As people across the USA prepare for Thanksgiving, to celebrate the first harvest of the Pilgrim Fathers in the New World in October 1621, it is also worth celebrating long standing friendships.
Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777. In the beginning of the American Revolution, American merchant ships were subject to attack by the Barbara Pirates while sailing the Atlantic Ocean. At this time, American envoys tried to obtain protection from European powers, but to no avail. On December 20, 1777, Morocco’s Sultan Mohammed III declared that the American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage.
The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.’s oldest non-broken friendship treaty. Signed by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, it has been in continuous effect since 1786. Following the re-organization of the U.S federal government upon the 1787 Constitution, President George Washington wrote a now venerated letter to the Sultan Sidi Mohamed strengthening the ties between the two countries.
The United States legation (consulate) in Tangier is the first property the American government ever owned abroad. The building now houses the Tangier American Legation Museum and is well worth a visit.
Learn what happened in 1839 when the Sultan of Morocco offered a gift of two lions to the then US President, Martin Van Buren.
Let’s just say the gift was not refused and eventually shipped to the USA in 1840.
You can now use our wonderful extra virgin olive oil, Morocco Gold to help celebrate Thanksgiving. However, less of a problem than the lions caused! Look at the recipe page for instructions to cook the thanksgiving turkey.