New Jersey’s Barbary Diplomat (Part 2 of 2)
In 1816, Charles Davenport Coxe, anxious to leave his New Jersey home and return to his diplomatic career, sought a consular appointment to France with the support of his former superior in North Africa, Tobias Lear, who praised Coxe’s arduous service in Tunis at a time when the United States had no warships in the Mediterranean to protect its commerce. However, Coxe’s application was not successful nor was his later bid to return to the Marine Corps as its commandant. Finally, in 1824, Coxe’s efforts were rewarded with an appointment as consul at Tunis. The following year, he was transferred to another North African capital, Tripoli, where he became awkwardly entangled in the local fallout of big-power rivalries and Tripolitan politics. Coxe died in Tripoli in 1830, his legacy one of involvement in two of his country’s most challenging and distant outposts as it began to emerge on the world stage.
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