When he woke up again that afternoon, he found Gordon's body covered with flies and the head cut off. [27] Throughout his life, Gordon was always a keen amateur photographer and was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society to honour him for his Armenian photographs. [187] The British had decided to abandon the Sudan, but it was clear that Gordon had other plans, and the public increasingly called for a relief expedition. [50] The Ever-Victorious Army — which was inclined to looting — had been ordered not to enter Suzhou, and only Imperial forces entered the city. [40], Gordon was honest and incorruptible, and unlike many Chinese officers, did not steal the money that was meant to pay his men, but rather insisted on paying the Ever Victorious Army on time and in full. Official records suggest he was captured and a ransom was asked for, and when it was refused, Gordon was killed. [12] Gordon disobeyed orders and left on the first ship to China, an action that very much angered the Army's commander, the Duke of Cambridge. [40] Furthermore, Gordon worked for the Qing dynasty, who were Manchus, which has led many Han to see the entire Qing period between 1644 and 1912 as a long foreign occupation of China. [66] Gordon often spoke nostalgically of his service in China, and wished he could return to that country.[68]. [182], Gordon made all of his personal dispatches to London public (there was no Official Secrets Act at the time) in attempts to win public opinion over to his policy, writing on one dispatch: "Not secret as far as I am concerned". [166], Stead published his interview on 9 January 1884 on the front page of the Pall Mall Gazette alongside the leader (editorial) he had written entitled "Chinese Gordon for the Sudan". In Khartoum Gordon attended a dinner with the Governor-General, Ismail Aiyub Pasha, entertained with barely dressed belly dancers whom one of Gordon's officers drunkenly attempted to have sex with, leading to a disgusted Gordon walking out, saying he was shocked that Aiyub allowed these things to happen in his palace. [95], From Khartoum, he proceeded up the White Nile to Gondokoro. [84], The French-educated Isma'il Pasha greatly admired Europe as the model for excellence in everything, being an especially passionate Italophile and Francophile, saying at the beginning of his reign: "My country is no longer in Africa, it is now in Europe". [247], Strachey, a member of the Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals, depicted Gordon as a ludicrous figure, a bad-tempered, deranged egomaniac with a nasty habit of knocking out Arabs whenever he was unhappy, and who led himself into disaster. [43] At times, Gordon feared that assaults by the Taiping would take the Hyson, but all the attacks were repulsed. US election 2024: who are the likely Republican candidates to run for president against Joe Biden? [142], Gordon returned to Britain and rented a flat on 8 Victoria Grove in London. 0 3. [115], Gordon carried no weapons except for his rattan cane (though the bashi-bazouks were armed with rifles and swords), but Gordon showed utterly no fear while his interpreter and the bashi-bazouks were visibly nervous as the rebels numbered about 3,000. The Egyptian soldiers were miserable fallāḥīn conscripts who had no interest in being in the Sudan, much less in fighting the Mahdi and moral… [249] In 1953, the British novelist Charles Beatty published a Gordon biography His Country was the World, A Study of Gordon of Khartoum, which focused on Gordon's religious faith, but for the first time noted what a tormented figure Gordon was; a man of deeply felt Christian convictions, full of guilt and self-loathing over his own sinfulness and inability to live up to his own impossibly high standards over what a Christian should be and desperately longing to do something to expiate his sinfulness. [185], The ferocity of the Haddendowa attacks astonished the British, and Graham argued that he needed more troops if he were to advance deeper into the Sudan while one newspaper correspondent reported that the average British soldiers did not understand why they were in the Sudan killing "such brave fellows" for "the sake of the wretched Egyptians". Gale Gordon was born on February 20, 1906 in New York City, New York, USA as Charles Thomas Aldrich Jr. [195] During this period, Gordon was lionised by the British press, which portrayed him as a latter-day Christian "knight", a "crusader" and a "saint", a man of pure good, heroically battling the Mahdi, who was depicted as a man of pure evil. [174] Because his Turkish, Egyptian and many of his Sudanese troops were Muslim, Gordon refrained in public from describing his battle with the Mahdi as a religious war, but Gordon's diary showed he viewed himself as a Christian champion fighting against the Mahdi just as much for God as for Queen and country. He was shot! However, in 1953 the statue minus a large slice of its pedestal was reinstalled on the Victoria Embankment, in front of the newly built Ministry of Defence main buildings. His moods were capricious and uncertain, his passions violent, his impulses sudden and inconsistent. [220] In a sermon, the Bishop of Chichester stated: "Nations who envied our greatness rejoiced now at our weakness and our inability to protect our trusted servant. [62] Besides building forts, Gordon was engulfed in charity and religious fervour during this time. [200], On 24 January two of the steamers, under Sir Charles Wilson, carrying 20 soldiers of the Sussex Regiment wearing red tunics to clearly identify them as British, were sent on a purely reconnaissance mission to Khartoum, with orders from Wolseley not to attempt to rescue Gordon or bring him ammunition or food. In October 1880 Gordon paid a two-week visit to Ireland, landing at Cork and travelling over much of the island. ", Ghosts of Empire by Kwasi Kwarteng – review, "General Charles "Chinese" Gordon Reveals He is Going to Palestine", "Intended burning of Berber and surrender of Soudan", "Gordon, Charles George (1833–1885) Major General", "A Self-declared Pasha and African Explorer Is Killed", "Statue of General Gordon, Victoria Embankment Gardens", "Memorial to General Gordon, Brompton Barracks, Gillingham", "Tomb of General Gordon by Frederick William Pomeroy (1857–1924)", "Sudan. Major Charles George Gordon was born on January 28th, in 1833 in a place called Woolwich in London. In Constantinople he met Nubar Pasha, the Egyptian politician, and this led to his acceptance of an offer to succeed Sir Samuel Baker as governor of the Equatorial Provinces of the Sudan. In the months before the fall of Khartoum, Gordon and the Mahdi corresponded; Gordon offered him the Sultanate of Kordofan and the Mahdi requested Gordon to convert to his religion and join him, to which Gordon replied abruptly: "No! [84], At the end of his Governor-Generalship of the Sudan, Gordon had to admit that he had been a failure, an experience of defeat that so shattered him that he had a nervous breakdown. . [189], Gordon energetically organised the defence of Khartoum right from the moment he arrived in Khartoum, using his training as a military engineer to turn the city into a fortress. . [56] The savage Taiping Rebellion – which was the bloodiest war of the entire 19th century taking somewhere between 20 and 30 million lives – is largely forgotten in the West today, but at the time the civil war in China attracted much media attention in the West, and Gordon's command of the Ever Victorious Army received much coverage from British newspapers. Relations between Egypt and Abyssinia (later renamed Ethiopia) had become strained due to a dispute over the district of Bogos, and war broke out in 1875. [51], Gordon refused all these gifts and wrote on the Emperor's silk message: "Major Gordon receives the approbation of His Majesty the Emperor with every gratification, but regrets most sincerely that owing to the circumstances which occurred since the capture of Soochow, he is unable to receive any mark of His Majesty the Emperor's recognition". After meeting his old friend, Gordon assured Li that if Russia should attack he would resign his commission in the British Army to take up a commission in the Chinese Army, an action that if taken risked prosecution under the Foreign Enlistments Act. [92], The Egyptian authorities had been extending their control southwards since the 1820s. The employees sent by the Moldovan government to take over the ceded territory have been receiving bribes and trafficking in the most disgraceful manner. Gordon was quite critical of the way Chinese generals fought the war, observing that the Chinese were willing to inflict and accept gargantuan losses in battle, an approach Gordon disapproved of. [73], Gordon often said that he wished he had been born a eunuch, which has been taken to suggest that he wanted to annihilate all of his sexual desires, indeed his sexuality altogether. [71] Urban wrote that the best evidence suggests Gordon was a latent homosexual whose sexual repression led him to funnelling his aggression into a military career with a special energy. [122], In March 1880, Gordon recovered for a couple of weeks in the Hotel du Faucon in Lausanne, 3 Rue St Pierre, famous for its views on Lake Geneva and because several celebrities had stayed there, such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of Gordon's heroes,[123] and possibly one of the reasons Gordon had chosen this hotel. [130] A deeply depressed Gordon wrote in his letter declining the offer that he knew, for reasons that he refused to explain, that he had only ten years left to live, and he wanted to do something great and grand in his last ten years. What this almost certainly meant was that Gordon had unresolved homosexual inclinations which, like Kitchener, but unlike Rhodes, he kept savagely repressed. [12], Reference is made to an 1889 account of the General surrendering his sword to a senior Mahdist officer, then being struck and subsequently speared in the side as he rolled down the staircase. [47] The suffering of the Chinese people strengthened Gordon's faith, as he argued that there had to be a just, loving God who would one day redeem humanity from all this wretchedness and misery. At Cairo, he received further instructions from Sir Evelyn Baring, and was appointed governor-general with executive powers by the Khedive Tewfik Pasha, who also gave Gordon a firman (edict) ordering him to establish a government in the Sudan, which Gordon was later to use as a reason for staying in Khartoum. Gordon agreed with Lord Elgin that after the Chinese had killed a group of British and French officers travelling under a white flag to parley that a reprisal was in order, but called the burning of the beautiful Summer Palace "vandal-like" and told his sister in a letter "it made one's heart sore" to incinerate it. The Khedive Isma'il was deposed in 1879 in favour of his son Tewfik by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid II following heavy diplomatic pressure from the British, French and Italian governments after Isma'il had quarrelled with Baring. [233], The Corps of Royal Engineers, Gordon's own Corps, commissioned a statue of Gordon on a camel. After a spell back in England working on fortifying the Thames and philanthropy with under-privileged youths, he was invited by the Khedive of Egypt to rake up the governorship of Equatoria in Egyptian-occupied Sudan. The matter ended with Gordon's imprisonment and transfer to Massawa. [99], Gordon had succeeded in establishing a line of way stations from the Sobat confluence on the White Nile to the frontier of Uganda, where he proposed to open a route from Mombasa. [131], Hardly had Gordon resigned when he was invited to Beijing by Sir Robert Hart, inspector-general of customs in China, saying his services were urgently needed in China as Russia and China were on the verge of war. His body was never recovered after his death in the Sudan. Tiring of drawing maps, he requested to join the Arrow War (Second Opium War) in China, where he participated in the occupation of Beijing. [116] Gordon also promised that those rebels who laid down their arms would not be punished and would all be given jobs in the administration. Matters then remained quiet until March 1877, when Gordon proceeded to Massawa, hoping to make peace with the Abyssinians. "[229] The memorial is a Grade II listed building. [18] Despite the best efforts of the Allies, the French failed to take the Malakhov fortress while the British failed to take the Redan fortress on 18 June. [65] Outside of the Fort House were graffito written on the wall by one of the evidently less educated boys that read: "God Bless the Kernel". [96] Joining Gordon on the journey to Equatoria was his old friend Romolo Gessi and a former US Army officer, Charles Chaillé-Long, who did not get along well with Gordon. [184], The advance of the rebels against Khartoum was combined with a revolt in the eastern Sudan. [170] Gordon and Wolseley were good friends (Wolseley was one of the people Gordon prayed for every night), and after a meeting with Wolseley at the War Office to discuss the crisis in the Sudan, Gordon left convinced that he had to go to the Sudan to "carry out the work of God". [51] A Scotsman who knew Gordon in China wrote: "he shows the Chinese that if even an able and reliable man, such as he is, is unmanageable". His favourite books were The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Christ Mystical by Joseph Hall and the poem The Dream of Gerontius by John Henry Newman. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out that this is where Gordon’s story was heading in the final season? View the profiles of people named Charlie Gordon. He was an actor, known for Our Miss Brooks (1952), Here's Lucy (1968) and The Lucy Show (1962). In the early 1860s, Gordon and his men were instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion, regularly defeating much larger forces. [201] Gordon's death caused a huge wave of national grief all over Britain with 13 March 1885 being set aside as a day of mourning for the "fallen hero of Khartoum". In the words of the American historian Immanuel C. Y. Hsu, Gordon was a "man of action" unsuitable for a bureaucratic job. It arrived two days after the city had fallen and Gordon had been killed. [80] Popular legend has it that Gordon and Gessi broke into the pasha's palace at night to rescue the girl, but the truth is less dramatic. [252], More balanced biographies are Charley Gordon—An Eminent Victorian Reassessed (1978) by Charles Chenevix Trench and Gordon—the Man Behind the Legend (1993) by John Pollock. The Mahdi contemptuously rejected Gordon's offer and sent back a letter demanding Gordon convert to Islam. [140] Wade echoed Hart, writing that Gordon had changed since his last time in China, and was now "unbalanced", being utterly convinced that all of his ideas came from God, making him dangerously unreasonable since Gordon now believed that everything he did was the will of God. [2] All of Gordon's brothers also became Army officers. Gordon was summoned to Cairo, and arrived in March to be appointed president of a commission. Charles Gordon is one of the most famous of the Victorian British generals. [12], Gordon had a strong death wish, and clearly wanted to die fighting at Khartoum, writing in a letter to his sister: "I feel so very much inclined to wish it His will might be my release. [221] During a meeting in 1898 in Cairo where Churchill interviewed Baring to gather material for his 1899 book The River War, Baring challenged Churchill about his belief that Gordon was a hero. "[26], Afterwards, Gordon was sent to delineate the frontier between Ottoman Armenia and Russian Armenia, the highlight of which was tobogganing down Mount Ararat. [145], In a memo to London, Gordon warned against over-reliance on the Suez Canal, where the Russians could easily sink one ship to block the entire canal, thus leading Gordon to advise upon improving the Cape route to India with Britain developing a series of bases in Africa and in the Indian Ocean. Because many aspects of the Taiping ideology resembled Communism, the Taipings are treated sympathetically by Chinese historians who portrayed as them as prototypical Communists with Hong Xiuquan being depicted as anticipating Mao. With no opposition, he promptly declared a theocratic Islamic state, which he based in his new capital at Omdurman. During his time in Milford Haven, Gordon was befriended by a young couple, Francis and Anne Drew, who introduced him to evangelical Protestantism. [129] Gordon rejected Leopold's offers, partly because he was still emotionally attached to the Sudan and partly because he disliked the idea of working for Leopold's Congo Association, which was a private company owned by the King. [198] For example, Wolseley could have hired Egyptian boatmen who knew the Nile to serve as river pilots instead of bringing over voyageurs from Canada, who knew nothing of the Nile, and moreover Wolseley only called for the voyageurs after his arrival in Egypt. [14] Before 1870, there was no universal school system in Britain, and the Ragged Schools were a network of privately funded schools that gave a free education to children whose parents were too poor to afford the school fees. [174] Baring disapproved of sending Gordon to the Sudan, writing in a report to London that: "A man who habitually consults the Prophet Isaiah when he is in a difficulty is not apt to obey the orders of anyone". [197] Wolseley was a bureaucratic general whose talents lay in administrative work, and as a field commander, Wolseley was slow, methodical, and cautious, making him in the opinion of Urban supremely unqualified to lead the relief expedition as he found one excuse after another to proceed down the Nile at a sluggish pace.