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.