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JQA Diary, volume 29 27 May 1816
JQA Neal Millikan African Americans Recreation

27. VI:30. Wrote to R. W. Fox, Consul at Falmouth— Immediately after Breakfast I went to London, and found at the Office the Jew, Jacob, with whom Coll. Aspinwall made contract to convey upwards of a hundred American Seamen to the United States. Jacob makes several extravagant demands, beyond the stipulations in the contract. The Coll: disputes them, and Jacob came to convince me that they ought to be allowed— He convinced me only of his own rapacity— Mr Sanders paid me a visit with Mr Lambert, a member of the Royal Society and F. Pursh’s patron— Mr Lambert shewed me a Letter from a botanical friend of his, now travelling in the United States. He asked me to forward for him a Letter to Mr Jackson at Savannah, a chaplain in the U.S. army, and a great botanist; which I promised. Captain Stuart, Coll Aspinwall’s late Secretary, came to take a Passport to return to America— There were Letters—from Jonn: Russell at Stockholm, enclosing a duplicate of L. Harris’s melancholy Letter of 24. April, from St Petersburg, about his being interdicted attendance at Court.—from E. Wyer, Consul at Riga of 5. May—in reply to mine of 13. April to him—from Coll: Aspinwall, intoducing Jacob— From. R. W. Fox junr. at Falmouth, concerning the Seamen of the ship Baltimore— And from R. G. Beasley on board the Margaret, bound to Boston, 18 miles below Liverpool; dated the 24th. He had received the Letters for America, that I sent him on the 20th.My wife went with me into town, dined with Mr and Mrs King, and went with them to Drury lane theatre where I was to meet them— Mr J. A. Smith and I dined at the Freemason’s Hall Great-Queen Street, with the Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce— The Duke of Sussex, President of the Society was in the Chair— The Duke of Athol, Lord Dundas, the Marquis of Stafford, Mr J. C. Curwen a Member of Parliament, and a distinguished agriculturist were of the company— The only other foreign Minister was the Chevalier de Freire. The Duke of Sussex introduced me to Mr John Penn, who told me that he was in correspondence with my father— Mr Sanders was also there. There were about two hundred persons at the dinner, principally artists— Part of the entertainment was some very fine roast beef, fatted upon an experimental plan by Mr Curwen— A printed account of the experiment was also circulated round the table. After dinner, and non nobis sung, the usual toasts were drank, with the usual cheering of three times three.— Among them the Duke of Sussex gave, the Ministers of Portugal and of the United States of America; which he accompanied with a speech, complimentary to our Country and personally to us, particularly dwelling upon the pleasure with which he recollected his former acquaintance with me, upon what he termed neutral ground, at Berlin— Mr Freire simply returned thanks— I added that on this as upon all other occasions, I naturally must cast a reflective look to my own Country— Though not yet competent to equal the perfection in the Arts for which Great-Britain was so eminently distinguished, she was competent to admire, and might at a future day be competent to emulate them— In the mean time she must be content to follow her Parent, non passibus aequis, and if hereafter she could rivalize her in the works of art, I prayed that that and the emulation of good offices might be the only rivalry between the two Countries— Then apologizing to the Duke, for addressing the company instead of him, I said that it had been my good fortune, little less than twenty years ago, to meet his Royal Highness, on what he was pleased to term neutral ground. I needed not to say that I considered it as one of the happiest Circumstances of my life; but I could nor forbear or deny myself the gratification of remarking that from that moment I had entertained for his Royal Highness, the same Sentiments which the Company I had now the honour of addressing had so signally manifested by placing him in that Chair— The Duke of Athol, Marquis of Stafford, Lord Dundas, Mr Curwen and Dr Taylor the Secretary of the Society were all successively toasted, and returned thanks by Speeches— There were songs, serious and jocund; and between nine and ten O’Clock the Company broke up. I went with J. A. Smith to Drury-Lane Theatre; but we could not find Mr and Mrs King and Mrs Adams—they were just gone; having seen Deaf and Dumb, and Midas. We saw the Magpie and the Maid; from the French Melo-drame of La Pie Voleuse. It was past Midnight when the Play finished— I went to Mr King’s lodgings where I found my wife. We took leave of Mr and Mrs King, who go for Paris, the day after to-morrow; and when we came to our house at Ealing, it was three O’Clock in the Morning, and broad day-light.