[The Little Belt Affair.] 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 Batt Bingham Esquire Commander, and representing the situation of both Ships in the morning after the Action of the 11 May 1811. is respectfully inscribed by his obliged Servant Josh. Cartwright.
London, Pub. 1 Dec. 1811 by J. Hassell, No.11 Clements Inn & J. Cartwright, 39, Arundel Street, Strand.
Very scarce coloured aquatint. Image 350 x 520mm (13¾ x 20½"). Some toning.
A fine aquatint recordings the 'Little Belt Affair', on the night of May 16, 1811. Mutual distrust led to a gun battle between the vastly superior American frigate USS President and the British sixth-rate HMS Little Belt, a sloop-of-war, resulting in the one injury on the President against ten deaths and 22 injuries on Little Belt. The following morning, when the Americans realised how small Little Belt was, American Lieutenant John Creighton went to Little Belt to apologize for the 'unfortunate affair' and to offer space at any of the 'Ports of the United States', which the British Commander Bingham declined. When Bingham asked why President had attacked his much smaller ship, Creighton claimed that it was because Little Belt had provoked the action. Bingham staunchly denied this account. President sailed to New York City, and Little Belt went to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The two nations continued to argue about how the battle began for several months, adding to the friction that led to the War of 1812. Also offered are two newspapers found behind the print in an old frame: a copy of The Bath And Cheltenham Gazette for April 14th, 1813 and one for February 17th 1813, both mentioning the 1812-3 war with America; a scrap of contemporary watermarked paper bearing ink calculations; and a scrap of wrapping paper annotated by hand: "Open Dec. 25th. Mrs. De Sausmarez 19. Devon Road Bedford"
Parker: 213b. Provenance: de Saumarez collection.
[Ref: 8103] £1,500.00