Thursday, May 12, 2005


Telescope that U.S. commodore used to spy victory in 1813 to be auctioned


National Post
May 11, 2005

There was a key moment during the War of 1812 when a combined British-Canadian fleet was poised to decimate U.S. naval forces on Lake Erie.

But as a convoy of ships under the Union Jack sailed toward the enemy on the morning of Sept. 10, 1813, U.S. commodore Oliver Hazard Perry peered through his telescope and saw that he could outgun his adversaries in a short-range fight.

His victory in the Battle of Lake Erie marked the end of Britain's territorial pretensions south of the Great Lakes and was the only time in any war that one of its entire fleets was captured.

The spyglass Perry used to size up his foe is to be sold at auction in New York. The brass and wood telescope, nearly a metre long when extended, is expected to fetch more than US$100,000 at a Sotheby's sale on May 19.


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