John Adams to Abigail Adams
3 June 
My dear Portia
I went a few days ago to see the Hotel de Monnoie or the Mint, the Building where all the Kings Coin is cast and stamped.1 We viewed all the various Machines, from the first melting of the gold and silver, to the final issuing of the shining Morsells. The Metal goes thro many Operations that I have not time to describe. There are many Appartements in the Building the Architecture of which is solid and convenient as well as elegant. Their is a noble Reservoir of Water which is conveyed by Pipes to every Appartement. There is a large Well, by which the Reservoir is supplied.
I was most entertained however with the Cabinet of Minerals, Metals of all sorts, sulphurs &c., and every Thing that had any Relation to silver and gold. There is a vast Variety—very curious and in nice order. How should I delight to spend my days in such Enquiries into Nature, if I were not necessitated by every Tye, to devote all my Moments to other Uses.—I send you an Extract from an English Newspaper, for the Amusement of your Friend.
RC (Adams Papers). Enclosure not found.
1. This was “le nouvel Hôtel des Monnoies” on the Quai de Conti on the left bank of the Seine, a very imposing building completed in 1774 and elaborately described in Dict. historique de la ville de Paris, 1779 description begins Pierre Thomas Nicolas Hurtaut and ——— Magny, Dictionnaire historique de la ville de Paris et de ses environs . . ., Paris, 1779; 4 vols. description ends , 3:568–570, and Thiéry, Almanach du voyageur à Paris description begins Luc Vincent Thiéry, Almanack du voyageur à Paris . . ., année 1784, Paris 1784. description ends , p. 349–352.