6 March 1821
adams-john10 Neal MillikanAdams-Onis Treaty

6. VII: Mr Sanford late Senator from New-York, called at my house this morning to take leave. I have entertained a very favourable opinion of his talents and principles, from his public conduct in the Senate these four years, and his private deportment has been invariably kind and friendly to me— About three years since he intimated to me that the appointment of Minister to France would be acceptable to him, if, as was then expected a vacancy there should occur. I mentioned it to the President at that time, but the vacancy did not then occur; nor has it yet taken place— But it is still expected, and Mr Sanford said if it should happen, the appointment would yet be agreeable to him. I told him it was doubtful, whether Mr Gallatin would return this year. And if he should return I could not say who would be the person appointed to France in his stead— All I could say was that my good wishes would be with him. We had some further conversation; but as he had not appeared disposed last Tuesday to speak of the New-York State-politics, I did not now, nor did he allude to them— On leaving me he appeared to be much affected— I was so myself— I wished him with great cordiality health and happiness; and on taking my hand at parting he assured me with earnestness of his friendship; adding that he would at a proper time give proof of it. This was not only spontaneous on his part, but entirely unexpected on mine— I made no reply; but took it as a momentary effusion of good will intending a reciprocation of the friendly sentiments which I had manifested towards him. The day was almost wholly absorbed at the Office, with visitors. Mr Parrott, Senator for New-Hampshire came to renew a recommendation of a friend for a Consular appointment— Mr Terrell member of the late House from Georgia came to take leave; having declined a re-election to Congress— There were published in the Charleston City Gazette in January of the last year two long and elaborate attacks upon me, addressed to me under the signature of Sagittarius— Terrell told me a short time after their publication that he knew who was the author of them: and told it as if he meant to tell me— I did not ask him however, neither did he tell me. As it is very likely I shall not see him again, I determined now to ascertain whether he would tell me or not— I reminded him therefore of what he had said last winter, which he recollected, and asked 547him, as he knew the author of Sagittarius, if he had any objection to tell me who it was. He looked very much embarrassed; and answered slowly and doubtingly—no—he believed not—he thought he could tell me; but he did not tell me; and I soon relieved him from his perplexity by changing the subject of Conversation— Why he told me last Winter that he knew the and why he now so awkwardly evaded telling me who it was, I shall probably never know.— Mr Scott the member of the house from Missouri came to ask for a new application to the Spanish Government, for the liberation of Bard, M’Knight and some other American Citizens who have been several years imprisoned in Mexico. Notwithstanding the late decree of the King of Spain for the release of all Citizens of the United States detained as State prisoners in the Spanish dominions, Scott says these persons have not been discharged, and some of their relations wish for Passports to go to them— I sent to General Vives, who furnished Letters to serve as Passports. Onis two years ago had refused them— Mr J. M. Baker came to supplicate for some appointment under the Florida Treaty. His Situation is truly distressing. A Mr Sweney brought me a Letter of recommendation from Andrew Gregg, now Secretary to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and with whom I formerly sat in the Senate of the United States— Sweney came all the way from Pennsylvania, to ask for an Office in any of the Public Departments; but there is no vacancy. Mr John R. Hurd of New-York called at the Office— He has been some time here upon business before Congress— As he was the first person who called for an official investigation of L. Harris’s conduct as Consul in Russia, I enquired of him whether he had known any thing of it other than what he had stated to me, in his Letter of September 1817. He knew nothing but by hearsay. But he gave me a written statement of two English vessels, who bought admission as Americans, by the Certificates of Harris, in 1808—the names of the vessel, master, and sum paid, as told by Diederich Rodde to Captain Bates and by Bates to Hurd— I spoke to him also of a Straw Bonnet, made at Weathersfield sold some months since at New-York as an extraordinary specimen of American manufacture; which Hurd bought and sent as a present to my wife— I told Hurd that while in the public situation which I hold, I made it a principle to accept no valuable present from any one. It was very harsh to interdict the acceptance of presents offered to my wife, and it gave me pleasure to see her giving countenance according to our means to the productions or ingenuity of our Country— I had therefore consented to her acceptance of his present, and should only take some opportunity to ask his acceptance of some equivalent in return— He said he hoped I should not think of it, and mentioned his reason for sending the bonnet to Mrs Adams, which was merely because he thought, it would give it the best opportunity of attracting notice— I did not press the conversation further. I called at the President’s to consult upon measures to be taken, for carrying into execution the Florida Treaty.— The Appointment of Commissioners—Secretaries, Revenue and judicial Officers is yet in deliberation, and the measures for taking possession of the Florida’s are yet to be settled. I wrote also the monthly despatch to R. Rush. Hopkinson and J. Sergeant spent the Evening with us.