This dwelling was the boyhood home of Captain James Lawrence who famously shouted to his crew, “Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks!”
James Lawrence was born in this house on October 1, 1781. He was the youngest of eleven children. Although he was educated in the field of law, he joined the young United States Navy in September 1798 as a midshipman. He went on to become a lieutenant and reached the rank of captain before his death in battle during the War of 1812.
It was during his last battle that he reportedly said “Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks!” This command was later paraphrased as, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”. It was sewn onto a flag and became the motto of the U.S. Navy.
In honor of his distinguished naval career, the U.S. Navy has named five ships after him, including: U.S. Brig Lawrence (1813-1825); U.S. Brig Lawrence (1843-1846); USS Lawrence (Destroyer #8); USS Lawrence (DD-250) and USS Lawrence (DDG-4)