George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to the United States Senate, 8 May 1792

To the United States Senate

[Philadelphia] May. 8. 1792.

If the President of the U.S. should conclude a Convention or treaty with the Government of Algiers for the ransom of the thirteen Americans in captivity there, for a sum not exceeding 40,000 dollars, all expences included, will the Senate approve the same? or is there any & what greater or lesser sum, which they would fix on as the limit beyond which they would not approve the ransom?

If the President of the U.S. should conclude a Treaty with the Government of Algiers for the establishment of peace with them at an expence not exceeding1 twenty five thousand dollars paid at the signature, and a like sum to be paid annually afterwards during the continuance of the treaty would the Senate approve the same? or are there any greater or lesser sums which they would fix on as the limits beyond which they would not approve of such treaty?2

Df (letterpress copy), in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, DLC: Jefferson Papers; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 233, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of the Office of the Clerk, Records of Reports from Executive Departments; copy, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–1795, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Foreign Relations.

For the background to this document, see the letters cited in GW to Thomas Jefferson, 10 Mar., source note, Conversation with a Committee of the U.S. Senate, 12 Mar., Jefferson to GW, 1 April, and notes 1 and 3, and Jefferson’s Memorandum on a Treaty with Algiers, 10 April, and source note.

1Jefferson left a blank at this place in the draft. The figure is supplied from the letter-book copy at DLC.

2The Senate voted on this day to approve a treaty paying the government of Algiers $40,000 for the release of the American prisoners and $25,000 annually while the treaty between the United States and Algiers remained in effect (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:123).

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