Jacob Crowninshield in United States

Jacob Crowninshield

First elephant arrived1796
Last elephant left1796
Address Salem
Place New York
Country United States


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History of updates2021-07-27

Latest document update2021-07-27 19:14:02
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Jacob Crowninshield, located at Salem, in New York, United States and the first elephant arrived in 1796. The last elephant left in 1796.

Comments / picturesCaptain on the ship "America".

Captain Jacob Crowninshield arrived in New York on April 12, 1796 with a two year-old elephant. Upon speculation, he had purchased the pachyderm in India and brought it to America. The entire venture cost him $450.

The elephant was exhibited in New York at the corner of Beaver Street and Broadway on April 23, 1796. At that exhibition, a Welshman named Owen offered to buy it for $10,000. From there, it seems the elephant went of tour constantly for many years.

Crowninsield family history
The man who brought the first elephant to America on April 13, 1796 was Captain Jacob Crowninshield (1770-1805), future member of Congress and Secretary of the Navy appointee and a member of one of Salem’s most dynamic and upwardly mobile families. Within a century of their arrival in the America at the end of the seventeenth century, the German Kronenschiedt family had transformed themselves into the thoroughly American Crowninshield shipping dynasty, and they were on the verge of transforming their economic power into political and cultural influence in the new nation. Jacob was one of five Crowninshield brothers who maintained the family shipping business in the Federal era, bringing valuable international goods such as tea and pepper back to Salem.

References for records about Jacob Crowninshield

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Jacob Crowninshield, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at https://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=908. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • Stuart Thayer, USA
  • Page 9, Elefanten in Zoo und Circus, Dokumentation 2 Nordamerika, 1997, by European Elephant Group: Haufellner, Schilfarth, Schweiger

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