James Madison Papers

Board of Admiralty to Jonathan Trumbull, 30 May 1780

Board of Admiralty to Jonathan Trumbull

FC (NA: PCC, Marine Committee Letter Book, fol. 289).

May 30th 1780


Pursuant to the Resolutions of Congress passed the 27th inst. relative to the Navy2 which will be transmitted to your Excellency by their Secretary, I am directed by the Board to Solicit every assistance in your power, by furnishing money and otherwise towards preparing the frigate Bourbon for launching and compleating her for Sea.3

As from the distance of place it is impossible for this Board to be acquainted with the situation of the Bourbon from time to time and supply what may be wanted we have directed John Deshon Esquire a Commissioner of the Eastern Navy Board4 to apply to your Excellency for assistance and we request that his application may be regarded as made by this Board. It is unnecessary to inform your Excellency of the utility of having our Naval force in readiness to act in conjunction with A Squadron of our Allies which may be shortly expected.5

I have the Honor to be Sir Your Obedt servant

F Lewis per Order

1Jonathan Trumbull (1710–1785), governor of Connecticut, 1769–1783. Letters of the same tenor were written on 30 May to President Meshech Weare of New Hampshire, and to James Bowdoin, president of the Massachusetts Council (Charles O. Paullin, ed., Out-Letters of Board of Admiralty, II, 203–6).

2In this series of resolutions, Congress urged the states to render “every assistance to the Board of Admiralty” in fitting “for sea, with the utmost expedition, the several ships of war and frigates now in port” (Journals of the Continental Congress, XVII, 466–69).

4John Deshon (1727–1794) was appointed to the “board of assistants to the Marine Committee … in the eastern department” on 6 May 1777. He also served during the Revolutionary War as an agent to erect fortifications at New London, Conn., as a commissary, and on his town’s Committee of Correspondence. He was a state representative in 1783–1784, 1787–1788, and 1791 (Journals of the Continental Congress, VII, 331; Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of New London, Connecticut … [New London, 1895], pp. 503, 506, 619; Charles J. Hoadly et al. comps., The Public Records of the State of Connecticut [9 vols.; Hartford, 1894 1953], V, 5, 316; VI, 280, 396; VII, 309).

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