John Langdon to the American Commissioners5
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Portsmouth, N.H., October 21, 1778: Since the Courier de l’Europe, Captain Raffin, is ready to sail for Europe, I take the liberty of mentioning a matter advantageous to our allies and profitable to me. The British Navy was mostly furnished with masts from this port; lately I have sent to Boston all the masts for d’Estaing’s squadron. Please mention to the naval minister or any appropriate person that I will furnish the French navy with masts if someone in France will contract. My commission is 5% for the cargo and disbursements and 5% on the sale of articles sent for payment.6>
5. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII. For the maritime agent for New Hampshire, see XXIV, 110; XXV, 120.
6. This is one of several unsuccessful attempts to create a French market for American masts; see Paul W. Bamford, Forests and French Sea Power 1660–1789 (Toronto, 1956), pp. 185–8.