Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
The Senate and Foreign Affairs

Letter of Captain Richard O'Bryen to the Congress
Richard O'Bryen to the Congress, July 12, 1790
(Courtesy of the National Archives)

DHFFC Transcription, DHFFC v. 2, p. 446-449

When the First Federal Congress convened, several American citizens, who had been taken off the ship Dolphin and the schooner Mary in July of 1785, were being held captive in Algiers, a Barbary state. One of the hostages, Captain Richard O'Bryen, represented the group when communicating with the U.S. government. In a letter to the Congress O'Bryen pled with the government to ransom the hostages, saying that the plague had wiped out a large number of slaves and thus the ransom on the remaining hostages had gone up.

Previous Topic
Next Topic
Go to Exhibit Home
First Federal Congress Project
  Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page