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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

On account of its neighborhood to the Mediterranean


Our

commerce, in the Mediterranean, was placed under early alarm, by the capture of two of our vessels and crews by the Barbary cruisers. I was very unwilling that we should acquiesce in the European humiliation, of paying a tribute to those lawless pirates, and endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredations from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their Ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation, in the following form.

'Proposals for concerted operation among the powers at war with the piratical States of Barbary.

'1. It is proposed, that the several powers at war with the piratical States of Barbary, or any two or more of them who shall be willing, shall enter into a convention to carry on their operations against those States, in concert, beginning with the Algerines.

'2. This convention shall remain open to any other power, who shall, at any future time, wish to accede to it; the parties reserving the right to prescribe the conditions of such accession, according to the circumstances existing at the time it shall be proposed.

'3. The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace, without price, and to guaranty that peace to each other.

'4. The operations for obtaining this

peace shall be constant cruises on their coast, with a naval force now to be agreed on. It is not proposed, that this force shall be so considerable, as to be inconvenient to any party. It is believed, that half a dozen frigates, with as many tenders or xebecs, one half of which shall be in cruise, while the other half is at rest, will suffice.

'5. The force agreed to be necessary, shall be furnished by the parties, in certain quotas, now to be fixed; it being expected, that each will be willing to contribute, in such proportion as circumstances may render reasonable.

'6. As miscarriages often proceed from the want of harmony among officers of different nations, the parties shall now consider and decide, whether it will not be better to contribute their quotas in money, to be employed in fitting out and keeping on duty a single fleet of the force agreed on.

'7. The difficulties and delays, too, which will attend the management of these operations, if conducted by the parties themselves separately, distant as their courts may be from one another, and incapable of meeting in consultation, suggest a question, whether it will not be better for them to give full powers, for that purpose, to their Ambassadors, or other Ministers resident at some one court of Europe, who shall form a Committee, or Council, for carrying this convention into effect; wherein, the vote of each member shall be computed in proportion to the quota of his sovereign, and the majority so computed, shall prevail in all questions within the view of this convention. The court of Versailles is proposed, on account of its neighborhood to the Mediterranean, and because all those powers are represented there, who are likely to become parties to this convention.

'8. To save to that Council the embarrassment of personal solicitations for office, and to assure the parties, that their contributions will be applied solely to the object for which they are destined, there shall be no establishment of officers for the said Council, such as Commissioners, Secretaries, or any other kind, with either salaries or perquisites, nor any other lucrative appointments, but such whose functions are to be exercised on board the said vessels.

'9. Should war arise between any two of the parties to this convention, it shall not extend to this enterprise, nor interrupt it; but as to this, they shall be reputed at peace.


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