Portrait of James Lawrence 1813


Stuart.  “James Lawrence Esqr. late of the United States Navy.”  From The Port Folio.  Philadelphia: Moses Thomas, December 1813.  Stipple by Rollinson.  5 x 4.  With vignette drawn and engraving by F. Kearny.  Some minor blemishes.  Very good condition.


A nicely engraved portrait of James Lawrence (1781-1813) published shortly after his death in The Port Folio.  This was a new type of American magazine, “Devoted to Useful Science, the Liberal Arts, Legitimate Criticism, and Polite Literature.”   It was a product of the new century, appearing first in January 1801.  It began as a weekly issue until 1809, when it became monthly until its demise at the end of 1827.  As with the many magazines that followed it, The Port Folio included numerous illustrations, views, and a fine selection of contemporary portraits.

This portrait was inspired by Lawrence’s death in the action between the USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon in the War of 1812 (a small vignette of that battle is included with the portrait).  It is at that time Lawrence uttered his famous last words, “Don’t give up the ship!”