John Adams to Abigail Adams
Corunna December 16. 1779
My dearest Friend
Last night We all arrived in this Place from Ferrol. The Distance is about twenty miles by Land over high Mountains and bad Roads. You would have been diverted to have seen Us all mounted upon our Mules and marching in Train. From the Mountains We had all along the Prospect of a rich fertile Country, cultivated up to the Tops of the highest Hills and down to the very edge of Water all along the shore.
I made my Visits last night to the Governor of the Province, who resides here and to the Governor of the Town, and was politely received by both.1 I have a long Journey before me of a thousand miles I suppose at least to Paris. Through this Kingdom We shall have bad roads and worse Accommodations, I dont expect to be able to get to Paris in less than thirty days. I shall have an Opportunity of seeing Spain, but it will be at a great Expence. I am advised by every Body to go by Land. The Frigate the Sensible is in so bad Condition as to make it probable she will not be fit to put to Sea in less than three or four Weeks perhaps five or six, and then We should have the storms and Enemies of the Bay of Biscay, to escape, or encounter.
After this wandering Way of Life is passed I hope to return, to my best friend and pass the Remainder of our Days in Quiet.
I cannot learn that G[reat] B[ritain] is yet in Temper to listen to Propositions of Peace, and I dont expect before another Winter to have much to do in my present Capacity.
My tenderest affection to our dear Children, and believe me, ever yours,
RC (Adams Papers).
1. The governor of Galicia was Don Pedro Martín Cermeño (or Sermeño); see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:409–410, 412. A reproduction of the passport he issued to JA and his suite on 18 Dec. will be found in same, facing p. 290. The name of the governor or mayor of La Coruña is given by JA as Patricio O Heir, i.e. O’Hare or O’Hara? (same, p. 412).
The Adamses stayed in La Coruña until the day after Christmas. A “mémoire” of their expenses at an auberge called the Hôtel du Grand Amiral, kept by M. LeBrun, is reproduced in same, facing p. 291.