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Full text of "Journal and correspondence of Miss Adams, daughter of John Adams, second president of the United States. Written in France and England, in 1785"

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Miss ADAMS, 


of t&e Sanfteti States. 





E 503. 

v. > 

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by 

I. P. DE WlNDT, 

Fn the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 
Southern District of New- York. 


Hopkins & Jennings, Printers, 




Around their memory, dear to us all, 

Doth cling remembrances 

Sacred ; all powerful, 

And lasting as the soul s immortality. 



THE following Journal, from which these ex 
tracts are taken, was written at the same period 
with the letters of Mrs. Adams, (lately published,) 
by her only daughter, principally previous to her 

A few letters are added, from Mr. and Mrs. 
Adams to their grandaughter. 

The Editor being desirous to preserve the 
Journal and Letters for her children, still more 
so, that they should understand the extent and 
strength of that affection with which their mother 
was honoured by the writers, presents them with 
a copy in print. 

"This is the prerogative of the noblest natures 
that their departure to higher regions exercises 
a no less blessed influence than did their abode 
on earth ; that they lighten us from above, like 
stars by which to steer our course, often inter 
rupted by storms ; that those to whom we turned 
in life as the beneficent, the helpful, now attract 
our longing, aspiring glance, as the perfected, the 

For the sketch of the landscape, the Editor is 
indebted to Miss Gtuincy of Cambridge, Mass. 

C. A. de W. 
Cedar Grove, JV. Y., July, 1841. 



Introductory Remarks, vii 

Introductory Letter, 3 

Journal, 7 

Lines addressed to a Portrait, 97 

Letter from Mr. J. Q. Adams, 89 

Memoir of W. S. Smith, 99 

Twenty-four letters from Col. to Mrs. Smith, . . 125 

Letters from John Adams to his daughter, . . 202 

Letters from Mrs. Adams to her grandaughter, . . 209 

Letters from John Adams to his grandaughter, . . 239 

Letter from Judge Vanderkemp to Mrs. de Windt, . 243 

Letter from John Adams to his grandaughter, . . 245 


ABIGAIL ADAMS, the oldest child and only surviving daugh 
ter of John Adams, was born at Braintree, in Massachusetts, 
14th July, 1765; she was carried to church in a chaise, 
and baptized the day she was born, according to the custom of 
those times. 

In the early part of her life she shared the domestic duties 
and cheered the retirement of her mother, during the years 
of absence which the public cares of her father enforced 
upon him. He expressed to the editor, at the age of 90, 
while recalling and reflecting upon the events of the past, in 
these words, his painful recollection of the separations he 
had been called upon to endure : " At this time it seems to 
me to have been wicked to have left such a wife and such a 
family as I did, but it was done in the service of my country." 

The daughter was cherished and beloved by an intimate 
circle of youthful friends. Among them an early use of the 
pen, and the pleasures of epistolary intercourse were culti 
vated ; the young persons being in the habit of preparing 
their letters during the week, taking them to church on Sun 
day, and exchanging them. Two of the most intimate and 
valued friends of Miss Adams were the daughter of the Rev. 
Jonathan Mayhew, afterwards married to Mr. Waimvright, 
and Miss Elizabeth Quincy, afterwards Mrs. Guild. These 
attachments continued uninterrupted, and were a source of 
much happiness throughout their lives. 


At the age of eighteen Miss Adams accompanied her moth 
er to Europe she had changed, in the years that had passed, 
since her father had left her in America. In the journal of this 
date she writes thus : " London, Aug. 7th, 1784. At 12, re 
turned 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 de 
parture ] When does she go T Why are these things 
moved V All in a breath to Esther. No, ma m, she has re- 
cieved no letter, but goes to-morrow morning. * Why is 
all this appearance of strangeness? Whose hat is that in 
the other room 1 Whose trunk is this ] Whose sword 
and cane 1 It is my father s, said I. Where is he V 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 af 
fectionate 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." 

The next day commenced the journey to Paris, with which 
the journal in the present volume opens. 

At a later period, Aug. 1785, the journal states " Friday, 
26th. Papa having invited Count Sarsefield to dine with him 
to-day, we were obliged to refuse an invitation from Mr. and 
Mrs. Smith, at Clapham ; the Count came, and was as usual 
in spirits, and good company. Mr. Bartlemmy, the French 
Charge d* Affaires was invited, and came ; he seemed to be 
well enough in mind, manners, and appearance, civil, not 
gallant, sociable, not talkative, modest, not forward ; he is 
passing well. Two other gentlemen dined with us ; they 
were young men ; and nothing passed in four hours to be 
related here." 


" Saturday 27th. A fine morning. Eugenic came to 
breakfast. Mamma desired me to be dressed ; she was 
going out to make some visits ; I obeyed. I seldom resist 
commands, however my will may be for it. We went out at 
12 ; the coachman was ordered to go to Hackney ; we were 
to visit Mrs. J . No, it is not pride it is not vanity 

tis no unworthy principle which would prevent me, had 
I a will to follow, from making such visits, but I would make 
no acquaintance for which I had not some good reason ; 1 
do not love that kind of intercourse where no one affection of 
the heart has any share ; I would treat every one with civility 

lay myself under as few obligations as possible, to those 
whom 1 could rank as friends I would always act from 
the heart ; every attention to such 1 should esteem myself 
gratified in paying ; but the unmeaning intercourse of a great 
portion of mankind, I must acknowledge, I have but little 
taste for ; perhaps 1 am wrong it is only an opinion it 
may be founded upon wrong principles ; I am open to con 
viction ; and whenever my sentiments change, I shall not be 
adverse to acknowledge it. When we came into town, we 

left cards at the Baroness , to return a visit made us 

in the same way, and called upon my Lady Effingham, but 
she was not at home ; returned home, dined alone ; read 
Shakspeare after dinner. Papa purchased his works this 
morning, upon my saying I had never read them. I discover 
a thousand traits of softness, delicacy, and sensibility in this 
excellent man s character. I was once taught to fear his 
virtues ; happy am I that I find them rather to love, grown 
up into life unknown to him, and ignorant of him. I had been 
taught to think him severe, and as he would demand my obe 
dience, I found him far otherwise ; he never demanded of me 
even an acquiescence to his wishes, but left me to follow my 
own, in the most important concerns of life. How amiable 
how respectable how worthy of every token of my atten- 


tion, has this conduct rendered a parent a father to whom 
we feel due even a resignation of our opinions ! How many 
are there who usurp the power Nature has given them a 
right to use, and who act rather as tyrants over their families 
than as parents of their children ; how much is the want of 
this gentleness, delicacy, and sensibility observed in that 
sex, whose worth and amiability of character depends upon 
the possession of it. How many ladies, within my knowledge, 
who do not possess one iota of either ; but, adieu to the sub 

" To-day, agreeably to invitation, we went to dine with 
Dr. Jebb ; our company was not large, and no ladies but 
mamma and myself. Had I never seen Mrs. Jebb, I believe 
I should have said upon entering the door, the lady of this 
house is a politicianess, or something else there was an air 
through the whole that I thought discovered it. The com 
pany were all there when we went. Dr. Brokelsly, a moderate 
Englishman, is said to be a sensible man, great in his pro 
fession, and learned. A Mr. Ashley, a violent, prejudiced 
Englishman, no enemy to America I should suppose, but 
entirely ignorant of the arrangements there during the late 
war, as indeed every person here seems to be ; whether it 
has been the policy of people in power to preserve this ignor 
ance I do not know, but they all attribute the want of suc 
cess to their generals. If Sir William Howe had done so 
and so, you would never have gained your independence. I 
never pretend to understand politics, but I cannot but smile 
to hear these people talk ; it appears to me they judge with 
out foundation, and give their opinions through ignorance. 
This gentleman was also a most violent enemy to the French ; 
he could bear to see America rising, but he could not sub 
mit to see that nation at peace ; he was sometimes so violent 
that I did not know where it would end. Papa endeavoured 
to be silent, but sometimes he would get warmed, and who 


could avoid it, to hear so much ignorance and error asserted 
as truth?" 

1785. " The thread has broke, and I have to begin again ; 
it is in vain attempting to join it where I last left it, for I find 
it impossible. Some events have taken place respecting 
myself, in which, perhaps, my future happiness may be in 
terested; I have one consolation, the perfect rectitude of my 
intentions. To that Being, under whose guidance I would 
fain believe all our actions to be, I must submit, and leave 
the events ; Heaven grant they may prove propitious to my 
happiness and peace." 

At this period Miss Adams married Colonel Smith, who 
was the Secretary to the American Legation, at London. 
Here we must refer again to the journal. "June, 1787. 
The afternoon being very fine, mamma and myself rode to 
Kensington Gardens, and took a long walk ; it was more like 
an American day than any I recollect in this country ; the 
presence of my friend was only wanting to have rendered it 
perfectly pleasing ; his society has enlivened every scene for 
the last twelve months ; cheerfulness and good humour he has 
ever promoted, and it is always accompanied with strict pro 
priety, delicacy, and purity of actions and manners ; it is, in 
short, all that my fondest wishes could paint, as lovely and 
engaging ; the more I reflect upon it the more I am satis 
fied, and the more I am induced to regret this temporary 
separation, which is the first, and from my heart I hope it 
may be the last I shall ever have to regret." 

After returning and residing a few years in America, they 
revisited Europe ; upon their return, passed some years in 
the city of New- York. 

Mrs. Smith died at Quincy, 14th August, 1813, at the age 
of 48. She expressed her gratitude that she had been per 
mitted to close her days in the mansion of her father, sur 
rounded by her venerable parents, her husband, children, and 
dearest relatives. 


" She possessed a mind firm, cultivated, and delicate ; a 
temper gentle and sweet; a spirit composed in difficulty, pa 
tient in suffering, humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity ; 
a demeanour chastened and regulated by clear perceptions of 
duly and a high sense of propriety. As a child, exemplary for 
filial reverence ; as a wife, for conjugal tenderness ; as a moth 
er, for parental affection. Forgetful of herself, and studious of 
the happiness of others, it was the effort of her being to 
please and to support, to comfort and to bless. Her death, 
in unison with such a life, was full of resignation and hope."* 

Among various consolatory letters addressed to Mr. and 
Mrs. Adams upon the death of their daughter, the following 
extract comprises all that need be said. 

" If such are my feelings for a child cut off before the 
day-star of intelligence could have arisen to announce the 
dawn of reason in her soul, what must be those of a mother 
for one, in whom the mind was at its highest noon, clear as 
the day, and unsullied as the light of heaven 1" 

;< Her days were short, and checkered o er 
With joy and sorrow s mingled store, 

And fortune s treacherous game 
But never since Creation s hour, 
Sent forth from Heaven s almighty power, 

A purer spirit came !"f 

* From an obituary notice by President Quincy. 
t Extract from a letter of Mr. J. Q. Adams. 



The Hague, 17 July, 1784. 

WITH the tenderest emotions of a father s heart, 
I congratulate you on your agreeable voyage, and 
happy arrival ; and hope that your journeys in 
Europe, and your returning voyage to your own 
country, will be equally prosperous. 

At your age, travels are pleasing and instruc 
tive. But that you may be able to derive the full 
benefit from them, let me recommend to you to 
keep a journal. 

I have never had influence enough with your 
brother to prevail upon him to attend to this exer 
cise, as pleasant as it is useful. But the punish 
ment of this negligence is certain ; if he lives 
sixty years, he will spend them all in continual 
repentance, and self-reproaches. A regular jour 
nal of his travels would be very valuable. 


I cannot reproach myself, because my eyes 
have made it impracticable. With the utmost 
difficulty have I performed the writing, which 
my public duty required of me : and I may add, 
that my head and heart have been so occupied 
with necessary business, that objects of curiosity, 
and even the -fine arts, had few attractions for 
une. , / ". :: ; 

Your case and 4 -that of your brother are very 
: &J9pflBiik: ..Ju* travel ling with me, through the 
butch and Austrian Low Countries to France, 
you will have a great opportunity. 

In London you see one of those enormous 
masses of human nature, which exhibit to view 
its utmost extremes of grandeur and littleness, of 
virtues and vices, of wisdom and folly. In Paris 
you will see another ; and all along between 
them, are countries and cities which will deserve 
your attention. 

I need not say to you, that the end of travel, as 
well as study, is not the simple gratification of 
curiosity, or to enable one to shine in conversa 
tion, but to make us wiser and better. 

The British Museum, Sir Ashton Lever s 
Museum, Wedgwood s Manufactory of Earthen 
Ware, Parker s Manufactory of Glass, I saw with 
great pleasure. You cannot see Mrs. Siddons, as 
she is absent. Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul s 
Church you should see. 


But I presume you will not be long in England 
after your brother s arrival. 

Hasten, my dear girl, as much as you can with 
prudence, to your affectionate father, 

Miss A. ADAMS, 




London, Adelphi Hotel, 1784. 

WE are impatiently awaiting the arrival of let 
ters to determine our course, whether to France 
or the Hague. 

August 8th. After two hour s preparation, papa, 
mamma, myself and brother, in our own car 
riage, H. and B. our two servants, sat out from 
the Adelphi Hotel, so wretchedly equipped with 
horses, that they could carry us no farther than 
Westminster bridge; here they refused to go, and 
the resolution of the post-boys was exerted to no 
purpose ; they were obliged to obtain others : at 
Deal we made our last change of horses, turned 
into the road to Dover where we arrived at 2 
o clock. The road from Canterbury to Dover is 
very mountainous and the poorest I have seen in 
the country ; the appearance of cultivation is 
much the same as in other spots ; there is a rich 
ness and elegance in the landscape that is very 


beautiful. At 3 we went on board the boat for 
Deal; we landed at 6 the next morning we had 
some servants from every public house, or every 
master with offers of accommodation. We came 
to Monsieur Destaing s Hotel, the very place made 
famous by Yorick ; in this yard he wrote his pre 
face to his journey, and perhaps in one of these 

disobligeants, he met Madame De , and here 

is the very Monk, that gave his benediction to 
our writer, and who has just passed my window to 
present himself to papa. I do not think he is 
quite so respectable a figure, as the one that ac 
costed Yorick. At 12 we dined ; we had a va 
riety, but not in a style so agreeable to me as the 
English. At two, we set off from Monsieur Des 
taing s Hotel, on a journey of two hundred miles. 
The laws of this country are such as oblige every 
person who travels in a coach, to make use of six 
horses. We were equipped with six horses for 
our carriage, and a cabriolet with three horses, 
for our two servants. The harness is not supe 
rior in any respect, to what we use in America for 
our carts and ploughs ; however, it is such as 
every person travels with, and there is no better. 
I have not learnt the why and the wherefore, that 
we travel in this way. and exchange horses at 
every post, which is a distance of six miles, or 
sometimes a post and a half, or two post at a time. 
On Tuesday we travelled four posts after dinner, 


and lodged at Boulogne, a small village, the Inn 
kept by an English family. The house was not as 
much Anglaise as I could have wished. There is 
certainly a great difference in favour of Eng 
land ; the country is by no means equal to it ; the 
soil does not appear so rich and luxuriant, or so well 
cultivated ; the villages are the most wretched of 
all the habitations of man ; it is not one time in 
ten that I have seen a glass window, nothing but 
wood. We dined in our carriage ; mamma and 
myself were not out of it from six in the morn 
ing, until four in the afternoon. 

The country is much varied ; in some places 
you see a great appearance of cultivation and im 
provement, in others you have a fine prospect of 
the country around, and some very fine scenes 
of natural beauty ; in others, it appears like a bar 
ren uncultivated spot. There is the appearance 
of more industry here than in England, by the 
flocks of men, women and children that are out 
in the fields at their labours ; whole families, 
whole towns, I should suppose by their numbers, 
some reaping and gathering in the fruits of the 
year, while others were preparing the ground, 
sowing the seed for a future crop. The country 
bears to-day a more pleasing aspect than yester 
day ; the villages are by no means superior, such 
places I never saw before, or the like unto them. 
The streets are very narrow and dirty, the houses 


low and heavy ; the outside seems to be of a kind 
of clay, and the roofs are covered with thatch ; it 
has a heavy appearance. The difference is not 
more striking in any other object, than in the 
countenances of the people. The English seem 
formed for some exertion in almost any way we 
should choose ; but these people do not appear 
sensible to any passions or affections whatever. 
The difference is striking in the postillions. The 
English have a sprightliness and alertness suitable 
to the employment ; but in these, there is a heavi 
ness, dirtiness, and no elasticity. We passed 
through Montrieul ; this place is made famous to 
every one who has read Yorick s Journey. I regret 
that I have it not with me I should read it with 
more pleasure now than ever before, as we are to 
pass through every place which he describes. 
Some of the villages are superior to others, but all 
are very miserable. 

To-day we have been obliged to travel fourteen 
posts, eighty-seven miles, in order to arrive at a 
place where we could be accommodated with lodg 
ing ; it was 9 o clock before we stopped for the night, 
which was at Amiens. The laws of this nation 
are so severe as to oblige every one who enters it 
to follow their customs in every thing, particularly 
in dress, or they render themselves ridiculous. 
For this reason, every kind of article which they 
manufacture themselves, is prohibited from enter- 


ing the kingdom without paying a duty. To 
prevent this these are custom-house officers almost 
at every town, who demand a search of your 
baggage, although it consist only of your own 
private clothes. But it is very seldom that they 
will not be satisfied with half a crown, instead of 
being a farther trouble to you. Whether the 
duties of their office are performed by this means, 
I do not know ; but it is more agreeable to every 
one, than to submit to the inconvenience of the 
law. We have been stopped several times, but 
always found them ready to be bought. 

At Chantilla, twenty-seven miles from Paris, 
we visited the seat of the Prince ofConde. First, 
to the kennel of dogs whicri the Prince keeps for 
hunting there are two hundred or more. 
Could I have borne to look at them, it would not 
have been an agreeable sight; but the effluvia 
was such as rendered it very disagreeable to be 
near the apartment. 

We went next to see the stables, which were in 
the same building. This was a long range, 
where there were more than two hundred horses ; 
an hundred on each side, with their names over 
each manger. We walked through the stable 
from one door to the other ; one of the grooms 
cams up to mamma and myself with a little stick 
in his hand, and presented to each one ; upon 
which papa gave him a crown. I should have 


thought it very strange ; but at breakfast papa told 
us that he had been accosted in the same way 
from having his gloves on and no cane in his 
hand. It is a custom, I suppose, to request your 
remembrance a point I find that no one in Eu 
rope is fearful of asking. I am told that the 
Prince sometimes sups with his horses, and pas 
ses two or three hours with his dogs ; rather an 
uncivilized taste I think. 

We were shown next the theatre, in which he 
acts himself for the entertainment of his friends 
and family ; he has a daughter who plays like 
wise. As it belongs to him, and he has the pow 
er of regulating it, I do not think it amiss ; it is an 
elegant building ; I saw but little of the scenery, 
it did not appear to me equal to the English. 
He resides at this castle from November to Janu 
ary ; any strangers who are in town he invites to 
his plays. We saw the dressing-room of the 
Princess, his daughter, and some other apart 
ments ; then we went to the armoury, which was 
like that in the tower, but so very inferior, it scarce 
deserves remark. Next, to the gardens about 20 
acres there is a great variety here ; a canal full 
of fish, the water supplied by a river. Here were 
groves and arbours, walks and windings, woods 
and vales, banks and rivers ; fountains playing, arid 
statues, flowers, and shrubs. Here was the car 
of Venus drawn by doves ; the statue of Cupid, 


with a motto in French, representing the pursuit 
of love ineffectual. At the end of one of the 
gardens, was thePavillion of Venus, a room eight 
feet square ; the furniture was of chintz, chairs, 
and settee, and curtains. The floors were like all 
the floors in this country. Excepting in the floors, 
there was an air of elegance in all the buildings, 
that I have not seen even here in Paris. There 
were four fountains in the room ; at the end, a 
door opened into a small gallery, which was over 
the canal. There were a number of paintings, but 
they were not in a style that pleased me. We next 
visited the English garden, as it is called ; this 
consists of islands and groves, grottoes and bow 
ers ; but I could not see any material difference. 
In one part there was a representation of a cot 
tage, and every thing in unison around. There 
was a mill with a plough, and every utensil for a 
farmer ; one apartment, in which there was every 
thing for a kitchen ; all perfectly neat. In another 
little apartment was a library. The next build 
ing, they told us, was the barn ; it had the ap 
pearance, on the outside, of a little dirty place, 
with old windows and little doors, with every ap 
pearance of rustic simplicity when, to our sur 
prise, we were shown into an elegant apartment, 
with pictures and paintings ; the furniture of pink 
silk, trimmed with a deep, rich silver fringe and 
tassels ; in the centre was a table with a set of 


Sevres China white, with a gilt edge. We were 
shown, also, some buildings in the Chinese style. 
The whole was exceedingly beautiful ; but as we 
ever draw degrees of comparison between what we 
now see, and what we have seen, I could not but 
give the preference to Pope s garden at Twicken 
ham, over every thing I have yet examined. 

We have taken a house at Auteuil, near Paris, 
very large and very inconvenient about fifty 
little apartments, so small, most of them, as to be 
inconvenient for lodging. There is a large room 
to receive company in, and a dining-room ; all 
the bed-rooms are above stairs. There is a spa 
cious garden. 

15th. This day, by invitation, we dined with 
Mr. Barclay, in a friendly way, without form qr 
ceremony. Mr. Jefferson and daughter dined 
with us, and two gentlemen who were not to be 
known. The dinner was in the French style ; 
there is no such thing here as preserving our 
taste in any thing ; we must all sacrifice to cus 
tom and fashion. I will not believe it possible to 
do otherwise ; for my papa, with his firmness arid 
resolution, is a perfect convert to the mode in 
every thing, at least of dress and appearance. Mrs. 
B. is a fine woman ; the more I see of her, the 
greater is my approbation of her. She has a firm 
hold of my heart, from her kindness and attention 
to my father, when he was sick of the fever last 


fall ; I shall ever feel a grateful remembrance of 
her goodness. 

16th. Papa s friends, the three abbes, came 
to pay their respects to us. They insisted upon 
it, that I should talk French with them ; and I 
am inclined to believe that I should learn more 
French from their great solicitude to converse, 
than in any other way. 

21st August. This morning, mamma, myself, 
and my brother, went into Paris on our way 
made a call on Madame Grand, to return a visit 
made us on Thursday. She was dressing, and 
not to be seen the Abbe Arneau was with us 
this is the first house I have seen in any degree 
of order or neatness, being elegant and neat 
at the same time. At five my brother and myself 
went to la Comedie du bois de Boulogne we 
were too early and walked in the woods ; there 
were a s:reat number of carriages. I imagined 
there would be much company at the Comedie, 
but found they were more disposed for walking 
than seeing the play. 

The music was pretty good, the actors and 
actresses only tolerable. I am not fond of come 
dy in general; I had rather be improved than 
amused, if the distinction can be made between 
comedy and tragedy. The dresses did not please 
me as much as those in England. 

August 22, 1784. This day, fortnight, I left 


London; this day, ten weeks, I left America. I 
had not thought to have found such weather in a 
climate I had heard such accounts of we have 
had a continual storm, except yesterday, since 

Mr. Jefferson, Col. Humphreys, and a Polish 
gentleman, lately from America, dined with us. 
Col. H. is appointed by Congress, Secretary of 
the Commercial Commission he was an aid to 
General Washington. He seems about 30, his ap 
pearance is soldier-like. I have not seen enough 
of these people to form a judgment, or to make 
any remarks with justice. 

24th. Went in the morning with my papa and 
mamma to pay our respects to Dr. Franklin ; 
this man on whom the world have passed such 
high encomiums, and perhaps justly ; he is now 
near 80 years old and looks in good health. 

Wednesday, 25th. We all dined to-day with 
the three abbes; these are persons who exclude 
themselves by their vows from marrying. The 
youngest is about 60 ; he is quite a gay young 
man at least he appears to advantage when the 
others are present. He endeavours to make us 
understand what he says, and in a proper man 
ner, by speaking slow and distinctly; he has long 
been acquainted with papa, and visits us almost 
everyday. We had a very elegant dinner ; the 
apartments are very neat and handsome. It is not 


the custom in this country to take tea in the af 
ternoon ; we came away about five. 

Saturday, Aug. 28th. To-day we have had 
company to dine, the three abbes, Dr. Franklin. Mr. 
Hartly, and Commodore Jones, of whom so much 
has been said in various ways ; he has received 
an honorary reward from the French King of 
the Star or Cross of St. Louis, for some service 
performed, or some piece of conduct highly re 
vered, and is taken great notice of here. 

Wednesday, 1st September. Dined at Dr. 
Franklin s by invitation; a number of gentlemen, 
and Madame Helvetius, a French lady 60 years 
of age. 

Odious indeed do our sex appear when divest 
ed of those ornaments, with which modesty and 
delicacy adorn them. 

September 5th. To-day, by invitation, we 
dined with Mr. Grand and family ; after dinner it 
was proposed to go and see the Dauphin, whose 
palace was not far from this. The palace is within 
a garden, in which no person is permitted to 
walk any days but Sundays; then it is open to 
every one ; it is a day devoted throughout the 
kingdom to the pleasures of every class. Among 
the higher class, it is appropriated to visiting and 
receiving company ; and among the lower class, 
it is devoted to any amusement they choose to 
follow. With the rest of the crowd we went to 


see the Dauphin ; before the palace was a garden 
with an open fence all round it. His lordship was 
playing with an iron shovel ; there were four ladies 
attending him, one was a dutchess, and the others 
I know not what ; they were elegant women ; 
upon our approaching, he was set to walking and 
running, to give us an opportunity of seeing him ; 
he was a pretty, sprightly boy, and behaved with 
the same ease and freedom any child would. There 
were more than a thousand persons, and others 
continually passing, to see this representative of 

September 19th. To-day we went to see the 
balloon ; it was to ascend from the garden of the 
Tuilleries; we had tickets at a crown a person to 
go in. We left our carriage outside and went in ; 
the garden 1 had never been in before ; it is very 
large, and in general, elegant. There were eight 
or ten thousand persons present. This people 
are more attentive to their amusements than any 
thing else ; however, as we were upon the same 
errand, it is unjust to reflect upon others, whose 
curiosity was undoubtedly as well founded. \Ye 
walked a little, took a view of the company, and 
approached the balloon ; it was made of taffetas 
and in the form of an egg, if both ends were large ; 
this is what contains the air ; below it is a gallery 
where are the adventurers and the ballast. At 
eleven it was moved from the place of its stand- 


ing among the trees to an open situation, and the 
cords, which were held by some of the greatest 
men in the kingdom, were cut ; it mounted in the 
air. It was some time in sight, as they had in 
tended making some experiments upon their ma 
chine. At six in the evening it descended at 
Bevre, fifty leagues from Paris. At two o clock 
the same day there was a storm of rain, with 
thunder and lightning, but they were not affected 
by it. 

September 25th. This day we have had a 
company of twenty persons to dine with us, all 
Americans but four : those were Mr. Grand s 
family, Mr. and Mrs. B. were among the Ameri 
cans ; they are from P. and are travelling for 
pleasure. Mr. B. is possessed of a large fortune 
both very young. Mrs. B. is only 20 ; she was 
married at 16 ; she is pretty, a good figure, but 
rather still. She has not been long enough in 
this country to have gained that ease of air and 
manner which is peculiar to the women here ; and 
when it does not exceed the bounds of delicacy, is 
very pleasing. Mrs. B. has been in Europe two 
years. I admire her that she is not in the small 
est degree tinctured by indelicacy. She has, from 
the little acquaintance I have had with her, gen 
uine principles; she is very sprightly and very 

Monday, 27th. Went to the Italian opera. 


and saw presented a little piece that has made a 
great noise ; it is a history of the whims and co 
quetry of two lovers a good representation of the 

Thursday, 30th. Went to Paris, and dined by 
invitation with Mr. Jefferson ; met Mr. and Mrs. 
B., Mrs. Barclay. Mr. J. is an agreeable man. 
Col. H. is I dont know what a sensible man I 
believe but his address is not very agreeable ; 
he is I believe a very worthy character. Mrs. 
B. has a most pleasing address, and a very happy 
turn of expression, with a good deal of polite 
ness she will not fail to please. Mr. B. is an 
agreeable man he is delicately attentive, and his 
behaviour to Madame is very pleasing. 

Monday, 4th October. Went to dine with Dr. 
Franklin, found Gov. Pownall and lady, Mr. J., 
Col. H., the two abbes, and some others. After 
dinner my brother and myself accepted of Mr. 
Jefferson s invitation, and went to the Concert at 
the Chateau of the Tuilleries, which was by 
order. Prince Henry, brother to the King of 
Prussia, was there. 

Tuesday, 5th. Papa went to Versailles ; every 
Tuesday is called Ambassador s Day ; in general 
they all attend. 

Wednesday, 6th. To-day papa dined with the 
Spanish Ambassador ; when he returned he gave 
us an account of his visit; he is about 80 years 


old, and has lately married a young lady of 16, 
his niece and heir to his fortune. Papa told me 
it was an affecting sight to see such a couple ; 
he seemed very much disgusted at the match, 
where such inequality of age existed ; he said 
Madame, the Countess, appeared absolutely mel 
ancholy ; he really pitied her. 

Thursday, 7th October. Governor Pownall 
and lady, a Mr. Hobart, an English gentlman, 
dined with us to-day. I do not pretend to draw 
portraits. After dinner Mrs. Pownall very politely 
invited me to accompany her in visiting the house 
and garden of the Duke de Chartres ; she had 
tickets or permission from the Duke. I did so, and 
was not only pleased with my acquaintance with 
her, but exceedingly gratified with what I saw. 
The Duke has built, finished, and furnished the 
house in the English style. I can truly say, I never 
saw any thing so elegant ; it seems a winding laby 
rinth. We were first shown into the winter garden 
and grotto ; the latter is entirely artificial ; it was 
large ; but, it is dark we could not see enough of 
it to enable me to describe it farther. The winter 
garden was under cover; here, the servant told 
us the Duke generally dines in the winter; it is 
large and appropriated to pleasure. From this 
room we went into a little room which was 
French, and surrounded with mirrors ; the furni 
ture was yellow silk. Then we were shown into 


a long gallery covered with transparent paintings, 
which when lighted must be beautiful ; here were 
a variety of rooms, all of which we saw with so 
much haste, that I do not remember their distinc 
tion ; they were all perfectly English and elegant. 
There were glasses so arranged that we saw 
through the whole. We were unfortunately so 
late thatwe could not see thegardens, and returned 
to Auteuil. Governor P. and lady returned to 
Paris, leaving me much gratified, and obliged by 
their politeness. There is great pleasure in see 
ing things perfectly agreeable to our taste. 

8th. We received letters from our American 

9th. A great fast and a sober day amongst the 
people of this country. Our French servant has 
been to mass, which I am sure he has not before 
since he has lived with us. In the afternoon my 
brother and I took a walk in the garden of the 
Friars, which is a little distance from us, and an 
agreeable walk. This class of men are perhaps 
the most numerous of any in France, and they 
have in general, appropriated the best situations 
in the country to themselves. One seldom sees 
a high hill, and a good situation, but it is covered 
with a monastery or a convent. 

12th. Papa and my brother dined with the 
Swedish Ambassador; the dinner was very sump 
tuous and elegant j it was served in plate, except 


the last course, which was China, gilt knives, 
forks, and spoons ; every thing to correspond. 

13th. Went in the afternoon to visit Madame 
Grand ; found the ladies at home, and passed a 
very agreeable hour j met a young French lady 
who spoke English very well. It is the custom 
in this country never to introduce persons to each 
other. I found her very agreeable and should have 
been happy to have requested to commence an ac 
quaintance, but that is not done by words. If you 
wish to be visited, you must make the first visit, 
and no one will be so impolite as not to return it : 
thus your acquaintance commences and grows. 
The oftener you visit, the sooner you will become 
acquainted; and when you part, it is not the cus 
tom to ask the return of the visit. I was much 
pleased with mine to-day, and should have been 
pleased to have made it longer. 

Came home and found Mr. Jefferson again. 
He is an agreeable man ; we should be obliged to 
him for taking the trouble to come out ; if he had 
not had business, I fancy he would not have come 

Thursday, 14th Oct. 1784. Mr. Jefferson 
sent us cards yesterday to admit us to see the 
ceremony of taking the veil, in the convent where 
his daughter is to receive her education. We 
rose at seven, dressed, and went into Paris, and 
breakfasted with Madame Barclay. At nine we 


went to the Church, where we found a number 
of persons of our acquaintance. Upon this occa 
sion we were admitted to the altar where the priest 
performs, which at other times is not allowed. 
It was separated from the place of the nuns and 
those of the convent, by iron grates. The place 
in which they were, was a large apartment, with 
seats around. The floor was covered with an ele 
gant carpet here were the nuns only. When 
we first went they were repeating their prayers ; 
presently the curtains were drawn aside, the lady 
abbess and other nuns, with all the pensioners, 
came. The candles were lighted each nun held 
a lighted candle in her hand ; the two nuns who 
were to take the veil, came forward, attended by 
two English ladies who were pensioners ; each 
held a large lighted torch in her hand they were 
elegantly dressed, and in all the vanities of the 

The two nuns were in fine, white woollen dres 
ses, made like a parson s robes, loose and flowing ; 
their veils were white ; they appeared first with 
a different made robe on ; it was rather a cloak 
very long ; their hair all shaved off; a white cap 
and veil. They came and kneeled before the 
altar ; there was much sinking arid chanting of 
prayers. It is impossible to describe the many 
different manners and forms, alternately kneeling 
and rising. The priest came to the altar and 


made many signs that I did not understand. 
There were three who assisted ; one of them de 
livered a sermon in French. He began by expa 
tiating upon the goodness of the king ; then on 
the excellence of every particular class of people, 
from the throne to the footstool. He told them 
this was a very good world to live in, and that it 
was very wrong to quit it. After dwelling a long 
time upon its excellence, he told them a false 
philosophy had got into the world, and every thing 
was becoming bad ; every one was guided by self- 
interest, and they had the happiest prospect in 
quitting it. At the same time, he represented to 
them the disagreeableness of their situation ; that 
they would be confined, and that very possibly 
their actions would be wrongly construed. If 
they should be gay, the nuns would say of them, 
that they had not yet quitted the world. If they 
were grave, they might say, that they were un 
happy and repented of their vows. After this the 
nuns went round and took leave of all the others, 
and kissed them. Then they laid down upon 
their faces, and there was brought in, by eight 
pensioners, a pall of black, crossed with white, 
which was held over them ; the priest then read 
some part of the ceremony. The nuns chanted 
their prayers. This was an affecting sight ; I 
could not refrain from tears ; every one seemed 
affected around, particularly the French. One 


of the priests seemed affected ; the others appeared 
as insensible as statues of lead or wood. This 
ceremony lasted half an hour, while these poor 
girls were lying on their faces ; and when they 
rise, it is called rising to the resurrection, after hav 
ing been dead to the world. Then they went to 
the old abbess; she put upon them the nun s habit. 
While this was performing, the countenance of 
first of the nuns, who was French, and of one 
of the first families in the kingdom, which had 
been without a smile and entirely inattentive 
to every thing but her devotion, was lighted up 
with a smile, and she appeared very pleasing. 
The other was an Irish girl ; her countenance 
was not very expressive ; it seemed calm, arid 
without any appearance of the least degree of per 
turbation of spirits. The first, I observed, blushed 
often, and seemed affected. After the robe was 
put on, there were more reading and prayers ; then 
the priest sprinkled the veil destined for them 
with holy water, and perfumed it with frank in 
cense. The abbess then put it on them while 
they kneeled before her ; then followed more pray 
ers and reading : then the abbess pinned upon 
each of their heads a wreath of flowers ; this was 
a part of the ceremony, as none of the nuns but 
them had them. A candle was then put into their 
hands and mass was said, which, with the prayers 
and the whole ceremony, was performed in Latin, 



of which I suppose they understood as much as I 

When the priest in his sermon, invited all the 
others who were present, to follow the example of 
these nuns, 1 observed the English girl, who held 
the candle for one of them, look very sharp upon 
the other English girl, whose countenance ex 
pressed that she knew better than all this that 
she had no such intention quite right she. 

The relations of the two victims appeared less 
affected than any one present. It is very probable 
they are the victims of pride or wickedness. Thus 
these two girls are destined to pass their lives 
within the walls of this convent. They are not 
so strict as formerly. Miss Jefferson told me they 
were very cheerful and agreeable. They seemed 
to take pleasure in contributing to the happiness 
of the pensioners. There were three princesses 
who are here for their education, and were dis 
tinguished from the others by a blue ribbon over 
the shoulder. 

This is considered the best and most genteel 
convent in Paris. Most of the English, who send 
their children here for their education, put them 
into this convent. There are a number now here. 

Tuesday, 19th. Oct. Mr. B. came flourishing 
out in the morning to accompany papa to Ver 
sailles, to be presented to his most Christian ma- 


jesty, the King of France, with his four horses and 
three servants, in all the pomp of an American 
merchant. About twelve they returned, as there 
was no court. 

Oct. 22. Breakfasted with Mr. and Mrs. Bing- 
ham, and went with them to see the Duke de 
Chartres gardens, which, if they were intended 
as an imitation of the English, were rather a bur 
lesque upon them, or rather a proof how very in 
adequate the French are, to imitate the perfection 
to which the English have arrived. I would not 
detract from the merits of this nation in any res 
pect, but certainly, they do not equal the English 
in the neatnass and elegance of their gardens. 
Those at Chantilly, which are equal to any in 
France, were deficient in general neatness. We 
were not permitted to see the house, which was a 
greater disappointment to the other ladies, than to 
me, as I had seen it before. A French gentleman 
accompanied us, a very agreeable man, who has 
been in America, and was perhaps improved. 
What a local sentiment is this, and yet perhaps a 
just one, for this gentleman certainly discovered 
more modesty, than those gentlemen who have 
been only used to French manners would. We 
saw the gardens, which were very inadequate to 
my expectations ; we returned to Auteuil before 

26th. We all dined with Mr. and Mrs. Bing- 


ham at their hotel, which is the Hotel Muscovy. 
There was much company : Mrs. B. gains my 
love and admiration, more and more every time I 
see her ; she is possessed of more ease and polite 
ness in her behaviour, than any person I have 
seen. She joins in every conversation in compa 
ny; and when engaged herself in conversing with 
you, she will, by joining directly in another chit 
chat with another party, convince you, that she 
was all attention to every one. She has a taste 
for show, but not above her circumstances. Mr. 
B. is an agreeable man, but seems to feel the su 
periority of fortune more than Mrs. B. After din 
ner we went to the play without saying a word 
to any body, which was hardly civil according to 
my ideas ; but it was French. 

Oct. 27th. To-day we have had company to 
dine ; all Americans but the three abbes ; we 
passed the time agreeably. Mr. Jefferson was pre 
vented by indisposition. 

28th. Dined to-day, by invitation, with Mon 
sieur Chalut, brother to the Abbe Chalut, he is 
a very old man, and appears older than he really 
is. There was a young lady whom I took for his 
daughter ; a very pretty, sprightly brunette. She 
called him mon pere, and he called her mon fille. 
She is a very accomplished girl. When we came 
away, papa told me her history. 


Madame Chalut went one day to the repository 
of foundlings, and took this girl out, as a play 
thing, as she had no children. She brought her 
home and educated her in the most polite manner, 
giving her a master for every accomplishment, 
and treated her as tenderly as if she had been her 
own child, until she died three years since. Her 
husband takes the same care of her ; she has a 
master to teach her English, an abbe ; he had 
been in America ; he speaks English very well. 
There was other company, and by their ribbons 
I suppose were great folks. But persons in this 
country are seldom, if ever, introduced ; and one 
may dine in an hundred companies, and converse 
with every one in company without knowing 
them. The abbes told my father at table to-day, 
that they dined once or twice a week with this 
gentleman, their brother, and half the time knew 
not half the company. We had an elegant dinner 
all served in plate, which I cannot like as well as 
china, though it has the appearance of more riches 
and grandeur. We came away after dinner and 
went to pay our respects to madame, the Marquise 
de la Fayette. We were shown to the ladies in 
their rooms. Madame, the Marquise, her mother, 
and youngest sister, were sitting in an unceremo 
nious way with their work, and seemed to be in 
that social manner that we boast of in America. 
They seemed to be going out ; so we made a short 


visit. Madame de la Fayette received us very 
civilly and cordially, with great ease and goodness, 
and very politely apologized for not waiting upon 
us first. She speaks English a little. I had al 
ways heard she was handsome ; I do not think her 
so; she was not painted, and very little dressed; she 
is very agreeable and pleasing, as indeed are all 
the ladies of this country ; not equalled by any 
other 1 believe. As we came out, we met Mr. 
Jefferson and Mr. Williamson going in. We went 
to the Comedie Francais ; they gave us two laugh 
able pieces, but I did not feel disposed to laugh at 

Nov. 7th, 1784. This morning, for the first 
time since I have been in France, I went with my 
papa, mamma, and brother, to the Dutch Ambassa 
dor s Chapel ; the service was in French. When 
we came out, papa went with us to the Hospital of 
Invalids, which is upon the other side of the river 
as we go to Paris. This institution was founded 
by Louis the 14th, to equal, or out do, the Eng 
lish. Every body who went to England extolled 
St. Paul s Church ; his pride was touched by the 
praises bestowed upon that building, and he un 
dertook to have this built, to equal the English. It 
is a building not so large as St. Paul s ; there is a 
fine court, and the building is very elegant. The 
dome, which we see every day as we so to Paris, 
is the curiosity of the whole. It is a Church in a 


circular form, paved with marble, wrought and 
inlaid in various forms and in various colours, 
most elegant and beautiful ; at each corner is a 
Chapel, as they are called, ornamented with three 
statues of white marble of the saint and saintess. 
The whole was embellished with fine paintings. 
The invalids received here are those who have 
served in the army twenty-five years, old or sick. 
We returned home. 

Madame de la Fayette is a fine woman ; speaks 
a little English : perfectly easy in her manners ; 
a little French in some respects ; sprightly and 
very pleasing. As we were sitting round the fire, 
the door opened, and this lady entered with all 
the freedom of a familiar friend, how much more 
agreeable than any other manner possible. The 
women universally in this country, and the ladies 
of education in particular, have an ease and soft 
ness in their manners, that is not found in any 
other country perhaps in the world ; it is very 
charnung, and were it not for some little excep 
tions, their manners would I think be perfect. 
She sat half an hour, and left us much pleased 
with her. 

llth Nov. Papa and mamma being indisposed, 
my brother and myself dined at Mr. B. s by invi 
tation ; we found mostly Americans ; I had rather 
they had been French. The only lady was Mrs. 
C. except myself; I found her much more agree- 



able than I expected. Mr. C. had not the good 
fortune to please me. In the eve we went to the 
Italian comedy ; I was pleased and entertained. 

18th. To-day we had company to dine all 
Americans but the Marchioness de la Fayette ; 
all have been mentioned here before, and no one 
except Mr. Jackson merits a second observation. 
He is without exception, the most polite man I 
have ever seen ; by politeness I mean not that 
light superficial frothiness which we often meet 
with, and which sometimes conceals a great deal 
of rudeness, but a certain something 1 in his man 
ners and appearance that cannot fail to please 
every one who is acquainted with him ; my papa 
calls him the Sir Charles Grandison of this age ; 
I was never acquainted with him until I came to 
France ; I consider it an acquisition. 

21st. Went to Paris in the evening, to the 
Comedie Francois, where was played Arnphriton, 
a comedy of Molire s. 

Nov. 28th. A most beautiful day ; we had to 
dine with us Mr. Jackson, my favourite ; he is in 
deed a most worthy man ; Dr. Bancroft, the au 
thor of Charles Wentworth ; he is about 40 ; his 
manners and conversation are agreeable and 
when one has heard him converse for a few hours, 
though not upon any particular subject, one is 
rather pleased than otherwise. Also two young 
Americans, a Mr. B. a Virginian, the other a Phil- 


adelphian ; and I do not believe, that to have 
searched the kingdom of France, one could have 
found two greater curiosities in appearance. Mr. 
J. is the only gentleman 1 have had any kind of 
conversation with since I have been here. 

I have often complained of a stiffness and re 
serve in our circles in America, that was disagree 
able what every one complained of and no one 
banished ; a little French ease adopted would be 
an improvement. There are many customs here 
that might advantageously be carried into prac 
tice with us, and others that would not be found 
agreeable. In company here, every one consults 
his own pleasure ; the ladies walk about, view the 
pictures if there are any, chat with any one who 
pleases them, talk of general subjects, such as the 
spectacles ; no one in general is introduced, but 
this does not retard the general sociability ; per 
sonal subjects are to be avoided, and no ill must 
be spoken of any one ; persons need not be guard 
ed, for no one should feel an inclination to say 
any thing to the detriment of another. Your 
company may form into parties, and converse as 
they please ; in some respects it is agreeable. 

Tuesday 30th. Papa went to Versailles by 
himself last Tuesday ; he introduced Mr. J. Mr. 
T. and Mr. B. the first American gentlemen in 
private characters, that have been introduced at 
this court. Mr. B. s ambition promoted it; what 


it will promote him to I know not ; if to what he 
wishes, it is easily determined. 

December 1st. This morning Col. H. came out 
with Mr. W. to introduce a Mr. S. a young Ameri 
can from Virginia; he comes recommended high 
ly, and is to live with Mr. Jefferson; to-morrow 
he dines with us. I have not seen him, as I do 
not make my appearance to the gentlemen. All 
classes of persons in this country have their fetes, 
which are certain days when they feel themselves 
entitled to ask a livre or two ; the gardner has 
his, and the coachman his ; it is here mentioned 
as a custom of the country resulting from their 

2d. To-day we had company to dine ; the 
Ambassador of Sweden, and the Baron de Guere, 
Mr. Haldersdorf, and many others. The ambas- 
dor is a man of five arid thirty, but appears not 
more than twenty seven at most ; he is tall, grace 
ful in his person, a fine complexion, good colour, 
good features, in short a very handsome man ; he 
spoke no English, but with bad French and a little 
English ; I had some conversation with him. The 
disposition he discovered to converse, made him 
appear very agreeable; he spoke of the French 
ladies, but not with much approbation. He told 
my brother that a French lady of my age would 
appear ten years older than I did, their complex 
ions being so very dark, adding that one could not 


find in France so good a complexion as mine ; I 
could with justice have returned the compliment, 
if it was one. I observed that I thought by what 
I had seen at the theatres, that the French ladies 
had good complexions. Oh no, said he, avec un- 
peu de rouge et blanche, they appear tolerable. 
He praised the ladies of Sweden ; the Baron de 
Guere was likewise a Swede ; I had much conver 
sation with him about America. I sat next to 
Mr. Jackson at table, and next to him was seated 
Madame B. who by an exuberance of sprightli- 
ness and wit, slips from the path of being perfectly 
agreeable ; a little judgment would amend what 
ever defects may appear. 

Mamma and myself called to see Mrs. C. who 
received us with softness, sweetness, and affabili 
ty ; every thing is delicate and agreeable, except 
the husband ; however, he has always behaved 
very well when I have seen him. After we had 
made our visit, we went to the Comedie Fran- 
cais to see Figaro, papa and mamma never having 
seen it. I found I understood it better than any 
other piece I have yet seen ; this is the 64th 
representation. It is indeed surprising that a 
piece with so little merit should fill the house so 
frequently ; it is from beginning to the end a 
piece of studied deception and intrigue ; it has 
never been printed, and it is thought it never will 
be. There appears to be a great deal of low wit, 


to gain the approbation of the vulgar ; but it 
seems to have gained the good will of higher 
ranks ; every one exclaims against the morals of 
it, and yet every one adds to the number of spec 
tators. Mademoiselle Contar plays admirably in 
it ; she is the heroine of the piece, and is certainly 
charming ; so much ease, grace, and such an ap 
parent simplicity, that one might take her for a 
saint, if they knew not that she was a courtesan. 
Dec. 31st. To-day by invitation, we dined with 
the abbes. Mademoiselle Lucelle was there, and 
two gentlemen. She speaks a little English, and 
I a little French ; so we had some conversation. 
She has the ease and affability, sprightliness, at 
tention, and apparent solicitude to please, of a real 
French girl. This solicitude is not troublesome, 
nor does it discover itself by apparent studious- 
ness, but when you least think of it, she makes 
some advance which never fails of success. I sat 
next her at table, she corrected my French, I in 
return, corrected her English. She sings, and 
although I think she has not the least voice in the 
world, complies with your request without hesi 
tation ; she was going to the opera, and left us at 
five o clock. The Abbe Arno, though 60 years 
old, is a man of much vivacity and wit, with al 
ways a great deal of pleasantry. The Abbe de 
Mably, who is always of our parties there, and dines 
with us with the other two, although he does not 


live with them ; he is eighty years old, a man of 
great learning ; has written many things that are 
highly spoken of; among them are some letters to 
my papa upon the forms of our government ; they 
have been translated, and three editions of them 
out in London. He spoke yesterday very highly 
of Telemachus, as one of the finest things in the 
French language ; he said he had read it very 
often, and always was charmed with it ; it was ad 
mirably well expressed. He said he had sometimes 
reflected how he should have rendered the same 
sentiments, arid that he always finds he should 
not have equalled the author. After we came 
away, we went to Mr. Jefferson s, where I had the 
honour and pleasure of making tea for the gentle 
men, Mr. J., Mr. W., Mr. H., Mr. S., Mr. Ad 
ams and his son. mamma and myself. After 
tea, we went to see the hall where the courts of 
justice are held ; it was New-year s eve, and filled 
with people, some to gratify their curiosity, some 
to make purchases at the shops. In such a 
crowd in London we should expect to be robbed, 
but here, one is entirely safe in the streets and at 
public places. We returned to Auteuil about 

Jan. 1st, 1785. Papa went to court, it being- a 
great day ; the ladies were much dressed ; the 
king and queen first received the ambassadors, 
then went to mass for an hour, then dined in pub- 



lie. to give all the world the opportunity to see them 
eat and drink ; this ceremony is called the Grand 
Convert, of which there are three in a year. 

3d. It is customary in this country, and I be 
lieve in all Europe, to visit and receive visits, to 
congratulate every one of their acquaintance upon 
the new year. I asked one gentleman about the 
dress of the ladies on Saturday at Versailles, but 
he could not tell me more than papa. I think he 
related an anecdote at one of the feasts given to 
the King of Sweden, who was here the last year, 
and to whom the court was very civil, by paying 
him every polite attention ; upon these occasions 
it is customary for the court and the ambassadors 
to dress more than usual. Madame Adelaide, one 
of the king s aunts, addressed herself to Monsieur 
la Compt de Mercy in French " how comes it, 
Monsieur Ambassador, that you are solittle dressed 
on this occasion ?" The ambassador seemed a little 
surprised : " I do not know, madam ; my coat cost 
me 80,000 livres." "Then," said she, "you 
should have pinned the price upon the back of 
it." It was green velvet, very plain, with dia 
mond buttons ; a very curious circumstance that 
the ambassador should be obliged to tell the price 
of his coat. 

My brother and myself attended one of the little 
theatres ; after the entertainment was over, we 
walked in the Palais Royal ; this is a very fash- 


ionable public walk, since the Duke de Chartres 
has improved it so very much ; it was formerly 
a small public garden. The palace was very in 
different when the duke came into the possession 
of it ; he cut down the trees, and added to the 
building, so as to make four sides, and enclose the 
gardens in the centre, and made a covered walk 
all around the square, that renders it very agree 
able and convenient ; the lower part of the houses 
are converted into shops, the other stories to other 
purposes, some to hotels. It was generally sup 
posed the duke would ruin himself by the expense 
he was at, paying ten per cent, for the money he 
borrowed, and they called it the Duke de Char 
tres folly ; but, from its beauty and lucrativeness, 
it proves to be wisdom. We met some acquaint 
ances, and when I came home, I had a feast of 
letters from America. 

1785. Last Friday, the 7th of January, Mr. 
Blanchard and Dr. Jeffries ascended at Dover in 
a balloon, and in two hours descended a league 
from Calais, to the great joy and admiration of 
every one who saw them. The people of Calais 
received the aeriel travellers with every mark of 
attention, respect, and admiration ; they presented 
Mr. Blanchard with a gold box, the figure of his 
balloon on the cover, and presented him with let 
ters, giving him the title of citizen of Calais. 
They offered the same to Dr. J. but he, being a 


stranger, declined them ; probably thinking his 
situation in England would be rendered more dis 
agreeable, and create jealousies by such a distinc 
tion. They likewise requested of Mr. Blanchard 
his balloon to put into the Cathedral Church at 
Calais, as the ship of Columbus was put into a 
Church in Spain. These gentlemen have arrived 
at Paris. This voyage has been long projected 
their success has been quite equal to their ex 
pectations ; there being but little wind, they did 
not make so quick a voyage as some others have 
done. Mr. B. is a Frenchman, Dr. J. an Ameri 

Wednesday, 12th January. To-day papa car 
ried mamma and myself to see two churches, 
Notre Dame and St. Sulpice ; these are two of the 
finest in Paris. The churches in this country 
are superior in point of grandeur, magnificence, 
and elegance, to any other buildings they have; 
these were very beautiful. I had not time to no 
tice them, or knowledge sufficient to describe them. 
We went also to see the Enfans Trouves : this 
claimed my attention more than the churches. 
Louis 14th, by a declaration of an order of his 
counsel, authorized the establishment of this hos 
pital, which is attended by some religious order 
called Charity Sisters, who oversee it. This house 
was built in the year 1747. All new born chil 
dren are received here, at all hours, night and day, 


without question or formality ; during the day 
they are received at the door ; during the night the 
sisters watch to receive them; their number 
amounts to more than six thousand every year. 
In the hall of this house there are an hundred cra 
dles to receive the infants. There are always four 
nurses in this .house, who nurse them until they 
can be put out to nurse, where they keep them 
until they are five years old. On their return 
they are conducted to another house upon the 
same plan, and connected with this, where they 
are taught to read and write ; the boys to knit, and 
the girls to embroider, and make lace, till the age 
of 13, when they take their first communion ; 
then they are put to trades. 

There was a chapel which we did not see ; 
there are two chaplains who belong to it, who 
are aided by enfans who sing the service. 

We saw the hall where they are first received, 
and the hundred cradles. The sister who governed 
here, seemed a well-bred, intelligent person ; her 
dress was that of a nun, her countenance was 
expressive of all that was amiable sensibility 
and sweetness were predominant. She told us 
there had .been received more than six thousand 
the last year ; they had fifteen thousand at nurse 
in the country, under five years old ; she had re 
ceived since the first of January, and this was 
only the 12th, two hundred; that about one-third 


died every year. Sometimes, she said, they were 
so cold and stiffened that they could not recover 
them. It was amazing to me how they could 
keep a room with such a number, either decent, 
or otherwise than disagreeable. I can truly say 
I never saw a room in better order or neatness ; 
the cradles were all round the room, and two 
rows down the middle ; each one shone like ma 
hogany, and the beds looked as neat as possible. 
The poor little things were some asleep, others 
crying, and some without any appearance of life. 
She showed us several that had been brought in 
this day, and one that had been baptized that 
morning. While we were looking at them, and 
considering their helpless situation, unprotected 
by those to whom they owed their lives, another 
was brought in to add to the number; this ap 
peared about three months old. There came with 
it a paper, stating the death of its mother. The 
motto of the house is : " My father and my moth 
er have forsaken me, but the Lord hath taken 
care of me." 

" This Institution of Charity Sisters, owes its 
foundation to Madame le Gras. Few establish 
ments are equally useful ; the benevolent cares of 
these pious women, make them attend upon the 
poor and their children ; they afford great relief in 
their parishes, and every where ; they make their 
vows yearly, and have it in their power to leave 


them when they please. Their chapel is remark 
able for its extreme simplicity and neatness at 
the foot of the altar, is the tomb of its foundress, 
Madame le Gras." 

20th. Mamma and myself went to Paris, and 
paid a visit to Mrs. B. in the Palais Royal ; we 
have not seen her before since she moved. I was 
quite as much pleased with her as ever, and must 
confess that she has excellencies that overbalance 
every want of judgment, or that love for gay life, 
which is very conspicuous in her, but which I do 
not wonder at, at all. It is united with so many 
agreeable and amiable qualities, that it is impossi 
ble not to admire her. They are really domestic, 
and the principles of affection and domestic hap 
piness are so very apparent, that I never see them 
that I do not gain a higher opinion of that state, 
in which I believe one may most enjoy it. 

I often think of a speech of Gov. Pownall s 
when he was here some time since. I thank 
Heaven, said he, I have no habits. Method 
is an acquisition that saves people much trouble ; 
but when too scrupulously attended to, leads to 
such a degree of regularity, that sometimes become 
troublesome. This degree should be avoided as 
much as possible, as people would wish to relieve 
their friends from a disagreeable situation ; but 
how I came upon this subject here I know not. 

January 27th. A small company to dine to- 


day ; the Abbe Arneau, Mr. Dash a Swedish 
gentleman, Col. H., and Mr. Jefferson ; Miss J. we 
expected; but the news of the death of one of Mr. 
J. s children in America, brought by the Marquis 
de la Fayette, prevented. Mr. J. is a man of 
great sensibility, and parental affection. His wife 
died when this child was born, and he was almost 
in a confirmed state of melancholy ; confined him 
self from the world, and even from his friends, for a 
lonsr time ; and this news has greatly affected him 
and his daughter. She is a sweet girl, delicacy and 
sensibility are read in every feature, and her man 
ners are in unison with all that is amiable and 
lovely; she is very young. Col. H. has taken the 
most effectual means of gaining 1 my good opinion; 
no more reflections upon the stiffness of his man 
ners must proceed from me ; he presented me to 
day with a copy of a poem written by himself, 
and addressed to the army, while he was Aid de 
Camp to Genera] Washington, which he has had 
printed since he came to Paris. I confess I had 
not formed an idea of his being a poet. This was 
no doubt owing to my want of penetration. It 
is well written, and the verse is easy. 

Mr. S. grows very sociable and pleasant. He ap 
pears a well-bred man. without the least formality, 
or affectation of any kind. He converses with 
ease, and says many good things. He wants to 
go to a convent to learn French. The abbe, 


upon my inquiring-to-day after Mademoiselle Lu 
cille, told me she had gone to a convent ; and 
added, that the manners of the women of this 
country were so dissipated, and the example they 
set their daughters was so bad, that they were 
obliged to put them into convents, to keep them 
out of this influence. This may be generally true, 
but the abbe has a most detestable idea of the women 
of this country, perhaps justly ; but I do not see 
how they can be otherwise : the manner of edu 
cation, and above all, the shocking manner in 
which they are sacrificed, in the most sacred of 
all connections ; oftentimes nothing but incon 
stancy and wickedness can result from it. 

Sunday, 30th Jan., 1785. This eve Monsieur 
la Marquis de la Fayette called upon us, for the 
first time since he arrived. I had neglected to be 
properly dressed to-day, and was punished by not 
having it in my power to see him. He gave rny 
papa and mamma agreeable accounts of our State, 
and of Boston in particular; he says it is the best 
regulated, and he observed the most harmony 
and agreement in the people, of any of the States ; 
he had visited all. He tells us Mr. King is chosen 
member of Congress. 

February 7th. To-day we dined with Mr. Jef 
ferson. He invited us to come and see all Paris, 
which was to be seen in the streets to-day, and 
many masks, it being the last day but one, of the 


Carnival, and to go to the mask ball in the even 
ing; which we did not attend. I had but little 
cariosity to go ; the description of those who have 
seen it, has not given me spirit enough to spend 
all the night to be perhaps not gratified. The 
ball begins at one o clock in the morning, and 
lasts until six. There are no characters support 
ed at them here, as in England, nor are there any 
variety in the dresses. Mrs. B. says it is the only 
amusement that is not superior here, to what they 
have in London. She is so delighted with Paris, 
that she says she shall never go to America with 
her own consent; she expects to be carried, in the 
spring. I confess I cannot form an idea of this 
disposition. She has, I believe, by this time, laid 
the foundation of a future life of unhappiness. 
Miss Jefferson dined with us no other company. 

February 14th. To-day we have dined with 
Dr. Franklin ; there was a large company : our 
family, the Marquis de la Fayette and lady, Lord 
Mount Morris an Irish volunteer, Dr. Jeffries, 
Mr. Paul Jones. The Dr. s family consists of 
himself, Mrs. Hewson an English lady, Mr. F., 
Mr. Beach his grandson, Mr. Williams who is 
generally there. Mr. Jefferson has not been out 
to dine this long time. The Marquis de la Fay 
ette 1 never saw before ; he appears a little re 
served, and very modest. 

Lord Mount Morris attracted my attention ; he 


is a very handsome man, a fine person, and an 
agreeable countenance. He looked inquiring, 
but Madam B., who is well acquainted with his 
lordship, engrossed all his attention. There was 
another Irish gentleman who was passable. Dr. 
Jeffries, the man of the day, I happened to be seat 
ed next at table. I made some inquiries respect 
ing his late voyage aeriel ; he did not seem fond 
of speaking of it; he said he felt no difference 
from his height in the air, but that the air was 
finer, and obliged them to breathe oftener, and that 
it was very cold. He has been so cavilled at in 
the papers, that I don t wonder at his reluctance 
at conversing upon the subject. 

We had a sumptuous dinner it is now Lent, 
and all the French are doomed to fish. Our 
French servants have purchased themselves dis 
pensations for eating meat, because they live with 
us. However improbable this may appear, it is a 
fact if they speak the truth. 

Madame the Marquise de la Fayette was quite 
sociable with papa, and professed to be a physiog 
nomist. She would not allow that 1 was triste, 
but grave. 

We have a tableau of Paris, which is a descrip 
tion of Paris ; and if it is a true picture, a most la 
mentable one. I would not exclaim against a 
people of whom I know so little, otherwise than 
from hearsay as I do of this yet plain facts as- 


tonish me sometimes. Well might Mr. Jefferson 
say, that no man was fit to come abroad until 35, 
unless he were under some person s care. 

21st February. Dined at the Marquis de la 
Fayette s with a circle of Americans. It was in- 
tendended as a compliment ; but I had rather it 
had been thought so to introduce us to French 
company. The fondness that Madame la Marquise 
discovers for her children, is very amiable; and 
the more remarkable in a country where the least 
trait of such a disposition is scarce known. She 
seems to adore them, and to live but in them. She 
has two that were presented to us ; they both 
speak English, and sing it ; the Marquis appeared 
very fond of them likewise. He is apparently a 
man of great modesty, and delicacy of manners. 

Speaking of Mrs. Jay, on whom every person 
who knew her when here bestows many enco 
miums, Madame de la Fayette said, she was well 
acquainted "with, and very fond of Mrs. Jay ; she 
added, Mrs. Jay and she thought alike : it was 
Mrs. Jay s sentiment, that pleasure might be found 
abroad but happiness could only be found at 
home in the society of one s family and friends. 
She told my papa that Mrs. Jay did not like the 
French ladies neither do I, said she. From the 
account she had heard of the American ladies, she 
believed she should be pleased with them and 
should the Marquis ever again visit America, she 


would accompany him. I was seated at table, 
between Mr. B. and the Irish gentleman whose 
name I have forgotten ; he was very civil, but 
nothing very remarkable in him ; Mr. B. was in- 
supportably disagreeable. I cannot but dislike 
his manners in general ; to his wife they are bet 
ter than any man I have known. Mrs. B. was 
as ever> engaging. The elegance of her dress de 
mands a description ; a black velvet dress with 
pink satin sleeves and stomacher, a pink satin 
petticoat, and over it a skirt of white crape, spot 
ted all over with gray fur ; the sides of the gown 
open in front, and bottom of the coat trimmed 
with paste ; it was superb, and the gracefulness 
of the person made it appear to peculiar advan 
tage. To avoid singularity, and the observation 
of the company she goes into, she wears more 
rouge than is advantageous to her ; I was pleased 
with a little upon her, but she has become quite a 
French woman in this respect. We came home 
without going to the play. 

Feb. 22d. Papa went to Versailles, Col. H. 
and Mr. S. accompanied him ; the latter he intro 
duced at court. They came out and breakfasted 
with us. 

Feb. 26th. To-day Dr. Franklin, Mr. Williams, 
and a Monsieur St. Olympia, a French West In 
dian, dined with us ; the latter has been writing 
upon the trade of the Americans with the West 


Indies ; papa breakfasted with him on Thursday. 
He brought a book on politics for papa to look at, 
and inquired if the ladies in America talked poli 
tics? Papa told him they conversed much upon 
politics, and that the liberties of a country depend 
ed upon the ladies. 

March 3d. My brother and myself went to the 
Italian comedy, to see Richard Coeur de Lion, a 
piece that has been played twenty times, and has 
had great success. It is founded upon English 
history ; there were some admirable scenes in it, 
and they were well acted ; the music was excel 
lent. It will not do to see any dancing after that 
at the opera, which exceeds every thing in the 
world. I have heard it observed that the art of 
dancing is carried to greater perfection in this 
country, than any other of the arts. 

March 5th, 1785. To-day we have had a small 
company to dine all Americans. Col. H. and 
Mr. Williams, who is a man who seems to derive 
a great degree of pleasure from being useful to his 
friends, and omits no opportunity to exert his 
power to their advantage ; he has been very civil 
to us in many things. He knows the disadvan 
tages of being in a country where one is an entire 
stranger to the usages and customs, and when he 
can serve his acquaintances who are in such a 
situation, he is gratified to do it. I do not know 
what we shall do when he goes from Paris. 


Mrs. B. came out to make us a visit and drank 
tea the bloom of the rose is fading dissipation 
will blast the fairest flower that ever bloomed ; in 
her it is verified ; tis a pity so much delicacy and 
beauty should be sacrificed to a few weeks of plea 
sure. They leave Paris in two months, to resume 
their travels, first to Switzerland, then to Italy, in 
the course of the present year. 

The Tableau de Paris, written by Monsieur de 
Mercier, in six volumes, gives a very particular 
description of every thing that can be found in 
Paris I had almost said in France. It is very 
entertaining; he has lashed where he disapproved, 
and is just, it is said, upon every thing. When he 
published his work, which he did without the ap 
probation of the King, he was sought for, and the 
book-seller was taken up. When the author found 
this was the case, he went to the lieutenant of po 
lice, and told him he was himself the author. 
This openness of conduct, it is said, only saved 
him from being banished. The police made him 
a compliment upon his work, but he was soon 
obliged to leave the kingdom, and it is probable 
can never return. Thus it is, when a man speaks 
truth in this country he is banished from it. 

Monday, 7th March. To-day dined with the 
Marquis de la Fayette ; the same company we 
had before, and the day was passed in much the 


same way. I was seated again, next to the Irish 

March 9th. To-day we went to Paris in the 
morning, and Mr. Williams went with us to see 
the gallery of pictures belonging to the Duke de 
Chartres, in the Palais Royal. As the young 
princes, his children, were with their drawing 
master, we were not permitted to go through the 
house, and were obliged to pass through the court; 
thus little people must submit to greater. The 
gallery is very long, and there are two other 
rooms, all hung with pictures, by some of the 
first painters ; Raphael, Rubens, Michel Angelo, 
and others. They were in general Scripture 
pieces ; and many repetitions of the same thing. 
There was a descent from the cross, which is said 
to be one of the finest pictures now existing. I 
cannot form an idea of more expression in any 
thing, than is here depicted ; the same passions 
are represented variously, and equally admirable 
in all. There were several of Mary with the child 
Jesus, that were fine ; in all I observed that she 
was drawn with red hair. But there was a head 
of St. John, that struck me more than all the rest ; 
the eyes were looking up, the countenance ap 
peared rather feminine ; but there was a sweet 
ness, calmness, and serenity, that charmed me ; 
there are but few pictures that have pleased me 
more. There was a representation of the judg- 


ment of Paris, with Juno, Minerva, and Yenus ; 
I was not particularly pleased with this. Indeed, 
there is a disagreeable sensation mixed with the 
pleasure I derive from my view of paintings, that 
I have yet seen in Europe : though I find the im 
pression is not so forcible as it was at first. But even 
now I turn involuntarily aside, sometimes when 
others are admiring; perhaps it is an affectation, 
yet I do not believe that it is not a better principle. 
There were many others, deserving attention; but 
when such a variety is presented to the view, it is 
impossible to retain a just idea of all ; we see one 
and admire it, but when we see many others wor 
thy of attention, the first is hardly retained ; I 
always find it so, and always wish to devote more 
time to them, than it is possible to do. The Duke 
de Chartres has also made a collection of the 
models of all trades, and has them in glass cases. 
This man, with all his possessions, and with every 
thing in his power to possess, but the disposition 
to be made happy by them, goes to England to 
associate with the Prince of Wales, and to seek 
the pleasure which he cannot find within the 
compass of his own possessions, in his own coun 
try. Such is human nature. 

We went to see Mademoiselle Bertang. who is 
milliner to the Glueen of France and to all Eu 
rope. She is now employed in making clothes 
for F infante d Espagne, and the Princess of Por- 


tugal. The former is to be demanded the 28th 
of the present month, in marriage, by the Prince 
of Portugal ; she is now ten years old ; the clothes 
are very rich and superb ; but we did not see the 
best, as they are sent off as soon as finished. We 
saw the dress which she wore at court. Made 
moiselle Bertang has lately received orders for 
unlimited credit upon the court of Spain, for these 
things ; it is said she will not clear less than five 
or six thousand guineas. She is the first milliner 
in Europe ; every year she sends the fashions to 
all parts of the world. We went to a large room, 
where there were twenty girls at work ; the hotel 
seemed to be large and full. 

Saturday, 12th March. To-morrow commen 
ces Semaine Salute, Holy Week. But this people 
could not exist, if they had not some amusement 
or diversion ; there will be a Concert Spirituel 
every night, and the fete of Long-Champ occupies 
three days. A few years since, upon one of these 
days, there appeared one of the girls who dance 
at the opera, in a carriage with servants ; her whole 
equippage superior to any other present, or to 
the Queen s. The wheels of her carriage were 
washed with silver, and her horses were shod with 
silver ; every thing was in uniformity with this. 
The next day the queen sent her word, if she ever 
apppeared in such a manner again, she should be 
taken care of. Whether this was not descending 


from the dignity we should suppose in the char 
acter of the Queen of France, I will not decide. 

Monday, 14th. We had a large company to 
dine, the Marquis de la Fayette and lady, the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne, Mr. Brandsonthe Dutch 
Ambassador Extraordinary, Mr. and Mrs. B. ; the 
latter has a great share of grace, united with a vi 
vacity that is enchanting, but without much dig 
nity; grace depends upon the person, actions, and 
manners ; dignity is placed in the mind ; the latter 
she has not ; she is nevertheless, a charming wo 

16th. Mamma and myself went to Paris and 

visited Mrs. ; there is something in this 

woman that pleases me very much ; it calls forth 
my compassion, and I feel that she is unhappy. 
There is so much of that tenderness and sensibility 
that is seldom discoved after the romance of affec 
tion is a little dissapated about her, that con 
vinces me it is not an ideal and imaginary sen 
timent, as some have said but which I never be 
lieved there is more expression in her silence, 
than in ten thousand complaints that I have heard 
from some people. Her children are all amiable 
and lovely. We spent an hour with her before 
other company came. Mrs. R. was accompanied 
by a Mr. West, who was introduced to us, by a 
Mr. Jackson. He was out this morning to visit 
us, but I was dressing and could not see him. 



17. Dined to-day at Dr. Franklin s ; the whole 
company were Americans, except an old man, 
Monsieur Brillian, who is a friend of the Dr., and 
who came as he said, " a demander un dine a Pere 
Franklin" His wife, it is said, is one of the hand 
somest women in France. This man is perhaps 
60 years old ; his hair is white from age, but he 
is not venerable ; he possesses neither wit or 
reason, but has a great propensity for talking, and 
from his manners, I suppose, thinks he has a natu 
ral turn for satire, when in reality he has no 
more than his horse. Reader, pardon the com 
parison ; of the man I ask none. 

March 20th. Well might the Abbe Arneau 
say that people in this country put their children 
into convents to keep them out of the influence 

of their manners. Mrs. told me last Monday 

when she dined here, she was going to pass the 
eve with Madame la Marquise de Buillye, and, ad 
ded she, I suppose I shall play cards there till the 
morning. She said she was there the last day of 
the Carnival, and she staid until two o clock in 
the morning, then came away leaving the com 
pany at cards ; that a gentleman who was of the 
party, called upon her the next day at ten, and 
assured her when he came away he left the com 
pany at play ; she told me that the Marquis de B. 
went to bed, rose the next morning, went in full 


dress to pay his wife a visit, and found the com 
pany as he had left them ! What a picture ! 

She adds, that there are five ladies and some 
gentlemen, who are of that particular party ; they 
meet at each other s houses five nights in the 
week, as constantly as the week passes ; that four 
nights they play till morning ; the other two 
nights they reserve for other parties ; that they go 
to the play in the forepart of the evening, and 
after the play or opera is over, they meet. She 
said she knew a gentleman who was of all their 
parties, and that it was inconceivable the money 
he had lost this winter at play with them. These 
are the wives parties. The husbands meet at their 
public clubs, and have gamed until it was pro 
hibited by the king lately. There are two of 
these, the saloons, and the arcander, where the 
first and principal men of the kingdom meet 
every night ; they have the public papers, and all 
the news, and a supper, and used to play, till for 
bidden. There must be a formal reception, for 
which they pay a certain sum. These clubs are 
not approved of by the government of this coun 
try, and it is said they would be forbidden. But 
what a portrait of real life ! who could be in 
duced to believe that human beings sacrificed 
their time and lives to such practices, if they 
were not assured of the truth of it? The picture 
Swift has drawn of a fashionable lady, 1 now be- 


lieve verily true in every iota ; these are the peo 
ple, and these are the manners, that my father 
will not introduce us to ; there are a few excep 
tions, the Marquis de la Fayette and family. I 
have heard madame the marquise say, that she sel 
dom went out except into her family connections. 
I suppose the true reason is that the company she 
would go into would be of this sort, and it would 
not be agreeable to her. I have heard her express 
her disapprobation of gaming, or indeed of play ; 
even Mrs. B. is not so pleased with it as when she 
first arrived. As an American lady, she might al 
ways have excused herself from playing, if she 

had wished it, "but," said Mrs. , "I became 

fond of it, before the winter was over, and have 
won sometimes twenty guineas of an evening." 
Of all practices, this is to me the most detest 

There is scarce a greater offence against deli 
cacy possible to be committed, than to go into 
company with a little powder upon your face ; it 
is almost the criterion of indecency ; but at the 
same time, a lady will put an ounce or two of 
rouge upon her face, and even think she is not 
dressed without it. 

Mr. Williams told me an anecdote. When he 
first arrived in Paris, a friend of his accompanied 
him to dine with a lady of his acquaintance. The 
first thing that struck him was being introduced 


to the ladies bed-chamber, which is here as usual 
as it is to visit. The lady was rather in a disha 
bille, except her head which was highly dressed. 
When dinner was served, they went into another 
room ; after dining, they returned again to the 
lady s bed-chamber ; a gentleman in company, 
took from the table an orange ; while the rest of 
the company were taking their coffee, he was eat 
ing his orange and, unfortunately, happened to 
put the peel upon the side of the chimney piece, 
and after a little time went away as is usual in 
this country, without taking leave. Sometime 
after he was gone, the lady called her servant and 
inquired for this gentlemen ; the servant told her 
he had gone, but he had heard him order his ser 
vants to drive him to such an hotel. She ordered 
her servant to go and request the gentleman to 
return, for she wished to see him ; in less than an 
hour the gentleman returned, begging to know 
her commands when she called her servant and 
ordered him to take that orange peel away. 
This, said Mr. W., completed my wonder and as 

When I dined at Dr. Franklin s last Thursday, 
I asked Mr. F. by whom I was seated at table, 
whether the image in the centre of it represented 
any particular device, as I observed a crown of 
laurel and some figures ? he said " he believed 
it was Love and Hymen, an old fashioned idea 


you know," said he ; " they used to talk of such 
things in former times, but at present they know 
better." I told him I was surprised to find it at 
his table, I believed it was not of his choice. He 
is strongly attached to the French. He told me 
he preferred an English lady who had acquired 
the graces of French manners ; which, he added, 
were to be gained no where but at Paris that 
was the centre, and there they were all collected 
and resided. I believe he was here right ; there 
is a something not to be defined, that the French 
women possess, which, when it ornaments and 
adorns an English lady, forms something irresisti 
bly charming. 

24th March. This is Holy Week, and to-day 
it is, that the King and Q,ueen wash the feet of 
twelve children, and give them a dinner ; when 
all the princes of the blood" serve the dinner, and 
the King and Queen tend them at table. The 
same ceremony is performed in the churches by 
the archbishop and the priests. We went to St. 
Sulpice ; what a spectacle did the Church present ! 
two hundred of the dirtiest creatures I ever be 
held. The priests were in their robes, but shame 
fully dirty ; they had a dozen little boys with 
purple jackets, and purple caps, their hair shaved ; 
then followed six or eight black friars ; they were 
parading the Church, first into one Chapel singing 
their service. We went down several stone steps, 


into a place they call the sepulchre ; there were 
a number of persons at their devotions. There is 
nothing more surprising than the manner and 
form with which these people address the Su 
preme Being ; I do not understand their profes 
sions, nor do I form any judgment of it. There 
is in this Church, a beautiful figure in white mar 
ble of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus in her 
arms. It is impossible to imagine a figure with 
more expression ; the countenance is placid, mild, 
and sweet beyond description ; we staid as long 
as it was possible, but came away without seeing 
any ceremony. The churches are very disagree 
able ; the windows are cased with iron grates ; it 
is impossible for the sun or air to have any access ; 
the floors are all of stone ; they are excessively 
cold and damp ; we returned to Auteuil by the 
grand route, as it is culled, that we might have a 
view of the carriages at Long-Champ ; it is curi 
ous to observe how much more attended this was, 
than the churches. The foundation of it was 
this ; there is a convent of women at the village 
of Long-Champ ; they had some very fine musi 
cians, who used to exhibit on those three days, 
which drew a great number of persons to hear it ; 
the convent was always open on these days, and 
there was a great concourse of people. But in a 
few years there began to be disturbances corn mi t- 
ed, and the Archbishop of Paris, who is supreme 


and arbitrary, ordered the convent to discontinue 
their custom ; but this did not induce the Parisians 
to deprive themselves of their amusement. It has 
continued to be very fashionable, and forms three 
days of amusement and diversion for all Paris and 
its environs. There were, I may venture to say, 
a thousand carriages, and as many persons walk 
ing and on horseback ; it was cold, and as mamma 
intended seeing them to-morrow, we came away 
soon, before indeed half the carriages had ar 

Friday 25th. The weather was rather disa 
greeable in the morning, but it cleared away and 
permitted us to go to Long-Champ, where there 
were the greatest collection of carriages that I 
have ever seen ; there were none particularly 
elegant. There were great numbers on horse 
back ; the king s pages were all on horseback ; 
most of them aped the English in their dress and 
appearance, so much so, as to deceive the specta 
tors, many of them. The beaux in this country 
aim very much at the English dress, as the Eng 
lish do the French ; it is the particular aim of 
each to appear what they are not. When a 
Frenchman is in a great dishabille, he says he is 
a la Anglais. We joined the throng, and "drove 
twice round the circle ; after we had seen what 
there was to be seen, we went to take tea at Dr. 
Franklin s with Mrs. Hewson, and passed an hour 


very agreeably. Mr. F. is always sociable, and is 
very satirical in general. He reminds me of a 
lady famed in this way, whom I have known in 
America. The Dr. is always silent, unless he 
has some diverting story to tell, of which he has 
a great collection. Mr. F. copies him in this way, 
and although he tells a story well, yet I do not 
think it a pleasing trait in the character of a 
young man it appears better in age ; it seems 
then expressive of a desire to be agreeable 
which in old age is not always attended to. The 
Dr. has something so venerable in his appear 
ance, that he inspires one with respect. I never 
saw an old man more so. 

Friday eve, March 27th. As we were sitting 
around the fire about 9 o clock, we heard some 
guns, which we supposed were to announce the 
birth of a prince or princess. On Monday morn 
ing we were informed of the birth of a prince, 
whose title is Duke of Normandy. This is an 
event which occasions great joy and rejoicing 
throughout the kingdom, particularly in Paris and 
at Versailles. 

29th. Papa went to Versailles, it being Ambas 
sador s Day ; upon such an occasion there was 
much company. The young Duke of Normandy 
received all the ambassadors and ministers, though 
only two days old ; he was lying on a bed, and 
attended by two or three ladies ; if this had hap- 


pened to have been a princess, she would have 
been scarce noticed. The Queen is to see no 
Company for five days, except the princesses of 
the royal family. As soon as a prince is born, 
he has a house, servant, carriages, horses, tutors, 
governors and governesses, and every other at 
tendant to him, while he, poor thing, is insensi 
ble to every thing. The whole nation are taught 
to look upon them as their guardians and sup 
port. In a government such as this, where all 
power and authority is vested in the King, it is 
undoubtedly necessary that he should be respect 
ed from the moment he exists, and through his 

30th. Papa dined with the Spanish Ambassador, 
together with a number of great folks ; there was the 
Count Deranda, a German Prince. He introduced 
his lady, and inquired if the American ladies paint 
ed? He was informed they did not. She said the 
Spanish ladies never painted, and that she never 
did unless she was going into particular French 

Yesterday Madame de la Fayette wrote a very 
polite card to mamma, informing her that the 
King would come to-day to the Church of Notre 
Dame to assist in the Te Deum, which would be 
sung in that Church, to return thanks for the 
birth of a prince ; and to offer us places in her 
father s tribune at the Church, and to-day we 


went. The hour she appointed us to meet at her 
house was two o clock ; we dined early and went. 
From Auteuil to the Barrier we met a number of 
people ; but from the Barrier to the Marquis , 
and from thence to Notre Dame which was at 
least three miles I cannot attempt to describe 
the appearance ; every street was so crowded, that 
had it not been for the police, which upon every 
public occasion are as numerous as the people 
they are obliged to be very strict it would not 
have been possible for a carriage to have passed. 
I believe I may say with truth there were millions 
of people. Mr. Jefferson, who rode from the Mar 
quis with us, supposed there were as many peo 
ple in the streets as there were in the State of 
Massachusetts, or any other of the States. Every 
house was full every window and door, from the 
bottom to the top. Before the Church there is a 
large square, which was lined with troops, drawn 
up in rows, and appeared very well. The Church 
of Notre Dame is of very ancient architecture ; 
it is the most beautiful building I have seen. 
The churches have no pews, but are filled with 
chairs and benches. There are a variety of chap 
els in them, in which there always is a represen 
tation of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus. 
On one side of the chapel there were seats, where 
all the judges were seated, dressed in crimson vel 
vet robes, and large wigs. On the other side 

JOURNAL. . 67 

were lawyers in black habits ; their dress is much 
the same as in our country, except that they wear 
their hair long behind, and without being tied, 
but waving, which is very graceful. 

On one side of the altar were a number of ladies 
of rank ; on the other side, were the ambassadors 
and public ministers; before the altar we re placed 
seats, and under a canopy was a crimson velvet 
cushion, and seats all round with each a crimson 
velvet cushion; this was for his majesty to kneel 
upon. There were the bishops with the archbishop 
at their head, dressed in purple robes, with skirts 
which came as low as their knees, of the richest 
lace. There were a number of others of a differ 
ent order, dressed with cloaks, wrought with gold. 
Among these was the Abbe de Bourbon, an ille 
gitimate son of Louis 15th. He appeared to be 
about 27 years old, a very handsome man. I ob 
served all the gentlemen of the court paid partic 
ular attention to him. Madame de la Fayette ob 
served, she thought it was too magnificent, and 
there was too much noise and bustle for the 
Church ; she said it was not peaceful enough. I 
was charmed with her behaviour to her com 
pany ; the Marquis was with the King ; she 
had to arrange the company when we went to 
Church, which she did, paying particular attention 
to every one. In the eve the whole city of Paris 
was illuminated. Papa was here at the first cer- 


emony of this kind, when the first princess was 
born. The decorations at that time were superi 
or to this. It was impossible not to make many 
reflections upon this august and superb ceremony, 
and upon the sentiments the people discovered 
for their King. But in this government I should 
judge it was right and necessary. If the man 
who has the whole kingdom at his disposal, is not 
respected, and thought of next to their God, he 
will not long sustain his power. And however 
wrong it may be, it is unavoidable. 

April 2d. Mrs. Hewston and Mr. Franklin 
came and drank tea with us. We went in the 
eve to the Concert Spirituel, which is open while 
the theatres are all shut; and upon some of the 
fetes, it is somewhat triste. The music is called 
good. There is some part of all the vocal music 
that I have heard, since I have been in this coun 
try, that sounds to my ear like overstraining the 
voice, and has upon me an unpleasant effect. 
I am told it is because I am not a connoisseur 
that it does not please me, for it is the height 
of perfection. That I am not a connoisseur is a 
truth ; nor will I pretend to decide upon the jus 
tice of other people s tastes, because my own does 
not accord with them. I saw many things that 
would have appeared very strange, had I met 
with them a few months since. I am accustomed 


to many things at present, but I am not recon 
ciled to them. 

4th April. Dined to-day with the Marquis de 
la Fayette our circle of Americans diminishes 
daily there were a number of French gentle 
men, most of whom had been in America, and 
spoke English ; General Armand, Capt. la Tonch, 
and Col. G., who I believe lives at the Marquis . 

General A. speaks very highly of our state, and 
of Boston in particular ; most foreigners give the 
preference to Boston, to all parts of the United 
States, at least they tell us so ; and why should we 
not believe them in an instance so favourable to 
ourselves? If they do not speak the sentiments 
of their hearts, it is their own fault ; but I believe 
this gentleman was sincere. He observed that 
there was an ostentatious show of hospitality in 
the Southern States ; but he found the reality in 
Boston. He went there a stranger and without 
money ; many of the merchants loaned him 
money, upon his word only, that he would repay 

Madame de la Fayette discovered her usual at 
tachment to the Marquis and her children. The 
Marquis had ordered that the children should not 
be presented, supposing that the attention paid to 
them, rather a compliment to him and his lady, 
than any real pleasure the company could possi 
bly derive from their presence ; but mamma re- 


quested they might be introduced, and they came. 

April 7th. To-day we had a small company 
to dine : Mr. West, who gains our good opinion 
daily, as a man of sense, and possessed of many 
agreeable qualities. Mrs. Hewsten has been with 
Dr. F. all winter ; she is a sensible woman. The 
Dr. addressed some of his philosophical letters to 
this lady. He boarded with her mother in Eng 
land, and has continued to preserve a great esteem 
for Mrs. Hewsten. Her manners are neither mas 
culine nor affected ; but she laughs too much to 
please me ; she leaves France next week, to return 
to England. 

8th. Mamma and myself went to Paris, and 

called on Mrs. , who goes in a few days to 

London. I could not but regret her leaving Paris, 
although I have seen but little of her, yet I never 
see her without feeling a degree of regard for her. 
She is most sweetly amiable, possessed of a great 
share of sensibility : had she married a man of 
sense and judgment, who would have endeavour 
ed to turn her attention to something more impor 
tant than dress and show, and recommended them 
only as ornaments to adorn good sense, and an 
improved mind, she would have shown with dis 
tinguished lustre, in every point of view ; for even 
now, she is possessed of many qualifications to 
make her beloved and respected. I have not 
formed such an opinion of Mr. . I am mista- 


ken if he does not lack some essential qualifica 
tions to make him either respected or admired. 

The Marquis de la Fayette, has received some 
letters from America, respecting a son of General 
Green s, who is coming to France to be educated 
with the Marquis son George. The Marquis 
says it his intention to send his son, when he is 
fitted to be educated, at Harvard College. Col. H. 
told him to-day, that he was not pleased with the 
idea, that some of the principal people in America 
should send their children to France for their ed 
ucation my papa adds, that every person ought 
to be educated in the country in which they are to 
live, and of which they are a part, and in a com 
munity of which they are a member. Mr. D. also 
conversed upon the salaries, arid manner of living, 
of the ambassadors at this court. The Spanish 
Ambassador, he said, had an hundred persons in 
his house fifty servants in livery, and keeps 
thirty horses. The Duke of Dorset, Ambassador 
from England, has fifty servants, twenty of them 
in livery. 

May 10th, 1785. Papa went to Versailles to 
day, and took his leave of this court ; he has been 
appointed to England. Mr. Jeiferson succeeds 
him here. 

llth, Wednesday. According to the polite in 
vitation of the Baron de Stael, Ambassador from 
Sweden, we dined with him to-day; he is a very 


handsome man, a good figure, and tolerable com 
plexion ; his eyes are animated ; his manners are 
pleasing. It is the custom in this country to have 
a suit of rooms all open for the reception of your 
company, ail equally elegantly furnished. The 
ambassador received us at the door of the anti- 
chamber, and conducted us to the other room, 
where he introduced to us a young Swede, a 
Baron, who had served two years in America, in 
the French army. He spoke English surprisingly 
well. The dinner was studiedly simple and ele 
gant it was served in plate the knives, forks, 
and spoons of gold. 

May 9th, 1785 Auteuil, near Paris. When we 
came from the Marquis to-day, where we had 
dined, as papa had business with Mr. Jefferson, 
he went in the carriage with Mr. W. and Mr. 
Short. Messieurs Jar vis and Randal went with 
mamma and myself. While the former was in a 
shop making some purchase, Mr. R. and myself 
had a learned dissertation upon blushing, which 
arose from a girl passing by the carriage with a 
veil on, which are very common in the streets 
here, made of lawn, silk, or gauze, and worn in 
stead of a hat or bonnet. The latter is a thing I 
never have seen in France. Mr. R. observed that 
the blush of innocence was a better veil. I said, 
there were few of those known in Paris. He in 
quired if they had any word in the French Ian- 


guage expressive of innocence ? There is not 
any other word but innocence, and it is almost 
without a use here. I said, it was a very painful 
sensation I thought it a great advantage to be 
exempt from it ; he was not of this opinion. Mr. 
J. who had been in the shop, came to the door of 
the carriage ; Mr. R. told him of our conversation, 
upon which commenced the dissertation. Mr. J. 
decided not agreeably to my opinion or belief, that 
we never blushed but from the consciousness of 
something wrong in what was said or done, that 
caused the blush. I do not believe it ; a person 
so subject to blush as myself, should be interested 
in removing every idea of evil from it. When 
we had finished our business we went to Mr. Jef 
ferson s, where I saw Miss J., a most amiable girl. 
Mr. J. has not dined out these four or five months, 
partly from choice. If he could discriminate, he 
would sometimes favour us with his company. 
From thence we went to see the abbes, and to take 
leave of them. I have not seen them since the 
death of the Abbe de Mably ; they were cheerful, 
but their loss is great. I can truly say, that in 
coming away from the house, I felt more regret 
in the prospect of leaving France than I have ever 
before ; they are two such good old men that one 
feels for them the respect, veneration, and esteem, 
that we should for a relation, who was thus ad 



As we came home, we called upon Madame 
Helvetius, who has been very sick lately. We 
were admitted, as it was, to take leave. From the 
dining-room you enter a large saloon, which was 
furnished in the French style, a number of 
chairs, settees, and pictures ; in the centre was a 
marble table, on which was a set of china, some 
images, and in the middle, a large circle with earth, 
a number of lilacs and other flowers, which re 
sembled a little forest, and was very pretty. From 
this we were shown to the ladies chamber, which 
is large and handsomely furnished. Madame Hel 
vetius was sitting upon a settee covered up as a 
bed, quite at her ease ; her dress was as usual. 
She was attended by the abbe and her doctor. 
Her great dog, which Mr. Franklin brought from 
England, was resting before her, and the lap-dog 
upon the settee ; upon the table, under a glass, 
was a monument erected to the memory of her 
husband, over which hung his picture, which was 
very handsome. Madame H. appears to have 
been a very beautiful woman, when young. A 
French lady compared her to the ruins of Palmyra. 
After we had passed half an hour we came away, 
bidding her adieu. 

My father went to Versailles to-day, and took 
his leave of this court. Madame, the Marquise 
de la Fayette, with her son and daughter, came 
out to tea. She was obliged to return to Paris at 


a certain hour, on account of her son, who has 
lately a pension. In such a flying visit, no one 
can expect any degree of sociability, or to form an 
acquaintance with each other s disposition or man 
ners When Madame took leave of us, she saluted 
each, mamma arid myself; lately she has taken 
this liberty, when meeting or parting. It is so 
much the custom, with the ladies of this country, 
that I believe they feel rather awkward to meet 
or part with those to whom it is unknown. The 
ladies kiss each other, and the gentlemen the same. 
It seems a curious custom to those who are not 
used to it, and caused some observation this after 

Friday, May 13th. This morning, his grace the 
Duke of Dorset called upon my father, with a let 
ter to the custom-house officer at Dover, to permit 
us to pass unsearched. He has been very polite 
and friendly in his offers of any assistance that 
it was in his power to offer, in a public or private 
character. He informed my father to-day, that 
mamma and myself must be presented to the 
Queen. It was a point of etiquette not possible 
to be dispensed with ; this I am very sorry to hear. 
It is an houour that I would wish to be released 

Sunday, May 15th. This morning before nine, 
we were in our carriage on our way to Ver 
sailles. To-day is the fete of Penticost, upon which 


the knights of the order, Cordon Bleu, make their 
procession ; and if there are any to be created, 
they are received upon this fete ; but there were 
none to-day. Every Sunday is a great day at 
Versailles ; but upon these fetes there are more 
people than usual. 

When we arrived, we entered one of the courts 
before the palace, in front of which was the 
king s bed-chamber, and from which there was an 
entrance into the garden, to which we went first. 
It is large, well arranged, and clean the most 
elegant place I have seen since I have been in 
this country. There are a great number of statues 
of various kinds ; some in white marble, others 
in bronze ; but I had not time to view them par 
ticularly or generally. There were a number of 
water-works playing, which are very pretty. 
There is a piece of water that has the appear 
ance of a small river, but which is all conveyed 
by pipes from the river Seine. Our time was so 
short, that we had not an opportunity to take 
even a general view of this garden, every part of 
which deserves attention. From hence we went 
into the gallery, which is open every Sunday for 
all the world ; and apartments from it to the 
Chapel. The gallery is long there is a great 
deal of looking-glass in it, and painting upon the 
ceiling, which to my taste is the most improper 
place in a building to put paintings ; yet there 


are few public buildings where there are any 
paintings, without a number upon the ceiling 
which in general is arched. The next was 
an apartment which was so full, there was scarce 
any possibility of passing through ; there were 
two other apartments very large and filled with 
persons, before we arrived at the one where the 
throne was ; in this I was more disappointed than 
in any of the others. In the apartment where the 
throne of the King of France was, the architec 
ture was ancient, and there were several pictures, 
one of Louis XV, and another of his queen. From 
this we went through two others before we enter 
ed the gallery of the Chapel ; here were a number 
of guards no one could enter without their per 
mission. By their having the Cross of St. Louis, 
I supposed they were noblemen. We had not 
been apprized of this ceremony, and therefore had 
no places engaged. It was impossible to obtain 
a front seat ; it was a great favour we obtained any. 
The guards were as polite as possible, and grant 
ed as much favour as their situations allowed. 
The knights of the Cordon Bleu all came in, and 
took their seats on one side of the altar, very ele 
gantly dressed ; the blue ribbons across the shoul 
der, and over their coats a blue cloak, with a star 
embroiderd on the left side. The lady who goes 
round to collect the money in a small velvet purse, 
entered the Church. She was more elegantly 


dressed than any other person. After the king had 
entered, she went round to the knights, and with 
a courtesey the most graceful, presented her little 
purse to each. I am sure no one could have refused 
putting a louis in. The poor might perhaps, with 
more reason, thank her appearance, than bless the 
generosity of the donors. But why should I put 
this construction? I am sure I have no right to. 
The queen did not appear to-day. There was in 
the gallery only Madame la Comptesse D Artois, 
and Madame Elizabeth, sister to the king. She 
seemed very attentive to the mass, and paid very 
little attention to any thing but her book. 

We then left the gallery of the Church to go to 
the king s gallery, where all the knights returned 
and followed by his majesty and his two brothers. 

London, June 1st, 1785. To-day my father 
went with Lord Carmarthen to the Palace, where 
he found many gentlemen, known to him before. 
Lord C. introduced him to his majesty, George 
III. Papa made his speech when he presented 
his letter; his majesty was affected and said, 
" Sir, your words have been so proper, upon this 
occasion, that I cannot but say I am gratified that 
you are the man chosen to be the Minister." 

June 4th. This is the anniversary of his majes 
ty s birth; consequently there was a Levee at 
St. James. On this day their majesties speak to 
every person present. The King speaks first to 


the Foreign Ministers. He conversed a quarter of 
an hour with the Spanish Minister, upon music, 
of which he said he was passionately fond, par 
ticularly of Handel s ; he respected the memory of 
Handel, for he owed to him the greatest happiness 
of his life, and observed that Handel had said of 
him when young, " that young man will preserve 
my music." My father observed that he had never 
heard any thing like conversation at court before. 
One of the Ambassadors who had attended at the 
French court 30 years, said, Monsieur the king s 
brother, had asked every time he had been to 
court, which was generally every Tuesday, " have 
you come from Paris to-day ?" and no other ques 

September 2d. About twelve o clock, Mrs. 
Smith from Clapham, and Miss B. called upon 
us. Mamma was just dressing, so I had to appear. 
Miss B. began to question me, as to which coun 
try I liked best, France or England? I would 
not give a preference. "But you undoubtedly pre 
fer England to America?" " I must indeed con 
fess, Miss, that I do not at present." Was it possi 
ble ! I acknowledged the excellencies of this coun 
try. There was more to please and gratify the 
senses ; but I had formed such friendships and at 
tachments in America, as would ever render it dear 
to me. " But surely, the culture is carried to a 
much greater degree of perfection here than in 


America." " Granted." " And you must," said 
Miss B. very pertly, "find a great difference be 
tween America and this country?" "In what, 
pray, Miss?" said 1. "Why in the general ap 
pearance, in the people, their manners, customs, 
behaviour, and in every thing." " Indeed," said 
I, "I do not; there is so great a similarity in 
the manners of the people, in the two coun 
tries, that I should take them for one. If any 
thing, I find a greater degree of politeness and 
civility in America, than in the people of this 
country. And the lower class of people in Amer 
ica, are infinitely superior to the lower class of 
people here." Their astonishment was great was 
it possible I could think so! Surely the distress 
ing war had been an impediment to all improve 
ment and education. Dr. Bancroft came in, and 
passed an hour. After he had gone, we had some 
conversation upon the pictures below. Papa said 
they were spoiled ; he was not at all content with 
his own, yet thought it the best that had ever 
been taken of him. No one had yet caught his 
character. The ruling principles in his moral 
character, were candour, probity, and decision. 
I think he discovered more knowledge of himself 
than usually falls to the lot of man ; for, from my 
own observation, I think these are characteristic 
of him ; and I add another, which is sensibility. 
I have never discovered a greater portion of can- 


dour in any character. I hope if I inherit any of 
his virtues it may be this ; it is a necessary at 
tendant through life. In whatever intercourse we 
have with society, we find it necessary in a greater 
or less degree ; and in the mind of a woman, I 
esteem it particularly amiable. 

November 3d. We attended the drawing-room 
for the third time. At two o clock we went, and 
were in season. There were most of the Foreign 
Ministers present, but not their ladies. All hough 
I have seen them all, I do not know many of them. 
Their majesties came about three o clock. 
There were not many ladies or gentlemen the 
Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and Princess 
Augusta accompanied their majesties. There were 
present more handsome women than I had seen be 
fore. Lady Stormont is the handsomest woman I 
have seen in Europe. When she conversed, her air 
and manner was graceful, dignified, modest, and 
charming. The king, queen, and prince had a 
great deal to say to her, particularly the latter ; 
he talked with most of the Foreign Ministers 
whom he knew, and is, I think, a handsome man. 
Of the princesses, I am most pleased with the 
person, manners, and deportment, of the Princess 
Royal; there is dignity, grace, and affability, with 
a certain degree of steadiness which I like, in her 

There are two characters the very opposite to 


each other, both pleasing to me ; and a woman 
to be agreeable must possess either one or the oth 
er. The sprightliness, vivacity, animation of a 
French woman, that will inspire every one who 
sees her with the same spirit, or a sedate thought 
ful manner, animated and dignified. Lady Stor- 
mont possesses the latter. Although I am pleased 
for the time with the former, yet I approve most of 
the last, as it is best calculated to support with dig 
nity and propriety, every situation to which we are 
subject in human life. Persons sometimes mistake 
their own characters, and endeavour to appear 
the one, when the other would best become them. 
There are an immense number who belong to 
neither, nor can by their utmost exertions acquire 

Lady C. and daughter were remarkable, not 
for their beauty, but for the elegance of their dress. 
The lady made herself conspicuous, by the extreme 
anxiety to have her daughter spoken to by the 
prince; but all her efforts were ineffectual. He 
stood and conversed an hour next her, with Lady 
Stormont, but made no effort to speak to Miss C. 
We returned home at five. The Chevalier de 
Pinto, the Portuguese Minister, spent an hour or 
two with my father. I wrote for the latter. I think 
the Secretary must be out of his senses to remain 
so long from his duty. 

December We called upon Mrs. Jebb, 


where mamma, the Doctor, and Mrs. Jebb, had 
such a dish of politics as suited all their tastes. 
The Doctor is very much interested in America, 
and solicitous for her welfare ; at least he seems so, 
nay more than seems. Mrs. Jebb is very earnest 
and equally anxious. I am diverted when she 
makes inquiries of me, about politics, who never 
thought, or talked of them in my life ; but she does 
not find me very intelligent on the subject, conse 
quently she will not have a very high opinion of 
me, I suppose ; and I do not find that my happi 
ness is in any \vay dependent upon that. 

14th. My father presented Col. H. at court to 
day. He seemed to think his majesty, George 
the Third, much like the rest of the world. Col. 
H. went to make his visits to all the Foreign Min 
isters how much time it is necessary to spend 
in trifles yet I do not know why one trifle is not 
as important as another, and I begin to think our 
whole lives nothing else. The gentlemen dined 
at Mr. Paradise s, and afterwards went to the 
Royal Society. They called upon us about nine, 
and passed an agreeable hour. I have daily more 
and more reason to observe the very great impor 
tance of early education, and the necessity of 
forming the first habits with propriety. If this is 
riot attended to, you see a man s whole life stain 
ed and spoiled, by habits and customs, which bear 
some resemblance to vulgarity. Col. H. is one 


instance of this. I do not know what his early 
education was, but from some things that mark 
his conversation now. I will not draw a compar 
ison between him and his friend, although the ad 
vantage would be on the side I wish ; yet as the 
former has many excellencies, let them cover the 
foibles, or rather inaccuracies which may appear. 

23d June. My father returned from Windsor, 
highly pleased with his visit, and particularly 
with Mr. Herschel. The evening being cloudy, 
there was no star-gazing, or observing the moon, 
which was the object of the visit. My father rep 
resents Mr. Herschel to be a man, whose attention 
to study does not render him silent or absent, but 
as a cheerful and intelligent companion ; com 
municative of his knowledge, and very agreeable. 
Indeed I have never known him so much grati 
fied by a visit of any kind before. 

Many, many are the ups and downs of the spir 
its. It is said, in a multitude of counsel there is 
safety; but I say, that in a variety of opinions 
there is perplexity. 

1787, 20th July. This day, three years ago, 
we landed on this island from America. 

We set our faces towards Plymouth, and lodged 
at Winchester. 

Sunday, 22d. My father went to the Cathedral 
in the morning. This town was the residence of 
King Charles, and here are the remains of the 


castle built by him. They relate to you a num 
ber of anecdotes respecting him. 

There was in the twelfth century, a Sieur de 
Quincy, who was created Earl of Winchester, 
by King John. The history mentions that in the 
thirteenth century, the family became extinct, and 
the title was given to Lord de Spencer. Sieur de 
Q,uincy was one who signed Magna Charta. 
My father supposes the Q,uincys in America to 
have descended from him, and was solicitous to 
trace the descent ; he may be better acquainted 
with the importance of it than I am. To me it 
appears quite a matter of small consequence. 
We can all trace our descent from Adam, and no 
one can go beyond him. 

26th. We arrived at Axminster ; it is the first 
town in the county of Devonshire. We have 
come through Surry, Hunt, Hampshire, Wiltshire, 
and Dorsetshire. 

Mr. Cranch soon waited upon us, and brought 
me a most acceptable present, two letters from my 
absent friend at Madrid. 

27th. We concluded to pass this day here, 
being very well accommodated with apartments. 
Mr. Cranch engaged to dine with us, and came 
to attend us to take a view of the manufactories 
of this place, which are of carpet and tape. We 
then visited the Church, which is very old ; the 
paintings and monuments were miserable, except 


one, of which Mr. Cranch had the direction ; it 
is to the memory of a lady ; the device represents 
the dove taking the veil from the urn which con 
tains her ashes. Mr. C. dined with us, and re 
quested 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 per 
sons, 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 origi 
nal picture ; it was lately left, by an old gentle 
man 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 cha 
racter 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 be 
lieved only in his virtues and excellencies. 

We left Axminster at nine in the morning; 
Mr. Cranch took a seat in the post-chaise with 
papa ; mamma rode in the coach. The road 
continues very mountainous to Honiton, a stage 
of ten miles from Axminster ; just before you 
enter the former, there is a valley which is much 


admired for its fertility and beauty. The latter 
part of the road answers Mr. Boylston s descrip 
tion that the roads were cut or worn down many 
feet, and the hedges so thick and so high, that one 
had no prospect of the country around which is 
the case. Mr. Cranch bore these inconveniences 
with but little patience ; he pulled down walls. 
and tore gates up from hinges, bolts and bars, like 
a Samson. 

These persons were all delighted to see us, and 
the sincerity of their professions are indubitable. 
Mr. Bowering in particular, expressed his respect 
for my father ; he said he was a man of no cere 
mony, but he hoped he should not find him de 
ficient in sincerity. He offered us some cherries 
from his garden, and upon mamma s saying they 
were the best of the kind she had tasted, he ex 
pressed his satisfaction, and said, " if they were 
golden cherries, she would be welcome to them." 
It is a great satisfaction to be thus esteemed ; and 
this kind of undisguised respect and sincerity is 
extremely grateful to the heart. 

Exeter. My father has gone this morning with 
Mr. Bowering, to call on Mr. Twogood, who was 
formerly the dissenting minister in this place, but 
is now so old as to be unable to perform the du 
ties of his former station, and has retired. These 
people are all dissenters; I believe all the dis- 


senters in this country, have been in favour of the 
American cause. 

In the neighbourhood of Plymouth, we vis 
ited the seat of Lord Edgcomb. Mount Edg- 
comb is a peninsula formed by a ridge of rocks, 
which connects it with the town of Stonehouse. 
The lawn by which one ascends to the house, 
contains 60 acres ; on each side are large rows of 
trees, of chestnut and ash. The house stands 
upon the side of a hill ; it is old, and built upon 
a very small, contracted scale, and before the 
family was ennobled. I do not believe, from the 
appearance of things around, that this event has 
enlarged their minds. One circumstance had a 
very singular effect upon mine ; which was, that 
when we landed we observed a good natured 
looking man, who I supposed to have been some 
servant of Lord Edgcomb s, placed there to give 
directions to those who might visit his seat, until 
he very civilly accosted us, desiring we would 
pay our passage, which was two pence each per 
son, and informed us that he payed Lord Edgcomb 
400 guineas a year for this situation, and that the 
perquisites of it amounted to 700, and observed it 
took a great many two pences to yield this sum. 
He owns all the boats which are kept on this 
side. The grounds contain 600 acres, the park 
300, which lies wholly uncultivated ; it was 
stored with the finest deer 1 have seen ; they 


were the forest deer, and much larger than those 
in Hyde Park. 

3d. August. Mr. Cranch, who is very fond of 
walking, and thinks twenty or thirty miles a day 
necessary for a sedentary life, and who talks often 
miles as a morning or evening airing, invited us 
to take a walk round the town, and upon some of 
the eminences which command extensive pros 

12th. Bristol. We visited Lord Clifford s 
grounds ; they are bounded on one side by the 
river Severn, and on the other by the Avon ; they 
form the point of land between these two rivers ; 
in some places they are six or seven miles across. 
The gardener could not inform us how many acres 
they contained, but said they produced six or 
seven thousand a year. This place has more nat 
ural beauties than any I have yet seen ; it is kept 
in good order, and possesses the four requisites to 
render it perfect lawn, upland, wood, and water. 
There is a curious hermitage made of the roots of 
trees, which was designed by the present Lady 
Clifford. We returned to Bristol much delighted 
with our visit. 

Oxford. In the afternoon we took a guide, and 
went to see the Colleges. First, the Bodleian Li 
brary, and Picture Gallery. The latter is fur 
nished with valuable portraits of the founder and 
benefactors, and of other eminent men, as also 


with cabinets of medals, and cases of books ; 
about the middle of it stands a noble statue in 
brass, of Philip, Earl of Pembroke, designed by 
Rubens. This room is a continuation of the 
Bodleian Library ; under it are the schools of the 
several sciences. 

The Bodleian, or Public Library, is a part of 
the above mentioned edifice ; the vestibule, or 
first gallery, was built by Sir Thomas Bodley, 
who furnished the whole, with a collection made 
with great care; he likewise assigned an estate 
for the maintenance of a librarian, adding a body 
of statutes for the regulation of his new institu 
tion, by which he justly deserved the name of the 
founder of the library. He died January 28th, 

We then visited New College, which was foun 
ded by William of Wykeham. and finished 1385. 
In this college in the ante-chapel, there are some 
fine paintings upon glass, designed by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, and executed by Mr. Jarvis ; it con 
tains seven allegorical figures, representing the 
four cardinal, and three Christian virtues. Tem 
perance pouring water out of a larger vessel into 
a smaller ; her common attribute, the bridle, lies 
at her feet. Fortitude in armour, her head rest 
ing on a broken column, her form robust, her look 
bold and resolute, a lion her attendant. Faith 
standing fixedly on both feet, and bearing a cross, 
her eyes and hands raised to heaven. Hope 


looking up to the same heaven, and springing 
so eagerly towards it, that her feet scarce 
touch the ground ; part of an anchor her emblem. 

Justice looking with a steady and piercing eye, 
through the dark shade that her arm casts over 
her face, in her left hand she holds the steelyard, 
her right supports the sword. 

Prudence beholding as in a mirror, the actions 
and manners of others, for the purpose of regula 
ting her own ; on her left arm an arrow joined 
with a Remora, the respective emblems of swift 
ness and slowness. Prudence being a medium 
between both. 

The middle group, representing Charity, is wor 
thy of particular notice ; the fondling of the in 
fant, the importunity of the boy, and the placid 
affection of the girl, together with the decided af 
fection of the mother ; are judiciously marked 
with that knowledge of character which is con 
spicuous in the works of the eminent artist who 
gave the design. 

As a basis to the great work, in a space of eighteen 
feet long and ten wide, is represented the nativity 
of Christ, a composition of thirteen human figures. 

From New College we went to Queen s College, 
founded by Robert Eglesfel, confessor to Queen 
Philippa, A. D. 1340. It is confined to the reception 
of scholars from Cumberland and Westmoreland. 

Thursday, 16th. We dined early and went to 
Blenheim, the seat of the Duke of Marlborough. 


It is about ten miles from Oxford. The hall is a 
magnificent apartment, it extends to the height 
of the house, and is supported by Corinthian pillars. 
The ceiling was painted by Sir James Thornhill, 
allegorically representing Victory crowning John 
Duke of Marlborough, and pointing to the plan 
of the battle of Blenheim. The library is one 
hundred and eighty-three feet long ; the Doric pi 
lasters of marble, with the complete columns of 
the same, which support a rich entablature ; the 
window frames of dark mahogany ; the surround 
ing basement of black marble, are in the highest 
taste and finish. It was originally intended as a 
gallery for paintings, but the late justly lamented 
Duke added utility to elegance ; having furnished 
it with the noble collection of books made by Lord 
Sunderland, his grace s father. Their number is 
said to amount to 24,000 volumes, which have 
been allowed to be worth 30,000, and are said 
to be the best private collection in England ; they 
are kept under gilt wire lattices. At one end of 
the room is a highly finished statue of Queen 
Anne, with this inscription : 







The gardens are spacious, and include a great 
variety of prospects ; the noble descent on the 
southwest side ; the vastness and beauty of the 
water ; the grandeur of the opposite bank ; the 
cascade, new bridge, and lower piece of water ; 
form altogether such an assemblage of beautiful 
objects, as are perhaps no where else to be 
found. The gardens on the south side seem 
to lose themselves in the park, amidst a pro 
fusion of venerable oaks, and intersected avenues ; 
from whence they derive an air of confusion and 
indeterminate extent, which is very pleasing. 

These gardens have been enlarged, and were 
thrown into the form they now wear, by the pre 
sent Duke of Marlborough; he has likewise beau 
tified them, by the addition of some judicious or 
naments. The gardener has lived on the place 
twenty-five years, and feels himself entitled to 
make his own remarks, and offers them, with more 
wit than modesty. 

These heights command a variety of beautiful 
and extensive prospects of the sea and land. We 
numbered ninety vessels of all kinds, within one 
view. But after all, neither Mount Edgcomb nor 
Plymouth, or any other place that I have seen in 
Europe, will bear a comparison with Milton Hill ;* 
some might call this prejudice, perhaps it is ; our 
attendant told us that the fortifications were only 

* Near Boston. 


for ornament, not strength ; they are built of stone 
instead of earth, 

Our walk yesterday of four miles, and the 
warmth of the weather, rendered the present ex 
cursion rather fatiguing. 

London, Nov. 1787. We had a representation of 
seven states to-day at dinner. Messrs. Hindman 
and Forrest from Maryland, Mr. Shippen from 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Brackstone from Virginia, Mr. 
Edwards from Carolina ; Mr. Trumbull from 
Connecticut, Colonel Smith from New- York, Mr. 
Cutting and ourselves from Massachusetts. 

We received an account of the result of the 
Convention, entitled the Constitution, which is 
recommended by them to the consideration of the 
states, for their approbation and adoption. My 
father approves of it in general ; some persons 
would have preferred a system that would have 
given us more consequence in the eyes of foreign 
ers. The powers they have given to the President 
are equal to those of many monarchs. 

I do not pretend to be a judge of this subject ; but 
it appears to me, that we are not yet prepared for 
such a system. The principles of equality which 
we yet possess, would not admit of one person s 
being made so distinguished, as the name alone 
of a king would have done ; besides, we have no 
person who possesses sufficient fortune, to render 
him respectable ; for to me it appears, that in a 
monarchy, power and riches are important requi- 


sites, and the people of our country would never 
consent to contribute to the elevation of any person 
to so high a dignity. They chouse to preserve 
the idea, that every one may aspire to the highest 
offices of the state. 

Saturday, 3d. Mr. Jennings dined with us. 
Every person appears much gratified with our Con 
stitution ; and the accounts from America are fa 
vourable for its reception and adoption by the 
states, which give their friends on this side of the 
water much pleasure. Many persons say here, 
that they have followed my father s plan, and 
taken his book for their model. The ill-wishers 
to America say it is too good for them to adopt. 

Notwithstanding a bad cold, I wrapped myself 
up, and went to the play, to see Mrs. Abington as 
Belinda, in All in the Wrong. The characters 
were well supported ; I think I never saw a part 
better performed than Lady Restless. Messrs. 
Shippen, Cutting, and Trumble, were in our box. 

I confess I am not an admirer of Mrs. Abington ; 
she is much celebrated, but is not to my taste ; she 
is now sixty years old, and no one would suppose 
her more than three and twenty. She is not to 
be compared to Miss Farren, whose easy, graceful, 
affable manner of doing every thing is charming. 
But Mrs. A. is the fashion, or has been some 
twenty years past, and still preserves her theatri 
cal fame. 

Thursday, 30th. Mamma and myself concluded 


to take my son to-morrow morning, and go out 
fourteen miles to meet his father, but I was most 
agreeably disappointed at his presenting himself 
about two o clock ; finding no inconvenience from 
moving rapidly, he came on much faster than he 
had any idea of being able to ; although he had 
concealed from me his long and tedious illness. 
But thanks to that Being who sustains, supports, 
and regulates us through this life, he is again re 
stored to health and to his family. To describe the 
sensations of the mind upon this occasion were 
vain ; from the memory they can never be erased. 



Addressed in 1S38, to a Portrait of Mrs. SMITH, taken by Copley 
in 1787. 

Sweet lady ! one could gaze for aye 

Upon thy likeness; purity itself looks out 

From the still depths of those blue eyes 

Where love and gentleness seem mingled into one. 

There is an angel sweetness round thy face, 

Such as we dream of for a fairer world 

And a smile, too, as innocent and bright 

As Paradise beheld, when Eve first saw 

The golden sunlight and the fresh young flowers. 

Methinks, too, thou wilt speak, and I d fain hear 

What gentle words those lips would murmur, 

That seem to prison up some tender speech 

To melt the heart when uttered. 

All silent 

Ah! tis but the semblance of thyself, fair lady ; 
Thy beauteous form is faded, and thy spirit 
All angelic, now is disenthralled of clay ; 
Yet do thy virtues, purity and love, 
Fresh and undimm d, like this sweet portrait, live 
In those whose hearts are warm d with blood from thine, 
Whose souls have caught thy gentleness, 
And from whose eyes beam forth the tender looks 
That freshen life, guide us to good, and sweeten 
Many a bitter cup. Oh ! as they pass thee, may they stop 
And gazing muse how fade we all, and perish! 
Life is a dream : sweet, if like thine tis past, 
If wasted bitter when we wake at last. 

A J. D. 



Washington, 19th March, 1819. 

I gave the portrait of my beloved arid lamented 
sister, your dear mother, to mine without reserve, 
and to be disposed of at her pleasure. And how 
ever gratifying it would be to me to be the pos 
sessor of it myself, I acknowledge your still 
stronger claim to it and were it mine to give 
away again, would ask your acceptance of it. I 
have no such power, for it is yours by the dona 
tion of her to whom alone it belonged. Yet the 
truly delicate and affectionate doubt of my ever 
honoured father, which induced you to make the 
inquiries in your letter, deserves all my gratitude, 
and excites in my breast emotions of a soothing, 
though melancholy pleasure. From the occur 
rence of this incident, I cherish the hope, that 
while the picture shall habitually present you the 
faithful image of her whom it represents, and the 
blessed memory of her from whom you will have 
received it, with those deep and tender recollec 
tions, will be sometimes congenially mingled the 
thought of him, among the purest joys of whose 
life, is the happiness of having been the brother 
and the son of such unsurpassed excellence upon 
earth, of your affectionate friend and uncle, 




THE editor is enabled to furnish the following sketch, 
chiefly collected from a private journal. In 22 battles of the 
revolutionary war, was the subject of this memoir engaged. 

W. S. SMITH graduated in Princeton College, 
in the year 1774, and returning to the city of 
New-York, his native place, and the residence of 
his family, studied the law with Samuel Jones, 
Esq. until the revolutionary war commenced. 

At an early period of the revolutionary war, 
the depredations committed by the British, upon 
the estate belonging to the father of Colonel 
Smith, upon Long-Island, were extensive. His 
maternal grandfather had been killed in the British 
service, on board of a man-of-war, and his widow 
received, until the age of ninety, the period of her 
death, the half pay of Captain Stephens, her hus 

100 MEMOIR. 

She remained in the City of New- York, during 
the whole of the war, visited, by the permission 
of the British commander, by her daughter Mrs. 
Smith, who was her only child, and her grand 
children, protected by a flag of truce. 

Owing to these circumstances, there existed in 
the family a divided feeling. And when a sword 
and a major s commission, with the entire restora 
tion of the property belonging to the family, were 
offered by the British commander to a young man 
not twenty years of age, provided he would enter 
the service of his Britainic Majesty, the mother 
of Col. Smith warmly advocated his acceptance 
of terms so advantageous to herself and children, 
extremely doubtful, as it then was, in what way 
the struggle for the independence of America 
would terminate. 

A family council was called ; the question pro 
posed, when the son gave his answer in the fol 
lowing words : 

" If it is your wish, madam, it shall be done ; 
but from this hour, all intercourse with me and 
my family is cut off forever." His father, who 
had walked the room during the scene deeply 
agitated, applaudingly exclaimed, " I knew how 
my boy would decide." 

He entered the service as a volunteer at an 
early period, and in the summer of 1776, was ap 
pointed aid^de-camp to Major General Sullivan, 

MEMOIR. 101 

with the rank of major, served in that capacity in 
the battle of Long-Island, and was the only aid- 
de-camp with the general in that actior.,hr which 
the whole corps were dispersed, killed," or made 
prisoners, with very few exceptions . v Tho geiv 
eral fell into the enemy s hands, and Major Smith 
retired to the lines at Brooklyn, where he remain 
ed with General Washington until the retreat from 
the island, and was one of the last officers who 
quitted it, coming off with the commander in chief 
in his barge. 

Major Smith continued with General Wash 
ington, and retired with him from the city to the 
heights of Harlem. He brought off the garrison 
by orders from the commander in chief, on the 
15th September, from the fort commanding the 
passage through Hurl Gate, and opposed to the 
British batteries on the opposite shore, under a 
heavy and incessant fire. In the action on the 
16th September, on Harlem Heights, he served 
as aid-de-camp to Major Gen. Green, who com 
manded the advanced attack on the British, was 
wounded and fell from his horse on the field of 
battle at the close of the action, and was brought 
off the field by Col. Carey, aid-de-camp to the 
commander in chief, and Lieut. Joseph Webb, of 
the first Connecticut regiment. He remained un 
der the surgeon s hands at West Chester, until 
the landing of the British troops at Throgg s Neck 

102 MEMOIR. 

in October, when, with a corporal and six men, he 
cut away tha bridge connecting Throgg s Point 
wit|i^thtj ; -mafn, at the town of West Chester, 
which -checked^the progress of the British troops, 
\\tflo remained on the peninsula until the morning 
of Ithe lSth, when re-embarking, they crossed the 
outlet of East Chester creek, and proceeding to 
Pell s bridge, brought on a very severe skirmish 
with the advance corps of Sullivan s army, com 
manded by Cols. Glover and Sheppard - } when the 
enemy filed to their right, occupying New Ro- 
chelle and the adjacent country on the sound. 
Gen. Sullivan being exchanged, and in command 
on the heights of East Chester, commanding Pell s 
Bridge, Major Smith joined him in the action, 
from New Rochelle, where he was under the care 
of Dr. Bailey, his wound not well. He proceeded 
with his general to the action of White Plains, 
where his division continued under a severe fire 
nearly two days, covering the removal of the 
stores on the Plains, to the second position. 

While the enemy lay within commanding dis 
tance of the village, Major Smith, with a small 
detachment at night, destroyed all the forage in 
the village and its vicinity in front, and returned 
to his post. 

The British troops retiring to winter quarters, 
possessed themsel ves of Fort Washington on York 
Island, and Fort Lee on the Jersey shore. Sir 

MEMOIR. 103 

William Howe, throwing the right wing of his 
army into the Jersey, under command of Lord 
Cornwallis, Gen. Washington left Generals Lee 
and Sullivan with his troops, near the White 
Plains, and joined Gen. Green in front of the 
British army, but was obliged to submit to the 
pressure of the British, who, advancing in vigour, 
forced the commander in chief to place the Dela 
ware between the two armies, as the only barrier 
he could present, that would afford rest to his 
troops, harassed by the pressure of superior force, 
the badness of the roads, and the inclemency of 
the season. 

During this period, Gen. Lee gave Major Smith 
the charge of a flag of truce, with important des 
patches to Sir William Howe at New- York. Ma 
jor Smith proceeded to King s Bridge, the British 
advanced post, resided several days with the ene 
my, and returned to Gen. Lee, having transacted 
the business committed to his charge to his full 

In consequence of orders from head quarters, 
on the western banks of the Delaware, Gen. Lee 
crossed the Hudson, with an intention to rein 
force the main army. During this march Major 
Smith left Gen. Sullivan s family, and served as 
aid-de-camp to Gen. Lee, the commanding general. 
On Lee s capture at Baskenbridge, Smith rejoined 
Sullivan, and crossing the Delaware, encamped 

104 MEMOIR. 

at Newtown, the head quarters of the American 

Emboldened by this reinforcement. Washing 
ton re-crossed the Delaware on the night of the 
25th of December, and surprised the Hessians at 
Trenton, commanded by Col. Roll. In this mem 
orable action, Major Smith acted so conspicuous 
a part, entering the town with the advance troops 
\ /of Sullivan s division, taking possession of the 
Mill Bridge, and the commanding western branch 
of the mill stream, and subsequently, personally 
taking the commanding officer of the Hessians 
from his horse at the head of his troops, at the 
moment of surrender, that on the last of January, 
1777, Gen. Washington presented Major Smith 
with a lieutenant-colonelcy, as a mark of his par 
ticular consideration. 

After returning with the prisoners over the 
Delaware, General Washington gave Col. Smith 
the command of a flag of truce to proceed to 
Princeton, the then advanced post of the enemy 
in the Jerseys, with despatches arid money for 
Gen. Lee, then a prisoner at New-Brunswick, and 
to reconnoitre the enemy. 

This duty was performed with correctness and 
despatch. In the meantime the American army 
re-crossed the Delaware, and took post at Trenton, 
where Col. Smith rejoined the troops when re 
turning with his flag. The winter campaign was 

MEMOIR. 105 

re-opened with vigour, and the British were foiled 
in the Jerseys. 

Col. Smith retiring from camp on the recruit 
ing service, appeared in the field again at the 
head of a well appointed regiment, and joined 
Gen. Putnam on the eastern banks of the Hud 
son, at the time Sir Henry Clinton, after reducing 
forts Clinton and Montgomery, was pressing to 
Albany to relieve Burgoyne, then on the point of 
surrendering to Gates. Sir Henry being informed 
of the Convention of Saratoga, burnt Esopus, dis 
tressed the settlers on both banks of the Hudson, 
and returned to New- York. 

Colonel Smith being joined by the regiments of 
Henly and Jackson, of which as senior officer he 
took command, proceeded to White Marsh in 
Pennsylvania, and joined the army commanded 
by Gen. Washington. On the advance of the 
British from Philadelphia, threatening the right 
of the Americans, Col. Smith was posted on the 
right to defend an abatised bridge and mills. 
Upon the reconnoitre of the position, the British 
retired from the right, and presented themselves 
in front of the centre of the American line. Col. 
Smith was then called from the right, and ordered 
to occupy two large stone houses in front of the 
centre, and between the two armies, to abatis the 
houses with an adjoining orchard, and defend the 
post to the last extremity. The orders being exe- 

106 MEMOIR. 

cuted, and the troops posted, a close reconnoitre 
of position took place on the part of the enemy, a 
rapid movement from centre to left followed, but 
the position was not thought assailable, and the 
British army retired to Philadelphia. 

The Americans crossed the Schuylkill, and 
went into cantonments at Valley Forge. Col. 
Smith with the regiments of Lee, Henly, and 
Jackson, went into quarters at Lancaster, and in 
the spring marching to head quarters, was en 
trusted by the commander in chief with the com 
mand of the advance post at the Gulf Mills, six 
miles in front ; Col. Morgan with his riflemen, 
and Col. Kee with his legion extending to the 
right. He here commanded with vigilance and 
attention, until the evacuation of Philadelphia, 
when with his corps he entered that city under 
the orders of General Arnold, crossed the Dela 
ware, and overtook the British troops at Allen 
Town, hung on their rear with effect to the plains 
of Monmouth. Here 3000 picked men, under the 
command of Major General Lee, (he being then 
exchanged) were detached to attack the British, 
then in full march. Col. Smith, connected with 
Butler and Jackson, were ordered to the front, as 
the advanced corps of Lee s division, commenced 
the well known action on the plains of Monmouth, 
and aided in supporting it through the day. 

The British pursued their march to Middletown 

MEMOIR. 107 

Point, and proceeded to New- York. The Ameri 
can army took post at the White Plains, and Col. 
Smith was detached with his regiment to the at 
tack of Newport, in Rhode-Island, under the or 
ders of General Sullivan. After making good their 
landing on the island, his regiment was the ad 
vance corps of the army in approaching Newport, 
and lay in advance during the whole siege. For 
the security of the camp, 300 picked men were pla 
ced under the command of Col. Smith, and an 
equal number under Colonels Lawrence and Flue- 
ry, who were required to lay every night between 
the lines in such positions as their judgments di 
rected, to check a sortie, or prevent a surprise of 
the camp. When the siege was raised. Smith s re 
giment was the covering regiment of the retreat, 
and distinguished itself in the action on Wind 
mill Hill, supporting the position with vigour from 
sunrise until ten o clock, when the corps was 
relieved by other troops and ordered to retire 
for refreshment. The action continuing lightly 
through the day about 4 P. M. glowed with 
increased vigour a Hessian regiment having 
possessed themselves of a strong wall, Smith s 
regiment was ordered to advance and dispossess 
them ; this was done with alacrity, and the post 
sustained through the night. 

On the ensuing evening, General Sullivan, 
being under the necessity of evacuating the island, 

108 MEMOIR. 

selected four regiments to cover the retreat. Col. 
Smith commanded one of these, the orders being, 
in case of the enemy s advancing, that the action 
should be supported with determined vigour. 
The retreat was successfully conducted, and the 
troops went into winter quarters at Providence 
and the adjacent villages. Col. Smith was here 
detached with 400 men and took charge of the 
post at Updik s, Newtown, 25 miles in advance, 
which he supported through the winter. 

In the spring, General Sullivan being ordered 
take command of the western army, solicited 
and obtained General Washington s permission, 
that Col. Smith should accompany him on the 
expedition. General Hand, who commanded at 
Wyoming, called on the commanding general for 
aid, the savages closely besetting the garrison and 
village. Six strong companies of light infantry 
accordingly detached under the command of Col. 
Smith who, traversing the wilderness, arrived to 
the great joy of the inhabitants and the garrison, 
and encamping on the right of the fort, restored 
tranquillity to the settlement. 

The savages moving down the country, with 
an intention to interrupt the passage of the bat- 
teaux loaded with provisions and stores, at the 
Nesnepack falls, on the Susquehannah, Col. Smith 
was detached with 500 men to cover the passage, 
and convey the stores to the fort, the place of 
deposit. This was performed in five days, the 

MEMOIR. 109 

detachment and batteaux arriving in safety, the 
savages being totally defeated and their country 
laid waste, the troops went into cantonment in 
the vicinity of Morris Town, winter of 79 and 80. 

In the year 1777, when a part of the American 
army were on their march through the Jerseys, 
the roads being in a bad condition, the camp 
equipage, and the provision wagons were impeded 
for a considerable number of hours, which caused 
the advanced corps to halt ; and the commanding 
officer, Major General de la Fayette, growing im 
patient at the delay, called for Col. Smith, one 
of his aids-de-camp, to demand the cause. The 
General was very angry when informed that it 
was owing to the Quarter Master s forward wagon 
being stuck in the mud, and none in the rear 
could advance a step, until the provision wagon 
was dug out. 

This excuse so exasperated the General against 
the Quarter Master, that he rather hastily per 
haps, declared that he deserved to be hung. His 
aid replied, "if you will sign a warrant for that 
purpose, it shall be instantly executed." The 
warrant was drawn, but not executed, as the em 
barrassment in the passage had in the mean time 
been removed. 

On the opening of the next campaign, Col, 
Smith s regiment was ordered to the front, in con 
junction with three others, composing the Jersey 

110 MEMOIR. 

Brigade, and covered the country and towns of 
Newark and Elizabeth, until General Sterling, at 
the head of a strong column of British troops, 
crossing from Staten Island, took up their line of 
march to Springfield. Col. Smith began the action 
with this column at sunrise, and, aided by the first 
Jersey regiment, supported it until three in the af 
ternoon. General Sterling was disabled by the 
fire of the Pickett, on his first landing, and his 
army retired on the second night to Elizabeth- 
town point, and returned to Staten Island. In a 
short time, however, the enemy re-appeared under 
the command of General Knyphausen, who press 
ing as far as the first bridge of Springfield, which 
was supported by Col. Angel s regiment of Rhode 
Island. Col. Smith with the second Jersey regi 
ment was stationed at the second bridge, to cover 
the troops then in action at the first, with orders 
to support the post, until the army commanded 
by Greene should have completed its formation on 
the short hills in rear. This duty was performed 
with such spirit and brilliancy, that Col. Smith 
was honoured by the particular thanks of Generals 
Washington and Greene. 

After several ineffectual movements, the enemy 
again retreated to their islands, and the Ameri 
cans took post at Hackensack and the English 
neighbourhood. In this position, a corps of light 
infantry consisting of three thousand picked men, 


was formed into two brigades, under Brigadier 
Generals Hand and Poor, forming one division, 
commanded by Major General the Marquis de la 
Fayette. Col. Smith was appointed adjutant 
general of this corps, and served with it the ensu 
ing campaign, until the march of Lord Cornwal- 
lis into Virginia, and his taking post at York and 
Gloucester, determined General Washington to 
march from the Hudson and attack him. 

Col. Smith was then called by General Wash 
ington from the southern army, and appointed 
his aid-de-camp, in which capacity he served at 
the siege of York Town, and the surrender of 
Lord Cornwallis. On the surrender of York 
Town, Col. Smith was the officer by whom Lord 
Cornwallis and General O Hara were presented 
to the commander in chief, and to whom the di 
rection of the interior arrangement was commit 
ted. After passing the winter with the General 
at Philadelphia, he accompanied him to the Hud 
son, and was appointed to command the advanced 
post of the army at Dobb s Ferry. The General 
also appointed him Commissary General of pris 
oners, and stopped all communication by flag of 
truce with the enemy, fixing on the post com 
manded by Col. Smith, as the only channel of 
communication. This post was supported with 
dignity. Col. Smith visited the city of New- 
York, entered into the exchange of prisoners, and 

112 MEMOIR. 

after a residence of three weeks, completing the 
business to the satisfaction both of General 
Washington and Sir Guy Carlton, whose civili 
ties and attentions were extensive and pointed, he 
returned to his post. The ensuing spring open 
ing under the blessings of peace, a meeting was 
had between General Washington and Sir Guy 
Carlton, at the post commanded by Colonel 
Srniih, who introduced them to each other. Af 
ter the interview with the two Generals, Col. 
Smith was appointed by General Washington, 
one of the Commissioners to reside near Sir Guy 
Carlton, superintending the evacuation of the 
country. At the particular evacuation of New- 
York, Col. Smith was the acting officer of the 
day, relieved the British guards, and was the of 
ficer to whom the country was officially surren 

Peace being restored, among the first appoint 
ments of the Government, was that of Col. Smith 
by the votes of Congress, 36 out of 37 votes in 
his favour, as Secretary of Legation to the Court 
of Great Britain. 

In 1786, Mrs. Adams writes from London to 
her sister, Mrs. Cranch, thus : 

"Your niece is engaged to a gentleman worthy 
of her; one, whom you will be proud to take by 
the hand, and own as a nephew. I cannot pass 
a higher encomium upon him than to say, that 

MEMOIR. 113 

there is something in his manners, which often 
reminds me of my dear brother Cranch. With 
regard to his person, he is tall, stender, and a good 
figure, a complexion naturally dark, but made 
still more so by seven years service in the field, 
where he reaped laurels more durable than the 
tincture of a skin. 

He appears a gentleman in every thought, 
word, and action ; domestic in his attachments, 
fond in his affections, quick as lightning in his 
feelings, but softened in an instant ; his character 
is that of a dutiful son, and most affectionate 
brother. He trod the uncultivated wilds through 
the Indian country, and commanded a regiment 
under General Sullivan. As an officer, his char 
acter is highly meritorious ; as a citizen, he ap 
pears all that a man ought to be, who loves his 
country, and is willing to devote his talents to the 
service of it." 

" Her voice in counsel, in the fight her sword." 

Colonel Smith was married to the daughter of 
Mr. Adams on the 12th June, 1786, by the Bishop 
of Saint Asaph. 

During his residence abroad, he officially visit 
ed the Court of Lisbon, had a public audience 
with the Q,ueen, and arranged the public business 
committed to his charge, in a manner highly sat 
isfactory to his government. Upon the change 

114 MEMOIR. 

of the Constitution, and the return of Col. Smith 
from Europe, General Washington, then Presi 
dent of the United States, appointed him Marshal 
of the District of New- York; and subsequently 
Supervisor of the Revenue, which office he after 
some time resigned, and revisited Europe. 

After returning from his European visit, Col. 
Smith was appointed, when the country was 
threatened with an expected war, to command the 
troops of the State of New-York, and being joined 
by the regiments of Connecticut and New-Jersey, 
he commanded the brigade stationed at the Scotch 
plains. Upon the army being disbanded, he was 
appointed Surveyor and Inspector of the Customs 
and port of New- York. 

After the death of the Baron Steuben, who was 
the first President of the Cincinnati, Colonel 
Smith was unanimously elected to fill that office, 
which he held for many years. 

In 1808, he retired to a farm at Lebanon, Mad 
ison County, State of New- York, where he inter 
ested himself in agricultural pursuits, until 1813, 
when he was elected member of Congress to rep 
resent the 12th and 13th districts of the State of 
New- York. This situation he continued to fill 
until the year previous to his death, which took 
place at Lebanon, on the 10th of June, 18] 6, at 
the age of 61. 

During his residence at Washington, among 

MEMOIR. 115 

other letters to the editor, he addressed the fol 

Washington, June 25th, 1813. 


I was made very happy by the receipt of your 
letter of the 7th. I have enclosed two papers to 
your uncle ; they contain the proceedings of the 
last week. I am appointed a member of a com 
mittee, to inquire whether any, and if any, what 
provision ought to be made, for the more effectual 
protection of the northwestern frontier of the 
U. S. against the incursions of the savages, and 
other enemies? I am very apprehensive it is too 
late to consult on this subject. 

The British have landed from 1,500, to 2,000 
regular troops, below Norfolk ; and with five sail 
of the line, and attending frigates, sloops, and 
schooners, threaten the destruction of that impor 
tant city. Our great folks here of course are not 
on a bed of roses. 

It is a great blessing to us, my dear, that your 
unwearied attentions and assiduities have not im 
paired your health. Heaven will bless you, for 
these pointed and well-timed exertions ; they ex 
cite gratitude in my mind ; my affection and love 
for you cannot be increasd. 

I am your affectionate 

Father and Friend, 


116 MEMOIR. 

Admirable as was his character in every relation 
of life faithful as was the discharge of all his 
duties in the parental, it was perfection. 


Lieutenant Col. W. S. Smith, entered the ser 
vice of the United States at the commencement of 
the present war. In August, 1776, he was ap 
pointed aid-de-camp to Major General Sullivan, 
with the rank of Major in the Army. On the 1st 
of January, 1777, he was promoted to be a Lieut. 
Col. in one of the additional battalions raised by 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After which 
he had the honour of serving as Inspector and 
Adjutant General to the Corps of Light Infantry, 
under the command of Major General, the Mar 
quis de la Fayette, in the campaign 1779 ; and in 
the month of July, 1781, he was appointed aid-de 
camp to the Commander in chief of the American 
armies ; in all which military stations, he behaved 
with great fidelity, bravery, and good conduct. 
During the course of service, Col. Smith has had 
many opportunities of signalizing himself by his 
gallantry, intelligence, and professional knowl 
edge, in the several battles, enterprises, and sieges, 
at which he has been present, particularly in the 
actions on Long Island, and Harlem Heights, at 

* Extracted from the Diplomatic Correspondence, published by 
an Act of Congress, 1832. Vol. v. p. 372. 

MEMOIR. 117 

the siege of Newport, in the expedition under the 
order of Major General Sullivan, against the sav 
ages, in the battle of Springfield, where he com 
manded a regiment, the successful siege of York, 
in Virginia, where the army of Lord Cornwallis 
surrendered prisoners of war, arid on many other 
important occasions. In consequence of which, 
he hath merited my approbation and this testimony 
of his being a brave and valuable officer. 

Given under my hand and seal, at the head 
quarters of the American army, the twenty-fourth 
of June, 1782. 




London, Grosvenor Square, 

August 13, 1785. 


Your letter from Harwich, dated August 10, 
reached us upon the llth. We were very glad 
to hear of your arrival there, and continue to fol 
low you with our good wishes. 

When you tendered me your services, and ask 
ed my commands, I did not know you had any 
thoughts of returning by the way of Paris ; other 
wise 1 should have charged you with a few. I 
now write by Mr. Short, requesting your care of 
an article or two which Mr. Jefferson will be so 
good as to procure for me. 

Nothing new in the political world has taken 
place since you left us, but a fresh report by way 
of Minorca, that the Algerines had, upon the 13th 
of July, declared war against America. This I 


suppose is circulated now, in order to raise the 
insurance upon the few American vessels ready 
to sail. The report says that twelve of their 
ships are ordered to cruise in the Mediteranean 
for ours ; but it will probably be so long before 
this letter will reach you, that what is news now, 
will not be so then. 

I have taken the liberty, sir, of requesting Mr. 
Jefferson to introduce you to two gentlemen and 
ladies ; the first of the gentlemen is much es 
teemed in the world, for his patronage of the sci 
ences, and for his knowledge and skill in music 
and poetry; and the other for his notable exploits 
and heroism. One of the ladies is of a very ancient 
and noble family; she is eminent for her wisdom, 
and exceedingly fond of all those in whom she 
discovers a genius, and a taste for knowledge ; 
the other is a single lady, remarkable for her del 
icacy and modesty. As there is some talk of 
their coming to London, they may possibly ac 
company you here. There will be no difficulty 
on account of the language, as they speak one as 
perfectly as they do the other. 

I had some idea of mentioning a young gentle 
man of my acquaintance, whose manners are very 
insinuating, but as he does not always conduct 
himself with the prudence I could wish, and is 
very fond of becoming intimate, his company 
sometimes proves dangerous ; but Mr. Jefferson, 



who knows them all, 1 presume, will use his judg 
ment, and upon that you may safely rely. 

I hope you will not travel so rapidly as to omit 
your journal, for I promise myself much enter 
tainment from it upon your return. I presume 
that the family would join me in their regards to 
you, if they knew that I was writing ; yo.u will, 
from the knowledge you have of them, believe 
them your well wishers and friends, as well as 
your humble servant, 



London, May, 1787. 


I have written you only a few lines since your 
absence ; and those conveyed to you rather an 
unpleasing account, but you will find my letter 
attended with so many others of a different com 
plexion, that I hope it will not give you a mo 
ment s uneasiness. Mrs. Smith is now very well, 
and sitting here at the table, making herself a 
mourning bonnet, for the Princess Carolina Wil- 
helmina, whom neither she or I care a farthing 
for. What a farce this court-mourning isj and 
indeed most other European mournings out of 
the numerous tribe who wear the garb, how few 
sorrowful hearts does it cover. 



Mrs. Smith has given you the history of the 
bills, drawn by a certain house, which have been 
noted for non-payment, and the consequent flight 
of a gentleman and family to America. The 
amount of bills noted, Mr. Parker tells me, is a 
hundred thousand pounds; seventy-five thousand 
guilders for the payment of the June interest is a 
part. When this took place Mr. A. wrote to his 
friends, requesting their advice what step could be 
taken. In reply, they informed him that, in con 
sequence of delaying only two days, the adver 
tising the payment of the June interest, the obli 
gations had fallen two per cent., and would con 
tinue to depreciate, unless a new loan was opened. 
That money there was scarce, and could riot be 
obtained at less than eight per cent. ; that they had 
called the brokers together, stated the matter to 
them, and that his presence was necessary imme 
diately to save the honour and credit of the United 
States, as they must advance on their own ac 
count, until he could attend to sign the obliga 
tions. No time was to be lost, and at two day s 
notice the journey commenced. Mr. Cutting has 
gone as companion and secretary. On the 25th 
they sat out ; 1 have not yet heard of their arrival. 
This is a sad stroke, but there is less commotion 
here in consequence of it than could have been 
expected. The general idea is that the house 
will stand it, but I fear the contrary; and what 


Congress will say to the step taken I know not ; 
yet what else could be done ? Mr. B. has drawn 
a bill for three hundred and fifty pounds since you 
left us, or rather I believe it has been accepted 
since you left us. Mr. A. must protest any far 
ther drafts, should they come. Nothing certainly 
can be done for him with regard to his private af 
fairs, how muchsoever we may feel for his situa 
tion. I shall forward your letter last night receiv 
ed, by this day s post, as well as one received from 
Mr. Swanwich upon the same subject. So here 
we go up. and there we go down, as I sing to 
your boy every day, who grows so fat we can 
scarcely toss him. 

As to news here, I know of nothing worth com 
municating, except a bill which has passed, mak 
ing four free ports in the West Indies ; Kingston 
in Jamaica, St. George in Grenada, Mosea in Do 
minica, and Nassau in New Providence. I have 
not seen the bill, so cannot say whether America 
is the most unfavoured nation in it. I dare say 
they will find a way of being benefited by it. 

All is love and harmony here. The Royal 
Father and Son, are perfectly reconciled the one 
to give, and the other to receive. The household 
is again established, the jeweller in a hopeful way 
of receiving his thirty thousand debt, the confec 
tioner his seven, and even the spur maker his 


Mr. Hartley has just made me a morning visit. 
He has had a return of his disorder, though not 
so bad as before. He is going to write to you, 
therefore it is needless to say more about him, for 
if his pen is half as prolific as his tongue, he will 
not need an assistant. 

We are to have a large party to dine with us 
to-day, invited previous to Mr. A. s excursion ; I 
have engaged Mr. Shippen as an assistant. Of 
the number is Sir George Stanton and Mr. Hollis. 
I cannot tell how much we miss you ; in short if 
it was not for the boy. it would be dummy all. 

We begin to dine abroad again, and I hope to 
prevail with Mrs. Smith to go into the country 
for a little excursion, when Sir returns; but she is 
rather averse to the idea, and says without she 
had some one to go and see, she cannot find a 
pleasure in it. 

Remember me to Mr. Harrison when you meet. 
I have a most sincere esteem for him, and fre 
quently drink his health in the good wine which 
he procured for us. If any vessel should be 
bound for Boston, request the favour of him to 
ship two such casks of wine for that port, as he 
imported here for us, addressed to Isaac Smith, 
merchant, Boston, and draw his bill here for the 
payment of it. The sooner he does it the more 
agreeable to us. 

It is scarcely worth while to say a word about 


return, till at least you reach the place for which 
you sat out. So I waive that subject, only observ 
ing that the sooner it is, the more agreeable it 
will be to your affectionate friend, A. A. 

York House, Dover, April 26th, 1787. 

I dare say, my friend, when you receive this, you 
will think I have moved with great rapidity. 

There have but two things occurred on the road 
which are worth mentioning ; the one is my having 
met Mr. Rucker ; we stopped, jumped out of our 
carriages, I into the dust, and he out of it; he had 
a great coat on, and his beard he brought from 
Paris with him ; I wonder how it passed the cus. 
torn-house officers at this place, for they are as 
sharp as need be. As to the other, it happened 
between this and Canterbury ; but I must insist in 
the first place that you do not receive it as a Can 
terbury story. Well, silence gives, or at least in 
this instance must pass for, consent, which being 
granted, I proceed to this ignus fatuus. or Jack- 
o-lanthorn story. 

Curioni was perched, bolt upright, in front of 
the postillions, who were lashing their nags and 
clattering away, as if ten thousand musquetoes 
were after them, when behold, we found ourselves 
upon an extended plain, and the sable curtains of 


the night falling apace : what was to be done in 
this case ? Some would attempt an answer here, 
but I, like Will-o-the-Wisp, am above this, and 
proceed to tell you what I did I took out my 
little tin case, and with a match lighted the 
lamps. The horses stopped, Curioni rose perpen 
dicular and cried : " Sir, I begged them not to be 
alarmed, but the one to set down, and the other to 
drive on, that no one would hurt them." " Oh," 
said the postillion, "what s this?" "Phosphor," 
said I; crack went the whip, and they moved with 
such rapidity, it struck me they were anxious to 
arrive at some inhabited place, and wished them 
selves safe home again. I must not practise this in 
Spain or Portugal, or I may be detained. 


w. s. s. 


Calais, 27th April. 

I wrote you, my dear friend, the last evening 
from Dover, and I have now the pleasure of in 
forming you, that in twenty-four hours after I left 
Grosvenor Square, I entered this harbour in a 
French long-boat ; it being low water, the packet 
could not enter. You have passed here, and doubt 
less must have observed the different lines of char 
acter on the oppsite shores; they are legible; but, 
as Burke says, "it is difficult for those who run, 


to read them;" therefore I shall not attempt to de 
lineate them, lest I should expose myself to the 
observations of a lady, who I think is disposed to 
make some observations on life and manners as 
she passes ; and who having passed the same 
scenes, is fully competent to make every just and 
judicious comment. Can you turn to your jour 
nal, and let me know what is noted on this subject? 

A knock at the door enters a monk. Will you 
take a chair, monk? " I am much obliged, sir. you 
are very polite ; I take the liberty of waiting on 
you, sir, to wish you a good voyage and beg your 
attention to our convent." By all means, sir, I 
am happy in having it in my power to contribute 
my mite to the funds of so great, so good, and so 
benevolent an establishment tenez, Monsieur. 

Monk. "I am much obliged, the prayers of the 
convent will attend you, sir, on your route, and 
they will entreat le bon Dieu, that success may at 
tend your pursuits :" adieu, Monsieur. I spoke 
French immediately on my landing, and have 
been stammering at it ever since. 

The monk has spoiled my letter; Curioni has 
not yet arrived, and it rains too hard for me to go 
out to look after him or the vessel : they will not 
be here one moment sooner for my getting wet 
and satisfying my curiosity. Patience is a virtue, 
and I will nourish it. Yours, 

W. S. B. 



Roye, in Picardy, April 27th, 1787. 
On Friday evening, I wrote you from Calais, 
No. 2, as soon as I had sufficiently recovered from 
the indisposition which crossing a rough water 
generally occasions ; and having taken the route 
to Paris by the way of St. Omar s, I now write 
from the town of Roye, in Picardy, about twenty 
miles southeast, or further inland than Amiens : 
and I cannot recollect any other circumstance 
than a prospect of meeting you, my dear, on the 
route, that could induce me ever to travel the lower 
road again. If you permit your imagination to 
draw the most pointed contrast possible, touching 
the two extremesof charming and disagreeable, and 
connect the former with the route I am on, and al 
lotting to and closely connecting the latter with the 
journey through Boulogne, Abbeville, Amiens, 
&c., you may form some idea of the difference. As 
for myself, I do not recollect ever passing a more 
agreeable country, as to the general face of it ; arid 
it is under as high cultivation as the present ge 
nius of the government will admit ; you traverse 
it on ires beaux chemins, on either side of which 
the eye is gratified with fields fertile en bles 
and abondant en paturages, en lin, en houblon 
in their proper seasons. I lodged at Arras last 
night ; it is the capital of the province of Artois in 


the French Netherlands, and remarkable for its 
fine tapestry. On this day s journey, by the way 
side I shot, and am now possessed of, four fine par 
tridges and a pigeon, on which I propose to dine 
at Paris to-morrow. But in addition to these agree 
able mixtures of a little sport with rapid move 
ments, I passed through the noted town of Pe- 
ronne, in Picardy, situated on the river Somme. 
It is remarkable for being the place where Louis 
the XI of France, had an interview with Charles 
Duke of Burgundy, and though of a suspicious, 
wary, and remarkably cautious temper, he in this 
case committed his person and his crown ; and 
Charles after keeping him confined in the castle 
for three days in doubt what course to pursue, re 
leased him on certain humiliating conditions. 
Whether it would have been happier for this king 
dom, that Charles should have taken such an ad 
vantage of the situation of Louis as to have de 
prived him of the crown, I will not take upon me 
to decide. It is however clear that he overturned 
the power of the Barons, and brought the interests 
of the kingdom nearly to a point. But every art 
of his reign was marked either with real or in 
tended perfidy. The traits in his character which 
come under the column of virtue, are only those 
of "policy and artifice ;" and his vices being those 
of the " disposition and of the heart," form a long 
catalogue, unnecessary to be forwarded to Eng- 


land. I gazed on the tower which held him, with 
a pensive mind, and then moved to the gate where 
the famous Count de St. Pol was delivered up to 
Louis, by order of the Duke of Burgundy, and 
carried to Paris and beheaded. These affairs took 
place in the latter part of the fifteenth century, and 
are interesting as forming links in the great chain 
of the History of those days, and give an addi 
tional pleasure in traversing these kingdoms, to 
those who have looked back into history, and who 
are disposed to contemplate the past and the pre 
sent, and look to the future with the pleasing pros 
pect of improvement. It is rendered very evident 
that the o-eneral situation of man is rendered better. 


Society has greatly improved, and individuals are 
sheltered from private and personal injury, by the 
establishment of just and equitable laws. These 
points did not operate on this theatre at the periods 
mentioned ; and the reign of Louis the XI, was 
more strongly marked with oppression, private 
murder, public execution, and general injustice, 
than that of almost any other prince whom history 
mentions. But why do I run wild after the vices of 
antiquity ; or why have I painted them to you ? 
Perhaps it arises from my being on the spot where 
these things were transacted. 


w. s. s. 



Paris, April 28th. 

I wrote you last night from Roye, and agreea 
ble to my intention then expressed, I dined at this 
place. Having before I left London informed Mr. 
Short of my intention of putting up while here, 
either with him or very near him. I ordered the 
postillion from St. Dennis, to the Hotel de L Amer- 
ique. I found a very polite note from Short, ex 
cusing his absence, and begging me to rely on the 
politeness of Pettit until his return, which will be 
in the morning. I alighted and found everything 
arranged for my accommodation. 

Having killed eleven partridges, I made quite a 
figure as a sportsman on my entrance. On my 
arrival at the several posts, I got out, left Curio 
to change the horses, and taking my large pistols, 
advanced on the road, and twice or three times 
had killed a brace, before the carriage overtook me. 

This night I suppose the gentlemen have re 
turned from Portsmouth. 

After I have seen Madame de la Payette, the 
Marquis, ajid the Count Sarsefield, perhaps I shall 
be able to give you some Parisian news : but now 
I have seen no one. and am alone in the house ; 
Curio has gone to see his friends in the city, and 
Pettit has made his bow for the night. It is time 
for rne to close this fourth article. Yours, 

w, s. s. 



Paris, May 5th, 7 o clock, P. M. 

In the first place I dined with our friend the 
Marquis, the day after my arrival ; and he express 
ed a great anxiety, nay insisted upon my seeing 
him at Versailles on Wednesday. I did so ; and 
rinding a great deal of interesting matter on the 
carpet relative to my country, was induced to 
stay, until this day, which I have spent with 
him. Our dinner was so perfectly to my taste, 
that I must give you a small sketch of it. 

There were only us two ; the table was laid 
with great neatness. By the side of each was 
fixed, (I ll call it) a dumb waiter. On which 
was placed half a dozen clean plates, knives and 
forks, and a small bell in the one near the Mar 
quis, and the servants retired. The first course 
being over, he rung the bell and it was removed 
for the second. Thus we spent an hour and a 
half with great ease and friendship; not incom 
moding the servants, nor being subject to their 
inspection. Indeed the arrangement was charm 
ing; and being so, I know my friend will recollect 
it hereafter. Exclusive of the disagreeable circum 
stance of having servants hearing the conversa 
tion, I feel some pain always while at dinner, or 
rather I feel myself hurried and that my in 
feriors in that situation, may be as soon relieved 


as possible. I endeavour to expedite the affair 
that they may be dismissed, and every day when 
they attend I experience the same feeling. Now T 
am travelling I act myself on this subject; I get my 
dinner in peace, and Curio is attended by the do 
mestics ; he is welcome, and perhaps is pleased 
with it. For myself, I shall always nourish a dis 
position to treat my equals with friendship and 
civility, and those whose stations in life are su 
perior to mine, exactly as their conduct towards 
me merits, or their virtues demand ; but to those 
whom fortune has placed in the inferior grade, I 
will, in as few instances as possible, make them 
sensible of their inferiority, or take advantage of 
my station ; but enough of this. You will, my 
dear, communicate to your papa, that the non-pay 
ment of the interest of the debt due from America 
to France, has produced a disagreeable sensation ; 
but that in the report of the committe at Versailles, 
on Wednesday last, on the resources and expecta 
tions of the kingdom, that point was touched with 
the greatest delicacy possible ; they nourish a dis 
position to confide in the justice of our country, 
but they could not register that debt in the column 
of certain revenue ; this is disagreeable. I find 
also, an arret published relative to their West In 
dia trade, which in the article of salt fish, puts us 
upon a worse footing there, than we have hitherto 
been ; it was published in February last, and it 


is expected by our friends here, will in some de 
gree interfere with that lucrative branch of eastern 
commerce. I also, to my great surprise, find that 
Monsieur De Calenne s letter of the 22d of October 
last, to Mr. Jefferson, on the subject of the Amer 
ican trade, is not yet passed the Council, and of 
course those who sail from our country, in expec 
tation of its produce being received here agreeably 
to the statement of that letter, will be disappointed ; 
some already have experienced the inconvenience 
of its not having passed. This, if not speedily 
remedied, will produce a disagreeable sensation. 
Monsieur Evorqueux the comptroller general, re 
tired from office yesterday morning, and it is ex 
pected Monsieur de Villedeuel, late intendant of 
Rouen, will be appointed. He is said to be an 
honest, sensible man, a friend of the Marquis de la 
Fayette ; who in conjunction with the Archbishop 
of Toulouse, President of the Council of Finance, 
ai;d Minister of State, are expected to act upon 
every American question, on a more enlarged sys 
tem than has hitherto been ; and the latter said 
yesterday, that the first moment the Council could 
find time to take up the subject, it (viz. Mr. de 
Calenne s letter,) should be registered, and those 
who had been under the necessity of paying duties 
on articles there enumerated, should have their 
money returned, (fee. (fee. In short, from the 
changes which have taken place in the cabinet of 
this court, America has better prospects in the 


line of commerce and friendship than heretofore. 
The Archbishop of Toulouse is virtuous, humane, 
and enlightened. Monsieur de Villedeuel is con 
fided in by him; Monsieur Montmorin is well dis 
posed towards America, and they all respect and 
esteem Lafayette, who stands in a most enviable 
point of view in the national mind; so that though 
the letter referred to has not had the effect intend 
ed relative to the alteration of duties in the ports 
frequented by Americans, there is every reason to 
expect it will take place in a few days ; and there 
does not seem to be a doubt but Honfleur will be 
also made a free port ; it is situated at the mouth 
of the River Seine, opposite to Havre de Grace. 
I hope my friend will not be tired with this polit 
ical detail, and that she will be pleased to inform 
her papa, that I think information of this kind, 
contained in a letter addressed to you, will pass 
better guarded from curiosity and inspection, than 
if addressed to His Excellency, &c. The Marquis 
tells me he had wrote a long letter, containing a 
statement of an ambitious project, and that he re 
quested you to reserve it until my return, should 
I be absent when it arrived I have given him 
assurances of its being sacred. I have been once 
to the theatre to see the famous tigers. There 
has an astonishing change taken place in the the 
atres of France ; the two last times I was here, I 
was pleased with the display of female beauty ; 
but upon my word, I have not seen a handsome 


woman since I have been in the kingdom. Per 
haps I shall see some in Spain or Portugal no, 
there they wear veils. Adieu. Yours, 

w. s. g. 


Blois, Thursday evening, May 10th or llth. 


I am well, and wrote No. 5 from Paris on the 
6th inst. since which I have been silent. The 
place I now write from is situated on the Loire, 
and I think in the Province of Orleans. I put 
up a little before seven, that I might inform my 
Amelia of my progress, and have an opportunity 
of viewing this town, so renowned in history. 
But before I say anything of it, I must observe, 
that in this day s journey I have been vastly de 
lighted with the general face of the country, and 
having lodged at Tours last night, I passed 
through the noted city of Orleans this morning. 
It is beautifully situated on the Loire, over which 
a very magnificent bridge is cast, presenting nine 
lively, extensive arches. It strikes me as a well- 
built and well-arranged town, considering its an 
tiquity : but I find other travellers have received 
other impressions, and have painted it in other 
colours. In its main street is erected the famous 
monument of Charles the Seventh, and the Maid 
of Orleans ; whose history I suppose you are in 
some degree acquainted with. She made her ap- 


pearance in the year 1429, while the city was be 
sieged by the English, and while Charles was on 
the point of giving up all hopes of being able to 
raise it, and meditated a disgraceful retreat; this 
village girl roused the desponding spirits of her 
countrymen, seized the Royal standard, and led 
the troops on to conquer ; and by actions as bril 
liant as any which history records of the greatest 
veterans, established the crown on the brow of 
her sovereign, which before her appearance was 
tottering to its fall. She first showed herself under 
the title of Joan of Arc, and after the action refer 
red to, was known by the name of the Maid of Or 
leans. The famous circumstance took place on the 
present month, which, with a little aid of imagi 
nation, I improved, run through the various scenes, 
and casting several animated glances over the 
fields and round the works, I felt as if but you 
wish those feelings not to be encouraged, so we ll 
let them pass undescribed but when you consid 
er the reverence I have for great and glorious ac 
tions, actions capable of producing happiness to 
thousands, and protecting the injured and op 
pressed, you may possibly form some idea of my 
feelings, when I tread the ground where heroes 
for ages past, have fought and bled. But I 
must beg you will not let your imagination run 
too far on this subject, lest by the time I get into 
Spain, you may fancy that I am mounted on 
Rosinante, pacing after adventures. The idea 


has induced me to rise and consult the glass. It 
is so. I am in reality, (and before I have reach 
ed the Don s Theatre) become the Knight of the 
Woeful Countenance, and I am here I have rea 
son. I took a solitary walk before night, to an old 
and decayed castle, over-grown with moss, and 
labouring with a solemn gloom, as if the very 
battlements themselves were conscious of the 
scenes which have been transacted within its 
walls. In this place the Duke of Guise fell a 
victim to the vengeance of Henry the Third, and 
the Cardinal, his brother, shared the same fate. Is 
abella of Baria, and Mary of Medicis, two queens, 
were here imprisoned. Valenica of Milan, Anne 
of Bretagne, and her daughter Claude, and the 
famous Catharine of Medicis, finished their days 
within these walls. On the other hand, Louis 
the Twelfth, a great and good prince was born 
here, and the nuptials of Margaret of Valois, sis 
ter to Francis the First and Margaret the Second, 
wife to Henry the Fourth, were also solemnized. 
I walked through the several apartments alone un 
til near dark. It is magnificent in ruins, and may 
be considered as a column, capable of presenting to 
the mind interesting pictures of the transactions of 
three or four hundred years back, provided that 
mind is disposed to retrospect and contemplate. 
There are tales related about transactions in this 
castle which would chill your young blood, and an 
swer no end for me to relate, for I am a professed 


enemy to sorrow and sadness. I find the face of Na 
ture on the banks of this river smiles ; the whole 
country has signs of wealth and plenty but the 
inhabitants in general, do not appear as if they 
enjoyed the fruits of it. I look with an eye of 
superior compassion on the lower classes, and 
particularly the females in that grade. They 
seem to bear the heat and burthen of the day, as 
sisted by some old man ; the young ones who are 
good for any thing, are king s men, and wear 
his livery. I could enter deeply into the chapter 
of lamentations if I dare, but I must have room 
to beg you will present me respectfully to Sir and 
to mamma. w. s. s. 


Bordeaux, May 14th, Monday, 1787. 

I wrote No. 6 from the famous city of Blois, in 
the county of Orleans, on Thursday night last, the 
llth inst., and gave you a very lame account of 
it and its history but that you cannot help 
since which I have passed, and it is needless to 
say rapidly, through the counties of Touraine, 
Poitou, Angoumois, and with a whizzing kind of a 
humming brain, find myself comfortably seated 
in the Hotel of the Grand Emperor, in the famous 
city of Bordeaux, on the River Garonne, which 
falls into the Bay of Biscay, and is called the 
Capital of Bourdelois, Guienne, and Gascony. It 


carries on an extensive trade, chiefly in wines, and 
the river is now well filled with ships, and I have 
sent Curio to find out whether there are any from 
America ; if there are, what are the names of the 
captains, where they are bound to, and when they 
sail, &c. &c. I do not recollect that I have given 
my friend an account of the mode in which I get 
along. I get a cup, or two, or three, or four, of 
tea, at or about six, every morning before I start, 
and after I am shaved and combed, for I find I 
cannot, even when alone and in a country where 
I am not known from Adam without the s 
alias the husband of Eve get over this trick of 
doing myself up before I take my tea. Finding 
myself now wound up, that is to say, ready to go, 
I get into this gig, (a neater never run the roads 
of France) and continue going as if you, my dear, 
was to be found at the end of the day s journey, 
until night drops her curtain, which is about 8, 
P. M. The last stage, Curio takes a horse, and 
arriving about an half hour before me, I find a 
chamber well arranged, and the table laid for 
dinner, which being served and eat, bed dressed 
and warmed, I generally get asleep by ten, and 
up again at five, go the same career. I find I can 
thus without the least difficulty, take as much rest 
as I want, and travel from 80 to 100 miles a day. 
Indeed I have thus far passed on lightly, and have 
not encountered one disagreeable circumstance, 
nor been put once out of humour ; in short, I am 


more and more convinced, that nineteen twenti 
eths of the disagreeables and inconveniences of 
life arise from the powers of the imagination, 
which, agreeably to Mr. Jennings, always stand 
ready in the absence of real misfortune, to plague 
and torment the man, (and I suppose the lady too) 
who will permit himself to be made the dupe of 

You mention the arrival of Messrs. Norris and 
Fox, and the receipt of the Marquis letter. I 
think I am before you on the subject of a proper 
confidence, as one of my letters from Paris will 
show you. Well, there is a satisfation in gener 
osity which none but the generous know. 

I had got thus far by seven o clock, when Mr. 
French came to pay his respects. He seemed 
disposed to be easy and pleasant : it put me in 
good humour, and as I had been most scrupulous 
ly silent for six days, I gave a loose to my tongue, 
and was so very agreeable that the little gentle 
man, at a half past ten, attempted to apologize for 
the length of his visit, but said he scarcely knew 
how to go. Well thinks I this is too barefaced, 
to set three hours and a half on the first visit, and 
then go with reluctance, it s a polite thing enough. 
I am to be with him to-morrow, at the time the 
post arrives to receive another letter, but it will 
not be answered with this, for it leaves me in the 

Sweet is the lovely blush of orient morn, and 


the smooth surface of the blue serene in ocean s 
mirror sweet the fragrant earth arrayed in ver 
nal bloom, pleasant the stream rolling its grateful 
tide after soft showers, and other visions the gay 
mind could dream ; but neither orient morn 
"when she ascends with charm of earliest dawn," 
nor blue serene on the unruffled forehead of the 
deep, nor vernal earth, nor river s swelling pride, 
nor all those visions the gay mind could dream, 
so sweetly ravish the delighted eye, or bathe the 
soul in bliss so exquisite, as the far-beaming 
light from infant heir to the fond parent, whose 
yearning heart, full many a day has pined in 
deep despair. Oh how I long to amuse the 
boy, and clasp his tender mother to my bosom ; 
to see him smile, and find her deeply interested 
in the scene, has charms for me beyond the power 
of language to describe. Remember me to papa 
and mamma ; kiss Steuben for me, and be 
lieve me your affectionate friend and lover, 

\v. s. s. 


May 19th, 1787, 7 o clock, evening. 


I wrote No. 7 from this on the 14th and 15th, 
since which I have been engaged in examining 


the ancient curiosities of the place, and paying 
some attention to modern improvements. With 
that I was done yesterday, and Curio having got 
every thing ready for moving, I should have set 
off this morning agreeably to my intentions when 
I left Paris, hut having received a letter from Old 
Harrison, that Mr. Carmichael had forwarded by 
the post a royal passport, and some letters of in 
troduction to his friends on the route to Madrid, 
I have thought best to wait the arrival of the post, 
as those papers may possibly be of some service 
on the road. But another, and not less powerful 
reason, reconciled me to the delay and that is, 
that it is probable I shall have the pleasure of re 
ceiving No. 2 from my Amelia. The receipt of 
No. 1 being fully answered, I shall not say any 
more on that, and shall take the opportunity of the 
necessary halt which must be made at Bayonne, 
for the purpose of getting mules and Spanish 
money, to inform my friend of my arrival, after 
which perhaps it may not be in my power to for 
ward another until my arrival at Madrid ; but of 
this I cannot be certain. No. 7 was filled up I do 
not now know how, but I believe it took two sheets, 
and I have no copy, but as far as my recollection 
serves me, it did not touch upon my route from 
Orleans or any thing like it. 

It is not necessary to trouble you with a list of 
the towns or villages I passed through. I shall 
content myself with observing that after passing 


through the city of Orleans, we bid adieu to the 
paved roads ; this was a very agreeable circum 
stance to me, and particularly so to Curio, whose 
seat on the front wheels became more easy than 
before. This route is most delightful ; it con 
tinues close to the Loire for the greatest part of 
two day s journey, and runs the same course to 
Nantes. But taking the route to Bordeaux, you 
cross at Tours a very beautiful bridge, and pas 
sing through the town by a very handsome street 
lately built, you continue in the province of Tou- 
raine, pleased with the fineness of the country and 
the apparent industry of the inhabitants ; but this 
gradually lessens as you leave this delightful 
stream. The night after I wrote you from Blois, 
I put up at Ingrande, an ancient town on the point 
of being modernized. It is situated on the river 
Greuse, and the first town after you enter the 
province of Poitou. You will observe here that 
there is a town of the same name, through which 
the line which divides Bretagne from Anjou runs, 
but you must not suppose that I got there, or that 
I am easily turned from the path which I ought 
to keep. Supposing that you will not complain 
of my haste, I shall conduct you to the upper part 
of the same stream, which, extending its arms, 
forms a point on which the capital of the province 
stands, and bears the name of Poictiers. It was 
from this town that the battle took its name which 
was fought between Edward of England, com- 


monly called the Black Prince, and John, King of 
France. It was in the year 1356 ; the French 
king, and his son Philip were both taken prison 
ers, and the slaughter of the French was said to 
be immense. It was the father of this daring 
youth, who having ascended the throne of Eng 
land in 1327, assumed the title of King of France 
in 1340, quartered the arms of France with his own, 
and added that motto which they still retain, viz. 
Dieu et mon droit- 

In this reign, (that is in the reign of Edward 
III,) the Prince of Wales had the title of Duke 
given to him, and ever since that period, the eld 
est son of the King of England is, by birth, Duke 
of Cornwall ; and it is from this circumstance 
that I never could reconcile the present embar 
rassment of the Prince of Wales, for the revenues 
of Cornwall are estimated low at thirty or forty 
thousand a year. At his birth, the revenues of the 
dukedom, (from this circumstance,) became his 
property ; and during his minority, I suppose the 
annual produce to have been received, and that 
they ought to have been reserved and accumula 
ted for him, unless Edward should have stipulated 
that during the minority of the Duke, his father, 
as King of England, should enjoy the revenue, and 
that this circumstance was tacked to the inherit 
ance. But from those which are the foundation 
of this liberality, on the part of the third Edwaid, 
I do not think it probable any such stipulations 



were made. But flattering myself that you will 
be able to give me some account of this matter 
when I return, with your leave I will drop the 

I ask your pardon, I will never, (I think) put 
it in your power, my friend, to say I am backward 
in doing justice to the sex, as I am upon a rapid 
journey. Rapid when I do move, but sometimes 
stationary out of curiosity, for the purpose of ma 
king arrangements for a further progress, or kept 
in check by the misfortunes of others. 

We will now, in the service of the fair a ser 
vice under the banners of honour and virtue, 
which I reverence superlatively skip over a tri 
fling period of a little better than two centuries, 
and say a few words in panegyric of Diana of 
Poitiers, Dutchess of Yalentinois. She shone like 
a star of the first magnitude during the reign of 
Henry II of France, in the year 1547. She may 
be said to have divided the crown with her lover 
and extended her personal and political influence 
to heights unexampled. She is said to have 
been the directing principle of Henry s councils, 
the object of his tenderest attachment, and unlimi 
ted homage. Historians acknowledge her charms 
to have been of the most captivating kind, and 
worthy of a monarch s love. Henry could not 
boast of the capacity or discernment of his prede 
cessor Francis I ; he was naturally tractable and 
complying, and, of course, subject to the guidance 


of others ; and under the influence of this lady, 
he was impelled to actions of vigour and firmness. 
In short, this, and almost every other circumstance 
fully proves to me of what importance a lady may 
make herself, and how far she is capable of 
moulding the character, and gently directing the 
man who loves her, if she chooses to make use of 
her power by a winning softness, and by nour 
ishing every disposition to please. There is no 
saying what can bound her power, or interfere 
with her pursuits. I must acknowledge myself 
a friend to their administration, excepting only 
when their power is founded on vicious princi 
ples, and runs a career inconsistent with the prin 
ciples of strict virtue and morality. This, Diana 
could not boast of, and therefore, agreeable to the 
present improved plans of social life, Henry les 
sens in estimation, and bears a blotori his escutch 
eon, which I cannot drive from my view when 
taking a retrospect of his reign and character. 
For though as a father he was affectionate, and as 
a friend warm and animated, still as a husband he 
can only be said to have been decent and polite. 
Previous to the death of Francis I, and during the 
reign of Henry, Diana of Poitiers retained her pow 
er, and displayed it in proportion to the extension of 
that of the king s. But on the accession of Fran 
cis II, the celebrated Catherine of Medicis, whom I 
have mentioned in a former letter, and was the 
wife of Henry, rendered it necessary for Diana to 


retire, and end that life in a degree of obscurity, 
which had been passed in unexampled splendour. 
But Catherine did not lessen the dignity of her 
character by too great a severity. On the con 
trary, Diana acknowledged the politeness of the 
queen, and left her free to direct the councils of 
the young king, who was placed on the throne at 
sixteen years of age. 

He run a confused career, and very short, 
scarcely having time to discover any striking lines 
of character. 

Voltaire says he was equally ignorant of virtue 
as of vice. But why should I plague my Amelia 
with such a detail ; I only intended to have filled 
this sheet when I began, but I know not how 
to leave her ; if they afford her a little amuse 
ment in the perusal I shall be pleased. I find 
myself never better entertained than when I am 
writing to her, and therefore I must beg she will 
indulge me a little, and permit me to take only 
one half sheet more. It will lead her through the 
remaining part of the province of Poitou, still de 
preciating in soil and agriculture, and enable her 
to trace the path of her friend for that day, (on the 
map,) and find him at dinner at 10 o clock at night, 
in the city of Angouleme,the capital of Angoumois. 
This province gave birth to the far-famed Count 
d Angouleme, afterwards the noted Francis I, who 
I have before mentioned. He is said to have been 
eloquent in the cabinet, and courageous in the 


field. He was great in arts and in arms and 
your papa will with pleasure give you the out 
lines of his character, as it is drawn by his fa 
vourite author Guichiardini ; the portrait is flat 
tering, and by giving a line it may be easily found. 
" Delle virtu, della mag nanimite dells ingegno, 
et spirito generoso di costui, s haveva universal- 
mente tanta sperranzza, fyc. 

The roads continue the same, and the country 
grows worse, until you enter the generality 
of Bordeaux. I passed the line with glowing 
wheels, and having crossed the river Dordogne 
which joins the Garonne at Bourg, put up for the 
night at the hotel of Count D Artois, in the village 
of le Carbon Blanc, one post and a half from Bor 
deaux. The night overtook me here, and finding 
the ferry at the last river not pleasant, I thought 
it most prudent not to attempt the passage of the 
other without daylight. I found the inn, that is, 
the room where I lodged, neat and I aree with 

O * & 

you that in travelling through France, you are 
much better accommodated with beds than in any 
part of England through which I have passed. 
I indulged myself a little in the morning, and 
arrived at Bordeaux at 11 o clock, and shall bid 
adieu to it to-morrow. 

I leave Mr. Barclay behind ; he had been here 
near a fortnight before I arrived, having left 
Madrid in December last. By my letter to your 


papa which accompanies this, you will find how 
his affairs stand. 

Heaven bless and protect you my dear. 

Adieu. Yours sincerely, 

w. s. s. 

Bayonne, Sunday Night, 11 o clock, 

May 20th, 1787. 

I wrote my friend yesterday from Bordeaux ; I 
am now halfway to Bayonne, and propose being 
there to-morrow night. I have passed this day 
through the worst country I ever saw. I have bid 
adieu to rapid movements, but will endeavour to 
make up for it, byearly rising and industry. I have 
not been here above five minutes, and E begin to 
chat with my Amelia ; while she, good, quiet soul, 
is sleeping as sound as I shall be, as soon as I 
get my dinner. The whole house seems engaged 
on that subject at present, except an old woman 
who has just entered, and is proceeding to arrange 
my bed. The room is paved with square brick, 
and she poor thing has wooden shoes on, and clat 
ters about at a rate that rather interrupts than oth 
erwise. The whole of this day s journey has been 
through a barren, flat, sandy country, very rarely 
producing any thing but pine shrub. The few 
people that I see appear stout and healthy ; and 
the men in general, when they travel, that is, go 
ten, twelve, or twenty miles, mount themselves 


upon stilts about two or three feet high, and get 
along at an amazing rate ; they seem to move with 
ease, and to be no way s embarrassed by them. To 
see three or four of these animals moving towards 
you over a distant plain, has a very singular ap 
pearance ; it brought to my mind the feats of Tom 
Thumb, and my ears tingled \vithfeefawfum. 
If you had been with me, I think I should allowed 
myself to have been diverted ; as I was poor crea 
ture alone, I looked, thought, and was amused 3 but 
it did not extend to diversion. To give you an 
idea how a man of six foot must be elevated thus 
equipped, I will only say, that a boy whose head 
if he had stood on the ground, would not have 
overlooked the nave of the hind wheel, came strid 
ing up while I was changing horses, to ask for a 
sous. His face was nearly on a level with the 
top of the carriage, so that I looked up at him and 
inquired the cause of his application, he stammer 
ed and had not a sufficient appearance of poverty 
to justify me in complying with his request ; I 
told him so, and begged his permission to save it 
for some boy who might want it more ; if you 
please Monsieur L Comte, says he. Where he 
got that idea from I cannot tell, (for by all that s 
handsome, and when a gentleman swears by his 
wife he ought to be believed,) I had neither cross, 
eagle, owl or ribbon, not even to my hair. Perhaps 
while the men in this district play the giant, the 
women play the witch, and make discoveries and 


tell the boys. I wrote your papa yesterday, and 
said that Mr. Barclay was in prison; it was true ; 
he was put there on Tuesday last as I stated, 
and for the reasons named, and to my very great 
astonishment made his appearance yesterday at 
half past two, at my quarters, and said he had 
come to dine with me. The addition to my din 
ner was soon made, and he informed me that the 
Parliament of Bordeaux had released him, in 
consequence of his public character, not as con 
sul, but as envoy to Morocco on his return to 
Paris, the place from whence he departed. It has 
made a great talk ; both his imprisonment and 
his release ; I am apprehensive it will not end 

21st, and it is Monday night, .half past nine 
just got in again I have been engaged in my 
journey this day, fourteen hours ; I feel not the 
least inconvenience. Yours, 

w. s. s. 

May 25th, 1787, 9 o clock, night. 
Kingdom of Spain, and Old Castile is the pro 
vince, and I am seated in a good inn on the banks 
of the river Ebro, which falls into the Mediterra 
nean about twelve miles from Victoria, and have 
got safely over those mountains, which I informed 
my friend in No. 9. from Bayonne on the 22d, I 


should attack in the morning. The difficulties 
which I am to encounter on this tour are yet to 
show themselves ; but finally I suppose they will, 
as all others appear less in reality than in imagi 
nation. I have hitherto been very well fed, and 
well lodged ; it is a plentiful country, and if a 
person does not carry a disposition to be pleased 
with him, the disposition of the people to serve 
and accommodate, will very probably create it as 
he advances, unless he takes pains to shut it out. 
I write this in great haste, a little disposed for 
sleep, having arose at three this morning and been 
busy all day in getting forward. The same time 
to-morrow will find me in motion ; indeed I shall 
never be at rest until I am with my friend. I pro 
pose being in Madrid on Thursday or Friday next, 
when I will take a day or two to say more. Two 
English gentlemen who put up at the same posada, 
will take this with them ; and dinner being now- 
brought in, 1 must bid my love adieu ; remember 
me to mamma. 

I am most affectionately your friend, &c. 

w. s. s. " 


Madrid, May 31. 

I intended to have continued on this sheet, my 
letter from Bayonne, No 9, but the gentleman to 
whom I was addressed, having arrived to make 


the necessary arrangements for my departure, I 
was obliged to put up a hasty prayer for my 
Amelia, and conclude, having scarcely room left 
to sign my name. I have now the pleasure of 
informing my friend that agreeable to my inten 
tions expressed in the letter referred to, I left Bay- 
onne early on the morning of the 23d, and while 
the muleteer and Curio took a hasty bit at St. 
Jean De Lur, by way of breakfast, I ate some 
strawberries and bread in the carriage, after which 
proceeding to the river Bidassoa, and having 
crossed it, found myself in the kingdom of Spain 
at 12 o clock and perhaps landed on the very 
spot where the Dauphin of France, and Henry 
Duke of Orleans disembarked, when their father, 
Francis I, on the 18th of March, 1526, delivered 
them to the Emperor Charles V, as hostages for 
his fulfilment of the treaty which he had signed 
at Madrid, and which he never intended, (indeed 
it was not in his power) to have complied with ; 
it however produced his enlargement. Histori 
ans give a very minute account of this exchange 
of a king for his two sons ; and it is remarked as 
a matter of astonishment, that none have men 
tioned the effect which the sight of his two child 
ren must have produced in the king their father 
particularly as they were to be delivered to the 
emperor to procure his own release. I think it 
almost impossible that they should have passed 
within reach of each other, without discovering 


some emotion or producing some salute ; but none 
is noted. 

The king proceeded rapidly to Bayonne, 
where his mother and the court awaited his arri 
val. On the way, being on horseback, he is said 
to have often waved his bonnet in the air, and 
cried out with transport, " Je suis encore Roi / 
His reign throughout was interesting, and his cha 
racter great though I think in several instances, 
too strongly marked with a vicious bias and he 
lessens much in my estimation in the above 
scene ; for in his hurry to become again a king, 
he appears totally lost to the feelings of a man and 
a father. 

From what I have said of this river Bidassoa, 
you will conclude it separates France from Spain. 
I shall proceed to tell you that having passed a 
gentleman and his family travelling, I dined at 
the first Spanish village in sight of the borders of 
France. The mode of this family s travelling may 
be worthy of notice. A mule being saddled, on 
each side is fixed a low-armed chair, or framed 
cushion, in which the gentleman and his lady 
were seated, carrying each a small umbrella. 
Two female servants pressed the ribs of another 
animal in the same manner, and a pretty little girl 
of about twelve years was seated on the saddle 
between them. These patient creatures being led 
by the men servants, make a steady progress of 
about three miles the hour. I think it would af- 


ford us a week s laugh at least, should it ever be 
our lot to travel thus, particularly if Sir and mad 
am were slung thus before us. But it would be 
fair to give them an opportunity to laugh a little 
too. For this purpose we would lead the van, and 
bring up the rear alternately. Oh ! how some 
folks would groan or sigh. 

It is needless, my dear, to rattle you over one 
hill and another, or fill my letter with names of 
villages and streams, which I hope you will never 
be under the necessity of visiting. I shall con 
tent myself with telling you that I arrived here at 
11 in the morning, on the 9th day after I left 
Bayonne ; so that having arrived from Bordeaux 
there in two day s travelling, I calculate that I 
can pass from Bordeaux to Madrid in eleven. He 
that can do it in less, I will acknowledge to be a 
more active, and of course a cleverer fellow. I 
was always shaved and combed before four in the 
morning, and made a point of being ready every 
day before the muleteer. 

The roads through the Pyrenean mountains 
are so well made as not to be in the least dan 
gerous, though being badly paved, are rough and 
uneasy ; it is carried through a bold and highly 
cultivated country, thickly settled and luxuriant. 
Passing through the tolerably free province of 
Biscay, which your papa well describes in I think 
his fourth letter, in his defence of the constitutions 
of our country, enters the province of Old Cas- 


tile, after passing through the town of Victoria, a 
pleasant place, situated south of the Pyrenees. 
At this place I was stopped some hours by the 
officers of the custom-house, and for want of a 
passport was obliged to pay twenty-seven dollars 
agreeably to what they called these establishments. 
Against this, I had attempted to guard, by getting 
Harrison to inform Mr. Carmichael one month 
before I left London, that on or about the 13th of 
May I should be at Bourdeaux, and requesting 
that the necessary passports might be deposited 
there for me. By a letter from Harrison at L Ori- 
ent, I was informed that he had received an an 
swer, and that the papers would be deposited 
agreeable to my request. I was detained there 
several days longer than I intended by Mr. B. s 
situation. I arrived on the day appointed, and yet 
found no passports. I can account for this in no 
other way at present, than that the general or 
rather particular movements of my countrymen 
in Europe have been so very uncertain, that every 
one concerned with them have given up every 
idea of calculation, or even believing them when 
they say they intend leaving a place to-day, and 
being at another to-morrow. I cannot bear to 
have my word doubted, even in the most trivial 
case, and was a little displeased at Bourdeaux 
when I told a gentleman (who asked me when J 
should proceed,) that I should go in the morning. 
" Oh no," says he, " you will dine with me the day 


after." For myself, I am determined my ac 
quaintance shall make me an exception to this 
rule, and learn to believe it is my intention when 
I tell them so ; for that the thing will be done is 
a fact, unless I should be checked by accident, or 
am convinced of an error in my determination. 

But with respect to this custom-house at Vic 
toria. I was at first a little displeased ; but on 
recollection, being convinced that the surest way 
to overcome the difficulty was to submit to the reg 
ulations of the country, and take a particular re 
ceipt, that in case of imposition I might get re 
dress here. I kept myself cool, sent Curio to make 
the arrangement, and contented myself in the 
public house until he informed me that every 
thing was settled, and the mules ready to go. 

At this place is a very elegant new inn, and I 
dined sumptuously, and was well attended. 

Former travellers, who have cast a censure on 
this province of Biscay, relative to its scarcity, 
and badness of accommodation, must surely have 
set out with a determination to find fault and 
be peevish. I acknowledge my plan to have 
been carried even thus far into execution upon 
principles diametrically opposite, but must say it 
is a perfect Paradise to either Old or New Castile. 
Indeed Spain is the only country that I am ac 
quainted with, that the nearer you approach the 
capital, the worse are the accommodations, and 
the more glaring the lines of general poverty and 


oppression. But I find I have been so accustomed 
for several days past to bound and skip along, 
that I can scarcely preserve a steadiness in my 

I will run through Biscay perfectly satisfied 
with it ; it produces wheat, corn, oats, flax, and 
has large orchards. The inhabitants appear in 
dustrious and healthy. Their villages and hou 
ses seem to have been long built, and where there 
are any new additions, there appears very little 
improvement in the taste of the architecture ; but 
it answers their purposes, and they appear content 
arid comparatively happy. There is an air of 
haughtiness in their movements, even of the infe 
rior classes. The labourer in the field panting 
with fatigue, while he checks his industry to 
gratify his curiosity, puts his arms a kimbo^ and 
endeavours to look big. He seems conscious that 
he is happier than his neighbour in the other 
provinces of the kingdom, and looks as if he dare 
defend himself and his possessions if attacked. 
But the scene changes as you leave this province 
and pass through Old and New Castile. Here is 
misery no, they are just not miserable ; the soil 
is ungrateful, and the villages cannot furnish a 
traveller with any thing to eat. I rested on the 
ability of the country as long as possible, but found 
it would not do, and for two or three days dined 
upon half a dozen cups of tea and a crust. It 
was enough for me ; and as for rest at night, I did 


tolerably in the mountains but in this dreary 
way excuse me 

Bugs of man make a prey, 

And fleas have their appetites too; 

To avoid whose bite 

I sling hammock at night, 

And so sleep with a tolerable gout. 

You see I cannot help getting prose run mad 
sometimes ; indeed it is enough to make every 
thing run mad to be so bit. I never was so sen 
sible of the force of a toast I used frequently to 
hear given in the course of the war, as I have 
been on this jaunt : viz. " perpetual itching to the 
enemies of America, without the benefit of 
scratching." 1 will never drink that toast again, 
for it is too cruel ; poor people, I can now feel for 
you if it had fallen to your lot, death would have 
found you before the definitive treaty ; England 
would have been saved an immensity of money, 
and the king and his cabinet have been restored 
long since to their senses. 

June 1st. The court are at Aranjuer, and of 
course Mr. Carmichael with them. The first 
thing I did yesterday was to send a letter to him ; 
it is six leagues, to beg he would forward what 
letters he has for me. I have only yet, Amelia, 
received No. 1 ; if I shall be disappointed here, 
and not get any from you, I will leave the place 
immediately, and go to Lisbon and be sick. I 
have already sent the things to be washed, and am 


making preparations for a further progress. I 
shall be out of humour with the world, or at least 
the post-offices in it, unless I have letters : how 
dare the varlets detain them? 

I am already almost put aside myself by bells 
and drums religious. The host has already pas 
sed three times to-day. I looked out of the win 
dow, for I have not yet been in the street, and 
observed whole ranks of passengers kneeling. 
The Spaniards, at least those 1 have seen, appear a 
sedate and solemn people ; pleasantry and good 
humour seem to be entirely engrossed by the 
monks and friars. The inhabitants, whose coun 
try I have passed through, except Biscay, appear 
almost worn out by the oppressions of their gov 
ernments, and fatigued to death by being priest- 

There is a little cultivation round this capital. 
It is very disagreeably situated, and has an in 
significant appearance as you approach it. Per 
haps I shall walk out towards sunset, and to-mor 
row may say a little about the town and its inter 
nal arrangements ; and I expect to be in better 
spirits to write, for I still hope to receive some 
thing from my Amelia before I go to rest. But 
as it is possible this may reach Grosvenor Square 
before No. 10, I will only say that on the 25th, 
having put up at the same inn with two gentle 
men travelling towards London, I put a letter to 
my dear Amelia under cover to Dr. H., only in- 


forming her that I was well, and safely over the 

Saturday morning, 5 o clock, June 2d. I was 
setting solus at eleven last night, still expecting 
No. 2, when lo ! it arrived. Mr. Carmichael was 
so good as to send his servant express with it, and 
one or two others. I read it, and took it to-bed 
with me, and then read it again ; I could not com 
pose myself before I got it, and after I had read it 
several times, it would not let me sleep, and has 
roused me thus early in the morning. I have not 
yet been out of my room ; I am getting myself 
cool and composed, for I have moved with such 
rapidity for twelve days past, that I think if on my 
arrival I had been cast into the branch of the 
Tagus, on which this capital stands, I should 
have made as great a hissing as FalstafF did 
when he was thrown into the Thames. I shall 
go this day to Aranjuez, and lodge with Mr. 
Carmichael, as he has very politely requested. 
I shall see what is to be seen there, learn what I 
can relative to general and particular politics, and 
return again here to set off for Lisbon ; but of all 
this you will be informed by other letters. I like 
your ideas of contentment and when I return, 
will study to keep myself as much " within the 
bounds of reason" as possible. 

Papa s and Mr. C. s jaunt turned out exactly as I 
expected, relative to the pleasures they were to ex 
perience. / have often wondered whin people 
have their choice^ they do not as frequently pick 


up a rose, as meddle with a thorn ; but the 
fault is in our stars, and not in ourselves. Hap 
py are those who study to counteract this bias of 
their nature as much as possible ; the great object 
of life is to be happy, and to be so, I agree with 
you we must keep " within the bounds of reason." 

I think you will say he writes a long letter be 
fore breakfast. I would at any time, Emmy, rather 
converse with you than eat. I am obliged to make 
use of a paper on which I have been sketching 
out some lines of fortifications in the mountains ; 
thus you storm my works and make me your pri 
soner at discretion. I am as well convinced as 
you possibly can be, that you will never abuse 
your power, or give me reason to regret having 
placed unbounded confidence in you ; but that 
I have not said more to you on the subjects you 
allude to, and which you say I touched the evening 
before I set out, is because you have never put 
yourself forward enough in conversation, to ena 
ble me to judge of what you wished to know, or 
what you would be pleased to be informed of; I 
think I only want to be clear in that, and every 
thing I know on the subject sought after, will be 
cheerfully communicated. 

I am almost put out of my senses by bells and 
drums, accompanying the host through the streets. 
The Romish religion is the only one tolerated in 
this kingdom, and it is played off with such pomp 
and ceremony, that I am astonished that the nation 


at large, has not seen through the mist that sur 
rounds them, and broke the fetters of priestcraft ; 
but they still grasp at it with all its absurdities, 
and by a steady perseverance in the career, have 
furnished their king with the title of his Most 
Catholic Majesty. I shall see him in a day or two, 
and paint him to you ; but I feel a little prejudi 
ced ; this I must conquer. I have seen so much 
misery in the villages, that I think I shall be dis 
gusted at the splendour in the palace ; I can be 
content and pleased with it, when it flows from 
the liberality of an enlightened, generous people, 
conscious of their power, and sensible of their 
rights ; and that it arises from liberal donations 
to the chief magistrate, to enable him to support 
the dignity of his station. But when the faces of 
the poor are ground, to polish the throne of a ty 
rant, its glitter frets my mind, and forces me to 
dwell in painful contemplation on those vile op 
pressive measures, which are exerted to collect 
from the too patient multitude, the earnings of 
their industry and the paltry overplus of a pitiful 
subsistance. But enough ; I find I am drawing 
to the last side of my paper, and I have no more ; 
if I had, I do not know when I should stop. 

Yours, w. s. s. 


Aranjuez, June 6th, 1787. 


I was much pleased this morning by the receipt 


of yours of May 19th. Look at the dates May 
5th, Paris, and Blois, May llth the places are 
very distant, and it is impossible to write in a cha 
riot going post. I have answered your mamma s 
letter from this place ; I have not gone through 
the necessary visits to the royal family, but they 
are nearly finished. 1 find everything here much 
more agreeable than I expected ; the corps diplo 
matic, are very different gentlemen at this court, 
from those at the court of London ; here friend 
ship, hospitality, and good humour, sweeten soci 
ety, and sweeten the political career. I have been 
here four days, and have dined very agreeably 
three of them, with the English, Swedish, and the 
Dutch Ministers ; I am engaged to dine with the 
Comte de Florida Blanca on Saturday, and shall 
begin to think of proceeding to Lisbon ; but I am 
rather uneasy about Curio; the fatigues of the jour 
ney have proved too great for him, and he is now 
sick and a-bed ; he is well attended, and I hope will 
recover in a few days ; if he does not, I shall with 
very great reluctance be obliged to proceed with 
out him ; he has conducted himself so well, that I 
shall miss him much and at Bay one took him in 
the carriage with me, so that all through Spain he 
has fared in every respect equal with myself. But 
notwithstanding that, he is sick and I am as usual, 
in greater health for the active life I have passed. 
It is my element ; sloth and inactivity will sicken 
me ; but the other will ensure me health and spirits. 


June 7th. The grand procession of the court 
this day, has engaged the attention of every one 
in and about this place ; the palace was thronged 

with " reverend r s in robes," adorned with 

all the insignia of their respective stations, and 
cutting no despicable figure ; on the contrary, the 
whole was solemnly magnificent, and worthy the 
attention of a stranger. After the solemn march 
was over, all parties perambulated the gardens, 
where taste and elegance, accompanied with all 
the graces of the Spanish court, were laid open 
to view. I was entertained and shall spend this 
afternoon at a bull feat ; but I am told it will not 
be equal to what I shall see in the course of a day 
or two ; but you shall have more of this in detail, 
my friend, when I shall again seat myself content 
ed by your side. I thank you for the information 
you give me in cypher ; there is great pleasure in 
having my companion a little of a politician. The 
news came agreeable and apropos. Yours, 

w. s. s. 


Aranjuez, Sunday, June 10th, 1787. 
I have payed my respects to his majesty and all 
the royal family. The prime minister, the Comte 
de Florida Blanca, made professions of friendship 
for our country, and gives me letters of introduc 
tion to Lisbon, but he being a little deranged I had 
not the honour of seeing him yesterday as I ex- 


pected, and mentioned in a former letter ; he has 
appointed Wednesday for our final conference, &c. 
I have been so perfectly well received here, that 
I cannot help communicating to my best friend, 
my satisfaction on the subject. I dined yesterday 
with the Comte de Kagenack, formerly the Impe 
rial Ambassador at the Court of London. The 
entertainment was brilliant, and he vastly polite, 
and desired his respectful compliments to Mrs. 
Smith and to Mr. and Mrs. Adams. The easy 
good humour which floats in the atmosphere of 
this court, has had a good effect upon his excel 
lency. He appears to greater advantage here 
than when I used to see him stand as stiff at St. 
James s, as if he had swallowed a crowbar. I 
pass my day thus I rise every morning at five 
o clock, dress, and mount on horse-back at six 
but where does my friend get a horse ? I ll tell 
you my dear. The Russian Ambassador, (the 
very antipode of Comte Woronzow) is attentive 
beyond description. This day is the second- that 
I have dined with him ; he told me his horses 
were at my service during my stay. I have, with 
all the modesty I am master of and I hope you 
do not think that small accepted ; and thus 
accommodated, accompanied by Sir Alexander 
Monro the English Consul, who politely offerred, 
to ride with me every day, until he had shown 
me all the beauties of this spot. I take a gentle 
ride one day to one part, and another to another, 

168 . LETTERS. 

until about nine o clock, when we return to break 
fast, get dressed by half past eleven, go to court 
and walk in the palace gardens until two. That 
being the hour for dinner, I proceed with the se 
renity of a Steuben to the house where I have 
been previously invited. After dinner the card 
tables engage the attention of those who would 
rather play than chat, until the lengthening shad 
ows proclaim the declining sun sufficiently near 
the western horizon, to make the walks agreeable, 
and exercise healthful. At this signal, the whole 
court sally forth, and present a scene sufficiently 
enlivening for the kingdom of Spain. Before the 
evening dews fall, every one retires as he may 
be respectively engaged. I, an old-fashioned fel 
low, am now sitting, being Sunday evening 8 
o clock, writing to my wife. I feel my soul 
expand with every benevolent and interesting 
sensation when in company with respectable old 
age. I think it has its joys, (though different) 
equally with youth, and the early part of life be 
ing what I style well spent, its joys and pleasures 
will gradually, and agreeably to the gentle stages 
of nature, give place without a pang, or rather 
imperceptibly, to the more sedate and cooler en 
joyments of the advanced periods. All that I am 
anxious and studious for, is, to govern and direct 
my enjoyments in such a way, as would not make 
a good man blush on recollecting them, whether 
in the world or in his closet you are both alone. 


Tell mamma my advice is, to take John on horse 
back, and by gentle day s journeys, make an ex 
cursion into Devonshire it can be done in four 
days you can spend four days there, and be 
back on the twelfth; but I think she has scarcely 
courage enough. It would be a good jaunt for 
you both, but methinks you sigh and wish me 
back ; for this purpose I join you most heartily. 
Well, when I do come, we will try if I cannot 
take some gudgeons for you in some part of the 
Thames. I thank you for rolling Mr. Paradise 
so well up in your letter, and then stretching him 
out again. " I ask your pardon, I don t know 
whether I explain myself well or not." Oh you 
are an arch one, but you are just such as I wish 
you, but rather too far from me at present. Papa, 
you say, is gone. I am rather of opinion he will 
be worried on the subject, but that he will finally 
succeed I do not doubt but it will be by the 
sweat of his brow it is the way we all get 
through life. Some, it is true, do not puff and 
blow as much as others, but very few take it as 
easy as they might if they would take a little 
pains. I am at present looking steadfastly, and 
with reverence at the finger of Providence as it 
relates to Curio he is dangerously ill but a 
few days will decide the subject. I am prepared 
with a proper mind for the decision. You will 
hear from me again soon. Yours, 

w. s. s. 

170 * LETTERS. 


Aranjuez, June 18th, 1787. 

1 wrote you, my dear Amelia, on the 10th, llth, 
12th, 13th, and 14th instant, and that I am still 
here is owing to the prospect of Curio s speedy 
recovery. I am almost out of patience waiting 
for it, but it would be unjust to leave him behind 
in a strange country, when a few days patience 
may sufficiently restore him to proceed with me ; 
but I have wrote to his doctor this morning, re 
questing him to inform me when he supposes he 
will be in a condition to travel ; when I receive 
his answer, I shall decide whether it is proper and 
consistent for me to proceed or wait. There is 
every pains taken here in the circle of my ac 
quaintance, to make my time pass agreeably; and 
I have been pleased and comforted, but it is not 
a theatre for me. I find the manners of the world 
surrounding the palace, very different from that 
which can excite my respect, or in every respect 
please me. I therefore frequently retire to con 
verse with you, my friend, and can with truth as 
sert that those moments of virtuous retirement 
are my greatest sources of pleasure. I continue 
my early morning rides, and am sensible of their 
being of service. This place, with the improved 
and ornamented grounds, embrace a space of many 
leagues in circumference, on both sides of the 
River Tagus. The palace is considered the cen 
tre of the scene, surrounded with luxuriant and 



well-arranged gardens, through which the river 
passes with rapidity. Its face is variegated by 
obstructions, which produce both gently-sloping, 
and perpendicular falls, which are pleasing to the 
eye, and by no means disagreeable to the ear. It 
is really a treat to be here; you may ride under a 
double row of elms and oaks, perfectly sheltered 
from the sun, for six or eight miles, which I sup 
pose to be about the length of the largest diame 
ter of this park. It abounds with deer, and wild- 
hogs, partridges and hares, pheasants and rabbits. 
The king is a great sportsman, and passes a con 
siderable proportion of every day both in hunting 
and fishing. He is attended every day in his 
palace, by the foreign ministers, and those of his 
subjects who form the court, and they pass their 
time as at Versailles. On Sunday, all the Royal 
family here dine in public in their own apart 
ments, and receive the courtiers while at dinner ; 
but more of this when I get home: when will 
that be ? I shall consult the first fortune-teller I 
may chance to meet with, and if she or he do not 
fix it at a very short date, I will give but a small 
fee. 1 must say a few words in cypher. I sup 
pose if this letter falls into the hands of a politician 
before it reaches you, he will not spend his time 
in attempting to decypher a sentence from a gen 
tleman to his lady. 

7 o clock. I have just returned from dining 
with the Russian Ambassador, who I have spo- 


ken of before, and must apologize for putting in 
cypher what perhaps you may suppose might as 
well have been wrote at full length. If it was 
anything relative to a political question you might 
be repaid the trouble of decyphering it, by com 
municating it to your papa; but as it relates only 
to us, you will keep it to yourself, or laugh with 
mamma on the subject, as you please. 46. 93p. 
n3uu3p. 4. 5i. b3pr. 74b4n. um. u93. o462. ; don t 
laugh at me ! I have the pleasure of informing 
my friend that I called to see my servant to-day, 
and that I found him up, and in a fair way speed 
ily to recover. I feel lighter for it, and shall make 
every necessary arrangement for my departure on 
the day the doctor says he may undertake the 
journey. I shall be a day or two longer on the 
road, least he should relapse, and I natter myself 
that the sea-breeze at Lisbon will recruit him so 
that when I begin to return, he will be able to 
bear the rapidity of my motion back. In one of 
your letters you seem rather interested in the 
beauty of the French ladies. The only way I 
have to extricate myself from censure, as wanting 
taste, is to suppose that they had all retired to the 
sea-side to pass the summer, for it is a truth, not 
one showed herself on my path, which run a very 
long line through the kingdom ; and even in 
Spain, if I may be allowed to judge, the stock is 
too small to be worth counting upon, as we Yan 
kees say, w. s. s. 



Madrid, June 1st, 1787. 


I was rendered extremely happy yesterday 
morning, by the receipt of your letter, No. 5, 
dated the 3d inst. My last of the 18th, I suppose 
is considerably advanced towards you. The re 
moval of the Court from Aranjuez, and the impos 
sibility of making arrangements there for my de 
parture for Lisbon, rendered my return to this 
place necessary. I am tired with the inevitable 
delay I have met with here, on account of my ser 
vant s indisposition ; but his health is now restored, 
(though he is rather weak) and i shall put myself 
soon again in motion. You know I am a great 
advocate for sloping the descent of life, and "strew 
ing the way over with flowers," I will do all I can 
to collect a sufficiency for you, and aid you in 
scattering them to our mutual satisfaction ; and 
would even venture to advise the giving up of 
all intimacy, with persons who seem disposed to 
pluck the thorn rather than the rose. Apropos: 
I recollect something clever on this subject, the 
substance of which the pleasant minded Franklin 
is said to have suggested to a small circle of 
friends, i. e. there are two sorts of people in this 
world, who with equal degrees of health and 
wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the 
one happy, and the other unhappy. This arises 
very much, from the different views in which they 
consider things, persons, and events ; and the ef- 


feet of those different views upon their own minds. 
In whatever situation individuals may be placed, 
they may find conveniences and inconveniences ; 
in whatever company, they may find persons or 
conversations more or less pleasing ; at whatever 
table, they may meet with meats and drinks of 
better and worse taste, dishes better and worse 
dressed ; in whatever climate, they will find good 
and bad weather ; under whatever government, 
they will find good and bad laws, and those laws 
well or badly administered ; in every poem or 
work of genius, they may see faults and beauties; 
in almost every face and every person, they may 
discover fine features and defects, good and bad 
qualities. Under these circumstances, the two 
sorts of people abovementioned fix their attention ; 
those who are to be happy on the conveniences of 
things ; the pleasant parts of conversation, the 
well dressed and well tasted dishes, the goodness 
of the wines, the fine weather, &c. &c., and enjoy 
all with cheerfulness. Those on the other hand 
who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of 
the contraries ; hence they are continually discon 
tented with themselves, and by their remarks sour 
the pleasures of society, offend personally many 
people, and make themselves every where disa 
greeable. If this turn of mind was founded in 
nature, such unhappy persons would be the more 
to be pitied ; but as the disposition to criticise and 
be disgusted, is perhaps taken up originally by im- 


itation. (for man is an imitative animal,) and una 
wares grows into a habit, which though strong, 
may nevertheless be cured, when those^who have 
it, are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity. 
I hope this little admonition may be of service to 
them, and put them on changing a habit, which 
though in the exercise is chiefly an art of imagi 
nation, yet it has serious consequences in life, as 
it brings on real griefs and misfortunes ; for as 
many are offended by, and nobody loves this sort 
of people, no one shows them more than the most 
common civility and respect, and scarcely that ; 
this frequently puts them out of humour, and 
draws them into disputes and contentions. If 
they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or 
fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir 
a step, or speak a word to favour their pretensions. 
If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one 
will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate 
their misconduct and render them completely 
odious. If these people will not change this bad 
habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is 
pleasing, without fretting themselves and others 
about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid 
an acquaintance with them, which is always dis 
agreeable and sometimes very inconvenient ; par 
ticularly when one finds one s self entangled in 
their quarrels. There was an old philosopher, 
grown cautious from experience in this particular, 
who carefully shunned any intimacy with such 
people. He had, like other philosophers, a ther- 


mometer to show him the heat of the weather, and 
a barometer to show him when it was likely to 
prove good or bad. But there being no instru 
ment yet invented, to discover at first sight this 
unpleasing disposition in a person, he for that 
purpose made use of his legs, one of which was 
remarkably handsome, the other crooked and de 
formed. If a stranger at the first interview, re 
garded his ugly leg more than his handsome one, 
he doubted him. If he spoke of it, and took no 
notice of the handsome, that was sufficient to de 
termine this philosopher to have no further ac 
quaintance with him. Every body is not thus 
furnished to make this experiment, but every one 
with a little attention, may observe signs of that 
carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the 
same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of 
those infected with it. The story is closed in ad 
vice to those critical, querulous, discontented, 
fault-finding, unhappy people, that if they wish to 
be loved and respected by others, and happy in 
themselves, they should leave off looking at the 
ugly leg. I dare say, my dear, that you can look 
round society, and mark out a few whom this story 
might benefit ; thank our stars we are tolerably 
clear of this disposition. I have often been di 
verted in company, to obeserve persons anxiously 
looking out for the ugly leg ; and I dare say it 
will not be long after the receipt of this, but you 
will smile on the discovery of a similar trick in 
the character of some one or other. w. s. s. 



Madrid, Saturday, June 30th, 1787. 

I wrote you my friend on the 25th, No. 16 ; it 
was, through mistake, dated the 21st. I then ex 
pected to be on my way before this, but the king 
thought proper to lay an embargo on all mules 
and their drivers, for the accommodation of the 
court. I am heartily sick of being detained here, 
but have made a positive agreement, signed, 
sealed, and delivered, to be taken from this on 
Tuesday ; after which there will be a necessary 
interruption to that correspondence for a time, 
which during my confinement here, has been my 
only source of happiness. Mr. Carmichael has 
often laughed at me, on discovering my gayety 
and good humour, or my sobriety on the arrival 
of the post. Yesterday I was as gay as a lark, 
and read your agreeable letter of the happy 12th 
of June, with every tender and affectionate sen 

Your observation on people mixing with socie 
ty, perfectly corresponds with my ideas on that 
subject, and I fully agree with you that we should 
either remain in our studies, or come out with a 
disposition to be pleased, and to mix with the 
world with gayety and good humour. This in 
tercourse may be fairly viewed through a com 
mercial medium, and a useful lesson drawn from 
it. When we leave our rooms to seek society, it 
would perhaps not be improper to turn the object 


in our minds. If we go to seek pleasure and en 
tertainment, we should also examine what we 
can give in return for it, and whether the inter 
course can be made reciprocally amusing for 
unless it is, the circle we frequent will soon be 
come tired of us, or we of them ; and like the 
merchant who seeks foreign or domestic markets 
to exchange his merchandise, we shall frequent 
or forsake those places where we can meet with, 
or do not find a good equivalent for what we 
bring. In the small circle of your friends, you 
will find many visit the market with smiles and 
approbation ; some with mirth and wit, and a 
very few with benevolence and instruction. A 
large group travel daily round the stalls, with 
slander, censure, and malevolence. The first 
will contentedly hear whatever you have to say, 
and give you the smile and grin of approbation 
in exchange ; the second will demand it again in 
exchange for what he brings ; the third class are 
generally satisfied with attentive silence, and to 
be now and then flattered with a leading question, 
which will enable them to display their knowledge 
and observation. They are worth cultivating; 
indeed so are the two preceding. 

"Can smile at sorrows not their own, 
And laugh to hear a nation groan, 
They are insolent, and vain, and rude, 
And grieve at all that s great and good." 

They insult, wherever they offer their goods, 
and seldom hold any commerce but with each 


other. Towards this class I would not only re 
fuse to give any thing in exchange, but would not 
even accept of their wares ; and instead of even 
plaguing myself with telling them that what they 
offered was not to my taste, or to the taste of those 
who visited my shop, I would keep always ready 
a delicately polished mirror, finished by the gen 
teel, and of polite reflection, which should be 
presented even before they had entirely unpacked, 
and I do not think I should ever be troubled with 
a second visit ; but to business. The letter to 
Mr. Robert Riddle of Castle Green, Dumfries, 
and the will received from Mr. Troup, I wish my 
friend would put in the post, with a little note to 
Mr. Riddle. He is a polite gentleman, and the 
papers are of importance to him. If Mr. Troup s 
letter to him is open, shall I ask a copy ? Mr. 
Sullivan s affair I shall attend to. I thank you 
for your determination to keep a journal ; it is a 
good thought, and will amuse you now, and here 
after give me pleasure. 

It is necessary that I should write to your papa 
and Mr. Jefferson by this post. The sentence 
contained in cypher of one of my letters from 
Aranjuez, I suppose you have communicated 
and as I have some reason to think my letters 
pass very securely to you, I shall enclo^ your 
papa s under the same cover. Those that you 
have favoured me with, have come safe and regu 
lar the last was not numbered. Tell master 


William that I am much obliged by his attention, 
and hope he will continue to merit the praises of 
his mamma ; kiss the dear boy morning, noon, 
and night for me, 

I am called upon to pay a visit to the Marquis de 
de Arranda. I shall return to my pen soon again. 

I found at the Marquis s a large party at cards. 
They are always to be met with here. He is a 
gentleman of great fortune, and keeps an open 
table, where every one is well received at dinner 
every day he choses to call after his introduction 
to the family ; but cards always succeed the cof 
fee, and a ride in the Prado takes up the cool of 
the evening. What is called society here, is the 
assembling of a number of people, who immedi 
ately fix themselves at a table, and proceed to 
plunder each other politely at cards. But fortu 
nately, every one has it at his option to play or 
look on ; you are left at free liberty either to do 
this, or even to loll on a settee in any of the apart 
ments, and sleep out your visit ; a bow on enter 
ing, and another when you retire, will pass you 
any where ; a careless passive civility, is what is 
most current, and is called ease and gentility. After 
the ride in the prado, or ornamented meadow, the 
opera, standing routes or particularly frescos, close 
the evening ; iced creams, and lemonade with 
cake, stop the mouths of those who are not dis 
posed to be very particular to some one lady. 
The former I find excellent. 


The evening rides exactly resemble those of 
Hyde Park, except that both sides are shaded with 
lofty trees well arranged, pleasingly interspersed, 
with fountains and running streams ; and in the 
centre, lest in the pleasing scene the company 
should forget the power of the king, and the na 
ture of the government, a number of dragoons 
with drawn swords constantly patrole, and the 
procession move the round with great regularity, 
no one being permitted to turn but at certain 
windings and outlets. 

The city within is neat, and many streets are 
elegantly irregular. It far exceeds Paris, or any 
other in Europe that I have seen, except West 
minster. Some of their gates show the improved 
taste of the times ; but the wall of the city was 
built for use detached from ornaments. 

You say you should like to pass the leisure 
moments in the study of history ; it will give me 
great pleasure my friend, to attend you in this 
pursuit ; a little acquaintance with geography 
would make the pursuit delightful to you. In 
the meantime you will find in my closet Robert 
son s History of Charles V. The whole of that 
Emperor s reign is interesting, and the manner of 
his resigning his crown to his son Philip, and vol 
untarily retiring from the splendour of a court to 
spend the rest of his days in solitude, will com 
mand your attention, for at that time it filled all 
Europe with astonishment. He took leave of his 


son Philip II, on the 17th of September, 1556, 
and sailing from Holland, which was then under 
his government, he landed in Spain, and falling 
on the earth he kissed it, and exclaimed, " naked 
came I into the world, and naked I now return 
to thee, thou common mother of mankind." Dis 
missing all his attendants except twelve, he took 
up his abode in a small house, which he had or 
dered previously built for his reception in a small 
valley of this kingdom ; and here, I think it is 
Robertson who says, " he buried in solitude and 
silence, his grandeur, his ambition, together with 
all those vast projects, which during half a cen 
tury had alarmed and agitated Europe." He was 
particularly curious with regard to the construc 
tion of clocks and watches and having found 
after repeated trials, that he could not bring any 
two of them to go exactly alike, he is said to have 
reflected with a mixture of surprise and regret, 
on his own folly, in having bestowed so much 
time and labour on the more vain attempt of 
bringing mankind to a precise uniformity of sen 
timent concerning the intricate and mysterious 
doctrines of religion. He was constantly engaged 
in foreign wars, or in contests with his protestant 
subjects, in fruitless attempts to bring them back 
to the Catholic religion. Philip early discovered 
his ingratitude and inattention to his father, who 
was embarrassed for the first payment which 
Philip was to have made him ; though out of his 


immense wealth, and extensive possessions both in 
Europe and Africa, and the more wealthy conti 
nent of South America, he only reserved to him 
self 100,000 crowns a year. But the son soon 
discovered that with his father s kingdoms he in 
herited his views, and though he had transferred to 
him his power, he could not transplant his good 
qualities. His tyranny and persecutions soon 
procured the revolt and loss of the Low Countries, 
now the United Provinces, commonly called 
Holland. His marriage with Mary, queen of 
England, as great a bigot as himself, is considered 
a circumstance which rather urged him on to 
those acts which disgraced his reign and dismem 
bered his empire. But you see 1 am a little 
pushed for paper, and it is now too late to obtain 
a fresh supply. It is probable when you receive 
this, 1 shall be in or near Lisbon. 

Tell Mr. Cutting I have received his letter 
from Amsterdam, and am much obliged ; he was 
right to go with your papa ; and 1 think he had bet 
ter postpone his visit to Taunton until rny return. 
Remember me affectionately to your mamma. 
Sir is I suppose still in Holland. I am, my friend, 
with the most unbounded love, yours sincerely, 

w. s. s. 


Madrid, July 3d, 1787. 

One line more, my dear friend, before 1 shut up 
my writing desk and bid adieu to Madrid. I have 


written several notes of thanks to those who have 
contributed to make my stay here tolerably agree 
able, and had cleared my desk, but my heart beat 
it open to chat a little more with you, to say fare 
well, until I get to Lisbon, which calculation will 
be twelve days from this date, when I shall again 
take my pen, and unfold the scenes I may pass. 
Remember me with tenderness, and " all be 
yond, let wild ambition grapple for and gain." 
Yours most sincerely, w. s. s. 


Merida, July 9th, 1787, Estremadura. 
The weather is extremely warm, which induces 
me to begin my journey at two o clock in the 
morning ; we put up at eight and rest until five, it 
is now near nine, and the journey for the day is 
finished. When I wrote you my friend from Ma 
drid No. 18, I gave you some reason to think that 
you would not hear from me again, until my ar 
rival at Lisbon ; but I suppose you laughed at the 
idea, and imagined I should steal a moment from 
sleep, to say a word or two on the way. It would 
afford you no amusement were I to give a 
minute account of the villages through which I 
have passed since my departure ; there is such a 
sameness prevails throughout, that knowing one, 
you may form a tolerable idea of all the rest, and 
even the description of that one, I think it would 
be prudent for me to retain, until I have the hap- 


piness of being with you. In some however, par 
ticularly in Orepesa and Truxilles, are the remains 
of ancient Moorish or Roman fortifications ; the 
latter is asserted by M. L. Dutens, Member of the 
Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-lettres 
of Paris, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of 
London, to be the country of the famous Pizarro, 
the conqueror of Peru. With submission to the 
learned gentleman, I take the liberty of doubting 
it, and beg that you will examine Robertson on 
this important point, for I think he will say some 
thing of Pizarro which will enable you to forward 
me the information I wish. The question is, 
where was Pizarro the conqueror of Peru born 
and brought up for education I think he had 
none and on what theatre did he first make his 
appearance ? If my recollection does not fail me, 
he started forth after Cortez had conquered Mex 
ico, and some even say that he was a native of 
Panama; this I am pretty clear in. In that dis 
trict of country the plan was first laid by Francis 
Pizarro, Almagro, and Sucques a priest ; that they 
sailed from thence for Spain, and obtained a grant 
of all the countries they should conquer. This 
great enterprise was undertaken with two hundred 
and fifty foot and sixty horse, and from the par 
ticular circumstances of the kingdom of Peru at 
the time of the invasion, the invaders had every 
advantage possible. The reigning king was At- 
abalipa, the twelfth of the race of the Incas ; he 


had just conquered his brother Huescar, and held 
him as a prisoner in Cusco, the then capital of the 
Peruvian empire. The system of government 
which was pursued by the Incas, you will find in 
Barlow s Vision of Columbus, and many lines of 
national character justly and delicately drawn. 
I. never yet could get it for so long a time as I 
wished, for separate from the versifying abilities 
of the author, it must contain some historical facts 
worth looking into. I shall be amused with the 
latter panegyricks ; on the former I shall leave to 
better judges. They were a mild and gentle peo 
ple, and from the superiority of European arts and 
arms, fell an easy prey to the invaders. But Pi- 
zarro, while revelling in luxury, and enjoying the 
wealth of the greatest conquest that was ever 
made, fell a sacrifice to his own pride and avarice, 
in his palace in the city of Lima, which he had 
founded and built, and which now is the capital 
of that kingdom. It has always been convulsed, 
and I cannot help thinking, is not much at this 
present day disposed for tranquillity. 

The mistake of Monsieur Dutens, (if it is one) 
may arise from this : there are two other towns 
in the world called Truxillo, beside the one we 
now dispute about in Estremadura in Spain. The 
one is in the kingdom of Peru in South America, 
about two hundred miles from Lima; and the other 
is in North America in the kingdom of Mexico and 
province of Honduras, about three hundred miles 


northeast of Amapalla ; perhaps this last was the 
native place of Pizarro that he transferred the 
name to the town in S. A. &c. &c. ; but I won t 
at this distance from my little library plague my 
self with conjectures, but Mr. Duton s opinion 
must be looked into in the meantime I will only 
say that the place I now write from is situated on 
the River Guadiana, and was once the capital of 
Estremadura, and abounds with interesting mon 
uments of antiquity ; it was formerly a Roman 
city of some considerable note if I may judge from 
the venerable pillars and arches, in and about the 
place. There is a column of white marble in the 
square (which I suppose the centre of the ancient 
city,) crowned with a pedestrian statue. Time 
has not made any great depredations on this col 
umn ; it stands firm, and preserves its grandeur 
amid the surrounding ruins. I could not help 
attempting to draw a line of comparison between 
the people who raised this column, and turned the 
neighbouring arches, and those who at the pres 
ent day were treading out their grain with horses 
in the environs of these ancient relics. But as 
" death opens wide the gates of fame, and shuts 
close the doors of envy after," and imagination is 
apt to paint in too high colours, I am apprehen 
sive I have complimented the Roman character, 
too much at the expense of the Spanish. I have 
a high idea of the former, and am looking out for 
every favourable impression from the latter. I 


have in several instances been fortunate, but have 
not yet made up my mind. There appears a 
strange jumble which I can neither digest nor 
reconcile but a further knowledge of them, and 
a little more thought, may satisfy me ; at present 
clouds and darkness rest upon it. Yours, 

w. s. s. 


Lisbon, July 16th, 1787. 

I arrived here the last evening, and sent imme 
diately to the merchant to whom I am addressed, 
to inquire for a letter from my dear Amelia, and 
was not a little mortified to receive for answer, 
that the gentleman was gone to his country house 
to spend the day with some friends, it being Sun 
day. Well, says patience, wait until the morn 
ing, Mr. Colonel, and you shall have it, for I am 
sure the letter has been forwarded. It turned out 
exactly so, and at breakfast this morning I was 
blessed with No. 7, of the 20th of June, contin 
uing by adjournments until it embraced the 22d. 
I have half a mind to get a cork jacket made, and 
like the lover who swam the Hellespont every 
night to meet his fair one, plunge into the Atlantic, 
and seek the white cliffs of Albion. The difficul 
ties which were painted on my route were easily 
overcome, or vanished as I approached them. 
There is a strange disposition afloat in the world, 
to let the bad foot command the attention. A 


gentleman wrote me the morning I left London, 
some instructions relative to the route and mode 
of travelling, for observe, he had been through 
these countries. He recommends me by all 
means, to travel through Spain and Portugal on 
horse-back, arid to carry my portmanteau on a 
mule; for, says he, "for a carriage, the roads are 
but passable for an English carriage imprac 
ticable" I shall have the pleasure of relating to 
that gentleman, how agreeable a good English 
carriage has made the journey to me ; and I shall 
say further, that I am thus far without suffering 
the least fracture only of one of the lamps, when 
the muleteer drove me against the side of a house. 
I very coolly told him I did not choose to go in 
that way, if he would please to enter at the gate 
way, I should thank him. It is true that every body 
appears, and some express their astonishment at 
so light a carriage having performed the journey. 
I have met with several who have broken wheels 
and springs, but by the attention I paid to this 
carriage before I set out you may remember I 
walked often to the coach-maker s it has fully 
equalled my expectations, and I am much pleased 
with the fidelity of the coach-maker ; his work 
does him honour. I have not the least doubt but 
it will carry me secure back again. 

I am rendered doubly happy to be informed in 
your agreeable letter, of the welfare of my family 
in America, I am deeply interested in their hap- 


piness, and pleased to hear they are well and 
cheerful. You will find us, my Emmy, a family 
of friends, looking upon each other with every 
benevolent sensation, and anxiously disposed to 
promote each other s happiness. In such a circle 
I think Heaven designed you to move, and not in 
the cold, unfeeling round of life, where each looks 
on the other with the eye of indifference, except 
only when they can answer each other s purposes. 
But check to your castle, says you thank you, 
my queen. You say Charity expresses her appre 
hension that I have discovered something in her 
style which did not meet with my approbation, 
and thus she accounts for my silence. You will 
find from this circumstance, my dear, how well I 
am known even the waters of the Atlantic can 
not shelter me from a discovery. I own I was 
somewhat hurt at a sentence in one of her letters 
to me, but the dear girl would never have known 
it had she not made the observation you forward 
ed nay, I doubt whether if she was to read the 
letter ten times over she would discover it herself. 
I will now write her, and smooth it over. I am 
a strange creature, and I acknowledge it ; but you 
will make me a good one I hope. I know it was 
not fair to let the trifle for a trifle it was rest 
upon my mind ; but I have very little disguise in 
me, and would never nourish the least particle of 
it, were it not sometimes necessary to the happi 
ness of others; but I find it very difficult, and 


sometimes almost next to an impossibility to 
" carry smiles and sunshine in my face, when 
discontent sets heavy on my heart," or to write 
a letter of tenderness, affection, or friendship, 
when my feelings are not in unison, or do not 
correspond with the subject. I admire a reply of 
Bethas, an Arabian prince, who being taken pris 
oner in the course of a war between him and the 
Prince of Parthia, when the latter upbraided him 
with having undertaken the war upon vile and 
mercenary principles, and that the reasons he 
originally gave for it were not founded in fact, 
but that other and stronger motives lay concealed. 
He said, "no sir, twas honour urged me to the 
war; it is my ruling star by which I steer through 
life, and shun the shelves of infamy and vice;" 
and to the latter charge, proceeding, he exclaim 
ed with dignity, "there you mistake me, Prince, 
for dissimulation never marked my looks, nor flat 
tering deceit e er taught my tongue the tale of 
falsehood to disguise my thoughts." But 1 am 
quite out of my depth and calculation ; 1 am on 
the fourth side, and almost to the bottom, when I 
candidly acknowledge I intended only to fill this 
sheet; for as you say, it has a long way to travel, 
but I have got so far, and I will proceed to the 

My last letter to you my friend, was marked 
No. 19, (but you take no notice of not having re 
ceived No. 10) dated on the 9th inst., from Merida, 


in the Spanish* Province of Estremadura, on the 
River Guadiana, which after entering the king 
dom of Portugal at Elvas, and dividing the king 
dom of Algarva, (subject to Portugal) from the 
province of Andalusia, loses itself in the Mediter 
ranean Ocean at Aymonte, a Spanish town about 
eighty-five miles northwest of Cadiz, where I sup 
pose sober-sided Harrison now is. I said some 
thing about Merida, its past grandeur and present 
appearance, its ancient arches, and a pillar on 
which an equestrian statue is fixed, and as you 
are pleased to express yourself interested in the 
small points of history which I have touched in 
some of my letters, I shall tell you what puzzles 
me; on the one side of the pillar mentioned, is 
clearly legible Concordice Augusti the other 
I could not make out, but it finishes, Romce, 1646. 
On reading this I was instantly overshadowed 
with a darkness similar to what was felt in Egypt, 
and I cannot yet find out what this 1646 means. 
The different dates of the rise and fall of empires 
is pretty well preserved, and history clearly proves 
to us that the Egyptians communicated to the 
Greeks, those to the Romans, and they to the 
present inhabitants of Europe, the luxuries and 
refinements of civilized life. We know that 
Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in 
the year 753, before the birth of Christ that in 

* There is a Province in Portugal of the same name, in the Capital of 
which I am at present. 


the year 328, after Christ, Constantine removed 
the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, 
and that in 476, Rome fell a pray to the Barba 
rians of the North, and that Odoaeer their leader, 
occupied the thrones of the Caesars. We also 
know that wars, tumult, and a general confusion, 
attended with ignorance, overspread Europe for 
several hundred years, which gradually dispers 
ing, the dawnings of refinement, and the stages of 
improvement are traced pretty clearly to the lat 
ter end of the fifteenth century, viz: in 1492, 
when Columbus sailed for the discovery of Amer 
ica ; from that period to the present day is very 
clearly known the progress in the arts and sci 
ences, and the general amelioration of the state of 
man has not wanted recorders. Now through all 
these meanders, I can get no light thrown upon 
Romce, 1646. Perhaps your papa can explain 
it, while I proceed to tell my friend, that having 
crossed the Gaudiana in the morning of the tenth, 
on a strong stone bridge of sixty-one arches, I 
proceeded to Badajos, the capital of Estremadura, 
and the last town in Spain, strongly fortified and 
garrisoned. On the eleventh, having recrossed 
the Guadiana on a bridge of twenty-seven arches, 
at ten o clock 1 entered the kingdom of Portugal, 
and at twelve drove into Elvas, the frontier gar 
rison of the kingdom. As I entered the gate, the 
officer of the guard, according to custom, took my 
name and I passed to the Posada. In a very short 


time the commanding officer. Senior Guillerme 
Luir Antonio Je Vallere, Marechal de Camps, (fee. 
&c., waited upon me. He said that as soon as 
the garrison-guard reported my arrival and name, 
he set out to pay his respects, to offer his services 
during the time I honoured the garrison with my 
presence ; and hoped I would do him the favour 
to take a soldier s dinner with him. "You will, 
sir," says he, " excuse the rapidity of my advances, 
when I assure you I have known you some time, 
though I never had the pleasure of seeing you be 
fore." I was quite thunder-struck with all this 
profusion of compliment and civility, thanked 
him for his politeness, and accepted his invitation 
to dinner determined to look further into his 
character. I would give some few pence to know 
what he meant, when he said he had known me 
for some considerable time ; but here I could not 
with decency discover any anxiety. On entering 
his quarters, I found his table covered with min 
erals and petrefactions, (fee. (fee., and different 
specimens of wood laying under. I compliment 
ed him on the scene, and began with him as a 
philosopher, admiring the sports, exertions, and 
arrangements of Nature, exhibited in the several 
productions which lay before us ; he joined with 
great relish, and after running some time on this 
horse we mounted the botanical nags, a collection 
of which he produced. I admired some, and took 
the seeds of others, with instructions how to raise 


and use them. A case of mathematical instru 
ments which lay near, induced me to leap the 
ditch and mount the parapet, and we proceeded 
to fortification and gunnery, in all which I found 
him instructed superior to any officer I have ever 
met with in short I passed this day delightful 
ly. He extended his politeness further: after 
dinner he showed all the works, and the interior ar 
rangements of the garrison, and amused me for an 
half hour with the exercise and firing of a com 
pany of Infantry and Artillery. It was better than 
a pinch of snuff; and when I took my leave of 
him he gave me a letter of introduction to his lady 
and daughter here, whom I have taken tea with 
this afternoon ; and ordered two of his dragoons 
to attend me through the kingdom, and to see me 
safe in Lisbon. This they faithfully attended to, 
and I dismissed them this morning, with thanks, 
and money to carry them back again ; (if people 
will dance they must pay the fiddler.) I am divert 
ed with mamma s dream, on the first of April ; it 
shows at least that she thinks a little about us, 
and what she says of the succession, I dare say you 
will agree with me in supposing it would be bet 
ter so than worse ; but I agree with you in think 
ing it has come forward at a very early period, 
for it most certainly existed previous to the arrival 
of the persons mentioned, but time and patience 
will unfold all, and my next will say something 
to you about the time you may expect to have me 


to yourself ; but why, my dear, do you say your 
next shall be deposited at Bordeaux ; have you not 
been a little too hasty in this decision ? But it is 
done, and I can only mourn that if I should be 
detained here two or three weeks, that I shall not 
have another line from you until I get into France, 
which, let me be as industrious as I can be, can 
not be in less than a month or six weeks; but I ll 
play you a trick for this, so look sharp. During 
the course of the war, I was stationed with three 
hundred and eighty chosen men, at Updikes, 
New Town, in the State of Rhode Island, oppo 
site the British army. I had detached a Captain 
and fifty, some distance on my right, to guard a 
pass, &c. &c., a circumstance came to my knowl 
edge, which gave him some little advantage of 
the enemy. I sent orders to him in writing to 
do so and so, and press the advantage that for 
tune might favour him with, and at the moment 
that I expected his report of having done the 
business, I received information of the enemy hav 
ing passed, and soon after his account confirming 
it, with a detail of what he had done. It was dif 
ferent from what I had requested, and he excused 
himself by saying, he thought he did for the best. 
But, sir, did I not tell you every stage, and prom 
ise information if any changes were necessa 
ry? He said yes but he thought he was doing 
for the best. I was obliged to tell him he had no 
right to think. I arrested and broke, and sent 


him home to think and contrive. But this is an 
out-of-the-way story Bordeaux is the word 
and with love to my boy and mamma, I am, my 
dear girl, your most affectionate friend, 



Lisbon, July 31st, 1787. 

And I stand my hand, that is to say, having 
played the game of twenty-one, I stop and beat 
you. It is a long time though, my dear, since 20 
was dated ; but your goodness will form many 
excuses, and my candour when I see you will 
satisfy you relative to the long silence. I have 
been every moment employed since I arrived ; I 
have got through all my affairs well, equal to my 
expectation, and have been received and treated 
with every mark of politeness and respect I could 
wish. My last gave you an account of my recep 
tion at the Advanced Garrison, and I have found 
no diminution of attention. I have had two 
interviews with the minister, and doubt not but 
my report to Congress will be acceptable ; but 
more of this when I see you, which I think, Hea 
ven favouring, will not now be long. I have re 
ceived No. 8 and 9 ; I thank you for not strictly 
attending to your determination, relative to your 
depositing letters for me at Bordeaux. I shall 
profit by the hint in your last, and embark for 
Fal mouth in five or six days from this, so that 


the next place you will hear from me will be 
there ; and then, very, very soon my love, I will 
be with you. It will happen fortunately, if you 
should be on a visit to some friends about Exeter, 
who I have often heard your mamma speak of; 
a line left for me at the post-offices of Falmouth 
and Exeter, informing where you are, (fee. would 
put every thing straight. But you will have fin 
ished your jaunt before that, and I shall have 
nothing to do after I land, if I find no orders at 
the post- office, than to clatter away for Grosvenor 
Square as quick as possible. 

I was some days past at an entertainment of the 
French Ambassador s ; he outshines brilliancy it 
self. The company collected in number about 
200 at and before 8, and after looking very agree 
able at ea<?h other for about half an hour, were 
called into another apartment, where a very neat 
theatre was well arranged, and the ambassadress, 
and her sister, with two French noblemen, and 
one or two small characters, entertained the com 
pany with a pretty, light French comedy of two 
acts. It was performed with great vivacity, and 
the ladies, as in every thing they undertake, dis 
covered a sprightly, pretty genius. After the 
play, the gardens, which are extensive, were well 
illuminated, and the company strolled through 
them. At the extremity of the walk was a very 
spacious hall formed by grape-vines, well lighted, 
with music, and the young part of the company 


soon fell a dancing. For the graver, a band of 
good music kept constantly playing soft, gentle 
tunes, whose melody attracted not a few, and 
furnished amusement for those who thought the 
gardens and the night air better avoided. Time 
passed thus until one, when a very elegant sup 
per was served. If I was to take this as a stand 
ard, I should suppose supper to be their favourite 
meal. After supper, the company rose and return 
ed to the dance, I had enough, and went to bed. 
The French seem determined to lose no opportu 
nity in ingratiating themselves every where by 
their politeness and affability. Apropos: the 
French ambassadress here is elegance itself ; she 
appears about five or seven and twenty, with a 
most perfect form, and a soft animating counte 
nance. You ask me about Spanish ladies it is 
the kingdom of ugliness ; the polite circle here is 
handsome, and what I have seen of their man 
ners, I like them something better than their 
neighbours. But I ll tell you the whole story 
when I see you ; until I reach Falmouth, adieu. 

w. s. s. 


Falmouth, August 20th, 1787. 

Perhaps by this time you may have received my 
last from Lisbon. I have now the pleasure of in 
forming my friend of my arrival here this day in 
the packet from that place, rather a little deranged 


by my journeys and voyage, at least rendered 
much lighter. I shall lose no more time in being 
with you, than what an attention to my health 
requires. My business at Lisbon was brought to 
a very agreeable and honourable period, and I 
left it well satisfied ; a little pride, which some 
times on occasion I can bring into play, and a 
little address, produced wonders, and made the 
diplomatic corps stare. I came off with the Con 
tinental colours flying, and shall soon have the 
happiness of laying them at your feet. Kiss the 
boy, and remember me to papa and mamma. I 
am, my dear, yours sincerely and affectionately, 

w. s. s. 


Falmouth, August 22d, 1787. 

I wrote you, my love, the first thing I did after my 
landing here on the 20th ; I then proposed setting 
off from this, yesterday or this morning ; but I am 
in check. I was yesterday at 4 o clock, visited by 
an ague and fever, which shook and warmed me 
alternately pretty tolerably ; this day I am free 
from it, and with the advice of a very good doctor 
who attends me, I hope soon to be allowed to put 
myself in motion towards one who possesses all my 
affections and merits all my love. The acquaint 
ance which I formed in this place when I arrived 
from America, and the letters of introduction which 
I brought from Lisbon, insure me every civility and 


respect I can wish. I am visited and attended in a 
very particular manner, and want for nothing but 
to be enabled to bid them farewell, and hasten to 
you. It is a painful detention to be so near, and 
upon the same island, and not be able to advance. 
You must not write, my friend, for I am in hopes 
before this reaches you to be on my way to you. 
I shall pass through Exeter, Tauriton, Bath, 
Marlborough, &c., as being the best road hav 
ing the best horses and accommodations for a 
few days longer, and this painful separation I 
hope will be at an end. Yours, 

w. s. s. 


Exeter, August 27th, 1787, Monday, 

half past four o clock, P. M. 

I have run away thus far from my fever, my 
friend, and find myself increasing in health and 
spirits as I get nearer to you but I am little 
more than a travelling shadow. I have had a 
tight time of it, as we Yankees say, but thank 
Heaven it is over, and 7 once more permitted to 
advance upon the delightful theatre of health ; the 
real charms of which none but those who have 
been forced by the arrangements of Nature, or 
who have fallen from it by their own folly, or 
imprudence, seem to be proper judges of, and 
even some of them upon their restoration, run on 
heedless of the lesson. I shall compose myself 


for this day, and get in motion again about nine 
to-morrow, and lodge atTaunton to-morrow night, 
and thus gently I am obliged to approach. I hope 
after I pass Bath, to be able to be a little more 
lengthy in my journey ; at any rate, 1 think I may 
venture to say, you may expect me to dinner on 

Heaven bless and protect you and the dear boy. 
Remember me to sir and mamma. Yours, 

w. s. s. 


Paris, August 13th, 1783. 


I have received your affectionate letter of the 
10th of May, with great pleasure, and another 
from your mother of the 28th and 29th of April, 
which by mistake I omitted to mention in my 
letter to her to-day. Your education and your 
welfare, my dear child, are very near my heart ; 
and nothing in this life would contribute so much 
to my happiness, next to the company of your 
mother, as yours. I have reason to say this by 
the experience I have had of the society of your 
brother, whom I brought with me from the Hague. 
He is grown to be a man, and the world says they 
should take him for my younger brother, if they 
did not know him to be my son. I have great 
satisfaction in his behaviour, as well as in the im 
provements he has made in his travels, and the 


reputation he has left behind him wherever he 
has been. He is very studious and delights in 
nothing but books, which alarms me for his 
health ; because, like me, he is naturally inclined 
to be fat. His knowledge and his judgment are 
so far beyond his years, as to be admired by all 
who have conversed with him. I lament, how 
ever, that he could not have his education at Har 
vard College, where his brothers shall have theirs, 
if Providence shall afford me the means of sup 
porting the expense of it. If my superiors shall 
permit me to come home, I hope it will be soon ; 
if they mean I should stay abroad, I am not able 
to say what I shall do, until I know in what ca 
pacity. One thing is certain, that I will not live 
long without my family, and another is equally 
so, that I can never consent to see my wife and 
children croaking with me like frogs in the Fens 
of Holland, and burning and shivering alternately 
with fevers, as Mr. Thaler, Charles, Stephen, and 
myself have done : your brother John alone had 
the happiness to escape, but I was afraid to trust 
him long amidst those pestilential steams. 

You have reason to wish for a taste for history, 
which is as entertaining and instructive to the fe 
male as to the male sex. My advice to you would 
be to read the history of your own country, which 
although it may not afford so splendid objects as 
some others, before the commencement of the late 
war, yet since that period, it is the most interest- 


ing chapter in the history of the world, and before 
that period is intensely affecting to every native 
American. You will find among your own an 
cestors, by your mother s side at least, characters 
which deserve your attention. It is by the female 
world, that the greatest and best characters among 
men are formed. I have long been of this opinion 
to such a degree, that when 1 hear of an extraor 
dinary man, good or bad, I naturally, or habitually 
inquire who was his mother? There can be no 
thing in life more honourable for a woman, than 
to contribute by her virtues, her advice, her ex 
ample, or her address, to the formation of an hus 
band, a brother, or a son, to be useful to the world. 
Heaven has blessed you, my daughter, with an 
understanding and a consideration, that is not 
found every day among young women, and with 
a mother who is an ornament to her sex. You 
will take care that you preserve your own char 
acter, and that you persevere in a course of con 
duct, worthy of the example that is every day be 
fore you. With the most fervent wishes for your 
happiness, I am your affectionate father, 



Philadelphia, Feb. 21st, 1797. 

I believe I have not acknowledged your favour 
of the 20th January, which I received in its 



I hope your apprehensions that " the party who 
have embarrassed the President, and exerted them 
selves to divide the election, will endeavour to 
render my situation as uncomfortable as possi 
ble," will be found to be without sufficient foun 
dation ; I have seen, on the contrary, a disposition 
to acquiesce, and hope it will increase. I am not 
at all alarmed ; I know my countrymen very 

If the way to do good to my country, were to 
render myself popular, I could easily do it. But 
extravagant popularity is not the road to public 

By the 4th of March I shall know what to do. 
I cannot build my house till the foundation is 
laid ; at present I know not what house I shall 
have, nor what means to furnish it. These things 
will be determined in ten days. At present I be 
lieve it will be best for your mother to remain 
where she is until October. I shall go to her as 
soon as I can. 

Your brother John continues to give the high 
est satisfaction to government by his great indus 
try, his deep discernment, his independent spirit, 
and his splendid talents. I hear such commen 
dations of him as no other man abroad obtains. 

In your solitary hours, my dear daughter, you 

will have a delightful opportunity of attending to 

the education of your children, to give them a 

taste and attachment to study, and to books. A 



taste for science and literature, added to a turn for 
business, never can fail of success in life. With 
out learning, nothing very great can ever be ac 
complished in the way of business. But not only 
a thirst for knowledge should be excited, and a 
taste for letters be cultivated, but prudence, pa 
tience, justice, temperance, resolution, modesty, 
and self-cultivation, should be recommended to 
them as early as possible. The command of their 
passions, the restraint of their appetites, reverence 
for superiors, especially parents, a veneration for 
religion, morals, and good conduct. 

You will find it more for your happiness to 
spend your time with them in this manner, than 
to be engaged in fashionable amusements, and 
social entertainments, even with the best com 

But I must restrain myself, and subscribe the 
name of your affectionate father, 



Quincy, September 26th, 1802. 

I received last night your favour of the 17th, 
and thank you for the pamphlet you sent me ; I 
had read those before. Most of the pamphlets are 
sent me by one and another, as well as the news 

To read so much malignant dulness is an 


odious task, but it cannot well be avoided. I 
have the history, too, of my administration. Good 
God ! is this a public man sitting in judgment 
on nations ; and have the American people so 
little judgment, taste, arid sense as to endure it? 

The history of the Clintonian Faction, as it is 
called, I shall be glad to see. The society he as 
serts to exist, and which you say has not been de 
nied, I fear is of more consequence than you seem 
to be aware of. 

But to dismiss this society for the present. 
There is another set of beings who seem to have 
unlimited influence over the American people. 
They are a detachment, 1 fear, from a very black 
regiment in Europe, which was more than once 
described to me by Stockdale of Piccadilly, whom 
you must have seen at my house in Grosvenor 
Square. " Mr. Adams," said the bookseller, " the 
men of learning in this town are stark mad. I 
know one hundred gentlemen in London of great 
learning and ingenuity, excellent writers upon 
any subject, any one of whom I can hire at any 
time for one guinea a day, to write upon any 
theme, for or against any cause, in praise, or in 
defamation of any character." A number of the 
most profligate of these have come to this country 
very hungry, and are getting their bread by de 
stroying all distinction between right and wrong, 
truth and falsehood, virtue and vice. 

You speak of " moderate people on both sides ;" 


if you know of any such, I congratulate you on 
your felicity. All I know of that description are 
of no more consequence than if there were none. 
Commerce will decline, and the revenue fail. 
What expedient the government will have re 
course to, 1 presume not to conjecture. I mourn 
over the accumulated disgraces we are bringing 
on ourselves, but I can do nothing. 

The prisoners from St. Domingo will be dan 
gerous settlers in the southern states. The French 
care very little whether turning them loose is in 
sult or injury, provided we will cordially receive, 
or tamely connive at them. 

My health is good, and my spirits would be 
high, if the prospect before us did not present 
clouds portending bad weather. 

My love to Col. Smith and the children. The 
young gentlemen, I hope, think of Greece and 
Italy. I am your affectionate father, 




Quincy, January 24th, 1808. 


To-morrow will be a fortnight since you left 
me * ; I have watched the weather with much so 
licitude, and when we had snow, as we had the 
Thursday after you set out, I hoped it might 
speed your journey, provided there should not be 
too great a quantity ; although the storm was se 
vere and cold on Saturday, it was pleasant sleigh 
ing. I flattered myself we should enjoy it for a 
week or ten days, but so changeable the season 
that on Monday we had a partial thaw. If you 
have had similar weather I fear you have not 
reached your journey s end. We were rejoiced 
to hear from you at Worcester, and afterward at 
Northampton. A letter from a travelling friend 
is a great treat to those who sit by their fire 
sides, compassionate their toils, sometimes fancy 
ing that they must suffer from the cold, from the 
snow, from the rain, hard beds, scanty clothes, 
small pillows. &c. But patience, my dear girl, 
will make a smooth road where the pick-axe has 
never levelled the inequalities, and soften the 
mattress and the pillow. 



You will find new scenes opening before you ; 
in the venerable oaks, you must fancy you see 
the image of those grandparents you have left 
behind, and every tree of the forest you must pic 
ture some friend or acquaintance, even to our little 
A., who daily calls for you. You must write me 
how you spend your time, what are your daily 
occupations and amusements, what acquaintance 
you make with the quail, the partridge, and the 
pheasant. If you find sufficient amusement in 
the winter, the spring will give you new employ 
ment, and new pleasures. 

" You must mark how spring the tended plants, 
How Nature paints her colours, how the bee 
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweets." 

I shall fancy you flitting about among the trees 
gathering the sweets of the season. Your friends 
were all much surprised at your sudden flight, 
and regret that they had not the opportunity of 
bidding you adieu. I shall send my regards to 
uncle Justus, and congratulate him on the acqui 
sition of his female friends; tell him they will 
make the wilderness blossom like the rose, and 
add much comfort, I hope, to his domestic happi 
ness. He deserves, I think, all they can bestow. 

I think of you more on Sunday than on any 
other day. If you cannot attend public worship, 
you can spend your Sabbaths in a useful manner, 
as Mr. W. told us to-day, every moment should 
be devoted to some useful purpose, that we might 


ask the moments as they passed, what report they 
bore to Heaven that the more we cultivated and 
improved our intellectual powers, the more capa 
ble we should be of enjoyment in a higher and 
more perfect state of existence ; the nearer we 
should be allied to angels, and the spirits of just 
men made perfect ; and that in order to cultivate 
our faculties to advantage, we must have order and 
method in all our affairs. 

I am called to close my letter, yet I have not 
said half I intended ; take it as it is, warm from 
the heart of your affectionate grandmother, 



Quincy, May 28th, 1808. 


Your letter of May the 8th, your grandpapa 
brought home with him from church, on Sunday 
the 20th ; owing to sickness I was not able to go, 
and am yet confined to my chamber. My fever 
and cough are both leaving me, and I hope a few 
days more will give me health sufficient to enjoy 
the fine season. 

I have been reading a novel called the Wild 
Irish Girl. Why the term wild is given, I know 
not, unless as a ridicule upon those who imbibe 
national prejudices, merely from vague report. 
She is represented as living in an ancient barony 
with her father, who in the wars had been de- 


spoiled of his property, and had retired with his 
daughter, her old nurse, and Father John, a learn 
ed, polite, and liberal minded priest, from whom 
she received her education. Here she lived, a 
recluse from the world, but with a lively imagi 
nation, a sportive fancy, a devotion to music, 
which she practised upon her harp, the favourite 
instrument of her country. She studied, and was 
perfectly versed in the historic knowledge of her 
native land ; as a resource, she became a botanist, 
and on a thousand occasions, displayed such a 
love of nature and its productions, which she de 
scribes so artlessly, with such a vivid display of 
superior powers, that she charms and enchants 
the reader. She had gathered the first rosebud 
of the spring, which she had watched with much 
care, and presented to a young stranger, whom 
chance had led to the barony, and who had for 
some months been an inmate there, and who at 
the request of her father had been her preceptor 
in drawing. In return she repeated to him a lit 
tle ode from the French. "Oh beautiful! beauti 
ful!" exclaimed Glorvina, "I thank you for this 
beautiful ode; the rose was always my idol flower 
in all its different stages of existence ; it speaks a 
language my heart understands, from its young 
bud s first crimson glow, to the last sickly blush 
of its faded bloom; it is the flower of sentiment 
in all its sweet transitions ; it breathes a moral, 
and seems to preserve an undecayingsoulin that 



fragrant essence which still survives the bloom 
and symmetry of the fragile form which every 
beam too ardent, every gale too chill, injures and 

Your little darling A. has been sick, and looks 
like the flower or the bud in its faded form, which 
I have just been describing ; more interesting in 
decay than bloom one exciting all the pleasing 
sensations, the other a softer and tenderer senti 

Our friends here are all well. To-morrow 
will be our general election day; the embargo 
should not be complained of by the federalists, for 
it has increased their number ten fold, and will 
be like to give them such a weight in the coun 
cils of the nation, as no other measure of a peace 
able kind could have effected. 

TVith the love and affection of the whole family, 
jointly and severally, I close my letter to my dear 
Caroline, and am her truly affectionate grand 
mother, A. A. 

Quincy, August 30th, 1808. 


Your apology for not having written before was 
accepted by your grandmother. To be attentive 
to our guests is not only true kindness, but true 
politeness ; for if there is a virtue which is its own 
reward, hospitality is that virtue. We remember 
slight attentions, after we have forgotten great 


benefits ; sweetness of temper, easiness of be 
haviour, and kindness of disposition, are pecu 
liarly engaging in youth, and when found in age, 
adorn life s decline. But why need I recommend 
these virtues to my dear girl, when she has one of 
the first patterns for her imitation before her in 
her father, whose cordial hospitality, and true po 
liteness, are known to all who have any knowl 
edge of him, either in the camp, the city, or the 
wilderness ? Were it not for this, and the excel 
lent example you have before you, for prudence, 
moderation, and discretion, in another character, 
I should fear you would become rusticated, and 
lose that polish, which is of some value in the 
polite world, and without which, I have known 
many a talent hidden under a bushel, instead of 
shedding a lustre all around.* A. A. 

Quincy, Feb. 2d, 1809. 


I have not written to you this year, and this is 
the second month of it ! and let us ask the rising 
year, now open to our view yet wrapped in dark 
ness, whither dost thou lead ? Let cheerful hope 
receive the welcome guest, gratefully recollecting 
the many blessings of the past year, and commit 
ting ourselves to the wise and overruling Provi 
dence, who suffers not a sparrow to fall to the 
ground without his notice. 

I have sympathized with you in the trouble you 

* Only a part of this letter is given. 


have experienced since I wrote to yon last ; first 
upon account of the dangerous accident your 
uncle met with, and then upon the death of a do 
mestic. I know your mind is susceptible offender 
impressions; these were implanted in the human 
breast for wise purposes. You have cause for 
great thankfulness, that although death entered 
your habitation, your uncle was spared to you, 
whose loss would have been much more to be de 
plored and lamented, than the one whom it pleased 
Heaven to take. Death at any time, and in any 
form, is a solemn event. 

" Nor is the heavenly warning vain, 
Which calls to watch and pray." 

I have now to thank you for your charming 
letter of December. Cultivate, my dear, those 
lively spirits, and that sweet innocence and con 
tentment, which will rob the desert of its gloom, 
and cause the wilderness to bloom around you. 
Destitute of these qualifications, a palace would 
not yield satisfaction, or the most affluent circum 
stances bestow peace of mind, or tranquillity of 
heart. Always remember that you are account 
able to that being who brought you into existence, 
for your time and talents ; that you were not born 
for yourself, but to fill every hour with some 
useful employment, as says the song : 

" Man was created for useful employ, 

From earth s first creation till now ; 
And tis good for his health, his comfort and joy, 
To live by the sweat of his brow." 


Do not say grandmamma preaches. I know 
my Caroline thinks and reflects seriously, and she 
will lay up these admonitions, and value them 
when her grandmother can no longer indite them. 
I treasure up and venerate many of the maxims 
of my good grandmother Quincy, as the most 
precious of relics ; with her, I passed my early, 
wild, and giddy days, for of such I had my full 
share ; but 

" Her easy presence chocked no decent mirth ; 
She still remembered that she once was young, 
And laughing would instruct." 

Have you a world of snow ? We have a much 
larger quantity than last year. It is my misfor 
tune to be confined to the house at this season ; 
snow does not suit my constitution, it gives me 
the rheumatism; I have more of it now than is 
agreeable ; the Dr. has put me on calomel and 
opium pills, and a water gruel regimen ; I hope 
it will go off in a few days ; confinement does 
not suit me or my family. 

Does W. go to Philadelphia ; or does he wait 
for the day to dawn? it is time to look for a 
change. Where the light is to spring up I know 
not ; the people of this state are wrought up to a 
high tone. I hope they will be induced to keep 
the peace, and try all lawful means for redress. 
God defend us from a civil war ; but oppression 
will produce it, and our rulers will have much to 
answer for. You say you hate politics ; but 


when your native country is so seriously threat 
ened, you cannot be a descendant from the spirit 
of 76, to be totally indifferent to what is passing. 
From your affectionate grandmother, 

A. A. 

Quincy, August 12th, 1809. 


Last Saturday my dear children and grand 
children sailed in the ship Horace, Capt. Beckford, 
for St. Petersburg!! ; this separation from a dear 
son, at the advanced age both of your grandfather 
and myself, was like taking our last leave of him, 
and was felt by us both with the keenest anguish. 
Our hearts were "garnered up in him," perhaps 
too closely, and we were called to this trial to 
wean us from too strong an attachment to this 

"Hope which springs eternal in the human 
breast," whose figure is represented as leaning up 
on an anchor, still whispers a consolation to which 
the sorrowing heart still clings, and is buoyed 
up by it, that we may yet meet again. To the 
Sovereign Disposer of all events, I would strive 
cheerfully to submit. I could sustain the separa 
tion with more fortitude if one equally dear to me* 
was not also separated far from me, though not in 
a foreign land, yet so distant, that I am cut off 
from all personal intercourse ; that I can hear 

* Mrs. Adams only daughter, Mrs. Smith. 



frequently from her is a comfort and consola 
tion to me. "I would not," says Mrs. Grant, 
whose letters I have sent your mamma, I think, 
u desire to live a day longer, than while my heart 
was warmed by an affectionate intercourse with 
those I love." 

To you I have long been indebted for a letter, 
which merited a much earlier reply ; I knew 
you were enjoying the society of your young 
and valued friends, therefore was the less anxious 
about writing, as I was so fully occupied in my 
own family. Be assured of the aifection of your 
grandmother,* A. A. 

Quincy, Dec. 9th, 1809. 


Thursday, 30th November, was our Thanks 
giving Day; I was not able to attend church, 
owing to my eye, which I regretted : our good 
minister is always excellent upon particular oc 
casions ; I am told he was upon this. 

At dinner I looked round, I hope with a thank 
ful heart, but alas ! how many of my dear child 
ren were absent, not one of them to give pleasure 
to the festive table ; the young shoots and branches 
remained ; I had two from each family ; these 
promising successors of their dear parents rejoiced 
over their plum-puddings without knowing what 
were the reflections and anxious solicitude of 
their grandmother, respecting some of their absent 

* Only a part of this letter is given. 


For health, food, and raiment, for peace, and for 
society, and unnumbered other favours, may my 
heart pour forth its grateful effusions, and in the 
words of the poet I may say, 

" When all thy mercies, O my God ! 

My rising soul surveys, 
Transported with the view, I m lost 
In wonder, love, and praise." 

That no inroad has been made by death amongst 
any of my near and dear connections, is a sin 
cere source of grateful remembrance ; may the 
lives and health of every branch be prolonged, 
until, like a shock of corn fully ripe, we may be 
gathered to our fathers. 

No apology is ever necessary to my dear C. 
for any serious reflections which may fall from 
the pen of her aged grandmother ; reflection be 
comes all ages, and she does not the less delight 
in the innocent gayety and vivacity of youth ; 

" She still remembers that she once was young." 

I am rejoiced to find that you intend to turn 
your spinning wheel; the more we are qualified 
to help ourselves, the less dependent we are upon 
others ; from the present temper of old England, 
it looks as if we should be less her customers than 
formerly. I would recommend the use of them 
in every family. We had better return to the 
pastoral age, than suffer the domination of any 
foreign power. 

It is said, that the Emperor Augustus wore no 


clothes but such as were made by the Empress 
and her daughters ; and Olympias did the same 
for Alexander. 

The web of Penelope is well known to you, as 
related by Homer in his Odyssey ; her maids who 
attended her are admonished by Ulysses to retire 
with her, and with a delicate reprimand for their 

" To whom the king. Ill suits your sex to stay 
Alone with man ! ye modest maids, away ! 
Go with the Queen, the spindle guide or cull, 
(The partners of her cares) the silver wool." 

Thus, my dear girl, you have before you some 
of the most ancient, illustrious examples to excite 
your ambition and imitation. Your mother ac 
cuses me of a neglect in her education upon this 
head, and I plead guilty to the charge ; I would, 
by my advice to you, endeavour to rectify my de 
ficiency towards her. I might have added to my 
list of worthies, Solomon s virtuous woman, who 
seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly 
with her hands. 

I have long been indebted to you for a letter, 
but my finger atone time, and my eye at another, 
have prevented my writing the evening would 
be valuable to me for my correspondence if my 
eyes would bear me out. Old age with its in. 
firmities assail me. I have reason to be thankful 
that my senses are so much in action, that my 
hearing is not at all impaired, but my memory 


and recollection are not what they once were. 
My heart is still warm, and my affections fervent 
towards my dear children and friends : when they 
cease to beat for their welfare and happiness, na 
ture itself will expire, and the cold hand of death 
close the eyes of your affectionate grandmother, 

A. A. 

Quincy, Aug. llth, 1811. 


I do not know how our account stands, whether 
I am indebted for a letter or you, but I shall not 
be very strict with you ; I am always delighted 
with your letters, whether to me or to Susan ; 
we talk daily of you. and wish for you, and 
when I think how far you all are from me, I am 
ready to sit down and weep. 

We go on much in the old way here now and 
then a large party, then a few friends. A. A. 

Aug. 6th, 1812. 


I received your letter this day, written from 
Springfield ; this has been a relief to us to hear 
that you were well, and that your dear mother 
bore her journey so well. 

After you left me I felt no restraint upon me, 

and could give way to all I felt and all I had 

suppressed ; my harp was upon the willow, and my 

spirits at a very low ebb ; I have in some meas- 




ure recovered them, and follow you daily upon 
your journey : when 1 think of my privations, I 
am silenced by a recollection of my many bless 

I enclose you a volume from H., and I have 
written to your mother so lately, that I have not 
a brain prolific enough to entertain you. 

I could inform you that our old gardener went 
to France in the winter, and did not expect to re 
turn soon enough in the spring ; we have another 
in his stead, who, like most successors, finds fault 
with his predecessor, that this should have been 
so, and that, otherwise ; accordingly he must make 
alterations time must prove whether for the 
better. The season, although cold, is more for 
ward than last year ; the grain failed in all parts 
of the state, and there would have been a want 
and scarcity with us, if we had no other cause ; 
but the blockade of our harbours has cut off the 
coasting trade, we cannot get grain but by land 
from the south, which renders it very high. Flour 
is at 17 dollars a barrel ; this is a calamity which 
I hope will not last long if we have a fruitful 
season bread, the staff of life and the chief re 
liance of the poor, should be kept low. 

Our seventy-fours are building ; our little navy 
shows what we should have done if it had not 
been impeded in its growth: but to compare 
great things with small, the successor to the 
father of the navy, like the gardener, thought 


that this was not necessary, and that might be 
laid aside, taxes were repealed, lest our revenue 
should be so abundant that we should commit 
mischief with it. Blindness to the future, I will 
not say in this instance, kindly given. Well, you 
tell H. she must not write politics ; now it is just 
as natural for me to fall upon them as to breathe ; 
it distresses me to see so many of my kindred 
and acquaintance, whom I love and esteem, going 
blindfold, as I think led astray by deceivers, as 
cribing views and designs to the government of 
which I know them to be innocent. 

Come, let me quit this subject. How many 
cows do you have upon the farm ? How many 
ducks have you raised ? How many chickens ? 
We have found them so mischievous, we have 
banished them all ; not a solitary hen upon our 
territories, or a stately cock rears his head upon 
the place. 

I was called away last evening before I could 
close. In the evening we have a room full some 
times to overflowing. We have an agreeable ad 
dition in Mr. A. s family ; since his return from 
abroad they have been frequent in their visits to 
us. He is the most sensible, intelligent gentle 
man of all our society; rational and liberal upon 
all political subjects. He has been to Lisbon, and 
to Portugal, associated with English and French 
officers of army and navy, and returns to his own 
country, astonished at the partiality that prevails 


in favour of foreign countries, and at the opposi 
tion to the government of our own. Well, here 
I am again, upon the old topic ; all I can say in 
excuse is, that out of the abundance of the heart 
the mouth speaketh. I want to see you all. 
With love, regard, and esteem, and without com 
pliment, I am as ever, yours, A. A. 


Quincy, October 1st, 1819. 

It is already three weeks since you left us ; I 
have not any knowledge of your progress farther 
than New-Haven, where General Humphreys in 
formed me that he had the pleasure of meeting 

I wish to hear from you, although I cannot ex 
pect that you have anything agreeable of a pub 
lic nature to communicate, from the desolate 
walls of Washington. I will, however, turn my 
face from that forlorn place, and congratulate you 
upon the triumphant victory of McDonough, up 
on Lake Champlain; and of McCombs at Platts- 
burgh, which has brightened the splendour of 
our arms, and gathered fresh laurels for our 
country. But we must entwine the yew with the 
laurel, over the bier of the heroic sons of Colum 
bia, whose lives paid the forfeit of their valour. 

I wish for information respecting our connec 
tions at Washington: from judge Cranch, letters 


have been received by his friends here, but I do 
not know anything of our other friends, whether 
they have been sufferers. Will you be so good as 
to inform yourself, and write me word ? 

Boston continues to be fortified in every direc 
tion, and the numerous troops collected there, 
drilled and disciplined seven hours every day. 
All apprehension of an attack upon it this year 
appears to be dissipated. 

I perceive the apple of discord is thrown out in 
Congress, and the removal of the seat of govern 
ment proposed. A warm opposition no doubt 
will ensue, arid the powerful name of the founder 
of Washington, will prevail to keep you there. 

I should like to hear how you are accommo 
dated ; I know you can submit to privations like 
an old soldier. 

Clouds and darkness hang over us ; ways and 
means are one of the most difficult obstacles we 
have to contend with ; public credit is shaken, 
and the banks trembling. Where the ark of our 
safety is to rest, time must unfold. We are all 
well. I am. dear sir, affectionately yours, 

A. A. 

Quincy, September 27th, 1814. 


This morning s post brought me your letter of 
the 20th. We were all delighted ; grandfather s 
tears watered his cheek when he read the letter; 


Susan skipped with all her warmth and ardour, 
into every part of the scene. 

" In joyous youth, what soul hath never known, 
Thoughts, feelings, taste, harmonious to its own." 

S. walked her mile and a half to communicate 
the grateful tidings ; every heart and eye parti 
cipated with you. 

I shall not say anything about the wonders of 
the world, for this reason, I know not what to 
say ; yet I cannot help feeling pity, or commis 
eration for Buonaparte ; to what part of the world 
can he flee? Some say America! I do not want 
him here, although I think he would be quite 
harmless, deprived as he is, of all power, author 
ity, and means. 

By the help of one night s refreshing sleep, I 
am enabled to write to you this morning, know 
ing not what the morrow may bring forth. Four 
score and ten is an age, when we can neither ex 
pect health, or much strength, when our strength 
is weakness. I cannot say that I have no pleas 
ure in my days ; I have abundant in this, my sick 
ness. I have had kind, attentive friends, a skil 
ful physician, and every human aid : is there not 
pleasure in all this? and unto the Great First 
Cause be the praise. 

Dear, tempting child, how pleased I should be 
to make you the visit you so pathetically urge ; 
but would it not be too hazardous for your grand 
father, at his age, to undertake ? True, we en- 


joy as much health, and as good spirits as can be 
expected, and more than we had reason to look 
for, considering the many scenes we have passed 
through ; but we must finish our course in our 
own habitation, and not venture beyond a day s 
journey. I might be hazardous enough to run 
the risk, but I would not have your grandfather, 
who yet may outlive me, though so many years 
older. So, dear girl, we thank you for your in 
vitation, and feel at our hearts, the value of it, 
but must content ourselves with the hope, if we 
live, of seeing you and yours the next spring. 

I have lately been reading Lady Morgan s 
France ; she is entertaining, and gives us many 
pleasant anecdotes. I do not like her affectation of 
new words ; the reviewers may properly attack 
them she is, however, an interesting traveller 
to me, although no favourite with the English. 

To rise with dignity, and fall with ease, is a 
very desirable qualification ; but such is the frail 
ty of human nature; adversity is better calculated 
to call forth the virtues, than prosperity, which 
puffeth up, and is unseemly. 

I have not yet thanked you for your letter from 
New-York. I entered into all your feelings so 
simply and pathetically described, while wander 
ing through scenes which awakened recollections 
to "joys that were past, never to return." 

How much does the heart pant for the renewal 
of those affections, which once so cordially greet- 


ed an absent friend, when visiting the same spot ; 
the unbidden tear starts, and memory sighs, all, all 
is changed a new set " come tittering on, and 
push us off the stage." 

But while this heart beats, and this hand hath 
warmth, and reason retains its seat, my dear Car 
oline will be joyfully received and welcomed by 
her affectionate grandmother, A. A. 


Quincy, Oct. 23d, 1814. 


If you find as many joyful faces to receive you, 
as you have left sorrowful hearts behind you, you 
will have no reason to complain. When upon 
former occasions you have been separated from 
me, it was always with the expectation of having 
you again with me ; since I have considered you 
as mine, you have been to me one of the chief 
props and supports of my declining years. By 
your watchful attention, and cheerful readiness 
to prevent even my wants, you have rendered 
yourself so necessary to me, as to be the solace of 
my days. It is natural to feel a privation in pro 
portion to our enjoyments; what then, think you, 
is the void left in my breast ? True, I have other 
comforts in the faithful and constant attention of 
Louisa, and the sprightly vivacity of Susan. 

Your letter to my venerable friend, Mrs. War 
ren, was received by me and forwarded to her. 



" Tell my dear Mrs. Adams to write to me, or to 
see me very soon, else we only meet in Heaven," 
was one of the last expressions of your departed 
friend, my ever to be respected mother. Thus 
writes her son to me upon the 19th : " Upon the 
18th the imprisoned spirit ascended from the de 
cayed and ancient fabric. She had but a few days 
of suffering." 

I may with truth say, that take her all in all, 
we shall not look upon her like again. String 
after string is severed from the heart ; the lamp 
of life burnt bright to the last. Dr. Freeman told 
me she wrote him a letter upon the 6th of the 
present month, when she entered her 87th year. 
I rejoice that you visited her ; your remembrance 
of her will always be pleasant. Seldom does old 
age wear so pleasing, so instructive an aspect. 
To me she was a friend of more than fifty sum 
mers ripening. 

Yesterday completed half a century since I en 
tered the married state, then just your age. I have 
great cause of thankfulness that I have lived so 
long, and enjoyed so large a portion of happiness 
as has been my lot. The greatest source of un- 
happiness I have known in that period, has arisen 
from the long and cruel separations which I was 
called in a time of war, and with a young family 
around me, to submit to. 

My pen runs on, " but," as the gallant Adam 


said to Eve, "with thee conversing I forget all 

That you and the rest of my posterity may en 
joy as large a share of felicity as has fallen to me, 
is the sincere wish and prayer of your affection 
ate grandmother, A. A. 


Quincy, Feb. 19th, 1815. 

Bad as my eyes are, I cannot refrain from wri 
ting a few lines to dear Caroline, and thanking 
her for her last welcome letter, and congratula 
ting her upon the restoration of peace to our be 
loved country, an event, although earnestly de 
sired, unexpected as to the time. 

May we receive it as a moral and religious 
people, and ascribe praise to that Being who ru- 
leth among the inhabitants of the earth, who ma- 
keth our enemies to be at peace with us, and who 
hath recently given such success to our arms, as 
is wondrous in our eyes. History does not fur 
nish a parallel to the victory at New-Orleans ; I 
mean as it respects the difference of numbers 
slain. If it were not from the mouth of many 
witnesses I should have discredited it, until it was 
sanctioned by the official letter of General Jack 

The loss of our frigate the President, I lament 
as a sacrifice of lives, but not of national honour. 
To surrender to such a superior force, after en- 


gaging and silencing a frigate of equal force, and 
three to one, withers no laurels on the brow of 
Decatur. Not a single ship-of-war belonging to 
us, but has gathered fame and renown for our 
country. Our armies too were becoming formi 
dable ; our forces for the last eighteen months 
have restored the honour, and retrieved the repu 
tation so much injured at the commencement of 
the war ; and the late glorious victory at New- 
Orleans, closes the war with a lustre upon the 
American arms which time will not efface. 

And what with her thousand ships, and tens of 
thousand troops, has Great Britain to boast of? 
Will the destruction, not of the city, but of the 
public buildings of an infant city, unfortified, and 
almost unarmed, emblazon her prowess, or trans 
mit her valour to posterity ? No ! elated as was 
the Prince Regent, exulting in his shame, he gave 
orders to have the mighty deed translated into all 
the foreign languages of Europe, and sent to their 
different courts, and how was it received? With 
disgust, with abhorrence ! so that when their am 
bassador in France, Lord Wellington, made a 
grand fete, and gave a ball in celebration of the 
event, not a single foreign minister accepted the 

That the successful invasion of that city will 
be an indelible stain upon the administration, I 
must admit ; but still the Gothic barbarism of the 
British administration, which could direct and 


sanction such a deed, will go down to future ages 
with shame and disgrace. 

I think you are right to take every opportunity 
of seeing and becoming acquainted with your own 
country. Although we are yet in the infancy of 
improvement, as it respects the fine arts, when 
compared with ancient countries ; yet there is 
not one which history presents, where religion 
and government are so happily combined to pro 
mote the happiness and prosperity of the people, 
where liberty and independence were so well un 
derstood, and amply enjoyed. We all send an 
abundance of love to you, and yours. From your 
affectionate, A. A. 


Boston, June 5th, 1816. 

After a year s absence I came yesterday to make 
a visit to my friends for three days. Our anxiety 
to hear from you, led me to send to the office this 
morning for letters; there I found yours of May 
3 1st, containing tidings that my fears had antici 
pated, as you will find when you receive my last 

My dear child, you will be again called to se 
vere and afflictive scenes ; may you be prepared, 
sustained, and supported through them, by that 
Almighty Power, which calls you to the trial ; I 
feel the stroke as a renewal of what I have passed 
through, and as an anticipation of what I may be 



called to endure, yet a little while, and I also shall 
join the great congregation. 

If your father should survive for you to see 
him, and receive this letter from me, before he 
departs, give my kindest love to him, and say to 
him, [ hope to meet him and my dear daughter, in 
the world to which we are hastening. I can add 
no more, my heart is full ; ever your affectionate 
grandmother, A. A. 


Quincy, June 21st, 1816. 

It was with a heavy heart and trembling hand, 
that I yesterday broke the seal of your letter to 
your uncle. 1 knew that he was gone to Boston, 
and as I had not any letter myself, I could not 
wait in such suspense ; the contents of the letter 
has left me little expectation of hearing that the 
lamp of life is not nearly extinguished. 

I had written thus far, when Louisa brought 
me the paper, with the notice of your dear father s 
departure on the 10th. 

Have I lived to this day, to mourn with my 
dear child the loss of both parents ? little did I 
think the last winter, that I should have been the 
survivor ; I weep with you, and pray you may 
be supported by that Almighty Power, who has 
called you to this trial. 

I have not expected you to write to me, dis 
tressed as you must have been. How much we 


have all wished we could have been near you, to 
have alleviated some of your sorrows, by sharing 
them with you. Thus my dear children, you 
have all honoured your father and your mother ; 
may you all inherit that blessing which is prom 
ised to those who keep that commandment. Mer 
cies are mingled in your cup. My heart is too 
full to write. I am, dear child, your affectionate 
grandmother, A. A. 

Quincy, January 29th, 1818. 


As Dean Swift says, " eyes with writing almost 
blind," I commence a letter to you, near ten 
o clock at night, after having written seven letters 
to go abroad by the Milo. 

I have been wishing to write to you all the 
week, but last Friday, in a snow storm, who 
should corne to make me a visit, but Mrs. Gushing, 
who is always a welcome guest ; she stayed until 
Tuesday ; I could not leave her to write. 

We find so little here to interest us beyond our 
domestic concerns, that few subjects arise to ruffle 
the calm, which so tranquilly surrounds us. 

The only one which creates a public sensation, 
is the battle of Bunker Hill, as lately published by 
General Dearborn, in which he has attacked the 
military character of General Putnam. This has 
roused the indignation of the son of the General, 
and he replies with no small share of severity, ai 


the same time with a filial respect, love, and ven 
eration, which cannot fail to interest every reader. 
He has written a letter to your grandfather, as to 
one of the oldest survivors of the revolution, res 
pectfully requesting him to inform him, if he had 
known, or ever heard, in Congress, or out of it, 
any dissatisfaction with the conduct of General 
Putnam, upon the memorable 17th of June, 1775 ? 
He wishes for the information, whether it may 
tend either to honour or dishonour. 

" I desire no favour or concealment, for how 
ever alive 1 may feel to a sense of injury, prompted 
by envy and selfishness ; truth, from a source so 
respectable and impartial as that of President 
Adams, will be always held in the same reverence 
and treated with the same respect, whether it bears 
the marks of censure or condemnation." 

" His honest fame is the most precious inheri 
tance he left his family ; and having been his con 
stant attendant from the commencement of the 
revolution to the last moment of his life, I will 
defend it, if need be, at the expense of every other 
earthly hope." 

Such a high sense of filial affection and duty, 
with such honourable feelings, so pathetically ex 
pressed, drew tears from my eyes when I read the 
letter, to which I can by no means do justice with 
out the whole. 

Mr. Holly is going to Washington, and from 
thence to Kentucky, where he is invited to be 


President of a College. He prefers to go and see 
the country and the people, before he gives an 
answer ; to this purpose, he has obtained leave of 
absence for three months, and proposes to visit the 
great and the gay scenes at Washington, to visit Mr. 
Madison and Mr. Jefferson. Last Monday, he and 
Mrs. H. came and passed the day with us. He is a 
very pleasant companion ; one need be only a 
hearer ; he has a mind vivid, active, inquisitive, 
ardent, comprehensive ; shall I say profound ? He 
is only 35 years of age ; can a man be profound at 
that age ? He says he will not print even a ser 
mon until after 40. He certainly belongs to the 
family of the Searches ; he is very eloquent, a 
fine person, as you know. 

And now dear Caroline, if 1 could have flour 
ished over my paper as you do, I should have cov 
ered three sides, but I had rather have a little than 
none at all. Let me hear from you, it lessens the 
distance that separates us. Adieu, dear girl ; kiss 
the babes for me, and believe me in cold weather 
and warm, in all seasons and times, your affec 
tionate grandmother, A. A. 

Quincy, March 22d, 1818. 


" Delightful praise, like summer rose, 
That brighter in the dew-drop glows." 

They were sweet drops which flowed from the 
heart to the eyes both of your grandfather and 
grandmother, when I read to him the two letters 


you had transcribed to your uncle and to your 
father, in commendation of your brother. You 
could not have offered a sweeter incense to your 
grandfather ; and flowing from the pen of an old 
friend of your father s, it carried the marks of sin 
cerity, without the alloy of adulation, and merits 
a grateful return. " A good name is better than 
precious ointment ; it is the immediate jewel of 
the soul." 

The freshet which carried away the bridges, 
and made such havoc with the roads, together 
with the robbery of the mail, has prevented our 
regular communication, and 1 suspect I have lost 
a journal ; I enclose you the only one you have 
not seen. 

I hear that Duane has got hold of my letter to 
Niles, and spits forth vulgar abuse at me and the 
Secretary of State, who had not any more to do 
with the subject than the Emperor of China. He 
has revealed who the person was, who sent the 
ungentlemanly refusal to dine ; how he knew, I 
cannot divine he abuses him also ; but the low 
sarcasms of these people affect me no more at this 
day than the idle wind. 

I have not seen, only heard of the laudable ef 
forts of those foreigners, who will foment a party 
spirit if they can. They wish to engage us in a 
war with Spain ; and finding our growth rapid, 
and our national strength increasing in propor 
tion, more than one European power would re- 


joice to find us embroiled with any power which 
could retard our progress ; they know the admin 
istration is averse to war, they think to abuse it 
with impunity. 

I was much gratified to see the overpowering 
vote of the house to reject the Spanish petition ; 
an unprecedented attempt in any country, to ap 
peal from the sovereign to the Parliament. Ge 
net appealed to the people at large, which he found 

The Boston subscription for the bust soon filled, 
although no person was allowed to subscribe more 
than two dollars; a very respectable committee 
was sent, with a short and handsome address upon 
the occasion, and on Thursday the artist came. 
He takes the bust first in clay ; he has been a part 
of three days engaged upon it ; he does not re 
quire any formal sitting ; he works with much 
ease ; his name Binon. a Frenchman by birth, 
with all the vivacity of his nation ; quite a gen 
tleman, and well acquainted with books; he has 
passed twelve years in Italy ; he will have an ad 
mirable likeness. 

I have never before heard of Cox s Female Bi 
ography ; I should like to read it. Many of the 
female characters in Scripture, both of the Old and 
New Testament, do great honour to the sex. It 
is a pleasing and grateful circumstance, to read 
in the life and character of our Saviour, the af 
fection and tenderness which he manifests to wo- 


men to Mary, to Martha, to the widow of Sa 
maria, and many others. 

It grows too dark to see or write ; so with love 
to you and yours, I am your affectionate 

A. A. 


Montezillo, Jan. 1, 1820. 


I wish you a happy New-year, and as many new 
years as your nature can bear, in health, peace, 
and competence, with your children like olive- 
plants about your table. 

But be sure to make them all, male and female, 
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, 
work hard with their own hands, so as to be able 
to command their own livelihood, by their indus 
try, economy, and sagacity. 

I am very glad to find that you are in corres 
pondence with my friend Vanderkemp. This 
correspondence will amuse you, and if you are 
not very learned, will instruct you. But even he 
does not know every thing ; he was ignorant un 
til a few days ago, that inoculation for the small 
pox was first introduced into the British empire 
in the town of Boston. By this time he knows 
that Dr. Zabaliel Boyleston, a younger brother of 
my grandfather, Peter Boyleston of Brookline, in 
oculated his own children in 1720, one hundred 
years ago, and after that inoculated his negroes 


at their express desire, and carried his own family 
safe through the distemper. His success in his 
own house, encouraged others in his neighbour 
hood to run the risk. He inoculated all who 
would submit to the operation. The fame of his 
success in the town of Boston spread to England, 
and produced an invitation to him to embark for 
that country, to inoculate the royal family. He 
did embark, but before he arrived, the royal child 
ren had acquired courage enough to trust their 
own surgeons. 

Our collegians are gone to Washington ; they 
must necessarily spend a winter of dissipation 
but they are all so smitten with the charms of lit 
erature, that I hope they will continue faithful 
and true. 

We are all in good health here, eighteen in 
number. I am, as ever, your affectionate grand 
father, JOHN ADAMS. 

P. S. Since I have written the above, I have 
picked up a good story. 

Of two noblemen in the neighbouring countries, 
one had a son, the other a daughter ; the son fell 
in love with the daughter, and solicited her fath- 
ers s consent, that he should pay his addresses to 
her. Her father asked him " how will you main 
tain her?" He answered "according to her rank." 
"Rank! what rank have you, or has she?" He 
answered " the rank of her father." " What have 


children to do with the rank, or fortunes of their 
parents ? rank and fortune in reversion are nei 
ther rank or fortune. Have you any profession, 
occupation, trade, office, or employment, by which 
you can get your own living?" " No, my lord, 
I have none." " Then you shall never have my 
daughter ; I will never give my daughter to any 
one who cannot maintain himself and her too." 
u Very well, my lord, have patience with me ; I 
will endeavour to show your lordship that I can 
maintain myself and your daughter." 

A basket maker in the neighbourhood was ma 
king great profits by the manufacture of curious 
baskets, which he sold for their elegance and 
taste, for a very great price. To this man the 
young lord went, and gave him sufficient reward 
to teach him the art ; in which he made so great 
a proficiency, that in one year, he became a more 
exquisite workman than his master or his appren 
tices. He immediately carried some of his own 
handy-work to the old nobleman. " Here, my 
lord, I am now an independent man ; with these 
productions, with my own hands, I can maintain 
myself and your daughter in a manner that will 
make us both perfectly happy, without any aid 
from either of our parents." " Then if you have, 
or can obtain her affections, she shall be yours." 





Montezillo, January 24th, 1820. 


This year completes a century since my Un 
cle Boylston introduced the practic of inoculation 
into the English dominions ; but what improve 
ments have been made, since 1720, partly by ex 
perience, but much more by the discovery of Dr. 
Jenner ? The history of this distemper is enough 
to humble human pride ! enough to demonstrate 
what ignorant puppets we are ! how we grope in 
the dark ! and what empty phantoms we pursue ! 

You are not singular in your suspicions that 
you know but little. The longer I live, the more 
I read, the more patiently I think; and the more 
anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know. 

Why should the " Vaccine " have been conceal 
ed from all eternity, and then instantaneously re 
vealed ? Why should the material world have 
slept in nonentity from eternity, and then created 
or awakened into existence ? 

Worm ! ask no such questions ! do justly, love 
mercy, walk humbly. This is enough for you to 
know, and to do. The world is a better one than 
you deserve ; strive to make yourself more wor 
thy of it. 

So questions, and so answers your affectionate 




Oldenbarneveld, February 25th, 1820. 


I mast acknowledge that some time ago, I fos 
tered the expectation of being gratified with a few 
lines from your hand, and although I was disap 
pointed, yet could not persuade myself that I was 

Your cousin s supposed departure, the concerns 
of a numerous family. Is it not strange that J 
was not struck with the possibility of sickness and 
trouble, which might have prevented it, or should 
these confine themselves to old age, while silent 
ly they undermine the tottering frame? At least, 
I did not think upon it, and yet it was the case, 
and I trust that fully recovered, and hurried up in 
the capital, your frame shall be strengthened in 
the spring. 

My contentment at Cedar Grove, my dear Car 
oline, was so perfect, my enjoyments so exquisite, 
that I do not only recollect these often, but grati 
fy myself in renewing these communications to 
my family and friends. I was indeed happy dur 
ing those three days, and was it in my power, I 
would strive to renew it ; but at my age, in my 
situation, the prospect towards it is not bright, al 
though even this is not a cause to mourn. We 
ought rather to be thankful for every share of bliss 
with which we are favoured. 


You know me too well, to doubt for a single 
moment, if a copy of John Adams s letter would 
gratify me ; but who is that lady so accomplished 
as to captivate a nearly nonaganarian, and place 
him in such an ecstacy? But I do not envy the 
happiness of my so highly respected and beloved 
friend ; his last days are his best days, and the 
blessings of his contemporaries, and posterity must 
be a delightful repast for his children and grand 

Remember me with kindness to Mr. de Windt; 
this shall strengthen the impression, if any good 
one was made in rny favour, by my visit, and 
obliterate the less favourable. Mr. Lawsori s cour 
tesy cannot be forgotten by me, which received a 
higher value, from his modesty and frankness. 
He is the third British soldier with whom I be 
came acquainted, and how should I be pleased 
might I see the trio under my humble roof. 
Should Lawson dare try the adventure he will be 
cordially received by an old brother soldier. 

Believe me, my dear Caroline, that the remem 
brance of Mrs. Adams s virtues and accomplish 
ments, must be first erased from my heart, before 
seeing you pressing her steps, I can ever cease 
to be, dear and respected madam, your affectionate 

and obliged friend, 




Montezillo, July 12th, 1820. 


You have Harriet with you, and consequently 
we are deprived of the weekly information she 
used to give us of your health and welfare ; but 
now we very rarely get any, either from yourself 
or her ; pray write to me now and then at least, 
to let me know that you, and Mr. de Windt, and 
the little prattlers, are all well ; by no means for 
getting ths venerable mother. 

I was not able to accept the condescending in 
vitation of the government of the state, and the 
various societies in Boston, to celebrate the 4th of 
July ; though my head would have struck the 
stars, if I could have made so glorious a figure, 
as my ancient, excellent friend Carroll, made at 
Baltimore on that day. But the heat of the season, 
with the pomps and ceremonies, could not have 
been supported with my feeble frame. 

I should have been delighted to have heard 
my friend Mr. Lyman, who, I am informed, pro 
nounced an elegant and masterly oration. Pray 
tell Miss Welsh, that this same friend of ours, Mr. 
Lyman, has sent me a rich and costly entertain 
ment, which I am constantly devouring with as 
keen an appetite and relish, as I ever felt in my 
youthful or riper days. The life of the Earl of 
Chatham, in three volumes ; Hude s Journey over 
land from Hindostan to England : Chalmer s Life 



of Mary Queen of Scots, in two volumes ; many 
of Scott s novels. And in general I think this 
writer has well merited his knighthood, and a 
much higher order of nobility ; for his writings 
have a tendency to inform and reform mankind, 
for no man can read them, without disgust at the 
horrid crimes, miseries, and violences, arising 
from the superstition, fanaticism, and hypocrisy, 
which have prevailed so scandalously in all the 
ages of which he writes. I have reserved for the 
last the life of Lady Russell. This I have not 
yet read, because I read it more than forty years 
ago. On this hangs a tale which you ought to 
know and communicate to your children. I 
bought the life and letters of Lady Russell, in the 
year 1775, an.d sent it to your grandmother, with 
an express intent and desire, that she should con 
sider it a mirror in which to contemplate herself; 
for at that time I thought it extremely probable, 
from the daring and dangerous career I was deter 
mined to run, that she would one day find herself 
in the situation of Lady Russell, her husband 
without a head. This Lady was more beautiful 
than Lady Russell, had a brighter genius, more 
information, a more refined taste, and at least her 
equal in the virtues of the heart ; equal fortitude 
and firmness of character, equal resignation to the 
will of Heaven, equal in all the virtues and graces 
of the Christian life. Like Lady Russell, she never 
by word or look discouraged me from running all 


hazards for the salvation of my country s liberties; 
she was willing to share with me, and that her 
children should share with us both, in all the dan 
gerous consequences we had to hazard. My love 
to Mr. de Windt and to the dear little ones. My 
affectionate respects to the lady mother ; love to 
Harriet. Your affectionate grandfather, 



ERRA.TA.. Page 33, 20th line from top, for Molire e, read Molicre. Page 
202, 18th line, insert am. Page 203, 20th line, for Thaler, read Thaxter. 



202 Main Library 








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