The Commerce Committee to the Commissioners
York in Pennsylvania May 28th. 1778
You will receive this by Thomas Read Esqr who was Captain of the Frigate Washington but is now Commander of the Armed Brigantine Baltimore. This Brigantine was intended for A dispatch Vessel, but now hath A Cargo on board of Forty Nine hhds. of Tobacco which was all she coud take in and accomodate her men. We have addressed her to John Danl. Schweighauser Merchant in Nantes, and have directed him to dispose of the net proceeds of her Cargo, and also a balance which he hath in his hands belonging to these States according to your Order. We have order’d Captain Read to wait for and pursue your directions, and have desired Mr. Schweighauser to Ship such Goods on board the Baltimore, belonging to these States, as Captain Read can receive consistantly with your directions.
We have the pleasure to inform you that the Frigate Dean Captain Nicholson, the Queen of France Captain Green and the Henrietta Captain Brown are safely arrived at Boston and our Agent there in A Letter of the 13th May advises us that “they had another valuable Arrival from France Yesterday” which we hope is the Duke de Choiseuil.1 We are with the greatest Respect, Your most obed hble servants
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers) addressed: “The Honorable The Ambassadors of the United States of America at Paris”; designated, perhaps to identify it as a 2d copy: “B.”; docketed: “Comtee. of Commerce May 28. 1778 ansd. July 29”; and later, also by JA, immediately below the docket entry: “came by the Saratoga Captn. Read.” The last entry is clearly erroneous, perhaps the result of the passage of time. JA apparently mistook this letter for one of those that had been brought by the brigantine Saratoga, Capt. Murray, that reached Nantes on 3 July (William MacCreery to JA, 4 July, below). The Baltimore arrived at Nantes on or about 22 July; see the Commissioners’ letter to J. D. Schweighauser of 27 July (LbC, Adams Papers).
1. The frigate Deane arrived at Boston on 13 May after first stopping at Portsmouth, N.H. (Independent Chronicle, 14 May). The Queen of France probably arrived in Boston during the first week of May (Marine Committee to John Green, 19 June, in Charles Oscar Paullin, ed., Outletters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, 2 vols., N.Y., 1914, 1:262). The “Henrietta Captain Brown” may have been the Henrietta Brown that sailed from St. Nazaire on or about 3 March (Deane Papers description begins Papers of Silas Deane, 1774–1790, in New-York Historical Society, Collections, Publication Fund Series, vols. 19–23, New York, 1887–1891; 5 vols. description ends , 2:390). The “valuable Arrival” has not been identified.