Capture of H.M.S. Macedonian by the U.S. Frigate United States

Object Number: 
ca. 1813
Oil on canvas (relined)
Canvas: 34 3/8 x 45 1/2 x 7/8 in. ( 87.3 x 115.6 x 2.2 cm ) Frame: 39 3/4 x 51 x 2 3/4 in. (101 x 129.5 x 7 cm)
Marine view of the capture of the British frigate, Macedonian, by the U.S. frigate, United States.
Gallery Label: 
This painting depicts the capture of the British frigate Macedonian, 38 guns, Captain John S. Carden, by the American frigate United States, 44 guns, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820). The 90 minute action between the two vessels took place in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles west of the Canary Islands on October 25, 1812. The Macedonian was the first British frigate captured in the War of 1812 that was taken to the United States. She was transported to Newport, Rhode Island, early in December 1812 and few weeks later was moved to New York. Another oil by Birch of the two ships engaged in battle, similar to this one but with the ships spaced further apart, was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1848, and in 1966 was in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. J. Welles Henderson. A third version is at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Naval History Society Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group