This paper offers a survey of some of the North African captives who were held in Europe between 1772 and 1775, relying on written sources to highlight the relationship between piracy and captivity. These themes were a main driver of the tensions between Europe and the three Ottoman Eyalets of Tunisia, Algeria and Tripolitania. In this regard, the treatment of Maghrebi captives in Europe acts as a microcosm for a broader set of relations. Relying on historical documents, the paper begins with an analysis of North Africans held captive in Europe, their geographic origins, ethnicity, age, and economic status. It goes on to explore the options these captives faced to regain their freedom. Information from released captives reveals the reason behind a marked increase in the number of people from the Maghreb who endured captivity and enslavement in Europe. The case study concludes with the ascendancy of European powers in the Mediterranean, detailing shifts in global trade patterns and the marginalization of the Maghreb.