New York (State). Perrys Victory Centennial Commis.

The Perrys victory centenary. Report of the Perrys victory centennial commission, state of New York online

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Online LibraryNew York (State). Perrys Victory Centennial CommisThe Perrys victory centenary. Report of the Perrys victory centennial commission, state of New York → online text (page 1 of 21)
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PERRY'S Victory Centennial Commission








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D. of D.
FEB 20 1917



Perry's Victory Centennial Commission

October 1, 1916.

To the Honorable the Governor and the Legislature:

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 5, Chapter 190 of the Laws
of 1913, we have the honor to herewith submit a report of the Perry's
Victory Centennial Commission of the State of New York, cover-
ing its work to the first day of October, 1916.

William J. Conners, Chairman.

John F. Malone, Chairman Executive Committee,

William L. Ormrod, Vice-Chairman,

George D. Emerson, Secretary,

William Simon, Treasurer,

Edward Schoeneck,

Simon L. Adler,

Edward D. Jackson,

Jacob Schifferdecker,

William F. Rafferty,

Charles H. Wiltsie.



Battle of Lake Erie — Action of New York State Senate, 1814 1

Action of the State of Ohio and other States for a centennial celebration ... 3

New York State Commission 4

Permanent organization. New York Commission 5

Interstate Board organized 6

Perry Memorial design adopted 7

Raising the Niagara 8

Celebration dates adopted 10

Buffalo Centennial Committee 10

Women's Committee, Perry Centennial 12

Preliminary gatherings 12

Trip of the Harvlf 14

New York Commissioners visit various celebrations 15

Programme of Buffalo Celebration 17

Arrival of the Perry flagship Niagara 28

Opening Exercises, Buffalo celebration 29

Public meeting, Women's Committee 30

Official banquet 52

Public meeting, Buffalo Chapter, Daughters of 1812 80

Spectacular features, Buffalo celebration, military parade, fireworks, boat

laces, firemen's parade, aviation, etc 84

Departure of the Niagara 89

Work of the Women's Committee 91

Meeting of Colored people 93

Various matters, press, police, music. New York Central exhibit, etc 95

Perry Statue 96

Financial statement 99

vi Contents



A. The Battle of Lake Erie 105-159

Henry Watterson 107

Frank H. Severance 113

George Bancroft 1 28

William V. Taylor 156

B. The Perry Memorial, Put-in-Bay 159-168

Joseph Henry Freedlander 161

C. Interstate Board, Perry's Victory Centennial Commissioners 169-176

D. Address by Hon. John M. Whitehead, Put-in-Bay, July 4. 1913. 177-192

E. America's Message to the Nations 193—206

Dr. James A. MacDonald, Put-in-Bay, September 10,

1913 195

F. Perry's Victory Centennial Commission, State of New York 207—210

G. Perry's Victory Centennial Committee, City of Buffalo, N. Y. . . 211-214
H. Women's Committee, Buffalo, N. Y., Perry's Victory Centennial

celebration 215-219

I. Official procedings. New York Legislature, Perry's Victory Cen-
tennial celebration 221 —226

J. Rewarding the Victors, Muster Roll, American fleet, killed and

wounded, etc 227-25 1

K. Official reports, despatches and letters. Commodore Oliver Hazard

Perry 253-261

L. Naval operations around Buffalo, N. Y 263-270

M. Commodore Stephen Champlin, United States Navy 271-276

N. Official report, battle of Lake Erie, Captain Robert H. Barclay,

Royal Navy 277-283

O. Tenth annual encampment, United Spanish War Veterans 284-286


Facing Page

1. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry Frontispiece

2. Chairman William J. Conners 8

3. Hon. John F. Malone, Chairman Elxecutive Committee 8

4. Secretary George D. Emerson 8

5. Hon. Simon L. Adler 8

6. Hon. William L. Ormrod 16

7. William Simon, Treasurer 16

8. Hon. Robert F. Wagner 16

9. Hon. Edward D. Jackson 16

1 0. Hon. William F. Rafferty 32

11. Dr. Clinton B. Herrick 32

1 2. Hon. Jacob Schifferdecker 32

1 3. Hon. Edward Schoeneck 32

14. Charles H. Wiltsie 48

1 5. Arrival of the Niagara at Buffalo 48

1 6. Colonel John T. Mott 48

1 7. Henry Harmon Noble 48

1 8. Governor Charles E. Hughes 64

1 9. Governor Horace White 64

20. Governor Martin H. Glynn 64

2 i . Hon. Louis P. Fuhrmann 64

22. Deck view of the Niagara 80

23. The Perry Flagship Niagara 80

24. Salute to the Niagara, Buffalo, N. Y 80

25. The Flagship Niagara off her anchorage, Buffalo, N. Y 80

26. The Niagara at her anchorage, Buffalo, N. Y 96

27. The Niagara, Wolverine and the Eissex 96


viii Illustrations

Facing Page

28. Inspecting mementos of Commodore Perry 96

29. One of the Niagara's guns 96

30. Map of the battle of Lake Erie 110

31. " Don't give up the ship " 112

32. Edward P. Murphy 112

33. Firemen's Committee, Buffalo celebration 112

34. Departure of the Niagara 112

35. Map of Put-in-Bay and vicinity 122

36. Mrs. Esther C. Davenport 128

37. Commodore Perry statue, Buffalo, N. Y 128

38. South face. Perry statue, Buffalo, N. Y 128

39. North face. Perry statue, Buffalo, N. Y 128

40. Battle of Lake Erie 1 44

41. Official invitation, Buffalo celebration 144

42. Sailing orders. Commodore Perry, June 12, 1813 144

43. Sailing orders. Commodore Perry. June 12, 1813 144

44. Hon. Edward H. Butler 1 60

45. Pennsylvania State medal. Commodore Perry 160

46. The Mary Alice 160

47. Naval gunboat Har>>I( 160

48. Special order. Commodore Perry 176

49. Wine case from the Laxvrence 1 76

50. Buffalo Historical Society mementos 1 76

5 1 . Captain William L. Morrison 1 76

52. Commodore Elisha P. Hussey 192

53. The Perry Memorial, Put-in-Bay 192

54. Winter scene at the Perry Memorial, Put-in-Bay 192

55. Commodore George H. Worthington 192

56. Colonel Henry Watterson 208

5 7. Hon. A. E. Sisson 208

58. Webster P. Huntington 208

Illustrations ix

Facing Page

59. Mackenzie R. Todd 208

60. Main Street. Buffalo, N. Y 224

61 . Motor Boat Races, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 224

62. March up Main Street, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 224

63. Naval Militia, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 224

64. Troop I, First New York Cavalry, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y. . 240

65. Advertising the Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 240

66. Hon. William J. Stern 240

67. The Perry's Victory Centennial Commission and the Perry's Victory

Centennial Committee 240

68. Women's Committee, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 256

69. General Samuel M. Welch 256

70. The Court of Honor, Perry Centenary, Buffalo, N. Y 256

71 . Commodore Stephen Champlin 256

72. Map of the Niagara Frontier 264

73. Captain Robert H. Barclay 272

PERRY'S Victory Centenary

THE GREAT NAVAL BATTLE, known officially in the annals of the
United States Navy as the Battle of Lake Erie, but more popularly
designated Perry's Victory, was fought at about eight miles north-
west of Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) in Lake Erie, on the tenth day
of September, 1813. Two fleets contended for the mastery in this action
— an American fleet commanded by Conmiodore Oliver Hazard Perry
and a British fleet under Captain Robert H. Barclay. Victory, as is
well known, rested with the American squadron. The results of the
battle were far reaching in their extent. By it was not only the control
of the lakes assured to the Americans, a great issue of itself in the early
part of the War of 1812, but it also made certain that the vast extent of
territory now covered by the western part of the State of Pennsylvania,
northern Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, and all of the States
of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota was thenceforward to be a part
of the United States of America and its flag the Star Spangled Banner
and not the Union Jack of Great Britain.

As an evidence of appreciation, at an early day. of the great victory
won by Commodore Perry, the following action was taken by the Senate
of the State of New York, February 3, 1814:

The Senate of the State of New York, feeling a deep interest in the welfare
of our beloved country, desirous that its rights be asserted and its honor maintained,
anxious for its prosperity and glory and grateful to all whose exertions have pro-
moted these objects, resolve as follows:

State of New York

Resolved unanimously). That the Senate views with the highest satisfaction,
pleasure and pride, the victory obtained by the Navy of the United States, on
Lake Erie, under the command of Commodore Ohver H. Perry, over the Navy
of Great Britain, on that lake, on the 1 0th day of September last, a victory as
glorious, by the lustre which it reflects on the nation, as by the important advantages
which it secures to her cause.

Resolved unanimously. That the Senate entertains the highest sense of the valor,
skill and conduct of Commodore Perry in his arduous engagement with the British
fleet, and hereby declares to the world the profound gratification it feels to him for
this great achievement, which, while it has exalted his country, has covered his own
name with immortal glory.

Resolved, That the Governor of this state be requested to communicate these
resolutions to Commodore Perry.

In compliance with the resolutions the Governor, on February 5, 1814,
addressed Commodore Perry the following letter:

Albany, February 5, 1814.

Sir.. — I have the honor to present to you the resolutions of the Senate of the
State of New York, expressive of their high sense of the valor, skill and conduct
displayed on the I 0th day of September last, in the victory obtained by the Navy
of Lake Erie under your command, over that of Great Britain, and of their profound
gratitude for that great achievement.

Permit me, at the same lime, to say that my own estimation of the conduct
exhibited on the memorable 1 0th of September harmonizes with that of the Senate,
and to declare my own feelings of gratitude to yourself and to the heroic officers and
men who fought with you on that signal occasion.

With great consideration and esteem, I am. Sir,

Your Obedient Servant,

Daniel D. Tompkins.

Commodore OLIVER H. Perry.

The Perry's Victory Centenary

To this letter Commodore Perry made the following reply:

Newport, March 28, 1814.

Sir. — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, covering reso-
lutions of the Senate of the State of New York in relation to the action of the
10th of September, 1813, on Lake Erie. It is a source of great pleasure to me
that my exertions in the cause of my country should be viewed in a favorable light
by so respectable a body as the Senate of the State of New York. I feel highly
gratified also in your testimony in favor of my brave officers and men.

I have the honor to be. Sir,

Your Obedient Humble Servant,

O. H. Perry.

His Excellency, DaNIEL D. TompkINS.

The first movement towards commemorating the one hundredth anni-
versary of this battle was inaugurated by the State of Ohio. In 1 908 the
Ohio General Assembly authorized the Governor to appoint five com-
missioners to prepare and catty out plans for a centennied celebration and
authorized the commissioners thus appointed by Governor Andrew L.
Harris, on June 22, 1908, to invite the co-operation of the lake States
and the commonwealths of Rhode Island and Kentucky. During a period
of two years following, this invitation was accepted by the appointments of
commissioners, in the order named, in the States of Pennsylvania, Michi-
gan, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Rhode Island, Kentucky and
Minnesota, and later the State of Louisiana appointed commissioners,
as did also the United States government pursuant to Act of Congress.

In the State of New York, on the twenty-fifth day of January, 1910,
resolutions accepting the invitation extended by the State of Ohio, and
providing for the appointment by the Governor of a Perry's Victory
Centennial Commission, were offered by the Hon. Henry W. Hill,
Senator from the Forty-eighth District, known as concurrent resolution 23.

State of New York

Tliere was some opposition to the proposition at first but through the exer-
tions of Mr. Hill, in which he was greatly aided by the late Hon. TTiomas
F. Grady in the Senate and the late Hon. Edwin A. Merritt in the Assem-
bly, the resolutions were adopted in both houses of the Legislature. Under
the authority thus conferred Governor Charles E. Hughes, on July 20,
1910, appointed the following citizens as commissioners: Ogden P.
Letchworth, Buffalo, N. Y. ; George D. Emerson, Buffalo, N. Y.;
John T. Mott. Oswego. N. Y. ; Clinton B.Herrick, M. D.. Troy, N. Y.,
and Henry Harmon Noble, Essex, N. Y. Mr. Letchworth resigned the
appointment February 25, 1911. Mr. Mott January 8. 1913. and Mr.
Noble June 6. 1913. Mr. William Simon of Buffalo, N. Y., was
appointed May 9, 1911, in place of Mr. Letchworth; Mr. WilHam J.
Conners of Buffalo. N. Y., on January 8, 1913, in place of Mr. Mott,
and Mr. WiUiam F. Rafferty of Syracuse, N. Y., on June 16, 1913, in
place of Henry Harmon Noble, resigned. Dr. Clinton B. Herrick died
in Florida. March 23, 1915, and was succeeded by Charles H. Wiltsie
of Rochester, N. Y.

A bill was passed by the Legislature of 1913, and approved by the
Governor April 3rd, becoming Chapter 190 of the Laws of 1913, reor-
ganizing the Commission and making an appropriation of $150,000 for a
celebration in New York State and in aid of the memorial to be erected
at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, in memory of Commodore Perry and his officers
and men who took part in the battle of Lake Erie. Under this act six
members were added to the original Commission, viz : The Lieutenant-
Governor exofficio, two State Senators and three Members of the Assem-
bly, to be appointed respectively by the temporary President of the Senate
and the Speaker of the Assembly. Pursuant to this provision the follow-
ing became additional members of the Commission: Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor Martm H. Glynn, Senator John F. Malone, Senator William L,

The Perry's Victory Centenary

Ormrod and Assemblymen Simon L. Adler, Edward D. Jackson and
Jacob Schifferdecker. On October 16th, Lieutenant-Governor Glynn
became Governor of the State in place of William Sulzer and thereby
vacated his membership in the Commission. He was succeeded by the
Hon. Robert F. Wagner of New York City, whose term of office expired
December 31, 1914. He was followed by the Hon. Edward Schoeneck
of Syracuse, N. Y., Lieutenant-Governor.


April 23, 191 3, a meeting of the Commission was held in the Ten Eyck
Hotel at Albany, N. Y., at which time the following officers were elected:
Chairman, William J. Conners; Vice-Chairman, William L. Ormrod;
Treasurer, William Simon; Secretary, George D. Emerson. A by-law
was adopted at this meeting providing for the appointment of an Executive
Committee to take immediate charge of the work of the Commission.
The Executive Committee thus authorized was organized by the appoint-
ment of Senator John F. Malone, Chairman, Messrs. Martin H. Glynn,
Simon L. Adler, Edward D. Jackson, Jacob Schifferdecker and the
Chairman of the Commission, ex-officio.

As the work progressed employees were appointed from time to time,
and during the preparations for the celebration at Buffalo and in its
execution, the following were connected with the work of the Commission :
Clarence J. Murphy, stenographer; James Reed, Martin L. O'Shaugh-
nessey, Charles J. Hahn, Joseph Stockmar, Samuel Meyer and Henry
J. Weber, clerks; and Michael Rozewski, messenger. A publicity bureau
was also established and placed in charge of James F. Doyle as chief
and Benjamin L. Peer as assistant, both experienced newspaper men and
thoroughly adapted for the work contemplated. The office of the

State of New York

Commission was located at No. 386 Ellicolt Square, Buffalo, N. Y.,
and the Citizens' Bcmk of Buffalo made its depository.

On the 1 0th day of September, 1910, Commissioners representing the
various states which had entered into the movement met at Put-in-Bay,
Ohio, and formed an organization under the name of the Interstate Board
of the Perry's Victory Centennial Commissioners. Conmiissioner George
H. Worthington of Ohio was elected President-General; Commissioner
/Henry Watterson of Kentucky, Vice-President General; Commissioner
Webster P. Huntington of Ohio, Secretary-General; Commissioner A. E.
Sisson of Pennsylvania, Treasurer-General, and Commissioner Harry
Cutler of Rhode Island, Auditor-General. TTiese officers have been con-
tinued to the present time. Commissioner Clinton B. Herrick of New
York, was made a member of the Elxecutive Committee and Commis-
sioner George D. Emerson a member of the Committee on Legislation
and Publicity. Commissioner O. P. Letchworth was chosen Vice-
President-General for the State of New York for the years 1910-191 I ;
Commissioner Henry Harmon Noble for the years 1911-1912, and
Commissioner Willijim Simon, 1912-1913 and 1914. At the annual
meeting of the Board at Put-in-Bay, September 10th, 1914, Commis-
sioner Simon L. Adler was appointed a member of the Executive Com-
mittee and Commissioner William L. Ormrod Vice-President-General
for the State of New York for 1914-1915. At the annual meeting at
Put-in-Bay, September 10th, 1915, Messrs. Adler and Ormrod were
reappointed to these respective positions.

Under the original statutes and resolutions of the different states, the
purpose of the Interstate Board was to arrange for and to supervise the
erection of a suitable memorial at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, in memory of Com-
modore Oliver Hazard Perry and the officers and men of his fleet who

The Perry's Victory Centenary

participated in the naval battle, September 10, 1813, and an appropriate
celebration in connection therewith. A meeting of the Interstate Board
was held in the New Willard Hotel, Washington, D. C, January 29,
1912, participated in by Commissioners George D. Emerson and William
Simon of New York, at which time the design for the memorial was
adopted, the proposition accepted being that submitted by J. H. Freed-
lander and A. D. Seymour, Jr., of New York City. The selection was
made after a competition in which fifty-four designs were presented.
Put-in-Bay, Ohio, was selected as the site of the proposed monument, it
being the point at which the fleet of Commodore Perry was at anchor
when the approach of the British vessels was discovered on the morning
of September 10, 1813, and near which the fighting took place. On
South Bass island, upon which the monument is erected, the officers
killed in the battle, three of the American fleet and three of the British
fleet, were buried the second day after the fight, appropriate funeral
services being held, attended by officers and men of both fleets. TTie
plan adopted, in brief, comprises a central shaft, 3 1 7 feet in height,
constructed of New England granite, surmounted by a tripod eighteen
feet high, containing a powerful electric light, the whole resting on a
plaza 750 feet long by 458 feet in width. Flanking the central shaft
there is proposed to be erected two buildings of the same material as the
shaft, an historical museum and a memorial building, the whole adjacent
to and facing the bay where Commodore Perry's fleet anchored and
looking in the distance at the scene of the action. When completed it
will rank with any similar structure in the world.

At the annual meeting of the Interstate Board, at Put-in-Bay, Septem-
ber 10, 1912, contracts aggregating $357,000 were authorized, an amount
sufficient to complete the memorial shaft, and this part of the work is now

8 State of New York

finished. The contract was awarded to J. C. Robinson & Son of New
York City. At the meeting of the Interstate Board in Cleveland, Ohio,
November 19, 1913, provision was made for completing the plaza as far
as the funds available would permit. At the annual meeting of the Inter-
state Board, held at Put-in-Bay, September 10, 1914, Honorable A. E.
Sisson, Treasurer-General, reported that to July 26, 1914, the total cost
oi work on the Put-in-Bay Memorial, partly paid by the Interstate Board
and partly by the Ohio State Commission and including site and clearing
same, architects' fees, legal expenses, etc., was $312,127.84.


As the movement progressed the proposed celebration widened very
materially in its scope. In the latter part of the year 191 1 and early in
the year 1912 the project of raising, from her long resting place. Perry's
flagship, the Niagara, was agitated, and at the annual meeting of the
Interstate Board held at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, September 10, 1912, finally
took definite shape. Soon after the close of the War of 1812, the two
brigs which had served Commodore Perry as flagships during the battle
of September 10, 1813, the LaivTence and the Niagara, were scuttled and
sunk in Misery Bay, Erie harbor, Pennsylvania. In 1876 during the
Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, the Lawrence was raised, trans-
ported to Philadelphia, cut up and the pieces sold for souvenirs. The
Niagara, however, was not disturbed prior to March, 1913. The prop-
osition finally adopted was that the Niagara should be raised from under
the waters of Misery Bay, restored to her original lines and taken on a
trip through the great lakes, calling at such cities as were willing to
organize a local celebration in honor of the visit of the old war vessel.
The Pennsylvania State Commission asked the privilege of doing the work


Chairman, Perry's Victory Centennial Commission,
State of New "^'ork


Chairman, Executive Committee, Perry's Victory Centennial

Commission, State of New York, State

Senator, ]9I 3-1914


Secretary. Perry's Victory Centennial Commission, State of
New 'i'ork


Member of Assembly, 1912-13-14-15-16. and Member of

Perry's Victory Centennial Commission,

State of New ^'ork

The Perry's Victory Centenary

of raising and refitting the Niagara at their own expense and it wa»
granted. Divers who had examined the remains of the Niagara under
water reported the wood composing her to be in good condition and that
there was no question but that she could be raised and rebuilt.

It is with the greatest pleasure that we are able to report that this
project, unique in the history of the navies of the world, was successfully
carried out and that millions of people along the great lakes and adjacent
thereto, were enabled to look upon and visit a war vessel which had taken
part in a great naval battle 1 00 years before and which again traversed
the waters sailed over at that time. It is impossible to describe in words
the enthusiasm which the appearance of this time honored craft aroused
in the multitudes who were permitted to share in the wonderful spectacle,
unequalled in any generation and which possibly may never be duplicated.
In April, 1913, the Niagara was raised from under the waters of Misery
Bay, taken ashore and rebuilt. She was launched June 7th, almost an
exact century after her original entry into the waters of Lake Erie.
Masts, rigging and cannon after the style of the brig of 1813, were
procured at the Boston Navy Yard and at the time of the first celebra-
tion, which took place at Erie, Pennsylvania, commencing July 6th, the
rejuvenated war vessel was fully equipped and ready for her latter day

In compliance with invitations issued by the Interstate Board, repre-
sentatives from the various cities along the lakes, which were planning to
have local celebrations, met with the Interstate Board at the annual meet-
ing at Put-in-Bay, September 10, 1912. After considerable discussion
as to the proposed chain of celebrations, based upon a visit of the Niagara
to different lake ports, an adjournment was had to meet in Detroit,
Michigan, in October. A meeting was duly held at the Ponchartrain

10 State of New York

Hotel, October 2nd. At this meeting a schedule of celebrations was
arranged, and after some modifications, decided upon as follows:

Eric, Pa Week of July 6th July 1 3th

Fairport. Ohio July 1 4th 1 5th

Lorain. Ohio 1 5th 20th

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryNew York (State). Perrys Victory Centennial CommisThe Perrys victory centenary. Report of the Perrys victory centennial commission, state of New York → online text (page 1 of 21)