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To: H-OIEAHC <H-OIEAHC@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org X-MIME-Autoconverted: from 8bit to quoted-printable by mx.wmich.edu id h14HmKCW028959 X-Accept-Language: en-us, en Delivered-to: H-OIEAHC@H-NET.MSU.EDU User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.0.2) Gecko/20021120 Netscape/7.01 X-Authentication-Info: Submitted using SMTP AUTH at out001.verizon.net from [188.8.131.52] at Tue, 4 Feb 2003 11:47:51 -0600 Original-recipient: rfc822;email@example.com From Don Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org 1) I did some checking in the reference "Letters of Delegates to Congress: 1774-1789" and found some information which corrects/amplifies my January 30 reply to JL Bell. In particular, it appears that 100,000 was the rough number of arms shipped to America throughout the entire war and the deliveries to Portsmouth in early 1777 were only about 18,000 muskets. While arms were delivered directly to Philadelphia in 1776, the presence of British warships in Delaware Bay led to sizable arms shipments being delivered to mid-Atlantic inlets (Egg Harbor, Sinepuxent) in 1777 and transhipped to Philadelphia. Also, a French frigate "Resolve" delivered US envoy John Laurens into Boston in Sept 3, 1781 with 16,800 arms and 2.5 million livres in specie Note that my citations to the Letters will be of the form X-YYY where X is the volume number and YYY is the page. 2) In 1775, lack of gunpowder, vice lack of muskets, seemed to be the primary concern, although more muskets were certainly needed. Later on, in 1776, lack of woolen clothing for Continental troops seems to become the priority. A Sept 21, 1776 letter from the Secret Committee of Congress says "We are worse off for woolen clothing for our army than any other matter" (vol 5-p214). (Note: "Letters" mentions a tour of Pennsylvania arms manufacturers (See Index --Arms) but report from tour is cited as being in another document.) 3) In 1775-1776, the Secret Committee of Congress made 10 contracts with US merchants in Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Charleston,etc for voyages to acquire gunpowder, arms and other military stores from Europe. Typical contract was for 20 tons of gunpowder, 1000 stand of arms(muskets w/ bayonets?), 2000 "double bridled gunlocks", 20 ton of lead , and 1000 bolts of "Russian duck" (wool cloth?). Standard clause was that saltpetre/sulfur in 100/15 mix could substitute for gunpowder. (The third ingredient, charcoal, was easily made in the US) The order for 2-3 gunlocks for every musket indicates that the Colonies had some capability to make muskets. (Volume 2, pages 254,417,446,497, 512, 522. Volume 3, page 211. Volume 25, p. 563, 564 ) Note that exports from the US required the approval of Congress -- that Congress had put a freeze on most exports (3-331). Note also that merchants trying to buy stores in Europe in 1776 were asked by the authorities "Are you empowered by Congress?". (4-595) 4) It's not clear how many of those contracts were fulfilled--although some did arrive in the US --see below. The problem was that Britain "has spies in all ports of Europe" and her ambassadors protested strongly to France and Spain whenever an American merchant tried to buy supplies. (Letter of Feb 13, 1776 , 3-246. ) While wanting to help the US, France and Spain were not yet willing to provoke a war with Britain. Thus, in 1776, the Secret Committee's instructions to secret agent Silas Deane noted that purchases of arms and gunpowder in Europe via normal commerce had been blocked by Britain. At that time, the Committee noted a need for clothing and arms for 25,000 troops, associated ammunition, and 100 fieldpieces ( 6 lb cannon). 5) The solution was a secret alliance between France/Spain and the US --including arms smuggling. The king's agent, Caron Beaumarchais (who had lobbied the King strongly on America's behalf) set up a trading company , Roderigue Hortalez et Cie, in order to conceal arms shipments to the West Indies (Martinique, St Eustatia, Cape Francois,etc. Beaumarchais was financed by 1 million livres from the French King and 1 million livres from Spain. In the West Indies, armed American warships picked up the arms and carried them to North America. <<My interpretation: his passage was not very roundabout from a sailing viewpoint -- strong Trade Winds from North Africa to the Caribbean allowed swift passage, the strong Gulf Stream carried the American vessels swiftly north, and the doldrums of calm air around 40 deg latitude separated shipping to the West Indies from British warships following the Westerlies winds from Great Britain to Newfoundland/Massachusetts. There were British warships in the West Indies, but the French/Spanish/Dutch legitimate trade masked the arms shipments partially. A letter from the Marine Committee to US Captain Nicholas Biddle in 1777 noted that British warships stationed in the West Indies for any period of time tended to be poorly manned -- the reason wasn't stated (desertion? losses to fevers?). I have seen a reference to France's ally, Spain, shipping arms to New Orleans and up the Mississippi/Ohio Rivers but I saw no mention of that in the Letters >> When Secret Committee received word of the French/Spanish covert alliance in October 1, 1776, they resolved not to tell Congress because Congress can't keep a secret (5-272). By March 31, 1777 John Adams was blabbing about the secret alliance in a letter to James Warren (6-512) but mistakes 2 million livre gift for 3 million. (sigh) British warships started attacking French shipping around Martinique after the French declaration of war in 1777 but the neutral Dutch island of St Eustatia remained unmolested although the British learned early on of the smuggling there. I was curious why --I think the answer is on page 81 of Paul Kennedy's "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" -- King George borrowed heavily from Dutch bankers to wage war in North America at the same time that the Dutch were serving as cutouts for Roderigue Hortalez et Cie shipments from the French King's Arsenal. When the Dutch cut off George's line of credit in 1780 and sided with the US/France/Spain, Admiral Rodney of the British Navy fell on St Eustatia in 1781 and stole everything not nailed down. Fortunately, while Rodney was looting St Eustatia, the French Navy under De Grasse slipped northward and closed the trap on Cornwallis at Yorktown. The huge arms shipments from the West Indies in 1777 were essential to the American cause however. Unfortunately, Beaumarchais extended Congress about 2.3 million livres credit in 1777 and Congress refused to pay the debt with agreed upon shipments of tobacco. (Beaumarchais died in poverty, Congress eventually settled with his heirs for 800,000 livres about 55 years later (eq. to 300,000 livres in 1777 terms. The fact that our country was founded on massive deceit by Congress --against the very man who helped convince the French King to give us crucial aid --doesn't show up in our children's history books but the sordid tale is here: http://www.americanrevolution.org/fr5.html . See also 5-272, 8-439, 9-222 , 10-3 in the Letters. Beaumarchais may have disrupted some lucrative business deals set up by members of Congress like Robert Morris -- in a Feb 16 1776 letter to the Maryland Council of Safety, Robert Alexander indicates that he's on the Secret Committee and that the public is being plundered by those in the arms import business (3-246?) 6) Arms deliveries to America reported in the Letters are as follows: a) Jan 8, 1776: Philadelphia- 4 ships. Ship 1- 1 ton gunpowder. Ship 2 - 1 ton gunpowder (GP) Ship 3 -6 tons GP Ship 4 -60 ton saltpetre Ships 1-3 from West Indies, Ship 4 from France. (3-57 ) b) Feb 4, 1776: Egg Harbour, New Jersey (about 35 miles up coast from entrance to Delaware Bay at Cape May, 100? miles south of Philadelphia). 15 tons gunpowder(GP), 60 ton saltpetre (SP), 1300 arms (from King of France shipped via merchants of Holland) c) Feb 4, 1776: Egg Harbour, New Jersey: 18 tons GP (from West Indies) (3-195) d) Feb 15, 1776: Egg Harbour, New Jersey : 5 ton GP Note: Egg Harbour deliveries moved across New Jersey to Philadelphia (3-190) e) Feb 11, 1776: 4 ships in Philadelphia: 57 ton SP - 60 ton Sp, 15 ton GP, 1300 arms --20 ton GP, 500 arms --30ton SP, 2.5 ton GP (3-233) f) March 3, 1776, Philadelphia: 27.5 ton gunpowder(GP), 300 arms (from Holland) (3-325) g) Aug 1, 1776, Chester port at Philadelphia: 1000 arms, 10 Ton GP, 40 ton lead ; from Marseilles (4-595) h) Aug 19, 1776, Egg Harbor,NJ: 600 arms, 10 ton GP from west indies (5-25) i) Sept 12, 1776, Philadelphia: "Reprisal" from Martinique; 2 ton GP, 450 arms (5-145) j) Jan 2, 1777, Baltimore; 500 arms, 7.5 ton lead, 8 ton GP (6-20) Note: In Oct 18, 1776 Secret Committee orders following ships to West Indies to pick up arms from Hortalez: Andrew Doria (St Eustatia), Lexington (Cape Francois), Sachem (Martinico). (5-351) Similar orders to Captain Nicholas Biddle in Feb 1777. Port of entry on US coast left to discretion of captain (similar discretionary direction cited in several other orders ) (6-223, 6-291, 6-556 ) k) March 22, 1777, Philadelphia: Vessel from France, 11,000 arms (6800 public, 4200 private), 1500 gunlocks, . Secret committee to purchase private arms (6-478,6-484) l) March 31, 1777, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 12,000 arms, 50 ton GP. 5000 of arms to be given to Massachusetts Bay Colony Council (6-513, 6-519) March 31, 1777, Baltimore,MD: 2100 gunlocks and 31 tons of gunpowder (6-693 ) m) May 4,1777: Portsmouth, NH: French vessel "Amphitrite" with 53 4lb cannon, 6000 muskets(7-26, 7-307) n) May 12, 1777, Sinepuxent Inlet (Maryland Eastern Shore, about 35 miles south of Delaware Bay entrance): 3500 arms from Nantes Inlet used because several British ships are in Delaware Bay . (7-71, 7-85, 7-91, 7-102) o) July 7, 1777, Dartmouth: Privateer "Gamecock" delivered 6000 arms sometime earlier , according to John Adams (7-307) July 5, 1777: Congress replaces Secret Committee with new Committee of Commerce--members of Secret Committee have not submitted final accounts a year later. (7-194) July 2 1777: British Ambassador Lord Stormont in France reports that "Amphitrite" and "Mercury" delivered 30,000 arms to Portsmouth NH and Boston? in April (Naval Documents of the American Revolution) but 7 July 1777 letter by John Adams says 18000 arms were delivered to Portsmouth (7-307) June 20, 1777: Robert Morris (of Secret Committee) letter to William Bingham (US agent in St Eustatia?) indicates that muskets need to be sent to inlets on the coast <<e.g., like Egg Harbor>> and that shipments have little chance of delivery if sent directly to Philadelphia (due to British ships in Delaware Bay cited above??) (7-237) Jul 31, 1777: Samuel Chase letter indicates 35,000 arms imported to US within previous 6 months (7-398) August 19,1771: George Frost letter indicates that American commissioners have purchased 80,000 muskets (80,000 muskets also mentioned in letter in Naval Documents of American Revolution --see "Ordinance" in index) (7-510) p) Aug 25, 1777, Charlestown, SC: 500 arms delivered (7-553) Dec 2, 1777: Congress's Committee of Foreign Affairs letter to US Commissioners in Paris indicates that only the port of Charleston in South Carolina and ports east of Rhode Island are safe (8-367) r) Dec 20, 1777, Portsmouth NH: 48 4lb cannon and 19 9-inch mortars (8-445) s) March5 1778: Committee Report on claims of Hortalez (Beaumarchais) acknowledges that the greatest part of the military supplies from France have been delivered to US agents <possibly agents managing warehouses in West Indies ? --not clear> (9-222) t) 3 May 1778, Boston and Portsmouth: fleet from France delivers clothes, amno, stores (no arms mentioned) --escorted by French warship (40 guns) (9-703) Feb 1, 1779: Foreign Affairs Committee indicates that 30,000 arms and 200 cannon were imported in 1777 from King of France's Magazine and that King donated 2 million livres (10-3) Jul 10, 1779: Congress begs King of France for military supplies and money (13-187) u) 11 Aug 1779: Carter in Williamsburg asks Congress what is to be done with 3700 muskets newly delivered from Nantes, France. (13-359) Dec 12, 1780: John Paul Jones ordered to sail "Ariel" from France and deliver stocks/locks/barrels for 20,000 muskets along with 100 tons of saltpeter and 20,000 suits of clothes (not clear if this occurred and where in US the shipment went) (16-435) v) Aug 25, 1781: French frigate "Resolve" and two transports arrive in Boston with US envoy John Laurens, 2.5 million livres in specie, and 16,800 arms plus other military stores. (18-5, 18-12) 7) Little information in "Naval Documents of the American Revolution". Nothing found in "Secret Journals of the Acts and Proceedings of Congress". "Journals of the Continental Congress" might have more info but not checked.