Description[Mexican War]. Presentation Telescope Given to Colonel Francis M. Wynkoop, circa 1848. Early nineteenth-century lacquered refractor telescope with a 1 5/8 inch objective lens and a twenty-one inch tube. The tube is hand-engraved, "Presented to / Col. F. M. Wynkoop / 1st Regt. Penna. Vols. / by his Orderly Sergeant / B. S. Blitz / City of Mexico, May 25. 1848." The telescope has a lens cap and a detachable, straight-legged tripod with a slightly tapered column support. The telescope stands fifteen inches high. There are two types of focusing; course focusing by pulling out the drawtube and fine focusing with a rack and pinion mechanism inside the tube (inoperable). The top of the column has swivel altitude and directional adjustments. Unmarked and is housed in a fitted walnut case. The cased telescope is accompanied by a pencil note stating, "To my friend Maj. John C. Lessig from his friend in Mexico -". That note is affixed to a later note, "Presented to John C. / Lessig, by F. M. Wynkoop / Pottsville, Pa."
Colonel Wynkoop, commander of the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Mexican War, was for a time the commanding officer of Texas Ranger Samuel H. Walker and his company of United States Mounted Volunteers. Wynkoop was a vain, jealous man and was a nemesis of Walker during the latter's last months. Wynkoop twice had Walker arrested for disobeying orders the Ranger found to be illegal. Walker's men detested Wynkoop. In November 1847, Wynkoop was appointed military governor of Jalapa and was promoted to brigadier general. After the war, he returned to the United States and was made marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President Pierce. Wynkoop was accidentally killed in a hunting accident in December 1857.
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