OLIVER HAZARD PERRY, a noted American commodore, was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, August 23, 1785.
He saw his first service as a midshipman in the United States navy in April, 1799. He cruised with his father,
Captain Christopher Raymond Perry, in the West Indies for about two years. In 1804 he was in the war against Tripoli,
and was made lieutenant in 1807. At the opening of hostilities with Great Britain in 1812 be was given command
of a fleet of gunboats on the Atlantic coast. At his request he was transferred, a year later, to Lake Ontario,
where he served under Commodore Chauncey, and took an active part in the attack on Fort George. He was ordered
to fit out a squadron on Lake Erie, which he did, building most of his vessels from the forests along the shore,
and by the summer of 1813 he had a fleet of nine vessels at Presque Isle, now Erie, Pennsylvania. September 10th
he attacked and captured the British fleet near Put-in-Bay, thus clearing the lake of hostile ships. His famous
dispatch is part of his fame, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." He co-operated with Gen. Harrison,
and the success of the campaign in the northwest was largely due to his victory. The next year he was transferred
to the Potomac, and assisted in the defense of Baltimore. After the war he was in constant service with the various
squadrons in cruising in alt parts of the world. He died of yellow lever on the Island of Trinidad, August 23,
1819. His remains were conveyed to Newport, and buried there, and an imposing obelisk was erected to his memory
by the State of Rhode Island. A bronze statue was also erected in his honor, the unveiling taking place in 1885.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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