1783 Tuesday. Feb. 18.
Received a Letter from my Son John, dated at Gottenburgh the 1. of Feb. This Letter gave me great Joy, it is the first I have received from him since he left Petersbourg, and the first News I have had of him since the Beginning of December, when he was at Stockholm.— I have suffered extream Anxiety on his Account.1
I have omitted my Journal, and several Things of some Consequence, but I am weary, disgusted, affronted and disappointed. This State of Mind I must alter—and work while the day lasts.
I have been injured, and my Country has joined in the Injury. It has basely prostituted its own honour by sacrificing mine. But the Sacrifice of me for my Virtues, was not so servile, and intollerable as putting Us all under Guardianship. Congress surrendered their own Sovereignty into the Hands of a French Minister. Blush blush! Ye guilty Records! blush and perish! It is Glory, to have broken such infamous orders. Infamous I say, for so they will be to all Posterity. How can such a Stain be washed out? Can We cast a veil over it, and forget it?
1. JQA’s letter is in Adams Papers. He had left St. Petersburg in company with a Count Greco, 30 Oct. 1782, and traveled via Helsingfors (Helsinki) to Stockholm, which he reached on 22 Nov.; he and his companion left there on 31 Dec. and arrived at Göteborg on 16 Jan. after a tedious delay on account of bad weather; from there, traveling for the most part alone, he proceeded on 11 Feb. to Copenhagen and thereafter to Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, and The Hague, arriving at the Hôtel des Etats-Unis on 21 April (JQA, Diary). JA’s correspondence during the first several months of 1783 shows that officers of the Dutch and French diplomatic and consular services were constantly scouring the Baltic and North Sea ports looking for the fifteen-year-old boy. “My Younker ought to think himself highly honoured, by the Notice that has been taken of him by so many respectable Personages” (JA to Dumas, 19 March 1783, LbC, Adams Papers).