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Commodore Matthew C. Perry Thomas Yarbrough
Matthew C. Perry • Born in Newport, Rhode Island on April 10 1794. • Son of Captain Christopher R. Perry and Sarah Wallace • His father was a distinguished officer of the Revolutionary War. • 1814 he was married to Jan Sliddell • Had 10 children!!!
Matthew C. Perry • Appointed Midshipmen in 1809 under his brother Oliver Hazzard Perry. • During War of 1812 served in squadrons commanded by Rodgers and Decatur. • Was promoted to Lieutenant in 1813. • Was promoted to Master Commandant 1826 and named captain 11 years after that. • From 1838 to 1840 commanded the steam frigate Fulton and fueled the way for experiments in steam navigation. • During the Mexican American War he joined the Home Squadron in the Gulf of Mexico in 1846 and conducted several expeditions against the towns of Tabasco and Laguna. • In march of 1847 he succeeded Commodore Connor.
Run-ins With Japan • United States had made several attempts to negotiate trade agreements with Japan. • Japanese castaways were found on American shores and the United States tried to use to them to possible get in agreements with Japan. However both times when marooned Japanese were found Japan responded harshly to American attempts to return them, paranoid of American intentions. • The United States administration sent a man-of-war and a corvette to open negotiations with Japan, which fell under the command of Commodore Biddle. • He met with little success. • Due to the lack of success of Briddle, American Naval forces were seen as the laughing stock of Japan. • During the 1840;s whaling operations in the Pacific rapidly increased, pressuring the United States to keep up with the issue of harassment of the sailors by the Japanese. • In 1849 Commander Glynn went to Nagasaki to retrieve 15 seamen who had deserted their ship on the coast of Japan. • Glynn was met with much resistance but was able to retrieve the seaman. • Glynn went to Washington to really press the matter of opening up Japanese ports coupled with new expression with Manifest destiny • Commodore Aulick was at first assigned to the task of taking an expidition force to Japan to try and “perssuade” the Japanese. However due to breaches in decorum he was ordered back and replaced by “Old Matt”, Matthew Perry.
Recommendations • All of these events lead to his astonishing service record in the Navy. • Because of these events he was highly recommended for a special voyage for Japan by the United States. • He showed the requirements that Glynn had said were needed “maturity of experience and judgment, tact, patience, intelligent obstinacy, and naval rank.”
Japan • Perry reached Japan on July 8th 1853 • His actions at this time were informed by a study of Japan's previous contacts with Western ships and what could be known about the Japanese hierarchical culture. He was met by representatives of the Tokugawa Shogunate who told him to proceed to Nagasaki, where there was limited trade with the Netherlands and which was the only Japanese port open to foreigners at that time • Perry refused to leave and demanded that he see the emperor. • He was instructed to give a letter from President Filmore. • He also had a letter from himself that was to be given to the Emperor on how to appropriatly treat marooned American sailors in the Whaling industry, which operated close to Japan. • He threatened force if denied claiming that the US fleet could set sail and be in Japanese waters just under 18 days. • Perry ordered his ships to attack several building around the harbor to demonstrate US naval power. • After much deliberation among Japanese officials Perry was permitted to come ashore
Japan • Perry landed in Kurihama on July, 14 1853. • He presented both letters and left for the Chinese coast and would return for a response. • Fortifications were built in Tokyo Bay at Odaiba in order to protect Edo from a possible American naval incursion. • Perry returned in February 1854 with twice as many ships, finding that the delegates had prepared a treaty embodying virtually all the demands in Fillmore's letter. • Perry signed the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854 and departed. • When Perry returned to the United States in 1855, Congress voted to grant him a reward of $20,000 in appreciation of his work in Japan. He was also advanced to the grade of rear-admiral on the retired list (when his health began to fail) as a reward for his services in the Far East.
The letter Pay special attention to “The United States of America reach from ocean to ocean, and our Territory of Oregon and State of California lie directly opposite to the dominions of your imperial majesty. Our steamships can go from California to Japan in eighteen days.”
Bibliography • President Fillmore, “Letter to Japan“, http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~jobrien/reference/ob54.html, accessed August 2, 2010. • Walworth, Arthur. Black Ships off Japan: The Story of Commodore Perry’s Expedition, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1946. • http://www.history.navy.mil/library/special/perry_openjapan1.htm