CHAPTER IV. Origin of the present government of Algiers—Hoyradin and Horuc commence pirates—increase their strength—their names become dreadful—The older brother (called Barbarassa) invited by the King of Algiers to assist him against the Spaniards—〈◊〉 marches to Algiers with 5,000 men—murders the King, and assumes the power—Expedition of Charles 5th against him—Barbarossa, vanquished and slain—His brother likewise called Barbarossa assumes the Sceptre—puts his dominions under the grand seignior—who assists him—appointed Admi|ral of the Turkish Fleet—appointed Vice Roy of Algiers—lays the foundation of the Mole—appoint|ed Bashaw of the Empire—Hasson Aga appointed Bashaw of Algiers—who ravages Spain, Italy, and the ecclesiastical States—Charles 5th attempts the destruction of Algiers with a powerful sleet and ar|my—is defeated with great loss, and returns to Car|thagena—Saleb Raise, successor to Hassan, attacks 〈◊〉—dies of the plague—Hassan Corso elected in his stead—is displaced by the Porte, and a new Bash|aw from Constantinople arrives—he is refused ad|mittance—enters by treachery: and Corso, by his or|ders, Page 89 is thrown from the walls—Tekelli murdered by Yusef, who is chosen in his stead—dies of the plague—Hassan, (son of Hayradin Barbarosse) cho|sen in his stead—Spaniards attack Mortosan, and are defeated—Hassan sent prisoners to Constantenople is cleared-Achmet appointed a new Bashaw he dies—Hassan sent a third time Bashaw of Algiers—attacks Marsalquivir—raises the siege, and again recalled to Constantinople—Mahomet, his successor, incorporates the Janissaries and Levantine Turks—Juan Gas|con, a Spaniard forms a design of destroying the Algerine navy—is unsuccessful, taken and executed—Ochali, succeeds Mahomet—and subdues 〈◊〉—Algerines send a deputation to the Porte, complain of the rapacity of the Bashaws, and request liberty to choose their own Dey—The Porte agrees—and the Divan elects a Dey, &c.—Spaniards make an at|tempt upon Algiers, but fail—The Moors expelled from Spain—French attack Algiers with 52 sail; defeat their fleet and take two of their Corsairs—English send a fleet against them, but do nothing—Cologlies seize on the Citadel, but are overcome by the Turks and Renegadoes—Algerines throw off their dependence on the Porte—Louis 13th builds a fort on their coast—French fleet arrive at Algiers, demand the French Captives; the Dey refuses, and the French Admiral carries off the Turkish Vice Roy, and his Cadi—Algerines retaliate on Puglia, ravage the neighboring coasts, and scour the Adriatic—Ve|netians alarmed and send Admiral Capello against them—attacks and defeats the Algerine squadron, under Pinchinin—Venetians pay the Porte 50,000 dollars by way of attonement—Louis 14th sends a Page 90 fleet under Du Quense, against Algiers—bombards the City and returns to Toulon—Algerines retaliate on Provence—ravage and bring off a great number of Captives—Louis sends another armament under Du Quense—arrives bombards the town, demolish|ish the Dey's Palace, and several other public edi|fices—demands the French captives, and receives 142 with a promise of the rest—Du Quense, demands 〈◊〉 the French Captives with the effects they had 〈◊〉 taken—also their Admiral Mezamorto, and 〈…〉, as hostages—The Dey embarrassed, and Mezamorto charges him with cowardice—raises an insurrection among the Soldiers—the Dey massacred—Mezamorto succeeds him, breaks the truce with the French, and recommences hostilities—causes all the French in the city to be massacred—Du Quense reduces Algiers to a heap of ruins and retires—Alge|rines sue for peace of France, and obtain it—enter into a peace with England—Spaniards, under O'Reilley attack Algiers, are unsuccessful, and retire with great loss.
HAVING mentioned the expedi|tion of Charles the V. in some of the former pages, I presume a brief account of the destruc|tion of that armament, would not be disap|proved of by the readers of this small volume. Previous to the beginning of the sixteenth century, Algiers had experienced a variety of revolutions, in the form of its government, which does not come within the line of this short sketch to discribe. But there happened, Page 91 a very sudden revolution about that time, which hath made their history worthy of more attention, as it was the means of rendering the States of Barbary very formidable to the Eu|ropeans. Two sons of a potter in the Isle of Lesbos, * who were known by the names of Hayradin, and Horuc, being prompted by a restless and enterprising spirit, forsook the pro|fession of their father, went immediately to sea, & joined a gang of pirates, who made some of the ports of Barbary, the places of their rendezvous. They soon distinguished them|selves by the activity of their unparrelleled villianies, and in a short time they became mas|ters of a small brigantine, mounting 14 six pounders by means of which, they supported their infamous and cruel piracies, with such great success, that in a few years they had un|der their command a fleet of twelve gallies, and many other vessels of less force. Horuc, (the elder brother, who was afterwards called Barbarossa, by reason of the red color of his beard,) was Admiral of this fleet, and Hayra|din the younger brother, was second in com|mand. By their predatory conduct, their names soon became dreadful, and infamous Page 92 from the Straits of Gibraltar to those of the Dardanelles.
Two famous castles defending the gulf of Lapanto, and the narrow streight called the Hellespont, which is here two miles over, and the key as it were to Constantinople; the one on the side of Europe, and the other on that of Asia. The former was anciently called Ses|tos, and the latter Abidos. In 1656, the Ve|netians passed through with their fleets between these forts, and drove that of the Turks on shore. Here all vessels coming from the Ar|chipelago are examined. Not far from hence namely off Lapanto, the Venetians gained a considerable victory over the Turkish fleet.
As their power encreased, their ambitious views extended with a still greater rapidity; for while they were acting as pirates, and rob|bers, they arrogated the ideas, and acquired the talents of, Conquerers. The prizes which they took on the coasts of Spain, France, and Italy, they often carried into the ports of Bar|bary. The situation of these harbors being so very commodious for the security of their Cor|sairs; and to add to this convenience, their vicinity to the greatest commercial ports at that time in Christendom, raised an ambitious desire in the breast of those infamous pirates, for an establishment in that country. For ac|complishing this project, an opportunity soon presented itself, which the brothers, did not suffer to pass unimproved. The King of Al|giers, at this time, who was called Eutemi, Page 93 having made several unsuccessful attempts to gain possession of a fort. which was built not far from his capital, by the Spanish Governors of Oran, applied to Barbarossa for assistance. The villain as may be supposed gladly accepted the proposal, and left the fleet under the com|mand of his brother Hayradin. He then marched with five thousand men to Algiers, and was received with all the honors due to the commander in chief of such an army, by the Algerines, who supposed him come to their assistance, not having the least suspicion of his base designs. His ambitious desires of becoming great among the inhabitants of that part of the globe, had now an opportunity of being put in execution, and every thing seem|ed to promise him success. This great force had given him the command of the City, and indeed every thing seemed to favour the per|petration of his diabolical plot. He therefore murdered secretly the monarch, who had soli|cited his assistance. and whom he had come to assist, and proclaimed himself king in his stead. He established the authority which he had usur|ped, by arts suited to the genius of the people whom he had to govern; for his liberality to those who favored his promotion, was without bounds, and to those whom he had any reason to mistrust, that wished to oppose his authority his cruelties were no less unbounded. With his fleets, which resembled the armaments of a great monarch, rather than the squadrons of a pirate, he continued to infest the coasts of Page 94 Spain and Italy, for by this time he had increas|ed the number of his corsairs to upwards of 50 armed vessels. The repeated and cruel devas|tations of his corsairs upon those coasts, obliged Charles the Vth, about the begining of his reign, to furnish the Marquis de Comares, who was then Governor of Oran, with a sufficient number of troops to attack him. That officer executed his commission with such spirit and resolution, that the forces of Babarossa were vanquished in several encounters, and he him|self was shut up in Tremesen, where he re|mained blockaded for several months, and was at last fortunately slain, as he was attempting to make his escape. His brother Hayradin, who was likewise known by the name of Barbaros|sa, assumed the Algerine sceptre. For some time he carried on his naval robberies with the utmost vigour, and on the continent of Africa, he even extended his conquests. But perceiv|ing at length that the Moors and Arabs never submitted to his despotic mandates, but with the utmost reluctance, and being apprehensive least his continual depredations would one day draw upon him the arms of the Christians, he put his dominions under the protection of the grand Seignior, from whom he received a suffi|cient body of Turkish soldiers, for his security against his foreign as well as domestic enemies.
The infamy, (or, as Doctor Robertson see proper to call it, the same) of his exploits daily increased, till at length Solyman, approving of Page 95 his conduct offered him the command of the Turkish fleet; and on the other hand, Hayra|din, justly dreading the fatal consequences, which might arise from the tyranny of his of|ficers over the Algerines, solicited the protec|tion of the grand seignior. This was immedi|ately granted, and Hayradin himself appoint|ed Bashaw, or vice roy of Algiers; by the means of which he received such numerous reinforcements from Turkey, that the unhap|py Algerines durst not make the least com|plaint, and were now under the woeful necessi|ty of resigning their persons, and property to the will of this despotic prince. Exclusive of those Turks who were sent him by the grand seignior as soldiers, such numbers flocked to him, voluntarily, that he was not only capable in a considerable degree of annoying the Chris|tians with his corsairs at sea, but also of keep|ing the Moors, and Arabs in subjection at home. About this time he began the foundation of the mole, which I have before described. Hay|radin had by this time rendered himself dread|ed not only by the Arabs, and Moors, but also by the maritime christian powers, especially by the Spaniards. The vice roy sailed not to ac|quaint the Grand Seignior with his success, who being much pleased with his proceedings, furnished him with a fresh suppy of money, by means of which he was enabled to build those sorts and batteries before mentioned. The Sultan, in the mean time, either out of a sense of the services of Hayradin, or perhaps being Page 96 jealous least he should make himself indepen|dant, or more probably, both, to prevent the one, and reward the other, raised him to the important dignity of Bashaw of the empire, and to succeed him as Bashaw of Algiers, he ap|pointed, a Sardinian renegado, who was known by the name of Hassan Aga, or General Hassan the word Aga in Arabec signifying a general.
This new Bashaw immediately on taking possession of his new government, began to pursue his ravages, on the coasts of Spain, and Italy with greater fury than 〈◊〉 any of his predecessors had done, he even extended them to the ecclesiastical state, and other parts of Ita|ly did not escape his rapine. These proceed|ings greatly alarmed, Pope Paul 3d who exhor|ted the emperor Charles 5th to send a power|ful fleet to suppress those diabolical repeated piracies: and least something might be wanting to render this daring enterprize successful, his holiness published a bull, wherein a plenary ab|solution of sins, and the crown of martyrdom, were promised to all those who fell in battle or were made slaves. The emperor, needed no incitement on his part▪ he therefore set sail at the head of a powerful fleet, which consisted of one hundred and twenty three large ships, and twenty gallies of different sizes, having on board thirty thousand well diciplined troops, with an immense quantity of arms and ammu|nition. The reduction of Algiers was so ap|parently inevitable at this time, that many of the young nobility, and gentlemen attended Page 97 this expedition as volunteers, and among these were many knights of Malta, remarkable for their valour against the enemies of Christiani|ty. Many ladies of birth and character attend|ed Charles; A vast number of the officers and soldiers, took their wives and children with them, intending to settle in Barbary, after the conquest was finished.
About the beginning of October, A. D. 1541, they arrived off the harbor. The sight of such a prodigious armament threw the Algerines into the utmost consternation as their city was surrounded only by a wall, with scarce any out works, and their whole garrison consisted of only eight hundred Turks, and six thousand Moors, who were chiefly without fire arms, and poorly disciplined and accoutred; the rest of their forces being dispersed in different pro|vinces of the kingdom, to levy the usual tri|bute on the Arabs and Moors. The Spaniards landed their forces without any opposition whatever, and immediately built a large fort on a hill about a mile to the eastward of the ci|ty, under the cannon of which they encamp|ed. The city at this time being dependant on one spring for its water, which was one mile from the walls and the Spaniards, having di|verted its course, they were now reduced to the utmost distress. Hassan received a sum|mons from Charles, to surrender at discretion, on pain of being put to the sword with all his garrison if he refused. The herald was order|ed to extol the vast power of the emperor, both Page 98 by sea & land, and to exhort him to return to the Christian religion. To this Hassan replied, that he must be a madman, who would pretend to advise an enemy, and that the person advised, would act still more madly should he take counsel of such an ad|viser. He was, however upon the point of sur|rendering the city, when he received intelli|gence, that the forces belonging to the western government were in full march towards the place; upon which it was determined to de|fend it, to the utmost. In the mean time, Charles being resolved upon a general assault, kept up a cannonade without intermission, upon the town, which from the weak defence made by the garrison, he looked upon as already in his possession. But while the Divan were delibe|rating on the most proper means of obtaining an honourable capitulation, a mad prophet, at|tended by a multitude of people, entered the assembly, and foretold the destruction of the Spaniards before the end of the moon, exhort|ing the inhabitants to hold out till that time. This prediction was soon accomplished in a very surprising and unexpected manner; for on the 28th of October 1541, a dreadful storm of rain, hail and wind, arose from the north|ward, attended with violent shocks of earth|quakes, and a dismal and universal darkness both by sea and land; so that the sun, moon, and elements, seemed to combine together for the destruction of the Spaniards. Eighty six ships, and fifteen gallies, were destroyed in that one night, with all their crews, and mili|tary Page 99 stores, and the Algerines say in less than half an hour, by which the army on shore was deprived of all means of subsistance. Their camp also, which spread itself along the plain, under cover of the cannon of their fort, was laid quite under water by the dreadful tor|rents which descended from the neighboring hills. Many of the troops were cut to pieces by the Moors, and Arabs by trying to remove into some better situation; while several gal|lies, and other vessels, endeavouring to gain some neighboring creeks along the coast, were immediately plundered, and their crews massa|cred by the inhabitants. Next morning; Charles, to his utmost astonishment, beheld the sea covered with the fragments of his ships, and the bodies of men, horses, and other crea|tures swimming upon the waves, the sight of which so disheartened him, that abandoning his tents, artillery, and all his heavy baggage, to the enemy, he marched at the head of his army in the greatest precipitation and disorder towards Cape Mallabux, in order to re-embark, on board those vessels, which had out-weather|ed the storm. But Hassan, was not an idle spec|tator all this while, for he had so narrowly watch|ed the motion of the Spaniards, that he allowed them just time enough to get to the shore, when he sallied out & attacked them with the greatest fury, in the midst of their hurry to get into the ships. The Spaniards, however made an obstinate resistance, and a very bloody carnage continued for about two hours, when they Page 100 were over-powered, and obliged to retreat to their boats, the whole number of which was not capable of carrying one quarter of them. Hassan pursued them to their boats, and killed a vast number, and brought away a still greater number of captives; after which he returned in triumph to Algiers. The prophet Yusef, who had foretold the destruction of the Spani|ards, was soon after this declared the deliverer of his country, and had a considerable gratuity decreed him, with the liberty of exercising his prophetic functions unmolested. It was not long however, before a strong opposition was made against him, by some of the interpreters of the law, by remonstrating to the Dey, how ridiculous and scandalous, it was to their nati|on, to ascribe its deliverance to a poor fortune|teller, which had been obtained by the fervent prayers of an eminent saint of their own pro|fession. The Bashaw, and his Divan, seemed, out of policy, to give way to this last notion; yet the impression which the prediction of Yu|sef, and its accomplishments had made upon the minds of the common people, proved too strong to eradicated; since which the spirit of divination and conjuring, has got into such credit among them, that not only their great statesmen, but their priests, and santoons, have applied themselves to that study, and dignified it with the name of the Revelations of Maho|met.
The Spaniards had scarcely reached their ships, when a second storm attacked them, in Page 101 which a vast vast number more of them perish|ed. One vessel in particular, with seven hun|dred soldiers, and three hundred seamen on board, sunk, in the presence of Charles, with|out a possibility of saving one man. At length with great difficulty the survivors reached the port of Bujeyah, a small port on the coast of Barbary, which lies about thirty five leagues to the eastward of Algiers, and was at this time possessed by Spain. They remained here only till the sixteenth of November, and then set sail for Carthagena, (in Spain,) at which place they arrived on the 25th of the same Month. Upwards of one hundred and twenty ships and gallies, were lost, in this unfortunate expediti|on, with above three hundred officers, and eight thousand soldiers, besides mariners, ex|clusive of those destroyed by the enemy on their re-embarkation, or perished in the last storm, and those who were made slaves. The number of prisoners was now so great, that some of them were sold, by the Algerines, by way of contempt, for an Onion per head!
The Spaniards were never able to annoy the Algerines, in any considerable degree, after this time. In the year 1555, Salab Baise, successor to Hassan, attacked the city of Bujeyah, and soon made himself master of it, though not without an obstinate resistance from the Span|iards, and great slaughter on both sides. Salab Baise now augmented the number of Christian slaves, to thirty one thousand. The next year, this commander's ambition being raised Page 102 with the success he met at Bujeyah, he set out upon a new expedition, supposed to be against Oran, but was scarce got out of the city, when he was attacked with the plague which made its appearance in his groin, and fortunately carried him off, in twenty four hours. The plague at this time raging very violently in the city, and among the troops, the soldiery im|mediately elected a Corsican renegado, Hassan|Corso, in his stead, in order to execute the in|tended expedition against Oran. He accepted the Bashawship with much difficulty, dispatch|ing a messenger at the same time to acquaint the porte, with what had happened, and marched his army against Oran, they had scarcely commenced their hostilities against that place, when orders were received from the porte, expressly forbiding Hassan-Corso to be|gin the siege; or, if it was begun enjoining him immediately to raise it, which he did ac|cordingly. This officer had enjoyed his digni|ty but four months, when a new Bashaw, Te|kelli, arrived from Constantinople, as his suc|cessor. The Algerines resolved not to admit him; but by the treachery of the Levantine soldiers, he at last entered. He immediately ordered Corso, to be thrown upon the hooks which are fastened in the walls of city, one of which catching him by the ribs of his side, he hung in this horrid agony, three days before he expired. Tekelli, was inhumanly murder|ed shortly after, under the cupola of a saint, by Yusef Calabres, a favourite renegade, of Page 103 Hassan-Corso. The murderer was immediate|ly chosen in his stead, but died of the plague, six days after his election. Yusef's successor, was Hassan, the son of Hayradin, Barbarossa. Not long after, the Spaniards undertook an expedition against Mostagan under the com|mand of the court D'Alcandela, but were ut|terly defeated, the commander slain, and twelve thousand men taken prisoners. Hassan having disobliged his subjects, they sent him in irons to Constantinople, and two Turkish of|ficers supplied his place. Hassan was cleared, but Achmet was appointed a new Bashaw.—Immediately upon his arrival at Algiers, he sent the two deputy-Bashaws to Constantinople. where they were beheaded. Achmet died in four months after; and Hassan was sent a third time Vice-Roy to Algiers, Soon after his arrival he engaged in the seige of Marsalqui|ver, (a town of Algiers, situate on the Barbary coast of Africa, lying opposite to Oran,) which at this time, was possessed by the Spaniards; and situated at a small distance from Oran. He planted the Ottoman standard several times upon the walls, which the Spaniards as often dislodged; and Hassan was finally obliged to raise the seige, after great slaughter on both sides.
In the year 1567, Hassan was again recalled to Constantinople. His successor, Mahomet, incorporated the Janisaries and Levantine Turks together. Thus he put an end to their dissentions, and the foundation of the Algerine Page 104 independency on the porte, was now laid. He erected several fortifications which he intended to render impregnable.
About this time, one Juan Gascon, an intre|pid Spaniard, formed a design of destroying the whole piratic navy, as they lay in the bay, by setting them on fire in the night. He was furnished by Philip the 2d, with vessels, fire|works, and mariners, for the execntion of his plan. He failed for Algiers in the begining of October, when the greatest part of the Corsairs lay at anchor in the bay; and advanced near enough to view them, undiscovered. He ac|cordingly, unperceived by any, came to the mole, and dispatched his men, with their fire|works but these being so badly mixed, that they could not be kindled. Gascon now find|ing himself discovered, and in the utmost danger got his ships under way with all possible haste, and stood to sea; but was pursued, over|taken, and brought back a prisoner. Maho|met immediately caused a gibbet to be erected on the spot where Gascon landed, and hung him by the feet upon a hook, with his com|mission tied to his toes. He had been suspend|ed in this situation, but a short time, when the captain who made him prisoner, and several other officers, interceeded so strongly in his be|half, that he was taken down, and put under the care of a christian surgeon. A few days after, it being reported that it was the com|mon talk and belief in Spain, that the Alge|rines durst not hurt a hair of Guscon's head, Page 105 he was carried to the top of the execution wall, and thrown down. In his fall a hook catched him by the belly, which tore out, so he fell to the bottom and was dashed to pieces.
Mahomet was succeeded by Ochali, a rene|gado, who subdued the kingdom of Tunis. It remained subject to the bashaw of Algiers un|til the year 1586, a Bashaw of Tunis, was then appointed by the grand Seignior.
Algiers continued to be governed by the Turkish Vice Roys or Bashaws, till the begin|ning of the seventeenth century. The Turk|ish Janisaries, and Militia becoming powerful enough at last, to suppress the tyrannic sway of these Bashaws a deputation of some of their chief members was sent to Constantinople to complain of their rapacity. They represented to the ministry, how much more honorable it would be for the grand Seignior to permit them to chuse their own Dey, or Governor, from among themselves, whose interest it would be to see that the revenue of the coun|try was rightly applied in keeping up its forces complete, and in supplying all other exigencies of the state, without any further trouble or expence to the porte, than that of allowing them his protection. The Divan elected a Dey from among themselves. A new set of laws was com|piled, and they made several regulations, for the better support of this new government. The subsequent altercations that frequently hap|pened between the Bashaws & Deys, the one for Page 106 endeavouring to recover their former power, and the other to curtail it, caused such frequent complaints and discontents at the Ottoman court, as made them sometimes repent of their compliance.
The Spaniards made another attempt upon Algiers, in the year 1601, but by contrary winds their fleet was driven back, so that this time they came off without loss. Such num|bers of Moors, being expelled from Spain in the year 1609, that they flocked to Algiers in abundance; and many of them being able sail|ors, they undoubtedly contributed to make the Algerine fleet so formidable as it soon became. * In 1616, their naval force consisted of forty large ships, beside Xebecs, row-galley's &c. their Admiral ship at this time was upwards of five hundred tons burthen. Their fleet was divided into two squadrons, one of eighteen sail, was stationed off the port of Malaga; and the other Page 107 off the Cape Santa Maria, between Lisbon and Seville; both of which annoyed Christian ships & plundered both English & French, with whom they pretended to be in friendship, as well as Spaniards and Portuguese with whom they were at war.
The Algerines were now become formidable to the European powers. The Spaniards who were most exposed to danger, solicited the as|sistance of England, the Pope and other states. The French however were the first who dared to shew their resentment at the perfidious be|havior of these miscreants; and in the year 1617, M. Beauleau was sent against them with a fleet of fifty men of war. He defeated their fleet, and took two of their vessels. Their Ad|miral sunk his own ship rather than fall into the hands of the enemy. The English sent a squadron of men of war against Algiers in the year 1620, but they returned without do|ing or sustaining any material damage. The Algerines daily becoming more insolent and daring, openly defied all the European powers, the Dutch only excepted, to whom, in 1625 they sent a proposal, that if they would sit out twenty sail of ships in the following year, upon any service against the Spaniards, the corsairs would join them with sixty sail. In 1626, the Cologlies seized on the Citadel, and nearly ac|complished their design, of making themselves masters of the city. The Turks and Renega|does, attacked them with great fury, and de|feated them with terrible slaughter. Vast Page 108 numbers were beheaded, and their heads thrown in heaps upon the walls of the city.—The Algerines, and other state of Barbary, threw off their dependence on the porte, in the year 1623. Sultan Amurath 4th, had been o|bliged to make a truce with the Emperor Fer|dinand 2d; for the term of twenty five years, and as this put a stop to the piratical trade of the Algerines, they resolved, that whoever de|sired to be at peace with them, must, separately apply to their own government. They made prizes of several merchant ships, belonging to the powers at peace with the porte. At Scan|deroon * they seized a Dutch ship, and polacre; in this port they even ventured on shore, the Turkish aga and inhabitants had abandoned the town on their approach, they therefore plun|dered all the magazines and ware houses, and set them on fire. About this time Louis 13th, undertook to built a fort on their coast, instead of one formerly built at the Marsilians, and which had been demolished. This, after much difficulty, he accomplished; and it was called the Bastion of France; but the situation being found inconvenient, the French purchased the port of La Calle, and obtained liberty to trade with the Arabs and Moors. In the mean time, the Ottoman court, was so much embar|rassed with a Persian war, that they had no lei|sure Page 109 to check the Algerine piracies. The Vi|zier, and other courtiers, took this opportuni|ty to compound matters with the Algerines, and to get a share of the prizes, which were very considerable. A severe reprimand ac|compined with threats, was sent them, merely for sake of form. They replied, that "they deserved to be indulged in these depredations, as they were the only bulwark against the Christian powers, and in particular, against the Spaniards, the sworn enemies to the Mos|lem name" they added, that "if they should pay a punctilious regard to all who could pur|chase liberty to trade with the Ottoman em|pire, they "would have nothing to do but set sire to their shipping, and turn camel-drivers."
The Algerines prosecuted their piracies with impunity, to the terror and disgrace of Christendom, till the year 1652; when a French fleet being driven to Algiers accidentally, the admiral thought proper to demand a re|lease of all the Captives belonging to his nation indiscriminately, which the Dey refusing to comply with the Frenchman without any fur|ther ceremony carried off the Turkish viceroy, and his Cadi or Judge, who were just arrived from the porte, with all their equipage and retinue. By way of reprisal the Algerines surprised the Bastion of France, already men|tioned, and carried off six hundred inhabitants, with all their effects. Sixteen galleys and galliots were sitted out soon after by the Alge|rines, under the command of Alli Penchinin. Page 110 The chief design of this armament was against the treasure of Loretto in Italy; but being pre|vented by contrary winds from obtaining their desire, they made a descent on Puglia in the king|dom of Naples; where the whole territory of Necotra, suffered by their ravages, and a vast number of captives were carried to Algiers. They then steered towards Dalmatia, & scour|ed the Adriatic, loading themselves with immense treasure. Such ravages greatly alarm|ed the Venetians, who immediately sent admiral Capello, with twenty eight sail of ships against them, with express orders to burn, sink or take, every Barbary corsair he might meet with, either at sea, or in the Ottoman harbours, agreeable to their late treaty with the Porte. The Rais Bashaw being at sea at this time with a Turkish fleet, in order to drive the Maltese and Florentine cruisers from the Archipelago, and being informed that the Algerine squadron was very near, sent express orders to the Alge|rine admiral to come to his assistance. Pinchi|nin readily complied and set sail; but on his way, he fell in with Capello, who chased him to Valona, a sea port belonging to the Turkish empire; but the Turkish governor refusing to turn out the pirates, according to the articles of peace between the Ottoman court & Venice, Capello, was obliged to content himself with watching their motion, for a considerable time. At length Pinchinin ventured out, and a des|perate engagement ensued, which continued for about four hours, with the most determi|ned Page 111 obstinacy on both sides, at last Pinchinin fled, and was pursued by Capello; but the pirates ships sailing faster than their enemy, they made their escape. Five of the Algerine ships being disabled they fell into the hands of the Venetians. In this action the pirates lost, in killed, one thousand five hundred men, Turks, and Christian slaves, and one thousand six hundred galley slaves set at liberty by Capel|lo. The pirates, after this defeat, returned to Valona, where they were again watched by the Venetians, but the latter had not been long at his old station, before a letter was sent him from his court, desiring him not to make any farther attempts at that time, lest it might be the occasion of a rupture with the Porte. Ca|pello being forced to submit; he resolved to take his leave of them in such a manner, as he tho't they deserved; observing how their tents & equipage were drawn along the shore, he kept firing among them, while some ships were dis|patched to attack their squadron. They towed out sixteen of the pirates gallies, with all their cannon and stores. A ball from one of the Venetian gallies having struck a Turkish mosque, the whole action was considered as an insult upon the grand Seignior. To conceal this orders were given to Capello to sink all the ships he had taken from the Algerines, except the Admiral; which was to be laid up at Ve|nice as a trophy. Capello received a severe re|primand from his court, and the Venetians were obliged to pay to the porte, five hun|dred Page 112 thousand ducats, by way of attonement. The news of this defeat, filled Algiers, with rage and confusion. They immediately ap|plied to the porte, for an order, that the Ve|netians who were settled in the Levant, (the east part of the Mediterranean sea,) should make their loss good. But the grand seignior refused to comply with this, and left them to repair their losses in the best manner they could. The pirates however soon recovered their for|mer strength, being able at the end of two years to send a fleet of sixty five sail to sea.
The Algerines having committed such grie|vous outrages on the coasts of Provence and Languedoc, that Louis the 14th, was provoked in the year 1682, to send a very, large sleet a|gainst them, under the command of the Man|quis du Quesne, vice Admiral of Prance. He arrived off Algiers in August, and gave the Ci|ty such a furious bombarding and cannonading, that in a short time, it was greatly damaged, and the great Mosque battered down. The wind shifting on a sudden obliged du Quesne to return to Toulon. The Algerines by way of reprisal, sent a number of Corsairs to Pro|vence where they committed the most dread|ful outrages, bringing away a vast number of captives; upon which Louis ordered another armament, against them the next year. Du Quesne anchored before Algiers in May 1683, where he was joined by the Marquis d'Affran|ville with five more ships, it being resolved to bombard the town next morning, they accord|ingly Page 113 commenced the action in the morning, and threw one hundred bombs into it, which did terrible execution, while the Algerines dis|charged several hundreds of cannon against the assailants without doing any material damage. On the following night great numbers of bombs were again thrown into the city, which nearly demolished the Dey's palace, and seve|ral great edifices; some vessels were sunk in the harbor and several batteries dismounted.
The Dey and soldiery being greatly alarm|ed at the terrible havock, sued for peace.—As a preliminary, the French demanded all christian captives who had been taken un|der the French flag, which was immedi|ately granted, and one hundred and forty two persons were directly given up, with a promise of sending on board the rest as soon as they could be brought from the different parts of the country. Du Quesne sent his commissary general and one of his engineers in|to the town; with express orders to insist up|on the surrender of all French captives without exception, together with all the effects which they had taken from the French; and that their Admiral Mezomorto, and Rais Alli, one of their captains, should be given as hostages. The Dey being embarrassed with this last de|mand, he assembled the Divan, and acquainted them with it. This threw Mezomorto into a violent passion; he told the assembly, that the ruin of Algiers, was occasioned by the coward|ice of those who had the helm; that for his Page 114 part, he would never consent to deliver up any thing which they had taken from the French. He immediately acquainted the soldiery with those new demands, and of what had passed in the assembly; which so exasperated them, that they massacred the Dey that very night, and the next day chose Mezomorto in his stead. This being done, all the articles of peace which had been made were destroyed, and hostilities re|newed with greater fury than ever. Du Ques|ne now kept pouring in such volleys of bombs, that the greatest part of the city was almost re|duced to ruins, in less than three days; the numbers of slain were so great that their blood run in rivulets along the streets. Mezomorto was unmoved by all these disasters, but had ra|ther grown desperate and furious, he sought only how to wreak his revenge on the enemy. He caused all the French in the city to be in|humanely massacred, and not contented with this, he ordered their Consul to be fastened a|live to the mouth of a mortar, from which he was shot away against their navy. Du Quesne was so exasperated, with this piece of barbarity that he did not leave Algiers till he had utterly destroyed all their fortifications, and shipping; and had reduced the city to a heap of ruins.—The Algerines soon after this, sent an embassy into France, begging in the most abject terms for peace; which Louis readily granted. This bombardment so far humbled the Algerines, that they condescended to enter into a treaty with England which took place in the year 1686. Page 115 With a concise account of the expedition of the Spaniards in 1775, I shall close this chapter.
On the 23d or June, 1775, a sleet consisting of six ships of the line, twelve frigates, and thirty three other armed vessels set sail from Carthagena, in Spain, to attack Algiers. The troops which were on board amounted to twenty four thousand four hundred and forty seven men, including calvalry, infantry, ma|rines, and six hundred deserters destined to serve as workmen. They were commanded by the count O'Reilly, a personal favourite of the late king of Spain. For the land service they had an hundred and seventy six pieces of artil|lery, mortars, and howitzers, with a sufficient quantity of military stores. They anchored in the bay of Algiers, on the 30th of June, and 1st of July. Next day a council was held, and the troops were ordered to hold themselves in readiness to disembark on the ensuing morn|ing by day break. But as the succeeding night was windy, and a swell had set in from the North, their orders were countermanded.—From this day, to the sixth, there were fre|quent councils, violent debates and nothing done. A quarrel broke out between O'Reilly and the Marquis de Romane, a Spanish major|general, who was killed in the subsequent ac|tion. On the sixth, the principal officers were again assembled, to receive their ultimate in|structions. O'Reilly warned the army, that the custom of the Algerines, was, to pretend a most violent attack, and to fly with precipita|tion, Page 116 on the smallest resistance, that they might draw the enemy into an ambuscade. He cau|tioned the troops not to break their ranks, as nothing but the force of discipline could secure them against so active an enemy. The very error which they committed, and the snare into which they were betrayed, was pointed out of them, by O'Reilly. The army was di|rected (on their landing) to gain some heights, which were supposed requisite to ensure suc|cess against Algiers. In the afternoon of the same day some ships of war were ordered to fire against three batteries a little to the east|ward of the city. This commission was execu|ted with so much laudable attention to the personal safety of the assailants, that their shot did not reach the shore, those of one seventy four gun ship excepted, and not one of those struck either of the batteries. This dreadful Spanish attack ceased about sunset. Between eight & nine thousand men were put on board the boats the next morning at day break in order for landing. They advanced under the pro|tection of their ships very near the coast. Not a person appeared to oppose them; but lest they might be attacked, and for their own safety they returned on board the transports at seven o'clock in the morning. Not a single shot was fired on either side during this whole day. On the 8th at day break, the ships were stationed to batter the different forts to the right and lest of the place of disembarkation, eight thousand troops were put on board the boats; which Page 117 formed in six colums. The place of landing was about a league to the eastward of the city. Sixty or seventy thousand Barbarians, of whom the greatest part were cavalry, came in sight, but did not attempt to oppose the landing of the Spaniards. The troops advanced into a close country, which the Algerines had occupi|ed in small parties. The light infantry and grenadiers of the Spaniards were soon repulsed, and the whole body fell into confusion. In a very short time they fled, leaving behind them a great number of killed and wounded. Part of a second body of troops, who were just land|ed, added to the general confusion. A third body had cast up an entrenchment on shore, for the protection of the army. The Africans attacked it, but were driven back, with great laughter on both sides. The Algemines attack|ed them a second time, driving before them vast numbers of camels which served to shield them in some measure from the balls of the Spaniards. They advanced in this manner within a short distance of the Spanish forces, when a sharp engagement took place which con|tinued about half an hour, the Spaniards were then put to flight, leaving behind them fifteen pieces of cannon, three howitzers, and all their dead and wounded, the latter were all put to the sword, and the head of every Spaniard, whether dead or alive,) was struck off—The Dey having offered a reward of ten Sequins for each head that should be brought him. The Spanish accounts allow their loss to be no Page 118 more than five hundred and seventy one men killed. The Algerines state the loss of the Spa|niards, to be nine thousand five hundred and seven, and their own at about one thousand two hundred. This latter statement is per|haps nigher the truth than the former, by rea|son of the Algerines being screened in a consi|erable degree from the fire of their enemy, by the camels, whom they drove in front. The real amount of the loss on either side is very diffi|cult to determine, but one circumstance is ev|ident, that the bones of several thousand Spa|niards are laying above ground to this day, in the valley where they were slain, they not being allowed a burial by the Algerines.