Adams Papers

John Bondfield to the Commissioners, 21 November 1778

John Bondfield to the Commissioners

Bordeaux 21 Nov 1778


I attended yesterday to the Vissit made by the Inspector of the Artillery of the Cannon laying at this Port belonging to Monsr. Le Bertin. The report is as favorable as can be given as to their appearance which is all that can be said of them until Proved. The following is the list given me in by the person who has them under his care.

77 Cannon du Calibre de 36£ du poids de 75 quintx la piece foreé et tourné
8  Do 24£  do 55 1/2 quintx  Do
5  Do 12£  do 33 1/2 quintx  Do
Les fraix d’epreuve des pieces de 36£ vont environ de 80£ la piece
celles 24£  Idem 57  idem
celles 12£  idem 27  idem1

There are in other Ports more belonging to the same concern on the same Mold. You will please to observe that the proving [of such?] heavy Artilery amounts to a considerable Sum. [Sh]ould you see fitting to order the proving be assured of my due attention as also to the quality of the Powder which being a perquisite of the Captain of the Port is made frequently with very little precaution.

Monsieur de La Touche has been so obliging as to order a frigate to take our Ships round from La Rochelle to Nantes where I expect they are arrived and loading the Various Articles there lodged which Mr. Schweighauser assured us would be prepared ready at their Arrival.

The latest Arrivals we have at this Port is from Alexandria of 20 Septembre of course we are without any intelegence other than is at your hands.

I have the Honor to be with due Respect, Sirs Your most Obedient Humble Servant

John Bondfield

RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honbe Benj Franklin Arthur Lee John Adams Esqrs Commissioners from Congress at Paris”; docketed: “Mr Bondfield Letter”; in another hand: “J. Bondfield 21. Nov. 78.” The removal of the seal resulted in the loss of two words.

1Bondfield here reports on his effort to procure cannon for the ship of the line America, as directed in the Commissioners’ letter of 19 Aug. (not found, but see Bondfield’s letter of 29 Aug., vol. 6:406–407). His figures indicate that, in quintals or hundredweights and after being bored and turned, a 36-pounder weighed approximately 7,500 pounds; a 24-pounder 5,550 pounds; and a 12-pounder 3,350 pounds. The cost of proving the cannon, according to his figures here, would be 6,751 livres.

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