Draught of a Secret resolution of both houses.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the U.S. in Congress assembled, that if the President of the U.S. by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall think proper to enter into any treaty or convention for the purpose of ransoming the citizens of the U.S. now in captivity at Algiers at an expence not exceeding [40,000] dollars, or for the preservation of peace in future with that power, and with Tunis or Tripoli or both at an expence not exceeding [40,000] dollars to be annually paid for years, the Congress of the U.S. will provide for the same: and that they will provide for the expences of any measures which he shall take for accomplishing these objects, tho’ such measures should not succeed, provided such expences exceed not  dollars.
Then should follow a resolution for furnishing the money beforehand &c.
PrC (DLC); brackets in original.
The Senate once again turned its attention to American relations with Algiers and the plight of the captive seamen in the fall of 1791 as a result of two new developments. First was the accession to power in July 1791 of a new Dey of Algiers, Ali Hassan, who was reported to be more favorably disposed toward the United States than his predecessor. Second was the Senate’s reception of Charles Colvill’s petition. It was in his capacity as chairman of the Senate committee considering Colvill’s petition that Butler wrote to TJ. In response, TJ promptly drafted the resolutions printed above. Despite TJ’s previous preference for the use of naval power against Algiers, he may have been willing to cooperate with Butler at this time because he believed Congress’ failure earlier in the year to authorize the creation of an American navy left no alternative to ransoming the captives.
Butler’s committee made selective use of TJ’s draft resolutions. Butler’s report, submitted to the Senate on 6 Dec. 1791, disregarded TJ’s emphasis on the need for a joint resolution of both houses of Congress and changed his estimate of the cost of the proposed treaties with the three Barbary states, but otherwise remained generally faithful to the main thrust of the Secretary of State’s suggested resolves. The committee recommended that the Senate agree to ratify “any treaty or convention for the purpose of establishing and preserving peace with the Regency of Algiers and with Tunis and Tripoli, ‘at an expense not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars annually,’ for such a term of years as shall be stipulated, and for the purpose of ransoming the citizens of the United States in captivity with the Algerines, ‘at an expense not exceeding forty thousand dollars for the said ransom’ “; that if such an agreement could not be negotiated with Algiers “the sum of two thousand four hundred dollars annually shall be distributed among the said captives or their families, as they may prefer, in such manner and in such proportion as the President of the United States shall order and direct during their captivity”; and that in order to finance the negotiation of the projected agreements with the three Barbary states the President should “be authorized and empowered to draw on the Treasury of the United States for the sum of one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars” (Compilation of Reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 8 vols. [Washington, D.C., 1901], viii, 6; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, Gales & Seaton, 1832–1861, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, i, 133; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, Gales, 1820–1821, 5 vols. description ends , i, 349).
The Senate considered and debated various forms of the report six times in the three months after its original submission, but it soon became apparent that there was little senatorial support for negotiating with Tripoli and Tunis or for granting financial aid to the captive seamen. Yet the Senate did favor a peace treaty with Algiers and the redemption of the captives, though initially it was reluctant to ask the House of Representatives to agree beforehand to appropriate money for these purposes (Memoranda of Consultations with President, 11 Mch.–9 Apr. 1792; Memorandum of President’s Meeting with Senate Committee, 12 Mch. 1792, DLC: Washington Papers). Accordingly, on 7 Mch. 1792, after defeating a motion to postpone further consideration of Butler’s report until the next session of Congress, the Senate appointed a committee to confer with Washington in an effort to persuade him to bypass the House and dispatch an envoy to Algiers with funds drawn directly from the Treasury or borrowed from private creditors solely on the authority of a vote by the Senate (Washington to TJ 10 Mch. 1792; Memorandum of Conference with President on Treaty with Algiers, 11 Mch. 1792; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, 1828 description ends , i, 91, 92, 100, 106; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, Gales, 1820–1821, 5 vols. description ends , i, 349, 354, 394).
The appointment of this committee forced TJ to focus his attention once more on the question of relations with Algiers. Having been informed in advance by Ralph Izard of the committee’s objective, Washington met with TJ on 11 Mch. 1792 to discuss the position he planned to take during his forthcoming conference. Though by this time TJ was resigned to the necessity of ransoming the captured mariners, he was still less inclined than Washington to pay tribute to the government of Algiers. Indeed, he soon sought without success to persuade Washington again of the merits of employing naval force against the Algerians (TJ to Washington, 1 Apr. 1792). Despite their differences on this point, the President and the Secretary of State remained convinced that it would be prudent to obtain prior financial authorization for the proposed mission to Algiers from both branches of Congress, since in the end the House would have to appropriate the money needed to pay for any agreement that might be reached with the Algerian government. Thus, when Washington met with the members of the Senate committee on 12 Mch. 1792, he informed them that he would not attempt to ransom the captives “without previous authority from both branches of the legislature” (Memorandum of President’s Meeting with Senate Committee, 9 Apr. 1792, enclosed in TJ to Madison, 17 Apr. 1796; Memorandum of Conference with President on Treaty with Algiers, 11 Mch. 1792; see Memorandum of President’s Meeting with Senate Committee, 12 Mch. 1792, DLC: Washington Papers, for a somewhat different version of Washington’s remarks).
At first, however, not even this clear expression of presidential opinion was enough to overcome lingering senatorial doubts about the possibly undesirable constitutional and diplomatic implications of applying to the House to fund the projected mission to Algiers. As a result, Washington was finally obliged to send a written message to the Senate on 8 May 1792 asking whether it would agree to approve treaties to ransom the captives and to establish peace with Algiers by paying an annual tribute (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, 1828 description ends , i, 122–3). In response, the Senate not only resolved that it would ratify such agreements between the United States and Algiers but also added a carefully worded amendment to an otherwise routine appropriations bill which, without specifically describing the purpose for which the money was to be spent, was designed to authorize the President to spend up to $50,000 on negotiations with Algiers. The House immediately approved the Senate’s amendment, thereby giving Washington the full legislative authorization he had sought and paving the way for the appointment soon thereafter of John Paul Jones as special envoy to Algiers (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, 1828 description ends , i, 123; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, Gales, 1820–1821, 5 vols. description ends , i, 442–3; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, Gales & Seaton, 1826, 9 vols. description ends , i, 604–5; Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials by Joseph Gales, Senior, Washington, Gales & Seaton, 1834–1856, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The edition cited here has this caption on both recto and verso pages: “History of Congress.” Another printing, with the same titlepage, has “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. Those using the latter printing will need to employ the date or, where it is lacking, to add approximately 52 to the page numbers of Annals as cited in this volume. description ends , iii, 1386–7; TJ to John Paul Jones, 1 June 1792; TJ, Report on Algiers and Morocco, 16 Dec. 1793).