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WAR WITH TRIPOLI.

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3. To protect our commerce, as well as to humble the pirates, an armed naval force, under Commodore Preble, had been sent out to the Mediterranean as early as 1803. In the same year the Philadelphia frigate, under Captain Bainbridge, had joined him, but, in chasing a piratical vessel, had run aground and surrendered, and the captain and his crew had been reduced to captivity.

COMMODORE BAINBRIDGE.

4. After the surrender of the Philadelphia, the Tripolitans got the vessel afloat, and moored her in the harbor. While lying there, Decatur, then only a lieutenant under Commodore Preble, formed a plan to destroy her, to which, as it required but twenty men and a single officer, the commodore,

after some hesitation, consented. 5. To accomplish his purpose, Decatur sailed, under cover of the night, in a Tripolitan vessel he had captured, for the Philadelphia, taking with him an old pilot, who understood perfectly the Tripolitan language. On approaching the Philadelphia, they were hailed; upon which the pilot answered that he had lost his cable and anchor, and wished to fasten his vessel to the frigate till morning.

6. The request was refused, but they were permitted to remain near the Philadelphia till the Tripolitans could send ashore to ask permission of the admiral. As soon as the boat had put off, Decatur and his men leaped on board, and in a few minutes cleared the deck of fifty Tripolitans. They then set the frigate on fire, and returned in the light of it to their squadron.

7. The plan was as successful as it was daring. Not a man was lost, and only one injured. This individual was wounded in defending Decatur. The latter, in a struggle with a Tripolitan, had been disarmed, and was about to have his head smitten off with a sabre, when the seaman eached out his arm and received the blow, and thus saved him.

8. The destruction of the Philadelphia greatly enraged the Tripoli cans; and the Americans whom they held in captivity were treated with greater severity than before. The sufferings of Captain Bainbridge and his crew, and their companions in bondage, were represent

3. What of Commodore Preble? The Philadelphia? 4. What was Decatur's plan? 5, 6. Describe the execution of this design. 7. What of the man who was injured? S. What effect had this feat on the Tripolitans? What of Captain Bainbridge and his men?

ed, at home, as great beyond endurance, and the public sentiment was in favor of continuing the war.

9. At this juncture, General Eaton, who had been consul of the United States up the Mediterranean, and was at Egypt on his return homeward, heard of the situation of his countrymen at Tripoli.

He also fell in at this time with Hamet, the rightful heir to the throne of Tripoli. Jussuf, the third son of the reigning ba shaw, to gain the throne, bad just murdered his father and elder brother, and also

[graphic]

BURNING OF THE PHILADELPHIA.

sought to destroy

Hamet, the only

surviving heir in his way.

10.General Eaton

was much interested in the story of Hamet, as well as affected by the sufferings of his enslaved countrymen. The beys of Egypt, too, were in favor of Hamet. A league was therefore made between Eaton and Hamet, by virtue of which Hamet was to be restored to his throne, and the American captives were to be released from their bondage.

11. Having procured a small number of Americans and a few soldiers from Egypt, General Eaton and Hamet crossed the desert of Barca and took Derne, the capital of a large province of Tripoli. The cause of Hamet had, by this time, become so popular, and their force so strong, that they were about to attack Tripoli; upon which Jussuf was glad to make peace with the American consul, Mr. Lear.

12. This treaty, while it released the captive Americans, did not restore Hamet to his throne. The latter visited the United States, in 1805, to solicit some remuneration for the services he had rendered General Eaton, and for the losses he had sustained by the premature treaty of peace, as he deemed it, made by Mr. Lear; but Congress did not see fit to grant his request.

9. What of General Eaton? Who was Hamet? What had Jussuf just done? 10. Who were in favor of Hamet? What league was made? 11. What did Hamet and Eaton do? Why was Jussuf glad to make peace? 12. What of Hamet afterward? How did Congress treat Hamet's request?

BURR'S CONSPIRACY.

315

CHAPTER CLIII.

JEFFERSON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Burr's Con

spiracy.

1. ONE of the most remarkable events of the year 1806 was the Conspiracy, as it is called, of the late Vice President, Aaron Burr. After the death of General Hamilton, he had retired to a small island in the Ohio River, about two hundred miles below Pittsburg, since called Blennerhasset's Island.

AARON BURR.

2. Here he had set on foot a project for forming an independent empire west of the Alleghany Mountains, of which he was to be the chief or emperor. New Orleans was to be the capital. The government of the United States, apprised of his plan, arrested him, brought him to Richmond, in Virginia, and put him on trial for treason; but he was released for want of proof against him.

3. Burr found, moreover, that, beside the danger of being taken and convicted before he could get his scheme fairly under way, the attachment of the Western States to the general government was stronger than he had before supposed, and that his cunning and intrigue would not avail him.

4. It had been Burr's purpose, in case of the failure of his main plan, to proceed, with such forces as he could raise, to Mexico, and establish an empire there. But this restless man died without accomplishing the objects to which his ambition had prompted him; and all the kingdoms which his imagination had reared descended to the grave with him.

5. In point of talent, Burr was certainly a remarkable man. It was his unbounded ambition and unrestrained selfishness that ruined him. Had he aimed, like Washington, at the general good of his country, rather than his own aggrandizement, his memory might as well have been associated with the latter as with that of Benedict Arnold.

CHAP. CLIII.-1. Where had Burr retired after the death of Hamilton? 2. V his plan? What of his trial? 3. What did he find? 4 What had been hi What became of all his schemes? 5. What was his character?

6. It was about this period that President Jefferson directed Lewis and Clarke to explore the Missouri River. With a company of fortyfive men, they proceeded to its source, and then descended down the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, and returned the same way-traversing a distance of some six or eight thousand miles of wilderness in little more than two years and four months. The results of this expedition were a large accession of knowledge in respect to the geography and natural history of our country. The party returned in the year 1806.

CHAPTER CLIV.

JEFFERSON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Troubles with Great Britain.-British Orders in Council.-Napoleon's Berlin Decree.

1. IN 1807, Great Britain and France being at war with each other, the controversy drew to one side or the other most of the European powers; and there were not a few who would gladly have involved the United States in the quarrel. As yet, however, the government was determined, if possible, to remain neutral.

2. One serious difficulty, indeed, had arisen. Great Britain, having at her command a powerful navy, claimed the right of taking her own native-born subjects wherever she could find them. In pursuance of her purpose, many vessels belonging to the United States had been searched, and many individuals on board of them were seized and retained as British subjects.

3. As it was not always easy to distinguish American from British subjects, this custom of impressment gave great offence to the Americans. Thousands of our seamen, it was said, were claimed by the British, and, in this way, forced into their service; and, as if to continue and aggravate, instead of trying to remove the grievance, Great Britain would not so much as attempt any measures of redress.

4. Worse than even this difficulty took place; for, by an Order in Council of the British government, issued May 16th, 1806, declaring all the ports and rivers, from the Elbe in Germany, to Brest in France, in a state of blockade, American vessels trading to any of these ports were liable to be seized and condemned.

5. This decree of Great Britain was followed, in November, by one

6. Describe the expedition of Lewis and Clarke. When did they return? CHAP. OV.-1. What of Great Britain and France in 1807? 2. What did Great Britain flaim? & What of the impressment of our seamen ? 4. What worse difficulty existed?

.TROUBLES WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

317

from Bonaparte, dated at Berlin, in Prussia, in which all the British islands were declared to be blockaded, and all intercourse with them was thus broken up. This decree stood directly opposed to the exist. ing treaty between France and the United States, and also to the laws and usages of nations.

6. Again, the British government, in January, 1807, issued another Order in Council, forbidding all the coasting trade with France, on penalty of capture and condemnation. Nothing could have been better calculated than these proceedings to awaken every latent feeling of resentment in the Americans against the two nations, if not to involve them in the horrors of war itself.

CHAPTER CLV.

JEFFERSON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Attack on the

Chesapeake.

1. SOME time in the beginning of the year 1807, five men had deserted from the British frigate Me-lam'-pus, lying in Hampton Roads, and three of them had subsequently enlisted on board the United States frigate Chesapeake, then at Norfolk, preparing for sea. The British consul at Norfolk, on being acquainted with the facts, wrote to Commodore Barron, of the Chesapeake, requesting that the men might be returned.

2. This request being refused, the British consul applied to the secretary of the navy to surrender them. The secretary ordered an examination of the facts, from which it appeared that the men were natives of America, of which two of them had official certificates. They were not, therefore, given up.

3. The Chesapeake had been ordered to cruise in the Mediterranean, and, on June 22d, she proceeded on her voyage thither. In going out of Hampton Roads, she passed the British frigates Bel-lo'-na and Melampus. As she was passing Cape Henry, the Leopard, another British frigate, of fifty guns, came up with her, and an officer was sent on board with a note.

4. This note enclosed a copy of an order from the British admiral, Berkley, requesting them to search for deserters on board all our ships

5. What decree was made by Bonaparte? 6. What other order was made by the British! CHAP. CLV.-1. What took place in the year 1807? 2. What did the British consul at Norfolk do? What appeared to be the case concerning the men on board the Chesapeake? 3. Describe the going to sea of the Chesapeake. 4. What demand was made by the British admiral?

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