John Bondfield to the Commissioners
La Rolchelle 12 Novr 1778
Having concluded with Mr. Schweighauser for the publick freight the two Ships1 are ready and will proceed the begining of Next Week for Penbeuf. We have apply’d for a Convoy for the Ships which we have room to flatter ourselves will be granted and will thereby secure their passage from hence to the Loire, as there will be no delay at Nantes in the Loading all being ready both to Ship and Load before the twenty fourth we hope all will be ready for Sea. The Merchants at Nante have petitiond for a Convoy to sail in all this month and to take the Ships to the American States as these two Vessels will be very Valuable and their Cargoes being the States Property it may be presumed your application would eventualy Secure the Convoy. At all events we must Wait until one is apointed and shall not attempt to Sail without which if orderd for the whole Route will be very Acceptable.
I have inclosd the Bond2 but Mr. Livingston esteems it safer to retain the Command in his own hand. As Owners of the Vessel we have indorsed his appointment on the back of the Commission and have subscribed with him to the alteration in the Bond.
I shall leave this to Day for Bordeaux and at my Arrival shall imediately attend to your Instructions tutching the Cannon belonging to Mr. Le Bertin.3
I have the honor to be with due Respect Sirs Your most Obedient Humble Servant
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble. Benj Franklin Arthur Lee. John Adams Esqrs. Commissioners from Congress at Paris”; docketed: “M. Bondfield”; in another hand: “J. Bondfield 12 Novr. 1778.”
2. Probably the bond for the Governor Livingston dated 26 Oct. 1778 and signed by Bondfield, William Haywood, and Muscoe Livingston (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. description begins I. Minis Hays, comp., Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1908; 5 vols. description ends , 3:432).