|About the Book|
What small boy wouldnt like to own a boat - small, to be sure, and not new or fancy - but a seaworthy boat with real sails? On such a craft, which they christened the BARBARY COAST, little Stephen Decatur and his good friends, Dick Rush and CharlieMoreWhat small boy wouldnt like to own a boat - small, to be sure, and not new or fancy - but a seaworthy boat with real sails? On such a craft, which they christened the BARBARY COAST, little Stephen Decatur and his good friends, Dick Rush and Charlie Stewart, cruised up and down the Delaware River and explored small creeks and islands near the city of Philadelphia. Once they even challenged Mr Fitchs odd-looking steam-propelled vessel to a race. Who won? Youd be surprised.Philadelphia in the late eighteenth century was an exciting place for young Americans to grow up in. The Colonies had just won their independence from England and were trying to set up their own government. There was disturbing news of rebellion in France. There were all sorts of difficulties for a new young country to face - including pirates, the Barbary pirates from Tripoli and the other states of the Barbary coast.Stephen Decatur dreamed of fighting those pirates someday - some wonderful day when he would command a big ship as his father did. Stephens mother didnt want her oldest son to follow the sea, but from the beginning Stephen knew he could do nothing else.Stephens boyhood held a variety of interesting experiences. To recuperate from illness he was taken by his father on a voyage to France. What he saw there made him appreciate his own country and his own flag.The boy who became the hero of the INTREPID was always valiant, not hesitating to risk his own life to save anothers, whether friend or stranger. He fought when provoked but he would not fight a boy smaller than he. He devised dangerous water games of diving and swimming, and he it was who had to outdo his playmates in their contests.