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: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0193

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-12-15

John Thaxter to Abigail Adams

[salute] Madam

The Reason of our being in Spain, you will, perhaps, be no stranger to, when this reaches You. I am not sorry We arrived at Ferrol, as a prosecution of our Voyage might have been attended with hazard. A leaky Ship in a Storm or violent Gale, is not a Situation for very comfortable Sensations. We had Leaks, Storms and Winds in the passage. The former were more formidable than the latter, and induced the Captain to determine to make Ferrol, if possible: where We happily arrived the eighth of this Month. From Ferrol We journeyed to this place to day upon Mules. It is about one and twenty Miles. We made a Quixotik Appearance. It would have been excellent Diversion for our Friends to have seen Us: For We had Don Quixots, Sancha Pancas and Squires in Abundance.
The Country is very mountainous; but every Inch of it cultivated. There was a most agreeable Verdure in every Stage of our Journey, beautifully diversified prospects, Richness of Soil and Luxuriance to be seen every where. The Eye was not satisfied with seeing.
Believe Me, when I assure You, that it gave me the highest pleasure, to see Mr. [Adams]1 treated with every Mark of Attention and Respect at Ferrol by all Ranks and the two Children also on his and their own Account; and did they know the good Sense, Merits and Accomplishments of their Mamma, they would experience additional Tokens of both.
This Letter will be sent by a Vessel bound to Newbury Port—whether She will arrive or not is very uncertain.2 I will not therefore be more particular, but close with praying You to present My Duty, Respects, Love and Compliments where due.
{ 252 }

[salute] I have the Honor to be with great Respect and Esteem, your most humble Servant,

[signed] J.T.
1. Blank in MS.
2.
[La Coruña, 16 Dec. 1779.] After dinner Mr. Trash and his Mate, of a Schooner belonging to the Traceys of Newbury Port, who have been obliged by bad Weather and contrary Winds to put in here from Bilboa, came to visit me. I gave them Letters to Congress and to my family” (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:410).
Trash (or, as the name was later spelled, Trask) arrived at New-buryport on 23 Feb., bringing news of the Adams party's safe arrival in Spain (Boston Continental Journal, 2 March 1780, p. 3, col. 2).

Docno: ADMS-04-03-02-0194

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1779-12-16

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My dearest Friend

Last night We all arrived in this Place from Ferrol. The Distance is about twenty miles by Land over high Mountains and bad Roads. You would have been diverted to have seen Us all mounted upon our Mules and marching in Train. From the Mountains We had all along the Prospect of a rich fertile Country, cultivated up to the Tops of the highest Hills and down to the very edge of Water all along the shore.
I made my Visits last night to the Governor of the Province, who resides here and to the Governor of the Town, and was politely received by both.1 I have a long Journey before me of a thousand miles I suppose at least to Paris. Through this Kingdom We shall have bad roads and worse Accommodations, I dont expect to be able to get to Paris in less than thirty days. I shall have an Opportunity of seeing Spain, but it will be at a great Expence. I am advised by every Body to go by Land. The Frigate the Sensible is in so bad Condition as to make it probable she will not be fit to put to Sea in less than three or four Weeks perhaps five or six, and then We should have the storms and Enemies of the Bay of Biscay, to escape, or encounter.
After this wandering Way of Life is passed I hope to return, to my best friend and pass the Remainder of our Days in Quiet.
I cannot learn that G[reat] B[ritain] is yet in Temper to listen to Propositions of Peace, and I dont expect before another Winter to have much to do in my present Capacity.
My tenderest affection to our dear Children, and believe me, ever yours,
[signed] John Adams
1. The governor of Galicia was Don Pedro Martín Cermeño (or Sermeño); see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:409–410, 412. A reproduction of the { 253 } passport he issued to JA and his suite on 18 Dec. will be found in same, facing p. 290. The name of the governor or mayor of La Coruña is given by JA as Patricio O Heir, i.e. O'Hare or O'Hara? (same, p. 412).
The Adamses stayed in La Coruña until the day after Christmas. A “mémoire” of their expenses at an auberge called the Hôtel du Grand Amiral, kept by M. LeBrun, is reproduced in same, facing p. 291.
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/