Papers of John Adams, volume 16

From Arthur Lee

From Thomas Cushing

Charles Thomson to the American Commissioners, 13 August 1784 Thomson, Charles American Commissioners
Charles Thomson to the American Commissioners
Gentlemen, Philadelphia 13 Aug. 1784

In pursuance of the orders of the Comee of the States I have the honor to transmit to you the Copy of a letter signed T. Gilfillan dated London the 19 feby 1784 with the copy of an inspection roll of Negroes taken on board certain vessels at Anchor near Staten Island on the 30 Novr 1783. to be made use of in any negotiations you may have with the Court of Great Britain agreeably to the Instructions heretofore transmitted to you1

With great Respect I have the honor / to be Gentlemen your Most Obedt & m h. S.

C T.

FC (PHi:Charles Thomson Papers, Letterbook, 1784); internal address: “The honbl. J Adams B Franklin & T. Jefferson—”


This letter is essentially a paraphrase of a 22 July resolution by the Committee of the States ( JCC , 27:596). The first enclosure was a letter dated London, 19 Feb., from Thomas Gilfillan to WSS enclosing a 30 Nov. 1783 list of 286 slaves and free blacks embarked in the course of the British evacuation of New York and bound for Nova Scotia (PCC, No. 78, XXI, f. 349, 352). The second was the list itself, signed by Gilfillan and William Armstrong (same, No. 53, f. 276–295). When the list was made, Lts. Gilfillan and Armstrong were assistant deputy quartermasters general with the British Army at New York, while WSS was an aide-de-camp to George Washington (Worthington Chauncey Ford, British Officers Serving in the American Revolution, 1774–1783, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1897, p. 19, 78; Heitman, Register Continental Army ).