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This Month in Delaware History

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On April 6th and 7th of 1813, the town of Lewes, Delaware was bombarded by British warships for refusing to provide supplies demanded by the British commander of the vessels. The War of 1812 had been festering for nearly 10 months and the British were in need of provisions which the residents of Lewes were pleased to deny. The resulting bombardment was ineffectual, as no one was injured. However, word of the petulant attack became national news. One of the cannonballs flung at Lewes can still be seen today, embedded in the base of the historic “Cannonball House” which is now the home of the Lewes Historical Society’s maritime museum.

Right: Cannons used in defense of Lewes during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Copy of etching by M. Caldwell. DHS Oversize Photographs 5.38

Right: Cannons used in defense of Lewes during
the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
Copy of etching by M. Caldwell.
DHS Oversize Photographs 5.38

 

 


Object of the Month

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Portable medicine chest, circa 1805, belonged to Delaware physician and surgeon, Dr. Henry Latimer (1752-1819).

As we bid farewell to flu season and wait for the spring allergies to kick in, this month’s featured object offers a glimpse at what the doctor might have brought to a patient’s bedside at the dawn of the nineteenth century. This portable medicine chest, circa 1805, belonged to Delaware physician and surgeon, Dr. Henry Latimer (1752-1819). Its mahogany panels close with hook and eye clasps and a small brass tab that kept the case and its contents secure in transit, but held the panels open for easy access to medicines and supplies while the doctor treated patients. At a mere 10 ½ x 9 ¼ inches, the chest is deceptively small. The interior compartments hold a wide variety of glass medicine bottles, spatulas, brass weights, powders, and blending equipment that would likely have supplied Dr. Latimer through a large number of house calls.   Read more.

 

 

 
 

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