View Full Version : Commodore Perry's mistresses/wifes name?

Jody Holeton
30th October 2002, 01:59
Dear all,

I had a teacher ask me about Perry yesterday and I can find nothing about his wife or any info about him having a love interest during his work in Japan.

Any help would be appreciated!

Joseph Svinth
30th October 2002, 03:12
A good website for the Perry expedition is http://www.baxleystamps.com/litho/ry_litho_main.shtml . See also http://www.grifworld.com/perryhome.html .

For Perry's parents, see http://www.familyhistorypages.com/Perry.htm . War of 1812 hero Oliver Hazard Perry was Matthew's older brother. For some discussion, see http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/message/an/surnames.Sullivan/3654 .

Anyway, Matthew Perry married Jane Slidell, who was the daughter of a New York banker. http://www.rootsweb.com/~nozell/GEN-NYS-L/archives/1997/06/0463.html . Her brother was Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, of Civil War and Indian War fame (see http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/fma7.html ).

Perry's daughter Carolyn Slidell was the wife of August Belmont, who was a banker and the future campaign manager for President Franklin Pierce.

* http://www.rootsweb.com/~nozell/GEN-NYS-L/archives/1997/06/0463.html
* http://www.mindspring.com/~dbholzel/pierce/piercejews.html
* http://www.newportthisweek.com/News/2001/0621/Front_Page/003.html
* http://elections.harpweek.com/2biographies/bio-1864-Full.asp?UniqueID=3&Year=1864

If Belmont's name seems familiar, it's because his horse race is the Belmont Stakes.

Perry's son Oliver Hazard II (d. 1870) was US consul to Canton in the mid-19th century. http://www.myoutbox.net/cajnotes.htm

As for his love interests, it was probably slam-bam -- Old Bruin's reputation was based primarily upon "attention to duty, strict discipline, daily routines that left little free time, and very limited shore leave."
(From http://www.historycooperative.org/cgi-bin/justtop.cgi?act=justtop&url=http://www.historycoop.org/journals/jah/89.2/br_28.html )

Jody Holeton
30th October 2002, 03:30
Dear Joe,

Thanks! Very interesting reading!

A little contreversial though! What is with the white flags? Why weren't his men allowed to record their experiences? Would Russia have attacked his ships if Perry openned up on Japan?

Interesting indeed!

Joseph Svinth
31st October 2002, 03:27
Perry wanted control over the official report of the expedition. (I believe that news magazines, Harpers among them, had the contract on commercial publication of the articles.) That said, there are a bunch of books and diaries subsequently published by folks who went along. See, for example, http://www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/D/Dudley.html .

FWIW, nobody in the US military made a particular fetish of the Stars and Stripes until after the Civil War, and I believe that the Marines were the first to land it overseas, in Korea in 1871. The Korean flag captured in this event sits at the bottom of a drawer at the US Naval Academy. See http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2000-June/001649.html and http://www.homeofheroes.com/wallofhonor/korea1871/4_citadel.html .


Russia was unlikely to have attacked the US Asiatic Squadron, as then the US would have attacked the Russians in Alaska.

For additional contemporary pictures, try http://www.us-japan.org/jsnc/virtualjapan/BSS/tour/gallery1.htm and http://www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1800perrypicturesscrolls.htm . The black sailor mentioned at the latter site ended his days in Seattle, and was indeed a large man -- about 6'4", 300 pounds. This is probably why the Japanese brought out the national-level sumotori for the occasion.