Robert J. Allison

Stephen Decatur: American Naval hero

Born to an immigrant Philadelphia family in 1779, Stephen Decatur became at age twenty-five the youngest man ever to serve as a captain in the U.S. Navy. His intrepid heroism, leadership, and devotion to duty made him a perfect symbol of the aspirations of the growing nation. Leading men to victory in Tripoli, the War of 1812, and the Algerian war of 1815, and coining the phrase "Our country, right or wrong," Decatur created an enduring legend of bravery, celebrated in poetry, song, paintings, and the naming of dozens of towns—from Georgia to Alabama to Illinois.
Decatur’s friendships with James Madison, John Quincy Adams, and others made him a rising star in national politics. He and his wife Susan built an elegant home near the White House, which became a center of Washington society. The capital and the nation were shocked when Decatur was killed at the age of forty-one in a duel with a rival navy captain. Although he died prematurely, Decatur played a significant role in the shaping of the nation’s identity at a time when the American people were deciding what kind of nation they would become.

Selected Works

A Free, On-Line course!
Here is a free, on-line course on Boston history we are developing. Open to all--join and learn more about this great city!
My most recent book.
A Concise History of the American Revolution
The Autobiography of an extraordinary man.
Concise account of the Tea Party.
A concise account of the event that touched off the Revolution
The life and career of the greatest American naval hero.
Very brief description goes here
First encounters between the U.S. and the Muslim World
A short history of Cape Cod, and the men and women who have lived on its sandy hills.
Lecture series--DVD or CD
A 36-lecture course on Colonial America.

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