Adams Papers

The Commissioners to John Ross, 3 November 1778

The Commissioners to John Ross

Passy Novr 3 1778


We have received yours of the twenty seventh of October,1 inclosing a Copy of a Resolution of Congress of the 11. Aug. 1778.2

We shall <conform ourselves exactly> pay the strictest Attention and Obedience to this Resolution of Congress, and to all others, as far as shall be in our Power; and shall be always ready to receive your Accounts and to settle them, and pay the Ballance if any should appear due,3 out of the Proceeds of the Cargoes mentioned in the Resolution, as soon as We shall receive them.4<We have><But we [ha?]d not heard the Reason of y>5

In Relation to the affair of the Le Brune6 As We are strangers to the Nature and Circumstances of it, We are not qualified to form any opinion, and if We were fully informed, We have no Authority to give any Advice, concerning it.7 If it is in a Course of Law, We cannot with Propriety interfere, unless in case of flagrant Injustice, which must be made clearly to appear, and even then We can interfere, only by Application to the <King or his> Minist<ers>ry. We return you all the Papers relative to this affair, and, are, with due Respect, sir, your most obedient humble servants

LbC (Adams Papers).

1Not found.

2In this resolution of I Aug., not the nth, the congress resolved that the Commissioners were to pay Ross’ expenses in regard to The Queen of France, formerly La Brune, from the proceeds of the cargoes of the tobacco ships Speedwell, Braxton, Governor Johnson, and Morris (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 11:739–740).

3Benjamin Franklin interlined the preceding five words for insertion here.

4Ross continued his efforts to obtain reimbursement without first submitting his accounts, as is indicated by the Commissioners’ reply of 29 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers) to his letters of 15 and 24 Dec. (not found). The Commissioners restated their position there in essentially the same words used here.

5The canceled passage was in Benjamin Franklin’s hand.

6See Ross to the Commissioners, 8 Oct., and note 2 (above).

7The following sentence was written below the closing and marked for insertion at this point.

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