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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0171

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Date: 1778-12-05

John Bondfield to the Commissioners

[salute] Sirs

A french Brig belonging to La Rochelle arrived at this port the 2d Instant from Boston, he left that port the 4 November in Company with Adml. D'Estaing with all his fleet reinforced by some American Frigates. The Report circulated in Boston their intent was against Halifax, the Season was far advanct for an attempt of that nature.1 He kept company thirty Six hours, the Fleet steerd N.E., he struck off for France.
A vessel equipt by Messr. Decater freind to Monsr. Rey de Chaumont arrived at Pray.2 His procés verbal contains that he saild from Boston with the Fleet the 4th. Novr., his orders from the Admiral was to keep under his Stern, a Gale of Wind on the 7th. seperated him from the Fleet, not having any rendezvous assi[gned] he stood for France.
{ 252 }
A report prevails of Ad. Byrons leaving N York the 2 Novr with 17 Ships 100 Transports having on board 5000 Troops.3 I cannot trace the Source of this advice to bring it to a certainty.
The Boston, Providence, and Ranger Arrived safe at Boston with many prizes eight days before the Brig saild.
I have the Honor to be with due Respect Sirs Your most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble. The Commissioners from Congress Passi”; docketed: “Mr Bondfield.” in another hand: “J. Bondfield s Decr 1778.”
1. Estaing's real destination was Martinique. Here and elsewhere in this paragraph the editors have supplied periods and commas for clarity.
2. Both the friend of Chaumont and the location named by Bondfield remain unidentified.
3. On the same day that Estaing left Boston, Como. William Hotham left New York with eight ships convoying 5,000 troops under Gen. James Grant to Barbados (Mahan, Navies in the War of Amer. Independence, p. 100).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0172

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lovell, James
Date: 1778-12-06

To James Lovell

[salute] Dear sir

Yours of 12 Oct.1 We have received, by which We learn that foreign affairs were under Consideration. Mr. D. had wrote on 14 Sept.2 that they were then under Consideration. From the Time taken We have reason to Expect they will be well digested. There are great Expectations here among the interested. Mr. D and others have written in a manner which makes it expected that one will be left alone here. But what is to be done with the other two is left to conjecture. If I am recalled, I Shall have nothing to do but get home if I can. If appointed to another Court, I shall be in Some Perplexity, because I see no Probability of being received at present. However I can digest nothing, till I know the Premisses.
If the Plan of having only one here is adopted, it will be in my opinion absolutely necessary that maritime and commercial affairs should be put into other Hands, and the public Money too. The one who will be left here, is not sufficiently attentive to Business, to have So large a Field of it, nor Sufficiently parcimonious to have the Disposition of so much Money, in our <pernurious> necessitous Circumstances. This is not said from any unfriendly Motive for I have none: but it is impartial Truth, and such as the public Interest demands of me that I should tell.
The K's Speech, I have already Sent to Congress by Several opportu• { 253 } nities, you will see that he dreads the great Armaments of other Powers in the plural. He must mean Holland and Spain. You will see also that the opposition is more Strong than it ever was before, in both Houses. I will omit no opportunity of sending the other Papers, with the debates as they come, and I pray they may go safe, but immense Numbers of our Dispatches are Sunk in the Sea. I beg of you to write as often as possible to
[signed] J. A.
1. A brief letter informing the Commissioners of the congress' deliberations and enclosing newspapers (PPAmP: Franklin Papers).
2. JA meant Silas Deane's letter of 15 Sept. (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S., 1:496).
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.