"Father of the American Navy"
On his early trips to Philadelphia, he stayed with a relative Jane Barry Wilcox. In 1766, he became the captain of the merchant ship, .Barbadoes
When the colonies began to revolt, Barry did not take long to decide which side he was on. He quickly offered his service to the revolutionaries and was given command of a ship by the authority of the Continental Congress. He was charged with finding ships and refitting them for battle. He donated his own, Black Prince, renamed it Alfred. It was on this ship that John Paul Jones first raised the Grand Union Flag.
On April 7, 1776, Captain of the Lexington, he captured the Edward, America's first war prize.
Lord Howe offered him a commission in the British navy but he "spurned the eyedee of being a treater".
"Not the value or command of the whole British fleet", Barry replied, "can lure me from the cause of my country which is liberty and freedom."
Barry was the first to capture a British war vessel on the high seas. Barry captured the most ships (prizes) of any captain during the revolution. When deprived of a ship when the capture of Philadelphia seemed imminent, Barry formed a regiment of sailors and marines and fought at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. Barry captured two British ships after himself being severely wounded on the Alliance. Barry fought and won the last naval action of the Revolution
On June 14, 1794, George Washington authorized Barry to train the first class of midshipman and gave him Commission Number 1 of the United States Navy.
His last day of active duty was March 6, 1801 when he brought the USS United States into port.
John Barry was born in a modest thatched cottage, the son of a poor tenant farmer, on 25 March 1745 in Ballysampson, Our Lady' Island, Tacumshane Parish, County Wexford, Ireland.
He died from complications of asthma in 1803.
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