Burning of the frigate USS Philadelphia
in the harbor of Tripoli, February 16, 1804,
by Edward Moran, painted 1897
“It would be unjust of me, were I to pass over the important services rendered by Mr. Salvatore Catalano, on whose conduct the success of the enterprise in the greatest degree depended.” – Lt. Stephen Decatur: writing in his official report on the burning of the Philadelphia; February, 1804.
Early Greeks and Romans likewise frequently joined “the red brotherhood”. Later on, of course, when the Romans established themselves as the supreme power in the Mediterranean, piracy was brutally suppressed. After the fall of Rome, invading Norsemen, Slavs and Muslims revived the practice. In spite of often draconian measures by lawful powers, by the beginning of the 19th century piracy was still a major international problem.
Reprinted from They too made
America great by Adolph Caso
“A half century later Americans repaid the debt to Catalano in his own Sicily. William DeRohan of Philadelphia, through private subscriptions and voluntary donations, obtained supplies and equipment for Garibaldi’s expedition and shipped them to Genoa, where he transferred the cargo to three ships which sailed for Sicily under the American flag. The American minister, John Moncure Daniel, descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, dispatched a message to Captain Palmer of the Iroquois, an American warship in the waters off Palermo, urging him to assure safe passage to these three vessels. They arrived in Palermo at the very moment that Garibaldi’s need was the greatest, enabling him to continue the battle until he captured enough of the enemy’s supplies to carry him to the ultimate triumph.” – Michael A. Musmanno: The Story of the Italians in America; pg. 267, Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1965.
- Michael A. Musmanno: The Story of the Italians in America; pgs. 19-21, Doubleday & Co., Inc. 1965.
- Louis A. Lepis: Italian Heroes of American History; pgs. 51-55, Thomas J. Nunziata & Co., 1992.