Adams Papers

From John Adams to Daniel McNeill, 9 October 1778

To Daniel McNeill

Passi Octr. 9. 1778


The Bearer of this Captain Richard Grinnell, is well qualified, I believe for Some Place in your ship, if you have any vacant. He has a Strong Inclination to take seventeen Whalemen on the Coast of Brazil.1 If you have an Inclination for so glorious an Enterprize, I am Sure you cannot engage in one, more for the Honour and Interest of your Country. In all Events, whether you can give Grinnell a Place or not, or whether you go a Whaling or not, I wish you could accommodate him with a Passage, because he is I think, honestly and zealously a Friend to his Country. I beg your Pardon, sir, for this Freedom, to which I have not the least right, and am with much Esteem your humble servant.

LbC (Adams Papers).

1Following his release by the Guernsey privateers who had interrupted his return to America, Grinnell had gone to Passy and given JA and the Commissioners detailed information on the British whaling fleet, including the number of ships so engaged, the names of their captains, and the best means to attack and destroy the fleet. In addition, he and Peter Collas described the defenses of the island of Guernsey (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 2:320–322; see also Grinnell to the Commissioners, 9 July, vol. 6:275–277; and 15 Sept., above). The information on the whaling fleet was included in a letter to Sartine of 30 Oct. (below), and noted in various other letters by the Commissioners.

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