J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

Follow by Email


Friday, July 14, 2017

EXTRA: A Projectile from the Plains of Abraham Pops Up

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported:
A cannonball fired by the British during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 has been unearthed at a building site in Old Quebec.

The rusted, 90-kilogram projectile was unearthed during excavation work last week at the corner of Hamel and Couillard streets and still contained a charge and gunpowder.

The work crew that found the ball picked it up and gathered around it for photographs, unaware that it was still potentially explosive.

Municipal authorities were contacted, and archeologist Serge Rouleau was called in.

Rouleau brought the cannonball back to his home, and noticed it still contained a charge.
Technically, I think the gunpowder inside makes this a mortar shell, not a cannonball. But such distinctions wouldn’t matter if someone loses an eye.

The C.B.C. report includes a photograph of the excavation workers gathered around the artifact before it was rendered harmless.


Charles Bahne said...

90 kilograms?? Strikes me as a bit much, arounds 200 pounds English weight. Are we sure that a decimal point didn't go missing somewhere?

J. L. Bell said...

Good catch! A 20-pound mortar shell would make more sense.