Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Trophy
Catalog Number 1938.62
Date ca. 1870
Material(s) Wood/Leather/Glass/Paint
Dimensions H-18 W-22 inches
Description This trophy consists of a desiccated deer head mounted on a wooden board. The deer has glass eyes and a pair of gold painted rack of antlers.
Notes These horns were originally on the steamboat Princess. When the steamboat Robt. E. Lee, commanded by John W. Cannon of Hancock County, beat the long standing record of the Princess to Natchez, the horns were taken off the Natchez wharf boat and sent out to Captain Cannon as the Robt. E. Lee passed Natchez on July 1, 1870. Later, the Natchez, owned by Captain Thomas P. Leathers, did an even better run, so Captain Leathers won the antlers back. However, Captain Leathers gave the horns back to Captain Cannon the following fall. The trophy changed hands several times during the summer and fall of 1870.

Capt. E.C. Carroll of Vicksburg found the horns above a livery stable door in Memphis and presented them to Cannon's son, W.L. Cannon, in 1903, hence the inscription "EEC to WLC in 1903." The initials are those of Captain E.C. Carroll and W.L. Cannon. The fastest boats on the river wore a pair of gilded deer antlers as a symbol of prowess. No boat owned the horns. Rather, the horns were passed from boat to boat.
Collection W.L. Cannon Collection
People Cannon, John W.
Subjects Trophies
Deer
Antlers
Horns (Animal)
Horns
Steamboat racing
Steamboats
Races
Boat racing
Riverboats
Search Terms Steamboat the Robert E. Lee
Steamboats
Boats
Trophy
Hancock County (Ky.)
Natchez (Miss.)
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS