1 June 1813, off Boston during the War of 1812, the British frigate HMS “Shannon”, Cpt. Philip Broke, captured USS “Chesapeake”, Cpt. James Lawrence, in a brief, bloody action.
“As the Chesapeake appears now ready for sea, I request you will do me the favour to meet the Shannon with her, ship to ship, to try the fortune of our respective flags. The Shannon mounts twenty-four guns upon her broadside and one light boat-gun; 18 pounders upon her maindeck, and 32-pounder carronades upon her quarterdeck and forecastle; and is manned with a complement of 300 men and boys, beside thirty seamen, boys, and passengers, who were taken out of recaptured vessels lately. I entreat you, sir, not to imagine that I am urged by mere personal vanity to the wish of meeting the Chesapeake, or that I depend only upon your personal ambition for your acceding to this invitation. We have both noble motives. You will feel it as a compliment if I say that the result of our meeting may be the most grateful service I can render to my country; and I doubt not that you, equally confident of success, will feel convinced that it is only by repeated triumphs in even combats that your little navy can now hope to console your country for the loss of that trade it can no longer protect. Favour me with a speedy reply. We are short of provisions and water, and cannot stay long here.”
(Philip Broke, original message to Captain James Lawrence, USN; edited by James and Chamier 1837)
|Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783 - 1853): "The Fight between the English frigate Shannon and the American frigate "Chesapeake" (1836)|
|"The Brilliant Achievement of the Shannon ... in Boarding and Capturing the United States Frigate Chesapeake off Boston, June 1st 1813 in Fifteen Minutes (sic.!)" as imagined by W. Elmes, artist and engraver in August 1813|
|"Boarding and Taking the American Ship Chesapeake", a contemporary print by one M Doubourg|
|John Christian Schetky (1778- 1874): "H.M.S. Shannon Leading Her Prize the American Frigate Chesapeake into Halifax Harbour" (c. 1830)|
And more about the Capture of USS “Chesapeake” on:
… while the song that enraged her captured officers in Halifax to a point that they wouldn’t mind their manners anymore, “The Shannon and the Chesapeake" might be heard below. Please don't riot if you are of the American persuasion.