Gordon, Charles G., known as "Chinese Gordon", "Gordon Pasha", and "Gordon of Khartoum", British Army officer and administrator (1833-1885). Autograph letter signed.

Galatz [Galati], 18. X. 1873.

8vo. 3½ pp. on bifolium.


To a former Italian member of the European Commission of the Danube who had recently moved to Scutari, Albania, with his family. Gordon expresses his hope that Scutari is a "better exile" than Galati and underlines his regret that he could not personally bid farewell to the family, as he and his friend Romolo Gessi had got lost on a hike and returned too late: "Je espere que vous et Madame et les petites se portent bien, et que vous bien trouvez Scutari un bon exile mieux que l'exile ici. Vous savez que je vous ai telegraphé [...] pour vous dire comme j'ai regretté de manquer dire mes adieux à vous et votre famille. mais j'étais avec Gessi le jour avant dans les forets, et nous nous sommes egarés, et c'etait une demie heure après votre départ que j'ai arrivé [...]". The letter continues with news from the members of the European Commission and Gordon announces his departure to Egypt to replace Sir Samuel Baker as Governor-General of Equatoria: "Ici je n'ai pas grandes nouvelles. Vous savez que [...] s'en va, et que Wolf viendra ici. [...] Schlechta ne revient plus, et je partirai en Egypte dans une mois pour remplacer Sir S. Baker sur Nile, un sujet que vous avec votre grande connaissance des choses generales savez plus que moi". The recent changes in the commission with many members leaving makes it easy for Gordon to part: "je serai tres bien aise de quitter la Commission".

Charles Gordon is today best remembered for the reorganization and successful command of the Chinese "Ever Victorious Army" during the Taiping Revolution (1860-62). In 1871 he was appointed British Member of the European Commission of the Danube. In Romania he again met Romolo Gessi (1831-81), an Italian soldier who had fought in the Crimean War alongside Gordon. Gessi accompanied Gordon when he assumed the position of Governor General of Equatoria (now part of South Sudan). In 1877 Gordon was appointed Governor of Turkish Sudan but left the post two years later due to difficulties with the new khedive of Egypt. Postings to India, China, Mauritius and South Africa followed. After a private sojourn in Jerusalem, where Gordon claimed the so-called "Garden Tomb" to be the burial site of Christ, he returned to Sudan as British commander in the Mahdist War (1881-99) and was killed in the Siege of Khartoum on 26 January 1885.

Folded and brittle. With several small tears (no text loss).

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