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Indian petroglyphs mentioned in the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Nemaha River, Troy, Kansas. Courtesy National Archives. Right: Historic New Orleans wharf scene along the Mississippi River. Courtesy Library of Congress.

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  • 1805 Detail

    April 27, 1805 - American Marines and Berbers attack the Tripoli city of Derna. Land and naval forces would battle against Tripoli until peace was concluded with the United States on June 4, 1805.

    Battle of Derna


    The First Barbary War had been going on since May of 1801 caused by pirates attacking American merchant ships and President Thomas Jefferson signaling that the United States had had enough. The Battle of Derna would be the first land battle of American forces since the American Revolution, and it would be the decisive battle in ending the war against the Barbary states of Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis (all of which had a loose affiliation with the Ottoman Empire), and the Sultanate of Morocco, which was independent.

    In fall 1804, William Eaton, Naval Agent for Barbary, and Commodore Barron arrived in the Mediterranean Sea with a new plan. They were supportive of leading an overland attack against Tripoli with use of the forces of the ex Pasha Hamet Qaramanli, who had been ousted in 1896 by a coup led by brother Yusaf. While peace had been President Jefferson's objective, even with the Pasha Yusaf in power, Secretary of State Madison and others in the administration understood that, while risky, the overland attack using Hamet might work, even if they did not fully like it. Eaton sailed to Egypt to negotiate with Hamet; they cobbled together a force of about four hundred Arab and Greek mercenaries to attack by land.

    Walking five hundred miles from Alexandria, Egypt from March 5, across the Libyan desert of the south Mediterrean coast, Eaton, seven Marines under 1st Lt. Presley Neville O'Bannon, and those mercenaries attacked the city of Derna (Derne) on April 17, 1805. It had been a difficult trip, filled with lack of supplies and attempts at mutiny. However, supported by the American blockade of Tripoli and provisions supplied by three ships along the march (USS Nautilus commanded by Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry, USS Hornet under Samuel Evans, and the USS Argus under Isaac Hull) once they reached the city of Bomba, the American and rebel forces took the city. With guns from the Argus bombing their targets, the attacking party was separated into two forces. Once the city's batteries were overtaken, Eaton trained their guns on the city. The city fell by 4:00 p.m.; reinforcements sent by Yusaf from Tripoli did not arrive in time. In later days Yusaf's troops attempted to take Derna, but the American forces held.

    However, leaders in the United States, anxious for a peace deal, did not stay loyal to Hamet, and negotiated a deal for peace by June with brother Yusaf. Hamet would leave Derna on June 12 on an American ship, still backed by Eaton and the Federalists, but not Jefferson and Madison. The peace treaty, known as the Treaty of Peace and Amity, was negotiated June 3 and 4, and ratified by the Senate on April 12, 1806. It would not last. Another Barbary War would begin less than one decade later.

    The lines in the Marine hymn, "... to the shores of Tripoli," stems from the Battle of Derna.





    Full Text, Treaty of Peace and Amity

    Treaty of Peace and Amity, signed at Tripoli June 4, 1805 (6 Rabia I, A. H. 1220). Original in English and Arabic. Submitted to the Senate December 11, 1805. Resolution of advice and consent April 12, 1806. Ratified by the United States April 17, 1806. As to the ratification generally, see the notes. Proclaimed April 22, 1806.

    The English tent of the copy of the treaty, signed by Tobias Lear, follows; to it is appended the receipt for the $60,000 ransom paid on June 19, 1805 (21 Rabia I, A. H. 1220), as written in the same document; then is reproduced the Arabic text of that paper, in the same order as the English. Following those texts is a comment, written in 1930, on the Arabic tent.

    Treaty Of Peace and Amity between the United States of America and the Bashaw, Bey and Subjects of Tripoli in Barbary.

    ARTICLE 1st - There shall be, from the conclusion of this Treaty, a firm, inviolable and universal peace, and a sincere friendship between the President and Citizens of the United States of America, on the one part, and the Bashaw, Bey and Subjects of the Regency of Tripoli in Barbary on the other, made by the free consent of both Parties, and on the terms of the most favoured Nation. And if either party shall hereafter grant to any other Nation, any particular favour or priviledge in Navigation or Commerce, it shall immediately become common to the other party, freely, where it is freely granted, to such other Nation, but where the grant is conditional it shall be at the option of the contracting parties to accept, alter or reject, such conditions in such manner, as shall be most conducive to their respective Interests.

    ARTICLE 2d - The Bashaw of Tripoli shall deliver up to the American Squadron now off Tripoli, all the Americans in his possession; and all the Subjects of the Bashaw of Tripoli now in the power of the United States of America shall be delivered up to him; and as the number of Americans in possession of the Bashaw of Tripoli amounts to Three Hundred Persons, more or less; and the number of Tripolino Subjects in the power of the Amelicans to about, One Hundred more or less; The Bashaw of Tripoli shall receive from the United States of America, the sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars, as a payment for the difference between the Prisoners herein mentioned.

    ARTICLE 3rd - All the forces of the United States which have been, or may be in hostility against the Bashaw of Tripoli, in the Province of Derne, or elsewhere within the Dominions of the said Bashaw shall be withdrawn therefrom, and no supplies shall be given by or in behalf of the said United States, during the continuance of this peace, to any of the Subjects of the said Bashaw, who may be in hostility against him in any part of his Dominions; And the Americans will use all means in their power to persuade the Brother of the said Bashaw, who has co-operated with them at Derne &c, to withdraw from the Territory of the said Bashaw of Tripoli; but they will not use any force or improper means to effect that object; and in case he should withdraw himself as aforesaid, the Bashaw engages to deliver up to him, his Wife and Children now in his powers.br>
    ARTICLE 4th - If any goods belonging to any Nation with which either of the parties are at war, should be loaded on board Vessels belonging to the other party they shall pass free and unmolested, and no attempt shall be made to take or detain them.

    ARTICLE 5th - If any Citizens, or Subjects with or their effects belonging to either party shall be found on board a Prize Vessel taken from an Enemy by the other party, such Citizens or Subjects shall be liberated immediately and their effects so captured shall be restored to their lawful owners or their Agents.

    ARTICLE 6th - Proper passports shall immediately be given to the vessels of both the contracting parties, on condition that the Vessels of War belonging to the Regency of Tripoli on meeting with merchant Vessels belonging to (citizens of the United States of America, shall not be permitted to visit them with more than two persons besides the rowers, these two only shall be permitted to go on board said Vessel, without first obtaining leave from the Commander of said Vessel, who shall compare the passport, and immediately permit said Vessel proceed on her voyage; and should any of the said Subjects of Tripoli insult or molest the Commander or any other person on board Vessel so visited; or plunder any of the property contained in the full complaint being made by the Consul of the United States America resident at Tripoli and on his producing sufficient proof substantiate the fact, The Commander or Rais of said Tripoline Sh or Vessel of War, as well as the Offenders shall be punished in the most exemplary manner.

    All Vessels of War belonging to the United States of America meeting with a Cruizer belonging to the Regency of Tripoli, and having seen her passport and Certificate from the Consul of t] United States of America residing in the Regency, shall permit her to proceed on her Cruize unmolested, and without detention. No pas port shall be granted by either party to any Vessels, but such as are absolutely the property of Citizens or Subjects of said contracting parties, on any presence whatever.

    ARTICLE 7th - A Citizen or Subject of either of the contracting parties having bought a Prize Vessel condemned by the other party, or by any other Nation, the Certificate of condemnation and Bill of Sale she be a sufficient passport for such Vessel for two years, which, considering the distance between the two Countries, is no more than a reason able time for her to procure proper passports.

    ARTICLE 8th - Vessels of either party, putting into the ports of the other, and having need of provisions or other supplies, they shall be furnish at the Market price, and if any such Vessel should so put in from disaster at Sea, and have occasion to repair; she shall be at liberty to land and reimbark her Cargo, without paying any duties; but in no case shall she be compelled to land her Cargo.

    ARTICLE 9th - Should a Vessel of either party be cast on the shore of the other all proper assistance shall be given to her and her Crew. No pillar shall be allowed, the property shall remain at the disposition of ti owners, and the Crew protected and succoured till they can be sent to their Country.

    ARTICLE 10th - If a Vessel of either party, shall be attacked by an Enemy within Gun shot of the Forts of the other, she shall be defended as much as possible; If she be in port, she shall not be seized or attacked when it is in the power of the other party to protect her; and when she proceeds to Sea, no Enemy shall be allowed to pursue her from the same port, within twenty four hours after her departure.

    ARTICLE 11th - The Commerce between the United States of America and the Regency of Tripoli; The Protections to be given to Merchants, Masters of Vessels and Seamen; The reciprocal right of establishing Consuls in each Country; and the priviledges, immunities and jurisdictions to be enjoyed by such Consuls, are declared to be on the same footing, with those of the most favoured Nations respectively.

    ARTICLE 12th - The Consul of the United States of America shall not be answerable for debts contracted by Citizens of his own Nation, unless, he previously gives a written obligation so to do.

    ARTICLE 13th - On a Vessel of War, belonging to the United States of America, anchoring before the City of Tripoli, the Consul is to inform the Bashaw of her arrival, and she shall be saluted with twenty one Guns, which she is to return in the same quantity or number.

    ARTICLE 14th - As the Government of the United States of America, has in itself no character of enmity against the Laws, Religion or Tranquility of Musselmen, and as the said States never have entered into any voluntary war or act of hostility against any Mahometan Nation, except in the defence of their just rights to freely navigate the High Seas: It is declared by the contracting parties that no pretext arising from Religious Opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the Harmony existing between the two Nations; And the Consuls and Agents of both Nations respectively, shall have liberty to exercise his Religion in his own house; all slaves of the same Religion shall not be Impeded in going to said Consuls house at hours of Prayer. The Consuls shall have liberty and personal security given them to travel within the Territories of each other, both by land and sea, and shall not be prevented from going on board any Vessel that they may think proper to visit; they shall have likewise the liberty to appoint their own Drogoman and Brokers.

    ARTICLE 15th - In case of any dispute arising from the violation of any of the articles of this Treaty, no appeal shall be made to Arms, nor shall War be declared on any pretext whatever; but if the Consul residing at the place, where the dispute shall happen, shall not be able to settle the same; The Government of that Country shall state their grievances in writing, and transmit it to the Government of the other, and the period of twelve callendar months shall be allowed for answers to be returned; during which time no act of hostility shall be permitted by either party, and in case the grievances are not redressed, and War should be the event, the Consuls and Citizens or Subjects of both parties reciprocally shall be permitted to embark with their effects unmolested, on board of what vessel or Vessels they shall think proper.

    ARTICLE 16th - If in the fluctuation of Human Events, a War should break out between the two Nations; The Prisoners captured by either party shall not be made Slaves; but shall be exchanged Rank for Rank; and if there should be a deficiency on either side, it shall be made up by the payment of Five Hundred Spanish Dollars for each Captain, Three Hundred Dollars for each Mate and Supercargo and One hundred Spanish Dollars for each Seaman so wanting. And it is agreed that Prisoners shall be exchanged in twelve months from the time of their capture, and that this Exchange may be effected by any private Individual legally authorized by either of the parties.

    ARTICLE 17th - If any of the Barbary States, or other powers at War with the United States of America, shall capture any American Vessel, and send her into any of the ports of the Regency of Tripoli, they shall not be permitted to sell her, but shall be obliged to depart the Port on procuring the requisite supplies of Provisions; and no duties shall be exacted on the sale of Prizes captured by Vessels sailing under the Flag of the United States of America when brought into any Port in the Regency of Tripoli.

    ARTICLE 18th - If any of the Citizens of the United States, or any persons under their protection, shall have any dispute with each other, the Consul shall decide between the parties; and whenever the Consul shall require any aid or assistance from the Government of Tripoli, to enforce his decisions, it shall immediately be granted to him. And if any dispute shall arise between any Citizen of the United States and the Citizens or Subjects of any other Nation, having a Consul or Agent in Tripoli, such dispute shall be settled by the Consuls or Agents of the respective Nations.

    ARTICLE 19th - If a Citizen of the United States should kill or wound a Tripoline, or, on the contrary, if a Tripoline shall kill or wound a Citizen of the United States, the law of the Country shall take place, and equal justice shall be rendered, the Consul assisting at the trial; and if any delinquent shall make his escape, the Consul shall not be answerable for him in any manner whatever.

    ARTICLE 20th - Should any Citizen of the United States of America die within the limits of the Regency of Tripoli, the Bashaw and his Subjects shall not interfere with the property of the deceased; but it shall be under the immediate direction of the Consul, unless otherwise disposed of by will. Should there be no Consul, the effects shall be deposited in the hands of some person worthy of trust, until the party shall appear who has a right to demand them, when they shall render an account of the property. Neither shall the Bashaw or his Subjects give hindrance in the execution of any will that may appear.

    Whereas, the undersigned, Tobias Lear, Consul General of the United States of America for the Regency of Algiers, being duly appointed Commissioner, by letters patent under the signature of the President, and Seal of the United States of America, bearing date at the City of Washington, the 18" day of November 1803 for negotiating and concluding a Treaty of Peace, between the United States of America, and the Bashaw, Bey and Subjects of the Regency of Tripoli in Barbary-

    Now Know Ye, That I, Tobias Lear, Commissioner as aforesaid, do conclude the foregoing Treaty, and every article and clause therein contained; reserving the same nevertheless for the final ratification of the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said United States.

    Done at Tripoli in Barbary, the fourth day of June, in the year One thousand, eight hundred and five; corresponding with the sixth day of the first month of Rabbia 1220.

    [Seal] TOBIAS LEAR.

    Having appeared in our presence, Colonel Tobias Lear, Consul General of the United States of America, in the Regency of Algiers, and Commissioner for negotiating and concluding a Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Us and the United States of America, bringing with him the present Treaty of Peace with the within Articles, they were by us minutely examined, and we do hereby accept, confirm and ratify them, Ordering all our Subjects to fulfill entirely their contents, without any violation and under no pretext.

    In Witness whereof We, with the heads of our Regency, Subscribe it.

    Given at Tripoli in Barbary the sixth day of the first month of Rabbia 1220, corresponding with the 4th day of June 1805.

    (L. S.) JUSUF CARAMANLY Bashaw
    (L. S.) MOHAMET CARAMANLY Bey
    (L. S.) MOHAMET Kahia
    (L. S.) HAMET Rais de Marino
    (L. S.) MOHAMET DGHIES First AIinister
    (L. S.) SARAH Aga of Divan
    (L. S.) SEEIM Hasnadar
    (L. S.) MURAT Dqblartile
    (L. S.) MURAT RAIS Admiral
    (L. S.) SOEIMAN Kehia
    (L. S.) ABDAEEA Basa Aga
    (L. S.) MAHOMET Scheig al Belad
    (L. S.) ALEI BEN DIAB First Secretary
    [Receipt]

    We hereby acknowlidge to have received from the hands of Colonel Tobias Lear the full sum of sixty thousand dollars, mentioned as Ransum for two hundred Americans, in the Treaty of Peace concluded between Us and the United States of America on the Sixth day of the first Month of Rabbia 1220-and of all demands against the said United States. Done this twenty first day of the first month of Rabbia 1220.

    (L. S.) Signd (JOSEPH CARMANALY) Bashaw

    Photo above: Battle of Derna, Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon, Colonel Charles Waterhouse, U.S. Marines. Via Wikipedia Commons. Below: First Barbary War, 1855, Whitney and Jocelyn, engraver, Felix Octavior Carr Darley, artist. Courtesy Library of Congress. Info sourse: Library of Congress; Office of the Historian, U.S. State Department; Monticello.org; Avalon Project, Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy, Yale Law School; Wikipedia Commons.


    First Barbary War

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