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Town and roadstead port, northeastern Algeria, on the Mediterranean seacoast and the western edge of the Collo Kabylie region. The city of Jijel, originally a Phoenician trading post, passed successively to the Romans (as Igilgili), the Arabs, and, in the 16th century, to the pirate Khayr ad-Din (Barbarossa). It remained a corsair stronghold until captured by the French in 1839. Strong local resistance, finally subdued in 1851, resulted in the construction of three forts along its southern fringe and minimal colonization. The original town was devastated by an earthquake in 1856.
In 1664, July 23 under the reign of Louis XIV, a French forwarding directed by the Duke of Beaufort, small natural son of Henri IV unloaded and took the city. Resistance was organized under the direction of Aga Chabane and the French were driven out in October of the same year. Several were done prisoners. Some were repurchased by their families by paying a ransom. Others, which had not been repurchased remained like slaves and were freed thereafter and became highly skilled sailors and took part even in the race under the direction of the corsairs jijeliens.
When a shipwreck happens on the coast of Gigery, which is situated about fifty leagues to the eastward of Algiers, the inhabitants, who are a tribe of wandering Arabs, flock down from the mountains, and seize on everything they possibly can, without any consideration as to the country to which the vessel belongs. If it should happen to be a Turkish ship, the Mahommedan crew is dismissed, with a sufficient supply of provisions to enable them to reach a place where they can be relieved, but all other subjects are made slaves. These Arabs put a high value on iron, which was on one occasion attended with fatal consequences. A bark belonging to Tunis being stranded on the coast of Gigery, the inhabitants hastened on board to plunder. The Turks and Moors who composed the crew, were allowed to go at large; and the natives after carrying off as much as they could, were anxious to obtain the iron about the vessel. As they did not well know how to come at it, they laid a train to the powder magazine, concluding that if the ship blew up, they would be able to collect the iron from the fragments. On setting fire to the train, the vessel indeed blew up; but fifty of the plunderers, who had not retired beyond the effects of the explosion, were killed, and a much larger number wounded.
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