Header Art - Maryland's Conservation History

Preserving Maryland's Conservation Agency History

 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently acquired the original cannon used by the Maryland State Oyster Police Force to control the oyster harvest in the Chesapeake Bay.

“This cannon is not only a terrific piece of Maryland history, but a representation of our State’s commitment to protecting our valuable natural resources,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “We are honored to preserve this great artifact for the enjoyment of future generations of Marylanders.”


In the News

Historic Oyster ars Cannon on display in the Casper R. Taylor Jr. House Office Building in Annapolis
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Press Release. December 13, 2013.

Historic Oyster Cannon On Display In Annapolis
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Press Release. December 7, 2011.

Historic Oyster Cannon on Display on The Eastern Shore
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Press Release. June 16, 2011.

DNR Acquires Historic Oyster Police Cannon.
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Press Release. January 12, 2011.

American Legion Sells Historic Cannon to Department of Natural Resources.
Marc Shapiro. Reisterstown Patch. December 19, 2010.

Historic Cannon on Display in Annapolis After Leaving Reisterstown.
Reisterstown Patch, January 15, 2011.


Historical Sources

State Oyster Police Force Act of 1868.  (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat).
This act create the State Oyster Police Force.

An Oyster Pirate Killed. (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat). 
Article from The New York Times on February 20, 1888

Maryland’s Oyster War.  (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat). 
Article from The New York Times on December 13, 1888.

Piratical Oyster Crews.  (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat).
Article from The New York Times on February 15, 1884.

Civil War Cannon Found in Snow Drift.  (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat).
Article from The Times, Reisterstown, Maryland, by George Wetzel. Provides a history of the oyster war cannon before being acquired by DNR.

Great Seal of Maryland of 1854.  (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat).
Information about the seal that appears on the oyster war cannon.

Additional Reading:

Oyster Wars, The Historic Fight for the Bay's Riches. By Ross M. Kimmel (2008). The Maryland Natural Resource. Winter 2008: 4-6. Read the article online (.pdf file - Opens with Acrobat).

The Oyster Wars of Chesapeake Bay. By John R. Wennersten (1981). Centreville, Md. : Tidewater Publishers. Available at the DNR Library. View the DNR Library catalog record.

Maryland's oyster navy: The first fifty years. By Norman H. Plummer (1993). Chestertown, MD: Literary House Press, Washington College. Available at the DNR Library. View the DNR Library catalog record.

Oyster War Fiction:

The oyster wars : a novel. By David Faulkner (2008). Pipe Creek Press. Available at the DNR Library. View the DNR Library catalog record.

The oyster navy : a novel. By David Faulkner (2010). Pipe Creek Press. Available at the DNR Library. View the DNR Library catalog record.