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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-20

Monday 20th.

Very rainy all this forenoon. This morning Pappa, Mr. Dana, Mr. Allen and Mr. Thaxter went to Court to see and hear the mode of pleading in this country. At about noon it clear'd up. This afternoon I went to the Consuls after the Inscription on the “tour de fer.” He told me that he not got it yet but that he expected to have it to day. He also told me he should come to see my Pappa, and accordingly he came and drank tea here with the king's Lieutenant who is an Irishman. The Administrator of the kings to bacco came also and made a visit to Pappa and made him { 16 } a present of some to bacco and four bundles of segars which are used in this country instead of Pipes. The king of Spain1 will be 64 year old the 20th of January 1780.
1. Charles III (1716–1788), son of Philip V and Elisabeth Farnèse, who had reigned since 1759 (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-21

Tuesday 21st.

This forenoon Sammy Cooper Charles and I went to the Consul's in order to go a Gunning. The Consul told us it was too late to go this forenoon but that his Servant should Go with us after dinner. He desir'd us to dine with him which accordingly we did and after dinner the Consuls servant went with us. We had but little Game because it rain'd almost all the time, we went up on the top of the Tour de fer, call'd by the Spaniards tour d'hercule, at about 5 o clock we arriv'd at our lodgings. We live at a french house at the sign of the Grand Amiral in Spanish le Grante Amirante. The Master is a Frenchman and his name is Le Brun and he appears to be a very Clever man.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-22

Wednesday 22d Of December.

Rain'd all day with intermissions. At about 3 o clock PM we went a Gunning with Flamand. We got but little because Flamand the Consul's servant put a wad into his Gun and did not put any powder and was forc'd to go and draw it out. Stevens,1 Sam Cooper, brother Charles, Flamand and I went together. I fir'd three times but once in the Air. I kill'd once. This morning a Spanish Vessel went out and this afternoon a French Frigate and another French Ship came in, to this Port. At about 6 o clock we came home and found nobody but Mr. Allen there.
1. Joseph Stephens (sometimes Stevens), a former soldier and sailor, was JA's servant in Europe from 1778 to 1783. In the latter year Stephens presumably lost his life at sea while returning to America (JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 533; JA to the Printers of the Boston Patriot [14 Feb. 1812], published in their issue of 29 April 1812).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0002-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-12-23

Thursday 23d Of December.

A good day. At about 11 o clock we saw a Sail and at one o clock we saw a nother one of which prov'd to be a Dutchman which came in to this port, and the other a French man and went to Ferrol. This Afternoon Flamand, Sammy Cooper, and I went { 17 } agunning again, we got Nothing because Flamand's Gun would not go off. Sammy Cooper and I fir'd at a Mark twice and hit both times. At about 5 o clock We arrived at our lodgings. The 2 frigates which we saw enter yesterday are both French and one of them is the famous Belle poule the fregate which fir'd the first gun against the English this war.1 The Captain of the Belle Poule invited my Pappa to dine with him to morrow.
1. For an account of the incident, see Jonathan R. Dull, The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1774–1787, Princeton, 1975, p. 118–119.
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, 2018.