Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“The First of Patriots - The Best of Men”

 
 
"The First of Patriots - The Best of Men" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 8, 2012
1. "The First of Patriots - The Best of Men" Marker
The marker credits author Tim McGrath for the text. On the upper left is a portrait of Commodore Barry. On the upper right is a line drawing of the USS United States.
Inscription. Commodore John Barry (1745-1803) was born in County Wexford, Ireland, but by age 15 called Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home. He commanded several Continental Navy ships during the Revolutionary War and won decisive victories over the British. In 1794, Barry received appointment as senior captain of the new United States Navy and President George Washington signed his commission.

Barry oversaw construction of and later commanded the frigate United States. During the Quasi-War with France, the Commodore commanded a naval squadron fighting the French in the West Indies from 1798-1800. Celebrated as a founder of the United States Navy, he was a gallant warrior, a guiding force in shipbuilding and supply, and mentor to the next generation of naval leaders.

On May 15, 1914, Admiral George Dewey, President Woodrow Wilson, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Barry descendent Elise H. Hepburn unveiled the Barry Memorial. Numerous Irish-American and United States Navy groups joined the celebration honoring this great naval figure.

Sculptor John J. Boyle's Barry statue fittingly stands in Franklin Park, named in honor of Barry's fellow Philadelphian and American Revolution hero Benjamin Franklin.

(Across the bottom):
Grand Union Flag
Adopted in 1775 as the First National Flag of the United States

First
Photos and Illustrations on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 8, 2012
2. Photos and Illustrations on Marker
From left to right: - Flying the Grand Union flag, Barry's 14-gun brig Lexington defeated the British tender Edward in April 1776
- In May 1781, Barry was wounded while commanding Alliance but managed to capture HMS Atalanta and HMS Trepassey.
- Photo of the dedication ceremony.
Navy Jack
Symbolized the American spirit of liberty and resistance to tyranny.

Lexington Flag
Flown by Captain Barry from his Continental Navy brig in 1776.

Ranger Flag
Hoisted by Captain John Paul Jones from his sloop-of-war in 1778.

Alliance Flag
Flown from Continental Navy frigate Alliance 1779.
 
Erected 2012 by National Mall and Memorial Parks - National Park Service - US Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 54.11′ N, 77° 1.906′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 14th Street NW and I Street NW, on the right when traveling north on 14th Street NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Barry Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Site of Chamberlin's (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Franklin Square - "Going into the country" (about 700 feet away); Major General James B. McPherson (about 700 feet away); Alexander Graham Bell (about 700 feet away); Historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
"The First of Patriots - The Best of Men" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 8, 2012
3. "The First of Patriots - The Best of Men" Marker
(about 700 feet away); New York Avenue Presbyterian Church at Herald Square (about 800 feet away); Wormley's Hotel Site (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers related to John Barry
 
Categories. MilitaryWar, US Revolutionary
 
Commodore John Barry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
4. Commodore John Barry Memorial
Commodore John Barry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
5. Commodore John Barry
Close-up of image on marker
USS United States image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
6. USS United States
Close-up of image on marker
Lexington vs. Edward image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
7. Lexington vs. Edward
Flying the Grand Union flag, Barry's 14-gun brig Lexington defeated the British tender Edward in April 1776.
Close-up of image on marker
Alliance vs. Atalanta and Trepassey image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
8. Alliance vs. Atalanta and Trepassey
In May 1781, Barry was wounded while commanding Alliance but managed to capture HMS Atalanta and HMS Trepassey
Close-up of image on marker
Admiral George Dewey, Woodrow Wilson, Josephus Daniels and Elise Hepburn dedicate the monument, 1914 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
9. Admiral George Dewey, Woodrow Wilson, Josephus Daniels and Elise Hepburn dedicate the monument, 1914
Close-up of image on marker
Grand Union Flag image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
10. Grand Union Flag
Adopted in 1775 as the First National Flag of the United States.
Close-up of image on marker
First Navy Jack image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
11. First Navy Jack
Symbolized the spirit of liberty and resistance to tyranny.
Close-up of image on marker
Lexington Flag image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
12. Lexington Flag
Flown by Captain Barry from his Continental Navy brig in 1776.
Close-up of image on marker
Ranger Flag image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
13. Ranger Flag
Hoisted by Captain John Paul Jones from his sloop-of-war in 1778.
Close-up of image on marker
Alliance Flag image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
14. Alliance Flag
Flown from Continental Navy Frigate Alliance 1779.
Close-up of image on marker
Commodore John Barry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
15. Commodore John Barry
Sculpture by John J. Boyle
Commodore John Barry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
16. Commodore John Barry
Victory image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
17. Victory
John Barry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
18. John Barry
Commodore United States Navy
Born County Wexford Ireland 1795
Died in Philadelphia 1803
Signature Block image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
19. Signature Block

John J. Boyle
      Sculptor
Edward P. Casey
      Architect
Commodore John Barry Monument image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 1, 2015
20. Commodore John Barry Monument
“Standing figure of Commodore Barry wearing his military uniform, a long cloak, and a three-cornered hat. He is taking a step forward with his proper left leg and holds back his cloak with his proper left hand. In his proper right hand he holds a scroll of papers and the handle of his sword, which is pointed vertically out in front of his proper left leg. The sculpture rests on a tall stepped base. On the front of the base is a standing allegorical female figure in high relief. She represents Victory and holds up a laurel branch in her proper right hand, and the rests her proper left hand on the handle of a sword. An eagle appears on her proper right side under her raised right arm. She wears a long robe that is tied at the waist and chest. A cape, pinned at her shoulders, swirls around behind her. Her long hair hangs down on her shoulders” — Smithsonian Institution (SIRI).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 20, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 20, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. submitted on August 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Paid Advertisement