Papers of John Adams, volume 7

John Ross to the Commissioners

The Commissioners to Domenico Caracciolo

To Daniel McNeill, 9 October 1778 JA McNeill, Daniel


To Daniel McNeill, 9 October 1778 Adams, John McNeill, Daniel
To Daniel McNeill
Sir Passi Octr. 9. 1778

The Bearer of this Captain Richard Grinnell, is well qualified, I believe for Some Place in your ship, if you have any vacant. He has a 122Strong Inclination to take seventeen Whalemen on the Coast of Brazil.1 If you have an Inclination for so glorious an Enterprize, I am Sure you cannot engage in one, more for the Honour and Interest of your Country. In all Events, whether you can give Grinnell a Place or not, or whether you go a Whaling or not, I wish you could accommodate him with a Passage, because he is I think, honestly and zealously a Friend to his Country. I beg your Pardon, sir, for this Freedom, to which I have not the least right, and am with much Esteem your humble servant.

LbC (Adams Papers).


Following his release by the Guernsey privateers who had interrupted his return to America, Grinnell had gone to Passy and given JA and the Commissioners detailed information on the British whaling fleet, including the number of ships so engaged, the names of their captains, and the best means to attack and destroy the fleet. In addition, he and Peter Collas described the defenses of the island of Guernsey (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:320–322; see also Grinnell to the Commissioners, 9 July, vol. 6:275–277; and 15 Sept., above). The information on the whaling fleet was included in a letter to Sartine of 30 Oct. (below), and noted in various other letters by the Commissioners.