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Join Us For Ceremony To Remember Richard Somers September 4 — The Day He Died In Tripoli In 1804

September 04, 2021
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
801 Shore Road, Somers Point
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The ceremony at the statue and mural at 801 Shore Road, Somers Point is at 9 AM this year.  The fundraising brunch buffet is at 10 AM at Sal’s Cafe.  Sal’s Cafe is at 501 New Road (Route 9), in Somers Point, NJ  08244.  Tickets for the buffet are $25.  You can pay online by making a $25 donation.  Or mail your check payable to LibertyAndProsperity.com and send it to 453 Shore Road, Somers Pt, NJ  08244

Every school child in America once knew the remarkable story of Richard Somers.  Today, most people name “Somers” living in Somers Point, NJ never heard of him.  This is because the story of Richard Somers teaches three basic truths that today’s elites don’t want Americans to know about.

  1.  Radical Islam’s War Against America Began In 1785:  Americans on ships near North Africa were first attacked, killed, and robbed by followers of The Prophet in 1784.*  This was less than a year after the British Empire recognized our independence and no longer protected Americans overseas.  America had disbanded our navy and most of our army after the war because we wanted to be at peace with the world-and have very low taxes.  Americans had done nothing to provoke or harm anyone in the Muslim kingdoms of North Africa in any way.  We were attacked because we were “non-believers” who were could not to defend ourselves.  For the next 15 years, the United States tried to protect Americans by negotiating, and paying tribute (bribes) to Muslim leaders who promised not to attack us.  However, the attacks did not stop until America built a new navy in 1798 and decisively defeated the four biggest “Barbary” kingdoms in North Africa.  Richard Somers, of Somers Point, was one of the first to join our new navy.  He was killed on September 4, 1804, during a daring attempt to win an early victory. Click here for details:   *First Barbary War – Wikipedia


James Somers, a distant relative of Richard Somers, improved his farm by building a large, elevated road of sand, rocks and lumber across Patcong Creek which separates Linwood and the Bargaintown section of Egg Harbor Township.  The road dammed up the creek, and created what is now known as Bargaintown Lake.  Water pouring down from that lake powered both a grist mill to grind grain into flour, and a sawmill to cut lumber for new houses and ships. 

2.   Richard Somers grew up in South Jersey.  It was settled by Quakers who never had slaves .  Never displaced Indians.  And when America was an exceptional “Land of Boundless Opportunities” for anyone willing to work and save!  Farmers grew abundant crops.  They also built dams to create lakes that powered the water wheels of their mills to grind grain and saws cut lumber. Those mills and saws are gone, but many “Mill Roads” remain.  Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township became shipbuilding, shipping, and fishing centers.  One third of American men owned little or no land or property.  However, these were young men less than 25 years old.  By age 25, most American men were married and owned their own farm, ship, or business.  See the documents, artifacts and displays at the Somers Point Historical Museum at 745 Shore Road, in Somers Point, New Jersey. Read about it in “A History of the American People”, A , Paul Johnson, HarperCollins (1997) at pages 92-95.  

In 1803, at age 25, Somers was put in command of  this ship, the Nautilus with 12 cannons and 103 men. He supervised the rigging and equipping of the ship in Baltimore, sailed it to Hampton Roads, Virginia to pick up the rest of the crew.  Then Richard Somers sailed it to Spain to by food and other supplies.  Afterwards, Somers he sailed the ship to various combat missions off the coast of in North Africa.

3. Richard Somers, like most men in early America began school at age 8 and completed eight grades of education by age 16.  They then mastered useful trades during summers or by ages 17 or 18.  Richard Somers was lucky to attend an elite school, the Episcopal Academy, in Phildelphia.  By age 18, he had completed school and had mastered a trade.  He was already in charge of sailing ships between New York and Philadelphia.  Had Richard Somers stayed with that career, he would have been a prosperous ship captain/owner and married by age 25.  Many elegant homes owned by such ship captains still stand in and around Maple Avenue, in Linwood.   Others are in Philadelphia.  Like most other, Somers may have retired comfortably from the sea by his 30’s.  However, in 1796, French “privateers” (pirates licensed by the French government) began attacking and capturing American ships.  Congress responded by building warships and a navy.  Richard Somers left his career path.  He became one of the first to join our new navy at age 19 when America’s first large warship, the United States with a crew of 500 men was launched in 1797.  After two years of fighting French pirates in the Caribbean on that ship, Somers was promoted to Lieutenant.   In 1803, at age 24, Somers was put in command of his own ship, the Nautilus with 12 cannons and 103 men.  Somers then sailed that ship to Spain and then into combat with Barbary warships off the coast of North Africa. This required enormous navigation, business, and leadership skills.  Somers had to train and discipline his crew, keep his ship in good repair, and buy all food and supplies for the ship. In  early1804, at age 25, Somers was promoted to Master Commandant and put in command of a a division of smaller gunboats.  He planned and led five attacks on Tripoli.  On September 4, 1804, Richard Somers and 12 volunteers put together a plan to quickly win the war.  They packed the Intrepid, a captured enemy ship, with explosives.  They sailed that ship into Tripoli Harbor, hoping to destroy the entire enemy fleet.  However, the ship was detected and attacked before it could not get close enough.  It exploded prematurely.  Somers and his crew were killed.  Somers was just 12 days short of his 26th birthday.

We are a group of roughly 200 citizens who mostly live near Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We volunteer our time and money to maintain this website. We do our best to post accurate information. However, we admit we make mistakes from time to time.  If you see any mistakes or inaccurate, misleading, outdated, or incomplete information in this or any of our posts, please let us know. We will do our best to correct the problem as soon as possible. 

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Seth Grossman, Executive Director



(609) 927-7333

Richard Somers Park, Statue & Mural, 801 Shore Road
Somers Point, NJ 08244

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