GORDON, Charles George, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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"Flight is only refuge"

GORDON, Charles George (1833-1885). 'Chinese Gordon'.
Autograph Letter Signed to his brother Henry, 1 page 8vo with integral blank (a little worn and faded), '9 AM / 9.1.84'. The letter announcing his flight from the publicity following the publication in the Pall Mall Gazette of Gordon's interview with W.T. Stead in which he had stated his views on the crisis in the Sudan.
The present letter is mentioned by Lord Elton (General Gordon, 1954, page 333). Gordon had decided to visit an old friend, The Rev R.H. Barnes the vicar of Heavitree, Exeter, where he planned 'to show him maps of the Garden of Eden and Holy Places' (Never to be Taken Alive, by Roy MacGregor-Hastie, 1985, page 154.)
'"Flight is only refuge". I go DV tomorrow to stay till Saturday with Revd R. Barnes, Heavitree, Exeter. I send a memo, to keep, and to which I will add to [sic]. ...'
A significant letter, written in some haste in the immediate aftermath of the general alarm caused by Gordon's interview in the Pall Mall Gazette in which, immediately before his own departure for the Sudan, he had asserted that an evacuation of Khartoum would be an act of folly.
 Gordon had first made the acquaintance of Barnes in the hotel Faucon, Lausanne, during a visit to Switzerland which he had undertaken in 1880 with his godson, Charlie Enderby, to visit prospective Swiss schools. Gordon and the clergyman became firm friends (inansmuch as Gordon was capable of friendship) and exchanged many letters. Gordon's letters to Barnes are now in the Boston Public Library.
[No: 22415]


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