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part of the year; as it is reasonable to presume that a concert of operation might be arranged among the powers at war with the Barbary States, so as that, each performing a tour of given duration, and in given order, a constant cruise during the eight temperate months of every year, may be kept up before the harbor of Algiers, till the object of such operations be completely obtained. Portugal has singly, for several years past, kept up such a cruise before the straits of Gibraltar, and by that means has confined the Algerines closely within. But two of their vessels have been out of the straits in the last five years. Should Portugal effect a peace with them, as has been apprehended for some time, the Atlantic will immediately become the principal scene of their piracies; their peace with Spain having reduced the profits of their Mediterranean cruises below the expenses of equipment.
Upon the whole, it rests with Congress to decide between war, tribute, and ransom, as the means of re-establishing our Mediterranean commerce. If war, they will consider how far our own resources shall be called forth, and how far they will enable the Executive to engage, in the forms of the constitution, the co-operation of other powers. If tribute or ransom, it will rest with them to limit and provide the amount; and with the Executive, observing the same constitutional forms, to take arrangements for employing it to the best advantage.
No. 1.-Extract of a letter from Richard O'Brien, one of the American captives at
Algiers, to Congress. Algiers, December 26, 1789. “It was the opinion of Mr. John Wolf, who resided many years in this city, that the United States of America may obtain a peace for one hundred years
with this regency, for the sum of sixty or seventy thousand pounds sterling, and the redemption of fifteen Americans included. Mr. Wolf was the British chargé des affaires in Algiers, and was much the friend of America, but he is no more.
“I have now been four years and a half in captivity, and I have much reason to think, that America may obtain a peace with Algiers for the sum of sixty-five or soventy thousand pounds, considering the present state of Algiers. That this regency would find it their interest to take two or three American cruisers in part payment for making a peace; and also would take masts, yards, plank, scantling, tar, pitch, and turpentine, and Philadelphia iron, as a part payment; all to be regulated at a certain fixed price by treaty."
No. 2.-Extract of a letter from the flonorable John Adams, Vinister Plenipotentiary
for the United States at London, to the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Afairs. London, February 22, 1786.
“On Monday evening another conference was held with the Tripolitan ambassador. When he began to explain himself concerning his demands, he said they would be different according to the duration of the treaty. If that were perpetual, they would be greater; if for a term of years, less; his advice was that it should be perpetual. Once signed by the bashaw, dey, and other officers, it would be indissoluble and binding forever upon all their successors.
But if a temporary treaty were made, it might be difficult and expensive to revive it. For a perpetual treaty, such as they now had with Spain, a sum of thirty thousand guineas must be paid upon the delivery of the articles signed by the dey and other officers. If it were agreed to, he would send his secretary by land to Marseilles, and from thence, by water, to Tripoli, who should bring it back by the same route, signed by the dey, &c. He had proposed 80 small a sum in consideration of the circumstances, but declared it was not half of what had been lately paid them by Spain. If we chose to treat upon a different plan, he would make a treaty perpetual upon the payment of twelve thousand five hundred guineas for the first year, and three thousand guineas annually, until the thirty thousand guineas were paid. It was observed that these were large sums, and vastly beyond expectation ; but his excellency answered, that they never made a treaty for less. Upon the arrival of a prize, the dey and other officers are entitlel, by their laws, to large shares, by which they might make greater profits than those sums amounted to, and they never would give up this advantage for less.
“ Ile was told, that although there was full power to treat, the American ministers were limited to a much smaller sum; so that it would be impossible to do anything until we wrote to Congress and know their pleasure. Colonel Smith was present at this, as he had been at the last conference, and agreed to go to Paris, to communicate all to Mr. Jefferson, and persuade him to come here, that we may join in farther conferences, and transmit the result to Congress.
“The ambassador believed that Tunis and Morocco would treat upon the same terms, but could not answer for Algiers. They would demand more. When Mr. Jefferson arrives, we shall insist upon knowing the ultimatum, and transmit it to Congress.
“Congress will perceive that one hundred and twenty thousand guineas will be indispensable to conclude with the four powers at this rate, besides a present to the ambassadors, and their incidental charges. Besides this, a present of five hundred guineas is made, upon the arrival of a consul in each State. No man wishes more fervently that the expense could be less, but the fact cannot be altered, and the truth ought not to be concealed.
"It may be reasonably concluded that this great affair cannot be finished for much less than two hundred thousand pounds sterling.”
No. 3.— Extract of a Letter from the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, Ministry Plenipo
tentiary for the United States at Paris, to the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Paris, May 23, 1786.
“ Letters received both from Madrid and Algiers, while I was in London, haying suggested that treaties with the States of Barbary would be much facilitated by a previous one with the Ottoman Porte, it was agreed between Jír. Adams and myself, that on my return I should consult, on this subject, the Count De Vergennes, whose long residence at Constantinople rendered him the best judge of its expediency. Various circumstances have put it out of my power to consult him till to-day. I stated to him the difficulties we were likely to meet with at Algiers, and asked his opinion, what would be the probable expense of a diplomatic mission to Constantinople, and what its effects at Algiers. He said that the expense would be very great; for that presents must be made at that court, and every one would be gaping after them; and that it would not procure us a peace at Algiers one penny the cheaper. Ile observed that the Barbary States acknowledged a sort of vassalage to the Porte, and availed themselves of that relation when anything was to be gained by it; but that whenever it subjected them to the demand from the Porte, they totally disregarded it; that money was the sole agent. Ile cited the present example of Spain, which, though having a treaty with the Porte, would probably be obliged to buy a peace at Algiers, at the expense of upwards of six millions of livres. I told him we had calculated, from the demands and information of the Tripoline ambassador at London, that to make peace with the four Barbary States would cost us between two and three hundred thousand guineas, if bought with money.
“The sum did not seem to exceed his expectations. I mentioned to him, that considering the uncertainty of a peace, when bought, perhaps Congress might think it more eligible to establish a cruise of frigates in the Mediterranean, and even blockade Algiers. lle supposed it would require ten vessels, great and emall. I observed to him that M. De Massiac had formerly done it with fire; he said it was true, but that vessels of relief would be necessary. I hinted to him that I thought the English capable of administering aid to the Algerines. He seemed to think it impossible, on account of the scandal it would bring on them. · I asked him what had occasioned the blockade by M. De Massiac, he said an infraction of their treaty by the Algerines.”
No. 4.—Ectract of a Letter from Richard O'Brien to the Hon. Thomas Jefferson.
Algiers, April 28, 1787. " It seems the Neapolitan ambassador had obtained a truce with this regeney for three months; and the ambassador wrote his court of his success; but about the 1st of April, when the cruisers were fitting out, the ambassador went to the dey, and hoped the dey would give the necessary orders to the captains of his cruisers not to take the Neapolitan vessels. The dey said the meaning of the truce was not to take the Neapolitan cruisers, but if his chebecks should meet the Neapolitan merchantmen to take them and send them for Algiers. The annbassador said, the Neapolitan cruisers would not want a pass on those terms. The dey said, if his chebecks should meet either men of war or merchant vessels, to take
them; so gave orders accordingly. The Algerines sailed the 9th instant, and are gone, I believe, off the coast of Italy. This shows there is very little confidence to be put in the royal word. No principle of national honor will bind those people; and I believe not much confidence to be put in them in treaties. The Algerines are not inclinable to a peace with the Neapolitans. I hear of no negotiation. When the two frigates arrive with the money for the ransom of the slaves, I beliere they are done with the Neapolitans.”
Ectract of a Letter from Richard O'Brien to the Hon. Thomas Jefferson. Algiers,
June 13, 1789. “ The cruisers had orders to take the Danes; but I believe Denmark, suspecting that on account of their alliance with Russia, that the grand seignior would order the regeney of Algiers to make war against the Danes; accordingly, the Danes have evacuated the Mediterranean seas, until the affairs of Europe are more settled. The Danish ship with the tribute is shortly expected. She is worth fifty thousand dollars; so that the Algerines will not make known publicly their intention of breaking with Denmark, until this ship arrives with the tribute. I am very sure that Mr. Robindar is very sensible of the intention of those sea-robbers, the terror and scourge of the Christians. The reason the Algerines have not committed any depredations on the English, is, that the cruisers have not met with any of them richly loaded; for if they had met a rich ship from London for Livorna, they would certainly have brought her into port, and said that such ship was loaded for the enemy of Algiers at Livorna; but if that was not a sufficient excuse, hove overboard or clipt the pass.
“ ('onsul Logie has been treated with much contempt by the Algerine ministry; and you may depend, that when the dey goes to his long home, that his successor will not renew the peace with Great Britain, without a large sum of money is paid, and very valuable presents. This I well know; the whole ministry says, that the peace with the English is very old, and that the English must conform to the custom of other nations, in giving the government here money and presents. In fact, the Algerines are trying their endeavors to find some nation to break the peace with them. I think, if they had treated the English in such a manner as they have the French, that the English would resent it.”
Extract of a Letter from Richard O'Brien to the Hon. Thomas Jefferson. Algiers,
June 13, 1789. “What dependence or faith could be given to a peace with the Algerines, considering their present haughtiness, and with what contempt and derision do they treat all nations; so that, in my opinion, until the Algerines more strictly adhere to the treaties they have already made, it would be impolitic in any nation to try to make a peace here; for I see they take more from the nations they are at peace with, than from those they are at declared war with. The Portuguese, I hope, will keep the Algerines inside the straits; for only consider the bad consequence of the Algerines going into the mar Grandi. Should the Portuguese make a sudden peace with this regency, the Algerines would immediately go out of the straits, and of course, take many an American.”
No. 5.—Extract of a Letter from the Hon. John Adams, Esq., Minister Plenipoten
tiary of the United States at the Court of Great Britain, to the Hon. John Jay, Esq., Secretary for Foreign Affairs. February 16, 1786.
"The American commerce can be protected from these Africans only by nego tiation, or by war. If presents should be exacted from us, as ample as those which are given by England, the expense may amount to sixty thousand pounds sterling a year, an enormous sum to be sure; but infinitely less than the expense of fighting. Two frigates of 30 guns each would cost as much to fit them for the sea, besides the accumulating charges of stores, provisions, pay, and clothing. The powers of Europe generally send a squadron of men of war with their ministers, and offer battle at the same time that they propose treaties and promise presents."
No. 6.-Several statements of the Marine force of Algiers.—Public and private. May 20, 1786.-Mr. Lamb says it consists of 9 Chebecs , from 36 to 8 guns; manned, the largest with 400 men, and so 10 Row Galleys S in proportion. May 27, 1787.—Mr. Randall furnishes two statements, viz. : A more general one-1 Setye of 34 guns.
" 32 < 26
4 half-galleys, carrying from 120 to 130 Moors.
A more particular one as follows:
1 of 32 guns, viz. 2 eighteens, 24 nines, 6 fours, and 450 men.
2 twelves, 24 2 sixes, 400
350 1 of 20
300 2 of 18
260 1 of 16
250 2 small craft.
9 55 gun-boats, carrying 1 twelve pounder each, for defence of the harbor.
June 8, 1786.--A letter from the three American captains, O'Brien, Coffin, and Stephens, state them
as 1 of 32
1 of 30