Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819)
2 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 3/4"
War of 1812 Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry Brass Snuff Box. Commodore Perry served in the West Indies during the Quasi-War of 1798–1800 against France, in the Mediterranean during the Barbary Wars of 1801–1815, and in the Caribbean fighting piracy and the slave trade, but is most noted for his heroic role in the War of 1812 during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. During the war against Britain, Perry supervised the building of a fleet at Erie, Pennsylvania. He earned the title "Hero of Lake Erie" for leading American forces in a decisive naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal and the Thanks of Congress. His leadership materially aided the successful outcomes of all nine Lake Erie military campaign victories, and the victory was a turning point in the battle for the west in the war. He is remembered for the words on his battle flag, "Don't Give Up the Ship," which was a tribute to the dying command of his colleague Captain James Lawrence of USS Chesapeake. He is also known for his message to General William Henry Harrison, which reads in part, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours; ..." Perry became embroiled in a long-standing and bitter controversy with the commander of USS Niagara, Captain Jesse Elliott, over their conduct in the Battle of Lake Erie, and both were the subject of official charges. In 1815, he successfully commanded Java in the Mediterranean during the Second Barbary War.