Papers of John Adams, volume 6

Thomas Simpson to the Commissioners

John Paul Jones to the Commissioners

104 From Samuel Tucker, 9 May 1778 Tucker, Samuel JA From Samuel Tucker, 9 May 1778 Tucker, Samuel Adams, John
From Samuel Tucker
Sir Bourdeaux May 9th. 1778

These with my Regards to your Honour, acquainting you of my receiving your kind Epistle by the Docter1 and will engage myself to take all the Care possible of the Articles that I may receive of your Worthey friend John Brondfield Esqr. and will see them safe Delivered to Mrs. Adams, please God, I should arrive safe with my Ship after a short Cruze. Pray Sir excuse my not Writing more perticular nor frequenter, being so much troubled with one thing and another that I neglect my Duty in that Respect, but I hope to get my Ship in Readiness within two or three Days of the Time I wrote your Honour but I've been vasley detained. I've had the Misfortune to loose poor Cavey who fell over Board on the 5th Instant and was Drowned about 6 oClock in the Morning.2 I regret the loss of him very much, he became a very good and useful Officer since your departure from hence. A Ship arrived from the Coast of Guinea last Evening, which gives an Account of one of our Frigates takeing three Ships all Slaved fitt for Sea. I think it must be the Verginia Capt. Nicholson.3 I Remain sir with Respect your Most Humble Servt.

Saml Tucker

RC (Adams Papers).


The “Docter” has not been identified, but see John Bondfield to JA, 28 April, and JA to Tucker, 29 April (both above).


Samuel Tucker's log (MH-H) for 5 May states that “this Morning Peter Cavey a midshipman got over the side to were wear the Boat a Stern, taking hold of a rope which he thought was made fast but was not fell over Board, and tho all Means was used to save him was drowned.” Six days later Tucker wrote that “the Body of Mr. Cavey was found by the people on Shore and decently buried.”


This may be the same incident reported by John Bondfield in his letter to JA of 8 May (above), but the frigate was certainly not the Virginia, Capt. James Nicholson. The Virginia, built at Baltimore but forced to lay idle for a year because of the British blockade of the Chesapeake, did not sail until 30 March and was captured by the British on the following day when it ran aground (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution , 1:199, 307–308).