On this date in 1797, President John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which had been unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate on June 7. It secured commercial shipping rights and protected American ships in the Mediterranean Sea from Barbary pirates. The area encompassed what later became the nation of Libya. Joel Barlow negotiated and translated the document for the U.S.
"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 tranquility, 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.”
—Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli
Compiled by Bill Dunn
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