Papers of John Adams, volume 6

Louis Sonies, père et fils, to Gaillard Malibran & Cie.

From Silas Deane

From John Bondfield, 6 April 1778 Bondfield, John JA From John Bondfield, 6 April 1778 Bondfield, John Adams, John
From John Bondfield
Sir Bordeaux 6 April 1778

Tho I write by this Post to the Commissioners1 I cannot Omit paying my perticular respects to you signifying my hopes of your Safe Arrival and that all publick Matters are so favorably situated as your most Sanguin wishes could expect to meet them. Four Vessels having drop down the River on their way to the United States I have given advise by them to the secret Committee of Congress of your Arrival and a perticular Letter by each to your Brother the Honble. Saml Adams at Boston.2

Captain Tuckers sole attention is given to get the ship in order 10that on the first Notice from the Commissioners she may be ready for Sea. I shall expect to receive in a Post or two the nessessary Instructions for her Victualing all which shall be prepared in such order as not to retard a Moment the Publick Measures.

I shall esteem the Honor of your Correspondence distinct from that in the Publick line and shall endeavour to render mine as Interesting as private or Publick Inteligences may admit with respect I am Sr. Your most Obedient Servant

John Bondfield3

RC (Adams Papers).


Not printed here, but see Bondfield's letter to the Commissioners of 18 April, note 1 (below). He had also written to the Commissioners on 4 April (PPAmP: Franklin Papers) to announce JA's arrival.


Although Bondfield reports sending letters by four ships bound for America, only one set has been found, that in the Public Record Office (H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 473). Communications to the editors from H. C. Johnson and A. Dawson of this office on 7 Feb. 1964 and 15 Dec. 1978 indicate that these letters, addressed to Richard Henry Lee, Capt. James Prince, George Clymer, Samuel Adams, Henry Laurens, the Secret Committee of Congress, and the Committee of Safety, shared the same fate as JA's letter to the president of the congress of 1 April (above): capture from the Vidame de Chalons by the British privateer Vulture. Bondfield's letter to Samuel Adams, describing JA's reception at Bordeaux, is printed in Adams Family Correspondence , 3:10–11, note 1.


John Bondfield, originally a Quebec merchant, was forced to flee Canada with his brother Achlam because of “an open avowal of the American measures” (Bondfield to Richard Henry Lee, 28 March, P.R.O.: H.C. Adm. 32, Prize Papers, bundle 473; K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783, Shannon and Dublin, 1972–, 13:94). Going first to the United States, where JA met him, Bondfield later established himself in Bordeaux as a merchant engaging in the American trade. In a letter of 30 March, which the Commissioners acknowledged on 13 April, Bondfield had accepted appointment as the American commercial agent for Bordeaux, Bayonne, Rochefort, and La Rochelle (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 4:35, 51–52; Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. , 1:384). JA, who had a high opinion of Bondfield, corresponded frequently with him through 1792.