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Matthew Calbraith Perry


Born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry. Married Jane Slidell December 24, 1814. They had ten children.

Joined the Navy as a midshipman in 1809. He served on the Revenge under his brother. He served during the War of 1812. He was given command of the Fulton, the first steam warship in 1837.

Chief of the New York Navy Yard 1841 to 1843. During the Mexican War he fought at Frontera, Tabasco and Lagunes. He was in command of forces that captured Veracruz. In November 1852 he sailed for Japan with a strong force to encourage Japan to sign a treaty. Perry negotiated a treaty between the United States and Japan in 1854. He died in New York City.

Perry appears on a mint medal (Julian PE-26). The medal was promoted by Boston merchants in recognition of the treaty with Japan. Dies were by Francis Mitchell. Modern copies (USM 526) were sold by the mint.

bio: ApCAB; DAB; Drake; EAB; Failor; NCAB 4; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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