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Copy: Library of Congress With this, you will receive Dispatches; with which you are to sail with all possible expedition. You will enclose the Dispatches in a Box with Lead, and have it always ready to sink, shoud you be in unavoidable danger of falling into the Enemies hands. To prevent this misfortune, you will constantly keep a good look-out, and be very cautious how you approach any...
Draft: Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: National Maritime Museum, Public Record Office, National Archives (two); transcript: Library of Congress <Passy, September [19], 1778: We have not written you for a long time but have been engaged in negotiating a cartel of exchange, and have assurances from England that an exchange will take place. The government of this kingdom has provided a...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives We have received a Letter from Mr. Robert Harrison of the 7 Octr. and another from John Lemon, Edward Driver and John Nichols, of the 12, all Prisoners in Dinant Castle, all professing to be Americans who have been first compelled into the Service of their Enemies, and then taken Prisoners by the French. You are not...
ALS : University of Virginia Library The foregoing is a true Copy of original Instructions from Congress to Commanders of private Ships or Vessels of War, having Commissions or Letters of Marque and Reprisal, which you are strictly enjoyned and required to observe. See the note on Arthur Lee to BF above, April 2. Amiel was now lodging in Passy, and was slated to command a privateer owned by a...
ALS : Archivo Historico Nacional; draft: Harvard University Library We wish to inform your Excellency, that we are directed by the United States of America, to cultivate the Friendship of the Court of Spain, with that of France. For that purpose, as well as to pay our personal Respects to your Excellency, we purpose to wait upon you to-morrow, or on any other Day that will be more convenient,...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; LS : Archivo Historico National This memorandum, under its calm surface, conveys a sense of depression; and the commissioners had reason to be depressed. They seem to have become suddenly aware that they were in deep financial trouble, because they had made commitments that they did not have the money to honor and that Congress could not....
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, September 10, 1778: The cargo of the Thérèse has been assigned to us. We do not know how you claim her as your vessel since Mr. Montieu claims her as his and demands the remainder of our payment for her hire. We request your attention to our powers and instructions from Congress. Until the accounts of Roderigue...
Reprinted from Report of the Committee of the House of the 17th February on the Subject of the Claims of the Heirs of Caron de Beaumarchais . . . (20th Congress, 1st session, House of Representatives Report No. 220; [Washington, 1828]), pp. 44–5. Beaumarchais’ letter above to the commissioners of December 6, with a copy to Vergennes, brought to a head the dispute about the cargo of the...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 17th is before us. Our Letter by your Express will direct you how to proceed with the Cargo of the Amphitrite. The Ship herself is at the Order of Mr. Peltier, and the sooner he has her the better, but the Cargo is at ours. In regard to which we have nothing to alter from the Directions given in our former untill you favour us with an Answer to...
AL (draft): National Archives <Passy, October 29, 1778: Some of your propositions can only be discussed in a personal interview. We wish you or someone authorized by you might meet one of us at Aix-la-Chapelle or any other place you may judge more convenient. We also leave to you the selection of fictitious names to be used when meeting.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VII . In Arthur...
AL (draft): Library of Congress Your Bill upon our Banker was not paid, because it was drawn without our leave; and before you had sent us the Accounts to shew we were your Debtors. When we have examind your Accounts and found them just; we shall give you Notice, that our Banker will pay your Draft for the Sum due. We conceive you cannot with any sort of propriety require payment sooner. We...
Copies: National Archives (two), Massachusetts Historical Society Your Bill upon our Banker was not paid, because it was drawn without our Leave; and before you had sent Us the Accounts to shew we were your Debtors, and he could not regularly pay a Bill on our Account, which he had not our Orders to pay. We are Sir, your most obedient Servants. Published in Butterfield, John Adams Diary , IV ,...
Copy: National Archives We desire you will allow Mr. Thomas Wilkinson, one of the Prisoners made by the Ranger, and now in your Hospital, to go into the Country for the benefit of his health, on his parole. We are Sir your most obedient Servants Signd The man Schweighauser had put in charge of American vessels and prizes in Brest. See Costentin to BF , Aug. 24. In Arthur Lee’s hand. He had...
(I) AL (draft): Library of Congress; incomplete LS : New-York Historical Society; copies: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Koninklijk Huisarchief, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two); (II) AL (draft): Library of Congress; copies: Koninklijk Huisarchief, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (three); (III) AL (draft): Library of Congress;...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, September 11, 1778: We have received yours of the 5th and wish better health to Captain Ayres. His ship should sail forthwith if it has not already done so. We will honor the draft for the account you enclosed, but you must distinguish the sums advanced to Mr. Adams in a private capacity as well as those...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives We have the Honour of your Letter of the twenty third of this Month,— We are not able to inform you with Precision concerning the Convoy having not received an Answer to our last application to the Ministry on that Subject. Yet We hope that a Convoy will be appointed to Sail forthwith from Nantes. We...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: National Archives <Passy, June 4, 1778: We have received your accounts for supplying the Boston ; some of the articles are dear, but we trust you to obtain everything as cheaply as possible. Your bills will be paid, and we hope the ship has left by now. You tell us of a plot against her, and we have forwarded the affidavit to the ministry;...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives We have before us yours of the 23d Inst. and are very sorry that Capt. Ayres is so indisposed as to prevent his return to America in the General Arnold. We wholly refer the appointmt. of a Master for this Vessel to you and Capt. Ayres and doubt not you will find a good Seaman and a person in whom you can confide. We...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society <Passy, April 15, 1778: Please provide Capt. Tucker with the needed provisions and ask him to be as frugal as possible. We approve the suggestion in your letter of the 10th that pig iron be exchanged for anchors, which are much needed. Ship a chest of medicines and slops for the crew and make sure that the men are properly charged for what they receive.>...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives We have considered your plan and think it will be proper to send it to Congress for their Approbation. We desire you will purchase and ship on public Account in the best and cheapest Manner 28 Iron Cannon of 24 pound Ball and 28 of 18 lb. You will be so good as to send one set of Bills of Loading to us and another to...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: National Archives <Passy, May 25, 1778: We thank you for your intelligence reports. Your bills on us will be paid when we have received and examined your accounts; please present the latter monthly so that we do not acquire more debts than we can pay, of which there is considerable danger.> Published in Butterfield, John Adams Diary , IV , 116.
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two) We thank you for the civility of your favor of the 30th. ulto. and shall be obliged to you for the earliest communication of any interesting News that may reach your Port. We have the honor to be &c. &c. In Arthur Lee’s hand, on the verso of Bondfield’s letter above of March 30. The...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have wrote Capt. Nicholson who will procure you a Passage to America and we hope it may be such a one as will be agreable. Inclosed you have a Letter for the Hon’ble the Marine Board which you will send to them and attend their future Orders. Capt. Nicholson will give you notice where to meet him, or the Ship in which you can have a passage. We are...
DS : Boston Public Library Nous Benjamin Franklin, arthur Lée et John adams deputés plenipotentiaires des treize états unis de L’amerique septentrionale pres sa majesté tres chretienne, Prions tous ceux qui sont a prier de vouloir bien laisser passer surement et librement Messieurs Joseph Waldo et Thomas Brattle Ecuyers Americains et Sujets des dits Etats, allant en Angleterre par Calais sans...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives We are this Moment honoured with your Excellencys Letter of the Eighth of this Month, and We thank your Excellency for the Information that his Majesty the King of the two Sicilies, hath ordered the ports of his Dominions to be open to the Flagg of the United States of America. We should be glad to have a Copy of his...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives Your favours of the 15 Octr. and 1st of November We have recd with their Inclosures. And We approve of your Conduct and the Reasons of it, excepting Mr De la Plaine.— As he is not in the service of the united States We cannot justify, putting the united States to Expence for his assistance. You will please to draw upon...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, June 26, 1778: We have your letters of the 18th and 19th, referring to an earlier one about a surgeon’s bill. Give the surgeon what you think fair, after making the deduction mentioned. We thank you for your news, and approve sending intelligence to America by every opportunity. The seamen you speak of should...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, July 13, 1778: Capt. Amiel brought us this morning two letters from you enclosing testimonials to your good character. We had no doubt of it, and your trouble was unnecessary. A letter, it is true, did say that you were “somewhat too busy, in some particular matters,” but this did not prejudice us against you....
Two copies: National Archives This circular letter was a companion piece to the commissioners’ memorandum to the French and Spanish courts below, November 23, and had been equally long under consideration. Lee presented his draft of the letter to his colleagues on the 9th. An argument developed over how to interpret the old maxim that free ships make free goods: Lee’s draft had apparently...
LS and transcript: National Archives; incomplete copy: Massachusetts Archives; copy: Harvard University Library Our Dispatches of Decr. 18. which would have acquainted you with the State of our Affairs here, and our Expectations of a speedy Conclusion of the Treaties with this Court, are unfortunately returned; the French Man of War which went on purpose to carry them, having met with some...
Attested copy: Harvard University Library; copies: British Library (incomplete), National Archives (three), Sheffield City Library (two), South Carolina Historical Society We received duly your Dispatches by Mr. McCrery, and Capt. Young, dated May 20 and 30. June 13, 18, and 26 and July 2. The Intelligence they contain is very particular and Satisfactory. It rejoices us to be informed that...
Copies: British Library, Harvard University Library, National Archives (three) It is long since we had a Line from you, the last received being of the Date of [ blank in MS ] per Mr. Reed. We suppose from the same Causes which have occasioned your hearing so seldom from us, the Difficulty of finding safe Conveyances, and sometimes the Loss of the Dispatches by the Way. Mr. Lee informs you, we...
LS : South Carolina Historical Society; transcript and two copies: National Archives We have now the Pleasure of sending you the Treaties of Amity and Alliance with France compleated after long Deliberation and signed the 6th. Instant. This is an Event that will give our States such an Appearance of Stability, as must strengthen our Credit, encourage other Powers in Europe to ally themselves...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have given Capt. Courter whom we have entrusted with our Dispatches one hundred Louis D’Ors: His Journey to Corogne will be very expensive. He will keep an Account of his Expences which he will give you and we recommend him to you for such further allowance, independant of the Actual expence of his Voyage, as you shall judge adequate to his Services. He...
ALS and copy: National Archives The Navy of the United States increasing in the Number of its Ships and Force, it is of the utmost importance to direct the Cruises of the Shipps of War which belong either to the States or individuals so as to annoy and alarm the Enemy the most effectually, and at the same Time to encourage Our brave Officers and Seamen by the Value of prizes. The West India...
LS : National Archives; AL (draft ): Yale University Library; three copies: National Archives When the commissioners met on November 27 to plan this dispatch, differences between them soon emerged. Lee profoundly distrusted Deane, who he believed had Franklin in his pocket and, in his dual role of private businessman and agent of Congress, was playing fast and loose with public money. Deane...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; three copies and one transcript: National Archives <Passy, July 29, 1778: We received your letters of May 14 and 15. We congratulate you on the general good appearance of our affairs and are happy you are determined to accept no peace terms contrary to our alliance with France. We have not received from Congress the authorization we need to remove...
LS : National Archives; attested copy: National Archives; copy: Harvard University Library; copy and transcript: National Archives Since our last of Nov. 30, a Copy of which is herewith sent you, we received your Dispatches of Oct. 6. from York Town. They came to us by a Packet from Boston, which brought the great News of Burgoynes Defeat and Surrender, News that apparently occasion’d as much...
ALS and copy: National Archives; two copies: British Library Agreeable to what we mentioned in ours of March 14 and April the 9th (a third Copy of which we send herewith) Mr. Lee tarry’d here some Weeks after his Return from Spain. No News arriving (tho’ we received Letters from you) of any Commissioner being actually appointed for Prussia, and the Necessity of a good Understanding with that...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives <Passy, July 29, 1778: We have received your letter of May 28 by Captain Reed [Read]. We rejoice at the arrival of even 49 hogsheads of tobacco, but wish for more. As we are under contract with the farmers general to furnish 5,000 hogsheads, for which we have already received a million livres, we have consigned this...
ALS and copy: National Archives Since Our last We have received the inclosed Intelligence from London, which we take the earliest Opportunity of forwarding, in hopes it may be received with Our other Letters by Nantes. A Vessel from So: Carolina, loaded by that state, which sailed the 20th December, is arrived at L’Orient with Rice and Indigo. As We were particular in Our last which was sent...
LS and copy: National Archives; copy: Harvard University Library Since our last, a Copy of which is enclosed Mr. Hodge is arrived here from Martinique, and has brought safely the Papers he was charged with. He had a long Passage and was near being starved. We are about to employ him in a Service, pointed out by you, at Dunkirk or Flushing. He has delivered us three sets of the Papers we...
LS and two copies: National Archives; copy: South Carolina Historical Society We joined each other at this place on the 22d. of December and on the 28th. had an Audience of his Excellency the Count De Vergennes, one of his most Christian Majesty’s principal Secretarys of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs. We laid before him our Commission with the Articles of the proposed Treaty of...
ALS and copy: National Archives We send you herewith the Draught of a Frigate, by a very ingenious Officer in this service, which appears to Us peculiarly suitable for Our purpose, and We are in hopes of being able to ship Cordage and Sail Cloth, and Anchors &c. sufficient for Five or Six such Frigates, by the Time you can have them built. Though deprived of any intelligence from you since the...
LS : National Archives; L : British Library; copy: National Archives It is now more than 4 Months since Mr. Franklin’s Departure from Philadelphia, and not a Line from thence written since that time has hitherto reached either of your Commissioners in Europe. We have had no Information of what passes in America but thro’ England, and the Advices are for the most part such only as the Ministry...
Copy: Harvard University Library We wrote to you pretty fully on the State of Affairs here, in ours of the 12th of March and 19th of this Month, since which there has been little Alteration. There is yet no Certainty of a sudden Declaration of War, but the Preparations go on vigorously both here and in Spain, the Armies of france drawing towards the Sea Coasts, and those of Spain to the...
AL (draft): Library of Congress The interest which the public has in the vessel you command makes us regard her as a continental Ship of war. Mr. Hodge and Mr. Ross have therefore no right to direct or controul you. Neither had Mr. Deane alone any right to dispose of the vessel; nor of the produce of the prizes you made, as Monsr. Lagonere informs us he has done. You will give us an account...
Copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives; incomplete copy: National Archives; fragment of ALS : Musée de Blérancourt We have received a Complaint from the remaining Part of your Officers and Crew, of an unfair distribution of Prize Money by Mr. Hodge. To prevent any Such Complaints in future, We desire that you will put your Prizes into the Hands of Messieurs Gardoqui at...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have to thank you for the Account you gave us of Capt. Johnson’s Escape and should have acknowledged the same sooner but were in hopes it would have been confirmed by his Arrival, but unhappily your Intelligence was premature and he unhappily remains still a prisoner. In Behalf of Doctr. Franklin and Self I am with much respect Your most Obedient and...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives (two) We have written Instructions to Mr J. D. Schweighauser of Nantes to dispose of the Cargo of the Brig Morris Captain Gunnison, and to settle with you any demand you may have for Disbursements &c on her Account. We are &c In JA ’s hand.