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Chesapeake (ship)

Chesapeake, U.S. frigate, famous for her role in the Chesapeake affair (June 22, 1807) and for her battle with the H.M.S. Shannon (June 1, 1813). The Chesapeake left Norfolk, Va., for the Mediterranean under the command of James Barron in June, 1807. Just outside U.S. territorial waters the H.M.S. Leopard stopped her and demanded the right to search her for British deserters. Barron refused to allow this, and shortly afterward the Leopard opened fire. Unprepared for action, Barron was forced to submit and allow the impressment of four of his crew (two of whom were American-born). The incident caused intense indignation, and war seemed imminent. In the War of 1812, the refitted Chesapeake, commanded by James Lawrence, engaged (June 1, 1813) the H.M.S. Shannon outside Boston harbor. Lawrence was mortally wounded, and his last command was reportedly the famous "Don't give up the ship!" The Chesapeake was, however, captured.

See studies by K. Poolman (1961), P. Padfield (1968), and H. F. Pullen (1970).

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Chesapeake (city, United States)

Chesapeake (chĕs´əpēk´), city (1990 pop. 151,976), formed independently by the merging of the city of South Norfolk and Norfolk co., SE Va.; inc. 1963. Within its vast area are residential sections; much farmland, with related agricultural industries; and a large part of the Great Dismal Swamp. The large variety of products includes machinery, feeds, dairy products, chemicals, furniture, construction materials, and computer equipment. The Battle of Great Bridge was fought (1775) in Chesapeake. The Dismal Swamp Canal was completed in 1822.

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