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ALS : American Philosophical Society I take the Liberty of acquainting you that in obedience to Orders from the Honorable the Marine and Secret Committees of Congress, bearing date the 9th ulto, I immediately repaired here in Order to proceed in the French Ship Amphitrite from hence to Charlestown South Carolina and thence to France. The intention of the Secret Committee was first to avail of...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I had the honor of writing to you from hence the 3d day of June last Copy whereof is here inclosed. Congress have thought fit to put the new Sloop of War therein mentioned, now called the Ranger under my command, and have authorized Genl. Whipple, Colo. Langdon and myself to appoint the Officers. When I took this command, the middle of last month, I found...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Inclosed you have copies of letters which I had the honor of writing you from Portsmouth the latter of which could not have reached your hands as I understand that the mail was destroyed. I sailed from Portsmouth the 1st. Ulto. and arrived safe in this River in the Ranger the 2d. Current having taken two brigtines from Malaga laden with Fruit for London. I...
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 : Harvard University Library I take the liberty of inclosing two introductory letters Addressed to you in behalf of my Lieutenant, who since his embarkation into the service in July last under my Command hath behaved with becoming dilligence and Attention to duty. Should I have the honor of being called to Paris or should any Alteration immediatly take Place in my Command I shall have an...
ALS : Boston Public Library Your esteemed favor of the 17th. I have recived. I wish to leave the Ranger in such a situation as to expect to find her nearly ready for Sea on my return, as I think it will be for the intrest of the Service that I should then proceed with her alone Unless an Additional force can be very soon procured. Should circumstances Admit, an Additional force may be...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have the honor to inform you that from Paris I reached this place in 56 hours. As I have in my possession repeated Orders from Congress to Afford Aid and protection to the American Commerce, I conceive it to be my duty to give my best protection and safe conduct to the Squadron with Supplies now nearly in readiness to sail from hence, until they are at...
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 : American Philosophical Society; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum Inclosed I send you Copies of my Letters since the 10th February. As the Port of Brest is so crowded with Shipping that the Ranger was prevented from entering into it I thought it the most expiditious to return here to clean her bottom which is now effected. On surveying the Masts it has been concluded that they...
I have the honor to acquaint you that I arrived here last Night and brought in with me the British Ship of War Drake of 20 Guns with English Colours inverted under the American Stars. I shall soon give you the particulars of my Cruise in the mean time you will see some Account of it in a letter of this date from Comte D’Orvilliers to Monseigneur De Sartine. I have brought in near Two hundred...
ALS : University of Virginia Library; AL : American Philosophical Society, United States Naval Academy Museum; copy: National Archives <Brest, May 9, 1778: I arrived last night with the British warship Drake , and will soon give you an account of the cruise. I have almost two hundred prisoners, but there is danger they may be surrendered without an exchange. I plan to refit the Drake as fast...
As there is an appearance that the Sales of the Rangers prizes will be greatly protracted thro’ the claims of the Admiralty here—I have been under the necessity of drawing on you this day a Bill at five days sight in favor of Monsieur Bersolle for Twenty four thousand Livers—which I mean to distribute among the brave Officers and Men to whom I owe my late Success. It is but reasonable that...
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 : Princeton University Library; AL (draft): National Archives; copies: Library of Congress , United States Naval Academy Museum The within letter addressed to the Countess of Selkirk which I leave open for your perusal will I hope apologize for the liberty I take when I request you to forward it via Holland. Two copies are already forwarded, one of which under cover to the Post Master at...
I have now to fulfil the promise made in my last by giving you an Account of my late Expedition. I sailed from Brest the 10th of April. My Plan was extensive: I therefore did not at the beginning wish to incumber myself with Prisoners. On the 14th I took a Brigantine between Scilly and Cape Clear bound from Ostend with a Cargo of Flax-seed for Ireland; sunk her and proceeded into St. Georges...
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 : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; AL : United States Naval Academy Museum Accept my grateful Thanks for your much esteemed favor of 27th. Ultimo. Such a mark of your good opinion and approbation really affords me the most heartfelt Satisfaction. It shall always be my Ambition to do my Duty as far as my Judgement and small Abilities may Enable me. But you will...
Your letter of the 25th Ultimo I received by Yesterdays post: I frankly ask your pardon for the undue liberty which I took the 16th Ultimo when I ventured to sign a draft upon you for the purpose of supplying the people under my Command with necessary Cloathing &ca.—and I promise you never to be guilty of the like Offence again. I hope you do not however mean to impute to me a desire to...
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...
Copy: Library of Congress <Passy, June 5 [ i.e. July 4–5], 1778: “Plan for expeditions submitted to the American Plenipotentiaries and to the french minister of Marine by Com. Jones.” Three fast frigates with tenders might burn Whitehaven and its fleet, rendering it nearly impossible to supply Ireland with coal next winter. The same force could take the bank of Ayr, in Scotland, destroy the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; AL : United States Naval Academy Museum Your much esteemed favor of the 1st. Current, which I received last Night lays me under a most singular Obligation: I cannot but be deeply sensible of the Honor which is confered upon me by the Proposition; and I really think it affords a very fair prospect of Success. In a few days the...
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...
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...
Being informed from good authority that the Minister desired much to converse with me on a subject of great utility to the United States of America —as there was then no prospect of obtaining permission to sell the prizes—or of getting the prisoners exchanged soon, I thought it for the interest of the Service that I shoud come myself to Paris. It was necessary too that some measure shoud be...
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,...
Plan for expeditions submitted to the American Plenipotentiaries and to the French minister of Marine by Com. Jones. As the first proposal, will be impeded for some time, in the interval A great variety of projects present themselves, some of which might prove of great utility to France and America by distressing the common enemy at a small expence. Three very fast sailing frigates, with one...
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...
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...
Captain Jones begs the Commissioners to oblige him with Copies of the following letters—or with the liberty of taking Copies of Monseigneur De Sartines letter to the Commissioners respecting Captain Jones, of their Answer to that letter, of the Commissioners letter to Lieutenant Simpson in consequence of Captain Jones’ proposition in his favor, and of the paper dated the 4th of July—which...
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...
By a resolve of Congress the Seamen who engaged to Serve in the Ranger under my Command were furnished Individually with forty Dollars, the Landsmen with Twenty Dollars Advance in Continental Bills at the time of Entry. They have Also been supplyed with Slops from time to time to a considerable Amount. And they received a small Advance in Cash from my hands at Nantes last Winter. I conceive it...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum <Passy, August 6, 1778: By a resolve of Congress the seamen engaged on the Ranger were given forty dollars each, and the landsmen twenty dollars advance in continental bills. They have also been supplied with slops, and received a small cash advance at Nantes last winter. I consider it my duty to represent these...
As the Scene of War by Sea is now Changing from America to Europe I have been induced to give up the Command of the American Ship of War Ranger and to continue for some time in Europe in compliance with the request of the Minister of the French Marine in a letter to our Ministers Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles. I will not intrude on your Excellencies time even by attempting to pay...
I have now been five days in this place since my Arrival from Passy—during which time neither seen nor heard from Lieutenant Simpson. But Mr. Hill, who was last Winter at Passy and who sailed with me from Nantes, informs me truely—that it is generally reported in the Ranger and of course throughout the French Fleet and on Shore—That I am turned out of the Service—and that you Gentlemen, have...
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; AL (draft): National Archives; copies: United States Naval Academy Museum, Library of Congress Had I indulged my inclination since my return here I should have already troubled you with sundry letters. I must not however abuse the indulgent liberty which you gave me at parting. And I have therefore been the more troublesome to my good Friend Doctor...
I have this moment been with Mons. De la Prévalaye by Accident. That Gentleman you know, Commands here in the Absence of Comte D’Orvilliers. He has told me that as there are now no Ships of War in the Road he can no longer furnish a Guard for the Prisoners taken by the Ranger and now on board the Prize Brigantine Patience. I could have no dependence on the Officers and Marines of the Ranger...
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...
I had the honor of writing to you by the last Post that Monsieur De la Prevalaye, the present Commandant here, had absolutely refused to continue the Guard which Comte D’Orvilliers lent me for the security of Prisoners of War taken by the Ranger, and Confined on board the Prize Brig Patience in the Road. I then promised to use every possible means to have the Guard continued until you could...
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 : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum Since my return here I have written several letters to Doctor Bancroft, to none of which I have yet received any Answer, tho’ the first was dated the 14th. and left Brest by the next mornings Post. This has made me Apprehend that he is absent from Paris as I know he purposed going to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Your much esteemed favor of the 6th. at 5 AM. I received the 8th. That kind letter from your Hand at so early an Hour adds much to former Obligations, but more especially as it found me in need of such Cordials; for I have yet received no other letter from the Eastward since the 17th. before...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum The Fleet hath this day returned here, having been absent a Month and done nothing; for I call taking a small Tender and a small Privateer Nothing. A Frigate, the Juno, of 32 Guns 12 pounders is also Arrived and has brought in the English Frigate the Fox that was formerly taken by our...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum This serves only to cover my letters to the Duke De Chartres and his Squire as mentioned in my last. Unless you entirely Approve of these letters I beg you to suppress them. If you Approve them I could wish it may be consistent and convenient for you to see, or Write a line to, the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum Altho’ the Ministers letter respecting me to Comte D’Orvilliers was not well timed, Yet I think it my Duty to thank him for his intentions. It has been hinted to me that a Lieutenant who has been with the D. De C-- expects to Command the Fox thro’ that Intrest. If this be true I am...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copies: Library of Congress, United States Naval Academy Museum I hope you will find the within letters entirely free from asperity or ill Nature. I have been and am, in the Eyes of Brest and of the French Fleet, considered as having incurred your Displeasure and being consequently in Disgrace. The Commissioners’ refusal of my Bill, my Journey to Paris...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copies: National Archives, United States Naval Academy Museum The inclosed letter for M. de Chaumont will I hope have your approbation. I wish it were possible that the first plan could be pursued—or if it is postponed, it is perhaps a delicate point, but I wish I could have some assurance that the Indien will not be put under the command of another, but...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Library of Congress; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum If Mr. Amiel had attempted my life I could not have been more surprised than I have been this day by his telling me that “it is your advice to Mrs. Amiel that he should immediatly proceed from hence to Nantes in order to take passage with her for America”—because “he may possibly...
It is my duty to forward to you the within Memorial of Facts from Gentlemen whom the fortune of War made Prisoners to the American Arms under my command. In their application to me they observe that “I am well acquainted with their situation.” The late treatment which these unfortunate Men have met with appears to me to carry with it a degree of severity which cannot be Justified by reason nor...
I have the honor to inform you that this day Arrived here a Virginia Pilot boat from Boston in 23 days. The master reports—that Comte Destaing had saild from thence a fortnight before on a Secret destination—that the Summerset was lost on Cape Cod, the materials saved and the Crew Prisoners —that the Providence, Boston, and Ranger were Arrived having taken two or three Merchant Vessels—That...