We expected to have had a large Company to dine with us; but Mr. Hailes brought the excuses of the Duke of Dorset; who was this morning sent for at Versailles; and could not therefore come. M: de Gouvion, has also excused himself, and Coll. Humphreys’s illness prevented him from coming, so that we were reduced to eleven only. Marquis de la Fayette and Lady: Count Sarsfield, M: de la Bourdonnais, Mr. Hailes, Mr. Williamos and Mr. Jarvis. The Marquis brought us a number of American News Papers, as he receives them very regularly. Mr. A.s appointment to England, is in one of the New York Gazettes of march 3d. Coll. William Smith,1 of New York, who has been heretofore Aid de Camp to Genl. Washington, is appointed Secretary to the Legation.
Memorandum: Count Sarsfield made me promise him, I would write him a Letter in french the 29th. of next October.2
1. William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), designated as WSS by the Adams Papers, was appointed by the congress without the prior knowledge of JA, who initially had some doubts about his suitability. WSS, who had received a certificate of commendation from Washington for his military service, was a member of the Society of Cincinnati, a distinction that both AA and JA thought incompatible with republicanism; but they were mollified by his high sense of honor and modesty of demeanor and soon came to like him. AA2, having rejected her suitor Royall Tyler, became engaged in due course to WSS, and they were married on 11 June 1786. The marriage was not a happy one. None of the variety of offices which WSS subsequently held turned out well for him; his ambition, extravagant habits, and unwise investments led to desperate straits, and AA2 had to endure periods of drunkenness and desertion (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:183–184 and sources cited there; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 10 May 1785; JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795; and M/LCA/6, p. 147, all in Adams Papers).
2. If written, not found.