Above is a painting of Admiral Cockburn
There are some great War of 1812 stories from Taylors Island. Here is a one from Tom Flowers as is found in his book Shore Folklore:
Aunt Mary Dove Travers of Taylors Island was an aristocratic lady of gentle breeding, whose determination not only captivated the heart of an admiral of the Royal Navy, but disarmed him from pursuing his malicious plan.
The British fleet completely dominated affairs on the Chesapeake Bay during the early years of the War of 1812. They plundered the tidewater homesteads at will, looting, burning, and wrecking havoc with all water activities.
Taylors Island, located in the British zone of control, became a target because many of its citizens were highly respected military and political leaders of the new nation.
Aunt Mary's husband had been targeted for British interrogation, in fact, he was so important that Admiral Cockburn, in charge of the Chesapeake flotilla, led the mission to place Travers and other important Taylors Island citizens in irons. Once captured, these loyal Americans were chained in the hold of the British vessel.
As soon as Aunt Mary found that her husband had been made prisoner, she dressed in her finest ribbons and laces. Carefully shielding her fair skin with a gay Paris parasol, she summoned her man servant, Reuben, to row her to the British vessel waiting a change in tide.
Reuben, panic stricken, did everything he could, "Miz Travers, you'se guine to get us both kilt."
It was like talking to an iron pot. Reuben had seen that determined look before, the chin jutting forward, giving her face a strangely-strong beauty that close friends and neighbors had come to respect.
The scene was almost ludicrous as the small boat carrying Aunt Mary as regally as the "bloody Queen of England" and a very frightened, colored oarsman, made its way to the waiting Admiral Cockburn, who anxiously watched in awe and admiration.
Aunt Mary was something to behold. A boatsman shouted, "What do you want, Madam?"
"Reuben, tell that man, I wish to speak with the captain."
"Miz Travers wants a word with the captain."
Admiral Cockburn himself reached out to assist Aunt Mary, welcoming her with the same dignity he used with the ladies of the court.
Escorting her to his cabin, he declared that it was tea time. He would listen to her entreaty after a repast. Aunt Mary, realizing the decorum of the tea time ritual, smiled and asked that someone care for her man servant.
The tea service, a richly-ornate silver tray; a finely-turned pot with matching creamer and strainer, caught Aunt Mary's attention even more than the delicate bone china cups and saucers. Admiral Cockburn noted her admiration and gave her the history of the tea service.
Aunt Mary's chin relaxed as time passed. The angular beauty of her face had softened and she became even more appealing as she came to the point, "Admiral Cockburn, I demand that you release my husband."
"You demand," but he was interrupted.
"Yes, I demand his release and charge you with a violation of the rights of citizens of the United States."
"He is my husband and I demand his immediate release."
Admiral Cockburn could read the determination, the courage in his guest's face. He couldn't kill a beautiful woman. There were no quarters available for a woman prisoner, especially a lady. He smiled, "Madam, you win."
Reuben could not believe his eyes as his master and mistress were escorted to the little boat. Before he shoved off, Admiral Cockburn's valet presented a heavy box to the men for Aunt Mary. He couldn't believe the Admiral's words, "My compliments, good health, and long life to a great lady whose determination has changed my plans."
Reuben was even more astonished when the heavy, wooden box was opened to reveal the exquisite tea service that Aunt Mary had so greatly admired. (Somewhere, scattered among the Travers' descendants, are pieces of that same tea service.)