March 3, 1815: Authorization for the Use of Force against the Dey of Algiers

Whereas the Dey of Algiers, on the coast of Barbary, has commenced a predatory warfare against the United States–
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful fully to equip, officer, man and employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be Algiersjudged requisite by the President of the United States for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and adjoining seas.

And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to instruct the commanders of the respective public vessels aforesaid, to subdue, seize, and make prize of all vessels, goods and effects of or belonging to the Dey of Algiers, or to his subjects, and to bring or send the same into port, to be proceeded against and distributed according to law; and, also, to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility, as the state of war will justify, and may in his opinion require.

And be it further enacted, That on the application of the owners of private armed vessels of the United States, the President of the United States may grant them special commissions in the form which he shall direct under the seal of the United States; and such private armed vessels, when so commissioned, shall have the like authority for subduing, seizing, taking and bringing into port any Algerine vessel, goods or effects, as the before-mentioned public armed vessels may by law have; and shall therein be subject to the instructions which may be given by the President of the United States for the regulation of their conduct; and their commissions shall be revokable at his pleasure. Provided, That before any commission shall be granted as aforesaid, the owner or owners of the vessels of which the same may be requested, and the commander thereof for the time being shall give bond to the United States, with at least two responsible sureties, not interested in such vessel, in the penal sum of seven thousand dollars, or if such vessel be provided with more than one hundred and fifty men, in the penal sum of fourteen thousand dollars, with condition for observing the treaties and laws of the United States, and the instructions which may be given as aforesaid, and also for satisfying all damages and injuries which shall be done contrary to the tenor thereof by such commissioned vessel, and for delivering up the commission when revoked by the President of the United States.

And be if further enacted, That any Algerine vessel, goods, or effects which may be so captured and brought into port, by any private armed vessel, of the United States, duly commissioned as aforesaid, may be adjudged good prize, and thereupon shall accrue to the owners, and officers, and men of the capturing vessel, and shall be distributed according to the agreement which shall have been made between them, or, in failure of such agreement, according to the discretion [of] the court having cognisance of the capture.

March 2, 1807: An Act to prohibit the importation of Slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, it shall not be lawful to import or bring into the United States or the territories thereof from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of colour, as a slave, or to be held to service or labour.

And be it further enacted, That no citizen or citizens of the United States, or any other person, shall, from and after the Slave Tradefirst day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, for himself, or themselves, or any other person whatsoever, either as master, factor, or owner, build, fit, equip, load or otherwise prepare any ship or vessel, in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, nor shall cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or place within the same, for the purpose of procuring any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, to be transported to any port or place whatsoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, to be held, sold, or disposed of as slaves, or to be held to service or labour; and if any ship or vessel shall be so fitted out for the purpose aforesaid, or shall be caused to sail so as aforesaid, every such ship or vessel, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any of the circuit courts or district courts, for the district where the said ship or vessel may be found or seized. . .

And be it further enacted, If any citizen or citizens of the United States, or any person resident within the jurisdiction of the same, shall, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, take on board, receive or transport from any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or from any other foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, in any ship or vessel, for the purpose of selling them in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States as slaves, or to be held to service or labour, or shall be in any ways aiding or abetting therein, such citizen or citizens, or person, shall severally forfeit and pay five thousand dollars, one moiety thereof to the use of any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect; and every such ship or vessel in which such negro, mulatto, or person of colour, shall have been taken on board, received, or transported as aforesaid, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects which shall be found on board the same, shall be forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any of the circuit courts or district courts in the district where the said ship or vessel may be found or seized. And neither the importer, nor any person or persons claiming from or under him, shall hold any right or title whatsoever to- any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, nor to the service or labour thereof, who may be imported or brought within the United States, or territories thereof, in violation of this law, but the same shall remain subject to any regulations not contravening the provisions of this act, which the legislatures of the several states or territories at any time hereafter may make, for disposing of any such negro, mulatto, or person of colour.

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