James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eaton, 4 September 1801

From William Eaton, 4 September 1801

On Board the Philadelphia, Road of Tunis Sep. 4. 1801


Although the expedition of the squadron into this sea has not had all the success which its first position here seemed to promise it has nevertheless effected much good. It has intirely defeated the object of the Tripoline expedition, prevented any of our citizens falling into chains, and given the Tripolines a very flattering speciment of the harvest they may reap and the honor they may aspire to in a war with Americans. More would have been done—the Tripn. Adml. would most certainly have fallen into our hands if he had not taken refuge under British hospitality. In this way both the Adm. and the crews of two ships have escaped the vigilance of the Amn. squadron. Who could think of looking in a british fleet for a Barbary admiral! But if our enemy be permitted to fortify themselves at sea under British batteries does it not add weight to other experiments for chastizing them in their capital.

At Tunis everything is tranquil; but I have not had the honor of any informn. from Govt. since 20th. May. I have the honor to be Sir, with perfect respect yr. Mo. Obed. Servt.

William Eaton

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