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"Don’t give up that ship!"

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Captain James Lawrence (1781-1813) was mortally wounded on May 6, 1813, during an engagement in the War of 1812 between his ship, the USS "Chesapeake," and the British frigate HMS "Shannon." While being carried below deck, Lawrence is said to have uttered his last command-"Don't give up the ship!"-which became a popular rallying cry of the American navy. Miller was interested in patriotic themes throughout his career. In this early painting, he worked in a tradition of depicting the tragic deaths of military heroes, established by Benjamin West, John Trumbull, and Francesco Bartolozzi.
Date Description Narrative
1/11/1982Examinationexamined for loan
  • Alfred Jacob Miller. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller: Maryland and the West. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Washington College, Chestertown; Frostburg State University, Frostburg; Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Rockville. 1988.
  • Setting Sail: Drawings of the Sea from WAM. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011.
Provenance Virginia Miller (Mrs. Hush King); Sale, Chapellier Galleries, New York, 1969; Walters Art Museum, 1969, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase,, 1969

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ca. 1840
oil on paper backed with canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 20 1/2 x W: 18 in. (52 x 45.7 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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