Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARCLAY, Robert H., British naval officer, born in Scotland; died in Edinburgh, 8 May 1837. He served under Nelson at Trafalgar, where he lost an arm, and in 1813 had charge of fitting out the British armament on Lake Erie, a task which he fulfilled with energy. But the fleet of which he took command was poorly manned, mostly with Canadian boatmen and soldiers, and to this fact was probably due, in part, his defeat by the American fleet under Perry, in the famous battle of 10 September 1813. In number of men and guns Barclay had the superiority, and though Perry's guns were heavier, Barclay's were of longer range. In the battle Barclay was dangerously wounded, and finally surrendered with his whole force. It was Barclay who gave the order to train all the available guns on the small boat in which Perry was crossing from the disabled "Lawrence" to the " Niagara." Barclay was afterward tried by a court-martial for surrendering, but was honorably acquitted.
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