Search This Blog

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.