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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


This note contained in document ADMS-04-03-02-0178
3. Since Francis Dana's Journal of 1779–1780 (MHi) gives the most succinct and connected account of the voyage, the relevant passage is quoted here in full:
“We had a very good wind till the 18th. when it changed to the N.E. and blowed very hard for about 24 hours. About this time our vessel began to leak considerably, so that we were obliged to keep one pump at work.—Novr. 20th. We spoke with the Genl. Lincoln privateer of Salem commanded by Capt. Carnes then bound for that place, whose Lieut. came on board us, by whom I wrote to Mrs. D.; an event which gave us much satisfaction not only because it was unexpected, but because it afforded an opportunity of notifying our friends of our escaping two British Frigates which had been cruising in the Bay for us, and were seen near Cape Ann the Wednesday before our departure. We were at this time near the Grand Bank where we sounded on the 23d. Novr.—Novr. 25th. The wind began to blow from the N.W. very heavy, and the Sea to run high.—Novr. 26th. During the last 24 hours we run under our Foresail only, 76 leagues; the wind and sea still raging; in the afternoon the Chasse Maree . . . carried away her Foremast. The tempest prevented our affording them any relief as we were driven before it at the same rapid rate I have just mentioned. There were about thirty souls on board the Chasse Maree, one a woman. Heaven protect them from further harm.—Sunday Novr. 28th. The Storm abated, and our leak having encreased, we set two pumps to work. This brought the Capt., Officers and Passengers to them in their turns—we were now not far east of the longitude of the Azores, and nearly 50 Leagues north of their latitude, the wind about south, so that it was impossible to make them. The encrease of our leak, rendering it impracticable to fight our ship well if we shou'd meet with an enemy and our state otherwise dangerous, the Capt. at this time changed our original destination which was Brest, for Ferrol the nearest port. Nothing material occurred, the weather continuing moderate and the winds not adverse, till Tuesday the 7th. Decr. when at about half past 10. o'clock A.M. we made Cape Finisterre, our first land, for which we had shaped our course. The wind was near SW and the weather clear for the most part of the day, so that we distinctly made our [i.e. out?] head Lands, but night coming on, we lay too, to avoid passing our port. The next morning, Decr. 8th. we run before the wind, it being a fine day, directly for Ferrol, and cast anchor in the harbour about noon.”
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/