[dateline] Bordeaux 5th May 1778
On the 14th April 1777 I sailed from Virginia Commander of the Ship Mercer belonging
to Messrs. Mercer and Schenck of Boston, with a Cargo of 450 Hogsheads Tobacco for
Account of the Honorable Continental Congress, to the Address of Messrs. S. and J.
H. Delap of Bordeaux. On the fourth of May following I had the Misfortune of being
risen upon by my Crew and carried with my Vessel into Whitehaven,1
where I remained Prisoner 'till I found the opportunity of escaping on board a Hamburgh
Vessel bound from New Castle to this Port, which arrived yesterday. I think it my
Duty to inform you thereof, and if you judge I can be of any use to my Country either
in a Publick or private Station, I most heartily make you a tender of my best Services.
I have had proposals from several Merchants at this place, but have deferred treating
with any 'till I know if you have Employ for me. I have the Honor of being personally
known to the Honorable John Adams Esqr. who will be able to give you Satisfaction
to any Enquiries you may think it necessary to make about me, and begging the favor
of your reply as speedily as possible, I have the Honor of being with utmost respect
Gentlemen, Your most obed. hble Servant