From John Bondfield
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bordeaux 29 Aug 1779
By Letters from Lisbon of the 3 Instt. we are advised of the Capture of one of our Ships (that went with La Motte Piquet) with Military Stores and sent into New York.1 The fate of the other two is not yet come to hand. A continued chain of Miscarriages have attended every Operation in which I have stood Interested. Could predestinarism Exist I should be tempted to place faith or had I been an object sufficient to attract as in past days the resentment of some Deity there would be latitude to invoke the oposing power [torn: word or words missing]. We are without any American advices by Letters from Cadiz they confirm the report of Provosts defeat and say Packets are arrived at that Port from Congress for you2 if real you are ’ere this in Posession of them. I have the Honor to be with due respect Sir Your very hhb Servant
His Excellency B. Franklin Esq
Addressed: His Excellency B. Franklin / Minist Plenip. des Etats Unies / a Paris
Notation: John Bondfield Bordeaux 29. aout 1779.
1. Bondfield and two business associates had chartered the Chasseur (Hunter), Governor Livingston, and Mary Fearon to Arthur Lee to carry military supplies to Virginia: XXIX, 330n. The Chasseur was captured on the way to America by a British letter of marque (Courier de L’Europe, VI , no. XXXIV, Oct. 26, 1779) but the other two arrived safely.
2. Congress had recently sent at least one letter to France through Cadiz. On June 13, Lovell wrote Arthur Lee via Cadiz (with a copy going via Martinique): Smith, Letters, XIII, 62–3. On the same day, however, he sent a packet to BF via Martinique only: XXIX, 683.