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August 23, 2022

John Barry (1745 –1803): Irish boy does good in America (Part I)

Every work day thousands of Washingtonians pass an imposing six-foot statue mounted on an a huge pedestal a few feet away from 14th Street (right or northbound lane) on Franklin Square, on 14th and K Streets, Northwest. It is of Captain John Barry, a Wexford, Ireland-born U.S. naval officer who quickly became one of George Washington's wartime favorites. In April of 1776, the 31-year-old Captain Barry and his crew had just slipped his warship the Lexington through a British blockade on the Delaware River. The Lexington encountered, defeated and captured the British sloop Edward, a tender to the frigate Liverpool. Barry took the Edward into Philadelphia, turned it over to the Continental Army, repaired his ship the Lexington and put out to sea again.


“Washington presents Captain Barry with his Commission [1797]”, 1839, Alfred M. Hoffy. In this painting, Washington is making Barry the first commissioned officer, a commodore, in the newly established U.S. Navy.

Posted by JD Hull at August 23, 2022 11:58 PM


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