Papers of John Adams, volume 3

To Samuel Osgood Jr.

From Charles Lee

From Samuel Chase, 16 November 1775 Chase, Samuel JA


From Samuel Chase, 16 November 1775 Chase, Samuel Adams, John
From Samuel Chase
Baltimore Town. Nov. 16th. 1775 My Dear Sir1

I am well assured that a Supply of Powder is arrived at Statia,2 so writes Captain Waters on 10th. October. A Dutch Vessell bound to Surrinam has contracted with a Captain of this place for twenty five Tons, if he comes for it by Xmas.

I have seen several of the principal Gentlemen here. They are wishing for the Destruction of Lord Dunmore and his fleet.3 Inclosed You receive the Terms on which two Vessells can be procured here.4 311The first I am well assured is very reasonable. The province have 15 – 6 pounders, and the Merchants here will furnish a Ton of Gunpowder for that Expedition. If either of the Vessells should be accepted, write to Robert Alexander Esqr. of this town. My Compliments to your worthy Colleagues. Yr. obedt. Servt.

S Chase

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esquire One of the Delegates of the Congress Philadelphia”; postal markings: in red ink, “2/5,” in black ink, “1N4”; stamped: “Baltimore Nov. 18”; docketed: “Mr Chase Nov 16. 1775.”


Chase probably wrote to JA in the latter's capacity as a member of the committee for fitting out armed vessels (JA's Service in the Congress, 13 Sept. – 9 Dec., Editorial Note, above).


St. Eustatius, a Dutch possession in the West Indies, was the major conduit for trade between Europe and the American colonies, particularly in arms and ammunition. This trade, which continued relatively unabated from 1774 through 1780 despite vigorous British objections, was a major reason for the declaration of war between the United Provinces and Britain on 20 Dec. 1780. The British ambassador to the Hague reported that between January and May 1776 eighteen Dutch vessels had cleared for St. Eustatius carrying arms, obviously for the American market (J. Franklin Jameson, “St. Eustatius in the American Revolution,” AHR , 8:683–708 [July 1903]).


After Gov. Dunmore had taken refuge with the British navy, he made raids on Virginia in the fall of 1775. Americans estimated the number of blacks under his command at up to one hundred ( Naval Docs. Amer. Rev. , 2:630, 994).


Not found.