Adams Papers

To John Adams from V. & P. French, 26 May 1787

Bordeaux 26 May 1787.


The Inclosed letter from your son in law Col: Wm. Smith then at Bayonne you’ll please to forward to it’s address, this young gentleman honoured us with his Company, en passant, to Lisbon, where he is appointed embassador a post of honour, Suitable to his merit and abilities. we gave him letters to our friends thro’ the principal Towns he was to pass. Hisreception at Baÿonne he acknowledges agreeable & usefull & his presence will command favour & respect every where. he came here á propos to pity our Sufferings & to be an Eye withness of Mr. Barclay’s disgrace brot on himself by his unwarrrantable Conduct, which the Colonel no doubt has represented to your Excellency. this Mr. Barclay became our debtor four years ago under the firm of Barclay, Moylan & Co. to a large amount, Sixty odd Thousand Livres for shipments made their accot. to Philadelphia for which they promised to reimburse us by a Vessel called the Alexander then on a voyage to our address, but contrary to all faith, altered the Course to Some other port, sold the Cargo applying it to some other purpose. two years elapsed & then Mr. Barclay appeared here & demanded a further time which was granted, he accepting bills payable in 12, 18 & 24 months, these periods passed away to his dishonour & our loss unnoticed. in Short his acceptances were regularly p’tested & condemnations passed on them. to little purpose for he would neither pay nor Secure them untill he got to America, having so often broake faith with us, we could not in justice to our selves confide in him & bereft of all recourse we got him Captured & imprisioned, he applyed to Parliament for his enlargement which he obtained by virtue of his agency & appointement to negociate a treaty of peace with the court of Maroco. His figure, his dress nor his deportement for eight or ten days previous to his Capture denoted him invested with the Character of your appointement. had he made Known his privilege the arrest wd. not be attempted, therefore, he dishonoured himself & the Nation he represented which we honour & respect, thus the Case stands for your Consideration hoping for Justice thro’ your Excellency, the protector of the oppressed. We are with profound respect,— / your Excellency’s Most obedt. & most devoted h’ble Servt.

V. & P. French & Nephew

MHi: Adams Papers.

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