• Commodore Oliver Perry Statue Erected And Celebrated in Cleveland

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    OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (August 23, 1785 – August 23, 1819) was an American commander, born in South Kingstown, RI. He is the best-known and most prominent member of the Perry family naval dynasty.  He served in the West Indies during the Quasi War of 1798 – 1800 against France, in the Mediterranean during the Barbary Wars of 1801 – 1815, and in the Caribbean fighting piracy and the slave trade.  He is most noted for his heroic role in the War of 1812 and during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, a decisive naval victory for which he won a Congressional Gold Medal and the Thanks of Congress.  Perry has been frequently memorialized. The PERRY MONUMENT commemorates the victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.  It was placed in the center of Cleveland’s Public Square.  The monument has been moved several times.


    Two ALSs, one dealing with the statue erected in honor of Commodore Perry. 4 pp, 5 x 8, Cleveland, Sept. 13th, 1860, to Laura Ellsworth, Bristol, NH, the second, a chatty 2 pp, 7 1/2 x 9 3/4, Jan. 7th, 1862, from Willie Ellsworth to his sister.


    First letter in small part, “...Willie was here last Monday to attend the inauguration of the ‘Perry Statue’ which was erected in the central park of this city. The oration was delivered by Bancroft, the historian [possibly George Bancroft]. How pleasant it would have been for you had you been here. Willie enjoyed it hugely.  He laid his hand upon the coat in which Commodore Perry fought the Battle on Lake Erie and considers his right hand sacred from the effect of the single touch.  He will commence his studies again in a short time – the 21st of September...”


    Second: “...We are having about the first cold weather we have had this winter. We are having a little sleighing now, which is a very uncommon thing. It has been as warm most of the time this winter as it generally is in September...”


    Letters are very readable. Second letter has a couple of small breaks at folds. One cover included.


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