In the early years of this nation, President Thomas Jefferson found himself involved in one of the first conflicts overseas in the First Barbary War.
Jefferson, one of the first true isolationists, was reluctant to deploy forces in foreign engagements. However, faced with the demanding security of our merchant fleet and the growing concerns regarding our fragile economy, Jefferson had no choice but to protect the free flow of commerce and deploy the Navy.
With several newly commissioned frigates, the Navy would take station in the Mediterranean, off what is known today as Libya, in direct response to the piracy. The buccaneers of the Barbary States were not only seizing our merchant ships, but holding the crews hostage for enormous ransom and forcing them into slavery.