James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eaton, 4 March 1805

From William Eaton

Camp of Hamet Bashaw
Marabout, Left of Alexandria,
Distance 12 Miles

March 4th 1805.


I have the honor to inclose herewith a convention concluded by me on the part of the United States, with Hamet Bashaw.1

We have been detained here twelve days by reason of delinquency in our commissary Department. The camp moves tomorrow morning for Derne. I have the honor to be with perfect respect, Sir, your Mo Obedt servt.

William Eaton

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, CD, Tripoli, vol. 2, filed at end of volume); FC (ViU: Madison Papers); Tr of enclosure (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 9B-B5). RC and enclosure transmitted in Samuel Briggs to JM, 2 May 1805. RC and enclosure, printed in English, in Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1939–44). description ends , 5:367–69. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (24 pp.; in English, Arabic, and Italian) is a copy of the 23 Feb. 1805 convention between Ahmad Qaramanli and the United States, signed by Qaramanli and Eaton, that bound the United States to support, supply, and cooperate in an attempt to overthrow Ahmad’s brother Yusuf Pasha, and named Eaton commander-in-chief of the expeditionary forces. Ahmad promised to release without ransom all American prisoners held in Tripoli; to transfer to the United States, as compensation for funds expended on the expedition, the tribute paid to Tripoli by Sweden, Denmark, and the Batavian Republic; to initiate peace with the Two Sicilies; to grant amnesty to all Yusuf’s supporters; and to grant the privilege of asylum to the American consulate at Tripoli. In a secret additional article, Ahmad promised to “use his utmost exertions to cause to surrender” Yusuf Qaramanli, his family, and Murad Rais (Peter Lisle) to be held as hostages by the United States to guarantee fulfillment of the agreement. For the background of Eaton’s march on Derna to install Ahmad as pasha, see Eaton to JM, 18 Sept. 1804 (PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 8:66–67 and n. 2).

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