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Eleven Years a Prisoner in Algiers. 




Herald Print, t,a Porte, Ind. 

HCMllY morse: srrPHEMS 


This journal was commenced one hundred and 
twelve years ago by a youth of seventeen years of 
age, who had been taken prisoner by the British 
when a midshipman on board the United States 
Frigate, Confederacy, Capt, Seth Harding, and car- 
ried into New York with most of the prisoners, on 
board first the Good Hope and then on the old 
prison ships where he remained till, with a fellow 
prisoner, he made his escape and found employment 
in the merchant service. The Maria of Boston, on 
which he embarked, was captured by the Algerines 
July 25, 1785, three miles southeast of Cape St. Vin- 
cent, this being the first American vessel captured 
by those Pirates An indomitable spirit of patriotism 
enabled him to rise from abject slavery to become 
Christian clerk to the Dey of Algiers, being the 
medium to approach the Dey when the Ambassadors 
could not gain an audience. In 1796 he came back 
to the United States, at his own expense, with dis- 
patches and to select the articles to secure the peace. 
The government employed him about two years in 
Philadelphia, when he was sent back to the Mediter- 
ranean as Consul General to Algiers, Tunis and 



Tripoli. When war was declared by Tripoli against 
the United States he was sent as Consul to Leghorn 
where he remained several years, spending about 
nine years in these different places. He returned to 
the United States in 1805. In 1807 he was appointed 
Consul to Madeira where he remained nine years 
when he returned to Washington, D. C, and soon 
after went as Consul to Cadiz where he remained 
nearly three years and was next employed as United 
States agent in Louisiana, and from 1823 to 1843 was 
employed in the Second Comptroller's office, Wash- 
ington, D. C. So faithful to his country and family, 
he never took a summer vacation till the year he 
died, passing away Oct. 6, 1843. After spending 
their lives in three quarters of the globe his devoted 
companion followed him to their blessed home in 
less than four months. 





My family surname is taken from the lands and 
Barony of Kethcart in the county of Renfrew where 
now is the town of Cathcart, Scotland. The founder 
of the family, from whom I am descended, was Col. 
Gabriel Cathcart who went over to Ireland with 
the Rev. Malcolm Hamilton (afterwards Bishop of 
Cashel) in the year 1641 — said Gabriel married Annie 
Hamilton, daughter of the Bishop of Cashel, by 
whom he had eleven sons and several daughters, he 
(Gabriel) with six of his sons was killed at the battle 
of Aughrim, A. D., 1691. Malcolm Cathcart (son of 
Gabriel) my great grandfather, survived and married 
Mary, daughter of Sir James Caldwell, and lived to 
the extraordinary age of 116 years. His son, James, 
my grandfather, and, after whom I am named, was a 
captain in the British army, and was killed in battle 
under the Duke of Cumberland in the year 1745. 
He left two children, my father, Malcolm Hamilton 
Cathcart, who was born at Persfield, in the county of 
West Meath, in the year 1736, and Eliza, married to 
Mr. Sullivan, whom I never knew. My grandfather 
married the niece of Andrew Wilson, the founder of 
Wilson's Hospital in Ireland. My father married the 


daughter of Edward Humphreys, Esq., of Dublin. 
My eldest brother, Rolleston Nassau Cathcart, was 
born at Mount Murragh, in the county of WestMeath, 
September 22, 1763. I was born at the same place 
June I, 1767. I came to America at a very early age, 
my father having placed me under the care of a rela- 
tive, Capt. John Cathcart, with whom I followed the 
sea for several years till he placed me as midshipman 
on board the U. S. Frigate, the Confederacy, then 
commanded by Capt. Seth Harding. 



VPolitical State of Affairs in 1785; Don Antonio's Expedition 
Against Alg-iers; Peace with Spain Resolved on by Mahom- 
ed Bashaw; Peace with Spain Concluded 1785; Arrival of 
Consul Lo^ie, April 1785; Advice of British Consul Logie to 
the Dey; Logic's Advise Favorable to the Cruisers; Firsts 
Depredations on the Commerce of the United States; Cap- 
ture of the Maria of Boston and Dauphin of Philadelphia. 


Economy of the Dey's Palace; Limited Priviledges of the 
Slaves; Scarcity of Food in the Palace Garden; Arrival of 
the Cruiser that Captured the Dauphin; Cruelty and 
Injustice; The Dey's Cowardice; I am Called the "False 
Priest;" Feast of Aydel Cabir; Persecuted by the Chamber- 
lains; Repetition of Cruel Bastinadoing; Sidi Mahomed 
Turns Alchemist; His Genteel Apostrophe to Me. 


Commodore Lamb's Arrival at Algiers; Mr. Woulfe welly/ 
Calculate to Negotiate with the Barbary Powers; Reasons 
why he ought to have been Preferred; Mr. VVoulfe's 
Advice to Mr. Lamb not Attended To; The Count Expilley 
and French Consul Differ in Opinion from Mr. Woulfe; 
Mr. Lamb takes their Advise who Refuses to Intercede 
with the Dey to Permit him to Deliver his Credentials as 
Negotiator of Peace; Mr. Lamb's Different Audiences 


Arrival of two Prizes; Expelled from the Palace Garden; 
Reflections on Commodore's Negotians; State of my 
Finances and Wardrobe; Perquisites of Slaves; Apostrophe 
of Salah Bey; Arrival at the Slave Prison Bagnio Belique; 
Character of the Chief Guardian; We have Iron Rings put 
upon our Legs and are Registered in the Books of the 
Prison; Description of the several Prisons; Greatest Mor- 
tality in Bagnio de Galera during the Plague; Reflections 
on the Conduct of different Nations towards Barbary 
States; Presented to the Vikilharche or Intendant General 
who afterwards was Hassan Bashaw, Dey of Algiers; I am 
sent to the Carpenter's Shop; No rest for the Slaves; Bad 
Provisions; Manner of Keeping their Gunboats in time of 



Site of the City of Algiers; Marine Fortifications and Navy 
Yard; Court of Admiralty; Causeway; Mosque; Light 
House; Castle Built by the Spaniards; Point Battery; Vikil- 
harche's Seat; Mode of Dining; Marine Workshops; Large 
Cannon; Fitting and Laying up Cruisers; Pontoons; Gate 
of the City; Fortifications; Beautiful Prospect of Algiers 
from the Head of the Bay; Castle of Siddi Akoleet; Star 
Castle; Mussulman's Cemetery; The Seven Cupolas; Chris- 
tian's Cemetery-; Jews' Cemetery; Naval Force Described. 


Description of the Dey's Palace; Place where the Christians 
are Beheaded before the Gate of the Palace; Privilege of 
the Chain; Palace Court Yard Stair Case; Dey's Throne or 
Seat; Doors of the Treasury; Armory; Blacksmith Shops; 
Slaughter House; A Family of Cats; Kitchen and Chief 
Cook's Seat; Upper Gallery; Slaves Quarters; Seraglio of 
BobbaAly; Excellent Water; Dey's Bagnio; Manner of 
Bathing; Garden Described; Wild Animals; Pigeons; Dey 
and Chamberlain's Apartments; New Additions by Hassan 
Bashaw; Furniture and Ornaments; Dey's Treasury; Dey's 
Mosque, and Great Mosque Described; Public Schools; Per- 
fection in Arabic Characters in some Copies of the Koran; 
Casarias or Turkish Barracks; Description of Roman Cath- 
olic Institutions; The Hospital Established by the Spaniards 
and the Ospreio by the French — Both Charitable Institu- 
tions; Benevolence of Father Joseph. 


Continuance of My Situation; Changed from Bagnio Belique 
to Bagnio Galera; Put to Hardest Labor; Abuse of the 
Guardians; The Plague upon Us; Distress of Slaves from 
Oran; Giavorni de la Cruz Appointed Clerk of Marine; 
j Myself Coffeegie to Vikilharche; My Friend Died of the 
! Plague; I am Appointed Clerk of the Marine; Next Ap- 
pointed Clerk of Bagnio Gallera; Duties Described. 

Reception of the Bey of Constantine; Horrible Execution of 
the Hasnagi or Prime Minister; Barbarous Treatment of 
his Wife; Hassan Bashaw takes Refuge in the Maraboot 
Sanctuary; Power of Mansour Shiek and Grand Maraboot 
of the Mountain Arabs. 

How I had Means to Assist my Fellow Sufferers; The Plague 
Raged all this Year; The Slaves are Overworked; My 
Trouble on Account of two Turks Quarrelling, and one 
being Killed; Treachery of Cara Burmuz; Soliloquy; Third 
Affair was in Regard to their Religion; They set a Trap 


for me to Commit Myself; The Dey^Ad vises them to let 
the Americans Alone; An Account of the Death of Mahomet 
Bashaw, Dey of Algiers; Order of Precedency; My Letter 
to the British Surgeon; Letter to Capt. O'Brien; Invocation; 
Appointed Secretary to the Dey and Regency of Algiers. 


Announcement of Mr. Donaldson's Arrival at Alicant; The , 
Dey Grants a Passport for him to Come to Algiers; Con- 
versation with the French Consul; Situation of the United 
States at this Time; Reasons why the Swedes did not 
Espouse our Cause Publicly; I Procure a House from the 
Dey for Mr. Donaldson; I Suggest the Terms on which the 
United States will Make Peace; Donaldson's Arrival at 
Algiers; I put Mr. Donaldon in Possession of my Journals, 
Correspondence, Etc. 

Mr. Donaldson obtains his first Audience from the Dey; { 
The Dey gives me Orders to take the Last Year's Terms 
Number One to Mr. Donaldson to the Amount of $2,247,000; 
I Present Mr, Donaldson's Proposals Number Two to the 
Dey; His Treatment; The Result; The French Consul's 
Villainy; The Dey Rejects Mr. Donaldson's Proposals; 
Mr. Donaldson Refuses to make any Addition to his first 
Offer; I am called by the Dey and by my Arguments Pro- 
duced Terms Number Three which Donaldson Rejects; 
His Indifference to my Fate; My Retort; I take Mr, Don- 
aldson's Answer to the Dey; Am Abused and Threatened; 
Donaldson is Ordered to Leave the Country; Arguments 
used to Persuade Donaldson not to Break off the Negotia- 
tions; He is Convinced by my Exertions and makes Pro- 
posal Number Four to the Dey; I Request the Dey to Per- 
mit the Captives to be Redeemed, in order to Persuade 
him, that we had given up all Idea of Peace if he Re- 
jected the Terms now Presented to Him. W 

Mr. Donaldson's Second Visit to the Dey; Peace Established i\ 
in Consequence of Deducting $60,000 from the Cash Pay- 
ment; Terms of Peace and Ransom Confirmed; Conversa- 
tion at Donaldson's Second Audience; Donaldson Refuses 
to take our Countrymen from Hard Labor; Indifference 
about their Becoming Mussulmen; American Flag Saluted 
and Peace Proclaimed; .1 Congratulate Mr. Donaldson and 
Procure Permission for O'Brien to be the Bearer of the 
Treaty; I make the first Treaty of Peace with the Secretary 
of State, Signed by Mr. Donaldson, and Procure four Pass- 
ports; I Remind the Dey of his Promise to use his Influ- 
ence with Tunis and Tripoli for us to Procure a Peace on 
Favorable Terms; I Introduce O'Brien for the first time \ 
to the Dey. — ^ 



Situation of their Foreign Relations; Overtures made to me 
which I Refused with Disdain; The French Consul In- 
forms the Dey that Mr. Donaldson had Carte Blanche; 
Fallacy of Depending on the Influence of France to Effect 
a Pacification with the Barbary States; She Opposes our 
Interest; Arrival of Mr. Monroe at Paris; State of Affairs; 
Mr. Monroe did not Enjoy the Confidence of the Peace 
Government; Reasons Assigned why France did not 
Fulfill the Stipulations Contained in the Article of the 
Treaty of 1778 in Relation to the Barbary States; Jay's 
Treaty with England Arrives in France; Ratified by the 
Senate; National Convention Dissolved; Fanchet Arrives 
in France; President's Address Received in Paris; The 
House of Representatives Agrees to Carry the Treaty into 
Effect; I Procure a Truce for Eight Months; Presents 
Brought by Mr. Barlow not Satisfactory; Reasons for 
the Opposition we met with from the Agents of Spain; 
Under all the Difficulties the task I had to Perform was 
an Arduous One. 


Mr. Donaldson Retired to the Swedish Consul's Country Seat; 
We were Daily Expecting the Funds; He Came to Town 
the 22nd; We Dined Tete a Tete\ I Gave him the Copies of 
the Treaty; On the nth I Announced that Capt. O'Brien 
Arrived at Malaga; Mr. Donaldson makes his first Visit 
to the Dey's Ministers and offends them by his Parsimony; 
Mr. Donaldson's Conduct Relative to a Vessel I was about 
to Purchase; The Dey Orders a List of the Portuguese in 
Captivity to be made Out; He Is taken III; I Procure a 
Truce for the United States with Tunis, Guaranteed by 
the Dey for Eight Months; The Mates and Sailors lay 
Siege to his Chamber; Wish him to Procure Leave for 
them to stay in the Town; He says he cannot do it at 
Present; They use hard language to Him; The Dey's Im- 


The Dey Refuses to Release the Corsicans until their Ran- 
som was paid in Hard Cash; their Boats were Condemned; 
Arrival of a British Privateer; The Vessel is Condemned 
and the People made Slaves; Arrival of a British Frigate; 
The Captain Demanded the Privateer that was Captured, 
all the Corsicans in Captivity, and the Value of the Boats 
Condemned; The 'Dey sends his Negative and Formally 
Declares War Against Great Britain; The British Surgeon 
Receives Orders to Embark; Settlement of Affairs; Money 
Paid for the Ransom of the Corsicans; The Dey Presents a 
Handsome Turkish Scymeter to Mr. North; Mr. Donaldson 
Requests me to Charter a Vessel to Alicant to Expedite 
our Affairs; But Refuses a Present to the Dey to Strengthen 
his Belief; Disturbance Caused by the Mates and Seamen; 


They are Ordered to be put in Chains; I Interceeded for 
Them; The Dey Grows Impatient by the Delay of the 
Funds; Threatens to cut off my Head for Advising him"^ 
to make Peace with the United States in Preference to ^ 

Arrival of Mr. Barlow, the first American Vessel that ever ) 
Arrived in Algiers or any of the Barbary States; Mr. Barlow 
Requests Permission of the Dey to make Presents; The 
Dey Refuses to Accept any Presents from the Agents of 
the United States, and said he would send them out of 
the Country; Mr. Barlow sends a Small Silver Trunk, 
Curiously Wrought, to the Dey for his Daughter in his 
own Name; The Dey said he might send it to her house 
if he Pleased; Mr. Barlow Requested me to give him In- 
formation; I Placed my Journals in his hands, also oral 
and written Communications for which he Received the 
Thanks of the Department of State; My Interview with the I 
Dey Ill-timed; Pleasantry of Mr. Donaldson. -"^ 

Depredations on Denmark Caused by the Neapolitans Cap- 
turing a Danish Vessel with Three Hundred Turkish 
Soldiers on Board; The Cruisers go out and bring in 
Thirteen Sail of Danish Merchant Vessels; After Many 
Threats to the Danish Consul; The Dey Threatens Mr. 
Donaldson and Myself; He makes the motion of Beheading 
as they do the Christians at the Palace Gate; Ramadan; 
Cruelty and Injustice; I Intercede for the Tavern Keepers; 
I pay the whole of my Quota of the Mulct, 240 Sequins; 
when I left with Dispatches my Successor Assumed the 
Responsibility of the Tavern Keepers; The Dey sends me 
with a Letter to the President of the United States; Fac 
Simile of the Dey's Letter. 

Letter from Mr. Barlow to Hon. D. Humphreys, Minister 
from the United States to Lisbon; Also from Mr. Barlow 
to the Secretary of State, Hon. Timothy Pickering; Letter 
of Instructions to Myself; My Observations on the Terms of 
the Voyage; Affecting Scene, Parting with my Fellow 
Prisoners, Mr. Barlow and my Friends the Skjoldebrands; 
At Meridian made Sail; May 22, Alicant Bay got Product, 
and waited on Mr. Montgomery; 28th had no Alternative 
than to sell a part of my Vessel and with this Money 
fitted her out and got Provisions, and sent the Moors 
back to Algiers; My Letter to Mr. Barlow, Alicant, June 6; 
On the 8th I got under way, but was obliged to come to 
an Anchor again, on the gth on account of hard winds I 
was obliged to slip and leave an Anchor and Cable and 
put to Sea; Letter from the Secretary of State to Mr. Bar- 
low on my Arrival at Philadelphia, dated December 3, 1796; 
List of the Americans Captured in 1785. 



Left Algiers May 8, 1796, and Arrived at Philadelphia Decem- 
ber 3, 1796; Marriage June 5, 1798; Received Instructions 

^Srom the Secretary of State to Return to the Barbary States; 

' Left Philadelphia December 23, 1798. and Arrived at Algiers 
February 9, 1799; Left Algiers for Tunis, March 2nd; Ar- 

rrived at Biserta the 8th, and at Tunis the 12th of March; 

^T^ffected an Alteration in the Treaty and Sailed for Tripoli 
on the 2nd of April, 1799; Dispatched the Sophia for Tunis, 
Algiers and the United States, having Purchased a Vessel 
of War and a Cargo of Maritine and Military Stores for 
$18,000 on the 17th of April, 1799; In 1798 I had Received 
Instructions from the Secretary of State and Procured two 
Flags for the Consulate of Tunis and Tripoli; On the 23rd 
of December took Leave of the Secretary of State and Em- 
barked on the United States Brig Sophia. 


Saturday, August 27, 1803, Embarked on the United States 
Frigate Adams, Capt. Campbell, in Leghorn Roads, bound 
to Tunis; Spoke two English Privateers; Spoke a Ship 
under Imperial Colors from Constantinople in sight of 
Corsica Caprea and Island of Elba; September 2nd came 
to Anchor in Tunis Bay; Monday, 5th, the Drogoman 
brought a Note from Dr. Davis Containing the Bashaw's 
Permission to Land; Waited on the Bashaw and Delivered 
the President's Letters. 

January i, 1805, Returned to the United States; Many Places 
Mentioned; Stormy Weather; Mutiny Threatened but Sub- 
dued; February 26, made the Land Northward of Little 
Egg Harbor and Sandy Hook; Next day Anchored off 
North Battery; Took my Family Ashore, Visited a week 
at Flat Bush; 22nd left New York for Philadelphia, and 
Arrived at Washington at 8 p. m. 

Resided on West Street, Georgetown, D. C, till Appointed 
Consul to Madeira, May 21, 1807; June nth, had fine 
Weather from our Departure; 18th, made the North End 
of Madeira; Made sail and Anchored in Funchal Roads at 
3 p. M., went Ashore at 5; Just Twenty-eight Days from 
the City of Washington; June 26, 1807, Moved the Family 
to the Quinta de Descanso; Brief Description of the Island; 
Left Madeira for Washington, June 1815. 


Arrival at Cadiz; Speak of the Appearance of the Houses and 
Streets being Remarkable for Neatness; The Almeda, Pub- 
lic Walk, Commands a fine View; Beautiful View of the 
"Open Sea;" Returned to Washington in August, 181 7, from 
this the last Appointment Abroad; Employed on the Sur- 
vey of the Coast of Louisiana; Next Permanently Employed 
in the Second Comptroller's Office, Washington, D. C. 




The piratical states of Barbary, especially Algiers, 
having for a succession of years withstood the attacks 
of Spain and several of the smaller Christian powers, 
bordering on the north side 5f the Mediterranean, 
coadjuted by a small squadron from Portugal, and, 
having compelled a number of their armaments to 
retire from the object of this enterprise, and their 
chiefs to abandon their hopes of possessing them- 
selves of that city, among which, since the grand ex- 
pedition by the Emperer Charles the V, in 1541, 
those under the command of Don Pedro Castigon 
and Gen. O'Riley in 1775 and Don Antonio Barcelo 
in 1784 were the most formidable, now resolved to 
accept a valuable consideration from that Monarchy 
as the price of peace, and thereby liberate them- 
selves from the annual apprehension of bombard- 
ment as well as to obain a larger field for committing 
depredations on the commerce of other nations. 
The preliminaries, or, rather, the foundations, upon 
which a peace between those nations might be estab- 


lished, were adjusted in 1777 and 1778 by Ciddi Has- 
san Vikilharche, of the marine of Algiers, during his 
detention at Carthagena, and would have been car- 
ried into effect long ere this, had not the war in 
which Spain was afterward involved with Great 
Britain rendered the measure unnecessary, and the 
Dey of Algiers partiality for that nation, even after 
peace took place in 1783, rendered it improvident 
for Spain to solicit a peace on his own terms. Ac- 
cordingly a small armament was sent to bombard 
Algiers in 1784 in order to prove that Spain had 
sufficient force to impede the depredations of the 
Cruisers of Algiers, which had no other effect than 
to render the wished for accommodation more popu- 
lar among the soldiery and inhabitants of that city, 
and to give the Dey and Divan of Algiers an oppor- 
tunity to persuade them that it was entirely on their 
account, that he wished for peace with a nation that 
had for so many years been their implacable enemy. 
There was one small obstacle remaining to be re- 
moved on the part of his Catholic Majesty, this was 
a clause in the Coronation oath which prohibits that 
Monarch from concluding peace with the Infidels; 
but, as a truce only implies a cessation of arms for a 
certain time, that impediment was easily gotten over 
by concluding a truce for a century, for which was 
paid to the treasury, one million dollars, and about 
as much to the Dey and grandees of the Regency 
among whom Ciddi Hassan was most liberally re- 
warded for his friendly interposition and ever after- 
wards made it a pretext for extorting valuable 
presents from the Court of Spain. 


At this period Algiers was at peace with Great 
Britain, France, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, 
Venice, and the little Republic of Ragusa. With the 
Empires of Russia and Germany the Dey was upon 
indifferent terms and waited for information from the 
Sublime Porte before he took his position with those 
powers and consequently had not captured any of 
their vessels. With Portugal, Prussia, Naples, the 
Italian States, the Hanstowns and all the rest of the 
world that did not pay him tribute he was at war. 
Great Britain, by her superiority at sea and in conse- 
quence of her garrisons in the Mediterranean, during 
the war which concluded in acknowleding the inde- 
pendence of the United States, was both feared and 
respected by the Divan of Algiers, exclusive of the 
Dey's partiality to that nation, but from the death of 
Mr. Benton, late British Consul who had died at 
Algiers, none had been appointed until the arrival of 
Charles Logic, Esq., a very short time before peace 
was concluded between Algiers and Spain, conse- 
quently the Dey wars ignorant of the differences 
which had existed between her and her ci-devant 
colonies; as it was by no means incumbent on the 
Agents of France or Holland to give him information 
either of those differences or the result of the war 
before they received instructions from their respect- 
ive Courts, which, had circumstances permitted, 
would have prevented, in a great measure, the many 
disagreeable events which have since happened. It 
would be as impolitic as disagreeable to revive the 
remembrance of transactions dictated by the exigen- 
cies of the times, and which the interests of both 


nations would induce us to consign to oblivion; but 
a faithful narrator ought to write things as they 
really were, or not at all. I therefore will not inter- 
rupt the thread of my narration by any evasion of 
truth, but am sincerely inclined to believe, that 
many of the facts which will be herein mentioned, 
were owing more to individual inveteracy than 
national animosity. 

Consul Logie, who arrived at Algiers too late to 
impede the progress of the negotiations between that 
Regency and Spain, whether to ingratiate himself 
with his own government or that of Algiers, is imma- 
terial and hard to determine, immediately gave the 
Executive of Algiers a circumstantial detail of the 
motives of the late war and the results, declaring 
that the United States were no longer under the pro- 
tection of his Master, and, that wherever the Cruisers 
of Algiers should fall in with the vessels of the 
United States of America, they were good prizes and 
wished them success in their attempts to capture 
those who refused allegiance to his Master. The 
Cruisers of Algiers were fitted out with all expedition 
and sailed on the 30th of June, bound direct to the 
Atlantic ocean, where they had not cruised for a 
number of years before. Their aim was the capture 
of some rich Portuguese-Brazil ships which were ex- 
pected at Lisbon about this time and did not sup- 
pose they would meet with any Americans, whom 
Consul Logie had represented to be a set of beings 
without strength or resources, and so contemptible, 
that his Master did not think us worth the trouble 
or expense of subduing. 


The Cruisers proceeded to cruise on the coast of 
Portugal but were disappointed in their expectations 
of capturing the ships from Brazil but took several 
others, Portuguese, Genoese and two Americans. 
The Maria of Boston on which I had embarked was 
captured three miles southeast of Cape St. Vincent 
(southeast point of Portugal) on the 25th of July, 1785, 
and arrived at Algiers on the 4th of August follow- 
ing, and the Dauphin of Philadelphia was captured 
70 leagues to the westward of the Rock of Lisbon on 
the 30th of said month, and arrived at Algiers on 
the 1 2th of August, being captured by the Admiral's 
ship, and the Maria by a Xebec of fourteen guns. 
On being boarded the Mahometans asked us for our 
flag and papers. Of the first they had no knowledge 
and the papers they could not read and Mediter- 
ranean pass we had none; consequently, they con- 
ceived us to be a good prize but my feelings were 
very different from the rest of my fellow sufferers. 
I understood the Spanish language which they all 
spoke and was the only person on board who had 
any knowledge of the Barbary States. I knew that 
a few months before Spain was at war with the 
eastern states and prevented their Cruisers from 
coming into the western ocean and, not having 
spoken any vessel at sea to inform us of that event, 
I conjectured that this boat must belong to some 
pirate from that part of Morocco, which was then at 
war with the Emperor, and that they concluded that 
the "Kingdom of Heaven" was at hand. They were 
twenty-one in number and we were only six, which 
precluded the possibility of overpowering them had 


we been so imprudent as to have made an attempt. 
In this state of mind I remained more than two hours 
before we joined the Xebec, there being very little 
wind, and the first salutation we received was a shout 
from the whole crew of the Cruiser indicative of our 
being a good prize. We were then driven into the 
boat without being permitted to go into the cabin 
and taken on board the Cruiser and conducted to the 
quarter deck, every person having a pull at us as we 
went along, in order to benefit by our capture. Our 
hats, handkerchiefs and shoes were the first articles 
that were taken from us and which we most wanted 
as we could not endure the scorching heat of the sun 
on our heads nor were our feet calculated to bear 
the heat of the deck. We were welcomed on board 
by the Rais or Captain, a venerable old Arab, who 
had been a captive for several years, both in Spain 
and Genoa, and who was really a good man. "Chris- 
tians," said he, "be consoled, this world is full of 
vicissitudes. You shall be well used, I have been a 
slave myself, and will treat you much better than I 
was treated; take some bread and honey and a dish 
of coffee and God will redeem you from captivity as 
he has done me twice, and, when you make your 
peace with your father, the King of England, the 
Dey of Algiers will liberate you immediately." He 
informed me that they were a Cruiser of Algiers, 
that they had come through the Straits in conse- 
quence of their having concluded a peace with Spain 
and of the arrival of a British Consul, (Charles 
Logic), who informed them that they might take all 
such vessels that had not passports of a particular cut. 


They had taken several Portuguese fishermen, and 
two pretty large vessels, the crews of the whole 
amounting to thirty-six men, and one woman, a 
Spaniard by birth, a facetious creature, who seemed 
perfectly reconciled to her situation, and endeavored 
to reconcile every one to theirs. I had entered into 
a conversation with her and began to thank God that 
our situation was no worse, when a sail was descried 
from the mast head and we were all ordered down to 
the sail room, except the woman. It is impossible 
to describe the horror of our situation while we re- 
mained there. Let imagination conceive what must 
have been the sufferings of forty-two men, shut up in 
a dark room in the hold of a Barbary Cruiser full of 
men and filthy in extreme, destitute of every nour- 
ishment, and nearly suffocated with heat, yet here 
we were obliged to remain every night until our 
arrival at Algiers and wherever we were either 
chased or in chase. The vessel proved to be a 
friend and was liberated immediately, the prize 
master and crew taking the Captain's quadrant per- 
spective glass, charts and some wearing apparel, to 
indemnify themselves for the trouble of examining 
their papers and we were permitted to come upon 
deck and were regaled with some very bad black 
olives, mixed with a small quantity of rank oil, and 
some vinegar to which was added some very coarse 
bread and water, which was corrupted, and which we 
were, literally, obliged to strain through our teeth, 
and, while we drank, to stop our noses. This was 
all our allowance except twice they served us burgul, 
which we could not eat, notwithstanding the calls of 


nature were very great, and we must enevitably have 
perished, had it not been for some Turks, who were 
more charitable than the rest who gave us some 
onions, oranges, raisins and figs from their own 
private stores. I likewise received relief several 
times for standing at the helm for the sailors, and 
actually learned to smoke, by the kindness of the 
ship's steward, who gave me a pipe and tobacco, and 
whom I lived to repay, at Algiers more than two 
years after. Whether the Algerian Cruisers were 
apprehensive that Portugal would fit out a squadron 
to cruise against them or were content with the booty 
they already had made, I know not, but fortunately 
for us they made but a short cruise and returned in- 
to the Mediterranean the first westerly wind after 
our capture. Had they remained thirty days longer 
in the western ocean they would undoubtedly have 
captured as many American vessels as they could 
have manned and, probably, several rich Portuguese. 
We arrived at Algiers on the eve of the feast that 
follows Ramadan and being private property were 
conducted to the owner of the Cruiser's house, having 
been first entirely stripped of the remnant of our 
clothes which remained, and I was furnished in lieu 
thereof with the remains of an old dirty shirt, and 
brown cloth trousers which formerly belonged to a 
Portuguese fisherman, and were swarming with 
myriads of vermin, which, with the crown of an old 
hat, composed the whole of my wardrobe. The rest 
of my brother sufferers were in no better condition. 
We were first carried to the Kieuchk or Admiralty 
ofifice and were permitted to regale ourselves with as 


much good water as we pleased, which flowed from a 
neat marble fountain and was as clear as crystal. 
My desire was so great to partake of this refresh- 
ment, that I really believe that I should have ex- 
pired had I been refused this gratification. Those 
who have been on long voyages know how to appre- 
ciate this greatest of luxuries, and how grateful it 
must have been to people in our situation. It has 
made so permanent an impression on my mind that 
I shall remember the Fountain of the Kiosk of the 
Marine of Algiers, to the latest hour of my existence. 
We were marched from the Kieuchk through the 
principal streets and market place of Algiers and to 
several of the Grandee's houses followed by the mob 
who had gathered to view Americans, we being the 
first they had ever beheld, and, at last, arrived at our 
owner's house, having received no refreshment but 
water since the evening before. Here we remained 
but a few minutes, when we were visited by Christian 
slaves of all denominations, they not being at work 
in consequence of the festival, and those, who could 
afford it brought us the fruits of the season, wine, 
bread, and everything that was cooked, or could be 
eaten without cooking. At our owner's house we 
were all put into an empty room, on the ground floor, 
where we all sat or laid on the bare bricks. In the 
centre of the area was placed a large cauldron in 
which clothes had lately been boiled, filled with 
water, and a quantity of coarse flesh, which we sup- 
posed to be ordinary beef, but afterwards was in- 
formed was camel's flesh, which prevented us from 
tasting it. This enraged our Master considerably 


and he declared he never would put himself to so 
much expense again to accommodate Christian 
slaves. To this again was added a quantity of 
burgul and some grease which was extremely rank 
and then served up in wooden platters, which with a 
quantity of black bread composed the whole of our 
nourishment until that time the next day; as the 
Mahometans, of his rank, seldom eat themselves or 
feed their slaves above once a day and that is after 

Thus forlorn, without food or raiment, anticipat- 
ing the horrors of a miserable captivity, we stretched 
ourselves on the bare bricks where we remained all 
night, tormented with vermin and mosquitos, and at 
daylight, were driven down to the marine to unbend 
the sails and do other necessary work on the Cruisers 
that had captured us. Here we received some biscuit 
and olives such as was given us at sea, and plenty 
of good water, and in the evening we were marched 
back to our Master's house and passed the night in 
the same manner we had done the one before, with 
the exception that we got, in lieu of camel's flesh, 
some boiled mumsa, vegetables and fruits with which, 
with some wine and provisions given by Christian 
slaves, we made out tolerably well, but still our fate 
was not decided and we did not know whether we 
would be placed at the oar in the galleys or sold to 
the Arabs in the interior of the Regency. Although 
our fears proved groundless, they prevented us from 
enjoying the least repose for, when we slumbered, 
our imagination painted the horrors of our situation 
in such lively colors, that we started from the arms 
of Morpheus very little refreshed. 


The next day we were taken, in a kind of proces- 
sion, to several of the Grandee's houses whom we 
had not visited on our arrival and who were curious 
to see Americans, having supposed us to be the 
aborigines of the country, of which, some of them 
had an imperfect idea from viewing figures which 
ornament charts of that continent, and were much 
surprised to see us so fair or, as they expressed them- 
selves, so much like Englishmen. Ultimately we 
were taken to the British Consul's house who had 
ordered us some refreshments and passed his word to 
our Master that he would be answerable for our con- 
duct while in his house, but advised him to leave a 
person to prevent us from strolling about the streets. 
But even here we were made sensible of our situation 
and exposed to new species of indignities which we 
did not expect and therefore felt in a superlative 

We remained here two days and on the third, in 
the morning, were marched to the Bedistan or Slave 
Market where we remained from daylight till half 
past three o'clock without any refreshments, and were 
treated thus for three days successively, the first and 
second nights being lodged in our Master's house, and 
having no better accommodations than we had the 
first day of our arrival. On the afternoon of the 
third we were taken into the Dey's palace and 
paraded before his Excellency when, of our crew, he 
took five, only leaving Capt. Stephens, and, of the 
Portuguese, eight, for the service of the palace, and 
the others sent to the Slave prison as the Regency 
purchased them all except four or five old men, who 


had been sold at vendue, and the woman, who, im- 
mediately on her arrival, had been sent to the Span- 
ish hospital, there to remain until ransomed, was 
likewise purchased by the Regency. We were now 
taken to the hot bath by the other Christian slaves 
and cleansed from the filth of the Cruiser, our old 
rags were changed for a large shirt with open sleeves 
and a large pair of cotton trousers, a pair of shoes 
and red cap, all made in Turkish fashion, in which no 
doubt, we made a curious appearance. We were 
allowed to remain together that night and fared 
sumptously in comparison to what we had some time 
before, and, being clean, slept for several hours as 
sound as any people could do in our situation. In 
the morning we awakened much refreshed, and were 
stationed at our respective duties; two were retained 
as upper servants, one was sent to the kitchen and 
myself and another were doomed to labor in the 
palace garden, where we had not a great deal to do, 
there being fourteen of us, and, the taking care of 
two lions, two tigers and two antelopes excepted, the 
work might have very well been done by four. 

Here I had sufficient time to bewail my unfortu- 
nate situation, but was ignorant of its full extent. 
Had I known the different vicissitudes I was to ex- 
perience, and the length of my captivity, I should 
have sunk beneath the weight of such accumulated 
woe. But hope, that sweet soother of all earthly 
cares, represented that our situation was really not so 
bad as we had expected, and that we had not been 
used worse than many of our fellow citizens had been 
during the Revolutionary war in the different British 


prisons; and, being confident that our country would 
immediately redeem us, I resolved to bear my cap- 
tivity with as good a grace as possible and not give 
the Mahometans the satisfaction of seeing me de- 
jected, but alas! I had seen the best part only, I had 
as yet experienced but few of the bitters of slavery 
in comparison to what I afterwards suffered. 

As I have promised to give a detail of the treat- 
ment that Christian slaves receive in Barbary, and as 
I have experienced a great variety of scenes myself, 
I will give the particulars as they occur and will 
likewise take the liberty of making as many digres- 
sions as I deem necessary to facilitate my plan for 
which I most humbly beg the rigid critic's indul- 


Economy of the Dey's palace will describe the 
situation of slaves in all the Grandees and rich peo- 
ples' houses in the Regency of Algiers, making 
allowance for the caprices of Masters, some being 
better and some worse, as in other countries. The 
Dey's palace is governed by two Hasnadars or 
Chamberlains' and two chief cooks, the latter always 
eat with the Dey, no other person having any inter- 
ference with the internal regulations of the Dey's 
household. The two chief cooks on my arrival at 
Algiers had thirty-three Christians of different de- 
nominations, under their command, besides a number 
of Moors for doing the out door work, the Christians 
only being permitted to go out twice a year, on the 
second day of their two chief festivals. Those 
Christians are employed in the different offices of 
the kitchen and magazines of provisions in the 
palace. The chief cooks only superintend the whole. 
The two Chamberlains, of which the celebrated Ciddi 
Aly, afterwards Bashaw of Tripoli, was the chief, 
had the same number of Christian slaves under their 
jurisdiction. They were divided as follows: 

In the Dey's apartments, which are higher than 
the rest, the Capo di Golfa, (who is the head slave 
in the Regency, the Dey's chief Christian clerk ex- 


cepted), and four others. These are the Dey's body 
guards and do nothing else whatever. In the first 
gallery, or Chamberlain's apartment, fourteen, whose 
duty it is to keep that part of the house clean, take 
the dishes of meat for the Dey's and Chamberlain's 
tables from the kitchen, and in general whatever 
they were ordered to do, either by the Dey or 
Chamberlain, no other person interfering with them. 
Of this class the two coffee servers, whose duty it is 
to serve the Dey and Grandees with coffee of which 
mention will be made hereafter. As those are main- 
tained from the Dey's table, they live in general 
much better than they would in their own country, 
the use of wine excepted, as no inebriating liquor is 
permitted to be used in the palace on pain of a 
severe bastonading and being turned to hard labor 
in chains, nor is tobacco to be used, when the Dey 
does not use it himself, which was the case while I 
remained there. Not so in the garden. Here we 
had nothing allowed us but a small plate of meat and 
another of rice mumsa or burgul, and a basin of sour 
milk twice a day, which was hardly sufficient for four 
of us, with some oil and vinegar now and then and 
black bread, such as is given to the slaves at the 
Marine, and in the fruit season some musk and water- 
melons. The fruit of the garden was prohibited and 
kept for the Dey's own use and I have actually 
known several of my brother sufferers bastonaded 
for having been detected eating an orange or a small 
bunch of grapes. Those, who had friends in the 
kitchen or upper apartments, sometimes would get 
small supplies, but notwithstanding we were often 


seduced to making a kind of salad from the vine 
leaves to stay our craving appetites, and not unfre- 
quently have committed depredations on the Dey's 
pigeon house, at the risk of breaking our necks, ex- 
clusive of a severe bastonading if detected. We were 
under the jurisdiction of the Chamberlains and were 
often used by them in the most petulant, humiliating 
and cruel manner, of which more in the sequel. 
There were likewise two Christians called "captains 
a proa" whose duty it was to keep the lower part of 
the palace clean, to light the Dey down stairs in the 
morning, as he always takes his seat at the break of 
day, to remove the soldiers' beds who sleep at the 
doors of the treasury and whatever the Prime Minis- 
ter and store-keepers of the palace should order 
them, under whose jurisdiction they are all day, but 
at night they are classed with the cooks, as neither 
the Prime Minister or store-keepers sleep in the 
palace. Besides the Christians already mentioned 
there are a number of blacksmiths who work in the 
palace but sleep at the prison, and several mulateers 
to take away the filth of the palace which is consid- 
erable, as all the meat that is killed for the use of 
the palace is kept and slaughtered within the gates, 
and often have I seen the butcher cut a sheep's 
throat already dead and set it apart for the Chris- 
tians in the garden and the blacksmiths; besides the 
Dey's horses are also kept in the palace with a num- 
ber of mules and asses for labor, which creates a 
great deal of dirt which is carried out of the gates of 
town and heaped up for manure which is sold by the 
head scavenger as one of his perquisites. Thus are 


employed sixty-eight Christians, and the numbers 
that are employed in the great men's houses are 
treated nearly in the same manner, and those in the 
gardens not near so well. 

On the 1 2th of August arrived the Cruiser that 
captured the Dauphin with her crew on board, being 
fifteen in number, they had been used nearly in the 
same manner that we had, but being public property 
were brought from the Cruiser direct to the palace 
where they remained all night. It was a consolation 
to find us here as we informed them of many partic- 
ulars very pleasing to people in their situation, 
especially, that there were no galleys in Algiers and 
that they would not be made to wear chains any 
longer than the ships of war of England and France 
were in the bay unless they committed crimes to 
deserve them; that the officers would be sent to work 
in the sail loft and the seamen in the Marine, this 
was so much better treatment than they expected 
that they began to reconcile themselves to their situ- 
ation, and, as the clothes which they had on were not 
taken from them in consequence of their having an 
old English Mediterranean passport; when washed 
and cleaned they made a much better figure than we 
did. When paraded before the Dey the next morn- 
ing his Excellency chose several of them for the 
palace and the rest were sent to the Slave prison, 
which I shall describe when I become an inhabitant 
of it myself. Captain O'Brien, Stephens and Cofifin, 
the latter was a passenger on board the Dauphin, 
were immediately taken to the British Consul's house 
to serve as domestics where they remained suffering 


every indignity that inhumanity could devise to ren- 
der their situation humiliating in the extreme, until 
the arrival of the Count de Expilly who by the orders 
of Mr. Carmichael, Charge des Affairs at Madrid, 
took them under his protection, and hired a small 
house where they lived very comfortably for some- 
time upon the supplies furnished them by Mr. Car- 
michael and their friends in the palace. The Mates 
were likewise taken out of the Marine and placed 
with the Captains, but the Marines were left at hard 
labor and were only allowed three masoons a day 
to clothe and maintain them which is equal to 7^ 

I shall now return to the palace. The slaves in 
the upper apartments received two suits of elegant 
clothes trimmed with gold, those in the palace gar- 
den had the same quality of clothing with less gold, 
and the cooks were supplied with clothing somewhat 
inferior, trimmed with silk, those that are sent to the 
Marine to hard labor receive one suit of clothes 
which is seldom worth more than one dollar and a 
half, and each slave receives two coarse blankets 
which is supposed to last them the whole of their 
captivity; the slaves in the palace never receive any- 
thing else from the Dey, but those who work at hard 
labor are allowed a suit of clothes every year of the 
same value as is given them on their arrival, but no 
blankets. From what has been said of the slaves in 
the palace, the reader will be apt to believe that their 
situation is at least supportable, but the humiliations 
he undergoes verily make a person of any sensibility 
even more miserable than he would be at hard labor. 


as he has more time to reflect on the rigor of his 
fate. I shall enumerate a few of the acts of injustice 
which I either suffered myself or saw others suffer, 
while I remained in the palace and which every 
slave is subject to in so gceat a degree, that a 
Genoese on his redemption, kissing the hand of 
Mahomed Bashaw, Dey of Algiers, inadvertently 
said, "thank God I have been your servant ten years 
and never received the bastinado once." **Did you 
not," said the Dey? "Take this Christian and give 
him one hundred blows on the soles of his feet, that 
he may not have so great a miracle to tell his coun- 
trymen when he returns to his home." The poor 
man, thunder struck, exclaimed *T am free! surely 
your Excellency will not punish me for not having 
committed a fault in ten years' captivity?" "Give 
him two hundred blows," replied the Dey, "and if 
the Infidel says a word more, send him to the works 
again and inform the person, that has redeemed him, 
that he may have anyone of the same nation in his 
room. I will keep him till he dies, for his insolence." 
The poor man received the punishment, immediately 
went to the hospital to be cured, and embarked as 
soon as possible with no very favorable opinion of 
the Dey's justice and clemency, notwithstanding, he 
was supposed to be the least of a tyrant of any Dey 
that ever reigned in Algiers. It is written of Hassan 
Bashaw that he was always in dread of assassination. 
I will here mention that Hassan Bashaw succeeded 
the present Dey, Mahomed Bashaw at his death, in 
1791. Once, when one of his attendants was assist- 
ing Hassan Bashaw to change his linen, the shirt 


which he put over his head had not been altered 
since it came from the Levant, consequently had no 
place open to put his head through. The Dey's 
head was in a sack and he, supposing they were 
going to assassinate him, caught his attagan (sword) 
and flew at the youth, who being more nimble than 
the Dey, got out of his reach and his attendants did 
the same until he grew calm and put up his sword in 
its place, being convinced that he was in no danger 
of losing his life and that he was thus encased by 
the ignorance of the American. Another time, one 
of his attendants, who frequently walked in his 
sleep, one night, in his perambulations, frightened 
the Dey exceedingly. He called aloud for his ser- 
vants, who awakened the youth, and the blame was 
thrown on the cats, of which the palace was full. A 
few nights after the same person dreading the con- 
sequence of being met by the Dey in his night walks, 
agreed with one of his comrades to tie their legs 
together. At a dead hour of the night the Dey was 
alarmed by something and called his attendants with 
great vociferation, the youths, forgetting that they 
were tied, sprang forward to receive the Dey's orders 
and overturned one of their comrades against the 
door of the Dey's apartment, which flew open with a 
great noise. The Dey thought he was surprised and 
drew his sword and would certainly have put them 
to death, had not the darkness of the room prevent- 
ed his seeing them. This gave an opportunity for 
them to escape the first impulse of the Dey's wrath 
and, having tumbled headlong down stairs to loosen 
themselves, while another was procuring a light, the 


cause of the disturbance was explained, which paci- 
fied him for the present, but the next day they were 
both punished with bastinado. Thus was the lives of 
those unfortunate youths rendered extremely miser- 
able. Every moment they were menaced with bastina- 
does, hard labor, chains and death, and, when we 
consider that the Dey has the power of putting his 
menaces into execution with as much ease as he has 
to do any act, no matter how frivolous, we will readily 
conceive that their situation was by no means envi- 
able, their fine clothes, money and good living not 
excepted. The Christian slaves in the upper galleries 
are subject to the same indignities from the Hasna- 
dars, (ie) Chamberlains that those above suffer from 
the Dey and are often bastinadoed for mere trifles, 
such as speaking loud, procrastinating any part of 
the service assigned them, being found out of their 
rooms after a certain hour, or speaking to any of the 
cooks or the Christians in the garden, and on a 
thousand other pretenses. I have heard those illib- 
eral minded Renegades commence an absurd argu- 
ment with some of the slaves and on being confuted 
beat their opponents most unmercifully, and tell 
them they would teach them better manners than to 
dare to contradict them when they condescended to 
converse with them. The cooks have harder labor 
and less money than the other slaves, but have more 
liberty and, when the chief cook is a good man, 
which was the case while I remained in the palace, 
their situations were by far the most tolerable. 

The first two months I was stationed in the palace 
garden nothing very particular happened. We 


watched the wild beasts in rotation and performed 
the other duties assigned us without murmuring and 
were generally or individually abused by the Cham- 
berlains once or twice a day when they came to wash 
in order to purify themselves before they said their 
prayers, and very often some were bastinadoed from 
mere caprice. As I understood the French and 
Spanish languages sufficiently to read their authors, 
I employed myself in reading such books as I could 
borrow from the other slaves and writing, or teach- 
ing some of my companions practical navigation; 
this procured me the title of the false priest, the 
moshabbe, and many other names of a similar nature 
from the Chamberlains, and as the lower class, to in- 
gratiate themselves with their superiors, generally 
imitate them, these appellations proved a great 
source of disquiet and involved me in continual dis- 
putes both with the Chamberlains and Christians, 
and as I always refuted their arguments, it ultimately 
procured me many enemies among whom was Ciddi 
Aly the Chief Chamberlain, who uniformally perse- 
cuted me through the rest of my captivity until he 
was ultimately expelled from the Regency by Hassan 
Bashaw. A little more than two months after my 
admission into the Dey's garden, the slaves were 
permitted to go out into the town in consequence of 
the great festival of which the first and last day is 
celebrated in the palace with feasting, music, wrest- 
ling, and fireworks of very poor construction, before 
the palace gate. In the morning on the first day the 
banner of Mahomet is hoisted on the palace and the 
national flag on the fortifications, the cannon of the 


fortifications are fired, those next the sea with ball. 
When the wrestling is ended, the officers of the 
Regency and inhabitants kiss the Dey's hand while 
seated on his thix)ne, having the Hasnagi Agas at 
Hodga Beitelmel and Vikilharche of the Marine 
standing on his left hand, and the Chauxes and other 
inferior officers behind them. After the Mussulmen 
have all performed this act of humiliation and respect, 
not even excepting the hangman and scavengers, the 
Consuls have that honor conferred on them, next to 
them the head clerk and then the chief of the Jew 
brokers of the palace and their dependents. The 
Dey then invited the five Grandees to dine with him 
in his apartments, they are joined by the chief cook, 
and after dinner they retire to their respective 
houses and the Dey generally goes to visit his lady 
if he is married, if not he retires to sleep. 

The second day is a day of recreation for the 
slaves, and the third is celebrated in the same man- 
ner as the first except the firing of the cannon and 
visits from the Consuls. The British and French 
Consuls sensible of the indignity they would suffer 
by waiting on the Dey the first day of the festival 
always wait on him the day before, neither do they 
kiss his hand. On the second day of the festival the 
slaves are permitted to visit their friends and to 
absent themselves from six or seven in the morning 
until one in the afternoon, but are generally excused 
if they return by three, some few in particular em- 
ployment excepted. By special grace we were per- 
mitted to visit our countrymen at the British Consul's 
garden which was about three miles from the city. 


and there, to our surprise, we found Captain O'Brien 
with a hoe digging a hole to plant a tree in the Con- 
sul's garden; Stephens, with the capote given him by 
the Regency tied round his middle with a straw rope, 
driving a mule loaded with manure for the root of 
the tree, and Coffin, who was consumptive, feeding 
the hogs and poultry. We could not refrain from 
tears at viewing their humiliating situation which 
affected us the more as they suffered this indignity 
from a person, (the British Consul) , who ranked 
among Christians and gentlemen, was of the same 
religion and spoke the same language, and from 
whom a more humane treatment might naturally 
have been expected. We stayed but a short time, 
shared the money that had been given to us in the 
palace among them and returned to town, visited 
the poor fellows in the prison, borrowed some money 
from our comrades to give them and returned to the 
palace with a heavy heart, in order to be immured 
for ten months, where I remained without once being 
permitted to go out and was then sent to the Marine 
in consequence of some young Hollanders being 
captured on board a Russian prize. I had not been 
long in this garden before the persecutions of the 
Chamberlain became intolerable. I was prevented 
from reading or writing except by stealth and like- 
wise forbidden to speak to any of my countrymen, 
who were stationed in other parts of the palace. 
This was occasioned by my frequently retorting on 
them their insolence and barbarity, and in conse- 
quence of my observing in conversation that those, 
who were base enough to renegade the faith of their 


forefathers, generally became the most bitter enemies 
of those who continue faithful, in order to induce 
the secretaries, whose tenets they embrace, to be- 
lieve that they were really converted and had re- 
nounced their former opinions or convictipns, that 
they were really erroneous and thus made up for 
their ignorance by hypocricy and a pretended zeal 
for what they did not understand. This was reported 
to Ciddi Aly and Ciddi Mahomed (who were both 
renegades from the Greek church) probably with 
additions and afterwards they continued my most 
inveterate enemies. These deprivations (being pre- 
vented from reading and writing) I felt most sensibly 
and having nothing now to divert my mental facul- 
ties I really became a victim to melancholy reflec- 
tions, my spirits were so much depressed that I 
fainted several times in a day and, ultimately, was 
obliged to keep my bed. This was construed by the 
Chamberlain as a pretense in order to be sent to the 
hospital to divert myself. The Spanish surgeon 
petitioned for me without effect; however, he ren- 
dered me assistance and with the help of a good 
constitution I soon recovered. During my illness 
the Portuguese and Spaniards were continually per- 
suading me to change my religion, to confess imme- 
diately to restore myself to the bosom of the Holy 
Mother church. One old man, who had been nine- 
teen years in the garden, and who had experienced 
better days, seemed particularly interested for my 
soul. He very charitably offered to take all my 
sins upon himself, and to guarantee my full absolu- 
tion both in this world and the next and then laconic- 


ally asserted that if I died in the state of heretical 
reprobation that I was now in, he would pawn his 

own salvation that I would be d d to all eternity. 

So intent were these poor slaves on my conversion 
that I really believe, had I proposed to change my 
faith by subscription, that I would have raised a sum 
sufficient for my redemption. I had been about four 
months in captivity when one evening I heard a 
noise in another part of the garden. Induced by 
curiosity to know the cause, I went to where the 
sound proceeded from and found to my no small 
astonishment the two Chamberlains, diverting them- 
selves, beating with two sticks on the soles of the 
feet of a Portuguese who roared most tremendously. 
I asked his crime but received no answer before I was 
seized by four stout Moors who threw me down, 
pinioned my legs and arms and the same game was 
played on the soles of my feet to the tune of twenty- 
eight hard blows, which produced the most excruciat- 
ing pain and left me with four toe nails less than I 
had before this game commenced. All the fourteen 
were served in the same manner, none were pardoned 
for age or infirmity, but old men of sixty and children 
of ten years of age received the bastinado without 
ever knowing what it was for. After some days had 
elapsed, we found that we were indebted to the head 
gardener, a native of Malta, for this refreshment. It 
seems he had complained that he could not keep us 
in subjection, that we made use of the fruit which 
was intended for the Dey, and several frivolous 
charges, but, as he could not particularize the offend- 
ers, the Chamberlains concluded that by chastising 


the whole, they would undoubtedly find those who 
had offended. As for the innocent suffering unjust- 
ly that was a trifle of such little moment that it 
either entirely passed their notice or was deemed 
unworthy of attention. Twice more was I bastina- 
doed while I remained in the palace, once for writing 
and the last time for speaking to some of the Ameri- 
cans who belonged to the upper apartments. In the 
last were involved seven or eight. My comrade was 
included who was a simple, ignorant lad who was so 
much terrified that it had a sensible effect on his 
mind and I am sure it was the first step which caused 
him to lose his reason, of which more will be said 
hereafter. I could never have endured the anxiety 
and degradation under which I labored for any 
length of time had I not placed the greatest confi- 
dence in the generosity of mycountry. I thought it 
impossible that a nation just emerged from slavery 
herself would abandon the men who had fought for 
her independence to an ignominious captivity in 
Barbary, when they could be immediately redeemed 
for less than $50,000. I was not ignorant of the em- 
barrassments that our government labored under be- 
fore the adoption of the present Constitution, yet 
the sound policy of redeeming their citizens imme- 
diately appeared so evident that I was confirmed in 
my hopes, and, although I knew the treasury at that 
period was very poor, I was so sanguine as to believe 
that the sum would be loaned immediately to the 
government by individuals, or that our fellow citizens 
would have raised it by subscription, but I reckoned 
''without my host," as I lived more than ten years 


after this in captivity, experiencing every indignity 
that Barbarians could invent to render the life of a 
Christian miserable in the extreme, and I hesitate not 
to assert that no class of men suffered in any degree 
so much by the consequences attending the Ameri- 
can Revolution as those who were captured by the 
Algerines in 1785. 

The infirmities of age prevented Mahomed 
Bashaw from visiting the different apartments of the 
palace so often as formerly. He now only came to 
the bath in the garden once a month and always be- 
fore daylight. The Chamberlains, being thus deliv- 
ered from the apprehension of complaints being 
lodged against them by the slaves, gave loose to 
their tyrany and never came to the garden without a 
stick in their hands and never failed to use it on some 
of the unhappy captives, and, frequently, I became 
the victim of their rage. To divert themselves they 
had two small brass cannon with which they fired 
at marks, but if they missed they never failed 
to vent their spleen on the bystanders. To com- 
plete my sufferings Ciddi Mahomed had a great 
propensity to study alchemy and pitched upon me 
for his assistant, he asked me my opinion of the 
science. I treated it with ridicule. Sometimes I told 
him the Emperor Caligula was the first who prepared 
natural arsenic in order to make gold of it, and left 
it off in time, as many others would be obliged to do, 
if they did not wish to ruin themselves as they found 
the expenses exceeded the profits considerably, and 
many stories of a similar tendency, but these obser- 
vations had no effect upon this infatuated man. He 


still persevered and every crucible of metal procured 
me the most opprobrious language; at length he took 
it into his head that I knew something of the art, 
and relaxed the rigor of his treatment, and descend- 
ed to mean adulation in order to induce me to 
divulge all the secrets of the art with which he sup- 
posed I was acquainted. With a little address I 
might have converted this alchymist from being my 
inveterate enemy to be my temporary friend at the 
small price of my conscience, but the truth is I 
dispised him and my vanity would not permit me to 
temporize with a person of his character who daily 
had taken advantage of my situation, and treated me 
so inhumanely merely because he could do it with im- 
punity. Ciddi Aly likewise ridiculed the idea of 
making the philosopher's stone, and one day came 
into the garden and being in a good humor ex- 
claimed, "What the devil is the false priest likewise a 
gold maker? If the Bashaw knows this he will not let 
him be redeemed until he turns every cassarole in the 
palace into pure gold." I said nothing is farther 
from me my lord, than to have any pretention to 
the knowledge of so sublime an art. I have read 
that it has been said in times of ignorance, that the 
Arabians were supposed to have invented this mys- 
terious art, wherein they were followed by Raymond, 
Lullius, Paracelsus and others of different nations 
who never found anything but ashes in their furnaces 
and repentance in their hearts. So many have been 
ruined by this infatuating science that it is now 
entirely neglected and the authors who treated on 
that subject ridiculed as it is well known that the 


quadrature of the circle, perpetual motion, inex- 
tinguishable lamp and philosopher's stone have en- 
gaged the attention of philosophers and mathemati- 
cians from time immemorial without any effect, and 
with all just deference to Ciddi Mahomed's superior 
judgment is it reasonable for him to expect to suc- 
ceed with the small assistance he receives from a few 
leaves of an old Arabic author, two or three crucibles 
and a small portable furnace, when so many who 
have made this art their study for their whole lives 
and had every convenience that a large fortune could 
provide, have ultimately failed and ended their pur- 
suits in ruin? "Yes," answered Ciddi Aly laughing, 
'*But they did not possess the charms that Ciddi 
Mahomed knows." That is possible my lord, but 
permit me to observe that it would be as easy to 
charm me into a good Mussulman as to convert that 
metal in the crucible to pure gold. "Ah! thou false 
priest, though hardened Infidel! I know that to be 
impossible, you are destined to take up your eternal 

residence in the mansions of the d d." With this he 

gave a kick to the crucible and walked away with 
Ciddi Aly who laughed very heartily and Ciddi 
Mahomed muttered something in the Turkish lan- 
guage which I did not understand. During the time 
I remained in the palace no mention was made of 
the philosopher's stone, nor was I used any worse 
than my fellow prisoners, but in all reason that was 
bad enough to satisfy the malevolence of a disap- 
pointed Greek alchemist, or even the persecuting 
spirit of the inquisition. 


The period now approached that was to put an 
end to my sufferings in the palace, and to give birth 
to a new species of indignity. Two large vessels, the 
one a Russian and the other a Leghornese, were cap- 
tured by the Cruisers of Algiers, on board of which 
were several handsome youths who were taken into 
the palace, and eight of the oldest and ugliest were 
sent into the Slave prison called the Bagnio Belique 
in order to be sent to hard labor the next day, among 
whom was myself and my American comrade before 
mentioned, but as we had not committed any crime 
we had none of our clothes taken from us but were 
permitted to depart with all our wardrobe. As this 
closes the first year of my captivity, and the next 
opens with fresh scenes of horror I shall conclude 
this chapter and in my next give a circumstantial 
detail of Mr. Lamb's negotiation with the Regency 
of Algiers which proved extremely detrimental to 
the captives as it fed them with false hopes of ob- 
taining their liberty soon, and prevented their friends 
from exerting themselves to procure their ransom, 
and by deceiving the Dey with unwarranted expecta- 
tions he committed the honor and dignity of his 
country and led the Dey and Grandees to believe 
that the government of the United States was 
trifling with them and in the event of a negotiation 
for peace prevented that explicit confidence being 
placed in the promises of the negotiators on the part 
of the United States, a sacred adherence to, and com- 
pliance with, ought forever to characterize the public 
operations of contracting powers, especially those 
divided by so great a distance as the United States 
and the Regency of Barbary. 


On the 25th of March 1786 John Lamb, Esq., 
Ambassador Plenipotentiary from the United States 
of America, and Mr. Randall, Secretary, arrived at 
Algiers in a Spanish Brig commanded by Capt. 
Basilini. He was recommended by the Count 
Expilley, his Catholic Majesty's Ambassador and 
Monsieur du Kersey, his Christian Majesty's Consul 
General, and Mr. John Woulfe a British Merchant, 
who had long been in Barbary and was perfectly ac- 
quainted with the manner of conducting business in 
those Regencies. It is worthy of remark that this 
Cosmopolitan Ambassador was recommended to the 
agents of the nations whose interests were exactly 
opposite, and probably did not combine in any one 
article except preventing the United States of 
America from obtaining a peace with the piratical 
states of Barbary. France had for a number of years 
monopolized the whole trade of the Barbary states, 
and had established several factories on their coasts; 
and, by the intrigues of the African Company and 
Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles, and her agents, 
had, in a great measure, impeded the success of the 
different Armados sent against Algiers by the Span- 
iards and their confederates. So sensible were they 
of the advantages arising from an undivided com- 


merce that exclusive of the stipulations paid for the 
monopoly of several important articles of trade and 
occasional presents made by that government to the 
Dey and Grandees of Algiers, that of their own free 
will and accord, they presented annually considerable 
presents of sweetmeats, dried and preserved fruits, 
comfits, marmalades, pickles, anchovies, olives, cat- 
sup, liquor, capilier, orgeat, chestnuts, apples, pears 
and every other nick-nack that a Frenchman can in- 
vent or procure to render himself acceptable. This 
present generally arrived in December, and latterly 
custom had so established their expectations that if 
it did not come in time they demanded it as a right, 
and annoyed the Consuls continually until it was dis- 
tributed. This may serve to show how pernicious 
any innovations are on established customs, and how 
much to blame the Consuls are to make presents in 
order to obtain permission to load a cargo of wheat 
when they deliver their consular or bi-ennial presents. 
If they give a more valuable watch or snuff box than 
usual the next presents must be as good at least, 
thus by degrees the consular and bi-ennial presents 
have amounted from an inconsiderable sum annually 
to the exorbitant sum exacted at present, and is 
generally supposed to be occasioned by the rapacity 
of the Algerine government when in reality, it has 
been occasioned by the iniquity of the Consuls. For 
this reason the British, French, and Spanish Consuls 
are prevented by their governments from trade, and 
give them and their secretaries competent salaries to 
maintain their dignity as representatives of their 
respective nations; and until the United States 


adopts the same plan, they will continually be liable 
to insult and imposition. It is not therefore to be 
supposed that the agent of the French government 
would assist an enterprising commercial nation to 
share the commerce of the Mediterranean by effect- 
ing a peace with the states of Barbary, notwithstand- 
ing the stipulation in our treaty with France to that 
effect, already quoted, as it would evidently tend to 
the disadvantage of the community of which he is 
the member. The Spanish Ambassador had it not 
in his power to be of any assistance to the United 
States had he been so blind to the interest of his 
nation as to have attempted it. Hitherto he had 
counteracted the intrigues of the French agents and 
merchants established here by the profusion with 
which he lavished his Master's wealth, and had actu- 
ally expended more than was exacted for the re- 
demption of the American captives, but one insuper- 
able obstacle he could not surmount, the Dey insist- 
ed on the Spaniards delivering up to them the 
garrison of Oran in the same state that it was then 
in, which they had not power to grant nor would the 
Court of Spain pay any attention to any such pro- 
posal, having several years prior to this refused the 
Emperor of Morocco a similar demand in regard to 
Penon de Welly, Melilla Centa and other Spanish 
garrisons on the coast of that Empire. 

Mr. John Woulfe had been an unsuccessful candi- 
date for both the British and Spanish Consulates of 
Algiers, though in every respect calculated for 
either. He had been settled at Tripoli in Barbary 
as a merchant where he married Miss Aplegath and 


moved from thence to Algiers in 1779, and acted as 
British Consul while that Consulate was vacant, but 
like many worthy men who are obliged to be absent 
a long time from home, he had it not in his power to 
make sufficient interest to obtain the appointment. 
Mr. Logic had arrived in 1785, and some disputes 
having arisen between them, they ever after viewed 
themselves as rivals, and Mr. Logic spared no pains 
to injure Mr. Woulfe's family when he could find the 
least pretext to do it with impunity. These events 
rendered Mr. Woulfe a very proper person to be 
employed by the government of the United States 
to negotiate a peace with the Regency of Algiers 
or to ransom the American captives. He under- 
stood the manners, customs and language of the 
Algerine government, had free access to the head of 
the Regency, and consequently, was under no neces- 
sity to employ a third person, and being disappoint- 
ed in his expectations of both the other Consulates, 
it is not improbable that he would propose to him- 
self the American Consulate as his reward for his 
services in effecting a peace which would induce 
him to redouble his exertions, especially as he, in a 
private capacity, could neither be biased by private 
considerations or national interest, to impede the 
progress of the negotiations; but on the contrary, his 
interest combined with ours and as he knew that a 
peace was unattainable with the Regency of Algiers 
at the present moment, he advised Mr. Lamb to 
endeavor to effect the ransom of the captives first, 
and in the meantime, to make interest with the 
heads of the Regency and endeavor to induce them 


to get the better of the Dey's partiality to Great 
Britain, which could only be done by their entreaty 
and a rich present, besides presents to the Grandees for 
their mediation, but as Mr. Lamb was not furnished 
with the means for procuring those presents imme- 
diately, Mr. Woulfe wisely concluded that it would 
be advisable to postpone informing the Dey that he 
was empowered to negotiate the terms on which 
peace might be concluded until his return with the 
cash for the redemption of the captives. The Count 
de Expilley and Monsieur du Kercey were of a 
different opinion and observed that the United 
States were not in a situation to expend a large sum 
of money in bribing the Ministry of Algiers as Spain 
had done, and therefore, advised Mr. Lamb to make 
application to the Dey at once as the least expen- 
sive way of negotiating though not the most success- 
ful. Mr. Lamb took their advice and requested 
them to wait upon the Dey and request his Excel- 
lency to permit him to deliver his credentials from 
the government of the United States, and to receive 
him as their Ambassador Plenipotentiary for nego- 
tiating a treaty of peace between the said states and 
the Regency of Algiers. This they absolutely re- 
fused to do, which is sufficient evidence that they 
determined to use their influence in our favor, but after 
some discussion they determined on the same evening 
to send the French Consul's Drogoman to the palace 
(having been properly tutored for the purpose) to 
make the request. The Drogoman returned saying 
his Excellency would send an answer in a few days, 
not being at leisure to weigh the Ambassador's pro- 


posal. No answer having been received from the 
Dey on the 27th of March, Mr. Lamb again sent the 
French Drogoman to request his Excellency to give 
him a private audience, and to permit him to ascer- 
tain the terms on which his Excellency would con- 
clude a peace between the Regency of Algiers and 
the United States of America, and to agree for the 
ransom of the American citizens now in captivity. 
The Dey answered that there were many insurmount- 
able obstacles to be removed before he could receive 
an Ambassador from the United States of America 
to treat on terms of peace, but if Mr. Lamb would 
content himself to treat only for the redemption of 
his countrymen in captivity he would receive him in 
a few days. On the ist of April, 1786, Mr. Lamb 
was introduced to the Dey by Monsieur du Kercey 
and Mr. John Woulfe. Mr. Lamb requested his 
Excellency to inform him what he exacted for the 
ransom of twenty-one Americans which he held in 
captivity. The Dey answered that he did not con- 
sider them in the same point of view that he did the 
subjects of other nations at war with him, that he 
would expect a much higher price for them and 
would give an answer at his next audience. On the 
3rd Mr. Lamb waited upon the Dey who asked him 
what he was willing to give for the ransom of his 
countrymen, when he replied ;^io,ooo. The Dey 
answered "you may have them for $50,000 if you 
think proper, but nothing less. I am not anxious to 
dispose of them; they are wanted to work at the 
Marine; they are the best sailors we have and 
Belique has plenty of bread and olives to give them." 


Mr. Lamb observed that the price was exorbitant 
and double the price that any other nation paid for 
their people in the same situation. "You are at 
liberty to leave them" said the Dey. Mr. Lamb 
promised to give his Excellency an answer at his 
next audience and retired. On the 5th Mr. Lamb 
went again to the palace and offered the Dey $30,000 
for the ransom of the captives. The Dey was dis- 
pleased with his supposing him to be capable of 
huckstering like a Jew and answered, "I should con- 
ceive that I was defrauding the Hasna (i. e.) treasury, 
were I to abate one dollar in my demand, but as my 
own perquisite is at my own disposal I will remit 
that sum which is 10 per cent, and if you are not 
satisfied I desire you will not trouble me any more 
on the subject. I told you already that we have 
plenty of bread and olives to give them." Mr. Lamb 
promised to consider on the Dey's demand and to 
give him his answer in a few days. On the 7th Mr. 
Lamb waited upon the Dey and finding him inflexi- 
ble he agreed to pay the sum already mentioned for 
the redemption of the captives, but specified that as 
the United States were at a great distance, that he 
could not promise to return with the cash in less than 
four months from his departure from Algiers. The 
Dey answered the sooner he paid the money the 
sooner he should have the captives. Mr. Lamb re- 
tired to the French Consul's house where the Dey 
sent his own Drogoman a short time afterwards to 
desire him to come to the palace. He immediately 
complied and the Dey interrogated him to know 
whether he was perfectly contented with the agree- 


ment he had made. He answered that he would 
have been better content had the terms been more 
favorable, but that he ratified the agreement and 
hoped that his Excellency in consequence thereof 
would be disposed to listen to his proposals of 
peace on the part of the United States when he re- 
turned with the cash. ''Make peace with your father 
the King of England" answered the Dey "and then 
come to me and I will make peace with you." He 
then ordered Osman Hodga, principal Secretary of 
State, to register in the books of the Regency that 
the American had agreed to redeem twenty-one 
American prisoners for the sum of $48,300 Spanish 
dollars prime cost, and had promised to return with 
the cash in four months from his departure from 
Algiers. Mr. Lamb took leave of the Dey and re- 
turned to the French Consul's house The event was 
the topic of conversation for several days. The 
American prisoners were in a manner reanimated and 
resolved to bear the remaining four months of their 
captivity with becoming patience and fortitude. No 
further hopes were entertained of procuring peace 
at present, but Mr. Woulfe determined to try every 
justifiable means to lay the foundation of one by Mr. 
Lamb's return with the cash, and anticipating suc- 
cess, advised Mr, Lamb before his departure to wait 
upon the Intendant General of the Marine who had 
great influence with the Dey, and to endeavor to en- 
gage his good offices in our behalf. With these 
views Mr. Lamb waited on the Intendant General at 
his garden and was introduced by Capt. Basilini. 
None of the gentlemen to whom he was recom- 


mended choosing to be present. Mr. Lamb solicited 
his mediation with the Dey in favor of the United 
States, but was answered that the United States had 
chosen an improper time to sue for peace; that Spain 
had not terminated her affairs with this Regency; 
that their subjects were still in captivity; that there 
was no knowing what turn affairs might take before 
they were finally settled; that the government of 
Algiers made it a rule never to negotiate for peace 
with two Christian powers at once; that, exclusive 
of the above impediment being in the way of our 
negotiation, the Dey had private reasons for not ad- 
mitting him in that capacity at the present time; 
that for his own part he was well disposed towards 
the Americans himself, but that under existing cir- 
cumstances Mr. Lamb could not help seeing the in- 
utility as well as the impropriety of his interfering in 
the affair when the Dey had given him a positive 
negative already. Mr. Lamb left Algiers without 
making any further application to any person and 
left the prisoners in the lively hope of seeing him 
with the money for their ransom in four months, the 
limited time. They little imagined they were to 
remain over ten years longer in captivity after the 
honor of their country was pawned for their redemp- 
tion, but nevertheless- that was the case. I was not 
informed at this time by whom Mr. Lamb was em- 
powered to negotiate or whether he was empowered 
at all, but that he made the agreement and that the 
government of the United States never ratified it, the 
consequences of which was no confidence was placed 
in anything that was said in our behalf and we re- 


mained nearly eleven years in the vilest slavery are 
facts as incontrovertible as they are lamentable. 
I have since been informed that he was empowered 
by Messrs. Jefferson and Adams and I have seen 
the copy of their letters (1787). Had Mr. Lamb 
been a man in every way adequate to the task he 
had undertaken, circumstances were such when he 
arrived in Algiers that he could have effected little 
more than he did; this however was not the case as 
he was extremely illiterate and as vulgar as can well 
be imagined, which did not create the most favorable 
opinion of the government which he said had sent him, 
nor were the impressions which he left behind him at all 
favorable to himself or his fellow citizens in captivity. 
It may not be improper in this place to observe that 
the idea cherished by our government at that period, 
that the redemption of the captives would effect our 
obtaining a peace was extremely erroneous, for the 
Barbary states detain captives on purpose to have it 
in their power to impose what terms of peace they 
think proper on the nations who claim them as citi- 
zens or subjects. But that was not the case in regard 
to us at Algiers, for in this as well as in every subse- 
quent negotiation no impediment was placed in the 
way of our redemption, independent of any stipula- 
tion being made for peace, consequently we could 
not affect it in any other way than by depriving the 
government and their agents of a source of intelli- 
gence which might be depended on, but I could not 
for a moment suppose that they would keep a num- 
ber of men in slavery for eleven years and more 
without even furnishing them with the means of 


subsistence, had no better means for doing so than 
the above existed; and although our government at 
that time was poor, they could easily have raised the 
sum exacted for our redemption. One cargo of 
tobacco sold in England, France or Holland, would 
have paid our ransom. In consequence of her 
most Faithful Majesty sending an efficient force to 
Gibraltar to prevent the Cruisers from Barbary 
proceeding to cruise in the Atlantic ocean and the 
Dey sending his Cruisers to assist the Grand Signior 
against the Russians in the Black sea, nothing was 
attempted against the nations at peace with Algiers, 
nor did any negotiation of moment take place for 
some years. The first was an attempt made by Messrs. 
Bushara and Danino, Hebrew merchants, to ascer- 
tain the sum exacted for the remainder of the Ameri- 
cans who had escaped the plague. This they effected 
in 1790, not without some difficulty, as will be seen 
by the transactions of that period. In the meantime 
I will continue my narrative of the treatment we 
received from the departure of Mr. Lamb until the 
above mentioned negotiation took place, which 
terminated exactly as Mr. Lamb had done. 


Three months had elapsed since the departure of 
Mr. Lamb, when the Christians arrived which caused 
our expulsion from the palace garden. We were in 
lively expectation of a speedy redemption, but I 
must candidly confess that I was not so sanguine 
as a number of my fellow sufferers; we had heard 
nothing from Mr. Lamb since his departure, and I 
conceived that in three months (had he a credit in 
Europe) he would have given the Regency some ac- 
count of his proceedings, and considering that he had 
likewise requested to negotiate a peace, I naturally 
concluded that he would be obliged to communicate 
his proceedings to congress before any step would 
be taken towards our redemption, and consequently, 
did not expect to be redeemed in less than nine or 
ten months from his departure from Algiers; never- 
theless I was rejoiced to leave the palace garden, as 
at that period I could not conceive that a more 
humiliating situation than mine was in existence. I 
was convinced that the honor of our country was 
connected with our redemption; that it could not 
possibly be protracted for more than a year at the 
utmost, and I finally resolved to bear the hardest 
labor accompanied with hunger, nakedness and all 
their concomitant miseries in preference to the senti- 


mental afflictions I then suffered. I was likewise 
actuated by so strong a desire to change my situa- 
tion in hopes of procuring information which would 
enable me to ameliorate it, and be the means of 
alleviating the sufferings of my unfortunate fellow 
citizens, that I really viewed my expulsion from the 
palace garden as the greatest blessing that could 
befall me under the existing circumstances. On the 
evening of the 29th of July, 1786, the Christian chief 
clerk of the Dey and Regency informed the captives 
in the palace garden that he had orders to conduct 
eight of them to the Bagnio Belique, as the Dey had 
thought proper to replace them with the captives 
newly arrived. Accordingly two Portuguese, two 
Americans, and four Spaniards, among whom was 
myself and unfortunate companion, were selected and 
ordered to prepare ourselves immediately. My 
wardrobe was contained in a small basket, which 
with two blankets, a few books and papers, a four- 
dollar gold coin and two sequins in gold, constituted 
the whole of my worldly possessions. We left the 
palace without regret as we were ignorant of the 
situation we were destined for, but we were soon un- 
deceived, and for myself I candidly own that I found 
a great deal of difference between the Bagnio 
Belique and hard labor at the public works, and the 
palace garden with all its evils, but the nature of 
mankind is such that they are never sensible of the 
blessings they enjoy until they are deprived of them, 
when they learn to appreciate their value by com- 
parison. We rejoiced that we had escaped the 
humiliation of taking care of wild beasts and keeping 


the garden in order, and the tyranny of the two 
Hasnadars, but did not consider that seeking to 
avoid Scylla" we had fallen upon Charibdis and were 
now exposed to the more ferocious Ibram Rais 
Guardian Bashaw% and his numerous minions, a 
more motley crew than whom never breathed the 
ambient air. I observed that the Regency only 
allows the slaves in the palace their living on their 
first arrival, they are ever afterwards obliged to 
furnish themselves with every article of apparel from 
the perquisites they receive, which are collected 
from the coffeegies in the following manner. When 
the Beys, Caliphs, Alcaides, Sheiks and in general 
every stranger who is permitted the honor of drink- 
ing coffee with the Dey, including Christian Am- 
bassadors and sometimes Consuls, are presented with 
coffee, when they return the cup they put a quantity 
of gold according to their rank into it and give it to 
the coffeegie, who depoits it in a box in the Dey's 
apartment. His Excellency generally makes a small 
addition to it himself and divides it twice a year 
among the captives according to his own pleasure. 
It sometimes amounts to ^3,oco annually and is 
seldom less than ^2,000, which is sufficient to supply 
all their wants as well as to enable them to assist 
their brother sufferers at hard labor in the nauseous 
prisons called the Bagnios, of which there are three, 
which shall be described in due season. The coffee- 
gies, in addition to their share of the money extorted 
in a manner from the Dey's visitors, are allowed to 
pester the Beys and Caliphs when they visit the 
Hasnagi and chief cooks, and seldom fail to bene- 


fit by their impudence. Several of the other slaves 
are likewise permitted to waylay those great men 
on the palace stairs and under the pretense of pay- 
ing their devoirs by kissing their hands, likewise levy 
their contributions while they show their respect in 
proportion to the sums they receive, which, if not 
equal to their expectations, which seldom is the case, 
never fail to curse the supposed parsimony of the 
donor. Once when Salah Bey of Constantine, who 
was very liberal, was retreating from the Dey's 
palace with as much expedition as possible, his 
patience and cash being nearly exhausted, he was 
saluted by an inferior Moor of his province, who was 
employed by the Dey. Here, says Salah Bey, take 
your revenge, giving him some money, your country- 
men shall reimburse me on my return to Constantine. 
I am at Algiers what your Sheiks are there, they 
complain of the exactions which it is my duty to 
make upon them in order to pay the tribute due to 
the Dey and Regency; but if they had once made a 
tri-ennial visit to Algiers they would marvel at my 
moderation and be no way ambitious of the apparent 
respect which is shown me by the different classes 
of the inhabitants, which has cost me so many thou- 
sands; but so long as Bobba Mahomed (meaning the 
Dey) is content, then I am perfectly satisfied. May 
the immortal Allah prolong his reign in happiness 
and internal peace, beloved by his subjects, and 
feared by his enemies. There are other Christians 
who have likewise a right, founded on custom, to 
pay their respects to the Beys and Caliphs among 
whom are the Dey's chief attendant in the palace (who 


carries them the Caftan or role of honor from the 
Dey, who is rewarded by the Beys with about two 
hundred dollars and by the Caliph with about half 
that sum) the Dey's chief Christian clerk, his clerk 
and several others, besides those unhappy men are 
made to disgorge their ill acquired wealth in all the 
Grandee's houses where they visit, and, generally, 
return to their government completely fleeced, and 
commence their impositions on the Moors, the 
different tribes of Arabs, the Jews, and every other 
class of beings whom Almighty Providence has sub- 
jected to their yoke, with surprising alacrity and 
without the least shadow of remorse, being stimu- 
lated thereto by the treatment they themselves have 
received at Algiers, and the fear of being deficient 
in the sum to satisfy the avarice of the Dey and 
Grandees and inhabitants of that city, when the 
period arrives for their return with the tri-ennial 

On our arrival at Bagnio Belique we were intro- 
duced to Ibram Rais, who acted as the Guardian 
Bashaw, in consequence of his age and sickness he 
was soon afterwards confirmed in the post, the 
superior guardians having died of the plague. I 
shall only take notice of him in that station where 
he remained during the rest of my captivity and 
several years afterwards. He was at this period 
guardian of the large pontoon for cleaning out the 
harbor and was generally supposed to be the most 
cruel, unrelenting guardian that had ever been in 
Algiers. He had lately returned from Malta, where 
he had remained in captivity for fourteen years, and 


having been cruelly treated himself on board the 
Maltese Galleys, he was determined to retaliate on 
the slaves whom he had under his command, and 
revenge the insults he had "received at Malta, upon 
the innocent men who were not even of the same 
nation, for at this period he had not even one 
Maltese under his command and there were but two 
of that nation in the Regency, who were captured 
under the Portuguese flag by the same cruise that I 
was. The reception that we received from this petty 
tyrant will both characterize the man and deliniate 
the horrors of our situation. He was sitting under 
the gallows at the outer gate. In the porch were a 
double row of guardians Sbirro all armed with sticks, 
thick rope, and other offensive weapons, the guard- 
ians who were soldiers being also armed with 
attagans (swords) and pistols, and the walls of the 
porch were decorated with clubs, halters, chains, 
shackles and handcuffs, the whole forming the most 
dejecting "Coup de Oeil" that imagination can pos- 
sibly conceive. "Well, gentlemen," commenced 
Ibram Rais, "so you were not content with your 
situation in the palace and have preferred my ac- 
quaintance to the Hasnadars. You are all young and 
healthy and too well clothed for slaves, you shall 
have something to divert you tomorrow at Bebel 
Wey'd, I will show you there how I was treated at 
Malta. Here, Sbirro, put stout rings on these gentle- 
men's legs and let them be awakened and brought 
to me before daylight at the Marine gate." 

The head clerk now interfered and informed him 
that we had committed no fault and that the Hasna- 


dar had ordered him to have them sent to the 
Marine. "They shall go to the Marine," answered the 
surly Guardian, "but from thence I will send them 
where I please, they don't know what slavery is yet; 
it is time they should learn; I have not forgot the 
treatment I received from Christians when I was a 
slave." I observed that I was an American and that 
it would be extremely hard for me to suffer for the 
injuries he had received from the Maltese, who were 
situated at the distance of 6,000 miles from my 
country and were likewise of a different religion, 
which taught them from time immemorial to view 
the Mahometans with emnity; but that in America 
there probably had never been a Mussulman and 
that we never had been at war with any nation of 
that religion. "True," answered he, (curling his 
whiskers), "but you are Christians and if you have 
not injured Mussulmen it was not for the want of 
will, but for want of power, if you should chance to 
take any of our Cruisers how would you treat our 
people?" "That will entirely depend on how you treat 
those of my nation whom you have captured," I 
answered, "and you may be assured sir that my nation 
will retaliate upon those who treat their unfortunate 
citizens with undeserved cruelty." "Slave!" answered 
he, "I am not accustomed to listen to the arguments 
of Infidels; you are too loquacious for a young man; 
retire immediately and for the future be silent and 
obey." "I shall obey sir, but never be silent while 
there remains a higher tribunal to appeal to." My 
fellows by this time had all kissed this tyrant's hand, 
and we were ushered into the prison yard and there 



left to shift for ourselves, having first had a large iron 
shackle bolted and riveted above our ancles, which 
weighed about 20 ounces. The Sbirro informed us that 
we might have it changed for a small iron ring, by 
paying a sequin each to the Guardian Bashaw and 12 
masoons to him for his trouble and for the ring. I 
felt too indignant to give him any answer, and my 
American companion did not understand him. No 
sooner had this ceremony ended than we were 
obliged to give in our names to the clerk of the 
prison, and were ordered to hold ourselves in readi- 
ness to march to the Marine gate at daylight the 
next morning; at the same moment the Sbirro called 
out in a most tremendous tone thrice distinctly Capi 
Capar (e i) which in the Turkish language means we 
are closing the gate, when immediately emerged 
from the taverns a motley crew of Turks, Moors, 
Arabs, and even some Jews, all intoxicated, some 
half naked, having sold or pawned their clothes to 
the Christian tavern keepers for liquor, others sing- 
ing or shouting, some with drawn swords swearing 
they would kill the first person that offended them 
and some few reeling peacefully to their habitations 
or, if soldiers, to the public barracks. The gates of 
the prison were then shut for the night and a heavy 
chain was drawn across the inside of the outer gate 
and the inner one was bolted and locked; the prison 
was now under the control of the Christian Corporals 
who were all deserters from the Spanish garrison of 
Oran, where they had been banished from their 
country, either for murder or theft, and before their 
appointment here, had in general signalized them^ 


selves as the most hardened villains in the Regency. 
As these Corporals have a tavern allowed them free 
of excise they generally mark such Christians as they 
suppose to have money or are in the way of earning 
any, and if they do not frequent their tavern, are 
continually persecuted by them, as the prisoners 
at night are entirely under their command and an 
unfavorable report in the morning from one of those 
miscreants will not fail to procure the person com- 
plained of a severe bastinadoing and several weeks 
in chains besides. They have power to keep any per- 
son that displeases them the whole night chained by 
the leg or the neck to a stone pillar, of which there 
are several in each prison, and in the day time they 
can persecute any of the slaves with impunity while 
at their labor and place them at the hardest and 
most disagreeable work. It is therefore at least 
prudent to keep on as good terms as possible with 
these petty despots and to occasionally bribe them, 
which will not fail to procure rest and frequently ex- 
emption from labor for several weeks successsively. 
They are likewise receivers of stolen goods and share 
with the Guardians the product of this kind of com- 
merce, and not unfrequently the blame is thrown on 
innocent persons to whom they owe some private 
pique, while the culprit is allowed to go unpunished 
and revel with them on the plunder they have taken 
from some poor Jew or Christian, and frequently 
Turks and Moors share a similar fate; nevertheless a 
number of those robbers are detected and severely 
punished when they have not made their peace with 
the Guardians through the agency of the Corporals. 


It is necessary to observe that these robberies are in 
general committed by deserters from Oran (which 
are here called Carneros (i. e.) sheep) as they come 
into slavery like sheep to the slaughter and are not 
captives but voluntary slaves. Between such classes 
great distinctions are made, as none of the former 
were ever employed in the palace or Grandee's 
houses, or were made clerks of by the Regency until 
very lately that the latter became so scarce that they 
could not find enough to do their domestic work. They 
are now more mixed than formerly and it is worthy 
of observation that few crimes are committed by 
people taken at sea, and when a crime is committed 
the mistrust falls on those people as their iniquities 
have made it a proverbial saying among the 
Mahometans that any bad person has acted like a 
"Carnero from Oran" as they believe them with 
great reason to be capable of anything. In this 
prison are kept all the criminals, and sometimes 
forty or fifty are here chained two and two together 
for months, nay, some for years, for different crimes. 
The jingling of chains adds horror to this dismal 
dungeon beyond conception, which with the stench 
and unnatural imprecations and blasphemy of some 
of its miserable inhabitans, makes it really a perfect 
pandemonium. I will now proceed to describe this 
receptacle of human misery. 

The Bagnio de Belique is an oblong hollow 
square, 140 feet in length and 60 in breadth, is three 
stories high and may be about 50 feet high to the 
top of the terrace. The whole of the apartments are 
built upon arches and have no windows except a 


small iron grating in each of the upper apartments, 
and receive the light and air from the doors. The 
lower story has no grating and is converted into 
taverns which are kept by the Christian slaves who 
pay their rent and very high duties for permission to 
sell liquors and provisions in them. They are per- 
fectly dark and in the day are illuminated with lamps, 
and when full of drunken Turks, Moors, Arabs, 
Christians, and now and then a Jew or two, especially 
on Fridays, the day the Christians are sometimes 
permitted to rest in the prison from their labor, 
forms the most disgusting "Coup de Oeil" that can 
be imagined, especially when you add to the noise 
an instrument called a triboocca, a tabor or quinterra, 
and a guitar and sometimes a fiddle and Turkish 
guitar, and not unfrequently an Italian mandolin and 
Spanish guitar, each singing or rather shouting in 
different languages, without the least connection, the 
place filled with the smoke of tobacco which renders 
objects nearly impervious to the view, some wran- 
gling with the tavern keepers for more liquor and 
refusing to pay for it, that upon the whole it must 
resemble the infernal regions more than any other 
place in the known world, especially, when they 
frequently quarrel among themselves and proceed to 
blows and even murder often takes place in those 
receptacles of vice and immortality, which generally 
occasions the tavern keeper to lose all his property 
as the tavern is in the most instances seized by the 
Regency and the tavern keeper sent to hard labor 
unless he bribes the Guardian to make a favorable 
report of the case. It is impossible for any person 


to conceive or even to believe when related what 
innumerable ways and with what avidity the Corporals 
and Guardians search for occasions to plunder those 
poor wretches and in general all those that receive 
money during their captivity from friends or having 
ingenuity or industry to earn it. In all the prisons 
in the evening may be seen different tradesmen at 
work, among which shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, 
coopers, sawyers, and some hucksters are those who 
meet with the most constant employment and make 
the most money. Before slaves became so scarce in 
the Regency a number of slaves of this description 
were permitted to remain in the prisons to work by 
paying the Regency one dollar per month and 
bribing the Guardians and spending their evenings 
at the Corporal's tavern, but latterly few can gain 
this permission and none except some Christian 
Consul or merchant becomes responsible for their 
conduct. Formerly this favor was obtained through 
the influence of the slaves in the palace or Grandees' 
houses, but so many misbehaved that at present the 
free Christians will not be responsible for any only 
those whom they employ in their own houses, even 
if permission could be procured from the Regency. 
The second and third story of this dungeon is sur- 
rounded by a small corridor or gallery from whence 
are entrances into long, narrow rooms where the 
slaves sleep. They are hung in square frames one 
over another, four tier deep, and they repose as well 
as mirerable wretches can be supposed to do who 
are swarming with myriads of vermin of all sorts, 
many nearly naked and few with anything more than 


an old tattered blanket to cover them with in the 
depth of winter; for those who have the means of 
subsistence either live in the tavern or little boxes 
called rooms, built of boards hanging round the 
galleries for which they pay the Regency from 
twelve to fifty-four masoons per month, notwith- 
standing, before the Spanish and Neapolitan redemp- 
tions in 1787, and the mortality by the plague, 
numbers of those forlorn outcasts were obliged to 
lie in the galleries or wherever they could find shelter 
from the inclemency of the weather. In the center 
of the prison or very near is the well from which 
water is drawn from the cistern, which is nearly as 
large as the whole prison and was formerly supplied 
from the terrace of the prison with rain water, but is 
now partially supplied when necessity requires it 
from the waterworks of the city which shall be 
described hereafter. The whole of the building is 
covered with a terrace which has only two communi- 
cations with the prison. It would be a great recreation 
to the slaves, especially in the summer, were they 
permitted to walk or sleep there, but that is strictly 
prohibited; one communication is through the Dey's 
chief clerk's apartment and the keys of the other are 
kept by the head Corporal, consequently none are 
permitted to go on the terrace but whom they please, 
and as they are generally such different characters 
the Corporals seldom make use of the privilege to 
the great satisfaction of the chief clerks who are by 
no means ambitious for the society of this class of 
men. The chief clerk's apartments are comprised 
of two handsome rooms and a kitchen, which with 


the convenience of the terrace renders them both 
pleasant and commodious, and as they have four 
large windows which serves to ventilate them they 
are exempt from the stench which is insufferable in 
other parts of the prison. As there are two other 
prisons I will proceed here to describe them in order 
that the whole miserable scene may be comprehended 
by the reader at one view and a comparison drawn 
between them. They all have their inconveniences 
but the Bagnio Belique is the most miserable. 

The Bagnio de Gallera or the prison of the galley 
slaves was so called because those who formerly 
used to row in the Algerine galleys were here con- 
fined and after it was rebuilt the name was continued 
because the Neapolitans who ran away with two 
galleys of that nation about the year 1750 were the 
first inhabitants of it when completed. It is built on 
the same plan as the former but is only two stories 
high and not so long, the taverns are the same and 
so are the long rooms, but on the terrace are two 
tiers of small rooms, one above the other, inhabited 
by those who are able to pay for them, which is one 
great reason why the better sort of slaves prefer this 
prison to any of the others. The greatest incon- 
venience in this prison is in consequence of the lions 
and tigers being kept there which creates an insuffer- 
able stench, which joined to the common shore of 
the hospital which communicates with that of the 
prison corrodes the atmosphere that in the summer 
season it is nearly suffocating. I have known twenty- 
seven animals of this description to have been kept 
at once in this prison which are maintained at the 


expense of the Christian tavern keepers. They 
frequently break loose and have killed several of the 
slaves as they dare not destroy them even in their 
own defense, and if very ferocious an order must 
come from the Dey and some of his guards are then 
dispatched to shoot them before the evil can be 
removed. The offals from their dens serve to 
maintain an enormous number of rats, the largest I 
ever saw, which frequently serve to satisfy the 
craving appetite of some of the poor slaves. Cats are 
likewise eaten from mere necessity, and once in 
particular I asked a Frenchman what he was going 
to do with it after skinning, he laconically answered, 
"Ma foi it faut Manger." During the plague this 
prison, in consequence of its communication with the 
hospital, had the greatest number of its inhabitants 
destroyed with that contagion. 

The Bagnio Siddi Hamouda. This is the smallest 
Bagnio of the three and has every misery common 
with the other two, but is not regularly built, being 
composed of three or four old houses with communi- 
cations made from one to the other. It takes its 
name from its former owner. Thus have I described 
the three prisons in which from two to three thousand 
miserable wretches have been confined, in conse- 
quence of the policy of those commercial nations 
which make a point not only to suffer their 
incorrigible insolence and arrogance, but likewise to 
feed their avarice and forge pretexts for them to 
commit depredations upon every nation which 
endeavors to share the commerce of the Mediter- 
ranean with them; when by stopping the dishonorable 


tributes paid by them to those Pirates, redeeming 
their slaves and stationing two Frigates each in that 
sea for four or five years, the Barbary States would 
become as contemptible as the little Republic of 
Lucca, and if we add to this the influence such a 
coalition would have at the Ottoman Porte their total 
annihilation would eventually take place. The 
dissensions which such a measure would produce 
among an idle soldiery would open a prospect of 
success, should the inhabitants of the city or Arabs 
of the country revolt, and could the Divan of the 
Sublime Porte be prevailed on to prohibit recruits 
from enlisting themselves under their banners, 
Algiers would be the first to feel the effects and with 
her would fall Tunis and Tripoli, which would 
enevitably tend to a change of government, which in 
the event would produce a change of measures, and 
the nations of the world would be liberated from the 
excursions of those Pirates who have, from time 
immemorial, committed depredations on their prop- 
erty and enslaved their citizens and subjects. But 
this union of sentiment is rather to be wished for 
than expected, for it is an incontrovertible fact that 
no war has been declared by those marauders for the 
last century that has not been instigated by some of 
the commercial powers in opposition to their rivals 
in trade, and the failure of all the Armadas sent 
against them by Spain may be justly attributed to 
the advice and assistance they constantly received 
from France, and especially through the medium of 
the Chamber of Commerce at Marseilles, which had 
in a great measure monopolized all the most valuable 
branches of commerce in all the Barbary States. 


I now return to my initiation into the dungeons 
of Algiers. While ruminating on the horrors of my 
situation I received an invitation from the Dey's 
chief clerk to stay in his apartments until I had time 
to provide for myself which I thankfully accepted, 
but could not enjoy his civilities, my imagination 
was wound up to such a degree that I was nearly 
insane. I retired to rest on his sofa but slept but 
little and awaited the approach of day in anxious 
expectation of knowing my fate. About 3 o'clock 
in the morning the awful summons was given from 
the tremendously cadaverous lungs of the Sbirro, 
**Arise! all those who sleep, the day approaches!" 
and a short time afterwards, "Depart, sleepers! each 
one to his daily labor." We all marched out at this 
warning and proceeded through a narrow street 
toward the gates of the Marine just at the time that 
the gates of the city were opened, and the influx of 
camels, mules, asses and laborers was so great that we 
could hardly pass. The animals were loaded with 
provisions for the market, palace and Grandees' 
houses, and the slaves, instigated by hunger, were 
endeavoring to steal as much as they could which 
produced such a scene as I have not words to 
describe. The Moors uttering curses and threats of 
"Which Christian dog. Infidel dog without faith, I 
will have you bastinadoed to death" were the most 
distinguishable among this motley crew. We pro- 
ceeded until relieved by the turn of the street 
towards the mole, and then marched at my ease to 
the gate where we were all paraded in rows, the 
Guardians being in front, seated on a brick seat made 


for the purpose. Here we waited about a quarter of 
an hour when the Vikilharche, Belique, Bashaw, 
Captain of the Post and other officers made their 
appearance and marched through the gate followed 
by the Guardians and slaves who on the Vikilharche's 
first appearancs must stand uncovered until he 
passes them some distance. The Dey's chief clerk 
took us to the Guardian Bashaw who presented us to 
the Vikilharche, who after asking a number of ques- 
tions and receiving a favorable account of us from 
the clerk, we were ordered to our respective destina- 
tions. My comrade and myself were sent to the 
carpenter's shop. I was immediately apprenticed to 
a genteel looking Spaniard, a native of Barcelona, 
who had been a cadet in the Spanish service, but for 
some irregularity was sent to serve in the garrison at 
Oran from whence he deserted in hopes of regaining 
his liberty, but was taken into custody by the Arabs 
of the western province and sold to the Bey of 
Mascara, who brought him with a number of others 
as a part of his tri-ennial present to the Regency of 
Algiers, of which a proper mention will be made 
when we come to treat of the Bey's public entry, of 
which I was several times a witness during my 
captivity. This man despairing of ever being 
redeemed by Spain, abandoned by his relatives, had 
applied himself to learn the trade he was put to on 
his first arrival at Algiers so effectually that at 
present he was really the best house carpenter in the 
Regency, and consequently was employed on the 
out-door business, such as working in the Grandees' 
houses, and was very much in favor. The eight 


months I was with him I constantly accompanied 
him and as I understood French, Spanish and 
Portuguese tolerably well I had an opportunity to 
get much information and to study the manners and 
customs of the people to whom Divine Providence 
had made me subject. During the period that I 
worked in the city or for the Marine I was well pro- 
vided with one good meal a day, which the Regency 
paid for exclusive of the allowance which we had in 
common with the rest of the slaves, and had our 
duties been confined to the duties of the carpenter's 
shop alone there would have been no reason to com- 
plain of hard usage, but that was not the case, for 
whenever any hard loads were to be carried, the 
ships of friendly powers that brought presents to be 
discharged, the ballast, guns, and ammunition to be 
taken out of the Cruisers or put on board again, 
which was done every cruise be it ever so short, then 
the apprentices in all the shops in the Marine were 
taken out and employed on that duty as well as in 
clearing out the magazines, fortifications, and other 
occasional jobs, and not unfrequently they were sent 
on board the Pontoons to clear the harbor of mud 
and stones and likewise to bring heavy stones from 
the Ponto Piscado to throw at the back of the mole 
to prevent the sea from breaking over in stormy 
weather; and at this period a large magazine war 
building adjoining the Vikilharche garden at Bebel 
Wed, about one mile from the city, large enough 
to contain all the gunboats belonging to the Regency. 
This magazine was built upon arches, and the earth 
that was dug out to lay the foundation was after- 


wards used to form the terrace. During this work 
frequent drafts of men were sent from the Marine 
and on Friday, the Mahometan Sabbath, all the 
slaves that worked at the Marine, with the exception 
of a few favored work-men, were sent to this employ- 
ment which was much worse than the labor of the 
whole week. Figure to yourself above a thousand 
poor wretches, many of them half naked without hat 
or shoes, at work in the heat of the sun all day till 
four and sometimes till five or six o'clock on a 
summer day, carrying earth in a basket to the top of 
a high building, exposed to the heat and often 
blistered with the sun, chafed and scalded with the 
weight of their load, the perspiration flowing from 
them; add to this that they only received two small 
loaves of black bread of seven ounces each in all the 
day and a very small portion of horse beans, prob- 
ably without any oil, as their small allowance is given 
out the day before and is generally either stolen or 
made away with in some way or another by the 
people to whose care it was intrusted, and on their 
arrival at the prison at night they then receive a loaf 
of the same sort of bread, but weighing twelve 
ounces which is all they ever receive on Friday, but 
on working days there is a mess of burgul boiled in the 
Marine, mixed with a quantity of butter worse than 
tallow, and as it is taken out of the jars by the slaves 
without any caution in order to get as much as it is 
possible to sell to the Moors; it frequently happens 
that they find rats, mice and other animals boiled in 
the burgul, which is by no means a pleasant addition 
to their mess; nevertheless I have seen many hundred 


during my captivity sit down to some buckets of 
this stuff, substitute a chip for a spoon and eat as 
voraciously as some of our epicures would turtle 
soup, terrapin or venison pastry. The grease that is 
used in this mess js what remains in the stores after 
the soldiers are occasionally served from the annual 
tribute which Tunis pays to this Regency, and of 
course is the worst part of it, and some of it has been 
laying several years with the mouth of the jars 
uncovered; formerly a certain amount of this stuff 
was served out, but as no Christian ever eats it that 
can get anything else the officers find it advantageous 
to let the Christian cooks take what they please, of 
which a quantity is always left which the cooks daily 
distribute to the dogs and cats of the Marine, and 
certain poor Arabs who attend for that purpose 
always giving preference to the former, so that a 
person whose stomach could bear such nauseus food 
need not starve, but if that was the case with all the 
slaves or were the provisions of such a quality that 
they could partake of it the abundance would cease 
and burgul would be as scarce as any other provision. 
This magazine before it was finished fell in two or 
three times with the weight of earth that was placed 
on the top; in every instance all the people who 
could be spared from the other works were sent to 
clear this earth away and to assist in repairing the 
work. No rest was allowed on Friday and even 
those slaves who^paid by the month were called for 
on those occasions with the exception of two or 
three from each Consul's house. This place was 
built under the inspection of one Demetrius, a Greek 


master mason, and when finished was found not to 
answer the purpose it was intended for near as well 
as a common shed would have done, for, exclusive 
of the distance those heavy gunboats had to be 
hauled before they were housed, the arches inter- 
fered with each other in such a manner and took up 
so much room that the boats were obliged to be 
turned several times and stand one on the top of the 
other, and as this was done by main force, strength 
of the slaves, the boats when put by frequently were 
in a worse condition than before they were repaired, 
and in case of a sudden armament appearing could 
be of no service whatever. Since that period the 
Algerines have placed their gunboats close under 
the walls of the city in a dry ditch where they can 
launch them in a very short time and I am informed 
are kept in readiness for actual service. It would 
however take them three or four days to mount the 
artillery and make preparations in sufficient force to 
annoy an enemy that might make his appearance on 
their coast or bay, and as those boats have no sails 
and are quite open like Spanish launches. In a sea, 
nay, or even in a fresh breeze, they could easily be 
destroyed, provided they came from under the forti- 
fications which in number of guns are really formidable 
so that the gunboats of Algiers may be considered 
rather as a defensive armament than calculated to 
act on the offensives, but in a calm would annoy an 
enemy exceedingly unless they were furnished with 
small vessels with oars to counteract their opera- 
tions. As I have commenced with a description of 
the Marine force of Algiers I will conclude this 


chapter with an account of their actual Marine force 
in 1786 and a description of the Marine or mole of 
Algiers with all its fortifications, moorings, maga- 
zines, workshops and conveniences, which shall in 
some measure include a description of the site of 



The city is built on the side of a steep hill. From 
the Alcasaba or highest part of the city, were a line 
drawn to the island that forms a part of the mole, 
and from which the city took its name, it would 
make an angle of about thirty-five degrees. This 
island is situated about a furlong from the gate of 
the Marine and is joined to the main by a causeway 
of stone — the work of the slaves for more than two 
centuries. This, on the north side, forms a barrier to 
the sea and is much higher than the southeast side 
which is next the mole and is all made land in like 
manner as the mole of Genoa, Leghorn, and 
other places in the Mediterranean, where the tide 
only ebbs and flows a few feet at full and change of 
the moon, but not near so well finished. On this 
lower road are several arched magazines for timber 
and other articles for ship building, and near the 
margin are old cannon set in to make fast the moor- 
ings of the small Cruisers that carry a tier of guns, 
and for the moorings of Christian merchantmen, 
likewise the galliots or quarter Gallies being hauled 
on those in the navy yard every winter. At the end 
of the causeway next the island, the Kiosk, where 


the Admiral Captain of the Port and sea Captains 
are seated daily, which may be said to form a court 
of admiralty and formerly was without appeal, but 
of late years the Intendant General or Vikilhadge of 
the Marine interferes in all questions of any moment 
and the whole proceedings are subject to the control 
of the Dey, as indeed everything else is at present, 
through his Ministry, who have usurped the whole 
power of the Regency to themselves and sanction 
their proceedings with the Dey's name who is now 
very old and infirm, and is kept in ignorance of 
almost all the domestic concerns of the Regency, 
each Minister governing in his own department as 
he thinks proper and most to his own interest. At 
the other end of the causeway are the gates of the 
Marine which are tolerably strong and situated at 
right angles to each other so that cannon could not 
burst open both gates together, but must be first 
brought to bear on the outer gate and then on the 
inner. Between the gates are seats for the gate 
keeper and a few old soldiers who sit there in the 
day time only, and within the inner gate is the 
Donanne or Custom House where a Hodge sits with 
some scribes and assistants to collect all the export 
duties — the import duties on dry goods being all 
collected in the Dey's palace by one of the four 
Secretaries of State. Over the Marine gate is a 
battery of several pieces of cannon and one large 
piece of artillery with seven cylinders — which is more 
for curiosity than use — which commands the cause- 
way, and at the end opposite and close to the Kiosk 
is a brass six-pounder used as an alarm gun when 


anything extraordinary happens in the Marine at 
night, such as any of the Cruisers breaking their 
moorings, etc., and is fired at the option of the 
Captain of the Port who always sleeps in the Marine 
in bad weather, and in the summer season only sleeps 
in his own house Tuesday and Friday nights. The 
reason the gun is fired is to inform the Day that it is 
necessary to send the keys of the Marine gate which 
are kept in the Dey's palace from the time it is shut 
at night until it is opened in the morning, in order 
that the slaves may be sent down from their prisons 
to do what the exigencies of the case requires. Next 
the Kiosk is a small but elegant mosque built by 
Cid Aly when Intendant General of the Marine, sup- 
ported on pillars and paved with marble from Genoa, 
and next to it is the coffee house for the accommo- 
dation of the Captains and officers of the Cruisers. 
On the right is the Light House Castle which was 
built by the Spaniards when they were masters of 
the island, but has since had additions made to it. 
It mounts at present three tier of guns, the largest 
of which are thirty-six pounders, but the upper tier 
were seldom mounted, and it was crowned with a 
large lantern which was illuminated with oil and was 
always kept lighted when the Cruisers were out, but 
is badly attended to at other times, and when they 
were at war with Spain was not lighted at all when 
their Cruisers were in Port. Under this castle is a 
subterraneous vault which was used as a powder 
magazine, but during my captivity the gunpowder 
was removed to the Alcasaba, leaving only a small 
quantity there for present use. It has likewise a 


reservoir of excellent water and a great quantity of 
cannon balls deposited therein of all sizes, thrown in 
promiscuously, and from thence are removed to 
other places of deposit and to the different batteries. 
On the point is a new battery of two tiers of guns 
which were not mounted when I left Algiers, the 
lowest of which are but a few feet above the level of 
the sea, and in gales of wind from the northwest to 
the east point of the compass this point is hardly 
passable, and the spray of the sea flies over the 
fortifications, but in good weather this battery from 
its situation and number of guns is really formidable. 
The mosque communicates by a small room to the 
magazine by a staircase which contains every article 
necessary for immediate use, and the keys of all the 
magazines and repositories of stores, under the 
inspection of the Intendant General of the Marine, 
Belique Bashaw, or Regency storekeeper, and the 
Hodge or Turkish secretary, with a Christian clerk 
called Clerk of the Marine, and from six to eight 
Christian slaves who were selected from those taken 
at sea, of the best characters, and until lately that 
slaves became scarce, none from Oran were admitted. 
Before this store, under an arch, was the Intendant 
General's seat, composed of pillows covered with 
embroidered velvet, placed in a niche on which was 
a kind of bed composed of sheep skins, with a fine 
red blanket and a carpet, and in summer an upper 
covering of silk which served him both to sit and 
take a nap upon when he pleased; to the left of 
which was a large narrow seat, covered less magnifi- 
cently with a carpet, which served for those to sit 


upon who came to pay their respects to the Vikil- 
harche or Intendant, where they are served with 
coffee, and some few favorites who smoke are 
furnished with a lighted pipe by the coffeegie. who 
is the chief of the slaves in that department, the 
scrivan or clerk excepted, who has nothing to attend 
to but his books. On the right hand is a large 
square divan appropriated for the use of the Belique 
Bashaw and Turkish Hodge, and on one side is a 
small place where some old slaves are kept to make 
plats and gaskets out of old ropes, and used likewise 
for a temporary prison for crimes committed either 
in the prisons at night or at the works in the day 
time, which, if of great magnitude, are sent to the 
prison in the Dey's palace, who passes sentence on 
them, but petty offences are punished immediately 
before the Vikilharche's seat. The culprit is thrown 
down on his face and by a pole six or eight feet long, 
with two loops of cord, which are put about his 
ankles, his legs are held up by two men to present 
the soles of his feet, his head and hands tied behind 
are secured by one of the Guardians who sits upon 
his shoulders, the Guardian Bashaw and his 
Myrmidons are each furnished with hoop poles an 
inch or more in diameter, two of them commence in 
very regular time to give him from one to five 
hundred blows, which are generally divided between 
the soles of his feet and the posterior. The culprit 
is then either put in chains, sent to labor, or to the 
hospital to be cured, according to circumstances. 
Behind the prison is the basket makers shop, and in 
a line with it is a large box where the black bread 


for the slaves is deposited, who regularly parade in 
the morning and at meridian every day before the 
Vikilharche and with profound submission, their 
caps in their hands if they have any, receive each 
time a small loaf and then move off in regular file 
before their task masters, silent as mutes. At a 
small distance is the pitch house where pitch and tar 
is boiled, and opposite the squiffa as the porch is 
called, is the landing place for all boats of ships of 
war which frequent this city from whence the 
Commodores pay first their respects to the Vikil- 
harche before they proceed to town to visit the Dey 
or their respective Consuls. If the boats are not 
sent out of the mole immediately their masts are 
ordered to be struck and their oars are landed and 
are under the private guard of some of the officers 
of the Marine, who keep a strict lookout, lest their 
slaves should. seize them and endeavor to make their 
escape, notwithstanding, that they are always put in 
half chains when any of the vessels of war of Great 
Britain or France are in the roads. These nations 
invariably refused to deliver up any slaves who may 
be so fortunate as to take protection under their flags. 
Other nations, and more shame for them, have given 
up this point to save a little trouble and are dispised 
for it even by the Turks and Moors themselves. 

The Intendant in the morning makes a light repast 
which he receives generally from his lady's house, if 
he is a married man, of which the Belique Bashaw and 
Turkish Hodge generally partake, and between lO 
and II o'clock six covered dishes made of copper, 
well tinned both within and without, made to fit over 


each other, filled with roast and boiled mutton, 
fowls, etc., with a large dish of pillaw or cuscussoo 
generally cooked with fowls cut up in pieces, a large 
copper basin of sherbet and another of leben are 
regularly brought from the Dey's palace, and as 
much more from his own house, to which is generally 
added some choice fish, brought by the fishermen as 
presents, but always paid for most liberally by the 
Vikilharche, and which is cooked by the slaves in 
the squiffa, which, with the addition of excellent 
bread composes the daily dinner, to which are 
invited the Admiral, Captain of the Port, and any 
favorite Rais or acquaintance who may be at hand, 
and if they happen to be more than five or six the 
Hodge is obliged to surrender his seat to the stranger 
and eats after they have done, v/ith the Christian 
clerk, the Moorish secretaries, the chief of the 
Pisqueras, and some of the master mechanics who 
generally find some pretense to come about that 
hour, although none are regularly invited but the 
master ship builder and master sail maker, but this 
depends entirely on the will of the Intendant for the 
time being, after all the Christians of the squiffa go 
to dinner and they generally fare well, seldom 
neglecting to save some of the nicest articles for 
themselves, and it seldom happens but that there is 
more than they can eat which is given by them to 
their friends. I had forgotten to mention that the 
fruits of the season are sent from the palace and 
Intendant's house and are eaten as with us as a 


I shall here describe the manner of serving 
dinner to the Vikilhadge, as the only difference that 
occurs in the houses of all ranks is that in their 
rooms the better sort do not use pine tables, but a 
handsome octagon stand, made of some fine wood, 
inlaid with mother of pearl and tortoise shell, about 
eighteen inches high, on which is placed the sofra, 
which is a large round copper waiter, well tinned, on 
which the provisions are placed, and in lieu of sitting 
on fine stools they sit on the carpet cross-legged if 
of equal rank; but those who eat with the Dey are 
obliged to kneel and sit back on their legs, and in 
this disagreeable position eat their meals. The 
same rule is observed in other houses where the 
rank is different, except the masters of the house 
invite them to sit at their ease. Bread is cut in 
slices and placed before each person with a spoon 
as the meat is all cut up small, and when fowls or 
other poultry are brought whole they are so much 
cooked that they are easily pulled to pieces, there- 
fore knives and forks are not used. The table is 
covered with a narrow piece of muslin somtimes 
worked or embroidered at the ends and is several 
yards long, which is coiled round on the table so as 
not to touch the ground. Everything thus prepared, 
the company is sent for who wash inside the 
magazine. The table as before prepared and stools 
are taken and placed in the porch, a curtain is 
drawn across, the company seat themselves, place 
the table cloth on their knees, and the Chief Chris- 
tian with a clean napkin on his shoulder, places the 
dishes one at a time before the guests who wait 


until the inviter commences, and then each one 
serves himself with spoon or fingers, according to 
what is before them, shorba or soup leads the van 
and caboot or roast brings up the rear; fish, when 
there is any, is then served, and cuscussoo or pillaw, 
which is always a standing dish, is the last put on 
the table, which is cleared and the fruit is then put 
on. • Sherbet is sometimes handed round afterwards, 
but most commonly is supped with large spoons 
made of tortoise shell with ivory handles tipped with 
coral or amber, which are used for no other purpose. 
The smaller spoons are generally made of the same 
materials or some fine hard wood, and are enriched 
and ornamented according to the wealth of the 
owner. They are brought from the Levant for 
presents as an article of trade. When the principal 
drinks or finishes his meat the company wishes him 
health, as we say, "much good may it do you," and 
he gives thanks to God in three words, rises from his 
seat followed by his company who retire to wash as 
before. The table is taken away, the curtain drawn, 
the crumbs swept away and everything restored to 
the same order as before dinner. The Vikilhage takes 
his seat, the company return, are served with coffee 
and sometimes with a pipe when the superior smokes 
himself, but not otherwise. They then rise accord- 
ing to rank, kiss the Vikilhage's hand and retire, and 
thus ends the repast and ceremony. 

I have been more particular in this detail as there 
is no difference in their manners if we except the 
very lower classes of the Moors, who we frequently 
see sitting in the streets, eating cuscussoo out of 


a wooden bowl by handsful, without any spoon 
whatever, and are a most filthy set of beings; 
but the inhabitants of the city, the Jews excepted, 
are as cleanly a race of beings as any in 
the world and none are more abstemious, this 
however is from economy and not principle, 
for when they are invited by their superiors 
they generally eat most voraciously, what we would 
imagine to be an enormous quantity. This they 
sometimes endeavor to excuse by saying they eat 
more than they would in compliment to their host, 
who, they say, would not have invited them if they 
were not perfectly agreeable to him. To proceed, to 
the right of the squiffa are the workshops for 
coopers, carpenters, ship builders, pail makers and 
blacksmiths, in which last place alone are employed 
upwards of sixty Christian slaves, and I have seen 
merchants, doctors, priests, and play actors, with a 
number of other characters blowing the bellows 
there together and bewailing their misfortunes in 

From this to the point of the mole are three 
castles, first the Castle of Sardinia, the Castle 
of the Cordelieros, so called because it is converted 
into a rope walk, and the Castle of the Point, so 
called from its situation. These fortifications form a 
continued chain of two tier of heavy pieces of 
artillery, mostly all of brass, some of which are as 
handsome as any in the world, and as these castles 
are in a semi-circle, the whole Marine from the Kiosk 
to the point may be considered as one continued 
fortification, which, if kept in good order, is very 


capable of repelling a considerable force by sea, but 
as none of these castles are assisted by mines or 
advanced works, the soldiers destined to defend 
them cannot be kept, and their whole defense must 
consist in discharging their cannon and musketry 
from the walls; and as their cannoniers or artillery- 
men have neither science nor practice, and their 
soldiery consists of Turks, Kuloglus and Moors, 
without any discipline whatever, their officers being 
as ignorant of military tactics as themselves, accus- 
tomed to have all their labor done by Christian 
slaves who in time of invasion would be sent into the 
country at a distance from the city, those troops 
would be entire strangers in the works they had to 
defend and hardly able to mount a cannon if dis- 
mounted by the enemy, even were they a more 
active and intelligent race than they are, which, 
joined to most of the fortifications being built of a 
brittle sort of stone, the splinters of which would do 
as much execution amongst them as the balls of the 
enemy, induces me to believe that although 
the terraces of the castle are said to be bomb proof, 
that according to the present mode of warfare a few 
resolute battalions covered by a squadron of ships of 
war would soon be able to reduce the whole Marine 
fortifications of Algiers, which might soon be 
followed by the entire destruction of the city if the 
government thereof did not think proper to capitu- 

At the north angle of the Marine is a large 
cannon mounted on a carriage and placed opposite 
to an arch which serves as an incumbrance. This 


gun was brought from Constantinople, is twenty-two 
inches in diameter, about twenty-one feet long, and 
is hooped with iron. It is intended to throw marble 
balls, but is now never used. Tradition says "that 
once a French Consul was fired off towards the 
French fleet who were bombarding the city," but the 
account in my opinion needs confirmation. At 
about half a furlong to the W. S. W. of the mole is 
the fisher's gate or "Al Bebal, the gate of the sea." 
This gate is defended by a double tier of cannon 
which likewise commands the entrance of the mole 
and the road before it. Within the gate fishing 
boats, gun boats and sometimes small galiots or 
quarter gallies are built by private individuals. The 
gun boats are for government. In the Marine, 
which is an oblong figure, are ways for a Frigate, a 
Brig of War, a Galiot and fourteen gun boats, which 
is the greatest number of vessels I ever saw building 
or repairing together, and there was not room for 
putting up anymore. But notwithstanding there are 
great quantities of naval stores in the Marine, there 
is by no means as great a quantity as is generally 
imagined fit for use, great quantities being spoiled 
by the dampness of the stores exclusive of what is 
stolen by the slaves and sold in the town to merchant 
vessels in the harbor. I have known whole cables 
of a large dimension disposed of in this manner in 
the middle of daylight, and as this could not be done 
without the connivance of some of the Guardians 
and storekeepers it is not uncharitable to suppose 
that they shared in the plunder. Pieces of sail, 
duck, planks, boards, baskets of nails and iron work, 


whole jars of oil, and even barrels of gunpowder 
have been embezzled in this manner and passed 
through the Port of the Marine on pretense that it 
was for the service of the Regency either within or 
without the city, and in this manner the slaves in 
general indemnify themselves for the loss of their 
liberty and the Turkish Guardians furnish them- 
selves with the means to procure silver mounted 
arms and fine clothes. The mole is about two 
hundred fathoms long and one hundred broad. The 
depth of the mouth is about seven fathoms and 
gradually decreases. There are two Pontoons which 
are likewise used for heaving the vessels down by 
constantly being employed in cleaning the harbor of 
mud and large stones. This is done entirely by 
slaves and is esteemed very laborious and disagree- 
able work. Those Pontoons are also sent to the 
Punto Piscardo frequently and generally on Friday 
(when the slaves ought to be allowed to rest in the 
Bagnios) to load large stones, some of which are 
several tons in weight, in order to throw them on the 
back of the mole to prevent the sea from breaking 
over in bad weather and is most laborious work. 

As I intend giving some idea of the Marine force 
of Algiers for some years, it will be better compre- 
hended by giving an account of their outfits and their 
manner of proceeding when they go out and when 
they return from a cruise. The Cruisers when in the 
mole are all dismantled, every article even the 
ballast, which is small stones and sand, is on shore 
distributed in their respective stores each Cruiser 
having one appropriated for its use, so that on board 


the Cruiser nothing remains but the yards and top 
masts and standing rigging. They are moored head 
and stern a few feet on under the stern fasts of the 
large Cruisers, being fast on a large island near the 
mouth of the mole where a pitch house and stores 
likewise are built but not often used. Merchant 
vessels of all nations are moored also in a tier in the 
same manner farther into the mole where the water 
is shoalest, and several times Frigates have been 
moored at the mouth of the harbor as well as large 
store ships which have brought tribute from different 
nations. The mouth of the harbor is constantly 
guarded by two large row boats which have a com- 
pliment of twenty-one men each, but seldom have 
so many on board. These boats are for the express 
purpose of preventing slaves from attempting to run 
away with boats either belonging to the mole or 
Cruisers; the fishing boats never being allowed to 
enter the mole for the same reason. These boats 
must consequently first be overpowered by the boats 
of any squadron that would attempt to destroy the 
Cruisers in the night by fire ships or otherwise, but 
as they are lulled into security by no attempt of that 
kind ever having been made upon them, I imagine 
they would not be very alert, and if they were they 
would not make any great resistance if boarded by 
any of our brave tars. When the Dey gives orders 
to fit the Cruisers out there is an embargo laid on 
the merchant vessels in Port and the slaves are keot 
until dark; each Cruiser has a boatman or rather 
rigger who has three or more sailors under his com- 
mand to repair the rigging while the vessels are laid 


up. They are all hove down, their bottoms caulked 
and paid every cruise be it ever so short, and the 
Marabouts or holy men pronounce a benediction and 
pray for their success against the enemies of the true 
Mussulman faith. This ceremony is indispensible as 
the Moorish sailors would not go to sea in them if 
this was omitted. The guns, ballast, ammunition 
and every article necessary is then put on board by 
the slaves. The provisions which consist of biscuit, 
oil, vinegar and olives, some bad butter, mumsa and 
burgul sufficient to furnish one hot meal every 
seventh day for the crew, is all that is allowed by the 
Regency and of that only full allowance for forty 
days is ever put on board. Those who wish to fare 
better provide for themselves — thus all the quarter 
deck and stern is strewn with jars and baskets of one 
sort of provision or another, and the vessel is 
lumbered in the same manner in every part for the 
first few days after her departure on a cruise. The 
water casks being stowed away empty are now filled 
with water in bulk, taken along side from the water- 
ing place in the Marine (which is a very good one) 
by the slaves, who as they do not have to make use 
of it themselves are not very particular as to cleanli- 
ness. This accounts for it corrupting in a few days. 
Lastly the sails are bent by the slaves, the Algerine 
colors are hoisted with the flags of the Grand 
Signore and principal Maraboots, the flags of nations 
with whom they are at war, especially the nation 
against whom the cruise is particularly intended, are 
hoisted on the jib stay, reversed in token of derision, 
and guns are then frequently fired to announce their 


being ready to sail and to assemble the crew. The 
Tayfe or government are mostly all Turks and are 
soldiers including the officers who are composed of 
Turks, Moors and Kuloglos seldom amount to one- 
third of the crew. These furnish themselves with 
arms at their own expense and consists of attagans, 
muskets and pistols, and some of the officers have 
short blunderbusses which they have either taken in 
prizes or plundered from vessels of Christian nations 
with whom they are at peace. These are governed 
by an Aga, Chaonx Hodga and s-ubaltern officers who 
are appointed by the Dey by the recomendation of 
the Grandees, who with the Rais and officers of the 
Cruisers form a council who during the cruise have 
power of life and death, but they seldom assert their 
authority farther than bastinadoing or imprisonment 
for fear of the consequences upon their return to 
Port. Those of the crew who may be called seamen 
are composed of those who have been more or less 
cruisers at sea, and while the Cruisers are in Port 
exercise different occupations as tailors, shoemakers, 
barbers, etc. The remainder of the crew is made up 
of inferior Moors and country Arabs, which when all 
the Cruisers are fitted out at once are sent on board 
by force and driven down to the mole by the hang- 
man and his deputies like a flock of sheep, and have 
nothing with them but what they have on. When 
the Cruisers are full of men an officer sits with a 
wooden bowl full of beans and another with an 
empty one, the crew are then all ordered to take a 
bean out of the full bowl and pass around the main 
mast and put it into the empty one, which are then 


counted and the number of the crew ascertained, 
which if it surpasses the complement, which in the 
large Cruisers is five hundred, the infirm and oldest 
are picked out and sent on shore. The Cruisers are 
then unmoored by the slaves and Captain of the Port 
and his mates, with the assistance of the slaves, con- 
ducts them clear of the mole head and they make 
sail out of the bay, and as they pass the Maraboot 
salute him with several guns and then proceed to 
sea. The Christian slaves then haul up the moorings 
and repair them against the Cruisers return. On the 
Cruisers return after a fortunate cruise, from the time 
of their appearance in sight of the city they discharge 
cannon, and have a number of flags and pendants flying 
with the colors of the prizes they have taken flying 
forward reversed. The Captain of the Port and his 
mates and the slaves assist to bring the vessels into 
the mole, and to moor them as they were before they 
sailed. Demonstrations of joy ensue according to 
the number of slaves they have made and the value 
of the prizes. When they are unfortunate no guns 
are fired, no shouts of joy are heard, everyone seems 
dejected, and the Captains are frequently degraded 
and even bastinadoed, imprisoned or dismissed, 
especially if the Tayfe complains of their conduct or 
they have not implicitly obeyed their orders, which 
are generally given by the Dey in consequence of 
intelligence communicated to him by the Jews, who 
are regularly informed of all the nations at war with 
the Barbary States, who load at the several Ports in* 
Italy, Marseilles and many other Ports in the 
Mediterranean. When there are slaves on board the 


Dey's and Regency's chief Christian clerk goes on 
board, immediately take charge of them and conduct 
them first to the Vikilhadge's seat in the Marine and 
from thence to the palace and makes his report to 
the Dey. The slaves are permitted to remain in the 
palace all night, and the next morning early are taken 
before the Dey's seat by the head clerk again, who 
selects those he thinks proper for the palace, and the 
others are conducted to the Bagnio Belique and 
their names, nation, and particulars of their capture 
entered into the books of the Regency kept in the 
head clerk's office, who is the chief of the slave 
department. He then delivers them over to the 
Guardian Bashaw, who the next day sends them to 
labor after being once more paraded by the head 
clerk before the Intendant General or Vikilhadge of 
the Marine. While the slaves are mooring the 
Cruisers the Christian Captains, Mates, Supercargoes 
and all the slaves who work in the slave loft, are sent 
on board to unbend the sails. All the crew, the 
Stewards excepted, leave the vessel immediately and 
take with them whatever belongs to them, and the 
slaves proceed to dismantle them and to lay them 
up as before they were fitted for the cruise be it ever 
so short. Although the crews of the Cruisers are 
very numerous not more than half of them are armed 
and are composed of the same material as before 
described, who never see the vessel from the day 
they arrive to the day they sail and not always going 
in the same Cruiser, it is to be imagined they are not 
the most formidable, and for the first day of the 
cruise must be in great disorder. They are sensible 


that the vessels of Christian nations are far superior 
to them in working their guns, and for that reason 
after their first fire they attempt to board, and 
although but indifferent sailors and worse gunners, 
nevertheless active, daring and intrepid, believing no 
nation able to withstand their impetuosity and seem 
sure of victory if they can lay you on board, for that 
reason boarding ought to be guarded against and as 
an enemy they ought not to be undervalued. 

Having described the fortifications of the mole 
or Marine of Algiers I will continue to give a partic- 
ular description of all the fortifications around the 
city beginning at Al Casanbah, the ancient palace of 
the Moorish kings, which is built on the highest part 
of the city and forms the western angle of it, being 
of an octangular form and contains several apart- 
ments, the largest of which is now converted into a 
magazine for gunpowder. It is reported by all the 
Moors that when their last king, Entemi, was 
murdered by Horac Barbarossa, A. D., 1516, that all 
the money that was then found is still kept there, be 
that much, little or none, which is most probable. 
An Aga and guards sit there before the gate in 
imitation of the Dey's guards at the palace, and 
peacocks and peahens are kept there and every 
external respect is paid to the place as if it really 
continued to be a royal residence. This is done in 
compliment to the Moors of this Regency, who are 
still attached to the families of their ancient 
Monarchs and would willingly throw off the Turkish 
yoke if they had an opportunity offered them which 
promised success. The angles of the Casanbah have 


regular embrasures and have several pieces of cannon 
mounted for its defense. There are five gates in this 
city, the Marine and Fisher's gate already described, 
the North gate or Bebal Wed together with the 
North angle of the city and the South gate or 
Bebazoon with that angle of the city. Each gate is 
defended with a Bastion and have several pieces of 
cannon mounted on them and in several places are 
pathways. Bebal Jedect or the new gate has a 
square, upright battery and between the palace and 
the Fort of Al Casanbah, both towards Bebazoon 
and Bebal Wed, are several embrazures and some 
cannon mounted on them and in several places are 
pathways with parapets and loop holes for small 
arms in case of invasion, but little out of repair. 
The ditch which formerly surrounded the city, except 
a small space at the North and South gates which in 
time of an assault would be very little service, is 
entirely filled up with rubbish from the Al Casanbah 
to the gates of the Bebazoon and Bebal Wed, is near 
half a mile on a descent of twenty or thirty degrees 
and is commanded by the guns from the Emperor's 

The environs of Algiers to the southward and 
eastward I cannot better describe than by the follow- 
ing extract from my journal: 

"A party of slaves having been ordered to be 
ready by two hours before day to proceed several 
miles to cut rushes for the use of the coopers, I 
asked leave to accompany them, and at the appointed 
hour passed through the gate of Bebazoon all 
mounted on mules, and passed several tupanas or 


batteries which were planted round the head of the 
bay until we came to the river LaHaratch, which we 
crossed at about four miles from the city by means 
of a stone bridge, which had been well built but was 
in a ruined condition, and on a white marble stone 
was engraved an inscription in the Turkish language 
which none of the company could read. From 
thence we passed through a small swamp and pro- 
ceeded on a tolerable good road in a direct line with 
Mount Atlas, and crossed the river again towards the 
south, then traveled about two leagues farther when 
we arrived at the marsh where the flags grew, which 
from the excessive heat of the sun was almost dry. 
We there refreshed and while the people were 
cutting the rushes and loading the mules I took a 
ride for about two hours into the country and saw 
several of the cabails or mountaineers, who seemed 
to be an inoffensive race of beings and such as we 
would suppose the first cultivators of the earth were. 
I proceeded until the river ran nearly south and 
Cape Temendefust, the northeastern Cape of the 
Bay of Algiers bore northwest, the roads here 
divided, the one leading towards Constantine and 
the other to Media. I here saw a family of Arabs 
washing at a spring of fresh water. They presented 
me with some prickly pears and some unripe 
pomegranates, for which I satisfied them with six 
masoons, equal to fifteen cents, with which they 
seemed perfectly content. The eldest of the children 
was a girl of about twelve years of age who held my 
mule while I alighted. She had a pleasing counte- 
nance and was tolerably fair. They were all dressed 


in woolen garments or blankets called Hayke, 
fastened over the shoulder with a skewer and thrown 
loosely around the body, tied round the middle with 
a piece of the same manufacture. The country 
except in their gardens and plantations, which were 
all walled in, resembling the first settlements in 
America, and which produced all the fruits of 
Barbary in abundance, was entirely uncultivated, but 
had a few scattering wild fig, date and pomegranate 
trees growing, and great quantities of wild mint, sage 
and some coriander, which grew spontaneously. I 
returned to the marsh by the same way we came. 
I found the people who had been in the swamp 
bleeding in consequence of the leeches, of which 
great numbers were in the swamp. Some of the 
people had eighteen of them sticking to them at 
once. I returned by the road which led to the sea 
side, leaving the rest to return by the road they 
came. The country through which I traveled was 
barren and sandy, and nothing worthy of notice 
occurred until Cape Temendefust bore north, there a 
ridge or hill of quicksand of a considerable height, 
which runs about half a mile and entirely obstructs 
the passage between the head of the bay and the 
country, and serves as a natural bulwark against 
invasion so far as it runs. Between this and the 
Cape is a tupana (battery) and on the Cape is a 
castle in which a Turkish garrison is always kept. 
About two miles from the ridge towards the town is 
a battery of seven twelve-pounders, and there begins 
the entrenchments thrown up in the year 1775, when 
the Spaniards landed here under the command of 


Gen. O'Reily, the chief command having been given 
to Don Pedro Castigon. The remains of these 
entrenchments approach to within about two miles 
of the city, but are going fast to decay, and are 
defended, that is between the aforesaid battery and 
the city, by about sixty pieces of cannon, which 
were when I saw them all dismounted and in a 
ruinous state, the carriages being in a magazine built 
on purpose in each battery, where they are coated 
with tar as well as the guns once a year by the slaves 
and no further care is taken of them, and many that 
I saw were entirely decayed. This bay is also com- 
manded by the Emperor's Castle, so called by the 
centre having been built by the order of Charles V. 
in his unfortunate expedition against Algiers in 1541, 
and would render landing in the bay very dangerous 
was it kept in good order; neither would it be an 
easy matter to take it by storm as it is furnished 
with a drawbridge, but at present most of the guns 
are dismounted and is only garrisoned by one 
Turkish family, who reside there to take care of the 
magazine wherein a quantity of gunpowder is laid by. 
"So secure do the Algerines conceive themselves 
from invasion that they have neglected to fortify a 
hill which the Christians call Belvidere, situated just 
above the town to the westward, and commands 
both the city and the Emperor's Castle, and would 
undoubtedly be the first place an invading General 
would take possession of. At the distance of two 
miles in this direction Algiers with its Marine 
fortifications, vessels in the mole and bay, its 
minasets and number of beautiful country seats in its 


vicinity, forms one of the most beautiful prospects 
in the world, and if this country was blessed with a 
good government which would promote the welfare 
of its subjects and encourage agriculture, arts and 
manufactures, it would become in a very few years a 
perfect paradise; it would also become a commercial 
nation of considerable importance and from a "Den 
of Thieves," which it is at present, it would rank 
among the civilized nations of the earth. But the 
jealousy of the trading nations of Europe will 
prevent that from ever taking place, unless they 
should be entirely subdued. What a pity such a 
character as Napoleon Bonaparte, with one hundred 
thousand men under his command, had not a footing 
in Barbary; with that force he v/ould subdue the 
whole of the Barbary States from Salu to Derma in 
less than twelve months. From Bebal Wed gate 
to Hassan Bashaw's garden, against the walls of 
which is built the large magazine to lay the gunboats 
up in, is about one English mile to the northwest. 
This magazine is no longer used for the purpose it 
was built, the gunboats, when I was last in Algiers, 
being laid up in a dry ditch contiguous to the walls 
of the city, near this gate. This place was formerly 
used for a rope walk. At about a furlong from the 
gate is the Castle Siddi Ako-leet, built in a more 
regular manner than any of the other fortifications, 
having a small mine running from it to a short 
distance, which was used for a powder magazine, but 
it being near the sandy bar it was found [too damp 
for the purpose and the powder was conveyed to 
Alcasanbah. This fortification, with another called 


the Star Castle, from having five acute angles, com- 
mands the bay to the westward and is capable of 
giving great annoyance to an enemy who would 
attempt to land here; but as the guns and carriages 
are generally out of order and it is only garrisoned 
by one family of Turks, they might easily be either 
taken by a regular assault or by being surprised. 
The Emperor's Castle likewise commands the Castle 
of the Star as well as the bay to the east. Between 
the gate of Bebal Wed and the Dey's garden is a 
large burying ground, common to Moors and Turks, 
and likewise the seven cupolas which are the 
sepulchres of seven Deys who were elected and 
murdered several years ago. These cupolas are 
very conspicuous from the sea. Next the sea is the 
Christians burying ground where all Christians of 
whatever rank are interred in the sand a few yards 
from the wash of the sea at high water, no other 
place being allowed them. The Jews have several 
burying places which have been purchased at 
enormous prices by their ancestors, and even at this 
day they continue to pay for the privilege of being 
buried there. The Christians are allowed to bury 
their dead gratis. From the Dey's garden to the 
Ponto Pescado near Cape Caxines is about four 
miles, and is beautifully interspersed with country 
seats. The coast is likewise guarded by several 
batteries which are of no use whatever, the coast 
being guarded by nature with rocks and precipices, 
which would effectually prevent boats from attempt- 
ing to land there, and it would be dangerous for ships 
to approach near enough to cannonade, even was 


there any object in that quarter which would warrant 
the attempt. At the Point is a fortification with a 
small garrison." 

Having described the fortifications of Algiers I 
think it not an improper place to give an account of 
their naval force, from the date of my captivity to 
the return of their squadron from the Levant, the 
manner of equiping them having been already 


On the 17th of July, 1789, in consequence of the 
war between the Ottoman Porte and the Empress of 
Russia, five large Cruisers were sent to the Levant (to 
Constantinople) under the command of Hadgi 
Soliman, formerly Captain of the Port of Algiers, in 
order to join the Grand Signore's fleet to be 
employed against Bussia, viz: 

One *Xebec of thirty-four guns, one Saettia of 
thirty-two guns, one Saettia of twenty-eight guns, 
one Saettia of twenty-six guns, one Saettia of twenty- 
two guns, one fjaveque of fourteen guns, three 
Quarter Gallies, fourteen benches with seventy men 
each, fourteen open sail of gunboats fit for service, 
and forty more entirely out of repair on which the 
carpenters are employed. The above composes the 
whole naval force of Algiers to which so many 
nations pay tribute. 

There is very little in the city of Algiers which 
attract? the notice of strangers, the streets are narrow 
and dark, especially in the Jews' quarter. The only 

*The one that took the Dauphin, August, 1785. 

fThe Javeque, the one that captured the writer, July 25, 1785, remains 
in the mole. 



good streets are the main streets leading from 
Bebazoon to Bebal Wed passing the Dey's palace, 
and the one leading from near the Dey's palace to 
the gate of the Marine, passing by the great Mosque 
and the great Coffee house. The public buildings 
are the Dey's palace, the Mosque, the Public schools 
and the Slave prisons, which I have already described 
and will describe the others in order, beginning at 
the Dey's palace. 


The Dey's palace is composed of a number of 
buildings built at different times, having communica- 
tion with each other by galleries, terraces, open 
arches and some doors irregularly thrown together 
without attending to any order of architecture, either 
ancient or modern, and stands upon a space of about 
an acre square comprising the Dey's garden, the 
whole of which is enclosed either by its own walls or 
the walls of the adjoining buildings. To describe 
the whole of this irregular mass will be difficult, I 
will however attempt it, commencing from the palace 
gate. Going towards Bebal Wed nearly in the 
center of the town is the Dey's palace, on the left 
hand is a large gate, the only entrance to this seat of 
despotism, through which passes all the beasts of 
burden belonging to the palace as well as to the Dey 
and Grandees. On each side of this gate and oppo- 
site at one side are seats for the Nobagias or palace 
guards, who are thirty-two in number, but seldom all 
present at one time. Before the palace gate is a 
square area covered with grape vines, the fruit of 
which no conscientious Mussulman will eat in conse- 
quence of all Christians who are beheaded for any 
crime being put to death under these vines, and when 
heads and ears being sent in from the interior being 


piled up under them until buried by the Jews or 
Arabs who are met in the street, when the Dey orders 
them to be taken away. Around this square is the 
Aga Hanute or seat as likewise the Kiegias, the 
chief surgeons, the Dey's barber and several seats of 
the police officers, also the hangman. The gate is 
covered with a terrace which is surrounded with a 
gilt railing in the center of which is a flag staff 
mounted with a gilt crescent on which the banners 
of the nation as well as those of the Grand Signore 
and Mahomet are hoisted on Fridays and festivals, 
and on the bairams a band of Turkish music sits and 
plays in this gallery. Under the flag in the porch is 
a marble fountain constantly running, and seats 
where the Grandees sit every evening, Tuesdays and 
Fridays excepted, where they converse together for 
a short time and receive the compliments of those 
who pass by or in and out of the palace. By the 
gate hangs a large chain, which besides serving to 
secure it has this particular privilege, that any person 
whatever, that has been ill-treated by another and 
takes hold of this chain and cries with a loud voice, 
"Justice in the name of God," is immediately taken 
before the Dey who will administer impartial justice 
upon the spot; but if the plaintiff is found to be in 
the wrong he is sure to receive a severe bastinadoing. 
From the porch you turn to the left into a large 
Court yard paved wit"h marble. The first thing 
that strikes you is a narrow, dark staircase by which 
the Dey ascends and descends, which bears no pro- 
portion to the rest of the building. The only 
reason assigned for not altering it is that in case of , 


rebellion, of which they are always in dread, but few 
people could get up at a time and the Dey would be 
able to defend himself longer than if the staircase 
was wider. Around this Court on the left hand from 
the staircase to the upper end is a piazza, under 
which the Moorish Chaouxes and Secretaries sit, the 
marble pavement is there raised one foot and at the 
upper end is the Dey's seat, composed of the same 
material as the Vikilhadges of the Marine already 
described, and indeed all the Grandees' seats are 
made in the same manner. On the Dey's right hand 
is the large divan where the four Turkish Hodges or 
Secretaries of State sit and where archives of the 
nation are kept, which consists of a few large books 
and papers, the whole not comprising as much paper 
as would be found in the office of a country attorney. 
This place as well as the Dey's seat is under a hand- 
some piazza supported by marble pillars, having a 
marble fountain in the center and ornamented with 
looking glasses brought from Venice. Around 
towards the right are the doors of the two Treasuries 
before which thirty-two Nobagias sleep every night 
on mattresses. From this Court you go under a 
large arch to the right and come into a paved Court 
which leads into the lower part of the palace. In 
this Court is a blacksmith shop with several Christian 
slaves constantly at work shoeing horses and other 
necessary work for the palace, from hence is a stone 
flight of steps which leads to the terrace where 
several Christians are kept employed cleaning fire- 
arms. The lower part of the palace contains the 
slaughter house and a place to keep sheep, firewood, 


etc., and where I have actually counted one hundred 
and fifty cats at a time, all sprung from a favorite 
pair of a former Dey, and notwithstanding several 
sacks full are turned out annually their number 
seems to increase. To describe the rest of the 
palace it is necessary to return to the staircase by 
which the Dey ascends; this passes by a small room 
where the Captains, a proa before described, sleeps 
and keeps their brushes, etc., for keeping the Court 
yard clean and leads to a neat gallery paved with 
china tiles, which runs the whole length of the 
kitchen. In this gallery the chief cook has his seat 
which the Dey, as in Pharaoh's time, occupies for 
some time each afternoon, and from thence adminis- 
ters justice; and not unfrequently the Christian 
Consuls receive the Dey's order to write to their 
governments to send such articles as he requires, and 
threatens that if they do not arrive in such a time, 
bastinadoing and imprisonment. Above this gallery 
is another of much the same description in which 
there is a much more magnificent seat than any of 
the rest, but seldom used. Here the Dey receives 
Ambassadors and gives them their private audiences, 
and when the Dey wishes to honor the Grand 
Signore's Ambassador in a particular manner, the 
Dey seats him beside him on this seat, but this very 
seldom happens as the Embassies from the Porte are 
seldom of an agreeable nature, mostly being to 
demand restitution for property plundered from the 
Greeks, Emperor of Germany's subjects, and those 
of the Republic of Ragusa, who navigate by special 
license from the Grand Signore, and their peace 


with the Barbary States is under his immediate 
guarantee and specified by a passport under the seal 
of the Ottoman Empire called a Firman; nevertheless 
the Barbary States frequently capture their vessels 
and enslave their subjects. This gallery communi- 
cates with apartments for slaves, store rooms, etc., 
which are used for the different purposes of domestic 
economy. There is a large room where the slaves 
of that department eat and sleep, with a gallery 
before it which leads to the Coffee house, where 
coffee is made for the Dey and Grandees and for 
any one who has ingress and egress from this terrific 
mansion. From these terraces you descend towards 
the garden, in the center of which is a small neat 
house, which was built for the Seraglio of Bobba 
Ally, the predecessor of Mahomed Bashaw, the Dey 
who reigned when I was captured, but it is now used 
for store rooms for carpets, blankets, etc. From 
thence you descend through the kitchen appropriated 
to the use of the cappa negros, and then enter into 
the precincts of the garden by a paved covered yard, 
where is running constantly by pipes as fine water as 
any in the world, with which the garden is supplied. 
There is likewise a large oven here which is but 
seldom used except when the Dey's Bagnio is heated. 
From this Court you enter the house in the garden 
which is two stories high, the Court is paved round 
with marble and has a large reservoir in the center to 
receive water for the use of the garden, which flows 
from a handsome marble fountain where the 
Hasnadars frequently perform their ablutions before 
prayer. There are also around this gallery and the 


one above several very good rooms and likewise the 
Dey's hot bath which he uses every Friday, and the 
Hasnadars and chief cooks through the week. The 
slaves are also permitted to bathe there on days 
when it is not used by their masters. This Bagnio is 
not as large as some in the city, but as they are all 
built alike a description of this will suffice for the 

The entrance to this Bagnio is through a small 
room which leads into another still smaller, where is 
a divan and couch made up of fine blankets, where 
the person who is going to bathe undresses himself, 
then proceeds into a small room which partakes in a 
great degree of the heat of the bath, as it as well as 
the bath are built over the oven before mentioned. 
There the party attended by three Mosabies, who 
are brought up to this business" from their 3/outh, 
stand a short time in order to be a little seasoned 
and prepared for the intense heat of the bath; for if 
a person, especially one who is not accustomed to 
bathing, should go into the bath without this pre- 
caution, it would nearly suffocate him. After a 
sufficient degree of perspiration is excited, the 
person, swaddled in cotton towels made for the 
purpose and mounted on high wooden clogs, enters 
the Bagnio and seats himself on a long pine table 
about a foot from the ground. Here the bathers 
commence the operation of kneading the flesh of 
their patients, cracking at the same time every joint, 
and then with hair cloth mittens lather them all over 
with soap suds, and when they suppose the pores 
sufficiently cleansed they commence throwing water 


over the body, which they draw from two brass cocks 
fixed in copper boilers, one holding hot water and 
the other cold, and when thoroughly cleansed, the 
person being previously shaved, is covered with 
clean, dry towels, and led into the next apartment 
where he stands a short time as on entrance, and 
then goes into the room where the couch is — pre- 
pared by the Dey's Christian attendants — and dry 
clothes being put on him he is covered up, and 
reposes for an half hour, and sometimes more, taking 
coffee and those who smoke regale themselves with 
a pipe. They then are dressed, by their attendants, 
in clean clothes from head to foot, and put on their 
Al Burnase or cloak, putting the hood over their 
head and leave the Bagnio, not uncovering themselves 
before the perspiration gradually subsides, and in 
this manner all ranks of society bathe; with more or 
less grandeur at the public bath. A soldier may 
bathe for three cents, but few give less than nine. 
The Dey's bath is paved with marble, inlaid with 
painted tiles from Genoa, and is covered with a dome 
which has small windows and holes to let in light 
and air. All the Bagnios in this Regency, and 
indeed in all Barbary, are built on the same principle 
and more or less ornamented. Those in the Dey's 
and Grandee's ladies houses, I am told, are magnifi- 
cent, and their manner of bathing corresponds with 
the description given by Lady Mary Wortley 
Montague in her description of the manners of the 

The garden is of small extent, and contains 
nothing but oranges, lemons, and pomegranates, and 


is covered with grape vines in many places. It is 
surrounded by walls, and has places for keeping 
lions, tigers and antelopes which, when young are 
permitted to remain here, but not when large enough 
to be very dangerous, when they are sent out to the 
dens in the Bagnio Galera. The stores, around the 
garden, contain various articles of clothing for the 
slaves and new recruits, firearms and a room filled 
with lion and tiger skins. There is likewise an old 
house, in a ruinous condition, filled with small 
baskets for pigeons to brood in, and like the cats, 
are said to proceed from a single pair, and are so 
very numerous that it is incredible to believe it; but 
it is nevertheless true that twice a day, before the 
Dey's throne, is scattered a bag of grain, wheat or 
barley, which holds two bushels, and in ten minutes 
the pigeons descend in such flocks that there is not a 
grain left. I am persuaded, however, that all those 
pigeons were not bred in the Dey's palace; but, as 
the grain is always thrown down at the same hour, 
there assemble all the pigeons to partake of this 
repast. The appearance of this part of the palace 
indicates that a number of old houses have been 
joined to the mass since the principal building was 
appropriated to its present use, .some of which have 
been torn down, others altered and some still remain 
in their original state, mouldering to ruins, so that 
an exact description is impossible. To return to the 
upper gallery, on the staircase ascending to the Dey's 
apartments, on the right hand is the First Hasnadar's 
apartment, which is a handsome square room, well 
lighted, ornamented with carved work of flowers, etc., 


furnished with handsome carpets, a divan, some 
boxes, and small tables, inlaid with Mother of Pearl, 
Tortoise shell, etc., and hung around with firearms, 
swords, and pistols, mounted in gold and silver, 
inlaid mostly with Coral. Next you ascend to the 
Dey's apartments, which formerly consisted of one 
room in which, like the Hasnadar, the Dey ate and 
drank and slept, and had nothing in it different from 
the Hasnadars, except that the arms, clocks and 
other ornaments, were more costly. Before the door 
of this apartment, the Dey has a seat where he gives 
an audience at particular times to Ambassadors, 
Consuls, and others; but only to those v/ith whom he 
is on good terms. Behind this seat and opposite 
this apartment are the rooms appropriated for the 
use of the slaves, and other conveniences of the 
Dey's person, the whole of which is handsomely 
paved with tiles and marble. 

Thus have I described the whole of the Dey's 
palace in the reign of Mahomed Bashaw, but Hassan 
Bashaw has added a beautiful suite of rooms — 
indeed a whole house — ^to the old palace; which, as 
this description will likewise serve for all the best 
houses in Algiers, I will be the more particular. 

Hassan Bashaw has been at great expense upon 
this building, which joins the last described apart- 
ment, and is the highest part of the palace. It is 
built of stone and brick cemented with mortar, as 
most of the other houses are, plastered over and 
whitewashed, so that on the outside you see nothing 
but bare walls and some holes, in the shape of a 
Gothic door, for windows, which are placed very 


high from the ground, and when any aperture is 
made large enough for a person to go in or out, it is 
secured with a strong iron grating. Its shape is a 
square, around which the apartments are built, the 
lower part of this building seems to be of little use, 
and only intended to support an elegant suite of 
rooms, upon the attic, which is upon a level with 
the Dey's apartments already described. The Court 
yard and piazza are paved with marble as well as all 
the rooms. The terrace of the piazza, which runs 
all around, is supported with marble pillars resem- 
bling the Corinthian order, but not regular. The 
doors and window shutters, which are towards the 
gallery, are made in the Gothic style, carved and 
painted, and the borders and mouldings are gilt with 
the gold of Venitian sequins. The ceilings are 
ornamented with carved work, representing flowers, 
bunches of grapes, fruits of different sorts, in the 
Turkish style, the workmen being Greeks, who were 
sent to the Dey from Constantinople for the express 
purpose of ornamenting these rooms. The walls are, 
for about half way up, encrusted with painted tiles of 
Genoa, and high up, near the ceiling, are several 
holes resembling pigeon holes, which are closed with 
stucco work, resembling bunches of flowers, covered 
on the reverse with pieces of different colored glass, 
according to the color of the flowers which are 
intended to be represented, which has a pretty effect 
when reflected upon by the rays of the sun. The 
furniture consists of beautiful divans covered with 
handsome Turkey carpets as are the floors, beautiful 
boxes, inlaid with Mother of Pearl, Tortoise and 


Coral, some chests of drawers fitted with watches, 
rings, snuff boxes, and other trinkets, enriched with 
diamonds and other precious stones, on which were 
placed some elegant table clocks and other orna- 
ments. Around the rooms were hung elegant Turkish 
muskets, sabres, attagans, and other implements of 
war, ornamented in gold and Coral, besides several 
pairs of pistols, enriched with diamonds and some 
beautiful muskets and fowling pieces, which the Deys 
have received as presents from the different Christian 
nations with whom they were at peace. Among the 
latter is a beautiful double barreled fowling piece 
which formerly belonged to the unfortunate Louis 
the XVI, which was presented to Hassan Bashaw by 
my worthy friend Joel Barlow, Esq., as a part of the 
presents made by the United States a few months 
after our peace took place. In this house is likewise 
deposited all his cash which amounted, in my time, 
to 200,000 sequins, equal to $360,000; but when this 
Regency makes arrangements with Christian powers, 
and the sum is specified to be paid in sequins, and 
the payment is made in dollars, they frequently 
insist on valuing the sequin at two Spanish dollars 

Having described the palace, as well as it is 
possible to describe such a confused mass of build- 
ings, I will next proceed to describe the Mosques, 
Fonduces or Caravanseras, and other public buildings, 
especially the Casarias or Turkish Soldiers Barracks. 
Nearly opposite to the palace is the Dey's Mosque, 
where he, with all the Grandees, perform their 
devotions every Friday. It is a small neat building 


consisting of one large room covered with mats and 
some small carpets — made purposely for Mussulmen 
to pray on — and has no ornaments except some 
sentences from the Koran, written in large Arabic 
characters upon the wall, likewise it has a place like 
a reading desk, from which the Koran is read and 
also a small place resembling a pulpit from which, 
on particular days, a discourse is delivered not unlike 
our sermons. There is no fountain in this Mosque, 
consequently the Dey and Grandees go there already 
purified. The great Mosque has a large fountain for 
purification; but, in other respects, is the same as the 
one described only much larger, and the Minaret 
much higher, which, during the time of Ramadan, 
as well as all the other Minarets, is illuminated, 
which makes a handsome appearance at a distance. 
There are several inscriptions on this Mosque, but 
none of them are legible to the naked eye, nor could 
I find anyone who knew of their origin. It is well 
known that all Mussulmen take off their shoes or 
sandals when they go to worship. At this Mosque 
they leave them outside the doors, and frequently 
the slaves, either pressed by necessity or motives of 
villainy, steal thirty or forty pairs of shoes at a time, 
and get off with them leaving the true believers to 
go home barefoot. This Mosque has the privilege 
to hoist the flag first to summon to prayer, and is 
followed by all the rest which, in every respect, are 
similar to those already described. 

The Public schools are four in number, and are 
square buildings with small rooms all around. The 
scholars study reading, writing, and the common 


rules of arithmetic, in the area in the open air. They 
are generally taught by the Imans of the Mosque, 
who receive a small compensation, annually, from 
the government, besides presents occasionally from 
the parents and friends of their scholars, most of 
whom are Arabs or the children of people who live 
at a distance from the city. Their books consist of 
the Koran and commentations on the Koran, and 
they learn to write with pens made of reeds on 
square boards, which are whitewashed and when full 
the writing is washed out, and the scholar commences 
his lessons again, which is a very economical way as 
no paper whatever is used, and notwithstanding it 
seems impossible to us that they should ever write a 
fair hand in this manner, it is really astonishing to 
what perfection they write the several Arabic 
characters, and I have seen copies of the Koran that 
would grace any library in the world in point of 
execution. The rooms, which are for the scholars 
to sleep in, are furnished with a few mats, and the 
provisions, which are provided by the institution, are 
of the coarsest kind; so was it not for the charity of 
the well disposed and some trifling support from 
their own friends, the scholars would lead a very 
poor life; as it is, they are very abstemious, I am 
persuaded, more through necessity than voluntary 
penance. There are some day schools, as with us, 
but the better sort have their children taught in their 
own houses by their religious men, in the same 
manner as in their schools, and among those, who 
have any education at all, there is a greater equality 
than in any other part of the world, the whole of the 


abilities of the most learned men among them, only 
extending to reading, writing, the common rules of 
arithmetic, and the expounding of different sentences 
of the Koran, and explaining the different comments 
on it, and the rest of their religious authors. 

In all this Regency was not a man, in my time, 
who could calculate an eclipse of the sun or moon. 
Their navigators merely knew how to take the sun's 
meridian, altitude, to work the latitude, and to prick 
off the ship's course on a plain chart. The master 
shipmaster who had been a slave in Spain for several 
years, and was considered the best scholar in the 
Regency, could not work the longitude by Lunar 
observations, nor work a plain question in astronomy, 
either by logarithms or by drawing the figure, though 
that was the chief branch of this study; but he had 
a very plausible tongue, a good memory, and knew 
how to convert the abilities of the Christian masters 
and mates and super cargoes, that were under him, 
to his own advantage. How many men do we see 
in our own country who by impudence, false pre- 
tenses, and picking up in formation from others, and 
carrying it to those in power, are preferred to the 
modest or timid man of honor, judgment and 
integrity? But it has ever been so in society and 
those, who suppose there is more virtue or candor in 
our country than any other, let them read the public 
prints and convince themselves to the contrary. I 
thought so once myself, but I had been studying the 
virtues of the ancient Romans. Happy would it 
have been for me had I been earlier undeceived. 


There are six Casarias or Turkish barracks, which 
are handsome buildings with a large Court yard in 
the center, with a gallery and rooms all around, and 
are kept remarkably clean. They are each of them 
patronized by some of the great men, who are very 
liberal to the Turks, who reside there, especially to 
recruits when they first arrive from the Levant. 
Each Casaria is governed by an Odabashi, and 
several officers under him, and has one or more 
Chaoux to execute their orders, and likewise an 
Iman to say prayers at a stated time. The Turks 
who reside here are all single men, and the gates are 
shut at sunset, the keys taken to the Dey's palace at 
the same time that the keys of the gates of the city 
are deposited there, and are opened at the same time 
in the morning. This is done to prevent riot and 
insurrection, to which they were always prone, from 
taking place in the night. Before the plague made 
its appearance in 1786, these barracks were much 
crowded; but numbers were cut off by that terrible 
distemper, which made room for the better accom- 
modation of those who remained. 

There are fauducs where some of the married 
and superanuated Turks, who are poor, reside; but 
they commonly reside in their own houses and are 
considered as civilians, when not on actual duty, and 
are under the same regulations. Each Casaria is 
allowed one, and sometimes two. Christian slaves to 
keep them clean; that is to sweep and wash the 
gallery and Court yard, and sundry other services. 
There are several taverns in the city besides those in 
the prisons, and formerly there was a tavern kept in 


each Casaria; but latterly, these have been prohibited 
in consequence of the great irregularity they were 
productive of, and a Christian having been found 
hung to the beams in the Casaria at the gate of the 
Marine, it was immediately shut up and no liquor 
has been allowed to be sold in any of the Casarias 
since. Those in the city, still open, are the Raphagi, 
which belongs to the Dey's chief clerk, and the 
Foundaria, which belonged to the Greek Master 
Builder Demetrius. These two pay no duty to the 
Regency, and are allowed as a perquisite of office to 
those who fill these places, and are very productive, 
especially, when prizes are taken which are loaded 
with wine and brandy, which makes the grapes to be 
sold very cheap. In the Magazine is the very cask 
which, in consequence of a miracle performed by a 
Maraboot in 1541, ran with wine until the streets 
were overflowed down to the Fisher's gate, and 
tinged the sea to a considerable distance from the 
shore, during the tempest which destroyed a great 
part of the Emperor Charles V. fleet; and this tradi- 
tion is so well believed by the Mahomedans in 
general, that it is slung up and a lamp constantly 
kept burning before it, and frequently those who go 
there to intoxicate themselves, light a number of 
candles and adorn the old cask with flowers, with as 
much devotion as a bigoted Portuguese would the 
image of St. Antonio. The Christian tavern keeper 
of course gives in to the idea, apparently, and indeed 
so he ought, as he is the only person who benefits 
by it, as this old cask brings a great deal of custom 
to his tavern, which otherwise would go elsewhere. 


as the Magazine itself is a miserable dark hole, not 
near so comodious as many of the other taverns. 
There are several other taverns in town, none of 
which are worth describing; the whole number, both 
in and out of the prisons, fluctuate from twenty-seven 
to thirty, all kept by Christian slaves who pay a con- 
siderable duty to the Regency, employ from fifty to 
ninety slaves, and maintain more than double the 
number of the most indigent, who without those 
resceptacles of vice and immortality, would in all 
probability starve for want of food, as is would be 
impossible for them to live long upon the allowance 
which they receive from the Regency. Thus has 
Divine Providence, who is forever working for the 
benefit of us unworthy creatures, devised the means 
of bringing some good out of much evil and even 
here has not abandoned us to entire want. 

There is little more worthy of notice in this city. 
The streets are dark and narrow, especially the Jews' 
quarters, in one of which is their slaughter house, 
which creates an intolerable stench, which we would 
suppose would create a plague of itself — the contrary 
is the case, for in that quarter fewer Jews died of the 
plague than in any other and it was one of the last 
places where the infection spread. 

I will next give a description of the Roman 
Catholic institutions established by the Spaniards, 
and the Ospicio by the French, which are both 
charitable institutions and of great service to the 
slaves in general. The hospital is a large convenient 
building adjoining the Bagnio Galera, which is shut 
every night at the same time that the prison is, but 


has a communication by a small door where, in the 
time of the plague, those who were taken ill in the 
night were passed through, and several, in less than 
twelve hours, were carried to their graves. The 
common sewers of the hospital communicate with 
those of the prison, and was probably the reason why 
the mortality was greater there than in any of the 
other prisons, or any other part of the city. The 
slaves of all denominations — Protestants and Greeks, 
as well as Roman Catholics — are admitted into this 
hospital and are treated all alike, without any dis- 
tinction, much to the credit of the priests, surgeon, 
and apothecary, who have the direction and manage- 
ment of its affairs; and, although few luxuries are 
allowed, the diet is good and wholesome, and the 
medical assistance as good as can be expected in such 
an institution. The most of the sick are contained in 
a large ward, and are accommodated with wool 
mattresses, sheets and pillows, and if the weather is 
cold, with a blanket if they have none of their own, 
and are not prevented from using their own beds if 
they have any. Those beds are placed on boards 
raised about thirty inches from the ground on iron 
stands, which are placed and replaced at pleasure, 
according to the number of patients. In the center 
is an altar where mass is said daily, and in the even- 
ing rosary is likewise said or sung, at which one of 
the priests always assists. There are also several 
small rooms where two or three patients are accom- 
modated in each, and are generally slaves who attend 
on the Dey or some of the Grandees, and are allowed 
this favor on account of their masters. The priests' 


apartments are separate, and at a distance from 
where the sick are deposited. The}' have very com- 
modious apartments, a good church or chapel and a 
refectory, well stored. They are a good sort of 
people, and would be much better had they a better 
class of people to deal with. Once a week they 
distribute to the indigent slaves, one masoon each 
and sometimes oflener, when their funds will admit, 
which are generally augmented by donations from 
the Consuls, merchants, and sometimes by such of 
the slaves as are in the way of saving money, and are 
charitably inclined. The fund? necessary for this 
very Christianlike and humane establishment, are 
furnished entirely by Spaniards, and is drawn from 
the Coffers of the order for the Redemption of 
Captives. This institution is governed by a Father 
administrator, and three or more priests, who corre- 
spond with the principal of their order in Spain, and 
are responsible for their conduct to their own order 
only. This is certainly one of the most charitable 
and laudable institutions in the world, and extends 
its benign influence to Christians of all nations. 
What would the slaves have suffered during the 
plague had they not had a place to receive them 
when oppressed with disease, and harrassed with 
fatigue and worn out with hard labor? For the 
credit of those good priests be it spoken. They 
permit those that are not really sick, but find means 
to get in there to rest a few days to recruit them- 
selves, to remain there eight or ten days until they 
perfectly recover from their fatigue, and in a manner 
reanimated. What would the poor Americans have 


done, who were struck with the plague and died 
during our captivity? They would have had no 
alternative, but would have died, either in the street 
at their labor, or in some corner in the prison, with- 
out any person to assist them or to console them in 
their last moments; and would have been buried in 
a hole like a dog. In the hospital they are at least 
(even the poorest sort) sewed up in a blanket, and 
carried on a bier covered over with a pall, such as it 
may be, and can be accompanied by any of their 
friends or countrymen to the place of their inter- 
ment; and those, who have friends to provide cofifins, 
may be decently interred. Not one of the American 
captives that died was buried without a coffin, many 
of them I had made at my own expense. The 
Regency are at no expense whatever on account of 
this establishment, but tolerate it on account of the 
great use it is to them, as it saves a great number of 
the slaves' lives annually. They allow, when slaves 
are plenty, twelve slaves to attend the sick and to do 
the necessary work of the hospital gratis; but when 
slaves are scarce, not above half that number. The 
Osficio is a Convent dependent on the Order of 
Mercy in France, and is governed by a Vicar and 
three or four priests of that order. Their duty con- 
sists in saying mass and preaching to the slaves in 
the prisons, giving them spiritual advice, and 
administering the sacrament. They likewise attend 
the Roman Catholic houses which have chapels, and 
occasionally give charity to the slaves when their 
funds will permit. It is likewise a part of their duty 
to attend the slaves in the time of invasion, when 


they are sent, chained two and two together, into the 
country; and Father Joseph, who had been a resident 
there for near thirty years, had twice accompanied 
them to Media, the first time when the Spaniards 
invaded Algiers in 1775, and the last time, in 1784, 
when Don Antonia Barcelo threatened with bom- 
bardment, which in reality was never intended. This 
holy man never abandoned them in these times, he 
hired mules to accommodate those who were sick 
and even dismounted and walked nearly all the way, 
giving his mule to such of the slaves whose feet 
were lacerated with the stones and heat, and reduced 
himself to the same situation that they were in, the 
chains excepted, in order to alleviate their sufferings. 
His last dollar he gave away to the cruel Guardians 
to induce them to use the slaves with lenity; nay, 
even his clothes he divided among them, and when 
he returned to Algiers, he was in as bad a condition 
as any of them. During the plague he constantly 
attended on the slaves in the prison and hospital, 
until he was infected himself, and although he had 
that distemper very severely, and was a long time 
before he was cured of his sores, he continually 
attended to his duty the moment he was able to rise 
from his bed. Ultimately it pleased God that he 
should recover, that he might continue his benevo- 
lence to those poor, abandoned, and dejected 
creatures, for he praised the God of mercy and 
goodness, and dedicated the rest of his life to their 
services and several times refused to return to his 
own country when solicited by the superiors of his 
order, and where he had friends to procure him 


preferment and property to maintain him decently; 
but he sacrificed everything to the duties of his 
profession and had determined to continue the rest 
of his life in Algiers. If I could obtain or was 
worthy of obtaining an especial grace from the 
Almighty God, I would pray to be enabled to be as 
good a man as Father Joseph; for I can scarcely 
believe there ever was a better. 

This institution is of no other use to the slaves. 
The priests inhabit a convenient house, have a decent 
church within its walls, which, before the French 
Revolution, was well endowed, and generally their 
refectory was well supplied. Of late years the priests 
are seldom insulted in the streets, and when they are, 
it is mostly by the lower class, and if they can 
identify the person who insults them, and lodge a 
regular complaint, either personally or through 
medium of their Consuls, to the Dey, they are sure 
to receive proper satisfaction; and the person who 
insults them will be severely punished, if they 
require it, which they seldom have done for fear of 
consequences; as it would be by no means prudent 
to irritate an ignorant mob, who are already too much 
prejudiced against them and their religion. 



I have already stated that when I was sent from 
the palace garden, my whole wardrobe was contained 
in a small basket, and in cash my funds did not 
amount to quite eight dollars, two of which I was 
obliged to pay to the Corporals to make interest to 
procure me leave to go to the Bagnio Gallera, where 
the rest of the American prisoners were, and as 
many as it could hold, of the most respectable 
prisoners. I therefore, and my companions in 
adversity, took leave of Bagnio Belique for the 
present. A large ring of iron, which was put on my 
leg there, I got changed for a small one, and my 
next occupation was to look out for quarters. Some 
of the Americans were fortunate enough to have a 
small room to themselves, but this was so crowded 
that it was impossible to hold any more inhabitants, 
and most of them slept on tables in the taverns. 
We arrived so late that all the births in the tavern 
where we put up were taken, and I was obliged to 
spread my blanket on the interstice of the bilge of a 
large wine cask and the wall, with my basket con- 
taining all my worldly possessions under my head, 
to serve for a pillow and prevent the contents from 


being stolen. The weather being very sultry, the 
stench of the prison, the quantity of rats which were 
continually running over us, joined to myriads of 
fleas which attacked on all sides, did not render the 
night's lodging very agreeable, and I was glad when 
I was summoned to work in the morning. 

From this to the month of March 1787, I con- 
tinued in nearly the same situation, working in the 
carpenter shop in the day time, occasionally sent to 
carry heavy loads to disarm the Cruisers, load vessels 
with wheat, carry ballast on board the Cruisers, and 
on Friday, either be sent to Bebal Wed to work at 
the Magazine, or to the Ponto Piscado to load the 
Pontoon with heavy stone to throw at the back of 
the mole, to prevent the sea from breaking over it. 
In short every other sort of labor, which the most 
common slave in the Regency was obliged to do; 
but this was not all, the Guardians or slave drivers 
supposing we had money, would send us to the worst 
work, abuse us in the worst manner, using the most 
opprobrious language, and often giving us cuts with 
their twisted rattans, "en passant," in order to oblige 
us to purchase our peace with them, which generally 
could be done for thirty or forty cents; but for those 
who had it not to give, it might as well have been a 
million. It might well be supposed that my treasury 
was soon exhausted, and that the clothes which I 
got in the palace, were disposed of to supply my 
most urgent wants. It is true, we were allowed 
seven and one-half cents a day for some time from 
our own country, but that allowance was soon with- 
drawn from us, and for years no more notice was 


taken of us than if no such unfortunate men were in 
existence. It may therefore well be imagined that 
our situation could not well be worse, especially as 
the plague, which had been introduced from the 
Levant, began to make its appearance in the slave 
prisons. This, however, produced no mitigation of 
our labor — as long as we live we must work. 

I continued in this miserable situation until the 
17th of March, 1787, when the King of Naples 
redeemed all his subjects who were taken at sea, 
except those who were taken in the Galleys which 
fled from Naples. A Neapolitan Frigate arrived 
with the cash on board, and they were permitted to 
embark under a flag of truce. They were about three 
hundred in number, and many of them being em- 
ployed in the most eligible situations, many vacan- 
cies remained to be filled by those unfortunate men 
who remained; among whom, my fellow prisoner 
and myself were taken from the carpenter's shop and 
ordered to attend on the Intendant or Vikilharche 
of the Marine. There are generally from six to 
nine Christians in this department, whose duty it is 
to attend to the Vikilharche at meals, to take care 
of the stores, carry the keys for the Belique Bashaw, 
serve the oil and bread out to the slaves, and in 
general, whatever the Intendant and Belique Bashaw 
order them to do; but they are not subject to the 
Guardians nor to the orders of any one else. They 
are well fed and receive some emolument from the 
Intendant's visitors, especially the Beys, Caliphs, 
Alcaides, Ambassadors, and Christian Consuls, who 
are expected to put some money into the cup every 


time they take coffee with him; and this money is 
divided among these Christians every Thursday 
night — and they always have Friday to themselves. 
This was no small alleviation from our sufferings^ 
especially as we were nearly naked; and now we 
received two pieces of cotton sufficient to make two 
jackets and two pair of trousers, and money to pay 
for making them. Although you are subject to hard 
labor, sometimes, in clearing out the stores, it is 
nevertheless considered one of the best situations, 
and a great deal of interest is made to get there. 

Although peace with Spain took place in June, 
1785, still the Spaniards remained in captivity. The 
plague had commenced, and in January there died 
sixteen Christian slaves, and in February forty one, 
and in March the number was increasing, when the 
Neapolitans were redeemed. The Spanish priests 
now thought seriously of their captives, as they be- 
came very refractory and blamed the priests for their 
being detained so long in captivity after peace had 
taken place, and even threatened their lives. They, 
therefore, with the assistance of the Spanish Am- 
bassador, became security to the Dey for the ransom 
of all the Spaniards who were taken at sea, to the 
number of about four hundred, and on the 19th of 
March they were embarked on board a large Russian 
prize vessel, which was purchased for that purpose, 
and soon sailed for Minorca to perform quarantine. 
The slaves who had deserted from Oran, who were 
about one thousand of all nations, had always ex- 
pected to have been included in the general redemp- 
tion. Some of these unfortunate men had been in 


captivity for fifty years, and certainly had suffered 
sufficiently to have expiated any crimes which they 
might have committed in their youth, and finding 
this not so, all their hopes vanished and they gave 
themselves up to dispair, threatened the priests and 
Ambassadors and all the free subjects of Spain with 
death, as being the cause of their not being included 
in the redemption; and were with difficulty appeased 
by the priests promising, in the most solemn manner, 
to write to the King of Spain in their behalf, and to 
the heads of their order to use their influence in their 
favor. This quieted them for the present; neverthe- 
less their dissatisfaction frequently led them to acts 
of violence and riot, and often the priests were in 
danger of their lives; which, considering the class of 
people they had to do with, is not to be wondered 
at, especially as the priests did not fulfill their prom- 
ises; for twelve years after I wrote this, in 1799, 
when I touched at Algiers, some of those poor creat- 
ures were still in captivity. The greatest number 
had died of the plague, some had been redeemed, 
and the remainder were ransomed sometime after- 
wards. When the Spaniards who had been redeem- 
ed embarked, the scene was truly affecting; they 
separated from their countrymen, who were left be- 
hind, with embraces and tears for their speedy liber- 
ation; they divided their clothes and money v/ith 
them; some even gave away their all; and probably 
never was generosity more conspicuous or carried to 
a greater length. When the ship sailed she was fol- 
lowed by the eyes of those poor captives, and when 
she disappeared in the horizon, a universal groan was 


heard from those unfortunate men; and they sunk 
into despondency, declaring that now their last hope 
of ever being redeemed had vanished, and they 
cared not how soon they were struck with the plague 
and terminated their existence. The plague still in- 
creased, notwithstanding more than seven hundred 
captives were redeemed, which lessened the number 
considerably. Forty-three died this month and one 
hundred and five in April; nevertheless, the usual 
work was carried on and the labor being increased, 
no doubt exposed the poor slaves to the miasma of 
the infection more than otherwise they would have 
been, of which I will take particular notice when I 
come to treat of that dreadful disease. 

By the redemption of the Spaniards, the places 
of the coffeegie and clerk of the Marine department 
became vacant. Giovanni de la Cruz, a native of 
Leghorn, who had been chief mate of a large Leg- 
hornese ship, which I had left at Boston, and who 
was captured last year, and with whom I was ac- 
quainted, was appointed to the latter situation and I 
was appointed to the former. His duty was to keep 
the books, and mine to make coffee and hand it to 
the Intendant and his visitors; I likewise had the sup- 
erintendency of the other slaves and was accounta- 
ble for their good behavior and was obliged to re- 
port them if they behaved improperly. 

The clerk of the Marine is allowed a small room 
in the Bagnio Galera, gratis. I took up my quarters 
with him, and with the exception of people dying 
with the plague all around us, our situation was very 
tolerable. We were obliged to be in the prison at 


the same hours as the other slaves were, and to go 
to the Marine as soon as the gate was opened, in or- 
der to have the Intendant's seat made and coffee 
ready for him on his arrival. On Fridays, as we 
were confidential slaves, we could generally get leave 
to go out of town as far as the Consul's country 
seats. In May, one hundred and fourteen Christian 
slaves died, and in June, one hundred and fifty-five 
died, among whom was my friend Giovanni de la Cruz. 
He lingered a few days, and on the nth of June de- 
parted this life, regretted by all who knew him. He 
was a most amiable young man. During his illness 
I rendered him all the service in my power but to no 
effect. When he was struck with the plague, I was 
ordered to take charge of the books of the Marine 
department until he died or recovered, and on the 
1 2th I was appointed clerk of the Marine. Here I 
remained until all the people of the Magazine, the 
Vikilharche of the Marine excepted, had died and 
been replaced three different times. My former 
ship mate, of whom I will have occasion to mention 
hereafter, had been sent out of the Magazine soon 
after he was taken into it for incapacity, as he was a 
very simple ignorant lad, and could not learn the du- 
ty exacted from him. The Belique Bashaw died; 
another was appointed, he died also; and a Turk, a 
fisherman in the Turkish language (Baluckgee) , was 
appointed in his stead. This man had never been in 
any office before, and was in rank only a common 
soldier. He was extremely ignorant, poor, and 
proud, and very morose in his manners, finding fault 
without reason and not over honest. Several things 


were missing from the stores, but no person dare ac- 
cuse him of purloining them; besides they wanted 
proof. My situation was then rendered very un- 
pleasant. I remained, however, at my post until 
April, 1788, when one Thursday, having made out a 
(Tischera) or account of the money to be delivered 
to the treasury that day by the Belique Bashaw, it 
amounted to a considerable sum more than he had 
in his possession. He first tried to pursuade me that 
I had made some mistake, and requested me to alter 
it without making any noise. This I positively re- 
fused to do and read to him all the items of the 
money he had received, and what he had paid away. 
He then endeavored to throw the blame on the 
Christian slaves, saying that they must have taken 
the money out of his drawer, although he had always 
kept the key himself. This produced altercation, 
when he complained to the Vikilharche, saying that 
I had accused him of embezzlement and that either 
he or I must leave the Marine. The Vikilharche en- 
deavored to pacify him, but without effect; and the 
policy of these people being never to take part with 
a Christian against one of themselves, especially if 
he is a Turk or a soldier, accasioned him to order me 
to leave the Marine and remain in my tavern, de- 
claring that he never would appoint another clerk in 
my place. This promise he kept, and the duties of 
my place were done by the Turkish clerk, until the 
Belique Bashaw was removed, which happened short- 
ly after; and frequently I have met him with his 
cane and basket coming, after this time, from fishing. 
I remained in the tavern some time when, in conse- 


quence of the great mortality among the slaves, I 
was appointed clerk of the Bagnio Galera, three 
clerks having died in less than one month. The du- 
ty of this station was to muster the slaves in the 
prison every evening, to report when any died or 
were taken sick, to see their black bread served out 
to them, and to go to the Marine every morning, 
and on Friday, to the outworks to muster the slaves, 
to call their names over, and to report them when 
anywhere missing; but as several of the clerks of the 
sheep skins and charcoal died with the plague, I was 
frequently obliged to do this duty, which kept me 
constantly employed, and probably was conducive 
to my health and may have been the means, under 
Divine Providence, of my being alive at the present 


This morning at 5 A. m., May 17, 1788, the 
Piratical flag was displayed on the Marine fortifica- 
tions. The Christian vessels then in Port paid the 
usual compliments on such occasions by hoisting 
their colors. The whole Divan of Algiers, the Dey 
excepted, went out to receive the Bey or Sheik of 
Constantine, and to accompany him to the Dey's 
palace, as he had pitched his tents in the rebata or 
plain the night before. These plains are distant four 
miles from the Gate of Bebazon. The Laga or 
commander-in-chief of all the forces of Algiers, and 
superintendent of everything that is transacted 
within the Regency of Algiers, this city excepted, 
went out the evening before in order to confer with 
him on the state of the Dey's cabinet and other 
important affairs. At 6 A. m. the Bey was met by the 
Divan, all mounted on fine Arabian coursers, richly 
caparisoned, and after the usual ceremonies were 
paid, they proceeded towards the city in the follow- 
ing order: First, the order of Ipahias with the Bey's 
guards, about thirty in number; second, fifty mules 
loaded with money, each mule carrying two thousand 
pataca gordas, and forty-five Barbarian horses; this 
is what is customary to pay the Regency every three 
years, besides his Caliph is obliged to bring the half 


of that sum every six months; next follows six mules 
loaded with gold to be distributed to the Dey and 
Divan as presents, and amounted to 24,000 sequins 
— this was sent to the Dey's house. Next follows 
*Hassan Bashaw, the late Bey of Constantine's son, 
with seven mule loads of money, each mule carrying 
2,000 potaca gordas, this is a present to the Regency, 
Hassan Bashaw being under no obligation to bring 
this money, has done it more out of policy to 
influence the Dey in his favor, than any particular 
regard he has for his person or the welfare of the 
Regency. Next followed several horses richly 
caparisoned, designed for presents to the great men, 
attended by many of the Bey's guards and Ipahias. 
The next that presented itself to our view was seven 
stand of colors, carried by seven lanyiacgies on 
horseback, a band of Moorish music, three holy fools 
or Maraboots, proclaiming the Bey's arrival, and 
then the Dey's Hampa or body guards ridiculously 
dressed in brass caps and feathers, to make them 
appear more foolish; then followed the Bey, riding 
on the Hasnagi's left side, behind them the Laga 
and Hodge of Carallos or clerk of the cattle belong- 
ing to the Regency, which is a birth of the greatest 
consequence, and the fourth of the Divan; behind 
them came the Vikilhadge or Intendant of the 
Marine, followed by a number of others of inferior 

*Note— The above mentioned Hassan Bashaw is married to Hadgi 
Mansour's daughter, which, joined, to the lands he has or governs, makes 
him a person of the greatest consequence. The land that he enjoys is 
allotted to him by the Regency of Algiers as his father was a fortunate Bey, 
which very seldom happens. 


At 7 A. M., entered the Gate of Bebazon and were 
saluted by all the Marine fortifications, and likewise 
by all the batteries which they passed before they 
entered the city. On the Bey's arrival at the palace, 
he was disarmed for fear of his proving disaffected 
and try to assassinate the Dey. Then he and the 
Hasnagi rode into the palace yard, and alighted in 
the presence of the Dey; the other great men 
alighted outside of the palace gate. On his paying 
his respects to the Dey, he kisses his hand, sits down 
opposite him, discourses about an hour, drinks a 
dish of coffee, and fills the cup with manboobs. 
This is the perquisite of the Christian slaves in the 
palace, who seldom fail to bring the largest cup they 
can get, in order for the Bey to fill it. He then 
kisses the Belique or Dey's hand, and is attended by 
the Mezour and Alcaide in ta Zubil and several 
others, and conducted to his own palace. The Divan 
then sits, and if his conduct is approved, the caftan 
is sent to him by the Dey's first Christian servant 
that attends his own person, if not it is not sent, and 
the next time he comes out of his own house, to go 
to the Dey's palace, he is seized and led to the Aga 
d' Bastom's prison and choked immediately, without 
a trial, as delays may prove dangerous. If the Bey's 
conduct is approved, the caftan or robe of honor is 
sent to him, and now he is convinced that his con- 
duct is approved of by the Dey and Divan, and that 
he has nothing to fear from that quarter. During 
the Bey's stay here, which is eight days, he generally 
visits the Dey twice a day — Tuesdays and Fridays 
excepted. With the Bey came seventeen Christian 


slaves, his attendants, most part Genoese and 
Neapolitan — likewise a free surgeon. He is a young 
man, his name is Jean Gai. He is a relative of Mons.. 
Gimon, French negotiator here; has been with the 
Bey nine years, where he makes a considerable sum 
annually, and is a great favorite of the Bey's. The 
Bey has brought with him eleven desperados that 
have renegaded their faith, as they despaired of ever 
being redeemed, they being deserters from a Spanish 
garrison on this coast, eighty leagues to the west of 
Algiers. The Bey of Constantine is the richest of 
the three Beys, and has an unbounded prerogative. 
He keeps the Tunisians under great subjection, and 
often collects taxes in their territories and demands 
large sums of money from them under pretense of 
using it for the good of the commonweal; but in 
reality is used to his own emolument. The Tunisians 
are obliged to put up with this unjust treatment, as 
they are too well acquainted with their own inferiority 
and weakness to offer to oppose him. When the 
Bey is in his own Province, he resides in a city of 
the same name where he lives in great splendor. 
Eight days is the limited time for his stay here. If 
he stays any longer, he incurs the Dey's displeasure. 
When he leaves Algiers, he returns to the Eastern 
Province pretty well stripped of his ill acquired 
wealth. He commences very soon to plunder the 
unfortunate and wretched Arabs, and by that means 
as soon as possible make up his losses sustained 
during his short stay at Algiers, at the cost of those 
miserable wretches whom Almighty Providence has 
pleased to place under his jurisdiction and govern- 


ment. The Bey, on his arrival at Algiers, was 
accompanied by Mansour Sheriffe, Sheik and Grand 
Maraboot or Governor, both spiritual and corporeal, 
of a very numerous tribe of Arabs, situated near the 
Province of Constantine, named Mahomed Felicie, 
and other tribes, as far as Demir Capi or the Iron 
Gate, own him for their law giver; so that he is a 
very powerful, rich Moor. 

Demir Capi is a very narrow passage in the 
mountains of Atlas, defended by and in possession 
of the Mountain Arabs, and is the only part that this 
mountain is penetrable for many days' journey, so 
that in case of a misunderstanding between the 
Maraboot and the Bey of Constantine, or the Regen- 
cy of Algiers, he has it in his power to influence the 
Mountain Arabs in prejudice of said Regency, and 
possibly involve them in a disagreeable contest, 
which could not be remedied by any other means 
than the force of arms, which would be the means 
of taking much blood on both sides; and would hin- 
der the Turks from reaping any benefit from him or 
his vast territories; and so much is this great Mara- 
boot respected, in his own dominions, that he may 
be with propriety styled the Arabian Pope, as no 
person dare disobey him under pain of everlasting 
punishment. For these and other political reasons 
the Dey and Divan thought proper to treat Hadgi 
Mansoure with the same respect as they did the Bey, 
and if possible to give him no just cause of com- 

May 24, 1788 — This day the Grand Maraboot, 
Hassan Bashaw, the Bey of Constantine, Prime Min- 


ister, and other officers of tht^ state, being in pres- 
ence of the Dey, asked the Bey of Constantine for a 
certain sum of money, sent as a compliment to him 
by the Bey of Tunis, and left in his hands by Hadgi 
Mansour, as the Bey of Tunis gave it to said Mara- 
boot on his passing through Tunis on his return from 
Mecca. That the letters from the Bey had arrived 
some time but that he had heard nothing of the 
money; so he had supposed that the Bey of Con- 
stantine had taken care of it until he came to Algiers 
himself, and that now was the proper time to deliver 
it. The Bey of Constantine seemed quite surprised 
and solemnly declared that he had no money nor 
any thing else from Hadgi Mansour when he re- 
turned from the Holy Temple of Mecca, nor even a 
letter from the Bey of Tunis. Hadgi Mansour was 
called and examined whether he had received the 
above mentioned money. He frankly owned he had, 
but that, through the multiplicity of business, he had 
to transact on his return from Mecca, that he had 
entirely forgotten, the sum thai he had brought for 
the Bey, and if they had not put him in mind of it, 
probably, said he, I might never have remembered 
it. He then hoped the Dey and Bey of Constantine 
might excuse him for his mistake was made through 
negligence, and not through any dishonest intentions 
to embezzle another man's property. This was 
doubted by the Dey, and the Bey of Constantine 
having long been jealous of young Hassan on ac- 
count of the peculiar respect shown him by the Di- 
van of Algiers, and likewise the soldiery of his own 
province, thought this a favorable opportunity to 


lodge complaints against the Maraboot, and more 
especially against Hassan Bashaw, saying that he 
had assumed a greater prerogative than his birth en- 
titled him to, and for that reason, as he was Bey or 
Governor of Constantine, he could by no means al- 
low Hassan Bashaw to have the superiority over him 
in governing his own Province, and thought that 
Hassan had acted very impudently in making him- 
self busy in affairs so important as the government 
of Constantine; and no doubt the Regency of Algiers, 
or at least the Hasnagi, had a greater regard for 
Hassan than he had for the Bey, and employed 
Hassan as a controller of the Bey's official duty, 
which made the Bey more desirious that he should 
be removed. 

The Hasnagi espoused Hassan's cause and told 
the Bey in presence of the Dey of Algiers, that 
using Hassan in an ungenteel manner was the same 
as using him ill. Hassan alledged that he thought 
that his life was in danger, but hoped that the 
Hasnagi would give him some assurance of his pro- 
tection. The Hasnagi assured him that he would 
take all possible means for preventing the said Bey 
from molesting him, or any of his connections or 
property. The Bey on his part was greatly surprised 
at Hassan finding such powerful protection, and 
contaminated the Prime Minister in the presence of 
the Dey. A warm debate ensued, which came to a 
great height. The Dey and remaining part of the 
Divan interfered to try to adjust matters as amicably 
as possible, and if possible to appease the rising 
storm. It is remarkable that the Dey sided rather 


more with the Bey than he did with his Prime 
Minister. On the Bey's departure from Algiers he 
received great honors from the Dey, besides many 
valuable psesents, among which were two Christian 
slaves. Most of thegreat men, the Hasnagi excepted, 
made him a present of an unfortunate captive, besides 
other valuable effects. Thus assured of his conduct 
being approved, he returned to the government of 
his province, leaving Hassan in Algiers by the 
Hasnagi's order. 

Hadgi Mansour, his father-in-law, returned to his 
mountain Arabs to forward the money presented by 
the Bey of Tunis to the Dey with all possible expe- 
dition. This present which was to be laid out by the 
Dey for the purpose of relieving the distressed and 
other charitable uses, is reported to amount to 40.000 
manboobs. May 25, 1788, Hassan Bashaw presented 
the Hasnagi with a purse of 20.000 manboobs, 
which made the Hasnagi exert himself with 
the Dey and Divan, and in return made Hassan a 
present of a much grander Caftan than the Bey had 
received from the Dey, adding that he should soon 
have it in his power to befriend him effectually. 
Hassan immediately fell on his knees to embrace 
Hasnagi's feet, but was prevented by the Prime 
Minister, who embraced him with great tenderness 
and showed him every mark of respect and esteem. 

Monday, May 26, 1788. This morning the 
Hasnagi, as is customary, came to the palace door 
and sat on the outside until the Porte was opened, 
between the hours of 4 and 5 a. m., accompanied by 
the Laga and Hodge of Caballos. The Bashaw, as 


is customary, came to pay his respects and the 
Hasnagi offered him his hand to kiss, the Bashaw 
abruptly pushed his hand away, seized him and with 
the help of two more Chauses, disarmed him, stripped 
him of his Turban and Burnuse, and hurried him 
away to the Laga. The reason he was so used the 
Laga said he knew not; but that it was the Dey's 
orders and must be obeyed. As the Chaouxer dragged 
him under the Dey's window he called "Ally, Ally! 
What have I done? Is there no person who will 
plead my cause or interceed for me in this moment 
of impending danger? O! Ally, my wife, my 
children, don't let them suffer." The Laga assured 
him he would befriend him all that lay in his power 
while he lived. 

This great unfortunate man, with haste, was con- 
ducted to the place of execution. The first cord 
that was used was by some means broken when he 
was about half dead, upon which another was 
brought which effectually finished this deed of 
atrocity. This ambitious man died pitied by all, but 
lamented by none but the Turks of his own party. 

This once great and respected man was carried by 
four Pisqueras (inferior Moors) to his own new 
house, and laid out in the porch, and no person was 
let to visit him under pain of disobedience to the 
Dey's orders. His house then was shut up, and no 
person allowed to enter without the Dey's orders. 
The family of the deceased being at the garden and 
hearing of the unhappy event, made ready to come 
to town, but were prevented by the guards, who were 
sent from town to take care that none of the deceased's 


property should be taken by any of his friends. 
About two hours afterwards, the wife of this 
unfortunate statesman went on the terrace of the 
house and would have thrown herself down, had she 
not been prevented by one of her attendants. She 
requested, in a very pathetic manner, to have one 
more view of her dead lord before his remains were 
interred. This request was granted, she immediately 
went to the house where her husband's corpse was 
laid; but alas! no entrance was for her; but she 
immediately was ordered from the door in a rough 
manner by the guard, which set the unhappy woman 
nearly distracted. 

At 2 p. M. was carried the corpse of this once 
dreaded Minister, attended by not one Turk — as pre- 
vious to his interment the Dey gave orders for not 
a Turk, under penalty of death, to attend his funeral. 
He was buried at Bebal Wed in his own burying 
ground, without the least ceremony, leaving his wife 
and children to bewail his untimely fate. 

Hassan Bashaw having now lost his friend, he 
deemed it the most prudent step to take refuge in 
the Algerine Maraboot Sanctuary, until he saw how 
things turned out. The Dey immediately sent some 
of his officers to seize Hassan's house and property 
for the good of the Regency, and to place guards at 
the Maraboot Sanctuary in order to let no sort of 
provisions enter for his subsistence, and if possible, 
starve him out of his Holy Refuge. Bobba Osman, 
the late Hasnagi's brother, likewise absconded into 
some of his friends houses, in order to escape the 
impending danger. Hard was Hassan Bashaw's lot, 


far distant from any of his friends or connections, as 
Hadgi Mansour had returned to his native soil 
among the numerous tribes of Arabs and Jebils. 
On the arrival of the Bey of Constantine in his own 
Province, the first step that the Bey took was to 
plunder Hassan's house; then seize all his property. 
This was the first that Hadgi Mansour had heard 
from his son-in-law since his departure from Algiers. 
He accordingly informed his vassals of all that had 
happened, and after mature deliberations, a resolu- 
tion was taken to write to the Dey of Algiers, and 
in case young Hassan was not immediately restored 
to liberty, and his property returned, both in Algiers 
and Constantine, to declare perpetual war against 
the Dey, Divan and Turks in general of this Regency. 
Therefore Siddi Mansour made all the preparations 
for so great an undertaking. On the arrival of this 
letter a general Divan was called by the Dey, in 
order to take the purport of this letter into serious 
consideration, and after many debates it was 
unanimously resolved, that young Hassan should 
be released, his property restored to him with every 
loss made good, and orders should be sent previous 
to his leaving Algiers to the Bey of Constantine to 
return to him his property, and let him enjoy his 
prerogative as formally without the least molesta- 
tion. This shows how requisite it is for the Dey and 
Divan of Algiers to pay proper attention to Hadgi 
Mansour, Sheik and Grand Maraboot of the moun- 
tain Arabs. 

May 26, 1788. This day the Bay was opened in 
the palace for the Turkish soldiers Siddi Hassan, 


Vikilhadge of the Marine, and son-in-law of the late 
Hasnagi was appointed in his father-in-law's room 
to officiate as Hasnagi. He accordingly exercised 
himself in the functions of his office, to the satisfac- 
tion of all, but those of the late Hasnagi's party, 
as by the precipitate death of this great man, all his 
designs were frustrated. Ciddi, the present Prime 
Minister and treasurer of the Regency, had been 
formerly Casnador or the Dey's confidential servant, 
since which period, he had been several years Vikil- 
hadge of the Marine, wherein he has obtained many 
advantages for the Regency from different nations, 
especially the making so advantageous a peace with 
Spain, on the part of the Algerines, and so dishon- 
orable to his Catholic Majesty. This affair was 
entirely owing to him, as some years ago he was 
sent to Constantinople, in the character of an 
Ambassador, in order to transact some affairs con- 
cerning the Regency with the Grand Vizir; but, on 
his return on board a French vessel loaded with 
ammunition and warlike stores, he was captured by a 
Frigate belonging to his Catholic Majesty, and 
carried into Carthagena, where he was detained 
sometime. The Algerines, on their part, insisted 
that the French must be answerable for Ciddi Has- 
san and all the warlike stores, as they were taken on 
board a French vessel. Therefore after many 
applications being made from the court of France, 
the Spaniards were induced to clear Siddi Hassan, 
and send both ships and cargo to Algiers, after 
making him several valuable presents and using him 
in the most gentle manner possible, and showing 
him every mark of distinction requisite to show a 
person of his rank. 


The clerk of the Bagnio Gallera is allowed to keep 
a tavern in the prison, and only pays half duty to the 
Regency. This, with my having purchased the Mad 
House tavern, will account for my having money at 
my command, and when my fellow sufferers had 
none, and I believe those who survive will do me 
the justice to acknowledge, that they never wanted 
a good meal while I had it in my power to give it to 
them; that they were attended in the hospital when 
sick, and that those who died were buried in a 
decent coffin at my expense. Nay, never was any 
American buried without my attending them to the 
grave, reading prayers over them, and remaining 
until they were decently covered. This was particu- 
larly taken notice of by the Consuls and Catholic 
priests. The plague raged all this year; neverthe- 
less I never enjoyed better health, and I frequently 
stopped at the gates of the city to count the dead as 
they were carried out, not knowing nor indeed car- 
ing when my time should come. In 1789 the plague 
subsided, although it never was thoroughly exter- 
minated, as no pains were taken to erradicate it. In 
this year only nineteen Christians died of all dis- 
orders, and the same number the next year. In 1791 
only fifteen Christians died, and in 1792 seventeen, 


but in 1793 the plague broke out again and contin- 
ued, with the intermission of the year 1795, when 
only thirty-one Christian slaves died, until 1796, but 
I am persuaded that the city and environs v/ere 
never clear of the contagion, as it raged again and 
carried off several of our countrymen who were cap- 
tives, of whom I will make mention when I come to 
treat of that terrible disorder. From 1788 to 1791, 
three years, I was employed as above stated, except 
about six months that I was in Dr. Werner's office 
to make out accounts. I ate at his table, but as I 
had money enough to serve all my wants, I was 
entirely independent of him until I closed all his 
accounts. He treated me tolerably well but having 
no further use for my services, he changed his mind 
and manner of treatment, making use of improper 
language, and pretending that I should not go out 
of his house without his leave, I therefore asked 
him to make out his account for my board, which he 
refused to do, and I retired to my room in the 
Bagnio Gallera, which I had rented to some of the 
captives during my absence. I was likewise one 
week at Mr. Logic's house, while he was out of town, 
this was occasioned by Capt. O'Brien, who had lived 
there for considerable time, being sent to the Marine 
to make sails for the Crusiers, and the Consul re- 
quested me to take care of his house until he could 
get him back again. Capt. O'Brien had been through 
his whole captivity in one Counsul's house or an- 
other, except called occasionally to make or mend 
old sails for the Algerine Crusiers, and once that he 
was sent to hard labor and put on board the Panton 


Grand to cleanse the mold where he was kept some 
weeks during which time, however, I furnished him 
with a good dinner and a bottle of wine daily from 
my tavern, and as the guardian, Monto Negro, had 
no objection to a glass of wine himself, an extra one 
was sent to him by which Capt. O'Brien was treated 
very kindly, and only made to work under the eyes 
of the Vikilharche of the Marine, who was offended 
with him or rather was offended with the British 
Consul, and took this opportunity to revenge him- 
self upon one of his dependents, as he could not 
upon the Consul himself. Little alteration took 
place in my situation until the arrival of the crews 
of the American vessels in October 1793. Some- 
times I was employed as before mentioned and at 
other times I remained in my room at the Bagnio 
Gallera. I owned the Mad House tavern and half a 
tavern in the Bagnio Gallera, and another in Bagnio 
Liddi Hamuda, these were kept by Christian slaves, 
who paid me so much per pipe for wine and brandy. 
This gave me a profit sufficient for all my purposes, 
and an ovcr-plus to serve the immediate wants of 
my unfortunate fellow sufferers taken in 1785, who 
had been a great part of the time without any assist- 
ance whatever from their country. Some of them 
had been at hard labor all the time, until their num- 
bers were considerably reduced by the plague and 
hard usage, and at no time had they more than 
seven and a half cents allowed them per day to find 
them both food and raiment, and had it not pleased 
God to have placed me in a situation to have as- 
sisted them, they would certainly have been worse 


off. Those who were in Dey's palace, likewise gave 
them temporary assistance according to their means. 
People in our situation are generally liberal to each 
other. One probable reason, which might prevent 
them from hoarding, was the consideration that the 
plague was carrying off great numbers; that the 
Regency took possession of all the property 
belonging to the deceased, even their tattered gar- 
ments and blankets, if they had any, and as we did 
not know when it. would be our turn to die, we set 
no great value upon money, and made a merit of as- 
sisting our unfortunate brother sufferers, who were 
not in as good a situation as ourselves. Had we not 
been afraid of dying, I think it is likely enough that 
we would have been less liberal or at least more 

It must not, however, be supposed that notwith- 
standing I was much better off than many of my 
fellow prisoners, that I was not exposed to many 
sentimental afflictions. The Turkish Guardians fre- 
quently levied contributions on me on various false 
pretenses. The Paga Lunas were sometimes called 
to perform extra work on Fridays, and on any 
emergency such as fittting out Crusiers, covering in 
the waterworks at Bebazoon, clearing the Marine 
and fortifications, when any hostile armament was 
reported to be destined against Algiers, clearing 
away the rubbish of old houses, which were thrown 
down to augment the Dey's palace, discharging 
stores from the vessels of tributary nations, loading 
Christian vessels with wheat and barley, and in 
general everything that was an extra addition to the 


ordinary routine of duty from which the other slaves, 
whose numbers were greatly reduced by the redemp- 
tion of the Neapolitan and Spanish slaves, and more 
by the dreadful plague, could not be spared, which 
occasioned frequently all the slaves, even those who 
were in the Consuls' houses, to be called to labor for 
a few days at a time. Many by bribing the guardi- 
ans would get clear or not be forced to work hard; 
this would make the labor come harder on those 
who had nothing to give, and consequently create 
discontent, which was by no means to be won- 
dered at; and would at times prevent the Guard- 
ians from showing lenity to any person what- 
ever, for fear those who were not favored would 
complain to their superiors. In these several 
instances I suffered very much by accident. The 
first time I was standing by the Mad House tavern 
door, which belonged to me, when two Turks 
quarreled about a woman, one of the Turks was in 
the window of a house opposite, the other standing 
close by me, whose name was Hassan Chioux, said 
something which exasperated the one at the window 
to such a degree that he opened his door and shot 
Hassan through the thigh and with his attagan run 
him through the body without offering me the least 
injury. Hassan fell down dead into the tavern, and 
the pistol wounded another Turk in the foot, who 
was standing in the tavern. The murderer marched 
out of the gates and took refuge in the tent, which 
was pitched in the Rebat, as a sanctuary for all 
soldiers who had committed crimes, and would serve 
against the Arabs until pardoned. Hassan was 


carried to his barracks, washed and interred. The 
tavern was shut up and all the Christians who were 
present, among whom I was one, were sent to the 
Marine to work, by order of Ciddi Aly, who was 
Vikilharche of the Marine and by no means my 
friend. I remained at hard labor two days and then 
made application to the Hasnagi or Prime Minister 
and Treasurer, who gave orders that the tavern 
should be restored to me, and the Christians who 
were my servants permitted to go there as usual, 
but more than a week elapsed before my servants 
were returned, and not before I made a present of 
ten sequins to Ibraim Raiz, Guardian Bashaw. Not 
long afterwards a Kuluglo named Cara Burmuz of 
so infamous a character that he was deemed even 
unworthy to be a Turkish soldier, and his pay was 
taken from him — was insolent to a Greek Renegade 
called Mahommed Grittiti in the Mad House tavern, 
who beat him unmercifully. The next day Cara 
Burmuz complained to the Scheran Bashaw or head 
surgeon, whose duty it is to take cognizance of such 
acts and make the delinquent pay for drawing blood; 
but knowing that he could not expect more than two 
or three sequins from a soldier, induced Cara Bur- 
muz to swear that it was I that had beaten him. I 
accordingly was summoned before this despot, who 
after a long discourse in which he wished to impress 
upon my mind the greatness of the crime of which 
I had been guilty, in beating so unmercifully a true 
believer, said he was willing to compromise the 
matt-er with me, provided I would pay him two 
hundred sequins as the price of blood, and if not I 


must go to prison. Mahommed Grittiti appeared 
and declared that I had not even seen Cara Burmuz 
when he had chastised him for his insolence. The 
Scheran Bashi, with a great deal of sang froid, said 
he supposed the Christian had paid him well for 
appearing in his favor, that it was a singular thing to 
see a Mussulman take the part of a Christian against 
one of his bretheren, and hinted that he formerly 
was a Christian himself, accounted for his partiality. 
Mahommed indignantly replied that he was a better 
Mussulman than he was, that Cara Burmuz was a 
vile character, and that although he had it in his 
power to extort money from a poor Christian captive 
with impunity, that for every sequin he paid, Cara 
Burmuz should receive a drubbing, and he was as 
good as his word for every time he met him he 
broke his pipe over his head, until ultimately he was 
obliged to leave the city. Scheran Bashi then went 
to the Hasnagi and made out his own story — the 
Dey being at his country seat — this being Thursday 
evening he would not return until Friday, and no 
business would be done until Saturday, consequently 
had I went to prison I must have remained there 
until the Dey determined on the justice of the case 
which would have depended entirely upon the humor 
he might be in. I, therefore, concluded to make a 
virtue of necessity and agreed to pay this man one 
hundred and thirty manboobs, as the price of blood 
which I had not drawn, and returned home. 

The third affair had liked to have been of a more 


serious nature. It happened on the anniversary of 
the eighth year of my captivity, and as it will show 


the temperature of my mind at this epoch of my 
captivity, I will copy my memorandum thereof 
from my journal July 25, 1793: 

"Oh, Heavens! this is the anniversary of the eighth 
year of my captivity. Is it possible that so young 
as I was when I was captured, that I could have 
incensed the Divine Disposer of all human events so 
much as to merit perpetual captivity, an exile forever 
from my dear but cruel Patria, lost to my dearest 
connections and friends, never more to see those 
who in early life guided, protected and educated me 
in the paths of virtue, and who with unavailing tears 
regret my loss? For eight years have I been ex- 
posed to every indignity that a Mahomedan could 
invent, to render the life of a Christian captive truly 
and sentimentally miserable; destitute of friends to 
console me in time of affliction — at times without 
either meat, drink or raiment, but the small miser- 
able pittance of black bread, olives and horse beans 
allowed us by the Regency of Algiers, even the 
small allowance of seven and a half cents a day, 
which was allowed us by our country, has been long 
discontinued — ever since September, 1789, and no 
notice whatever taken of us for years, except that 
now and then some person would ascertain the sum 
demanded for our ransom, which for a time would 
revive our hopes, but ultimately would sink us into 
the abyss of despondency and despair, when we 
found that the report of our redemption being near 
would die away "and like the baseless fabric of a 
vision leave not a wreck behind;" continually 
inclosed in those pandemoniums called Bagnios 


or Slave prisons, where every vice was not only 
tolerated but encouraged; exposed to the plague for 
several years, where hundreds of our fellow prisoners 
were dying around us, and thousands of the inhabi- 
tants, and not knowing but the present moment 
would be our last. O! America, could you see the 
miserable situation of your citizens in captivity, who 
have shed their blood to secure you the liberty you 
now possess and enjoy; and who now have their 
misery augmented by the consideration that the 
country for which they fought is now free and in a 
flourishing condition, you are the first that set the 
example to the world, to shake off the yoke of 
tyranny, to expel despotism and injustice from the 
face of the earth. The negroes have even had a 
share in your deliberations, and have reaped the 
benefits arising from your wise and wholesome laws 
and regulations, and we, the very men who have 
assisted in all your laudable enterprises, are now cast 
off because we have been unfortunate; are denied 
the rights of our common country. Have we sold 
our birth right? Are we excluded without a cause 
from the privileges enjoyed indiscriminately by the 
lowest class of our citizens? Was it not the calami- 
ties attending our country, that involved us in the 
misery we have so long experienced? Why then 
must we not be taken notice of? Why are we left 
the victims of arbitrary power and barbarous 
despotism, in a strange land far distant from all our 
connections, miserable exiles from the country for 
which we have fought, forgotten by our cotempor- 
aries who formerly used to animate us in all our 


expedition with tales of liberty? O! Temporal O! 
Mores! Thou art the people that now leave us 
neglected, buried in oblivion in the dungeons of 
Algiers, suffering the most ignominous captivity, 
when the paltry sum of $48,300 would have redeemed 
us years ago, and none of us would have been buried 
in the sand of "Bebal Wed" at the present when 
from twenty-one, who were captured in 1785, we are 
reduced by the plague and contingences to only 
twelve, we might have been redeemed for a much 
smaller sum — nay, for less than $25,000; but it seems 
that we are doomed to be the only victims of 
American Independence. No means as yet have 
been pursued to extricate us from this terrestial 
purgatory, before the plague, which now rages in 
our prison, puts a final period to our existence. 

O! America, it my sufferings could be of any 
benefit to you my beloved country, I would be happy 
in being the victim and glory in my chains; but as I 
am sure it cannot in the least degree, let me enjoy 
the melancholy privilege of bewailing my deplorable 
situation, which to a sentimental mind presents 
horors easier to imagine than to describe." 

I had remained in the room allotted me in the 
Bagnio Gallera all day without having eaten any- 
thing, and about 3 o'clock went to the Mad House 
tavern to get my dinner, and to give some to my 
unfortunate brother sufferers, when they came from 
hard labor as was generally my custom to do, but 
whether the thought of my situation or not having 
eaten anything since the morning or both, aided by 
a glass or two of wine impaired my reason or not, I 


am not aware, but I certainly acted very imprudently 
which had nearly ruined me forever. A sheriff — 
that is one who pretended to be a decendant of their 
Prophet Mahommed — desired me to rise and let him 
sit down, I told him that I was in my own house, 
and would finish my dinner before he, or any one 
else, would sit in my place. ''What, dog without 
faith," answered this exasperated Moslem, "Will you 
presume to sit while one of the faithful and a sheriff 
stands?" You dare not call me a dog answered I; 
was I not a captive? You are an ungenerous cur for 
taking advantage of my situation; in any other I 
would cut your ears off; as far as being without faith 
I believe in the faith of my forefathers (la illah, ila 
Allah) , there is no God but the true God. But as I 
was not born in the same country that you was, I 
have not been taught the symbol of your faith, but I 
know it. You say "la illah, ila Allah wa Mahomed 
Arasule Allah there is no God but the true God, and 
Mahomed is his prophet." I do not know Mahomed 
as a prophet, but I believe him to have been a very 
great law giver, who converted millions of Idolaters 
and induced them to worship the only true God as I 
do; but I question if you know the tenets of your 
own religion as well as I do, or even know the history 
of your saints who succeeded your prophet and 
propagated the religion you profess. This harangue 
from a Christian drew the attention of all true 
believers in the tavern and prevented the sheriff 
from remembering that I threatened to cut off his 
ears; and an old sheik asked me where and how long 
was it since Mahomed was born, and who were his 
successors, as he said that he believed that I had 


assumed more knowledge than I possessed, building 
he supposed on the sheriff's ignorance, who was a 
soldier and not a learned man; that he was a Hadgi 
and had been twice to Mecca, and had the Koran by 
heart and consequently could not be deceived. I 
answered I had read the Koran and the life of 
Mahomed likewise in my own language, and as a 
proof that the translation was correct that I would 
answer his questions. 

Mahomed the great law giver, I said, was born at 
Mecca in the month called Mary, in the year of 
Christ 571, and died at Medina on the I2th day of 
the 3rd month of Rabi-a-thani A. D., 632, and the 
nth year of the Hegira, being 63 lunar years old at 
the time of his death. He was succeeded in the 
government by Ayesha's father, Abn Beckir, who 
was succeeded by Oman or Othman, who was 
succeeded by Ally Mahomed's son-in-law. who 
married Fatima, his daughter, by Cadigha, and had 
the best right to the succession, but was opposed 
three times successively by Ayesha and her party, 
and when ultimately he succeeded in obtaining the 
government, she and her party took up arms against 
him, and was the cause of the ruin of himself and 
his house. This was not a little facilitated by the 
death of his wife Fatima, which happ'ened only 
sixty days after the death of her father, and con- 
siderably weakened his party. He, however, is 
adored to this day by the Persians, and some sects 
both in Asia and Africa. I was going to proceed 
when most of the Mahomedans exclaimed contempo- 
raneously "Allah! Allah! Allah! this Christian is a 


Mahomedan, or the son of some renegade who 
pretended to turn Christian to serve his private 
purposes, he must become one of us. What did you 
say is the difference between your faith and ours?" 
I foolishly repeated as before la illah, ilia Allah is 
mine, "and ours" they rejoined, ''la illah, ilia Allah wa 
Mahomed Arasule Allah!" This was a trap they had 
set forme; "he is ours" cried they; "he has pronounced 
the symbol of our faith." The Cadhi who lived but 
a few doors off was called upon, but fortunately was 
not at home. Another went to the Turkish barracks 
to get the Muden; he was at the Mosque, and as the 
Turks were obliged to be in their barracks before 
dark, some dispersed and only a few remaining I 
desired my tavern keeper to satisfy the sheriff by 
giving him some money and cordials, and likewise 
to treat all others who were most intent on what had 
happened, and the Hadgi, who was a sober man, I 
presented with ten sequins, requesting him if any 
questions were asked in the morning to say that 
what I had said I had rehearsed from the Koran, 
which I had in my possession in my own language 
without any intention whatever. I then returned to 
my prison, and thus escaped the greatest danger I 
had ever been in since my captivity commenced. 
The next day all was quiet except that some person 
had informed the Dey that a respectable Christian 
slave had wanted to become a Moslem the evening 
before. The Dey sent for the Hadgi who in conse- 
quence of the ten sequins reported favorably, and 
threw all the blame upon the sheriff, who in the first 
instance had exasperated me. "That young man 


has a hard head," said the Dey; "he has no more 
intention to turn Moslem than I have now to turn 
Christian; had he been so disposed he might have 
done it years ago much more to his advantage; for 
when I was Vikilharche of the Marine I offered him 
full pay if he would turn Turk, and the command of 
my largest cruiser, in which Salah Rais afterwards 
lost his life in the engagement with the Russians in 
the Black Sea, a wife and a house and garden and 
likewise to take care of his fortunes in future; and 
probably, had he accepted my offer, he might at 
this instance be either Vikilharche himself or at least 
Post Admiral; but his answer was worthy of even a 
Turk, he said he thanked me for the good opinion I 
entertained of him, and that he would endeavor to 
retain it, but that he would deserve contempt if he 
should become an apostate from the religion of his 
forefathers merely to promote his worldly interests. 
*T should dispise a Moslem" said he, "Was he to 
renounce his faith merely to better his situation, and 
pray Effendi" said he, with a tear glistening in his 
eye, "what have you seen in my conduct to induce 
you to form so contemptible an opinion of me? 
Do you suppose that I can not bear slavery with all 
its concomitants and degradations sooner than 
renounce the faith which I was taught to hold sacred 
by my mother, whom I hope yet to live to see and 
to thank more for her instructions than her nournish- 

"You see" says the Dey, "that this American has 
made fools of you all. In future you had better let 
him and his countrymen alone, and make converts 


elsewhere, for they are as hard headed as Arnahauds 
or as Englishmen themselves." 

This conversation was recited to me in the first 
instance by the Hadgi on whom the ten sequins and 
some small presents afterwards had a most wonder- 
ful effect, and likewise in part by the Dey after I 
became chief secretary to him and the Regency in 
1792. The escape which I have just recited pre- 
vented me from ever disputing with a Moslem upon 
points of religion again, and ought to serve as a 
warning to all who read this journal and travel in 
those countries; for in fact had the Cadhi been at 
home he was in duty bound to have demanded my 
admission among the true believers, the Dey himself 
dare not have opposed it; and had I refused after 
having recited the symbol of their faith I would have 
been put to death as an apostate from it; so that I 
may conceive that I had a lucky escape. 

From July 1791, I remained clerk to the Prime 
Minister, and to settle the accounts of the Dey's 
new house, which was not quite finished and which 
he sold to his Prime Minister when he became Dey 


Monday, July ii, 1791. Departed this life 
Mahomed Bashaw, Dey of Algiers, at a few minutes 
past five in the evening, after an illness of several 
days. This was kept a profound secret by Ciddi 
Ali, Vikilharche of the Marine, and Ciddi Mahomet 
Hasnadar or Dey's Chamberlain, until the night 


when Ciddi Alii went over the terrace of the palace 
and tapped at the Hasnagi's or Prime Minister's 
window, and was answered by a Christian slave. 
Ciddi Ali told him to call his master and inform him 
he had some letters of importance from the Bey of 
Constantine for him, and begged he would come to 
the v/indow. Immediately he accordingly came and 
was informed of the Dey's death, and that he, Ciddi 
Hassan, was appointed by the late Dey in his will to 
supply his place. Ciddi Hassan thanked him for 
his information, and begged of him to use the greatest 
precaution and take all necessary steps to prevent 
opposition. On the next day Ciddi Ali told him 
that he expected no opposition, but from the Aga or 
Generalissimo of the Regency. 



I. The Dey; 2. Hasnagi or Prime Minister; 
3. Aga or Generalissimo of the Regency; 4. Bey; 
5. Hodge d Carallos; 6. Bedelmel; 7. Vikilharche 
of the Marine; 8. Hasnadar or Dey's Chamberlain; 
9. Vikilhadge of the Dey's Palace; 10. Hodges or 
Secretaries of State; 11. Money counter to the 
Treasury; 12. Moorish Secretary. 


Algiers, May 20, 1791. 
Surgeon of the British Factory, Algiers:— 

Sir: — Not having had the pleasure of seeing you when I 
called upon your first arrival, give me leave now to congratu- 
late you on your safe arrival, and most sincerely hope your 
affairs in Europe have exceeded your most sanguine expecta- 


Mr. Philip Sloan informed me, some days ago, that you 
had taken down many of my brother sufferers' names in order 
to send with a memorial to John Home Tooke, Esq., who 
intends to plan a subscription for their redemption, and that 
among others you have inserted mine. Too many enconiums 
can not be passed on the disinterested humanity of that worthy 
gentleman for exerting himself in favor of his distressed 
countrymen; but although liberty is the greatest blessing man 
can enjoy and the most desirable to attain, yet on mature 
deliberation I cannot think of accepting Mr. Tooke's benevo- 
lent offer, nor do I ever intend to reap the benefit of them, but 
will strongly recommend the rest of my brother sufferers to 
his attention, for beside the difficulty, or more properly speak- 
ing, the impossibility of raising ^8,000 for the redemption of 
the citizens of the United States, do you imagine that the 
declining Empire of Great Britain would wish to have rescued 
from slavery the citizens of a power which promises fair to be 
her greatest rival at a period not far distant, and by whose 
agency they emigrate and thus encourage her seamen to 
emigrate to America, by assuring them that they will be 
redeemed by Great Britain and extricated out of whatever 
labyrinth they might fall into.. You may aver that the pro- 
posed subscription will be effected by private donations, and 
has no concern with national funds or affairs; but I am of the 
opinion that all subscriptions are more or less public, and 
must of course in such a nation as Great Britain, come under 
the inspection of those whose duty it is to oppose any such 
measures being carried into effect by the humane. 

Without presuming to dictate, give me leave to observe 
that Mr. Home Tooke might adopt a more expedient way of 
extricating his unfortunate countrymen from bondage (that is 
such of them as would accept of his beneficience) by having 
recourse to Mr. Benton's will in the guardianship of the com- 
pany of iron mongers of London, as most of them are heirs to 
that, for notwithstanding the act which specifies that British 
subjects captured by the Barbary States under foreign flags 
are excluded from that privilege, but that was enacted a con- 
siderable time after the 25th of July, 1785, the day that our 
captivity commenced, in order to prevent British seamen from 
emigrating to America. But in regard to those who were 
here already, it is void and of no effect whatever. But let Mr. 


Horne Tooke's method be either, it will forever reflect honor 
on his character, and history will hereafter record him for his 
unprejudiced humanity, as much as Cyrus was for his mag- 
nanimity. But should he succeed, as it is my sincere wish he 
may, I never will degrade myself or family so much as to 
become the object of public charity. It never shall be said by 
my relatives that I was redeemed by public subscription, after 
plunging myself into slavery in the service of America. You 
possibly imagine that I have degenerated from my pristine 
sentiments since my captivity commenced, that I would accept 
my redemption from any quarter, and embrace liberty even in 
the foulest form. If that is the case, let me correct that 
opinion now and forever. What opinion would those who 
know my sentiments have of me, should I debase myself so 
much as to use supplication to the member of a community to 
which I am by no means attached or sue for a favor I never 
intend to repay— I mean by serving the country that redeemed 
me, which I would never do was I to be redeemed by Great 
Britain tomorrow. 

These sir, are my sentiments, my unalterable sentiments, 
unbiased by self interest, or any other interest; for gold, 
although universally adored, has not yet so much ascendency 
over me as to induce me to an act that my conscience cannot 
approve, nor have I ever once doubted the liberality of the 
country whose cause I voluntarily espoused when at large, but 
am firmly resolved to wait with fortitude becoming a Christian 
and an American, until my captivity expires by an honorable 
redemption, and by my perseverance will endeavor to merit 
the attention of that worthy country my adopted Patria. I 
shall do myself the honor to write Mr.' Horne Tooke to the 
above purport, only with this difference, that I will recommend 
the Oran Englishmen to his notice, the redeeming of whom 
would be a much greater charity, as they have no expectation 
but what is derived from the clemency of Great Britain, of 
which they have great reason to despair. With all due 
respect I beg leave to subscribe myself. 

Your most obedient servant, 


The above was written before I was quite 22 
years of age, from a prison where the plague had 


raged twice and where I had been six years, remain- 
ing nearly five years longer, when I left Algiers to 
save the peace, in my own vessel, navigated by 
myself and manned with Moors, with dispatches 
from Algiers to Alicant, Lisbon, and Philadelphia. 


Death's Door, Algiers, March 2, 1793. 

My Dear Sir: — I am sorry to be under the necessity of 
troubling you at this melancholy crisis of mortality, but the 
friendship that has subsisted between us during the trying 
time of our captivity, I hope will make you pardon my 

I am sorry to inform you that Matthew Carrol went to the 
hospital yesterday with the plague, and that Peter Tessanaer 
is struck with it, just now has come from the Marine, and is in 
the hospital. I have had communication with both of them, 
and at this inst. I cannot possibly say but I may be on the 
verge of eternity. 

In case I should soon take my departure, I beg of you to 
try all means to convey the inteUigence at some future period 
to some of my friends. This possibly may be the last favor I 
ever will demand of you, and I hope you will not deny me. 

I forgive Stephens from my heart, but if I die of this dis- 
temper, he certainly will have his conduct to answer for, 
relative to me, before a just God who makes no difference be- 
tween the captain and the sailors, as he has been the means of 
hindering me from being accommodated out of the reach of 
the plague — it seems as if I was doomed to be a victim to this 
contagion. This is the third plague I have been exposed to 
and always in the Bagnio, but God's will be done. When my 
mind is less agitated I will write to you again. Pray favor me 
with an answer by the bearer. Wholly resigned to the will of 
God, I beg leave to subscribe myself 

Your affectionate and unfeigned friend, 


P. S. — By the bearer receive a watch chain and seal; if I 
weather Cape Desolation, you will give it me again; if I do 
not, I beg of you to keep it as a small token of remembrance 
of a disinterested friend in the shades. 


Algiers, March 3, 1793. 
Dear Sir: — Sensible how necessary timely consolation 
must be to a person of your sympathetic disposition, I am 
happy to inform you that the fever has left Tessanaer, and 
there is great expectation of his recovery; however we at 
present dread a relapse. I entertain some doubts relative to 
its authenticity, and I think it may prove the reverse, which 
pray God it may. My poor friend Carrol is likewise in a fair 
way, the fever has left him, he has a very large carbuncle on 
his leg, which has been lanced and the doctor says he will, 
with God's assistance, escape the effects of this dreadful con- 
tagion. With my sincere prayer for the infirm, and a contin- 
uation of your health. 

Your sincere friend, 


Oh! Omnipotent and Omnipresent Being, who 
beholdest the most hidden recesses of our hearts, 
influence that most august assembly of the United 
States of America, headed by the immortal Wash- 
ington, in our favor, in order to extricate us with 
honor, from this state of incomprehensible misery in 
which we have remained seven years, without any 
one period of sentimental relief. This, O! most 
merciful God, is the anniversary - of my departure 
from Boston, little imagining that I was to be buried 
from my country, my fellow citizens and all my 
dearest connections, to incur the displeasure of a 
just God; for surely nothing else could provide such 
a superlative degree of horror from one extreme of 
wretchedness to another, as I have experienced since 
my miserable captivity commenced. But sustained 
by thy Almighty grace and that philosophy, which 
I have always taken pains to cultivate in extreme 


danger, I am preserved, myself to be a spectator of 
the small ray of hope we see reflected from our 
western world, through the channel of our present 
negotiation, magnified by the anxiety of our minds, 
longing to behold our beloved country. We are now 
in longing expectation of seeing our flag displayed 
in Africa, and we restored to our country, our liberty; 
and inspired by our long period of adversity with a 
spirit which, I hope, will make us worthy the patron- 
age of the humane and benevolent Washington, the 
protector of his country and father of his people. 
The poor slaves in general never were in a more 
miserable situation than they are at present; wretch- 
edness is painted on almost all their countenances, 
hard labor, scant provisions, injurious treatment, 
and blows from their cruel and most inhuman task 
masters. O! heavens, to insult distress in captivity 
and extreme wretchedness; what an unnatural deed, 
and is too much to bear to add to the load of misery 
that is borne by an afflicted slave, is unhuman beyond 
expression, and barbarous in a superlative degree. 
God forgive the perpetrators of such horrid deeds! 

I became secretary to the Dey and Regency of 
Algiers, in March, 1792. This ofifice became vacant 
by the redemption of my friend Mr. D'Andreis, with 
whom I was acquainted in Boston. The Dey 
remembered me and said that as I had fulfilled the 
duties of the different subordinate offices of clerk of 
the Marine, etc., that I ought to be preferred to the 
highest post a Christian can attain. He, therefore, 
appointed me the same day. Notwithstanding that 
the Dey appointed me in consequence of my former 


services, he had it not in his power to exempt me 
from paying lOOO sequins to the Hasna or public 
treasury, and 383 sequins, the customary fee, to the 
officers of the government. This is paid in conse- 
quence of being entitled to redemption by any nation 
whatever, who either concludes a peace or ransoms 
their citizens, even should it take place the next day 
after his appointment, besides other perquisites. 
The Dey himself (strange as it may seem) loaned 
me 5CO sequins, and my generous friend, the Messrs. 
Skjoldebrands (the Swedish counsul and brother) 
loaned me 500 more, which I paid as the fee to the 
public treasury. I must not forget to mention my 
obligations upon this occasion, but upon a former 
one when I was by no means in so eligible a situation. 
These worthy and generous men loaned me ^5000 to 
purchase a prize loaded with wine, on which I made 
a good speculation, without any interest or reward 
whatever, out of pure friendship. Although they 
knew the risk they run, for had I died or committed 
any fault, real or imaginary, before they were paid, 
the Regency would have seized all my property as 
their slave, and they would have .lost every dollar of 
their money. Such unprecedented acts of gener- 
osity ought to be recorded on the tablet of our 
memory forever, never to be effaced. My gratitude 
to them is eternal and knows no bounds. The prop- 
erty I accumulated enabled me to purchase the ves- 
sel, of which I took the command, when I came to 
Philadelphia in 1796, to bring the articles to secure 
the peace. 



Arrival of Joseph Donaldson at Algiers the 3rd 
of September. Peace concluded between the United 
States of America and Hassan Bashaw, Dey of 
Algiers, Sep. 5, 1795. 

On the 13th of August, 1795, a Spanish boat 
arrived from Alicant and brought letters from Joseph 
Donaldson to Messrs. Skjoldebrand and O'Brien, 
and from Mr. Montgomery to me. In concurrence 
with the opinion of Messrs. Skjoldebrand and 
O'Brien, I waited upon the Dey and informed him 
that an American gentleman, at Alicant, requested 
to be permitted to kiss his Excellency's hand on 
terms of peace. The Dey asked if it was the Am- 
bassador he had so long expected. I answered that it 
was not, but that he was sent by him as his precursor; 
that the Ambassador had gone to France on public 
business, and very probably to arrange the pecuniary 
matters requisite to carry the treaty into effect, pro- 
vided this gentleman concluded any. The Dey said 
he did not understand the reason why so many 
changes and delays had been mad«-, and asked me if 
I would undertake the responsibility of the person 
who was desirous to come to Algiers; that he actually 


had full power to negotiate peace and the ransom of 
the captives. I answered my head for it, Effendi. 
that he has, otherwise he would not ask permission 
to come here; but at the same time it is incumbent 
on me to inform your Excellency, that those powers 
are limited to a specific sum which he cannot sur- 
pass; therefore if your Excellency does not intend 
to lower your first demands, and that very consider- 
ably, you had much better not give him permission 
to come at all. ''Do you want a peace (Jabba) for 
nothing?" asked the Dey somewhat irritated. "No, 
Effendi," I replied, "but we want peace on the same 
terms that the Dutch obtained peace, which would 
give the president of the United States an oppor- 
tunity of proving to you. Excellency, and 5^our 
family, the high sense he entertains of your justice 
and moderation, and to compensate you for your 
influence with your predecessor in our favor, although 
we reaped no benefit from it we have not forgotten 
it." "If you did not benefit by my good will it was 
your own fault," replied the Dey; "but what good 
did you ever do us to expect to obtain peace o;i the 
same terms as Holland, who has been supplying us 
with stores for a century when we were at war with 
Spain." "Permit me to ask your Excellency what 
harm did we ever do you? Have you not taken thir- 
teen sail of our vessels, and one hundred and thirty- 
one of our people whom you have made slaves, and 
have I not been more than ten years in captivity, 
which I would consider as time well spent, if I 
could be the medium of establishing peace and har- 
mony between our nations." "So you may," replied 


the Dey, "but you must pay for it," his mustachios 
curled indicative of a squall, as O'Brien would say. 
"We wish to pay you, Effendi, and to make you feel 
how much we respect and esteem you; but not on 
the same scale as Spain, Portugal and Naples, who 
have been at war with you since the commencement 
of the Hegira. In our country we have no relig- 
ious test, nor enmity against those of your religion; 
you may build Mosques, hoist your flag on the 
tower, chant the symbol of your faith in public, 
without any person interrupting you, Mussulmen 
may enjoy places of honor or trust under the govern- 
ment, or even become president of the United States, 
and ought not these circumstances to be taken into 
consideration? You do not enjoy any of those priv- 
ileges in any Roman Catholic country or indeed in 
any other; and if you make those nations pay high 
for peace, it is on the principle of retaliation, because 
they have made you pay millions in defensive meas- 
ures; but we have never been at war with you." The 
Dey's whiskers gradually assumed their natural posi- 
tion. "Let him come," answered the Dey, 'T will 
hear what he has to say himself." I informed the 
Dey that my word would not be sufficient; that it 
would be necessary to send him a passport, under 
the seal of the Regency, for his security. "That is 
not customary," answered the Dey, "and has never 
been granted by this Regency to the Ambassadors 
of any nation; it would look as if we were suing for 
peace and not them." I informed his Excellency that 
it need not be made out in Turkish, that I would 
write one in English which would answer the same 


purpose as we would keep it a profound secret from 
every person but those immediately concerned. 
After a little more persuation the Dey gave me per- 
mission. I wrote it in his apartment and put the 
seal to it, kissed the Dey's hand and retired. I then 
wrote a letter to Mr. Donaldson and enclosed the 
passport and gave them to Mr. Skjoldebrand, who 
chartered a Ragusean Brig for $400 to go to Alicant 
and bring Mr. Donaldson to Algiers, and at 2 p. m. of 
the same day, I went down to the Marine and put our 
dispatches on board, prohibited the Captain from 
taking letters from any person, and waited until the 
Captain of the Port hauled his vessel out of the mole 
and made sail. 

Mr. Valliere had sent to request that I would call 
on him, but I had not time. I saw him in the after- 
noon at the Swedish Consul's. He requested me to 
do him the favor to explain Mr. Donaldson's letter 
to him, which I told him I would do with pleasure, 
and indeed that I thought I could do it pretty cor- 
rectly without looking at it, for its contents were 
well known in the Bagnios — slave prisons. After I 
had explained the letter to him he turned to O'Brien 
and asked who had chartered the Ragusean vessel, 
who, in order to exonerate Mr. Skjoldebrand, who 
did not wish to be known in the business publicly, 
answered that he had chartered her himself. Valliere, 
with a great deal of annoyance, said "pray sir what 
is the reason that I was not made acquainted with 
that transaction?" O'Brien answered that he did 
not consider himself under any obligation to consult 
him. Valliere said that he had treated him with great 


disrespect, and O'Brien replied not with as much as 
his conduct to us merited, and retired. 

I was sorry in this stage of the business that 
O'Brien had affronted the French Consul; but really 
his conduct towards us had been so exceptionable 
that he deserved a check, and as he voluntarily 
placed himself under the lee of O'Brien's guns I do 
not wonder that he got a broadside. 

The celerity of those transactions prevented our 
enemies from calculating consequences or having 
time to oppose our measures; for in six hours after 
we received Donaldson's letters, the answer, with 
the Dey's passport, were on their passage to Alicant. 
I was very sensible of the risk I run in offering 
myself to the Dey to guarantee not only his arrival 
but the extent of his powers. Had he refused to 
come to Algiers I should not have fared well. The 
Dey, like other chief magistrates, if the measure was 
attended with success, would assume the credit, but 
if the reverse, would throw the stigma on those who 
recommended or promoted it. Skjoldebrand, and 
every one else, kept behind the curtain. I was the 
only ostensible person employed on the business, 
and I was entirely in the Dey's power, and he had 
often been disappointed by the United States before, 
and his patience was almost exhausted. His Minis- 
ters disappointed of their expectations would induce 
the Dey to believe that he had been trifled with, and 
consequently insulted, and would appear ridiculous 
in the eyes of his people; and the blame must have 
fallen on somebody; and who could it have fallen 
on but me, who was the only person exposed, and it 


is certain that if either of the aforesaid events had 
taken place, I would have lost my head, or probably, 
my body would have been made a luminary to light 
my soul in its ascent from the Jews' burial place to 
the mansions of bliss in Mahomet's paradise. Peter 
Erick Skjoldebrand one day after peace took place, 
in conversation with Mr. Donaldson, mentioned the 
great risk I had run. "Yes," answered he, "much 
greater than you imagine, for I had twice determined 
to send the vessel away without him." "If you had," 
said Erick, "poor Cathcart would have been sacri- 
ficed." "Well, if he had," said Donaldson, "the world 
would have gone on just the same way without him. 
If he is fool enough to run such risks he must abide 
by the consequences and no one will thank him for 
his zeal." What a prophecy! how it has been 
verified since; but I did not believe the United States 
would be classed in the number — the people are not 

I had now the influence of the Spanish Consul, 
Don Juan Garrigo and the Father Administrator, 
who were all agents of Portugal to combat. The 
British Consul was an Englishman, and consequently 
an enemy, but fortunately had not much energy or 
influence. The French Consul did not openly 
oppose us, but the intrigues of the agents of the 
Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles had great 
weight, who were opposed to the United States 
obtaining peace with-the Barbary States, because it 
would interfere with their interests in the carrying 
and in the grain trade. The Dutch and Swedes had 
lately renewed their treaties of peace, and were not 


in much danger of any alteration taking place at 
present, the latter were our private friends but de- 
clined any public agency in our affairs. 

Denmark and Venice fearful of the blow falling 
on one of them — as it seldom happens that peace is 
made with one nation without the Consul of another 
being sent away, as the prelude to war — contented 
themselves with raising reports prejudicial to our 
interests, and to induce the Dey to believe that the 
United States had neither the means nor the inclina- 
tion to comply with his demands. Thus situated 
when Donaldson's letters arrived, which acknowl- 
edged that he had powers, although they were not 
defined, and knowing that a more favorable oppor- 
tunity than the present would not probably occur 
for a number of years, and believing the Dey was 
really disposed to abandon the extravagant terms he 
had heretofore insisted on, I determined to run any 
risk to bring Mr. Donaldson to Algiers as soon as 
possible, and thus to prevent the agents of other 
nations from having time to injure our interests by 
intrigue, which under other circumstances would 
appear to have been too precipitate. The Dey, in the 
meantime, informed me of the suggestions of our 
enemies which gave me an opportunity to counteract 

On the 20th of August, having previously ob- 
tained permission from the Dey, I bespoke a neat 
little house in the vicinity of the Swedish Consul for 
the reception of Mr. Donaldson on his arrival; but 
Peter Erick requested me as a very particular favor 
not to take a house so near theirs, as it would be 


considered as a preconcerted plan by the rest of the 
Consuls, and that he might as well receive him in 
his own house, which he would be very happy to do, 
were it not for the jealousy of the other Consuls, 
who, should any of them be sent away, would not 
fail to represent to their Court that they had aided 
us to procure peace; that the Danish and Swedish 
Consuls had orders to assist each other in difficult 
cases; and that if the Danish Consul should be sent 
away as a prelude to war, and should he have it in 
his power to complain of their assisting us, it would 
be very prejudicial to his brother, who would be 
censured by his Court; for that reason they were 
obliged to be circumspect, but that they would at all 
times render us assistance, in a private way, that they 
could consistant with the interest of their own nation. 
I therefore complied with his request, and the next 
day informed his Excellency that I could not pro- 
cure a house for the Ambassador, and requested to 
be permitted to make use of one belonging to the 
Regency. He said it was not customary, but that 
he would pay the Ambassador of America as much 
respect as possible, was it for no other reason than 
to pique the British who were our inveterate enemies 
and on very bad terms with him, and desired me to 
ask the Vikilhadge of the palace for the keys of the 
Caliph's new house, which I received and gave them 
to Micaiah Baccri, to have cleaned and whitewashed, 
and I furnished two rooms at my own expense, for 
which I received little thanks. 

The Dey ever impatient began to suspect that 
Donaldson would not come to Algiers, which gave 


me an opportunity to find a door to creep out in 
case he did not come. When Donaldson wrote to 
us, he mentioned that he had intended to have sent 
Mr. Philip Sloan with his letter; but that the governor 
of Alicant had refused to let him embark without 
receiving an order from his Court at Madrid. This 
may serve to show the interest which Spain took in 
the affairs of Portugal, and the desire she had to 
frustrate our peace. Sloan had been one of th^^ 
Dey's attendants, and was redeemed by the Dutch, 
and had taken letters to America and returned to 
Europe with Col. Humphreys. When I informed 
the Dey that the governor of Alicant had prevented 
him from coming over in the packet, and told him 
that Sloan had been in America and had returned 
with the Ambassador, and consequently, had he 
arrived he could have given him an account of the 
causes which had prevented his coming in person to 
Algiers, he was so exasperated that he ordered the 
town cryer to proclaim that — except the vessels that 
were then loading in Port — no person should ship 
even an onion for Spain, and that all intercourse 
should be suspended. I found it to our advantage 
to foment this discord, and told the Dey that in case 
our Ambassador did not come, it would be in conse- 
quence of the Spaniards, informing him that the 
terms exacted for peace from the United States were 
nearly the same as those demanded from Portugal, 
which he had refused to lower, and that he, supposing 
his Excellency would not be more favorable to the 
United States, thought it would be useless for him 
to come at all; but that what I said was only con- 


jecture, that he might come yet. **Did not I tell 
you," said the Dey, "that those that add can subtract, 
and that let the Ambassador come and we would 
agree; did not I tell the agents of Portugal that I 
would not abate one asper of my first demand, and 
are those answers the same? Can you see no differ- 
ence in them?" I said that I saw a vast difference 
in them. "Then why did you not inform your 
Ambassador of it — what do you think I said it for?" 
I answered that I did not find myself responsible or 
justifiable in divulging anything his Excellency 
might say without receiving his express orders so to 
do. "As a general rule you are right," answered he, 
"but in this case you might have deviated. But I 
see you have a head, and your Ambassador will 
receive information from elsewhere, although you 
may not divulge my secrets, I am going to prayers," 
said he. 

From this date to the 2nd of September, I had 
daily conferences with the Dey, who had become 
impatient and doubtful whether the Ambassador 
would come or not. I advised his Excellency to 
have patience, at least until the vessel returned; that 
common politeness would induce the Ambassador to 
send an answer, and if he did not come, if the Dey 
would state his ultimatum, I would take it over to 
Alicant myself. "Yes, and never come back again" 
said the Dey. Your Excellency has never had any 
reason to doubt my veracity — I would do what I 
promised; but my countrymen remaining behind me 
is a sufficient guarantee for my ransom, besides I 
could have been free long ago if I had thought 


proper to accept my ransom from the British. I 
then explained two instances to him of my refusing 
to be redeemed, which I could easily perceive in- 
creased his good opinion of me. "But what terms 
could I state that would make the Ambassador 
come?" I don't know precisely but what the United 
States expects a peace on the same terms as the 
Dutch, and will make you a private present of $ioo,- 

000 and $50,000 to your family, as a mark of your 
friendship and an acknowledgment of the favors 
they have or may receive from your Excellency. 
"It is a mere trifle" said the Dey, and got up from 
his seat, not in a bad humor, as his whiskers did not 
curl neither did his beard stand erect, and I thought 

1 could perceive a latent spark of satisfaction 
illumine his countenance. I don't think I was 
deceived, for I have been in the habit of reading his 
countenance and he was a man wholly governed by 
his passions, and I am as certain, that had I had 
power delegated to me that at that moment I could 
have obtained peace and the ransom of our people 
for $450,000, and this I communicated to Messrs. 
Skjoldebrand, who for the first time believed that 
peace would be the result of the negotiation if not 
too long delayed. 

In this train were affairs when I was relieved from 
great anxiety by the appearance of the Ragusian 
vessel we had sent for Donaldson, with an American 
flag at the main and a flag of truce at the fore, and 
her own colors flying. I immediately informed the 
Dey that the vessel was in sight and that from the 
colors flying I knew the Ambassador was on board. 



"1 .im glad of it," said he, "bring him on shore to the 
house prepared for him. I am going to my country 
seat to see my wife." Her ladyship will not be 
forgot in the terms of peace, answered I — the Dey 
looked over his shoulder and smiled. 

The Brig anchored in the bay, and while going 
down to the Marine to get a boat to bring Donaldson 
on shore, I was met by Captain O'Brien and Micaiah 
Cohen Baccri, who wished to go on board with me; 
the former was stopped as no slave except the Dey's 
chief clerk is allowed to go out of the mole, but 
upon my becoming responsible for his return he was 
permitted to go with me, and on Thursday the 3rd 
day of September, 1795, Mr. Donaldson landed and 
was safely deposited in the house prepared for him 
at 3 p. M. 

Joseph Donaldson, Jr., Esq., was a man upwards 
of 50 years old, of a forbidding countenance and 
remarkably surly. His disposition was more soured 
by a fit of the gout and the roughness of the pave- 
ment, besides the length of the walk was sufficient 
to have tired the patience of a man in good health, 
followed as we were by a crowd of people to see 
what sort of an animal the American Ambassador 
was, and Donaldson had an unconquerable antipathy 
to be stared at. He was dressed in decent plain 
clothes, a cocked hat such as was worn in the Revo- 
lutionary war, much resembling those that are 
painted to grace the portraits of Frederick H., his 
right leg muffled in flannel, shod with a large velvet 
slipper, and his right arm leaning on a crutch to 
support him. The weather was very warm; the 


agony which Donaldson was in occasioned by the 
gout, and the mortification which he felt at being 
stared at, together with some children running 
across him, put him in a paroxysm of rage which he 
endeavored to suppress, while the perspiration ran 
down both sides of his face and almost blinded him. 
His ludicrous appearance, joined to the contortions 
of his countenance, and the observations of the 
Moors who are fond of giving nick-names to all that 
have any defects, excited my risible faculties so 
much, that it was with the greatest exertion that I 
confined them within the borders of common decency. 
The idea, at the same time striking me, that if 
Donaldson had a patch on his eye and O'Brien a 
wooden leg, that they would be Commodore 
Trunnion and Lieutenant Hatchway personified, did 
not lessen the excitement. At length we arrived at 
the Caliph's new house, now Mr. Donaldson's new 
residence, and he had to climb up a long flight of 
marble steps of stairs to his apartment. The cold of 
the marble increased the pain he was in, when he 
threw himself on a couch his hat on one side and his 
crutch on the other, and uttered a string of ejacula- 
tions and execrations, so equally mixed together 
that I could not discover which predominated. 
"What is the matter?" said the Jew, with a look of 
astonishment. "Nothing at all," said O'Brien, "the 
Ambassador is only saying his prayers and giving 
God thanks for his safe arrival." "His devotion is 
very fervent," replied Micaiah. By this time a good 
dinner which I had ordered from my tavern arrived, 
to which with some fruits of the season and some 


good wine we sat down. Mr. Donaldson appeared 
more reconciled to his situation and the pain of the 
gout was considerably abated. After dark Peter 
Erick called to see him and staid to a late hour, 
when our affairs were discussed from the arrival of 
John Lamb in 1786, to the present time, and I put 
him in possession of my journal, containing all the 
negotiations that had taken place since my arrival in 
Algiers in 1785, and that part of my correspondence 
which would be useful to him. 


On Friday the 4th of September, being Mussul- 
man's Sabbath, no business is done in the palace; 
nevertheless knowing the utility of dispatch in order 
to prevent our enemies from having time for intrigue, 
I obtained permission from the Dey to present Mr. 
Donaldson to him in the morning. At 7 A. m. he 
presented his credentials which I read and explained 
to the Dey, and observed that all I had promised to 
the Dey had been complied with; the Ambassador 
had arrived and had power to treat for peace. "Yes," 
replied the Dey, "but peace is not made yet." "That 
depends upon your Excellency entirely," I said; "if 
you ask more than we have to give no peace will be 
made, but if you ask within our limits, peace may be 
concluded within four hours." "It is Jima (Sabbath) " 
replied the Dey, "we will see about these affairs to- 
morrow." We retired after compliments. 

There were present at this audience, Micaiah 
Baccri, Mr. Sloan, and the Swedish Consul's Drogo- 
man, who attended to get a present should peace be 
concluded. Nevertheless, at 9 a. m., the Dey sent 
and asked me if I was certain that the Ambassador 
had full power to treat with him on terms of peace. 
I replied that I had read and explained his creden- 
tials to his Excellency, and that therefore he was as 


well informed on the subject as I was. "Then take 
to him the terms that you made out by my orders 
last year, and let me know what he thinks of them." 
"He will reject them, and if your Excellency does not 
lower your demands to what has been paid by other 
small nations, he will go about his business and 
nothing v/ill be done," I replied. "I command you 
instantly to take those demands to your Ambassador, 
and to bring me his answer and his proposals in re- 
turn and don't say another word, I will have this 
business settled immediately." When I went to kiss 
the Dey's hand, my foot slipped on the marble 
pavement. "Can you not stand?" said the Dey. "Yes, 
but the weight of your Excellency's proposal made 
me stumble." I was informed afterwards that the 
Dey laughed heartily at this reply, and told it to his 
Ministers after peace was concluded. I took the 
Dey's first proposals to Mr. Donaldson, amounting 
to the enormous sum of $2,247,000 and two Frigates 
of thirty-five guns each for peace, an annuity of 
stores to the value of 12,00c sequins and Ambassadors, 
Consular and bi-ennial presents, such as are given by 
Sweden, Denmark and Holland. . Donaldson was in 
despair. He said he had done wrong to come to 
Algiers at all; that any offer that he could make 
would be an insult to the Dey; and that he therefore 
would not make any. Messrs. Skjoldebrand, 
O'Brien, and myself endeavord to persuade him to 
make some proposal to the Dey, be it ever so small, 
and that Cathcart would take the risk upon himself 
to take it to the Dey. I answered that as I had the 
Dey's orders to bring him an answer; it would be 


better to offer him something than not to offer him 
anything, and advised Mr. Donaldson to read the 
copies of my last letters to Montgomery, and after 
he had done so we sat down in conclave and pro- 
duced proposals number two, which offered the Dey 
;^543,000 for peace and the ransom of our captives. 
I took the proposal to the Dey accompanied by Mr. 
Sloan, Micaiah Cohen Baccri absolutely refusing to 
accompany us. He said the offer was so small, in 
proportion to the Dey's demands, that he would not 
take it to the Dey for the difference; that he had 
not forgotten the treatment he had received, when 
he was assisting Holland to renew her treaty, and 
that he was determined not to run any risk in future. 
This put me in mind of the roasting the Dey had 
promised him, and putting on a very melancholy 
countenance, I requested Mr. Donaldson that in case 
I should be burned and he escaped a roasting, which 
I would endeavor to prevent as I was fond of good 
company, I requested him to save some of my ashes 
and send them to the museum at Philadelphia. But 
Donaldson did not like the joke and less when Peter 
Erick informed him that both the French and 
Venitian Consuls had been threatened as well as 
Micaiah Baccri. I presented proposals number two 
to the Dey, and explained them to him; he first 
smiled with contempt and then broke out in a rage. 
"What do you mean by bringing such proposals to 
me," said the Dey." "Do you want to make game 
of me?" No, these are the Ambassador's proposals 
not mine. His powers are limited and he can offer 
no more and this offer is more than you got from 


the Dutch. "You are a liar, and an Infidel," said 
this tyrant. "Your Ambassador's powers are not 
limited; for the French Consul has sent to inform 
me that he has carte blanche and can give what he 
pleases for peace." If your Excellency had told the 
French Minister that he was a liar and an ignorant 
fellow he would have richly deserved it, for the 
president of the United States has not the power 
that he has informed you our Ambassador has. Our 
Divan makes the appropriation for every expenditure 
and the president and those employed by him can- 
not surpass it; therefore the Ambassador has offered 
all that he is authorized to give, and if it is not 
accepted he has no alternative but to wait for fresh 
instructions, which he will not receive in less than a 
year; that the French Consul had frequently in- 
formed me that he would not intermeddle with our 
affairs until he received orders from his government. 
"Has he received any now to embroil our affairs?" I 
asked. The Dey replied "he says he has none now, 
and gave me this information from motives of 
friendship only." That man is incapable of friend- 
ship, I said; may be he wants a cargo of wheat from 
you as he did when you returned the presents to him. 
Be assured that he has some sinister views, for he is 
esteemed by the other Consuls as a mercenary man, 
no better than a Jew broker, and has given you this 
false information from private pique; because, being 
informed of his character we were determined to 
have nothing to do with him, and I begged his 
Excellency not to listen to such malicious reports in 
future. "Senza feda," (without faith) said the Dey, 


"you have not been so long in Algiers for nothing. 
If you had not dictated those terms how should that 
man, who only arrived in Algiers yesterday, know 
how to appropriate the different sums specified in 
his proposals?" I replied that I was an Amercan; 
that I drew pay from my country; that I was in duty 
bound to give our Ambassador all the information 
which I possessed; but, at the same time, as a grate- 
ful servant of the Dey, he would be pleased to 
observe that his Excellency and his family had been 
well taken care of, and had been considered our 
principal and indeed only friends. "Read your pro- 
posal again," said he, I complied "^100,000 for me, 
and ^50,000 for my family; sequins you mean?" "No 
sir, dollars." "Go out of my sight immediately thou 
dog without a soul," said he in a passion, "and never 
presume to bring such trifling terms into me again 
under pain of my displeasure" — i. e. a bastinadoing 
at least. 

We retired to Mr. Donaldson's house where we 
met Mr. Skjoldebrand and O'Brien and informed 
them of the result of our conference. Donaldson 
said the business was at an end; that he had gone as 
far as his instructions and would go no farther. Mr. 
Skjoldebrand advised him to advance something 
more even if it should be a trifle, as the Dey was a 
very capricious and passionate man, and was he to 
be offended we would probably never have so good 
an opportunity to establish peace, not only with 
Algiers but with all the Barbary States, again; and 
that considering the magnitude of the object meant 
to secure, he was of the opinion, and we all joined 


with him, that the negotiation ought not to be 
broken off for a few thousand dollars. Donaldson 
said that he could not give one dollar more let the 
consequences be what they would. Then said I, Mr. 
Donaldson, the sooner you pack up your clothes the 
better, for I assure you that peace is not attainable 
on your terms, although it is probable it may be for 
forty or fifty thousand dollars more. At 2 p. m. the 
Dey sent for me and scolded like a virago for having 
the presumption to bring such terms from Mr- 
Donaldson, and accused me of having coalesced 
with the lame Ambassador to trifle with him, and to 
insult him. I told the Dey plainly that I was placed 
in a very disagreeable situation; that he accused me 
of being partial to the Ambassador, and the Ambas- 
sador seemed to think that I espoused his cause — 
the fact is I have neither done the one or the other. 
I knew my country wished for peace, and I en- 
deavored to procure it for her by all the means in 
my power; that by my persuasion Mr. Donaldson 
had offered at once all he had authority to give, and 
did not stand huckstering like a Jew; that he might 
probably be worth forty or fifty thousand dollars of 
his own private property, which I was persuaded he 
would run the risk of losing could that procure 
peace; that I would run the risk of all I was worth, 
about $10,000, but that I considered it extremely 
hard to be accused wrongfully of partialities which 
did not exist. The Dey answered by desiring me to 
sit down and write, when he dictated proposals 
number three amounting to ;^982,ooo, which was a 
pretty good fall off from his first proposals. I took 


these to Mr. Donaldson who rejected them. Messrs. 
Skjoldebrand, O'Brien and Sloan endeavored to per- 
suade him to advance something on his first proposal, 
which he absolutely refused to do. He desired me 
to inform the Dey that he would not give one dollar 
more for peace. I told him the consequence would 
be that the Dey would get in a passion, and that he 
would be ordered out of the country, and that I 
probably would receive a regalo of five or six 
hundred bastinadoes on the soles of the feet for the 
service I had rendered him. He said if he was 
ordered out of the country, he had no remedy but 
to go, and that if I received a bastinadoing, I would 
have the consolation of having received it for having 
endeavored to promote the interest of my country. 
I answered that as he seemed so indifferent to my 
fate I requested him to send Sloan or Micaiah into 
the palace with his answer to the Dey. They both 
refused to go, and said the Dey had sent me with, 
the proposals and had ordered me to take the ans- 
wer to him, and that they would not take such an 
answer to the Dey for the whole difference between 
the Dey's demand and Mr. Donaldson's offer. I 
was piqued a good deal, and in fact was under the 
necessity of taking the answer to the Dey; but in 
order to mortify Donaldson for his ill-timed obsti- 
nacy, I told him that I would endeavor to reverse 
the tables on him; that I had property enough to pay 
my ransom or would be redeemed by Portugal, if I 
thought proper to espouse their cause; and that I 
would place him in a position to receive the basti- 
nadoes which he thought so light about, and that he 


might console himself by knowing that it was an 
excellent cure for the gout. 

I took Donaldson's answer to the Dey; he 
seemed exasperated to a high degree, and threatened 
to give me five hundred bastinadoes if I ever came 
to speak to him on the subject again, and desired me 
to embark the Tupal (lame) Ambassador on board 
the vessel he came in the next morning at daylight, 
and tell him to leave the Regency without delay, as 
he would permit no person to remain here to trifle 
with him as he had done. I found that this was an 
improper time to remonstrate with the Dey, and 
deferred any farther communication on the subject 
until the morning and went and gave the Dey's 
message to Donaldson, and told him if he wished to 
save himself from disgrace he would attend to the 
Dey's orders, and wished him a good evening and a 
pleasant passage. Skjoldebrand and O'Brien re- 
quested me to stay a little longer, which I refused, 
until Donaldson sent Sloan to request me not to be 
in such a hurry, that he wanted to speak with me. 
I returned when Mr. Skjoldebrand again endeavored 
to persuade him not to break of the negotiation for 
a few thousand dollars; to consider how soon the 
United States would be reimbursed the sum paid for 
peace by the trade of the Mediterranean, and the 
possibility of Portugal concluding a peace or a truce 
which would open the Straits of Gibralter to the 
excursions of the Cruisers of Algiers, and be the 
means of capturing a number of our vessels and 
enslaving our citizens, who must be redeemed some 
time or another. Donaldson seemed a little more 


flexible but said he wondered he had not seen the 
French Consul since he arrived. We all apjreed that 
it was extraordinary that he had not called on him 
as a matter of courtesey; but I informed him that he 
could expect no favor or assistance from him, for 
that he had already informed the Dey that he had 
carte blanche. He doubted it. I pledged him my 
honor to prove it, and requested him to send for the 
French Consul and invite him to drink tea with 
him. This he refused on point of etiquette, and 
after informing him of Valliere's conduct and char- 
acter and the events which prevented him from hav- 
ing any influence at all, even if he had been well dis- 
posed towards us, we informed him unanimously 
that if Valliere assumed any agency in our affairs 
we would withdraw ours immediately. We then 
informed Mr. Donaldson that he had not placed 
that confidence in us which we merited; that he had 
never informed us of the extent of his power. Sloan 
said that Col. Humphreys had stated to him that if 
Mr. Donaldson should exceed his orders fifty or 
sixty thousand dollars, it would be of no moment, 
considering the magnitude and importance of the 
object in view, and that therefore as citizens of the 
United States who had nothing in view but the inter- 
est of our country, we did not think ourselves justi- 
fiable in letting the negotiation be broken off while 
we had it in our power to prevent it. I therefore 
proposed to request the Dey to permit Mr. Donald- 
son to remain here until Mr. Sloan went to Col. 
Humphreys and brought fresh instructions. Skjol- 
debrand said that, if there was no other alternative. 


even this would be better than to break off the nego- 
tiation altogether; but that the Dey would increase 
his demands on a supposition that Col. Humphreys 
had increased the latitude given to Donaldson. He 
at last acknowledged that he did not imagine that 
the Dey would have acted so precipitately, or that 
Cathcart had so much energy, or had exerted him- 
self so much as he is now convinced he has done; 
that he was limited to ;^65o,ooo including all expenses, 
and that farther he could not go. I answered that 
if he would leave it to me, I would guarantee the 
peace and ransom for fifty or sixty thousand dollars 
less. This was agreed to, and Micaiah was sent to 
the first Secretary of State to insure his influence by 
the promise of a present to prevent him from oppos- 
ing peace; but the Dey never consulted him, and 
proposals number four amounting to ^585,000 were 
made out, signed and sealed for me to take to the 
Dey early in the morning, at the time Mr. Donaldson 
was ordered to embark. Sloan and Micaiah prom- 
ised to go with me but said they would not interfere. 
This I consented to for I had discovered that Mr. 
Donaldson seemed distrustful of my influence, and I 
wished to have witness to my conduct. 

After our mode of proceeding was adjusted, I 
requested Mr. Donaldson to give orders to his 
servants to pack up his clothes and to make a bustle, 
as if he was really going to embark in the morning, 
and Mr. Skjoldebrand promised to send a message 
to Bashara, who acted as agent for Ragusa,to request 
him to give orders to the captain who brought Don- 
aldson here, to hold himself in readiness to depart 


at a moment's warning. I then sent for the chief of 
the Pisqueras (Porters) and told him the Ambassa- 
dor was going away in the morning, to send some of 
his people to carry his things on board, and then 
sent to the slave prison to inform our people that 
Mr. Donaldson would take care and forward any 
letters they might wish to send by him. My aim by 
these proceedings was that the Dey might hear, by 
a circuitous route which would not create suspicion, 
that Mr. Donaldson was going to embark and to do 
away the idea that he possessed unlimited powers, 
or had a carte blanche as the French Consul had 
induced him to believe, and it had the desired effect. 
Thus prepared, on Saturday, September 5th, 1795, 
at 7 a. m., I took Mr. Donaldson's proposals number 
four to the Dey, accompanied by Mr. Sloan and 
Micaiah. I informed him that the American Am- 
bassador was ready to embark and would be at sea 
before twelve o'clock; that he had surpassed his limits 
in his last offer, but to avoid, as much as was in his 
power, the negotiation from being broken off he had 
added the whole extent of his fortune to the last 
proposal, and had sent it for the Dey's consideration. 
I read the proposals and he replied that the addition 
was trifling, and said that this morning the French 
Consul had again sent his Drogoman to inform him 
that the Ambassador had carte blanche. I desired 
Micaiah and Sloan to mark that assertion and in- 
formed the Dey that I had refuted that falsehood 
already, and I had thought to his Excellency's satis- 
faction; but at present further discussion was unnec- 
essary from the fact that our Ambassador would be on 


board in an hour if his Excellency rejected these 
proposals and would be a very disagreeable proof 
how much his Excellency had been imposed on, and 
that a regular complaint would be preferred against 
Mr. Valliere by our Ambassador at the Court of 
France. "I have abated two-thirds of my first 
demand," replied the Dey, "and if he cannot comply 
with my last proposals he may embark when he 
pleases." I then reminded his Excellency of his 
promise to let the prisoners be redeemed independ- 
ent of peace which now seemed to be unattainable. 
The Dey affected to be in a great passion, said a 
great deal to little purpose, but came to no conclu- 
sions. I said that I was grieved beyond measure 
that our friendly offers were rejected; that we were 
a nation at a great distance from his which would 
take a year to write to and to receive letters from; 
that we had never been in arms against any Mussul- 
man nation; but that now we would be obliged to arm 
in our own defense, and would necessarily become 
the enemies of those who had rejected our friend- 
ship. At this moment Sloan pulled me forcibly by 
the coat, in order to prevent me from saying any 
more until the Dey was in abetter humor. The Dey 
observed it when I answered I came here to speak 
truth. I have been well treated by the Dey for a 
number of years, and no selfish consideration shall 
prevent me from endeavoring to prevent him being 
imposed on by the French Consul, or any of our 
enemies who under the cloak of friendship are 
equally his. America will never sue for peace again, 
but will arm in her own defence; but his Excellency 


has promised to let the captives be redeemed, which 
I now implore from his clemency. We have been 
here more than ten years Effendi, let us go for the 
love of God. I then stooped to kiss the Dey's hand, 
which, contrary to my expectations, he held towards 
me, and seemed buried in thought, whether con- 
vinced that he had been imposed on by the French 
Consul or not, I don't know; but his aspect changed 
and after taking a pinch of snuff the Dey desired me 
to read over the proposals again to him, line by line, 
which I did and observed that as he said that I dic- 
tated the appropriations to the Ambassador, he 
would observe that his Excellency, at least, was lib- 
erally considered. That $240,000 were appropriated 
for the use of himself and family alone, and that in 
the aggregate $585,000 was a large sum, and $279,500 
more than had been paid by the Dutch; and that 
even on the score of precedent the terms were ad- 
vantageous to the Regency. "Yes," answered the 
Dey, "you know how to gabbar (cheat, decieve, per- 
suade).; should I now reject your terms and send 
your Ambassador away, your enemies would rejoice 
and you would become the laughing stock of all the 
Consuls and Franks in Algiers. Go and tell your 
Ambassador that I accept his terms, more to pique 
the British who are your inveterate enemies, and are 
on very bad terms with me, than in consideration of 
the sum which I esteem no more than a pinch of 
snuff," at the same time blowing one away which he 
held in his fingers; "but recollect that the annuity in 
stores, presents on the arrival of an Ambassador. 
Consular and bi-ennial presents are to be paid the 


same as is paid by Holland and Sweden and Den- 
mark." We answered that it was so understood, 
kissed the Dey's hand and paid him many compli- 
ments, probably with more sincerety than compli- 
ments are paid in general, and we went to give an 
account of the result to Mr. Donaldson, who being 
informed replied "Aye! (with an oath) he has agreed 
at last, has he?" I requested him to keep up the 
deception until he returned from the palace, lest 
some of our enemies should injure us, for notwith- 
standing the Dey's promise, peace was not perfectly 
established before our flag was displayed and saluted. 
The Pisqueras were kept in attendance as if really he 
was going to embark, and at lo a. m. we were ready 
to attend Mr. Donaldson to the Palace to confirm 
the agreement. 


But Micaiah, who remained in the Palace and 
who had not spoken one word to the Dey during the 
whole negotiation, now brought a note of the stores 
demanded by the Dey for peace the same as the 
Swedes had paid. This demand Skjoldebrand and 
all of us recommended Mr. Donaldson to reject at 
once, as the Swedes had not paid any cash to the 
treasury for peace, and as we had promised to pay 
;^ioo,ooo the Dey could not expect us to pay both in 
cash and stores. I went with Micaiah to the Dey 
and explained this article to him, when after some 
altercation he agreed that the stores should be valued, 
which was done by the Turkish secretary, and 
;^6o,ooo was deducted from the $100,000 to be paid to 
the treasury, so that the stores contained in number 
five, which the Dey dictated from the note in Turk- 
ish, was valued as above, and $40,000 was to be 
placed in cash to the treasury. This Donaldson 
agreed to, but requested the gunpowder should be 
changed for other articles. I intimated that this was 
an improper time to higgle about trifles; that after 
our flag was saluted, and peace presents given, I 
would take upon myself to have this article changed 
for others as requested. Thus everything arranged 
at II a. m., Mr. Donaldson accompanied by Sloan, 


Micaiah and myself waited on the Dey, when by Mr. 
Donaldson's request, I confirmed in the name of the 
United States, all the stipulations of the terms of 
peace as contained in numbers four and five, a copy 
of which, with the addition of the stores to be paid 
for the gunpowder, dated September the 8th, 1795, 
was transmitted to Gol. Humphreys on the nth of 
the month. Previous to going into the palace I had 
taken a silk jack that Mr. Donaldson had brought 
with him, and put it round my waist and after com- 
pliments presented it to the Dey, saying that as 
peace was established I hoped our flag would be 
saluted as soon as possible. The Dey said, "You 
seem determined that your flag should be hoisted 
to-day or you would not have brought it into the 
palace; go have it hoisted as usual on such occasions, 
I will not disappoint you." The Dey desired me to 
tell Mr. Donaldson that he might take his country- 
men from work at the Marine, if he thought proper, 
but at the same time observed that he thought they 
had better remain, for if they were to get drunk and 
insult any of the Turks he would be obliged to pun- 
ish them even against his will or they might turn 
Moors. Donaldson answered that he did not wish 
to take them from the Marine, but that he did not 
care if they all turned Moors. This last paragraph 
I refused to translate to the Dey, as I thought it very 
uncharitable and improper. The Dey then passed 
some enconiums on my conduct, said Donaldson 
might thank me for obtaining peace on such moder- 
ate terms, and desired him to write in my favor to 
our Ambassador at Lisbon, and our Prince (Presi- 


dent he meant) ; but this being too delicate an affair 
for me to translate, I kissed the Dey's hand and left 
Sloan to interpret between them. 

I went down to the Marine and at meridian a 
large American ensign was hoisted at the main- 
Mr. Donaldson's silk jack in the place of the flag of 
truce, which was hauled down, ■ was hoisted at the 
fore and her own jack and ensign flying on board 
the Ragusan Brig that Mr. Donaldson came over in. 
Then peace was proclaimed and the American flag 
saluted with twenty-one guns, and thus in about 
forty-two hours after the arrival of Mr. Donaldson, 
peace was established between the Regency of 
Algiers and the United States of America, to the 
astonishment of every person in Algiers, friends as 
v/ell as foes, by a lame old man who understood no 
language but his own, without funds or credit and 
surrounded with enemies. 

From the Marine I went to Mr. Donaldson's 
house, congratulated him and dined with him (on 
my own dinner) and Mr. Skjoldebrand; and after 
dinner, although the Jews of Algiers are more strict 
in observing the ceremonies of their religion than 
they are in any other country, Micaiah and David 
his nephew were busy all day prepairing the peace 
presents, and did not go to the Synagogue until the 
evening. Such power has self interest over an 
Algerine Jew that it makes him forget his God, and 
break through all precepts both human and divine. 
In the evening Capt. O'Brien requested me to get 
permission from the Dey, for him to be sent to Col. 
Humphreys with the treaty and Mr. Donaldson's 


dispatches. This request, I must confess, tried my 
fortitude as much as any thing I had ever exper- 
ienced; for I was tired of the humiliating situation I 
had been so long in, and actually had intended to be 
the bearer of the treaty myself, if the Dey would 
permit me. I therefore hesitated a good while 
before I gave any answer. Capt. O'Brien under- 
standing the cause of my embarrassment, interested 
my patriotism and pride in his favor. He said that 
the situation I was in gave me an opportunity of 
rendering very essential service to my country, 
especially as Mr. Donaldson was incapable to trans- 
act his own business; that by my resigning my post 
some person might be appointed who would be an 
enemy to our interests; and if any unfavorable event 
took place that as a patriotic citizen I would incur 
great censure; besides the Dey had promised me to 
use his influence with the Regency of Tunis in our 
favor, which probably he would not do was I to go 
away; that the sacrifice which was demanded of me 
would ever redound to my honor; and both O'Brien 
and Skjoldebrand declared that they would repre- 
sent my conduct to Col. Humphreys and to our 
executive, in such a manner as would not fail to 
receive their thanks and approbation. Therefore, 
considering the duty I owed my country and the 
friendship that had existed between O'Brien and 
myself during a ten years captivity, I consented but 
I must own with some reluctance. On Sunday, Sept. 
6th, I accompanied Mr. Donaldson to the palace and 
delivered our peace presents to the Dey. A great 
many of the presents were procured from the Dey 


himself, especially the articles which were distribu- 
ted to the officers of the third and fourth rank. 
These consisted of a large diamond ring and returned 
to himself which he had received while Hasnadar 
and Vikilharche of the Marine, and were of no use 
to him; he therefore got rid of them for cash, and 
the Jews charged them to the United States at their 
own price, and put a considerable sum of . the 
money into their pockets. The audience lasted 
about twenty minutes. The Dey said he was 
an old man and recommended dispatch, which 
Donaldson promised so far as it lay in his power. 
Donaldson returned home and the. Dey immediately 
sent him as a present a young German slave, called 
Joseph Koenigs, the same who was at his window 
when Aly Vikilharche sent to inform him of the 
death of his predecessor, and a fine Barbary stallion. 
I told him that it was customary to show respect to 
the Dey by giving the messenger a handsome 
present. "Give him a dollar," said he, *'I have not 
any change." I told him he must have twenty at 
least, and that was not enough and I gave the man 
ten sequins. This Donaldson refused to pay me, 
saying he had desired me to pay one dollar which 
he offered to pay me which I rejected with disdain. 
I found that O'Brien had a great deal of the Jew in 
his composition, which I then did not know; had got 
Skjoldebrand to send his Drogoman and Micaiah to 
go in person to the Dey to obtain permission for 
him to carry the dispatches aforesaid; but the Dey 
refused them both, saying Mr. Sloan was a free man 
— that Mr. Donaldson might send him. In the 


evening I asked the Dey's permission for O'Brien, 
and pointed out to him what great utility it would 
be to have a person on the spot who was acquainted 
with the quality of the stores which were wanted in 
Algiers, and he gave me permission at once, but I 
left O'Brien in suspense for some time as a punish- 
ment for his want of confidence and duplicity. As 
he supposed that I wished to carry the dispatches 
myself, he endeavored to supplant me by the agency 
of the Swedes and Jews. I likewise got four pass- 
ports from the Dey to protect as many American 
vessels with our stores from capture by (all the 
Barbary States) including Morocco for one year. 
As Mr. Donaldson did not visit the Dey's Ministers 
in consequence of his being lame, I went in his name 
to deliver the presents, but few of them were at home. 
The Dey likewise promised to change 500 barrels 
of gunpowder for other articles, as Mr. Donaldson 
had desired me to request; but I think he made a 
foolish bargain, for the freight of the stores out will 
amount to more than the difference. On the 7th of 
September, the Dey desired me to make out the note 
of the stores which are to be sent of the best quality. 
A great part of the peace presents were delivered 
today. This afternoon I received the treaty in 
Turkish from the Secretary of State, and with the 
translation in English which was made and written 
by me, and collated with the original in twenty-three 
articles, and the four passports before mentioned, I 
took to Mr. Donaldson. The Dey sent a present of 
no great value to Mr. Donaldson. In the evening, 
having business with the Dey, I reminded him of 


his promise to use his influence with Tunis and 
Tripoli; he answered that he would send a courier to 
Tunis with letters to prepare the Bey for our recep- 
tion, and that by the return of the vessel, which we 
were about to send with the treaty to Lisbon, he 
would have answers and that we might be assured 
that he would use his influence both with Tunis and 
Tripoli in our behalf, and would insure us an advan- 
tageous peace with both those Regencies. I thanked 
the Dey tor his good will and assured him that the 
government of the United States would duly appre- 
ciate it. 

Tuesday 8th of September. No business is done 
in the palace on Tuesdays. Mr. Donaldson received 
a present from Siddi Hamuda, one of the Dey's 
relatives, and the rest of the day we were employed 
delivering presents, which was finished the next day. 

Wednesday gth was busy with the Secretary of 
State, preparing a copy of the treaty to send to Col. 
Humphreys. Mr. Donaldson was preparing his dis- 
patches, and Mr. Skjoldebrand chartered a Brig 
belonging to Signore Guillermo F'ernasa to take 
O'Brien direct to Lisbon with Donaldson's dispatch- 
es, but some dispute arose, after the contract was 
signed, relative to primage which Donaldson said 
was not understood by him to be a part of the agree- 
ment, and the charter party was annulled, and 
O'Brien hired a Spanish boat to take him direct to 
Malaga, from whence he went over land to Lisbon, 
which cost four times as much as the difference for 
which Donaldson disputed, about $20, besides the 
risk of losing the treaty and dispatches. O'Brien 
however, arrived safe. 


Thursday loth, Donaldson finished his dispatches. 
The Dey sent an elegant attagan with a gold scab- 
bard, and a silk sash embroidered with gold, to be 
presented to Col. Humphreys as a token of his 

Friday nth at lo a. m. By Capt. O'Brien's par- 
ticular request I introduced him to the Dey. This 
is the first time that he had been in the palace since 
the day he landed, and the first time he ever spoke 
to the Dey — in the course of these negotiations will 
be seen my motive for noting this circumstance so 
particularly — he kissed the Dey's hands and feet 
(I did not like that humiliation). The Dey said he 
was an old man and recommended dispatch, say- 
ing that if he died his successor would not be so 
friendly to America as he had been, and may be 
would undo all that he had done, if the business was 
not concluded — and much he cared. He wanted the 
fee, but did not care a cent for the client. O'Brien 
promised, most faithfully, to use every exertion in 
his power to carry the treaty into effect and took 
his leave. The Dey sent him twenty dollars by me 
to purchase sea stores. Capt. O'Brien asked me, as 
a particular favor, to give him a rough sketch of the 
negotiation, which I complied with, and at meridian 
he received Mr. Donaldson's dispatches and took 
leave of Don Podagra. I accompanied him to Mr. 
Skjoldebrand's house. He took leave of the Consul 
who presented him with an elegant attagan as a 
token of his esteem. He went down to the Marine 
accompanied by Messrs. Skjoldebrand, Bogman, 
Sloan, Micaiah and family and myself. I went on 


board with him, but not finding the boat's master on 
board, I desired the captain of the port to haul the 
boat out of the mole, and went to the Spanish Con- 
sul's house to look for the master and to hurry him 
on board. Some words took place between the 
Consul and myself, but the captain went on board 
and at 2 p. m. made sail, with the wind at the east, 
with O'Brien on board after having seen ten years, 
one month and twelve days in captivity. I went and 
dined with Mr. Donaldson, and we consider that our 
affairs are now settled, and that no alteration will 
take place until we hear from Col. Humphreys, pro- 
vided no unnecessary delay is made. If the cash 
arrives, or as much of it as will pay for the ransom 
of our captives, the Dey will let them go. Had I 
power I could raise the whole of the money here, 
for bills upon London, Marseilles, or Leghorn; but 
Mr. Donaldson does not inspire sufficient confidence 
to induce me to run any farther risk, and he seems 
very ungrateful for the risk I have already run. He 
is, in fact, jealous and mistrustful and has not mag- 
nanimity of soul sufficient to be able to compre- 
hend, that it is even possible for a man to run the 
risk of his life, without having any other motive 
than the good of his country and the self applause 
of an approving conscience. 

I gave Capt. O'Brien ten Spanish doubloons 
($i6o) of my own, to pay his expenses and to pur- 
chase some decent clothing and a packet for Col. 

Here ends the account of our negotiation with 
Algiers, which produced our first treaty of peace 



with that Regency, but the stipulations of that treaty 
are yet to be carried into execution, which will be a 
work of no small difficulty. 


A sketch of our relations with France, Spain and 
Great Britain from 1793 to 1796, which will in some 
measure account for their conduct towards us in the 
Barbary States. 

In the preceding pages I have stated the relations 
which existed between the nations of Europe, and 
especially between France, Spain, Great Britain and 
the Regency of Algiers, from the peace of 1783 to 
the present time, by which will be seen their motives 
for opposing our interests in the Barbary States in 
general, and particularly in Algiers. The many 
attempts which had been made by agents, pretend- 
ing to be authorized by the United States to effect 
peace and the ransom of our citizens in captivity, to 
whose acts no attention had been paid by our 
government, made impressions on the mind of the 
Dey and Ministers of Algiers extremely prejudicial 
to our cause and difficult to efface, which joined to 
the influence of those nations whose commercial 
interest was opposed to ours, would have rendered 
peace unattainable on any terms which would have 
been within our means for many years, consequently 
all those already in captivity would have remained 
there, or died in slavery; our commerce would have 
been at the mercy of Great Britain, whose influence 


with Portugal was so great that the disaster of 1793 
(the^.,-eapture of ten vessels of the United States) 
would have been repeated at pleasure, and we were 
too well a'cquainted with the policy of that nation, 
to suppose that she would have scrupled to avail 
herself of a circumstance by which she could annoy 
us without risk, and at a very trifling expense; of 
which, the whole tenor of her conduct towards us 
from the peace of 1783, to the invidious truce made 
by her agency and under her guarantee in 1793, 
between Portugal and Algiers, is sufficient evidence. 
Had these obstacles not been removed by a person 
devoted to the interests of the United States, who 
from 1787 (two years after he was captured) to 1795 
(the date of our first treaty) and afterwards had en- 
joyed the confidence of the Dey and chiefs of the 
Regency, the United States would have no other 
alternative but to abandon her commerce in unarmed 
vessels, and to have armed in her defense, which 
neither our relations with France or Great Britain, 
or our finances at that time, would have permitted. 
When the prelude to the negotiation which termi- 
nated in peace commenced by announcing the arrival 
of Col. Humphreys at Alicant, with power to nego- 
tiate peace with Algiers, a short time after the cap- 
ture of ten of our vessels, and more than one 
hundred of our fellow citizens, in November, 1793, 
the Dey refused to receive him, as his cupidity was 
excited by his success and the expectation that he 
could effect an advantageous peace with Portugal, 
which would have left our commerce to the mercy 
of his Cruisers, or that by the influence of the 


British he could at least have continued the truce, 
which would have insured to him the capture of a 
number of our citizens and their property. Disap- 
pointed in these hopes, not long afterwards he de- 
clared war against Holland, which continued until 
April, 1794, when he made an advantageous peace, 
which increased his avarice. In October following, 
permission was granted to Col. Humphreys to come 
to Algiers, to treat on terms of peace; but imme- 
diately on receiving premission he proceeded to the 
United States, and when in December following, the 
Dey was informed of his departure he concluded 
that the United States were trifling with him, as his 
predecessor had been trifled with by John Lamb in 
1786, and others since. Those impressions, the sit- 
uation I was then in, enabled me to remove and dis- 
pose him to give our Ambassador a favorable recep- 
tion when he did arrive. The Dey's preamble to 
the opinion which he asked or rather dictated to the 
Divan to give on the ist of July, 1795, originated 
with me. He never would have thought of such a 
ruse, if I had not insinuated to him that it would 
make the measure popular; and I had prepared 
some of the Ministers to coincide with his opinion 
from choice; for prior to the decision, those inter- 
ested in the Cruisers and their adherents, including 
the soldiers and sailors with their officers, who com- 
posed the crews of the Cruisers, were heard to 
murmur very much and contended that a peace with 
Portugal, who solicited it by their agents, was more 
advantageous to the Regency than a peace with the 
United States, who had not a single vessel of war to 


oppose them; that by having the whole Atlantic 
ocean open to the excursions of their Cruisers, they 
- would derive a vast revenue by the sale of the prizes 
and the ransom of the captives of the United States, 
Prussia and the Hauseatic towns and others with 
whom they were at war, and whose commerce was 
equally defenseless, besides the emolument that 
would accrue to individuals. To combat that opin- 
ion, the Dey asserted that the maratine and military 
stores which the Regency would receive from the 
United States, would render them entirely independ- 
ent of the northern nations (Denmark, Sweden and 
Holland) for those articles, and would leave no 
inducement to remain on amicable terms with them 
longer than it would be subservient to their interests; 
and that war might be carried on against one or 
other of those nations alternately, which would be 
much more lucrative than to continue the war with 
the United States, who, he alleged, would in all 
probability arm to protect their trade when they 
found their overtures for peace were rejected; that 
the northern nations were accustomed to tribute, 
and did not consider it degrading, as it was paid by 
the Chambers of Commerce of those nations, and not 
from the public treasury, and was viewed by them 
more as an equivalent given for a commercial privi- 
lege than a national humiliation; but that the Amer- 
icans were sons of Englishmen whose manners, cus- 
toms and mode of thinking were similar, which 
induced him to apprehend that if they lost this 
opportunity of adding another Christian power, and 
that of the new world, too, to the list of tributary 


nations, that both the honor and the emolument 
would vanish, especially as he was informed by good 
authority, that the funds for carrying all treaties 
into effect, as well as for every expenditure came 
out of the Hasna (public treasury) and was national 
property, and must first receive th'e sanction of the 
grand Divan of the nation. Not even their Prince 
(President he meant) can expend a single sequin 
without first obtaining the consent of the Divan. 
Those sentiments, my situation as chief clerk or 
secretary to the Dey and Regency, enabled me to 
inculcate long before the arrival of any accredited 
agent of the United States at Algiers, and was the 
true cause of the Dey's reducing the terms of peace 
to less than one quarter of what he at first asked; 
and was of infinite service to us afterwards in sup- 
pressing the Dey's impatience, which was occasioned 
by the unavoidable detention of our funds for carry- 
ing the treaty into effect after it was made; and 
which occasioned the Dey to send me in the Folacca 
Independent, manned with Moors and navigated by 
myself, at my own sole expense, with his letter to 
the President of the United States, in May, 1796, 
accompanied by Mr. Barlow's dispatches to Alicant, 
Lisbon and the United States, which saved the peace 
of the nation; for eight months had elapsed since 
our treaty was signed without one single article of 
either cash or stores stipulated by treaty having 
arrived. Mr. Barlow had been here (at Algiers) 
about two months; a month after his arrival he sac- 
rificed a frigate of thirty-six guns to obtain three 
months more time for the funds to arrive; although 


I promised to obtain him a respite of six months for 
twenty thousand sequins, and to procure him the 
cash to pay it immediately for two per cent a month. 
But he concluded that it was better to promise a 
frigate which he had valued at ^45,000; but which I 
assured him would cost one hundred thousand dol- 
lars at least to deliver her at Algiers; and in this he 
took the Jew's advice, and was deceived which he 
afterwards acknowledged; but by my going to the 
United States the Dey allowed nine months longer, 
which was sufficient time to fulfill all our engage- 
ments, and this cost the United States nothing what- 
ever, not even my expenses were paid until many 
years after and then only in part. 

When Mr. Donaldson's arrival at Alicant was 
announced, in August, 1795, the Dey was extremely 
mortified at the neglect with which he supposed he 
had been treated by the United States; nevertheless, 
I effaced all the impressions which existed unfavor- 
able to his reception, and procured a passport for 
him to come to Algiers under the flag of the United 
States, sanctioned by a flag of truce which the Dey 
could not violate, had he been so disposed. This 
was considered a great favor, and was unprecedented 
in the annals of Algiers; and after his arrival he was 
enabled to agree on terms of peace in less than 
forty-eight hours, the treaty was made and written 
out for him without his either discussing or seeing it, 
until I presented it to him for his signature. Before 
his arrival the Dey had renewed the treaties between 
Algiers and Sweden, and Holland, and had received 
a considerable gratuity from each, as the price of 


peace, and had taken several valuable vessels from 
the latter which had increased the Dey's avarice, 
and in some measure, warranted the expectation 
that our concessions would be in proportion to its 
importance to us; and having more than one hun- 
dred of our citizens in his hands, whom the British 
Consul induced him to believe must be redeemed at 
any price, he considered that he stood on very high 
ground, and such as would induce us to comply 
with his exorbitant demands. Denmark and Venice 
were in fear of a rupture, if peace was concluded 
with the United States, and consequently opposed 
it; and the court of Sweden, although inclined to be 
our friend, refused any agency in our affairs. The 
British and Spanish Consuls, the father administra- 
tor of the Spanish hospital, and Don Juan Garrigo, 
a Spanish merchant, were commissioned to con- 
clude a peace for Portugal, provided it could be ob- 
tained on reasonable terms, and had power to offer 
^100,000 more than would be offered by the United 
States to supplant us. Overtures and offers were 
made to me by those gentlemen which would have 
rendered me independent for life — but which I 
refused with disdain — and the French Consul told 
the Dey to hold on, that Donaldson had carte 
blanche, and would make peace on any terms. It 
had been the policy of our government to rely on 
the interposition of France in our favor, but had she 
ever intended to have fulfilled the stipulations con- 
tained in the 8th article of our treaty with France of 
6th of Feb., 1778, she had an opportunity offered her 
between the peace of 1783 and the captnre of our 


vessels in 1785; but in fact she never intended to 
render us any service whatever, and now ever since 
the conclusion of our treaty with England by John 
Jay, Esq. on the igth of Nov., 1794, we were on the 
very worst terms with her which would prevent her 
using her influence (which at that time was of very 
little weight) in our favor, even if it had not been 
against her interest to have afforded the aid which 
had been so often promised, but notwithstanding 
the erroneous opinion which has prevailed, and does 
yet prevail, that we are under great obligations to 
France for her exertions in our favor when our first 
treaties were negotiated with the States of Barbary, 
I am prepared to prove the contrary, and that she 
used what little influence she had to oppose our 
interests; and that the relations were such between 
the two nations, at the time, that she could not do 
otherwise with any degree of propriety. During the 
mission of Governeur Morris, he had been charged 
to solicit the interposition of that government to 
favor our negotiations with the Barbary States; and 
power was delegated by him to a Mons. Chanmout, 
who lived in Switzerland and never came any nearer 
to Algers, and whose efforts probably produced the 
trifling attempt made by Parrett, v/hich terminated 
in nothing except to induce the Dey to have a most 
contemptible opinion of us as a nation, and nearly 
to determine him not to receive any person to treat 
for peace on the part of the United States. After 
Mr. Monroe arrived he politely dismissed him, and 
he ought never to have been appointed. When Mr. 
Monroe arrived at Paris to supercede Mr. Morris 


(Aug. 1794), great dissatisfaction existed in conse- 
quence of the convention believing that Mr. Jay had 
been sent to England with views unfriendly to 
France, and that Mr. Monroe's mission was adopted 
for the sole purpose of covering and supporting his 
to England; and that, on our part, we contemplated 
a close union with her and was consequently con- 
sidered as an act of policy calculated to amaze and 
deceive. He was however received, on the 15th of 
August, much better than appearances gave him 
reason to expect, and in his dispatch to the Secretary 
of State of the 12th of February, 1795, Mr. Monroe 
says, "that he found our affairs in the worst possible 
situation." The treaty between the two republics 
violated, our comrrierce harrassed in every quarter 
and in every article, our seamen taken on board our 
vessels were often abused, generally imprisoned and 
treated in other respects like the subjects of the 
powers at war with them. 

Our former Minister had not only been without 
the confidence of the government, but an object of 
particular jealousy and distrust, in addition to which 
it was suspected that we were about to abandon 
them for a connection with England, and for which 
purpose principally he had been sent there. As it 
was precisely at this time that our negotiations with 
the Barbary States commenced it certainly could 
not have been expected, nor will it be believed that 
France, under these impressions, would interpose 
her influence in our behalf, even if her influence had 
been as great as she represented it to be; but in the 
preceding pages it has been shown that she had 


none whatever. The victories gained by her armies 
inspire no fear, as the Dey well knew that she was 
not in a situation to send a fleet to Algiers, and the 
influence of any nation in the Barbary States is of 
little avail unless inspired by fear or th^ hopes of 
gain. The progress of Jay's treaty which arrived in 
the United States in March, the intelligence that the 
British government had revived its orders for seiz- 
ing provision vessels destined to France, at a time 
when Paris and great part of France were in the 
greatest distress for provisions; the arrival of 
gazettes containing copies of Jay's treaty which was 
openly and severely censured, for it appeared at a 
time calculated to produce the worst effects, viz: in 
August and September, 1795, was not the most fav- 
orable time to solicit the interference of France to 
promote our interest in any way — a-nd at this mo- 
ment peace was negotiated and concluded by my 
exertions as has been seen in the preceding pages — 
nor will it be believed that France, under the circum- 
stances that followed, was ever inclined to favor our 
negotiations — indeed it would have been unreason- 
able to expect it. 

In the middle of September, 1795, Mr. Monroe 
declared that we daily lost ground; the French gov- 
ernment no longer confided in our amicable pro- 
fessions, and gave cause to apprehend serious con- 
sequences in case the treaty was ratified, which was 
only diminished by the opposition which the Amer- 
ican people made to it; and as our treaty was con- 
cluded with Algiers on the 5th of this month, it 
would have been preposterous for us to have confid- 


ed in the sincerity of France, or even to suppose 
that she would aid our negotiation with her influence, 
when the contrary was inspired by our own acts, and 
ought to have been expected. I might continue 
this inquiry for several pages, but as I have nothing 
in view but to substantiate the fact that our relations 
with France were such as to preclude the expecta- 
tion that she would render us any assistance, while 
our negotiations were pending, and that she had not 
the power even if she had the will, I will only think 
it necessary to prove that no alteration took place 
to render her more propitious to our cause, until our 
negotiations were finally concluded with all the Bar- 
bary States, and likewise to prove beyond all doubt 
that so far from rendering us the assistance stipula- 
ted by the 8th article of our treaty of alliance with 
France, of 1778, she opposed our interests on every 
occasion in consequence of what they called our 
attachment to British interests. 

About the beginning of October Mr. Monroe, ac- 
companied by Mr. Purviance, not knowing that peace 
had been established with Algiers, had a conference 
with Jean Debry, a member of the committee of 
salut public and charged with the department of 
American affairs, for the purpose of engaging the 
good offices of the French government in aid of our 
negotiations with Algiers. Application had likewise 
been made some time before to the committee (July 
5th), and Mr. Monroe, in his communication of the 
the 1st of August following, says "I have the pleasure 
to inform you that the full support of this govern- 
ment will be given in our negotiation with Algiers," 


But that aid never had been given, for if it had the 
present application would have been rendered as 
superfluous by that act, as it now was by peace being 
concluded a month before the application was made. 
These were the only official requests that were made 
since the departure of Mr. Morris, from which noth- 
ing favorable resulted; and considering the unpromis- 
ing aspect of our relations with France at that period, 
it needs strong faith to believe that any were ever 
intended when the promise was made. Be that as it 
may, our negotiations were carried on without her 
aid. We relied, as we ought always to rely, on the 
strength of our own resources and it is some consola- 
tion to a patriotic mind to know that peace was con- 
cluded with Algiers independent of the influence of 
France, or any other nation on earth, and that we 
are relieved from the weight of the obligation. It is 
worthy of remark that at the same conference the 
conversation digressing from the above topic turned 
on the treaty concluded between the United States 
and England, a copy of which with the news of its 
ratification by the senate, accompanied by certain 
comments or strictures thereon by a French citizen, 
Jean Debry, said "had just been received by the 
committee and he hinted at the dissatisfaction 
excited by the treaty in the mind of the govern- 
ment." Will the most credulous believe that France, 
at this period, meant to promote our interests in any 
way when she supposed, and with good reason too, 
that we had abandoned hers, more especially as our 
obtaining a free trade in the Mediterranean would 
interfere with her commercial interests, and in the 


Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles we had a most 
powerful adversary. 

The 27th of October the national convention was 
dissolved, and the Directoire assumed the reins of 
government, and about the same time Fanchet 
arrived in France with all his prejudices about him, 
extremely dissatisfied with the treaty which certainly 
was not favorable to our interests. 

In January, 1796, Mr. Randolph's pamphlet was 
received in Paris which contained documents by no 
means respectful to the government of France, and 
the friends of the French revolution, in the United 
Slates, were reproached with being the friends of war 
and confusion. Shortly afterwards the President's 
address to congress upon the opening of the session 
was received, which in treating of the flourishing 
situation of the United States contrasted it with the 
miserable, famished and disorganized state of other 
powers; much, too, was said in that address of the 
advantages of our accommodation with Great 
Britain, as likewise of the favorable disposition of 
that power towards us, without the slightest attention 
being shown to the French Republic, unless indeed 
it was referred to in the picture of distress noticed, 
as was inferred by the French government of that 

In June, 1796, intelligence was received that the 
house of representatives of the United States, had 
agreed to carry the treaty into effect, which did 
away with the few favorable impressions which 
remained, in consequence of the opposition which 
had been made to it by the people; and surely 


our measures at that time did neither command 
the respect, nor conciliate the esteem of the 
French Republic. What reason then had we to 
expect her favorable interposition at this juncture 
or indeed at any time since our negotiation with 
the Barbary States commenced. It betrayed on 
our part a spirit bordering on presumption or 
the most abject meanness to solicit it. Never- 
theless on the 30th of August, Mr. Monroe re- 
ceived a communication from the Minister of Ex- 
ternal Relations, stating that a truce was obtained 
by our agent from the Regency of Tunis and Tripoli, 
and with the aid of France. The dispatch of Her- 
culais is dated Algiers, July 12, 1796, about the same 
time that he declared to Mr. Barlow that it was his 
duty as a French citizen to oppose the interests of 
the United States, on account of what he called the 
attachment of our government to the British inter- 
est. (See Barlow's letter to the Secretary of State 
of the 17th of August, 1797.) Does there require 
any further proof that France had been playing a 
false role with us all along? I think not. The fact 
is I procured a truce with Tunis for eight months on 
the 8th of November, 1795, by the interposition of 
the Dey of Algiers; and Capt. O'Brien in the Sophia 
was captured by a Cruiser of Tripoli, and carried to 
that place in September, 1796; consequently no truce 
had taken place at that time, and the French consul, 
Guise, congratulated the Bashaw on the event and 
endeavored to induce the Bashaw to condemn the 
vessel and the money which was on board for the 
ransom of our captives at Algiers; but did not sue- 


ceed in consequence of the protection afforded to 
the Sophia by the Dey's passport, which was one of 
the four which I had procured from the Dey when 
I left Algiers in May, 1796; and as the Sophia and 
her crew were liberated, besides cash to the amount 
of ;^220,ooo which was on board, in consequence of 
this passport, it is not unfair to state that the United 
States was benefitted by this transaction at least 
;^250,ooo, besides the consequences which would have 
attended the loss, for without this money or until 
another sum equivalent to it arrived at Algiers, our 
people would not have been enlarged. In conse- 
quence of this capture a correspondence took place 
between the Bashaw of Tripoli and the Dey of 
Algiers; a cessation of hostilities was agreed on, and 
on the 4th of November following a treaty of peace 
and amity was concluded between the United States 
and the Regency of Tripoli. But the directory 
finding that we had succeeded in obtaining our 
object at Tunis, as we had before done at Algiers, 
not only without the aid of France but contrary to 
the influence which she opposed to our interest 
which she very much overrated, wished to induce 
our government and the world to believe, that not- 
withstanding the many causes she had to complain 
of us, nevertheless she had invariably been our friend 
and was well disposed towards us; and thus added 
fuel to the flame which raged all over our continent, 
fanned by the party spirit of the times. 

The only agency which Herculais had in our 
affairs was to reccommend Fannin to Mr. Barlow, 
who was a very improper person to be employed by 


the United States to negotiate a treaty for us. He 
caused all the embarrassments which we experienced 
afterwards, and Herculais himself acknowledged 
him to be a traitor. In fact it was the duty of Mr. 
Barlow, after he had promised the frigate to the Dey 
of Algiers, to have gone to Tunis himself and not 
trusted to a creature of the Bey, by whom our inter- 
ests were sacrificed and after the Dey promised to 
wait for the funds, he had nothing to do at Algiers 
until they arrived, and in the intermediate time he 
might have negotiated a treaty with Tunis, which 
would have saved us an infinitude of trouble and 

Believing that I have substantiated all I promised 
I might here conclude, but as some circumstances 
occurred after the appointment of Mr. Humphreys, 
which might tend to distract the judgment and lead 
to diversity of opinion, I will here record them. 
Col. Humphreys was appointed Commissioner 
Plenipotentiary, on the part of the United States, 
with full power to negotiate and conclude treaties 
with all the Barbary States and with Algiers on the 
2ist of March, 1793. But he did not make any 
attempt to come to Algiers until eight months after- 
wards, on the nth of November following, immedi- 
ately after the capture of ten sail of our vessels by 
which more than one hundred of our fellow citizens 
were enslaved, in consequence of the insiduous truce 
concluded between Portugal and Algiers, by the 
agency and under the guarantee of Great Britain. 
Had he arrived before that truce was concluded, 
(and why he did not I presume he has accounted 


for to the government) our vessels would not have 
been captured nor our citizens enslaved, and peace 
might have been obtained on terms comparatively 
low and moderate. But the time when he did apply 
being very unfavorable, he was refused permission to 
come to Algiers, and we heard no more about him 
until the 7th of October, 1794, when after a great 
deal of trouble and some address the Dey promised 
to receive him; but on receiving the Dey's permis- 
sion, in lieu of coming direct to Algiers as was ex- 
pected, he departed for America by which the Dey 
concluded that the United States was trifling with 
him and had well nigh countermanded his orders. 
On the 7th of November, Mr. Monroe said that in 
respect to the business with Algiers, that he had not 
acted, and assigns his reasons why, and that he had 
written to a Mr. Chaumont, a gentleman in Switzer- 
land, informing him that the negotiation with 
Algiers was committed to Col. Humphreys, and was 
meant by him as a respectful discharge. Mr. Chau- 
mont, it seems, was commissioned by Mr. Morris 
and from whom probably emanated Parrett's nego- 
tiation which did us no good. On the nth of 
November Mr. Monroe informed Col. Humphreys 
that the Secretary of State had communicated to 
him that the power to treat with the Regency of 
Algiers was committed to him; but that he thought 
it would be useless and improper to occupy the 
councils of the Republic on the subject, until he 
knew the state of the business of which he requested 
information; and in his letter to the Secretary of 
State of February i , 1 795, he said he was informed that 


Col. Humphreys had sailed from Lisbon for Algiers; 
that he was left in ignorance equally of his wishes, 
the time of his departure and plan of operation; that 
he had been fearful from the embarrassments in- 
separable from the war and other circumstances, that 
it would be difificult to concert any plan of operation, 
and that under present circumstances it had become 
altogether impossible. 

The Secretary of State under date of the 8th of 
March, informs Mr, Monroe that Col. Humphreys 
was in Philadelphia when he supposed him to be in 
Algiers, and Mr. Monroe in answer said (17th of 
May) "that his last letter gave him the first intelli- 
gence that I could rely on, that Col. Humphreys was 
in America," who of course would return fully 
possessed of his views with respect to the piratical 
powers on the African coast. He further adds, "I 
assured you long since that it would be easy to 
obtain from this government its aid upon that point, 
and it is certain that its aid with each and especially 
with Algiers, with which Regency the Republic is in 
the strictest amity, would be of good effect. Those 
powers know that France is at war against Austria, 
Spaip, England, Portugal, etc., and defeats them all, 
and in consequence conclude that she is more power- 
ful than all united and respect her accordingly. I 
have frequently been told in private conversation by 
the members of the committee, that they were ready 
to render us all the service in their power in that 
respect." These were the opinions inculcated by the 
French government — but view the true state of the 
case. France had been insulted and plundered 

214 '1"HE CAPTIVES, 

by Algiers more than once, and that very lately, 
with whom no nation has any influence but what is 
inspired by fear or the hope of gain. Those powers 
know that France is engaged in a war which employs 
all her force and exhausts all her resources, and that 
the British keep their vessels of war in their ports, 
and that consequently there can not be a better time 
to commit depredations on her commerce. As long 
as France had any commerce Algiers plundered it, 
but her want of commerce now prevents Algiers 
from insulting the French flag — because she could 
not reap no adequate advantage by it — and not the 
dread of her arms; and we have sufficient evidence 
to prove that notwithstanding the promises which 
were made to our Minister by the government of 
France, it never was their intention to realize them, 
and had we relied upon her aid we would have in- 
curred great expense to no purpose, and would ulti- 
mately have failed and been laughed at for our 
credulity. In the letter of the Secretary of State to 
Mr. Monroe of the 15th of February, 1795, which he 
received after the letter of the 8th of March, he says: 
"Col. Humphreys, our Minister for Lisbon; being 
disappointed in the loan which was to be paid for 
the relief of our captive brethern in Algiers, has 
come over to press the subject. He will return in a 
few days full handed, and although we have heard 
nothing of late concerning the friendly interposition 
of France with the Dey, we beg that the influence of 
our ally may be exerted in this great cause of 
humanity." And in another of the 2d of May, he 
says: "Col. Humphreys sailed six weeks ago 


(middle of March) properly charged for the nego- 
tiation with Algiers. Before this reaches you, he 
will probably have had a personal interview with 
you, and will satisfy you that on this and on every 
other occasion, we wish to observe delicacy towards 
our friends and allies." 

Col. Humphreys arrived at Gibraltar from the 
United States on the 17th of May. His letter to us 
of the i8th we received on the i6th of June, and 
immediately after he wrote it he set off for France, 
still in pursuit of the igjiis fatuus — french influence — 
which was never found, and happy was it for us that 
it was not. On the 5th of July, Mr. Monroe pre- 
sented a paper to the committee of public safety, 
opening as far as was expedient the object of Col. 
Humphreys' visit to France; and on the ist of 
August, he communicates to the Secretary of State, 
"that he has the pleasure to inform him that the full 
aid of that government would be given in support of 
our negotiation with Algiers;" but it never was given, 
nevertheless. And as this was the first official com- 
munication that had been made to the French gov- 
ernment, since the departure of Mr. G. Morris, it 
could not have availed us anything even had that 
government been sincere, for our treaty was signed 
on the 5th of September following. On the ist of 
September Mr. Monroe communicates to the com- 
missary of foreign relation that a Mr. Benjamin 
Hitchborn was appointed with full power to nego- 
tiate with Algiers, etc., and only waited for his 
instructions to their agent at Algiers, and requested 
passports for four persons. Mr. Hitchborn declined 


and Mr. Barlow was appointed in his stead and 
accepted, • so that it was not for his talents that he 
was appointed, and. it was not for his services I am 
sure, and he was only the second on the list of pro- 
motion — that he had talents there is no doubt, but 
they did not suit the meridian of Barbary as will be 
seen hereafter. 

On the 3rd of October, Mr. Monroe informed 
Col. Humphreys that he had heard that peace had 
been made with Algiers without the aid of France; 
for I dispise the idea of laying us under any obliga- 
tion to the French Consul Valliere; that Herculais 
had not written on the subject (How could he when 
he did not go to Algiers for several months after 
our treaty was signed?) and that the only instruc- 
tions here to present to him, were to use the influ- 
ence of the Republic with the Dey, to obtain a sus- 
pension of hostility on his part against the United 
States. This was vox et pretera nihil, for the ad- 
mission of an Ambassador in any of the Barbary 
States, implies a cessation of hostility until he leaves 
the country, and were five hundred prizes to be 
captured while the negotiation was pending, they 
would all be released by the Dey; but probably no 
indemnification would be received for what would be 
plundered from individuals by the crews of the 
Cruisers, but even this assertion does not tally with 
the declaration of Herculais to Mr. Barlow, con- 
tained in the latter's letter to the Secretary of State 
before referred to. In Mr. Monroe's letter to the 
Secretary of State of the 4th of October he says: 
•'In furtherance of the object I was promised by the 


company with a list of such presents as would be 
suitable for Algiers, a literal copy of what they had 
last presented with a specification of what suited the 
Dey, and his ministry in particular." If the com- 
missary presented a list of the articles which were 
brought to Mr. Barlow, he deceived him. They 
were calculated for the Grand Seigniors Seraglio, 
but not for the Regency of Algiers, especially the 
Turkish ladies' dresses, which cost in Paris 41,462 
livres, were never of any use at all, and I saw rem- 
nants of them in the Consul's house in Algiers, when 
I was on my way to Tunis and Tripoli in 1799, and 
a cup and vase of jade (mineral) which cost 2,400 
livres in Paris, was returned to Mr. Barlow by the 
Dey, who said he did not want such costly utensils, 
and they were sent to the Bey of Tunis in 1799. 
The greatest part of the articles were sent to Tunis 
and Tripoli because they were too valuable to be 
given to the third and fourth class, and not valuable 
enough to be presented to the first and second class 
and about the value of 50,000 livres, consisting of 
ladies' dresses, tortoise snuff boxes, etc., were en- 
tirely thrown away and answered no purpose what- 
ever; and those things which did answer, were valued 
much higher than the same sort of articles could be 
procured from the Jews at Algiers; besides many 
months prior to this period, I had forwarded to 
Montgomery to send to Col. Humphreys a list of the 
Consular presents sent by the doner to the Algerines 
in 1792 and 1794, and there was no necessity of our 
laying ourselves under any obligation to the govern- 
ment of France at all, either to procure the list or 


the articles themselves. At length Mr. Joseph Bar- 
low left Paris and after various peregrinations for 
what purpose no body here knows, he arrived in 
the bay of Algiers on the 4th of March, 1796, and 
on the next day landed, precisely six months after 
our treaty had been signed with Algiers, and four 
months after a truce had been made with Tunis; yet 
by a most unjust partiality, all the services which I 
had rendered before he was ever thought of as an 
agent, have been erroneously attributed to him by 
those who have been appointed by the people to 
dispense the public gratitude, but without cause as 
will be seen in the sequel. The opposition which 
we met with from the agents of Spain, may be 
attributed to the unsettled state of our affairs with 
that power in relation to our boundary and the free 
navigation of the Mississippi and likewise to her 
jealousy of our increasing wealth and population, as 
well as the solicitude which she felt to promote the 
interest of her friend and ally, the Queen of Portugal, 
in preference to the United States, whose religion 
and form of government she detested, and saw in 
prospective the effect the latter would ultimately 
have to hasten the emancipation of her own colonies. 
I may therefore be permitted to say that the task I 
performed, surrounded by the difficulties which then 
existed, was an arduous one, when it is considered 
that our present happy constitution had not had 
time to shed its benign influence over our pecuniary 
affairs; that we had not got over the derangements 
occasioned by an Indian war and an insurrection in 
the western country; that party raged with as much 



inveteracy as it did during the revolutionary war; 
and that our treasuary was empty, and we had not 
even a gun boat afloat to protect our commerce, 
which, exclusive of having more than one hundred 
citizens in slavery; and I thank God that He used 
me a captive under a despot, who many times have 
risked my life for the enslaved and the welfare of 
my country, to assist in removing every obstacle in 
the way of the pacification of the Barbary States. 


Continuation of our negotiations with the Bar- 
bary States and especially with Algiers, from the 
departure of Capt. Richard O'Brien with our treaty 
of peace with Algiers, on the nth of September, 
1795, to my arrival at Philadelphia in the Independ- 
ent on the I2th of September, 1796, via Alicant and 
Lisbon, with dispatches and a letter from the Dey 
to the President of the United States. 

I have already stated that Mr. Donaldson arrived 
at Algiers on the 3d; that I made the treaty and 
took it to Mr. Donaldson for his signiture on the 7th; 
and that O'Brien sailed with it on the nth of Sep- 
tember, 1795; and on the 13th Mr. Donaldson retired 
to the Swedish Consul's country seat four miles from 
the city, leaving us in anxious expectation for the 
arrival of the funds, as he had assured us that Col. 
Humphreys had informed him that they were ready 
to embark a great part of them at Lisbon. This in 
a great measure increased the Dey's impatience, for 
the Jews led him to believe that our money trans- 
actions would be finally settled in two or three months 
at farthest, and had the funds arrived as the Dey 
expected, it would have prevented all the trouble, 
anxiety and enormous expense which occured after- 
wards, which at least doubled the original price 


promised for peace and the ransom of our brethren 
in captivity. Mr. Donaldson before he left town, 
locked up the house, told my servants whom I had 
sent to attend him that their services would in future 
be dispensed with, and told me that he did not know 
why so expensive a table had been kept; that a great 
deal less would have served him; that he supposed 
it was intended to make a speculation out of him; 
but that they would find themselves mistaken. I 
told him may be not; that it would be time enough 
for him to complain when the account came in; and 
that his countrymen would be very much mortified 
to see their Ambassador live in a worse style than 
the Consuls of the Northern Nations. The fact is, 
I supplied his table from my own stores, and his 
dinner was cooked every day at my own tavern and 
taken to his house, and his breakfast and supper 
were prepared at his house by my servants, and he 
never was charged a cent for either the one or the 
other. Donaldson, when he went out of town, neg- 
lected to leave the treaty of peace with me to have 
two more copies made out, I having requested that 
four copies might be made out when peace took 
place — one to be sent to the Secretary of State, one 
to Col. Humphreys, one to remain in the Consulate, 
and one in the palace; but this last had not been 
returned after receiving Donaldson's signiture, con- 
sequently, Osman Hodga, Secretary of State, could 
not make out the other two copies; therefore on the 
2ist inst., I wrote a note to Mr. Donaldson request- 
ing him to send me the treaty to which I received 
the following answer: 


Sir: — I have your note relative to the secretary and shall 
be in town tomorrow, when the needful shall be done. It is 
from no neglect of mine as you well know, I importuned you 
to procure the copies, that they might be executed ere I left 
town. Yours, 

Monday, Sep. 21, 1795. DONALDSON, JR. 

On the 22nd he came to town and gave me the 
treaty, and desired me to bring the same copy back 
again, as he had made some notes in it, and not to 
write the other copies out in English, as he wished 
to write them himself. This copy was the original 
treaty which was in my hand writing — the other 
three copies were copied from that by Mr. Donald- 
son. He seemed displeased at being disturbed and 
more so when he found it was near dinner time and 
had nothing to eat, for he enjoyed the good things 
of this world as much as any person could do. This 
evil, however, I remedied by ordering my dinner to 
be brought to his house and we dined tete a tete, and 
after dinner he seemed better pleased, shook me by 
the hand and said, "he hoped we should dine to- 
gether at the fishing club on the Schuykill, of which 
he was a member, before another year had expired," 
and went to the Consul's country seat again. 

On the 28th he came to town and asked me for 
the treaty. The copies had not been done in conse- 
quence of the soldiers receiving their pay in the 
palace, nor would not until they were all paid, which 
would be in four or five days. Mr. Donaldson was 
very angry and said he wanted to have his business 
done; that he was not obliged to wait their motions. 
I answered that he most certainly would, for the Dey 
and Secretary of State would not wait his. He left 


me in dudgeon and went out of town again; but 
being afraid that he might say something before the 
Jews' or Swedish Drogoman which would displease 
the government, if they heard it, I requested the 
Secretary of State to finish the copies in Turkish as 
soon as possible, and he took them to his own house 
and gave them to me finished and sealed on Thurs- 
day, October i, 1795, and the next day, Friday, no 
business being done in the palace I went to dine 
with Mr. Skjoldebrand, and took the copies with me. 
When I gave them to Mr. Donaldson he compli- 
mented me by saying "What, you have got them at 
last have you?" 

On the 6th we received letters from Mr. Ettiene 
Cathalan, informing us that the news of peace had 
arrived at Paris and all the ports of France, and on 
the loth a Spanish brig freighted by Montgomery at 
Alicant arrived, in order to procure a permit to load 
wheat. She had a Mr. Hugh Boyd on board as 
supercargo and was consigned to Mr. Donaldson. 
The Dey desired me to take him to Mr. Donaldson, 
and to ask him what was his business, but to save 
myself the trouble of going out of town with him, 
I informed his Excellency that he was Montgomery's 
secretary and had brought letters for our Ambassa- 

Mr. Donaldson has received information that 
O'Brien arrived at Malaga on the 17th, landed on the 
19th, and set of for Lisbon on the 20th ult., so that 
in twenty-five days after Donaldson's landing in 
Algiers the treaty would be in Lisbon for the in- 
spection of Col. Humphreys. 


On the nth I announced Capt. O'Brien's arrival 
at Malaga to the Dey, who was well pleased. Mr. 
Donaldson desired me to ask the Dey for a permit 
to load wheat. I told him that the request was pre- 
mature, and that he would get the same answer that 
George Smith received some time ago; that any 
business that would benefit my country I would 
transact with pleasure, but that his private business 
he had much better transact himself. He said that 
I was very unaccomodating lately. I told him not 
one tenth part as much as he was; that I thought it 
useless and degrading to ask any favor when I was 
certain that it would not be granted. He said that 
he had committed himself to Montgomery, and that 
he requested me to make the trial, which, if even 
refused, would exonerate him from his promise. 
I acquiesced, but told him it should be the only 
time that I would interfere in his privete concerns. 
The Dey answered as I had predicted, was very 
angry and said ''settle the affairs of your nation first, 
and then it will be time enough to talk about com- 
mercial affairs. Tell him we have no wheat to spare, 
when we have any we will let him have it." Mr. 
Boyd brought me two letters from Mr. Montgomery 
and informed me that the vessel was to be loaded 
on joint account of Montgomery and Donaldson, 
and on the i8th she sailed bound to Oran, having 
made a contract with the Baccries for a cargo of 
grain, the particulars of which I am not informed. 
Mr. Boyd informed me that there were several 
Americans in the Mediterranean. I therefore wrote 
a circular to our Consuls on the north side of the 


Mediterranean, informing them of the unsettled state 
of our affairs and the risk of capture by Cruisers of 
Tunis and Tripoli, and recommending them to dis- 
courage our vessels by every means in their power 
from coming into the Mediterranean, until treaties 
were concluded with Tunis and Tripoli. 

On Tuesday the 13th of October, Mr. Donaldson 
proposed paying his first visit to the Grandees, the 
Dey's ministers, being prevented, as he said, by the 
gout until now. Mr. Skjoldebrand sent for me to 
accompany him, as a thing of course, and as he had 
no money I loaned him one hundred sequins, in half 
sequins, to distribute in the great men's houses, tell- 
ing him that it was customary to give from ten to 
twelve sequins in each house. Mr. Donaldson took 
the money and then told Mr. Sloan to get his head 
dress (hat) and come with him, and when we 
approached the Prime Minister's house he turned 
short round and said "that one interpreter was 
enough." I wished him good evening and said that 
if I had not been sent for I would not have intruded. 
When I mentioned this, the same evening, to Mr. 
Skjoldebrand he said it was just like him, that he 
wondered that Col. Humphreys should have sent a 
person to Algiers so wholly unqualified for the busi- 
ness he was sent on; that he hardly thought such 
another original could be found in the United States. 

On Monday the 19th, having business with the 
Aga or Generalisimo, I found that he was much dis- 
pleased with Mr. Donaldson, as it seems that he had 
paid him particular attention at his visit, and in 
return he had given his servants only four sequins. 


These people calculate that the more you respect 
and esteem them, the greater will be your present to 
their people, and this is an established custom. 
Now a present of four sequins was tantamount to 
having said you are a little fellow, have no influence, 
can do me neither good nor harm; therefore four 
sequins is enough for your servants. The Aga 
said that Bobba (Father) Hassan was the friend of 
America and that was sufficient; that he and the 
other Ministers were of no importance in our estima- 
tion and added, with a sardonic grin, that Bobba 
Hassan was an old man — meaning that he would not 
live forever. Mr. Donaldson has acted very inju- 
diciously in not following the established custom, 
and truly he has offended all those who have the 
power either to be of service or to injure him. Some 
of those Grandees most probably will become Dey 
hereafter, and will certainly revenge any insult they 
suppose they may have received when in an inferior 
station; for a Turk never forgives an injury, and 
one hundred sequins well applied now, would prob- 
ably save the nation as many thousand at some fu- 
ture period; besides our affairs are not settled yet by 
a great deal. There is no knowing what difficulties 
we may yet have to surmount, or how necessary it 
may be to cultivate the good will of those people, 
and although we ought not to permit ourselves to be 
imposed on, neither should we infringe an established 
custom complied with by all nations under similar 
circumstances, especially when the expense is of no 
importance whatever and would not have amounted 
to one hundred dollars. There are times when sav- 
ing money is not economy, and this is one of them. 


Messrs. Skjoldebrand had intended to reduce the 
number of their vessels for some time, and had 
offered to sell me a fine brig- they had in port with 
a freight of 2,800 on board bound to Smyrna, on 
very reasonable terms. The Dey had promised to 
send the Pilgrims to Alexandria in her on their way 
to Mecca, and give me a passport for all the Otto- 
man Empire including Tunis and Tripoli, and let- 
ters to the Bey of Tunis and Bashaw of Tripoli, 
which would have opened a correspondence with 
those chiefs relative to peace, but he refused to let 
me go in the vessel myself, but promised to let me 
have one of the American captains to command her. 
In this stage of the business I wrote a note to Mr. 
Donaldson on Friday, the 23 inst., requesting him to 
give me an instrument to prove that the said vessel 
belonged to a citizen of the United States — to which 
I received a refusal, which I answered. Mr. Skjol- 
debrand went out of town and told Mr. Donaldson 
"that he had acted a most ungenerous part to 
thwart their intentions of being of service to Mr. 
Cathcart, who had rendered both him and his country 
such signal services; that he never would have ob- 
tained peace on the favorable terms on which it was 
concluded, had it not been for my exertions for 
years prior to his appointment; and for which I had 
received nothing but insult, and more especially as 
he had promised in his presence to grant Mr. Bailey 
a similar request a few days before, when he was 
about to purchase a Venitian prize laying in the mole." 
Mr. Donaldson denied having made such a promise, 
and without taking leave came to tov/n on foot, not- 


withstanding the Consul sent a servant with a horse 
after him which he refused to mount. The truth 
was now at issue between him and Mr. Skjoldebrand. 
Mr. Bailey was called who confirmed the circum- 
stance and mentioned others that were present. 
Donaldson said he must have forgotten it but if he 
had promised him, he had no objection to grant me 
the same favor. I answered that as a favor I did not 
wish it; that I had determined not to have anything 
to do with the vessel, even could I obtain her gratis 
— and thus was our x^mbassador detected in a false- 
hood before the Swedish Consul and his own country- 

OiT the 24th I called on Mr. Skjoldebrand and 
found him very much displeased with Donaldson 
for having left his garden so abruptly. He said that 
if he came to his house again he would receive him 
politely, but if he did not he would not visit him. 
But Donaldson went the same day to dine with him 
sails ceremonie, as if nothing improper had hap- 
pened. The same day his Excellency, the Dey, said 
that he would fulfill his promise, and dictated the 
following terms on which peace might be made with 
Tunis and desired me to take them to Mr. Donaldson, 
and if he agreed to them we might conclude that 
our peace was made. I met Donaldson at the Swed- 
ish Consul's house. He valued the articles as stated 
in the terms, but said that he could not make any 
arrangement with Tunis, as he had no orders on the 
subject from Col. Humphreys. I went to the Dey 
and informed him that Mr. Donaldson was waiting 
orders on the subject, and requested him to consider 


the negotiation open, and to write to the Bey of 
Tunis to abstain from acts of hostility until answers 
arrived from Lisbon, and at the same time informed 
him that it was my opinion that the United States 
would not give more than $50,000 for peace includ- 
ing a present of stores; and that they would never 
pay any tribute to Tunis or Tripoli; that they would 
sooner arm to protect their commerce, and requested 
the Dey when he wrote to the Bey to do away the 
impression that we would become tributary, if any 
such existed. The Dey said that he had proposed 
the terms with a view to our interest; that he would 
write to the Bey on the subject and would do all the 
good he could without committing himself, for said 
he "I am a Musselman." I continued my conversa- 
tion with the Dey. The particulars I communicated 
to Mr. Humphreys under this date. 

Tuesday 27th, I was directed to obtain letters of 
introduction for the son of Ibraim Raise, and others 
in his company, directed to our Ministers and agents 
at Marseilles, Paris, and the Hague, and to specify 
therein that the Dey would become responsible for 
all his acts, drawing of bills of exchange, freighting 
of vessels, etc., and had great trouble to persuade 
him to do it, and was obliged to state to him in very 
plain terms, the absurdity as well as the evil ten- 
dency of refusing them. "You are in debt," said I, 
"nearly ;^6oo,ooo on the payment of which the peace 
of your countrymen depends. The person to whom 
you are in debt asks you for simple letters of intro- 
duction for one of his subjects which you refuse to 
give, when it would be to the interest of the United 


States, was he to receive the whole sum in Paris; 
but the Dey does not ask you to give him a credit 
on our Ministers or agents, but only to say that he, 
the Dey, has given him the power to draw, and that 
his bills will be paid." At length he wrote the letters, 
and I took them to the Dey near sunset. In fact 
this same Ambassador of ours possesses a spirit of 
contradiction and obstinacy that I never knew 
equalled, and I am afraid will ruin our affairs if the 
funds do not arrive very soon. 

Wednesday 28th, Messrs. Skjoldebrand and 
Baccri advised Mr. Donaldson to make a voluntary 
present to Hadgi Ally, Ambassador from Tunis, as 
he had great influence at his Court and would es- 
pouse our cause when our negotiations commenced 
with that Regency. This personage was Vikil of 
Algiers at Tunis, but now came with the tribute of 
oil paid annually by that Regency to Algiers. He 
arrived here in a Venitian vessel on the 24th inst. 
Mr. Donaldson requested me to accompany him, 
and after opening our business and securing his 
promise to befriend us all that lay in his power, 
we made him a peace offering valued by Baccri at 
925 sequins. On the 29th Mr. Skjoldebrand and 
myself advised Mr. Donaldson to apply for a truce 
with Tunis, to which he consented provided it was 
not attended with any expense, and said he would 
leave the management of that affair entirely to me, 
and went out of town. The 30th Mr. Donaldson came 
to town to receive his letters which had come in the 
Spanish packet. They contained no good news or 
we should have heard it, and the same day the Dey 


sent for me and said that he had received letters 
from the Prime Minister of Portugal, only sixteen 
or eighteen days old inclosed to Don Juan Garrigo, 
stating that the particulars of the American peace 
and ransom had reached Lisbon through him via 
Ivica, dated the 8th ult. and that Portugal solicted a 
peace on the same terms. Now Don Juan Garrigo 
could have obtained his information from no other 
source than the Baccries, which is proof what little 
confidence can be placed in those Jews, who would 
betray the secrets of any nation to whoever would 
pay them for their treachery. Don Juan had a long 
conference with the Dey, and read the letters him- 
self which deprived me of knowing all their contents; 
but the Dey showed me the seal of the letter, and 
said that if he did not prefer the annuity of America 
he had another resource and he had it at his 
option to prefer which he pleased. I returned 
him thanks for the preference, and the Dey hav- 
ing enjoined secrecy, which no doubt he had 
promised himself to Don Juan, I retired and believ- 
ing that the intelligence would be of much use to 
Mr. Donaldson, } informed him of it; he exclaimed 
that it was impossible and said with an oath, that he 
could not believe it. I told him that he might do 
as he pleased in that respect; that I had no interest 
in bringing him any information that I had not 
received, and was quite unhappy at invention, and 
requested him to keep the intelligence secret 
whether he gave it credence or not, when this Mo- 
hawk Ambassador answered "if you cannot keep 
your own secrets how can you suppose that I can 


keep them for you?" The Skjoldbrands were as- 
tonished but advised me to take no notice of the 
observation, as it seemed to proceed more from ig- 
norance and petulancy than malice or a bad heart. 
On the 31st the Dey sent for me and desired me to 
make out a list of the Portugese in slavery — which 
I did — and at the same time took the liberty to in- 
form him that we supposed our funds were in Por- 
tugal; that if his Excellency meant to enter into any 
negotiations with that power before our affairs 
would be settled, that it would retard them very 
much, and policy would dictate to that Court to 
place impediments in the way of procuring the 
money or of shipping it after it was procured, in 
order to give them an opportunity to settle their 
own affairs first. The Dey replied "the answer I 
have sent Don Juan Garrigo, to send relative to 
peace, I am sure they will not like, but if they wish 
to ransom their slaves I have no objection." I took 
this opportunity to inform the Dey that we had 
given presents to Hadgi Ally, and requested his 
Excellency to procure a truce for us with Tunis. 
He said he had spoken to Hadgi Ally already, who 
had promised that if any American vessel was 
captured by any of the Cruisers of Tunis, that he 
would use his influence to have her restored; that he 
would speak to him again and procure a truce, for it 
was not reasonable for him to expect presents for 
nothing. Sunday, November ist, Donaldson came 
to town and was taken very ill with the bilious colic, 
which was succeeded by the gout which kept him 
confined for a month. 


Sunday 8th, between those dates I had several 
conferences with the Dey and Hadgi Ally, and this 
day procured a truce for the United States with 
Tunis for eight months, guaranteed by the Dey of 
Algiers, translated it and took the original to Mr. 
Donaldson, who kept his bed with the gout and colic. 

20th, Donaldson still confined. The American 
mates and sailors laid siege to his chamber and 
insisted on his procuring them leave to stay in town, 
as they said that they had as much right to be 
exempt from hard labor as the masters — and I think 
they had full as much. Donaldson told them 
that he could do nothing for them at present, 
to go to their quarters and have patience a 
little longer, and they would be redeemed. They 
cursed him for an old hickory face, etc., and hoped 
that he would be brought up standing before another 
month and left him. I wrote to Col. Humphreys 
and informed him of the truce with Tunis which 
took place on the 8th inst., but did not send a copy 
of the truce as Mr, Donaldson had not returned the 
original translation. 

December. This month very little alteration took 
place in our affairs, except that the Dey's impatience 
increased daily. Every time I had any business 
with him he vented his spleen on me. He said that 
three months was time enough for money to arrive 
from Lisbon; that by my persuasion he had listened 
to the old Tupal (lame) Ambassador, and was pre- 
vented from concluding an advantageous peace with 
Portugal; that I had deceived him and that his peo- 
ple were discontented and his patience was nearly 


On the 17th I received answers to several of the 
circulars which I had sent to our Consuls in Europe, 
one from our Consul at Leghorn being a prototype 
of the others. Mr. Donaldson was either confined 
by bad health to his chamber or when well enough 
was at the Swedish Consul's country seat, I had not 
only to bear the reproaches of the Dey but likewise 
of our own people, who accused me for not getting 
leave for them to remain in the city exempt from 
labor. This I at first could have done with ease, but 
now it was impossible, for the Dey had frequently 
threatened to send the masters to hard labor if the 
funds did not arrive very soon, and when leave 
could have been procured, Mr. Donaldson discour- 
aged it, and refused to be responsible for their con- 
duct, therefore it would have been very improper 
for me to have done it. 



I have already recorded that the Cruisers of 
Algiers had captured twenty-two sail of boats, with 
more than two hundred coral fishers, natives of 
Corsica, who, since the British had taken possession 
of that Island, were protected by passports issued by 
the British Admiral commanding in the Mediter- 
ranean; but the Dey refused to acknowledge his 
authority or right to grant them, and determined 
not to respect them. He therefore condemned the 
boats and made slaves of the people, which pro- 
duced much dissatisfaction on the part of the British. 
Their Consul, Mace, soothed and threatened them 
by turns with British vengeance, but all to no pur- 
pose. "Shylock was determined to have his pound 
of flesh," and refused to release the Corsicans until 
their ransom was paid in hard cash; and he was as 
good as his word, and their Consul was treated with 
contempt, and frequently with menace, for at that 
time there was not wanting a person who in order to 
promote the interest of his own country, fomented 
the discord which existed by exciting the Dey's 
avarice, and at the same time quieting his appre- 
hensions that the British would retaliate, by inform- 


ing him that they were not in a situation to send 
any force to Algiers considerable enough to annoy 
him; for the consequence of letting the Toulon fleet 
get out and escape them would be of much greater 
importance to them than the loss of the whole Is- 
land of Corsica. In this train were affairs on the 
6th of September, the ,day after the treaty was 
signed, when a British Privateer belonging to 
Gibraltar mounting six guns and forty-five men was 
sent into Algiers by one of the Bey of Mascaras 
Cruisers, having a defect in her passport and like- 
wise being manned with a motly crew of Rock 
Scorpions (a vulgar appellation given by the British 
to the nations of Gibraltar) Spaniards and Italians, 
and not above ten Englishmen among them. This 
vessel was called the Tyger, and was commanded by 
Capt. Aselda, a native of Gibraltar and a brother of 
Dr. Werner's wife. On her arrival the Dey hesitated 
for a short time, but ultimately condemned the 
vessel and made the people slaves, but did not sell 
her but had her laid up with every thing on board 
as when captured. 

On the 20th of October, a British Frigate an- 
chored in the bay when the British Consul sent a 
letter to the Marine to be sent on board, which was 
returned to him in the evening, and the Marine gate 
was shut .before the usual time to prevent him from 
going on aboard. On the 21st Consul Mace went 
on board accompanied by the Captain of the Port, 
his national Drogoman Broker and servant, and 
after a conference of several hours the Captain of 
the Port was desired to inform the Dey that the 


treatment which the Consul had received from him 
would prevent him from subjecting himself to a repe- 
tition of it; that as he had violated the treaty with 
Great Britain and refused redress, his functions as 
diplomatic agent had ceased; and that in future he 
would receive communications from the British Ad- 
miral through the Captains of his fleet. The Al- 
gerine subjects returned on shore, and the Consul 
and his servant remained on board. The Dey sent 
the Captain of the Port on board again and desired 
the Consul to come on shore, and inform him what 
were the demands that the Captain of the Frigate 
had orders to make. The Consul said he would not 
interfere, and Captain Hope desired him to inform 
the Dey that he had orders to demand the Privateer 
that was captured on the 6th ult., all the Corsicans 
in captivity and the value of twenty-two sail of boats 
which had been condemned. The Dey sent the 
Captain of the Port on board a third time with his 
negative, and to inform the Captain that he declared 
war against Great Britain, and that captives would 
be made by the Algerines in forty days from this 
date. At 4 p. m. three guns were fired from the 
light house castle, and war was formally declared 
against Great Britain by the Dey of Algiers in this 
manner, as Consul Mace had taken the treaty on 
board with him. The Frigate immediately hauled 
down her colors and hoisted in her boats, and the 
Algerines put all the slaves in chains two and two 
together to prevent them escaping on board. Early 
in the morning of the 22nd inst. Mr. Philip Werner 
formerly surgeon to the British Consul, the only 


free British subject at Algiers, received orders from 
the Dey to embark on board the British Frigate, 
and the Consul's furniture to the number of forty-five 
packages were in the Marine ready to be sent on 
board, when a large vessel appearing in the offing, 
the Frigate got under way, hoisted French colors 
and went in chase, in consequence of which the 
Consul's furniture was sent back to his house without 
being touched. On coming within gun shot four 
guns were fired to bring her to, and a boat shortly 
afterwards was sent on board — she proved to be a 
Venitian ship from Tunis with the annual tribute of 
oils. When the boat returned to the Frigate, she 
crowded sail and stood to the eastward. 

On the 24th letters were landed from the Venitian, 
which had anchored in the bay as she can not get in 
in consequence of calms and contrary winds. One 
from the British Consul Mace directed to Dr. Wer- 
ner, was taken to the Dey by the Venetian Consul's 
Drogoman, no doubt by his orders. His Excellency 
broke it open and sent for me to read it, which con- 
firmed him in his resolution and calmed his appre- 
hensions; he asked my opinion to which I answered 
keep your Cruisers in port and you have nothing to 
fear; the British are not in a situation to bombard 
Algiers, and must redeem the Corsicans toprevent 
a revolt, or at least an insurrection; but if they fall 
in with your Cruisers, they will take them in order to 
have your people to exchange for them. "What, 
before the forty days expires?" exclaimed the Dey. 
"Certainly," I replied, "you took their vessels before 
the declaration of war, and your saying that you will 


not take any more before forty days expires, does 
not bind them not to take your vessels, unless they 
had entered into a regular agreement with you to do 
so. They will now endeaver to get as many of your 
people into their hands as you have of theirs in yours, 
offer an exchange and then start fair." "Why did 
you not tell me so before?" asked the Dey. **Be- 
cause your Excellency never asked my opinion, and 
it would have been presumption in me to have given 
it unasked, but I am persuaded that in forty days or 
at most in two months that you will make your own 
terms without running any risk." "Allah! Allah! 
Allah! Those that have sense and knowledge of 
affairs, are silent as death unless they are asked a 
question, while those who are ignorant and know 
nothing are continually babbling and leading me 
astray. Take that letter to the English Tabib 
(Doctor) and tell him to leave Algiers in the first 
vessel that sails for Europe." He sailed on the 24th 
in a small Spanish vessel bound to Majorca. I took 
a copy of the letter. Affairs with Great Britain 
remained in statue quo, which prevented the Dey 
from troubling the Consuls of other nations. 

On the 25th of December t\^o British Frigates, 
the Romulus, Capt. Hope, and the Tartar, Capt. 
Elphinston, with the Honorable Fred'k North on 
board, as Envoy Extraordinary from the King of 
Great Britain to the Dey or Algiers, arrived in the 
bay and on the 27th they settled their affairs as 

I. The British are not to permit the Portuguese 
squadron to rendevouz at Gibraltar or to stay there 


longer than to procure water and provisions. 
(This article is vox ct preterea ?iihil/) 

2. The Gibraltar vessel is to be restored without 

3. The British are to pay 600 Spanish dollars 
for each of 195 Corsicans now in captivity, no 
indemnification is ever to be demanded for the 
twenty-two sail of Corsican boats which where cap- 
tured, and the Island of Corsica is to be considered 
by the Algerines in future, as the Island of Minorca 
was formely and Gibraltar now is. 

On the 28th, the money for the ransom of the 
Corsicans was paid, and they were embarked on 
board a Spanish vessel chartered for the purpose; 
the British flag was displayed and saluted; the Dey 
made a present of an elegant Turkish scymeter to 
Mr. North, who hung it over his shoulder with a 
silk cord as it was too large and heavy for the little 
fellow to wear by his side without injuring the gold 
scabbard, with which he strutted about the city and 
tliought himself highly honored; and on the 2nd of 
January, 1796, embarked and sailed, bound to Bastia 
in Corsica, leaving the Dey to congratulate himself 
on the victory he had obtained over the first Mari- 
tine nation in the world. Is it then to be wondered 
at that he demanded so large a sum for the peace 
and the ransom of one hundred citizens of the 
United States of America when they had not a single 
vessel for war afloat; when they levied a contribution 
of one quarter the amount on a nation who had a 
fleet within six days sail of them of sufficient force 
to knock their city about their ears, and Ho destroy 
their Cruisers in their harbor. 


January ist, 1796. This eleventh year of my cap- 
tivity was ushered in by a siege. Mr. Donaldson 
was confined with the gout when the American 
mates and seamen took possession of his house; 
said it was public property; that they had as much 
right to stay in it as he had, and absolutely refused 
to go any more to work in the Marine. Mr. Don- 
aldson desired Sloan to persuade them to go away 
quietly; but they refused and he was at length 
obliged to send for the guardians, who beat them 
with sticks and the flat of their swords all the way 
down to the Marine. I was in the Dey's palace 
when a complaint was lodged against them, and the 
Dey actually ordered them to be put in chains, but I 
interceded for them, and the Dey pardoned them, 
but declared that in future if they did not behave 
better he would chain them two and two together. 
I went out and informed them what the Dey had 
said and they abused me for the part I had 
taken in their favor, and said it was as much my 
fault as it was old hickory's that they were con- 
tinued at hard work at the Marine. The Dey's im- 
patience increased daily and as he considered that I 
was the chief promoter of the peace with the United 
States, not a day passed that I was not threatened 
and reviled, and sometimes scandalously abused; for 
as Donaldson had never been to the palace since the 
presents were delivered, I was regaled with the part 
of the abuse which would have fallen to his lot had 
he made his appearance. Mr. Skjoldebrand advised 
Mr. Donaldson to dispatch a packet to Spain with 
letters to Col. Humphreys, to learn the reason why 


the funds had not been forwarded; but as the Span- 
ish packet was daily e'xpected it was determined to 
wait her arrival, in hopes that she would bring us 
some good news from headquarters at Lisbon. 
But on the 3rd inst. the Dey obliged him to alter his 
resolution, for he sent him positive orders to freight 
a sandal and to send her to Spain to procure in- 
formation direct from the Ambassador at Lisbon, 
why the money had not been forwarded according 
to promise and promised to wait until the return of 
the sandal; but declared that if the stipulations of the 
treaty were not then complied with — in part at 
least — and assurance given him such as he could 
rely on, that no unnecessary delay would be made 
in forwarding. the remainder, that he would turn the 
old Tupal Ambassador out of the country, undo 
everything that had been done, cut off my head for 
having persuaded him to make peace with the 
United States in preference, and then make peace 
with Portugal on the same terms that he had made 
with us^or even for less — in order to have the great 
sea open to his Cruisers, by which he would have it 
in his power to be amply revenged on us for our 
breach of faith by the capture of a number of our 
vessels, etc. Mr. Donaldson, as usual when there 
was any difficulty, left the business to me and 
requested me to charter a sandal, which I did for 
$200, to go and return from Alicant to lay there 
fifteen days, and as much longer as the American 
Consul there might think proper to detain her on 
paying $2.00 per diem demurrage, the expense of her 
outfit and provisions was ^32.75, which with freight 


I paid, making S232.75, the demurrage was paid by 
Mr. Montgomery at Alicant. A certificate was pro- 
cured from Mr. Donaldson, that she was employed 
as a packet by the American Ambassador at Algiers, 
which was certified by the Dey's order by all the 
Consuls, and a bill of health for the American 
sandal packet the Independent, Philip Sloan, master. 
The American flag was hoisted on board and she 
was ready to sail in the evening, but Mr. Donaldson's 
dispatches were not ready. On the 4th I informed 
the Dey that the sandal only waited his permission 
to sail, when he dictated a letter to Col. Humphreys, 
and while I was writing it abused me, old Tupal 
Col. Humphreys, and the whole American govern- 
ment, Blushidente Vashintone (President • Washing- 
ton) and all as a set of impostors who had deceived 
his predecessor and now had deceived him, and 
swore by his beard that he would not be trifled with 
much longer. I enclosed his letter in one of my 
own to Col. Humphreys, and the sandal sailed at 
meridian manned with twelve Moors and com- 
manded by Capt. Sloan. 

January 28th the long expected Spanish packet 
arrived from Alicant and brought letters from 
Col. Humphreys dated December 14th, informing us 
that funds could not be secured at Lisbon, and that 
O'Brien had been sent in the brig to London to 
endeavor to procure them, and were informed that 
Sloan had arrived at Alicant on the 6th inst., like- 
wise that Mr. Montgomery had gone to Lisbon on 
our affairs. 


On the 29th Mr. Skjoldebrand and myself, know- 
ing the Dey's capricious, impatient temper, advised 
Mr. Donaldson to send a small present to the Dey 
in the name of Col. Humphreys, as in return for the 
sword the Dey had sent him, and to inform him that 
it had not been in our power to procure money in 
Portugal; that Capt. O'Brien had been sent to Lon- 
don to procure it, and to request his Excellency to 
have patience, as our Ambassador had ratified every 
article of the agreement; that every exertion had 
been made to raise the money, but that owing to the 
war there was so great a demand for cash that it was 
hard to be procured anywhere; but that great hopes 
were entertained that it would be procured in Lon- 
don, and that in that case he would soon receive it. 
Mr. Donaldson positively refused to make any more 
presents; said that he had surpassed his limits 
already and cursed the hour that he had come to 
Algiers. At 2 p. m. the Dey sent for me and asked 
what news Tupal had from the packet. I informed 
him as before stated, and added that the impedi- 
ments placed in the way of procuring money in 
Portugal, was most probably occasioned by his hav- 
ing given favorable answers to Portugal, who wished 
to engross all the cash herself for the same purpose; 
that had he given her a negative at once I had no 
doubt but the money for our peace would have 
been raised in Lisbon, and would have been paid 
ere now. This the Dey doubted and abused 
me because I had not a present to strengthen his 
belief; that he was now convinced that we were 
trifling with him, and desired me to inform Mr. 


Donaldson that if the stipulations were not com- 
plied v/ith in one month from this date he would 
declare the treaty void and order him out of the 
country; "and as for you, sensa fede," (without 
faith), he says to me, "I know what to do with you," 
and thus saying he drew his hand horizontally across 
his throat. I informed Mr. Donaldson who laughed 
and said he would have hard work to cut off my 
head or his either, we had such short necks. Mr. 
Skjoldebrand, who was present, offered his influence 
to have it commuted to a roasting at Bebal Wey'd, 
but as I had to bear the brunt of all the Dey's invec- 
tive and abuse, I was in no means in a joking mood, 
and sat down to dinner dull enough. 

On Sunday 2ist of February, 1796. In the house 
which I had procured for the masters of vessels to 
reside in by Mr. Donaldson's request immediately 
after our treaty was signed, a scuffle took place 
between Captains Wallace, Furnace and Newman, 
who had been gambling and not very sober, when 
the two former fell from the gallery into the area of 
the house. Wallace was killed on the spot and 
Furnace had his arm broken. Capt. Moses Morse 
came to ask my advice; I told him to make the re- 
port immediately and to call a surgeon, but it was 
too late, Wallace's spirit had fled. 

On the morning of the 22nd I reported this acci- 
dent to the Dey. He said that he was glad of it; 
that it was judgment from God, because we did not 
fulfill our engagements; that he had gone to where 
old Tupal and I would be certain to follow him; that 
I was good for nothing but to be the harbinger of 


bad news. "Andar" said he, **Andar al diable, em- 
bustero; canalle." His passion was so great that he 
forgot to make any enquiry about the manner that 
Wallace was killed, and I had him buried imme- 
diately before any more questions were asked; for 
had the truth been known those concerned would 
have received five hundred bastinadoes each, and the 
others would have been sent to hard labor at the 
public works." 

On Thursday the 25th, having business with the 
Dey, his abuse was insufferable, not fit to be recorded. 
He swore he would wait until the arrival of Sloan 
but not an instant longer. For some time past I 
have led a miserable life. The Dey believes that he 
has been deceived and vents his spleen upon me, 
because he can do it with impunity. Donaldson has 
neither sense nor feeling, and as long as he keeps 
within the pale of the law, that is, does not lay him- 
self open to censure by surpassing the sum to which 
he is limited, seems quite careless for the result, and 
is not sensible of the importance of the trust reposed 
in him or the magnitude of the injury which would 
result to the United States should the negotiation be 
broken off in its present stage. I most solemnly 
declare that was I charged with our affairs, that I 
would sooner pay $100,000 to gain time to fulfill our 
engagements than stand higgling for trifles, and 
would trust to the candor and good sense of the 
nation to justify my conduct. A diplomatic char- 
acter must always have a discretionary power, more 
or less according to the knowledge which the execu- 
tive possesses who frame his instructions. In this 


case our executives were totally in the dark. They 
knew nothing, absolutely nothing, of the business 
entrusted to him except that the trade of the Mediter- 
ranean is of great value and worth our acquisition; 
that the liberation of our people is indispensible and 
their capture in future to be prevented if possible. 
Under these circumstances a man who would hesi- 
tate to prevent so great a calamity, because he might 
be censured for having surpassed his orders, which 
neither brought dishonor, or any other consequences 
of an evil tendency on his country, for a few bags of 
money which in comparison (may be called trash) is 
not fit for an office of any importance at a distance 
from home, and is as devoid of sense as he is of 
patriotism. Yet I am a great advocate for economy, 
but saving money is not economy when the interests 
of our country require the expenditure, in order to 
secure either a great political or commercial object, 
which can not by any other means be obtained. In 
this opinion Mr. Barlow and myself agreed, although 
we differed on minor points, and let the reader re- 
member that so far Mr. Barlow has had no agency 
in our affairs. 



In this state were affairs on the 4th of March, 
1796, when Mr. Barlow arrived on board the Ameri- 
can brig Sally, Captain March, from Alicant. 
This is the first American vessel that has arrived 
since the declaration of independence, those that 
were captured excepted. The weather was very 
boisterous and the winds contrary, which prevented 
the vessel from coming into the mole and obliged 
her to anchor in the bay at least four miles from the 
city. Prior to the arrival of Mr. Barlow, the Jews 
had reported to the Dey that he was at Marseilles, 
and had been appointed Consul for the United 
States at Algiers. This report I endeavored to 
suppress but the Jews insisted that it was true, for 
he had the Consular presents with him, which he 
had purchased at Paris, and read to me the letters 
they had received from their correspondents. 

The Dey ordered me to go on board and bring 
Mr. Barlow on shore. I informed his P^xcellency 
that the weather was so bad that a boat would be in 
danger of being lost; that I would bring him on 
shore the next day, when I hoped the weather 
would be more moderate. Accordingly on the 5th 


I procured a large boat with eight oars, from a 
Venitian ship that lay in the mole, and brought him 
on shore completely drenched, as the sea ran very 
high in the bay. He landed in the Marine and went 
into the city immediately to change his apparel. I 
introduced him to Mr. Donaldson precisely six 
months after the signature of our treaty with 
Algiers, and as soon as I changed my clothes I in- 
formed the Dey who asked why I had not informed 
him that I was going on board for him, that he 
might have been saluted with five guns as is custom 
when any of the Consuls of other nations land. I 
had consulted Mr. Barlow and informed him what 
the Jews had reported to the Dey. He requested 
me to inform his Excellency that he was not 
appointed Consul yet, but that probably he might be 
hereafter, I therefore informed him that Mr. Bar- 
low's commission had not arrived yet from the 
United States; that when it did 1 would inform him, 
when it would be time enough to give the Consular 
salutes. The Dey was in a very bad humor — said 
that he knew what to do with the Americans and 
ordered me out of his presence. On the 8th the 
weather had become moderate, and the brig hauled 
into the mole, and Mr. Barlow's effects were landed. 
He gave me a letter from Mr. Sloan of the ist inst. 
and sent Micaiah Cohen Baccri to the Dey to re- 
quest an audience, which the Dey absolutely refused 
to givG him. 

March 9th, being the first day of the Moon of 
Ramadan, in the year of the Hegira 12 10, in which a 
Mussulman neither eats or drinks from daylight to 


sunset, nor is even permitted to take a pinch of 
snuff, but feasts all night and literally turns night 
into day and vice versa. Mr. Barlow prepared some 
valuable presents in order to present to the Dey to 
obtain time for our funds to arrive, requested the 
Jew Micaiah to ask the Uey's permission to present 
them, and at the same time to give him an audience; 
but it was too late, and abstinence in this month 
added to Dey's ferocity. Had those presents or 
those of less value been presented when we recom- 
mended Mr. Donaldson to present them, the sacri- 
fice which Mr. Barlow afterwards made would have 
never been demanded. The Dey declared that he 
would not accept of any presents from the agents of 
the United States, and that as soon as the embargo 
was taken off the Port he would send them out of 
the country. On the nth Micaiah took a small 
silver trunk curiously wrought from Mr. Barlow and 
said he*would present it to the Dey for his daughter, 
in his own name, and endeavor to draw his attention 
to American affairs. But here the Jew's cunning 
did not avail, the Dey said he might send it to her 
house if he pleased, and desired him to leave him, 
as he was going to sleep; and Mr. Barlow got no 
thanks for the trunk, and little business of any sort 
was transacted by the Dey during the whole of this 

On the 2ist Mr. Donaldson asked me if the Dey 
had sent a letter by Mr. Sloan to Col. Humphreys. 
I told him he had." And pray" says he, "why was I 
not informed of it?" I answered because it was the 
Dey's particular orders that he should not, and in 


consequence of his own good advice which he had 
given me on the 30th of last October, which was too 
salutary to be easily forgotten, and that he had said 
to me "if you can't keep your own secrets, how can 
you expect me to keep them for you?" Mr. Barlow 
seemed astonished, and said that under those cir- 
cumstances Mr. Cathcart could not have acted other- 
wise with any degree of propriety or self respect. 

[Note. — Immediately after the arrival of Mr. 
Barlow, he propounded to me a number of questions, 
requesting information under the several heads of the 
civil and military government of Algieres — revenues, 
legislation, administration of justice, opinions, etc. — 
to which I answered in part by placing my journal 
in his hands and the remainder in oral and written 
communications, from which he formed his dispatch 
number one of the iSthof March, 1796, for which he 
received the thanks of the Department of State. 
The 3rd of December following the Moon of Rama- 
dan facilitated the measure, as the Dey slept a great 
part of the day, and consequently I had little to do 
in the palace.] 

On the 28th of March Mr. Philip Sloan arrived 
by land from Shershell, a town forty miles to the 
westward of Algiers, where the sandal, in which he 
came from Alicant, had put in with contrary winds. 
Our agents requested me to accompany Mr. Sloan 
to the palace in order to explain to the Dey the 
purport of Col. Humphreys answer to his letter of 
which he, Sloan, was the bearer. The Jew having 
positively refused to go and thus in every instance 
when any difificulty occured I was requested to 


remove it; but when any communication was to be 
made which in its nature would be agreeable to the 
Dey, the Jews immediately interposed and offered 
their services, and when of a doubtful nature they 
would go to the palace, sit in the coffee room and 
bring a lie out to our agents, without ever having 
seen the Dey. They likewise requested me to in- 
form the Dey that the American Consul at Alicant, 
had brought a credit with him on Madrid for the 
necessary funds, but that at present the exportation 
of money was so strictly prohibited in Spain, that 
unless the Dey would write to the King of Spain to 
grant permission to embark it at Alicant it would 
avail us naught, which they solicited his Excellency 
to do, as it would facilitate the payment in a very 
short time. At 6 p. m. we waited on the Dey, who 
as soon as he saw Sloan asked him abruptly, if he 
had brought the money or any account of it. I told 
him of Col. Humphreys' disappointment and request- 
ed him to permit me to read his letter to him, and 
by that means to introduce what is noted above. 
The Dey got out of patience, called both Sloan and 
me "dogs without faith;" gave me a hearty slap on 
the left cheek; took Col. Humphreys letter and 
threw it with all his force out of his apartment and 
ordered us to quit his presence, threatening if ever 
we came to him again on such an errand to be the 
death of us both. I said "strike, Effendi, but hear." 
Things are not always what they appear to be, but 
this tyrant drew his attagan that was under the 
pillow on his seat and we had no alternative but to 
make a precipitate retreat taking the letter with us, 


which Sloan had taken up in his flight, (as the Dey 
did not follow us out of his room) which he returned 
unopened to our agents — nor was it ever opened 
afterwards. Mr. Donaldson laughed and said it was 
what he expected and that if he smote me on the 
left cheek, I ought to have "turned him the right 
also" and fulfilled the Scriptures. But he took good 
care not to run the risk of being smitten himself and 
his pleasantry was very illtimed, as the consequences 
resulting therefrom were of too serious a nature to 
make a joke of, besides wounding my feelings at 
such a crisis argued great want of sense and propri- 
ety on his part. Mr. Barlow seemed to regret the 
indignity I had suffered and said it was no dishonor 
to be insulted either by a fool or a despot; that those 
who offered the injury were the persons disgraced 
and not those who were injured. By Mr. Sloan I 
received letters from Col. Humphreys of the 7th 
and 1 6th of February, 1796. 

It was the opinion of Messrs. Skjoldebrand, the 
Jews, and indeed of all concerned, that some means 
must be taken, and that immediately, to avert the 
impending storm. The Cruisers were out and we 
were not quite sure that they had not orders to 
capture Americans as well as Danes, but neither one 
or the other, or any other news from the Cruisers 
had arrived since they sailed. 



The Danes had renewed their treaty with the Dey 
and Regency, had made presents to the Ministry, 
but were in arrears one year's tribute of Maritine and 
Military stores, but as the Consul had promised that 
when the stores would be forwarded from Denmark, 
two or three years annuity would be forwarded at 
once, the Dey seemed satisfied and Danish affairs 
were considered to. be quite settled and their com- 
n}erce in no danger whatever from the depredations 
of this Regency; but unfortunately for them, about 
three months ago a Danish vessel with three hun- 
dred Turkish soldiers on board, recruited in the 
Levant for this Regency, was captured by a Neapoli- 
tan vessel of war and carried into Naples. The Dey 
sent for the Consul and after threats and abusive 
language, asked him if his King was not ashamed to 
permit the dastardly Neapolitans to insult their flag 
with impunity, and declared that if the Turks were 
not delivered up in a certain number of days — ^suf^c- 
ient for the Consul to write to Naples and to receive 
an answer — that he would declare war against Den- 
mark and make him and his family slaves. The 
Consul immediately dispatched a vessel to Leghorn 


with letters for his government and to the Danish 
Minister at Naples, who demanded the Turks from 
the Neapolitan government, who refused to give 
them up unless the Minister would guarantee the 
ransom of an equal number of Neapolitans then in 
captivity in Algiers and Tunis. This was an affair 
of too much importance for the Minister to decide 
on without instructions from his Court, as the ransom 
of three hundred Neapolitans would have cost his 
nation at least ;^300,ooo. On the other hand in con- 
sequence of the almost general war in Europe and 
the security the Danish flag gave to property (or 
was supposed to give) in the Mediterranean, he 
advised the Consul at Algiers to endeavor to com- 
promise the matter, if possible, on the best terms he 
could obtain, or at least to endeavor to temporize as 
the ports of the Mediterranean were crowded with 
their vessels, as they had latterly become the prin- 
cipal carriers in this sea. On the arrival of answers 
fromx the Minister at Naples, the Danish Consul 
demanded an audience and assured the Dey that the 
Minister had used all his influence at the Court of 
Naples without effect; that his dispatches had been 
forwarded to Copenhagen by express and that he 
had every reason to believe that the reclamation 
would be attended with a favorable result, but that 
it was an affair of so much importance that neither 
the Minister nor himself could undertake to prom- 
ise, as the affair must now be settled by the two 

The Cruisers were nearly ready for sea, viz: six 
sail mounting from i6 to 44 guns each. Three 


smaller ones remained in port for want of men to 
man them, which with three galliots or quarter 
galleys compose the whole Marine offensive force 
of this Regency, which three Frigates of 36 guns 
each would send to the bottom in one hour. The 
Dey declared he would declare war against Denmark 
immediately and put the Consul in chains at hard 
labor. He on his part offered to pay to the Regency 
fifty thousand sequins, or to have brought from the 
Levant an equal number of Turkish recruits in lieu 
of those in Naples. '"What!" said the Dey in a voice 
of thunder, "and leave my people slaves in Naples? 
Never, do you think that I am a Jew or a Neapoli- 
tan? I will have the identical men now in Naples 
and none others. What would my Sovereign, the 
Grand Seignior, think of me where I to permit Turks 
to remain slaves? What would my own soldiers say? 
They would cut my throat the first time they came 
to the pay table. Your King has not money to pay 
me for those Turks— you know it yourself. I must 
have the people now in Naples and will have them, 
or burn you and all the Danes in Algiers on the Jew's 
burying ground at Bebal Wey'd. Go to your house 
and think of it. You shall soon hear from me again." 
When the Cruisers were ready to sail and had been 
furnished by the Consuls with their respective pass- 
ports, including those of the Danes, the Dey sent 
for the Consul and informed him that he did not 
blame him personally for the capture of his people; 
that he blamed his nation and that for his sake he 
would not declare war against Denmark; but, said 
he, curling his whiskers, "My people were taken 


under your flag when we were at peace. I have 
given my Cruisers orders to capture all and every 
Danish vessel they may fall in with — and I hope 
they may fall in with one of your Frigates until I 
have as many of your people in my possession as 
Naples has of mine. Your vessels I will lay up and 
if my people are restored to me I will restore you 
your vessels, cargoes and people. If not after waiting 
forty days from the return of my Cruisers to port, I 
will condemn vessels and cargoes, make slaves 
of your people and declare war against Denmark," 
The Consul attempted to remonstrate but the Dey 
would not listen to him. "Go home," said he, "it is 
Ramadan, I am going to sleep; and you," addressing 
himself to me, "inform your Tupal Ambassador what 
I have done, inform him his turn will come next and 
as for you imposter, who have been the means of 
sending a passport for him to come here to deceive 
me, I will settle my accounts with you very soon," 
at the same time getting up from his seat, putting 
his hands on his altagan and making, with the edge 
of his hand, a motion in imitation of the soldiers 
when they behead Christians at the palace gate. 

The Cruisers went out and by the 20th of April 
returned with thirteen sail of Danish merchant 
vessels all loaded, some very rich, valued at about 
half a million of dollars — and three Genoese of little 
value. By the intercession of the Consul and some 
presents, the Danish vessels were laid up with their 
yards and topmasts struck, sails unbent and their 
officers and men were permitted to remain onboard, 
the Dey declaring that if the Turks were not returned 


from Naples, at the expiration of 40 days, he would 
condemn them and make slaves of their crews, 
about 120 in number. I left with dispatches before 
the forty days expired, but I was afterwards informed 
that the Turks were returned and the vessels and 
cargoes liberated. But the officers and crews had 
been plundered by the crews of the Cruisers, for 
which they never received any redress. 


I have already noted that Mr. Barlow landed in 
Algiers on the 5th of March, 1796, but the presents 
were not landed until the 8th, in consequence of bad 
weather; and on the 9th the Ramadam commenced, 
which was probably the principal cause why Mr. 
Barlow was refused an audience. At any other time 
the Dey would have admitted him was it only to 
have had the pleasure to intimidate him with threats 
and abusive language; but during this month the 
true believers feast all night and think proper to 
sleep the greater part of the day and when they 
transact business do it in a very summary manner. 
Consequently during this month more acts of flagrant 
injustice are done than in all the rest of the year, 
as an example I will state the following facts: 

On the 5th day of Ramadan — which corresponds 
with the 14th of March, 1796 — in the prison called 
th'e Bagnio de Gallera two Spaniards, slaves from 
Oran named Domingo Gomez and Pedro Delgada, 
quarreled, when Gomez stabbed Delgada in five 
different places, none of which however was mortal. 
He was taken to the Spanish hospital and there re- 


covered. Josef Garcia and Pedro Silvestre, the two 
Christian corporals who had the superintendance 
of the prison at night, endeavored to disarm him but 
he stabbed Silvestre in the arm and Garcia in the 
abdomen, who died an hour afterwards. The town 
was alarmed, the Guardian Monte Negro who had 
the keys of the prison came in with several armed 
men, presented a pistol at Gomez and desired him 
to deliver up his knife. He said "fire, and if you 
feel valiant enough come and take it." But none of 
them approached him and for three hours he re- 
mained master of the prison surrounded by those 
tyrants, armed only with despair jnd a common 
dutch knife, until one of his own townsmen, of whom 
he had no suspicion, knocked him down with a club. 
The cowardly Turks then overpowered him and dis- 
armed him, beat him most cruelly and treated him 
when a prisoner most unmercifully, Gomez reviling 
them all the time, calling them cowards and saying 
now that he was confined there were many who had 
courage to maltreat him, who a few minutes before 
were afraid to come near him; that he knew he 
would soon die and that he only regretted that he 
had not sacrificed all those villains who had caused 
his despair — especially the traitor who had knocked 
him down — and that before he was beheaded he had 
not the power to revenge the indignities he now 
suffered from them. Gomez was a man of some edu- 
cation, and before this affair was esteemed a good 

It was my duty to report to the Dey, every 
morning at day light, any extraordinary event which 


might take place in the slave prisons at night. On 
the morning of the 15th I informed the Dey of this 
event. He immediately sent for Gomez, who was 
beheaded before the palace gate by a soldier who 
gave him three strokes with an attagan before his 
head was severed from his body, amidst the accla- 
mation of the mob, who said there was one more 

Christian gone to and the soldier said he wished 

such a job every day, as ten patachas gordas (six 
dollars the reward paid to the executioner by the 
Regency) would be of more service to him than all the 
Christians in Barbary. The Dey then gave me the 
following extraordinary and unjust order: "Go im- 
mediately to all the tavern keepers and order them 
to pay two thousand sequins for the two slaves that 
are dead (one of them the Dey had beheaded) , for 
if they had not sold intoxicating liquors they would 
not have quarreled, the corporal would not have had 
to interfere and I would not have ordered the 
murderer to be beheaded. Inform the villains that if 
they do not pay the money that I will confiscate all 
their taverns and other property, if they have any, 
will give them each five hundred bastinadoes and 
will send them to hard labor in chains." I delivered 
the orders to each tavern keeper in writing and 
received for answer that they were poor slaves and 
had not the money to pay; that the Dey was the 
sword and they were the flesh; that he might treat 
them as he pleased but that they could not pay 
what they did not possess. On receiving this ans- 
wer the Dey became outrageous and vented his 
spleen on me in no very decent manner and ordered 


me to inform them that if the money was not paid 
in three or four days at farthest, they might depend 
that he would do as he promised or worse; and de- 
sired me to inform the chief Guardian artd his lieut- 
enant that if the man that was wounded and sent to 
the hospital should die of his wounds, they should 
pay one thousand sequins for him. "The Hasna 
shall lose nothing and tell them" said he, "not to put 
me to the trouble to repeat my orders." On the i8th 
the Dey demanded an answer, which was the same 
as above. I endeavored to intercede for those poor 
people, when this tyrant got in such a passion that I 
really thought he was insane; he abused me, said 
that I encouraged the tavern keepers to disobey his 
orders; ordered me to desire the Vikilharche of the 
Marine to send all the Guardians to seize all the 
tavern keepers and to send them to prison, to shut 
up all the taverns and to bring the keys to him. 
This was done accordingly, to the number of twenty- 
five, and about as many servants, whom the Dey had 
not included in his order. I interceded for those 
last, but the Dey answered "those rascals have no 
money as they do not receive the value of the wine, 
but they shall receive the bastinado for not putting 
as much water in the wine and brandy which they 
sell to Christians, as they do in what they sell to 
Mussulmen; for if they had they would not have 
been drunk." He then cashiered the chief Guardian 
and appointed Monte Negro in his place, because 
he had appointed two such cowards for corporals 
who would let one man kill the one and stab the 
other. It now being past the time for punishment 


for all who are bastinadoed receive their quantum 
ofter dor, when the Mussulmen come from the 
Mosque at half past one p. m., he ordered that no 
provisions should be allowed the prisoners until 
after that hour the next day when each should re- 
ceive five hundred bastinadoes and be sent to hard 
labor in chains and then they may eat with what 
appetite they can. The tavern keepers implored 
me to intercede for them. I informed them that it 
would be more than useless and only draw the Dey's 
displeasure on myself; that unless they promised to 
pay the money it would be no use to endeavor to 
appease the Dey's wrath; that all I could do would 
be to supplicate the Dey to give them time to pay it 
in and to extend it to as long a period as possible. 
These poor fellows gave me carte blanche and left 
it to me to make the best agreement I could for 
them which they promised to ratify. There were 
twenty-five taverns — I owned three of them —I con- 
cluded that if each tavern keeper would promise to 
pay five sequins per month, the Dey, when his pas- 
sion was over, would accept the terms as it was not 
the money he cared for so much as to gain his point. 
Accordingly in the morning I took into the palace 
240 sequins, my quota, to begin with and to put the 
Dey in good humor and commenced, ''Effendi, I 
own three taverns, it would not be just to permit my 
tavern keepers to suffer because they have not 
got the money to pay to the treasury. They 
have promised to repay me this sum at the 
rate of five sequins per month. The other tavern 
keepers are poor and have promised to pay at 


the same rate to the treasury. It is my duty 
to collect and I will be security for its payment, the 
treasury is rich, Effendi, I am poor, but I have com- 
plied with your commands. I implore your clem- 
ency. Accept these terms, and let those poor fel- 
lows go to their taverns. They are half starved and 
nearly dead with fear already." I thus took the 
Dey on the- weak side for he did not like to be out 
done in anything and on reflection after his passion 
had abated and he had eaten a good supper and 
smoked his pipe, his conscience must have accused 
him of injustice; but he had made so much noise 
about this affair that he could not retract without a 
plausible excuse which I now furnished him. Some 
of the Hodgas (Secretaries of State) interceded and 
the Dey said "you are right, the treasury is not poor, 
the money is no object whether it is paid this month 
or in a twelve month, but I will have my commands 
obeyed. Take your money out and pay as the 
others have to pay, but recollect I hold you re- 
sponsible for the whole sum." He therefore gave 
orders to the goaler to let the Christians out of 
prison and ordered me to give them the keys of 
their taverns. I kissed this tyrant's hand, thanked 
him and retired. A few days afterwards the 
wounded man in the hospital went to his duty again, 
the chief Guardian was reinstated in his office and 
everything reverted to the same state they were in 
before this affair commenced; but before I left Al- 
giers, on the 8th of May, 1796, I was obliged to pay 
the whole of my quota of the mulct and my suc- 
cessor in office was forced to assume the responsi- 


bility for the tavern keepers which I had incurred, 
besides paying one thousand sequins for the office 
as is customary, which besides considerable per- 
quisites entitles him to be redeemed by any nation who 
either concludes a treaty of peace with the Regency, 
or redeems their captives without. During my cap- 
tivity three Escribanos grande were redeemed in 
this manner by nations of which they were not 
subjects and this circumstance renders the situation 
desirable. As I did not return to Algiers until Feb- 
ruary, 1799, when Hassan Pasha, the Dey, was dead, 
I heard no more of this most flagrant act of injustice. 


The Dey even refused to admit Mr. Barlow to an 
audience for more than a month after his arrival, had 
ordered his Cruisers to arm preparatory to a declara- 
tion of war against the United States. To gain time 
Mr. Barlow promised the Dey a present of a Frigate 
of 36 guns to w^ait only three months longer for the 
funds to arrive. This time was deemed insufficient by 
every well informed person, but Mr. Barlow said "he 
would trust to the chapter of accidents" as we could 
not be in a worse condition than we were then in. 
When on the last of April the Dey informed me 
that the Regency had been so often trifled with by 
the agents of the United States, that he had no con- 
fidence in their promises; that he did not believe 
that the United States would satisfy them, but that 
he would send me with a letter from himself to the 
President of the United States and would wait nine 
months for his answer, provided that I would insure 


him that the Frigate and stores would be built in 
that period. 1 told him that the Frigate could not 
be built in that time, but I would promise that the 
stores, or a great part of them, would arrive in less 
than nine months. He then ordered me to be ready 
to sail in eight days from that date and I departed 
with his letter to the President of the United States 
and Mr. Barlow's dispatches, on the 8th of May, 
1796, having been in captivity from the 25th of 
July, 1785, nearly eleven years. 

On the 5th of May the Dey ordered me to write 
the following letter to the President of the United 
States. On the 6th it was stamped with the great 
seal of the Regency and I brought it to Mr. Barlow, 
who then took a copy of it and seemed very much 
pleased with it, and on the 8th I embarked on board 
polacca ship Independent, myself master, manned 
with three Christians and seven Moors bound to 
Alicant. In the morning I took leave of the Dey 
and Grandees of the Regency and received my dis- 
patches and orders from Mr. Barlow and at meridian 
made sail. 

The following is the Dey's letter to the President 
of the United States: 

Vizir Hassan Bashaw, Dey of the City and Regency of Algiers, 

to George Washington, President of the United States 

of America. Health, Peace and Prosperity: — 

Whereas, peace and harmony has been settled between our 

two nations through the medium of two agents of the United 

States, Joseph Donaldson and Joel Barlow, and as eight months 

have elapsed without one article of their agreement being 

complied with, we have thought it expedient to dispatch James 

Leander Cathcart, formerly our Christian secretary, with a 

note of such articles as are required in this Regency, likewise 



with a form of a Mediterranean passport, in order that you 
may furnish your Consul resident here with such as fast as 
possible. For further intelligence I refer you to your Consul 
resident here, and to the said James Leander Cathcart, and I 
pray you whatever they may inform you of to forward our 
negotiation, may be fully c»edited and that said Cathcart may 
be dispatched with such part of the articles specified in our ne- 
gotiation as are ready with all possible expedition, for which 
purpose we have granted said Cathcart a Mediterranean pass- 
port commencing the date thereof from the first of May, in the 
year of your Lord, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six. 
Done in the Dey's palace by our ' — -"-^ 
order and sealed with the great seal j L S 
of this Regency, the 26th of the Luna .^^^^^ 
of Carib, in the year of the Hegira, 
1210, which corresponds with the 5th 
of May, 1796. 

Dey of the City and Regency of Algiers. 

Algiers, May 5, 1796. 
To Mr. Humphreys, U. S. Minister to Lisbon : — 

My Dear Sir— Mr. Cathcart, the bearer of this, is well 
known to you by his correspondence. You will see in my 
letters enclosed for you, to the Secretary of State, the object 
of the Dey in desiring Mr. Cathcart to go to Philadelphia. 
His intelligence and industry will doubtless enable him to 
render essential service in that business. He has been very 
useful to our cause here and on that account I beg leave to 
recommend him to your protection and confidence. I am, 
my dear sir, with great respect and sincere attachment, your 
friend and servant, JOEL BARLOW. 

Algiers, May 5. 1796. 
To the Secretary of State . — 

Sir:— Mr. James Leander Cathcart, the bearer of this, is 
the person whom I have mentioned to you as being desired to 
go to Philadelphia and give you such details as may be useful 
in arranging and transporting the articles for the peace 
presents and annual tribute. He has rendered considerable 
service in our affairs here by his intelligence and zeal and I 


doubt not but he might be usefully employed by you in the 
above mentioned business, or in any other way in which you 
may think proper to make use of his services. I am with 
great respect, your obedient servant, 


To Timothy Pickering, Esq., Secretary of State, Phila- 

Copy of instructions received from Mr. Barlow 
before my departure from Algiers: 

Mr. Cathcart. — 

Sir: — As the Dey has given you liberty to leave this place 
with your vessel, that you may go to Philadelphia to give 
such details of facts as may be useful to our government in 
expediating the collection and transportation of the peace 
presents and annual tribute, 1 understand that in considera- 
tion of obtaining your liberty and putting your vessel in 
activity sooner than you otherwise could do, you undertake to 
make the best of your way to Philadelphia, at your own ex- 
pense and I desire that you would proceed by the way of 
Lisbon, deliver a packet that I send by you to our Minister 
there and receive his further instructions for America, 

I understand likewise that you will touch at Alicant and I 
desire that you will deliver a packet, that I send by you, to 
our Consul there and in case that you proceed through Spain 
by land he will procure you the necessary passport. 

On arriving at Philadeldhia I rely on your intelligence 
and zeal in giving to the proper officers of government, the 
expediency of as prompt a compliance with our engagements 
here as the nature of the case will admit. Wishing you a safe 
arrival and all prosperity and happiness, I remain, sir, your 
friend and servant, JOEL BARLOW. 

Algiers, May 8, 1796. 


I before observed that the Dey ordered me, on 
the 29th of April, to get my vessel ready for sea as 
soon as possible. I informed him that I could not 
get people to work her there. He ordered me to 


take Moors and to send them back from Spain and 
in consequence of my promising to fulfill the voy- 
age that he would give me a passport for one year 
from the date thereof. Mr. Barlow, in his instruct- 
ions, expressly orders me to go at least myself in 
person to Philadelphia and to land a packet at Ali- 
cant, from thence to proceed to Lisbon and deliver 
a packet and to receive further instructions from our 
Minister there for America. Mr Barlow further 
says: *'I understand that in consequence of ob- 
taining your liberty and putting your vessel in ac- 
tivity sooner than you otherwise could do, you un- 
dertake to make the best of your way to Philadel- 
phia at your own expense." Mr. Barlow does not 
consider, I presume, that by putting my vessel in 
activity it is putting me to a great expense and he 
knows how little my circumstances enables me to 
bear them, by my accepting of the Dey's passport, 
it obliges me in honor to perform the voyage 
direct, exclusive of the orders I have received 
from Mr. Barlow, so that I cannot accept of a 
freight elsewhere should one offer. Every can- 
did person will agree that these terms are very 
hard upon me, considering the lowness of my 
finances; but now that I am embarked in this voyage, 
I am determined to go through with it even should 
I be obliged to sell the vessel to defray the expenses 
of the voyage. I only regret that the lowness of 
my circumstances will make me feel the expense 
amazingly, however, I can only add it to the differ- 
ent sums of money I have advanced to my brother 
sufferers during the four years they received nothing 


from their country, to maintain and console myself 
with the self applause of being conscious of having 
done every thing in my power to relieve their dis- 
tresses and alleviate their sufferings^ — have left no 
stone unturned to serve them and our country. I am 
once more my own and on our business being finally 
settled in Barbary, our flag become free in those seas, 
our commerce extended and my former brothers 
restored to their dearest connections and long lost 
patria, I shall be happy and thank God for having 
placed me in a situation that enabled me to be of 
essential service to our cause and of relieving the 
necessities of my distressed fellow citizens in a 
wretched state of captivity. 

On the 8th of May, when I received Mr. Barlow's 
dispatches for Col. Humphreys, I received the fol- 
lowing letters and instructions from him before my 
departure. Never was a parting more truly affect- 
ing. It is impossible for me to describe the situation 
I was in at parting with Mr. Barlow and my worthy 
and disinterested friend Mr. Skjoldebrand, but more 
distressing was it to me to part with my disconsolate 
brother sufferers and leave them on that inhospitable 
shore; indeed, it was one of the most affecting scenes 
that can possibly be comprehended. Words are 
insufficient to describe my sensations in such cases. 
Silence describes our feelings much better than the 
greatest eloquence. At meridian made sail after 
having endured every indignity that a fertile brained 
Mahomedan could invent to render the existence of 
a Christian captive unsupportable, and having gone 
through every scene of slavery from a brick-layer's 


laborer and carrying heavy stones from the moun- 
tains, to being the first Christian secretary to the 
Dey and Regency, during the trying period of ten 
years, nine months and fourteen days, the remem- 
brance of which makes me tremble with horror. 


The Christians place of interment at Bebal 
Wey'd situated a few yards above high water mark 
on the Mediterranean. 

O! Bebal Wey'd beneath thy sand 

My brother captives he, 
Away from kindred hearts and land 

From sad oppression die. 

The sighing sea upon the shore 

Their requium will be, 
The sprinkling waves will tell us more 

Than tear drops o'er the sea. 

And I am spared to cross the wave 

For those that yet remain, 
To help you, O! be strong and brave 

Till you are free again. 

Independent, Alicant Bay, May 22, 1796. 


No more a slave! I leave the shore 

Where bondage sore oppressed; 
"I am my own," accountable no more 

To man; I put my trust in Thee, 
O God! aid me to do my best 

For those who wish to follow me 
In freedom's land to rest; 

Rest, where the stars and stripes shall wave; 
Should they for freedom fall. 

Better to fill a hero's grave 
Than suffer a tyrant's thrall. 


Got product and waited upon Mr. Moritgomery 
to dinner. From this day I date my freedom. Oh! 
heavens, how my heart bleeds when I reflect on the 
servile state in which I have left my unfortunate 
fellow citizens, and when I recall how many of them 
have died of the plague and now lie buried in the 
sands of Bebal Wey'd. Nearly eleven years have I 
lost in the prime of life, which I most regret, yet 
could I with pleasure bear the yoke of captivity one 
year more to see my former brother sufferers restored 
to their patria, liberty, and dearest connections, 
which pray heaven may soon ensue. 

May 28th. In order to fulfill my promise to the 
Dey and Mr. Barlow, to do justice to my country 
and to be the means of forwarding our negotiation, 
and of course of seeing our countrymen sooner at 
liberty, I found no other alternative than to sell a 
part of my vessel a freight (indeed several) , I could 
have obtained to the land of Barilla at £6 lOs ster- 
ling per ton, but I could not accept of it in conse- 
quence of my having the Dey's passport. Had I 
sent the vessel to Ireland and proceeded myself by 
land to Lisbon and from thence taken my passage 
to America, we have enemies enough to have in- 
formed the Dey of it and exaggerate every particular. 
The Dey would naturally say "I have given my pass- 
port to him in order that he should proceed to 
America and from thence return to Algiers with, the 
peace and annual presents. He has sent the vessel 
to another quarter; of course he has disobeyed my 
orders and does not intend to fulfill his promise." 
This would be the means of displeasing the Dey, 


and he, of course, would retaliate on our Consul, Mr. 
Barlow, and imagine that we were trifling with him 
altogether, which might cause a good deal of un- 
easiness and trouble and may be expense to adjust. 
I therefore sold one-third of my vessel for ^i,666, 
and with this money fitted her out, got provisions 
for the voyage and freighted a boat to carry the 
Moors to Algiers, after paying them their wages and 
finding them provisions for their passage over. On 
the 8th of June I got under way but was obliged to 
come to an anchor again on the 9th inst. it blowing 
hard from the eastward. I was obliged to slip and 
leave an anchor and cable and put to sea. 

Alicant, June 5, 1796. 
Joel Barlow, Esq., Algiers. 

Dear Sir: — In my last I informed you of my safe arrival 
here, and at present refer you to Mr. Montgomery's letters for 
information relative to our affairs. I have received, since my 
arrival here, two letters from our mutual friend Col. Hum- 
phreys, but they contained nothing of importance. I have 
likewise forwarded to him a copy of all the papers intrusted 
to my care, which were open in order that he might have an 
opportunity to forward them to America before I possibly 
could arrive at Lisbon. I am informed by Montgomery that 
Capt. O'Brien, in the Sophia, sailed for America on the 27th 
of April, and by the last letter from Mr. Donaldson he says 
there is plenty of cash in Leghorn and no impediment in em- 
barking it. Mr. Montgomery has informed me that he has 
forwarded a credit on Spain for the whole amount of the nec- 
essary funds, but no bills have yet been drawn on his corres- 
pondents in Spain. However he will inform you of the par- 
ticulars better than I can. I have freighted the boat that con- 
veys these letters, to carry the Moors over for $100,00. The 
Moors are paid to the 4th of June, whatever may be due to 
them from that date until their arrival you will please pay 
them at the rate of $7.00 per month and charge it to my ac- 
count. I have nothing more to add but beg leave to repeat 


that every dispatch that is possible to be made on my part 
you may depend on. I have been at great expense to get 
sailors here, exclusive of my paying the Moors and sending 
them back to Algiers at my own expense. But that is of little 
moment to me. All my thoughts are employed on subjects of 
greater magnitude; indeed sir, I shall never be happy until 
our affairs are entirely settled in Algiers and my former 
brother sufferers redeemed from thence — which pray God 
may be soon. Dear sir, with the greatest respect and sincere 
attachment, I remain your obedient servant. 


Extracts from the Secretary's letter to Mr. Bar- 
low on my arrival at Philadelphia. 

Department of State, 
Philadelphia, Dec. 3, 1796. 

Sir: — Captain Cathcart's barque, in which he came from 
Algiers, is now loaded and ready to sail with naval stores for 
that place. It would have been very difficult, at this time, to 
do more, but we expect to load several vessels in the coming 
spring and with all practicable diligence and expedition, the 
stores necessary to fulfill our engagements to the Dey, will be 
procured and forwarded. Captain Cathcart will remain here 
and it is proposed to employ him in this business, by which 
means we hope the articles selected for the Dey will give him 
satisfaction. The sailing of this barque gives me a sure op- 
portunity to acknowledge the receipt of your several letters. 
Captain Cathcart has given me an open letter to the Dey of 
Algiers. I observe nothing improper — if any part however 
should appear otherwise to you they may be erased or sup- 
pressed in the interpretation at your discretion. He brought 
a letter from the Dey addressed to the President of the United 
States, to which an answer is now enclosed, which the Presi- 
dent desires you to present to the Dey in the time and manner 
which you shall deem necessary and most acceptable. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most 
obediient servant, TIMOTHY PICKERING. 

274 '^'HE CAPTIVES. 

List of the Americans captured since the King of 
Spain made peace with Algiers on the 30th of June, 
1785, with what became of them. 


Isaac Stephens, by general redemption, 1796. 
Alexander Forsyth, by general redemption, 1796. 
James Leander Cathcart, left with dispatches. May 8, 1796. 
Thomas Billings, alias John Gregory, redeemed, 1796. 
James Harnet, died in the mad house, 1793. 
George Smith, redeemed by friends, 1793. 


Richard O'Brien, left with dispatches, September, 1795. 

Andrew Montgomery, in general redemption, 1796. 

Philip Sloan, redeemed by the Dutch, 1794. 

Peter Loring, died of the plague, June 27, 1794. 

James Hull, taken by a Neapolitan Cruiser, 1796. 

Charles Colvil, redeemed by his friends, 1790. 

John Robertson, redeemed by his friends, June 12, 1791. 

William Patterson, redeemed by his friends, Jan. 3, 1794. 

Peter Smith, died of plague, Jan. 18, 1787. 

Robert McGinnis, died of plague, 1787. 

John Doran, died of plague, July i, 1787. 

Capt. Zacheus Coffin, died of consumption, July 2, 1787. 

Edward O'Reilly, died of plague, May 8, 1788. 

William Harding, died of plague, June 6, 1788. 

Jacobus Tessanaer, died of plague, July 13, 1793. 

Of twenty-one captives taken in 1785 nine died of 
these two crews, twelve returned home at different 
times; no more Americans captured until October, 
1793, when the British made a truce for Portugal, 
thereby the Straits of Gibraltar were left open. 



As before stated I left Algiers May 8th, 1796. 
I cannot express my feelings on standing once more 
on American soil, after so many years of trial and 
degradation; for after being relieved from menial 
services the pressure of despotism tainted the atmos- 
phere too much for any one of sensibility to bear. 
Still in the employ of the United States I remained 
over two years in Philadelphia — my services were 
then required in the Barbary States. Having lived 
in a country were the formation of any social ties 
were not to be thought of, it is not strange that in 
the society of Philadelphia I selected one to be my 
companion for life. On the 5th of June, 1798, I was 
married by the Rev. Ashbell Green to Miss Jane B. 
Woodside. the daughter of Capt. John Woodside, a 
soldier of the Revolution. We remained in Philadel- 
phia until December. On the 20th I received orders 
from the Secretary of State to call upon him in two 
days for instructions, and was ordered to procure 
two large flags for the consulates of Tunis and Tri- 
poli. On the 2ist spoke to Col. Pickering to send 
some superfine cloth with us. Mr. Francis, with my- 
self, chose several pieces of the best colors we could 
procure. Saturday, December 22nd, 1798, we waited 


on the Secretary of State at his office at 7 p. m., and 
remained there until 12 p. m., when we received our 
instructions and took leave of him. Sunday, 23rd, 
left Philadelphia for Port Penn with a stage coach 
and a coachee to carry the cloth and colors. Sunday 
evening arrived at Wilmington; Monday proceeded 
on our journey — went through Delaware; called on 
Capt. Geddes with Mrs. Cathcart; detained in regard 
to having the pilot taken off, remained until Friday, 
4th of January, when we got under way in company 
with the ships Hassan Bashaw, Skjoldebrand and 
Gen. Green, and stood down the bay, which contained 
a quantity of ice; at 6 p. m. the pilot was taken from 
the Sophia by the Gen. Green, Cape Henlopen, 
bearing S. W. distance two leagues, and at 8 o'clock 
bore W. by N. five leagues. January 5th, spoke 
brig from St. Domingo. Strong gales. Sunday, 6th 
2 A. M., lost sight of brig. Sunday, 21st January, saw 
the Island of St. Mary's. P'ebruary 2nd, Cape Tra- 
falgar bears south 58 miles. Monday, February 4th, 
made sail, saw Cape Trafalgar at Centa, at night we 
were abreast of Grenada mountains, latitude 36:9. 
February 7th, at 6 p. m., Cape de Gatt, N. N. E. 7 
leagues, latitude 36:35. Friday, 8th at 8 a. m., saw 
the Barbary coast, bearing from S. E. to E. N. E. 7 
leagues. At 10, we were abreast of Cape Tenes. 
Saturday saw Cape Caxiness bearing E. and by E. 
8 or 9 leagues. At 12, passed the point of Pescado 
and at 2 p. m. hauled into the mole. Mr. O'Brien 
came on board and we went on shore; waited on the 
Vikilhadge of the Marine; and thence we proceeded 


to Mr, O'Brien's barn, where we were received as 
well as he could under existing circumstances. 

Saturday, 9th of February, 1799, we arrived at 
Algiers, where we found the three vessels, Hassan 
Bashaw, Skjoldebrand and the Lela Aisha. The 
Lela Aisha had arrived the i6th of January, the 
other two a few days later. The Sophia, on which 
we embarked, arrived on the 9th, sixteen hours after 
the Hassan Bashaw. The ship Hero has not been 
heard from since the second or third day after she 
sailed. We have reason to suppose she is either lost 
or taken. 

Tuesday, 12th, from our arrival to this date Mr. 
Eaton and myself have not visited any person, as the 
prices of the vessels are not yet adjusted. We have 
valued them as follows: 

Hassan Bashaw ;^49,ooo; Skjoldebrand ;^28,ooo; 
Lela Aisha ;S2 1,000; value of the whole ;^98,ooo.oo; 
value at Philadelphia $78,689.38; difference ;Si9,- 
310.62. Except the deduction of seamen's wages, 
the United States has been benefitted, by sending 
Cruisers, the sum of ^^19,3 10.62. 

The Cruisers are now discharging their cargoes 
and will be delivered, as soon as the Dey agrees to 
take them, at the aforesaid value, and to deduct their 
value from our national debt — that is to place said 
sum to the credit of the United States in lieu of 
maratine and military stores. The Dey first said 
that as the United States had given Hassan Bashaw 
a Frigate, he expected a Cruiser likewise. O'Brien 
justly contested that the Frigate was a gift to the 
Regency, and that he, of course became an heir to the 


late Dey's interest therein. He was seconded by the 
Hasnagi or Prime Minister and the Vikilhadge of 
the Marine, and it is believed at present, that they 
will be received according to our wishes. The cur- 
rent report, in this city, is that Bonaparte is still in 
possession of several capital places in Egypt — and 
has fortified himself in Grand Cairo; that the British 
had taken Mahon and blockaded Malta; and that 
the King of Naples had evacuated Naples and fled 
to Sicily. On the 19th of December. 1799, an Am- 
bassador arrived from the Ottoman Porte with a 
Caftan (roll of honor) and firman from the Grand 
Signor and orders to this Regency to declare war 
against France, and likewise to take all Greek ves- 
sels that should be found to the westward of certain 
boundaries. The Algerines had taken several sail 
but were afraid that they would be claimed by the 
Grand Signor; therefore, on the receipt of the orders 
to capture said vessels they considered themselves 
very fortunate, and the ignorant supposed it to be a 
mark of the Dey's penetration and judgment. 

On the 2ist of December, the whole French lega- 
tion were put in chains and sent to hard labor, where 
they remained 46 days. They are now on parole in 
their houses, waiting for the result of Bonaparte's 
expedition. On the death of the late Dey, the Re- 
gency wished, universally, that Mustapha Agashould 
be elected but he preferred being Prime Minister; 
therefore Mustapha, the Prime Minister, took the 
seat and the Aga was preferred to the seat of the 
Prime Minister. He now governs both the Dey and 
the Regency, as the Dey is incapable to govern him- 


self. It is, therefore, necessary to be on good terms 
with him. The Aga, now being Prime Minister, is a 
very capable good man and is friendly towards the 
United States. I am told that, contrary to the cus- 
tom of this Regency, he despises anything that has 
the appearance of meanness and will not be bribed 
by any one. 

Thursday, 14th February, arrived Mr. Matthias 
Skjoldebrand, on board a Swedish Frigate from Mar- 
seilles. He brought his wife and child with him. 
When the Frigate came to anchor, she was saluted 
by the Marine fortifications, with 21 guns, which 
she immediately returned. When the Consul left 
the vessel, she saluted him with five guns, and when 
he was received on shore the Castle at the Marine 
saluted him with the same number of guns. On the 
Consul waiting upon the Dey, he demanded the 
Frigate to carry the Turkish Ambassador to the 
Levant. This he could not grant, and for fear of 
further importunity on the subject, sent his brother 
away the next day to Malaga. Friday 15th, I wrote 
to Col. Pickering and Mr. Smith, but the Frigate was 
sent away in such a hurry that I could not get the 
letters ready in time to send on board. Sunday, we 
returned our visits to the Consuls — rather improperly 
before we visited the Dey. The crews of the vessels 
disputed relative to returning in the Polacca Penrose, 
and the crew went on board the Sophia. Next day 
the vessels were delivered up, and we were never 
apprised of it. Mr. Eaton and myself were treated 
very impolitely on this occasion. Mr. Eaton re- 
marked, in his chaos "That we ought never to take 


notice of an injury unless we found ourselves in a 
state to chastise the offenders." 

February 22nd, the birthday of the great Washing- 
ton was celebrated by the discharge of thirteen cannon 
from the U. S. Brig Sophia. We visited the Dey for 
the first time since our arrival here. Mr. O'Brien 
changed his goods and we discharged a courier by 
the way of Spain. I wrote two letters to the Sec- 
retary of State. Next day arrived 93 Frenchmen, 
prisoners from Cala, a French fortification on the 
coast to the eastward of Algiers. They were used 
cruelly on the road, causing the death of four of 
them. Wednesday the 27th, eighteen of the principal 
characters were taken from the Marine by the Jew, 
the rest remained at hard labor. Thursday, I re- 
ceived the Dey's letter from David Baccri for the 
Bashaw of Tripoli. He advised me to freight a 
vessel from Algiers to Tripoli, which I refused. 
Next day I received a letter from Baccri to Farfara. 
What is in it, God only knows! I am afraid they 
are coalesced to cheat the United States. March 2, 
at I p. m., sailed from Algiers bound to Tunis. On 
the 8th put in to *Biserta, in a gale of wind and 
sailed the lOth. Went on shore and could not get 
off on account of bad weather and surf; April 5, ar- 
rived at Tripoli 1799. May 24, 1801, sailed from 
Tripoli, in consequence of the Bashaw declaring 
war against the United States. June 2, arrived at 
Leghorn, having touched at Malta and landed dis- 
patches for government. November 3rd, 1802, sailed 

*A seaport of the Kingdom of Tunis. 


from Leghorn on board the Chesapeake, bound to 


To go to the inner harbor, bring the battery 
on the east side to bear south and steer direct for 
it; keep to the eastward of the eastermost rocks, 
about two and one-half cables length, but not 
much more, because there lies a bank at half 
a mile distance, which runs almost to the point of 
Tagura, on which there is but five or six feet of 
water in the channel. Between the rocks and the 
bank there are four, five and six fathoms water. 
When you get the rocks to the eastward, bear away 
W. by N. and anchor in five fathoms, sandy bottom. 
The small channel is between the two westermost 
rocks where you have twelve and thirteen feet of 
water; keep as close as possible to the eastermost 
until you clear the point of the old pier or mole- 
head and anchor where you please — you will then be 
among the other vessels. Between the eastermost 
rocks there is a passage for boats but rather danger- 
ous, there only being six or seven feet of water and 
many sunken rocks. To anchor in the road, bring 
the Danish, Swedish or American flag staff to bear 
south or south half east and anchor at any distance 
from the shore. About four miles is the best water 
and bottom. 

Gibraltar, April 5, 1803. This day embarked on 
board the United States Frigate Adams, Capt. Camp- 
bell, by the order of Commodore Morris, bound, 
with a convoy, to the eastward as far as Leghorn. 


I expostulated with him upon the impropriety of 
sending me to Leghorn, when my services would be 
needed at Tripoli. He said that if he wanted me he 
would send the schooner for me. 6th, received a 
written order from the Commodore, as he has prom- 
ised to be off Tripoli in June. Had I remained I 
should have given an impartial detail of occurances. 
This day the Chesapeake sailed for the United States; 
has my dispatches number two and three on board. 
She has returned home without once being on her 
station. 7th, got under way in the Adams with seven 
sail under convoy, bound to Malaga. 8th, arrived at 
Malaga and anchored in thirteen fathoms water, the 
church bearing north, distance one and one-half 
miles, in good holding ground, brown easy mud. 
9th, got under way and made sail; left one of our 
convoy at Malaga; none joined us, there being only 
two American vessels ^in port, both bound to the 
United States. lOth, spoke the Swedish Frigate 
Camilla, thirty days from Liverpool. She informed 
us that a Tripoline Cruiser of sixteen guns is out. 
This is the same one that Murat Raiz commanded 
last cruise, nth, spoke an English brig from Mar- 
seilles off Cape de Gatt. 12th, separated last night 
from one of the convoys — five remain. Number 151 
full of troops from Alexandria, last five days from 
Malta, latitude 37:4 N. entrance of Carthagena N. 
one quarter W. four and one-half leagues. 

Easter Sunday, April 17th, 1803. Anchored off 
Alicant. The castle on the hill bearing north dis- 
tance three leagues. i8th, Mr. Montgomery, our 
Consul, came on board and invited us to dine with 


him, which we did not comply with, being under way. 
One schooner joined us here and the ship Venus, 
which had separated from us, having ah'eady joined 
us we are now five ships, a brig and schooner in 
company besides ourselves — at sunset made sail. 
20th, last two days fine weather. The Island of Ivica 
bore E. N. E. and Cape St. Antonio on the Main 
S. S. W. distant about six or seven leagues. We 
visited Mr. Reid and Capt. Cronenshield. 2ist April, 
the Columbrettas bore S. E. and Cape Oropesa N. 
W. nearly fifteen miles each; tried the current N. 
W. one mile per hour, which accounts for us only 
making a north course since yesterday, although we 
constantly steered N. E. the Columbrettas are much 
higher and cover a larger surface than is laid down 
in the chart. They bear N. N. E. distance ninety 
miles from Cape St. Martin, and W. N. W. ninety 
miles likewise from the Island Dragoniere near 
Majorca. The nearest main land is Cape Oropesa 
distant thirty miles. Spoke, a Spanish brig bound 
to Porto Rico, kept N. E. by E; fine weather and 
light airs. 22nd at 2 A. m., were called to quar- 
ters and boarded a large Spanish King's polacca, 
bound from Barcelona to Majorca with the mail and 
passengers. 22nd at 5 a. m., saw Majorca bear- 
ing south by east fifteen or sixteen leagues, wind 
S. W. Steered all this forenoon E. N. E. and found 
the current sets strong to the northward towards 
Teragona, which makes it necessary to keep well to 
the eastward to get round Mount Jouy at Barcelona. 
St. John de Pinede, there are several smaller 
towns interspersed along the coast of Spain, which 


gives it the appearance of a continued village. We 
boarded a fishing boat and purchased some fish. 
The people looked healthy and were decently 
clothed. This is the most industrious part of Spain 
as the people receive greater encouragement from 
the governors. Mount Jouy bore west one-half 
south, distance six miles. At 8 p. m., it is worthy of 
remark that the wind shifted twice in different points 
in the last twenty-four hours. The steep declivity 
of Mount Jouy bore VV. by south half south and the 
light house on the end of the mole W. N. W. distance 
four or five miles. 24th, anchored off Barce- 
lona, the flag staff on Mount Jouy bearing W. 
N. W. about three miles and the low point of land 
which makes the road southwest distant about five 
miles. Went ashore with Capt. Campbell; walked 
upon the Esplanada and Mall until 9 o'clock; re- 
turned on board heartily tired without having entered 
any of their houses — no great proof of their hospitali- 
ty. The Danish Consul asked us to enter a coffee 
house. We took some punch which we paid for our- 
selves. This being Sunday we saw some thousands 
females; I never saw so many homely creatures, I 
doubt if you could find so many should you search 
the whole states of America. Tuesday, 26th, at 11 
A. M., Loretto bore N. N. W. distant five leagues and 
the point of Palamos near Cape St. Sebastian, N. E. 
by E. half E. distance from this point to Gorgona 
about six leagues. Off Leghorn is a strait course, 
there being nothing to bring you up but the main 
land on one side and Corsica upon the other. 
27th at meridian, the land near Toulon (Cape 


Sepet) bore N. N. E. half E. seven or eight 
leagues. At sunset the islands of Hieras; bore N. E. 
by E. half E. seven or eight leagues. 28th, the 
islands of Hieras at 5 A. m., bore N. N. W. to N. 
N. E. distance nine leagues. At meridian, Cape 
Cavallo in Corsica; bore E. by S. half S. twelve 
leagues. 29th, kept the light house one point 
on our starboard bow and the tower of Marsoc- 
co nearly right ahead, until you bring the tower on 
the shoal of Malora abaft the beam, you may then 
haul to the north and anchor where you please, and 
wait for the officer to take the ship in. The tower 
of Marsocco E. by N, and the tower on the shoal of 
the Malora, west, are about one and a half or two 
miles from the shore. There is a valley with two 
round hills in it, which appears between the two 
high hills to the northward of the tower at three 
leagues distance, the tower on the shoal will raise its 
head above the horizon right in the wake of this 
valley. Sentenced to quarantine of fourteen days. 


May 1st, 1803. Sunday came ashore to the Laza- 
retto and found my family all well, thank God, after 
an absence of six months, in which time nothing was 
done by our squadron. In May the King of Etruria 
died and the Prince was declared his successor, and 
the Queen chief of the Regency, during his minority. 
May 27th, a courier arrived from France and brings 
us intelligence that war was declared against France 
by England on the 17 inst., and by France on the 
22nd. On the 30th an English ship was seized by 


the French and the port was embargoed. May 30th 
the British subjects were obliged to pawn their honor 
that none of them would leave Leghorn until further 
orders from the French General Oliviere. 


Gen. Clerck is at Florence and Gen. Murat is ex- 
pected daily with a reinforcement. July 21. Re- 
ceived dispatches from the Department of State. 
I took my passage for Malta, on board the Ionic 
ship Minerva — embarked my papers, etc. 27th, said 
ship was arrested by the French military force of 
this garrison. On the 30th I disembarked my goods. 

Saturday, July 30th, at 10 p. m., a general alarm 
took place and all the French troops were mustered 
to receive Gen. Murat. He arrived about 1 1 o'clock 
and at that hour of the night lOi guns were fired to 
announce his arrival. Sunday 31. Great illumina- 
tions — "Festa di Ballo lUumiiiazione al Teatro." 
Monday, August ist. By a letter from Frank Degan, 
of Naples, to his cousin Charles Degan here (Leg- 
horn) of the 25 of July, I was informed that the 
American squadron, ten days before, was at Messina 
and that from the signals on the light house of St. 
Elmo at Naples, it was supposed they were in sight 
of that port. I wrote to the Commodore the same 
day, and postponed my departure to Messina. This 
day, a sham fight was exhibited on the little island 
of Marsocco; it was taken and Murat said that 
England would be taken with the same ease. He 
was very much mistaken. Tuesday, Gen. Murat set 
off for the baths of Pisa at 2 p. m. There are at 


present about 4,000 troops in Tuscany. Commodore 
and Mrs. Morris are enjoying themselves at Messina, 
Naples, and Mount Vesuvius before returning to 
Ballston. Mr. Frank Degan has written on to have 
8.000 Spanish dollars ready for the Commodore and 
wife on their return here, as they intend to leave 
Naples on the 3rd of August. It is probable that 
they may not get my letter of the ist, and it will 
arrive at Naples the 7th or 8th. Saturday the whole 
American squadron consisting of the New York, 
Adams and John Adams, prize taken from the Tri- 
politans. and the Enterprize schooner, were anchored 
in the roads. I went on board, saw the Commodore 
and delivered the duplicates of mine of the ist of 
August, which I forwarded to him at Naples, which 
he did not receive. (For particulars see our corres- 
pondence and his with Tunis and Tripoli.) Wed- 
nesday, 17th. All the commanders dined at my 
house. i8th. Sailed in the Enterprise schooner, 
Capt. Hull, bound to Malta, to receive dispatches 
from one of the vessels lately arrived from the 
United States, and proceeded from Gibraltar for that 
place. Sunday, 2ist of August. Commodore Morris 
and Mr. Smith set out for Florence to ask the Queen 
of Etruria, whether she considered the port of Leg- 
horn a French port or not. Poor woman, her ans- 
wer will be, or at least ought to be, considering the 
present circumstances, "Sir, you see my situation; 
the French troops are in possession of Leghorn, I 
therefore must defer giving answer to your interro- 
gation until a more favorable opportunity." 24th. 
Sailed the John Adams; has orders to touch at dif- 



ferent ports to look out for two Tripolitans fitted 
out at Algiers, and to convoy our vessels down the 


Saturday, 27th of August, 1803. Embarked on 
board the United States Frigate Adams, Capt. Camp- 
bell, in Leghorn roads bound to Tunis; at 7 a. m. 
made sail with the land wind. At meridian spoke 
two English Privateers belonging to Jews of Gibral- 
tar; they were called the Dolphin and Fortune. 
They had been out forty-eight days and had taken 
eleven prizes. Those that have not been retaken 
have been sent into Arguera in Sardinia. They had 
two wounded men on board. Capt. Campbell sent 
the surgeon's mate on board with some dressings 
for their wounds. Spoke the ship Perseveranza un- 
der Imperial colors, from Constantinople bound to 
Leghorn. Light airs and variable, in sight of Corsica 
Caprera and the Island of Ella, for which we shaped 
our course. 28th at 8 a. m. Abreast of Plain Island 
and in sight of Monte Cristo, which bore about S. 
S. E. from us. Spoke two vessels from the Black 
Sea bound to Leghorn, latitude 43:10. At sunset 
Monte Cristo bore N. distance fourteen leagues 
and the mouth of the Straits of Boniface west twelve 
degrees. Wind N., steered south by compass; spoke 
several sails from the Levant bound to Leghorn. 
29th. Light airs from N. N. E. to N. W., passed 
several sail; spoke a Ragusee bound to the Levant; 


Steered per compass south latitude 40:13 north. 
30th. Made Maritino Thursday. 

September ist, 1803. This day made Cape Bon 
bearing W. S. W. distance fifteen leagues; contrary 
winds and fair weather; nothing extraordinary. 
September, 2 p. m., came to anchor in Tunis Bay; 
saw the Spanish Frigate the Semillante. Saturday 
3, at 5 A. M,, went ashore at the Golletta and dis- 
patched a courier with a letter to Dr. Davis; came on 
board again at 8 a. m. At 2, Davis came on board 
and dined with us; but had not procured permission 
for us to land. He went on shore at 4 p. m. Sunday 
a boat was kept on shore all day; but no news was 
heard from Davis, consequently, are not informed 
of the reason why we are not permitted to land. 
Shifted our birth farther into the Bay. Monday 5th, 
the Drogoman came on board with a note from Dr. 
Davis, informing us of the Bashaw's permission to 
land, saying that a headache must plead his excuse 
for not receiving us at the Goletta, as it is custom- 
ary. Went on shore with Mr. Campbell, Mr. O. 
Bannon and Mr. Turner, and proceeded to Tunis, 
where we arrived at 3 p. m. Requested and obtained 
permission to visit the Bashaw next day. Mr.. Davis 
is chagrined because he has not received letters and 
funds from the Secretary of State. I am displeased 
at his arrogance. He espouses the cause of the 
Moors against the captors of the prize Paulina. 
Tuesday waited on the Bashaw in company with 
Capt. Campbell, his two officers and Mr. Davis, and 
were received politely. I delivered the President's 
letters to the Bashaw. He requested Capt Camp- 


bell to wait two days longer for an answer to them; 
desired me to make my further communications to 
the Minister. We waited upon him and next day 
was appointed for business. Davis gave me a letter 
this day; talked of accounts, etc.; his words and 
actions by no means correspond with each other. 
He went out to a country seat and left Campbell and 
myself to spend the evening as we could. I im- 
agine he has gone to intrigue with the Sappa Tappa. 
He is resolved to maintain his ground if possible 
and I will not prevent him. Wednesday, 7th, Mr. 
Davis at almost 8 A. m. waited on the Minister. At 
9 offered $24,000 every three years in order to in- 
duce the Bashaw to make some alterations in our 
treaty; refused; said he asked not for an annuity; he 
did not want cash; he had demanded a Frigate; that 
Sweden, Denmark and others paid him, occasionally 
presents m maratine and military stores, etc.; that 
the Bashaw would not receive me as Consul, ap- 
pointed Davis, and told me to come next day for 
the Bashaw's letter to the President. Conversation 
with the Minister relative to the Bashaw and other 
subjects. Davis demanded funds which I refused 
to give him. Improper conversation ensues. He 
said he would rather see everything held dear to 
the U. S. detained than be reduced to his present 
embarrassments. Saw Hadgi Unis ben Unis; refused 
to interfere in the affair of the prize goods pro or 
con. First demand six or seven Scadi of Malta, 
second $12,000. Davis declares his apprehension 
that Capt. Campbell would be detained; conversation 
on that head. I received an account of Davis' dis- 
bursements amounting to $2,011; returned it to him. 


Davis assumed an air of imperiosity and menace. 
These hints to be properly digested when on board. 
Thursday, 8th, at the palace in company with Capt. 
Campbell and Dr. Davis Hadgi Unis ben Unis pre- 
sented a long list in Arabic; Davis made no apposi- 
tion; promised to pay for the whole of the claim. 
Capt. Campbell and myself did no interfere in the 
least. Stood up to take leave; received the Bashaw's 
letter to the President. I took him by the hand and 
said, in the Turkish language: *T am sorry your 
Excellency has been induced by the false insinua- 
tions of the enemies of my country, to convert the 
representative of a far distant and friendly nation, 
to the necessity of becoming a courier. This is an 
indignity as unexpected by me as it is unfriendly to 
my country and disrespectful to the President." 
"Consul" answered he, 'T mean no disrespect to you 
or your nation; political reasons prevent me from 
receiving you; I wrote to the President on the sub- 
ject; I want a man that is not known in the other 
parts of Barbary." I wished him prosperity, and he 
returned the compliment by wishing me a good voy- 
age. On our passage to the palace Davis had said 
he was apprehensive that Capt. Campbell would be 
detained. Capt. Campbell again repeated that 
the ship should go without him; that he had 
already sent an order to the Goletta to get the 
ship under way. We returned to the Consular house 
and being determined to go on board immediately 
after surmounting a number of difficulties, placed 
on purpose in the way of procuring an equipage, we 
arrived at the Goletta at 3 p. m., found the ship 


under way, Davis' Secretary and Drogoman came on 
board with us. Davis wrote some letters with a 
cigar in his mouth. I wrote to the Bashaw suspend- 
ing Davis' functions. Could not do it before for fear 
Capt. Campbell should be detained. Gave him ver- 
bal orders which he refused to obey. He went on 
shore at 6 p. m. At 9:30 the boat returned on board 
and we made sail. Friday 9th was abreast of Galita, 
a small island, high land. Between it and the main 
is a passage six leagues wide at least. Tuesday 13th, 
from the 9th to this date favorable winds and fair 
weather; today we are eighty miles north of Algiers; 
spoke the brig Monroe, Capt. Porter, 45 days from 
Baltimore, bound to Leghorn; wrote by her to Mrs. 
Cathcart. Congress has consented to treat upon the 
cession of Louisiana. 14th, saw the island of Ivica. 
15th, at 8 A. M., saw Cape Pallas, bearing north, dis- 
tance twelve leagues; i6th, saw Cape de Gatt; 17th, 
near Cape de Gatt saw a latteen sailboat rowing, 
many oars, appearing like a Barbary half galley. 
We manned our boats pursued but could not come 
up with her. The boats returned at meridian after a 
chase of four hours. Sunday i8th, beating to 
the westward; chased a vessel close to the 
shore, in Almeria bay. At 8 this evening 
we were abreast of Abdera and headed W. 
S. W. nearly the whole night, with a fresh breeze at 
N. W.; nevertheless at 6 a. m. on Sunday morning 
the island of Alboran bore N. from us two leagues, 
the current having set us to the S. E. so far that we 
only made a south course, though we steered W. S. 
W. Caution is necessary in this place with contrary 


winds in long winter nights. Our boat was sent on 
shore on this island. They killed two comorants, 
fired at several sea lions and brought two cubs on 
board alive. Sunday saw the U. S. Frigate Philadel- 
phia, Capt. Baimbridge; hoisted our distinguishing 
flag and made the signal of the day, to neither of 
which did we receive any answer, which displeased 
Capt. Campbell very much and with reason. She 
had a merchant ship in company. Spoke the U. S. 
schooner Vixen, Capt. John Smith; went along side 
of her at ii a. m.; she gave us the news of war being 
declared against the United States by the Emperor 
of Morocco, and that one of his Cruisers was cap- 
tured by the Philadelphia with an American brig 
which she had taken. Monday 2ist, spoke the 
Nautilus, Capt. Sommers, bound down with the 
Phcenix in company. At sunset the Rock of Gibral- 
tar bore W. by south ten or twelve leagues. Tues- 
day 22nd, Tetuan bore west four leagues and Centa 
point N. N. W., distance eight leagues. This even- 
ing fell in with the Constitution off the Rock. Went 
on board and received my dispatches from govern- 
ment. Presented Commodore Preble and Colonel 
Lear my communications number twelve. Wednes- 
day 23rd, anchored in Gibraltar bay where we found 
the Constitution, New York, and Enterprize. Went 
on board the Constitution. She anchored, Colonel 
Lear went ashore. 24th. Got permission to land; 
took lodging at the sign of the ship, all other places 
being full. This evening the Constitution sailed for 
Tangiers upon a cruise. 25th. Came on shore with 
my baggage. Capt. Morris took charge of the 


Adams, and Campbell, the New York at meridean to 
join Capt Rodgers off Mogador. This evening sailed 
the Adams with my dispatches for the United States, 
also letters to Capt. Woodside. I delivered my con- 
sular seals and public papers to Mr. Lear. 27th. 
Heavy rains with violent peals of thunder and 
tremendous flashes of lightning, but not high winds. 
Thursday arrived the Constitution and John Adams, 
Capt. Rodgers, from a cruize to the westward. 
October i, arrived the brig Syren, Capt. Stewart, 
from Philadelphia in twenty-eight days. I called on 
board the Constitution and the John Adams and left 
a card for the commanders. October 2nd. Went 
over the Rock of Gibraltar to the tower on its sum- 
mit, and likewise viewed the cave of St. Michael, 
in company with a Spanish gentleman, Don Francisco 
Gomez y Passo. This curious work of nature has its 
entrance about half up the rocks where a small plat- 
form has been made probably for convenience and 
to make a turn of the winding road, which goes up 
the rock. There are no guns on it, but two might be 
placed there to advantage if necessary. You descend 
about thirty feet down a deep descent and are sur- 
prised to see the magnificence of this fabric, which 
appears like the ruins of an ancient theatre, or rather 
Gothic structure of immense height. Its peculiari- 
ties are its petrifications and a lake, as it is by some 
called, but by me supposed to be a subterraneous 
river, whose water is excellent, had it been stagnant 
it would have petrified long ere now, and a pillar, on 
the right hand side going in, of petrified water which 
has filtered through the rock from time immemorial, 


probably since the deluge, and forms a column 
among many others by which the roof is supported, 
on the top of which is an image in all appearance 
like the image called by the Spaniards, Nuestro 
Lenora del Pillar, or our lady of the pillar or column. 
It has, likewise, unfathomable pits of different forms 
and extends farther under the rock than human per- 
severance has yet found out. The vulgar opinion is 
that it extends under the Mediterranean sea to 
Morocco, and that the monkeys visit each other from 
Apes Hill and the rock on Mount Calpo, which are, 
according to tradition, the Pillars of Hercules. From 
the cave we ascended in roads cut round the rocks 
to the tower above Europa point, which is the 
southermost point of Europe. This was built by 
Gen. O'Hara in order to make and answer signals 
from the British fleet of Cadiz; but, as it did not 
answer the purpose for which it was intended, the 
British government refused to indemnify the general 
for the expense of building it. On the top of the 
tower is a stone on which is the following inscription: 

This stone is 1,4.70 feet above the level of 

the sea at high water mark. 

A. D. 1800. 

And above the entrance of the tower is: 

St. George's tower erected by Gen. Charles 
O'Hara, Governor of Gibraltar. 
October 2nd, 1803, sailed the John Adams in 
quest of the New York. October 3rd, the Constitu- 
tion, with Commodore Preble and Colonel Lear on 
board, sailed for Tangiers, this evening, in conse- 


quence of a letter arriving from Mr. Simpson, in- 
forming us that he is liberated and that the Emperor 
disavows his having given orders to Hadgi Hassi, 
Governor of Tangiers, to capture American vessels, 
and that he is disposed to terminate our differences 
and renew the treaty between the nations as before. 
October 6th, I went to Algeceiras in Spain and 
returned the gth. It is a miserable place, and every- 
thing is very expensive. October nth, by a boat 
from Algiers, was informed that the United States 
had concluded a peace with the Emperor of Morocco 
and that the firing we heard was our Frigates salut- 
ing the Emperor. Today a quarantine was laid on 
all vessels from Malaga, in consequence of the 
yellow fever. Yesterday the Syren and convoy 
sailed with the Malbrouch, a prize of twenty guns 
taken from the Emperor of Morocco. She is to be 
sent into Tangiers and will be returned to the 
Emperor. 13th, the Syren returned and brought me 
a letter from Colonel Lear, informing me of the 
peace, which he says is on good terms. I hope it 
may continue. 15th, arrived the Constitution. I 
waited on Colonel Lear at Mr. Gavinos to hear the 
news. i6th, paid my respects to Commodore Preble 
and Capt. Stewart on board their vessels. i8th, the 
New York and John Adams sailed for the United 
States, with the Tripoline Admiral's ship which has 
given us so much trouble. They are to touch at 
Tangiers to deliver her up to the Emperor, who has 
promised to have the brig and property which was 
detained at Malaga immediately delivered up. I 
sent my baggage on board the Syren and am only 


waiting for fair wind. 22nd, the wind still continues 
fresh to the eastward. The Constitution and Enter- 
prize sailed, bound to Cadiz. Several of our men 
have claimed the British protection, and letters have 
passed between Commodore Preble and Capt. Gore, 
of the Medusa, and Capt. Hart of the Monmouth. 
The British were very high and kept the men. 23d, 
sailed the British convoy under the protection of 
the Termigant, Capt. Petty, who takes them as far 
as Admiral Nelson's fleet, who is now off Toulon, 
and thence will proceed to Malta. Mr. Falcon, the 
British Consul, who was turned away from Algiers 
some time ago, is on board the Termagant. Admiral 
Nelson has orders to reinstate him in his office, as 
the British disdain the idea of being dictated to. 
October 24, in the evening, I embarked on board the 
United States brig Syren, Capt. Charles Stewart, 
with seven sail under convoy, bound to Leghorn. 
25th, at meridian the Rock of Gibralter bore N. W. 
by W. distance seven or eight leagues; light airs in 
the south-east and eastward; laid by for one of the 
convoys. At 7, spoke the Trent, who we were wait- 
ing for; made sail about 8 p. m. 26th, spoke the 
brig Monroe, Capt. Porter, fourteen days from Leg- 
horn, bound to Baltimore. He had not seen my 
family when he stopped at Leghorn; had only been 
once on shore, therefore had no letters or news. 
At 5 p. M. the Rock of Gibralter bore W. distance 
nine or ten leagues, fresh gales and heavy sea. 
27th, at 4 A. M., having made the signal to stay or 
veer the ship General Wayne, one of our convoys 
did not attend to it and was within two fathoms of 


running us down. It was blowing fresh and an ugly 
sea was running; had we touched each other it is 
probable one or both of us would have been sunk. 
At meridian, 28th, this morning Malaga church 
steeple in sight. 29th, at 5 a. m., Cape Molinos; bore 
W. N. W. eight leagues. 30th, at meridian, calm; 
we exercised our great guns and small arms. At 8 
p. M., saw several sail to the eastward; gave chase 
and came up with them; they proved to be the 
British convoy which sailed from Gibraltar the 23d 
inst., bound to Lord Nelson's fleet off Toulon and 
Malta. 31st, at 8 a. m., Cape de Gatt bore E. N. E. 
distance eight leagues; the British sloop of war and 
her convoy in sight, distance five leagues. Novem- 
ber I, all the American and British convoys in sight. 
At 8 A. M., Cape de Gatt bore W. N. W., distance 
seven leagues from last evening. At sunset the S. 
W. part of Cape Pallas, bore N. by E., distance fif- 
teen leagues. 2nd, all the convoys in sight; the 
British far astern and many strange sail in sight. 
3d, at 9 A. M., the little round hump of land to the 
eastward of Cape Antonio; bore N. W. by W., dis- 
tance six or seven leagues. At meridian Cape St. 
Antonio N. W. by N. and the centre of Ivica N. E. 
by E. being at equal distance from each land about 
seven or eight leagues. Friday 4th, at 8 a. m., the Ter- 
magant, British sloop of war, hailed us and informed 
us that they wished to send a boat on board of us; 
an officer came on board and said he was ordered to 
ask permission to search the brig Fame, of Baltimore, 
as they had reason to suspect her having property of 
theenemiesof Great Britain, she having come direct 


from Batavia and beingbound to Leghorn. On search- 
ing her documents, it was found that the cargo was bona 
fide, the property of citizens of the United States. The 
captain said he was misinformed and sent her papers 
on board immediately and made sail in quest of his 
convoy. This is precedent, that it is permitted by 
our ships of war to visit the ships under their convoy 
by the ships of war of another nation, but not by 
privateers. i p. m. Ivica bore east, and Cape St. 
Antonio N. W. by W.; at 6 p. m. Ivica bore N. E. by 
E. 5th at sunrise the south end of the island of 
Fromenterra, bore E.; the north end, bore N. E. by 
N.; the south end of Irica, bore S. E. half E. and the 
north end E. by S. half S. At 8 a. m. Ivica bore E. 
N. E., distance of three leagues; pleasant gale, S. S. 
E.; steered N. E. by E. Cape St. Antonio, bearing 
W. N. W. nine leagues distant, appears high and 
insulated, something like Saba near St. Eustatia. 
You can see the land westward of it which is not so 
high. At meridian, Cape Nemo in the island of 
Ivica; bore southeast ten miles distant, and the island 
of Dragoniere near Majorca E. by N., distance forty 
miles. 6th, Sunday. West end of Majorca; bore 
S. by E., distant fourteen or fifteen leagues. 7th at 
8 A. M., Cape Fromontel; bore S. E. by E., distant 
nine leagues. At 5 p. m. the east end of Majorca; 
bore S. half E. At 7:30 the ship Gen. Wayne left 
the convoy by permission and hauled to the S. E., 
being bound to Zante, her track is exactly the cruiz- 
ing ground of the Tripolines, this season. At 8 p. m., 
fine breeze; all the convoy in sight, but they cannot 
keep up with us. Had we been by ourselves we 


would have been at Leghorn before this time. This 
day Mr. Caldwell read me a part of his journal, and 
declared to me that on September 5th Capt. Alex- 
ander Murray, of the U. S. Frigate Constellation, 
went on board the French admiral's ship with a boat's 
crew and officer in Tunis bay and staid on board of 
said ship above one hour; that Mr. Charles Stewart, 
his first lieutenant, had communication with Mr. 
Eaton in Tunis bay on the 7th inst.; and that on the 
loth on his arrival at Palermo he reported the Frigate 
directly from Malta, and pawned his honor that he 
had no communication with any vessel, nor had he 
touched at any port since he left there. Mr. Cald- 
well likewise informed me that a seaman by the name 
of John Thomas, having accidentally fallen into the 
sea from one of the tops, when the Constellation 
was going eight knots with a free wind and smooth 
water, Capt. Murray would not allow the ship to be 
rounded to, nor the jolly boat dropped in order to 
save him. So much for Capt. Murray's honor and 
humanity. Lieutenants Stewart and Caldwell have 
further informed me that the whole of the nine gun- 
boats of Tripoli where in the power of the Constel- 
lation, when Capt. Murray gave over firing at them; 
that his officers making some observations he said: 
"What is the use of killing the poor fellows?" and 
that constantly vessels were going in and out of 
Tripoli without being examined, for fear of his hav- 
ing to perform quarantine; that on his seeing vessels, 
however suspicious they might appear, he would not 
chase them for the same reason. The journals of 
those officers ought to be called for by the navy 


department, to which I refer government for more 
particular information on this and other subjects 
worthy of notice. At 2 p. m. saw the high land 
above Toulon, bearing E. by N. distance five leagues, 
and the point at the entrance of Marseilles N. W., 
distance eight or nine leagues. The land above 
Toulon appears nearly insulated. The eastermost 
part is high and nearly perpendicular and there runs 
down in a long point to the westward. The land 
about Marseilles at this distance appears low and 
broken. At 4 was boarded by a boat from the Brit- 
ish Frigate Narcissus, Ross Dudlass, commander. 
She being in company with the Sea Horse; no news. 
lOth, at daylight the Islands of Heros near Toulon 
bore N. E. distance of four leagues. nth, the 
Island of Gorgona bore N. E. by E. distance four 
leagues. 12th, steered E. by N. At 8 a. m., 
anchored in six fathoms water; the Maloria bearing 
west two and one-half miles and the light house 
bearing S. E. by E. three or four miles distance S. 
S. W.; fresh gales and pleasant weather. At 9:30 
A. M., came on shore in a heavy gale at west. It 
blew so hard and the sea ran so high that I advised 
Lieut. Carrol to stay on shore at the Lazeretto all 
night. I wrote to the Governor and requested him 
to shorten our quarantine. 13th, the Captain of the 
Lazeretto informed me that the Governor presented 
his respects and would give us practique in the 
morning. 14th left the Lazeretto. Saturday 31st 
March, 1804, set out from Leghorn and arrived at 
Florence at 10 the same night, slept at Schneider's 
and set out for Sienna on the ist of April, where we 


arrived at sunset, supped and set off at lO p. m., and 
at 9 p. M. the next night, 2nd of April, we arrived at 
Montefidescone where we slept, and set off for Rome 
on the 3rd, where we arrived about sunset and were 
conducteid, by a sentry, to the Custom house. Put 
up at Mons. Damons, one of the best hotels in Rome, 
where we found but very indifferent accommodations. 
This evening wrote to Naples and determined to 
wait the return of post; on the gth inst. wrote to my 
family; this is the third letter I have sent home since 
I left Leghorn. 4th, commenced viewing the antiqui- 
ties of Rome, which surpasses any idea you could 
possibly form of them and render a few days obser- 
vation both agreeable and edifying. The whole of 
our expenses from Leghorn to Rome amounts to 
107 crowns and three pauls. The postmen are so 
amazingly imposing, for several posts they obliged 
us to take six horses, and from the time we left 
Florence until we arrived at Rome we had never 
less than four. At Sienna we remained over an hour 
disputing with the postmaster, but all to no purpose, 
we were obliged to take four horses or remain 
stationary. Tuesday, loth of April at 7 a. m., we set 
off for Naples, having agreed with a voiturino to 
take us there for forty-two crowns and find us beds 
and one meal a day. Slept a few hours at Casa 
Nova; set off at 3 a. m. Wednesday rested a few 
hours at Molaoda Gaetta; set off at 2 a. m. and re- 
freshed at Capua and arrived at Naples at 7 p. m. 
Went to the Sun but found it full and were obliged 
to put up at the Dover Castle; saw the Consul this 
evening; my clothes being on board a vessel whose 



quarantine does not expire until Sunday, I cannot 
visit the Minister before Monday. Sunday I dined 
with Mr. Degen at his country seat from which there 
is a most beautiful prospect. 

Monday. The Minister, Sir John Acton, on the 
Consul's applying for an audience appointed 7 
o'clock this evening. 



January ist, 1805. Embarked on board the ship 
Mercury of Wiscasset, Maine, with my wife and four 
children, the eldest Eliza Woodside, born in 
Tripoli, Amelia Humphreys, George, Latimer and 
Mary Anne — the last three born in Leghorn. We 
sailed at 2 p. m.; the Island of Gorgora bore east 
distant ane league; steady breezes and pleasant; at 
8 p. M. the southern part of Corsica bore S. W. by 
S. distance four leagues. Friday 5th, pleasant breezes; 
at 10 A. M. Island of Majorca distant four and one- 
half leagues. Saturday, the Island was distant seven 
leagues; at 7 a. m. made the Island of Ivica VV. 
six leagues distant; Monday bad weather; Tues- 
day more pleasant; Wednesday 9th, stormy breezes, 
at midnight very squally; at 8 a. m. made Cape 
de Gatt N. W. four leagues; at 9 very heavy 
squalls of wind and hail at 11 the wind was all 
around the compass, the sea running in every 
direction. We were taken aback in a heavy squall 
which stove in our cabin window and we shipped in 
a great deal of water. Our situation was' critical, 
fortunately the dead lights were gotten in, and way 
was got on the ship by the exertion of Capt. McCray 
sooner than we had reason to expect. Thursday 
loth, still continues stormy, very cross sea owing to 


the current; at lO a. m. made the Rock of Gibraltar; 
next day stormy breezes; at i p. m. spoke the Mary 
of Boston, bound to Marseilles; saw in Tangier a 
ship of the line and a Frio^ate. nth, was hailed by a 
British Frigate to the eastward of the Rock, but not 
detained. The Captain informed me that the United 
States Frigates Essex and John Adams were at Gib- 
raltar. Saw a ship of the line — did not speak her. 
We experienced stormy weather until the i8th; 
Made the Island of Teneriffe and hauled in for Santa 
Cruz; A boat came off from the health officer who 
examined us and took our bill of health on shore 
endorsed, and a note from Mr. Anthony Powers, 
American agent there, with a goat and kid, eggs and 
a demijohn of vinegar, for which we paid 25 Spanish 
dollars; we could not get fresh meat, fish, vegetables 
or fruit, as this Island is supplied by the Grand 
Canary and there has been no arrivals for some time. 
February ist, just a month since we left Leghorn, 
bad weather has made it tedious. 13th, light airs and 
pleasant weather; at 3 p. m. spoke the Brig Alert, 
Capt. Rollins, of Portsmouth, N. H.. out 7 days from 
St. Vincents, bound to the above place; sent a boat 
aboard with mate and four hands, Craig, Osborn, 
Martin and Sommers, to purchase necessaries. While 
the boat was along side the brig, Craig held up a tin 
pot and called to Capt. McCray in an impertinent 
manner, and then drank to him. When they re- 
turned Martin and Craig abused the captain, which 
induced him to order Martin below. Craig being in 
the boat, he was ordered to drop her astern. He 
made an insolent reply and the captain answered: 


"I will talk to you when you come on board." Then 
answered Craig, "You will have to do with all hands." 
When the boat was hoisted up the captain took Craig 
by the collar, who immediately struck the captain 
and cut him under the eye. The mate assisted the 
captain and Craig went forward and cursed all the 
crew for not assisting him against the captain, 
abused me very much for assuring him, and the rest, 
that I would assist the captain to quell any rebellion 
or mutinous proceeding of himself and crew, as 
likewise did Mr. Heise, another passenger, who was 
also abused by Martin, Craig and Sommers; but 
Sommers went forward upon my remonstrating with 
him upon the folly of his conduct. About 8 p. m. I 
heard a noise upon deck and found it was occasioned 
by Martin striking the captain, whose coat was torn. 
The mate assisted the captain, and Martin having 
said, that if the ship's company were all of his mind, 
that he would know what to do and would not be 
secured. It was found necessary to tie him to the 
weather quarter rail, lest he should corrupt the rest 
of the people. He took out his knife and cut him- 
self clear. The mate tied him again, he going on in 
a continuous strain of insolence and mutinous lan- 
guage, tending to excite the rest of the crew to re- 
bellion and insurrection. Next day at 5 p. m., was 
boarded by the British Frigate Mermaid, Capt. 
Hollis, brig Alert still in company. Martin and 
Craig, while the Frigate was alongside, came up on 
deck and helped to shorten sail — no further account 
of insurrection. Tuesday, 26th February, spoke the 
Josephine from New York bound to Charleston, S. C. 


out twenty-four hours; several sail in sight standing 
to southward. At 8 a. m. made the land a little to 
the northward of Little Egg harbor. Wednesday, 
beating to windward between Little Egg harbor and 
Sandy Hook; at 2 p. m. made Sandy Hook. Next 
day got a pilot and stood up the fair way for New 
York; at 8 a. m., anchored off the north battery — 
Dr. Rodgers, the health officer, came on board, in a 
hard snow storm, examined the ship's company and 
gave us practique, but we could not go ashore on 
account of bad weather. March ist, 1805, engaged 
lodgings at Mrs. Anthony's and took my family 
there at 2 p. m. 2nd, busy all day at the Custom 
house; landed part of our baggage and visited the 
Bogerts. 7th, went to Flat Bush with all my family 
and stayed with Mrs. Bancker, my "wife's grand- 
mother, and Mrs. Vansinderin a week. 22nd, left 
New York for Philadelphia. 24th, arrived at 
Philadelphia and found our friends all well. Friday, 
29th, left and arrived the next day at Balti- 
more; staid there all day and on Monday the ist of 
April left Baltimore and arrived at Washington at 
8 p. M. ; found our relatives in good health. Thus ends 
this voyage which we performed in three months 
exactly and I expended in that period ;^i,38o. 


We resided on West Street, Georgetown, until I 
was appointed Consul to Madeira. My son, James 
Leander, was born in Georgetown January 31, 1807. 
We sailed in the brig Louisa, Capt. McNamara, 
May 2ist. Left Washington at 11 a. m.; arrived at 
Alexandria at 3 p. m.; put up at Gadsby's hotel; 
dined at Capt. Slocum's. The 23d, at 9 a. m., em- 
barked and sailed direct for Madeira. Sunday 24th, 
at 7 p. M., cleared the Potomac. Monday 25th, at 
meridian passed Cape Henry and saw the Wasp in 
Hampton Roads and passed four British men of war 
in Lynn Haven Bay; fair weather and several sail in 

Thursday, nth of June. From our departure we 
have had very fine weather. Madeira bears from the 
ship 1205 miles. The weather has been so fine that 
there is no observation to be made. As we have 
only handled top gallant sails once since we left the 
capes. 14th, caught two sea turtle and showed my 
family around the vessel. Wednesday 17th, fresh 
gales to the N. E. Handled top gallant sails and 
single reefed the top sails for the first time this pas- 
sage. Thursday i8th, made the north end of Ma- 
deira, bearing east distance ten leagues; made sail and 
anchored in Funchal Roads at 3 p. m. At 5 went 
ashore at Mr. Foster's house, being just twenty- 
eight days from the city of Washington, twenty-six 
from Alexandria and twenty-four from the capes. 


June 26th, 1807. Moved the family to the Quin- 
ta de descanso, a summer residence, an elevated 
situation. The winter season we occupied our resi- 
dence in Funchal, the capital of the Island. Spring 
and Autumn rain continually and produce fruits and 
flowers throughout the year. Many brooks and 
small rivulets descend from the mountains in deep 
chasms or glens, which separate the various parts of 
the Island. The water is conducted by channels into 
the vineyards. The Cedar tree is found in great 
abundance, and most of the ceilings and furniture, 
at Madeira, are made of that wood and are exceed- 
ingly beautiful as well as fragrant. The hedges are 
mostly formed of the myrtle, rose, jessamine and 
honeysuckle, while the larkspur, Fleur de Lis, lapin, 
etc., spring up spontaneously in the meadows. 
There are very few reptiles to be seen on this island, 
canary birds and gold finches being found in the 
mountains. We remained in Madeira over eight 
years, during a period of embargo, non-intercourse 
and war, the Island being in possession of the 
English, public animosity did not prevent us from 
procuring provisions. The children attended a 
school taught by an English lady, to whom they 
were much attached, and who gave them pretty fair 
opportunities for improvement, and when we left the 
Island they parted with us with great reluctance. 
Three of our children were born on this island — 
Charles William, Jane Bancker and John Philadel- 
phus. We left Madeira for Washington, D. C. I 
was riext appointed Consul to Cadiz. I went a year 
in advance of my family. 


Cadiz is a large city. The streets are narrow but 
cleanly. You would be astonished at the perfect 
neatness of the appearance of the white plastered 
houses. One charm Cadiz did possess the "Sea, the 
wide open sea." The Alameda, the public walk, was 
pleasantly situated and presented a fine view. The 
roads were full of ships and many sails of different 
nations waved from them. Cadiz has an exceeding 
large and elegant Casino, where you can find an 
assortment of home and foreign newspapers. The 
bath houses are a great luxury, and many ladies are 
expert swimmers. My son, Henry Nassau, was born 
in Cadiz. Returned to Washington in 1817 — this 
being my last appointment abroad. My son, Edward 
Preble, was born in Georgetown, D. C. Thomas 
Jefferson in Washington, D. C. Of twelve children 
only three were born in the United States. Was 
United States agent in Louisiana one year— after- 
wards offered a position in Second Comptroller's 


The captive struggled, strongly bound, 
He spent his utmost strength in vain; 

Lifting his proud head from the ground 
H^ hurled upon them his disdain. 

Come on ye hellish, rabble crew, 

Ye hunt my life and torture plan; 
It takes a hundred dogs like you 

To down a single valiant man. 


But when the stench comes from that fire 
And westward floats with windy gust, 

A nation's wrath with vengeance dire, 
Shall make you shrivel into dust. 

My country great, with outspread arm 
Shall smite you with its mighty hand; 

Shall fill such cowards with alarm 
And send them skulking through the land. 

There men are kings and breathe free air. 

Nor bow, nor crawl to tyrant foe; 
Ye devil's crew beware, beware, 

The skies are black with signs of woe. 

The dusky mob with crafty ear, 

Give heed to his defiant cry 
And seek to make his meaning clear, 

While smoke and dust obscure the sky. 

They pause in superstition dread 

And stroke their beards with dusty hands, 

And wisely nods each turbaned head 
As they obey their chief's command. 

Relaxing hands relieve the strain 
Of thongs that gall each bleeding arm. 

While whispered words of ransom gain. 
And dreams of gold their visions charm. 

The gleams of flame made hideous play 
With fitful light on all around; 
. They lead their blistered slave away 
With bloody track upon the ground. 

And the great gusts of wind and rain 
Obscures the scene, blots out the blaze; 

Allah is great! is their refrain, 

The captive lifts his head in grace. 

—J. Y. P. 

[NOTE. — The practice of burning at the stake being so common in 
Algiers, suggested these lines by Mrs. Jennie Yates Peabody, the wife of 
Dr. Peabody, grandson of James Leander Cathcart, who, while a prisoner, 
had been threatened to be burned at the stake, being beheaded, etc., etc.] 


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