Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 87

CHAPTER XII

The Commodores Perry
of Early Naval Fame

Related to Hazards Bunns

This story by and large was written by H.M. Green and appeared in a July, 1953, issue of Linn's Weekly Stamp and News Weekly. In conclusion Green says, "We'll bet he had some grand yarns of the sea to spin upon high-bless his old soul".

Oliver Hazard Perry likewise had a distinguished record. He was an older brother of Matthew. He was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1785. After serving his apprenticeship on one of the sailing vessels of his father, he eventually became midshipman in the United States Navy.

His first rate sea adventure began during the War of l8I2 when he was ordered at the age of 27, to Erie, Pennsylvania, to build, equip, and man a fleet to contest control of Lake Erie with the British. He fought the battle of Lake Erie at Put in Bay on September 10, 1813.

William Benton Bunn, Jr., has sailed Lake Erie from one end to the other, and while enroute to Buffalo, Put in Bay was pointed out to him, the place where the battle of Lake Erie was fought.

Lawrence, the flag ship of Oliver Hazard Perry, was so badly damaged that he left it during the battle and was rowed to the Niagara where he continued to fight and forced the surrender of the British fleet. After the battle, he sent his laconic, now famous dispatch, to General Harrison: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours, two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop".

An Englishman is reported to have said to parliament at that time: "It cannot but be too deeply felt that the sacred spell of invincibility of the British navy is broken".

For his victory the young commodore received the thanks to congress and a got a medal. Later Commodore Perry aided in the Mediterranean Sea as commander of the "Java", 1816-17. Then, on a mission to Venezuela with a small fleet in 1819, he contacted yellow fever on the Orinoco River and died on August 23, 1819, far away from home, one of the youngest and ablest commanders in our early navy. This story, too, must be credited to H.M- Green.

These two distinguished commodores were second cousins of the Reverend John Hazard, a direct ancestor of the Bunn-Hazard family.

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Cover | Contents | Forward | Intro | Orgins | England | Crest | First | Interlude | Benjamin 1

Benjamin | Hyatts | Hyatt1 | Hazard | Perry | William | HM Bunn | Index