War of 1812 Memorial Cannons of Patterson Park

"Musty and Formidable Old Weapons of War"

On August 14, 1903 at a meeting of the annual Society of War of 1812 in Maryland it was proposed to distribute the War of 1812 cannon described as “…musty and formidable old weapons of war… planted in the streets in different sections of the city as [traffic] “buffers…”

On February 7-8, 1904 the great Baltimore fire destroyed 140 acres of 1500 buildings, etc., of a major part of central downtown Baltimore along the waterfront. In the aftermath of cleaning and rebuilding newly found cannons were also uncovered. Through the auspices of the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland and the Society of the Daughters of the War of 1812 in the United States these would find new sites to help Baltimore City commemorate military sites associated with the Battle for Baltimore in 1814. Two of the primary sites were Riverside Park (the site of Fort Look-out in South Baltimore); Battery Babcock Monument (McComas St., South Baltimore) and the best known – Patterson Park established in 1825 upon grounds that highlighted the main land defenses protecting the City of Baltimore in 1814 known then as Hampstead or Laudenslager’s Hill.

Today five of these cannon (iron 6-Pdrs) found in the aftermath of the fire are mounted on concrete pedestals with the date “1814” imprinted on each, two of which are known to have been found during the waterfront construction of the Fell’s Point Recreation Pier. They were designed by Mr. John Appleton Wilson (1851-1927), an active member of the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland, as well as the Baltimore Municipal Art Commission and American Institute of Architects. In 1879, John and a cousin William Thomas Wilson, formed a partnership and named their new firm J.A. & W.T. Wilson, Architects.


Memorial Cannons, 2015

Memorial Cannons, 2015

The War of 1812 Memorial Cannons pictured one week before their rededication in September 2015. | Creator: Auni Gelles View File Details Page

Access Information:

Visit the cannons near the iconic Pagoda in the northwest corner of Patterson Park.

Street Address:

27 S Patterson Park Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231 [map]

Official Website:

Friends of Patterson Park

Cite this Page:

Scott S. Sheads, “War of 1812 Memorial Cannons of Patterson Park,” Battle of Baltimore, accessed December 6, 2019, http://www.battleofbaltimore.org/items/show/309.

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