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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0160

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Date: 1778-11-28

To Arthur Lee

The Bearer, is first Lt. of the Boston—was sent by the Navy Board at Boston to S. Carolina and thence to France Commander of the Dispatch: but was taken. I think our Rule has been to lend Lts. of the { 238 } Frigate's twenty Guineas, but considering Browns unhappy Circumstances on Account of Cloaths, and knowing his long Attachment to our Cause and his uncommon Merit, I wish he could have more but have not ventured to propose it.1 Dr. F. is gone out.
RC (MH-H: Lee Papers); addressed: “Hon. Mr. Lee Rue de Battail N. 5 Chaillot”; docketed: “This was accompanied with an Order on the Banker for 20. Louis dores signd by Mr. Adams.”
1. JA's plea was successful, for on 28 Nov. the Commissioners ordered Ferdinand Grand to pay Lt. John Brown 480 livres (Commissioners' Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778- 11 Feb. 1779], above). Brown was with Capt. Hector McNeill when the Boston captured the frigate Fox in June 1777, but no mention of him in command of a vessel called the Dispatch or its capture has been found (Allen, Naval Hist. of the Amer. Revolution, 1:206).
The next day JA made a similar request of Lee (MH-H: Lee Papers) on behalf of a privateersman, Lt. John Adams of Boston, which was also successful, an order being issued on the 30th to pay Adams 240 livres (Commissioners' Accounts, [12 Nov. 1778–11 Feb. 1779], above).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0161

Author: Bondfield, John
Recipient: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Lee, Arthur
Recipient: Adams, John
Recipient: First Joint Commission at Paris
Date: 1778-11-28

John Bondfield to the Commissioners

[salute] Sirs

Tho' we are without any interesting inteligence in this or the neighbouring Ports I hold it my duty to advise you that so it is. The Merchants from their heavy Loss's are obliged to contract their concerns which unfortunately will be sensibly felt by the short Exports for the United States. Excepting three small Cutters belonging to Virginia it is three Months since any expedition went from hence.
Messr. Beaumarchais and Co. have bought a vessel of 24 Gunns that is to Sail about the 10th of next Month for Rochfort there to join the Roderique and the Drake bought by the same Company. These Vessels I am told are to be reinforced by two ships or Frigates. It will be a fine Convoy for our two Ships at Nantes if it dont too long detain as the fierre Roderique was not hove down [when?] I past Rochfort ten days ago that I much doubt if they will be at Sea of two Months.1 The inteligence of Monsr. La Motte Piquet having fallen in with a Jamaica fleet outward bound is confirmd to Us by Letters this Post from Britaigne.2 Our Privateers have not yet sent us in any Capital Prizes. The English Ships keep in Fleets that a vessel of Value is not to be met singly.
The Farmers General begin to doubt that the abundant supplies they were to receive from Spain, the Brazils, the Ulkraine and Holland of Tobacco will not make up the short Imports from Virginia and are tampering with the holders to engage all at Market before a rise take place. No capital Stock can be expected for many Months. A start in { 239 } this article very sudden may be expected which may probably engage the Merchants to renew their speculation to America.
I have the Honor [to be?] with due Respect Sirs Your most Obedient Humble Servant
[signed] John Bondfield
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble. Benj Franklin, Arthur Lee, John Adams, Esqrs. Commissionairs du Congré a Paris”; docketed: “Mr. Bonfeild”; in another hand: “J. Bondfield 28 Nov. 1778.” The removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of two or three words.
1. In a letter of 12 Dec., Beaumarchais requested that Sartine supply the Fier Roderigue with the men needed to fill out its crew and thereby permit its immediate departure. With ten merchant ships in its convoy, the Fier Roderigue apparently sailed in April 1779 and arrived off Grenada in late June or early July. There, pressed into service as part of the French fleet under Estaing that met the British under Byron on 6 July, it was heavily damaged (Louis De Loménie, Beaumarchais et son temps, 2 vols., 3d edn., Paris, 1873, 2:162–164; Laporte to JA, 4 April 1779, below).
2. It was reported that La Motte-Picquet, at sea since late October with four ships of the line and several frigates, had taken seven British ships and a frigate escorting them (London Chronicle, 14–17 Nov., 1–3 Dec.).
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, 2018.