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“To the Walls of Derne: William Eaton, the Tripoli Coup, and the End of the First Barbary War
,” by Chipp Reid. To the Walls of Derne recounts the 1804 naval campaign to unseat Yusuf Karamanli, the ruler of Tripoli.
Using a three-pronged approach, President Thomas Jefferson first ordered the most powerful U.S. naval squadron the world had yet seen to the Mediterranean to begin the attack on Karamanli. Under the command of Commodore Samuel Barron, the squadron included many of the same officers who had made Commodore Edward Preble’s summer campaign in 1804 a success. Barron, however, lacked Preble’s aggressive spirit, and he also had to contend with a debilitating illness. Meanwhile, President Jefferson gave Consul General Tobias Lear carte blanche to broker a peace treaty with Tripoli. Complicating his mission were the more than three hundred American captives who had fallen into corsair hands in 1803. Although Lear could ransom them, he had orders to pay as little as possible for a treaty. Against this backdrop, Jefferson had also approved a dramatic and daring attempt to oust Karamanli and replace him with his pro-American brother, Hamet. The mission was the brainchild of William Eaton, the soldier-turned-diplomat-turned adventurer who led an epic march across the Libyan Desert that culminated in the first-ever U.S. flag raising over foreign soil and this young nation’s first attempt at regime change.
Chipp Reid is a Marine Corps veteran, an award-winning reporter, a licensed ship captain and the author of the critically acclaimed Intrepid Sailors: The Legacy of Preble's Boys and the Tripoli Campaign and Lion in the Bay: The British Invasion of Chesapeake, which the Royal Marines Historical Society named its Book of the Year for 2017.
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