A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9

This note contained in document ADMS-06-09-02-0251-0001
6. The two cartels were the Bob, owned by Edmund Dunkin and commanded by Capt. Isaac Cazneau, and the Polly, owned by Henry Mitchell and commanded by Capt. Benjamin Carpenter, which carried 130 British subjects taken on various British ships that were to be exchanged for an equal number of Americans imprisoned in England. The proposed exchange failed because the ministry refused to honor the commitments made by the British prisoners and, to add insult to injury, the ministry seized the Polly upon appeal by her former Scotch owners as a prize. Digges' fears regarding the potential losses of the owners of the two vessels proved groundless. Henry Mitchell reported to Congress on 27 July that the British government reconsidered the propriety of seizing a cartel and awarded him £2,400 in compensation, which he used to purchase the brigantine Adventure. Dunkin, who renamed his vessel the Penelope, and Mitchell obtained passports for their vessels from Benjamin Franklin and returned to America with cargoes of British goods (from Digges, 3 March, note 4, and 6 April, note 2, both above; William Bell Clark, “In Defense of Thomas Digges,” PMHB, 77 [Oct. 1953]:407–409, 413–414; PCC, No. 42, V, f. 197–200). For objections to the means by which Mitchell and Dunkin were permitted to import otherwise prohibited British goods, see James Warren's letter of 19 July (below).
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, 2018.