Benjamin Franklin Papers
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Tristram Barnard to the American Commissioners, [after 9 October 1778]: résumé

Tristram Barnard to the American Commissioners3

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 home, sail in October, stop in the Cape Verde Islands and cruise between 26 and 38 degrees latitude south and 46 to 62 degrees longitude west. The fishery ends in April. The ships then moor at St. Helena to return home with the East India fleet. They carry no guns. Last season they brought 55 casks of oil worth £70 in England or £100 in America.4>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII.

4He also supplied the commissioners with information about the fleet of merchant ships loaded with provisions and war supplies to sail for the West Indies from Spithead: Butterfield, Adams Diary, II, 324.

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