Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy , 1780

Hubert S. Smith Naval Collection

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009

Summary Information
Title: Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1780
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This item is a bound collection of espionage correspondence from Paris, 1780, that describes the locations and numbers of French and Spanish ships in Gibraltar, New York, Canada, and the West Indies.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1969. M-1491.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Provenance:

Phillipps Mss. 10433

Preferred Citation:

Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy , William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


History

This volume was created by a British spy stationed in Paris in 1780. The author had access to important French naval reports and communications through informants in Brest, Madrid, and Cadiz. The intelligence may have been collected for Lord Stormont, who had spies placed in a number of French ports at this time. The title page of this volume is labeled "Jackson Papers.”


Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume is a bound collection of espionage correspondence from Paris, 1780. The 37 reports (65 pages) describe the locations and numbers of French and Spanish ships in Gibraltar, New York, Canada, and the West Indies. Many entries discuss the number of troops stationed at various ports, the conditions of the crew ("They are badly manned and sickly, especially the Spanish who also find it difficult to recruit their navy" p.40), and the outcomes of engagements ("The French had suffered greatly, most of the ship's masts being damaged...100 men have been killed and at least 1,200 wounded" (p.47). The author often provides logistical information such as lists of ships and crew sizes, as well as the names of the ships' captains.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Brest (France)
    • Cádiz (Spain)
    • France--History, Naval--18th century.
    • Intelligence service--Great Britain.
    • Madrid (Spain)
    • Navy-yards and naval stations, French.
    • Paris (France)
    • Spain--History, Naval--18th century.
    • Spies.
    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Secret service.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (Correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy ,  1780 [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library owns additional items related to the French Navy in the late 18th century, including: