Ben Arnold Cannon

Richard Gilpin1761

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

English; single-barrel; 6-pounder; trunnions projecting from sides of barrel about half way down; smooth base; muzzle loading; under-pin studs on cascabel (round knob attached to breech); manufacturer's mark on rim of breech reads: ʺR. Gilpin Fecit 1761;ʺ on trunnion: ʺno. J5J, cursive ʺLʺ below a First Lord's crown and the number ʺ3ʺ intertwined with the letters ʺGʺ and ʺR,ʺ a raised decoration (flower) surrounds the vent; inscription on barrel reads: ʺTaken at the storm of the British lines near Saratoga October 7, 1777 by ________________ʺ

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  • Title: Ben Arnold Cannon
  • Creator: Richard Gilpin
  • Date: 1761
  • Location: Fremont, Ohio
  • Provenance: Cannon captured at Breymann Redoubt on October 7, 1777. Known as a Saratoga gun, Richard Gilpin cast this cannon in his foundry in London, England, in 1761. The crowned ʺLʺ on the barrel is the seal of the Master General of the Ordnance John 1st Earl of Ligonier. King George III's seal is the crown over the letters G & R. American forces captured this gun from the British during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). According to the inscription it was ʺTaken at the storm of the British lines near Saratoga October 7, 1777 by _____________ʺ The American commander Benedict Arnold's name originally was inscribed on the cannon, but was removed when the Continental Congress declared him a traitor in 1780. During the War of 1812, the British captured the cannon in Detroit, Michigan. General William Henry Harrison's forces recaptured it October 5, 1813 at the Battle of Thames in Ontario, Canada. How this cannon came to the Hayes Presidential Center not yet known. It probably was obtained by Rutherford B. Hayes while President of the United States. According to an Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society publication (Vol. 16, 1907), it was displayed for more than 25 years in the museum on the site of old Fort Stephenson (now Birchard Public Library) in Fremont, Ohio.


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