Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801–1805

Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801–1805

Joseph Wheelan

Language: English

Pages: 296

ISBN: 0786714042

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Author Joseph Wheelan has marvelously captured the story of America’s war against the Barbary pirates, our first war against terror and the nations that support it. The Barbary pirates, a Muslim enemy from Tripoli, attacked European and American merchant shipping with impunity. Jefferson ordered the U.S. Navy to Tripoli in 1801 to repel "force with force." The Barbary War was also a proving ground for such young officers as William Bainbridge, Stephen Decatur, Isaac Hull, and David Porter –key players in the impending War of 1812 against Great Britain.

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to their underwear, clapped in irons, and bound for Barbary’s slave marts, where they would be sold like cattle. Coming into port, the corsairs fired celebratory salvos to announce their success. Sail liberated the corsairs from the coastal waters and opened up new frontiers to loot and destroy. In large numbers, they passed through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Atlantic. Murad Reis, a legendary Algerian pirate captain, descended upon Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and took 300 prisoners,

now”: Ibid., p. 304. 183. “The Mastico was”: Ibid., pp. 351, 374. 183. “They turned up”: Ibid., p. 334. 184. “Preble had shifted”: Ibid., p. 257. 184. “Before the Mastico’s capture”: Ibid., p. 292. 184. “Yusuf’s agent at Malta”: Ibid., pp. 385, 378. 184. “But Preble decided”: Ibid., p. 311. 185. “Who was the”: Irvin Anthony, Decatur (New York, London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1931), pp. 4—33. 186. “Decatur helped equip”: Ibid., pp. 35—41. 187. “He settled his first”: Ibid., pp. 103—4.

Sulaiman, Sidi Muhammed’s successor, quickly reratified the 1786 treaty after accepting a $20,000 gift. Tunis’s treaty, signed in August 1797 for $107,000, contained no annual tribute, but required periodic gifts. Tripoli signed in January 1797 for $56,486 and no annual tribute. This agreement would begin to act on Bashaw Yusuf Karamanli like a sharp pebble in a shoe when he learned what Algiers and Tunis had gotten. The diplomats shuttled back to Algiers, which was threatening war again because

in Tunis in April 1800 with masts, gunpowder, cannons, and small arms. Tensions eased temporarily between Tunis and America. The bey, however, wished to be at war with some nation; his corsair crews were restless. The shadow fell on Denmark, whose treaty also pledged annual tribute of naval stores. Unfortunately for Denmark, its naval stores arrived after America’s. The bey found them to be inferior and left them to rot on Tunis’s docks. Tunisian soldiers chopped down the flagpole at the Danish

as Lear who opposed the government’s support of Hamet and favored a quick, negotiated settlement with the bashaw. Eaton, however, was determined to overcome all obstacles, formidable though they would be. To Preble, whom he admired for his bold attacks on Tripoli and whom he considered a friend, he described the result he hoped to effect through his alliance with Hamet. “How Glorious would be the exhibition to see our fellow citizens, in captivity at Tripoli, march in triumph from a dungeon to

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