John Quincy Adams to William Cranch
Paris May the 31 1778
I now Sit down with an intent to give you an account of the Place I dind at yesterday doctor Franklin his son a young Gentleman & I went to Place Calld montmartre at the Castle of the Count Brancard & dind there with him and some other Gentleman & Ladies, from which Place there is a most Beautiful Prospect of the City. On this hill the famous king henry the 4th incamped his army when he laid Seige to Paris. it is the highest hill in the neghborhood of Paris & excepting Mount Calvare & Minemontan it Commands the most extensive & most Beautiful Prospect.1
these excursions afford me some pleasure & give me some Consolation for my not being with my Freinds at Braintree among whom I think you one of the first & therefore I subscribe myself your affectionate Cousin.
John Quincy Adams
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “to my Cousin william.” Text is given here in literal style.
1. JQA’s imperfect knowledge and spelling make it difficult to identify with certainty some of the persons and places he mentions. Franklin’s “son” must be William Temple Franklin, his grandson and secretary. Their host, “Count Brancard,” is more or less recognizable as one of the members of the numerous and powerful Brancas family, with several of whom Franklin was on friendly terms; see Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., description begins I. Minis Hays, comp., Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1908; 5 vols. description ends passim; JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:77. “Minemontan” is no doubt Ménilmontant, the neighborhood of Père Lachaise Cemetery in the eastern part of the city.