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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.

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