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Perry, Oliver Hazard - History

Perry, Oliver Hazard - History


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Perry, Oliver Hazard (1785-1819) Naval Officer: Oliver Hazard Perry was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, on August 20, 1785. A midshipman at the age of 14, he took part in the undeclared war with France in 1799 and 1800, and fought in the Tripolitan War in 1802-3 and 1804-6. Obtaining the rank of lieutenant, he was given the responsibility to build gunboats in Rhode Island and Connecticut from 1807 to 1809. Given command of the schooner Revenge, he recovered the Diana, an American ship that had been seized by the British. Later, his ship was run ashore in a fog off Rhode Island, but Perry was cleared of any responsibility during the investigation. After the War of 1812 began, he built a fleet in what is now Erie, Pennsylvania. his most famous battle took place on Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, when he defeated the British Lawrence with the American Niagara, despite having lost over 80% of his men. When he made his report to General William Henry Harrison, he included the now famous words: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." Perry went on to capture Detroit; invade Canada and serve as Harrison's aide at the Battle of Thames, in today's Ontario, Canada. While cruising the Mediterranean in 1816 and 1817, he struck a Marine officer named John Heath. Both Perry and Heath were court-martialed and reprimanded. They decided to duel. After Heath shot first, and missed, Perry refused to fire. In 1819, Perry led a diplomatic mission to Venezuela. He died of yellow fever off the island of Trinidad on August 23, 1819, and was buried in the Port of Spain. His remains were transferred to Newport in 1826.


"We have met the enemy and they are ours"

Oliver Hazard Perry’s stunning victory on Lake Erie had far-reaching effects, sounding a death knell for Tecumseh’s dreams of establishing an Indian confederacy.

"We have met the enemy and they are ours." Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, September 10, 1813

Oliver Hazard Perry's transfer from the Lawrence to the Niagara

William Henry Powell, 1872, United States Capitol

In the western Canadian theater of the War of 1812, control of Lake Erie was vital to the supply of British forces stationed along the Detroit River. The ensuing struggle between the United States and Britain for control of this lifeline redefined the war’s stakes, leading to one of the most remarkable engagements in naval history and to the collapse of Shawnee leader Tecumseh’s strategic aspirations.

From the beginning of the war, the British dominated Lake Erie, but in the spring of 1813, American commander of naval forces on the lake, Oliver Hazard Perry, arrived to challenge British supremacy. Perry established a base at Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, and his crew of shipbuilders frenetically built a fleet of American warships from scratch.

By mid-summer, Perry was ready to launch his flotilla, but that required floating his vessels one by one over a formidable sandbar, leaving them vulnerable to attack. The British commander on Lake Erie, Robert Barclay, knew that and established a blockade offshore, but for reasons historians do not understand, Barclay lifted the blockade. With that chance opportunity, Perry launched the ships Lawrence and Niagara, using pontoons to raise them over the sand. After Perry launched his first ship, Barclay reappeared, but luckily for Perry and the Americans, Barclay hurried off, hoping to get one of his own newly built ships underway.

The ensuing naval engagement was ferocious. Perry’s flagship, the Lawrence, was badly damaged, and his crew suffered 80 percent casualties. Perry abandoned ship and rowed to the largely unscathed Niagara to resume the fight. Ultimately, Perry’s counterblows forced Barclay to surrender his entire squadron— something that had never happened in British naval history. After the battle, Perry sent his famous dispatch to Major General William Henry Harrison: “We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.”

Perry’s lucky and extraordinarily brave actions altered the balance of power in the West: the loss of the British squadron paved the way for General Harrison’s autumn invasion of Canada along the Detroit River.

The battle had other ramifications as well. British General Henry Procter’s decision to retreat enraged his ally Tecumseh, who vowed to stay and fight. It was a fateful move for the Shawnee leader: he would be killed in October 1813 at the Battle of the Thames. His death dashed visions of a pan-Indian confederacy that might have held the line against American westward expansion.


Oliver H. Perry

Oliver Hazard Perry was born in Rhode Island in 1785. Oliver was the oldest of five boys born to Christopher and Sarah Perry. Perry's ancestors on both sides were accomplished naval men. His mother taught her boys to read and write and made sure that they attended church.

By the age of twelve, Perry had sailed with his father to the West Indies. By the age of fourteen, Perry was a commissioned midshipman on his father's ship. In 1807, he became a commissioned lieutenant in the United States army. He used his time in the army to refine his naval skills.

At the beginning of the War of 1812, the United States sent Perry to command the U.S. forces on Lake Erie. When he arrived in Presque Isle (modern-day Erie, Pennsylvania), Perry commissioned several carpenters to build a fleet of ships. Within a year, he had nine ships. However, only two, the Lawrence and the Niagara, were fit for battle. Perry had also assembled a force of about five hundred men to serve under him, and after several months of drilling, they were a capable naval unit.

In September 1813, Perry set sail for Put-In Bay to meet the British fleet. The British were anticipating an easy victory. On September 10, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie took place. Early in the battle, the British were taking a heavy toll on the American ships. The Lawrence was destroyed. Perry took the ship's flag and sailed for the Niagara. The battle began to turn for the Americans. The British ships had taken heavy cannon fire and were unable to effectively fight the Niagara. The Niagara rammed the British lead ship while the sailors fired rifles at the British seamen. By nightfall, the British had lowered their flag and surrendered to Perry, who was only twenty-seven years old.

Perry sent a dispatch to General William Henry Harrison, recounting the details of the battle. In the dispatch, he wrote, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”

Perry also took part in the Battle of the Thames, contributing to the U.S. victory. After the War of 1812, Perry received a medal of honor from Congress. The United States also promoted him to the rank of captain.

He continued to serve the United States army, commanding ships in the Mediterranean and the West Indies. While in the West Indies, he contracted yellow fever and died in 1819.


Early naval career [ edit | edit source ]

By the age of twelve, Perry had sailed with his father to the West Indies and by at the age of 13 was appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy on April 7, 1799, aboard the USS General Greene, commanded by his father who was a captain. Their first stop was in Cuba to receive US merchant ships and provide them escort from Havana to the United States. Α] Δ] During the Quasi-War with France, he served on this frigate. Ε] He first experienced combat on February 9, 1800, off the coast of the French colony of Haiti, which was in a state of rebellion. Ζ] Η]

During the First Barbary War, he served on the USS Adams ⎖] and later commanded the USS Nautilus during the capture of Derna. Beginning in 1806, he commanded the sloop USS Revenge, engaging in patrol duties to enforce the Embargo Act, as well as a successful raid to regain a U.S. ship held in Spanish territory in Florida. On January 9, 1811, the Revenge ran aground off Rhode Island and was lost. "Seeing fairly quickly that he could not save the vessel, [Perry] turned his attention to saving the crew, and after helping them down the ropes over the vessel's stern, he was the last to leave the vessel." ⎗] :61 The following court-martial exonerated Perry, placing blame on the ship's pilot. [upper-alpha 1] ⎘] In January 2011, a team of divers claimed to have discovered the remains of the Revenge, nearly 200 years to the day after it sank. ⎙] ⎚]

Following the court-martial, Perry was given a leave of absence from the navy. On May 5, 1811, he married Elizabeth Champlin Mason of Newport, Rhode Island, whom he had met at a dance in 1807. ⎘] They enjoyed an extended honeymoon touring New England. The couple would eventually have five children, with one dying in infancy. ⎛]


Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

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About Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (August 23, 1785 – August 23, 1819) was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, the son of Captain Christopher Raymond Perry and Sarah Wallace Alexander. He was an older brother to Matthew Calbraith Perry. As a boy, he lived in South Carolina, sailing ships practicing for his future career as an officer in the US Navy. He served in the War of 1812 against Britain, and earned the title "Hero of Lake Erie" for leading American forces in a decisive naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Perry is descended from Scotland's national hero, William Wallace.

Oliver Hazard Perry, Issue of 1894 : Educated in Newport, Rhode Island, Perry was appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy on April 7, 1799. During the Quasi-War with France, he was assigned to his father's frigate, the USS General Greene. He first experienced combat on February 9, 1800, off the coast of the French colony of Haiti, which was in a state of rebellion.

During the First Barbary War, he initially served on the USS Adams and later commanded USS Nautilus during the capture of Derna. At Perry's request during the War of 1812, he was given command of United States naval forces on Lake Erie. He supervised the building of a small fleet at Dobbin's Landing in Presque Isle Bay in Erie, Pennsylvania. On September 10, 1813, Perry's fleet defended against an attacking British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry's flagship, the USS Lawrence, was destroyed in the encounter and Perry was rowed a half-mile through heavy gunfire to transfer command to the USS Niagara, carrying his battle flag (reading "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP", the final words of Captain James Lawrence). Perry's battle report to General William Henry Harrison was famously brief: "We have met the enemy and they are ours two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." At one point in time Perry's ship was so battle-scarred that it was barely afloat and almost on its side, a British frigate sailed to meet Perry's ship. The British Admiral offered to let Perry surrender. Perry replied to the British Admiral's offer with a barrage of cannon balls. In the end, the British Admiral surrendered his ship.

His victory opened Canada up to possible invasion, while simultaneously protecting the entire Ohio Valley. It was one of only two significant fleet victories of the war, along with the Battle of Plattsburgh.

In 1819, during an expedition to Venezuela's Orinoco River Oliver Hazard Perry died of yellow fever contracted from mosquitos while aboard the armed schooner USS Nonsuch. He was 34 years old. Perry's remains were buried in Port of Spain, Trinidad, but were later taken back to the United States and interred in Newport, Rhode Island. After resting briefly in the Old Common Burial Ground, his body was moved a final time to Newport's Island Cemetery, where his brother Matthew C. Perry is also interred.

On May 5, 1811 he married twenty year old Elizabeth Champlin Mason at Newport, Rhode Island. The dashing young naval officer first encountered his future bride at a dance four years earlier. The newlyweds enjoyed an extended honeymoon, leisurely touring the New England states. Eventually the union, always described as a happy one, would produce five children, one of whom died in infancy.

Two of his descendents were Commander John Rodgers, the second naval officer to become an aviator and well known civilian aviator Calbraith Perry Rodgers first person to fly an airplane across the United States.

PERRY, Oliver Hazard, naval officer, was born in Newport, R.I., Aug. 21, 1785 eldest son of Christopher Raymond and Sarah (Alexander) Perry grandson of Freeman Perry, and a descendant in the sixth generation of Edward Perry, who emigrated from Devonshire, England, and settled in Sandwith, Mass., in 1653. His father was an officer in the patriot army and navy during the Revolutionary war was made post captain in the U.S. navy Jan. 9, 1798 built and commanded the General Greene and cruised in the West Indies participated in the civil war in Santo Domingo and was appointed collator of Newport, R.I., in 1801.

Apparently a very precocious child, well liked by his peers and adults and the idol of his younger brothers and sisters. He so impressed Bishop Seabury of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut that he was confirmed at an earlier age than was usual.

Oliver attended private schools, and was a pupil of Count Rochambeau. He joined the United States Navy as a midshipman, April 7, 1797, and cruised with his father, a naval officer, in the West Indies, 1799-1800. He was ordered to the Adams in 1802 and served in the Tripolitan war under Preble: served on board the Constellation in the Mediterranean, 1804-05 was given command of the Nautilus in 1805 and was promoted January 15, 1807 to Lieutenant. He was promoted master of the schooner Revenge in 1809, and served on that vessel until she was stranded on the rocks off Watch Hill, R.I., Jan. 9, 1810. During the embargo that led to the war of 1812 commanded a fleet of seventeen gun boats off Newport Harbor.

He was married May 5, 1811, to Elizabeth Champlain, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Mason, Newport.

He was a famous Naval officer of the Second War with Great Britian. He was a Commodore in the U.S. Navy, and the Commander in victory upon Lake Erie over the British naval forces during the war of 1812-14.

Upon the outbreak of the war of 1812, be was promoted captain and resumed command of the gunboat fleet off Newport. On February 17, 1813, he was transferred at his own request to Sackett's Harbor, N.Y to serve under Commodore Isaac Chauncey on Lake Ontario in the building of a fleet to operate on the lakes.

In March, 1813, he was promoted master-commandant of a proposed Squadron to be built at Presque Isle (now Eire), Pennsylvania. He joined Captain Jesse D. Elliott in the completion of a fleet for the defence of the northwest. The fleet of nine vessels, comprising the tugs Lawrence and Niagara and the schooners Caledonia, Scorpion, Porcupine, Tigress, Ariel, Somers and Trippe of 500 tons burden, of lighter build but armed with heavy long guns, was completed in less than six months, and Perry set sail from Put-in-Bay, Ohio on the morning of Sept. 15, 1813, to meet the British fleet under Commodore Barclay.

This action known as the "battle of Lake Erie," or more commonly as "Perry's Victory," obtained him an immense popularity, partly attributable to the manner in which it was announced by the famous dispatch, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." Congress rewarded him with a vote of thanks, a medal, and the rank of Captain.

This fleet comprised the Chippewa, Detroit, Hunter, Queen Charlotte, Lady Prevost and Little Belt. The opening shot of the engagement was fired from the British flag-ship Detroit, to which Captain Perry replied from the Lawrence. This was immediately followed by a storm of iron hail from the entire British fleet that soon played havoc with the rigging, masts and bulwarks of the Americans. The battle now took the form of a duel, the heaviest vessels in each fleet confronting each other. The Lawrence was reduced to a bulk by the steady fire of the Detroit, and in two hours only one gun was left mounted and the deck was crowded with dead and wounded. The Niagara floated out of range, owing to the lightness of the wind, and was unable to give assistance to the Lawrence, and the rest of the American fleet were of little use on account of their light armament. Perry, assisted by Chaplain Breeze, Hambleton, the purser, and two unwounded sailors, continued to work the one remaining gun of the Lawrence until a shot killed Hambleton and dismantled the gun. A British victory seemed imminent when the undaunted Perry determined on a bold move. Ordering a boat lowered, with four sailors, and his brother Alexander, and with the flag of the Lawrence on his arm, he left the ship, and sheltered by the smoke and escaping a volley fired by the enemy, was rowed to the Niagara, where he hoisted his commodore's flag and assumed command.

Captain Elliott volunteered to bring up the laggard schooners to his support, and a new line of battle was formed at close quarters. The wind freshened and the American fleet under full sail bore down upon the enemy. In endeavoring to wear ship, the British ships, Detroit and Queen Charlotte, fell foul, and taking advantage of the situation, the Niagara dashed through the enemy's line, discharging both broadsides as she passed the gap. The Caledonia, Scorpion and Trippe broke the line at other points, and the batteries of the Niagara, assisted by the riflemen in the tops, so disabled the enemy that after seven minutes of fighting the flag of the Detroit was lowered and four of the six British vessels surrendered.

The two smaller boats that attempted to escape were pursued and captured by the Scorpion and Trippe, and after securing his prisoners and manning the prizes, Perry dispatched a letter to General Harrison in these words: "We have met the enemy and they are ours: Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." Later a second letter to Secretary of the Navy Jones informed the country of the victory. The British loss was over one hundred and sixty men killed and wounded, while Perry lost twenty-seven killed and ninety-six wounded.

He was commissioned post captain in the navy presented with the thanks of congress, a sword and a gold medal, with a set of silver by the city of Boston, and was voted thanks by other cities.

Perry co-operated with the army of General Harrison in his operations at Detroit in the invasion of Canada. Perry took an important part as commander of the fleet and of the naval battalion on land at the Battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813 where the British troops were almost entirely annihilated and the great Indian chief, Tecumseh, was killed.

In the following year was employed upon the Potomac and in the defense of Baltimore.

He commanded the frigate Java in the Mediterranean squadron under Stephen Decatur during the operations against Algiers in 1815-18.

He was promoted commodore and was sent to the Spanish Main in command of placed in command of the naval station in the West Indies and a squadron, June, 1819 he ascended the Orinoco to Angostura in July was seized with yellow fever, and he died at Port of Spain, on the island of Trinidad, the day of his arrival there, August 23, 1819, on board the ship, "John Adams," (or Iris) U.S.N., August 23, or 25, 1819.

Commodore Perry's career has been described with details in many publications he died at a comparatively early age. At 27 years of age he led an American fleet in a fierce conflict on Lake Erie and conquered an entire British fleet. With Lawrence's motto, "Don't give up the ship," as his fleet war-cry on that memorable tenth of September 1813, he was able to coin the memorable phrase, "We have met the enemy and they are ours."

His remains were interred at Port Spain, but were later removed to Newport, in a ship of war, by order of Congress, and buried there, December 4, 1826. An imposing granite obelisk was erected to his memory by the state of Rhode Island. A marble statue was unveiled in Cleveland, Ohio, in September, 1860, and a bronze statue by William G. Turner, erected by the citizens of Newport, R.I., was unveiled opposite his old home, Sept. 10, 1885. The state of Ohio presented to the capitol at Washington pictures of the "Battle of Lake Erie" and of "Perry leaving the Lawrence for the Niagara." His name received twenty-six votes for a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, New York university, October, 1900.

Oliver Hazard Perry, Issue of 1894

Educated in Newport, Rhode Island, Perry was appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy on April 7, 1799. During the Quasi-War with France, he was assigned to his father's frigate, the USS General Greene. He first experienced combat on February 9, 1800, off the coast of the French colony of Haiti, which was in a state of rebellion.

During the First Barbary War, he initially served on the USS Adams and later commanded USS Nautilus during the capture of Derna. At Perry's request during the War of 1812, he was given command of United States naval forces on Lake Erie. He supervised the building of a small fleet at Dobbin's Landing in Presque Isle Bay in Erie, Pennsylvania. On September 10, 1813, Perry's fleet defended against an attacking British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry's flagship, the USS Lawrence, was destroyed in the encounter and Perry was rowed a half-mile through heavy gunfire to transfer command to the USS Niagara, carrying his battle flag (reading "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP", the final words of Captain James Lawrence). Perry's battle report to General William Henry Harrison was famously brief: "We have met the enemy and they are ours two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." At one point in time Perry's ship was so battle-scarred that it was barely afloat and almost on its side, a British frigate sailed to meet Perry's ship. The British Admiral offered to let Perry surrender. Perry replied to the British Admiral's offer with a barrage of cannon balls. In the end, the British Admiral surrendered his ship.

Oliver Perry Monument in Newport, RI

His victory opened Canada up to possible invasion, while simultaneously protecting the entire Ohio Valley. It was one of only two significant fleet victories of the war, along with the Battle of Plattsburgh.

In 1819, during an expedition to Venezuela's Orinoco River Oliver Hazard Perry died of yellow fever contracted from mosquitos while aboard the Nonsuch. He was 34 years old. Perry's remains were buried in Port of Spain, Trinidad, but were later taken back to the United States and interred in Newport, Rhode Island. After resting briefly in the Old Common Burial Ground, his body was moved a final time to Newport's Island Cemetery, where his brother Matthew C. Perry is also interred.

On May 5, 1811 he married twenty year old Elizabeth Champlin Mason at Newport, Rhode Island. The dashing young naval officer first encountered his future bride at a dance four years earlier. The newlyweds enjoyed an extended honeymoon, leisurely touring the New England states. Eventually the union, always described as a happy one, would produce five children, one of whom died in infancy.

Two of his descendents were Commander John Rodgers, the second naval officer to become an aviator and well known civilian aviator Calbraith Perry Rodgers first person to fly an airplane across the United States.

Many locations within dozens of miles of Lake Erie are named in his honor, including:

  • The City of Perryville, Arkansas
  • The City of Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Perry, Ohio
  • Perry County, Kentucky and its county seat Hazard, Kentucky
  • The borough of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Oliver Township, within Perry County, Pennsylvania
  • The Village of Perrysburg, New York and the surrounding township
  • The Village of Perry, New York and the surrounding township
  • Most of Perry Counties in the U.S.
  • Perry Hall at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Camp Perry at Port Clinton, Ohio

Monuments to Perry are located in many locations, including:

  • Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-In-Bay, Ohio
  • Front Park, in Buffalo, New York
  • Wade Park in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Perry Square in Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Island Cemetery in Newport, RI
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      Trinidad cemetery pays tribute to US naval hero By Louis B Homer South Bureau Story Created: Oct 31, 2011 at 12:52 AM ECT

      When American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry died near Trinidad on August 23, 1819, he was buried at Lapeyrouse Cemetery, Port of Spain. The then British rulers failed to recognise him as a hero. Seven years later, the US Navy sent its officers to remove Perry's body from Lapeyrouse and they took it to his homeland — Rhode Island, USA. There it was placed under a towering concrete monument built in his honour at Newport, Rhode Island. His first burial at Lapeyrouse was of historical significance. It was the first such burial in Trinidad, but due to a strained wartime relationship between the United States and Britain (over the War of 1812) it prevented him from receiving a military burial in Trinidad. Perry, at 27, was responsible for leading a decisive naval battle at Lake Erie, which defeated a British squadron. It was a battle that ensured control by the Americans of Lake Erie for the remainder of the war. For this feat, Perry earned the title "Hero of Lake Erie". Perry, a heroic officer of the US Navy, died aboard the US schooner Nonsuch, after a successful mission to the Orinoco River, Venezuela, where he held discussions with Venezuela's President, Simon Bolivar, over piracy in the Caribbean, according to the historians. On his way home, he contracted yellow fever while on board the schooner. Crewmembers sailed for Port of Spain so that Perry could get medical treatment, but he died as the schooner approached the Port of Spain harbour. His body was taken to Lapeyrouse cemetery, then called "The Old Cemetery", and buried in a grave on the northern side, in close proximity to Tragarete Road. It remained there for seven years until it was exhumed in 1826 and taken to Newport aboard the Memphis, under the direction of Captain Henry E Lakey. The body was kept for a while at the old Common Burial Ground at Newport until its removal to Newport's Island Cemetery. Historians record that Perry was a victim of wartime politics, which prevented him from receiving the official treatment usually given to senior military officers. Trinidad at the time was a colonial territory controlled by a British governor. He was still presiding over the placement of black US marines who had fought at Chesapeake, USA, on the side of Britain. After Britain lost the war, that country had the responsibility to find homes for the marines. They were sent to Trinidad in batches and settled in Moruga, where they became known as the Merikins. Many years had to pass before any recognition was given to Perry in Trinidad. Meanwhile, several monuments were erected in his honour in various parts of the United States, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and others. The monuments were in the form of arched gates decorated with brass images of Perry. By 1866, the relationship between Britain and the US had improved and when Arthur Hamilton Gordon was appointed governor, he collaborated with members of the Cabildo to erect a monument at Lapeyrouse in honour of Perry. The monument consisted of two concrete columns, 15 feet apart, and adorned with historical details concerning the incident. The metal gate leading into the cemetery was decorated with silver-coated coats of arms of Britain and the United States. The site was named Perry Memorial Gateway. The monument was completed and opened on April 11, 1870, in the presence of the governor and Mayor John Bell-Smythe. The gateway represented the entrance through which Perry's body entered the cemetery for burial. From 1870 until 2000, a contingent of US naval officers came to Trinidad annually on August 23 to clean the columns and shine the brass epitaph which was securely placed on the columns. Vandalism stepped in and the brass emblems were swiped, leaving behind the columns, metal gate, and the two silver-plaited coats of arms. Former Port of Spain mayor Murchison Brown said he was unaware of the removal of the fittings. He said, "We are saddened to hear this because it is the policy of the corporation to preserve all historic monuments and sites in the city. I am sure some discussions could take place to reinstate the original fa󧫞 of the monument and rededicate it to this outstanding naval officer." Perry Gate Memorial Gateway, a section in Woodbrook Cemetery allocated for burial of US Marines, as well as a burial ground at Macqueripe are the only known heritage sites with American history. Historians believe the action by the colonial government in not recognising Perry at the time of his death was a selfish one, because he had lost his life fighting piracy in the Caribbean. The Perry event is one of several in which Lapeyrouse cemetery featured prominently since it was used in the early 19th century, perhaps 1813, when the burial of John Creteau was made. It was originally part of Ariapita estate owned by Madam Francesca Guillerma Lambert de St Laurent, wife of Philippe Rose de St Laurent, the man responsible for introducing the Cedula of Population, an initiative that allowed people from other islands of the Caribbean to come to Trinidad to develop the agricultural potential of the island. Later on, it became part of the estate of F de la Peyrouse. He had allocated 20 acres for a cemetery. In 1823, a function was held for the dedication of the cemetery. It was attended by Rev John H Clapham together with the governor and members of the Cabildo. Find A Grave Memorial# 805


      Discovering Buffalo, One Street at a Time

      Perry Street was originally named Beaver Street by Joseph Ellicott in the original 1804 Plan of New Amsterdam/Buffalo. In 1907, Alderman Hendrick Callahan suggested new names for a bunch of streets. The streets that he renamed were Liberty, Erie, Columbia, and Perry. He also suggested renaming Main Street to Iroquois Avenue however, this was not approved. Liberty Street was later renamed Baltimore Street. Perry also lends his name to the Commodore Perry projects, located near Perry Street.

      Additionally, Perry Boulevard used to be located along the former route of the Erie Canal where the I-190 Thruway is currently located. The road led from Main Street up to Porter Avenue, and was constructed when the canal was filled in during the construction of the Lakeview Housing Project. At the time, the unused canal bed was considered a health hazard, so it was filled in to protect the residents of the public housing. A short portion of the roadway under the Thruway is still called Perry Boulevard.

      Oliver Hazard Perry was born in 1785 in Rhode Island. His younger brother Matthew Calbraith Perry was involved in the opening of Japan. Matthew Perry also served under his brother during the Battle of Lake Erie.

      Perry served in the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean, but he is best known as the “Hero of Lake Erie” for his role during the War of 1812. At the start of the War of 1812, the British Navy controlled the Great Lakes, except for Lake Huron. The American Navy controlled Lake Champlain. The American Navy had only a small force, which allowed the British to make advances on the Great Lakes and northern New York waterways.

      Perry was named Chief Naval Officer in Erie, P.A., and built a fleet on Presque Isle Bay. On September 10, 1813, Perry fought a successful action during the Battle of Lake Erie. During the battle, Perry’s ship, the USS Lawrence, was severely disabled. the British Commander, Robert Barclay, thought Perry would surrender. Commander Barclay sent over a small boat to request that the Americans pull down the flag.

      1911 Painting of the Battle of Lake Erie by Edward Percy Moran. Perry is standing in front of the boat

      Perry remained faithful to the phrase “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP”, which were paraphrased from the dying words of Captain Lawrence, Perry’s friend and the ship’s namesake. The men rowed through heavy gunfire to transfer to the USS Niagara. Perry’s forces continued until Barclay’s ships surrendered. Although Perry was aboard the Niagara during the fighting of the battle, he had the British surrender on the deck of the Lawrence to allow the British to see the price his men had paid. Perry’s report following the battle was brief but became famous: “We have met the enemy and they are ours two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop”. This was the first time in history that an entire British naval squadron had surrendered.

      Perry’s Congressional Gold Medal

      He was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and for his role during the Battle of Buffalo. He also helped completed successful outcomes at all nine Lake Erie military campaigns, which was a turning point during the War of 1812.

      The Perry statue in Front Park was erected by the State of New York Perry Victory Centennial Committee. The statue was dedicated at the 100th annual reunion of the New York Veterans Association. The statue has recently been restored and returned to the park, along with cannons that were originally located in the park due to the park’s connection to Fort Porter, which was located near where the Peace Bridge plaza is currently located.

      Commodore Perry did not live to old age. He died in 1819, on his 34th birthday, of yellow fever while at sea. He was buried at Port of Spain, Trinidad with full military honors. In 1826, his remains were moved to Newport, Rhode Island.

      Learn about the origins of other street names by checking out the Street Index.


      Oliver Hazard Perry and the Frontier Fleet


      A somewhat romanticized 1911 painting depicts Oliver Hazard Perry transferring his flag from the badly damaged Lawrence to Niagara at the height of the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. (Library of Congress)

      The lookout aboard the brig USS Lawrence peered into the distance, looking for signs of the enemy in the pale light of dawn. He was stationed at the masthead, and from his high perch could see the great blue expanse of Lake Erie stretching east to the horizon. It was the morning of Sept. 10, 1813, and Lawrence was the flagship of a nine-vessel U.S. Navy squadron anchored at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. The Americans had been playing a deadly game of hide and seek with their British enemy, and most were eager for action.

      ‘The real miracle of the American victory on that remote body of water was that just months earlier the ships of Perry’s flotilla had been nothing more than standing trees’

      But where was the Royal Navy squadron? The lookout thought he saw a shape in the distance. “Sail, ho!” he cried. “Where away?” asked the officer of the deck. “Off Rattlesnake Island!” came the swift reply. Before the officer could ask for details, the lookout again shouted, “Sail, ho! Sail, ho! Six sail in sight, sir!” There was no doubt—it was the British squadron commanded by Captain Robert Heriot Barclay, a veteran of Trafalgar.

      The American ships were an impressive sight as they emerged north past Rattlesnake Island and moved into Lake Erie waters, now gilded by a rising sun. The tiny flotilla—led by Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, already a seasoned mariner at 28—would that day celebrate one of the few clear-cut American triumphs of the War of 1812. But while the U.S. Navy’s victory in what came to be known as the Battle of Lake Erie resulted from Perry’s leadership and his sailors’ skills, it would not have been possible without the efforts of men more accustomed to working with broadaxes and mallets than muskets and cannon.

      The real miracle of the American victory on that remote body of water was that just months earlier the ships of Perry’s flotilla had been nothing more than standing trees. The U.S. fleet had literally been fashioned directly from the forest.

      The United States went to war with Britain in 1812 for several reasons, among them London’s increasingly restrictive trade policies and its support of Indian attacks on American settlers on the nation’s Western frontiers. But it was Britain’s disregard for U.S. sovereignty at sea that most aroused American indignation and patriotic fury. Engaged in a titanic struggle with Napoléon Bonaparte’s France and in need of both ships and sailors, London had begun seizing U.S. vessels and “impressing”—involuntarily drafting—American seamen into Royal Navy service.

      While American President James Madison and his cabinet sought to resist what they saw as gross British arrogance, they also saw the conflict as an opportunity. British Canada seemed vulnerable, a rich prize ripe for the plucking. Once war was declared, it seemed only a matter of time before Canada—or at least a major portion of it—would be in American hands.

      But U.S. invasion attempts proved embarrassing fiascos. There was too much reliance on ill-disciplined militia, and too many of the officers were old, having learned their trade in the Revolution. Others were simply incompetent. Perhaps the bitterest blow came on Aug. 16, 1812, when a befuddled Brig. Gen. William Hull surrendered Detroit to an inferior force of Redcoats and Indians under Maj. Gen. Sir Isaac Brock.

      The tables were now turned. Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario) was safe from American invasion, and Detroit could serve as a base of operations against American forts and supply depots. Even more important, the British gained control of Lake Erie. With the Great Lakes region still mostly wilderness, and the few roads primitive, ships were the most efficient mode of travel. Thus the country that controlled shipping on the lakes controlled the entire area. British naval forces on Lake Erie were modest, initially comprising just four vessels—one of which, the U.S. brig Adams, had been captured in Detroit. But in September 1812 the Americans had not one serviceable ship on the lake. Something had to be done, quickly.

      Soon after the fall of Detroit, one of the captured Americans slipped away from British custody and ultimately made his way to Washington. The man was Daniel Dobbins, a merchant captain with years of experience on Lake Erie, and during a cabinet meeting, he gave President Madison a full account of the situation in the Great Lakes. He strongly advocated the creation of a U.S. naval force on the lakes.

      Madison realized the urgency of the situation and agreed that American warships must be constructed on Lake Erie. Maj. Gen. William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory and commander of the Army of the Northwest, was ready to move against the resurgent British enemy. American control of Lake Erie was a key ingredient in Harrison’s plan to retake Detroit and push on into Upper Canada.

      Once the president agreed to the shipbuilding plan, Dobbins met with Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton to work out the details. Hamilton accepted Dobbins’ arguments that Presque Isle (modern-day Erie, Pa.) was the best place to build ships on the lake and ordered the captain to proceed there and immediately begin construction of four gunboats. Dobbins was allocated a budget “not exceeding $2,000” and appointed a sailing master in the U.S. Navy.

      Presque Isle was a recent settlement, a cluster of some 50 houses and log cabins hacked from the wilderness. Dobbins nevertheless believed the little island of rough civilization on the edge of a seemingly endless forest was the right place to establish a shipyard, for in addition to an ample supply of timber, it had both a sawmill and a blacksmith’s shop. More important was its strategic setting. The Presque Isle peninsula juts out from shore, flanking an 8-square-mile bay perfect for sheltering a fleet and offering the only good natural harbor on 241-mile-long Lake Erie. Blocking the bay entrance was a sandbar, stretching about a mile from the tip of the peninsula to the lakeshore. A 9-foot-deep channel snaked though this bar, and only a skilled pilot could navigate its tortuous curves. Effectively barred from entering, the British warships could not interrupt the building project.

      Work on the Lake Erie fleet began in late September 1812. Tradition holds that Dobbins himself felled the first tree, a sturdy black oak. He hired local loggers, and the forests soon rang with the sounds of blades biting deep into tree trunks. Skilled carpenters came from such far-flung places as New York, Philadelphia and Newport, R.I., calling for long and arduous treks though the wilderness. The men hired in Pennsylvania, for example, took five weeks to cover the 400 miles between the Quaker City and Presque Isle—a journey made worse by an incompetent guide. Estimates vary, but at the height of the shipbuilding effort some 300 workers labored in the two yards at Presque Isle—one at the mouth of Cascade Creek and the other at Lees Run. Two 110-foot, 493-ton brigs were built at the former, where the water was deeper, while workers at the latter constructed smaller vessels. Another shipyard—on Scajaquada Creek at Black Rock, some 93 miles northeast of Presque Isle on the Niagara River—was less useful, as it lay well within range of British guns just across the river at Fort Niagara.

      Wooden ship construction was not a casual undertaking, and care had to be taken in choosing trees from among Presque Isle’s abundant oak and ash. Shipwrights were particularly interested in finding curved or gnarled trees, whose bent timber was ideal for such important curved structural pieces as catheads (the shafts from which anchors were suspended) and knees (used to support deck beams).

      Horse or ox teams dragged the cut timber to the construction sites. An oak that had been standing in the forest in the morning might be part of a ship’s hull by afternoon, but therein lay a problem: The shipwrights had no time to properly dry, or “season,” the timber, so the ships were made largely of green wood. And the need to produce vessels quickly in a remote area caused other problems as well: Treenails—wooden pegs—initially substituted for hard-to-obtain iron spikes and nails. And seams along the ships’ hull planking had to be caulked in lead, for want of proper oakum.

      Dobbins hired master shipwright Ebenezer Crosby of New York to supervise the laying-down process. Crosby was replaced in February 1813 by Noah Brown, another experienced New York shipwright, who designed the two brigs as well as the smaller sloop and gunboats. While they were at it, Brown and his crew of carpenters built more than a dozen fleet boats and all the gun carriages, plus all the buildings for the two shipyards, including a blockhouse, kitchen, mess building, barracks, a guardhouse and an office. Theirs was a busy winter.

      With the construction effort in expert hands, Dobbins could turn his attention to other issues—such as labor problems. Men worked from dawn to dusk, but that was normal for the period. Wages were high. The trouble started when Perry arranged for some 1,500 Pennsylvania militiamen to protect Presque Isle and its shipyards. Called by one disgusted officer “as great a set of ragamuffins as ever a dog barked at,” the troops were a mixed blessing at best. Worse, the sudden influx of additional consumers caused prices to skyrocket, making Presque Isle a miniature boomtown.

      Though wild game was fairly plentiful, the overcrowding meant scarce rations, and shipwright Brown recalled that his men “raised” (struck) and “declared they would work no longer if they could not have better fare.” Brown wisely made no attempt to force them back to work. He instead let them forage for themselves, and when they came back empty-handed, they understood he was doing his best for them and went back to work.

      Yet the biggest problem for the shipbuilding effort was simply Presque Isle’s remote location. Roads to and from the settlement were little more than rutted dirt tracks though dense woodland. In wet weather the roads turned into bogs, and the Conestoga wagons used for overland transport—swaybacked giants pulled by six horses and capable of carrying two tons of cargo—often sank to their axles in the ooze. Freight charges were correspondingly high, even if delivery times were slow. Flour was $100 per barrel, and it could cost $1,000 to transport a cannon from Albany to Lake Erie.

      Hard work and resourceful improvisation allowed the shipwrights to make steady progress despite the many challenges. When Perry arrived in late March to take command of the growing fleet, he pinned his hopes on Pittsburgh as a major source of the supplies needed to complete the ships. A bustling town of 6,000, Pittsburgh boasted foundries, rope walks, metal shops and forges that collectively could produce most everything needed. One hundred thirty miles of the usual nightmarish wilderness track separated Pittsburgh and Presque Isle, but Perry knew of an alternate route. Shallow-draft keelboats could carry materials from Pittsburgh up the Allegheny River to French Creek, then up the French to Waterford. It was 14 miles from there to Erie via a new graveled toll road that was corduroyed—surfaced with half logs—where it crossed swampy areas.

      With Perry’s plan in place, work proceeded rapidly through the spring—until an outbreak brought construction to a halt. A “lake fever”—possibly typhoid—killed one worker and made many others sick. Perry himself became feverish for a time. The enforced boiling of drinking water finally eased the problem, and the furious work pace resumed.

      By July 1813 the American lake flotilla was nearly complete. At Presque Isle lay the two 20-gun brigs, Lawrence and Niagara the three-gun schooners Ariel and Porcupine and the two-gun schooner Scorpion. Soon joining them were five more ships—the captured British three-gun brig Caledonia the two-gun schooner Somers the single-gun schooners Ohio and Tigress and the single-gun sloop Trippe. These ships had slipped through a British blockade at Black Rock to join the force at Presque Isle. Perry’s decision to send Dobbins on Ohio for food and additional munitions reduced his fleet to nine vessels.

      Perry may have been ready for battle, but Barclay’s British squadron arrived on July 20 and blockaded Presque Isle. Bad weather and short supplies forced them to withdraw on July 29. With the British gone, Perry hastened to get his flotilla over the sandbar, which had protected the vessels during construction but would now only hinder their departure. To ease the ships over the sandbar, the Americans used ballast-filled “camels”—specially designed barges that closely hugged a vessel’s hull. As men removed the ballast, both camels and vessel rose. In this manner, even the heavy flagship Lawrence cleared the bar. His fleet free, Perry went looking for a fight.

      The long months of hard work in the wilderness came to a head on Sept. 10, 1813, when Perry and his flotilla finally met the enemy in battle near the American base at Put-in-Bay. The British fleet comprised six vessels—the 19-gun brig Detroit, Barclay’s flagship the 17-gun ship-rigged sloop Queen Charlotte the 13-gun schooner Lady Prevost the 10-gun brig Hunter the two-gun schooner Chippeway and the two-gun sloop Little Belt. Barclay’s ships had superiority in long guns, traditional ordnance that could hurl a cannonball about a mile. By contrast, most of the American guns were shorter-range but more destructive carronades.

      At first the British had the weather gauge—the wind at their backs and in their favor—forcing Perry to tack slowly to gain headway. At midmorning the wind turned in Perry’s favor but remained light, so moving into range of the enemy was difficult, and his smaller vessels—the schooners and sloop—lagged behind. But Barclay had his own troubles. His supplies were low, and a shortage of skilled seamen meant he’d had to fill out his depleted ranks with poorly trained British soldiers and Canadian militiamen.

      The battle opened just before noon when Detroit fired a 24-pounder at extreme range. The shot fell short, but a second round holed Lawrence’s hull. The resulting shower of wooden splinters shredded a nearby sailor, his body falling to the sand-strewn deck. He was the first American casualty, but he would soon have company.

      With Lawrence still out of firing range, Perry signaled Scorpion and Ariel to open fire, and the smaller vessels did their best. But Perry was puzzled to see Master Commandant Jesse Elliott’s Niagara lagging behind. Elliot was certainly no coward, but his actions suggested an unwillingness to engage the enemy.

      As the minutes dragged on, Detroit, Hunter and Queen Charlotte poured broadsides into Lawrence. The American flagship endured a hailstorm of cannonballs, grapeshot and canister, the iron shrapnel smashing the brig from stem to stern. The carnage was terrible, yet Perry seemed to lead a charmed life. He stood in the thick of the fire, with men falling on all sides, yet remained unscathed.

      Lawrence finally closed within carronade range and struck out at her tormentors, but the contest remained unequal. The American flagship was a wreck, its bulkheads splintered, lines cut and sails so badly holed the ship could no longer maneuver. Perry decided to transfer his flag to Niagara, which remained on the fringes of the action. If he could bring Niagara into the fight, there was still hope of victory. Perry climbed into Lawrence’s undamaged launch and set off with four men at the oars. The half-mile passage under fire to Niagara exemplified Perry’s extraordinary luck, as British musket rounds whistled overhead and near-miss cannonballs churned the water all around the launch.

      Perry carried his personal flag with him, a banner that bore the legend Don’t Give up the Ship. Romantic painters depict him in full uniform, but he was dressed in an ordinary seaman’s jacket. He was battle-grimed, his clothes likely splattered with the blood of his fallen crewmen.

      But Perry’s gamble paid off. Upon reaching Niagara he took command and brought the brig into the battle, ordering Elliott to take Lawrence’s launch and urge the gunboats into closer action. Niagara’s carronades soon had a telling effect on the British fleet, though even before the American brig’s appearance, the British were in serious trouble. They had reduced Lawrence to a splintered wreck, but their own ships had taken severe punishment. Barclay was gravely wounded, as eventually were the captains and first lieutenants of every British vessel. Command thus fell to junior officers with much less experience.

      Noting Niagara’s grim advance, the British tried to bring their vessels’ undamaged starboard guns to bear. But the inexperienced officers botched the maneuver and entangled Detroit and Queen Charlotte. Sensing his opportunity, Perry pounced, and Niagara poured withering fire into the two immobilized British ships. Though Detroit and Queen Charlotte managed to free themselves, flesh and blood could stand no more. The British fleet surrendered. Some of the smaller ships tried to flee but were caught and captured. The battle of Lake Erie was over.

      Each side suffered more than 100 dead and wounded, but the significance of this strategic victory could not be measured by casualty lists. The Americans had secured their nation’s boundaries and its Western territories. British hopes of an Indian buffer state between Canada and an increasingly powerful—and assertive—United States had vanished in the gun smoke on Lake Erie.

      For further reading, Eric Niderost recommends: Oliver Hazard Perry, by David Curtis Skaggs, and The Building of Perry’s Fleet on Lake Erie, 1812–1813, by Max Rosenberg.


      It doesn’t feel very much like summer right now, but at least we are on the far side of the winter solstice, so each day brings spring a bit closer. And this spring, the Oliver Hazard Perry, the first ocean-going &hellip Continue reading &rarr

      Oliver Hazard Perry‘s message to his superiors was brief: “We have met the enemy and they are ours two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.” Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, was one &hellip Continue reading &rarr


      Perry, Oliver Hazard - History

      This collection is made up of the letters of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819) Perry's father Captain Christopher Raymond Perry (1761-1818) his brother Commander Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) his wife Elizabeth C. Mason Perry his son Oliver Hazard Perry, Jr. (1815-1878) and his grandson Oliver Hazard Perry (1883-1933).

      Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819) was born in Rock Brook, Rhode Island, to Sarah Wallace Alexander and Christopher Raymond Perry (1761-1818). He entered the US Navy at age 14, serving under his father in the West Indies and in the Quasi War with France. During the First Barbary War and the Tripolitan War, Perry served on board the Adams , Constitution , and Constellation . In 1804, Commodore John Rodgers gave him command of the schooner Nautilus , aboard which he participated in the capture of Derna. He became a lieutenant in 1807 and assumed command of the schooner Revenge in 1809. At the outbreak of the War of 1812 he took charge of the naval force on Lake Erie under the leadership of Commodore Isaac Chauncey. In March 1813, O. H. Perry began the construction of a fleet at his headquarters at Presque Isle (Erie), Pennsylvania. Perry then engaged the British fleet under the command of Robert H. Barclay on September 10, winning the battle decisively. The Battle of Lake Erie made Perry a national hero, although he was soon involved in the controversy over the role Captain Jesse D. Elliott played in the conflict. For the remainder of the war, Perry worked closely with General William Henry Harrison, participating in the recovery of Detroit and in the Battle of the Thames.

      From 1816 to 1817, Perry commanded the frigate Java as part of the Mediterranean Squadron. He quarreled with the Java 's Marine Captain, John Heath, and after a violent altercation both men were court-martialed. In 1819, President James Monroe sent Perry on a diplomatic mission to Venezuela to put an end to piracy against American merchant ships. His negotiations with Simón Bolívar were a success, but during the return voyage Perry died of yellow fever. Initially buried at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Perry's remains were reinterred in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1826.

      Oliver Hazard Perry married Elizabeth Champlin Mason (1791-1858) in 1811, with whom he had five children, including Oliver Hazard Perry, Jr. (1815-1878).


      Com. Oliver Hazard Perry

      Oliver Hazard Perry was only 27 when named commander of the Lake Erie Fleet. His combination of determination and tactical brilliance won him acclaim at home and the lasting respect of the British. "More than any other battle of the time," wrote historian Henry Adams, "the victory on Lake Erie was won by the courage and obstinacy of a single man."

      Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War of 1812 &bull Waterways & Vessels.

      Location. 41° 30.149′ N, 81° 41.88′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. Marker is on Lakeside Avenue near West 3rd Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located in Fort Huntington Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cleveland OH 44114, United States of America. Touch for directions.

      Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Near this site Fort Huntington was Erected (a few steps from this marker) John T. Corrigan (within shouting distance of this marker) Dear General, We have met the enemy and they are ours (within shouting distance of this marker) Navy Bicentennial (within shouting distance of this marker) Terry v. Ohio (within shouting distance of this marker) The Burnham Mall (approx. 0.2 miles away) The Old Stone Church


      Watch the video: NavalShips Class Special: The Oliver Hazard Perry Class 07012018 (October 2022).

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