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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6


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Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0169

Author: Castle, Joy
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-22

Joy Castle to the Commissioners

The petition of Wm. Castle of Philadelphia Mariner

[salute] Honourable Gentlemen

The petition of Wm. Castle of Philadelphia Mariner
Your petitioner is Come from Irland to Bordeaux to procure American papers to procead with a Cargo to America;
But the Embargo having taken place on English Vessells a few days before I arrived, I am Sized by the french as Coming In under English Coulours, and expect to be Confisticated if Your Honours does not take it Into Consideration and Lay my Case before the Ministerry; the Vessell is the Sole properity of my brother and myself, which we purchased with a Sole Intent to procead to America, I Hope Honourable Gentlemen that You will not Imagine that I Have made this a plea on Account of Saving our propertyes, far from it We have Indeavoured before to Git out to America but Miscarried in the atempt, and it was now our Sole Intent which time will prove our Sincearity for America And Service we are in Hopes of Rendering the Country.
I Refer Your Opinions to the Chariacters we always bore well knowen to many Gentlemen of Philadelphia in particular Mr. John Ross at Nantce.
And Hopes that Your Honours Humanity will Condesend to Render me every Service that Lays in Your power's if not we are totaly Ruined as this being the whole that we have Saved that we have bin Long plowing the Oacen for and if we shoul'd be Now Confisticated God only knowes what will become of our fameilly I Reley Soley on Your Humanity And we shall ever be in Duty Bound to pray for Your Long Lifes and prosperity to all your Undertakens &c. &c. &c.
[signed] Joy Castle2
[signed] Test Peter Amiel
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Joy Castles Petition” in another hand: “June 22. 78.”
1. Place and date are in JA 's hand.
2. On 25 May, Samuel Tucker had written a letter of introduction to JA for William Castle (Adams Papers), captain of the barque Jane, who was apparently planning to come to Paris to place his grievances before the Commissioners. It was, however, Joy Castle who finally arrived at Passy to argue his and his brother's case for the return of the Jane, probably with John Bondfield's letter to the Commissioners of 14 June as an introduction (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). Bondfield informed the Commissioners of the Castles' plight and commented favorably on their case. Upon receiving the petition, the Commissioners acted swiftly, writing to Sartine on 23 June ( JA , Diary and Auto• { 231 } biography, 4:141–142). In that letter the Commissioners asked for the return of the Jane and stated that Joy Castle had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 4:264) and that they believed the petition was legitimate. Replying on the 26th, Sartine declared that, in view of the Commissioners' assurances, orders would be sent to Bordeaux to release the vessel (MH-H: Lee Papers). On the 27th the Commissioners issued a passport to “Joy Castle Esqr. with his family and Servants, Subjects of the United States of America,” permitting them to proceed to America (P.R.O.: H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 382). The presence in the Public Record Office of “a true Copy translated from the Original wrote in French” indicates that the Jane was probably taken on its voyage to America.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0170

Author: Powers, Pierce
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-06-22

Pierce Powers to the Commissioners

[salute] Gentlemen

I would beg leave to inform You that in the Action with the Drake Sloop of War on the 24th of April last, I had the misfortune to lose My right Arm, and at the same time receiv'd a bad wound in My left Hand; but am now so far recover'd that it is no longer necessary for Me to remain in the Hospital. As I am render'd unable to serve My Country as heretofore should esteem it a singular Favour if Your Honours would provide a Passage for Me to America as soon as is convenient and the Indulgence shall be gratefully acknowledg'd by Gentn., Your most obedt. & very humbl. Servant
[signed] Pierce Powers1
I had the Honour of Acting in the Capacity of Midshipman.2
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “To the Honble. John Adams Esqr. one of the Commissioners for the American united States à Passy prés Paris, to be comunicated”; docketed: “Petition of Pierce Powers to return to America, wounded in the Ranger”; in another hand: “June 22. 78.”
1. It is not known what action the Commissioners took in regard to this letter, but on 7 July, Powers renewed his plea for a passage home in a letter to Benjamin Franklin ( Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 1:454).
2. Written in the left margin.

Docno: ADMS-06-06-02-0171

Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Schweighauser, John Daniel
Date: 1778-06-23

The Commissioners to J. D. Schweighauser

Passy, 23 June 1778. printed: JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:140–141. The Commissioners, noting Schweighauser's letter of 18 June (not found) and their instructions to John Paul Jones and Abraham Whipple of 16 and 23 June respectively (for both, see instructions to Jones, 16 June, calendared above), enclosed resolutions of the congress on the disposition of prizes (probably those of 23 March and 30 Oct. 1776, JCC , 4:229–232; 6:913) for Schweighauser's use in disposing of prizes of the Ranger and Providence and informed him of the possibility of a { 232 } prisoner exchange. Finally, he was ordered not to send the Commissioners' circular letter of 10 June announcing the recall of Byron's fleet because it had since sailed.
For a possible postscript to this letter, see the Commissioners to Schweighauser, 10 June (calendared above).