James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard O’Brien, 14 May 1802 (Abstract)

§ From Richard O’Brien

14 May 1802, Algiers. Reports sailing of twelve Algerine corsairs since 29 Mar.; so far they have “sent in” two Neapolitan ships, two Spanish vessels, and two French brigs. One American and two Swedish frigates were patroling Tripoli on 31 Mar.; at that date no captures had been made by Tripolitan corsairs, all of which were then in port. “There Seems to be by the definitive treaty a prospect of a reform intended with the Barbary States. It would be our interest to facilitate the event.… The timber & Spikes on the Annuities with this place is anxiously Expected.1 Allso Money to pay our debts to The Bacris &c.” Adds in a postscript of 15 May that a forty-four-gun Algerine frigate has brought in a captured forty-four-gun Portuguese frigate. “The portugee has 312 men landed here & 42 killed & wounded,… a great affair to Algiers, & frigt. & Crew is a loss & dishonoure to portugal, which Cannot be retrived.… Further this day The dey declared That all Christian Corsairs which … had not Medittiranian passports shd. be Condemned & Considered as Enemies.”

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