Shepherd Brooks Saltonstall cannon
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- MHS 225th Anniversary
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[ This description is from the project: Staff Favorites ]
This cannon was used in the War of 1812, and the inscription on it states that it “was captured from the British at the Battle of New Orleans January 8th 1815.” A more interesting possible provenance is that the cannon was manufactured by and privately purchased from an American foundry. It was used on board the General Bolivar by the Venezuelan pirate / privateer Renato Beluche, Jean Lafitte's second in command. In 1814 it was captured by Commodore Daniel Patterson, USN, during his raid on Lafitte's stronghold. In 1815 it took part in Gen. Andrew Jackson's defensive line of earthworks and artillery batteries during the Battle of New Orleans. After Rezin Davis Shepherd acquired it from Commodore Patterson, it descended through the Brooks to the Saltonstall family.
“Every historical society should have its own cannon.”
MHS Sibley Editor Conrad Wright on the Saltonstall Cannon
Every historical society should have its own cannon and this is ours. Part of an American battery at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815, it eventually made its way to Manchester-by-the-Sea, where it dominated the living room of MHS vice president William L. Saltonstall. The Saltonstalls determined that the cannon’s bore was just right for croquet balls, which they used to fire on family occasions. After Mr. Saltonstall’s death, his widow, Jane, gave the piece to the Society, where it guarded the 2nd-floor landing for many years. When we received the cannon the bore still contained scorched croquet balls.