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 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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