« AnteriorContinuar »
ABD-EL-KADER.* THERE are some men whose names are patriot's Sanctum, Freedom has her inseparably interwoven with that of chapel there, but Algeria, known only their country, so much so, that you to Europe by piracy and slaves, renecannot refer to one without entering gades and swift feluccas, was scarcely upon the history of the other. Thus deemed a fit place for the genius of Lycurgus recalls that Sparta to which patriotism to breathe in. For centuries, he gave laws; Machiavelli, that Genoa from the time when its Arab conquerors for which he so successfully plotted ; first gave it the name of Al Jeriza, Washington, that great republic for (the Island) it has been identified with which he fought and legislated; and a tyrannous oppression, which was a Abd el Kader that territory for which galling sore to Christendom. That he so long struggled, and from the sur- Spain which could glue its hand to the face of which he has, more than once, hilt with the innocent blood of Monswept the invader. The story of the tezuma and his compatriots in another hero who becomes the “ foremost man Continent, quailed before the crescent of all his time" in repelling an aggres- and the green and pointed ensign of the sion, has been repeated often and often, Moors in this. Societies of Christian from that of Aristomenes to that of knights, who of old had carried terror Tell; luckily, while the human heart to the heart of Saladin and planted the beats with a love of country or of home, cross upon the walls of Acre, were glad the tale can never tire by repetition, to buy off prisoners taken by the pirate but the narrator will find his story Turk, and to form companies whose listened to with throbbing breast and business it was to rescue those who glistening eye, and the name of the had fallen into their barbaric clutches. hero will become a household word, and Driven from Spain the Moors certainly his deeds will be repeated from age to were, but from the stronghold of Al age with still increasing interest, Jeriza they arose
and smote the
Finding an easy prey in the rich When the chesnuts glow in the embers, merchants of Spain, they naturally,
And the kid turns on the spit; When the young and old in circle
since love of piracy increased with Around the firebrands close ;
success, turned their arms against other When the girls are weaving baskets, ships, and the trading Englishman And the lads are shaping bows.
became their prey.
Luckily, we then
had one at our head who never hesiWhen the good man trims his armour, And mends his helmet's plume;
tated to protect those of whom he had When the good wife's shuttle merrily styled himself Protector ;—and the can
Goes flashing through the loom ; With weeping and with laughter
non of Cromwell, pointed by Admiral Still is the story told ;
Blake, taught the Algerines to respect How well Horatius kept the bridge, In the brave days of old.
the flag of England. His most Chris
tian Majesty of France acting upon Even so; no matter whether the dis- this, in 1683 ordered Algiers to be bomcourse be of Horatius Cocles or of barded by Admiral Duquesne, which Abd-el-Kader, we shall be listened to led to a treaty between that power and with interest. The title Defensor France. Fidei” has scarcely been so nobly or Nearly one hundred years afterwards so truly earned as that of “ Defensor the Spaniards grew bold enough to Patriæ," and the latter is the more attempt the same thing, but without respected.
In 1775, General O'Reilly The subject of our biography opens and a Spanish army landed near Algiers, up new ground. Switzerland is the but were obliged to retreat with loss.
The Dutch, after some fighting, com* For a large portion of the materiel of this pounded for safety. So did the Danes article, we are indebted to a recent biography of and Swedes. The Austrian and RusUniverselle, edited by Dr. Hoeffer. We have also sian vessels were protected by special availed ourselves of the notes of commandant interference of the Porte. The Italians Boisonnet, who was governor of Amboise during were, however, the most frequent losers, the Emir's confinement in that fortress.-ED. B.M,
and the prisoners taken from them were
sold as slaves or made to toil in the rally interwoven. He was born in the public works.
environs of Mascara, in the commenceThis state of affairs remained till ment of the year 1807, and was there1815, when America took an Algerine fore in the first glow of youthful vigour frigate and brig, and abolished all tri- and enterprise, when the government bute paid to the Dey, besides making that of Charles X. undertook in 1820 the potentate pay 60,000 dollars, compen- Algerian Expedition. sation for the ships which had been At the commencement of this enterplundered; and at the Congress held at prise they declared, as all people will Vienna in 1816, it was at last deter- declare. and have declared, even in the mined by the European powers to put most shameful oppressions, that they an end to Christian slavery. This was only intended by the expedition to effected by Lord Exmouth, who bom- exercise “a moral influence,” by a barded the city and reduced the Dey striking and astounding victory. In to terms upon that and other subjects. answer to a question of the English For eleven years subsequent to the minister, M. de Polignac avowed that bombardment the Algerines appear to the “only design of the expedition was have been sufficiently humbled; but in to destroy piracy; and that end being 1827 an insult was offered by Hassan accomplished, the “evacuation of Africa or Hussein. Pacha, the last Dey, to the would be determined by an European French Consul, which led to the capture congress.”
We have seen how the of Algiers by that power. This took promise was kept, the occupation of place in 1830. The Dey capitulated to Rome was undertaken under a someGeneral Bourmont; abdicated and re- what similar pretext. Will it hereafter tired to Europe, and on the 4th of July, be declared, that France seized upon 1830, the French became possessed of that city with “an admirable instinct?" the “ city of Algiers, and the forts and To hold in subjection a country harbours depending on it.”
stretching for two hundred and fifty Napoleon of Peace,” as he leagues along the coast, from Morocco proudly styled himself, Louis Philippe, to Tunis, and of a breadth of from wanted to secure his throne; and to sixty to eighty leagues, bounded by the direct the attention of the fickle people desert, and peopled by fierce hordes, he governed elsewhere, some external the descendants of the Numidians, a excitement was needed. In this he race of Kabyles, bold, determined, and was gratified by the acquisition of energetic, was not an easy task. The Algiers. France had always dreamt towns were few and had little sympathy of colonization. That by nature she with or authority over, the inhabitants is unfitted to be the mother of many of the plain ; they were peopled by a and flourishing colonies was no matter mixture of Jews and Moors, two races to her. If la perfide Albion boasted equally feeble and degenerate, and of colonies and dependencies in every therefore although easily reduced were habitable portion of the globe, it was of little use in the hands of the victors. thought reasonable enough that la belle Besides this, it was necessary in case France should outstrip her. France of an European war, not to displease then, to use the words of her historian, England, and consequently the French, seized upon Algeria with "an admirable in sending Marshal" Clausel to Africa, instinct.” The minds of the revolu- enjoined him to remain almost in a tionary and dangerous classes were state of inaction (" d'agir le moins posfilled by constant rumours of conquest sible.") and aggrandizement. A portion of that The inhabitants, seeing the French immense army which is the bane of shut up in Algiers, began to doubt their the country was kept employed, and invincibility. Of the three Deys, one underneath the cloak of foreign con- only, that of Oran, submitted to them. quest the wily son of Egalité consoli- The other two entertained far less dated his power at home.
peaceable intentions. Achmet Bey There was one, however, who proved maintained himself in Constantine, a great obstacle in the way of French and defied the Christians to approach conquest, and this was Abd-el-Kader. him; whilst the Bey of Tittery, who His biography is the history of the suc- was near to their territory, thought it cesses and the reverses of the French in incumbent on him to deal the first Africa, and the two subjects are natu- blow; he preached a religious war, and
endeavoured to shut up the French in guished thaleb, (doctor or savant,) but the town they had taken. Under these made himself also remarkable by those circumstances Clausel had only one way corporeal exercises which form so esleft him. He put the government in sential a part of the education of the order, prepared his army, and passed, Arab. He was remarkable for his skill for the first time, the celebrated defile in horsemanship, and in the use of the of Téniah, overthrew the Arabs, occu- yatagan and the lance. To acquire the pied Médéah, the Bey's capital, and title of Hadgi, (saint,) he twice made deposed the Bey. Here be stopped, the pilgrimage to the tomb of the having already gone far beyond the Prophet at Mecca; the first time cerlimits of his instructions. General tainly was in his infancy, but the Berthezène was sent to replace Clausel, second time was when he was already who had so compromised his govern- a young man in 1828. On his return he ment, with orders to behave so that it married, and by his wife, whom he loved would be evident that the French were tenderly, he had two sons. uncertain about their occupation of time he lived in obscurity, rendering Algeria; to impress this idea more himself remarkable by the severity of strongly, they left him but 9,000 men his manners, his piety, and his zeal in to occupy their vast conquest. observing all the precepts of the Koran,
The first result of Clausel's extended until his aged father caused him to be victory was to deliver up the inhabi-proclaimed Emir by the inhabitants of tants of Algeria to complete anarchy. Mascara. He then began to preach a Some wished to submit to the con- religious war, (djehad,) and both father querors, others to dispute the territory and son, having placed themselves at inch by inch. Some united themselves the head of ten thousand horse, in the under a revered Marabout, named Sidi- month of May, 1832, commenced the el-Hadji-Mahiddin, who persuaded them war by the assault of Oran. For three that it would be better to band together days they continued most determined for the extinction of a common enemy and furious attacks, but were repulsed than to indulge in an internecine war. with loss. In this, his first battle, This advice was listened to, and the Abd-el-Kader is said to have shewn an tribes who occupied the territory bor- almost extravagant amount of valour. dering on Mascara, wished to elect the Seeing the Arabs astonished and intiold Marabout their chief. This honour midated by the artillery, the young he declined on account of his old age, Emir turned his horse's head directly but whilst himself refusing, he offered against the grape and bomb-shells, in his place the third of his four sons, which he saw ricocher, and smiled as and declared that he was possessed of the bullets whistled past his ears. all the qualities necessary for the suc- The French general Desmichels cess of their enterprise, knowledge, appeared at first to wish to break activity, valour, and piety. He more- through the system of inaction which over declared that in his journey to had been the rule of his predecessors. Mecca, an old fakir had predicted that He advanced against the Arabs, made he would become the Sultan of the a razzia against the hostile tribe of Arabs. This son was Abd-el-Kader, the Gharbas, and resolved to surprise born at the guetna of his father, a short Abd-el-Kader in his camp. Dissuaded distance west of Mascara.
from this, he contented himself with The Guetna of Mahiddin is a kind extending the French territory to two of college where the Marabouts as important posts, to Argen and to Mossemble their young men for instruction saganeur (July 3rd and 29th, 1833). in literature, theology, and jurispru- Abd-el-Kader, on his part, determined dence. Here Abd-el-Kader became, at to centralize the Arab forces, and to an early age, versed in the study of the extend his power. He marched on Koran. His explanation of and obser- Tiemsem, reduced some hostile tribes, vations on the difficult passages, were placed over them a new Kaid, and said to exceed those of the most skilful returned to Mascara, where he learnt commentators. He had also studied with profound grief the death his with eagerness the history of his own aged father. country, and was besides a perfect Proceeding in the tortuous line of master of oratory. But he did not policy of putting the natives of Algeria rest with the reputation of a distin-| to all sorts of inconvenience, and the
embarrassments of a country occupied narrow pass at Macta, the squares by a foreign army, the French concluded which enclosed the wounded and the with Abd-el-Kader a treaty which con- baggage were broken through, and the stituted him sovereign of the province slaughter was immense. All the of Oran, with the rights of monopo- wounded were put to the sword, and lising the whole of the commerce of their heads, stuck upon the long lances the country, in the same way in which of the Arabs, were pushed, gashed and Mehemet Ali did in Egypt. The Arabs bleeding, over the bayonets of the were forbidden to trade with the Euro- infantry into the very faces of their peans except through the agent of the comrades. After having left upwards Emir, who himself fixed the price of of 500 heads (for the custom of decapitheir goods, which he resold to the tation taught the French thus to number European merchants. The treaty was their dead) in the hands of the enemy, divided into two parts, the Arabian and and after having performed prodigies of the French agreement; the first part valour, General Trezel effected his reonly Desmichels communicated to his treat. government, upon which a misunder- The news of this reverse changed the standing arose between the Governor- policy of the French. They no longer general Voirol and Desmichels, which dreamt of remaining even partially inacthe Emir knew how to turn to his own tive. Marshal Clausel was sent expressly advantage. But as every ambitious to take signal vengeance (une éclatanterechief has other enemies than those he vanche) upon Abd-el-Kader. He marched meets in the open field; the coldness without any resistance upon Mascara, of his partisans, the revolt of some and the capital of the Emir, which he found the jealousy of others at his eleva- abandoned and in ruins. After having tion, so it happened with Abd-el-Kader. destroyed it entirely, he returned to Many Kaids declared against him, and Oran, and, on the 8th January, 1836, on the 12th of April, 1834, Mustapha recommenced the campaign. He then Ben Ismaël, chief of the Douaires, basely turned his arms against the raised the standard of revolt, and, in friendly tribes who had absolutely first spite of a determined resistance, over- applied to the French for assistance, threw him, put him to flight, and would and effected a most cruel razzia on the have taken or slain. him had it not been Conlouglis. Even in France this usefor the devotion of one of his men, I less cruelty was condemned, and in who raised and remounted him. This England the papers wrote fervently time Abd-el-Kader was indebted to against it. After two of these promethe French for assistance. Desmichels nades, to use the French term, during refused the friendship of Ben Ismaël, i which Abd-el-Kader hovered on his one of the most faithful allies of his flanks without coming to any decisive nation, assisted Abd-el-Kader in re- engagement, the Marshal returned to pulsing him, and sent to that Emir a Algiers, persuaded, if one may judge supply of powder and muskets. By from the bulletins which he issued, that this aid he covered his position, and he had entirely destroyed the power of in his ambition of extending his do- the Emir. Soon after, General d'Arminion, he conceived the project of langes, conducting a convoy of provioverrunning the whole of the provinces sions from Oran to Tlemsen, was atof Algiers and of Tittery; he crossed tacked by the Emir, and overthrown the Chelif, entered into Médéah as a with considerable loss, on the 24th victor, and placed over the tribes he April, 1836. This check, added to the had conquered friends of his own, and failure of an expedition on Constantine, returned triumphantly to his own terri- made the French still more energetic. tory. This was too bold a stroke to be General Bugeaud was ordered to effect pleasing to the French, and General the retirement of Abd-el-Kader, either Trezel, who had superseded Desmichels, by treaty or by arms. A new expedimarched against the Emir to chastise tion was sent against . Constantine, him. Their forces' met at Macta, the which this time was successful, and the Arabians being much more numerous town was carried by assault, but with than the French, and the battle, which immense loss to the French; and recommenced favourably to the latter, pulsed in pacific overtures, Bugeaud terminated in their total defeat, on the met the Emir, on the 6th of July, 1833, 28th of June, 1835. Surprised in a at the Pass of Sikak, where he attacked
him with the greatest vigour and over- making their enthusiasm subservient threw him; Abd-el-Kader retiring from to his administration; and secondly, to the combat with a loss of from 1,200 to give to the population a vigorous. mili1,500 Arabs, killed and wounded. In- tary constitution, so as to prepare them stead of taking advantage of this vic- for the task of expelling, by an energetic tory, Bugeaud remained inactive, gave and unanimous effort, all Christian the chief time to recover himself, to re- sway from the soil of Africa. Nor did establish himself in his authority; and, he rest here. He made a second line some months afterwards, admitted him of defence, in the rear of the towns of on equal terms to a most advantageous the interior on the borders of the treaty, which gave to Abd-el-Kader smaller desert. To the south at Medéah, three-fourths of Algeria, the provinces he established a post, and to the south of Oran, Tittery, and a part of that of of Mostaganena, at Boghar, he created Algiers, and granted him a facility of a military depôt. His influence exbuying ammunition and arms in France. tended as far as the Desert of Sahara; (Vide art. vii. in treaty.)
and finding on every hand that the This treaty was severely criticised in tribes were prepared for a holy war, he France; and, in carrying it out, various sent word of his intentions to General obstacles were found. Abd-el-Kader Vallée; and on the 14th of December,
vailed himself of several obscure pas- 1939, gave the signal for a deadly sages to extend his territory, and eluded struggle. For this the French were the propositions of the French to come unprepared. The colonists of Mitidja to a settlement. In December, 1837, were surprised by the Hagouts; their he encamped near Hamza, and required warehouses were pillaged and burnt, and received the submission of all the and in a short time from the comtribes of the adjacent countries. And mencement of the campaign, the solupon the Marshal Vallée, alarmed at this diers of the Emir had penetrated as far movement, establishing a camp at Kha- as the fortifications of Algiers, and had mis, the remnant of the tribe of Ouleb recovered from their enemies all the Teiton, which the Emir had on a pre- territory, save that which was inclosed text of contempt for his authority, sur- by strong fortifications. prised and massacred, came to the The news of this disastrous campaign French to demand vengeance. Such struck the French nation with amazeacts as these were deemed flagrant ment. The Duke of Orleans, heir to violations of the treaty of Tafna; and the throne, hastened over to take part the Governor-general made such de- in the war. He was accompanied by termined and energetic protestations his brother, the Duc d'Aumale, and disagainst them, that Abd-el-Kader con- embarked at Algiers on the 13th of sented at last to name an agent who April, 1840. Operations on a vast should discuss the basis of an inter- scale were at once commenced, but pretative convention, of the second after twenty engagements, wherein great article of the treaty of the 30th of May, valour was shown on both sides, and 1837.
amongst which we must not omit the Moulond-ben-Arach, who had gone to defence of Mazagran by a handful of Paris loaded with presents for the King, soldiers, no decisive result was obtained. was charged with this important nego- The two princes distinguished themtiation. On his return to Algiers, he selves by their coolness and intrepidity, brought with him a convention, which, and the French army, generally, impresin some measure, modified three arti- sed their opponents with a very high cles in the former treaty; but, in the opinion of their courage. This, withmeantime, Abd-el-Kader had profited by out any farther result, was unsatisfacthe truce, by strengthening his power, tory, and some blame being attached to and fortifyiug his towns where possible. General Vallée, Marshal Bugeaud was At Mascara, he had placed his brother- sent, in December 1840, to replace him, in-law, Ben-Tamir; Tlemsen was in with an express mission to destroy the the hands of his trusty lieutenant Bou power of Abd-el-Kader, and to reduce Hamedi, and various other strongholds the whole territory of Algeria. With were held by other chiefs of the Mara- such spirit did he follow up these inbouts, equally favourable to the designs structions, that in a few months after of the Emir, which were, first, to inflame the commencement of the campaign he the tribes with a religious fervour, had already destroyed Tekendempt, Bo