Adams Papers

The Commissioners to Gabriel de Sartine, 7 January 1779

The Commissioners to Gabriel de Sartine

Passy Jany 7. 1778 [i.e. 1779]


Your Excellency did Us the Honour to inform Us, sometime ago, that in order to obtain the Liberty of Americans, taken on board of English Vessells by his Majestys ships it was necessary, that We should inform your Excellency, that they had been made Prisoners by the English and forced into their service.1

We accordingly request the Liberty of William Berry, William Keating, John Williams, Abraham Fairman, Robert Boughoss [Bongass], John Hanlen [Handly], James White, all Prisoners in Dinant Castle. These Persons, have most of them been in the American service by sea or Land, and all have been taken Prisoners by the English and forced into their service, as they affirm and We believe.2

There is another Person Prisoner in Granville, whose Name is Jonathan Akin who was taken Prisoner by <the> an English Frigate, and imprisoned for some Time at Portsmouth.

LbC (Adams Papers).

1Sartine to the Commissioners, 14 Nov. 1778 (above).

2For the memorial of 21 Oct. 1778 signed by Berry, Keating, Williams, Fairman, Bongass, and Handly, see the Commissioners to Sartine, 12 Oct. 1778, note 8 (above). No previous mention of James White or Jonathan Akin has been found. Presumably this letter resulted in the release of the men, but no reply from Sartine has been found.

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