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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1784-07-20

Wedensday [i.e. Tuesday, 20 July.]

Early in the morning a pilot Boat came of to us from Deal. The wind blew very high and the Sea ran with a great Swell.1
1. In her journal-letter of 6–30 July AA gives a colorful account of the landing of the Active's passengers in the surf at Deal and of their trip through Canterbury, Rochester, Chatham, and Blackheath (where a highwayman had just been apprehended) to London. They arrived at 8 in the evening of the 21st, and mother and daughter were “set down at Lows Hotel in Covent Gardens” { 167 } (MWA; AA, Letters , ed. CFA , 1848, p. 169–172). On the 23d, having been discovered and advised by solicitous American friends, AA wrote JA from “Osbornes new family Hotel—Adelphi at Mrs. Sheffields No. 6” (Adams Papers).
JA had confidently expected the arrival of his wife and daughter by an earlier vessel and had sent JQA from The Hague to London to meet them in mid-May; after awaiting them there for more than a month, JQA had returned to the Netherlands. On receipt of AA 's letter of 23 July, JA replied that it had made him “the happiest Man upon Earth. I am twenty Years younger than I was Yesterday. It is a cruel Mortification to me that I cannot go to meet you in London, but there are a Variety of Reasons decisive against it, which I will communicate to you here. Meantime I send you a son who is the greatest Traveller, of his Age” (26 July, Adams Papers). On 30 July both mother and son announced to JA their reunion in London, JQA reporting also his negotiation for the purchase of a coach that would accommodate the whole family (both letters in Adams Papers). Two days later JA canceled all previous plans. “Stay where you are,” he told his wife, “untill you see me” (1 Aug., Adams Papers). What followed is recorded in the brief entries in JA 's own Diary (see 4, 7 Aug., below), which must now be resumed at a slightly earlier date.