“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

Barbary Coast Wars

1801 - 1805, 1815

Barbary Coast Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2013
1. Barbary Coast Wars Marker
Inscription. I am Sergeant Michael Dunn of the 1st Marine Battalion. I fought in the First Barbary War, also known as the Tripolitan War, because we battled pirates off the coast of Tripoli. The Mediterranean coast of North Africa had been a hotbed of piracy for a long time. Our country and many others had to pay bribes to the rulers of the Barbary States of Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli and Tunisia to keep pirates from attacking our ships and ransoming captured sailors. We sent Navy ships in 1801-1804 to fight them and had a few victories, but in 1803 in the Tripoli harbor the Philadelphia was grounded, captured, and used as a gun station against us. The night of February 16, 1804, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a small contingent of Marines including me in a captured ketch and boarded the ship, overpowered the pirates, and set fire to her, denying her use to the enemy. The British Admiral Horatio Nelson called this “the most bold and daring act for the age.” On July 14, 1804, we fought a series of battles. Lieutenant Richard Somers sailed a fire ship packed with explosives to destroy the harbor and the enemy fleet. Unluckily, it blew up too soon killing Somers and his crew. President Thomas Jefferson finally had enough and declared, "MILLIONS FOR DEFENSE BUT NOT ONE CENT FOR TRIBUTE!” so in 1805, we went back to the Barbary
Barbary Coast Wars Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2013
2. Barbary Coast Wars Marker
Coast “sinking, burning or destroying their ships & vessels wherever we find them.” We blockaded Tripoli harbor and General William Eaton and Marine First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon marched me, seven other Marines, and 500 Greek and Berber mercenaries across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt successfully capturing the port of Derna. This was the first time that the United States flag was raised in victory on foreign soil. Broken by the blockade and raids the Dey, the King of this area, signed a peace agreement on June 10, 1805.Our actions proved that the U.S. could fight and win far from home. Now you know why our Marine Corps Hymn has this words- “to the shores of Tripoli.”

1801 - 1805, 1815
I am Gunner’s Mate Jack Jolitar assigned to the USS Guerriere, a 44-gun frigate. That’s a good size ship, folks! My job is to man gun #32 as a loader. After the First Barbary War, we got into a big fracas with Great Britain again called the War of 1812. While our attention was on the British, the Barbary pirates went back to their old ways of attacking Americans, as well as European ships, in the Mediterranean Sea and holding their crews and officers for ransom. On May 20, 1815, Captain Stephen Decatur set sail for the Barbary Coast again, with a squadron of 10 ships including the Guerriere as his flagship. This was the start
Barbary Coast Wars/1801-1805, 1815 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2013
3. Barbary Coast Wars/1801-1805, 1815
of the Second Barbary War. We met up with and fought the Algerian flagship Meshuda off Cape Gata. I declare that below decks it was the hottest and sweatiest work I ever expect to do this side of Hades, but it paid off and we captured her! Not long afterward off Cape Palos, we also captured the Algerian brig Estedio. By the final week of June, the squadron had reached Algiers and had the Dey by the scruff of the neck. When Captain Decatur demanded compensation and threatened destruction of the city, the Dey gave in. A peace treaty was signed on Guerriere in the Bay of Algiers on 3 July 1815. Decatur agreed to return the Meshuda and Estedio while the Algerians returned all 10 American hostages, and a large group of European captives were exchanged for about 500 Algerians we had captured. We also made him cough up $10,000 in payment for seized shipping. The treaty guaranteed no further tributes and granted the United States full shipping rights. Although the Europeans had trouble later on, by Heaven, the pirates never messed with the U.S. again!
Location. 34° 44.101′ N, 86° 35.314′ W. Marker is in Huntsville, Alabama, in Madison County. Marker is at the intersection of Monroe Street Northwest and Washington Street Northwest, on the left when traveling
Patriots Walkway image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2013
4. Patriots Walkway
east on Monroe Street Northwest. Click for map. Located along Patriots Walkway in Veterans Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Monroe Street Northwest, Huntsville AL 35801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Seminole Wars / Mexican War (here, next to this marker); Civil War (here, next to this marker); War of 1812 (here, next to this marker); Revolutionary War (here, next to this marker); Late Indian Wars (a few steps from this marker); I am an American Warrior (a few steps from this marker); Spanish American War 1898/Philippine Insurrection 1899-1913 (a few steps from this marker); Commitment/Oath, Creed, And Code of Conduct (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Huntsville.
Also see . . .
1. Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial. (Submitted on January 22, 2014.)
2. Barbary Wars. Wikipedia (Submitted on February 5, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 

3. Barbary pirates. Wikipedia (Submitted on February 5, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 

4. Slavery in the Ottoman Empire. Wikipedia (Submitted on February 5, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
Categories. Patriots & PatriotismWar of 1812
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 506 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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