13 October 1818
adams-john10 Neal MillikanFamily Finances (Adams Family)African AmericansColonization MovementsScience and TechnologySteam Power

13. V: Rising just at daylight, and before I could see distinctly to write or read, I walked out, and went down to the upper Market Street wharf, to enquire for the Steam Boat AEtna, on board of which I had left my Umbrella, when we were going on to Quincy— I found the hours of her departure and arrival had been changed, and that she would come in from Bordentown at ten O’clock. Returned to our lodgings, but found little time for writing. Mr Allibone called, and I settled with him the Account for my Mother— This was the day of the general election, and Allibone, who said he was a federalist, added that for the first time a coalition had been formed between the federalists, and the Old school democrats; and that the federalists had agreed to vote for M. Leib, as a Senator in the State Legislature— Leib had always been a man, not only extremely obnoxious to the federalists, but there were imputations upon his private character which they had always held up as a reproach and infamy to the party supporting— Yet so flexible is their own moral purity that they now vote for this man themselves— Allibone said it might be good policy; but he doubted whether he could reconcile it to his principles. Mr Perkins came and asked me to call at his work-shop and look at his machinery for engraving Steel-plates for Bank-Bills. At Breakfast there was with the other Boarders a Mr Clapiers, a Frenchman, brother of one of the same name whom we saw in Russia. He told me that Barthe was dead— At nine O’Clock Mr Vaughan called and I went with him to the apartment of the American philosophical Society. He shewed me a collection of maps of America, published within these two years at Paris; coloured apparently with a view to confine the territories of the United States within the narrowest limits left them by the pretensions of all or any other Power whatever—distributing the whole western Coast of America, between Spain, Russia and Great Britain— Bordering us upon Spain to the South at the line from the Mennentao to Natchitoches, and stopping us Westward at the Rocky Mountains. At this apartment I met Mr Duponceau, Professor Pearson of Andover, and Mr. John Winthrop; the same 413I had seen last year in England. Mr Vaughan lent me from the Books of the Society the third narrative of La Salle’s discoveries, by father Hennepin—the other two being at the Library of Congress at Washington— I went to Perkins and saw his machinery, and his copperplates taken by pressure from Steel-plates. The invention is ingenious, and must be effectual to preserve Bank-Bills from being forged, so far as relates to the engraved parts— The imitation appears to be scarcely possible. I met there Mr Charles Harrod, brother of Mrs T. B. Adams, and settled at New-Orleans— On returning to my lodgings I found there Mr Prince Sanders the black man; who has returned from his establishments in the kingdom of king Henry of Haÿti. I asked him if he intended to return thither, to which he did not think proper to give a direct answer; but said if he did it would be contrary to the advice of his friends. He appeared to be labouring however with the project of colonizing Hayti from the free people of colour in the United States. He admitted that the Government of King Henry was of rather an arbitrary character, and in respect to personal liberty and security was susceptible of some improvements. He spoke however very guardedly and with great reserve. I gave him my opinion of king Henry’s government very freely. Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the hour for my departure— At Noon we embarked in the Steam-boat Superior, Captain Milnor for Wilmington; being the line of Steamboats and Stages, in opposition to that of Newcastle and Frenchtown, which we took in going Eastward. The weather was rainy, with a heavy gale of wind. We dined on board the Steam-boat; arrived at Wilmington by four in the afternoon, and proceeded immediately in Post-Chaises to the head of Elk, 20 Miles; where we arrived between seven and eight in the Evening. We immediately embarked in the Steamboat Eagle; where I unexpectedly met the Spanish Minister Onis and his family, returning like ourselves to Washington. The violence of the gale had abated, but there was still a heavy swell in Chesapeake Bay, and the Evening was so damp and chill that we were chiefly confined to the Cabins. The births were for the most part engaged when we came on board; but the Captain gave me his own State-Room. About ten, I retired to bed, but not to sleep.