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Richard O’Bryen to John Adams

24 Aug. 1785

Sir Algiers Augst: the 24th. 1785

We the subjects of the United States of America having the misfortune of being captured off the coast of Portugal the 24th & 30th of July by the Algerines & brought into this port where we have become slaves—and sent to the work-houses—Our sufferings are beyond our expressing or your conception—hoping your Honour will be pleased to represent our greivances to Congress, hoping they will take such measures as to tend to our speedy redemption, hoping you will consider our unfortunate situation & make some provision for the unfortunate sufferers—until we are redeemed. Being stript of all our cloaths & nothing to exist on but two small cakes of bread pr day without any other necessaries of life, Charles Logie Esqr. British Consul seeing our distressed situation has taken us three Masters of Vessels out of the work-house & has given security for us to the Dey of Algiers, King of Cruelties—My crew certainly will starve if there is not some immediate relief.—

It being the method of all Christian Powers whose subjects fall in the hands of those Savages to make some provision for them until they are redeemed, I should esteem it a particular favour if you would be pleased to write to Mr Logie Consul here.—

Ship Dauphin Ricd. O’Bryan Master belonging to Messrs. Matthew & Thomas Irwin & Co. Merchants of the city of Philadelphia bound to Philadelphia from St. Ubes taken, taken the 30th. July out two days—Schooner Marias Isaack Stevens Master from Boston \bound/ to Cadiz, belonging to Messrs William Foster & Co. Merchants in Boston bound to Cadiz taken the 24th. July out 26 days.—

The Cruisers in this port are fitting out with all possible expedition, and I am of that opinion they will take most of our ships that will come for Europe—They will cruize to the No. of the Western Islands & towards the British Channel. The sooner we could put a stop to them the better; they valuing the number of prizes they take—to the sum for the Peace.—The Spaniards coming on terms with them, all other European nations must—I hope we shall apply before any more does, for they must be at war with some.

I am very respectfully / Your most obedt and / Very humble Servt & petitioner

Richd. O Bryen

(MHi: Adams Papers).
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