By George Ramsey Clark; William Oliver Stevens; Carroll Storrs Alden; Herman F Krafft
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Mary's first Christmas as a captain's wife was spent without her bridegroom. 99 One month later, the Gazette ran another report from Barry about the aftermath of another severe storm. Mary—if she were literate—could read about the hazards of her husband's profession: Captain Barry, also from this Place for Barbados, in his Passage, Lat. 29, spoke a Sloop, Captain Winters, from Maryland for Halifax, who had been blown off the Coast, and was then standing for the Grenades, 7 Weeks out; that a Sloop from Maryland for Boston, and a Schooner from St.
76 James Fenimore Cooper, in his “Sketches of Naval Men,” written in 1839, told the following anecdote: A riot occurred among some stevedores, and a ship owner of respectability was threatened with injury. Barry interfered, and manifested so much in intrepidity and personal prowess, as at once to procure for him a reputation in the then peaceable town of Philadelphia . . ”77 By 1766, he possessed leadership skills and a detailed knowledge of the West Indies trade. Merchants, always judging talent, were rarely willing to risk ship, crew, and cargo to an untried mate.
While some members came from the same rough-and-tumble world as he, there were others like Charles Biddle, raised in a more genteel environment yet equally at home on a merchantman's deck and in a salon. Barry watched Biddle and the other gentlemen with a quiet intensity, scrutinizing their posture and language right down to which fork they used for what course. He saw admittance in the Sea Captains Club not so much an honor as a steppingstone—a chance to some day enter Philadelphia's upper class.
A short history of the United States Navy by George Ramsey Clark; William Oliver Stevens; Carroll Storrs Alden; Herman F Krafft