December 11, 1882

General Charles "Chinese" Gordon Reveals He is Going to Palestine

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General Gordon regrets an invitation from Sir Samuel and Lady Baker: he is going to Palestine at the end of the month. He comments that affairs in Egypt are “inextricably entangled” and he cannot see how they will get out of the bungle. “Our present state is the fruit of a series of blunders which began with the Cave Mission [1876] and which have been ripening ever since. I am very glad I am quite out of it."
 
In Palestine, Gordon would fulfill a cherished ambition, searching to establish authoritatively the locations of the site of the crucifixion,  the line of division between the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, the identification of Gibeon, and the whereabouts  of Christ’s tomb. But his halcyon days in Palestine would be short-lived:  his own Calvary awaited him in Khartoum.

Autograph Letter Signed (“C.G. Gordon”), 3 pages, octavo, on black-bordered mourning stationery, 5 Rockstone Place, Southampton [England], December 11, 1882. To Sir Samuel Baker.

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Transcript

5, Rockstone Place,
Southampton. 

12.11.82

My dear Sir Samuel,

Thanks to you and Lady Baker for your very kind invitation, but I am sorry I cannot come down for I am going to Palestine at end of the month, and must go and see my Scotland Brothers and sisters, and also be as much with an invalid sister here as I can.

As for Egypt. I look on it as inextricably entangled regularly mulled, and I do not myself see how they will get out of the bungle. Our present state is the fruit of a series of blunders which began with the Cave Mission and which have been ripening ever since. I am very glad I am quite out of it.

With kindest regards to Lady Baker and yourself and sincere regrets I am obliged to refuse your very kind invitation.

Believe me
Yours sincerely,

C.G. GORDON