Perry took over command
of the USS Concord in 1830 and then was appointed
Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During this time he was
instrumental in helping to develop the Naval Apprenticeship System. He
also helped to develop the first steam warship, USS Fulton.
From 1840 to 1843 Perry
commanded an American Naval Squadron off the coast of Africa helping
to suppress the slave trade. Perry commanded the American fleet in
the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican War.
In March of 1852,
President Fillmore placed Commodore Perry in charge of the expedition
to induce the Japanese government to establish diplomatic relations
with the United States. Commodore Perry departed Norfolk, Virginia in
the fall of 1852 and on July 8, 1853 entered the harbor of Uraga,
Japan with four ships.
The Japanese government
initially refused to meet with him and ordered him out of the country,
however their defenses were inadequate to force him to leave. On July
14, 1853, after several days of sparing back and forth, the Japanese
finally accepted the formal letter requesting a treaty. Perry, after
promising to return the following spring then departed Japanese
returned to Japan; entering Tokyo Bay in February, 1854 with 9 ships
and on March 31 the treaty between the United States and Japan was
Matthew Calbraith Perry
died on March 4, 1858 in New York, NY. In 1866 his remains were
removed from New York and interred at the Island Cemetery in Newport,
Rhode Island. A statue honoring Commodore Perry was erected in Touro
Park in 1868.
Perry Centennial Committee - Newport, RI