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EDWARD JOHN EYRE & GEORGE WILLIAM GORDON. - Gordon and Eyre. The Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society have received the following communication from Jamaica. "In a despatch from Mr. Eyre to Mr. Cardwell, dated January, 1866, the following paragraph appears. ' "It is also well known out here, that Mr. Gordon was universally regarded as a bad man in every sense of the word. ... The undersigned having resided in the Island for many years, ... do hereby protest against the foregoing allegations as made by Mr. Eyre, and declare them to be utterly without foundation. ...

Birmingham, printed by E.C. Osborne [1866]. Extra, extra, large broadside printed with wood type in two sheets, each 69x108cm (138x108cm put together). Old folds, some short splits in creases; rather good. ¶ Outraged citizens of Jamaica write to the outraged Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, protesting Eyre's calumny of Gordon after having him executed the previous October. Twelve respectable residents are named and another 116 also signed the letter. I'm not clear how Eyres characterisation of Gordon as an immoral adulterous lying swindling dishonest cruel vindictive hypocrite justified having him whisked off to Morant Bay where he could be tried by court martial and promptly hung but I guess every lawman knows that sometimes the end justifies the means. The push to have Eyre indicted for murder (there were another few hundred victims of his repression of a riot apart from Gordon) and the formation of a defence league pretty well divided the British cultural elite and saw Mill, Huxley, Darwin, Hughes and Bright ranged against Carlyle, Kingsley, Ruskin and Tyndall of the Eyre Defence Committee - a small sample from each. Eyre remained respectable in Australia into the 1970s, at least, when he appeared on a stamp while at about the same time Gordon appeared on the Jamaican ten dollar note. A coincidence? Even quite recently I saw a repetition of the example of Eyre's supposed humanitarian traits was that he took two Aboriginal boys with him when he left Australia, to be educated in England. Philanthropy like this is tricky these days, more likely to deserve a prison term than admiration. Worldcat finds copies of this at the British Library and Harvard; a further search finds that Princeton has a copy they claimed as the only recorded copy in North America in 2015. Havard was not going to bested by Princeton.
AUD 2500.00 [Appr.: EURO 1592.75 US$ 1927.78 | £UK 1366.25 | JP¥ 211511] Book number 10778

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