The Naval Academy owns a ship model whose 120 miniature guns gave an actual salute to the Russian Czar, Alexander I, just before the latter's defeat by Napoleon in 1813. This model is one of five presented to the early Naval Academy. These five miniature ships a century ago went through land campaigns as disastrous for them as the sea fights in which some of their originals took part. These facts we gather from the following letter of the donor, Alexander Vattemare, written in 1854 to the then Secretary of the Navy, James C. Dobbin.
PARIS, May 8, 1854
Hon. James C. Dobbin,
Secretary of the Navy.
I had yesterday a visit from Lt. Bartlett of the Navy, who came to take possession of the models of ships destined to the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. The collection is composed of five models, viz:
The Ville de Paris of 120 guns
The Aristide of 74 guns
The Junon of 44 guns
The Beneau of 16 guns
A ship of the East India Company
A few words by way of description and history of the collection will not perhaps be deemed out of place here.