Author: Tamara Moser Melia


John H. Aulick (1790–1873)

John H. Aulick was a United States Navy officer whose appointment in 1851 to negotiate a treaty with Japan ended with his being relieved of command and replaced by Commodore Matthew C. Perry. Born in Winchester, Aulick was a veteran of the War of 1812, during which he was captured and later awarded a congressional medal, and the Mexican War (1846–1848). In 1850, Aulick was given command of the East India Squadron, and his suggestion of trade negotiations with Japan was approved by United States president Millard Fillmore. Aulick’s quarrels with his ship’s captain, however, in addition to charges filed against Aulick by one of the voyage’s diplomatic passengers, led Fillmore to replace him with Perry. Negotiations with Japan were a success and Perry became famous for the achievement. Aulick’s career was effectively over. He retired in 1861 and died in Washington in 1873.