1778 April 1. Wednesday.
This Morning Mr. J. C. Champagne, negociant and Courtier de Marine, at Blaye, came on board, to make a Visit and pay his Compliments.
He says, that of the first Grouths of Wine, in the Province of Guienne, there are four Sorts, Chateau Margeaux, Hautbrion, La Fitte, and Latour.
This Morning I took Leave of the Ship, and went up to Town with my Son, and servant, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Jesse, and Dr. Noel, in the Pinnace. When We came up to the Town We had the Luck to see Mr. McClary,1 and Major Fraser , on the Shore. Mr. McClary came on board our Boat, and conducted Us up to his Lodgings. Mr. Pringle was there. We dined there, in the Fashion of the Country. We had fish and Beans, and Salad, and Claret, Champain and Mountain Wine. After Dinner Mr. Bondfield, who is Agent here, invited me to take a Walk, which We did to his Lodgings, where We drank Tea.2 Then We walked about the Town, and to see the new Comedie. After this We went to the Opera, where the Scenery, the Dancing, the Music, afforded to me a very chearfull, sprightly Amusement, having never seen any Thing of the Kind before. After this We returned to Mr. McClarys Lodgings, where We supped.
1. That is, William McCreery, evidently from Baltimore, whom JA had known in America and who had recently “Setled in Bordeaux in the mercantile way” (AA to JA, 18 May 1778; JA, Autobiography, under the present date). JA and McCreery corresponded on commercial subjects for some years, though at first their letters rather amusingly centered on a pair of homespun breeches, lost by JQA in Bordeaux, that contained eight guineas sewed into the waistband. McCreery returned to America in 1781 (Franklin, Writings, ed. Smyth description begins The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert Henry Smyth, New York and London, 1905–1907; 10 vols. description ends , 7:261, note). If he is the William McCreery who became a U.S. representative and senator from Maryland, the notice of him in Biog. Dir. Cong description begins Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1949, Washington, 1950. description ends , is inadequate.
2. John Bondfield was a merchant who served for many years as U.S. commercial agent at Bordeaux and whose surviving correspondence with JA and other American ministers in France is voluminous. JA says in his Autobiography under the present date that he had also known Bondfield in America, but his background is obscure. For a high opinion of his mercantile character see JA to William Vernon Jr., 12 May 1778 (LbC, Adams Papers). As late as 15 May 1789 Bondfield could write JA from Bordeaux: “I remain as when I had the Honor to see you at Bordeaux honor’d by the [American] Gentlemen at Paris with their Correspondence and publick and private Commissions and in my steddy Attention to every thing in my power to serve the States” (Adams Papers).