The conflict between the United States and the Barbary States
is today largely forgotten, but in the 19th century it was the stuff of legend.
Mordecai, Noah: "Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States
in the Years 1813-1814 and 1815", (New York: Kirk and Mercein, 1819).
Thus, to fight the French threat, the United States employed the navy it had originally built to combat the Barbary states
, bolstered with additional ships.
In 1785, Jefferson and John Adams, then the Minister to England, met with Tripoli's envoy to London to discuss "the ground of the pretensions" of the Barbary States
to "make war upon nations who had done them no injury.
In detail, Wheelan describes the excruciating and frustrating efforts to which our second President, John Adams, went to foster diplomacy, peace, and relationship with the pirating corsairs of the Barbary States
in support of the fledgling United States' growing overseas Mediterranean trade.
The Barbary states
consisted of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli (contemporary Libya), all officially tributaries of the Ottoman Empire but in fact basically autonomous, and the independent sultanate of Morocco.
He says many of the pirates contracted by the Barbary States
were Christian Europeans, so the idea that Christian Americans were fighting only African Muslims is not accurate.
His mastery of Arabic convinced all that he was a traveller from the Barbary states
What's even more surprising is that about half the corsair sailors who delivered captives to the Barbary states
were "renegades" - former soldiers of European armies who had been captured, converted to Islam and turned to raiding the ships of their former compatriots.
The Barbary States
were supported by the superpowers of that day, England and France.
The life begins with his birth in Quebec and stretches to the end of his seagoing days in the 1840s, encompassing some of the most difficult times in the life of the early American republic, its wars with France and the Barbary States
of North Africa, and the War of 1812.
On which continent were the Barbary States