Front Page Titles (by Subject) EXTRACTS OF A LETTER FROM BOURDEAUX, DATED MARCH THE 30TH, TO WM. CARMICHAEL, ESQ. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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EXTRACTS OF A LETTER FROM BOURDEAUX, DATED MARCH THE 30TH, TO WM. CARMICHAEL, ESQ. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 1 (1763-1781).
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EXTRACTS OF A LETTER FROM BOURDEAUX, DATED MARCH THE 30TH, TO WM. CARMICHAEL, ESQ.
“I arrived here the 28th inst. in the Buckskins, Johns, from Baltimore, which place I left the latter end of December, but the ship having been frozen up in the Patuxent for near two months we did not leave that river till the latter end of February, and finally got to sea the 2d inst. The winter proved the severest known in America, far exceeding that of the year 1740. At Philadelphia the cold was two degrees greater than ever remembered. The snows were so great and the cold so intense as to prevent travelling in almost any manner. This calamity added to the circumstance of a Commissary General’s being either displaced or having resigned, and leaving the magazines very poorly furnished, reduced our army to very hard straights. They were ten days without bread, and in a letter which I saw from a member of Congress were these words: ‘Our army was four days on half a herring and a gill of rice a man per day.’ Our Assembly, viz, that of Maryland was sitting. The President received a letter from his Excellency, General Washington, informing him of the State of the army, and urging a speedy supply of provisions. They immediately made an Act authorizing the Executive power to seize on all stores and provisions they could find any where in the State, which was accordingly put in execution, and large supplies of all sorts were quickly collected and forwarded to camp, where as great plenty reigned before we came away as could be wished for.
“A fleet of 166 sail of transports &c, left Sandy Hook the 24th of December with 6000 troops on board, some say Genl. Clinton also, and thence conjectured that they were destined for Carolina. However that might be, it was impossible for them to keep our coast for many days, a dreadful hurricane which continued fifteen days without interruption having begun on the 1st of the year. There was no account of them the 20th of February when my last letter came from thence.
“The North Carolina and Virginia troops marched to the Southward, as also Baylor’s Light Dragoons. I understood that the army at Head Quarters1 consisted of ten battalions each of 1500 men; the times of many of the Virginia and Maryland troops had just expired but I heard with much pleasure that they were re-enlisting with alacrity. No enterprise of any note had been attempted by either army.
“Our trade is of late become securer than it hath been during the war. Philadelphia, you know, hath some privateers out, and their Letters of Marque and those from Baltimore going out always in small fleets, are not only able to resist, but to overcome any thing that they have met with of late in those seas. Eleven sail came out of Baltimore when we did. They mounted about 120 guns and carried near 2000 hogsheads of tobacco.
“We had accounts that the Spaniards had taken Pensacola and were advancing towards St. Augustine.”
[1 ]Reference is made here to the Morristown, N. J., encampment, winter of 1779-80, when the sufferings of the troops were more intense than at Valley Forge in 1777-78. The following extract from a letter to Jay from Kitty Livingston, his sister-in-law, dated, Phila., Dec. 26, ’79, gives interesting details: