Matthew C. Perry


Matthew Calbraith Perry was a Commodore of the U.S. Navy and commanded a number of ships. He served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and helped develop an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy.… Read More

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1794 Birth Born on April 10, 1794.


1809 15 Years Old Matthew Perry was the son of Sarah Wallace (Alexander) and Navy Captain Christopher R. Perry and the younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry. Matthew Perry received a midshipman's commission in the Navy in 1809, and was initially assigned to the, under the command of his elder brother.
1812 18 Years Old 1 More Event
Perry's early career saw him assigned to several ships, including the (where he served as an aide to Commodore John Rodgers (1772–1838)) which had been in a victorious engagement over a British vessel,, shortly before the War of 1812 was officially declared.


1819 25 Years Old Following the signing of the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war, he served on various vessels in the Mediterranean. Perry served under Commodore William Bainbridge during the Second Barbary War. He then served in African waters aboard USS Cyane during its patrol off Liberia from 1819–1820. … Read More
1821 27 Years Old Perry commanded the, a schooner with 12 guns, in 1821–1825. … Read More
1822 28 Years Old On March 25, 1822, Perry sailed Shark to Key West and planted the U.S. flag, physically claiming the Keys as United States territory. … Read More


1826 32 Years Old From 1826 to 1827 Perry acted as fleet captain for Commodore Rodgers.
1828 34 Years Old Perry returned to Charleston, South Carolina for shore duty in 1828, and in 1830 took command of a sloop-of-war, the.
1833 39 Years Old He spent the years 1833–1837 as second officer of the New York Navy Yard (later the Brooklyn Navy Yard), gaining promotion to captain at the end of this tour. … Read More


1839 45 Years Old He was called "The Father of the Steam Navy", and he organized America's first corps of naval engineers, and conducted the first U.S. naval gunnery school while commanding Fulton in 1839–1841 off Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey.
1840 46 Years Old Perry received the title of Commodore in June 1840, when the Secretary of the Navy appointed him commandant of New York Navy Yard. … Read More
1843 49 Years Old During his tenure in Brooklyn, he lived in Quarters A in Vinegar Hill, a building which still stands today. In 1843, Perry took command of the African Squadron, whose duty was to interdict the slave trade under the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, and continued in this endeavor through 1844. … Read More


1847 53 Years Old 1 More Event
Perry assembled the Mosquito Fleet and captured Tuxpan in April, 1847.
1852 58 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1852, Perry was assigned a mission by American President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary. … Read More
1853 59 Years Old 1 More Event
Perry finally reached Uraga at the entrance to Edo Bay in Japan on July 8, 1853. … Read More


1854 60 Years Old 1 More Event
Perry returned on 13 February 1854, after only half a year rather than the full year promised, and with ten ships and 1600 men. … Read More
1855 61 Years Old When Perry returned to the United States in 1855, Congress voted to grant him a reward of $20,000 (US$ SENT_ in) in appreciation of his work in Japan. … Read More
1857 63 Years Old Perry spent his last years preparing for publication his account of the Japan expedition, announcing its completion on December 28, 1857. … Read More
1858 64 Years Old He died awaiting further orders on March 4, 1858, in New York City, of rheumatism that had spread to the heart, compounded by complications of gout and alcoholism. … Read More
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