From The Halls of Montezuma To The Shores of Tripoli - February 16
- Saturday, February 16, 2013
Pilgrim William Bradford wrote of a ship returning to England in 1625 with beaver skins to trade for supplies: "They...were well within the England channel, almost in sight of Plymouth. But...there she was unhapply taken by a Turkish man-of-war and carried off to [Morocco] where the captain and crew were made slaves." Muslim pirates raided European coasts and carried away over a million to North African slavemarkets. Kidnapped Englishman Francis Knight wrote: "I arrived in [Algiers], that city fatal to all Christians and the butchery of mankind." Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail had 500 wives and forced 25,000 white slaves to build his palace. The Catholic Order "Trinitarians" collected alms to ransom slaves. In 1785, Muslims captured two American ships Jefferson met Tripoli's envoy in France and wrote: "The Ambassador answered us that it was...written in their Qur'an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged [Islam's] authority were sinners, that it was their...duty to make war upon them." During the Barbary War, Jefferson sent in Marines to stop the pirates. On FEBRUARY 16, 1804, in what was called the "most bold and daring act of the age," Lieut. Stephen Decatur sailed into the pirate harbor, burned a ship and escaped amidst enemy fire, giving rise to the Marine Anthem: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."
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