Benjamin Franklin Papers
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John Bondfield to the American Commissioners, 12 November 1778: résumé

John Bondfield to the American Commissioners9

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.1 These two ships will be very valuable; an application from you should insure the convoy. We will not sail without it. Mr. Livingston has decided it would be safer if he retained command of his ship; I enclose the bond, modified to reflect this change.2 I leave for Bordeaux today and on arrival will attend to your instructions about M. Bertin’s cannon.3>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII, 208.

1See Gentlemen at Nantes to the American commissioners, Nov. 7.

2The letter of marque, which Bondfield had requested from the commissioners on Oct. 10 and which had been attested by JA and Arthur Lee on Oct. 26 (APS), provided that John Gale of Edenton, N.C., would command the Governor Livingston. (Gale had commanded the cutter carrying Hezekiah Ford which had been captured en route to Virginia the previous July; he made his way back to France, where the commissioners gave him 240 l.t. on Sept. 11: Arthur Lee to Lovell, July 21, 1779, National Archives; Alphabetical List of Escaped Prisoners.) Bondfield and William Haywood, owners, then amended the document to reinstate Musco Livingston (XXVI, 256n) as captain. By the time the Governor Livingston actually sailed as part of the convoy in May, 1779, she was under the command of John Gale. Lee to Lovell, cited above.

3Henri-Léonard-Jean-Baptiste Bertin, proprietor of a forge, is identified in XXVI, 506n. For his plans to supply cannon see XXVII, 275, and Bondfield to the commissioners, Nov. 21.

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