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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0031

Author: McNeill, Daniel
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Date: 1778-09-15

Daniel McNeill to the Commissioners

[salute] Honorable Gent.

On my Cruize in the Ship Genl. Mifflin of Boston, and on August the 22 Instant being about fifty Leagues West and North of the Island Oshant att 9 AM saw Three Sail of Vessells bearing ENE from us about five Leagues Distance Standing to the ENE, which I took to be Enemies by the Course they Steared. I gave them Chase, as soon as they found I was in Chase of them, they spoke each other, and one bore away before the wind. It being in the Western Board, the others Kept their wind and lay by for me to come down to them, which I endeavoured to do with all possible Dispatch and showed English Collours but as soon as they found I was a Ship off force, they hauled their wind and stood from me I still pursuing the largest which Kept before the wind, and att 2 PM brought her too. She proved to be a Brig from Guardelope bound to Bordeaux called the d'Isabelle Capt. Js. Dubray, of One hundred and Sixty Tons loaded with Sugar Coffee and Cotton, the Privatear by whom she was Captured was Called the Prince of Orange mounting Six Caridge Guns and Comanded by Philip Amy of Guarnsey—and that he was Captured by said Privatear on the Ninteenth of August and Six AM and retaken by me on the 23 Instant at 2 PM. which makes Eighty hours that she was in their possession by the Coppy of their Commission she was taken in Lattitude 46d:30m North and Longitude 5:00 West from London.
I am likewise Informed that the former Owners intend to lay Claim to her.
Therefore beg your Honours to apply to the french Ministry, that said Vessell may be tryed according to the Laws of the Cuntry as Specifyed in my Commission, or that I may have liberty to proceed with her to America—or that I may have Liberty to dispose of her, leaving the Net Proceeds in good hands till it may be determined by Congress.1
{ 38 }
I am Gentlemen your most Obedt very humble sert.
[signed] Danl McNeill
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed, not by JA : “Capt. McNeill Septr. 15. 1778.”
1. See the Commissioners' letter to Sartine of 10 Sept. (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0032

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Chaumont, Jacques Donatien, Leray de
Date: 1778-09-16

To Leray de Chaumont

[salute] Sir

As our Finances, are at present in a Situation, seriously critical, and as I hold myself accountable to Congress, for every part of my Conduct, even to the smallest Article of my Expences, I must beg the Favor of you to consider what Rent we ought to pay you for this House and Furniture, both for the time past and to come.
Every part of your Conduct towards me, and towards our Americans in general, and in all our Affairs, has been polite and obliging, as far as I have had an Opportunity of observing; and I have no doubt it will continue so, yet it is not reasonable, that the United States should be under so great Obligation to a private Gentlemen, as that two of their Representatives should occupy for so long a time so elegant a Seat with so much Furniture and such fine Accommodations without any Compensations, and in order to avoid the Danger of the Disapprobation of our Constituents on one hand, for living here at too great or at too uncertain an Expence, and on the other the Censure of the World for not making sufficient Compensation to a Gentleman who has done so much for our Convenience, it seems to me necessary, that we should come to an Ecclaircissement upon this Head.
As you have an Account against the Commissioners, or against the United States for several other Matters, I should be obliged to you if you would send it in as soon as possible, as every day makes it more and more necessary for us to look into our Affairs with the utmost Precission.
I am Sir with much Esteem and Respect Your most Obedient & very humble Servant
[signed] John Adams
RC in Jonathan Loring Austin's hand (Adams Papers); docketed: “John Adams to Le Ray de Chaumont Passy Sepr. 16 1778.” As indicated by a notation on its first page, this letter is in the Adams Papers because it was purchased by HA2 from Goodspeed's Bookshop of Boston in March 1949. LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In JA 's Letterbook this letter is dated 15 Sept., and at the foot of the copy is the note: “wrote the 7th. sent 15th.” When JA copied Chaumont's reply of 18 { 39 } Sept. (below), in his Letterbook (Adams Papers), he noted: “Copy of Mr De Chaumonts answer to my Letter to him of the 15.” However, on the recipient's copy a “1” was inserted before the original “7,” which was written over twice, probably by JA , changing it first to “5,” then to “6.”