The Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. I., No. 7, March, 1835
SOUTHERN LITERARY MESSENGER:
EVERY DEPARTMENT OF LITERATURE
THE FINE ARTS.
|Au grť de nos desirs bien plus qu'au grť des vents.|
|As we will, and not as the winds will.|
T. W. WHITE, PUBLISHER AND PROPRIETOR.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I, NUMBER 7
YOUNG ROSALIE LEE: by L. L.
BERENICE—A TALE: by Edgar A. Poe
EXTRACT: from the Reminiscences of a Western Traveller
WASHINGTON'S BIRTH NIGHT:by David Meade Randolph
MARRYING WELL: by B——
SKETCH OF VIRGINIASCENERY: by J. W. C.
SELECTIONS: from the Papers of theVirginia Historical and Philosophical Society
The Breviate Book of Sir John Randolph
Proceedings of the Sons of Liberty at Norfolk, 1766
Attack on Wheeling Fort in the Year 1777
FASHIONABLE PARTIES ANDLATE HOURS: by M. M. Noah
THE VILLAGEPASTOR'S WIFE: by C. L. H.
THOUGHTS ON AFFECTATION: by Adorer
WILLIS'S IMPRESSIONS OFLONDON: by N. P. W.
TO MISSC——, ON HER COQUETRY: by B.
WRITTEN FOR MISSM—— T——'S ALBUM: by E. A. S.
THE WANDERER: by Alex. Lacey Beard, M.D.
THE DEATH OF THEMOTHERLESS: by L. H. S.
THE FINE ARTS: by G. C.
A TALE FROM FLORIAN:BATHMENDI: translated by M.
A SCENE IN PARIS—1827:by a Virginian
THE CAVALIERS OFVIRGINIA, or the Recluse of Jamestown. An HistoricalRomance of the Old Dominion: by the author of a Kentuckian in New York
SCRAPS: by John Collins McCabe
SOUTHERN LITERARY MESSENGER.
The Publisher regrets that the learned and interesting discourse ofProfessor Tucker on the "Progress of Philosophy," delivered before theVirginia Historical and Philosophical Society at its last meeting,could not appear in the present number without dividing it. It shallcertainly appear in the April number entire.
SKETCHES OF THE HISTORY
And Present Condition of Tripoli, with some accounts of the otherBarbary States.
On the arrival of Commodore Barron in the Mediterranean, he as seniorcaptain, superseded Preble in the command of the American forces inthat sea. The determined manner in which the war had been prosecuted bythe latter officer, and the many acts of gallantry which haddistinguished the period of his direction, caused his withdrawal to beuniversally regretted; and the more so, as Barron was at that timelaboring under a disease of the liver, which disqualified him forexertions, and indeed soon after obliged him to retire from activeduty. Preble returned to the United States, where he was received withevery mark of respect by the government and by his fellow-citizens ingeneral; leaving under Barron's command, six frigates, four brigs, twoschooners, a sloop of war and eight gunboats, which mounted in allthree hundred and twenty-six guns. The season was however too faradvanced to admit of farther operations against Tripoli; ships werestationed off the harbor sufficient to maintain a blockade, the otherspassed the winter in cruising or lying at Malta and the Sicilian ports.
It has been stated that Mr. Cathcart was appointed to succeed Eaton asConsul of the United States at Tunis, with instructions to obtain apeace with Tripoli, even on condition of paying for it, should it beotherwise impossible; but he was soon after removed, his place asConsul being supplied by George Davis. The power to negotiate was givento Tobias Lear, a gentleman who had been private secretary to PresidentWashington, and afterwards an agent of the American Government in SaintDomingo, and who was sent in 1803 to reside at Algiers, as ConsulGeneral for the Barbary States. Mr. Lear was instructed to joinCommodore Barron, in order to treat for peace with Tripoli, which itwas hoped "might be effected without any price or pecuniarycompensation whatever; but should adverse circumstances, of which hecould best judge, and which were not foreseen, render the campaignabortive, and a pecuniary sacrifice preferable to a protraction of thewar," he was authorised, in the last instance and in that only, "toagree to the payment of twenty thousand dollars immediately, and of anannual tribute of eight or ten thousand more, for peace." "For theransom of the prisoners, if ransom should be unavoidable, he mightstipulate a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars for each man,including officers," the Tripoline prisoners being however exchangedfor an equal number of Americans; but "this rate of ransom was not tobe yielded, without such a change in affairs, by accident to thesquadron, or by other powers joining against the United States, as wasvery unlikely to happen;" and it was to be borne in mind, that thissum, "connected with terms otherwise favorable, was the voluntary offerof the Pasha1 to Captain Preblein January, 1804." The Commodore wasat liberty to avail himself of Hamet's co-operation, "if he shouldjudge that it might prove useful; to engage which, as well as to renderit the more effectual, he had discretionary authority to grant himpecuniary or other subsidies, not exceeding twenty thousand dollars;but the less reliance was placed upon his aid, as the force under theorders of the Commodore was deemed sufficient for any exercise ofcoercion, which the obstinacy of the Pasha might demand." The power tonegotiate was confided to Mr. Lear in the first instance, asCommissioner of the United States for that purpose; in case ofaccident, it was to devolve upon the acting Commodore of the squadron.
1 A mistake; no such proposition was made by the Pasha; ofthis there are many proofs; it is sufficient however to quote Preble'sown words in his despatch of September 18th, 1804, in which, speakingof the Pasha's offer of the 10th of August, to terminate the war onpayment by the Americans of five hundred dollars for each prisoner, hesays that "it was 350,000 dollars less than was demanded previous tothe bombardment of the 3d of the same month."
These instructions bear the stamp of that extreme cautiousness anduncertainty with regard to the employment of decisive measures, whichcharacterized the government of the United States at that period. Aforce is sent, deemed adequate for any exercise of coercion which maybe required, without recourse to a Pretender from whose alliance, aconsiderable accession of moral influence might have been fairlyexpected; yet in anticipation of adverse events, or of circumstancesnot then foreseen, a civil agent is vested with authority to purchase ahumiliating peace. It is doubtless proper in all cases, to provide forpossible mishaps, particularly where the scene of action is fardistant; but in this instance, it is difficult to conceive that anyoccurrences should render necessary a total abandonment by the UnitedStates, of principles, for the support of which so large an armamenthad been prepared; and there were the less grounds for suchanticipations, as it was believed, though erroneously, that the Pashahad already offered terms much more favorable than those to which theagent was authorised in the end to agree. It must be observed however,that these instructions were issued on the 6th of June, 1804, at whichperiod Preble's spirited attacks had not been made, and the proceedingsof the American forces in the Mediterranean had, with one or twoexceptions, been remarkable only for their inefficiency or theirdisastrous results.
Having received these orders, Mr. Lear quitted Algiers, and joinedBarron off Tripoli; they both soon after retired to Malta, which theyconsidered the most convenient place, either for carrying onnegotiations with Tripoli, or for directing the operations of theships. On the 28th of December, 1804, a letter reached them from Don G.J. de Sousa, Spanish Consul at Tripoli, in which he stated, that at alate audience the Pasha had expressed his willingness to make peacewith the Americans, provided they would come forward on proper grounds,but had added, "that their proposals had hitherto been extravagant andinadmissible, not only from the trifling amount of money offered, butalso from their having sought to compel their acceptance by force ofarms, a method by which they would never succeed." The Consul thensuggested, that Mr. Lear should himself appear before the city with aflag of truce, and treat directly with the Pasha, "whom means would befound sub rosa, to dispose for a peace on terms appropriate andsuitable for both parties." He concluded by tendering his own goodoffices in the affair, requesting however, that for the present, theutmost secrecy might be observed with regard to this communication.
Notwithstanding the last injunction, many circumstances conspired toinduce a belief that the letter had been written under Yusuf'sdirections, in order to discover the temper and disposition of theAmericans. In truth, the general character of the Spanish Consul was byno means respectable; he was known to be closely connected with thePasha, and it had even been suspected, that to his influence or agencythe war with the United States was chiefly to be attributed. Inaddition to this, no communications had been received from Yusuf sincehis last proposition to Preble, after the bombardment in August; norindeed was any thing known respecting his strength, or the effectswhich had been produced by the attacks made during the precedingsummer. It was therefore difficult to judge what "would be appropriateand suitable for both parties;" and the Spanish Consul's sub rosameans of disposing the Pasha to such terms, were very naturallymistrusted. For these reasons, and from an expectation that more directoffers would soon be made, it was determined that no answer should begiven to the letter immediately.
Of Eaton, no news was received by the Commodore from the period of hisdeparture for Egypt, until the return of the Argus from Alexandria, onthe 10th of March, 1805. She brought despatches from him, containinginformation of the means pursued to communicate with Hamet, of theirsuccessful issue, of the Convention about to be made with the Prince,and of their projected expedition to Derne, in aid of which heintreated that supplies of money, provisions and ammunition might besent to Bomba, and if possible, a detachment of one hundred marines. Inthe brig came also Mahumed Mezaluna, an old Moor, who had been Hamet'ssecretary, and who now appeared as his accredited agent to solicit assistance.
Barron had however, by this time become very doubtful as to thepropriety of acting in concert with the exile, and he moreover feared,that he had already exceeded his own authority, in the instructionswhich he had given to Eaton on parting. The information conveyed by thedespatches, particularly as regarded the Convention, increased hisuneasiness, as he was led to apprehend that Eaton had acted even beyondthe limits of those instructions, and had entered into engagements"incompatable with the ideas and intentions of their government, orwith the authority vested in himself." Indeed, independently of theevident disinclination of the government to act in concert with Hamet,and the smallness of the sum allowed for the purpose, absoluteengagements to place him on the throne of Tripoli, might have producedthe most serious consequences to the Americans. The enterprise, inorder to be effective, would have been necessarily attended with agreat expenditure of funds, for which indemnification could not havebeen reasonably expected, in whatever way or however pointedly it mayhave been stipulated: by its failure the insolence of the BarbaryStates would have been increased, and additional encouragement havebeen given to the exactions of their Sovereigns; and even if completelysuccessful, the advantages to be derived by the United States were byno means evident. The ruler of every country, however unrestrained hisauthority may be, must in his policy take into consideration, thehabits and the prejudices of his people; few have succeeded by actingwithout reference to both, and fewer still have lived to witness anyimportant change wrought in either through their own efforts. TheTripolines were bigoted Mahometans, and piracy was among them anancient and most honorable calling; the establishment of Hamet by theaid of Christians, and his engagement to remain