Thursday Novr. 13th.
Dined at Mr. J. Johnson.1 In the evening we went to see the Transactions of the Royal Society; but unluckily we happened to come on a very barren Night: nothing was read, except a dry, unphilosophical account of the late Earthquake in Calabria:2 after which we went and supp’d with the Club at the London Coffee House.3
1. Joshua Johnson (1742–1802), Maryland merchant, who undertook various commissions for the congress and his native state during and after the Revolution, and eventually served as U.S. consul in London, 1790–1797. He was the father of Louisa Catherine, JQA’s future wife, who was eight years old at this time. On JQA’s first trip to Europe he had met Johnson in Nantes, where the Johnsons were then living (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:300).
2. “Account of the Earthquake in Calabria, March 28, 1783, In a Letter from Count Francesco Ippolito to Sir W[illiam] Hamilton. From the Italian,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London . . ., abridged edn., ed. Charles Hutton and others, 15 (1809):373, 383–386.
3. Styled by Franklin, “the Club of Honest Whigs,” it met fortnightly on Thursdays at the London Coffeehouse, Ludgate Hill. Its members were primarily dissenting clergymen and men of scientific interests, and it was frequented by visiting Americans (Verner W. Crane, “The Club of Honest Whigs: Friends of Science and Liberty,” WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly. description ends , 3d ser., 23:210–233 [April 1966]).