The Treaty of Tripoli, 1796 - 97

In this Law Commentary:

(1) The false modern Treaty of Tripoli, a complete forgery

INTRO:In this Law Commentary we seek set the record straight about the paragraph quoted from Article 11 - assumeded - of the Treaty of Tripoli ratified by Congress on June 10, 1797during President John Adams’ administration. If there is one thing about the Treaty of Tripoli which anti-Christians cannot escape, it is the fact that no matter how you cut it, the supposed “non Christian section” (Article 11) of that treaty cannot be validated.

Wanting to disprove America’s Christian heritage, the Treaty of Tripoli cannot logically or historically be referenced as any “evidence” against the USA as a Christian nation whatsoever. The current modern Treaty of Tripoli so prevalent on the internet and many books and booklets, is totally fraud, a deliberate document of deceit, absolutely false, a complete forgery, and any site using this forged document is one of the two kinds of persons:

[A] Ignorant of the truth, gullible in accepting ‘hearsay’ in place of evidence, neither deeply studied nor thorough, and definitely not to be trusted in any matter requiring thorough research, as the fraud of this treaty is well documented and easy to discover in American official documents and archives;


[B] Completely fraudulent, willfully criminal, knowingly bearing false witness against the truth, dastardly deceitful; and completely without scruples, without integrity, uncaring for truth in history or life, putting personal agenda ahead of truth and verity, not to be trusted in any facet of life; dangerous and criminal at the core;.

To the contrary of disproving a Christian America, for a future US Congress - eight years later - to go back and clarify that ‘Article 11’ was neither part of the treaty they approved, nor that President Adams signed, is tremendous evidence that they wanted to make sure posterity knew they never approved the forged document;

Furthermore, that one of only few presidents to ever be accused of atheism in a Presidential campaign - President Thomas Jefferson (holding “unusual Christian beliefs by any account”) that he led this effort to correct the forged document that made it “seem” the USA was not founded upon Christianity, is all the more compelling when carefully considered.

For all atheists and those who want to prove a secular America, the full story of the Treaty of Tripoli would be a great incident in American history to avoid completely, as it proves the opposite: that the very founders who put this nation together, from the ‘writers and signers’ of the following documents:

[a] Articles of Association in October 20, 1774,

[b] The Declaration of Independence of July 2, 1776,

[c] The Articles of Confederation” signed in ratified by in 1799-81,

[d] The Treaty of Peace at Paris: signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, ratified by the Congress of the Confederation on January 14, 1784 and by the King of Great Britain on April 9, 1784, with the ratification documents then exchanged in Paris on May 12, 1784; [there had actually been a preliminary signing of The Treaty of Paris, 30 November 1782].

(USA signatories: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, also negotiating Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin.)

[e] The Constitution of 1787: signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, ratified by


Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe, all worked to correct the “forged and fraudulent” Treaty of Tripoli floating in the Arabic world at that time.

Nevertheless, because this topic arises so often among people who have never actuallystudied the subject matter in the first place, an expose’ of the facts surrounding that treatyis long overdue. Let the record speak for itself.

As the circumstances were back then, in an effort to combat Muslim piracy in theMediterranean Sea, in 1797 the U.S. ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship betweenthe United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary - otherwiseknow as “the Treaty of Tripoli”.

The section in question, Article 11 of that treaty reads as follows:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on theChristian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion ortranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or actof hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretextarising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmonyexisting between the two countries.” [Note: “Musselmen” means Muslim ]

(source): Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America , Hunter Miller, Documents 1-40 :1776-1818 Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931. – Treaty of Tripoli

Apparently, those who quote the Treaty of Tripoli to “prove” early America wasn’tChristian by law, have only read some online blog which has clipped or cropped theeagerly touted ‘Article 11’ from a copy of the treaty, and then without any further study ofthe matter, point to it as their “trump evidence” to support their claims that earlyAmerica was secular in nature.

‘Religious zeal and both personal and national interests impelled Englishmen to compete with Spain and Portugal for a share in the exploration and development of the New World.’

It behooves the serious student of law - whatever one’s personal preferences or beliefs for the sake of accuracy and understanding of US heritage in law, not to be in total denial of all the preceding several centuries of monumental Christian Law clearly written into the multitudinous organic documents upon which America was established as follows:

> In 1562 French naval officer Jean Ribault led an expedition to the New World that eventually founded Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida, as a haven for Huguenots. He and many of his followers were killed by Spanish soldiers near St. Augustine in 1565.

> Charter Document for Gilbert at the colony at St Johns Newfoundland, On June 11, 1578, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained from Queen Elizabeth a charter to discover and colonize "remote heathen and barbarous lands" not actually possessed by any Christian prince.

> Charter Document for Raleigh the colony at Roanoke, 1584

> Charter Document for William Smith for the colony at Jamestown, 1607

> Charter Document for Puritans for the colony at Plymouth, 1619

> The Mayflower Compact - Constitution - by the Puritans for the colony at Plymouth 1620

> Massachusetts Bay Papers

> The Constitutions of the 13 Colonies and their updates

> First, Second and Third Continental Congresses

> Articles of Association in October 20, 1774,

> The Declaration of Independence of July 2, 1776,

> The Articles of Confederation” signed in ratified by in 1799-81,

> The Treaty of Peace at Paris: signed in Paris on September 3, 1783,

the Treaty of Tripoli is the humanist’s best isolated shot at trying to present an argument that America was not builtupon Christianity.


Short version of explaining the misunderstanding about the “Treaty of Tripoli”

1) There is no original Treaty of Tripoli in existence anywhere and there hasn’t beenfor well over 200 years.

2) The U.S. ratified Treaty of Tripoli cited today as “the original” was an Englishversion copy of an Arabic version copy of the Arabic original (now missing).

3) There is NO Article 11 in the Arabic version of that treaty, experts now agree thatArticle 11 was spuriously inserted into the English copy, and most probably bythe America diplomat Joel Barlow, who helped negotiate the treaty and who washimself a skeptic of Christianity.

4) When the tampered English translation version was presented to Congress forratification in 1797, in spite of Article 11 inserted and included, they had to passthe treaty anyway out of political expedience and immediate urgency to quicklystop the carnage of militant pirate attacks upon American merchant ships in theMediterranean Sea. Because of the situation at hand, there would be no time tore-draft such a treaty and run it through the diplomatic channels again.

5) Eight years later when America gained a military upper hand on the situation, thisTreaty was renegotiated in 1805-6, and the “non-Christian” Article 11 phrase wasconspicuously removed and absent!

6) Those who attempt to use the Treaty of Tripoli as so called evidence proposingthat this nation was not founded on the Christian religion, typically ignore theTreaty of Paris of 1783, which formally ended the Revolutionary War.

ThisTreaty, negotiated by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams among others, is truly afoundational document for America, because by this treaty Britain recognizedthe independence of the United States as a nation. The Treaty of Paris of 1783begins with the words, "In the Name of the most holy and undivided Trinity... Ithaving pleased the Divine Providence” *

No qualified historian or explanatory references of any Congressional records have ever questioned, in the least, the validity of those revealing words of that treaty, as they do concerning the falsifiedArticle 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli. *(Treaty of Paris, 1783; International Treatiesand Related Records, 1778-1974; General records of the United StatesGovernment, Record group 11; National Archives)

7) The Treaty of Tripoli argument used against Christian America on the part ofsecular humanists (their “strongest” isolated claim that America was notestablished upon Christianity) is one based on a shallow examination of a thedocument. Its claimed “non-Christian part” is readily admitted by non biasedexperts to have either been fraudulent or some entry that is unaccounted for. Byany standard, the argument lacks credibility due to its obviously spurious nature.


Long version of explaining the misunderstanding about the “Treaty of Tripoli 1797”Anyone wanting to read the full text of the treaty can do so at this Yale Law Web. Site

[Tripoli Document]

Article 11 Treaty of Tripoli 1797:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on theChristian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion ortranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or actof hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretextarising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmonyexisting between the two countries.”

The entire crux of the matter surrounding the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 rests on theevents of that time and place, when the Muslim Barbary Coast Pirates from the Northernshores of Africa were raiding sailing ships in the Mediterranean Sea, stealing the cargoand capturing the crews. In order to stop the effects of the trade devastation uponAmerican ships,

America was forced into the diplomatic reality that a treaty, for themoment, was imperative to negotiate between the Barbary nations and the USA.When the negotiations were completed at Tripoli by Capt. Richard O'Brien, the treatywas taken to Algiers for the signature and seal of the Dey of Algiers. Subsequently, thevarious signatures and certificates of Joel Barlow, American Consul General at Algiers,were added and became part of the official document.

Joel Barlow was a knownChristian critic, and it was Barlow who translated the original treaty from Arabic intoEnglish, which is the version that President John Adams and the US Congress ratified.

It is no surprise then, from the definitive study on the Treaty of Tripoli in the HunterMiller Notes, Government Printing Office 1931 under “NOTE REGARDING THEBARLOW TRANSLATION”, that we read:

“As even a casual examination of the annotated translation of 1930 shows, the Barlowtranslation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of theArabic; and even as such its defects throughout are obvious and glaring. Mostextraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlowtranslation, with its famous phrase, "the government of the United States of America isnot in any sense founded on the Christian Religion," does not exist at all.

There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crudeand flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha ofTripoli.

How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlowtranslation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly mustremain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any lightwhatever on the point.”


It’s interesting to see that the controversial “Article 11” was in some form of ascribbled letter.

If Barlow didn’t outright insert it himself, a likely explanation is that theDey of Algiers wrote this note on the Treaty face to alleviate any worry of the Pasha ofTripoli about entering into a Treaty with an “infidel” (non-Islamic) nation like the UnitedStates.

The translator assumed this was part of the Treaty and translated it along with therest of the document. More than likely the clauses of the original document (missingforever) were not numbered, so the translator would have numbered this as Clause 11between Clauses 10 and 12, as he progressed in trying to organize it.

Concerning the true original text of the Treaty, it is documented that none now exists:“--- (T)he first source of the texts of those collections was clearly a now missing copy, asis shown by the fact that they include a certification of the text as a copy –“ The 1930Annotation in 2ND Part Treaty with Tripoli 1796 : Hunter Miller's Notes , U.S. Govt.Printing Office

So the truth is that the original treaty was written in Arabic and presented to the BarbaryMuslim nations in that manner, yet the Arabic treaty has no strange Article 11 in itsdocument. Yet by the time Barlow got the translated English version to America itcontained the “non-Christian” text of Article 11. However, admittedly it was indeed thisEnglish version of the treaty, containing the phrase about America not being a Christiannation, that was fully read by Congress and signed by President John Adams. It is thisratification upon which the antichrists today hang their argument that the Treaty “de-Christianized America” by law. President Adams’ own official record of the matter readsas follows:“Now be it known, That I John Adams, President of the United States of America,having seen and considered the said Treaty do, by and with the advice consent of theSenate, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof. And tothe End that the said Treaty may be observed and performed with good Faith on the partof the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do herebyenjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States,and all others citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfil the saidTreaty and every clause and article thereof.” (Dept. of State File, Treaty of Tripoli 1797,instrument of ratification )That is, the Congress ratified a treaty that contained an obscure sentence that theAmerican government was not Christian. But what is even more bizarre about thissigning of the Treaty ( with the English version Art. 11 therein) by President Adams, isthat Adams also said this:“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the onlyPrinciples in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite….And whatwere these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in whichall these Sects were United… I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that thosegeneral principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and5

attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as humannature.” (– John Adams, Works, Vol. X, pp. 45-46, to Thomas Jefferson on June 28,1813.)In addition to these statements by President Adams, which semingly contradicts hissigning of the treaty, we see that the Spanish delegation which certified the signatures ofthe Treaty, recognized the Treaty as an agreement between Muslim and Christian nations,for the Spanish notes concerning the Barbary Treaties with nations reads:“We Don Gerardo Joseph de Souza Knight of the order of Christ, Consul General andCharge des Affaires of his Catholic Majesty in this City and Kingdom of Tripoli ofBarbary.Certify That the foregoing signatures and seals are those of the persons who sign alltreaties of peace which are concluded with Christian Nations. They areJussuf Bashaw Mahomet BeyMamet TreasurerAmet Minister of MarineAmet ChamberlainAlly Chief of the DivanSoliman KayaGalil General of the TroopsMohamet Com'.of the CityMamet SecyIn faith of which I sign these presents with my own hand. Sealed with the royal seal ofthis Consulate of Spain, in Tripoli of Barbary on the 4th of November 1796 (L. S.) signedGERARDO JOSEPH DE SOUZA “Thus far, what history records is that there was no “non- Christian America” Article 11in the original Arabic Treaty document which those Barbary nations ratified. Yet theBarlow English version passed by our Congress DID have that strange Article in it.(Why Congress would pass it will be explained shortly.) In any event, what is importantAT LAW when it comes to treaties, agreements, or contracts (as every first year lawstudent knows) is that if there is not a “meeting of minds” that has taken place, then theagreement/treaty between parties is void Ab Initio. Since the Barbary nations and theUSA did not ratify the exact same treaty text, or at least the Article 11 text part of it, bylaw it makes either the entire treaty void or else the Article 11 section void. Proponentsof the Treaty of Tripoli claiming it as a basis for their reasons that America is not aChristian nation don’t want to deal with this particular law issue, nevertheless it is amaxim of Law that cannot be refuted. A treaty, agreement, or contract where no meetingof the minds takes place is no treaty at all, but is voidable upon discovery of the lack ofmutual understanding. There was no Article 11 in the treaty text signed by Muslims atTripoli, which means that even when the US Congress did ratify the treaty, it was adifferent text than the Muslim signers, and no true meeting of the minds took place,especially concerning the understanding of the religions of the nations involved.6

Definition: “A meeting of the minds is a term used in contract law to refer to the mutualunderstanding and agreement on the same terms applicable to a contract. Mutualcomprehension is essential to a valid contract.” ( the matter get any more twisted concerning the dubious Article 11 claim? Whatelse can we expect when somebody picks out a single isolated sentence from amanuscript translated from a foreign language under a conglomerate of internationalcircumstances, without knowing the all inclusive details about the pertinent events, andthen tries to make an opinionated doctrine out of it? --- such as “America’s not aChristian nation because ------- “? No friends, the Treaty of Tripoli Art 11 quote is a veryweak, if not disqualified, attempt to show early America was not Christian by law.The bottom line is that we need to answer the question, “Why would the AmericanCongress ratify a treaty that had a sentence within it that contradicted several hundredyears of Christian law background of the nation itself?” Especially since the thenCongressmen individually and the President himself were Christians? For this we haveto review the dire need of the time and the circumstances influencing a quick passage ofthis particular treaty.Understanding the international issues about the The Barbary Coast and the USAThe historic events surrounding the Treaty of Tripoli did not happen over the span of afew years or even over several decades. The roots of this saga had been growing forcenturies before America won its independence in 1776.From a US Navy historical article we read:“Since the sixteenth century, corsairs from the Muslim states of North Africa hadcontrolled the Mediterranean sea lanes by force. At the time the United States won itsindependence, the states of the Barbary Coast--Tripoli, Algiers, Morocco, and Tunis--hadbeen preying on the world's merchant ships for three hundred years. The Barbary pirates'methods were fairly simple: cruising the Mediterranean in small, fast ships, they boardedmerchant ships, overwhelmed the crew, and took them captive. The crews were held incaptivity until their home countries agreed to pay ransoms for their release. If no ransomwas forthcoming, the crews were sold into slavery. Over time, most countries found itexpedient simply to pay a yearly tribute to the sultans, thereby buying their ships freepassage through the Mediterranean.”“As a part of the British Empire, the ships of the American colonies were protected bythe Royal Navy and by treaties between the Barbary States and England. However, oncethe United States became an independent nation, this protection was gone, and the newU.S. government was quickly forced to make treaties with the sultans of North Africa.”7

“In 1796, the tributes to the sultans were modest; Tripoli's, for example, was $56,000.But the pasha of Tripoli, Yusuf Karamanli, believed he could demand higher tribute andsent a message to the United States demanding a new treaty. The demands arrived inMarch 1801, just after President Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated. Jefferson had longdisagreed with the policy of paying tribute and argued that it would be cheaper to build anavy than give in to the sultans' ever-increasing demands.” The Barbary Wars, 1801-1805; other words, these consortiums of Muslim pirates were so much in control of theMediterranean and were so arrogant in their attacks and demands that the rest of theworld just accepted the policy that it was easier to pay of the Sultans of these piratenations than to engage in a long drawn out war with them. In the early 1790’s period ofAmerica our nation was only in a position to follow suit in paying the ransom or sufferloss of merchant goods, ships, and their crews, along with the passengers being captured.Ambassador Richard Parker , former US ambassador to Algeria, Lebanon, andMorocco, and noted historian on American involvements in Middle East wars, spoke atthe Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University onMarch 28, 2001. Parker is a noted historian on the US and the Barbary States. TheGeorgetown review of Parker’s statements on the subject included:“European powers had contended with the Barbary privateers for centuries, and nearlyall of them were paying tribute to North African rulers to secure the safety of their fleets.In fact, Parker stated, the British and French were actively encouraging the privateers inorder to limit commercial competition by smaller states. Foreign powers also issued slipsof protection for other countries' ships, as well as licenses for raiding ships.”(Middle East Wars: US Involvements from Jefferson to Bush, summary of Parkerspeech by Paul Dyer, page 12, Arab web site “Friends of Morocco” put, the British and French were encouraging the Barbary pirates to raid and/orsink the trade ships of smaller nations, which at that time included America. WithAmerica not yet a world power but trying to compete on the high seas it became anurgent priority for America to make some sort of ransom treaty with these bandits or elsehave their shipping future destroyed before it even began. Herein lays the immediacyand absolute necessity for the reason that America ratified the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797.When the treaty was brought before Congress at that time in the form of the EnglishBarlow version of it, America’s hands in the Mediterranean shipping lanes werecompletely tied, and frustration about it was at a maximum. There was no time tosquabble, nor was Congress, the President, or the navy in any position to worry aboutlesser phrases in the treaty that paled in significance to the pirate raids and the capture ofour ships’ crews. The treaty needed ratified, and any renegotiating of terms by a longdrawn out repeated diplomatic effort was simply not an option. The treaty was ratified byCongress “as is”.8

Next -- what happened in the ensuing years as America grew in power is somethingthat no advocate of the supposed “non-Christian Article 11” will ever mention orpen in a debate concerning this chain of events.The turn of international events is of paramount importance because the “final treaty”message sang a different tune when America gained the upper military hand, with theTreaty of Tripoli being renegotiated 8 years later in 1805-6. In that final treaty version,after several years of time now clearing the hasty channels of communication, the partabout “America not being Christian” was deliberately and thoughtfully dropped from thetreaty text and the treaty then better reflected the course and character of America in theeyes of the world. Here’s how the recorded series of events took place.The Muslim piracy acts of war, then as now, always held a religious connotation andthose wars to them meant a “holy religious war” in every aspect. The Barbary piratesweren’t just after ships -- for centuries they were after Christian ships of Christian nations.From this British BBC maritime source we have:British Slaves on the Barbary CoastBy Professor Rees Davies, published: 2003-01-07 BBC Web Sitewww. (use “search”, enter title)“In the first half of the 1600s, Barbary corsairs - pirates from the Barbary Coast ofNorth Africa, authorized by their governments to attack the shipping of Christiancountries - ranged all around Britain's shores. In their lanteen-rigged xebecs (a type ofship) and oared galleys, they grabbed ships and sailors, and sold the sailors into slavery.Morgan also noted that he had a '...List, printed in London in 1682' of 160 British shipscaptured by Algerians between 1677 and 1680. Considering what the number of sailorswho were taken with each ship was likely to have been, these examples translate into aprobable 7,000 to 9,000 able-bodied British men and women taken into slavery in thoseyears.According to observers of the late 1500s and early 1600s, there were around 35,000European Christian slaves held throughout this time on the Barbary Coast - many inTripoli, Tunis, and various Moroccan towns, but most of all in Algiers. The greatestnumber were sailors, taken with their ships, but a good many were fishermen and coastalvillagers.”“The fishermen and coastal dwellers of 17th-century Britain lived in terror of beingkidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa. Hundreds of thousandsacross Europe met wretched deaths on the Barbary Coast in this way.”9

Things were no different when America came on the scene. The Muslim pirates wereraiding Christian ships for centuries and America was no different, just another Christiannation whose ships were to be plundered and crews to be tortured and made slaves of. In1784, Barbary pirates captured the U.S. schooner Maria and took the crew and passengersto Algeria, where they were paraded through the streets and jeered as "infidels" beforebeing imprisoned. In 1793, Algerian pirates captured the cargo ship Polly, plundered itand imprisoned the 12-man crew. Other American ships had been captured making thenumber of Americans held in Muslim slavery to be over 120 then, with the numbersincreasing monthly. Spain in 1492-3 had expelled the Arabs from their nation whichinfuriated the Muslim nations of North Africa. From then on the Muslim states held a“jihad” (holy war) against Christian Europe, thus the target of the Barbary pirates wereprincipally Christian targets out of Muslim hatred against Christianity. From a lengthybook review for the historic work Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, White Slavery in theMediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500–1800 (MacMillian Pub, 2003) writtenby Professor Robert C. Davis of Ohio State University, we read:( “Some Arab pirates were skilled bluewatersailors, and terrorized Christians 1,000 miles away. One spectacular raid all theway to Iceland in 1627 took nearly 400 captives. We think of Britain as a redoubtable seapower ever since the time of Drake, but throughout the 17th century, Arab piratesoperated freely in British waters, even sailing up the Thames estuary to pick off prizesand raid coastal towns.Once in North Africa, it was tradition to parade newly-captured Christians through thestreets, so people could jeer at them, and children could pelt them with refuse. At theslave market, men were made to jump about to prove they were not lame, and buyersoften wanted them stripped naked again to see if they were healthy. This was also toevaluate the sexual value of both men and women; white concubines had a high value,and all the slave capitals had a flourishing homosexual underground.The pasha or ruler of the area got a certain percentage of the slave take as a form ofincome tax. These were almost always men, and became government rather than privateproperty.Most of these public slaves spent the rest of their lives as galley slaves, and it is hard toimagine a more miserable existence. Men were chained three, four, or five to an oar, withtheir ankles chained together as well. Rowers never left their oars, and to the extent thatthey slept at all, they slept at their benches. Slaves could push past each other to relievethemselves at an opening in the hull, but they were often too exhausted or dispirited tomove, and fouled themselves where they sat. They had no protection against the burningMediterranean sun, and their masters flayed their already-raw backs with the slavedriver’s favorite tool of encouragement, a stretched bull’s penis or “bull’s pizzle.” Therewas practically no hope of escape or rescue; a galley slave’s job was to work himself todeath—mainly in raids to capture more wretches like himself—and his master pitchedhim overboard at the first sign of serious illness.”10

[ Note: Modern Americans tend to whine and complain a lot about personal everyday problems. Perhaps alittle pondering on what our ancestors had to endure will be the ointment that soothes, and will set ourrighteous focus on needed work to make sure the above extreme agony doesn’t happen in this country ]The Barbary pirates viewed America as merely a Christian extension of ChristianBritain. A Christian crew member of the Polly, John Foss, wrote this first hand accountof his captive years in Algiers, “As we passed through the streets, our ears were stunnedwith the shouts, clapping hands, and other acclamations of joy from the inhabitants,thanking god for their great success, and victories over so many Christian dogs, andunbelievers, which is the appellation they generally give to all Christians”. (from theremarkable: Journal of John Foss, Several Years a Prisoner in Algiers, published in 1798,printed by Angier March, Newbury Port, Mass.)Europe reluctantly put up with these pirates as an accepted way of life and things didn’tchange until America developed at a staggering rate and flex some naval muscle of itsown. In the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson history witnessed a turn of events thateventually stopped the ransom treaties imposed by the Barbary nations upon ChristianEurope and Christian America along with the extreme cruelty of the manner of slaveryinflicted upon white Christians by African Muslims. (No form of slavery is good, but theblack slaves on the American Southern Plantations endured no such severe treatmentanywhere near the viciousness exacted upon whites by Muslims pirates.)God Almighty used America to exact His vengeanceand destroy the Barbary PiratesSpeaking to Saxon Israel, The Living God of the Bible promised in Jeremiah 51:20“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces thenations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;”--and—Proverbs 24:3-6 “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it isestablished:And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there issafety.”Those who argue against having any sort of Federal Government and see only evil inthe idea of a federation under our original lawful Constitution have not associated therevealed thoughts of Yahweh to what happened in our nation’s history by defeating theBarbary pirates which finally relieved Christendom of those thieving scoundrels. It wasunder the US Constitutional form of government that Yahweh applied Jeremiah 51:20(above) to remedy the centuries’ long torment of His Christian people at the hands of themurderous Muslim pirates. Those today who wish for the several American States toremain totally separate to the unreasonable extreme of no federation between them forunity, deny the explicit will of Yahweh that war shall be conducted based upon a“multitude of counselors”. (The States United) And also, “--- if one prevail againsthim, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecc.4:12)11

This means that team work is a divine institution, and the adoption of our original federalConstitution resulted in just the right mix of State sovereignty along with limited“confederated power” for all America as “one body” when the need would arise.America, at least for a short lived period, had achieved the manifestation of a trueChristian nation fulfilling the now purposed Commonwealth style of government ofGodly Rule first taught by Paul the Apostle in Ephesians 2:12, & 19.On Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, Yussif Karamanli, the Pasha of Tripoli,demanded $225,000 from the new administration (a lot back then), and Jefferson asquickly, refused to pay any more tribute to those Muslim pirates. Thereupon, in May of1801 the Pasha declared war on the United States. What America was not able to dounder its formation by the weaker Articles of Confederation of 1777 , the Jeffersonadministration was now able to do as the Constitutional federation of America was surelygrowing in the proper direction of regulated governmental power. Prior to this, by 1785the Continental Navy had been disbanded for lack of funds under the Articles ofConfederation. With the ratification of the Constitution, America was finally able, as the“States more strongly United”, to build a formidable Navy to protect American interestsabroad. Jefferson persued an increase in military force and deployed the navy's best shipsto the Barbary coastal area throughout 1802 USS Constitution, The USS Argus, USSChesapeake, USS Constellation, USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Philadelphia andUSS Syren all participated in the war under the head command of Commodore EdwardPreble. During the entire year of 1803 Preble blockaded the Barbary ports and waged aheavy campaign of raids and attacks against the North African cities and their fleets. AsGod’s “battle ax” (Jer.51:20) by May of 1805 the American Navy of the ChristianConstitutional government of the United States brought the Sultans of the Christ hatingMuslim pirates to their knees. As the Divine Hand of Destiny would have it, our ship theUSS Constitution led the frightful cannon bombardment of the Muslim coastal fortressesthat caused their surrender.Not to be forgotten are the ground forces of military action in North Africa commandedby Army Captain William Eaton, a major figure in the Barbary Powers conflict. Eaton’sown private writings provide even more irrefutable testimony of how the conflict wasviewed at that time. Eaton was first appointed by President John Adams as "Consul toTunis," and President Thomas Jefferson later advanced him to the position of "U. S.Naval Agent to the Barbary States," and was recognized by his forces as “General”.Jefferson authorized him to lead a military expedition against Tripoli, whereupon Eatonenlisted the aid of mercenaries to bolster his fire power. Eaton's official correspondenceduring his service confirms that the conflict was a Muslim war against a ChristianAmerica.A glance at Eaton’s private journals shows his disgust with the frame of mind of themilitant Muslim attitude toward Christians:“April 8th. We find it almost impossible to inspire these wild bigots with confidence in usor to persuade them that, being Christians, we can be otherwise than enemies to12

Musselmen. We have a difficult undertaking!” (Prentiss, p. 325, from Eaton's journal,April 8, 1805. )“May 23rd. Hassien Bey, the commander in chief of the enemy's forces, has offered byprivate insinuation for my head six thousand dollars and double the sum for me aprisoner; and $30 per head for Christians. Why don't he come and take it?” (Prentiss, p.334, from Eaton's journal, May 23, 1805.The Navy barrage at sea, and Eaton’s advances by ground, put an end to the centuries’long religious war on the high seas which the Muslims had waged against Christianity. Anew treaty was signed, with America making sure that no verbiage such as theinconsistent Article 11 “non-Christian” sort was in its text., it having been removed. Thisnew and conclusive treaty better reflected America’s closure of the Tripoli and BarbaryCoast incidents. The release and freedom of nearly 300 Americans being held by MuslimTripoli was secured by the Jefferson administration. It wasn’t until 1815, though, that allthe pirate raids were completely stopped due to the fact that when America got itself tiedup with the War of 1812 against the British, some North African pirates took theopportunity to raid ships again. However, upon the conclusion of the War of 1812America took care of final matters in the Mediterranean with a second Barbary War.Below is the related part of the renegotiated Treaty of Tripoli. It never even hints atAmerica “not being Christian”.TREATY OF TRIPOLI, APRIL, 1806ARTICLE XIV. “AS the government of the United States of America has in itself nocharacter of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity of Mussulmen, and as thesaid States never have entered into any voluntary war or act of hostility against anyMahometan except in defense of their just rights to freely navigate the high seas, it isdeclared by the contracting parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shallever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two nations. And theconsuls and agents of both nations respectively shall have liberty to exercise his religionin his own house. All slaves of the same religion shall not be impeded in going to saidconsul's house at hours of prayer.” Source : "Treaty of Peace, Amity, and CommerceBetween the President and Citizens of the United States of America, and the Basha, Bey,and Subjects of Tripoli, in Bombay, Concluded June 4, 1805; Ratified by the SenateApril 12, 1806," Treaties and Conventions Concluded between the United States ofAmerica and Other Powers, Since July 4, 1776, published by the Department of State,1889, page 1084What this corrected Treaty of Tripoli of 1806 says in effect is that America doesn’t carewhat the Arabs believe in as long as they don’t attack Americans. It even goes so far asto mean that if an Arab state has an embassy in America that nobody will try to convertthem to Christianity, which is Scriptural since Christ came only for the Saxon Israel race.(Mat.15:24) and the Gospel is not for them in the first place. With the culminating events13

and ending treaties with the Muslim states of North Africa, there was no mention in anydocument whatsoever, or even close to it, that America was not a Christian nation. For aperson to present a claim that America is not a Christian nation under the Constitution bybasing that deduction upon Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 only reveals theirignorance in extreme haste in not knowing the history of the subject matter.At best, the “Article 11 argument” is a shaky fragile reed in trying to build a frameupon which to stand. There are so many holes in the Tripoli Treaty Article 11 theory, allcentered around speculation, distortions, mistranslations, mistrust, and cleric error, thateven a trained and schooled atheist should know better than to rest his anti-Christian/American claim upon such a single clouded piece of history. Evidently, tosome of these blind diehards it doesn’t seem to matter. But for the seeker of truth, let therecords of history speak for themselves. Christians need not apologize to anyone forAmerica being what it is -- God’s Kingdom Nation that will prevail in the end, over allconflicts to derail it from its divine destiny.

COPYRIGHT (c) 1977 Cambridge Theological Seminary


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