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JANUARY, 1817.

ART. I. An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American brig Commerce, wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa, in the month of August, 1815; with an Account of the Sufferings of her surviving Officers and Crew, who were enslaved by the wandering Arabs on the Great African Desert, or Zahahrah, &c. By James Riley, late Master and Supercargo. 4to. New York.



E do not remember to have met with a personal narrative more deeply distressing or more painfully interesting, than that of which we hasten to present an outline to our readers; an outline which we are disposed to fill up as much in detail as our limited space will allow, from the consideration that ours is probably the only copy that has reached this country.

If we were not abundantly satisfied with regard to the general veracity of Mr. Riley's narrative,-if we were not in possession of well authenticated documents from many respectable citizens of New York, from the Russian consul of that place, the Honourable De Witt Clinton, and several others, all bearing testimony to the good moral character, the intelligente and unquestionable veracity of Mr. Riley, if we did not know that Mr. Willshire, who effected his release, is partner in trade with Mr. Renshaw of London, and a most respectable man, who was then acting as the British vice-consul at Mogadore-that Riley and his four unfortunate companions remained in his house till they had recovered from the effects of their unparalleled sufferings-and that Mr. Munroe, the American secretary of state, on his return to America, repaid the ransom money, and urged the publication of the Narrative,—we should have felt inclined to withhold our belief from some parts of it, on the simple ground that human nature, on the one hand, was utterly incapable of inflicting, and on the other, of enduring such hardships and sufferings as these poor shipwrecked mariners had to undergo, -sufferings which, as Mr. Riley truly says, have been as great and various as ever fell to the lot of humanity. Of Mr. Riley's intel ligence, to which his American friends bear testimony, we shall have to say a word hereafter.

Mr. Riley was appointed master and supercargo of the brig Commerce, of Hartford, and sailed from the mouth of Connecticut River on the 6th May, 1815, on a voyage to New Orleans.




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