Benedict Arnold's Lake Champlain Gondola/Gunboat Remains

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  • Bottom planking and ribs of one of Benedict Arnold's Lake Champlain gondolas (gunboats), being studied by Col. Howard I. Chapelle, Curator of Transportation at the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, and dean of historians of American sailing ship architecture. This gunboat's rib and keelson dimensions, shape and material corresponded closely to those of the Continental Gondola "Philadelphia" which Chapelle and Lundeberg were then preparing nearby at Willsboro, New York, for shipment by water to NMHT as per instructions from Director of NMHT Frank A. Taylor.
  • The wreck illustrated had been found and raised (reportedly in Arnold Bay on Vermont shore) after World War II by Lorenzo Hagglund, who had found and raised the "Philadelphia" in 1935 and willed it to the Smithsonian through Taylor's efforts. This present wreck had been placed by Hagglund and the Champlain Associates in an open-air display compound near Ausable Chasm, New York, where it and other wrecks had gradually deteriorated. Later this wreck's stern was donated to the United States Navy Museum at Washington, D.C., where it is still exhibited. In 1977 Arthur Cohn, Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, discovered a third sunken Arnold gondola of similar construction in Lake Champlain, providing further material evidence of the mass construction of American men-of-war as early as 1776.


  • Lundeberg, Philip K. 1923-2019
  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • Chapelle, Howard Irving
  • Arnold, Benedict 1741-1801
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • United States Navy
  • United States Continental Navy
  • Naval Historical Center (U.S.) Curator Branch
  • U.S. Navy Museum


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Original SI Neg. # 57740. Contained in the Philip K. Lundeberg Papers. A naval historian Lundeberg (1923-) came to the Smithsonian in January 1959 as a Consultant in the Department of Armed Forces History in the Museum of History and Technology, and in June of that year was appointed Associate Curator in the Division of Naval History. From 1962 to 1984 Lundeberg was Curator of Naval History and In 1984, when the Divisions of Naval and Military History were merged to form the Division of Armed Forces History, he was named Curator of Armed Forces History. Following his retirement in 1986, in 1987 he was named Curator Emeritus of Armed Forces History.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 08-003 Box 1 Philip K. Lundeberg Papers

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • 1961
  • Revolution, 1775-1783

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Boats and boating
  • Shipwrecks
  • Transportation, Military
  • Employees
  • Gunboats
  • Museums
  • History
  • Artifacts
  • Boatbuilding
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Gondolas
  • Naval history
  • Naval Architecture
  • Military
  • Museum directors
  • Museum curators
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Armed Forces--History
  • Ships


  • Champlain, Lake
  • Au Sable Forks (N.Y.)
  • United States


  • Photographic print
  • Object
  • Person, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 10 h x 8 w; Type of Image: Person, candid; Object; Medium: Photographic print

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