John Adams to Abigail Adams
On Board the Sensible Novr. 14. 1779
We got all on Board last night, and began to make our Arrangements. Mr. Thaxter and Johnny, slept in a large Cott in the Council Chamber. Charles and I, in my old Apartment. We all rested well. Charles is much pleased, with the Novelty of the Scaene.
I stole on Board last night as silently as possible but as the Boat passed the Courier de L’Europe,1 all Hands came upon Deck and huzza’d in English, that is cryed Vive le Roi. And as We approached the Frigate, I saw all Hands mounting the shrowds and manning the ship, [and]2 at our stepping out of the Boat, We were saluted, with another Vive le Roi.
Mr. Dana comes on Board, with Mr. Hancock in the Castle Barge at Nine or ten.
I had a Letter last night from M. Lovell, who complains that Portia dont write him, and another, kind Letter from R. H. Lee.3
Mr. Laurens and I were nominated for Holland. I suspect Laurens will be chosen and Lovel, go his Secretary.4
RC (Adams Papers). Tr in CFA’s hand (Adams Papers); prepared as printer’s copy for CFA’s edition of JA-AA, Familiar Letters description begins Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution. With a Memoir of Mrs. Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, New York, 1876. description ends , since it is designated “No. 253” at head of text and has an identifying note on Dana; but in the end it was not included.
1. The Courrier de l’Europe, a chasse marée which was, according to Marbois, “one of the best sailers in existence on any of the seas,” had accompanied the Sensible on the outward voyage, but was dismasted and lost in a storm on the return voyage (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:381, 404; 4:191–192; Eugene P. Chase, ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers: The Letters of François, Marquis de Barbé-Marbois . . . 1779–1785, N.Y., 1929, p. 42).
2. MS: “at.”
3. James Lovell to JA, 1–2 Nov., accompanied by five pages of extracts from the Journals of Congress recording motions and resolves on the Atlantic fisheries and navigation of the Mississippi, Feb.–June 1779, and on financial arrangements for American ministers in Europe, including the nominations of JA and Henry Laurens to negotiate a loan in the Netherlands, 15–18 Oct. 1779 (Adams Papers). Richard Henry Lee to JA, dated at Chantilly, Va., 8 Oct. (Adams Papers, printed in R. H. Lee, Letters, ed. Ballagh description begins The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, ed. James C. Ballagh, New York, 1911–1914; 2 vols. description ends , 2:155–156).
4. The first prediction was correct, the second mistaken.
5. The Sensible did not sail until the next day. “Bror. Adams sail’d by the Light-House about ten o Clock Monday Morning ; with a fair Wind. Genl. [James] Warren spent the Evening with him on Sunday, and left him in good Spirits. Mr. Dana was rather dull on the Occation” (Richard Cranch to Mrs. Cranch, Boston, 17 Nov. 1779, MHi:Cranch Papers).
6. Thus in MS.