From Isaac Smith Sr.
Boston October the 9t. 1782
I wrote you by Via france, lately, but beleive the Ship is not saild (cald the Marquis Fayetta)1 on Account of Our Coast being very much infested with Cruzers, the brige. Capt Hales who came from Holland with the bearer Capt Grinnel was taken in Our bay and Carrd. to Bermudas, att which place great many Vessells are carried.2
The french fleet are here fiting, and will leave considerable of money which is the Only service they do us as they never have been Out, when three or four, might, as they were not damagd but are now going to take a turn in the bay. Capt Manley command the Hague formerly the Dean, (Nicholson being suspended) who is going Out with them on a Cruize.3
The British got of Capt Letouch Ship in the Delaware, they got chief of the money a shore, all to about Forty thousd Crowns, but the Capt and people were taken.4 By a person from Phila. there is a report and suppose itt to be true, that a party salled Out from Charlestown to supprize a party of Our but were driven back with loss on their side and some on Our’s Amongst which was Colo Laurence.
Itt is supposd. Charlestown is Avacuated by this.
A Vessell Arrd last week att Providence that came Out with the Firebrand Capt. Trowbridge which we here nothing of as yet and itts to be feard, will fall into the Enemies hands.5 The Pilgrim which has run clear for some Years was run ashore att C. Codd the day after she saild (a few days since).6
Yesterday was a Storm of rain, and more fell than has att any One time for 3 or 4 mo. having had the longest drout ever known, some people in the Country have been Oblidgd to go 20 Miles to Mill.
I did not know of this Vessells going so soon and yesterday could not get an Opportunity to send Mrs Adams word and as the bag is to be taken down this forenoon and the Vessell going down, itts Not possible to get her word, so that I suppose she does not write you unless she has intrusted her letters with any Other person.
Mrs. Adams and family were well, they have lately been to Haverhill Mr. Gardner the Treasurer dyd, two days Ago with a Violent fever.
There has been an Assistant Treasurer Mr Thos Jones7 who is very capable and who has been consollidating all securites equal to Specie, so that the goverment are Endeavoring to know what they really Owe and itt will not be so much as was expected, itts said. One Million and half Dls and the goverment are laying excise’s so as to pay the Interest which iff they can do they wont want money and the Court is doing every thing they can for that Valuable End.
I Am will wishing you a confirmd. state of health Yr M H sert
RC (Adams Papers).
1. Probably Smith’s letter of 7 Sept. (AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–?. description ends , 4:378–379), which he apparently had intended to go by way of the Marquis de la Fayette, Capt. John Buffington. An advertisement in the Boston Independent Chronicle of 19 Sept. indicated that the vessel intended to sail for France on the 20th.
2. Neither the ship nor the captain has been otherwise identified, but the Salem Gazette of 10 Oct. reported that a Captain Hale was among the 62 prisoners from Salem, Boston, and Gloucester that arrived in a cartel from Bermuda on 3 October.
3. Owing to Silas Deane’s apparent treachery, the Deane had been renamed the Hague in Sept. (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships description begins U.S. Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Washington, 1959- description ends ). The reason for Samuel Nicholson’s suspension from command and replacement by John Manley is unknown, but he was acquitted by a court martial in 1783 (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; repr. New York, 1964; 10 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ). News of Manley’s appointment to command the Hague appeared in various Boston newspapers, including the Independent Chronicle of 26 September.
4. This was the French frigate Aigle, for which see Matthew Ridley’s letter of 13 July, note 2, above. The incident was reported in the Boston newspapers essentially as given here by Smith (Boston Gazette, 23 Sept).
5. AA also expressed apprehension over the fate of the Firebrand in her letter to JA of 8 Oct. (AFC description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Richard Alan Ryerson, Margaret A. Hogan, and others, Cambridge, 1963–?. description ends , 5:6), but the Boston Gazette of 14 Oct. indicated that it had arrived sometime in the past week.
6. The Independent Chronicle of 10 Oct. reported that the privateer Pilgrim, out of Beverly, had been run aground on Cape Cod by the British fifty-gun ship Chatham and destroyed, but that the crew had escaped.