I left Paris on the Eighth of March, expecting to find the Alliance, at Nantes and embark immediately for home, but when I arrived there I found the Alliance was still at Brest. I went to Brest 200 Miles from Nantes, and after some Stay there the Alliance was ordered to Nantes. I returned to Nantes, and when every Thing was ready to sail for America, an order came from Court for the Alliance to go to L'orient, and for me to go home in one of the Kings ships, with his new Ambassador to the united States, Le Chevalier de la Luzerne.
It would fill a Volume to give you an History of my Adventures.2 My Son has accompanied me wherever I have been and is treated with more Attention than his father, tho that is as much as he wishes.
Dont think hard of me for not writing. I have wrote as often as I could. But there are Letters of mine still in the Ports of this Kingdom, which were written I believe 9 Months ago—many many others are in the Sea.
When you come to know how few Letters I have received from America, you will be surprized. There seems to be no Communication of Intelligence between the two Countries or worse than none.
What the Sentiments or Intentions of Congress are concerning me, I know not. Shall find out in Time, I presume. But it seems to most People a little misterious that I should be sent here, and so soon forgotten, so entirely as neither to be ordered to stay, go or come. However, there3 are Reasons probably that We know not here.196
You may form an Idea of the Tenderness with which I expect to see you and ours, in the Course of five or six Weeks.
This is JA's first letter to AA since his series to her at the end of February. See notes on his undated (and perhaps fragmentary) letter to her printed under the assigned date of Feb. 1779. On 14 May JA addressed
When I left Paris, the 8 March, I expected to have been at Home before this Day and have done my Utmost to get to sea, but the Embarrassements and Disappointments I have met with, have been many, very many. I have however in the Course of them had a fine Opportunity of seeing Nantes, L'orient and Brest, as well as the intermediate Country.
By the gracious Invitation of the King, I am now to take Passage in his Frigate the Sensible, with his new Ambassador to America the Chevalier De la Luzerne.
I hope to see you in six or seven Weeks. Never was any Man in such a state of Uncertainty and suspense as I have been from last October, entirely uninformed of the Intentions of Congress concerning me.
This would not have been very painfull to me if I could have got home, for Your Conversation is a Compensation to me, for all other Things.
My Son has had a great Opportunity to see this Country: but this has unavoidably retarded his Education in some other Things.
He has enjoyed perfect Health from first to last and is respected wherever he goes for his Vigour and Vivacity both of Mind and Body, for his constant good Humour and for his rapid Progress in French, as well as his general Knowledge which for his Age is uncommon.—I long to see his Sister and Brothers—I need not Add—1
Thus in MS.