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Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29. 1779
At sea, off the coast of Bolougne France. On the 17th instant the Dutch admiral at Texel sent one of his officers on board the Alliance to inform Captain Jones that we must depart the roadstead immediately, to which Captain Jones politely refused since the British were still waiting for us just off the bar. Yesterday, with fair winds that had pushed the British off their station we made for sea. The Dutch sent boats to assist us in getting over the bar. Soon after getting over the bar we saw the two British ships bearing down on us, but then they stood off, but continue to follow us as we cruise down the channel between France and England.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16. 1779
Today moderate breezes and fair weather. Yesterday we sent the last of our prisoners on board of the Serapis. Several of our people have died in the past week. We are ready to make for sea as soon as the wind comes about fair.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 3. 1779
Squally weather with fresh gales which is much of what we have had for these past two weeks. Captain Jones has the crew making many changes to the rigging of the Alliance. Today the carpenters are busy at reducing the cross tack yard and the mizzen top sail yard. He also complains that Captain Landy left him a foul ship and many of the crew are employed at continual cleaning. We are told that we should be prepared to put to sea at any moment as the Dutch are harassing us to leave. There is much grumbling from the crew as to our conditions, many have little clothing fit to wear. Mr. Blodgett our purser paid each of us 1 ducat last week, but we have no opportunity to spend it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22. 1779
Today is thick rainy weather. Some of the prisoners who had been kept on shore and our marines who had been guarding them came on board today as well as a few remaining Americans from the Serapis.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21. 1779
Captain Jones was off at Amsterdam and returned during the evening three nights ago. He immediately ordered the crews of the Serapis and Alliance to begin moving gear and stores out of the Serapis into the Alliance. Accordingly we worked until midnight that night and all through the past two days employing Dutch boats to assist us in this move. Today all of the Serapis’ American crew came aboard Alliance with Captain Jones taking command of Alliance from Lt. Degge. Captain Cottineau took possession of the Serapis while another French captain took possession of the Countess of Scarborough with French flags flying at the mast of each today. We understand the haste to make this move came by way of intelligence gained by Captain Jones while at Amsterdam from the French Ambassador that the Dutch who are neutral but not wanting to offend the British were planning to seize our prizes and hand them over to the British. We must find room for all of the former Poor Richards and now we have two sets of officers. This will not be a happy ship.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

November 9. 1779
We continue to lay here at Texel. These past few days we have had dirty, thick weather. Yesterday our cutter was sent on shore from the Serapis carrying the Dutch carpenters. Three of our men deserted when they got on shore. Another two deserted today. We have all been busy for the past couple of weeks, one day ordered to get the Serapis jury mainmast out and a new mainmast in, and the next day the order countermanded to get the jury mast back in again. Our men are quite sickly, some of them near death.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23, 1779
It has come to our attention that the crew of the BonHomme Richard is much maligning Cap. Landy and the crew of the Alliance for our performance during the recent cruise. We have therefore decided to present our case to Dr. Franklin in a letter that was sent today. Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Spencer, volunteers on board the Alliance penned the letter, of which I make a true copy here.

On board the Alliance, Texel, Oct. 23, 1779 . May it please you Excellency, To hear the humble representation and petition of the Mariners and Marines on board the Continental ship Alliance.

Honored S I R,
We have been surprised with the information that our honored commander, Peter Landais, Esq; has been impeached of cowardice to your Excellency, relative to his conduct on the 23d day of September last.— We would beg your Excellency’s indulgeance while we humbly represent, that we conceive it don’t become us to enter into the particulars of his conduct, yet we would wish to say, the said Peter Landais, Esq; behaved through the whole of that day, and especially in the time of the action with his Britanic Majesty’s ships the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, with the utmost magnanimity, prudence, and vigilence of a wise and resolute commander, and that he took all the possible methods in so calm a time, and in the night, to distress the enemy, and to help our friend.

Therefore we flatter ourselves and trust, that upon an impartial investigation of his conduct, these things will appear so plain to your Excellency as to remove all the dishonourable aspersions of the malignant.

We would further beg your Excellency’s clemency while we say we humbly conceive almost all of us have long since fulfilled our obligations to the said ship Alliance, and we look upon it a great hardship that we are detained in a foreign country on board the said ship, and should think it an addition to our present uneasiness to have a new commander appointed over us.— We would humbly pray your Excellency to consider our long absence from our distressed country and families, many of us by a tedious confinement in a British prison; and if it should appear consistent with your Excellency’s duty, and the interest of our country, that you should order us home, where, we humbly conceive, our suffering country may receive much greater service from your Excellency’s and our country’s devoted humble servants.

Paul Noyes, James Bouird, Jacob Nutter, John Macey, Nathaniel Warner, William Cunningham, Daniel, Bumstock, Ebenezer Edward, James Porter, Charles Forbes, John Kelly, John Rick, James Dickinson, Ebenezer Brown, John Smith, Robert Embleton, Henry Wrightington, Alexander Anguish, Samuel Ball, Charles M. Chastney, John Forester, Joseph Mazary, Thomas Watch, John Springs, James Poor, Daniel Jackson, Joseph Shillaber, Joseph Blawt, Joseph Sticker, John Simpson, Thomas Lewis, Elias Hastine, Joseph Frederick, James Colliton, John Keily, James Young, John Leek, James Mozan, Charles Howard, Arthur Bennet, Michael Baptist, Joseph Still, George Fenwick, William Veil, William Bocks, Benjamin Youlin, Richard Owen, Thomas Bailey, William Shackford, Nichola Wordbury, George Allen, Robert Calder, John Mayne, John Thomas, Alexander Taylor, Samuel Gerchall, Samuel Dale, John Begram, John Dimond, John Orr, John Pare, Arthur Bennet, William Stoaper, Nathan Porter, Thomas Mitony.

We, whose names are here written, do attest this a true copy.

Nathaniel Ingraham, John Spencer.
P.S. We, whose names are above, can attest, from the common conversation on board the ship, that the foregoing sentiments expressed, are the sentiments of all in our rank on board, but the shortness of the time, the business of the ship, many sick, and many on board Captain Jones, is the only reasons why more have not affixed their names.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 19. 1779
Moderate weather today. Captain Jones returned yesterday from Amsterdam. We hear from our officers today that he is working to convince them to sign a document accusing Captain Landy of poor conduct during the recent engagement with the Serapis. Captain Landais is off to Helder and then on to Paris to meet with Dr. Franklin to defend himself. Lt. Degge is in command of the Alliance in Cap. Landy’s absence.

We hear that the Dutch are unhappy with our ships flying the American flag and bringing in two British prizes as the Dutch do not wish to anger the British since they are not at war. When we first arrived, Captain Jones had sent word to the Dutch admiral commanding this harbor to ask for permission to enter. He was refused once, but received permission upon the second request which was urgently made when the British warships currently hovering of the Texel bar first made their appearance on the 4th instant.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14. 1779
While the crew was eating this afternoon a number of the Serapis’ crew and 3 of the Alliances deserted by way of a Dutch boat that was along side. The deserters were pursued and most eventually surrendered. Some attempted to swim across a channel to the main where several of them drowned while the others have since disappeared. Those deserting the Alliance were William Packer, David Pritchard (an Englishman), and James Fearam.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

October 8. 1779
We are now at anchor at Texel Holland with the rest of our squadron. A British ship of War and 3 frigates are now waiting of the Texel bar, arriving shortly after the rest of our squadron got over the bar and into the roadstead on the 4th instant. These past several days our crew has been busy at refitting the ship. 15 of our men are on board the Serapis to assist in repairing her. There is grumbling among the crew today as several dutch boats brought out fresh vegetables to the Pallas, Countess of Scarborough, Vengeance and Serapis but passed the Alliance by. Cap. Landy has gone ashore to visit the agent responsible for providing necessaries for our ships. We are hearing rumors that the Poor Richard’s crew complain that we purposely fired into their ship during the recent engagement and that they now have hard feelings towards the Alliance and Cap. Landy.

Friday, October 03, 2008

October 3. 1779
This day we raised the coast of Holland. A pilot came aboard and we stood in towards Texel, but the wind being contrary we are forced to anchor this evening. The rest of the squadron was forced to stand back out to sea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29. 1779
We have spent the past two days jury rigging the main mast of Serapis with many of our people aboard her to assist.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 27. 1779
On the evening of the 24th instant our squadron engaged and took the British fifth rate Serapis, 44 guns, Captain Peirson and Countess of Scarborough, 20 guns, Captain Piercy. There were many dead and wounded on both sides including several of our friends from the Piscataqua region who were aboard the Poor Richard. After Alliance and Pallas engaged with the Countess of Scarborough she eventually struck to the Pallas. The Serapis struck to the Poor Richard at about 10PM after 2 hours of battle and after receiving three broadsides from Alliance. I fear that our broadsides took as heavy a toll on the Poor Richard as it did on the Serapis as they were locked together at the time. Captain Landy ordered us to fire despite warning to him that we were raking the Richard too. Both Poor Richard and Serapis were heavily damaged and on fire.

After the battle Mr. Bragg, our carpenter went on board Poor Richard with a number of men to extinguish the fires and repair her many leaks. We took 150 prisoners out of the Serapis while Mr. Buckley, Mr. Lynd and 40 men went to man her and Alliance took her in tow. In the morning we came up with the Poor Richard, Pallas, Vengeance and Countess of Scarborough and Captain Jones came on board of the Serapis. In the evening he returned to the Richard and finding her leaks steadily increasing ordered all of the wounded who were the only ones left aboard her to be moved to other ships. Our boats along with those of the other ships worked through the night to get the men and necessary things out of her. At 11 AM of the 26th instant the Poor Richard sank from the damage she received during the battle.

Today, Mr. Lynd came back on the Alliance, having been on Serapis since the 27th instant. He told of ill treatment given by Captain Jones to himself and others of the Alliance crew after trying but failing to get them to impeach Captain Landy’s character. He said that some of the Alliance’s crew were flogged on this account. Cap. Landy sent Mr. Robertson on board the Serapis desiring to bring back the remainder of our people since we have only 115 men to guard 226 prisoners in total from our earlier prizes plus our recent additions. Captain Jones refused this request. We are now making our way to Holland.

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22. 1779
We saw a ship early this morning to which we gave chase. After a while we perceived her to be the Pallas and we each showed our private signals. We chased a brig into Burlington harbor while Pallas chased another but we were forced to give over the chase as we were entering the shoals. At 6PM we spoke Pallas and she informed us that she separated from the Poor Richard three days prior.

Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19. 1779
Today there has been a light breeze and some rain. These past few days we have been cruising off Flamborough Head on the northeast coast of England with none of our consorts to be seen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12. 1779
Yesterday we chased a large war ship but lost her at night. Today we took a brig loaded with coal bound from Hamborough to Newcastle. A prize crew was put on her and she was sent to Bergen Norway.

Monday, September 08, 2008

September 8. 1779
All night we have weathered a strong gale. Our cutwater parted at the stem with its bolts letting go. Last night Pallas and Poor Richard were to leeward and we were all laying to when Cap Landy ordered the weather main braces hauled on board and we steered a course to the SW until 10AM this morning. The other ships are no longer in sight. There was a dispute between Cap. Landy and the officers, they wanting to tack the ship and regain the squadron but he not allowing it.

The day before yesterday we started to make preparations for a landing at Shetland, with Cap. Landy giving orders to our carpenter James Bragg to get the boats ready. We had our cables bent ready for anchoring. Cap. Landy also gave orders to Cap. Parke to prepare 40 marines and landsman but in the end we did not make the landing. Cap. Landy said he waited for final orders from Cap. Jones to go in, but they did not come.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

September 4. 1779
Today we passed Fair Island on the north of Scotland in a fresh breeze of wind with haze. At 11AM we spoke the Poor Richard and Cap. Jones ordered us to cruise for prizes and meet with the squadron tomorrow to the NE of Fair Island where we will find the Pallas and Poor Richard waiting. At 3AM we spied a sail and took her. She proved to be a sloop in ballast bound from Leith to Shetland.

Two days past, Cap. Landy sent Mr. White as Master of the Union prize and Mr. Fitzgerald as master of the Betsy prize and we took all prisoners on board the Alliance. Yesterday morning Cap. Cottineau of the Pallas agreed to take on board some of the 100 prisoners which we had below decks of Alliance. Our crew is greatly reduced with the manning of our prizes and we hear the prisoners grumbling and threatening to take master of the Alliance should they get the chance. The prizes have had trouble keeping up with the squadron and about noon yesterday we lost sight of them both.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 31. 1779
At 3AM we gave chase to two sails and at about 8AM we saw that they were the Poor Richard and Vengeance. We made our signal to them and then proceeded to chase another sail to windward. At about noon the prize struck her colors. I went with a crew of 30 men under Lt. Buckley to man the prize which proved to be the Letter of Marque Union coming from London for Quebec, laden with military supplies for the British in America. She mounted 22 nine pounders. At mid afternoon we saw the Poor Richard make signal for the Alliance to chase another sail to windward but Alliance did not respond. All afternoon the sea continued to rise making it difficult to bring off the prisoners, 55 in all who were drunk and threatened mutiny. After nearly being swamped some of us returned to the Alliance in her cutter after taking some of the English prisoners to the Poor Richard. Mr. Buckley was forced to remain on the prize with some of the other people.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30. 1779
Last night we took a large prize, the Letter of Marque Betsy, John Fisher captain, 500 tons, 22 nine pounders, from Liverpool bound for Antigua loaded with cargo. We gave chase starting at half past midnight. When we got into her wake Cap. Landy ordered her to strike but instead we came under musket fire from her. She tried to come about to give us a broadside but Alliance raked her stern twice destroying much of her rigging at which point she struck her colors. It took until six AM before she was repaired and ready to sail. We took off her crew aboard the Alliance and they are under guard below decks. Our Masters Mate Thomas Fitzgerald was put on board of her as prize master along with several of our people. Mr. Fitzgerald was told to follow Alliance as best he could and if separated make his way to Bergen Norway or Dunkirk. We still have not seen the rest of our squadron these past three days but we continue to the northeast off the west coast of Scotland. We aim for Cape Wrath where is set a meeting place for our squadron.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August 27. 1779
Earlier today we continued waiting off the Irish coast to see if we could recover Cutting Lunt and his boat crew but a gale was brewing to the south and bearing down on us therefore the Poor Richard made signal this afternoon to prepare to get underway. Many of his former mates took it hard. At half past seven the Poor Richard made signal to stand to the NNW. The Richard led the way, followed by Vengeance, Pallas and then Alliance. The Richard fired a gun every quarter of an hour and we were able to make out her top lights until about midnight when Lt. Buckley reported to Cap. Landy that none of our squadron was in sight because of the heavy weather. At 3AM while I had the wheel, Cap. Landy ordered our course to be altered 2 points to the north as he explained the compass pointed falsely in this region of the coast of Ireland.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 26. 1779
We spoke the Poor Richard today and she reported that neither Master Lunt’s boat nor the Cerf have been seen all day. Guns were fired throughout the day but to no effect. The prize taken by the Poor Richard’s boats the day before yesterday proved to be the brigantine Fortune bound from Newfoundland to Bristol laden with blubber oil and staves.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 25. 1779
Last evening about 10PM we heard the Poor Richard fire a gun but she made no signal and this morning at 8AM we saw the Cerf Cutter set all sail towards the Irish Coast. Today we hear that as Poor Richard drifted towards shore last evening she sent out her barge to tow her around. About 10PM the people on the barge, several of them being British, cut the tow line and made for shore to escape. Cutting Lunt, the Richard’s master and some men set out after them in the jolly boat and have not since returned, it being foggy. The Poor Richard has been firing guns throughout the day to recall her boat and the Cerf. This we hear from Captain Landy after his being on board the Richard again today to confer with Cap. Jones.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 24. 1779
At 11AM we saw a sail to the NNW and made signal to the squadron and then set all sails to make chase. As we passed the Poor Richard at about 1PM she made signal for us to drop behind her and accordingly we did so. At 3PM it became calm and our ships could make no way. The Poor Richard’s boats were sent after the chase which was about 5 miles ahead and have yet to return. In the later afternoon the Poor Richard made signal for all captains to go on board of her.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 23. 1779
Pleasant weather at meridian. At 1AM the Pallas appeared on our weather beam after being out of site of the squadron. The Poor Richard who was ahead of us fired three shots at Pallas perhaps thinking her to be an enemy vessel. The Richard tacked about but without signals that we could discern putting her on a tack contrary to ours. Soon she almost came aboard of us. Cap. Landy ordered mainsail haul putting our sails on the masts and the Richard put her helm hard alee so that she passed safely by. It was reported that Lt. Degge who was on our forecastle at the time swore up and down at the poor seamanship of the Poor Richard. At 8AM we raised the Irish coast.

Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22. 1779
This day we have fresh breezes with rough sea. This morning our squadron was in chase of a large ship with Poor Richard leading the way followed by the Vengeance. When the Poor Richard was closing with the chase a small brig nearby struck her colors. She proved to be the Irish Mayflower, Thomas Moloney master, bound from Limerick to London laden with butter and salt provisions. The Poor Richard and the rest of the squadron hove to so that the prize could be manned. Our people complained and grumbled when they saw that the Poor Richard took off potatoes and other provisions thinking that they did not get their share.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21. 1779
Moderate breezes and hazy at meridian. In the morning we spied 5 sails to the SE. The Poor Richard made signal for us to chase. At noon we were still about nine miles distant. The Poor Richard made a signal at about 2PM which we could not make out due to the haze. We kept up the chase until about 4PM when she made a lee lurch. We did the same with Captain Landy telling us that he was trying to get the chase to turn on us. Instead she went close to the wind again and we could not gain on her. At 9PM we wore ship and returned to squadron and spoke the Poor Richard telling them the chase appeared to be an East Indiaman or a war ship of 50 guns.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 19. 1779
Today the Monsieur gave chase to a sail to westward but later gave over the chase. At 5PM we saw another sail and Monsieur gave chase bringing her back at 6PM. She proved to be the Dutch Brig Verwagting which had been taken as a prize 8 days before by the British brig Eagle from Liverpool. She was laden with brandy and wine, bound from Barcelona to Dunkirk. At 7PM we all hove to.

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 18. 1779
Fine weather today at meridian. At 1PM we saw 2 sail on the lee bow and the Poor Richard made signal for the Cerf to chase with Alliance to assist her. At 10PM spoke the Poor Richard who ordered us to our station. Spoke the Poor Richard and again at 9AM.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 16. 1779
We have pleasant weather this day sailing S. 60 degrees West at meridian. In the afternoon the Poor Richard sent her small boat for to carry Cap. Landy on board to confer with Cap. Jones. At 3AM we set our topgallant sails with a fine breeze. In the morning the Monsieur gave chase to a sail in the NW quarter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

August 14, 1779
For the past several days we have been making preparations to make a cruise. It is said that we will sail to the west of Ireland, around the Orkney Islands and across the North Sea taking any prizes that we find and sending them in to Dunkirk, Ostend or Bergen, ending our cruise at Texel. Accordingly, this morning at 4AM all hands were called and we got underway in company with the Poor Richard, the Pallas, the Vengeance, the cutter Cerf, the Monsieur and the brig Granville. At 6AM we saw a fleet in our south east quarter consisting of 42 sail. Poor Richard made a signal to heave about and stand to the northward. At 10AM our little fleet hove about and stood to the southward. At half past 11 Commodore Jones made a signal to form a line at meridian. The Cerf spoke the convoy of the fleet that had been in sight all morning and found them to be French bound from Nantes to Brest.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

August 9. 1779
Yesterday the harbor pilot came on board and with fair wind Alliance got underway at 9AM and came to under Isle Groix at 1PM. Today the Poor Richard followed and came to anchor nearby us at 4PM. Soon after anchoring Cutting Lunt went on shore with several men to bury a boy that fell from a yardarm onto the Poor Richard’s deck right at the feet of Cap. Jones.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

August 7. 1779
We loosed our sails to dry after a couple days of thick weather. Captain Landy has ordered us to make preparations for sailing tomorrow morning. Yesterday Cutting Lunt and the Poor Richard Gunner returned from Nantes with 29 new recruits for the Richard.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

August 3. 1779
People employed at sundry small jobs. Loosed our sails to dry today. This morning Robert Towers was given 100 lashes with a cat-o-ninetails on the Poor Richard gangway as part of his punishment after being found guilty at court martial for inciting mutiny and being the ring leader for taking the Poor Richard to England. He still must face 150 more lashes to complete his punishment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July 30. 1779
4 men were flogged on the Poor Richard this morning – John Atwood for desertion, Elisha Johnson, John Williams Quartermaster for disobedience and John Rosseau for theft.

Monday, July 28, 2008

July 28. 1779
Breeze with drizzle. The Three Friends brig that we brought in as a prize during our cruise sank about 11AM in the forenoon at her anchor in the roadstead. We have been busy getting off as much of her cargo as possible this day. The prizemaster tells us that ship was dry and the pumps worked at 9AM.

The court martial continued on the Poor Richard but Lt. Robison was on shore sick and therefore the court began trying those charged with mutiny. Cutting Lunt, now the Poor Richard Master went to Nantes with some others to recruit American prisoners that were just released from Forton prison and carried to France by a cartel just as we were.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 27. 1779
The court martial continued today and adjourned at half past 1 when most of the officers came back on board. We sent the long boat to Herring Creek to bring on board water. Rainy during the later part of the day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

July 26. 1779
Pleasant weather. A court martial is called to examine the conduct of Lt. Robison, first Lt. of the Poor Richard for running on board the Alliance during the evening of June 19th. Cap. Landy, Lt. Degge, Lt. Warren, Cap. Parke of the Marines, all went on board the Poor Richard this morning to sit on the court.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 24. 1779
Fresh breezes, Wind WNW. We continue to get provisions in the hole. Yesterday the Poor Richard mustered 62 people and sent them on shore to prison. Yesterday the Pallas arrived at Port Louis from Groix Isle.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22. 1779
Rainy with fresh breezes. Our anchor did not hold in the wind and the Alliance ran afoul of the Poor Richard carrying away her ensign staff with little damage to the Alliance.

77 of the Poor Richard’s people were sent on shore by Captain Jones as being untrustworthy; men mainly from the old country, quarrelsome and rebellious. Three others were confined to the Black Apartment for conspiring to raise up a mutiny and carry the Richard to England with Cap. Jones as prisoner.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21. 1779
Cloudy with NW wind and some rain. Alliance dropped down out of port today after cleaning the ship’s hull and finishing most of the carpentry work. We dropped anchor near the Poor Richard.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 19. 1779
Hazy weather. Two of our officers were taken on board the Poor Richard and confined; James Hogan – Midshipman and Thomas Fitzgerald – Master’s Mate for willfully disobeying Lt. Degge. People employed at stowing provisions in the hole and getting up rigging on the mizzenmast

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 13. 1779
Hot weather. Our people are employed at refitting the Alliance to repair the damage done when the Poor Richard came on board her during our recent cruise. Richard Sowards, midshipman on the Poor Richard, a Kittery man that I have known for years and who served with me at Kittery Point deserted the Richard on the 9th instant. Several others deserted the Richard on the 11th instant while on liberty ashore with the launch.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

July 8. 1779
Pleasant weather. Yesterday we brought the Alliance into port and the people all busy careening her since her bottom was foul.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 5. 1779
Strong squalls and winds such as to drive us on shore. The Alliance canted over on her starboard beam. Cap. Landy was on shore and when he returned he ordered us to strike the topmasts and to shore up the ship with yards, booms and topgallantmasts. The Poor Richard sent on board some people to provide us assistance and others brought out a cable and anchor to carry us out on the high tide.

This afternoon the Poor Richard entertained some fine people from L’Orient with music and dining and another pair of 13 gun salutes to celebrate out independence. This evening we hear that four of the Poor Richard’s men made for shore in the Richard’s boat which had been tied to the hulk.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

July 3. 1779
Rainy and sticky weather with fresh breezes. The American ships in port were all dressed and fired 13 gun salutes to celebrate our American independence. Many of us are certainly in better circumstances than a year ago when we had to celebrate inside Mill Prison. We also began to get on board stores to repair our rigging.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 2. 1779
We came to under Groix Island this morning along with our prize. We found the Poor Richard and Vengeance Brig already there. The Pallas came in a couple of hours later. Captain Landy went on board the Poor Richard to see Captain Jones. The Richard raised her anchor at 11 and we all got under way into L’Orient. After much tacking of ship we came to our moorings in the late afternoon.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 29. 1779
Clear with fresh breezes. Continued cruising in company with the Pallas and our prize. Sighted several sail on the weather bow but could not come up with them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 28. 1779
Today, fell in with the Irish brig Three Friends, Edward Roach master, bound for Dublin from Bordeaux, carrying wine and brandy. Cap. Landy ordered her to come to and examined her papers. Finding that she carried old English and French papers, but no American passport we will take her in to L’Orient.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26. 1779
Squalls and variable winds early, clearing at meridian. By late evening seeing no signal we lost sight of the Poor Richard and Vengeance in hazy weather. We continued to sail in company with the Pallas throughout the night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24. 1779
Today begins with a fine breeze and clear weather. Our squadron continues cruising on a course generally to the NW. Otherwise, nothing remarkable.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22. 1779
Clear weather and fresh breezes. Three sails seen on the weather bow bearing SE by E. We spoke the Richard and she ordered all of us to make chase. Our ships took the starboard tack under full sail with the 3 sails taking the same tack. The Alliance sailing better than the rest of our squadron closed to within three miles of the unknown sails. We determined the unknown sails to be French. At dusk the Poor Richard put up a signal to rally and we bore away to join her at 8PM.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 21. 1779
Clear weather with a fresh breeze. The vessels under our convoy went in to Rochefort and to Bourdeaux. In the morning we also spoke a Dutch galliot coming from Rochefort. We set our topgallantsails and staysails and we all stood to the westward to make a cruise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20. 1779
At midnight while wearing ship the Poor Richard ran afoul of us, coming on board carrying away our mizzen mast, and larboard quarter rail, driver boom, and mizzen chain plate. The Poor Richard sprung her jib boom, lost her spritsail yard, and starboard cathead.

I was below deck sleeping at the time when we were all called to quarters. Our officers thought that the British sailors on board Poor Richard had got master of her and were coming to board the Alliance. Mr. Buckley got permission from Cap. Landy to hoist up the foretopsail and jibb. Cap. Landy ran down the larboard gangway to the cabin to get his pistols, the companionway being covered by pieces of the mizzen mast. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew armed ourselves as best we could since the arms chest was locked. Shortly afterwards we found that our fears were not true. There was great confusion on the deck of both ships and a number of the people were ordered to cut away the rigging to get us clear. The Alliance was rigged up and reduced to a Snow but sailed quite well.

The Richard spoke us at 8AM. At 10AM we gave chase to a sail bearing SW. The chase proved to be a Dutchman carrying brandy bound for Holland. In the afternoon Cap. Landy went aboard the Poor Richard by the cutter to confer with Cap. Jones.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19. 1779
Fair weather, wind ENE. At 6AM the Poor Richard hoisted a signal and fired a gun to make sail and we got under way in company with the Poor Richard, Pallas, Vengance, Cerf, Revenge and a number of merchant men under our convoy bound for Rochfert and Bordeaux. Course SSE. At meridian Belle Isle bore east of us. At 7PM we all hove to with Isle Dieu bearing SE by E, under three topsails settled on caps with main and mizzen topsails backed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18. 1779
Moderate weather. At 10AM Alliance arrived back under Groix and anchored near the Poor Richard and Pallas. During our short cruise we saw several cruisers to the northwest of Groix which we suspect to be British privateers. As we came in we spoke the Betsy in company with four other American sail and four French standing to the southward who all got underway this morning bound for America and which were well clear of Groix headland and into the offing by meridian. We hear that the Monsieur privateer arrived before us with three British prizes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17.1779
Moderate weather. Received orders to sail today. Got under way at 3PM in company with the Poor Richard, Sensible, Betsy, Cerf, Pallas and other merchantmen. Passed Point Lima about 6 PM. Alliance in company with the Cerf cutter continued to cruise leaving the Poor Richard, and other ships to anchor under Isle Groix about half past 11PM.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 16. 1779
The day started with a light breeze but turned variable at meridian. A Court Martial was convened aboard the Poor Richard today in consequence of mutiny by Moses Merrrill and several others. Merrill is one of our Dolton crew hailing from Newburyport. He and the others were each given 24 lashes and then brought off by the launch to be committed to prison.

Captain Boardman took his leave of us and Lt. Hill also moved his gear aboard the Betsy Schooner and Lt. Adams his gear aboard the Sensible Frigate which will also carry Mr. John Adams. We hear that Mr. Degge will now be first Lieutenant. We are to sail on a cruise tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 15. 1779
Moderate weather. Being fair today, we loosed our sails to dry out. Capt. Boardman leaves the Alliance tomorrow to make his passage to America on the schooner Betsy, Capt. Barrett. I am sending a letter to my family by way of him.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 13. 1779
Moderate weather. Several men very sick on shore and one of the negroes has the smallpox. The Captains and lieutenants of all American ships ordered on shore to wait on His Excellency. Afterwards the Court of Honor was convened again on board Alliance. Being Sunday we had a sermon and prayers from Mr. Watkins in the afternoon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12. 1779
Fresh breezes. Received on board the gentlemen for the Court of Honor, these include Mr. Amiel, Robison and Dale from the Poor Richard. We hear the primary dispute arises from Lt. Hill repeating an insulting comment from a French gentleman and former acquaintance of our captain at Brest who claimed Capt. Landy was a rascal and no more than a peasant and was surprised to learn the Americans would allow him to command a ship. Lts. Hill and Adams are determined to be off the Alliance and petition the Court to allow them to be gone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11. 1779
Fresh breezes and rain. Received on board today a number of gentlemen from shore and ships officers for a Great Court, or Court of Honor, to hear the dispute between our officers and Capt. Landy. The court is presided over by Lt. Robison of the Poor Richard. They sat in court all day from 10AM to 5PM.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 10. 1779
Fresh breezes and squally. Today is a Great Day in L’Orient town and the Papists conducted a parade of priests with images of Christ and the Virgin Mary. This they call the Grand Passion. Mr. Watkins and several other gentleman went on shore to observe the procession. Watkins came back telling that he would not bow down to Baal and was abused for it by having his hat knocked off his head three times by the crowd.

Monday, June 09, 2008

June 9. 1779
Very windy and squally. One of the Poor Richard’s crew was caught attempting to desert when the Alliance barge pulled alongside the Richard. He covered himself with a mattress in the bow of the barge. Lts. Hill and Adams came on board for dinner today.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

June 7. 1779
Rain, winds WNW. Captain Jones came aboard this morning at 8AM to meet with Lieutenants Hill and Adams to resolve a dispute. He has been here most of the day. Mr. John Adams has sent much of his baggage on board the Sensible as he plans to make his passage to America on her.

Yesterday we made preparations for sailing in the forenoon and had a sermon and prayers by Mr. Watkins in the afternoon. Another of our crew also departed this life yesterday. The Poor Richard entertained some guests after dinner yesterday and in their honor manned the yards and fired 14 guns.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

June 5. 1779
Pleasant weather, moderate breezes. Loosed the top sails this morning at 8AM then reefed them at 10:30. Prayers at 10AM. Boats are not allowed ashore without an officer for fear for desertion. Also, their must always be a lieutenant, masters mate and midshipman on deck per Cap. Landy’s orders. We hear that we are to sail on Monday.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 4. 1779
Pleasant weather. Wind ENE. Swayed up the topgallantyards this morning and then had prayers at 10AM. Again this day we exercised the great guns.

Monday, June 02, 2008

June 2. 1779
Pleasant weather, Wind ENE. Prayers this morning. Topmast, topgallantmast and topgallant yards got down and athwart. Called all hands to quarters and exercised the great guns and small arms. 5 American ships now at L’Orient waiting to sail for America. Some people down with measles and others with the fowl sickness.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June 1. 1779
Pleasant weather, fresh breezes. Busy at sending down the foretopmast to replace it with a new one.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31. 1779
Fresh breezes, cloudy. Mr. Watkins led us in prayer at 10AM this morning and we also had a sermon, followed by singing and prayer yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Goodmarten departed this life today but was not allowed to be buried in the church yard as he did not accept the Roman sacrament. Instead he was taken out of town to be buried.

For the first time since I have joined Alliance all hands were called to quarters to exercise the great guns, only rolling them in and out. Mr. Dale returned from Brest with the Poor Richard’s cutter.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27. 1779
Rainy weather. One of our crew departed this life today. Samuel Stacey of Kittery, originally on the Dolton has gone as Master on the Poor Richard. Joshua Casual, also one of our original Dolton crew from Kittery and now mid-shipman on the Poor Richard, took the Richard’s pinnace on shore where two of her crew have deserted
May 27. 1779
Rainy weather. One of our crew departed this life today. Samuel Stacey of Kittery, originally on the Dolton has gone as Master on the Poor Richard. Joshua Casual, also one of our original Dolton crew from Kittery and now mid-shipman on the Poor Richard, took the Richard’s pinnace on shore where two of her crew have deserted

Monday, May 26, 2008

May 26. 1779
Fair weather but very hot. While on the quarterdeck today I heard Lt. Adams, our 2nd lieut. Complaining of a dispute he has had with Capt. Landy and he stated he will leave the ship. I do not know what the dispute is about.

Henry Lunt returned to the Poor Richard today having recruited more mariners for their crew.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25. 1779
Mr. Dale took the cutter and several men from the Poor Richard bound for Brest to find more recruits.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24. 1779
Warm weather. The crew is employed at sundry jobs about ship, some in the rigging, others in the hold and others bringing on board various stores. A Quartermaster was broke and flogged six lashes for theft and a marine was flogged six lashes for sleeping at his post by the magazine. Several of the gentlemen toured the other ships moored here including the Sensible, the Pallas another French Frigate, and the Poor Richard.

Yesterday Mr. Watkins gave a sermon in the afternoon. We received 2100 weight of Junk from the Poor Richard.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22. 1779
Moderate breezes and clear. Mr. Lane ordered forward for duty before the mast for striking one of the people. This afternoon Cap. Landy had several French visitors on board to view the ship.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20. 1779
Pleasant weather with fresh breezes from W. We got on board 20 barrels of beef from the Poor Richard. Yesterday we got on board bread, water and wood.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 18. 1779
Cloudy and windy today. Yesterday we moved our mooring to allow room for the Sensible Frigate. She is now moored almost atop of us. Our carpenters are employed at building out bread rooms in the Ward Room. Several more men have come down with the fever which has also struck the Sensible and the Poor Richard. The Poor Richard this day got on board her gun carriages, 6 eighteen pounders, and 26 twelve pounders.

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16. 1779
Fair weather early, rain late in the day. We continue to get stores on board and to refit the rigging. The Richard got some of her sails bent.

Robert Embleton told me more about their recent voyage from Boston to France. She sailed on the 14th of January carrying the Marquis de la Fayette. The ship was shorthanded leaving Boston and many of the crew were from the old country. They, numbering about 80, plotted to take the ship soon after sailing, killing most of the officers and carrying the ship and la Fayette to England for ransom. Their plot was delayed since Alliance unexpectedly sailed in company with another ship and then heavy weather forced another delay. When the conspirators were finally ready to carry out their mutiny they were overheard by the Master’s Mate who informed Captain Landy of the plot. The captain, officers, loyal crew, the Marquis and his company put down their rebellion and many of the number were put in irons and carried to France as prisoners. This has left the ship even more shorthanded than when she left Boston, even with those of us new recruits from Mill Prison.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15. 1779
Pleasant weather. The French frigate Sensible arrived here bound for Philadelphia. Cap. Boardman and several other American gentlemen who are uncommitted to a cruise on the Alliance or Bonhomme Richard immediately inquired of her captain as to obtaining passage by her to America but were disappointed to find that his instructions did not allow it.

There is some on going dispute amongst the officers of our ship and between them and our captain. I inquired of Robert Embleton, one of our other quartermasters who sailed with Alliance from Boston, as to the nature of this dispute. He told me that the officers have been at odds with Captain Landy since the time of their fitting out at Salisbury feeling that he ill used them. The officers also dislike Mr. Blodgett, ship’s purser, since the Captain shows favoritism to him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14. 1779
Pleasant weather. More of the ship’s people have taken ill. Mr. Adams stayed on board sick with a cold but had several visitors today. We have begun to take on supplies. The Richard was able to hang her rudder and to rove some of her running rigging.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13. 1779
5 men carried on shore who are sick, including Cap. Stacy. Cap. Landy, Mr. Adams and son, a number of the officers and volunteers went on shore to dine with Capt. Jones this evening. Afterwards Cap. Jones came on board Alliance to view the ship. The people on the Richard tried to hang their new rudder today but were prevented doing so by the location of the hulk's mooring.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12. 1779
We got underway at 10AM with a new pilot on board and stood for L’Orient passing close to Fort Louis on our starboard side as we entered the harbor. We moored the ship near Captain Jones’ Bonhomme Richard, so called we are told in honor of Dr. Franklin. Captain Landy, Mr. Adams and his son visited the Richard. Mr. Dale and Henry Lunt came aboard and dined with the Captain this evening.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11. 1779
Light wind continues from the west. We passed Belle Isle at 11AM. At 5PM we came to under Isle Groix in 15 fathoms with soft bottom and sucky. Captain Landy immediately set out for L’Orient in the barge and returned again at 10PM. Mr. Blodgett, the purser, served out clothing and shoes to the sailors and marines.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10. 1779
The pilot came back on board and we began unmooring the Alliance at 6AM, waited for the flood to make and finally got underway at 9AM with pleasant weather and the breeze at E by S. We are in company with another ship also bound for L’Orient. The pilot left us at 11AM at St. Nazaire and we picked up a coasting pilot. In the afternoon the wind shifted to the west and we sailed close hauled to the wind trying to round Belle Isle to the south. I was at my watch on the quarterdeck when there seemed to be some confusion between the pilot, Captain Landy and our sailing master Mr. Larchar as we changed course to run between Belle Isle and some large rocks in the channel between the island and the main. Mr. Larchar and the pilot could not converse in the same language and we came close to losing the ship on the rocks upon which the pilot displayed a fit of anger, stamping his feet on the quarterdeck and yelling in French. Then, we changed course again to round Belle Isle to the windward as we had previously attempted. We were forced to beat off and on Belle Isle all night because of the head wind.

Friday, May 09, 2008

May 9. 1779
Wind continues out of the west. The pilot has come on board from St. Nazare. We are ready to sail but he says it is too dangerous and we must wait for the wind to come around.

Rev. Watkins gave a sermon this afternoon upon the quarter deck which is the first I have heard in over 2 years. He also said a prayer for America, and her allies. The sermon was well attended including Captain Landy, Mr. Adams and his son and by most of the crew.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

May 8. 1779
Wind continues in the west. Lt. Hill busy quartering the new crew members and today we received clothing and bread from Nantz. We prepare to sail as soon as possible. We shall attempt to recruit more men when we arrive at L'Orient as we are still very short handed.

We hear that originally we were to convoy ships to America but it is not necessary now as they have all sailed and it was thought better to allow us to make a cruise before returning to America.

A pilot boat from Baltimore, Capt. Benj. Jones arrived today bringing news from America. He told us that there are 3000 British troops in New York, 2200 in Rhode Island and 4000 in Georgia. He also reported that money is short and a sailor only earns 80 dollars a month.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May 6. 1779
Captain Landy requested that some of us new crew members and volunteers should wait upon him today in his cabin. He questioned me about my experience as mariner and has rated me Quartermaster as the ship is short one. He announced to us that contrary to our earlier understanding that the French authorities and Dr. Franklin desire the Alliance to make a cruise in company with Captain Jones. He promises that we shall be rich in prize money by the time we are able to return to America. We shall soon make our way to L’Orient to join with Captain Jones. This night there shall be quarter watches aboard ship.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May 1. 1779
Mr. Adams in company with Captain Boardman set off for Nantes this forenoon.

I am employed at fitting out the ship.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30. 1779
This morning two Alliance boats came to Paimboeuf to gather up those who have entered their names on the Alliance. Lt. Degge had charge of my boat of 14 and Mr. Ellingwood had charge of the other boat of 30. We made our way down the Loire 2 miles south of St. Lazare where the Alliance is moored in 4 fathoms.

Captain Landy was too busy to see us today, but we were assigned our watches and places to hang our hammocks by Lt. Hill. I saw Mr. Adams on deck soon after I embarked on the ship. There is some rumor running about the ship that we shall make a cruise with Captain Jones rather than make our way immediately to America. If this should be true it will be a sore trial.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28.1779
Today Mr. Odair paid to each of us who have decided upon entering on the Alliance 16 livres. With our bonus money paid before this tallies to a full month’s pay of 40 livres. We expect to remove to the Alliance soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 24. 1779
I hear that Mr. Adams has embarked on the Alliance and will make his passage to America with us after serving as a Commissioner to France with Dr. Franklin.

Four boats from the Alliance arrived here yesterday morning with 93 British prisoners who have now embarked upon the Milford Cartel which still lays here. Captain Boardman was among the officers overseeing the prisoners. He told me they set off from the Alliance on the 22nd instant but were forced to spend the night on shore due to strong winds. Fresh gales continue today from Sw.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20. 1779
Today a French sloop of war arrived which had traveled in company with the Alliance from Brest

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19. 1779
Today I traveled down to St. Lazare with 24 others to visit the Continental Ship Alliance. Alliance, 36 gun frigate, Captain Landy, is a fine looking ship and we are told the best sailor in the American navy. Her 36 guns consist of 28 12 pounders and 8 nine pounders. She is 36 feet across the beam, 178 feet stem to stern and 910 tons.

To my surprise I find Captain Boardman here on the Alliance. Like Mr. Dale, after Boardman escaped Mill Prison he made his way here to France and is now planning to make his way home to America possibly serving as an officer on Alliance.

Captain Boardman tells me that Captain Landy comes from France but offered his services to the American Congress and was given command of Alliance. She departed Boston in January carrying Mr. Lafayette, and arrived in Brest in February. As we all know it is near impossible to fill out a ship’s crew properly and so it was with the Alliance. She was forced to sail with many old country men as crew. Part way through her passage about 40 mutineers attempted to take the ship but they were discovered by the master’s mate overhearing their planning before the plot was carried out and so were put in irons for the remainder of the voyage. The Alliance is now very shorthanded with but 150 crew. She also carries 90 English prisoners from Brest ready for exchange for us.

After her long passage from America she needs some refitting but will soon be preparing to carry munitions and supplies back to the American army.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17. 1779
I have taken work along with several others on the Pallas, a French Frigate, Captain Cottineau.

3 days past about 40 men, including the Lunt cousins and several of our Piscataqua friends, set off to L’Orient to join Captain Jones.

We hear the Alliance frigate has arrived today at St. Lazare some miles down the Loire River.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April 6. 1779
After learning what allowance for rations we shall receive we find it will be little better than those had at Mill Prison. We all begin looking about to see if there is work for hire while we wait for a ship. The likelihood of finding a job seems remote as business if very bad here due to the war. There is very little trade going on and many mechantmen laid up idle here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

April 5. 1779
Today we dropped anchor at Paimboeuf in the forenoon. Mr. Odair, an agent, came on board to greet us and informs us we shall be given quarters in town and an allowance to cover our needs until we make arrangements for passage to America or engage upon an American war ship or merchantman. We are carried by the longboat to shore and even before we can make our way to our quarters we find much to our surprise Mr. Dale here and recruiting seaman to make a cruise with Captain Jones who is fitting out a ship at L’Orient. Dale made his way here to France after his escape from Mill Prison.

Henry Lunt tells me that he has sailed with Jones before on the Alfred when Jones was first Lt. and with him when Jones was in command of the Providence and that he is a fine sailor and not shy of action. Jones is a Scotsman who has pledged his service to the United States. Henry Lunt and many other adventurous men immediately make their mark on the enlistment book and will travel to L’Orient with Mr. Dale when he has finished his recruiting here. There is also word that an American frigate Alliance is at Brest and will be soon sailing for America with supplies for our army. Most of the remaining men including myself decide to wait until the Alliance comes here from Brest so that we may enlist and make our way back to America.

Friday, April 04, 2008

April 4. 1779
Pleasant weather, light E winds. We continue up the Loire River but make a few miles progress due to contrary winds and tides. We shall ride here at anchor until morning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April 3. 1779
The pilot came on board this afternoon. We are informed that we shall disembark at Paimboeuf, a town down river from Nantz. The pilot guided us to city of St. Nazaire at the mouth of Loire where we have dropped anchor for the night.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 2. 1779
We are sitting under the lee of Belle Isle waiting for further instructions from the French authorities. A pilot shall come aboard, probably tomorrow, to guide us up the Loire River.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1. 1779
Pleasant weather continues but warmer. Wind W by SW. We make our way SW along the French coast sighting Isle Groa off our larboard bow today near to L’Orient. Spoke two French Men-O-War this afternoon and informed them we are a cartel with American prisoners for exchange bound for Nantz.

Monday, March 31, 2008

March 31. 1779
Fair weather, light breezes. Winds WNW. Course SW under full sail. We raised the French mainland and now sail under a flag of truce.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30. 1779
Squally weather off and on. Winds variable but now NW. Course SSW. Today we spoke several British transports bound for Plymouth England from America with wounded soldiers. Several other sails spotted.

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 28. 1779
Fair weather with fresh breezes. Course SW with the Lizard on our starboard beam at meridian.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 27. 1779
We are finally under way. The wind came about last night and we warped out of the creek at 6AM. We have made our way into the Sound and will soon make the Channel. We expect a passage to France of about seven days.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22. 1779
The wind continues contrary and delays our departure from this place. We are able to talk freely amongst ourselves now and we discuss what we shall do when we arrive in France. Some of our number wish to find a ship and continue privateering while others like me now wish to make our way home to our families as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 19. 1779
We still lay here waiting for a change of wind. The prison doctor came on board today to inform us that our crew mate Bonner Darling, a negro has died.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March 16. 1779
We wait here still for the wind to haul about but it is good to be back on the water. We are able to move about the ship as we wish and we have good food, beds and cabins to sleep in. Lt. Knox told us that our destination shall be Nantz in France where we will be exchanged for a like number of British prisoners held by the French and Americans.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

March 15. 1779
Late this morning those of us to be exchanged said farewell to our mates remaining behind. Each of us carries letters and messages to friends and family at home. As we exited the prison gate they gave us a rousing cheer. We then were marched down the path to Stonehouse Creek where we have embarked on the Milford transport with little more than the clothing we wear and perhaps a small sack. As free men we sit here now looking back up the hill to Mill Prison waiting for a fair wind and the tide. We were told we shall be carried to France where we should be able to engage ourselves on an American merchantman to carry us home.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10. 1779
Those of us who are to be exchanged were mustered in the yard today to meet with Lt. Knox. He informed us we should expect to sail early next week. He has brought the Milford up the nearby creek within sight of our prison. Despite our joy at the prospect of leaving this place several of our Dolton crew shall be left behind which shall be a hard thing to bear for all.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March 5. 1779
We have received excellent news today that the cartel has now arrived in Plymouth. Perhaps it will not be so long now until I can see my family again. We now wait until Lt. Knox, the commander of the Cartel, comes for us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 12. 1779
Yesterday we were told that the Cartel is at Dartmouth waiting on a fair wind to bring her here to Plymouth. The day before yesterday, the agent came to us with news of a pardon for 100 of us from His Majesty. We will be released to Lt. Knox who is in command of the Milford transport.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 22. 1779
Today the agent called all of us into the yard and read out the names of the 100 men that would be first exchanged in the cartel. To my great joy, my name was read out. Joseph Shillaber's name was also on the list, but but to our great regret Guppy Studley's was not. We are to be exchanged according to the order by which we were committed to the prison which includes most of the 86 men from the Dolton still now in prison; the rest either having escaped, entered the British service or died.

Friday, January 11, 2008

January 11. 1779
Wonderful news indeed arrived in the person of Mr. Sorrey yesterday. He came with a letter from the committee in London telling us there is a cartel already in Plymouth waiting to begin our exchange. We shall be carried to Nantes in France on the Milford cartel and exchanged for an equal number of English prisoners held there. Mr. Sorrey came again today to inform us that the cartel must only wait for a man to come from France to take charge of us. We are also on full allowance again.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The dog we killed yesterday was put to good use today. We also received a bag of potatoes by donation today which went well with the dog.

Today, Mr. Cowdry informed us that if we delivered those responsible for digging the escape hole that the remainder of us should be restored to full allowance but no one was ready to comply. Two of our younger men volunteered themselves up this afternoon, taking responsibility for the hole. We shall all support them in gratitude for their sacrifice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January 8. 1779
There are so many on half allowance that those with full allowance cannot support us. Many of our men are desperate with hunger and so we managed to catch and kill a dog which we will eat tomorrow, although his liver was promptly roasted today. We have been at Plymouth now 2 years to the day.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

January 5. 1779
Captain Boardman from our ship escaped again last night and has not been brought back yet. We have counted the number of others who have been returned since our escape on the 28th and only 24 out of the original 109 are still free.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January 1. 1779
Today many of us are on half allowance after attempting to escape on the 28th of December. My friends and I were captured yesterday after making our way several miles from Plymouth before being spied by some of the local people who raised the alarm. There are so many of us that made our escape through the hole under the wall and were later captured that we cannot all fit in the black hole and therefore we are back in the Long Prison and are divided into messes for our half rations. Our officers who escape have the advantage of friends and money to aid them on their way, neither of which the common foremast hand can claim, giving us little hope of making our way out of England.