Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Landais, 15 May 1779

From Landais

ALS: American Philosophical Society

L’Orient May 15th 1779.

Please Your Excellency

Since I tooke the Command of the frigate Alliance My officers have join together against me,9 Even before I left Boston, I was promissed that I Should have another Set, but being ready to Sail the Hounble Navy board thought they woold behave better when at Sea, but to the Contrary it has been gradualy worse and worse to a peack that I am Compel to acquaint you with it that your Excellcy May take proper method for to remedy it, Moreover if there is no other one I’ll rather Chuse to leave the Command than to have officers wich are against me: the first lieuft Hill1 has Said he had heard all the bad Caracter of me and has propagated it amongs all, of which I told him three days ago, amongs other things he threatened me to leave the Ship I told him he might, but he want My Consent by writing what I cannot do without your order.

I am with the Greatest Respect Your Excellency Most Obedient and Most humble Servant

P: Landais

His Excellency Bn Franklin Minister Plenipotentiary of the united States of America

Endorsed: Capt. Landais May 15. 1779 complaining of his Officers.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9According to JA’s diary, Landais told him, “The Officers deceive you! They never do their Duty but when you are on deck. They never obey me, but when you are on deck. The Officers were in a Plott vs. me at Boston, and the Navy Board promised to remove them all from the ship and yet afterwards let them all come on Board.” Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 368–9.

1Stephen Hills and his fellow officers had sent their own complaints to BF on March 2, above.

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