[dateline] Bruxelles, Augt. 27 1780
[salute] Dr Sir
As you desire in yours of the 23. I now send you the Packet and least the English mail should be detain'd by the wind from you as it has been here I send you the contents of a letter from Mr. Stephens Secratary of the Admiralty to LLoyds Coffee House for the information of the Merchants—which is dated the 22 instant.1
Mr. Stephens says he has received a letter dated Augt. 9. from the Capt. of the Thetis Frigate who in company with the Ramillies was convoy[ing?] the West India fleet of 54 Sail with Genl. Rainsfords Regiment on [ . . . ] 25 East India Men, which informs him that in the evening of [the?] 8th in Lat: 36.40 and Longit: 15 West, they unfortunately fell in with the United fleet from Cadiz and he fear'd that almost the whole convoy had fallen into the Enemys hands. This I hope is only the begining of good News.
'Tis certain that Congress has not paid that attention to the Dutch that they merited, or that the interest of America requir'd; and it is not a little unfortunate that other powers have been treated with the same neglect, since it is more than probable that at this period, by proper management, a general acknowlegement [of our] Independence might be obtain'd, which would in a great [mea]sure remove the principal objection that the Enemy [preten]d to have against making Peace. For my own part, I cou'd [wish to] see Portugal treated as she deserves, by all the United Powers [declar]ing War upon her, when she cou'd not do us half the injury [that] she does now under the flimsy pretext of Neutrality.
Be pleased to send me, if you can procure them, the particulars of the plan, by which St. Thomas's is constituted a Free Port.
Our best Compliments attend your Sons and I have the Honor to remain with very high respect Dear Sir Your most Obliged & Obedt. Hble Servt.