Matthew Calbraith Perry
WHO S/HE WAS:
Matthew Calbraith Perry was Commodore of the United States Navy who served in several wars, most notably the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812.
WHAT S/HE SAID:
Many of the large ships-of-war destined to visit Japan have not yet arrived in these seas, though they are hourly expected.
WHY S/HE MATTERED:
Perry played a leading role in opening Japan to the West through so-called gunboat diplomacy. He led an expedition there in 1853 and returned in 1854 with ten ships and some 1600 men to conclude the agreement.