Bladensburg in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic Notable Events. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1794.
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 (Maryland Route 450) and 46th Street, on the right. Marker is in Bladensburg Waterfront Park, .2 miles south of the entrance at this intersection. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) (a few steps from this marker); Dinosaur Alley (a few steps from this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (a few steps from 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); The First Telegraph Line (1844) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 5,353 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 6, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 2. submitted on February 12, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.