Nathaniel Shaw 13-Star Flag – National Treasure

Sometimes it just takes new eyes to help you “discover” treasure.  We’ve written in the past about the 13-star flag in our collection that was restored, reframed and hung for the exhibit that marked the 225th anniversary of the Burning of New London.  Late in the summer 2007, a new member, Gary Gianotti, visited the Shaw Mansion to do some research on Norwalk privateers.  Seeing the flag and hearing of its history he was very impressed because he was aware of just how rare that flag might be.  In the following weeks he contacted national-level flag experts and became even more excited. When the historical society purchased the Shaw Mansion to be its headquarters in 1907, the 13-star flag was discovered in the attic of the house.  Jane Perkins, who sold the house to us, was the great-great granddaughter of the original builder, Capt. Nathaniel Shaw.  Miss Perkins told Mrs. Dudley Bramble, Regent of the Lucretia Shaw Chapter of the DAR, that the flag belonged to the Naval Agent, Nathaniel Shaw (Jane’s great-great uncle), and Mrs. Bramble documented the conversation. The flag was on exhibit for a long time on the landing to the second floor, framed and sandwiched between […]

Posted in The Shaw 13-Star Flag | Comments Off on Nathaniel Shaw 13-Star Flag – National Treasure

Baseball Fever 1866

Some discussion regarding the growth of baseball in the post Civil War period inspired some delving into New London County newspapers to see what was happening locally.  The evidence is clear that New London County caught base ball fever in 1866. Reading through the New-London Daily Star issues for the summer and fall of 1865 only one small reference could be found.  The editor, Mr. Ruddock, had reported on a number of sail boat races and regattas, and on the 16th of June, reported considerable “interest in the college regatta which is to take place at Worcester” between Yale and Harvard.  In addition to the boat races on Friday afternoon, the glee clubs of both colleges would give a joint concert and, “Friday morning the Harvard nine will play the Yale nine at base ball.” Moving ahead to early 1866, the Mystic Pioneer, reports on June 2, an account of a match in Worcester, “from a correspondent:” “Mr. Editor: – As the young men of Mystic are much interested in the game of base ball, I send you the particulars of the match game between the Nicean nine of Amherst College and the University nine of Brown University which was […]

Posted in Baseball Fever 1865 | Comments Off on Baseball Fever 1866

Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold Turns and Burns New London September 6, 1781 was a brutal and terrifying day for Connecticut citizens living on both sides of New London harbor, along the Thames River. On that day 1,700 British, Hessian, and Loyalist troops, under the command of General Benedict Arnold, achieved the last British victory of the Revolutionary War, committing acts of urban terrorism and slaughter that would define those communities for years to come. “Arnold’s Raid on New London,” as it was later called, had more to do with spite than strategy. But the raid, occurring almost exactly one year after the discovery of Arnold’s plot to turn George Washington’s army and headquarters over to the British and Arnold’s subsequent escape to the British, cemented Arnold’s reputation as America’s most notorious traitor. But the events leading to the burning of New London were rooted in circumstances far deeper than simple spite. A confluence of geography, world trade, and wartime economics turned New London (and neighboring Groton) into hotspots of historic import. A Bustling Port Turns to Privateering The Thames River provides New London with an excellent harbor. It is wide and deep, the bottom has excellent mud for anchoring, it hardly ever […]

Posted in Benedict Arnold | Comments Off on Benedict Arnold