<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0644

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Marine Committee
Recipient: Nicholas Biddle

Sir

You are directed in the Instructions1 in
which these are inclosed to break the seal of this Letter on the 10th
day of July next. At that time we expect you will be cruizing near the
Island of Hispaniola, and that agreeable to our former Orders you will
have the Randolph Frigate in good Order and every way fit for Action.
We have it in contemplation to Strike a Stroke against the British West
India Trade that will be severely felt in the Pecuniary way, and that
will at the same time if well executed give an eclat to our Navy that
will be of infinite service to it. We propose that you shall have a
share in the execution of this plan and hope it may be a distinguished
One.

You know that the largest and most valuable fleets of Jamaica Sugar Ships
always depart from that Island about the 26th day of July under Convoy
and that they pass through the Gulph on their way to England. Our
design is to intercept this Fleet and take, sink, burn and destroy as
many of them as possible. You are therefore to repair to the Island of
Abacoa near New Providence which is the place we have appointed for the
Randevouz of such Ships & Cruizers as we may find it in our power
to order on this service and you must make it a point to be there on or
before the 25th July that being the day we shall fix for every Ship or
Vessel being at Abacoa.

When the fleet are collected at that place the Captains must compare
Commissions and the Senior is to be deemed Commodore to whom the
Inclosed Orders are addressed, every Captain in the fleet will be
furnished with a Copy and it is expected not only from the Captains but
from every Officer in the fleet that they will use their most strenuous
endeavours to effect this business in a Compleat and effectual manner
and for this purpose it will be necessary to cultivate Harmony and good
understanding with One Another. We also recommend it as a constant
Object of your Attention to encourage the seamen and Petty officers
which you take on board Prizes to enter our service and bring as many
of them as possible into America.

We doubt not you will signalize your Zeal upon this occasion and happy
shall be at a future day to congratulate you on the Accomplishment of
this enterprize.

We are sir your friends & obedt servants

Notes:

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

1 Not found, but see Marine Committee Resolutions, this date, which consist
chiefly of the instructions that were apparently enclosed.