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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.