A journal, of the captivity and sufferings of John Foss; several years a prisoner at Algiers: together with some account of the treatment of Christian slaves when sick:-- and observations of the manners and customs of the Algerines. : [Eight lines of verse]
Foss, John, d. 1800., Paine, Robert Treat, 1773-1811., Citizen of Newburyport. Algerine slaves., Algeria. Treaties, etc. United States. 1795 Sept. 5.
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THE success which my former narrative met with, which was merely an ex|tract from a Journal kept for my own amuse|ment, has induced me to lay before the public a more copious detail of that work.

Various errors in the former edition are in this corrected,—and large additions made, with such improvements as must render the work more extensively useful, as well as entertaining to readers of all classes. I have been more particular in the Geographical description of the several places, in this edition than I was in the last, particularly of Algiers and Oran.

The importance as well as utility of having a work of this kind generally disseminated through the United States, must be apparent to every thinking person. The suffering of our fellow-citizens, in Algiers were great in|deed! They ought not to be too easily forgot|ten.

Page  [unnumbered] Every step to avoid a repetition of them will undoubtedly be pursued. But should, at any future period, from causes not seen, more Americans be doomed to wear the galling chain, (God grant that period may never ar|rive) a knowledge of the habits, manners, and customs of the place, may not be unserviceable.

From the tender and feeling soul, a perusal of the following pages, must call forth the tear of sympathy. The hardships—the sufferings—the agonizing tortures, which our fellow-citi|zens had to endure, while groaning under all the horrors of Mahometan vassalage, of Alge|rine tyranny, must call into action every ten|der sigh! and virgin drops of pity embalm the memory of those whose fate it was to sink un|der the weight of their accumulated woes.—Alas! they're gone—

Nor heed they, more with anguish and with pain,
The goad terrific—or the galling chain.

Some of my descriptions of the treatment of the Captives may appear rather wire-drawn, but then my readers ought to be informed that these merciless Barbarians are taught by their Page  [unnumbered] religion to treat the Christian Captives with unexampled cruelty, and that in so doing they do God service! Hence to expect pity or com|miseration from those sons of Ishmael would be as absurd, as to expect a shrubery from the burning deserts, or cooling streams from the parched plains of Arabia.

All the poor, forlorn, miserable Captive has to do, is to resign himself up to his fate, and in silence wait the event.

As the following is the production of one whose literary advantages have been but small and whose opportunities of improvement have been limited, he humbly hopes, the humane & candid reader will pass over such errors as may not have been discovered: And further hopes that their patronage may be afforded to the ju|venile efforts of one, who for a long time, had to suffer the galling chains of Slavery.

As some may inquire what opportunities could be obtained for writing a journal under such severe captivity; I would here observe that I wrote in the night, while in the Bagnio or prison, after our daily labour was over, the prin|cipal events of the day, merely to amuse & re|lieve Page  [unnumbered] my mind from the dismal reflections which naturally occurred—that I could have no inducement to exaggerate our sufferings not supposing my narrative would ever be seen here—these circumstances being known, I flat|ter myself the facts herein stated will not of|ten be called in question.—

But should the truth of any thing stated in the following pages be called in question, am|ple testimony can be procured in support of e|very thing here advanced, from those of my unfortunate fellow captives whose veracity is known and unquestionable.

Sincerely wishing that none of my fellow-citizens may ever be so unhappy as to experi|ence the miseries of Algerine slavery, I again commend the following pages, to their candour and patronage.