From John Bondfield
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bordeaux 17 Aug 1779
The want of Subject say no intelligence from the American States in any of the ports on this Coast keeps me from giving more frequent advices. It cannot be many Days before some arrives. Many Sail were preparing at Philadelphia for Europe and particularly the Deane Frigate—1 the difficulty to procure Seamen I apprehend the principal obstacle to their departure.
We may expect dayly to receive advice of the arrival of the Ships under Convoy of Mr. La Motte Piquet2 and by the first packet from Philadelphia I hope you will be advised of the safe arrival of our Ships with the Stores for the States, it is probable you will receive the inteligence first when at hand I shall esteem the favor of your advices our Interest stands deeply concernd in them adventures—
Pray can you flatter me with the hopes of receiving any indemnification from Gouvernment for the Loss of my property in the Marquise de la fayette in Virtue of my petition.3 I have the Honor to be with due respect Sr., your very hhb Servant
Passi His Excely. B Franklin Esq
Addressed: His Excellency B Franklin / Esq / á / Paris
Notation: Bondfield John 17. Aout 1779.
1. Although the American navy was at the peak of its wartime activity in July, 1779, none of its frigates had orders for Europe; the Deane made cruises out of Philadelphia and Chesapeake Bay over the summer and finally arrived in Boston at the beginning of September: Jonathan R. Dull, “Was the Continental Navy a Mistake?”, American Neptune, XLIV (1984), 167; Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution (2 vols., Boston and New York, 1913), II, 381–2, 398, 401–2.
2. The convoy was accompanied by a number of American merchant ships: XXIX, 371n.
3. Which he enclosed with his July 24 letter.