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 CollectionFinding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009
Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy
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.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
Phillipps Mss. 10433
Correspondence from Paris on the Motions of the French Navy , William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
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.
- 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.
- United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Secret service.
Additional Descriptive Data