Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Bondfield to the American Commissioners, 7 July 1778: résumé

John Bondfield to the American Commissioners9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Bordeaux, July 7, 1778: The Sally, which arrived here yesterday from Edenton, reports that the fourth regiment of Col. Maitland’s expedition has been captured and that several ships, among them the Roderigue with a cargo of great value,1 have arrived in the Chesapeake.

Consorting here with agents and consuls of European states shows me the advantages that their countries derive from them; a similar arrangement might be useful for you. American trade is a new field, and you know nothing of its value in various regions; I and other agents elsewhere, especially if they had an order from Mr. de Sartine to local officials, might easily send you monthly reports of exports to and imports from America. This is a suggestion that might in time, if put into practice, be of great use.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 265–6.

1John Maitland commanded a detachment of Royal Marines sent against American vessels in the Delaware: Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, III, 98–9. The Fier Roderigue, belonging to Hortalez & Cie. (XXII, 454), was then loading in the York River, and Beaumarchais’ agent expected her to convoy to France ships loaded with goods for redeeming the American debt to the company; Virginia officials, however, seem to have had no such intention: Morton, Beaumarchais Correspondance, IV, 142–4 n.

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