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Painting by Dennis Malone Carter (1820-1881) of Stephen Decatur boarding a Tripolitan gunboat during a Barbary War naval engagement, Aug. 3, 1804, with Decatur in blue uniform in lower right center.

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HISTORY CORNER: U.S. Navy and Marines defeat Barbary pirates
December 27, 2020 1 a.m.

HISTORY CORNER: U.S. Navy and Marines defeat Barbary pirates

Thomas Jefferson stops attacks on American ships

Thomas Jefferson had barely been inaugurated as President before having to deal with a major thorn in the side of the fledgling United States — attacks on American shipping by Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean, so he sent Stephen Decatur with a small fleet of warships to stop them.