Apr 1

Argghhh! The Barbary Wars: You tell us?

Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:19 AM


Who painted this? What’s the story?

In what collection is it featured and in what Museum?

  • Peterk

    “Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat”,
    during the bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804

    Oil by Dennis Malone Carter, 43″ x 59″, depicting Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (lower right center) in mortal combat with the Tripolitan Captain.

    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, DC.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.


  • Peterk,

    All correct. But where is the original, in what Navy Museum?

  • Peterk

    U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection

  • MAC

    That be Reuben James a sailors sailor saving the life of Mister Decauter.

  • Margaret

    Navy Museum, Washington Naval Yard

  • Huzzah70

    According to NHHC, Reuben James interposed his head between a blade and Decatur during the burning of PHILADELPHIA.

    It also says the act is “attributed”.


    Is there a ground truth on this?

  • LCDR (Ret.) Emmett Francois

    It is interesting to see that you published something about the Barbary Wars. Little is known or understood that the monument on the Naval Academy grounds was paid for by the founding officers of the United States Navy to hold the final remains of those who died on the ill fated Intrepid. Those who died on that vessel were America’s first war dead in a foreign action. The remains are still in the Christian Cemetery in Libya. Attempts to retrieve the remains were met with great resistance in the 1980’s. Thankfully the monument was restored a few years ago. In any other country this historic monument would have been protected from the elements.


  • Scott D. Campbell

    Congratulations on your new site! It is interesting to see the inaugural comments on the Barbary wars. In addition to the remains in the Libyan cemetery, there are others in the Mahon American Cemetery in Port Mahon, Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. The tiny cemetery has 34 Americans, two British and one German remains starting from the 1800’s. Also, the father of David G. Farragut came from this island. Port Mahon was used as a replenishment port by our early Navy during the Barbary wars and is the reason why American sailors are buried there. We will get the word out on your new conversation site.

    Best regards,
    Scott D. Campbell
    Deputy Public Affairs Officer
    Commander Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia

  • Margaret Rafferty

    One of those lost was in the Barbary Wars, when the Intrepid exploded in Tripoli Harbor, was the uncle of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Acting Lieutenant Henry Wadsworth.