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How Do We Know the Truth?
Historical records state that Perry's ships were made on the banks of Lake Erie from locally available timber: white and black oak, chestnut, and pine.
The frame was long thought to be made of mahogany. However, a 1999 cleaning and restoration revealed that it is constructed of walnut. Neither walnut nor mahogany were recorded as being used to construct Perry's ships.
A timeline of historical events shows that both ships Perry used during the battle were at the bottom of Lake Erie when the frame was made.