The American Revolution transferred from London to Philadelphia the problem of protecting American commerce. Soon after the outbreak of hostilities England withdrew her Mediterranean passes,1 thereby leaving the shipping of her erstwhile colonies exposed to the maraudings of the Barbary pirates. This was a measure which was fraught with tremendous significance for the future. If England should withhold this protection at the end of the struggle (an action which might well be anticipated in the event of successful revolution), what would be the fate of American shipping not only in the Mediterranean but off the western coast of Europe? It was hardly to be expected that the new republic, even though it should emerge victorious from the conflict in which it was then negotiated, would soon thereafter be in a position to purchase or to compel immunity from attacks by the corsairs of four piratical states. Furthermore, there was only a slight possibility that protection might be obtained through the friendly intervention of European powers. Governments which considered it good policy to subsidize pirates in order to secure advantages not shared by many of their commercial rivals could hardly be expected to provide protection to a rising maritime power. Such, in brief, was the complicated problem which American statesmen were called upon to solve.
The first step which the Continental Congress took in attempting to find a solution was of having inserted in treaties to be formed with European powers provisions p21 promising protection against the pirates; and, since the prospect of securing French assistance in combating England was encouraging, a beginning was made with that government. In the plan of a treaty to be formed between the United States and France the Continental Congress proposed that the French King agree to protect the people and effects of the United States from the plundering of the Barbary corsairs "in the same manner and as effectually and fully . . . as the King and Kingdom of Great Britain, before the commencement of the present war protected" them.2 The French government refused to make such a sweeping guarantee as was expressed in this proposal but, in Article VIII of the treaty of commerce and amity formed in 1778, agreed that the King of France would "employ his good offices and interposition with" the Barbary States "in order to provide as fully and efficaciously as possible for the benefit, convenience and safety of the said United States."3
An opportunity for French intervention soon presented itself. In August, 1778, the American commissioners wrote to Vergennes that there were at that time in Italy some American vessels which were being held in port lest they be captured by the corsairs. The communication also stated that there were some Italian merchants who wished to participate in American trade but who were becoming discouraged because of the menace of piracy. French aid was therefore requested in accordance with the recently formed treaty of commerce and amity.4
Vergennes referred this request to M. de Sartine, minister of marine, who soon reported that he had difficulty in interpreting the wishes of the commissioners. What were their instructions? Was it their wish to form treaties with p22 the Barbary States? Or did they desire that France should use her influence to persuade the pirates to respect the American flag? After making these queries, the minister assured the commissioners that France would be unable to make the American flag respected by the corsairs, and that any freedom of commerce secured solely by French intervention would be of a very temporary and illusory character. If the Americans wished to form treaties with Barbary, however, French aid would be given, and, after a negotiation which would be "long and arduous," amicable relations might be established with the piratical states.5 These sentiments were reëchoed by Vergennes, who transmitted Sartine's letter to the American commissioners.6 The latter thereupon referred the matter to Congress,7 and that body placed it in the hands of a committee of three.8 No further action seems to have been immediately taken.
In 1782 John Adams concluded with the Netherlands a treaty which contained, relative to protection from piracy, a provision similar to that incorporated in the treaty with France. It stated that if the United States should negotiate with the Barbary governments concerning passports for American Mediterranean commerce, "their High Mightinesses" would "second such negotiations in the most favorable manner, by means of their Consuls, residing near the said King, Emperor, and Regencies."9
Having succeeded in securing promises of commercial coöperation from France and the Netherlands, the peace commissioners next sought English aid. After the provisional articles of peace had been ratified, and before a definitive treaty had been formed, the Americans strove p23 to have included in the definitive treaty certain commercial provisions, one of which related to the protection of American interests against the corsairs. Accordingly, on June 1, 1783, it was proposed to David Hartley that his Britannic Majesty provide aid to the United States in securing the desired immunity.10
The attempt ended in failure. On July 7, Adams wrote that he and his colleagues could not "as yet obtain from Mr. Hartley, or his principals, an explicit consent to any one proposition whatever."11 Eight days later Adams expressed a conviction that the British government had no intention of coming to any commercial agreement with the United States.12 He and his fellow commissioners nevertheless continued throughout July and August to plead their cause. In London Laurens had two conferences with Fox to whom he represented the need of adding to the definitive treaty certain mutually beneficial articles not included in the provisional agreement. Fox replied that "at present" he could see no such necessity and that since he had heard that the arrangement proposed by Laurens would be in concert with France, he could not consent to it.13 Despairing p24 of obtaining the desired concessions, the American commissioners within a few weeks agreed to sign the provisional articles as a definitive treaty.14
A variety of circumstances seems to have been responsible for the British government's refusal to provide the desired commercial coöperation. In the first place, the existing coalition ministry was in a precarious position and could not, according to Adams, make "the least concession further . . . without twice its value in exchange"; any other course would have caused it to be driven out of power.15 Secondly, the commissioners attributed their failure in no small degree to "exaggerated accounts" of American dissension and lack of authority. These reports, they thought, had given the British officials the hope that some social upheaval might occur "in their favor."16 The chief cause of failure in the negotiations, however, appears to have been a distaste for American commercial rivalry. A bill which was introduced by Pitt in 1783, and which would have provided for free trade between Great Britain and the United States, was defeated. In a powerful argument directed at the measure Lord Sheffield pointed out the significance of the Barbary States with respect to the trade of Great Britain and the United States: "It is not probable," he said, "the American States will have a very free trade in the Mediterranean; it will not be the interest of any of the great maritime powers to protect them there from the Barbary States. If they know their interests, they p25 will not encourage the Americans to be carriers — that the Barbary States are advantageous to the maritime powers is obvious. If they were suppressed, the little States of Italy, etc., would have much more of the carrying trade. The French never showed themselves worse politicians than in encouraging the late armed neutrality. . . . The armed neutrality would be as hurtful to the great maritime powers as the Barbary States are useful. The Americans cannot protect themselves from the latter; they cannot pretend to a navy."17
While the American commissioners were attempting to secure protection of their countrymen's interests by the method hitherto described, some development in the Mediterranean necessitated more direct action on the part of the United States.
In March, 1783, some American vessels narrowly escaped capture by the Algerines. Franklin was informed of the event by one Salva, who wrote that when officials in Algiers learned about the departure of the vessels from Marseilles, they sent "nine armed ships" in pursuit. The author of the letter also wrote that some "secret enemies" in Algiers had provided the Algerines with the information.18
In Morocco, too, an alarming situation was developing with respect to American interests. There the difficulty was that the United States had not responded with sufficient alacrity, or certainly not in the manner desired, to the friendly overturns of the Emperor, Sidi Mohamet. That individual had as early as February 20, 1778, exhibited his friendliness toward the new republic by declaring that American vessels would not be molested by Morocco.19 Somewhat later Congress received from a French merchant, Stephen D'Audibert Caille, a letter indicating the p26 Emperor's desire to form a "treaty of peace" with the United States.20
Congress responded to these overtures by communicating to Franklin21 and to the Emperor22 an "earnest desire" to cultivate a sincere and firm peace and friendship by the formation of a treaty with Morocco. The Emperor was further informed that a proper person would be authorized to negotiate with a Moroccan representative.23 Sidi Mohamet received additional encouragement from Robert Montgomery, a merchant at Alicante, whose unauthorized proposals led to the sending of a Moroccan peace envoy to Europe.24
During July and November, 1783, Giacomo F. Crocco wrote25 some interesting letters to Franklin. Crocco announced that he had come to Europe as a representative of the Emperor of Morocco "to meet at Paris the Ambassador that would be appointed by Congress to sign, at the Court of Morocco, the treaty of peace and commerce, agreeably to the proposals made to his Imperial Majesty, by Robert Montgomery, in his letter dated . . . the 4th of January, 1783." Crocco suggested that he receive fifteen hundred "hard dollars" for traveling expenses, a sum which, he said, would be far less than that ordinarily allowed Moroccan envoys by the governments of Europe. The message was concluded with the observation that the Emperor was showing unusual leniency in granting a treaty with such readiness, and that if advantage were not quickly taken of the opportunity, the door might be forever closed.26
p27 In acknowledging these letters Franklin wrote to Crocco that Montgomery had probably acted without congressional authority inasmuch as it was not likely that Congress would cause the Emperor the trouble of sending a minister to Paris to conduct an American representative to Morocco. It would be far more satisfactory to land an American agent at Cadiz or at one of the Emperor's ports. The letter ended with an assurance that Congress had the negotiations under consideration and that "all the proper steps" would soon be taken to secure the friendship of the Emperor.27
Congress was as greatly mystified as was Franklin regarding the activities of Montgomery and therefore resolved to investigate them.28 Realizing, at the same time, however, that some extraordinary measures were necessary, it resolved to form treaties of amity, or of amity and commerce, with Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, which treaties were to continue in operation for a period of ten years, "or for a term as much longer as can be procured." The resolution, adopted on May 7, 1784, embodied an expression of appreciation for the friendly attitude which the Emperor had taken toward the United States and of regret that the war had delayed negotiations between the two governments. Finally, it made provision for the issuing of a commission to John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson to form the proposed treaties. All the commissioners, or any two of them, might carry on the negotiations and submit the results to Congress p28 for approval.29 Five days later Congress appointed David Humphreys as secretary to the commissioners.30
In the meantime the Emperor of Morocco had tired of what he regarded as the indifference shown his overtures. He had therefore caused to be seized and detained at Tangier an American vessel, the "Betsey."31 He then announced that he had not made slaves of the crew, nor had he confiscated the ship or cargo; he was merely holding them as hostages until a treaty should be concluded.32 But, within a short time, and as a result of Spanish intervention, the "Betsey" was released.33 The seizure and detention nevertheless clearly indicated that the United States must send an envoy to the Emperor in order to retain his friendship.34
While awaiting instructions and funds, the commissioners sought information concerning Barbary, and, between November 11, 1784, and May 11, 1785, sent six reports of their findings to Congress.35 In the first of these communications they stated that they had made no overtures to any of the Barbary governments, treaties with which would cost the United States large sums. They then suggested that Congress limit them to a definite sum, place that amount at their disposal, and rest assured that the expenditures would be kept as low as possible.36 The subsequent p29 reports provided additional bits of information, contained requests for funds, and urged that further instructions be sent.37
On March 20, 1785, Adams reported that he had again visited Vergennes and had informed him that although he, Adams, and his colleagues had received authority to negotiate with Barbary, they were unable to go there and had not been given the power of substitution.38 Vergennes thereupon suggested that the commissioners write to the Emperor of Morocco and, on account of expense, seek to have the negotiations carried on in Morocco rather than in France. He also referred the commissioners to the French minister of marine, who soon provided them with information regarding contributions made by Christian powers to the piratical states.39 He was of the opinion that the proposed negotiations would cost the United States a great sum of money, but that without the sacrifice no peace could be obtained. If, however, a treaty were formed with Morocco and Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis "would easily follow their example, and certainly at less expense." The French government, continued the minister, would render whatever aid possible in forwarding American negotiations with Morocco in accordance with the treaty of 1778.40
The response of Congress to these communications gave greater definiteness to the commissioners' task: (1) On March 11, 1785, they were empowered to delegate to some suitable agent the authority to carry on negotiations and form treaties with the Barbary States. The agent should treat in accordance with instructions given him by the commissioners, and, having formed a treaty, should submit it to them for approval.41 (2) Congress also authorized p30 the commissioners to expend a maximum of eighty thousand dollars in concluding treaties with Barbary.42
Thus equipped, in the autumn of 1785 Adams and Jefferson appointed Thomas Barclay to serve as their agent in concluding a treaty with Morocco.43 He was instructed to deliver a letter from the commissioners to the Emperor; to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce as nearly as possible in conformity with a draught provided by the commissioners; to make alterations where necessary if too great concessions on the part of the United States were not necessitated, or, in case of doubt, to refer the matter to Adams and Jefferson; and to them he should transmit a draught of the completed treaty for their approval. The expense of the treaty was not to exceed twenty thousand dollars; if possible, it should be held below that sum. While absent on his mission Barclay was to communicate at every opportunity with the commissioners in London and Paris. He should obtain whatever information possible regarding the commerce, ports, naval and land forces, languages, religion, and government of Morocco. He was, finally, to be on the alert for evidences of a disposition on the part of Europeans to hinder American negotiations in Barbary. A Colonel Franks was appointed to accompany him in the capacity of secretary.44
It was not until January 15, 1786, that Barclay started from Paris to Morocco.45 During the intervening period Adams and Jefferson sought the aid of France in forwarding the pending mission. The King was requested to use p31 his "powerful influence" in Barbary either directly or through the medium of consuls or other agents. Reference was made to Article VIII of the treaty of 1778 and to other indications of the willingness of the French government to coöperate in protecting American Mediterranean commerce.46
The response which the letter evoked was not particularly encouraging although it was perhaps all that could have been reasonably expected. Adams and Jefferson were informed that the King had "expressly recommended" to French officials at Morocco and Algiers the Americans sent thither to negotiate treaties with those powers. But no hope was to be entertained of success to the American cause "if the conditions required should not be complied with." The Barbary governments were in an advantageous position and would not abandon it unless for a great consideration; therefore the task of the agents of the United States was that of securing "the least burdensome condition."47
Barclay had in the meantime proceeded to Madrid. Here, early in March, Florida Blanca received him cordially and showed every indication of being well disposed toward his mission. From this minister Barclay received a letter to the Emperor, another to the Captain-General of Andalusia, a third to the Spanish Consul-General at Morocco, and a fourth to a member of the Mathurin order at Mequinez. Apropos of the communication sent to the Emperor, it should be noted that reasons were therein set forth to convince the potentate that it would be preferable to carry on the negotiations in Morocco instead of in Europe.48 So candid and sincere did Florida Blanca seem in all his action relative to the Moroccan mission that p32 Barclay became thoroughly convinced that he sincerely wished it complete success.49
Barclay arrived at Morocco on June 19, 1786, and soon began negotiations with the Emperor.50 The latter, at the first conference, suggested that the treaty which Morocco had with Spain should serve as a model for the proposed treaty with the United States. It developed, however, that some of the documents connected with the Spanish treaty were not immediately available; whereupon Barclay asked permission to submit heads of a treaty. The Emperor consented, and Barclay presented his proposals. All the articles except four were almost immediately accepted, and of those excepted only one was of great consequence: an article relating to the exchange of prisoners. When it was read to the Emperor, he exclaimed: "This is not right. Why are the Christian powers so averse to go to war with me? It is the fear of their subjects falling into slavery." Fortunately, there intervened at this juncture a person to whom Barclay refers as the "King's preacher." That individual succeeded in having the article included by remarking that the religion of the people of the United States more nearly corresponded to that of the Moroccans than did the religion of many of the people with whom the Emperor had formed alliances.51
p33 The treaty when concluded was a very liberal one. Each party agreed to take no commission from a nation with which the other might be at war. There should be reciprocal immunity from seizure of subjects or property in case one of the contracting parties captured a prize belonging to a third country. All vessels of each party should have passes. Vessels of the United States compelled to land along the coast of Morocco should be protected. Ships of war belonging to the United States were to be exempt from examination by Moroccan officials. Commerce was placed on the footing of the most favored nation. In case of war between the United States and Morocco prisoners of either country were not to be made slaves but should be exchanged within one year after capture. Consuls of the United States were to have jurisdiction over disputes between citizens of the United States in Morocco and should participate in the settlement of disputes between citizens of the United States and subjects of Morocco. Finally, in case of an outbreak of hostilities between the contracting parties, nine months were to be allowed citizens and subjects of the two countries "to dispose of their effects and retire with their property." This treaty was to be binding for a period of fifty years.52
By contrast with the cost of treaties which the United States eventually formed with the Barbary States the expense of that with Morocco was small. It should, however, be observed that while the negotiations were in progress, Barclay's interpreter brought up the question of tribute. The reply was that no "future presents or tributes" could be given. Here the matter was permitted to rest.53 In spite of this fact, however, Adams complained that the sum of "near five thousand pounds sterling" expended in the negotiations was very great. There were four Barbary p34 powers with which the United States must conclude treaties; one with Algiers would probably cost more than those with the other three combined; and Congress had designated the use of only eighty thousand dollars for negotiations with all three powers.54
The success of the negotiations and the significance of the treaty were highly praised. Although Adams thought the expense great, he nevertheless recommended Barclay and Franks to the "favorable consideration" of Congress.55 The Marquis de Lafayette observed that "Mr. Barclay's refusal of the presents has been a matter of wonder to every African, and I daresay to some Europeans, whose accounts do full justice to him."56 Jefferson regarded the treaty as being more important than one with any of the other Barbary States so far as navigation of the Atlantic was concerned.57 Congress was pleased with the treaty, and extended a vote of thanks to Barclay and to the King of Spain.58 Barclay himself, although minimizing the importance of trade with Morocco, considered that it was "absolutely essential to the commerce of our country" to be at peace with the Barbary powers.59
The treaty was helpful. It made commerce of the United States in the Atlantic less unsafe, but even then it did not free American shipping from the menace of piracy. Moreover, the Mediterranean was almost as tightly closed as ever; and so it must remain until peace could be established p35 with Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis. In that connection it was that that the good relations between the United States and Morocco might be useful. While Barclay was in the latter country, after concluding the treaty, the Emperor inquired if he had any favor to ask. The reply was a request that the Emperor give letters to Constantinople, Tunis, and Algiers, asking the governments of those states to form treaties with the United States. This the Emperor promised to do.60
The main trend of the negotiations described in the preceding pages may be briefly summarized as follows: (1) There was, between 1776 and 1785 a definite evolution of an American Barbary policy. When the Revolution made necessary readjustments relative to the protection of American interests against piracy, the new republic sought to secure from European powers the immunity formerly provided by the Mother Country. France and the Netherlands promised coöperation in this matter but did not guarantee to protect American commerce as fully as had England prior to the Revolution. From the English government, however, the American commissioners at Paris could obtain no concessions or promises of aid. Confronted with this situation, plus the demands of the Emperor of Morocco that an American envoy be sent to negotiate with him, the Confederation Congress, in 1784, adopted the policy of supplementing friendly European intervention with treaties formed directly with the Barbary States. p36 It appropriated eighty thousand dollars for that purpose, and, in 1785, authorized Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson to make use of agents in treating with the piratical powers. (2) These steps were followed by the mission of Barclay, which, so far as relations with Morocco were concerned, left little to be desired. It also revealed a friendly attitude on the part of Spain; it gave greater freedom to American commerce in the Atlantic; and, finally, it procured from the Emperor a promise to use his influence in establishing amicable relations between the United States and the other powers of northern Africa. But its significance can very easily be overestimated. The treaty did not in itself open the Mediterranean to American commerce; nor, as will later be shown, did Spain or Morocco subsequently assist in attaining that goal.
1 Rev. Dipl. Corr. U. S. (ed. Wharton), II, 230, Committee of Secret Correspondence to Franklin, Deane and A. Lee, Dec. 21, 1776.
2 Secret Journals of Congress, II, 10. Sept. 17, 1776.
4 Rev. Dipl. Corr. U. S., II, 698, Franklin, Lee, and Adams to Vergennes, Aug. 28, 1778.
5 Ibid., II, 731, Sartine to Vergennes, Sept. 21, 1778.
6 Ibid., pp746, 747, Vergennes to Commissioners at Paris, Sept. 27, 1778.
7 Ibid., pp752, 753, Franklin, Lee, and Adams to Vergennes, Oct. 1, 1778.
8 Ibid., III, 61, 62, Proceedings relative to Barbary, Feb. 24, 1779.
9 Treaties and Conventions (comp. Malloy), II, 1240.
10 Rev. Dipl. Corr. U. S., VI, 471.
11 Ibid., 517, Adams to Livingston, July 7, 1783. Two days later Adams wrote to Livingston that "the liberal sentiments in England respecting trade are all but lost for the present, and we can get no answer to anything": Ibid., VI, 529.
12 Ibid., 545, Adams to Livingston, July 15, 1783. "I think it is evident," wrote Adams, "that his [Hartley's] principals, the coalition, do not intend to make any agreement with us about trade, but to try experiments by their proclamations. I think too, that they mean to postpone the definitive treaty as long as possible. We can get no answer, and I believe Mr. Hartley gets no decisive answers to anything."
13 Ibid., pp638, 639, Laurens to commissioners at Paris, Aug. 9, 1783. Laurens reported Fox as saying at the first conference, "as to a definitive treaty, I cannot see any necessity for one, or not immediately. The provisional articles are to be inserted, and to constitute a treaty; a ratification of those, I apprehend, will answer all the purposes of a definite treaty; they may be made definitive."
At a second conference the matter was again discussed, but Fox concluded with the statement, "as to the definite treaty, there may be, as you observed, new articles necessary for mutual advantage, and we may either add such to the provisional articles, and make the whole definitive, or make a new treaty; but I understand it is expected this should be done under the eye of, or in concert with, the court of France, which, for my own part, I do not like, and cannot consent to."
14 Ibid., p646, Adams to Livingston, Aug. 13, 1783.
15 Ibid., p651, Adams to E. Gerry, Aug. 15, 1783.
16 Ibid., p688, Adams, Franklin, and Jay to Pres. of Congress, Sept. 10, 1783.
17 Sheffield, Observations on the Commence of the Am. States, p115.
18 Rev. Dipl. Corr. U. S., VI, 357, Salva to Franklin, April 1, 1783.
19 Ibid., IV, 172.
20 Ibid., Caille resided in Salé.
21 Ibid., IV, 164, S. Huntington, Pres. of Cong., to Franklin, Nov. 28.
22 Secret Journals of Congress, III, 543, 544 (Dec. 1780).
24 Ibid., VI, 734, G. Crocco to Franklin, Nov. 25, 1783.
25 From Cadiz.
26 Ibid., VI, 734; U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 14, 15, G. F. Crocco to Franklin, Nov. 25, 1783.
27 U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, Franklin to Pres. of Cong. Sept. 13, 1783; Ibid., II, Franklin to Crocco, Dec. 15, 1783.
28 Secret Journals of Congress, III, 451, 452. On March 16, 1784, Congress resolved "to inquire on what grounds Mr. Montgomery had undertaken to write in the name of the United States to the Emperor of Morocco a letter, by which their character and interest may be so materially affected. . . ."
29 Rev. Dipl. Corr. U. S., VI, 804; U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 214‑16.
30 Secret Journals of Congress, III, 499.
33 U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 379, Louis Goublat to Wm. Carmichael, June 25, 1785. The "Betsey" arrived at Cadiz July 18, 1785.
34 S. G. Coe, Mission of William Carmichael to Spain, p61. The only thanks immediately extended to the Spanish government for these services were given by Carmichael and Jefferson. Congress did not express appreciation to Spain for the latter's services in the Moroccan negotiations until after a treaty had been formed, in 1786, with Morocco.
35 U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 239 ff.; II, 422; II, 308.
36 Ibid., II, 239 ff., Report of Commissioners to Congress, Nov. 11, 1784.
37 Ibid., II, 153, 154, Adams to Jay, Dec. 15, 1784; II, 286‑288; Adams to other commissioners, Mar. 20, 1785; II, 308, Commissioners to Cong., May 11, 1785.
38 Ibid., pp288 ff., Adams to other commissioners, March 20, 1785.
39 Ibid., II, 295, M. Marshall de Castries to Vergennes, April 24, 1785.
41 Ibid., II, 421, 422.
42 Jefferson Papers, XIV, Jefferson to Adams, Sept. 4, 1785.
43 Barclay's commission was granted Oct. 5. Franklin had returned to the United States.
44 Jefferson Papers, XIV, Jefferson to Adams, Sept. 4, 1785; Ibid., XV, Adams to Jefferson, Oct. 2, 1785.
45 U. S. Dipl. Corr., II, 496, Jefferson to Jay, Jan. 22, 1786. Barclay was detained in effecting a settlement of the accounts of M. de Beaumarchais.
46 Ibid., pp425‑27, Adams and Jefferson to Vergennes, Oct., 1785.
47 Ibid., I, 327, M. Marshall de Castries to M. de la Foret, Jan. 22, 1786.
48 S. B. Coe, op. cit., p66.
49 U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 173, 174, Barclay to Adams and Jefferson, Nov. 15, 1786; III, 25, 26, Barclay to Jefferson, Mar. 23, 1786; III, 120, Wm. Carmichael to Jefferson, July 15, 1786.
50 The Emperor, Sidi Mohamet, was at that time sixty‑six years old and had been the ruler of Morocco about twenty-eight years. He was described by Vergennes and an English agent in Morocco as very avaricious but Hartley described him as being fond of accumulating and distributing wealth. His rule was of an absolute character but seems to have been greatly tempered by sentiments of justice. On the whole, he appears to have ruled more mildly than the neighboring Barbary potentates.
U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 204, 205, Barclay to Jefferson and Adams, Sept. 13, 1786; V, 393, W. S. Smith to Jay, Dec. 6, 1785; Letters from Barbary, pp25, 52‑54.
51 U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 206‑13, Barclay to Adams and Jefferson, Sept. 18, 1786.
52 Treaties and Conventions (comp. Malloy), I, 1206‑11. The treaty was concluded in January, 1787; ratified by Congress, July 18, 1787.
53 U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 210, Barclay to Adams and Jefferson, Sept. 18, 1786.
54 Ibid., p253, Adams to Jay, May 23, 1787.
55 Ibid., pp168, 169, Adams to Jay, Jan. 27, 1787.
56 Ibid., I, 449, Lafayette to Jay, Feb. 7, 1787.
57 Jefferson Papers, XXIII, Jefferson to Benj. Hawkins, Aug. 13, 1786.
58 Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 367, 368.
59 U. S. Dipl. Corr., V, 182, 183, Barclay to Adams and Jefferson, Nov. 10, 1786. Apropos of trade Barclay wrote: "It will appear that few of the articles produced in Morocco are wanted in our ports of America, nor could anything manufactured here find a sale there, except a little Morocco leather . . . Still this country holds out objects to the Americans . . . The Moors are not their own carriers, nor are there any trading vessels under the colors of the Emperor."
60 Jefferson Papers, XXIV, Sept. 18, 1786. The providing of the letters was delayed; consequently on July 23, 1787, Congress requested the Emperor to aid the United States in forming treaties with the other Barbary powers. The request ran in part as follows: "Should your Majesty's mediation be the means of putting the United States at peace with their only remaining enemies, it would be an event so glorious and memorable, that your Majesty's reign would thence derive additional lustre, and your name not only become more and more dear to our citizens, but more and more celebrated in our histories." — Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 365, 366.
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