Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Bondfield, 17 August 1779

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

John Bondfield

Passi His Excely. B Franklin Esq

Addressed: His Excellency B Franklin / Esq / á / Paris

Notation: Bondfield John 17. Aout 1779.

1Although 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.

2The convoy was accompanied by a number of American merchant ships: XXIX, 371n.

3Which he enclosed with his July 24 letter.

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