Commodore M. C. Perry

Images, Signature & Handwriting


The above photograph of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry is widely used and perhaps the most recognized image of the Commodore. It is an albumen carte de visite (CDV) published by E. Anthony, using a photograph negative from "Brady's National Portrait Gallery." The Anthony address on the back of the CDV is 501 Broadway, New York. The basic photographic image was taken shortly before Commodore Perry's death in 1858. The date the CDV was created is not know with certainty but probably in the same general time period. These items are seldom seen and generally retail in the $200 - $300 range in Very Good condition. In the book The Advent of Photography in Japan, by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo and the Hakodate Museum of Art, Hokkaido, 1997, a hand drawn portrait identical to this picture is shown (image 141 at page 106) and attributed to the Japanese artist and photographer Kakoku Shima (1827-1870). For more information on this book, click here. No doubt the Brady photograph served as the basis for the Shima drawing.

Probably the most famous image of Commodore Perry is located at the United States Naval Academy Museum. It is an official portrait of him painted by John Beaufain Irving.

Perry's Official Portrait, USNA Museum

Commodore M. C. Perry - Images

Images of Commodore Perry in the lithographs of the Narrative of the Expedition to Japan are rather limited. While his general features can be seen in several of the lithographs, in only two are his features relatively clear and the focal point of the work. These images, extracted from the lithographs, are shown below. In both cases Commodore Perry's image is only a small portion of the overall scene depicted.

Commodore Perry Meeting with the Japanese Commissioners at Yokohama

Commodore Perry Meeting the Japanese Representatives at Hakodadi

Commodore Perry - Portrait (Seated)
Illustrated London News, May 7, 1853 Issue

Woodcut Engraving
Entire article is here.

Commodore Perry - Portrait
Gleason's Pictorial, Aug 5, 1854

Woodcut Engraving. More Information, click here.

Commodore Perry - Portrait
Harper's New Monthly, 1856

Woodcut Engraving. More Information, click here.

Commodore Perry - Portrait (Standing)
Graphic Scenes of the Japan Expedition, 1856

Very High Quality Tinted Lithograph
by Wilhelm Heine. More Information, click here.

Commodore Perry - Portrait
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1858

March 13, 1858, Issue 119, Volume V
Commodore Perry's death.

Commodore Perry - Portrait
Date/Artist/Source/Lithographer - Unknown

High Quality Handcolored Lithograph

Commodore Perry - Standing (ca 1858)

The image above is the frontispiece to the William Elliot Griffis biography of Commodore Perry published in 1887 titled Matthew Calbraith Perry, A Typical American Naval Officer. The image appears to be derived from the Brady photograph shown above.

Silver Salver (Tray)
Presented Commodore Perry by the
State of Rhode Island, June 14, 1854

This presentation was noted in the October 10, 1855 issue of Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion (Vol IX, No. 14, Whole No. 222 at page 220. To see this article, click here.

Commodore Perry - Bust
US Mint Produced Medal
Original 1856 with 20th Century Restrikes

Bronze Commemorative Medal
To purchase, click here

The image on the medal appears to be modeled after a daguerreotype of Commodore Perry taken in 1852 and in possession of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. The daguerreotype is reproduced at page 271 of the "Old Bruin" by Samuel Eliot Morison.

Commodore Perry on Stamps

Ryukyu Islands Scott 27-8

For information on Commodore Perry's image on stamps, philatelic material and private seals, click here.


Commodore M. C. Perry
Signature & Handwriting

Commodore Perry's Signature
From Book Gift Inscription, 1856

Commodore Perry - 1827 (1847?) Letter

Nov 9, 1827 (1847?) - Letter from M.C. Perry.

Commodore Perry - 1842 Letter

June 8, 1842 - Letter from M.C. Perry.

Commodore Perry - 1856 Signature

Perry's signature on an 1856 report he authored.

Commodore Perry - 1856 Signature

Perry's signature to a Gift Inscription on a
Copy of Volume I of the Narrative of the Expedition.

Commodore Perry - c1856 Signature

Perry's signature c1856.

Commodore Perry - c1856 Signature

Perry's facsimile signature on his lithographic portrait in
Graphic Scenes of the Japan Expedition by Wilhelm Heine.

Matthew C Perry, Jr. - 1845 Signature

The signature of Commodore Perry's
son on a Navy receipt
Available for purchase, click here.


Commodore M. C. Perry &
the Yokohama Jubilee in 1909

Commodore Perry and the Jubilie of the Founding of the Port of Yokohama. In 1909 the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce issued a two postcard set commemorating the founding of the Port of Yokohama. One of the postcards in this set featured images of Commodore Perry and Lord Tairo Li Naosuke.

To see these postcards, click here.


Perry Monument, Kurihama, Japan
[Site Index]

  • For views of the monument on dedication day (July 14, 1901), Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers, and the Admiral's Calling Card Book, click here (#1901081139).
  • For views of the monument on or about dedication day (July 14, 1901) and the U.S.S. New York, click here (#1902060413).
  • For other views of the monument on dedication day (July 14, 1901), click here (#1901081127).
  • For views of the monument over the years, click here.
  • For views of the monument and the monument park as of December, 2008, click here.


Monument in Kurihama
Commemorating Perry's First Landing

The monument shown below commemorates Perry's first landing and was erected in Kurihama, Japan in 1901. For more information on the monument, click here.

Monument on Dedication Day, July 14, 1901
the USS New York

Another View of the Monument on
Dedication Day, July 14, 1901

Admiral Rodgers (Commodore Perry's Grandson)
and Dedication Day Ceremonies, July 14, 1901

Yet Another View of the Monument
ca July 14, 1901

Monument (Front and Back) ca 1904

Image from The Russo-Japanese War, Fully Illustrated
June 1904, Vol. 1, No. 2.

Monument ca 1904

A Handbook of Modern Japan, Ernest W. Clement, 1904.

Monument (Back Side) ca 1910

Image from a Collotype Printed Picture Post Card.

Monument & Uraga Harbor ca 1913

Monument (Back Side) ca 1915

Japan, Imperial Government Railways,
Travelers' Handy Guide, 1915
- here

Monument in May of 1925

US Ambassador to Japan, Edgar A. Bancroft
Major General Seichi Oi (left) - Captain Minoru Kikuno (right)

Monument ca 1940

Note English Plaque Below Monument Stone
with Japanese Inscriptions

Monument ca 1950

Discussion in We Japanese, Book II, 1950 printing, pages 206-7
Completed July 6, 1901, Dedicated July 14, 1901

Monument and Perry Park, December 2008


Stone Monument in Naha
Commemorating Perry's Call in Okinawa

The stone monument shown below commemorates Perry's call in Okinawa in 1853. The monument is located in Naha and was dedicated on July 17, 1964.


The inscriptions on the stone read: "This monument has been erected in honor of Commodore Perry who on June 6, 1853 landed near this place." The plaques on the base of the monument (in Japanese & English) read: " 'Prosperity to the Lew Chewans, and may they and the Americans always be friends.' -- Commodore Perry at a reception in his honor, at Omiudum (the Royal Guest House), Shuri, Okinawa, June 6, 1853."


Statue of Commodore Perry, Newport, RI

The statute shown below is of Commodore M.C. Perry and was dedicated September 10, 1885. This image is from an "Albertype Co." postcard (collotype) from the turn of the century.


A House on the Old
Perry Family Manor

This is a picture post card from ca 1910. It bears the inscription "Birthplace of Commodore Perry, Metunic, R.I.". According to Rev Calbraith Bourn (see book listed below), this is a home built on the old Perry Family Manor by Commodore O.H. Perry and, therefore, it is not the birthplace of either Commodores M.C. or O.H. Perry. Bourn notes that the property passed from the Perry family but Commodore M.C. Perry was successful in purchasing it back and it eventually was owned by his daughter, Mrs. George Tiffany. (This item is available for purchase.)


Another View

(This item is available for purchase.)


The Perrys of Rhode Island

Perry, Rev. Calbraith Bourn:
The Perrys of Rhode Island and Tales of Silver Creek; The Bosworth-Bourn-Perry Homestead: Revised and Enlarged from a Lecture before the Ondawa Chapter of the D.A.R. and their Guests of the S.A.R.,at the Public Library, Cambridge, N.Y., April 13, 1909, New York, Tobias A. Wright, 1913, red cloth, 8vo (large), 115 pp. A history of the Perry family to include Matthew Calbraith Perry and Oliver Hazard Perry. Numerous illustrations.

For other bibliographical material pertaining to Commodore M.C. Perry, click here.


Commodore M.C. Perry Family

Commodore Perry (b.April 10, 1794, d.1858) was married to Jane Slidell (b.1797, d.1882). M.C. Perry came from a famous Newport, Rhode Island, maritime family and his wife a very prominent (mercantile/ banking/ ship owner) New York family. They had 10 children:

  1. John Slidell Perry (b.1816, d.1817)
  2. Sarah (Perry) Rodgers (b.1818, m.1841, d.?)
  3. Jane Oliver Harzard (Perry) Hone (b.1819, m.1841, d.1882)
  4. Matthew C. Perry, Jr. (b.1821, m.1853 (Harriet E. Taylor), d.1873)
  5. Susan M. Perry (b.1824, d.1825)
  6. Oliver Hazard Perry, II (b.1825, never married, d.1870)
  7. William Frederick Perry (b.1828, never married, d.1884)
  8. Caroline Slidell Mackenzie (Perry) Belmont (b.1829, m.1849, d.1892)
  9. Isabella Bolton (Perry) Tiffany (b.1834, m.1864, d.1912)
  10. Anna Rodgers Perry (b.1838, d.1839)

I have a letter (available for purchase) from Brooklyn New York in December of 1839 to "Miss E th Perry - Care of Ms Com Perry - New Port, Rhode Island". The letter begins "...dear Lizzy...." Perhaps this letter to Isabella Perry who would have been approximately 5 years old. However, it reads much more like a letter addressed to an adult than a child. The mature content of the letter would be more consistent with a letter to the Commodore's wife and not child. I believe the letter is from "Catlysia" ?? "Cathysia" ?? "Cat(l)hyna" (see below):

It appears to me that the letter also contains writing from a second person. The item is available for purchase. It contains a long account of a visit to West Point and a detailed rendition of the various events during that trip. Perry resided in lower New York from 1833 to 1841 where he served as the commander of the New York recruiting station. In 1841 he became Commandant of the New York (Brooklyn) Navy Yard located in Brooklyn. To see the letter, click here. Please note these are high resolution scans and will take awhile to load up.


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