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    • Bondfield, John
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This morning Arrived the Privateer Schooner Success—Attwood Master from Virginia. She left Cheasapeak Bay 13 July. The Captains inteligence consists that the ninth Comte d’Estaing saild from the Bay for New York remained in the Bay five French Frigates. Some English Prisoners are brought in here taken by American Privateers their enlargement or detention is optional in the Captures no claim...
I have receiv’d from every Forge from Angoulerme to Bayonne returns of their proposals and offers for the Cannon you Commission’d me to purchase. Not One of them will engage to compleat the delivery before February. The dryness of the Season deprives them of a supply of water nessessary to execute the Work in Less time. I have survey’d the Arsenals hoping to find there to Borrow and to...
Referring to what I had the Honor to write you the 12th Current. Yesterday arrived from Virginia the Cutter Tartar Capt. Southcomb. He left York River the 29th July. Private Letters by him are dated the 21st of same contain no accounts other than them at hand. He reports a report of Comte d’Estaing having taken five English Frigates, that New York was closely blockt up and no doubt of the...
We are yet without any Arrivals from any part of America, from Carolina as an embargo is in force for the exporting of Rice, it is not extraordinary, but from all the other Provinces some Vessels may be expected as there are many french Vessels in Virginia Maryland and No. Carolina, should vessels belonging to the States be wanting, which I apprehend is rather the Case, some of the other ought...
By Letters this day from Couronna we have advice that the 30th Ultimo arrived at that Port an American privateer of 20 guns. She left Boston 14 August. He reports that Adml. How with the reinforcement he had receivd went down to Rhode Island. He there found Comte D’estaing who on his approach stood out to meet him. A Gale of wind prevented their engageing. Both Fleets sufferd severely by the...
Having concluded with Mr. Schweighauser for the publick freight the two Ships are ready and will proceed the begining of Next Week for Penbeuf. We have apply’d for a Convoy for the Ships which we have room to flatter ourselves will be granted and will thereby secure their passage from hence to the Loire, as there will be no delay at Nantes in the Loading all being ready both to Ship and Load...
I attended yesterday to the Vissit made by the Inspector of the Artillery of the Cannon laying at this Port belonging to Monsr. Le Bertin. The report is as favorable as can be given as to their appearance which is all that can be said of them until Proved. The following is the list given me in by the person who has them under his care. 77 Cannon du Calibre de 36£ du poids de 75 quintx la piece...
Tho’ we are without any interesting inteligence in this or the neighbouring Ports I hold it my duty to advise you that so it is. The Merchants from their heavy Loss’s are obliged to contract their concerns which unfortunately will be sensibly felt by the short Exports for the United States. Excepting three small Cutters belonging to Virginia it is three Months since any expedition went from...
A french Brig belonging to La Rochelle arrived at this port the 2d Instant from Boston, he left that port the 4 November in Company with Adml. D’Estaing with all his fleet reinforced by some American Frigates. The Report circulated in Boston their intent was against Halifax, the Season was far advanct for an attempt of that nature. He kept company thirty Six hours, the Fleet steerd N.E., he...
I have the Honor to pay my most respectful Compliments of Season wishing prosperity to all your undertakings. We are without any Arrivals since I had the Honor to write you the 5th Ultimo. By Letters from Nantes I am inform’d the Chasseur is Loaded and all is ready for the other Ship which contrary winds have detaind near two Months at Isl of Rhé not more than 24 hours sail from Nantes. I...
I had the Honor to pay my respects to you the 1st. Instant since which am without any of your Commands. The Convoy for the French Islands left this yesterday and with them three small Cutters for the States of America. We have a Vessel from Edenton arrived at Bayonne sail’d in October of course no News only Tobacco is at ten pounds that Currency the hundred weight by which the Traders in...
The 9th Instant I had the honor to pay my respects to you and to request your information tutching the Convoy we Solicited for the Ships at Nantes. I meet with some difficulty in expediting of our Ships. They being American property must of course be furnishd with American Pass’s. I have to request you will favor me with your Pass’s by return of Post for the following; Vessels otherways met at...
Captain Jason Laurence belonging to the Schooner General Arnold Arrived here Yesterday by a dutch Ship being put on board by a Jersey Privateer that took the Schooner the 1 Decr. fifteen Leagues from Belle Isle. He informs me the Vessel belonged to Genl. Arnold that she was the first that had been Launcht at Phila. since the recovery. He left that City the 4 Novr. had on board Packets from...
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,...
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 The last Post I had the Honor to advise you of the Arrival of the Honble. John Adams Esq. Since his absence we are diligently employ’d in getting ready the Ship. She goes on the waies to day and will be finisht Friday or Saturday. The Captain and Carpenters assure me there is no risk on her taking the Ground to Carreen otherways should have objected. I...
ALS : Massachusetts Historical Society <Bordeaux, April 10, 1778: Capt. Tucker hopes to start careening his ship next week and be finished by Easter. He has instructed the ship’s officers to make returns of the stores wanted. The local officers of the farmers general have ordered him to land and declare the tobacco brought by the Boston . I refused to comply, and they agreed to await further...
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 : 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...
(I) and (II) ALS : Massachusetts Historical Society <Bordeaux, April 25, 1778: The mainmast of the Boston has been condemned and will be promptly replaced. The Captain requires an iron hearth for cooking; the stone one he had is broken. I hope you will approve.> Per mine of this date you would be advised of our proceedings tutching the Boston. Captain Le Mair desireing I would second the many...
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.
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)...
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...
(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 <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...
(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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am strongly importuned by Captain Cassels the Bearer for a Letter of Introductions to your honors in his favor. Mrs. Cassels his Wife who is come over in order to proceed as they assure me to America, is from Philadelphia. The purport of Mr. Cassels Errand to Paris is to exert his endeavours to obtain the restitution of a Ship belonging to him and his...
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 <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 <Bordeaux, June 27, 1778: The Belle-Poule ’s engagement is considered here a prelude to war; all foreign produce is being bought up as speculation. Admiral Byron is apparently not bound for America. These developments may further recruiting there, which I am told needs a spur. The marquis d’Almodóvar left on the night of the 25th. The nonarrival of the...
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 <Bordeaux, July 4, 1778: The Union left Edenton on June 6 and arrived here on the 2nd but unfortunately, after so short a passage, brought no news. Accounts come in of losses on the Carolina coast caused by pilots’ misconduct; the inhabitants mislead our ships or refuse help, and the state government should take notice. Mr. Sartine has invited local...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, July 7, 1778: The Sally , which arrived here yesterday from Edenton, reports that the fourth regiment of Col. Maitland’s expedition has been captured and that several ships, among them the Roderigue with a cargo of great value, have arrived in the Chesapeake. Consorting here with agents and consuls of European states shows me the advantages that...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Permit me to lay before your honors the foregoing State which by your interpossion we flatter ourselves may be relieved. I am most respectfully Honorable Sirs your most Obedient Humble Servant Notation: Mr. [Bondfield] Bordeaux 1778 Bondfield’s letter was written at the bottom of a request in French in another hand on behalf of Captain William Jones. Jones...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, August 17 [ i.e. , 16] , 1778: Captain Ayres’s poor health probably precludes his return voyage with your dispatches. Instruct me concerning his successor. Ships like his could transport goods to America quickly; if financial considerations permit, I could execute a partial order. I do not wish to seem presumptuous but I am herewith submitting a...
ALS : American Philosophical Society By Monsieur Le Norman who left this yesterday I had the Honor to advise you of the ill State of Health of Cap. Ayres and of my apprehendtion of his incapacity to proceed. I am more confirmd in my doubts his Physicians assuring me it will be imposible for him to resist the sharpness of the Air and the fatigue of the Passage, and of which he appears himself...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Since the Letter I had the Honor to write you the 17th Inst. the Liberty Captain Reed arriv’d at this Port from Edenton which place he left the 7 July. He brings no confirmation of the French Fleets arrival such report prevaild but gives it only as french report. As per my last the Cutter General Arnold is all ready and attends the arrival of your...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, August 26, 1778: Last evening arrived one of Captain McNeill’s prizes, the brig Archangel , taken at latitude 72° N. longitude 25° E. while en route from Archangel to London. A boat from Boston belonging to Basmarein & Co. has arrived but brings no news. Captain Ayres continues to decline; I have sent him to the country but the doctor believes he...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, August 29, 1778: I have received your letter of the 19th commissioning the purchase of 56 pieces of cannon. I suspect it will be November before I can collect them. I presume they are for naval use; let me know where to send them. I am without instructions for the General Arnold ; the delays cause very heavy expenses which are charged to me....
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 <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, September 15, 1778: The cutter Tartar , Captain Southcomb, arrived yesterday from the York River, which it left on July 29. Southcomb reports d’Estaing had taken five English frigates and that New York was closely blockaded and would doubtless fall. [ Postscripts: ] Captain Ayres died on the 13th; I had him buried as decently as is allowed to...
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 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 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, October 13, 1778: We learn from an American privateer which arrived at Corunna on September 30 that Admiral Howe tried to relieve Rhode Island. His and d’Estaing’s fleets were severely damaged in a storm; he has returned to New York and d’Estaing regained his post off Newport. The privateer took two packet boats from which he has brought into...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <La Rochelle, November 12, 1778: I concluded agreements with Mr. Schweighauser for the public freight of the two ships [the Governor Livingston and the Chasseur ] which will proceed to Paimboeuf next week. We, like the merchants of Nantes, have applied for a convoy. These two ships will be very valuable; an application from you should insure the convoy. We...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, November 21, 1778: The Inspector of Artillery visited the port yesterday to inspect M. Bertin’s cannon. On the basis of appearance alone, their quality seems good, but this must be confirmed by testing. I herewith enclose a list indicating their specifications. Other cannon belonging to the same company made from the same mold can be procured...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, December 5, 1778: A brig owned in La Rochelle arrived here December 2, having left Boston November 4 and having sailed thirty-six hours with Admiral d’Estaing. Rumor had it that the fleet was to attack Halifax. Another vessel equipped by Chaumont’s friend, Decater, arrived at Auray, having sailed with the admiral until November 7 when she...