THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
NELSON, Horatio (1758-1805) Admiral. Autograph letter signed ("Horatio Nelson"), to John Campbell [12 March 1798]. 1 page, 4to, matted and framed with an engraving of Nelson, date supplied in another hand.
PRIZES, TEA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN CAMPAIGN: NELSON PREPARES FOR HIS FIRST VOYAGE AFTER THE AMPUTATION OF HIS ARM
Eight months after losing his arm to a musket ball in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Nelson is impatient to get back to sea. "Be so good as to copy the list of prizes from Augt 11th 1796," Nelson writes his secretary, "& let me have it tomorrow morning. We shall sail the moment the list gets to Portsmouth. She was expected to have been in the Downs yesterday. And the Adty are disappointed that She was not. The Tea I will buy of you with pleasure but I wish you had mentioned it before as I desired Capt. Berry to buy Tea in the Downs but I will have yours as I dare say it is much better than I can get elsewhere." Nelson thought both the loss of his arm and his loss of the battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife meant the end of his career. "A left-handed Admiral," he said at the time, "will never again be considered as useful, therefore the sooner I get to a very humble cottage the better, and make room for a better man to serve the state." His greatest victories were yet to come. A fortnight after this letter he set sail for the Mediterranean, in search of Napoleon's fleet. He found them and attacked at Aboukir Bay in the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. Campbell accompanied Nelson on this expedition, and sustained wounds aboard the Vanguard during the battle.