25 September 2008
EMIN PASHA (EDUARD SCHNITZER, 1840-1892)
Autograph letter signed ('Dr Emin Pasha') to Augusta Gordon, Wadelai, 17 August 1887, in English, 2 pages, 8vo. Provenance: Sotheby's sale, 20 July 1981, lot 327; the Spiro Family Collection.
MEMORIES OF 'CHINESE' GORDON. Writing as 'one who wanders over lonely paths, far off from the world and its turmoil', Emin Pasha condoles with Augusta on the death of her brother: 'Many, many times in our wanderings or at the camp-fire he spoke of you ... whoever had the honour of his intimacy will mourn him like a brother. He was one of those few privileged beings to whom God gave a child's heart in a man's body ... [he] was adored like a saint before he died like a martyr'. Turning to his own position, Emin writes 'I am now busy to put things in order here. As I am determined to hold out and to stand by my people I am naturally anxious that our relations to the indigenous populations should be most friendly ones'.
Emin Pasha was initially Gordon's chief medical officer, and subsequently his successor as governor of Equatoria. It was to a great extent the feelings provoked by Gordon's fate in Khartoum in 1885 which prompted Stanley's Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, which was already underway at the time of the letter -- unaware that, as this letter indicates, Emin had no particular desire to be rescued.
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