Benjamin Franklin Papers
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John Bondfield to the American Commissioners, 15 September 1778: résumé

John Bondfield to the American Commissioners4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Bordeaux, September 15, 1778: The cutter Tartar, Captain Southcomb, arrived yesterday from the York River, which it left on July 29.5 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 Protestants. I will forward Mr. W.T. Franklin’s commission6 this week.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII.

5This does not appear to be the Virginia State Navy vessel of the same name described in E.M. Sanchez-Saavedra, ed., A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations in the American Revolution, 1774–1787 ([Richmond], 1978), p. 162.

6Our best guess is that WTF was to serve in some capacity on the Marquise de Lafayette, a frigate being armed for privateering by Basmarein & Raimbaux: XXVI, 677 n. Bondfield was investing heavily in the venture: see his letter of July 24, 1779. APS. WTF never did take part in what turned out to be an unsuccessful cruise.

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