Bronze Cannon from La Belle

Royal insignias confirmed a lost French ship

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The cannons found during the excavation of La Belle were the proverbial smoking guns. This bronze cannon was one of the keys to determining that the sunken ship in the murky waters of Matagorda Bay was indeed French. The crowned "L" at the breach of the cannon is the royal crest of French King Louis XIV. The Le Comte de Vermandois insignia represented King Louis' son, Louis de Bourbon, who was Admiral of the French Fleet from 1669 until his death in 1693.  Piecing the evidence together—French inscriptions, royal symbols, artifacts from the correct historical time period—archaeologists knew that the shipwreck in Matagorda Bay was La Salle's ill-fated La Belle.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Bronze Cannon from La Belle Artifact from Matagorda Bay, Calhoun and Matagorda County
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