Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Emery, 7 October 1778

From John Emery

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy:6 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Bilbao 7th Octobr. 1778


By the Schooner Lively Cap. Dupuy7 arrivd yesterday at this place from Newbury Port which he left the 27th. August I received the Inclosd Papers from my friend and Partner. I have taken the Liberty to forward them to you with the Postscript of my friends Letter.8 By one youl find the dispositions made to attack Rhode Island and by the other the Cause of failure should they not Compleat their design. Perhaps Count dEstaing is unjustly Censured; the day Cap. Dupuy left Newbury he Saw the fleet going into Boston. The Counts Ship had lost the head of her foremast and her Missen Mast in the Gale. The rest of the Ships appeard in good order. I have the Honor to be Your Most Obedient Servant

Jno Emery

Honble. Benjamin Franklin Esqr

Notation: Jno. Emmery Bilboa 7. Oct. 78

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Lacking the complimentary close, but including the enclosure.

7For Michael Dupuy and his ship see XXIV, 439–40.

8Which BF had copied and sent to Vergennes. Dated Aug. 26 it reads:

You will be much Surpriz’d when I Inform you that by all accounts the Expedition on Rhode Island must fail; soon after Genl. Sullivan had Landed his Troops and taken Possession of all the Island excepting the South End where Newport Stands, Count dEstaing who had Surrounded the Island with his fleet, hearing that Lord Howe with his Squadron was in Long Island Sound went out in Pursuit of him. Two days after he came up with him and both Admirals Engaged but an exceeding heavy Storm prevented any thing taking place that was decisive. This day week the Count returnd and Came up to Anchor under Point Judith. He Imediately acquainted Genl. Sullivan with his arrival but declin’d acting with him Urging that his Ships were disabled and that he must go to Boston to repair; the Most Perswasive arguments used by the General Officers Could not Perswade him to Tarry 24 Hours which time would have been Sufficient to reduce the Enemy. He Imediately saild for Boston-what a disappointment!

For further details see Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, II, 149–55; Freeman, Washington, V, 46–86.

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