Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 May 1794

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Philadelphia May 3. 1794

My Dearest Friend

I Yesterday dined in Company with M. Talleyrand de Perigord and Mr Beaumez, the former late Bishop of Autun and both Members of the late Constituent assembly in France.1

Talleyrand made the Motion for confiscating the Property of the Clergy: which, has made him so obnoxious to the Court of Vienna, that they have persuaded the British Court to order him out of England although he had been previously obliged to quit France.

There is at present a great Number of Men of Talents in this Country Fugitives from switzerland France &c &c as well as England scotland & Ireland. These will do Us more harm than good, if We are not upon our Guard. I shall be at home by the middle of June, I hope. Thomas is on the Circuit.

tenderly Yours

J. A.

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

1Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord and Bon Albert Briois de Beaumez came to the United States in spring 1794 to gain information about business opportunities there, both for themselves and for friends and colleagues back in Europe. Together they traveled through the northern United States as far north as Maine and into western New York. They remained in America until 1796, when Talleyrand returned to France and Beaumez left for India.

Talleyrand (1754–1838) had been the bishop of Autun but renounced his religious appointment to serve in the French revolutionary government and became ambassador to Britain in 1792. He later advised Napoleon on foreign affairs and became one of the most influential European diplomats of his time. Beaumez (1759–1800) had accompanied Talleyrand to London and also served in the French Constituent Assembly. He later became a merchant in India (Talleyrand in America as a Financial Promoter, 1794–96, transl. and ed. Hans Huth and Wilma J. Pugh, N.Y., 1971, p. 5–6, 13, 19–22; Bosher, French Rev., description begins J. F. Bosher, The French Revolution, New York, 1988. description ends p. lviii).

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