George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Dey Hassan Bashaw, 3 December 1796

3 December 1796

To the most excellent and most illustrious Vizer Massan Bashaw, Dey of the City and Regency of Algiers. Health, Peace, and Prosperity.

I have received your Excellency’s letter bearing date the 5th of May last, by James Leander Cathcart, informing me that altho’ eight months had then elapsed since peace and harmony had been settled between our two nations, not one article of the agreement had been complied with. This unlooked for event has been to me a subject of extreme regret. Besides the explanations given by our Agent, Mr Barlow, I myself wrote your Excellency on the 13th of last June stating the principal cause of the disappointment. I hope that all the stipulated sums have ere this time been paid; or if any part yet remains in arrear, that the payments will shortly be completed: for I have nothing more at heart than to fulfil with perfectly good faith the engagements made to you in my name in behalf of the United States of America.

It has afforded me great satisfaction that you dispatched Mr Cathcart to give me more full and exact information of the Articles and their quality necessary for your service and conformable to our agreement. One vessel laden therewith is now ready to sail for Algiers. Contracts and other measures are formed and pursuing to provide all the maritime and military Stores, which will be forwarded with all the expedition of which circumstances will admit; and I desire you to rest assured, that the solicitude of our Government will not cease until the whole shall be accomplished.

The Frigate promised you by our Agents Mr Barlow and Mr Donaldson is building, and will be finished and equipped with all possible dispatch.

Mr Barlow is well acquainted with the circumstances of the United States, and with all the difficulties we have to encounter in executing our wishes. I pray you to receive favourably the explanations he shall offer to you in this behalf: for he cannot express to you too strongly our sincerity and good faith.

May God long preserve your Excellency, and crown your days with happiness and honor. Written at Philadelphia, the third day of december, 1796.

Go: Washington

By the President of the United States

Timothy Pickering

Secretary of State

(sealed with the Great Seal)

DNA: RG 59--Letters of Credence.

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