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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

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).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy

[Section Title]

A Journal from the time
I left Ferrol to the time
I left Coronna.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-16

Thursday the 16th of December.

This morning I took a walk about the town to see and found that it was a much more pleasant town than Ferrol. The Chamber which I lodge in comands a beautiful prospect of Rocks and mountains and also a fine view right out to sea and a small part of the town. There is a tour [tower] in the city,1 but I have not been to see it. Pappa has seen it to day and I beleive I shall go with Mr Thaxter and Mr. Allen to see it to morrow. Nothing very remarkable this day.
1. In the margin: “a mile out of the city.”

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-17

Friday 17th.

This morning I went to see the tour de fer (as the French call it and the spaniards Tour d'hercule). It is 100 foot in height and perhaps 2000 years old. There is an inscription which I have not seen for I could not go in which runs thus “Marti et Augusto sacrum. Dedicated to Mars and Augustus." Pappa supposes that it was built by Augustus Caesar just after he had routed Brutus, and Cassius, at Phillippi. Pappa, Mr. Dana, Mr. Thaxter and Mr. Allen dined at the Governors1 and at about 7 o clock they came back again. Captn. Trash2 of the Newbury vessel sail'd to day.
1. General Don Pedro Martin Cermeño, governor of the province of Galicia (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:409).
2. Probably Philip Trask, captain of the schooner Success, a privateer owned by the Tracy firm and commissioned by a letter of marque on 2 Sept. 1778 (Currier, Newburyport, 1:640).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-18

Saturday 18th.

This morning I went to the French Consul's and from there to the Governor's of this place. We saw Mr. Logonare1 at the Con• { 15 } suls. We gave him a Letter and carry another to the Governor's and gave it to him.2 He said he would give us a Passport this afternoon3 or to morrow and that it was impossible to go till monday. Very fine weather. I look'd this morning out of our chamber window and saw a beautiful sight. The waves all foaming upon the Beach and Breaking made a terrible noise and as beautiful a sight as I ever saw in my life. We expected to see a Nun made to day but we were disappointed. The Nuns are shut up in Convents and never see any men Except the friars. <[They go? ...] different [... reasons?]. Sometimes the thing is this. In these European Countries a Girl must marry the person that her parents [to?] chuse for her. If they are ever so obstinate as to absolutely refuse to marry a Person> This afternoon the Gentlemen all went to see the armory but I was a writing a Letter4 and therefore could not go.
1. Michel Lagoanere, “acting” American agent in La Coruña, who proved unusually helpful to JA by providing travel information and hiring mules and carriages for the trip across northern Spain (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:412; and letter to Lagoanere referred to in note 2, below).
2. Both letters are dated 18 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers); in the Lagoanere letterJA discussed his travel needs for the journey across northern Spain and in his letter to the governor listed the names of those for whom he was requesting passports.
3. The passport, which was issued that day for JA and his party, is in the Adams Papers and is reproduced in JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:facing p. 290).
4. Not found.
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.