Peace and Amity, Treaty of (1805)
PEACE AND AMITY, TREATY OF (1805)
This treaty ended the conflict that began in 1801 when Yusuf Karamanli, pasha of Tripoli (in present-day Libya), closed the U.S. consulate, expelled the consul, and declared war on the United States. This conflict ended an uneasy peace in which the U.S. government paid an annual tribute of $18,000 in return for Tripoli's nonbelligerence vis-à-vis U.S. shipping in the Mediterranean. U.S.-Tripoli relations deteriorated in 1801 because Karamanli demanded $250,000 and the Americans refused to pay.
The treaty was concluded on 4 June 1805 and was ratified by the U.S. Senate on 12 April 1806. It was negotiated by Karamanli and Colonel Tobias Lear. The United States agreed to a one-time payment of $60,000 to secure the treaty and to ransom American prisoners of war. It also consented to abandon Derna (a provincial capital in eastern Libya occupied during the war) and not to supply its mercenary allies, who supported the pasha's brother, Ahmad Karamanli, in his claim to be the legitimate ruler of Tripoli. In return, Yusuf Karamanli agreed to release Ahmad's wife and children, whom he was holding hostage. A secret article (dated 5 June 1805), not revealed until 1807, granted Yusuf four years to release Ahmad's family, in return for the Americans' assurance that Ahmad not challenge Yusuf's legitimacy to rule Tripoli. In 1809, Yusuf permitted Ahmad to return to Tripoli as governor of Derna. But in 1811, he again felt threatened by Ahmad, who fled to Egypt.
Under terms of the treaty, prisoners were exchanged. On the American side, they consisted primarily of the 297-man crew of the U.S.S. Philadelphia. Five Americans had died in captivity, and five chose to remain in Tripoli. One week after the Americans were freed, eighty-nine Tripolitan captives were returned, along with the $60,000.
The political and economic effects of the war undermined Yusuf's government. Disorder broke out in the early 1830s, encouraging the Ottoman Empire to reestablish its presence in Tripoli in 1835, thus bringing the Karamanli dynasty to an end.
Dearden, Seton. A Nest of Corsairs: The Fighting Karamanlis of Tripoli. London: J. Murray, 1976.
Kitzen, Michael L. S. Tripoli and the United States at War: A History of American Relations with the Barbary States, 1785–1805. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1993.
larry a. barrie