That former den of pirates, the city of Algiers is situated on the shores of a pretty deep bay, by which the northern coast of Africa, is here indented, and may be said to form an irregular triangular figure, the base line of which abuts on the sea, while the apex is formed by the Cassaubah, or citadel, which answered the double purpose of a fort to defend and awe the city, and a palace for the habitation of the Dey and his court. The hill on which the city is built, slopes rather rapidly upwards, so that every house is visible from the sea, in consequence of which it was always sure to suffer severely from a bombardment. The top of the hill has an elevation of nearly five hundred feet, and exactly at this point is built the citadel; the whole town lying between it and the sea. The houses of Algiers have no roofs, but are all terminated by terraces, which are constantly whitewashed; and as the exterior walls, the fort, the batteries and the walls are similarly beautified, the whole city, from a distance, looks not unlike a vast chalk quarry opened on the side of a hill.
The fortifications towards the sea are of amasing strength, and with the additions made since Lord Exmouth's attack, may be considered as almost impregnable. They occupy the entire of a small island, which lies a short distance in front of the city, to which it is connected at one end by a magnificent mole of solid masonry, while the other which commands the entrance of the port, is crowned with a battery, bristling with cannon of immense calibre, which would instantly sink any vessel which should now attempt to occupy the station taken by the Queen Charlotte on that memorable occasion.
On the land side, the defences are by no means of equal strength, as they were always considered rather as a shelter against an insurrectionary movement of the natives, than as intended to repulse the regular attacks of a disciplined army. In fact defences on this side would be of little use as the city is completely commanded by different hills, particularly that on which the Emperor's fort is built, and was obliged instantly to capitulate, as soon as this latter had fallen into the hands of the French, in 1830.
There are four gates; one opening on the mole, which is thence called the marine gate, one near the citadel, which is termed the new gate; and the other two, at the north and south sides of the city, with the principal street running between them. All these gates are strongly fortified, and outside the three land gates run the remains of a ditch, which once surrounded the city, but is now filled up except at these points. The streets of Algiers are all crooked, and all narrow. The best are scarcely twelve feet in breadth, and even half of this is occupied by the projections of the shops, or the props placed to support the first stories of the houses, which are generally made to advance beyond the lower, insomuch that in many places a laden mule can scarcely pass. Of public buildings, the most remarkable is the Cassaubah, or citadel, the situation of which we have already mentioned. It is a huge, heavy looking brick building, of a square shape, surrounded by high and massive walls, and defended by fifty pieces of cannon, and some mortars, so placed as equally to awe the city and country. The apartments set apart for the habitation of the Dey and the ladies of his harem, are described as extremely magnificent, and abundantly supplied with marble pillars, fountains, mirrors, carpets, ottomans, cushions, and other articles of oriental luxury; but there are others no less valuable and curious, such as the armory, furnished with weapons of every kind, of the finest manufacture, and in the greatest abundance, the treasury, containing not only a profusion of the precious metals, coined or in ingots, but also diamonds, pearls, rubies, and other precious stones of great value; and lastly, the store rooms of immense extent, in which were piled up the richest silk stuffs, velvets, brocades, together with wool, wax, sugar, iron, lead, sabre-blades, gun barrels, and all the different productions of the Algerine territories; for the Dey was not only the first robber but the first merchant in his own dominions.
Next to the Cassaubah, the mole with the marine forts, presented the handsomest and most imposing pile of buildings. The mole is no less than one thousand three hundred feet in length, forming a beautiful terrace walk, supported by arches, beneath which lay splendid magazines, which the French found filled with spars, hemp, cordage, cables, and all manner of marine stores. At the extremity of the mole, lay the barracks of the Janissaries, entrusted with the defence of the marine forts, and consisting of several small separate chambers, in which they each slept on sheepskin mats, while in the centre was a handsome coffee-room. The Bagnios were the buildings, in which Europeans for a long time felt the most interest, inasmuch as it was in these that the Christian slaves taken by the corsairs were confined. For many years previous to the French invasion, however, the number of prisoners had been so trifling, that many of these terrific buildings had fallen to decay, and presented, when the French army entered Algiers, little more than piles of mouldering ruins. The inmates of the Bagnio when taken by the French were the crews of two French brigs, which a short time before had been wrecked off Cape Bingut, a few French prisoners of war made during their advance, and about twenty Greek, and Genoese sailors, who had been there for two years; in all about one hundred and twenty. They represented their condition as bad, though by no means so deplorable as it would have been in former days. The prison was at first so close, that there was some danger of suffocation, to avoid which the Turks had made holes in the walls; but as they neglected to supply these with windows or shutters of any kind, there was no means of excluding wind or rain, from which consequently they often suffered.
In a piratical career of many centuries, the countless thousands who have been taken, enslaved, and perished in bondage by these monsters should long ago have drawn upon them the united vengeance of all Christendom. Many a youth of family and fortune, of delicate constitution has been captured and sold in the slave market. His labor through the long hot days would be to cleanse out the foul bed of some large empty reservoir, where he would be made to strip, and descending into the pond, bring up in his arms the black stinking mud, heaped up and pressed against his bosom; or to labor in drawing huge blocks of stone to build the mole; or in building and repairing the fortifications, with numerous other painful and disgusting tasks. The only food was a scanty supply of black bread, and occasionally a few decayed olives, or sheep which had died from some disorder. At night they were crowded into that most horrid of prisons the Bagnio, to sleep on a little filthy straw, amidst the most noisome stenches. Their limbs in chains, and often receiving the lash. Occasionally an individual would be ransomed; when his story would draw tears of pity from all who heard it. Ladies were frequently taken by these monsters and treated in the most inhuman manner. And sometimes whole families were enslaved. Numerous facts, of the most heart-rending description are on record: but our limits oblige us to be brief.
A Spanish lady, the wife of an officer, with her son, a youth of fourteen, and her daughter, six years old, were taken in a Spanish vessel by the Algerines. The barbarians treated her and both her children with the greatest inhumanity. The eldest they kept in chains; and the defenceless little one they wantonly treated so ill, that the unhappy mother was often nearly deprived of her reason at the blows her infant received from these wretches, who plundered them of every thing. They kept them many days at sea on hard and scanty fare, covered only with a few soiled rags; and in this state brought them to Algiers. They had been long confined in a dreadful dungeon in the Bagnio where the slaves are kept, when a messenger was sent to the Aga, or Captain of the Bagnio, for a female slave. It fortunately fell to the lot of the Spanish lady, but at the instant when she was embracing her son, who was tearing himself from his mother with haggard and disordered looks, to go to his imperious drivers; and while in despair she gazed on her little worn-out infant, she heard herself summoned to attend the guard of the prison to a family that had sent for a female slave. She obtained permission to take her little daughter with her. She dreaded being refused, and sent back to the horrid dungeon she was leaving where no difference was paid to rank, and slaves of all conditions were huddled together. She went therefore prepared to accept of anything short of these sufferings. She was refused, as being in every respect opposite to the description of the person sent for. At length her entreaties and tears prevailed; compassion overruled every obstacle; and she, with her little girl, was accepted. But there remained another difficulty; she had left her son chained in the midst of that dungeon from which she had just been rescued. Her kind patrons soon learned the cause of her distress; but to send for the youth and treat him kindly, or in any way above that of a common slave, must hazard the demand of so large a ransom for him and his mother, as would forever preclude the hope of liberty. He was, however, sent for, and the menial offices they were both engaged to perform were only nominal. With circumspection the whole family were sheltered in this manner for three years; when the war with the Spaniards growing more inveterate, the Algerines demanded the youth back to the Bagnio, to work in common with the other slaves, in repairing the damages done to the fortresses by the Spanish cannon. He was now compelled to go, loaded with heavy stones, through the whole of the town; and at almost every step he received dreadful blows, not being able to hasten his pace from the great weight.
Overcome at last with ill usage, the delicacy of his form and constitution gave way to the excessive labor, and he one morning refused the orders of his master, or driver, to rise from the straw on which he was stretched, declaring they might kill him if they chose, for he would not even try to carry another load of stones. Repeated messages had been sent from the Venetian consul's, where his mother and sister were sheltered, to the Aga, to return him; and when the Algerines found that they had absolutely reduced him so near death, they thought it best to spare his life for the sake of future ransom. They agreed, therefore, to let him return to the Christians. His life was for some time despaired of; but through the kind attention he received, he was rescued from the threatened dissolution. His recovery was concealed, for fear of his being demanded back to work; and a few months after, the Spanish peace of 1784 being concluded, a ransom was accepted by the Algerines for this suffering family, and they were set at liberty.
These pirates in old times extended their depredations into the Atlantic as far as the British Channel. They swarmed in the Mediterranean, not only belonging to Algiers, but Tunis, and other ports on the coast of Barbary. Their corsairs making descents on the coasts of those countries which border on the Mediterranean, pillaging the villages and carrying off the inhabitants into slavery. The corsairs were vessels of different descriptions; some large armed ships, and latterly frigates; others were row gallies and the various craft used by the nations which navigate that sea, and had been taken by them and added to their marine. Upon the slaves being landed at Algiers they were marched to the Dey's or Bashaw's palace, when he selected the number which according to law belonged to him; and the rest were sold in the slave market to the highest bidder. A moiety of the plunder, cargoes and vessels taken also belonged to the Dey. Occasionally, a person by pretending to renounce his religion, and turning Mahometan would have his sufferings mitigated.
The most desperate attempts were sometimes made to effect an escape from these ruthless monsters, which occasionally succeeded.
In 1644 William Oakley and four companions escaped from Algiers, in a most miraculous manner, in a canvas boat. There was at this time an English clergyman, Mr. Sprat, in captivity, and the wretched slaves had the privilege of meeting in a cellar, where he would pray with them. Oakley had got into the good graces of his master, and was allowed his time by giving his master two dollars a month. He traded in tobacco and a few trifling articles, so that a strict watch was not kept on his movements. He conceived the project of making a canvas boat. He says I now first opened my design to my comrades, informing them, that I had contrived the model of a boat, which, being formed in pieces, and afterwards put together, might be the means of our deliverance. They greedily grasped at the prospect; but cooler reflection pointed out difficulties innumerable: some of them started objections which they thought insuperable, and these I endeavored to overrule.
We began our work in the cellar which had served for our devotions, though it was not the sanctity of the place, but its privacy, that induced us to this selection. We first provided a piece of wood, twelve feet long, and, that it might escape observation, it was cut in two, being jointed in the middle. Next we procured the timbers of ribs, which, to avoid the same hazard, were in three pieces each, and jointed in two places. The flat side of one of the two pieces was laid over the other, and two holes bored in every joint to receive nails; so that when united, each joint would make an obtuse angle, and approach towards a semicircular figure, as we required. We had, in the formation of an external covering, to avoid hammering and nailing, which would have made such a noise in the cellar as to attract the notice of the Algerines, who are insufferably suspicious about their wives and slaves. Therefore, we provided as much canvas as would cover the boat twice over, and as much pitch, tar and tallow, as would make it a kind of tarpaulin; as also earthen pots in which to melt our materials. The two carpenters and myself were appointed to this service in the cellar. We stopped up all chinks and crevices, that the fumes of these substances might not betray us. But we had not been long at work, when the smell of the melting materials overcame me, and obligated me to go into the streets gasping for breath, where meeting with the cool air, I swooned away, and broke my face in the fall. My companions, finding me in this plight, carried me back, extremely sick and unserviceable. Before long, I heard one of them complain of sickness, and thus he could proceed no further; therefore, I saw if we abandoned our project this night, it might not be resumed, which made me resolve to set the cellar door wide open, while I stood sentinel to give notice of approaching danger. In this way we finished the whole, and then carried it to my shop, which was about a furlong distant.
Every thing was fitted in the cellar, the timbers to the keel, the canvas to the timbers, and the seats to the whole, and then all were taken to pieces again. It was a matter of difficulty, however, to get the pieces conveyed out of the city; but William Adams carried the keel, and hid it at the bottom of a hedge: the rest was carried away with similar precautions. As I was carrying a piece of canvas, which we had bought for a sail, I looked back, and discovered the same spy, who had formerly given us much trouble, following behind. This gave me no small concern; but, observing an Englishman washing clothes by the sea side, I desired his help in washing the canvas. Just as we were engaged with it, the spy came up, and stood on a rock exactly over our heads, to watch us. Therefore, to delude him, I took the canvas and spread it before his face on the top of the rock to dry; he staid his own time, and then marched off. Still I was jealous of his intentions, which induced me to carry the canvas, when dry, straight back to the city, an incident that greatly discouraged my comrades. We also procured a small quantity of provisions, and two goat skins full of fresh water.
In the mean time, I paid my patron my wonted visits, kept up a fair correspondence, and duly gave him his demands; while I secretly turned all my goods to ready money as fast as I could, and putting it into a trunk with a false bottom, I committed it to the charge of Mr. Sprat who faithfully preserved it for me.
The place which we chose for joining the boat together was a hill about half a mile from the city, thinking by that means the better to descry the approach of danger. When the pieces were united, and the canvas drawn on, four of our number carried the boat down to the sea, where, stripping ourselves naked, and putting our clothes within, we carried it as far as we could wade, lest it might be injured by the stones or rocks near the shore. But we soon discovered that our calculations of lading were erroneous; for no sooner had we embarked, than the water came in over the sides, and she was like to sink; so that some new device became necessary. At last, one whose heart most failed him was willing to be excluded, and wished rather to hazard the uncertain torments of land, than the certainty of being drowned at sea. However the boat was still so deeply laden, that we all concluded that it was impossible to venture to sea. At length another went ashore, and she held her head stoutly, and seemed sufficiently capable of our voyage.
Taking a solemn farewell of our two companions left behind, and wishing them as much happiness as could be hoped for in slavery, and they to us as long life as could be expected by men going to their graves, we launched out on the 30th of June 1644, a night ever to be remembered. Our company consisted of John Anthony, William Adams, John Jephs, John the carpenter and myself. We now put to sea, without helm, tackle, or compass. Four of us continually labored at the oars; the employment of the fifth was baling out the water that leaked through the canvas. We struggled hard the first night to get out of the reach of our old masters; but when the day broke, we were still within sight of their ships in the haven and road-stead. Yet, out boat being small, and lying close and snug upon the sea, either was not discovered at all, or else seemed something that was not worth taking up.
On all occasions we found our want of foresight, for now the bread which had lain soaking in the salt water, was quite spoiled, and the tanned skins imparted a nauseous quality to the fresh water. So long as bread was bread, we made no complaints; with careful economy it lasted three days, but then pale famine, which is the most horrible shape in which death can be painted, began to stare us in the face. The expedients on which we fell to assuage our thirst rather inflamed it, and several things added to our distress. For some time the wind was right against us; our labour was incessant, for, although much rowing did not carry us forward, still, cessation of it drove us back; and the season was raging hot, which rendered our toil insupportable. One small alleviation we had in the man whose province it was to bale the water out of the boat; he threw it on our bodies to cool them. However, what with the scorching of the sun and cooling of the water, our skin was blistered all over. By day we were stark naked; by night we had on shirts or loose coats; for we had left our clothing ashore, on purpose to lighten the boat.
One of our number had a pocket dial, which supplied the place of a compass; and, to say the truth, was not ill befitting such a vessel and such mariners. By its aid we steered our course by day, while the stars served as a guide by night; and, if they were obscured, we guessed our way by the motion of the clouds. In this woful plight we continued four days and nights. On the fifth day we were at the brink of despair, and abandoned all hopes of safety. Thence we ceased our labor, and laid aside our oars; for, either we had no strength left to use them, or were reluctant to waste the little we had to no purpose. Still we kept emptying the boat, loth to drown, loth to die, yet knowing no means to avoid death.
They that act least commonly wish the most; and, when we had forsaken useful labor, we resorted to fruitless wishes--that we might be taken up by some ship, if it were but a ship, no matter of what country.
While we lay hulling up and down, our hopes at so low an ebb, we discovered a tortoise, not far from us, asleep in the sea. Had the great Drake discovered the Spanish plate fleet, he could not have been more rejoiced. Once again we bethought ourselves of our oars, and silently rowing to our prey, took it into the boat in great triumph. Having cut off its head, and let it bleed in a vessel, we drank the blood, ate the liver, and sucked the flesh. Our strength and spirits were wonderfully refreshed, and our work was vigorously renewed. Leaving our fears behind us, we began to gather hope, and, about noon, discovered, or thought that we discovered, land. It is impossible to describe our joy and triumph on this occasion. It was new life to us; it brought fresh blood into our veins, and fresh vigor into our pale cheeks: we looked like persons raised from the dead. After further exertion, becoming more confident, we were at last fully satisfied that it was land. Now, like distracted persons, we all leapt into the sea, and, being good swimmers, cooled our parched bodies, never considering that we might become a ready prey to the sharks. But we presently returned to our boat, and from being wearied with the exertion, and somewhat cooled by the sea, lay down to sleep with as much security as if it had been in our beds. It was fortunately of such short duration that the leaking of the boat occasioned no danger.
Refreshed by sleep, we found new strength for our work, and tugged hard at the oar, in hopes of reaching a more stable element before night. But our progress was very slow. Towards evening an island was discovered, which was Fromentere, having already seen Majorca; at least, some of our company, who had navigated these seas, declared that it was so. We debated long to which of the two our course should be directed; and, because the last discovered was much infested with venomous serpents, we all resolved to make for Majorca. The whole of that night we rowed very hard, and also the next, being the sixth from our putting to sea. The island was in sight all day, and about ten at night we came under the land, but it consisted of rocks so steep and craggy that we could not climb up.
Whilst under these rocks a vessel approached very near. Let the reader conceive our apprehensions, after all our toil and labor, of being seized by some Turkish privateer, such as are never off the seas. Thus we were obliged to lie close; and, when the vessel had passed, we crept gently along the coast, as near as we durst to the shore, until finding a suitable place to receive our weather-beaten boat.
We were not insensible of our deliverance on reaching land; though, like men just awakened from a dream, we could not duly appreciate the greatness of it. Having had no food since we got the tortoise, John Anthony and myself set out in search of fresh water, and three remained with the boat. Before proceeding far, we found ourselves in a wood, which created great embarrassment. My comrade wished to go one way, and I wished to go another. How frail and impotent a being is man! That we, whom common dangers by sea had united, should now fall out about our own inclinations at land. Yet so we did. He gave me reproachful words; and it is well that we did not come to blows, but I went my way, and he, seeing me resolute, followed. The path led to one of those watchtowers which the Spaniards keep on the coast to give timely notice of the approach of privateers. Afraid of being fired on, we called to the sentinel, informing him who we were, and earnestly requesting him to direct us to fresh water, and to give us some bread. He very kindly threw down an old mouldy cake, and directed us to a well close at hand. We drank a little water, and ate a bit of the cake, which we had difficulty in swallowing, and then hastened to return to our companions in the boat, to acquaint them with our success.
Though now necessary to leave the boat, we did not do it without regret; but this was lulled by the importunate cravings of hunger and thirst; therefore, making her fast ashore, we departed. Advancing, or rather crawling towards the well, another quarrel rose amongst us, the remembrance of which is so ungrateful that I shall bury it in silence, the best tomb for controversies. One of our company, William Adams, in attempting to drink, was unable to swallow the water, and sunk to the ground, faintly exclaiming, "I am a dead man!" After much straining and forcing, he, at length, got a little over; and when we were all refreshed with the cake and water, we lay down by the side of the well to wait for morning.
When it was broad day, we once more applied to the sentinel, to point out the way to the nearest house or town, which he did, directing us to a house about two miles distant; but our feet were so raw and blistered by the sun that it was long before we could get this short journey over; and then, the owners of the house, concluding from our garb that we came with a pilfering design, presented a fowling-piece, charging us to stand. The first of our number, who could speak the language of the country, mildly endeavored to undeceive him, saying, we were a company of poor creatures, whom the wonderful providence of God had rescued from the slavery of Algiers, and hoped that he would show mercy to our afflictions. The honest farmer, moved with our relation, sent out bread, water and olives. After refreshing ourselves with these, we lay down and rested three or four hours in the field; and, having given him thanks for his charity, prepared to crawl away. Pleased with our gratitude, he called us into his house, and gave us good warm bean pottage, which to me seemed the best food I had ever ate. Again taking leave, we advanced towards Majorca, which was about ten miles distant.
Next morning we arrived in the suburbs, where the singularity of our attire, being barefoot and bare legged, and having nothing on except loose shirts, drawn over our coats, attracted a crowd of enquirers. We gave a circumstantial account of our deliverance; and, as they were willing to contribute to our relief, they supplied us with food, wine, strong waters, and whatever else might renovate our exhausted spirits. They said, however, that we must remain in the suburbs until the viceroy had notice of our arrival. We were called before him, and when he had heard the account of our escape and dangers, he ordered us to be maintained at his expense until we should obtain a passage to our own country; and, in the meantime, the people collected money to buy clothes and shoes.
From Majorca they proceeded to Cadiz, and from thence to England, which they reached in safety.
Several expeditions at different periods were fitted out by different European nations to chastise the pirates. The Emperor, Charles V., in the plenitude of his power, sailed with a formidable armament in the year 1541, and affected a landing. Without doubt he would have taken the city, if a terrible storm had not risen, which destroyed a great part of his fleet and obliged him to re-embark with his shattered forces in the greatest precipitation. The exultation of the Algerines was unbounded; they now looked on themselves as the special favorites of heaven; the most powerful army which had ever attempted their subjection had returned with the loss of one third their number, and a great part of its ships and transports. Prisoners had been taken in such abundance, that to show their worthlessness, they were publicly sold in the market-place at Algiers, at an onion a head.
For nearly a century after this, little occurs of note in Algerine history except a constant system of piracy. In 1655 the British Admiral Blake gave them a drubbing.
The French were the next to attack these common enemies of Europe. Admiral Duguesne commanded the expedition, and after bombarding the place a short time, the Dey himself soon began to be terrified at the destruction these new engines of naval war made, when an unfavorable wind arising, compelled the fleet to make all sail for Toulon.
Relieved from the terror of immediate destruction, the Algerines returned to their old ways, making descents on the coast of Provence, where they committed the most dreadful ravages, killing, burning and destroying all that came in their way. The Dey also recovered, not only his courage, but his humor; for learning what a large sum the late expedition against his city had cost, he sent to say, "that if Louis would give him half the money, he would undertake to burn the whole city to please him." The French accordingly sent a new expedition under the same officers the next year. Duguesne again sailed, and in front of the city was joined by the Marquis D'Affranville, at the head of five other stout ships. A council of war was held and an immediate attack resolved upon, in consequence of which, the vessels having taken up their stations, a hundred bombs were thrown into the town during that day, and as many more on the following night, when the town was observed to be on fire in several places; the Dey's palace, and other public buildings were in ruins; some of the batteries were dismounted, and several vessels sunk in the fort. This speedy destruction soon determined the Dey and Janissaries to sue for peace; and a message to this effect was sent to Duguesne, who consented to cease firing, but refused to negociate regarding terms, until all the captives taken fighting under the French flag were given up as a preliminary step. This was agreed to, and one hundred and forty-two prisoners immediately sent off. In the mean time the soldiery becoming furious, assassinated the Dey and elected a new one, who ordered the flag to be hoisted on the city walls. Hostilities were now renewed with greater fury than before, and the French admiral threw such volleys of bombs into the city, that in less than three days the greatest part of it was reduced to ashes; and the fire burnt with such vehemence that the bay was illuminated to the distance of two or three leagues. Rendered desperate by the carnage around him, the new Dey ordered all the French captives who had been collected into the city to be cruelly murdered, and binding Father Vacher, the French Resident, hand and foot, had him tied to a mortar and fired off like a bomb against the French fleet. This wanton piece of atrocity so exasperated Duguesne, that, laying his fleet as near land as possible, he continued his cannonade until he had destroyed all their shipping, fortifications, buildings; in short, almost the whole of the lower town, and about two-thirds of the upper; when finding nothing else which a naval force could do, and being unprovided for a land expedition, he stood out leisurely to sea, leaving the Algerines to reflect over the sad consequences of their obstinacy. For several years after this they kept in the old piratical track; and upon the British consuls making a complaint to the Dey, on occasion of one of his corsairs having captured a vessel, he openly replied, "It is all very true, but what would you have? the Algerines are a company of rogues, and I am their captain."
To such people force was the argument; and in 1700 Capt. Beach, falling in with seven of their frigates, attacked them, drove them on shore, and burnt them. Expeditions at various times were sent against them, but without effecting much; and most of the maritime nations paid them tribute. But a new power was destined to spring up, from which these pirates were to receive their first check; that power was the United States of America.
In 1792 his corsairs, in a single cruise, swept off ten American vessels, and sent their crews to the Bagnio, so that there were one hundred and fifteen in slavery.
Negociations were at once set on foot; the Dey's demands had of course risen in proportion to the number of his prisoners, and the Americans had not only to pay ransom at a high rate, with presents, marine stores, and yearly tribute, but to build and present to the Dey, as a propitiatory offering, a thirty-six gun frigate; so that the whole expenses fell little short of a million of dollars, in return for which they obtained liberty for their captives, protection for their merchant vessels, and the right of free trade with Algiers. The treaty was signed September 5th, 1795; and from that time, up to 1812, the Dey continued on tolerable good terms with Congress; indeed, so highly was he pleased with them, in 1800, that he signified to the consul his intention of sending an ambassador to the Porte, with the customary presents, in the Washington, a small American frigate, at that time lying in the harbor of Algiers. In vain the consul and captain remonstrated, and represented that they had no authority to send the vessel on such a mission; they were silenced by the assurance that it was a particular honor conferred on them, which the Dey had declined offering to any of the English vessels then in harbor, as he was rather angry with that nation. The Washington was obliged to be prepared for the service; the corsair flag, bearing the turbaned head of Ali, was run up to her main top, under a salute of seven guns; and in this respectable plight she sailed up the Mediterranean, dropped anchor before the seven towers, where, having landed her cargo, she was permitted to resume her own colors, and was thus the first vessel to hoist the American Union in the Thracian Bosphorus.
It had long been a reproach to Great Britain, the mistress of the sea, that she had tamely suffered a barbarian power to commit such atrocious ravages on the fleets and shores of the minor states along the Mediterranean. At length a good cause was made for chastising them.
At Bona, a few miles to the east of Algiers, was an establishment for carrying on a coral fishery, under the protection of the British flag, which, at the season, was frequented by a great number of boats from the Corsican, Neapolitan, and other Italian ports. On the 23d of May, the feast of Ascension, as the crews of all the boats were preparing to hear mass, a gun was fired from the castle, and at the same time appeared about two thousand, other accounts say four thousand, infantry and cavalry, consisting of Turks, Levanters, and Moors. A part of these troops proceeded towards the country, whilst another band advanced towards the river, where the fishing boats were lying at different distances from the sea; and opening a fire upon the unfortunate fishermen, who were partly on board and partly on land, massacred almost the whole of them. They then seized the English flags, tore them in pieces, and trampling them under foot, dragged them along the ground in triumph. The men who happened to be in the country saved themselves by flight, and declared that they saw the soldiers pillage the house of the British vice-consul, the magazines containing the provisions, and the coral that had been fished up. A few boats escaped, and brought the news to Genoa, whence it was transmitted by the agent of Lloyd's in a despatch, dated June 6th.
No sooner had the account of this atrocious slaughter reached England, than all ranks seemed inflamed with a desire that a great and signal punishment should be taken on this barbarian prince, who was neither restrained by the feelings of humanity nor bound by treaties. An expedition, therefore, was fitted out with all speed at Portsmouth, and the command intrusted to Lord Exmouth, who, after some delays from contrary winds, finally sailed, July 28th, with a fleet complete in all points, consisting of his own ship, the Queen Charlotte, one hundred and twenty guns; the Impregnable, rear admiral, Sir David Milne; ninety guns; Minden, Superb, Albion, each seventy-four guns; the Leander fifty guns, with four more frigates and brigs, bombs, fire-ships, and several smaller vessels, well supplied, in addition to the ordinary means of warfare, with Congreve rockets, and Shrapnell shells, the destructive powers of which have lately been abundantly proved on the continent. August 9, the fleet anchored at Gibraltar, and was there joined by the Dutch admiral, Van Cappillen, commanding five frigates and a corvette, who had been already at Algiers, endeavoring to deliver slaves: but being refused, and finding his force insufficient, had determined on joining himself with the English squadron, which it was understood was under weigh. Meanwhile, the Prometheus, Captain Dashwood, had been sent forward to Algiers to bring off the British consul and family; but could only succeed in getting his wife and daughter, who were obliged to make their escape, disguised in midshipmen's uniform; for the Dey, having heard through some French papers of the British expedition, had seized the consul, Mr. Macdonnell, and put him in chains; and, hearing of the escape of his wife, immediately ordered the detention of two boats of the Prometheus, which happened to be on shore, and made slaves of the crews, amounting to eighteen men. This new outrage was reported to Lord Exmouth soon after leaving Gibraltar, and of course added not a little to his eagerness to reach Algiers. He arrived off Algiers on the morning of the 27th of August, and sent in his interpreter, Mr. Salame, with Lieutenant Burgess, under a flag of truce, bearing a letter for the Dey, demanding reparation.
Meantime, a light breeze sprung up, and the fleet advanced into the bay, and lay to, at about a mile off Algiers "It was now," says Mr. Salame, in his entertaining narrative, "half-past two, and no answer coming out, notwithstanding we had staid half an hour longer than our instructions, and the fleet being almost opposite the town, with a fine breeze, we thought proper, after having done our duty, to lose no more time, but to go on board, and inform his lordship of what had happened.
"Mr. Burgess, the flag-lieutenant, having agreed with me, we hoisted the signal, that no answer had been given, and began to row away towards the Queen Charlotte. After I had given our report to the admiral, of our meeting the captain of the port, and our waiting there, &c., I was quite surprised to see how his lordship was altered from what I left him in the morning; for I knew his manner was in general very mild, and now he seemed to me all-fightful, as a fierce lion, which had been chained in its cage, and was set at liberty. With all that, his lordship's answer to me was, 'Never mind, we shall see now;' and at the same time he turned towards the officers, saying, ' Be ready ,' whereupon I saw every one with the match or the string of the lock in his hand, most anxiously expecting the word 'Fire'!
"No sooner had Salame returned, than his lordship made the signal to know whether all the ships were ready, which being answered in the affirmative, he directly turned the head of the Queen Charlotte towards shore, and, to the utter amazement of the Algerines, ran across all the batteries without firing or receiving a single shot, until he brought up within eighty yards of the south end of the mole, where he lashed her to the mainmast of an Algerine brig, which he had taken as his direction, and had then the pleasure of seeing all the rest of the fleet, including the Dutch frigates, taking up their assigned stations with the same precision and regularity. The position in which the Queen Charlotte was laid was so admirable that she was only exposed to the fire of three or four flanking guns, while her broadside swept the whole batteries, and completely commanded the mole and marine, every part of which could be seen distinctly from her quarter-deck. Up to this moment not a shot had been fired, and the batteries were all crowded with spectators, gazing in astonishment at the quiet and regularity which prevailed through all the British ships, and the dangerous vicinity in which they placed themselves to such formidable means of defence. Lord Exmouth, therefore, began to conceive hopes that his demands would still be granted; but the delay, it appeared, was caused by the Algerines being completely unprepared for so very sudden an approach, insomuch that their guns were not shotted at the moment when the Queen Charlotte swept past them, and they were distinctly seen loading them as the other ships were coming into line. Anxious, if possible, to spare unnecessary effusion of blood, his lordship, standing on the quarter-deck, repeatedly waved his hat as a warning to the multitudes assembled on the mole to retire, but his signal was unheeded, and at a quarter before three in the afternoon the first gun was fired at the Queen Charlotte from the eastern battery, and two more at the Albion and Superb, which were following. Then Lord Exmouth, having seen only the smoke of the gun, before the sound reached him, said, with great alacrity, 'That will do; fire my fine fellows!' and I am sure that before his lordship had finished these words, our broadside was given with great cheering, which was fired three times within five or six minutes; and at the same time the other ships did the same. This first fire was so terrible, that they say more than five hundred persons were killed and wounded by it. And I believe this, because there was a great crowd of people in every part, many of whom, after the first discharge, I saw running away, under the walls, like dogs, walking upon their feet and hands.
"After the attack took place on both sides in this horrible manner, immediately the sky was darkened by the smoke, the sun completely eclipsed, and the horizon became dreary. Being exhausted by the heat of that powerful sun, to which I was exposed the whole day, and my ears being deafened by the roar of the guns, and finding myself in the dreadful danger of such a terrible engagement, in which I had never been before, I was quite at a loss, and like an astonished or stupid man, and did not know myself where I was. At last his lordship, having perceived my situation, said, 'You have done your duty, now go below.' Upon which I began to descend from the quarter-deck, quite confounded and terrified, and not sure that I should reach the cock-pit alive; for it was most tremendous to hear the crashing of the shot, to see the wounded men brought from one part, and the killed from the other; and especially, at such a time, to be found among the English seamen ! and to witness their manners, their activity, their courage, and their cheerfulness during the battle!--it is really most overpowering and beyond imagination."
The battle continued to rage furiously, and the havoc on both sides was very great. There were some awful moments, particularly when Algerine vessels so near our line were set on fire. The officers surrounding Lord Exmouth had been anxious for permission to make an attempt upon the outer frigate, distant about a hundred yards. He at length consented, and Major Gossett, of the corps of marines, eagerly entreated and obtained permission to accompany Lieutenant Richards in the ship's barge. The frigate was instantly boarded, and, in ten minutes, in a perfect blaze. A gallant young midshipman, although forbidden, was led by his too ardent spirit to follow in support of the barge, in which attempt he was desperately wounded, his brother officer killed, and nine of the crew. The barge, by rowing more rapidly, escaped better, having but one killed.
About sunset the admiral received a message from rear-admiral Milne, stating his severe loss in killed and wounded, amounting to one hundred and fifty, and requesting that, if possible, a frigate might be sent him to take off some of the enemy's fire. The Glasgow accordingly was ordered to get under weigh, but the wind having been laid by the cannonade, she was obliged again to anchor, having obtained a rather more favorable position. The flotilla of mortar, gun, and rocket boats, under the direction of their respective artillery officers, shared to the full extent of their powers the honors and toils of this glorious day. It was by their fire that all the ships in the port (with the exception of the outer frigate already mentioned) were in flames, which, extending rapidly over the whole arsenal, gun-boats, and storehouses, exhibited a spectacle of awful grandeur and interest which no pen can describe. The sloops of war which had been appropriated to aid and assist the ships of the line, and prepare for their retreat, performed not only that duty well, but embraced every opportunity of firing through the intervals, and were constantly in motion. The shells from the bombs were admirably well thrown by the royal marine artillery, and, though directed over and across our own men-of-war, did not produce a single accident. To complete the confusion of the enemy, the admiral now ordered the explosion ship, which had been charged for the occasion, to be brought within the mole; but upon the representation of Sir David Milne that it would do him essential service, if made to act on the battery in his front, it was towed to that spot, and blown up with tremendous effect.
This was almost the final blow;--the enemy's fire had for some time been very slack, and now almost wholly ceased, except that occasionally a few shots and shells were discharged from the higher citadel, upon which the guns of the fleet could not be brought to bear. The admiral, who from the commencement had been in the hottest of the engagement, and had fired until his guns were so hot that they could, some of them, not be used again; now seeing that he had executed the most important part of his instructions, issued orders for drawing off the fleet. This was commenced in excellent order about ten at night, and the usual breeze having set off from shore favored their manoeuvre, so that, all hands being employed in warping and towing, the vessels were got safely into the bay, and anchored, beyond reach of shot, about two o'clock the next morning.
So signal and well contested a victory could not have been gained without a considerable loss and suffering. It amounted in the English fleet, to one hundred and twenty-eight men killed, and six hundred and ninety wounded; in the Dutch squadron, to thirteen killed, and fifty-two wounded; grand total, eight hundred and eighty-three. But the enemy suffered much more severly; they are computed to have lost, in killed and wounded, not less than between six and seven thousand men. The loss sustained by the Algerines by the destruction in the mole was four large frigates, of forty-four guns. Five large corvettes, from twenty-four to thirty guns. All the gun and mortar-boats, except seven; thirty destroyed. Several merchant brigs and schooners. A great number of small vessels of various descriptions. All the pontoons, lighters, &c., Store-houses and arsenal, with all the timber, and various marine articles destroyed in part. A great many gun-carriages, mortar-beds, casks, and ships' stores of all descriptions.
Negociations were immediately opened in form; and on the 30th August the admiral published a notification to the fleet, that all demands had been complied with, the British consul had been indemnified for his losses, and the Dey, in presence of all his officers, had made him a public apology for the insults offered him. On the 1st of September, Lord Exmouth had the pleasure of informing the secretary of the Admiralty, that all the slaves in the city of Algiers, and its immediate vicinity were embarked; as also 357,000 dollars for Naples, and 25,000 dollars for Sardinia.
The number of slaves thus released amounted to one thousand and eighty-three, of whom four hundred and seventy-one were Neapolitans, two hundred and thirty-six Sicilians, one hundred and seventy-three Romans, six Tuscans, one hundred and sixty-one Spaniards, one Portuguese, seven Greeks, twenty-eight Dutch, and not one Englishman. Were there an action more than another on which an Englishman would willingly risk the fame and honor of his nation, it would be this attack on Algiers, which, undertaken solely at her own risk, and earned solely by the expenditure of her own blood and her own resources, rescued not a single subject of her own from the tyrant's grasp, while it freed more than a thousand belonging to other European powers.
In August, 1816, the strength of Algiers seemed annihilated; her walls were in ruins, her haughty flag was humbled to the dust; her gates lay open to a hostile power, and terms were dictated in the palace of her princes. A year passed, the hostile squadron had left her ports, the clang of the workman's hammer, the hum of busy men resounded through her streets, fresh walls had risen, new and more formidable batteries had been added; again she resumed her attitude as of yore, bid defiance to her foes, and declared war on civilization:--again her blood-stained corsairs swept the seas, eager for plunder, ready for combat;--Christian commerce once more became shackled by her enterprise, and Christian captives once more sent up their cry for deliverance. In 1819, her piracies had become so numerous that the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle caused it to be notified to the Dey, that their cessation was required, and would be enforced, by a combined French and English squadron. His reply was brief and arrogant, and the admirals were obliged to leave without obtaining the least satisfaction. By menaces, however, accompanied by the presence of some cruisers, England, France, and the United States caused their flags to be respected.
Ali, the successor of Amar, had died in 1818, and was succeeded by Hassein Pasha, who, from the commencement of his reign, evinced the strongest antipathy to the French power. In 1824, he imposed an arbitrary tax through all his provinces on French goods and manufactures; the consul's house was frequently entered and searched in a vexatious manner, contrary to the express stipulations of treaties; and, finally, April, 1827, the consul himself, having gone at the feast of Bayram to pay his respects, was, upon a slight difference of opinion arising during their conversation, struck across the mouth with a fly-flap which the Dey held in his hand, and in consequence soon after left Algiers, while the Dey ordered the destruction of all the French establishments along the coast towards Bona, and oppressed in every manner the French residents within his dominions. A blockade was instantly commenced by the French, and maintained for nearly three years, until it was found that they suffered much more by it than the Dey, the expense having reached nearly 800,000l sterling, while he appeared no way inconvenienced by their efforts, and even treated them with such contempt as to order his forts to fire on the vessel of Admiral Le da Bretonnière, who, in 1829, had gone there under a flag of truce to make a final proposal of terms of accommodation. So signal a violation of the laws of nations could not be overlooked, even by the imbecile administrations of Charles X. All France was in an uproar; the national flag had been dishonored, and her ambassador insulted; the cry for war became loud and universal; conferences on the subject were held; the oldest and most experienced mariners were invited by the minister at war to assist in his deliberations; and an expedition was finally determined on in the month of February, 1830, to consist of about thirty-seven thousand men, a number which it was calculated would not only be sufficient to overcome all opposition which might be encountered, but to enable the French to reduce the kingdom to a province, and retain it in subjection for any length of time that might be considered advisable. No sooner was this decision promulgated, than all the necessary preparations were commenced with the utmost diligence. It was now February, and the expedition was to embark by the end of April, so that no time could be lost. The arsenals, the naval and military workships, were all in full employment. Field and breaching batteries were mounted on a new principle lately adopted; gabions, earth-bags, chevaux-de-frise, and projectiles were made in the greatest abundance maps, notes, and all the information that could be procured respecting Barbary were transmitted to the war office, where their contents were compared and digested, and a plan of operations was drawn out. The commissariat were busied in collecting provisions, waggons, and fitting out an efficient hospital train; a deputy-commissary was despatched to reconnoitre the coasts of Spain and the Balearic Islands, to ascertain what resources could be drawn from them, and negociate with the king for leave to establish military hospitals at Port Mahon. Eighteen regiments of the line, three squadrons of cavalry, and different corps of artillery and engineers were ordered to hold themselves in readiness; four hundred transports were assembled, and chartered by government in the port of Marseilles, while the vessels of war, which were to form the convoy, were appointed their rendezvous in the neighborhood of Toulon. After some hesitation as to who should command this important expedition, the Count de Bourmont, then minister at war, thought fit to appoint himself; and his etat-major was soon complete, Desprez acting as chief, and Tholozé as second in command. Maubert de Neuilly was chosen provost-marshal, De Bartillat (who afterwards wrote an entertaining account of the expedition) quarter-master general, and De Carne commissary-general to the forces. In addition to these, there were about twenty aid-de-camps, orderlies, and young men of rank attached to the staff, together with a Spanish general, an English colonel, a Russian colonel and lieutenant, and two Saxon officers, deputed by their respective governments. There were also a section of engineer-geographers, whose business was to survey and map the country as it was conquered, "and," says M. Roget, who was himself employed in the service we have just mentioned, and to whose excellent work, written in that capacity, we are so much indebted, "twenty-four interpreters, the half of whom knew neither French nor Arabic, were attached-to the different corps of the army, in order to facilitate their intercourse with the inhabitants." As the minister had determined on risking his own reputation on the expedition, the supplies were all, of course, of the completest kind, and in the greatest abundance. Provisions for three months were ordered; an equal quantity was to be forwarded as soon as the army had landed in Africa; and, amongst the other materials furnished we observe, in looking over the returns, thirty wooden legs, and two hundred crutches, for the relief of the unfortunate heroes, a boring apparatus to sink pumps, if water should run short, and a balloon, with two aeronauts, to reconnoitre the enemy's position, in case, as was represented to be their wont, they should entrench themselves under the shelter of hedges and brushwood.
The French effected a landing at Sidy-el-Ferruch, a small promontory, about five leagues to the west of Algiers, and half a league to the east of the river Massaflran, where it discharges itself into the bay. On the 14th of June they all landed without opposition.
After a continued series of engagements and skirmishes the army got within cannon shot of Algiers, where they broke ground and began entrenching, and the French works being completed, the heavy breaching cannon were all mounted; and at day-break on the 4th of July, General Lahitte, having assured himself by personal inspection that all was ready, ordered the signal rocket to be thrown, and at the same moment the whole French batteries opened their fire within point blank distance, and with a report which shook the whole of Algiers, and brought the garrison, who were little expecting so speedy an attack, running to their posts. The artillery was admirably served, and from one battery which enfiladed the fort, the balls were seen to sweep away at once an entire row of Algerine cannoneers from their guns. The Turks displayed the most undaunted courage; they answered shot for shot, supplied with fresh men the places of such as were slain, stopped up with woolsacks the breaches made by the balls, replaced the cannon which the French fire had dismounted, and never relaxed their exertions for a moment. But the nature of their works was ill-calculated to withstand the scientific accuracy with which the besiegers made their attack. Every ball now told--the tower in the centre was completely riddled by shots and shells; the bursting of these latter had disabled great numbers of the garrison. By seven o'clock the besieged had begun to retire from the most damaged part of their works; by half-past eight the whole outer line of defence was abandoned, and by nine the fire of the fort was extinct. The Turkish general, finding opposition hopeless, had sent to the Dey for commands; and in reply was ordered to retreat with his whole remaining force to the Cassaubah, and leave three negroes to blow up the fort. The tranquillity with which they performed this fatal task deserves record. The French, finding the enemy's fire to fail, directed all theirs towards effecting a practicable breach. The fort seemed to be abandoned;--two red flags floated still on its outside line of defence, and a third on the angle towards the city. Three negroes were seen calmly walking on the ramparts, and from time to time looking over, as if to examine what progress the breach was making. One of them, struck by a cannon-ball, fell, and the others, as if to revenge his death, ran to a cannon, pointed it, and fired three shots. At the third, the gun turned over, and they were unable to replace it. They tried another, and as they were in the act of raising it, a shot swept the legs from under one of them. The remaining negro gazed for a moment on his comrade, drew him a little back, left him, and once more examined the breach. He then snatched one of the flags, and retired to the interior of the tower; in a few minutes he re-appeared, took a second and descended. The French continued to cannonade, and the breach appeared almost practicable, when suddenly they were astounded by a terrific explosion, which shook the whole ground as with an earthquake; an immense column of smoke, mixed with streaks of flame, burst from the centre of the fortress, masses of solid masonry were hurled into the air to an amazing height, while cannon, stones, timbers, projectiles, and dead bodies, were scattered in every direction--the negro had done his duty--the fort was blown up.
In half an hour the French sappers and miners were at work repairing the smoking ruins, their advanced guards had effected a reconnoissance along the side of the hill towards the fort Bab-azoona, and their engineers had broken ground for new works within seven hundred yards of the Cassaubah. But these preparations were unnecessary; the Dey had resigned all further intention of resistance, and at two o'clock a flag of truce was announced, which proved to be Sidy Mustapha, the Dey's private secretary, charged with offers of paying the whole expense of the campaign, relinquishing all his demands on France, and making any further reparation that the French general might require, on condition that the troops should not enter Algiers. These proposals met with an instant negative:--Bourmont felt that Algiers was in his power, and declared that he would grant no other terms than an assurance of life to the Dey and inhabitants, adding that if the gates were not opened he should recommence his fire. Scarcely had Mustapha gone, than two other deputies appeared, sent by the townsmen to plead in their behalf. They were a Turk called Omar, and a Moor named Bouderba, who having lived for some time at Marseilles, spoke French perfectly. They received nearly the same answer as Mustapha; but they proved themselves better diplomatists, for they spoke so much to the general of the danger, there would be in refusing the Janissaries all terms, and the probability that if thus driven to despair they might make a murderous resistance, and afterwards destroy all the wealth and blow up all the forts before surrendering, that Bourmont, yielding to their representations, became less stern in his demands; and Mustapha having returned about the same time with the English vice-consul, as a mediator, the following terms were finally committed to paper, and sent to the Dey by an interpreter.
"1. The fort of the Cassaubah, with all the other forts dependent on Algiers, and the harbor, shall be placed in the hands of the French troops the 5th of July, at 10 o'clock, A.M.
"2. The general-in-chief of the French army ensures the Dey of Algiers personal liberty, and all his private property.
"3. The Dey shall be free to retire with his family and wealth wherever he pleases. While he remains at Algiers he and his family shall be under the protection of the commander-in-chief. A guard shall insure his safety, and that of his family.
"4. The same advantages, and same protection are assured to all the soldiers of the militia.
"5. The exercise of the Mohammedan religion shall remain free; the liberty of the inhabitants of all classes, their religion, property, commerce, and industry shall receive no injury; their women shall be respected: the general takes this on his own responsibility.
"6. The ratification of this convention to be made before 10 A.M., on the 5th of July, and the French troops immediately after to take possession of the Cassaubah, and other forts."
These terms were so much more favorable than the Dey could have expected, that, of course, not a moment was lost in signifying his acceptance: he only begged to be allowed two hours more to get himself and his goods out of the Cassaubah, and these were readily granted. It may, indeed, be wondered at that he and his Janissaries should be allowed to retain all their ill-gotten booty, under the name of private property; but Count de Bourmont, though not without talent, was essentially a weak man, and was in this instance overreached by the wily Moor. The whole of next morning an immense number of persons were seen flying from Algiers, previous to the entry of the French army, and carrying with them all their goods, valuables, and money. They fled by the fort Bab-azoona, on the roads towards Constantina and Bleeda; and about a hundred mounted Arabs were seen caracolling on the beach, as if to cover their retreat. No opposition to it, however, was made by the French troops, or by their navy, which had now again come in sight.
At twelve o'clock the general, with his staff, artillery, and a strong guard, entered the Cassaubah, and at the same moment all the other forts were taken possession of by French troops. No one appeared to make a formal surrender, nor did any one present himself on the part of the inhabitants, to inquire as to what protection they were to receive, yet, on the whole, we believe the troops conducted themselves, at least on this occasion, with signal forbearance; and that of the robberies which took place, the greater number were perpetrated by Moors and Jews. One was rather ingenious. The minister of finance had given up the public treasures to commissioners regularly appointed for the purpose. Amongst others, the mint was visited, a receipt given of its containing bullion to the amount of 25,000 or 30,000 francs, the door sealed, and a sentry placed. Next morning the seal was perfect, the sentry at his post, but the bullion was gone through a small hole made in the back wall.
The amount of public property found in Algiers, and appropriated by the French, was very considerable, and much more than repaid the expenses of the expedition. The blockade of the last three years had, by interrupting their commerce, caused an accumulation of the commodities in which the Algerines generally paid their tribute, so that the storehouses at the Cassaubah were abundantly filled with wool, hides, leather, wax, lead and copper. Quantities of grain, silks, muslins, and gold and silver tissues were also found, as well as salt, of which the Dey had reserved to himself a monopoly, and, by buying it very cheap at the Balearic Isles, used to sell it at an extravagant rate to his subjects. The treasure alone amounted to nearly fifty million of francs, and the cannon, projectiles, powder magazines, and military stores, together with the public buildings, foundries, dock-yards, and vessels in the harbor, were estimated at a still larger amount; while the entire expense of the expedition, including land and sea service, together with the maintenance of an army of occupation up to January, 1831, was computed not to exceed 48,500,000 francs; so that France must have realized, by her first connection with Algiers, a sum not far short of £3,000,000 sterling--a larger amount, we will venture to say, than is likely to accrue to her again, even after many years of colonization.
In a few days the Dey had embarked for Naples, which he chose as his future place of residence; the Janissaries were sent in French vessels to Constantinople; the Bey of Tippery made his submissions, and swore allegiance to the French King; orders were issued, and laws enacted in his name; the Arabs and Kalyles came into market as usual with their fowl and game; a French soldier was tolerably safe, as long as he avoided going to any distance beyond the outposts; and, on the whole, Algiers the warlike, had assumed all the appearance of a French colony.