Artist Keith Wilkie donates painting of the USS CAROLINA

Five days after the Front Street fire that occurred on 9/25/13 the museum received an email from artist Keith Wilkie who lives in McLean, VA:

“So very sorry about all the fire damage in Georgetown.  I’ve been following reports since that morning last week.  Very glad to hear that your building seemingly made it through – but hope your exhibited materials didn’t suffer too much smoke or water damage.  Anyway, trying to find a way to help.  I am an artist, and if you are interested, I would like to donate to the museum an original 11×14 painting I completed earlier this year of the USS Carolina, built in nearby Charleston, launched in 1812 and played a critical part in the war of 1812.  It’s in a gold frame and an image is attached.  If you are interested in having this painting, please let me know and I will gladly ship it or personally deliver it when next down that way…We routinely visit Georgetown with friends and family… and are anxious to see it’s comeback. Had lunch in Buzz’s just two weeks ago.  I used to live in Charleston, have 10+ generations of ancestry from the Carolinas and still have close family living on the coast.  It was really painful seeing the clips showing the blaze being fought last week. “

  He included this history of the USS CAROLINA from Wikipedia:

“USS Carolina, a schooner, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the British colony that became the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. Her keel was laid down at Charleston, South Carolina. She was purchased by the Navy while still on the stocks, launched on 10 November 1812, and commissioned on 4 June 1813 with Lieutenant J. D. Henley in command.

Carolina set sail for New Orleans, Louisiana, and while making her passage, captured the British schooner Shark. Arriving at New Orleans 23 August 1814, she began an active career of patrol directed against possible British action as well as the pirates that infested the Caribbean Sea. On 16 September 1814, Carolinaattacked and destroyed the stronghold of the notorious Jean Lafitte on the island of Barataria.

Carolina, with the others of the small naval force in the area, carried out the series of operations which gave General Andrew Jackson time to prepare the defense of New Orleans when the British threatened the city in December 1814. On 23 December, she dropped down the river to the British bivouac which she bombarded with so telling an effect as to make a material contribution to the eventual victory. As the British stiffened their efforts to destroy the naval force and to take the city,Carolina came under heavy fire from enemy artillery on 27 December. The heated shot set her afire, and her crew was forced to abandon her. Shortly after, she exploded.”

Museum board member Mac McAlister wrote back to Keith to accept the painting:

“Thank you very much for your offer to donate your painting of the USS CAROLINA.The South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown is pleased to accept your kind offer. At this time, the museum is undergoing repairs, particularly odor removal, and preparing for the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show on October 19. We should be back to normal by 1 December, which would be a good time to arrange to accept and give proper publicity to receiving the painting. We will keep in contact with you as that time approaches. Meanwhile, we hope to see you at the boat show.”

On December 23, 2013 Keith presented his painting of the USS CAROLINA to the South Carolina Maritime Museum.