From John Bondfield
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bordeaux 21 April 81
From Bilboa by a vessel arrived from Salem they have receivd advice that the L’Eveilée Capt De Thilly fell in with the Romulus of 44 Guns with a Convoy consisting of 20 Transports bound from New York to the Assistance of Arnold.5 The accounts differ in the Number of Troops on board some mention 6000 others five hundred, 1200 suits Cloathing, Arms, and a considerable Military Chest. Some Posts past I took the liberty to transmit you my Accounts6 if approved shall be obliged to you for Liberty to draw for the amount. Our Ships are arrived safe at the Cape7 and to a great Market. We are without any advice of the British Fleet on these Coasts— with due respect I have the Honor to be Sir your very hhb Servant
Addressed: A Son Excellence / Benjamin Franklin, / ministre plénipotentiaire des / Etats-unis / A Passy. / près de Paris.
Notation: John Bondfield Bordeaux April 21. 1781.
5. BF also received a one-page expanded version of the same intelligence in French (undated and unsigned), which Bondfield may have enclosed (APS); it, however, says the news was brought by two American ships. See also Jay to BF, April 18.
6. His covering letter is above, March 3.
7. Probably Cap Français, St. Domingue.