John Bondfield to the American Commissioners9
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Bordeaux, December 5, 1778: A brig owned in La Rochelle arrived here December 2, having left Boston November 4 and having sailed thirty-six hours with Admiral d’Estaing. Rumor had it that the fleet was to attack Halifax. Another vessel equipped by Chaumont’s friend, Decater,1 arrived at Auray, having sailed with the admiral until November 7 when she separated from the fleet. It is said Admiral Byron left New York November 2 with seventeen ships and one hundred transports with five thousand troops. The Boston, the Providence, and the Ranger all arrived with prizes in Boston.2>
9. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII, 251–2.
1. Possibly Pierre de Kater of the François de Kater firm in Bordeaux. The De Katers were seventeenth-century immigrants from Holland: Paul Butel, Les Négociants bordelais, l’Europe et les îles au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1974), pp. 327, 114, 157.
2. The three ships in fact arrived at Portsmouth, N.H., with three prizes on Oct. 15, 1778: Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution (2 vols., Boston and New York, 1913), I, 356.