Sitting quietly off to the side at the busy Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, one of the oldest military monuments in the United States stands strong. Honoring the heroes that fell during the First Barbary War. The monument reflects an early but very important period of American and naval history.
Carved in 1806 in Italy, the statue was brought to the United States as ballast on the USS Constitution.
Originally erected at the Washington Navy Yard in 1808, it was the federal capital’s first monument and for a period of 35 years the only monument in the District of Columbia. It witnessed and weathered the War of 1812; the building, burning, and rebuilding of the capital, and the slow establishment of the city itself.
For 52 years, its existence in a “small circular pond of dirty fresh water-not large enough for a duck puddle-to represent the Mediterranean Sea.” was plagued with uncertainties and agitations.
Dissension and dissatisfaction continued until 1860 when the monument was moved to Annapolis.