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‘Midst Shot & Shell

brickbats, and fired him off to celebrate President Cleveland’s inauguration in 1893. By some miracle, he didn’t explode, but the resulting blast tore down a fence and knocked him off his gun carriage, where he lay in the dirt by North Aurora Street for decades. Some wanted the old veteran placed on the courthouse grounds, but nothing ever came of that. By 1942, he had been rescued and moved to the American Legion, which was then on Biery Street. Once again, by some miracle, he narrowly escaped being melted dow n for a W W II

on November 30, 1782. Then, during the War of 1812, George was said to have been one of the cannons guarding Easton at Fort Stokes on the Tred Avon River, just below Easton Point. Gentleman George got his name because a local dandy named George was given the honor of firing the carronade to celebrate the British leaving the Chesapeake Bay at the end of the war in 1815. But his clumsy efforts to fire the cannon set it off prematurely, and the recoil knocked the self-professed cannon expert to the ground, so naturally the cannon was named after him. After the war, George the cannon, not George the dandy, was a featured speaker at Fourth of July parades. Somehow George escaped being confiscated in 1861, possibly because he was small and easily concealed. Later, George participated in the centennial celebration of Easton and other civic events. An 1885 newspaper account called him the “town pet.” Shortly thereafter, someone overloaded him with black powder and

This six-pounder can be seen on the grounds of St Mary’s Square in St. Michaels.

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