Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to United States Congress, 14 April 1806

April 14. 1806.

To the Senate &
House of Representatives of the United States

During the blockade of Tripoli by the squadron of the US. a small cruiser, under the flag of Tunis, with two prizes, (all of trifling value) attempted to enter Tripoli, was turned back, warned, & attempting again to enter, was taken & detained as prize by the squadron. her restitution was claimed by the Bey of Tunis, with a threat of war in terms so serious, that, on withdrawing from the blockade of Tripoli, the Commanding officer of the squadron thought it his duty to repair to Tunis with his squadron & to require a categorical declaration whether peace or war was intended. the Bey preferred explaining himself by an Ambassador to the US. who on his arrival, renewed the request that the vessel & her prizes should be restored. it was deemed proper to give this proof of friendship to the Bey, & the Ambassador was informed the vessels should be restored.   Afterwards he made a requisition of Naval stores to be sent to the Bey, in order to secure a peace for the term of three years, with a threat of war; if refused. it has been refused, & the Ambassador is about to depart without receding from his threat or demand.

Under these circumstances, & considering that the several provisions of the act of Mar. 25. 1804. will cease, in consequence of the ratification of the treaty of peace with Tripoli, now advised & consented to by the Senate, I have thought it my duty to communicate these facts, in order that Congress may consider the expediency of continuing the same provisions for a limited time, or making others equivalent.

Th: Jefferson

DNA: RG 46—Records of the U.S. Senate.

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