From John Grizzage Frazer
Bordeaux [France] Decemr 20th 1778
I have taken the liberty to inclose you the King of great Britains speach to his Parliament, which met the 26th Ulto—It comes by Capt. Sandford of Alexandria, who was the first Vessell that sailed from this port, for America, after we got the inclosed speach here.1
The English Fleet commanded by Admiral Kepple is in port at Present, and a Division of the French Fleet is constantly out cruizing—The states of Holland are determined to protect their Flag, & Trade and for that purpose have 32 Ships of their line now in readiness, beside Frigates &c. It is in consequence of the English making Captures of their Mercht Vessells going, and coming to France &c. and will not restore them—As Capt. Sandford passes by your House, I have sent you a Hhd of the best Bordeaux Claret in bottles, I hope it will come safe to hand,2 and am Sir Yr Mo. Obt & very Hbe Serv.
Jno. G. Frazer
1. The enclosed four-page account, dated 27 Nov., of King George III’s speech to Parliament on the previous day, is in DLC:GW. Lawrence Sanford (Sandford), a shipmaster who had been active in Alexandria since 1764, had done business with GW in the past (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 2:272). During the war he was commissioned a captain in the Virginia navy, and in January 1777 he was captured while in command of the brig Adventure. He was released within a few months, and later took command of the sloop Dolphin (see note 2).
2. Frazer wrote to Lund Washington on this date: “I have sent by Capt. Sandford, of the Sloop Dolphin, belonging to Alexandria, One Hogshead of best Bordeaux Claret in bottles, for his Excellency General Washington, I have wrote to him by the same Vessell inclosing the King of Great Britains speech, to his Parliament, which met Novr 26th—please to forward him the Letter, and the Wine I suppose you will keep at Mount Vernuns, til you receive the Genls orders about it—I have also inclosed you a Bill of Lading for the Wine, I made no agreement for the Freight, the customary Freight from France, to America is 10. Ct paid here, or 15. Ct paid in America, upon the value of the Goods which is very extravagant—I am inhopes the War upon the Continent will be at an End soon” (DLC:GW).