The Commissioners to the Commerce Committee
Passi July 29. 1778
We have the Honour of your Letter of 28 May by Captain Reed. We are rejoiced at the Arrival, even of 49 Hogsheads of Tobacco, and cannot but wish for more. As the Commissioners here, have made a Contract, with the Farmers General, to furnish them with 5000 Hdds, which they have not been able to fulfill, altho they have received a Million Livres upon that Contract, We have ventured to order this Small Quantity into their Hands, which We thought would be more Honourable for Congress and for Us, than to have it disposed of at private sale.1 We congratulate you on the Safe Arrival of so many Vessells from hence, and wish that in our next We may have the Pleasure to congratulate you, on much more important Events in favour of our Country.
We shall have no particular Directions to give Captain Read, as your orders to him to receive Goods from Mr. Schweighauser, are as proper as any We could give.2
We have the Honour to be.>
The Subject of your Letter of May 16. shall be duely attended to. <
We have the Honour to be.> In a Letter from Mr. Lovel of April 16. We are informed that Congress have authorised Mr. Bingham to draw upon Us for a sum not exceeding an hundred Thousand Livres. We have not yet received the order of Congress, or Mr. Binghams Draughts. Whenever We do, We shall do them all the Honour in our Power, but We cannot refrain from expressing an Anxiety concerning our Funds. We have the Honour to be.
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. A tobacco contract signed by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane on 24 March 1777 provided for the immediate payment of one million livres, with another million to be paid upon the arrival of the first ships carrying the tobacco (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, Washington, 1889; 6 vols. description ends , 2:300–301). The Commissioners had informed J. D. Schweighauser, in a letter of 27 July (LbC, Adams Papers), that he should turn over to the Farmers General the tobacco brought by Capt. Read in the Baltimore.
2. In two letters of 29 July (both LbC, Adams Papers), Schweighauser was directed to provide supplies and arms for both Read and Capt. Corbin Barnes of the Dispatch. Capt. Read was ordered to undertake his return to America as soon as the needed cargo and supplies were obtained, without waiting for such dispatches as the Commissioners might want to send.