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Captain James Scott Lawrence (1781-1813)

James Lawrence
This U.S. Naval hero of the War of 1812, was born in Burlington, N.J. on October 1, 1781. He entered the navy as a midshipman in 1798 and saw extensive action against the Barbary pirates. He was first Lieutenant to Stephen Decatu r when the U.S.S. Philadelphia, which had been captured by the Tripolitans, was destroyed in Tripoli harbour by Decatur -led forces in 1804. During the War of 1812 Lawrence commanded the U.S.S. hornet in the capture of H.M.S. Peacock. Shortly there after h e was promoted to captain of the frigate chesapeake. On June 1,1813, the Chesapeake accepted H.M.S. Shannon's challenge to a sea fight off Boston. The Chesapeake was decisively defeated in less than an hour and Lawrence was mortally wounded. His dying words, "Don't give up the ship," because one of the U.S. Navy's most cherished traditions.
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