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Chapter 2

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
The Diplomatic Relations
of the United States
with the Barbary Powers

by
Ray W. Irwin

published by
The University of North Carolina Press
Chapel Hill, 1931

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
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Chapter 4
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 p37  Chapter III

The Algerine and Tripolitan Problems, 1783‑1790

The formation of a treaty with Morocco was the one real success achieved by the Confederation in its Barbary diplomacy; the other negotiations, with Algiers and Tripoli, ended in complete failure. They are not without interest and significance, however, because of the enslavement of Americans, the demands of the Barbary States, the varied expedients actually employed or considered by the United States with respect to peace and ransom, and the circumstances which made those measures unsuccessful.

During the summer of 1785 an untoward event seriously complicated the task of Adams and Jefferson. In June of that year Spain concluded with Algiers a treaty which enabled Algerines to reach the Atlantic. Within a few weeks the corsairs captured two American vessels with twenty‑one Americans on board.1 Reports of these captures filled the commissioners with consternation. They had been authorized to conclude treaties with the Barbary States and had already appointed John Lamb as their agent to Algiers; but their instructions contained not a word about ransom.2 Something must be done, however, for access to the Atlantic afforded splendid opportunities for the Algerines.

Adams and Jefferson sought a way out of their dilemma by choosing a course which they thought Congress would approve. They instructed Lamb to ransom the prisoners if he could so without paying more than two hundred  p38 dollars per man.3 He was not to conclude this transaction without the approval of the prisoners, each one of whom was required to make himself "answerable for his own redemption" in case Congress should require it.4

Lamb arrived at Algiers on March 25, 1786, and soon began negotiations with the Dey.5 He encountered, at the outset, an obstacle in the latter's refusal to treat concerning peace. The Dey would, however, grant an audience if the envoy "would content himself to treat only for the redemption of his countrymen."6 To this unexpected proviso the American saw fit to yield.

The ensuing conference revealed the soaring avarice of the Dey and the complete inadequacy of Lamb's instructions. An enormous ransom, $59,496, was demanded for twenty‑one prisoners. Each captain was valued at six thousand dollars, each mate and passenger at four thousand, and each sailor at fourteen hundred. To these sums there was added an 11 per cent tax "according to custom."7 Lamb found all remonstrances to be of no avail and decided to return to Europe. Before his departure one of the Dey's ministers urged him not to give up hope for success for the price would be lowered as soon  p39 as eleven hundred Spaniards, then prisoners in Algiers, were ransomed.8

Lamb sent an account of his negotiations to the commissioners in Europe, and then returned to Madrid to await developments. Jefferson considered the Dey's price as "infinitely beyond" the instructions given to himself and Adams, and proposed that the matter be referred to Congress.9 This was done, and, in September, that body ordered Lamb to return to America.10

The circumstances surrounding this mission were such that its outcome was hardly strange. The disparity between the demands of the Dey and the amount Lamb was authorized to pay for ransom was alone sufficient to bring the negotiations to naught. Moreover, the Dey was certain that he could obtain a larger sum from the Spaniards and from the American captives if he insisted upon obtaining his price.11 Added to that was the undoubted fact of Lamb's lack of diplomatic ability, which made him an unwise choice for such a complicated task;12 but had he  p40 been a more able man, his mission would probably have ended in failure.13

In the meantime Adams and Jefferson were attempting to conclude a treaty with Tripoli. The initiative, relative to this, had been taken by one Abdurrahman, a Tripolitan ambassador in London. To an acquaintance he had expressed surprise that Adams had not left a card as the other foreign ministers had done, and could explain the omission only on the basis of his country's being at war with the United States. "We will make peace with them, however," he was reported to have said, "for a tribute of a hundred thousand dollars a year — not less."14

This incident led to the first of a series of conferences regarding relations between the United States and Tripoli. Adams paid Abdurrahman a visit, and on that occasion the two men discussed the state of war existing between their respective countries.15 Adams inquired why there should be such hostility in view of the fact that there had been no "injury, insult, or provocation on either side." To this query the Tripolitan replied that the Barbary States, and Turkey, were the "sovereigns of the Mediterranean," and would permit no nation to navigate it without a treaty of peace.16 He then produced a commission from his government, granting him wide powers in the negotiation of treaties.17

Two other conferences soon followed, the first of which resulted in no definite statement of Abdurrahman's terms.  p41 It convinced Adams, however, that he was dealing with a man who was "either a consummate politician in art and address, or . . . a benevolent and wise man."18 The next conference revealed more fully the nature of Tripolitan pretensions. These included proposals for a perpetual peace, or, as an alternative, one covering a limited number of years. A perpetual peace, said Abdurrahman, would cost the United States only thirty thousand guineas and possessed the important advantage of being forever indissoluble. Moreover, for such a treaty the United States would not be required to pay the total cost in one lump sum; twelve thousand five hundred guineas would be sufficient for the first payment, and three thousand annually thereafter until the debt was paid. Tunis and Morocco, the ambassador assured Adams, would treat on the same terms, but Algiers would probably seek greater concessions. When Adams complained that the proposed sums were huge, and greatly in excess of his expectations, the Tripolitan replied that he "never made a treaty for less."19

Concluding that there was "nothing to be done in Europe of half the importance of this" negotiation, Adams urged Jefferson to hasten to London.20 This Jefferson did, but the conferences held after his arrival resulted only in the gleaning of some additional bits of information. Abdurrahman repeated his statements regarding a perpetual peace, and added that he would expect a commission of three thousand pounds in case such a peace were established.21 If a treaty lasting only one year were formed  p42 with Tripoli, the United States must pay to the regency twelve thousand five hundred guineas and to Abdurrahman a commission of ten per cent. The commissioners despaired of meeting such terms, for the amount which they were authorized to expend was in proportion to that required "as a drop to a bucket."22 They, therefore, referred the matter to Congress with a request for further instructions, and Jefferson returned to France.23

The following January Adams had a final conference with Abdurrahman. The latter was then on the verge of returning home and wished to learn the disposition of Congress relative to a treaty with Tripoli. Adams could only inform him that no further instructions had been received.24 Thus ingloriously ended the negotiations over which Adams had at first been so enthusiastic.

 p43  The collapse of the Algerine and Tripolitan negotiations left the commissioners in doubt as to what course they should pursue. Jefferson favored the sending of Barclay to treat with the Dey, and urged upon Adams and Congress the expediency of that course. The cost of such a mission, he wrote, would not be great. Barclay should be able to obtain a considerable amount of information; Spain, having now made its peace with Algiers, might provide aid as it had in the Moroccan negotiations. Finally, the commissioners would be shielded from the charge that they had made a good appointment in the case of Morocco but a bad one in that of Algiers.25 In these opinions Adams did not concur, expressing a conviction that "no good can result at present from further attempts at Algiers."26

In the meantime Adams and Jefferson had been considering the formation of a treaty with Turkey as a step toward obtaining one with Algiers.27 Count d'Expilly, the Spanish negotiator at Algiers, reported the Dey as having publicly announced "that he would treat with no power about peace that had not previously made it with the Sublime Porte."28 This coincided with statements made by Florida Blanca,29 and with a provision of the recently formed Spanish-Algerine treaty.30

Soon after his return from London Jefferson sought the advice of Vergennes. That minister assured him that a mission to Constantinople would involve costly presents and would be very expensive. Nor would successful negotiations  p44 there enable the United States to obtain a treaty with Algiers on any better terms. "The two only agents at Algiers," said Vergennes, "are money and fear."31 Jefferson appears to have been deeply impressed by this advice, and before the end of the year wrote to Jay that it would be unwise to treat with Turkey until there was "a prospect of a settlement with the Algerines."32

The commissioners eventually turned to the Mathurins for aid in securing the release of Americans held captive in Algiers. Early in 1787 the Mathurin General informed Jefferson that the order would lend its services free of charge, but that the United States would be expected to defray the expenses of the negotiations leading up to and including the ransoming and disposition of the prisoners. Finally, every precaution should be taken to keep the Algerines ignorant of the fact that the Mathurins were acting as agents of the United States.33

Jefferson reported this matter to Congress, and in July it authorized him to follow whatever course he saw fit in redeeming his countrymen.34 The only restriction imposed upon him was that he should not pay more than did European nations under similar circumstances. At the same time the Board of Treasury was authorized to make arrangements for providing the necessary funds.35

As soon as this action was reported to Jefferson, he wrote to the Board of Treasury urging it immediately to make provision, and suggesting that the minimum amount should be ten thousand dollars.36 The funds, however, were not soon made available. In September, 1788, Jefferson wrote that Congress in its letters to him had said  p45 nothing further about the matter.37 By the following May he had received some slight encouragement in the form of a promise: that after the next month's interest had been paid there should be no further payments of that nature until the prisoners had been redeemed.38

While Jefferson was thus awaiting funds, he sought to create in Algiers an impression that his government was not eager to ransom the captives. He hoped that by completely ignoring them the price of their redemption would become greatly reduced, and that in the future the Algerines would not consider it profitable to capture Americans. The plan proved to be a complete failure, for its effectiveness was nullified by the plague39 and by "unauthorized interpositions" on the part of private individuals.40 As viewed by the Americans in captivity the measure was one of ruthless victimization. For them it resulted only in additional suffering, and from them brought bitter complaints.41

On the eve of his return to America Jefferson learned that the long awaited funds could be obtained in Holland.42 Upon receipt of this news he went to the General of the  p46 Mathurins to have him set the negotiations in motion.43 That officer then wrote to a confidential agent at Marseilles and asked for his opinion regarding the subject. The reply gave little encouragement because it represented the negotiations as beset with the greatest obstacles. It would be almost impossible, wrote the agent, to redeem only Americans without arousing suspicion that the Mathurins were serving as agents of the United States. Furthermore, on account of French captives in Algiers, it would be necessary to act with the utmost secrecy. The expense involved would be very great; the project must be authorized by the French government; and great care must be exercised in the selection of a person to whom the actual negotiation should be entrusted.44 The communication ended with an expression of hope that in spite of all these difficulties the redemption could be effected in the manner desired. But it proved to be a vain hope, for little progress had been made towards its fulfillment when the French Revolution brought about the disruption of the Mathurin order.45

The situation hitherto described evoked an extended correspondence between Barbary agents of the United States concerning tribute versus force. John Adams was one of the strongest advocates of securing protection by means of tribute. To do nothing, in his opinion, was to suffer great financial loss. The increase of insurance upon American shipping alone amounted to more than would payments made for immunity.46 In July, 1786, he wrote to Jefferson that the United States was not practising "good economy" in sacrificing "a million annually to save one gift of two hundred thousand pounds."47 It might be  p47 heroic, he continued, to wage war against the corsairs but it would not be wise. The United States could not injure the Barbary States in the smallest degree, for the latter had no commerce upon which reprisals could be made. The shipping of the United States, on the other hand, was large and in case of war could not be protected. Security from plunder might cost £60,000 sterling annually but that would be far less than the cost of a naval force.48 So long as such maritime states as France, England, and Holland tolerated and even encouraged the pirates, a declaration of war against the latter would only increase their demands upon the United States.49 Of course, no hope was to be entertained that immunity could be secured by European intervention alone. It was only barely possible that "the great maritime powers of Europe" could be persuaded to join the United States in suppressing piracy.50 In these views Adams was seconded by others; notably John Lamb and William Carmichael. Lamb expressed the opinion that it was beyond the power of the United States to force the Algerines to a peace,51 and Carmichael was convinced that under the existing circumstances "negotiations would cost less than armaments."52 Jefferson, however, was militant from the first. He wished to see peace established with the Barbary States "through the medium of war."53 He advocated this course in preference to tribute for the following reasons: that justice and honor favored it; that it would secure respect abroad and provide a means for coercing "delinquent members"  p48 of the Confederation; and finally that it would be less expensive and just as effectual as the paying of tribute.54 Had not France, about forty years earlier, brought Algiers to terms within three months with only "one large and two small frigates"?55

Thus far in his reasoning Jefferson had assumed that the entire burden of the war should be carried by the United States. But it was reasonable to suppose, he argued, that the nations at war with the Barbary States would find it to their interest to fight in concert against the corsairs. If an attempt were made to form such a league, Naples and Portugal might be depended upon to coöperate with the United States.56

When Jefferson wrote thus to Adams, the idea of forming a league against the piratical States was not new. In 1783 Franklin had expressed surprise that European nations did not combine to abolish piracy.57 In March, 1785, Jefferson suggested to Vergennes the advisability of coöperation between the United States and France in making war upon Algiers in the event that France could not renew her treaty with Algiers without the use of force.58 The proposal was not, however, well received.59 A few months later the Portuguese envoy to Algiers indicated to P. R. Randall a desire to see a confederacy formed by the states at war with Barbary.60 Certain other prominent  p49 Europeans, including the Marquis de Lafayette, were strong advocates of such a measure.61

Jefferson considered the prospects of forming a confederacy sufficiently encouraging to warrant the draughting of "proposals for concerted operation" against the piratical states. He accordingly prepared a plan which contained the following eleven propositions: (1) Any two or more states at war with the pirates might agree to fight in concert against the common enemy. (2) The confederacy should be open to the subsequent accession of other powers. (3) The object to be gained should be a free and perpetual peace with the Barbary States. (4) Operations should consist of constant cruises along the northern coast of Africa by a naval force belonging to the contracting powers. (5) The quota of each power should be "in such proportion as circumstances [might] render reasonable." (6) The exact nature of the quotas the members of the confederacy should decide among themselves. (7) To secure the maximum of efficiency, operations should be directed by a committee representing the contracting powers, and so situated that the members could quickly communicate with one another. (8) Members of the committee should not receive pay for their services in connection with this enterprise. (9) If powers, after becoming parties to the agreement, became involved in war against each other, their hostilities should not extend to these measures relative to Barbary. (10) The operations of the confederacy should be directed first against Algiers, and later, as need might arise, against the other piratical states. (11) Activities of the Confederacy were not to interfere with existing treaties between its members and the Barbary States.62

 p50  Jefferson next submitted his proposals to representatives of various European governments. Spain was unwilling to coöperate because it had recently formed a very expensive treaty with Algiers.63 Portugal, Naples, the Two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark, and Sweden viewed the proposals with favor. Their representatives at Paris, however, were fearful that France would aid the Barbary States and frustrate any attempts at coercion. They therefore asked Jefferson to make an inquiry of Vergennes regarding the attitude of his government. Jefferson, as already observed, had received a rebuff from Vergennes; consequently he was now cautious about reviving the subject of French coöperation. He therefore adopted a circuitous method of obtaining further information by intimating to Vergennes that England might interfere with the activities of the confederacy. The French minister assured him that England would not dare; whereupon Jefferson permitted the subject to drop. The result of the interview satisfied the doubtful ministers, who interpreted the statement of Vergennes as implying that apprehension of hostile action on the part of France was unwarranted.64

Jefferson reported to Congress that the prospect of success was excellent. It would be necessary, however, for the United States to provide one frigate and to maintain it in "constant cruise."65 But Congress could do little because of its inability to obtain funds. For a time it seemed favorably disposed toward Jefferson's plan but in the end refused to become a party to the proposed association.66

One other measure that Jefferson suggested should perhaps be noted. It was that Congress should levy a separate  p51 impost upon European commerce in order to secure compensation for expense incurred in obtaining "freedom of navigation in European seas." In this manner might European countries have impressed upon them a sense of loss resulting from the protection, or toleration of piratical depredations.67 For want of support this proposal seem to have passed quickly into oblivion.

By way of summary it may be noted that the following developments had occurred in the relations of the United States with Algiers and Tripoli during the years 1785 to 1789: (1) While the American commissioners had been on the verge of despatching John Lamb to Algiers to form a treaty of peace with that regency, they had learned that the Algerines had captured twenty‑one Americans whom they were holding for ransom. Jefferson and Adams had thereupon instructed Lamb to offer for ransom an amount not in excess of two hundred dollars per man and at the same time to confer with the captives, who were to bind themselves to repay the amount expended for their redemption in the event that Congress should require it. (2) At Algiers Lamb had been completely unsuccessful with respect not only to peace but to the release of captives. The Dey would not treat concerning the former, and had placed the price of the latter so high that Lamb could not agree to it without greatly exceeding his instructions. He had, therefore, soon returned to Europe and thence to America. (3) The negotiations which Adams and Jefferson had carried on with a Tripolitan ambassador in London had proved equally fruitless. The demands of the Tripolitan had been too great to be satisfied by the very limited sum at the commissioners' disposal. (4) Proposals to secure a treaty with Algiers by forming one with Turkey had suffered a similar fate. Advice given by Spanish and French officials concerning the practicability of such  p52 diplomacy had been of a most contradictory and unsatisfactory character; consequently the uncertainty of securing the desired results, coupled with the certainty of great expense, had brought about an early abandonment of the plan. (5) With the concurrence of Congress Jefferson had sought the aid of the Mathurins in redeeming the captives. After receiving a promise of the order's assistance, however, he could not immediately obtain funds to have the negotiations begun in Algiers. In the interim he had pursued a policy of neglecting the captives, hoping thereby to decrease the cost of redemption and the number of seizures in the future. Eventually the long-awaited funds had been obtained but it was then too late for them to be of any service. (6) Finally, there had been prepared a plan of forming a league of maritime states to combat piracy. Draughted by Jefferson, it had been regarded favorably by a number of the smaller European states. It had collapsed, however, when the Confederation Congress, on the ground of inability to fulfil financial obligations which would be imposed by league membership, refused to participate.

The complete failure of the foregoing attempts to solve the Algerine and Tripolitan problem cannot properly be attributed to any lack of ability on the part of Adams and Jefferson. They had labored tirelessly; they had studied the problem from all angles; and they had urged the employment of every expedient which gave any promise of success. They had been unsuccessful primarily because of the lack of funds. Without money treaties could not be obtained either amicably or by force from the piratical states.68 As early as July, 1786, Adams had become convinced that a prerequisite to success was a better revenue system. He was not hopeful that the requirements would  p53 be met but assured Jefferson that unless the states forming the Confederation became less "backward" in financial matters "every servant of the United States in Europe ought to go home, give up all points, and let our exports and imports be done in foreign bottoms."69 Viewed in the light of subsequent events, this appears to have been a warranted conclusion, for no measures attempted during the Confederation Period opened the Mediterranean to American shipping, removed the dread of further seizures, or secured the release of American captives in Algiers.


The Author's Notes:

1 The "Maria," from Boston, was captured July 24; the "Dauphin," from Philadelphia, July 30. U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 411. Richard O'Brien to Jefferson, Aug. 24, 1785.

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2 Jefferson Papers, XIV, Jefferson to Adams, Sept. 19, 1785.

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3 Despatches, AlgiersIII, Richard O'Brien to Wm. Carmichael, July 11, 1785.

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4 Corr. of J. L. Cathcart, Jefferson to O'Brien, Nov. 4, 1785.

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5 Jefferson Papers, XX, Lamb to Jefferson, May 20, 1786.

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6 J. L. Cathcart, The Captives, p37.

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7 Jefferson Papers, XX, Lamb to Jefferson, May 20, 1786. Lamb sent to Jefferson the following price list:

Dollars
" 3 captains at 6,000 dollars each per head 18,000
2 mates at 4,000 dollars each per head 8,000
2 passengers at 4,000 dollars each per head 8,000
14 sailors at $1,400 dollars each per head 19,600
    21 amounts to the enormous sum of 53,600
    eleven per cent to be added according to custom 5,896
in Spanish milled dollars 59,496 "
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8 U. S. Dipl. Corr., III, 82, Lamb to Jefferson, May 20, 1786. This Algerine minister observed that the exorbitant sum demanded for the Americans "was only to put a more modest face on the price they [the Algerines] intend to make the Spaniards pay for their people."

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9 Jefferson Papers, XX, Jefferson to Adams, May 11, 1786.

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10 Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 127.

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11 Ibid.

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12 He spoke only one language, the English, and seems to have had no previous experience in diplomatic affairs. He became embroiled in a dispute with the Spanish minister, Count d'Expilly, while in Algiers, and was charged with having made threats that if Spain did not aid him in settling the Algerine negotiations satisfactorily, the United States would seize Spanish territory in America. Furthermore, he gave the Americans in Algiers the impression that he would return within a few months with the ransom money which the Dey demanded. For criticism of Lamb's conduct while in Algiers, see a letter which they wrote to Adams, Feb. 13, 1787, U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 247 ff; also Despatches, AlgiersIII, O'Brien to Jefferson, June 8, 1786.

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13 Jefferson Papers, Adams to Jefferson, Jan. 25, 1787. Adams wrote that "He [Lamb] ever was and still is as indifferent to me as a Mohawk Indian. But . . . if Congress had sent the ablest magistrate of their own body, at such a time and under such pecuniary limitations, he would have done no better."

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14 U. S. Dipl. Corr., IV, 488, Adams to Jay, Feb. 16, 1786.

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15 Jefferson Papers, XIX, Adams to Jefferson, Feb. 17, 1786.

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16 Ibid.

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17 Ibid. Adams wrote that this first conference was carried on "in a strange mixture of Italian, Lingua Franca, broken French, and worse English."

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18 U. S. Dipl. Corr., IV, 494, Adams to Jay, Feb. 20, 1786.

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19 Jefferson Papers, XIX, Adams to Jay, Feb. 22, 1786.

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20 Ibid.XIX, Adams to Jefferson, Feb. 21, 1786. "What has already been done and expended," wrote Adams, "will be absolutely thrown away and we shall be involved in a universal and horrible war with the Barbary States, which will continue for many years, unless more is done immediately."

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21 U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 341‑43, Adams and Jefferson to Jay, March 28, 1786.

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22 Jefferson Papers, XX, Jefferson to Wm. Carmichael, May 5, 1786; U. S. Dipl. Corr., IV, 487, Adams to Jay, Feb. 16, 1786. The total sum to be expended for treaties with all the Barbary States was eighty thousand dollars.

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23 John Jay, Corr. and Public Papers of John Jay, III, 197, Jay's report to Congress on a joint letter from Adams and Jefferson. Report presented May 29, 1786. Jay's recommendations to Congress on this occasion reveal the bad financial straits in which the government at that time was situated. He opposed authorizing the commissioners to attempt borrowing money in Europe for the Barbary negotiations because (1) they probably could not obtain a sufficient amount; (2) "those nations to whom our war with the Barbary States is not disagreeable will be little inclined to lend us money to put an end to it"; (3) no funds available "for paying even the interest of our former loans, either foreign or domestic"; (4) "payments due France, though pressed, have not been completed"; (5) the unwillingness of the States to pay taxes has been well known in Europe; (6) a failure to put through a loan will tend to discredit the United States; and (7) the United States should not borrow money without a good prospect of their being able to repay it.

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24 U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 157, 158, Adams to Jay, Jan. 9, 1787; Ibid., III, 151, Jay to Jefferson, Feb. 9, 1787. Jay wrote, one month after Adams had his last session with Abdurrahman, that Congress had given no further orders regarding the Barbary negotiations, and that he did not know what would be that body's next action regarding them.

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25 Jefferson Papers, XXIII, Jefferson to Adams, Aug. 13, 1786.

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26 Ibid.XXIV, Jefferson to Barclay, Sept. 22, 1786.

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27 While Jefferson and Adams were together in London. See U. S. Dipl. Corr., III, 48, Jefferson to Jay, May 23, 1786.

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28 Ibid., VI, 306, 307, Count d'Expilly to Carmichael, May, 1786.

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29 Ibid., III, 37, Carmichael to Jefferson, Feb. 3, 1786. VI, 323, Carmichael to Jay, Sept. 2, 1786.

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30 Jefferson Papers, XIX, Randall to Jefferson, April 2, 1786. Randall's explanation of the insertion of this article was that the Dey wanted "to prevent the Spanish Court interceding for Portugal and Naples whose King is the son of his Majesty of Spain."

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31 Ibid.XXI, Jefferson to Adams, May 30, 1786.

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32 U. S. Dipl. Corr., III, 138‑40, Jefferson to Jay, Sept. 26, 1786.

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33 Jefferson Papers, XXVIII, Jefferson to Jay, Feb. 1, 1787; Am. State Pap., For. Rel., I, 100; U. S. Dipl. Corr. III, 207, 208.

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34 Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 348.

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35 Ibid.

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36 Jefferson Papers, Jefferson to Board of Treasury, Sept. 18, 1787.

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37 Ibid.XLII, Jefferson to Jay, Sept. 5, 1788.

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38 Ibid.XLIX, Jefferson to Jay, May 9, 1789.

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39 Ibid.XLII, August 12, 1788.

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40 Despatches, PortugalIV, Humphreys to O'Brien, Nov. 24, 1793. Of these attempts Humphreys lists the following: "the transactions of a Mr. Cathalan of Marseilles, the Messieurs Bulkeleys of Lisbon, probably those of a private individual belonging to the U. S. accidentally at Madrid, and perhaps some others. All these transactions . . . did mischief in their operation instead of good."

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41 Am. State Pap., For. Rel., I, 101, Report of Sec. of State to the President, Dec. 28, 1790. Here Jefferson speaks of the plan as drawing from the captives "the most afflicting reproaches." For the manner in which the hope of ransom was discouraged in Algiers see the Corr. of J. L. Cathcart, Carmichael to O'Brien, Aug. 26, 1788. Carmichael, although sending condolences to the captives, concluded with the statement: "But do not hold out the least idea of being ransomed."

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42 Jefferson Papers, LI, Jefferson to Jay, Aug. 27, 1789.

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43 Am. State Pap., For. Rel., I, 102, Report of Sec. of State, Dec. 28, 1790. Jefferson authorized the General to pay as much as three thousand dollars per head for the prisoners.

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44 Ibid.I, 102, Report of Sec. of State, Dec. 28, 1790.

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45 U. S. Dipl. Corr., VII, 420.

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46 Ibid., II, 158.

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47 Jefferson Papers, XXII, Adams to Jefferson, July 3, 1786.

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48 U. S. Dipl. Corr., IV, 488, Adams to Jay, Feb. 16, 1786. "Two frigates, of thirty guns each," wrote Adams, "would cost as much [£60,000] to fit them for the sea, besides the accumulating charge of stores, provisions, pay, and clothing."

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49 Ibid., II, 151.

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50 Ibid.

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51 Ibid., III, 125, Lamb to Jefferson, July 18, 1786.

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52 Jefferson Papers, XXIII, Carmichael to Jefferson, July 31, 1786. Carmichael nevertheless desired "the commencement of a military marine."

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53 U. S. Dipl. Corr., III, 109, Jefferson to Adams, July 11, 1786.

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54 Ibid.

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55 Ibid.III, 110, Same to same, July 11, 1786.

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56 Ibid., p111. Same to same, July 11, 1786.

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57 Ibid., IV, 95, 149.

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58 Ibid., II, 290. Am. Commissioners to Vergennes, March 28, 1785. The Franco-American treaty of April, 1784, would soon expire. The American Commissioners thought that "Congress would probably prefer joining in a war rather than treat with nations who so barbarously and inhumanly commence hostilities against others who have done them no injury."

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59 Ibid., II, 296. The reply given Jefferson was that the French government was accustomed to avoid "foreign intervention" in her relations with the Barbary States.

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60 Ibid.III, 56, Randall to Adams and Jefferson, May 14, 1786.

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61 Ibid., I, 445‑47, Lafayette to Jay, Oct. 28, 1786; III, 53, Jay to Lafayette, Feb. 16, 1787.

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62 Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello ed.), I, 96‑99.

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63 At a cost of about $3,000,000.

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64 Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello ed.), I, 99, 100.

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65 Ibid., I, 100.

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66 Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 372, 373; Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello ed.), I, 101.

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67 Jefferson Papers, XVIII, Jefferson to Gen. Nathaniel Greene, Jan. 12, 1786.

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68 Jefferson Papers, XXIII, Adams to Jefferson, July 31, 1786. Adams wrote that unless a better revenue system were devised "your plan of fighting will no more be adopted than mine of negotiating."

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69 Ibid.XXI, Adams to Jefferson, June 6, 1786. See also Corr. and Public Papers of John Jay, III, 222‑24, Jay to Jefferson, Dec. 14, 1786: "Congress cannot command money for that [ransom of prisoners], nor indeed for other very important purposes; their requisitions produce little, and government (if it may be called a government) is so inadequate to its objects, that essential alterations or essential evils must take place. If our government would draw forth the resources of the country, which are abundant, I should prefer war to tribute, and carry our Mediterranean trade in vessels armed and manned at the public expense."


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