This is a detailed, synthetic account of the Barbary corsairs
who rose from a minor Mediterranean nuisance to become a major maritime menace.
The Barbary Corsairs
found that by selling ships' crews as slaves or demanding a ransom for them was more profitable than the ship's cargo.
Great Britain had begun a crusade against the transatlantic slave trade, and even though the Barbary corsairs
did not threaten the British physically, the existence of white slavery in the Mediterranean threatened the British moral standing in the international arena.
As part of his offer of Malta, Charles V had insisted that the Knights also garrison Tripoli on the Libyan coast of Africa, which lay within the territory of the Barbary corsairs
but which a Spanish force had seized in 1510.
That's not necessarily a good idea given that there's a huge painting still on the wall by Andries van Eertvelt (1590-1652) depicting a sea battle between Christians and Barbary Corsairs
. You wouldn't want to know the cost of that in Woollies.
The American Mediterranean squadron dispatched by Jefferson reached the harbor of Tripoli on July 17, 1801, in order to impose a naval blockade and hunt down Barbary corsairs
in the surrounding waters.
Pellow and his fellow seamen were captured by Barbary corsairs
: a network of Islamic slave traders who had declared war on Christendom and who had been attacking European countries and enslaving thousands of Europeans.
Further daring actions against the Barbary corsairs
catapulted the young lieutenant over the heads of other officers to the rank of captain.
The goal was to seek out and oppose Barbary corsairs
. According to the agreement between Cosimo and Philip II, the Spanish king would cover half the cost of maintaining the fleet in exchange for 80 percent of whatever it might confiscate.
The national interest in obtaining information about the Barbary corsairs
in particular and Islamic civilization in general is evident in the concluding narratives of Piracy, Slavery, and Redemption: "A True Account of the Captivity of Thomas Phelps" (1685) and "A True and Faithful Account of the Religion and Manners of the Mohammetans" (1705) by Joseph Pitts.
The Barbary Corsairs
of the Mediterranean are well described with what amounted to war between Islam and Christianity.
Sources: Allen, Gardner W., Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs
. Boston, 1905.
From the 15th to the early 19th centuries, Barbary corsairs
infested the Mediterranean, inflicting great damage on commerce and taking many Christians as slaves.
In the summer of 1716 a cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and 51 of his comrades were captured at sea by Barbary corsairs
. Their captors, Captain Ali Hakem and his network of fanatical slave traders had declared war on the whole of Christendom.