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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-14

Tuesday 14th.

The French consul was here last night (he is to go to Coronna with us). He told us that he would send a man this morning to tell us if it was possible to go to Coronna this day. At 10 o clock a Messenger came to our lodgings after our things. The Muletiers came and carried our things down to the boat. At 4 o clock the Consul came and told us we should set out to Morrow morning at 5 o clock in the morning. The officers here French and Spanish have a cockade red and white for the alliance between France and Spain. Capt Chavagnes desir'd all his officers to add the Black to it and put one in himself. He says that he has not wore a Cockade before since he was a Midshipman and accordingly they have got one in. The Spanish and French officers wonder'd at it and Enquir'd of the Frigates officers what they had the black for. They told them that France being allied to the thirteen United States of America they put it in. For that reason, the Captain said that it was only what was due for the Politeness that he had been used with in Boston. There's an Example of French Compliments. 10 o clock. I have been to the play. Much { 13 } the same thing that we had Yesterday and the other day except that a Farce was added to night spoken in the Portugese Language and the Actors and Actresses acted their parts more lively.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-15

Wednesday 15th.

This morning at 5 o clock the Consul's servant came and wak'd us up. We dress'd and drank a cup of Chocolat. After breakfast the Consul came and told us he was ready. We then went down to the wharf and went on board a boat to cross over the other Side of the bason. When we arrived the Muletiers were not quite ready but we soon got ready, and then we sot out like so many Don Quixote's and Sancho Pancha's or Hudibras's and Ralpho's.1 We were eleven in Company and in this order. 1st the Consul. 2d My Pappa. 3d Mr. Dana. 4th Mr. Allen. 5th Mr. Thaxter who made the front. 6th Mr. Sam Cooper Johonnot, 7th My Brother Charles and 8th Myself who made the centre. 9thly the Consuls servant. 10th Mr. Dana's servant.2 11nth and last the Muletier who brought up the rear. We past several bridges and amongst the rest one of a Mile long which they call devils bridge and another at which we din'd* which was call'd hogs bridge. Droll names for bridges I think? We also pass'd a river and a number of Prodigious high mountains. The ground is in General well cultivated. Corn, Turnips, and all other vegetables stand in the Ground. In the Month of December the Ground is cover'd all about with a sweet verdure and all appears like the Month of May. At about 7 o clock P.M. we arrived at Coronna and took our lodgings. A Gentleman told us that there was an American schooner here belonging to the Tracy's in Newburyport.3 The city of Coronna appear'd to me to be better built and handsomer than that of Ferrol. The streets are larger, but I entered it in the night and therefore could not observe anything very well.
*The French Consul provided our dinner and we were glad of it for we found nothing at all that was eatable at the tavern. He said that they found nothing in Spain but some of the Gentlemen asking for water. Ah? says he “as for water you may find enough of that in Spain.”
1. The knight Hudibras and his squire Ralpho, the principal characters in Samuel Butler's mock-heroic poem Hudibras.
2. John William Christian Fricke was a German-born captured British mercenary ( JA to the Governor of La Coruña, 18 Dec., { 14 } LbC , Adams Papers; information from Mrs. Robert W. Otto to the Adams Papers Editorial Office, 1966).
3. In 1775 Nathaniel Tracy, Newburyport merchant and shipowner, his brother John, and brother-in-law Jonathan Jackson launched a mercantile business in European goods, but as war approached they converted their fleet to privateering (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 17:247–251, 646–649).