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JQA Diary, volume 30 2 November 1818
JQA Neal Millikan Adams Family Relations American Revolution Foreign Relations South American Wars of Independence

2. III:45. Sleep short and interrupted. I could find no repose in bed, and rose at that early hour. I called at the President’s, and read to him the draft of Instructions to Messrs. Gallatin and Rush, which he approved. I found him in some displeasure at having learnt that the late Commissioners to South America Rodney and Bland, and Graham, are so far from agreeing in the Report they are to make, that probably no two of them will agree upon the same. Bland arrived two days ago at Philadelphia from Valparaiso. He had parted from the two others at Buenos-Ayres, not agreeing then in opinion with them. Rodney and Graham it seems then thought they agreed together, and until Rodney came here two days since with his draft of a Report prepared. Graham then discovered some things in it which he did not approve. Rodney insisted upon inserting them, and Graham declined signing. So they will make their Reports separately— Rodney, the President hinted is under the influence of Breckenridge, the Secretary to the Commission, who is a mere enthusiast, and so devoted to South America, that he has avowed the wish to America, all America, in conflict against all Europe. Rodney therefore traces the South-American to the North American Revolution; and identifies them together, in a manner which the President thinks will be offensive to the European allies; and he hinted that Rodney’s Report would be purposely adapted to the Views rather of Clay, and the opposition, than to those of the Administration. He said if that was not the case Rodney would have submitted his Report privately, with an offer to modify any thing that might counteract the views, and policy of the Administration. That his pursuing a different course indicates that he feels no such delicacy; and that he will make a Report, painting every thing at Buenos-Ayres, as he saw it, couleur de Rose, and that it will be used as a weapon of party— The President read me then some incipient paragraphs in the draft of his Message, concerning South-America— Rather a historical review of their revolutionary struggle, and its progress towards Independence, with an opinion that it will ultimately prevail, than a recommendation to recognize it immediately. He asked me to collect for him some minutes relating to the principal stages of the Revolution; and suggested to me the idea of seeing Mr Bagot and enquiring of him to what extent the confidential communications from the British Government of the measures concerted by the Allies for a Mediation between Spain and her Colonies, may be alluded to in the Messages, without a breach of Confidence— I observed to him that he might at least allude to every thing inferable from the Spanish Note of 12. June last, which is public in the Newspapers— He asked me to send him a paper containing a copy of it, which I did— At the Office I found Mr Purviance, returned from his excursion of several weeks, into the Country—looking, and complaining of being very unwell. Dr Bates of Boston called at the Office— He has been upon a tour of several Months into the Western States of Ohio, and Indiana, concerning which he gave me some information— Mr Greuhm the Prussian Minister Resident, who has just returned from the summer excursion into Canada upon which he has been absent, came to the Office but I could not see him. The mail had brought me too fatal confirmation of my apprehensions, in a Letter from my Son John, dated at Boston last Wednesday the 28th. of October, informing me that between 11 and 1. O’Clock of that day, my Mother, beloved and lamented more than language can express, yielded up her pure and gentle Spirit to its Creator! 432She was born on the 11/22 of November 1744. and had completed within less than a month of her seventy-fourth year. Had she lived to the age of the Patriarchs, every day of her life would have been filled with deeds of goodness and of love. There is not a virtue that can abide in the female heart, but it was the ornament of hers. She had been fifty four years the delight of my father’s heart; the sweetener of all his toils—the comforter of all his sorrows; the sharer and heightener of all his joys— It was but the last time when I saw my father that he told me, with an ejaculation of gratitude to the giver of every good and every perfect gift, that in all the vicissitudes of his fortunes, through all the good Report, and evil Report of the World; in all his struggles, and in all his sorrows the affectionate participation, and cheering encouragement of his wife, had been his never failing support; without which he was sure he should never have lived through them— She was the daughter of William Smith, Minister at Weymouth, and of Elizabeth Quincy his wife— Oh! God! may I die the death of the righteous and may my last end be like her’s! On receiving this deeply distressing intelligence I immediately left my Office and came home— After indulging the weakness of nature, I wrote Letters to my father and to my Son John— The despatch for Messrs. Gallatin and Rush was sent me to sign— I enclosed it under cover to A. H. Everett at Boston; and employed the Evening upon the Journal of the day.