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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.