Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Bondfield, 29 August 1779

From John Bondfield

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Bordeaux 29 Aug 1779


By Letters from Lisbon of the 3 Instt. we are advised of the Capture of one of our Ships (that went with La Motte Piquet) with Military Stores and sent into New York.1 The fate of the other two is not yet come to hand. A continued chain of Miscarriages have attended every Operation in which I have stood Interested. Could predestinarism Exist I should be tempted to place faith or had I been an object sufficient to attract as in past days the resentment of some Deity there would be latitude to invoke the oposing power [torn: word or words missing]. We are without any American advices by Letters from Cadiz they confirm the report of Provosts defeat and say Packets are arrived at that Port from Congress for you2 if real you are ’ere this in Posession of them. I have the Honor to be with due respect Sir Your very hhb Servant

John Bondfield

His Excellency B. Franklin Esq

Addressed: His Excellency B. Franklin / Minist Plenip. des Etats Unies / a Paris

Notation: John Bondfield Bordeaux 29. aout 1779.

1Bondfield and two business associates had chartered the Chasseur (Hunter), Governor Livingston, and Mary Fearon to Arthur Lee to carry military supplies to Virginia: XXIX, 330n. The Chasseur was captured on the way to America by a British letter of marque (Courier de L’Europe, VI [1779], no. XXXIV, Oct. 26, 1779) but the other two arrived safely.

2Congress had recently sent at least one letter to France through Cadiz. On June 13, Lovell wrote Arthur Lee via Cadiz (with a copy going via Martinique): Smith, Letters, XIII, 62–3. On the same day, however, he sent a packet to BF via Martinique only: XXIX, 683.

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