The Crowninshield Elephant an Asian elephant at U.S.A. unspecified Location

☨ The Crowninshield Elephant
Alternative name:Buffon
ID nr:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Female ♀ < 1, unknown age
Dead date:
Death reason: unknown:
Death location: Unknown
Location:U.S.A. unspecified Location
ArrivalU.S.A. unspecified Location
from Mr Owen
Mr Owen 1796-04-23
from Jacob Crowninshield
Born:* unknown
in India unspecified location India
Freight:with the ship "America"
Document updated2012-04-11: new record
2018-10-20: alt name, origin

The first elephant brought to America was a calf that arrived in 1796.

A History of the Traveling Menagerie by Stuart Thayer,

The Elephant,

ACCORDING to the account of the celebrated BUFFON, is the most respectable Animal in the world. In size he surpasses all other terrestrial creatures; and by his intelligence, he makes as near an approach to man, as matter can approach spirit. A sufficient proof that there is not too much said of the knowledge of this animal is, that the Proprietor having been absent for ten weeks, the moment he arrived at the door of his apartment, and spoke to the keeper, the animal’s knowledge was beyond any doubt confirmed by the cries he uttered forth, till his Friend came within reach of his trunk, with which he caressed him, to the astonishment of all those who saw him. This most curious and surprising animal is just arrived in this town, from Philadelphia, where he will stay but a few weeks. He is only four years old, and weighs about 3000 weight, but will not have come to his full growth till he shall be between 30 and 40 years old. He measures from the end of his trunk to the tip of his tail 15 feet 8 inches, round the body 10 feet 6 inches, round his head 7 feet 2 inches, round his leg, above the knee, 3 feet 3 inches, round his ankle 2 feet 2 inches. He eats 130 weight a day, and drinks all kinds of spiritous liquors; some days he as drank 30 bottles of porter, drawing the corks with his trunk. He is so tame that he travels loose, and has never attempted to hurt any one. He appeared on the stage, at the New Theatre in Philadelphia, to the great satisfaction of a respectable audience.

A respectable and convenient place is fitted up at Mr. VALENTINE’s, head of the Market, for the reception of those ladies and gentlemen who may be pleased to view the greatest natural curiosity ever presented to the curious, and is to be seen from sun-rise, ’till sun-down, every Day in the Week, Sundays excepted.

The Elephant having destroyed many papers of consequence, it is recommended to visitors not come near him with such papers.


Boston, August 18th, 1797.

BOSTON : Printed by D. Bowen, at the COLUMBIAN MUSEUM Press, head of the Mall.

The last recorded exhibition of the elephant is an account of its exhibition in York, Pennsylvania on July 25 and 25, 1818.

Reference list

Koehl, D., (2020). The Crowninshield Elephant, an Asian at U.S.A. unspecified Location in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 31 October 2020 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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