Frame Size: 28" x 38"
Size: 20' x 30"

"USS President vs HMS Little Belt" SOLD

by James Hardy III (English 20th Century)

Oil on Board

Description:  In 1809 the USS Pesident, under the command of Commodore John Rodgers, began routine patrols off the eastern coast of the US. When the HMS Guerriere stopped the American brig Spitfire and impressed a crewman, Rodgers received orders to pursue HMS Guerriere. She sailed immediately from Fort Severn on May 10, 1809. Six days later a lookout spotted a sail on the horizon. Rodgers believed the sail to be that of a warship and he raised signal flags to identify his ship.
The other ship, later to be identified as HMS Little Belt, a 20 gun sixth rate, raised signal flags in return. Rodgers pursued, believing the ship to be HMS Guerriere.
A brief exchange of cannon fire ensued and after Rodgers realized HMS Little Belt was much smaller than a frigate, he ordered a cease fire, only to be fired upon again by the British ship. Rodgers then ordered his gun crews to fire at will and HMS Little Belt quickly went silent.
In the morning it was obvious that the British ship was greatly damaged and Rodgers sent a boat over to offer aid; only to be declined and the British ship, after suffering 31 dead, sailed off to Nova Scotia.
The US Navy did an investigation into the incident and it was determined that HMS Little Belt had fired first, but the British have always claimed that the USS President had fired the first round. 
To date, it remains unresolved.

Artist Profile: James Hardy III is a British contemporary artist. His detail of sea, ship and sky are fantastic.

Price: $0.00

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