USS Lawrence (1813)

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Raised hulk of the USS Lawrence, Misery Bay, Erie PA 1875
Career (USA) 100x35px
Namesake: James Lawrence
Awarded: 18 February 1813
Builder: Adam and Noah Brown
Launched: 24 May 1813
Commissioned: August 1813
Out of service: 1815
Fate: Sunk for preservation 1815, raised 1875, lost in 1876 fire
General characteristics
Displacement: 493 tons
Length: 109 ft 9 in (33.45 m)
Beam: 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
Draft: 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 134
Armament: 2 x long 12-pounders, 18 x short 32-pounder cannonades

The first USS Lawrence was one of two 493-ton Niagara-class brigs (more correctly: snows) built at Erie, Pennsylvania, by Adam and Noah Brown under the supervision of Sailing Master Daniel Dobbins and Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, for United States 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, Michigan in search of the opposing British squadron. During the 10 September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Lawrence served as flagship for Perry until she was disabled by enemy fire. Perry then transferred to her sister-ship, the 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 on Presque Isle, PA in order to preserve her hull. Her submerged hulk was sold in 1825 and, except for a brief examination in 1836, remained underwater for five more decades.

In September 1875, her remains were raised, cut into sections and transported by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was exhibited during The U.S. Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. Her remains were destroyed by a fire during that exhibition.


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