Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn
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Hon. Bill de Blasio, Mayor
City Hall – New York City
New York, NY 10007
Re:Name Request for Staten Island Ferry
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
Please consider naming one of the new Staten Island ferries in honor of Commodore John Barry. Barry was not only a Revolutionary War hero but he was The Father of the American Navy. When Congress, under the Constitution, was authorized to provide and maintain a Navy it was to John Barry that George Washington turned conferring upon him “Commission No. 1” as Captain, United States Navy. The commission was effective June 7, 1794.
It was Commodore John Barry who went on to build and lead the new Nation’s infant Navy. He supervised the construction of his own flagship, the USS UNITED STATES. The USS CONSTITUTION (“Old Ironsides”), still in commission, was part of this new Navy. The ships built by Barry, and the Captains selected, as well as the officers trained by him, constituted the United States Navy that performed outstanding service in the Quasi War with France, in battle with the Barberry Pirates and the War of 1812.
John Barry served as the senior officer of the United States Navy with the title of “Commodore” in official correspondence under Presidents Washington, Adams and Jefferson. As Commander of the first U.S. Naval Squadron Barry was a Commodore with the right to fly a broad pendant which recognized him as a flag officer. Commodore Barry remained head of the U.S. Navy until his death on September 13, 1803. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, gave his eulogy and fittingly summed up his life and service, “He often fought and once bled in the cause of freedom, but his habits of war did not lessen in him the peaceful virtues which adorn private life.” I hope that you will give strong consideration to naming a new ferry in honor of Commodore John Barry.