Barry, John

Barry, John,

1745–1803, U.S. naval officer in the American Revolution, b. Co. Wexford, Ireland. He went as a youth to Philadelphia, where he was a trader and a shipmaster. In the Revolution he commanded the brig Lexington when she captured (1776) the British tender Edward—the first British ship taken by a commissioned American ship. He fulfilled later commands with gallantry: in the Raleigh he fought against superior forces until compelled to beach the vessel to save it and the crew from capture; in the Alliance he took (1781) two British vessels after a hard fight. His renown as a naval hero of the Revolution was second only to that of John Paul JonesJones, John Paul,
1747–92, American naval hero, b. near Kirkcudbright, Scotland. His name was originally simply John Paul. Early Life

John Paul went to sea when he was 12, and his youth was adventure-filled.
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See biographies by J. Gurn (1933) and W. B. Clark (1938).

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Barry, John

(1745–1803) naval officer; born in County Wexford, Ireland. He went to sea early and settled in Philadelphia by 1760. An ardent patriot, he became a Continental Navy captain (1776) and commanded the USS Lexington and Effingham (1776–78). He conveyed John Laurens to France aboard the USS Alliance and fought a grueling battle on his return voyage. He brought the Marquis de Lafayette back to France after the victory at Yorktown (1781), and captured numerous British vessels in 1782. After the American Revolution, he worked in the merchant trade and retired before being recalled to the naval service in 1794. He became the senior captain in the navy and commanded all U.S. ships in the West Indies (1798–99). He returned to Philadelphia (1801) and remained the senior naval officer until his death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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