James E. Buttersworth, signed. Riding to a couple of anchors in a last attempt to avoid going ashore, this American frigate flies its flag upside down as a distress signal. The crew has lowered all upper masts and yards to reduce windage. Her boats are gone: possibly some of her crew is ashore. In the foreground, crew struggle to launch a boat into the surf. The scene is not something that Buttersworth saw himself, but he could be showing an incident published in the news or one that sprung from his imagination.

Catalog Number 1979.79.20.1