George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Barry, 6 July 1789

To John Barry

New York July 6th 1789


I have received a list of the Ships that were in Canton in China the last year which you were so good as to send me on the 30th of June;1 and must beg your acceptance of my best thanks for this polite mark of attention. I am, Sir, Your most Obedt Servt

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Following his illustrious naval career during the American Revolution, John Barry (1745–1803) settled at Strawberry Hill, his country seat about three miles from Philadelphia. Barry was a strong supporter of the Constitution and active in Pennsylvania politics. In June 1794 GW appointed Barry to command one of the United States frigates built as part of a permanent United States naval armament and to superintend the ship’s construction. Barry later played an active role in the undeclared naval war with France, 1798–1800.

1No letter transmitting this list has been found. In February 1788 Barry sailed from Philadelphia for Canton in command of the trading vessel Asia, returning to Philadelphia in June 1789.

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