Commodore Perry was born in Rhode Island in 1785. At the age of thirteen he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the US Navy. Through hard work and strength of character Perry was able to gain a position in the navy as the leader of a fleet of American ships. In 1812 war broke out across America between the US and United Kingdom. Perry helped the US end the War of 1812 by beating the Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie. During this battle, Perry’s quick-thinking helped him to lead the United States to one of its first and greatest naval victories. This park memorializes his leadership and bravery under pressure.