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Van Bibber and Harrison to Maryland Council of Safety



St˙ Pierre, November 23d, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: We wrote you on the 2d instant, by Captain Conway, who sailed the 4th, with a cargo consisting of muskets, powder, woolens, linens and salt, to the amount of £3,944 19s˙ 10d˙, this currency, which we hope are all or will be soon safe in store with you. We have received your favour of the 29th ultimo by Captain Patterson, who we have supplied with sundry necessaries for his vessel, amounting to £72 18s˙ 3d˙ per receipt.

We are glad to find you were loading out some vessels for us. Our creditors are growing importunate, and unless paid off soon, will be exceedingly, clamorous and troublesome. We can with truth affirm that no men can be more desirous to serve their country than we have been and still are; and we would immediately ship to the amount of the £25,000 in such articles as we could get, was there a possibility of raising money of bills, but there is not the least chance of procuring a penny that way, Every man who has money here knows too well the advantage of sending it home in goods.

This being the case, our sole dependence must be on remittances from you, which we doubt not of your disposition to forward as quickly as possible. So soon as our old scores are rubbed out we can with more confidence and facility dip a little farther for you, though it would be greatly for your advantage to get beforehand.

Linens are in great abundance. Powder we are quite


overstocked with, and some small-arms may be bought. But we know of no brass cannon or howitzers, and woolens are yet scarce.

We have just received a parcel of goods from Bordeaux, from Mr˙ McCreary, among which are some woolens. We would willingly forward them to you by Captain Patterson, but he being lumbered and bound on a cruise, cannot take them. They shall go by the next opportunity that we like.

The Elizabeth, Captain Sangier, got safe into Charles-town, and sold your powder there with the cargo, and has since arrived here with a fine parcel of rice and indigo. It has been determined by the opinion of some merchants, that we should take an interest in the expedition in proportion to the amount of the powder, and we are in hopes of getting fourteen or fifteen hundred pounds for you if a ship arrives that was purchased and loaded with rice in part of the returns. At any rate we expect to save the capital, and you' ll please to make a blank charge of it against us until the voyage is settled.

Tobacco is raising fast in St˙ Eustatia, where several ships are loading with it for Holland, and begins to sell well here. But flour and corn are very low, and will keep down towards the spring. Such a cargo as Captain Conway brought us last, will generally answer best, especially if the quality of the tobacco was to be more large, black, and thin. We hope soon to be advised of the arrival of Martin and Conway; and are, very sincerely, sirs, your very obedient servants,


To the honourable the Council of Safety of the State of Maryland.