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Decatur, Stephen

There Were two of this name, father and son. 0ne, born at Newport, Rhode Island, exact date unknown, died in 1808, at Philadelphia. Captain in the United States Navy from its birth, Brother Decatur was in charge of the Delaware, sloop of war, and later on commanded the Philadelphia, until the close of the differences with France. He moved from Philadelphia to Sinnepuxent, Maryland, and there, January 5, 1779, his son, Stephen Decatur II, was born. In August, 1777, Brother Decatur, the father, was initiated in Lodge No. 16, at Baltimore, and later in the same year received the Second and Third Degrees. Baltimore Lodge No. 16 was chartered by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1770. In 1781 its Charter was forfeited but was restored in 1785 as Saint, Johns Lodge No. 20, Fells Point, Baltimore, and which later went out of existence. Grand Secretary John A. Perry, Pennsylvania, writes to us that on "revering to the Minute Book of Lodge No. 3, I find the signature of Stephen Decatur of the outside leaf. The minutes show:

Stated Lodge opened in due form April 18, 1780.

Brother Decatur of Lodge No. 16 in Maryland petitioned to become a member of this Lodge, was balloted or and unanimously approved of.

Lodge closed and a Master's Lodge opened.

Brothers Jackway and Decatur were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, returned and gave thanks. Brother Decatur paid his fees $100.00 in the hands of the Treasurer.

" He no doubt previously received the Entered Apprentice Degree in Lodge No. 16, Baltimore, Maryland, whose Warrant was granted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, September 21, 1779, but was not in existence very long." The claim is made but not fully proven that the younger Stephen Decatur was initiated in Saint Johns Lodge, either of Maryland or Rhode Island, October 12, 1799. He became a naval commander of prominence and met with great success in various enterprises (see History of Freemasonry in Maryland , E.T. Schultz volume 1, pages 60, 102; also Builder, George W. Baird, May, 1920).

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