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.

CHAPTER Ist. Containing my departure from Newburyport, ar|rival at Baltimore, departure from thence, Capture by the Algerines, treatment received from them.—The common labour and usage of the Christian Cap|tives.

ON Saturday the 27th of July 1793, I sailed from Newburyport in the State of Massachusetts, in the capacity of a Mariner, on board the Brig Polly, belonging to the a|bove mentioned place, Samuel E. Bayley, Mas|ter, bound to Baltimore, in the State of Ma|ryland, expecting to take freight from thence for the Island of Tobago.

On Tuesday the 6th of August, we were brought too by a French privateer, and per|mitted immediately to proceed on our voyage. Being then in sight of the Capes of Virginia, we took on board a Pilot and stood in for the Chesapeak.

Wednesday the 7th of August, we entered the Capes and were 'till Saturday the 10th, before we arrived at Baltimore; and found, Page  8 on our arrival, that the freight, which Capt. Bayley expected, was embarked and sailed on board another vessel. Nothing particular hap|pened, until Monday the 19th when we were ordered by the Captain to discharge the ballast, and were informed by him that he had agreed to take a freight for Cadiz.

Thursday the 29th, Paul Noyes, one of our mariners, was attacked with a severe fever, and continued on board until Monday, the 9th of September, when he was carried on shore, and put under the care of a woman, well qual|ified for attending sick people. I understand he died in a few days after our departure.—Tuesday the 10th we sailed from Baltimore, bound to Cadiz; and on Friday the 13th we left sight of the Capes of Virginia. Nothing of any great moment occurred, until Thursday the 24th of October, when we fell in with and spoke two Brigs from Elsinore, bound to Barcelona. On Friday, the 25th, early in the morning we saw the same Brigs about two miles to windward, standing on their larboard tack, with the wind about E. N. E.

We got our breakfast, and ate it in the great|est jollity, not apprehending any danger nigh, expecting to reach the port of destination within 48 hours; As we judged ourselves to be about 35 leagues westward of Cape St. Vin|cent. But what a fatal day was this! How visionary our hopes! Our sprightly looks, and cheerful congratulations, and anticipations of reaching the port of our destination was soon Page  9 turned into the most gloomy despair. Little did we think in the morning when we arose with nothing before us but Liberty and con|tent, that before the Sun should reach his me|ridian altitude, we should be slaves to merci|less Barbarians. This however, was the case, For at 9 A. M. we saw a strange sail bearing a|bout E. N. E. and standing directly for the two Danish Brigs. We then discovered (with a prospect Glass) that she had boarded them; and that she had the English Flag displayed at her peak. We then supposed her to be an English Privateer. She soon dismissed them, and bore down upon us. By this time we could see that she was a Brig; and discerned by the cut of her sails, that she was not an English vessel, although she had still the English slag flying; we then supposed her to be a French Privateer, hoisting the English flag to deceive their enemy. We immediately clued down topgallant sails, and hove too in order to wait 'till she came along side. When she came near enough to make us hear, she hailed us in English, asked from whence we came, and where bound; which was immediately ans|wered by Capt. Bayley. The man who hailed us, was dressed in the Christian habit, and was the only person we could yet see on her deck; By this time, the Brig was under our stern; we then saw several men jump upon her poop, to hall aft the main sheet, and saw by their dress and long beards that they were Moors, or Al|gerines. Our feelings at this unwelcome Page  10 sight, are more easily imagined than described. What dreadful perturbations! to escape was impossible; weapons of defence, we had none, we must therefore resign ourselves to the mer|cy of piratical sea-rovers. She then hove too under our lee, when we heard a most terrible shouting, clapping of hands, huzzaing &c.—And saw a great number of men rise up with their heads above the gunnel, dressed in the Turkish habit like them we saw on the poop. They immediately hoisted out a large launch, and about one hundred of the pirates jumped on board, all armed; some with Scymitres and Pistols, others with pikes, spears, lances, knives, &c. They manned about 20 oars and rowed along side. As soon as they came on board our vessel, they made signs for us all to go forward, assuring us in several languages, that if we did not obey their commands, they would immediately massacre us all. They then went below into the cabin, steerage, and every place where they could get below deck, and broke open all the Trunks, and Chests, there were on board, and plundered all our bedding, cloathing, books, Charts, Quadrants, and every moveable article, that did not con|sist of the Cargo, or furniture. They then came on deck, like a parcel of ravenous wolves and stripped the cloaths off our backs, all ex|cept a shirt and pair of drawers, (myself being left with no shirt at all.) The next day an old Turk, with an air of kindness, gave me an old shirt without sleeves, blaming those who had Page  11 taken mine from me. It was soothing to find a spark of humanity in my barbarous masters, who had but the day before mancipated and stripped us. This was the only Mahometan I ever met with, in whom I had the least reason to suppose the smallest spark of humanity was kindled.

They having chosen a sufficient number of the Algerines to take command of the prize, they ordered us all into the launch; and when they were all embarked, they rowed along side their own vessel, and ordered us on board. We embarked accordingly, and were conduc|ted by some of the sea rovers to the door of the poop, at which place we were received by a negro man, who conducted us into the cabin: when we entered the cabin, we saw the com|mander of the pirates, sitting upon a matt on the cabin floor; who, with the help of an in|terpreter, asked us many questions concerning the vessel and cargo, the places of our nativity, and many others, as void of sense as he was of Philanthrophy who asked them. He then in|formed us that he was an Algerine, that his vessel belonged to Algiers, that her name was Babazera, and his name Rais Hudga Mahomet Salamia, and we were his prisoners; and must immediately experience the most abject slavery, on our arrival at Algiers, which we soon found to be true. Our embarrassments were still greater, when we found that they were Alge|rines, (for before we supposed them to be Moors) knowing that the Algerines used the Page  12 most severity towards christian captives, of any state in all Barbary. He then informed us that Charles Logie, Esq. British Consul at Al|giers, had negociated with the Dey for a truce with the Portuguese, for the term of twelve months, and before that time would expire, they would have a firm peace, and the Alge|rines could cruise in the Atlantic when they thought proper. He then told us we must do our duty as seamen on board his vessel; we told him we had no clothes, his people having taken every thing away from us except what he saw on our backs, which was not sufficient for us to stand the deck with. He answered in very abusive words, that we might think ourselves well used, that they did not take them. And he would teach us to work naked, adding "now you are slaves and must be treated as such, and do not think that you will be trea|ted worse than you really deserve, for your bigotry and superstition, in believing in a man who was crucified by the Jews, and disregar|ding the true doctrine of God's last and grea|test prophet, Mahomet." He then ordered us immediately to our duty. When we came out of the cabin, we saw the Polly just making sail, and standing after us, and that night we lost sight of her, and saw her no more until our arrival at Algiers.

About sunset they brought us a dish of oil, olives, vinegar and some bread, and told us to eat heartily while we were on board, for after our arrival at Algiers, we should not be allow|ed Page  13 such dainties. Although we were very hungry, we could eat but very little, consider|ing the situation we were in, and not being u|sed to such diet.

When we sat down to eat, we were accom|panied by three Dutchmen, whom we had not scen before. On asking them the particulars of their being on board, they informed us that they sailed from Amsterdam, bound to Mala|ga, three weeks before, on board the ship Hope belonging to New-York, commanded by John Burnham, and had been captured by an Alge|rine frigate, within ten leagues of Gibraltar. And the frigate having taken several vessels, and having a great number of Christian cap|tives on board, the Capt. of the frigate being fearful lest they should make an attempt to rise upon the vessel, had distributed them on board the other Corsairs, which had not taken any prizes. After we had finished our supper they divided us (12 in number) into two wat|ches and ordered us to stand the deck, in our respective watches. It fell to my lot to have the first watch below, and as we went down they ordered us into the sail-room to sleep, and shewed us the door. We were obliged to creep in, upon our hands and knees, and stow ourselves upon the sails, in the best manner we could. We endeavoured to get a little sleep, but could not, as our minds were filled with horror, and dreadful apprehensions of the fate we might experience, and expecting addition|al severity on our arrival at Algiers. We lay Page  14 in this unhappy condition, bemoaning our hapless fate, until we supposed it to be past mid|night, and could not conceive the reason that the watch was not relieved, as is customary a|mong Americans and English. And being strangers to their manner of relieving the watch, supposed we had (innocently) neglected our du|ty; this made us very uneasy, fearing the watch had been relieved, and we not knowing it, they would inflict some corporal punishment, I then proposed to my fellow sufferers, that I would go on deck, in order to know whether they had called the watch or not; but they ad|vised me not to go, adding, that if the watch was not called, they might treat me very ill for appearing on deck in the night, when my duty did not call me there, we then determi|ned to wait 'till we were called, and to bear patiently our punishment if they inflicted any. We waited in this suspence for near an hour longer, when I resolved to go on deck by my|self, and know the issue: With this resolution, I crept upon my hands and knees to the sail room door, and on my appearance at the door, a Turk came to me, armed with a Scymitar & a pair of Pistols, and made me to understand by signs, that he wanted to know where I was going, I answered him in the same manner, made him understand that necessity called me on deck. He then conducted me to the hatchway, and spoke to some person on the deck, in his own language, which I could not understand, and pointing with his singer, I found that I had Page  15 permission to go up. I accordingly went on deck, and was received by another Turk, ar|med in the same manner, he asked me, in the French language, if I wished to go in the head, which I answered in the affirmative: as I un|derstood some French, and could hold a tolera|ble discourse with him, I asked him if the watch was called, which he answered in the negative, and on asking him if it was not past twelve o'clock, he told me it was past two.

On enquiring the manner of their standing a watch, he informed me that they kept ten hours for one watch; and that it commenced at 8 o'clock in the evening and continued un|til 6 in the morning; then relieved and kept till 4 in the afternoon, and their dog-watch was from 4 in the afternoon till 8, having only three watches in 24 hours. I then went below and informed my fellow-sufferers of what had paned, which gave them great satisfaction to think we had not committed an innocent of|fence, as before we feared we had done. We were happy in being freed from the terrors of punishment. We then made ourselves as ea|sy and comfortable as we could, considering the deplorable situation we were in. But could not sleep any the remainder of the night, for by this time the vermin, such as lice, bugs and fleas, had found their way to our apartment, and in such quantities that it seemed as if we were entirely covered with those unwelcome guests. However, we passed the remainder of the night, in condoling our miserable condi|tion, Page  16 and rubbing those vermin from our bo|dies, in the best manner we could. At 6, A. M. we were surprised by three heavy knocks from the deck, and with such force, that it seemed as if they endeavoured to knock the deck to pieces, and not hearing any thing said, we could not imagine the meaning: We lay a few minutes, and were then called by a Turk, ordered on deck and informed, that that was their way of calling the watch. This office is generally performed by the boatswain, or one of his mates, in the following manner: A large block is laid on the deck near the hatchway, and struck upon with a very large beetle, which makes such a horrid noise, as nearly sufficient to stun the brain of a strong headed person, and this was the cause of our surprise before mentioned. This being Saturday the 26th of October. We passed the rock of Gibraltar on Monday the 28th and nothing of any conse|quence happened on our passage to Algiers; spoke several vessels, but none proved to be their enemies. We having a very fresh breeze from the westward, we arrived at Algiers on Friday the first of November.

After they had brought their vessel to an an|chor in the roads, they hoisted out their boats and ordered us to embark, and to lay ourselves down in the bottom of the boat: Having o|beyed their commands, we were rowed on shore, and landed, amidst the shouts and huz|zas of thousands of malicious barbarians. We were conducted to the Dey's palace by a guard, Page  17 and as we passed through the streets, our ears were stunned with shouts, clapping of hands and other acclamations of joy from the inhabi|tants; thanking God for their great success and victories over so many Christian dogs and unbelievers, the appellation they generally give to all Christians. On our arrival at the gates of the Palace, we were received by another Guard, & conducted before the Dey, who after taking a view of us, told us he had sent several to our government, entreating them to negociate with him for a peace, and had never received any satisfactory answer from them: That he was determined never to make a peace with the United States, in his reign, as they had so often neglected his requests, and treated him with disdain, adding "now I have got you, you christian dogs, you shall eat stones." He then picked out four boys to wait upon him|self in the palace, as follows, Benjamin Church, Benjamin Ober, Charles Smith and John Ram|sey, and then ordered the rest of us to be con|ducted to the prison Bili••. When we arrived there, we found several other Americans, who landed a little before us, and they informed us that the Corsairs had captured ten sail of Ame|rican vessels, and their captains and crews were chiefly in the same prison.

One weeks extremity may teach us more,
Than long prosperity had done before:
Death is forgotten in our easy state,
But troubles mind us of our final fate.
Page  18The doing ill, affects us not with fears,
But suff'ring ill, brings sorrow woe and tears.

After condoling our hapless fate, for a con|fiderable time; a French priest came to us and enquired, if any among us understood the French language, and was answered in the af|firmative. After conversing sometime with the person who spoke French, he left us, and told us he should return in a few minutes.—About half an hour afterwards he returned, and two Moors with him, who brought two baskets full of white bread, and he gave each man a loaf, weighing nearly a pound, which was a very delicious meal for us, we having eaten nothing during the day, it now being about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. He likewise inform|ed us that it was a custom among those sons, of rapine and plunder, not to allow the slaves any kind of food on the first day of their land|ing, except one small loaf of bread at night—And what we then received, he gave us, out of his own pocket, and said if he was able, his charity would further extend. We thanked our kind benefactor, and he then took his leave of us. We then walked from one part of the Bagnio to another, not knowing in what part we might be allowed to remain. We wandered in this manner, bemoaning our de|plorable situation, 'till about 5 o'clock, when we saw (according to the best our judgment) about 600 men enter the Bagnio, all appearing to be in a more miserable condition than our|selves, Page  19 with wretched habits, dejected counte|nances, and chains on their legs, every part of them bespeaking unutterable distress. I enqui|red of the prison-keeper, who those people were, and of what crimes they had been guilty, that they were loaded with such heavy chains. I was answered, that they were christian slaves, had been captured in the same manner as my|self, seeking an honest livelihood: A few mi|nutes afterwards, we heard a man shouting out in a most terrible manner, and not understand|ing his language, made it sound more terrible. We were immediately informed by a man who understood the English Language, that all us (Americans) must appear in the third gallery. We made all haste up we possibly could, and as we entered the gallery we passed one at a time through a narrow door, on one side of which stood a task-master, and on the other side a Christian slave. The former had a large stick in his hand, and the latter a book, in which was written the names of all the christi|an captives in that prison. The christian ask|ed each man his name, and then wrote it in the book, and as we passed, the Turk gave each man a small bundle. On examining it, we found it contained a blanket, a capoot (which is a sort of jacket with a head) a waistcoat, made something like a frock, to draw over the head, it not being open at the belly, a shirt, with neither collar or wristbands, a pair of trowsers, made somewhat like a woman's pet|ticoat, (with this difference,) the bottom being Page  20 sewed up, and two holes to put the legs thro' and a pair of slippers. There was neither but|ton, or button-hole on the whole suit. Such a suit excepting the blanket, of which they never get but one, is given to each captive once a year. The day they receive this suit is on Friday ensuing Christmas. Soon after we received the above mentioned bundle, we were again called into the third gallery, and passed in the same manner as before, and hav|ing our names called separately by the clerk, we passed the task-master, and received each man a small loaf of very black, sour bread weighing about three ounces and a half, which we ate, although it was not so delicious as the bread we received from the French Priest.—Having finished our supper, we lay down up|on the stone floor, and went to sleep, and made ourselves as comfortable, as we could, having neither bed, nor bedding, except the blanket before mentioned; but being very much fa|tigued, we slept tolerably well until about 3 o'clock, when were alarmed with a terrible shouting, as before, and were all ordered to go down into the lower part of the prison.—When we arrived there, they put a chain on each mans leg, reaching up to the shoulder, and weighing about 25, or 30lb. this was our first nights lodging in this doleful mansion of horror and despair. This done, it now being day-break—Saturday the 2d of November, we were all driven out of the Bagnio, and from thence to the Marine, where I experienced the Page  21 hardest days work, I ever underwent before.—The dreadful clanking of the chains, was the most terrible noise I ever heard. And never during my whole captivity did I feel such hor|rors of mind, as on this dreadful morning.

How long will heav'n restrain its bursting ire,
Nor rain blue tempests of devouring fire?
How long shall widows weep their sons in vain,
The prop of years in slavery's iron chains?
How long the love-sick maid, unheeded, rove
The sounding shore, and call her absent love;
With wasting tears and sighs his lot bewail,
And seem to see him in each coming sail?
How long the merchant turn his failing eyes,
In desperation, on the seas and skies,
And ask his captur'd ships, his ravished goods,
With frantic ravings, of the heav'ns and floods?
How long, Columbians dear! will ye complain
Of these curst insults on the open main?
In timid sloth, shall injur'd brav'ry sleep?
Awake! awake! avengers of the deep!
Revenge! revenge! the voice of nature cries:
Awake to glory, and to vengence rise!
To arms! to arms! ye bold indignant bands!
'Tis heaven inspires; 'tis GOD himself commands.
Save human nature from such deadly harms,
By force of reason, or by force of Arms.
Then let us firm, though solitary, stand,
The sword, and olive branch in either hand:
An equal peace propose with reason's voice,
Or rush to Arms, if Arms should be their choice.

Page  22 As it is not in my power to write the particu|lars of each day of my captivity, (which would be too tedious to my readers,) I only intend to give you a short narrative of some of the most particular occurrences, which happened while I was in this abject slavery, and the com|mon labor, and usage of the slaves, which is as follows.

At day break, in the morning, the prison-keeper calls all the slaves out to go to work; at the door of the Bagnio, they are met by the Guardians or task-masters (who have their or|ders from the Guardian Bachi; he is the mas|ter of all the slaves that belong to the regency) they are then conducted to whatever place he has directed. The greatest part of their work, is blowing rocks in the mountains. While some are drilling the holes, others are digging the earth from off those rocks, which are un|der it, and others carrying away the dirt in baskets. When the rocks are blown, they take such as will answer their purpose: (Rocks less than 20 Tons weight, will not serve.)—Many are hauled by the slaves, two miles dis|tance, which weigh 40 tons. They roll them to the bottom of the mountain, where is a con|venient place to put them on a sled. Here they are left until Friday, (which is the Mahome|tan Sabbath, on which day all the Christian slaves belonging to the Regency, are driven out to haul them to the Quay, which is about two miles from the place where they are loaded.—In order to haul these rocks, they place them Page  23 upon a sled made of large square timber, and after being sufficiently secured with ropes, they put about six or seven hundred men to each sled, who haul it with ropes about seven inches in circumference, and as the road is all paved with large flat stones, they make some progress in the business. When rising an ascent, should the number who are at one sled, not be able to haul it up, they are assisted by the rest. By this means, they are enabled to haul three, or four rocks in a day, upon each sled. From this Quay, they are taken on board a Puntoon (which is a large flat bottomed kind of vessel) and discharged at the back of the mole, with the help of wheels. These rocks are laid there in order to break off the sea, that the mole may not wash away; which must have a continual supply, for every gale of wind that comes washes them into deep water. After a gale they have as much need of them as they had the first hour after the mole was built. So we may conclude this is a work that will never be finished. On Friday when the slaves, are going to work in the mountains, they pass out thro' the gates of the city, about day break in the morning, and arrive at the bottom of the mountain, sometime before sunrise.—On their arrival there, they are divided by the task-mas|ters, into different gangs, each gang has one sled. They must haul as many in a day as the task-masters think proper, and are treated with additional rigor and severity on this day. For the drivers being anxious to have as many haul|ed Page  24 as possible, (because the number they haul must be reported to the Dey,)—they are con|tinully beating the slaves with their sticks, & goading them with its end, in which is a small spear, not unlike an ox-goad, among our farm|ers.

If any one chance to faint, and fall down with fatigue, they generally beat them until they are able to rise again.

At night when they are done hauling, all hands are called together, and have their names called by the clerk, and every one must pass the Guardian Bachi, as his name is called.—Af|ter they are done calling, and find that none are missing, they are driven by the task-masters into the city, then left to go to the Bagnio by themselves, and must appear there within half an hour after they enter the gates of the city.

The roll is called every night in the prison, a few minutes before the gates are locked.—If any one neglects his call, he is immediately put into irons, hands and feet, then chained to a pillar, where he must remain until the next morning. Then the irons are taken from his feet, and he is driven before a task-master, to the marine, and the Viguilhadge, (who is the minister of the marine) orders what punish|ment he thinksproper, which is immediately inflicted by the task-masters.

He commonly orders 150, or 200 Bastina|does.

The manner of inflicting this punishment is as follows: The person is laid upon his face, Page  25 with his hands in irons behind him, and his legs lashed together with a rope.—One task|master holds down his head and another his legs, while two others inflict the punishment upon his breech, with sticks some what larger than an ox-goad. After he has received one half his punishment in this manner, they lash his ancles to a pole, and two Turks lift the pole up, and hold it in such a manner, as brings the soles of his feet upward, and the re|mainder of his punishment, he receives upon the soles of his feet. Then he is released from his bands, and obliged to go directly to work a|mong the rest of his fellow-slaves. On other days of the week only a part of the slaves work in the mountains, & the others in the marine, those in the marine, are again divided into diffe|rent companies, each company have different kinds of employ. Some are employed in careen|ing the corsairs, and sitting them for sea. At other times they are stripping them and haul|ing them up. Others are discharging their prizes, cleaning the harbor, and bringing those large rocks, before mentioned to the mole and every article that is transported from one part of the marine to another, or from the marine to the city, or from the city to the marine, or elsewhere, must be carried by the slaves, with poles, upon their shoulders. For the streets are so narrow, that no kind of a carriage is used here, not even a wheelbarrow. In many streets it is difficult for one man to pass another.

Page  26 When their prizes are discharged, their car|go must be all carried into the city, and stow|ed in magazines, so that some part of the slaves are constantly carrying hogsheads of sugar, pipes of wine, casks of nails, cannon, &c.

They work from day break in the morning, until a certain hour in the afternoon, which they call Laza, which is just half an hour be|fore sunset, summer and winter. At which time they hoist a white flag upon the Mosques to denote that it is the hour of prayer, it being contrary to their religion to have a bell sound among them.

On Fridays they hoist a green flag, this be|ing a favorite color of Mahomet. All the slaves at this hour are ordered to leave work, except when they are fitting the corsairs for sea in a hurry. Oftentimes when this is the case they are obliged to work all night, and go up to the gate, called Babazia, which is the marine gate, and before they can pass, they are searched by the task-masters, to prevent their stealing any thing from the Regency; if they are found with any thing, except a few chips, they do not escape punishment.

I have known a slave receive an hundred bastinadoes for being found with three board nails.

Having related the daily labors of the slaves, I now proceed to give you an account of the provisions they are allowed to subsist on, to enable them to perform this laborious slavery, and the cloathing they have allowed to keep Page  27 them from the cold rains and the scorching rays of the sun.

About eight o'clock in the morning they are called by one of the task-masters from their work to take breakfast. Which they receive in the following order. When they are called they all leave their work, and go near some sacks of bread. As they pass by, they are counted by one of the drivers, while another gives each man a loaf of bread: And to every eighth man he gives a wooden bowl with a|bout a pint of vinegar, in this manner they pass until all have received their allowance.—They then sit down upon the ground to eat, and are commonly called to work in about ten minutes, and are seldom allowed more than 12. The same ceremony is passed at 12 o'clock, when they receive the same allowance. At night when the roll is called they receive ano|ther loaf of bread, but no vinegar.

This is all the provision they have allowed them from the Regency. But oftentimes when they are at work on board the corsairs, the steward will give them a little sweet oil, and sometimes some olives, this they count a feast. These loaves of bread weigh about three ounces and an half. I have weighed several and never found one to exceed three ounces and eleven drachms. So what bread each man has allowed him for a day, will not exceed eleven ounces, and it is so sour, that a person must be almost starving before he can eat it.— Page  28 The reason of its being so sour is their mixing the dough three days before it is baked.

To make this bread they sift the bran of wheat, after the flour and middlings are taken out.

Perhaps you may think what I have already related could not be augmented, with additi|onal severity, but alas, this is not all. The Bagnio in which the slaves sleep, is built with several galleries, one above another; in each gallery are several small rooms, in them the slaves sleep. For the use of these rooms they must pay a certain sum of money every moon to the Guardian Bachi, or sleep in the open Bagnio, where they have nothing but the firmament to cover them. On the evening after the moon changes, the keeper of the Bagnio, calls out for all hands to pay for their rooms. If any one who has slept in a room during the moon, has not procured the money, and can|not pay it down, his hands are put into irons behind him, and his legs chained to a pillar e|very night, until the money is paid. They are released in the morning to go to their work and are chained again at night. Those misera|ble objects are commonly relieved by the rest of their fellow-sufferers.

Some of the slaves are allowed a small pit|tance from their country, which enables them to pay this demand. Others are mechanics and work at their trades in the night, to pro|cure this sum; others get it by theft, though they often hazard their lives by so doing; Page  29 and many are obliged to sleep every night up|on the cold stones, with nothing but the hea|vens to cover them, for want of money to pay this tribute.

In the Bagnio, where the slaves sleep, is a kind of museum, belonging to the Dey; which contains a great number of Animals of prey. They are confined with chains in differ|ent apartments from where the slaves sleep.—And are maintained by them; with Bullock's and Sheeps heads; this money must be paid every moon when they pay for the rooms they sleep in.

There is still another demand as unreasona|ble as any of the former. After their Rama|dan, which is a fast that continues a whole moon during which time they cannot eat, drink, smoak, or even wet their lips while the sun is above the horizon, (what they do eat, is in the night) they have a great feast, which continues two days, on the evening previous to the feast, each slave must carry 2 fowls to the task-master; as a present; and a certain number of sheep, is given them, for which each slave must pay his proportionable part. During those two days, the slaves are locked in the Bagnio, and are allowed no kind of subsistence from the Regency except one small loaf of bread which I mentioned before, and this they receive each night when the roll is called. The drivers, on the first morning of the feast, give each slave a loaf of good white bread, weighing about half Page  30 a pound, for which they had received two fowls from each slave the evening before.

In this deplorable situation, were upwards of 1,200 Christian captives, dragging out a mise|rable existence, with the woeful appellation of slave preying upon their mind when I left Al|giers.

The cloathing which is allowed them for a year, is such a suit as was contained in the bun|dle which I explained in a former part of this book, they receive it the first Friday after Christmas, as before observed. The first Friday in January, when it begins on Friday excepted, then the second, all the captives belonging to the Regency, are obliged to go about seven miles into the country, and gather reeds, and carry them to the Dey's garden, for Beans, Peas, &c. to run upon, and this is a very tedi|ous day's work.

At this season of the year the rains fall in a|bundance in that country, which renders the walking very disagreeable as we do not follow the road, but are obliged to cross fields, and meadows. The distance those reeds are car|ried is about eight miles.

We go out at the easternmost gate of the ci|ty called Babazoone, and it is near 7 miles from this gate to the place where they are gathered, and from thence they must be carried to the Dey's garden, which is near a mile westward of the gate called 〈◊〉, which is the west gate of the city. This day's work they tell us (by way 〈…〉) is to pay for our 〈◊〉Page  31 of cloathes which we received a week before, and which by this time is generally half worn out.