Benjamin Franklin Papers

James Moylan to the American Commissioners, 8 July 1778: résumé

James Moylan to the American Commissioners1

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Lorient, July 8, 1778: Two of Capt. Tucker’s prizes arrived here on the 6th. I passed them through customs as from Portsmouth, New England. I have not had time to hear from Mr. Schweighauser, but have written to ask whether his authority extends to this port. If so I shall deliver them to his order unless you meanwhile instruct me differently.2

Friction between Capt. Tucker and the Frenchmen in his crew has come before the admiralty court, but I hope will soon be settled.3>

1Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 271–2.

2As soon as the Boston arrived, a local merchant by the name of Puchelberg announced that he had been put in charge of her business; hence Moylan’s inquiry of Schweighauser. Just after writing this letter the agent had his answer: Puchelberg was indeed authorized to act. Moylan immediately wrote his friend Jacques-Alexandre Gourlade (XXIII, 184 n), who was then in Paris, to say that he was perforce yielding his own claim but that something should be done; please tell Chaumont what would happen to American interests if such a man were in charge, and ask him to tell the commissioners: July 8, 1778, APS. Ogden gave them much the same warning; see his letter above, after July 6. A modus vivendi seems to have been arranged, Puchelberg handling prizes, Moylan dealing with prisoners; see the former’s letter of Aug. 26, the latter’s of Oct. 12, 21, and the commissioners to Moylan, Oct. 27.

3On the contrary, it became worse; see ——— to commissioners, July 11, and Tucker to commissioners, July 12.

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