Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Building of Perry's Fleet on Lake Erie, 1812-1813

It seems that you can find everything on, if you look or wait long enough. I have been using an original copy of this booklet, borrowed from the State Library of Ohio, for some of my research-- but there's a digital version available online here. The booklet was written by Max Rosenberg and published by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1950. The author was living in a time when the Great Lakes and Midwest had become the industrial center of North America-- and had been called on to become a vast shipbuilding region for the war effort.

Today, in that area, are located five urban centers of a highly industrial nature. They are Erie, where the vessels were built, Buffalo, Cleveland, Meadville and Pittsburgh. They are closely knit together by networks of concrete roads, waterways, railroads, airways, telephones, telegraphy, and radio. Need for any material or information for any project can be filled with great rapidity. Unfortunately, in 1812, these industrial facilities were unavailable... It is, therefore, of importance to investigate the communities within this area and ascertain what was there--to find out, if possible, why the Perry fleet was so successfully launched upon its brief, but glorious naval adventure.