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Maps, views and documents from 19 wars

Edward Orme (1775-1848)

Sandy Hook, 1811

THE LITTLE BELT, SLOOP OF WAR, Cap,,tn Bingham nobly supporting the Honor of the British Flag, against the President United States Frigate, Commodore Rogers, May 15,,th 1811 published 25 Oct 1811

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 39.0 x 48.6 cm (image) | RCIN 735165

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A view of the British sloop of war Little Belt, having been defeated in action with the American frigate President in the channel of Sandy Hook on 16 May 1811. Preliminary action to the War of 1812.

This encounter between a British sloop of war and an American neutral ship was begun, according to the claims on each side, because the other ship had fired first. The Little Belt, commanded by Arthur Batt Bingham (1784-1830), was a substantially smaller ship (it was the former Danish 22-gun warship Lillebælt, surrendered to the British in 1807) and was badly damaged, as shown in this view.

In 1812, the American flag comprised fifteen stripes and fifteen stars (Vermont and Kentucky having been admitted to Congress in that year) in a canton with a blue field with white stars. In this view, however, the President is shown flying an ensign with only thirteen stripes, while the flag from the main mast has no stripes and an indeterminate number of stars. This rendering of the American flags therefore appears to be inaccurate for this period.

  • Edward Orme (1775-28 September 1848) (publisher)[bottom centre, below title:] Pub.d & Sold Oct.r 25 1811. By Edw.d Orme, Printseller to His Majesty & Royal Family Engraver & Publisher, Bond S.t corner of Brook St London.

    William Elmes (active 1797-1816) (artist and engraver) [bottom left, below edge of view:] W.m Elmes del.t; [bottom right, below edge of view:] W.m Elmes sculp.t

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: no fold lines. Verso: induced discolouration

  • 36.3 x 48.6 cm (neatline)

    39.0 x 48.6 cm (image)

    cropped (platemark)

    40.9 x 51.9 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    THE LITTLE BELT, SLOOP OF WAR, Cap,,tn Bingham nobly supporting the Honor of the British Flag, against the President United States Frigate, Commodore Rogers, May 15,,th 1811. [bottom, below view]


    (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil:] XV.165. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil:] 213.c; [top right, black pencil:] 19; [centre, black pencil:] 1811-19.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement The Little Belt Sloop of War, Captain Bingham, nobly supporting the honor of the British Flag against the President United States Frigate, Commodore Rogers, on the of May 1811: by W.m Elmes, published by Orme, 1811.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Sandy Hook, New Jersey, USA (40°27'10"N 73°59'43"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    W. James, The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793, to the Accession of George IV. A new edition, with additions and notes, 6 vols, London, 1837, pp.8-11, IV. Online version (last accessed 11 August 2017).

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