Pirate story has Philadelphia hook

    When Somali pirates took the captain of an American ship hostage recently, history was repeating itself, and that history is rooted in the Delaware Valley. The Navy destroyer that came to the rescue is named the USS Bainbridge, after Commodore William Bainbridge. He was born in Princeton, is buried next to Christ Church at 5th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, and had his own history with pirates.

    When Somali pirates took the captain of an American ship hostage recently, history was repeating itself, and that history is rooted in the Greater Philadelphia region. The Navy destroyer that came to the rescue is named the USS Bainbridge, after Commodore William Bainbridge. He was born in Princeton, is buried next to Christ Church at 5th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, and had his own history with pirates.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090416bain.mp3]

    William Bainbridge has something in common with Richard Phillips, the recently rescued captain.

    They were both held prisoner by pirates.

    Eileen Morales is the curator of collections at the Historical Society of Princeton, which operates out of the New Jersey house where Bainbridge was born.

    Morales: He was ordered to approach the Mediterranean. On his journey there he looked at some maps and didn’t see some rocks off the shore of Tripoli. He eventually realized he couldn’t approach the shore any longer because of these rocks and the ship was eventually taken over by Barbary pirates, for 19 months the crew was held in Tripoli.

    Morales says after numerous attacks and escape attempts, Bainbridge was finally freed by a peace treaty in 1805.

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