1777 Morocco recognizes American independence.
1784 Morocco brig Betsy is seized by Moroccan pirates.
1785 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams meet with emissary of Tripoli.
1787 Spurred in part by the need to confront North Africa, delegates meet in Philadelphia to draft a constitution.
1788 John Ledyard, the first American to explore the Middle East, arrives in Egypt.
1794 Congress votes to create a navy "adequate for the protection of the commerce the United States against Algerian corsairs."
1801 Tripoli declares war on the United States.
1803 Tripoli captures the USS Philadelphia and its 305-man crew.
The swashbuckling James Morris Morgan, Jackson Davis's former bodyguard and soldier of Egypt circa 1870.
Charles Chaille-Long, the effete but effective explorer of the Nile in 1874. "The entire Nile basin passed under the protection of Egypt," he proclaimed "and the chief object of my mission was accomplished."
Soldier and explorer of the Sudan, Erastus Sparrow Purdy.
"Earnest Christian and lover of the adventure," US Navy Captain William Frncis Lynch, who in 1847 became the first Westerner to navigate the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.
Ismail Pasha, the Egyptian khedive who hired Civil War veterans to modernize his army. "When this shall be accomplished," he told them, "as it will be Inshallah, I will bestow upon you the highest honours."
Thaddeus Mott, mercenary, gold miner, American recruiter for a Middle Eastern army.
Theodore Roosevelt, whose critique of "the mass of … bigoted moslems" earned him the ire of many Middle Easterners, visits Egypt in 1910.