Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Little Known Facts About the First Barbary War-- Part 4: James Lawrence "Don't Give Up the Ship"

JAMES LAWRENCE also rose to great fame during the War of 1812.  As commander of the USS Hornet, he captured the HMS Peacock and was promoted to captain.  On June 1, 1813, as commander of the 48-gun frigate USS Chesapeake, he fought the HMS Shannon and was mortally wounded.  As he lay dying, he told his men:  "Tell them to fire faster and not give up the ship, fight her till she sinks!"

In honor of Lawrence, a group of women stitched the words "Don't Give Up the Ship" into a flag and presented it to Oliver Hazard Perry, who flew it on his USS Lawrence named in Lawrence's honor in the pivotal Battle of Lake Erie.

Since then, the Navy has named many ships in Lawrence's honor and his words, "Don't Give Up the Ship" have become the motto of the U.S. Navy.


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