Brouquen to John Adams: A Translation
Bordeaux 3 April 1778
You were kind enough to let me anticipate your stopping at the Marquis de Voyer d’Argenson’s house, at The Elms, two stages after Chatelereault. I am informing him accordingly. He will be most pleased to meet you since he already knows much about you and, indeed, it would be very difficult for you not to be known. As for me, sir, I have sought this privilege with as much pleasure as eagerness, but so far the only homage I have been able to pay you is through my deep interest in your reputation.1 Receive as well the respect and admiration with which I have the honor to be your very humble and very obedient servant.
RC (Adams Paper); docketed in JA’s late hand: “French Letter Bourdeaux 3d. April 1778 3 days after my Arrival at that City.”
1. In view of the numerous instances in which people confused JA with Samuel Adams, the “reputation” to which Brouquen refers may well be that of the latter (see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:351–352).
2. Brouquen, who remains an obscure figure, may have been the man addressed by Silas Deane on 20 Feb. as “Monsr. Brouquins, Receiver Genl., Bordeaux” (Deane Papers description begins Papers of Silas Deane, 1774–1790, in New-York Historical Society, Collections, Publication Fund Series, vols. 19–23, New York, 1887–1891; 5 vols. description ends , 2:379). He may also, or instead, have been the secretary or Bordeaux agent of Marc-René, marquis de Voyer d’Argenson (1722–1782), military commandant of the department of Poitou (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale description begins J. C. F. Hoefer, ed., Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1852–1866; 46 vols. description ends ). JA accepted the invitation from Brouquen and spent the night of 6–7 April at Les Ormes, the seat of the Marquis. JA describes the Marquis’ establishment and the surrounding area graphically in Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:295–296; 4:40.