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University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League), 3355 Woodland Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Stephen Decatur, Jr. House, 1610 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006, Stati Uniti
St Peter, 313 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Stati Uniti

Image result for Stephen DecaturStephen Decatur, Jr. (January 5, 1779 – March 22, 1820) was a United States naval officer and commodore. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland in Worcester County, the son of a U.S. naval officer who served during the Revolutionary War. His father Stephen Decatur Sr. was a commodore in the U.S. Navy who introduced him to the world of ships and sailing at an early age. Decatur followed in his father's footsteps and joined the U.S. Navy after college at age 19 as a midshipman.[1][2]

At the university, he became friends with Charles Stewart and Richard Somers, who became naval officers.[17]

Decatur supervised the construction of several U.S. naval vessels, one of which he later commanded. He is the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy.[3] He served under three presidents and played a major role in the early development of the American navy. In almost every theater of operation, Decatur's service was characterized by acts of heroism and exceptional performance. His service in the Navy took him through both Barbary Wars in North Africa, the Quasi-War with France, and the War of 1812 with Britain. He was renowned for his natural ability to lead and for his genuine concern for the seamen under his command.[4] His numerous naval victories against Britain, France, and the Barbary states established the United States Navy as a rising power.

Decatur served aboard and commanded many naval vessels and ultimately became a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners. He built a large home in Washington, D.C. known as Decatur House on Lafayette Square, and he was at the center of Washington society in the early 19th century.[5] He became an affluent member of Washington society and counted James Monroe and other Washington dignitaries among his personal friends.[6]

Stephen Decatur, Jr. House, 1610 H St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Decatur's career came to an early end when he was killed in a duel with a rival officer.[7][8] He emerged as a national hero in his own lifetime, becoming the first post-Revolutionary War hero. His name and legacy became identified with the United States Navy, like that of John Paul Jones.[9][10]

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  1. "Commodore Stephen Decatur, USN, (1779–1820)". Naval History & Heritage Command, Department of the Navy. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
  2. Waldo, 1821 Chapter I, Introductory.
  3. Mackenzie, 1846, pp. 120–21; Allison, 2005, pp. 1–17.
  4. Lewis, 1937, p. 55.
  5. Guttridge, 2005, p. 83.
  6. Guttridge, 2005, p. 226.
  7. Waldo, 1821, pp. 289–93.
  8. Mackenzie, 1846, pp. 320–25.
  9. Waldo, 1821, p. 13.
  10. Abbot, W. John, 1886, p. 70.