Many serious books have been written about the War of 1812 and the NW Territories, in general; and about the Battle of Lake Erie, in particular. There are a number of debates for which there is still no clear resolution. The following seven questions are representative of those debates. As we approach the bicentennial of […]
OHP was known for ‘Perry’s luck’. He moved the under-armed small ships to Erie only with a sudden fog; Barclay returned to blockade Erie only hours after Perry had gotten just enough ships over the bar and under shore battery protection to dissuade Barclay from attacking; on the day of the Battle, the wind changed just when he […]
Perry’s supporters have always said that Jesse Elliot improperly held back from engaging. Elliot’s supporters said that Perry rashly outran his support, and had told his ships to stay in line. Question: Who was more correct?
Perry’s ships had greater ‘throw-weight’ than those of Barclay; The personnel situation in Barclay’s fleet was as bad as in Perry’s, if not worse; and Barclay’s artillery training was constrained by shortages of powder and shell. Question: To what extent should we say the outcome of the engagement was a surprise?
Some critics have noted Perry’s complaint about receiving “a motley set, blacks, soldiers, and boys” to help man his ships. He certainly came from a very mainline WASP background; and it appears that his church in RI, at times, had racially segregated its church attendees. Question: Was OHP racially prejudiced?