On February 8, 1814, 14-year-old George N. Hollins wrote a letter to his uncle Samuel Smith:
“Dear Uncle, I saw Commodore Perry and witnessed the honors paid him. I never was so pleased with the appearance of any person. Anxious to deserve similar honors and emulate his actions, I have taken the liberty to solicit your interest to procure me a midshipman’s commission in the navy.”
2nd Light rain & mild this morning, but clear’d up at 12 O’Clock, with wind at N.W. Went to Town & aterwards Rode to Dine at Capt. Wederstrandts in company with Oliver H. Perry, the Commodore, and Capt. Chas. G. Ridgely, very pleasant ~
From the journal of Captain Henry Thompson, February 2, 1814. Courtesy the Friends of Clifton.
There is now among us a Gallant Hero, Commodore Perry! The public spirit of Baltimore seems to have awakened to the Beams of his Glory, and shone forth yesterday in a Dinner to him A Large Company, and an excellent repast, with splendid decorations for the occasion.
Letter from Lydia Hollingsworth to cousin Ruth Hollingsworth from Baltimore, February 2, 1814. Read more stories from Oliver Perry’s visit to Baltimore.
Source: Hollingsworth to Hollingsworth, 2 February 1814, Hollingsworth Letters, Ms. 1849, Maryland Historical Society. Published in “This Time of Present Alarm”: Baltimoreans Prepare for Invasion, Barbara K. Weeks, Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 84, Fall 1989.
“31st – Very cold morning, hard Frosts – NW – Went to Town & din’d at Jas Steretts, afterward to the Circus, saw Com. Perry there.
From the journal of Captain Henry Thompson, January 31, 1814. Courtesy the Friends of Clifton.
On January 31, 1814, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the celebrated “Hero of Lake Erie,” arrived in Baltimore from Washington, DC on his way to Newport, Rhode Island. Planning for a celebratory public dinner had been underway for weeks but on the first evening of Perry’s visit to the city, he decided to visit the circus. John Thomas Scharf paints the scene for the evening:
“That spacious building was incompetent to receive the mighty crowd that rushed to greet him. The house was crammed long before the entertainment began; and when the hero of Lake Erie entered, he was received with deep, loud and continued cheering.”
Source: Scharf, John Thomas. The Chronicles of Baltimore. Turnbull Bros., 1874. p.346.
On January 6, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry received a Congressional Gold Medal for his service at the Battle of Lake Erie. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get more updates on Perry’s celebratory visit to Baltimore at the end of the January 1814.
On January 6, 1814, the United States Congress awarded Captain Oliver Hazard Perry and Captain Jesse D. Elliott the Congressional Gold Medal for their service at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.