J. D. Schweighauser and Others to the Commissioners
Nantes Novemr: 7th: 1778
The repeated Captures of American Vessells, many of which notwithstanding the Convoys we have had off this Coast have been taken the day after their Separation, and the Knowledge obtained by Our Enemies of the time of Our Vessells sailing, which induces them to cruize at a greater distance to watch the Moment that the French Frigates part from their Convoy, incline us to wish for more effectual Protection.
In Addition to these Reasons we beg leave to represent, That many American Gentlemen, Several of whom are in the Publick Service and have already experienced the Horrors of an English Prison and others more Than Once taken on their Passages from hence to America and carried to England, propose to embark on board the present Outward bound Vessells: And as well on their Account as the Importance of the Supplies these Ships will carry to Our Country we trust your Endeavours will be joined to ours to obtain from the Minister of the Marine a sufficient Convoy for the whole Voyage.
The Ships here and at Rochelle to the Number of Twelve or more will be ready in the Course of the present Month, by the End of which we hope the desired Convoy may be directed to arrive here.
We have the Honour to be with great Respect Honble. Gentlemen Your most Obedient & most humble Servants
J. D. Schweighauser Agent of the United States of America
Jos. Wm Spencer
Joseph Hill Jennings
Phil Rd. Fendall
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Letter, from Several Gentlemen at Nantes, for Convoy, ansd.”; in another hand: “Nov. 7. 1778.”
1. With the exception of William Haywood, all the subscribers below also signed the letter to Sartine of 7 Nov., and were joined by T. Blake, John Bondfield, Robert Elliot, John Ross, and Branford Smith (Arch. de la Marine, Paris, 82, vol. 413).
2. In their reply of 11 Nov., the Commissioners thanked the subscribers and promised to apply immediately to Sartine for a convoy (LbC, Adams Papers).