Skip navigation

Object Name: Sugar house relic cane
Date: ca. 1852
Related People:
Medium: Oak, silver, ivory, other metal
Dimensions: Overall: 36 × 2 in. (91.4 × 5.1 cm)
Possibly: United States, New York
Description: Tapered turned oak cane; round ivory knob handle, faceted decorative top with small round hole; inscribed silver plate on collar; silver-colored metal ferrule and tip.
Credit Line: Gift of Peter Humphrey Moulton in memory of his grandfather Francis Severn Moulton
Object Number: 2016.39
Send to a Friend
Inscribed: “A Sugar House Survivor / Four Canes were made from a timber of the Old Sugar House, or / Military Prison, on Liberty St., at its demolition in 1840. This cane / was presented to Major Solomon Moulton, of Floyd, Oneida / Co. N.Y. Aged 94 years, one of the oldest living Victims of / British cruelty in New York, during the war of 1775 as a token or / remembrance, of his privations and sufferings, during his protracted / confinement in said prison, and the “Old Prison Ship Asia.”

Gallery Label:

During the American Revolution, some 30,000 men were taken as prisoners of war in New York and confined in dreadful conditions aboard ships, inside jails, and in sugar refineries, churches, and meeting houses. Salmon Moulton, a volunteer from Stafford, Connecticut, was one of those men. According to the inscription on this cane—made of relic wood from the sugar house on Liberty Street demolisted in 1840—he was held captive in one of the five Manhattan sugar refineries and then a prison ship. This cane was presented to Moulton in a 1852 for being one of the oldest living "victims of the British cruelty in New York."