A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-08-02-0182

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lagoanere, Michel
Date: 1779-12-16

To Michel Lagoanere

[salute] Sir

I am So little acquainted with the Language and Usages of this Country that I am under a Necessity of troubling some Gentleman so much as to ask the favour of his Advice and Assistance, in order to pass through the Kingdom of Spain, in my Way to Paris.
I therefore beg the favour of you2 to inform me, whether I can have Carriages, Horses Mules &c. in this Place, to carry me to Bayonne, Bilboa, or Madrid. At what Price I can hire a Coach large enough for four Persons, at what Price I can hire a Chaise or Cabriolet, which will carry two Persons. The Consul of France3 has assured Me, that he will furnish me with a Man acquainted with the Spanish Language, and the Roads. Whether it is best to hire Mules by the Day, and how much I must give: or whether it would be most prudent to hire Mules and Carriages to go to Madrid, and depend upon getting Carriages and Horses there for the rest of the Journey to Bayonne.
My own Inclination is to go to Madrid, and from thence to Bilbao and thence to Bayonne.
I have with me, three Gentlemen, The Honourable Francis Dana Esq., Mr. Allen and Mr. Thaxter. Besides those I have three Children, from 8 to 12 Years of Age and three servants, one of Mr. Dana and one of Mr. Allen—making in all Ten Persons.
I should be obliged to you, sir for your Advice, what will be the best Way for me to travel, how many Carriages Mules &c. to take and what Road.
{ 297 }
I should also be obliged to you for a short sketch of the Route We are to take, and the Names of the principal Places We are to pass through.
I should be obliged to you for your Answer in Writing4 & am, with great Respect, sir your most obedient servant.
1. JA and his party had arrived at La Coruña from El Ferrol the previous evening. For accounts of the one-day journey, which both JA and John Thaxter estimated at about twenty miles, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:409; JQA, Diary, 1:13; and Adams Family Correspondence, 3:251, 252.
2. Lagoanere was described by JA in a letter 16 Jan. 1780 to the president of the congress as “a Gentleman who has acted for some time as an American Agent at Corunna” (calendared, below; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:230). For JQA's description of him, see JQA, Diary, 1:18.
4. In his very friendly and informative reply of 17 Dec. (Adams Papers), Lagoanere answered JA's questions in considerable detail, telling him of possible problems in preparing for the trip and giving the approximate charges for hiring carriages and mules. He also described the routes to Bayonne and the advantages of going there by way of Madrid. Lagoanere closed his letter by stating that “J'ai l'honneur de remettre a Notre Excellence un Itineraire des Routes de ce Royaume.” This was probably Joseph Mathias Escrivano's Itinerario español, o guia de caminos, para ir desde Madrid a todas las ciudades . . ., 3d edn., Madrid, 1767, which is in JA's library at the Boston Public Library, where it bears the notation “Presented by Mr. Lagoanere, American Agent at Corunna to John Adams, Decr. 20, 1779” (Catalogue of JA's Library). The titlepage is reproduced in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 4:following 130.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/