1800 - Treaty of El-Arich


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Surrender of Malta 21

General Vaubois and Rear-admiral Villeneuve, on the part of the French, settled the terms of capitulation. These, alike honourable to both parties, were executed on the same day; and the fortress of Valetta and its dependencies were immediately surrendered to the British. Of the two 64s in the port, one only, the Athénien, was in a seaworthy state, and she was a remarkably fine ship of 1404 tons. The Carthagénaise frigate was in a similar state to the Dégo, and therefore not worth removing.

We must not quit the subject of Malta without naming, as the principal person to whom the loyal inhabitants were indebted for the expulsion of their cruel invaders, Captain Alexander John Ball of the Alexander 74. This officer had served on shore during the greater part of the blockade, and, by the warmth of his attachment no less than the wisdom of his measures, had endeared himself to the Maltese. Captain Ball therefore was the fittest person to preside over them; and to that office, some short time after the surrender of the island, he was appointed by the British government.

When we last quitted the shores of Egypt we left the two commissioners from General Kléber, and those from the grand vizier, on board the Tigre, Captain Sir Sidney Smith, contending with a gale of wind. That gale prevented the ship from returning to Alexandria until the 17th or 18th of January. In the mean time, however, the conferences had been carried on; and the result was, that the parties landed and repaired to the newly captured fort of El-Arich, and there, on the 24th of January, signed a convention for the evacuation of Egypt by the French army. Or rather, a convention to that effect was signed by General Desaix and M. Poussielgue, as the plenipotentiaries of General Kléber, and by Mustapha Rachid Effendi and Mustapha-Rasycheh Effendi, as the plenipotentiaries of his highness the Grand Vizier; but not by Sir Sidney Smith. On the 28th, at Salahieh, this treaty was ratified by General Kléber, and subsequently, we believe, by the grand vizier.

The convention consisted of 22 articles, the chief of which were, that the French army should evacuate Egypt, embarking at Alexandria, Rosetta, and Aboukir; that there should be an armistice of three months, or longer if necessary ; that all subjects of the Sublime Porte prisoners among the French should be set at liberty; and that vessels containing the French army should have proper passports to go to France, and not to be molested by any of the belligerents.

The moment this convention was signed, Sir Sidney Smith sent a copy of it to his government by the hands of Major Douglas of the Tigre's marines; and on the 25th of March, 1800, the convention was announced in the London Gazette as one by which it had been agreed " that the French troops now

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