Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Commodore John Barry
Commission Number One United States Navy
Barry directed the construction of the Navy's first frigate, USS United States, which he commanded. He trained many of the Navy's first officers, including the heroes of the War of 1812. Barry would later command a naval squadron as Commodore. In 2005 Congress recognized Commodore John Barry as the first flag officer of the Navy. (Public Law 109-142) He was the first uniformed head of the Navy under Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson until his death in 1803.
John Barry was born in 1745 in County Wexford, Ireland, went to sea at age 9, and at age 15 immigrated to Philadelphia. A great hero during the Revolution, Barry was later designated to lead the United State
During the Revolution - On March 14, 1776, Barry accepted a captain's commission in the Continental Navy and command of the brig Lexington. He won one of our first victories at sea on April 7, 1776 by capturing the English tender Edward. In all, Barry captured 20 English ships generating over $3 million at auction for the Continental Congress. Commanding the Alliance in May 1781, though seriously wounded and weakened by profuse loss of blood, Barry returned to deck to rally his sailors to victory by capturing two English ships near Nova Scotia. In March 1783, Barry won the last sea battle of the war near Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Barry served at Valley Forge - There he fought with the Continental Army while serving as aide to Colonel John Calwalader with his brigade of Pennsylvania Associators and a contingent of Continental Marines, where he helped rally the troops with General Washington to secure victory at the 1777 Battle of Princeton.
After the Revolution - After the war, John Barry served as a merchant marine captain. He led an important inaugural trade voyage to China. Later,
Legacy - John Barry's courageous life reflected the highest ideals of "duty, honor and loyalty." English Admiral Lord Howe offered Captain Barry a bribe of 15,000 guineas in gold and a captain's commission in the Royal Navy to desert his country is liberty and freedom. Barry refused the bribe. John Barry answered "that he had devoted himself to the cause of his country, and not the value and command of the whole British fleet could seduce him from it."
After a lifetime of heroic service, the Navy's first commander died at his home in Philadelphia on September 3, 1803 at age 58. Commodore Barry is buried in Philadelphia's Old Saint Mary's Catholic Churchyard. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence declared in Barry's eulogy: "He was born in Ireland, but in America was the object of his devotion and the theater of his usefulness... His habits of war did not lessen his Virtues as a Man nor as his piety as a Christian."
[Embedded in the sidewalk as you approach the memorial:]
May 10, 2014
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War of 1812 • War, US Revolutionary • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, the Former U.S. Presidents: #02 John Adams, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson series lists.
Location. 38° 58.677′ N, 76° 29.122′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on Prince George Street west of Craig Street, on the right when traveling west. On the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy near the pedestrian entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Prince George Street, Annapolis MD 21401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sy Mohr's City Dock Harbormaster Collage (within shouting distance of this marker); Annapolis Depicted (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); United States Naval Academy (about 300 feet away); Beyond the Bridge (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Commodore John Barry Middleton Tavern (about 400 feet away); The Navy Mascot (about 500 feet away); The Joseph R. Hunt Court (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 10, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 113 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 10, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.