James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eaton, 5 September 1801 (Abstract)

§ From William Eaton

5 September 1801,On board the Grand Turk, Road of Tunis.” Encloses documents on current situation and future prospects of U.S. with regard to Tripoli. Mentions planned project between former pasha of Tripoli [Ahmad Qaramanli], now in exile at Tunis, and himself for land attack on Tripoli. Reigning pasha’s subjects are ripe for revolt; believes bey of Tunis would support project. Suggests that small U.S. warships would be useful as dispatch vessels, which are often needed, and he dares not trust foreigners any longer. Believes “two or three bomb ketches will be absolutely necessary” at Tripoli if efforts to capture Tripolitan admiral fail. Is destitute of funds, has no credit in Europe, but refuses to resort to Jews.

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