The letter is written and signed by
Captain Christopher Raymond
Perry and was sent to a branch of the United States Bank in New York concerning
Bills of Lading and a large sum of money owed by Perry for which he promises
payment via the next packet sailing to New York.
The letter indicates that Bills of Lading were included
with this letter. The cover and Bills of Lading with the postal markings
(if present) were most likely on another sheet and not
included with this
item. The letter might have been sent via Packet from
to New York at the prevailing
rate of 17 cents for mail traveling
between 150 and 300
miles set by the Postal Act of March 2, 1799
or it might have been carried privately outside of the postal system by a
fellow ship's captain.
The Text of the letter and a
biography of Christopher Raymond Perry
Newport July 28,
You I Presume have in this received
Bills of Lading for a considerable
amt. signed by me -- The money will be sent to N. Y. by the next
which will sail in a few days --
Chris. Raymond Perry
The Cashier of
U.S. Branch Bank
Of New York
The Perry's were of Quaker
stock and the first of the family to make the voyage to America was Edward
Perry, who arrived in the Plymouth
Colony in 1639.
Edward and his sons Samuel and Benjamin
remained in constant trouble with the Puritan authorities of the Plymouth
Colony and in 1704 the family moved to
Raymond Perry was born on December
4, 1760 in South Kingston, Rhode
Island to "Judge"
Freeman Perry (The
son of Benjamin Perry) and Mercy
Hazard. In 1777 Chris joined a local quasi-military organization
known as the "Kingston Reds."
During his membership in the "Reds," Perry
is said to have shot and killed the
Tory farmer, Simeon Tucker.
In January of the year following the killing
of Simeon, Christopher signed on as
a seaman on the Privateer
"Yankee" out of Bristol,
Rhode Island after which, he shipped on the Privateer "Mifflin."
The "Mifflin" was captured
by a British Cruiser and young Chris was sent to the British
Prison Hulk "Jersey"
in New York Harbor. (The
British Prison Hulks were virtual death traps and many Americans died while imprisoned
on board these rotting, disease infested hell-holes. It is estimated that over
six thousand prisoners died on the "Jersey" during the
Revolution.) Christopher eventually escaped and turned up at his
father's house in South Kingston half-dead from starvation and fever. After
recovering his strength, Christopher shipped
out once again, this time on the Man
of War "Trumbull" under Captain
fought one of the bloodiest battles
of the Revolution against the British Man of War
"Watt." Both ships had to return to their home
ports for repairs and Christopher, not waiting for his ship to be repaired, shipped
on another Privateer in 1780.
The ship was captured in the Irish
Sea and Christopher was sent as a prisoner to Newry
in Ireland. American
Prisoners in Ireland were granted parole
and had free access to move around. Christopher became friends
with William Bailey Wallace (of
the famous Scottish Clan) and through him made the acquaintance
of his future wife, Sarah Wallace.
Parole in 1782,
shipping on a British Merchantman
out of Cork bound for the island of Saint
Thomas. He then shipped on an American Bark for Charleston,
South Carolina. By the time Christopher arrived back in the
colonies; he found that the war had ended
and he made his way to Philadelphia
and shipped aboard a vessel sailing for Ireland
as First Mate. Much to the
surprise of Chris, he found that Sarah Wallace
was one of three passengers
awaiting passage to Philadelphia. Christopher
and Sarah were married
in Philadelphia at the home of Dr.
Rush, (her guardian) and
then returned to the home of his
father, Freeman Perry in South Kingston.
when war threatened with France, Christopher
was appointed as Post Captain and
sent to Warren, Rhode Island to
supervise the construction and take command
of the frigate "General Greene."
He sailed to Haiti and assisted Toussaint
L'Ouverture in his assault on the fort at Jacmel.
From 1800 to 1808
he sailed as Captain on various merchant
vessels and in 1808
he was made Collector of Customs for
the port of Newport, Rhode Island.
and Sarah had eight children; Oliver
Hazard Perry, Anna Maria Perry,
Raymond Henry Jones Perry, Sarah
Wallace Perry, Matthew Calbraith
Perry, Jane Tweedy Perry,
Nathaniel Hazard Perry, and James Alexander Perry. All five
sons followed in their father's footsteps and entered the Naval Service. Two of
Christopher's sons; Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, were famous Naval Heroes.
Raymond Perry died on June 1, 1818
in Newport, Rhode Island.
Hazard Perry $1 Issue of 1894 with Bio
Matthew Perry First Day Cover