Adams Papers
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From John Adams to Arthur Lee, 28 November 1778

To Arthur Lee

28 Novr. 1778

The Bearer, is first Lt. of the Boston—was sent by the Navy Board at Boston to S. Carolina and thence to France Commander of the Dispatch: but was taken. I think our Rule has been to lend Lts. of the Frigate’s twenty Guineas, but considering Browns unhappy Circumstances on Account of Cloaths, and knowing his long Attachment to our Cause and his uncommon Merit, I wish he could have more but have not ventured to propose it.1 Dr. F. is gone out.

RC (MH-H: Lee Papers); addressed: “Hon. Mr. Lee Rue de Battail N. 5 Chaillot”; docketed: “This was accompanied with an Order on the Banker for 20. Louis dores signd by Mr. Adams.”

1JA’s plea was successful, for on 28 Nov. the Commissioners ordered Ferdinand Grand to pay Lt. John Brown 480 livres (Commissioners’ Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778- 11 Feb. 1779], above). Brown was with Capt. Hector McNeill when the Boston captured the frigate Fox in June 1777, but no mention of him in command of a vessel called the Dispatch or its capture has been found (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution description begins Gardner Weld Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution, Boston and New York, 1913; 2 vols. description ends , 1:206).

The next day JA made a similar request of Lee (MH-H: Lee Papers) on behalf of a privateersman, Lt. John Adams of Boston, which was also successful, an order being issued on the 30th to pay Adams 240 livres (Commissioners’ Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778–11 Feb. 1779], above).

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