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

Bladensburg Dueling Grounds

Battle of Bladensburg

 

—Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —

 
Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
1. Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker
Inscription. Throughout much of the nineteenth century, the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds were well-known as a place to settle differences. The site was a secluded location, close to taverns, and fell outside of Washington D.C.'s boundaries, where dueling was prohibited. The first notable fight was between two members of Congress in 1808.

More than 26 recorded and 50 reported duels were fought in the 1800's — including the duel between Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore James Barron in 1820. Decatur and Barron were both captains in the Navy. Decatur was on a court-martial board that found Barron guilty of neglect of duty. They met to duel with pistols at eight paces. Decatur was killed and Barron wounded.

Duels were officially banned in 1839 in Maryland, but likely continued here until the Civil War when this site was used as a camp adjacent to Fort Lincoln.

Barney's Position

During the battle, Commodore Joshua Barney took a position on the hills above the dueling grounds — providing the tactical advantage. He held his cannons until the British were within a few hundred yards and fired the massive eighteen-pounder, clearing the road several times. The British retreated to the safety of the natural ravine.
 
Erected 2014 by National Park Service
Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
2. Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker
.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 56.044′ N, 76° 57.147′ W. Marker is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is at the intersection of Bladensburg Road (U.S. 1) and 38th Avenue, on the left when traveling south on Bladensburg Road. Touch for map. At the north of the small bridge over dueling creek at the Bladensburg dueling grounds. This was Tourncliff's bridge during the battle in 1814. Marker is in this post office area: Brentwood MD 20722, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Second Line Falls (was here, next to this marker but has been reported missing. ); The Road to the Capital (here, next to this marker); Dueling Grounds (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Dueling Grounds (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marines & Flotillamen (about 400 feet away); A Valiant Stand (about 400 feet away); The Road to the Capitol (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Second Line Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colmar Manor.
 
More about this marker. This marker replaces the "Second Line Falls" marker (HMdb #61136)
Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
3. Bladensburg Dueling Grounds Marker
behind the other "Dueling Grounds" marker at this location
at this location.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 22, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 500 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 22, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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