The letter transcribed in this article was written in 1771 by Thomas Smith, possibly an agent with the London Mercantile firm of Hayley and Hopkins, to Aaron Lopez, Newport's wealthiest merchant. The letter is a scathing indictment of the performance of Captain John Newdigate during his command of one of Lopez's vessels. Smith's words pour out in angry, breathless, run-on sentences as he recounts Newdigate's mistakes, inadequacies, and immoralities in a string of resonant eighteenth century insults.
Potvin, Ronald M.
""A poor soft weak Headed puffed up foolish fellow:" The John Newdigate Controversy,"
Newport History: Vol. 68
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol68/iss236/3