George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 22 February 1791

To the United States Senate

United States, February 22nd 1791

Gentlemen of the Senate,

I will proceed to take measures for the ransom of our citizens in captivity at Algiers, in conformity with your resolution of advice of the first instant, so soon as the monies necessary shall be appropriated by the Legislature, and shall be in readiness.1

The recognition of our treaty with the new Emperor of Marocco requires also previous appropriation and provision—the importance of this last to the liberty and property of our citizens induces me to urge it on your earliest attention.2

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–1791, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Foreign Relations; D, in Thomas Jefferson’s writing, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

For the background to the this document, see Thomas Jefferson to GW, 28 Dec. 1790, and notes.

1On 1 Feb. 1791 the Senate resolved to “advise and consent that the President of the United States do take such measures as he may think necessary for the redemption of the Citizens of the United States now in captivity at Algiers, provided the expense shall not exceed forty thousand dollars” (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 2:115).

2On 1 Feb. 1791 the Senate resolved “that measures be taken to confirm the Treaty now existing between the United States and the Emperor of Morocco” (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 2:115). On Thomas Barclay’s mission to Morocco, see Thomas Jefferson to GW, 27 Mar. 1791.

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