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Sunday, June 19, 2011

PORTER AND THE PIRATES:

AMERICA'S LAST PIRATE WAR


DAVID PORTER [1780 - 1843]

IT TOOK A SPECIAL TYPE OF SHIP AND A VERY SPECIAL BREED OF SAILOR TO ROOT OUT THE LAST PIRATES IN THE CARIBBEAN

A tall man, lean and fit, James Monroe had just won re-election receiving all but one electoral vote in 1820, and honor reserved for his old boss, George Washington.  One of the few Founding Fathers to have risked his life during the Revolution, Monroe had manned the boat which rowed Washington ashore when the General took the Army across the Delaware in a surprise Christmas attack on the enemy.

During the fighting in Trenton, Monroe rushed an enemy cannon emplacement receiving a musket ball in the neck and would have died if not for an Army surgeon who happened to be nearby.  The ball was so close to an artery and was left in the throat.  Monroe would have the noticeable bulge all his life.

He was at Valley Forge freezing and starving, sharing his tent and food with Aaron Burr, John Marshall, and Lafayett.  Monroe was a fighting man - weather on the field or in politics.  As Secretary of War under Madison, he guided America's war on land and sea making sure frigates like the Constitution, Constellation, and Essex were well supplied.  He even ignored President Madison's orders and gave command appointments to firebrands like Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison.

Now president, Monroe demonstrated his fath in Naval power by expanding the U.S. Navy into five squadrons stationed strategically aroung the globe - the Mediterranean, the African Coast, South Atlantic, the Pacific, and the West Indies - to protect American interest.

Now in his 60's and facing one last term in office before retiring form public life, James Monroe decided to use the U.S. Navy as an instrument for sweeping form the seas, onece and for all, the pirates of the Caribbean.

A really good read if your into Naval History

PORTER AND THE PIRATES