U.S. Brig Lawrence (1813-1825)

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Lawrence was one of two 493-ton Niagara class brigs built at Erie, Pennsylvania, for Navy service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. She was commissioned in early August 1813 and quickly began operations with a voyage to Detroit in search of the opposing British squadron. 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. Perry then transferred to the Brig Niagara, from which he fought the battle to a successful conclusion. In mid-1815, following the end of hostilities, Lawrence was sunk in Misery Bay, near Erie, in order to preserve her hull. Her submerged hulk was sold in 1825 and, except for a brief examination in 1836, remained underwater for nearly four more decades. In September 1875 her remains were raised, cut into sections and transported by rail to Philadelphia, where she was exhibited during the 1876 exhibition celebrating the Centennial of the United States. Lawrence was destroyed by fire during that exhibition.

This page features views related to the U.S. Brig Lawrence (1813-1825).

Click photograph for a larger image

Photo #: KN-621

Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813

Painting by William H. Powell, depicting Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry transferring his flag from the disabled U.S. Brig Lawrence to the U.S. Brig Niagara, at the height of the action.
The original painting is exhibited in the United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 65KB; 740 x 500 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives.
Though reproductions of this photo from the NHHC's collections are available in black & white only, those from the National Archives may be available in color.

Photo #: NH 51253

U.S. Brig Lawrence

As she appeared when raised in Misery Bay, Erie Harbor, Pennsylvania, 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.

Halftone reproduction, copied from "The Journal of American History", Volume 9, Page 312.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 545 pixels

Photo #: NH 69573

Surgical Instruments

Used by Dr. Archimides Smith, Surgeon on the U.S. Brig Lawrence, 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: 6½" forecept clamp (above, with - from left to right - below it): 7½" bone scraper; 7" knife; 7½" knife; 9" knife; artery clamp.
In the lower left: 13" curved knife. In lower center, top to bottom): 6¼" suture hook; 7½" scapel; 7" scapel; 5¼" scapel. In the lower right: 14½" curved knife.

Courtesy of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., 1969.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 126KB; 595 x 765 pixels


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

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