Dear General, we have met the enemy and they are ours, two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop. Yours, with great respect and esteem, O. H. Perry.”
To the Secretary of the Navy, Perry added:
“It has pleased the Almighty to give to the arms of the United States a signal victory over their enemies on this lake.”
An 1875 photograph of the hulk of Perry’s flagship the Lawrence, raised from Misery Bay
The victory led directly to the defeat of the western British land forces at the Battle of the Thames in Canada, and secured Lake Erie for the United States for the remainder of the war. The psychological effect of the battle on Lake Erie positively changed the attitudes of thousands of Americans who were despairing of ever securing a victory over the British anywhere. It was a small encounter in a larger war, but as George Washington had found in the previous one, small wins can lead to large victories in the end.
Constructed from 1912-1915, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio, commemorates the American victory under Perry’s command