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ALS : American Philosophical Society; variant copy: Yale University Library <Nantes, June 27, 1778: In my last letter I told you that I could take aboard some of the goods which, Captain William Jones informed me, you wish to send. In that case I should be glad to know so that I may load the ship accordingly. Masts are so expensive that I have repaired the lower ones, and believe they will...
Since my Arrival here from Carthegena I have been in constant Expectation of a secure Opportunity for forwarding the inclosed, being nearly the Copy of a Letter I wrote to my Father shortly after my landing in Spain. It contains all the Observations I have been enabled to make by Reason of the Obstacles which (in my Situation at Algiers) prevented particular Enquiry. Indeed I had not the most...
Letterbook summary: Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague Envoyé les nouv[elles] de Hambourg du 10e, le Mercure de Janvier et l’article de Nantes 6e fevrier dans la gazette de Leide Suppl[ément] No. 14 &c. The news from Hamburg was doubtless another report from his correspondent in Berlin; the one in his letter of Feb. 10 came via Hamburg. The issue of the Mercure is impossible to trace. The news...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief; copy: National Archives <The Hague, October 27, 1778, in French: Last Saturday [Oct. 24] I received your letter of October 10. The Grand Facteur is very satisfied with it. Our friend [van Berckel] was pleased and assured me several times it would make a good impression on the burgomasters of Amsterdam. He strongly...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives <On board the Providence , Brest, August 19, 1778: I wrote you from Paimboeuf on July 31; since then the Boston joined me and on Aug. 8 we proceeded in company to Brest, delayed by unfavorable winds until the 14th. I found here that Lt. Simpson had obeyed my orders of July 24th in quickly preparing for sea. But I was surprised to...
Copy: National Archives <Nantes, September 24, 1778: I received your letter of the 14th [13th] only yesterday covering one from Capt. Richard, together with the documents relative to the cargo of rice and indigo shipped by A[braham] Livingston of Charles Town. The person in charge of the vessel, M. Peltier du Doyer, tells me that, on orders from M. de Beaumarchais, he has already sold the...
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 <Nantes, September 3, 1778, in French: We are enclosing a letter for you brought from Boston by our ship Le Courier de l’Europe and renew our offer of services.> Penet’s new partners in Nantes. D’Acosta frères were a Nantes merchant firm which was engaged to a significant degree in transatlantic trade: Villiers, Commerce colonial , p. 405.
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...
LS and copy: Library of Congress; copy: Massachusetts Historical Society <Versailles, August 10, 1778, in French: Since I wrote you on July 29 the commissaire des classes at Nantes informs me the American agent there has entrusted him with some British prisoners. M. de la Porte, intendant at Brest, has written me that the cargo of the Ranger’s prize is spoiling. I await your reply in order to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Paris, June 14, 1778: I want to join the American Army and become a citizen. Although I am an Englishman I did not enter the King’s army, because it would have meant fighting my conscience; that army will probably become the instrument of despotism. In the United States, on the contrary, the disciplined soldier and the free citizen are compatible. I want...
ALS : University of Virginia Library My last to Mr. Dean in answer to his of the 8th. informed you that I intended to go to Painbeuf, to give you a fuller account of the Lion, but various affairs have prevented. I have now ordered every article that relates to that Ship to be collected and sent on board with the utmost dispatch and by the end of this Week I intend she shall be compleat in...
ALS : University of Virginia Library <Passy, July 17, 1778: I appreciate your confidence in approving my drafts on Mr. Grand, and am ready to account for them up to May 30; the expenses since I left Nantes will go on a new account. Might you not appoint some one to compare the bills and receipts with the charges, subject to your later approval? > Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 304....
Copies: Library of Congress (two of each), Massachusetts Historical Society <Versailles, July 18, 1778, in French: Letters from Lorient tell of the trouble between the commander of the Boston and the French volunteers and sailors in his crew, of whom twenty-eight—twenty-five volunteers and three apprentices—have been sent ashore. Their grievance was against the first lieutenant and two other...
ALS : American Philosophical Society We publish this rhymed letter as a sample of the tributes that poets—or poetasters—were showering on Franklin and his colleagues during the period. Others were as fulsome as Raudière; but he, perhaps because he was the neediest, was by far the most prolific. This brief stanza was part of a bombardment. With it came four massive enclosures: (1) a twenty-one...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I this Day compleated the Inventory of the magazine of arms and presented it to Mr. Schweighauser for him to sign the Receipt at the Bottom. We are agreed as to quantity and number but he declines engaging to receive the articles for Reparation remaining to be supplied without your orders. I therefore request you to give your Directions accordingly that I...
ALS : American Philosophical Society The Bearer of this is Mr. Ebenezer Platt; with whose sufferings in the cause of America you are not unacquainted. He has lately got released from his confinement in consequence of a Petition from the Committee for American Prisoners. Mr. Platt is desirous of returning to his Country; and every mode but the one through France being stop’d I have taken the...
ALS : Harvard University Library; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief <The Hague, May 5, 1778, in French: I send translations of two letters from Germany; the Grand Facteur has also sent copies. I have received strange news from France, but you doubtless know about the pettifogging, etc., that goes on there. Yours of the 30th has just arrived, and I shall call on the Grand Facteur and our friend...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I sailed from Philad. the 6 of Sept. I Recd. no Letters from the Committe of Congress. The privet Letters I Recd. from Mr. Deane and the Honbl. Richard Henery Lee & Mr. Carmichell as to the dispatches for the Court of France I Recd. them from Monsr. Gerard as to Aney Other Letters I Recd. non— Gentln. I shall Sail Shortly for Philad. If you have Aney...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Nantes, February 8, 1779: I beg you to send my brother Reuben Chase’s discharge from Dinan; I can go get him, or perhaps you could have him discharged without necessitating a trip on my part. He is ill and suffers in close confinement, although he finds no fault in his usage as a prisoner. I am sorry that I neglected to speak of this when I was in Paris,...
Copies: Massachusetts Historical Society; Library of Congress (two) <Versailles, October 1, 1778, in French: For certain reasons I am asking His Majesty to grant Mr. Fagan passports for three British ships to carry goods from France to England. I request you to grant him whatever documentation he needs for protection against privateers. The merchandise involved consists only of goods belonging...
(I) Copies: Library of Congress, National Archives; (II) copy: Library of Congress J’ai reçu, Messieurs, la lettre que vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’écrire le 2. de ce mois. Je sais que vous chargés vos Agens dans differens Ports du Royaume de fournir aux prisonniers Americains echapés, ou revenant d’angleterre, les objets dont ils peuvent avoir besoin à leur arrivée; mais il ne paroit pas...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am this moment informed by a Gentleman from Brest, that the Ranger Frigate Cap: J. Jones arrived in that port with a prize of 16 Guns the 8th. Instant after laying a Town on the Coast of Ireland under contribution. I have not yet learned any further particulars of his Voyage, but I suppose Cap: Jones will inform you of them when he gets ashore. I have the...
(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...
Copies: Library of Congress (two), Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives J’ai l’honneur, Messieurs, de vous envoyer un mémoire qui m’a été adressé d’Alresford, par un Chirurgien François pris sur le Batiment Americain Le Gest. Si les Etats unis ont adoptés quelques precautions pour faire passer des secours à leurs Sujets, detenus en Angleterre, je ne doute pas que vous ne les...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Pour nous conformer à l’article 11 du Réglement du 27 Septembre dernier nous avons l’honneur de vous addresser la déclaration que vient de rendre pardevant nous le Sr. Néhémie Story cidevant chef de prise du Senaut anglois l’Esperance de Bristol chargé de morue, qui, ayant été pris par le Sr. Jean Leach commandant le corsaire le francklin de Salem et...
The enclosed copy of a letter, which I lately received from the Count D’Espilly, contains the best information that I have in my power to afford your Excellency, with respect to the situation of our affairs at Algiers. Mr. Lamb arrived at Alicant the 24th ultimo, and undoubtedly will have advised you of his proceedings after Mr. Randall’s departure. That gentleman is now with me, and avails...
ALS : American Philosophical Society We had the honnour to write You Our Last on the 21st of Last monthy since which we are honoured with Your moast Esteemed favour of the 23 of Last month in answer Serves that we are Greatly obliged to you for the Goodnes you have had to forward the papers Send you and as we are willing to send according Your good advice the Duplicat to our frends in st....
ALS : American Philosophical Society <On board the Boston , Port Louis, July 14, 1778: A letter of the 8th from Mr. Livingston tells me that a prisoner exchange is possible. I enclose a list of those on board, and a list of men recaptured, I suppose, in one of my prizes; the other two have already arrived. I am waiting on orders to join Capt. Whipple. He tells me he will be ready by the 20th...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am not honor’d with the receipt of any of your favors since my last to you of the 23d. current. I am this day informed, that Government has order’d 2,000 Seamen to be raised in Nantes and 2,500 more in St. Malo, besides a number of Bakers of this Town, which are all to proceed immediately to Brest; likewise, that there are positive directions in all the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress Agreeable to the Directions of the Genl. Assembly of this State, I do myself the Honor to transmit One hundred Copies of An Act intitled “An Act to prevent the return to this State of certain persons named and described and others who have left the same and joined our inveterate and Cruel Enemies;” in Order that the same may be...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <[Paris, after October 9, 1778]: A valuable whaling business has been established by the English since the onset of hostilities with America. If you intend to destroy it I could give you adequate intelligence. I was involved in this business but quit, aware that I was doing wrong. Fifteen whaling ships, manned primarily by Americans who would gladly return...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am happy in sending you the agreeable News of Genl. Bourgoynes surrender with his whole army to our victorious arms. Mr. Austin will give you all particulars. His being charged with the delivery of the dispatches, as well as the importance of many verbal accounts he may furnish, are the reasons for my not desiring the Dispatches for a less expensive way...
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; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief; copy: National Archives <The Hague, November 20, 1778, in French: Returning here, I learned from our friend that the Provincial Assembly by majority vote has resolved against providing convoys and in favor of the Admiralty’s advisory. Amsterdam has inserted a formal protest, which it demands be published, because the...
LS : American Philosophical Society In Consequence of your letter of 12th: Instant we have acquainted Mr. Beaumarchais we were ready to account with him for the whole Proceeds of the Cargo of the amphitrite of which we have already remitted to him part of the amount and Shall continue. If our accounts of disbursements for the two frigattes have exceeded your expectations you cannot with any...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief Recevez, pour les Etats-Unis, et pour vous-mêmes, les sinceres félicitations d’un de leurs plus fideles serviteurs, sur le grand coup d’Etat qui vient d’être frappé. Dieu les bénisse, et leur Alliée, et tous les Amis de cette heureuse Union. L’excès de ma joie ne me permet pas d’en dire davantage. Que vos nobles coeurs...
Copies: Library of Congress (two), Massachusetts Historical Society J’ai reçu, Messieurs, la lettre que vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’écrire pour reclamer des Effets appartenans à M. Izarts qui ont été pris sur un batiment Anglois allant à Livourne. Je n’entrerai pas ici dans la question si le Navire Ennemi rend la marchandise Ennemie, les Capteurs l’éleveront certainement. Mais Comme cette...
ALS : Harvard University Library Vous voudrés bien prendre en récommendation que J’ai quité Le service du roy auquel J’etois attaché pour entrer à celui des Etats de l’amerique septentrionale. Je me suis rendu en conséquance à vos ordres, et relativement au grade de lieutenent de Vaisseau dans la marine de Etats unis En Hollande pour y diriger la construction d’un Vaisseau que vous y faisiés...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief <The Hague, September 4, 1778, in French: Mr. van Berckel and I propose an ambitious initiative for which we need supporting papers. Please send either a proposal for a general treaty of amity and commerce or a declaration that you desire the Netherlands to conclude with the United States a treaty similar to the American...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <[Paris], October 9, [1778]: For four years this humble petitioner, away from America, has been in English, though not in government, service. My only claim to supporting the American cause is the relief I have given to many prisoners. I want to serve by transporting goods to the rising American states, and request a pass from London to Spain for this...
Copy: Yale University Library This Oppertunity by a French Vessel permits me to Acquaint you, that I am at present on my passage with the Boston and Ranger, have Captured a Brig laden with Provisions for the British forces at Pensacola, Ordered her for America Cargo, Beef Pork Flour, Butter &c. &c. The Ships Crews are in general healthy and Officers and Mens in high Spirits. Capt. Hinman who...
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....
AL (letterbook draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague Mes dernieres, du 12e., 16e. et 19e. de ce mois, répondoient à celles du 4 et du 8, dont Mr. A. Lee a eu la bonté de me favoriser. Aujourd’hui j’ai l’honneur de vous donner avis, que Mr. le grand Facteur partit d’ici vendredi au soir, après m’avoir fort recommandé de continuer mes visites chez son substitut pendant son absence, et de lui...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have the honour of sending you an extract of a Letter received from Charles Town, in South Carolina, dated the 12th. of February. “A dreadful fire broke out in the morning of the 15th. January, the North end of Union-Street, which has consumed the most beautiful part of the Town. Upon the alarm’s being given, a number of people with all the engines were...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have the honor to inform You that the Count D’Estaing arrived here with the Fleet under his Command the Beginning of last Month. Admiral Byron, with 14 Ships of the Line, had been cruizing off Boston Harbor, watching the Motions of the French Fleet; but, the Day previous to its Departure, a violent Storm arose, which cast the Somerset ashore on Cape Cod,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague Je crois toujours bien faire, de vous communiquer les intelligences, authentiques comme les ci-jointes, que les circonstances me permettent de me procurer. Je me prescris pareillement, de suivre toujours, quant aux adresses de mes Lettres, et des enveloppes, les premiers ordres que j’ai reçus de Mr. Deane lors...