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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0101

Author: Langdon, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Date: 1778-10-21

John Langdon to the Commissioners

[salute] Sirs

The Courier d Europe Captain Raffin being ready to sail for France, I have taken the Liberty to mention a matter to you that I think will be of Advantage to our Allies as well as profit to me. My haveing a personal acquaintance with two of your Honors, Encouraged me to take this Liberty.
The British Navy were in most part furnished with Masts from this Port. I have lately furnished the Count d'Estangs Squadron with all their Masts and sent them to Boston. I shall think myself highly Honored if you would be pleased to mention to the Minister of the Marine of France or any other proper Person that I would furnish the Navy of France with Masts if any Gentleman in France will take the Contract. I will do the Business here on Commission of 5 P.Ct. for the Cargo and Disbursements and five P Ct. on the Sale of any Articles they may { 150 } send out for payment. You'll please excuse the Liberty I've taken and beleive me to be, Verry Respectfully, Your Honor's Mo. Hbl. Servt.
[signed] John Langdon1
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Hon'ble B. Franklin, A. Lee, & J. Adams (Esquires) American Plenipotentiaries At The Court of France. Per Courier Le. Europe”; docketed: “H. J. Langdons Letter. respecting Masts.”; and in another hand: “Oct. 21. 78.”
1. Langdon, a former member of the congress, had served on several committees with JA and Franklin and was, at the time of this letter, Continental agent at Portsmouth (DAB). The Commissioners sent Langdon's offer to Sartine in a letter of 25 Dec. (not found). In his reply of 8 Jan. 1779 (LbC, Adams Papers), Sartine referred the Commissioners to Leray de Chaumont, the principal agent for the company that supplied masts to the French Navy.

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0102

Author: Vernon, William Sr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-10-22

From William Vernon Sr.

[salute] Dr Sir

The above of the 2nd. Oct. via Portsmouth by the Dutchess of Grammount Capt. Poidras. This is only to inclose a Letter for my Son, which I beg the delivery of, and to inform you of the Arrival of the Ships, Providence, Boston and Ranger at Portsmouth the 17th. Instant. The dispatches for Congress &c. are all forwarded as directed. Those Ships have Captured only Three small Prizes since they left France, a Brigantine from London for St. Augustine loaded with Provisions arrived, a Snow from Newfound Land with Fish for Cadiz, arrived, a Brigantine from Granada for Leith, with Rum supposed to be retaken. It gives me pain to relate the frequent Losses of our Continental Ships. The Raleigh Capt. Barry fell in with a Fifty Gun Ship and Frigate, the Third day after he Sail'd, whom he Ingaged about Six hours, being over Power'd by superiour strength, run his ship ashore, on an Island near Penobscot. About 90 of his Men escaped on shore, the remainder was taken, and his Ship, the next day got off by the Enemy.1

[salute] I am most respectfully Yr. Humble servt.

[salute] Sir

Nothing material hath occur'd since the above, this serve only to convey the duplicate, and best respect, being with truth Yr. Most Obedt Humble servt.
[signed] Wm Vernon
Dupl (Adams Papers); docketed: “Mr Vernon Boston ans Dec. 2. 1778.” This letter, for which no RC has been found, begins in the middle of page two and continues to the top of page three. It is preceded by a triplicate of Vernon's letter of 2 Oct. (above) and followed, as printed here, by Vernon's note of 22 Oct. A triplicate of this letter was enclosed with Vernon's letter to JA of 17 Dec. (below).
{ 151 }
1. On 27 Sept. the Raleigh fought the ship of the line Experiment and the frigate Unicorn in or near Penobscot Bay. A court-martial later held the Raleigh's captain, John Barry, blameless in the loss of his ship, which was taken into the British Navy under the same name (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution, 1:315–319; Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships, 6:18).
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.