74-gun HMS Cornwallis


Mariner William T. Skiddy joined the US Navy and received his midshipman’s commission from President Madison. He reported to the sloop of war Hornet and served with that ship at sea after she escaped from New London late in 1814. While on board he employed his artistic talents to sketch and paint various scenes and events he experienced, including the Hornet’s narrow escape from a dangerous encounter with the 74-gun HMS Cornwallis off the Cape of Good Hope on April 27, 1815, more than two months after the US Senate approved the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war. (© Mystic Seaport, William T. Skiddy Collection (Coll. 304), Mystic, CT)