From John Langdon
Portsmouth [N.H.] July 17th 1777.
By the Express, Major Bass, who goes on to Philadelphia, I’ve done myself the Honor Just to inform your Excellency of the Arrival of the Packett called the Mere Bobie from Nantes in a Passage of Forty two Days, the dispatches I’ve sent Express which I beleive are of great Consequence.1
I’ve but Just seen the Capt. a few minutes by what I can learn in General is, that there is by far the greatest Prospect at present of a Rupture in Europe than there has been since the dispute with Brittain. I am—with every mark of Respect—Your Excellency’s Most Obt Servant
1. The packet Mère Bobie arrived at Portsmouth, N.H., on 14 July 1777 with a sealed leaden container of public dispatches on board. The Mère Bobie’s captain, Charles Gléyo La Chesnaÿe, had been instructed to sail for the coast of New England, to enter the ports of Boston, Portsmouth, or Newbury, but to carefully avoid Rhode Island and the ports of New London (see Jonathan Williams, Jr., to La Chesnaÿe, 1 June 1777, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 9:370–71). Joseph Bass of Portsmouth carried the dispatches to Philadelphia, arriving on 2 Aug. (see Nathaniel Folsom to Josiah Bartlett, 5 Aug. 1777, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 7:416). Bass, who had been appointed paymaster of the 2d New Hampshire Regiment in July 1776, was appointed subclothier for New Hampshire in December 1779.