James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard O’Brien, 24 February 1803

From Richard O’Brien, 24 February 1803

Algiers The 24th. of february 1803

Esteemed Sir.

This day anchored here 2 french frigates in 8 days from Toulon. I find That france and Algiers will not wrangle at present as neither Seems inclineable for a Real war. It is well known Algiers has no Mercht. Vessels, and france will pause and Consider whether She has not a greater interest in The preservation of This regency & The System of Barbary Then in its destruction.

On the 20th. Inst. arived here a Spanish frigt. with The new Consul Whom brought presents to The amount of 55 Thsd. dollars and allso A Sum in Cash. These Events will The Sooner Throw The dey—into difficulties with The UStates, as the dey upon the 7th. and 25th. of January, threatened me Strongly with difficulties if The stores did not Shortly arrive. The dey I hope will have patience and I see no Alternative but we Shall have to fight or Comply. At all events our Commerce Should be gaurded against a Sudden Surprize. I have given this information to our Consuls in This Sea. The uncertainty of The Conveyance of This letter will not admit by This Conveyance of my adding further Then to assure you of My Sincere regard & Esteem Sir I am respectfully Your most Obt. Servt.

Richd. OBrien

NB. As yet I have not Seen anything of Commodore Morris or Mr. Cathcart.

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