<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0222

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Marine Committee
Recipient: John Bradford

Sir

Your Letters of the 21 December & 17th January to the Marine
Committee1 are with me and I have great
pleasure in acknowledging on behalf of that Committee your Zeal and
attention to the Public business. The tiding contained in those Letters
was very acceptable and I was particularly pleased with Captain Jones’s
success. By this Express I send him orders for an other
Cruize,2 but by an expression in one of
your Letters I imagine he or you have wrote to the Committee and
proposed altering the Ship Alfred, that Letter must have passed through
here without coming to my hands and the Committee have said nothing to
me about it. Should they give any Orders that contradict mine let them
be obeyed but if nothing contradictory, Captain Jones will abide by
what I have wrote him. I have observed that you frequently did propose
discharging those Vessels that were fitted out as Cruizers by General
Washington and the Committee were always of your opinion but some how
or other in the multiplicity of business and in their late confusion
they omitted to give you orders. Now Sir, as I know it was their desire
to have those Vessels paid off and dismissed the service I will venture
to authorize your doing it and shall send the Committee a Copy of this
Letter which you may deem a proper authority: But as I have mentioned
in another Letter your employing one of those Vessels to carry the
dispatches to France, you must either keep that one in pay or buy her,
which I should much prefer, and if any of the rest of them are good
Vessels, suitable for Cruizers I should think it best to buy them and
continue them in the service, especially as I suppose some of the
Commanders and Officers have merit to deserve a continuance in the
service: but I am utterly against continuing them on hire and so I
think are all the Committee. You may inform Mr. Turnbull that altho the
Congress wish by all means to procure the Public Stores on the most
reasonable terms possible, yet they cannot desire to injure One part of
the Public service for the sake of another, and that the Honest Tars
ought to have fair play in the sales of their Prizes. We don’t wish to
take any advantages of them but would chuse he would guard against
monopolizers, Forestallers and combinations of that kind. If you can
persuade Commodore Hopkins to give up his Guns you may, but I dont
think the Committee will order it as there has already been some
altercation on that subject.

On Behalf of the Marine Committee I am,
sir, Your Obed servant,

Robert Morris V.P.

Notes:

Letter book, Marine Committee Letter Book, Marine Committee Miscellaneous
Papers, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,
Washington, D.C.

1 An extract of Bradford’s December 21 letter is in Morgan, Naval Documents,
7:539.

2 See Marine Committee to John Paul Jones, February 5, 1777.