20 September 1820
adams-john10 Neal MillikanCommerceScience and Technology

20. III:30. I had as visitors at the Office, a Mrs Jones, widow of a man, who obtained a Patent for a machine to make lint— She came to enquire whether the Government would be disposed to purchase half the patent right; for the benefit of the army, and Navy— I told her that she must apply to the War or Navy Department. But as the Secretaries of both those Departments are absent I promised to submit her proposal to the PresidentMrs Cornell came with Mr Bestor, to enquire of the fate of her Son— She had been at the President’s but was referred to me, and desired to call there again to-morrow— I requested her to call at the Office before going to the President’s tomorrow, and promised to inform her then of his directions. General Parker came with a new application from Mr Byers of New-York, for a public vessel to protect their Sealing Settlement expedition to the South-Pole— I told him of Homans’s objections but promised to mention the affair again to the 421President. Dr. Thornton came to ask if I had laid before the President a Letter which I received from him yesterday soliciting the appointment of Minister to Brazil, in the place of the late Mr John Graham, or if that should not be thought best, then that C. S. Todd should be appointed the Minister there, he the Doctor in Todd’s place to the Republic of Colombia, and Dr. Allison Superintendent of the Patent Office; with an elaborate argument upon the expediency of rewarding long and faithful services— I told the Doctor, that the President had his Letter— I took to the President three despatches received this morning from A. Gallatin; the last subsequent to the two retaliatory ordinances of France, of 26. July. They shew such a change in the aspect of affairs that the draft of Instructions which I began yesterday will no longer suit. I mentioned to the President the substance of the despatches and left them with him— The first of the two ordinances is a retaliatory duty of 90 francs a Ton upon American Vessels entering French Vessels laden— The other gives a bounty of ten franks per hundred Kilogrammes, upon Cotton brought in French Vessels from any part of the two America’s— The objects of this are to obtain a supply of Cotton for their manufactures— To invite evasions of our French Tonnage duty; and to give a premium upon Brazil Cotton— Mr Gallatin does not appear to consider it in that light— It was four O’Clock when I left the President’s, and I lost the day at the Office; for I consider every day as lost in which there is no writing done— I had promised to go with Mrs. Adams to Baltimore, to attend at the Marriage of Susan Buchanan to a Mr Newman, which is to take place to-morrow; but these new Tasks assigned me by the President requiring immediate attention, I was obliged to give it up. Mrs Adams went immediately after dinner to lodge this Night at Ross’s—eleven Miles on the road— She took Charles with her in my place—and also her maid Elizabeth— The Change of weather was so great, that I resumed entire winter raiment, and this Night needed a blanket. The night before last, I could scarcely endure a sheet— I journalized a little, this Evening.