Tuesday, January 30, 2007
America's first war on terror...
"Burning of the Frigate Philadelphia in the Harbor of Tripoli, February 16, 1804"
It depicts USS Philadelphia, previously captured by the Tripolitans, ablaze after she was boarded and set afire by a party from the ketch Intrepid led by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur.
Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection
In 1786 A negro and John Murray went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman or (Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). They asked him by what right he extorted money and took slaves. Thomas Jefferson reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:
The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet (Mohammed), that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to heaven.
You can read more about early America's first and second Barbary Wars with the muslim's on the North Africa coast here: