The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 38, December, 1860
112 Pages
English
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 38, December, 1860

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
112 Pages
English

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 43
Language English

Exrait

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860 Author: Various Release Date: March 5, 2004 [eBook #11465] Language: English Character set encoding: iso-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ATLANTIC MONTHLY, VOLUME 6, NO. 38, DECEMBER, 1860*** E-text prepared by Joshua Hutchinson, Sheila Vogtmann, and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS. VOL. VI.--DECEMBER, 1860.--NO. XXXVIII. THE UNITED STATES AND THE BARBARY STATES. Speak of the relations between the United States and the Barbary Regencies at the beginning of the century, and most of our countrymen will understand the War with Tripoli. Ask them about that Yankee crusade against the Infidel, and you will find their knowledge of it limited to Preble's attack. On this bright spot in the story the American mind is fixed, regardless of the dish we were made to eat for five-and-twenty years. There is also current a vague notion, which sometimes takes the shape of an assertion, that we were the first nation who refused to pay tribute to the Moorish pirates, and thus, established a now principle in the maritime law of the Mediterranean. This, also, is a patriotic delusion. The money question between the President and the Pacha was simply one of amount. Our chief was willing to pay anything in reason; but Tripolitan prices were too high, and could not be submitted to. The burning of the Philadelphia and the bombardment of Tripoli are much too fine a subject for rhetorical pyrotechnics to have escaped lecturers and orators of the Fourth-of-July school. We have all heard, time and again, how Preble, Decatur, Trippe, and Somers cannonaded, sabred, and blew up these pirates. We have seen, in perorations glowing with pink fire, the Genius of America, in full naval uniform, sword in hand, standing upon a quarter-deck, his foot upon the neck of a turbaned Turk, while over all waves the flag of Freedom. The Moorish sketch is probably different. In it, Brother Jonathan must appear with his liberty-cap in one hand and a bag of dollars in the other, bowing humbly before a well-whiskered Mussulman, whose shawl is stuck full of poniards and pistols. The smooth-faced unbeliever begs that his little ships may be permitted to sail up and down this coast unmolested, and promises to give these and other dollars, if his Highness, the Pacha, will only command his men to keep the peace on the highseas. This picture is not so generally exhibited here; but it is quite as correct as the other, and as true to the period. The year after Preble's recall, another New-England man, William Eaton, led an army of nine Americans from Egypt to Derne, the easternmost province of Tripoli,--a march of five hundred miles over the Desert. He took the capital town by storm, and would have conquered the whole Regency, if he had been supplied with men and money from our fleet. "Certainly," says Pascal Paoli Peek, a non-commissioned officer of marines, one of the nine, "certainly it was one of the most extraordinary expeditions ever set on foot." Whoever reads the story will be of the same opinion as this marine with the wonderful name. Never was the war carried into Africa with a force so small and with completer success. Yet Eaton has not had the luck of fame. He was nearly forgotten, in spite of a well-written Life by President Felton, in Sparks's Collection, until a short time since; when he was placed before the public in a somewhat melodramatic attitude, by an article in a New York pictorial monthly. It is not easy to explain this neglect. We know that our Temple of Fame is a small building as yet, and that it has a great many inhabitants,--so many, indeed, that worthy heroes may easily be overlooked by visitors who do not consult the catalogue. But a man who has added a brilliant page to the Gesta Dei per Novanglos deserves a conspicuous niche. A brief sketch of his doings in Africa will give a good view of the position of the United States in Barbary, in the first years of the Republic. Sixty years ago, civilized Europe not only tolerated the robbery, the murder, and the carrying into captivity of her own people, but actually recognized this triple atrocity as a privilege inherent to certain persons of Turkish descent and Mahometan religion inhabiting the northern coast of Africa. England or France might have put them down by a word long before; but, as the corsairs chiefly ravaged the defenceless coasts of Sardinia, Sicily, and Naples, the two great powers had no particular interest in crushing them. And there was always some jealous calculation of advantage, some pitiful project of turning them to future account, which prevented decisive action on the part of either nation. Then the wars which followed the French Revolution kept Europe busy at home and gave the Barbary sailors the opportunity of following their calling for a few years longer with impunity. The English, with large fleets and naval stations in the Mediterranean, had nothing to fear from them, and were, probably, not much displeased with the contributions levied upon the commerce of other nations. Barbary piracy was a protective tax in favor of British bottoms. French merchantmen kept at home. Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland tried to outbid one another for the favor of the Dey, Bey, and Pacha, and were robbed and enslaved whenever it suited the interests of their Highnesses. The Portuguese kept out of the Mediterranean, and protected their coast by guarding the Straits of Gibraltar. Not long before the French Revolution, a new flag in their waters had attracted the greedy eyes of the Barbarians. When they learned that it belonged to a nation thousands of miles away, once a colony of England, but now no longer under her protection, they blessed Allah and the Prophet for sending these fish to their nets; and many Americans were made to taste the delights of the Patriarchal Institution in the dockyards of Algiers. As soon as the Federal Government was fairly established, Washington recommended to Congress to build a fleet for the protection of citizens in the Mediterranean. But the young nation needed at first all its strength to keep itself upright at