Oliver Hazard Perry...............Matthew Calbraith
Oliver Hazard and Matthew Calbraith Perry's grandmother
was Mary (called Mercy) Hazard - a sister of Stuart Hazard, father
of Rev. John Hazard whose daughter, Betsey married Hyatt Bunn,
and a second daughter, Densey, married Seely Bunn. Thus Rev.
John Hazard and Commodores Perry were second cousins.
Matthew won over Japanese; Oliver defeated the British.
Both are recognized as American heroes. Matthew is remembered
as having told the Japanese Emperor - "Open your ports,
and let us in". Oliver Hazard Perry messaged the renowned
statement to General Harrison: "We have met the enemy, and
they are ours".
Matthew was born at Newport, Rhode Island, April 10, 1794.
The love of the sea was in his blood, for his father had spent
nearly his entire life in sailing vessels. When Matthew was three
years old, his father with his older son, Oliver Hazard as a
midshipman, went on a voyage to the West Indies. From that time,
Matthew was easter for a life at sea.
His mother possessed an innate love for her country and
a deep religious conviction. She taught him "the passion
of patriotism, the love of duty, and the conquest of self".
With his mother he learned the Bible. This became his guide book.
The longed for appointment as midshipman came when Matthew
was fourteen. Details of his early life at sea are found in his
dairy - a book notable mostly for the personal modesty with which
he wrote about incidents in which he was involved - as once,
when he was standing by the side of Commodore Rogers when the
first hostile shot of the War of l812 was fired. A few minutes
later a gun on their lower deck burst; the Commodore's leg was
broken, and Perry recorded that he himself was "slightly
After the war, he rendered gallant service in clearing
the Spanish Main of Pirates, the capturing salves in African
waters, and upholding the honor of the American flag in many
seas. He outlined and developed the apprentice system in the
navy which led to the establishment of the Naval Academy at Annapolis.