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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7


Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0108

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Lee, Arthur
Author: Adams, John
Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: McNeill, Daniel
Date: 1778-10-27

The Commissioners to Daniel McNeill

[salute] Sir

We received yours of the 12 Instant relative to your Prisoners. Just at the same Time, was published here the Kings Reglement, on the subject of Prizes and Prisoners, of which We inclose you a Copy. We imagined, this must have arrived with you at L'Orient, so as to make any particular order from the minister unnecessary, for We Supposed from the 7th and 15 Article, that General orders had been given to all the Ports for the Reception of Prisoners to be secured by the Kings officers, and maintained at the Charge of the United States.2 But as Mr. Moylan informs Us, in his Letter of the 213 that the Difficulty you were under by their refusing to receive them still remains, we Shall directly apply to M. de Sartine and endeavour to obtain the particular order you desire. In the mean Time We wish you to secure them carefully as an Exchange We hope is on the Point of being effected, and it is to your Honour that you will be the Means of delivering from their painfull Captivity, so many of your brave Countrymen. If the general orders are not yet arrived, and you are about to sail; you may assure the officers that if they will take Charge of the Prisoners We shall defray the Expence.
We think you are in the right in resolving to have a regular Decision about the affair of your Prize. We wish you good success in your Cruise and are &c.
{ 162 }
1. This letter was enclosed, unsealed, in a letter of the same date to James Moylan, in which the Commissioners asked him to take care of McNeill's prisoners if Schweighauser's agent, Puchelberg, would not (LbC, Adams Papers).
2. Art. 15 provided that the King would issue orders for the security and maintenance of prisoners turned over to the proper officials in French ports in accordance with Art. 7. Although the Commissioners state below that they would apply to Sartine on the matter, no letter on that subject has been found, and it was not until his letter to the Commissioners of 22 Dec. (below) that Sartine agreed to issue the necessary regulations. For the regulations, which had gone into effect on 27 Sept., see Sartine to the Commissioners, 29 July, and references there (vol. 6:334, calendar entry; Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 2:673, 685–687).
3. In his letter of 21 Oct., Moylan had reported that McNeill would be forced to free his prisoners unless some provision was made for their security and maintenance before he departed the following week. In the same letter Moylan noted the arrival of Capt. Thomas Bell from Philadelphia with dispatches (PPAmP: Franklin Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0109

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Author: Lee, Arthur
Author: Adams, John
Author: First Joint Commission at Paris
Recipient: Schweighauser, John Daniel
Date: 1778-10-27

The Commissioners to J. D. Schweighauser

[salute] Sir

We have received yours of the 27th of September,1 and approve of your Proceedings relative to the Cargo of the Therese, and if any Thing further is necessary for Us to do in that Business you will be so good as to advise Us.
We are of opinion that you should sign the Receipt to Mr. Williams, copy of which you transmitted Us, as far as the Words United States, inclusively—omitting all that follows.
If any Demands should arrise against Mr. Williams, in any of the offices or for any Articles of Reperation, which, by any Contracts he made while agent for the Commissioners, he ought to discharge, he will notify Us of it, and We shall take Care that Justice be done: But We apprehend it would not be convenient, to involve you in the Trouble of settling such Demands.
As to the Request of the Directeur <of> des Ferms, you are desired to give him, and send to Us, an Account of the Quantity of Tobacco delivered him: and leave the Price, which is settled by the Contract. However We desire you to let Us know the Customary Price of Tobacco at Markett at the Time when this was delivered.
Mr. Bondfield and Mr. Haywood, have made Us an offer of a Vessell upon Freight to America.2 We refer his Proposals to you and if you find his Proposals reasonable, you will please to contract with him for the freight of such Quantity of Effects belonging to the United States, as are now in Mr. Williams Hands or your own. You will first however receive them from Mr. Williams.
{ 163 }
1. Almost certainly an inadvertance, for this letter is a reply to Schweighauser's of 26 Sept. (above).
2. No letter containing such an offer from John Bondfield or William Haywood has been found, perhaps because the Commissioners enclosed it in this letter, but see Bondfield to the Commissioners, 12 Nov. (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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/