Adams Papers

John Bondfield to the Commissioners, 26 August 1778

John Bondfield to the Commissioners

Bordeaux 26 Aug 1778


Last Evening Arrived at this Port a prize Brig call’d the Archangel from Archangel for London taken by the privateer General Mifflin: Cap. Daniel M’Neil of Boston in Lat 72 North Long 25°East of London.1 The American Arms may truely be said to extend to the Poles. The views of having a privateer to Cruize in them Seas must be truely Partiotic. It can afford no other object than to destroy the British Whale Fishery from which no private benifit can result to indemnify the Charges. The Hudson Bay Ships dont fall within 20 degrees of that Station.

Since my last arrived a Boat from Boston belonging to Mr. Basmarin & Co. brought Accounts up to the 7th July which contain few if any Occurences other than already at your Hands. I have a paper of the 6th entirely barren.

Captain Ayres stil continues in a declining State. I have placed him in the Country to try if change of Air can Assist him the Doctor is of opinion he is too far gone.2

The Vessel is ready for Sea on the Shortest Notice. I have the Honor to be with due Respect Gentm. Your Most devoted Humble Servant,

John Bondfield

RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble Benj. Franklin Arthur Lee. John Adams Esq Commissioners from Congress at Paris”; docketed, not by JA: “Mr Bondfield Bordeaux 26 Augt 78.”

1That is, off the North Cape. Bondfield’s surprise at the location of the capture is understandable in view of the general reluctance of privateers to cruise anywhere but in areas where enemy merchant ships were likely to be plentiful.

Daniel McNeill was an experienced and very successful privateer captain, who either commanded or held some interest in at least ten different vessels during the course of the Revolution. He later served in the United States Navy and acquired substantial real estate holdings in Boston (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ; Allen, Mass. Privateers description begins Gardner Weld Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution (Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, vol. 77), Boston, 1927. description ends , p. 148 and passim).

2Ayres died in September (Bondfield to the Commissioners, 15 Sept., PPAmP: Franklin Papers).

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