John Barry

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 Jones.

See biographies by J. Gurn (1933) and W. B. Clark (1938).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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