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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 4

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[Commissioners to John Paul Jones]

[salute] Sir

We have received sundry Letters from Lt. Simpson, and sundry Certificates from Officers and others, concerning his Behaviour in General, and particularly upon that Occasion, in which he is charged with disobedience of Orders....Without giving or forming any decided
Opinion concerning his guilt or innocence of the Crime laid to his charge, We may venture to say that the Certificates We have received { 124 } are very favourable to his Character, and at least afford reason to hope, that he did not mean to disobey his orders.
Be this however, as it may, We are constrained to say, that his confinement on board any other Ship than the Ranger, and much more his Confinement in a Prison on Shore, appears to Us to carry in it, a degree of Severity, which cannot be justified by reason or Law.
We therefore, desire, you would release Mr. Simpson, from his imprisonment, and permit him to go at large, on his Parole to go to Nantes, there to take his passage to America, by the first favourable Opportunity, in order to take his Tryal by a Court Marshall.
We request you to transmit Us, as soon as possible, an Account of what is due to Lt. Simpson, according to the Ships Books for Wages.
An Application has been made to Us, in behalf of Mr. Andrew Fallen, one of the Prisoners lately made by you, and his case represented, with such Circumstances, as have induced Us to request you, to let Mr. Fallen go, where he will, after taking his Parole in Writing, that he will not communicate any intelligence which may be prejudicial to the United States, that he will not take Arms against them during the War, and that he will surrender himself Prisoner of War whenever called upon by Congress, or their Ministers at Paris. We are, Sir, your most obedient Servants.
[signed] Signed B. Franklin,
[signed] Arthur Lee,
[signed] John Adams.

[addrLine] John Paul Jones Esqr. Captain of the Ranger.

Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/