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John Quincy Adams
Diary Entry

tuesday 7th. [of December 1779]

Last night about nine o clock we saw a number of fish. We could not tell what they were; some say they are Dolphins some that they are Porpoises but it being dark we could not perceive them well only the path they made in the water. I write it in this days Journal because the Captain dont allow any light in the night for fear that there are some british frigates heareabouts; and I could not write in the dark. 10 o clock. I hear some of the sailors cry Land! Land! I must go and see what truth there is in it. I have been up to the Main crosstrees and have seen the Land. It appears to be very high and looks as if it was a great, ways off. The Captain conjectures it is Cape Finister. The wind freshens up a little. We go about 4 kn an hour.

Adams, John Quincy. Diary entry, December 7, 1779. Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1: November 1779 - March 1786 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981). Page 9.