John Bondfield to the Commissioners
Bordeaux 30 June 1778
A vessel Arrived yesterday from Louisiana confirms the Accounts received from them parts of the Back Settlers from Georgia and Carolina having got possession of all the British Posts on the Banks of the Missisipi and of two valuable Vessels Loaden for London that they conducted to New Orleans and there disposed of the Cargoes.1
A Vessel from Carolina for this port was taken by a privateer within 40 leagues of the Land, we are adviced by a pilot Boat come up this Tide that a Privateer of 18 Guns being in the River taken by a french Frigate.
Le Comte D’aranda2 past thro’ this City the 28th on his return to Paris from Madrid also a Spanish Noble yesterday Name unknown. I am most Respectfully your honors Most Obedient Servt
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble Benj Franklin Arthur Lee John Adams Esqs. Commissioners from Congress à Paris"; docketed: “Mr Bondfield 30 June 1778.”
1. This report probably refers to James Willing’s expedition down the Mississippi that had been approved by the Commerce Committee in late 1777 and resulted in the capture of Natchez on 19 Feb. The expedition, intended to harass pro-British settlers and keep the Mississippi open for the transport of military supplies north from New Orleans, succeeded for a time in attaining its objectives but did little in the long run to improve the American position on the western frontier. The two vessels mentioned by Bondfield may have been the Neptune and Dispatch (John Caughey, “Willing’s Expedition down the Mississippi, 1778,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 15:5–36[Jan. 1932]).
2. That is, Pedro Pablo Abarca y Boleo, Conde d’Aranda, Spanish ambassador to France from 1773 to 1787 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter oiler Länder description begins Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder seit dem Westfälischen Frieden (1648), ed. Ludwig Bittner and others, Oldenburg, &c., 1936–1965; 3 vols. description ends , 3:430–431).