The Nanjemoy Meteorite fell on February 10, 1825, a day after John Quincy Adams was elected as the fourth President of the United States of America only 35 miles away (Cressy, 2016). The meteorite was found on the Tobacco plantation of Captain Harrison by his servant cook after an explosion was heard. The 7.48 kg stone had impacted approximately 24 inches in the mud along the Potomac River and was subsequently washed and broken up into many pieces (Carver, 1825). After adding up all known published specimens in collection catalogs, it is estimated about 2.5 kg are known preserved today. Since the only recovered stone was broken up into many pieces, no individuals are known to exist.

Offered here for your consideration is this beautifully-labeled 66-gram specimen of Nanjemoy. Accompanying this incredible example is physical provenance (labels) from several key collections.

Copyright 2019 - M. Bandli - Photos may not be used without written permission

Fell February 10, 1825, Maryland, USA


Buchwald, V. F., & Graff-Petersen, P. (1976). Catalogue of meteorites in the Geological Museum of the University of Copenhagen. K'benhavn: Geologisk museum.

Carver, S. D. (1825). Notics of a Meteoric Stone Which Fell at Nanjemoy Maryland, February 10, 1825. American Journal of Science, 1st series, vol 9, pp351-52.

Cressy, F. (2016). From Weston to Creston: A Compendium of Witnessed US Meteorite Falls. Artistic Printing, Salt Lake City, UT.

First, are two small paper labels penned by the hand of famed American Mineralogist, Charles Upham Shepard (1804-1886). Both contain the usual label information including Shepard's collection number (No. 18), but one includes a note regarding the scarcity of Nanjemoy: "Very scarce at present[.] I know not where to obtain any more of it[.] [signed] C U Shepard". The other shows the price or value that Shepard assigned to the specimen in British Pounds Sterling, presumably, for trade or sale to the British Museum.

Lastly, we have a label from the Geological Museum of the University of Copenhagen. This specimen of Nanjemoy (Nr. 27) can also be found published in two Danish catalogs including Ussing (1905) and Buchwald/Graff-Petersen (1976). More importantly, the label lists Copenhagen's source of the specimen, The British Museum, as well as the British Museum's collection number (1862.478), which Copenhagen had partially adopted.

This 66-gram crusted fragment measures approximately 4 x 4 x 2 cm and appears to contain trace amounts of the original mud from Harrison's plantation. Because of its relatively large size, unequaled physical provenance, and scarcity, I would consider this specimen to be a historical centerpiece for any American fall collection.