Oliver Hazard Perry And The Battle Of Lake Erie

By | July 25, 2019

test article image
The Battle of Lake Erie. 1911 painting by Edward Percy Moran. Source: (Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

The War of 1812 is not the sexiest war in American history. It was generally unpopular, the United States was not ready for the war, the British burned Washington, D.C., and it ended in a stalemate. Still, the War of 1812 brought the United States the national anthem thanks to Francis Scott Key; and it created a naval hero for the Americans: Oliver Hazard Perry. 

test article image
Portrait of Oliver Hazard Perry, painted by Gilbert Stuart, 1818. Source: (Wikipedia)

Oliver Hazard Perry was born on August 23, 1785, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He was warranted a midshipman in 1799 and took part in the Quasi-war against the French as well as the action against the Tripoli pirates. At the beginning of the War of 1812, he found himself stationed at Newport, Rhode Island commanding a small squadron of gunboats.

Perry, however, wanted a more important command. He, therefore, petitioned Isaac Chauncey, who was the commander of naval operations on the Great Lakes. Chauncey who needed seasoned men to help build a flotilla against British Canada, brought Perry to help.