Twelve Naval Captains - Molly E. Seawell

James Lawrence

James Lawrence


The name of Lawrence, like that of Somers, is associated with youth, with gallantry, and with misfortune. It was his fate, after many brilliant and heroic successes, to lay down his life and lose his ship; but his colors were hauled down, not by himself, but by the enemy, and his last utterance, "Don't give up the ship," which has become the watchword of the American navy, was literally obeyed. It is remarkable that this unfortunate vessel, the Chesapeake, never was formally surrendered, but was taken possession of and her flag struck by her captors.

James Lawrence was born in Burlington, New Jersey, in 1781. His family were persons of consideration and property, and Lawrence was destined to be a lawyer. He was a remarkably handsome, gentle, and docile boy, and it was a surprise to his family when, at twelve years of age, he developed a passionate desire to enter the newly created navy. He never wavered from this wish, but, being a singularly obedient boy, he agreed to try the study of the law for a time, and applied himself seriously to it for a year or two. In 1798, however, when he was in his eighteenth year, and when his natural bent was fully Indicated, his inclination toward the navy became overpowering. His family wisely released him from the law, which was so distasteful to him, and got him a midshipman's warrant in the navy.

His first service was in the Ganges, a small twenty-four-gun frigate. At the time of his entrance into the navy he was of a noble and commanding figure, of captivating manners, and although somewhat impatient in temper, at heart entirely amiable and generous. From the beginning he was remarkable for his kindness and consideration toward his inferiors. When it was necessary to punish the sailors, and Lawrence had to superintend the punishment, his eyes would fill with tears; and when he became a lieutenant, his popularity with the midshipmen was unbounded. It is told of him that once the midshipmen in Commodore Rodgers's squadron determined to give the commodore a dinner, to which none of the lieutenants were to be invited. All were agreed to leave out the lieutenants, when one of the midshipmen cried, "What! not ask Mr. Lawrence!" The impossibility of leaving Lawrence out seemed patent to all of them; and to make the compliment more marked, he was the only lieutenant asked to meet the commodore.

Lawrence's first service in the Ganges was during the troubles with France. The Ganges patrolled the seas, and caught several French privateers which made a good resistance, but never got alongside a vessel of equal force.

In 1802 Lawrence went out to the Mediterranean in the Enterprise, as first lieutenant. This gallant little schooner fully sustained her reputation in the operations of Commodore Morris's squadron, which preceded Commodore Preble's by a year. Although the war had just begun, and had not yet assumed the fierce and determined character of the following year, yet the Bashaw had a foretaste in 1803 of what was to befall him in the way of bombardments and boat attacks in 1804. In one of the boat attacks Lawrence volunteered, and his conduct on the occasion won high praise.

The force was under the command of Lieutenant David Porter, first lieutenant of the New York, flagship, who had already distinguished himself against the French, and was destined to make one of the most daring cruises in the history of navies.

The New York, with the Adams, frigate, and the little Enterprise, began the blockade of Tripoli in May, 1803. A number of merchant vessels, protected by gunboats, ran under the batteries of the old part of the town, where they were comparatively safe from ships of the draught of the American squadron. Every preparation was made to defend them, but Porter, Lawrence, and other brave and daring young spirits determined to make a dash for them and destroy them if possible. Having got the commodore's permission, an attacking party was organized under Porter, with Lawrence as second in command, with three other officers and a number of picked men. On the morning of the attack the boats advanced boldly, in the face of a sharp musketry fire, and succeeded in making a landing. The Tripolitans adopted their usual style of hand-to-hand fighting, but in spite of it the vessels were fired and the Americans retired with slight loss. The Tripolitans, by the most tremendous efforts, put out the fire and saved their vessels; but they discovered that the Americans Were disposed to come to close quarters with them, which policy finally brought down the power of the Barbary States.

Lawrence, as well as Porter, was particularly distinguished in this dashing little affair. The next adventure in which Lawrence was engaged was a few weeks after; the Enterprise  being under the command of Hull, then a lieutenant commandant. It had been determined to hunt up the Tripolitan ships of war wherever found. The Enterprise  was engaged in this service, and on a June morning, very early, the lookouts from the Adams, frigate, observed a signal flying from the Enterprise  of "Enemy in sight," A Tripolitan frigate, supported by nine gunboats, trying to get to sea from Tripoli, had been penned up in a narrow bay by the Enterprise, which, too weak to attack, signalled for her more powerful consort to come to her assistance. The Adams responded promptly, the Enterprise  meanwhile maintaining her station with as much daring as if she were a forty-four-gun frigate instead of a twelve-gun schooner. As soon as the wind permitted the Adams to get within range, she opened with terrible effect upon the corsair, which replied vigorously, and did not strike until she had received the fire of the Adams, in smooth water and at short range, for three quarters of an hour. Soon after her colors were hauled down, fire reached her magazine, and she blew up.

It was Lawrence's extreme good fortune, after serving under such a captain as Isaac Hull, to serve next under Decatur. The Argus, one of the four handsome little vessels built for the war with Tripoli, had been sent out under Decatur, who was to exchange her for the Enterprise, Hull's superior rank entitling him to the larger vessel. Yet it is remarkable that the little Enterprise, although distinctly inferior to the other four small vessels, survived every one of them, and had an unbroken career of success both in running and fighting.

As soon as Decatur took the Enterprise, and had got a good look at Tripoli on the reconnoitring expedition made by Commodore Preble in the early winter of 1803, the idea of the destruction of the Philadelphia  and the release of Bainbridge and his companions possessed his mind. It may be imagined that Lawrence ardently sympathized with him, and in his young first lieutenant Decatur recognized a daring and steadfast spirit akin to his own. It was Decatur's habit, in speaking of Lawrence, to say, "He has no more dodge in him than the mainmast," which was true.

In the same month of December the Enterprise  captured the ketch Meshouda, which, renamed the Intrepid, was to take part in one of the most glorious successes, and afterward in one of the most heart-breaking tragedies, of the American navy.

In the preparation of the ketch, and in working out the details of his plan, Decatur was ably seconded by his first lieutenant. The expedition for the destruction of the Philadelphia  was exactly suited to a man of Lawrence's vigorous and imaginative temperament.

If a precise record remained of that immortal expedition,—the six days of storm and tempest, in which the ketch, ill ventilated and crowded with men who were wet to the skin most of the time and half starved because their provisions were spoiled by salt water, was blown about the African coast,—how surpassingly interesting it would be! It is known, however, that both officers and men not only kept up their determination, but their gayety. On that February evening when the ketch stole in and made fast to the Philadelphia  to destroy her, Lawrence, next to Decatur, bore the most active part. It was he who commanded the boat that put out from the ketch and coolly fastened a hawser to the forechains of the doomed frigate; and it was he who intercepted the frigate's boat and took the fast from it and passed another line from the Philadelphia's  stern into the ketch. When Decatur shouted, "Board!" Lawrence was among the first to land on the quarterdeck, and as soon as that was cleared, he dashed below, accompanied by two midshipmen, as intrepid as himself,—Mr. Laws and the indomitable Macdonough,—with ten men, and fired the berth-deck and all the forward storerooms. Nothing is more extraordinary than the quickness and precision with which every order was carried out on that night of glory. Lawrence and his party were in the ship less than twenty-five minutes, yet they were the last to drop into the ketch. On their return after this celebrated adventure, Lawrence received his due share of praise.

There was much hard work to be done by every officer in the squadron before it was ready to attack Tripoli in August, 1804, and Lawrence, as first lieutenant, did his part. Once before Tripoli, there was severe fighting as well as hard work. The fact that Decatur was taken out of his ship so often to lead a division of the boats, left the command of the Enterprise  much to Lawrence, and he handled the little schooner in the most seamanlike manner.

In the winter of 1804-05 the government determined to build a number of small gunboats, to renew the attacks on Tripoli in the summer. Some of the lieutenants who had returned to the United States in the changes necessary in the squadron, were selected to take them out to the Mediterranean. Lawrence, who had come back to the United States after spending two years in the Mediterranean, was given the command of one of these little vessels, Number Six,—for they were thought to be too insignificant to name and consequently were merely numbered. They carried a large spread of canvas, but their gunwales were so near the water that they looked rather like rafts than boats. On the way over, Lawrence was sighted by the British frigate Lapwing, which sent a boat to rescue them, supposing them to be on a raft after a shipwreck. Lawrence thanked the officer in charge of the boat, but proceeded on his way.

Commodore Rodgers was then in command of the American force which again appeared before Tripoli in May, 1805; and without firing a gun a treaty of peace and the release of the Philadelphia's  officers and men were secured. The squadron then sailed for Tunis, where it intimidated the Tunisians into good behavior and negotiated a treaty of peace under the threat of a bombardment.

Soon after most of the vessels returned home. Lawrence recrossed the ocean again in his gun-boat, and commanded her for some time after. On the 22nd of June, 1807, occurred the painful and mortifying rencounter of the Chesapeake, frigate, with the British frigate Leopard, one of the most far-reaching events in the American navy. As the name of Lawrence will ever be connected with the unfortunate Chesapeake, the story of that unhappy event can be told here.

The Chesapeake  was a comparatively new ship, carrying thirty-eight guns, and was put in commission to relieve the Constitution  in the Mediterranean. She seems to have been an unpopular ship from the first, as she was thought to be weak for her size, and was a very ordinary sailer. She was to wear the broad pennant of Commodore James Barron, who had Captain Gordon as his flag captain. Both of these men were esteemed excellent officers.

The Chesapeake  was fitted partly at the Washington Navy Yard and partly at the Norfolk Navy Yard. There had been a charge that she had among her crew three deserters from the British frigate Melampus. The charge had been investigated, however, and found to be a mistake. It was known that the Leopard, of fifty guns, was hanging about outside the capes of Virginia, but it was not suspected that she would attempt to stop the Chesapeake. The British government, arrogant in its dominion over the sea, had claimed and exercised the right of searching merchant vessels; and the United States, a young nation, with a central government which was still an experiment as well as an object of jealousy to the State governments, had submitted from not knowing exactly how to resist. But with a ship of war it was different, and neither the authorities nor the people of the United States dreamed that any attempt would be made to violate the deck of a national vessel.

There seems to have been great negligence in preparing the Chesapeake  for sea, and when she sailed she was in a state of confusion, her decks littered up, and none of the apparatus used in those days for firing great guns was available. Neither was her crew drilled, having been at quarters only three times. Her officers were men of spirit, but there seems to have been a fatal laxness in getting her ready for sea.

The Chesapeake, with a good wind, dropped down to Hampton Roads, and was soon stretching out to sea. About noon the Leopard  was discerned, and from the first seemed to be following the Chesapeake. At three o'clock the two, still making for the open ocean, were near enough to speak, and the Leopard  hailed, saying she had despatches for Commodore Barron. This was not remarkable, as such courtesies were occasionally exchanged between ships of friendly nations. The Chesapeake  hove to, as did the Leopard, close to each other, when the Chesapeake's  officers noticed that the British frigate had her guns run out, and was evidently perfectly ready for action. Very soon a boat put off from her, and a lieutenant came aboard the Chesapeake. He went below into the great cabin, and handed Commodore Barron a letter from Vice-Admiral Berkley, dated at Halifax, directing him on meeting the Chesapeake  to search her for the three alleged deserters, and offering to allow the Leopard  to be searched if desired.

Commodore Barron was a brave man and a good officer in general, but he appears to have been seized with one of those moments of indecision which in a few minutes can wreck a whole life. It is difficult, though, to imagine how one could act judiciously in an emergency so terrible, when the choice lies between submitting to a frightful insult and provoking a conflict which must result in the loss of many gallant and innocent men. The commodore's real fault was in going to sea in an unprepared condition.

Commodore Barron took about half an hour to deliberate before sending a reply; and as soon as the British boat put off, orders were given to clear the ship for action and get the people to quarters, and Commodore Barron himself went on deck. While this was being done, the Leopard  hailed, and fired a gun toward the Chesapeake, followed by a whole broadside, and for about twelve minutes she poured her fire into the helpless Chesapeake. Commodore Barron, a marine officer, and sixteen men were wounded, and three men were killed. Commodore Barron repeatedly ordered a shot to be fired before the ensign was lowered, but there were no means at hand for igniting the powder. At last a young lieutenant named Allen ran to the galley, and, taking a live coal in his fingers, rushed back to the gun-deck and succeeded in firing one of the guns in his division. At that moment the American ensign touched the taffrail.

The Leopard  then sent a boat and took possession of the three alleged deserters, and made off, while the disgraced Chesapeake  returned to Norfolk.

It is not easy to describe the outburst of indignation which followed this mortifying event. Commodore Barron was court-martialed, but as it was proved that his mistake was one of judgment, and that he conducted himself well after the danger became imminent, he was merely sentenced to five years' suspension from the navy.

The British government disavowed the action of Captain Humphries of the Leopard, although it did not punish him; but Vice-Admiral Berkley was never again employed in the British navy. It also restored the three men it had taken from the Chesapeake  to the deck of the American frigate.

After this affair it began to be plain that the United States must either boldly repulse the efforts of Great Britain in her claims to right of search, or else tamely submit. The latter was not to be thought of. The war of 1812 was fought for the principle of protecting sailors in American ships, and for the right to carry goods in free bottoms; hence its motto was: "Free trade and sailors' rights."

These were agitating times for the navy, as officers of intelligence realized that war was coming and it would be chiefly a naval war; and they therefore strove diligently to perfect themselves in their profession, so that when they came in conflict with the seasoned sailors of England the American navy might give a good account of itself.

Lawrence was among the most earnest and ambitious of these young officers, and he acquitted himself so well in those intervening years that it was plain he would do well in whatever situation he was placed.

In 1808 he was made first lieutenant of the Constitution, and that was the last subordinate place he held. In 1809 he got the Vixen, which he exchanged for the Wasp, and finally the Argus. In 1811 he got the Hornet, a fast and beautiful little cruiser, carrying eighteen guns, and was in command of her when the long-expected declaration of war came in 1812.

The Hornet  and the Essex, under Captain Porter, were ordered to cruise with Captain Bainbridge in the Constitution. But after getting out from Boston in October, 1812, and cruising a few weeks with the Constitution, they separated. The Hornet, being off San Salvador, challenged the Bonne Citoyenne, a vessel of about her own strength, to come out and fight. As the Bonne Citoyenne  had a large amount of specie on board which her captain was under orders to deliver, he very properly declined to fight, and was blockaded by the Hornet  for nearly three weeks. The Montagu, ship of the line, appearing however, Captain Lawrence thought it time to be off, and managed to slip out to sea in the darkness of an autumn night. He cruised some time, taking a few prizes, and on the 24th of February came in sight of a large man-of-war brig, the Peacock. She was called "the yacht" from the beautiful brightness and order in which she was kept, and was commanded by Captain Peake, a gallant and skilful officer. The Peacock  showed a perfect willingness to fight, and the two vessels stood for each other at once. About five o'clock, being very near each other, their ensigns were hoisted, and the battle began by exchanging broadsides as they passed. After one or two rounds the Hornet  came down, her batteries a sheet of flame, and her fire frightfully destructive to her adversary. The Peacock  stood the blast of fire a very short time, fifteen minutes being the longest time estimated,—Lawrence afterward said it was eleven minutes by his watch, but, his clerk having put it down fifteen minutes, he allowed it to stand,—when the Peacock  lowered her colors and displayed signals of distress in her fore-rigging. She was in a sinking condition, when a prize crew was thrown aboard; and in spite of every effort on the part of the officers and men of the Hornet, the Peacock  went down, carrying nine of her own people and three of the Hornet's. The prize-master of the Hornet  and his boat's crew saved themselves with difficulty in the launch.

The Peacock  was well handled and fought by her commander, who lost his life in the engagement. But the Hornet  was so skilfully maneuvered, and her gunnery, besides being extremely accurate, was so rapid, that she had the advantage from a few minutes after the beginning of the combat. She was slightly superior to the Peacock  both in men and metal, but the damage she did was far beyond the small difference of strength between her and her antagonist. When the Peacock  surrendered, her mainmast had gone by the board, her hull was riddled, and she had six feet of water in her, which soon carried her to the bottom; while, by nine o'clock that night, every injury to the Hornet  had been repaired, and she was ready to go into action again.

Lawrence treated his prisoners with characteristic generosity, and his example was not lost on his men. The Peacock's  crew had lost everything by the sinking of the ship, and the Hornet's  men took up a subscription among themselves to provide each of the prisoners with two shirts, a blue jacket, and trousers.

Finding himself crowded with prisoners, Lawrence stood for home, and arrived at New York late in March, 1818. The officers of the Peacock, on being paroled at New York, addressed him a very handsome letter of thanks, in which they said, "We cannot better express our feelings than by saying that we ceased to consider ourselves prisoners."

The city of New York, anticipating the thanks of Congress, and the gold medal for Lawrence, with prize money for the crew, gave Lawrence the freedom of the city and a handsome piece of plate. On the 6th of April a great dinner was given at Washington Hall, then a splendid place of entertainment in New York, to Lawrence and his officers, while in the ball-room of the building the petty officers, sailors, and marines of the Hornet  were entertained. The sailors landed at Whitehall, and with music playing, marched up Pearl Street, Wall Street, and Broadway to Washington Hall amidst the greatest enthusiasm on the part of the inhabitants. After a fine dinner Captain Lawrence and his officers, accompanied by the members of the city government of New York, visited them, and the party was received by the sailors rising and giving three times three for their commander. The whole body of sailors was afterward invited to occupy the pit at the theatre, with Lawrence and his officers and their hosts in the boxes. The audience cheered the sailors vociferously, and, the sailors seem to have cheered everything; and they were highly pleased with their entertainment.

This was the last glimpse of brightness in Lawrence's short life. He had a prospect of getting the Constitution, but his hopes were dashed by being ordered to command the Chesapeake, then fitting at Boston.

The ship had become more and more an object of dislike in the navy since her unfortunate experience in 1807. Sailors hated her, and would not enlist in her if they could help it. No officer would serve in her if he could get any other ship; consequently she was officered by juniors who had to take her because they could do no better. She had lately returned from a cruise in which she had sailed many thousands of miles, under an active and enterprising captain, without once meeting a chance to distinguish herself, and capturing only a few trifling prizes. Lawrence was dismayed at the offer of this command. He begged to remain in the Hornet  rather than go to the Chesapeake. He told his friends that the frigate was a worthless ship, and he would not have her if he could honorably refuse; but this he could not do. In May, 1813, he took command of her. Up to the last moment he hoped to be relieved by Captain Stewart, but it was not to be.

He found the ship short of officers, and those he had very young. His first lieutenant, Augustus Ludlow, was a brilliant young officer, but twenty-one years of age, who had never served before as first lieutenant in a frigate. His other sea lieutenants were midshipmen acting as lieutenants. His crew was largely made up of foreigners; and one, a Portuguese boat-swain's mate, was doing what he could to spread dissatisfaction among the men because they had not been paid the small amount of prize money due from the last cruise. The marine guard was made up wholly of Americans, and there were a few men from the Constitution. These men afterward gave a good account of themselves.

Outside the harbor of Boston it was known that the Shannon, a fine thirty-eight-gun frigate, lay in wait for the Chesapeake. Her commander, Captain Philip Broke, was one of the best officers in the British navy, and had had the ship seven years. He had not followed the example of so many British captains who neglected gunnery practice with their crews, and paid dearly for their rashness with their ships and sometimes with their lives. Captain Broke was a chivalrous man, and, desiring to engage the Chesapeake  on equal terms, wrote Captain Lawrence a letter, proposing a meeting any time within two months in any latitude and longitude he might choose. Unfortunately, this letter never reached Lawrence. On the first day of June, 1813, the Shannon stood in toward President's Roads, expecting an answer from Lawrence to Captain Broke's challenge. Lawrence, however, took the Shannon's appearance as a challenge, and, lifting his anchor, made sail to meet her.

As soon as the anchor was up, Lawrence had a flag hoisted with the inscription "Free trade and sailors' rights." He then made a short address to his men, which was coldly received, not a cheer being raised at the prospect of meeting the enemy.

The ship was cleared for action, and as she passed out, the Shannon was waiting for her on an easy bowline. Both ships proceeded under a good breeze until about thirty miles beyond Boston Light. They then came together under short fighting canvas, and in the maneuvering for a few moments Lawrence was in position to rake his enemy; but whether it escaped him, or he preferred to fight it out alongside, is not known.

A few minutes before six, the ships being fairly alongside, and not more than fifty yards apart, the Shannon fired her first broadside, and was immediately answered by the Chesapeake. The effect of these first broadsides in smooth water and close range was terrific. Three men at the Chesapeake's  wheel were shot down one after another. Within six minutes her sails were so shot to pieces that she came up into the wind and was raked repeatedly. In a short while Captain Lawrence was shot in the leg, but kept the deck. Mr. White, the sailing-master, was killed, and Mr. Ludlow, the first lieutenant, Lieutenant Ballard, Mr. Brown, the marine officer, and the boatswain were all mortally wounded. The Shannon had not escaped scatheless, although the execution aboard of her was not to be mentioned with the Chesapeake's. Some of the British frigate's spars and sails being shot away, she fell aboard her antagonist, and the two ships were prevented from drifting apart by the fluke of an anchor on the Shannon hooking in the Chesapeake's  rigging. Captain Broke immediately ordered the ships lashed together. This was done by the Shannon's boat-swain, who had his arm literally hacked off in doing it, but who did not flinch from his task.

As soon as Captain Lawrence saw the ships were fast, he ordered the boarders called away. But instead of this being done by the boatswain, the bugler, a negro, was called upon to sound his bugle. The man, in a paroxysm of terror, had hid under a boat, and when found was perfectly unable to sound a note. The remaining officers on the Chesapeake's  deck shouted for the boarders, and at this moment the gallant Lawrence, conspicuous from his commanding figure, and wearing his full uniform, fell, shot through the body. As 'he was being carried below, he uttered those words which are a part of the heritage of the American navy, "Don't give up the ship."

The carnage on the Chesapeake's  deck was now frightful, and the men began to flinch from their guns. Captain Broke, seeing this, gave the order to board, and, himself leading the boarders with great intrepidity, sprang upon the Chesapeake's  quarterdeck. At this the Portuguese mate and some other mercenaries threw the berth-deck gratings overboard, and ran below, crying, "So much for not paying men prize money!"

A young lieutenant, coming up from the gun-deck, was seized with a panic, and, throwing his pistol down, ran below in a cowardly manner?, But there were still gallant souls left upon the unfortunate frigate's deck. Mr. Livermore, the chaplain,—the only officer on deck when the British entered the ship,—advanced boldly, firing his pistol at Captain Broke, and made a brave defence, although his arm was nearly cut from his body by Broke in defending himself. The few marines who were left fought desperately, and severely wounded Captain Broke. All of these men were Americans, and were cut down to a man. The officers of the gun-deck tried to rally the men below, and succeeded in inducing the few Americans to follow them above; the brave Ludlow, in fearful agony from his wounds, struggled up the hatch-way. But it was too late, and they were soon over-powered. The flag had been hauled down by the triumphant enemy; the ship was theirs. The battle lasted only about fifteen minutes, and seldom in the history of naval warfare has there been more dreadful slaughter. The Chesapeake  suffered most, her captain and three lieutenants, her marine officer, her sailing-master, boatswain, and three midshipmen being killed, and her few remaining officers wounded. She lost, besides, one hundred and thirty-six men killed and wounded. The Shannon had her captain badly wounded, and lost several officers, and had seventy-five men killed and wounded.

The English ensign was immediately hoisted over the American, and as soon as possible sail was made for Halifax. Lawrence and his wounded officers lay together in the ward room of the Chesapeake, the cabin having been much shattered. For four days Lawrence lingered in extreme anguish. He bore his sufferings with silent heroism, and it is remarkable that he never spoke except to make known the few wants that his situation required. On the Shannon Captain Broke lay, raving with delirium from his wounds, and only occasionally rational. At these times he would ask anxiously after Lawrence, muttering, "He brought his ship into action in gallant style," and other words of generous admiration. When it was known that Lawrence was no more, it was thought best to keep it from Broke, as it was known it would distress him greatly.

On Sunday, the 6th of June, the two ships entered Halifax harbor, the body of Lawrence wrapped in the battle flag of the Chesapeake, and lying on her quarterdeck. The people took the Chesapeake  for the President, and shouting multitudes lined the shores and docks. But when it was known that it was Lawrence's ship, and her brave commander lay dead upon her, an instant silence fell upon the people. They remembered Lawrence's kindness to the officers and men of the Peacock, and they paid him the tribute of silent respect.

The funeral was arranged for the 8th of June, and was one of the most affecting ever witnessed. The British naval and military authorities omitted nothing that could show their esteem for a brave and unfortunate enemy. The garrison and the fleet turned out their whole force, the officers wearing crape upon the left arm. The coffin, wrapped in the Chesapeake's  flag, with the dead officer's sword upon it, was brought ashore in an admiral's barge, the men rowing minute strokes, and amid the solemn booming of minute guns. It was followed by a long procession of man-of-war boats. It was landed at King's Wharf, where six of the oldest British captains acted as pall-bearers. The procession to the churchyard of St. Paul's was very long. The American officers were chief mourners, followed by the officers of the Shannon; and the presence of the wounded among both the American and English officers was touching in the extreme. Admiral Sir Thomas Saumerez, one of Nelson's captains, and the officers of the fleet, and the general of the forces, with the officers of the garrison, came next in the procession, followed by a large number of the most respectable citizens of Halifax. The route was lined with troops, and the funeral was like that of a great and distinguished British admiral, so great is the respect all generous minds must feel for a character like Lawrence's.

His young first lieutenant, Ludlow, survived several days after landing; but he, too, soon followed his captain to a hero's grave. Great honors were also paid him at his interment.

The Americans, however, could not allow the British to pay all the honors to the dead Lawrence, and in August his remains and those of his faithful lieutenant were transferred to Salem, in Massachusetts, where they were temporarily buried until they could be transferred to New York. Lawrence's pall was carried then by six American captains, among whom were Hull, Stewart, and Bainbridge, all men who had known Lawrence, and served with him when he was a dashing and brilliant young midshipman. Eventually, both Lawrence and Ludlow were buried in Trinity churchyard, New York, where they still rest. Lawrence left a young wife and two children, for whom the country provided. A poignant regret for Lawrence's misfortunes and death was felt by the country generally. His youth,—he was but thirty-one years of age,—his brilliant career, the charming generosity of his nature, and the graces of his person and manner made him beloved and admired. His fault if fault it was—in seeking an action when his ship was new to him and ill manned and scantily officered, was that of a high and daring spirit, and was readily condoned; while to this day the story of the Chesapeake  is painful to a true American.

At the battle of Lake Erie Perry's flagship bore the name of Lawrence; but, like Lawrence himself, was unfortunate, and, after being cut to pieces, was forced to strike. Another vessel was named the Lawrence; but ships whose names are associated with harrowing events are not favorites with either officers or men, and she was borne upon the navy list for only a few years. But the name and fame of Lawrence will last with his countrymen as long as the American flag flies over a ship of war, and the pity of his fate will ever be among the most moving incidents in American history.