Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) Extracts from Davis' journal of activities as American Consul in Tripoli

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.147 Author/Creator: Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) Place Written: [Tripoli] Type: Manuscript document Date: 1809 Pagination: 4 p. 23 x 18.6 cm

Summary of Content: Detailed account of finances and meetings with the heads of state of Tripoli, Morocco, Algiers and Malta. Also mentions a kidnapping by the Tripolitan Bashaw's boat crew, who had "landed on the coast of Sicily and carried off two young children . . . . I represented to [the Bashaw] not only the cruelty but also the bad policy of suffering the outrages which his cruizers had committed . . . that such conduct would awaken hostile feelings towards him on the part of every Christian power." Same incident mentioned in GLC 2794.153. Journal entries spanning 20 June to 1 August 1809.

Full Transcript: Extracts from the Journal.--
1809.
June 20. Arrived a vessel under Tunisian Colours from Sphaa bound to Alexandria.--
22. A private audience.
24. Arrived at old Tripoli a small Sicilian Barque prize ...to Amor Shelly - crew
escpaed.
25. Sailed two vessels for Algiers and Morocco with Ambassador to each
Kingdom.
26. Sailed a Tartan under the Bashaw's flag for Malta.- Arrived on the Coast of the
Bashaw's Xebeque Rais Mushergy 5 days from Malta, received letters.-
Arrived two Sicilians Luigi [illegible] & Rosario Carabla to superintend the
Bashaw's barilla works. They were placed under the American protection.-
28. A private audience with the Bashaw.
30. Arrived a Sicilian Xebeque laden with wine and brandy. prize to Rais Kalil;
crew escaped.--
July 1. A private audience.--
2. Paid Mr. Payne's account for stationary packaged for the $ 18.50/100 use of the office, $ 18.50/100--
3. A private audience.--
4. All honors were paid to the day--.
7. A private audience.-
8. Arrived a vessel under the Bashaw's flag 7 days from Malta; an English Tartan
that was in company f[l]oundered in fight of the town, crew saved themselves
in the boat.--
10. Arrived the Bashaw's Xebeque Rais Kalil. While the Rais and [2] and [sic] part
of his crew attempted to land on the coast of Sardinia, the cruizer [sic] was
blown off. They were picked up by a vessel bound to Malta, when they have
arrived.--
July 12. A private audience.
14. A private audience with the Bashaw respecting the affairs of_________
Arrived an English Brig 4 days from Malta.
16. A private audience. H. E. presented me with the slave Gaspero Lintenelli
whose wife has nursed my child.--
17. Arrived last evening a Sicilian sparonara prize to Amor Shelly, laden with
himpserd and having eight slaves on board.
18. Arrived the Bashaw's Xebeque Rais Amor Shelly and Corvette Rais Ali Girgashi.
The boat's crew of the latter landed on the coast of Sicily and carried off two
young children. In a house which they plundered they found a Can containing
about forty___________from the_______________________________Sicilians.
A private audience. I represented to H. E. not only the cruelty but also
the bad policy of suffering the outrages which his cruizers [sic] had committed
on the coast of Sicily: that such conduct would awaken hostile feelings towards
him on the part of every Christian power, and give him a character which he illy
deserved.--
H. E. removed from the command of his vessel Rais Kalil who had set
fire to some buildings near Girgentum, and overly reprimanded Rais Ali for
permitting his people to bring off the children, both of whom he gave me and
they [3] they [sic] are now placed in the American house.
July 19. Mr. Payne waited on the Bashaw to thank him for the like - ration of the children.
20. A private audience.
21. Sailed two vessels under the Bashaw's flag for Candia and
See More

People:

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: ReligionGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGovernment and CivicsDiplomacyBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsAfricaPiratesPrisonerChristianityNavyChildren and Family

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources