Saturday, July 03, 2010

Another Catholic Founding Father We Never Hear About - John Barry Father of the American Navy

Navy Man JFK honors the Founder of the US Navy John Barry-before Democrats had their historical memories erased by Progressives.

"He fought often and once bled in the cause of freedom, but his habits of War did not lessen in him the peaceful virtues which adorn private life." Dr. Benjamin Rush on Commodore John Barry

The Old Orwellian Memory Hole -the education tool developed by John Dewey for all public schools -is essential to Progressives.\

They have effectively erased all memory in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and in all but Ward level Democrats.

Kids to day know all about Che, Castro, Cesar Chavez, WEB DuBois, Jane Addams, and Ted Kennedy.

Kids never read about Fremont, Carson, Shields, Mother Cabrini, or of the exploits Father Duffy ( Duffy Square in NYC) or Wild Bill Donovan - they were Catholics and wildly patriotic.

This week a did a refresher on Charles Carroll and here is another -John Barry the Father of the American Navy.

Barry's most renowned naval encounter occurred off the coast of Newfoundland on May 28, 1781. Barry's ship, the 36-gun frigate Alliance, took on two British ships, the sloop Atlanta, and the sloop, Trespassy. Barry's guns spoke first in the form of a well-directed broadside. Unfortunately, however, the Alliance soon lay becalmed in the water due to a lack of wind. The two smaller British ships were able to employ sweeps and maneuver close to the prow and stern of the Alliance. They thus were able to rake the Alliance from either end. Both ships inflicted considerable damage to the Alliance's rigs, spars, masts and sails due to her inability to make steerageway. Barry conducted a relentless defense from the quarterdeck until a hurtling projectile of canister shot (broken nails, metal fragments, and minnie balls) struck him in the left shoulder. He remained on deck bleeding from many wounds for twenty minutes, until, losing consciousness from loss of blood, he was escorted below deck to the cockpit for medical care by the ship's surgeon Kendall.

As the struggle increased in smoky intensity, the Alliance's colors (flag) were shot away. Barry's second in command, Lieutenant Hoysted Hacker, appeared before him as his wounds were being dressed and said, "I have to report the ship in frightful condition, Sir. The rigging is much cut, damage everywhere great, many men killed and wounded, and we labor under great disadvantage for want of wind. Have I permission to strike our colors?" Barry angrily replied, "No Sir, the thunder! If this ship cannot be fought without me, I will be brought on deck; to your duty, Sir." A new flag was raised using the mizzenbrail for a halyard, and the fight continued. Just as Hacker reached the deck, filled with renewed resolve, a bit of luck arrived in the presence of a gust of wind filling the Alliance's sails. Replying to her helm, the battered Alliance swung about. The whole starboard battery was employed with decisive effect. Fourteen 12-pound cannons were brought into the fray. After two successful broadsides, both the Atlanta and the Tresspassy struck their colors. The grueling battle had lasted nearly four hours and had cost the British two ships, 11 dead, including one of the two captains, and 25 wounded.

The surviving British commander, Captain Edwards, appeared on the deck of the Alliance for the customary surrender ceremony. He was led to Barry's cabin where the American commander's wounds had just been dressed. Edwards presented his sword. Barry received it, then returned it with the message, "I return it to you, Sir. You have merited it, and your King ought to give you a better ship. Here is my cabin, at your service. Use it as your own."

Barry prepared an official report of his double victory for the Board of Admiralty, which rejoiced in the success achieved. Barry's agent, John Brown, referred to the Board's reaction when he said, "Amidst their rejoicing it gives them pain to think that so Gallant and diligent an Officer should by a wound be prevented even for a Short time from rendering those Services which he hath always shown such an inclination and Ability to perform."

The Final Fight

Barry's final battle of the Revolution was also the last sea battle of the Continental Navy. On March 10, 1783, Barry was returning from Havana aboard the Alliance escorting the Duc de Lauzon, a transport carrying a shipment of 72,000 Spanish silver dollars destined for the Continental Congress. Off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Alliance fell in with the British frigate, the Sybil. In order to protect his escort and its precious bullion, Barry engaged the Sybil. A 45-minute exchange of gunfire ensued, with Barry directing his gun crews to superb results. The British vessel sheared off after experiencing severe punishment from the American crews who shattered her rigging, masts and hull.

After the War

After the War for Independence and the dissolution of the Continental Navy, Barry reentered the maritime trade. Between the years 1787-89, Barry helped to open commerce with China and the Orient while captaining the merchant ship, Asia. Patrick Hayes, his second wife Sally's nephew, accompanied Barry on his eventful journeys to the Orient where porcelain and ivory treasures were brought back and sold to Philadelphians hungering for luxurious items.

In the 1790s, under Washington's guidance, the Navy was revived as a permanent entity. Barbary Pirate depredations on American merchantmen had strained relations with America's old ally France and brought about this revival. On June 5, 1794, Secretary of War Henry Knox wrote Barry to inform him that on the day earlier, Barry had been selected senior Captain of the Federal Navy by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The epithet Father of the Navy first appeared with the publication of a biographical sketch in Nicholas Biddle's literary journal, Port Folio, in 1813.
The Father of the Navy

On February 22, 1797, President Washington called Barry to the President's Mansion at 190 High (Market) Street, to receive Commission Number One in the Navy which was dated June 4, 1794, the date of his original selection. The formal ceremony took place on Washington's birthday.

Barry outfitted and supervised the construction of the first frigates built under the Naval Act of March 27, 1794, including his own forty-four gun frigate the USS United States, which was to serve as his flagship. The United States slid into the water on May 10, 1797, under Barry's helm.

Commodore Barry

Barry held the courtesy title of Commodore from this period since he served as squadron commander of the fleet which assembled in the West India Sea. He commanded all American ships during the undeclared naval war with France (1798-1800) and personally captured several French merchantmen. Barry finished his active career as head squadron commander of the United States Naval Station in the West Indies at Guadaloupe (1798-1801). Perhaps most significantly he trained numerous future sea heroes who won fresh laurels in the War of 1812.

John Barry was so well-regarded during his lifetime that when President Jefferson retrenched the military establishment, Barry's services were retained.

Despite being so engaged with naval matters, Barry was active socially while on land. He was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Hibernian Fire Company, and the Order of the Cincinnati — the military brotherhood of officers of the Continental Army, Navy and Marines that General Henry Knox organized in 1783.

He also showed a philanthropic side. Early in his career as a young ship master, he joined the Charitable Captains of Ships Club, organized for the relief of widows and orphans of sailing men.

Champion of the Nascent Navy

Barry's contributions to the nascent navy were singular. He authored a Signal Book in 1780, which established a set of signals to be used for effective communication between ships voyaging in squadron formation. Barry also suggested the creation of a Department of the Navy with separate cabinet status from the Secretary of War. This was finally realized with the formation of the United States Department of the Navy in 1798. Barry's suggestions about establishing government-operated navy yards were also realized. So many of the heroes of the War of 1812 were trained under Barry's tutelage that he earned the sobriquet, "Father of the Navy."

The esteem in which Barry was held by his contemporaries can best be summarized by the words of his close friend and eulogist, Signer of the Declaration, Doctor Benjamin Rush, who wrote:

He fought often and once bled in the cause of freedom, but his habits of War did not lessen in him the peaceful virtues which adorn private life."
Barry's Death

Prematurely aged from an arduous life at sea, as can be evidenced by looking at an 1801 Gilbert Stuart portrait, Barry lived but 58 years. He died on September 12, 1803, at his country home "Strawberry Hill," some three miles north of Philadelphia, of a long-standing asthmatic affliction.
In placing Barry at the head of the Navy, George Washington stated he had special trust and confidence "in [Commodore Barry's] patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities." Neither Washington, Barry's old friend, nor the Nation ever had reason to regret the selection of Barry as head of the Navy. Barry played a vital role in establishing the earliest traditions of the Navy: faithful devotion to duty, honoring the flag, and vigilant protection of the rights of the sovereign United States.

Barry's last day of active duty came on March 6, 1801, when he brought the USS United Statesinto port. He remained head of the Navy until his death on September 12, 1803, from the complications of asthma. On September 14, 1803, John Barry received his country's salute in a full military burial in Philadelphia's Old St. Mary's Churchyard. Such was the man, John Barry, a gallant mariner who served his Nation well and stood tall in the annals of American naval history.

No comments: