From Our Readers: Turkey Hunt Support and Cannon Questions
August's letters to the editor
Regarding your story on Edenton (July 2017, page 33), I was there a few years ago for the dedication of a Confederate Civil War Howitzer returned from Fort Niagara, New York, that had been captured by the Union. It and three other Artillery pieces had been cast from Edenton church bells and formed the “Edenton Bell Battery.”
At the time I was lead to understand that the three cannons you have pictured in Queen Anne Park plus one other (I believe) positioned in front of a Confederate memorial were shipped to Edenton, sat on a barge awaiting payment, and when payment wasn’t made, were unceremoniously dumped into the water where they sat for a number of years. They were eventually salvaged, but by then they were so corroded that they were useless (seawater does that).
This history would suggest that, no matter how whimsical it may sound, Benjamin Franklin played no part in positioning the cannon. It would be interesting to know if he had ordered the cannon and was responsible for the default in payment.
Editor’s Note: Thank you for pointing that out, Martyn. We sent your question to Charles Boyette, a historic interpreter with the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Here’s his response:
The cannons in question were part of a larger shipment of 45 cannons that were sent from France during the American Revolution in 1778. They were to be shared by North Carolina and Virginia, but due to the turbulent economic times, North Carolina could not pay for its share.
It is believed that Benjamin Franklin, who was serving as envoy to the Royal Court of France, was instrumental in acquiring these cannons. The French Monarchy were supporting the American Revolution with men, money and supplies.
When the cannons arrived, they could not be paid for and so were stored on a barge by the riverfront. It was thought that Lord Cornwallis was going to target the town to seize the cannons so they were dumped in the river. After the war, they were dredged up and placed around town mostly as monuments. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.
Turkey Hunt Support
I enjoy getting my Carolina Country magazine, but in the July issue I read a letter written to the editor about animal cruelty as it pertains to an article in the June issue (“Hunt Gives Back to U.S. Veterans,” page 10).
Members of my family are veterans. My nephew, a Marine, was killed in Iraq in 2005. Veterans are brave and honorable, they put their lives at risk to defend our country. They believe in freedom and sometimes pay the ultimate price preserving it.
The volunteers who gave our veterans the opportunity to hunt should be applauded. They gave their time to those who have given so much for our country.
Hunting is our heritage, for as long as this land has existed. Our forefathers would not have thrived in America without the much-needed protein provided by hunting. Four of my grandsons hunted turkeys this spring, and I am so proud of them for carrying on this tradition.
One of my purposes in life is to protect their right to hunt, and to protect that right for generations to come.
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