USS Constitution - Boston, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 42° 22.347 W 071° 03.390
19T E 330678 N 4693178
Quick Description: The USS Constitution was one of several ships deployed against the Barbary pirates during the Barbary Wars.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 7/21/2013 7:12:46 AM
Waymark Code: WMHKTX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Scooter Bill
Views: 16

Long Description:
The USS Constitution, often called "Old Ironsides" was launched in 1797 and is still in active service.
Although its role during the War of 1812 is most often highlighted, the ship was also deployed during the Barbary Wars and saw action in 1802.
Wikipedia's article on the First Barbary War (visit link) informs us:

"Barbary corsairs and crews from the North African Ottoman provinces of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and the independent Sultanate of Morocco under the Alaouite Dynasty (the Barbary Coast) were the scourge of the Mediterranean. Capturing merchant ships and enslaving or ransoming their crews provided the Muslim rulers of these nations with wealth and naval power. The Roman Catholic Trinitarian Order or Order of "Mathurins" had operated from France for centuries with the special mission of collecting and disbursing funds for the relief and ransom of prisoners of Mediterranean pirates.

Barbary corsairs led attacks upon American merchant shipping in an attempt to extort ransom for the lives of captured sailors, and ultimately tribute from the United States to avoid further attacks, much like their standard operating procedure with the various European states. Before the Treaty of Paris, which formalized United States’s independence from Great Britain, U.S. shipping was protected by France during the Revolutionary years under the Treaty of Alliance (1778–83). Although the treaty does not mention the Barbary States in name, it refers to common enemies between both the U.S. and France, which would include the Barbary States or pirates in general. As such, piracy against U.S. shipping only began to occur after the end of the American Revolution, when the U.S. government lost its protection under the Treaty of Alliance.

This lapse of protection by a European power led to the first American merchant shipping seized after the Treaty of Paris. On October 11, 1784, Moroccan pirates seized the brigantine Betsey...

In 1802, in response to Jefferson's request for authority to deal with the pirates, Congress passed "An act for the Protection of Commerce and seamen of the United States against the Tripolitan cruisers", authorizing the President to "…employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be judged requisite… for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean and adjoining seas." "The statute authorized American ships to seize vessels belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, with the captured property distributed to those who brought the vessels into port."

The U.S Navy went unchallenged on the sea, but still the question remained undecided. Jefferson pressed the issue the following year, with an increase in military force and deployment of many of the Navy's best ships to the region throughout 1802. The USS Argus, Chesapeake, Constellation, Constitution, Enterprise, Intrepid, Philadelphia and Syren all saw service during the war under the overall command of Commodore Edward Preble. Throughout 1803, Preble set up and maintained a blockade of the Barbary ports and executed a campaign of raids and attacks against the cities' fleets."
Site Description: Ship serves as a maritime museum open for public view with various historical placards at the site as well.

Date of Pirate Activity (Estimated): 1801-1805

Reference Web-link or Book Title: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

Site Admission (If needed): 0

Hours Available (If needed):
10-6


Additional Information (optional):
see also http://www.captainsclerk.info/archives/visual/BARBARY%20WAR%20(1803-1807)/barbary_war_18031807.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution


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