Gilbert Chase, a New England ship captain, recovered a bronze French cannon in the Pamunkey River off Cumberland Town in 1816. Two members of his crew descended in a diving bell patented in 1806, which Chase had acquired the rights to use. The 12-foot-long, 5,240-pound cannon, lost during the Revolutionary War, was decorated with mottoes and coats of arms. Virginia claimed it as state property, but Chase argued that the patent authorized him to keep what he salvaged and that the state had forfeited its rights by abandoning the cannon. In Nicholas v. Chase (1817), Virginia Superior Court of Chancery ruled in favor of Chase. The cannon was likely melted down during the Civil War.