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1815, and in a few days captured an Algerine frigate, under the command of Admiral Reis Hammida, who had been styled « The Terror of the Seas.” Decatur then proceeded to Tunis and Tripoli, and speedily adjusted matters with those powers, who had likewise thought it a favorable time to make unjust demands of our government.
After PERRY had returned to the United States from the Mediterranean, and while the Java was lying at Newport in midwinter, information was received by him that a merchant vessel was on a reef, about five or six miles from that place, and that the crew were still on the wreck, at the mercy of the winds and waves. He manned his barge, and said to his rowers, “Come, my boys, we are going to the relief of shipwrecked seamen; pull away." They returned him a look of fearless determination, which seemed to say, where you go
The vessel had gone to pieces, but eleven men were on her quarter deck, which had separated from the hull of the vessel, and was floating as a raft on the billows. This act may not be thought to belong to the class of heroic deeds by some, who are attracted only by the blaze of military glory; but the great mass of his countrymen declared that he was as deserving of the civic as of the naval crown.
Such a man as PERRY could not be idle; and in 1819 he was sent in the John Adams to the West India station, with sealed orders. He had the command of the squadron on that station. It was a command of importance, for pirates had swarmed in that vicinity, and not only vexed our commerce, but had committed murders of the most horrid character. The utmost vigilance and energy were necessary, but he was not long to be the guardian of those seas. The yellow fever was in the squadron, and of this disease he died on the 23d of August, 1820, just as his ship was entering a port in Trinidad. Thus perished, in the prime of life, and in the midst of usefulness, one of the most gallant officers of this or any other country. He was buried on the 24th, with military honors.
When his death was made known in the United States, every tribute of national grief was paid to his memory. The congress of the United States made a liberal provision for his family, including his mother, who was leaning on him for support. A republic is now and then grateful.
Commodore PERRY had early in life married a daughter of Doctor Mason, of Newport, and was happy in his domestic ties. He was a man of splendid talents, of great tact in his profession, and every way fitted for a great naval commander. His
intrepidity was at the same time constitutional and acquired. He had in his youth contemplated the beau-ideal of a naval heromodel of his own creation - whose elements were formed from all the great commanders, from Themistocles to Nelson; and if the Fates were kind, he intended to emulate him; and this before he had heard the whistling of a ball, or seen one drop of blood shed by contending with a foe.
In his whole course of life he had measured means in relation to ends. He never ventured upon any thing that was not feasible, and of course seldom acted without success. His mind was prolific, but well balanced. He never was swayed from his purpose, or "frightened from his propriety;" but in all the business of his profession conducted with a wisdom and gravity beyond his years. His letters prove that he could write with taste and spirit, and had a sense of honor worthy his station in our republic. He was said to have imitated Nelson; but every great man is like some distinguished predecessor. There is a similarity in mighty minds, whenever or wherever they appear.
In person, Commodore Perry was of the warrior cast, tall and well proportioned; yet not so colossal as to destroy a fine symmetry of limbs, and graceful movement of body. The expression of his face was manly and intellectual, with a greater proportion of refinement than is often found in the countenances of sea-faring men.
The remains of Commodore Perry have been brought to his native country, and buried in Newport. The legislature of Rhode Island appropriated a sum of money to erect a monument to his me mory, and this has been done. From a connection of the deceased a memoir has long been expected. This has not made its appearance; but we do not despair of seeing it, for a land of heroes cannot be wanting in masters of the pen.
MAJOR-GENERAL JACOB BROWN was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1775. His first ancestor in America, George Brown, was an emigrant from England before the establishment of William Penn, on the Delaware river, and was well known as a man of vigorous and cultivated intellect. His children and grandchildren partook of his character, and several of them were for many successive years, prominent members of the provincial government of Pennsylvania. Samuel Brown, the father of the subject of this memoir, and the fourth in the line of descent from George, was a man of high character and strong mental endowments. He was the third of the family who had professed the principles of quakerism, and was a frank, liberal, and enlightened man. His father left him in possession of a valuable, flourishing, and unincumbered estate; but with the hope of making it still more valuable, he imprudently embarked in some commercial enterprises which proved unfortunate, and his property was totally sacrificed.
Jacob Brown was at this time about sixteen years of age; and it was remarked that his father's pecuniary misfortunes wrought an instantaneous change in his character and conduct. In a spirit of manly resolution, superior to his years, he formed the determination of retrieving the fortunes of his family, and from that moment he devoted himself assiduously to the task. To this object are to be traced his succeeding exertions in preparing himself for the practical business of life; and in these exertions, perhaps, were laid the foundations of that distinguished reputation, which he has transmitted to his descendants. From the age of eighteen to twenty-one, he was entrusted with the management of a large and respectable school at Crosswicks, New Jersey; and during this period of time, his efforts to improve his mind were laborious and unremitted. During the two next years he was employed in that section of the country which now constitutes the state of Ohio, in surveying and laying out public lands.