On this site, now part of Anacostia River Park, more than 50 duels were fought during the first half of the 19th century. Here, on what became known as "the dark and bloody grounds", gentleman of Washington settled their political and personal differences. One of the most famous disputes was that between commodores Stephen Decatur and James Barron which was settled here on March 22, 1820. Commodore Decatur, who had gained fame as the conqueror of the Barbary pirates, was fatally wounded by his antagonist. Although Congress passed an anti-dueling law in 1839, duels continued here until just before the Civil War.