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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-09

9. Thursday.

Came on Shore with all my family. Took Lodgings. Dined with the Spanish Lieutenant General of the Marine with 24 french and Spanish { 405 } officers. Don Joseph is an old Officer, but [has] a great deal of Vivacity and Bonhommie.
The Difference between the Faces and Airs of the French and Spanish Officers, is more obvious and striking than that of their Uniforms. Gravity and Silence distinguish the one—Gaiety and Vivacity and Loquacity the others. The Spanish are laced with a broad and even gold Lace, the french with scalloped. The french Wigs and Hair have rows of Locks over the Ears—the Spanish one. The french Bags are small—the Spanish large. The Spaniards have many of them very long Hair queued, reaching down to their Hams almost. They have all a new Cock Aid, which is made up of two a red one and a white in token of the Union of the two Nations.
Went to the Comedy, or Italien opera. Many Officers, few Ladies. Musick and Dancing tolerable. The Language, Italien, not understood. A dull Entertainment to me.
This Evening the French Consul arrived from Corunna,1 and was introduced to me at my Chamber by the french Vice Consul at this Place. Both made me the politest Offers of Assistance of every Sort.
1. His name was Detournelle (Almanach Royal, 1778, p. 501). The following entries record many kindnesses for which the Adams party were indebted to him.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-10

1779 December 10. Fryday.

Supped and slept at my Lodgings. Breakfasted on Spanish Chocolate which answers the Fame it has acquired in the World.
Every Body congratulates Us, on our Safe Arrival at this Place. The Leak in the Sensible, increases since she has been at Anchor, and every Body thinks We have been in great danger.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0009-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1779-12-13

13 Monday.

Yesterday, I walked about the Town but there is nothing to be seen, excepting two Churches and the Arsenals, dry docks, Fortifications and Ships of War.
The Inconvenience of this Harbour is, the Entrance is so narrow, that there is no Possibility of going out but when the Wind is one Way, i.e. South East, or thereabouts.
The Three french Ships of the Line here are the Triomphant, the Souverain and the Jason, the first of 80 Guns, the 2d. 74, the 3d. 64.
M. Le Comte de Sade is the Chef D'Escadre or General. Mr. Le Chevalier de Grasse Preville is the Capitaine de Pavilion.1
Mr. Le Chevr. de Glandevesse is Capitain of the Souverain.
Mr. de la Marthonie commands the Jason.
{ 406 }
1. The Chevalier de Gras Préville, capitaine de vaisseau, 1777 (G. Lacour-Gayet, La marine française sous la règne de Louis XVI, Paris, 1905, p. 635). In his Autobiography under this dateJA remembered, probably incorrectly, that this officer had been introduced to him as the brother of the famous naval commander Comte de Grasse.
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, 2016.