Sometimes a naval career’s beginning predicts how it will end. This was certainly true for Rear Admiral Lester Anthony Beardslee, who went ashore with Matthew Calbraith Perry when the commodore took the first steps to “open” Japan in July 1853. That experience shaped almost everything that would follow in Beardslee’s long naval career. At its conclusion, nearly 50 years later, he became the prime mover in a campaign to memorialize Perry on the very spot he had landed. In between, Beardslee’s professional life epitomized the role the Navy played in the late 19th-century Pacific.
A Mission, A Monument
Deeply affected by his formative experiences with Matthew Perry, Rear Admiral Lester Beardslee would make it his final assignment to commemorate the famous commodore in Japan.
By Roger Dingman