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circumstances he must suppose that it would be gratifying to the British, with whom, there is every reason to believe, he has a treaty offensive and defensive.
I sent for Mr. Bacri, and informed him of my determination to pay the money and depart from Algiers, and should depend upon him for it. But that if, after paying the money; the vessel and Americans should not be allowed to depart from Algiers (which I had reason to apprehend from the dey's outrageous and extraordinary conduct might happen, notwithstanding his declaration) the bills which I might draw would not be paid at Gibraltar; for, that I must depend upon the sale of the cargo of this vessel to meet the bills as far as it would go; and that I gave him this information, that he might know the ground on which he stood. He replied that he should have full faith in the bills on that condition, and then observed that the sacrifices which must be made to obtain the money at the moment, could not be less than 25 per cent. After some further discussion of the subject, and knowing the impossibility of obtaining the money from any other quarter (about which I had made enquiry for two days past), I agreed to give him the advance, which brought the amount to 33,750 dollars : and in the evening give him a bill, at 30 days sight, on John Gavino, esq. consul of the United States at Gibraltar, in favour of Moise Levy Valensen, of Gibraltar, value received of Jacob Cain Bacri, of Algiers, on account of the United States of America, to pay a balance claimed by the dey of Algiers, for annuities from the United States, the dey having refused to receive the naval and military stores sent from the United States agreeably to treaty stipulation, to pay such balance. as might be due. I also stipulated with Mr. Bacri, that he should cause the money to be paid into the treasury to-morrow morning, so as not to give any ground for detaining the vessel, or raising any new difficulties on that account, which he promised to do.
I gave to John Norderling, esq. his Swedish majesty's agent general at Algiers, a letter, accepting his friendly offer to take care of my property left in Algiers, and also requesting his kindness to be extended to any American citizens who might arrive in Algiers after my departure, or be unhappily brought in by the cruizers of the regency.
The following is an extract from my letter to Mr. Norderling :
“As my departure from Algiers is compulsive, I leave no person directly charged with the affairs of the United States of America in this regency. But should any of our citizens arrive here, or be unhappily brought in, your kindness to them
VOL. I. PART I.
will be gratefully acknowledged, and the necessary and reasonable expenses for the support of such as are destitute, will be paid . by the government of the United States.”
Through the day of Friday, and in the evening, my acquaintance of all descriptions called upon me, and the unfeigned sorrow expressed by all of them, of every denomination, sufficiently evinced the regard they had for us. And the undisguised disapprobation and disgust expressed by all classes at the dey's conduct, must, I think, end in some disastrous event for him.
Very early on Saturday morning the drogerman came to my house and informed me that Jacob Bacri had paid the money to the regency; and soon after the minister of the marine sent for me to go to the marine, where he informed me it was the dey's order that myself and all the other Americans should embark immediately, and depart from Algiers. He expressed his regret at what had happened, and declared that it was against his strong advice and wishes, hoped that every thing might yet be accommodated, after the dey's phantasy should have passed, &c. I intimated to him my suspicions and apprehensions that orders had been given to the cruizers which sailed on the 13th instant, to capture American vessels. He assured me that if such orders had been given by the dey to the commander of the squadron, he was ignorant of it, and that he hoped it was not the case. How far his reply is to be relied on I am not able to say.
I requested the minister to give me a certificate of the ship Alleghany having been sent away by order of the dey, that in case she should be met by any of the cruizers now out, they might not molest or stop her. This he declined, saying that their cruizers were all at the east of Algiers, and that if any one should molest or detain the vessel, the dey would punish the commander most severely, &c. This did not satisfy me, but I could not prevail upon him to give the passport.
When I parted from the minister I was about to return to my own house, to accompany my wife on board the vessel ; but he said I must not return there again, but must go on board, as the vessel was getting under way, and that the drogerman would go up to conduct my family down and on board, which was accordingly done, and the vessel got out of the port about seven o'clock, A. M.
The persons embarked on board the Allegany, besides the 'captain and crew (consisting of 17 persons), are myself, my wife, and my son (who arrived from the United States, via Gibraltar, on the 15th instant), Mr. Jonathan S. Smith, of
Philadelphia, who has been in Algiers these two years past, with some coffee for sale, which he has thought proper to abandon, and says he shall seek for indemnification from the United States. I advised him to sell it, as it was not possible for the ship to take it on board, as she was entirely filled with the cargo which she brought out, but he did not think proper to comply with my advice; Mr. John Vallet, a naturalized citizen of the United States, whom I have mentioned in my letter of the 29th of May, a copy of which I have now the honour to inclose, as well as of that of the 30th of April; and a Mr. Pinto, also a naturalized citizen of the United States, certificate from South Carolina.
On the evening of our leaving Algiers we spoke a British letter of marque, bound to Malta, and as the weather did not admit of sending a letter on board, I desired the captain to inform the American consul at that place that I had been ordered from Algiers; and, as there was no doubt but the Algerine cruizers would capture any American vessels they might meet, desired that he would give notice thereof to all American vessels in Malta, and extend the information in every direction possible.
Yesterday we were boarded by his Britannic majesty's brig Goshawk, which was going with a convoy to Alicant and Majorca, to the commander of which brig I gave letters to our consuls in those places, a copy of which I have the honour to inclose, and requested the said commander to give the notice of my being ordered from Algiers, &c. to any American vessels he might meet at sea, and make the same known wherever he might go. I shall forward my circular to any places to which we may meet vessels going, until I reach Gibraltar, whence I shall disperse my circulars by every opportunity which may offer, to all ports of this sea, as well as to the ports in the Atlantic.
The officers of the Goshawk who boarded us, gave information that the British orders in council, laving restraints on neutral commerce, had been revoked, and that the British cruizers had orders not to molest American vessels, as an evidence of which he did not even ask for a sight of the Allegany's papers.
I took passports for the ship from the French and Spanish consuls before I left Algiers. The English consul did not furnish any, although I applied to him for that purpose. Iuid not ask them from the Swede or the Dane, as they have no vessels in this sea.
I have now, sir, given you a faithful and a detailed account of this extraordinary and unexpected transaction. While I feel conscious that no exertion was wanting on my part, and no meaus in my power left unattempted to make an accommodation, when the difficulties were first brought forward, and during the whole course of this unexampled proceeding; and that my ultimate decision was made on the ground of necessity, to prevent a greater evil to my country ; I trust that the president and our government will approve my conduct. The law passed on the first ot May, 1810, restricting the consuls in Barbary to the sum of three thousand dollars annually, to be emploved in presents, &c. without the special permission of the president first obtained, prevented my making those attempts in a pecuniary way, for opening a door to accommodation, which I should otherwise have done ; but upon a review of the whole of the circumstances attending this business, I have now my doubts whether any sum which the United States might have thought proper to bestow, would have answered the purpose. I thought it my duty, however, to make some attempts in that way, upon the scale to which I was limited; but it had not the desired effect. .
The character of the present dey, Hadge Alli, bashaw, is that of a severe, obstinate, and cruel man. He is said to be inflexible in his resolutions, and will bear no contradiction or reasoning. He has kept the soldiers in more subjection during his reign than they have been accustomed to for many reigns before, and no one dares approach him, but those whose duty calls them into his presence, or who are sent for by him. He has not granted an audience to any consul for nearly a year past, except to a new English consul who arrived in April last; and would not see the old consul before his departure. The tales told of his personal conduct in the palace, bespeak him a man deprived, at times, of his reason. His conduct with respect to our affairs is almost an evidence of his insanity; and I am very much mistaken if it does not hasten his exit from this world, but while he reigns he is most absolute. And I have very little hopes of his refraining from making war upon the United States. There is every reason to apprehend, from what has taken place, as before detailed, that the cruizers had orders to capture American vessels, before their departure from Algiers on the 13th instant. In which case some vessels will undoubtedls fall into their hands before the notice I have given, or may give, can reach the ports where they may be, and prevent their sailing. It therefore behoves the government to prepare for such an event, and to determine in what manner they will meet it. Should our differences with Great Britain be so accommodated as to admit of sending a naval force into this sea, I am sure there is only one course which the government will pursue, and what has now taken place may be a happy and fortunate event for the United States, by relieving them from a disgraceful tribute, and an imperious and piratical depredation on their commerce. If our small naval force can operate freely in this sea, Algiers will be humbled to the dust.
Spain would undoubtedly be ready and willing, as far as she might be able, to co-operate with any nation against Algiers; for the enormous demands made upon the former by the latter not having been complied with, the Algerines have lately taken vessels and property from the Spaniards to the amount of more than 100,000 dollars, and have upwards of fifty of the subjects of that nation in slavery. They still permit, or rather compel the consul to remain at Algiers, and have not declared war against Spain, whose ally seems to view these depredations with indifference. The French may be said to be nearly in a state of open hostility with them ; and the Algerines know, that in the event of a peace between Great Britain and France, they must submit to the will of the latter power. Sweden and Denmark are in arrears for four or five annuities, and nothing but a knowledge that these powers have no commerce in this sea, on which they can depredate, prevents their making war upon them. In the mean time, the consuls of these nations pay annually a considerable sum in money for their forbearance, while the account of annuities is accumulating. All the Sicilians have been released, through the interference of the English, from Tunis and Tripoli; and at my departure from Algiers, lord William Bentick was daily at that place, to treat for the Sicilians in slavery there. The Portuguese have redeemed all their subjects in slavery at Algiers, and extended their truce with the regency for one year.
I shall proceed in the Allegany to Gibraltar, where I shall dispose of her cargo, which has been refused by the dey of Algiers, to meet, as far as it will go, the bill before mentioned, and for the remainder shall draw upon the honourable the secretary of state. At the same time, I shall send to Mr. Simpson, our consul at Tangier, the gun barrels intended for the emperor of Morocco, as well as a copy of your letter respecting the change of passports, with a proportion of the tops, and one of the new passports. The same will be done to Tunis and Tripoli, from which places I have heard nothing since I had last the honour of writing to you. I shall also from thence dispense information of what happened at Algiers, to all ports of