At the time of American independence, Algiers was a nominal vassal of the Ottoman Empire with the power to conduct its own independent foreign relations. Algeria recognized the United States in 1795, although permanent diplomatic relations were not established until after Algeria emerged from subsequent French rule in 1962.
Algerian Recognition of the United States, 1795.
Algiers recognized the United States by the signing of a peace treaty on September 5, 1795.
Algeria under French Control, 1830-1962.
Algerian self-rule ended with French conquest in 1830. In 1848, the French government formally incorporated coastal Algeria into France as the departments of Algiers, Oran, and Constantine.
U.S. Recognition of Algerian Independence, 1962.
The United States recognized Algeria on July 3, 1962, when President John Kennedy issued a congratulatory message to the Algerian people upon their independence from France. Algeria had opted for independence in a referendum on July 1, 1962, and France recognized Algeria as an independent state on July 3, 1962.
U.S. Consulate at Algiers, 1796-1962, with interruptions.
Formal U.S. Consular representation began with Joel Barlow’s presentation of his credentials as consul to Dey Hassan of Algiers on March 4, 1796. Prior to Barlow, John Paul Jones had been appointed as consul on June 2, 1792, but died before reaching post. Pierre Eric Skjöldebrand, brother of the Swedish Consul at Algiers, worked as an intermediary for the United States in negotiating a peace treaty with Algiers. Consular presence was interrupted from July 25, 1812 until July of 1815 owing to the Algerian War, one of the Barbary Wars. When appointee David Porter heard of the French occupation of Algiers in 1830, he chose not to take up his post, instead waiting for a new assignement as Chargé d’Affaires at Instanbul, where he arrived in 1831. There is no extant consul until the arrival of George F. Brown in 1835, whose exequatur was revoked in 1838. The United States also maintained consulates at the following posts:
- Beni Saf (Beni-Saf)-- Earliest date: October 27, 1883; Latest date: April 1904
- Bejaïa (Bejaia, Bougie)-- Earliest date: November 1852; Latest date: 1854
- Annaba (Bône, Hippo)--A Consular Agent was appointed at Bône on July 3, 1875. The Agency closed December 31, 1910. A Consulate was established June 4, 1943, and closed January 11, 1944.
- El Qoll (Collo) and Philippeville (Skikda)-- Earliest Date: 1882; Latest Date: 1897
- Qacentina (Constantine, Cirta)-- Earliest date: June 10, 1962; Latest date: February 1, 1972
- Oran (Ouahran, Wahran)-- Pre-independence: William Shaler, American Consul General at Algiers, appointed a Consular Agent at Oran in 1823; available records fail to show how long he served. A Consular Agency was established December 8, 1864, which closed November 30, 1937. A Consulate was established at Oran in February 1943 and was closed May 9, 1946. Post-independence: The Consulate reopened on June 11, 1962, closed June 6, 1967, reopened August 1968, and closed in June 1993.
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Embassy at Algiers, 1962.
Diplomatic relations and the American Embassy at Algiers were established on September 29, 1962, when Algerian agreed to the elevation of the American Consulate General to Embassy status, with William J. Porter as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.
Diplomatic Relations Severed by Algeria, 1967.
Algeria severed diplomatic relations with the United States on June 6, 1967, in the wake of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War. A U.S. Interests Section was established in the Swiss Embassy.
Diplomatic Relations Reestablished and Embassy Reopened, 1974.
The United States and Algeria reestablished diplomatic relations, and their respective embassies in Algiers and Washington reopened on November 12, 1974.
- Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Algeria
- Department of State Country Information: Algeria
- Irwin, Ray W. The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers 1776-1816. . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1931.
- Malloy, William M., comp. Compilation of Treaties in Force. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1904.