JOHN BARRY. U.S.N.

image91330

Gilbert Stuart


John Barry. U.S.N.

Engraving, 1859.
Image size 4 1/2 x 3 5/8" (11.3 x 9.2 cm).
Good condition, save minor foxing in the margins.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 91330
Price: $55.00
Publisher :
Engraved by J. B/ Longacre from a painting by G. Stuart. A facsimile signature is below the title.

John Barry (1745-1803) is often overshadowed in American history by John Paul Jones, but he played a very important role in the development of America's navy. Born in Ireland, Barry immigrated to America to escape religious suppression. He was a talented seaman and at the age of 21 earned the command of his first merchant vessel. His skill and reliability heightened his reputation and some of the most prominent mercantile houses in Philadelphia picked him up. Barry even set the record for the record for fastest day of sailing in the 18th century.

Like many, Barry was dedicated to the American cause and offered his services to the Continental Congress at he outbreak of the American Revolution. They had him outfit merchant vessels to serve as a navy, after which they commissioned him to be a Captain. His successful naval actions are numerous, beginning with capture of the British Sloop "Edward." None are more famous than his encounter with the British vessels "Atlanta" and "Trepssay," however. In command of the "Alliance," Barry fought valiantly to defeat his enemy, but was forced below deck when injury hampered his ability to command. The British had the upper hand and it wasn't long before his second in command, Lieutenant Hoysted Hacker, asked for permission to surrender. This incensed Barry and he threatened to return to the deck if Hacker could not resolve the matter. No small amount of luck helped them claim victory that day. Their vessel had been significantly damaged and many of their men were dead or wounded, yet Hacker managed to deal critical damage to the British and bring about their surrender. Barry is remembered not only for remaining in command until injury took its toll, but for his kindness towards the British officers when they appeared before him to formally surrender.

After the war, Barry was the very first officer hired into the U.S. Navy. He oversaw the training of sailors, many of whom would become heroes in the War of 1812, and the construction of many famous navel frigates.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Portraits , Naval

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