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Home » Public Programs » Online Exhibits » Aftermath: America’s Presence in the Mediterranean » Isaac Chauncey to Benjamin Crowninshield, October 9, 1816. Isaac Chauncey Papers.

Isaac Chauncey to Benjamin Crowninshield, October 9, 1816. Isaac Chauncey Papers.

No. 17
U.S. Ship Washington
Tunis Bay 9th Octr 1816


I have the honor to inform you that the Squadron anchored in this Bay on the 6th Instt. The Peacock had arrived some time before from Naples.

His Regency was very much alarmed at the appearance of so large a force and kept their Batteries manned night and day.  I visited Tunis and called on the Bey by appointment who granted me an audience altho’ much indisposed.  I assured him that I had no hostile views in visiting his Dominions, and was commanded by the President to respect his flag and subjects so long as they observed towards the citizens of the United States that friendly conduct which we had a right to expect.  The Bey observed in reply that it was his interest and wish to remain at peace with the United States and he hoped that nothing would interrupt the present good 

good understanding.  I will take occasion to observe that the present is a most favorable time to revise and correct our treaty with this Regency.  It is extremely mortifying that we are not placed on a footing with other nations.  I beg to call your attention to the 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th articles of the present Treaty and I am sure that you will think that Americans ought to have a  better.  I am persuaded that all that is necessary is to ask a change which would not be objected to by the Bey.  In fact he has expressed some surprize that we did not demand a revision which he intimated would be readily acceded to by him.

If the President would appoint Commissioners to revise, amend and [new] model the treaty with Tunis, I am sure that it could be done without difficultly especially when backed by the Fleet now in these seas:  I am not alone in this opinion.  Mr. Shaler, Mr. Anderson, and the Captain in the Fleet coincide with me perfectly in the belief that it could be accomplished without difficulty or expense, and the effect which it would produce with

with the other Regencies would be beneficial to the United States.

I hope to be instructed on this subject before I leave these seas.        

I have the honor to be
&c. &c.


[To] Hon. Benj. W. Crow[n]inshield
Secretary of the Navy