John Bondfield to the American Commissioners9
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Bordeaux, August 26, 1778: Last evening arrived one of Captain McNeill’s prizes, the brig Archangel, taken at latitude 72° N. longitude 25° E. while en route from Archangel to London.1 A boat from Boston belonging to Basmarein & Co. has arrived but brings no news.2 Captain Ayres continues to decline; I have sent him to the country but the doctor believes he is too far gone. The ship [General Arnold] is ready for sea on short notice.>
9. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 397–8.
1. The General Mifflin had captured eight ships off the North Cape of Norway, sinking four, keeping three as prizes and loading eight British captains and 43 seamen aboard the last. This last ship arrived off Murmansk in wretched condition in late July. Empress Catherine was outraged at the Americans who reportedly also boarded Russian fishing boats and fired on some Dutch ships. She proposed to the Danes that the two countries fit out squadrons to protect their commerce. For this minor diplomatic crisis see David M. Griffiths, “An American Contribution to the Armed Neutrality of 1780,” Russian Review, XXX (1971), 164–72. McNeill proceeded to Lorient via the English Channel where he captured five more prizes.
2. Reculès de Basmarein & Raimbaux had long been involved in American trade: see XXIII, 47 n.