“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bladensburg in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds

Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker Photo, Click for full size
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker
Inscription. The Bladensburg dueling grounds were the scene of at least 26 recorded duels during the nineteenth century. Although the location of these duels was considered part of the Bladensburg area when they were fought, today the dueling grounds lie within the town boundaries of Colmar Manor. This was a favored place for the gentlemen of Washington, including congressmen and military officers, to settle their disputes since it was just beyond the Washington, D.C. line.

The most famous duel to take place at the Bladensburg dueling grounds occurred on March 20, 1820, when two of the highest-ranking officers in the United States Navy faced off against each other: Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore James Barron. After harboring ill will toward one another for years, the two commodores chose the dueling grounds as the field of honor for settling their differences once and for all. Both men were struck by their opponent's first shot. Barron, though seriously injured, would recover, but Stephen Decatur, one of America's greatest naval heroes, was mortally wounded and died two days later.
Location. 38° 56.116′ N, 76° 56.299′ W. Marker is in Bladensburg, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Annapolis Road (
Map of Bladensburg Showing Dueling Ground Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
2. Map of Bladensburg Showing Dueling Ground
Maryland Route 450) and 46th Street, on the right. Click for map. Marker is in Bladensburg Waterfront Park, .2 miles south of the entrance at this intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dinosaur Alley (a few steps from this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (a few steps from this marker); Clearing the Way to Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park - Port Town History (within shouting distance of this marker); First Unmanned Balloon Ascension (1784) (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonial Ropemaking (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Bladensburg.
More about this marker. This marker is in Bladensburg Waterfront Park, along with other historical markers related to Bladensburg. Another traditional Maryland historical marker titled "Dueling Grounds" is located at the site of the actual dueling grounds.
Categories. Notable Events
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 4,492 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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