Friday, November 18, 2016

War of 1812: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry - Providence, RI

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
Providence, RI

N 41° 49.836 W 071° 24.906

Short Description: 

A statue of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry is located on the steps of the Rhode Island Capitol Building in Providence, RI.

Long Description:

A life size bronze statue of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry depicts the naval hero in full dress military uniform. he is standing with his left arm reaching across his body and holding a sword, downward in his right hand.

The statue was created by William Walcutt and cast at the Gorham Manufacturing Company. The firm of McKim, Mead & White were the architects. The statue is a bronze copy of a marble statue, created in 1860 , and installed in Gordon Park, Cleveland, OH. It was erected on the Capitol steps in 1928. Below the statue is the single word PERRY.

Oliver Hazard Perry was born in South Kingstown, RI to Navy Captain Christopher Raymond Perry and Sarah Wallace Alexander on August 23, 1785. His naval career began in 1799, at age 13, when he was appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy.

In 1800 he served aboard his fathers frigate the USS General Green and saw action off the coast of Haiti during the Haitian slave rebellion. He then transferred to the USS Adams during the First Barbary War against the Barbary pirates in the off the coast of Tripoli, in Africa. He rose in rank to become commander of the USS Nautilus and participated in Battle of Derne, in present day Libya, the first land battle the United States fought overseas.

During the War of 1812 he was in command of the United States naval fleet on Lake Erie. On September 10, 1813, he led a decisive victory over the British Navy at the Battle of Lake Erie. His victories against the British earned him the title "Hero of Lake Erie".

In 1814, Congress awarded Perry the Congressional Gold Medal and promoted him to the rank of captain. He contracted yellow fever while aboard the USS Nonsuch off the coast of Trinidad. and died on his birthday, August 23, 1819. He was 34 years old.

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