Dueling Grounds

DuelingGroundV1In the ravine just north of the Fort Lincoln Cemetery amidst a cluster of trees was the famous Bladensburg Dueling Ground where more than fifty duels were fought during the first half of the 19th century. On what became known as “The Dark and Bloody Grounds,” gentlemen of Washington, D.C., settled their political and personal differences. One of the most famous disputes was between Commodores Stephen Decatur and James Barron, which was settled on March 22, 1820. Commodore Decatur, who had gained fame as the conqueror of the Barbary Pirates, was fatally wounded by Commodore Barron. Congress passed an Anti-Dueling Law in 1839, however duels continued there until just before the Civil War.