Adams Papers
Note: this document has content that may require expanded/print view for best results (icons above right)

Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy, 1 October 1778 – 23 February 1779

Household Accounts of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at Passy

[1 October 1778 – 23 February 1779]

1778 1778
Octr. 1 Passy Octr. 1. 1778
Pay to the honble. John Adams Esqr., or order the Sum of Six thousand Livres, and Charge the Same to Account of the Commissioners
B. Franklin2
John Adams
Oct. 2 Cabaret for Stationary, per Receipt 84. 10.
6 Washerwomans Account for D. Franklin 78.
12 Dennis Account 42. 6.
14 Monsieur Le Cours Memoire, for the Schooling of M. John Quincy Adams, for one Quarter ending the 13th 477. 16.
Monsieur Montagne his Account of Family for the Month of August 1391. 9. 6.
for the Month of September ... 1397. 19. 3.
Postage of Letters in the Month of August 117. 1.
Ditto in the Month of September 228. 2.
The Receipt for the four forgoing sums amounting in all to 3134: 11s: 9d is dated the 1st of October.
Memoire of M. De Chaumont, for five Months Use of the Voiture Horses &c. and Postage of Letters ending 10 Octr 1732.
Memoire of M. De Chaumont for the Chival De Cabriolet ending 10 October 248. 2. 6.
Memoire de Peruquier, for dressing Mr. Adams’s Wig, for Six Months ending 9 Octr 48.
15 Mr. Adams’s shoemakers Account 49.
Ballance remaining in hand 105. 13. 9.
Oct. 31 Ballance remaining on the other side 105. 13. 9. Oct. 31. The above Account was examined, and compared with the Receipts and found right by us,
Received of Mr. Grand the Sum of Four Thousand Eight hundred Livres, tournois, on Account by Us. 4800. B Franklin4
John Adams.
B Franklin
John Adams
4905. 13. 9.
Novr. 3 Paid for the Roulage of Wine from Bordeaux 170. 8. 4.
addition paid 11. [8.] 5
4 Paid Mr Montagne for Family Expences, Post of Letters, his Wages, and other Articles up to the last of October according to his Books of Account in which he has given another Receipt ... 1963. 11. 2.
20 Paid for Duties &c. for 50 Bottles of Rum 75.
21 Paid Mr. W. T. Franklin for his Expences to Dieppe 16 Louis 384.
Paid Stevens Account 493. 16.
30 Paid Le Roy the Tailer his Bill 257. 15.
Decr. 1 Paid Dennis Account for Wages from the 20 May to 20 Novr. and Allowance for Wine &c. 153.
Paid Dennis Account for Dinners, at Paris &c. 28. 18.
4 Paid Mr. Fremont, for his Account of Family Expences for the Month of November 1165. 8. 6.
Paid Mr Fremont for his Account of Postage of Letters 78. 17.
6 Paid the Glazier for his Memoire 153.
Another Small Memoire 6.
4930. 5. 8.
4905. 13. 9.
Ballance in favour of Mr. Adams 24. 11. 11.
Passy, Dec. 11. 1778. The above Account was examined, compar’d with the Receipts, and found right, by us,
B Franklin
John Adams
Decr. 16 Received Decr. 16 1778 of Mr. Grand Five Thousand Livres Tournois on Account by Us 5000.
B. Franklin
John Adams
4899. 2. 11.
Ballance Spent by Mr. Adams for which he is accountable. 100. 17. 1.
Ballance brought forward 24. 11. 11.6
20 Washerwomans Account 45. 4.
22 Monsieur Pichinis Memoire 310. 15.
Arbelots Memoire 34.
Calais Memoire 178. 16.
Coimets Memoire 204.
Paid for Washerwoman for Dr. F. 86.
Mr. Le Cour Memoire for B. F. 781. 10.
For Mr. F’s. Italian Master 30.
Fencing Master ... 84.
30 Delivered Mr. W. T. F. for Dr. Franklin, 4 Louis 96.
Paid for mathematical Instruments for Mr. Ad. 36.
Paid for a Pair of little Gloves for Mr. Adams 11.
Jany. 4 Paid Mr. Fremont for Family Expences 1841. 2.
for Postage of Letters 244. 4.
8 Paid Louis Tardy for Worsted stockings for Mr. Adams 44.
Jan. 13. 1779. The opposite Account was examin’d, compar’d with the Accounts and found right agreable to the Receipts, 13 Paid the Maistre D’Hotel of M. Chaumont in Part for the Voiture Horses &c. from Oct 10 to Jany. 10 780
B. Franklin
John Adams
Taken by Mr. Adams to pay for Some school Books for his son John Quincy Adams 33.
Paid the Surgeons Bill for attending Stephens, after his Fall from the Carriage 12.
4876. 2. 11.
Paid for Razors for Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams 23.
4899. 2. 11.
Jany. By Ballance 100. 17. 1.
An order on Mr. Grand for 4800.
4900. 17. 1.
Sum total on the other side 4734. 3. 7.
Ballance in Mr. Adams’s Hands for which he is accountable for this and the last Months. But the Money is all gone.7 166. 13. 5.8
25 Paid the Remainder of M. Chaumonts Account 600. 8.
28 Duties on D’Andaye 37. 2. 1.
Tapissions Memoire 70.
29 Paid Hill the Taylors Account 344. 1.
31 Paid Mr. Whithall for the Remembrancers 53.
Feb. 1 Paid for L’Histoire philosophique et politique des Etablissimens des Europeans dans les deux Indes,9 for Mr. Adams 48 Livres, for 3 ounces of lenitive Electuary10 2 L, for a Writing Book 3 Liv. for a Nick. Buckle 5 Livres—for Ditto in all for which no Receipt was taken 58.
Paid the Washerwoman for Mr. Adams 14.
3 Paid the Wood Merchant for Wood 470. 10.
Paid M. Fremont Maitre D’hotel for Family Expences to the 1 Feby 1421. 5. 6.
Paid Ditto for Postage of Letters 335. 17.
Paid Francois Memoire 12.
7 Paid Taylors Bill Dieu donnés Memoire for Dr. F. 322.
Paid Ditto for Dr. F. 500. 9.
9 Paid Chaberts Bill for shoes for M. Adams 10.
10 Paid the Glazier 12. 18.
12 Paid Stevens his Memoire for Wages and Wine 252.
23 Paid De Bause his Memoire 107. 15.
Paid Dennis Memoire for Wages &c. 89. 10.
Paid Dennis other Memoire 23. 8.
4734. 3. 7.

LbC (Adams Papers); FC in William Temple Franklin’s hand (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). For JA’s assumption of the responsibility for keeping the household accounts, see his letter to Franklin of [6] Sept., and note 3 (above); and the descriptive note to the household accounts for [9 April – 24 Aug.] (vol. 6:21). The household accounts printed here should be compared with the earlier set (vol. 6:16–20), as well as with JA’s personal accounts in JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:325–342.

1Ferdinand Grand.

2JA copied Benjamin Franklin’s signature here and in the entries in this column for 31 Oct. and 16 Dec.

3The total expenditure for this period was 5,894. 6. 3 livres.

4Franklin’s signature on this certification, as well as on those dated 11 Dec. and 13 Jan., was in his own hand. Only JA signed the corresponding certifications on Temple Franklin’s copy.

5In the Letterbook an ink blot makes it difficult to determine whether JA wrote an “8” or a “o.” Temple Franklin construed it as a “o” and entered it as such on his copy, but the sum given by JA for the total expenditures for the period, 4,930. 5. 8 livres, indicates that he meant it to be an “8.”

6That is, the balance owed JA and thus an expenditure.

7JA did sign the corresponding certification for the period from 25 Jan. to 23 Feb. on William Temple Franklin’s copy of the accounts. The absence of Benjamin Franklin’s signature from the certification was probably owing to the fact that he was too ill with the gout to conduct business (JA to the Board of Treasury, 19 Sept. 1779, below).

8This should be 166.13. 6 livres.

9By Guillaume Thomas Francois, Abbé Raynal. Two sets of this work remain in JA’s library: a Geneva, 1780, edition and an English translation, London, 1777 (Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ).

10A gentle laxative (OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends ).

Index Entries