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
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
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.