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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.

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