It was recently learned that a unique artifact originating with Newfoundland and Labrador is now in possession of an individual (not a museum) in the United States.
I feel, as do several other citizens of our province, that it should and could be brought back to our people.
In 1869 the brig Magic of St. John's rescued the crew of the sinking Othello in the mid-Atlantic. In July of that year, Magic's captain, John Jennings Winsor, was awarded an engraved telescope by the British Board of Trade - the engraving giving the date, Capt. Winsor's name, the ship's name and so on.
However, that telescope, either through legitimate antique dealers or through the family perhaps residing in Canada or the United States, now rests in a private collection and is available.
It has been determined that Capt. Winsor's origins were in England, but he came to live in Aquaforte - and perhaps later St. John's - where he and his wife, Elvina (Chafe) of Petty Harbour, raised several children: Daniel Jennings Winsor, born in 1850; Frederick George Winsor, 1853; John Arthur Allan Winsor, 1858. It is known Frederick George married Mary Ann Whalen of St. John's in 1875.
Do relatives remain?
My questions (and of several others now involved in the genealogy of the Winsor family, and the brave tale of rescue and reward): are there any descendants of Capt. John Winsor around today?
Are there others, people or institutions, interested in bringing the engraved telescope in its leather-bound case back to our province?
The full story of Magic's telescope can be found in my book "Through Dangerous Waters," but that is not the purpose of my writing. I feel we can bring the telescope back to its rightful place.
Robert C. Parsons