On the night of September 4,?1804, ?26 year old Richard Somers and his entire crew were killed during a daring attack on Muslims who had declared Jihad on America and other non-Muslim nations.??Every September, the Somers Point, NJ community holds a ceremony to remember the remarkable story of our local hero and that forgotten war.
We invite you to this year’s event at?1 pm on Sunday September 11.?? Please meet us at the Richard Somers statue and mural by?the Somers Point branch of the Atlantic County Library, 801 Shore Road (by New Jersey Avenue) in Somers Point, NJ.
Although there is no charge for the 1pm ceremony, we urge you help us pay our expenses to promote this event.?? Please support and attend?our fundraising buffet with cash bar at nearby Gregory?s Restaurant at 900 Shore Road in Somers Point. Tickets are $25.?? You can mail your check to our office at 453 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ 08244, pay at our weekly breakfast discussion any Saturday at the Shore Diner by Parkway Exit 36,? or donate $25 for each ticket you wish to purchase through the PayPal button on this website.
Few people today know about Richard Somers–even here in Somers Point where he grew up.?? However, he was once known as a hero by almost every schoolchild in America.?? That is because the “progressives” who now?run our public schools, colleges, media, and Hollywood pop culture do not find his story “politically” correct.
Richard Somers was born in Somers Point in 1778.?? Like most Americans back then,? he learned a useful trade by age 10.?? He sailed small boats carrying fish and produce between Somers Point and Mays Landing.?? Today many Americans in their 30’s have no useful skills and still depend on their parents for support.
Like most Americans back then, Richard Somers?finished school at age 16 with better knowledge of reading, writing, math, and science than most college graduates?today.??? By age 17, he was the skipper of small cargo ships that sailed?over open ocean between New York and Philadelphia.
America then had?little government, low taxes, few permits and licenses, and was known around the world as “the land of boundless opportunity”.?? ?Most young American men?could?find work in almost every occupation they wanted, and keep and most of what they earned and quickly build up savings.?? There was a shortage of women, and most women were selective in the husbands they chose.?? Young men normally did not marry until their mid-twenties when they?had?saved?enough money to own their own houses, farms or businesses.?? Most Americans back then were financially independent and lived comfortable, middle class lives by their 30’s.
By age 20, Richard Somers was well on his way to living that American Dream.??? He had the skills and opportunity to be captain of merchant ships sailing to and from major ports around the world.??? After just a few voyages, he would have saved enough money to buy his own ship.??? That would have allowed him to quickly save enough to own several ships, and a large house on Maple Street in Linwood–or a house in Philadelphia.?? Or a large farm.???But at age 20, Richard Somers changed his plans and instead?became one of the first officers in the?the newly created U.S. Navy.
At that time, Americans?were?being attacked, robbed, and captured for slavery or ransom by?? sea fighters?from Muslim kingdoms?in North Africa allied with the powerful?Turkish Empire.????? These Muslims had been at war with Christian Europe for 900 years and raided ships and villages as far away as Iceland.?????For 20 years, Americans paid bribes or ?tribute? to free our captives because we had no navy to protect Americans overseas.
But in 1798, they captured even more Americans, demanded even more ransom money, and French pirates started doing the same thing in the Caribbean.??? Americans had enough and shouted??Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute!?????? We built a new navy from scratch.??Since we had no navy officers, a Navy Academy was set up in Annapolis, Maryland.?? Richard Somers and his high school friend Stephen Decatur were among the first to join.
In less than a year, the new American navy with its new 20 year old officers crushed the French pirates in the Caribbean.??? Three years later, President Thomas Jefferson sent our warships 5,000 miles away to fight the Muslim pirates in North Africa.??? At age 23, Somers was put in command of one of those ships, the Nautilus.????He sailed that ship from Annapolis to Spain without any modern navigation equipment or weather forecasts.?? He trained and?disciplined crew members, purchased food, ammunition, and supplies, planned strategy, and negotiated treaties with allies and enemies.
At first, the Europeans ridiculed us.?? They had been fighting fanatic Muslim raiders in coastal villages and the waters around Europe and North Africa for hundreds of years without success.???They did not think our new navy with ships commanded by “a pack of schoolboys” could possibly succeed.
But Richard Somers and those other young Americans outfought, outsmarted, and defeated them in battle after battle.????British Admiral Horatio Nelson praised an American victory in one battle as?“the most bold and daring act of the age”.???Pope Pius VII said the Americans?”had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages.”???? All of the Muslim leaders in North Africa quickly made peace with America except for the?”radical? ruler of Tripoli, now known as Libya.?? He ordered?his warships into the safety of the harbor, and waited for?the American Congress to get?tired of spending money on a long war 5,000 miles away.?? Richard Somers and his crew agreed that if they did not win a quick victory, they would be called home before their job was done.??? They came up with a daring plan to quickly win the war.
Their plan failed.? Richard Somers and his entire crew?were all killed when their ship “Intrepid” exploded prematurely.?? However, their courage inspired their fellow Americans to renew the attack and win the war the following year.
The skill, courage, and sacrifice of these brave young Americans effectively ended Muslim terror attacks and demands for tribute and ransom against Europeans and Americans for the next 150 years.?????? They also freed thousands of European slaves in these Muslim kingdoms, and increased public awareness of the evil of slavery in in America.
The story of Richard Somers is remarkable.?? But it is not ?politically correct?.?? It does not advance the agenda of ?progressives? who dominate our schools, colleges, media, and pop culture today.??? They don?t want us to know the true story of how American was once a land of boundless opportunity for young people, how war was sometimes necessary to defeat evil, and how Americans fought to end slavery when they became aware of its evil.
Please mark your calendar for the 1pm ceremony.?? In case of rain, it will be held at Somers Point City Hall across the street.
Also, please order your $25 tickets right away.?? Simply donate $25 for each ticket you want to buy through the PayPal button on this website.?? Or bring or mail your check to our office at 453 Shore Road in Somers Point, NJ? 08244.?? We will then mail or deliver your tickets.? Or buy your tickets between 9:30 and10:30 any Saturday during a weekly breakfast discussion at the Shore Diner, Tilton and Fire Roads by Parkway Exit 36.
Your financial support is critical.?? We used up the money we raised from dues and our February fundraiser and we depend on this event to pay our expenses for the rest of the year.
Thank you for your support.
SETH GROSSMAN, Executive Director