Together 7 pages, 4to and 8vo." />
26 February 2004
GORDON, Charles G. (1833-1885). Two autograph letters signed ("C. G. Gordon") to Aunt Amy, Galatz, 18 November 1873 and Massawah, 6 January 1878. Together 7 pages, 4to and 8vo.
GORDON CONTEMPLATES AN OFFER AS GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE EQUATORIAL PROVINCES: "IT IS NOT SETTLED AT ALL FOR CERTAIN THAT I GO OR NOT." Gordon's intense religious devotion--for which Lytton Strachey skewered him mercilessly in Eminent Victorians--comes through powerfully in these two letters to his Aunt Amy. A decade prior to the Khartoum siege, and a decade after his exploits as the leader of the Ever Victorious Army in China, Gordon reflects on an offer to serve as governor of the equatorial provinces in Central Africa: "I got a letter from the Minister Nubar Pasha today, he is extremely kind about the matter, but it is not settled at all for certain that I go or not." Putting his fate completely in God's hand, Gordon says, "I am not sound in many ways. I accept that not a sparrow falls to the ground without His will, if so little a thing as that happens with His direction, everything that happens to us is with His will & therefore I accept anything that happens as directed by Him, and as far as I am concerned unavoidable." Gordon did go to Egypt at the beginning of 1874 and declined the offered salary of £10,000,taking only £2,000 instead. He resigned his post at the end of 1876 in frustration over the brisk trade in slaves in the region. The Khedive of Egypt pleaded with him to stay on, and in January 1877 Gordon saw his powers expanded beyond the equatorial provinces to include the Sudan, Darfour, and the Red Sea littoral. He continued to send his Aunt Amy his theological reflections: 6 January 1878: "we were pre-existent, were incarnated in sinful flesh and so were mysteriously incarnated in that flesh as to believe and feel we were one in body & soul. Whereas we are dual, being sinful in the extreme after the flesh, & perfect in our souls..."
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