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From George Washington to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 2 March 1795

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States March 2d 1795.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.

It appears from the Information, which I have lately received, that it may be probably necessary to the more successful conduct of our affairs on the coast of Barbary that one Consul should reside in Morocco another in Algiers and a third in Tunis or Tripoli.1 As no appointment for these offices will be accepted without some Emolument annexed I submit to the consideration of Congress whether it may not be adviseable to authorize a stipend to be allowed to two Consuls for that Coast in addition to the one already existing.2

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LS, DNA: RG 46, entry 33; copy, DNA: RG 233, Records of the House of Representatives, Journals; copy, DLC:GW.

1David Humphreys, who had returned from Lisbon to meet with GW and Secretary of State Edmund Randolph, wrote in his letter to Randolph of 12 Feb. that, “In addition to the arrangements proposed yesterday, of making out a new Commission to Captn Heisel for Morocco only, and appointing M. Skjoldebrand the Younger as Consul for Algiers; I beg leave to suggest, that, in my judgment, it would be highly conducive to the public interests, that some active, confidential & able man, should be named as Consul to the other Barbary States, in the first instance, for the purpose of going from this Country with me, and of being himself the bearer of the public Dispatches to M. Skjoldebrand. It may also probably be expedient that this or some other Person should be charged with a Commission of adjusting & settling all public accounts relative to Barbary Affairs” (DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Spain, vol. 3).

2This message was read in the Senate and tabled. In the House it was referred to a committee, which reported back the same day. That report, however, was tabled and no further action was taken (Journal of the Senate description begins The Journal of the Senate including The Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 7:103; Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 7:297–99). Nonetheless, on 3 April, GW signed commissions for Pierre Eric Skjöldebrand as consul at Algiers, Joseph Donaldson, Jr., as consul at Tunis and Tripoli, and Hans Heissel as consul at Tangier (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 326–27). The appointments of Skjöldebrand and Donaldson were submitted to the Senate on 12 June and confirmed the next day. Heissel’s appointment had been confirmed on 11 Dec. 1794 (Senate 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 , 165, 179–81). In fact, section 5 of “An Act concerning Consuls and Vice-Consuls,” 14 April 1792, had authorized the appointment of multiple consuls for the Barbary Coast at annual salaries not exceeding $2,000 each (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 256).

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