The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  237


How glorious now, how changed since yesterday.



THE Portuguese officers treat|ed me with politeness; and, when they were rifling the vessel, requested me to select my property from the plunder. I was then sent on board the frigate. The captain expressed much joy, at being the means of my deliverance, and told me, that the Portuguese had a sincere regard for the Americans; and that he had re|ceived express orders to protect our com|merce from the Barbary corsairs. The prisoners were brought on board and confined below; and, after every thing valuable was taken from the prize, the ship stood for the straits of Gibraltar, Page  238 leaving a boat to fire the Tunise vessel. I never received more civility than from the officers of this frigate. In compliment to them, I was obliged to throw my Ma|hometan dress over the ship's side; for they furnished me with every necessary, and many ornamental articles of Europe|an clothing. The surgeon was particu|larly attentive. I lent him some assistance among the sick, his mate being unwell; and, among other presents, he gave me a handsome pocket case of surgical instru|ments. After a pleasant voyage, we an|chored in port Logos, in the southern extremity of Portugal. Here I received the agreeable intelligence, that the Unit|ed States were about commencing a trea|ty with the Dey of Algiers, by the agen|cy of Joseph Donaldson, jun. Esq which would liberate my unhappy fellow citi|zens, and secure the American commerce from future depredations. Without landing, I had the good fortune to ob|tain Page  239 a passage on board an English mer|chantman, bound for Bristol, Captain Joseph, Joceline, commander. We had a prosperous voyage to the land's end; and, very fortunately for me, just off the little isle of Lundy, spake with a brigan|tine, bound to Chesapeak Bay, Captain John Harris, commander. In thirty two days, we made Cape Charles, the north chop of the Chesapeak, and I pre|vailed upon the captain to set me on shore; and, on the third day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety five, I landed in my native country, after an absence of seven years and one month; about six years of which I had been a slave. I purchased a horse, and hastened home to my parents, who received me as one risen from the dead. I shall not attempt to describe their emotions, or my own raptures. I had suffered hunger, sickness, fatigue, insult, stripes, wounds, and every other cruel injury; and was Page  240 now under the roof of the kindest and ten|derest of parents. I had been degraded to a slave, and was now advanced to a citizen of the freest country in the universe. I had been lost to my parents, friends, and country; and now found, in the em|braces and congratulations of the former, and the rights and protection of the latter, a rich compensation for all past miseries. From some minutes I preserved, I com|piled these memoirs; and, by the solici|tations of some respectable friends, have been induced to submit them to the pub|lic. A long disuse of my native tongue, will apologize to the learned reader for any inaccuracies.

I now mean to unite myself to some a|miable woman, to pursue my practice, as a physician; which, I hope, will be at|tended with more success than when es|sayed with the inexperience and giddi|ness of youth. To contribute cheerfully to the support of our excellent govern|ment, Page  241 which I have learnt to adore, in schools of despotism; and thus secure to myself the enviable character of an useful physician, a good father and worthy FEDERAL citizen.

My ardent wish is, that my fellow cit|izens may profit by my misfortunes. If they peruse these pages with attention they will perceive the necessity of uniting our federal strength to inforce a due respect among other nations. Let us, one and all, endeavour to sustain the general gov|ernment. Let no foreign emissaries in|flame us against one nation, by raking in|to the ashes of long extinguished enmity or delude us into the extravagant schemes of another, by recurring to fancied grati|tude. Our first object is union among ourselves. For to no nation besides the United States can that antient saying be more emphatically applied; BY UNIT|ING WE STAND, BY DIVIDING WE FALL.