US Brig Niagara . . . sunk, raised, sunk, raised and restored for the centennial in 1913 and yet restored a couple of more times. What remains original of the Niagara is not much. Still, it is grand to at least have what exists today. I should add that it was intentionally sunk all those times (the first time being in 1820) for preservation. Atop the mast flies Perry's famous battle flag emblazoned with "Don't Give Up the Ship, " which had been James Lawrence's dying words during the USS Chesapeake action against the HMS Shannon earlier in the war. Malc was really dismayed that I appropriated and bastardized the quote by continually exclaiming "Don't Give A Sh!t" for much of our trip.
we sailed on the blasted thing! We were on the ship for just over six hours, going up and down Lake Erie. It was amazing to watch all of the rigmarole that ensues to sail the ship. There is a complex (what appears to be) tangle of ropes and such . . . far too much for my feeble brain make sense of.
I should mention that the Niagara was not Perry's flagship . . . that being the Lawrence. Now ensconced into US lore, Perry had his battle flag removed from the disabled Lawrence during the battle and was transported at great daring and risk to the Niagara where he took command and made it his relief flagship. There is a bit of controversy surrounding all of this, especially regarding the Lawrence's actual captain (Jesse Elliott), but I am not gonna get into that. That can be your homework. As you can tell from the sky, we had great weather for it.