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Maps, views and documents from 19 wars

Joseph Cartwright (c. 1789-1829)

Sandy Hook, 1811

To the Right Honorable Charles Philip Yorke, First Lord of the Admiralty, / This Print elucidating the extreme disproportion of Force between the American Frigate President Commodore Rodgers, and His Majesty's Sloop the... published 1 Dec 1811

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 40.8 x 51.4 cm (image) | RCIN 735164

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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 opened, according to the claims on each side that 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 (Vermont and Kentucky having been admitted to Congress in that year) stripes and fifteen stars 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.

  • Joseph Cartwright (c. 1789-1829) (artist and publisher) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Drawn by J. Cartwright; [bottom centre, below title:] London, Pub. 1 Dec. 1811 by J. Hassell. N.o 11 Clements Inn, & / J. Cartwright, 39. Arundel Street, Strand.

    John Hassell (active 1789-1823) (publisher) [bottom right, below edge of view:] Engraved by J. Hassell.

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: no fold lines; slightly creased

  • 35.2 x 51.4 cm (neatline)

    40.8 x 51.4 cm (image)

    43.8 x 57.4 cm (platemark)

    46.7 x 60.4 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    To the Right Honorable Charles Philip Yorke, First Lord of the Admiralty, / This Print elucidating the extreme disproportion of Force between the American Frigate President Commodore Rodgers, and His Majesty's Sloop the / Little Belt Arthur Butt Bingham Esquire Commander, and representing the situation of both Ships on the morning after the Action of the 11 May 1811. / is respectfully inscribed by / his obliged Servant / Jos.h Cartwright. [bottom, below view]

    Additional text:

    [bottom left, below title, a note on the guns and number of men of the President.] [Bottom right, below title, a note on the guns and number of men of the Little Belt.]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [The date ’11 May’ in the title has been altered in black pencil to ’16 May’]; [bottom left, black pencil:] XV.164. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil:] 213.b; [top right, black pencil:] 20; [centre, black pencil:] 1811-20; [bottom right, black pencil, obscured by paper backing:] 21/.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement The Situation of H.M. Sloop the Little Belt, A.B. Bingham Esq.r commander, and the American Frigate President, Commodore Rogers, on the morning after the Action of the 16.th of May 1811: by I. Cartwright, engraved by Hassell, 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)

    H. Parker, Naval battles from the collection of prints formed and owned by Commander Sir Charles Leopold Cust,  With an introduction by C.N. Robinson, London, 1911, no.213.b

    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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