The following document is a type-signed Act of Congress enabling the President to pay the extortion fee to the Emperor of Morocco as a way to avoid conflict in what is now known as the Barbary Wars.The signatures include Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, President of the Senate, John Adams, and President of the United States, George Washington.


Congress of the United States:

At the Third Session,

Begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, on

Monday the sixth of December, one thousand

Seven hundred and ninety.


An Act Making an Appropriation for the Purpose Therein Mentioned


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress, assembled, That for the purpose of effecting a recognition of the treaty of United States with the new Emperor of Morocco, [1] there be, and hereby is appropriated a sum not exceeding twenty thousand dollars, to be paid out of the monies which prior to the first day of January next, shall arise from the duties imposed upon spirits distilled within the United States, and from stills by the act entitled, “An act repealing after the last day of June next, the duties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits imported from abroad, and laying others in their stead, and also upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same,” together with the excess of duties which may arise from the duties imposed by the said act on imported spirits beyond those which would have arisen by the act entitled “An act making further provision for the payment of the debts of the United States.” And the President is hereby authorized to take on loan, the whole sum by this act appropriated or so much thereof as he may judge requisite, at an interest not exceeding six per cent per annum, and the fund established for the above mentioned appropriation, is hereby pledged for the repayment of the principal and interest of any loan to be obtained in manner aforesaid, and in case of any deficiency in the said fund, the faith of the United States is hereby also pledged to make good such deficiency.


Frederick August Muhlenberg,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

John Adams, Vice-President of the United States,
and President of the Senate.

Approved, March the third, 1791.

George Washington, President of the United States.


[1] Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, 585. See also, George Washington , “From George Washington to the Emperor of Morocco, 31 March 1791” (March 31, 1791) National Archives (accessed July 24, 2013).