Yorktown, 24 March 1778.
, No. 79, I). This is Instruction No. 3, which probably reached the Commissioners
in late April, having first arrived at Bilboa on a vessel “from Baltimore in 22 days”
(John Bondfield to the Commissioners, 21 April
, below). In its first communication to the Commissioners since
's departure, the Committee for Foreign Affairs commented on the depreciation of the
currency, the relative positions of the British and American forces, and the certain
failure of new British reconciliation efforts. It also noted that a letter of 7 Oct.
from Benjamin Franklin and another from Barnabas Deane were the only indications received
of the contents of the dispatches stolen from John Folger (see Henry Laurens to
, 15 Jan.
, above). In concluding, the Committee briefly reprimanded the Commissioners for not
writing to Beaumarchais' agent, J. B. L. Theveneau de Francy, on hearing of his plan
to come to Philadelphia to settle on a method of payment for cargoes received from
Roderigue Hortalez & Cie. and to arrange for future contracts. Enclosed were a list
of dispatches received and an unidentified pamphlet containing “the general ideas
of America” on the British “successes.”