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Letter from Josiah Bartlett to John Langdon



Philadelphia, August 5, 1776.

SIR: Since my last, a vessel, fitted out by the Secret Committee, has arrived here from Marseilles, in France, which place she left the 8th of June. She has brought, for the use of the American States, one thousand good muskets, about ten tons of powder, and about forty tons of lead, &c. A small privateer from this city, called the Congress, has taken a vessel bound from the West Indies to Halifax, and sent her safe into port; besides a cargo of West India goods,


there was found on board her one thousand and seventy-eight joes, six hundred and seventy-two guineas, and some other gold coin. Captain Barry, in the Lexington, one of the Continental vessels, has taken and sent in here a privateer of six carriage-guns, commanded by another of those infamous Goodriches, of Virginia. Captain Wickes, in the Reprisal, another Continental vessel, has taken and sent in a sloop bound from the West Indies to Liverpool; he has also taken a ship from Grenada to London, which is not yet arrived — both loaded with West India goods.

Since the Declaration of Independence, your friend John Alsop has written to the Convention of New York to resign his seat in Congress, and made some reflections on the Convention for their agreeing so unanimously to that Declaration. The Convention, in return, voted cheerfully and unanimously to accept of his resignation, with some severe and cutting reflections on him for his conduct; which were all sent to Congress. I believe his boarding with our friend Wharton has been no advantage to him; possibly, he was obliged to resign his seat as a previous condition to his taking full possession of the lady.

As I had no letter from you last post, (for I look on the cover to Colonel Whipple' s letters to be nothing,) I hope you will consider this as bringing you one letter in debt, or at least that it be put to my credit, to make up former deficiencies; which will be but justice to your most obedient,

P˙ S˙ August 6. — Yesterday arrived here two prizes, taken by Captain Wickes — one, the ship before mentioned, having on board, it is said, five hundred hogsheads of sugar, the other a brig, bound from the West Indies to Ireland, taken since the ship and sloop; the particulars other cargo I have not heard. This is the best way of supplying ourselves with necessaries, since Britain will not suffer us to procure them by trade; and I expect another year we shall be well supplied this way.

Yours, &c˙,
J˙ B.