STEPHEN DECATUR, a famous commodore in the United States navy, was born in Maryland in 1779. He entered the
naval service in 1798. In 1804, when the American vessel Philadelphia had been run aground and captured in the
harbor of Tripoli, Decatur, at the head of a few men, boarded her and burned her in the face of the guns from th
e city defenses. For this daring deed he was made captain. He was given command of the frigate United States at
the breaking out of the war of 1812, and in October of that year he captured the British frigate Macedonian, and
was rewarded with a gold medal by congress. After the close of the war he was sent as commander of a fleet of ten
vessels to chastise the dey of Algiers, who was preying upon American commerce with impunity and demanding tribute
and ransom for the release of American citizens captured. Decatur captured a number of Algerian vessels, and compelled
the dey to sue for peace. He was noted for his daring and intrepidity, and his coolness in the face of danger,
and helped to bring the United States navy into favor with the people and congress as a means of defense and offense
in time of war. He was killed in a duel by Commodore Barron, March 12, 1820.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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