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Lawrence, James 1781-

Naval officer; born in Burlington, N. J., Oct. 1, 1781. His

James Lawrence.

father was a lawyer and distinguished loyalist during the Revolutionary War. James entered the navy as a midshipman, Sept. 4, 1798, and in the spring of 1802 was promoted to lieutenant. In the schooner Enterprise, he took a distinguished part in the destruction of the frigate Philadelphia-the (q. v.), in the harbor of Tripoli. In 1810 he was promoted to master-commander; and on Feb. 24, 1813, the Hornet, of which he was commander, fought and conquered the British Peacock (see Hornet), which sank before all her prisoners could be taken out of her. In March, 1813, he was commissioned captain, and took command of the frigate Chesapeake in May. On June 1 the Chesapeake fought the frigate Shannon, and was beaten. Captain Lawrence was mortally wounded, and died June 6. His remains were conveyed to New York, where a public funeral was held. The remains were then buried in Trinity Church burying-ground, and soon after the war the corporation of New York erected an elegant marble monument over the grave. It became dilapidated in time, and in 1847 the corporation of Trinity Church caused the remains to be removed to a place near the southeast corner of the church, a few feet from Broadway, and a mausoleum of brown freestone to be erected there in commemoration of both Lawrence and his lieutenant, Ludlow. The chapeau, coat, and sword of Captain Lawrence are now in the possession of the New Jersey Historical Society.

Through the influence of the peace faction in Massachusetts, the Senate of that State passed a resolution, June 15, 1813, which Mr. Grundy denounced as “moral treason.” The legislature had passed resolutions of thanks to Hull, Decatur, and Bainbridge, and a proposition was submitted for a similar vote to Lawrence (then dead) for his gallantry in the capture of the Peacock. A committee of the Senate, of which Josiah Quincy was chairman, reported adversely to it, and a preamble and resolution was accordingly adopted. The former declared that similar attentions already given to military and naval officers engaged in a like service had “given great discontent to many of the good people of the commonwealth, it being considered by them as an encouragement and excitement of the con-

The Lawrence and Ludlow monument.

[332] tinuance of the present unjust, unnecessary, and iniquitous war.” The resolution was as follows: “Resolved, as the sense of the State of Massachusetts, that, in a war like the present, waged without justifiable cause, and prosecuted in a manner which indicates that conquest and ambition are its real motives, it is not becoming a moral and religious people to express any approbation of military or naval exploits which are not immediately connected with a defence of our sea-coast and soil.”

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