Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 185 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (1785-1819), American naval officer, was born at South Kingston, Rhode Island, on the 23rd of August 1785. He entered the navy as midshipman (1799) with his father, Christopher Raymond Perry (1761-1818), a captain in the navy, and saw service against the Barbary pirates. At the beginning of the War of 1812 he was in command of a flotilla at Newport, but was transferred (Feb. 1813) to the Lakes. He served with Commodore Chauncey, and then was sent from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, where he took up the chief command at the end of March 1813. With the help of a strong detachment of officers and men from the Atlantic coast he equipped a squadron consisting of one brig, six fine schooners and one sloop. Other vessels were laid down at Presque Isle (now Erie), where he concentrated the Lake Erie fleet in July. When Captain Perry appeared off Amherst-burg, where Captain Robert Heriot Barclay (d. 1837), the British commander, was lying with his squadron, he had a very marked superiority. Captain Barclay, after a hot engagement—the Battle of Lake Erie—in which Captain Perry's flagship the " Lawrence," a brig, was so severely shattered that he had to leave her, was completely defeated. Perry commanded the " Java " in the Mediterranean expedition of 1815-1816, and he died at Port of Spain in Trinidad on the 23rd of August 1819, of yellow fever contracted on the coast of Brazil. See O. H. Lyman, Commodore O. H. Perry and the War on the Lakes (New York, 1905).
End of Article: OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (1785-1819)

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