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J. D. Schweighauser and Others to the Commissioners, 7 November 1778

J. D. Schweighauser and Others to the Commissioners

Nantes Novemr: 7th: 1778

Honbl: Gentlemen

The repeated Captures of American Vessells, many of which notwithstanding the Convoys we have had off this Coast have been taken the day after their Separation, and the Knowledge obtained by Our Enemies of the time of Our Vessells sailing, which induces them to cruize at a greater distance to watch the Moment that the French Frigates part from their Convoy, incline us to wish for more effectual Protection.

In Addition to these Reasons we beg leave to represent, That many American Gentlemen, Several of whom are in the Publick Service and have already experienced the Horrors of an English Prison and others more Than Once taken on their Passages from hence to America and carried to England, propose to embark on board the present Outward bound Vessells: And as well on their Account as the Importance of the Supplies these Ships will carry to Our Country we trust your Endeavours will be joined to ours to obtain from the Minister of the Marine a sufficient Convoy for the whole Voyage.

With a View of giving you as little Trouble as possible we have written to Monseiur de Sartine,1 and We request you to use your Interest at Court to enforce our Petition.2

The Ships here and at Rochelle to the Number of Twelve or more will be ready in the Course of the present Month, by the End of which we hope the desired Convoy may be directed to arrive here.

We have the Honour to be with great Respect Honble. Gentlemen Your most Obedient & most humble Servants

J. D. Schweighauser Agent of the United States of America

Matthew Mease

Jno. Gilbank

William Haywood

John Lloyd

Nics. Martin

Ebenr. Atwood

Peter Collas

John Spencer

Jno. Grannis

Joseph Belton

Jos. Wm Spencer

Joseph Hill Jennings

Richd. Grubb

Alexr. Dick

Phil Rd. Fendall

Danl. Blake

Clemt. Smith

Joshua Johnson

Matt: Ridley

Jona. Williams

Cha: Ogilvie

J. Grubb

Josiah Darrell

Cyprn. Sterry

Wilm Jenney

Christopher Bassett

Robert Ewart

Jno. Tyler

Daniel Kenney

Stephen Johnson

RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Letter, from Several Gentlemen at Nantes, for Convoy, ansd.”; in another hand: “Nov. 7. 1778.”

1With the exception of William Haywood, all the subscribers below also signed the letter to Sartine of 7 Nov., and were joined by T. Blake, John Bondfield, Robert Elliot, John Ross, and Branford Smith (Arch. de la Marine, Paris, 82, vol. 413).

2In their reply of 11 Nov., the Commissioners thanked the subscribers and promised to apply immediately to Sartine for a convoy (LbC, Adams Papers).

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