A Cool Cannon Ball

A Cool Cannon Ball

By Will Noel

Will Noel holding the cannon ball found in 1896 near Princeton Battlefield from the Graphic Arts Collection.

The Battle of Princeton took place on January 3, 1777. This is a canon ball in the collection, dug up from Princeton Battlefield in 1896 by former Princeton University Library staffer Amos Sorter.  I bet the last time an Englishman held this it was hotter.

Curator Gabriel Swift had pulled it out for a class he is co-teaching with professor Michael Blackman on Princeton and the American Revolution, which they are hoping to turn into an exhibition. 

Editor’s note: For more on our holdings related to the Revolutionary War, please visit the University Archives blog to read about who really caused the damages to the Rittenhouse Orrery during the British occupation of Nassau Hall, whether Alexander Hamilton shot the cannonball that destroyed Princeton’s portrait of George II, and the generations of disputes over the campus cannon.