An Account Of The Persecutions In The States Of Barbary

In Algiers the christians are treated with particular severity; as the

Algerines are some of the most perfidious, as well as the most cruel of

all the inhabitants of Barbary. By paying a most exorbitant fine, some

christians are allowed the title of Free christians, and these are

permitted to dress in the fashion of their respective countries, but the

christian slaves are obliged to wear a coarse gray suit and a seaman's

> cap.

The punishments among the Algerines are various, viz.

1. If they join any of the natives in open rebellion, they are strangled

with a bowstring, or hanged on an iron hook.

2. If they speak against Mahomet, they must either turn Mahometan, or be

impaled alive.

3. If they turn christians again, after having changed to the Mahometan

persuasion, they are roasted alive, or thrown from the city walls, and

caught upon large sharp hooks, where they hang in a miserable manner

several days, and expire in the most exquisite tortures.

4. If they kill a Turk, they are burnt.

5. Those christians who attempt to escape from slavery, and are retaken,

suffer death in the following manner, which is equally singular and

brutal: the criminal is hung naked on a high gallows, by two hooks, the

one fastened quite through the palm of one hand, and the other through

the sole of the opposite foot, where he is left till death relieves him

from his cruel sufferings.

Other punishments, for trifling crimes committed by the christians, are

left to the discretion of the respective judges, who being usually of

malicious and vindictive dispositions, decree them in the most inhuman


In Tunis, if a christian slave is caught in attempting to escape, his

limbs are all broken, and if he murders his master, he is fastened to

the tail of a horse, and dragged about the streets till he expires.

Morocco and Fez conjointly form an empire, and are together the most

considerable of the Barbary states. In this empire christian slaves are

treated with the greatest cruelty: the rich have exorbitant ransoms

fixed upon them; the poor are hard worked, and half starved sometimes

murdered by the emperor, or their masters, for mere amusement.