“I AM a native of England, and was born in the year 1779 of respectable and wealthy parents. In the year 1797 I was married to capt. HENRY MARTIN, who was commander of one of the East India Company’s ships. Being ever desirous of visiting some distant parts of the world, I solicited and obtained the consent of my husband to accompany him on a voyage to Minorca. Accordingly, on the 20th of June 1800 we set sail in the ship Unicorn, on board which there were 100 souls, 12 of whom were passengers….
…We did not travel far before the mate, who was a little way a-head, came running towards us, and told us that he had discovered a few rods distant, a number of men of very tawny complexion, armed with long spears; we did not hesitate a moment to meet them, whether friends of foes, for we felt ourselves unable to live any longer without food. As soon as they discovered us they advanced towards us in full speed; when within haul they accosted us in a language which we did not understand; my husband addressed them in English then in and French, but they did not appear to understand what he said, the mate then addressed them in Spanish, but with no better success–one of the sailors who had been a prisoner among the Moors next addressed them in the Moreico language, and by one or two of them appeared to be understood, who, in reply, declared us, ‘their prisoners.’– By the request of my husband, the sailor, who had now become our interpreter, enquired the name of the country in which we were– the reply was, ‘you are in Barbary, 30 miles from Tenis, and 90 from the city of Algeria.’
We were at this instant surrounded by the Barbarians, who brandsihing their spears, commanded us to follow them. The sailor told them that we were British subjects, with whom the Bay of Algiers was at peace; to this, however, they paid but little or no attention, but compelled us to accompany them.”
HISTORY OF THE Captivity and Sufferings OF MRS. MARIA MARTINS, Who Was Six Years a Slave in Algiers: TWO OF WHICH SHE WAS CONFINED IN A DARK AND DISMAL DUNGEON LOADED WITH IRONS, FOR REFUSING TO COMPLY WITH THE BRUTAL REQUEST OF A TURKISH OFFICER, Written by Herself, Boston, printed for W. Crary, 1807.