Decatur, Stephen – Commodore US Navy


This Stephen Decatur mug is part of our collection of our Barbary Wars biographical mugs.  An image of Stephen Decatur and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Stephen Decatur Jr. was a U.S. naval officer and commodore.  At 19, he joined the newly formed U.S. Navy and rapidly rose in rank.  Decatur served under three presidents and played a major role in the early development of the U.S. Navy.  His service took him through both the Barbary Wars in North Africa and the War of 1812.  He is best known for his acts as a lieutenant during the Barbary Wars.  After the USS Philadelphia had been captured by the Barbary pirates, Stephen Decatur Jr. led 75 volunteers aboard the Philadelphia, and set it on fire, thus preventing it from being used by the Barbary pirates.  In 1815, he was captured by the British and released after peace was declared in the War of 1812.  Decatur died in a duel with Commodore James Barron on March 22, 1820.

 The Barbary Wars

The Barbary Wars were fought in the early 19th century between the United States and the Barbary states.  The wars were in reaction to Barbary pirates who demanded tribute from American merchant vessels or face being captured and the crew either being ransomed or enslaved.  Without a navy, the United States paid nearly a fifth of its annual budget in tribute to pirates.  The United States responded by building heavy frigates and establishing the U.S. Navy.  In 1799, the Federalist Party adopted the slogan, Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.

This Stephen Decatur Jr. history mug is part of our Barbary War series which includes many of the notable figures who played major roles during this conflict.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

Additional information


Small, Large


White Deco, Black Lined Deco, Black Lined & Handle Deco, All White-Full Photo, Black Lined-Full Photo, Black Lined & Handle-Full Photo, All Black