The Barbary Treaties 1786-1816
Morocco - Treaty of Peace; September 16, 1836

Art 1 Art 2 Art 3 Art 4 Art 5 Art 6 Art 7 Art 8 Art 9 Art 10
Art 11 Art 12 Art 13 Art 14 Art 15 Art 16 Art 17 Art 18 Art 19 Art 20
Art 21 Art 22 Art 23 Art 24 Art 25

Treaty of Peace, signed at Meccanez (Meknes or Meqqbinez) September 16, 1836 (3 Jumada II, A.H. :1252). Original in Arabic.

A document including a copy of the treaty in Arabic and an English translation, followed by a clause of conclusion under the seal of the United States consulate at Tangier, was signed by James R. Leib, consul and agent of the United States, on October 1, 1836.

Submitted to the Senate December 26, 1836. (Message of December 20, 1836.) Resolution of advice and consent January 17, 1837. Ratified by the United States January 28, 1837. As to the rati~cation generally, see the notes. Proclaimed January So, 1837.

The following twenty-six pages of Arabic text are a reproduction of the pages of the original treaty; but they are arranged in left-to-right order of pagination.(1) Then, from the above-mentioned document signed by James R. Leib on October 1, 1836, is printed the English translation, with the clause of conclusion reserving the treaty for the ratification of the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


In the name of God, the merciful and Clement!

(Abd Errahman Ibenu Kesham whom God exalt!)

Praise be to God!

This is the copy of the Treaty of peace which we have made with the Americans; and written in this book; affixing thereto our blessed Seal, that, with the help of God, it may remain firm for ever.

Written at Meccanez, the City of Olives, on the 30 day of the month Jumad el lahhar, in the year of the Hegira 1252. (corresponding to Sept. 16. A.D. 1836.)

ART. 1.

We declare that both Parties have agreed that this Treaty, consisting of Twenty five Articles, shall be inserted in this Book, and delivered to James R. Leib, Agent of the United States, and now their Resident Consul at Tangier, with whose approbation it has been made, and who is duly authorized on their part, to treat with us, concerning all the matters contained therein.

ART. 2.

If either of the parties shall be at war with any nation whatever, the other shall not take a commission from the enemy, nor fight under their colors.

ART. 3.

If either of the parties shall be at war with any nation whatever, and take a prize belonging to that nation, and there shall be found on board subjects or effects belonging to either of the parties, the subjects shall be set at Liberty, and the effects returned to the owners. And if any goods, belonging to any nation, with whom either of the parties shall be at war, shall be loaded on vessels belonging to the other party, they shall pass free and unmolested, without any attempt being made to take or detain them.

ART. 4.

A signal, or pass, shall be given to all vessels belonging to both parties, by which they are to be known when they meet at sea: and if the Commander of a ship of war of either party shall have other ships under his convoy, the declaration of the Commander shall alone be sufficient to exempt any of them from examination.

ART. 5.

If either of the parties shall be at war, and shall meet a vessel at sea belonging to the other, it is agreed, that if an examination is to be made, it shall be done by sending a boat with two or three men only: and if any gun shall be fired, and injury done, without reason, the offending party shall make good all damages.

ART. 6.

If any Moor shall bring citizens of the United States, or their effects, to his Majesty, the citizens shall immediately be set at liberty, and the effects restored: and, in like manner, if any Moor, not a subject of these dominions, shall make prize of any of the citizens of America or their effects, and bring them into any of the ports of his Majesty, they shall be immediately released, as they will then be considered as under his Majesty's protection.

ART. 7

If any vessel of either party, shall put into a port of the other, and have occasion for provisions or other suplies, they shall be furnished without any interruption or molestation.

ART. 8.

If any vessel of the United States, shall meet with a disaster at sea, and put into one of our ports to repair, she shall be at Liberty to land and reload her cargo, without paying any duty whatever.

ART. 9.

If any vessel of the United States, shall be cast on shore on any part of our coasts, she shall remain at the disposition of the owners, and no one shall attempt going near her without their approbation, as she is then considered particularly under our protection; and if any vessel of the United States shall be forced to put into our ports by stress of weather, or otherwise, she shall not be compelled to land her cargo, but shall remain in tranquility until the commander shall think proper to proceed on his voyage.

ART. 10.

If any vessel of either of the parties shall have an engagement with a vessel belonging to any of the Christian powers, within gun-shot of the forts of the other, the vessel so engaged, shall be defended and protected as much as possible, until she is in safety: and if any American vessel shall be cast on shore, on the coast of Wadnoon, or any coast thereabout, the people belonging to her, shall be protected and assisted, until by the help of God, they shall be sent to their country.

ART. 11.

If we shall be at war with any Christian power, and any of our vessels sails from the ports of the United States, no vessel belonging to the enemy shall follow, until twenty-four hours after the departure of our vessels: and the same regulation shall be observed towards the American vessels sailing from our ports, be their enemies Moors or Christians.

ART. 12.

If any ship of war belonging to the United States, shall put into any of our ports, she shall not be examined on any presence whatever, even though she should have fugitive slaves on board, nor shall the governor or commander of the place compel them to be brought on shore on any pretext, nor require any payment for them.

ART. 13.

If a ship of war of either party shall put into a port of the other, and salute, it shall be returned from the fort with an equal number of guns, not more or less.

ART. 14.

The commerce with the United States, shall be on the same footing as is the commerce with Spain, or as that with the most favored nation for the time being; and their citizens shall be respected and esteemed, and have full liberty to pass and repass our country and sea-ports whenever they please, without interruption.

ART. 15.

Merchants of both countries shall employ only such interpreters, and such other persons to assist them in their business, as they shall think proper. No commander of a vessel shall transport his cargo on board another vessel: he shall not be detained in port longer than he may think proper; and all persons employed in loading or unloading or in any other labor whatever, shall be paid at the customary rates, not more and not less.

ART. 16.

In case of a war between the parties, the prisoners are not to be made slaves, but to be exchanged one for another. Captain for Captain, Officer for Officer, and one private man for another; and if there shall prove a deficiency, on either side, it shall be made up by the payment of one hundred Mexican dollars for each person wanting. And it is agreed, that all prisoners shall be exchanged in twelve months from the time of their being taken, and that this exchange may be effected by a merchant, or any other person, authorized by either of the parties.

ART. 17.

Merchants shall not be compelled to buy or sell any kind of goods but such as they shall think proper: and nary buy and sell all sorts of merchandise but such as are prohibited to the other Christian nations.

ART. 18.

All goods shall be weighed and examined before they are sent on board; and to avoid all detention of vessels, no examination shall afterwards be made, unless it shall first be proved that contraband goods have been sent on board; in which case, the persons who took the contraband goods on board, shall be punished according to the usage and custom of the country, and no other person whatever shall be injured, nor shall the ship or cargo incur any penalty or damage whatever.

ART. 19.

No vessel shall be detained in port on any presence whatever, nor be obliged to take on board any article without the consent of the Commander, who shall be at full liberty to agree for the freight of any goods he takes on board.

ART. 20.

If any of the citizens of the United States, or any persons under their protection, shall have any dispute with each other, the Consul shall decide between the parties; and whenever the Consul shall require any aid, or assistance from our government, to enforce his decisions, it shall be immediately granted to him.

ART. 21.

If a citizen of the United States should kill or wound a Moor, or, on the contrary, if a Moor shall kill or wound a citizen of the United States, the law of the Country shall take place, and equal justice shall be rendered, the Consul assisting at the trial; and if any delinquent shall make his escape, the Consul shall not be answerable for him in any manner whatever.

ART. 22.

If an American citizen shall die in our country, and no will shall appear, the Consul shall take possession of his effects; and if there shall be no Consul, the effects shall be deposited in the hands of some person worthy of trust, until the party shall/appear who has a right to demand them; but if the heir to the person deceased be present, the property shall be delivered to him without interruption; and if a will shall appear the property shall descend agreeably to that will, as soon as the Consul shall declare the validity thereof.

ART. 23.

The Consul of the United States of America, shall reside in any seaport of our dominions that they shall think proper: and they shall be respected, and enjoy all the priviliges which the Consuls of any other Nation enjoy: and if any of the citizens of the United States shall contract any debts or engagements, the Consul shall not be in any manner accountable for them, unless he shall have given a promise in writing for the payment or fulfilling thereof; without which promise in writing, no application to him for any redress shall be made.

ART. 24.

If any differences shall arise by either party infringing on any of the Articles of this treaty, peace and harmony shall remain notwithstanding, in the fullest force, until a friendly application shall be made for an arrangement; and until that application shall be rejected, no appeal shall be made to arms. And if a war shall break out between the parties, nine months shall be granted to all the subjects of both parties, to dispose of their effects and retire with their property. And it is further declared, that whatever indulgence, in trade or otherwise, shall be granted to any of the Christian powers, the citizens of the United States shall be equally entitled to them.

ART. 25.

This Treaty shall continue in force, with the help of God, for fifty years; after the expiration of which term, the Treaty shall continue to be binding on both parties, until the one shall give twelve months notice to the other of an intention to abandon it; in which case, its operations shall cease at the end of the twelve months.


For The Empire of Morocco.



Whereas the undersigned, James R. Leib, a Citizen of the United States of North America, and now their Resident Consul at Tangier, having been duly appointed Commissioner, by letters patent, under the signature of the President and Seal of the United States of North America, bearing date, at the City of Washington, the Fourth day of July A.D. 1835, for negotiating and concluding a Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of North America and the Empire of Morocco; I, therefore, James R. Leib, Commissioner as aforesaid, do conclude the foregoing Treaty and every Article and clause therein contained; reserving the same, nevertheless, for the final ratification of the President of the United States of North America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto affixed my signature, and the Seal of this Consulate, on the First day of October, in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and Thirty sin, and of the Independence of the United States the Sixty First.


(1) The Arabic Text has not been reproduced by the Avalon Project. Back.

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 4
Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.