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Saturday, September 05, 2009

September 5. 1780
By the grace of God I have finally arrived back on American soil after nearly four years. Alliance now lies at Long Wharf in Boston where we have been docked since about Aug. 21st. Although most of the crew and many of the officers have long since departed this ship I have continued in my post as quartermaster but will be discharged tomorrow. I am making arrangements to book passage down east to Portsmouth in a coastal packet as soon as possible and will soon see my family again. I have already sent word to them that I am alive and well.

It was a difficult voyage with much unrest among the crew and officers. After departing L’Orient Captain Landy announced that he intended to sail for Philadelphia rather than here to Boston as he originally promised. His reasoning was that he wanted to return Alliance to the Congress who had commissioned him. Since many of the crew are from New England and many had been in prison for 2 years his plans were not well received. On August 5th some of the crew became mutinous and refused to follow his orders but rather decided to steer their own course. After this Captain Landy fell into black moods claiming to be ill and would not show his face for days at a time. Finally on Aug. 11 after facing a second mutiny the passengers, including Mr. Lee, and the officers made a decision to appoint Lt. Degge as acting commander although Degge was at that time under arrest. Degge accepted this responsibility. Course was steered for the nearest port, that being Boston, due to the dangerous situation on board. Alliance made landfall near the Isle ‘O Shoals on Aug. 13th where we nearly ran ashore in breakers when Landy came on deck and began quarrelling with Degge about who was rightful commander. The crew was confused and did not know who to obey. Eventually the crew followed Degge who ordered to wear ship and we were able to clear the rocks. The day after we arrived at Nantasket Roadstead and a few days later we arrived here at Long Wharf.

Captain Landy has kept to his cabin since our arrival despite orders from the Navy Board to appear before them. Captain Barry has been on board ship along with many others carrying messages and trying to convince Landy to leave the ship.

I do not know what will happen but it is of no real matter to me now. I am nearly home.


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