Richard Grinnell to the Commissioners
Guernsey Sept. the 15th 1778
I would Inform the Honnourabel Board of Commisioners that I Took Passage with Capt. Barns1 as did Capt. Peter Collis2 and Sailed from Penbufe  on the 29th august and on the First of September Being in the Lattitude 46°:00′ and Longitude 9°:00′ we ware Taken by the Speedwell Cutter Belonging heare mounting twelve Guns and Commanded by Capt. Abraham Bushall who Treated me and Capt. Collis moore Like Brothers than Like Prisoners and Gave us Every thing Belonging to us. Two Days after wee war Taken wee fell in with the Schooner Spy Capt. Niles who had been taken by a Privateere Belonging to Jersey. Capt. Niles Toald me that all the Papers ware Thrown overboard as was all Capt. Barnses. Capt. Barns is Still on board the Privateer her Cruse not Beeing out yet.
I would Inform your Honnours that a Number of Prizes are daly brought In heare and I thought my Duty to take the first Opertunity of Informing your Honnours of our misfortains and I make no Dout but you will Recive this as Mr. Dubery is So Good as Send it to his Son in Nants who will Take the first opertunity to Send it you.3
I am your Honnours much obliged humble Servt.
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “To The Honnourabel Benjaman Franklin Lee and Adams Comissieners from the United States of amarica att Passy in france”; docketed: “Captn. Grinnells Letter Septr. 15. 1778.”
1. Capt. Corbin Barnes of the schooner Dispatch.
2. Collas, a native of Guernsey, was the son-in-law of Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane (Franklin) Mecom and, in the course of the Revolution, was captured no less than five times (Letters of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom, ed. Carl Van Doren, Princeton, 1950, p. 23).
3. Thomas Dobrée of Guernsey was the father of Peter Frederick Dobrée of Nantes. The younger Dobrée was the son-in-law of J. D. Schweighauser, American commercial agent at Nantes. Because of his ties to Guernsey he had been anonymously accused of conspiring to give information on American shipping to the Guernsey privateers (J. D. Schweighauser to the Commissioners, 11 Aug., MH-H: Lee Papers; Peter Frederick Dobrée to the Commissioners, 11 Aug., and note 1, vol. 6:365–367; see also Robert Niles to the Commissioners, 22 Jan. 1779, below).