Stephen Decatur is the principal character in and title of a series by Edwin P. Hoyt
The stories are about the real life Stephen Decatur, Jr. (1779–1820) who was a United States naval officer and commodore notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, in Worcester County, the son of a U.S. naval officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college, Decatur followed in his father's footsteps and joined the U.S. Navy in 1798 as a midshipman at the age of 19. He served under three presidents, and played a major role in the early development of the American navy. He was the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in it's history and he supervised the construction of several U.S. naval vessels, one of which he would later command. He became an affluent member of Washington society and counted James Monroe and other Washington dignitaries among his personal friends.
In almost every theater of operation, Decatur's service was characterized with acts of heroism and exceptional performance. His service in the Navy took him through both Barbary Wars in North Africa, the Quasi-War with France, and the War of 1812 with Britain. During this period he served aboard and commanded many naval vessels and ultimately became a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners. He was renowned for his natural ability to lead and for his genuine concern for the seamen under his command. Decatur's distinguished career in the Navy came to an early end when he lost his life in a duel with a rival officer.