James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard O’Brien, 28 April 1803

From Richard O’Brien, 28 April 1803

Algiers The 28th. of April 1803

Esteemed Sir,

Commodore Morris and Squadron left sight of Algiers on The Evening of The 20th. of March. On The 21st. Sailed The Enterprize Captain Starrett with The required Ansr. I hope you have recd. These letters and dispatches.

On the 7th. Inst Sailed 9 Sail of large Algerine Corsairs I believe They go off The Coast of Italia. As yet we have not heard from Them.

Mr. Shaw at Tunis writes me That on The 30th. of March 15 Sl. of Corsairs were ready for Sea, That it was believed They would attack The Swede Commerce now That The Swedes arranged with Tripoli and withdrew their Corsairs from This Sea. This Event Saves us So far at Tunis as we have war with Tripoli—a few Corsairs in This Sea and a few mercht Vessels—but notwithstanding The Govt. of Tunis has Shown no Symptom of relaxing in Their demands on The UStates for a frigate.

The french and Algerine is as yet at peace Bonapt. and the dey might be Compared to 2 Corsairs Sailing in a fog. The weather will Clear up and I hope They will Soon meet. France has promised to Send The usial presents.

On the morning of The 21st. The dey sent to me to desire I would write to The Govt. of The UStates, to Send him a good watchmaker & mender Should you Send One he had better be procured in London.

The morning of The 21st. two Moorish women were found in The British house with 2 of The Consuls Servants.

The dey got into One of his great Squalls and ordered The Consul out of The Country. He refused to go. On this The dey Sent force and The Consul Mr. Falcon & Secretary was drove away by The police officers on The 22d. and Sailed on The 23d. for Spain and Gibralter. The Consuls 2 Servants fled One to The Sanctuary, and The other to The french house.

Mr. Falcon has Charged me Through necesity with his affairs and left with me as pr. Copy of The inclosed. This business with That of The Squalls agant france might facilitate a reform in The System of Barbary agreeable to our small hopes as Contained in The 10th. article of The treaty Of Ameins.

On The 22d. inst. arrived The dean Commodore in 5 days from Toulon After much difficulty on The part of The dey, The Commodore Koefeld has Setled The difficulties of The deys last July Claim On The following Terms, Viz.

To The dey...... 55 Thsd. dollars
To 3 aids Chiefe mate Second and Coasting Pilot 5 Thsd. Each is..... 15
The Pilot directory gains on The bills.................  5
200 Barrels of powder at 25 dollars Each is............  5
80 Thsd. dollars.

Add to This The loss of trade for 9 Months, besides The Bribes given in The run of that time Occasionally to keep The dey from Eating Stockfish This business or system of The different powers in acquiscing to The Extra Claims of Barbary must The result be Very visiably Seen by you.

I hope The Vessel with Stores will Shortly arrive. The dey frequently makes enquiries on that Subject. Sir, I am respectfully your most obdt. Servt.

Richd. OBrien

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