From John Barry
ALS: American Philosophical Society
L’Orient 23d. March 1781.
I had the Honor to receive yours dated the 17th. inst.8 but it leaves me intirely in the dark.— As I have no orders from you, and as there is no person here for me to apply to, in Consequence of it and to Comply with my orders from the Honble. the Admiralty I have took the Ship the Marquis delafayette with public Stores onboard under my direction9 and shall as soon as I can get ready (which will be on sunday or Monday next)1 proceed to Deleware with her under my Convoy.—
I am Sir your very huml. Servt.
His Excellency Doctr. Franklin
Addressed: His Excellency Benja. Franklin Esqr. / Minister Plenopotentiary / at the Court of Versailles / Paris
Notation: Capt. Barry Mar. 23. 81
8. I.e., BF to Barry of March 19 (above), the copy of which was dated March 17, as probably was the now-missing recipient’s copy.
9. The Board of Admiralty had instructed Barry to convoy storeships to Philadelphia. On March 23, he sent Capt. Galatheau a copy of these instructions and ordered him to prepare the Marquis de Lafayette for immediate sailing: William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), pp. 207–8; Lopez, Lafayette, pp. 219–20.
1. March 25 or 26.