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For this first post/dialogue, I’d like to hear what you think of the Barbary conflicts.  What do you know about them and what do think are their most interesting and important legacies?  Did you learn about them in school or seek information about them on your own, or both?

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  • Perkinsy

    I get the impression that you are most interested in comments from Americans. However, it would be interesting to hear from North Africans and how this history is presented and felt in the region where these wars took place.

    I am Australian and had never heard of these wars – not surprising. Thankyou for setting up this well presented web site.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the post and I’m glad to have introduced you to the U.S.’s conflicts with the Barbary pirates! I definitely welcome comments from people worldwide and agree that it would be especially interesting to hear from North Africans. I wonder how these conflicts are taught in schools in Algeria, Morocco, Lybia, and Tunisia?

  • Erik Lund

    I’m also interested in the Maghrebi context, more especially in the pre-existing trade context. To put this more specifically, when did the United States begin importing horses and mules from the Maghreb? What was the volume of the trade during the Barbary Wars?

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your comment!  At the time of the Barbary conflicts, the United States sent 20% of its exports to the Mediterranean region.  American merchants traded lumber, tobacco, sugar, and rum for raisins, figs, capers, and opium (for medicine!).  

      As for the origins of the horses and mules trade, I’m not sure.  However, I can tell you that President Jefferson was very disappointed with the four Arabian horses given him by Tunisian Ambassador Sidi Soliman Mellimelli.  Jefferson deemed them in poor health and listed them for sale in the National Intelligencer (a Washington D.C. newspaper)!

  • Erik Lund

    Arabs from Tunisia? Barbs, surely. According to horse people, Barbs are  important ancestors of the standard Virginia racing horse. According to sane people, “ancestor” surely means an ongoing genetic input. But now I’ve got hippophiles mixed in with statistics that I don’t have, all in one paragraph, so maybe  I should quit while I’m ahead.

    Morocco is the obvious place from which to import equids into the southern United States. It has a strong export industry and is a relatively short sale from the United States. Unfortunately, all I have right now is a half-remembered factoid applying later in the century. And horse people. Have I mentioned that they tend to crazy?  

  • Travis Seifman

    Hi Jason. A very nice website you’ve got here – I’ve been thinking lately about websites, and blogs, and how much of our research we can put online vs. how much we should hold back. I haven’t really spoken with professors about this explicitly, but I get the sense that if one’s dissertation, or other research papers, articles-to-be-published, etc. resemble too closely things you’ve already written online, it could be a problem. Taking things from the Internet is often seen in a rather bad light, I think, in academia, even if what’s up on the Internet is something you wrote yourself. Even a friend of mine who explicitly researches and studies Digital Humanities, and is quite up on the literature on these subjects, seems to be confused or undecided on this issue. I’d love to talk to you about it sometime.

    And, thanks, of course, for sharing all this interesting information about the conflicts with the Barbary pirates.

    • jasonthebarbarypirate

      Hey Travis.  Thanks for checking out my website and leaving a comment.  You ask a good question about how much content one should present on a website.  I try to present just enough original research as to get my name out there and offer unique material unavailable elsewhere.  At the same time, I withhold a lot of my research since I want to get published!  Do you have a website of your own?

  • Greg Westergaard

    What an awesome web site!

  • blidanet

    Hello, I have a website that tries to project another perspective from an algerian point of view. It is located at http://www.blida.net.

    That part of history is very murky. Part of that difficulty lies with the french. They took most of the documents when they conquered Algeria.

    At any rate, revisiting history is always nice.