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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

US Brig Lawrence (I)

  • Built at Presque Isle (Erie), PA., by Adam and Noah Brown under the supervision of Sailing Master Daniel Dobbins and Capt. Oliver H. Perry for Navy service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.
  • Launched, 24 May 1813 and fitted out at Erie
  • During the 10 September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Lawrence served as flagship for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry until she was disabled by enemy fire
  • Following the end of hostilities, Lawrence was sunk in Misery Bay, near Erie, in order to preserve her hull
  • Submerged hulk sold in 1825
  • Raised in September 1875, cut into sections and transported by rail to Philadelphia, where she was displayed during the 1876 exhibition celebrating the Centennial of the United States
  • Final Disposition, destroyed by fire during the 1876 exhibition
    Displacement 493 t.
    Length 109' 9"
    Beam 16' 3"
    Depth 4' 8"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 134
    two long 12-pdrs
    eighteen short 32-pdr carronades
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Lawrence 160k One of the more interesting moments during the Battle of Lake Erie was when COMO. Oliver Hazard Perry, who was aboard the heavily damaged US Brig Lawrence decided to transfer his personnel pennant, a blue flag bearing the motto "Don't give up the ship", to another ship the US Brig Niagara. Amidst the chaos of battle Perry and his crew travel half a mile to Niagara where he continued to lead the US squadron to victory. Tommy Trampp
    Lawrence 309k Centennial post card image, depicting Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in either the US Brig Lawrence or the US Brig Niagara, at the Battle of Lake Erie. Tommy Trampp
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    photo # NH KN-621
    66k Painting by William H. Powell, depicting Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry transferring his flag from the disabled US Brig Lawrence to the US Brig Niagara, at the height of the action. The original painting is exhibited in the United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH KN-621
    US Naval History and Heritage Command and
    Tommy Trampp
    Lawrence 59k Tommy Trampp
    Lawrence 85k US Brig Lawrence as she appeared when raised in Misery Bay, Erie Harbor, PA., September 1875. Lawrence had been sunk for preservation in July 1815. When raised she was cut into sections, shipped by rail to Philadelphia and exhibited there during the United States Centennial Exhibition of 1876. While at Philadelphia, her remains were reduced to ashes by a fire.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 51253. Halftone reproduction, copied from "The Journal of American History", Volume 9, Page 312.
    Tommy Trampp
    Lawrence (I) 251k Surgical Instruments used by Dr. Archimides Smith, Surgeon on the US Brig Lawrence (I), during the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813. These instruments were given to Dr. Smith by General William Henry Harrison and donated to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology by W.H. Smith.
    They include, at top: Hacksaw type bone saw. In the middle group: 6" forecept clamp (above, with - from left to right - below it): 7" bone scraper; 7" knife; 7" knife; 9" knife; artery clamp. In the lower left: 13" curved knife.
    In lower center, top to bottom): 6" suture hook; 7" scapel; 7" scapel; 5" scapel. In the lower right: 14" curved knife.
    Courtesy of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., 1969.
    US. Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 69573
    Robert Hurst

    US Brig Lawrence (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Battle of Lake Erie - Building the Fleet in the Wilderness
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 12 August 2016