Decatur, Stephen

born Jan. 5, 1779, Sinepuxent, Md., U.S.
died March 22, 1820, Bladensburg, Md.

U.S. naval officer.

He entered the navy in 1798. In the Tripolitan War, he led a daring expedition into the harbour of Tripoli to burn a captured U.S. ship. In the War of 1812 he commanded the USS United States and captured the British ship Macedonian. In 1815 he commanded a squadron in the Mediterranean that forced a peace with the Barbary states on U.S. terms. At a banquet on his return he gave a toast that included the words "Our country, right or wrong." In the same year he was made a navy commissioner, an office he held until he was killed in a duel.

Stephen Decatur, detail from an engraving by Henry Meyer after a portrait by John Wesley Jarvis.

U.S. Navy photo

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▪ United States naval officer
born Jan. 5, 1779, Sinepuxent, Md., U.S.
died March 22, 1820, Bladensburg, Md.
 U.S. naval officer who held important commands in the War of 1812. Replying to a toast after returning from successful engagements abroad (1815), he replied with the famous words: “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.”

      Decatur entered the navy in 1798 and saw service in the quasi-war with France (1798–1800). In 1804 he led an expedition into the harbour of Tripoli to burn the U.S. frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into Tripolitan hands. He succeeded in this objective and made his escape under fire with only one man wounded. This exploit earned him his captain's commission and a sword of honour from Congress.

 In the War of 1812, his ship, the United States, captured the British vessel HMS Macedonian. In 1813 he was appointed commodore to command a squadron in New York Harbor, which was soon blockaded by the British. In an attempt to break out (January 1815), his flagship, the President, was forced to surrender to a superior force. Subsequently, he commanded in the Mediterranean area against the corsairs of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli with great success. He was made a navy commissioner in November, 1815—an office he held until killed in a duel.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decatur,Stephen — Decatur, Stephen. 1779 1820. American naval officer known for his heroic deeds in the Tripolitan War, the War of 1812, and skirmishes against the Barbary pirates. * * * …   Universalium

  • Decatur, Stephen — (5 ene. 1779, Sinepuxent, Md., EE.UU.–22 mar. 1820, Bladensburg, Md.). Oficial naval estadounidense. Entró a la marina en 1798. Durante la guerra de Tripolitania, dirigió una osada expedición al interior del puerto de Trípoli destinada a prender… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Stephen Decatur — jun. Stephen Decatur junior (* 5. Januar 1779 in Berlin, MD; † 22. März 1820 in Bladensburg, MD) war ein amerikanischer Marineoffizier und Nationalheld. Er wurde für sein Wirken im Amerikanisch T …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Decatur — is the name of many places in the United States, most of which are named for Stephen Decatur, a U.S. Naval officer at the turn of the 19th century. Contents 1 People 2 Places 2.1 United States 2.1.1 …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen Decatur — Retrato de Stephen Decatur Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Stephen Decatur — est un officier de Marine franco américain, né le 5 janvier 1779 à Sinepuxent (Maryland) et mort en duel le 22 mars 1820 à Blandensburg (Maryland). Il est célèbre pour son héroïsme lors des guerres de Barbarie dans la campagne de Tripoli et lors… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stephen Decatur — For other people named Stephen Decatur, see Stephen Decatur (disambiguation). Stephen Decatur, Jr …   Wikipedia

  • Decatur — /di kay teuhr/, n. 1. Stephen, 1779 1820, U.S. naval officer. 2. a city in central Illinois. 94,081. 3. a city in N Alabama. 42,002. 4. a city in N Georgia, near Atlanta. 18,404. * * * City (pop., 2000: 81,860), central Illinois, U.S. Situated on …   Universalium

  • Stephen — /stee veuhn/, n. 1. Saint, died A.D. c35, first Christian martyr. 2. Saint, c975 1038, first king of Hungary 997 1038. 3. (Stephen of Blois) 1097? 1154, king of England 1135 54. 4. Sir Leslie, 1832 1904, English critic, biographer, and… …   Universalium

  • Stephen — (as used in expressions) Austin, Stephen (Fuller) Bechtel, Stephen D(avison) Benét, Stephen Vincent Biko, Stephen Breyer, Stephen (Gerald) Brook, Sir Peter (Stephen Paul) Case, Stephen Cleveland, (Stephen) Grover Crane, Stephen Decatur, Stephen… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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