southern members opposed JA on the ground that he was “totally averse to the Slave Trade” and would not exert himself “to obtain Restitution of the Negroes taken and detained from them in Violation of the Treaty”; other members thought he would not be as firm as he should be on the issue of American debts; and finally some of JA's communications to Congress, notably his “Peace Journal” of 1782 (see note on entry of 2 Nov. 1782, above), were cited as evidence of his vanity, “a weak passion, to which a Minister ought never to be subject” because it would make him vulnerable to flattery by “an artful Negotiator” (Gerry to JA, 24 Feb. 1785, Adams Papers; Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 8:39–40).
JA's commission to Great Britain is in the Adams Papers, 24 Feb.; it was brought to him, with his instructions and other papers, by Col. William Stephens Smith (subsequently JA's son-in-law and referred to in this work as WSS), whom Congress had appointed on 1 March “Secretary to our legation to his Britannic Majesty” (JCC, 28:111, 149–150). On 7 March Congress gave leave to Benjamin Franklin “to return to America as soon as convenient,” and on the 10th Thomas Jefferson “was unanimously elected” to succeed Franklin at the Court of Versailles (same, p. 122, 134). JA and Jefferson retained their joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties with European and African nations.
JA learned of these new arrangements toward the close of April, and on the 28th of that month he addressed a letter to Gerry expressing profound thanks for his confidential account of the election contest and commenting in a temperate manner on the objections Gerry had reported as having been raised against his appointment (LbC, Adams Papers). On the day before the present Diary entry was written JA wrote a second answer to Gerry which is one of the most remarkable letters he ever composed. It is an historical and analytical discourse on the “various kinds of Vanity” to which men have been subject—the dangerous kinds that JA had had to contend with, as he explained, in his adversaries and even among his colleagues, and his own kind, which he conceded was a marked trait of his character but which was innocent and harmless. Since what appears to be the copy intended for the recipient remains among the Adams Papers, since no letterbook copy was made, and since, finally, no acknowledgment { 178 } by Gerry of such a letter has been found, JA evidently decided against sending it; but happily he did not destroy it, and it will be published in its place among his papers in Series III of the present edition.
The state of Anglo-American relations on the eve of JA's mission to London is well summarized and documented in an editorial note on the Duke of Dorset's letter to the American Commissioners, 26 March 1785, in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:56–59.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-09
Date: 1785-05-16

Auteuil May [9 or 16] 1785.

Monday. The Posts within the Limits of the United States, not yet surrendered by the English, are
Oswegatchy in the River St. Lawrence
Oswego Lake Ontario
Niagara and its dependencies
Presqu'Isle East Side of Lake Erie.
Sandusky Ditto.
St. Mary's. South Side of the Streight between Lakes Superiour
and Huron.
Bottom of the Bay des Puantz
St. Joseph. bottom of Lake Michigan.
1. This memorandum, the last entry in D/JA/43 and the last written by JA in his Diary for a period of more than ten months, must have been made on either 9 or 16 May, since it was written at Auteuil on a Monday and follows an entry dated there on 3 May, and since on 20 May JA set out with his wife and daughter for London (JA to Jefferson, 22 May, NNP; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:159–160). Congress' instructions of 7 March required JA to “insist, that the United States be put without further delay in possession of all the posts and territories within their limits which are now held by British Garrisons” (JCC, 28:123). On 1 May JA had a conversation with Daniel Hailes, secretary of the British embassy in Paris, and he had another with Dorset on the same subject, apparently on 10 May (AA to Cotton Tufts, 2 May, Adams Papers; JA to Jay, 13 May, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 1: 495–498). He was to make the question of British occupation of posts on the northern lakes the first and indeed a standing order of business during his London mission, but, for reasons that were hinted at by David Hartley two years earlier and that have been very fully set forth by Mr. Bemis, the British did not evacuate them for a decade; see entry of 3 May 1783, above, and Samuel F. Bemis, Jay's Treaty, N.Y., 1923, ch. 1.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0004-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1785-06 - 1785-07

[List of Visits Paid and Returned in London, June–July? 1785]1

Le Comte de Lusi. Minister [] of Prussia. Great Pultney Street. r
De Tribolet Hardy. Secretaire de Legation de S.M. Prussienne. r
{ 179 }
Mr. De Jeanneret de Dunilac late Chargé D'Affairs of his Prussian Majesty at the British Court. South Moulton Street Oxford Street. No. 49. r
Lord Mahon. Downing Street. r
The Earl of Abbington. r.
The Earl of Effingham. r.
Mr. Cottrell Assistant Master of the Ceremonies Berners Street. r
Mr. Grand. Great Marlborough Street No. 54. r
Mr. Horn and Tooke. r
Mr. Brand Hollis. Bruton Street Berkley Square. 1st House on the right.
Mr. Bridgen. r.
Mr. R. Penn. Queen Ann Street, West Cavendish Square. r.
Mr. Strachy. Portman Square. No. 18. r
Lt. General Melvill Brower Street No. 30. r
Mr. Nicholls Queen Ann Street West. No. 42. r.
Sir Clement Cottrell Dormer. r. Wimpole Street. r.
Le Comte de Pollon, Lincolns Inn Fields. Brother of the Chevalier. Min[ister] of Sardinia. r.
Mr. Winchcomber Hartley. Golden Square. r.
Mr. Chamberlain Palsgrave Place Strand. No. 5. r
Mr. Chew. Charles Street St. James's Square No. 23. r
Mr. Granville Penn.
Count Woronzow Envoy Extr. & M.P. from the Empress of Russia. r
Mr. Frances, at Ray's Saddler Piccadilly No. 83. r.
Mr. Martin New Street. Bishops Gate Street. r.
Mr. Middleton Bryanston Street.
General Stewart. Norfolk Street Strand No. 33
Mr. Cunningham Dto.
Mr. Lane, Nicholas lane.
<Mr. Martin. New Street. Bishopsgate Street>
Jos. & Isaac Saportas. Great Crescent Minories. No. 5.
Mr. Wallace Bedford Street.
Mr. Bordieu.
Jos. & Isaac Saportas. Great Crescent Minories No. 5.
Brigr. General Forbes, in the Service of Portugal George Street. York Buildings No. 17. r
Sir James Harris. Park Street. Westminster. r
Mr. Wallace Bedford Street.
I. Heard Garter. r
{ 180 }
Lord Hood. r
Mr. Jennings. Soho. Wrights Hotel.
1. A loose, folded sheet, without date, in JA's hand and docketed by him: “List”; filed in Adams Papers under the assigned date 1785?. This sheet was afterward used as a cover for other papers, for on its blank fourth page appears a docketing notation in the hand of WSS: “Illegal Captures & Complaints of Injuries receiv'd.”
From scattered allusions in JA's and AA's correspondence during June-July 1785 there can be little doubt that this is a list of some (though by no means all) of the visitors received by the Adamses during their first weeks in London. The calls they returned are indicated by the abbreviation “r.” Only a few of the calls recorded were of the ceremonial, diplomatic kind, the explanation of which may be that, as the Dutch minister in London, D. W. Lynden van Blitterswyck, told JA, “Here the New Minister receives the first Visit, from all the foreign Ministers, whereas in France and Holland the New Minister makes the first visit to all the foreign Ministers and notifies formally to them his reception. This saves me,” JA went on to say, “from an Embarrassment, and we shall now see who will and who will not” (to Jefferson, 27 May, LbC, Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:167). Other visits were from persons like the Penns who had American connections (though it should be noted that there are no loyalist refugees on the list) or who were favorably disposed toward America (e.g. the Earls of Effingham and Abingdon, Lord Mahon [later 3d Earl Stanhope], John Home Tooke, Thomas Brand Hollis, and David Hartley's brother Winchcombe). Still others were old friends or former acquaintances (e.g. Edward Bridgen, Henry Strachey, Gen. Robert Melville, and Edmund Jenings). The purpose of Admiral Lord Hood's very unexpected visit is interestingly detailed in a letter JA wrote to John Jay, 26 June, a few days after it occurred (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:387).
The new minister's family had been reduced by one before leaving Auteuil. In the preceding fall JA and AA had decided that their eldest son should return to America to take a degree at Harvard and prepare himself for the bar. JA accordingly wrote President Joseph Willard of Harvard, 8 Sept. (MH), and Willard replied on 14 Dec. enclosing a vote of the President and Fellows to admit JQA to whatever class an examination showed him qualified to enter (Adams Papers). JA's letters to Willard and to Professor Benjamin Waterhouse, dated 22 and 24 April respectively, describing the studies his son had pursued while in Europe are of the highest interest (letterbook copies, Adams Papers; the letter to Willard is printed in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns., 13 [1910–1911]:115–116; that to Waterhouse in Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend, p. 5–8, under date of 23 April). JQA left Auteuil for Lorient on 12 May, went on board the French packet Courier de l'Amérique on the 18th (where he found seven dogs being sent by Lafayette to George Washington, which JQA was charged to see were “well fed” during the voyage), sailed on the 21st, kept a careful journal of the passage to send to his sister, and arrived in New York on 17 July (JQA to AA2, 1112 May, 25 May-17 July; JQA to JA, 18 May; Lafayette to JQA, 18 May; all in Adams Papers; see also JQA's Diary, which is very regular and full for the period concerned).
On 20 May the three remaining Adamses left Auteuil by carriage and traveled via Montreuil to Calais, where they put up again at “Dessin's,” beguiling a dusty journey by reading a copy of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia presented to them by the author; they reached London on the 26th and stopped at the Bath Hotel in Piccadilly, where Charles Storer had engaged rooms for them (JA to Jefferson, 22, 23, 27 May, and AA to Jefferson, 6 June; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:159–161, 167, 178–181). On the very night of his arrival JA announced his presence in London to Foreign Secretary Lord Carmarthen, who received him the following day. On 1 June he was formally received by George III; both men were deeply moved by the circumstances in which they { 181 } found themselves, and both distinguished themselves by their words and conduct (JA to Carmarthen, 26 May, LbC, Adams Papers; Carmarthen to JA, 27 May, Adams Papers; JA to Jay, 2 June, reporting verbatim what the King and he had said to each other, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in Works, 8:255–259). As a result of AA's house-hunting efforts, JA signed on 9 June a lease for a house “in the North East Angle of Grosvenor Square in the Parish of Saint George Hanover Square,” owned by the Hon. John Byron of Purbright, for the term of 21 months at an annual rental of £160 (Lease in Adams Papers; see also AA to Mrs. Cranch, [22]24–28 June, MWA, printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 252). This, the first United States legation in London, is still standing, unoccupied in 1959, at the junction of Duke and Brook Streets, overshadowed by the immense new American Embassy building on the west side of Grosvenor Square. Into it the Adamses moved their furnishings and books, just arrived from the Hôtel des Etats Unis at The Hague, during the first day or two of July; and in a remarkable journal-letter begun on 2 July AA2 provided her brother with a chatty description of the “appartments” in the house, their furnishings, the servants, the neighbors in Grosvenor Square (one of whom was Lord North), visitors and visits, &c., &c. (to JQA, 24 July-11 Aug. 1785, Adams Papers). Subsequent installments of her journal-letters—carefully numbered, each of them running to many pages, and none of them published— furnish by far the fullest account of the Adamses' domestic and social life in London, 1785–1788, compensating in some measure for JA's near-abandonment of his Diary during this period.
On 17 June JA had begun his conferences with Secretary Carmarthen concerning the principal points to be adjusted between the United States and Great Britain; see his letter to Jay of that date (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:378–382).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-27

Grosvenor Square Westminster March 27. 1786.1

March 26. Sunday, dined in Bolton Street Piccadilly, at the Bishop of St. Asaphs.2 Mr. and Mrs. Sloper, the Son in Law and Daughter of the Bishop; Mrs. and Miss Shipley the Wife and Daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan, Mr. Alexander and Mrs. Williams, Mr. Richard Peters and myself, were the Company. In the Evening other Company came in, according to the Fashion, in this Country. Mrs. Shipley at Table asked many Questions about the Expence of living in Philadelphia and Boston. Said she had a Daughter, who had married, less prudently than they wished, and they thought of sending them to America.
1. First entry in D/JA/44, a stitched gathering of leaves identical in format with the preceding booklets and containing scattered entries through 21 July 1786; more than half of this booklet consists of blank leaves.
It is not possible in a paragraph or two to fill the preceding gap of some ten months in JA's Diary with any adequacy. During his first months in England the new American minister wrote often to Carmarthen on the subjects at issue between the two powers, and late in August he sought and obtained an interview with William Pitt, but on 15 Oct. he told Jay that he could “obtain no Answer from the Ministry to any one demand, Proposal or Inquiry” (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:479). Five days later he had a long conversation with Carmarthen covering ground well trod before—the western posts, British trade restrictions, the slaves carried off during the war, American debts to British creditors, &c. Carmarthen was civil but not really responsive, and JA { 182 } characterized the discussion as “useless” (to Jay, 21 Oct., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 483–491). At length in an interview on 8 Dec. JA submitted a memorial (dated 30 Nov.) requesting that in accordance with the seventh article of the Definitive Treaty the British garrisons in the Northwest be withdrawn (LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 542–543; see also p. 543–544). Carmarthen took nearly three months to answer, and when he did he counterbalanced the British retention of the posts in violation of the seventh article against impediments erected by most of the American states in the way of collecting debts due to British creditors, in violation of the fourth article of the Treaty (Carmarthen to JA, 28 Feb. 1786, Adams Papers; printed as an enclosure, together with supporting papers, in JA to Jay, 4 March, in same, p. 580–591). These issues were to remain thus poised until the Jay Treaty of 1794.
The discussions begun at The Hague between JA and Baron von Thulemeier in March 1784 had finally been brought to an end, after a lengthy and many-sided correspondence and much maneuvering about protocol, in a treaty of amity and commerce between Prussia and the United States which was signed by Franklin at Passy on 9 July, by Jefferson at Paris on 28 July, by JA at London on 5 Aug., and by Thulemeier at The Hague on 10 Sept. 1785 (see facsimile in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, vol. 8: facing p. 566). The treaty was transmitted to Congress in a joint letter from JA and Jefferson, London and Paris, 2–11 Oct., being the Commissioners' “Ninth Report” (PCC, No. 86; same, p. 606). The treaty itself is printed in Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:162–183. In Aug. 1786 JA decided to go himself to The Hague to exchange the ratifications.
Concerning other negotiations of 1785–1786 for which Jefferson was jointly responsible with JA, see note 2 on entry of 29 March, below.
2. Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph and an intimate friend of Franklin, had long been a popular figure in America because of his early and vigorous criticism in the House of Lords of the British ministry's American policy (DNB). In June Shipley was to officiate at the wedding of AA2.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-29

Wednesday [29 March.]

Dined at Mr. Blakes.1 Mr. Middleton and Wife, Mr. Alexander and Mrs. Williams, Mr. Jefferson.2 Coll. Smith3 and my Family.
1. William Blake (1739–1803), a wealthy and well-connected South Carolina planter, lived much of his life in England but contrived to save most of his property in America; his wife was the former Anne Izard (S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 2:231–232 [July 1901]; 9:81–82 [April 1908]; 34:199 [Oct.1933]).
2. The joint commission to negotiate commercial treaties held by JA and Jefferson (Franklin having returned to Philadelphia) was due to expire on 12 May of this year. Much of the Commissioners' correspondence between London and Paris during the past ten months had dealt with arrangements for the complicated negotiations with Morocco and Algiers which they were authorized to depute to Thomas Barclay and John Lamb respectively, who were exasperatingly deliberate in their movements. See the documents prepared for these agents by JA and Jefferson in Sept.–Oct. 1785, which are printed in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 8:610–624. The advent of an envoy from Tripoli in London, one Abdrahaman, gave JA an opportunity to discover whether that piratical power would offer terms that the United States would or could accept; and on 17 Feb. 1786 he sent Jefferson a famous and inimitable account of his first discussion with “the Tripoline Ambassador,” during which JA smoked a pipe which reached to the floor and exchanged “in aweful pomp ... Wiff for Wiff” with his host (LbC, Adams Papers; same, 9:285–288). A further interview prompted JA to urge his colleague to come at once to London, not only in order to try to conclude a treaty with Tripoli but to finish { 183 } a negotiation begun in November with the Chevalier de Pinto, the minister from Portugal in London (to Jefferson, 21 Feb., LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 295). They were also to make one last effort to interest the British government in a commercial treaty with the United States. On 13 March JA announced in a note to Carmarthen the arrival of Jefferson and requested an interview on behalf of both Commissioners (LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 327). This first and sole visit of Jefferson to London lasted until 26 April. In respect to treaty-making it accomplished nothing. See the Commissioners' reports to Jay of 28 March and 25 April and the documents (mainly from the Adams Papers) relative to the commercial treaty with Portugal, which was signed by the American ministers on 25 April but which the Portuguese government allowed to lapse unratified (same, p. 357–359, 406–409, 410–433); also Jefferson's account of his English sojourn in his Autobiography (Jefferson, Writings, ed. Ford, 1:88–90).
3. William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), JA's secretary of legation and soon to be his son-in-law; he is designated in the present work as WSS. He was the son of John Smith, a merchant in New York City, was graduated from Princeton in 1774, studied law briefly, and served as an officer in the Continental Army, beginning in Aug. 1776, throughout the war, under the command or on the staff, successively, of Sullivan, Lee, Lafayette, and Washington. The best summary and appraisal of his service to June 1782 is in a certificate from Washington himself, stating that WSS in all his “several Military Stations” had “behaved with great fidelity, bravery, and good conduct” (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 24:377). His last assignment was overseeing the British evacuation of New York City, and he left the army in Dec. 1783 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Appointed by Congress secretary to the legation in London, he arrived just ahead of the Adamses and quickly overcame their doubts about him on the score of his being “a Knight of Cincinnatus” (JA to Gerry, 28 April 1785, and to Lafayette, 3 June 1785, letterbook copies, Adams Papers). Before long he also made a deep impression on AA2, and on 11 June 1786 they were married; see note on entry of 1 July, below. WSS's dispatches as secretary of legation, 1785–1787, are in PCC, No. 92; they have more autobiographical than historical value. In 1788 the Smiths returned to America and settled in New York City. WSS held a succession of civil and military appointments but in 1806 virtually wrecked his career by complicity in the scheme of his old friend Francisco de Miranda to liberate Venezuela from Spanish rule. (He furnished a vessel for the expedition, and his son William Steuben Smith, to the infinite distress of JA, who profoundly disapproved of the whole enterprise, was captured by the Spanish authorities.) Having won an acquittal in a federal court on charges of violating the neutrality of the United States, but having also lost his post as surveyor of the Port of New York, WSS retired to “Smith's Valley,” Lebanon, Hamilton co., N.Y., emerging only to serve a term in Congress 1813–1815, before his death. According to JQA, he left his worldly affairs “in inextricable confusion” (JQA, Diary, 4 May 1819). A memoir of WSS was prepared by his daughter Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt and published, together with some of his correspondence, in AA2's Jour. and Corr., 1841–1842; the memoir, which is highly filial, is at 1:99–117. Katharine Metcalf Roof's Colonel William Smith and Lady, published in 1929, is based on both printed and MS sources (including some family papers which cannot currently be traced), but is excessively romantic and chatty in tone and is not documented. An earlier and briefer account is still useful, especially respecting WSS's family: Marcius D. Raymond, “Colonel William Stephens Smith,” N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Record, 25:153–161 (Oct. 1894). In 1795 WSS purchased an estate on the East River, built an elegant seat there which he called Mount Vernon, and planned a great stone stable which still survives at 421 East 61st Street, almost under the Queensboro Bridge in New York City. The history of the estate and the buildings on it has been related and illustrated by Joseph Warren Greene in “Mount Vernon on the East River and Colonel William Stephens { 184 } Smith,” NYHS Quart., 10:115–130 (Jan. 1927). Because he had greatly overreached himself financially, WSS was obliged to sell this property in 1796, and in 1826 the mansion was destroyed by fire. But the stone stable, after many vicissitudes, was acquired in 1924 by the Colonial Dames of America, which uses it as a national headquarters under the name of the Abigail Adams Smith House; see a pamphlet by Katharine Metcalf Roof, The Story of the Abigail Adams Smith Mansion and the Mount Vernon Estate, issued by the Colonial Dames of America in 1949.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-03-30

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.
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. 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).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1786-04-04 - 1786-04-10

[Notes on a Tour of English Country Seats, &c., with Thomas Jefferson, 4–10? April 1786.]1

Mr. Jefferson and myself, went in a Post Chaise to Woburn Farm,2 Caversham, Wotton, Stowe, Edghill, Stratford upon Avon, Birmingham, the Leasowes, Hagley, Stourbridge, Worcester, Woodstock, Blenheim, Oxford, High Wycomb, and back to Grosvenor Square.
{ 185 }
Edgehill and Worcester were curious and interesting to us, as Scaenes where Freemen had fought for their Rights. The People in the Neighbourhood, appeared so ignorant and careless at Worcester that I was provoked and asked, “And do Englishmen so soon forget the Ground where Liberty was fought for? Tell your Neighbours and your Children that this is holy Ground, much holier than that on which your Churches stand. All England should come in Pilgrimage to this Hill, once a Year.” This animated them, and they seemed much pleased with it. Perhaps their Aukwardness before might arise from their Uncertainty of our Sentiments concerning the Civil Wars.
Stratford upon Avon is interesting as it is the Scaene of the Birth, Death and Sepulture of Shakespear. Three Doors from the Inn, is the House where he was born, as small and mean, as you can conceive. They shew Us an old Wooden Chair in the Chimney Corner, where He sat. We cutt off a Chip according to the Custom. A Mulberry Tree that he planted has been cutt down, and is carefully preserved for Sale. The House where he died has been taken down and the Spot is now only Yard or Garden. The Curse upon him who should remove his Bones, which is written on his Grave Stone, alludes to a Pile of some Thousands of human Bones, which lie exposed in that Church. There is nothing preserved of this great Genius which is worth knowing—nothing which might inform Us what Education, what Company, what Accident turned his Mind to Letters and the Drama. His name is not even on his Grave Stone. An ill sculptured Head is sett up by his Wife, by the Side of his Grave in the Church. But paintings and Sculpture would be thrown away upon his Fame. His Wit, and Fancy, his Taste and Judgment, His Knowledge of Nature, of Life and Character, are immortal.
At Birmingham, We only walked round the Town and viewed a manufactory of Paintings upon Paper.
The Gentlemens Seats were the highest Entertainment, We met with. Stowe, Hagley and Blenheim, are superb. Woburn, Caversham and the Leasowes are beautifull. Wotton is both great and elegant tho neglected. Architecture, Painting, Statuary, Poetry are all employed in the Embellishment of these Residences of Greatness and Luxury. A national Debt of 274 millions sterling accumulated by Jobs, Contracts, Salaries and Pensions in the Course of a Century might easily produce all this Magnificence. The Pillars, Obelisks &c. erected in honour of Kings, Queens and Princesses, might procure the means. The Temples to Bacchus and Venus, are quite unnecessary as Mankind have no need of artificial Incitements, to such Amuze• { 186 } ments.3 The Temples of ancient Virtue, of the British Worthies, of Friendship, of Concord and Victory, are in a higher Taste. I mounted Ld. Cobhams Pillar 120 feet high, with pleasure, as his Lordships Name was familiar to me, from Popes Works.
Ld. Littletons Seat interested me, from a recollection of his Works, as well as the Grandeur and Beauty of the Scaenes. Popes Pavillion and Thompsons [Thomson's] Seat, made the Excursion poetical. Shen-stones Leasowes is the simplest and plainest, but the most rural of all. I saw no Spot so small, that exhibited such a Variety of Beauties.
It will be long, I hope before Ridings, Parks, Pleasure Grounds, Gardens and ornamented Farms grow so much in fashion in America. But Nature has done greater Things and furnished nobler Materials there. The Oceans, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Valleys are all laid out upon a larger Scale.—If any Man should hereafter arise, to embellish the rugged Grandeur of Pens Hill, he might make some thing to boast of, although there are many Situations capable of better Improvement.
Since my Return4 I have been over Black Fryars Bridge to see Viny's Manufacture of Patent Wheels made of bent Timber.
Viny values himself much upon his mechanical Invention. Is loud in praise of Franklin who first suggested to him the Hint of a bent Wheel. Franklin once told me, he had seen such a Wheel in Holland, before he set Viny to work. Viny says that Franklin said to him, “Mankind are very superficial and very dastardly. They begin upon a Thing but meeting with a difficulty they fly from it, discouraged. But they have Capacities if they would but employ them.” “I,” says Viny, “make it a Rule to do nothing as others do it. My first Question is how do others do this? and when I have found out, I resolve to do it, another Way, and a better Way. I take my Pipe and Smoke like a Lim-burners Kiln, and I find a Pipe is the best Aid to thinking.” This Man has Genius, but has Genius always as much Vanity? It is not always so open. It is really modest and humble sometimes. But in Viny it is very vain. His Inventions for boiling and bending his Timber, and for drilling his Irons, are very ingenious. The force requisite for bending a Stick of Ash into a hoop, suitable for a large Wheel, or a small one, is prodigious.5
1. In the MS the present entry has the bare caption “London April,” indicating, as does the substance of the entry itself, that it was written after the tourists had returned from their circuit from London to scenic and historic sites in Surrey, Berks, Bucks, and Warwick, as far as The Leasowes in Shropshire, and back through Worcester and Oxford to London. The dates of the tour have been { 187 } | view well worked out by Julian P. Boyd in his editorial notes on Jefferson's “Memorandums” taken on the tour, the entries in Jefferson's Account Book being especially helpful for that purpose (Jefferson, Papers, 9:374). Readers comparing JA's and Jefferson's records of this pleasure jaunt should take note that the latter began his tour two days earlier (visiting Twickenham, Hampton Court, Woburn Farm, and other nearby points) and returned to London where he was joined by JA on 4 April, and also that Jefferson's notes have an addendum for his separate trip or trips to Moor Park, Enfield Chace, and Kew, which took place after he and JA had finished their tour together. They will further notice that while Jefferson mentions only those sites they visited that are dealt with in Thomas Whately's Observations on Modern Gardening, Illustrated by Descriptions, London, 1770, JA by no means confined himself to famous gardens, though he entered in the margins of his own copy of Whately's book (4th edn., 1777, in MB) every garden he visited with Jefferson.
2. This was a return visit for Jefferson to Woburn Farm, near Weybridge, Surrey; see his Account Book, 1783–1790 (MHi), under both 3 and 4 April 1786.
3. Contrast Jefferson's memorandum at Hagley, Lord Lyttelton's seat near Stourbridge, Worcester:
“From one of these [ponds] there is a fine cascade; but it can only be occasionally, by opening the sluice. This is in a small, dark, deep hollow, with recesses of stone in the banks on every side. In one of these is a Venus pudique, turned half round as if inviting you with her into the recess” (Papers, ed. Boyd, 9:372).
4. The evidence is indeterminate on the exact date of the return to London. When the two friends started they did not know how far they would go. “We have seen Magnificence, Elegance and Taste enough to excite an Inclination to see more,” JA wrote his wife from the village of Buckingham, 5 April (NhD). “We conclude to go to Birmingham, perhaps to the Leasowes, and in that Case shall not have the Pleasure to see you, till Sunday or Monday” (i.e. till the 9th or 10th). From entries in Jefferson's Account Book it is clear that on the 9th they visited Blenheim and Oxford and came on to Tatsworth and High Wycombe (where Jefferson paid for “ent[ertainmen]t” 10s. 10d.), which seems to indicate that they lodged there for the night. But he also recorded paying that day for horses as far as Uxbridge, which is closer to London than High Wycombe. Considering the distance and the stops, it is most likely that the travelers spent the night of the 9th on the road and came on to London next day.
On the 9th Jefferson also recorded in his Account Book: “received of Mr. Adams £9–9 in part towards preceding expences from our leaving London Apr. 4. which are joint.” A later, separate account (DLC: Jefferson Papers, under date of Aug. 1786) is fuller:
Whole expences of our journey   £35–   16–   9    
One half is   17–   18–   4   1/2  
Mr. Adams furnished   9–   9      
  £ 8–   9–   4   1/2  
5. The date of the visit to the works of John Viney, “Timber-bender, Great Surry-Str. Blackfri[ars]” (The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture, 3d edn., London, 1797, 1:319), is also indeterminate, but it must have occurred between 10 and 15 April, since the next entry in the Diary bears the latter date. Jefferson was also in the party, and if JA was inclined to belittle Viney's bent-timber wheels because the proprietor admired both himself and Franklin too highly to suit JA's taste, Jefferson was later indignant on patriotic grounds. In a letter to St. John de Crèvecoeur about published claims for Viney's process, Jefferson recalled his visit to Viney's works and pointed out that farmers in New Jersey had long made cartwheels by bending saplings into circles and had probably learned the process from Book IV of the Iliad, “because ours are the only farmers who can read Homer” (15 Jan. 1787; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 11:43–45).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-15

Saturday Ap. 15.

Dined with Mr. Brand Hollis in Chesterfield Street.1 His Mantle Trees are ornamented with Antiques. Penates. Little brazen Images of the Gods. Venus, Ceres, Apollo, Minerva &c. Hollis is a Member of the Antiquarian Society. Our Company were Price,2 Kippis, Bridgen, Romilly, and another besides Jefferson, Smith and myself.
1. Thomas Brand (1719–1804), who had in 1774 assumed the name Hollis upon inheriting the estate of Thomas Hollis, the well-known benefactor of Harvard College. Brand Hollis was a wealthy dissenter, political radical, and antiquarian. In July the Adamses were to visit his country seat in Essex (see entries of 2427 July, below), and for some years thereafter they corresponded with him. Some of their letters are printed in John Disney's Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, Esq., London, 1808, p. 30–40. See also Caroline Robbins, “Thomas Brand Hollis (1719–1804), English Admirer of Franklin and Intimate of John Adams,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 97 (1953):239–247.
2. Richard Price (1723–1791), of Newington Green, dissenting minister, writer on government and finance, and friend of America (DNB). JA and Price had been correspondents for some years and continued to be so until the latter's death. During their stay in London the Adamses regularly attended Price's religious meeting at Hackney.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-18

Ap. 18. Tuesday.

Yesterday dined here, Mr. Jefferson, Sir John Sinclair, Mr. Heard, Garter King at Arms, Dr. Price, Mr. Brand Hollis, Mr. Henry Loyd of Boston, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Bridgen, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Murray,1 Coll. Smith.
1. William Vans Murray (1760–1803), a young Marylander studying at the Middle Temple. He had formed a close friendship with JQA, was liked by all the Adamses, and became a valued political disciple of JA. A Federalist member of Congress, 1791–1797, he was appointed by Washington successor to JQA as minister at The Hague, and it was largely through his efforts, concluding in the Franco-American Convention of Mortefontaine, Sept.-Oct. 1800, that JA as President was able to end the quasi-war with France. See DAB; JQA's anonymous obituary of Murray in the Port Folio, 1st ser., 4:5–6 (7 Jan. 1804); articles by Alexander DeConde on Murray's diplomacy, Md. Hist. Mag., 48: 1–26 (March 1953), and on his Political Sketches, London, 1787 (a work dedicated to JA), MVHR, 41:623–640 (March 1955); and “Letters of William Vans Murray,” ed. W. C. Ford, Amer. Hist. Assoc., Ann. Rpt. for 1912, p. 341–715 (mainly letters to JQA, from the Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-19

London April 19. 1786. Wednesday.

This is the Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, and of my Reception at the Hague, by their High Mightinesses. This last Event is considered by the Historians, and other Writers and Politicians of England and France as of no Consequence: and Congress and the Citizens of the United States in General concur with them in Sentiment.
{ 189 }
I walked to the Booksellers, Stockdale, Cadel, Dilly, Almon, and met Dr. Priestly for the first Time.1—The Conquest of Canaan, the Vision of Columbus, and the History of the Revolution in S. Carolina, were the Subject. I wrote a Letter to Jn. Luzac, for Dilly.2
This Day I met Dr. Priestly and Mr. Jennings, with the latter of whom I had a long Walk. I spent the Day upon the whole agreably enough. Seeds were sown, this Day, which will grow.3
1. Joseph Priestley (1732–1804), dissenting clergyman, discoverer of oxygen, political radical, and voluminous writer on theology and other subjects (DNB). This was the beginning of a long but not untroubled relationship, for Priestley fled from Birmingham to Pennsylvania in 1794 and his political views and utterances during JA's Presidency led to suggestions that he be deported under the Alien Act—suggestions which JA refused to act on (JA, Works, 9:5–6, 13–14). There is an excellent brief account of their relationship in Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress, ch. 14, which includes JA's marginalia in his own copies of some of Priestley's theological writings.
2. Not found.
3. This must pertain, at least in part, to JA's efforts to arrange for publication in London of the works of the American authors mentioned in the preceding paragraph. On 5 March David Humphreys, a poet himself and a member of the Connecticut circle that included Timothy Dwight and Joel Barlow, had written JA from Paris to say that WSS was bringing to London a printed copy of Dwight's Conquest of Canaan (which had been published at Hartford, 1785) and a MS copy of Barlow's Vision of Columbus (eventually published at Hartford, 1787), which their authors hoped could be published in London (Adams Papers). JA wrote Dwight on 4 April that he knew “of no heroick Poem superior to [The Conquest of Canaan], in any modern Language, excepting always Paradise lost,” but after consulting with Dr. Price and others about the poems he predicted “a cold reception” for them from British publishers and readers (LbC, Adams Papers). On the same day he wrote Barlow in more or less similar terms (LbC, Adams Papers). By one means or another, however, both poems were eventually published in London, Barlow's by Dilly and Stockdale in 1787, and Dwight's by J. Johnson the next year. See Blanck, Bibliog. Amer. Lit., 865, 5040; Sabin 3435, 21548.
At the end of 1785 David Ramsay, a literary physician and a delegate to the Continental Congress from South Carolina, had published at Trenton his two-volume History of the Revolution of South-Carolina and optimistically sent 1600 copies to Charles Dilly for sale in England. See Ramsay to JA, 23 Dec. 1785 (DSI), and JA's characteristic reply, 9 Feb. 1786 (LbC, Adams Papers). Ramsay later informed JA that Dilly had “declined publishing my history from an apprehension that it would expose him to prosecutions” (14 May 1786, Adams Papers). There were proposals to cut out passages that would give offense in England, but as JA told Ramsay, “your Friends have expressed so much Indignation at them that I hope and believe they will be laid aside, and that by degrees the American Edition may be sold” (1 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers). See, further, Robert L. Brunhouse, “David Ramsay's Publication Problems, 1784–1808,” Bibliog. Soc. Amer., Papers, 39 (1945):51–67.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-20

London April 20 1786 Thursday.

Went with Mr. Jefferson and my Family to Osterly, to view the Seat of the late Banker Child.1 The House is very large. It is Three Houses, fronting as many Ways—between two is a double row of Six { 190 } Pillars, which you rise to by a flight of Steps. Within is a Square, a Court, a Terrace, paved with large Slate. The Green House and Hot House were curious. Blowing Roses, ripe Strawberries, Cherries, Plumbs &c. in the Hot House. The Pleasure Grounds were only an undulating Gravel Walk, between two Borders of Trees and Shrubs. All the Evergreens, Trees and Shrubbs were here. There is a Water, for Fish Ponds and for Farm Uses, collected from the Springs and wet Places in the farm and neighbourhood. Fine flocks of Deer and Sheep, Wood Doves, Guinea Hens, Peacocks &c.
The Verdure is charming, the Music of the Birds pleasant. But the Ground is too level.—We could not see the Apartments in the House, because We had no Tickett. Mrs. Child is gone to New Markett it seems to the Races.
The beauty, Convenience, and Utility of these Country Seats, are not enjoyed by the owners. They are mere Ostentations of Vanity. Races, Cocking, Gambling draw away their attention.
On our Return We called to see Sion House belonging to the Duke of Northumberland. This Farm is watered, by a rivulet drawn by an artificial Canal from the Thames. A Repetition of winding Walks, gloomy Evergreens, Sheets of Water, Clumps of Trees, Green Houses, Hot Houses &c. The Gate, which lets you into this Farm from the Brentford Road, is a beautifull Thing, and lays open to the View of the Traveller, a very beautifull green Lawn interspersed with Clumps and scattered Trees.
The Duke of Marlborough owns a House upon Sion Hill, which is only over the Way.
Osterly, Sion Place and Sion Hill are all in Brentford, within Ten Miles of Hide Park Corner. We went through Hide Park and Kensington to Brentford. We passed in going and returning, by Lord Hollands House, which is a Modern Building in the gothic manner.
1. Osterley Park, Heston, Middlesex, the seat of Robert Child (d. 1782), of the Child banking dynasty, a 16th-century mansion that had been remodeled by Robert Adam; see Walpole, Letters, ed. Mrs. Toynbee, 8:291–292; 12:306; Walpole, Corr., ed. W. S. Lewis, 28: 413–414.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-23

Sunday. Ap. 23.

Heard Dr. Priestley at Mr. Linseys in Essex Street.1
1. Theophilus Lindsey (1723–1808), minister of the Essex Street Chapel; the first avowedly Unitarian place of worship in London (DNB; Thomas Belsham, Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey ..., London, 1812).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-04-24

Monday [24 April.]

Viewed the British Musaeum. Dr. Grey who attended Us spoke very slightly of Buffon. Said “he was full of mauvais Fois. No Dependence upon him. Three out of four of his Quotations not to be found. That he had been obliged to make it his Business to examine the Quotations. That he had not found a quarter of them. That Linnaeus was quoted from early Editions long after the last Edition was public of 1766 the 12th, which was inexcuseable. He did not think Buffon superiour to Dr. Hill. Both had Imagination &c.”—This is partly national Prejudice and Malignity, no doubt.1
1. This visit was arranged by Benjamin Vaughan. “Dr. Gray makes a private party for Mr. V:, and of course will be happy to see Mrs. and Miss Adams, with Col. Jefferson and Col. Smith” (Vaughan to JA, 20 April 1786, Adams Papers). Their guide was Edward Whitaker Gray, botanist and keeper of the collections of natural history and antiquities at the British Museum (DNB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-06-26

London June 26. 1786.

On Saturday night returned from a Tour to Portsmouth, in which We viewed Paines Hill in Surry, as We went out; and Windsor as We returned. We were absent four days. Paines Hill is the most striking Piece of Art, that I have Yet seen. The Soil is an heap of Sand, and the Situation is nothing extraordinary. It is a new Creation of Mr. Hamilton. All made within 35 Years. It belongs to Mr. Hopkins, who rides by it, but never stops. The owners of these enchanting Seats are very indifferent to their Beauties.—The Country from Guilford to Portsmouth, is a barren heath, a dreary Waste.1
1. “Painshill” (as spelled by Whately) was formerly “The seat of Mr. [Charles] Hamilton, near Cobham in Surry” (Observations on Modern Gardening, 4th edn., London, 1777, p. 184 and note). According to a marginal note in JA's copy of Whately, the Adamses' visit took place on 21 June, so that their excursion began on the 20th and ended on the 24th. In a letter to Lucy Cranch, 20 July, AA gave her impressions of Windsor at length (MHi:Misc. Bound Coll.; AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 297–298).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-01

London July 1. 1786.

Last night, Coll. Smith and his Lady, took their Leave of Us, and went to their House in Wimpole Street.1
Yesterday visited Desenfans's Collection of Pictures. A Port in Italy by Claude Lorraine, is the best Piece that remains. A Sampson sleeping in the Lap of Dalilah, while the Philistines cutt of his Locks, is said to be by Rubens, but Mr. Copely who was present doubts it. { 192 } Supposes it to be by some one of Reubens's School. Fine Colours and the Air of one of Reubens's Wives, is given to Dalilah.
This Art shews Us Examples of all the various Sorts of Genius which appear in Poetry. The Epic Poet, the Trajedian, the Comedian, The Writer of Pastorals, Elegies, Epigrams, Farces, and Songs. The Pleasure, which arises from Imitation, We have in looking at a Picture of a Lanscape, a Port, a Street, a Temple, or a Portrait. But there must be Action, Passion, Sentiment and Moral to engage my Attention very much. The Story of the Prince, who lost his own Life in a bold attempt to save some of his Subjects from a flood of Water is worth all the Paintings that have been exhibited this Year.
Copleys Fall of Chatham or Pierson, Wests Wolf, Epaminondas, Bayard &c. Trumbulls Warren and Montgomery, are interesting Subjects, and useful. But a Million Pictures of Flours, Game, Cities, Landscapes, with whatever Industry and Skill executed, would be seen with much Indifference. The Sky, the Earth, Hills and Valleys, Rivers and Oceans, Forrests and Groves, Towns and Cities, may be seen at any Time.
1. The severing of the engagement between AA2 and Royall Tyler (see note 1 on entry of 20 June 1784 in AA's Diary, above), and the engagement and marriage of AA2 and WSS make a long story that is told in abundant detail in the family correspondence and can only be summarized here, with a general reference to the years 1784–1786 in Series II of the present edition. For a time after the Adams ladies' departure for Europe all went well enough with the engaged couple. AA2 commenced a correspondence with Tyler, and they exchanged miniature portraits. By the spring of 1785, however, AA2 became convinced that Tyler was not writing her, and after much silent suffering she complained to him on this score. This letter of hers, written soon after her arrival in London, has not been found, nor has his reply, which in her own opinion and that of her mother was a prevarication rather than a justification. Late in the summer of 1785, therefore, she returned him his few letters and his picture and requested him to deliver hers to her uncle, Richard Cranch (Grandmother Tyler's Book: The Recollections of Mary Palmer Tyler ..., ed. Frederick Tupper and Helen Tyler Brown, N.Y. and London, 1925, p. 76). In imparting this news to Mrs. Cranch (in whose house in Braintree Tyler boarded), AA quoted the maxim that “a woman may forgive the man she loves an indiscretion, but never a neglect” (15–16 Aug. 1785, MWA). During the following months Mrs. Cranch wrote long and gossipy letters saying that Tyler refused to admit that he had been dismissed, was otherwise uncandid with the Cranches, continued to wear AA2's miniature, and was in general behaving badly. When he could no longer conceal a situation that everyone in Braintree knew and discussed, Tyler declared, said Mrs. Cranch, that he would go to London and settle the little “misunderstanding” between himself and AA2, which he attributed to the prejudice and malice of her relatives at home (to AA, 10 Dec. 1785, 9 Feb. 1786, Adams Papers).
Meanwhile in London AA2 and WSS had of course been thrown much together, and by Aug. 1785 the secretary of legation had learned enough about the young lady's situation to conclude that, from motives of delicacy, he ought to step out of the scene for a time. He therefore requested and obtained a leave of absence to tour the Continent and { 193 } was gone for several months. Returning toward the end of the year, he composed, in properly gallant and circumlocutory language, a formal request to AA for the hand of her daughter (29 Dec., Adams Papers). His suit, at least, was approved by both AA and JA, who had a very favorable opinion of his character and conduct, and in January and February AA dropped hints to JQA, her sister Cranch, and other family connections in America that AA2's marriage to a very worthy partner might be expected before long, though AA herself wished that there might be a longer interval in view of the broken engagement. The wedding took place on 11 June, and, by special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the Legation in Grosvenor Square, with only the Copley family and a few other American friends present. The Bishop of St. Asaph officiated, because, as JA explained to Richard Cranch, “Dissenting Ministers have not authority to marry” (4 July, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-06

July [6] Thursday.

Dined at Clapham, at Mr. Smiths. Dr. Kippis, Dr. Reese, Dr. Harris, Mr. Pais, Mr. Towgood and his two Sons, Mr. Channing were the Company.1
Mr. Pais told a Story, admirably well of a Philosopher, and a Scotsman. The Wit attempted to divert himself, by asking the Scot if he knew the immense Distance to Heaven? It was so many Millions of Diameters of the Solar System, and a Cannon Ball would be so many Thousand Years in running there. I dont know the Distance nor the Time says the Scot, but I know it will not take you a Millionth part of the Time to go to Hell.—The Scottish Dialect, and Accent was admirably imitated. The Conversation was uniformly agreable. Nothing to interrupt it.
1. The host was William Smith (1756–1835), M.P. for Sudbury, Suffolk, and a noted advocate of parliamentary reform, the repeal of religious tests, the abolition of the slave trade, and other liberal causes. The guests were mainly if not entirely dissenting clergymen and laymen. For Rev. Andrew Kippis and the encyclopedist Abraham Rees see DNB. Joseph Paice, who told the story that follows, was a patron and trustee of dissenting academies (Thomas Belsham, Memoirs of the Late Reverend Theophilus Lindsey, London, 1812, p. 291 and note).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-08

London July 8. Saturday.

In one of my common Walks, along the Edgeware Road, there are fine Meadows, or Squares of grass Land belonging to a noted Cow keeper. These Plotts are plentifully manured. There are on the Side of the Way, several heaps of Manure, an hundred Loads perhaps in each heap. I have carefully examined them and find them composed of Straw, and dung from the Stables and Streets of London, mud, Clay, or Marl, dug out of the Ditch, along the Hedge, and Turf, Sward cutt up, with Spades, hoes, and shovels in the Road. This is laid in vast heaps to mix. With narrow hoes they cutt it down at each End, and { 194 } with shovels throw it into a new heap, in order to divide it and mix it more effectually. I have attended to the Operation, as I walked, for some time. This may be good manure, but is not equal to mine, which I composed in similar heaps upon my own Farm, of Horse Dung from Bracketts stable in Boston, Marsh Mud from the sea shore and Street Dust, from the Plain at the Foot of Pens hill, in which is a Mixture of Marl.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-16

London July 16, 1786. Sunday.

At Hackney, heard a Nephew of Dr. Price, who is settled at Yarmouth.
It may be of Use to minute miscellaneous Thoughts like Selden, Swift &c.
It is an Observation of one of the profoundest Inquirers into human Affairs, that a Revolution of Government, successfully conducted and compleated, is the strongest Proof, that can be given, by a People of their Virtue and good Sense. An Interprize of so much difficulty can never be planned and carried on without Abilities, and a People without Principle cannot have confidence enough in each other.
Mr. Langbourne of Virginia, who dined with Us on Fryday at Col. Smiths, dined here Yesterday. This Gentleman who is rich, has taken the Whim of walking all over Europe, after having walked over most of America. His Observations are sensible and judicious. He walks forty five or fifty miles a day. He says he has seen nothing superiour to the Country from N. York to Boston. He is in Love with N. England, admires the Country and its Inhabitants. He kept Company with the King of Frances Retinue, in his late Journey to Cherbourg. He says the Virginians have learned much in Agriculture as well as in Humanity to their Slaves, in the late War.1
1. William Langborn (d. 1814), of King William co., Va., who had served as aide-de-camp to Lafayette in America and was in 1783 breveted lieutenant colonel. According to family tradition he wandered for many years on his walking tours. He had just arrived in England from France, where on 15 June Jefferson had issued him a passport. See Heitman, Register Continental Army; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 5:637–638; 9:643–644; WMQ, 1st ser., 4:184 (Jan. 1896); 11:257–260 (April 1903); also entry of 21 July and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-20

London July 20. Thursday.

“Every Act of Authority, of one Man over another for which there is not an absolute Necessity, is tyrannical.”
“Le Pene che oltre passano la necessita di conservare il deposito della Salute pubblica, sono ingiuste di lor natura.” Beccaria.1
{ 195 }
The Sovereign Power is constituted, to defend Individuals against the Tyranny of others. Crimes are acts of Tyranny of one or more on another or more. A Murderer, a Thief, a Robber, a Burglar, is a Tyrant.
Perjury, Slander, are tyranny too, when they hurt any one.
1. “All punishments that go beyond the requirements of public safety are by their very nature unjust” —Beccaria, Deidelitti e delle pene, ch. 2. JA is quoting from his own copy of the Italian text (new edn., Haarlem and Paris, 1780, p. 10), which he had acquired in July 1780. This passage is near the end of ch. 2. The quotation in English in the preceding paragraph of this entry is also from Beccaria, ch. 2 (near the beginning of that chapter), but is taken from JA's copy of the English translation (An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, London, 1775, p. 7). This shows that JA used the original and the translation together, but the new Italian edition of 1780 varies markedly in its text from the version on which the earlier translation was based. Both volumes are among JA's books in the Boston Public Library; JA presented the English translation to his son TBA in 1800.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-21

London July 21. Fryday.

Maj. Langbourne dined with Us again. He was lamenting the difference of Character between Virginia and N. England. I offered to give him a Receipt for making a New England in Virginia. He desired it and I recommended to him Town meetings, Training Days, Town Schools, and Ministers, giving him a short Explanation of each Article. The Meeting house, and Schoolhouse and Training Field are the Scaenes where New England men were formed. Col. Trumbul, who was present agreed, that these are the Ingredients.1
In all Countries, and in all Companies for several Years, I have in Conversation and in Writing, enumerated The Towns, Militia, Schools and Churches as the four Causes of the Grouth and Defence of N. England. The Virtues and Talents of the People are there formed. Their Temperance, Patience, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, as well as their Sagacity, Knowledge, Judgment, Taste, Skill, Ingenuity, Dexterity, and Industry.—Can it be now ascertained whether Norton, Cotton, Wilson, Winthrop, Winslow, Saltonstall, or who, was the Author of the Plan of Town Schools, Townships, Militia Laws, Meeting houses and Ministers &c.
1. Many years later Richard Rush, while serving as American minister in England, wrote JA that “An old Scotch woman, in North-Shields, signing herself Ann Hewison,” had sent him (Rush) “a manuscript Quarto” of extracts from the diary of William Langborn “during his travels through several parts of Europe.” No trace of Langborn's diary has been found, but Rush copied into his letter the following passage from it:
“London July 18. 1786. Saturday—Did myself the pleasure, agreeably to yesterdays invitation, of dining with Mr. Adams and his family. We had but one stranger, he remarkable for his American attachments. Our dinner was plain, neat, and good. Mrs. Adams's accomplish• { 196 } ments and agreeableness would have apologized for any thing otherwise; after dinner took an airing in the park.
”Thursday the 23. Dined again with Mr. Adams. Mr. Trumball, a student of Mr. Wests was there. The English custom although bad still exists; we set to our bottle; I not for wine, but for the conversation of the Minister, which was very interesting, honest and instructive. He informed us that the Portuguese Minister had by order of his Queen a pleasing piece of intelligence, which was, that her fleet in the Mediterranean had her orders to give the same protection to all American vessels as to her own. I must not forget Mr. Adams's requisites to make citizens like those republicans of New England; they were, that we should form ourselves into townships, encourage instruction by establishing in each public schools, and thirdly to elevate as much the common people by example and advice to a principle of virtue and religion” (Rush to JA, 2 May 1818, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-24

July 24. 1786. Monday.1

Went with Mr. Bridgen, Col. Smith, Mrs. Smith, to The Hide in Essex, the Country Seat of Brand Hollis Esqr.2 We breakfasted at Rumford, and turned out of the Way to see the Seat of Lord Petre at Thorndon. Mr. Hollis prefers the Architecture of this House to that at Stow, because it is more conformable to Paladio, his Bible for this kind of Knowledge. There are in the back Front six noble Corinthian Pillars. There is a grand Saloon unfinished in which are many ancient Pictures, one of Sir Thomas More, his Wife and two Daughters, with a Group of other Figures. There is in another Appartment, a Picture of the Cornaro Family by Titian. This House is vast, and the Appartements are grand and the Prospects from the Windows are extensive and agreable. The furniture is rich and elegant. The Pictures of King James the 2d, of Lord Derwentwater who was beheaded in 1715, as well as many others besides that of Sir Thomas More, shew that the Family is Catholick. The Library shews this more fully as the Books are generally of that kind, but the Chapel furnishes full proof. The Library is semicircular, with Windows and Mahogany Collonades, very elegant, but contrived more as an ornamented Passage to the Chappell, than for Study. There are two Stoves, but at neither of them could a Student be comfortable in cold Weather. I might talk of Glades and Forrests, Groves and Clumps, with which this House is surrounded like all other Palaces of the kind.
We dined at the Hide, with Mr. Brand Hollis and his Sister Miss Brand. This is a curious Place. The House is the Residence of an Antiquarian, as most of the Apartments as well as the great Hall, sufficiently shew. I will perhaps take a List of all the Antiques in this Hall. The most interesting to me is the Bust of my Friend as well as Mr. Brands Friend, the late Thomas Hollis Esq., in beautifull white Marble.
{ 197 }
This House which is a decent handsome one was the Seat of Mr. Brands Father, and the Chamber where We lodge, is hung round with the Portraits of the Family. It is at the End of the House, and from two Windows in front and two others at the End, We have a pleasant View of Lawns and Glades, Trees and Clumps and a Piece of Water, full of Fish. The Borders, by the Walks, in the Pleasure Grounds, are full of rare Shrubbs and Trees, to which Collection America has furnished her full Share. I shall here have a good Opportunity to take a List of these Trees, Shrubbs and Flours. Larches, Cypruses, Laurells are here as they are every where. Mr. Brand Hollis has, planted near the Walk from his Door to the Road, a large and beautifull Furr, in Honour of the late Dr. Jebb his Friend. A Tall Cyprus in his Pleasure Grounds he calls General Washington, and another his Aid du Camp Col. Smith.
1. First entry in D/JA/45, an unstitched gathering of leaves identical in format with the preceding booklets and containing entries only through 29 [i.e. 28] July 1786; most of the leaves are blank.
2. Near Ingatestone. Brand Hollis himself used the spelling “The Hide,” but his heir and biographer, John Disney, whose Memoirs of Thomas Brand-Hollis, Esq., London, 1808, contains a number of views of the house and grounds, used the presumably more elegant form, “The Hyde.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-25

The Hide July 25 1786 Tuesday.

Mr. Brand Hollis and Mr.1 Brand, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Adams, took a ride to Chelmsford, stopped at a Booksellers, the Printer of a Newspaper in which Mr. B. Hollis had printed the late Act of Virginia in favour of equal religious Liberty. We then went to Moulsham Hall, built originally by Lord Fitzwalter, but lately owned by Sir William Mildmay, one of the Commissaries2 with Governor Shirley at Paris in 1754, for settling the Boundaries between the French and English in America. Lady Mildmay owns it, at present, but is not yet come down from London. Mr. B. Hollis admires the Architecture of this House, because it is according to the Principles of Palladio. The Apartments are all well proportioned in Length, Breadth and Height. There is here a Landscape of Rembrandt. The Words Halls, Parlours, Saloons and Drawing Rooms occur upon these Occasions, but to describe them would be endless. We returned by another road through the race grounds, to the Hide and after Dinner, made a Visit to the Gardiners House to see his Bees. He is Bee mad, Mr. B. Hollis says. He has a number of Glass Hives, and has a curious Invention to shut out the Drones. He has nailed thin and narrow Laths at the Mouth of the Hive, and has left Spaces between them barely wide { 198 } enough for the small Bees to creep through. Here and there he has made a Notch in the lath large enough for a Drone to pass, but this Notch he has covered with a thin light clapper which turns easily upwards upon a Pivot. The Drone easily lifts up the Clapper and comes out, but as soon as he is out, the Clapper falls and excludes the Drone, who has neither Skill nor Strength to raise it on the outside. Thus shut out from the Hive the Gardiner destroys them because he says they do nothing but eat Honey. The Gardiner who is a Son of Liberty, and was always a Friend to America, was delighted with this Visit. Dame says he to his Wife, you have had the greatest honour done you to day that you ever had in your Life.—Mr. B. Hollis says he is a proud Scotchman, but a very honest Man and faithfull Servant.—After Tea Mr. B. Hollis and I took a circular Walk, round the Farm. He shew Us a kind of Medallion, on which was curiously wrought a Feast of all the Heathen Gods and Goddesses sitting round a Table. Jupiter throws down upon the Middle of it, one of his Thunder bolts, flaming at each End with Lightning, and lights his own Pipe at it, and all the others follow his Example. Venus is whiffing like a Dutchman, so is Diana and Minerva, as well as Mars, Bachus and Apollo.
Mr. B. Hollis is a great Admirer of Marcus Aurelius. He has him in Busts, and many other Shapes. He observed to me, that all the Painters of Italy, and from them most others, have taken the Face of Marcus Aurelius, for a Model in painting Jesus Christ. He admires Julian too, and has a great veneration for Dr. Hutchinson, the Moral Writer who was his Tutor, or Instructor.3 He has a Number of Heads of Hutchinson, of whom he always speaks with Affection and Veneration. Ld. Shaftesbury too is another favourite of his.
In the dining room are two Views of that Estate in Dorsetshire, which the late Mr. Hollis gave to Mr. Brand. There is only a Farm House upon it. Here are to be seen Hollis Mede and Brand Pasture. In Hollis Mede, Mr. Hollis was buried, ten feet deep, and then ploughed over, a Whim to be sure. But Singularity was his Characteristic. He was benevolent and beneficient, however, throughout.—In the Boudoir is a Dagger, made of the Sword which killed Sir Edmunbury Godfrey. An Inscription—Memento Godfrey, Protomartyr, pro Religione Protestantium.
Mr. Hollis's Owl, Cap of Liberty and Dagger are to be seen every where. In the Boudoir, a Silver cup with a Cover, all in the shape of an Owl, with two rubies for Eyes. This piece of Antiquity was dug up, at Canterbury, from ten feet depth. It was some monkish conceit.
1. Doubtless a slip of the pen for “Miss.”
{ 199 }
2. JA probably meant to write “Commissioners.”
3. Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow, where Brand Hollis had studied.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-26

July 26. Wednesday.

Mr. B. Hollis, Miss Brand, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Smith, and I walked to Mill Green, or Mill Hill the Seat of a Mr. Allen a Banker of London.1 We walked over the Pleasure Grounds and Kitchen Garden and down to Cocytus, a canal or Pond of Water surrounded with Wood in such a Manner as to make the Place gloomy enough for the Name. This is a good Spot, but Mr. Allen has, for want of Taste, spoiled it by new Pickett Fences at a great Expence. He has filled up the Ditches and dug up the Hedges and erected wooden Fences and brick Walls, a folly that I believe in these days is unique. They are very good, civil People, but have no Taste.
1. According to AA2, who in a journal-letter to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug., adds many details about this excursion to Essex that are not found elsewhere, Allen was a retired wine merchant (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-27

The Hide July 28 [i.e. 27.] 1786. Thursday.

Went with Mrs. Adams to Braintree about Eighteen miles from the Hide. As our Objects were fresh Air, Exercise and the Gratification of Curiosity, I thought We ought to make a little Excursion to the Town after which the Town in New England where I was born and shall die was originally named. The Country between Chelmsford and Braintree, is pleasant and fertile, tho less magnificent in Buildings and Improvements than many other Parts of England: but it is generally tillage Land and covered with good Crops of Barley, Oats, Rye,1 Wheat and Buckwheat.
Braintree is a Markett Town, and Fairs are held here at certain Seasons. I went to the Church, which stands in the Middle of a triangular Piece of Ground, and there are parallell to each Side of the Tryangle, double Rows of handsome Lime Trees, which form the Walks and Avenues to the Church. The Church is a very old Building of Flint Stones. Workmen were repairing it, and I went all over it. It is not much larger than [Mr?]2 Cleverleys Church at Braintree in New England. I examined all the Monuments and Grave Stones in the Church and in the Church Yard, and found no one Name of Person or Family of any Consequence, nor did I find any Name of any of our New England Families except Wilson and Joslyn, Hawkins, Griggs and Webb. I am convinced that none of our Braintree Families came from this Village, and that the Name was given it by Mr. Cod• { 200 } dington in Compliment to the Earl of Warwick, who in the Begginning and Middle of the Seventeenth Century had a Manor here, which however at his death about 1665 went out of his Family. The Parish of Bocking has now more good Houses. Braintre is at present the Residence only of very ordinary People, manufacturers only of Bays's.3
Chelmsford was probably named in Compliment to Mr. Hooker who was once Minister of that Town in Essex, but afterwards in Holland, and after that Minister at “Newtown” (Cambridge) and after that at <New Haven> Hartford in New England. We returned to Dinner, and spent the Evening in examining the Curiosities of Mr. Thomas Brand Hollis's House. His Library, his Miltonian Cabinet, his Pictures, Busts, Medals, Coins, Greek, Roman, Carthaginian and Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, are a Selection of the most rare, and valuable. It would be endless to go over the whole in Description.
We have had, with Alderman Bridgen, an agreable Tour and an exquisite Entertainment.
I should not omit Alderman Bridgens Nuns, and Verses. About 30 Years ago Mr. Bridgen in the Austrian Netherlands purchased a compleat Collection of the Portraits of all the orders of Nuns, in small duodecimo Prints. These he lately sent as a Present to the Hide, and Mr. Hollis has placed them in what he calls his Boudoir, a little room between his Library and Drawing Room. Mr. Bridgen carried down with him a Copy of Verses of his own Composition, to be hung up with them. The Idea is that banished from Germany by the Emperor they were taking an Asylum at the Hide, in sight of the Druid, the Portico of Athens and the verable4 Remains of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Carthaginian Antiquities.5
1. MS: “Rue”—clearly an inadvertence.
2. Overwritten, possibly with an initial letter, and not clear. At any rate, Joseph Cleverly, JA's old schoolmaster, is meant; he conducted services at Christ Church, Braintree, during the Revolution while no Anglican clergyman resided there (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p.255).
“At 2 Pappa and Mamma returnd not much pleased with the appearance of the Town they had been to visit. Mr. H. told us it was a Poor, dirty, miserable village and such they found it” (AA2 to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug., Adams Papers).
4. Thus in MS.
5. A large broadside printed text of Alderman Bridgen's verses, “On sending some Pictures of Nuns and Fryers to Thomas Brand Hollis, Esq. at the Hyde in Essex, supposed to be Real Personages turned out of the Convents and Monasteries in Flanders by the Emperor,” without author's name, imprint, or date, is in the Adams Papers under the assigned date of July 1786.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0005-0004-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1786-07-28

July 29 [i.e. 28.] 1786. Fryday.

Returned to Grosvenor Square to Dinner.1
{ 201 }
1. The Adams party's return to London on Friday, 28 July, is verified by a passage in AA2's letter to JQA, 27 July-22 Aug. (Adams Papers).
Here ensues a gap in JA's Diary of a full year, his next (and last European) entries being the fragmentary notes of his tour with AA and AA2 to the west of England in July-Aug. 1787.
American relations with Great Britain during this year remained in statu quo, no new issues of any magnitude arising and no standing issues being settled. During the spring and early summer of 1786 JA had reiterated to both official and private correspondents that no diplomatic progress would be made in London until the various state acts impeding payment to British creditors were repealed, for, as he observed to Samuel Adams, “When We have done Equity We may with a good Grace, demand Equity” (2 June 1786, NN; see also JA to Jay, 25 May, 16 June, letterbook copies, Adams Papers, printed in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:659–661, 668–670). Ten months after JA had made his first recommendation on this point to Congress as urgently as he knew how to do, that body unanimously adopted a report by Foreign Secretary Jay that had long been on its table, the heart of which was “That all such acts or parts of Acts as may be now existing in any of the States repugnant to the treaty of Peace ought to be forthwith repealed” (21 March 1787; JCC, 32:124–125); this was to be embodied in a circular letter to the states, adopted 13 April (same, p. 177–184).
On 25 Jan. 1787 JA had the satisfaction of signing, at last, the treaty, or rather the “unilaterally executed grant” of protection for American shipping, which the gifts conveyed by Thomas Barclay to the Emperor of Morocco had purchased. Jefferson had signed this document in Paris on 1 Jan.; an English text is printed as an enclosure in Barclay's letter to the Commissioners, Cadiz, 2 Oct. 1786, together with valuable editorial notes, in Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 10:418–427; see also Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:185–227.
More important than any of the occurrences mentioned above was the Adamses' visit during Aug.-Sept. 1786 to the Netherlands. Its importance is owing to a consequence that was unexpected and has been too often overlooked. On his return from the family excursion to Essex at the end of July, JA found Congress' tardy ratification, dated 17 May 1786, of the commercial treaty with Prussia (see note 1 on entry of 27 March, above). Since by its Article 27 an exchange of ratifications was required within one year of the signing of the treaty, that is to say by 10 Sept. 1786, since there was no Prussian minister residing at either London or Paris, and since time was short, JA felt obliged to go himself to The Hague for that purpose. This would also enable him to pay his respects to officials and friends in the republic to which he was still the accredited United States minister and, by taking AA with him, to show her the country she had expected to but did not visit three years earlier. Leaving London on 3 Aug., JA and AA traveled by way of Harwich, Hellevoetsluis, and Rotterdam to The Hague, where they arrived on the 8th. On that very day JA signed and exchanged ratifications with the Prussian minister Thulemeier. The Adamses were now free for diversions, and AA characteristically provided in her letters a full and colorful record of Dutch modes of travel, social activities, and sightseeing during their stay of nearly a month; her letters to her daughter are in AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:53–64; see also AA to Mrs. Cranch, 12 Sept., MWA, printed in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 300–305.
Among other places, they visited Utrecht, where they happened to be present when the new magistrates of that city, which had undergone a constitutional reform at the hands of the Patriot party, were sworn into office. The incident had a profound effect on JA. “In no Instance, of ancient or modern History,” he wrote Jefferson, 11 Sept., “have the People ever asserted more unequivocally their own inherent and unalienable Sovereignty” (LbC, Adams Papers; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 10:348). And in a letter to Jay he represented this event, which was a high-water mark in the efforts of the Dutch Patriots, as the first visible fructification in Europe of the principles of the American Revolu• { 202 } tion (3 Oct., LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:676–677). His discussions with Dutch friends and his reflections on the significance of what was happening in their country became one of JA's principal motives in undertaking the most ambitious literary work of his life, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. The root of this treatise lay, as is well known, in JA's objections to Turgot's critique of the American state constitutions, embodied in Turgot's letter to Price written in 1778 but first published in 1784 (see note on Turgot and JA under the entry of 9 April 1778, above). But its other immediate inspiration (besides the events occurring in the Dutch Republic) was the disturbing news he read in London about “the Seditious Meetings in the Massachusetts” that were to lead to Shays' Rebellion; see JA to Richard Cranch, 15 Jan. 1787 (NN; JA, Works, 1:432–433), and also Letter I in the Defence itself, which seriously suggested that the discontented people in Massachusetts wished to depose the governor and senate of that state “as useless and expensive branches of the constitution” because they had been reading Turgot's letter to Price (JA, Defence [vol. 1], London, 1787, p. 4).
Upon his return from the Netherlands JA began with almost feverish haste and concentration to read for and compose his treatise on the dangers of republican government and the means of averting them. The first volume, an octavo of 392 pages, was published before the middle of Jan. 1787. A second followed in September, and a third in 1788. He was so absorbed in the task that he abandoned his Diary altogether; and his letterbooks during the fall, winter, and spring of 1786–1787 are more meager than at any other period of his decade in Europe. AA took up part of the burden he dropped, writing with greater frequency to American correspondents and explaining that “Mr. Adams ... says his friends must not expect any letters but printed ones from him” (to Cotton Tufts, 29 April 1787, Adams Papers). (The Defence was composed in the form of letters, nominally addressed to JA's son-in-law, WSS.) JA recognized that the Defence was a “strange” and faulty book, but it was his chief political testament, and its composition, the complex bibliography of its successive editions, and its reception and influence in Europe and America, as well as upon his own career, deserve closer study than they have yet had—indeed could have had until his papers bearing on the subject, including a mass of notes and drafts still only partially arranged, were made available. Pending such a comprehensive study, the reader may be referred to three especially pertinent chapters in Zoltán Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress (chs. 3, 8, 9), and to the excellent analysis of JA's political theory in a world context which will be found in Robert R. Palmer's Age of the Democratic Revolution . .. : The Challenge, Princeton, 1959, p. 269 ff.
JA was obliged to interrupt work on Volume 2, dealing with the history of Italian republics, by another and quite unexpected trip to the Netherlands in May-June 1787. He went in order to execute a contract for a third American loan in Amsterdam, essential to meeting a large interest payment for which the measures of the Board of Treasury in New York had proved inadequate. Leaving London on 25 May with John Brown Cutting as a traveling companion and temporary secretary, he arrived just in time to save American credit in the Netherlands once more. Despite the serious civil disturbances then going on (there was rioting in Amsterdam during his first two nights there that presaged the extinction of the Patriot party), the bankers had prepared a contract for a loan of a million guilders at 5 per cent interest, to be redeemed in 1798–1802; JA signed it on 1 June, and during the following days signed 2,000 obligations on behalf of the United States. By 9 June he was back in London. (See JA's correspondence with the Willinks and Van Staphorsts, May–June 1787; J. B. Cutting to AA, 25, 28 May; JA to AA, 1, 2 June; all in Adams Papers; P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amster-damschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, 1:175–178.) JA had some qualms about this transaction, since he had acted in the financial { 203 } emergency without specific authorization from Congress; see his report to Jay, 16 June, enclosing the contract (LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:787–792). Congress, however, promptly ratified the contract, 11 Oct. (JCC, 33:649); an English translation of the contract, with the ratification signed by Pres. Arthur St. Clair and Secretary Thomson, is in Adams Papers.
In March 1787 the Smiths moved from Wimpole Street to the Legation in Grosvenor Square because AA2 was expectant. On 2 April, with Dr. John Jeffries, a former Bostonian and loyalist, in attendance, JA's first grandchild was born; it was a boy and was christened, by Dr. Price, William Steuben Smith (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 20 Jan., 25–27 Feb.; to Lucy Cranch, 26 April; all in MWA). In announcing this news to C. W. F. Dumas, 3 April, JA said he now expected to have “some Amusement” (LbC, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-20

Fryday July 20 1787 London.

This day three years I landed at Deal. Since that time I have travelld to France, to Holland and several parts of England but have never kept any journal, or record except what my Letters to my Friends may furnish nor have I ever perused this Book since it was first written till this Day when looking into the first page, it excited all my former emotions and made the Tears flow affresh. I have now determined on this journey to keep a journal. This Day we set out from Grosvenour Square on a Tour to Plimouth. Mr. Adams, myself, Mrs. Smith and Son about 3 months old, her Nursery maid, Esther my own maid and Edward Farmer a footman, our own Coachman and a postilion. Our first Stage was to Epsom in the county of Surry where we dinned. This place is famous for the races which are held there. From Epsom we proceeded to Guilford where we put up for the Night. This is an agreeable road and a highly cultivated Country.
1. From a MS designated as M/AA/r (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197), described in note 1 on the entry of 20 June 1784 in AA's Diary, above. Though AA, JA, and AA2 all kept journals at times during their excursion to the west of England, the results, even when combined, are meager and leave numerous gaps. JA's few fragmentary notes have been placed after AA's journal entries, which cover only the first nine days of a month's trip of some 600 miles. AA2's record is longer than either her mother's or her father's, but since the MS has not been found and the text as published (AA2 Jour. and Corr., 1:84–94) is not trustworthy, it has not been included in the present edition, though it has been occasionally quoted or cited in editorial notes.
The excursion had been recommended by the Adamses' physician, Dr. John Jeffries, because AA's health had been poor throughout the winter and spring (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 16 July 1787, owned by Dr. Eugene F. DuBois, N.Y. City, 1957). JA and AA had also been warmly and repeatedly urged by John Cranch of Axminster, nephew of AA's brother-in-law, Richard Cranch, to visit Devon, the county from which the Cranches and Palmers of Braintree, Mass., had emigrated. JA having completed the second volume of his Defence for the printer (though only just in time), and WSS being absent on a mis• { 204 } sion for Congress to the Queen of Portugal, the moment was opportune for a family excursion. (On WSS's mission to Portugal, April–Aug. 1787, see his report to Jay, 12 Sept., with enclosures; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 3:69–84.)

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0002

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-21


We set out about 9 in the morning, stoped and baited at Farnham, dinned at Alton and reached Winchester about 8 oclock. Robert Quincy Earl of Winchester formerly resided here and was I presume an ancestor of my mothers, bearing the same arms. There is a Cathedral Church here, it being a Bishops See. The present Bishop of Winchester is Brother to Lord North whose Seat and park is in Farnham. There is a remarkable high Hill calld Catharine Hill just after you quit Guilford near two miles long from which one has a good view of the Town which seems to be placed between 2 Hills. The Houses are very old. In further examining respecting this earl of Winchester, I find that Saar de Quincy was created first Earl of Winchester by King John in 1224 and signed Magna Charta. In 1321 the title is said to be extinct, but this I do not believe as my Ancestors who went to America bore the same Name and Arms. And I well remember seeing when I was a child a parchment containing the Descent of the families in the possession of my Grandfather and that it was traced back to William the conquerer who came from Normandy. Saer de Quincy was a French Marquiss. Mr. Edmund Quincy borrowed this Genealogicall Table of my Grandmother for some purpose and lost it as he says.1 If the Tittle had been extinct for want of Male Heirs, it is not probable that an illegitimate ospring would have taken pains to have preserved the Geneoligy. These matters have heitherto been of so little consideration in America that scarcly any person traces their desent beyond the third Generation by which means the Britains sometimes twit us of being descended from the refuse of their Goals and from transported convicts. But it is well known that the first setlers of New England were no such persons, but worthy conscientious people who fled from Religious percecution to a New World and planted themselves amidst Savages that they might enjoy their Religion unmolested.
“As the old Gentleman [Col. Edmund Quincy] is still living, I wish Mr. Cranch would question him about it, and know what Hands it went into, and whether there is any probability of its ever being recoverd, and be so good as to ask uncle [Norton] Quincy how our Grandfather came by it, and from whence our Great-granfather came? where he first settled? and take down in writing all you can learn from him, and Mr. Edmund Quincy respecting the family. You will smile at my Zeal, perhaps on this occasion, but can it be wonderd at that I should wish to Trace an Ancestor amongst the Signers of Magna Carta” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0003

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-22

Sunday 23 [i.e. 22 July.]

Went to the Cathedral Church at Winchester. It is a very curious structure. It is said to have been part built by Bishop Walkelyne in the year 1079. In a Chaple belonging to this Edifice Queen Mary was married to King Philip, and the Chair in which she was seated during the ceremony is still to be seen. There is also a Statue of James the 1 and Charles the first. This place since its first foundation has been 3 time[s] nearly destroyd by fire. It has been the residence of many Kings, and this place was the first that obtaind a free Charter which King Henry the first Granted. After hearing divine service, we proceeded to South hampton which is bounded by the Sea and is a very pretty Town much resorted to during the Summer Months as a Sea Bathing place, which for the first time in my Life I tried this morning, 24th of July.1
1. Error for 23 July. AA's dates are one day in advance until her entry for 26 July, which is correct because, inadvertently or not, she included two days in the entry she dated 25 July.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0004

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-23

24 [i.e. 23] July.

We dinned at South hampton and set out after dinner for Salsbury 22 miles, where we meant to have passt the night and taken a view of the Town, but when we reachd the Inn we found it fully occupied, and not a single Bed to be had neither at the Inn we went to, or any other in Town, the Court of Assize being held there for the week. Tho nine oclock we were obliged to proceed to the next stage eleven miles, which we did not accomplish till eleven oclock. We then put up at an inn in a small thatchd villiage Woodyats by Name. We were neatly accommodated, but not a single Hut in sight. Through a Country as fertile as Eden and cultivated like a Garden you see nothing but misirable low thatchd Huts moulderd by time with a small old fashiond glass window perhaps two in the whole House. A stone floor is very common. One may travell many miles without seeing a House. On some lone Heath a Shepeards Cottage strikes your Eye, who with his trusty dog is the keeper of a vast flock owned by some Lord, or Duke. If poverty, hunger and want should tempt him to slay the poorest Lamb of the flock, the penal Laws of this Land of freedom would take his Life, from thence I presume the old proverb took its rise, one had as goods be hanged for a Sheep as a Lamb, and if the Lord or Duke was murderd the poor man would no more forfeit his life, than for the Sheep or Lamb, yet surely the crime is very different.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0005

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-24

July [24–]25

We left this village and proceeded on our way to Blanford where we put up for the Night. Saw nothing striking in this place and met with poor accommodations oweing chiefly to the Assizes, which were to commence the next Day and the House was nearly occupied when we arrived. We stayd only untill the next morning and then persued our route. Arrived at diner time at Dorchester an other very old Town. It is famous for Beer and Butter. It resembles Dorchester in New England, in the Hills and in the appearence of the Land. About four miles from the middle of the Town on the road to Weymouth is a very Regular entrenchment upon a very high Hill: this must have been the encampment of some Army. Some say it was a Danish encampment, others that it was a Roman. There is an Amphitheatre in the middle of a mile circumference and a castle calld Maiden Castle. Weymouth lies 8 miles from Dorchester, is a Sea port and esteemed a very Healthey Situation, a Noted Bathing place and much resorted to during the Summer Months.1 The whole Town draws its Support from the company which frequent it. It is a small place and little Land which is not occupied by Buildings for the conveniency of the company. It has no Manufactory of any kind. Some vessels are built here. We tarried here only one Night.
1. “we ... went ten miles out of our way in order to visit Weymouth merely for its Name” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0006

Author: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1787-07-26 - 1787-07-27

July 26[–27]

Our next Stage was Bridport a small Sea port but a very bad harbour. No trade only in coal which is carried there by water for the supply of the inhabitants. We dinned there, and then proceeded for Axmister, the first town in the County of Devonshire. Here we put up at the best Inn I ever saw, the George kept by a Mr. Ellis.1 The appartments were not only neat and convenient, but every thing had an air of Elegance and taste. Here we were visited by Mr. John Cranch a Nephew of my Brother Cranch who is an Attorney and resides here.2 The Town is a little narrow dirty village, but a great through fare, all the Plimouth, Exeter and many other Stages passing through it. Went with Mr. Cranch to see the Manufactory of carpets for which this place is famous. The building in which this buisness is carried on is by no means equal to an American Barn. The whole Buisness is performd by women and children. The carpets are equally durable with the Turky, but surpass them in coulours and figure. { 207 } They are made of coars wool and the best are 24 shillings a square yd., others at fourteen. They have but two prices. From thence we went to a tape manufactory which are the only two manufactories in the Town. Mr. Cranch invited us to drink Tea with him. He is a single man, of a delicate complexion, small features, about 26 or 27 years old. He never looks one in the face and appears as if he had been cramped and cowed in his Youth. He has a good understanding, which he has improved by reading, and appears a virtuous amiable man. He accompanied us to Exeter and Plimouth.3
“In obedience to your command about the inns, permit me to acquaint you, that I think you will be accomodated much to your satisfaction at the George, here; and I shall expect to be honor'd in due time with your preparatory commands to the host and hostess (Ellard) as to beds, horses, time, &c, if necessary, that you may suffer no inconvenience which it might have been put into my power to prevent” Cranch to AA, Axminster, 17 July 1787, Adams Papers).
2. Upon learning of JA's presence in London during his first visit there late in 1783, John Cranch had sent him compliments and a present of two hares for his table (Cranch to JA, 17 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers). (The hares had to be eaten by the bookseller John Stockdale, to whose care they were sent, because JA and JQA had left England for Amsterdam; see Stockdale to JA, 20 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers.) Other gifts followed after the Adamses settled in Grosvenor Square. From his letters Cranch appears to have been warmly pro-American in his politics; see especially Cranch to AA, 7 Nov. 1786 ( Adams Papers), commenting on Ramsay's History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, a copy of which the Adamses had presented to him.
“27th..., Mr. C. dined with us, and requested we would take tea at his cottage; he came at six to attend us. He lives in a small, neat cottage; every thing around him has an air of taste, united with neatness. He has a variety of small prints, the heads of many eminent persons, and the six prints, Hogarth's representation of la marriage a la mode. He has also a painting of Sir Walter Raleigh, which is thought an original picture; it was lately left, by an old gentleman who died, to the British Museum. Mr. C. says he has a great inclination never to deliver it; he thinks it ought to be preserved sacred in this county, because its original was born here in the parish of Baidley, and that Sir Walter's character stands very high throughout the county of Devonshire. Papa observed that his character did not appear unexceptionable; he answered that none of his faults were known here; they believed only in his virtues and excellencies” (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:86).
This portrait of Raleigh by the Dutch-English artist “Cornelius Jansen, at Mr. J. Cranch's, Axminster,” is also mentioned by JA (entry of July-Aug., below). It appears not to have survived; at any rate it is not entered in Alexander J. Finberg's “A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson, or Jonson,” Walpole Society, 10 (1921–1922):1–37; and recent searches by museum officials in England have not brought it to light.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0001-0007

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1787-07-28


We left Axminster and proceeded to Exeter. Here we put up at the Hotell in the Church yard and opposite to the Cathedral Church. At this place lives Mr. Andrew Cranch the Eldest Brother of Mrs. Palmer { 208 } and Mr. R. Cranch. We went to visit him. A Mr. Bowering a very Worthy Tradesman came to see us, and as he lives near to Mr. Cranch, he persuaded the old Gentleman to come and drink Tea with him. He is very infirm and about 78 years old, is very poor and past his labour, bears a Good Character as a man of great integrity and industery. His wife is near as old as he, a small woman, but very lively and active and looks like to last many years. Mr. Bowerings Brother married with1
1. Here AA's journal breaks off, but the substance of this incomplete sentence is supplied in her letter to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787 (MWA): “Mr. [Andrew] Cranchs daughter married Mr. Bowerings [John Bowring's] Brother, they have three Sons. She is a sprightly woman like her Mother, and Mr. Bowering's daughter married a Son of Mr. Natll. Cranchs, so that the family is doubly linked together.”
The travelers remained in Exeter from Saturday the 28th until Monday the 30th. “From Exeter we went to Plimouth. There we tarried several days [30 July-4 Aug], and visited the fortifications, Plimouth Dock, and crossed over the Water to Mount Edgcume [Edgcumb Mount, Devon, on the Tamar River, near Saltash]; a Seat belonging to Lord Edgcume” (same).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1787-07 - 1787-08

[Memoranda on a Tour from London to Plymouth, July–August 1787.]1

Michael Sawrey, at Plymouth2
Gillies St. Martins Lane. Garthshores
Sastres Edgware Road. No. 20.

fallitur egregio quisquis sub Principe credit,

Servitium: nunquam Libertas, gratior exit [extat]

quam sub Rege pio. Claud. Lib. 3. in Stillic.

quos praefecit ipsi [praeficit ipse], regendis rebus, ad arbitrium Plebis, Patrumque reducit.3

Mad. La Marquise de Champsenets au Chateau de Thuilleries.
To Epsom, Guilford, Farnham, Alton, Winchester, Salisbury. Blandford, Dorchester, Bridport, Axminster, Honniton (Valley), Exeter.
Niccolaides. Chambourgs Rhodes.
Gentlemans Pocket Farrier.
Truslers practical Husbandry. Baldwins P[ater] N[oster] Row.
O fair Columbia, hail.
An original Sir. W. Rawleigh, by Cornelius Jansen, at Mr. J. { 209 } Cranch's, Axminster.4 Sir W. was born at Hays in the Parish of Bodley, Devon.—John Bowering. Andrew Cranch.
Ingratitude thou marble hearted fiend, more hideous when thou shewest thee in a Child than a sea Monster. S'pear.
1. These highly miscellaneous jottings are on a loose folded sheet separated from the Diary and filed under its assigned date in the Adams Papers. On the fourth and last page is a list in JA's hand of six military companies in Boston, with their commanders, beginning “Boston Troop of Horse, Swan.” Possibly this list was put down from a newspaper account of forces mustered to deal with the Shays insurgents during the winter of 1786–1787. The notes printed here are mere scraps of information that JA wished to remember and were doubtless mainly taken down during the family excursion to the west of England. But from the fact that the name of Michael Sawrey of Plymouth heads the list they may have been begun in London, for some of the notes that follow pertain to persons and things encountered by JA before he reached Plymouth.
“At Plimouth we were visited by a Mr. and Mrs. Sawry; with whom we drank Tea one afternoon; Mr. Sawry is well known to many Americans, who were prisoners in Plimouth jail during the late war. The money which was raised for their relief, past through his Hands and he was very kind to them, assisting many in their escape” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. From Claudian's Consulship of Stilicho, book 3, lines 113–116, but carelessly copied by JA as usual. Corrections have been inserted from the Loeb Classical Library text of Claudian (London and N.Y., 1922). The Loeb translation is as follows: “He errs who thinks that submission to a noble prince is slavery; never does liberty show more fair than beneath a good king. Those he himself appoints to rule he in turn brings before the judgment-seat of people and senate.”
4. See note 3 on entry in AA's Diary for 26[–27] July, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1787-08-06

1787. August 7 [i.e. 6?]1

At Kin[gsbridge, the southerly] Point of the County of Devonshire, the birth Place of my Brother Cranch. [Wen]t Y[ester]day to Church in the Morning, dined with Mr. Burnell, went to the Presbyterian Meeting afternoon, drank Tea with Mr. Trathan,2 and went to the Baptist Meeting in the Evening.—Lord Petre is the Lord of this mannor.—The Nephew of my Brother Cranch possesses the Family Estate, which I saw, very near the Church, four Lotts of very fine Land in high Cultivation. The Nephews and Nieces are married and settled here, all Tradesmen and Farmers in good Business and comfortable Circumstances and live in a harmony with each other, that is charming.—On Saturday We passed thro Plympton And Modbury. From the last Town emigrated my Brother Cranch with Mr. Palmer. It is a singular Village at the Bottom of a Valley formed by four high and steep hills. On Fryday We went out from Plymouth to Horsham, to see Mr. Palmer, the Nephew of our Acquaintance in America. His sister only was at home. This is a pleasant Situation.3 We had before seen Mr. Andrew Cranch at Exeter, the aged Brother of my friend, { 210 } and Mr. William Cranch, another Brother deprived by a Paralytick Stroke of all his faculties.
[Mr. Bowring, at Exe]ter, went with me to see Mr. Towg[ood, the au]thor of the dissenting Gentlemans answer [to] Mr. Whites three Letters, 87 years of age.4
Brook is next Door to Swainstone and Strachleigh, near Lee Mill Bridge, about two miles from Ivy Bridge.5 Strachleigh did belong to the Chudleighs the Dutchess of Kingstons Family.
Haytor Rock is at the Summit of the highest Mountain in Dartmore Forrest. Brentor is said by some to be higher.
1. Here begin the scraps of JA's Diary, nine paper booklets or folded sheets, of various sizes and shapes, which are collectively designated D/JA/46 in the Adams Papers and which complete the MS of the Diary as JA kept it, very intermittently, from 1787 to 1804.
As to the date of this entry, since JA says he attended church and meeting three times “Yesterday,” it can only be supposed that he was writing on Monday, 6 August.
The top edge of this sheet of the MS is charred. Some words and parts of words have been supplied, in brackets, from the text printed by CFA.
2. Both Burnell and Trathan were connections of the Cranches in Kingsbridge, a village which was so overwhelmingly “the Chief resort of the Cranch family” that bells were set ringing soon after the Adamses' arrival, and no fewer than fifteen members and connections of the family called on the travelers during their first evening there (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. In a letter to her niece Elizabeth Cranch, 1 Oct. 1787 (Dft, Adams Papers), AA furnished a detailed and vivid account of the expedition from Plymouth to Horsham on 3 August. Since “we were the first coach and four that ever attempted Horsham House,” the trip was full of difficulties and perils, which John Cranch proved himself a veritable Samson in overcoming.
4. Michaijah Towgood, a nonconformist clergyman and prolific writer of theological tracts (DNB).
5. These were places in Devon that the Adamses passed through or near on Saturday, 4 Aug., while traveling from Plymouth to Kingsbridge. They dined at Ivybridge, and JA made a side trip of several miles to Brook to visit William Cranch, another of Richard's brothers (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA). In AA's Diary (M/AA/i) there is an undated, detached note on the final leaf: “Cadleigh, Brook, Strashleigh, Ivey Bridge, visited by Mr. A in company with Mr. J. Cranch.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1787-08-06

Monday. Aug. 6.1

Dined at Totness, thro which the River Dart runs to Dartmouth. Slept at Newton bushell.2
1. This date is evidently correct, being a second entry written this day (see note 1 on preceding entry). On the 7th the Adamses were back in Exeter, for on that day JA recorded receiving a supply of cash at the bank in Exeter (Accounts, 31 May 1785–10 April 1788, Lb/JA/36, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 124).
2. These places were along the road from Kingsbridge to Exeter. By the 12th the tourists were in Bristol, where according to AA2 “We visited Lord Clifford's grounds.” On the 15th, probably, they toured the colleges and other sights of Oxford, and they devoted the following day to a very thorough inspection of Blenheim Palace. See AA2, Jour. and Corr., 1:89–94; AA to Lucy Cranch, 3 Oct. 1787, MWA, printed in AA, Letters, { 211 } ed. CFA, 1848, p. 336–340. The precise date of their return to London is not known, but it was probably about 20 August.
Thus ends JA's European Diary. His commission to Great Britain, limited to three years, was due to expire on 24 Feb. 1788, and exactly a year and a month before that date he had written to Secretary Jay formally requesting that Congress recall him, not only from the British Court but from his mission to the Netherlands and his joint mission (with Jefferson) to the Barbary Powers, so that he would be able to embark “in the Early Spring Ships in 1788” (24 Jan. 1787, LbC, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:691–693). To make certain that his intention would not be doubted, JA addressed a letter next day to the Massachusetts delegates in Congress announcing his “fixed resolution” against remaining longer in Europe even if Congress voted to extend his appointments: “To be explicit I am determined to come home” (25 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers). While the convention to frame a new federal constitution sat, Congress was even more depleted than usual, and it took no action on JA's request (on which Jay had reported favorably on 26 July) until 5 Oct. 1787, when it voted that “the honble. John Adams ... be permitted agreeably to his request, to return to America at any time after the 24th. day of February ... 1788,” and also that “the thanks of Congress be presented to him for the patriotism, perseverence, integrity and diligence with which he has ably and faithfully served his Country” ( JCC, 33:612–613).
Jay's letter of 16 Oct. transmitting this intelligence reached JA in mid-December. The resolves were gratifying to the recipient (who had not, however, waited for them in order to begin winding up his affairs and preparing for his homeward voyage), but Congress' failure to send with them actual letters of recall, as JA had requested, posed a problem of protocol for him, especially with respect to the Dutch government. Without a letter of recall it would be difficult to terminate his mission to The Hague with due politeness except in person, and JA did not relish the prospect of either another winter's crossing and recrossing of the North Sea or visiting again a country in which his best friends had been swept out of power, or worse, by the recent counter-revolution in the Dutch Republic. As time grew short he adopted the expedient of writing, so to speak, his own letters of recall, in the form of memorials to the Stadholder and the States General that explained why a personal leave-taking was almost impossible. To his mortification the memorials were returned by Secretary Fagel, who politely but firmly pronounced them unsatisfactory unless accompanied by letters of recall. At first JA thought he would risk the offense of returning to America without taking formal leave, but on second thought he reluctantly decided to pay a last visit to The Hague, and he so informed Jay on the day after he had his final and perfunctory audience with George III. (Jay to JA, 16 Oct. 1787, with enclosed resolves of Congress, Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:796–800. JA to Jay, 16 Dec, LbC, Adams Papers; same, p. 824. JA to the Prince of Orange and to the States General of the United Provinces, 25 Jan. 1788, enclosed in a letter of the same date to Hendrik Fagel, letter-book copies, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:470–472. Fagel to JA, 12 Feb., Adams Papers; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, 2:828–829. JA to Jay, 16, 21 Feb., letterbook copies, Adams Papers; same, p. 827–828, 832. JA, draft of remarks on taking leave of George III, 20 Feb., Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:480, note.)
Though he did not know it when he left London (29 Feb.) for Hellevoetsluis and The Hague (where he arrived on 4 March), JA was to transact much more important business in the Netherlands than his ceremonial leave-takings. A day or two after he completed those ceremonies he wrote AA from Amsterdam to tell her that he “should have been in London at this hour if you had not ... laid a Plott, which has brought me to this Town.—Mr. Jefferson at the Receipt of your Letter [of 26 Feb., mentioning JA's forthcoming trip to The Hague; Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 12:624], come post to meet me, and he cutts out so much Business for me, to put the Money Matters of the United States upon { 212 } a sure footing, that I certainly shall not be able to get into the Packet at Helvoet before Saturday.... I thought myself dead, and that it was well with me, as a Public Man: but I think I shall be forced, after my decease, to open an additional Loan. At least this is Mr. Jeffersons opinion, and that of Mr. Vanstaphorst” (11 March, Adams Papers). The fourth and final loan that JA negotiated with the Willinks and Van Staphorsts was in the amount of one million guilders, at 5 per cent interest, to be entirely redeemed in fifteen years; the contract was signed on 13 March, and JA as usual spent the following days in signing obligations, to the number of one thousand. Though undertaken at JA's sole discretion, the loan was promptly ratified by Congress, 2 July (JCC, 34:283; an English text, followed by a signed copy of the ratification, is in DLC:Continental Congress Miscellany). Jefferson's purpose in urging JA to execute a new loan, as he told Jay in a dispatch from Amsterdam, 16 March, had been to secure funds sufficient not only to meet immediate and very pressing needs but to carry the credit of the United States safely through the “trying interval” of the next two years while the new government was establishing itself (Papers, ed. Boyd, 12:671–672; see also Jefferson's account in his Writings, ed. Ford, 1:114–117; and P. J. van Winter, Het aandeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den opbouw van het Amerikaansche gemeenebest, The Hague, 1927–1933, vol. 1: ch. 6, esp. p. 179–186).
JA returned to London a few days before the end of March and found that AA had moved to the Bath Hotel in Picadilly so that the furniture and books in the Grosvenor Square legation could be packed for shipping. WSS, AA2, and their infant son had already left for Falmouth, where they were to embark on a vessel bound for New York. On 30 March, just as he was stepping into his carriage to leave for Portsmouth, JA received the official letters of recall from the British and Dutch governments he had so ardently wanted earlier. He posted one to Lord Carmarthen and the other to the new Dutch ambassador in London, Baron van Nagell, and set off. (The original letters of recall, dated 12 Feb. and signed by Pres. Cyrus Griffin and Secretary Jay, are in the Public Record Office, London, F.O. 4, vol. 6, and in the Rijksarchief, The Hague, respectively; letterbook copies of the covering letters are in Adams Papers.)

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0007-0001-0001

Author: Adams, Abigail
DateRange: 1788-03-30 - 1788-05-01

Abigail Adams' Diary of her Return Voyage to America, 30 March–1 May 17881

Sunday London March 30. We took our departure from the Bath Hotell where I had been a Fortnight, and sat out for Portsmouth, which we reachd on Monday Evening. We put up at the Fountain Inn. Here we continued a week waiting for the Ship which was detaind by contrary winds in the River.2 The wind changing we past over to the Isle of Wight and landed at a place call'd Ryed, where we took post Chaises and proceeded to Newport to dine. From thence to Cows where our Ship was to call for us. Here Mr. Adams, myself and two Servants took up our abode at the Fountain Inn kept by a widow woman whose Name is Symes.3 Our Lodging room very small, and the drawing room Confind and unpleasent. I found myself on the first Night much disposed to be uneasy and discontented. On the next day I requested the Land Lady to let me have a very large Room from { 213 } whence we had a fine view of the Harbour, vessels, east Cowes and surrounding Hills. I found my Spirits much relieved. Never before experienced how much pleasure was to be derived from a prospect, but I had been long used to a large House, a large Family and many and various cares. I had now got into an unpleasent place without any occupation for mind or Body. Haveing staid at Portsmouth untill I had read all our Books and done all the Work I had left out, I never before experienced to such a degree what the French term enui. Monday took a walk to the Castle and upon a Hill behind it which commanded a pleasent view of the Harbour and Town which is a small villiage subsisting chiefly by fishing and piloting Vessels. Cowes is a safe and commodious Harbour. Here many Boats ply to take up the oyster which is always found in an Infant State. Small Vessels calld Smacks receive them and carry them to Colchester where they throw them again into water where the Sea only flows up by tides, and there they fatten and are again taken up and carried [to] the London market. The Isle of Wight is taken all together a very fertile agreable place 24 miles Long and 12 Broad. Produces great plenty of Grain, Sheep and Cattle, is a hilly country and a very Healthy Situation. On tuesday we went to Newport in order to visit Carisbrook Castle. This is a very ancient Ruins. The first account of it in English History is in the year 1513. This is the castle where Charles the first was kept a prisoner and they shew you the window from whence he attempted to escape. In this castle is a well of such a depth that the water is drawn from it by an ass walking in a wheel like a turn spit dog. The woman who shew it to us told us it was 300 feet deep. It is Beautifully stoned and in as good order as if finishd but yesterday. She lighted paper and threw [it] down to shew us its depth and dropping in a pin, it resounded as tho a large stone had been thrown in. We went to the Top of the citidal which commands a most extensive prospect. We returnd to Newport to dine. After dinner a Gentleman introduced himself to us by the Name of Sharp. Professed himself a warm and zealous Friend to America. After some little conversation in which it was easy to discover that he was a curious Character he requested that we would do him the Honour to go to his House and drink Tea. We endeavourd [to] excuse ourselves, but he would insist upon it, and we accordingly accepted. He carried us home and introduced to us an aged Father of 90 Years, a very surprizing old Gentleman who tho deaf appeard to retain his understanding perfectly. Mrs. Sharp his Lady appeard to be an amiable woman tho not greatly accustomed to company. The two young Ladies soon made their appearence, the Youngest about 17 very Beautifull. { 214 } The eldest might have been thought Handsome, if she had not quite spoild herself by affectation. By aiming at politeness she overshot her mark, and faild in that Symplicity of manners which is the principal ornament of a Female Character.
This Family were very civil, polite and Friendly to us during our stay at Cowes. We drank Tea with them on the Sunday following and by their most pressing invitation we dined with them the tuesday following. Mr. Sharp is a poet, a man of reading and appears to possess a good mind and Heart and [is] enthusiastick in favor of America. He collected a number of his Friends to dine with us all of whom were equally well disposed to our Country and had always Reprobated the war against us. During our stay at Cowes we made one excursion to Yarmouth about 15 miles distant from Cowes, but the road being Bad it scarcly repaid us for the trouble as we did not meet with any thing curious. After spending a whole fortnight at Cowes the Ship came round and on Sunday the 20 of April we embarked on Board the ship Lucretia Captain Callihan with three Gentlemen passengers viz. Mr. Murry a Clergyman,4 Mr. Stewart a grandson of old Captain Erwin of Boston who is going out to Bermudas collector of the Customs in that Island, His parents being British subjects, Mr. Boyd of Portsmouth a young Gentleman who received His Education in this Country.
The wind with which we saild scarcly lasted us 5 hours, but we continued our course untill Monday Evening when it blew such a gale that we were driven back and very glad to get into Portland Harbour. Here we have lain ever since, now 8 days,5 a Situation not to be desired, yet better far than we should have been either at Sea or in the downs. Whenever I am disposed to be uneasy I reflect a moment upon my preferable Situation to the poor Girl my maid, who is very near her Time, in poor Health and distressingly Sea sick, and I am then silent. I Hush every murmer, and tho much of my anxiety is on her account, I think that God will suit the wind to the shorn Lamb, that we may be carried through our difficulties better than my apprehensions. Trust in the Lord, and do good. I will endeavour to practise this precept. My own Health is better than it has been. We fortunately have a Doctor on Board, and I have taken an old woman out of kindness and given her a passage who seems kind, active and cleaver, is not Sea sick and I hope will be usefull to me. I am much better accommodated than when I came and have not sufferd so much by Sea Sickness. Want of Sleep is the greatest inconvenience I have yet sufferd but I shall not escape so. This day 3 weeks Mr. and Mrs. Smith saild and my dear Grandson just one Year old for New York in the Thyne packet. { 215 } I fear they will have a bad time as the Westerly Winds have been so strong. God protect them and give us all a happy meeting in our Native Land.6 We Lie Here near the Town of Weymouth, and our Gentlemen go on shore almost every day which is an amusement to them and really some to me, as they collect something or other to bring Back with them either Mental or Bodily food. This is Sunday 27 April. Mr. Murry preachd us a Sermon. The Sailors made them-selves clean and were admitted into the Cabbin, attended with great decency to His discourse from these words, “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him Guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.” He preachd without Notes and in the same Stile which all the Clergymen I ever heard make use of who practise this method, a sort of familiar talking without any kind of dignity yet perhaps better calculated to do good to such an audience, than a more polishd or elegant Stile, but in general I cannot approve of this method. I like to hear a discourse that would read well. If I live to return to America, how much shall I regreet the loss of good Dr. Prices Sermons. They were always a delightfull entertainment to me. I revered the Character and Loved the Man. Tho far from being an orator, his words came from the Heart and reached the Heart. So Humble, so diffident, so liberal and Benevolent a Character does honour to that Religion which he both professes and practises.
On Sunday Eve the wind changed in our favour, so much as to induce the Captain to come to sail. This is Thursday the first of May, but we have made very small progress, the winds have been so light; yesterday we past Sylla and are now out of sight of Land. The weather is very fine and we only want fresher winds. The confinement of a Ship is tedious and I am fully of the mind I was when I came over that I will never again try the Sea. I provided then for my return in the Resolution I took, but now it is absolute. Indeed I have seen enough of the world, small as [it?] has been, and shall be content to learn what is further to be known from the page of History. I do not think the four years I have past abroad the pleasentest part of my Life. Tis Domestick happiness and Rural felicity in the Bosom of my Native Land, that has charms for me. Yet I do not regreet that I made this excursion since it has only more attached me to America.7
1. This third and last of AA's fragmentary diaries is in M/AA/1 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 197).
2. The ship was the Lucretia, Capt. John Callahan, of Boston, for whose wife the ship was named; the Adamses paid £200 for their passage and the transportation of their furniture, &c., in the Lucretia (Thwing Catalogue, MHi, under Callahan's name; Callahan to AA, 31 Jan. 1788, Adams Papers). On 8 April Callahan wrote AA from London { 216 } that the weather had been so “Boysterous” that the pilot “Would not venter to moove the Ship, but She is Now in the Downes and will be at Portsmouth the first fair wind” (Adams Papers).
3. AA is casual about dates, but apparently the Adamses left Portsmouth and arrived at Cowes on Sunday, 6 April; they stayed there until Sunday, 20 April, making occasional excursions to points nearby.
4. John Murray (1741–1815), a native of England, minister of the Church of Christ in Gloucester, Mass., and the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States. Murray gave an account of this voyage in his autobiography, The Life of Rev. John Murray, Preacher of Universal Salvation ..., new edn., Boston, 1870, p. 349–350. The other passengers mentioned by AA were, according to the Massachusetts Centinel, 18 June, John Stuart and William Boyd.
5. Actually seven: from Monday the 21st through Sunday the 27th.
6. The Smiths sailed on 5 April from Falmouth in the Tyne packet, reached Halifax in one month, and probably disembarked at New York on 13 May (AA2 to AA, 18 [i.e. 13]–20 May 1788; Jour. and Corr., 2:70–76).
7. AA reported part of the rest of the voyage, which was stormy and protracted, in a letter to AA2 written at sea, 29 May. The Lucretia aided a dismasted American vessel bound for Baltimore, and on 28 May the Brieslers' child, a daughter, was born (same, p. 76–79).
The ship arrived in Boston Harbor on 17 June. As early as 7 May Gov. John Hancock had placed a letter in the hands of the pilot at Boston Light announcing to JA the arrangements for his public reception (Adams Papers). These were elaborate and, as carried out, were reported fully in the Massachusetts Centinel of 18 June:
“Yesterday, after an absence of nine years, arrived in this metropolis, from England, his Excellency JOHN ADAMS, Esq. late Ambassadour from the United States of America, to the Court of Great-Britain—with his lady. His Excellency the Governour having previously ordered, that every mark of respect be paid his Excellency on his arrival, the approach of the ship in which he arrived, was announced by a signal from the Light and a discharge of cannon from the Castle—when off the Castle he was saluted with a federal discharge of cannon from that fortress, and when the ship had arrived at her moorings, the Secretary of the State, by order of his Excellency the Governour repaired in his Excellency's carriage to the end of the pier, from whence, in the State barge, the Secretary waited on the Ambassadour on board, and in his Excellency the Governour's name, congratulated him on his arrival, and invited him and family to his Excellency's seat. The wind being fresh and fair, the ship arrived at town too early to admit our fellow citizens receiving his Excellency in the manner they had previously intended—Notwithstanding, short as the time was, the Pier was crowded—and his Excellency welcomed on shore by three huzzas from several thousand persons. The Secretary of the State accompanied his Excellency in the barge on shore, where his Excellency the Governour's Carriage waited for him—in which he, his lady, the Secretary of the State, and others, rode to the Governour's house, receiving as he passed the compliments and congratulations of his fellow-citizens. The bells in the several churches rang during the remainder of the day—every countenance wore the expressions of joy—and every one testified that approbation of the eminent services his Excellency has rendered his country, in a manner becoming freemen, federalists, and men alive to the sensations of gratitude.
Mr. Adams resides at the House of his Excellency the Governour—where he yesterday received the congratulations of his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, the Hon. Council and, the heads of the several departments of government, on his safe arrival in his native country.”
On the 18th JA was received by the General Court, informed that on the 6th he had been elected a member of the Massachusetts delegation to the First Congress under the Federal Constitution (John Avery Jr., Secretary to the Council, to JA, 6 June, Adams Papers), { 217 } assigned a chair in the House for his use “whenever he may please to attend the debates” (Order of the House, 18 June, Adams Papers), and tendered an address of welcome and gratitude by both houses, to which he replied in two brief and moving paragraphs (Address in Adams Papers; Answer, in JA's hand, facsimiled in Stan V. Henkels, Catalogue of Sale No. 1372, 19 March 1925; both printed in Mass. Centinel, 21 June 1788).
At Newburyport on the 18th JQA learned of his parents' arrival, but could not get accommodations to Boston until the 20th, when he got a horse and rode over to Boston. He found his father gone to Braintree but his mother still at the Governor's house; they went to Braintree together in the afternoon. JQA spent much of the next ten days unpacking books and other goods, which came by lighters from the Lucretia, in the house his parents had bought in preparation for their return (JQA, Diary, 1830 June; JQA, Life in a New England Town, p. 143–146). This was the former John Borland house, which had been briefly owned by Royall Tyler in the 1780's but which reverted to the possession of Leonard Vassall Borland, son of John and Anna Vassall Borland, and was purchased from him by JA for £600 on 26 Sept. 1787 through the agency of Cotton Tufts and Thomas Welsh (Deed recorded in Suffolk co. Registry of Deeds, 161:123, under date of 20 Oct. 1787; see note 1 on the second entry of Jan. 1759, above). For AA's lively impressions of the new house and the difficulties of repairing and settling it, see her letter to AA2 of 7 July (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:84–86).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-07-15

[Notes of Debates in the United States Senate] July 15. 1789.1

Power of Removal.
Mr. Carrol. The Executive Power is commensurate with the Legislative and Judicial Powers.
The Rule of Construction of Treaties, Statutes and deeds.
The same Power which creates must annihilate.—This is true where the Power is simple, but when compound not.
If a Minister is suspected to betray Secrets to an Ennemy, the Senate not sitting, cannot the President displace, nor suspend.
The States General of France, demanded that offices should be during good behaviour.
It is improbable that a bad President should be chosen—but may not bad Senators be chosen.
Is there a due ballance of Power between the Executive and Legislative, either in the General Government or State Governments.
Montesquieu. English Liberty will be lost, when the Legislative shall be more corrupt, than the Executive.—Have We not been witnesses of corrupt Acts of Legislatures, making depredations? Rhode Island yet perseveres.
{ 218 }
Mr. Elsworth. We are sworn to support the Constitution.
There is an explicit grant of Power to the President, which contains the Powers of Removal.
The Executive Power is granted—not the Executive Powers hereinafter enumerated and explained.
The President—not the Senate appoint. They only Consent, and Advise.
The Senate is not an Executive Council—has no Executive Power.
The Grant to the President express, not by Implication.
Mr. Butler. This Power of Removal would be unhinging the equilibrium of Power in the Constitution.
The Statholder witheld the fleet from going out, to the Anoyance of the Ennemies of the nation.
In Treaties, all Powers not expressly given are reserved.
Treaties to be gone over, Clause by Clause, by the President and Senate together, and modelled.
The other Branches are imbecil.
Disgust and alarm.
The President not sovereign. The U.S. sovereign, or People, or Congress sovereign.
The House of Representatives would not be induced to depart, so well satisfied of the Grounds.
Elsworth. The Powers of this Constitution are all vested—parted from the People, from the States, and vested not in Congress but in the President.
The Word Sovereignty is introduced without determinate Ideas.— Power in the last Resort. In this sense the Sovereign Executive is in the president.
The U.S. will be Parties to 1000 Suits. Shall Proscess issue in their Name vs. or for themselves.
The President it is said, may be put to Goal for Debt.
Lee. U.S. merely figurative meaning the People.
Grayson. The President is not above the Law. An Absurdity to admit this Idea into our Government. Not improbable that the President may be sued. Christina Q. of Sweeden committed Murder. France excused her. The Jurors of our Lord the President, present that the President committed Murder.
A Monarchy by a Sidewind. You make him Vindex Injuriarum. The People will not like The Jurors of our Lord the President—nor the Peace of our Lord the President, nor his Dignity. His Crown will be { 219 } left out. Do not wish to make the Constitution a more unnatural monstrous Production than it is.—The British Constitution a three legged Stool. If one legg is longer than another, the Stool will not stand.
Unpallatable. The removal of Officers not palatable. We should not risk any Thing for nothing. Come forward like Men, and reason openly, and the People will hear more quietly than if you attempt side Winds. This Measure will do no good and will disgust.
Mr. Lee. The Danger to liberty greater from the disunited Opinions and jarring Plans of many, than from the energetic operations of one. Marius, Sylla, Caesar, Cromwell trampled on Liberty with Armies.
The Power of Pardon—of adjourning the Legislature.
Power of Revision, sufficient to defend himself. He would be supported by the People.
Patronage. Gives great Influence. The Interference more nominal than real.
The greater Part of Power of making Treaties in the President.
The greatest Power is in the President, the less in the Senate.
Cannot see Responsibility, in the President or the great Officers of State.
A masqued Battery of constructive Powers would compleat the destruction of Liberty.
Can the Executive lay Embargoes, establish Fairs, Tolls &c.?
The foederal Government is limited, the Legislative Power of it is limited, and therefore the Executive and judicial must be limited.
The Executive not punishable but by universal Convulsion, as Charles 1st.
The Legislative in England not so corrupt as the Executive.
There is no Responsibility, in the President, or Ministry.
Blackstone. The Liberties of England owing to Juries. The greatness of England owing to the Genius of that People.
The Crown of England can do what it pleases, nearly.
There is no ballance in America, to such an Executive as that in England.
Does the Executive Arm, mean a standing Army?
Willing to make a Law, that the President, if he sees gross misconduct may suspend pro tempore.
Mr. Patterson. Laments that We are obliged to discuss this question. Of great Importance and much difficulty.
The Executive co extensive with the Legislative. Had the Clause stood alone, would not there have been a devolution of all Executive Power?
{ 220 }
Exceptions are to be construed strictly. This is an invariable Rule.
Mr. Grayson. The President has not a continental Interest, but is a Citizen of a particular State. A K[ing] of E[ngland] otherwise. K. of E. counteracted by a large, powerful, rich and hereditary aristocracy.—Hyperion to a Satyr.
Where there are not intermediate Powers, an alteration of the Government must be to despotism.
Powers ought not to be inconsiderately given to the Executive, without proper ballances.
Triennial and septenial Parliaments made by Corruption of the Executive.
Bowstring. General Lally. Brutus's Power to put his Sons to death.
The Power creating shall have that of uncreating. The Minister is to hold at Pleasure of the Appointor.
If it is in the Constitution, why insert it, in the Law? Brought in by a Sidewind, inferentially.
There will be every endeavour to increase the consolidatory Powers, to weaken the Senate, and strengthen the President.
No Evil in the Senates participating with the P. in Removal.
Mr. Reed. P. is to take care that the Laws be faithfully executed. He is responsible. How can he do his duty or be responsible, if he cannot remove his Instruments.
It is not an equal sharing of the Power of Appointment between the President and senate. The Senate are only a Check to prevent Impositions of the President.
The Minister, an Agent a Deputy to the great Executive.
Difficult to bring great Characters to Punishment or Tryal.
Power of Suspension.
Mr. Johnson. Gentlemen convince themselves that it is best the President should have the Power, and then study for Arguments.
Not a Grant. Vested in the President, would be void for Uncertainty. Executive Power is uncertain. Powers are moral, mechanical, natural. Which of these Powers—what Executive Power? The Land. The Money. Conveys nothing. What Land? What Money.
Unumquodque dissolvitur, eodem modo, quo ligatur.
Meddles not with the question of Expediency.
The Executive wants Power, by its duration and its want of a Negative, and Power to ballance. Foederalist.
{ 221 }
Mr. Elsworth. What is the difference between a Grant and a Partition.
Mr. Izard. Cujus est instituere ejus est abrogare.
1. First entry by JA in his Diary since his return from Europe; written, like those that follow, in a small, detached gathering of leaves that the diarist seized for his immediate purpose and that constitutes one of the numerous segments of D/JA/46. Since the story of the first national election in 1788–1789, of JA's own election as Vice-President, and of the first steps in organizing the new government in New York would require a very long summary, and since JA's Diary from this point on is a mere collection of fragments, the editors have made no attempt to fill in this or later gaps in the Diary record. The reader may be referred, however, to the Chronology of JA's life preceding the index in vol. 4, below.
The debate here recorded was upon the House bill organizing a department of foreign affairs. This bill was sent to the Senate on 24 June, and the point at issue in the Senate was whether the President possessed, or should possess, the exclusive power to remove officers whom he had appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. In a long note on the history of the bill CFA pointed out that JA probably took these minutes “for the sake of guiding his judgment in the contingency which happened of his being called to decide the disputed question by his casting vote” (JA, Works, 3:408). According to Senator William Maclay, who was as usual in the minority and who left a characteristically lively and acidulous record of this debate, JA twice cast tie-breaking votes which reserved to the President the unqualified power of removing his appointees from office, as has ever since been the practice (Maclay, Journal, 1890, p. 109–121, especially p. 116, 119; see also U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 1st sess., under dates of 24–25 June, 14–18 July 1789).
A comparison of JA's notes with Maclay's shows that the former pertain to speeches delivered on more than one day, but systematic assignment of dates to all the speeches is not now possible.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-16

1789 Septr. 16. Wednesday.

Mr. Elsworth informed me That Governor Randolph of Virginia, opened the Convention at Philadelphia, and offered a Project of a Constitution. After him several other Members proposed Plans, some in Writing, others verbally. A Committee was at length appointed to take them all into Consideration, the Virginia Scheme being the Ground Work. This Committee consisted of Governor Rutledge of S.C., Mr. Wilson of Philadelphia, Mr. Gorham of Massachusetts, and Mr. Elsworth of Connecticut. When the Report of this Committee, had been considered and discussed, in the Convention it was recommitted to Governeur Morris, Mr. Maddison and some others.1
1. Ellsworth's information was substantially correct though incomplete, at least as JA recorded it. Edmund Randolph introduced “the Virginia plan” on 29 May 1787. The Committee of Detail was appointed on 24 July, and besides the four members mentioned here, Randolph was also a member (Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, 2:97). The members of the Committee of Style, appointed 8 Sept., were William Samuel Johnson, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, James Madison, and Rufus King (same, p. 547).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-22

[Notes of Debates in the Senate on the Residence Bill] Sept. 22. 1789.

Permanent Seat.1
Mr. Grayson. No Census yet taken, by which the Center of Population—
We have Markets, Archives, Houses, Lodgings.—Extreamly hurt at what has passed in the House of Rep[resentative]s. The Money. Is your Army paid? Virginia offered £100,000. towards the federal Buildings. The Buildings may be erected without Expence to the Union. Lands may be granted—these Lands laid out in Lots and sold to Adventurers.
Mr. Butler. . . .2 The recent Instance in France shews that an Attempt to establish a Government vs. Justice and the Will of the People is vain, idle, and chimerical.
1. After warm debates the House of Representatives sent to the Senate this day a bill to establish the seat of national government at a site ten miles square, to be chosen by commissioners who were to be appointed by the President, “at some convenient place on the banks of the river Susquehannah, in the state of Pennsylvania” ( Penna. Packet, 28 Sept. 1789). The Pennsylvania delegation in the House, which had carried its objective against a strong Southern bloc that favored a site on the Potomac, had in mind the area surrounding the village of Wright's Ferry, now Columbia, Penna. Thanks to the determination and skill of Senator Robert Morris, the proposed Susquehanna site and an amendment substituting a site on the Potomac were both defeated, and the new site agreed on by the Senate was Germantown and the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia, Vice-President Adams casting the deciding vote. The fullest record of the debate in the Senate, including the bargaining maneuvers that accompanied it and incorporating the usual severities on JA's conduct as presiding officer, is in William Maclay's Journal, 1890, p. 158–165; see also Rufus King's notes in King, Life and Corr., 1:370–375; U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 1st sess., under 22–24 Sept.; Bryan,Hist, of the National Capital, 1:27–35; McMaster, History, 1:555–563. Congress adjourned before agreement could be reached between the two houses, and the Residence Act that eventually passed in July 1790 placed the capital at Philadelphia for ten years and then permanently on the Potomac.
2. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-23

[Notes of Debates on the Residence Bill, continued] Sept. 23. Wednesday.

Mr. Lee. Navigation of the Susquehannah.
Mr. Grayson. Antwerp and the Scheld. Reasons of State have influenced the Pensilvanians to prevent the navigation from being opened. The limiting the Seat of Empire to the State of Pen. on the Delaware is a characteristic Mark of Partiality. The Union will think that Pen. governs the Union, and that the general Interest is sacrificed to that of one State.
{ 223 }
The Czar Peter took time to enquire and deliberate before he fixed a Place to found his City.
We are about founding a City which will be one of the first in the World, and We are governed by local and partial Motives.
Mr. Morris moves to expunge the Proviso.1
Mr. Carrol. Against the Motion to expunge the Proviso. Considers the Western Country of great Importance. Some Gentlemen in both houses seem to undervalue the Western Country or despair of commanding it. Government on the Potowmack would secure it.
Mr. Butler. The question is not whether Pensilvania or Maryland shall be benefited—but how are the United States benefited or injured.
Mr. Macclay. Pensilvania has altered the Law this month respecting the navigation of the Susquehannah.
1. A proviso in the House bill required Pennsylvania and Maryland to consent to improving the navigation of the Susquehanna. Morris opposed this proviso on the ground that it would give commercial advantages to Baltimore over Philadelphia; see his speech and Carroll's and Maclay's replies as reported in King, Life and Corr., 1:371–372, and in Maclay, Journal, 1890, p. 159–161.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0008-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1789-09-24

[Notes of Debates on the Residence Bill, continued] Sept. 24. Thursday.

Mr. Grayson. moves to strike out the Words, “in the State of Pensilvania.”1
Mr. Butler. The Center of Population the best Criterion. The Center of Wealth and the Center of Territory.
Mr. Lee. The Center of Territory is the only permanent Center. Mr. Macclay. See his minutes.2
1. That is, following the words “river Susquehannah” in the House bill, and thus assigning the federal capital to Maryland; all the senators present from the South voted for this amendment, but it lost by ten votes to eight.
2. Maclay's “minutes” of this day's debate are very full, but it would have been remarkable if he had offered to let JA see them, since they accuse him of grossly unfair conduct in the chair (Journal, 1890, p. 162–165).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0009-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1790-01-25

[Notes of Debates in the Senate concerning unfinished business] 1790 Jan. 25. Monday.1

It was not the sense of either House, or of any member of either, that the Business pending at the Adjournment should be lost.2
Where is the Oeconomy of repeating the Expence of Time?
Can this opinion be founded on the Law of Parliament? The K[ing] can prorogue the Parliament. But there is no such Power here.
The Rule of Parliament that Business once acted on, and rejected { 224 } shall not be brought on again, the same session, is a good Rule, but not applicable to this Case.
Mr. Elsworth. In Legislative Assemblies, more to be apprehended from precipitation than from Delay.
1. Early in the second session the question arose whether business not finished between the two houses in the former session could “now be proceeded in, as if no adjournment had taken place.” On 20 Jan. a committee of the Senate was appointed to confer with a committee of the House on this subject, and on the 25th the Senate debated the joint committee's report. JA doubtless took his brief minutes of the debate in anticipation of the possibility of a tie vote. But the Senate voted, ten to eight, to accept the report, in these words: “Resolved, That the business unfinished between the two Houses at the late adjournment, ought to be regarded, as if it had not been passed upon by either”; and next day the House concurred. See U.S. Senate, Jour., 1st Cong., 2d sess., under dates of 20–26 Jan. 1790.
2. Though JA failed to name this speaker, it was almost certainly Maclay of Pennsylvania, who both in the joint committee and in the Senate had vigorously contested the view that business between the two houses should be begun de novo in each session. During the debate on the 25th, Maclay wrote, “I was four times up in all.” See his Journal, 1890, p. 179–186.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0010-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1790


Interest, Corruption, Prejudice, Error, Ignorance. Causes of wrong Judgments.
Have not these Causes, as much Influence in one Assembly as in two? If either or all of these Causes should prevail, over Reason, Justice, and the public good in one Assembly, is not a Revision of the Subject in another a probable means of correcting the false decree?
1. The notes or reflections which follow were written in pencil on the verso of the Diary leaf which has the entry of 25 Jan. 1790 on its recto. There is no other clue to their date, and their substance is so perfectly typical of JA's political thought that it does not suggest the occasion of his putting them down on paper.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0011-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1791-11

[November? 1791.]1

Williamson.2 Great Numbers emigrate to the back parts of North and S.C. and G. for the Sake of living without Trouble. The Woods, such is the mildness of the Climate, produce grass to support horses and Cattle, and Chesnuts, Acorns and other Things for the food of hogs. So that they have only a little corn to raise which is done without much Labour. They call this kind of Life following the range. They are very ignorant and hate all Men of Education. They call them Pen and Ink Men.
1. Written on a detached, folded sheet which JA, probably at a much later date, docketed “Scrap.” The only clue to the date when this note of a conversation was written down is the fact that the next entry, precisely dated 11 Nov. 1791, appears overleaf.
2. Hugh Williamson (1735–1819), { 225 } who held an M.D. from the University of Utrecht and had represented North Carolina in the Federal Convention of 1787, was a member of the First and Second Congresses and a writer on scientific and other subjects (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0011-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1791-11-11

Fryday. Nov. 11. 1791.

Yesterday a No. of the national Gazette was sent to me, by Phillip Freneau, printed by Childs and Swaine. Mr. Freneau, I am told is made Interpreter.1
1. The first number of the National Gazette, edited by the poet journalist Philip Freneau, was published in Philadelphia on 31 Oct. 1791. The aim of Jefferson and Madison in encouraging Freneau in this venture was to offset the influence of John Fenno's “tory” Gazette of the United States, which had moved from New York to Philadelphia in Nov. 1790 and to which JA had contributed his “Discourses on Davila,” April 1790-April 1791. At the same time that Freneau attacked Administration measures and especially Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, he held a small post as clerk for foreign languages in the State Department, presided over by Thomas Jefferson. See Brant, Madison, 3:334–336.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0012-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1795-06-21

1795 June 21.

Lime dissolves all vegetable Substances, such as Leaves, Straws, Stalks, Weeds, and converts them into an immediate food for Vegetables. It kills the Eggs of Worms and Seeds of Weeds. The best method is to spread it in your Barn Yard among the Straw and Dung. It succeeds well when spread upon the Ground. Burning Lime Stones or Shells, diminishes their Weight: but slaking the Lime restores that Weight. The German farmers say that Lime makes the father rich, but the Grandson poor—i.e. exhausts the Land. This is all from Mr. Rutherford.1 Plaister of Paris has a vitriolic Acid in it, which attracts the Water from the Air, and operates like watering Plants. It is good for corn—not useful in wet Land. You sprinkle it by hand as you sow Barley, over the Ground, 5 Bushells powdered to an Acre. Carry it in a Bag as you would grain to sow.
1. John Rutherfurd, U.S. senator from New Jersey, 1791–1798 (Biog. Dir. Cong.); see entry of 3 Aug. 1796, below, and note there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0012-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1795


Mr. Meredith at Mr. Vaughans explained to me his Method.1 He takes a first Crop of Clover early: then breaks up the Ground, cross ploughs and harrows it. Then plants Potatoes. He only ploughs a furrow, drops the Potatoes a foot a sunder and then covers them with another furrow. He ploughs now and then between these Rows: but { 226 } never hoes. As soon as the Season comes for sowing his Winter Barley: He diggs the Potatoes, ploughs and harrows the Ground, sows the Winter Barley with Clover Seeds and orchard Grass Seeds: and the next Spring he has a great Crop of Barley and afterwards a great Burthen of Grass.—He prefers Orchard Grass to Herds Grass as much more productive.
1. JA's informant was doubtless Samuel Meredith, formerly a member of the Continental Congress and from 1789 to 1801 treasurer of the United States (Biog. Dir. Cong.). His host was John Vaughan, brother of JA's old friend Benjamin Vaughan. John Vaughan settled in Philadelphia and was perpetual secretary of the American Philosophical Society (Robert Hallowell Gardiner, Early Recollections, Hallowell, Maine, 1936, p. 118–120).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-20

June 20 [1796].1

Sullivan Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 12 1/2.
1. Here begins a brief revival of JA's Diary, extending through the summer of 1796 and comprising the only regular series of entries he made after his return from Europe in 1788. JA had come home from Philadelphia in mid-May, following the long and highly partisan struggle in Congress over Jay's Treaty, and though there was to be a national election in November in which he was in the highest degree interested, the following entries deal almost entirely with farming activities.
CFA printed the Diary entries for 1796 very selectively and frequently omitted personal names or disguised them by reducing them to their initials.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-06-22

June 22.

Thomas Lathrop came for 6 Mo[nths] at 9.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-12

Quincy July 12. Tuesday.

Yesterday mow'd all the Grass on Stony field Hill. To day ploughing for Hilling among the Corn over against the House. Brisler laying the foundation of the new Barn which is to be rais'd tomorrow, at the East End of my Fathers barn. Puffer and Sullivan Lathrop ploughing among Potatoes in the lower Garden.
This Journal is commenced, to allure me into the habit of Writing again, long lost. This habit is easily lost but not easily regained. I have, in the Course of Life, lost it several times and regained it as often. So I will now. I can easily credit the Reports I have heard of Dr. Robertson the Scottish Historian, who is said to have lost the Habit of Writing for many Years: but he reacquired it, before his death, and produced his Inquiry into the Knowledge of the Ancients of India.
In the Course of my Walk, this morning to my new Barn, I met Major Miller, who offered to sell me his Cedar Swamp and Woodlot of 20 Acres, beyond Harmans, descended from his Grandfather and { 227 } Father. His Price £9 = 30 dollars per Acre. Part of it has never been cutt—Part cutt 20 Years ago and grown up very thick. Billings came home before dinner, but did no Work.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-13

July 13. Wednesday.

My new Barn is to be raised this Afternoon, a Rod or two from my Fathers which he built when I was two or three Years old—about 58 years ago, or 59.
Billings went out to hoe this morning but soon came in. Said he had sprained his Arm and could not work.
Billings soon went out towards Captn. Beales's.1 Puffer, one of my Workmen from Stoughton, came home late last night. Said Captn. Lindzee had call'd him in and given him a Bottle of Brandy.2 By what Sympathy do these Tipplers discover one another?
This Day my new Barn was raised near the Spot where the old Barn stood which was taken down by my Father when he raised his new barn in 1737. The Frame is 50 by 30–13 foot Posts.
1. Capt. Benjamin Beale had built a large house just to the west of JA's property in 1792 (HA2, MS Notes in Adams Papers Editorial Files). This house is still standing.
2. John Linzee, a former British naval officer who had married a niece of the Boston merchant John Rowe, resigned his commission in 1791 and settled in Milton (Rowe, Letters and Diary, p. 10–13 and passim).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-14

July 14. 1796 Thursday.

The Wind N.W. after a fine rain. A firing of Cannon this morning in the Harbour. I arose by four O Clock and enjoyed the Charm of earliest Birds. Their Songs were never more various, universal, animating or delightful.
My Corn this Year, has been injured by two Species of Worms. One of the Size and Shape of a Catterpillar, but of a mouse Colour, lies at the root, eats off the Stalk and then proceeds to all the other Plants in the Hill, till he frequently kills them all. The other is long and slender as a needle, of a bright yellow Colour. He is found in the Center of the Stalk near the Ground where he eats it off, as the Hessian fly eats the Wheat. My Brother taught me, the Method of finding these Vermin, and destroying them. They lie commonly near the Surface.
I have been to see my Barn, which looks very stately and strong. Rode up to Braintree and saw where Trask has been trimming Red Cedars. He has not much more to do. He was not at Work. He has probably worked two days since I was there last.
{ 228 }
It rains at 11. O Clock. The Barley is growing white for the Harvest. My Men are hilling the Corn over the Road. A soft fine rain, in a clock calm is falling as sweetly as I ever saw in April, May or June. It distills as gently as We can wish. Will beat down the grain as little as possible, refresh the Gardens and Pastures, revive the Corn, make the fruit grow rapidly, and lay the foundation of fine Rowen and After feed.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-15

July 15. Fryday.

A very heavy Shower of Rain. Thunder in the morning. Billings still unable to work—goes over towards Basses first, then up in Town with Seth.
Went with 3 hands, Puffer, Sullivan Lathrop and Mr. Bass, to Braintree and cutt between 40 and 50 Red Cedars and with a team of five Cattle brought home 22 of them at a Load. We have opened the Prospect so that the Meadows and Western Mountain may be distinctly seen.
Burrell had two hands employed in heaping up Manure in his Barn Yard. The Cattle have broken into his Corn field, through the Gap which We left unfinished in the great Wall, and eaten an hundred hills.
The new Barn is boarded on the Roof, and the underpinning is finished.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-16

July 16. 1796 Saturday.

Paid off Puffer, for Eleven Days Works at a Dollar a Day. Trask and Stetson at work in the Garden. Sullivan and Bass gone for another Load of Red Cedar Posts. Billing over at Bass's in the Morning and going up in Town with Seth as usual.
Trask told me he had worked 20 days. This day in the Garden makes 21. Monday he is to cutt the Wood in the Swamp on Pens Hill. We got in two Loads the last of our English Hay, and bro't home a Load of Red Cedars.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-17

July 17. 1796 Sunday.

Warm but clear. Billings at home but running down Cellar for Cyder.
We are to have a Mr. Hilliard.
Yesterday Dr. Tufts and Mr. Otis and Family dined with me. Otis was very full of Elections and had many Things to say about Pinckney { 229 } and Henry, Jefferson and Burr. He says there was a Caucus at Philadelphia, that they agreed to run Jefferson and Burr—that Butler was offended and left them. O. takes it for granted the P. will retire. Pickering has given out publickly that he will. Mrs. W. takes it for granted that he will. Collections, Packages and Removals of Cloaths and furniture of their own have been made. Anecdotes of Dandridge, and Mrs. W.s Negro Woman. Both disappeared—never heard of— know not where they are. When the Electors are chosen the Declaration is to be made.—Q. Is this Arrangement made that the Electors may make him the Compliment of an Election after a Nolo, and thus furnish an Apology for Accepting after all the Talk?1
Mr. Otis confirms the Account of the nomination and Appointment of my Son to be Minister Plenipotentiary of the U.S. at the Court of Portugal.2 He also confirms the Adjournment of Congress to the Constitutional Day, 1. Monday in December. Mrs. W. is not to return to Phil[adelphia] till November.
Mr. Hilliard of Cambridge preached for Us. He is the Son of our old Acquaintance Minister of Barnstable and afterwards at Cambridge. Mr. Quincy and Mr. Sullivan drank Tea with Us.
1. JA's informant on the political situation was Samuel Allyne Otis, secretary of the U.S. Senate, whose second wife, the former Mary Smith, was AA's first cousin (Appletons' Cyclo. Amer. Biog., 4:607). The maneuvers by both Federalists and Republicans to obtain the succession to the Presidency were in some degree checked by Washington's silence concerning his own intentions until the publication of his advice to his countrymen, ever since known as his “Farewell Address,” in Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, 19 Sept. 1796.
CFA omitted two sentences in the foregoing paragraph: (1) that beginning “Anecdotes of Dandridge,” and (2) JA's final query to himself. On the sudden disappearance of Bartholomew Dandridge, Mrs. Washington's nephew and one of the President's secretaries, see Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, 35:77–79, 135–136, 159, 162. The reasons for it were less discreditable than gossip imputed.
2. JQA, who had been serving as minister resident of the United States at The Hague since 1794, was appointed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate, minister plenipotentiary to Portugal on 30 May 1796 (Commission in Adams Papers under that date; see also AA to JQA, 10 Aug. 1796, Adams Papers). But because of orders from Secretary of State Pickering to remain at The Hague until a replacement could be sent there, JQA never went to Lisbon; instead, he was commissioned in 1797 by his father, now President, to go to Berlin to negotiate a new commercial treaty with Prussia (Commission, 1 June 1797, in Adams Papers; see also Bemis, JQA, 1:88–90).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-18

July 18 1796. Monday.

Billings is at hoe. The Kitchen Folk say he is steady. A terrible drunken distracted Week he has made of the last. A Beast associating with the worst Beasts in the Neighborhood. Drunk with John Cope• { 230 } land, Seth Bass &c. Hurried as if possessed, like Robert the Coachman, or Turner the Stocking Weaver. Running to all the Shops and private Houses swilling Brandy, Wine and Cyder in quantities enough to destroy him. If the Ancients drank Wine as our People drink rum and Cyder it is no wonder We read of so many possessed with Devils.
Went up to Penns hill. Trask has the Rheumatism in his Arm and is unable to work. He told me that Rattlesnakes began to appear—two on Saturday by Porters and Prays. One kill'd. The other escaped. He told me too of another Event that vex'd, provoked and allarm'd me much more—vizt, That my Horses were Yesterday in such a frenzy at the Church Door, that they frightened the Crowd of People, and frightened a Horse or the People in the Chaise so that they whipp'd their Horse, till he ran over two Children. The children stooped down or fell down, so that the chaise went over them without hurting them. But it must have been almost a Miracle, that they were not kill'd or wounded. I know not when my Indignation has [been] more excited, at the Coachman for his folly and Carelessness: and indeed at others of the Family for the Carriage going to Meeting at all. As Mrs. A. could not go the Coach ought not to have gone. The Coachman and Footman ought to have gone to Meeting—and the Girls to have walk'd. L. Smith has no Pretentions to ride in a Coach more than Nancy Adams or even Polly Howard. It is spoiling her Mind and her Reputation both, to indulge her Vanity in that Manner.1 I scolded at the Coachman first and afterwards at his Mistress, and I will scold again and again. It is my Duty. There is no greater Insolence or Tyranny, than sporting with Horses and Carriages among Crouds of People.
1. Louisa CatherineCatharine Smith (1773?–1857), who never married, was the daughter of AA's errant brother William Smith of Lincoln; she lived for many years with the Adamses, serving as JA's amanuensis in his old age, and was generously remembered in the wills of both AA and JA (Quincy, First Church, MS Records, 6 June 1857; AA to JA, 3 Jan. 1784, Adams Papers; AA, New Letters, passim). “Nancy” was Ann (1773–1818), daughter of Peter Boylston Adams, JA's brother; in Jan. 1797 she married Josiah Bass of Quincy (Quincy, First Church, MS Records, 2 May 1773; A. N. Adams, Geneal. Hist, of Henry Adams of Braintree, p. 408). Polly Howard has not been identified.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-19

July 19. 1796. Tuesday.

A plentifull Shower of Rain with Thunder and Lightning this Morning. Took a Tea spoonful of Bark in Spirit.
Billings steady: but deep in the horrors, gaping, stretching, groaning.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-20

July 20. 1796. Wednesday. Commencement.

Rode to the Swamp, at the Top of Penns hill. Trask is mowing the Bushes, cutting the Trees, and leaves only the White Oaks which he trims and prunes as high as he can reach. My design is to plough up a Corn field for Burrell, against next Year, in that Inclosure. Walked in the Afternoon over the Hills and across the fields and Meadows, up to the old Plain. The Corn there is as good as any I have seen, excepting two or three Spots. Brisler and Sullivan cutting Sleepers for the Barn. My beautiful Grove, so long preserved by my Father and my Uncle, proves to be all rotten. More than half the Trees We cutt are so defective as to be unfit for any Use but the fire. I shall save the White Oaks, and cutt the rest.
I was overtaken with the Rain, at the End of my Walks and return[ed] home in it. Mrs. Tufts, Mrs. Norton,1 Mrs. Cranch and Mrs. Smith were here.
1. AA's niece, the former Elizabeth Cranch (1763–1811); in 1789 she had married Rev. Jacob Norton, Harvard 1785, recently settled as minister of the First Church of Weymouth (Weymouth Hist. Soc., History of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Weymouth, 1923, 4:444–445).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-21

July 21. Thursday.

Sullivan Lathrop and Bass carting earth into the Yard from the Ground which is to be thrown into the High Way over against my House. The old Appletree, probably an hundred Years of Age is to fall.
Billings and Thomas Lathrop mowing in the Meadow.
Six hogsheads of Lime, 50 Gallons each were brought home Yesterday for Manure. I have it of Mr. Brackett, at 15s. the Hdd.
I am reading Dr. Watsons Apology for the Bible in Answer to T. Paines 2d Part of Age of Reason.
That Appletree, over the Way, to which the Beauty and Convenience of the Road has been sacrificed for an hundred Years, has now in its turn, with Apples enough upon it to make two Barrells of Cyder, fallen a Sacrifice to the Beauty and Convenience of the Road. It has been felled this morning, never to rise again and the Road is to be widened and enlarged. The Stump and Roots are to be dug out of the Ground and the Wall to be removed Back and made an Ha! Ha!
Billings had a mind to go upon Wall. I went with him from Place to Place, and could resolve on nothing. I then set him to split and mortise some Posts for the fence vs. Mrs. Veasie. We went up, carried the Posts but when We came there We found that the Wall was too { 232 } heavy and Stones too large for two hands—four at least were necessary. Billings was wild and We came to some Explanation. He must go off &c. Mrs. Adams paid him off, and then He thought he would not go. After long Conversations Billings came to a Sort of Agreement to stay a Year from this day, at £45. He declared he would not drink Spirit nor Cyder for the whole Year. He reserved however twelve days for himself. We shall see tomorrow Morning how he behaves.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-22

July 22. Fryday.

Billings sober and steady, persevering in his declaration that he will not drink, these 12 months. Paid Trask in full sixteen Dollars for 24 Days Works. He insisted on 4s. a Day. He has finished clearing the Swamp on Penns Hill this day.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-23

July 23. 1796. Saturday.

Rode down to the Barley and Black grass at the Beach. The Barley is better than I hoped. The Clover has taken pretty well in general. Parts where the Tide has flowed are kill'd. Weeds very thick round the Margin of the Salt Meadow, or rather Black grass meadow. Twitch Grass scattering and thin. Billings sober, composed as ever. Bass and Brisler mowing with him. James the Coachman, enjoying the Pleasures of a Sportsman, shooting marsh Birds instead of mowing.
I rode up to Burrells in Braintree to tell Sullivan and Thomas that they might stay with the Team till they had got in all Burrells Hay. Billings thinks there will be 30 Bushells of Barley at the Beach and 30 Bushells to an Acre on Stony field Hill.
Burrells Barn is already nearly full of English Hay and fresh. His Salt Hay, he must stack or stow it in his Barn floor. He has collected his Summer Dung into heaps in his Barn Yard, and has a good deal of it. He will have manure enough, from his Cows and young Cattle, to serve a good Cornfield next Year. His Hogs besides will make a good deal.
I have concluded to break up upon Penns Hill a good Corn field on each side of the new Wall, one for Burrell and one for French and Vinton. They may sled or cart the manure in the Winter, and that Land will produce Clover and Herds grass much better than the plain below. I am weary of wasting so much labour and manure upon that dry plain, which is scortched and burnt up in a dry Season.
Still reading Bishop Watsons Apology. Finished.
My Men mowed the Black Grass and Barley at the Beach, came home and split all the Red Cedars into Posts and morticed some of { 233 } them. Sullivan morticed after having assisted Burrell to get in all his fresh Hay.
Began The Life of Petrarch by Susanna Dobson.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-24

July 24. 1796. Sunday.

We are to have for a Preacher a Mr. Whitcomb.
Billings is still cool and steady.
In the 1st. Vol. of the Life of Petrarch page 52. it is said that Pope John the 22d believed that the Souls of the Just would not enjoy The Vision of God till after the Universal Judgment and the Resurrection of their Bodies. This Opinion is Priestleys and Price was much inclin'd to it. This Popes imprudent Endeavours to establish this Doctrine, produced an Insurrection of the Cardinals and Court of Rome—Decisions of the Doctors in Theology at Paris &c. and obliged the Pope to retract. Petrarch appears to have favoured his Opinion concerning The Vision of God.
Went to Church Forenoon and Afternoon, and heard Mr. Whitcomb of Bolton.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-25

July 25. 1796. Monday.

Dull Weather but no Rain. The Lathrops with the Team are going to the Swamp on Penns Hill for a Load of Wood that Trask has cutt.
Rode up to the Swamp on Penns hill. Sullivan and Bass loaded up a Cord of Wood and Sullivan drove it home. Bass staid and cutt down and cutt up an old Walnut, murdered: by the Women and Children for their Dye Potts, cutt down and cutt up an old Appletree and a Buttonwood Tree. When Sullivan returned he climbed and trimmed two large Buttonwoods. I then left Bass and Sullivan to load their Waggon with the Wood and came home to dinner.
Brisler, Billings, Thomas, James and Prince, after mowing the Barley on Stoney field Hill, were gone down to the Beech to rake and heap the Barley ready for Sullivan to bring home, after he shall have unloaded his Wood. The Weather is warm and clear. Sullivan came home, unloaded his Wood, went down to the Beech and brought up all the Black Grass and Barley at one Load, which was so heavy however that he could not ascend the Hill to the little Barn. Brisler, Bass and James raked upon Stony field hill.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-26

July 26. 1796. Tuesday.

Cloudy and begins to rain, the Wind at N.E. The Men gone up the Hill to rake the Barley.
{ 234 }
In conformity to the fashion I drank this Morning and Yesterday Morning, about a Jill of Cyder. It seems to do me good, by diluting and dissolving the Phlegm or the Bile in the Stomach.
The Christian Religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern Times, The Religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity and Humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will. It is Resignation to God—it is Goodness itself to Man.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-27

July 27. 1796 Wednesday.

Billings and Sullivan making and liming an heap of Manure. They compounded it, of Earth carted in from the Ground opposite the Garden where the Ha! Ha Wall is to be built, of Salt Hay and Seaweed trodden by the Cattle in the Yard, of Horse dung from the Stable, and of Cow dung left by the Cows, over all this Composition they now and then sprinkle a layer of Lime. Bass and Thomas hoeing Potatoes in the lower Garden.
I rode up to The Barn, which Mr. Pratt has almost shingled, and over to the Plain, but found My Tenants were at work in my Fathers old Swamp, which I could not reach without more trouble than I was willing to take.
Dr. Welsh1 came up, with two young Gentlemen from New York, Mr. John and Mr. Henry Cruger, the youngest of whom studies with my son Charles as a Lawyer, who gives him an excellent Character.2 They are journeying Eastward as far as Portland and return by Albany. The Eldest of them has lately return'd from the East Indies.
1. Thomas Welsh (1752?–1831), Harvard 1772, a Boston physician, had in 1777 married Abigail Kent, AA's first cousin. He and his family maintained very close relations with the Adamses over two or three generations, and Welsh's successive residences served frequently as headquarters for members of the Adams family when they were in Boston. See a biographical sketch of Welsh in JQA, Life in a New England Town, p. 25, note, and another, which adds further details, in Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society ... 1781–1922, [Boston], 1923, p. 32–33.
2. CA had been graduated at Harvard in 1789. He then went to New York to live with his parents and was placed in Alexander Hamilton's law office; but when Hamilton was appointed secretary of the treasury later that year CA was transferred to the office of John Laurance, a Federalist congressman, later a U.S. senator from New York, and a large speculator in wild lands. Upon completing his legal training, CA opened an office of his own in Hanover Square, New York City. In Aug. 1795 he married Sarah, or Sally, Smith, sister of AA2's husband, WSS; two daughters were born of this marriage. For a time things went well with the family, and CA continued his frequent and affectionate correspondence with his father. But CA had, or developed, intemperate habits and died in his thirty-first year after a brief illness, 30 Nov. 1800, adding another bitter draft to that which his father was obliged to swallow at this very time by losing the election for a second term as President. (JA to Hamil• { 235 } ton, 21 July 1789, and to John Laurance [“Lawrence”], 19 Sept. 1789, letterbook copies, Adams Papers. CA to AA, 15 Aug., and to JA, 20 Aug. 1792, Adams Papers. AA to Mrs. Cranch, 8 Dec. 1800, MWA; AA, New Letters, p. 261–262. JA to F. A. Van der Kemp, 28 Dec. 1800, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works, 9:576–577. N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Record, 13:87 [April 1882]. Arthur J. Alexander, “Judge John Laurance, Successful Investor in New York State Lands,” New York History, 42:35–45 [Jan. 1944])

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-28

July 28. 1796. Thursday.

Billings and Sullivan are gone to the Beech for a Load of Seaweed to put into their Hill of Compost. Bass and Thomas hoeing still in the lower Garden. James sick of a Surfeit of fruit.
I continue my practice of drinking a Jill of Cyder in the Morning and find no ill but some good Effect.
It is more than forty Years since I read Swifts Comparison of Dryden in his Translation of Virgil to The Lady in a Lobster. But untill this Day I never knew the meaning of it.1 To Day at Dinner seeing Lobsters at Table I enquired after the Lady, and Mrs. Brisler rose and went into the Kitchen to her Husband who sent in the little Lady herself in the Cradle in which she resides. She must be an old Lady—she looks like Dr. Franklin, i.e. like an Egyptian Mummy. Swifts droll Genius must have been amused with such an Object. It is as proper a Subject or rather allusion or Illustration, for Humour and Satyr as can be imagined. A little old Woman in a spacious Habitation as the Cradle is would be a proper Emblem of a President in the new House at Philadelphia.
Billing and Sullivan brought up in the Morning a good Load of green Seaweed. Billing and Bass have [been] carting Dirt and liming the heap of Compost. Sullivan and Thomas threshing Barley at the little Barn. Billing and Bass brought up a second Load of Seaweed at night.
1. See Swift's description of the encounter between Virgil and Dryden in The Battle of the Books (1710): Dryden's “helmet was nine times too large for the head, which appeared situate far in the hinder part, even like the lady in a lobster, or like a mouse under a canopy of state, or like a shrivelled beau, from within the penthouse of a modern periwig.”

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-29

July 29. 1796. Fryday.

Hot after Thunder, Lightening and an Hours Rain. The two Lathrops threshing. Billing and Bass carting Earth. Lathrops threshing. Billing and Bass brought up a third Load of Seaweed. They go on { 236 } making the Heap of Compost with Lime, Seaweed, Earth, Horse Dung, Hogs dung &c.
Still reading the Second Volume of Petrarchs Life.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-30

July 30th. Saturday.

All hands carting Earth and making Compost, i.e. 4 hands Billings, Bass and the two Lathrops. Billings is in his Element. Building Wall and making manure are his great delights, he says. He says he will cover all my Clover with green Seaweed. Drop part of a Load on the lower Part and carry the rest up the hill to the Barley Stubble. He will make a heap of Compost too upon the Top of the Hill to dung the Corn in the holes next Year upon the Piece which I propose to break up, and he will make an heap of Compost in the Spring with winter Dung to dung Corn beyond the Ditch. He will get a Scow load of Rockweed, and Scow loads of Seaweed and marsh mud. If he did not execute as well as plann, I should suppose this all Gasconade. But he is the most ingenious, the most laborious, the most resolute and the most indefatigable Man I ever employed.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0002-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-07-31

July 31. 1796. Sunday.

A fine N.W. Wind, pure Air, clear Sky, and bright Sun. Reading the second Volume of Petrarchs Life. This singular Character had very wild Notions of the Right of the City of Rome to a Republican Government and the Empire of the World. It is strange that his Infatuation for Rienzi did not expose him to more Resentment and greater Danger. In the Absence of the Pope at Avignon, and the People having no regular Check upon the Nobles, these fell into their usual Dissentions, and oppressed the People till they were ripe to be duped by any single Enthusiast, bold Adventurer, ambitious Usurper, or hypocritical Villain who should, with sufficient Imprudence, promise them Justice, <Humanity> Clemency and Liberty. One or all of these Characters belonged to Rienzi, who was finally murdered by the People whom he had deceived, and who had deceived him.
Tacitus appears to have been as great an Enthusiast as Petrarch for the Revival of the Republic, and universal Empire. He has exerted the Vengeance of History upon the Emperors, but has veiled the Conspiracies against them, and the incorrigible Corruption of the People, which probably provoked their most atrocious Cruelties. Tyranny can scarcely be practiced upon a virtuous and wise People.
Mr. Whitcomb preached and dined with me.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-01

August 1. 1796. Monday.

Hands all gone to finish our Equinoctial Line of Wall as Billings calls it.—Hot, sultry, muggy last night Muskitoes numerous and busy, poor sleep, up and down all night.
Have my Brothers Oxen to day.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-02

August 2. 1796 Tuesday.

Wrote to Mr. Sullivan by Dr. Tufts an Answer to his Inquiries concerning Mitchels Map and St. Croix River.1
My own Hands with Nathaniel Hayden only and my own oxen only, finished the great Wall upon Penn's Hill. Mr. Benjamin Shaw and his Wife, (Charity Smith,) drank Tea with Us. He is a Clerk in the Branch Bank at 600 dollars a Year, and She is opening an Accademy of young Ladies for Painting and Music. They live in his Mothers House, and she boards with them. I took a ride with him in his Chaise to the Top of Penns Hill. If innate Levity is curable, they may be happy. If a soft, sweet Voice, a musical Ear, and melodious Modulations, could feed the hungry and cloath the naked, how happy might some People be. She rattles about Independence and boasts of having earned fifty dollars last Month. But the Foible of the Race is rattle.
1. Article V of the Anglo-American Treaty of 1794 (“Jay's Treaty”) provided for a joint commission to determine “what River was truly intended under the name of the River St. Croix,” which had been designated in the Preliminary and Definitive Treaties of 1782 and 1783 as part of the boundary between Canada and the United States (Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:249). James Sullivan, attorney general of Massachusetts and president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, was the agent appointed to represent the United States before the Commissioners, and being about to sail to Halifax for a meeting of the tribunal, he wrote to JA, 30 July, to inquire whether the river called the St. Croix on John Mitchell's Map of ... North America was the river that the Peace Commissioners had meant (Adams Papers; JA, Works, 8:518–519). A draft or retained fair copy of JA's answer of 2 Aug. is also in Adams Papers; same, p. 519–520. Concerning Mitchell's Map, the most important map in American diplomatic history, see the discussion in Miller, ed., Treaties, 3:328–351. The proceedings of the St. Croix Commission are printed in Moore, ed., International Arbitrations, vol. 1: ch. 1. See also the entries of 1011 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-03

August 3. 1796. Wednesday.

Brisler is going to Squantum and Long Island, for my Twin Oxen who are reprieved for a Year. The Lathrops to threshing and Billings and Bass, to manure.
Answered Mr. Rutherfords Letter of 28. June.1
{ 238 }
This Day Thomas Lothrop went away to Bridgwater, unwell, and I paid him 9 dollars. Billings brought up a Load of green Seaweed.
1. See John Rutherfurd to JA, 28 June 1796 (Adams Papers), relative to a work by Robert Somerville entitled Outlines of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Proposed General Report from the Board of Agriculture. On the Subject of Manures ..., London, 1795. JA's answer has not been found; he soon afterward presented a copy of the book to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Eliphalet Pearson to JA, 7 Sept. 1796, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-04

August 4. 1796 Thursday.

Of all the Summers of my Life, this has been the freest from Care, Anxiety and Vexation to me. The Sickness of Mrs. A. excepted. My Health has been better, the Season fruitful, my farm was conducted. Alas! what may happen to reverse all this? But it is folly to anticipate evils, and madness to create imaginary ones.
Went over to Weymouth with Mrs. A., visited Mr. Norton and dined with Dr. Tufts whose salted Beef and shell beans with a Whortleberry Pudden and his Cyder is a Luxurious Treat. Col. Hubbard and his Wife came and I laid a Plan to plough Penns Hill [by?] Abington Ploughmen.1
Bass went to Squantum for the oxen—disappointed. The Wind too high to go over to Long Island. Sullivan threshing. Billings and Bass carting Dirt, making Compost with Lime, brought up a Load of Seaweed.
1. Bottom of page worn away and text only partly legible; but see entry of 8 Aug., below.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-05

August 5. 1796. Fryday.

A fine day. I have finished Petrarch. Walked up to the new Barn and over to the old Plain. Sullivan and Mr. Sam. Hayward threshing—Billings and Bass carting Earth and Seaweed and liming the Compost. Mr. Wibirt dined with Us. James brought home the twin oxen from Long Island. Trask burning Bushes in the Swamp on Penns Hill.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-06

August 6. 1796. Saturday.

Billings and Bass off by Day for Seaweed. Twin oxen sent to be shod.
Omnium Rerum Domina, Virtus. Virtue is The Mistress of all Things. Virtue is The Master of all Things. Therefore a Nation that should never do wrong must necessarily govern the World. The Might of Virtue, The Power of Virtue is not a very common Topick, not so common as it should be.
{ 239 }
Bass and Billings brought another Load of Seaweed in the Evening for the Swine. Sullivan Lothrop went home. Mrs. A. paid him 15 dollars. Mr. Flynt called at Evening. Tomorrow is the last Sunday of his Engagement at Milton. He then goes a Journey for 3 Weeks after which he returns.1 Mr. Whitcomb supplies Us in the mean time. Rode up to the burnt Swamp.
1. Jacob Flint, Harvard 1794, who was afterward for many years minister at Cohasset (E. Victor Bigelow, A Narrative History of the Town of Cohasset, Mass., Cohasset, 1898, p. 367, 506).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-07

August 7. 1796. Sunday.

I am reading a Work of Cicero that I remember not to have read before. It is intituled M. Tullii Ciceronis Si Deo placet Consolatio.1 Remarkable for an ardent hope and confident belief of a future State.
Mr. Whitcomb preached and dined with Us. Prince, having provoked beyond bearing by his insolent Contempt of repeated orders, got a gentle flogging, and went off, i.e. run away. Thomas Lothrop return'd from Bridgwater.
1. Cicero's Consolatio is a work of which only fragments, some of them known to be spurious, survive.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-08

August 8. 1796. Monday.

Billing and Bass gone to mowing Salt Grass at the Beach Meadow. T. Lothrop unloading the Sea weed. No Negro but James, who shall be the last.—Agreed with Mr. Reed of Abington to plough for me next Monday &c. Trask half a day mowing bushes.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-09

August 9. 1796. Tuesday.

4 hands mowing Salt Grass. Finished the Beach Meadow. Trask mowing Bushes to make room for the plough upon Penns hill. T. Lothrop, threshing Corn—Brisler winnowing Barley.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-10

August 10. 1796 Wednesday.

Billing and Bass collecting Compost. Brought up two Loads of Seaweed and carted several Loads of Earth from behind the Outhouse.
Mr. Howell of Rhode Island came up to see me and conversed the whole Evening concerning St. Croix and his Commission for settling that Boundary.1
1. David Howell, a lawyer and a former member of the Continental Congress, was one of the commissioners appointed to arbitrate the disputed boundary between the United States and Canada under Article V of Jay's Treaty (DAB; see also entry of 2 Aug., above, and note there).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0011

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-11

August 11. 1796. Thursday.

Mr. Howell lodged with Us and spent the whole Morning in Conversation concerning the Affairs of his Mission. He said by way of Episode that the President would resign, and that there was one Thing which would make R. Island unanimous in his Successor and that was the funding System. He said they wanted Hamilton for V.P.—I was wholly silent.
Billing and Bass brought up a Load of Dulce and Eelgrass and are carting Earth from below the Outhouse. The Lothrops threshing.
Mr. Thomas Johnson, only son of Joshua Johnson of London, Consul, came to visit Us and spent the day and night with Us.1 I carried him to the Pinnacle of Penns Hill to show him the Prospect.
1. Thomas Baker Johnson (1779?–1843), only brother of Louisa Catherine Johnson whom JQA was to marry in July 1797 and who is designated in the present work as LCA. T. B. Johnson seems to have lived an obscure and wandering life. In 1808 he arrived in New Orleans and for some years served as postmaster there, but his diaries for 1807–1838 (now in the Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 332–339) show that he spent his later years as a valetudinarian in Europe.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-12

August 12. 1796. Fryday.

Billing, Bass and Sullivan carting Salt Hay from the Beech Marsh. Tirell and Th. Lothrop threshing and winnowing Barley.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-13

August 13. 1796 Saturday.

Three Load of Salt Hay Yesterday from the Beach Marsh. Got in 51 Bushells of Barley winnowed and raddled. Billing, Bass, Sullivan Lothrop and E. Belcher with Brisler poling off and carting Salt Hay. Tirrell and T. Lothrop threshing. Trask burning Bushes on Penns Hill.
Reading Tullys Offices. It is a Treatise on moral obligation. Our Word Obligation answers nearer and better than Duty, to Ciceros Word, officium.
Our Men have brought up 3 loads of Salt Hay and left a 4th. stacked upon the Ground. The Barley not all threshed. Prince return'd from Boston.
Read much in Tullys Offices.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-14

August 14. 1796. Sunday.

The Weather hot and dry.
One great Advantage of the Christian Religion is that it brings the great Principle of the Law of Nature and Nations, Love your Neigh• { 241 } bour as yourself, and do to others as you would that others should do to you, to the Knowledge, Belief and Veneration of the whole People. Children, Servants, Women and Men are all Professors in the science of public as well as private Morality. No other Institution for Education, no kind of political Discipline, could diffuse this kind of necessary Information, so universally among all Ranks and Descriptions of Citizens. The Duties and Rights of The Man and the Citizen are thus taught, from early Infancy to every Creature. The Sanctions of a future Life are thus added to the Observance of civil and political as well as domestic and private Duties. Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, are thus taught to be the means and Conditions of future as well as present Happiness.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-15

August 15. 1796. Monday.

My Team met the Abington Team at the Bars, and plough'd the Baulk between Burrells Corn and the great Wall, with the great Plough.
Ploughed on the North Side of the Wall from the Road to the rocky Vally with the small breaking up plough. Trask mowing Bushes and burning. At Night both Teams came home with both Ploughs.
Mrs. Adams went with Mrs. Otis to Situate and Plymouth.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-16

August 16. 1796. Tuesday.

Mr. Reed and Mr. Gurney with Billings ploughing below the lower Garden with 9 Cattle, and the small breaking up plough. It took a long time to fix the Plough with a Wheel &c. In the Afternoon ploughed upon Stony field Hill.
Sullivan with one Yoke of oxen, the Steers and Mare gone to cart Salt Hay for my Tenants French and Vinton.
Tirrell and Thomas still threshing. James and Prince, idle as usual.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-17

August 17. 1796. Wednesday.

Seven Yoke of Oxen and a Horse, Mr. Reed, Mr. Gurney, Mr. Billings, Mr. Brisler, Sullivan and Thomas Lothrop and black James, Seven hands ploughing with the great Plough in the Meadow below the lower Garden. Prince gone to Mill. The Weather dry, fair and cool. The Wind Easterly.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-18

August 18. 1796. Thursday.

Ten Yoke of Oxen and ten Men ploughing in the Meadow below my House.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0019

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-19

August 19. 1769 [i.e. 1796]. Fryday.

Ten Yoke of Oxen and twelve hands ploughing in the meadow. It is astonishing that such a Meadow should have lain so long in such a State. Brakes, Hassock Grass, Cramberry Vines, Poke or Skunk Cabbage, Button Bushes, alder Bushes, old Stumps and Roots, Rocks, Turtles, Eels, Frogs, were the Chief Things to be found in it. But I presume it may be made to produce Indian and English Grain, and English Grass, especially Herdsgrass in Abundance. At least the Beauty of the Meadow and the Sweetness of it and the Air over it will be improved. Brackets, Vintons and My Brothers oxen added to mine and those from Abington.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0020

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-20

August 20. 1796. Saturday.

Bracket and Vinton left me. We procured Captn. Baxters Oxen and William Field Junr. and went on with Eight Yoke including my red Steers, and ploughed as well as ever.
Paid Reed £11. 2s. in full for the Weeks Work of two Men, three Yoke of Oxen and a Horse.
The Men I allowed 6s. a day, tho I found them,1 being one Shilling more than the Agreement. The Oxen I allowed 7s. 6d. a Day, as they found them, which was according to Agreement. The Horse I allowed four shillings a Day for the Days he worked, or rather danced, which were three, and I allowed them one shilling a Day for his Keeping, when he was idle. Making in the whole £11 2s: od.
The[y] left a miserable Dogs Ear in the Meadow unploughed, which mortifies me. In other Respects I am satisfied. I allowed them however a very extravagant sum for keeping their Cattle, and a shilling a Man a Day more than they asked for their Labour.
Mrs. Adams returned with Mr. and Mrs. Otis and Miss Harriot about 9 O Clock at night.
1. That is, furnished them with food; see OED under Find, verb, 18.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-21

August 21. 1796. Sunday.

The hottest day. Unwell.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-22

August 22. 1796 Monday.

Mr. Otis and Family went to Boston. Mr. C. Storer and Mr. Storrow breakfasted.
{ 243 }
Billings and Sullivan began the Wall against the Road opposite the Corner of the Garden.
Very hot but the Wind springs up. Unwell.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0023

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-23

August 23. 1796 Tuesday.

All hands and Tirrell, upon the Wall—carting Stones and Earth &c. Went down to Mr. Quincys and up to our Tenants with Mrs. Adams. Unwell. Brisler and the two black Boys picking Apples.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0024

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-24

August 24. 1796. Wednesday.

Billings, Bass and the Lothrops upon the Wall. The blacks going to pick Apples. I took Rhubarb and Salt of Wormwood.
Bathing my Feet and drinking balm Tea, last night composed me somewhat, and I hope the Rhubarb and Salt of Wormwood I took this Morning will carry off my Complaints: but the Pain in my head and the burnings in my hands and feet were so like the Commencement of my Fevers of 1781 at Amsterdam and of 1783 at Paris and Auteuil, that I began to be allarmed.
Mr. and Mrs. Norton dined with Us.
Old Mr. Thomas Adams of Medfield, the Father of Hannah Adams, the Author of The View of Religions, came in to return a Volume he borrowed last Spring of Bryants Analysis of the ancient Mythology, and to borrow the other two Volumes which I lent him.1
Brisler and the black Boys picking Apples.
1. Thomas Adams of Medfield was a distant cousin of JA; considered eccentric because he doted on books, he acquired the name “Book Adams.” However, he returned all three volumes of Jacob Bryant's New System, or an Analysis of Ancient Mythology, 2d edn., London, 1775–1776, for they may be found among JA's books in the Boston Public Library.
His daughter Hannah Adams (1755–1831) was “probably the first woman in America to make writing a profession” (DAB), and was accordingly much patronized by literary Boston. Her View of Religions, in Two Parts, an enlargement of an earlier work, was published in Boston, 1791, and was dedicated to JA, who subscribed for three copies. Though a mere compilation, this is still a useful book. See Hannah Adams to JA, 21 Feb. 1791, Adams Papers; and JA's reply, 10 March, LbC, Adams Papers; also the engaging Memoir of Miss Hannah Adams, Written by Herself. With Additional Notices, by a Friend, Boston, 1832.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0025

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-25

August 25. 1796. Thursday.

Billings, Bass and the two Lothrops all this Week upon the Wall over the Way. They make about a Rod and a half a day. Captn. Beale began Yesterday to clear his Brook. So much for the Exemplary Influence of ploughing my Meadow.
{ 244 }
The Benediction of Ulysses to The Pheacians, B. 13. 1. 60. “Sure fix'd on Virtue may your nation stand and public Evil never touch the Land” comprehends the Essence and Summary of Politicks. A Nation can stand on no other Basis, and standing on this it is founded on a Rock. Standing on any other Ground it will be washed away by the Rains or blown down by the Winds.
This Day has been intolerably hot. But about 9 O Clock in the Evening it began to rain with Thunder and Lightening and continued to rain very steadily for an hour or two.
My Men complained of the heat more than at any time, they accomplished never the less about a rod and an half of the Wall.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0026

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-26

August 26. 1796. Fryday.

Cloudy. Wind. N.E. but not rainy. The shower last night has refreshed Us. The Corn, the Gardens, the Pastures, The After feed, the Fruit trees all feel it.
Sullivan gone for a Load of Seaweed. The other Men upon the Wall. In digging a Trench for the Wall We find Stones enough, in Addition to the old Wall to compleat the New one. Four hands with a Yoke of Oxen have done Six Rods in four days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Brisler went Yesterday a plovering with a Party who killed about an hundred.
”Inflexible to preserve, virtuous to pursue, and intelligent to discern the true Interests of his Country.” Flattering expressions of a Toast, the more remarkable as they originated in N. York.—God grant they may never be belied, never disproved.
Mr. Sedgwick and Mr. Barrell came up to see me, and gives a sanguine Account of the future Elections of Senators and Representatives.
Sullivan brought up a Load of Seaweed for the Swine. Trask at Work the 3d day mowing Bushes in the old Plain.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-27

August 27. 1796. Saturday.

Sullivan carting Seaweed, spread one Load among the red Loam in the Cavity in the Yard. Trask mowing Bushes in the meadow below the Garden. James cutting the Trees. Billings, Bass and Thomas, about the Wall. Brisler absent on Account of his sick Child.
The Wall, the Alterations of the Road, and the Carting of the Earth, Soil, Loam, Gravel and Stones, out of the Way, whether We { 245 } spread them on the Meadow, lay them in heaps for Compost in the Yard, or deposit them in Parts of the Road where they may be wanted, will in the most frugal Course We can take consume much labour at a great Expence.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0028

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-28

August 28. 1796. Sunday.

Hot. Went not out. Mr. Strong preached. Reading Bryants Analysis of ancient Mythology.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0029

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-29

August 29. Monday. 1796.

Warm. Billings, Bass and two Sullivans1 with James on the Wall. Carted 9 or 10 Load of excellent Soil into an heap, below the lower Garden Wall, and put it to two Loads of Seaweed and some Lime, for manure for the Corn in the Meadow next Year. Carted besides, 3 Loads into the Hollow in the Cowyard. An extream hot day. Reading Bryant. Wrote to Phila. to Wolcot and Pickering.2
1. Probably an error for the “two Lathrops” (or Lothrops).
2. The letter to Oliver Wolcott Jr., secretary of the treasury (CtHi), requested “a Quarters Salary.” The letter to Timothy Pickering has not been found, but Pickering's reply of 5 Sept. (Adams Papers) shows that JA had inquired about the health of TBA, secretary of legation to his brother JQA at The Hague.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0030

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-30

August 30. Tuesday. 1796.

Prospect of another hot day. Pursuing the Wall. Tirrell worked with our Men. Trask cutting Bushes on the ploughed Meadow at the other Place. Wind shifted to the North and then to the N.E. and the Air became very cold. Rode up to see Trask. Carted Mould into the Yard all Day.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0003-0031

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-08-31

August 31. 1796. Wednesday.

Wind north and Air cold. Working on the high Ways. Carried a great Part of my gravel and spread it on the Road to the Meeting House.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-01

September 1. 1796. Thursday.

The Summer is ended and the first day of Autumn commenced. The Morning is cold tho the Wind is West. To Work again on the high Ways. Billings out upon his Wall a little after Sunrise. Captn. Hall Surveyor of High Ways finished the Road between my Garden and new Wall.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-02

September 2. 1796. Fryday.

To work again on the high Ways. They have taxed me this Year between forty nine and fifty days Works on the Roads besides the other Farm in Quincy and the farm in Braintree. This is unjust, more than my Proportion, more than Mr. Black or Mr. Beale.1
Stumbled over a Wheelbarrow in the dark and hurt my Shin.
1. Moses Black, an Irishman who had acquired the house and farm formerly owned by Col. Edmund Quincy (the “Dorothy Q.” house), and Squire Benjamin Beale were both at this time prominent in town affairs and among the largest property owners in Quincy. See the tax list for 1792, when Quincy was taken off from Braintree, in Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 623 ff., and numerous references to both men in the same work.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-03

September 3. 1796. Saturday.

Pursuing the Wall. Tirrell is here and We expect French with his Team. Some soft warm Showers in the night and this morning. French came not, because it rained.
Anniversary of Peace, which has lasted 13 Years.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-04

September 4. 1796. Sunday.

Fair. No Clergyman to day.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-05

September 5. 1796. Monday.

The Anniversary of The Congress in 1774.
Sullivan brought a good Load of green Seaweed, with six Cattle, which We spread and limed upon the heap of Compost in the Meadow. Carted Earth from the Wall to the same heap. Tirrell here. Stetson opening the Brook three feet wider, Two feet on one Side and three feet on the other, at 9d. Pr. rod. Billings has never laid up more than a Rod and a half a day, of the Wall, till Yesterday when he thinks he laid up 28 feet.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-06

Sept. 6. 1796. Tuesday.

Walked up to Trask mowing Bushes.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-07

Sept. 7. 1796. Wednesday.

Belcher, Bass and Sullivan gone to mow the Marsh and get out the Thatch at Penny ferry.1
Billings laying Wall. Thomas, carting Earth. Stetson, widening the Brook to seven feet at 9d. Pr. Rod and a dinner. Brisler and James { 247 } preparing, Yesterday and to day, the Cyder Mill, Press, and Casks.
Yesterday Jackson Field came to offer me Mount Arrarat at Three hundred Dollars. I could not agree. He fell to 275. I could not agree. He fell to 250 reserving the Right to work in Stone with one hand, for Life. I agreed at length to this extravagant Price and have drawn the Deed this Morning.
This Afternoon He came and took the Deed to execute and acknowledge.2
“In 1823, ex-President John Adams was asked whether Judge Edmund Quincy of Braintree, went to Boston over Milton Hill? He replied, 'No, Judge Quincy would have thought it unsafe to venture as far inland as Milton Hill, for fear of the Indians; he was accustomed to go to Boston by the way of Penny's Ferry;'—a ferry so called because passengers paid a penny a piece to be rowed over the Neponset” (Quincy Patriot, 25 Dec. 1875, as quoted in Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 69, note).
2. Mount Ararat was part of the old Braintree North Commons (now in West Quincy), divided and sold as lots in 1765 under the management of a town committee of which JA was a member (Braintree Town Records, p.406–407). On 9 June of the present year JA had acquired from Neddie Curtis 20 acres of this land, which was to prove valuable for its granite quarries, and he now acquired 20 more (information from Mr. Ezekiel S. Sargent, Quincy, Mass., in a letter to the editors from Mr. H. Hobart Holly, president of the Quincy Historical Society, 13 March 1960). In 1822 JA held still more granite-producing land in this neighborhood, and one of his gifts to the town toward building a new church and an academy comprised “fifty four acres more or less, commonly known by the name of the Lane's Pasture, or the Mount Ararat Pasture, near the seat of the Hon. Thomas Greenleaf” ([Quincy, Mass.,] Deeds and Other Documents ..., Cambridge, 1823, p. 3–5).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-08

Septr. 8. 1796. Thursday.

Sullivan gone for Seaweed. Bass and Thomas carting Manure from the Hill of Compost in the Yard. Billings and Prince laying Wall. Brisler and James picking Apples and making Cyder. Stetson widening the Brook.
I think to christen my Place by the Name of Peace field, in commemoration of the Peace which I assisted in making in 1783, of the thirteen Years Peace and Neutrality which I have contributed to preserve, and of the constant Peace and Tranquility which I have enjoyed in this Residence.1
Carted 6 Loads of slimy Mud from the Brook to the heap of Compost.
Jackson Field brought me his Deed of Mount Arrarat executed by himself and his Wife and acknowledged before Major Miller. I received it, and gave him my Note for 250 dollars. I then gave him my Consent, without his asking it, to pasture his Cow as usual the Remainder of this Season, for which he expressed Gratitude, and en• { 248 } gaged to keep off Geese, Sheep, Hogs and Cattle. Received Letters from my Son at the Hague as late as 24. June.2
1. “Peacefield” (variously written) was the first of several names JA used for his Quincy homestead; they varied according to his mood. Following his unhappy return from Washington in March 1801, he headed his letters “Stony Field, Quincy,” a name he drew from Stony Field Hill, the eminence that he owned and farmed across the road from his house and that later acquired the more elegant name Presidents Hill. After resuming his correspondence with Jefferson in 1812, JA whimsically adopted an Italianate name, “Montezillo,” which he cryptically explained to Richard Rush as follows: “Mr. Jefferson lives at Monticello the lofty Mountain. I live at Montezillo a little Hill” (24 Nov. 1814, PHi:Gratz Coll.). This name persisted until JA's last years, though he used it irregularly, and occasionally varied it by employing the English form, “Little Hill.”
2. At the end of May JQA had returned to The Hague after a stay of nearly seven months in London. He had gone there on what turned out to be a superfluous diplomatic errand, but in the course of his visit he had become engaged to Louisa Catherine Johnson; see his Diary, 11 Nov. 1795–31 May 1796; JQA to AA, 5 May 1796, Adams Papers; Bemis, JQA, 1:68–69. The letters JA mentions as receiving were doubtless those dated 6 and 24 June 1796, both in Adams Papers and both in large part printed in JQA's Writings, 1:490–493. 497–508.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-09

Septr. 9. 1796. Fryday.

Appearances of Rain.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0013-0004-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1796-09-10

September 10. 1796. Saturday.

Walked, with my Brother to Mount Arrarat, and find upon Inquiry that Jo. Arnold's Fence against the New Lane begins at the Road by the Nine mile Stone. My half is towards Neddy Curtis's Land lately Wm. Fields. The Western Half of the Fence against Josiah Bass, or in other Words that Part nearest to Neddy Curtis's is mine. Against Dr. Greenleaf my half is nearest to Josiah Bass's Land.1
1. The tempo of electioneering increased rapidly after the publication of Washington's Farewell Address on 19 Sept., but JA stayed quietly on at Quincy for two months longer, pushing his program of farm improvements into severely cold weather. On 23 Nov. he left for Philadelphia, passing a day on the way with his daughter in East Chester and another with CA in New York (JA to AA, 27 Nov., 1 Dec, both in Adams Papers). He arrived in Philadelphia on 2 Dec., in ample time for the opening of the second session of the Fourth Congress three days later. The city was seething with politics on the eve of the voting by Presidential electors in the sixteen states, and so indeed was the country; but JA wrote much more calmly of the prospects of both himself and his rivals, not to mention the maneuvers of party understrappers and the libels of journalists, than AA could. “I look upon the Event as the throw of a Die, a mere Chance, a miserable, meagre Tryumph to either Party,” he told JQA in a letter of 5 Dec. (Adams Papers). What he meant was that, since the contest was bound to be very close, the new President, whoever he might be, would have so small a majority that he would “be very apt to stagger and stumble” in discharging his duties (to AA, 7 Dec, Adams Papers). The result of the electors' balloting was not perfectly certain until late that month. By the 27th JA { 249 } could write his wife: “71 is the Ne plus ultra—it is now certain that no Man can have more and but one so many”; and though he did not yet know beyond all doubt whether Jefferson or Thomas Pinckney would be Vice-president he discussed with AA their imminent problems respecting “House, Furniture, Equipage, Servants,” and the like (Adams Papers). At length, on 8 Feb., as he was bound to do, he presided over a joint meeting of the two houses in which the votes were unsealed and counted, and announced the result as 71 votes for himself (one more than the necessary majority of 70), 68 for Jefferson, 59 for Pinckney, and the rest scattered among ten others, so that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were elected President and Vicepresident respectively, to serve for four years beginning on 4 March 1797 (Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 2d sess., col. 2095–2098).
Four years later, on 11 Feb. 1801, Vice-president Jefferson found himself obliged to perform a similar duty and announced that Jefferson and Burr had each received 73 electoral votes, JA 65, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 64, and John Jay 1 vote (same, 6th Cong., 2d sess., col. 743–744). The tie vote for the two Democratic-Republican candidates led to complications, but JA was out of the running, and early on the day of his successor's inauguration he left the new seat of government in Washington, and public life, for good.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0014-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1804-07 - 1804-08

[July–August] 1804.1

July   2d.   Mowed, over vs. Yard and Garden    
  3   One Load, from the road to the ditch and from the cart path to the pasture Lane   1  
  4   Four Loads, over the Way and between the ditch and orchard   4  
  5   One Load from Chris Webbs House Lott   1  
  6   One from the 10 Acre Lot on the hill   1  
  7   Two in Cranchs Barn and two from the 10 Acre Lott   4  
Sunday   8      
  9   Two load one from Mr. Cranchs and 1 from 10 Acre Lot   2  
Wed.   11.   4 Load from about the Hancock Cellar   4  
T.   12.   6 Load five from about Hancocks Cellar and one from the Walnut Lot   6  
F.   13   6 Load. 3 from Walnut Lot and three from about Hancocks Cellar and one Jag2   7  
S.   14.   Six Loads from Chris. Webbs farm   6  
Sunday   15      
Monday   16      
Tuesday   17      
Wednesday   18   Seven Loads 3 from the orchard and 4 into Mr. Cranches Barn of Clover—Jaggs all.   7  
{ 250 }
Thursday   19      
F.   20      
S.   21   5 Load from the Wire Grass Hill   5  
Sunday   22      
Monday   23   Three Loads from the ten Acre hill   3  
Tuesday   24   Three Loads from the orchard and beyond it   3  
Wednesday   25   Two Loads from the Ditch   2  
Thursday   26   Three Loads in Mr. Cranchs Barn   3  
Fryday   27   Three, fresh and all into Mr. C. Barn   3  
Saturday   28   One Load from the Beech Meadow part black grass   1  
Sunday   29      
Monday   30   One Load Salt [hay] from the Coves   1  
August   17   Fryday 5 loads of Salt Hay from the Coves   5  
Saturday   18   3 loads, one from the Coves and two from Mount Wollaston at the Salt pond   3  
Sunday   19      
Monday   20   3 Loads from the Meadows on this and the other side the Causey   3  
Tuesday   21   2 Loads from the Causey at Mount Wollaston   2  
Wednesday   22   Four loads from the beach   4  
Thursday   23   Two loads from the Beach Salt Hay   2  
1. This tabular record of JA's haying operations and the homely entry immediately following, the final scraps of JA's Diary, were not printed by CFA.
2. Jag, substantive, 2 (origin unknown): “dial, and U.S. ... 1. A load (usually a small cartload) of hay, wood, etc.” (OED).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0014-0001-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1804-08

1784 [i.e. 1804]. Aug.

The last Week in August We ploughed a ditch and brought the Earth into the Yard and 32 loads of Mud from the Cove.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1802-10-05

John Adams.1


Begun Oct. 5. 1802.
As the Lives of Phylosophers, Statesmen or Historians written by them selves have generally been suspected of Vanity, and therefore few People have been able to read them without disgust; there is no reason to expect that any Sketches I may leave of my own Times would be received by the Public with any favour, or read by individuals with much interest. The many great Examples of this practice will not be alledged as a justification, because they were Men of extraordinary Fame, to which I have no pretensions.2 My Excuse is, that having been the Object of much Misrepresentation, some of my Posterity may probably wish to see in my own hand Writing a proof of the falsehood of that Mass of odious Abuse of my Character, with which News Papers, private Letters and public Pamphlets and Histories have been disgraced for thirty Years. It is not for the Public but for my Children that I commit these Memoirs to writing: and to them and their Posterity I recommend, not the public Course, which the times and the Country in which I was born and the Circumstances which surrounded me compelled me to pursue: but those Moral Sentiments and Sacred Prin• { 254 } ciples, which at all hazards and by every Sacrifice I have endeavoured to preserve through Life.
The Customs of Biography require that something should be said of my origin.3 Early in the Settlement of the Colony of Massachusetts, a Gentleman from England arriving in America with Eight Sons, settled near Mount Wollaston and not far from the ancient Stone Building erected for the double Purpose of Public Worship and Fortification against the Indians. His House, Malthouse and the Lands belonging to them still remain in the Possession of his Posterity.4
Of the Eight Sons, one returned to England: four removed to Medfield: two are said to have removed to Chelmsford: One only Joseph remained at Braintree.5 He had three sons Joseph, Peter and John. Joseph and Peter remained in Braintree: John removed to Boston and { 255 } was the Father of Samuel Adams and Grandfather of the late Governor of the State of Massachusetts.
Joseph my Grandfather had ten Children, five sons and five daughters, all named in his Will which I now have in my Possession.6
John my Father had three Sons, John, Peter Boylston, and Elihu. Peter Boylston is still living my Neighbour, my Friend and beloved Brother.7 Elihu died at an early Age in 1775. His Life was a Sacrifice to the Cause of his Country, having taken, in our Army at Cambridge in which he commanded a Company of Volunteers from the Militia, a contagious distemper, which brought him to his Grave leaving three young Children John, Susanna and Elisha.
In 1629 October the twentieth, a Choice was made, at a General Court of the Company in London, of Governor and Assistants, consisting of such Persons as had determined to go over to America, with the Patent of the Massachusetts Colony, and Thomas Adams was chosen as one of the Assistants. By this it appears that Thomas Adams had declared his intention of removing to the new World, and We are informed in Mr. Prince's Chronology, that this Gentleman was one of the most active and zealous in promoting the design to transport the Patent across the Seas: Yet it does not appear that he ever arrived in America. It is not improbable that his Brother, or some other Relation, with his numerous Family, might be sent over, to reconnoitre the Country and prepare a Situation: and that death, or some unfavourable report brought back by the Eighth Son who returned to England, might prevent his pursuing his former intention of following the Charter to this Country. But this is mere Conjecture.8
[ . . . ]9 engaged and while [ . . . ] him in his Writings learned his { 256 } Trade. My Father by his Industry and Enterprize soon became a Person of more Property and Consideration in the Town than his Patron had been. He became a Select Man, a Militia Officer and a Deacon in the Church. He was the honestest Man I ever knew. In Wisdom, Piety, Benevolence and Charity In proportion to his Education and Sphere of Life, I have never seen his Superiour. My Grandmother was a Bass of Braintree: but as she died many Years before I was born, I know little of her History except that I have been told by an ancient Lady the Relict of our ancient Minister Mr. Marsh a Daughter of our more ancient Minister Mr. Fiske, that she was a Person possessed of more Litterature than was common in Persons of her Sex and Station, a dilligent Reader and a most exemplary Woman in all the Relations of Life. She died of a Consumption and had Leisure to draw up advice to her Children, which I have read in her handwriting in my Infancy, but which is now lost. I know not that I have seen it for si[x]ty Years, and the Judgment of a Boy of seven Years old is not <worth much> to be recollected, but it appeared to me then wonderfully fine. From his Mother probably my Father received an Admiration of Learning as he called it, which remained with him, through Life, and which prompted him to his unchangeable determination to give his first son a liberal Education.
My Mother was Suzanna Boylston a Daughter of Peter Boylston of Brooklyne, the oldest son of Thomas Boylston a Surgeon and Apothecary who came from London in 1656, and married a Woman by the Name of Gardner of that Town, by whom he had Issue Peter my Grandfather, Zabdiel the Physician, who first introduced into the British Empire the Practice of Inocculation for the Small Pox, Richard, Thomas and Dudley and several Daughters.10
[My Grand]father married Ann [White, a daughter of Benjamin] White who lived on the South Side of the Hill in Brooklyne as you go to little Cambridge, known by the name of Whites Hill, which he owned.11 My Grandmother was the Sister of Edward White Esqr. the { [facing 256] } { [facing 257] } { 257 } Father of Benjamin White, a Councillor and Representative for several Years, both of whom possessed in succession the Family Estate. She had several Sisters, one of whom married a Minister of Rochester of the name of Ruggles, by whom she had Timothy Ruggles a Lawyer, Judge, Member of the Legislature and a Brigadier General in the Army in the War with the French of 1755 in which he conducted with Reputation. Another of her Sisters married a Mr. Sharp and was the Mother of Mrs. Sumner of Roxbury the Mother of the late Governor Sumner, whose praises are justly celebrated in this State.
1. This is JA's own title for the first part of his Autobiography, dealing with his life up to the beginning of Oct. 1776. For a description of the MS as a whole, an account of its composition, and the editorial treatment now given it, see the Introduction to the present work. As preserved by the family, the MS of the Autobiography is preceded by two undated holograph fragments. The first, entitled “The Life of John Adams,” is a two-page folio MS that was undoubtedly composed earlier than the Autobiography as it now stands; it is a false start or rough draft, much crossed out and interlined, that summarizes the early history of the Adams family in America and breaks off after a paragraph or two on JA's boyhood; see notes 2 and 3 immediately below. The second fragment, entitled “Sketch,” consists of three quarto pages in JA's later hand, and is a very condensed summary of JA's whole life, ending: “On the [] day of blank in the Year [] he died, and is buried <on Shepards Hill heretofore called Mount Wollaston. What Fortune had he pray? His own and his Fathers.>
2. In the rough draft this sentence begins: “The Examples of De Thou, Clarendon, Hume, Gibbon &c., will not be alledged....” The entire sentence was subsequently crossed out.
3. In the rough draft JA added here the following sentences:
“Although this Investigation will present nothing on the one hand to excite the pride of my Successors or the Envy of others, Yet on the other, it will discover no causes for blushes or regret. My Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Great Great Grandfather all lived and died in this Town of Quincy, for so many Years the First Parish in the Ancient Town of Braintree, and are buried in the Congregational Church Yard. They were all in the middle rank of People in Society: all sober, industrious, frugal and religious: all possessed of landed Estates, always unincumbered with debts, and as independent as human nature is, or ought to be in the World.”
4. The immigrant was Henry Adams (ca. 1583–1646), a farmer and maltster of Barton St. David and Kingweston, Somersetshire, who married Edith Squire in 1609 and came with a numerous family to Massachusetts Bay in 1638 (Bartlett, Henry Adams of Somersetshire, p. 46–72). In an epitaph composed for the progenitor of his line in America, JA said that Henry Adams “took his flight from the Dragon persecution in Devonshire” (Wilson, Where Amer. Independence Began, p. 301). He was mistaken about Henry Adams' place of origin (though it was not until the publication of Bartlett's researches in 1927 that the true place of origin was known), and there is only family tradition to support the belief that the Adamses were driven from Somersetshire to the Bay Colony by “the Dragon persecution.” On 24 Feb. 1639/40 Henry Adams was granted forty acres, for a family of ten heads, “at the mount” (Mount Wollaston), and he settled there in what became in 1640 the town of Braintree (Boston Record Commissioners, 2nd Report, p. 49). The site of his farm and malthouse is on the north side of present Elm Street about opposite the head of South Street in modern Quincy, which was taken off from Braintree in 1792 (HA2, Birthplaces, p. 1). The occupation and the property stayed with the family into the 19th century; for JA's recollections of boyhood visits to his “Great Uncle, Captain and Deacon Peter Adams,” at the malthouse, see JA to Benjamin Rush, 19 July 1812 (MB; Biddle, Old Family Letters, p. 413). Henry Adams' highly revealing will and inventory are printed from the Suffolk co. Probate Records in Bartlett, Henry Adams of Somersetshire, p. 67–68.
5. Joseph Adams (1626–1694), seventh son of Henry Adams and great-grandfather of JA, inherited his father's property and trade in Braintree, married in 1650 Abigail Baxter of Roxbury, and served from time to time as selectman, constable, and surveyor of highways (Bartlett, Henry Adams of Somersetshire, p. 80, 90–93; Braintree Town Records, p. 13, 14, 27, 28). A copy of his will, 18 July 1694, with comments by JA, is in the Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds (Microfilms, Reel No. 607).
6. The second Joseph Adams of Braintree (1654–1737), eldest son and second child of the first Joseph, married three times; his second wife was Hannah Bass of Braintree, a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden of Plymouth, whom he married in 1688 and by whom he had eight of his eleven children, including Deacon John, father of JA (Bartlett, Henry Adams of Somersetshire, p. 93, 94–95). He served in the same town offices his father had held ( Braintree Town Records, p. 39, 46, 83, 87, 90, 99). A copy of a draft of his will dated 23 July 1731, with comments by JA, is in the Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds (Microfilms, Reel No. 607).
7. Born in 1738, Peter Boylston Adams died in 1823 (Quincy, First Church, MS Records).
8. No evidence is known indicating that the Thomas Adams who was one of the proprietors of the Massachusetts Bay Company under its royal charter of 4 March 1629, but who did not come to America, was connected with the Henry Adams of Somersetshire who came to Boston in 1638.
9. At least half a line of text is missing here. The missing matter occurs at the top of a second folded sheet of the MS which is larger than the preceding and following sheets and has thus become brittle and is worn away. Several other oversize sheets in the Autobiography have suffered similar damage, but the present passage is the only one the text of which is not wholly recoverable by one means or another.
10. For a brief genealogy of the Boylston family of Muddy River (later Brookline) and Boston, see NEHGR, 7 (1853): 145–150.
11. By “little Cambridge” JA meant what is now Brighton (formerly part of Cambridge). The house on White's Hill, built before 1736, rebuilt by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston after he purchased it in 1737, and owned successively by Boylstons, Hyslops, Lees, and Richardsons, still stands on Boylston Street in Brookline, overlooking the Reservoir; see Nina Fletcher Little, Some Old Brookline Houses, Brookline, 1949, p. 115–118; Frances R. Morse, Henry and Mary Lee: Letters and Journals, Boston, 1926, p. 297 ££.). In a letter to Ward Nicholas Boylston, 15 Sept. 1820 (Tr, Adams Papers), JA recalled his childhood visits to his mother's Brookline homestead.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0002

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1734 - 1735
Date: 1802

[Parents and Boyhood]

My Father married Susanna Boylston in October 1734, and on the 19th of October 17351 I was born. As my Parents were both fond of reading, and my father had destined his first born, long before his birth to a public Education I was very early taught to read at home and at a School of Mrs. Belcher the Mother of Deacon Moses Belcher, who lived in the next house on the opposite side of the Road. I shall not consume much paper in relating the Anecdotes of my Youth. I was sent to the public School close by the Stone Church, then kept by Mr. Joseph Cleverly, who died this Year 1802 at the Age of Ninety. Mr. Cleverly was through his whole Life the most indolent Man I ever knew <excepting Mr. Wibirt> though a tolerable Schollar and a Gentleman. His inattention to his Schollars was such as gave me a disgust to Schools, to books and to study and I spent my time as idle Children do in making and sailing boats and Ships upon the Ponds and Brooks, in making and flying Kites, in driving hoops, playing marbles, playing Quoits, Wrestling, Swimming, Skaiting and above all in shooting, to which Diversion I was addicted to a degree of Ardor which I know not that I ever felt for any other Business, Study or Amusement.2
My Enthusiasm for Sports and Inattention to Books, allarmed my Father, and he frequently entered into conversation with me upon the Subject. I told him [I did not?] love Books and wished he would lay aside the thoughts of sending me to Colledge. What would you do Child? Be a Farmer. A Farmer? Well I will shew you what it is to be a Farmer. You shall go with me to Penny ferry tomorrow Morning and help me get Thatch. I shall be very glad to go Sir.—Accordingly next morning he took me with him, and with great good humour kept me all { 258 } day with him at Work. At night at home he said Well John are you satisfied with being a Farmer. Though the Labour had been very hard and very muddy I answered I like it very well Sir. Ay but I dont like it so well: so you shall go to School to day. I went but was not so happy as among the Creek Thatch. My School master neglected to put me into Arithmetick longer than I thought was right, and I resented it. I procured me Cockers3 I believe and applyd myself to it at home alone and went through the whole Course, overtook and passed by all the Schollars at School, without any master. I dared not ask my fathers Assistance because he would have disliked my Inattention to my Latin. In this idle Way I passed on till fourteen and upwards, when I said to my Father very seriously I wished he would take me from School and let me go to work upon the Farm. You know said my father I have set my heart upon your Education at Colledge and why will you not comply with my desire. Sir I dont like my Schoolmaster. He is so negligent and so cross that I never can learn any thing under him. If you will be so good as to perswade Mr. Marsh to take me, I will apply myself to my Studies as closely as my nature will admit, and go to Colledge as soon as I can be prepared. Next Morning the first I heard was John I have perswaded Mr. Marsh to take you, and you must go to school there to day. This Mr. Marsh was a Son of our former Minister of that name, who kept a private Boarding School but two doors from my Fathers. To this School I went, where I was kindly treated, and I began to study in Earnest.4 My Father soon observed the relaxation of my Zeal for { 259 } my Fowling Piece, and my daily encreasing Attention to my Books. In a little more than a Year Mr. Marsh pronounced me fitted for Colledge. On the day appointed at Cambridge for the Examination of Candidates for Admission I mounted my horse and called upon Mr. Marsh, who was to go with me. The Weather was dull and threatened rain. Mr. Marsh said he was unwell and afraid to go out. I must therefore go alone. Thunder struck at this unforeseen disappointment, And terrified at the Thought of introducing myself to such great Men as the President and fellows of a Colledge, I at first resolved to return home: but foreseeing the Grief of my father and apprehending he would not only be offended with me, but my Master too whom I sincerely loved, I arroused my self, and collected Resolution enough to proceed. Although Mr. Marsh had assured me that he had seen one of the Tutors the last Week and had said to him, all that was proper for him to say if he should go to Cambridge; that he was not afraid to trust me to an Examination and was confident I should acquit my self well and be honourably admitted; yet I had not the same confidence in my self, and suffered a very melancholly Journey. Arrived at Cambridge I presented myself according to my directions and underwent the usual Examination by the President Mr. Holyoke and the Tutors Flint, Hancock, Mayhew and Marsh.5 Mr. Mayhew into whose Class We were to be admitted, presented me a Passage of English to translate into Latin. It was long and casting my Eye over it I found several Words the latin for which did not occur to my memory. Thinking that I must translate it without a dictionary, I was in a great fright and expected to be turned by, an Event that I dreaded above all things. Mr. Mayhew went into his Study and bid me follow him. There Child, said he is a dictionary, there a Gramar, and there Paper, Pen and Ink, and you may take your { 260 } own time.6 This was joyfull news to me and I then thought my Admission safe. The Latin was soon made, I was declared Admitted and a Theme given me, to write on in the Vacation. I was as light when I came home as I had been heavy when I went: my Master was well pleased and my Parents very happy. I spent the Vacation not very profitably chiefly in reading Magazines and a British Apollo. I went to Colledge at the End of it and took the Chamber assigned me and my place in the Class under Mr. Mayhew. I found some better Schollars than myself, particularly Lock, Hemmenway and Tisdale.7 The last left Colledge before the End of the first Year, and what became of him I know not. Hemmenway still lives a great divine, and Lock has been President of Harvard Colledge a Station for which no Man was better qualified. With these I ever lived in friendship, without Jealousy or Envy. I soon became intimate with them, and began to feel a desire to equal them in Science and Literature. In the Sciences especially Mathematicks, I soon surpassed them, mainly because, intending to go into the Pulpit, they thought Divinity and the Classicks of more Importance to them. In Litterature I never overtook them.
Here it may be proper to recollect something which makes an Article of great importance in the Life of every Man. I was of an amorous disposition and very early from ten or eleven Years of Age, was very fond of the Society of females. I had my favorites among the young Women and spent many of my Evenings in their Company and this disposition although controlled for seven Years after my Entrance into College returned and engaged me too much till I was married. I shall draw no Characters nor give any enumeration of my youthfull flames.8 It would be considered as no compliment to the dead or the living: This I will say—they were all modest and virtuous Girls and always maintained this Character through Life. No Virgin or Matron ever had cause to blush at the sight of me, or to regret her Acquaintance with me. No Father, Brother, Son or Friend ever had cause of Grief or Resentment for any Intercourse between me and any Daughter, { 261 } Sister, Mother, or any other Relation of the female Sex. My Children may be assured that no illegitimate Brother or Sister exists or ever existed. These Reflections, to me consolatory beyond all expression, I am able to make with truth and sincerity and I presume I am indebted for this blessing to my Education. My Parents held every Species of Libertinage in such Contempt and horror, and held up constantly to view such pictures of disgrace, of baseness and of Ruin, that my natural temperament was always overawed by my Principles and Sense of decorum. This Blessing has been rendered the more prescious to me, as I have seen enough of the Effects of a different practice. Corroding Reflections through Life are the never failing consequence of illicit amours, in old as well as in new Countries. The Happiness of Life depends more upon Innocence in this respect, than upon all the Philosophy of Epicurus, or of Zeno without it. I could write Romances, or Histories as wonderfull as Romances of what I have known or heard in France, Holland and England, and all would serve to confirm what I learned in my Youth in America, that Happiness is lost forever if Innocence is lost, at least untill a Repentance is undergone so severe as to be an overballance to all the gratifications of Licentiousness. Repentance itself cannot restore the Happiness of Innocence, at least in this Life.
1. According to the “old style” calendar. According to the “new style,” his birth date was 30 Oct. 1735, which, after the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in England in 1752, JA always regarded as his birthday. See his Diary entry of 19 Oct. 1772.
2. This sentence and that which follows are partly worn away in the MS, but the missing matter has been supplied from JA's rough draft, which has virtually identical phraseology (and ends at this point).
3. JA's own copy of (Edward) Cocker's Decimal Arithmetick ..., 3d edn., London, 1703, has survived and is among his books in the Boston Public Library. It bears the marks of hard use, if not abuse, and its magnificently descriptive titlepage is John Adams' Arithmetic Book facing page 289reproduced as an illustration in the present volume.
4. Fragments of the text now worn away in the two preceding sentences have been restored from the text of JA's narrative of his entrance to Harvard contributed by CFA2 to MHS, MHS, Procs., 2d ser., 14 (1900–1901):200–201.
Some fragmentary notes taken down by Harriet Welsh from JA's conversations in 1823 slightly amplify JA's recollections of his school days. (The Welsh notes survive chiefly in the form of a copy by CFA in his literary miscellany, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 327. Suspension points in the passages quoted below indicate omissions by the present editors.)
JA loquitur.... I was about nine or ten years old at that time and soon learn'd the use of the gun and became strong enough to lift it. I used to take it to school and leave it in the entry and the moment it was over went into the field to kill crows and squirrels and I tried to see how many I could kill: at last Mr. Cleverly found this out and gave me a most dreadful scolding and after that I left the gun at an old woman's in the neighborhood. I soon became large enough to go on the marshes to kill wild fowl and to swim and used to beg so hard of my father and mother to let me go that they at last consented and many a cold boisterous day have I pass'd on the beach without food waiting for wild fowl to go over—often lying in wait for them on the cold ground—to hide myself from them. I cared not what I did if I could but get away from school, and confess to my shame that I sometimes play'd truant. At last I got to be thirteen years of age and my life had been wasted. I told my father if I must go to College I must have some other master for I detested the one I had and should not be fitted ever if I staid with him but if he would put me to Mr. Marsh's school I would endeavor to get my lessons and make every exertion to go. He said I knew it was an invariable rule with Mr. M. not to take any boys belonging to the town—he only took eight or ten to live with him. However I said so much to him that he said he would try, and after a great deal of persuasion Master Marsh consented. The next day after he did so I took my books and went to him. I fulfill'd my promise and work'd diligently and in eighteen months was fitted for college. He lived where Hardwicke now keeps a shop opposite to where the Cleverlys live.... Mr. Marsh was a good instructor and a man of learning. The house I learn'd my letters in was opposite my father's nearly and I have pulled it down within this twenty years.”
5. Edward Holyoke, Henry Flynt, Belcher Hancock, Joseph Mayhew, Thomas Marsh.
6. Several words now missing in the MS have been supplied in this sentence from CFA2's text cited in note 64, just above.
7. All members of the class of 1755: Rev. Samuel Locke, president of Harvard, 1770–1773; Rev. Moses Hemmenway, minister at Wells, Maine, for many years; William Tisdale of Lebanon, Conn., who stayed in college only a year and then dropped from sight (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; information from Harvard University Archives).
8. Several words now missing from the MS have been supplied in this sentence from CFA's text in JA's Works, 2:145. The present paragraph, with some omissions, is the earliest passage printed by CFA in his combined edition of the Diary and Autobiography.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1804-11-30
DateRange: 1751 - 1754

[Harvard College, 1751–1755]

Continued November 30. 1804.
In my own class at Collidge, there were several others, for whom I had a strong affection—Wentworth, Brown, Livingston, Sewall and Dalton all of whom have been eminent in Life, excepting Livingston an amiable and ingenious Youth who died within a Year or two after his first degree.1 In the Class before me I had several Friends, Treadwell the greatest Schollar, of my time, whose early death in the Professorship of Mathematicks and natural Phylosophy at New York American Science has still reason to deplore,2 West the eminent Divine of New Bedford,3 and Samuel Quincy, the easy, social and benevolent Companion, not without Genius, Elegance and Taste.
I soon perceived a growing Curiosity, a Love of Books and a fondness for Study, which dissipated all my Inclination for Sports, and { 262 } even for the Society of the Ladies. I read forever, but without much method, and with very little Choice. I got my Lessons regularly and performed my recitations without Censure. Mathematicks and natural Phylosophy attracted the most of my Attention, which I have since regretted, because I was destined to a Course of Life, in which these Sciences have been of little Use, and the Classicks would have been of great Importance. I owe to this however perhaps some degree of Patience of Investigation, which I might not otherwise have obtained. Another Advantage ought not to be omitted. It is too near my heart. My Smattering of Mathematicks enabled me afterwards at Auteuil in France to go, with my eldest Son, through a Course of Geometry, Algebra and several Branches of the Sciences, with a degree of pleasure that amply rewarded me for all my time and pains.
Between the Years 1751 when I entered, and 1754 [i.e. 1755] when I left Colledge a Controversy was carried on between Mr. Bryant the Minister of our Parish and some of his People, partly on Account of his Principles which were called Arminian and partly on Account of his Conduct, which was too gay and light if not immoral.4 Ecclesiastical Councils were called and sat at my Fathers House. Parties and their Accrimonies arose in the Church and Congregation, and Controversies from the Press between Mr. Bryant, Mr. Niles, Mr. Porter, Mr. Bass, concerning the five Points. I read all these Pamphlets and many other Writings on the same Subject and found myself involved in difficulties beyond my Powers of decision. At the same time, I saw such a Spirit of Dogmatism and Bigotry in Clergy and Laity, that if I should be a Priest I must take my side, and pronounce as positively as any of them, or never get a Parish, or getting it must soon leave it. Very strong doubts arose in my mind, whether I was made for a Pulpit in such times, and I began to think of other Professions. I perceived very clearly, as I thought, that the Study of Theology and the pursuit of it as a Profession would involve me in endless Altercations and make my Life miserable, without any prospect of doing any good to my fellow Men.
1. John Wentworth, last royal governor of New Hampshire; William Browne of Salem, a justice of the Superior Court of Judicature and a loyalist; Philip Livingston, reported dead in 1756; David Sewall of York, Maine, a state and federal judge and long a good friend of JA; Tristram Dalton of Newburyport, U.S. senator and correspondent of JA (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. Daniel Treadwell; see JA's Diary, Summer 1759, and note 9 there.
3. Samuel West, D.D., minister at New Bedford, 1761–1803 (Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.).
4. Lemuel Briant (1722–1754), Harvard 1739, was minister of the First or North Church of Braintree, 1745–1753. Like his famous friend Jonathan Mayhew, he was unorthodox in his theology, and his position as a controversialist was not strengthened by his wife's “eloping from him,” either because “she [was] distracted” or because “he did not use her well,” or both (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:345).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1755

[Harvard and Worcester, 1751-1755]

The two last years of my Residence at Colledge, produced a Clubb of Students, I never knew the History of the first rise of it, who invited me to become one of them. Their plan was to spend their Evenings together, in reading any new publications, or any Poetry or Dramatic { 263 } Compositions, that might fall in their Way. I was as often requested to read as any other, especially Tragedies, and it was whispered to me and circulated among others that I had some faculty for public Speaking and that I should make a better Lawyer than Divine. This last Idea was easily understood and embraced by me. My Inclination was soon fixed upon the Law: But my Judgment was not so easily determined. There were many difficulties in the Way. Although my Fathers general Expectation was that I should be a Divine, I knew him to be a Man of so thoughtful and considerate a turn of mind, to be possessed of so much Candor and moderation, that it would not be difficult to remove any objections he might make to my pursuit of Physick or Law or any other reasonable Course. My Mother although a pious Woman I knew had no partiality for the Life of a Clergyman. But I had Uncles and other relations, full of the most illiberal Prejudices against the Law. I had indeed a proper Affection and veneration for them, but as I was under no Obligation of Gratitude to them, which could give them any colour of Authority to prescribe a course of Life to me, I thought little of their Opinions. Other Obstacles more serious than these presented themselves. A Lawyer must have a Fee, for taking me into his Office. I must be boarded and cloathed for several Years: I had no Money; and my Father having three Sons, had done as much for me, in the Expences of my Education as his Estate and Circumstances could justify and as my Reason or my honor would allow me to ask. I therefore gave out that I would take a School, and took my Degree at Colledge undetermined whether I should study Divinity, Law or Physick. In the publick Exercises at Commencement, I was somewhat remarked as a Respondent, and Mr. Maccarty of Worcester who was empowered by the Select Men of that Town to procure them a Latin Master for their Grammar School engaged me to undertake it. About three Weeks after commencement in 1755, when I was not yet twenty Years of Age, a horse was sent me from Worcester and a Man to attend me. We made the Journey about Sixty miles in one day and I entered on my Office. For three months I boarded with one Green at the Expence of the Town and by the Arrangement of the Select Men. Here I found Morgans Moral Phylosopher,1 which I was informed had circulated, with some freedom, in that Town and that the Principles of Deism had made a considerable progress among several Persons, in that and other Towns in the County. Three months after this the { 264 } Select Men procured Lodgings for me at Dr. Nahum Willards. This Physician had a large Practice, a good reputation for Skill, and a pretty Library. Here were Dr. Cheynes Works, Sydenham and others and Van Sweetens Commentaries on Boerhave. I read a good deal in these Books and entertained many thoughts of Becoming a Physician and a Surgeon: But the Law attracted my Attention more and more, and Attending the Courts of Justice, where I heard Worthington, Hawley, Trowbridge, Putnam and others, I felt myself irresistably impelled to make some Effort to accomplish my Wishes. I made a Visit to Mr. Putnam, and offered myself to him: He received me with politeness and even Kindness, took a few days to consider of it, and then informed me that Mrs. Putnam had consented that I should board in his House, that I should pay no more, than the Town allowed for my Lodgings, and that I should pay him an hundred dollars, when I should find it convenient. I agreed to his proposals without hesitation and immediately took Possession of his Office. His Library at that time was not large: but he had all the most essential Law Books: immediately after I entered with him however he sent to England for a handsome Addition of Law Books and for Lord Bacons Works. I carried with me to Worcester, Lord Bolingbrokes Study and Use of History, and his Patriot King. These I had lent him, and he was so well pleased with them that he Added Bolingbrokes Works to his List, which gave me an Opportunity of reading the Posthumous Works of that Writer in five Volumes. Mr. Burke once asked, who ever read him through? I can answer that I read him through, before the Year 1758 and that I have read him through at least twice since that time: But I confess without much good or harm. His Ideas of the English Constitution are correct and his Political Writings are worth something: but in a great part of them there is more of Faction than of Truth: His Religion is a pompous Folly: and his Abuse of the Christian Religion is as superficial as it is impious. His Style is original and inimitable: it resembles more the oratory of the Ancients, than any Writings or Speeches I ever read in English.
In this Situation I remained, for about two Years Reading Law in the night and keeping School in the day. At Breakfast, Dinner, and Tea, Mr. Putnam was commonly disputing with me upon some question of Religion: He had been intimate with one Peasley Collins, the Son of a Quaker in Boston, who had been to Europe and came back, a Disbeliever of Every Thing: fully satisfied that all Religion was a cheat, a cunning invention of Priests and Politicians: That there would be no future State, any more than there is at present any moral Govern• { 265 } ment. Putnam could not go these whole Lengths with him. Although he would argue to the extent of his Learning and Ingenuity, to destroy or invalidate the Evidences of a future State, and the Principles of natural and revealed Religion, Yet I could plainly perceive that he could not convince himself, that Death was an endless Sleep. Indeed he has sometimes said to me, that he fully believed in a future Existence, and that good Conduct in this Life, would fare better in the next World than its contrary. My Arguments in favor of natural and revealed Religion, and a future State of Rewards and Punishments, were nothing more than the common Arguments and his against them may all be found in Lucretius, together with many more.
There were two other Persons in the Neighbourhood, Doolittle and Baldwin, who were great Readers of Deistical Books, and very great Talkers.2 These were very fond of conversing with me. They were great Sticklers for Equality as well as Deism: and all the Nonsense of these last twenty Years, were as familiar to them as they were to Condorcet or Brissot. They were never rude however or insolent to those who differed from them. Another excentric Character was Joseph Dyer, who had removed from Boston and lived on a Farm of Mr. Thomas Hand-cock, Uncle of the late Governor, and kept a Shop.3 He had Wit and learning of some Sorts, but being very sarcastic, and very bitter against almost every body, but especially the Clergy, he was extreamly unpopular. An Arian by profession, he was far more odious among the People than the Deists. He had written many Manuscripts especially upon the Athanasian Doctrine of the Trinity, which he lent me: but though I read them all, having previously read Dr. Clark and Emlin as well as Dr. Waterland, I found nothing new. He was also a very profound Student in the Prophecies, and had a System of his own. According to him Antichrist signified all Tyranny and Injustice through the World. He carried his Doctrine of Equality, to a greater Extremity, or at least as great as any of the wild Men of the French Revolution. A perfect Equality of Suffrage was essential to Liberty. I stated to him the Cases of Women, of Children, of Ideots, of Madmen, of Criminals, of Prisoners for Debt or for Crimes. He could not give me any sensible Answer to these Objections: but still every limitation of the right of { 266 } Suffrage, every qualification of freehold or any other property, was Antichrist. An entire Levell of Power, Property, Consideration were essential to Liberty and would be introduced and established in the Millenium. I spent the more Evenings with these Men, as they were readers and thinking Men, though I differed from them all in Religion and Government, because there were no others in Town who were possessed of so much litterature, Mr. Maccarty and Mr. Putnam excepted. With Mr. Maccarty I lived in Harmony and social Conversation. The Family of the Chandlers, were well bred and agreable People and I as often visited them as my School and my Studies in the Lawyers office would Admit, especially Colonel Gardiner Chandler with whom I was the most intimate. The Family of the Willards of Lancaster, were often at Worcester, and I formed an Acquaintance with them, especially Abel Willard who had been one Year with me at Colledge, who had studied the Law under Mr. Pratt in Boston. With him I lived in Friendship and once made him a Visit in Lancaster in the Lifetime of his venerable Mother, with whom he then lived. The Family of the Greens in Boston, connected with the Chandlers, were often at Worcester where I became acquainted with many of them of both Sexes. They were then a Family of considerable Wealth and agreable manners. Their descendants, who have generally pursued the same mercantile Employments are now become numerous, have formed powerful connections and have accumulated Riches.
While I was at Worcester, three great Personages from England passed through that Town: Lord Loudoun was one. He travelled in the Winter from New York to Boston and lodged at Worcester in his Way. The Relations We had of his manners and Conduct on the Road gave Us no great Esteem of his Lordships qualifications to conduct the War and excited gloomy Apprehensions. The Young Lord Howe, who passed from Boston to New York, was the very reverse and spread every where the most sanguine hopes, which however were too soon disappointed by his melancholly but Heroic Death. The third was Sir Geoffery Amherst, afterward Lord Amherst and Commander in Chief of the English Army. Amherst who had arrived at Boston from the Conquest of Louisbourg, marched with his Army of four thousand Men, across the Country, and halted a few days at Worcester, having encamped his Army on the hill behind the present Court house. Here We had an opportunity of seeing him, his officers and Army. The officers were very social, spent their Evenings and took their Suppers with such of the Inhabitants as were able to invite, and entertained Us with their Music and their dances. Many of them were Scotchmen { 267 } in their plaids and their Music was delightfull; Even the Bagpipe was not disagreable. The General Lodged with Coll. Chandler the elder and was very inquisitive concerning his farm insisting on rambling over the whole of it. The excellent order and discipline observed by these Troops, revived the hopes of the Country, which were ultimately fully satisfied by the entire conquest of Canada, with the help of the Militia of the Country, which was sent on to their Assistance with great confidence.
1. [Thomas Morgan,]The Moral Philosopher. In a Dialogue between Philalethes a Christian Deist, and Theophanes a Christian Jew .. ., London, 1737–1740; 3 vols. (Catalogue of JA's Library).
2. Ephraim Doolittle, a merchant and military officer; Nathan Baldwin, register of deeds, “an ardent politician, and the author of many of the addresses and documents of our revolutionary annals” (Lincoln, Worcester, p. 176, note).
3. Dyer mixed trade and an irregular practice as an attorney, and was the town crank. In 1759 he was jailed for refusing to pay a fine, spent his three years in jail compiling a dictionary, and had to be forcibly ejected when friends collected the sum necessary to release him; his first act thereafter was to sue the keeper for false imprisonment (Lincoln, Worcester, p. 226–227).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1757


At the time when Fort William Henry was besieged,1 there came down almost every day dispatches from the General to the New England Collonies urging for Troops and Assistance. Col. Chandler the Younger had sent so many Expresses that he found it difficult to get Persons to undertake the Journeys. Complaining of this Embarrassment one Evening, in company, I told him, I had so long led a sedendary Life that my health began to fail me, and that I had an inclination to take a Journey on Horseback. The next Morning by Day break he was at my Chamber Door, with Dispatches for the Governor of Rhode Island. He said a Horse was ready. Without hesitation I arose and was soon mounted. Too much dispatch was necessary for my comfort and I believe for my health, for a Journey so fatiguing, to a Man who was not on horseback more than once a Year on a short visit to his Parents, I cannot think callculated to relieve a valetudinarian. Arrived at Providence I was informed that the Governor Mr. Green [William Greene] was at Newport with the General Assembly. I had then to ride through the Narragansett Country and to cross over Conannicutt to Rhode Island. In the Woods of Narragansett I met two Gentlemen on Horse back, of whom I took the Liberty to enquire whether The Governor was still at Newport? One of them answered he was not: but the Gentleman with him was the Governor. My Dispatches were delivered to him and he broke the Seals and read them on the Spot. He said he believed the French were determined to have the Country: asked many questions, gave me many polite Invitations to return with him to his home, which as he said he had no answer to return by me, and as I was determined to see Newport I civilly declined. Pursuing my Journey I found a great difficulty to get over the Water, As the boat and Men were gone upon their usual Employment. One was found after a { 268 } time very tedious to me and I landed on the Island, and had a good opportunity to see the whole of it as my road to Bristol lay through the whole length of it. To Me, the whole Island appeared a most beautifull Garden: an ornamented Farm: but hostile Armies have since degarnished it of a principal Embellishment, the noble rows and plantations of Trees. Crossing over the Ferry to Bristol I spent a night with Col. Green whose Lady was a Church and Sister to Mrs. John Chandler. Here I was happy and felt myself at home. Next Morning I pursued my Journey by Land to Worcester. The whole Journey was accomplished in four days, one of which was Sunday. As I was obliged to ride all that day I had an opportunity of observing the manners of Rhode Island, much more gay and social than our Sundays in Massachusetts. At Angells in Providence I met a relation and a Neighbour Mr. John Bass, who had lost his Parish at Ashford, by the Intollerance of <orthodoxy at that time> the times and had removed his Family to Providence and begun the Practice of Physick.2 I met another Clergyman and a sensible Man at Bristol. At the Inns as usual there were Scaenes and Characters, for the Amusement of Swift or even Shakespeare.
Another Journey had well nigh proved fatal to me. Mr. Joshua Willard of Petersham, who had married Miss Ward a Niece of General Ward of Shrewsbury, invited me with many other Gentlemen of Worcester, to escort home his Wife.3 I procured the only horse that could be found to be lett. Gay and active enough but the hardest both upon the Trott and Canter, I ever mounted. We went through a Wilderness of old Rutland and New Rutland, now a garden, spent a day or two at Petersham where I conversed much and with great pleasure with Mr. [Aaron] Whitney, a very sensible, entertaining and good humoured Clergyman, the Grandfather of Mr. [Peter] Whitney the amiable, ingenious, eloquent and pious Minister of Quincy and Father of Mr. [Peter] Whitney of Northborough. On our return we rode through Number Six and other Numbers to Number two since called Westminster, a perfect Wilderness and the thickest I ever saw, but now a well cultivated and thick settled Country. We spent a night with Mr. Marsh a Clergyman at the foot of the Wachusett, a Mountain which We ascended to the Top the next morning. From this hight the whole World appeared on a level below Us excepting the Monad• { 269 } nocks. Even the blue hills, which I have since seen very distinct from Mr. Gills house, were scarce discernible. The Wind was so high and the Air so cold that We had little Inclination to remain long upon it. Descending to the foot We found it as uncomfortably warm. We mounted our Horses and returned home by the Way of Lunenbourg and Lancaster. After this Journey, whatever was the cause, whether the fatigue in general or the rude Motions of my horse in particular I know not, I found myself in very ill health. The Physicians told me that close Application to a School and to Studies by night and by Day had [thickened?] and corrupted the whole Mass of my blood and Juices, and that I must have recourse to a Milk Diet according to the Theory and Practice of Dr. Cheyne, at that time the height of the Fassion in Medicine. I had read the Writings of Dr. Cheyne and now read them again, renounced all Meat and Spirits and lived upon Bread and milk, Vegetables and Water. I found my head more at Ease and thought I pursued my Studies to more Advantage: but was tormented with a heart burn every afternoon, which nothing but large potions of Tea at Evening could extinguish. I pursued this course for Eighteen months, six or seven of which passed at my fathers house, with the Advice of Dr. Savil and Dr. Hearsey [Hersey], who were both unqualified Admirers of Cheyne's in Theory, though not in their own practice. My excellent Father at last by his tender Advice at sometimes and a little good humoured ridicule at others converted me again to the Use of a little meat and more comforting Drink, but in both of these I was extreamly sparing for many Years after, and indeed untill I became a Member of Congress and a Traveller, when long Journeys and Voyages made a more generous Regimen essential to my being.
1. Fort William Henry, on Lake George, fell to the French after a siege in Aug. 1757. In his recollections in old age recorded by Harriet Welsh, JA had more to say about the alarms in Massachusetts over the French victories during the early years of the war; he also said that he tried unsuccessfully to obtain a captain's commission for himself in 1755 or 1756 (M/CFA/31, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 327).
2. On the short and unhappy career of Rev. John Bass, Harvard 1737, of Braintree, Ashford, and Providence, see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:114–120.
3. Joshua Willard married Lucretia Ward at Shrewsbury, 28 Feb. 1757 (Charles Martyn, The William Ward Genealogy, N.Y., 1925, p. 154).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758


In 1758 my Period with Mr. Putnam expired. Doolittle and Baldwin visited me in the office, and invited me to settle in Worcester. They said as there were two Sides to a question and two Lawyers were always wanted where there was one, I might depend upon Business in my profession, they were pleased to add that my Character was fair and well esteemed by all Sorts of People in the Town and through the County: that they wished to get me chosen at the next Election which was very near, Register of Deeds, which would procure me something handsome for the present, and insure me Employment at the Bar. That as the Chandler Family had engrossed almost all the public offices and Employment in the Town and County, they wished to select some Person qualified to share with them in these honors and Emoluments. My Answer was that as the Chandlers were worthy People and discharged the Duties of their offices very well I envied not their felicity { 270 } and had no desire to sett myself in Opposition to them, and especially to Mr. Putnam who had married a beautifull Daughter of that Family and had treated me with Civility and Kindness. But there was one Motive with me, which was decisive. I was in very ill health and the Air of Worcester appeared to be unfriendly to me, to such a degree that I panted for want of the Breezes from the Sea and the pure Zephirs from the rocky mountains of my native Town: that my Father and Mother invited me to live with them, and as there never had been a Lawyer in any Country Part of the then County of Suffolk, I was determined at least to look into it and see if there was any chance for me. They replied that the Town of Boston was full of Lawyers and many of them of established Characters for long Experience, great Abilities and extensive Fame, who might be jealous of such a Novelty as a Lawyer in the Country part of their County, and might be induced to obstruct me. I returned that I was not wholly unknown to some of the most celebrated of those Gentlemen, that I believed they had too much candour and Generosity to injure a young Man, and at all Events I could but try the experiment, and if I should find no hope of Success I should then think of some other place or some other course.
An Error was committed at this time by Mr. Putnam or me or both, which I thought not of much consequence at the time, and have never been able to account for since. Mr. Putnam should have presented me, to the Court of Common Pleas in Worcester, and a Certificate of my Oath and Admission, before that Court would have been a sufficient Ground, to justify the Court of Common Pleas in Suffolk, on receiving me there. This was however omitted, and I removed to Braintree without it. Here I passed a few Weeks not without much Anxiety and Apprehension. When the October term arrived I went to Boston and attended the Tryals, full of doubts about the most prudent Steps for me to take. I determined at last to know what my fate was to be, and one Morning went early to Mr. Gridleys Office and was fortunate enough to find him alone.1 I opened to him with much frankness my Situation and my Views. He said Mr. Putnam had mentioned me to him, and he had seen me before in several Companies at Worcester: but have you been sworn? I have not Sir. You must be sworn, before you can practice. As my Master is not here, I have no One to present me to the Court.—How long have you studied Law? How long have { 271 } [you] served in your Clerkship, with Mr. Putnam? Between two and three Years? What Books have you read? Many more I fear than have done me any good. I have read too fast, much faster than I understood or remembered as I ought. I was directed to begin with Woods Institutes, and then to Hawkins's Abridgment of Coke upon Littleton, then to the Work at large, and the second, third and fourth Institute: then to Salkelds Reports and Ld. Raymonds Reports, Bacons Abridgment, &c., then to Instructor Clericalis and Rastalls and Cokes Entries. The former We used dayly for Precedent, the two latter consulted occasionally. The last Book I had read and with most pleasure, because I thought I understood it best was Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown. I mentioned also Hale's History of the Common Law, Doctor and Student2 and an Institute of the common Law in imitation of Justinians Institute....3 Do you read Latin? A little sometimes. What Books have you lately read? Cicero's Orations and Epistles, and the last Latin I read was Justinians Institute with Vinnius's Notes. Where did you find that Work? Mr. Putnam had it not I believe, and I know of no other Copy than my own, in the Country. I borrowed it, Sir, from Harvard Colledge Library, by the Aid of a Friend. Oh? I conjecture it was among the Books that Sir Harry Franklin lately presented to the Colledge. But Vinius is a Commentator more suitable for Persons, of more advanced Age and longer research, than yours: I can lend you Books better adapted to youth: follow me and I will shew you something: He lead me up a pair of Stairs into a Chamber in which he had a very handsome library of the civil and Cannon Laws and Writers in the Law of Nature and Nations. Shewing me a Number of small manuals and Compendiums of the civil Law he put one of them into my hand, and said put that in your Pocket and when you return that I will lend you any other you cho[o]se. I thanked him for his Kindness, and returned with him down Stairs, after I had taken down and looked into a number of Books he pointed out to me. When below he said what have you read upon the Law of Nature and Nations? Burlamaqui Sir and Heineccius in Turnbulls Translation, and Turnbulls Moral Phylosophy. These are good Books, said Mr. Gridley. Turnbull was a correct thinker, but a bad Writer. Have you read Grotius and Puffendorf? I cannot say I have Sir. Mr. Putnam read them, when I was with him, and as his Book lay on the Desk in the office for the most part when { 272 } he had it not in his hand, I had generally followed him in a cursory manner, so that I had some very imperfect Idea of their Contents: but it was my intention to read them both as soon as possible. You will do well to do so: they are great Writers. Indeed a Lawyer through his whole Life ought to have some Book on Ethicks or the Law of Nations always on his Table. They are all Treatises of individual or national Morality and ought to be the Study of our whole Lives. A pause ensued: after which Mr. Gridley turned towards me with the benignity of a parent in his Countenance, and said Mr. Adams permit me to give you a little Advice: I could scarcely refrain from tears when I said I shall certainly receive it as a great honor and felicity. In the first place pursue the Law itself, rather than the gain of it. Attend enough to the profits, to keep yourself out of the Briars: but the Law itself should be your great Object. In the next place, I advize you not to marry early. This was so unexpected to me that it struck up a smile in my face, that I could not conceal. Perceiving it he said Are you engaged? I assure you Sir, I am at present perfectly disengaged: but I am afraid I cannot be answerable how long I shall remain so. At this Mr. Gridley smiled in his turn, and Added, An early marriage will probably put an End to your Studies, and will certainly involve you in expence.... Looking at his Watch, You have detained me here the whole forenoon, and I must go to Court. The Court will adjourn to the last Fryday in this month, (October). Do you attend in the Morning, and I will present you to the Court to be sworn. With some expressions of gratitude I took my Leave. His Advice made so deep an Impression on my mind that I believe no Lawyer in America ever did so much Business as I did afterwards in the seventeen Years that I passed in the Practice at the Bar, for so little profit: and although my Propensity to marriage, was ardent enough, I determined I would not indulge it, till I saw a clear prospect of Business and profit enough to support a family without Embarrassment. I afterwards waited on Mr. Pratt, Mr. Thatcher and Mr. Otis. Mr. Pratt asked if I had been sworn at Worcester. This allarmed me, but I was relieved when he said that Mr. Putnam had given me a good Character.4 Mr. Thatcher, as it was Evening when I waited on him, invited me to Tea and then made me smoke Bridgwater tobacco with him, till after ten O Clock. He said nothing about Law, but examined me more severely in Metaphysicks. We had Clark and Leibnitz, Descartes, Malbranche and Lock, Baxter, Bolinbroke and Berkley, with many others on the Carpet, and Fate, foreknowledge, { 273 } Eternity, Immensity, Infinity, Matter and Spirit, Essence and Attribute, Vacuum and plenum, Space, and duration, Subjects which neither of Us understood, and which I have long been convinced, will never be intelligible to human Understanding. I had read at Colledge and afterwards a great deal on these Subjects: but would not advise any one to study longer than to convince him, that he may devote his time to more satisfactory and more usefull pursuits. We may know more in a future State: but many of these Subjects may be well suspected to be comprehensible only by the Supream Intelligence. Mr. Otis received me more like a Brother than a father, and began to descant on Homer and Horace and Latin and Greek Prosody. He was then composing a Treatise on Prosody. In answer to my request for his Countenance at the Bar, he said Mr. Putnam had mentioned me to him, and asked whether I had seen Mr. Gridley and Mr. Pratt. There were so many Lawyers in Boston he said that it was not worth my while to call upon more than three or four of them. I listened too willingly to this opinion: for I afterwards found there were several others well entitled to this respect from me: and some little offence was taken. Mr. Pratt was made Chief Justice of New York a few years after this: but with him, Mr. Gridley, Mr. Otis and Mr. Thatcher, I lived in entire Friendship till their deaths.
When the last Fryday of October arrived, I was in Boston very early and at Court before it was opened.5 Mr. Pratt presented my Friend Mr. Samuel Quincy and Mr. Gridley presented me. Some Gentleman asked, whether any one knew enough of me to satisfy the Court. Mr. Gridley said he had known me some Years, but that he had lately spent half a day in examining me, and he could say that I had made a very considerable nay “I must say to your honours” a great Proficiency in the Principles of the Law. This was a higher Character than I expected from so great a Man as Mr. Gridley: but I heard it with no small Comfort, as I had been very dubious, whether his examination of me, had not lessened me in his Esteem. Mr. Pratt, Mr. Otis and Mr. Thatcher said I had served a regular Clerkship with Mr. Putnam at Worcester, who had recommended me to them. The Court ordered the Oath to be administered to Mr. Quincy and Mr. Adams, which was done accordingly, and at night I returned to Braintree in good Spirits.
At this Time October 1758 the Study of the Law was a dreary Ramble, in comparison of what it is at this day. The Name of Blackstone had not been heard, whose Commentaries together with Sullivans { 274 } Lectures and Reeves's History of the Law, have smoothed the path of the Student, while the long Career of Lord Mansfield, his many investigations and Decisions, the great Number [of] modern Reporters in his time and a great Number of Writers on particular Branches of the Science have greatly facilitated the Acquisition of it. I know not whether a sett of the Statutes at large or of the State Tryals was in the Country. I was desirous of seeking the Law as well as I could in its fountains and I obtained as much Knowledge as I could of Bracton, Britton, Fleta and Glanville, but I suffered very much for Want of Books, which determined me to furnish myself, at any Sacrifice, with a proper Library: and Accordingly by degrees I procured the best Library of Law in the State.
Looking about me in the Country, I found the practice of Law was grasped into the hands of Deputy Sheriffs, Pettyfoggers and even Constables, who filled all the Writts upon Bonds, promissory notes and Accounts, received the Fees established for Lawyers and stirred up many unnecessary Suits. I mentioned these Things to some of the Gentlemen in Boston, who disapproved and even resented them very highly. I asked them whether some measures might not be agreed upon at the Bar and sanctioned by the Court, which might remedy the Evil? They thought it not only practicable but highly expedient and proposed Meetings of the Bar to deliberate upon it. A Meeting was called and a great Number of regulations proposed not only for confining the practice of Law to those who were educated to it and sworn to fidelity in it, but to introduce more regularity, Urbanity, Candour and Politeness as well as honor, Equity and Humanity, among the regular Professors. Many of these Meetings were the most delightfull Entertainments, I ever enjoyed. The Spirit that reigned was that of Solid Sense, Generosity, Honor and Integrity: and the Consequences were most happy, for the Courts and the Bar instead of Scenes of Wrangling, Chicanery, Quibbling and ill manners, were soon converted to order, Decency, Truth and Candor. Mr. Pratt was so delighted with these Meetings and their Effects, that when We all waited on him to Dedham in his Way to New York to take his Seat as Chief Justice of that State, when We took leave of him after Dinner, the last Words he said to Us, were, “Brethren above all things forsake not the Assembling of yourselves together.”6
1. JA obviously recorded the following interview wholly from memory, and it differs materially from the record in his Diary (entry of 25 Oct. 1758, q.v.). Nearly every author and title mentioned in the conversation will be found in the Catalogue of JA's Library as that collection survives in the Boston Public Library.
2. [Christopher Saint German,] Doctor and Student: or Dialogues between a Doctor of Divinity and a Student in the Laws of England, a 16th-century work which went through innumerable editions (LC, Catalog).
3. Suspension points, here and below in the record of this conversation, are in the MS.
4. See the more detailed and quite different account of this interview in JA's Diary entry of 26 Oct. 1758.
5. The date was probably 6 Nov. 1758; see the entry assigned to that date in JA's Diary, and note 1 there.
6. Benjamin Prat was appointed chief justice of New York Province in March 1761 and left for his new post about the beginning of November (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:233–235). A fuller version of his parting injunction to his colleagues at the bar is quoted in a letter from Oxenbridge Thacher to Prat evidently written in 1762 (MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 20 [1882–1883]:48). The records of this early Boston law association have not been found, although JA himself was ordered in Jan. 1770 by the organization that succeeded it to “wait on Judge Auchmuty and request of him, the Records of a former Society of the Bar, in this County” (Suffolk Bar Book, MS, MHi).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0007

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1759 - 1761

[Braintree Lawyer, 1759–1761]

The next Year after I was sworn, was the memorable Year 1759 when the Conquest of Canada was compleated by the surrender of Montreal to General Amherst. This Event, which was so joyfull to Us and so important to England if she had seen her true Interest, inspired her with a Jealousy, which ultimately lost her thirteen Colonies and made many of Us at the time regret that Canada had ever been conquered. The King sent Instructions to his Custom house officers to carry the Acts of Trade and Navigation into strict Execution. An inferiour Officer of the Customs in Salem whose Name was Cockle petitioned the Justices of the Superiour Court, at their Session in November for the County of Essex, to grant him Writs of Assistants, according to some provisions in one of the Acts of Trade, which had not been executed, to authorize him to break open Ships, Shops, Cellars, Houses &c. to search for prohibited Goods, and merchandizes on which Duties had not been paid.1 Some Objection was made to this Motion, and Mr. Stephen Sewall, who was then Chief Justice of that Court, and a zealous Friend of Liberty, expressed some doubts of the Legality and Constitutionality of the Writ, and of the Power of the Court to grant it. The Court ordered the question to be argued at Boston, in February term 1761. In the mean time Mr. Sewall died and Mr. Hutchinson then Lt. Governor, a Councillor, and Judge of Probate for the County of Suffolk &c. was appointed in his Stead, Chief Justice. The first Vacancy on that Bench, had been promised, in two former Administrations, to Colonel James Otis of Barnstable. This Event produced a Dissention between Hutchinson and Otis which had Consequences of great moment. In February Mr. James Otis Junr. a Lawyer of Boston, and a Son of Colonel Otis of Barnstable, appeared at the request of the Merchants in Boston, in Opposition to the Writ. This Gentlemans reputation as a Schollar, a Lawyer, a Reasoner, and a Man of Spirit was then very high. Mr. Putnam while I was with him had often said to me, that Otis was by far the most able, manly and commanding Character of his Age at the Bar, and this appeared to me in Boston to be the universal opinion of Judges, Lawyers and the public. Mr. Oxenbridge Thatcher whose amiable manners and pure principles, united to a very easy and musical Eloquence, made him very popular, was united with Otis, and Mr. Gridley alone appeared for Cockle the { 276 } Petitioner, in Support of his Writ. The Argument continued several days in the Council Chamber, and the question was analized with great Acuteness and all the learning, which could be connected with the Subject. I took a few minutes, in a very careless manner, which by some means fell into the hands of Mr. Minot, who has inserted them in his history. I was much more attentive to the Information and the Eloquence of the Speakers, than to my minutes, and too much allarmed at the prospect that was opened before me, to care much about writing a report of the Controversy. The Views of the English Government towards the Collonies and the Views of the Collonies towards the English Government, from the first of our History to that time, appeared to me to have been directly in Opposition to each other, and were now by the imprudence of Administration, brought to a Collision. England proud of its power and holding Us in Contempt would never give up its pretentions. The Americans devoutly attached to their Liberties, would never submit, at least without an entire devastation of the Country and a general destruction of their Lives. A Contest appeared to me to be opened, to which I could foresee no End, and which would render my Life a Burden and Property, Industry and every Thing insecure. There was no Alternative left, but to take the Side, which appeared to be just, to march intrepidly forward in the right path, to trust in providence for the Protection of Truth and right, and to die with a good Conscience and a decent grace, if that Tryal should become indispensible.
About this time, the Project was conceived, I suppose by the Chief Justice Mr. Hutchinson, of cloathing the Judges and Lawyers with Robes. Mr. Quincy and I were directed to prepare our Gowns and Bands and Tye Wiggs, and were admitted Barristers having practiced three Years at the Inferiour Courts, according to one of our new Rules.2
1. On this famous case and JA's record of the arguments therein, see his Diary entry of 3 April 1761 and note 6 there.
2. JA has here merged two separate events. He was admitted to practice in the Superior Court of Judicature on 14 Nov. 1761 (see his Diary under that date), and admitted barrister, with numerous others, in August term, 1762 (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 79; see also JA, Works, 10:233, 245, and Quincy, Reports, p. 35).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0008

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1761-05-25

[Braintree Lawyer, 1761]

On the 25 of May in this Year 1761, my venerable Father died in his 71st Year, beloved, esteemed and revered by all who knew him. Nothing that I can say or do, can sufficiently express my Gratitude for his parental Kindness to me, or the exalted Opinion I have of his Wisdom and Virtue. It was a melancholly House. My Father and Mother were seized at the same time with the violent Fever, a kind of Influenza, or an Epidemick which carried off Seventeen Aged People in our Neighbourhood. My Mother remained ill in bed at my Fathers { 277 } Funeral, but being younger than my Father and possessed of a stronger constitution, she happily recovered and lived to my inexpressible Comfort, till the Year 1797, when she died at almost ninety Years of Age....1 My Father by his Will left me, what he estimated one third of his Real State, which third consisted in a House and Barn such as they were and forty Acres of Land. He also left me one third of his personal Estate.2 My house humble as it was, with a few repairs and a very trifling Addition served for a comfortable habitation for me and my family, when We lived out of Boston, till our return from Europe in 1788. The Uncertainty of Life as well as of Property, which then appeared to me, in the prospect of futurity, suppressed all thought of a more commodious Establishment. If I should fall which was very probable in a Contest which appeared to me inevitable, I thought it would be an Addition to the Misery of my Wife and Children to be turned out of a more envyable Situation. I continued to live with my Mother and my Brothers, for the first Year, when my youngest Brother, Elihu, removed to the South Parish in Braintree, now Randolph, to a Farm which my father left him, which he cultivated to Advantage, and is now possessed by his oldest Son. I continued with my Mother and my oldest Brother Peter Boylston, till my Marriage in 1764 with Miss Abigail Smith, Second Daughter of the Reverend Mr. William Smith of Weymouth and Grand Daughter of Colonel John Quincy of Mount Wollaston. Sometime after this my Brother married Miss Crosby a Daughter of Major Joseph Crosbey, sold me the House and Farm which my father left to him and went to live in a House of his Wife's.3 Sometime before this,4 in pursuance of my plan of reforming the practice of Sherriffs and Pettyfoggers in the Country I procured of all the Justices in Braintree, John Quincy, Edmund Quincy, Josiah Quincy and Joseph Crosbey a recommendation of my Brother to Stephen Greenleaf Sherriff of the County, and a Certificate of his Character, upon receiving which Mr. Greenleaff readily gave him a Deputation. He was young, loved riding and discharged his Duties { 278 } with Skill and Fidelity but his disposition was so tender, that he often assisted his Debtors, with his own Purse and Credit, and upon the whole to say the least was nothing the richer for his Office.
1. Suspension points in MS.
2. Actually Deacon John Adams' will, proved 10 July 1761, divided his property more or less equally among his three sons after one third was devised to their mother, but JA's share was somewhat smaller than his brothers' because his father had provided for him “a Libberal Education” (Tr, Adams Papers, Wills and Deeds, Microfilms, Reel No. 607). A copy of the inventory of Deacon John Adams' estate, attested by JA as one of the executors before Probate Judge Thomas Hutchinson, 9 Oct. 1761, is with the will.
3. Peter Boylston Adams married Mary Crosby in Aug. 1768 and sold the house now known as the John Adams Birthplace to JA early in 1774.
4. In 1761; see Diary entry of 11 June 1761 and note 1 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0009

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1759
Date: 1761

[Jonathan Sewall, 1759]

Sometime in 1761 or two1 Mr. Samuel Quincy with whom I sometimes corresponded, shewed to Mr. Jonathan Sewall, a Lawyer somewhat advanced before Us at the Bar, some juvenile Letters of mine of no consequence, which however Sewall thought discovered a Mind awake to the love of Litterature and Law and insisted on being acquainted with me and writing to me. His Acquaintance and Correspondence were readily embraced by me, and continued for many Years, till political disputes grew so warm as to seperate Us, a little before the War was commenced. His Courtship of Miss Esther Quincy, a Daughter of Edmund Quincy, brought him to Braintree commonly on Saturdays where he remained till Monday, and gave Us frequent Opportunities of Meeting, besides those at Court in Boston, Charlestown and Cambridge. He possessed a lively Wit, a pleasing humour, a brilliant Imagination, great Sub[t]lety of Reasoning and an insinuating Eloquence. His Sentiments of public Affairs were for several Years conformable to mine, and he once proposed to me, to write in concert in the public Prints to stir up the People to militia Duty and military Ardor and was fully of my Opinion that the British Ministry and Parliament would force Us to an Appeal to Arms: but he was poor, and Mr. Trowbridge and Governor Hutchinson contrived to excite him to a quarrell with Mr. Otis, because in the General Court, Col. Otis and his Son had not very warmly supported a Petition for a Grant to discharge the Debt of his Uncle the late Chief Justice who died insolvent. To this Artifice they added another which wholly converted him, by giving him the office of Solicitor General. I know not that I have ever delighted more in the friendship of any Man, or more deeply regretted an irreconcileable difference in Judgment in public Opinions. He had Virtues to be esteemed, qualities to be loved and Talents to be admired. But political Principles were to me in that State of the Country, Sacred. I could not follow him, and he could not follow me.
1. A mistake for, presumably, 1759, since JA's surviving correspondence with Jonathan Sewall begins in that year.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0010

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1763

[Town Officer, 1761–1765]

Now become a Freeholder I attended the Town Meetings, as a Member, as I had usually attended them before, from a Boy as a Spectator. In March1 when I had no suspicion, I heard my name pronounced in a Nomination of Surveyors of Highways. I was very wroth, because I { 279 } knew no better, but said Nothing. My Friend Dr. Savil came to me and told me, that he had nominated me to prevent me from being nominated as a Constable: for said the Doctor, they make it a rule to compell every Man to serve either as Constable or Surveyor, or to pay a fine. I said they might as well have chosen any Boy in School, for I knew nothing of the Business: but since they had chosen me, at a venture, I would accept it in the same manner and find out my Duty as I could. Accordingly I went to ploughing and ditching and blowing Rocks upon Penn's Hill, and building an entire new Bridge of Stone below Dr. Millars and above Mr. Wibirts. The best Workmen in Town were employed in laying the foundation and placing the Bridge but the next Spring brought down a flood, that threw my Bridge all into Ruins. The Materials remained and were afterwards relaid in a more durable manner: and the blame fell upon the Workmen not upon me, for all agreed that I had executed my Office with impartiality, Diligence and Spirit.
There had been a controversy in Town for many Years, concerning the mode of repairing the Roads. A Party had long struggled, to obtain a Vote that the High Ways should be repaired by a Tax, but never had been able to carry their point. The Roads were very bad, and much neglected, and I thought a Tax a more equitable Method and more likely to be effectual, and therefore joined this party in a public Speech, carried a Vote by a large Majority and was appointed [to] prepare a By Law to be enacted at the next Meeting. Upon Inquiry I found that Roxbury and after them Weymouth had adopted this Course: I procured a Copy of their Law and prepared a Plan for Braintree, as nearly as possible conformable to their Model, reported it to the Town and it was adopted by a great Majority.2 Under this Law the Roads have been repaired to this day, and the Effects of it are visible to every Eye.
In 1763 or 1764, The Town voted to sell their Common Lands.3 This had been a Subject of Contention for many Years. The South Parish was zealous and the middle Parish much inclined to the Sale, the North Parish was against it. The Lands in their common Situation, appeared to me of very little Utility to the Public or to Individuals: Under the care of Proprietors when they should become private Property, they would probably be better managed And more productive. My Opinion was in favour of the Sale: The Town now adopted the { 280 } Measure, appointed [Mr.] Niles, Mr. Bass and me, to survey the Lands, divide them into Lots to sell them by Auction and execute deeds of them in Behalf of the Town. This was no small Task. We procured our Surveyors and Chainmen and rambled with them over Rocks and Mountains and through Swamps and thicketts for three or four Weeks. Having made the Division and prepared the Plans, a day was appointed for the Vendue. We handled the Mallett ourselves as Vendue Masters and finished all the Sales in one Night: the Deeds were made out, the Bonds for the Money executed and the whole reported to the Town at the next Meeting. Of the original Purchasers I bought two Woodlotts in one of which is Hemlock Swamp and a Pasture in which is Rocky Run, and I should have bought much more, if the awfull Prospect of publick affairs had not discouraged me.
1. Presumably in 1761, but see the Diary entry of 3 March 1761 and note 1 there, which applies also to the next paragraph in the Autobiography.
2. This report, adopted 21 May 1764, is printed in Braintree Town Records, p. 397.
3. Actually 5 March 1765 (Braintree Town Records, p. 400). For the reports and proceedings of the committee see same, p. 401–402, 406–407.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0011

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1764 - 1765

[Marriage and Law Practice, 1764-1765]

In the Winter of 1764 the Small Pox prevailing in Boston, I went with my Brother into Town and was inocculated under the Direction of Dr. Nathaniel Perkins and Dr. Joseph Warren.1 This Distemper was very terrible even by Inocculation at that time. My Physicians dreaded it, and prepared me, by a milk Diet and a Course of Mercurial Preparations, till they reduced me very low before they performed the operation. They continued to feed me with Milk and Mercury through the whole Course of it, and salivated me to such a degree, that every tooth in my head became so loose that I believe I could have pulled them all with my Thumb and finger. By such means they conquered the Small Pox, which I had very lightly, but they rendered me incapable with the Aid of another fever at Amsterdam of speaking or eating in my old Age, in short they brought me into the same Situation with my Friend Washington, who attributed his misfortune to cracking of Walnuts in his Youth. I should not have mentioned this, if I had not been reproached with this personal Defect, with so much politeness in the Aurora. Recovered of the Small Pox, I passed the summer of 1764 in Attending Court and pursuing my Studies with some Amusement on my little farm to which I was frequently making Additions, till the Fall when on the 25th of October 1784 [i.e. 1764] I was married to Miss Smith a Daughter of the Reverend Mr. William Smith a Minister of Weymouth, Grand daughter of the Honourable John Quincy Esquire of Braintree, a Connection which has been the Source of all my felicity, Although a Sense of Duty which forced me away from her and my { 281 } Children for so many Years has produced all the Griefs of my heart and all that I esteem real Afflictions in Life. The Town of Braintree had chosen me, one of the Select Men, Overseers of the Poor and Assessors,2 which occasioned much Business, of which I had enough before: but I accepted the Choice and attended diligently to the functions of the Office, in which humble as it was I took a great deal of Pleasure. The Courts at Plymouth Tau[n]ton, Midd[l]esex and sometimes at Barnstable and Worcester, I generally attended. In the Spring of 1765, Major Noble of Boston had an Action at Pownalborough, on Kennebeck River. Mr. Thatcher, who had been his Council, recommended him to me, and I engaged in his cause, and undertook the Journey. I was taken ill on the Road and had a very unpleasant Excursion. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the fatigue and disgust of this Journey. It was the only time in my Life, when I really suffered for want of Provisions. From Falmouth now Portland in Casco Bay, to Pounalborough There was an entire Wilderness, except North Yarmouth, New Brunswick and Long reach, at each of which places were a few Houses. In general it was a Wilderness, incumbered with the greatest Number of Trees, of the largest Size, the tallest height, I have ever seen. So great a Weight of Wood and timber, has never fallen in my Way. Birches, Beaches, a few Oaks, and all the Varieties of the Fir, i.e. Pines, Hemlocks, Spruces and Firs. I once asked Judge Cushing his Opinion of their hight upon an Avaradge, he said an hundred feet. I believe his estimation was not exaggerated. An Hemlock had been blown down across the Road. They had cutt out a logg as long as the road was wide. I measured the Butt at the Road and found it seven feet in Diameter, twenty one feet in circumference. We measured 90 feet from the Road to the first Limb, the Branches at Top were thick: We could measure no farther but estimated the Top to be about fifteen feet, from the Butt at the Road to the Root we did not measure: but the Tree must have been in the whole at least an hundred and <thirty> twenty feet. The Roads, where a Wheel had never rolled from the Creation, were miry and founderous, incumbered with long Sloughs of Water. The Stumps of the Trees which had been cutt to make the road all remaining fresh and the Roots crossing the path some above ground and some beneath so that my Horses feet would frequently get between the Roots and he would flounce and blunder, in danger of breaking his own Limbs as well as mine. This whole Country, then so rough, is now beautifully cultivated, { 282 } Handsome Houses, Orchards, Fields of Grain and Grass, and the Roads as fine as any except the Turnpikes, in the State. I reached Pownalborough alive, gained my Cause much to the Satisfaction of my Client and returned home. This Journey, painfull as it was, proved much for my Interest and Reputation, as it induced the Plymouth Company to engage me in all their Causes, which were numerous and called me annually to Falmouth Superiour Court for ten years.
1. This medical incident occurred in April-May 1764. Perkins inoculated JA, and Warren inoculated JA's brother, but which of his two brothers this was is uncertain. JA's letters at this period to his fiancée, Abigail Smith (Adams Papers), give abundant details on the method and regimen of smallpox inoculation before Jenner's discovery of vaccination.
2. On 3 March 1766; see Diary entry of that date, and Braintree Town Records, p. 408.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1765

[The Stamp Act, 1765]

This Year 1765 was the Epocha of the Stamp Act....1 I drew up a Petition to the Select Men of Braintree, and procured it to be signed by a Number of the respectable Inhabitants, to call a Meeting of the Town to instruct their Representatives in Relation to the Stamps.2 The public Attention of the whole Continent was alarmed, and my Principles and political Connections were well known.... I prepared a Draught of Instructions, at home and carried them with me: the cause of the Meeting was explained, at some length and the state and danger of the Country pointed out, a Committee was appointed to prepare Instructions of which I was nominated as one. We retired to Mr. Niles House, my Draught was produced, and unanimously adopted without Amendment, reported to the Town and Accepted without a dissenting Voice. These were published in Drapers Paper, as that Printer first applied to me for a Copy.3 They were decided and spirited enough. They rung thro the State, and were adopted, in so many Words, As I was informed by the Representatives of that Year, by forty Towns, as Instructions to their Representatives. They were honoured sufficiently, by the Friends of Government with the Epithets of inflammatory &c. I have not seen them now for almost forty Years and remember very little of them. I presume they would now appear a poor trifle: but at that time they Met with such strong feelings in the Readers, that their Effect was astonishing to me and excited some serious Reflections. I thought a Man ought to be very cautious what kinds of fewell he throws into a fire when it is thus glowing in the Community. Although it is a certain Expedient to acquire a momentary Celebrity: Yet it may produce future Evils which may excite serious Repentance. I have seen so many fire brands, thrown into the flames, <especially> not only in the worthless and unprincipled Writings of the { 283 } profligate and impious Thomas Paine and in the French Revolution, but in many others, that I think, every Man ought to take Warning. In the Braintree Instructions however, If I recollect any reprehensible fault in them, it was that they conceeded too much to the Adversary, not to say Enemy. About this time I called upon my Friend Samuel Adams and found him at his Desk. He told me the Town of Boston had employed him to draw Instructions for their Representatives: that he felt an Ambition, which was very apt to mislead a Man, that of doing something extraordinary and he wanted to consult a Friend who might suggest some thoughts to his mind. I read his Instructions and shewed him a Copy of mine. I told him I thought his very well as far as they went, but he had not gone far enough. Upon reading mine he said he was of my Opinion and accordingly took into his, some paragraphs from mine.4
On the fourteenth of August this Year, The People in Boston rose, and carried Mr. Oliver who had been appointed Distributor of Stamps, to Liberty Tree where they obliged him to take an Oath, that he would not exercise the office.5 The Merchants of Boston could not collect their debts, without Courts of Justice. They called a Town Meeting, chose a Committee of thirty Gentlemen to present a Petition to the Governor and Council, to order the Courts of Justice to proceed without Stamped Papers, upon the principle that the Stamp Act was null because unconstitutional. This Principle was so congenial to my Judgment that I would have staked my Life on the question: but had no suspicion that I should have any thing to do with it, before the Council, till a Courier arrived with a Certificate from the Town Clerk that I was elected by the Town, with Mr. Gridley and Mr. Otis, to argue the Point the next morning. With so little preparation and with { 284 } no time to look into any books for analogous Cases, I went and introduced the Argument but made a very poor figure. Mr. Gridley and Mr. Otis more than supplied all my defects. But the Governor and Council would do nothing. The Court of Common Pleas, however were persuaded to proceed and the Superiour Court postponed and continued the Question till the Act was repealed. At an Inferiour Court in Plymouth, Mr. Paine and I called a Meeting of the Bar, and We laboured so successfully with our Brothers that We brought them all to agree in an Application to the Court to proceed without Stamps, in which We succeeded.
1. Here and below in JA's account of the Stamp Act crisis, the suspension points are in the MS.
2. No text of such a petition has been found.
3. Adopted in town meeting on 24 Sept. (Braintree Town Records, p. 404–406), the Braintree Instructions were first printed in Draper's Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter, 10 Oct. 1765, and later elsewhere; see note on Diary entry of 18 Dec. 1765. JA's rough draft (Adams Papers) has never been printed, and the Instructions as a whole deserve closer textual study than they have yet received.
4. Samuel Adams' biographer pointed out that this was a mistaken claim, since Boston had adopted its instructions to its representatives on 18 Sept. and published them on the 23d, whereas the Braintree Instructions were not even adopted until the 24th (Wells, Samuel Adams, 1:65, note; see also Samuel Adams, Writings, 1:7–12; Boston Record Commissioners, 16th Report, p. 155–156). Despite the argument from chronology it is perfectly possible that the cousins conferred together on this occasion. It would have been characteristic of them both to do so, and especially characteristic of JA to have been ready with a public paper, or at least wellformed ideas for it, in the expectation of being asked to write it. A comparison of the texts of the two sets of instructions shows no identical paragraphs, but the arguments and occasionally the phrasing of the Boston Instructions are enough like those from Braintree to give some color to JA's claim.
5. Andrew Oliver's house had been mobbed on 14 Aug. 1765, but it was not until the following 17 Dec. that he was forced to renounce his post as stamp distributor. On these and subsequent events alluded to here, see JA's Diary entries of 15 Aug. 1765 (and note 2 there), 19 Dec. 1765 and following.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0013

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1765-07 - 1767-12


On the 14 day of July of this Year 1765, Mrs. Adams presented me with a Daughter and in her confinement in her Chamber, I was much alone in <the Parlour below> my Office of Evenings and Mornings. The Uneasy State of the public Mind, and my own gloomy Apprehensions, turned my Thoughts to writing. Without any particular Subject to write on, my Mind turned I know not how into a Speculation or rather a Rhapsody which I sent to the Boston Gazette, and was there published without Title or Signature, but which was afterwards reprinted in London under the Title of a dissertation on the Cannon and Feudal Law. It might as well have been called an Essay upon Forefathers Rock. Writings which appear mean enough at the present day, were then highly applauded, in proportion to their Zeal rather than their Merit, and this little production had its full Share of praise.1
After the 14 of August this Year 1765, I went on a Journey to Martha's Vineyard, on the Tryal of a Cause before Referees, between Jerusha Mayhew and her Relations. The keen Understanding of this Woman, and the uncontroulable Violence of her irascible Passions, had excited a quarrell of the most invidious, inveterate and irreconcileable nature between the several Branches of the Mayhew Family, which had divided the whole Island into Parties. The Rancour of that fiend the Spirit of Party had never appeared to me, in so odious and dreadfull a Light, though I had heard much of it, in a Contest between Roland Cotton and Parson Jackson at Woburne: and had remarked enough of it in the Tryal between Hopkins and Ward at Worcester.2 { 285 } In all these cases it seemed to have wrought an entire metamorphosis of the human Character. It destroyed all sense and Understanding, all Equity and Humanity, all Memory and regard to Truth, all Virtue, Honor, Decorum and Veracity. Never in my Life was I so grieved and disgusted with my Species. More than a Week I think was spent in the Examination of Witnesses and the Arguments of Council, Mr. Paine on one Side and I on the other. We endeavoured to argue the cause on both Sides, as well as We could, but which of Us got the cause I have forgot. It was indeed no matter: for it was impossible for human Sagacity to discover on which Side Justice lay. We were pretty free with our Vituperations on both Sides and the Inhabitants appeared to feel the Justice of them. I think the Cause was compromised.3 —I forgot to mention that while We were at Falmouth waiting to be ferried over to the Island the News arrived from Boston of the Riots on the twenty fifth of August in which Lt. Governor Hutchinsons House was so much injured.
The Stamp Act was repealed, and the Declaratory Act passed: but as We expected it would not be executed, good humour was in some measure restored. In the year 1766 [1767]4 Mr. Gridley died, and to his last moment retained his kindness for me, recommending his Clients to me, with expressions of confidence and Esteem too flattering for me to repeat. For several Years before, he had insisted on my Meeting him in a little Clubb once a Week, for the Sake of Sociability, litterary Conversation and reading new publications as well as the Classicks in concert. Many Things were produced and some were read: but his { 286 } Conversation was too amusing and instructive to leave Us any very earnest Wishes for Books. He had frequently invited me to visit him at his Country Seat in Brooklyne, on Saturdays, and to remain with him till Monday. I went but once, though he urged so much and so often that I was afraid he would take offence at my Negligence. On that Visit he produced to me, the first Copy of Blackstones Inaugural oration and Analysis, which ever appeared in America I believe. Mr. Thomas Oliver had received it, very early from a Friend in England, and lent it to Mr. Gridley. It was much admired and great hopes were conceived of what was to follow, which when the History of Magna Charta and especially the Commentaries made their Appearance were not disappointed. Mr. Gridley thought the Analosis excellent, as great an Improvement on Hales, as his had been upon Noy's. The Day was spent, partly at Church, partly in conversation, and partly in Reading some passages in Puffendorf, with Barbeyrac's Notes, after We had read Blackstone. He was a great Admirer of Barbeyrac: thought him a much more sensible and learned Man than Puffendorf. I admired the facility with which he translated and criticised the Greek Passages in the Notes.5
This Year6 also died Dr. Mayhew, whose Loss I deplored, as I had but lately commenced an Acquaintance with him, which was likely to become a lasting and intimate Friendship.
In the Years 1766 and 1767 my Business increased, as my Reputation spread, I got Money and bought Books and Land. I had heard my father say that he never knew a Piece of Land run away or break, and I was too much enamoured with Books, to spend many thoughts upon Speculation on Money. I was often solicited to lend Money and sometimes complied upon Land Security: but I was more intent on my Business than on my Profits, or I should have laid the foundation of a better Estate.
1. An early, fragmentary draft of this essay appears in JA's Diary and is printed there under the assigned date of Feb. 1765, q.v., with the notes and references there.
2. The political, religious, and personal feud between Rev. Edward Jackson of Woburn and his Harvard classmate and parishioner Roland Cotton during the 1740's was long regarded as “the classic example of New England cantankerousness,” to give it no worse a name; see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 6: 301, 322–323. On the Hopkins-Ward feud in the neighboring province of Rhode Island, see JA's Diary entry of 1 Jan. 1766 and note 3 there.
3. This passage alludes to a whole complex of cases which were in litigation for years and divided the great Mayhew clan on the island of Martha's Vineyard into warring camps. One side was endeavoring to recover a boy whose father, Abel Chase, and mother, Mercy (Mayhew) Chase, had separated; the boy himself had been put out by indenture, until he reached a certain age, to his grandmother, Bethiah (Wadsworth) Mayhew. The grandmother, her Amazonian daughter Jerusha, and others in the household succeeded for some time in foiling all attempts by the sheriff and other officers to recover the boy. But the administration of justice on the island was also in the hands of Mayhews, and Jerusha was in Oct. 1762 seized and carried off to jail, though not before numerous scuffles and some actual shooting had taken place. Jerusha now sued one of her captors for assault and battery and false imprisonment, and thus the suits multiplied almost unendingly. Jerusha finally prevailed and won a judgment for damages against JA's clients, the law-enforcing officers, in May 1766. A statement of the facts and minutes of the testimony and of R. T. Paine's arguments in two of the cases (Jerusha Mayhew v. Robert Allen; Cornelius Bassett v. Wadsworth Mayhew et al.) are among JA's legal papers (M/JA/6, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185). See also Suffolk co. Court House, Early Court Files, &c., Nos. 83471, 85247, 86474, 144133, 144145, 144187, 144233; Quincy, Reports, p. 93 and note; R. T. Paine, Diary (MHi), 27–31 Aug. 1765.
4. The correct year, here bracketed, was inserted in the MS by JQA.
5. JA's copy of Pufendorf, Of the Law of Nature and Nations .... To Which Are Added All the Large Notes of Mr. Barbeyrac ..., 4th edn., London, 1729, folio, remains among his books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA's Library).
6. 1766.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1768

[First Residence in Boston, 1768]

In the Beginning of the Year 1768 My Friends in Boston, were very urgent with me to remove into Town. I was afraid of my health: but they urged so many Reasons and insisted on it so much that being determined at last to hazard the Experiment, I wrote a Letter to the Town of Braintree declining an Election as one of their Select Men, and removed in a Week or two, with my Family into the White House as it was called in Brattle Square, which several of the old People told { 287 } me was a good omen as Mr. Bollan had lived formerly in the same house for many Years. The Year before this, i.e. in 1767 My Son John Quincy Adams was born on the [eleventh] day of August [July],1 at Braintree, and at the request of his Grandmother Smith christened by the Name of <her Father> John Quincy on the day of the Death of his Great Grandfather, John Quincy of Mount Wollaston.
In the Course of this Year 1768 My Friend Mr. Jonathan Sewall who was then Attorney General called on me in Brattle Street, and told me he was come to dine with me. This was always an acceptable favour from him, for although We were at Antipodes in Politicks We had never abated in mutual Esteem or cooled in the Warmth of our Friendship. After Dinner Mr. Sewall desired to have some Conversation with me alone and proposed adjourning to the office. Mrs. Adams arose and chose to Adjourn to her Chamber. We were accordingly left alone. Mr. Sewall then said he waited on me at that time at the request of the Governor Mr. Bernard, who had sent for him a few days before and charged him with a Message to me. The Office of Advocate General in the Court of Admiralty was then vacant, and the Governor had made Enquiry of Gentlemen the best qualified to give him information, and particularly of one of great Authority (meaning Lt. Governor and Chief Justice Hutchinson), and although he was not particularly acquainted with me himself the Result of his Inquiries was that in point of Talents, Integrity, Reputation and consequence at the Bar, Mr. Adams was the best entitled to the Office and he had determined Accordingly, to give it to me. It was true he had not Power to give me more than a temporary Appointment, till his Majestys Pleasure should be known: but that he would give immediately all the Appointment in his Power, and would write an immediate Recommendation of me to his Majesty and transmitt it to his Ministers and there was no doubt I should receive the Kings Commission, as soon as an Answer could be returned from England: for there had been no Instance of a refusal to confirm the Appointment of a Governor in such Cases.
Although this Offer was unexpected to me, I was in an instant prepared for an Answer. The Office was lucrative in itself, and a sure introduction to the most profitable Business in the Province: and what was of more consequence still, it was a first Step in the Ladder of Royal Favour and promotion. But I had long weighed this Subject in my own Mind. For seven Years I had been solicited by some of my friends and Relations, as well as others, and Offers had been made me { 288 } by Persons who had Influence, to apply to the Governor or to the Lieutenant Governor, to procure me a Commission for the Peace. Such an Officer was wanted in the Country where I had lived and it would have been of very considerable Advantage to me. But I had always rejected these proposals, on Account of the unsettled State of the Country, and my Scruples about laying myself under any restraints, or Obligations of Gratitude to the Government for any of their favours. The new Statutes had been passed in Parliament laying Duties on Glass, Paint &c. and a Board of Commissioners of the Revenue was expected, which must excite a great fermentation in the Country, of the Consequences of which I could see no End.
My Answer to Mr. Sewall was very prompt, that I was sensible of the honor done me by the Governor: but must be excused from Accepting his Offer. Mr. Sewall enquired why, what was my Objection. I answered that he knew very well my political Principles, the System I had adopted and the Connections and Friendships I had formed in Consequence of them: He also knew that the British Government, including the King, his Ministers and Parliament, apparently supported by a great Majority of the Nation, were persevereing in a System, wholly inconsistent with all my Ideas of Right, Justice and Policy, and therefore I could not place myself in a Situation in which my Duty and my Inclination would be so much at Variance. To this Mr. Sewall returned that he was instructed by the Governor to say that he knew my political Sentiments very well: but they should be no Objection with him. I should be at full Liberty to entertain my own Opinions, which he did not wish to influence by this office. He had offered it to me, merely because he believed I was the best qualified for it and because he relied on my Integrity. I replied This was going as far in the generosity and Liberality of his sentiments as the Governor could go or as I could desire, if I could Accept the Office: but that I knew it would lay me under restraints and Obligations that I could not submit to and therefore I could not in honor or Conscience Accept it.
Mr. Sewall paused, and then resuming the Subject asked, why are you so quick, and sudden in your determination? You had better take it into consideration, and give me an Answer at some future day. I told him my Answer had been ready because my mind was clear and my determination decided and unalterable. That my Advice would be that Mr. Fitch should be appointed, to whose Views the Office would be perfectly agreable. Mr. Sewal said he should certainly give me time to think of it: I said that time would produce no change and he had better make his report immediately. We parted, and about three { [facing 288] } { [facing 289] } { 289 } Weeks afterwards he came to me again and hoped I had thought more favourably on the Subject: that the Governor had sent for him and told him the public Business suffered and the office must be filled. I told him my Judgment and Inclination and determination were unalterably fixed, and that I had hoped that Mr. Fitch would have been appointed before that time. Mr. Fitch however never was appointed. He acted for the Crown, by the Appointment of the Judge from day to day, but never had any Commission from the Crown or Appointment of the Governor.2
1. The day of the month was left blank in the MS by JA and was filled in by JQA, who also corrected the month from August to July.
2. A very different version of what must be the same incident was recorded by Thomas Hutchinson: “Mr. John Adams ... is said to have been at a loss which side to take. Mr. Sewall, who was on the side of government, would have persuaded him to be on the same side, and promised him to desire governor Bernard to make him a justice of peace. The governor took time to consider of it, and having, as Mr. Adams conceived, not taken proper notice of him, or having given him offence on some former occasion, he no longer deliberated, and ever after joined in opposition” (Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:213–214).
It is curious that Hutchinson seems to have first heard these details in London in 1778 from the Boston loyalists Samuel Quincy and Richard Clarke, who “agreed” with each other that they were true. (Hutchinson, Diary and Letters, 2:220). By recording them in his History Hutchinson accepted at least their plausibility and thus concurred in the view that JA opposed the royal government because it had not provided him with an office.
Sewall himself held the post of advocate general (as well as that of attorney general) at the time he transmitted this offer to JA, but having been appointed judge of the Halifax Court of Vice-Admiralty he was looking for a successor. The successor proved to be Samuel Fitch, at first by a temporary appointment, then permanently. See Carl Ubbelohde, The Vice-Admiralty Courts and the American Revolution, Chapel Hill, 1960, p. 139, 161.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0015

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1768 - 1770


This Year 1768 I attended the Superiour Court at Worcester, and the next Week proceeded on to Sprin[g]field in the County of Hampshire, where I was accidentally engaged in a Cause between a Negro and his Master,1 which was argued by me, I know not how, but it seems it was in such a manner as engaged the Attention of Major Hawley, and introduced an Acquaintance which was soon after strengthened into a Friendship, which continued till his Death. During my Absence on this Circuit, a Convention sat in Boston.2 The Commissioners of the Customs had arrived and an Army Landed.3 On my Return I found the Town of Boston full of Troops, and as Dr. Byles of punning Memory express'd it, our grievances reddressed. Through the whole succeeding fall and Winter a Regiment was excercised, by Major Small, in Brattle Square directly in Front of my house. The Spirit Stirring { 290 } Drum, and the Earpiercing fife arroused me and my family early enough every morning, and the Indignation they excited, though somewhat soothed was not allayed by the sweet Songs, Violins and flutes of the serenading Sons of Liberty, under my Windows in the Evening. In this Way and a thousand others I had sufficient Intimations that the hopes and Confidence of the People, were placed on me, as one of their Friends: and I was determined, that as far as depended on me they should not be disappointed: and that if I could render them no positive Assistance, at least I would never take any part against them. My daily Reflections for two Years, at the Sight of those Soldiers before my door were serious enough. Their very Appearance in Boston was a strong proof to me, that the determination in Great Britain to subjugate Us, was too deep and inveterate ever to be altered by Us: For every thing We could do, was misrepresent[ed], and Nothing We could say was credited.
On the other hand, I had read enough in History to be well aware of the Errors to which the public opinions of the People, were liable in times of great heat and danger, as well as of the Extravagances of which the Populace of Cities were capable, when artfully excited to Passion, and even when justly provoked by Oppression. In ecclesiastical Controversies to which I had been a Witness; in the Contest at Woburn and on Marthas Vinyard, and especially in the Tryal of Hopkins and Ward, which I had heard at Worcester, I had learned enough to shew me, in all their dismal Colours, the deceptions to which the People in their passion, are liable, and the totall Suppression of Equity and humanity in the human Breast when thoroughly heated and hardened by Party Spirit.
The danger I was in appeared in full View before me: and I very deliberately, and indeed very solemnly determined, at all Events to adhere to my Principles in favour of my native Country, which indeed was all the Country I knew, or which had been known by my father, Grandfather or Great Grandfather: but on the other hand I never would deceive the People, conceal from them any essential truth, nor especially make myself subservient to any of their Crimes, Follies or Excentricities. These Rules to the Utmost of my capacity and Power, I have invariably and religiously observed to this day 21. Feb. 1805. and I hope I shall obey them till I shall be gathered to the Dust of my Ancestors, a Period which cannot be far off. They have however cost me the torment of a perpetual Vulcano of Slander, pouring on my flesh all my life time.
I was solicited to go to the Town Meetings and harrangue there. { 291 } This I constantly refused. My Friend Dr. Warren the most frequently urged me to this: My Answer to him always was “That way madness lies.” The Symptoms of our great Friend Otis, at that time, suggested to Warren, a sufficient comment on these Words, at which he always smiled and said “it was true.” Although I had never attended a Meeting the Town was pleased to choose me upon their Committee to draw up Instructions to their Representatives, this Year 1768 and the next 1769 or in the year 1769 and the Year 1770, I am not certain which two of these Years.4 The Committee always insisted on my preparing the Draught, which I did and the Instructions were adopted without Alteration by the Town; they will be found in the Boston Gazette for those Years, and although there is nothing extraordinary in them of matter or Style, they will sufficiently shew the sense of the Public at that time.
In 1769 The House I lived in, was to be sold: I had not sufficient confidence in the Stability of any Thing, to purchase it, and I therefore removed to a house in cold Lane:5 where I lost a Child a Daughter, whose name was Susana, and where in 1770 my Son Charles was born.
1. Newport v. Billing, a case in the Superior Court of Judicature during its September term at Springfield. JA acted (and won) for the defendant, who was being sued by his slave (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Book 83). Brief notes on the arguments are in JA's legal papers (M/JA/6, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185).
2. 22–29 Sept. 1768.
3. 1 Oct. 1768.
4. 1768 and 1769. They were printed in the Boston Gazette, 20 June 1768, 15 May 1769, and reprinted in JA's Works, 3:501–510.
5. This street ran northward from Hanover Street to the Mill Pond and was indiscriminately called Cold and Cole Lane (Boston Streets, &c., 1910, p. 121; see also JA's Diary, second entry of 21 Nov. 1772).

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770


The Year 1770 was memorable enough, in these little Annals of my Pilgrimage. The Evening of the fifth of March, I spent at Mr. Henderson Inches's House at the South End of Boston, in Company with a Clubb, with whom I had been associated for several Years. About nine O Clock We were allarmed with the ringing of Bells, and supposing it to be the Signal of fire, We snatched our Hats and Cloaks, broke up the Clubb, and went out to assist in quenching the fire or aiding our friends who might be in danger. In the Street We were informed that the British Soldiers had fired on the Inhabitants, killed some and wounded others near the Town house. A Croud of People was flowing down the Street, to the Scene of Action. When We arrived We saw nothing but some field Pieces placed before the south door of the Town house and some Engineers and Grenadiers drawn up to protect them. Mrs. Adams was in Circumstances, and I was apprehensive of the Effect of the Surprise upon her, who [was] alone, excepting her Maids and a Boy in the House. Having therefore surveyed round the Town house and seeing all quiet, I walked down Boylstons Alley into Brattle Square, where a Company or two of { 292 } regular Soldiers were drawn up in Front of Dr. Coopers old Church with their Musquets all shouldered and their Bayonetts all fixed. I had no other way to proceed but along the whole front in a very narrow Space which they had left for foot passengers. Pursuing my Way, without taking the least notice of them or they of me, any more than if they had been marble Statues, I went directly home to Cold Lane. My Wife having heard that the Town was still and likely to continue so, had recovered from her first Apprehensions, and We had nothing but our Reflections to interrupt our Repose. These Reflections were to me, disquieting enough. Endeavours had been systematically pursued for many Months, by certain busy Characters, to excite Quarrells, Rencounters and Combats single or compound in the night between the Inhabitants of the lower Class and the Soldiers, and at all risques to inkindle an immortal hatred between them. I suspected that this was the Explosion, which had been intentionally wrought up by designing Men, who knew what they were aiming at better than the Instrument employed. If these poor Tools should be prosecuted for any of their illegal Conduct they must be punished. If the Soldiers in self defence should kill any of them they must be tryed, and if Truth was respected and the Law prevailed must be acquitted. To depend upon the perversion of Law and the Corruption or partiality of Juries, would insensibly disgrace the Jurisprudence of the Country and corrupt the Morals of the People. It would be better for the whole People to rise in their Majesty, and insist on the removal of the Army, and take upon themselves the Consequences, than to excite such Passions between the People and the Soldiers [as]1 would expose both to continual prosecution civil or criminal and keep the Town boiling in a continual fermentation. The real and full Intentions of the British Government and Nation were not yet developed: and We knew not whether the Town would be supported by the Country: whether the Province would be supported by even our neighbouring States of New England; nor whether New England would be supported by the Continent. These were my Meditations in the night. The next Morning I think it was, sitting in my Office, near the Steps of the Town house Stairs, Mr. Forrest came in, who was then called the Irish Infant.2 I had some Acquaintance with him. With tears streaming from his Eyes, he said I am come with a very solemn Message from a very unfortunate Man, { 293 } Captain Preston in Prison. He wishes for Council, and can get none. I have waited on Mr. Quincy, who says he will engage if you will give him your Assistance: without it possitively he will not. Even Mr. Auchmuty declines unless you will engage....3 I had no hesitation in answering that Council ought to be the very last thing that an accused Person should want in a free Country. That the Bar ought in my opinion to be independent and impartial at all Times And in every Circumstance. And that Persons whose Lives were at Stake ought to have the Council they preferred: But he must be sensible this would be as important a Cause as ever was tryed in any Court or Country of the World: and that every Lawyer must hold himself responsible not only to his Country, but to the highest and most infallible of all Trybunals for the Part he should Act. He must therefore expect from me no Art or Address, No Sophistry or Prevarication in such a Cause; nor any thing more than Fact, Evidence and Law would justify. Captain Preston he said requested and desired no more: and that he had such an Opinion, from all he had heard from all Parties of me, that he could chearfully trust his Life with me, upon those Principles. And said Forrest, as God almighty is my Judge I believe him an innocent Man. I replied that must be ascertained by his Tryal, and if he thinks he cannot have a fair Tryal of that Issue without my Assistance, without hesitation he shall have it. Upon this, Forrest offered me a single Guinea as a retaining fee and I readily accepted it. From first to last I never said a Word about fees, in any of those Cases, and I should have said nothing about them here, if Calumnies and Insinuations had not been propagated that I was tempted by great fees and enormous sums of Money. Before or after the Tryal, Preston sent me ten Guineas and at the Tryal of the Soldiers afterwards Eight Guineas more, which were all the fees I ever received or were offered to me, and I should not have said any thing on the subject to my Clients if they had never offered me any Thing.4 This was all the pecuniary Reward I ever had for fourteen or fifteen days labour, in the most exhausting and fatiguing Causes I ever tried: for hazarding a Popularity very general and very { 294 } hardly earned: and for incurring a Clamour and popular Suspicions and prejudices, which are not yet worn out and never will be forgotten as long as History of this Period is read. For the Experience of all my Life has proved to me, that the Memory of Malice is faithfull, and more, it continually adds to its Stock; while that of Kindness and Friendship is not only frail but treacherous. It was immediately bruited abroad that I had engaged for Preston and the Soldiers, and occasioned a great clamour which the Friends of Government delighted to hear, and slyly and secretly fomented with all their Art.
The Tryal of the Soldiers was continued for one Term, and in the Mean time an Election came on, for a Representative of Boston. Mr. Otis had resigned: Mr. Bowdoin was chosen in his Stead: at the general Election Mr. Bowdoin was chosen into the Council and Mr. Hutchinson then Governor did not negative him. A Town Meeting was called for the Choice of a Successor to Mr. Bowdoin; Mr. Ruddock a very respectable Justice of the Peace, who had risen to Wealth and Consequence, by a long Course of Industry as a Master Shipwright, was sett up in Opposition to me. Notwithstanding the late Clamour against me, and although Mr. Ruddock was very popular among all the Tradesmen and Mechanicks in Town, I was chosen by a large Majority.5 I had never been at a Boston Town Meeting, and was not at this, till Messengers were sent to me, to inform me that I was chosen. I went down to Phanuel Hall and in a few Words expressive of my sense of the difficulty and danger of the Times; of the importance of the Trust, and of my own Insuffi[ci]ency to fulfill the Expectations of the People, I accepted the Choice. Many Congratulations were offered, which I received civilly, but they gave no Joy to me. I considered the Step as a devotion of my family to ruin and myself to death, for I could scarce perceive a possibility that I should ever go through the Thorns and leap all the Precipices before me, and escape with my Life. At this time I had more Business at the Bar, than any Man in the Province: My health was feeble: I was throwing away as bright prospects [as] any Man ever had before him: and had devoted myself to endless labour and Anxiety if not to infamy and to death, and that for nothing, except, what indeed was and ought to be all in all, a sense of duty. In the Evening I expressed to Mrs. Adams all my Apprehensions: That excellent Lady, who has always encouraged me, burst into a flood of Tears, but said she was very sensible of all the Danger to her and to our Children as well as to me, but she thought I had done as I ought, she was very { 295 } willing to share in all that was to come and place her trust in Providence. I immediately attended the General Court at Cambridge, to which place the Governor had removed it, to punish the Town of Boston, in Obedience however, as he said I suppose truly to an Instruction he had received from the King. The Proceedings of the Legislature, at that time and place may be seen in their Journals, if they are not lost. Among other Things will be found a laboured controversy between the House and the Governor, concerning these Words “In general Court assembled and by the Authority of the same.” I mention this merely on Account of an Anecdote which the friends of Government circulated with diligence, of Governor Shirley who then lived in retirement at his Seat in Roxbury. Having read this dispute in the public Prints, he asked who has revived these old Words. They were expressed during my Administration. He was answered the Boston Seat. “And who are the Boston Seat?” Mr. Cushing, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Samuel Adams and Mr. John Adams. Mr. Cushing I know and Mr. Hancok [I] know, replied the old Governor, but where the Devil this brace of Adams's came from, I know not. This was archly circulated by the Ministerialists, to impress the People, with the Obscurity of the original, of the par nobile fratrum, as the Friends of the Country used to call Us, by way of Retaliation.6 This was to me a fatiguing Session, for they put me upon all the Drudgery of managing all the disputes, and an executive Court had a long Session which obliged me to attend, allmost constantly there upon a Number of very disagreable Causes. Not long after the Adjournment of the General Court came on the Tryals of Preston and the Soldiers. I shall say little of these Cases. Prestons Tryal was taken down in short hand and sent to England but was never printed here.7 I told the Court and Jury in both Causes, that as I was no Authority, I would propose to them no Law from my own memory: but would read to them, all I had to say of that Nature, from Books, which the Court knew and the Council on the other Side must acknowledge to be indisputable Authorities. This Rule was carefully { 296 } observed but the Authorities were so clear and full that no question of Law was made. The Juries in both Cases, in my Opinion gave correct Verdicts. It appeared to me, that the greatest Service which could be rendered to the People of the Town, was to lay before them, the Law as it stood that the[y] might be fully apprized of the Dangers of various kinds, which must arise from intemperate heats and irregular commotions. Although the Clamour was very loud, among some Sorts of People, it has been a great Consolation to me through Life, that I acted in this Business with steady impartiality, and conducted it to so happy an Issue.
1. MS: “and.”
2. James Forrest, a native of Ireland and a prosperous Boston merchant; he became an ardent loyalist and left Boston with the British troops in 1776 (Jones, Loyalists of Mass., p. 136–137; Rowe, Letters and Diary, passim).
3. Suspension points in MS.
4. This statement cannot be readily squared with the entries for legal fees in a bill of costs of the trials forwarded by Lt. Col. William Dalrymple in a letter to Gen. Gage, 17 Dec. 1770:
To a retaining fee to C:
Prestons Lawyers   £10–   10  
To—Do.—to the mens—Do.   10–   10  
To a fee for pleading at the tryal to C: Prestons Lawyers     63  
To—Do.—to the Mens—Do.     42  
(Printed from the Gage Papers in Randolph G. Adams, “New Light on the Boston Massacre,” Amer. Antiq. Soc, Procs., 47 [1937]:354.)
There were three lawyers for the defense in each trial; see note on Diary entry of 10 Jan. 1771.
5. JA was elected on 6 June 1770 by 418 out of 536 votes cast (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report, p. 33).
6. See Diary entry of 9 Feb. 1772 and notes there.
7. It was never printed anywhere, and JA's assertion that Preston's trial was recorded, sent to England, and suppressed by the government (see his letter to Morse, quoted below) cannot be verified and is very doubtful indeed. The trial of the soldiers was, however, recorded and printed. Before publication
“The Court allowed [the reporter] to shew his Manuscript to the Council [counsel]. He brought it to me. Upon reading it over, I found so much inaccuracy, and so many errors, that I scratched out everything, but the legal Authorities, and the testimonies of the Witnesses. Mr. Quincy and Mr. Paine were consulted, and the results of their deliberations appear in the printed trial” (JA to Jedidiah Morse, 5 Jan. 1816, LbC, Adams Papers).
This was The Trial of William Wemms . . . Taken in Short-Hand by John Hodgson, Boston, 1770.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0017

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1771 - 1773

[Braintree and Boston, 1771–1773]

The complicated Cares of my legal and political Engagements, the slender Diet to which I was obliged to confine myself, the Air of the Town of Boston which was not favourable to me who had been born and passed allmost all my life in the Country; but especially the constant Obligation to speak in public almost every day for many hours, had exhausted my health, brought on a Pain in my Breast and a complaint in my Lungs, which seriously threatened my Life, and compelled me, to throw off a great part of the Load of Business both public and private, and return to my farm in the Country. Early in the Spring of 1771 I removed my family to Braintree, still holding however an office in Boston.1 The Air of my native Spot, and the fine Breezes from the Sea on one Side and the rocky Mountains of Pine and Savin on the other, together with daily rides on horse back and the Amusements of Agriculture always delightfull to me soon restored my health in a considerable degree. I was advised to take a Journey to the Stafford Springs in Connecticutt, then in as much Vogue as any mineral Springs have been since. I spent a few days in drinking the Waters and made an Excursion, through Somers and Windsor down to Hartford and the Journey was of Use to me, whether the Waters were or not.2 On my Return I had my Annual Journey to make on the Eastern Circuit at Ipswich, York and Falmouth, now Portland, and this Exercise continued to improve my health.
Finding my health much improved, and finding great Inconvenience in conducting my Business in Boston, in my Office there, while my family was in the Country, I began to entertain thoughts of returning. Having found it very troublesome to hire houses and be often obliged to remove, I determined to purchase a house, and Mr. Hunt offering me one in Court Street near the Scaene of my Business, opposite the Court house, I bought it and inconvenient and contracted as it was I { 297 } made it answer both for a Dwelling and an Office, till a few Weeks before the 19th of Appril 1775 when the War commenced.3
During my last Residence in Boston, two Causes occurred, of an extraordinary Character, in which I was engaged and which cost me no small Portion of Anxiety. That of the four Sailors, who killed Lieutenant Panton of the Rose Frigate. These were both before Special Courts of Admiralty held in Consequence of the Statute. The four Sailors were acquitted as their Conduct was adjudged to be in Self Defence, and the Actions justifiable Homicide.4 The other was the Tryal of Ansell Nicholson [Nickerson], for the Murder of three or four Men, on board a Vessell. This was and remains still a misterious Transaction. I know not to this day what Judgment to form of his Guilt or Innocence. And this doubt I presume was the Principle of Acquittal. He requested my Assistance and it was given. He had nothing to give me, but his promissory Note, for a very moderate Fee. But I have heard nothing of him, nor received any Thing for his note, which has been lost with many other Notes and Accounts to a large Amount, in the distraction of the times and my Absence from my Business.5
1. See Diary entry of 16 April 1771.
2. See Diary entries of 30 May 1771 and following.
3. See Diary entry of 22 Sept. 1772 and note 2 there.
4. See Diary entry of 23 Dec. 1769 and note.
5. See Diary entry of 28 [i.e. 27?] Nov. 1772 and note 4 there.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0016-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1773

[Independence of the Judges, 1773–1774]

In the Year 1773 arose a Controversy concerning the Independence of the Judges. The King had granted a Salary to the Judges of our Superiour Court and forbidden them to receive their Salaries as usual from the Grants of the House of Representatives, and the Council and Governor, as had been practiced till this time. This as the Judges Commissions were during pleasure made them entirely dependent on the Crown for Bread [as] well as office. The Friends of Government were anxious to perswade the People, that their Commissions were during good Behaviour. Brigadier General Brattle, who had been a Prac[ti]tioner of Law, and was at this time in his Majestys Council, after some time, came out with his name in one of the Gazettes, with a formal Attempt to prove that the Judges held their offices for Life. Perhaps I should not have taken any public Notice of this, if it had not been industriously circulated among the People, that the General had at a Town Meeting in Cambridge the Week before advanced this doctrine And challenged me by name, to dispute the point with him. His Challenge I should have disregarded, but as his Appeal to me was public, if I should remain silent it would be presumed that my Opinion coincided with his. It was of great Importance that the People should form a correct Opinion on this Subject: and therefore I sent { 298 } to the press a Letter in Answer, which drew me on to the Number of Eight Letters, which may be seen in the Boston Gazette for this Year.1 The Doctrine and the History of the Independence of Judges was detailed and explained as well as my time, Avocations and Information enabled me: imperfect and unpollished as they were they were well timed. The Minds of all Men were awake and every thing was eagerly read by every one, who could read. These papers Accordingly, contributed to spread correct Opinions concerning the Importance of the Independence of the Judges to Liberty and Safety, and enabled the Convention of Massachusetts in 1779 to adopt them into the Constitution of the Commonwealth, as the State of New York had done before, partially, and as the Constitution of the United States did afterwards [in] 1787. The Principles develloped in these Papers have been very generally, indeed almost universally prevalent among the People of America, from that time, till the Administration of Mr. Jefferson, during which they have been infringed and are now in danger of being lost. In such a Case, as the Ballance in our national Legislature is imperfect and very difficult to be preserved, We shall have no ballance at all of Interests or Passions, and our Lives, Liberties, Reputations and Estates will lie at the mercy of a Majority, and of a tryumphant Party.
At this Period,2 the Universal Cry, among the Friends of their Country was “What shall We do to be saved?” It was by all Agreed, As the Governor was entirely dependent on the Crown, and the Council in danger of becoming so if the Judges were made so too, the Liberties of the Country would be totally lost, and every Man at the Mercy of a few Slaves of the Governor. But no Man presumed to say what ought to be done, or what could be done. Intimations were frequently given, that this Arrangement should not be submitted to.—I understood very well what was meant, and I fully expected that if no Expedient could be suggested, that the Judges would be obliged to go where Secretary Oliver had gone to Liberty Tree, and compelled to take an Oath to renounce the Royal Salaries. Some of these Judges were men of Resolution and the Chief Justice in particular, piqued himself so much upon it and had so often gloried in it on the Bench, that I shuddered at the expectation that the Mob might put on him a Coat of Tar and Feathers, if not put him to death. I had a real respect { 299 } for the Judges. Three of them Trowbridge, Cushing and Brown3 I could call my Friends. Oliver and Ropes abstracted from their politicks were amiable Men, and all of them were very respectable and virtuous Characters. I dreaded the Effect upon the Morals and temper of the People, which must be produced, by any violence offered to the Persons of those who wore the Robes and bore the sacred Characters of Judges, and moreover I felt a strong Aversion to such partial and irregular Recurrences to original Power. The poor People themselves who by secret manoeuvres are excited to insurrection are seldom aware of the purposes for which they are set in motion: or of the Consequences which may happen to themselves: and when once heated and in full Career, they can neither manage themselves, nor be regulated by others. Full of these Reflections, I happened to dine with Mr. Samuel Winthrop at New Bost[on], who was then Clerk of the Superiour Court, in company with several Members of the General Court of both Houses and with several other Gentlemen of the Town. Dr. John Winthrop Phylosophical Professor at Colledge and Dr. Cooper of Boston both of them very much my Friends, were of the Company. The Conversation turned wholly on the Topic of the Day—the Case of the Judges. All agreed that it was a fatal Measure and would be the Ruin of the Liberties of the Country: But what was the Remedy? It seemed to be a measure that would execute itself. There was no imaginable Way of resisting or eluding it. There was lamentation and mourning enough: but no light and no hope. The Storm was terrible and no blue Sky to be discovered. I had been entirely silent, and in the midst of all this gloom, Dr. Winthrop, addressing himself to me, said Mr. Adams We have not heard your Sentiments on this Subject, how do you consider it? I answered that my Sentiments accorded perfectly with all which had been expressed. The Measure had created a Crisis, and if it could not be defeated, the Liberties of the Province would be lost. The Stroke was levelled at the Essence of the Constitution, and nothing was too dear to be hazarded in warding it off. It levelled the Axe at the Root, and if not opposed the Tree would be overthrown from the foundation. It appeared so to me at that time and I have seen no reason, to suspect that I was in an Error, to this day. But said Dr. Winthrop, What can be done? I answered, that I knew not whether any one would approve of my Opinion but I believed there was one constitutional Resource, but I knew not whether it would be { 300 } possible to persuade the proper Authority to have recourse to it. Several Voices at once cryed out, a constitutional Resource! what can it be? I said it was nothing more nor less than an Impeachment of the Judges by the House of Representatives before the Council. An Impeachment! Why such a thing is without Precedent. I believed it was, in this Province: but there had been precedents enough, and by much too many in England: It was a dangerous Experiment at all times: but it was essential to the preservation of the Constitution in some Cases, that could be reached by no other Power, but that of Impeachment. But whence can We pretend to derive such a Power? From our Charter, which gives Us, in Words as express, as clear and as strong as the Language affords, all the Rights and Priviledges of Englishmen: and if the House of Commons in England is t