Stephen Decatur: "The Conqueror of the Barbary Pirates"

Born today was Stephen Decatur

American sea captain and navigator.

He made our early navy strong

And said 'My country, right or wrong.' *

If right, he'd die for it in any fight.

If wrong, he'd  always strive to make it right.

File:Decatur MacDonough Saratoga 1937 Issue-2c.jpg

One of America's greatest naval heroes, Decatur met an untimely death in a duel with another naval officer. In Illinois his name survives in the centrally-located city of Decatur and in Lake Decatur, the largest lake on the Sangamon River.

*His  actual words were: "Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right, but right or wrong, our Country!"

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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