Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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James Lawrence House Historic Site Overview

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)

Lawrence, who died on June 4, 1813, is buried in New York City.

Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the historic site / park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the historic site / park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TT) users, please call the NJ Relay Services at (800) 852-7899.

For the Comfort and Enjoyment of All
This historic site / park is part of the NJ State Park system and your cooperation with the following will help ensure the survival of the museum collections, historic structures & features and surrounding property for the enjoyment and education of future generations!

  • Keep your historic site / park and surrounding property clean and green! Protect this site by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the site, plan on carrying it out too. Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles at this site. Thank you!
  • No Smoking on NJ State Park Service Property. Pursuant to N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at state historic sites [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6]
  • The collection or removal of any object from State Park property is prohibited without written permission from the Superintendent.
  • Use of metal detecting devices on or unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) on or over the property is not permitted without a special use permit (SUP) from the State historic site / park.
  • Commercial photography is not permitted on the property without a special use permit (SUP) from the historic site / park.
  • Interior photography, videotaping or audio taping are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum, except by prior written permission and for educational purposes only.
  • Non-commercial photography is permitted on the property (outside), but please help preserve the historic site / park and any surrounding property by not attaching anything to, climbing or sitting on historic structures and features or disturbing any plants, wild or cultivated. Photography may not interfere with other visitors to the historic site / park or impede site operations.
  • Food and beverages; pets/animals, except for service animals, are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum.
  • Please refrain from touching objects/furnishings in and building components of historic structures and museums, except where invited to do so by staff.

Please contact this historic site / park with specific inquiries about any of these restrictions, as there may be some variations at this specific historic site / park.


Phone Number

Burlington County Historical Society, 457 High Street, Burlington City, New Jersey 08016

Historic Site Hours

Grounds Hours Please call the site for hours of operation.
Tour Hours Please call the site for hours of operation.

Historic Site Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
40.075916, -74.857255