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Full text of "Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, comprising portions of his diary from 1795 to 1848"

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MEMOIRS 



OK 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 



COMPRISING PORTIONS OF 



HIS DIARY FROM 1795 TO 1848. 



EDITED BY 

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. 



VOL. I. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 

1874. 



*„• 






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. p AGE 

Birth and Education 3 

CHAPTER II. 
The Mission to Holland 30 

CHAPTER III. 
The Mission to Holland, — continued 38 

CHAPTER IV. 

A Mission to Great Britain — Appointment to Portugal . . .121 

CHAPTER V. 
Marriage, and the Mission to Prussia 193 

CHAPTER VI. 
The Senate of Massachusetts — The Senate of the United States . 248 



PREFACE. 



I trust I may be pardoned for offering some explanation of 
the form in which I have decided to put the present publication. 

It is now six-and-twenty years since the event happened 
which devolved on me alone a grave responsibility as the 
custodian of a voluminous mass of manuscripts accumulated 
during seventy-five years of continuous service of two public 
men, father and son. 

Of their value as materials contributing to the history of the 
rise and progress of the United States in its first century, I 
could not entertain a doubt. Their importance in elucidating 
a specific course of action, often connected with heavy respon- 
sibilities to the state, seemed equally obvious. Not insensible 
to the hazard attending their preservation in a country passing 
through social changes so rapidly as this does, and warned 
by well-known instances of dispersion and loss in other 
quarters, it has been my leading wish to place the essential 
portions of this collection intrusted to my care out of the 
reach of danger, by publication in my own day. 

Moved by these considerations, I lost no time in entering 
upon my labors, by first preparing for the press a collection of 
the papers connected with the life and times of John Adams. 
This duty was fulfilled by the production in succession of ten 
large octavo volumes, requiring on my part the assiduous 
application of eight consecutive years. It is doing no more 
than justice to the liberality of the Congress of the United 



VI 



PREFACE. 



States, to recognize the assistance given to this part of the 
undertaking by a subscription for one thousand copies. 

The next and far the most difficult part of the work yet 
remained. The papers left by John Quincy Adams were not 
only much more numerous, but they embraced a far wider 
variety of topics. Whilst the public life of the father scarcely 
covered twenty-eight years, that of the son stretched beyond 
fifty-three. Fully aware of the danger of losing time, if my 
design was fully to complete the task, I applied myself at 
once to the labor of reading for a selection not less than a 
preparation of materials for the press. But circumstances 
needless to detail just then interposed, which seemed to com- 
mand my own services in public life at so wide a distance from 
home as to make a further prosecution of this plan for a time 
impracticable. Yet I may say with truth that, during this 
interval of nearly twelve years, the hope of returning to it 
was never out of my mind. And when at last relieved by the 
kindness of the government, at my own request, I hastened 
to resume the thread of my investigation just at the point 
where I had left it so long before. 

The chief difficulty in the latter part of this enterprise 
has grown out of the superabundance of the materials. Not 
many persons have left behind them a greater variety of papers 
than John Quincy Adams, all more or less marked by charac- 
teristic modes of thought, and illustrating his principles of 
public and private action. Independently of a diary kept 
almost continuously for sixty-five years, and of numbers of 
other productions, official and otherwise, already printed, there 
is a variety of discussion and Criticism on different topics, 
together with correspondence public and private, which, if it 
were all to be published, as was that of Voltaire, would be 
likely quite to equal in quantity the hundred volumes of that 
expansive writer. 



PREFACE. vii 

But this example of Voltaire is one which might properly 
serve as a lesson for warning, rather than for imitation. No 
reader can dip into his pages in the most cursory manner with- 
out noticing how often a mind even so versatile as his repeats 
the same thoughts, and how much better character is under- 
stood by means of a single happy stroke, than by dwelling 
upon it through pages of elaboration. 

The chief objects to be attained by publishing the papers 
of eminent men seem to be the elucidation of the history 
of the times in which they acted, and of the extent to which 
they exercised a personal influence upon opinion as well as 
upon events. Where the materials to gain these ends may be 
drawn directly from their own testimony, it would seem far 
more advisable to adopt them at once, as they stand, than to 
substitute explanations or disquisitions, the offspring of imper- 
fect impressions painfully gathered long afterward at second 
hand. 

It so happens that in the present instance there remains a 
record of life carefully kept by John Quincy Adams for nearly 
the whole of his active days, and in condition so good as 
but to need careful abridgment to serve the purposes above 
pointed out. It may reasonably be doubted whether any 
attempt of the kind has ever been more completely executed 
by a public man. The elaborate memoirs of St.-Simon, which 
fill twenty volumes, on the one side, and those of Grimm and 
Diderot, which make sixteen more, on the other, may be cited 
perhaps as similar examples of industry. But although each 
of these publications may perhaps have its points of superior 
attraction, they both want that particular feature which is most 
prominent here, the personification of the individual himself 
in direct connection with all the scenes in which he becomes 
an actor, and the examination to which he subjects himself 
far more severely than he does those about him. In this 



v iii PREFACE. 

respect the contrast between him and St.-Simon is striking, 
as also in a superiority in aspiration for the good and the 
pure both in theory and action, which is more or less felt to 
pervade every page. 

After careful meditation over the materials of this great 
trust, I reached the conclusion that it would be best to set 
aside the rest of the papers, and fix upon this diary as 
altogether the surest mode of attaining the desired results. 
Having settled this point, the next question that arose was 
upon the mode of making the publication. It was very 
clear that abridgment was indispensable. Assuming this to 
be certain, it became necessary to fix upon a rule of selection 
which should be fair and honest. To attain that object I 
came to the following conclusions: ist. To eliminate the de- 
tails of common life and events of no interest to the public. 
2d. To reduce the moral and religious speculations, in which 
the work abounds, so far as to escape repetition of sentiments 
once declared. 3d. Not to suppress strictures upon contempo- 
raries, but to give them only when they are upon public men 
acting in the same sphere with the writer. In point of fact, 
there are very few others. 4th. To suppress nothing of his 
own habits of self-examination, even when they might be 
thought most to tell against himself. 5th. To abstain altogether 
from modification of the sentiments or the very words, and 
substitution of what might seem better ones, in every case 
but that of obvious error in writing. Guided by these rules, I 
trust I have supplied pretty much all in these volumes which 
the most curious reader would be desirous to know. 

I am not unaware of the objections commonly made to pub- 
lications of this kind, in their relation to opinions or action 
ascribed to other persons no longer in life to protect their 
own reputations, or who have left scanty means of rectification 
behind them. I fully admit the force of a remark attributed 



PREFACE. 



IX 



to a distinguished statesman, John C. Calhoun, in reference to 
any diary, that it carries conclusive evidence only as against 
the writer himself. Yet I cannot but add, on the other side, 
what is a fact remaining on record, that this eminent man, 
when attacked at a critical moment by bitter opponents, for 
certain acts done by him long before, did not hesitate to appeal 
to the writer of this diary, a colleague in President Monroe's 
cabinet, for reminiscences drawn from this very book, in his 
justification, and he obtained them, too. That a diary should 
furnish conclusive proof in any case can scarcely be assumed, 
in the face of the conceded infirmity of all human testimony 
whatever. The most that can be claimed for it is, that it 
shall be tested by the established rules applied to permanent 
testimony in all judicial tribunals. 

Very fortunately for this undertaking, the days have passed 
when the bitterness of party spirit prevented the possibility 
of arriving at calm judgments of human action during the 
period to which it relates. Another more fearful conflict, not 
restrained within the limits of controversy however passionate, 
has so far changed the currents of American feeling as to 
throw all earlier recollections at once into the remote domain 
called history. It seems, then, a suitable moment for the sub- 
mission to the public of the testimony of one of the leading 
actors in the earlier era of the republic. I can only add that 
in my labors I have confined myself strictly to the duty of 
explanation and illustration of what time may have rendered 
obscure in the text. Whatever does appear there remains just 
as the author wrote it. Whether for weal or for woe, he it is 
who has made his own pedestal, whereon to take his stand, to 
be judged by posterity, so far as that verdict may fall within 
the province of all later generations of mankind. 

Charles Francis Adams. 



MEMOIRS 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 



CHAPTER I. 

BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 

It may reasonably be doubted whether any man ever left 
behind him more abundant materials for the elucidation of his 
career, from the cradle to the grave, than John Quincy Adams. 

The eldest son of John and Abigail Adams, he was born on 
the nth of July, 1767. The next day he received his baptismal 
name, at the instance of his maternal grandmother, present at 
the birth, whose affection for her father, then lying at the point 
of death, doubtless prompted a desire to connect his name 
with the new-born child. John Quincy was close upon his 
seventy-ninth year. A large part of his life had been spent in 
the narrow career of public service then open to British colo- 
nists in America. He had been twenty years a legislator, so 
far as the popular assembly had power to make the laws, and 
he presided some time over its deliberations. He had been in 
the executive department, so far as one of Her Majesty's coun- 
cil could be said to share in the powers of a governor deputed 
by the crown. And he had been a diplomatic agent, so far as 
that term could be applied to successful negotiations with In- 
dian tribes. For these various labors he had received acknowl- 
edgments and rewards, the evidence whereof yet appears spread 
forth in the pages of the colonial records. The contrast in the 
scale of this career with that now to be shown of the great- 
grandson furnishes a notable illustration of the social not less 
than the political revolution which one century brought about 
in America. 

3 



4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

Twelve days before the birth of the child, the pliable but not 
maladroit Charles Townshend, in the British House of Com- 
mons, had entered upon what Burke designates as the fourth 
period of the Anglo-American policy of that time. Not in- 
sensible to the chance of grasping the highest prize offered 
to ambition in his country, — a prize then dropping from the 
nerveless hand of Chatham, — he bethought himself of a device 
which might at once win for him the favor both of king and 
commons. He would retract at least in part the mortifying 
concessions made to American resistance only the year before 
by the repeal of George Grenville's stamp act. He would re- 
establish the principle of taxation in a less exceptionable form. 
His plan met with favor, and, for a moment, nothing could seem 
more propitious to the fulfilment of his highest hopes. Un- 
happily, Townshend survived only long enough to know that 
the fruits which he expected to gather were to fall to other lips. 
But if Lord North was the person to enjoy the sweets, to him 
also was it reserved to taste the bitterness. And this sequence 
of events, involving the fate, not of that minister alone, but of 
myriads of the human race on both sides of the ocean, was to 
affect the fortunes of no single individual among them all more 
profoundly than those of the infant then lying in his cradle in 
the little village of Braintree, in the Massachusetts Bay. 

Seven years passed away, and the disputes springing from 
this root of bitterness grew higher and higher. They agitated 
no household more than that in which this boy was growing 
up. His father, from pursuing a strictly professional life, began 
to feel himself impelled more and more into the vortex of con- 
troversy which was ultimately to bring on the collision of 
opposite forces. His mother's temperament readily caught 
the rising spirit of popular enthusiasm in the colony, and com- 
municated it to her child. Then came the first fearful conflict 
of armed men, the sounds of which spread even to her own 
dwelling. She took the boy, then not seven years old, by the 
hand, and they mounted a height close by, there to catch 
what might be seen or heard of the fight raging upon the hill 
but a few miles away. Thus it was that she fixed in his mind 
an impression never effaced to his latest hour. Only two years 



BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 



5 



before he died he gave expression to this feeling in a letter 
responding to a complaint made by a highly respected English 
gentleman, a member of the Society of Friends, deprecating 
what seemed an unfriendly spirit to Great Britain, shown in 
one of his last public speeches, in a manner so characteristic 
that it properly finds a place in this connection. Thus he 
writes in 1846 to Mr. Sturge, of Birmingham : 

" The year 1775 was the eighth year of my age. Among the 
first fruits of the War was the expulsion of my father's family 
from their peaceful abode in Boston to take refuge in his and 
my native town of Braintree. Boston became a walled and 
beleaguered town, garrisoned by British Grenadiers, with 
Thomas Gage, their Commanding General, commissioned Gov- 
ernor of the Province. For the space of twelve months, my 
mother with her infant children dwelt, liable every hour of the 
day and of the night to be butchered in cold blood, or taken 
and carried into Boston as hostages, by any foraging or ma- 
rauding detachment of men, like that actually sent forth on 
the 19th April to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams, 
on their way to attend the continental Congress at Philadelphia. 
My father was separated from his family, on his way to attend 
the same continental Congress, and there my mother with her 
children lived in unintermitted danger of being consumed with 
them all in a conflagration kindled by a torch in the same 
hands which on the 17th of June lighted the fires of Charles- 
town. I saw with my own eyes those fires, and heard Britannia's 
thunders in the battle of Bunker's Hill, and witnessed the tears 
of my mother and mingled with them my own, at the fall of 
Warren, a dear friend of my father, and a beloved Physician to 
me. He had been our family physician and surgeon, and had 
saved my forefinger from amputation under a very bad fracture. 
Even in the days of heathen and conquering Rome, the Laureate 
of Augustus Caesar tells us, that wars were detested by mothers, 
even by Roman Mothers, — 'Bella matronis detestata.' My 
Mother was the daughter of a Christian Clergyman, and there- 
fore bred in the faith of deliberate detestation of War, super- 
added to the impulsive abhorrence of the Roman mothers. Yet 



6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

in that same spring and summer of 1775, she taught me to 
repeat daily, after the Lord's Prayer, before rising from bed, the 
Ode of Collins on the patriot warriors who fell in the war to 
subdue the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. 

How sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their Country's wishes blest ! 
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, 
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould, 
She there shall dress a sweeter sod 
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod. 

By Fairy hands their knell is rung, 
By forms unseen their dirge is sung, 
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey, 
To watch the turf that wraps their clay, 
And Freedom shall awhile repair, 
To dwell, a weeping Hermit, there. 

" Of the impression made upon my heart by the sentiments 
inculcated in these beautiful effusions of patriotism and poetry, 
you may form an estimate, by the fact that now, seventy-one 
years after they were thus taught me, I repeat them from memory, 
without reference to the book. 1 Have they ever shaken my 
abhorrence of War? Far otherwise. They have riveted it to 
my soul with hooks of steel. But it is to war waged by tyrants 
and oppressors, against the rights of human nature and the 
liberties and rightful interests of my country, that my abhor- 
rence is confined. War in defence of these, far from deserving 
my execration, is, in my deliberate belief, a religious and sacred 
duty. 

"Duke et decorum est, pro patria mori." 

The year before the event here described, the writer's father, 
as is stated in this letter, had been commissioned as one of four 
delegates of Massachusetts to attend a Congress at Philadelphia, 
with a view to mature a unity of action among the colonies. 
From that time his absences from his family necessarily became 
frequent and protracted. It was during one of these that the 
incident took place. The boy on this account became naturally 

1 There is but one error. In the fourth line of the second stanza, the word 
" watch " is substituted for " bless." 



BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 7 

more and more of a companion, deeply sympathizing with his 
mother. Hence it was that in a letter to her husband, she tells 
him that, to relieve her anxiety for early intelligence, Master 
John had cheerfully consented to become " post-rider" for her 
between her residence and Boston. As the distance by the 
nearest road of that day was not less than eleven miles each 
way, the undertaking was not an easy one for a boy barely nine 
years old. 

Of course, the few facilities for education then within reach 
were materially obstructed, and remained so, even after the 
scene of war was removed farther south. It does not appear 
that the boy attended any regular school. What he learned 
was caught chiefly from elder persons around him. Those of 
whom he saw the most, outside of the family, were three or 
four young men still preparing, under the tuition of his father, 
to fit themselves for the legal profession, according to the habits 
of that time. But they, one after another, fell off, taking com- 
missions to serve in the war, until but one remained, a kinsman 
of his mother, by the name of Thaxter, who subsequently be- 
came his father's secretary during his second mission to Europe. 
To him John Quincy was indebted for assistance more than to 
any one else outside of his family. Yet, after all, the fact remains 
clear that without the exercise of his own earnest will he would 
have made little progress. What he felt on the subject can be 
best collected from his own words. Here is a genuine boy's 
letter written to his father. It is dated in the same year that 
he became post-rider. It is given exactly as it remains in his 
own handwriting. 

Braintree, June the 2nd, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — I love to receive letters very well ; much better 
than I love to write them. I make but a poor figure at 
composition, my head is much too fickle, my thoughts are 
running after birds eggs play and trifles, till I get vexed with 
myself. Mamma has a troublesome task to keep me steady, 
and I own I am ashamed of myself. I have but just entered 
the 3d volume of Smollet, tho' I had designed to have got it 
half through by this time. I have determined this week to be 
more diligent, as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at Court, & I 



8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

cannot persue my other studies. I have Set myself a Stent 
& determine to read the 3d volume Half out. If I can but 
keep my resolution, I will write again at the end of the week 
and give a better account of myself. I wish, Sir, you would 
give me some instructions, with regard to my time, & advise 
me how to proportion my Studies & my Play, in writing, & 
I will keep them by me, & endeavour to follow them. I 
am, dear Sir, with a present determination of growing better, 
yours. 

P.S. — Sir, if you will be so good as to favour me with a 
Blank book, I will transcribe the most remarkable occurances 
I mett with in my reading, which will serve to fix them upon 
my mind. 

The following year brought the great change which gave a 
turn to the rest of his life. John Adams was commissioned by 
the Continental Congress to take the place at the court of 
France forfeited by Silas Deane. This was in the hottest part 
of the war. He accepted the post, and on the 13th of Febru- 
ary, 1778, embarked from the shore of his own town in the 
little frigate Boston, lying off in the harbor waiting for him. 
His son went with him. After a stormy voyage the vessel 
reached Bordeaux, and landed her passengers on the 1st of 
April, 1779. They proceeded to Passy, in the environs of Paris, 
the place since made memorable as the residence of Franklin, 
but in which the other commissioners had also resided. Not 
many days were lost in putting him to a school close by, and 
here he acquired that familiarity with the French language 
which proved of such essential service to him in his subsequent 
diplomatic career. 

He was eleven years old. It was then that the idea of 
writing a regular journal was first suggested to him. A letter 
to his mother, in which he explains himself, is of importance 
in this connection. It is given literatim: 

Passy, September the 27th, 177S. 
Honoured Mamma, — My Pappa enjoins it upon me to keep 
a journal, or a diary of the Events that happen to me, and of 



BIRTH AND EDUCATION. g 

objects that I see, and of Characters that I converse with from 
day to day ; and altho. I am convinced of the utility, impor- 
tance & necessity of this Exercise, yet I have not patience and 
perseverance enough to do it so Constantly as I ought. My 
Pappa, who takes a great deal of Pains to put me in the right 
way, has also advised me to Preserve copies of all my letters, 
& has given me a Convenient Blank Book for this end ; and 
altho I shall have the mortification a few years hence to read a 
great deal of my Childish nonsense, yet I shall have the 
Pleasure and advantage of Remarking the several steps by 
which I shall have advanced in taste judgment and knowl- 
edge. A journal Book & a letter Book of a Lad of Eleven 
years old Can not be expected to contain much of Science, 
Litterature, arts, wisdom, or wit, yet it may serve to perpetuate 
many observations that I may make, & may hereafter help me 
to recolect both persons & things that would other ways escape 
my memory. I have been to see the Palace & gardens of 
Versailles, the Military scholl at Paris, the hospital of Invalids, 
the hospital of Foundling Children, the Church of Notre Dame, 
the Heights of Calvare, of Montmartre, of Minemontan, & 
other scenes of Magnificence in & about Paris, which, if I had 
written down in a diary or a letter Book, would give me at 
this time much pleasure to revise & would enable me here- 
after to entertain my friends, but I have neglected it. & there- 
fore can now only resolve to be more thoughtful and Indus- 
trious for the Future. & to encourage me in this resolution & 
enable me to keep it with more ease & advantage, my father 
has given me hopes of a Pencil & Pencil Book in which I 
can make notes upon the spot to be transfered afterwards in 
my Diary & my letters this will give me great pleasure both 
because it will be a sure means of improvement to myself & 
enable me to be more entertaing to you. 

I am my ever honoured and revered Mamma your Dutiful 
& affectionate Son John Quincy Adams 

Though the intention to commence this undertaking is thus 
declared, it does not appear to have been immediately executed. 
Six months had barely elapsed, and he had got well settled in 



I0 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

his studies, when affairs took a turn which again broke up all 
regularity of occupations. His father, left without further 
public duties by the abolition of the French commission of 
three persons, decided to return home. The result was his 
acceptance of a passage in the French frigate Sensible, then 
ready to carry to America the Chevalier de la Luzerne, the 
first French envoy to the new republic, and his secretary, Barbe 
Marbois. Landed safely at home, he had scarcely resumed his 
old habits when another call came from the Congress to cross 
the sea again. Only three months intervened before he and 
his son were once more on the way to France in the very 
same vessel that had brought them out. 

This irregularity of life could scarcely be deemed favorable 
to the boy's progress in learning. And yet it probably advanced 
an apt scholar like him far more than systematic instruction 
would have done. He was brought at once into close com- 
panionship with men of culture and refinement, much older 
than himself, whose conversation was worth listening to. The 
French minister and his secretary, afterwards the Marquis de 
Marbois, as well as the naval officers attached to the frigate, 
took much interest in him on the outward voyage ; and on 
the return, their places were more than made up to him by 
the presence of Francis Dana, then going out on his mission 
to St. Petersburg, and of his kinsman and home teacher, Mr. 
Thaxter. 

It was upon the entrance on this last voyage that he made 
his first attempt to execute the plan marked out in his letter 
of the year before. It still remains, in the form of two or three 
small books of perhaps sixty pages in all, stitched together 
under a brown paper cover. The first of these is prefaced by 
this title : 

A Journal by J. Q. A. 
From America 

to 

Spain Vol. i. 

begun Friday 12 of November 

1779. 



BIRTH AND EDUCATION. TI 

The frigate sprang a leak on the voyage, which proved so 
serious that the commander decided to put in at the nearest 
port. This proved to be Ferrol, in Spain. The detention for 
repairs threatened to be so long that the passengers decided to 
leave her and make the best of their way overland to Paris. 
This journal, with the common details of rough travel, contains 
notes and observations upon the principal objects of interest 
pointed out on the way, much above the ordinary level of boys 
of twelve. 

From this feeble commencement, the undertaking seems to 
have been prosecuted in a variety of shapes, not without inter- 
ruptions more or less, until 1795, when what may be denomi- 
nated the diary proper begins. For it was then he entered 
upon that career of public service which raises the record above 
the sphere of private life and makes it of historical interest. It 
is out of the materials furnished from nineteen thick quarto 
volumes, closely written, that the present publication is drawn. 
Of the preliminary and fragmentary portion, only that part 
will be used which is deemed necessary to a better compre- 
hension of the remainder. 

The first remark, which a perusal of these volumes suggests, 
relates to the singular manner of prosecuting his education. It 
would seem that after his return to Paris he went to school 
there less than six months. He was then transferred to the 
public Latin school at Amsterdam, under the arbitrary manage- 
ment of which he proved so restive that, four months later, he 
was removed to the University of Leyden, where he remained 
less than five months. This comprises all the systematic in- 
struction he received prior to his admission to Harvard College, 
in the third year of the customary course. Hence it appears 
that the whole period of education at school and college re- 
ceived by him, prior to his entering upon his professional 
studies, barely exceeded three years. Yet the extent of his 
acquisition, if measured by the translations of the classics and 
other work left behind him, shows how little he confined him- 
self to school routine, and how much he worked by himself. 
Doubtless he owed much to the supervision of his father, but 
far more was due to his own indomitable perseverance. He 



I2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

was eminently a self-made man in the broadest sense of the 
term, and not in that in which it is commonly used. 

On the 7th of July, 1781, he, being then close upon fourteen 
years old, bade good-bye forever to all preparatory schools, to 
accompany Mr. Dana on his mission to secure for the still strug- 
gling government in America the sympathy of Catherine II. 
He acted in the Gapacity of a secretary, as well as of inter- 
preter, for which last office his rapid acquisition of the French 
language had fitted him very well. The party started from 
Amsterdam on the 7th of July, but it was not until the 29th 
of August that they reached St. Petersburg, — a longer time, it 
may be observed, than it took the same persons to cross the 
Atlantic. 

In the Russian capital the youth remained fourteen months. 
The Empress Catherine soon showed that she had no mind to 
raise unpleasant questions with Great Britain; and her scruples 
about recognizing the United States, Mr. Harris, the English 
Envoy, afterwards Lord Malmsbury, exerted himself efficiently 
to confirm. Hence it turned out that the mission proved wholly 
abortive in a public sense. But to the young man the time 
seems not to have been thrown away. Four little books con- 
tain a record of his reading of grave works of history like 
Hume and Robertson, then freshly issued from the press, of 
his translations of several of Cicero's orations, and of his large 
transcription from the most noted of the English poets, which 
last practice implanted in his breast a passion for versification 
that survived almost to his latest hour. 

Finding that Mr. Dana designed to remain another winter, he, 
having nothing to do, decided, in the face of an arctic climate, 
to make his way back to Paris alone. On the 30th of October, 
1782, he left St. Petersburg to go to Stockholm, which he 
reached on the 23d of November. Here he spent five weeks 
very pleasantly. On the last day of that year, he proceeded 
alone to Copenhagen; but the obstacles were such that it took 
him six weeks to get there. After some stay at that capital, 
he resumed his route ; but such were the obstructions that it 
was not until the 20th of April, or nearly six months from 
the time of starting, that he found himself once more at his 



1783.] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. ^ 

father's house at the Hague. He was at this time fifteen years 
old. A record of the greater part of this journey remains in his 
handwriting. 

The negotiation of the final treaty of peace between Great 
Britain and the United States, the preliminaries of which had 
been already settled, was going on at Paris. He accompanied 
his father to that capital, was at once enlisted in the service as 
an additional secretary, and gave his help to the preparation 
of the papers necessary to the completion of that instrument 
which dispersed all possible doubt of the independence of his 
country. 

This event seemed in America like a lull of the boiling 
waters of the deep after a furious storm. The Continental 
Congress applied a part of its waning strength to the work of 
redistributing duties among the diplomatic agents remaining 
abroad. Meanwhile most of these were at Paris, awaiting 
orders. A residence at that brilliant capital, painful to John 
Adams whilst holding his former equivocal relations to the 
French court, now became highly agreeable. His satisfaction 
had been heightened by the arrival in England of the female 
members of the family, whom he had left under such different 
circumstances, and the son was sent to meet and escort them 
over. Greater rejoicing could scarcely be than in this happy 
reunion. The fearful struggle was over. Success had crowned 
the painful labors of five years of separation. And now re- 
mained the comparatively easy injunctions, to expand the 
national reputation by securing for it the recognition of the 
other great powers of the world. 

To a youth of sixteen or seventeen a great temptation now 
sprang up, to waste his time in frivolities and dissipation. 
Some idea of the life he led may be gathered from the follow- 
ing extracts from his diary, which now begins to spread more 
into detail. Here is a specimen. In view of the fearful changes 
that followed not long afterwards, this narration retains even 
now something of its interest. 

March 25th. Good Friday. Went in the afternoon to Long- 
champs ; this is the last day. Every year, the Wednesday, 



14 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

Thursday, and Friday of the week preceding Easter, which is 
called Scmaine Sainte, there is a kind of procession in the Bois 
de Boulogne, and it is called Longchamps. There are perhaps, 
on each of those days, a thousand carriages that come out of 
Paris, to go round one of the roads in the wood, one after 
the other. There are two rows of carriages ; one goes up and 
the other down, so that the People in every carriage can see all 
the others. Everybody that has got a splendid carriage, a fine 
set of horses, or an elegant Mistress, sends them out on these 
days to make a show at Longchamps. As all the Theatres,' 
and the greatest part of the public amusements, are shut all this 
week, the concourse is always very considerable; for those that 
cannot go there to be seen, go to see, and, as it commonly 
happens upon the like occasions, there are always twenty to 
see for one there is to be seen. It is very genteel, for there are 
always there some of the first people in the kingdom. The 
hours are from five to seven, by which time very few carriages 
remain there, for they all go off together; so that one quarter 
of an hour before the place is entirely deserted, the concourse 
is the greatest. The origin of this curious custom was this. 
There is a Convent of women, called Lojigchamps, somewhere 
near the Bois de Boulogne, where formerly there was some 
very fine music performed on these days, which drew a vast 
number of persons out from Paris to hear it; but one year 
there, was an uncommon concourse, and some disorders hap- 
pened, which induced the Archbishop of Paris to forbid this 
music on these days; but the Public who had commonly taken 
a ride round part of the wood after hearing the music, con- 
tinued taking the latter part of the amusement when they were 
deprived of the first, and the custom has been kept up to this day. 

After it was over we went and drank tea with Dr. Franklin. 
Saw Mr. Dalrymple there. 

26th. Paris ; afternoon. Froulle, 1 books upon astronomy. 
Went to see Mr. West and Mr. Waring, but neither was at 
home. Spent part of the evening with the Abbes. 2 While I 
was there a gentleman came in, who was a great partisan for 

1 A bookseller, whose shop the writer frequented. 

2 " Two Abbes, De Chalut and Arnoux, the former a brother of the farmer- 



1785.] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. : $ 

animal magnetism, that he very strenuously defended. Speak- 
ing of Dr. Franklin, he said, "J'aime beaucoup M. Franklin, 
c'est un homme de beaucoup d'esprit et de genie ; je suis 
seulement fache pour lui qu'il ait signe ce rapport 1 des Com- 
missaires." He spoke this with so much " naivete," that I 
could not help smiling. When he went away, the Abbes told 
me he was a man with 50,000 livres a year, of an exceedingly 
benevolent disposition, and that he does a great deal of good. 
A sensible man, but very firmly persuaded of the reality of 
animal magnetism. Mesmer, the pretended discoverer, has 
certainly as yet behaved like a mountebank, and yet he has 
persuaded a great number of people, and some persons of great 
sense and learning, that he has made an important discovery. 
An extraordinary system, a great deal of mystery, and the art 
of making people pay a hundred louis d'or for a secret which 
nobody receives, have persuaded almost half this kingdom that 
Mesmer really has the secret that he pretends to have. 

27th. Sunday. Mr. Adams 2 dined with Mr. de St. Olympe, 
and spent the evening at Mr. Jefferson's. 

At about seven o'clock in the evening, the Queen was 
delivered of a Son, who is Monseigneur le Due de Normandie. 
This is one of the most important events that can happen in 
this kingdom, and every Frenchman has been expecting it as 
if the fate of his life depended upon it. One would think that 
after having a Dauphin they would be easy and quiet; but, say 
they, the Dauphin is young and may die; and, tho' the King has 
two brothers, one of whom has several children, yet the capital 
point is, that the crown should pass down eternally from Father 
to Son ; insomuch that they would prefer being governed by a 

general of that name, and himself a knight of Malta, as well as of the Order of St. 
Louis, and both of them learned men, came early to visit me." — Diary of John 
Adams, 19 April, 1778. Works, vol. iii. p. 135. This intimacy seems to have 
been kept up for several years. 

1 This was an official report, made by a commission appointed under the authority 
of the king to examine into the merits of Mesmer's theory of animal magnetism. 
Dr. Franklin had been solicited to act as a member of this body, and consented. 
The conclusion to which they came, with his full concurrence, was that it was an 
imposture. 

2 The father of the writer. 



l6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

fool or a tyrant that should be the son of his predecessor, than 
by a sensible and good prince who should only be a brother. 
The cannon announced to us the birth of the Prince. The 
Queen was taken ill only an hour before her delivery, a circum- 
stance which must have been very agreeable to her ; for, a few 
minutes before she is delivered, the doors of her apartments are 
always opened, and everybody that pleases is admitted to see 
the child come into the world, and if there had been time 
enough, all Paris would have gone pour voir accoitchcr la Rcine. 
The name of the young Duke of Normandy is not yet known. 

28th. Snow in the morning sufficient to cover the ground. 
Dined at the Marquis de la Fayette's. When I arrived there the 
Marquis was not returned from Versailles, where he went last 
evening immediately upon hearing of the Queen's delivery, but 
could not get there soon enough to be present at the Christening. 
He told me a curious circumstance. The Queen was so large that 
it was suspected she might have twins, and M. de Calonnc, the 
controller general, had prepared two blue ribands in case two 
Princes should be born ; for the King's children must be deco- 
rated with these badges immediately after they come into the 
world. The Count and Chevalier de la Luzerne dined with 
us. After dinner I went with Mr. West to see Mr. and Mrs. 
Rucker, and afterwards we took a walk together in the Palais 
Royal. It is curious to hear the sagacious reflections and 
remarks upon the event of yesterday, made by the badauds, 
and it is pleasing to see how joyful, how contented they look. 
All take the title given to the Prince as no doubtless presage 
of his future conquests, and are firmly persuaded that it was 
expressly given to him that England may be a second time 
subdued by a Duke of Normandy. If they dared, they would 
mention another point, in which the pretended conqueror may 
resemble the real one. The Palais Royal, the Spanish Ambas- 
sador's hotel, the Hotel des Invalides, the Ecole Militaire, and 
several other buildings were illuminated in the evening. 

29th. Dr. Franklin's early in the morning. Col. Humphreys 
breakfasted with us, and went with Mr. Adams to Versailles, 
where they were presented, for the first time, to the new-born 
Prince, who received them in bed ; there were half a dozen 



1785.] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. x y 

ladies in the chamber. There were three beds joining each 
other, and in the middle one laid M. le Due, probably that in 
the night one of the Ladies sleeps in each of the other beds, to 
prevent Monseigneur from falling out. The King was exceed- 
ingly gay and happy, and his brothers appeared so too. 

30th. Mr. Adams dined at the Spanish Ambassador's, Count 
d'Aranda, an old man 70 years of age, who married last year 
a young woman of 20 — peace be with him ! 

31st. Madame de la Fayette sent a card to offer us places for 
the Te Deum, which is to be sung to-morrow at Notre Dame, 
when the King is to be present. Mr. A. dined at Count Sars- 
field's. 

April 1st. The Marchioness appointed two o'clock for us to 
be at her Hotel. We dined at half after twelve, and were in the 
Rue de Bourbon at two, but it was too early. Mrs. Rucker, Mr. 
Jefferson, Col. Humphreys, Mr. Williams, Mr. West, went all 
with us. At about half-past three we went from the Marquis's 
Hotel, and by the time we got to the Pont Royal, both sides of 
the quay were so amazingly crowded with people, that there was 
but just space sufficient for the carriages to pass along ; and 
had there not been guards placed on both sides, at a distance 
not greater than ten yards from one another, there would have 
been no passage at all for coaches ; for, as it was, the troops 
had the utmost difficulty' to restrain the mob. We passed 
along on the Quai des Augustins, till we came to the Pont Neitf, 
went over part of that, turned down into the Isle de Notre Dame, 
and then proceeded in a direct line to the Church. We were 
placed in a gallery that commanded the choir, and were in as 
good a place as any in the Church, which we owed to the 
politeness of Mme. de la Fayette. 

In the middle of the choir below us, were several rows of 
benches, upon which the King's train sate when he came ; 
while he and his two brothers were before all the benches, and 
directly opposite the Altar. When we arrived, we found the 
Parliament sitting in the choir on the right side, in scarlet 
and black robes ; the Chambre des Comptes were seated in the 
same manner on the left side, in black and white robes. The 
Foreign Ambassadors were in an enclosure at the right of the 

VOL. I. 2 



ig MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

Altar, and between them and the Parliament was a small 
Throne, upon which the Archbishop of Paris officiated. Soon 
after we got there, the Bishops arrived, two by two. There 
were about twenty-five of them ; they had black robes on, with 
a white muslin skirt which descended from the waist down two- 
thirds of the way to the ground, and a purple kind of a mantle 
over their shoulders. The Archbishop of Paris had a mitre upon 
his head. When the King came, he went out to the door of the 
Church to receive him, and as soon as his Majesty had got to 
his place, and fallen upon his knees, they began to sing the Te 
Deum, which lasted about half an hour, and in which we heard 
some exceedingly fine music. The voices were admirable. 
The Archbishop of Paris sang for about a couple of minutes 
near the end, that it might be said he had sung the Te Deum — 
his voice seems to be much broken. As soon as the singing 
was over, the King and the Court immediately went away. 

What a charming sight — an absolute King of one of the most 
powerful Empires on earth, and perhaps a thousand of the first 
personages in that Empire, adoring the Divinity who created 
them, and acknowledging that he can in a moment reduce them 
to the dust from which they sprung ! Could we suppose their 
devotion real and sincere, no other proof would be necessary 
to demonstrate the falsity of the supposition that religion is 
going to decay. But oh ! if the hearts of all those persons could 
have been sounded, and everything that was lurking there, 
while the exterior appeared offering up prayers to God, could 
be produced to light, I fear the rigid moralist would have a 
confirmation of his fears. The reflection of the Chevalier de 
Gouvion shows he was of this opinion. I don't knotv, said he, 
whether all this will be very acceptable to God AlmigJity ; but very 
few persons came here for him. I was however vastly pleased 
with the Ceremony, and should have been so, if it was only that 
it gave me an opportunity to see so numerous an assembly of 
men of the first rank in the Kingdom. The King and all the 
Court were dressed in clothes vastly rich, but in no peculiar 
form. After the Ceremony was finished, we had to wait a long 
time for our carriages, and could not at last get them all; so 
that we were obliged to go away five in one chariot. We re- 



1785.] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. jo 

turned to the Hotel de la Fayette, and drank tea with Madame. 
A number of houses were considerably illuminated, but nothing 
to be compared to what there was six years ago, when the 
King's first child was born, although it was only a Princess. 

We returned home at about nine, and were more than half 
an hour getting over the Pont Neuf, such was the crowd of 
carriages ; in the passage of the Corns la Rciue we saw a num- 
ber of fellows throwing up the sand, to see if there were no 12 
sols pieces remaining; for upon these occasions, when the mob 
cry out Vive Ic Rot, he throws out of his Coach handfuls of 
small pieces of money, and is thereby the cause of many a 
squabble, and some broken heads, though the Police is so at- 
tentive that few such misfortunes happen. The title of Duke 
of Normandy has not been borne by any person for more than 
three hundred years, until the birth of the young Prince. 

All this was interesting for a young man to witness. Yet he 
was not unmindful of the duty calling him back. The state of 
his mind is best exposed in an extract from a letter addressed, the 
year before, to a kinsman of the same age, and contemplating 
the same career, in America: 

"Auteuil, 14 December, 1784. 

" You can imagine what an addition has been made to my 
happiness by the arrival of a kind and tender mother, and of a 
Sister who fulfills my most sanguine expectations ; yet the de- 
sire of returning to America still possesses me. My country 
has over me an attractive power which I do not understand. 
Indeed, I believe that all men have an attachment to their 
country distinct from all other attachments. It is imputed to 
our fondness for our friends and relations ; yet I am apt to think 
I should still desire to go home, were all my friends and rela- 
tions here. I cannot be influenced by my fondness for the 
customs and habits of my country, for I was so young when 
I came to Europe, and have been here so long, that I must 
necessarily have adopted many of their customs. 

" But I have another reason for desiring to return to my native 
country. I have been such a wandering being these seven 
years, that I have never performed any regular course of studies, 



20 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

and am deficient on many subjects. I wish very much to have 
a degree at Harvard, and shall probably not be able to obtain 
it unless I spend at least one year there. I therefore have 
serious thoughts of going in the Spring so as to arrive in May 
or June, stay a twelvemonth at Mr. Shaw's (who I hope would 
be as kind to me as he has been to you, and is to my Brothers) 
and then enter College for the last year, so as to come out with 
you. I imagine that with steady application I might in one 
year acquire sufficient proficiency in all the sciences necessary 
for entering the last year. However, I know not whether I 
shall do any of these things, for it is still very uncertain whether 
I shall return next Spring or not." 

The hesitation is very apparent in this passage. Not long 
afterwards, intelligence came from home that John Adams had 
been designated by Congress to stand as the first diplomatic 
envoy of the emancipated nation, and claim recognition as 
such from the lips of an offended and mortified sovereign. It 
would doubtless have been very pleasant to the son to accom- 
pany the family to Great Britain, and to taste the first fruits of 
the national independence in its great capital. But the event 
only had the effect to determine his course the other way. 

He gives his reasons in a passage of his diary, which seems 
to find its proper place here : 

26th. I went in the morning to the Swedish Ambassador's 
Hotel, to go with Mr. d'Asp and see the Abbe Grenet; but I 
was too late, and Mr. d'Asp was gone out. I went to see Mr. 
Jarvis, and afterwards Count d'Ouradou, at the Hotel de Nas- 
sau, Rue de la Harpe. We agreed to go together to L'Orient. 
Went to see West, but did not find him at home. Walked in 
the Palais Royal, where I met Mr. Williams; and as I had sent 
our carriage back to Auteuil, and it was too late to walk home, 
I went with him and dined at Mr. Jefferson's. A few minutes 
after dinner, some letters came in from America, and I was in- 
formed by Mr. J. that the Packet, " Le Courier d^e L'Orient," 
which sailed from New York the 23rd of March, is arrived. 
Mr. J. and Col. Humphreys had letters from Genl. Washing- 



1785.] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 21 

ton ; and a letter from Mr. Gerry of Feb. 25th says, Mr. Adams 
is appointed Minister to the Court of London. 

I believe he will promote the interests of the United States, 
as much as any man, but I fear his duty will induce him to 
make exertions which may be detrimental to his health. I 
wish however it may be otherwise. Were I now to go with 
him, probably my immediate satisfaction might be greater than 
it will be in returning to America. After having been travel- 
ling for these seven years almost all over Europe, and having 
been in the world, and among company, for three; to return to 
spend one or two years in the pale of a College, subjected to 
all the rules which I have so long been freed from ; then to 
plunge into the dry and tedious study of the Law for three 
years ; and afterwards not expect (however good an opinion I 
may have of myself) to bring myself into notice under three 
or four years more; if ever! It is really a prospect somewhat 
discouraging for a youth of my ambition (for I have ambition, 
though I hope its object is laudable). But still 

" Oh ! how wretched 
Is that poor Man, that hangs on Princes' favors" 

or on those of anybody else. I am determined that so long 
as I shall be able to get my own living in an honorable man- 
ner, I will depend upon no one. My Father has been so much 
taken up all his lifetime with the interests of the public, that 
his own fortune has suffered by it ; so that his children will 
have to provide for themselves, which I shall never be able 
to do, if I loiter away my precious time in Europe and shun 
going home until I am forced to it. With an ordinary share 
of common sense, which I hope I enjoy, at least in America I 
can live iiidependcnt and free ; and rather than live otherwise I 
would wish to die before the time when I shall be left at my 
own discretion. I have before me a striking example of the 
distressing and humiliating situation a person is reduced to by 
adopting a different line of conduct, and I am determined not 
to fall into the same error. 

This decision to go home made the turning-point of his life. 



22 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [17S7. 

An opposite one might have left him to share the fate of Wil- 
liam Temple Franklin, a hybrid citizen claiming two countries 
and identified with neither. As it was, he obeyed his duty, and 
laid the foundation of that spirit of rigid personal independ- 
ence which constituted one of the most marked features of his 
character. 

After a period of preliminary studies, it was found that he 
had, in spite of all obstacles, made such good use of the frag- 
ments of his time that he could be readily admitted to advanced 
standing in the class then in its third year of the prescribed 
course at Cambridge. As a consequence, he resided at that 
place something less than two years, and graduated with honor 
in 1787. The exercise he was called to perform at the annual 
commencement, the second in the scale of rank, was an oration 
upon " the importance and necessity of public faith to the well- 
being of a government," a topic of deep moment to the country 
at that particular crisis, when the national character was just in 
the process of emerging from the clouds in which it had been 
enveloped by the Revolutionary struggle. This youthful essay 
seems to have produced an impression upon its hearers strong 
enough to induce a person then so esteemed as Dr. Jeremy 
Belknap to apply for a copy for insertion in the "Columbian 
Magazine," of Philadelphia. Not many youths have been so 
honored at that stage of their career. But a still more excep- 
tional distinction awaited it. A few days afterwards a sharp 
criticism upon it appeared in one of the Boston newspapers. 
This event was more significant than the other. It portended 
the rise of a power to be developed throughout life much more 
by the opposition it roused than by the favor it conciliated. In 
political history it frequently happens that antagonism helps to 
bring to view the high qualities of a statesman much more than 
the most zealous friendship. In few instances has this observa- 
tion been oftener verified than in that of Mr. Adams. 

The next step to be taken was to choose a profession. In 
this there seems to have been no hesitation. He applied him- 
self to the law under the guidance of Theophilus Parsons, then 
advancing in the course which ultimately brought him to the 
highest seat in the tribunals of Massachusetts. He resided at 



179°-]. BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 23 

this time at Newburyport ; and there Mr. Adams took up his 
abode for the three years of study required for admission 
to practice. The diary which he continued to keep gives a 
curious and not unattractive picture of the social relations 
prevailing in a small New England town at that period, but it 
does not seem to retain interest enough to warrant the occu- 
pation of space in this publication. It may be enough to 
note that on the 15th of July, 1790, he, being then twenty- 
three years of age, was formally admitted to practice as a law- 
yer in the courts of Essex County. ' On the 9th of August 
following, he removed to Boston and established himself per- 
manently there. He was now fairly before the world, laboring 
to advance his fortunes by his own exertions. His father had 
been elected the first Vice-President under the new form of 
government just adopted by the people of the United States, 
which necessarily kept him much of the time at New York or 
Philadelphia. The son felt almost as much alone as if he had 
been an utter stranger. One consequence of this isolation was 
that the diary soon began to shrink, and for a time it dis- 
appears altogether. 

Waiting for employment at the start is perhaps the most 
anxious period of life for most men. Two requisites for suc- 
cess are indispensable, neither of which can be confidently 
counted on prior to experiment. The first is opportunity. The 
second, aptitude to turn it to the best account. The lives of 
eminent lawyers in Great Britain and this country are filled with 
examples as well of protracted waiting as of the happy use ulti- 
mately made of the chance which opened a career. On the 
other hand, there is no record of the fate of probably much the 
greater number, who either waited in vain, or, if reaching an 
opportunity, failed to use it, and dropped at once into obscurity. 
Mr. Adams was not blessed with that sanguine temperament 
which goes so far to soften the rough or embellish the smooth 
paths all human beings are called to tread. He felt the neces- 
sity he was under to rely mainly on his own efforts for success. 
For his parents, though possessed of a moderate independence, 
were not wealthy, and they had several children. He was like- 
wise sensible of the fact that his mode of life and education 



24 ME MO IKS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [1791. 

abroad during the early years when youthful intimacies take 
their shape, had isolated him in a degree from the sympathy 
of his contemporaries. His relations were to be made anew, 
almost as if he were a stranger. Such was the state of mind 
at the outset when business appeared to him slow in coming. 
At the same time, it must be said that his was not a nature to 
lose his leisure in idleness. His training, self-imposed from his 
earliest youth, made labor of some kind indispensable to his com- 
fort. Very naturally his mind turned to the consideration of the 
public events immediately under his observation. They were of 
a nature too interesting not to fasten his attention at once. 

The great struggle for independence had passed away. 
Next had come the labor of organizing a system of govern- 
ment, which had terminated with equal success. Then followed 
the process of establishing a policy, in regard as well to the 
internal concerns of the country as to its relations with foreign 
states. The ordinary method of discussing the various impor- 
tant topics growing out of this labor of instauration had been 
carried on through the public newspapers issued in some of the 
chief towns. In this way many strong minds were enlisted in 
the treatment of the critical questions agitating the popular 
mind. Hence sprang the papers by Hamilton, Madison, and 
Jay, which contributed so much to the final acceptance of the 
federal Constitution, afterwards collected into a volume, esteemed 
even now as the leading authority for the construction of the 
terms of that instrument. Hence came likewise numbers of 
similar contributions from various sources, touching the sec- 
ondary questions ever springing out of the novel experiment. 
It is not too much to say of these papers that they form a 
body of contemporaneous exposition of the nature and policy 
of the government at the outset of its career, which will become 
of more and more interest to the philosophical historian as 
time goes on. 

The period of leisure conceded to Mr. Adams whilst waiting 
for professional employment was one during which a great 
change was passing over the civilized world. The memorable 
eruption in France had shaken all the thrones in Europe. 
Men had taken everywhere to the examination of the foun- 



1 79i] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 25 

dations of human government. In Great Britain, Edmund 
Burke had thrown himself in the van, with his accustomed 
power, by his publication of the " Thoughts on the French 
Revolution," to which Thomas Paine had not been slow to retort 
in his essay on "The Rights of Man." On the merits of the 
questions thus presented people divided everywhere, and no- 
where more earnestly than in America. No sooner did Paine's 
production find its way there than it was reprinted in Phila- 
delphia, under the auspices, if not at the instigation, of Mr. 
Jefferson, who hailed it as an important instrument with which 
to counteract what were then believed by many to be danger- 
ous tendencies towards monarchical institutions. The person 
aimed at as showing the strongest leaning that way was John 
Adams, who, in certain papers making their appearance in the 
customary channels, was engaged in philosophically analyzing 
the antiquated History of the Civil Wars of France, by Davila. 
Stimulated perhaps by this conflict of authority, his son pre- 
pared for a Boston newspaper, in his turn, a series of strictures 
on the pamphlet of Paine, which appeared in due course under 
the signature of Publicola. This was in 1791, when he was in 
his twenty-fourth year. Perhaps the strongly excited passions 
of the hour, the offspring of the upheaval of such deep social 
foundations, or else the suspicion that these papers were sub- 
stantially prompted by the father, contributed to the result, but 
the fact is beyond doubt that they at once attracted great 
attention, not less in Europe than in America. They were re- 
printed in the papers of New York and Philadelphia, were gen- 
erally read, and elicited numerous replies. If Mr. Jefferson's tes- 
timony may be relied upon, it was Publicola that forced Paine's 
pamphlet into notice, even though the latter had the great 
advantage of his own prefatory endorsement to recommend it. 
Be this as it may, the reputation of Publicola spread far beyond 
the confines of the United States. No sooner did the papers 
arrive in England than they were collected and published in 
London by Stockdale, who erroneously ascribed them to his 
father. But it was not there only that they were issued. An- 
other edition, without the name of John Adams, was printed and 
published at Glasgow, in Scotland, and still a third at Dublin, 



2 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [1791. 

in Ireland, each differing materially from the other. This fact, 
never known to the author himself, was only discovered by the 
writer, who accidentally met with copies of each edition during 
his residence in Great Britain, more than seventy years after- 
wards. 

Paine's production had made so strong an impression upon 
the popular mind in that country that the government deemed 
it a proper subject for prosecution as a libel. The case was 
brought up for trial on the 18th of December, 1792, before 
Lord Kenyon. 

It was upon this occasion that the Attorney-General, in open- 
ing the case, had recourse to this publication, written, as he 
said, "by an American gentleman of the name of Adams," and 
read from it several passages pronounced by him to be complete 
answers to the arguments of Paine. It is told of Erskine, at 
that time engaged in the defence, that he at once retorted, 
" How much better would it have been for the government to 
follow Mr. Adams's example, and, instead of prosecuting Paine, 
to refute him !" 

Neither was the sensation made by this pamphlet limited 
to Great Britain. Its reputation spread to France, and elicited 
there a careful, well-written answer in the forfn of a pamphlet, 
issued at Paris, entitled " Essai sur la Constitution Francaise." 
How far Paine himself may have had any share in this paper 
there are no means of knowing, beyond the internal evidence, 
which would rather indicate a higher grade of scholarship. 

These papers, eleven in number, are found in the files of the 
Boston "Centinel" for the months of June and July, 1791. The 
ability displayed in them was so marked that the authorship 
was generally imputed to his father, then Vice-President of the 
United States. So strong was this impression everywhere that 
the true author appears to have felt it his duty to introduce 
into the tenth number a formal contradiction of the story. At 
this day, no one who would take the trouble to compare the 
style of the two writers could fail to see the truth. No doubt, 
the popular error contributed somewhat to extend the circula- 
tion of the production ; yet, making every allowance possible 
for this agency, it cannot be doubted that its intrinsic force, 



I793-] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 2 J 

combining with the excitement of the time, was the real cause 
of its extraordinary success. 

But though this first effort may be said to have established 
the writer's reputation for abilities, it affected his position only 
in so far as it might gradually attract attention to him in his 
profession. It was another attempt of the same kind which 
gave a new turn to the course of his life. This happened two 
years later, when the mission of Mr. Genest, as the envoy of the 
new French republic, stirred the whole country, as it involved 
the question of the policy proper for the government to adopt 
towards that power. In the cabinet of Washington, opinions 
conflicted just as they did among the people at large. Ques- 
tions arose upon the reception of Mr. Genest, upon the effect 
of the Revolution on the guarantees in the treaty of 1778 
with that country, and upon the adoption of an absolutely 
neutral policy, which opened an ample field for agitation in the 
newspapers. Mr. Adams entered upon it first, by writing three 
papers for the Boston "Centinel," under the signature of Mar- 
cellus. These were followed by another series, under the signa- 
ture of Columbus, severely reflecting on the intemperate course 
pursued by Mr. Genest, which, being copied in the newspapers 
of the chief towns, attracted general attention and elicited many 
replies. One of these antagonists was James Sullivan, then 
Attorney-General, and afterwards Governor, of Massachusetts, 
who took the field in the columns of the Boston " Chronicle," 
the organ of the opposite class of opinion, under the signature 
of Americanus. Mr. Adams, in his turn, retorted with ad- 
ditional papers, under the signature of Barnevelt, which he 
succeeded in getting inserted in the very same journal, an un- 
usual courtesy in that day from partisan papers in America. 

This discussion placed Mr. Adams indisputably in the front 
rank of the controversial writers of his time. It displays all 
the characteristic touches which mark his later career, as well 
in their merits as in their defects ; in abundance of knowledge, 
closeness of reasoning, and effective retort, as well as in that 
superabounding force of invective which sometimes presses an 
advantage perhaps beyond the limits of legitimate pursuit. It 
is much to the honor of Mr. Sullivan that so far from taking 



28 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [1794. 

offence at the tartness of an antagonist so much his junior, he 
became so impressed by his ability as soon after to secure his 
services as a coadjutor in important cases in which he was 
himself engaged. 

This controversy attracted much attention in the principal 
cities of the continent, and drew forth many comments. It 
fell under the eye of Washington, then President of the new 
government, and anxiously considering the very same class of 
questions in a cabinet almost equally divided in opinion. He 
seems to have been impressed by this proof of Mr. Adams's 
powers to such an extent as at once to mark him out for the 
public service at an early opportunity. It would seem that he 
first contemplated nominating him as District Attorney for the 
United States in New England. This project was laid aside; 
but four months later he determined upon placing him in the 
more congenial line of the foreign service. His father, still 
serving as Vice-President at Philadelphia, knew nothing of this 
decision until notified of it by the Secretary of State, three days 
before the nomination was sent to the Senate over which he 
was presiding. The executive records of that body show that 
on the 29th of May, 1794, a message was received from the 
President, of which the first paragraph is in the following words : 

"I nominate John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, to be 
Minister Resident of the United States of America to their 
High Mightinesses the States General of the United States." 

This nomination was confirmed the next day without dissent. 

This account of Mr. Adams's youth, drawn from his own 
papers, is now brought down to the moment of his entry upon 
a public career. With very brief intervals, this was all of abso- 
lute private life he ever had an opportunity to enjoy. From 
this date his own record will come in to dispense with a neces- 
sity of further narrative. In publication nothing is left but the 
task of selection from superabundant materials, a task not un- 
attended with difficulty. Although there is not a single line 
of the diary which, merely for the writer's sake, his best friend 
would wish to blot, there is naturally much which, for second- 
ary reasons, he would scarcely care to make public. Much 
space is filled with ordinary details of no interest to later times, 



1794] BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 



2 9 



much in repetition of substantially similar ideas. The aim of 
the editor has been to unite, so far as possible, two distinct 
objects. The first, to present such portions as tend more 
directly to illustrate the personal character of the man, the 
nature of his mind and heart, as well as his ruling principles 
and passions; the second, to elucidate the history of important 
events with which he was more or less associated, or that fell 
under his observation. In connection with the first object, some 
criticism upon books read, and especially on religious topics, 
always more or less occupying his mind, has been admitted, 
which may seem to many readers rather tedious speculation. 
So, in dealing with the second, some space has been taken up 
in the exposition of minute details possibly tedious to modern 
impatience. All that can be said in excuse is, that nobody can 
precisely estimate what that happens in his own times will most 
fix the attention of later generations. But if reference be had 
to the past for guidance, it is indisputable that personal narra- 
tives of the eminent actors or thinkers of their day generally 
remain the most attractive portions of literature. The formal 
historian is but a gleaner from the same materials, which he 
often spoils by intermixing too much of the prejudices and pas- 
sions of his immediate day. Thus it is that ancient Greek and 
Latin history is written even down to the present hour. Who 
can feel so confident thatThucydides or Tacitus truly delineated 
the eminent characters of whose action they treat, as he would 
be if he could judge for himself through access to direct testi- 
mony from their own hands? The only condition essential to 
fair judgment is, that the material should be furnished without 
essential manipulation either by friend or foe. It is claimed 
that in the present publication this condition has been honestly 
fulfilled. So far as the selection is concerned, it has been 
affected by no regard to the more or less favorable position 
in which the writer may seem to be placed by it. The object 
is as far as possible to present the man as he shows himself, 
and the time and people about him as he paints them from his 
point of view. These form the materials for history, rather 
than history itself. They abide the verdict of the latest because 
the most impartial posterity. 



CHAPTER II. 



THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 



The materials for this chapter are taken from two small 
paper books, closely written by the hand of the author, the 
predecessors of the more formal diary that follows. They 
relate to the time between his unexpected appointment on a 
public mission to Holland and the commencement of the fourth 
month of his actual service there. The record is not, however, 
continuous. There is a break in it from the day of his arrival 
at the Hague, on the 31st of October, 1794, to the first of the 
next year. It may have been caused by the uncertainty of his 
position, when everything about him appeared to be shaking. 
William V. had followed the lead of Great Britain, and joined 
the alliance of the powers of Europe adverse to the action of 
the French Convention. Robespierre had been overthrown, 
but the vigor of its military proceedings had suffered no loss by 
the change. A winter campaign was entered upon in the Low 
Countries, the unusual severity of which, instead of obstructing, 
only turned to the greater advantage of the invaders. The 
commander, General Pichegru, before the middle of January 
had succeeded in overcoming all obstacles to an advance, and 
in defeating the British and allied forces opposed to him, which 
determined the fate of Holland. Indeed, it only needed the 
presence of a protecting force from without to set in motion 
the popular sympathy of the Dutch and bring about a spon- 
taneous revolution. 

Mr. Adams had indeed been formally accredited at an 
audience granted by the Stadtholder so early as the 15th of 
November, before matters had taken a decisive turn. At that 
time hopes were probably yet entertained that the defence 
might be successful. But after the 10th of January there could 
3° 



1 794-] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. t )1 

be no doubt of the issue, and the only thing left for the Stadt- 
holder was the mode of effecting a retreat. Although his 
struggle with the popular party had been constant, dating even 
before the American Revolution, when he had resisted in vain 
the policy of recognizing the new republic, and counselled 
harmony with Great Britain, there does not seem to have been 
much vindictive feeling towards him. On the 15th of January 
he formally proceeded to give in his resignation of his post to 
the States-General, as well as that of both his sons as officers in 
the army. lie then quietly made the best of his way, with all 
the members of his family, out of the jurisdiction, and across 
the water to Great Britain. The States-General, on their side, 
immediately constituted themselves a republic, and awaited 
with few regrets the arrival of the French forces on their way 
to confirm this peaceful revolution. 

On this occasion the diplomatic representatives of five of the 
great powers vacated their positions. On the other hand, that 
of Mr. Adams was' favorably affected rather than otherwise. 
The dominant party was composed of the same persons who 
had carried the point in 1782 of recognizing his father as the 
representative of an independent republic. Hence he did not 
hesitate at once to recognize the new organization as the legiti- 
mate government. 

With these explanations, it is believed that the allusions to 
these matters, in the diary which follows, may be readily under- 
stood. 

On the 3rd day of June, 1794, when I returned to my 
lodgings at the close of the evening, upon opening a letter 
from my father, which I had just before taken from the Post- 
office, I found it contained information that Edmund Ran- 
dolph, Secretary of State of the United States, had, on the 
morning of the day when the letter was dated, called on the 
writer, and told him that the President of the United States 
had determined to nominate me to go to the Hague as Resi- 
dent Minister from the United States. This intelligence was 
very unexpected, and indeed surprising. I had laid down as a 
principle, that I never would solicit for any public Office what- 



32 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July. 

ever, and from this determination no necessity has hitherto 
compelled me to swerve. From the principles of the same 
nature, which my father has always rigidly observed, I knew 
that no influence, nor even a request of any kind from him, 
could have occasioned this intention of the President. And 
yet I was very sensible that neither my years, my experience, 
my reputation, nor my talents, could entitle me to an office of 
so much responsibility. It is, however, of no service to indulge 
conjecture upon the subject. 

On the 5th I received further letters from my father, informing 
me that the nomination had been made, and had received the 
advice and consent of the Senate, without a dissenting voice. 

On the Sunday following, the 8th, my father arrived at 
Quincy from Philadelphia, and on Tuesday, the 10th, I went 
from Boston to Quincy to see him. I found that my nomina- 
tion had been as unexpected to him as to myself, and that he 
had never uttered a word upon which a wish on his part could 
be presumed that a public office should be conferred upon me. 
His opinion upon the subject agreed with my own ; but his 
satisfaction at the appointment is much greater than mine. 

I wish I could have been consulted before it was irrevocably 
made. I rather wish it had not been made at all. My friends, 
on the other hand, appear much pleased with it, and seem to 
consider it as a subject of pure and simple congratulation. 

1 2th. I received a letter from the Secretary of State giving me 
notice of my appointment, and requesting me to go to Phila- 
delphia. 

30th. I left Boston, and arrived the same day in Providence. 

July 1st. Went from Providence down the river to Newport, 
where by contrary winds I was detained until the 5th, when I 
sailed in the packet Romeo for New York, where I arrived the 
next night, the 6th. 

7th. I remained at New York, in order to get a little recruited 
and refreshed. I lodged at my brother-in-law, Col. VV. S. 
Smith's. At dinner this day at his house, I met M. Talley- 
rand, the ci-devant Bishop of Autun, Beaumetz, member of 
the Constituent National Assembly of France, and Mr. De la 
Colombe, who was Aid-de-camp to M. de la Fayette, was with 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 33 

him when he left his own army, and made his own escape from 
the Austrians, in disguise. 

Talleyrand and Bcaumctz have both been Presidents of the 
Constituent Assembly in France ; the former was the intimate 
of Mirabeau; great promoters of the Revolution, and among 
the first victims of it. The former, a man of high birth and a 
bishop, first made the motion for the confiscation of the eccle- 
siastical property. They are now here in banishment — excluded 
from France by the prevalence of a party different from that 
to which they belong; excluded from England for the part 
which they have borne in the French Revolution ; this country 
of universal liberty, this asylum from the most opposite de- 
scriptions of oppression, is the only one in which they can find 
rest. 

Talleyrand is reserved and distant; Beaumetz more sociable 
and communicative. It is natural to look with reverence, at 
least with curiosity, upon men who have been so highly and so 
recently conspicuous upon the most splendid theatre of human 
affairs. If indeed success is the criterion of political excellence, 
not one individual that has been hitherto actively engaged in 
the progress of the French Revolution has been equal to the 
situation in which he has been placed. The parties have suc- 
cessively destroyed one another, and in the general wreck it is 
not easy to distinguish between those whose fall has been the 
effect of their own incapacity, and those who have been only 
unfortunate. 

Perhaps there never has been a period in the history of man- 
kind, when Fortune has sported so wantonly with reputation, 
as of late in France. The tide of popularity has ebbed and 
flowed with nearly the same frequency as that of the ocean, 
though not with the same regularity. Necker, Bailly, La Fay- 
ette, Barnave, Petion, Condorcet, Brissot, Danton, and innumer- 
able others, have in their turns been at one moment the idols, 
and at the next the victims, of the popular clamor. In the 
distribution of fame, as in everything else, they have been 
always in extremes. And no doubt, among the great number 
whom it has pleased the Sovereign People to adore for a 

moment, there must be many very undeserving of their wor- 
vol. 1. — 3 



o 4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

ship; many ordinary characters, adapted only to the mediocrity 
of calm and quiet times, and whom nothing but the rapid 
circulation of a revolutionary period could ever have raised 
to be seen upon the surface. Whether the gentlemen of whom 
I am now speaking are of this description it becomes not me 
to say. 1 

9th. Arrived at Philadelphia. 

ioth. I waited on Mr. Randolph, who immediately accom- 
panied me and introduced me to the President of the United 
States. He said little or nothing to me upon the subject of 
the business on which I am to be sent. All his directions and 
intentions on this head I am to receive through the medium of 
his Ministers. I dined with him, General and Mrs. Knox. Mr. 
Randolph and Mr. Bradford were there, and Mrs. R. Morris. 

nth. The day on which I entered upon the twenty-eighth 
year of my age, I received my Commission from the Secretary 
of State. At the same time I began the reading of six large 
folio volumes, containing the despatches from my father during 
his negotiations in Europe. By the invitation of the President, 
I attended the reception he gave to Piomingo and a number of 
other Chickasaw Indians. Five Chiefs, seven Warriors, four 
boys and an interpreter constituted the company. As soon as 
the whole were seated, the ceremony of smoking began. A 
large East Indian pipe was placed in the middle of the Hall. 
The tube, which appeared to be of leather, was twelve or fifteen 
feet in length. The President began, and after two or three 
whiffs, passed the tube to Piomingo ; he to the next Chief, and 
so all round. Whether this ceremony be really of Indian 
origin, as is generally supposed, I confess I have some doubt. 
At least these Indians appeared to be quite unused to it, and 
from their manner of going through it, looked as if they were 
submitting to a process in compliance with our custom. Some 

1 The long and chequered career of Talleyrand has settled the question in his 
favor; whilst Beaumetz has passed out of memory. He had been elected by the 
nobility a deputy to the States-General, in which body he took such a part after 
the union of the orders as to secure for him the honor of presiding over the 
National Assembly. Denounced in 1792, he left France, and is said to have 
wandered several years in various countries. The time and place of his death 
remain uncertain. 



1794.] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 35 

of them, I thought, smiled with such an expression of counte- 
nance as denoted a sense of novelty, and of frivolity too; as if 
the ceremony struck them, not only as new, but also as ridicu- 
lous. When it was finished, the President addressed them in a 
speech which he read, stopping at the close of every sentence 
for the interpreter to translate it. I observed that the inter- 
preter, at the close of every sentence, concluded by repeating 
the same word twice over. The sound was something like 
this, "Tshkyer! Tshkyer!" He always repeated them very 
rapidly, and as soon as he had done, the five Chiefs all together 
would utter a sound, importing their approbation. The sound 
was strong or faint, in proportion to the degree of satisfaction 
they had in what was said. But I can give no adequate idea 
of what it was by any combination of our letters. It resembled 
a horse's neighing as much as anything, and more than once 
reminded me of the Houynhms. Piomingo then desired he 
might be excused from giving his talks at this time, being very 
unwell, but promised to give them in a few days. 

They then made several enquiries respecting the Cherokees 
who have recently been here. Their questions discovered a 
mixture of curiosity and of animosity. These two nations are 
at war, and the Chickasaws spoke of the others as a perfid- 
ious people. The fides punica, it seems, is not confined to 
civilized nations. 

The informal conversation was held while wine, punch, and 
cake were carrying round. The President told them that the 
Chickasaws had always been distinguished as sincere and 
faithful friends, and that the United States always valued such 
friends most highly. They said nothing of their own sincerity, 
and made no answer to the President's compliment. 

These formalities employed about an hour; after which they 
rose, shook hands with us all, and departed. 

There was nothing remarkable in their appearance. Some 
of them were dressed in coarse jackets and trowsers, and some 
in the uniform of the United States. Some of them had 
shirts, and some had none. They were none of them either 
painted or scarified, and there were four or five who had rings 
in their noses. One or two had large plates, apparently of 



36 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

silver, hanging upon the breast, and I do not recollect ob- 
serving any other ornaments upon them. I dined at General 
Knox's. Mr. Griffin, a member of Congress from Virginia, 
Mr. Maund, an English gentleman, settled in that State, and 
a member of their Senate, and the ci-devant Vicomte de 
Noailles, were of the company. 

This is another illustrious exile from France — once a Presi- 
dent of the Constituent Assembly, and the first who moved for 
the abolition of the feudal rights of the nobility, or for some 
other famous revolutionary measure. He fell with the mon- 
archy ; but by some good fortune, having originally left the 
country with express permission, he is not included in the full 
severity of the laws against emigrants. He purposes now to 
settle for life upon a newly-cleared place on the Susquehanna, 
called the Asylum, which really serves as such to many French- 
men expelled from their own country by the violence of their 
internal feuds. 1 

We accompanied Mrs. Knox to the Theatre, which is spa- 
cious and elegant, and supplied with a very good company of 
performers. Part of the entertainment, however, we left, to go 
and pay the customary visit to Mrs. Washington. As this was 
merely a mark of respect, we retired as early as we could, and 
returned to the play. The remainder of the evening I was 
seated next to Mr. Fauchet, 2 the Minister Plenipotentiary from 
the French Republic. I found him tolerably conversable, but 
reserved. He appears to be not much beyond thirty. He 
spoke of the Abbe Raynal, whom he knew ; but said he had 
seldom seen him in latter times, and without conversing on the 

1 He returned to France, took a commission in the army, and was killed in an 
action with the British fleet on the evacuation of St. Domingo by the French 
forces in 1803. 

2 One of the gravest embarrassments met with by the first administration, it is 
well known, grew out of the turbulent conduct of the diplomatic agents sent out 
by the revolutionary authorities in France. Mr. Genest soon gave an occasion to 
demand his recall, and his successor, Mr. Fauchet, was scarcely more fortunate. 
A despatch of his to his government, intercepted by the British, and by them com- 
municated to the President, contained language so mysterious as to render his 
further continuance inexpedient. It likewise brought on the resignation of Ed- 
mund Randolph, the Secretary of State. Mr. Fauchet had already been super- 
seded by Mr. Adet. 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 37 

subject of the Revolution. There was another man of letters, 
much his superior, the Abbe Barthelemi. I told him I had 
great veneration for his character, and had heard with great 
regret that he had lately "suffered!' (I hardly knew how to 
express, with the delicate ambiguity which I thought neces- 
sary, the operation of the guillotine.) He assured me that the 
information was false, and that the Abbe Barthelemi was highly 
respected by the present ruling powers of France. 

Milton's mask of Comus was one part of the evening's per- 
formance. " It is the work of a great man," said Mr. Fauchet. 
"Aye," said I, "and of a great republican. He wrote a book 
in defence of the people of England for beheading Charles the 
1st." "That book," said Mr. Fauchet, " Mirabeau boasted of 
having made known in France, and published a translation of 
it, which he pretended was his own ; but in reality it was an old 
one, which had been published many years ago." " Mirabeau's 
reputation," said I, " has undergone great revolutions since that 
of France began." " He was indisputably," said he, " a man 
of great talents ; but as to his integrity the fact is not so clearly 
settled." "Was he a man of courage?" "On pretend que 
non." Everything was as guarded and cautious as this. " The 
accounts of success from the French are confirmed," said he, 
" and it is not improbable that on your arrival you will find the 
Stadtholder's Court at Breda. I have great hopes of that coun- 
try. I think the seeds of a happy revolution are there; and 
always regretted that the patriots were abandoned and sacri- 
ficed. You will arrive at a very critical time. Important nego- 
tiations must take place at the close of the present campaign. 
The combined powers, Prussia, Austria, and Spain, must surely 
discover that they are laboring for an object, the success of 
which would be destructive to themselves. France once de- 
stroyed, and where will there be a power to balance that of 
England? They are wrong to abuse Pitt as they do. His 
plan is, in my opinion, vast and profound ; and his execution 
has hitherto been equally artful. His object is to ruin France, 
to establish beyond control the power of Britain, and he has 
had the address to employ those nations, the most deeply inter- 
ested against the system, to spend their blood and treasure in 



38 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

promoting it." I was content to be simply a hearer of these 
observations, and easily perceived the policy of Mr. Fauchet in 
advancing these sentiments. For if this be the system of the 
British Government, there is none of the European nations who 
ought to wish more earnestly for its failure than the United States. 
As a commercial people, we must very soon be their most dan- 
gerous rivals. As a naval power, we must in time be their 
superiors ; and France being the only country in Europe that 
can pretend to cope with them on the sea at this time, their 
claim to the dominion of the ocean would be established beyond 
control by the destruction of the French power. In the tri- 
umphs of Britain, it would be absurd to expect moderation; 
and if, by the ruin of her rival, she could effectually secure the 
lordship of the waves, the United States would certainly be 
among the first to feel the insolence of her supremacy. This 
was not said by Mr. Fauchet ; but it was an inevitable inference 
from his opinions, and I believe it has too much foundation. I 
have seen, however, in some of the opposition newspapers, a 
speculation in which the system is attacked, and the writer 
attempts to prove that by the destruction of France, England 
herself would be brought in jeopardy, and the power. of Russia 
only would be so promoted and strengthened, as to become 
the tyrant of Europe. 

1 2th. Dined with Mr. Hammond, the British Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary. 1 There was no other company, and we were tolerably 
sociable. It was the renewal of an old acquaintance, but I felt 
it necessary to be peculiarly cautious with the Minister of a 
Foreign Nation, with whom the United States are now engaged 
in a controversy which bears a very serious aspect. He spoke 
of the late speech of the Governor of Massachusetts, which 
appears to have given him much offence. 2 He seemed to wish 

1 The first Envoy sent from Great Britain to the United States. 

2 Samuel Adams, elected Governor of Massachusetts in the place of John Han- 
cock, who had died in office the preceding year. In his speech at the opening of 
the session of the legislature, in the preceding month, he had taken occasion 
sharply to comment upon the course of Great Britain, as displayed in papers lately 
published, touching an address to the Indians by Lord Dorchester, then the Gov- 
ernor of Canada, about which a correspondence between the Secretary of State and 
Mr. Hammond had just taken place. 



1794.] THE MISS/OX TO HOLLAND. 39 

me to speak of that Gentleman, and to expect that I should 
express not much respect for his character. I did not choose 
to gratify him ; but spoke of the Governor in general terms, 
and with respect. I enquired if he had any further particulars 
than such as were public, relative to the late actions in Flan- 
ders. He said no. He affected to speak lightly of the Duke 
of York's defeat, as well as of the late proceedings in England, 
and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. The Govern- 
ment there, he said, was infinitely stronger than ours, and even 
had fewer opposers. Personally, he said, he wished well to 
our Government, and hoped it would continue. But he believed 
that two-thirds of the people were opposed to it, whereas in 
Great Britain there was not more than one in a hundred hostile 
to their Government. I told him, that for the employment of 
force, the observation was just, and that our constituted au- 
thority could not venture upon measures so decisive as were 
adopted by theirs ; but that as to a spirit of real hostility, I 
did not think it existed in the proportion of two-thirds, nor 
even of one, in this country. 

September 17th. I went on board the ship "Alfred," Stephen 
Macey commander, for London ; together with my brother, 
and a servant. Dr. Welsh and Mr. W. S. Smith accompanied 
us on board the ship, and returned on shore as soon as we 
were fairly under weigh. My friends, Daniel Sargent Junr. 
and Nathan Frazier Junr., went with us down as far as the 
light-house. At ten a.m. we weighed; and just at noon were 
abreast of the Light. My friends then left us to return home. 
" The name of your ship," said Frazier, " is auspicious," and 
alluding to the new French Calendar, "You depart," said he, 
" on the day of Virtue, I hope you will return upon the day of 
Rewards." The pain of separation from my friends and 
country was felt as poignantly by me, at the moment when 
these two young men left the ship, as it ever has been at any 
period of my life. It was like the severing the last string from 
the heart. I looked back at their boat, as long as it could be 
seen, and when it had got out of sight, I did not, but I could 
have, turned my eye and wept. By two p.m. we were fairly at sea. 



40 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

October 14th. Discovered the Light House at Dungeness, at 
about 11, passed it between 12 and I, — soon came abreast of 
the White Cliffs, so celebrated in song, and just after three, 
were opposite Dover. A signal was made for a pilot, who 
came immediately on board, in a small boat. The men in the 
boat then proposed to carry on shore the passengers, and after 
a little chaffering whether their extortion should amount to a 
guinea, or only half a guinea, for each passenger, they came to 
the latter price, and took us on board. They then discovered 
that the wind and tide had already carried us so far below the 
town, and the swell was so high, that we could not get back; 
and that we must land four miles below ; from whence we 
should have an agreeable walk to Dover, and we could send 
our baggage forward easily, in a caravan. If however we pre- 
ferred it, for an additional guinea they would carry us on still 
five miles further, to Deal, where we should find an Inn close 
upon the beach, and carriages for London, ready at any hour. 
Expostulation was useless, and, as the least of two evils, we 
chose to land at Deal. At five p.m. our boat was brought 
broadside towards the shore, and was driven up by one breaker 
after another upon the beach, until we could step on dry land, 
and we were fortunate that the swell there was very small, 
so that we did not get wet. Directly opposite our landing 
place, we found the Royal Exchange Inn, at which, with the 
highest satisfaction, we found firm footing once more ; the 
twenty-eighth day after our departure from Boston. The 
passage has been favorable beyond my most sanguine ex- 
pectations, and considering the flimsy, crazy condition of the 
old ship, her uncommon dulness of sailing, and the mistakes 
of our Captain, we must confess that our good fortune has been 
really extraordinary. However, the state of constant uninter- 
rupted anxiety, which arose from the precarious tenure upon 
which we held our existence, and the alarm which every 
appearance of foul weather naturally excited on board such a 
ship, will I think induce me to avoid ever embarking in an 
eggshell again, to cross the Atlantic. It is the second time I 
have been in jeopardy from a leaky vessel. It behoves me to 
beware of the third. Yet I cannot answer for the inducement 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 4! 

of a concurrence of circumstances like that which brought me 
on board the Alfred. From such a situation, it may well be 
supposed, I rejoice in being delivered ; and the moment of 
landing this day, was one of those instants of real and perfect 
satisfaction which occur seldom in the course of human life. 

15th. At about three this morning, we started from Deal in a 
Post Chaise, leaving my servant behind, to come on this after- 
noon, in the Stage Coach. Our road was, 

From Deal to Canterbury ... 22 miles. 
" Canterbury to Sittingbourn 16 " 
" Sittingbourn to Rochester . 1 1 " 
Rochester to Dartford . . 15 " 
Dartford to London ... 14 " 
The point of departure is from London Bridge, and the distance 
within the City is a separate calculation. 

We breakfasted at Canterbury, at the most indifferent house 
we found upon the road. At Dartford we dined ; and arrived 
at the Virginia Coffee House, just below the Royal Exchange, 
at about half-past seven in the evening. Just before we got to 
the London Bridge, we heard a rattling before us, and immedi- 
ately after, a sound as of a trunk falling from the carriage. I 
instantly looked forward, and saw that both our trunks were 
gone. One of them contained all the public despatches which 
I brought for the American Minister here, and which was my 
principal inducement for coming here. For a moment, I felt 
sensations of the severest distress. But my brother immediately 
alighted, and found the trunk of despatches directly under the 
carriage. The other trunk was a few rods behind, and in half 
a minute more must have been crushed to pieces by the horse's 
hoofs, of a carriage which followed hard upon us. We secured 
them both inside our chaise for the rest of our way, and our 
driver assured us that the trunks could not have fallen, unless 
the straps had been cut away. On reaching our lodgings, and 
bringing our trunks to a light, we found the conjecture of our 
postilion was well founded ; but whether his sagacity arose from 
his being privy to the villainy and concerned in it, or not, we 
had no means of determining ; and as our things were saved, 
was of little consequence to us to know. 



4 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

But for myself, I felt the most exquisite satisfaction at this 
hair- breadth escape from a misfortune, which to my mind, as 
it respected myself personally, would have reduced me to the 
condition of regretting my other escape from the dangers of the 
seas. Entrusted with despatches of the highest importance, 
with numerous original documents relative to the depredations 
upon the American Commerce, now a subject of negotiation 1 
between the two countries, with papers particularly committed 
to my care, because they were highly confidential, and the 
ground upon which I was directed by the President of the 
United States to take my passage first to London, in prefer- 
ence lo an immediate opportunity for Amsterdam, with what 
a face could I have presented myself to the Minister for whom 
they were intended, to tell him that I had lost them on the 
way? How could I have informed the Secretary of State of 
the fate of his papers? What would have been my feelings on 
the reflection that they would probably all be put in the posses- 
sion of the Ministry here ? And how could I have supported 
the idea that the story, with a thousand alterations and aggra- 
vations, would be resounded from one end of the United States 
to the other ? What a field for the aspersions of malice ! What 
a fund for the suspicions of jealousy ! What an opening for the 
insinuations of envy ! And what a ground-work for the fabric 
of slander! Well then might I consider this instance of good 
fortune as more important to myself, and to my country, than 
my preservation, and even that of the papers, from the perils of 
the voyage ! 

Yet for the mortification of my vanity, I can attribute very little, 
if any, of my luck in avoiding this accident, to any precaution 
of my own. An extreme anxiety for the trust committed to 
me had indeed never left me, from the moment we landed at 
Deal ; and I had been at the pains of having the whole package 
of two trunks changed there, that I might have my treasure 
under my own eye, rather than leave it but for a day in the 
custody of my servant. We set out so early in the morning, 
in order to reach London before dark ; and as long as daylight 

1 This allusion is to the well-known negotiation of Mr. Jay, which ended in the 
treaty ever since associated with his name. 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 43 

lasted, my trunk had been scarcely a moment out of my sight. 
But we had not succeeded in finishing our journey before the 
night set in. The dexterous felony was committed in the shade 
of night, in the bustle of a London street, our carriage rattling 
over the pavements, and the noise of twenty others contributing 
to confuse our sense of hearing — half a minute more, and my 
trunk would have been irretrievably gone. That I heard the 
falling trunk early enough to defeat the intended theft, I can 
only consider as one of the most fortunate circumstances that 
ever occurred to me in the course of my life. 

Had the misfortune really befallen me, I could not have im- 
puted it, however, to any fault, or even to any deficiency, of mine. 
I had neglected no possible precaution ; for the papers were too 
voluminous to be contained in a trunk which could have been 
carried within the carriage. And although the trunks were 
lashed before the chaise, the straps were cut by an invisible 
hand, when most assuredly there was nobody to be seen near 
them. There is but one method by which we can account for 
the performance of this ingenious trick. About three minutes 
before it was done, the chaise had stopped to pay the toll of a 
turnpike. A small child might, at that moment, have crept 
under the carriage, between the hind wheels, and fastened him- 
self upon the perch ; waited there until we were again in motion, 
then silently sever the ropes and straps with a knife or razor, 
drop from the perch, mingle with the crowd of passengers in 
the street, and wait with his accomplices to pick up the fallen 
goods as soon as our carriage should have been a few rods 
further advanced. This, I am told, is a practice not unusual 
among the skilful thieves of this metropolis, and seems to be 
tire only possible means by which the attempt was made, which, 
so happily for my peace, and the welfare of my country, failed 
of success. 

We took a chamber for the night, at the Virginia Coffee 
House ; but after the accident that had happened, I could not 
think of sleeping with Mr. Jay's despatches in my possession. 
I therefore immediately took a hackney coach, and drove to 
the Royal Hotel in Pall Mall, where Mr. J. lodges. He was 
ill with a Rheumatic complaint, and has been for several days 



44 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

confined to his chamber; but upon informing his servant of 
my errand, I was admitted, and received by him with great 
cordiality. 

Having delivered my despatches, and had a short desultory 
conversation of about half an hour with him, I took my leave, 
and returned to my lodgings ; where on going into Mr. Walker's 
chamber, I found there my old friend, Tom Crafts, 1 and felt 
the most exquisite satisfaction in taking him once more by the 
hand. We passed an hour very happily in mutual congratula- 
tions and enquiries, and then severally retired to rest, where the 
pleasing reflection of having so far accomplished my voyage, 
and of having happily steered clear of so many perils, continued 
revolving in my mind, until I fell asleep. 

To a person arriving from a tedious and uncomfortable 
voyage, the appearance of the country between Deal and this 
City is beautiful beyond description. The verdure of the fields, 
the luxuriance of the harvest, the infinite variety of delightful 
prospects, the apparent opulence of the Cities, the unrivalled 
excellence of the roads, of the travelling carriages and horses, 
the neatness and elegance of accommodations at the Inns, and 
the vast numbers of travellers, who seem to make the way, 
through the whole distance, little different from a street of 
public resort, all combining together, convey an idea of perfect 
enchantment. In every one of these circumstances, the country 
has very perceptibly improved since I last travelled this road, 
a little more than thirteen years ago. 2 They all seem to dem- 
onstrate the vast wealth of the Kingdom ; and the perpetual 
recurrence of calls for money must convince every man that 
here, at least, it is considered as the supreme, if not the only 
good. 

At the continual succession of objects to admire, which pre- 
sented themselves to our view, during the course of this day, 
we might sometimes perhaps have gazed ourselves insensibly 

1 Mr. Crafts was graduated at Harvard College, in the class two years in advance 
of the writer. He died in 1798. 

2 This calculation would go back to the year 1781, before the close of the war, 
which is an obvious error. The writer did accompany his father over this same 
road in the month of October, 17S3, that is, eleven years before. 



1 794- J THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 45 

to stupefaction, had we not with equal frequency been called 
to satisfy the demands of postilions, of waiters, of hostlers, and 
of the whole tribe of servants, whose subsistence, by the custom 
of the country, is palmed upon the generosity of travellers and 
guests. It is one of the most troublesome inconveniences that 
are met with in this country, for as the quantum of the gratuity 
depends upon the pleasure of the giver, there is no standard by 
which to measure the proper compensation for the services per- 
formed ; and four times in five these insatiable leeches are dis- 
contented with what is given them, and beg for more; which 
if refused, they turn away with an insolence of air and manner, 
not sufficient to warrant resentment, but always enough to be 
offensive. 

Were I (as Mr. Walter Shandy says) absolute monarch of 
this Island, I certainly would make a regulation, that servants 
should be paid by their own masters. I would never allow of 
this privileged beggary, which will neither fix its demand, nor 
acquiesce in what it receives. As it is, I must submit to the 
custom ; pay well, and hear their subsequent importunity with 
philosophical indifference. 1 

16th. Before we rose this morning, Tilly arrived in the Coach 
from Deal. We indulged ourselves, indeed, beyond the usual 
hour, and made it late before we went to breakfast with Mr. 
Jay. We found there a Mr. Pierpont, who has just arrived 
from France, and who gave us some account of the state of 
things in Paris, where the moderate party now prevails. In- 
deed nothing ever was more surprising to me, than when Mr. 
Jay, last evening, asked me whether the death of Robespierre 
was known in America before I sailed. I repeated with utter 
astonishment, " Robespierre dead," more times than was per- 
fectly decent; and could scarcely believe I had heard right, 
until he assured me very seriously, that about six weeks or 
two months since, Robespierre, with a considerable number of 
his partisans, were accused, tried, condemned, and executed, 
in less than twenty-four hours, by a party of moderates, who 
had succeeded to his power, and from that day to this have 

1 This practice is not even yet wholly obsolete in England. 



46 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

loaded his memory with every possible execration, calling him 
by scarce any other name than the Tyrant, and imputing to 
him, and his system, all the horrible cruelties which have deso- 
lated the country for the last two years. 

The party which began its career of power by ridding the 
earth of such a scourge, cannot fairly, on that account, be 
charged with having falsely assumed the title of moderates. 
And their conduct since that time has been such as to give 
them a real claim to the epithet. There have been scarcely 
any public executions, few arrests ; and great numbers of pris- 
oners released, who can attribute their present existence only 
to the fall of Robespierre. 

After breakfast, Col. Trumbull, Mr. Jay's Secretary, went 
with us, and introduced us to Mr. Pinckney, our Minister Pleni- 
potentiary at this Court, for whom I likewise had despatches. 

1 8th. Went to Drury Lane Theatre to see Henry the Eighth, 
with a farce called The Glorious First of ynne. The house 
itself has undergone a thorough alteration since I was here 
before, and has been lately repaired at the expense, it is said, 
of a hundred thousand pounds. The house was thin, notwith- 
standing Mrs. Siddons appeared in the character of Queen 
Catherine. She is as much as ever, and as deservedly, the fa- 
vorite of the public, but the enthusiasm of novelty is past, and 
her appearance alone no longer crowds the houses, as it was 
wont in the autumn of 1783. She performed the part of Cath- 
erine to great perfection ; much beyond the excellence of Mrs. 
Yates, whom I once saw and admired in the same character. 
None of the other persons of the Drama were better, most of 
them not so well filled as at the former period ; and in Wolsey, 
Bensley was a miserable substitute indeed for Henderson, who 
in this character used to excel himself. Palmer's Henry was 
very good, but all the rest were below the style of mediocrity. 
The farce or after-piece was a miserable compound of dulness 
and gasconade upon the subject of their late naval victory, 
which nothing but the ostrich stomach of national vanity could 
ever have digested, and for which even the undistinguishing 
palate of their heavy pride was obliged to affect a relish higher 
than it felt. The applause of the audience was frequent enough ; 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 47 

but it was faint, and very evidently was bestowed by patriotism, 
at the expense of taste; for it is doubtless an unequivocal proof 
of patriotism to clap the hands at the stupid fustian of national 
adulation ; and the puny cits and courtiers, who are idling in 
the arms of my Lady Peace at a play-house, think when they 
applaud this nonsense that they are rendering important ser- 
vices to their King and Country. 

20th. I spent most of the forenoon at Mr. Jay's, in company 
with Mr. Pinckney, 1 in conversation upon the subject of the 
negotiation now on foot between the former of these gentle- 
men and the Ministry here. The plan of a treaty now in dis- 
cussion was read, and then taken up, and considered Article by 
Article. The business, however, was not finished, and we ad- 
journed over the subject for a further meeting till to-morrow. 
We dined with Mr. Jay, and afterwards I went with Col. Trum- 
bull, and Mr. Peter Jay, son to the Minister, to Covent Garden 
Theatre. The performance of the night was Romeo and Juliet, 
with a pantomime called Oscar and Malvina, the subject of 
which is taken from Ossian. Juliet was personated by a Miss 
Wallis, who makes her first appearance on the London stage 
this season. Her external appearance has everything to capti- 
vate. Young, beautiful, and amiable in the highest degree, she 
is peculiarly calculated for characters in which these quali- 
ties are displayed. But her voice has hardly sufficient strength 
to fill the house, and she is not adapted to those situations 
where the energies of a sublime genius are required. In these 
talents Mrs. Siddons has yet no competitor; but for the soft 
and delicate graces, for the peculiar charm of female tender- 
ness and sensibility, I have seldom seen an actress who could 
dispute the prize with Miss Wallis. Holman, in Romeo, was 
detestable. Lewis, in Mercutio, excellent. The Nurse was 
very well acted, and Friar Lawrence, tolerable ; the rest were 
worse than indifferent; and the tout-ensemble of the perform- 
ance was very little superior to that of Powell's Company at 
Boston, which I saw there last May. The pantomime of Oscar 
and Malvina was an insipid pageant, which was only made 

1 Thomas Pinckney, at this time the Minister from the United States accredited 
at this court. 



4 g MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

tolerable by the comparison with the stuff I had seen at Drury 
Lane. 

In the interlude between the plays, the music struck the tune 
of God save the King. Immediately, a thunder-clap of loud 
applause burst forth from every part of the house, and the 
whole audience rose. They continued standing for as much as 
ten minutes, while the tune was played, clapping their hands, 
and crying, bravo ! bravo ! with as much enthusiasm as they 
could have done, had they felt all the interest they pretended. 
Pure patriotism again. All for the service of their King and 
Country. I am always averse to an appearance of singularity. 
I rose with the rest of the company; but I was under no obliga- 
tion to join in the applause, and I could not help disdaining the 
baseness of their servility. 

2 1 st. Breakfasted with Mr. Jay. Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Wil- 
liam Vaughan were there. We afterwards proceeded in the 
consideration of the projected Treaty till 3, but did not finish, 
and are to renew the subject to-morrow. We returned and 
dined with Mr. Jay, and passed an hour in very agreeable 
conversation after dinner with him. 

22d. We passed this forenoon like the two former, and at 
length got through the discussion of the Treaty. It is far from 
being satisfactory to those gentlemen ; it is much below the 
standard which I think would be advantageous to the country; 
but, with some alterations which are marked down, and to 
which it seems there is a probability they will consent, it is, in 
the opinion of the two plenipotentiaries, preferable to a war. 
And when Mr. Jay asked me my opinion, I answered that I 
could only acquiesce in that idea. 

There are three points of view in which this instrument may 
be considered. As it respects the satisfaction to be received by 
the United States ; as it relates to the satisfaction to be made ; 
and as a permanent treaty of Commerce. 

In the first place, the satisfaction proposed to be made to the 
United States for the recent depredations upon her commerce, 
the principal object of Mr. Jay's Mission. It is provided for in 
as ample a manner as we could expect. That complete indem- 
nification will be made to every individual sufferer, I fear, is 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 49 

impossible ; but as the evil is done and cannot be recalled, I 
know not well how we could require more than the stipulations 
of this treaty contain. The delivery of the posts is protracted 
to a more distant period than would be desirable ; but the com- 
pensation made for the past and the future detention of them 
will, I think, be a sufficient equivalent. The commerce with 
their West India Islands, partially opened to us, will be of great 
importance, and indemnify us for the deprivation of the fur 
trade since the Treaty of peace, as well as for the negroes 
carried away contrary to the engagement of the Treaty, at least 
as far as it respects the nation. 

As to the satisfaction we are to make, I think it is no more 
than in justice is due from us. The indemnity promised to 
British subjects, for their losses resulting from the non-compli- 
ance with the Treaty on our part, is to be settled in the same 
manner with that which our citizens are to receive, and in fact 
is to depend upon the fulfilment of their engagement to de- 
liver the posts. The Article which provides against the future 
confiscation of debts and of property in the funds, is useful, 
because it is honest. If its operation should turn out more 
advantageous to them, it will be more honorable to us; and I 
never can object to entering formally into an obligation to do 
that which, upon every virtuous principle, ought to be done 
without it. 

As a Treaty of Commerce, this Treaty will indeed be of little 
use to us — and we never shall obtain anything more favorable, 
so long as the principles of the Navigation Act are so obsti- 
nately adhered to in this country. This system is so much a 
favorite with the nation, that no Minister would dare depart 
from it. Indeed I have no idea that we shall ever obtain, by 
compact, a better footing for our Commerce with this country 
than that on which it now stands. And therefore, the short- 
ness of time limited for the operation of this part of the com- 
pact is, I think, beneficial to us. 

The Article proposed by Lord Loughborough, the Chancellor, 
is certainly extremely liberal; although Mr. Jay thinks it best 
to leave it as a subject for future consideration. It is, that in 
either country, the subjects or citizens of the other shall be 

VOL. I. — 4 



50 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

exempted from all the disabilities of alienage. Such an Article 
would certainly tend to promote the friendly intercourse between 
the Nations, and I do not know that it could produce any 
material inconvenience to either. But it would be necessary 
to have an Act of Parliament to confirm the stipulation here, 
which, his Lordship says, may be obtained without difficulty. 
A more material obstacle arises from the Constitution of the 
United States, with one clause of which such an Article would 
certainly militate. 

This nobleman, who, during the American contest, was so 
conspicuous in his opposition to our principles and pretensions, 
by the name of Wedderburn, has assured Mr. Jay that at 
present, that controversy having been once determined and the 
point of separation settled, his dispositions are perfectly friendly 
towards America ; that he thinks it for the interest of both 
countries to assimilate and draw together as much as possible ; 
and that his sincere wishes are to facilitate the most liberal and 
amicable intercourse. 

The proposition which I have mentioned, and several others 
of inferior importance but equal liberality, seem to prove that 
his assurances are not disingenuous or false. And I think the 
intention of every man, who aims at levelling the barriers which 
perpetuate the unnecessary separation of Nations, and widen 
the distance between man and man, is at least deserving of 
applause. 

We dined with Mr. Pinckney. Mr. Rutledge, and a Mr. Deas 
of Carolina, were of the company, as were also Mr. and Mrs. 
C. There was nothing particular observable in the former 
gentleman, and C. is the same prating coxcomb that he was 
ten years ago, though not quite so boisterous. He rattled away 
like a parrot, against the Ministry, who he said had no capacity, 
and defied the whole world to show one single wise measure 
they had adopted, since they entered into this foolish war. 

The conversation happening to turn upon the success of Lord 
Cornwallis in India, C. affirmed that the Marquis was not 
entitled to any credit at all for what he had done there. It 
was impossible for him not to succeed. He went out with a 
force infinitely superior to any that had ever been employed in 



1 794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 5I 

that country before, and the nations he subdued were totally 
unfit for war, and unable to contend with European forces. 
Lord Clive had done a thousand times more, with means incom- 
parably smaller. Mr. Jay told him, he undervalued the charac- 
ter of the Indians, and said that he had always had a regard for 
Tippoo Saib.and his father Hyder Ali. "And for my part," he 
added, " I always wished them success." I was happy that in 
this respect my opinion coincided with Mr. Jay, notwithstand- 
ing C.'s confident assurance. His anti-ministerial invectives 
^carried an appearance of affectation, as if he thought they gave 
him a kind of importance. In short, I can safely apply to him 
the observation which Dr. Johnson made respecting Churchill, 
upon being told that he had lampooned him under the name 
of Pomposo — "I always thought him a shallow fellow; and I 
still think him so." 

When I came home, for the first time since my arrival here, 
I began upon my letters to America. 

24th. Wrote letters, paid a few visits, and at five, went to dine 
with Mr. W. Vaughan. We found his father at his house. His 
brother Ben, it seems, is in Switzerland. The father is anti- 
ministerial, but finds it necessary to keep his opinions much to 
himself. He toasted the King, an external mark of loyalty, 
which no Englishman thinks himself at liberty to omit. He 
drank the Duke of Portland, whom he acknowledged to be a 
chaste character. But when General Washington was given, 
he filled his bumper to the brim, and took it off with an appear- 
ance of enthusiasm, which nothing before had excited. "Na- 
turam expellas furca." The voice of a people accustomed to 
the enjoyment of freedom may be silenced, but the real senti- 
ment will discover itself in other language than words. Mr. 
Bird, with whom we dined at Vallence, and his brother, were 
present. They are, I think, more friendly to this Government, 
though well disposed towards America. 

25th. Dined with Mr. Ward N. Boylston, in Barnard's Inn, 
where he kept Bachelor's hall. Captain Mungo Mackay, Junior, 
of Boston, Mr. Walker, our fellow passenger in the Alfred, and 
an English gentleman, were there. Our dinner was properly 
American, consisting of salt fish, and beef steaks, after the 



52 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

manner of our country. Boylston is a little of the virtuoso as 
usual — shewed us several curiosities in his possession — gave 
us some of the genuine water of the Nile, which was clear as 
crystal, and sweet as if drawn from a living spring ; and bread 
made of potatoes, which I could not have distinguished from 
the best superfine flour. He was economical of his Nile water, 
having only part of a bottle left. We all tasted of it except 
Mackay, who found a better relish in the excellent Madeira on 
the table, and who would not, while this could be had, have 
tasted a drop of water, were it from the fountain of Hippocrene. 
itself. 

Boylston's conversation is entertaining. He has travelled 
into the Holy Land, and gave us quite an amusing account of 
his pilgrimage. He has accumulated a great fund of anecdote 
upon every usual topic, and favoured us with much of it this 
day. He is very conversable, and talked upon so great a variety 
of subjects, that I should despair of doing justice to him, if I 
attempted to detail his observations. 1 

His uncle Tom. Boylston paid me a visit this morning. He 
has lately been liberated from the King's Bench prison, stripped 
of his fortune of nearly three hundred thousand pounds sterling, 
and reduced to a modicum, much beyond his wants, but fatal 
to the hopes of his ambition. 2 He told us of his will, made 
before his misfortune, and valued himself highly upon the mag- 
nificent things he meant to have done for the Town of Boston, 
and the State of Massachusetts. He seems to think the bare 
design entitles him to all the gratitude which could have been 
due to its execution, and wondered exceedingly that after all 
he had done for my country, I should scruple at giving him a 
certificate of his being a citizen of the United States. I am far 
from being certain of the fact, or I should have complied with 

1 This gentleman subsequently returned to Massachusetts, where he survived 
until the year 182S. His name is still remembered at Cambridge, by his benefac- 
tions to Harvard University, — esteemed quite liberal for that day. 

2 He lost this large property by a decision in Chancery, conceded since to have 
been erroneous. But the will referred to was so eccentric in its nature, that the 
town of Boston may be esteemed fortunate to have escaped the obligation to accept 
it. Even as it was, it proved fruitful of litigation, the evidence of which abounds 
in the reports of proceedings in the Massachusetts courts. 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 53 

his request, without hesitation. He says that he is generally 
considered here as an American spy, but I imagine his real 
character is as extensively known as his name. It is that of a 
man whose habits in his prosperity might have furnished a 
comic poet with ample improvement upon the scenes of Plautus 
or Moliere — a man in comparison with whom Harpagon was 
generous, and Harpax a prodigal. He was however very civil 
to me, and invited me to dine with him. But our immediate 
departure for the Hague prevented me from accepting his 
invitation. 

Mr. Edmund Jennings 1 also called on me this day. He looks 
older than when I saw him last, by more than the difference of 
eleven years ; and there appears upon his countenance some- 
thing which I think savours of dejection. He thinks that this 
nation, from the sovereign to the beggar, have a most inveterate 
hatred against America. I can hardly believe this to be the 
case. But it is nearer the truth than another opinion which I 
have frequently heard advanced, since my arrival ; that this peo- 
ple are uniformly friendly to us, and scarcely consider us as a 
different nation from themselves. We have abundant reason 
to be convinced to the contrary of this, and I am satisfied 
they have not yet forgiven us the injuries we have suffered at 
their hands. Jennings says that he has it from such authority 
as is satisfactory to his own mind, that during the successes 
which attended the allied arms the last autumn, when they 
were feasting their imaginations with the immediate conquest 
of France, the King expected that as soon as that scheme 
should be accomplished, the force of the same alliance would 
be applied to the restoration of his dominion in America. 

He spoke of the approaching trials for treason. 2 Upon these 
indictments, he said, It was a violently constructive treason — but 
it would do ! It would do for these times ! He expected many 
of the prisoners, if not all of them, would be found guilty and 
condemned and perhaps executed. But Hampden was found 

1 Of this gentleman, a fruitful source of dissension between the diplomatic agents 
of America during the Revolution, little is now known beyond what may be gath- 
ered from their published correspondence and some pamphlets now very rare. 

J Of Watt and Downie, John Home Tooke, Thelwall, and others. 



54 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

guilty. Russell and Sidney were found guilty. Sacheverell 
was found guilty. But it was remembered. This Government 
have drawn, and still draw the reins of power so tight that they 
will break. There will be an explosion before long. The com- 
pletion of this prediction would not, I confess, surprise me. 
The extraordinary agitation of the Government, its apparent 
anxiety, and their present recourse to these measures of terror, 
strongly betray their consciousness that there is something 
rotten at the heart. But how Mr. Jennings came to mention 
Sacheverell among his list of patriots oppressed, I am at a loss 
to conjecture. 

26th. After writing all the forenoon, at half-past three we 
went to dine at Mr. Hallow-ell's. 1 His Lady is very much of an 
invalid, but dined with us. Their son Boylston, their daughter, 
and Miss Fowler, a young lady from the country, constituted 
with us the company. Miss Hallowell is very accomplished, 
and converses with great ease and dignity of manners, but is 
not very handsome. She spoke of my mother in terms so af- 
fectionate, as could not fail to give me the highest pleasure ; 
for I know of nothing that can give more sincere delight, 
than to hear the praise of those we love. That heart must in- 
deed be strangely constituted, that can know my mother with- 
out being sensible of her excellence ; but the sincerity which 
marked the warm expressions of regard used by Miss Hallowell 
respecting her, indicated to me a congenial disposition to that 
which she so justly admired. 

27th. Mr. W. Vaughan called on us this morning, and en- 
gaged us to dine with his father at Hackney to-morrow. Dined 
at Mr. Copley's 2 — with Mr. Erving and his son, whom. I knew 
last year in America, Mr. Clarke, Mrs. Copley's father, their son, 
and two daughters. The eldest daughter may be called hand- 

1 Mr. Hallowell had been collector of the customs at Boston prior to the Revolu- 
tion, and left it on the breaking out of that event. His wife and the writer's grand- 
mother were kinswomen, named Boylston. The son here alluded to, the same 
person referred to on page 51, had taken the name in default of male descendants 
in the other branches of the family. 

2 John Singleton Copley, the artist, and father of the Lord Chancellor of the 
same name, left America prior to the Revolution, and established himself in Lon- 
don, where he died at an advanced age in 1815. 



I794-] TIIE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 55 

some, if not beautiful, and is very pleasing in her manners. 
There is something so fascinating in the women I meet with in 
this country, that it is well for me I am obliged immediately to 
leave it. 

The packet from Harwich to Helvoetsluys is to sail on 
Wednesday, in the afternoon. I had concluded to leave the 
City early enough on that morning, to reach Harwich in time 
to take my passage. But I was told this day, that I should find 
it difficult, if not impracticable, to get there in season on the 
same day. As the situation of affairs in Holland is at this time 
so very critical, I have determined to lose no time in transport- 
ing myself thither. I resolved therefore to avoid all risk of 
arriving at Harwich too late for the packet on Wednesday, and 
for that purpose to leave town to-morrow at 2 p.m. and go about 
25 miles on the way, so as to have an easy day on Wednesday. 
I retired therefore early in the evening from Mr. Copley's, to 
prepare for my departure. 

28th. I found, notwithstanding I had taken great pains to be 
ready for this day, that I had a great deal of business crowded 
into the last five or six hours. 

I called early this morning upon Mr. Jay. In the first place, 
having received no answer to a letter I wrote the American 
bankers at Amsterdam on my arrival, for a draught to give me 
a pecuniary supply here, I found myself rather short in the 
necessary article of cash. I knew of no person upon whom 
I could more confidently venture to call than Mr. Jay, and 
found myself not disappointed in my idea. He very readily 
gave me the draught I requested, and offered to extend his 
goodness. I thought best, however, to take only a supply for 
my immediate occasion, feeling highly obliged to him for this 
additional instance of his friendship. 

I then requested him to favor me with his advice respect- 
ing the conduct which in my public character it would be 
proper to hold during the crisis in which that country now 
stands. He was equally indulgent on that head, and I believe 
I shall derive much benefit from his counsel. He said that I 
should stand in a situation extremely delicate ; that the par- 
ties which so unhappily divide that country, to which I am 



56 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

sent, might very possibly press me hard on either side to show 
some preference or partiality; that I ought very cautiously 
to avoid it, and take no part whatever in their internal dissen- 
sions ; that as to the possible revolution in Government to 
which they are now particularly exposed, in case an essential 
change should take place, the operation of my functions would 
cease of course, and it would not be advisable for me, upon 
any terms whatever, to do business with any new power that 
might arise, until I should receive instructions upon the sub- 
ject; and in the meantime, I might write as soon as possible 
for eventual instructions ; that if the French should obtain 
complete possession of Holland, and the Government of the 
country be actually dissolved, my best way will be to stay 
there, if I can with any possible convenience; but if I should 
be under the necessity of quitting the country, it will be more 
proper for me to retire to Hamburg, as a neutral city, than to 
come to England, or go to France, which might give occasion 
for censure, or at least for observations that would be unpleas- 
ant. And if the conquest should be so thoroughly completed 
as to extinguish the independence of the Nation itself, I may 
return home, rather than wait any great length of time for the 
regular recall. 

29th. The road from London to Harwich is not so much 
travelled as that between Dover and the Capital; though it has 
been very much so, for several months, by the passing to and 
from the army on the continent. The roads are very little 
inferior, but the Inns, though very good, are not quite in a style 
of such perfect accommodation. The country is not in such 
exquisite cultivation, but is yet enchantingly beautiful ; and 
the delightful prospects, which with endless variety appear in 
the most rapid succession, still exhibit to the admiration of the 
traveller scenes which almost realize the fictions of a fairy land. 

It was about four in the afternoon when we reached the 
packet, and by five we were fairly under weigh, with a small 
but favorable wind. The vessel was almost as quiet as if we 
had been on land. Our passengers are twenty-five in number, 
and every name, language, and country, seem to be jumbled 
together in one cabin. 



1794] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 57 

For the twenty-five cabin passengers there are only sixteen 
beds, and the rest are to get their rest on the floor, as well as 
they can. There is one passage with two beds only, for the 
accommodation of ladies. They were taken by a Dutch West 
Indian lady from Surinam, and a negro wench she has with 
her. Mr. East, one of the King's messengers, a number of 
British officers going to the Army, these West Indians, a 
Dutchman belonging to the Hague, a German Baron, French- 
men, Italians, Irishmen, Jews, &c, &c, all seem huddled to- 
gether, as if the confusion of Babel was about to return. At 
about nine in the evening, I was compelled to seek my berth, 
for it was too cold to remain upon deck ; and below, the bed, 
though barely of a size to contain a single person, was at least 
as roomy as any part of the cabin, crowded as it was. 

30th. A fresh wind sprang up in the night, and carried us 
over with such rapidity that soon after daybreak we made the 
land on the coast of Holland — but, though not more than four 
leagues distant from the shore, it was not till afternoon that we 
reached it. The weather had grown extremely chilly and 
rainy, and the wind early in the morning became adverse. 
About noon a number of passengers went ashore in boats which 
came from the land ; we were beating ; and as long as a single 
passenger seemed disposed to go in the boats, we could not 
possibly get into the Port. But when all those who were in 
such a hurry to get ashore were gone, and those of us alone 
remained, who were determined to remain on board, we got in 
immediately. But although we were within ten paces of the 
wharf and it was difficult to avoid reaching it, the anchor was 
dropped so a propos, that we could not land without calling 
for a boat from the shore. At Helvoetsluys, we found all the 
miserable taverns so full, that we found with difficulty a house 
to give a temporary shelter from the rain for our baggage. 
The Commissaire rang his bell, and immediately half a dozen 
or more waggons appeared. The tray and three dice were 
produced, and the boers alternately threw for the lucky chance 
of shewing us insolence and extortion. Our company of the 
packet boat had by this time considerably dispersed. East 
was already gone forward. Some stopped for the night at 



58 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October. 

Helvoet, and others got away before us. The waggons were 
light and open, and drawn by four stout horses to each of them. 
Six of us were permitted to take one waggon, but the driver 
insisted that our baggage was too heavy ; that we must either 
take another waggon between us, or walk on foot ourselves. 
My knowledge of the language was next to nothing, that of my 
brother's servant literally nothing. We abandoned ourselves, 
therefore, to the conduct of two Dutch gentlemen, the one 
named Van den Berg, and the other Fortus. After the latter 
had contested some time with the boer, whether the waggon 
would or would not be too heavily laden with our weight and 
that of our baggage, he persisted in his opinion, and began to 
ascend the carriage. The boer, without ceremony, unhooks 
his four horses, and was driving them off. He knew that 
would bring us to terms. It is an invariable expedient with 
them. I have seen it often tried, and never fail, because the 
traveller in such cases has no remedy but acquiescence. For- 
tus, therefore, called back the boer, and appealed to the Com- 
missaire. But his opinion was, that, the roads being very heavy, 
the waggons would only go the pace, and it would be much 
more comfortable to go to the Briel on foot, which we did 
accordingly. 

We had only English money about us. Guineas being in 
great demand, a Jew offered my brother twelve guilders four 
stivers apiece for any he might wish to change. Fortus thought 
it was not enough, and said he would change one himself. He 
accordingly took one of my brother, for which he gave him 
twelve guilders, changed it again with a Jew for twelve and 
six, keeping the odd stivers, I presume, for his kindness. 

We walked to the Briel a distance of about six miles. Our 
company again separated here. Mr. Fortus conducted us to 
a house kept by an old Scotsman named Lesley. Mr. Van 
den Berg lodges at the Doele. 

31st. We took this morning the boat to cross the ferry at 
the Briel, with Mr. Van den Berg, the only one of our fellow 
passengers who yet keeps us company, as he belongs to the 
Hague. After passing the river, we took carriage and crossed 
a second ferry, at Maaslandsluys. We here took the treck- 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 59 

schuyt to Delft, and from thence to the Hague, where we 
arrived about five in the afternoon, and where we took lodg- 
ings at the Keyzer's Hoff. 

January 1st. Visited, in compliance with the custom, the 
President of the States General, the first noble of Holland, Count 
Wassenaar Starrenburg ; the Councillor Pensionary of Holland, 
Van de Spiegel, and, in the absence of the Greffier Fagel, Mr. 
Van Lelyveld, commis of the States General. The President 
and Mr. Lelyveld were not at home, whereupon I left cards. 
The latter, immediately after, returned my visit by a card. Be- 
tween two and three, went to Court, and soon had audience of 
the Prince Stadtholder. I have reason to be satisfied with the re- 
ception I have hitherto met with there. At about ten this evening 
had a visit by card from Mr. Plenti, Charge d'Affaires of Sardinia. 

4th. Returned Mr. Plenti's visit. Found him under the 
greatest apprehensions. Cold still severe. 1 Coming out of the 
Heeren Logement, saw two travelling Court carriages without 
baggage, window blinds up, one servant by the side of the 
coachman, going out of town. Mr. Bourne dined with us. Mr. 
Mersen came in after dinner. Mentioned the Princesses were 
to go on Tuesday to Soesdyk, to meet the Princess of Bruns- 
wick, the destined bride to the Prince of Wales. Perhaps the 
Prince Stadtholder might go with them. Perhaps they may go 
this night. These things show the danger apprehended at the 
present moment. 

1 8th. To Amsterdam with the Post Waggon at nine in the 
morning. Arrived at Amsterdam about 4 p.m. — found it a 
moment of crisis. Saw Mr. Bourne several times in the even- 
ing. Mr. Willink, Mr. McEvers, Mr. Hubbard, Mr. Plenti, 
who appears very much embarrassed how to get away, and 
afraid of being stopped. Some symptoms of agitation among 
the people. General Golofkin, Commander of the garrison 
here, received this morning from General Daandels, Com- 
mander of the Batavian Corps, an order to surrender, and lay 
down their arms. A Batavian, by the name of Krayenhoff, 

1 The severity of this weather had been such as greatly to facilitate the advance 
of the French forces over the inundated land. 



60 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

who fled lately from this City, and is cited to appear on Tues- 
day next before the Court of Schepens, came this afternoon; 
exhibited to the Regency a commission constituting him 
Commander of this City. He demands of the Magistrates to 
abdicate their authority. In the evening, the three-colored 
cockade began to make its appearance in the streets; they were 
noisy through the night. The Carmagnole song, and the Mar- 
seillaise hymn, were everywhere singing. But no mischief of 
any kind took place. 

19th. A noisy and tumultuous day, but witness to no vio- 
lence, as was apprehended. At about ten in the morning, a 
detachment of twenty-five or thirty French hussars appeared 
before the Stadt House. The tree of Liberty was planted, the 
national flag displayed from its summit. A provisional munici- 
pality of twenty persons appointed by the revolutionary Com- 
mittee, commenced their operations by dismissing the Regency. 
In the afternoon, the State prisoners lately confined were 
released, and Mr. Visscher appointed Grand Baillif of the 
provisional administration. The former guards and patroles 
are yet continued. Everybody else wears the three-colored 
cockade. Dined at Mr. Willink's. Mr. Bourne, Mr. Hubbard-, 
Mr. McEvers, and a Dutch gentleman and lady unknown. 
Towards the evening, a troop of the people passing the house, 
gave it a cheer, and made demand of some money to drink, 
which Mr. Willink accordingly gave. Conversation with 
Messrs. Willink and Hubbard respecting our American affairs. 

20th. The day perfectly tranquil. Everything hitherto has 
passed without the smallest disorder. General Pichegru, and 
about two or three thousand of the French troops, entered the 
City this afternoon. The General is lodged at the house of 
Mr. Hope, which was vacant. The Commissioners lodge next 
door at Mr. Muilman's. The troops are quartered upon the 
citizens. Any further arrangements, civil and military, are 
equally unknown. 

2 1 st. Conversation with Mr. Bourne upon the state of affairs. 
He was to dine with us, but was called away to the Stad house, 
to a public dinner, given to the Representans du peuple Fran- 
cois. Mr. McEvers dined with us. He went afterwards with 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 6l 

my brother to the play, which opens this evening with "Gaston 
et Bayard," in Dutch. The news there received of Breda and 
Bergen op Zoom being taken. Acclamations thereupon. 

22d. Paid a visit with Mr. Bourne and my brother, to the 
Representans du peuple Francais, and was received with civil- 
ity. Principally complimentary in their fashionable cant, which 
I adopted in all its forms. They told me they received the 
visit of the citoyen Ministry of a free people, the friend of the 
peuple francais, with much pleasure. That they considered it 
tout a fait as a visitc J rater -nclle. I told them that hearing of 
their arrival, I felt myself obliged to present my respects«to the 
Citoyens Representans of the peuple francais, for whom my 
fellow citizens have the greatest attachment, and to whom they 
were grateful for the obligations under which they felt them- 
selves to the French nation, &c. The substance of the business 
was, that I demanded safety and protection to all American per- 
sons and property in this country ; and that they told me it 
would be under their safeguard in common with those of the 
country, and of other strangers here; that all property would 
invariably be respected, as well as persons and opinions ; that 
if hereafter there should be any occasion for exceptions, they 
would make the strongest representations to their constituents 
in behalf of Americans. They spoke of the President, whom, 
like all Europeans, they called General Washington. Enquired 
his age, and on being told, said he might still long enjoy his 
glory ; that he was a great man, and they had great venera- 
tion for his character. They observed that a Treaty of Com- 
merce had lately been concluded, between Great Britain and 
the United States, by Mr. Jay. They were emulous to surpass 
one another in expressions of inveteracy against England. One 
said she was their most obstinate enemy ; another, that she 
was their only remaining enemy; a third, that she had always 
been their enemy; a fourth, that she was the enemy of all the 
maritime powers. They said, however, that America, not having 
a Navy sufficient to protect her commerce against Britain, and 
having no possessions of that power near them, which she could 
attack by land, was right in maintaining peace. They acquiesced 
in the observation of Mr. Bourne, that this peace was even for 



6 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

the interest of France, because it enabled us to supply her with 
provisions and other necessary articles, which, in case we were 
at war, could not be done. 

They spoke of Mr. Monroe's reception by the National Con- 
vention. " Parbleu," said one, " it was a scene attendrissante." 
It was " une dcsplusfamenscs seances" of the Convention. There 
were more than ten thousand persons present. " He shed tears, 
he was so much affected. I saw him cry." " Ah!" said another, 
" e'etait aussi bien de quoi faire pleurer." Then they said one 
of the flags had been sent to America. In short, the national 
character appeared in nothing more conspicuous than in the 
manner in which they spoke of this occurrence. 

They inquired if Mr. Morris was in Switzerland. I answered 
them, I did not know ; that I had no personal acquaintance with 
Mr. Morris. 1 " Ah !" said the Citoyen, who appeared to be at the 
head of the deputation, " La France sait parfaitement qu'il est 
en Suisse." He spoke with peculiar emphasis, but I did not 
think proper to make any further enquiry of him on the subject. 

They asked me if I had ever been in France. I answered 
that I had. That I received part of my education, and had re- 
sided there several years ; that I had therefore from my infancy 
every possible reason to form sentiments of admiration and of 
affection for the French nation. Whereupon they replied that 
the Representans du peuple Frangais were delighted to hear 
me say so. Thus ended the conversation, upon which we with- 
drew. Mr. Faesch paid me a visit, and mentioned some particu- 
lars of the Stadtholder's quitting the Hague. The circumstance 
appears to affect him. 

23d. Weather still excessively cold. Dined with Mr. Hub- 
bard. Went in the afternoon with Mr. W. Willink to the con- 
cert " felix mentis," a patriotic society, where the Representans 
du peuple Francais, the Etat Major, etc., were present. Mr. 
Visscher, who has now the post of Grand Officier, was there. 
The Marseillaise hymn was very well performed. There was 

1 Gouvemeur Morris, the first Envoy from the United States to France after the 
adoption of the federal Constitution. He had somewhat committed Ills neutral 
position by sharing in the counsels of the sovereign and the court, in consequence 
of which he was ultimately recalled. 



1795] T//E MISSION TO HOLLAND. 63 

some clapping of hands, some testimonies of applause, but they 
were faint, cold, and lifeless. Yet all here were patriots. 

I forgot to observe, that as we were going to Mr. Hubbard's 
we saw a Jew lying in the street, apparently at the point of 
death. Three or four persons were around him, Christians 
and Jews, who seemed to throw upon each other the burden 
of giving him any assistance whatever. They said he had the 
falling sickness ; but upon a piece of bread being held to his 
mouth, the convulsive manner in which he snapped at it, though 
he had apparently lost his senses, discovered that his only fall- 
ing sickness was hunger. After some altercation whose business 
it was to relieve him, he was carried into a neighbouring tavern, 
and recommended to the care of the woman who kept it. 

24th. Visited Mr. Schimmelpenninck this morning at nine, 
and had a short conversation with him upon the present state of 
affairs. He said he believed the substance of the old institutions 
would still be retained here, simply changing the high-sounding 
names for more civic expressions. That the French Commis- 
saires concurred in the opinion with them, that this would be 
the best provisional mode of proceeding, and had promised to 
support them in it. 

25th. At home the whole day, writing. Visit from Mr. Bourne, 
Mr. Dutilh, Mr. S. Gravenswerd, Mr. Alstorphius, who appears 
to be in fine spirits. Patriote a bruler, he said he was, when I 
was here before. He is much pleased with his French visitors ; 
and as to the quartering of the troops, he tells his neighbors, 
if they do not like their guests, to send them to him. 

26th. Visit to Mr. VV. Willink, who was not at home, but at 
whose house I found his brother John. He has within these 
few days lost his father-in-law, and appears to be affected with 
the misfortune. The eldest brother is on the new Committee 
of Finance. He says the new States of Holland are to meet 
immediately at the Hague. The Commissaires are now there, 
lodged in the Palais Stadhouderien, and General Pichegru at 
the Vieille Cour. Mr. Faesch was not at home. Went to the 
play in the evening. The tragedy of " Hypermnestra," with 
the comic opera " Les deux chasseurs et la laitiere," in Dutch, 
were performed. The house thin. The patriotic airs were per- 



64 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

formed ; a ballet representing the erection of the tree of Liberty- 
was received with much applause. 

29th. Passed the evening, and supped, at Mr. Hubbard's. He 
quarters a chef-de-brigade du genie, who was with us, as 
was Mr. Van Eeghen, both very sensible men. The officer's 
name is Verrine, a man of great simplicity of manners. He 
was a lieutenant at the beginning of the Revolution, and has 
now become a general officer. Has been in the war of the 
Vendee, in the campaigns of Custine, and in the last campaign 
of eighteen months. Neither Custine nor Dumouriez, he says, 
were great Generals, but Custine was personally brave, at least 
at times. His observations upon many subjects were cool and 
rational. But his discretion was as remarkable as his modesty. 
He read us however, in answer to some questions relating to the 
actions of the 8th & 9th insts., some passages in his journal ; 
and in one, where he mentioned a mistake of the General in 
Chief, he had added, " ainsi les rapports du General ne sont 
pas ce qu'il y a de plus sur au monde." His principal atten- 
tion appears to be towards military subjects. There appeared 
to be no sort of enthusiasm about him. 

Van Eeghen is a member of the new Committee of Finance, 
and appears tolerably well reconciled to the Revolution and 
present course of things. Even the established rule of allow- 
ing no refusal to offices, he thinks was necessary on the present 
occasion, although he was compelled by it reluctantly to engage 
in public affairs. He seems, with others, to be deeply sensible 
of the deranged state of the finances here. The deficiencies 
must be greater than they expected. Hubbard is dissatisfied 
with everything but the Committee of Finance. He has hardly 
discretion enough in concealing or disguising his sentiments. 
His wife is still less so, and said, if they put her in requisition, 
she would kill herself. " Madam," said the French officer, 
" your children put you in requisition every day." The subject 
of requisitions is terrible; that of Assignats as bad; and the 
Stadhouderien party's policy now is to make the greatest out- 
cry possible, at the smallest inconvenience. They will before 
long discover the operation of this system, which will assuredly 
not help them. The quartering of troops was the first com- 



1 795-] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 65 

plaint. But this evil being really light, people have accustomed 
themselves to it. At every new measure, the Orangists will 
certainly yell still. The patriots will in time grow angry. 
They have the power in their hands — and then 

Upon my observing to the officer, that their army was under 
very good discipline, he answered that they were partly so. 
That offences which immediately affected operations against the 
enemy were punished with sufficient severity. Every act of 
pillage, of drunkenness, and of coivardice, is capital ; all upon 
the same principle — because they render the offender incapable 
to do his duty and be at all times prepared for action. But 
the deficiency is with respect to minor faults, and the small 
police of regularity. They want cleanliness, exact subordina- 
tion, attention and economy of clothing. The consequence is 
unfavorable to their health, and occasions a prodigious waste. 
Their shoes — their coats — their linen, do not last a fourth part 
of the time they ought. The army, under proper regulation, 
would not cost a tenth part what it has — and of all this the 
Convention takes no notice whatever. 

31st. Took passage in the Post Waggon at nine this morning, 
for the Hague. We had two companions in the carriage, Ger- 
mans, speaking no other language than their own. Of course 
we had not much conversation. Arrived at the Hague between 
four and five p.m. We had scarce got into the house, when two 
persons came from Mr. Beeldemaker, to ask for him an intro- 
duction to the Representatives of the French people. Wrote a 
line for him accordingly. Paid a visit to Mr. Dumas 1 — found 
him sick, but in good spirits. The Revolution has gratified 
almost all his passions. 

February 1st. Received two or three visits from people on 
errands not pertinent to me. Mr. Beeldemaker preferred going 
with me to visit the Representatives, rather than carry his letter. 
We could not see them, however. I left word as to my business. 
I found Beeldemaker's was to recommend himself as a com- 
mercial house. 

1 Of Mr. Dumas much may be found in the diplomatic correspondence of the 
Revolution. His services to the cause of America had been constant throughout 
that period. He subsequently became a violent partisan of the French Revolution. 
vol. 1. — 5 



66 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIKCY ADAMS. [February, 

2d. Visit to Mr. Scholten. He has a paymaster quartered in 
his house; appears to be quite easy. To Mr. Mersen, who is 
laid up with the gout. Told me some particulars of the Stadt- 
holder's departure. 1 He talked to many of the people as he 
went along ; wished them well ; said he always had their hap- 
piness at heart. The Princess was furious. The hereditary 
Princess, resigned to anything but going to England. Prince 
Frederic 2 is very averse to going at all. Said he had done 
nothing but his duty. Had served his country, and had com- 
mitted no faults unless of inexperience, which could not be 
criminal. He could not bear to fly like a malefactor; and 
finally submitted only upon the express and positive command 
of his father. These anecdotes, whether true or false, are 
characteristic of the several reputations. The Stadtholder 
himself is well disposed, with a good heart, and a feeble mind. 
He is the man of his councils, and not of his own energy. The 
Princess, detested almost universally. Haughty, domineering, 
incapable of submitting to misfortune with dignity, when she 
found her power at an end, and no resource for personal safety 
but inglorious flight, in an open, paltry fishing boat, in the 
extreme severity of a season almost unexampled, she could no 
longer contain her passions, but broke out in transports of 
rage, until she was totally exhausted, and sank into a state of 
sullen apathy. The hereditary Princess was beloved. Her 
youth, beauty, innocence, and affability of disposition, all 
recommended her to compassion; and the interest in her favor 
is increased by attributing to her so popular a sentiment as an 
antipathy against England. Her husband seems to bear no 
character at all. He is cold, reserved, and unamiable, without 
being positively hated. Nothing is said of him. Frederic is 
the favourite, and therefore he is supposed to have gone with 
great reluctance. 

The Representatives sent me word that they would see me 

1 This event took place on the 16th of January. The Stadtholder, William V., 
then took a formal leave of the States-General, and demanded their acceptance of the 
resignation of his two sons, which was acceded to. The next day, the Princess of 
Orange, his wife, with the wife of the eldest son, and her child, a boy, went to 
Schevening, where they embarked for England in the manner here described. 

2 The younger of the two sons. 






1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. £y 

when I pleased. I visited them in the evening to demand a 
passport for Mr. McEvers, and the permission to an American 
vessel at the Texel, entered since the arrival of the French here, 
to depart. They promised it should be immediately done, 
demanding however, for their justification, a claim from me 
in writing, to which I agreed. In conversation, they spoke of 
my father in a complimentary style. Enquired if I knew Mr. 
Monroe, &c. I observed I had been more acquainted with his 
predecessor Mr. Jefferson, who I believed was still remembered 
in France with pleasure. Yes, said the deputy, with more 
pleasure, to tell the truth, than Mr. Morris. They appeared 
doubtful whether Morris was yet employed by the Government 
of the United States or not. The drift was evident, and I told 
them that he was not, to my knowledge and belief. They said 
Mr. Morris was in Switzerland at Basle, intriguing, and the soul 
of councils against France; but his manoeuvres were perfectly 
known, and it was to be hoped they would do no harm. I said 
that if Mr. Morris was doing or attempting anything against 
the interests of France, it was most assuredly not by any au- 
thority from the United States ; that I knew perfectly well the 
disposition of the American councils was very far from being 
unfriendly to the French Republic. He said they were fully 
persuaded of it, and what had happened sufficiently proved it. 

They were very glad, he said, to have the Ministers of their 
friends here, to witness their conduct, and see what was the 
manner in which the French people answer calumny. It is to 
be hoped (he added) that it will do away some of the impres- 
sions produced by the representations which Messieurs les 
Emigres have been pleased to make of us. Calumny is one 
of the weapons which has been used against us. We hope it 
will not be more successful than the others. I said the weapon 
would soon lose all its efficacy, by such examples as they had 
shown here. 

I left them ; and soon after my return home, Mr. McEvers 
called on me, just arrived from Amsterdam. 

3d. Addressed the demand for a passport in writing, &c, to the 
Commissaries, and carried it myself. They soon after addressed 
the passport, and notice of their having given the order, to me. 



6S MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

The President of the Assembly of Provisional Representatives of 
the People of Holland, addressed me a notification of the Assem- 
bly, of the Aboli ion of the States of Hollandand West Friesland; 
of his being President of the new Assembly, and of his being sub- 
stituted to perform the functions of the Councillor Pensionary. 
Answered that I thanked him for the notification, and would, as 
soon as possible, advise the American Government of it. 

Upon some doubts occurring in my mind as to my own con- 
duct at present, I repeated the stupidity, which my former 
experience had proved to be such, of consulting Mr. Dumas; 
and not only so, but had the weakness to be put out of temper, 
by his extravagance and absurdity, so far as to tell him that he 
answered me more like a Dutch patriot than an American. 
Nay more, I could not even refrain from uttering some scruples 
as to the question whether the new Provincial Assembly be 
really chosen by the people ; but from this subject I soon 
desisted. The simple hint put him in a passion. In short, 
the man is impracticable. 

Visited Messrs. Schubart and Araujo, the Danish and Portu- 
guese Ministers, neither of whom was at home — then, the 
General en chef, Pichegru, with whom I had a conversation of 
about a quarter of an hour. He turned it very soon from the 
subject of his campaign to enquiries upon American affairs. 
This man is systematic in retiring from public display, and he 
is the more successful for it. The questions he asked were 
concerning the late Western Insurrection — our differences with 
England — the tribes of savages — the state of our public force 
— but particularly as to our paper currency in the late Revolu- 
tion, what had been done with it, and how it had been funded. 
Upon all these subjects, I answered him as well as was in my 
power. He asked whether I thought Great Britain sincere in the 
intention to perform the treaty lately concluded. I said we hoped 
she was sincere, as we wish to live at peace with all the world. 

A man who in three years' time rises from the rank of a 
Serjeant of Artillery, to that of Commander in Chief of an 
army of one hundred thousand men, and, in the last capacity, 
performs a campaign like that of Pichegru since last March, 
deserves particular consideration. His person has nothing 






1 795-] TI/E MISSION TO HOLLAND. 69 

remarkable. His stature is of the middling size; his person 
well formed ; his countenance manly, but not handsome nor 
impressive ; his manners easy and graceful, and his address 
polite, though not the politeness of Courts. 

The rock upon which La Fayette, Dumouriez, Custine, and 
innumerable other French Generals, as well as Statesmen, have 
been wrecked, is Vanity. Each of them too hastily concluded 
himself to be the pivot upon which the affairs of the world were 
to turn ; and neither had the talent to disguise or conceal the 
opinion. Pichegru has learnt wisdom from the example of 
their fate, and covers himself with a mantle of humility. 1 

4th. Had a visit this morning from a woman who introduced 
herself by enquiring after Mr. de Ternant, who she said had 
been for many years her intimate friend. Upon being informed 
that I had no personal acquaintance with that gentleman, she 
appeared to be surprised ; but took her seat, and enquired if I 
could inform her how it would be possible to send him a letter; 
which I thereupon offered to do. She then said she was a 
Hollander born, but from the age of seventeen had lived in 
Paris. Her maiden name was Daelders. Her husband, a man 
who had been given her, but a worthless character, died in the 
East Indies; his name was Palm, but she had always preferred 
her other name, and was usually called by both. She had 
lived twenty-three years in Paris, where she had always been 
upon the most friendly terms with the best of company. By 
good company, she did not mean Princes, or Dukes, or Cour- 
tiers, who, as such, were no company at all ; but such men as 
D'Alembert, Diderot, &c. — men of genius and learning. That 
after Mr. de Ternant returned in 1783 from the war in America, 
she contracted an acquaintance with him. That a young 
woman, abandoned by her husband for whom she had never any 
regard, might naturally be supposed to have a heart; that, in 
short, she felt extremely interested in the fate of her poor little 
Ternant. That when he last went to America as the King's 
Minister, he would have carried her with him. But she knew 
the manners of that country were different from those of 

1 The termination of General Pichegru's career did not correspond to its com- 
mencement. He fell into the same category with the others here named. 



j MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

France. She knew it would be thought extraordinary there to 
see a woman living with a man who was not her husband ; and 
at that time she had no certain news of her husband's death, 
which she did not receive until she returned to this country. 
That at the time when Dumouriez was for the first time Minis- 
ter of Foreign Affairs, Ternant had been displaced by Bonne- 
carrere, a Clerk in the Department, who had substituted himself 
to take the place. Upon hearing the intelligence, she had 
represented the matter to the Minister, and Ternant was 
restored for that time, and continued in his office, till after the 
death of the King. That she had been happy to hear he was 
still in America, and well. She was afraid he would imagine 
that she had been guillotined, and therefore wished to write to 
him, and let him know of her being here, and well. That she 
was no emigree. She came to this country in October, 1792, 
with a secret commission from the Diplomatic Committee, of 
which Brissot was a member, to enquire here, whether this 
country would remain neutral, and whether they would receive 
a Minister from France. She shewed me her passport from 
Paris, dated October 18, 1792, and signed Le Brun ; a billet 
from Van de Spiegel, polite enough, but excusing himself that 
his numerous occupations did not permit him to see her so 
frequently as he wished ; another billet, purporting to be a 
copy, without date, name, or signature, but which referred to 
the subject of her commission, and, as she said, was from the 
same Van de Spiegel — this was probably true. The contents 
of this billet were — "that assuredly it was the full intention and 
desire of this country to remain neutral, and it was hoped that 
no measures would, on the part of France, be taken to compel 
an abandonment of this system. That as to the reception of 
a public Minister from France, upon a point so important it 
was thought advisable to take no determination without pre- 
viously consulting the only neutral ally of the Republic, which 
was Great Britain. That in the meantime, if it was thought 
best to send here a person without public character, he should 
be enabled to transmit such advices as he should think proper." 
As soon as I had read this billet, she said, " Do you think that 
old woman enough? Here's a man extremely desirous of pre- 



1795] THE MISSION TO IIOILAh'D. yi 

serving neutrality, and yet as to the only means to ensure it, 
he cannot speak, but he must go and take his lesson from 
England, where it was already decided the other way. So in 
goes this country to a War; and now, Van de Spiegel has full 
leisure for repentance. But oh! my country, my country! 
I wish I could see things likely to go on any better than they 
have done. I have no great hopes of it. What sort of a revo- 
lution is this ? They talk of the people — the sovereignty of 
the people. Here is an Assembly, that have driven out the 
States of Holland, and put themselves in their place; and all 
by the sovereignty of the people, while the people don't so 
much as know their names. The people have acted but one 
part in this affair — that is, to submit. You'll see strange things 
yet, Sir — these people have been so eager to grasp at office, 
that they have not had time to think of cruelty — but it will 
come. There will be blood shed yet." "We must hope better 
things, Madame." " Oh, yes ! hope better things — but, for my 
part, I will have nothing to do with it. The men think that 
women are incapable of doing anything. Condorcet made a 
report to the Assembly, appropriating forty-two millions to 
public education for boys. I was sent with a deputation from 
my section, to demand that the same advantages should be ex- 
tended to our sex. Condorcet had not noticed them — had not 
applied a denier to them. I delivered my address. I have a 
copy of it — you shall see it. But I am sorry I have it not 
about me now. We obtained, however, what we demanded 
from the Assembly. It was I that obtained an application of 
public expenses for the education of girls,. as well as boys. I 
had the rights of Citoyenne granted me in three different places 
where I had never been. At Creil, they sent me a very solemn 
deputation, with a medal, which I have here" (and shewed me 
the medal). " For eighteen months I never missed a session 
of the Assembly. A great many of the members did not like 
it. One of them asked me once, before several others, what 
good there would be in giving an education to women. 'Why,' 
said I, ' in such cases, if a woman should have a fool of a 
husband, in such an office, for instance, as you hold, she could 
direct him how to conduct himself — judge how they laughed at 



y 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

him. Then says Barnave, ' Madame, you would doubtless have 
women to compose our armies, and fight.' ' No, Sir,' said I, ' but 
if your hospitals were full of sick and wounded, I would render 
all the women capable, and I would make it their duty, to tend 
them.' ' That would not do,' said the Vicomte de Noailles, ' for 
all our soldiers would get wounded on purpose to go to the 
hospitals.' So in 1792 they sent me here upon this com- 
mission. I was to have 300 livres a month, but I was paid 
only one month. And after the Brissot party was ruined, I 
received nothing. But I have seen the Representans du peuple 
here. They said they supposed I wanted my money. No, 
said I, the first thing to consider is la gloire. I demand that 
the Convention declare in the first place that I have not ceased 
to deserve well of the country. For I received a commission 
and have, faithfully executed it. The other day, when Mr. 
Audibert was liberated, it was by my means. I went to 
Starrenberg, and told him, that he should answer with his 
head, if the French Commissary was kept any longer. And 
he was frightened out of his wits. He said, ' Stop, stop, Madame, 
he shall be set immediately free.' The fellow knew not what 
he was saying. So he sent the orders to open the prison, and 
immediately ran off himself." 

She concluded by assuring me that Mr. Iddeking, now 
President of the States General, is her first cousin. That she 
was acquainted here with all the considerable people. That 
the English Ambassador used to say that she monopolised all 
the bourgeois. That the Prince used to call her his Jacobine. 
But, however, he always had a high opinion of her. That if 
I pleased, she should be glad to see me at her house ; that I 
might depend upon it I should not commit my reputation by 
it. That she had always preserved the most immaculate repu- 
tation, and the invitation was not a thing common to everybody. 
For instance, she did not choose to have the Swedish Minister 
come to see her. She did not like him. But the Prussian 
Minister, the Comte de Keller, she used to see with pleasure. 
"They used to call him a fool," said she, "because when he 
heard them prating in the way they always do without know- 
ing what they say, he would be silent. It was only because he 



1795] TIIE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 73 

despised them, and their foolish prattle; and I have told them 
so." After a great deal more miscellaneous talk of the same 
kind, this problem of a woman went away. 

Passed the evening at Madame Veerman's. They quarter a 
Lieutenant, who was there part of the evening. A proper sans- 
culotte, ignorant, illiterate, very ill bred ; or at least as foul- 
mouthed as the perroquct Ver Verd. He belongs to Bordeaux, 
and plainly discovers in his conversation his relation with the 
banks of the Garonne. Mr. Patyn, Secretary of the Regency 
here, lately dismissed, was also there, and beat me at draughts. 

5th. Visited the citizen Paulus, President of the Assembly of 
Provisional Representatives of the People of Holland. He said 
he remembered having seen me when I was in this country 
before, and made particular enquiries after my father, with 
whom he said he was well acquainted. Had afterwards a con- 
versation with him of about half an hour. Their object is to 
make a closer Treaty with America, and the best possible dis- 
positions were professed, I think, with sincerity. But I can do 
nothing at present. Mr. Schermerhorn called to see me, and 
talks of going to Paris. Saw Mr. Dumas, and told him I had 
both written to Mr. Paulus and seen him. 

6th. Visit this forenoon from Mr. Scholten. The Comte de 
Bentinck van Rhoon, former Grand Baillif of the Hague, 
Van de Spiegel, the Pensionary, and three members of the 
dismissed Regency of the Hague, have been arrested; as also 
two Fagels, officers, and brothers of the Greffier now in Eng- 
land, who went over with the Prince, and have just returned. 
The two first are committed to a public prison. The cause of 
this arrest is not known. Mr. Scholten answered the enquiry 
by whose order the Pensionary was arrested, that he knew not. 
He supposed by the order of the States General. He hoped 
not, however. There was indeed one example of a Grand 
Pensionary arrested by the States, but it was not a good one 
to be quoted as a precedent — he meant the instance of Barne- 
veld, which is not, said he, the period of our history which 
tells the most to our honour. There are five Boards of Ad- 
miralty — Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zealand, North Holland, and 
Friesland. In reality, there are but three of any effect ; the 



74 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

fourth is almost, and the fifth merely, titular. If the ships be- 
longing to Zealand did not escape, with some exertion and a 
good deal of money, sixteen or seventeen men of War and 
several Frigates might be fitted out before midsummer. This 
is what remains of a navy, and a maritime power, which in 
the last century so obstinately disputed the dominion of the 
sea with England. 

Mr. Scholten said he hoped the change would not be ex- 
tended to the name of Their Highmiglitincsses, because so long 
as the name was retained, any changes, however essential, 
would create no embarrassment with foreign powers. In 
Sweden — in Denmark, the most material alterations had been 
made in their Governments and Constitutions; but no diffi- 
culty had occurred, because the names were preserved. But 
in changing the names, the facility of making peace would be 
impeded, because a previous question of acknowledgment 
must be decided. Peace, he believed, was a thing very neces- 
sary to this country. For if we are to go through, yet, a war 
with England, the gentlemen may busy themselves in regu- 
lating the forms, but the substance of the country will be gone. 

The motive for this solicitude as to the changing the name 
of the legislative head of the Union is natural enough, and 
probably connected with other motives than those mentioned. 
And for the same reasons which operate to produce, in his 
mind, the wish that the change may not take place, those who 
now have the power in their hands will probably be equally 
anxious to make it. Part of their security consists in making 
the revolution as complete as possible. 

Mr. Scholten and his family are great sufferers by it. His 
father, Treasurer of the Admiralty at Amsterdam, his brother, 
one of the council in the same city, dismissed. Another 
brother, Pensionary at Delft, dismissed. He holds an office as 
Councillor of the High Court of Justice, which will probably 
meet with the same fate as the other establishments of the 
former Government. 

ioth. Letter this morning from Mr. Monroe. Sent to Mr. 
Paulus. Dined with M. de Schubart, M. and Madame Scholten, 
Mr. Bielefeld. Some company that I did not know. 



1795] THE MISSION TO II I. 1. A .YD. 75 

The Haut Conscil, of which Mr. Scholten is a member, is, he 
says, a monster in the Republic. Their authority is contained 
in an instruction from William the First. They have none 
from the States General. The course of judicial causes begins, 
in every city, before the Schepens; from their decision, an ap- 
peal lies to the Court of Holland, and from that Court, to the 
Haut Conseil, in causes of more than 600 florins value. There 
is another step yet in their judicial ladder — for after these three 
removals, there may be a revision before the judges of the two 
Courts, and six other persons appointed by the Stadtholder 
for the particular cause. 

The Grand Baillif in their cities is Superintendent of the Po- 
lice, and at the same time performs the function of a public 
accuser, but he has no authority as a Judge. They allow no 
council to the accused — they have not abolished the practice 
of torture, and indeed their criminal jurisprudence is much in 
need of reforms. 

At Amsterdam, the principal legislative authority resides in 
a council or Assembly, composed of the burgomasters, and Old 
Schepens, not in the Vroetschap. The best work upon the 
commerce of the country is a book in French, entitled RicJicsse 
de la Holla tide, by Elie Luzac. 

The Baron de Schubart has nothing characteristic in his 
manners but complaisance, and apparent goodness of disposi- 
tion. Is a great admirer of Rousseau. Says his Lady, who is 
absent, admires him still more. Says he is a believer in the 
equality of men. And thinks that the French Revolution will 
have no effect upon the authority of kings who conduct them- 
selves well. 

Baron Bielefeld has, to appearance, more literature than 
any other man I have met among the diplomatics, except M. 
d'Araujo. He has read most of the publications of the con- 
troversies which have become so important at the present day. 
He appears also to be no enemy to the principles of equality. 
But these principles have supported themselves so well upon 
the ground of force, that those the most interested against 
them no longer venture to oppose their progress. Mirabeau, 
says Bielefeld, wrote but a small part of the works attributed 



yft MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIKCY ADAMS. [February, 

to him ; and particularly, very little of the History of the 
Prussian Monarchy. He says he is ashamed to acknowledge 
that the Academy of Berlin crown'd Rivarol's discourse on 
the universality of the French language. 

, 1 2th. Called in the morning at the lodgment of Dort, and 
saw one of the Commissioners for the visitation of letters. He 
said they were ordered to receive my American letters though 
under seal. That it was a favor extended to no other letters, 
not even those of the States General to their own Ministers. 
That they had consented to accommodate me, because they 
were well assured the Minister of their friends and allies would 
not intrigue against them. I assured him of my gratitude, and 
that I should not abuse the confidence. The rest of the day 
was very busily employed in writing, except only a walk, and 
calling on Plaat, the stationer, a very active patriot, and one of 
the honest, good-natured, impertinent intriguers of a democracy; 
useful in the hands of an able man, and who may be applied to 
a thousand good purposes by flattering his vanity with the 
idea of his own importance. He proposed to me to become a 
member of their patriotic society, and offered to introduce me. 
I excused myself, upon the ground of being a stranger, which 
he did not think a sufficient reason. The scheme would suit 
me very well, but scruples of prudence forbid me. 

13th. Plaat came this morning, and was earnest to introduce 
us as members of the patriotic society. But we both concluded 
to stay at home. Snow. Reading almost the whole day. Paulus 
upon equality. It reminds me of what Colonel Verrine said at 
Hubbard's the other day, of the capture of the fort of the Rhine. 
" C'est bon pour mettre dans la Gazette, mais ce n'est rien." 

1 6th. Dined with M. de Schubart. The French Generals, 
Pichegru, Elbel, Sauviac, and a Colonel . The Dutch 

Generals, Constant, , and Colonel Comte d'Aultremont. 

The Comte de Lowenhielm, Swedish Minister, and his Secretary. 
The Minister of Poland, Midleton, the Prussian Secretary, Baron 
de Bielefeld, son of the author of " Political Institutions" Some- 
thing was said at dinner of the use the French had made of 
balloons during the last campaign, in discovering the positions 
of their adverse armies. The experiment it seems was made 



I795-] TIIE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 77 

by the Army of Sambre et Mcuse. Pichegru, and the other 
Generals, assured us, in the strongest terms, that it was of no 
service at all. That no distinct view of positions could be dis- 
covered by them, because there could be no stability sufficient 
in the station, to look steadily at objects through a glass. That 
if the country is open, the elevation is not necessary; if it is 
covered, the rays of light proceeding obliquely could not dis- 
cover a party placed in ambush behind trees. That he had, 
therefore, never found any service, or made any discovery of 
consequence, by going on the top of steeples. It was observed 
that the relation of the circumstance had at least produced a 
great effect in public. " Oh ! yes," said Sauviac, " the effect was 
infallible in the Gazettes." I told him I did not hear lately 
of their using the telegraph. " Pardonnez-moi," said he; and 
seemed not perfectly pleased with the observation. The reason 
for this difference of opinion as to the two inventions is plain 
enough. The latter was used only in the Armee du Nord, and 
the other was confined to that of Sambre and Meuse. The esprit 
de corps, and the contempt for newspaper fame, were discernible 
in the conversation of these officers, as much as they were in 
that of the Chef de Brigade Verrine. Sauviac and Elbel con- 
versed together, principally in Italian, sans sc gcncr. Pichegru 
was modest, polite, attentive, and apologised for the other's 
unpoliteness, observing that he was naturally of a petulant 
character. Sauviac, upon the whole, is the most unfavorable 
specimen of a French Republican officer that I have seen. He 
limps from a wound which he received in the service, and 
which he is far from endeavouring to conceal. His first appear- 
ance contrasts completely with that of Pichegru. As much as 
the one is modest and unassuming, so much is the other arro- 
gant and censorious. Being seated next to him at dinner, as 
an introduction to conversation I observed to him that he found 
colder weather here, I presumed, than in France. " Yes," said 
he, " but we shall not complain of the cold. It has been our 
friend." " You have no reason to complain of it, indeed." 
" Why, as we came along with constant success, our troops 
marched on without perceiving the cold." "They acted, to be 
sure, as if they did not perceive it, but it must, however, have 



j$ MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

been sensibly felt." " Yes, and especially by me, a wounded 
man." He soon enquired whether I belonged to this country. 
Upon being informed I was an American, he asked what sen- 
sation the retreat of La Fayette had produced in the United 
States. I told him, a different one upon different persons. That 
he had conducted himself well in America, and was therefore 
beloved. That he was generally compassionated there, although 
we # did not think ourselves competent judges of the merits of 
his cause. I observed that many officers of the present Revo- 
lution had been in America. "There have been," said he, "but 
they have all turned out unfortunate. They went to America, 
and there drew the first sentiments of their liberty ; but, I don't 
know how, none of them has succeeded in France." 

He was asked how many representatives of the people there 
were with the two armies. " Sometimes more, sometimes less," 
said he. " It is constantly varying. It is to be hoped the prin- 
ciples of the Government do not change so often as they change 
their representatives with us. It produces inconveniences. The 
power being unlimited, and possessed by so many persons, a 
difference of opinion takes place, and affairs suffer." He said 
that Barrere was one of the most immoral men that had appeared 
upon the theatre of their Revolution, but that he possessed such 
a Protean versatility as had hitherto carried him through, amid 
the shock of all parties. He spoke in similar terms of Collot 
d'Herbois. After enquiring of me who the several persons at 
table were, whom he did not know, "This seems to be a 
diplomatic dinner," said he ; " I am surprised that none of the 
Representatives of the French People are here." He appeared 
not to be pleased with Count Lowenhielm's star, and spoke of 
it to his brother General, in Italian, which the Count under- 
stood ; and thereupon the other made him an apology, good or 
bad. From these specimens of his breeding, may be judged 
his convivial qualities, and probably w-ithout injustice. Lowen- 
hielm was not satisfied with the title of Citoyen, said that every 
one should be a good citizen at home, but he saw no occasion 
to prefix the title perpetually to everybody's name. As for his 
title of Count, he should certainly keep it, and he was very sure 
nobody would take it from him. We withdrew. Bielefeld took 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. jg 

a seat with us to go home, and was scarcely in the carriage, 
before he exclaimed, " My God ! what an Aristocrat Count 
Lowenhielm is. More so than any other man I know. As to 
the titles of Monsieur, or Citoyen, it is a thing indifferent in 
itself, and if any meaning is annexed to either when used, the 
latter appellation is the most rational. But for the titles of 
Duke, Marquis, Count, &c, if any special privileges are annexed 
to them, it is an injustice; if none, it is an empty sound, which 
deserves nothing but contempt." 

Bielefeld is no less sociable than democratic — says Kalit- 
cheff, the Russian Minister, who lately went away, was pro- 
digiously frightened when the French arrived. They treated 
him very well, however. He is " now gone, but not esteemed 
to be a loss to the place, for he was universally detested." He 
did not say on what account. 

17th. I had just begun upon my usual daily walk, when I 
met the democratic Baron, who was upon the same plan, and 
we agreed to walk together. The conversation was principally 
political, but upon the affairs of the day. He told me there 
was to be a play to-night ; if I pleased, we would go together ; 
to which I agreed accordingly ; but in the evening he came 
and told me he had been misinformed, and the play would 
not be till next Monday. He sat with me about an hour. The 
observations which he made in the course of this day, worth 
notice, must appear as they were made, without order, and in 
the miscellaneous tone of common chat. 

He has been here nearly four years. Lord Auckland was the 
British Ambassador here, when he came. Auckland was not 
much admired, notwithstanding his reputation. About two years 
ago, when the French took Breda, in the time of Dumouriez, 
Auckland hearing the news of it, and in order to make light of 
it, said, " Well, fortresses are made to be taken." The late 
Ambassador, St. Helens, was better liked, and clever enough. 
Both, however, governed the country. They were real Pro- 
consuls — and now, we shall have French Proconsuls. It is in 
vain for this country to pretend in future to political inde- 
pendence. They have got used to submitting, and would 
scarcely know how to act for themselves. The French Repre- 



80 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

sentatives have demanded that one of them may be present 
when the papers of the late Pensionary, Van de Spiegel, are 
examined. They view him as one of their most inveterate 
enemies. They are very much mistaken. Van de Spiegel was 
extremely desirous of preserving a peace with them. He was 
very adverse to the war. But he was a weak man, and dared 
not oppose himself openly to the torrent. About two years 
ago, the political intolerance here was excessive. Mr. Short, 
then the American Minister, when he first arrived, was well 
received, and liked pretty well ; he passed for a pretty good 
aristocrat. But he visited M. de Maulde, who was here then 
with a secret commission from the Executive Council ; and ever 
after that, Short was shunned and disliked, and branded as a 
Jacobin. This Maulde was avoided like a pestilence. If he 
ever appeared in public companies, scarce anybody would 
speak to him. The Spanish Minister of that time gave a great 
supper to almost the whole City, and, by some accident, was 
obliged to invite M. de Maulde. He seemed perfectly alone 
in the midst of the company; and he was so universally shunned, 
that when supper was served, the seat next to that which he 
had taken was left empty. But, said I, this is surprising, since 
at that very time, the Pensionary, and British Ambassador, 
were negotiating with this same de Maulde. That is true, but 
it was secretly, and not avowed. They never confessed it, 
until Maulde, upon returning to Paris, published the account 
of it, and then they could no longer doubt it. 

This war has not been very favorable to the glory of 
Sovereigns. The King of Prussia reached neither Paris nor 
Warsaw. The Emperor came with great eclat to his army; 
and returned with less to Vienna. The Duke of York is 
returned without many laurels to London. The Duke of 
Brunswick publishes five manifestos, and afterwards retires. 
The Prince Cobourg takes the command, goes on swimmingly 
for some time; but finally he resigns too. The young Princes 
of Orange resign. The father sets out, all of a sudden, to make 
his coup d'essai ; and Nimeguen is taken. To crown the 
whole, there is nothing wanting but the King of Spain to set 
out and defend his dominions in Catalonia. 



1 795-] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 8 I 

23d. Another visit this morning from Madame Palm Daelders, 
who left with me her letter for M. de Ternant, and lent me her 
political works. They consist in two or three addresses to 
popular societies upon the subject of the rights of women ; 
delivered in the year 1 791 , and full of the kind of trash fashion- 
able at that day. The performances are upon a level with the 
subject, and contain the usual commonplace of argument upon 
the rights of women, and the injustice they suffer. This has 
been, at one period, among the whimsies of the French Revo- 
lution. But it is in vain to labor and toil against the pre- 
scriptions of nature. Political subserviency and domestic 
influence must be the lot of woman, and those who have 
departed the most from their natural sphere, are not those who 
have shown the sex in their most amiable light. But Madame 
Daelders Palm may yet be serving an interest; she is too 
furiously democratic, not to become suspicious. She com- 
plains of everything now going forward ; the Princess of 
Orange could not be more bitter; but her pretext is, that the 
present men and measures are aristocratical. She said she 
would rather live at Constantinople than at Venice, though she 
did not like the Turkish Government, which allowed one man 
to have five or six wives. The observation, that perhaps she 
would prefer that Government reversed, gave her great delight. 
N.B. To remark this woman. 

25th. Notice from Mr. W. Quarles, that he has been ap- 
pointed Greffier of the States General. Doctor , an 
Englishman, called to enquire if I could let him know of any 
opportunity for Demerara. Mr. Ripley, a young American who 
came to Europe last summer to offer his services to the Poles, 
called here for a Passport. In the afternoon, Mr. Van Hees, 
the Agent, came to give me official notice of the Resolution 
taken on the 16th by the States General, acknowledging the 
Sovereignty of the Batavian People, and the Rights of Men 
and Citizens; abolishing the offices of Stadtholder, Captain, 
and Admiral General, and discharging every one from the 
oath taken to support the pretended ancient Constitution. Van 
Hees did not appear much pleased with his errand. He finds 
himself employed altogether with new men, and thinks, proba- 
vol. 1 — 6 



g 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February. 

bly, that he is reserved only, as Ulysses was kept by Poly- 
phemus, to be the last sufferer. 

28th. Called on the President of the Provisional Assembly, 
but he was out. Plaat here in the evening, mentioned his 
having been translator to the French Ministers formerly. M. 
de Gouvernet was the last Minister from thence, except his 
successor De Maulde. Gouvernet never got any good intelli- 
gence. Maulde took proper pains, and knew the secrets of 
this Government, and of every other Minister at this Court ; 
but it cost him 600,000 livres in eight months. And his reward 
was, when he returned, to be three times imprisoned. The 
Sardinian made him pay for everything, at the price of gold. 
He made his fortune by it, and Maulde completely ruined his. 
The other has now returned home, and lives upon the fruit of 
his treachery. The English Secretary was the cheapest of 
them all. He never took any money of Maulde; but he used 
to play at cards with Maulde's gouvernante, and never failed to 
win. 

Plaat never betrays secrets. He names nobody, and will not 
(he says) even give any hold upon which the persons of the 
traitors can be guessed. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. — CONTINUED. 

At this point commences the continuous diary of Mr. 
Adams, which is embraced in nineteen quarto volumes, aver- 
aging five hundred pages each, of fine writing. Here and there 
a break happens, when the pressure of public affairs became 
such as to make perseverance impossible. Out of this super- 
abundant material such portions have been selected as may 
serve to illustrate important public events of the time or the 
leading characteristics of the writer. 

The title-page of the first volume is given just as it is writ- 
ten in the very neat and clear hand of the author : 

"AXki/ioc; eaa', Iva lif as kcu 'oipcyovuv ev hirrj. 1 

DIARY OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

FROM i MARCH, 1795-, 



31 DECEMBER, 1802. 

Be it rather your ambition to acquit yourself in your proper station, than to rise above it. 
Certainly it is Heaven upon Earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in Providence, 
and turn upon the poles of Truth. 

Bacon : Essay on Truth. 



TvCj6i oeavrov. 


Solon 


Know thyself. 


TeAoc opav fiaKpov fiiov 


Chilo 


Look to the end of a long life. 


Kaipov yvCidt 


Pittacus 


Watch opportunity. 


Oi -Attovc nmol 


Bias 


The many are evil. 


Me/in? to nuv 


Periander 


To industry, all. 


'XpioTov fxirpov 


Cleobulus 


Measure is best. 


E};ia, -niipa 6'uttj 


Thales 


Pledge, and harm is by. 



1 Odyssey, B. I, 1. 302. Cowper renders it thus: 

" be thou also bold, 
And merit praise from ages yet to come." 

This verse is quoted by Cicero in a characteristic letter to Julius Caesar. Ad 
familiares, L. 13, 15. 

»3 



84 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

DIARY. 

The Hague, March 1st, 1795. — Visit to Mr. Bielfeld, Secretary 
of the Prussian legation. Conversation principally upon the 
subject of news and politics, of which I bore too great a part, 
and did not sufficiently preserve the interrogative character. 
He observed that, in the late conference between the deputation 
from the States General and the French Representative Alquier, 1 
there seems to have been great attention paid to ceremonials. 

Visit this evening from Mr. Dumas. He recommends a 
work of a Comte Carli upon the subject of America. He 
treats M. Pauw and his reveries with proper severity. 2 Mr. 
Dumas says he has grown very nice and difficult to please as 
to books. He personally knew Marat many years ago, and 
always considered him as a dangerous madman. Marat was 
here, and once told him he was determined to fight Prince 
Galitzin, then the Russian Minister here, upon some trivial slight 
he pretended to have received at his table. From that time 
Mr. Dumas was determined not to admit him any more to his 
house, and afterwards at Paris, in 1779, cautioned his friend Dr. 
Franklin, who was acquainted with Marat, to beware of him. 

The church hitherto dominant in this country consists of 
the Calvinists professing the doctrines prescribed by the Synod 
of Dort. The ministers are appointed and paid by the provin- 
cial States. Their salaries are from six hundred to two thousand 
guilders a year. 

3d. Visit to Madame Palm Daelders. She appears to be a 
partisan of the Orange party, under a thin disguise of out- 
rageous democracy. Finds fault with every thing now going 
forward, as not being conformable to the genuine doctrine of 
equality. Says that whenever the French troops withdraw, the 
people here will rise against the new order; told me that the 

1 At this period each of the armies was attended by a committee of the mem- 
bers of the Convention, which made regular reports of the movements. That of 
the North, the Sambre and the Meuse, was composed of seven persons, — Alquier, 
Bellegarde, Joubert, J. B. Lacoste, Frecinet, N. Haussman, Roberjot. Richard, 
who is mentioned in this diary later, is stated to have directed the expedition. 

2 These works, now little known, remain as curiosities of literature connected 
with America, purporting to be profound speculations. 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 85 

Ministers of Sweden and Denmark were recalled; talked a 
little scandal about Lowenhiclm ; J showed me a new composi- 
tion of hers which she wishes to print and distribute — an ad- 
dress to the Batavians, recommending their old institutions, 
and a dissolution of all the parties which divide the country; 
lent me the printed imitations of the English notes and let- 
ter said to have been found in an English pocket-book, and 
deposited in the National Archives of the French Republic, 
by decree of August 4, 1794; says this was the occasion of 
Audibert's being arrested here. He had a number of them to 
distribute, and the British Ambassador was afraid of the effect 
they would produce, and therefore directed his being sent away 
from Amsterdam, with order to quit this Republic. 

8th. Called on Mr. Dumas. Have finished the reading of 
Cerisier's " Tableau de l'Histoire des Provinces Unies." It gives 
a general idea of their history, but it is an unfinished work, 
written in haste, and requires much labour of the file to give it 
the perfection of which it is susceptible. The partisan is also 
too clearly discernible throughout the work. The factions 
which necessarily divide a free people have always a consider- 
able influence upon their historical relations. Since the Revo- 
lution which delivered these Provinces from the Spanish Do- 
minion in the 16th Century, the people have always been 
divided into two powerful parties — the one adhering to the 
House of Orange, and the other consisting of its opposers. To 
promote and strengthen and increase the power of that family 
has invariably been the real object of the former; to thwart, and 
weaken, and even destroy it, has been as constantly that of the 
other. The pretexts with which they have at different times 
endeavoured to colour their encroachments upon each other 
have been various; sometimes religious, and sometimes polit- 
ical. Each of the factions has endeavoured to support itself 
by the assistance of foreign connections. And ever since the 
marriage of William the Second with a daughter of Charles 
the First of England, the House of Orange has derived its ex- 
ternal support, principally, from the alliance of Great Britain. 

1 Count Ldwenhielm was at this time the Envoy of Sweden to the government 
in Holland. 



g6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

The attention of the other party has therefore necessarily turned 
to the rival power of France, and from the days of John De Witt 
to the present, the Republicans have always attached them- 
selves to that country. Cerisier was a Frenchman born, and 
an ardent republican in principle. The heroes of his history 
therefore are Barneveldt, the De Witts, De Ruyter, and all the 
Chiefs who have been the most distinguished antagonists of the 
Stadtholders ; while at the same time, though he values him- 
self much upon his impartiality, he appears to pay a reluctant 
tribute to the merits of the Princes, and to display with a peculiar 
satisfaction their manifold faults, their vices, and their crimes. 

Barneveldt and the De Witts were undoubtedly the mar- 
tyrs of Liberty, and the victims of despotism. Yet even at 
this day, the Orange faction do not render justice to their 
memory ; and it is not two months since I heard a Dutchman 
of understanding, versed in the history of his country, affirm 
that the judgment of Barneveldt, to be sure, was not perfectly 
reconcilable to the forms of justice, but that he really deserved 
his fate. Such is the creed of courtiers ! 

9th. In consequence of the letter received on Saturday from 
Mr. Bourne, I visited this morning Mr. Paulus, President of the 
Provisional Assembly of Holland. Conversation with him 
upon the law prohibiting the exportation of specie — upon the 
detention of American vessels in the Ports — upon the permis- 
sion to import grain and flour free from duty. He gave me, 
not as he said as President to the American Minister, but in his 
private capacity to me in mine, a copy of the new publication 
representing the state in which the finances of the country 
were found. Desirous as they are that a line of strong discrim- 
ination should appear between the system now pursued and that 
of the Government they have abolished, they are determined 
to make both as public as possible, and then shall be willing to 
abide by an impartial decision. With respect to the vessels 
detained, he recommended to me to converse with the French 
Representative Alquier, 1 the only one now remaining here. 

1 Afterwards under Napoleon known as the Baron d' Alquier; a man of ca- 
pacity, who continued in the diplomatic service many years, in which he gained 
reputation. lie died in 1826, at Paris, at an advanced age. 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 87 

I wrote accordingly to him, requesting to know when I 
could sec him. He appointed half-past two, at which hour I 
went, and found him with a company apparently of French 
officers. He told them on my entering that he had some 
business with the American Minister, and requested them to 
withdraw, which they did. He said there would be no diffi- 
culty whatever with respect to the two vessels, and if I would 
put in writing my demand and proposition, he would concert 
the measures to give me satisfaction with the Government 
here. But just at this present moment they could not permit 
the departure of vessels for any foreign Ports. " This country," 
said he, " is yet a conquest to us ; or at least we occupy it. But 
in a few days the intercourse with other countries will be as 
free as ever." 

10th. An emigrant from Brabant, by the name, I think, of 
Geuthryer, came to see me this morning, having already been 
here several times. He calls himself a Baron; says he was a 
member of the Equestrian Order in the States of Flanders, and 
from his conversation must be very wealthy. He proposes re- 
turning to Brussels, his home, the latter end of this week. He 
brought with him a certificate signed by Baron Schubart, the 
Danish Minister, purporting that he knows him, his wife and 
sister — that they have lived here since last June, and have 
conducted themselves perfectly well, without intermeddling 
with any political concerns whatever. The gentleman re- 
quested me to give him a similar certificate, or at least a 
recommendation that he supposed might be serviceable to him 
on his return home. 

I told him, that I had no doubt but that Mr.de Schubart had 
certified nothing but what is perfectly conformable to truth ; 
that I was fully persuaded however that a similar certificate 
from me, or a recommendation, would be of no possible ser- 
vice or utility to him, and that I hoped and believed he would 
have no occasion for any such paper. But that a declaration 
which M. de Schubart could make with perfect propriety, as 
containing only facts within his knowledge, could not with 
equal propriety be made by me, to whom those facts were not 
known. And as to a recommendation, it would only expose 



88 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

me to animadversion, as assuming a right to which in his case 
I am certainly not entitled. After urging me more than was 
necessary, finding that I persisted in declining, and in repeat- 
ing the assurance of my regret that I could not give him the 
assistance which he required, he took his leave, evidently 
piqued at my refusal. 

The request was unreasonable : to give a certificate that I 
knew him, his wife and sister, their conduct and how long 
they have resided here, while in reality I know not a person or 
circumstance of the whole, except the man himself; and know 
him only from his having been to see me several times without 
any introduction other than his own. 

I ith. Visit this morning from Mr. Mersen. He has been these 
six weeks laid up with the gout, and is now first coming out. 
Papers from Paris. The municipality this morning sent a 
couple of French soldiers to quarter in the house of Mr. Jehn, 
where I am lodged. They have tried the experiment three or 
four times ; and as often, the French Commandant of the city 
upon my application has ordered them to allow the exemption 
to which the usage of Nations entitles me. He has this time 
requested them, in. writing, not to send any more here. The 
Representative Alquier makes much of the generous treat- 
ment they have observed in this country, and if there is not a 
sort of vanity in extolling one's nation, he says no more than 
is proper. 

1 2th. Mr. Bielfeld 1 called on me this morning, and I took a 
walk with him round the town. Conversation with him upon 
a variety of subjects, principally political speculation. We 
talked much of the rights of man, the origin and foundation 
of human society, and the proper principles of Government. 
He says that in his opinion no consideration whatever can in 
any case justify a violation of truth. I told him that such a 
sentiment was rather extraordinary coming from a diplomatic 
man. He declared his determination never to depart from it. 
We discussed the theory of human rights and of Government. 

1 Charge-d'affaires from Prussia. lie was the son of Baron Bielfeld, in his 
time also in the diplomatic service, and author of several works of reputation in 
his day, but since passed into oblivion. 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. %g 

We soon concluded that aristocracy, feudality, nobility, could 
not be reconciled with a Government founded upon rights. But 
whether man is so constructed as to be capable of living in 
society upon any plan of government clearly deducible from 
a theory of rights was then a question, which we debated until 
we found our walk at an end. 

13th. A day of idleness — that is, of reading, very little writ- 
ing, and still less meditation. It is an easy life ; but how to 
reconcile it with a disposition for activity? 

The Chevalier d'Araujo, the Portuguese Minister, called to 
see me this evening, and we had much conversation upon the 
present situation of political affairs. He appears to have some 
feeble hopes of a peace without another campaign ; but I do 
not see the smallest probability for it whatever. He thinks it 
will depend upon the will of the British Government, and was 
anxious to hear from England, to judge from thence what the 
prospects are. 

15th. Dined at the Comte de Lovvenhielm's, the Minister from 
Sweden. The French Representatives Alquier and Cochon, 
the Greffier of the States General Quarles, Mr. Dedem, the 
Dutch Minister at Constantinople and member of the States 
General, and his son, Mr. Lestevenon, also a member of the 
States General, Baron de Schubart, Minister from Denmark, 
and his secretary, Mr. Levsen, Chevalier d'Araujo, Portuguese 
Minister, Mr. Bosset, Minister of Brandebourg, Mr. Middleton, 
Minister heretofore from Poland, Baron de Rehausen, a Swedish 
gentleman, and General Dumonceau, the officer commanding 
at the Hague, besides the Count's family, constituted the com- 
pany. The dinner was made for the French Representatives, 
and they were of course the most conspicuous characters there. 
Their dress, without being indecent, was negligent. They have 
not yet got entirely above the affectation of simplicity or of 
equality. 

France and Portugal are at war. Yet in consequence of the 
generous system pursued by the French from the time of their 
arrival here, D'Araujo has never been molested, and between 
these representatives of nations in actual hostility the most per- 
fect civility and good humour was observed on this occasion. 



g Q MEMO/AS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

D'Araujo evidently was desirous of getting acquainted with the 
Frenchmen, of engaging them in conversation, and of giving 
them a favourable opinion of himself by a discovery of his 
knowledge and attachment to the arts and sciences. Perhaps 
he wants to obtain the means of getting on foot a negotiation 
for peace between his country and Spain with France. Perhaps 
he only means to observe as accurately as possible, and for that 
purpose aims at establishing a sort of familiarity with them. 
That he was solicitous upon the point was evident ; for though 
he was seated at some distance from the Representative Alquier 
at the table, he carried on a conversation during the whole 
dinner time with him, which drew the attention of the whole 
company. It was entirely upon subjects of science and the 
arts. There was a kind of armed neutrality in the complexion 
of his speeches that led me to suspect whether it was designed 
or accidental. He said several things calculated to be agree- 
able, and several others which were not so. Spoke in flattering 
terms of the Abbe Raynal, as a writer. It was wormwood, but 
the effect appeared only upon the countenances of the French- 
men. He mentioned as a lamentable thing that Lavoisier, the 
chemist, had perished by the guillotine. They acquiesced fully 
in the observation ; but it appeared to me one of the things 
to be avoided, when the object is to please. He attacked the 
relations of the French traveller Vaillant, and ridiculed them, as 
extravagantly false and absurd. Alquier defended them, but 
with perfect good humor. He observed in the course of the 
conversation that they have still two eminent chemists in the 
Convention, Fourcroy and Guyton de Morveau. He men- 
tioned also that they had packed up a great number of the 
objects of curiosity in the ci-devant cabinet of the Stadtholder 
to send to France. 

During the relaxation of attention that I could afford from 
this conversation, I carried on a particular one with young 
Dedem, who has been nine or ten years with his father at Con- 
stantinople. During that period he travelled in Greece and in 
Egypt. But he was very young, and I know from experience 
to how little advantage a man travels at such an age. He gave 
me a number of details relative to the learning, the manners, 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. p! 

the genius and character of the Turks, and relative to his 
travels into Greece; but I think I collected little or no new 
information from him. His sphere of observation is not very 
extensive. 

I had before dinner a little conversation with his father, the 
Minister. He was formerly much acquainted with my father, 
and one of the Deputies in the States General who signed the 
treaty with him. He enquired particularly with regard to him. 
He told me that soon after the period of my father's being 
here, he was sent to Constantinople; that about a year ago 
he obtained leave of absence upon a visit home; and just at 
this time it happens the revolution has taken place, at which 
he was much rejoiced. Upon the observation that his case 
was singular, to have remained in office during all the muta- 
tions that have taken place, he said that after the revolution 
of 1787 the Court party had determined to involve him in the 
common dismission of all the patriots in office; but that the 
expense of the Turkish Embassy is in a great measure sup- 
ported by the Council of Commerce, which consisted princi- 
pally of Amsterdam members ; that they had a meeting at the 
time in question, and were unanimous for having him continued 
in office; that it was owing solely and entirely to their influ- 
ence that he was not recalled. The Court, however, he adds, 
never forgave him his ancient and inveterate patriotism, and, since 
his return, he always found himself observed, shunned, sus- 
pected there, as well as in the States General. That whenever 
he appeared in the Assembly nothing was transacted while he 
was present, and he has often seen his colleagues from his own 
Province whispering very busily together; but upon his en- 
quiring whether they were talking upon business, they invari- 
ably told him no, and he often put an end to their conversation 
merely by going towards them. 

He is now the only member of the States General under the 
old Government who continues to be so still, notwithstanding 
his being a nobleman, which at this day is a heavy objection 
against him. He has escaped untouched during both the 
revolutions. 

Were it not that a judgment upon the character of the man, 



Q2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

after seeing him only once, would be rash and presumptuous, I 
should be led to suspect that there is a reason distinct from 
those of superior merit or good fortune which might contribute 
to make him thus a singular exception to the total alteration 
of two opposite revolutions. That reason would be derived 
from his personal reputation, perhaps amiable and irreproach- 
able, and not such as to make him an object of fear to either 
party. But I presume the Dutch Embassy at Constantinople 
is as insignificant in the system of their policy as the American 
Legation at the Hague is in that of the United States. 

Mr. Lestevenon, who was formerly Minister from hence in 
Sweden, and did not enjoy the same exemption with the other 
gentleman, appears to be a more expressive character. He was 
one of E.'s friends here, and I enquired whether he had re- 
turned to this country, or probably would. He said no. The 
General had written him a fortnight or three weeks since, that 
he was coming back; but he did not think he would. "The 
General," added he, " is an ingenious, sensible, clever man; and 
you rendered him a great service at Amsterdam." " By no 
means," said I ; " I had no opportunity to render him any ser- 
vice." 

I had a very few words' conversation also with M. Quarles, 
the new.Greffier, whom I now saw for the first time. There 
is no occasion for a hasty judgment respecting him, as I shall 
probably have occasion to see him more than once again. 

The Representative Alquier excused himself to me for not 
having answered my two applications to him in behalf of our 
commerce. He promised me, however, that I should have an 
interview to-morrow. He said they had declared by an arret 
that all neutral commerce and navigation with this country 
should remain open and without obstruction. 

The Representative Cochon 1 conversed upon the state of 
affairs in France. He talked very freely, and ventured even to 
censure some of the prevalent habits and opinions. He spoke, 
as they all do at present, with contempt of Robespierre, and with 

1 The Count Charles Cochon de Lapparent bent to the storm, and became an 
active member of the Convention. He succeeded in passing safely and with credit 
through the dangers of the period, and died in 1825, at an advanced age. 



1795] TIIE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 93 

horror of his reign, as he called it; regretted very much the 
death of Bailly, who was a good man, and a great loss to the 
sciences. " I had him," said he, " five weeks concealed in my 
house ; but I should not have said it six months ago." Con- 
dorcet, he said, was a loss to the sciences, but as to his morality, 
he is not much to be regretted on that account. Danton was a 
mauvais sujet, his fate is not to be lamented ; but the conspiracy 
for which he perished was a mere trumpery of Robespierre. 
Cochon was then in mission at Valenciennes ; in prison; that 
is, at the siege. He knew but little about these events. They 
are not fond of talking of them to strangers, and it is not sur- 
prising that they are unwilling to uncover their own nakedness. 

17th. Dined at the Baron de Schubart's ; principally with the 
same company that was at the Swedish Minister's the day before 
yesterday. Richard, a new commissioner from the Convention, 
has arrived, and was of the company, as was also Baron Biel- 
feld. Richard maintained the principal part of the conversa- 
tion ; it was altogether upon the military operations of their 
armies. One would have thought from his account that they 
were more than human beings, and he himself infinitely su- 
perior to all the heroes of ancient or modern times in the art 
of war. There was indeed one particular in which he was 
certainly comparable with Hannibal, Sertorius, and Claudius 
Civilis — gasconade is a part of his policy too. These people 
seem to think the rest of the world created for no other pur- 
pose than to admire them. All their heads are giddy with 
their own greatness and power. Pichegru among the Gen- 
erals, and Cochon, of the Representatives, from whatever I 
have seen of them, may be admitted as exceptions to this rule. 
They appear to have the gift of modesty, which is not among 
the shining qualities of the others. 

Richard was prodigiously rapid in his talk ; he appeared to 
be afraid that time would fail him to sing the praises of the 
army, and in the course of his eloquence often gave us to 
understand, with those intimations with which vanity imagines 
itself sheltered from detection, that he had often been the most 
important character in the army — the life, the animating prin- 
ciple, which inspired such extraordinary efforts. 



Q4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

" People think," said he, " that we would not make peace ; 
but they are much mistaken. We are so far from wishing to 
continue the war, that there is a power of whom we would ask 
for peace, though we are conquerors : we would say, ' We have 
taken from you an immense territory; we have reduced you to 
the utmost extremity; we will return it all to you, if you will 
make a peace which shall restore us what was ours ;' and they 
would not accept our terms. They think we are exhausted; 
that we cannot carry on the war any longer ; that we have no 
further supply of men. Well, we shall meet them upon that 
ground as long as they please. They have said the same thing 
these three years. Our first requisition raised 100,000 men; 
the second, three ; the third, eight or nine ; and now we can 
raise as many more when we please. Austria will not be rea- 
sonable till she has been beaten a little more severely. Clair- 
fait must go on in his career, and he has excellent troops. 
This war has been fatal to many military reputations, though 
that of Clairfait has not suffered. He has been unfortunate, 
and has not been supported ; the Generals of both wings in 
the Austrian army have been sacrificed to the jealousy of the 
Commander-in-Chief; but we have a great esteem for Clair- 
fait. However, we hope to give a good account of him. They 
talk about experienced Generals; but in our mode of warfare 
experience is learned in a campaign ; a General does the duty 
of a soldier, and is in the midst of the action. According to 
the old-fashioned style of war, the General is at three or four 
leagues from his army ; but how can he manoeuvre to any ad- 
vantage at that distance? At the beginning of the last cam- 
paign the allies manoeuvred three times to our once ; and at 
the close of it I am sure we manoeuvred five times to their 
once." " Our troops," he continued, " scarcely seem subject to 
the wants of humanity; they live days and even sometimes a 
week together without food, without clothing, and without 
sleep. We have no tents, no camp baggage. Often after six- 
teen or seventeen hours of battle, worn out, exhausted, unable 
to move, our soldiers stretch themselves upon the bare ground, 
without covering, cold or hot, moist or dry, and enjoy the 
sweetest sleep imaginable. I have found it infinitely more de- 



I795-] THE MISS/ON TO HOLLAND. 95 

licious than at any other time in bed and under cover." Here 
he was interrupted by his colleague Alquier, who said he was 
not of that opinion, and a little discussion arose upon the sub- 
ject between them. It did not, however, detain Richard long; 
he soon returned to his favorite topic, which he scarcely sus- 
pended for a moment from the time we sat down to dinner until 
the company broke up. 

In the mean time Mr. d'Araujo had fastened again upon 
Alquier and had a very long particular conversation with him, 
in which the company in general did not participate. After the 
Representatives were gone, he enquired of me whether there 
is now any American vessel going to Spain or Portugal. I 
asked him whether he had learned if peace is made or making 
between them and France. He said there had been something 
done, but it was not finished. He certainly wants to bring for- 
ward a negotiation, or to have the appearance of it. 

The French Representatives affected to give encouragement 
to Mr. Middleton, the former Resident from Poland, as to a 
new Revolution to restore his country's independence. He 
said the business was too thoroughly done. But they told him 
to keep up his spirits, and Alquier toasted " success to his 
hopes." The toast immediately went all round the table, and 
was pledged by Bielfeld himself. D'Araujo was the only one 
who avoided it, and in a good-humored manner recommended 
to Middleton to communicate the toast to M. de Kalitcheff, 
the Russian Minister here, who went away since the French 
arrived. 

The Representatives Alquier and Cochon repeated the 
strongest assurances that they meant to give every facility to 
neutral commerce and navigation — that as it respected the 
United States, this disposition was the result of sentiment as 
well as of interest. 

Alquier apologized for not having sent me the answer he 
had promised me on Sunday, and said I should receive it this 
day; that upon my return home I should undoubtedly find it 
there. He invited me to dine with them sans ceremonie to- 
morrow. 

At table I enquired of Mr. Dedem, the elder, why they 



q6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

thought proper to interrupt the communication with England, 
and whether it was likely to be restored. He told me they had 
the best dispositions for it possible here, but I must be sensible 
the inclinations of the French Representatives must be con- 
sulted, and any alteration must be solicited of them. 

" Disguise thyself as thou wilt, Slavery, still thou art a bitter 
draught!" These people, French and Dutch, cannot on either 
side carry through their farce of equality, of independence, or 
of republicanism. In the midst of all the forms which they 
cast around the real substance of things, the respective situa- 
tions and the prevalent ideas arising from each break through 
upon all occasions. On one side politeness has the garb of 
condescension, on the other it degenerates into flattery ; their 
equality and fraternity are good as a subject of declamation, 
but there is nothing of it in their manners and practice. 

"We have left everybody quiet here," said Alquier; "we 
have disturbed nobody. Monsieur the Charge-d'affaires of 
Prussia can bear us witness to that;" and, saying this, turned 
to Bielfeld, by way of appeal to him for the truth of what he 
said. Bielfeld said that certainly he had every possible reason 
to be content with their treatment of him. He remarked this 
circumstance afterwards to me, and said the fact was certainly 
true. But Alquier's politeness would have suffered no diminu- 
tion if he had forborne to remind him of it. 

Upon my return home I did not find the answer which Al- 
quier had promised me; nor did I receive it this day. 

1 8th. Dined with the French Representatives, with a numer- 
ous company, diplomatic, civil, and military. The wife of the 
Representative Richard, a young and beautiful woman, was the 
only lady present. I was seated at table between Richard and 
the Grefifier Quarles. Richard told me that he was well ac- 
quainted with Mr. Monroe, who was much esteemed and re- 
spected at Paris. He spoke of the President 1 in the most 
respectful terms, and said he was a great man, and deserving 
of veneration from all mankind. I told him that such was our 
opinion in America. " And it is the general opinion in France, 
too," said he. " There may be some exceptions, because great 

1 Washington. 



1 795-] THE MISS 10 X TO HOLLAND. gy 

pains have been taken to prejudice minds against him ; but in 
general we know from what a perfidious quarter those pains 
came, and therefore they have been in general unsuccessful. 
We had a Minister in the United States, Genest, who conducted 
himself imprudently there, and we disavowed all his miscon- 
duct. Genest's intentions I believe were not bad; but he fell 
into bad hands upon his arrival in America, and was impelled 
to his offensive conduct by people of the country, who wanted 
to produce a discord between your Government and our Min- 
ister to serve their personal views. The British fomented it, 
and were very glad to see the designs of disturbing the friend- 
ship between France and the United States. They were at the 
same time intriguing with us, to make us believe the American 
Government was hostile to France. It was the detection of 
some manoeuvres of this kind which opened the eyes of many 
people among us, and convinced them that they had been mis- 
taken in supposing your President unfriendly to our cause. I 
am sorry for Genest, because he is a man of talents, and meant 
well, I believe, though he got led into trouble by bad advisers. 
We have now sent out Adet, a very able and very excellent 
man. Fauchet is a man of abilities, but he is a young man, 
and not equal to an embassy so important as that of the United 
States; we consider it as an embassy of the first importance, 
and have now sent a man who, by his talents and by his man- 
ners, will be fully equal to it." 

Upon mention of the late decree of the Convention, restor- 
ing the members heretofore outlawed, " Yes," said he, "and I 
am very glad to hear of it. I want to see everything disappear 
of that system which for fourteen months desolated France. I 
was so fortunate myself as to be absent in mission with the 
armies almost the whole of that time, and was always glad to 
be absent in those cruel times." 

He again returned to his favorite topic of the miracles per- 
formed by their armies ; mentioned that under their former 
government they had troops who fought very well in the war 
of our Independence ; but the officers, who were then and are 
now in the service, say that the troops do infinitely greater 
wonders now than they did then. Pichegru himself was to 
VOL. i. — 7 



q3 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

have gone to America during that war; he was embarked at 
Cadiz, being then an officer of cavalry ; but the expedition 
was countermanded. " Our armies were then fighting for your 
liberty, and that gave them an extraordinary ardor ; but now 
they fight for their own, and nothing is impossible to them. 
We don't allow ourselves in the campaign more than two or 
three hours' sleep in a night ; and I remember I once was so 
totally exhausted that I fell asleep on my horse in the midst of 
an action." Such an instance of indifference to danger could 
not possibly be heard without notice and admiration, and, to 
qualify the exalted opinion of his courage with an idea of 
modesty equally supernatural, he added, " It is true, I was 
then exposed to the danger only of the cannon. But upon 
simple marches I have very often slept three and four hours at 
a time upon my horse, as we went along. At the beginning 
of the war, it was absolutely necessary for the Representatives 
in mission to be the first to expose themselves to every personal 
danger and every hardship, because the good will of the sol- 
diers to hazard and endure depended very much upon having 
the example set them by us. But now it is so universal a 
thing, and they have been so long used to it, that they go on 
without minding, and often without knowing, whether the 
Representative is with them or not. Our maxim is, that what- 
ever an army is commanded to do, it must do. So if we have 
an enemy before us, we attack ; we fight all day ; but if we have 
not beaten him, we sleep upon the field ; as soon as daylight ap- 
pears, we attack again, and continue fighting in this way until 
we succeed in our object." 

This is certainly the true system of war which the French 
armies have pursued : it has been crowned with complete suc- 
cess, and must necessarily be so, when it is practised by brave 
men and a powerful superiority of numbers ; but both these cir- 
cumstances are requisite to give any utility whatever to this 
art of war. In any other case it must be pernicious and de- 
structive. 

We had a band of music playing during the dinner. Ri- 
chard asked me whether there was much taste for music in 
America. I told him no ; that American genius was very 



1795] Tf/E MISSION TO HOLLAND. 99 

much addicted to painting, and we had produced in that art 
some of the greatest masters of the age ; but that we had 
neither cultivated nor were attached much to music; that it 
had always appeared to me a singular phenomenon in the na- 
tional character, and I could not account for it otherwise than 
by supposing it owing to some particular construction of our 
fibres, that we were created without a strong devotion to music. 
"Oh, do not say so!" said he; "you will be chargeable with 
high treason against the character of your country for such a 
sentiment, especially if you were to deliver it to an Italian or 
French connoisseur and virtuoso." " I suppose so," said I ; 
"but then I must rely for my pardon upon the other tribute 
which I have paid to my country's genius in the article of 
painting. As for the rest," I added, " I pretend not to trace 
the cause of the fact, but music is not an object of enthusiasm 
in America; and that Marseillaise hymn, that your band are 
now playing, reminds me of a forcible proof of the fact I have 
stated. The Americans fought seven years and more for their 
liberty. If ever a people had occasion to combine the sensa- 
tions of harmony with the spirit of patriotism, they had it 
during that time. Yet there never was during the whole period 
a single song written, nor a single tune composed, which elec- 
trised every soul, and was resounded by every voice, like your 
patriotic songs." "That is indeed," said he, "a very strong 
fact." I told him that if I could be permitted to cite myself as 
an instance, I am extremely fond of music, and by dint of great 
pains have learnt to blow very badly the flute — but could never 
learn to perform upon the violin, because I never could acquire 
the art of putting the instrument in tune — that I consoled my- 
self with the idea of being an American, and therefore not 
susceptible of great musical powers ; though I must do my 
countrymen the justice to say that few of them are so very dull 
as this; that I knew many who had a musical ear, and could 
tune an instrument with little or no instruction at all. 

I know not whether the Representative Richard finally con- 
cluded that I was guilty of debasing the genius of my country; 
but the American character needs no speaking-trumpet of 
vanity to proclaim its praise. For us the voice of truth and 



100 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 



of justice is enough ; and on that ground we shall never dread 
the test of comparison with any nation upon earth. 

In the midst of this discussion an incident occurred which 
gave a full proof that some of the musical enthusiasm which 
Richard thought so essential an attribute of the dignified human 
character, is, among the French, the result of fashion, and not of 
an accurate and discerning taste. 

Alquier complained that the music performing was bad, and, 
after some time, declared that one of the clarionets was dis- 
cordant. The director of the band was called, and ordered to 
make the harmony more complete. The discord, however, con- 
tinued. At length Richard assured Alquier that there was 
none — that the effect only proceeded from the loudness of the 
instrument, and its proximity. Alquier insisted, and appealed 
to Madame Richard, who confirmed his judgment. The clario- 
net was pronounced discordant, and the decision, as far as I 
could judge, was just. On one side or the other a discerning 
ear was certainly deficient; and both were too much in the ton 
not to be enthusiastic musicians, for Alquier made a number of 
grimaces and shrugged his shoulders at every grating sound ; 
while Richard, in the full confidence of delicious enjoyment, 
was positive that there was not a discordant sound. 

He returned to the subject of painting; asked me the names 
of our great painters, and whether they were historical painters. 
I mentioned, among the others, Trumbull, and his design of 
painting a series to give the history of our war — with his two 
first pictures, and the engravings nearly finished, of the deaths 
of Warren and Montgomery. 

He enquired whether we had any of the originals of the 
greatest masters of the schools. I answered very few. " Ah ! 
parbleu," said he, " vous me faites venir une idee." "Yes," put- 
ting his finger to his forehead as a promise of remembrance, 
"yes," said he, "I will remember it. 1 will not forget this idea." 
He paused a moment, and then added, " We will send you 
some. You must form a National Gallery. We will send you 
a number of very fine pictures. We can do it as well as not, 
for our Government has got an immense number of them. 
How do you think such a present would be received?" " No 



1795] IHE MISSION TO HOLLAND. IO i 

doubt it would be received," said I, "with all the gratitude that 
would be due to it." " Well," said he, " it is a good idea, and 
I will not forget it." I believe my promise of gratitude is as 
good as his promise of pictures. 

I had also some conversation with the Grefficr Quarles. He 
said he should have gone to America had not the late Revo- 
lution taken place' mentioned his having been obliged to 
resign his former office of Deputy Greffier after the Revolution 
of 1787; that, after that, he had retired into the country and 
lived as a farmer about five years, until he was called from his 
obscurity again by the late change of affairs. 

He enquired after my father, whom he knew when here. "I 
remember," said he, " that soon after his admission here as 
American Minister, I saw him one day and asked him how he 
liked the country, etc. He said he had that day remarked a 
circumstance for which he could not well account. That, having 
occasion to present a memorial to the States General, he went 
in the morning according to custom, and delivered it to the 
President; that, afterwards, he had been to visit the Prince 
Stadtholder, and was very much surprised to see the same man, 
who in the morning had received him formally as President, 
then open the door to him as the Prince's valet, otherwise called 
his chamberlain." 

I told him that it was unquestionably an absurdity under 
their former Government, to see, the same day, a man acting the 
double part of head of the Legislative body and of a personal 
retainer to the executive Chief; but that probably nothing of 
this kind would be seen under the new order of things; to 
which he assented. 

He enquired respecting Mr. Dumas. I told him I had un- 
derstood he had demanded that a resolution of the States 
General, passed in the year 1788, respecting him, and, as he 
thought, injurious to his honor, should be rescinded. Enquired 
whether it had been done. He said no ; that some sort of 
resolution had been taken, but the former record could not be 
erased unless I would take some measure in his behalf; that 
if the Government of the United States would interest them- 
selves in his favor, there was no doubt every attention would 



102 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

be paid to their representations, and he appeared desirous that 
I should embark in the cause. I told him that I was not 
thoroughly informed of the transaction, and if Mr. Dumas 
desired the interference of the American Government, I was 
persuaded he would solicit it. 

Richard enquired if there were many French emigrants in 
America. I told him very few. " Those emigrants are very 
dangerous people," said he ; " I hope your Government will 
keep a watch over them. They have deep designs, and may 
be intriguing when there is no suspicion of them. Though I 
am persuaded," said he, " that a great many people have been 
forced to emigrate, who would never have done it from choice, 
but were driven to it by terror. Have you many of the emi- 
grants of the old monarchy?" I answered I knew of none. 
"No," said he, "that is not the country in which they sought 
refuge." "There are a few constitutional emigrants," said I. 
" Yes ; there is Noailles," said he. " Noailles went to the public 
audience of the President with the old French uniform and a 
white cockade, and announced himself as the Vicomte de No- 
ailles, a French officer. The President told him he knew no 
Vicomte de Noailles, and no French officer in that uniform. 
Then he attempted to get introduced to the private audience of 
the President, but met with an equal repulse there, and the 
President would not see him." I know not where he got this 
story. I make some question of the facts, but made no obser- 
vation to him on the subject. 

I enquired of him what is at this time the state of cultivation 
in France. " Greater than ever it was," said he. " I have just 
travelled the country from Paris here. It is everywhere in a 
high state of cultivation. The grain is already grown two or 
three inches high. All France is in a higher state of cultivation 
than it was before the Revolution, because many hunting- 
grounds have been converted into grain-fields. The English 
traveller, Arthur Young, says, that wherever he found a chateau, 
there he found barrenness all round it for some distance ; but 
he would not find it so now. Notwithstanding the great armies 
we have on foot, men are not wanting for cultivation, because 
our population was so great heretofore, that five or six men 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. IO , 

were taken to do the labor that may be done by one. A 
peasant, for instance, would have a certain field to labor with 
three or four sons; all labored partially, because none could 
labor elsewhere. But now the sons come to the armies, and 
the father remains behind, and is able to do all the work him- 
self. Our vineyards are carried to a greater perfection than 
they have ever been." He then enquired whether we had 
vineyards in America. I answered that all attempts to intro- 
duce them hitherto had failed. He recommended very strongly 
perseverance in the attempt, and said we could easily get as- 
sistance for the purpose from France. I replied that as long 
as our people could get foreign wines better and cheaper than 
they could be raised among ourselves, we should probably not 
succeed in raising them at home. It will be well to obtain in- 
formation on this head. 

After we rose from table I had some conversation with one 
of the officers, and one of the Secretaries ; their names were 
unknown to me. Very civil, polite people. The Secretary said 
he believed the English were very glad that the slaves had been 
freed in the French islands ; that he supposed, after this war, 
all the West Indies would be free and independent of any 
European control ; that by their proximity to a free country 
they would naturally imbibe the spirit of freedom. I told him 
I somewhat questioned that; that our intercourse with the 
West Indies was simply commercial, and we had no political 
communications with them at all. "Then the propagating 
madness has not reached you ?" said he. " Madness !" said I. 
" Do you venture to call it madness? Your Government seemed 
to countenance the system at one period, and even since your 
arrival here, some of your countrymen have told me you were 
very soon going to London." " Oh, yes," said he, " I hope we 
shall have the pleasure of seeing you there to breakfast; and if 
you please, we will dine together on the same day at Vienna, 
and take lodgings that night at Constantinople. But to be 
serious, I hope you will not attribute to 'the French Nation 
such a wild system as that." I told him I had always done 
them more justice; but I was afraid such an opinio)i, though 
without foundation, would have a tendency to protract the war. 



I0 4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

They were a conquering Nation, and whatever moderation con- 
querors might have, it was extremely difficult to establish an 
opinion of it. " Ah !" said he, " if we could but conquer our 
happiness ; if we could but become a happy Nation !" 

Young Dedem exhibited a great number of views and 
figures, drawn by him from the life in Turkey, Greece, and 
Egypt. They were very well drawn, very well colored, de- 
signed with taste, and executed with a delicate pencil. His 
father was very proud of them, and through him the Repre- 
sentative Alquier paid the young man many well-deserved com- 
pliments upon his possessing this useful and agreeable talent. 
He was highly gratified with the praise, and it was a well- 
earned reward. 

Baron Schubart told me his courier to Hamburg would not 
go till Friday. I took the opportunity to mention to the 
Representative Alquier my desire for an answer which he had 
promised me. He made all possible apologies for not having 
sent it before; and excused, with all the disarming complaisance 
which is so much at their command, his want of punctuality, 
that I could not possibly think of it with any dissatisfaction. 
It was all repaired, and I was promised that my answer should 
infallibly be sent me by to-morrow, 2 o'clock p.m. The only 
reason why I had not yet received it, because the Secretaries 
had been so much engaged that they had not yet made out the 
copies in all the registers. 

In my turn I apologized for repeating so frequently my so- 
licitations, and withdrew. 

23d. Mr. Petry dined with us. This gentleman I saw 
in Paris in the years 1778 and 1783. He is an English- 
man, but has been more or less connected with many Ameri- 
cans. He told us, among other things, several anecdotes 
relative to the famous contest between our former Commis- 
sioners, Deane and Lee. In February, 1778, he says, very 
soon after the Treaty between France and the United States 
was concluded, and on the day when the American Commis- 
sioners were first presented at the Court, he went with them to 
Versailles ; that on his return he received letters from Eng- 
land, and in one of them his friend says to him, " You have 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. I0 5 

been very secret in not communicating the Treaty lately signed 
in Paris, while I have seen a letter with intelligence direct 
from one of the Commissioners, which says, ' Last night the 
new articles of partnership were signed, and whatever the old 
partner may think of them, it is still in his power, if he pleases, 
to come in for a good share.' " This extract Petry then read 
to Deane, who was already recalled home, and was to set out 
the next day from Paris, to sail for America. Deane asked his 
leave to take a copy of the above quotation, which Petry con- 
sented to. Deane afterwards brought several charges against 
the Lees, and among others that of having given advice in 
England of that Treaty's being signed, contrary to the express 
and solemn obligation of all the Commissioners, who had 
agreed that it should not be divulged to any one within forty 
days afterwards. The fact of divulging was very positively 
denied by the Lees; and Deane, not having the authentic docu- 
ment, afterwards wrote to Dr. Bancroft a letter in cypher ; but 
the postscript to which was uncyphered, and was thus : " Ask 
our friend Petry for that letter which contains the proof of 
Lee's having written to England that the Treaty was signed, 
on the day when it happened." This letter was intercepted, 
published in the American newspapers, and from them ex- 
tracted into the English. When they appeared in the latter, 
Petry was in Paris, as was also Arthur Lee. William Lee, the 
former Alderman of London, was then at Frankfort. Arthur 
Lee wrote Petry a civil and gentlemanly billet, requesting him 
to declare positively whether he had ever known of any letter 
written by him, Arthur Lee, which could authorize the asser- 
tion contained in Deane's postscript. Petry answered that 
from the terms upon which Mr. Arthur Lee and he had been, 
he should have expected Mr. Lee would have made an ami- 
cable and verbal enquiry, and received his answer in that way; 
that, however, he would answer him with the utmost candor 
and frankness, that he had every reason to believe the letter to 
which Mr. Deane's postscript referred was not written by him, 
Mr. Arthur Lee, but by his brother, the Alderman. Lee re- 
plied, thanked Petry for his very civil and polite explanation, 
but said the circumstance as to his brother must have arisen 



I0 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

from some mistake, as, to his certain knowledge, the signature 
of the Treaty was not known to his brother until six weeks 
after it took place. The forms in this instance, says Mr. Petry, 
were well enough; but the lie was unnecessary, and could an- 
swer no purpose. But William Lee took the matter up in a 
very different manner. He wrote from Frankfort to Petry, de- 
manding in the most peremptory manner of him a positive 
declaration that what he had said was without foundation, and 
an explicit answer from whom he had the story, or else that he 
would meet Lee at Valenciennes on a given day, but a short 
time distant. Petry had scarcely time after receiving the letter 
to take post horses and reach Valenciennes on the day as- 
signed. He then wrote to Lee that had his conduct or letter 
to him been conformable to the common rules of civility 
among gentlemen, he would have answered him fully and 
explicitly; but that the tone he had assumed was such as pre- 
cluded any other answer than that he was at Valenciennes, ac- 
cording to Mr. Lee's invitation, and ready to receive his com- 
mands. He sent this billet to Lee's lodgings, but, not hearing 
from him in return, sent again the next morning, and was told 
that Lee had taken post horses and set out on his return to 
Frankfort. "And from that time," said he, " I heard no more 
from him. The truth of the fact was," continues Mr. Petry, 
" that William Lee wrote the original paragraph, which gave 
occasion to all this altercation, to Edmund Jennings, then in 

London. Jennings showed it to Mr. , who was the person 

that wrote the account to me." 

This conversation of Petry is here minuted as accurately 
as an attentive recollection could take from his own words, 
because it is a testimony from the first hand of a circum- 
stance which will be doubtless noticed in the general history 
of America. Not a word is added, not a word is diminished. 
The two principals of that contest, which became almost na- 
tional, have lost the enmities and all the personal passions 
which could actuate either of them, in the silence of the grave. 
As a matter of fact, it is now an incident to be ascertained, 
and the declaration of an agent in the business deserves par- 
ticular notice. 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. \qj 

Petry says every probability indicates that Deane's death 
was voluntary and self-administered. That he was at Graves- 
end, on board a vessel destined for America, to which he was 
returning, after having been for some time in extreme misery 
in London, and supported principally by Lord Sheffield and 
his friends. His brother in America had invited him to return, 
and had promised him support there, in consequence of which 
he had embarked. He was there found one morning dead in 
his bed. 

The fate of this man adds one more lesson to human am- 
bition and human vanity. Deane was a man of talents and 
ingenuity. At the commencement of the American Revolu- 
tion they raised him to a station of eminence, to an agency of 
conspicuous importance. He was not temperate in his eleva- 
tion ; his conduct was vain, imprudent, and prodigal. The 
consequence was a recall without further employment. He 
endeavored to persuade the public, perhaps he persuaded him- 
self, that he had been the victim of a party or a faction, with- 
out any fault of his own. The public was not convinced. 
He was soured by his misfortune, and naturally saw the cir- 
cumstances of his country with partial eyes. His passions 
became interested in the ill success of the United States, and 
his feelings betrayed themselves in his conversations and in 
his writings. Hence those verbal accounts given by him in 
France towards the close of our war ; hence those letters 
which he wrote, and which were intercepted and published, 
not without some suspicion of his connivance; hence, in short, 
as I believe, all that conduct at that particular and critical 
period, which had so many effects similar to what treachery 
would have produced, as convinced many Americans that he 
was a traitor, and indeed so many to put him upon a footing 
with Arnold. 

It completed the ruin of his reputation in America, and 
made him so obnoxious, that it is to be presumed he was 
afraid to return home again. He took up his residence in 
England, therefore, and being poor, and irritated more and 
more against his country, he furnished materials to Lord 
Sheffield for the pamphlet which he published, the great 



IQ 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

object of which was to prove in Great Britain that although 
they had been defeated in the armed contest, the means of 
triumph were yet in their hands, and to succeed required only 
that the war should be made entirely commercial, and as such 
continued, though in a military view the peace was concluded. 
That Deane furnished the principal materials for this pamphlet 
is not questioned at this day, though he meant it should be 
secret. For after the fact was discovered, he published an ad- 
dress to the People of America, in order to defend himself and 
remove some of the detestation of him and his conduct, which 
at this time had become universal in that country. In this 
address he denies that he wrote the pamphlet published under 
the name of Lord Sheffield, and appears desirous to persuade 
that nothing in it can be attributed to him. Lord Sheffield 
was believed, and the British Ministry adopted, with regard to 
America, a commercial system which has led them to the 
verge of another war, but which they still think has been 
highly prosperous to them. Deane was certainly its author, 
and one would have thought the Ministry would have rewarded 
him in some form or other. Instead of which, he was barely 
supported for years, in extreme misery, by Lord Sheffield, and, 
most probably, despair resulting from the alternative of starving 
in Europe, or of living upon the charity of his friends in 
America, an object of the public hatred and contempt, without 
having the miserable satisfaction of having his wretchedness 
veiled by obscurity, armed his hands against his own life, and 
he fell a victim to his own weakness, discovering by his life 
and by his death that the temperance and fortitude which re- 
spectively adorn the states of human prosperity and adversity 
were neither of them allotted to him. 1 

24th. Alexander Wilson, of Philadelphia, and Lewis Seebohn, 
of Pyrmont, in Germany, both of the religious society called 
Friends, or Quakers, came this morning to request my inter- 
ference in their behalf, to obtain permission for them to pass 
through the French armies on their way to Hamburg. I ac- 

« From the publication lately made of the letters of George III. to Lord North, 
it appears certain that Deane was more or less in the pay of the government during 
the war. 



I795-] 'IHE MISSION TO HOLLAND. IO o 

cordingly sent to enquire when I could see the French Repre- 
sentatives, but found they were all gone from the Hague. I 
therefore wrote a letter in behalf of these Friends to General 
Moreau, Commander in Chief of the Army of the North, now 
at Utrecht, and solicited of him a passport for them. I recom- 
mended to them to take this road in preference, as it was 
partly on the way to Hamburg. They had brought a letter 
from Mr. Bourne to me, recommending them to me. They 
professed to be grateful for the disposition to serve them mani- 
fested by the Consul and by the Minister. It was gratitude for 
services trivial in themselves, and constituting part of our duty. 
But gratitude is a virtue of particular force among these people, 
and they more frequently carry it to things too minute than 
fail to show it where it is due. Wilson presented me several 
of their religious books and pamphlets ; his errand to Europe 
was religious, and he came as the companion of James Pem- 
berton, who died at Pyrmont on the 30th of January. 

29th. Bielfeld sent me this morning a billet, inviting me to 
go with him and take a parting view of the late Stadtholder's 
library. He called accordingly at eleven. We first went to 
Mr. Euler's, the Librarian. He is a sort of virtuoso, and has 
a number of minute curiosities in his house. Several other 
gentlemen and two ladies were of the party. Mr. Euler, as 
may be supposed, is grievously afflicted and indignant at the 
fate impending upon his charge. The French conquerors, who 
respect all private property, consider that of the Governments 
with which they are at war as the lawful fruits of their victory, 
and this library is to be removed in a few days to Paris. The 
new Government here might silently acquiesce in this measure, 
as they cannot prevent it. They might forbear to bestow their 
applause upon circumstances really humiliating to the nation. 

The library consists of about four thousand volumes. It 
contains most of the voluminous compilations with which 
modern literature and science have been at once burdened and 
adorned. There are few very magnificent editions, and a pro- 
portion remarkably small of English books. We saw no valu- 
able, and only one curious manuscript. It appeared to be a 
monkish collection of legends with a great number of mystical 



IIO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

colored figures. A representation of the late King of Prussia, 
in wax-work, was the only curiosity that drew our attention, 
but it is indifferently executed. 

30th. Received a letter this morning from Alexander Wilson. 
He informs me that General Moreau, after reading my letter, 
immediately gave him and his companion a passport, author- 
izing them to go through any part of the Northern Army 
without hindrance or molestation. They obtained not long 
since a similar passport as to the British Army from General 
Abercrombie. These facilities granted at the same period, by 
the Chiefs of armies contending with fiercest hostility against 
each other, to men whose principles and practice recommend 
universal peace and reciprocal good will to all mankind, show 
the liberal spirit of the age. Why can they not be considered 
by both parties as incentives to the adoption of those pacific 
dispositions which would establish a real fraternity among men ? 
April 3d. Wrote to the Secretary of State, etc. A day of in- 
sipidity, like so many others. Finished the reading of Torcy's 
Memoirs, having before read D'Estrades and D'Avaux. Mr. 
d'Araujo says we must henceforth not look back to anything 
that has ever been done heretofore. There is not, indeed, the 
same advantage in possessing the principles and experience of 
able negotiations, because the present state of opinions and of 
practice requires a different theory. Some use, however, may 
be made of this reading. At least it increases the knowledge 
of history, and gives lessons of analogy which have some use 
for application to every position of affairs among men. 

4th. Dined at the Count de Lowenhielm's with a company 
principally diplomatic. The conversation at table turned upon 
the characters and talents of women. After dinner, Mr. d'Araujo 
had much to say of Rousseau. D'Araujo appears to be the 
character the most fairly and strongly marked among the Min- 
isters now remaining here. He appears to have learning and 
information, and he is not unwilling to make it appear. He 
does it, however, without affectation, and with all due civility. 
Count Lowenhielm spoke in terms of great respect and admira- 
tion of the President of the United States, and of the neutral 
system of policy pursued by the American Government in the 



1795] TIII ' : MISSION TO HOLLAND. HI 

present war. Upon the observation that the Regent of Sweden 
had pursued the same wise policy, he said that it was the ex- 
ample of America which had encouraged it, and the Swedes 
were obliged to the President of the United States for being the 
first to stand forward with that example, which encouraged them 
to imitation, and secured to them such great advantages and 
such exemptions from the common distress in which all the 
nations now at war are involved. 

14th. Walk to Scheveling with Bielfeld. I find him still 
agreeable and entertaining. Our conversation was political, 
literary, and critical, without sliding, as it often does, into the 
bottomless pit of metaphysics. He told me some anecdotes 
about the second King of Prussia, the father of the late Fred- 
erick. He says that his correspondence with the Minister he 
then had at the Hague was never upon subjects of state, but 
consisted simply of commissions for purchases. At one time 
he writes for six pair of worsted stockings ; at another for a 
cook-maid, and requires particularly that she should know how 
to stew prunes. He once ordered a Minister who was taking 
his audience of departure, going upon an Embassy to Sweden, to 
purchase him a pair of leather breeches. Speaking of the late 
King, Bielfeld has not so high an opinion of his character as 
his reputation in the world would inspire. Of the present 
sovereign he says of course but little. His opinion is discov- 
erable in his silence. He told me, however, that the charac- 
ters and representations in the Secret History of Mirabeau are 
all founded in truth, and accurate to admiration — at least as 
the Court was at that time. What it may be now I shall not 
presume to say, said he. He says that the people of Prussia 
are extremely quiet. That a riot or insurrection is a thing 
which never enters the imagination of any of them; and he 
foresees that the Government has before it the prospect of 
a long and uninterrupted tranquillity. For there are but three 
sources from which insurrections and revolutions generally 
proceed. They are, — disorder of the public finances, religious 
persecution, or judicial oppression. Whereas the finances in 
Prussia are in an excellent situation, or at least they have been. 
The present war may have produced some alteration in this 



II2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

respect. All religions are tolerated, and the administration of 
justice is excellent. So that we have no reason to fear turbu- 
lence and rebellion. This theory appears very plausible, but 
it is always in vain to look forward into the history of nations. 
The course of events is so different from everything foreseen, 
that one would think it is one of the professional employments 
of the Fates to baffle all human penetration. 

16th. Dined at Baron Schubart's. Company not thoroughly 
assorted. There was a young French officer, of the name of 
Souven, who amused himself and fatigued the company during 
the whole dinner-time. The officer quartered on Mr. Scholten, 
silent, modest, and unassuming, served entirely to set him off. 
Almost all the company went in the evening to the French 
comedy. The performances were tolerable. Seated next to 
General Dumonceau and to Mr. Brito. The General informed 
me of the peace concluded between France and Prussia. Brito 
promised me the perusal of some English papers he has just 
received. We returned to Baron Schubart's, passed the evening 
and supped. M. Levsen beat me at chess. After supper the 
conversation became romantic and mystical, owing principally 
to the presence of the ladies, Madame Scholten and Madame 
Nederburgh, a beautiful young woman, whose husband is in 
the East Indies. It ended in a discussion upon the common- 
place of Love. Scholten and Spaen are both sensible men, 
and each of them has the opinion so common among men, 
that his genius is universal and extraordinary. Spaen is at the 
same time amiable in his manners, modest and pleasing in his 
address. Scholten values himself much upon his frankness 
and sincerity ; upon his disregard of ceremony, and contempt 
of the little complaisance usual in society. He sees a merit in 
indulging his own habits and his own feelings, while he prides 
himself in having no respect for those of others. He is jealous, 
suspicious, timid, vain, and above all, selfish. This last quality, 
though not peculiar to him, characterizes him best. A dramatic 
writer might copy from him a model of egoism united with a 
good understanding. Spaen and he are both authors, and even 
poets ; so they both of course dogmatized a little ; not without 
warmth, as they differed in their opinions. Scholten's senti- 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. U^ 

merits were such as might be expected in the creed of an old 
woman of the last century — the mystical union of souls, the 
impossibility of a second love, a state of pre-existence, a tute- 
lary angel, &c, &c. Baron Schubart also confessed his belief 
in most of these articles. This gentleman, without pretending 
to so much genius, is very amiable and agreeable in society. 
Benevolence of heart is, he says, the first of all qualities in his 
opinion, and I believe his practice agrees with his theory. It 
was very late when the company broke up. 

1 8th. Unintelligible billet received from Mr. Scholten, on re- 
turning from my usual walk. Refused. Spent the evening, how- 
ever, according to his invitation, at his house. Company nearly 
the same as at Baron Schubart's. Played quadrille. Madame 
Nederburgh lovely, poetical, and pleasant as before. It was 
decided after supper that every person who began to speak 
upon a political subject should pay a pawn. The offence and 
the punishment went round the table; excepting Mr. Euler, 
who escaped, and Mr. Scholten, who made a principle of re- 
fusing to pay. He never plays at pawns. In the course of the 
conversation he affirmed something. His wife asked him to 
say so upon honor. No ; he never pledges his honor upon 
common occasions. In both instances there was some reason, 
but more of character. The amusement of playing pawns is 
puerile, insipid, and cheerless. Nor is it necessary to pledge 
one's honor to trivial circumstances. But neither is it neces- 
sary, or calculated to produce individual or social enjoyment, 
in the ordinary intercourse of convivial society, upon the most 
trivial occasions, and in cases where virtue and vice are equally 
out of the question, to meet every effort to promote mirth, or 
at least pastime, with the quills of a principle. The redemp- 
tion of the pawns terminated, as usual, in saluting the ladies, 
a ceremony from which the persons exempted would have de- 
rived as little satisfaction, though not quite so much pain, as 
was discovered by Mr. Scholten. The next subject of amuse- 
ment was a number of charades and bouts-rimes produced by 
Madame Nederburgh. It was finally agreed that four bouts- 
rimes should be taken, to be filled by each of the gentlemen 
present, and produced on Monday at Madame Nederburgh's, 

VOL. I. — 8 



H A MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

when the ladies should pronounce upon the merit of the tjest. 
These diversions entertained us till two in the morning. This 
is not one of the occasions when "the Heart distrusting asks 
if this be joy." There could be no room for such a question. 

20th. Walk to Scheveling. Was caught in the rain. Even- 
ing and supper at Madame Nederburgh's. The verses on the 
bouts-rimes were produced; and Bielfeld, not having written, 
copied them all, to have them in the same handwriting. After 
supper, Madame Nederburgh gave the palm to a quatrain, of 
which Mr. Scholten appeared to be the author, and Madame 
Scholten to one of Mr. Spaen. Four new words were then 
given to be produced at the next meeting, and some time after 
two we were again dismissed. 

27th. We could not accept the invitation to take the ride 
with our poetical company ; but we passed the evening at 
Baron Schubart's, and the bouts-rimes were again produced 
after supper. The preference, as before, fell upon Messrs. Spaen 
and Scholten, only the ladies changed the object of their re- 
spective votes. The best of the whole collection that I saw 
were of Mr. Spaen, but which he did not insert, and did not 
concur for the palm. The best of those that concurred were 
of Bielfeld, but they did not obtain the merited preference. I 
speak with confidence, because I declined entering the lists this 
time. 

Enquired of Mr. Scholten what books had been written and 
published, containing the best accounts of the Canals and 
Dykes of this country. He said there were a great number, 
in Dutch, French, and Latin; but that an academical disserta- 
tion of the Pensionary Van Bleiswick, de Aggeribus, was one 
of the best. 

JIArv 1st. Went to Amsterdam by the morning post-waggon; 
arrived there between one and two o'clock. After dinner, Mr. 
William Willink and Mr. Hubbard called on me, and informed 
me they had agreed Mr. Hubbard should go to England, there 
to make arrangements relative to the funds of the United States 
received by Mr. Pinckney, and destined for the payment of 
monies which will become due herein June. This plan appears 
to me very difficult of execution, and objectionable in many 



1795] 77// ' ; MISSION TO HOLLAND, u~ 

respects. I mentioned most of the objections, and found them 
decided. Mr. William Willink intimated to me that they con- 
sidered all the responsibility of the business to rest upon them. 
From this determination I endeavored to avert them by urging 
an attempt to the renewal of the instalment. Mr. Willink 
finally declared explicitly that they would not undertake that 
without an express order from me, in writing, to make a sacrifice 
of ten per cent, as a premium for renewal. I answered that 
I should certainly give no such order, and indeed that I 
could give them no orders on the subject. Mr. Willink was 
going immediately into the country, and desired us to dine 
with him there to-morrow, in order to make the necessary 
arrangements. Mr. Bourne called on us, as did Mr. G. W. 
Erving, who came very lately from London, and whom I was 
somewhat surprised to find in this country. 

2d. Went to Haerlem with Mr. Hubbard. Dined at Mr. Wil- 
liam YVillink's country seat, and drank tea at his brother John's. 
The name of the former is Bosch en Hoven ; that of the latter, 
Bosch en Vaart. They are handsome, though not magnificent 
houses, with gardens according to the common custom of the 
country. That of Mr. William Willink cost him, with the 
repairs he found necessary, nearly an hundred thousand guil- 
ders. Its annual expense to him must be of two or three thou- 
sand. It gives him no income whatever. " If there is a luxury," 
said he this day, " it is a country seat." Such is the common 
opinion here, and people who unite the greatest wealth with 
an economy that in any other country would be called par- 
simonious, indulge in this luxury to an excess unknown else- 
where. They generally spend the Saturday and Sunday 
throughout the year at country seats ; the remainder of the 
week in the city, drudging for the accumulation of enormous 
wealth. The gardens have nothing remarkably agreeable ; 
every thing is cut up and fashioned by the rule and square. 
The hot-houses appear to be the most useful part. We saw 
strawberries in their state of full maturity; apricots half ripe, 
and peaches of the size of a walnut. The wall-fruit trees are 
covered every night during the season with double mats of 
reeds and flags. We returned to Amsterdam in the evening, 



n 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

having as an addition to our company a French gentleman 
whom we foun I at Mr. John Willink's. 

6th. Mr. Hubbard called on me this morning very early, 
intending to set out on his voyage to England. Delivered to 
him all the papers I had prepared for him, and he set out. 
Walk in the wood at noon. When I came home I found a 
billet from Mr. N. Van Staphorst enclosing one from Hubbard 
to him, informing him that he was arrested, and Mr. Van Stap- 
horst requesting me to go with him to the Commander of the 
place and obtain his release. I could not go to obtain his re- 
lease from a French military officer; but being desirous to take 
every proper measure in the case, and at least to know the 
cause of his detention, I went immediately to the lodgment of 
Amsterdam. Found Mr. Van Staphorst at dinner, and soon 
after went with him to General Delmas, the present Com- 
mander, recently substituted for Dumonceau. Upon enquiring 
what was the cause of Mr. Hubbard's arrest, the General said 
it was because he was going to England; a thing prohibited 
and therefore suspicious — because he had a passport from the 
States General dated but two days ago, and inspected by the 
Representative Ramel, who had been a fortnight in Paris. Mr. 
Van Staphorst told him that it was because their High Mighti- 
nesses had received several signatures of Ramel's upon blank 
passports for mutual accommodation. Delmas said that he 
knew nothing about that; but the circumstance had been so 
suspicious, and heightened by an attempt to go without having 
presented the passport for his visa, as was necessary, that he 
had thought his duty obliged him to order the arrest, and to 
send the papers that had been found on Mr. Hubbard to the 
General in Chief of the Northern Army. That he could not 
now undo what was done, and the arrest must continue until 
he should receive his answer. From thence Mr. Van Stap- 
horst went to the Commandant of the Police, Soder, in whose 
custody Hubbard was. I told him that, in a case where there 
was a misunderstanding of arrangements agreed on between 
the French Representatives and this Government, my inter- 
ference would obviously be improper, and that I must therefore 
retire. Came home accordingly. In the evening, feeling, how- 



1795] TII E MISSION TO HOLLAND. \ \ - 

ever, very anxious that Hubbard should suffer this treatment 
when employed upon business of the United States, I wrote a 
line to Mr. Van Staphorst again, requesting to know when I 
could sec him. He desired me, in answer, to come immediately 
to the Hall where the States General were assembled, and which 
he could not quit. He there told me that Mr. Hubbard was at 
the Heeren Logement, and that a second express had been 
sent to Utrecht upon the business. Called at the Heeren 
Logement to see Hubbard, and found him with a French 
soldier in his chamber. Visit from Mr. Scholten. Billet rela- 
tive to quartering soldiers in Mr. Greenleafs house. 

8th. Mr. Van Staphorst again sent me word that the Repre- 
sentative Alquier had arrived here with all Hubbard's papers, 
and requesting me again to go with him, at four o'clock, to 
Alquier upon the subject. I called on him at four o'clock, and 
told him that as the reason given by the commanding officer for 
his conduct towards Hubbard originated simply in a mistake in 
arrangements made between the French Representatives and 
the States General, from respect for both parties I should not 
interfere in the matter, and could not therefore go with him. 
On returning home I wrote a card to the Representative Al- 
quier to know when I could see him. It was received from 
my servant by one of the Secretaries, who said he could not 
deliver it immediately, Alquier being very much engaged ; but 
would as soon as possible, and promised an answer for to- 
morrow. A few minutes after, Mr. Hubbard called to take my 
commands for Amsterdam. He had just been delivered, and 
had his pocket-book containing his papers returned to him, the 
seals untouched. He has determined from the first moment to 
return home, and not proceed upon his voyage to England. 

9th. Last evening, it seems, Sieves and Rewbell, two members 
of the Committee of Public Safety of France, arrived here from 
Paris. The Representatives Alquier, Cochon, Richard, and 
Ramel, who had before been here in mission, likewise arrived. 
The General in Chief of the Northern Army came at the same 
time. Brito says the members from the Committee of Public 
Safety have come to do the counterpart of the alliance made 
here by Sir William Temple. He was answered that they 



H8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

would not easily find a De Witt to treat with. The States 
General have, however, appointed a deputation of four members 
to confer with them. 

nth. Card this afternoon to the French Representatives just 
arrived, to know when I could see them — a formality which I 
do not willingly perform, but which is made necessary to me. 

1 3th. At ten went according to appointment to see the Repre- 
sentatives Sieyes and Rewbell. Met Baron Bielfeld going at 
the same time. Conversation with Sieyes of about a quarter 
of an hour. He made a number of questions relative to the 
Treaty signed by Mr. Jay with the British Minister last No- 
vember. The answers he received were in a style similar to 
that of the questions, and terminated with the information that 
the only public article is one which provides that the Treaty 
shall not interfere with any previous engagement of either 
party. 

June nth. Dined at Count Lowenhielm's. Usual diplomatic 
company. The Generals Moreau and Dumonceau with their 
aids. Moreau is among those who have no mean opinion of 
themselves — simple in dress and manners — clever like almost 
all his countrymen, with the dash of vanity which seems to be 
among them as much a principle as it is a passion. Dumon- 
ceau is a Brabanter, and has some modesty. 

July 7th. Dined at the Count's. The French Representative 
Richard, the Generals Moreau, Golowkin, Dumonceau, and 
Macdonald, with the other usual company. The Vicomte de 
Roer and a Citoyen Brule, the former, an aid-de-camp of La 
Fayette, left France with him, and was more fortunate in 
making his escape than his General. Brule is one of the Sec- 
retaries of the Representatives. I had considerable conversa- 
tion with him ; being seated next him at table. We talked 
especially of the French Ministers in America, Genest and Fau- 
chet. He said that he was some time since walking in the 
Tuileries, and met a person who went to America with Fau- 
chet as his Secretary; that on his expressing his surprise on 
finding him there, whom he supposed to be in America, the 
other said to him, " I am come home to tell you that the best 
thing you can do is to call home Fauchet and all the rest of us, 



1795] THE MISSION TO HOLLAND. 



II 9 



and employ Gcnest again ; for he was really worth more than 
all of us put together." He spoke himself well of Genest, as 
they all do at present. He did the same with respect to Fau- 
chet, who, Richard said, was introduced to public affairs too 
young, and had made some very bad bargains for grain. 

1 2th. Visit this morning from Mr. Houghton, of Boston, who 
has some property seized ; having introduced it here in con- 
traband, unknown, as he says, to himself. Claimed my assist- 
ance. 

August 28th. Letter this evening from Mr. Van Son. Informs 
me that Houghton's second petition to the States General is 
rejected. The Empson and Dudley practice of reviving obso- 
lete penalties, and making the penal laws a snare to the 
unwary, seems to be adopted and pursued by the present Gov- 
ernment here. It has been done at least in this instance. An 
old law, which had long been without execution, prohibits the 
importation of foreign broadcloths into this country. The 
penalty is confiscation, and the profit principally for the Fiscal 
of the Admiralty, the official informer. Since the Revolution 
a man by the name of Deutz has been put into the office of 
Fiscal. Greedy, indigent, and rapacious, his first object is to 
hunt for the benefits of confiscations. He laid his hand, therefore, 
upon Houghton's property, which he had brought here upon 
the faith of a long-established practice, which, though con- 
trary to law, had been connived at, or passed without notice, by 
the Government. Upon this ground Houghton presented his 
two petitions. Upon the occasion of the first, I applied to Mr. 
Paulus, President of the Marine Committee, to whom the peti- 
tion had been referred. He assured me that permission would 
be given to carry away the articles. But I found soon after 
that the Marine Committee had sent the petition to Deutz, the 
Fiscal, for his advice. When the party the most deeply inter- 
ested is formally made the judge of his own cause, its issue can 
easily be foreseen. Deutz was applied to by Mr. Bourne in 
favor of Houghton ; he promised he would favor him as 
much as possible, and even to make a report favorable to him. 
Made his report full and decided against him, and then denied 
his own promise to Bourne. The same course was pursued in 



120 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [1795. 



the second petition. The members of the Marine Committee 
promised wonders, but sent the petition to Deutz for advice. 
Deutz, pretending that he had reluctantly followed a rigorous 
duty in his former report, and that he would show his disinter- 
ested benevolence in the second, reported as before. The 
Committee has done the same, and the second petition meets 
with the fate of the first. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. APPOINTMENT TO PORTUGAL. 

The treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay in 1794, after a severe 
struggle, was ultimately accepted by the requisite authorities 
in the United States. The next step was to exchange the 
ratifications. It happened that just at the moment when this 
process became necessary, Mr. Thomas Pinckney, the accredited 
Envoy of America at the Court of Great Britain, was in Spain, 
charged with the duty of negotiating a treaty with that power, 
a labor which occupied him some time, and which he executed 
with success. The United States Government, under these 
circumstances, decided to call upon Mr. Adams to cross the 
Channel, for the purpose of completing this operation. The 
instructions given to him in addition were, to confer further 
with Her Majesty's Minister touching certain matters of inter- 
est, immediately connected with the Treaty, " essential to the 
establishment of the good understanding between the two coun- 
tries" hoped for from that instrument. Mr. Adams proceeded 
to execute this duty at once. The government had assigned 
the twenty-fifth of October as the limit within which he was to 
reach London; and in the event of his failure to get there by 
that time, the duty was to devolve upon the Secretary of Le- 
gation at London, Mr.W. A. Deas. The causes of Mr. Adams's 
detention on the way are fully explained in his diary. He had 
eleven days to spare. The trip consumed twenty-eight. 

In these days of improved communications, it seems sur- 
prising that there could have been such petty annoyances in 
travelling. Yet the effect of them was that on his arrival in 
London the ratifications had been already exchanged by Mr. 
Deas, and so far as related to that proceeding his labors and 

vexations had been all for nought. 

121 



I2 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

It happened, however, that other questions had arisen pend- 
ing the process of ratification, which it had been deemed ex- 
pedient to have settled at the same moment, and to this end 
directions had been given to Mr. Adams further to negotiate 
.with the British authorities. The idea of the peculiar situation 
in which this authority would place him seems not to have 
occurred to the American Administration. The Foreign Sec- 
retary, Lord Grenville, very naturally looked to him as pro- 
vided with the usual diplomatic powers. But these it seems 
clear that he could not assume without a special nomination 
by the President to, and a confirmation by, the Senate in legal 
form. The British Secretary on his side was the more im- 
pelled to recognize him for the reason that the tone and bear- 
ing of Mr. Deas, then acting in the absence of Mr. Pinckney, 
had been regarded so offensive as to preclude any expecta- 
tion of agreeing upon anything with him. Thus followed a 
singular perplexity, approaching the limits of comedy, the one 
side earnestly pressing the performance of all the customary 
forms of accrediting a diplomatic envoy at Court, in order to 
negotiate with him, and the other as resolutely laboring to es- 
cape the assumption of a regular commission, which he could 
not claim without absolutely losing the opportunity to forward 
the important objects which his government had thought fit to 
confide to his care. It is this singular struggle which consti- 
tutes one of the interesting points attending the mission. 

On the 13th of October, 1795, Mr. Adams makes the fol- 
lowing entry in his diary, the course of which is now resumed: 

The Hague, October 13th. — Dined at Baron Schubart's. Ar- 
rived late. The French Representative Richard, the Minister 
Noel, and the usual other company there. The Frenchmen did 
not appear much affected by the late tragical events at Paris. 1 
They appeared to receive more pleasure from the victory than 
affliction from the struggle. Richard said that Paris was a child 
that had beaten its mother and had been whipped for it till it 
fetched blood. Noel said that the issue was fortunate, though 

1 This was the great struggle of the sections of Paris with the Convention, 
ending in their defeat. 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. 12 ^ 

it was to be regretted, considering that French blood only had 
been shed in the contest. 

14th. Received this morning from the Secretary of State 
a letter, dated August 14th, containing orders to repair with- 
out delay to London, where I shall find directions and docu- 
ments for my government. Sent to Rotterdam to enquire 
when the vessel going from thence to England will be ready to 
sail. This business is unpleasant and unpromising, but I have 
no election. 

19th. Preparing to go for England. Went to present my 
brother as Charge des Affaires of the United States, during my 
absence, to the President of the States General, Mr. Kempe- 
naer, to the Greffier, Mr. Quarles, and to the President of the 
Provincial Assembly, Mr. Paulus. Told them I had received 
orders from the Government of the United States to go to 
England to transact some particular business ; that I expected 
my absence would be short, and that the relative situation of 
that country and this rendered it proper for me to assure them 
that my business there is of a nature which cannot in the re- 
motest degree affect the friendship and harmony so happily 
subsisting between this Republic and that of the United States. 
Mr. Kempenaer appeared perfectly satisfied. Mr. Paulus said 
that they could have no possible suspicion of the friendly dis- 
position of the United States, who might have business to 
transact in England, inducing the Government to order me 
there. Mr. Quarles requested me to send a note in writing to 
him, which he would present to their High Mightinesses, as 
the Charge des Affaires must be recognized by the Registers 
of the States General to authorize him to act, if there should 
be occasion. That the request for a passport which I made 
might also be mentioned in the note, whereupon it would be 
immediately expedited, and their High Mightinesses would 
then direct their agent, Slicher, to come and wish me a good 
voyage. That he should advise me likewise to mention the 
assurance I had given him that the object of my journey is 
such as cannot affect the interests of this Republic unfavor- 
ably. He added that it was particularly necessary at the pres- 
ent time to adhere to forms, and that the States General never 



I2 4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

deliberated but upon what is in writing. I replied that I did 
not wish their High Mightinesses to deliberate upon this cir- 
cumstance. I was desirous merely to give them information 
of the orders I had received from the American Government, 
and of my consequent intention to obey them. That upon any 
ordinary occasion it would have been unnecessary for me to 
add the information of the place of my destination, but under 
the present circumstances I thought it would be proper to 
give it, in order to prevent any erroneous suspicions, which I 
hoped, however, would not have arisen. That I had under- 
stood the presentation of a Charge des Affaires was usually 
merely verbal, and had not, therefore* given notice of it by a 
note. But that I was sincerely disposed to comply with all the 
customary forms, and to accommodate myself entirely to his 
wishes on this occasion. I would, therefore, immediately write 
the note and send it to him, as I accordingly did. He men- 
tioned the instance of the Count Lowenhielm, the Swedish 
Minister, who recently went away on a temporary leave of ab- 
sence, and had presented Mr. Reuterswerd by a written note. 

Met Mr. Middleton walking in the wood. Conversing with 
him on the subject of Mr. Quarles's observations, he told me 
that a simple verbal presentation of a Charge des Affaires had 
always been customary here, but that Count Lowenhielm had 
written a note to present Mr. Reuterswerd, in consequence of 
the same formal scruple of Mr. Quarks that he had made to 
me. 

20th. Mr. Slicher, the agent of the States General, called on 
me this morning, by order of their High Mightinesses, to wish 
me a good voyage; so that Mr. Quarles's solicitude will be 
removed. Slicher said that my departure for England just at 
this time was a subject of observation, but that the friendly 
assurances contained in my note had given entire satisfaction 
on that point. Repeated those assurances to him, adding that 
I had thereby followed the express directions of the American 
Government, although, at the time when my orders were trans- 
mitted, the state of affairs between England and this Republic 
was less hostile than it has become. He said that I should 
probably see many of his countrymen in England, as numbers 



1795-3 A M^SION TO GREAT BRITAIN. I2 5 

of the viatadorcs of the former regencies were there. I an- 
swered him that I should probably see very few persons of that 
description. 

Visited the French Minister Plenipotentiary Noel, 1 at the 
palace of the old court. Found him very polite and rational. 
Told him where I was going. He said I should be in England 
at an interesting period, as the Parliament are soon to assemble, 
and, from the present aspect of affairs, probably some negotia- 
tions would be at least commenced during the approaching 
winter. Told him I hoped they would terminate in an early 
Peace ; that I understood the French Nation wished for 
Peace, that the British Nation must desire it, and that my 
country, although its neutrality had procured for it several 
advantages from the war, was also interested in the return of 
Peace, and sincerely wished for it; that our situation, from 
various circumstances, had been repeatedly very embarrassing 
and constantly dangerous during the contest, and that for 
our own sakes, as well as for that of our friends, we ardently 
wished for the restoration of tranquillity. 

He said he readily conceived that between the opposite in- 
terests and claims of France and Britain we must have been 
frequently perplexed, and in danger of being drawn into the 
war; which might perhaps have been the intention of the 
British Government, but which he was happy that we had 
avoided, for he was persuaded that our neutrality had been 
much more advantageous to France than would have been our 
participation with her in the war. "As it is," said he, "the 
English have intercepted part of the provisions sent from 
America for us ; but far the greater part has arrived, and has 
been of the greatest service to us, as that is the principal article 
we have needed ; but had you been at war with Britain, that 
resource must have failed us altogether." 

I replied that the neutral state had the more readily been 
embraced by us, and the more strenuously supported, as we 
had received the assurance of the French Government that it 

1 Francois Joseph Michel Noel, originally a litterateur, who, like many others of 
his class, rose out of the vortex of the Revolution and filled a place in public life 
with credit and distinction. He survived until 1831. 



I2 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

was conformable to their wishes, and as we had found it oper- 
ating so favorably to their interests ; that the treatment of the 
British had been such as could not fail to excite our resent- 
ment, and that our friendship for France was unabated. But 
that the course of a fair and rigorous neutrality of conduct 
had been pursued, as the most proper effectually to reconcile 
our own interests and those of our friends; and we believed 
that, at the close of the war, Great Britain would find she 
had met with an enemy able to cope with all the force she had 
at command, and that an additional foe was quite unnecessary 
for her. 

He said that America was becoming everyday more interest- 
ing as an object of observation ; that he had a great desire of 
seeing that country, and should have been very glad to have 
gone there. I replied that from the manner in which some of 
the Representatives of the People had spoken to me of the 
Citizen Adet, who is lately gone out, I had formed a very 
advantageous opinion of him ; but that I should have been 
much gratified had he himself been employed on that mission. 
(The compliment was too bare-bosomed, but was sincere. I 
shall never know how to make a proper compliment.) He 
said that the Egyptian traveller, Volney, was now in America, 
and he was in hopes that his tour through that country would 
produce general and useful information concerning it ; that 
he was a man of talents and of judgment, a friend of Liberty, 
but far from having given in to the excesses that had so un- 
happily prevailed. 

2 1 st. At half-past eight took the boat for Delft, and before 
one arrived at Rotterdam. 

Helvoet Sluys, 26th. — The weather has been this day very 
moderate, but the wind does not vary. Regret very much at 
present that I took so few books with me. The only interest- 
ing one I have has now been read through, and leaves me to 
the complete empire of tediousness. The delay of contrary 
winds or calms on a voyage is one trial of temper. I have 
often endured it, and generally found it more powerful than 
my patience or my philosophy. There are no books that can 
engage my attention and abridge the length of time on such 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. l2 y 

occasions, except well-written novels. Let me remember in 
future to be provided with a better stock. Walked this fore- 
noon with Mr. Allis ; wrote a little. Endeavored to read 
some poetry ; unable to give my attention to it. Anxiously 
looking, twenty times an hour, to all the vanes and weather- 
cocks within sight: always find them inflexibly fixed in the 
same position. Set out on this voyage determined not to fret 
at the opposition of the elements. Have hitherto kept my 
resolution with tolerable success, but am strongly apprehensive 
that I shall finally surrender. 

27th. My complaint against the elements was idle and un- 
just. They might have been ever so indulgent, and I should 
be no farther advanced. The vessel got down this day, and at 
about three in the afternoon the wind became entirely fair. 
About the same time received a letter from my brother, inform- 
ing me that my fellow-travellers will not be ready till this 
evening, and have not expected to be. Soon after, Captain 
Graham came in, being in a great hurry to get away, but 
assuring us that the wind was contrary and that we could not 
sail this afternoon. Several of his passengers were unprovided 
with the proper passports, and the Captain of the ship of war 
in the harbor, by whom they were to be inspected, declared 
that he could not permit them to depart without papers more 
regular. There were a number of passes from the municipal- 
ity, which, being in Latin, the Captain could not understand ; 
besides which, he did not admit the right of the municipality 
to give such papers. After a deal of chaffering and disputing, 
the only remedy for the persons whose papers were deficient 
was to go immediately to the Hague and procure their pass- 
ports there. It was supposed they might go, do their business, 
and return by three o'clock to-morrow afternoon. But the fear 
then was that the vessel would go in the morning and leave 
them. Our Captain declared he could not wait an hour in 
case the wind should be fair in the morning ; but after a great 
deal of persuasion, as a special favor, consented to promise to 
wait till three o'clock in the afternoon; but upon the condition, 
which he actually extorted from them, that they should give 
him a note in writing promising to pay him one hundred florins 



I2 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

for his complaisance. The gentlemen asked my consent to 
this delay, which I gave the more willingly because I was per- 
suaded that there was no intention whatever to go in the morn- 
ing. Mr. Allis and the Captain appear to disagree very much 
together. But either they really agree, or the Captain has a 
strong check upon Allis, for the consent of the latter to stay 
was not even asked, at least publicly, and he did not oppose it. 
The cargo is Allis's, and he has been here five or six days, 
apparently very anxious to get off. What can induce him to 
submit so tamely to a delay which, if he be really ready to go, 
must be so adverse to his interests ? My brother's letter gave 
me the first suspicion that they have been jointly practising 
an imposition upon me and all the other passengers, which 
every observation I have since made confirms. But I have 
further reason to believe that Allis is under the harrow, and 
obliged to comply with the Captain's will much against his 
own, and without daring to take even the consolation of com- 
plaining. But hitherto I have as to him only suspicions. 

The passengers had not been gone an hour when the Cap- 
tain declared he should sail early in the morning, provided the 
wind should be fair. Not believing it to be his real intention, 
I only concluded that he meant to continue the deception upon 
me, and cared not what my opinion of his regard for his word 
was, when other persons were the objects of his promises. 

If indignation were of any avail in this case, I should in- 
dulge it. If by quitting this man I could procure another 
conveyance without a very considerable delay, or if by that 
delay I should dispose only of my own time, I would send 
immediately for my trunks and leave him. I believe the Cap- 
tain capable of anything that he dares, and regret having any 
concern whatever with him. Yet on the whole I think the 
chance of arrival with him as rather earlier than it would be 
for me to take another course, and, in that consideration, still 
intend to proceed. I have made a point of preserving an ap- 
pearance of tranquillity, and even of indifference, as to the 
delays I now meet with ; but I have taken some pleasure in 
raising a suspicion in their minds that their tricks to deceive 
me are detected, and at the same time of leaving that suspicion 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. l2 g 

in suspense. Allis, I believe, feels it. But the Captain, being 
of blunter sensibility, still thinks me as susceptible to his 
manoeuvres as ever. 

28th. Wind perfectly fair the whole day. Jn the morning 
Allis and the Captain made great pretensions of sailing imme- 
diately, but, as the forenoon spent, I was at length told that we 
should have certainly sailed, but the Captain of the man-of- 
war would not permit the vessel to sail until three o'clock in 
the afternoon, because the promise to wait had been made in 
his presence. I observed that I was glad of it, as it would ap- 
pear to me a scandalous transaction to sail before three, after 
promising upon valuable consideration to wait till then. The 
gentlemen arrived with their passports before two, and the 
wind continued fair. Our contrivers were then reduced to a 
hard shift for a pretext, and it was accordingly a very clumsy 
one. The ship was got under sail, and a boat was procured, in 
which Allis and I went on board. He was told, before we went 
into the boat, that the Pilot was not on board the ship, but in- 
sisted that he certainly must be, and was at the same time in a 
great hurry to get off without making any further enquiry for 
the Pilot. Just before we reached the ship the anchor was 
dropped, and Allis began to lament and exclaim, as much as if 
it had been unexpected to him. The Pilot was indeed not on 
board. It was too late in the afternoon to go out. The weather 
looked dirty, and various other reasons equally substantial 
were given for waiting till to-morrow morning. I had nothing 
to do but to return on shore. The Captain asked Allis to send 
him a boat on board to-morrow morning at seven or eight 
o'clock. He asked him also whether he had got, he knew 
zuhat ? Allis said he did not know what he meant, but finally 
said, "Oh! you mean the Dutch money. Yes; I have it in 
my desk." The probability seems that Allis is waiting for 
something, and pays the Captain as well his demurrage as 
whatever passengers he may lose by it. This is the only thing 
that I can conjecture, which gives a consistency to all the 
various appearances. This is a trial of temper very different 
from that of an opposite wind mentioned the other day. " I 
tax not you, ye elements, with unkindness." We submit to the 
VOL. 1. — 9 



l-?0 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

opposition of the seasons, if with reluctance, at least without 
mortification ; but to be made the sport of our fellow-creatures 
and to see no lemedy, to perceive the artifices of fraud without 
the means to discover its track, or to detect its purpose, is hu- 
miliating as well as vexatious. I am very strongly inclined to 
extricate myself entirely from their hands, and to look out for 
another opportunity to perform my voyage. Another of the 
sweets of sea travelling is, that I have got into a public house 
where English temper and Jewish exaction are combined with 
very bad fare for my entertainment ; and in this place there is 
no better house. So that I have at once to deal with fraud, 
insolence, surliness, extortion, and ill-nature. Can it be sur- 
prising if the effect of all this should be to ruffle somewhat of 
one's serenity? Yet I still submit without much idle com- 
plaint. The want of anything to do, or rather the inability of 
application to anything important, in this situation, lengthens 
the details of my Journal, and gives them their character. I 
have always found that in travelling the only object to which I 
can devote much attention is the end of my journey, and every 
thing that tends to advance or retard that magnifies to an inter- 
esting point. Human nature, too, and human qualities, are 
proper subjects of observation in every situation. The knowl- 
edge of mankind is principally to be collected from the ordinary 
occurrences of life, and among those we meet in our ordinary 
intercourse. One of the faculties that appears to me the most 
essential to the formation of an extraordinary character, is that 
of commanding the application of his own mind. It is a talent 
without which there may be genius, judgment, virtue, and 
every thing necessary to make valuable, or even good and 
great men, but which is sometimes of itself a substitute for all 
these, and in its effects has perhaps a more extensive operation 
than them all. A man who does not possess it may be per- 
suaded that ambition does not become him, and that, whatever 
his lot in life may be, fortun c will always be the principal ingre- 
dient in his success. 

29th. It was, as far as can be judged at this time, a very 
fortunate circumstance that we did not yesterday proceed to 
sea when we went on board the ship. In the course of the 



I795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. j^i 

night a violent gale of wind from the south west arose, and 
continued almost the whole of this day. We probably could 
not have kept the channel with it, and must have been at best 
driven into the North Sea. Towards evening the weather 
cleared up, and the wind came round again about south. Mr. 
Allis saw this evening a meteor shoot from east to west, an 
infallible sign, he says, that the wind will be easterly to-morrow. 
But he is, I think, not yet ready to go, and appears to have 
something pressing upon his mind. From various circum- 
stances I am led to suspect that the Captain does not intend 
really to go to England, and I have thought best this day to 
prepare at least to procure another conveyance. 

30th. If the weather of yesterday furnished a consolation for 
my detention and for the mortification of suffering an impo- 
sition, that of the last night contributed to the punishment of 
those who pass'd it upon me. When the ship was so in- 
geniously got under weigh, as evidence of an intention to depart 
which did not exist, she came out from a part of the harbor 
that was safe and protected from the violence of the winds, and 
when the anchor was again dropped with so little attention to 
save appearance, it was in a place where she was more exposed 
to the force of a storm. The gale which raged so much yester- 
day was again renewed in the night with redoubled fury, and 
in the midst of it the ship parted a cable, and drifted for some 
time. She took no other damage, however, except the loss of 
an anchor. The storm continued extremely violent, and this 
morning all the passengers, who have been nearly eight days 
on board, came on shore. Allis's infallible sign failed as usual 
for the first time. The gale has been more excessive now than 
at any time before, and invariable from the south west. 

November 4th. Saw Captain Furnald and agreed conditionally 
to take passage with him. He is not so bad to appearance as 
Graham, but he could not help dissimulating, if not disguising 
facts to me. Is it impossible to deal with a trading man with- 
out being deceived or imposed on ? 

9th. After various little difficulties and delays, we at length 
got on board the Schooner Aurora, Captain Furnald, at about 
ten this morning. The wind, though favorable, was very light 



!32 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

through the day, and the Pilot left us at about four in the after- 
noon. The wind soon after freshened, and carried us between 
five and six miles an hour all night. 

ioth. Slept not a wink, for the motion of the vessel. A'fter 
mistaking a ship's light for that of the South Foreland, the land 
was really made just before sunrise. At about nine in the 
morning Mr. Skinner and myself with my servant went into the 
boat which brought out the Pilot to the vessel. The wind 
being very fresh and the sea high, it was about an hour before 
we landed at Margate. On landing we found several persons 
very curious about the late actions near the Rhine, and who 
found it very extraordinary that we should not give them all 
the details concerning them. There are five mails from Ham- 
burg due, and it appears that other people have been as much 
prevented, by the late gales and contrary winds, from reaching 
this island as myself. The gales have been still more violent 
here than we found them in Holland. Great numbers of 
vessels on the coast, as well as trees and houses on the land, 
have suffered by them. We stopped at Michener's York Hotel 
till after dinner, and at about five set out in a stage coach to 
Canterbury. From thence we proceeded at about nine in the 
evening with two or three new travelling companions, and, 
after a second sleepless night, arrived early in the morning at 
London. 

nth. At about eight in the morning I descended from the 
stage coach and went to Osborne's Hotel, Adelphi Buildings, in 
the Strand. After breakfasting, went immediately to Great Cum- 
berland Place, No. I, to see Mr. Deas; but found he was not at 
home. Went from thence to Mr. Johnson's, the Consul, and 
delivered him my letters. Found Col. Trumbull with him. Sent 
my Letters that were to be transmitted. Dined with Mr. Trum- 
bull, at Johnson's. As I was going out, Mr. Deas delivered 
me a couple of letters from America — one of them from Mr- 
Pickering, who was exercising the office of Secretary of State, 
vacant by Mr. Randolph's resignation on the 17th of August. 

1 2th. Called, as by agreement, on Mr. Deas, at eleven this 
morning, and he delivered me the rest of the papers from 
America for me. But the first part of my business here was to 



1 795-1 A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^3 

exchange the ratifications of the Treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay, 
which Mr. Deas was ordered to execute in case I should not 
arrive here before the 20th of October, and which he has ac- 
cordingly done. The instructions for the remainder of my 
destined duties have not yet arrived, so that I am left with 
nothing to do on my mission here. 

16th. Meeting of the inhabitants of Westminster in the Palace 
Yard before Westminster Hall. Attended it. Saw, but did 
not hear, Mr. Fox, the Duke of Bedford, and Mr. Grey speak 
to the people. There appeared to me to be about ten thousand 
people present. Few of them could hear their Orators, but 
they waved their hats and shouted with as much fervor as if 
they really knew what they applauded. Stayed, however, not 
long. 

19th. Mr. W. Vaughan breakfasted with me. Conversation 
with him on the subject of commercial principles. He says 
there is some disposition to become more liberal in the Cabinet 
here, which I something scruple. He has a plan for making a 
wet dock in London, which is connected with another for making 
the metropolis and several other cities in this kingdom free 
ports. But the time to effect this is not yet come. He intro- 
duced to me a Mr. Leslie, an American artist of much ingenuity, 
who showed us a watch of his own construction, which moves 
without a chain. Mr. Deas and Mr. Bayard called at about 
twelve. Went with them and Mr. Vaughan to see Mr. Ireland, 
and saw several of his manuscripts which, he assures, have been 
lately discovered, and are original from the hand of Shake- 
spear. They are deeds, billets, a love-letter to Anna Hatherwaye 
with a lock of hair, designs done with a pen, a fair copy of 
Lear, three or four sheets of a Hamlet, and a tragedy, hitherto 
unknown, of Vortigern and Rowena. The last we did not see, 
as unfortunately some company game, to which Mr. Ireland was 
obliged to attend, and we accordingly took our leave. The 
marks of authenticity borne by the manuscripts are very con- 
siderable, but this matter will be like to occasion as great a 
literary controversy as the supposed poems of Rowley and 
those of Ossian have done They will be published in the 
course of a few weeks ; and the play of Vortigern is to appear 



!34 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

upon the Drury Lane stage. Sheridan has given five hundred 
pounds for it. 1 

A Mr. Bush, who was introduced to me there, invited me to 
attend the Common Hall that is to be held to-morrow in the 
City, to instruct their Representatives in Parliament to vote 
against two bills now pending there, and commonly called 
Convention Bills. I accepted the invitation. This Mr. Bush 
appears to be strong on the opposition party. He made in- 
quiries concerning General Washington (the President), and 
said he had many a time drank his health when it was almost 
treason. 

Went to the Drury Lane Theatre in the evening. Shake- 
spear's attractions are irresistible. Twelfth Night was per- 
formed, with the Spanish Barber. Mrs. Jordan acted the part 
of Viola, very much to my satisfaction. The whole perform- 
ance was very good. 

20th. Mr. Bush called on me this morning between eleven and 
twelve. Went with him to the Guild Hall, and were introduced 
by Mr. Rix, the town Clerk, to a seat in one of the galleries. 
The Hall was very full; there must have been about three 
thousand persons present. The motion to instruct the mem- 
bers in Parliament to vote against the bills was made by Alder- 
man Combe, and was supported by Alderman Pickett and Mr. 
W. Smith, both members of Parliament. It was opposed by 
Alderman Lushington, a member for the City, and by Sir Ben- 
jamin Hammett. The speakers in favor of the motion were 
heard with much favor, and those against it with as little. 
The vote to instruct was carried by a great majority. The 
meeting, upon the whole, was as orderly as such a numerous 
collection of people possibly can be on an occasion highly in- 
teresting to their feelings. But such large assemblies are very 
unfit for a cool and impartial deliberation upon important pub- 
lic measures. They may serve to ascertain the popular feelings, 
but they are no places for the triumph of reason. 

At Drury Lane Theatre again, to see Lear, which was fol- 
lowed by the Village Lawyer, taken from the French Avocat 

1 This literary imposture, like that of Chatterton, has passed into oblivion with 
later generations, but it attracted much interest in its time. 



I795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. x -,r 

Patelin. Kemble did tolerable justice to the part of the old 
King, and Mrs. Siddons could not do otherwise to that of 
Cordelia. But in this instance, as in several others, I have 
found that the stage does not support the merit of Shakespear 
in the closet. The acted play is very different from the printed 
one. An amour between Edgar, the legitimate son of Gloster, 
and Cordelia, is introduced. And the catastrophe closes with 
their marriage, with the gift of the kingdom to them by Lear, 
to whom it is restored for that purpose. If this termination be 
less pathetic than that of the original, it is more pleasing to 
those who are fond of poetical retribution. But the sentiment 
of filial affection, the great characteristic of Cordelia, is weak- 
ened by this mixture, and would be almost effaced by it if the 
love intrigue were not extremely frigid. Mrs. Siddons makes 
it completely so, and, although this may be considered as a 
proof of her judgment, the character designed by the poet evi- 
dently suffers from the alteration. The Village Lawyer is a 
mere piece of buffoonery, in which the powers of Bannister 
Junr., Swett, and Wathen combine to produce a good laugh. 
I sat next to a gentleman who entertained me with some ob- 
servations upon the players. The part of Gloster in the Tragedy, 
he told me, was acted by Packer, one of those who are always 
called respectable performers. " That is a way they have," said 
he, " of half damning a man. It means more than indifferent, 
and less than good. An actor had better be any thing than 
respectable." 

2 ist. Mr. Bayard 1 called on me, and invited me to go with 
him and attend the session of the Lords Commissioners of 
Appeals, which I did. They sit in the Cock-pit at the Treas- 
ury. Lord Mansfield, of old times notorious to Americans by 
the name of Stormont, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas, Eyre, the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, McDon- 
ald, the Master of the Rolls, Sir R. P. Arden, Sir William 
Winne, and two or three others, were present as Commission- 
ers. One cause I heard argued — the case of the Molly, Cap- 

i Mr. Bayard had been sent to England with a Commission as agent in the cases 
of appeal growing out of the capture of certain American vessels, under the Orders 
in Council affecting the interests of neutral Powers. 



!36 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

tain Young. It was affirmed by the counsel on one part, and 
admitted on the other, that in this case the property of the 
cargo was sworn by Mr. Fenwick, the American Consul at 
Bordeaux, to be altogether American, though in fact it was 
entirely French. What sort of officers have the American 
Government placed in their Consular employments ! 

22d. Went with Dr. Edwards, and dined with Sir John Sin- 
clair. The company were a Captain Sinclair, Dr. Percy, Mr. 
Boswell (not Peter's Bozzy), Sir John McPherson, a Count 
Rumford, heretofore known by the name of Sir Benjamin 
Thompson, Mr. Marshall, and Arthur Young, both writers on 
subjects of Agriculture, and one or two other gentlemen un- 
known to me. The convivial hours of scientific men are known 
to be little more instructive than those of humbler pretensions. 
The conversation was miscellaneous : philosophical, political, 
and literary. We had some bread made of one-third rice and 
two-thirds wheat, which I could not have distinguished from fine 
wheat bread; some water impregnated with fixed air, &c. The 
Count, who wears a blue ribband, and who has doubtless 
made philosophy a means for his advancement, told me that 
he had met with nothing that flattered him more than his hav- 
ing been elected as a member of the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences ; that he had taken it as a very honorable 
testimony of the liberality of Americans, and that he retained 
a great regard and attachment to that country. He mentioned 
his design of applying a sum of money, the interest of which 
is to be made an annual premium to be given by the American 
Academy for the best paper on the subject of Light and Heat. 
He has applied a similar sum for the same purpose to the 
Royal Society, of which he is also a member. Sir John 
McPherson and Dr. Percy made a number of very sensible 
observations. They both declared their opinion that the manu- 
scripts of Mr. Ireland were unquestionably genuine, but they 
both expressed an opinion as to the composition of the small 
papers, and particularly of that called the profession of faith, 
higher than I think they deserve. Mr. Young appeared neither 
more nor less than a thick-and-thin political partisan, and such 
as might be expected from his last pamphlet — somewhat dog- 



1795] A MISSION TO GREAT RRITAIN. j^y 

matical, and impatient of contradiction. Sir John Sinclair him- 
self was more politically reserved. He told me that his labors 
for the improvement of the fleece were in a great measure 
merged in the more extensive pursuits of the Board of Agri- 
culture, instituted under the authority and direction of Parlia- 
ment by his persevering exertions. His plan was indeed, he 
said, so extensive that he had not ventured to let it be entirely 
known, but had added the words "and internal improvement" 
to those of " Board of Agriculture," in soliciting the Institution, 
so that the utmost latitude might be possessed for making 
every species of improvement. 

24th. Called on Dr. Edwards, by agreement, between twelve 
and one, to go with him and visit Mr. West. He proposed to me 
to take the same opportunity to visit Mr. Morris 1 at the York 
Hotel, Covent Garden, which we did accordingly. This is the 
first time I ever saw that gentleman, who conversed with as 
much freedom as from his character I expected. We had not 
been there a quarter of an hour when he asked me whether I 
was accredited to this Court, or was only a Commissioner with 
full powers. The simple truth is sometimes as well prepared 
to meet such questions as the most artificial refinement. I an- 
swered, " Neither." He then observed that he had not asked 
the question from an impertinent curiosity, but because he 
meant, in case my mission was, as had been reported, to nego- 
tiate upon the subject of the Treaty, to offer me any assistance 
in point of information that might be in his power ; for which 
I thanked him. "You will find, I think," said he, "the Cabinet 
here well disposed to America." "Do you think so, sir?" 
" Yes, they are so now. They hesitate a little upon the de- 
pendence they can place on the American Government. They 
see such a display of opposition to it from the anti-federal 
faction there, that they are afraid of losing the neutrality of 
America." " But," said I, " are they really so much attached 

1 Gouverneur Morris, already referred to in an earlier note (p. 62) as having been 
recalled from his mission to France for having too deeply involved himself in 
French politics. One of the most interesting figures in the early period of the 
Federal government. It is much to be regretted that the biography, prepared 
from original papers by Mr. Sparks, falls so short of giving the full history and 
character of the man. 



^8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

to our neutrality? Would they not prefer to see that oppo- 
sition which you speak of kept up in all its strength ? Do 
they not wish to have the American Government shackled and 
harassed, or driven into measures which shall exhibit to the 
world the wavering, unsteady policy of weakness ?" " Not at 
present. There was a time, just after their capture of Toulon, 
when they thought themselves about to carry everything be- 
fore them, when they were backed by all Europe ; then, I sup- 
pose, they did intend to bring on a quarrel with America. 
They imagined they could compass any point they pleased. 
But they have found they cannot go through with that dra- 
gooning system ; they have made their arrangements upon a 
plan that comprehends the neutrality of the United States, and 
are anxious that it should be preserved. As to their personal 
dispositions, the King himself is not, and never will be, cordi- 
ally well inclined towards the Americans; because the greater 
their prosperity may be, the more poignant all his feelings of 
regret will be at his having lost so fine an estate. The Prince 
of Wales partakes of the same sentiments. In the Council 
there is a great division. Among its members there are sev- 
eral who were the most active and inveterate advisers of the 
American war. They hate us completely. But the others are 
very differently disposed. Mr. Pitt, indeed, is not to be de- 
pended on. He varies according to circumstances ; but Lord 
Grenville is another sort of man. Those among the Ministers 
of other nations who know him best tell me that he does not 
indeed always say all that he does mean, but that reliance may 
be placed upon all that he does say." 

The conversation here took another turn. Mr. Morris, by his 
own account, must be a very able negotiator, for he gave us to 
understand that while he was our Minister in France, he knew 
every thing that was going forward. It was his business to know 
it, he said, and he told us a number of curious anecdotes con- 
nected with the history of the Revolution in France — of the 
papers he had seen before the ioth of August, 1792, handed to 
him by the King, and which contained the whole plan of the 
insurrection that took place on that day. " It was," he says, 
" planned by the Brissotine party at the Jacobins, but they were 



179*-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. i^g 

cowards, and would have shrunk back from the execution, but 
for Westermann, whom they had employed to command their 
Marseillese. He was the greatest mauvais snjct in France, and 
when he had once got fairly engaged in that business not only 
refused to retreat, but threatened the others to denounce them if 
they flinched. And yet," says Mr. Morris, "those people were 
not ashamed of declaring the King guilty of an insurrection 
against the People on that same ioth of August. If, however, 
he had at the time of his trial put himself into the hands of 
the other party, they would have spared his life." Chabot 
himself said so to a person who told it to Mr. Morris. They 
would not have suffered the trial, by asserting the principle 
that the Convention had no right to try him. But, as he com- 
mitted himself to the Brissotines, Chabot said that he must die, 
that being the only way to get at them. 

From this account of a first conversation it appears that Mr. 
Morris is sufficiently communicative for a man of such ex- 
traordinary diplomatic penetration. The time of secrecy as to 
these affairs is indeed passed. But this parade of sagacity, 
these lessons in the theory and practice of negotiation so freely 
given and so liberally tendered — what do they mean ? 

We found Mr. West almost laid up with the gout. Made 
our visit to him quite short. 

25th. Went in the morning to see Mr. Hammond, who, since 
his return from America, is an undersecretary of State in Lord 
Grenville's office. He received me with politeness ; told me 
he was very glad I had arrived, and wished I had come 
sooner. He said the Ministers, and particularly Lord Gren- 
ville, were perfectly well disposed to promote the harmony 
between the two countries, and I told him that my own dispo- 
sition was entirely reciprocal. He mentioned the circumstances 
of Mr. Randolph's resignation, nearly as I had heard them 
before, and showed me part of a newspaper containing Mr. 
Randolph's letter to the President on the subject, dated from 
Germantown, September 19, and promising an explanation 
of the matter: as also another piece of newspaper, containing 
General Wayne's Treaty with the Indians. They were both 
marked "in No. 8" with a pen; a reference, as I conclude, to 



!40 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

the letter from Mr. Bond that contained them. Mr. Hammond 
said that he did not mean to speak officially, but as an old friend 
and acquaintance: they were not satisfied here with Mr. Deas; 
his letters were too violent and fractious, and expressed in irri- 
tating terms. I told him that, being very desirous that every 
thing of that kind should be avoided, I had learnt with great 
pain the proceedings of some officers in the British service in 
America, on which I understood that Mr. Deas had already 
made representations. " Yes," he said, " he regretted them 
much ; that I might be assured the Ministers would not coun- 
tenance any misbehavior of the officers ; that they could not, 
however, condemn a man unheard. The Lords of the Ad- 
miralty had already issued orders to Captain Home, in order 
to hear what he had to say in his exculpation, and another 
Vice- Consul had been appointed in the room of Mr. Moore." 
I told him that I had heard with much pleasure that a frigate 
had been dispatched with the orders for making the arrange- 
ments relative to the delivery of the posts. He said, " Yes, 
those orders had been dispatched ; but, unfortunately, the frigate 
had met with such a violent gale of wind that she had been 
obliged to throw her guns overboard and to return into port; 
that duplicates, however, had been sent out." This circum- 
stance of the frigate's returning is too remarkable not to be 
noticed. 

26th. Received a card from Mr. Hammond, requesting me 
to call at his office to-morrow, Lord Grenville being desirous 
to have some conversation with me on business relating to the 
Treaty. 

27th. Called, as requested, at Mr. Hammond's office, and he 
introduced me to Lord Grenville. My conversation with him 
will be related in my letters to the Secretary of State. Some 
conversation afterwards with Mr. Hammond. He told me he 
wished Mr. Pinckney would go home, and that I might be 
placed here in his stead. Enquired whether I should not like 
it as well as being at the Hague. Answered him that this was 
a pleasant country, and that personally I thought the residence 
here would be very agreeable. He asked if I had any news 
from America. I answered, none. He said he heard the demo- 



1795] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. j^j 

crats were quite cock-a-zvhoop — talked very high of impeaching 
the President, &c. " There always will be in all countries," 
said I, " people that will talk very high. You find that in this 
country, as well as elsewhere." "Ay," said he, "the best way 
is to let them talk." " Your Government seem to think other- 
wise," I might have said; but I preferred saying nothing, not 
choosing to imitate his conduct. He suggested that the place 
of ordinary Minister here would be very agreeable to me, be- 
cause it would be succeeding to the station my father had 
held. "That may do very well for you," said I. "You may 
be an aristocrat with propriety ; but in my country, you know, 
there is nothing hereditary in public offices." 

This foolish talk of his is very intelligible. " I do see to the 
bottom of this Justice Shallow ;" but he knows not me. If I 
stay here any time, he will learn to be not quite so fond, nor 
yet quite so impertinent. 

28th. The situation of our public affairs lays a weight of 
anxiety on my mind that is really distressing. The idea of 
what may depend on my conduct at this moment, not only as 
respects myself, but as it concerns the interests of my country, 
is oppressive. But the die is cast. Here I must be, spite of 
my wishes and endeavors. My duty to the best of my judg- 
ment shall be done; the result must be left to Providence. 

30th. Called on Mr. Deas this forenoon. He read me a pas- 
sage of a letter from Mr. Pinckney, from which it appears that 
he is to be expected here by Christmas. His arrival will be a 
great relief to me. Wrote to him, requesting he would expe- 
dite his march as much as possible. Evening at Drury Lane 
by mistake. Lee's Alexander. Great show of representation, 
but an indifferent Tragedy. Kemble and Mrs. Siddons per- 
formed well, as usual. Peeping Tom of Coventry, the farce, 
humorous enough. 

December 1st. Called on Mr. Hammond at noon, as by ap- 
pointment, and had considerable conversation with him. But 
his tone with me begins already to be different from what it was 
at first. His conversation was still such as if he thought my 
personal feelings or sentiments upon political subjects would 
have a tendency to make me complaisant. Asked if I had 



I4 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIXCY ADAMS. [December, 

heard any thing of the President's intending to resign. Told 
him no. He said he had heard such was his determination at 
the expiration of his present term, in case there should be no 
troubles in the country. What sort of a soul does this man 
suppose I have ? He talked about the Virginians, the South- 
ern People, the democrats ; but I let him know that I consider 
them all in no other light than as Americans. They never 
shall be considered by me in any other light in treating with for- 
eigners. He spoke again of Mr. Randolph's resignation. I told 
him I had seen an account from which, if true, it appeared clearly 
that there was nothing like bribery in the case. He said that 
the President, Mr. Wolcott, Mr. Pickering, and Mr. Bradford 
were all fully convinced that Randolph was guilty. I replied that, 
not having seen the papers, I could not be a competent judge 
of the facts ; that the public officers he mentioned might think 
there had been improper conduct without believing there was 
any corruption. He said he had not the smallest doubt but 
Randolph was bribed by the French ; and added, he had better 
be quiet on that score ; for if he presumed to deny it, other 
proof, amounting to demonstration, would be produced. He 
said he would show me the next time I should see him the 
intercepted dispatches of Fauchet. But he promised me the 
same, thing once before, and I question whether he means I 
shall see them. He says they abuse all the federalists very 
much, particularly my father (another address to my feelings, 
fruitless like all the rest); that they speak highly of Mifflin, 
Dallas, Jefferson, Madison, and Giles; of Randolph and Mon- 
roe. "Perhaps," said I, "this was because he thought those 
persons not much your friends." " Ah," said he, " but they are 
your enemies more than they are ours." " No, indeed," said I, 
"they are not in my opinion our enemies." " Yes, they hate 
us," said he, " because they owe us money, and they hate you 
because you will not let them owe you money." " Why, they 
do not owe you much money now ; that matter is in a great 
measure settled already. The old debts are principally dis- 
charged ; and as to all recent ones, we pay your people to ad- 
miration. Indeed, we are the best customers you have. What 
an immense quantity of your manufactures we take! You 



1 795.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. 143 

swallow up almost all the balance of trade in our favor that 
we get from every other quarter, and your trade with us sup- 
plies you principally with the means of supporting your war." 
" But we are the best customers you have, too. We take more 
articles of yours than anybody else does." "Ay, but in no 
proportion to what you sell us, and the balance in your favor 
is prodigious." " True, there is a balance, to be sure; but as to 
the old debts, you are mistaken in supposing them small. When 
that Commission comes to sit, you will find they amount to 
three or four millions sterling." " Well, the Commission will 
see; but I have no idea that the amount will be comparable to 
the sum you suggest." 

This conversation was far from pleasant to him. At least it 
was very different from what he was doubtless disposed that I 
should hold. 

He came at last to a language not less intelligible, but rather 
more of unqualified acid. "Well, said he, " Congress is to 
meet next Monday; and if they do not pass such laws as will 
be necessary to give effect to the Treaty, we shall be all at sea 
again. And I hear that the Anti-federalists threaten very high." 
This perpetual allusion to an American party, and affectation 
of an idea that our sense of injuries from this country is con- 
fined to that party alone, at length gave me an opportunity to 
touch another string. " Why," said I, " all Governments have 
their opposition, who find fault with every thing. Who has 
better reason to know that than you have in this country ? 
But in America, you know, opposition speaks in a louder voice 
than anywhere else. Every thing comes out. We have no 
lurking disaffection that works in secret and is not seen ; 
nothing that rankles at the heart while the face wears a smile. 
So that a very trifling opposition naturally makes a great 
show." He felt evidently the force of this, and must have 
meant I should know it; for he immediately after enquired 
how I liked the two bills now pending in Parliament. 1 " They 

1 An act for the safety and preservation of His Majesty's person and govern- 
ment against treasonable and seditious practices. 

An act for the more effectual preventing seditious mutinies and assemblages. 
The immediate cause for these measures was the treatment of the King, George 



144 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

are matters," said I, " of internal arrangement, concerning 
which I have a right scarcely to form an opinion, in my present 
situation. But they are as objects of speculation measures 
highly interesting, and therefore have attracted much of my 
attention." " Well," said he, " as soon as you have been pre- 
sented at Court, I will go and introduce you, and you can then 
take a place under the galleries, in the House of Commons, 
with the Foreign Ministers ; and I will introduce you, too, at 
the House of Lords, where you can stand behind the throne." 
"Apropos of being presented at Court," said I, " My Lord 
Grenville has appointed me to-morrow at eleven o'clock to call 
on him here, and I understood from him that to-morrow would 
be the day for my presentation. I have to enquire of you the 
forms of that ceremony, concerning which I am ignorant." 
" No forms," said he, " in particular. After the Levee you 
will go into the King's closet. Sir Clement Cottrell will go 
before you, and Lord Grenville behind you, or something like, 
and then you will deliver your credentials. That is all." " They 
are under a flying seal. Should they be delivered sealed, or 
open?" "Sealed." "The style of address to the King?" 
" Sir, and your Majesty. But did Lord Grenville appoint you 
to-morrow at eleven o'clock? Are you sure it was not at 
one?" "Yes. It was certainly eleven he said." " Well, then 
you had better come in undress at eleven, or a quarter after 
eleven, and you can return to dress before the Levee time." 

N.B. He spoke again of the bills pending in Parliament. 
" I like them very well," said he. " They are necessary to 
preserve the Government; and that is very important to this 
country, and to yours too ; for, 'depend upon it, if this Govern- 
ment falls, your Government will fall too!' " Oh," said I, " you 
joke when you talk of a Government so very strong as yours 
falling." " No," said he, " it is not very strong ; it is weak, too 
weak, and we must strengthen it. But these measures will 
have that effect." " Indeed," said I, " I agree with you that 
the present period is momentous ; that it looks gloomy to the 
whole civilized world. But you know there is the point where 

the Third, on his way to the House of Lords, by a mob assembled at the instigation 
of popular meetings held by societies organized in London. 



1795] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIiV. j^ 

the two opinions part ; and while some think that Governments 
ought to be strengthened, others believe they require weaken- 
ing. Now, this is a serious question." " Ah, yes, that indeed !" 
said he. He asked if I had any credentials for the Queen. I 
told him, " No ; that the object of my appointment is special, 
— merely to transact a particular business; that my character 
here was entirely informal, and the American Government had 
not therefore supposed the credentials to the Queen necessary, 
or perhaps proper. And indeed," I added, " it will only be 
during Mr. Pinckney's absence that I have to transact this 
business, and he is now expected back in a very few days, as 
he has already left Madrid." At this moment I fixed my eye 
specially upon his countenance, and saw clearly what I ex- 
pected. " What !" said he, "has he signed the Treaty?" "I 
know not," said I, " how he has finished his business, but he 
has done there." It had its effect. His mortification at the 
news was clearly perceptible. It is indeed true that, in saying 
Mr. Pinckney had finished in Spain, my tone was such as I 
believe satisfied Hammond that the circumstance was pleasing 
to me. But the news was equally displeasing to him. We 
both view it as very important, in two points of light. The 
prospect of one enemy the less for America, and one more for 
Britain, did not escape either of us. I then added, that I was 
glad Mr. Pinckney was returning, and observed I thought him 
well disposed towards them here, and towards the peace of the 
two nations. He made no answer, but mentioned Mr. Deas. 
I said I believed him well disposed, too; that nothing I had 
ever heard him say indicated otherwise. He said that a few 
days before my arrival he (Hammond) had written to Mr. 
Deas, requesting to see him on business; but that he neither 
came, nor returned an answer. " But I imagine," said he, " that 
he did not receive my letter." I said that must certainly be 
the case, for I was sure Mr. Deas would not do any thing dis- 
respectful to him. Such was the substance of our conversation. 
But there were two other things he said that I could not 
but remark. He enquired how I liked my lodgings in the 
Adelphi, and whether I did not find them too noisy. I said no. 
He said I had better take lodgings in some of the private houses 

VOL. I. — IO 



146 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

of the neighborhood. Does he wish to have facilities for 
keeping spies over me, greater than my present lodgings give 
him, or does he fear I sJiall change, and, by advising me to it, 
think it will deter me from changing? He likewise enquired 
whether I had been at Drury Lane Theatre. Told him yes ; I 
was there last evening. He asked me whether I did not think 
it the handsomest play-house I had ever seen, and particularly 
superior to any in Paris. Told him it was certainly a very fine 
house. " Well," said he, " when you write to your father, you 
will please to give my compliments to him, and you can tell 
him that our Theatres now are equal to those of France." " Oh, 
yes," said I, " I can tell him that in your opinion they are much 
superior." 

Hammond is a man of intrigue. His question, whether Mr. 
Pinckney had signed the Treaty in Spain, implies at least that 
he knew there was a Treaty to sign. His question on the sub- 
ject of my having been at Drury Lane was probably suggested 
by some previous information he had received. Mr. Pinckney's 
letter to Mr. Deas, received yesterday, came by post. My 
letter to my mother mentioned my having been at Drury Lane. 
I sent it last Sunday to the New York Coffee House. Had not 
Hammond seen them both? 

2d. While I was with Mr. Hammond yesterday, a card was 
delivered to him from Mr. Deas, which he showed me with an 
expressive smile. It proposed that Deas should (this day, I 
think) introduce Mr. Bayard to Hammond, and requested to 
know whether Lord Grenville would present him (Deas) at the 
Queen's drawing-room next week. I had told both Deas and 
Bayard that Lord Grenville had appointed me this day at eleven 
o'clock to see him at his office. Bayard then, at his house on 
Sunday, asked me to introduce him to Lord Grenville, from 
which, considering the request somewhat singular, I excused 
myself, on the true ground, that, from what Lord Grenville had 
said to me, I expected that he meant the visit of this day in 
order to present me at the Levee. This morning just after 
breakfast Mr. Bayard came in, and told me he was going to 
call on Mr. Hammond, and repeated his request that I would 
introduce him to Lord Grenville. I then told him explicitly 



I795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. j^y 

that I would not do that without first asking that Minister's 
consent. He then said that Mr. Jay would have introduced 
him ; but, upon looking into his authority from the American 
Government, he thought it would first be necessary that he 
should write over for a regular Commission and proper papers. 
" Now, all these," said he, " I have received." " Have you re- 
ceived a Commission ?" said I. " No, not indeed a Commission," 
he answered, " but the letters from the officers of the Govern- 
ment." I thought a reply to this unnecessary. He then re- 
peated what he had already said to me several times, that 
several causes, involving very important points, would come 
immediately before the Lords Commissioners of Appeals, and 
that he wished the Ministry here might know the sense of the 
American Government upon those points, and particularly that 
they had received the intelligence of the decision last summer 
in the case of the Betsey, Captain Furlong, with disappointment 
and chagrin, — the very words used, he said, in the Secretary of 
State's Letter to him on the subject. I told him that at his 
desire I would introduce the subject in conversation with Lord 
Grenville, if I could with any propriety; but if I did, it must 
be in an indirect manner, for I had no instructions whatever to 
warrant me in doing it, and any ministerial insinuation hinting 
at the interference of Government in judicial causes was an 
extremely delicate point. " Why," said he, " they say here 
that the Government does influence the Courts of Admiralty; 
and they pretend that it is just and politic that, in cases 
where national questions are to be determined, the Government 
should influence the decisions according to circumstances." " I 
know not," said I, " who says that, but in the printed report, 
upon the subject of their difference with the late King of 
Prussia, on the occasion when he seized the Silesia loan, such 
an influence is expressly disclaimed from the highest authority, 
and that dispute was Of exactly the same nature with ours at 
present, and refers to the same sort of Courts." 

It appears to me that Bayard means to throw upon my 
shoulders the odium in America that will arise from decisions 
in the Court of Appeals here, contrary to our wishes. He will 
perhaps succeed. But I must confine myself to the perform- 



I4 3 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

ance of my duty, and be prepared for any thing that may result 
from it. 

Dr. Romayne came and invited me to dine with him this 
day. Mr. Copley called, and I had some interesting conversa- 
tion with him. But interesting matter crowds upon me with 
such accumulation, that I must limit my details to business 
relating to my mission. He, too, enquired my opinion of the 
Bills pending in Parliament. I told him that, situated as I was, 
I could only say that, [{such a remedy be necessary, the wound 
must be very deep indeed. 

Went to Lord Grenville's office between eleven and twelve. 
He was not there, nor had been there this morning. At the 
same instant when I arrived there, Mr. Deas and Mr. Bayard 
alighted, on their visit to Mr. Hammond. Their carriage imme- 
diately preceded mine at the door. We all went into his apart- 
ment together. I enquired for Lord Grenville. Was told he 
had not yet come in. Hammond asked if Sir William Scott 
was not to meet me at the office. Told him I. understood 
from Lord Grenville that he was. Soon after, Bayard said, he 
rather thought Sir William Scott would not be there this day, 
for he knew him to be engaged on business before the Lords 
Commissioners. Deas and Bayard, after a short visit and no 
material conversation, went away. I stayed myself, waiting for 
Lord Grenville, until one o'clock, but had no conversation with 
Hammond, who was busy writing, and gave me a newspaper 
to read. At length somebody came in, and I withdrew, re- 
questing Mr. Hammond, as soon as Lord Grenville should 
come in, to let me know whether he meant to see me this day, 
and, if not, at what other time. I then came home, and, be- 
tween two and three, received a card from Hammond, informing 
me that Lord Grenville was much concerned that his appoint- 
ment with me had entirely escaped his recollection ; that he 
would see me, however, on Friday at twelve o'clock, with Sir W. 
Scott; that he had not yet had an opportunity of taking the 
King's pleasure with respect to my presenting my credentials 
this day, and that therefore that ceremony will be deferred 
until this day week. 

This escape of Lord Grenville's recollection is a little odd, 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. j^q 

under all the circumstances. The excuse thus chosen deserves 
some attention. But patience ! patience ! 

3d. Breakfasted with Dr. Edwards, and conversed with him 
again in great confidence. I hope it will not be betrayed. I 
believe it will not. I am sure he was suspicious of me. Whether 
his suspicions were removed or not I cannot say. Time will 
show. He is sensible and judicious. His fears that Morris 
would get hold of me are very gratuitous; but his management 
to guard against it shows considerable skill and knowledge of 
the human heart. I told him this day that Morris would never 
have one tittle of my confidence relative to the business on 
which I am now here; and that I should as soon think of 
asking the advice of Mr. Pitt or Lord Grenville upon what I 
may do, as his. 

He said he was extremely glad to hear me say so, and then 
opened upon Morris's character without mercy. This gradual 
progression from the first simple innuendo to the most unlimited 
severity has been tolerably well conducted; and if the final object 
had not been gained even before he first began, I do not know 
but it could have been obtained by this negotiation. Edwards 
has given me some, and not an inconsiderable, confidence in 
return ; such, indeed, that I could not prudently commit it to 
paper. It must therefore remain upon my mind only. I told 
him that he would oblige me by retaining on his memory, as 
much as would be convenient, all the conversation that passed 
between Morris and myself the day when he was present, which 
was the only time that I had ever seen him. He said he would. 
His great fear of Morris's influence must have a French origin. 

4th. Called at Lord Grenville's office at twelve o'clock, and 
had a conversation with him of almost three hours' length. 
My letters to the Secretary of State will contain the details. 

Inasmuch as the letter here referred to appears to furnish 
the first indication of Mr. Adams's aptitude for the collisions of 
diplomatic life, it seems not inappropriate to place the substance 
of it in this immediate connection. The persons mentioned 
here with whom he had to deal are too well known in history 
to need much explanation. Mr. Pitt, at this time prime minister, 



!C MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

having discovered that Lord Chancellor Thurlow, whom he had 
selected as the chief support of his policy in the House of 
Lords, was not to be relied upon, had been compelled to look 
for a substitute whom he could more fully trust. It was 
essential that this person should be fully able to cope with 
the great influence which Lord Thurlow had acquired in that 
body. Failing to find him among the existing peers, he de- 
termined upon the transfer of the youngest of the Grenvilles, 
the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, then a member of the Com- 
mons, to the upper house, under the title of Lord Grenville, by 
which he is well known in later history. It was with this 
nobleman that Mr. Adams held the conversation reported in 
this letter. The Advocate-General here referred to, then Sir 
William Scott, has since gained greater fame as the eminent 
judge, Lord Stowell. 

J. Q. Adams to the Secretary of State. 

• London, December 5, 1795. 

Sir: — 

I saw yesterday Lord Grenville at his office, and had a 
lengthy conversation with him upon subjects connected with the 
object of my mission here, and upon those concerning which 
your instructions had previously been executed by Mr. Deas. 

I found Sir William Scott, the Advocate General, with him. 
The point first discussed was that concerning the cases proposed 
to be settled by compromise. This matter being, however, still 
unsettled, I shall reserve for a separate letter an account of 
whatever relates to it. 

The Advocate General having withdrawn, the compensation 
to the Commissioners was mentioned, and I told his Lordship 
that upon further reflection I had been confirmed in the opinion 
that my authority from the American Government would not 
permit me to make any discrimination in the pay of the several 
members of the same commission. * * * 

I then observed there was a subject concerning which I had 
no instructions, nor indeed any communication, from the 
Government of the United States, but concerning which I had 
reason to believe the sensations in America were so strong- that 



1 795-1 A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. j 5 r 

I felt myself in duty bound to suggest them, as indeed I had 
been required to do by the agent of American claims, who had 
received the sentiments of our Government on the subject. 
That I understood there were several cases now pending before 
the Lords Commissioners of Appeals which involved in their 
decision certain points of national concern, upon which I should 
be happy to have some conversation with him, and that a 
decision had taken place during the course of the last summer 
which I believed, when made known in America, had occasioned 
disappointment and chagrin; that the ground upon which I 
had understood the condemnation had taken place, was the 
transient residence of one of the parties in the island of Guada- 
loupe ; that there were indeed other incidental points, which I 
had been, however, informed had been given up or not insisted 
on upon the appeal, but that on the facts of the case as they 
were known to the American Government, there was no legal 
principle upon which they conceived that property liable to 
condemnation; that upon the occasion of the trial of that case, 
one point had arisen, upon which, if I was rightly informed, one 
of the Lords Commissioners had observed that some under- 
standing between the two countries might be advisable, and 
that my own wish to prevent the irritation that must be oc- 
casioned by decisions so unfavorable to the interests, and so 
adverse to the opinions, of my country, induced me to desire 
every possible occasion to discuss the points upon which a 
difference of opinion between the two nations might subsist. 

He said that he would cheerfully enter upon any such dis- 
cussion ; that the Government of the country never interfered 
in judicial proceedings to influence the decision ; but that there 
might be agreements upon such or such principle of the law 
of Nations, which agreements would be considered as rules to 
guide the decrees. 

Several of these points upon which interesting questions now 
depend were mentioned, but not much dwelt upon. I thought 
it sufficient at this time to introduce the subject, which may be 
a very extensive one, and which is wholly disconnected with 
any instructions I have hitherto received. 

I then came to points upon which I had been honored with 



152 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 



your orders, and said that the instructions of the American 
Government relative to the further matter which I should submit 
to his consideration, having been executed already by Mr. Deas, 
it was perhaps less necessary for me to enter largely upon the 
business than it might otherwise have been; but that as these 
concerns had now devolved upon me, I thought it essential to 
the discharge of my duty to notice what had been specially 
recommended to my attention. That the President of the 
United States had been informed of numerous captures having 
been made, during the course of the last summer, of American 
vessels laden with provisions, in consequence of an Order said 
to have been issued under his Majesty's authority, and I was 
directed to enquire into the existence of such an Order. He 
said that he would direct Mr. Hammond in the course of a 
very few days to send me a copy of that Order ; that a copy of 
it had been sent, to be communicated to the American Gov- 
ernment in America with suitable explanations, but that the 
manner in which Mr. Deas had thought proper to execute his 
instructions was such that he (Lord Grenville) chose to have 
no communication with him on the subject. He then added 
that the Treaty admitted by implication that there are cases in 
which provisions and other articles not generally contraband 
may become so, and stipulated that until the two countries 
should agree on this subject their respective conduct towards 
each other shall be regulated by the existing law of Nations ; 
that he believed there was not a single writer upon the law of 
Nations who did not lay down the principle that provisions 
may become contraband, and that the known passage of Vattel, 
a modern and judicious writer, who upon the subject of National 
Law had taken the indulgent side, and might be considered as 
a protestant of political doctrines, expressly stated that provisions 
may be liable to capture with indemnity, when the distress of 
the enemy is such for the want of them that it becomes a mean 
of reducing them, or of procuring an advantageous peace; 
that, besides, it is equally clear, that vessels may be detained 
upon suspicion of their having on board property belonging to 
the enemy of the captor, by the Treaty and by the existing law 
of Nations. Now, the Order only directs a capture when both 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^3 

the circumstances concur ; that is, when the vessels are laden 
with provisions and when there is any suspicion of enemy's 
property. It does not therefore go to the extent that it might 
without any violation of right. 

" With respect to the Treaty," said I, "my instructions ex- 
pressly command me to say that its ratification must not be 
construed into an admission of the legality of the Order. As to 
the principle stated by your Lordship as being laid down by 
Vattel, it could not be applicable in the present case, even if 
admitted, unless there were also an admission of fact. That 
is, that his Majesty's enemies were so distressed for want of 
provisions, that they were susceptible of being reduced by the 
capture of neutral vessels carrying provisions to them. This 
point I do not wish to discuss with you. As to the suspicion 
of having enemy's property on board, even supposing that 
could justify detention, it could justify nothing more, and in 
this case there is much more. There is taking property from 
its owners against their will, and giving them a supposed in- 
demnity equally without their will." 

" But," said he, " it is customary in the Courts of Admiralty, 
whenever articles perishable in their nature must be endangered 
by the detention necessary until the determination of the cause 
for which they were taken, to sell the articles under a decree of 
the Court, and pay the proceeds to the party." " Even that," said 
I, "differs essentially from taking a man's property, and paying 
him according to your own estimation. A sale is attended with 
competition, and, where an article is in demand, will produce a 
price." " I believe," said he, " it is very well understood that the 
payments for the provisions that have been brought in were 
more advantageous to the merchants than a sale would have 
been." I thought it unnecessary to urge this point any further. 
The answer to the last observation is very obvious, but it had 
run aside from the position of a right to detain on suspicion, 
or any consequence deducible from it. 

As the principle of this Order (I resumed) is not admitted 
by the American Government, considerations of its peculiar 
inconvenience to the United States and their citizens form but 
a secondary ground of objection. Provisions are among the 



154 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 



most valuable articles of our export trade. They are indeed 
more valuable, proportionally speaking, to us than to any other 
commercial nation. A restraint therefore upon the freedom of 
this trade by external power has a more extensive operation 
upon our interests than upon those of any others, and it has 
the appearance of being specially pointed against us. For 
however general the expressions in which the Order is couched 
may be, as comprehending all neutral nations, yet if, in the 
nature of things, it can operate only against one, it must be 
understood to have had an application only to that nation. 
Besides this, if my information be accurate, the same rule of 
indemnity has in the cases of the late captures been allowed 
to the neutral proprietors of all the several nations. Now, the 
same per centum upon a cargo coming from Hamburg might 
afford a very handsome profit, and coming from Philadelphia 
would give scarcely any at all ; as in estimating the rate of profit 
on any given capital, the time during which it is employed 
forms an essential ingredient. A vessel from Hamburg to 
France might perform ten or a dozen voyages to and fro in 
the course of a year. From America the average would not 
amount to more than two. The same rule, therefore, produces 
very different effects upon circumstances which Nature has 
made so different. These observations are made not as admit- 
ting that any indemnity whatever could obtain our assent to the 
legality of captures, but in order to show the character of the 
Order itself, by the partial and unequal effects that it necessarily 
produces. 

He said that it would be shown, by the accounts of the sums 
paid or to be paid by this Government for those provisions, that 
the American vessels brought in amounted to quite a small 
proportion of the whole ; that the Order had in fact operated 
much more upon the nations up the Baltic than upon the 
United States, and that it was really intended that it should ; 
that he would direct that the amount of the accounts should 
be shown me; and as to the rates of indemnity, he appeared in 
some measure to admit the reason of the observation I had 
made, but said that it was qualified by the circumstance of the 
great difference in the freights. 



1 795.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. 155 

The next particular of your instructions to which I adverted, 
was the stipulation in the second article of the Treaty, for the 
delivery of the posts, and the previous measures provided to 
be taken to effect the evacuation. I told him I was ordered to 
urge for the immediate performance of that engagement. He 
said that the orders had been made for the purpose, and he 
believed they had been sent out. " But," said he, " it cannot be 
surprising if, upon seeing in what manner the Treaty has been 
received in America, and the opposition which it has met and 
still meets there, we should think it necessary to be upon our 
guard. If, upon the meeting of Congress, a difficulty should 
be raised and prevail against passing the laws which may be 
necessary to give effect to certain Articles of the Treaty, it can- 
not be expected that we should be willing to perform on our 
side without performance on the other." I then replied that I 
could not undertake to say beforehand what the Congress of 
the United States in any instance would think proper to do. 
But I had not the smallest doubt, and I believed this Govern- 
ment had no reason to doubt, but that the United States would 
faithfully perform all their engagements. That with respect to 
the opposition advanced against the Treaty, its appearance, I 
had reason to believe from good authority, was more formi- 
dable than its reality ; that it was the nature of opposition to 
any public measure in that country to be bold, open, public, 
industrious, and active ; that it was even more so there than 
elsewhere, and arose from the principle of liberty, upon which 
the Government was founded ; that, upon an occasion of such 
universal interest as that Treaty, opposition was very natural, 
and its ordinary character might derive from the importance of 
the subject an unusual degree of apparent energy, and it would 
show itself in its utmost extent, which was further magnified by 
a view of it at this distance. He said he could readily believe 
it, and that the force of the observation upon the character of 
opposition would be understood and acknowledged with pecu- 
liar conviction by Englishmen. 

I then added, " I am thoroughly convinced that the en- 
gagements of the American Government will be punctually dis- 
charged, and I hope most sincerely that if on either side of the 



£1-6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

water there are persons really desirous to revive the causes 
of former differences, or to generate occasions for new ones, 
persons who wish to accumulate irritations, which the inter- 
est of both nations would entirely remove, and to instigate a 
failure on their own side as a provocation to the other, their 
views may be entirely frustrated." He then repeated that 
he believed the orders for the evacuation of the posts had been 
sent out. 

After saying thus much upon the matters relating to the 
Treaty, I observed that there were two new aggressions, on 
the part of officers in his Majesty's service, which it was my 
duty to recall to his Lordship's recollection. A memorial on 
the subject had been presented by Mr. Deas, and he had sent 
the document by which the facts were substantiated. It 
remained only for me to repeat the demand of reparation for 
what was considered by the American Government as an out- 
rageous violation of their territorial jurisdiction, and as being 
highly aggravated by an attack upon a foreign Minister entitled 
to all the protection which the laws of Nations could give to 
such a character. That the instance was indeed of such a 
complexion that the President had thought proper to revoke 
the exequatur of Mr. Moore, his Majesty's Vice Consul at 
Rhode Island, who appeared to have co-operated in the offence 
to such a degree as made it proper for the American Govern- 
ment to do itself justice as far as concerned him. 

He said that immediately upon receiving information of the 
charge against Captain Home, an order had been issued by the 
Lords of the Admiralty to him for the purpose of hearing what 
he should have to say in his justification ; that he could assure 
me no officer in his Majesty's service would ever be counte- 
nanced in such acts as the violation of a friendly nation's terri- 
torial rights, aggravated by an injury to the privileged character 
of a foreign Minister. He mentioned this the rather, because, 
although no representations on the affair had yet been received 
from Captain Home himself, he had reason to suppose, from 
other statements which he had seen, that the violation of terri- 
tory would be denied by the Captain, who would maintain that 
the transaction took place at such a distance from the American 



1 795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^y 

coast as took it altogether out of the territorial jurisdiction of 
the United States. I told him that the determination of this 
Government, or the evidence upon which they might found it, 
was not a subject for my consideration. I should only remark, 
from a personal knowledge of the place where the event 
occurred, and of the points from and to which the packet was 
going, that the pretence that the fact happened upon the high 
seas out of our jurisdiction, if raised, would, in my opinion, be 
disproved by the simple local relation of the places. 

" With respect to the case of Mr. Moore," said Lord Gren- 
ville, " that is a little different. An express stipulation of the 
Treaty gives each of the two Governments the right of dismiss- 
ing the consuls of the other for such reasons as itself thinks 
proper. Whether the reason be good or bad, it is the mere 
exercise of a right reserved, upon which the other Government 
has nothing to say. So that the President, if he pleased, might 
dismiss a man because he took a dislike to his face, and we should 
have no right to object against it. I have, therefore, taken his 
Majesty's pleasure for appointing a person in the place of Mr. 
Moore, and it is a matter upon which no question can arise. 
But if, to go any further, my opinion is asked in this case, I can 
have no hesitation in saying that I think Mr. Moore has been 
a little hastily dealt with. That the mere circumstance of his 
sending a letter from Captain Home to the Governor of Rhode 
Island did not merit such pointed severity. For, however 
offensive the letter might be, he sent it at the express requi- 
sition of Captain Home, which he could not refuse, Captain 
Home being in his Majesty's service an officer so vastly supe- 
rior in rank to himself." 

"My orders were," said I, "to explain the reasons upon 
which this act of the President was grounded, and to observe 
that it was not only because Mr. Moore sent the insulting letter 
to the Governor of Rhode Island, but because his presence on 
board the Africa, at the time when the other outrage was com- 
mitted, gave strong ground for suspicion that he was accessory 
to that. These reasons were deemed sufficient by the President. 
He trusts they will be so by this Government. And you may 
be assured that no trivial cause, nor any such reason as the 



! 58 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

President's taking a dislike to a mail s face, would induce him to 
the removal of any one." 

" No, no," said he, " I was not speaking officially, and only 
meant, in giving you my opinion, to put an extreme case to 
show my idea of the principle. 

"Respecting the other case, the same orders have been issued 
from the Admiralty, to the Captain of the Hermione, in order 
to know what he can say for his justification." 

" I am directed on this occasion," said I, " to urge that more 
pointed orders may be given, to prevent the repetition of this 
evil. It is a great evil, and is continually recurring. I may add 
that it is of a nature extremely calculated to produce irritation 
and resentment. It couples insult with injury in a manner 
which naturally makes not only the sufferers, but numbers of 
their fellow citizens, think it intolerable. The Government of 
the United States, for these reasons, wish that some equitable 
agreement on the subject may put an end to complaints to 
which they cannot be inattentive." 

He said they were very willing to make such an agreement 
as might result from a fair and candid discussion of the subject. 
That he had already had, when Mr. Jay was here, much con- 
versation with him upon it, and that it was then understood to 
be one of the points reserved for future consideration. The 
question involved in it was on both sides difficult. For in- 
stance, if a sailor belonging to one of the King's ships stationed 
on the American coast, should desert and run away from his 
ship, it could not be supposed that he thereby changed his 
allegiance or acquired a right to the protection of the United 
States as an American citizen. On the other hand, all those 
who, before the war, were inhabitants of America, and had 
continued to be so, wherever born, were doubtless to be con- 
sidered as American citizens and entitled to protection. That 
between these two extreme points there was great variety of 
gradations, and it must be a delicate thing on both sides to fix 
the line of demarcation ; that in the particular instance of the 
settlers, &c, within the posts to be evacuated, the Treaty had 
ascertained the proceedings whereby every individual might 
make and declare his election, and he should cheerfully attend 



1795] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^g 

to any observations that might occur to me on the view of the 
subject as a general question. 

In the relation that is now before you, Sir, it has been en- 
deavored to give you the substance of every thing that was said 
on either side, and a verbal accuracy has been preserved as far 
as it could be retained in memory. 

The proposal for discriminating between the Commissioners 
in the article of compensation left me only the alternative of 
consenting to the highest sums or creating a further delay of 
four or five months. It was doubtless made with that inten- 
tion, and affords a specimen of the style of negotiation which 
it may be expected will be pursued. That delay, at least as to 
the performance of their engagements, is a real object which 
this Government have in view, may be collected from various 
concurring circumstances. As to the evacuation of the posts, 
it will be observed that the intention of making that depend 
upon what shall be done by Congress at their meeting respect- 
ing the Treaty was clearly avowed, and although a belief was 
professed that the orders were already sent out, yet it is evi- 
dent from the whole that was said on that head, taken to- 
gether, either that no such orders have been sent, or that they 
are made conditional, to be executed or not according to cir- 
cumstances. This belief of the principal Secretary of State, 
upon such a point as the present, is itself a ground of suspicion 
that his creed is not in this respect entirely conformable to his 
knowledge. Mr. Deas was at first expressly told that the 
orders were sent out. I was told the same thing by Mr. Ham- 
mond the first time of my seeing him here; and now, my 
Lord Grenville only believes them gone. 

The attempt at argument in support of the Order for taking 
vessels laden with provisions will be appreciated by the Presi- 
dent at its proper value. It was such as made it unnecessary 
to contest the principles : a mere denial of their application 
sufficed. The indifference and readiness with which such rea- 
sons are advanced may serve to show the degree of stress which 
is laid upon the reason of their conduct, and what proportion 
it bears to their conviction that it must in truth rest upon their 
sense of poiver. 



t6o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

This Order has been revoked, and will not be revived so long 
as the costs of their captures will evidently amount higher than 
their value to the captors. This circumstance supplied the 
principal or only motive for its removal ; and when it shall no 
longer exist, the expectation that any consideration of justice, 
humanity, or neutral rights will prevent its revival for so much 
as an hour, would be as little warranted by present probability 
as by past experience. 

In the case of Captain Home's violence and outrage, it seems 
that a pretence for bearing him out is assumed already, before 
any species of defence has been received from himself; and as 
to that of Mr. Moore, the words underscored in the above re- 
lation were expressly used. The disposition of mind which 
they discover shall remain without comment from me, and I 
shall only permit myself to add, that by repeating distinctly 
some of those words, it was meant to show that they had not 
passed unnoticed, and that by saying no further, sensations 
were suppressed which, if indulged, would have retorted scorn 
for scorn. 

That Mr. Moore had thought himself bound in duty to send 
to the Governor of Rhode Island copy of a letter he had re- 
ceived, insolent and insulting to the Governor, because the writer 
of the letter had requested him so to do, had indeed been advanced 
by Mr. Moore himself; but the reason assigned by Lord Gren- 
ville, as proving that such was his duty, belongs entirely to 
him. It is that Captain Home was superior in rank to the 
Vice Consul : a reason to justify vicarious insolence, which, 
however consonant to the practice of this country, will be 
considered as more than disputable in the United States. 

In this conversation it will perhaps appear that the objection 
against Mr. Deas for the manner in which he has expressed the 
sentiments of the American Government did not come with 
much weight from a person using such language on his side. 
Mr. Deas is doubtless equal to his own justification, and if the 
language of his memorial was warm, it was such as the occa- 
sion naturally suggested. 

With respect to the pressing of seamen, it will be observed 
in the newspapers that notice issued yesterday from the Admi- 



I795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. I 6 I 

ralty office, that directions have been given not to press any 
more men regularly protected. Whether these directions will 
meet with proper execution, time alone will unfold. 

I am in hopes of Mr. Pinckney's return within a few days; 
by Christmas at latest. I expect it with anxiety, being ardently 
desirous to resign into his hands a task to which I must take 
the liberty of observing that I am altogether inadequate ; and 
a trust the extensive importance of which could not be fully 
perceived at the time when my orders to repair hither were 
transmitted. 

From the foregoing account an opinion may be formed how 
far the relative situation of the United States and this country 
is still critical; and it would not become me to suggest what 
measures the interests and the security of the former may ren- 
der advisable. That the disposition here is candid, harmonious, 
or sincere may be believed, if the amplest professions are to be 
admitted for substantial proof. 

5th. Attended, by invitation, the dinner given by the mer- 
chants trading to North America to Mr. Hammond. They 
call it a superb entertainment, as indeed it was. But many 
circumstances attending it were far from being pleasant, and 
the sort of applause bestowed upon every sentiment like 
Britain's maritime control was far from discovering a spirit of 
conciliation. 

8th. Received this morning a card from Lord Grenville, in- 
forming me that I am to have to-morrow, after the Levee, the 
audience I solicited of the King. This card was addressed to 
me as Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of 
America. This circumstance struck me as singular, consider- 
ing that I have no sort of pretension to that character. Dined 
with Mr. Hammond, and mentioned to him the mistake, pre- 
suming he would take proper notice of it. 

9th. Received this morning from Mr. Cottrell, Assistant 
Master of the Ceremonies, a card addressed again to me as 
Minister Plenipotentiary, &c, and informing me he would come 
to me at one o'clock, to conduct me to the Levee, and express- 
ing his regret that he had not heard before of my arrival. 

VOL. 1. — II 



!62 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

This looked so much like a formal design of construing me 
into a Minister Plenipotentiary that I thought it necessary to 
guard against it, and immediately wrote a card to Lord Gren- 
ville, informing him that I have not the character of Minister 
Plenipotentiary, that my Letter to the King styles me Minister 
Resident of the United States at the Hague, and that if this 
circumstance precludes me, by the forms and usages of this 
Court, from an audience to deliver the Letter, I wish to be noti- 
fied of it, as I cannot admit that I am vested with the character 
of a Minister Plenipotentiary. Received an answer saying that 
a credential as Minister Resident entitled me to deliver my 
credentials ; and although this note was not explicit, I con- 
ceived the fair warning I had given as sufficient to prevent 
any future improper conclusions; and when Mr. Cottrell came, 
accompanied him to the Levee. He again expressed his regret 
that he had not before heard of my arrival. I told him I should 
have notified it to him but for the informal character in which 
I was placed here. He had all the forms of courtly civility 
about him, of course. At the Levee he introduced me to the 
Duke of Portland, to Mr. Dundas, to the Marquis of Salis- 
bury, the Earl of Mansfield, whom he called Lord Stormont, to 
the Minister of the Elector Palatine, &c. 

After the Levee was over I was introduced into the private 
closet of the King by Lord Grenville, and, presenting my cre- 
dential Letter, said, " Sir, to testify to your Majesty the sin- 
cerity of the United States of America in their negotiations, 
their President has directed me to take the necessary measures 
connected with the Ratifications of the Treaty of Amity, Com- 
merce, and Navigation concluded between your Majesty and 
the United States. He has authorized me to deliver to your 
Majesty this Letter, and I ask your Majesty's permission to 
add, on their part, the assurance of the sincerity of their inten- 
tions." He then said, "To give you my answer, Sir, I am very 
happy to have the assurances of their sincerity, for without 
that, you know, there would be no such thing as dealings 
among men." He afterwards asked to which of the States I 
belonged, and on my answering, Massachusetts, he turned to 
Lord Grenville and said, "All the Adamses belong to Massa- 



I795-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. Y ^ 

chusetts?" To which Lord Grenville answered, they did. He 
enquired whether my father was now Governor of Massachu- 
setts. I answered, " No, Sir ; he is Vice President of the United 
States." "Ay," said he, " and he cannot hold both offices at the 
same time?" " No, Sir." He asked where my father is now. 
"At Philadelphia, Sir, I presume, the Congress being now in 
session." " When do they meet ?" " The first week in Decem- 
ber, Sir." "And where did you come from last?" "From 
Holland, Sir." "You have been employed there?" "Yes, 
Sir, about a year." " Have you been employed before, and 
anywhere else ?" " No, Sir." 

I then withdrew. Mr. Cottrell invited me to go and witness 
the ceremony of an address presented by the Bishop and 
Clergy of London, which was received upon the throne. The 
Bishop read his address, to which a very gracious answer was 
returned, and they all kissed his hand, kneeling to obtain that 
honor. As I was coming from the Palace, with Mr. Cottrell, 
he called for the American Minister's servants, and said that he 
had spoken to Lord Grenville, who said that, in the Gazette 
which would mention my audience, I might be styled Minister 
Resident, but without saying whether it was to be added, to 
this Government, or not. Determined to see Hammond on 
this matter. Resolved on the same account not to go to the 
House of Commons this evening to hear the debates. Ham- 
mond has intimated to me that I should have a place under 
the galleries, as one of the foreign Ministers; and as they seem 
to make a point of it, I am determined to assume no privilege 
that shall imply any thing like an assent on my part to the 
principle. 

ioth. Writing all the morning. Dined at Mr. Bayard's with 
considerable company. I told Mr. Deas the circumstance of 
the manner in which Lord Grenville and Hammond had spoken 
of him to me. I thought it my duty to do so, especially as I 
had related to the Secretary of State what Lord Grenville said. 
Deas was of course very angry with them, but thanked me for 
my information. I know not whether Deas treats me exactly 
right, or means me well, but he shall have no cause to com- 
plain of my treatment to him. 



1 64 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

nth. Mr. Deas breakfasted with me. He said that what I 
had told him yesterday made him think it necessary for him to 
notice a circumstance that had occurred to him the day before, 
when he had been to hear the debates in the House of Com- 
mons. On his first attempting to go in under the gallery, as 
usual, the Serjeant-at-arms told him he did not know whether 
he should let him in, as he had received a note from the Secre- 
tary of State's office, informing him that another Minister from 
America had arrived ; that, however, after some further ex- 
planations, he admitted him ; that on going into the House 
he found Hammond there, and suspected him of having given 
the hint to the Serjeant-at-arms. He had now determined to 
take notice of the thing, and meant to write to Lord Grenville 
on the subject. 

It looks so much like a plan to force upon me the character 
of a Minister at this Court that it gives me a real alarm. Went, 
as I had determined, to see Mr. Hammond ; told him it was 
necessary there should be no misunderstanding between us on 
this article; that I have not the character of a Minister to this 
Court, and could not have. I had only the orders and instruc- 
tions of the American Government to execute upon certain 
points. To enable me to obviate a scruple of form, a creden- 
tial Letter to the King had been sent me, special in its nature, 
and designating me under my real character. " If this be not 
sufficient," said I, "let us stop here, — no harm is done. But the 
thing with us is Constitutional ; and were I to assume the char- 
acter of a Minister at this Court, and act under it, I should not 
only be impeachable for it, but it would be deceiving you not to 
tell you that the United States would be bound by none of my 
acts." Hammond had just received Deas's letter to Lord Gren- 
ville on the affair that had happened to him in the House of 
Commons. It had put him quite in a rage. " I know what 
made you come here," said he ; " one William Allen Deas." 
" No, indeed," said I, "you are mistaken. That is by no means 
the occasion of my coming." " Well," said he, " this matter 
shall be arranged, so that you may be sure no blame shall fall 
on you or the American Government." " That is not the 
thing," said I. " My only wish is that neither the American 



1795] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. i6§ 

Government nor I should be misunderstood. If there be a 
difference of opinion which must prevent me from acting in 
this case, let us wait. Mr. Pinckney will be here in a few days, 
and it will be better to stay for his arrival than make a ques- 
tion between the two Governments." Hammond first asked me 
to state my ideas in writing ; then abandoned that proposal, and 
asked me to call again at four o'clock, which I did. He had 
got his paragraph for the Gazette, and had altered it from what 
he had first made it, in which it was said I had presented to his 
Majesty a credential Letter as Minister Resident from the United 
States. He tried it now in various shapes, and asked for my 
approbation of it, saying that the Gazette was a sort of record 
of these things. " Well," said I, " in that case I cannot make 
myself responsible for any thing you may choose to put in it. 
As it is under your control, you will say what you think 
proper. I am responsible for my conduct as it relates to my 
own country." He appeared anxious and embarrassed, and at 
length said the Letter was, to be sure, completely informal. 
They should have discovered that before. He at length made 
out his paragraph in a manner to which I saw no objection, 
and asked if he should mention to Lord Grenville that he had 
shown it to me. I told him if he pleased, but he must not 
understand that I meant to make myself answerable for any 
consequence that might be drawn from it. 

17th. Went with Mr. Cottrell to the Drawing Room. Pre- 
sented to the Queen as Minister Resident of the United States 
of America at the Hague. Asked me how long I had been in 
Holland, and whether I was any relation to the Mr. Adams 
that was here some years ago. The King asked me whether 
our winters were not more severe than they are here. 

28th. Frazier breakfasted with me; after which we went to 
see the Shakespear Gallery of Paintings. I was very highly 
gratified during three or four hours that we spent in looking 
them over. There is, indeed, a mixture of good and of indif- 
ferent things, but there was only one really disgusting to me. 
It was a scene in the Midsummer Night's Dream. Instead 
of the fine frenzy of the Poet, it gave nothing but a combina- 
tion of madness and idiotism ; instead of the sportive excur- 



j66 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December. 

sions of a sublime imagination, nothing but the darkling errors 
of a sick man's dreams. Among the paintings that struck me 
as the works of most special excellence were, a Death of Car- 
dinal Beaufort, by Reynolds; an Ophelia Mad, by West; a 
Cassandra, by Ranney ; a Hubert and Arthur, by Northcote ; 
and some others. But one of the most pleasing reflections on 
this occasion arises from the idea of such a combination of 
talents and wealth concurring to pay their tribute to the greatest 
genius of their country. Extreme refinement in the arts and 
sciences is said to be connected with extreme civilization, and 
therefore with corruption. I would fain believe they are not 
necessarily connected ; for, indeed, I cannot remove from my 
heart an enthusiastic fondness for the former, and I have a 
rooted and deliberate detestation of the latter. In knowing, 
in understanding, in admiring the works of transcendent genius, 
as far as is practicable to every individual respectively, consists 
one part of human duty; and in indulging the feelings of 
gratitude towards those who have contributed to relieve us 
from the burdens of life there is the double pleasure that arises 
from the consciousness of rewarding merit with fame, and dis- 
charging our own obligations at the same time. 

3 1 st. Covent Garden. Comedy of Errors — Antipholuses, Hol- 
man and Pope; Dromios, Munden and Quick. Was pleased 
with the performance. Contrary to the common experience of 
Shakespear's Plays, this appears better on the stage than in the 
book. Holman is a much better actor, too, in Comedy than in 
Tragedy. Munden and Quick have both great comic powers. 
The play is acted much as it is printed. Some scenes border- 
ing on indecency are indeed left out, and, as the play is very 
short, additions have been introduced to the dialogue. The 
characters are all preserved, even the mountebank Pinch. The 
effect of his figure, however, is lost, as the description of him 
by Antipholus is omitted. The Farce was Merry Sherwood, or 
Harlequin Forester, a new Operatic Pantomime, as splendid 
in pageantry, and as stupid in substance, as any thing I have 
seen. Townsend, one of the performers, while he was singing 
a song, as a begging impostor, had a pebble or a nut thrown at 
him, that hit him in the face. He addressed the audience upon 



1 796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. jfy 

it in a very decent manner.' Said the practice had been repeated 
several times, and might, if it did not cease, finally reduce him 
to real beggary. He was very much applauded; for these 
people are by no means destitute of Playhouse sensibility. 

Here closes the year, — a period when I am in the habit of 
indulging reflection, as it naturally brings to mind upon its 
frequent returns the variations of human life; and as it always 
makes me desirous to repair by the future the deficiencies of 
the past. 

January 13th, 1796. Attended the Levee. Saw Mr. Morris 
there. Heard of Mr. Pinckney's arrival. Mr. Hammond at the 
Levee too. The King did not speak to me. My reception at 
Court this day contrasted completely with those on former oc- 
casions, when I was to be cajoled into compliance. I valued it 
much more highly; it flattered my pride as much as the former 
fawning malice humbled it. 

14th. Morning papers say that I took leave of the King at 
the Levee yesterday, introduced by Lord Grenville, and that I 
am upon my return home. I suppose it is meant as a hint to 
me to go away. I can certainly henceforth do no good here. 
But I cannot well go without receiving further orders from 
home. 

The writer did not receive permission to return to the Hague 
until the 26th of April, and he remained in London until the 
28th of May. This delay was partly occasioned by an attrac- 
tion in the family of Mr. Joshua Johnson, then Consul of the 
United States in London, and who had been more or less em- 
ployed in Europe from the breaking out of the Revolution. 
The result was a betrothal between himself and Louisa Cath- 
erine, the second daughter of Mr. Johnson. He arrived at the 
Hague on the 5th of June, having had a trip much more 
favorable than that experienced the other way. The only 
difficulty was in the start, the account of which is retained, as 
a mark of the sluggish official habits of the time. 

May 27th. Continuing preparations for my departure. At 
about four p.m. received word from the Captain that he should 



!68 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

sail to-morrow morning at five o'clock ; that the wind is perfectly 
fair, and if it continues so he will be at Gravesend by noon, 
ready to proceed from thence. This intelligence precipitates 
me so as to make several arrangements I had proposed quite 
impracticable. Went immediately to the Duke of Portland's 
office to procure an order to permit my embarkation. Was 
obliged to return a second time, and then informed I could not 
have the order till ten or eleven to-morrow morning. Very 
anxious lest, after all my disappointments, I should lose the 
opportunity of returning to Holland. 

28th. Up at six, and from that time till twelve obliged to 
crowd the business of several days into so short a space. I had 
received yesterday evening two successive letters informing me 
that I must be at Gravesend by noon, and afterwards by ten or 
eleven at latest. It was impossible to go without the order to 
allow me to embark, which could not be procured till within 
five minutes before twelve. I determined, therefore, to lose not 
one minute of unnecessary time, and to run the risk which I could 
not prevent. At the Duke of Portland's office myself by ten. 
Nobody there. Sent Whitcomb again just before twelve, and at 
length procured the necessary order. Stepped, without the loss 
of a minute, into a post chaise, and just at four, afternoon, ar- 
rived at Gravesend, twenty-five miles from Osborne's Adelphi 
Hotel. The Verwagtend Fortuyn, Captain Heinke Garmers,the 
vessel in which I had engaged my passage, after waiting for me 
three or four hours, had just got under way with a fine fresh 
breeze. The custom-house officers and the inspector, upon 
observing in my passport my official character, were very civil 
in accommodating and facilitating my departure. I took a boat 
immediately to follow the vessel, and after some contrivance of 
the boatmen to practise an imposition to increase their fare, in 
which as usual they succeeded, I reached the vessel about six 
miles below Gravesend, between five and six o'clock. 

The Hague, June 6th. — Dined with M. d'Araujo. Bielfeld, 
Levsen, a Physician whose name I knew not, Mr. Manoel, a 
Portuguese gentleman of a singular character, and my brother, 
were of the company. We talked something of literature, a 
subject in which M. d'Araujo delights. He says the Dauphin 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. rfg 

editions of the Classics are contemptible. The Dictys Cre- 
tensis only is in some estimation because it is the only hand- 
some edition of that author that has ever been published. 
Delille's French translation of the Georgics is the only good 
French poetical translation extant. The Eclogues by Gresset 
are very indifferent. The Italian translation of Virgil, by 
Hannibal Caro, is not equal to its reputation, nor equal to Dry- 
den's. He prefers even a Portuguese translation, though in 
stanzas. D'Araujo writes Portuguese verses himself, and has 
recently translated Gray's famous Elegy and Pope's Messiah 
into that language. Mr. Manoel was compelled to fly from the 
fangs of the Inquisition for having translated Voltaire's Pucelle 
d'Orleans. He is now translating Silius Italicus. After dinner 
we compared the President Henault's translation of the ex- 
ordium of Lucretius with the original ; it has merit, but very 
weak lines. He showed us his Ariosto, edition of Baskerville; 
the plates of Bartolozzi are very fine. Walk with Bielfeld. 
When I came home I looked over Dryden's translation of the 
first verses of Lucretius. Rather loosely done. 

'15th. Earlier rising. A morning hour devoted to studious 
reading. Finished my letter to the Secretary of State. Walk 
in the wood. Met Bielfeld and my brother. Bielfeld has a 
great deal of acquired understanding, but not a very brilliant 
natural genius. His feelings lead him to democratic senti- 
ments, but his judgment very often corrects their propensities. 
Finished reading Pope's translation of the Odyssey, in pursuit 
of the plan which I undertook in the midst of my English idle- 
ness, and have hitherto persevered in since my return, though 
much less inclined to censure myself on that score at present. 
I have not yet become perfectly studious and busy according 
to my wishes, but I am gradually verging towards it; and if I 
did not know my weakness I should anticipate a better account 
of my customary day at the commencement of the ensuing 
month, than I have hitherto been able to give since I adopted 
this species of self-admonition. But wait and see. This after- 
noon a Mr. Rene Pillet called on me. Said he was formerly 
an Aid-de-Camp to M. de la Fayette, now a naturalized Ameri- 
can Citizen. Was going last week from England to Hamburg 



iy MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

in the British Packet, and taken by a French Frigate, sent to 
Flushing, plundered of his baggage, sent to Ghent and Ant- 
werp, detained there as suspected, and at length ordered to 
depart within forty-eight hours. He had a bill of ^"200 sterling 
on Hamburg (a second), and finding himself short of money to 
proceed on his voyage, wanted to have twenty pounds sterling 
discounted upon his bill. He had a passport from Mr. Pinck- 
ney, and letters very recommendatory from Major Jackson and 
Mrs. Bingham. Sent to enquire of Messrs. Moliere whether 
they would discount the money. They refused; but let him 
have 240 florins upon my order on the bankers at Amsterdam, 
which he engages to repay at Hamburg. Perhaps an imprudence. 
But he has no appearance of being an impostor, and is in a 
situation which requires assistance. He is further going to 
labor in behalf of M. de la Fayette — a cause which I would 
promote by all the means in my power. Wrote by him an 
answer to the letter of Madame de la Fayette which Mr. Lally 
delivered me in the winter. 

30th. Day. On my return from England I determined to 
resume a life of application to business and study, which, during 
the principal part of my residence there, I found altogether im- 
possible. It has not yet settled into a course perfectly regular, 
but it is hitherto equal to my expectations. Rise and dress at 
six. Read works of instruction from thence till nine. Break- 
fast. Read the papers and translate from the Dutch till eleven 
or twelve. Then dress for the day. Write letters or attend to 
other business that occurs till between two and three. Walk till 
half-past three. Dine and sit till five. Read works of amuse- 
ment till between eight and nine. Walk again about an hour. 
Then take a very slight supper and my segar, and retire to bed 
at eleven. The variations from this course are not considerable. 
Those that have taken place as yet are marked in the diary. I 
have, as before mentioned, now devoted an hour a day to the 
study of Italian, which Bielfeld and I are learning together. 
Too much of this time is devoted to reading, and too little to 
society. But I was not formed to shine in company, nor to be 
delighted with it ; and I have now a considerable lapse of time 
to repair. While in London by far too large a portion of my 



1796] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. l y l 

time was spent in it. I hope and intend at a future time to take 
some of my present reading hours for the purpose of writing. 
I wish no other change. 

In my morning reading I have gone through Smith's Wealth 
of Nations, and commenced Luzac's Richesse de la Hollande. 
I have never had the advantage of systematic reading in its 
perfection, because I was never taught a system. To form one 
for myself has been the subject of my frequent meditations, but 
I have never satisfied myself as to the detail. My studies are 
indeed all directed to one point, which is pointed out to me by 
the station that I hold. The ultimate object of all reading must 
be the improvement of the mind. But how to compass the 
greatest quantum of improvement in a given portion of time 
and study, is a problem that I have not yet solved, and of 
which I still seek the solution. My afternoon reading has been 
one hour of epic verse in English, which has carried me 
through Pope's Homer and Dryden's ^Eneid. I have now 
begun upon that of Pitt. The Memoires Secrets et Critiques 
des Cours d'ltalie of Gorani I read in consequence of their 
reputation, and because I wanted information relative to the 
present state of that country. They have accordingly furnished 
me with new materials for knowledge; but the book is super- 
ficial and dull, full of commonplace political folly and personal 
scandal. Such books cost only the trouble of writing them. 
The author thinks himself a profound legislator, while he is 
only a coxcomb and a pedant. The Life of Dumouriez is of 
quite a different description. The book is as entertaining as 
the principles of the author are depraved. I mean to speak of 
him again. 

July 5th. Called this morning to see Mr. Van Leyden, the 
Secretary of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, to enquire of him 
in what manner official papers are to be addressed under the 
present Government. He said they might be addressed to the 
President of the Assembly, who, as such, is also President of 
the Committee, and would lay the application before the one or 
the other according as the subject should render it proper. 
Told him my object was to obtain answers to two memorials 
heretofore presented to the States General. Upon that respect- 



iy 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

ing the Wilmington Packet, he said he had no information. As 
to that concerning the appointment of Consuls, he recollected 
that the memorial was taken ad referendum by the States of 
Holland. That he remembered an observation at the time 
was made by some of the members, that the Colonies could 
not be considered as a constituent part of the Republic, and the 
article of the Treaty did not, therefore, apply to them. But he 
did not know whether this would be the answer. Mentioned 
his having seen me yesterday in the gallery of the Assembly. 
Spoke of a report made some days ago by the Representative 
Lublin upon the subject of separating the affairs of the Church 
from those of the State. The reporter is a man of literary 
reputation, and has translated Young's Night Thoughts into 
Dutch. Van Leyden is a mild, pleasant, modest man. Such 
men are much more comfortable to treat with, but very often 
not more easy, than harsher characters. Was to have taken a 
lesson of Italian at Bielfeld's lodgings, but he has just changed 
and I could not find him out. As I was going out, met Mr. 
Du Roure, who was coming to see me. He called on me this 
afternoon to enquire whether the Government of the United 
States had taken any official steps in behalf of Mr. de la Fay- 
ette. Told him that, not having had any communications from 
the Government on the subject, I could not say. 

6th. Went this morning and presented a note to the President 
of the National Assembly (Hartogh). Met in the antechamber 
an old acquaintance, Mr. Van Lynden, who is now Minister 
from this Republic to the Court of Denmark. Accosted him, 
and mentioned my having formerly known him. But he did 
not remember me. Enquired, however, after my father. They 
were diplomatic brethren at London, from whence Van Lynden 
was dismissed after the Revolution of 1787, and has had a 
political resurrection since the last revolution. When I deliv- 
ered my note to the President, he told me that I should have 
an answer as soon as possible. Was received with great and 
formal civility. 

1 ith. I enter this day upon my thirtieth year. The periodical 
days of reflection are seldom satisfactory to me. The principal 
reproach my conscience can make me, for the last year, is too 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. l y^ 

much time spent in relaxation, perhaps lost. Let me strive to 
make a better improvement of the next. My apology for the 
past must be the state of my health. Though insufficient, it is 
the best I have. The irresistible dissipation of London is none. 
The weakness of the heart is only a plea for mercy — much 
more might have been done by me. Of positive wrongs I feel 
very clear during the last year. None of its predecessors for a 
long time have been so innocent. Yet none of them have been 
more exposed to temptation. Finished reading the Memoirs 
of Dumouriez this afternoon, and read some pages in those of 
Garat. The great characteristic trait of Dumouriez is ambitious 
vanity. It is the common feature of almost every eminent 
political character which the French Revolution has produced. 
There appears about him great ability in the military line, a great 
facility at repartee and address in conversation, but miserable 
ignorance and folly upon the subject of government. His style 
is rapid, but not precise ; his manner of relating attractive in the 
highest degree, but with a coloring to his own advantage, for 
which allowances are to be made. He professes a great love 
for his country, and a strong sense of humanity; but in both 
cases it is evidently the result of a sentiment, and not of a 
principle. He loves his country because the people at times 
show attachment to him ; he detests proscriptions because he 
was proscribed ; and indeed if you look through his book for a 
moral principle as the guide of his actions, you will find abun- 
dant proof that he had none. His first ambition is to be a 
monk ; and, six months after, he is willing to be anything on 
earth but a monk. He attempts a suicide in the rage of a 
momentary obstacle in his love, and repents just in time to save 
his life. He offers to save the Genoese against Corsica, and the 
Corsicans against Genoa. He forms a plan to conquer Corsica 
by the breach of a Treaty, and quarrels with the Minister who 
refuses to execute this plan. He declares his aversion upon 
principle to duelling, in relating an attempt to force a man to 
fight a duel with him, which was prevented only by the base 
submission of his antagonist. He relates everything that hap- 
pened to him at the Bastille, and adds that on coming out of 
it he had a formal oath administered to him never to reveal 



lj^ MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

anything that he had witnessed there ; while to show that it is 
not inconsistency with which he is chargeable, he tells us that 
he considered the oath as a mere formality, binding him to 
nothing. He affects a regard for La Fayette, for Roland, and 
for several others, whom at the same time he endeavors, by 
every part of his narration concerning them, to ruin in reputa- 
tion. In short, there is scarce a page of his book but proves a 
deficiency of principle, and an overruling vanity, in a mind very 
vigorous and active. 

19th. Finished reading Rowe's translation of the Pharsalia. 
Dr. Johnson says it. is not esteemed so much as it is worth, and 
it will please more the better it is known. I have never read 
it before, and have been gratified in the perusal. I have occa- 
sionally compared it with the original, and find that the trans- 
lation has added near an hundred lines at the end of the tenth 
book to close the action. It is not an epic poem. Nor is it a 
fair criticism to compare it with the ^Eneid. It has certainly 
much more originality, and the characters are much more 
striking than those of Virgil. The sentiment and language 
are sometimes turgid, and sometimes sublime. There is not 
much diversity of incident; but, after Homer, who can under- 
take to invent? Virgil generally copies, but what Lucan gives 
is all his own. He has more sentiment and philosophy than is 
usual in poems of such length ; much more than Homer in 
the Odyssey. But his great delight seems to be the description 
of things terrible. The cutting down of the sacred wood; the 
troops in a vessel of Caesar's party, who by consent destroy 
one another to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy; the 
scene of Caesar embarking in the night in a small barque, and 
the storm that he weathers in it; the sorceress Erichtho and her 
incantations ; the battle of Pharsalia, the death of Pompey, and 
the march of Cato through the Thessalian deserts, with the 
various venomous reptiles that infest his army, are all full of 
horror; but many of them are disgusting. The author appears 
to have wanted taste to select his incidents of description. The 
imagination revolts from many of them, though all are striking. 
The Gods are treated very cavalierly. In the very outset he 
charges them with taking the wrong side in opposition to Cato. 



1796] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ij$ 

He afterwards says they never take offence at any crimes but 
those of the unfortunate, and he more than once apostrophizes 
their injustice in suffering the crimes and success of Caesar. 
The heroes are painted larger than life. The daring ambition 
of Caesar, the inflexible stoicism of Cato, and the declining 
greatness of Pompey, are well contrasted. The Egyptian char- 
acters are not so well drawn. Photinus is too barefaced a 
villain. His policy might have been attributed to him without 
a departure from nature ; but he should have been made more 
plausible. On the whole, my opinion not only of the translator 
but of the author has been raised by this perusal. The address to 
Nero is more extravagant, but not more fulsome, than that of 
Virgil to Augustus, and must have been more excusable at the 
time when it was doubtless written, that is, in the golden years 
of his reign. This is very evident from the complexion of the 
whole poem ; for certainly Lucan would not have ventured to 
publish the bold sentiments of liberty that prevail in every part 
of it, during the tyrannical part of the monster's government. 
It is very probable, however, that they cost the author his life; 
though a mere rivalship for poetical fame is only mentioned 
by the historians as the cause from whence originated the con- 
spiracy in which Lucan joined, and for which he suffered. 

20th. Began to read the translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, 
as published by Garth. The first book is by Dryden. He 
calls the palace of the Gods the Louvre of the sky, and tells of 
Phaeton's going to the Leve of his father Phcebus ; as Rowe in 
one of Cato's speeches makes him tell the soldiers they are fit 
only to pass as heirlooms from Pompey to Caesar. Such ex- 
pressions remind me of Antony's present to Cleopatra of a 
tompion gold watch, in Swift. These Metamorphoses cannot 
well be included in my original plan of reading Epic Poets ; 
but the variation will not be important, and may serve to afford 
the relaxation of variety. Began, too, this morning to read 
Tasso's Jerusalem in the original ; but I shall make very slow 
progress in that. 

31st. Weather very warm and feverish. It dissipates the 
animal spirits so as to take away the power of application. 
Buffon was of opinion that genius might be resolved into 



!^6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

patience. If his idea be just, I have very little genius in warm 
weather; especially in the sultry warmth of the Dutch atmos- 
phere. Began this morning upon Kerroux, Abrege de l'Histoire 
de la Hollande ; but read only a very few pages in it. Walk in 
the Voorhout in the evening. Met Bielfeld, with a German 
autlior, and Mr. Levsen. Walked some time with the latter. 
I had enquired of him whether any application had been made 
by the friends of M. la Fayette to the Danish Court, to request 
its interference to obtain his liberation. He then told me he 
believed not. This evening he told me he had written to the 
Count de Bernstorff on the subject, and could now answer me 
for certain that they had not. He could further add that La 
Fayette was now detained by the Emperor as a prisoner of the 
King of Prussia, and was kept under a promise made to him ; 
that the emigrants were at the bottom, and his liberty could 
probably be obtained only by application from the King of 
Prussia, who would make it whenever the Frencli Government 
may desire it ; but that no other application would probably 
be successful. This short conversation of Levsen suggests 
many reflections to me, and will deserve further meditation. 

The reading of the month has carried me through Luzac's 
Richesse de la Hollande, and the Traite General de Commerce ; 
the latter as mentioned on the day when I finished it ; the 
Life of Dumouriez, Garat's Memoirs, and Pratt's Gleanings. 
Of all these books I have made mention, and some slight obser- 
vations at the time of finishing, and also of Pitt's translation 
of the ^Eneid, Rowe's Lucan, which I have gone through, and 
Garth's Compilation of the Metamorphoses, which I have not 
yet finished. To improve in the Dutch Language I have usu- 
ally translated a page every day; and after going thus through 
the Constitution of the National Assembly, which is now in 
session, I took the Introduction to Rendorp's Memoirs. I 
shall give the preference to all interesting state papers ; because 
I send the translations to the Secretary of State, and thus 
answer two good purposes at once. My progress in Italian is 
slow, and I can only translate two or three stanzas of Tasso at 
a time. The language itself is enchanting, but, with no oppor- 
tunity to speak or hear it spoken, my advances are very small, 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. l yj 

and, with my other occupations, I may perhaps grow tired of 
that. To keep alive my Latin, I have begun to translate a page 
of Tacitus every day, and am going through the life of Agricola, 
which in the year 1784, at this place, I translated into French. 
I find this author still new, and a special application to his 
writings will, I hope, be useful to me on several accounts. His 
language, his wisdom, his style, his method, all afford subject 
for meditation and improvement. This is not the part of my 
time the worst employed. My other writing is principally con- 
fined to writing and answering letters, or to this journal. The 
time for original composition has not yet come ; I know not 
whether it ever will. I shall probably never have a time so 
favorable for it as the present. But I have no subject, and am 
far from being yet satisfied with my style. 

August 2d. Lesson of Italian at Bielfeld's. Our master appears 
to interest himself very much in the progress of the French. 
There is here a man with whom he consorts; an author; who 
being acquainted with the geography of Lower Saxony, his 
native country, offers his services as a guide to the French 
troops now invading that territory, to conduct them where the 
richest plunder is to be obtained. Noel is therefore going to 
send him to the Army of the Rhine. Bielfeld thinks the morality 
of the man rather inaccurate, but says he is a bon diable, and 
that it is not avarice but fanaticism that inspires him. I believe 
it is the fanaticism of the followers of Catiline and Cethegus. 
Evening at the Dutch play — MenscJien-haat en Beroitw (Misan- 
thropy and Repentance 1 ), a translation from a German Comedy 
of Kotzebue. The misanthropy is that of a husband whose 
beloved wife has been seduced by a young man and has eloped 
with him. The repentance is that of his wife, for having been 
seduced, and her consequent elopement. It closes with a 
reconciliation. Bingley was very good in the husband, and 
Mademoiselle, bating a little too much roaring in her lamenta- 
tions, excellent in Ulalia, the wife. From her performance, she 
should more properly have been called Ulularia. I cannot 
forgive Pratt for comparing her with Mrs. Siddons. For the 

1 This is the play translated into English under the inappropriate title of " The 
Stranger." 

VOL. I. — 12 



lyS MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

nice delicate shades that distinguish similar passions she is 
altogether incompetent, and she knows little more than how to 
weep and wail and gnash her teeth. Her performances are 
therefore very monotonous. Bingley has the same fault, though 
not in the same degree. Yet this evening and the former they 
beguiled me of some tears, and received the same tribute from 
many others. The house was full. The play is very long. I 
know not how many acts it pretends to have; but the natural 
divisions give it six or seven. 

3d. Finished the translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It 
is very unequal, being the work of many hands. In general it 
preserves the turn of wit and quaintness of the original. The 
want of proper concatenation is a defect belonging to the poem 
too ; and the pathetic powers, for which there was so much 
room, were in a great measure strangers to a mind which is 
always toiling for a conceit. The most striking part of the 
work, to me, was the speeches of Ajax and Ulysses in their 
contest for the arms of Achilles, at the beginning of the 13th 
book. They are highly characteristic and dramatical. I have 
remarked in the course of this reading the source of a great 
number of Shakespear's allusions and ideas. I remember the 
writers of his life mention Sandys's Ovid as one of the books 
from whence he gathered the little learning he ever had. 

5th. Read this afternoon Hoole's Life of Tasso, at the head 
of his translation. A romantic life, indeed. Born 1544 and 
died 1595. Settled by an examination a scruple that arose in 
my mind upon a fact mentioned by the biographers of Milton, 
that he was, when in Italy, acquainted with Manso, Marquis of 
Villa, the intimate friend of Tasso, and his patron. My doubts 
arose from the distance of time between the two sublime poets, 
and from an idea taken from one of the biographers, that 
Manso is celebrated in the Gerusalemme Liberata. This poem 
was finished and published in 1574. Milton was in Italy in 
about 1638. A period of sixty-eight years appeared long for 
the life of a man already of an age to be celebrated as a mag- 
nanimous knight. I ascertained, however, that it was really 
the same man, by turning to the Latin poem which Milton 
addressed to him. But it is in the Jerusalem Conquered that 



1 796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. Y yg 

Tasso mentions Manso. This poem was published only three 
or four years before the death of the Italian bard. Walk in 
the evening. Met Bielfeld. Conversation. He made some 
observations upon the curious practice of fabricating books in 
Germany at this time. There is a sort of literary mania preva- 
lent there. His literary Cethegus has told him some new anec- 
dotes upon that subject. At the semi-annual fair at Leipzig 
a hundred and seventy-nine new novels made their appear- 
ance. He mentioned too the smothered flame of democracy 
as burning with great fury in every part of Germany, and 
especially in the Danish dominions. 

6th. Received this morning a large packet of letters from 
England and America; among others, one from the Secretary 
of State, dated June 11, informing me that I was appointed 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Portugal, but 
directing me to remain here until I receive further orders. 

9th. Bielfeld called on me towards evening. We walked to 
Scheveling. Enquired of him to whom the despatches of the 
Prussian Ministers were addressed. He says directly to the 
King. The rescripts are directly from him. The late King al- 
ways wrote the answers himself. The present King has them 
brought to him ready to sign, in cypher, with the explanation 
on a different paper. If he thinks of any alteration, he inserts 
it on the explanation, but signs the cypher, which is then sent 
away just as it was. A curious specimen of diplomacy. 

10th. Met Mr. d'Araujo and Mr. Levsen in the Voorhout. 
Long walk with them, particularly the former. He is a man of 
great information, and especially conversant in general litera- 
ture. Made some enquiries with respect to Portugal. He men- 
tioned, among many other things, that the famous .Methuen 
Treaty of 1703 was made by a Portuguese Minister so totally 
ignorant of every thing relative to commerce that, about a year 
after, he wrote to the Minister of that Court then residing here 
a letter, in which he speaks to this purport : " By the way, I 
forgot to tell you in my preceding dispatches, that we made 
last year a Treaty (Trattadino) with England, in which she agrees 
to take our wines, and we to take her woollens. Try and see i£ 
you can make such an one with the Dutch." The Chevalier 



I So MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

says that he found this letter among the archives of the lega- 
tion. 

The same Minister did not know that in the English Parlia- 
ment there had already been debates upon the subject of ad- 
mitting the wines of Portugal, upon the same terms as they 
are by the Treaty, without any stipulation whatever. The 
Treaty was agreed to by the Dutch only for the asking. M. 
d'Araujo has no great opinion of the commercial abilities of 
Lord Auckland — says that the Commercial Treaty with France, 
upon which his fame first originated, was the work of Mr. Craw- 
ford — that at the time when Great Britain and Russia were at 
the point of war, Auckland asked him one day what way the 
troops were to be sent to assist the Turks against the Russians. 

1 2th. Met Mr. Levsen and M. d'Araujo this evening in the 
Voorhout. Walk with them. Bielfeld mentioned to me a 
curious taste of M. Noel, the French Minister; that of collect- 
ing manuscript copies of all sorts of lascivious tales in verse, 
from printed books. Our Italian instructor is almost constantly 
employed by him at this sort of copying; and he is very scru- 
pulous and nice to have the handwriting neat and elegant. I 
remember that among the books which I brought from Eng- 
land for him were a number of volumes, manuscript, of this 
description. I now wish I had examined a little further the 
character of those books. I did not, however, then imagine 
that he was the man whose relish for the rankest faeces of 
literature was so keen. Before the revolution of France a 
clergyman, and Professor of Eloquence at the College of 
Louis le Grand in the University of Paris : since that period 
employed in high rank among their diplomatic negotiators — I 
did not suspect him of a propensity so ill sorted with his old 
profession, as well as with his new station. By what a strange 
sort of beings the affairs of the world are managed ! 

13th. At the French play this evening — "Othello, ou le 
More de Venise." A wretched travestie by Ducis from Shake- 
spear's Othello, with most of his defects, and innumerable 
others, with scarce one of his beauties. It has the merit, how- 
ever, of containing sarcasms upon aristocracy, and abuse upon 
the government of Venice. Othello was tawny, but not 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. 181 

black. The performance was worse than the play. Visit this 
morning from the French Minister, Noel. He says the French 
consuls at Amsterdam and Rotterdam both write him that 
they have violent suspicions that some captains of American 
vessels engage on board of them French soldiers belonging 
to the Army of the North. He desired me, therefore, to re- 
quest of the agents of the United States in those places to 
prevent any practice of that kind in future, and further wished 
me to authorise the French officers to visit the vessels, to dis- 
cover whether any French soldiers were concealed in them. I 
told him that I had no power to authorise any person to visit 
or examine American vessels, and, if I should pretend to as- 
sume it, the American captains would certainly not recognise 
it; but that I would readily write to the consul at Amsterdam, 
and request him to discourage as much as possible every such 
practice, and to recommend the discharge of any persons who 
may have been thus engaged. 

25th. Finished reading Hoole's translation of Tasso. The 
book is popular. The versification is very smooth, but it ap- 
pears to be feeble. It is cold, and has been read like a task, 
and of course with very little attention. I have compared 
most of the first book with the original. The sense is diluted. 
The poetic charm, the soul of the verse, is in many instances 
lost, or rather is in very few preserved. But when Tasso is 
robbed of this attraction he has but little left. His invention 
is wretchedly poor and strangely absurd. His machinery is 
pitiful. But his details of sentiment, character, and language 
are admirable. " La Poesie," says Voltaire, " ne plait que 
par les beaux details." This is a very mean and false idea of 
Poetry, but it suits the delicate tenuity of a French critic, 
and is just calculated to place the Henriade or the Jerusalem 
above the Iliad, and the Zaire above the Othello. Upon this 
maxim the poem of Tasso would be superior to any produc- 
tion of the Epic Muse till the days of Voltaire. Tasso excels 
very much in his female characters. His Sophronia, Clo- 
rinda, Erminia, Gildippe, and even Armida, are all extremely 
interesting. The Gerusalemme, therefore, is above all others 
the Epic Poem of the ladies. Homer's Andromache stands 



lg 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

alone, and bears a very subordinate part. His Penelope, 
though much praised, excites little attention. All the rest are 
either obnoxious, or have so little agency that they are not to 
be mentioned. Virgil is noted for his severity to the fair sex. 
He seems to delight in aggravating their infirmities and insult- 
ing their misfortunes. Milton has but one female. But, alas ! 
Hinc illse lacrymae. She is the instrument which 

" Brought Death into the world, and all our woe." 

Lucan's Cornelia, though respectable, is employed in little else 
besides lamentation ; and Voltaire's Belle Gabrielle is not much 
better than his Agnes Sorel. But all that is tender, generous, 
and amiable, as well as brave, is united in the heroines of 
Tasso. Their adventures comprehend the most pleasing parts 
of the whole poem, and indeed there is scarce any part of it 
but in which some one or more of them appears. The story 
of Edward and Gildippe is upon the model of Nisus and 
Euryalus, but is much more affecting to a chaste imagination. 
Armida is a composition of Calypso, of Circe, and of Dido, 
and a great improvement upon them all. Erminia has some 
traits in common with Helen, but is much her superior, as is 
Clorinda to Camilla. Sophronia appears to be an original, and 
is a very pleasing one. One of the great advantages which this 
poem has over those of antiquity arises from the superior 
manners. There is a refinement of passion and a delicacy of 
sentiment which can be attributed only to the operation of 
the precepts of Christianity upon the human character. The 
loving passions of antiquity were coarse, their hatred was im- 
placable. Achilles restored the body of Hector to Priam ; but 
that was from a motive of generosity when he felt no resent- 
ment ; at all other times he was unrelenting. The pious ^Eneas 
is equally inflexible to the compunctious visitings of Nature ; 
but Tancred and Rinaldo are both merciful and generous to 
their vanquished enemies. Their love is gentle, and their 
anger is humane. This is one of the benefits of Christianity the 
most clearly evident, as the revolution of manners is indubi- 
table, and can be traced to no other source, while it naturally 
flows from that. Mr. Hoole has omitted some of the concetti 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^3 

from which Boileau inferred that Tasso was all tinsel. There 
are too many of them in the original; but from such defects 
what modern poet is altogether exempt ? I ought to have 
finished this book two days ago. As the weight of the task 
increased, I felt my disposition to slip from under it grow 
upon me, and I have omitted the work of two days. 

31st. Monthly day. The first half of this month was very 
industrious, especially in writing. I have seldom been during 
the same length of time so steadily and constantly employed. 
My rising hour was about half-past five, and did not once ex- 
ceed six. Began the day by translating a page of Tacitus, then 
letter-writing till half-past nine. Breakfast. Letter-writing again 
with Italian lesson till half-past two. Walk. Dinner. Reading 
till dark. Evening walk, and retired at about eleven. Pleasant 
as this course was to my mind, my health would not submit to 
it, and the last half of the month has been loose and relaxed. 
The dog-day temperature spreads a lifeless languor over the 
spirits, irresistible to me. It overcomes my patience, so that, 
upon Buffon's maxim, I have no genius. My rising hour has 
retrograded to a vibration from six to seven. It threatens to be- 
come still more indulgent to indolence. The attention to Tacitus, 
however, has not been intermitted. In reviewing the Agricola 
my progress is slower than it was in translating. I am not 
always able to write a page in the course of the morning labor 
before breakfast, and it now engrosses all that period. Between 
that and dinner I am falling into the habit of wkiling away the 
time in any thing that can serve as an apology for idleness. 
The afternoon is not much better, and generally persists only 
in the epic, perusal, in which the two last days have been 
recovered. The days are rapidly shortening, and the evening 
will soon be unfavorable for walking. It is already much less 
inviting to that effect, and I begin to prefer taking the neces- 
sary exercise before dark. I cannot therefore always avoid 
trespassing a little upon the evening for study. The morning 
Muse of History, and the evening Muse of Epic Song, are now 
my only constant attendants : all the rest are abandoned or 
have only an occasional moment of attention. The particular 
attention I am beginning to devote to Tacitus is not without 



jSa MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

its reason. I must be thorough master of that writer, if I have 
any patience. 

Have therefore in the course of this month read only Biel- 
feld's letters ; part of the Histoire de la Conspiration du Due 
d'Orleans; half a volume of Kerroux's History of Holland ; fin- 
ished the translation of the Metamorphoses, and gone through 
Hoole's translation of Tasso's Jerusalem, with some books of 
Milton's Paradise Lost. It will be well if the reading of the 
next month should be even upon a level with this. 

September 4th. Finished reading the Paradise Lost, the ad- 
miration of which increases in my mind upon every perusal. 
A criticism upon it would take too much time, and would have 
nothing original. I mention therefore only two observations 
which occur to me upon censures expressed by eminent men 
without justice. Pope, after noticing the quibbles of the angels 
and archangels (an undoubted blemish to the poem), adds that 
Milton makes " God the Father turn a school-divine." This is 
epigrammatic ; but if the subject of the poem, Paradise Lost, 
and the object of the poet, to justify the ways of God to men, 
be considered, it appears to be an absolute necessity that the 
justice of the Divine proceedings should be established upon 
the assertion of free election in man. This could not be ex- 
plained without metaphysical argument ; without the nice 
distinctions which appear in the passages that the sarcasm of 
Pope would condemn. Dr. Johnson, among other objections 
to the conduct of the poem, says that the angel Raphael, in 
his conversation with Adam, speaks in a comparison of "timid 
deer," before deer could be timid. There is no such expression, 
or idea, as that of " timid deer" through the whole course of 
the poem. 1 

29th. Answer at length from the Committee of External Re- 
lations upon the subject of my former memorials. It is, take 
it for all in all, as curious a piece of diplomatic composition as 
I have met with. From its defiance of fact and contempt of 

1 " as a herd 
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd." — P. L., B. vi., 1. 857. 

This word has raised a great question among the commentators whether it does 
or does not include deer. 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. ^5 

argument, I shall be tempted to suspect it to be the composition 
of Noel. It behooves me now to be cool. The provocation 
of such a piece is so strong, that it is probably designed as 
such, and may be a French perfidy. 

November a$\. Dined at the Baron de Schubart's. Large com- 
pany. Mr. Goldberg asked me whether I could furnish him 
any account of the Bank of the United States and the principles 
of the institution. Promised to lend him the law by which it 
is established, and the report of Mr. Hamilton proposing it. 
Noel was in high spirits ; said they had good news. Details 
of an action in which the French had taken many prisoners 
and five superior officers. As to Moreau's affair, it was un- 
decided. He expected every day to hear of the surrender of 
Mantua. At table, however, he expressed his dissatisfaction 
that the Constitution which is to be reported on the tenth inst. 
retains the demarkations of the Provinces. Said they ought all 
to be dissolved into a single body. " Diable ! comme vous y 
allez!" said Hahn. "This, however," said the other, "is only 
the opinion of Citoyen Noel. The Minister, you may be sure, 
will find every thing you choose to do excellent." He repeated 
this distinction between himself the citizen, and himself the 
Minister, five or six times, as if it was a thing very clear in his 
mind, but which required minute explanation to meet the in- 
telligence of his hearers. I believe they hear enough of the 
Minister's ill humor, officially. " No," said Hahn ; " if the 
Minister was to speak, vous sentez bien que je me tairois." " True 
enough," somebody said, "the Minister is not here." The 
idea might have occurred before to Noel. They drank for a 
toast, "The restoration of the finances," and Noel laughed very 
heartily. The subject cannot in his mind be susceptible of 
serious discussion. 

10th. This being the day fixed for the report of a Constitu- 
tion to be made to the National Assembly, I attended the 
meeting. Found Mr. Bosset there. The credentials were read 
of a Minister Plenipotentiary from Spain, who arrived last even- 
ing, and this morning presented them to the President. He 
came soon after into the lodge, as did MM. de Schubart and 
Noel, Reuterswerd, and the Counsellor Scholten. Noel intro- 



> 
jg6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

duced the Spanish Minister, the Chevalier d'Anduaga. The 
Constitution was produced between one and two. The Chair- 
man of the Committee made a speech on producing it, which the 
President answered. The substituted members took their leave 
in withdrawing from the deliberations of the Assembly. Lu- 
blink, in their name, made a speech. It was resolved to read 
the Constitution on Monday. One of the members of the 
Committee, Van der Kasteele, announced that he should 
oppose its adoption, as it was not founded on the principles 
of Unity and Indivisibility. A warm debate then arose upon 
the question whether it should be read immediately, or on 
Monday. The debate was at length adjourned till to-morrow 
morning. 

2 1 st. At the Assembly an hour. Heard the close of a speech 
of Vreede, and the beginning of that of Schimmelpenninck. 
They write beforehand all their speeches upon affairs of any 
importance, and read them from the tribune. The question 
now under consideration is whether they shall debate the Con- 
stitution lately reported, or reject it at once. There is not 
much eloquence among them. 

December 1 3th. Dined by invitation at the Patriotic Society, in 
the house which was formerly the Prince's Cabinet and Library. 
There were about a hundred persons at table, generally mem- 
bers of the Assembly, the Corps Diplomatique, and officers of 
the armies, French and Batavian. The dinner was given on 
occasion of the Decree of Unity and Indivisibility by the Na- 
tional Assembly. The Citizen Buys after dinner read a speech, 
which appeared to be of Noel's composition. It was an address 
to the Batavian Citizens present, congratulating them upon the 
Decree of Indivisibility. There was, among other things intro- 
duced, a compliment to the foreign Ministers present, decent 
enough. About half a dozen toasts were drank — the Batavian 
and French Republics, the Powers in friendship with them, 
&c. Before dinner the President of the National Assembly and 
Mr. Van Leyden informed me that my note lately presented 
had been read at a meeting of the Committee of Foreign Af- 
fairs. That at the next general meeting they would probably 
resolve to propose to the Assembly the appointment of persons 



1796.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. i$y 

to confer with me upon the subject of its contents. The Presi- 
dent's name is Van Lennep. 

31st. With the commencement of the present year I began 
the practice of noting monthly the usual distribution of my 
employments and amusements through the course of the day — 
a practice which is not without its use for my own retrospection. 
The five first months of this year, spent in London, were a 
period of leisure accidentally given me, and too much of which 
I allowed to the indulgence of indolence. The seven last 
months, passed at the Hague, have, on the contrary, been a time 
of as steady and constant application as ever occurred in the 
course of my life. I have endeavored to contract the habit 
of early rising ; and although, since the commencement of the 
winter, the severity and darkness of the season have produced 
some relaxation in the execution of my determination, yet I 
have maintained it upon the whole with less flexibility than I 
apprehended I should. I have in a great measure repaired to 
my own satisfaction the loss of my time in the dissipation of 
London, and have now only to hope for resolution and health • 
to continue the same degree of industry, with some variation 
in my objects of pursuit. With my conduct also since my re- 
turn from England I am more content than I was there, and in 
the course of seven months I can have nothing essential to 
regret. I have, indeed, happily, nothing vicious to reproach 
myself with during the whole year, though I remember, with 
the regret which I hope will tend to my improvement, many 
errors and some follies. At least I have not knowingly injured 
any human being, and I can form no more fervent prayer to 
Heaven than that, at the termination of every succeeding year 
which may be granted me, and at the end of life, my own heart 
may yield me a testimony as pure and as favorable as it does 
at this moment. 

Day. Rise in the morning at about seven. Translate two pages 
of history from Tacitus. Breakfast at about ten. Afterwards 
till two, dressing, receiving or paying visits, or writing letters. 
Dine between three and four. After dinner read a few papers of 
the Rambler. Walk of three or four miles immediately before or 
after dinner. Evening generally in company and at cards. Seldom 



!88 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

at home, and reading a few of Cicero's Letters. A profound 
anxiety has taken possession of my mind. The situation of 
two objects the nearest to my heart, my country and my father, 
press continually upon my reflections. They engross every 
thought, and almost every power, every faculty. The struggle 
is painful, indeed, amid such sensations, to bear a cheerful coun- 
tenance to the world, to stifle every apprehension, and repress 
every rising sigh. A sullen glooms hangs upon futurity. May 
the merciful Disposer of all events avert the approaching terrors, 
and dispel the threatening tempest ! For myself I ask only 
Virtue and Fortitude. Virtue, to discharge all the duties of 
life ; and Fortitude, to bear whatever destiny awaits me. For 
my father and my country, my supplications to Eternal wisdom 
and goodness comprehend the issue and result of action, and 
pray for their welfare and prosperity no less than for the means 
that tend to procure them. 

March 4th, 1797. The day upon which the new administration 
of the United States commences, and I am still uncertain what 
the elections have decided. Every thing has contributed to accu- 
mulate anxiety upon this event in my mind. Futurity laughs 
at our foresight. I can only pray for the happiness and pros- 
perity of my country. Wrote a letter to my father. 

April 9th. Received this morning from Mr. Williams, the 
Consul at Hamburg, a letter with a packet from the Secretary 
of State, 1 containing my recall from the mission here, and a 
Commission as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to 
Portugal ; and also a couple of letters, one of them containing 
instructions for my new mission. 

June 5th. Holiday. They call it Pentecost, and observe 
these days more generally here than I imagined, or had hereto- 
fore remarked. After dinner took a long walk with Mr. Cutting, 
out at the Haerlem gate, and went round the Canal beyond the 
walls ; the outer Cingel to the Dyke in view of the Zuidersee, 
upon which we went some way. Returned, and passed the 

1 On Saturday, the 28th of May, 1796, President Washington had sent to the 
Senate a nomination of Mr. Adams as Minister to Lisbon, and it was confirmed by 
that body on the succeeding Monday. The long delay in sending out his com- 
mission to him was caused by circumstances rendering it expedient, in the judgment 
of the President, to retain him for a time at his former post. 



1 797.] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. jgg 

evening with Cutting, Mr. Vancouver, and Marshall the 
younger, and Lee. Mr. Vancouver's brother has made the 
last voyage round the world, which is soon to be published. 
He himself is a traveller, a man of information and under- 
standing. Cutting told us of Mr. Jefferson's instructions to the 
traveller Ledyard when he intended to try the passage across 
from Kamschatka. He was to carry nothing with him, no in- 
struments, no books, nothing that could possibly tempt the 
avidity of a savage. But he was to keep the journal of his 
travels by pricking it with thorns upon his skin. He had a 
scale of a foot marked out with Indian ink, in inches and lines, 
upon his arm, between the elbow and the wrist. If he met any 
remarkable mountain or other object, of which he wished to 
know the latitude, he was to cut him a stick of three feet long, 
and in the same spot mark the length of its shadow by the 
rising and setting sun, and then by the point of intersection 
drawn from the extremity of the two shadows, he would find 
the length of the shadow at noon, whence the latitude might 
be collected. If he came across a river, and wished to measure 
its width, he was to plant a stick at some station upon the bank, 
then, with another stick, horizontally level his eye at the opposite 
bank ; after which, turning round his stick and preserving it at 
the same angle, take a sight with it at some object on the bank 
where he stood and measure the distance, which would, of course, 
give him that across the river. Cutting was in extasies while he 
told all this. Poor Ledyard was stopped on his travels at To- 
bolsk, and afterwards died at Grand Cairo, on another journey 
into Abyssinia. But had he pursued his north-west road, what- 
ever benefit his success might have procured to mankind, his 
journal upon his skin would not, I think, have been worth much. 
9th. This forenoon arrived Mr. Dandridge, Mr. Murray's 
Secretary, with Captain Smith, the master of the vessel in 
which they came. They called on me with Mr. Damen. To- 
wards night Mr. and Mrs. Murray themselves arrived, and I 
immediately called upon them. I was intimately acquainted 
with him in the year 1784, but have not seen him since. 1 The 

1 William Vans Murray had been appointed to succeed Mr. Adams as Minister 
Resident at the Hague. 



jOO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

lapse of thirteen years is perceptible upon his countenance. 
Mrs. Murray I have never before seen. They are both much 
fatigued, and somewhat unwell from a long and tedious passage 
North-about, and a journey from the Texel here. Supped with 
them in their apartment. The letters and newspapers, which 
Mr. Murray brings me, kept me up reading till two in the 
morning. 

ioth. Spent the principal part of the day in conversation 
with Mr. Murray upon every subject concerning which he was 
desirous of information. We made a large party and went 
to the French Comedy in the evening. Le Conciliateur, 
ou l'Homme aimable, a new play, by M. de Moustier, and 
l'Epreuve Villageoise. The performance was good. 

I ith. We made a party this morning, Mr. and Mrs. Murray, 
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, Louis Marshall, Mr. Vancouver, Mr. 
Dandridge, Mr. Lee, and myself, to visit the little towns of 
Saardam and Broek, in North Holland. We crossed the river 
Y in a sail-boat, and on the other side took carriages, which 
carried us in two hours to Broek. This village is distinguished 
for its extreme cleanliness. It consists of about two hundred 
families, most of which are very wealthy. You would imagine 
the whole village covered by a single roof. The houses are all 
low ; very neatly painted. There is a small yard or garden, en- 
circled by a fence, before their front doors, which are all placed 
so high from the ground as to require three or four steps of 
descent. There are, however, no steps from them. The doors 
themselves are never opened except upon two occasions, when 
there is a death or marriage in the family. We saw the people 
coming from church ; their dresses were all alike, all black and 
the customary habiliments of the Dutch peasants. The women 
had a little square plate of silver, about the size of the reflecting 
glass in a mariner's quadrant, fastened at each of their temples. 
The streets are not wide enough for the passage of any carriage 
drawn by horses or oxen. They are paved throughout with 
fiat bricks, sanded and swept in angles like a floor. In the 
church there was nothing remarkable. In the poor-house, 
which we entered, we found every thing neat in proportion to 
the streets. From thence we went to Saardam in two hours 



1 797-] A MISSION TO GREAT BRITAIN. 



I 9 I 



and a half. There we stopped and dined. This place I have 
seen before. It is a large town, where the principal ship build- 
ing is carried on. It would be remarkably neat to any one not 
coming from Broek. But that renders the judgment very 
fastidious. This is the place where the Czar Peter, called the 
Great, worked as a common ship carpenter. They show the 
house in which he worked. We went to the church, where we 
found the minister preaching to a large and decent auditory. 
We saw the picture of the woman thrown up by a bull, and 
delivered of a child in the air; an accident which is said to 
have happened in this place, and has thus been commemorated. 
After dinner we returned to Amsterdam as we came. 

15th. Visited Mr. Van Leyden, and informed him of the 
arrival of Mr. Murray. Agreed to introduce him to Mr. Van 
Leyden to-morrow morning. Conversation with him upon the 
subject of the presents usually made to foreign Ministers when 
they take leave. I told him that, as I shall still hold an office 
of trust and profit under the United States at the time of my 
departure, an article of the Constitution forbids my acceptance 
of any present whatever from- a foreign Government, and that 
I wish this obligation on my part may be understood in its 
proper sense, and not as proceeding from any disrespect to this 
Government. He then asked whether the consent of Congress 
could not be obtained. I could not say how that might be. 
He said that in order to avoid the unpleasant appearance of a 
refusal, it might be left for a future arrangement, until I could 
write and obtain the consent of Congress. I agreed to leave 
it thus, and that in case I should obtain that consent I can re- 
ceive the present afterwards. Mr. Van Leyden is unwell, and 
going out of town. Called afterwards at General Pinckney's, 1 
and went with him and his family to the Heeren Logement to 
see Mr. and Mrs. Murray. Walk in the evening with Mr. 
Murray, and out late. 

1 6th. This morning, between nine and ten, I introduced Mr. 
Murray and Mr. Dandridge to Mr. Van Leyden, for whom they 

1 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, appointed Minister to France, and then on his 
way to Paris. The history of that fruitless mission makes one of the most interest- 
ing portions of our diplomatic history. 



I G2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [1797. 

both had letters. We told him that we propose to deliver our 
letters of recall and credence to the President on Monday or 
Tuesday. He requested me in that case to write to the Presi- 
dent, naming the day, and requesting to know the hour that 
would suit him, to which I agreed, and accordingly did write 
in the course of the day. 

20th. At ten this morning I called upon Mr. Murray, and 
went with him to the Hall of Audience of the National Assem- 
bly, where we were received by the President, Mr. Vitringa. 
After introducing to him Mr. Murray I delivered my letters of 
recall, together with a letter to the National Assembly, taking 
leave of them, conformably to my instructions. Mr. Murray 
then delivered his credentials. The President, after the usual 
compliments to me upon my departure, and to Mr. Murray 
upon his arrival, assured us that he would lay our papers before 
the Assembly immediately. After a short conversation upon 
indifferent subjects, we withdrew. 



CHAPTER V. 

MARRIAGE, AND THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 

On the 31st of June, 1797, Mr. Adams took his leave of the 
Hague, where he had spent nearly four years, with the view of 
proceeding to Portugal, to which country he had been trans- 
ferred by the direction of President Washington. His design 
was to proceed to London, there to fulfil the matrimonial en- 
gagement into which he had entered with Miss Johnson, and 
thence to pass by sea to Lisbon. 

But on his arrival in England the first news that greeted 
him was another change of destination. The President had 
closed his term of office on the 4th of March, and John 
Adams had assumed the place as the legally elected successor. 
Foreseeing the possibility of hesitation on the part of the 
latter in retaining his son in office, Washington had taken an 
occasion, a few days before his retirement, to address to him 
the following letter, which will speak for itself: 

Monday, 20 February, 1797. 

Dear Sir : — 

I thank you for giving me the perusal of the enclosed. The 
sentiments do honor to the head and heart of the writer, and if 
my wishes would be of any avail, they should go to you in a 
strong hope that you will not withhold merited promotion from 
Mr. John Adams because he is your son. For without intend- 
ing to compliment the father or the mother, or to censure any 
others, I give it as my decided opinion, that Mr. Adams is the 
most valuable public character we have abroad, and that there 
remains no doubt in my mind that he will prove himself to be 
the ablest of our diplomatic corps. 

vol. 1.— 13 193 



!g4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 

If he was now to be brought into that line, or into any other 
public walk, I could not, upon the principle which has regu- 
lated my own conduct, disapprove of the caution which is 
hinted at in the letter. But he is already entered. The public 
more and more, as he is known, are appreciating his talents and 
worth, and his country would sustain a loss if these were to be 
checked by over delicacy on your part. 

I am, ever yours, 

Vice President. G°- Washington. 

This letter refers to something received which gave occasion 
to the observations. It was doubtless a communication from 
J. Q. Adams relating to the matter. Although it is not pos- 
sible absolutely to identify that paper, the probabilities point 
to a letter still preserved, bearing date the 14th of November, 
1796, addressed to his mother, which, by the slow methods of 
transition customary in that day, is not likely to have reached 
her much before the date of the correspondence. If this con- 
jecture be correct, then it was the following paragraph from 
that letter which elicited the remarkable reply : 

" The appointment to the mission of Portugal I find from 
your letter was, as I had before concluded, unknown to my 
father. I have already written you upon the subject, and I 
hope, my ever dear and honored mother, that you are fully 
convinced from my letters which you have before this received, 
that upon the contingency of my father's being placed in the 
first magistracy, / shall never give him any trouble by solicita- 
tion for office of any kind. Your late letters have repeated so 
many times that I shall in that case have nothing to expect, that 
I am afraid you have imagined it possible that I might form 
expectations from such an event. I had hoped that my mother 
knew me better — that she did do me the justice to believe 
that I have not been so totally regardless or forgetful of the 
principles which education had instilled, nor so totally destitute 
of a personal sense of delicacy, as to be susceptible of a wish 
tending in that direction. I have indeed long known that my 
father is far more ambitious of my advancement, far more so- 



I797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. jgc 

licitous for the extension of my fame, than I ever have been, 
or ever shall be, myself; but I have hitherto had the satisfac- 
tion to observe that the notice with which my country and its 
government have honored me, and the confidence which they 
have been pleased repeatedly to repose in me, have been with- 
out the smallest agency of my father, other than the recom- 
mendation which his services carried with them." 

The effect of the representation made by Washington was 
perhaps to change the destination of Mr. Adams's mission, 
without altering its grade. At the same time it established a 
new diplomatic station at Berlin. A special duty of importance 
was likewise connected with it, as the memorable Treaty which 
had been negotiated with that country at the close of the 
Revolution was about to expire by its own limitation, unless 
specifically renewed. 

It appears from the executive record of the Senate of the 
United States that on the 28th of May, 1796, the President 
sent in the following message : 

Gentlemen of the Senate: — 

I nominate John Quincy Adams, at present Minister Resi- 
dent of the United States at the Hague, to be their Minister 
Plenipotentiary at Lisbon. G°- Washington. 

On the 30th of May, the Senate advised and consented to 
the appointment without a division. 

On the 20th of May of the next year, the following message 
appears to have been sent in : 

Gentlemen of the Senate: — 

I nominate John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, to be 
Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to the King of 
Prussia. John Adams. 

The message was read. 

Ordered, That it lie for consideration. 

On Tuesday, the 23d of May, the record is in these words : 



I9 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

The Senate proceeded to consider the message of the Presi- 
dent of the United States of the 20th instant, and the nomination 
therein contained of John Quincy Adams, &c. 

And after debate, 

Ordered, That the further consideration thereof be postponed. 

Tuesday, May 30, 1797. 

The Senate resumed the consideration of the message of the 
President of the United States of the 20th, and the nomination 
therein contained, &c. 

On motion, that it be 

Resolved, That the President be informed that the Senate 
deem it unnecessary to establish a permanent Minister at the 
Court of Prussia, and for that reason do not approve his nomi- 
nation of John Quincy Adams for that purpose. 

And after debate, 

Ordered, That the further consideration thereof be postponed. 

Wednesday, May 31, 1797. 

The Senate resumed the consideration of the message of the 
President of the United States and the nomination therein 
contained, &c. 

And the motion yesterday made thereon being withdrawn, 

On motion, that the nomination of John Quincy Adams for 
Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Prussia be postponed, 

A motion was made to amend the motion by adding thereto 
the following words, until the 10th of March next; 

Which passed in the negative, and 

On motion, it was agreed that the motion be amended to 
read as follows : 

Resolved, That the consideration of the nomination of John 
Quincy Adams for Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of 
Prussia be postponed. 

And on the question to agree to the motion as amended, 

It was determined in the negative. Yeas 12, Nays 17. 

On motion, that it be 

Resolved, That there is not, in the opinion of the Senate, any 
present occasion that a Minister should be sent to Prussia. 

On which the previous question was called for, to wit, Shall 
the main question be now put ? 



1 797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. jgy 

And it passed in the negative. Yeas II, Nays 18. 

So the main question was lost. Whereupon, 

Resolved, That the Senate do advise and consent to the 
appointment; agreeably to the nomination. 

Ordered, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the 
President of the United States. 

This record indicates opposition to the establishment of any 
mission at all, rather than to the person selected to fill it. The 
motive for proposing it was the fact that the well-known Treaty 
negotiated with Frederic the Second, by the three Commis- 
sioners entrusted in June, 1784, with general powers to treat in 
Europe, was expiring, and it was deemed by the. administration 
expedient to renew it. That instrument was remarkable for 
the recognition of certain novel principles, which, however 
sound in the abstract, were, under the force of peculiar circum- 
stances at the moment, felt to be embarrassing to the United 
States. Hence, perhaps, arose the indifference in the Senate to 
taking any step in that direction. 

It so happened that another Treaty negotiated by Dr. Frank- 
lin with the government of Sweden in 1783, for a term of fifteen 
years, was likewise about to expire. 

It was therefore for the purpose of negotiating directly with 
the government of Prussia, and indirectly with the authorities 
in Sweden, for the renewal of these Treaties, with certain modi- 
fications, that Mr. Adams was transferred from his place at 
Lisbon to Berlin. Although the grade was precisely the same, 
the responsibility attached to the duties to be performed was 
much the greater at the latter place. 

Under these circumstances it appears somewhat singular that 
little notice is taken in his diary of the course of these nego- 
tiations. The instructions of Mr. Adams required him to pro- 
pose essential changes in the instrument, rendered indispensable 
by the embarrassment caused to American commerce, and 
therefore to the^ federal administration, by the conflicts then 
waged upon the high seas between the great naval powers. 
Yet to a nation like Prussia, having little commerce afloat out 
of which to raise practical questions of difficulty, there seemed 



jog MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

to be scarcely motive enough to retreat from the support of 
cherished principles solemnly incorporated by the two nations 
into a public compact ominous of an intention to establish them 
in due time as the recognized law of all navigating powers. It 
was, therefore, a task of some delicacy so to present the sub- 
ject as to deprive it as far as possible of the appearance of ig- 
nominious retreat from doctrines believed to be sound, and 
therefore deserving of consistent support rather than of aban- 
donment. 

Among the principles agreed upon in the original Treaty 
were : 

i. Exemption from the operation of embargo in the ports of 
each other, whether general or special. 

2. Privateering on each side abolished. 

3. Neutral vessels cover the property of enemies ; familiarly 
known under the phrase, free ships, free goods. 

These were the chief points which it was the desire of the 
American government to have expunged. 

Yet in the official letter of instructions sent by the Secretary 
of State to Mr. Adams, it was distinctly declared that these 
changes were called for only by the emergency, and the hope 
was expressed that after the lapse of another period of ten 
years the original Treaty might be revived in all its parts. 

It was not without reluctance that Mr. Adams proceeded to 
execute these instructions, particularly so far as they abandoned 
the principle of free ships. In several of his dispatches he 
expressed this as his own sentiment, and also his fear that the 
proposition would make a serious difficulty with the Prussian 
government, which had long been committed to it before the 
world. It was perhaps fortunate for the result that he had 
not been compelled to open the negotiation on his arrival, 
when he was an utter stranger to the Ministers. During the 
considerable period whilst he was awaiting the reception of cre- 
dentials required by the accession of the new sovereign, he had 
had an opportunity to establish those personal relations with 
the Ministers upon which the success or failure of negotiations 
often in a large measure depends. Although by no means 
favorably inclined at the outset to the modifications desired, the 



1797] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. Y gg 

three Ministers with whom he had to deal were gradually 
brought to assent to the most material of them, and thus Mr. 
Adams was so fortunate as to be able to report his success in 
extending with the desired modifications the provisions of the 
Treaty for another period of ten years. 

In regard to the Treaty with Sweden, Mr. Adams early made 
overtures, through the agency of the Minister of that court 
at Berlin, to a similar negotiation. But it happened that M. 
Ascherade was soon afterwards taken ill with a disease that caused 
his death, and some time elapsed before the arrival of a suc- 
cessor. When at last the Baron d'Engestrom replaced him, 
and the subject was revived, it soon appeared that there was 
no earnestness to prosecute the work in this channel, and the 
Treaty was suffered to expire. 

The Treaty with Prussia, too, at the end of the succeeding 
ten years, met with a similar fate. And singularly enough, in 
the process of time, those principles which were so formally 
declared to be theirs by the United States at the outset of 
their career have now been adopted by all the great powers 
of Europe, in a solemn joint instrument to which the only 
parties that refused to give in their adhesion were the United 
States. 

It is now time to proceed to the extracts taken from the 
Diary, beginning with the reception by Mr. Adams in London 
of the news of his change of destination. 

London, July 18th. — As I was going out this morning I met 
Mr. King, who delivered me letters from the Secretary of State 
of 27th May and 1st June, and from my father of 2d June. 
They direct me not to proceed to Lisbon, but wait here for a 
commission and instructions to the Court of Berlin. 

26th. At nine this morning I went, accompanied by my 
brother, to Mr. Johnson's, and thence to the Church of the 
parish of All Hallows Barking, where I was married to Louisa 
Catherine Johnson, the second daughter of Joshua and Cath- 
erine Johnson, by Mr. Hewlett. Mr. Johnson's family, Mr. 
Brooks, my brother, and Mr. J. Hall were present. We were 
married before eleven in the morning, and immediately after 



200 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

went out to see Tilney House, one of the splendid country seats 
for which this country is distinguished. 

October 18th. Busied in the morning with the last prepa- 
rations for departure. Sent to the Duke of Portland's office, 
with my passport from Mr. King, to procure an order permit- 
ting me to embark. A clerk took the passport, and required 
my personal attendance at the office before he could expedite 
the order. I went accordingly. The clerk who had my pass- 
port was gone out. The doorkeeper said he would perhaps 
return between two and three o'clock, and evaded my repeated 
enquiries what was his name. I asked him his own name. He 
said his name was Mr. Then, a German name. Finding myself 
thus deprived of my passport, I left W. to wait for the return of 
the clerk, and immediately went home and wrote to Mr. King, 
stating the circumstances, and requesting another passport, 
being under the greatest apprehension of losing my passage in 
consequence of this detention. Hall told me I could get such 
an order as I wanted at the magistrate's office in Bow Street. 
Went with him there ; but no order could be had till seven 
o'clock in the evening, for which I could not stay. At about 
half-past three, my brother returned from Mr. King's with the 
second passport, and about the same time W. came from the 
Duke's office with the other, but without the order. I wrote 
again to Mr. King, desiring, if possible, that the order might be 
sent down after me to Gravesend to-night, and just before four 
we stepped into the post chaise. Between seven and eight we 
arrived there. The ship had been gone about two hours before. 
She was, however, to anchor for the night at the Hope, about 
ten miles below. I was reduced to the alternative of losing my 
passage or of going down to the ship in an open rowing boat. 
Upon application to Mr. Mazzinghi, he without hesitation gave 
me the permission to embark, though I had not the order, 
which in the case of neutral countries, he told me, was expe- 
dited not at the Duke of Portland's office, but by a magistrate. 
We went into the boat just at eight. The evening was remark- 
ably fine, and at about ten we reached the ship. 

23d. This morning upon rising I found we had a pilot on 



I797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 



201 



board, and were in sight of land. It was the island of Neuwerk, 
at the mouth of the river Elbe. 

26th. At noon this morning we anchored in the port of 
Hamburg. An officer from a guard house on our passage took 
our names, and enquired whether we were emigrants. From 
the landing place we came to the King of England Hotel. 

28th. Visit from my old friend Mr. Peyron, the Swedish Min- 
ister. He says the King of Prussia can live but a few days 
longer, if he be not already dead. 

29th. Between twelve and one, rode out to Mr. Parish's in the 
country, on the banks of the Elbe, about five miles distant from 
the town. Dined there. Mr. Parish showed me his corre- 
spondence with the Imperial Minister and the Baron de Thugut 
relative to the liberation of the prisoners 1 at Olmutz. They are 
now gone into Holstein. We were obliged to come away just 
after four, as at sunset the gates of the city are shut for the 
night; a practice founded upon the vicinity of Altona and the 
other jurisdictions which surround Hamburg. It is said to 
have also a fiscal view, as the principal resources of the place 
are from an excise. Evening at home, reading Miss Woll- 
stonecraft's Letters from Sweden and Norway. There is some 
imagination and some reflection ; but a canting, whining, sickly 
style of complaint, and almost as many errors as ideas. 

November 2d. 'Tis a fast day in Hamburg. The gates of the 
city opened at seven o'clock in the morning, were shut again at 
nine, during the time of divine service. In the interval we were to 
go out. We took leave of Mr. Williams and Mr. Calhoun, and 
started from the hotel at about a quarter before nine. The first 
stage of three German miles to Eschebourg we passed in a little 
more than three hours. But the second of four miles to Boizen- 
bourg took us between seven and eight. Mr. Parish told us we 
must count upon being two hours to every German mile. The 
whole road this day seems to be one bank of sand. It is difficult 
to perceive how even the small villages on the road subsist, and 
the town of Lauenbourg, within a German mile of Boizenbourg, 
is large. We passed by the side of it, but not through it. The 

1 The Marquis de la Fayette, in whose liberation Mr. Adams was directed to 
take interest, and to which he proved useful. 



202 • MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

post chaise in which Mr. Ross and Mr. Williams, with my 
brother, came, broke down near Lauenbourg, and will detain 
us a little to-morrow. Our hook too at the end of the pole 
was broken. 

3d. We slept, in the German fashion, between two feather 
beds — uncomfortably. I like not the custom. It was about nine 
when we took our departure. Rained hard great part of the 
night, and this morning. The roads, therefore, very bad. We 
proceeded only one stage of three and a half miles, to Liibthen. 
We did propose going another, but it was too late. Four 
o'clock when we reached Liibthen. We stopped for the night. 
The house very tolerable. The people obliging and accommo- 
dating. Music and reading; we find marks of them in almost 
every house. Here was a very indifferent forte-piano, and much 
music for it from German Operas, and several books — of de- 
votion chiefly — a Bible, a catechism, a volume divided into 
numbers like the Spectator, called Dcr Greis (the old man), re- 
lating to moral and religious subjects, with interspersed poetry. 

4th. We proposed leaving Liibthen very early this morning, 
but could not get away sooner than half-past six. We came 
again but one stage this day of four and a quarter miles to 
Leuzen, where we arrived at four in the afternoon, and found 
a good inn. This is the first Prussian town. The territory 
hitherto has been that of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 

5th. We set out this morning at half-past five, and finding 
sand rather more shallow, horses rather stouter, and drivers 
rather better than the two days before, came this day three 
stages — to Perleberg, three miles; to Kletzke, two; and to 
Kyritz, three. We had in the evening a fine moon, and reached 
Kyritz before ten at night. But we found a very indifferent 
house and poor beds. Perleberg is the only considerable town. 
We went into a church which appeared to be of the Catholic 
persuasion. Saw a baptism. Heard a trumpet from the tower 
of the church. A common usage, to employ such persons for 
the amusement of the public. It belongs to their musical pro- 
pensities, as does the French horn swung round the shoulder of 
every postillion. Most of them can blow them only by way of 
braying or jarring. Their tones are most unmusical; but all 



1797] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 203 

must have, and all must blow, the horn. There is a colossal 
pedestrian stone statue of a warrior in complete armor, and 
an old rusty iron sabre in his hand, standing before the church 
door, but with no legible inscription excepting the year of its 
date, 1546. At Kletzke, a miserable village, where we could 
find scarce anything. We saw, however, at the post house, a 
small library, a forte-piano, and music. We lodged at separate 
houses at Kyritz. 

6th. We started this morning at six, and came in the day 
two stages, of four miles each, to Fehrbellin and to Biizow ; the 
last before coming to the place of our destination. Fehrbellin 
is a small town. At Biizow, where we arrived at eight in the 
evening, the only inn had only one vacant apartment. The 
gentlemen therefore took their lodgings for the night in the 
common bar room. Our road continues rather better, but has 
become woody. The principal part of our last stage was 
through a pine forest ; and the trees are so near the road as 
by their branches to incommode our carriage glasses. 

7th. Left Biizow between nine and ten this morning. No 
hurry for a single stage of three miles to Berlin, chiefly through 
pines and sands — arrived just after one. Questioned at the 
gates by a dapper lieutenant, who did not know, until one of 
his private soldiers explained to him, who the United States of 
America were. From the gates to the Custom House ; from 
there, by special favor, to undergo Custom House inspection 
at our own lodgings. Went to the Ville de Paris. No room. 
To the Soleil d'Or, or otherwise the Hotel de Russie, where 
we took our apartments. The Custom House officers took the 
packages Poggi sent for the Prince Royal, and said they were 
obliged to transmit them to him themselves. I made no 
objection. 

8th. Delivered my letters to Messrs. Beneke and Schickler. 
One of the former gone to Frankfort. The latter received me 
rather oddly ; but it may be the custom of the country. The 
weather is cold. I wished for some opportunity to enquire the 
mode of proceeding usual here, by foreign Ministers, to obtain 
an introduction ; but, as upon former occasions, I was obliged 
to grope my way as I could. I had one letter for a foreign 



204 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIKCY ADAMS. [November, 

Minister, the Comte de Kalitcheff. But he has been gone 
about three weeks. There are three Ministers for Foreign 
Affairs. Sent this evening to the eldest, the Comte de Finken- 
stein, to enquire when I can see him. 

9th. Answer from Count Finkenstein, appointing five o'clock 
this afternoon to see him. Bookseller brought me some new 
books, and some containing information concerning this country. 
At five called upon Count Finkenstein. Delivered him a copy 
of my credentials, and of my power to renew the Treaty with 
this country. He received me with great politeness, expressed 
the satisfaction of the King at this mark of attention from the 
United States, but regretted that the state of the King's health 
rendered it impossible for him to give audience for the delivery 
of my credentials. So I am to be here six or eight months 
without admission. For the King will probably never recover 
enough to give an audience, and for a new King there must be 
new credentials. The Count then told me of my coming from 
England, and last from Hamburg, of my late mission to the 
Hague, of my father, &c, &c, by way of civility, to show me 
he knew something about me. He is a very old man, having 
been 'nearly fifty years a Minister of State. 

10th. At eleven this morning the Commandeur de Maison- 
neuve (of Malta) called on me. He has a letter from the Grand 
Master of the Order to the President of the United States, which 
he wishes to transmit, together with one from himself to the 
Secretary of State. Had a couple of hours of conversation with 
him. At one I called on the Baron d'Alvensleben, the second 
Minister in the department of foreign affairs. He told me the 
same thing with the Count Finkenstein, upon the subject of my 
mission, with equal civility. His manners have an apparent 
openness, approaching to bluntness, but far from unpleasing. 
This is what Mirabeau means by t\\Q fruit dit tcrroir. He men- 
tioned his having known my father and Mr. Jefferson. Said he 
had seen here too another American, who had passed through 
here once or twice — a man with a wooden leg — his name — 
" Morris," said I. " The same. Pray has he any mission from 
the United States ?" " None," said I. " He had a mission in 
France, but was recalled." " What is he, then ? For, to speak 



1 797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 205 

plainly, we have thought his conduct here improper." "I know 
not what his business here has been; but I saw, if I recollect, 
in some newspaper, that he was charged with some commission 
by the British Government." " Why, to be plain (again), I 
suppose him to be un volontaire en politique, dont la mission 
est de lui-meme." I made no reply, but recollected what the 
French Representative Alquier said of Morris to me nearly 
three years ago. M. d'Alvensleben further told me that he 
had known my father at the Hague, where he was about nine 
months Prussian Minister, as he afterwards was at London. He 
arrived in England just at the time the King went mad, and 
was from November till May without being able to deliver his 
credentials ; in the same case as mine at present. He enquired 
also how long it would be to receive answers to dispatches 
between this and America — a sufficient intimation of what he 
felt, no doubt, a scruple to say : that I must wait for new cre- 
dentials. 

At five in the afternoon I called upon the Count de Haug- 
witz, 1 the third Minister of the department; the office of which 
is at his house, and he is said to be the real efficient Minister. 
He repeated with regard to the mission the civilities and the 
regret expressed before by both his colleagues — said he was 
yesterday at Potsdam, and, mentioning my arrival to the King, 
witnessed his regret at being deprived by his extreme illness of 
the pleasure with which he would have received my credentials. 
He observed further that the present was an embarrassing and 
painful moment to the King's Ministers; as the public business 
suffered from his illness, and the hopes with which they had 
long flattered themselves of his recovery had been altogether 
disappointed. He then expatiated upon the excellence of the 
King's personal character, 2 and said he was beloved extremely 
by all his subjects. I took my leave. 

1 The pacific policy of this Minister, leaning to French connections, appeared 
for a time favorable to the interests of Prussia, but at last it broke down completely 
with the battle of Jena, and from that date the influence of Count Hardenberg 
became predominant. Haugwitz went into retirement in 1S06, and died in 1832. 

2 It was doubtless proper enough for a courtier to eulogize the character of 
his dying master as earnestly as possible, but in view of the unfortunate dis- 
closures of the private life of the sovereign, made by Mirabeau in his Histoire 



206 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

1 6th. The King of Prussia, Frederic William II., died this 
morning at nine o'clock, and was succeeded by his son, third of 
the same name. 

20th. Met M. de Maisonneuve, who mentioned some intelli- 
gence from France such as I expected. The crisis for my 
country cannot be avoided. I regret that my present situation 
allows me not to serve it as I wish, and as in others I think 
I ought. My duty I mean to do. The rest must be left to 
Providence. 

23d. Called this morning upon Count Finkenstein to deliver 
a note for the introduction of my baggage coming by water 
from Hamburg, and to enquire what I am to do ; since by the 
death of the late King, to whom I was accredited, I am now 
without credentials. With respect to my baggage he says 
there will be no difficulty ; and with regard to an audience, the 
department of foreign affairs had already written to the King, 
stating the circumstances under which I am here, and propos- 
ing to him to give me an audience, as designated Minister, after 
which I may wait for credentials addressed to him. They had 
not yet received an answer; but when they do, the Court will 
inform me what the determination of the King is. 

December 3d. A message from Count Finkenstein desiring to 
see me between five and six this evening. ■ I called accordingly, 
when he told me that the King had determined to give me an 
audience as if my credential letter had been delivered to the 
late King ; and that, if I pleased, I could send it to the depart- 
ment of foreign affairs ; that the King had not decided upon 
the day for the audience; probably it would be in the course of 
the week ; but he, the Count, would give me notice, as soon as 
the time should be fixed. He delivered to me at the same time 
a letter of notification from the present King to the President, 
Vice-President, and members of the Congress of the United 
States, informing them of his accession to the throne. The 
letter is in German, and he gave me a copy of it, together with 

Secrete, which Mr. Adams appears to have been reading a few days before, it must 
have been difficult for him to maintain his gravity at this broad declaration. The 
public proceedings against the Countess of Lichtenau were instituted by the suc- 
ceeding King almost immediately upon his accession. 



I797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 207 

an annexed French translation. M. de Maisonneuve is to be 
presented as a stranger. The Count repeated to me again the 
story of his credentials from the late Grand Master to the late 
King; and of his having sent for new credentials from the 
present Grand Master, &c, &c, which story he has told me 
every time I have seen him since my arrival. He has been 
a Minister of State these fifty years ; of course is more than 
eighty years old. 

4th. Upon returning home, found that Count Finkenstein had 
sent for me to call on him again this evening at half-past six. I 
sent him this morning my credential letter to the late King. I 
went to him at the time designated. He told me the King had 
fixed upon to-morrow, at half-past ten in the morning, to give 
me an audience, and that I should do well to write to the 
Courts of the two Queens and the other Princes and Princesses 
of the royal family to enquire when they would receive me. 
I knew not to whom to apply. Called immediately upon M. 
de Maisonneuve to enquire of him; he was not at home. Called 
at the Danish Minister's. He had a houseful of company, 
and I could get no opportunity to enquire of him. Saw there 
the Countess Haugwitz and Count Podewils, the Grand Mar- 
shal of the King's Court. Found I must go entirely by guess 
and such information as I could get from the address calender. 

5th. Sent round cards to the Courts of the Princess Louis, 
Prince and Princess Henry, Prince and Princess Ferdinand, the 
dowager Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, Princess Radzivvill, and to 
the Princes Henry and William, brothers of the King. At a few 
minutes later than half-past ten, I could not possibly go sooner, 
I went to the Prince Royal's palace, where the. King yet resides. 
Found there Count Finkenstein, with the two other Ministers to 
be presented ; Count Zinzendorff, the Saxon Minister, upon re- 
ceiving his new credentials, and a Minister sent from Hanover 
to compliment the new King. They were both introduced before 
me, for which the Count formally gave' me, last night, as a 
reason that both of them had credentials to present and I had 
not. The old gentleman's head is full of forms and precedences 
and titles, and all the trash of diplomatic ceremony. The 
audience of the two other Ministers was of about five minutes 



2o8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

each. My turn then came. From the antechamber the Count 
just entered with me into the King's apartment, made his bow, 
and withdrew. 

I then told the King of my arrival with credentials to his 
father, and a full power to renew the Treaty of Commerce ; of 
the circumstances which prevented my delivering that letter, 
and of my persuasion that the Government of the United States, 
immediately upon being informed of his Majesty's accession, 
would send new credentials addressed to him. 

He answered me that he should be very happy to maintain 
and renew the friendly and commercial connection with the 
United States ; and that the commercial interests of the two 
countries being the same, such a connection might be mutually 
advantageous with regard to the renewal of the Treaty. In due 
time and place all proper attention should be paid to the sub- 
ject. And he added some of the usual complimentary expres- 
sions of interest and regard for the United States. After which 
he enquired how long my father had been President, and 
whether Washington had entirely abandoned all connection 
with the administration of our affairs. I then withdrew. 

Dined at Mr. Schickler's with a company of twenty-five or 
thirty gentlemen, not one of whom I knew. In the afternoon I 
went round to pay my visits by cards to the Ministers, &c. 
Upon returning home between five and six, found that the 
Queen Dowager had sent here twice, this afternoon, notice that 
she would give me an audience immediately. I went therefore 
as soon as possible. 

She said she was happy to see me ; hoped I should stay 
here some time, and si le bon Dieu le permet, she should be 
glad to show me any civility. Enquired whether I had been 
before in mission elsewhere, and upon my answering yes, in 
England and in Holland, she asked if I had known her daugh- 
ter at the Hague — the hereditary Princess of Orange. I said 
I had seen her once, as I had arrived there only a few days 
before her departure. "Ah ! yes," said she; "that was another 
very unfortunate thing for them ; particularly at such a terrible 
season." 

She looks like a very good woman, and has the reputation 



1 797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 



209 



of being really so. The appearance of the King has a great 
degree of simplicity; a plain uniform and boots; his person 
tall and thin ; his countenance grave, approaching even to 
severity, but often lighting up with a very pleasing smile. He 
speaks rather quick. Mirabeau has drawn a character of him 
highly advantageous in his libellous letters ; but he was then 
only sixteen years old. There are some promising circum- 
stances at the commencement of his reign — some that are 
less so. 

6th. Could not go out this forenoon, from an apprehension 
of short notices for attendance at the Courts, like that of yes- 
terday afternoon at the Queen Dowager's. Called, however, 
upon M. de Maisonneuve. Received several answers from the 
Princes in the course of the day. This evening, between five 
and six, appointed to go to the Princess Radziwill's. She is a 
daughter of Prince Ferdinand, and married this Polish Prince. 
The visit was to her, but I found the Prince there also. Was 
introduced by M. de Sartoris. She rose from her piano-forte 
to receive me. They both talked much of Kosciuszko, with 
great apparent regard and respect — of America, of General- 
Washington, and asked a great number of questions relative to 
the United States, &c. Just as I was going there, the Baron 
de Rosencranz, the Danish Minister, called upon me, and sat 
about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour. 

7th. After waiting at home all the morning, I went at about 
five in the afternoon, according to appointment, first to the 
Princess Henry's. Was introduced by a Major de Beauvre. She 
was a Princess of Hesse-Cassel, and is about seventy years old. 
She made me the common questions about America, General 
Washington, &c, and enquired whether there were living any 
descendants of Mr. Franklin. Thence I went to the Palace of 
the Order of Malta, where the Prince and Princess Ferdinand 
reside. She was a daughter of the Markgraf of Brandenburg 
Schwedt, a cousin of the late King. He is Grand Master of the 
Order of Malta within the Prussian dominions. Introduced 
first to the Princess by Mons. de Sydow, and afterwards to the 
Prince by the Baron de Geertz. She made many enquiries con- 
cerning my country, and several about my family here, &c. ; 
vol. 1. — 14 



2io MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

talked a great deal about Kosciuszko, with great esteem and 
applause. The Prince observed that for the last twenty years 
my country had become a very interesting subject of observa- 
tion. He, as well as all the rest, enquired much of the epidemic 
fever which has again been raging in Philadelphia and other 
parts of the United States. They have a few general ideas re- 
specting us which they gather from the newspapers, which they 
all read very assiduously. The Prince has a habit of repeating 
twice over all his phrases, and with such rapidity that it is 
very difficult to distinguish when he begins anew. He is about 
sixty-seven, and a brother of the great Frederic. 1 

Sth. At noon went by appointment and was introduced by the 
Baron de Miinchhausen to Prince Henry. 2 He usually resides 
at Rheinsberg, and is now here only upon the occasion of the 
King's death ; after the funeral solemnity he will return. His 
conversation discovered more knowledge of America, and a 
mind more turned to speculation, than any of the other Princes 
whom I have yet seen. He said that America was a rising, 
while Europe was a declining part of the world, and that in 
the course of two or three centuries the seat of arts and 
sciences and empire would be with us, and Europe would lose 
them all. Their progress had been westward, beginning in 
Asja, and it was natural that America should have her turn. 
But he asked whether we should have a centre of union suffi- 
ciently strong to keep us together, and to stand the trials of 
the inconveniences incident to republican, and especially to 
federative, Governments. He enquired after General Washing- 
ton, of whom he spoke in terms of great respect. Mentioned 
Franklin, whose bust he said he kept, and made some enquiries 
respecting my father. He enquired also after young Marshall, 
who, he said, had been here, whom he had seen, and who was 
quite a joli garcon. He told me the circumstance upon which 
Marshall came here, and which related to the liberation of M. 
de la Fayette. This Prince is turned of seventy. His name is 
very well known both in Europe and America. His counte- 

i Ferdinand, youngest brother of Frederic II., born in 1730, died in 1S13. 
2 Frederic Henry Louis, brother of Frederic II., and only second to him in 
military reputation, born January 18, 1726, died August 3, 1802. 



1 797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 211 

nance has strong marks of the features which distinguished that 
of his yet greater brother. I believe that Mirabeau has done him 
great injustice. At half-past one, at the time fixed, went and 
was presented by the Comte de Wintzingerode to Madame the 
dowager Landgrave, who is a fine woman ; a sister of the Prin- 
cess Ferdinand. She wears a star of the Order of St. Catherine, 
instituted by the late Empress of Russia. Stayed to dinner, as 
I had been invited. The company consisted of the Duke of 
Brunswick and his second son, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, 
Prince Augustus, youngest son of Prince Ferdinand, and each 
of these accompanied by a gentleman attendant. There was 
also the Minister of State, Struensee, the new Minister from 
Hanover, and the Charge d'Affaires from the same Court, the 
Baron d'Ompteda, the Marquis Parella, Sardinian Minister, and 
his lady, the Baron de Reede, formerly Minister from Hol- 
land, and his lady, a Russian Princess Menzikoff, and one or 
two other Russian officers, General Riedesel, in the service of 
the Duke of Brunswick, and well known in the American War 
as having been captured with Burgoyne at Saratoga. A list of 
names is all that such an occasion affords. The dinner was 
perfectly elegant, and every thing discovered taste rather than 
cost. I wished to have observed something more than the 
countenance of the Duke of Brunswick. Baron Riedesel 
talked with me much about America, and enquired particularly 
about General Schuyler, of whose treatment to him at the 
time when he was taken prisoner he spoke very highly. We 
sat down to dinner soon after two ; a late hour here, where 
they usually dine between one and two. About two hours at 
table. Home before five. Half an hour after, went as ap- 
pointed, and was introduced to the hereditary Princess of 
Orange, at the royal palace, where she has apartments. I 
saw her once before, at the Hague. She looks now as if she 
had met with misfortune since then; as she really has. This 
place is but a refuge to her, and her residence is far from being 
so pleasant as that of the Vieille Cour. 

9th. Received this morning a ticket of admission for the 
funeral solemnity fixed for the nth. Waited at home the 
whole morning. Visit from Lord Elgin, the English Minister. 



212 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

Says he shall not attend at the ceremony on Monday, because 
it will be necessary to go too early in the morning — at seven or 
eight o'clock. 

ioth. The guards from Potsdam came into town this morn- 
ing. The King and Court went out to meet them. Saw them 
pass. The finest regiment I ever saw. Evening and supper at 
Prince Ferdinand's. Played at reversi with a lady and two 
gentlemen whom I did not know. Neither the Prince nor 
Princess supped at table. Their son, Prince Augustus, did the 
honors. I knew none of the company except the gentlemen 
of the Princes and M. de Maisonneuve. Prince Radziwill was 
there part of the evening. Prince Ferdinand asked me whether 
there was not yet a great connection between America and 
England. Upon my saying there was, he replied that if it had 
not been for the folly and caprices of the King of England, he 
supposed the connection would never have been broken. I 
said the King of England had certainly been badly advised 
at that time. "And indeed," said the Prince, " he is as much so 
now, for continuing this war." The Princess again eulogised 
Kosciuszko. 

i ith. Rose very early, for the purpose of attending the funeral 
solemnity at church. Went there between seven and eight. 
The church was hung round with black cloth, and illuminated. 
The description of this pageantry is not worth making. But it 
may be observed that upon a pyramidal column, over which 
stood a bust of the deceased King, was an inscription in Ger- 
man, purporting that " Frederic William II., after a reign dis- 
tinguished by magnanimity, clemency, and uprightness, father 
of his country, was, on the 16th of November, 1797, taken from 
the midst of his faithful people, to pass through the shades of 
death to the sunshine of immortality." The music, as appeared 
to me, was indifferent. The funeral dirge was performed as the 
coffin was brought into church and placed upon a sort of 
throne or theatre erected for it, and through which it was let 
down into the tomb. There was nothing in the coffin, for the 
real burial took place, without any pomp or show, within a 
week after the King's decease. The procession came from the 
palace, and reached the church at about eleven. The dirge, 



I797-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 21 3 

after proper lamentation and celebration of the late royal vir- 
tues, closed by a change to notes of joy and mirth, proclaiming 
the virtues no less conspicuous and anticipating glories no less 
splendid from the reign of the present monarch. It was about 
one before we could get away from the church. In the box or 
pew reserved for foreign Ministers were those of Russia (Count 
Panin), Denmark (M. de Rosencranz), Sardinia (Marquis Pa- 
rella and his lady), Saxony (Count Zinzendorff), Mentz (Count 
Hatzfeld), the Hanoverian Ministers, and one other. Those of 
the Emperor, France, Spain, England, Portugal, Sweden, &c., 
were not there. 

17th. This was the day fixed for the Queen to hold her first 
Court. I wrote in the morning to her Chamberlain, Monsr. de 
Schilden, requesting him to present me at the Court. Received 
an answer between four and five that she would give me audi- 
ence at a quarter before five, immediately before the Court of 
Condolence. I accordingly went at the time, and found a very 
numerous assemblage of people at the Court. Found some 
difficulty to meet with M. de Schilden, who at length intro- 
duced me. The Queen's * conversation was altogether of lamen- 
tation at the death of the late King. Immediately after the 
audience, the Court was held — that is to say, the doors of the 
apartment were thrown open; the Queen appeared sitting, 
and her ladies attendant behind her; the people, assembled 
in promiscuous order, entered the apartment, went up in suc- 
cession not very regular, and every person, after making one 
bow to the Queen, which she returned in her seat, withdrew 
through a door opposite to that of entry. The whole business 
was over soon after six, and I returned home for the evening. 

1 8th. Between six and seven went to the cercle held at the Prin- 
cess Henry's. It is held every Monday. The company large. 
The Princess talked of the weather. The hereditary Princess 

1 Louisa, daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, born March 10, 1776, 
married to the King December 24, 1793, experienced a season of suffering and 
trial not often the lot of a Queen, but which has exalted her into a heroine in the 
memory of the nation, and given her name a permanent place in history. The 
monument erected to her, surmounted by the statue of the artist Rauch, at Char- 
lottenburg, is the most interesting object visited by strangers at Berlin. She died 
July 19, 1810. 



214 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

of Orange said the Court of yesterday was no convenient oc- 
casion for making acquaintances. Played reversi with the Mar- 
quise Parella, Madame, and Mr. Caillard, the French Minister, 
whom I had seen seventeen years ago at St. Petersburg. At 
nine we retired, as the usage at this Princess's Court is for the 
foreign Ministers not to stay to supper. 

19th. Letter this morning from the Comte Keyserling, in- 
forming me that the Princess Louis would see me at five 
o'clock in the afternoon. Went accordingly at that time, and 
was introduced by the Countess de Briihl and the Comte de 
Haack. This Princess is sister to the Queen, and widow of the 
King's next eldest brother. He died about a year ago. She 
is under twenty, and has three children. She and the Queen 
are both handsome. She talked about America, and said she 
had read M. Vaillanfs* travels, which were very interesting, 
and it made her quite sorry when she heard that he told nothing 
but lies. The Countess de Briihl asked me whether I did not 
think the ceremony on Sunday at Court extremely ridiculous. 

26th. Evening at Count Zinzendorff's, the Saxon Minister. 
He has a similar card party every Tuesday. There were 
nearly a hundred persons present. Almost all played at 
cards, of which in two rooms there were nineteen tables. Con- 
versation with the Marquis de Llano, a Spanish gentleman 
whom I met there. Whist with Madame de Wulknitz, Madame 
de Liitzow, and the Baron de Haagen. His lady told me the 
Princess Henry enquired for me last evening a cors ct a cri. I 
thought I might for once indulge myself, and omit going, with- 
out its being noticed. Spoke to Baron Alvensleben. These 
parties resemble exactly those of the French Minister Noel at 
the Hague. They are the same as tea and card parties almost 
everywhere. 

January 4th, 1798. Evening and supper at Prince Ferdi- 
nand's. Madame the Landgravine there. Prince Charles of 
Nassau (Wcilbourg). Other company not numerous. The 
Prince conversed with me some time on the subject of America; 

1 The Princess doubtless referred to the travels, just then published, of Francis 
Le Vaillant in the interior of Africa, and perhaps confounded that country with 
America. 



i 79 8.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2 I$ 

enquired where Mr. (Fitz) Morris, as he called him, mean- 
ing Gouverneur Morris, is now ; said he had acted here 
more like an Englishman than an American, and had made a 
formal proposition from the British Government (from Pitt, was 
his word) to this Court to renew the war with the French 
Republic. Played whist with Madame de Bredow, General 1 
, and a Polish Count, Unruh. At supper a Mademoiselle 
de Borck took the likeness of the Prince of Nassau with a 
pencil; showed me a book containing a number of likenesses 
which she has taken in the same manner, all of them extremely- 
well done. 

5th. Attended the ball this evening at the Minister Baron 
de Heinitz's. The King, Queen, and all the younger part of 
the royal family were there. The company very numerous. 
About twenty or twenty-five couples of dancers. The Queen 
danced all the time. The ball began soon after six, and was 
over between nine and ten, according to the custom of the 
country, where they universally keep very good hours. 

6th. Attended the ball this evening at the Minister Baron 
Alvensleben's. The same company as that of last evening: 
the King dances only the first dances. There is little real 
enjoyment at such parties as these ; they appear equally tedious 
to all the company. The associates are not well sorted. Re- 
spect on one side and condescension on the other are not the 
ingredients of social pleasure. There is stiffness, coldness, 
formality, politeness, labored affability, studied attention, and 
every thing except that mutual abandon (to use a French 
phrase) which constitutes the charm of conviviality. 

14th. At Court this evening to a ball and supper. The 
forms vary from those of a common Court. All the royal 
connections were there. Stayed to make the bow to the Queen 
at supper, which M. Caillard says is necessary. Caillard, by 
the way, is remarkably civil to me. He is curious to find out 
what I am doing here. Luckily, there is nothing to discover. 
He took an opportunity very adroitly to enquire whether I 
write in cypher; and how I send my letters. Whist with 
Madame de Liitzow, Mile, de Haagen, and a Count Moltcke. 

1 Left blank in the original. 



2i6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

M. de Maisonneuve told me that the Chevalier d'Araujo had 
been arrested and confined in the Temple at Paris, notwith- 
standing his official character. 

1 8th. At the play in the evening — Palmira, Princess of Persia, 
a German translation of an Italian opera. The scenery was 
magnificent, the music pretty good, the performers tolerable, 
the house small and very badly lighted. The royal box in 
front of the stage was full as it could hold. The King, Queen, 
and all the younger part of the royal family were there. Upon 
the Queen's entrance the company in the boxes rose, and she 
bowed complaisantly all round. No sort of notice was taken 
of the King when he came in, and he kept altogether at the 
hindmost part of the box. Play over before nine. 

30th. Ball this evening at General Kunheim's. There were 
more than five hundred persons present. The crowd excessive. 
It was the anniversary of the General's birthday, he being sixty- 
six years old, and also of fifty years' service in the army. There 
was a ceremony upon the occasion ; a transparent picture, a 
burning altar, young girls to strew flowers and crown him 
with a garland, and a speech made to him by an officer in the 
name of his regiment. 

May 2 1 st. This and the two following days were destined 
for the grand annual reviews of the troops. I went this morn- 
ing at about four o'clock. The review lasted till between ten 
and eleven. There were five regiments of cavalry, of twelve hun- 
dred men each, and ten regiments of infantry, of two thousand 
men each. The review is had upon an open plain about two 
English miles out of town. The troops are in admirable con- 
dition, and exhibit a very fine appearance. Upon my return 
found a message from Count Finkenstein to meet him at one 
o'clock. Went accordingly, and delivered him a copy and trans- 
lation of my new credentials. He told me that they would this 
evening make their report to the King, in order that, if possi- 
ble, I might have an audience to deliver them before the King 
leaves town for Prussia, which will be on Friday. He said 
Count Haugwitz had mentioned the circumstance this morning, 
having, he knew not how, received information of it, and they 
had determined to make their report this evening. 



1798.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 217 

22<± Out upon the field again this morning between five and 
six. The reviews and manoeuvres were continued, but finished 
between nine and ten, earlier than yesterday. On my return 
home visited Baron Alvensleben, to mention the receipt of the 
new credential to him. He said the King was so overbur- 
dened with business that it might perhaps be impossible for 
me to have the audience to deliver them before his return from 
Prussia. 

June 1st. Dined at the Minister Struensee's with Marshal 
Mollendorff, Prince Repnin, and a company of twenty persons. 
The conversation was much upon military subjects. There 
was rather a studied than a' natural cordiality between the 
principals. They talked a great deal — Prince Repnin especially 
not a little, for the sake of talking. A curious discussion was 
started, upon the difference which there would be in the art of 
war if armies required no provisions. The Prince thought 
light horse preferable to heavy cavalry. Mollendorff did not 
take much part in this conversation, but drank his champagne. 

19th. This morning finished Gesner's Death of Abel. It 
seems to be meant as a sequel to the Paradise Lost. It maybe 
called a pretty thing, but it is unfortunate in calling Milton's 
poem so frequently to the mind. The descriptions of rural 
scenery are beautiful, for the author was more painter than 
poet. The sentiments good, but too uniformly consisting of 
tenderness and affliction ; too soft and tearful. The characters 
of Adam and Eve closely imitated from Milton ; of Cain and 
Abel, original and well contrasted ; of their wives Mehala and 
Thirza, not discriminated enough. The celestials are messen- 
gers, without distinctive marks, and Anamelech, the fallen 
spirit who prompts the atrocious deed, a pigmy devil indeed 
compared with Milton's rebel angels. Besides which, he meets 
with no punishment for his infernal project, in which he is 
completely successful, and from which he issues triumphant. 
Evening an hour at what they call a picnic. A company meet 
at a public house in the Park, take tea in the open air under a 
sort of bower in the garden. Each guest pays eighteen gr. 
for his fare, though invited by a gentleman and lady, who 
undertake to receive the other company as host and hostess. 



2i8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

A number of them take this office by turns. This evening it 
was Count Zinzendorff and the Countess de Castell. 

July 3d. Called on Count Finkenstein, at his request, this 
afternoon at six o'clock. He said the King had fixed on 
Thursday at half-past ten in the forenoon to give me an audi- 
ence for the delivery of my letters of credence, and apologized 
for the long though necessary delay. The audience is to be at 
Charlottenburg. I am to ask audiences likewise of the Queen, 
and afterwards of the Queen Mother, if she remains in town. 
I am to send a memorial to the department concerning the 
renewal of the Treaty, referring to the powers which I commu- 
nicated last winter. The department of finance will be con- 
sulted, but all will go through that of foreign affairs. The 
Count said I should do well to wait until the next week, for 
they were at present occupied with a thousand little minutiae 
relative to the ceremony on the 6th, which, though trifling and 
insignificant in themselves, required an indispensable attention. 
The homages belonged properly to the department of the fiefs 
held by M. de Werder; but there were numerous references to 
the other departments, so that they were all employed. He 
asked me if I had received an invitation to attend. I had, this 
morning. He enquired whether I had any news from home. 
Told him as late as 7th May, principally relating to our situa- 
tion with France, which I presumed was known to him. He 
had seen the late publications on both sides. The accounts 
appeared to represent an open rupture as probable. I told him 
that Talleyrand's performance finished by an assurance that the 
Directory wished to live at peace with America; that, notwith- 
standing the very hostile temper apparent through all the rest 
of the publication, if this closing assurance was true, peace 
would be preserved, for it was ardently desired by the Ameri- 
can Government. He hoped it would ; for at least, if so, it 
would be one war the less (une guerre de moins). I told him 
that the present situation of things suggested the alterations 
which I should have to propose in the Treaty, as the principles 
practised upon by the maritime powers required some such 
measures. He said that as to these principles of navigation they 
were at present un pen en I' air, but every disposition would exist 



1798.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2IQ 

here to prove the friendship and good will of this Government 
towards the United States, and to make such arrangements as 
might be advantageous to the subjects of both nations. 

5th. I went to Charlottenburg, and entered the palace as the 
clock struck half-past ten. Three other Ministers were ap- 
pointed at the same time — the new French Minister Sieyes, 
the Comte de Schall, from the Elector of Bavaria, and the Com- 
mandeur de Maisonneuve, from Malta. I arrived the last of 
all, and was of course the last introduced. I presented to the 
King my letters of credence, and repeated the motives of my 
mission, which I had mentioned to him at my first audience 
last winter. At the same time I presented the compliments of 
my Government, of condolence upon the death of the late King, 
and of felicitation upon his own accession to the throne. He 
answered me with kindness, assured me of his sincere friend- 
ship for the United States, and said he was happy to see me 
now fully accredited here, and hoped I should long remain 
here; then made some enquiries after my family here, and 
enquired again concerning General Washington. Upon coming 
out I found Sieyes, whom I had seen at the Hague, in the 
month of May, 1795, of which I reminded him. He had for- 
gotten it. I then went with M. de Maisonneuve to Madame de 
Voss to enquire when the Queen would see us. She said some 
other day, of which we should have notice. She told us about 
her journey, with which she appears much pleased, and of the 
Queen's carriage oversetting, of the charming ladies and inex- 
pressible names they met at Warsaw, &c, &c. We found the 
Count Schall there. Returned immediately to town, and soon 
after went out to dine with Mr. Schickler, at Strahlau, about 
three English miles from Berlin, the other way. A large com- 
pany — thirty-five persons at table, of whom I had seen scarce 
any before; among the rest, a' Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson from 
Amsterdam. The situation of Strahlau, a small village on the 
banks of the Spree, is pleasant, and resembles in a great de- 
gree the country in Holland. 

6th. Between nine and ten this morning went to the royal 
palace, into the hall called the White Hall, on the third story. 
We were early. At about ten the King went in procession with 



220 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

his Generals and Ministers to the Dom Church, and heard a 
sermon. At about twelve he returned, escorted as before, 
entered the hall, and ascended a throne prepared in it for him. 
His brothers, Henry and William, stood on his right hand. 
The Princes Ferdinand, Augustus, and Prince Radziwill on his 
left. Further on the right the principal generals and aides-de- 
camp of the King. On the left the Ministers. In front, in 
boxes partitioned off, the deputations from the magistrates of 
the several provinces. In a box at the right, all the foreign 
Ministers and their Secretaries. In one at the left, all the 
other foreigners present. In a small gallery at one corner of the 
hall were the Queen, the Queen Mother, and Princesses. The 
Minister de Reck began by a speech addressed to the deputies, 
which was answered by the president of the deputations, Arnim 
de Suckow. Then a secretary read the oath of allegiance, 
which was afterwards repeated word by word by all the depu- 
ties, and closed with three cheers of" Long live Frederic William 
III." Then one of the Ministers read the act signed by the 
King, declaring on his part that he will maintain all the rights 
and privileges of the respective states. After which the Min- 
ister Alvensleben read the list of favors granted on this oc- 
casion. The three cheers were the signal for the sounding 
of the trumpets and kettle-drums, and the firing of twenty-four 
guns without the palace. From thence the King went down one 
floor, entered under a canopy upon a balcony fronting the public 
square, where the same ceremony was repeated, and the oath 
taken by the deputations of the citizens. The people in and 
around the square in front of the palace must have amounted 
to fifty thousand persons. It was all over before one o'clock, 
when the King sat down to dinner with upwards of twelve 
hundred persons. As I was retiring through the White Hall, 
I found the Queen Mother seated with her ladies of honor. 
She called me to her, and said she would take leave of me 
there. I had sent last evening to know when I could wait 
upon her, with my compliments upon the renewal of my cre- 
dentials. She goes out of town this evening. The day passed 
without any unpleasant accident. All illuminations for the 
evening had been forbidden. 



1798.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 221 

7th. There was a great ball given at Court this evening. I 
received in the morning from the Queen's chamberlain, the 
Baron de Schilden, notice that she would give me a private 
audience at six in the evening, just before the ball. Went 
accordingly at the time, and met in the antechamber, as at 
Charlottenburg, the Citizens Caillard and Sieyes, the Count 
Schall, and the Commandeur de Maisonneuve. We were suc- 
cessively introduced into the great hall, at the further extremity 
of which stood the Queen, with all her ladies stationed behind 
her. I made my compliment in a very few words, which she 
returned in as few. The audience of all five of us did not take 
more than a quarter of an hour. After it was over I went up 
into the ball-room, which was the same White Hall where the 
homage was yesterday performed. The company was very 
large. The Court before the ball lasted about half an hour ; 
the dancing until about ten o'clock. Whist with Madame de 
Saldern, the Baron de Heinitz, and Count Lendorf. After 
finishing our party, had conversation with various persons — 
the Prince of Orange, Otto, M. Sartoris, Gallatin, Robert Fagel, 
&c. Soon after the Queen sat down to supper I came away. 
Sieyes did not appear to be pleased with his evening. 

August 6th. At about five in the afternoon we started for 
Potsdam. Mr. Childs was with us, and in company with us 
three English gentlemen, Messrs. Kent, Jarratt, and Hamilton 
— the first a clergyman, who accompanies Jarratt upon his 
travels. He is the son of a wealthy Jamaica planter. Mr. 
Hamilton is a young man, going to pass some time at Got- 
tingen. William Brown and my brother went on horseback. 
We arrived at Potsdam before nine in the evening. The dis- 
tance four German, about sixteen English, miles, in two stages. 
The road very good — a turnpike made at great expense over 
the sands of the country. We lodge at the sign of the Hermit. 

7th. Took the whole forenoon to see the various objects of 
curiosity in and round Potsdam. The gallery of pictures not 
a large collection, but containing some very good paintings of 
the first masters in the Flemish and Italian schools. The 
palace of Sans Souci, with an imitation of ruins built in the 
midst of a hanging wood on the side of a hill about a quarter 



222 MEMOIRS OF JOHX QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

of a mile distant from it. This was a favorite residence of 
Frederic II., and behind the palace are buried his dogs, each of 
them being honored with a grave-stone. There are several 
writing-chambers, and libraries in two of them, which he was 
wont to use. The books were all French, many of them trans- 
lations from Greek, Latin, Italian, and English authors, but not 
so much as the name of a German. The Belvedere is a small 
building like a summer-house, near Sans Souci, commanding 
an extensive prospect. The new palace, a large and expensive 
one, built by Frederic II. just after the close of the Seven 
Years' War, to prove (so they say) that his resources were not 
exhausted. The Marble Palace, so called because partly con- 
structed of that material, was built by the late King, and is 
not yet completed. It is internally the most convenient, and 
most in a modern style ; rather elegant than superb. The late 
King died there, and in one of his apartments we found still 
a bust of the Countess of Lichtenau. We saw near it the 
house in which she was for some months confined after his 
death. In the garden we saw a couple of buildings externally 
like a peasant's hut, and a rough grotto with handsome and 
well-furnished apartments within. In the palace were a number 
of antique statues, purchased in Italy, by order of the late 
King, in the year 1791. It was near four o'clock when we 
returned, quite fatigued, to our inn. 

8th. Saw the guards performing their usual exercises in the 
palace garden at eleven this morning. Went upon the steeple 
of the garrison church, from which there is an extensive and 
very beautiful prospect. But we could not see the monuments 
of Frederic William I. and Frederic II., who are buried there 
under the pulpit. We went over the Orphan House. The 
dining-hall and bedrooms are quite decent. There are about 
four hundred boys, and not quite so many girls, here, from six 
to fourteen years of age, after which they are put out as ap- 
prentices to trades. We were detained here some time by a 
severe thunder-shower. It prevented us also from returning 
this evening, as we had intended, to Berlin. In the afternoon 
we went to see the manufacture of small arms, belonging to 
Schickler; but the barrels are made at Spandau. We saw them 



1798.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2 2$ 

only bore a touch-hole and make a breech-pin. We finished 
the day by going over the palace in the town, which contains 
scarcely anything of remark — nothing, indeed, but another 
of Frederic II. 's libraries, consisting entirely of French books. 
We opened a volume of his own works, and fell upon a poem 
in which he says, — 

" Et les charmans accords d'Horace 
M'ont fait Poete malgre moi." 

But from the appearance of all his libraries, it must have been 
the charming translation of Sanadon that inspired him, for in 
all his collections there was not an original Horace or any 
other classical author to be found. We observed here, too, a 
picture of Dido and ^Eneas that was tolerable. The figure of 
Cupid, in the shape of Ascanius in the lady's lap, was good. 

October 21st. Evening and supper at Madame d'Engestrom's. 
About twenty-five persons, — a small company here, — among 
the rest the Archbishop of Gnesen, who delights in telling 
anecdotes of Frederic II. Told us, among the rest, of his 
ordering a statuary to furnish him with a Theseus abandoned by 
Ariadne. The sculptor told him it must be Ariadne abandoned 
by Theseus. " No objections, if you please," said the King, 
" but do the business as you are ordered." 

December 7th. Called upon Prince Augustus this afternoon, 
and found him at home. He is well informed upon the current 
topics of the time, and discovers much moderation in his sen- 
timents. Afterwards went to see Count Haugwitz, by appoint- 
ment. He told me he had a double regret in having been 
obliged to delay so long an answer to my application for per- 
mission to export arms ; and at last the answer is not such as 
he could wish. The permission cannot be granted, because 
the King's own troops will want all that the manufacture can 
produce for a year to come. I had likewise considerable con- 
versation with him upon the ministerial answer to my last note. 
He agreed to everything. It is his universal practice always 
to say yes. But I have learned by constant experience that 
there is not the smallest dependence to be placed upon what 
he says. I never have relied upon him, for he has, as Mira- 



224 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December. 

beau says of the Duke of Brunswick, une grande reputation 
de faussete, and never was reputation more merited. He con- 
curred this time so decisively in every objection I made, that 
I much question whether his next official answer will yield in 
any one point. I shall soon try. He appeared very much 
irritated against the French Government, and spoke in particu- 
lar about their late decree to treat as pirates all neutral subjects 
in the English or Russian naval service who may fall into their 
hands, with a bitterness which in another man would have been 
an evidence of sincerity. I believe he is in truth dissatisfied 
with France just at this moment. But she can whistle him 
back when she pleases. Evening at a ball at the Minister 
Heinitz's. The King, Queen, and royal family all there. No 
supper. Party over at about ten. 

ioth. Dined at Dr. Brown's with Prince Augustus 1 and the 
English company now here. The Prince said if he ever had 
any money of his own he would settle for life at Naples, where 
he enjoys better health than elsewhere. He has a Dr. Do- 
meyer with him, from the University of Gottingen, in whom he 
places great confidence. He made many enquiries concerning 
the yellow fever, and said he was not satisfied with any of the 
publications upon the subject that came from America — not 
even with that of Dr. Rush, who had shown distinguished 
talents in other works, but who on this occasion had not 
reasoned at all with a philosophic mind. He appeared fully 
convinced that if he were in America there would be no such 
thing as yellow fever, or that all its malignity would vanish 
before his medical skill. At dinner he took Lord Talbot to 
task for drinking heating, inflammatory wines, which he told 
him would shorten his life, &c. We had music after dinner. 

24th. At half-past five called again upon Count Haugwitz, 
who returned me my note and desired me to present it. He 
said that it must again be referred to the commercial depart- 
ment ; but he believed there would be no difficulty in coming 
to an arrangement, and, for his own part, he was personally 
altogether of my opinion upon the points mentioned in the 
note. He afterwards told me the Government had received 

' Afterwards better known as the Duke of Sussex. 



1 799-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2 2$ 

this day a communication that the French had made them- 
selves masters of Turin, seized the King and sent him to Sar- 
dinia, and established a provisional government in Piedmont. 
The Count talked with too much bitterness upon this business. 
"Infamous conduct, unexampled perfidy, senseless policy," and 
many other epithets equally harsh, he applied without scruple 
or measure to the French Government on this occasion. I 
have no doubt he is very angry, and will be glad to see Austria 
go to war for it. But then he will come back to the favorite 
system of neutrality. 

31st. Day. The forenoon, the same as the months past. The 
only difference of the evening is, that now we have scarcely one, 
from one end of the month to the other, without some engage- 
ment in company. This kind of life, so contrary to that which 
my inclination would dictate, is unavoidable. The year has not 
in any respect been a profitable one to me. The only acqui- 
sition of any value that it has afforded is that of reading 
German very indifferently. 

January 14th, 1 799. The first opera was performed (Atalanta). 
There are two to be acted, each of them four times, during the 
Carnival. The performances are to be on Mondays and Fridays, 
and are all entirely at the King's expense. There are boxes 
appropriated to various persons of distinction — one for the 
Cabinet and foreign Ministers. But the Queen holds a sort of 
Court in her own box, at which the foreign Ministers make 
their appearance in the course of the evening. The strangers 
who have been presented at Court are likewise in the Queen's 
box, which fronts the stage, and is very large. The music was 
very good. The scenery beautiful, but with only two changes. 
The dancing not remarkable. The house very handsome, but 
poorly lighted. No applause is permitted. The performance 
began at about half-past five, and finished a little before nine. 

February 13th. The Carnival closed this evening with a Re- 
doute, in which a splendid quadrille was performed by the 
Queen, the English Prince Augustus, and most of the per- 
sons of both sexes belonging to the Court. The idea was 
to represent the nuptials of Philip II. of Spain with Mary, 
Queen of England. The Queen took the part of Mary, and 

VOL. I. — 15 



226 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

Prince Augustus that of Philip. The dresses were all in the 
highest style of magnificence, and partly conformable to the 
usual dresses of that time — English, Spanish, Flemish, Scots, 
and Mexicans. But the ladies could not adopt the dress of 
that period so far as to cover their bosoms. The Queen first 
entered on one side of the house, with her suite, and, after 
walking round the pit, took her stand. Philip and his attend- 
ants then came in from the other side, and, after a like proces- 
sion, took his stand opposite to the Queen. The quadrille 
was then danced by the whole company, after which the two 
parties joined in a procession, walked round the hall, and came 
into the royal box. The whole was over in half an hour, and 
began a little before eleven o'clock. We had been waiting for 
it from half-past eight. The place was then opened to the 
usual masks and dominoes of a Redoute. We came home at 
about one. 

May ist. Received from the Cabinet Ministry their new 
project for a Treaty. Busy with it most of the afternoon. 

2d. Busily employed all day in making out a copy of the 
proposed Treaty. 

3d. Finished my copy of the Treaty. 

6th. Called at half-past twelve upon Count Finkenstein, and 
delivered him the copy of the Treaty in both languages ready 
to be drawn up. 

15th. Evening party at the Minister Arnim's. Spoke to the 
Count Haugwitz concerning the affair of the Jew Bluch. He 
told me he had made his report to the King upon the subject 
of the Treaty, and that he expressed his satisfaction that the 
business was drawing so near to a conclusion agreeable on both 
parts. 

July 9th. Received from the Cabinet Ministers a notification 
to meet them on Thursday, the nth, at Count Finkenstein's, to 
exchange the full powers and sign the Treaty. The Austrian 
Charge des Affaires told me he heard I was negotiating a Treaty 
of Commerce here. 

Ilth. lam this day thirty-two years old. Went at eleven 
o'clock, according to the notification which I received from the 
Cabinet Ministry, to Count Finkenstein's, where I found the 



1799-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 227 

three Ministers assembled, and Mr. Renfuer, a counsellor in 
the Department of Foreign Affairs. The four copies of the 
Treaty, two in English and two in French, were ready, and we 
immediately proceeded to exchange full powers, and then to 
sign and seal the Treaty. I then took them all with me home 
to examine them and ascertain their accuracy. In the evening 
I carried back and left at Count Finkenstein's the copies which 
are to remain here. 

15th. Very busily employed the whole day, writing letters. 
Evening at Bellevue. Prince Ferdinand asked me how the 
King of England looked when my father was first presented to 
him as American Minister. I said he assured him of his friend- 
ship for the United States. " I should not much trust in such 
assurances," said he. I said we could trust in them as far as it 
was the King's interest to observe them. " It was the King's 
caprice," said the Prince, "and Lord North's which occasioned 
the American Revolution." He has said the same thing to 
me before. He hates most cordially the King of England — I 
know not why. 

17th. At about four this afternoon I set out, with Mrs. Adams, 
Epps, Whitcomb, and Andre, from Berlin. We rode only three 
miles, to Mittenwalde, where we arrived between eight and 
nine in the evening, and lodged at the post house. The soil 
of the country through which we came was sandy and poor ; 
yet we saw a great deal of grain, chiefly rye, standing. Mrs. A., 
though somewhat unwell part of the stage, bore the ride much 
better than I had expected. The inns upon these German roads 
are seldom good ; they are not much travelled, and when they 
are, the travellers generally go night and day. The mistress 
of the post house seemed to study to appear still more dis- 
obliging than she really was. She said it was impossible to 
give us more than one room, or more than two beds. Mam'- 
selle, she said (meaning Epps), must sleep in the same room 
with us, and lie upon straw. The Duchess of Courland had 
stopped at the house, and made no difficulty to lie upon straw, 
and she (the Postmistress) could surely not take the beds of 
her own people in the house to accommodate us. I desired 
her by no means to give herself any trouble, and told her we 



228 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

would suit ourselves altogether with a single chamber and two 
beds ; after which, of her own accord, she gave a second room 
and another bed, with straw for Epps. The Postmaster en- 
quired after the news, and talked politics, which in these coun- 
tries is uncommon. 

1 8th. Somewhat before seven this morning we left Mitten- 
walde, and went a stage of three German miles to Baruth. We 
arrived just at noon. About half way between the two, we 
passed a bridge over a small ditch, with a column near it, 
marking the boundary line between the Mark of Brandenburg 
and the Electorate of Saxony. At three we left Baruth, and, 
after travelling one stage of three miles more, arrived at Liickau, 
which is a small city. The inn at Baruth was worse than the 
post house at Mittenwalde ; we could get no vegetables, and 
the master of the house told us that it was yet too early either 
for peas or potatoes. At Liickau we found no better fare, and 
the beds were bad. We put up at a house in a large square, 
in the middle of which was a church, where we soon heard 
the evening prayer sung by some charity boys, accompanied 
by an organ; and afterwards a man blew a horn for about 
half an hour uncommonly well. The land has been this day 
as indifferent as that which we traversed yesterday, and as 
much covered with corn of various kinds. 

19th. I had very little or no sleep, and was continually dis- 
turbed by the clock of the church in the square, which struck 
every quarter of an hour. Between five and six we left Liickau, 
and went two miles to Sonnenwalde, thence three miles to 
Elsterwerde, and thence two miles to Grossen-Hayn. About 
halfway between Sonnenwalde and Elsterwerde we met Count 
Panin returning from Carlsbad in great haste, upon business, 
to Berlin. He gave us a formidable account of the last stage 
between Dresden and Toplitz. We arrived at Grossen-Hayn, 
which is a small city, at about eight in the evening, and stopped 
at a better inn than any that we have hitherto found. As we 
advance into Saxony the soil grows better, though we have 
found a great proportion of sand through the principal part of 
this day too. The land is everywhere as much cultivated as 
its nature will admit. 



1 799-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 22Q 

20th. Slept very well, though in beds upon the floor, and 
between sheets not altogether clean. The beds at inns in Ger- 
many are all extremely narrow and very short ; so that only 
one person can lie in them, and he not at full length. They 
use only an under sheet, and have neither blankets nor cover- 
lets. Their bed covering is a light feather bed, with a linen 
case, like a pillow case, drawn over it. Their pillows have gen- 
erally no case, but a piece of linen eighteen inches or two feet 
square sewed upon one side of the pillow, and therefore very 
seldom washed. We left Grossen-Hayn at about nine this 
morning, and after a ride of four miles with a very good road, 
we arrived at Dresden just at two o'clock, and stopped at the 
Hotel de Pologne. The country this day has been very beau- 
tiful and in high cultivation. There could not be a more favor- 
able time of the year to observe a land well tilled than the 
present. Every spot of ground capable of producing anything, 
all the way from Berlin, is loaded with some harvest. Wheat, 
rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, tobacco, cabbages, and potatoes 
cover the ground in constant reciprocal succession. There are 
likewise a few meadows, where we found the people making 
the hay ; a few pastures full of cattle, and some spots where 
there were flocks of sheep. Perhaps a quarter part of the 
way consisted of pine forests, producing absolutely nothing 
else. The corn found in greatest quantity is rye. In the 
afternoon I purchased a description of Dresden in the 
French language, and walked a little round the town with 
Mrs. Adams. 

2 1 st. Went with Mrs. Adams at one to Mrs. Errington's lodg- 
ings. Left her and took a walk about the town. The princi- 
pal remarkable objects are a very handsome bridge over the 
Elbe, which separates the old from the new town of Dresden; 
the Catholic Church, or Elector's Chapel, communicating with 
the Electoral Palace ; the Zwinger, a set of buildings forming 
a square, which are in a bad taste of architecture — used to con- 
tain a museum, and an orangery, and several churches. It is 
a rule to cross the bridge always on the right hand, of which I 
was reminded by a sentinel. In a square beyond the bridge is 
an equestrian statue of the Elector Augustus the Second in 



230 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

bronze gilt. I went into the church of the new city, where I 
found the religious service performing. 

22d. Just after ten this morning, Mr. Errington called and 
went with me to the gallery of pictures, where I spent a couple 
of hours in looking over them. It is one of the finest collec- 
tions in Europe, and requires to be more leisurely viewed. 

24th. At four this morning we left the Hotel de Pologne, 
which is an excellent inn. The postmen are remarkably punc- 
tual here, and they require the same punctuality on the part of 
travellers. We passed through the Elector's garden, and arrived 
in two hours at Zehist, a stage of two German miles. The road 
is the best we have had the whole way from Berlin. From 
thence to Peterswalde, which is only a stage of two miles, we 
were four hours and a half upon the road, which was very hilly. 
Just before we reached Peterswalde we passed the boundaries 
between Saxony and Bohemia, and had our trunks plumbed by 
the Austrian officer of the customs. Soon after, we met the 
Countess de Castell, who was returning from Toplitz to Berlin, 
by the way of Dresden, and who told us she had this morning 
left the apartments engaged for us. From Peterswalde to Top- 
litz is a stage of three miles, which the descent of the Geyers- 
berg, a mountain very long and very steep, renders extremely 
tedious and too dangerous to remain in the carriage. Women 
are carried in arm-chairs by two men, like sedans. The rest 
of us walked. The descent I suppose to be about three English 
miles long. About two-thirds of the way down are the ruins 
of an old castle. The view from the mountain is grand and 
rugged, but you see no water. Toplitz is about three miles 
distant from the bottom of the hill. We arrived about a quar- 
ter of an hour before seven in the evening, after a very fatiguing 
day. We lodge at the sign of the Black Horse, in a house 
belonging to a Doctor Ambrosi. 

25th. As we were going out this forenoon to walk, we met 
Count Golowkin, who was coming to see us. He walked with 
us over Prince Clary's garden, which is spacious and handsome. 
At two we dined. After dinner paid a visit to Countess Golow- 
kin, and afterwards to Madame de Marschall, who lodges in the 
same house with us, in the chamber over us. At five we went to 



1 799-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2 }I 

the tea party, which is given by different persons every day at 
the hall in the Prince's house. It was this day given by a Count 
and Countess de Kollowrat, to whom Count Golovvkin and his 
lady introduced us. We were likewise here presented to the 
Grand Duchess Constantine of Russia, and to her father and 
mother, the Prince and Princess of Saxe-Coburg, and their un- 
married daughter ; likewise to the Prince Reuss, the father of 
the late Austrian Minister at Berlin, and to several other per- 
sons. We found also some old acquaintances — Prince Charles 
of Nassau Weilburg, Madame de Blumenthal and her daughters, 
the Chevalier de Villenotte, Mile, de Ruville, &c. We made a 
short stay. 

26th. Second anniversary of my marriage day. We took a 
walk before breakfast upon the hill which overlooks the town, 
and enjoyed a variety of prospects. Walked again after break- 
fast. At the tea party, which was this day given by Madame 
de Melnitz, a Saxon lady. Went afterwards to the play, and saw 
a comedy of Schroder, entitled " The Ensign." The author 
appears to be an imitator of Kotzebue. "The Two Billets," 
translated from Florian, was likewise performed, by children. 
The Chevalier de Villenotte told me he had seen meatArtaud's 
at Petersburg in the year 1782. I had altogether forgotten it. 

27th. At the tea party this afternoon about half an hour. 
These parties are dull and tedious, and are made quite uncom- 
fortable by the presence of the Grand Duchess and the other 
Princes. Went again to the play, which was "The Chess Ma- 
chine," a translation from the English, attempting at humor, 
but with little success. 

28th. Walked again before breakfast, and after it went to 
church to hear mass performed. The music was very good, 
but the church so full that we could get no seats ; numbers of 
people remained in the church yard during the service, the 
inside being so crowded that they could not get in. Were a 
few minutes at the tea party, given this day by Count Golowkin, 
and afterwards at the play, an opera called " The Mirror of Ar- 
cadia;" tolerably well performed, though most of the singers 
were indifferent. The two principal characters were very good. 

30th. In the afternoon Prince Clary, instead of giving his 



232 MEMOIRS OF JOHX QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

tea party at the Hall, took the whole company to Dopperlburg, 
a park belonging to him, about three English miles from town. 
The ride was very agreeable, and the views of the mountains 
around varied and pleasing. The tea and other refreshments 
were given in a small summer house in the Chinese style; 
from which we could look into the park and see the numerous 
deer as they ranged along. Most of the company likewise 
took a walk in the park. We returned between seven and 
eight in the evening. Part of the company went to the play. 

September 9th. Called in the forenoon to take leave of 
Count Bruhl. Between one and two o'clock, afternoon, we left 
Toplitz and rode to Aussig, two German miles. The roads 
are not bad, and by travelling this way we avoid altogether the 
Geyersberg. Count Bruhl had written some time ago to Dres- 
den, to procure for us a boat to come and take us at Aussig 
and carry us down the Elbe. We found the boat accordingly 
at Aussig, and had the carriage embarked in it, so as to be 
ready to go to-morrow morning at five o'clock. Just before 
we left Toplitz, Countess Paninand Countess Ozarowska called 
on Mrs. A. We have paid twenty-four florins a week for our 
apartments, consisting of five rooms upon a first floor, and a 
chamber for a servant, and having the furniture of every kind 
provided for us. 

10th. Just after five o'clock this morning, after passing an 
uncomfortable night at the tavern at Aussig, we went on board 
our boat, which is built something like a Dutch treckschuyt, 
but is much smaller. We floated down the river with the 
current, assisted by three rowers. At ten o'clock in the evening 
we arrived at Dresden. Through the greatest part of the way 
the river runs through two very steep and lofty ranges of hills 
and rocks. The towns of Tetschen, Schandau, and Pirna, the 
fortress of Konigstein, one of the strongest fortresses in Ger- 
many, the Elector's country seat at the famous Pillnitz, and a 
country seat belonging to Count Thun, meet us on the road. 
After we passed the boundaries between Bohemia and Saxony, 
we frequently passed people who were hewing stones from the 
immense rocks which border the sides of the river, for building 
at Dresden. 



1 799-] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 233 

I ith. Called early this morning at the banker's, Mr. Gregory, 
to have the remainder of the Vienna Bank bills, which I brought 
from Toplitz, exchanged, which at his counting-house they 
made some difficulty to do. Afterwards went with Mrs. A. to 
the Fair, which was just closing as we arrived. We made, how- 
ever, some purchases. After dinner we called at Count Golow- 
kin's, at the Hotel de Baviere. They were two nights and 
three days coming from Aussig down the Elbe. We found at 
his lodgings a large part of the company we used to meet at 
Toplitz ; and also Mile, de Bischofswerder and her mother. 
We passed the evening at Mr. Greathead's, an English gentle- 
man and family, to whom Mr. Errington introduced us. As 
we went in we met Mr. Elliot, the English Minister, coming 
out. 

1 2th. Walk before breakfast with Mrs. A. in Count Bruhl's 
garden. Their owner was father of Count Briihl, our acquaint- 
ance, Minister to Augustus, King of Poland, and famous alike 
for his extravagant magnificence and for his enmity to Frederic 
the Second. The ruins of a summer house in the garden testify 
the animosity at least of Frederic's troops against the Count; 
as Dresden in general bears marks of the sufferings which 
Frederic inflicted upon it in the Seven Years' War. 

13th. Went this morning to the gallery, and spent a couple 
of hours upon the Flemish school. Mrs. Errington went and 
introduced me at the Ressource, where we found Mr. Elliot, 
who offered to present me on Sunday next to the Elector, at 
his Court, and desired me to send him visiting cards, to be 
sent round, which I did accordingly. 

14th. Paid visits this morning to Mr. Elliot and Count Zin- 
zendorff, neither of whom was, however, at home. Spent half 
an hour in the gallery. At one, Mr. Elliot called on me, and 
took me to dinner at Count Lose's, the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs. It was a dinner of ceremony given to Mr. Bibikoff, 
the Russian Minister, who has very lately arrived here ; and as 
he is already recalled by his Government, it was at the same 
time the dinner upon his taking leave. The company consisted 
of about twenty-five persons, several of whom I knew before — 
Count Zinzendorff, Mr. and Madame de Bacounin, Baron de 



234 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 



Rosencrantz, Mr. and Mrs. Greathead, and their son. Mr. 
Elliot came home with me. 

15th. A few minutes before noon I went to the Electoral 
palace, and was there presented by Mr. Elliot to Prince Max, 
the Elector's brother, his wife, a Princess of Parma, and the 
Elector's sister, the Princess Mary Ann, and afterwards, by 
an audience, to the Elector and Electress. Mr. Bibikoff, the 
Russian Minister, had at the same time an audience of leave, 
as had Baron Rosencrantz, who has resided near here through 
the summer, and is upon his return to Berlin. At four in the 
afternoon I paid a visit of form at Count Lose's. The Count- 
ess only was at home. Went at five to an assembly at the 
Governor's (of the city). A numerous company, very much 
resembling the usual societies at Berlin. I came away just 
after eight, the time at which these assemblies usually break up. 

1 6th. Was at the gallery of pictures this morning, and con- 
tinued my examination of the pieces of the Flemish school. 

20th. At the gallery again this morning, and went regularly 
through the Italian school. The great Raphael is undoubtedly 
the first picture in the collection. 

22d. Mrs. Adams went with Mr. and Mrs. Errington to the 
Catholic church. At noon I went first to the cercle at Prince 
Maximilian's (the Elector's younger brother), and afterwards 
to that of the Elector himself. Afterwards dined with the 
Elector, who invites alternately his own and the foreign Minis- 
ters every other Sunday. Passed the evening at Mr. Elliot's, 
with a large company. Countess Panin was there. Stayed to 
supper. 

23d. Went this morning with Mr. and Mrs. Errington, Mr. 
Artaud, and Mr. Oliver to see what is called the Electoral 
treasure, consisting of a numerous collection of articles in silver, 
gold, and precious stones. The jewels of state which belonged 
to the Elector's ancestors when Kings of Poland, and are now 
worn upon great occasions by the Elector himself, are the most 
valuable of these splendid baubles. Of diamonds, rubies, gar- 
nets, emeralds, sapphires, onyxes, &c, &c, there was no end. A 
green diamond, weighing one hundred and twenty-nine grains, 
is said to be the only one of its kind in Europe. There are 



1799] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 235 

numerous sword-hilts, cane-pommels, epaulets, buckles, hat- 
loops, stars and crosses of the Order of the Golden Fleece, 
buttons, ladies' necklaces, ear-ring's, and breast-knots, consisting 
entirely of brilliants or rose diamonds. The value of this 
treasure is estimated at fifteen millions of dollars. 

28th. Was again at the gallery of pictures this forenoon ; and 
in the afternoon with Mrs. Adams, to take our leave of it. On 
Monday it closes for the season. I have here had leisure to 
view one of the finest collections extant of the Italian and 
Flemish schools, more attentively than I had ever an opportu- 
nity before. It has given me a little further insight into the 
principles and history of the art, or rather has served to con- 
vince me how little I knew of them before, and how little in so 
short a time it is possible to acquire. 

29th. Went to the Catholic church and heard mass per- 
formed. It is a very elegant edifice, and is adorned internally 
with many altar-pieces by Raphael Mengs, whom the Germans 
consider as the greatest of modern painters. The great altar- 
piece, being the ascension of Christ in presence of the Apos- 
tles, is his masterpiece. After church we took a ride to 
Planeschengrund, about three miles out of town, and where 
the landscape is very pretty. 

30th. We went this morning with Mr. and Mrs. Errington to 
see the public library, which is in the Japanese Palace, over the 
bridge. The building is spacious and elegant. The library 
occupies two stories — the first and second floors. It contains 
one hundred and fifty thousand volumes, and in historical, 
theological, and classical books is very well furnished. They 
have a great number of valuable manuscripts, none of which 
were, however, shown to us. There is a collection of several 
thousand Bibles of various editions and in all languages. One 
of them, printed at Mentz, by John Fust, in 1464, was shown to 
us as the first edition ever printed. There was a Universal 
Lexicon, or Encyclopedia, in German, sixty-four volumes in 
folio, printed thirty years before the French Encyclopedia, and 
probably the most voluminous work of the kind ever published. 
In the cellars of this building we saw a great collection of 
Saxon, Japan, and Chinese porcelain, of which there was 



236 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

nothing curious but some specimens of the oldest porcelain 
made in Saxony, the secret for the composition of which is now 
lost. We were also shown several pieces of tapestry worked 
with the figures of Raphael's cartoons. 

October 1 st. Went this morning to the Catholic church to hear 
the obsequies of the late King of Poland, the Elector's grand- 
father, performed. I suppose it is an annual solemnity upon 
the anniversary of his death. The church was partly hung 
with black ; and the Elector, with his family and Court, ap- 
peared in mourning. The music was very good. Called 
afterwards on Count Bruhl, but did not find him. Countess 
Werthern and her daughter paid a visit to Mrs. A. Mrs. 
Fylidtzch, Mr. and Mrs. Errington, at tea ; and Mr. Artaud, 
who likewise passed the evening with us, and told us much of 
his travels and adventures in Italy. 

2d. We went this morning with the intention to see the 
Cabinet of Antiques at the Japanese Palace. But, the Inspector 
being out of town, we were obliged to defer the sight for an- 
other day. We saw the magazine of porcelain from the manu- 
facture at Meissen, which is not equal to that of Berlin. And, 
after that, we saw the collection of models in plaster of Paris 
taken from all the finest antique statues. The collection was 
made by Mengs, and is larger than any I have seen before. 
There are likewise some of the models from works of modern 
sculptors : Michael Angelo, Bernini, Fiamingo, &c. In the 
evening we went to the Italian Opera, which opens this night 
for the season. They perform three nights a week through the 
season, chiefly comic operas. This evening it was Le Donne 
Cambiate, or the Ladies Metamorphosed — exactly the story of 
the English farce called the Devil to Pay. The performers are 
in general good, and, as well as the music, so much superior to 
any thing I have heard for years, that I was very much delighted 
with the entertainment. 

3d. We went with Mr. and Mrs. Errington to Konigstein. 
Took four horses with our own carriage, and set out at seven 
in the morning. Shortly before eleven we reached the bottom 
of the rock. By land it is only three German miles distant 
from Dresden; and the road, being through Pirna, is very good. 



1 799.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 237 

We went over the whole fortress, and saw the arsenal, the case- 
mates built by the present Elector to lodge the soldiers in time 
of war, the great tun full of wine, containing, as they told us, ten 
thousand hogsheads, the famous Page's Bed, being a ledge not 
more than a foot wide upon the summit of the rock, from which 
the perpendicular descent is about two thousand feet, upon 
which a certain page, named Robert von Griinau, once, being 
drunk, laid himself down and went to sleep ; he was saved by 
passing a band round him while he slept and drawing him into 
the window out of which he had crept to take his pleasant 
siesta. Had he waked of his own accord, he could not pos- 
sibly have risen ; and had he moved himself the space of two 
inches, he must have gone over the ledge. This man, they 
told us, lived to the age of one hundred and eight years, 
having escaped one other danger nearly as great as that at this 
spot. A horse upon which he was riding leapt with him from 
the bridge at Dresden into the Elbe. Perhaps the greatest 
curiosity here, however, is the great well, dug through the 
rock, more than eighteen hundred feet deep — a work of forty 
years. They sent down four lighted candles with one of the 
buckets to show the depth more clearly. The buckets are 
drawn up and down by a large wheel turned by four men, who 
are thus constantly employed in drawing water for all the pur- 
poses of the garrison. The fortress is inaccessible excepting 
at one entrance, which is sufficiently guarded by out-works, a 
draw-bridge, a covered way, masked batteries, three gates, and 
every other proper precaution. A garrison of eight hundred 
men is sufficient to defend it, and it cannot contain more than 
eighteen hundred. During the Seven Years' War, while the 
whole Electorate was in the possession of the King of Prussia, 
the Elector's family, with all the precious things he had at 
Dresden, were protected and preserved in this fortress, which 
Frederic never attacked. 

4th. At eleven this morning we went to see the collection 
of antiques belonging to the Elector, and kept on the ground 
floor of the Japanese Palace. The number of fragments is very 
considerable, and of various merit; but most of them have been 
repaired in modern times, that is, about a century ago, at Rome, 



238 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

and the repairs are so indifferently executed that they always 
injure the remains of the original itself. There are many ob- 
jects of curiosity in this collection ; but none superior to three 
statues of females almost entire, and the very same which were 
first found at Herculaneum and led to the discovery of the 
place. One of them, representing a walking vestal, is one of the 
finest statues I ever saw. There are likewise several mummies 
in perfect preservation, the same mentioned by Pietro de la 
Valle ; a number of funereal urns still containing their ashes, 
a couple of lions of Egyptian sculpture at the earliest period of 
the art, and a Grecian tripod nearly three thousand years old. 
We wished to see the medals, but the Inspector who attended 
us, Professor Becker, told us he could not show them without 
an express order from Count Marcolini. 

5th. At twelve we went to see the Rustkammer, or Electoral 
collection of arms, ancient and modern, a collection rather large 
than remarkably curious. Among the rest are preserved here 
all the dresses used at a splendid tournament, or Carrousel, given 
by the Elector Augustus II. in the year 17 19 as an entertain- 
ment to the King of Denmark. As there are many of the 
armors worn formerly by the Electors, we had opportunity to 
observe how very heavy they are. A complete armor must 
have weighed from one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
pounds. We were also shown the barrel of a pistol, being the 
identical instrument first contrived by Schwartz, the inventor of 
gunpowder, to shoot it off. 

6th. At noon attended the Court; was presented, for the first 
time, to Prince Antony, the Elector's eldest brother; and also 
to the Elector himself, and the other Princes, to take leave. 
The Electress holds her Court from six to eight in the evening; 
but, as Mr. Elliot does not go this evening, I must dispense 
with a presentation for taking leave, to her. At this Court were 
the Duke del Parque, a Spanish nobleman, appointed as Am- 
bassador to St. Petersburg some time ago, but who had not 
reached that post when the Emperor of Russia declared war 
against Spain; the Duke of Holstein-Beck ; a nephew of the 
Princess who resides at Berlin ; and the Count de Lodrone,who 
is going as Austrian Minister to Stockholm. The two latter 



1799] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 2 \Q 

stayed to dinner. Had some conversation at dinner with the 
Count de Bose, who is director of the theatres ; he said the 
Elector would not permit such a play as Kotzebue's Benjowski 
to be performed here, on account of its immorality. 

9th. The boasted punctuality of Dresden post-men was this 
time in default; we had ordered our horses at four in the 
morning, and were then ready for them. They did not come 
until past five. We immediately set out and went to Grossen- 
Hayn, four German miles. We arrived there at half-past ten, 
and, after waiting an hour again for horses, proceeded to Cos- 
dorf, three miles. We arrived there shortly before three. Dined 
while the horses were getting ready, and at four departed again. 
At seven we reached Herzberg, two miles, and found very 
good lodging at the post house. We have thus travelled this 
day nine German miles, which we have never done before. 
The road from Dresden as far as Cosdorf is perfectly good ; 
after which we begin again to find them sandy. We took this 
road in order to go through Potsdam. 

10th. At five this morning we left Herzberg, and went four 
miles to Juterbok ; where, owing to the badness of the roads 
(sand and mud), we did not arrive until near noon. At one, 
afternoon, we again set out, and reached Belitz at six ; the dis- 
tance is three miles. They kept us waiting here two hours for 
horses. Belitz is the first Prussian town, and the boundaries 
are just before the entrance of the town. We went two miles 
further in the evening, and reached Potsdam at half-past eleven. 
We lodge at Henschel's, the sign of the Hermit. 

nth. We went this morning and saw the gallery of pictures 
at Sans Souci. It is small, but valuable for many excellent 
pictures. 

November 25th. Evening at Princess Henry's, and supped 
there. Talked with the Marquis de Lucchesini about Frederic II.-, 
who, he says, at the very commencement of our revolution said 
to him, " Les Americains ont echappe a l'Angleterre." He 
thought it a great fault that the English did not send a much 
larger force at once. Lucchesini says he was to have been the 
editor of Frederic's works, but was employed just at that time 
by the successor upon a mission relating to the league of the 



2 4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

German Princes ; that there were several passages in the post- 
humous Works that were omitted — particularly relating to the 
Empress of Russia, and to Prince Henry of Prussia, with whom 
the King was very much dissatisfied at one time on account of 
a secret negotiation which Prince Henry had undertaken for a 
cession of the Margraviates of Bayreuth and Anspach to him 
during the war of 1779. Zimmerman's anecdotes are in general 
tolerably accurate, he says, but oftentimes receive a color not 
belonging to them, from the author's egotism. 

On the 17th of July, 1800, Mr. Adams started on an excur- 
sion of some weeks to Silesia, mainly for the benefit of his 
wife, whose health had never been good at Berlin. His ab- 
sence extended beyond three months, during which period his 
diary was kept only in the form of very brief and uninteresting 
minutes. This was in a measure caused by the fact that he 
occupied much of the leisure time in fulfilling a promise made 
to his brother, who had just left him to return home, to give 
him some account of a region not at that time visited by 
Americans, nor, indeed, by travellers generally. The conse- 
quence was the production of twenty-nine letters in the course 
of the journey, all of which were duly transmitted to Phila- 
delphia, where his brother had established his abode. They 
were written with all the freedom incident to private communi- 
cations, and without an idea of publication. 

But it happened that just at that time one of the friends and 
college mates of this brother, Mr. Joseph Dennie, with whom 
he had long been intimate, was engaged in starting a period- 
ical publication, under the name of the Portfolio, at Philadelphia. 
As the letters followed each other successively, they fell into 
his hands and excited his interest. Fancying that they might 
contribute attractive materials to promote the success of his 
project, he found no difficulty in gaining the consent of the 
recipient to insert them. Accordingly, the first letter, dated 
21st of July, 1800, appeared in the opening columns of the 
Portfolio, issued on the 3d of January of the next year, and each 
of the series written during the journey regularly followed in 
a corresponding number of the issues of that magazine. 



i8oo.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 



24I 



This proceeding appears to have been carried on without 
the knowledge of the writer. After his return to Berlin, he 
added thirteen letters more, in which he comprised all that he 
could collect of information respecting the history and re- 
sources of this remote region from his researches in that capi- 
tal. The date of the last is the 17th of March, 1801, about 
four months before his final departure. By that time he must 
have known of the commencement of the publication. But 
even then he could have done little to control it. Unfortu- 
nately, there were a few references to individuals and to conver- 
sations which, however natural to commit to writing in wholly 
private correspondence, the editor of that magazine himself 
should have had the delicacy to mark, and the discretion to 
suppress, as never intended for the public eye. 

Whether these passages ever came under the observation of 
the persons affected is not certain. So long as they remained 
confined to the columns of an American publication of that 
day, the probabilities would favor the negative. But they were 
not so confined. Again, without the knowledge or consent of 
the author, an individual, unknown to him, but fully aware of 
the facts in the case, nevertheless took the collection from the 
Portfolio to London, and there had them printed for his own 
benefit, in an octavo volume, in the year 1804. From this copy 
they were rendered into German, and published at Breslau the 
next year, with notes, by Frederick Albert Zimmerman ; and 
in 1807 a translation made into French, by J. Dupuy, was 
published in Paris by Dentu. 

Thus it happened that these letters, originally intended as 
purely familiar correspondence, obtained a free circulation over 
a large part of Europe without the smallest agency on the part 
of the author, or any opportunity to correct and modify them, 
as he certainly would have done had he ever possessed the 
power. 

His own sentiments on this subject will be found unequivo- 
cally expressed in the entry of his diary, 20th September, 1804, 
when he first heard of the publication in England. 

Many years afterwards Mr. Adams was sent in a public 
capacity to Great Britain, and there had occasion to meet once 

VOL. I. — 16 



242 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIXCY ADAMS. [May, 

more the persons justly entitled to complain of this breach of 
courtesy. But whether the facts connected with their history 
had long been so well known in society as to make any notice 
of them matter of indifference, or so much time had elapsed 
as to bury the incident in oblivion, the fact is certain that he 
received from these parties civilities the more sensibly felt that 
they had not been expected or sought. Evidence of this will 
be found in the diary for June, 1816. 

Dresden, September 15th, 1800. — Went to see the Electoral 
collection of prints, and spent the forenoon in looking over a 
series of portraits engraved by Bartolozzi from designs by Hol- 
bein. They are all of distinguished English characters during 
the reigns of Henry VIII. and of his children. They are pub- 
lished by Mr. Chamberlaine. We likewise looked over a volume 
of engravings from Raphael, consisting, in a great measure, of 
grotesques and arabesques from his fresco paintings. There 
are ten volumes of his works. The collection of prints from the 
pictures in the gallery here is very incomplete, and in general 
poorly executed. I took only three of the prints. Paid a visit 
to Mr. Elliot. Found him confined with a headache. Had a 
long conversation with him. In the course of it he took occa- 
sion to speak of the robbery of Arthur Lee's papers during the 
American war, which has always been imputed to him. Pie 
declared solemnly that he did not order it; that it was entirely 
the work of a servant, through whom the papers were brought 
to him. He did not read them ; that the only papers of con- 
sequence he found were the draft of an unfinished Treaty with 
Spain, and a letter from Frederic the Second, or one of his 
Ministers, promising, if any other power would set the example 
of acknowledging the independence of the United States, that 
he would be the second to do it. He was very much offended 
at the transaction, and Mr. Elliot was obliged to send the man 
who had committed the robbery privately out of the country. 

May 5th, 1S01. Between four and five o'clock this morning I 
left town, and went with Whitcomb to Potsdam. At ten the 
King's carriage came and took me at the inn. The Minister 
Alvensleben went with me, and introduced me to the audience. 



i8oi.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 243 

The King's Aid-de-Camp Kokeritz was the only person in 
the antechamber. I delivered my letter of recall, and took 
leave. The King told me he had been pleased at my residence 
here, and was well satisfied with my conduct. At eleven 
o'clock I had the audience of the Queen. Was introduced by 
Mr. Massow. Countess Voss and two maids of honor were 
with her. She repeated nearly what the King had said, with 
less appearance of saying mere formalities. Talked about Si- 
lesia, Switzerland, sea voyages, and so forth. In less than half 
an hour all was over. I returned to the inn ; wrote a letter to 
my brother, to pass the time ; dined between two and three, 
and at four set out upon my return to Berlin. We reached 
home about seven in the evening. 

June 7th. Continued to read in Tillotson's Rule of Faith. 
It is a discussion whether the Scriptures or tradition are the 
proper rule of Christian faith. A great question between the 
Catholics and Protestants. Mrs. A. went to Charlottenburg in 
the forenoon. I went to see the celebrated monument erected 
in honor of the Count de la Marche, a natural child of the 
late King by Madame Rietz. He died at eight years of age. 
The figure of the child, at full length, is lying upon a bed, the 
sivord just dropped from his hand. In the wall above is a 
niche, with the three Destinies, sitting forms, rather larger than 
human, submitting with reluctance to the decree they find 
written, to snap the fatal thread. On the long side of the tomb, 
Time is dragging the child along, to thrust him into the pit, 
while he struggles with backward looks to Minerva, who sits 
concerned at the loss of so promising a youth. At the two 
end sides are copies of the antique monumental figures of 
Sleep and Death. The execution of this work, by Schadow, is 
fine. The form of the child upon the tomb is full of grace. 
The fatal sisters are worthy of a Grecian sculptor. The figure 
of Time appears the least deserving encomium, but the whole 
is a masterpiece. The Latin inscription, inter alia, says the 
child already possessed egregious virtues. A bastard infant, 
dead in his ninth year — a superb and costly monument, in a 
Christian church — and a marble record of his egregious vir- 
tues ! The late King was a man of mild and amiable personal 



244 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

disposition, and an elegant taste in the arts. But his moral 
feeling, his sense of what is decent and becoming — what 
was it? 

8th. Writing the third and last letter upon Mr. Gentz's book. 
In the evening I went to the play, and saw Gustavus Wasa, a 
tragedy by Kotzebue. This is one of the factious subjects 
suited to the spirit of the times, and the author has treated 
it accordingly. His Christiern is not only the most odious, 
but the most despicable of tyrants — at once the bloodiest of 
butchers and the basest of cowards. His Arclibishop of Upsal 
is his only confidential counsellor, equally wicked, with cold 
blood and firm nerves. His Ahrendt Peterson, the nobleman 
with a fine castle, betrays his old friend, and shamefully vio- 
lates the laws of hospitality. The models of virtue contrasted 
with these characters are a Dalecarlian peasant in extremest 
poverty, and the Burgomaster of Lubec, a Republican Hanse- 
town. Gustavus himself does nothing for his country through 
the whole play. The plot is that of a common Harlequin pan- 
tomime, a continual alternation of the hero's perils and escapes. 
His heroic achievements are confined to kneeling and praying, 
and making one short inflammatory speech to the Dalecarlian 
peasants. It is one of Kotzebue's poorest plays. 

17th. At half-past seven this morning we took our final 
leave of Berlin, and came in the course of the day seven Ger- 
man miles to Fehrbellin. About a mile before reaching the 
town we passed a small column, with an inscription purporting 
that Frederic William the Great came, saw, and conquered on 
the 1 8th of June, 1675. This was a celebrated battle in the 
annals of Brandenburg. 1 

Hamburg, July 8th. — At about four o'clock this afternoon 
we went with Captain Wells on board a lighter in the river, 
and came down to the ship America, which we reached be- 
tween seven and eight in the evening. 

1 2th. At about three o'clock this morning, the wind prov- 
ing fair, we got under weigh, and, without stopping at all 
at Cuxhaven, came at once out to sea. The pilot left us at 
about six. Before eight we had a sight of the island of Heli- 
1 Won over the Swedes. 



i8oi.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 245 

goland, and before noon were out of sight of all land. The 
weather through the day was thick and rainy. 

1 6th. All last night and this day we had a very fresh breeze, 
which carried us from seven to nine knots an hour. In thirty 
hours' time we had run not less than four degrees northward. 
The difference in the length of the day is greater than I ever 
witnessed. Last night it was dark by nine o'clock in the even- 
ing. This night it was still light at midnight. 

17th. Spoke this morning to a Dutch fishing boat. Told us we 
were fourteen leagues distant from Fair Island, bearing N.N.W. 
But the weather, which began to be very foggy yesterday, con- 
tinued so all this day, until it became so thick that nothing was 
to be seen at the distance of one-quarter of a mile. In this situ- 
ation, at about seven in the evening, the land was spied just 
under the ship's bow. She was in no small danger of stranding, 
and had just time to put about and steer back the way she came. 

19th. The weather became a little clearer this morning, and 
we made the land of the Orkney Islands. At about noon, a 
small boat rowed up to the ship, while about three leagues dis- 
tant from the shore. There were five men in the boat, one of 
them a young man, who, by the captain's invitation, dined with 
us. He said his name was Streng, and that his father was the 
proprietor of the most part of Sanda Island, from which he 
had come to the ship. 

The boat belonged to Fair Island, which lies about half way 
between the Orkney and Shetland Isles, and distant about 
twenty-five miles from each. Two men had come in it to get 
some grain, which in Fair Island was very scarce. They 
brought on board a couple of lambs, some chickens, and some 
fish, both salt and fresh, for which they would take no money, 
but asked for rum, tobacco, fishing-lines, soap, old clothes, 
and, in short, any thing we chose to give them. Mr. Streng 
told us that Sanda was acknowledged to be the prettiest of all 
the Orkney Islands, and told us how happy his father would 
be to see us on shore. He left us at about two o'clock, and 
promised to send us a pilot from the shore as soon as possible. 
But very soon after he went away a thick fog came up, and we 
were obliged to stand away from the land. 



246 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

20th. Fine clear weather this morning, and we passed be- 
tween Fair Island and the Orkney Isles from the North Sea 
into the Atlantic Ocean ; the weather soon thickened up again, 
and we could only keep a northwest course. 

31st. Day. The life on board ship is so uniform that the only 
difference between one day and another is that of the winds. 
I find upon this passage what I have observed upon others 
heretofore — the sea affects my head ; disqualifies me from all 
application of mind, insomuch that all the time I pass upon 
it is in a manner lost time. I cannot write. And though I 
read the more, I retain nothing of my reading. Retirement 
and silence indeed are necessary to reflection, and on board 
ship they are impracticable. On this passage I rise at about 
seven in the morning, breakfast at eight, dine at one, afternoon, 
take tea at six, and turn in between eleven and twelve at night. 
The intervals are all passed alike. When the weather is fair, 
upon deck, gazing at the skies and the waves ; and occasionally 
looking through the spy-glass at some other vessel we chance 
to see. The rest of the time I read ; but merely to pass the 
time, and with a rapidity proportioned to the weakness of atten- 
tion. I am just finishing the Lycee, or Cours de Litterature of 
La Harpe, as far as it is yet published, that is the fourteenth 
volume. I suppose there must be at least seven more volumes 
to come, and the whole will not be worth Blair's Lectures. 
The book is, however, amusing. He has, indeed, nothing 
original. For his theory he analyses Aristotle, Longinus, 
Cicero, Horace, Quintilian, and Boileau ; as for the application, 
he still analyses the great writers of ancient and modern French 
literature. This method might perhaps be prescribed by the 
character of the author's auditory at the Lyceum, and has its 
use for the reader ; but it injures the work as an elementary 
treatise. 

September 3d. Early this morning we again weighed anchor, 
and, with a faint and irregular breeze, proceeded slowly up the 
Delaware Bay. In the afternoon, at Port Penn, a custom house 
officer came on board. We made a progress of about seventy 
miles up the bay and river in the course of the day, and 
anchored about twenty miles below the city at night. New- 



iSoi.] THE MISSION TO PRUSSIA. 247 

castle and Wilmington, the points where the views from the 
river are most beautiful, we passed in the evening, and could 
not enjoy their fine prospects. 

4th. At seven in the morning we passed Chester, and at the 
Lazaretto, twelve miles below the city, were visited by the 
health officer ; the wind was very light, and the weather blaz- 
ing with heat, as it has been these three days. About noon we 
landed at the wharf in Philadelphia, where we were received by 
my brother, who had just been informed of our arrival. 

2 1 st. At nine in the evening I reached my father's house at 
Quincy. Here I had the inexpressible delight of finding once 
more my parents, after an absence of seven years. This pleas- 
ure would have been unalloyed but for the feeble and infirm 
state of my mother's health. My parents received me with a 
welcome of the tenderest affection. 

30th. This has been one of the months of my life in the 
course of which I have gone through the greatest variety of 
scenery. When it commenced, we were still at sea. Since 
then I have landed at Philadelphia, parted, for the first time 
since my marriage, from my wife, 1 travelled on to New York 
and to this place, and enjoyed the luxuries of meeting all my 
old friends. My mode of life has of course been altogether 
various. 

1 The father, mother, and sisters of Mrs. Adams had returned to Frederictown, 
in Maryland, to which place she was induced by the proximity to Philadelphia to 
go at once, before taking up her residence in Massachusetts. 



CHAPTER VI. 

I. THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS — II. THE SENATE OF THE 
UNITED STATES. 

Upon his recall to the United States from a service of eight 
years abroad, by reason of the political revolution at home, 
Mr. Adams found himself obliged to resume the profession 
into which he had barely made an entrance when he went 
away. Of course he could not fail to experience the dis- 
advantage to him of so long an absence at the most critical 
period of active life. He, however, showed no hesitation about 
his course, and soon found good friends, ready to yield him 
such aid as they had in their power. Among others, John 
Davis, then and for many years afterwards the Judge of the 
District Court of the United States for Massachusetts, desig- 
nated him to serve as a commissioner in cases of bankruptcy in 
his court, in accordance with the authority given him by the 
law of that time. This promised to be useful chiefly as it 
tended to re-establish his professional relations in the view of 
the community. But in consequence of a change just then made 
by Congress in the statute, establishing a permanent office, the 
nomination for which was transferred to the Executive, Mr. 
Jefferson, the new President, promptly exercised his power and 
appointed some one else in his place. This proceeding was 
regarded by Mr. Adams's family, and especially his mother, as 
such a marked indication of personal ill will in so small a 
matter that it completed that alienation from him which had 
begun during the contest. It is due to Mr. Jefferson to say that 
some years afterwards, when overtures for a reconciliation were 
by chance presented, he utterly disavowed any such intention, 
and even the knowledge that he had ever done the deed. He 
had never thought of inquiring who served under the casual 
248 



iS02.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 



249 



authority vested in the judges by the former law, and presuming 
them all to be of the opposite party, because most of those 
judges had belonged to it, he considered the new statute as a 
tabula rasa, and adopted, without a moment's hesitation, the 
list of persons recommended by his own political friends to 
rectify the inequality in the patronage. These rules have be- 
come so well recognized in party warfare of later years that no 
surprise will attend this relation. By Mr. Adams himself the 
matter was never regarded as important, especially as he was 
very soon called into public life, which would in any event 
have made it necessary to vacate the post. 

The period of Mr. Adams's life embraced in that part of his 
diary comprised within this chapter was the most critical of his 
whole career. For that reason all the essential portions have 
been extracted from it, exactly as they stand. Thus it is made 
easy to follow the progress of his growth as a legislator from 
the commencement, when in the Federal Senate his course ap- 
pears to meet but slighting notice, to its close, when he is put to 
the front in almost every situation of responsibility. Just the 
same indications will appear hereafter, in his longer and later 
career in the other House of Congress. In all legislative assem- 
blies this issue is found to be the true test of relative powers. 

January 28th, 1 802. The day chiefly at my office. In the 
forenoon reading Park, and in the afternoon the British Critic. 
Evening at home, alone — studying G. Adams on air and chim- 
ney fireplaces. Walked in the mall just before night. I feel 
strong temptation and have great provocation to plunge into 
political controversy. But I hope to preserve myself from it 
by the considerations which have led me to the resolution of 
renouncing. A politician in this country must be the man of a 
party. I would fain be the man of my whole country. 

29th. Phillips 1 was desirous of information whether I would 
accept the office of Judge of the Supreme Court of this State, 
vacant by the resignation of Mr. Dawes, who is appointed to 

1 John Phillips, an intimate friend of his at that time, and a highly respected 
citizen of Boston — afterwards selected to fill the responsible place of mayor on 
its transformation into a city. 



2 r MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

the probate and municipal offices. But he did not tell me what 
was the motive for his curiosity. He said he had heard only- 
three persons mentioned — Sedgwick", Thomas, of Plymouth, 
and me. I told him that if the Governor, or any member of 
the Council whose vote was to concur in the appointment, 
wished to know my resolution, they might know it by apply- 
ing either personally, or by any friend, directly to me. That I 
would tell him I did not want the place, and wished that no 
friend of mine would move a finger to obtain it for me. But 
that it would be ridiculous for me to tell anybody and every- 
body that I would or would not accept an office which there 
might be no thoughts of offering me. 

April ist. Forenoon at my office, reading Park. Private 
meeting of Commissioners in the case of William Micklefield. 
Declared him bankrupt. Evening at home, reading Locke, on 
clear and obscure, distinct and confused, adequate and inade- 
quate, real and fantastical, and true and false ideas. Mr. Tudor 
called at my office, seemingly somewhat uneasy at a paragraph 
in this morning's Chronicle, objecting to the choice of him and 
myself as Senators (we have been held up as candidates in 
what are called the federal papers), because we are Commis- 
sioners of bankrupts, which the writer says must engross all 
our time. Mr. Tudor wished a paragraph in the Centinel, to 
state that we can without difficulty attend to the duties of both 
offices at once. He may have more reason than I to feel con- 
cerned for the result of the election, because being now a Sena- 
tor he will be left out, and I shall only not be chosen, which 
are very different things. I have little desire to be a Senator, 
for, whether it will interfere with my duties as a Commissioner 
or not, it will interfere with pursuits much more agreeable to 
me than politics. 

5th. This day the election of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, 
and Senators took place. The votes in this town were 2372 for 
Governor Strong, and 1498 for Mr. Gerry. The federal list of 
Senators, containing the names of Oliver Wendell, William 
Tudor, and Peleg Coffin, with mine, had 2375. The opposite 
list, Benj. Austin, Jr., James Bowdoin, Nathaniel Fellows, and 
David Tilden, had 1498. 



i8o2.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 25 I 

May 26th. This being the day of general election, at nine in 
the morning I repaired to the Senate Chamber, conformably to 
a summons which I received from the Governor on the 10th of 
this month. In the course of an hour thirty-four of the Senators 
chosen had assembled. The Governor then came and adminis- 
tered to us the oaths required by the Constitution. He was 
attended by five members of the Council. After he had with- 
drawn, the Senate, being formed, unanimously chose Gen. David 
Cobb their President. George E. Vaughan was next chosen as 
Clerk. A verbal message was then sent to the House of Repre- 
sentatives to inform them of these appointments, and a com- 
mittee of three sent to the Governor with a similar message. 
Soon after a verbal message came from the House to inform 
the Senate that they had chosen John Coffin Jones their Speaker, 
and Henry Warren Clerk. A committee of the Senate was 
raised to examine and report the returns of Senators chosen — 
and three members for a joint committee of the House and 
Senate to examine and report the returns of votes for Governor 
and Lieutenant Governor. A message was then sent to inform 
the Governor that both Houses were ready to attend him to 
hear divine service performed. The Governor and Council then 
came, and with both Houses proceeded to the meeting house, 
where a sermon was preached by Mr. Baldwin, the chaplain of 
the House. At four in the afternoon the two Houses met again. 
The committee of the Senate made a report, by which it appears 
that there are thirty-six Senators chosen, and four places to be 
filled up by joint ballot of the two Houses. The joint com- 
mittee had previously reported the election of Caleb Strong for 
Governor, and Edward H. Robbins for Lieutenant Governor. 
Upon which a committee was appointed to inform them of 
their being elected. A message was then sent to the House to 
inform them the Senate had assigned half-past six this after- 
noon for the two Houses to meet in convention to supply the 
vacant places in the Senate, and request their concurrence ; 
which was immediately brought by a message from them. 
They met accordingly. The vacancies were filled by Mr. Frye, 
in York County, Messrs. Thompson and Hayward, in Plymouth, 
and Mr. Sumner, in Lincoln, Kennebeck, and Washington 



252 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

Counties. • These elections being declared, the Senate returned 
to their chamber, ordered a notification to the Senators just 
elected, and adjourned until ten a.m. to-morrow. The pro- 
portion of votes for the candidates to the Senate was about one 
hundred and twenty to fifty,. 

27th. The Senate met at ten this morning. At about noon 
the joint committee, appointed to notify the Governor and 
Lieutenant Governor of their election, returned, and at half- 
past twelve those officers appeared in the convention of both 
Houses. The oaths were administered to them by the Presi- 
dent of the Senate, as President of the convention, and imme- 
diately subscribed by them. The President of the convention 
then announced to them that they were duly qualified, and 
asked whether they should be proclaimed as such; which being 
assented to, he directed the Secretary to proclaim them, which 
he accordingly did. After which they withdrew. The con- 
vention dissolved, and the Senate returned to their chamber. 
They immediately adjourned to three in the afternoon. I dined 
at Mr. Emerson's with about fifteen clergymen. At four went 
to the Bankrupt Office, and attended upon two cases. At five 
found the Houses in convention had already made choice of 
nine counsellors from the Senate — the nine agreed upon in 
caucus after the adjournment in the morning. I had there pro- 
posed to take two or three members of opposite politics to our 
own, by way of conciliatory procedure; but no, they would not 
hear me. Lowell, who must bring in Ames and Bigelow if 
he can, very wisely proved the inexpediency of putting any 
Jacobin in the Council, upon general principles, and then him- 
self proposed a Mr. Woodman, from York County, a violent 
Jacobin, but who did not happen to interfere with any of his 
intended candidates. The caucus, however, were rather more 
consistent, and carried the principle through. The counsellors 
elected are all federalists. Four of them, it is understood, 
will resign, to bring in others from the people at large. After 
the choice of counsellors in convention was declared, the 
Senate returned to their hall, ordered notification to issue 
to the counsellors chosen, and adjourned to nine to-morrow 
morniner. 



i8o2.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 253 

28th. Attended in the Senate this morning. Four of the Sena- 
tors yesterday chosen declined accepting seats in the council, 
and General Skinner said he understood Mr. Hayward, when 
he should come in from Plymouth, was to resign too. The 
Senate assigned at first this forenoon to come to a choice of 
counsellors from the people at large ; but the House preferred 
half-past four in the afternoon. Nothing else was done before 
dinner. My father and mother came to town and dined with 
me, as did Mr. Pickman. At half-past three I went to the 
Representatives' chamber, in the old State House, and met the 
Charitable Fire Society. At four we proceeded to the Chapel 
Church. Dr. Elliot made the prayer. An occasional song 
was sung, written by T. Paine. The address to the Society 
was delivered by me. Afterwards I went with several other 
gentlemen to Mr. A. Welles' to tea. At the close of the even- 
ing my father and mother came to lodge here. Mr. Tudor, 
Mr. Quincy, and Mr. James White came as a committee from 
the Society to ask a copy of my address for the press, which 
I accordingly furnished to Mr. Cutler, the printer. It is to 
appear the beginning of next week. 

29th. Attended this forenoon in the Senate. Seven of the 
counsellors elected were this day qualified in convention of 
both Houses, in a manner similar to that of qualifying the 
Governor and Lieutenant Governor. After returning to the 
hall, the Senate elected by ballot their part of five standing 
committees of both Houses — two Senators upon each. The 
committees are on Accounts, New Trials, Incorporation of Totvns, 
Incorporation of Parishes and Religious Societies, and on the Ac- 
counts of County Treasurers. The House propose raising another 
standing committee to consider of applications for bridges, 
canals, and turnpike roads. Upon this the Senate did not act 
to-day. Several petitions were read; and Mr. Tudor moved for 
an order to authorize the chaplains of both Houses to officiate 
alternately in either. This was referred over to Monday. Ad- 
journed to that day, ten a.m. 

31st. There was little business done in the Senate. In the 
afternoon I made a motion for a joint committee of both 
Houses to amend the law respecting the election of members 



254 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

for the House of Representatives of the United States. A com- 
mittee was ordered accordingly. 

June 3d. I had engaged to dine this day with Mr. S. Eliot, 
but as the report of the Senate's committee upon the answer to 
the Governor's speech was to be made at four o'clock this 
afternoon, I was obliged to send him an excuse. We had no 
business of consequence in Senate this forenoon. But in the 
afternoon the report of the committee was made and read. It 
was very offensive to the other side of the House. Mr. Pick- 
man, who drew the answer, had, at my request, and in full 
concurrence with his own opinion, inserted a clause declaring 
that, for the support of the Constitution, we consider it as most 
essential that the independence of the Judiciary Department 
should remain inviolate. This was the clause which roused 
the party in arms. They affected to take it up with extraor- 
dinary solemnity, moved for a distant time to debate it, and 
General Hull moved that a number of copies should be printed 
for the use of the members. I saw this as a menace, and 
therefore supported the motion. The thing was altogether 
unprecedented, and it was intended as a threat of appeal to the 
people. The only way to meet it was with defiance. General 
Hull withdrew his motion, for he found his own party more 
averse to it than ours. We assigned to-morrow afternoon to 
debate the answer. 

4th. Mr. Simpkins, a minister in the town of Harwich, called 
upon me this morning respecting a petition of part of that town 
for a division, which, by a mistake in counting the numbers 
yesterday upon a vote of the Senate, was rejected. He made 
me a statement of facts, and asked for my support to obtain a 
reconsideration of the vote. In the forenoon the bill to secure 
a full representation of the people of this Commonwealth in 
Congress, which I had drawn up, and Mr. Bidwell reported, 
was read for the first time. Bidwell opposed it. Next Tues- 
day was assigned for the second reading. In the afternoon the 
answer to the Governor's speech was debated for more than 
three hours. Various attempts were made to strike out, to 
defeat, and to neutralize the clause respecting the independence 
of the judiciary. Every modification on our part was offered 



1S02.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 255 

and inserted as to the form of expressions, but as to the senti- 
ment itself we insisted upon the propriety and expediency of 
its insertion. The votes for it were nineteen to eleven. But 
Mr. Thompson, the Senator from Plymouth, voted very re- 
luctantly with us, and under great fear and trembling for the 
consequences. He begged at first to be excused from voting, 
and finally said he should have liked much better to have the 
clause expunged, and he hoped nobody would be offended at 
his requesting to be excused from voting. The President told 
him by all means ; and that whenever he had such a wish the 
Senate would always be willing to indulge him in it. 

9th. Attended at the Senate upon two committees, before the 
meeting of the board at eleven o'clock. The bill for amending 
the districting law had its second reading and passed to be en- 
grossed. It was sent down to the House this afternoon. We 
had the subject of banks again all this afternoon upon a petition 
for one in the town of Beverly. It is to be taken up again to- 
morrow. 

10th. The remainder of the day at the Senate, which was 
principally occupied with the subject of banks. A bill for 
renewing the charter of the Union Bank for ten years, with 
some changes, came from the House. Being a proprietor in 
that bank, I took no part in the debate. The Senate struck 
out two sections, — one to tax the bank five per cent, on the 
dividends, and the other to take off their obligation to loan 
upon mortgage. 

15th. Rest of the day at the Senate. Debated and passed 
the Wiscasset Bank bill. Drew up a new bill for altering the 
districting law. They had sent up from the House a new draft, 
hasty, incorrect, and almost unintelligible. In the afternoon 
the Senate discussed the bill reported for remitting part of the 
sentence on the impeachment of John Vinall. Adjourned the 
decision until to morrow. 

November 3d. 1 The result of the election in this district stands 
thus : 

1 This was the day of election for members of the federal House of Represent- 
atives. 



256 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

In Boston. For William Eustis, 1430 votes. For John Quincy Adams, 1496 

Charlestown, 244 133 

Medford, 17 96 

Hingham, 83 79 

Maiden, 90 21 

Chelsea, 21 15 

Hull, 14 o 

1899 1840 

So that Dr. Eustis stands re-elected by a majority of fifty-nine 
votes. The cause assigned by the federalists for their failure 
is, that the election day was rainy, and that a large number of 
strong federal votes from the remotest part of the town was 
lost by non-attendance. This is one of a thousand proofs how 
large a portion of federalism is a mere fair-weather principle, 
too weak to overcome a shower of rain. It shows the degree 
of dependence that can be placed upon such friends. As a 
party, their adversaries are more sure, and more earnest. For 
myself, I must consider the issue as relieving me from a heavy 
burden and a thankless task. 

Here closes the first volume of the diary. The second 
opens with the following motto: 

MaflrjT-fjS Trporips Uffrepoq eartv vpOpoq. 

" But you with pleasure own each error past, 
And make each day a critic on the last/' — Pope. 

February 2d, 1803. The Senate this day got through the bill 
for incorporating an insurance company, and several others. 
They took up the report of the committee that it is inexpedient 
to apply to Congress for leave to sell our stocks, and rejected it. 
The committee on the banks were to meet this evening at six 
o'clock; but upon going to the State House we found the doors 
shut. Postponed the meeting therefore until to-morrow. Mr. 
Ames dined with us at Mr. Bussy's. As we were leaving the 
house together, I told him that I had heard that both his name 
and mine were upon the nomination list now in the House of 
Representatives for the choice of a Senator in Congress. I 



1803.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 



257 



asked him whether he would accept the office, if chosen, and 
assured him that, if he would, my name should not stand in 
competition with his ; that I would take care to have it re- 
moved, and should be highly gratified to contribute all in my 
power towards securing his election. 

He said he was entirely out of the question — that he could 
not go at any rate, and that if his name was on the nomination 
list it was altogether without his knowledge or consent. He 
said the federalists were driving on just like a militia, without 
concert or order, and that some measures ought to be taken to 
produce union among them. That there would be two Senators 
to be chosen this session, as Mr. Foster would certainly resign, 
and Mr. Mason declines a re-election. That there were two 
men to be provided for, and that measures should be pursued to 
prevent the excitement of ambition, and of course to produce 
the leaven of disappointment in a multitude of good men who 
could have no reasonable pretensions, and whose feelings ought 
not to be tampered with. 

I told him that, concurring entirely with him in the sentiment 
that something should be done to obtain united action and ex- 
ertion, this was an occasion upon which I could do no more 
than say that I would cordially assist on my part in supporting 
or promoting the election of any one or two men, other than 
myself, upon whom they would agree. Here this matter rested. 

The House of Representatives last Saturday assigned to-mor- 
row, twelve o'clock, to make choice of the Senator for six years, 
instead of Mr. Mason, whose term expires on the 4th of March. 
The Centinel and Palladium published that the time assigned 
was next Saturday. Mr. Russell, of Boston, moved this day in 
the House to postpone the choice until next Tuesday. Mr. 
Otis argued in favor of the postponement. The vote passed, 
but was afterwards reconsidered, and the original time again 
assigned, for to-morrow, twelve o'clock. This hurrying on is 
occasioned by a coalition of the Jacobin party (so called) with 
the ynnto, who expect to carry Mr. Pickering for the six years, 
and then to start another candidate, if Mr. Foster should 
resign. 

3d. The business in Senate this forenoon was of little conse- 

VOL. I. — 17 



2 1; 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

quence — no bills of general interest being before them. About 
one o'clock Mr. Otis came up from the House with a message; 
that the House had proceeded to the choice of a Senator in 
the Congress of the United States, in the room of Jonathan 
Mason, whose time of service expires on the 4th of March next ; 
and that, on the ballots being taken, it appeared that John 
Quincy Adams had a majority of the whole number. The 
Senate assigned next Tuesday, twelve o'clock, to act upon this 
choice, and a nomination list in the mean time to be put up. 
Mr. Pickman immediately put my name upon the nomination 
list, and the name of Timothy Pickering was immediately after 
inserted — I know not by whom. 

Before the choice made in the House of Representatives, Mr. 
Pickman told me that as there would certainly be two vacancies 
in the Senate of the United States, he wished that Mr. Pickering 
and myself might be chosen to fill them. But one of the places 
being for the whole six years, and the other only a remnant, he 
thought Mr. Pickering's age, and the cruel persecutions of 
calumny which he had suffered, gave him the right to the first 
choice. He thought him an honest and an able man, though 
of an unaccommodating and too assuming temper. His volun- 
teering an answer to an address from Princess Anne County, 
instead of laying the address before the President, had always 
struck him as a very improper thing. He asked me whether 
the difference between Mr. Pickering and my father would have 
such influence on me as to make me unwilling to sit in the 
same House with him. I told him I had no personal resentment 
against Mr. Pickering whatever ; and, far from wishing to ex- 
clude him, I would cordially give my vote for him, and for any 
other man upon whom the federalists would agree. He then 
said that he had made up his mind not to be active at all in the 
election, but to vote for the person whom the House should 
send up, provided he should think him a suitable person. And 
he added that he most sincerely wished Mr. Pickering had not 
suffered his name to be put up. 

There were four trials in the House before the choice was 
made. The candidates and the number of votes at the several 
trials were as follows : 



THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 



259 



First trial, 


169. 


Second trial, 170. 


Third 


trial, 171. 


Fourth trial, 171 


Timothy Pickering, 


67 




79 




33 


6 


Tompson J. Skinner, 


7i 




7i 




7i 


70 


Nicholas Tillinghast, 


12 




9 




10 


9 


Henry Knox, 


7 




5 




1 


... 


Samuel Dexter, 


1 








... 


... 


Justin Ely, 


1 








... 




John Quincy Adams, 


10 




6 




56 


86 



The reason of the election's taking such an extraordinary 
turn, I am told, was this. A caucus of about twenty members 
was held last evening at Mr. Russell's house. They could not 
agree together upon supporting Mr. Pickering or me ; each 
being proposed and urged by several persons. At length it 
was agreed, by way of compromise, that Mr. Pickering should 
have the first chance of two trials, and if his election could not 
then be carried, they would unite for me. This agreement was 
but very imperfectly complied with at the third trial. At the 
two first and the fourth it was executed as faithfully as such 
things ever can be. At the caucus Mr. Lowell and Mr. Otis 
were warm partisans for Mr. Pickering. Of Lowell I could 
expect no less, nor indeed of Otis — for he has, of his own 
accord, told me several times that, as Mr. Mason would cer- 
tainly decline a re-election, he, the said Otis, meant to use all 
his endeavors to get ME chosen in his stead. How could I 
possibly imagine, then, that Otis would propose or support any 
man but Pickering ? 

4th. The business transacted in the Senate was not very 
important. After we had adjourned, Otis took me into one of 
the lobbies to talk with me upon the subject of the application 
for a new bank in the town of Boston. He said I had no con- 
ception of the interest and agitation which this affair had 
excited; that the application embraced a great multitude of 
the most respectable persons in this town, and almost the 
whole commercial interest; that it appeared to be an opinion 
among them that it depended entirely upon me, and he had 
heard I had objections against the plan, which he wished to 
remove if possible. He understood the committee had required 
the subscription paper, to ascertain the names of the persons 
concerned and the amount of their subscriptions. He made no 



2 6o MEMOIRS OF JOHX QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

hesitation to avow that he was interested in it; he had never 
concealed it, and never wished to conceal it ; but at the same 
time he did not wish to have his name appear, to be animad- 
verted upon by every member of the Legislature, and by the 
public abroad. That he would tell me exactly how the plan 
was formed. The establishment of a new bank in this town 
had been talked of these two or three years ; but lately about 
twenty gentlemen met together, and, projecting to unite all the 
great and respectable interests in the town, had chosen a com- 
mittee from among themselves to offer the subscriptions round 
to every gentleman of respectable character, and to apportion 
the amount which each person should be allowed to subscribe. 
That no individual subscriber was to take more than fifty 
shares, excepting the original projectors themselves. That the 
two insurance offices were to have two thousand shares each, 
but were to give up five hundred shares apiece, if such shares 
should be found necessary for any unforeseen demand ; and that 
one thousand shares should be resei~ved, to be taken by the 
twenty original projectors among themselves, for their extraor- 
dinary trouble and attention. The fact was that if the plan 
should be defeated it would be solely owing to the liberality 
with which it was undertaken. If it should be defeated, the 
Jacobins would undertake and carry through a bank of their 
own, of which they had even matured a project. That had 
subsided only in consequence of the bank now proposed, for 
when Dr. Jarvis was applied to to subscribe this application 
he refused, alleging that he had already signed another appli- 
cation. Finally, his principal object in thus talking with me 
was to say that there could be no necessity for having a sub- 
scription paper containing the names of the parties interested 
bandied about in public. 

I told him I was sensible how deep, how large, and how 
powerful an interest was combined in the pursuit of this object; 
that, so far from contending against such a respectable weight 
of influence, it would be my strongest wish to comply with 
and promote every thing they should desire, so far as might 
be consistent with my duty; that the committee on which I 
sat were equally divided — two being for giving leave to bring 



1803.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 2 6l 

in a bill without limitation, and two absolutely against it ; that 
so far the question depended upon me. But it had been 
rumored abroad that in forming the capital of this bank a 
certain number of shares was reserved, to be distributed among 
the members of the Legislature ; and this was a species of in- 
fluence so dishonorable to the Legislature itself, that I con- 
sidered it indispensable to remove as far as could be the 
possibility of such a suspicion; that in consequence of this I 
had suggested, and the committee had adopted, the idea of 
calling for the subscription paper. But I presumed there 
would be no necessity for making it public. 

At half-past three in the afternoon the committee met again; 
but Mr. Treadwell, the Chairman, was not present. Mr. Hig- 
ginson, Mr. Lyman, and Mr. Lloyd again came, and urged 
further arguments to recommend their plan and to remove 
objections. They produced their subscription paper; but, as 
the committee thought no reservation ought to remain unap- 
propriated, they took back the paper to have it filled up. The 
committee agreed to give them leave to bring in a bill — but 
with condition that some clause should be introduced to 
indemnify the Commonwealth for the loss it will sustain upon 
its Union Bank shares, and that the specie for the vaults of the 
new bank shall not be drawn from any bank incorporated by 
the Commonwealth. 

7th. Mr. James Lloyd called and conversed with me on the 
subject of the proposed bank. He was very desirous that I should 
give it not only my vote, but my support. I stated my objections, 
and my intentions, particularly of proposing a general subscrip- 
tion, to which he strongly objected. I find it a subject of no 
small difficulty how to conduct myself upon this occasion. 

8th. The Senate was occupied in discussing several bills and 
motions until twelve o'clock — the time assigned for the choice 
of a Senator in Congress for six years after the 4th of March 
next. The number of votes was twenty-six (of course I did 
not vote at all). There were nineteen votes for John Quincy 
Adams, and seven for Tompson J. Skinner. The federal side 
of the House, therefore, was unanimous to concur in the choice 
made by the House. 



2 62 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

ioth. The principal business before the Senate was the re- 
ported address for the removal of the two Judges of the Sessions 
and Common Pleas, which was carried by yeas and nays — 
fourteen to ten. I wrote a dissent, which I requested might be 
entered upon the Journals. The subject was postponed until 
to-morrow. 

1 2th. My protest against the address was taken up, but not 
decided on, the subject being still before the House of Repre- 
sentatives. 

March 3d. The Boston Bank bill, on the question of enact- 
ment, had a sharp contest again this day in both Houses. A 
vote against it passed in the House of Representatives, but 
was afterwards reconsidered. In the Senate, the yeas and nays 
were fourteen for the bill, and twelve against it. 

4th. My reasons for dissenting from the address to remove 
the two Eastern Judges were taken up, and leave was given by 
a small majority to enter them upon the Journals. The Presi- 
dent took a part rather too decided against me on this question, 
as, indeed, he has done upon every considerable question but 
one which I have brought forward in both sessions of the 
Legislature. I can trace the source of his opposition. The 
cause is irremovable. The day commences the Congressional 
year, and last evening I took the sense of the Senate on the 
question whether those of us who are elected to serve in the 
Congress now to ensue may retain or vacate their seats here. 
They determined that it had been settled, ten years ago, in 
the cases of Mr. Cobb and Mr. Coffin, that the seats here are 
not vacated, as no man is a member of Congress until duly 
qualified and admitted. 

Dedham, April 1st. — We tried the question upon the valid- 
ity of a will, to the Court — Mr. Parsons and Mr. Dexter 
against Mr. Ames and me. But we could prove nothing, and 
the will was established. Just as the judgment of the Court 
was recording, I received a note from W. Shaw, with informa- 
tion that the house of Bird, Savage and Bird, in London, has 
failed. I stayed only at dinner with the judges, and imme- 
diately after set out to return home. On arriving in town, I 
received by the mail from New York a circular letter from the 



1803.] THE SENATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. 2 6x 

house of Bird, Savage and Bird, dated 7th February, giving notice 
of their suspension of payments, with the addition that they 
would endeavor to get some house to take up my bills upon 
them ; on which, however, I place not the least dependence. 
The property they have in their hands is my father's ; but I 
must provide for taking the bills up which I had drawn. For 
this purpose I have no other means than to sell my own prop- 
erty. I called upon Mr. Smith to ask him if he wished to 
purchase again the house I bought of him, and in which I now 
live ; but he said it would not be convenient. I have never 
before met so severe a shock in respect to property as this. 
Passed the evening with the Society ; but Mr. Emerson was 
absent and gave us no exhibition. 

2d. This morning I applied to Mr. Jackson, the broker, to 
sell my Fire and Marine insurance company shares, and those 
of my father, for the purpose of raising the money to defray 
the bills which must return upon my hands : he was unable to 
sell them, however, this day. Mr. Freeman called upon me 
with one of the bills, that for ^"400, — protested 12th February, 
— two days later than the letter of Bird, Savage and Bird to me. 
So they were unable to procure any house to take them up, 
and I must expect them all back within a few days. I paid 
Mr. Freeman for his bill, with all the charges, which are lighter 
than I can expect they will be upon any of the rest. In the 
afternoon I wrote to my brother, to prepare him for the return 
of the bill I sent him last November, and to promise him it shall 
immediately be paid. I went out to Quincy with Mr. J. Gardner 
in the evening, and had the task to perform of giving notice to 
my father and mother of this misfortune. They felt it severely, 
but bore it with proper firmness and composure. I feel myself 
in a great degree answerable for this calamity, and, of course, 
bound to share largely in the loss. The business of drawing 
the money from Holland 1 was entrusted to me, and I adopted 

1 This was a very severe trial for the moment to both father and son ; but it 
happily passed off without grave consequences. John Adams, when engaged in 
negotiating loans for the country in Holland, did his best to set an example of 
confidence by subscribing whatever he could spare of his own means to them. 
The time of repayment had now come round, and he was at home, but his money 



264 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

a method of transacting it which has failed. The error of 
judgment was mine, and therefore I shall not refuse to share 
in the suffering. 

October 2 1st. At eleven this morning I took my seat in the 
Senate of the United States, after delivering my credential 
letter to Mr. Otis, the Secretary, and being sworn to support 
the Constitution of the United States by Mr. John Brown, of 
Kentucky, who is the President pro tempore, Mr. Burr, the Vice- 
President, being absent. There was little business done, and 
the Senate adjourned soon after twelve. Mr. Otis 1 is much 
alarmed at the prospect of being removed from his office. It 
has been signified to him this day, that in order to retain it he 
must have all the printing done by Duane. 2 His compliance 
may possibly preserve him one session longer. After the 
Senate adjourned, I went in without the bar of the House of 
Representatives; but they adjourned immediately afterwards. 
As I returned home I called at the President's, and, not finding 
him at home, left a card. 

22d. I called this morning at the offices of the Secretary of 
State and Secretary of the Treasury, but found neither of them 

was to be returned to him at Amsterdam. It became necessary to effect the transfer 
from Amsterdam to London, and thence to Boston. His son undertook the work, 
through the house of Bird, Savage and Bird, a house which had been trusted by 
the government of the United States, and, therefore, naturally by him whilst 
holding official relations in Europe. But the bills which he drew upon them 
and sold in Boston came back protested for non-payment, with heavy charges, 
and were to be redeemed at once, whilst the funds realized had been already 
invested by his father in a large purchase of lands not susceptible of sudden recon- 
version without serious loss. Hence the necessity imposed upon the son to raise 
money at once by an immediate sale of his most available property. Much relief 
was given by the voluntary interposition of friends both in London and in Boston 
in saving costs on his bills and facilitating their payment ; and his father secured 
him from the risk of loss to the best of his ability. It is proper to add that the bankers 
in liquidation, in course of time, paid the whole debt ; but the last instalment was 
not received until after the death of John Adams, twenty-three years later. 

1 Samuel Allyne Otis had been Secretary of the Senate since its organization, 
and remained in office, notwithstanding the change of parties, until his death, in 
1814. 

- William Duane, editor of the Aurora, a newspaper printed at Philadelphia, 
effective in the interest of the ruling party. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 6$ 

there. Attended in Senate, where the principal business done 
was upon a resolution offered by Mr. Clinton 1 for designating, 
in all future elections of President and Vice-President, the 
persons who are to fill each of these offices. Several amend- 
ments were offered to this resolution, which was finally com- 
mitted to a select committee of five. It was near three o'clock 
when the adjournment took place. 

23d. There is no church of any denomination in this city; 
but religious service is usually performed on Sundays at the 
Treasury office and at the Capitol. I went both forenoon and 
afternoon to the Treasury, but found there was this day no 
preaching there, on account of the indisposition of Mr. Laurie. 
The two Senators from Delaware, Messrs. Wells and White, 
and Mr. Huger, a member of the House of Representatives 
from South Carolina, called upon me this morning. 

24th. Called at the Secretary of State's office this morning, 
and had some conversation with him relative to the settlement 
of my accounts during my residence abroad in the public ser- 
vice. But he still makes difficulties beyond what I conceive to 
be reasonable or proper. Called also on the Secretary of the 
Treasury ; but he was not at his office. Attended in Senate. 
The day was spent in debate upon the proposed amendment of 
the Constitution respecting the election of President and Vice- 
President. No decision was had. Some warm expressions 
passed between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Dayton. Dined with 
Mr. Cranch, 2 who informed me that he was about publishing a 
volume of Reports of cases adjudged by the Supreme Court 
of the United States in this city. Returning home, I stopped 
at the Post office and left a specimen of my signature, as 
required by law, for the purpose of franking my letters. The 
clerks told me it was unnecessary, as that direction of the law 
was almost universally neglected — that only one member of 
Congress had complied with it this session. I left, however, 

1 De Witt Clinton, afterwards Governor of New York, and still remembered as 
one of the most eminent statesmen of his time. 

2 William Cranch, a cousin of the author, as well as a classmate at Cambridge, 
afterwards for many years Chief Justice of the Circuit Court of the District of 
Columbia. He will be longest remembered through the work referred to in the text. 



2 66 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

my signature, and thus executed the injunction of the law, so 
far as respected myself. , 

25th. I called this morning at the office of the Secretary of 
the Treasury, but did not find him there. Attended in Senate. 
Mr. Clinton, who is appointed Mayor of the City of New York, 
and will be obliged to be sworn in at the beginning of the next 
month, went away early this morning. He left a handsome 
written apology for the expressions he used yesterday offensive 
to Mr. Dayton, which was read by Mr. Wright in his place. 
Mr. Breckinridge's bill for enabling the President to take pos- 
session of Louisiana was debated at the second reading, and is 
to be read the third time. Mr. Wright informed the Senate 
that the reason why the decision upon the resolution for 
amending the Constitution in respect to the election of Presi- 
dent was so vehemently pressed was because Mr. Clinton, the 
mover, wanted to get through with it before he went home. 
But as other gentlemen wanted time, and the subject was 
important, he moved it be postponed for further considera- 
tion until to-morrow ; which was done. He then called up 
his resolution for coming to a new choice for Secretary and 
other officers of the Senate. But it was determined by a bare 
majority not to take up the consideration of this resolution for 
the present. Adjourned at about one o'clock p.m. I went into 
the House of Representatives, and heard a Mr. Elliot, from 
Vermont, for about an hour. Mr. Tracy made me acquainted 
with Mr. Griswold. Mr. John Smith, the second Senator from 
the State of Ohio, this day was sworn and took his seat. 

26th. Called again at the office of the Secretary of the 
Treasury, without finding him. Saw the Auditor, and showed 
him the documents which had been required for the settle- 
ment of my accounts. Attended in the Senate. The bill for 
enabling the President to take possession of Louisiana, and for 
other purposes, passed the third reading — twenty-six yeas, six 
nays. The objection was to the second section, as unconsti- 
tutional. After the bill had passed, Mr. Breckinridge, who 
introduced it, had the words for other purposes, in the title, 
al tered for the temporary government of the same. We adj o u rned 
about half-past two. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 6l 

27th. Attended in Senate, where some private business was 
done, and the Treaty of Limits with Great Britain 1 was read 
the second time. Mr. Wright called up his resolution for a 
Secretary and other officers of the Senate; but a motion to 
postpone the consideration of the resolution until the first 
Monday in October next prevailed. The votes were seventeen 
to thirteen. Adjourned quite early. I went into the House of 
Representatives, and heard the debate there on the bill which 
yesterday passed the Senate. The principal speakers were 
Messrs. Griswold, Eustis, J. Randolph, Eppes, Rodney, and 
Elliot. 

28th. I called at the Secretary of State's office, to give him 
a letter for Mr. Randolph. Spoke to him also for a copy of 
Laws and Journals for the Historical Society. I asked him 
whether the Executive had made any arrangements with any 
members of either House to bring forward the proposal for an 
amendment to the Constitution to carry through the Louisiana 
Treaty ; that if any such arrangement was made, I should wait 
quietly until it should be produced; but if not, I should think 
it my duty to move for such an amendment. He said he did 
not know that it was universally agreed that it required an 
amendment of the Constitution. But for his own part, had 
he been on the floor of Congress, he should have seen no dif- 
ficulty in acknowledging that the Constitution had not provided 
for such a case as this; that it must be estimated by the mag- 
nitude of the object, and that those who had agreed to it must 
rely upon the candor of their country for justification. To all 
of which I agreed, but urged the necessity of removing as 
speedily as possible all question on this subject; to which he 
readily assented. He said he did not know that any arrange- 
ment had been made; that probably, when the objects of im- 
mediate pressure were gone through, it would be attended to, 
and if lie should have any agency in concerting the measure, he 
would request the gentleman who might propose it to consult 

1 On the 24th of the month the President sent to the Senate a message transmit- 
ting a convention negotiated by Mr. King, the Minister at London, with Great 
Britain, for settling the boundaries in the northeastern and n orthwestern parts of 
the United States. 



2 68 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

previously with me. Attended in Senate. Mr. Butler's reso- 
lution for a further negotiation with France, under consideration, 
debated until past three p.m., when we adjourned. 

29th. In Senate. The debate was upon the bill to enable the 
President to take possession of Louisiana, &c, which comes 
back from the House with amendments to the second section. 
I moved an amendment to the last amendment from the House, 
by an addition of the words " consistently with the Constitution 
of the United States." But it was objected, that this was not 
in order, my proposed amendment referring not to the amend- 
ment from the House, but to the original section of the bill, 
upon which this House, having already acted, could not now 
act again. The President so decided, but requested the sense 
of the House, which confirmed his decision. The amendments 
were all rejected, and a committee of conference appointed. 
The House of Representatives insisted. The conferees met, 
and agreed that the Senate should recede from their disagree- 
ment to the amendments from the House, and agree to the 
same with a further amendment. When our conferees came 
in, the Senate agreed to that part of the report which proposed 
to recede, but disagreed to the additional amendment of their 
own conferees. So the bill passed as amended in the House 
of Representatives. It was observed as a rule, and on all sides 
recognized, that the Speaker of the House and President of the 
Senate could not sign an enrolled bill but while those bodies' 
are respectively in session. 

30th. Attended public service at the Capitol, where Mr. Rat- 
toon, an Episcopalian clergyman from Baltimore, preached a 
sermon. I afterwards called on Messrs. Wells and White, the 
Senators from Delaware, but did not find them at their lodg- 
ings. Visited also Mr. Amory and Mr. Pickering, with whom 
I found a number of the Connecticut and Massachusetts mem- 
bers of Congress. 

31st. In Senate. Mr. Breckinridge introduced a resolution 
to wear crape a month for the three illustrious patriots, Samuel 
Adams, Edmund Pendleton, and Stevens Thompson Mason. I 
asked for the constitutional authority of the Senate to enjoin 
upon its members this act ; and he referred to the manual, that 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 6g 

such a regulation was merely conventional and not binding 
upon the members. I then objected against it as improper in 
itself, tending; to unsuitable discussions of character, and to an 
employment of the Senate's time in debates altogether foreign 
to the subjects which properly belong to them. This led to a 
debate of three hours, in the course of which the resolution 
was divided into two — one for Mr. Mason, as a matter of form 
and of course, to a member of the Senate holding the office 
at the time of his decease; the other for the two other illus- 
trious patriots. The first was unanimously agreed to; the last 
by a majority of twenty-one to ten. A message from the 
President, with several Indian Treaties, was then read, and 
the Treaty of Limits with Great Britain taken up as in com- 
mittee of the whole. Mr. Butler proposed an alteration in the 
fifth article, and Mr. S. Smith intimated that since the ratifi- 
cation of the Louisiana Treaty this one must not be ratified at 
all. Adjourned at half-past three. I walked with Mr. Wells 
as far as the President's house, where he, with several others of 
the Senators, dined. 

Day. From the 1st to the 20th of this month we were 
upon our journey from Quincy to Washington, with the cus- 
tomary irregularity of travelling. Here my mode of life is more 
uniform. I rise at about seven ; write in my own chamber 
until nine; breakfast; dress; and soon after ten begin my walk 
to the Capitol. The distance is two miles and a half, and 
takes me forty-five minutes. I get there soon after eleven, and 
usually find the Senate assembled. We sit until two or three, 
and when the adjournment is earlier I go in and hear the de- 
bates in the House of Representatives. Home at four; dine, 
and pass the evening idly with George 1 in my chamber, or 
with the ladies. They sup between nine and ten. At eleven 
is the hour for bed. This great change in the arrangement of 
my daily occupations and manner of living has affected my 
health in some degree, and the interest with which my mind 
seizes hold of the public business is greater than suits my com- 
fort or can answer any sort of public utility. 

1 His son, at this time three years old. 



2 70 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIXCY ADAMS. [November, 

November ist. In Senate. The subject debated was upon 
the second reading of one of the bills creating the stock for the 
payments required by the Louisiana Treaty. A proviso at the 
close of the first section appeared to me to sanction a departure 
from the terms of the Convention, and, to remove the possi- 
bility of any such imputation in future, I moved to insert the 
words, "with the assent of the French Government." Mr. Tay- 
lor, of Virginia, moved another amendment to the same pro- 
viso. They lie over for consideration to-morrow. But Mr. 
Wright was against every amendment that could possibly be 
proposed to the bill, because it was drawn up by the Secretary 
of the Treasury, who could better legislate for us on this sub- 
ject than we can do congressionally. What will become of 
Mr. Taylor's amendment I know not. Mine will certainly not 
pass; and, indeed, I have already seen enough to ascertain that 
no amendments of my proposing will obtain in the Senate as 
now filled. Nor was this state of things at all unexpected to 
me. The qualities of mind most peculiarly called for under it 
are firmness, perseverance, patience, coolness, and forbearance. 
The prospect is not promising; yet the part to act may be as 
honorably performed as if success could attend it. We ad- 
journed soon after two. 

2d. The debate on the bill creating 11,250,000 dollars of six 
per cent, stock was continued, and an amendment comprising 
Mr. Taylor's proposed amendment and mine finally agreed to. 
Mr. Wright explained away what he said yesterday about the 
Secretary of the Treasury's drawing up the bill, &c. It passed 
to the third reading, after the rejection of a motion from Mr. 
Wright to postpone the subject until the second Monday in 
December, to know whether the possession of New Orleans 
will be given. The other bill providing for the payment of the 
claims, four millions, passed the third reading. Adjourned 
half-past two. Read this evening to the ladies a new play of 
Colman's — "John Bull, or the Englishman's Fireside." 

3d. Had a very long debate in Senate on the passage of 
the act creating eleven millions of stock. The question was 
finally taken by yeas and nays — twenty-six yeas, five nays. I 
voted in favor of this bill. Read part of a play this evening 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 7I 

to the ladies — " The Marriage Promise." But it was so bad 
I could not finish it. 

4th. In Senate. Debate upon the Convention of Limits with 
Great Britain, dated 12th May last. Mr. Butler withdrew his 
motion for an amendment. Mr. Wright urged the objection, 
on account of the possible interference between this Treaty and 
that containing the cession of Louisiana. Subject further post- 
poned until next Monday. Mr. Butler's proposed resolution 
for a new negotiation with France was resumed and negatived. 
He then called up the resolution passed by the House of Repre- 
sentatives relative to the future elections of President and 
Vice-President, and, the majority manifesting an aversion to 
taking it up, he called upon them for their reasons. When the 
subject was before the Senate before, he said, they were for 
hurrying the measure with extreme precipitation; it was with the 
utmost difficulty that he could obtain one day for consideration. 
He wished to know the reasons why that excessive haste had now 
given place to the indifference and studied delay of the present 
time. He meant therefore to call it up every day, and demand 
the yeas and nays every time he should call it up, until some 
reason should be given for the neglect it now meets with. He 
was only answered, that every gentleman had his own reasons 
for voting as he pleased, and was not obliged to give them. A 
large majority determined against taking it up. The reason 
is that they could not carry the vote by the constitutional 
majority now ; and wait for the arrival of the member from 
New York, who will come instead of Mr. Clinton, the return of 
Mr. S. Smith, who is absent, and the arrival of General Sump- 
ter from South Carolina. Adjourned at two, to Monday morn- 
ing. The editor of the National Intelligencer, S. H. Smith, 
came to me and desired me to give him the substance of what 
I said on the debate yesterday, for publication, as other gentle- 
men on both sides of the question had promised him they 
would. I agreed to furnish him with it. 1 

5th. Detained at home the whole day by rain. Read the 
document and correspondence sent to the Senate with the 

1 This speech is found in Benton's Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, vol. 
iii. p. 18. 



272 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

Louisiana Treaty. Mr. Pichon called and visited me this 
morning, and Mr. Madison, just before dinner. Pichon appears 
to be surprised at the opposition raised by Spain against this 
cession, and feels some irritation with the Marquis de Casa 
Yrujo, the Spanish Minister here, who, he thinks, in his letters 
to his Government, stimulates their jealousies against the 
United States. 

7th. In Senate. Met Mr. Tracy and Mr. Baldwin, on a com- 
mittee to whom was referred a bill making an appropriation of 
fifty thousand dollars to carry into effect the seventh article of 
the Treaty with Great Britain of November, 1794. Postponed 
the report to consult the Secretary of the Treasury on a ques- 
tion occurring from the bill. No business of consequence was 
done in Senate, and they adjourned early, until Thursday, to 
give time for the workmen to repair the ceiling, which is ruinous. 
Another motive, not mentioned, might be, that the annual horse 
races of the city are held this week. After the adjournment, I 
called upon the Secretary of the Treasury, and consulted with 
him on the Appropriation bill ; upon which he gave me the 
information desired. I also conversed with him respecting the 
settlement of my accounts, in which I presume all the diffi- 
culties are now removed. I called at the Auditor's office, but he 
was not there. Dined, with my wife, at the President's. The 
company were seventeen in number: Mr. Madison, his lady, 
and her sister, Mr. Wright and his two daughters, and Miss 
Gray, Mr. Butler, and General McPherson of Philadelphia, were 
there; also Mr. Eppes and Mr. Randolph, Mr. Jefferson's two 
sons-in-law and both members of the House of Represent- 
atives. After dinner Mr. Macon, the Speaker of the House, 
and Mr. John Randolph and Mr. Venable, came in. We came 
home at about six. 

8th. I called this morning and paid a visit to Mr. Butler, 
Senator from South Carolina, whom I found with his three 
daughters. Mr. Anderson, of Tennessee, was also there. Went 
afterwards with my wife to the races. We went soon after 
eleven o'clock, and waited nearly three hours before they 
began. In less than an hour they were over, and we returned 
home to dinner. I have never seen regular horse races before. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 273 

14th. In Senate, where we had a very warm debate on the ques- 
tion for taking up the resolution for an amendment of the Con- 
stitution. The motion was negatived, and the reason finally 
avowed. It was some time after three when the adjournment 
took place. 

15th. In Senate. Executive business. The Convention of 
Limits with England committed to a select committee. 1 Four 
Indian Treaties. Mr. Breckinridge offered a resolution for their 
ratification. Nominations acted upon — some postponed. Ad- 
journed after two. 

17th. Met Mr. John Smith, of Ohio, and walked with him to 
the Senate chamber. The Senate did but little business, and 
adjourned early. I called upon the Auditor at the Treasury to 
see if he was ready with my accounts, but he was not. Called 
also on Mr. Madison, who does not approve the resolution for 
the conditional ratification of the Treaty. Mr. Nicholas had 
been with him. 

1 8th. Attended in Senate. Bill for declaring war against 
the Emperor of Morocco. Mr. Dayton moved it should be 
read a second time on this day. Unanimous consent was 
necessary, and I alone objected. My principle was, that a 
declaration of war was the last thing in the world to be made 
with unusual precipitation. Executive business. The whole 
day spent in a debate about Abraham Bishop. Adjourned after 
three o'clock. Evening at home. I am reading the Federalist. 

2 1 st. In Senate. On a bill from the House of Representa- 
tives, equivalent to a declaration of war against the Emperor 
of Morocco, Mr. Wright moved the addition of a clause recog- 
nizing the principle that free ships make free goods; which was 
debated until almost three o'clock, when the Senate adjourned. 
Took from the library the first volume of Raynal's History of 
the East and West Indies, of which I read the Introduction to 
the ladies in the evening. 

22d. In Senate. Mr. Wright made a speech of one hour 
long upon the question discussed yesterday, concerning his 
amendment. His colleague, Mr. S. Smith, suggested the ne- 

1 The members of the committee were Mr. Adams, Mr. Nicholas, and Mr. 
Wright. 



2/4 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 



cessity of some other amendments to the bill ; upon which it 
was committed to Mr. S. Smith, Mr. Jackson, and myself. The 
resolutions for amending the Constitution wera taken up. Mr. 
Dayton made his motion for abolishing the office of Vice- 
President. Mr. Taylor argued from the words in the Constitu- 
tion, that amendments may be adopted whenever two-thirds of 
both Houses agree to them. A question was made by Mr. 
Bradley, whether incidental questions upon alterations in pro- 
posed amendments to the Constitution must be decided by 
two-thirds, or only by a majority. The President doubted. 
Precedents were looked for, and the subject postponed. Ex- 
ecutive business. Several nominations confirmed ; one, among 
the rest, of a man stated by Mr. Franklin to be dead — Nicho- 
las Fitzhugh, nominated as one of the Judges for the District 
of Columbia, instead of James Marshall, resigned. 

23d. In Senate. Met General Smith and General Jackson in 
committee before the Senate assembled. We agreed to report 
several sections proposed by General Smith, and disagreed to 
the amendment proposed. The report was made, and is to be 
printed. Debated the proposed amendment to the Constitu- 
tion, on a question of order, until the adjournment, after three 
o'clock. 1 

24th. In Senate. I went rather late, and found them on the 
debate for the Constitutional amendment, which continued 
until past three. The question upon an incidental point, not 
material to the main principle. Debates warm. Read to the 
ladies in the evening. 

25th. The debate on the Constitutional question was post- 
poned, on account of Mr. Anderson's absence. The bill for 
hostilities against Morocco passed to the third reading. Sundry 
other business of less importance. After the adjournment, met 
Mr. Nicholas and Mr. Wright in the Committee on the Treaty 
of Limits with Great Britain. They directed me to report a 
postponement to the 20th of February. 2 I called this morning 

1 See Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. p. 21. Mr. Dayton seems to have been 
dissatisfied with the vote of Mr. Adams in favor of the amendment. 

3 This direction does not seem to have been followed. See the entries on the 
2 1 st and 28th of December, on which last day Mr. Adams made a report. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 y$ 

on Mr. Madison, and had some conversation with him. I laid 
a motion on the table for the appointment of a committee to 
inquire into the necessity of further measures to carry into 
effect the Louisiana Treaty. 

28th. "In Senate. The amendment to the Constitution was 
again postponed on account of Mr. Anderson's absence. He 
is unwell. Mr. Wright gave up his amendment to the Morocco 
bill. He laid a resolution on the table for appointing a com- 
mittee to make a form or forms of government for Louisiana. 

29th. Bankrupt Law at the second reading. Motion to commit 
rejected. Made the order of the day to-morrow. Had up the pro- 
posed amendment to the Constitution. I called for the yeas and 
nays on the question for three or five. 1 Spoke in favor of five and 
against three — in vain. For five, yeas twelve, nays nineteen. 
For three, yeas twenty-one, nays ten. Adjourned about four. 

30th. Mr. Taylor determined to take the final question on 
the amendment this day, as Mr. Condit is obliged to go away 
to-morrow. But, after debating until four o'clock, it was found 
impossible. Mr. Condit agreed to stay to-morrow, and the 
question is adjourned until then. 

December 1st. The debate on the Constitutional amendment 
was again resumed. A new proposition to provide for the case 
of a non-election by the House of Representatives was made, 
and occasioned a variety of motions and discussions until the 
adjournment. The ladies took me home. They had been to 
hear the debate. The final question was still postponed. Mr. 
Condit was absent from his seat, his daughter being dead, so 
that he will probably not go. 

2d. In Senate from eleven this morning until almost ten at 
night, when the question on the proposed amendment to the 

1 The disputed provision in this case was that, in the event of a failure to elect 
a President by a majority of the electors, the House of Representatives should 
choose one from the persons having the highest number of votes, not exceeding 
three. The motion was to strike out the number three and insert five. Mr. Adams 
argued and voted in favor of five. On the other hand, his colleague, Mr. Picker- 
ing, argued and voted for three. It may be remarked that in the only case of an 
election under this clause of the Constitution the success of Mr. Adams himself 
was materially promoted by the operation of the restricted number which he 
opposed. 



2^6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

Constitution was taken and carried— twenty-two yeas and ten 
nays, among which was my vote. Several good speeches were 
made by the members in the minority. That by Mr. Tracy 
was peculiarly excellent. On the other hand, Mr. Taylor's was 
unquestionably 1 the best. It was almost eleven whe"n I got 
home, having fasted the whole day. 

4th. Visited Mr. Lincoln, the Attorney-General, and Mr. 
Tracy, with whom I had some particular conversation. Mr. 
Griswold came in, and I unwisely continued the conversation. 
Detained Mr. Tracy from his dinner. 

My self-examination this night gave rise to many mortifying 
reflections. This practice — to which I have long accustomed 
myself, in compliance with an ancient rule — is itself not so satis- 
factory as in theory it appears. Of the errors, imprudences, 
and follies which reflection discovers to me in my own conduct 
I do not correct myself by the discovery. Pride and self-con- 
ceit and presumption lie so deep in my natural character, that, 
when their deformity betrays them, they run through all the 
changes of Proteus, to disguise themselves to my own heart. I 
often see and often condemn my faults. But for the efficacy of 
correction I am afraid some penalty is necessary. Voluntary 
penance is excluded from our system of morality, as a super- 
stitious practice, and I have never tried it. Yet to render self- 
examination of much use, I believe it necessary. 

5th. Returned the visit of Mr. Merry, the British Minister, 
who has just arrived. He was not at home. In Senate, which 
was thinner than it has been heretofore. The great question 
being decided, many of the members think they may now in- 
dulge themselves in some relaxation. Mr. Tracy made a mo- 
tion for a committee to report amendments to the Bankrupt 
Law, instead of repealing it. This prevented the repeal from 
passing this day to the third reading. Mr. Wright's motion for 
appointing a committee to make a form or forms of govern- 
ment for Louisiana was considered. I opposed the appoint- 
ment of such a committee, on the ground that we ought to 
make no form of government for them without consulting the 
people, and without knowing something more of them. The 

1 See Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. pp. 27-37. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 277 

committee, however, was appointed, — five members. Mr. But- 
ler laid on the table a motion for a rule of order respecting 
reconsiderations. Senate rose about three. I called at Stella's 
to see Mr. W. Smith, late Minister at Lisbon, who has just 
returned from Europe ; but he was not at his lodgings. I had 
a short conversation with Mr. Tracy. I took again this day 
too much part in the debate. I must check myself, or become 
worse than ridiculous. 

6th. The bill for repealing the Bankrupt Law was made the 
order of the day for to-morrow. Bill for establishing the salaries 
of the executive officers had the second reading. Indiana 
Territory bill passed. The Senate adjourned early. I went 
into the House of Representatives, where they debated, on the 
proposed amendment to the Constitution, the question whether 
two-thirds of the members present, being a quorum to do busi- 
ness, are competent to propose amendments, or whether it does 
not require two-thirds of the whole number. Decided that 
two-thirds of the members present are sufficient. 

7th. Mr. Burr, the Vice-President of the United States, at- 
tended, and took the chair, as President of the Senate. General 
Armstrong, appointed by the Governor of New York a Senator 
instead of De Witt Clinton, also took his seat. All the busi- 
ness before the Senate was postponed, and a very early adjourn- 
ment took place. I went into the House of Representatives, 
and heard a debate on the proposed amendment of the Consti- 
tution, until past four o'clock; left the House still engaged 
upon it. They sat until nine in the evening, and did not take 
the final question. 

8th. Mr. Tracy has not attended in Senate these two days. 
The debate this day was on the repeal of the Bankrupt Law. 
Continued until four o'clock, when an adjournment took place 
without coming to a decision. Several amendments were at- 
tempted, to prevent the decision on the question of absolute 
repeal ; but all were rejected. This morning at ten the com- 
mittee to prepare forms of government for Louisiana were to 
have met ; but three out of five were too late. We are to meet 
to-morrow. 

9th. Met the committee to prepare a form or forms of gov- 



278 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

ernment for Louisiana — Mr. Breckinridge, Chairman, Mr. Bald- 
win, and Mr. Wright (Mr. Jackson, the other member of the 
committee, was absent from illness). We had some conversa- 
tion on the subject. Mr. Breckinridge had a form of govern- 
ment ready prepared. My ideas are so different from those 
entertained by the committee, that I have nothing to do but to 
make fruitless opposition. In Senate the repeal of the Bank- 
rupt Law was passed to a third reading. My motion for a 
committee to inquire and report further measures to carry into 
effect the Louisiana Treaty was considered and rejected. Mr. 
Pickering and Mr. Hillhouse only supported it. The Constitu- 
tional amendment passed this day the House of Representatives. 

ioth. I called this morning at the Secretary of State's office, 
and had some conversation with Mr. Wagner. Among other 
things, he read me Mr. Marbois' project for the Louisiana 
Treaty, and told me there had been addresses from some in- 
habitants of Louisiana, soliciting the Government of the United 
States to take possession of that country before the Treaty was 
made. 

1 2th. At the Senate, Mr. Butler's proposed amendment to the 
Constitution was rejected. The yeas four, nays twenty-seven. 
That which has passed both Houses came enrolled, with a reso- 
lution requesting the President to transmit copies of it to the 
executives of the several States to be laid before the several 
legislatures. Mr. Tracy moved that the amendment should be 
sent to the President for his signature. This was rejected. Yeas 
seven, nays twenty-four. The order requesting the President to 
transmit the copies was then passed. Adjourned half-past three. 

13th. We had another debate this morning concerning sev- 
enteen copies of the amendment to the Constitution ; and a 
letter from the Secretary of the Senate to defend himself against 
an outrageous and totally unjustifiable insult offered him yes- 
terday in debate by Mr. Wright. Afterwards the bill to repeal 
the Bankrupt Act was read the third time, and passed. Yeas 
seventeen, nays twelve. Mr. Venable, a Senator from Virginia, 
in the room of Mr. Taylor, produced his credentials and took 
his seat and the oath. 

14th. The principal business this day was a debate upon a 



1 803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



279 



bill for fixing the salaries of certain officers in the executive 
departments. Those of the Postmaster-General and his assist- 
ant were raised. One or two other bills of minor importance 
were read the third time and passed. Adjourned at three. I 
went into the House of Representatives, where they were de- 
bating on a bill to abolish the Commissioners of Loans. Dr. 
Eustis spoke, and Mr. J. Randolph, Jr. 

15th. The two Senators from the State of Ohio were classed. 
Mr. Worthington drew a lot for four years, and Mr. Smith a lot 
for six. The Salary bill was read the third time and passed. 
The question negatived yesterday was again debated and re- 
jected. On executive business several nominations to offices 
were confirmed. Adjourned between two and three. 

1 6th. There was very little business for the Senate to do, and 
they adjourned early, after appointing several committees. I 
went into the House of Representatives, where they were 
debating in committee of the whole a bill to introduce our 
revenue system into Louisiana. It passed in the committee, 
and in the House, at the second reading. I understand no oppo- 
sition is intended against it. So at least Mr. Huger told me. 
Senate adjourned to Monday. 

17th. Mr. Breckinridge appointed a meeting of the Louisi- 
ana Government Committee for ten o'clock this morning. The 
members all met accordingly, excepting Mr. Wright. The sub- 
ject was discussed until almost two o'clock. The majority 
agreed upon several principles, on which the chairman is to 
draw up his bill. My objections were and will be of no avail. 
Paid a visit to the Vice-President, who was not at home. 

19th. The principal debate of this day was on a motion of 
Mr. Wright for a rule of order allowing every member of the 
Senate to introduce his friends upon the floor of the House. 
It was finally rejected. 

20th. Going to the Senate this morning, the Vice-President 1 
in his carriage overtook me, and offered me a seat, which I 
accepted. He inquired after my father, and spoke of his social 
intimacy with him when he was a Senator and my father Vice- 
President. The Senate had little business before them, and 

1 Aaron Burr. 



2 8o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

soon adjourned. Mr. and Mrs. Huger and Mr. Purviance, a 
member of Congress from North Carolina, passed the evening 
with us. Snow. 

2 ist. Of the committee appointed to inquire and report on 
the Treaty of Limits with Great Britain, Mr. Nicholas is absent, 
and Mr. Wright and myself could not agree upon a report. I 
moved that the committee should be discharged ; which, after 
debate, was rejected, and Mr. Venable added to the committee 
in the room of Mr. Nicholas. A message was received from 
the President, containing a long correspondence between Mr. 
Pinckney and the Spanish Government, the reading of which 
took more than two hours. Adjourned after three. I rode to 
the Capitol with the ladies, who were visiting. Received there 
the news of the death of my excellent friend William Vans 
Murray, one of the dearest and oldest friends I had. 1 

22d. The Salary bill was returned to us from the House of 
Representatives, as I expected, with the amendments disagreed 
to. The Senate insisted and appointed conferees. I think they 
will finally be compelled to recede. Second reading of a bill 
for punishing the crime of destroying ships. It was recom- 
mitted, and two additional members put on the committee. 
Mr. Bradley offered a resolution respecting the Spanish Con- 
vention. To lie for consideration. A resolution was moved 
by Mr. S. Smith to adjourn from to-morrow until Monday, 2d 
January, 1804. On the vote, twelve for, twelve against the 
resolution, the Vice-President decided against it. Mr. Tracy 
gave notice he should renew the motion to-morrow. 

23d. Mr. Tracy renewed in Senate the motion to adjourn till 
2d January next, which was rejected by yeas and nays, eleven 
and nine. The Louisiana Revenue bill was reported with 
amendments by the select committee. Mr. Venable and Mr. 
Wright, on the English Treaty Committee with me, could not 
agree between themselves, nor either of them with me. The 

1 Mr. Murray served in the House of Representatives of the United States in the 
Second, Third, and Fourth Congresses. He was then appointed by President Wash- 
ington to succeed Mr. Adams as Minister Resident at the Hague, and subsequently 
was made, by President John Adams, one of the three Envoys in the mission to 
France in 1S00, which brought to a happy termination the misunderstanding with 
that country. 



1803.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 8l 

committee are to meet again next Tuesday. I got almost 
soaked through on returning home from the Senate — which 
made me so late that we found them at dinner at the Presi- 
dent's. Mr. R. Smith and lady, Mr. Wright and his daughters, 
Mr., Mrs., and Miss McCreery, Mr. and Mrs. Livingston, were 
there. 

24th. Attended the Louisiana Government Committee, who 
were all assembled, and who had three projects before them 
— one, Mr. Breckinridge's ; one, General Jackson's ; and one, 
Mr. Wright's. The committee came to no final determination, 
and are to meet again on Monday. 

28th. In the Senate, I finally made a report from the Com- 
mittee on the Treaty with England, which was made the order 
for to-morrow. The Vice-President attended, and explained 
the occasion of his absence yesterday. He was returning from 
Annapolis, and was delayed by the swelling of the waters of the 
Patuxent. It was from thence that he sent by express the 
apology which was read yesterday. Nothing of consequence 
was transacted. 

29th. I returned visits to Governor St. Clair, at Georgetown, 
who called on me two or three days since, and to Mr. Thatcher, 
on the Capitol Hill. In Senate, the first amendment to the 
Louisiana Revenue bill was read and discussed; but the ques- 
tion was not taken upon it. Walking home, I was overtaken 
by Mr. Eppes, 1 who has been ten days absent. The conferees 
of the two Houses on the Salary bill could not agree ; both 
Houses adhered to their intentions, and the bill was lost. Mr. 
and Mrs. Pichon spent the evening here. 

30th. The Senate debated again the amendments reported 
by the committee to the Louisiana Revenue bill, but without 
taking the question upon the first, and those connected with it. 
The other committee to prepare forms of government likewise 
met and agreed upon a report, which was made to the House 
and read for the first time. Adjourned at three. In the even- 
ing I went with my wife to Mr. Robert Smith's, where there 

1 Mr. Eppes had married a daughter of President Jefferson. He was a member 
of the House of Representatives in the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth 
Congresses, and a Senator in 1817-1819. He died in 1823. 



2 82 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December. 

was a ball. The company large. I played chess with General 
Dayton, who beat me, and with Mr. Madison. 

31st. Day. Differs only from that of the last month by a 
greater frequency of dining and passing evenings abroad. 

The year now closing has been made remarkable as a part of 
my life, by one very unfortunate occurrence, and by several 
events which call for gratitude to an overruling Providence. 

The failure of a commercial house in London, with which 
I had deposited a considerable part of my father's property, 
brought upon him a loss which is more distressing to me than 
to himself. It put me to great inconvenience to make the pro- 
visions to supply the chasm created by this circumstance ; but 
its effects in diminishing the comforts of my father's age have 
been among the most painful things that ever happened to me. 
I have in some degree shared in the loss, and have done all in 
my power to alleviate its evils to him. But it has been and 
remains a continual source of uneasiness to me; nor have I any 
prospect that it will ever be removed. In the disposal of my 
property, however, to meet the necessities which arose from 
the protest and return of the bills I had drawn on the house, I 
met with several facilities and advantages which I had no right 
to expect. The calamity has fallen the lighter for this, and my 
own property has remained nearly in its former state. In my 
family I have been highly favored by the birth of a second son, 
and the unusual degree of health which we have all enjoyed. 
The restoration of my mother, too, from the gates of death, 
and from a confinement of five months, has filled my heart with 
the purest of enjoyments. My election as a Senator of the 
United States, for six years, has been the only important in- 
cident of my political career. It has opened to me a scene in 
some sort though not altogether new, and will probably affect 
very materially my future situation in life. I have already had 
occasion to experience, what I had before the fullest reason 
to expect, the danger of adhering to my own principles. The 
country is so totally given up to the spirit of party, that not to 
follow blindfold the one or the other is an inexpiable offence. 
The worst of these parties has the popular torrent in its favor, 
and uses its triumph with all the unprincipled fury of a faction; 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



283 



while the other gnashes its teeth, and is waiting with all the 
impatience of revenge for the time when its turn may come to 
oppress and punish by the people's favor. Between both, I 
see the impossibility of pursuing the dictates of my own con- 
science without sacrificing every prospect, not merely of ad- 
vancement, but even of retaining that character and reputation 
I have enjoyed. Yet my choice is made, and, if I cannot hope 
to give satisfaction to my country, I am at least determined to 
have the approbation of my own reflections. 

January 3d, 1804. The Senate began seriously the trans- 
action of business again since Christmas. House of Repre- 
sentatives sent a message to announce that they had prepared 
articles of impeachment 1 and chosen managers to conduct 
them. Resolved to receive the managers at twelve o'clock to- 
morrow. Mr. Tracy moved a resolution for the Senate to form 
itself into a Court of Impeachment, which was finally adopted. 
Some further progress was made in the Louisiana Revenue bill. 
Almost four when we adjourned. 

4th. In Senate I moved a resolution declaring persons who 
had voted on impeachments in the House of Representatives 
disqualified to act in the Senate in the same case. Accuser and 
judge are not, in my opinion, compatible characters. The 
subject was postponed. The managers from the House re- 
ceived, and the articles of impeachment read. Further order 
to be taken. In executive business, debated the question on 
the ratification of the Treaty of Limits with Great Britain, but 
did not take the question. 

5th. The Committee of Arrangements this day moved an 
adjournment of the Court of Impeachment distinct from that of 
the Senate ; which was carried unanimously. The Court ad- 
journed till Monday next. The Louisiana Revenue bill ; after 
further debate, it was at length agreed to strike out the principle 
of the first section ; but recommitment was refused. General 
S. Smith made a report, from a committee of which I was a 
member, and of whose meeting I had never heard. Upon my 

1 Against John Pickering, Judge of the District Court of the United States for 
New Hampshire. This was the commencement of the formidable attempt of the 
legislative to control the judicial department of the government. 



2 3a MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

stating the fact, he apologized tant bien que mal, took back his 
report, and notified the committee to meet to-morrow morning 
at half-past eleven. 

6th. Met the committee this morning, but did not get 
through our business. To meet again to-morrow morning. 
At last the Senate agreed to recommit the Louisiana Revenue 
bill to a new committee of five. A bill of a private nature 
was discussed at the second reading. Amendments proposed 
by a committee. I took no part in the debate. Tried to 
bring on the discussion of the Treaty of Limits with England, 
but without success. After the adjournment I -went into the 
House, where the debate was on a motion for inquiry into the 
official conduct of Judge Chase and Judge Peters. Mr. 
Lowndes lent me the late pamphlet in defence of the Vice- 
President. Read about half of it this evening. Senate ad- 
journed to Monday. 

7th. Committee met and agreed upon their report. Curious 
conversation between S. Smith, Breckinridge, Armstrong, and 
Baldwin, about "Smith's nephew, the First Consul's brother." 1 
Smith swells upon it to very extraordinary dimensions. Called 
in at the House, where they decided for the Committee of En- 
quiry, 2 eighty to forty. I went with Mr. Tracy to his chamber, 
and had a conversation with him upon some resolutions which 
I propose to offer the Senate. It is another feather against a 
whirlwind. A desperate and fearful cause in which I have 
embarked. But I must pursue it, or feel myself either, a cow- 
ard or a traitor. Mr. Tracy approves my purpose, promises 
his support, and suggested to me some important ideas for the 
modification of my resolutions. Tea and spent the evening at 
Mr. Pichon's. 3 Citizen Jerome Bonaparte and his wife there 
— also the Vice-President, Secretaries, and several Frenchmen. 
Played chess with one of them, who beat me one game and 
gave me another. Pichon is profoundly mortified at the 

i Samuel Smith, whose services, commencing in the Revolutionary War, were 
continued in the two Houses of Congress for thirty years. Jerome Bonaparte had 
married his niece, Miss Patterson. 

• In the case of Judge Chase. 

J Mr. Pichon was at this time acting as Charge d'Affaires of the French Re- 
public. 



1S04.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 285 

marriage of Jerome. He says it is impossible the First Consul 
should put up with it — 'tis a marriage against many laws, 
many usages, many opinions, and many prejudices, personal, 
official, and national, of the First Consul. Jerome is not of 
age ; he is an officer ; he is the First Consul's brother. The 
marriage will undoubtedly be broken. But P. hopes it will not 
affect the national honor. He has given express warning of 
all these facts to the lady's parents. But they have such an 
inconceivable infatuation, they and the whole family of the 
Smiths, for the match, that make it they must; and it was 
really the young man who was seduced. Sam. Smith's wife 
and Miss Patterson's mother were sisters — Spears; and even 
the sound sense of Mr. Nicholas, who he believes also married 
a Spear, had not been proof against this ridiculous vanity. 
Pichon's fears may be carried too far — the First Consul may 
think it politic to make the best of what has happened; but all 
the chances of rational probability are the other way. I have 
not heard Nicholas say any thing on this subject; but the 
Smiths are so elated with their supposed elevation by this ad- 
venture, that one step more would fit them for the discipline of 
Dr. Willis. 1 

8th. Rain and snow the whole day, so that I could not go 
out. Employed the day in reading and writing. Varied the 
resolutions which I have concluded to offer to the Senate on 
the subject of the Louisiana revenue. The subject has already 
given me more than one sleepless night. Yet for what? For 
the Constitution I have sworn to support — for the Treaty that 
binds our national faith — for the principles of Justice — and 
for opposing to the utmost of my power those who in this 
measure will violate them all. 

9th. Senate. Court of Impeachment opened. Received 
from the Committee of Arrangements a report, which is to 
be printed, and considered to-morrow. Executive business. 
Spanish Convention ratified. Treaty of Limits with Great 
Britain further debated, but no question taken. Committee 
appointed on a resolution of Mr. Bradley's, on the opinions of 

1 The person who undertook the medical treatment of George the Third after his 
loss of reason. 



2 86 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

the lawyers, communicated among the documents of the 
Spanish negotiation. Dined with the Vice-President. Messrs. 
Wells, Stedman, Dwight, Hastings, Mitchell, Betton, and 
Thatcher dined there. Mr. Burr is a man of very insinuating 
manners and address. Walked home alone in the evening. 
Finished reading the pamphlet which defends Mr. Burr against 
the attacks he has sustained. It is well written, but would bear 
some pruning to much advantage. 

ioth. I have at length obtained the final settlement of my 
accounts during the period of my missions in Europe, from 
1794 to 1 80 1. I this morning called at the Register's office, 
and there found a warrant from the Secretary of the Treasury 
for the balance due me on this final settlement. My own 
account claimed 61 dollars 31 cents balance. By the settle- 
ment of the Treasury officers, they found the balance due me 
was 118 dollars 38 cents. The warrant was for this sum. I 
carried it to the Treasurer, who endorsed on it an order on the 
bank, which I presented, and received the money. Thus closes 
that transaction. 

In Senate. The Court of Impeachment discussed the report 
of their committee in part, and recommitted it. Several bills 
passed; among the rest, the bill for the punishment of ship- 
burning, &c, to the third reading. I presented my three reso- 
lutions, which raised a storm as violent as I expected. 1 General 
Jackson moved to postpone their consideration until the first 
Monday in November, and afterwards withdrew his motion. 

1 The resolutions, as recorded in the Journal of the Senate for this day, are to 
this effect : 

Resolved, That the people of the United States have never in any manner dele- 
gated to this Senate the power of giving its legislative concurrence to any act for 
imposing taxes upon the inhabitants of Louisiana without their consent. 

Resolved, That by concurring in any act of legislation for imposing taxes upon 
the inhabitants of Louisiana without their consent, the Senate would assume a 
power unwarranted by the Constitution and dangerous to the liberties of the people 
of the United States. 

Resolved, That, the power of originating bills for raising revenue being exclu- 
sively vested in the House of Representatives, these resolutions be carried to them 
by the Secretary of the Senate, that whenever they think proper they may adopt 
such measures as to their wisdom may appear necessary and expedient for raising 
and collecting a revenue from Louisiana. 



1S04.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 %7 

After a debate of about three hours, the resolutions were re- 
jected. Yeas four, nays twenty-one, on the first two. The third 
depending upon them, and being decided by the rejection of 
them, I offered to waive taking the question on it. But no — the 
yeas and nays should be taken upon that, for I had required 
they should be taken separately on the other two. Of course 
the third was unanimously rejected. Mr. Pickering did not 
hear the discussion, and, at his request, was excused from vot- 
ing. Mr. Hillhouse went away, to avoid voting also, as I pre- 
sume. Mr. Dayton and Mr. Plumer, federalists, voted against 
the resolutions. Mr. Wells was absent. Mr. Tracy, Mr. 01- 
cott, and Mr. White only voted with me. I have no doubt of 
incurring much censure and obloquy for this measure. I hope 
I shall be prepared for it, and able to bear it, from the conscious- 
ness of my sincerity and my duty. Adjourned at half-past four. 
In the evening I finished reading Montesquieu on the Romans. 

nth. The bill to punish ship-burning passed the third read- 
ing. The offence is made capital. We shall now see what the 
House of Representatives will do with it. The remainder of 
the morning was occupied in the Court of Impeachment and 
discussing the report of the Committee of Arrangements. The 
form of summons to Judge Pickering and the person to serve 
it (the Sergeant-at-Arms) were agreed to. A long debate on 
the return day arose, and the question upon it was not finally 
taken. 

1 2th. Report of the Committee of Arrangements again taken 
up in Senate, and finally the return day was agreed to be the 
second day of March. Forms of subpoenas were also agreed 
to, and a resolve adopted to send by the Sergeant-at-Arms a 
dozen blanks to Mr. Pickering, to be used by him if he thinks 
proper. 

13th. The amendments of the committee to the Louisiana 
Revenue bill were adopted, and the bill passed to a third read- 
ing. The Government bill was taken up, and some progress in 
it made, but no question upon it taken. My warmth of oppo- 
sition against those measures had reconciled some persons to 
it, who hate me rather more than they love any principle. I 
wait for the decision of time, and pray for moderation as well 



2 88 MEMOIRS OF JOffiV QUhVCY ADAMS. [January, 

as firmness in my adherence to my principles. These are now 
almost totally unsupported. 

14th. The Senate met, though on Saturday, to pass the 
Louisiana Revenue bill, which they did ; yeas twenty-nine, nays 
three. Mr. Tracy, Mr. Hillhouse, and Mr. White were absent. 
Mr. Pickering voted for the bill, and enjoyed no small satisfaction 
in his vote. Before I presented my resolutions denying the right 
of the Senate to concur in a bill for taxing the people of Loui- 
siana without their consent, I showed them to Mr. Pickering, 
and had a free conversation with him upon them, and he made 
no objection against them. On the day when they were dis- 
cussed, he affectedly left his seat, went out of the Senate room, 
came in again, kept in a perpetual bustle round the floor and 
in the lobbies, and, just before the vote on my resolutions was 
taken, took great care to come and take his seat again, so as to 
be there for the vote. When his name was called, he arose, and, 
with a tone of great delight at his expedient, desired to be 
excused from voting, as not having heard the discussion. He 
was accordingly excused ; but yesterday and to-day he has 
voted for the bill against which my resolutions were specially 
pointed. His conduct, taken together, speaks this language: 
" See how kindly I spare the feelings of my colleague ! Take 
notice ! his resolutions are very ridiculous ; but please to ob- 
serve with how much delicacy I forbear to vote against them." 
Thus much for Mr. Pickering. This, and his behavior to me 
on every former occasion when his feelings could operate, has 
convinced me beyond all doubt that he will always vote against 
every thing proposed by me when he dares. In the debates 
on the amendment of the Constitution, his votes on the Jive and 
three questions gave the most decisive demonstration of his 
views. However, as the loss of his concurrence takes off half 
the force of the few federalists left, I cannot pursue opposition 
to any effect without his support. I therefore barely took the 
yeas and nays at the reading, without making any observations 
on the bill itself. The Senate then immediately adjourned. I 
wrote letters to my brother and to Mr. W. Smith, enclosing to 
the latter the bill now pending in the House for the further 
protection of our seamen, with a request of his opinion. 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 8o 

15th. At the Treasury, and heard Mr. Lawrie. I called 
upon Mr. Pickering, and had a very full and free conversation 
with him on the subject of my resolutions and the Louisiana 
bills. I represented to him the importance of harmony be- 
tween us, and told him that as I found the measures which I 
intended to have opposed to the utmost of my power appeared 
to have his approbation, I should stop short in the career of 
my opposition, to avoid every appearance of controversy with 
him. For that, however ready and willing I am to contend 
with the ruling majority, I felt the importance of preserving 
unanimity with him, both as it respected ourselves and our 
constituents. I also asked him what clause or section of the 
Constitution it was under which he conceived Congress have 
the power to pass these laws. He answered me, that he was 
sensible of the importance of our agreeing together in our 
measures, and regretted when he thought it necessary to vote 
differently from me. That in this instance, as to the abstract 
principle of the Law of Nations, as I quoted from Vattel, I zvas 
certainly right, and that there was no particular clause of the 
Constitution which gave Congress the power, unless possibly 
it might be the clause enabling them to provide for the general 
zv elf are. But, as a point of expediency, it would be impru- 
dent to give the people of Louisiana an option to submit to 
our government or not ; and as to the natural rights of men, 
they always were disregarded in cessions of this kind. Such 
are Mr. Pickering's reasons for disapproving my opposition to 
these two laws. He abandons altogether the ground of right 
upon both questions, and relies upon what is expedient, in oppo- 
sition to the right. I told him I was satisfied as to the object 
of my enquiries, and that from deference to' him, and to avoid 
the appearance of contending with him, I should urge my op- 
position on these bills no further, except so far as merely to 
record my votes. He said he was afraid it would be attributed 
to an obstinate determination to oppose every thing if he con- 
tinued to oppose the measures for the government of Louisiana, 
and that, however desirous he was to be in harmony with me, he 
could not sacrifice his opinions. This conversation has finished 
opening to me Mr. Pickering's heart and his understanding. 
vol. 1. — 19 



2qo MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

Another remark I made was that he conversed with the most 
perfect freedom on the subject of the Treaty of Limits with Great 
Britain, and the questions now in discussion upon it, in the 
presence of Mr. Dana, although there is an express injunction 
of secrecy upon every member of the Senate relative to it. 

1 6th. Message from the President, with the account of the 
taking possession of New Orleans on the 20th of December. 
The Louisiana Government bill was further discussed ; but no 
decision had. Adjourned at about two o'clock. After the ad- 
journment Mr. Baldwin came to me, and said, " Your heart is 
right before God. Your principles and the application of 
them are unquestionable ; and the wear and tear of conscience 
I have undergone first and last on these questions of terri- 
torial governments is inexpressible." Yet Mr. Baldwin voted 
against my resolutions, and in favor of the Revenue bill. 
He will also vote for the Government bill. In the evening I 
finished book eighth of Raynal's History, which concludes the 
history of the Spanish possessions on the Continent of South 
America. Read also the first act of Hamlet to the ladies. 
This day the President read a letter from Mr. Bailey, one of 
the Senators from the State of New York, announcing that he 
had resigned his seat in the Senate. He is to be appointed Post- 
master at New York. We heard of this some time before the 
taking of the vote in Senate on the Constitutional amendment. 

17th. Some business of inferior consequence was done in 
Senate, and the Louisiana Government bill again taken up. 
The second reading was finished, but no ultimate question 
taken upon the bill. The bill was to commence from the end 
of the present session of Congress ; but at last General Smith 
has discovered that more time must be allowed, and moved to 
have the commencement postponed for six months. Mr. Breck- 
inridge also insinuated that several new sections must be added. 

1 8th. In Senate. The Louisiana Government bill again under 
consideration. The rage of amendments has seized the friends 
to the bill, and a dozen of them have been offered by as many 
members. They are all to be printed. A bill entitled " For 
the further protection of American seamen," but intended for 
the protection of foreign seamen against the authority of their 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 QI 

own sovereigns, was debated at the second reading. I opposed 
it as infringing the laws of nations, but without effect. All the 
majority, together with Mr. Dayton, who is veering round to 
them, and Mr. Pickering, who cannot possibly think like me, 
are determined in support of the bill. The question was not 
taken. I received a letter from W. S. Shaw, who informs me 
that Mr. Stedman was the writer of the letter to B. Russell, 
which was published in the Centinel of I ith December. 1 Sted- 
man lodges in the same house with Mr. Pickering. 

19th. Going to the Capitol this morning, Mrs. Madison over- 
took me on the way, and offered me a seat in her carriage, 
which I accepted. She told me Mr. Harvie was going imme- 
diately to France, on business for the Treasury Department. 
In Senate, the bill to protect foreign seamen was again taken 
up and debated, but no question taken. In the evening I read 
three acts of the Merry Wives of Windsor to the ladies. 

20th. In Senate. A bill for the relief of Paul Coulon passed 
by the casting vote of the Vice-President. A bill to declare the 
law respecting duties upon saltpetre, which had crept on un- 
noticed to the third reading, was almost unanimously rejected. 
By a ludicrous course of circumstances, the bill, before the 
question "Shall this bill pass?" was taken upon it, had been 
reduced to the words, " Be it enacted." And the question of 
final passage was taken on those words alone. The Vice-Presi- 
dent gave notice that he should be absent until the beginning 
of March. Adjourned to Monday. 

24th. Going to the Senate, I found the snow very deep to the 
War Office, 2 but the roads quite unobstructed beyond that. 
Mr. Holland took me up in his carriage. I found Mr. Brown 
had yesterday been chosen President pro tern., after six trials. 

1 Saturday, 10th December. The letter was dated the 28th of November, little 
more than a month from the day Mr. Adams took his seat in the Senate. The 
spirit in which it is written may be judged by the quotation with which it con- 
cludes its survey of his progress thus far : 

" Quis talia fando 
Temperet a lacbrymis." 

2 The severity of the snow-storm had kept Mr. Adams confined to his lodgings, 
three miles from the Capitol, the two preceding days. 



2 Q2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

Mr. Franklin was opposed against him. The amendments to 
the Louisiana Government bill were taken up, and some pro- 
gress made in them. Mr. Venable's amendment, to give them 
the-beginning of a popular representation, failed for want of one 
vote. Yeas fourteen, nays fourteen. On the section prohibiting 
the slave trade, no question was taken. A letter from Governor 
Claiborne to the Secretary of State was received and read. It 
was sent with a private letter to the President of the Senate, 
which, however, Mr. Brown read. In the evening, the eleventh 
book of Raynal. It contains an account of the slave trade, and 
closes with the articles cultivated in the West Indies by slaves 
— cotton, coffee, sugar, and arnotto. 

25th. Met the committee on the case of the brig Henrick 
(Mr. Baldwin and General Smith) ; we report the bill without 
amendment. As to the principle, we could not agree. In 
Senate the debate continued all day upon the question of the 
admission of slaves into Louisiana. Mr. Hillhouse is to pre- 
pare a section to the same effect, but differently modified. 

26th. The section for prohibiting the admission of slaves from 
abroad into Louisiana was again debated all day. It was at last 
taken by yeas and nays — seventeen and six. The discussion of 
this question has developed characters. Jackson 1 has opposed 
the section totis vitibus, in all its shapes, and was very angry 
when the question was taken — called twice for an adjournment, 
in which they would not indulge him, and complained of un- 
fairness. Dayton has opposed the section throughout with 
equal vehemence, but happened to be absent when the ques- 
tion was taken. Smith, of Maryland, who has been all along 
extremely averse to the section, but afraid to avow it, com- 
plained bitterly that the yeas and nays were taken in quasi 

■ James Jackson, Senator from Georgia in 1793-5, and again from 1S01 to 1806, 
when he died. In a characteristic note found in Benton's Abridgment of the 
Debates in Congress, he is lauded as having been " a ready speaker, and as ready 
with his pistol as his, tongue ; and involved in many duels on account of his hot 
opposition to criminal measures.. The defeat of the Yazoo fraud was the most 
signal act of his legislative life, — dying of wounds received in the last of many 
duels which his undaunted attacks upon that measure brought upon him." Such 
was the estimate of political merit made by one himself a Senator of long stand- 
ing, only sixteen years ago. 



1S04.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 Q% 

committee, instead of waiting to take them on the ultimate 
question in the Senate. But, finding his party on this point stiff 
to him as if he was in the minority, he left his seat, to avoid 
voting at all, in the yeas and nays. Bradley, of Vermont, after 
trying various expedients to give the slip to the real question, 
finally moved an amendment to prohibit the admission of slaves 
altogether, as well from the United States as from abroad. The 
object was to defeat the thing by its own excess, and made his 
abhorrence of all slavery the ground of his argument to oppose 
the partial prohibition. He therefore took the yeas and nays 
upon his own proposed amendment before they were taken on 
Mr. Hillhouse's section. The workings of this question upon 
the minds and hearts of these men opened them to observation 
as much as if they had had the window in the breast. I called 
to see Mr. Tracy, who is unwell, at his lodgings. 

27th. The Senate met only to adjourn over till Monday — on 
account of the Louisiana feast. About seventy members of the 
two Houses of Congress dined together at Stella's. The Presi- 
dent and the Heads of Departments were there by invitation. 
Scarcely any of the federal members were there. The dinner 
was bad, and the toasts too numerous. I left about thirty of 
the company there at eight in the evening. 

30th. The Louisiana Government bill yet engrosses the atten- 
tion of the Senate. The sections to secure the prohibition of 
the slave trade are still under discussion, and Mr. Breckinridge 
has at length produced one which I suppose is to be the last. 
'Tis to be printed for to-morrow. 

31st. The question upon striking out Mr. Hillhouse's pro- 
posed additional section to insert that of Mr. Breckinridge was 
debated warmly, until four o'clock ; and passed finally against 
striking out — fifteen to thirteen. But the question on Mr. Hill- 
house's proposition itself was not taken. Mr. Wright returned, 
after an absence of a month. In the evening we all attended 
at the ball given at Georgetown to celebrate the acquisition of 
Louisiana. It was very much crowded with company, but the 
arrangements and decorations were mean beyond any thing of 
the kind I ever saw. We came home at midnight. 

February 1st. Mr. Hillhouse's section respecting the admis- 



2g4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

sion of slaves into Louisiana was adopted. 1 I called on Mr. 
J. C. Smith, Chairman of the Committee of Claims, and con- 
versed with him in relation to that of Dr. Morse, and concern- 
ing the case of the brig Henrick. On the Louisiana Govern- 
ment bill, Mr. Anderson moved to strike out the eighth section, 
which directed the government of the second Territory. De- 
bated until four o'clock, and the question not taken. 

2d. In Senate. The debate on Mr. Anderson's motion was 
continued this day in Senate until four o'clock. The eighth 
section struck out ; yeas sixteen, nays nine. 

3d. In Senate. The debate on Mr. Anderson's motion was 
renewed, and General Jackson proposed, by way of substitute, 
that the government of Upper Louisiana should be annexed to 
the Indiana Territory. The question was not finally taken, but 
will doubtless finally prevail. 

7th. Supreme Court sat, Judge Washington having arrived. 
I was admitted and sworn as attorney and counsellor in the 
Court. They did little business, and adjourned early. In 
Senate. The Louisiana Government bill still debating — sec- 
tion about the qualification of jurors. Wrote to Mr. Morton. 
Deeply engaged all the evening in examining Miller, Park, and 
Powell. Mr. Nicholas gave notice that, in order to make the 
Senate more punctual, he should to-morrow at eleven o'clock 
move for a call of the House. 

8th. Attended at the Supreme Court, and in the Senate. 
Examining authorities with perhaps too much assiduity. Part 
of the family dined at Mr. Pichon's, but I was so deeply en- 
gaged in my enquiries that I could not go. Mrs. Adams went 
in the evening. 

9th. Supreme Court and Senate. In the latter, the Conven- 
tion of Boundaries with Great Britain, signed 12th May last, 
was ratified, with the exception of the fifth article. I moved 
to take off the injunction of secrecy. Motion to lie for con- 
sideration. 

13th. Debate on the Louisiana Government bill. It passed 

1 All these amendments had relation to the regulation of the mode of introducing 
slaves into the Territory, prohibiting their importation from Africa, and prescribing 
the mode of their introduction from the States of the Union. 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. , n , 

to the third reading by a small majority. This attendance on 
the Senate and the Supreme Court at once almost overpowers 
me. I cannot stand it long. 

15th. Louisiana Government bill at the third reading. I 
was only part of the morning in the Senate. The remainder 
of it attending upon the Supreme Court. Read the papers in 
the case of Head and Amory. The Court are to hear the 
argument to-morrow. 

1 6th. Attended at the Supreme Court, and argued the cause 
of Head and Amory vs. The Providence Insurance Company. 
I was about two hours. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Martin then 
argued the case for the defendants in Error. The Court seems 
to incline towards them. Mr. Mason 1 is to close to-morrow for 
us. In Senate they were engaged again in the Louisiana bill. 

17th. Attended a short time in Senate, and the remainder of 
the morning at the Supreme Court. Mr. Mason closed for us 
in the cause of Head and Amory vs. The Providence Insurance 
Company, and made an excellent argument. The cause, how- 
ever, will turn against us. The next case that came on is that 
of Graves vs. The Boston Marine Insurance Company, which 
Mr. Stockton opened by a very able argument. On the whole, I 
have never witnessed a collection of such powerful legal orators 
as at this session of the Supreme Court. The Louisiana Gov- 
ernment bill proceeded to the question at its third reading; but 
the question was not taken. 

1 8th. Attended a short time at the Supreme Court; but I 
was called away to the question upon the Louisiana Govern- 
ment bill. I spoke against it, alone, and was very shortly 
answered by Mr. Wright, alone. On the question, the yeas were 
twenty, the nays five. Messrs. Dayton, Pickering, Tracy, Wells, 
and White absent. Mr. Stone alone of the major party voted 
against the bill ; and thus terminates the introductory system 
for the government of Louisiana. I have thought it placed 
upon wrong foundations. It is for time to show the result. 

20th. Dr. Logan gave notice on Saturday that he should 
this day move for leave to bring in a bill for laying a duty on 

1 John Thompson Mason, at this time a lawyer of distinction, had been retained 
as senior counsel in the case, by the advice of Mr. Adams. 



2 q6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU1NCY ADAMS. [February, 

the importation of negro slaves into the United States. This 
morning Mr. Tracy moved to expunge from the Journals the 
record of this notice — it being a bill to raise revenue, which 
therefore cannot, by the Constitution, originate in the Senate. 
It was amusing to observe the perplexity which this occasioned. 
Some were for expunging, upon the principle, that notice of an 
intention to bring in a bill ought not in any case to be inserted 
in the Journals. Others bravely stood to it that it would not 
be a bill to raise revenue, among whom was Dr. Logan him- 
self, who said he would show it when the bill came to be 
debated. This I suppose will be ad Kalendas Graecas. On the 
question for expunging, the Doctor called for the yeas and 
nays. It passed in the negative — yeas five, nays twenty-one. 
But the Doctor did not ask leave according to his motion, and 
I think will find it most expedient to let it sleep. I was in Court 
great part of the morning. 

2 1 st. Attended in Senate. Several bills passed, almost with- 
out debate. An Act for the relief of Samuel Corp was debated, 
but no question taken. The Supreme Court did not sit this 
day, Judge Chase being ill. Dined at Mr. Duvall's. Judge 
Cushing and his lady, Mr. and Mrs. Huger, and several other 
persons, were there. In the evening there was other company. 

22d. Attended a few minutes at the Senate, and all the rest 
of the morning at the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice read 
the opinion of the Court in the case of Pennington and Cox, 
the famous case of the sugar refiners ; and also in the case of 
the Charming Betsey. In the former they reversed the decree 
of the Circuit Court. Mr. Mason opened a case of Insurance. 
The question is upon the degree of credit given to the sentence 
of a foreign Court of Admiralty. Mr. Stockton also read the 
papers in the case of Church and Hubbart, and will open the 
cause to-morrow. Dined at Stella's, in company with about 
seventy gentlemen, in celebration of Washington's birthday. 
The company consisted of members of Congress, the Judges of 
the Supreme Court, and gentlemen belonging to the city and 
neighborhood. I came home early. The ladies went to a ball 
at Georgetown, for the same occasion. I passed the evening 
at home, reading the papers in the case of Church and Hubbart. 



i8o4.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 2 Q7 

23d. Winter returned severely. Snow all the morning, and 
very cold. Mr. Stockton opened the case of Church vs. Hubbart 
at the Supreme Court. He goes away to-morrow, and therefore 
the cause is to be finished at some future day. Mr. Hunter 
opened the defence upon the case of Fitzsimmons vs. Newport 
Insurance Company. He was two hours on the point of credit 
due to a foreign Admiralty sentence; after which the Court 
adjourned. He is to continue to-morrow. I scarcely attended 
in Senate ; but nothing of material importance was done. 
Evening, till midnight, examining the papers in the case of 
Church and Hubbart. 

24th. Attended in Court. The cause of Fitzsimmons and 
the Newport Insurance Company was this day finished on the 
argument. In Senate, little business done ; and that of execu- 
tive nature. This evening the family spent at Mr. J. T. Mason's 
— a ball. I did not go, being engaged in business until past 
midnight. Weather very cold. 

25th. The Court delivered this morning an opinion in the 
case of Head and Amory vs. the Providence Insurance Com- 
pany. Judgment of the Circuit Court reversed, unanimously. 
The Senate, having little business to do, adjourned early. 

March 2d. This was the return day on the summons to John 
Pickering, Judge of the District of New Hampshire, to answer 
to the articles of impeachment against him. The Senate met 
at ten o'clock. I called up my motion, made on the 4th of 
January, to declare that " any member of the Senate having 
previously acted and voted on a question of impeachment as a 
member of the House of Representatives, is thereby disqualified 
to sit and act, in the same case, as a member of the Senate sitting 
as a Court of Impeachments." The resolution was negatived — 
yeas eight, nays twenty. When I made the motion there were 
three members in this predicament — Samuel Smith, of Mary- 
land, John Condit, of New Jersey, and Theodorus Bailey, of 
New York. Since that time Mr. Bailey has resigned his seat; 
and John Armstrong, who had been appointed by the Executive 
of New York, during the recess of the Legislature, to supply 
the place of De Witt Clinton, has been appointed by the 
Legislature instead of Mr. Bailey. The same Legislature also 



2 q8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

appointed John Smith to take the place of Mr. Clinton, and he 
has taken his seat. John Smith, of New York, was also a 
member of the House of Representatives when Mr. Pickering 
was impeached, and voted for the impeachment. So that there 
are still three members of the Senate in that situation. When 
the question on my proposed resolution was put, Mr. Condit 
and Mr. John Smith, of New York, desired to be excused from 
voting, and were accordingly excused. Mr. Samuel Smith, 
however, declared that he had no idea of resigning his right to 
vote, and therefore said No. Some rules of proceedings were 
adopted. The Court of Impeachments was opened, and the 
House of Representatives informed that the Court was ready 
to proceed to the trial ; Mr. Mathers, the Sergeant-at-Arms, 
having previously sworn to his return that he had served the 
summons upon Judge Pickering. The managers for the House 
of Representatives appeared, and took the seats assigned them. 
John Pickering was called three times, and did not appear. The 
President then stated that he had received a letter from Robert 
Goodloe Harper, enclosing a petition from Jacob S. Pickering, 
son of Judge Pickering; the letter and petition were read. Mr. 
Harper appeared, and stated that he had no authority to appear, 
and did not appear, for John Pickering ; but he submitted to 
the Court whether he should be permitted to advocate the 
petition of Jacob S. Pickering. This petition alleged that John 
Pickering, the Judge, was insane at the time when the acts 
charged against him were stated to have been committed, and 
had been ever since, and still remained, in the same state; that 
he had several depositions to prove the fact ; that the age and 
infirmities of his father made it impossible for him to be 
brought here at this inclement season; that the judgment 
which he was accused of was not contrary to law, though not 
the result of reason ; and prayed for a postponement of the 
trial, that the Judge might be brought in person before the 
Court. The managers from the House of Representatives ob- 
jected against Mr. Harper's being admitted to support the peti- 
tion, he having expressly declared that he had no authority to 
appear in behalf of John Pickering, the person impeached. On 
this question the members of the Court retired to their com- 



iSo 4 .] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



2 99 



mittee room, and after some consultation, being desirous to 
deliberate further, returned to the Senate room, and informed 
the parties that when they shall have come to a decision they 
will give information of it to the House. The Court and Senate 
were then adjourned. 

3d. Senate sat until four o'clock — almost the whole day 
deliberating with closed doors on the question whether evi- 
dence and counsel in support of the petition of Jacob S. Picker- 
ing should be heard. There was no agreement upon the 
question, which was adjourned till Monday, eleven o'clock. 
The dispositions and the principles advanced on this occasion 
are painful to reflect upon. The most persevering and de- 
termined opposition is made against hearing evidence and 
counsel to prove the man insane — only from the fear, that if 
the insanity should be proved, he cannot be convicted of high 
crimes and misdemeanors by acts of decisive madness. Motions 
were made to assign him counsel, who, upon the plea of not 
guilty, should give in evidence insanity by way of mitigation; 
as if a madman could either plead guilty or not guilty. Mr. 
Jackson was for hearing none of these pretences of insanity ; 
because they might prevent us from getting rid of the man. 
He said the House of Representatives were at this moment 
debating whether they would not impeach another Judge, and 
by-and-by we should have Judge Chase's friends come and pre- 
tend he was mad. He said Judge Pickering's friends ought to 
have made him resign. It was reported he had said he would 
resign if they would make him Chief Justice of New Hamp- 
shire. And it would have been a pious act in his son to have 
drawn up a paper saying, In consideration that I have been 
appointed Chief Justice of New Hampshire, I hereby resign my 
office as District Judge. " I repeat," said General Jackson, 
"that this would have been a pious act in the son." (The General 
is not a very learned judge in the doctrines of piety.) Mr. 
Breckinridge was for proceeding to trial — hearing all the 
proofs which the managers of the House shall bring forward 
to prove acts of extravagance and folly, and afterwards hear 
evidence of insanity, in mitigation. This opinion will probably 
prevail. Mr. Worthington was for hearing the evidence of in- 



30O MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

sanity, but not counsel. The dilemma is, between the deter- 
mination to remove the man on impeachment /w high crimes 
and misdemeanors, though he be insane, and the fear that the 
evidence of this insanity, and the argument of counsel on its 
legal operation, will affect the popularity of the measure. 

5th. In Senate. The Court of Impeachments sat. Debating 
again the whole day, whether evidence and counsel in support 
of the allegation of the insanity of John Pickering should be 
heard. Question finally taken — eighteen yeas, twelve nays. 
Soon after adjourned. Went in company with my colleague, Mr. 
Pickering, to dine with Mr. and Mrs. Washington, at Rock Hill. 
The House of Representatives this day decided the contested 
election of Jos. Lewis against him. Dr. Thornton was of the 
company at Mr. Washington's, and gave us his plan for a new 
confederate system of government for the United States. 

6th. In Senate. The managers of the House of Representa- 
tives appeared. The decision of the Senate to hear counsel 
and evidence on the petition of Jacob S. Pickering was made 
known to them. Mr. Nicholson enquired whether this was 
considered as a preliminary measure, or to take place in the 
course of the trial. The Vice-President said it would be a 
preliminary step. Upon which Mr. Nicholson said that he was 
directed by the managers to say they were prepared to support 
their charges against John Pickering, but that they would not 
contend with a third person, not authorized by him, and should 
retire to take the directions of the House of Representatives; 
which they all immediately did. The petition and depositions 
to support it were then read by Mr. Harper, who made few 
observations upon them. The Senate soon afterwards adjourned. 

7th. In Senate. On the opening of the Court, Mr. Anderson 
moved that the House of Representatives be informed the Court 
were ready to proceed on the impeachment of John Pickering. 
The question was taken without debate — eighteen yeas, nine 
nays. This had evidently been settled by the members of the 
ruling part)' out of Court. And this is the way in which these 
men administer justice. At the request of Mr. Nicholson to the 
Vice-President, the Court was adjourned until twelve o'clock 
to-morrow. Little legislative or executive business was done, 



1S04.J THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



30I 



and the Senate adjourned early. I was a short time in the 
House of Representatives, where they were debating on the 
Georgia Land business. 

9th. In the Court of Impeachments. Some further witnesses 
were heard. Some of yesterday's witnesses re-examined, and 
the two Senators from New Hampshire sworn in their places. 
The managers from the House of Representatives, who refused 
to be present at the examination of the testimony to the insan- 
ity of Judge Pickering, now examined their witnesses almost 
exclusively to that point; there being no person present in 
behalf of the accused to cross-examine them. The testimony 
was as full, clear, and explicit as possible that the Judge's 
habits of intoxication had proceeded altogether from his insan- 
ity. After the examination was closed, the managers from the 
House retired for a few minutes; then returned and said, they 
lamented to have to present such a character to the judgment of 
the Senate, but that the proof was so strong and full against 
him that they should make no observations upon it; and they 
withdrew. Mr. Tracy then made a motion to postpone further 
proceedings on the impeachment until the next session, which 
was rejected. Mr. Nicholas moved that the House of Repre- 
sentatives be informed that on Monday next, at twelve o'clock, 
the Senate would proceed to give judgment on this impeach- 
ment. This motion lies for consideration. 

It is to be remarked that since the day when the managers 
from the House withdrew, because the Senate had determined 
to hear evidence that the accused person is insane, a total revo- 
lution has taken place in the conduct of all the Senators of the 
present ruling party in politics, excepting Mr. Bradley, who 
still loudly disapproves the mode of proceeding in private, but 
is reduced to silence in public. In the House of Representa- 
tives speeches are making every day to dictate to the Senate 
how they must proceed ; and the next morning they proceed 
accordingly. This day, after the Senate adjourned, I saw a 
cluster of Senators and managers of the House of Representa- 
tives collected together around the fireplace ; the managers 
consulting the Senators about their opinions on the evidence, 
and Mr. Randolph contemptuously sneering at the idea of 



o 02 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

insanity being alleged, to arrest the judgment against the 
man. 

ioth. Mr. White, in Senate, moved this morning a resolution 
declaring the Court not prepared to give judgment in the im- 
peachment of Judge Pickering, stating the evidence of his 
insanity and bodily infirmity, which made it impossible for 
him to attend and make his defence. On this resolution it 
was not without the utmost difficulty that any discussion what- 
soever could be obtained. Mr. Nicholas, to give it the slip, 
insisted upon having his resolution, offered y ester day, Jirst taken 
up. On which I rose and said, that if Mr. White's motion was 
not considered, I should offer a resolution previous in its nature 
to that of Mr. Nicholas. I was called to order as entering into 
debate. I answered that I was not debating, but merely stating 
the purport of a resolution I should offer if that of Mr. White 
was not considered, and that in thus stating it I should speak 
until my mouth was stopped by force. I was again called to 
order, but the President determined that Mr. White's resolu- 
tion should be taken up before that of Mr. Nicholas. 

The next struggle was to prevent all debate upon the reso- 
lution. By our rules there can be no debate on any motion in 
open Court. A motion to close the doors for the purpose of 
discussing the resolution was rejected, nine members voting 
for it ; the rule requires one-third, which, of twenty-nine present, 
is ten. But although we are allowed no debate, yet motions to 
strike out parts of a resolution proposed were admitted by the 
majority ; and Mr. Anderson moved to strike out a great part 
of Mr. White's resolution, so as to get rid of all the reasons 
alleged in it. I objected against any motion to strike out part 
of an offered resolution, because such motion was itself debate, 
and contrary to the rule. At length Mr. John Smith, of Ohio, 
wanted to put a question as to the meaning of a part of Mr. 
White's resolution. And in order to make that enquiry, a 
second motion was made to clear the galleries. Smith, now 
voting for it, gave the casting turn, the necessary number of 
one-third.* The galleries were cleared, and a short discussion 
of the resolution was had. The extreme injustice of judging 
an insane man as a guilty one; of sentencing, unheard, a man 



I804-] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



303 



who could not be present at this time without imminent hazard 
of his life; of precipitating decision without necessity, was 
urged; Mr. Anderson, and most of the members in the major- 
ity, all the time manifesting the most extreme impatience to 
open the doors and stop all further debate. At length, rather 
than continue the discussion, he waived his motion to strike 
out part of Mr. White's resolution, and said he was ready to 
meet it. But Mr. Nicholas said he should move that it miglit 
not be entered on the records. Although the rule is that all 
motions shall be decided by yeas and nays in open Court, Mr. 
Nicholas was for having the yeas and nays, without the motion 
upon which they were taken. The doors were opened. The 
yeas and nays were taken on Mr. White's resolution — yeas nine, 
nays nineteen. Mr. Bradley did not make his appearance. Yeas 
and nays on Mr. Nicholas's motion to pronounce judgment on 
Monday next at twelve o'clock — yeas nineteen, nays nine. Court 
adjourned to Monday morning, ten o'clock. I should have 
observed that yesterday the Vice-President took leave of us for 
the remainder of the session. And this morning Mr. Franklin 
was chosen President pro tern.; nominated by Mr. Jackson. 
As soon as he took the chair, Mr. Nicholas nodded and smiled 
protection to him, most familiarly. This afternoon I received 
a letter from Mr. Pickering which occasioned some additional 
perplexity to my mind, and I passed the principal part of the 
evening in reflecting upon the course proper to pursue. 

nth. I was unwell; confined the whole day to the house 
with a severe cold. Employed it almost entirely in writing. 
Wrote two letters to Colonel Pickering — the last with a plan of a 
declaration to be subscribed by those of the Senators who dis- 
approve of the proceedings on the impeachment, conformably 
to his request. 

1 2th. Mr. Pickering returned me, as I had desired, my last 
yesterday's letter, with the enclosed plan of a declaration, ob- 
serving that on further consultation it was thought best to 
avoid such a step, and rest our opposition upon the regular 
discharge of our duty. I was of the same opinion. 

As the whole of the proceedings connected with the first 



^04 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

example of impeachment carried through under the provisions 
of the federal Constitution will be always interesting whilst 
the present government endures, the papers here referred to 
are now supplied, as intimately connected with the transaction. 
At this time it is believed that but one opinion can be enter- 
tained of it, whatever might have been the expediency of ob- 
taining the object desired. 

T. Pickering to J. Q. Adams. 

City of Washington, March 10, 1804. 

Dear Sir : — 

We have seen to-day the fate which awaits the District 
Judge of New Hampshire. Unheard, he is to be condemned. 
I have suggested to the Senators from Connecticut and New 
Hampshire that we ought to prepare a clear state of the case, 
drawn up as concisely as will consist with a correct under- 
standing of it by the public, to be subscribed by all the 
Senators who desire to bear testimony against this mockery of 
a trial, where not justice but the demon of party determined 
the proceedings. This statement we think should be offered 
next Monday, the moment the yeas and nays on the question 
of guilty or not guilty are taken; and we all wish you to pre- 
pare it. I despatch a messenger with this communication, that 
if your ideas correspond with ours, you may have more time 
to make the statement. 

The whole proceedings will probably be published ; but they 
will be too voluminous to be generally read. The strong and 
concise statement proposed, will justify our votes and display 
the injustice of the majority to upright and discerning men 
everywhere, and to our peculiar countrymen in particular. 

Respectfully yours, 

T. Pickering. 

J. Q. Adams to T. Pickering. 

Washington, ii March, 1804. 
Dear Sir: — 

On further reflection since the morning, I have thought of a 

mode, which appears to me not out of order, and in which we 



i8o4-] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 305 

can express our sentiments relative to the proceedings of the 
Court. It is to decline answering the final question, and assign 
the reasons, as you will see in the rough sketch which I enclose. 
If this should meet your approbation and that of the other 
gentlemen with whom you may consult, I will, when called 
upon for my vote, declare that I cannot answer, and offer this 
paper in behalf of myself and of the other gentlemen who 
please to subscribe it. If the paper is not suffered to be read, 
and we are either required to answer or excused, we can pub- 
lish the paper, with the statement that it was not suffered to be 
read. If you would wish any alterations or additions, please 
to make them, and send me back the paper to copy from, 
to-night or to-morrow morning. If you disapprove the plan, 
please to keep the paper, and return it to me when we meet 
to-morrow. 

Yours faithfully, 

J. Q. Adams. 

Paper enclosed in the Letter. 

We, the subscribers, members of the Senate of the United 
States, sitting as a Court of Impeachments upon the impeach- 
ment of John Pickering, Judge of the District Court for the 
District of New Hampshire, request to be excused from an- 
swering the question of guilty or not guilty upon the four 
several articles of impeachment preferred against the said John 
Pickering by the House of Representatives of the United 
States. 

And we offer the following as our reasons for declining to 
answer that question at this time, which reasons we also request 
may be entered upon the records of the Court. 

First. — Because from the allegations contained in the peti- 
tion of Jacob S. Pickering, son of the said John Pickering, and 
supported by the depositions of Samuel Tenney, a member of 
the House of Representatives of the United States, of Ammi 
Cutter, of Joshua Brackett, of Edward St. Loe Livermore, and 
of George Sullivan, and further confirmed by circumstances 
within the personal knowledge of Simeon Olcott and William 
Plumer, two of us, who deposed to the same in this Court, we 

VOL. I. — 20 



^06 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

think there is the highest probability that the said John Pick- 
ering was, at the time when the offences alleged in the said 
articles of impeachment are stated to have been committed, 
and for some time before, and ever since, has been, and still is, 
insane, his mind wholly deranged, deprived of the exercise of 
judgment and the faculties of reason; and as such incapable 
of committing a crime, and not amenable for his actions to any 
judicial tribunal. 

Secondly. — Because from the allegations contained in the 
said Jacob S. Pickering's petition supported by the same depo- 
sitions above referred to, it appears that from the bodily infirmi- 
ties of the said John Pickering, it was not possible for him to 
have been present at the day fixed by the Court for his trial, 
without imminent danger of his life. 

Thirdly. — Because, conceiving an impeachjnent for high 
crimes and misdemeanors to be a criminal prosecution, we think 
that upon a suggestion of present insanity of the person ac- 
cused, supported by credible testimony, the Court are bound 
by law, at every stage of the same, to stay all further proceed- 
ings until the truth respecting the alleged fact of present in- 
sanity can be ascertained. 

Fourthly. — Because all the evidence produced in support of 
the said articles of impeachment was taken and received 
ex parte, when neither the said John Pickering nor any person 
in his behalf could cross-examine them, or have an opportunity 
to controvert its competency or its creditability. 

Fifthly. — Because improper evidence was received against 
the said John Pickering, when neither he nor any person in his 
behalf, nor any member of the Court, could assign reasons for 
objections against its admission. And we refer particularly to 
the testimony of Michael McClary, of Richards Cutts Shan- 
non, and of Edward Hart, who were permitted and required to 
give their opinions and common report as to the cause of the 
said John Pickering's insanity and disorders, while at the same 
time the opinion of his family physician and testimony of that 
opinion, on the same subject, were excluded. 

Sixthly. — Because from all these circumstances we are of 
opinion that the said John Pickering has not had the benefit of 



.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



307 



an impartial trial ; that he has not had an opportunity or the 
possibility of being heard or defended either by himself or his 
counsel. 

And seventhly. — Because, although believing, in the present 
state of the testimony received, that the said John Pickering is 
?iot guilty of any of the charges alleged against him in the said 
four articles of impeachment, we have not had either the time 
or the means which we conceive necessary and proper for ascer- 
taining the facts so as to enable us to pronounce his acquittal. 

After the Court met, they were to determine the form of the 
question whether John Pickering was guilty or not, and also 
the form of the judgment; for in the same character of pro- 
ceedings which has marked every thing done since the mani- 
festation of the displeasure of the managers of the House of 
Representatives, the Court had fixed the time for pronouncing 
judgment before they had settled the question, guilty or not. 
It appeared to me very doubtful whether the facts alleged and 
proved in the first three articles amounted to impeachable of- 
fences, and particularly whether the mere refusal of a judge of 
an inferior court to allow an appeal which the party claiming 
it can assert and sustain before the superior tribunal, notwith- 
standing such refusal, can be an injury either to an individual 
or the public. I stated to the President my doubts on this 
subject ; that I had not had the time necessary to examine the 
subject, and inquired whether I might put a question whether 
either of the articles constituted an impeachable offence. He 
said no ; the only question to be put was that of guilty or not 
guilty on each article separately. Mr. White, of Delaware, 
moved that the question should be put in this form : " Is John 
Pickering, Judge of the District of New Hampshire, guilty or 
not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, as charged in 
the Article of Impeachment?" Several other forms of ques- 
tion were proposed, and the galleries cleared for discussion. 
Mr. White's form of question was taken from that adopted on 
the trial of Hastings, but was here rejected, for the purpose of 
keeping out of sight the questions of law implied in the terms 
" high crimes and misdemeanors." The form adopted was, Is 



3o8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

John Pickering, District Judge for the District of New Hamp- 
shire, guilty, as charged in the article? and the answers to be 
aye or no. This form, by blending all the law and facts to- 
gether under the shelter of general terms, put at ease a few of 
the weak brethren who scrupled on the law, and a few who 
doubted of the facts. The same address saved their consciences 
the uttering the word guilty, which, as applied to a man de- 
prived of his senses, shocks the feelings even of those who had 
submitted to pronounce him so in the fact. Some of them 
knew the word would stick in their throats, though they were 
prepared for the thing. The next thing to agree upon was the 
judgment; the time fixed for pronouncing it was past. The 
managers, and indeed the whole House of Representatives, 
were at the door, waiting. A form was proposed : Shall John 
Pickering, District Judge, &c, be removed from office? To be 
put if the vote of guilty, aye or no, should be against him. 
This form was agreed to in the midst of confusion, and with 
the precipitation now become habitual. The whole House of 
Representatives came in, with their Speaker at their head. The 
managers took their seats. The President declared the Senate 
were ready to pronounce judgment; when Mr. Wright, who sat 
before me, looked back, and said he should call to have the 
record of the District Court read, on which the first article of im- 
peachment was founded. I, with some surprise, and with a 
countenance of some contempt at this endeavor to bias votes 
at that moment, only said, "Evidence, now!" He saw his 
motive detected. The record undoubtedly proved the fact 
alleged in the first article — of restoration of the vessel. But 
the question of law, and the Judge's state of mind, could not 
appear. On my barely saying those words, he colored in 
crimson to the eyes, and with an appearance of rage said, " I 
don't understand you, sir. I wish you would treat me with 
decency in this House." I answered, " Sir, it is always my in- 
tention to treat you with decency." He turned to the Presi- 
dent, and called for the record to be read. The Secretary ac- 
cordingly began to read the record, which was long. Before 
he had got half through, General Jackson rose and said it was 
altogether out of order, and called for the reading of the first 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



309 



article of impeachment. Wright rose and said, " There was 
something at the conclusion of the record!' However, the call 
for the article of impeachment was repeated; and the President 
ordered it to be read. Mr. Wright's conclusion of the record, 
therefore, was not read, .and his hopeful project failed. 

The question of " guilty," aye or no, was taken separately 
on the four articles, after each article read — nineteen yeas and 
seven nays on each article. Then on the question of removal — 
twenty yeas and six nays ; Mr. Wells saying that although he 
believed the man not guilty, yet the competent majority having 
found otherwise, he voted for the removal. The Court was 
then adjourned indefinitely. 

After the adjournment, I told Mr. Wells that the grounds 
upon which I voted on the last question, against the removal, 
were that the whole proceedings had been contrary to law, and 
that he was not legally convicted. I said I had for some time 
doubted in my own mind as to what my vote ought to be on 
that question, but that finally that was the conclusion I had 
drawn. He told me that he had not fully reflected on the sub- 
ject, and believed that mine was the correct opinion. 

N.B. — Mr. White and Mr. Dayton withdrew from the Court 
and did not vote, on the ground, as they alleged, of the irregu- 
larity in the proceedings. Mr. Bradley did the same, perhaps for 
the same cause, and probably to avoid separating from his party. 
Mr. Stone and Mr. Armstrong likewise absented themselves, 
owing, I presume, to the same doubts of the regularity of pro- 
ceedings, and the same aversion to quit their party. I would 
gladly have done the same, not for fear of quitting my party — 
for, before Heaven, I have not suffered a party thought to 
intermingle with my judgment in the case — but to bear the 
loudest testimony against such a course of proceedings. How- 
ever, on full deliberation, I thought my true line of duty was 
to remain at my post, and discharge myself conformably to 
the special oath I had taken. 

After the adjournment of the Senate, I went into the House 
of Representatives, where a vote passed to impeach Judge 
Chase of high crimes and misdemeanors. 

On the impeachment of Mr. Pickering there are two remarks 



* IO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

which have impressed themselves on my mind with peculiar 
f orC e — the subserviency of the Senate, even when acting as a 
Judicial Court, to a few leading members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and the principle assumed, though not yet openly 
avowed, that by the tenure of good behavior is meant an active, 
continual, and unerring execution of office. So that insanity, 
sickness, any trivial error of conduct in a Judge, must be con- 
strued into misdemeanors, punishable by impeachment. The fact 
of the first remark, coupled with the principle assumed by the 
last, I think must produce important consequences to this Union. 

13th. I continue with a bad cold, but attended the Senate. 
Day rainy. As I entered the room, I saw Mr. John Randolph, 
Jr., and Mr. Early, announcing at the bar of the Senate the 
impeachment of Judge Chase, together with a demand that 
the Senate should take order for his appearance. The rest of 
the day was employed in the usual legislative business. Sat 
until half-past four o'clock. 

14th. In Senate. A bill came from the House appropriating 
two thousand dollars to pay witnesses attending on the im- 
peachment of the Judges Pickering and Chase. At the second 
reading, Mr. Wright, from the Select Committee, proposed an 
amendment totally changing the bill ; making no reference to 
the two Judges, but providing for the payment of all expenses 
on impeachments from the contingent fund of the two Houses. 
The object of this appearing to be to veil from the public eye 
the cost of these prosecutions, I opposed the amendment. It 
did not obtain. But it was found necessary to increase the 
appropriation from two to four thousand dollars. The report 
of the committee on the petition of W. A. Barron was taken 
up. Mr. Baldwin opposed the resolution, on the ground that 
it should have passed first in the House of Representatives. A 
question was taken about four o'clock ; but there was not a 
quorum found, and the Senate adjourned. I dined at Dr. 
Thornton's. Mr. Pickering, Mr. Tracy, Dr. Logan, Dr. Ste- 
vens, Mr. and Mrs. T. Peter, Captain Tingey, his lady and 
daughter, and Mr. and Mrs. Pichon, were there. After dinner 
Mr. Stuart, the painter, came in. 

23d. A great number of bills were this day passed. Indeed, 



1804.] 7^HE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 3II 

as the close of the session approaches, very little attention is 
paid to the business, and almost everything passes without 
discussion. Sat until half-past four o'clock. 

24th. In Senate. A motion was made by Mr. Dayton for a 
resolution to postpone for two days, from Monday, 26th, to 
Tuesday, 28th, the adjournment; but it did not pass. I called 
for consideration the resolution I offered some time since to 
have the records of the proceedings on the impeachment of J. 
Pickering printed as an appendix to the Journals of the session. 
The majority refused to take it up for consideration — eleven to 
ten. A great variety of bills were passed. Mr. Anderson intro- 
duced an alteration in the bill for appropriating fifty thousand 
dollars to continue the public buildings here, which will end in 
defeating the bill itself. There were many disagreements between 
the two Houses ; in the end of which the Senate have always 
yielded. We sat until almost six o'clock in the evening. 
Finished the day's business with going partly through a list of 
nominations to office. William Johnson, of South Carolina, is 
appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court, instead of Alfred 
Moore, resigned. 

25th. Attended at the Capitol, and heard Mr. Parkinson. I 
wish to remember and practise on his advice, — to forget and 
forgive all the resentments and injuries which have been ex- 
cited and occasioned during the session of Congress. 

26th. This was the day fixed upon by the joint resolution 
for closing the session; but, from the great accumulation of 
business, the resolution was this day rescinded by a joint vote, 
and the Houses are to be adjourned to-morrow. A great 
variety of bills were passed, among the rest one for raising an 
additional tax of about eight hundred thousand dollars, to be 
called and applied as a Mediterranean fund. It is by adding 
two and a half per cent, to the whole list of ad' valorem duties. 
Various attempts were made to alter and amend this Act, 
altogether without success. It passed at last — twenty-one yeas, 
five nays. In the House of Representatives it passed unani- 
mously. At four o'clock the Senate adjourned until five; and, 
not having time to go home, I accepted an invitation from Mr. 
Pickering, and went and dined at his lodgings with him. Met 



■y l2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

again at five, and sat until nine in the evening. Got through 
the greatest part of the business, but left a little for to-morrow. 
Adjourned to ten in the morning. 

In executive business, Mr. Wright and Dr. Logan called for 
Mr. Bradley's report of 24th February, against the Philadelphia 
lawyers and Edward Livingston. They wanted to take off the 
injunction of secrecy and not act upon the report. Some ob- 
jection, however, was made, and the matter was adjourned over 
until to-morrow. 1 

27th. The first session of the Eighth Congress is at length 
closed. The two Houses met at ten o'clock this morning. 
The House of Representatives had almost finished their busi- 
ness. The Senate had eight bills to pass. There was little 
debate, except upon the disagreement between the two Houses 
on the bill making an appropriation for the public buildings 
at this city. The bill, as it passed the House, was finally 
agreed to — seventeen yeas, seven nays. Mr. Smith of Vermont 
had been the member of the Committee of Enrolled Bills on 
the part of the Senate during the session. He went away 
this morning. I was appointed to supply his place. At three 
o'clock the Senate adjourned until four ; but I was occupied in 
the interval with Mr. T. M. Randolph in examining the bills. 
It was with the utmost difficulty that a quorum of the two 
Houses in the afternoon could be formed ; many of the mem- 
bers having left the city in the course of the day. A quorum, 
however, was at length made. Mr. Bradley's report was post- 
poned to the next session. The Committee of Enrolled Bills 
presented to the President, who was in the committee room of 
the Senate, nine bills for his approbation. They were soon 
after returned signed. A committee was raised to inform the 

• On the 2 1st of February the President sent a message to the Senate communi- 
cating certain additional papers connected with a convention with Spain touching 
indemnities for spoliations on our commerce. Among them appeared letters 
written by eminent lawyers in Philadelphia, disclosing opinions, professionally 
given, on these matters, to the agents of the Spanish government. Mr. Bradley 
took exception to this conduct, and obtained a committee to consider the question, 
which reported resolutions requesting the President to institute proceedings against 
them. This curious report is found in the first volume of the Executive Record, 
p. 469. It never came to anything. 



iSo 4 .] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^13 

President that Congress were about to adjourn, and reported 
he had nothing further to communicate. Messages passed be- 
tween the two Houses with notice they were about to adjourn; 
and at half-past six p.m. the Senate was adjourned until the 
first Monday in November. I came home and dined at about 
eight in the evening. Found Mr. Bollman here. On the close 
of this session of Congress there are various observations re- 
specting it which occur to my mind, but which I shall reserve 
for another place. 

New York, April 8th. — Mr. King and Mr.Wolcott called to 
see me, and I had long conversations with them, principally on 
public affairs. I paid a visit to Mr. Burr at his lodgings in the 
city. He says if the election were to be a fortnight later he 
should probably succeed. Nothing could have induced him to 
let his name be held up as a candidate for the office of Governor 
of New York but the absolute necessity of interposing to save 
the country from ruin by these family combinations, &c, &c, 
&c. Dr. Eustis dined with us. I spent the evening with Mr. 
King. Found Mr. Pickering there. 

ioth. Saw Mr. M. L. Davis this morning. Dined with Mr. 
King. Dr. Eustis and Mr. Payne were there. I spent the 
evening with Mr. King in particular conversation. 

Quincy, September 20th. — My brother went to Randolph on 
business. This afternoon I read Rapin's comparison between 
Thucydides and Livy. It is entertaining; but the method, not 
having been carved out beforehand by Aristotle, as in the case 
of the two former parallels, is not so good. I also read over 
in the Portfolio most of my letters on Silesia, which, by an ad- 
vertisement in the newspapers, appear to have been republished 
in London in a volume. I find part of one letter from Leipzig, 
relating to Lord Holland and Mr. Elliot, which I always much 
regretted to see published, and which I shall regret still more 
if it is included in the republication. Mr. Elliot particularly, 
who will naturally suppose, if the book should ever fall into 
his hands, that it was published by my consent, must think 
himself very ill treated by me, in return for his civilities, by an 
allusion to his domestic history, which must be disagreeable 
to him and his family. But in writing the Silesian letters I had 



-J4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

no expectation that any of them would be published, and I 
certainly never should have written that one had I imagined it 
would have appeared in print. 1 

October 3d. Mr. Quincy was here this morning, and urged me 
to consent to stand as a candidate for the office of the President 
of the university. Upon which I could only repeat the answer 
I gave him when he mentioned it to me last week. I then 
supposed him joking ; but he was this day very serious. It will 
not answer. They are still to choose a member of the corpo- 
ration and a Professor of Divinity. Quincy opened to me more 
fully the real causes of their former delays, and the personal 
and family views which enter into these elections. 

Washington, 31st. — Paid visits to the President and Mr. 
Madison, both of whom I found at home. The President con- 
versed with me respecting the impressments by the British 
frigates upon our coast, and respecting the trade carried on by 
some of the merchants with the blacks at St. Domingo. This 
he appears determined to suppress, and I presume a law will 
pass for the purpose at the approaching session. 

November 5th. This was the day to which the session of 
Congress was adjourned. I attended at the Capitol at eleven in 
the morning. Only thirteen Senators attended, with the Vice- 
President, and, not being a sufficient number to form a quorum, 
barely met and adjourned. Mr. Giles appeared and took his 
seat instead of Mr. Venable, who has resigned since the last 
session. The Vice-President also gave notice that he had 
received a letter from Mr. Wells, of Delaware, containing the 
resignation of his seat. After the adjournment I went into the 
Representatives' chamber, which is where the Library was for- 
merly kept. They formed a quorum, and agreed to the appoint- 
ment of the usual standing committees. 

N.B. — The Vice-President, Mr. Burr, on the nth of July 
last fought a duel with General Alexander Hamilton, and 
mortally wounded him, of which he died the next day. The 
coroner's inquest on his body found a verdict of wilful murder 
by Aaron Burr, Vice-President of the United States. The 
Grand Jury in the County of New York found an indictment 

1 See pages 240, 241. 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 3^ 

against him, under the statute, for sending the challenge; and 
the Grand Jury of Bergen County, New Jersey, where the duel 
was fought, have recently found a bill against him for murder. 
Under all these circumstances Mr. Burr appears and takes his 
seat as President of the Senate of the United States. 

6th. Seventeen members attended in the Senate, besides the 
Vice-President. One member more was wanting to make a 
quorum ; whereupon the House barely met and adjourned. 

1 2th. Senate met; received a list of renominations of persons 
appointed to office during the recess. Mr. Monroe is appointed 
Envoy Extraordinary to Spain, Mr. Pinckney intending to 
return. Adjourned immediately. I visited General Smith (but 
he was gone to Baltimore), Mr. Law, and General Wilkinson, 
who says the management of the people of Louisiana will be 
troublesome. He said he had a letter from Edward Living- 
ston, in which he avows himself the author of the Louisiana 
memorial published last summer. He further says that Gov- 
ernor Claiborne gives great dissatisfaction there in his office, 
and is very unfit for it. Yet the General at his request solicited 
the office for him. Claiborne desired him to say to the Presi- 
dent that he wished to have the refusal of the place, though he 
should perhaps not accept it; but the offer was necessary to 
support him against the insinuations and calumnies of his 
enemies. This the General faithfully reported to the President, 
who made him no answer. Claiborne had the refusal, but did 
not refuse. Wilkinson says he is hooted at by the very old 
women, whom he has heard exclaim, "Quel Commandant! 
quel Gouverneur ! quelle bete!" 

1 6th. The races at length are finished, and the Senate really 
met this day. Mr. Bradley moved to go into the consideration 
of executive business, merely for the sake of having on the 
printed Journals an appearance of doing business, though there 
was really none to do. This vote passed, for mine was the only 
voice heard against it. My reason was a natural abhorrence of 
tricks to save appearances, contrary to the real truth of things. 

23d. The credentials of Mr. Bayard, as Senator for Delaware 
this session, instead of Mr. Wells, resigned, were read, as were 
those of Dr. Mitchell, Senator for New York, instead of General 



^5 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIXCY ADAMS. [November, 

Armstrong. Dr. Mitchell took his seat. I wrote to my father 
and Mr. Dennie. Dined with the President. Mrs. Adams did 
not go. The company were Mr. R. Smith, Secretary of the 
Navy, and his lady, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, Miss Jenifer and 
Miss Mouchette, Mr. Brent, and the President's two sons-in- 
law, with Mr. Burwell, his private secretary. I had a good 
deal of conversation with the President. The French Minister 
just arrived had been this day first presented to him, and ap- 
pears to have displeased him by the profusion of gold lace 
on his clothes. He says they must get him down to a plain 
frock coat, or the boys in the streets will run after him as a 
sight. I asked if he had brought his Imperial credentials, and 
was answered he had. Mr. Jefferson then turned the conver- 
sation towards the French Revolution, and remarked how con- 
trary to all expectation this great bonleverscment had turned out. 
It seemed as if every thing in that country for the last twelve 
or fifteen years had been a dream ; and who could have 
imagined that such an ebranlement would have come to this? 
He thought it very much to be wished that they could now 
return to the Constitution of 1789, and call back the Old Family. 
For although by that Constitution the Government was much 
too weak, and although it was defective in having a Legisla- 
ture in only one branch, yet even thus it was better than the 
present form, where it was impossible to perceive any limits. I 
have used as near as possible his very words ; for this is one 
of the most unexpected phases in the waxing and waning 
opinions of this gentleman concerning the French Revolution. 
He also mentioned to me the extreme difficulty he had in find- 
ing fit characters for appointments in Louisiana, and said he 
would now give the creation for a young lawyer of good abilities, 
and who could speak the French language, to go to New 
Orleans as one of the Judges of the Superior Court in the 
Territory. The salary was about two thousand dollars. We 
had been very lucky in obtaining one such Judge, in Mr. 
Prevost, of New York, who had accepted the appointment, 
and was perfectly well qualified, and he was in extreme want 
of another. I could easily have named a character fully corre- 
sponding to the one he appeared so much to want. But if his 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^iy 

observations were meant as a consultation or an intent to ask 
whether I knew any such person I could recommend, he was not 
sufficiently explicit. Though if they were not, I know not why 
he made them to me. He further observed that both French 
and Spanish ought to be made primary objects of acquisition in 
all the educations of our young men. As to Spanish, it was so 
easy that he had learned it, with the help of a Don Quixote 
lent him by Mr. Cabot, and a grammar, in the course of a pas- 
sage to Europe, on which he was but nineteen days at sea. But 
Mr. Jefferson tells large stories. At table he told us that when 
he was at Marseilles he saw there a Mr. Bergasse, a famous 
manufacturer of wines, who told him that he would make him 
any sort of wine he would name, and in any quantities, at six 
or eight sols the bottle. And though there should not be a 
drop of the genuine wine required in his composition, yet it 
should so perfectly imitate the taste, that the most refined con- 
noisseur should not be able to tell which was which. You never 
can be an hour in this man's company without something of 
the marvellous, like these stories. His genius is of the old 
French school. It conceives better than it combines. He showed 
us, among other things, a Natural History of Parrots, in French, 
with colored plates very beautifully executed. 

26th. After the Senate adjourned, I went into the lobby of 
the House of Representatives, and heard a debate on a petition 
from Princeton College for the exemption of duties on certain 
books imported by them. The decision was against the ex- 
emption. We had company at home this evening — Mr. and 
Mrs. Thompson, Mr. Sheldon, Mr. Aikin, a Mr. Thomas, of Bal- 
timore, Mr. Chapman, and Mr. Tabbs. Mr. Sheldon says the 
impost at New Orleans will yield three hundred thousand 
dollars a year, and that the Western States are supplied with 
foreign goods entirely from Philadelphia and Baltimore. Mr. 
White, of Delaware, this day told me that Mr. Wright had 
offered him and requested him to sign an address to Governor 
Bloomfield, of New Jersey, soliciting him to direct that a nolle 
prosequi should be entered, on the part of the State, on the 
indictment for murder found by the Grand Jury of the County 
of Bergen against Mr. Burr; that this address was drawn up 



3I 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

by Mr. Giles, and that it was to be signed by those members 
of the Senate who judged proper, as Senators of the United 
States. Mr. White said he had asked time to consider of it, 
having some scruple of its propriety. For although there 
might be different opinions on the subject of duelling, he 
doubted whether he ought so to fly in the face of all the laws 
of the country, as was proposed by this address. 

29th. At last the signal of approaching business is given. 
Mr. Giles this day moved the appointment of a committee to 
draw up and report rules of proceeding for the Senate in cases 
of impeachment generally. We are now to have another speci- 
men of what impeachments are under our Constitution. This Mr. 
Giles has long been one of the most inveterate enemies of Judge 
Chase in the United States, and while a member of the House 
of Representatives, two years ago, declared he would himself 
impeach him were he not compelled by the state of his health 
to relinquish his seat in Congress. He has now become one of 
the judges to try him, and what chance of impartiality is to be 
expected from him may be easily imagined. But the issue of 
this prosecution, like that of Judge Pickering last winter, must 
be settled out of doors. And for this purpose, Mr. John Ran- 
dolph, the prosecutor, and Mr. Giles, the judge, are in daily con- 
ference together. It is said they have been obliged to delay 
the subject for some time on account of the difficulty of man- 
aging Dr. Mitchell, who has always been averse to the impeach- 
ment, and who has now become a Senator. But when I recollect 
the conduct of many Senators at the last impeachment, and 
especially that of Mr. Bradley, of Vermont, I have little faith 
in any resistance of principle in this Senate against the resolute 
violence of the leaders in the House of Representatives. 

30th. Mr. Giles's committee to propose and report rules for 
impeachment was this day appointed — of five — Messrs. Giles, 
Baldwin, Breckinridge, Bradley, and Stone. The spirit of party 
is apparent even in this selection. Mr. Randolph, also in the 
House of Representatives, brought forward two new articles of 
impeachment against Judge Chase. So the proceedings of the 
accuser and judge proceed pari passu. Mr. Pickering told me 
he should give notice of asking leave to bring forward the reso- 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^jg 

lution for amending the Constitution on Monday, and the reso- 
lution itself on Tuesday. I translated another French song this 
evening. 

December 3d. Mr. Pickering gave notice of his intention to 
ask leave to-morrow to bring in a resolution for an amendment 
to the Constitution, conformably to our instructions. Went into 
the lobby of the House of Representatives, and found them in 
committee of the whole on the articles of impeachment reported 
against Judge Chase. They agreed to them all, and reported 
them to the House. 

4th. In the evening I was employed in drawing up an article 
for amendment of the Constitution, under our instructions from 
the Massachusetts Legislature. Mr. Pickering and myself have 
both drawn several without satisfying ourselves. It is difficult 
to draw it in such a manner as to avoid collision with another 
part of the Constitution. 

6th. The House of Representatives sent this morning a mes- 
sage to the Senate, with three resolutions, purporting that they 
had agreed to the articles of impeachment against Judge Chase, 
had appointed seven managers to conduct it, and had directed 
the managers to bring the articles to the Senate. Some ques- 
tion then arose as to the mode of proceeding. Mr. Giles's 
committee were not ready to report, and it was agreed to take 
time until to-morrow for consideration. Some other business, 
of little consideration, was transacted. Meantime, the managers 
from the House had come to the door and demanded admission, 
bringing the articles with them. The only way the Vice-Presi- 
dent had to keep them out was to declare the Senate adjourned, 
which he instantly did on a motion which had luckily been 
made some time before. 

7th. Mr. Pickering this day offered his resolution for an 
amendment to the Constitution, which lies for consideration. 
At one o'clock the managers from the House, of the impeach- 
ment against Judge Chase, brought up their eight articles, 
which were read by Mr. John Randolph. Three resolutions of 
the inhabitants of Alexandria against the cession of that county 
to the State of Virginia were received by the Vice-President, 
enclosed in a letter from the Mayor of that city. But they were 



-120 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

not read. The resolutions, though couched in the most respect- 
ful language, deny in a spirited manner the right of Congress 
to cede the territory and people to any State, and declare it 
would be extremely injurious to their interest to be ceded to 
Virginia. Our Vice-President therefore did not dare to have 
them read. For Mr. John Randolph has been raving all this 
session in favor of the measure against which the Alexandrians 
protest, and Mr. Giles drew up and procured the subscriptions 
of the party in Senate to the address to Governor Bloomfield, 
asking him to screen Mr. Burr from trial for murder, of which 
he now stands indicted. We adjourned over to Monday, and 
next week shall doubtless go seriously to business. 

ioth. In Senate, a summons to Judge Chase was agreed to, 
returnable 2d January, 1805, to be served fifteen days before- 
hand. Mr. Jackson, of Georgia, was anxious to have it return- 
able 1st January, to begin the year with the trial, and finish 
it as soon as possible. He said he found by the Northern news- 
papers that the people began already to say it would prove a 
sort of Warren Hastings business ; and he, for his part, was for 
beginning and going through it without delay. With respect 
to the rules of impeachment reported by Mr. Giles and his com- 
mittee, he seems to wish for debate, but cannot get it. Debate 
on this subject with him or his party would be ridiculous, after 
the experience of the last session. 

nth. In Senate scarcely anything was done but confirming 
sundry nominations to office. Among the rest was Benjamin 
Austin, Jr., to be Commissioner of Loans for Massachusetts. 
The co-operation of the Senate in all appointments is at present 
a mere formality, and a very disgusting formality. Mr. Frank- 
lin this day called for the Senators of the States to which the 
candidates belonged to testify to their characters. When 
Austin's name was read, as nobody rose, I said that I knew Mr. 
Austin, but could say nothing of him. Mr. Ellery then rose, 
and said he was a man of very great abilities, and the most re- 
spectable character. He was appointed without contradiction. 
So that Mr. Franklin's solicitude was only to obtain a panegyric 
upon the persons nominated, which is indeed the unvaried 
course of proceeding. 



i8o 4 .] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. j 2 I 

1 2th. The remainder of the nominations to offices which 
were yesterday postponed in Senate were this day confirmed. 
It seemed as if some opposition would be made to the re- 
appointment of Mr. Claiborne as Governor of the Territory of 
Orleans ; but when the vote was taken, only one voice answered 
in the negative. William Lyman was appointed Consul to 
London. General Smith said unless somebody would attest 
his competency, he should vote against him. Mr. Giles, Dr. 
Mitchell, and Mr. Bradley took that task upon them. Mr. 
Giles said he derived all his knowledge of him from having sat 
with him as a member of the other House. Smith was a mem- 
ber of the House himself at the same time, and it seems had 
not discovered Lyman's merits ; but he was satisfied with the 
attestations now given, and acquiesced in the appointment. 

15th. I was so unwell and hoarse that I should have confined 
myself to the house this day ; but Mr. Pickering yesterday 
invited me to dine with him, in company with the Louisiana 
deputies, Messrs. Sauve, Derbigny, and Detrehan. I went ac- 
cordingly, though the weather was very bad. The two former 
of these gentlemen speak English very well. The last, who is 
a native of Louisiana, speaks only French. They do not appear 
very sanguine of success in their present negotiation. They 
are, however, very much dissatisfied with the state of things in 
their country, and above all with Governor Claiborne, whom 
they most cordially detest. The prohibition of the slave trade 
is also an object of great discontent to them. If they could be 
quieted on these two points, I think they would return home well 
pleased. But it is not probable they will be gratified in either. 

20th. In Senate the principal subject considered was the re- 
port of the Committee for Rules on Impeachments. Mr. Giles 
gave us his theory of impeachments under our present Con- 
stitution. According to him, impeachment is nothing more 
than an enquiry, by the two Houses of Congress, whether the 
office of any public man might not be better filled by another. 
This is undoubtedly the source and object of Mr. Chase's im- 
peachment, and on the same principle any officer may easily 
be removed at any time. 

2 1 st. Mr. White this day moved in Senate an adjournment to 

VOL. I. — 21 



322 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

Monday, the last day of this month; upon which some debate 
was had, and the subject subsided, until next Monday. There 
was little business to do, and the adjournment took place early. 
Sitting by the fireside afterwards, I witnessed a conversation 
between Mr. Giles and Mr. Israel Smith, on the subject of im- 
peachments ; during which Mr. John Randolph came in and 
took part in the discussion. Giles labored with excessive 
earnestness to convince Smith of certain principles, upon which 
not only Mr. Chase, but all the other Judges of the Supreme 
Court, excepting the one last appointed, must be impeached 
and removed. He treated with the utmost contempt the idea 
of an independent judiciary — said there was not a word about 
such an independence in the Constitution, and that their pre- 
tensions to it were nothing more nor less than an attempt to 
establish an aristocratic despotism in themselves. The power 
of impeachment was given without limitation to the House of 
Representatives ; the power of trying impeachments was given 
equally without limitation to the Senate ; and if the Judges of 
the Supreme Court should dare, as they had done, to declare an 
act of Congress unconstitutional, or to send a mandamus to the 
Secretary of State, as they had done, it was the undoubted 
right of the House of Representatives to impeach them, and of 
the Senate to remove them, for giving such opinions, however 
honest or sincere they may have been in entertaining them. 
Impeachment was not a criminal prosecution ; it was no prose- 
cution at all. The Senate sitting for the trial of impeachments 
was not a court, and ought to discard and reject all process of 
analogy to a court of justice. A trial and removal of a judge 
upon impeachment need not imply any criminality or corrup- 
tion in him. Congress had no power over the person, but only 
over the office. And a removal by impeachment was nothing 
more than a declaration by Congress to this effect: You hold 
dangerous opinions, and if you are suffered to carry them into 
effect you will work the destruction of the nation. We zvant 
your offices, for the purpose of giving them to men who will fill 
them better. In answer to all this, Mr. Smith only contended 
that honest error of opinion could not, as he conceived, be a sub- 
ject of impeachment. And in pursuit of this principle he proved 



1804.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 323 

clearly enough the persecution and tyranny to which those of 
Giles and Randolph inevitably lead. It would, he said, establish 
a tyranny over opinions, and he traced all the arguments of Giles 
to their only possible issue of rank absurdity. In all this con- 
versation I opened my lips but once, in which I told Giles that 
I could not assent to his definition of the term impeachment. 
It was easy to see that Giles was anxious about Smith's vote 
on the impeachment of Judge Chase. His manner was dog- 
matical and peremptory. Smith's was not merely mild and 
hesitating, but continually conceding too much, and, to use an 
expression of Burke, " above all things afraid of being too 
much in the right." Mr. Smith has so often expressed these 
opinions that the friends of Judge Chase flatter themselves he 
will vote for an acquittal on the trial. His opinions were correct 
on the impeachment of Judge Pickering, but his vote abandoned 
them. Indeed, Giles's doctrines are very natural inferences from 
those upon which that case was decided, and I never can have 
any confidence in the resolute integrity of those who shrunk 
from the convictions of their own consciences at that time. It 
is obvious that on Smith's principles Chase must be acquitted, 
for the articles of impeachment contain no charge which in- 
dicates corruption or turpitude. So that Smith and Giles were 
really trying the judge over the fireside. Old Mathers, the 
door-keeper, saw this so plainly that after they were gone he 
said to me, "If all were of Mr. Giles's opinion, they never need 
trouble themselves to bring Judge Chase here." I perceive, 
also, that the impeachment system is to be pursued, and the 
whole bench of the Supreme Court to be swept away, because 
their offices arc wanted. And in the present state of things I am 
convinced it is as easy for Mr. John Randolph and Mr. Giles 
to do this as to say it. 

24th. The rules of proceedings in cases of impeachments, 
reported by Mr. Giles, were again taken up this morning. Mr. 
Bradley had made a motion, last Thursday, for an amendment, 
which Giles and several others had opposed. It was not then 
decided, the Vice-President having stopped Mr. Bradley after 
he had spoken twice to his motion and was rising to speak a 
third time. The rigorous rule of Senate allows a member to 



324 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

speak only twice to the same motion, but it is not always in- 
sisted on. The members expressed a desire to hear Mr. Brad- 
ley, but he was piqued at the check given him, and quitted the 
House. He has not been in since, being detained at his lodg- 
ings by a severe cold, as I am informed. I therefore moved 
that the subject might be postponed until he could attend. But 
Mr. Giles insisted upon taking it up now, and of course my 
motion to postpone was rejected. Giles then offered to post- 
pone, or to put the previous question upon Mr. Bradley's 
amendment; but this the Vice-President declared to be not in 
order. The question on it was therefore immediately taken, 
and it was negatived. Among the rules reported was the form 
of the oath to be taken by the President and members previous 
to the trial, and also the form of the oath to be taken by wit- 
nesses. The rule directed that the oath to be taken by the 
President should be administered by the Secretary ; and this part 
of the report was adopted, without any objection by Mr. Giles 
or any other person. But the words in open Court, and this Court, 
were in the reported rules, and Mr. Giles moved to strike them 
out, on the ground that the Senate, sitting for the trial of an 
impeachment, is not a Court. His only reason for this is that 
the Constitution, in giving them the power to try impeach- 
ments, does not expressly style them a Court ; and he is for 
avoiding all constructions of the Constitution, and adhering to 
the letter. His motive for this antipathy to the term Court is, 
that the Senate, in their proceedings on this and the future im- 
peachments which he meditates, may be absolved from all the 
rules and principles which restrain and bind down courts of 
justice to the practice of justice. He wants for his purpose 
liberty, unbounded as the sea; and to obtain it, his first ex- 
pedient is to discard and reject the idea that our proceedings 
ought, as nearly as possible, to conform to the proceedings of 
a judicial court. But it appears he was not aware that his 
theory may be turned against himself, and stop us short in the 
progress of our impeachment, for want of authorities to proceed, 
instead of letting us loose from all the barriers that shelter in- 
nocence in the forms of judicial courts. However, it was vain 
to urge any objection against his motions to strike out the 



i8o4.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 325 

word Court, and it was in two instances struck out accordingly. 
But the rule which reported the form of the oath to be taken 
by witnesses had not said by whom it should be administered. 
Upon which I moved to insert the words " by the Secretary." 
This immediately gave rise to a long debate. General Jackson 
at first opposed my motion, on the ground that the words were 
unnecessary \ as the Secretary would swear the witnesses of 
course. But Mr. Giles took very different ground, and not only 
denied the Secretary's power to administer the oath of course, 
but the power of the Senate itself to authorize their Secretary 
to administer an oath at all. He therefore proposed the ex- 
pedient of sending for a common magistrate to come and 
administer all the oaths. But it was soon discovered that 
unless the Senate, sitting for the trial of impeachments, pos- 
sessed the powers incidental to judicial courts, they had no 
more power to issue writs, summonses, and subpoenas than to 
administer oaths ; and, also, that all the proceedings last winter 
against Judge Pickering were unconstitutional, and he has not 
been legally removed. The longer the debate continued, the 
deeper Mr. Giles and his party got involved in difficulty. They 
could not vote with me against him, for that would have been 
treason to the party. They could not vote with him against 
me, without checkmating their own impeachment. General 
Jackson, who at first had opposed my amendment, now came 
round and advocated it with his customary warmth; and finally 
proposed himself a mere variation in its phraseology, to which 
I instantly consented, and it was carried by a large majority. 
In this debate the President suffered Mr. Giles to speak three 
times without checking him as he did Mr. Bradley last week. 
Indeed, his partialities to Giles have been frequent and obvious 
this session. His impartiality at the last session was exemplary 
and without exception. But there is a key to everything. The 
Vice-President is under an indictment by a grand jury for 
murder; and Giles drew up and circulated an address to the 
Governor of New Jersey, requesting him to stay the prose- 
cution. 

31st. I attended earlier than usual at the Senate chamber, to 
meet the committee on the bill to declare Cambridge a port of 



, 2 6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December. 

delivery. Agreed upon a report, which was made. Met also 
the committee on the Invalid bill ; both the other members are 
against its principle. In Senate the principal subject of debate 
was the Impeachment Rules. Mr. Giles introduced a new one, 
which, together with those already passed, excludes all debate 
and discussion on any question arising in the course of the trial. 
This appears to me improper. I therefore moved to strike out 
the words " and without debate," which Giles of course vehe- 
mently opposed, and effectually. I am suspicious, however, the 
question will come up again before the trial is over. 

Day. As the last month. 

The year which this day expires has been distinguished in 
the course of my life by its barrenness of events. During its 
first three and last two months I was here attending my duty 
as a Senator of the United States. The seven intervening 
months were passed in travelling to and from Quincy, and in 
residence at my father's house there. The six months spent at 
Quincy were not idle. Indeed, I have seldom in the whole 
course of my life been more busily engaged. I gave some 
attention to agricultural pursuits, but I soon found they lost 
their relish, and that they never would repay the labor they 
require. My studies were assiduous and seldom interrupted. 
I meant to give them such a direction as should be useful in its 
tendency ; yet on looking back, and comparing the time con- 
sumed with the knowledge acquired, I have no occasion to take 
pride in the result of my application. I have been a severe 
student all the days of my life ; but an immense proportion 
of the time I have dedicated to the search of knowledge has 
been wasted upon subjects which can never be profitable to 
myself or useful to others. Another source of useless toil, is 
the want of a method properly comprehensive and minute, in 
the pursuit of my inquiries. This method has been to me a 
desideratum for many years ; I have found none in books ; nor 
have I been able to contrive one for myself. From these two 
causes I have derived so little use from my labors that it has 
often brought me to the borders of discouragement, and I have 
been tempted to abandon my books altogether. This, however, 
is impossible; for the habit has so long been fixed in me as to 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 327 

have become a passion, and when once severed from my books 
I find little or nothing in life to fill the vacancy of time. I must, 
therefore, continue to plod, and to lose my labor ; contenting 
myself with the consolation that even this drudgery of science 
contributes to virtue, though it lead not to wealth or honor. In 
respect to my family, it has pleased Heaven to extend peculiar 
favor to me during this year. My parents, my wife and chil- 
dren, have all been preserved to me, though my mother's state 
of health has often occasioned me much anxiety. My own 
health has been indifferent, but not bad. My property has 
remained at a stand, and my political prospects have been daily 
declining. On the whole, I ought to conclude the year with 
the sincerest gratitude to Heaven for the blessings with which 
I have been indulged. 

January 2d, 1805. This was the day appointed for the 
appearance of Judge Chase to answer the articles of impeach- 
ment against him. At twelve o'clock the Senate went from the 
committee room into their hall, which has been prepared for 
the occasion. Mr. Chase was called, and appeared. He requested 
and obtained the permission of a seat, upon which he read a 
paper of some length, requesting time to prepare his answer, 
and for trial, until the first day of the next session. He was 
interrupted several times by the Vice-President, but proceeded 
and read his paper through. The Vice-President then required 
him to reduce his request to writing in the form of a motion, 
which he did. The Vice-President informed him the Senate 
would meet again to-morrow, and the Senate (without adjourn- 
ment of the Court) returned to the committee room. A debate 
of four hours immediately ensued on the next step to be taken. 
Mr. Giles was for fixing on a day for trial, without taking any 
notice of Mr. Chase's request. He repeated over again his 
whole system of impeachments ; contended there was no oc- 
casion for any answer or pleading, other than simply of not 
guilty ; that we ought to discard all precedents derived either 
from the English practice upon impeachments, or from the pro- 
ceedings of our own courts of justice; and that Mr. Chase's 
motion was no more than a request for another appearance day. 
This theory, however, has got much weakened since it is 



tpg MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

brought to the test. The rules as reported by Mr. Giles and 
adopted by the Senate had departed from the form of proceed- 
ing in the case of Mr. Pickering. The oath required by the 
Constitution was at that time taken before any decision made in 
the cause. By Mr. Giles's rule it was to be taken only when 
the trial between the parties should commence. But now that 
a decision was to be made, on which the whole cause might 
depend, the question as to the necessity of being under oath 
was again brought up ; and, after long debate, the decision was 
that the oath should be taken to-morrow morning. The other 
points were left undecided. 

3d. I attended some time this morning, and examined some 
books previous to the meeting of the Senate. When they met, 
Mr. Bradley made a motion to assign a day (in blank) to receive 
the answer of Mr. Chase. Mr. Giles moved to assign a day to 
receive the answer and proceed to trial. After a debate of about 
two hours on the respective merits of these questions, the 
Senate passed from the committee room to their hall. The oath 
was administered to the President by the Secretary, and to the 
members by the President. The questions were then taken by 
yeas and nays on striking out Mr. Bradley's motion — twenty 
yeas, ten nays ; on inserting Mr. Giles's — twenty-two yeas, eight 
nays. And then on the order thus completed, twenty-one 
yeas, nine nays. So the 4th day of February is fixed for re- 
ceiving the answer, and proceeding to trial. On this system 
the trial will be on the articles alone, and no regard paid to the 
answer, whatever it may be ; as was done in England in the 
case of Lord Strafford. Mr. Giles himself seems ashamed of 
the virulence with which he pursues the Judge; for after he 
had made his motion in the committee room, and it had been 
two hours discussed, just before we went into the hall, I heard 
him ask Mr. Israel Smith to make it there, saying he did not 
like to make it himself. Smith, however, declined, and Giles 
made it. 

4th. I met Mr. Smith of Maryland, and Mr. Giles, this morn- 
ing, on the Georgetown Dam bill. Mr. Giles again referred to 
a compact between the States of Virginia and Maryland, about 
which there was much debate when this bill was considered in 



iSos.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 329 

the House of Representatives. I stated my reasons for believ- 
ing that this article of the compact was null and void ab initio, 
as violating the Articles of Confederation ; and if not so, yet 
absolutely annulled by the present Constitution of the United 
States. The article of the Confederation to which I referred, 
neither of these gentlemen recollected ; nor was it mentioned 
during the whole debate in the House. I am afraid there is 
some solution to this objection of which I am not aware. It 
certainly took both my colleagues by surprise — so completely 
that they had no plausible answer to give it. I know that by 
not mentioning it at all in committee, but reserving it for the 
fire of debate on the report, it would have been more decisive; 
but on full deliberation I thought this mode of proceeding 
would not be fair; that in honorable dealing I ought to give 
them the ground I mean to take, though it will give them an 
opportunity to be prepared for it, and even of taking undue 
advantages to refute it if they can. If Giles has or can find a 
good reply to my objection against the compact, he will use me 
as candidly as I have him, and mention it in committee. If he 
can hunt up nothing but quibbles to support him, it is of no 
great consequence whether he opens the box of them in com- 
mittee or in the House. The bill itself is of very little impor- 
tance; but this compact has drawn some important constitutional 
questions into the discussion. As the grounds upon which I 
hold its nullity have been taken by no other person, and as they 
are, in my opinion, much stronger than any that were taken in 
the House, I am afraid that the pride of opinion and a paltry 
vanity mingles itself with my judgment on this occasion. I 
know how often this happens to me ; and it often ends in mor- 
tifications, as is most just. The committee are to meet again 
to-morrow. 

In Senate, various reports were made, and many bills at 
the second reading committed. As our committees are all 
chosen by ballot, the influence and weight of a member can 
be very well measured by the number and importance of those 
upon which he is placed. In this respect I have no excitements 
of vanity. But, as much of the labor of business is transacted 
in committees, an exemption from those which are important 



33 o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

is also an exemption from toil, and leaves proportionable 
leisure. I reported the Invalid bill without amendment; that 
is, both my associates in the committee are against it on prin- 
ciple. A committee was raised on the Louisiana Memorial.- 

9th. I called this morning upon Mrs. Hazen, according to 
her request. Her object was to urge me to vote for the bill for 
her relief, as it came from the House of Representatives. And 
her appeal to the sentiments of humanity was very strong; but 
she could give me no substantial apology for departing from 
the straight path, which in this case absolute justice requires. 
She says her bread depends upon it. I wish it did not ; for I 
cannot give her the property of another, even to supply her 
with bread. The bill was again debated the greatest part of 
this morning, and finally committed to a new select committee; 
as the debate proceeds, opinions appear to diverge more and 
more ; so that I think it doubtful whether the bill will pass in 
Senate at all. 

nth. The debate in Senate on the amendment proposed 
($10,000 bonds additional to value of ship) to the Armed Vessel 
bill * was resumed, and continued until past three o'clock. The 
question on the amendment was then taken by yeas and nays — 
yeas twelve, nays thirteen. 

Dined at the President's, with my wife. General Smith and 
his brother, of the navy, 2 Mr. William Smith, formerly a mem- 
ber of Congress, from Baltimore, Mr. Williams and his two 
daughters, Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Hewes, were there. So was the 
Vice-President. The President appeared to have his mind ab- 
sorbed by some other object, for he was less attentive to his 
company than usual. His itch for telling prodigies, however, 
is unabated. Speaking of the cold, he said he had seen Fahren- 
heit's thermometer, in Paris, at twenty degrees below zero ; 
and that, not for a single day, but that for six weeks together it 
stood thereabouts. " Never once in the whole time," said he, 
"so high as zero, which is fifty degrees below the freezing point." 
These were his own words. He knows better than all this ; 

1 " An act to regulate the clearance of armed merchant vessels." 

2 Robert Smith, Secretary of the Navy, afterwards Secretary of State under Mr. 
Ma'lison. 



iSos.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^^l 

but he loves to excite wonder. Fahrenheit's thermometer 
never since Mr. Jefferson existed was at twenty degrees below 
zero in Paris. It was never for six weeks together so low as 
twenty degrees above zero. Nor is Fahrenheit's zero fifty degrees 
below the freezing point. I asked him upon what foundation 
he had, in his Notes on Virginia, spoken of the river Poto- 
mac as common to Virginia and Maryland. He said that it 
was on the compact between the two States — that the charter 
of Maryland had included the bed of the river, but the com- 
pact had made it common. It is singular, however, if this be 
the case, that among the vouchers expressly given in the 
book this compact is not at all mentioned, though a compact 
with Pennsylvania is. He added, however, that as to all the 
arguments inferred from these facts in the debate of the House 
of Representatives (alluding to Mr. J. Randolph's arguments), 1 
he considered them as mere metaphysical subtleties, and that 
they ought to have no weight. This conversation was inter- 
rupted by the entrance of General Turreau 2 and Captain Marin; 
immediately after which we took leave. 

15th. Mr. Anderson was chosen President pro tern.; and the 
usual orders passed to notify the House of Representatives, and 
the President, of the choice. Mr. Bayard appeared and took his 
seat. The Georgetown Dam bill was debated ; and both the 
amendments proposed by Mr. Giles and reported by the com- 
mittee were rejected. The bill passed to the third reading. 
Upon the first amendment, respecting the pretended compact 
between Maryland and Virginia, I took a large part in the debate, 
and indeed an exclusive one on the side I advocated, as to the 
question of right. There were not more than seven members 
(I think not more than six) who rose in favor of the amend- 
ment. On this occasion, as on almost every other, I felt most 
sensibly my deficiency as an extemporaneous speaker. In 
tracing this deficiency to its source, I find it arising from a 
cause that is irreparable. No efforts, no application on my 

1 The debate in the House on the 28th of November previous, when Mr. Ran- 
dolph had made his remarks, turned upon the jurisdiction over the Potomac River, 
which separated Virginia from Maryland. See Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. p. 290. 

2 At that time Minister from the French Republic. 



332 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

part, can ever remove it. It is slowness of comprehension — an 
incapacity to grasp the whole compass of a subject in the mind 
at once with such an arrangement as leaves a proper impres- 
sion of the detail — an incapacity to form ideas properly pre- 
cise and definite with the rapidity necessary to give them 
uninterrupted utterance. My manner, therefore, is slow, hesi- 
tating, and often much confused. Sometimes, from inability to 
furnish the words to finish a thought commenced, I begin a 
sentence with propriety and end it with nonsense. Sometimes, 
after carrying through an idea of peculiar force to its last stage, 
the want of a proper word at close drives me to use one which 
throws the whole into a burlesque. And sometimes the most 
important details of argument escape my mind at the moment 
when I want them, though ever ready to present them before 
and after. Hence I never know when I have finished any given 
subdivision of my subject. And hence, in making the transition 
from one part of it to the other, I am often compelled to take a 
minute or two for recollection, which leaves a chasm of silence 
always disagreeable to the hearers. I must, therefore, never 
flatter myself with the hope of oratorical distinction. At the 
same time, it is possible that, by continual exertions, application, 
and self-censure, part of the ill effect of these infirmities maybe 
remedied. One rule for this purpose will be, to take part in the 
debate only at its late stages, and after the ground has been 
travelled over by others ; to take minutes of the strongest 
points assumed by the opponent ; and to methodize them by 
very short notes before commencing a reply. Another is, at- 
tentively to observe the manner of the best speakers — to mark 
whether they are not occasionally struggling with some of the 
same difficulties which I so often experience, and how they 
get over them. A third is, to take great pains to understand 
the subject upon which I speak. If these endeavors will never 
suffice to give me the palm of eloquence, they will at least 
make me better qualified to be useful in the station where I am 
placed. 

17th. The bill for the relief of Charlotte Hazen passed, ac- 
cording to the report of the last committee; that is, giving her 
a pension of two hundred dollars a year for life. The history 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 333 

and progress of this bill furnishes a striking example of the 
motives and means by which legislative assemblies are gov- 
erned. At the beginning of our Revolutionary War, General 
Hazen, this lady's husband, was residing in Canada, and on 
half- pay as a lieutenant in the British service. Taking the 
American side of the question, he was, on the 22d of January, 
1776, appointed by Congress Colonel of a Canadian regiment to 
be raised in the service of the Union ; and a resolution passed 
the same day that the United Colonies would indemnify Colonel 
Hazen for any loss of half-pay he might sustain in consequence 
of his entering into their service. In 1781 he was struck off 
from the British half-pay list ; but though in his lifetime he re- 
peatedly presented his claim for indemnity, it was never settled, 
for want of proof on his part to establish the fact. In February, 
1803, he died. And since his death his executors, Moses 
White and Mrs. Hazen, have petitioned for this indemnity. 
Thus stands the open and ostensible demand. But Mrs. Hazen, 
the widow, is here in person to pursue the claim. Moses White, 
the co-executor, is not here. General Hazen's estate is so 
deeply indebted to Moses White, that if the grant were made 
conformably to the claim it would be absorbed for the payment 
of that debt. Mrs. Hazen sends for individual members of 
Congress, requesting them to call and see her at her lodgings. 
There she represents herself as in great distress, dependent 
upon this grant alone for subsistence, and entreats that the 
grant may be to her, to the exclusion of her co-executor and 
of all creditors of her husband. This manceuvre partially suc- 
ceeded in the House of Representatives, where the bill was 
founded on a formal admission of the justice of the claim and 
yet directed that it should be paid exclusively to her use. 
When it came into the Senate it was opposed on various 
grounds. The first select committee reported a grant to her 
of a sum of money, about two thousand dollars. This was 
rejected. Mr. Moore, of Virginia, and Mr. Franklin, of North 
Carolina, declared themselves of opinion that the claim was a 
just one, but that Congress could not interfere with the course 
of the law to divert the money from its proper destination. 
Being of the same opinion, I moved to substitute the words 



334 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

legal representatives instead of Charlotte Hazen. After a long 
debate upon this, the whole was committed to a second select 
committee, of which Mr. Franklin was a member, and which 
reported a pension to Charlotte Hazen, without any reference 
to the claim of the executors. Mr. Maclay, the chairman of 
the committee, said their object had been to avoid any opinion 
on the validity of this claim. Mr. Franklin said he considered 
it as a virtual rejection of the claim. And thus the bill passed, 
in spite of every effort to amend or recommit it; both Mr. 
Franklin and Mr. Moore, the members who had at first most 
vehemently opposed any diversion of the grant from its legal 
course of payment, now voting for it. The pension is of two 
hundred dollars, to commence from 1st January, 1805. ^ is one 
of many instances I have witnessed how impossible it is to hold 
a legislative assembly to any correct principle for the settle- 
ment of claims. It also proves how much more powerful an 
appeal to the humanity and benevolence of such an assembly is 
than a call to their justice. A third point demonstrated by this 
transaction is, the effect of a petitioner's presence, and intrigue, 
in operating upon public measures. Had Moses White, the 
co-executor, been here, I do not believe the grant would have 
been as it now stands. A debate took place on a bill concern- 
ing certain roads, but was not completed. A question arose 
upon an amendment proposed by Mr. Franklin. The ayes were 
twelve, the noes eleven. Mr. Anderson, the President pro tern., 
was called upon to vote, but declined, on a doubt as to his 
right, and declared the amendment carried. This gave rise to a 
question of order as to the right of a President pro tern, to vote 
in other cases than that of an equal division. Mr. Anderson 
declared that, had he voted, it would have been in the negative; 
in which case Mr. Franklin's amendment would not have been 
carried. After some discussion, a member of the majority 
moved a reconsideration, for another chance to try the question, 
and it was agreed to. 

1 8th. In Senate. The House agreed to the bill, as it passed 
the Senate yesterday, with an amendment commencing the pen- 
sion at the death of General Hazen, in February, 1803. To this 
the Senate agreed, and thus the bill has passed. The bill con- 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 335 

cerning certain roads was again taken up, and Mr. Franklin's 
amendment again debated. This debate disclosed an attempt, 
on the part of those who brought in and supported the bill, 
which I consider as no better than a fraud upon the Union. By 
the law of Congress authorizing the North Western Territory 
to form itself into a State, Congress made several propositions to 
the Legislature of that Territory; among which one was, that 
they should agree not to tax the lands of the United States, 
which might be sold, for five years after their sale — in con- 
sideration of which the United States would apply one-twentieth 
part, or five per cent, of the net proceeds of the land sold, to- 
wards laying out roads from the Atlantic to the State of Ohio, 
and through the same. The convention that formed the Ohio 
Constitution agreed to these proposals of Congress on con- 
dition of certain farther additions to them, and a modification of 
this one. The modification was that three per cent, of the net 
proceeds of the lands so offered to be appropriated by Congress 
should be expended on roads within the State of Ohio, and 
under the direction of its Legislature. To this modification 
Congress agreed, and, by a subsequent law, directed the pay- 
ment of this three per cent, to the agents of the Ohio Legis- 
lature ; and it has accordingly been paid to them ever since. 
This then left two per cent, of the net proceeds, as offered by 
Congress, to be applied to laying out roads from the Atlantic 
to the State of Ohio. But in this bill, as introduced by Mr. 
Worthington, one-twentieth part of the net proceeds was appro- 
priated to laying out roads to the State of Ohio ; and that on 
pretence that it was already authorized by the former law of 
Congress. Mr. Franklin's amendment was, to strike out the 
words " one-twentieth part" and insert " remaining two per cent!' 
This brought the whole subject to the test of examination, and 
Worthington, with his supporters, gravely maintained that the 
modification meant an addition of three per cent., and that Con- 
gress were already bound to appropriate eight per cent, to the 
roads, viz., one-twentieth by the first offer, and three per cent, 
by the modification ; which, as Mr. Stone, of North Carolina, 
observed to me, was only contending that a modification of five 
means eight. And it was the merest accident in the world that 



336 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

this stratagem did not yesterday succeed. The investigation 
this day was more full, and the questions were taken by yeas 
and nays — for striking out, sixteen yeas, nine nays; for insert- 
ing, fourteen yeas, eleven nays — Mr. Anderson voting in the 
negative on both. After going through the bill, as in the 
House, Mr. Franklin offered an amendment, which the Presi- 
dent declared not in order, but said it might be offered at the 
third reading. Mr. Dayton presented a petition for opening a 
passage at the rapids of the Ohio, and moved its reference to a 
select committee. When the ballots were returned there were 
only thirteen, not making a quorum. The members were 
called in from the lobby, and the President ordered a new ballot 
— much against the will of Mr. Dayton, who thought the first 
ballot good, for those who had voted, and that the other mem- 
bers coming in should have added their votes to those first 
received. It is surprising how these questions of order are 
multiplied whenever a person unused to preside takes the chair. 
As we were riding home, Mr. Smith spoke to me concerning 
Mr. Chase's impeachment, against which he voted at the hazard 
of displeasing his party, which, he said, he had effectually done. 
But he added that he did not care for that, as he had acted 
conformably to his own sense of duty ; and made several other 
observations indicative of an honest and independent mind. 
He told me an instance of a procedure by Mr. Tucker, the 
Virginian judge, which he said was no doubt legal, but which 
was much harsher than any thing charged against Judge Chase. 
2 1 st. In Senate Dr. Logan presented the petition of certain 
Quakers, requesting the interference of Congress as far as they 
have power to check the slave trade, A question was made, 
whether the petition should be received, and very warmly de- 
bated for about three hours ; .when it was taken by yeas and 
nays — yeas nineteen, nays nine. A motion of reference to the 
committee who have the petition from Louisiana, in favor of 
the slave trade, before them — taken without yeas and nays — 
was negatived, fourteen ayes, thirteen nays ; and the President, 
who has got over his scruple against voting, by forming a tie, 
prevented its passing. This same petition was presented to the 
House of Representatives, read, and referred to a committee 



iSos.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 337 

without any objection. The reason for this difference of treat- 
ment to the same papers I take to be because the debates of 
that House are always published, and those of the Senate very 
seldom ; nor were there any stenographers this day present. 

22d. The weather excessively cold. In Senate, Mr. Jackson 
made a long speech upon a Treaty with the Creek Indians. 
But there was not much attention paid to it, or to any other 
business this day transacted; most of the members being almost 
all the day at the firesides in the lobby. I was put on a com- 
mittee on the bill to amend the charter of Georgetown. A bill 
for exempting the clerks in the executive departments from 
militia duty was rejected at the second reading, by the casting 
vote of the President. A bill declaring the assent of Congress 
to an Act of the State of North Carolina was also debated in 
quasi committee. It is a provision for the maintenance of 
foreign seamen arriving in the port of Wilmington and being 
sick there. I objected against this bill as forming a precedent 
for State legislation upon a subject peculiarly belonging to the 
regulation of commerce, and therefore exclusively within the 
powers of Congress. My scruples did not appear to make 
much impression. The bill was, however, finally recommitted. 
Mr. Otis told me that Mr. Early, one of the managers on the 
impeachment of Judge Chase, had applied to him, in private 
conversation, for the names of the witnesses subpoenaed by Mr. 
Chase ; and asked me whether there would be any impropriety 
in telling him. I told him I thought the safest way for him in 
any such case of application would be to refer to the Senate for 
an order on the subject. 

24th. In Senate, a variety of business was transacted. The 
Clearance bill postponed on account of Mr. Tracy's absence ; 
he having a motion relating to it which he intends to propose. 
My motion for an order to print the Impeachment Journals was 
taken up, and finally committed to Mr. Giles, Mr. Baldwin, and 
myself. It was opposed by Mr. Bayard — a quarter from which 
I did not expect opposition. The amendments reported by the 
committee to the Articles of War were taken up; Mr. Bayard 
opposed one of them, and I objected against another. I took 

no part in the discussion on the article opposed by him; but 
vol. 1. — 22 



^g MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

he supported the article reported by the committee against my 
objection. From these circumstances I conclude I shall often 
find myself in opposition with him, which increases consider- 
ably the difficulties of my situation, and requires redoubled 
efforts, both of application and of circumspection, properly to 
steer my course. 

25th. The committee on the bill to amend the charter of 
Georgetown met this morning ; and a committee from the cor- 
poration came before them,.with some amendments which they 
proposed introducing into the bill. We had only time to read 
over the bill, which is long, and the amendments, before the 
Senate met. The bill containing the Articles of War was de- 
bated. It is a very long bill, and a very strong disposition 
appeared to carry it through all its stages without reading it 
at all. It had already passed the House of Representatives in 
this manner. Its defects of various kinds were numerous, and 
among the most conspicuous was a continual series of the 
most barbarous English that ever crept through the bars of 
legislation. In many instances the articles prescribing oaths, 
and even penalties of death, were so loosely and indistinctly 
expressed as to be scarcely intelligible, or liable to double and 
treble equivocation. Besides this, there were many variations 
from the old Articles, which I did not approve. I did therefore, 
under the conviction of its necessity, insist upon the reading of 
the bill through by paragraphs. The President, the Senate, and 
most particularly the chairman of the select committee to whom 
the bill was before referred, manifested great impatience at this. 
I expected as much before I determined upon my course on 
this occasion, and was therefore prepared to meet all this im- 
patience with patient perseverance. I offered many amend- 
ments which merely went to make the Articles read in gram- 
matical English and common sense. Most of these were 
adopted. Other amendments, to substantial parts of the Arti- 
cles, I also proposed — some few of which, but very few, were 
carried. Other members, particularly Mr. White and Mr. 
Wright, offered various amendments, which were as unwillingly 
received as mine. At near four o'clock, the Senate had gone 
through only thirty-five of forty-three Articles. A motion for 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 339 

adjournment was made and rejected. General Jackson then 
moved to recommit the bill to a select committee, which was 
agreed to. It was proposed to refer it to the former commit- 
tee, of which he was chairman. But this he opposed, saying 
that committee had already offered all the amendments they 
thought necessary to the bill, and he hoped it would be com- 
mitted to some of the gentlemen who offered so many amend- 
ments of who and such and as — alluding to me. Accordingly, 
the bill was recommitted to me, with Mr. Wright and Mr. 
White ; immediately after which the Senate adjourned until 
to-morrow. Mr. Jefferson, in his Manual, says it is generally 
best not to contend against the impatience of the House, as it 
is seldom shown without reason. I believe this to be good ad- 
vice. Yet I should have been ashamed hereafter to read in the 
statute books a law upon so important a subject, so grossly 
and outrageously defective and blundering in every part of its 
composition as this, with the consciousness that I had been a 
member of the legislature which enacted it. It was impossible 
to attempt any amendment without raising General Jackson's 
temper. For he, having been chairman of the former com- 
mittee, naturally concluded that it had come from their hands 
with the last polish of perfection, and would of course feel 
irritation at any presumption of improving it further. It was 
impossible to move amendments on many articles in a bill so 
long without raising impatience in the Senate ; and there was 
of course no alternative but to encounter this tempest, or suffer 
the bill to pass the mockery of legislative deliberation and go 
into the world with all its imperfections on its head. I know 
not how I shall get through. But I think it not yet time to 
abandon my purpose. 

28th. On my way to the Capitol this morning, I called on 
the Secretary at War, 1 to make some enquiries of him respect- 
ing the new Articles of War. He gave me explanations re- 
specting some of the Articles, which were satisfactory. Others 
remained without explanation. He did not appear himself to 
know the object of some new regulations introduced into the 
bill. He said he would look it over again, and give me infor- 

1 At this time General Henry Dearborn, of Massachusetts. 



340 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

mation shortly. In Senate, a bill to indemnify Captain A. Mur- 
ray passed to the third reading, after some debating, with scarce 
any difference of opinion as to the merits of the bill itself. The 
Clearance bill was called up, in the new form which General 
Smith's reported amendments have given it. Mr. Tracy offered 
a resolution asking the President for papers and information. 
Mr. Giles at first faintly opposed it, wishing that it might lie 
over until to-morrow. His object was to determine on a com- 
pliance or refusal out of doors. But Mr. Tracy insisted on an 
immediate decision, saying he had rather the gentleman should 
settle it here (in Senate) than elsewhere. Giles acquiesced. 
Mr. Wright alone, who insists that this is a subject of negotia- 
tion and not for legislation, and that he wants no papers or in- 
formation, being determined to vote against any law at all in 
the case, opposed the call for papers, and took the yeas and 
nays, on which he stood alone in the negative against thirty-one 
ayes. Mr. Giles and Mr. Tracy were appointed the committee 
to wait on the President with the resolution. 

29th. A Treaty with the Creek Indians was debated until 
past four o'clock, without coming to any decision. It is a diffi- 
cult thing to determine whether it ought to be ratified or not. 
My inclination is in its favor. I did not present the report on 
the Georgetown Charter bill, because, after drawing it up, I 
received a letter from Mr. Plater, a member of the House of 
Representatives, which made further enquiry upon the subject 
necessary. There was a nomination of a Consul this day, 
negatived — the first instance since I have been in the Senate; 
and it was done on General Smith's declaring that he knew the 
man, and that he was every way unfit for the office. He com- 
plained of the appointments of our Consuls abroad in general, 
and appeared dissatisfied that this appointment had been made 
without consulting him. 1 

30th. A petition and remonstrance was presented from cer- 
tain militia officers in the State of Tennessee, complaining of 
certain proceedings against a Colonel Butler for his resistance 
to an order of General Wilkinson for cropping the hair of his 

1 William Walton, as commercial agent at Santo Domingo. He was from Mary- 
land; hence the complaint of General Smith. 



iSo5-] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^ x 

officers; and praying that Congress would make some regula- 
tion to exempt the militia from such an order. A motion was 
made for committing this petition to the committee who have 
the Articles of War under consideration. Another motion, 
that the petitioners have leave to withdraw their petition. These 
motions were debated until half-past four p.m., when the ques- 
tion to commit was taken by yeas and nays, and carried — sixteen 
yeas, fifteen nays. This is the second attempt within a fort- 
night to turn petitions out of doors, without consideration ; 
and a second whole day's debate on points which ought not 
to have occupied five minutes of time. Mr. Bayard made two 
very eloquent speeches this day. I dined at Mr. Taylor's with 
a company of about twenty gentlemen. Several members of 
both Houses of Congress and of both parties were of the num- 
ber. Mr. Dana told Mr. Taylor he was like the sun, and shone 
alike on the evil and the good. I told him the company would 
probably all assent to that. I played two rubbers of whist 
with General Dayton, Mr. Jackson, of Virginia, 1 and Mr. Cutts. 
Jackson spoke to me slightingly both of Mr. John Randolph 
and of Mr. Nicholson. I had some conversation with Mr. 
Madison ; and enquired of him whether the Treaty with 
Great Britain which we conditionally ratified last winter had 
been ratified by the British Government. He told me it had 
not. He appeared also to be very much dissatisfied with the 
call for papers on the Clearance bill, and descanted largely 
on the danger and inconvenience to the Executive arising from 
such a call. Yet in the year 1795, he, as a member of the 
House of Representatives, voted for a much more unqualified 
and manifestly inconvenient call of the same kind, in the case 
of Mr. Jay's Treaty. Thus it is that the views and the language 
of politicians change with times and situations. Giles and S. 
Smith voted for the call on this occasion against their inclina- 
tions, and only because they were ashamed to stand recorded 
by their present votes in array against their former vote. And 
thus it is that politicians shackle themselves by a pretended 

1 John G. Jackson served in the Fourth, the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, 
Twelfth, and Thirteenth Congresses, but seems to have left little to be remembered 
of him. 



o 4 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

adherence to opinions after they have renounced them. A 
candid recantation would be more honorable, but more morti- 
fying to self-love. Sam. Smith himself told me that he could 
not vote against the call now, because he knew his former vote 
could be produced against him. 

31st. The Committee on the Articles of War met and made a 
little progress. General Wilkinson came and offered an Article 
ready drawn to exempt the militia from the rules of uniform. 
In Senate, Mr. Gaillard, the Senator from South Carolina, 
appointed instead of Mr. Butler, took his seat ; and for the first 
time since I have been in Congress the whole Senate was 
assembled — the Vice-President only being absent. He is, 
however, returned to the city. The Treaty with the Creek 
Indians was again taken up, and debated until half-past four, 
without coming to a decision. 

February 1st. I attended early this morning at the Capitol. 
In Senate, Mr. Giles's new bill for the government of Louisiana 
was debated at the second reading and postponed. The Treaty 
with the Creeks was taken up, and I expressed my opinion in 
favor of its ratification. This opinion, I believe, surprised 
almost every member of the Senate, and dissatisfied almost 
all. It is a sincere and honest, though not perhaps a prudent, 
opinion. Mr. Bradley, who has heretofore been warm in favor 
of the ratification, appears to shiver in the wind. He offered 
this day an amendment equivalent to a conditional ratification, 
and intimated that he would not vote for the Treaty without it. 
Adjourned without taking the question. After Senate adjourned 
I sat some time with Mr. Giles, waiting for General Dayton, 
with whom I had agreed to go to General Turreau the French 
Minister's, where we all were to dine; and Mr. Giles gave me 
his opinions very freely on various subjects of a public nature; 
with an evident view to draw from me my opinions. I hope 
I was sufficiently upon my guard. He talked about his own 
Louisiana bill, and disapproved of Mr. Randolph's report to 
the House of Representatives, which he said was a perfect 
transcript of Randolph's own character. It began by setting 
the claims of the Louisianians at defiance, and concluded with 
a proposal to give them more than they asked. Mr. Randolph 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 343 

was undoubtedly a man of very correct theories ; but for his 
part he wished above all things to be in matters of government 
a man of practice. From this subject he passed to that of the 
Georgia Land claims, which for some days have been debated 
with great heat and violence in the House of Representatives, 
and are not yet decided. In this case his theory and his prac- 
tice agree entirely with those of Mr. Randolph — vehemently 
opposed to the claims, and urging against them suspicions, 
jealousies, and menaces instead of arguments. He said if those 
claims were not totally and forever rejected, Congress would 
be bribed into the sale of the United States lands, as the 
Georgia Legislature was to that sale; that nothing since the 
Government existed had so deeply affected him as this subject ; 
that the character of the Government itself was staked upon 
its event. In the State of Virginia there was but one voice of 
indignation relating to it ; that not a man from that State, 
who should give any countenance to the proposed compromise, 
could obtain an election after it. Mr. Jefferson himself would 
lose an election in Virginia if he was known to favor it. And 
there was a gentleman in the House who had voted for the 
resolution, and who certainly would lose his election by it. (I 
understood him to mean Mr. Jackson, who married Mr. Madison's 
wife's sister.) He then proceeded to speak with much severity 
of Mr. Granger, the Postmaster-General — intimated strong sus- 
picions that he had bribed members of Congress to support 
him in these claims. He said by the list of the contracts for 
carrying the mail it appeared that several members of Con- 
gress had contracted for that purpose — Matthew Lyon to the 
amount of several thousand dollars ; a Mr. Claiborne, a mem- 
ber from Virginia, a man of ruined fortune and habitual intoxi- 
cation, was another ; that the Constitution forbids any member 
of Congress from holding any office of honor or profit under 
the United States ; that the contract to carry the mail was 
not indeed an office of honor, but to such men as Lyon and 
Claiborne it must be considered as an office of profit, for that 
they could have made the contracts with no other view than 
to profit; that, for his part, he never trusted a man who had 
nothing but professions to support him ; that Mr. Granger 



saa MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. "[February, 

was a man of too many professions, and he must take the 
liberty to suspect him; that those people were perpetually 
clamoring for reward on account of their services to the 
republican cause — eternally laboring to keep up the memory 
and resentment of past times and dissensions, which ought 
now to be but of secondary consideration ; that the President 
had told him he never had received from the State of Virginia 
one application to remove a single federal officer, while from 
other States he had been harassed by them without number, 
and had letters, and certificates, and affidavits, and God knows 
what, in support of them ; that such insatiable avidity for 
office was no great proof of merit ; and he told such people, 
Gentlemen, if you supported republican principles because you 
thought them essential to the welfare of your country, you 
surely cannot expect personal reward for that ; if from merely 
interested and selfish purposes, you have no right to reward. 
He said much more to the same effect. His tongue runs fast 
when once a going, and he slides from one subject to another 
by light and successive transitions which generally land his 
discourse wide from where it started. From the specimens I 
have had of his conversation, he is very free in his animadver- 
sions both on men and things. This is what some men may 
be with impunity ; but I am not one of them. At General 
Turreau's he renewed the subject of the Georgia Land claims, 
and said over again to Mr. Madison all he had said to me, and 
much more, against them. Mr. Madison appealed to the agree- 
ment between the United States and Georgia, and the reserva- 
tion of lands made for the express purpose of quieting those 
claims. Giles said that was a very incorrect and improper pro- 
ceeding, and ought not to be sanctioned by us. General Tur- 
reau's dinner was to the heads of Departments, with their ladies 
— General Mason and Mr. Taylor, with their ladies — Messrs. 
Giles, Dayton, and Logan, of the Senate, and Messrs. Nicholson 
and Eppes, of the House. 

2d. In Senate, Mr. Giles's Louisiana bill was again debated 
and again postponed. The Vice-President appeared, but is not 
to take the chair until Monday. The Treaty with the Creeks 
was at length rejected — twelve ayes, nineteen nays. Before 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 345 

the taking of the final question, Mr. Brown moved, as an 
amendment to the resolution of ratification, to strike out all 
but the introductory words, and insert a postponement until 
next session. A division of the question was called for, and 
of course the first question was only on the striking out. There 
were twenty votes for striking out, and eleven " that the words 
should stand," according to the mode of taking the question 
prescribed by the Senate's thirty-eighth rule. The President 
decided that the vote was not carried, and the words must 
stand. They did stand, therefore, and the question was taken 
in a form against the opinion of nearly two-thirds, when the 
real intent of the rule is that the final question shall be taken 
only in the form to which two-thirds shall agree. General 
Dayton, and, what much more surprised me, Mr. Tracy, sup- 
ported this decision of the President, which was in direct op- 
position both to the letter and the intent of the rule. The 
embarrassment arose from its being an unusual mode of taking 
questions at this time. It was a familiar one in the old Con- 
gress, and there such a question would not have arisen. I went 
into the House of Representatives, and spoke to Mr. Plater 
respecting the amendments to the Georgetown Charter bill. 
Just after I went in, the question on the Georgia Land claims 
was taken in the House, and carried in their favor — sixty-three 
ayes, fifty-eight nays ; to bring in a bill. 

4th. This being the day fixed for receiving Judge Chase's 
answer, at about one o'clock the Senate went into the hall, 
which had been fitted up for the occasion. The managers from 
the House appeared, as did Mr. Chase, with Luther Martin 
and R. G. Harper, of Baltimore, and F. Hopkinson, of Phila- 
delphia, as his counsel. They read his answer, which took 
them about three hours and a half; it being very full and par- 
ticular to each article. Mr. Randolph, as Chairman of the 
House, asked for a copy of the answer, and time to consult the 
House of Representatives and to put in their replication. The 
Senate returned to their temporary room, and immediately ad- 
journed to half-past ten — the hour at which they are to meet in 
future. 

5th. On going to the Senate this morning, I found them 



-,46 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIKCY ADAMS. [February, 

already engaged on the Clearance bill; and an incident not 
very singular in these times soon occurred. On the 14th of 
last month, this bill, together with some amendments proposed 
by a former select committee, was recommitted to a second 
select committee of five, who were to report an entire new bill, 
that which came from the House of Representatives being, after 
long and repeated debates, given up as untenable by all sides. 
This second committee accordingly reported, some ten days 
since, a new bill, and upon its being taken this morning I ex- 
pected that this would be the subject of the debate. But Mr. Giles 
was not in his seat ; and when the first question, on striking 
out the original bill, was called, Mr. Breckinridge, without 
making any observations, barely called for the yeas and nays, 
and by a majority of nineteen to twelve the striking out was 
rejected. So that the debate then was immediately thrown back 
upon the very bill which three weeks since had been as by 
common consent abandoned. This was so evidently the result 
of consultations out of doors, that it had the appearance of a 
determination to crowd the bill down at all events. The new 
bill, which General Smith, the chairman of the committee, had 
taken great pains to draw up, and which was very long, could 
not be discussed at all ; and he was driven to move amendments 
in that which came from the House. Some of these were at 
length adopted after Mr. Giles came into the Senate and took 
the wheel at helm from Breckinridge. Dr. Logan, seemingly 
encouraged by the turn of tide on this subject, gave notice that 
before the final passage of the bill he should move for an addi- 
tional section prohibiting the trade to St. Domingo altogether. 
He came to my seat and showed me a letter from his kinsman 
Mr. John Dickinson on this and other subjects, urging strongly 
a total interdiction of the trade, and censuring severely the bill 
passed by the House, as sanctioning the trade under color of 
restraining it. He also gives it as his opinion that Louisiana 
may be admitted into the Union as a State without an amend- 
ment to the Constitution, but hopes Congress will not be 
hurried or driven into any such measure by terror. As to the 
impeachment of Judge Chase, he says, " however I may have 
been hurt by his conduct on the bench, I cannot decide him 



iSos.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 347 

guilty until all the evidence shall appear." The Clearance bill 
was postponed, and some other objects of less moment passed 
upon. Mr. Bayard moved for the printing of Mr. Chase's 
answer, which was carried. Mr. Dayton moved, in executive 
business, to send back to the President the Treaty with the 
Creek Indians, lately rejected, with a recommendation for fur- 
ther negotiation. Motion lies for consideration. 

6:h. The Clearance bill was again taken up, and two-thirds 
of the sitting employed in debating the second section, until its 
absurdity stared so broadly in the face of every one, that it 
could no longer be supported. Dr. Mitchell then moved to 
strike out of it one word ; but Mr. Giles was not quite prepared 
to give it up, and moved a postponement. This was supported 
by General Jackson, who had some doubts on his mind and 
wanted time. In opposing a postponement, I hinted hypothet- 
ically at its probable object — another out-of-door consultation 
— which I considered as likely only to prepare another day's 
debate on the same section. Mr. Anderson called me to order. 
I sat down. The President enquired of Mr. Anderson in what 
respect he had supposed me out of order. He said by alluding 
to any thing that had taken place out of doors. The President 
decided that I was in order, as I spoke hypothetically, and 
without alluding to any thing past. The subject was postponed. 

7th. A message from the House of Representatives was 
received, informing that they had agreed upon a replication to 
the answer of Judge Chase, and directed their managers to 
bring it to the Senate. Some debate arose as to the proper 
mode of proceeding to receive it, but it was finally agreed to 
receive it in the hall. At two o'clock, accordingly, the Senate 
went in. The managers immediately appeared, as did Mr. 
Hopkinson for Judge Chase. Mr. Randolph read the replica- 
tion, which was short, general, and urging a speedy trial. Mr. 
Breckinridge moved to send the House a message that the 
Senate would to-morrow proceed with the trial ; and on the 
question the thirty-four Senators all answered aye. Mr. Hop- 
kinson requested a copy of the replication, which the President 
directed the Secretary to furnish him ; after which the Senate 
returned to the legislative apartment. The Clearance bill was 



-, 4 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

again taken up, and debated until past four o'clock without 
coming to any decision. 

8th. The Senate were engaged in business not requiring 
debate until twelve o'clock, when they went into the hall. The 
managers appeared, as did Mr. Chase with his former counsel ; 
and, in addition, Mr. Jeremiah Chase, the Chief Justice of Mary- 
land, Mr. Key, and the Judge's son, and a son of Mr. Law. Mr. 
Randolph requested that the witnesses summoned on the part 
of the House might be called; which they were. Several of 
them did not answer. Mr. Randolph then moved, for various 
considerations which he said it was not necessary to detail, that 
the trial should be postponed until to-morrow, when the man- 
agers expected to be ready to proceed. At present they were 
not ready. Mr. Harper rose and said the defendant did not 
object to this postponement, but — he was then stopped by the 
President, who, without consulting the Senate, informed the 
managers that the Senate would be in the hall to-morrow at 
twelve o'clock and then proceed with the trial. Mr. Chase's 
witnesses were then called over, several of whom did not appear, 
and we returned to the legislative room. The Tennessee Land 
Title bill was taken up at the third reading, and rejected. Mr. 
Breckinridge, by instructions from the Legislature of Kentucky, 
offered an amendment to the Constitution, curtailing the juris- 
diction of the United States Courts. 

9th. After the adjournment of the Senate yesterday, I en- 
quired of Mr. Burr, the Vice-President, upon what principle he 
had granted the postponement moved for by the chairman of 
the managers without consulting the Senate. He said it was 
because he conceived it an object upon which there could be 
no difference of opinion ; that the managers ought not to have 
stated it in the form of a motion ; that it was simply a state- 
ment that they were personally not ready, and of course the 
business could not proceed. This morning he desired me to 
mention the subject in my place, which I accordingly did. He 
then assigned the same reasons, and referred for precedent to 
the practice in the British Parliament, particularly on Hastings's 
trial. He said that upon all such incidental and occasional 
motions, he thought, for avoiding delay and unnecessary incon- 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 349 

venience, he should decide, subject, however, to a call from any 
one member of the Senate who might dissent from his opinion, 
for a regular question to be taken. At twelve o'clock the Court 
of Impeachments met in the hall. Mr. Randolph, chairman of 
the managers, in a speech of about an hour and a half, opened 
the cause on the part of the House, in support of the eight 
articles. Two witnesses were then examined to the facts al- 
leged in the first article — William Lewis and Alexander James 
Dallas. By the time they had got through their testimony it 
was four o'clock. The Court retired to the legislative apart- 
ment, and immediately adjourned. 

ioth. I was employed all the morning reading over the new 
Articles of War, which General Wilkinson has drawn up for 
the consideration of the committee, and Judge Chase's answer, 
which I did not entirely go through. I dined with Mr. Stod- 
dert 1 at Georgetown. The Judges Marshall, Washington, and 
Winchester were there ; Colonel Washington, Mr. David M. 
Randolph, formerly Marshal, Mr. Hopkins, formerly Treasurer 
of Virginia, and Mr. Lewis, a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. This company was very agreeable, and the dinner 
remarkably pleasant, which made me too sociable, and I talked 
too much. About nine in the evening I came home, and found 
Mr. Tabbs below. I enquired of Judge Marshall whether he 
knew the writer of a Vindication of his first volume of Wash- 
ington's Life, against an attack of certain British Reviewers, 
which was published in the Gazette of the United States. He 
said he did not. But he complained that, from having been 
forced to precipitate so much the publication, there were so 
many errors and imperfections in it that he was ashamed of it. 2 

nth. The annual appropriation bill for the support of Gov- 
ernment was taken up as in committee; but, some debate arising 
upon it, the hour for the Court's meeting arrived, and the bill 
was postponed. Soon after twelve the Court met, and sat until 
half-past five, examining four witnesses on the part of the man- 

1 Ben Stoddert, Secretary of the Navy in the administration of John Adams. 

2 In the preface to the second edition of this work, published in 1832, the author 
used the opportunity to make the same explanation. The ie vision was then care 
fully made. 



350 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

agers — Edward Tilghman, W. S. Biddle, William Rawle, and 
George Hay. The examination of this last witness was not 
completed. After five o'clock a motion for adjournment of the 
Court was made, and declared by the President not to be passed 
— on which Mr. Tracy, Mr. Dayton, and Mr. Plumer left their 
seats and the hall. Shortly after, however, the motion to ad- 
journ was renewed, and carried. We returned to the legislative 
apartment, and the President censured with some severity the 
members who had left their seats. Mr. Stone said if any notice 
was to be taken of gentlemen leaving their seats, he hoped it 
would not be by any other authority than that of the whole 
Senate. Mr. Burr said if it should again happen, he should 
take the opinion of the Senate upon it ; and that if members 
wished to absent themselves, they must ask leave. Mr. Hill- 
house said he hoped then the Senate would sit only at reason- 
able hours ; that his colleague's (Mr. Tracy) health was such 
that he could not without danger to his life be kept sitting in 
such a manner as there appeared a disposition to compel him 
to, and that he had suffered very much before the first motion 
to adjourn was made. This topic was becoming unpleasant, 
but was terminated by an adjournment. I called on Mr. Stock- 
ton at Stelle's. He is here upon the business of Mr. Graves, 
and expected I should argue the cause. I told him that would 
be impossible, for two reasons : first, because I could not quit 
the business pending in the Senate, and secondly, because, cir- 
cumstanced as I am, a scruple of delicacy forbade me to appear 
as counsel before a Court where Judge Chase was sitting, while 
his cause was undecided. 

1 2th. To-morrow being the day upon which the votes re- 
turned for President and Vice-President of the United States 
are to be opened and declared, a resolution, at the motion of 
Mr. Tracy, passed, on the manner of performing this cere- 
mony, which was sent to the House of Representatives. They 
soon after sent another, of a different sort, which was not con- 
curred in by the Senate. This and some other subjects of 
slight debate occupied us until half-past twelve, when we went 
into the Hall and sat in Court of Impeachment until about four. 
The managers continued the examination of witnesses, who 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 35 j 

were George Hay again, Col. John Taylor, Philip Norborne 
Nicholas, John Thomson Mason, and John Heath. After re- 
turning to the room, the Senate sat there about half an hour 
before adjournment. Another day, it is said, will finish the 
examination of witnesses on the part of the managers. 

13th. The business first transacted this day was the declara- 
tion of the elections of President and Vice-President. The 
House of Representatives concurred in the resolution which 
yesterday passed in Senate on the subject. Mr. Tracy moved 
a resolution for having the galleries closed while the votes 
should be counted and declared ; but, this giving rise to some 
debate, the motion was withdrawn. At the last election they 
were closed. Mr. Wright moved, and insisted upon, a resolu- 
tion that they should be open ; which was carried. Mr. Smith 
of Maryland was chosen the Teller on the part of the Senate. 
At precisely twelve the two Houses met in convention. The 
Vice-President opened the duplicate returns, and the votes were 
read and minuted down by the tellers. There was some ques- 
tion on the accuracy of the returns from the State of Ohio; but 
they were finally received. The whole number of electors and 
of votes was one hundred and seventy-six, of which one hun- 
dred and sixty-two were for Thomas Jefferson as President and 
George Clinton as Vice-President, and fourteen for Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney as President and Rufus King as Vice- 
President. After two hours employed in reading and sum- 
ming up the returns, the Vice-President declared Thomas 
Jefferson and George Clinton to be duly elected to the respect- 
ive offices of President and Vice-President of the United States 
for four years, commencing on the 4th of March next. The 
two Houses then retired for about half an hour, and then re- 
turned again to the hall, to proceed in the trial of the impeach- 
ment. John Heath was again examined, as was also James 
Triplet; and, on the part of Judge Chase, John Bassett, the 
juror on Callender's trial. These two last witnesses were dis- 
charged after their examination. At four o'clock the Court 
retired, and the Senate adjourned. 

14th. It was agreed this morning in Senate to meet for the 
future, at the Court of Impeachment, at ten o'clock every morn- 



,„ MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

ing, and proceed in the trial until two or three in the after- 
noon ; then adjourn the Court, and, after a slight collation, 
which the President said he would order to be provided, pro- 
ceed upon the legislative business, until five or six in the 
evening. This arrangement to commence to-morrow. At noon 
we went into Court, and the examination of the witnesses on 
the part of the managers was concluded, excepting nine who 
have been summoned but have not attended. The managers 
reserved to themselves the liberty of examining these witnesses 
whenever they should attend. They also offered two records 
in evidence, which were received. At about four o'clock the 
Court retired; and Senate adjourned half an hour afterwards. 
I dined at Stelle's, with Mr. Rawle, Mr. Hopkinson, Mr. Mere- 
dith, and Mr. Ewing, of Philadelphia, and sat with them until 
between eight and nine in the evening. 

15th. The Court met this morning a few minutes after ten. 
I took my seat within a few minutes after, and before the Court 
was opened. At half-past ten o'clock several of the managers 
had not arrived, and, among the rest, their chairman, Mr. Ran- 
dolph. Mr. Rodney moved the Court to wait for him; which 
was agreed to. After waiting about a quarter of an hour 
longer, it was determined to proceed. Mr. Randolph did not 
come in until after twelve o'clock. Mr. Harper opened the 
defence on the part of Judge Chase, in a speech of about half 
an hour. Several witnesses were then examined as to the first 
article — Samuel Ewing, Edward J. Coles, William Rawle, and 
William Meredith. A charge of Judge Iredell to the Grand 
Jury, on the first trial of Fries, was read, and Dallas's Report of 
the case of Vigol and Mitchell was cited. On the five articles 
relating to Callender's trial, Luther Martin, James Winchester, 
and William Marshall were examined. 

The Court retired at about half-past two, and, after the Sena- 
tors had taken a light collation, at about three commenced upon 
legislative business. The Orleans Government bill was taken 
up, and debated until nearly seven in the evening, when we 
adjourned, and I came home. I was too much fatigued and 
exhausted to do any thing in the evening. Mr. Nicholson this 
day discovered a disposition to be captious, as to the admission 



1S05.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 353 

of evidence on the part of Judge Chase ; though a vast body of 
the most exceptionable testimony had been offered, and by his 
consent freely admitted. In one instance, Nicholson insisted 
upon taking the opinion of the Court, and the testimony was 
necessarily rejected. Randolph and Rodney, however, shamed 
him out of such objections, which were not afterwards repeated. 
Some testimony not strictly admissible was therefore received 
by consent of the managers ; but Mr. Cocke and Mr. Wright 
insisted upon its being rejected, and took a vote on the ques- 
tion. They were, however, not supported by the opinion of 
any other member. 

1 6th. I was this morning at the Senate chamber within five 
minutes after ten. It was a quarter of an hour later before a 
quorum was formed and we went into the Court. As I was 
going up to the Capitol, Mr. Giles, in his carriage, passed me 
just beyond the President's house. His carriage stopped at 
Mr. Randolph's lodgings. This reminded me of an incident 
which occurred a few days since, when, at some incident of the 
trial, Mr. Randolph, chairman of the managers, and Mr. Giles, a 
member of the Court, left their seats at the same time, went out 
of Court for a few minutes, and returned nearly together. These 
incidents, concurring with the opinions of Giles against Judge 
Chase, so long, so openly, and so often declared, have an appear- 
ance of concert in every step of this prosecution, which is not 
very consistent with my ideas of impartial justice. The exam- 
ination of witnesses on the part of Judge Chase was continued. 
The last of them was David Robertson, who took in short-hand 
the greater part of Callender's trial, which he this day read. 

At half-past two the Court retired, and at three resumed in 
legislative business the Orleans Government bill. Adjourned at 
about six, without taking the final question. Mr. Cocke moved 
a question in Court this day, whether in any case evidence should 
be given by any person, of any opinion. Mr. Burr, the President, 
declared that he could not put the question, it being too abstract; 
but that it might be put, if in any specific instance a witness's 
testimony should be objected to on that ground. It was indeed 
the substance of the question yesterday decided. 

1 8th. I arrived at the Capitol at a quarter-past ten this morn- 

VOL. I. — 23 



354 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 



ing, and found the Court already assembled. They sat until 
almost three. A number of witnesses on the part of Judge 
Chase were examined, going to the defence of the articles from 
the second to the eighth and last inclusive. The Judge him- 
self, and Mr. Randolph, the chairman, appeared to be much 
indisposed. On account of Mr. Randolph's illness, Mr. Nich- 
olson moved the Court to adjourn at about two o'clock; but 
Mr. Randolph himself desiring the trial might proceed, the 
adjournment was refused. Mr. Cocke made another motion 
this day which the President declined to put. It went in sub- 
stance to pass judgment on the fifth and sixth articles at this 
stage. After the usual interval, the Senate proceeded to legis- 
lative business, and passed the Orleans Government bill. A 
bill from the House appropriating five thousand dollars to pay 
the witnesses on the part of the United States, and other ex- 
penses of the impeachment, was twice read, and committed. 
Some other bills were also committed. Senate adjourned after 
six in the evening. 

19th. I was just in season this morning at the Senate. The 
examination of the witnesses on the part of Judge Chase was 
concluded. Several of the preceding witnesses on both sides 
were re-examined, and one new witness on the part of the 
managers was produced. Mr. Randolph then moved the Court 
to adjourn until to-morrow, to allow the managers time to 
digest the mass of testimony and prepare to comment upon it; 
which was acquiesced in, though not desired by the Judge's 
counsel. It was agreed that the argument should commence 
with the managers, then be taken up by the counsel for the 
Judge in his defence, and finally closed by the managers. Judge 
Chase, in a written paper read by Mr. Harper, requested per- 
mission for the future to be absent from the Court, as he is 
now laboring under a severe attack of the gout, which has been 
several days coming on. The President informed him that his 
personal attendance was entirely at his own option, and could 
not be compelled by the Court. Mr. Randolph stated that the 
managers expected one very material witness, who would prob- 
ably be here to-morrow morning ; but if not, they would go 
on without him. Soon after one o'clock the Court retired. 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 355 

Senate immediately took up the Clearance bill ; and, after 
debating and amending various sections, it passed to the third 
reading at about five o'clock. Some other business of form 
was transacted before adjournment. 

20th. I was obliged this morning by the rain to ride to the 
Capitol. I was in Senate before a quorum formed. It was half- 
past ten when we went into Court. One additional witness, 
arrived since yesterday, was examined on the part of the man- 
agers. Many of the other witnesses desiring to be discharged, 
it was proposed to the parties that all the witnesses should be 
released from further attendance ; this was consented to by the 
Judge's counsel, and though at first refused by the managers, 
who said they would abide by the order of the Court on the 
subject, was finally agreed to on their own proposal, after a 
decision of the Court not to discharge them without their 
consent. The argument upon the evidence was opened on the 
part of the managers by Mr. Peter Early, who, in a speech of 
about an hour and a half, travelled over the whole ground of 
the articles. It was chiefly declamatory, though in some parts 
argumentative. He took up most of the points made by Mr. 
Randolph's opening, previous to the examination of the wit- 
nesses, and made very little addition of new matter; nor did 
he cite or refer to any authorities. He was followed by Mr. 
G. W. Campbell, who, after an exordium touching lightly on 
the nature of impeachments under our Constitution, spoke 
about an hour and a half to the first article. He then observed 
that he found himself indisposed, and requested a short in- 
terval of repose. The Court adjourned for half an hour. On 
returning, Mr. Campbell stated that he was unable then to pro- 
ceed, and, none of the other managers being prepared, they 
desired to be indulged with time until the morning. This was 
allowed, and the Senate returned to their legislative business. 
Several bills were passed at various stages, and among the rest 
I obtained that the Georgetown Charter bill should pass to 
the third reading. The resolution for printing the Impeach- 
ment Journals was also at length taken up, and passed, though 
by a small majority, without discussion. Adjourned between 
five and six o'clock. 



^e6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

2 1 st. Arriving at the Capitol at half-past ten, I found the 
Court of Impeachment just opened, and Mr. G. W. Campbell 
recommencing his argument, which took him about an hour- 
He cited yesterday and this day various authorities. After 
him Mr. Clark made a very few observations on the fifth and 
sixth articles, which were peculiarly left to the Virginian man- 
agers, but which are so faintly supported that they seem to be 
abandoned by the prosecutors themselves. Here the managers 
finished, reserving to themselves the reply when the defence 
shall be concluded. 

Mr. Hopkinson then opened the defence, and, in a speech of 
about three hours and a half directed to the first article, did the 
fullest and most satisfactory justice to his cause. The Judge's 
counsel divide the several articles between them, and Mr. Key 
is to speak to the second, third, and fourth articles. But he, 
being much indisposed, was allowed the same indulgence as 
Mr. Campbell yesterday. The Court retired between three 
and four o'clock, and the Senate immediately insisted upon 
adjourning, though I pleaded hard for the third reading of the 
Georgetown Charter bill. This precipitation of adjournment 
had probably some cause unknown to me. Mr. Randolph, the 
chairman of the managers, has not made his appearance in 
Court yesterday nor this day. 

2 2d. The hour to which the Senate now adjourns is ten. But it 
is generally half an hour later before the Court assembles. This 
day Mr. Key spoke, on the part of Judge Chase, to the second, 
third, and fourth articles of the impeachment. He was about 
three hours and a half, and finished about two o'clock. After 
an adjournment of half an hour, Mr. Charles Lee, formerly the 
Attorney-General of the United States, spoke for about two 
hours to the fifth and sixth articles. At half-past four the Senate 
returned to legislative business, and sat about an hour longer; 
during which they passed the Clearance bill at the third read- 
ing. It was dark in the evening when I got home. 

23d. This morning, at the opening of the Court, Mr. Rodney, 
on the part of the managers, read several authorities, upon 
which he stated they would rely in closing the cause, and 
which he therefore read for Judge Chase's counsel to consider; 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 357 

and among the rest he cited the case of Judge Addison's im- 
peachment and removal in Pennsylvania. Mr. Luther Martin 
then commenced an argument for Judge Chase; taking up first 
the question as to the powers of impeachment and their lim- 
itation under our Constitution, and next the articles in their 
order. To the three first articles he spoke until half-past two 
o'clock; and, after an interval of half an hour, for an hour and a 
half more upon the fourth article. It was half-past four o'clock, 
when, after apologizing for the length of his argument, which he 
excused from the great importance of the cause to his client and 
his country, he said he was very much exhausted, having taken 
nothing this day, and requested to be indulged until Monday 
to proceed. The Court accordingly retired, and the Senate im- 
mediately adjourned. 

24th. I was engaged from immediately after breakfast this 
morning until near four o'clock in the afternoon in drawing up 
a report on the Articles of War, which I prepared to be in 
readiness for the committee to-morrow morning. The bill has 
been a month in the hands of the committee, but is so long, 
and the time of the members has been so constantly engrossed 
by other subjects, that they have scarcely had any opportunity 
to consult together on the subject. 

25th. At the opening of the Court this morning, Mr. Martin 
recommenced his arguments on the fifth and sixth articles, and 
finished precisely at twelve o'clock. After an interval of ten 
minutes, Mr. Harper, as closing counsel for Judge Chase, began. 
He travelled over the whole ground again, leaving untouched 
only the fifth and sixth articles. At half-past three the Court 
retired for half an hour. On returning to the hall, the man- 
agers proposed to have a witness sworn who was not here at the 
time when the others were examined. This was Mr. Hugh 
Holmes, late Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. The 
object of his testimony was to corroborate that of John Heath. 
Mr. Chase objected to the admission of this testimony at this 
time, when they were just closing their argument, when all the 
other witnesses were dismissed, and when the Judge's counsel 
who treated the part of the articles to which this testimony be- 
longed had finished. They added that Mr. Holmes had been 



,eg MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

here these three days, and complained at the managers' pro- 
ducing him so late. To this Mr. Randolph replied that they 
had forborne to introduce him only to avoid interrupting Mr. 
Chase's counsel in their argument; and he hoped they would 
have full liberty to comment upon the testimony he might 
give. He added that the managers, after all, laid very little 
stress on Mr. Heath's evidence, " for, thank God, the issue of 
the cause did not depend on the testimony of any witness" 
— meaning, as I understood, of any one witness. Mr. Nicholson, 
with a manner of defiance and of arrogance which is peculiar 
to him, said the managers did not ask as a favor, they demanded 
as a right, the examination of this witness. The question was 
taken by yeas and nays, and the result was twenty-one yeas, 
among which was my vote, and eleven nays. The witness was 
examined, and proved that the story told by Heath was im- 
possible ; so that, instead of confirming, he gave the finishing 
stroke to its discredit. Mr. Harper continued his argument 
until about seven in the evening, and then closed the argument 
of the defence. As soon as Mr. Harper had finished, the Court, 
and, immediately after, the Senate, adjourned. 

Some of my friends, and among the rest Mr. Bayard, cen- 
sured my vote for admitting the witness, as contrary to the 
rules of evidence. I thought it only a departure from the mere 
order of evidence, in point of time, and thus not at variance 
with any rule. I supposed it admissible or not, at the dis- 
cretion of the Court, on the circumstances of the case. It was 
his testimony merely to the credit of another witness, rendered 
necessary or proper by facts which have arisen in the course of 
the trial — testimony the use for which could not have been 
foreseen previous to the trial, and which the party producing it 
were therefore excusable for not having when the others were 
examined. On such grounds I cannot doubt the right or the 
propriety of examining a witness out of the regular progressive 
order without violating any rule of evidence. I came home late 
and much fatigued. 

26th. On the meeting of the Court this morning, Mr. Nich- 
olson began the argument on the part of the managers, and, in 
a speech of two hours and a half in length, discussed the ques- 



1805.J THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. org 

tion as to the extent of the impeaching power under the Con- 
stitution, and replied to the Judge's counsel, on the first article. 
He was followed by Mr. Rodney, who, with an interval of half 
an hour between three and four o'clock, spoke until near seven 
in the evening on the preliminary question and the first four 
articles. Omitting the fifth and sixth, he began upon the 
seventh, but soon declared himself so much exhausted that 
he could proceed no further. He therefore requested the 
Court to indulge him until to-morrow morning to finish. Mr. 
Nicholson promised that he should not take more than an 
hour, and said that, from the habitual indisposition of their 
associate, Mr. Randolph, who is to close for the managers, it 
would be a great favor if the Court would meet to-morrow 
at twelve o'clock instead of ten — that the argument would 
certainly be concluded to-morrow. The Court adjourned, but 
determined to meet at the usual hour, so that Mr. Rodney 
might finish, and then if Mr. Randolph wished an interval 
of one or two hours it would be allowed. Mr. Rodney's 
argument was in elegant language, and not without force of 
argument. 

27th. Mr. Rodney did not employ the full hour this morning 
for which his brother manager Nicholson last evening stipulated. 
He spoke to the seventh and eighth articles, but much more 
feebly than yesterday to the former articles. After he finished, 
Mr. Nicholson was again requesting an adjournment of two 
hours for Mr. Randolph to come in and prepare himself, when 
that manager made his appearance, and asked only for an 
interval of half an hour, which was granted him. On the re- 
opening of the Court, he began a speech of about two hours 
and a half, with as little relation to the subject-matter as pos- 
sible — without order, connection, or argument; consisting 
altogether of the most hackneyed commonplaces of popular 
declamation, mingled up with panegyrics and invectives upon 
persons, with a few well-expressed ideas, a few striking figures, 
much distortion of face and contortion of body, tears, groans, 
and sobs, with occasional pauses for recollection, and con- 
tinual complaints of having lost his notes. He finished about 
half-past two. Mr. Harper then made a very few observations 



360 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

on one of the authorities he had produced, to which he replied 
with some petulance. 

General Jackson immediately moved that on Friday, 1st of 
March, at noon, the Court would proceed to give judgment in 
the case ; which was unanimously agreed to. The principal 
subject of discussion upon legislative business was a bill for 
giving to Mr. Burr the privilege of franking, which passed the 
second reading. He gave us notice that he should be absent 
to-morrow ; from an indisposition which he felt coming upon 
him ; but probably to be absent at the passage of the bill respect- 
ing himself. A bill for giving a new government to Louisiana 
was also debated at the second reading. 

28th. The Vice-President being absent, Mr. Anderson was 
chosen President pro tern. The bill to allow Mr. Burr the 
privilege of franking during life passed, after a long and ex- 
traordinary debate, in which Mr. Wright said he could justify 
duelling by the example of David and Goliath in the Scriptures, 
and that this bill was now opposed only because our David had 
slain the Goliath of federalism. The question upon the passage 
of the bill was taken by yeas and nays. 1 The bill declaring the 
assent of Congress to an Act of North Carolina, respecting foreign 
seamen in the port of Wilmington, passed to a third reading by 
the President's casting vote, in spite of all the opposition I could 
give it. The committee to whom it was recommitted, the 22d of 
last month, reported it again without amendment, not being able 
to fix upon the principles of a general bill, and, as it carries with 
it all the weight of a State Legislature, and the North Carolina 
Senators warmly urged its passage, notwithstanding its obvious 
impropriety it has reached its last stage in Senate. 

Mr. Bayard moved a resolution settling the manner in which 
the question on the articles of impeachment shall be put. 
The form he proposes is, that upon each article the Vice-Presi- 
dent should call upon each member by name, and on the first 
and fourth articles, which contain sundry specifications, add, 

1 Two questions appear to have been taken by yeas and nays: the first on a 
motion to postpone the further consideration thereof until the first Monday in 
December — yeas twelve, nays eighteen; the second on the passage of the bill — 
yeas eighteen, nays thirteen. Mr. Adams voted with the majority in both cases. 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 36 1 

" How say you ? Is Samuel Chase, the respondent, guilty of 
high crimes or misdemeanors, as charged in the article just 
read?" And on the other six articles, to vary the question so 
as to say, Is he guilty " of a high crime or misdemeanor," etc., 
upon which each Senator is to rise in his place and answer 
"Guilty" or "not Guilty." Mr. Bayard warmly urged the con- 
sideration of his motion this day; but it was postponed until 
the morning, Mr. Wright manifesting a strong predilection for 
the form of question adopted last session in the case of Judge 
Pickering. Another question connected with the impeach- 
ment, of considerable delicacy, was further postponed, to be 
taken up after the decision to-morrow. A bill has been sent 
from the House to provide for the payment of the witnesses 
summoned on the part of the managers, and appropriating five 
thousand dollars for the purpose. This bill being now in 
quasi committee at the second reading, Mr. Bayard moved 
an amendment, whereby the provision of payment would be 
extended to the witnesses summoned on the part of Judge 
Chase as well as the others. The postponement was agreed 
to on the apparent difference of aspect which the question 
would present under the alternative of a convicting or an 
acquitting sentence. These various subjects kept the Senate 
in session from ten this morning until seven in the evening, 
with an interval of half an hour between three and four o'clock. 

Day. Rise at seven in the morning. Reading public papers, 
and amusing myself with my children, until nine. Breakfast; 
walk to the Capitol. Meet in Senate at ten. In Court half 
an hour later. Sitting in Court until three. Retire for half an 
hour, and, with the other members, take a cold collation. Return 
to Court — sit until six or seven in the evening. Walk home, 
which I usually reach, much fatigued and exhausted, between 
eight and nine. Pass a couple of hours in conversation, or in 
reading public papers, and close the evening at about eleven. 
As a variation from this course, I have this month spent several 
evenings in company abroad. 

March 1st. Mr. Bayard's resolution was this morning taken up, 
and debated until after the hour at which the Court had deter- 
mined to pass sentence. It was finally adopted, against the im- 



362 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

portunate and violent opposition of Mr. Wright, who struggled 
to the last instant for the form adopted in the case of Judge 
Pickering, varying only the answer of the Senators, which he 
was willing should be guilty or not guilty, instead of aye or 
no. Mr. Giles made a speech, entering largely into the question 
as to the extent of the powers of impeachment, and repeating 
the arguments he had used at the early part of the session on 
this subject. He still insisted that the House might impeach, 
and the Senate convict, not only for other than indictable offences, 
but for other causes than high crimes and misdemeanors ; but, 
however that might be, as in the present case the charges were 
avowedly for high crimes and misdemeanors, he was willing to 
take the question in the manner proposed by Mr. Bayard's 
resolution, protesting, however, against its being established as 
a precedent for any future occasion. 

After the resolution had passed, General Smith of Maryland 
insisted that the question on the first and fourth articles should 
be taken in the singular number, as on all others, observing 
that although there were several specifications they were 
adduced in support only of one charge. And it was agreed 
that the question should be the same on each of the articles. 

At half-past twelve o'clock the Court met. The hall was 
crowded with spectators. Mr. Burr ordered the civil officers 
in the upper galleries to turn their faces towards the spectators, 
and to seize and commit to prison the first person who should 
make the smallest noise or disturbance. He then directed the 
Secretary to read the first article of impeachment, which being 
done, he called upon each Senator by name, and put the question 
as agreed upon. The same course was pursued with all the 
succeeding articles. The answers were as follows : 

5, n. 6, n. 7, n. 8, n. 
n. n. n. G. 

n. n. n. G. 



G. G. G. 

11. n. G. 

G. G. G. 

n. n. G. 

n. n. n. 

n. n. G. 



Adams, to Article 1, 


n. 


2, n. 


3. n. 


4. n. 


Anderson, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Baldwin, 


G. 


n. 


G 


n. 


Bayard, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Bradley, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Breckinridge, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Brown, 


G. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


Cocke, 


<;. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Condit, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Day ton , 


n. 


11. 


n. 


n. 


Ellery, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 



i8os.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 363 

5, n. 6, n. 



Franklin, to Article 1, 


G. 


2, n. 


3. G. 


4. G. 


Gaillard, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Giles, 


n. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Hillhouse, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Howland, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Jackson, 


n. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


Logan, 


G. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


Maclay, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Mitchell, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Moore, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Olcott, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Pickering, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Plumer, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Smith of Vermont, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Smith of New York, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Smith of Maryland, 


n. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


Smith of Ohio, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Stone, 


G. 


n. 


n. 


G. 


Sumter, 


G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


Tracy, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


White, 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


Worthington, 


G. 


11. 


G. 


G. 


Wright, 


G. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


G 


.16 


G. 10 


G. 18 


G. 18 



G. 



G. 


8, G. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


G, 


n. 


n. 


G. 


G 


G. 


G. 


n. 


G 


G. 


G, 



G. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


n. 


G. 


G. 


G. 


10 


G. 19 



G. 3 
N.G. 18 N.G. 24 N.G. 16 N.G. 16 N.G. 34 N.G.31 N.G. 24 N.G. 15 

When the answers were all given, the Vice-President desired 
the Secretary to read over the names of the Senators, together 
with their respective answers upon each of the articles ; so that 
if any mistake in taking down the answers had been made it 
might be corrected. Mr. Otis read them accordingly. He had 
made one mistake, for he had taken down Mr. Howland's 
answer to the sixth article "Guilty," whereas he had answered 
" Not Guilty." But Mr. Howland took no notice of the error, 
and it was not corrected ; so that upon the records his name 
stands as having answered " Guilty" to the sixth article. Mr. Otis 
had taken down all the rest correctly. After a short pause, the 
Vice-President said, " The result is as follows : 

To the 1st Article those who answered " Guilty" are 16, and " Not Guilty" 18 

2d 10 24 

3d 18 16 

4th 18 16 

5th Unanimous. 

6th 4 30 

7th 10 24 

8th 19 15 



364 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

And, there not being a constitutional majority who answer 
'Guilty' to any one charge, it becomes my duty to declare 
that Samuel Chase is acquitted upon all the articles of impeach- 
ment brought against him by the House of Representatives." 

The Court then immediately adjourned ; and thus terminated 
this great and important trial. The Senate returned to their 
legislative apartment, and, after half an hour of relaxation, re- 
sumed business, and sat until seven in the evening. Various 
bills were read. The North Carolina law relative to foreign 
seamen at Wilmington, and the bill assenting to it, were read 
the third time. On the question for its final passage I again 
renewed and enforced the objections I had urged against it 
at every stage. It was rejected, only five members voting in 
its favor. 

As I was coming home, I overtook Mr. Cocke, 1 who walked 
with me part of the way and spoke with much severity of Mr. 
Randolph and his conduct upon this impeachment, and various 
other subjects ; charged him with excessive vanity, ambition, 
insolence, and even dishonesty, which he exemplified by the 
misrecital of the Virginia law referred to in the fifth article of 
the impeachment, which he said must have been intentional. He 
told me that he had always been very sorry that this impeachr 
ment was brought forward, and though, when compelled to vote, 
his judgment had been as unfavorable to Mr. Chase as that of any 
member of the Court, he was heartily glad of his acquittal, which 
it appeared to him would have a tendency to mitigate the irrita- 
tion of party spirit. He said that Mr. Randolph had boasted with 
great exultation that this was his impeachment — that every 
article was drawn by his hand, and that he was to have the 
whole merit of it; though, if the facts were so, it was not a very 
glorious feat for a young man to plume himself upon ; for the 
undertaking to ruin the reputation and fortune of an old public 
servant, who had long possessed the confidence of his country, 
might be excusable, but was no subject to boast of. 

On returning home, I immediately went with the ladies of 
the family to spend the evening at Colonel Burrows's. I was 

1 William Cocke, a Senator from Tennessee in 1796-7, and a second time from 
1799 to 1805. lie voted Judge Chase guilty on every charge but one. 



iSo5-] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 365 

there informed by Mr. Cutts, who came in from the House of 
Representatives, that they immediately on returning to their 
hall, after the sentence pronounced in the Senate, went into a 
committee of the whole, and the leading managers vented their 
spleen against the decision with all their virulence. Mr. Ran- 
dolph moved a resolution for an amendment of the Constitu- 
tion, so that judges may be made removable upon a joint 
address of the two Houses to the President. Mr. Nicholson 
moved for another, by which the members of the Senate shall 
be liable to be recalled at any time by their respective legisla- 
tures. Both these propositions were referred to a committee 
of the whole, and then postponed and made the order of the 
day for the first Monday in December next. I had some 
conversation on the subject with Mr. Madison, who appeared 
much diverted at the petulance of the managers on their 
disappointment. 

2d. The Senate, having only this day and to-morrow left for 
finishing all their legislative business, sat from ten this morning 
until seven in the evening, with the interval of an hour from 
three to four. They passed a great number of acts, postponed 
many others, and confirmed the nominations of Robert Smith 
as Attorney-General, and Jacob Crowninshield as Secretary of 
the Navy. 

At about one o'clock this day Mr. Burr, the Vice-President, 
after clearing the galleries, stated that it had been his intention 
to go through his constitutional career without leaving the 
chair; but, as he felt an indisposition coming upon him, he had 
concluded now to take leave of the Senate. He then, in an 
address of about twenty minutes, recapitulated the principles by 
which his conduct in the chair had been governed during the 
whole period of his Presidency. He mentioned one or two of 
the rules which appeared to him to need a revisal, and recom- 
mended the abolition of that respecting the previous question, 
which he said had in the four years been only once taken, and 
that was upon an amendment. This was a proof that it could 
not be necessary, and all its purposes were certainly much 
better answered by the question of indefinite postponement. In 
reflecting upon the decisions he had been called to make, though 



366 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

he had doubtless sometimes been mistaken, he could recollect 
no instance which he should now feel justified in recalling. 
Gentlemen to whom at any time they had particularly applied 
would naturally have their feelings excited at the moment, but 
he had no doubt they would on deliberate consideration acquit 
him of any intentional disrespect to them, and he was not con- 
scious of any one member to whom on this account he owed 
an apology. He had made it a general rule not to give any 
reasons for his decisions at the time when they were made, be- 
cause in most questions of order that arise in such an assembly 
it was still more essential that they should be settled promptly 
and without hesitation, than that they should always be settled 
right. Yet he trusted that gentlemen would not infer that be- 
cause there was no reason given there was therefore none to 
give ; that they would readily perceive that an instantaneous 
was not necessarily a precipitate act, and that what had been 
done without delay had not been done without reflection. It 
had been his invariable and resolute purpose to preserve the 
dignity of the situation in which he stood; and he took great 
satisfaction in the certainty that he should transmit the preroga- 
tives of the chair unimpaired to his successor. " In saying this," 
he added, " I must offer to every member of the Senate my 
thanks for the firm and uniform support I have experienced in 
the discharge of my functions, and to add that the established 
propriety and decorum which have always distinguished this 
body beyond any other assemby I ever have known have essen- 
tially contributed to assist me in discharging this part of my 
duty. In taking leave of you, which may probably be a final 
one, I offer you individually my acknowledgments for your 
uniform support, for your candor and forbearance under circum- 
stances when my decisions may have excited occasionally un- 
pleasant feelings. And permit me to recommend to you, in your 
future deliberations, inflexibly to maintain and to cherish those 
habits of order and regularity, which upon experience are found 
to be intimately connected with important principles; on a 
superficial view only they appear of inconsiderable consequence, 
but on full investigation it will be discovered that there is scarce 
a departure from order but leads to or is indissolubly connected 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 367 

with a departure from morality. This body is growing in im- 
portance. It is here, if anywhere, that our country must ulti- 
mately find the anchor of her safety; and if the Constitution is 
to perish, which may God avert, and which I do not believe, 
its dying agonies will be seen on this floor. I have now, gen- 
tlemen, only to tender you my best wishes for your personal 
welfare and happiness." * 

Immediately after finishing this speech, he left the chair and 
the room. It was delivered with great dignity and firmness of 
manner, but without any apparent emotion of sensibility. It was 
listened to with the most earnest and universal attention. Many 
of the members appeared deeply affected, and two of them, Mr. 
Wright and Mr. Smith, of New York, were moved even to tears. 

As soon as he was gone, Mr. Anderson was chosen again 
President pro tem. ; and Mr. White moved a resolution of 
thanks to Mr. Burr for the impartiality, integrity, and ability 
with which he had presided in Senate, and their unqualified 
approbation of his conduct in that capacity. It passed unani- 
mously, and Mr. White and Mr. Smith were appointed a com- 
mittee to present it to him. Mr. Bayard's amendment to the 
bill for paying the witnesses on the impeachment was this day 
taken up and passed unanimously, though Mr. Bayard himself 
was absent, having left town this morning. The Invalid bill, 
which I introduced at an early period of the session, and which, 
after being reduced down to a single section, barely rubbed 
through the Senate, came back this day from the House, with 
an amendment striking out the whole bill and introducing one 
entirely different. The Senate immediately disagreed to the 
amendment. The House insisted, and proposed a conference. 
Mr. Bradley moved immediately an adherence to the original 
bill ; but I objected to this, as not being sufficiently respectful 
to the House, whereupon he withdrew his motion, and conferees 
were appointed. The bill for the preservation of peace in the 

1 This report varies in some respects from that which appears in Benton's Abridg- 
ment, though not in any essential point. As taken down at the time by one of the 
persons to whom it was addressed, it may not be without interest to some readers 
to find it here. The singular prophecy with which it concludes remains to be 
verified or otherwise in the progress of time. 



3 63 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

ports and harbors passed to the third reading. Several motions 
were made to read it the third time, but I objected, under the 
rule that a bill should not be read more than once in the same 
day, unless by unanimous consent. 

3d. Congress were obliged to sit this day, though a Sunday ; 
great part of the business of the session having been protracted 
to this time by the trial of the impeachment. Several bills 
were this day first sent to the Senate by the House of Repre- 
sentatives, read three times, and passed. Others were stopped 
and lost by the objections of single members to their having all 
their readings in one day. The conferees of the two Houses 
on the Invalid bill could not agree; whereupon the Senate 
adhered to their original bill, and the House finally receded 
from their amendments, so that the bill passed as it went from 
the Senate. The bill providing for payment of the witnesses 
on the impeachment was not equally successful. The amend- 
ments made to it in Senate were disagreed to by the House ; in- 
sisted on by the Senate, who asked a conference. The conferees 
of the Senate were Messrs. Giles and Bradley ; those of the 
House, Messrs. John Randolph, Nicholson, and Early. They 
met, and could come to no agreement. Each House adhered 
to its own purpose, and of course the bill was lost. No pro- 
vision, therefore, is made for the payment of any of the wit- 
nesses summoned on either side. After the loss of the bill, an 
attempt was made in the House of Representatives to pay the 
witnesses summoned on their part \ by resolution of that House 
alone, and by charging it on their contingent expenses. The 
only circumstance which defeated this resolution was that, 
whenever it was taken up, so many of the members immediately 
left their seats that a quorum could not be made to pass it 
without them. The bill for the preservation of peace in the 
ports and harbors was finally passed in Senate this day. I first 
moved its postponement until the next session ; but withdrew 
the motion on finding it opposed from all quarters. I then 
moved various amendments, only one of which was adopted. 
There was, as usual on the last day of the session, an extreme 
reluctance to hearing any debate, and a determination to pass 
this bill. The final question was taken by yeas and nays — 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 369 

three to twenty-five, and my name among the former. At about 
one o'clock Mr. Moore, of the Committee of Enrollment, asked 
leave of absence, he having engaged to leave town this day. It 
was granted him. A member of the committee was to be 
chosen in his stead. On taking the ballots there were six votes 
for Mr. Smith of Ohio, and six for me. The Secretary said I 
was chosen, which I contested. The President said that, by 
our rules, when two members had an equal and the highest 
number upon a ballot, the person first in alphabetical order was 
considered as chosen. I replied that upon looking over the 
rules I could find none to that point. The President corrected 
himself, and said that instead of rule he should have said uni- 
versal practice. He said, however, that the Senate could ex- 
cuse me from this service, which was not an agreeable one, if I 
desired it. He knew I had already once performed it, and it 
was not usual to require of any one member that he should twice 
be burdened with it. I therefore requested to be, and was, ex- 
cused. Mr. Smith of Ohio then undertook it. My motive for 
declining was not the labor, but because I thought the object 
of those who voted for me was to make my absence from the 
Senate absolutely necessary to discharge the duty, and thus to 
get rid of a troublesome member. In this project I did not 
wish to gratify them. 

At half-past three o'clock the Senate adjourned until five, 
and I went over to Stelle's and dined with Mr. Otis. I found 
there Judges Marshall and Patterson, Mr. Latrobe, Mr. Blod- 
gett, and Mr. Gooch, one of the witnesses on Judge Chase's 
trial. At five o'clock Senate met again. Among the new bills 
sent from the House this day two were stopped by single mem- 
bers. Mr. Stone stopped a bill for erecting a light-house on 
Watch- Hill Point, Rhode Island; and Mr. Maclay stopped a 
bill to continue and amend the law prescribing the mode of 
taking evidence in cases of contested elections ; but, after thus 
arresting this bill, Mr. Maclay moved that it should be post- 
poned until next session, on the ground of objections to the 
merits of the bill. I objected to this, as giving a color to our 
proceedings different from the reality. A postponement to the 
next session would appear to be the act of the whole Senate, 

VOL. I. — 24 



37Q 



MEMGIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 



and might be taken unkindly by the House, as the bill related 
to a subject peculiarly, and in some sort exclusively, concerning 
them — when in truth the bill was defeated by the objection of 
a single member. Some high words passed between Mr. Jack- 
son and Mr. Maclay, who finally withdrew his motion for post- 
ponement. A resolution was passed giving a gratuity to the 
officers of the Senate for extraordinary services this session, 
chargeable on the contingent fund ; also a resolution to defray 
the expenses incurred by order of the Vice-President for 
arrangements in the hall, and other charges in the impeach- 
ment. It was stated by the President that although, by the 
rules, a bill cannot be twice read on the same day without 
unanimous consent, yet after it has been stopped by the ob- 
jection of a member it may again be called up to be read ; and 
that this call may be repeated as often as any member pleases 
in the course of the day. When the business was finished, I 
moved the usual order for a committee, with such as the House 
should join, to notify the President that we were ready to ad- 
journ. On this committee I was appointed, with General Smith 
of Maryland. We called at the House for their committee, 
who were Messrs. J. Randolph, Nelson, and Huger. We 
accordingly went to the President, who was in one of the 
committee rooms, and gave him the information as we were 
directed. He desired us to inform the two Houses that he had 
no further communications to make to them ; whereupon we 
returned, and the Senate was, at half-past nine in the evening, 
adjourned without day. It was almost eleven at night when I 
got home. 

Thus has terminated the second session of the Eighth Con- 
gress ; the most remarkable transaction of which has been the 
trial of the impeachment against Samuel Chase. This is a 
subject fruitful of reflections, but their place is not here. I shall 
only remark that this was a party prosecution, and has issued 
in the unexpected and total disappointment of those by whom 
it was brought forward. It has exhibited the Senate of the 
United States fulfilling the most important purpose of its in- 
stitution, by putting a check upon the impetuous violence of 
the House of Representatives. It has proved that a sense of 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 37 : 

justice is yet strong enough to overpower the furies of faction ; 
but it has, at the same time, shown the wisdom and necessity 
of that provision in the Constitution which requires the con- 
currence of two-thirds for conviction upon impeachments. The 
attack upon Mr. Chase was a systematic attempt upon the in- 
dependence and powers of the Judicial Department, and at the 
same time an attempt to prostrate the authority of the National 
Government before those of the individual States. The prin- 
ciples first started in the case of John Pickering, at the last 
session, have on the present occasion been widened and im- 
proved upon to an extent for which the spirit of party itself was 
not prepared. Hence, besides the federal members, six out of 
the twenty-five devoted to the present administration voted for 
the acquittal of Judge Chase on all the charges, and have for a 
time arrested the career of political frenzy. The resolutions 
for amending the Constitution, brought forward by two of the 
managers of the impeachment immediately after the decision, 
and the proceedings of the House upon them, are ample in- 
dications that this struggle will be renewed with redoubled 
vehemence at the next session of Congress. How far the firm- 
ness of the Senate or of individual Senators will support the 
promise of this time, I presume not to conjecture. Until the final 
question was taken, I confess I had no reliance upon that firm- 
ness now, because I had seen it yield the last session to a 
breach of principle to my mind as great as it would have been 
at this time. They certainly have shown now a degree of per- 
severance and of spirit in their resistance which then failed 
them. Their conduct now has partly redeemed their characters 
in my opinion ; yet the extent of their compliance before has 
proved beyond redemption that they are made of materials 
which will break. The prophetic and solemn words of Mr. 
Burr, that the dying agonies of the Constitution will be wit- 
nessed on the floor of the Senate, were uttered with a pointed 
allusion to what had just passed, and they lead to an anxious 
consideration of the temper of metal to be found in the body as 
now composed. The essential characters which ought to belong 
to the Senate are coolness and firmness. I hope that when the 
occasion shall call they will be found to possess them; and it 



->j2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

would be doing injustice to the body and its members not to 
acknowledge that in this memorable instance these qualities 
have been eminently displayed. 1 It has, however, furnished 
several instances of weak compliance as well as of honorable 
resistance, and I have some reason to believe that more than 
one member voted for the conviction of the Judge who at the 
same time disapproved altogether of the prosecution. On the 
subject of the bill for paying the witnesses, Mr. Anderson this 
day told me that it would have given him pain more than he 
could express, if a single member of the Senate had been found 
who would have yielded upon the point in dispute ; for if the 
principle were once established that an officer acquitted on im- 
peachment should be burdened with the payment of the 
witnesses essential to his justification, while the nation was to 
pay all the witnesses produced against him, not an officer in 
the Union would be safe, and there would be no bounds to 
the prosecutions of the other House. I observed to him in a 
jocular manner, alluding to the two resolutions for altering the 
Constitution introduced by two of the late managers, that Mr. 
Burr appeared to have been mistaken, as the agonies of the 
Constitution were happening on that floor, and not upon ours. 
Upon which he answered me, with great earnestness, " No, sir. 
The sense in which he said that was, that the struggle here 
would be to preserve the Constitution, and there it would be to 
destroy it." Mr. Giles, too, upon this article, has been firm and 
correct. He seems indeed to consider himself as personally 
implicated in the question, — for the form of the subpoena to 
witnesses was adopted on the report of a committee of which 
he was chairman, and it makes no discrimination between those 
summoned by the managers or by the respondent. Hence the 
obvious propriety of treating them all alike. Mr. Giles this day 
told me that the ardor of his feelings upon political subjects had 
very much abated; 2 that there was not a man in the Union 

1 Another memorable example of an impeachment emanating from similar pas- 
sions has since been added in the case of Andrew Johnson in 1867, with almost 
precisely similar results. 

- They must have abated veiy fast, if any reliance can be placed on the correct- 
ness of the report of the conversation held less than three months before, when 
Mr. (dle^ was trying to persuade a colleague, Mr. Smith of Vermont, to condemn 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 373 

against whom he harbored any resentment or aversion, and 
that he had accepted his seat in Senate only because he knew 
that, if he had not come, a person of violent principles would 
have been sent, who probably would have done mischief. But 
he did not tell me who this was. 

4th. I called this morning at Stelle's Hotel, and paid a visit 
to our new Vice-President, Mr. Clinton, and had some conver- 
sation with him, in which he contrasted the appearance of this 
part of the country with that of New England and New York, 
much to the advantage of the latter. I then called upon Mr. 
Tracy, who has been for the last ten days very dangerously 
sick of a peripneumony, and at no small hazard was brought 
out on the 1st instant to give his vote on the sentence to the 
impeachment. It was a good deed, and he suffered no injury 
from the effort it required. He is now on the recovery, and 
went with me to the Senate chamber, where we saw the Presi- 
dent and Vice-President sworn into office. The President pre- 
viously delivered an inaugural address, in so low a voice that 
not half of it was heard by any part of the crowded auditory. 
After it was over I walked with Mr. White and Mr. Huger to 
his house, where we found a large company assembled to 
compliment him on the occasion. I stayed about half an hour, 
and then came home, where I spent the remainder of the day — 
chiefly in writing. Mr. Burr was this day present at the inau- 
guration, in the gallery. 

Quincy, August 1st. — Mr. S. Dexter, Dr. Kirkland, Mr. 
Holmes, of Cambridge, Mr. Storer, and Judge Davis, as a com- 
mittee of the Corporation and Overseers of the University, came 
this morning to give me notice of my being elected the Pro- 
fessor of Oratory, on the foundation of Nicholas Boylston. I 
mentioned to them the impossibility I should be under of per- 
forming all the duties assigned to the professor in the Rules 
and Statutes, and that I could neither bind myself to residence 
at Cambridge, nor to attendance more than a part of the year. 
They supposed that the Statutes might be so modified as to 
accommodate me in these particulars, and requested me to 

Judge Chase in advance, solely on political grounds. See entry of 23d December, 
1804, page 322. 



374 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 



state my own wishes in this respect to the chairman of the 
committee, in a letter, to which I agreed. They went from here 
after twelve. 

Philadelphia, November 25th. — I had engaged our passage 
in the Newcastle packet Rising Sun, the same in which we 
came from that place last spring. The hour fixed for her de- 
parture was seven in the morning, and the captain said half 
an hour was allowed for all the passengers to get on board. I 
went down to the packet before seven, and saw our baggage 
safely stowed on board, then returned to Mrs. Decharms's, to 
breakfast and to attend the ladies ; but when we came down 
to the wharf the packet had left it about five minutes, and 
with a wind so fair that, although she was still within hailing 
distance of the wharf, we could not get a boat to take us on 
board. We were therefore compelled to return to our lodg- 
ings and content ourselves with remaining another day at 
Philadelphia. At the corner of Water Street, as we returned, 
we met Mr. Tracy, who, like us, was going in the packet and 
lost his passage by being belated. My principal concern was 
for my baggage, which has no direction and is liable to be 
lost. After returning to Mrs. Decharms's, Mr. John Vaughan 
called on me, as did Dr. Rush. The object of the latter was to 
inform me of a conversation which he had with Mr. Madison, 
the Secretary of State, in the course of the last summer, re- 
specting me. Mr. Madison, he said, had expressed himself in 
very favorable terms of me, and had told him that the Presi- 
dent's opinion of me was equally advantageous, and that it 
was his wish to employ me on some mission abroad, if I was 
desirous of it. The Doctor therefore intimated that I might 
govern myself accordingly, and take such measures to manifest 
my views as I should think expedient. I told him that I had 
heretofore received suggestions of a similar nature ; that I was 
obliged to Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison for their good opin- 
ion ; that I never had, and I hoped I never should ask for any 
office of any man, and certainly never should solicit Mr. Jeffer- 
son for any place whatsoever; that all I could say to him 
was, that if Mr. Jefferson should nominate me for any office 
abroad to which he thought me competent, I would not refuse 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^yc 

it merely because the nomination should come from him. He 
said this assurance was entirely satisfactory, and that he believed 
the apprehension of a disdainful refusal was the only thing 
which could deter Mr. Jefferson from offering me an appoint- 
ment. I assured him there was no office in the President's 
gift for which I had any wish, and that, without being rich, I 
possessed the means of maintaining my family without feeling 
the necessity of any public station. He then made some re- 
marks on the obligation a citizen is under to serve the public 
in places for which he is qualified, and concluded in compli- 
mentary terms, which I need not repeat, and ought to forget. 
I have no doubt but the Doctor's intentions in this conversa- 
tion were as friendly to me as possible, and that it was dictated 
entirely by his good wishes ; but I am to remember that up- 
wards of four years ago, when I first returned from Berlin, 
Colonel Smith told me that Mr. Jefferson had spoken of me just 
in the same manner; and yet within twelve months afterwards 
he removed me from the office of Commissioner of Bankruptcy 
which I held under the appointment of Judge Davis. I 
am also to remember the conversation which I had with Mr. 
Jefferson the 23d of November last year, and then reduce to 
their true value all these professions of regard and esteem and 
of a wish to employ me in public office. I spent this day 
somewhat heavily, and in compulsive idleness ; attended about 
an hour at the Supreme Court of the State, which this day 
commenced its session, Judge Yates presiding; this afternoon 
called upon Mr. Tracy ; early in the evening upon Mr. Den- 
nie ; and spent the last part of the evening at Mr. Hopkinson's, 
with Messrs. Ewing, Dennie, Meredith, and R. Rush. It was 
almost midnight when the party broke up. 

Washington, 30th. — Paid visits this morning to the President, 
whom I found at home, and the Secretaries of State and of the 
Navy, whom I did not see. Called also on Mr. Otis at his 
office, where I met Mr. Plumer. At the President's door I met 
Mr. Israel Smith and Mr. Gaillard, who were on the same visit 
as myself. The President mentioned a late act of hostility 
committed by a French privateer near Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, and said that we ought to assume as a principle that the 



076 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

neutrality of our territory should extend to the Gulf Stream, 
which was a natural boundary, and within which we ought not 
to suffer any hostility to be committed. Mr. Gaillard observed 
that on a former occasion in Mr. Jefferson's correspondence 
with Genest, and by an Act of Congress at that period, we had 
seemed 'only to claim the usual distance of three miles from 
the coast ; but the President replied that he had then assumed 
that principle because Genest by his intemperance forced us to 
fix on some point, and we were not then prepared to assert the 
claim of jurisdiction to the extent we are in reason entitled to ; 
but he had then taken care expressly to reserve the subject for 
future consideration, w*ith a view to this same doctrine for 
which he now contends. I observed that it might be well, be- 
fore we ventured to assume a claim so broad, to wait for a time 
when we should have a force competent to maintain it. But in 
the mean time, he said, it was advisable to squint at it, and to 
accustom the nations of Europe to the idea that we should 
claim it in future. The subject was not pushed any farther. 

December 2d. This, being the first Monday in December, is 
the day fixed by the Constitution for the meeting of Congress, 
and a quorum of both Houses accordingly assembled. The 
Vice-President not being here, Mr. Samuel Smith, of Maryland, 
was chosen President of the Senate pro tempore, and, after 
passing the usual resolutions at the commencement of a ses- 
sion, the Senate adjourned. 

5th. A bill for an additional appropriation to make up a de- 
ficiency in the Naval Department passed to the third reading, 
and would have passed the Senate, as it did the House, with- 
out a question why the deficiency happened, but for a motion 
of Mr. Tracy to call on the Secretary of the Navy for that in- 
formation ; which passed. 

6th. The information requested was this day received from 
the Secretary of the Navy, and the bill passed. Senate ad- 
journed soon after twelve, and about half an hour after, Mr. 
Coles, the President's secretary, came with a confidential mes- 
sage to both Houses. Some of the members of the Senate 
proposed to resume the session by unanimous consent, and 
direct the secretary not to enter the adjournment; but this 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 377 

would have been a dangerous precedent, and. was not agreed 
to. The adjournment was until Monday. 

7th. At eleven this morning I attended the committee on the 
appropriation of moneys to lay out roads from the Atlantic to 
the Ohio. The other members are Messrs. Tracy, Anderson, 
Worthington, and Wright. We sat in committee nearly three 
hours, and came to some resolutions on which Mr. Tracy is to 
found a report and a bill. When ready, he is to call the com- 
mittee together again. Mr. Tracy shows in all his public con- 
duct great experience, and a thorough familiarity with the 
order and course of legislative proceedings. His manner is 
peculiarly accommodating and conciliatory ; his command of 
temper exemplary. In public affairs, it appears to me, there is 
no quality more useful and important than good humor, because 
it operates continually to soften the asperities which are con- 
tinually rising in the collisions of adverse interests and opin- 
ions'; and this quality Tracy possesses in a high degree. Mr. 
Worthington is a man of plausible, insinuating address, and of 
indefatigable activity in the pursuit of his purposes. He has 
seen something of the world, and, without much education of 
any other sort, has acquired a sort of polish in his manners, 
and a kind of worldly wisdom, which may perhaps more 
properly be called cunning. Mr. Wright, 1 with a capacity below 
the ordinary level, a violent temper, at once obstinate and un- 
steady, and a perpetually bustling disposition, is one of the 
least respected, though not the least effective, members of the 
Senate. He takes a part in every debate, speaks upon every 
subject, and very seldom without exposing himself by some 
absurdity in argument or some confusion of learning. He told 
us this day, very seriously, that Praise-God Barebone was a 
Massachusetts name. Mr. Anderson is a lawyer of good under- 
standing and good education ; acquainted with good principles, 
but often warped by the pressure of popular opinions ; seldom 
daring to act according to his own ideas, and willing to see the 
burden of responsibility fall anywhere but on himself. 2 

1 Robert Wright, of Maryland, served in the Senate from 1801 to 1806, when he 
was made Governor of the State, after which he served for nine or ten years in the 
House of Representatives. 

2 Joseph Anderson, of Pennsylvania, served in the Revolutionary War. He emi- 



378 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU1NCY ADAMS. [December, 

9th. Attended in Senate, where a voluminous communica- 
tion of documents received from the President was read, after 
which we adjourned, between one and two. I dined at the 
President's, in company with the Tunisian Ambassador and 
his two secretaries. By the invitation, dinner was to have been 
on the table precisely at sunset — it being in the midst of 
Ramadan, during which the Turks fast while the sun is above 
the horizon. He did not arrive until half an hour after sunset, 
and, immediately after greeting the President and the company, 
proposed to retire and smoke his pipe. The President requested 
him to smoke it there, which he accordingly did, taking at the 
same time snuff deeply scented with otto of roses. We then 
went to dinner, where he freely partook of the dishes on the 
table without enquiring into the cookery. Mrs. Randolph the 
President's daughter, and her daughter, were the only ladies 
there, and immediately after they returned to the drawing-room 
after dinner the ambassador followed them to smoke his pipe 
again. His secretaries remained after him just long enough to 
take each a glass of wine, which they did not venture to do in 
his presence. His dress differed from that of the Turks. He 
wears his beard long. His secretaries only wear whiskers. 
His manners are courteous, but we were all unable to converse 
with him, except through the medium of an interpreter. The 
company was Mr. S. Smith, President of the Senate, Dr. Logan 
and Dr. Mitchell, Mr. John Randolph, Mr. Nicholson, and Mr. 
Dawson, of the House of Representatives, and the President's 
two sons-in-law, Mr. T. M. Randolph and Mr. Eppes, with 
Mr. Coles, his secretary, and Dr. Davis, who acted as inter- 
preter. 

17th. A long debate was held in Senate this day on the ques- 
tion whether Mr. Bradley should have leave to bring in a bill 
to prohibit the importation of slaves into the United States 
after the 1st of January, 1808. The principal question was 
whether, consistently with the Constitution of the United 

grated to the West, and finally settled in Tennessee. He was elected a Senator in 
1797, and remained in the Semite eighteen years. He then became the First Comp- 
troller of the Treasury, in which place he served until the year before his death, in 
1837- 



1805.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 379 

States, Congress could pass any law upon the subject prior to 
that year. But some of the members, thinking it inexpedient 
to discuss the subject at this time, would have refused the leave 
to bring in the bill, and spoke to that purpose, until he asked 
for the yeas and nays on the question. Then Dr. Mitchell 
made a long speech to show why he should vote for giving 
leave, though he had previously spoken against it. The Journal, 
he said, would be the record of his fame, and he could not 
suffer it to exhibit the appearance of his voting against the 
reception of a bill to the principles of which he was so friendly. 
Mr. Wright, from a similar fear to vote as he wished, moved 
the previous question. But all would not do. The majority 
decided to take the question immediately, and then to receive 
the bill, which was read ; and before the question was taken 
whether it should go to a second reading, Mr. Bradley moved 
an adjournment, which was carried. 

1 8th. Mr. Bradley moved to postpone the further considera- 
tion of his bill to the first Monday in February. Mr. Smith 
of Maryland moved its postponement to the first Monday in 
December, which was carried by the Vice-President's casting 
vote. Mr. Bradley did not take the yeas and nays at this time, 
but suffered Dr. Mitchell to vote without fear of seeing his fair 
fame blasted by the record of his real opinion. So I suppose 
Bradley himself had acquiesced in this disposal of his bill, 
which he brought in under instructions from his State, but for 
the fate of which I suppose him quite indifferent. 

31st. Day. Rise between seven and eight in the morning: 
usually about sunrise. Read in the Greek Testament or 
Homer's Iliad until nine. Breakfast. Walk to the Capitol, 
and attend at the Senate chamber until two or three. Walk 
home. Dine about four. From five until nine in the evening 
I generally read ; sometimes write about half an hour. Pass 
very few evenings in company, either at home or abroad. Sup 
at nine, and soon after seek the repose of night. 

In reviewing the occurrences of the year which is now 
closing, I find equal reasons for sentiments of gratitude to 
Providence for the blessings I have enjoyed in its progress, and 
of self-reproof for the little advantages I have derived from 



->8q MEMOIKS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

them. The two first and the last months of the year were 
passed in attendance on my duty in Congress, where I have 
not been so profitable a servant as I might be — not that I have 
positively neglected my duty, but because I have not exerted 
myself in its discharge with sufficient vigor and ardor. When 
I returned to Quincy last spring, my intention was by an 
assiduous application to subjects of public concern to remove 
part of the ignorance which often interferes with my wishes to 
serve the public. I had barely commenced the execution of 
this design when ill health compelled me to lay it aside; and 
before I could resume it my appointment to the professorship 
at Cambridge gave my studies necessarily a new and different 
direction. From the beginning of July a large portion of my 
time has been devoted to the Greek language and to rhetor- 
ical writers. And these are fields which I must for years to 
come (if my life be spared) explore and cultivate with un- 
abating industry, or without effect. My health has been worse 
during the course of the whole year than I had long experi- 
enced, and its prospects are not flattering; but my parents, my 
wife, and my children have all lived, and in general been blessed 
with health, for which Heaven be praised. My political pros- 
pects continue declining. The state of my affairs in other 
respects remains nearly as at the commencement of the year — 
in some respects improved ; in others less advantageous ; but, 
on the whole, more favorable and promising. The privations 
to which I have found it necessary to recur have been very 
painful as they respect my family and in their effects, though 
on my own account they never had on my mind or spirits the 
weight of a straw. Thus much for the past, upon which reflec- 
tion can be of no use but as it may influence the conduct of 
the future. Let me, then, resolve to devote that future to the 
steady pursuit of real wisdom and virtue ; and let me pray for 
assistance from above, that the general imperfections of 
humanity and my peculiar individual frailties and infirmities 
may be successfully overcome by the stronger and increasing 
power of Justice, Temperance, Patience, and Fortitude. 

January 2d, 1806. We had this morning a short session in 
the Senate, and adjourned, though not without some debate, to 



iSo6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. -,g l 

receive the Tunisian Ambassador's visit. He had been first 
into the House of Representatives ; and when he came into 
the Senate chamber he' seated himself in the. Secretary's chair 
and told the Vice-President he had found a man speaking in 
the other room ; enquired who he was. Mr. Thruston answered 
him in Italian, for he had no interpreter with him, that he 
was a member of the House ; upon which he enquired whether 
all the men he had seen there had a right to speak, and was 
answered yes. He said then it must take one, two, or three 
years to finish any business; and it was just so in Italy, where 
sometimes it took twenty years to decide a cause. But in his 
country they could always finish any business in half an hour. 
Mr. Thruston endeavored to explain to him the difference be- 
tween our legislative assemblies and courts of justice; but he 
could not understand it. He soon withdrew. 

7th. Last Thursday, Mr. Russell, of Boston, requested me 
to present two petitions from the claimants to the Georgia 
lands, which I accordingly did this day. General Sumter 
immediately afterwards presented a similar petition from some 
of the South Carolina claimants. This subject has for several 
sessions occasioned extremely violent debates in the House of 
Representatives. General Sumter had had his petition in his 
pocket for a week without presenting it. Mr. Russell wished 
that I should present his immediately after that of Mr. Sum- 
ter, which I accordingly proposed to that gentleman ; but, after 
some deliberation, he finally expressed the wish that I should 
present mine first. The reason for all this timidity is because 
it is expected this subject will occasion as violent debates in 
Senate as it has in the other House ; which is very probable. 
On my presenting them, General Jackson started up and 
commenced a violent invective against the claims, without any 
specific object. The petitions, however, lay on the table, and 
I gave notice that I should call them up at an early day. I 
feel very reluctant at being thus engaged in an affair which 
has already occasioned so many unpleasant altercations ; but, 
as the agent of the petitioners has chosen to make his applica- 
tion to me, I could no more avoid it than any other part of 
my duty. 



3 g 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

9th. Met the committee on the memorial of the New York 
merchants. Messrs. Mitchell, Smith of Maryland, Tracy, and 
Anderson are the other members. We soon found we wanted 
information from the Executive, and agreed that the regular 
course would be for the chairman to move a resolution of Senate 
to that end. I drew up a resolution, which was agreed to by 
the committee and afterwards was moved by Dr. Mitchell in 
Senate. A question was made in committee, and urged very 
warmly afterwards in Senate by Mr. Wright, whether it would 
be proper to ask for this information on a reference of the 
New York memorial. It was insisted that the part of the 
President's message relative to the same subjects ought to have 
been referred to a select committee, and then that the papers 
should be asked for. I was of opinion, from the commence- 
ment of the session, that a committee of the Senate on that part 
of the President's message ought to be raised ; but I knew that 
if I moved it a spirit of jealousy would immediately be raised 
against doing any thing ; and I therefore only suggested the 
subject to Dr. Mitchell, who thought it best to wait and see 
what the House of Representatives would do first. But now 
it appears a mere absurdity to cavil about the object of refer- 
ence upon which a committee is to sit or papers are to be 
asked ; and therefore I think these scrupulous gentlemen ought 
not to be indulged. The resolution lies for consideration. 

10th. Met the committee on the memorial from the Legis- 
lature of the Orleans Territory at ten o'clock this morning. 
The other members are Messrs. Anderson, Tracy, Baldwin, 
and Bradley. Some of the members were late, and we made 
little progress in business. To meet again on Monday. In 
Senate, the resolution to ask the President for papers, yesterday 
moved, was taken up, after another struggle of Mr. Wright 
to have it postponed until Monday. It finally passed, with only 
his vote against it. The character of the man may partly be 
seen from this occurrence. He has made at least ten speeches 
against the proceedings on this business, solely on the ground 
that it ought to be done, not on a memorial of the New York 
merchants, but on a paragraph in the President's message. 
14th. The reading of the papers sent relative to the Tripolitan 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 383 

Treaty was resumed and finished. It took about three hours. 
Dr. Logan moved that the part of the President's message 
relating to the interpolation of new principles in the law of 
nations and the late decisions of the British Courts of Admi- 
ralty thereupon be referred to a select committee. This is the 
renewal of Mr. Wright's last week's motions, and proceeds from 
a jealousy of the committee to whom was referred the New 
York memorial — because two of the five members composing 
that committee are federalists. The motion lies for con- 
sideration. 

15th. Dr. Logan obtained leave to introduce his bill to sus- 
pend the commercial intercourse with the island of St. Do- 
mingo, by a large majority. It provides that no vessel shall be 
allowed to clear out for the ports of that island — to continue 
till the end of the next session of Congress, and without any 
penalty annexed. It is, therefore, obviously a bill which can 
have no possible effect to obstruct the trade. Indeed, it struck 
everybody as so mere a dead letter, that the Doctor found 
himself reduced to account for its imbecility, which he did to me 
in this way. He told me that his only object was to have it in 
our power to tell the French Government that we have pro- 
hibited the trade, and that if the merchants would carry it on 
they must do it at their peril, as it would be out of our pro- 
tection. His motion to refer part of the President's message 
was taken up, and he alleged as his motive that he had a 
memorial to present from the merchants of Philadelphia, which 
he wished to have referred to the same committee. As the 
multiplication of committees upon one subject has so manifest 
a tendency to produce disorder and confusion, I moved to 
amend the resolution proposed by making the reference to the 
committee on the New York memorial. This brought up 
Wright, who soon worked himself into one of his violent 
passions, and stormed at the indelicacy of a member's moving 
for the reference of a paper to a committee of which he himself 
was a member (which, be it noticed, is every day's practice). 
He was for having a new committee, and hoped it would be of 
seven members. Mr. Wright's eloquence, however, producing 
little effect, Mr. Anderson bethought himself of a new ex- 



384 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

pedient. He said my motion was not in order — that a paper 
could not be referred to a committee already appointed. He 
alleged in proof of this the fifteenth rule for conducting busi- 
ness in the Senate, which says, " All committees shall be ap- 
pointed by ballot, and a plurality of votes shall make a choice." 
And he appealed to the President to decide whether my motion 
was in order or not. Upon this appeal there could be no de- 
bate, and I was deprived of any opportunity of replying either 
to Mr. Wright or Mr. Anderson. The President professed his 
ignorance of the practice in Senate ; observed his decision on 
the meaning of the rule would depend on another question, 
which was, whether the paper moved to be referred to a com- 
mittee already raised related to the same subject as that before 
them ; and that on that ground he pronounced my motion to 
amend not in order, as there must be a new ballot. The re- 
jection of my motion for an amendment prevents even an 
appearance of it upon the Journal. The question then on the 
reference of part of the President's speech to a special com- 
mittee was taken by yeas and nays, at the call of Mr. Wright, 
and I voted against the reference. It was, however, determined 
to refer it to a committee of seven. On the return of the 
ballots, it appeared that the five members composing the com- 
mittee on the New York memorial were again chosen, and 
two others added, Dr. Logan and Mr. Baldwin. So Mr. Wright 
still failed in his principal object, which was to get on the 
committee himself. But instead of Dr. Mitchell the chairman 
of this committee is Mr. Smith of Maryland. Dr. Logan then 
presented his memorial from the Philadelphia merchants, and, 
after it was read, moved its reference to the committee just 
appointed on part of the President's message. Mr. Tracy then 
objected that, by the decision just made on the fifteenth rule, 
there must be a new committee. The Vice-President began by 
saying that he thought there was a manifest distinction between 
the two cases, but concluded by again deciding that there must 
be a new ballot. The same members were again chosen, but 
the chairman was again different, being now Mr. Anderson. 
The result, therefore, is that we have three committees on one 
and the same subject. On this transaction I remark — first, the 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. -^gc 

singular effects of the spirit of party. When the New York 
memorial was presented, Wright wanted it to lie over till the 
next day, for the purpose of having the committee men agreed 
upon out of doors, by the party ; but, as he did not then carry 
his point, the next object was to get another committee on the 
same subject. This the party had determined upon, and Dr. 
Logan's motion to refer part of the President's speech was the 
means used to effect that purpose. But as the real motive 
could not be avowed, when the forcible objection to the multi- 
plication of committees on one subject was urged, the only 
refuge was to appeal to a construction of a rule of order, con- 
trary to the uniform and invariable practice. This proved suc- 
cessful; but at the hazard of introducing inextricable confusion 
in the transaction of business. For Dr. Logan could not get 
the very paper, upon which he founded his motion to refer the 
message, referred to the same committee. Secondly, the great 
importance of an intelligent and experienced man to preside in 
the Senate of the United States. Mr. Clinton is totally igno- 
rant of all the most common forms of proceeding in Senate, 
and yet by the rules he is to decide every question of order 
without debate and without appeal. His judgment is neither 
quick nor strong : so there is no more dependence upon the 
correctness of his determinations from his understanding than 
from his experience. As the only duty of a Vice-President, 
under our Constitution, is to preside in Senate, it ought to be 
considered what his qualifications for that office are at his 
election. In this respect a worse choice than Mr. Clinton 
could scarcely have been made. Thirdly, the characters of 
men appear in their discourses as much as in their deeds; and 
in the same manner ; not from the tenor of what they say, but 
from the inferences to be drawn from it. Anderson and Wright 
had the same end in view, and their motive was the same ; but 
neither could acknowledge it. Wright, whose temper is violent, 
and who has no sense of decency or delicacy, thinks of nothing 
better than to charge, as indelicacy in me, what he has done 
hundreds of times himself, and what every member is accus- 
tomed to do who acts on committees at all. Anderson recurs 
to stratagem and surprise. He insists upon a rule of order to 

VOL. I. 25 



^86 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

decide the point, and by an absurd twisting construction of the 
rule obtains his purpose. Fourthly, this affair has proved that 
the jealousy and acrimony of party is roused against us, and 
that we shall therefore henceforth experience the same exclu- 
sion of all effectual agency in measures, which we have felt in 
the former sessions. 

1 6th. Mr. Wright gave notice that he should move next 
Monday for leave to bring in a bill for the protection and indem- 
nification of American seamen. His project, with which he is so 
delighted that he cannot hold it to himself, is to confiscate British 
debts, and with the money pay heavy wages to the seamen im- 
pressed by the British, while they keep them. Mr. Bradley 
moved a new reference of the papers sent with the Tripolitan 
Treaty, which was accordingly done. The weather was so 
severely cold that the Senate adjourned early. The members 
had this morning a pamphlet laid on their tables, without any 
information whence it came, against the new principle asserted 
by the British Government against neutral rights. It is under- 
stood to be the work of Mr. Madison, the Secretary of State. 

17th. Met the committee on revising the rules for conduct- 
ing the business in Senate, at ten this morning. We merely 
entered upon some general conversation on the subject, and had 
come to no determination, when we were called in to a message 
from the President. In the mean time Mr. Bidwell and Mr. 
Early had been in as a committee from the House of Represent- 
atives with a confidential message, and a bill appropriating and 
placing at the President's disposition two millions of dollars, to 
purchase the Floridas. This is the great result of a month's 
closed doors in the House, and is to be the end of all the 
vaporing against Spain at the beginning of the session. The 
message from the President was accompanied by very volu- 
minous documents on the subject of our differences with Great 
Britain ; and particularly a letter from Mr. Monroe, our Min- 
ister at London, to the Secretary of State, full of bitterness 
against England, and urging strong and decisive measures. 
Some few of the papers were read, and one or two bills. Ad- 
journed early. In the evening I read part of Mr. Madison's 
pamphlet. Cold still extreme. 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 387 

18th. This morning, at sunrise, my thermometer stood at 
9 ; the severest cold we have yet had. At eleven I met the 
committee on part of the President's message. We had some 
conversation, but could come to no particular point, for want of 
papers and information. 

20th. Our principal business in the Senate was reading the 
secret bill from the House of Representatives the second time. 
A motion was made and passed that during the discussion of 
this subject the doors should be closed. When taken up, Dr. 
Mitchell moved that the bill be referred to a select committee, 
which Mr. Tracy seconded. Mr. Bradley objected to this, and 
moved that it be made the order of the day for to-morrow in 
committee of the whole. He alleged no reason for this, or at 
least nothing which could pass for a reason. Dr. Mitchell 
then made a characteristic speech, wavering between the sup- 
port and relinquishment of his own motion ; at last, however, he 
concluded that he would take the question on his motion, and 
there appeared twelve for and fourteen against it. The majority 
against him would have been much larger, but they did not all 
understand his drift. The object is to carry the bill through 
without any discussion, and without giving any intimation of 
the grounds upon which it is to pass. This could not so well 
be done if it had been committed to a select committee. Mr. 
Wright introduced his bill for the protection and indemnifi- 
cation of American seamen, which passed to a second reading, 
but is too violent for his own party to support. 

2 1st. The secret bill was taken up in committee of the 
whole, and pressed through to the third reading with the most 
anxious solicitude to suppress all discussion and all enquiry. 
Mr. Wright's bill was read the second time, and at his own 
motion postponed for consideration until Monday next. No 
business of any interest was done besides. 

22d. Met the committee on the Articles of War. We made 
some small progress in amending the bill, and are to meet again. 
In Senate the business was very various, and one very animated 
debate occurred. Mr. Tracy yesterday moved a resolution to 
request of the President a copy of Mr. Monroe's letter to the 
Secretary of State which was read last Friday ; and he stated 



388 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

that he thought there was something in that letter which would 
decide his vote upon the secret bill. This day the resolution 
was called up, and Mr. Bradley objected to the resolution, be- 
cause he thought the letter was of a nature not to be made 
public. His reasons for opposing the motion were, however, 
so feeble, that when Mr. Tracy, after shortly replying to them, 
called for the yeas and nays, Bradley was afraid of his stake, 
and shifted his motion to a motion for referring the resolution 
to a committee. His motion was thus, by a side blow, to put it 
out of the way until the secret bill shall be passed, and then 
reject it as useless. Bradley's greatest powers extend no further 
than to such a trick as this. His motion was supported by 
Mr. Baldwin, who, with a mind of exactly the same obliquity, 
but a more plausible smoothness, descanted upon the general 
convenience of referring things to committees, its frequency of 
practice, and how Mr. Tracy could explain to a committee his 
motives for wanting this paper. General Smith of Maryland, 
too, was for a committee; but, not being so used to the worming 
system, he could scarcely tell why he was for it. Between the 
meanness of the artifice, which he could not accede to without 
reluctance, and the necessity of adhering to his party, which is 
always the clenching nail with him, he appeared very much 
embarrassed. Mr. Tracy, however, exposed and scourged them 
all so severely in his replies that the phalanx broke. Wright 
and Worthington objected to commitment, and were ready to 
deny the call for the paper at once. For Wright said that 
Judases might be found among the most respectable assemblies. 
On the other hand, Maclay had not been present when the paper 
was read, and wanted to see it himself. He therefore very me- 
thodically replied to the two reasons alleged against the call, 
and was for adopting the resolution. Mr. Moore asked for a 
postponement, to ascertain privately whether the President 
would have any objection to the call; and Mr. Anderson, finding 
others of his own side had ventured out of the garrison, boldly 
descanted upon the fairness and justice of letting members in 
the minority have information when they wanted it ; and how 
tenacious he had been of the privilege when he was in a very 
small minority. Bradley and his whole machinery were so 



iSo6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 389 

completely battered down by this time that their only resource 
left was an adjournment, which they moved and carried. Be- 
tween this and to-morrow they will ascertain the President's in- 
clination, and decide accordingly. This was a truly characteristic 
debate. Mr. Thruston rode home with me, and appears to be 
a very modest and sensible man. In the evening I finished Mr. 
Madison's pamphlet, with which I am, upon the whole, much 
pleased. 

23d. Met the committee on the petitions of the Georgia Land 
claimants. Messrs. Baldwin, Sumter, Bradley, and Anderson 
are the other members. The petitions were read, and I moved 
that Mr. Russell, the agent for the petitioners on two of the 
petitions, should be heard in support of them. Bradley instantly 
began to play his old game. He was for settling, before the agent 
should be called in, whether the first call upon him should not 
be for his power to act for all the claimants, who are so numerous 
that he has probably not a power from all, and Bradley's object 
was then to say that we could not act at all upon the partial peti- 
tion of some claimants, and thus shift off all further consider- 
ation of the business for this session. Mr. Baldwin of course 
supported him. Mr. Anderson instantly saw the purpose of 
Bradley's wish to make the call for a power the preliminary step, 
and opposed it. Mr. Sumter at first put his foot into the trap 
unawares, saying that, as the agent represented the petitioners, 
it was reasonable to enquire how far his power extended to 
bind them. But on discussion, finding what was Bradley's true 
project, he came round to our opinion, and voted to hear the 
agent generally in support of the petition. By this time the 
hour of Senate's meeting had arrived; the committee agreed to 
meet again on Saturday morning at ten, and then hear Mr. 
Russell. In Senate, after a variety of business not very im- 
portant, Mr. Tracy's motion to ask for a copy of Mr. Monroe's 
letter was resumed. General Smith, who, since yesterday, had 
doubtless ascertained the President's inclination, moved a modi- 
fication of the resolution, so as to ask only a further communi- 
cation of the letter, instead of a copy, to which Mr. Tracy 
readily consented. Bradley then withdrew his motion to com- 
mit, and we expected an unanimous vote; when, lo ! a new 



3Q0 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, ■ 

opposition sprung up. Dr. Logan had discovered that the 
President had acted improperly in communicating the letter to 
us originally, and therefore that we ought not to ask for it 
again. Mr. Anderson too changed his side ; hinted that as the 
wisest men had their moments of weakness, so it had happened 
to the President in this case ; and as the resolution was now 
varied, so that we were not to have a copy, he should vote 
against it. Worthington was still very anxious for the yeas 
and nays, to record his vote against the call. Just at the end 
of the debate, Bradley bethought himself that this was a sub- 
ject that required closed doors, and moved to clear the galleries; 
which was done, and confirmed by vote. The question was 
then taken by yeas and nays, and carried in favor of the call — 
yeas twenty-three, nays seven. The rest of the day was em- 
ployed in reading papers concerning certain characters and dis- 
putes in Louisiana; founded upon the nomination of General 
Wilkinson as Governor, and Mr. Lucas and some others as 
Judges. 

24th. Met the committee upon the memorial from the New 
York merchants. Messrs. Mitchell, Anderson, and Tracy at- 
tended — General Smith was absent. We agreed upon several 
resolutions to report in part, and to be accompanied by a short 
report, for which there must be another meeting of the com- 
mittee. In Senate, two messages were received from the Presi- 
dent — one with the requested letter of Mr. Monroe, the other 
with an Indian Treaty. We proceeded immediately to the con- 
sideration of executive business ; finished reading the papers 
concerning the disputes between Governor Wilkinson and 
Judge Lucas, heard long speeches from General Smith and 
Mr. Wright in favor of General Wilkinson, and after three 
o'clock adjourned to Monday. Mr. Bayard took his seat in 
Senate, and was sworn, on his re-election. 

25th. Attended at the Capitol this morning on two com- 
mittees — one summoned at ten, on the Georgia Land petitions, 
the other at twelve, on the President's message. Mr. Russell 
appeared before the committee in support of the petitions, and 
we had some conversation with him. We thought the com- 
panies would all acquiesce in the plan proposed by the former 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^g l 

commissioners, which they declined acceding to at that time. 
We came to no determination, but agreed to meet again next 
Thursday at ten in the morning. Mr. Anderson was absent. 
The other committee could not meet at all; only four members 
(General S. Smith, Mr. Baldwin, Dr. Logan, and myself) out of 
seven having attended. Mr. Tracy, Dr. Mitchell, and Mr. An- 
derson were absent. As I was coming home I met Dr. Mit- 
chell, who took me into his apartment, at his lodgings, and read 
me part of two letters from one of his correspondents at Edin- 
burgh, dissuading us from war. 

29th. Attended the committee on the Articles of War. All 
the members were present except Mr. Wright. We made fur- 
ther progress in amending the bill, and went as far as the 
twenty-third article. We then adjourned to meet again on 
Friday morning. In Senate, after some of the business in 
course, Mr. Wright's Seamen bill was taken up as at the second 
reading. He made a speech of an hour and a half to support 
it, which was very patiently heard, at the close of which Dr. 
Mitchell moved to postpone the further consideration of the 
bill. This was agreed to by a vote unanimous with the excep- 
tion of Mr. Wright himself. I know not why he did not pro- 
pose a reference of the bill to a select committee. A message 
was received from the President, with a memorial from the mer- 
chants of Baltimore, complaining of violations on their neutral 
rights, very long, and very well written — the work of Mr. 
Pinckney. I had some further conversation with Mr. Tracy 
on my proposed resolutions, which he agreed to second. 

30th. Met the committee on part of the President's message. 
Before we met, Mr. Tracy requested me not to offer my resolu- 
tions this day, and suggested that he had some objections to 
them. I accordingly agreed not to produce them this day. 
The chairman, Smith of Maryland, presented two resolutions 
of his own drawing — the first an abstract declaration that no 
belligerent nation has a right to forbid a neutral nation any trade 
with her enemies, on the pretext that such trade was not per- 
mitted in time of peace; the second proposing a non-impor- 
tation law for several months. These were discussed for some 
time, and, without coming to any decision, we adjourned until 



392 



MEMOIRS OF JOHX QUINCY ADAMS. [January; 



to-morrow. The committee on the Georgia Land petitions also 
met. Mr. Russell and Mr. Peppin attended them, and stated 
the grounds on which they were willing to make a compromise 
of their claims. I proposed that the committee should ask 
leave to report by bill ; but no question was taken. Mr. An- 
derson appears to have become lukewarm in the cause, and 
thinks it best to do nothing in the Senate until the House of 
Representatives shall have acted on the subject. 

In Senate, the secret bill was taken up. Bradley moved an 
amendment to specify the purpose of the appropriation — that 
the President might, by purchase or otherwise, obtain the free 
navigation of the St. Lawrence, or any of the British territories 
north of it, or any foreign territory east of the Mississippi. 1 
This occasioned one of the most curious debates I ever heard 
in Senate ; which was finally postponed until to-morrow. 

31st. On going up to the Capitol this morning, I found there 
a Mr. Searle, a young man from Providence, who brought me a 
letter of introduction from Judge Barnes. The committee on 
the President's message met, and as I had yesterday objected 
to the first of General Smith, the chairman's resolutions, and 
agreed to offer what I considered as a better substitute for it, 
I this morning offered the first of the resolutions I drew up 
some days ago on the same subject. The question was put on 
Smith's resolution and mine, and determined by the committee 
in favor of mine — four to three. On this occasion I could not 
but observe the workings of party spirit and of personal friend- 
ship on public measures. Smith's resolution was so very badly 
drawn that I think there could be no reasonable question be- 
tween the two. (Here, however, I am sensible I am a very im- 
proper judge.) Dr. Logan and Mr. Baldwin declared in favor 
of Smith's — Baldwin without assigning any reason, Logan al- 
leging that there would probably be a congress of the North- 
ern European powers, and an abstract proposition would per- 

1 The amendment was in these words: "for the purpose of obtaining by nego- 
tiation, or otherwise, as he may deem most expedient, the free navigation of the 
river St. Lawrence, or his Britannic Majesty's territory lying south and east thereof, 
or any other territory lying east of the Mississippi, and south of the aforesaid river 
St. Lawrence, not owned or possessed by citizens of the United States." 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



393 



haps induce their co-operation sooner than a specification of 
our particular cause of complaint. Tracy, Mitchell, and An- 
derson, the two last with extreme and undisguised reluctance, 
pronounced in favor of mine. Tracy barely replied to Logan's 
semblance of an argument, which he blew away at a breath. 
The other two, after wavering long, and above all anxious for 
excusing their vote to the chairman, hesitated the preference 
which they could not deny, until the chairman inferred their 
vote without compelling them to give it, and declared the 
decision in favor of my resolution, with a slight amendment 
suggested by Mr. Anderson, and to this decision they assented. 
The chairman's second resolution was next taken up. Mr. 
Tracy declared himself very decidedly against it; said he 
believed it would be a pernicious and fatal measure, but refused 
to assign his reasons for this opinion. I expressed my opinion 
much more doubtfully; rather inclining against it, as a measure 
which would do us as much harm as the adversary; but far 
from pledging myself to vote against it eventually. We came 
to no decision, and adjourned until to-morrow morning. 

In Senate, Mr. Wright's bill was again called up, and he now 
moved to refer it to a select committee of five ; which was done. 
The bill for the relief of Seth Harding was, at my motion and 
Mr, Bradley's consent, postponed until Monday. 

As I was going up to the Capitol I met the Secretary of the 
Navy, and made some enquiries of him relating to the navy 
pension fund. He coincided perfectly in opinion with me, that 
this would be a complete diversion and misapplication of it ; 
and told me that Bradley had asked him some questions 
about the fund, whether it was rich, &c, and he had answered, 
" Yes, but I hope you are not going to lay your unhallowed 
hands upon it." On conversing with Bradley, he told me that 
the Secretary of the Navy had declared himself unequivocally 
in favor of this provision. The Library bill passed without a 
division. 

The secret bill was taken up, and Bradley's amendment de- 
bated — taken by yeas and nays, and carried against it — twenty- 
one to ten. Bradley was so much offended at this that he 
broke out against the bill itself; though he had originally de- 



•2Q4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

clared he should vote for it whether his amendment should be 
adopted or not. He now declared he would go home, and I 
think he will not vote on the bill at all. I think this was his de- 
sign in proposing the amendment. He was afraid to vote either 
for or against the bill, and took this mode of making a pretext to 
fly the vote. This is altogether in character, and I have often 
seen him do so before. Mr. Bayard then proposed another 
amendment, which he supported by a powerful speech. No 
answer was made ; but on taking the yeas and nays, they were 
yeas twenty to nays ten. Dr. Mitchell moved a postponement 
for a fortnight from next Monday — rejected. Mr. Bayard 
moved a postponement indefinitely, and made one of his most 
eloquent appeals to the feelings and reason of the Senate — 
rejected without a word in reply. It was now half-past three 
o'clock, and I moved an adjournment, as no discussion at all 
had taken place on the bill itself — rejected. The determina- 
tion appeared to be- to pass the bill at all hazards ; when, lo! 
General Adair declared he should vote against the bill, and in 
a very few words assigned his reasons. Mr. Hillhouse then rose 
to speak upon the bill, when they, who had but an instant before 
so stubbornly rejected every thing but the final vote, declared 
themselves willing to adjourn; and accordingly we did adjourn 
to Monday. Adair's scruples are to be quieted. 

It was late ; but I had a short conversation with Mr. Tracy, 
to enquire what were his objections to my resolutions. He did 
not particularly specify. I asked him if he had any thing to 
propose in their stead. He said arming and increasing the 
navy. After some discussion, he appeared again inclined to 
bring forward my resolutions, and I asked him to draw up one 
upon his own ideas to add to mine. He said he would, and we 
are to meet again in the morning. 

The crowd of business pressing upon us occasions many re- 
marks which might be useful, but which I have not time to 
record, and which will be lost. On these important questions 
which we are now agitating, I feel a distressing consciousness 
of my own weakness of capacity, together with a profound and 
anxious wish for more powerful means. I lament the want of 
genius because I want a mighty agent for the service of my 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. oqc 

country. I pray for light from above, and hope there is neither 
presumption nor fanaticism in the prayer. I pray for a sound 
head and a pure heart in deliberating upon points on which 
peace and war are pledged ; and I pray that I may never mis- 
take the suggestions of personal ambition or any other selfish 
passion for the dictates of patriotism. Feeble and insignificant 
as my influence upon the counsels of the nation is, I feel a load 
of responsibility weighing upon me to the utmost I can bear. 
Honest intention and sincerity must be my only substitute for 
more efficacious powers, and I hope I never shall suffer them 
to be overborne by any partial or dishonorable aim. 

February 1st. Attended the committee on the President's 
message at ten this morning. The chairman's second resolu- 
tion was further discussed ; and it soon appeared that Dr. 
Logan and Mr. Baldwin were against it. They are for doing 
nothing. Mr. Baldwin made one of his serpentine speeches in 
favor of temporizing policy. The war in Europe could not last 
long; the good man at the head of the British Government* 
could not live much longer; his death would bring in an entire 
new set of men, with different principles ; there was no appear- 
ance of any thing permanent in the present state of things ; it 
would be sufficient for us to pass general resolutions declaring 
our rights on this and the other subjects of complaint that we 
have, without taking any further measures, &c. Dr. Logan 
was for asking the President to send an Envoy Extraordinary 
to negotiate. Perhaps Mr. Monroe had irritated the British 
Government and aggravated their offences. Mr. Monroe was 
known not to be friendly to England ; he wanted to try the effect 
of another Minister there. He had heard Mr. Merry tell Mr. 
Madison that, before we went to war, we ought to be very sure 
that no other measure of a conciliatory nature remained. I 
objected to asking the President to send an Envoy Extraordi- 
nary, as too much dictating to him the mode of doing the 
business; but I took advantage of the Doctor's suggestion to 
propose my second resolution, which seemed to be generally 
assented to. In this state of things, three members having 

1 At the time this was said, Mr. Pitt's career had come to an end. He died on 
the 23d of the preceding month. 



3q6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

decisively pronounced against the chairman's second resolu- 
tion, I might have thrown it out at once; but, though not 
thinking it the best measure, I believed it better than none. 
Mr. Tracy stated his objections against it strongly. I stated 
mine. Smith answered them as well as he could. Dr. Mitchell 
was decided for the resolution as it stood. Mr. Anderson pro- 
posed a sub-committee of three to attempt a modification of it. 
This was agreed to. Smith as chairman named me, Anderson, 
and Mitchell as the sub-committee. The large committee then 
adjourned until ten on Monday morning. The sub-committee 
remained, and we agreed upon a modification of Smith's resolu- 
tion according to Anderson's idea, and also to propose in sub- 
stance my second resolution. They then charged me to draw up 
the two, to have them ready on Monday morning, half an hour 
earlier than the meeting of the full committee. We then parted, 
and it was about two. I went into the Secretary's office and 
examined all the reports on the navy pension fund. I had 
then some further conversation with Mr. Tracy, who showed 
me a resolution he had drawn up, to be added as a fourth after 
my three ; but he appeared unwilling to offer them to the com- 
mittee, and I therefore agreed to withdraw from the committee 
my third resolution, unless some occasion should in the course 
of discussion call for it, in which case he will also offer his, 
which is a general resolution, that it is expedient to fortify our 
harbors, increase our naval force, &c, which I presume will 
never be adopted in Senate, if agreed to in committee. I did 
show to the two members of the sub-committee my third reso- 
lution, at which they were at first a little startled, but which 
before we parted they seemed to think better of than I do my- 
self. It was past four o'clock when I got home to dinner. In 
the evening I drew up the two resolutions to be prepared for 
the consideration of the sub-committee. The subject is so im- 
portant as a national concern that I state thus minutely my 
agency in it. I have given it much anxious thought, and ob- 
served its progress with all my attention. Having formed in 
my own mind an opinion of the course to be pursued, I have 
found none proposed by others which I could consider as 
equally eligible, and therefore I was compelled in committee to 



•• 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 307 

deviate from the usual course of leaving every thing to the 
chairman, and to propose my first resolution as a substitute for 
his. A hint from Dr. Logan, destined for a very different pur- 
pose, led me to bring forward my second resolution. The third 
I still reserve. As on this occasion the conciliation of parties as 
much as possible is, in my view, still more important than what 
the precise measures to be adopted maybe, I have so far given 
up my own opinion as to accede to Smith's non-importation 
project, as modified by Mr. Anderson. At present, if it does 
little good, it will in all probability do less harm. I hoped for 
support from Mr. Tracy, or for some measure proposed by him, 
which I could heartily support ; but this hope I must abandon. 
Tracy, with all his talents, which are very great, and all his 
virtues, which are many, cannot divest himself enough of party 
feelings. He has been so ill treated by the party of this admin- 
istration, and is so sore under the injuries he has received from 
them, that he can on no great occasion coalesce with them. 
In regard to my resolutions, he has so hesitated and wavered, 
that if he finally gives them his vote it is all I can expect. His 
own proposition I think cannot be adopted ; nor do I think it 
a very useful one on this question. The result of all is, that in 
taking a lead, a man must rely only upon himself; that in ob- 
taining a lead, a man must calculate upon the opposition of his 
best friends as much as upon that of his most determined ad- 
versaries ; that the sterling weight of the measures themselves 
must force them down against the reluctance both of friends 
and foes. This is very decisively the case when the character 
of a leader is to be acquired. When once obtained, then the 
assistance of friends and supporters offers itself. This is the 
third session I have sat in Congress. I came in as a member 
in a very small minority, and during the two former sessions 
almost uniformly avoided to take a lead. Any other course 
would have been dishonest or ridiculous. On the very few and 
unimportant objects which I did undertake, I met at first with 
universal opposition. The last session my influence rose a 
little. At the present it has hitherto been apparently rising; 
though I have continued in the same system, to avoid all ap- 
pearance of an attempt to lead, until this great national subject 



ogg MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

of deliberation arose. Even on this I took none of the usual 
means to be put upon the committees relating to it. When on 
them, I came forward as late as possible ; and I see that the ad- 
vancement or declension of my influence will depend on my 
conduct throughout this affair more than on any other single 
subject. But the occasion calls for every exertion of my facul- 
ties to serve the public, and I can never cease to regret that those 
faculties are so feeble to meet such an emergency. I have set 
aside all party spirit, and I have devoted myself to honest and 
unwearied application upon the case. The gratification of my 
own vanity or ambition by a display of influence would be a 
despicable motive, of which I am utterly unconscious. The 
chance of a possibility that I may render real service to my 
country is very small — yet, small as it is, not to be abandoned 
in peevishness or despair. 

3d. Attended the sub-committee this morning at nine. We 
agreed to report the two resolutions as I had drawn them up 
to the large committee. Mr. Tracy called me out of the com- 
mittee room and showed me a new draught of the resolutions, 
including my three, his own one, and additional resolutions for 
communicating them to the President and Hou'se of Repre- 
sentatives. They were all considerably varied in the phrase- 
ology, and every epithet betokening resentment was left out. 
I could not consider these alterations as improvements, but I 
told him he might move such amendments as he thought most 
advisable, and I would acquiesce in them. On meeting the 
large committee, the sub-committee reported the two new 
resolutions. Mr. Tracy recurred back to the first resolution 
which had already passed, and moved a verbal amendment 
founded upon a punctilio of precision in the terms, which had 
arisen from an interlineation proposed by Mr. Anderson to my 
first resolution as it had originally stood. Smith, the chairman, 
was delighted at this, because he found in it his revenge for 
the mortification he had sustained by the preference of my 
resolution to his own. He laughed, and said he supposed 
other gentlemen would as readily resign their modes of expres- 
sion as he had his. Anderson immediately observed that the 
inaccuracy was occasioned by his interpolation ; and I agreed 



lSo6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



399 



to Mr. Tracy's amendment, though not without some manifes- 
tation of temper. Another of Tracy's amendments was this — 
I had used the word capture in one resolution, and seizure in 
another, to express the same thing. He proposed to strike 
out the word capture where I had used it, to introduce seizure. 
Now, both the words are commonly used and understood in 
the same sense ; but in rigorous criticism capture appeared the 
proper term ; I agreed, therefore, to use that in both cases. I 
could not, however, forbear to feel this renewed discussion 
upon a resolution already adopted, for the purpose of intro- 
ducing such amendments as these, more as hypercritical than 
friendly; and I felt it the more from the triumph it afforded 
Smith. I had also used the terms wanton violation and direct 
encroachment. Tracy moved to strike out both the epithets; 
to which I agreed, observing at the same time that I should 
myself have preferred to retain them. Mr. Baldwin said the 
term wanton was not only offensive and irritating, but would 
be denied in fact, as they were contended to be acts of abso- 
lute necessity. I replied, with warmth, that the term wanton 
might with the strictest justice be applied to the solemn mock- 
ery of Sir William Scott's decisions, contradictory to each 
other upon the same point — one day boasting of his judicial 
independence, and the next declaring the text of the king's 
instructions to be his only guide. However, I agreed to 
abandon the epithets, though other members, and particularly 
Smith, were very desirous to retain them. In the midst of this 
discussion we were summoned to attend the Senate (which 
was in session), and adjourned. In the course of the morning 
Mr. Tracy came to me and said he hoped this affair would 
not make any misunderstanding between us, and if it was dis- 
agreeable to me he would not move another word of alteration. 
I told him by no means — that I had no particular attachment 
to my own forms of expression, and would cheerfully agree to 
all his proposed amendments. This is true. I hope also that 
this circumstance will lead me to be still more solicitous for 
accuracy and precision than I ever have been. I may be sure 
that no error in this respect will escape his penetration. In 
reflecting coolly on the day and its events, I ought to thank 



400 ME MO IKS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

him for his severity, and to be more correct another time. I ought 
also to be content that Smith should have the gratification of 
seeing my composition run the gauntlet as well as his own. 

In Senate, memorials were presented from Salem, by Dr. 
Mitchell ; and from Boston, by Mr. Pickering and myself. 
Referred to the committee on the Baltimore and other me- 
morials. Dr. Mitchell presented a memorial from New York 
respecting the Seamen's fund. Referred to a select committee 
of three ; on which I was placed. The secret bill was taken 
up, and discussed on the final question until three o'clock, when 
the Senate adjourned without taking the question. Worthing- 
ton, Smith of Ohio, and Kitchell spoke in its favor; Hillhouse, 
Tracy, and myself against it. I made a very incoherent speech, 
without order and without self-collection. It was likewise ob- 
viously a very tedious one to all my hearers. The Vice-Presi- 
dent, by the way, does not love long speeches, and desired Mr. 
Tracy (to ask) that when we were about to make such we 
should give him notice ; that he might take the opportunity to 
warm himself at the fire. 

4th. Met the committee on the President's message. Mr. 
Tracy offered a resolution as a substitute for my second, totally 
varying its complexion, which I opposed with perhaps too 
much warmth. The question was taken, and decided in favor 
of mine. Dr. Logan moved an amendment, which was not 
carried. Finally, after a long discussion, the three resolutions 
were agreed to, amended as far as they could be made to suit a 
majority of the committee. On the third resolution, the non- 
importation project, Baldwin, Logan, and Tracy voted in the 
negative; Smith, the chairman, Anderson, Mitchell, and my- 
self in the affirmative. It will in all probability not be carried 
in Senate. Mr. Tracy said he should hold himself at liberty 
to offer in Senate the resolution which he had proposed as a 
substitute for my second in committee. Smith told him he 
certainly might, but he hoped he would not. I was then 
requested by the committee to draw up a fair copy of the 
report as agreed upon, and present it to-morrow morning, to 
which I consented; and which I accordingly did, while the 
Senate was in session. 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. a QI 

The day's debate was chiefly confined to the bill for prohib- 
iting the trade with the blacks of St. Domingo. Mr. Bayard 
moved a postponement of the bill, offering for consideration 
two resolutions, requesting of the President Treasury docu- 
ments to show the amount of duties and the value of this trade ; 
and also a communication of the Secretary of State's answer 
to the complaint of the French Government and Minister. 
The postponement was at first refused ; and it was determined 
to proceed in the consideration of the bill. The committee 
to 'whom it was referred at the second reading had reported an 
entire new bill, but their report was not made regularly con- 
formable to the rules of order. They reported the bill as 
amended, without reporting that the whole substance of the 
original bill should be stricken out. This gave rise to no small 
debate upon the question of order. It was, however, finally 
got over by a member's moving to strike out all but the enact- 
ing sentence of the original bill ; which was done, and then 
the amended bill reported by the committee was taken, up. 
The first section was agreed to. The second gave rise to a 
debate, upon which Mr. Bayard's motion for postponement was 
renewed and carried. He then again offered his two resolu- 
tions, and the Senate adjourned. 

5th. Met the committee on the President's message and 
presented the report drawn up according to their request; 
which was agreed to, and reported in Senate by the chairman, 
General Smith. Mr. Tracy is in perfect good humor again ; at 
which I cordially rejoice. The committee on the seamen's 
fund, Dr. Mitchell, General Smith, and myself, met for a few 
minutes ; and the chairman is to write to the Secretary of the 
Treasury for information. In Senate, the day was chiefly em- 
ployed in discussing the two resolutions offered by Mr. Bayard; 
both of which were negatived, by yeas and nays. He sup- 
ported them with his usual eloquence. But, if oratory be the 
art of persuasion, he has some material defects in his practice. 
In copiousness both of language and of thought he is truly 
admirable. His language is also generally elegant, without 
being highly ornamental. But he is not always judicious in 
the choice of his arguments ; he often dwells too long upon 
vol. 1. — 26 



402 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

the weak, and not unfrequently maintains the obviously un- 
tenable. He wants correctness, because he wants application. 
His genius is never at fault, but his judgment is often on the 
wrong scent. Another and still more hurtful oratorical failing 
is the want of control over his temper. The consciousness of 
his own powers is not without some perceptible debasement of 
others. Impatient of contradiction from men of understanding 
inferior to his own, he arraigns their motives, and too clearly 
manifests his contempt for their characters. His manner is 
always commanding, rather than conciliatory. This is a 
remarkable difference between his talents and Tracy's. He 
this day, in the debate on his second resolution, charged his 
opposers with so much virulence that "several of them com- 
plained and retorted. He replied by asserting his right to 
make such reflections. The Vice-President said he should in 
future call gentlemen to order who indulged themselves in 
reflections upon motives. After his resolutions were rejected, 
Smith of Maryland offered a substitute for the second section 
of the committee's bill ; which is to be printed and taken up 
to-morrow. Smith and Dr. Mitchell, who at first vehemently 
opposed the introduction of the bill, have become supporters 
of it, grounded on their fears of the resentment of France. I 
took no part in this day's debate, but drew up the first sketch 
of a bill to prevent the abuse of the privileges of foreign Am- 
bassadors and Ministers, which I intend to propose. In the 
evening, besides my usual occupations, I consulted Vattel on 
this subject. 

6th. Met the committee on the Articles of War, and made 
progress in amending the bill to the forty-fifth article. In 
Senate, a confidential message was received from the President, 
with a letter from Mr. Monroe of 26th November, and a note 
to him from Lord Mulgrave, mentioning that the Government 
had taken up the subject of Mr. Monroe's complaints and 
would duly consider them. The doors being closed, the secret 
bill was resumed. I moved that the bill be committed to a 
select committee, with instructions to enquire into and report 
whether West Florida was or was not included in the cession 
of Louisiana by France to the United States in the Treaty of 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 403 

30th April, 1803. This occasioned a debate of three or four 
hours, at the close of which my motion was negatived by yeas 
and nays — yeas eight, nays twenty-three. Mr. Pickering then 
moved a postponement of the bill to take up a resolution ask- 
ing the President for papers respecting the title and the bound- 
aries of Louisiana eastward and westward. This also was 
negatived. On the main question, Mr. Bayard then made a 
very powerful speech of about one hour in length, to which no 
reply was made. General Sumter finally declared himself to 
be averse to the bill, or not prepared to vote; upon which an 
adjournment immediately followed. 

7th. The committee on the Georgia Land petitions was to 
have met this morning ; but the members did not attend. In 
Senate, a message was received from the President, with an 
Indian Treaty. The day was again spent upon the secret bill. 
General Sumter made a speech at some length against it. Mr. 
Tracy moved successively two amendments : one to strike out 
two millions and insert one, the other to introduce a clause 
specifying the object of the appropriation to purchase the 
Floridas — negatived by yeas and nays, thirteen to eighteen. Dr. 
Logan had previously moved a postponement of the bill, to 
recommend further negotiation, which was also negatived. Mr. 
Tracy concluded the debate on the bill by a short speech 
against it. Mr. Bradley moved to postpone the question until 
Monday, on the ground of the recent news from Europe mate- 
rially varying the aspect of things. This also was refused, and 
just before five o'clock the question on the bill was taken — 
seventeen yeas and eleven nays. Bradley, Logan, and Mitchell 
absented themselves purposely, not to vote on the question. 
Smith of Ohio was also absent; probably not, however, for 
that reason. The measure has been very reluctantly adopted 
by the President's friends, on his private wishes signified to 
them, in strong contradiction to the tenor of all his public 
messages. His whole system of administration seems founded 
upon this principle of carrying through the legislature meas- 
ures by his personal or official influence. There is a certain 
proportion of the members in both Houses who on every 
occasion of emergency have no other enquiry but what is the 



4C>4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

President's wish. These, of course, always vote accordingly. 
Another part adhere to him in their votes, though strongly 
disapproving the measures for which they vote. A third 
float in uncertainty ; now supporting one side of a question 
and now supporting the other, and eventually slinking away 
from the record of their votes. A fourth have the spirit 
even to vote against the will of their leader ; of which 
number on this occasion were Sumter, Stone, Adair, and 
Gilman. This is, however, one of those temporizing expe- 
dients the success of which is very doubtful. If a really 
trying time should ever befall this administration, it would 
very soon be deserted by all its troops, and by most of 
its principal agents. Even now they totter at every blast. I 
rode home with Messrs. Gaillard, Smith of Vermont, and 
Thruston. 

8th. I attended the committee on the Georgia Land petitions. 
I was at least two hours at the Capitol, before I could get to- 
gether four members of the committee — Baldwin, Sumter, and 
Bradley, with myself. Mr. Anderson again failed to attend. 
Mr. Bradley now moved that the chairman should write a note 
calling upon the petitioners to state in writing their propositions 
for a compromise, and their powers, with a transcript of the 
deeds by which the titles were conveyed from the original 
grant to the right of their principals. As the accomplishment 
of this would inevitably have delayed the committee several 
weeks, and as this was obviously Bradley's purpose by it, I 
opposed it as much as I could. Bradley finally gave up the 
transcript, and altered it to a deduction of the rights from the 
original grants to the present claimants. This was finally 
agreed to by the majority, in spite of my opposition. When 
these papers come, they will, in all probability, furnish Bradley 
some hook for further suspension, or some pretext for arresting 
the subject short. It is clearly his real intention to prevent the 
discussion of the subject in Senate, and of course the doing of 
any thing for the petitioners. His pretended purpose is to 
make a final settlement of the business now, that Congress may 
never' hear of it again. Sumter is in favor of the petitioners, 
but, not seeing through Bradley's projects, is always falling into 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



405 



his snares. Baldwin is avowedly opposed to the claims, and of 
course favors every thing that can tend to defeat them ; and 
Anderson, who began by being very zealous for the petitioners, 
has cooled down to such a degree that he has already hinted 
to me they must be abandoned, and has avoided, for several of 
the last meetings, to attend the committee at all. Of course I 
have only to make myself easy upon the subject, with the con- 
fident assurance that nothing will be done. Bradley is a man 
of a marked character, and discovers it on all occasions. He 
is now open-mouthed against the Two Million bill (the secret 
bill), and says that he was never let into the real secret of the 
business until two days ago. That then he was informed by 
Mr. Anderson that after Talleyrand had declared so positively 
against our claims in the controversy with Spain, he had, by an 
unofficial, unsigned note, given Mr. Armstrong to understand 
that Spain was much in arrears in the subsidy due from her 
to France, and that if we would offer to pay them she might 
be prevailed upon to cede us the Floridas for the money. This 
note has been transmitted to our Government, and is the whole 
foundation of the President's policy with France and Spain. 
Thus, while the public message at the commencement of the 
session breathed nothing but force, and almost recommended 
immediate war, the private whispers to friends were for this 
money, and for authority, as it is called, to exchange land for 
land. Accordingly, the House of Representatives have passed 
and communicated to the President, without asking the con- 
currence of the Senate, two resolutions recommending to him 
to give land rather than money for land. Thus armed, he is 
now prepared for a negotiation by which we may renounce all 
our claims upon the western boundary of Louisiana and pay 
several millions to get the Floridas. This is a great falling off 
from the tales with which we were soothed two years ago into the 
ratification of the Louisiana Treaty. Bradley says that Talley- 
rand treated our Ministers, Livingston and Monroe, as Laban 
treated Jacob — after serving him seven years for a wife, when 
he awoke in the morning, instead of Rachel, behold it was 
Leah — and now this money must be given to patch up this 
blunder. Poor Bradley, however, with all this, slunk away 



406 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

yesterday at the instant when the question on the bill was 
taken. He says he thought Mr. Bayard was going to make 
another long speech against it, and that he went away for fear 
of losing his dinner because it was so late. I suppose some of 
his friends have rallied him upon his retreat at the critical mo- 
ment; by this attempt to apologize for it. A man's character 
is often discoverable in his opinions as well as in his actions. 
Bradley says that all the talents of a public Minister consist in 
the degree to which he possesses the art of overreaching. The 
pains that Mr. Anderson has taken privately to raise jealousies 
against the secret bill, convince me that he too has been look- 
ing one way and rowing another. In the debates, he has been 
the most zealous and active supporter of the bill ; but, besides 
this story which he told Bradley, and which made Bradley, as 
he says, averse to it, Anderson has told me several times that 
he wished the devil had the bill — that it had never been brought 
in ; that I did not know by one-half how bad it was, and that 
it was the most pernicious measure that ever Mr. Jefferson had 
determined upon. But so it was — so he would have it — and 
so it must be. I have taken Wicquefort out of the public 
library, to consult him respecting the bill I purpose to ask 
leave for bringing in; but had this day no time to look into 
him. 

ioth. In Senate, the bill prohibiting the trade to St. Domingo 
was taken up, and, after passing through various amendments, 
passed to the third reading. Mr. Bayard moved an amend- 
ment, which was not adopted, and for which I did not vote, as I 
did not approve it. Afterwards the bill for the relief of Seth 
Hardinge was taken up. Bradley, who brought it in, moved 
its postponement and reference of the petition and papers to the 
Secretary of the Navy, which I opposed, and Bradley withdrew 
his motion. I then moved an amendment, by which Captain 
Hardinge should be placed on the pension list generally, but 
not quartered on the navy fund. This amendment I supported 
with all my power, but it was negatived by a majority of two 
to one. I then called for the yeas and nays on the bill, and 
they were eighteen to nine, and four members absent. Mr. 
Bayard, who voted against me, after the adjournment said to 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OE THE UNITED STATES. ^ y 

me, " Your amendment shared the fate of mine." It was very 
true ; and, as I felt a very strong confidence in the correctness 
of the principle on which I had moved for the amendment, I 
was proportionably vexed at its failure. I endeavored to con- 
vince the Senate with more warmth than strength. My doc- 
trine was good, but it was not well defended. Dr. Mitchell, 
who, two days ago, told me that I was certainly right in this 
case, voted, however, against me. I have so often experienced 
this, and from so many members of the majority, that it is no 
longer an object of surprise. I never count upon their votes 
from any thing they say beforehand. Bayard is at least more 
honest. He always tells me when he thinks me wrong, as he 
did on this occasion. His gratification on finding my failure 
of success was natural enough, on its succeeding so imme- 
diately his own. Evening at home, reading Bynkershoek and 
Vattel. 

nth. In Senate, the bill to prohibit the trade with St. Do- 
mingo was taken up at the third reading, and, after many amend- 
ments and much desultory discussion, committed a second time 
to a select committee. The bill to prohibit the exportation of 
arms and ammunition was also taken up, amended and dis- 
cussed, and passed to a third reading. I spent the evening in 
drawing up a bill to prevent the abuse of the privileges and 
immunities enjoyed by foreign Ministers, which I intend asking 
leave to bring in ; not from any expectation of success, but in 
what I think a discharge of duty, and to open the subject for 
discussion. 

1 2th. I was summoned to attend a committee this morning, 
but the members did not attend, and there was of course no 
meeting. A bill respecting the salaries of the judges at New 
Orleans was taken up and partially debated; postponed. I 
gave notice of my intention to ask leave to-morrow to bring in 
a bill respecting foreign Ministers. The notice appeared to 
cause considerable sensation, and several members afterwards 
enquired what was my object. On being informed, some testi- 
fied approbation, and others the contrary. The three resolutions 
were then taken up ; and the first, after some small discussion, 
was agreed to unanimously, twenty-eight members answering in 



4 o8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

the affirmative. 1 The second, after some discussion, was left 
undecided by an adjournment. 

13th. Summoned again upon two committees, but neither of 
them could form a meeting, for want of punctual attendance. 
In Senate, according to notice yesterday given, I asked leave 
to bring in my bill, which was granted without opposition. It 
was read, and passed also without opposition to a second read- 
ing. The bill respecting the salaries of the New Orleans 
judges, after some debate and amendment, passed to a third 
reading. The second of the three resolutions was then re- 
sumed, and debated until four o'clock, when, without taking a 
vote, the Senate adjourned. In the evening I went with the 
ladies to a party at Mr. Madison's. There was a company 
of about seventy persons of both sexes. I had considerable 
conversation with Mr. Madison, on the subjects now most 
important to the public. His system of proceeding towards 
Great Britain is, to establish permanent commercial distinctions 
between her and other nations — a retaliating navigation act ; 
and aggravated duties on articles imported from her. This is 
doubtless the President's favorite policy. Mr. Madison ex- 
pressed his entire approbation of the bill I have brought in 
respecting foreign Ministers ; that is, of the principle. The 
bill itself he has not seen. 

14th. Attended the committee on the Georgia Land petitions. 
The committee determined to write again to the agents of the 
petitioners, and call upon them for further powers, and a stipu- 
lation to bind all the remainder of the claimants whom they do 
not represent. I find it in vain to oppose this course of pro- 
ceeding, because all the other members of the committee are 
determined upon it. Baldwin, the chairman, in a manner truly 
characteristic, attempted to surprise the committee into a reso- 
lution not to proceed any further until a complete representa- 

1 The resolution was in these words. It applies to the well-known rule of '56 : 
" Resolved, That the capture and condemnation, under the orders of the British 
Government and adjudications of their Courts of Admiralty, of American vessels 
and their cargoes, on the pretext of their being employed in a trade with the 
enemies of Great Britain prohibited in time of peace, is an unprovoked aggression 
upon the property of the citizens of these United States, a violation of their neutral 
rights, and an encroachment upon their national independence." 



iSo6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



409 



tion of all the claimants should appear to join in the com- 
promise. This, however, was opposed, and he could not carry 
it. We are to meet again. In Senate, the bill concerning for- 
eign Ministers was read the second time, and referred to a 
committee of five, of which I am chairman. The opposition 
has not yet made its appearance, except in the appointment of 
the committee, two of whom are undoubtedly opposed to the 
principle of the bill. The second of the three resolutions was 
again taken up, and very warmly debated until past four 
o'clock. Finally, after a great variety of propositions, the 
words "and insist upon" were stricken out by a vote of sixteen 
to fifteen, and then the resolution passed — twenty-three yeas 
and seven nays. Several attempts to adjourn were made, but 
could not succeed, because, it being Friday, the Senate could 
not, as usual, adjourn over until Monday without a previous 
vote to that effect ; and, desirous as the opponents of the reso- 
lution were to get rid of it for a day by adjournment, they did 
not choose to lose the usual Saturday's holiday, or despaired 
of carrying it. Here then is a distinction in practice, which 
makes it easier to press the taking of a question on a Friday 
than on any other day. 1 Thus my two resolutions are disposed 
of much more favorably than I expected. The third belongs 
to General Smith and Mr. Anderson, and 1 doubt very much 
whether it will be adopted. Spent the evening with the ladies 
at Dr. Thornton's, with a numerous company. There were 
card-parties, as usual, but I did not play. The Vice-President 

1 The resolution was to this effect : 

" Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to demand and 
insist upon the restoration of the property of their citizens, captured and condemned 
on the pretext of its being employed in a trade with the enemies of Great Britain, 
prohibited in time of peace; and upon the indemnification of such American citi- 
zens for their losses and damages sustained by those captures and condemnations; 
and to enter into such arrangements with the British Government on this and all 
other differences subsisting between the two nations (and particularly respecting 
the impressment of American seamen) as may be consistent with the honor and 
interest of the United States, and manifest their earnest desire to obtain for them- 
selves and their citizens, by amicable negotiation, that justice to which they are 
entitled." 

The words " and insist" were stricken out. The debate which took place is 
found in Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. p. 257, et seq. 



410 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

was there, and spoke to me of my bill respecting Ministers 
with strong approbation. Mr. Wright did the same. Mr. 
Wagner suggested to me the propriety of some additional pro- 
visions to be introduced in it. News of the battle of Wischau 
came this evening. 1 

15th. Attended the committee on the Articles of War at ten 
this morning. General Sumter, the chairman, and Mr. White 
also attended. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Wright were absent. 
We continued the examination and amendment of the bill to 
the eighty-eighth article — when, having sat upwards of four 
hours, General Sumter said he could not sit longer, and we 
adjourned. General Turreau was here, and spoke to me of my 
bill ; said he hoped I should not carry it through, for he 
should otherwise be afraid of being shipped off himself — which 
would be equivalent to delivering him up to the English. He 
said this jokingly, and I answered him, that if the bill should 
pass there would certainly never be any occasion for its appli- 
cation to him, as I was certain he would never give cause for 
the exercise of the power I contemplated to vest in the Presi- 
dent. He replied that his first remark had only been par plai- 
santcrie, and said that he perceived by my bill I understood the 
usages of Europe as well as those of my own country. Then, 
by a natural transition, adverting to the Marquis's letter to Mr. 
Madison, 2 he said that, considered apart from its publication, 
which he did not attempt to defend, it did not appear to him 
that there was any thing in the letter itself but what a Minister, 
zealous in the cause of his Government, might be justified in 
saying. I told him there were, besides the publication and its 
manner, two other things in the Marquis's conduct which I 
thought far exceeded the rights of a foreign Minister, and which 
were extremely offensive to our Government and nation. The 
one was the circular to the other foreign Ministers here, enclos- 
ing copies of his letter to Mr. Madison, and the other was the 

1 A slight success obtained by the Russo-Austrian army previous to their 
great defeat at Austerlitz. 

2 The Marquis de Casa Yrujo, Minister from Spain. He married a daughter 
of Governor McKean, in Philadelphia. He seems to have felt himself so much 
domesticated in America as to forget his official position, even to the extent of 
appealing to the public against the government, in the newspapers. 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES 4II 

manner in which the President's name and official conduct were 
treated in the letter itself. I had seen in the public papers 
an attempt to justify the Marquis's circular by the precedent of 
the reciprocal memorials of the French, English, and Prussian 
Ministers at the Hague in 1786 and 1787. This precedent I 
said was an aggravation of the outrage. For what was that 
case? In 1786 and 1787 the civil dissensions and internal 
party struggles in Holland had come almost to a civil war. In 
that situation three foreign powers, France, Britain, and Prussia, 
undertook to interfere and settle by concert among themselves 
the fate of Holland; and therefore their Ministers at the Hague 
communicated to each other their diplomatic communications 
with the Dutch Government, which was to receive the law 
from them. Did the Marquis pretend that he and the French 
and English Ministers, or any others here, were by concert to 
give us the law ? 

He interrupted me here, and said he had seen that attempt 
at a justification, but that it appeared to him that there was no 
sort of analogy between the two cases, and that the precedent 
was not applicable. He also admitted that the use of the 
President's name and the direct reference to his message were 
improper ; but otherwise the contents of the letter did not seem 
to him to transgress the bounds of a Minister's rights. I re- 
plied that I well knew what the rights and independence of a 
Minister were, and with what freedom and boldness he must 
always be allowed to maintain the interests of his sovereign ; 
I would be the last man in the world to infringe those rights ; 
but there were correlative duties, which a public Minister on his 
part was equally bound to observe ; and if he violated them, 
the Government to which he was addressed must have the 
means of removing him. The President of the United States 
did not, in most respects, stand on the footing of a European 
sovereign; but as to his addresses to the Legislature on their 
assembling 

Here the General interrupted me again, and said that in this 
respect, undoubtedly, he was to be considered as precisely in 
the same situation. 

" Well," said I, " let me suppose the Emperor of France had 



412 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

delivered a speech, or sent a message to the legislative body, 
and a foreign Minister at Paris should undertake to write and 
circulate such a comment upon it as that of the Marquis in 
this case, how long would such a Minister be suffered to re- 
main in France ?" 

He smiled, and said, probably not long. But, he said, there 
had been many little irritating circumstances, which had pro- 
voked the Marquis ; and, for instance, his letter had not been 
answered. A foreign Minister might, at least, expect to have 
an answer. I said that perhaps the answer was withheld be- 
cause the character of the letter had forfeited the right to 
one. But, said he, I know your Government does not answer, 
for they have not answered me. I said that I did not mean to 
consider his case as at all similar to that of the Marquis; that 
he had spoken to our Government in terms very plain, and, to 
say the least, very energetic ; but I had heard no complaint 
against him personally on this account : he had been under- 
stood as only discharging his duty, and had given no cause of 
offence. He concluded by observing that as the Marquis had, 
in this instance, been unfortunate, he had sympathized with 
him "non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco," and therefore 
he had taken him with him to Baltimore; that he was sorry 
for him, as he was certainly a man of good understanding 
and fine parts. I told him I was convinced of that, and it was 
an aggravation of his conduct — which I should more easily 
have excused if I could have imputed it to ignorance or weak- 
ness. When a man of sense behaves in such a manner, it be- 
trays a sentiment of contempt at the bottom of his heart, which 
is more insupportable than the insults themselves. Here our 
conversation ended. 

1 8th. Mr. Worthington told me that he liked my Minister 
bill very well, and he believed he should vote for it ; that he 
had conversed with the President about it, and the President 
was well pleased with it. He had asked the President, if this 
law had been enacted before the Marquis's late misconduct, 
what he would have done with him ; and the President 
answered that he would have taken good care of him. My 
conclusion from this is, that in reality the President has given 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 4^ 

the word against the passage of my bill. I spent the evening 
in making further extracts on the subject. 

19th. Met the committee on my bill — Smith of Maryland, 
Tracy, and Baldwin. Smith of Vermont did not attend, being 
confined at home by indisposition, and Tracy, after sitting a 
few minutes, left us to go upon another committee. Mr. 
Smith appears disposed to do something, but he thinks a short 
bill, of a single section, would answer. He had one ready 
drawn, but did not propose it; the discussion being confined to 
the principle itself. Mr. Baldwin, professing to be very favor- 
ably disposed to the object of my bill, started by way of doubt 
a variety of objections, which I endeavored to answer as well 
as I could — asked whether any European power had made 
laws on this subject; whether the President had not the 
power without a law ; whether, if a doubt on this point ex- 
isted, it was not because the power ought to exist in Congress, 
as being tantamount to war ; and whether it would not be 
better in every particular case for Congress to act by joint 
resolves, requesting the President to order or send away such 
an offender; whether any examples had occurred of Ministers 
sent away by actual force, &c. 

These, I presume, are the ostensible grounds upon which 
my bill will be rejected, and in them the weight of objection 
against it lies. But I had another symptom of its fate, as sure 
as the black vomit portends the issue of the yellow fever. Just 
before the committee met, Mr. Wright, who last week was so 
decided in favor of my bill, came to me and said that upon 
looking into the subject more fully he found there were very 
great difficulties in the way. For that Ministers, he found, en- 
joyed the right of exterritoriality. They were considered as 
never in the territory of the sovereign to whom they are sent; 
and his argument was that therefore they cannot be ordered to 
quit the territory. Wright's arguments are always about of 
this force, but they always answer the purpose of the vane on 
a steeple ; they show which way the wind blows. 

In Senate, the St. Domingo bill again employed the greatest 
part of the day. Between three and four o'clock they came to 
the question on the passage of the bill. Mr. White then 



414 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February , 

moved an adjournment, stating that he intended to speak on 
this question, and was somewhat unwell. The adjournment 
was at first refused, but afterwards, with no very good grace, 
agreed to. Mr. Pinckney, of Baltimore, Mr. Harper, and Mr. 
Foster spent the evening below ; and I passed most of it with 
them. 

20th. Met the committee on my bill again. I had great diffi- 
culty in collecting them together, and Mr. Smith of Vermont 
was still absent. We had but little discussion upon the princi- 
ples, and finally they agreed that I should report the bill, with 
an additional section by way of amendment; but none of the 
committee being pledged to support the bill. General Smith 
proposes a short bill of a single section ; and that is what will 
eventually pass, if any thing. The Marquis's letters last pub- 
lished seem, however, to have frightened many of them ; so that 
probably nothing will be done. In Senate, a bill for classing 
the militia was read, and occasioned some discussion. General 
Smith moved the appointment of a committee to carry the 
two resolutions to the President. The motion lies on the table. 
The St. Domingo bill passed — twenty-one yeas and eight nays. 
Before its passage, Mr. White delivered against it one of the 
most powerful and beautiful speeches I have ever heard made 
in Congress. 1 Mr. Moore and Mr. Wright were the only per- 
sons who ventured to oppose him, and they made but an indif- 
ferent figure. 

2 1 st. Met this morning the committee on the Georgia Land 
petitions. Mr. Bradley engaged to draw up a report, and I 
agreed to draw a bill conformably to the principles agreed 
upon by the committee. In Senate, some time was wasted 
upon Mr. Wright's bill respecting the impressment of seamen, 
which they knew not what to do with. At length, however, 
when he called for the yeas and nays, they determined to 
recommit his bill, which was accordingly done. Mr. Worth- 
ington laid on the table a resolution for adjourning on the ioth 
of March. Some debate was had upon the question whether 
the Senate could adjourn over until Monday; but the motion 
to that purpose eventually prevailed. After the adjournment, 

1 Reported in Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. p. 360. 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^5 

I went into the room where the Supreme Court is in session, 
and heard part of an argument of Mr. Harper. 

22d. I attended the committee on the Rules and Articles of 
War. We finally got through the revision of the bill ; and I 
agreed to make a copy of all the amendments we have deter- 
mined to propose, for a report. The committee adjourned 
early. I went into the library and examined several books 
there. Attended the Supreme Court, and heard Mr. Pinckney, 
whose manner of speaking I think too vehement. He was, 
however, just at the close of his argument when I went in. I 
wrote in the Senate chamber until four o'clock, and then 
went home with Mr. Cranch, and dined with him. Mr. Quincy 
was quite unwell with a severe cold. We had much conversa- 
tion upon the state of our public affairs, and I find my friend 
Quincy differing from me in opinion upon some of the most 
important points of our policy. We discussed them at con- 
siderable length. 

25th. I dined at the President's, with a company of fifteen 
members of both Houses, all federalists, and consisting chiefly 
of the delegations from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Mr. 
White, of Delaware, was also there. I came home early in 
the evening, and spent it in writing. Conversing with the 
President on public affairs, he told me that he understood Mr. 
Gregg's proposition was to be abandoned, and that the ques- 
tion would be between Mr. Nicholson's resolutions or nothing. 
I said it seemed probable that nothing would eventually have 
the preference. He said that then we must abandon our carry- 
ing trade, for that unless something were done in aid of 
negotiation Great Britain would never yield on this point. 
His own preference is manifestly for Nicholson's resolution, 
which is indeed a renewal of his own project in 1794, then 
produced in Congress by Mr. Madison. He appeared not well 
pleased when I intimated the suspicion that nothing would be 
done. So he probably counts on the success of Nicholson's 

motion. 1 

1 

1 After a long debate, reported in Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. pp. 419-464, 
the resolutions of Mr. Nicholson, far more moderate than those of Mr. Gregg, 



4i6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU1NCY ADAMS. [March, 

27th. Met the committee on the Articles of War. They 
agreed to report the amendments as I have drawn them up, 
and almost in every point the same as those I reported to the 
bill at the last session. They were accordingly reported by 
the chairman, General Sumter. 

In Senate, a bill to punish the counterfeiting of coins, domes- 
tic and foreign, was debated as in committee of the whole at 
the second meeting. I proposed a variety of amendments, all 
of which were rejected. One of them was to prevent the ab- 
surdity of making a man subject to two trials for the same 
offence — one under the United States and the other under the 
separate States. Mr. Bayard was the principal opposer of all 
the amendments I moved. At last, however, I obtained the 
striking out of a section which raised a penalty for counter- 
feiting foreign coins not current by law. My objection was, the 
Constitution only empowered Congress to punish for counter- 
feiting the current coin. The question was taken by yeas and 
nays, and the section stricken out — seventeen to eleven. Dined 
at Mr. Madison's, with the Judges Marshall, Washington, and 
Johnson, Mr. Breckinridge, now Attorney-General, several 
members of Congress, and other gentlemen. In the evening 
there was a party of ladies, and cards. 

March 3d. In Senate, the first subject taken up was my bill 
respecting foreign Ministers, to which I spoke about an hour 
and a half. Mr. Smith of Maryland, and Mr. Pickering, ob- 
jected to particular parts of the bill, but not to its material prin- 
ciple. Mr. Bayard, in a speech of some length, opposed both 
the general principle and many of the details. Mr. Worthing- 
ton advocated the bill in its present shape. At length, by a 
vote of seventeen to eleven, the bill passed to a third reading, 

were adopted by the House of Representatives, by a vote of eighty-seven to thirty- 
five. 

This discussion is also memorable as developing the first symptoms of discon- 
tent with the administration in Mr. John Randolph, Jr., who had now reached the 
maximum of his remarkable power over the House of Representatives. Very few 
of our public speakers have left so high a reputation for eloquence, with so small 
a basis of statesmanship to support it. From this date his discontent assumed more 
and more of a morbid character, until he died having actually left nothing to make 
good the promise of his outset. 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^j 

with a view then to amend it so as to accommodate it to the 
opinions of a majority. It is, however, still most probable that 
it will not be suffered to pass in any shape. I had no reason to 
be satisfied with my performance this day — but reason to thank 
Heaven that I did not more grossly fail. 

4th. The bill for punishing the counterfeiting of coins also 
passed. But words were introduced, as I have all along ex- 
pected, exactly equivalent to the fourth section of the bill, 
which was struck out as unconstitutional. Mr. Baldwin was the 
man who devised this mode of veiling the violation of the 
Constitution, by the selection of words in which the breach was 
disguised. It passed by yeas and nays, nineteen to nine; and 
the bill itself thus amended, twenty-two to four. This example 
proves to .me, what indeed I have often seen before, that con- 
stitutional difficulties never will stand in the way of a majority, 
and that, even in so select a body as the Senate of the United 
States, a mere variation of phrase will contrive a loop-hole to 
creep from the most barefaced usurpation of power. Mr. An- 
derson requested me to publish the speech I made yesterday 
on my bill, to which I assented. 

5th. The resolution for an appropriation to fortify New York 
and other ports and harbors was taken up. Dr. Mitchell, after 
a learned speech, proposed to fill the blank for the fortification 
of New York with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars;, 
which by a silent vote was rejected. Dr. Mitchell was so 
disconcerted at the decision that he proposed not to take a 
question on the other parts of the report. General Smith of 
Maryland, however, moved to fill the blank with one hundred 
thousand dollars, which gave rise to some discussion, after 
which the subject was generally postponed. I drew a bill for 
the encouragement of the shipping and navigation of the United 
States, founded on General Smith's resolution committed to 
him, Mr. Baldwin, and me. Smith himself desired me, or rather 
as chairman ordered me, to draw the bill. 

6th. Committee on the Georgia Land petitions. The bill I 

had drawn was submitted to them, and, being debated, Mr. 

Bradley proposed an amendment, which he promised to have 

in writing for the committee to-morrow morning. In Senate, 

vol. 1. — 27 



4I g MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

General Smith reported the bill I drew yesterday at his request. 
The bill for the relief of Peter Landais was debated in com- 
mittee of the whole at the second reading. Mr. Bradley moved 
to strike out six thousand and insert two thousand, which 
motion was rejected. On the question of its passage to a third 
reading, General Sumter moved an adjournment just as the 
Vice-President was stating the question, which gave him offence, 
and he said, Gentlemen should not move an adjournment while 
he was stating a question. The adjournment, however, pre- 
vailed. We could scarcely keep a quorum this day, Mr. John 
Randolph having made in the House of Representatives a 
speech of three hours against Gregg's non-importation resolu- 
tion, in the course of which he uttered a very violent philippic 
against the present Executive and their course of policy. He 
has been so exasperated at the attempt to take the manage- 
ment of the House from his hands, and at his defeat on the 
secret bill, that he has poured forth all the ebullitions of his 
resentment on this question. It is said there is now very warm 
electioneering in the party for the next presidential election, 
and that Mr. Randolph's object in his present denunciation is 
to prevent Mr. Jefferson from consenting to serve again, and 
Mr. Madison from being his successor. Mr. Randolph's man is 
said to be Mr. Monroe. Sed quaere de hoc. 

7th. In committee on the Georgia Land petitions. Mr. 
Bradley produced his amendment, which was agreed to, and I 
undertook to draw up the bill as amended. The committee 
agreed to ask leave to report by bill. This was accordingly 
done. I drew the bill while the House was in session, and it 
was immediately reported. 

My bill at the third reading was rejected. 1 The yeas and 

1 The bill to prevent the abuse of the privileges of foreign Ministers, upon the 
introduction of which the speech of the 3d of March had been made, was certainly 
a strong measure. The speech itself is to be found in Benton's Abridgment, vol. 
iii. pp. 364-368, as well as in the third volume of the Boston Anthology, printed 
in 1806, where it appears with a few additional notes. The proceeding was prompted 
by the conduct of the Marquis de Casa Yrujo, already referred to. Such proceed- 
ings unquestionably justified a resort to the proposed remedy. But it was prob- 
ably regarded by the administration as implying discourtesy to other nations which 
had never offended, and as needless in the presence of a more simple alternative ; 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 419 

nays were taken on each of the four sections. The decision 
on the first, however, was on the fate of the whole — seventeen 
to eleven. Mr. Bayard, Mr. Hillhouse, and Mr. Smith of Ver- 
mont were its principal opposers. 

Mr. Gregg's resolutions were again debated in the House ; 
and Mr. Randolph, in a second speech of two hours, renewed 
his attack on the President and Mr. Madison. I went into the 
House after the Senate's adjournment ; but he was then just 
closing his speech, and the House immediately adjourned. 

8th. I was summoned to attend three committees : on the 
Rules, on the Philadelphia memorial, and on the subject of 
impressed seamen. While sitting on the first, the last without 
me agreed to recommend a postponement of the subject to the 
next session. The committee on the Rules, Mr. Anderson, Mr. 
Tracy, and myself attending, agreed to some amendments and 
additions, and are to meet on Monday to consider the report 
as completed. We had much conversation with Mr. Anderson 
on the late nomination of Mr. Armstrong, which he very much 
disapproves, but which must be carried. 1 After finishing our 
business, I went into the House, which sits to-day, and heard 
part of the debate on Mr. Gregg's resolution. Mr. Williams, 
of South Carolina, was finishing as I went in, and Mr. Bidwell 
followed him in a speech of about half an hour. It was a 
tolerably good speech, but indifferently delivered. He has 
depreciated as an orator since I heard him in the Senate of 
Massachusetts. His friends appeared to be pleased with it, but 
as a popular speaker he never can stand as the rival of John 
Randolph. Evening at home, partly below, 2 where I found 
Mr. Van Cortlandt and Mr. Verplanck. The effect of Mr. 
Randolph's having thus suddenly turned upon his party is 
violent, and has thrown them into the greatest consternation. 
Its ultimate result can as yet scarcely be foreseen. 

ioth. In Senate. The third of the resolutions reported by 

recourse was had to the customary practice of demanding the recall of the offend- 
ing Minister, and it proved effective. The Marquis was recalled. But if Spain 
had declined to act, the propriety of such a law would have been less doubtful. 

1 John Armstrong, nominated as Minister Plenipotentiary to France. 

2 That is, in the receiving room, underneath his private room. 



4 20 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

the committee was taken up. Mr. Smith of Maryland made a 
speech of an hour and a half in its favor; after which the ques- 
tion was about to be taken silently, and the resolution would 
undoubtedly have been rejected. I desired a postponement 
generally, which was agreed to. The bill containing the Articles 
of War was taken up at the third reading, and almost gone 
through, when a motion of Mr. Anderson to introduce a new 
article gave rise to some debate, and the Senate adjourned. The 
nomination of Mr. Armstrong was postponed until to-morrow. 

I ith. The Articles of War were again taken up this day, and, 
after much discussion upon Mr. Anderson's proposition, they 
were finally agreed to, and the bill passed, with all the amend- 
ments reported by the committee. Mr. Armstrong's nomina- 
tion was considered, and Mr. White made a very able speech 
against its confirmation. Mr. Smith of Ohio desired a post- 
ponement until to-morrow, which was agreed to. 

1 2th. Met the joint committee on the Library — Mr. Mitchell, 
Mr. Baldwin, and myself, of the Senate ; Mr. J. Clay, Mr. Dana, 
and Mr. T. M. Randolph, of the House. All present. We 
passed two or three votes, and are to meet again. We sat 
late, and when I went into the Senate I found that the South 
Carolina Tonnage bill had passed to a third reading while I 
• was absent. The nomination of Mr. Armstrong was advocated 
by Messrs. Maclay, Moore, and Smith of Vermont, and opposed 
by Messrs. Wright, Smith of Maryland, Bayard, and Hillhouse. 
Adjourned. 

13th. The greatest part of this day was spent in Senate, de- 
bating the nomination of Mr. Armstrong, which was supported 
by Messrs. Worthington, Mitchell, and Bradley, and opposed 
by Messrs. Wright, Pickering, Tracy, and Smith of Maryland. 
Mr. Wright moved a postponement to call for further papers, 
which was rejected by a small majority. Adjourned without 
taking the question. Mr. Bayard told me he had last evening 
some conversation with Mrs. Madison upon the presidential elec- 
tioneering now so warmly carried on, in which she spoke very 
slightingly of Mr. Monroe. 

14th. General Turreau told me that he had been this day in 
the House of Representatives to hear the debates, but that as 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 42 1 

Mr. J. Randolph rose to speak, he was afraid of hearing things 
disagreeable said of his Emperor, and therefore immediately 
retired. He thought that a degree of respect for the chiefs of 
other Governments ought to be observed by every speaker in 
a legislative assembly. He also told me that the claim of the 
heirs of Beaumarchais was a just claim, which would be estab- 
lished in any court of justice upon earth; and it was singular 
that in this country there was no court of justice where its merits 
could be tried. I note these things for future remembrance. 

17th. The most important business done this day in Senate 
was the appointment of Mr. Armstrong, which finally prevailed. 
There was nothing said this day in his favor. The speakers 
against him were Mr. Smith of Maryland, Mr.' Pickering, Mr. 
Wright, and myself, who closed the debate. The votes were 
fifteen to fifteen, and the Vice-President decided in favor of the 
appointment. Mr. Adair, of Kentucky, left his seat to avoid 
voting. He was averse to the appointment, but had not the 
courage to vote against it; and by his weakness this shameful 
transaction was accomplished. Of the fifteen members who 
voted for this nomination two-thirds at least answered with 
faltering voices. I consider it as one of the most disgraceful acts 
of Mr. Jefferson's administration. 1 A nomination of several new 
officers was also this day received — among others, a surveyor 
of New York in the place of Colonel Smith, who is removed. 
The Vice-President gave notice that he should not make his 
appearance after this day during the remainder of the session. 

1 8th. In Senate, General Smith of Maryland was chosen 
President pro tempore. The report of the committee on the 
Senate's Rules was discussed and adopted. Mr. Tracy proposed 
an additional rule, whereby the Senate might go into committee 
of the whole, and the President might appoint a chairman. 
This, however, was strenuously opposed, and, after much debate, 
rejected. A bill for incorporating the Presbyterian congre- 
gation at Georgetown passed after a powerful struggle, and 

1 John Armstrong, best known as the reputed author of the Newburgh Letters, 
— a person of unquestioned ability, but not fortunate in any part of his political 
career. He failed to make himself acceptable in this mission, as will appear 
later in this diary. 



422 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

yeas and nays taken, sixteen to ten. The terror of ecclesiastical 
corporations is like Falstaff's terror of the gunpowder Percy 
though he be dead. One of the great difficulties in our legis- 
lation for the District of Columbia is, that every member of 
Congress brings with him the principles of his own State 
system, and these are so different that there is scarcely any 
common doctrine to which appeal in argument can be made. 

19th. Mr. Jackson, one of the Senators from the State of 
Georgia, died this morning about four o'clock. His disorder 
was the dropsy. 1 Immediately on the meeting of the Senate 
this morning, his colleague, Mr. Baldwin, with tears in his eyes, 
gave notice of this event, and expressed his hope that the 
Senate would take the orders usual on such occasions. Mr. 
Anderson then moved two resolutions : one, that the Senate 
jwould attend the funeral, and that a committee be appointed to 
superintend the funeral and communicate the occurrence to 
the House of Representatives ; and the other, that the Senators 
would wear crape for a month, in honor of the deceased. Both 
resolutions passed unanimously, and the Senate immediately 
adjourned. The committee chosen are Mr. Anderson, Mr. 
Sumter, and Mr. Wright. 

2 1st. In Senate. The bill respecting the brig Heinrich and 
the claim against the Danish Government was rejected. My 
efforts in its favor were vain. The Charleston Tonnage bill 
passed. My endeavors against it were fruitless. And in both 
cases on the argument I stood alone. The New York nomi- 
nations were approved, and the Yazoo bill was taken up. Mr. 
Baldwin made a speech against it, and the Senate adjourned 
over till Monday. Mr. Anderson came to me and called upon 
me to support the bill on the ground of the compact. In the 
moment of irritation for what had just passed, I answered him 
with too much warmth, that I cared nothing for the bill, and 
was not obliged to take its defence : it was not my bill, and its 
proper fathers must take charge of it. He only replied that he 
saw I was not in good humor, and left me. The Carolina bill 
had vexed me, because I considered it as aiming a direct stroke 

* This is the hero and finally martyr of many duels, eulogized by Mr. Benton. 
See page 292. It is here said he died from a less noble cause. 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. a 2 o 

at Massachusetts. But I am convinced that the most effectual 
aid I can give to the Georgia Land bill is by remaining silent, 
at least until the members of the majority have come forward 
in its favor. In the evening Mr. Tracy and Mr. Pitkin were 
here. 

24th. In Senate. A letter from Mr. Monroe to the Secretary 
of State was confidentially communicated by the President to 
the two Houses of Congress, with a request to have it returned ; 
which was done. Much business was dispatched, because 
totally unattended to. An amendment to the Constitution, 
proposed at the instigation of the State of Pennsylvania, was on 
the point of passing without a word of discussion, after a formal 
speech of Mr. Maclay in its favor, for want of a word said 
against it. I arrested the question barely by asking whether 
it had been printed. Mr. Bayard then made some observations 
against it, and the discussion was made the order of the day for 
next Monday. A bill to incorporate a National Academy was 
as near passing ; the question was again stopped by me, only by 
enquiring whether a blank was filled. It would have passed 
with the blank unfilled. The question, however, and the filling 
of the blank raised a discussion upon the bill, which was in 
substance rejected by an amendment changing its whole aspect. 
It was then, however, committed. The Yazoo bill was, at my 
request, postponed, Mr. Pickering and Mr. Tracy, on both 
whose votes I rely, being absent. The question would have 
been taken, as in the other cases, without a word of discussion, 
and the bill probably would have failed. 

26th. Met Mr. Anderson and Mr. Tracy upon two committees — 
one upon the bill relating to foreign coins, on which the com- 
mittee agreed to the report and amendments to the bill drawn 
up by Mr. Tracy ; and the other upon the petition of Gilbert 
C. Russell, on which the papers were examined, but we had 
not time to agree on a report. In Senate, the principal debate 
was on the bill yesterday discussed, which was again debated 
at the third reading. Mr. Worthington had yesterday offered 
a resolution for stopping all credit upon the sales of the public 
lands. This was also much debated this day. Adjourned 
without coming to a decision. I yesterday moved for a com- 



424 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

mittee on the laws of this District, for the purpose of intro- 
ducing Mr. Lee's projected bill. The committee was this day 
appointed — Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Wright, with myself. 

27th. Met the committee on the District laws; but Mr. Wright 
had objections against Mr. Lee's bill. I asked him to draw up 
a bill to his own taste, and he agreed to draw one up for to- 
morrow morning. The day was spent in Senate debating a bill 
to provide defence for the Territory of Orleans by giving away 
lands to settlers on condition of militia service. It finally 
passed to the third reading, thirteen to thirteen, by the casting 
vote of the President. I moved that the Georgia Land bill 
should be made the order of the day to-morrow, which was 
agreed to. 

28th. The Appropriation bill came from the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and passed to the second reading. I reported a bill, 
partly drawn by Mr. Wright, and partly Mr. Lee's, respecting 
the fees and some other judicial affairs in the District. Mr. 
Tracy's new Coin bill was read the second time, and committed 
to a select committee. At twelve precisely the Georgia Land 
bill was taken up, and I opened the debate with some remarks 
in support of it. It was then opposed by Messrs. Baldwin and 
Maclay, and supported by Messrs. Bradley, Smith of Vermont, 
Bayard, Pickering, and Wright, until half-past three. The dis- 
cussion was perfectly cool and temperate. Mr. Turner called 
for the yeas and nays. Just before the question was taken, Mr. 
Sumter moved a postponement until Monday, which, however, 
did not obtain. The bill passed — nineteen yeas, eleven nays. 
Mr. Tracy moved an adjournment until Monday; but this was 
denied on account of the Appropriation bill. We are to meet 
to-morrow. 

31st. Met the joint committee on the Library, and we made 
some further progress in our business. We agreed that the 
principal part of the fund appropriated this year should be ex- 
pended by Dr. Mitchell, Mr. Clay, and myself, during the recess, 
in collecting books in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, as 
the occasion may offer. We are to meet again. In Senate, the 
amendment to the Constitution, proposed by Mr. Maclay, was, 
after some discussion, postponed to the first Monday in De- 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 425 

cember next. The bill in favor of Hamet Caramalli was read 
the third time, and the blank filled. I opened the debate upon 
it by calling on the committee for the reasons on which they 
reported it. After some remarks from Messrs. Bradley, Wright, 
and Baldwin, the Senate adjourned without decision. 

April 1st. In Senate. The Invalid bill passed as amended by 
the committee of the Senate, with some little debate. I was 
unable to give it proper attention, being employed in preparing 
to meet the bill in favor of Hamet Caramalli.. This was taken 
up soon after twelve o'clock. Mr. Bradley, the chairman of the 
committee which reported the bill, made a speech of about an 
hour and a half in support of the report accompanying the bill, 
and in answer to my yesterday's objections and those of Mr. 
Baldwin. I replied in a speech of about the same length, and 
endeavored to prove, by recurrence to the documents, that the 
report was erroneous in all its parts. I was interrupted at 
least twenty times in the course of my observations by Messrs. 
Bradley and Wright ; several attempts were made to stop me 
as out of order, and to suppress the reading of documents — to 
favor the first of which the President himself very much in- 
clined. I persisted, however, with success, and derived rather 
an advantage to the effect of my argument from their frequent 
interruptions. But it disconcerted the vietJiod which I had in- 
tended to pursue, and made my remarks more desultory and 
confused than they would else have been. In the manner I 
was, as I always am, miserably defective ; but the substance was 
not without weight. I finished at about half-past three, when 
the Senate immediately adjourned. Mr. Stone and Mr. Turner 
both came to me and thanked me for the correct view I had 
taken of the subject, and the refutation of the misrepresenta- 
tions in the committee's report. 1 Mr. Plumer desired me to 
come prepared for a new engagement to-morrow, as they 
would probably rally before that time. Evening at home, 
reading on this and the Non-importation bill. 

1 This speech is found in Benton's Abridgment, vol. iii. p. 372. The whole 
proceeding to which it refers appears at this day singularly in contravention of the 
established policy of the country, not to give aid or support in any internal struggles 
of foreign nations, however insignificant. 



426 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

2d. In Senate. After the usual formal business of first and 
second readings to bills in executive business, the nomination 
of a Colonel Hammond was negatived. There had been here- 
tofore much debate upon it, and there was some this day. About 
one the bill in favor of Hamet Caramalli was again taken up, 
and Mr. Wright, in a speech of more than two hours, replied 
to my yesterday's objections. He abandoned, however, almost 
the whole ground taken by the committee, and placed the 
claim upon a foundation altogether different. Mr. Bradley 
began to propose amendments to his own bill. General Sumter 
opposed them, on the ground that the bill was connected with 
the report, which he disapproved in all its parts. Senate ad- 
journed without a decision. Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Sumter 
came to me after the adjournment, and consulted with me how 
we could dismiss this bill so as to show our dissent from the 
report and yet do something for the Tripolitan ex-Bashaw, 
who, as all agree, has some claim upon our generosity. By 
agreement with them I agreed to call on Mr. Madison, who, 
from his knowledge of all the circumstances, might suggest 
something which we may adopt. I called on him accordingly 
this evening, and he appeared to be well pleased that some- 
thing temporary, like what General Sumter has suggested, 
should be agreed to. He expressed himself with his usual 
caution, but with disapprobation of the report. Mr. Bayard 
this morning said to me that this affair of Hamet Bashaw had 
already taken up two or three days, which he should not have 
expected to take so many minutes. Mr. Plumer told me that 
he expected Mr. Tracy would come out very warmly in favor 
of the report; but he did not this day. He was a member of 
the committee. 

3d. In Senate. Among the business transacted before twelve 
o'clock, Mr. Bradley moved for the printing of certain other 
papers on the subject of the bill in favor of Hamet Caramalli. 
General Sumter moved to recommit the bill. This was de- 
clared not in order, the bill not being then before the Senate. 
It was then determined that Bradley's motion to print should 
lie until the bill should be under consideration. A bill for 
regulating the salaries of the officers of the two Houses finally 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 427 

passed, the Senate receding from an amendment they had 
proposed for adding to the salary of one of their clerks. 
There had been a disagreement between the two Houses, and 
a committee of conference, which had reported that the Senate 
should recede from their amendment so far as to adopt a new 
modification of it, allowing one of the clerks of the House of 
Representatives a like addition of salary. The Senate had 
accepted the report of the committee of conference. The 
House disagreed to the proposed modification, and adhered to 
their disagreement to the amendment of the Senate. At this 
stage Bradley moved that the Senate should insist upon their 
modification and ask a second conference. It was a trick to 
prevent the passage of the bill ; for after the House had ad- 
hered, they would not have agreed to any new conference, and 
the bill must have been lost. I therefore objected to Bradley's 
motion as not in order, and it was so decided by the Chair. 
Mr. Bayard moved to recede from the amendment to which 
the House had disagreed, by which the bill would be passed. 
Mr. Tracy then, without precisely declaring against Bayard's 
motion, stated an objection, that, by the inaccuracy of the word- 
ing of one section of the bill, if the Senate should ever grant 
a sum from the contingent fund to their chaplain it must be 
deducted from the salary of their serjeant-at-arms, or door- 
keeper. The section was carelessly drawn, but there could 
be no danger of the construction Tracy argued upon. I 
replied to him with too much warmth and vehemence, of which 
he complained with justice, and on which he retorted with 
moderation. At the same time, he abandoned his objection. 
Bayard's motion prevailed, and the bill passed. That in favor 
of Hamet Caramalli was taken up. Mr. Sumter renewed his 
motion to recommit the bill with the report and documents, 
which was much opposed. A question was made whether a 
report could be committed — decided by the President that it 
could. The recommitment was agreed to by yeas and nays — 
fifteen to fourteen. A question then arose whether it should 
be to the same committee or a new one. It was finally referred 
to the same, with the addition of two new members — General 
Sumter and myself. S. Smith, who was on the former com- 



42 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

mittee, offered to excuse himself, being now President pro tern.; 
but Mr. Tracy, complaining that the feelings of the committee 
had been injured, urged Smith not to excuse himself. So that 
he agreed still to serve. Senate then adjourned. Mr. Bayard 
asked leave of absence for the remainder of the session, which 
was granted. He told me that a commission had been sent 
from New York to take his deposition respecting an agreement 
stipulated between him and Mr. Smith of Maryland in behalf 
of Mr. Jefferson when he was first elected. That such a stipu- 
lation was made. That Bayard had engaged the votes of 
three States, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, to Mr. 
Jefferson on three conditions: I. That the public debt should 
not be touched by any measure to impair the public faith. 
2. That 1 And 3. That no 

subordinate officers should be removed merely on account of 
their political opinions. Mr. Jefferson positively pledged him- 
self to these three things, and the votes of the three States were 
given him, and decided his election in consequence of it. 2 I 
went for a few minutes into the House of Representatives, 
where they were discussing a bill relative to post offices and 
post roads. Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Logan both requested me 
to let Mr. Smith publish in the National Intelligencer my day 
before yesterday's speech on the bill in favor of Hamet Caramalli 
— to which I agreed, if Smith should ask me for it. As it was 
altogether unprepared and unpremeditated, I have to take it down 
wholly from recollection, and accordingly began this evening. 

5th. Attended the committee on the bill, report, documents, 
&c, concerning Hamet Caramalli. It soon appeared that by 
the recommitment, and by the old committee's having their 

1 Left blank, probably from absence of recollection at the moment, and never 
filled up. From other evidences, it is presumed that the preservation of the navy 
made the second condition. 

2 An additional piece of independent testimony to that which has already been 
collected touching this interesting historical question. That of Mr. Jefferson is 
given in the fourth volume of the edition of his works published by T. J. Ran- 
dolph, p. 521. That of other parties, including Mr. Bayard, is in the second 
volume of Davis's Life of Aaron Burr, pp. 102-137. Even if the terms of this 
agreement had been acknowledged, they do not seem to imply any conditions for 
which the parties had reason to make excuse. 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^ 2 Q 

majority, for which, contrary to all rule, Smith, now President 
pro tern., was continued on the committee, we should come to 
no result. I proposed that the committee should ask leave to 
withdraw the former report and present a bill making a mere 
temporary provision. To this the majority, being all the old 
committee, excepting Mr. Baldwin, would not consent. Wright 
was in one of his violent passions, and stormed — swore he 
would publish his speech, and the people should know how 
the matter stood. As to the documents, they were so long 
the people would not read them — but they would read his 
speech, and should have a clear idea of the whole matter. He 
was for having the whole subject discussed over again in Senate 
— all the documents published, and the whole world should see 
the true state of the case. If anybody wanted to take the 
blame from Lear's shoulders to lay it on the President's, he 

might do it; for, by , there was blame somewhere, and he 

was as good as any member of the administration. Smith of 
Maryland was willing and desirous to postpone the whole sub- 
ject to the next session, to get rid of the discussion, leaving the 
report in statu quo; but to this we could not consent. We 
finally agreed to meet again on Tuesday (18th), and in the 
mean time I moved that the chairman should write to enquire 
of the Secretary of the Navy the amount of all the sums ex- 
pended upon the connection with Hamet, from the beginning 
to this time; and to Commodore Barron, to enquire whether 
his verbal orders to Captain Hull were reduced to writing in 
his presence, as was suggested by S. Smith. The committee 
refused to make any enquiries of Barron whether his letters 
to Lear were written by Lear himself. Bradley said it was 
calling a man as witness to his own sanity. After the com- 
mittee adjourned, I went into the House of Representatives, 
where they were wrangling on the secret subject. They soon 
adjourned. 

6th. After dinner, I called upon Commodore Barron, to make 
some enquiries of him respecting his verbal instructions to 
Mr. Eaton and the transactions respecting the affairs of the 
squadron commanded by him. He told me that he never 
meant to give Eaton authority to make any convention what- 



430 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

ever with Hamet ; that all his intention was that he should be 
brought to him at Syracuse. He showed me a letter written 
by Mr. Blake, an officer who went with Eaton, detailing a con- 
versation which he heard between Eaton and Hamet within a 
fortnight before he made the convention, in which Eaton de- 
clared he had neither men, means, money, nor authority for that 
purpose. He showed me also many of the letters which are 
among our documents, and spoke very intelligibly on the sub- 
jects connected with the report of the Senate's committee, at 
which he expressed himself to be much concerned. His ob- 
ject in sending for Hamet, he told me, had been to have him 
at Syracuse, to ascertain there what his means and resources 
were, and then, upon consultation with all the commanders of 
the squadron, to have determined what engagements it would 
be proper to take with him. But when he found what Eaton 
had done by his letter of 13th and his convention of 23d 
February, he thought best so far to confirm what he could no 
longer prevent, as to agree to support him until he should get 
to Derne, and give him full warning that, after that, Hamet must 
maintain himself at his own risk and on his own strength. But 
when he got there he was as impotent as before — utterly unable 
to maintain himself a moment or to be of the smallest use to 
us. Captain James Barron, who was also there, confirmed 
much of this statement. I came home in the evening much 
fatigued, but wrote an hour or two before supper. 

7th. Rainy morning, and I rode to the Capitol. Stopped at 
the Treasury office to make some enquiries respecting Mr. 
Eaton's accounts, which I find are still unsettled. But I could 
not get a sight of them, the Auditor not being at the office. 
In Senate, the Potomac Bridge bill, after a very slight and 
feeble discussion, passed to the third reading by yeas and 
nays — seventeen to eleven. General Smith of Maryland's 
navigation act was postponed to the next session, at his own 
desire. I always expected it would end in that. In executive 
business, the treaty with Tripoli was taken up, and Mr. Brad- 
ley's resolution to postpone the consideration of it until next 
session, and in the mean time enquire why Hamet's wife and 
children are not delivered up, was considered. He made a 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^? l 

speech in support of his resolution — talked much about the 
honor and obligations of this country, then urged that it 
would be necessary to keep a force in the Mediterranean, and 
to continue the war with Tripoli, in order to justify keeping 
the force; and finally made the avowal that the two and a half 
per cent, additional duty, which by law must cease three 
months after the proclamation of peace, is wanted for other 
purposes, and is a further inducement to postpone. I answered 
him largely upon all these points, and urged an immediate de- 
cision. Hillhouse declared his intention to vote against the 
postponement, but spoke altogether in reply to me. Wright 
also replied to me. Adjourned without deciding. I went for 
a few minutes into the House of Representatives, and saw them 
take a vote on the question whether they should publish a confi- 
dential message of the President. They decided in the negative. 
8th. Called again this morning at the Auditor's office, to see 
Mr. Eaton's accounts ; but Mr. Harrison was not there. I re- 
quested that the accounts might be left with one of the clerks 
to-morrow morning. Met the committee on the bill in favor 
of Caramalli. All the members of the old committee but 
Wright are now extremely anxious to postpone the whole 
business until next session. Wright is for examining witnesses 
upon oath, and is in great rage, with the idea that his honor is 
affected by the course the thing is taking. He threatened 
again to publish all his speeches on this subject to the world. 
We adjourned until to-morrow morning, without a decision. 
In Senate, the Appropriation bill was considered in committee 
of the whole. Several others, of little weight, were disposed of. 
A resolution came from the House, to adjourn both Houses 
to the 1 6th of this month. In executive business, Bradley's 
resolution to postpone the Tripoli Treaty was again taken up, 
and, after a long and animated debate, rejected by yeas and 
nays — twenty to ten. Yet, from the complexion of the votes, 
I think it will end in that. The Presidential votes were for post- 
ponement. I mean by this, the men who get in whispers his 
secret wishes, and vote accordingly. Hence I conclude he in- 
tends the Treaty shall not be ratified. And the true reason is 
to avoid the discontinuance of the two and a half per cent. I 



432 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

pressed as much as possible upon Mr. Baldwin the necessity of 
the ratification, and he appeared to agree with me entirely. This 
evening I finished the copy of my first speech on this subject, 
which S. H. Smith requested of me yesterday. The speech 
'and its publication must alike submit to their fate. 

9th. I called again this morning at the Auditor's office, to 
examine the state of Mr. Eaton's accounts, and obtained part 
of the information I want. This, however, delayed me so that 
I could not attend the committee on the bill in favor of Hamet 
Caramalli. I got to the Capitol about twenty minutes after the 
hour at which the Senate meets, and found that the committee 
had taken advantage of my absence to report a postponement 
of the subject until the next session, which the Senate had 
agreed to. A bill to regulate the compensation of clerks 
passed after some discussion. The Columbia District Fee bill 
passed to a third reading, with some opposition from Mr. An- 
derson. The Appropriation bill also passed to the third reading. 

ioth. I called on Mr. J. C. Smith, chairman of the Committee 
of Claims, to enquire whether Mr. Eaton has a petition before 
them respecting the settlement of his accounts. He told me 
the committee had yesterday reported a resolution to place the 
settlement under the direction of the Secretary of State, which 
resolution was accepted and a bill ordered and brought in. I 
asked him why this was done. He said because the papers 
were so voluminous and the claim of such a nature that the 
committee had not time to examine them. I met Dr. Mitchell 
and Mr. Turner on a committee respecting certain jurisdiction 
granted to the Territorial Courts. We broke the subject, but 
came to no determination. In Senate, I moved a resolution to 
print the Treasurer's accounts, which passed. This has been 
uniformly done every year since the establishment of this Gov- 
ernment, by the House of Representatives. But this year one 
of the economists objected, and they were not printed. This is 
economy — saving a cent by wasting an eagle. The Appropria- 
tion bill passed — and several others. The Non-Importation bill 
passed to the third reading. I was the only federalist who 
voted for it, in either House. The Potomac Bridge bill was 
made the order of the day for to-morrow. Mr. Bradley's 



iSo6.1 THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. *■,-, 

resolutions for the honor and profit of William Eaton were 
postponed until the next session. 

I ith. Met Dr. Mitchell and Mr. Turner again on the com- 
mittee concerning the Territorial Fee bill. Judge Woodward, 
of the Michigan Territory, for which the bill is specially pro- 
vided, attended the committee, and on his representation an 
amendment was agreed upon, and reported. In Senate, Mr. 
Howard, of Boston, called on me respecting a bill drawn under 
the French Convention, of which he was desirous to obtain 
payment at the Treasury. He also enquired whether I had 
received letters from Mr. S. Smith, of Boston, with other bills 
of the same kind, and a power to receive the money. He 
appeared much surprised that I had not received such letters. 
I told him I presumed his bill would be paid at the Treasury 
without difficulty, and did not see him afterwards. Precisely 
at twelve the Potomac Bridge bill was taken up, and warmly 
debated until half-past four, when a question was taken by yeas 
and nays on postponing it to the next session, and carried — 
nineteen to ten. 

1 2th. Precisely at twelve I moved to go upon executive busi- 
ness, and the Treaty with Tripoli was taken up. Mr. Bradley, 
who had obtained leave of absence after Monday next, went 
away last night. Mr. Wright's amendment, to make the 
ratification conditional on the delivery of Hamet's wife and 
children, was first debated, and rejected — twenty to nine. Mr. 
Smith of Ohio then moved a postponement to the first Tues- 
day in December next; and just at six o'clock p.m. the ques- 
tion on the ratification was taken and passed — twenty-one to 
eight. The debate was very warm, zealous, and vehement — 
General Sumter and myself in favor of the ratification; Messrs. 
Wright, Adair, White, Smith of Ohio, Tracy, and Pickering 
against it. The speeches of these gentlemen, excepting Smith 
and Tracy, were as much at me as to the questions in discus- 
sion ; to Mr. Tracy and Mr. Pickering I made no reply. It was 
seven in the evening before I got home. 

Spent the evening in examining the papers on the Mississippi 
Territory Land bill. I find by the New York Gazette that 
they have begun to attack me for my conduct respecting the 

VOL. I. — 28 



454 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

Mediterranean affairs, and I was well aware of what it must and 
what it may draw upon me. Every thing on earth but a sense 
of duty dictated silence to me on this subject, if not acquies- 
cence. I have acted upon inflexible principle, and am to take 
the consequences. As I was coming home from the Capitol, I 
overtook Mr. Howland, a Senator from Rhode Island — a man 
with whom I have never had any conversation before since we 
sat in Senate together. He said Bradley was very sick of his 
report, and other measures relative to the Mediterranean affairs. 
I asked Bradley's colleague, Smith (said Howland), how Brad- 
ley would have voted on this Treaty if he had remained here. 
Smith answered me, that he would not have voted at all, but 
would have kicked out of his scat. Howland further observed, 
that Mr. Wright was as good a General as Mr. Eaton ; for 
whenever he rose to speak, he drove the members from their 
seats as victoriously as Eaton ever drove the Turks before 
him. 

1 8th. The business in Senate was dispatched with so much 
rapidity that at three o'clock they adjourned for want of any 
thing to do. There was very little debate upon any thing, 
excepting upon my bill for the temporary relief of Hamet 
Caramalli, against part of which the committee-men and their 
friends took an alarm, and obtained an amendment striking it 
out. Mr. Pickering also moved to strike out the sum and give 
a larger one. But this did not succeed. The bill passed to a 
third reading. Some documents were received from the Presi- 
dent respecting the state of our affairs with Tunis. Dr. Logan, 
who had moved the call for them, now moved that they should 
be printed. But, on objection to this, they were referred to a 
select committee. 

19th. This morning the secret of Dr. Logan's call for the 
Tunisian papers was disclosed ; but he had not well concerted 
his measures, and failed in his object. The Mediterranean fund, 
or two and a half per cent, additional duty, was by the terms 
of the law to cease three months after the ratification of the 
peace with Tripoli. This was the principal real obstacle to 
the ratification, but did not eventually prevail. We advised the 
ratification last Saturday. On Monday the President sent a 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



435 



message to Congress, stating that the Tunisian Ambassador 
had made inadmissible demands, with a threat of war in case of 
refusal ; that they had been refused, and he was going home 
without withdrawing the threat. And this statement was made 
that Congress might consider the propriety of renewing the pro- 
visions of such an act — i.e., the Mediterranean fund. On the same 
Monday Mr. John Randolph in the House of Representatives 
offered a resolution, which passed almost unanimously, to repeal 
the duty on salt, and continue the two and a half per cent, until 
the end of the next session of Congress. A bill to this effect 
was passing through the House of Representatives, when Logan 
moved the call on the Executive, for the cause of the differences 
with Tunis, and the correspondence between the Tunisian Am- 
bassador here and the Secretary of State. The motion was 
made in public, with open doors, and upon legislative business. 
Yesterday the papers came, and proved that Tunis was as inso- 
lent and overbearing in the negotiation as France had been ; 
that the Secretary of State had assumed and maintained a tone 
of proper firmness, and terminated the negotiation by a per- 
emptory denial of his peremptory demands. Logan was then 
for printing the papers ; but some of his more cautious friends 
obtained a vote to have them referred to a select committee, 
with a view, as was urged, to select some of the papers which it 
might be improper to print, that the rest might be printed. 
But this day the chairman of the committee (Baldwin) to whom 
these papers had been publicly committed, after being publicly 
read, moved to go into the consideration of executive business, 
and, when the galleries were cleared, presented a report to re- 
commend to the President to renew the negotiations with the 
Tunisian Ambassador, and to comply with all his demands — 
tribute, naval stores, and every indignity of humiliation. I 
instantly objected against receiving this report as on executive 
business — the committee having been appointed legislatively, 
and all the proceedings hitherto appearing on the public Jour- 
nals : it was a violation of every rule and form of proceeding, 
and dangerous as a precedent. The project of acting as on 
executive business was then abandoned; the doors were opened, 
and immediately Baldwin moved to shut them again for business 



436 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

that required secrecy. This, by the rules, must be done of 
course, to discuss the propriety of acting secretly. But as soon 
as the doors were shut, I moved to open them again, on the 
ground that the discussion ought to be public. The President's 
message was public, and recommended firm and vigorous 
measures. The report of the committee which recommended 
tribute and submission ought not to be secret. I could not, 
however, obtain a vote to open the doors. For General Smith, 
our President pro tem., told us that he had seen the President 
this morning, who was astonished when he told him that the 
papers nad been publicly read. He had thought the call for 
them was from the Senate acting executively, and therefore had 
not marked them confidential. He had indeed requested that 
they might be returned, on the ground that they were the origi- 
nals, and there was not time to make out copies. But this has 
become his common practice with regard to important papers ; 
he sends the originals with request of their return — so that 
no copy of them may be within the reach of members who 
might use them for purposes different from his own. We had 
therefore the discussion in secret. But the recommendation 
to crouch, and pay, and implore the pardon of Tunis, could not 
get a majority. That part of the report was stricken out by a 
small majority, on yeas and nays taken, and the resolve merely 
passed to return the papers. Dr. Logan, by whose want of 
management this whole project failed, left his seat with an air 
of more mortification and temper than I had ever seen in him 
before. The whole proceeding of public apparent vigor, and 
secret real pusillanimity, was an exact counterpart of the pro- 
ceedings with respect to Spain. The issue, however, was dif- 
ferent. This was the only business that occasioned much 
discussion in Senate this day. The remainder of the time was 
principally passed in dispatching the bills which crowd at the 
close of the session. 

2 1 st. I was to have met Mr. Turner and Mr. Tracy in com- 
mittee on the Naval Peace Establishment bill at half-past nine 
this morning. But, waiting for a document from the Secretary 
of the Navy, we did not meet until the Senate were in session. 
Just before the Senate assembled I showed Mr. Tracy the two 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ^7 

memorials, and told him I should present them; which he fully- 
approved. The rule of the Senate requires that the member 
who presents a petition should give verbally a brief statement 
of its contents. Expecting that these memorials would raise a 
storm, I reduced to writing the statement of contents, and im- 
mediately on the Senate's coming to order, and after the Journal 
was read, I said, " Mr. President, I am requested to present to 
the Senate two memorials : one from Samuel G. Ogden, and 
the other from William S. Smith, stating that they are under a 
criminal prosecution for certain proceedings into which they 
were led by the circumstance that their purpose was fully known 
to and approved by the Executive Government of the United 
States ; that on this prosecution they have been treated by 
the Judge of the District Court of the United States at New 
York, Matthias B. Talmadge, Esq., in such a manner that the 
same grand jury, which found the bills against them, made a 
presentment against the Judge himself for his conduct in taking 
the examination and deposition of the said Samuel G. Ogden. 
And the memorialists, considering Congress as the only power 
competent to relieve them, submit their case to the wisdom of 
Congress, and pray such relief as the laws and Constitution of 
this country and the wisdom and goodness of Congress may 
afford them." The President then put the question whether the 
memorials should be received, and the answer was unanimously 
in the affirmative. I then read both the memorials, one of which 
was long ; and, after the reading was finished, I observed that 
these memorials having been transmitted to me with a request 
that I would present them, I had thought myself bound in duty 
so to do, but that, as one of the memorialists was nearly related 
to me, I did not think proper to propose any measure upon 
them, but should leave their disposal to the pleasure of the 
Senate. A warm debate immediately arose, and my precaution 
in reducing to writing my statement of the contents of the me- 
morial soon appeared to have been a very useful one. Smith 
of Vermont, and Wright, the latter of whom was absent when 
I read the statement, and the former not having noticed that I 
had read it from a written paper, charged me with having misled 
the Senate to the reception by an incorrect statement of the 



438 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

contents. I soon silenced them on that point by an appeal to 
my written paper, and to the President, who repeatedly declared 
that I had been strictly in order. Wright, as usual, raved like 
a bedlamite, and, amidst a torrent of personalities, for which 
he was repeatedly called to order by the President and several 
other members, threatened once and again to move for my ex- 
pulsion ; but he could not inspire his own rage into any other 
bosom, though some other members would have been glad to 
censure me could they have found it possible. He first made 
a motion to reject the memorials ; but that could not be ob- 
tained, it being without precedent, and inconsistent with the 
unanimous vote to receive them. Another motion was then 
made to reconsider the vote for receiving the memorials. But 
it was impossible to reconsider a vote already carried into effect. 
Dr. Mitchell moved that the memorialists should have leave to 
withdraw their memorials ; but Wright could not be satisfied 
with that. He insisted upon rejecting the memorials, after re- 
peated declarations from the Chair that it could not be done. 
Dr. Mitchell withdrew, and renewed, and altered, and renewed 
again his motion to suit Wright upon every return of his par- 
oxysms. At last Wright produced a motion, for which Baldwin 
quoted a precedent in the other House, to return the memorials 
to the memorialists on account of highly exceptionable mat- 
ter contained in them. But Dr. Mitchell's motion for simple 
leave to withdraw the memorials was before the Senate, and 
they would not give him leave to take it back. In order there- 
fore to get at the question of censure, Wright moved to amend 
the motion of simple leave to withdraw by striking out the 
words " the memorialists have leave to withdraw their memo- 
rials," to insert " the memorials be returned to the memorial- 
ists." I then called for a division of the question, which was 
first taken on the striking out. The votes upon this question 
were eleven and eleven, besides the President pro tern., who de- 
clared against the striking out; and the question upon simple 
leave to withdraw the memorials was taken, and passed without 
opposition. Here the matter rested for that time; but the same 
memorials had been presented by Mr. Quincy to the House of 
Representatives, and had raised there a much more violent 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. a-,q 

flame than in the Senate. There it resulted in votes of " return 
of the memorials," and of censure upon their being presented. 
Between three and four o'clock the Senate adjourned for an 
hour. By Mr. Pickering's invitation I went and dined with him 
at his lodgings. The Senate met again between four and five, 
and, from that time until about ten at night, had little else to do 
but to receive bills from the House, or the issue of disagree- 
ments between the two Houses. On the bills for the payment 
of witnesses upon S. Chase's impeachment, and for continuing 
the two and a half per cent, duty, being the Mediterranean fund, 
the House eventually receded and yielded to the Senate. On 
the Naval Peace Establishment bill the Senate receded. An 
attempt was made to grant money from the contingent fund to 
the chaplain, and door-keeper's boys, notwithstanding the law 
of this session and the new rule on the subject. This, however, 
failed. Mr. White and myself were appointed the committee 
on the part of the Senate to inform the President that Congress 
was ready to adjourn. It was almost ten at night when we were 
informed that the House had appointed the committee on their 
part. We went to meet them. They were Messrs. T. M. Ran- 
dolph, Cutts, and Early. We had to wait about half an hour 
for the President to sign a number of bills. About a quarter 
after ten we went to the President, who was in the committee 
room. Mr. White, the chairman, informed him that, unless he 
had any further communications to make, the two Houses were 
about to adjourn. He answered that he had no further com- 
munications to make, and we returned. Mr. White made the 
report to the Senate, and the Clerk of the House came with 
the usual message that the House were about to adjourn. 

While I was out on the committee, Mr. Wright had offered a 
resolution that every thing on the Journals relative to the me- 
morials of Samuel G. Ogden and William S. Smith should be 
expunged therefrom. This motion was now taken up. I said 
that at this h©ur I should not enter into a discussion upon the 
propriety of the motion, but only ask for the yeas and nays. 
They were taken, and the vote to expunge passed — yeas thir- 
teen, nays eight — only twenty-one members being present. 
Wright then called for the reading of the Journal ; and when it 



440 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

came to the vote for expunging, insisted that this vote itself 
must not appear — that it must not be seen that such memorials 
had ever been presented. Many of the other expungers were 
equally strenuous for this total suppression. And Smith of 
Maryland, the President pro tern., in the most peremptory man- 
ner decided that the expunging vote should not appear. I then 
very shortly pointed out the danger of such a precedent, if a 
majority at anytime could deface the records of the body. Mr. 
Pickering read the article of the Constitution requiring that 
Journals should be kept, and that the yeas and nays, when re- 
quired by one-fifth, should be entered on the Journals. Mr. 
Tracy read a rule of the Senate that every vote of the Senate 
should be entered on the Journals. Wright still insisted that 
the expunging vote should not appear. The article of the 
Constitution, he said, referred only to the legislative proceed- 
ings of the Senate. Smith, however, the President pro tern., 
could not hold out with Wright. He first staggered, said he 
was in doubt, and wished the sense of the Senate on the sub- 
ject ; and finally came round completely, and declared that it 
could not be helped — the vote must stand. Wright still insisted. 
Smith again declared it must be so — the vote must appear upon 
the Journals ; and it would be very proper that it should 
appear. Upon which Wright declared himself perfectly satis- 
fied. 1 A motion then was made to adjourn without day. I 
suggested the propriety of passing the usual order, to inform 
the House that we were about to adjourn. But it was too late. 
While we were debating on the expunging vote, the House had 
adjourned. We therefore adjourned also, a few minutes before 
eleven. I rode part of the way home ; and Mr. Baldwin was 
lamenting, with some others of the members, the irregularity of 
the expunging vote. His wish was that the Journals should 
have been amended, so as to read in a manner which would 
not have contained the statement of the contents of the memo- 
rials. It was about midnight when I got home. 

1 This struggle seems to have been in the nature of preparation for the longer 
and more vehement one, of a similar kind, carried on for many years in the other 
House of Congress, during the latest days of Mr. Adams. The attempt to oblit- 
erate the record served in this case, as it generally does, to fix attention to it, and 
thus to perpetuate the remembrance of the event. 



i8o6.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



441 



Boston, May 13th. — In the evening I attended a caucus of 
federalists at Faneuil Hall, who met to agree upon their list. 
Mr. H. G. Otis made them a very good speech. They agreed 
to choose twenty-seven Representatives, and adopted the names 
presented to them. Then a motion was made for five more, 
which, after some opposition^ was adopted. These names were 
also agreed upon, though preparation had not properly been 
made for this measure. I came home at about ten. They were 
then about to dissolve the meeting. This was the first time I 
was ever present at a public caucus. I once attended a private 
one, in 1793 or 1794. It may be a necessary, but appears to 
me a clumsy, way of transacting such business. 

June 1 2th. Between twelve and one o'clock I went to Cam- 
bridge. I was in a chaise alone, but met Mr. Barrett, of Quincy, 
and took him in with me. My father and the family at Quincy 
came into town, and went also to Cambridge before dinner. I 
dined with my father, Mr. Boylston, and Professor Ware, at 
President Webber's. In the afternoon I was installed as Boyl- 
ston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory. The hour fixed for 
the purpose was half-past three, but just at that time there arose 
a violent thunder-gust and shower, which delayed the perform- 
ances about two hours. From the Philosophy chamber, where 
there was a meeting of the corporation and overseers, we went 
in procession to the meeting house, about five in the afternoon. 
The president began by an introductory prayer. Next followed 
an anthem. Then an address by the president, in Latin. Mr. 
Ware read the Regulations of the professorship. I read and 
subscribed the declaration, and delivered it to the governor as 
chairman of the overseers. The president then declared me a 
professor, and I delivered the discourse I had prepared for the 
occasion. It was well received ; but the company present was 
very small. The business was concluded by a hymn sung. 
The procession returned to the Philosophy chamber, where I 
stopped only a fevy minutes. I took tea at Mrs. Ware's. Mr. 
and Mrs. Stoughton were there, as was Mr. Barrett — with him 
I returned to Boston, and passed the evening at Mr. Storer's. 
My father and mother were there ; and Mr. Peabody came in 
while I was there. Mr. Strong was this day sworn as Governor 



aa 2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

of the State. Mr. Heath, who was chosen as Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, declined accepting the office. 

1 6th. Went to Mr. Bussey's, in whose garden the gentlemen 
of the Philosophical Society met to take the observation of the 
solareclipse. It commenced at three minutes twenty-one seconds 
past ten in the morning. At twenty-two minutes thirty-eight 
seconds past eleven the total obscurity commenced. At twenty- 
seven minutes nine seconds past eleven the first ray of the sun 
blazed out from behind the moon, and at forty-eight minutes 
one second past twelve the eclipse ended. The total obscura- 
tion continued more than four minutes and a half. The sky 
during the whole time was unusually clear, and not a speck 
of cloud was visible on the horizon. At the commencement 
of the eclipse the thermometer in the shade stood at 68. It 
fell gradually until the end of the total obscurity, when it 
stood at 57. There it remained stationary about a quarter of 
an hour — then began to rise, until at the end of the eclipse it 
was 67, and a few minutes after at 70. The fading of the 
sun's light, from its greatest splendor until its total extinction, 
was peculiar, differing much from that of the usual declin- 
ing day on the approach of evening. Six or eight stars were 
visible during a considerable part of the time. The planet 
Venus, particularly, appeared as large and as bright in the dark- 
ness as it usually does in the evening. The colors of natural 
objects appeared to the eye with a tinge different from any 
thing I had ever seen, during the total concealment of the sun. 
The centre of the moon's disk appeared black as ebony ; but 
the shade appeared gradually less black to the circumference, 
which was of a dusky brown. A feeble luminous circle, not 
equally light in every part, surrounded the 'edge of the moon, 
and beyond that circle a coruscation fainter and fainter shot 
forth in angular aspects extended to a distance equal to about 
the semi-diameter of the moon ; the western side of the hemi- 
sphere, being that from which the moon advanced, was much 
darker than the eastward, on which part the sun's rays were 
last shut in, and during the whole time the borders of the 
horizon were very luminous throughout their extent. The 
darkness was about equal to that of half an hour after sunset at 



1806.] THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 443 

this season of the year — or much like the darkness of midnight 
which I have witnessed in June at St. Petersburg. About fifteen 
seconds before the first returning sunbeam, a line of deep 
crimson appeared on the moon's edge, on the limb where the 
sun was about to issue. But the most striking appearance was 
the first returning beam ; it was about two seconds supportable 
to the naked eye, and in brightness far exceeded any thing I 
ever beheld. It was remarkable that, for two or three minutes 
before the sun's disappearance, it could be looked at without 
the shelter of a glass, though it was so immediately intolerable 
on its return. The effect of the momentary gloom was height- 
ened by the contrasted splendor of the day, before and after. 
The cattle and poultry discovered the symptoms of night, and 
followed their usual habits on its approach. The swallows ap- 
peared surprised, and flew with that wild irregularity which is 
described as betokening the approach of an earthquake. The 
atmosphere had the chillness of night, but there was no fall of 
dew. Upon the whole, the phenomenon was principally curious 
on account of its uncommonness — having never occurred at 
this place since the settlement of the country, and being not 
to happen again for several centuries. 

jfuly 1 ith. I enter this day upon my fortieth year. And I 
this day commenced my course of lectures on Rhetoric and 
Oratory, — an undertaking of magnitude and importance, for 
the proper accomplishment of which I pray for patience and 
perseverance, and that favor from above, without which no 
human industry can avail, but which, without persevering 
industry, it is presumption to ask. I have devoted all the time 
which I can borrow from the necessary business of life for seven 
years, if so much of life is granted me, to this object. Of these 
seven years, one has already elapsed. My progress* has been 
slow, and my own improvement, upon which is to depend much 
of the improvement of others, has been very small. Yet the 
beginning is now made, and its success is not without encour- 
agement. My lecture was well received, and could I hope that 
the issue of the whole course would but bear a proportion to 
the effect of this introduction, I should be fully satisfied. Few 
persons except the scholars (the three senior classes) attended. 



444 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

Washington, January 13th, 1807. — The first debate we have 
had in the Senate this session, upon the bill to relieve George 
Little ; which, however, passed the third reading by a con- 
siderable majority. I took part in this debate without being 
sufficiently prepared, and therefore with little effect. My de- 
ficiencies were amply supplied by Messrs. Bayard, Giles, 
Hillhouse, and S. Smith. The opposition was very feeble, 
from Messrs. Maclay, Worthington, and Smith of Vermont. 
We have symptoms of commencing business, and shall soon 
be much occupied. 

14th. Met two committees — that on Mr. Clay's motion for 
adding another circuit to the United States Courts and appoint- 
ing an additional judge of the Supreme Court, and that on the 
Columbia District Fee bill; on both committees we agreed to 
make a report. 

15th. The Slave bill, which originated in Senate, was dis- 
cussed in committee of the whole, and occasioned a long debate. 
Mr. Clay, the new member from Kentucky, made an ardent 
speech upon one of the sections. He is quite a young man — 
an orator — and a republican of the first fire. 1 I took, and intend 
to take, no part in the debates on this subject. I reported the 
Columbia District Fee bill, which passed to the second reading. 
Several other reports were made, and from this day I date the 
commencement of serious business in the S