Muscoe Livingston to the Commissioners
Nantes, 24 August. 1778
My having been very unwell ever Since Capt. Tuckers departure from this place, has prevented My writing you, on the Subject, of the three prizes,1 which he Sold to Monsieure Peuchelburg,2 of L’orint for Account of Mr. Scweighauser of this place; it appears by Capt. Tuckers certificate as well as by other papers in My possession (which shall be sent you, if Necessary) that Mr. Peuchelburg assured Capt. Tucker, there was a duty of Forty thousand Livers, on the three thousand quintills of fish, which induced him to Lett, his, and Crews part of that quantity, of very fine fish, together with the three Vessells be sold for thirty thousand Livers. This Sum, was very short, of what they would have sold for, had we been allow’d the privilege of benifiting by an Article of the Treaty, now Subsisting between France and america; these Vessells was entered and claired  at Lorient, and entered here, as american property, and from America; as I am empowerd by Capt. Tucker, to apply to you, to have this Matter properly Represented, and Receive back the duties (if any is paid) take the Liberty of Requesting the Favour to be informed, whether we Must be contented, with that Loss, or how we are to be Redressed.3 I have the Honor to be with Respect Your Most Obt. H. svt.,
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble. American Commissioners a Paris”; docketed, not by JA: “M Livingston Nantes 24 Augt 78.”
1. Presumably the Britannia, Elizabeth, and an unidentified Scottish brig, all taken during the cruise of the Boston in June. For the cargoes of the three vessels, see Samuel Tucker to the Commissioners, 3 July (above).
2. Puchelberg & Co. In 1779 JA, while waiting for passage to America, had dealings with the firm and Mr. Puchelberg, whom he described as “a modest and a decent German” (Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:342–343, 378).
3. In their reply to Livingston of 31 Aug. (LbC, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 92), the Commissioners reported that no “certain Directions” concerning the duties on Tucker’s prizes could be given since the regulations for prizes and prisoners being prepared by Sartine were not ready. They referred him, instead, to J. D. Schweighauser, who reportedly had received a list of interim duties from Jacques Necker.