Recipient: Whipple, Abraham
[Commissioners to Abraham Whipple]
[dateline] Passi June 23 1778
As We have a Prospect of an Exchange of Prisoners, you are desired to send Us with all possible dispatch, a List or Return of all the Prisoners you have in your Custody, and We shall give orders concerning them as soon as We shall be informed, to what place they are to be sent to be exchanged.
As to your future destination, We desire you, to take on board, your Frigate, as many Arms and Cloaths, or other merchandizes, as you can without impeding her in Sailing or Fighting, and no more: with which you are to acquaint Mr. Schweighauser, who will send them on board. If Mr. Schweighauser should have a Vessell bound to America with Stores for the Public, you are to take her under your Convoy.
You are to use your best Endeavours to make Prizes, in the Course of your Passage, and in all respects to annoy the Enemy as much as you can, and are at Liberty to go out of your Way for so good a Purpose. If you can take or destroy any of the Enemies Fishery on the Banks of Newfoundland, you are not to omit the Opportunity.
As Transports are continually passing between England and Hallifax, Rhode Island, New York and Philadelphia, and from each of these Places to all the others, you will use your best Endeavours to intercept some of them.
If you should have Dispatches committed to your Care, either from the Government of this Kingdom, or from Us, you are to have them carefully encased in Lead, and, in case of Misfortune which God forbid, you are to take effectual Care, by sinking them, that they may not fall into the Enemies hands. We wish you a prosperous Cruise and Voyage and are &c.
[signed] B. Franklin,
[signed] Arthur Lee,
[signed] John Adams
[addrLine] Captain Abraham Whipple of the Providence Frigate.7