Text: H.J.Res.38 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 109-142 (12/22/2005)

[109th Congress Public Law 142]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ142.109]

[[Page 119 STAT. 2657]]

Public Law 109-142
109th Congress

                            Joint Resolution

Recognizing Commodore John Barry as the first flag officer of the United 
         States Navy. <<NOTE: Dec. 22, 2005 -  [H.J. Res. 38]>> 

Whereas John Barry, American merchant marine captain and native of 
    County Wexford, Ireland, volunteered his services to the Continental 
    Navy during the American War for Independence and was assigned by 
    the Continental Congress as captain of the Lexington, taking command 
    of that vessel on March 14, 1776, and later participating in the 
    victorious Trenton campaign;

Whereas the quality and effectiveness of Captain John Barry's service to 
    the American war effort was recognized not only by George Washington 
    but also by the enemies of the new Nation;

Whereas Captain John Barry rejected British General Lord Howe's 
    flattering offer to desert Washington and the patriot cause, 
    stating: ``Not the value and command of the whole British fleet can 
    lure me from the cause of my country.'';

Whereas Captain John Barry, while in command of the frigate Alliance, 
    successfully transported French gold to America to help finance the 
    American War for Independence and also won numerous victories at 

Whereas when the First Congress, acting under the new Constitution of 
    the United States, authorized the raising and construction of the 
    United States Navy, it was to Captain John Barry that President 
    George Washington turned to build and lead the new Nation's infant 
    Navy, the successor to the Continental Navy of the War for 

Whereas Captain John Barry supervised the building of his flagship, the 
    U.S.S. United States;

Whereas on February 22, 1797, President Washington personally conferred 
    upon Captain John Barry, by and with the advice and consent of the 
    Senate, the rank of Captain, with ``Commission No. 1'', United 
    States Navy, dated June 7, 1794;

Whereas John Barry served as the senior officer of the United States 
    Navy, with the title of ``Commodore'' (in official correspondence), 
    under Presidents Washington, John Adams, and Jefferson;

Whereas as commander of the first United States naval squadron under the 
    Constitution of the United States, which included the U.S.S. 
    Constitution (``Old Ironsides''), John Barry was a Commodore, with 
    the right to fly a broad pendant, which made him a flag officer; and

[[Page 119 STAT. 2658]]

Whereas in this sense it can be said that Commodore John Barry was the 
    first flag officer of the United States Navy: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, That Commodore John Barry is 
recognized, and is hereby honored, as the first flag officer of the 
United States Navy.

    Approved December 22, 2005.


            Dec. 14, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 16, considered and passed Senate.