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Copies: American Philosophical Society, Library of Congress Your esteem’d favours of the 21 December per Mr. Dean 12th. February per Capt. Senneville, and 17th of same Month per Capt. Courter, we had the Honor to receive. Agreeable to your request, we have furnished Capt. Courter with every necessary for his Journey to Congress, on which he set out the 7th. Instant, being the second day after...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, June 30, 1778: A ship from Louisiana confirms that Georgia and Carolina settlers have seized all the British posts on the Mississippi and two ships, whose cargoes they sold in New Orleans. A privateer took a Carolina vessel near our coast, and a French frigate captured a privateer in the river. The Count d’Aranda, returning from Madrid to Paris,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Nantes, February 4, 1779: Although I am not authorized to answer your letter of January 26 to several “American Gentlemen,” I feel compelled to acknowledge its receipt. The reason it is not done jointly is the reluctance of the Gentlemen to give any advice on the subject of free ports, fearing censure from their countrymen. The weather is moderating, and...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; two copies: National Archives < Ranger , Brest, June 10, 1778: One of the Ranger ’s prizes was, I understand, sold in Bordeaux by Messrs. Delap. I wrote to request that the captors’ share be sent to Mr. Williams at Nantes, so that it might be divided before the Ranger left, but my letter was not answered. Please give orders for the money to be remitted...
ALS : Massachusetts Historical Society <Bordeaux, April 21, 1778: A ship arrived at Bilbao with a passenger said to be carrying dispatches for you; he has left for Paris and passed through Bayonne. A prisoner escaped from New York has asked me to write you for a privateer’s commission; a new ship suitable for him will be ready in twenty days, and might sail with the Boston . I await your...
ALS : Massachusetts Historical Society <Bordeaux, April 28, 1778: I received on the 25th by Mr. Haywood your letter of the 15th, and have from Capt. Tucker the list of provisions; the officers will inspect them tomorrow. The mast has delayed the work.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 63.
Copies: United States Naval Academy Museum, National Archives, University of Virginia Library <Passy, August 2, 1778: Captain Jones requests the commissioners to supply him with copies, or allow him to copy, the following letters: M. de Sartine’s letter to the commissioners about Capt. Jones, their answer, the commissioners’ letter to Lieut. Simpson resulting from Capt. Jones’s proposition in...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, September 12, 1778: I have received offers from every forge from Angoulême to Bayonne for the cannon you commission me to purchase. None will promise to complete delivery before February and the arsenals cannot loan any. Thus I have decided to contract with the forges of Petigore [Périgord]. No ships have arrived from America the last three days...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, June 6, 1778: Since Captain Tucker left I have had to settle additional charges, of which I enclose details. The conspiracy has been diligently investigated by the intendant, but nothing can be proved. > Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 185–6. He left Bordeaux on May 17 and put to sea on June 6: ibid. , p. 109 n. He is referring back to a...
ALS : Massachusetts Historical Society <Bordeaux, April 18, 1778: The comte de Fumel informed me yesterday that M. de Sartine instructed him to give American warships the honors due to those of foreign states. The careening of the Boston will be finished this evening.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 38.
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, June 23, 1778: Our only news is the official reception of the Marquis d’Almadovar. He leaves tomorrow for six days in Paris, and is not expected to reside long in London. No word of the Boston .> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 232. Almodóvar, the new Spanish ambassador to St. James’s, was charged with discovering what Britain would...
ALS : American Philosophical Society As Ambassedors of the United-States of America, of which I am a Subject, I make bold to address my-self to you, on the present occassion, I arrivd. at Bordoux the 18th Septr. last from Baltimore with my Brig the General Lee’ with a cargo of Tobacco, consignd. to Messrs. Tessier George & Co. of that place, where unfortunately two of my Men run away which...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I had the honour of writing to you the 17th. inst. but having reced no Answer take the Liberty to inform You that the Ship I expect to go in to America is expected here hourly—Mr. Livingstone being arrived by Land to day. Without your compliance with my former request I cannot go with him in which Case I can’t think any blame can fall on me. Capt. Joiner is...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Nantes, January 21, 1778: I am mortified to learn from Mr. Dobrée that you have refused my bill. Since I have received no letter from you, I can only assume that your correspondence is not adequately protected. There is one final recourse, namely, for you to endorse a bill drawn by me on the President of Congress. Certainly Congress would consider such a...
(I) and (II) ALS : American Philosophical Society I have just time in Compliance to Mr. Livingstons request to write your honors that an offer has been made him of a vessel to be compleatly fitted and armed provided your Honors will grant a Commission. His desires in this appears to spring from the advance it would give him of rank at his Arrival in America. If this should meet your...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Nantes, November 4, 1778: I am applying to you again for money to meet my necessary expenses. Without assistance I can neither avail myself of an opportunity to sail for America nor fulfill my duty to Congress; my attachment to the American cause precludes my receiving help from my family. Had I not been captured on my last attempt to get to America, this...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have the honor to inform you of the Arrival of the Honble. John Adams Esqr. per the Boston Captain Tucker from Boston. He setts off to day for Paris and will be in Town soon after the receipt of this. The Boston is in want of a general Careen. I shall take Captain Tuckers instruction supplying him with every thing he may be in want of and shall have the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; draft: National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum <Brest, August 28, 1778: M. de la Prévalaye, who commands here in the absence of the comte d’Orvilliers, has just told me that he can no longer furnish a guard for the Ranger prisoners detained aboard the Patience . Unable to depend on the Ranger ’s officers, I had arranged for a guard with...
Copy: National Archives Being informd that some malicious person, or persons, have been, and are still endeavoring, by the most infamous means, to deprive Mr. J. D. Schweighauser of his good name, and being apprehensive that the intention is to prejudice him in the estimation of the Honorable Commissioners, we think it an act of Justice due to injurd Merit, to acquaint you, that we have...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am honor’d with your favor of the 30th Ulto accompanying four Passports for our Ships and for which I am obliged to you. I have had no Letters the two Last posts from Nantes but suppose our Vessels are ready for Sea. No Arrivals yet on this Coast from America nor any intelligence Interesting. I have the honor to be with due respect Sirs Your most Obed...
ALS : University of Virginia Library; AL : United States Naval Academy Museum; copy: National Archives <Brest, May 16, 1778: The local admiralty will apparently delay the sale of the Ranger ’s prizes; I therefore have to draw on you through M. Bersolle for 24,000 l.t. to distribute among my officers and men. They need to provide for their families in America, who will expect clothing, etc., by...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, June 16, 1778: Mr. Emery has heard from Capt. Conyngham that he arrived at Coruña from Cadiz after taking four prizes. The Boston reportedly fell in with two privateers and took one; the other escaped. Jersey privateers have taken two ships off the Spanish coast. A vessel reached Lisbon that had passed d’Estaing’s squadron off Terceira on May 23....
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have this day receivd from Mr. Livingston a Letter wherein he requests I would apply for a Letter of Mark for the Ship bought for him. I shall esteem the favor of you to forward one to me by the first Post I expect he will be ready for Sea by the first November. The Ship is called the Livingston, in Honor of Governor Livingston, the late Mr. P....
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, February 2, 1779: Capt. Jason Laurence of the schooner General Arnold arrived here yesterday by a Dutch ship; he had been put on board by the Jersey privateer that captured him. He informs me his ship belonged to General Arnold and was the first launched in Philadelphia since its recapture. He left there on November 4, carrying packets for you...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, October 3, 1778: No ships have arrived from America; that none have come from [South] Carolina is to be expected because of the embargo on rice, but many French vessels are in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, even if American ships are lacking. A ship belonging to Mr. Ross was sold here. The crewmen who shipped for the round trip demand...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copies: National Archives (two), United States Naval Academy Museum <Brest, August 15, 1778: I have been here five days and have neither seen nor heard from Lt. Simpson; but Mr. Hill reports the general rumor that I have been turned out of the service, that Simpson has replaced me with a captain’s commission, and that my letter to you of July 16 was only...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; draft: National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum <Brest, August 30, 1778: My friend M. de la Porte, intendant, has now agreed to furnish a vessel and send the Ranger ’s prisoners to England, if you consent. This offer is too generous to refuse. The guard will be discontinued unless you procure an order from the minister. As for the...
ALS : Harvard University Library <Bordeaux, May 8, 1778: Vessels from Georgia have arrived with news that a shipment of specie had been landed from Havana; the state’s currency is greatly inflated. Friends in Cadiz write that the government is making it difficult for them to sell Conyngham’s prizes, and ask whether the ships might be addressed to me; what am I to tell them? I assume from your...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, July 29, 1778: I arrived yesterday in 26 days from Boston with a packet for you which ill health prevents me from delivering personally. Mr. Texier, a friend of Mr. Bondfield, has agreed to deliver it. I trust I shall soon recover and will be glad to serve in my capacity as captain in the continental navy. If not, I will await your orders. P.S....
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania Your favors of the 2d. 8th: and 10 June last have been recd. and Copies transmitted to the Committee. The subject of them certainly merits their Attention, and I hope your Advice will be litterally complied with. As I have not now the Honor of a Seat in Congress, having been called to an office which will confine me in this State, any Information I can...
ALS : American Philosophical Society By last Post I was honor’d by William Lee Esq. with his Deputation of Commercial Agent for the Secret Committee of Congress at the Ports of Bayonne Bordeaux Rotchfort and La Rotchell. Permit me in that Character to assure you of my steddy adherence to the instructions I have and may receive and to a due observance of any Orders you may please to command,...
Copy: Harvard University Library <[July 3, 1778: ] I came to Paris when I learned on good authority that the minister wanted to speak with me on a matter of great utility to the United States. Permission to sell the prizes, or an exchange of prisoners, was not in immediate prospect; and something had to be done to assuage the Ranger’s crew. The minister pledged me to reveal his plan to no one,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, September 8, 1778: The privateer schooner Success arrived this morning. Her master, Captain Attwood of Virginia, reports d’Estaing sailed from Chesapeake Bay for New York on July 9, leaving behind five frigates. When English prisoners are brought here by privateers, your authority is not invoked as to whether they should be set free or not, and...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have only time to advise of the Arrival of a small Cutter from Baltimore which place they left 14 Augt. and the Capes the 23d. No advices when he left the Coast of Comte dEstaings operations. Another Cutter is in the River from the same port there probably may be letters on board. The fierre Rodrigue from Virginia they left within a Days run of Rochefort...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Nantes, November 16, 1778: Having received no answer from you, I am writing a third time to request money to join my regiment in South Carolina. A convoy is expected and the vessels will be ready to sail. It is the custom of every nation to supply an officer who has been taken prisoner with the amount of his pay to rejoin his station. If this were not so,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Portsmouth, N.H., October 21, 1778: Since the Courier de l’Europe , Captain Raffin, is ready to sail for Europe, I take the liberty of mentioning a matter advantageous to our allies and profitable to me. The British Navy was mostly furnished with masts from this port; lately I have sent to Boston all the masts for d’Estaing’s squadron. Please mention to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have this instant receiv’d a Letter from Charles Town by Cap. Ducass who left that City the 30 March. He met a few Leagues from the Coast of France a French Snow bound into this Port on board of which Vessel he put as esteeming it safer all the Letters and Packets he had in charge. The Snow is expected in to Day. I shall see forwarded (if there are any)...
Copies: American Philosophical Society, United States Naval Academy Museum, National Archives (two), Massachusetts Historical Society When I took Lieutenant Simpsons Parole I did not expect to have been long absent from America: but as circumstances have now rendred the time of my return less certain, I am willing to let the dispute between us drop for ever by giving up that parole which will...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives In pursuance of an order of the Board of Treasury, I inclose you the following Resolutions, and beg leave to inform you, that notwithstanding the order of Congress for immediately striking Bills of Exchange to a greater amount, the Interest of the Continental Loan Office Certificates Issued to the 10th of March last will not exceed...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I still Labour under the Disagreeable Necessity of once more making my Addresses to You; relative to the Arms I have purchased, Conformable to your list. The Person from Whom I engaged them insists very hard on my taking the same. I applyed to Messrs: Hornica fils & Co: to Comply with your direction, Who has refused with very unbecoming threats, respecting...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; AL : United States Naval Academy Museum <Brest, June 3, 1778: I promise never again to draw on you for supplying my men with necessities; you do not think, I hope, that I touched a dollar for my own purposes. On my way from America I took two brigantines. Messrs. Morris and Williams sold one in Nantes, and the captors...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL : National Archives, United States Naval Academy Museum <Brest, May 27, 1778: Here is the promised account of my late expedition. I sailed from here on April 10; after the 14th I took a series of prizes, and bad weather frustrated me in a number of projected attacks. On the morning of the 23rd I landed at Whitehaven and burned shipping; if we could have...
ALS : University of Virginia Library; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum When Congress thought proper to order me to France it was proposed that the Ranger should remain under my direction and be Commanded by a Lieutenant, and as the French Ministry have now in contemplation Plans which promise Honor to the American Flag, the Ranger might be very Useful to...
AL : National Archives I had the honor of writing to you yesterday by post under cover by Mr. Williams. I inclosed copies of two letters which I wrote you previous to my departure from Portsmouth, together with a plan which I drew up at Philadelphia on the Regulation and Equipment of our infant Navy. I now inclose you a letter which I had the honor to receive in charge from the Secret...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives <Lorient, December 9, 1778: I forward the enclosed memorial from gentlemen who were taken prisoner under my command. They observe that “I am well acquainted with their situation.” Their present treatment is incompatible with reason, law, and humanity. Of the two hundred prisoners on board the Patience , only one hundred thirty...
AD : American Philosophical Society I ask the Commissioners Whither they do or do not mean that the Ranger should depart before her Prizes are Realized? Whither the advances paid to the seamen must be deducted from their Prize Money, and at what Rate? And whither it is not inexpedient for a ship that is Crank, that sails slow, and that is of a triffling force, to pursue a tract where there is...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copies: Harvard University Library, National Archives (two) I had the honor of writeing to you from Nantes the 27th ulto. The affair of Quiberon (which I did not then know of) is now in every Brokers mouth. Strange! that nothing can remain Secret. Should I find that Force likely to depart within a few days I will Avail myself of its protection, especially...
ALS : University of Virginia Library; copies: National Archives (two); transcript: National Archives <Nantes, October 8, 1778: I have yours of September 30 indicating that I am to be deprived of the commissioners’ advice beyond that concerning the money extended me. It has been my position all along that I am responsible only to Congress but I fail to see why you have charged me with...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, November 28, 1778: We are without interesting intelligence. Because of their heavy losses the merchants here must reduce their exports, to the detriment of the United States. Only three small cutters belonging to Virginia have sailed in the past three months. A 24-gun vessel of Beaumarchais & Co. sails to join their Fier Roderigue and Drake at...
(I) and (II) ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, June 13, 1778: I drew on you as the best way to assure my letters’ reaching you. I am obliged to you for promptly honoring my drafts, and apologize for not having explained the high price of beef. Fresh provisions were furnished during Lent, when one butcher monopolizes the beef supply and charges customers for his privilege. I got...