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Home » Public Programs » Online Exhibits » Aftermath: America’s Presence in the Mediterranean » Benjamin Crowninshield to Isaac Chauncey, February 19, 1816. Isaac Chauncey Papers.

Benjamin Crowninshield to Isaac Chauncey, February 19, 1816. Isaac Chauncey Papers.

Navy Department

February 19th. 1816.


Upon your arrival in the Mediterranean with the U.S. Ship Washington under your Command, you will, as soon as practicable, visit Algiers, and give them an opportunity of seeing and knowing the force and construction of your Ship.

You will make arrangements with Mr. Shaler, the Consul General, for a constant correspondence with him, so that you may be early advised of any movements, which may threaten hostility to the Commerce of the United States.  You will also visit all Algerine Vessels, which you may meet with at Sea, preserving towards them due respect.  You will in succession, visit Tunis and Tripoli, and keep up a regular communication with the U.S. Consuls at each of those places.

In touching at Gibraltar you will ascertain the degree of accommodation afforded to the U.S. Squadron at that place, in permitting a deposit of Stores &c. and seek a suitable occasion to thank the Governor, in behalf of your Government, and express the satisfaction felt for this instance of

their friendly disposition towards us.

Enquire into the detention of the Algerine Brig at Carthagena, and endeavour to procure the release of that Vessel, and deliver her to the Dey of Algiers, or one of his Officers whom he may appoint; in doing this, be pleased to state, explicitly, that your Government was not bound to do so, but that it is done from respect to the Dey, and to satisfy him of our friendly disposition towards him– in the event of obtaining her release, deliver her to the Dey in the Port of Algiers.

In all cases you will keep a vigilant eye upon Spain, and take due notice of the general tenor of their conduct, so far as it shall appear to emanate from the orders of their Government; and keep this Department advised of events, by every possible opportunity.

You will give timely information of the probable wants of your Squadron, in order that provisions may be forwarded, with such supplies from the U. States, as can be best furnished from hence, and endeavour to anticipate your demands for funds, that remittances may be seasonally made to England for the reimbursement of your Bills and the Agents:

I am, very respectfully your obedient Servant, B.W. Crowinshield

[To] Commre. Isaac Chauncey
U. States Ship Washington