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The two cannons, which shot a nine pound cannon ball, were given to the University in 1888 and were placed in front of Healy in 1898. They were, indeed, on the two ships, the Ark and the Dove, which brought the original settlers to Maryland in 1634. According to Navy Department experts, they are Spanish-made and are believed to have been salvaged from the Spanish Armada, which was defeated on England's shores in 1588. During the 1928 presidential campaign of Alfred E. Smith, in which anti-Catholic prejudice played a major part, a notoriously anti-Catholic journal made reference to the cannons when it published a story accusing the Jesuits of Georgetown of having guns trained on the nation's capital.