SOMERS MANSION,? 1000 SHORE ROAD,? SOMERS POINT, NJ
(TAKE PARKWAY EXIT 29 FROM SOUTH, 31 FROM NORTH TO FOOT OF OCEAN CITY BRIDGE)
???????????? On September 4, 1804, 26 year old Richard Somers and his crew were killed in Tripoli harbor when their ship Intrepid exploded too soon when they tried to destroy the fleet of the last Muslim kingdom still at war with America.
???????????? Richard Somers was born in Somers Point in 1778.?? His father was a ?fighting Quaker? who left his pacifist church to fight for American independence.
Like most young Americans of his day, Richard Somers finished school at age 16.?? But those Americans were far better at reading, writing, math, and science than most American college students today.??? Somers sailed boats from Somers Point to Mays Landing when he was 12 years old, and by age 20, he was in charge of ships sailing from New York to ?Philadelphia. Because taxes were so low, most Americans then could save enough to buy their house and business by age 30.
At that time, American ships were being attacked, robbed, and captured by French pirates in the Caribbean and ?privateers? for Muslim kingdoms in the Mediterranean.??? We had no navy to protect them, so we paid protection money to get our people back.?? But in 1798, Americans shouted ?Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute!?????? We built a new navy from scratch, and 20 year old Richard Somers was one of the first to join.
In 1801, Richard Somers was put in command of one of those ships.? He sailed it to North Africa, 5,000 miles away, at age 23..
The Europeans laughed at America for sending inexperienced ?boys? to fight fanatic, ?equipped Muslim fighters who defied the powerful European navies for centuries.? But these young Americans outfought, outsmarted, and defeated all but the one fleet that fled to its safe harbor in Tripoli.??? Richard Somers and his crew packed their ship with 15,000 pounds of explosives as part of a plan to destroy that fleet before Congress would get tired of spending money on the war, and bring the fleet back home.
Although their mission failed, their courage inspired the rest of the America to continue the fight.??? The last ?Barbary? Kingdom of Tripoli made peace with America the following year.
FUNDRAISING BUFFET AT GREGORY?S, 900 SHORE ROAD, SOMERS POINT, NJ
2:00 P.M. Labor Day Monday ? Immediately following ceremony at Somers Mansion
Cash Bar — $25 per person/$35 couple
Call (609) 927-7333 for details.