The Barbary Treaties 1786-1816
Algeria 1816 : English Translation of the Turkish

The Turkish translation or summary which is written in the original treaty and which is reproduced above, has been examined by Dr. J. H. Kramers, of Leiden, in collaboration with Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje. The English translation of the Turkish made by Doctor Kramers, with his notes thereon, is printed below, following this general comment of Doctor Kramers on the Turkish:

The Turkish text accompanying this treaty is written in a very barbaric Turkish, full of orthographical and grammatical faults.

The contents are in most instances a mere compendium of the English text, but contain some clauses that are not found in the English. Therefore it has seemed necessary to give a new English translation of the Turkish text.


The reason for the drawing up of this beneficent treaty and the motive for the writing of this convention of good omen, is that in the beginning of the month of Safar of this year 1232, and on the 22d of the (Christian month, the President and ruler of the American people, living in the island called America, belonging to the islands of the ocean, has now taken steps and opened negotiations for the conclusion of a new treaty of peace with the garrison of Algiers, the frontier post of the Holy War. For this purpose have been designated Commander Isaac Chauncey and Consul William Shaler. By the Consul, acting as delegate of the said Commander,(1) the following articles and stipulations have been drawn up In the exalted presence of His Excellency, the strong Vizier and the noble Marshal, Omar Pasha-may God grant to him what he desires-as President of the Divan, and with the assistance of all its members, and it has been agreed that the mutual friendship shall be strengthened; the yearly tribute, which was formerly taken from the said people, has been abolished, and, in the same way as peace has been concluded with the French and the English, the treaty has been established with the said Americans.

The 22d of the (Christian month of December, 1816. The 3d Safar, 1232.

[Tughra(2) of OMAR PASHA, Dey and Governor of Algiers]

[Seal of OMAR PASHA]


This article states that there shall be, between our friend the American ruler and ourselves, a renewal of friendship and cordial and sincere relations, and that a treaty has been concluded, according to the present articles, in the same way as with the English and the French. All honors that are granted to other nations shall also be granted to the Americans.

Written 3 Safar, 1232.


It has been agreed between the said Americans and ourselves that there shall not be required from them, as formerly, a yearly tribute, revenues, and necessaries.


It has been agreed before with the said people that they shall bring back our prisoners, ships, bilander, and soldiers, and that they shall receive back their prisoners and properties that are in Algiers. This agreement has now come to an end and accordingly been canceled, and the claim to ships has been abandoned.


The cotton, the men, and the equivalent of the prizes belonging to the said people, have been completely delivered by His Excellency the Pasha, the Governor of Algiers, to the said people.


If the war vessels of Algiers take an enemy ship as a prize, and they find in the ship an American merchant in possession of a passport, he shall not be a prize.(3) Equally, if Algerians are found on an enemy ship taken by the Americans, the latter shall not take them as prize with their goods and lives.


If the Americans charter an enemy ship, belonging to the enemies of Algiers, for the transport of goods, and if the Algerian war vessels take this ship as a prize and bring it to Algiers, they shall restore the American properties to the Americans and take the ship as a prize, and nobody shall object to this.


If it is necessary for Algerian vessels of war to visit on the open sea an American ship, they shall send a boat with no more than two persons; they shall not molest the said people, and this article shall be obeyed.


If the Americans have bought from other persons a ship, and they meet with Algerian war ships on their way home, the latter shall not seize the ship bought by the said people, under pretext that there is no passport. The statement of their Consul or the bill of sale of the vessel shall be as valuable as a passport during a period of six months.


It is understood that if an American ship, either a merchant vessel or a vessel of war, meets with a disaster at sea and arrives at one of the Algerian Torts, where her cargo is discharged and she is repaired, nobody shall oppose the said people in the buying or selling of what they want, and that the Algerian vessels shall be treated in the same way in their country.


If an American vessel meets with an accident at a place under the rule of Algiers, their goods shall not be plundered and shall be restored to the said people. It shall be the same way with our Algerian ships.


If there are enemies of the Americans in the Algerian ports, those shall not be allowed to lay hands on the American ships within cannon shot. The Algerians shall allow the departure of ships which are enemies of each other only within twenty-four hours after each other.


If the American Consul residing at Algiers wishes to appoint vice consuls in the other ports of Algiers, he may appoint them in the same way as other nations.


If an American comes to Algiers and takes a loan of money from other persons with permission of the Consul, it is right. If this takes place without the Consul's permission, the Consul shall not be responsible for that money.


If an American war vessel enters our port, her salute must be returned. If a prisoner takes refuge in an American vessel of war, they are not bound to deliver him and he is free.


The American Consul can exercise, within the house where he lives, his unbelief, according to its abominable precepts. Whenever the Consul wishes to go on board his ships, nobody may oppose him, either by land or by sea. If the Consul wishes to have his own dragoman or his own broker, he may do so.


If hereafter there should arise trouble with the Americans, a delay of three months shall be given to the said people. Three months afterwards there shall be war and they will be prisoners.


If, in case of war with the Americans, they are taken prisoners, the guards may not treat them with heavy blows and keep them as slaves.(4) If Algerian prisoners should arrive in their country, they shall be exchanged; a delay of a year shall be given.


If enemies of the Americans bring to Algiers American prizes and they wish to sell them, this shall not be allowed; if, however, the American unbelievers bring prizes, they may sell them.


If there is a suit at law between an Algerian and an American, they shall go to the Consul, who shall settle their dispute. And if a very serious dispute arises between an American and an Algerian so that it causes criminal acts, it shall be judged in the presence of our lord the Pasha.


If there occurs, between an American and an Algerian, a fight in which someone is killed or wounded, the law(5) shall be applied and the guilty person shall be punished. If the guilty person escapes, the Consul shall not be involved in the matter.


If there arrive by sea, for the American Consul, eatables or drinkables, and these come into the port, customs or other duties shall not be taken.


If an American unbeliever dies at Algiers, the Consul shall take all his properties, the Consul being their public treasury.(6)


If the enemies of the Americans take an American prize and bring it to Algiers in order to sell it, they may do so. Equally, if the Americans bring a prize, nobody shall oppose its sale.

The 3d Safar, 1232.

[Seal of OMAR PASHA]


(1) Here the Turkish is not clear. Back

(2) Name sign. Back

(3) This is the literal translation. Back

(4) Here the Turkish has the same word for "slaves" as previously for "prisoners." Back

(5) Here the Turkish has the word "Shari'at," which means the sacred Mohammedan law. Back

(6) For "public treasury" the Turkish has "bait al-mal," which is a term proper to Mohammedan law. Back

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 2
Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.