John Adams and fighting for your country

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A little short on time today, but this is a worthy article.

History Salvaged

March 11 at 5:08 PM  · On This Day – March 11, 1778 – future President of the United States, John Adams, showed what real leaders are made of… Early in 1778—during the same bitter winter that George Washington and his soldiers spent at Valley Forge—John Adams said goodbye to his family in Massachusetts. Congress had asked him to go to France to serve as a diplomat, and Adams, as always, had said yes. John Quincy, his ten-year-old son, would accompany him on the voyage, meaning two future presidents would be making the trip. On 13 February Adams and his son boarded the Boston, a 24-gun frigate (below). They did not join the ship until just after it had sailed outside its namesake city, in part because Boston boasted plenty of British spies. But that was hardly the only thing to fear. For both John and John Quincy, this would be their first time on so large a ship. On 11 March, after weathering severe storms and outrunning a British Man of War, the Boston’s crew spotted another British sail, and this time the Americans gave chase. After Tucker asked Adams to go below, the Boston sped toward the ship, an armed British merchantman named the Martha. The Martha fired several shots at the Boston, the cannonballs buzzing over the Americans gathered on the quarterdeck. The Boston curved around, revealing its superior cannonry, and the Martha immediately surrendered. As Tucker checked on his crew, he saw John Adams with them, brandishing a musket. “My dear sir,” the captain asked, “how came you here?” “I ought to do my share of fighting,” Adams replied. Tucker put a small group on the captured ship, to pilot it back to America, and the Boston resumed its voyage to France.


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