A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

This note contained in document ADMS-06-11-02-0186
1. The packet Anna Theresa, bound from Falmouth to New York, sailed on 15 March. Soon thereafter a French frigate captured it and carried it into Lorient. The crew threw the mail overboard, but it failed to sink and the crew of the frigate retrieved it. The mail included numerous letters from Lord George Germain and others to officials in America. At least sixteen of the intercepted letters found their way into Franklin's hands and he enclosed them with a duplicate of his letter of 12 March to the president of Congress, which reached that body on or about 16 July (London Chronicle, 5–7 April; JCC, 20:750–751; PCC, No. 51, I, f. 777–828). Many of the letters soon appeared, some with editorial commentary attached, in American newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette (25 July; 1, 15, and 29 Aug.; 1 Sept.) and the Boston Independent Chronicle (16 and 23 Aug.).
Franklin's enclosure has not been found, but from his description it clearly was James Meyrick's letter to Benedict Arnold, dated 30 Jan., Parliament Street, London. Meyrick gave an account of his investment of £5,000 in bills of exchange drawn on Harley & Drummond that he received from Arnold. A French translation of the letter, possibly supplied by JA, appeared in the Gazette de Leyde of 20 April. For additional intercepted letters Franklin sent to JA, see his letter of 29 April, note 2, below.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.