If you’d like to learn more about the Barbary conflicts, see these lists of primary and secondary sources!



Baepler, Paul, ed.  White Slaves, African Masters:  an Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives. Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Cantor, Milton, ed.  “A Connecticut Yankee in a Barbary Court: Joel Barlow’s Algerian Letters to His Wife.”  The William and Mary Quarterly 19, no. 1 (1962).

Giunta, Mary, ed.  The Emerging Nation:  A Documentary History of the Foreign Relations of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, 1780-1789.  3 vols.  Washington D.C.:  National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 1996.

Knox, Dudley, ed.  Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers. 6 vols.  Washington D.C.:  Government Printing Office, 1939.

Oberg, Barbara, ed.  The Papers of Thomas Jefferson.   Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1950-  .

Stagg, J.C.A., ed.  The Papers of James Madison:  Secretary of State Series.  Charlottesville:  University of Virginia Press, 1986-  .

Electronic Databases

American State Papers, Foreign Relations 1789-1838; The Library of Congress, American Memory.

The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799. < ammem/gwhtml/gwhome.html>.

James Cathcart, The Captives, Eleven Years in Algiers.

James Cathcart’s Letter Book.

Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers. 6 Vols.  Washington D.C.:  Government Printing Office, 1939.<>

Papers of the War Department:  1784-1800.  Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.<>.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1: General Correspondence, 1651-1827.  The Library of Congress, American Memory.< mtjabout.html>.


Adams, Henry.  History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  New York:  Viking, 1986.

Allison, Robert.  The Crescent Obscured:  the United States and the Muslim World, 1776-1815.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Battistini, Robert.  “Glimpses of the Other before Orientalism: The Muslim World in Early American Periodicals, 1785–1800.”  Early American Studies:  an Interdisciplinary Journal 8, no. 2 (2010).

Baepler, Paul.  “The Barbary Captivity Narrative in American Culture.”  Early American Literature 39, no. 2 (2004)

Benchérif, Osman. The Image of Algeria in Anglo-American Writings, 1785-1962.  Lanham: University Press of America, 1997.

Carruth, Mary, ed.  Feminist Interventions in Early American Studies.  Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Press, 2006.

Carson, David.  “Congress, and the Question of Leadership in the Tripolitan War.”  The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 94, no. 4 (1986).

Davis, Robert.  Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters:  White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800.  New York:  Palgrave Macmillian, 2003.

Edwards, Samuel.  Barbary General:  the Life of William H. Eaton.  Englewood Cliffs:  Prentice Hall, 1968.

Field, James.  America and the Mediterranean World, 1776-1802. Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1969.

Folayan, Kola.  Tripoli during the Reign of Yūsuf Pāshā Qaramānlī.  Ile-Ife, Nigeria: University of Ife Press, 1979.

Gallagher, Charles.  The United States and North Africa.  Cambridge:  Harvard University Press, 1963.

Headley, Janet.  “The Monument without a Public:  The Case of the Tripolitan Monument.”  Winterthur Portfolio 29, no. 4 (Winter 1994).

Irwin, Ray.  The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers, 1776-1816.  Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1931.

Jones, Howard.  Crucible of Power:  a History of America Foreign Relations to 1913.  2nd ed. New York:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2009.

Kitzen, Michael.  Tripoli and the United States at War:  a History of American Relations with the Barbary States, 1785-1805.  Jefferson:  McFarland & Company, 1993.

Kritzer, Amelia.  Plays by Early American Women, 1775-1850. Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 1995.

Lambert, Frank.  The Barbary Wars:  American Independence in the Atlantic World.  New York:  Hill and Wang, 2005.

Leiner, Frederick.  The End of Barbary Terror:  America’s 1815 War against the Pirates of North Africa.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2006.

London, Joshua.  Victory in Tripoli:  How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Built a Nation.  Hoboken:  John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

Malone, Dumas.  Jefferson the President:  First Term, 1801-1805.  Vol. 4 of Jefferson and His Time.  Boston:  Little, Brown, 1970.

―.  Jefferson the President:  Second Term, 1805-1809.  Vol. 5 of Jefferson and His Time. Boston:  Little, Brown, 1974.

Marr, Timothy.  The Cultural Roots of American Islamicism.  New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Parker, Richard.  Uncle Sam in Barbary:  a Diplomatic History.  Gainesville:  University of Florida Press, 2004.

Parker, William.  A Concise History of the United States Marine Corps, 1775-1969. Washington D.C.:  United States Marine Corps, 1970.

Peskin, Lawrence.  Captives and Countrymen:  Barbary Slavery and the American Public, 1785-1816.  Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins Press, 2009.

Roberts, Priscilla and Richard.  Thomas Barclay (1728-1793):  Consul in France, Diplomat in Barbary.  Bethlehem:  Lehigh University Press, 2008.

Rojas, Martha.  “‘Insults Unpunished’ Barbary Captives, American Slaves, and the Negotiation of Liberty.”  Early American Studies: an Interdisciplinary Journal 1, no. 2 (2003).

Thomson, Ann.  Barbary and Enlightenment:  European Attitudes towards the Maghreb in the 18th Century.  New York:  Leiden, 1987.

Wheelan, Joseph.  Jefferson’s War:  America’s First War on Terror, 1801-1805.  New York:  Carroll & Graf, 2004.

Whipple, A.B.C.  To the Shores of Tripoli.  New York:  William Morrow and Company, 1991.

Wright, Louis, and Julia Maclead.  The First Americans in North Africa:  William Eaton’s Struggle for a Vigorous Policy against the Barbary Pirates, 1799-1805.  New York:  Greenwood University Press, 1969.


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  • Ali_tablit

    I like this page with its information.

  • Kartikeya

    could you point me to any sources on the role of honor in Barbary society. I’m curious about its political system and the role of the feud, if any.

    • jasonthebarbarypirate

      Hi there. If you’re looking for books about the Barbary conflicts from the North African perspective, I’d recommend John Wolf’s book The Barbary Coast and Kola Folayan’s article “The Tripolitan War: A Reconsideration of the Causes.” Happy reading!