Lawrence County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #886 in Louisa commemorates the naming of Lawrence County after a naval hero of the War of 1812.

New Jersey native Captain James Lawrence had been in the U.S. Navy since 1798. He advanced steadily through the ranks, and, on June 1, 1813, he found himself leading the USS Chesapeake against the British ship HMS Shannon off the coast of Boston. During the fight, Lawrence was mortally wounded. He told his crew "Don't give up the ship," a saying that is still used today.

According to the marker, this action "met [the] highest traditions of [the] US Navy and has inspired all Americans." Upon his death, Lawrence was buried "with honor" by the British in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was later reinterred at Trinity Church in New York.

When Lawrence County was formed in 1821, it was named after Captain Lawrence.

Images

Lawrence County Courthouse, Louisa, Kentucky

Lawrence County Courthouse, Louisa, Kentucky

The Lawrence County Courthouse in Louisa, Kentucky, circa 1920. Lawrence County is named in honor of Captain James Lawrence, who was killed in action during the War of 1812. Mortally wounded on the USS CHESAPEAKE, Lawrence told his crew "Don't give up the ship." Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Main Street in Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, c. 1920.

Main Street in Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, c. 1920.

Main Street in Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, circa 1920. The county is named in honor of a War of 1812 casualty. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Lawrence County, Kentucky,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/89.

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