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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0017

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-30

March 30. Monday.

This Morning at 5, the Officer came down and told the Captain that a lofty Ship was close by Us, and had fired two heavy Guns. All Hands called. She proved to be an heavy loaded Snow.
The Weather cloudy, but no Wind. Still—except a small Swell.
The Tour of Cordovan, or in other Words Bourdeaux Lighthouse in Sight, over our larbord Bow.
The Captn. is now cleaning Ship and removing his Warlike Appearances.
This Day has been hitherto fortunate and happy.—Our Pilot has brought us safely into the River, and We have run up, with Wind and Tide as far as Pouliac, where We have anchored for the Night, and have taken in another Pilot.
This forenoon a Fisherman came along Side, with Hakes, Skates, and Gennetts. We bought a few, and had an high Regale.
This River is very beautifull—on both Sides the Plantations are very pleasant. On the South Side especially, We saw all along Horses, Oxen, Cowes, and great Flocks of Sheep grazing, the Husbandmen ploughing &c. and the Women, half a Dozen in a Drove with their Hoes. The Churches, Convents, Gentlemens seats, and the Villages appear very magnificent.
This River seldom Swells with Freshes, for the rural Improvements and even the Fishermens Houses, are brought quite down to the Waters Edge. The Water in the River is very foul to all Appearance, looking all the Way like a Mud Puddle. The Tide setts in 5 Knots. We outrun every Thing in sailing up the River.
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The Buildings public and private, are of Stone, and a great Number of beautifull Groves, appear between the grand Seats, and best Plantations. A great Number of Vessells lay in the River....1
The Pleasure resulting from the Sight of Land, Cattle, Houses, &c. after so long, so tedious, and dangerous a Voyage, is very great: It gives me a pleasing Melancholly to see this Country, an Honour which a few Months ago I never expected to arrive at.—Europe thou great Theatre of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, War, am I at last permitted to visit thy Territories.—May the Design of my Voyage be answered.
1. Suspension points in MS.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0002-0018

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-03-31

March 31. Tuesday.

Lying in the River of Bourdeaux, near Pouliac. A 24 Gun Ship close by Us, under French Colours, bound to St. Domingue.—A dark, misty Morning.
My first Enquiry should be, who is Agent for the united States of America at Bourdeaux, at Blaye, &c—who are the principal Merchants on this River concerned in the American Trade? What Vessells French or American, have sailed or are about sailing for America, what their Cargoes, and for what Ports? Whether on Account of the united States, of any particular State, or of private Merchants french or American?
This Morning the Captain and a Passenger came on board the Boston, from the Julie, a large Ship bound to St. Domingue, to make Us a Visit. They invited Us on Board to dine. Captn. Palmes, M[aste]rs Jesse and Johnny and myself, went. We found half a Dozen genteel Persons on Board, and found a pretty ship, an elegant Cabin, and every Accommodation. The white Stone Plates were laid, and a clean Napkin placed in each, and a Cut of fine Bread. The Cloth, Plates, Servants, every Thing was as clean, as in any Gentlemans House. The first Dish was a fine french Soup, which I confess I liked very much.—Then a Dish of boiled Meat.—Then the Lights of a Calf, dressed one Way and the Liver another.—Then roasted Mutton then fricaseed Mutton. A fine Sallad and something very like Asparagus, but not it. —The Bread was very fine, and it was baked on board.—We had then Prunes, Almonds, and the most delicate Raisins I ever saw.—Dutch Cheese—then a Dish of Coffee—then a french Cordial—and Wine and Water, excellent Claret with our Dinner.—None of us understood French—none of them English: so that Dr. Noel stood Interpreter. While at Dinner We saw a Pinnace go on board the Boston with several, half a Dozen, genteel People on board.
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On the Quarter Deck, I was struck with the Hens, Capons, and Cocks in their Coops—the largest I ever saw.
After a genteel Entertainment, Mr. Griffin, one of our petty Officers, came with the Pinnace, and C. Tuckers Compliments desiring to see me. We took Leave and returned where We found very genteel Company consisting of the Captn. of another Ship bound to Martinique and several Kings Officers, bound out. One was the Commandant.
C. Palmes was sent forward to Blaye, in the Pinnace to the Officer at the Castle in order to produce our Commission and procure an Entry, and pass to Bourdeaux. Palmes came back full of the Compliments of the Broker to the Captn. and to me. I shall not repeat the Compliments sent to me, but he earnestly requested that C. Tucker would salute the Fort with 13 Guns, &c.—which the Captn. did.
All the Gentlemen We have seen to day agree that Dr. Franklin has been received by the K[ing] in great Pomp and that a Treaty is concluded, and they all expect War, every Moment....1
This is a most beautifull River, the Villages, and Country Seats appear upon each Side all the Way. We have got up this Afternoon within 3 Leagues of the Town.
1. Suspension points in MS.
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/