John Lewis Krimmel (1787–1821)
Watercolor with pencil and ink on paper, 1819
“Who would not be an American?” Such was the feeling that swept the nation in the wake of Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans and peace with Great Britain. The symbols and heroes of the War of 1812 did not soon fade, as seen here in a portrayal of a Fourth of July celebration in 1819.
America still rested on the laurels of good feelings. On one side, a banner venerates the Battle of New Orleans, while on the other the words of Captain James Lawrence—“Don’t Give Up the Ship!”—are immortalized with a battle scene. Although the “late war with Great Britain” took decades to fade from the American consciousness, “the American war” vanished almost instantly from the minds of most Britons. In 1854 an English writer confessed “amazement at my own ignorance. I had scarcely heard of any such war!”