Thomas Jefferson Papers
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George Washington to the Senate, 9 April 1792 [document added in digital edition]

George Washington to the Senate

The Committee to report that the President does not think that circumstances will justify, in the present instance, his entering into absolute1 engagements for the ransom of our captives in Algiers, not callg.2 for money from the treasury, nor raising it by loan, without previous authority from both branches of the legislature

If the President should enter into a Provisional convention with Algiers for the ransom of our captives for a sum not exceeding 40,000 Doll. Will the Senate advise & consent to the ratification of it? the Government of Algiers being given to understand that we are not to be bound by the treaty until it shall be ratified. & the Senate understanding that that ratification is not to receive the great seal till the money shall have been voted by both houses.

If the sum appears too high, what lower limit would the Senate approve?3

If the President should enter into a Provisional treaty of peace with Algiers at an expence not exceeding dollars paid on the ratificn, & dollars payable annually afterwards, during it’s continuance, will the Senate advise & consent to the ratificn? the Government of Algiers being given to understand that we are not to be bound till the treaty shall be ratified, & the Senate understanding that the ratification is not to pass the great seal till both houses shall have concurred in provision for the money.

If the sums appear too high, what lower limits would the Senate approve?

April 9. 1792.

PrC (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand. Entry in SJPL reads: “Draughts of messages to Senate on affairs with Algiers. not sent.”

If the President should enter: for a second version of this message, see George Washington to the Senate, 10 Apr. 1792; see also TJ’s memorandum of a consultation with the president on 9 Apr., at Vol. 23:263-4.

1Word interlined.

2TJ first wrote “not to call” before altering the passage to read as above.

3Sentence interlined.

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