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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-17

17. Tuesday.

I set a Lesson to my Son in Chambauds French Grammar and asked the Favour of Dr. Noel to shew him the precise, critical Pronunciation of all the French Words, Syllables, and Letters, which the Dr. very politely did, and Mr. John is getting his Lessons accordingly, very much pleased.
The Weather is fair, and the Wind right, and We are again weighing Anchor in order to put to Sea.
Captn. Diamond and Captn. Inlaker came on Board, and breakfasted, two Prisoners taken with Manly in the Hancock and lately escaped from Hallifax.
{ 274 }
Our Captn. is an able Seaman, and a brave, active, vigilant officer, but I believe has no great Erudition. His Library consists of Dyche's English Dictionary, Charlevoix's Paraguay, The Rights of the Xtian Church asserted vs. the Romish and other Priests, who claim an independent Power over it, The 2d Vol. of Chubbs posthumous Works, 1. Vol. of the History of Charles Horton, Esq. and 1 Vol. of the delicate Embarrassments a Novell.—I shall at some other Time take more Notice of some of these Books.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-18

1778. Feb. 18. Wednesday.

Last night, about Sunsett We sailed out of Marblehead Harbour, and have had a fine Wind, from that time to this, 24. Hours. The constant Rolling and Rocking of the Ship, last night made Us all sick —half the Sailors were so. My young Gentlemen, Jesse and Johnny, were taken about 12 O Clock last night and have been very seasick ever since. I was seized with it myself this Forenoon. My Servant Joseph Stevens1 and the Captns. Will have both been very bad.
1. Joseph Stephens (as he himself wrote his name), a former soldier and seaman, served JA in Europe in all kinds of capacities from 1778 to 1783, but was lost on a voyage home to America in the latter year.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0001-0007

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-02-19

Feb. 19. Thursday.

Arose at 4 O Clock. The Wind and Weather still fair. The Ship rolls less than Yesterday, and I have neither felt, nor heard any Thing of Sea Sickness, last night nor this Morning.
Monsr. Parison, one of General Du Coudrais Captains, dined with us, Yesterday, and made me a present of a Bottle of a nice French Dram, a Civility which I must repay. He seems a civil and sensible Man.
The Mal de Mer seems to be merely the Effect of Agitation. The Smoke and Smell of Seacoal, the Smell of stagnant, putrid Water, the Smell of the Ship where the Sailors lay, or any other offensive Smell, will increase the Qualminess, but do not occasion it.
C[aptain] Parison says, that the Roads from Nantes to Paris are very good, no Mountains, no Hills, no Rocks—all as smooth as the Ships Deck and a very fine Country: But the Roads from Bourdeaux to Paris, are bad and mountainous.
In the Morning We discovered three Sail of Vessells ahead. We went near enough to discover them to be Frigates, and then put away. We soon lost sight of two of them: but the third chased Us the whole Day. Sometimes We gained upon her, and sometimes she upon Us.1
{ 275 }
1.
Tucker, Log (MH), 19 Feb.:
“Att 6 A.M. Saw three Large Ships bearing East they Standing to the Northward I mistrusted they where a Cruizeing for me. I hauld my wind to the southward found they did not Persue. I then Consulted my Offercers to stand to the Northward after them. We agreed in opinions. Wore Ship Run one hour to the Northward then I Discoverd that one was a ship Not Less than ourselfs, one out of sight to the Northward and the other appeared to me and offercers to be a twenty gun ship. The man att the mast head Cauld out a ship on the weather Quarter—at that time the other two Under our Lee and Under short Sail. I then Consulted the Honble. John Addams Esq. and my offercers what was best to do not knowing how my ship may Sail. One and all Consented to stand to the southward from them. Att 10 A.M. I then wore ship to the southward and stood from them. The two that was Under my Lee before I wore Imediately wore and stood affter me. Att 12 on Meridian Lost sigh[t] of the small ship and the other was about three Leagues Under my Lee Quarter.”
The vessel in pursuit was the Apollo (Ambrose Serle, American Journal, ed. Edward H. Tatum, Jr., San Marino, Calif., 1940, p. 315).