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    Description

    Charles G. "Chinese" Gordon Autograph Letter Signed "C.G. Gordon". One page, 7.75" x 12.25", Quinsan, July 17, 1863. The letter was written on July 17, 1863 in Quinsan during Gordon's campaign against the Taipings reporting the death of a fellow officer and asking Ewing to wind up his affairs in Shanghai. It reads: "He was a little out of sorts yesterday morning but no one thought anything of it till 12 noon when he came up in a hurried way to Moffit's room and laid down. From that hour he sank gradually without pain, and apparently perfectly sensible to the last half hour before his death, when he fell into a sort of stupor, and although I was holding his pulse when he died it was only by seeing the cessation of respiration that you could tell he had passed away . . ." In 1860, Gordon was posted to China as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force that was fighting the 2nd Opium War. Once peace was made with the Chinese Emperor, Gordon was appointed as the Commander of the 'Ever Victorious Army', a force of mercenaries that was led by European Officers. The EVA was trying to suppress the Taiping rebellion; this was a rebellion against the Manchus led by a 'messiah' who was trying to set up "God's kingdom on Earth". Gordon injected discipline and "steel" into the force. The EVA became a feared force and was instrumental in ending the rebellion. Gordon led the EVA into battle from the front carrying only a walking stick. When Gordon refused to allow the EVA to loot captured cities as the Manchus allowed, the EVA mutinied. Gordon suppressed the mutiny by first shooting dead one of the ringleaders and then threatening to shoot one of the mutineers an hour until the mutiny was over. It was over inside the hour. Soochow was captured by the EVA in 1864 after the Taipings surrendered to Gordon when he offered them safe conduct. Gordon was away on business when theManchus had the Wangs, the leaders of the Taipings, executed. Gordon was furious and promptly resigned his command. He only returned after being implored by the British and promoted to the rank of Mandarin in the Chinese army. He refused an offer of 100,000 gold pieces by the emperor. This reinforced Gordon's reputation as being incorruptible. Gordon became known as 'Chinese Gordon' in England. The British rewarded him with a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and he became a Companion of Honor. A scarce and representative letter from the legendary symbol of the zenith of the British Empire. Fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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