John Paul Jones to the American Commissioners3
ALS: American Philosophical Society; draft: National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum
<Brest, August 30, 1778: My friend M. de la Porte, intendant, has now agreed to furnish a vessel and send the Ranger’s prisoners to England, if you consent. This offer is too generous to refuse.4
The guard will be discontinued unless you procure an order from the minister.5 As for the exchange, perhaps M. de Sartine will agree to the transport of prisoners by water to Calais; transportation by land would be expensive. If a direct exchange can be effected, this will be the way of least risk, trouble, and expense.>
3. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 410.
4. The offer was in response to Jones’s urgent letter to de la Porte earlier that day, beseeching him to secure the prisoners; Jones claimed that poor health prevented him from delivering the letter in person, and sent it by Mr. Amiel. National Archives.
5. They were in the process of doing so: see the commissioners to Sartine, Aug. 30.