Ohio History Journal

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The Centennial of Perry's Victory

The Centennial of Perry's Victory.        63


an approximation of the same moral responsibility for nations

in dealing with each other that both good form and law impose

upon individuals dealing with each other in society. It will

always be a source of regret to me that when England and

France were willing to enter into general and unlimited arbi-

tration treaties with us, and the treaties were signed, they failed

for lack of ratification by the Senate.  They would not have

made war any less probable between us and either England or

France than it is today, perhaps, because it does not seem pos-

sible in any event, but they would have put in substantial form

the actual spirit of our friendship for these countries and would

have held up an example of inestimable value to the civilized

world. Just so the century of natural good will and trust evi-

denced in our undefended boundary reaching from ocean to

ocean makes an object lesson to the nations that grows more

powerful as the decades pass.

And so we are here today to mark the rearing of this beacon

light of perpetual peace upon this unsalted sea that serves the

commerce of two great peoples. Little could Perry have thought

in the struggle that he had in building his puny fleet, in the stress

he was under in the height of the battle, in the victory that he

announced in his famous words to General Harrison, that his

work would be remembered for one hundred years as the har-

binger of a perpetual peace; and while we venerate the energy,

the integrity, the skill, the patriotism, the self-sacrifice that

brought him and his men their great triumph, today we cherish

not so much its evidence of American manhood and love of

country as the teaching that its memory brings to the world of

the practical possibility of unending love and peace between

international neighbors.




Dr. James A. McDonald of Toronto, Canada, followed ev-

President Taft, with the following address:

One hundred years ago today, within sight of the spot where

we now stand, and at this very hour, was being fought the battle

of Lake Erie.