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years, which had expired since the conclusion of the treaty, This was the first time the distinction between the Christian and Mahometan year had ever been brought forward by his highness, and it is certain that it was insisted upon in this instance, merely as furnishing a pretext for exacting money from the government of the United States, or, in case of a refusal, as furnishing an additional ground for a declaration of hostilities. The reasonings, remonstrances, and explanations of the consul were without effect, and he was at last given to understand, that if the money was not paid immediately, he would be sent to the marine in chains—the Allegany and her cargo confiscated; every citizen of the United States in Algiers condemned to perpetual slavery, and war forthwith declared:
After various ineffectual attempts to negociate a mitigation of these demands, colonel Lear finally received this definitive answer to his repeated applications, by his highness's drogerman—“That he should to-morrow morning pay into the treasury, twenty-seven thousand Spanish dollars, which he (the dey) claimed as the balance of annuities due from the United States, and then depart from the regency of Algiers with his family and all the citizens of the United States." On failure of payment, the consequences, which had at first been threatened, would most assuredly be inficted. This message having been considered as conclusive, the consul, desirous of averting these calamities from himself, his family, as well as a number of his countrymen then in Algiers, made every effort to raise the money demanded. A merchant of Algiers, at length advanced it on receiving bills on Joseph Gavino, American consul at Gibraltar, and it was paid into the treasury before the time specified in the dey's message. Having committed the care of his property, which he was not permitted to attend to himself, to the agent-general of his Swedish majesty at Algiers, colonel Lear embarked on board the Allegany, with his family and about twenty others for the United States. The dey, immediately on his departure, commenced hostilities upon our commerce, and these outrages remained unrevenged by the
government of the United States, which could not send a force to the Mediterranean, in consequence of the war with Great Britain, declared in June following these transactions.
Immediately, however, on the ratification of peace with Great Britain, the attention of congress was called to a consideration of the conduct of Algiers, and the foregoing facts being sufficiently substantiated, war was declared to exist between the United States of America, and the regency of Algiers. Preparations were immediately made to follow up this declaration, and a squadron was fitted out under the command of commodore Decatur, consisting of the Guerriere, Constellation, and Macedonian frigates, the Ontario and Epervier sloops of war, and the schooners Spark, Spitfire, Torch, and Flambeau. Another squadron, under commodore Bainbridge, was to follow this armament, on the arrival of which, it was understood, commodore Decatur would return to the United States in a single vessel, leaving the command of the whole combined force to commodore Bainbridge.
The force under commodore Decatur rendezvoused at New-York, from which port they sailed the 20th day of April, 1815, and arrived in the bay of Gibraltar in twenty-five days, after having previously communicated with Cadiz and Tangier. In the passage, the Spitfire, Torch, Firefly, and Ontario, separated at different times from the squadron in gales, but all joined again at Gibraltar, with the exception of the Firefly, which sprung her masts, and put back to New York to refit. Having learned at Gibraltar that the Algerine squadron, which had been out into the Atlantic, had undoubtedly passed up the straits, and that information of the arrival of the American force had been sent to Algiers by persons in Gibraltar, commodore Decatur determined to proceed without delay, up the Mediterranean, in the hope of intercepting the enemy before he could return to Algiers, or gain a neutral port.
The 17th of June, off Cape de Gatt, he fell in with and captured the Algerine frigate Mazouda, in a running fight of twenty-five minutes. After two broadsides the Algerines ran
below. The Guerriere had four men wounded by musketrythe Algerines, about thirty killed, according to the statement of the prisoners, who amounted to four hundred and six. In this affair the famous Algeriné admiral, or Rais, Hammida, who had long been the terror of this sea, was cut in two by a cannon shot.
On the 19th of June, off cape Palos, the squadron fell in with and captured an Algerine brig of twenty-two guns. The brig was chased close to the shore, where she was followed by the Epervier, Spark, Torch, and Spitfire, to whom she surrendered, after losing twenty-three men. No Americans were either killed or wounded. The captured brig, with most of the prisoners on board, was sent into Carthagena, where she has since been claimed by the Spanish government under the plea of a breach of neutrality. As this affair will probably become a subject of negociation between the United States and Spain, we decline entering into further particulars.
From cape Palos, the American squadron proceeded to Algiers, where it arrived the 28th of June. Aware that a despatch-boat had been sent from Gibraltar, to inform the regency of his arrival, and having also learned that several Tartans had
gone in search of the Algerines, to communicate the news, commodore Decatur concluded that their fleet was by this time safe in some neutral port. He therefore thought it a favourable time to take advantage of the terror which his sudden and unwelcome arrival had excited, to despatch a letter from the president of the United States to the dey, in order to afford him a fair opportunity to open a negociation. The captain of the port was immediately despatched to the Guerriere, on the receipt of this letter, accompanied by Mr. Norderling the Swedish consul; and commodore Decatur, who, with Mr. Shaler, had been empowered to negociate a treaty, proposed the basis, on which alone he could consent to enter on the affair of an adjustment. This was the absolute and unqualified relinquishment of any demand of tribute on the part of the regency, on any pretence whatever. To this he
demurred. He was then asked if he knew what had become of the Algerine squadron, and replied—“ By this time it is safe in some neutral port.” “Not the whole of it,” was the reply. He was then told of the capture of the frigate, of the brig, and of the death of Hammida. He shook his head, and smiled with a look of incredulity, supposing it a mere attempt to operate on his fears, and thus induce an acceptance of the proposed basis. But when the lieutenant of Hammida was called in, and the minister learned the truth of these particulars, he became completely unnerved, and agreed to negociate on the proposed basis. He premised, however, that he was not authorised to conclude a treaty, but requested the American commissioners to state the conditions they had to propose. This was done, and the captain of the port then requested a cessation of hostilities, and that the negociation should be conducted on shore, the minister of marine having pledged himself for their security while there, and their safe return to the ships whenever they pleased. Neither of these propositions were accepted, and the captain was expressly given to understand, that not only must the negociation be carried on in the Guerriere, but that hostilites would still be prosecuted against all vessels belonging to Algiers, until the treaty was signed by the dey.
The captain of the port and Mr. Norderling then went on shore, but the next day again came on board, with the information that they were commissioned by the dey to treat on the basis for which the commissioners of the United States had stipulated. A treaty was then produced, which the commissioners declared could not be varied in any material article, and that consequently, discussion was not only useless, but dangerous on their part; for if in the interim the Algerine squadron were to appear, it would most assuredly be attacked. On examining the treaty proposed, the captain of the port was extremely anxious to get the article stipulating for the restoration of the property taken by the Algerines during the war dispensed with, earnestly representing that it had been
distributed into many hands, and that as it was not the present dey who declared war, it was unjust that he should answer for all its consequences. The article was, however, adhered to by the American commissioners, and after various attempts to gain a truce, as well as to gain time, it was at length settled that all hostilities should instantly cease, when a boat was seen coming off with a white flag, the Swedish consul pledging at the same time his honour, that it should not be hoisted until the dey had signed the treaty, and the prisoners were safe in the boat. The captain and Mr. Norderling then went on shore, and returned within three hours; with the treaty signed, together with all the prisoners, although the distance was more than five miles. The principal articles in this treaty were, that no tribute under any pretext or in any form whatever, should ever be required by Algiers from the United States of America—that all Americans in slavery should be given up without ransom--that compensation should be made for American vessels captured, or property seized or detained at Algiers--that the persons and property of American citizens found on board an enemy's vessel should be sacredthat vessels of either party putting into port should be supplied with provisions at market price, and, if necessary to be repaired, should land their cargoes without paying dutythat if a vessel belonging to either party should be cast on shore, she should not be given up to plunder-or if attacked by an enemy within cannon shot of a fort, should be protected, and no enemy be permitted to follow her when she went to sea within twenty-four hours. In general, the rights or Americans on the ocean and the land, were fully provided for in every instance, and it was particularly stipulated that all citizens of the United States taken in war, should be treated as prisoners of war are treated by other nations, and not as slaves, but held subject to an exchange without ransom. After concluding this treaty, so highly honourable and advantageous to this country, the commissioners gave up the captured frigate and brig, to their former owners. To this they were