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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 13


Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0077

Author: Gannan, B., & Zoon (business)
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-26

From B. Gannan & Zoon

[salute] Sir

Desirous and ambitious of rendering ourselves usefull and agreeable in any mode, tending to for cause, which our best wishes has ever acompanied; we beg leave with due submission, to inform your Excellency, that we are now fitting out here, under Imperial colours for Philadelphia, a Cutter, known for one of the fastest sailing Vessells built in England, burthen 280. tons, mounting 18. guns and sixty odd men, to be ready for sea in the course of some days: should she prove agreeable to your Excellency for the purpose of conveying dispatches, goods or other effects, we will pledge ourselves for the principles of the captain in whom every trust may be confided.
{ 132 }
Our name as residents at Dunkirk, is well known at Versailles in the Bureau of marine, equally so to many american Gentlemen, among them, Mr. Nisbett1 of L'orient, who was lately in these parts.
This same vessell came lately from Philadelphia to this port in seventeen days fully loaded with tobacco, shipp'd by Messrs. Saml. Inglis & Co. of former place. The captain is born English and naturalised Imperial; many of his men are also British, but burghers of this country, they were all very favourably receiv'd, at Philadelphia still the captain seems to intimate a wish of possessing a protection from the ministers of the united states (in Europe) as a guarantee to his safety at his arrival, lest as himself and major of his crew, born Englishmen, should be conducive to some obstacle or trouble.
Under this consideration, we crave your Excellency's support, and request that it would be so favourable as to ordain any such protection to this vessel, as your Excellency shall judge necessary2—she is call'd the Maarstrand, capt. henry Cook.
We have a quantity of prize goods, such as lead, tin, Iron &c. bought at Dunkirk, we make no doubt that the same tho' English manufactory or make, may be imported into america free and without dangers; any advices, your Excellency will be gracious enough to give us thereon, we will most gratifully acknowledge.
We have the honor to he with profound respect & much at yr command, Sir, Your most Humble & obedient Servants
[signed] B Gannan & Zoon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Messs. B. Gannan & Son 26th. June 1782.”
1. The banker Jonathan Nesbitt, who dined with JA in May 1779 and JQA in May 1785 (vol. 6:31; JA, D&A, 2:370; JQA, Diary, 1:271).
2. No reply by JA to this letter has been found, and there is no indication that he provided the requested protection or used the Marstrand to carry dispatches to the United States. The firm had written a very similar letter to Benjamin Franklin on 25 June, to which Franklin did not respond (Franklin, Papers, 37:37).

Docno: ADMS-06-13-02-0078

Author: Chapman, Richard
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-06-27

From Richard Chapman

[salute] Sir

I hope you will pardon the Liberty I have taken of Adressing my Self to you but haveing waited on Mr: Barttly1 Expecting Some Assistance from him, he Informd me it was not in his Line but that your Excellency was the only person to Apply too.
These lines will Inform your Excellency that I was Mate of a Con• { 133 } tinental Packet Call'd the Active Commanded by John Hodge Esqr: from Philadelphia Bound to the Havannah with Dispathes we Saild from the Capes of Dilaware the 10th: of March last and was Unfortunately taken the 25th: by the Proserpine Frigate the Brigg with the Capt: was Ordred to Jamiaca myself with the people was Brought home to Spit Head from which place I Soon made my Escape and by the Help of Friends at Portsmouth and London I have Safe Arrived here but have been Under the Docter's hands good part of the time I have been here till within this ten or twelve days. So that I hope your Excellency will Consider my Situation and Afford me as much Asistence as your Excellency may Judge Nessesery as I am determind to git home as Soon as poserble as I Belong to the Service and Have near five months wages due at Eighteen Dollars [per] month I Should take it as a great Favour if it is poserble, for it to be paid to me here, as it would be of Infinite Service to me at present; as I am Intirely Destitute of Cloths and Every other Nessesery I Shall want when I Come to go to Sea. Relying on your Excellency's Goodness I am with the Greatest Submission your Excellency's most Obet: Humbl: Servt:
[signed] Richard Chapman
NB Your Excellency will be So Kind as to Answer the Above as it will not lay in my power to See him personly If Nessesery till I Receive Some Asitstance.2
At Mrss' Mc:Graves Worm Street.
1. Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul to France, was in Amsterdam attending to the disposition of the goods left there by Alexander Gillon in 1781. See Barclay's letter of 28 June, below.
2. Chapman's account of the capture of the Active is accurate (Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships), but nothing further is known of him beyond what is in this letter. JA replied on 1 July (LbC, Adams Papers), congratulating Chapman on his escape but noting that he was not authorized to pay him his wages. JA, however, proposed to lend him eight ducats—about four pounds—for which he was to sign a note payable to Congress.
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/