Stonington Cannons


As British ships threatened Stonington on August 9, 1814, the defenders of the village turned to these two 18-pound cannons, which had been manufactured in Salisbury, Connecticut, in 1781. Hauled out of storage and placed behind a breastwork on the west side of Stonington Point along with one smaller cannon, they opposed more than 160 cannons on the British attacking ships. Despite a shortage of gunpowder, local volunteers and militia used them to discourage landing parties, score a number of direct hits on HMS Dispatch, and contribute to the eventual withdrawal of the British squadron. In 1876 they were formally transferred to the Borough of Stonington by the federal government and placed in a park now known as Cannon Square. (Courtesy of Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT; Photographer: Dennis Murphy)