Saturday, October 22, 2011


Americans held hostage in the Middle East.  Nothing new.  In the 18th and 19th Centuries American sailors endured as hostages and slaves. 

1.  Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival, Dean King (2004).  In 1815, an American merchant ship wrecked on the coast of the Sahara.  They were taken captive by Muslim traders and traded as slaves.   Their story is said to have deeply influenced Abraham Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.   Bought new.

2.  The Prisoners of Algiers: An Account of the Forgotten American  - American War 1785-1797, H.G. Barnby (1966).    The story of American sailors taken hostage by the Pirate States of Algiers.  Their capture lead to the creation of an American Navy and the verse in the U.S. Marine's Hymn, "the shores of Tripoli."  Birthday gift, from a used book store.   

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