Tripoli Treaty

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First Amendment Advocate, Special Issue   January 2006

The Newsletter of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United


The Original Intent of the First Amendment

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary

This treaty, written by American diplomat Joel Barlow , came to the floor of the United States Senate on June 7, 1797.  

It was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved.  President John Adams signed it.

Annals of Congress, 5th Congress

 Article 1.  There is a firm and perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary, made by the free consent of both parties, and guarantied by the most potent Dey and Regency of Algiers.

. . .


Art. 11.  As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.


Signed and sealed at Tripoli of Barbary the 3d day of Junad in the year of the Hegira 1211— corresponding with the 4th day of November, 1796, By JUSSOF BASHAW MAHOMET, Bey. MAMET, Treasurer. AMET, Minister of Marine. SOLIMAN KAYA.GALIL, General of the Troops. MAHOMET, Commander of the City. AMET, Chamberlain. ALLY, Chief of the Divan. MAMET, Secretary.


Signed and sealed at Algiers, the 4th day of Argill, 1211—corresponding with the 3d day ofJanuary, 1797, by HASSAN BASHAW, Dey, And by the agent Plenipotentiary of the United States of America,  JOEL BARLOW.


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