Jamaica News, January 11, 2018
George William Gordon Letter to his Wife
“My Beloved Lucy, General Nelson has just been kind enough to inform me that the court-martial on Saturday last has ordered me to be hung, and that the sentence is to be executed in an hour hence, so that I shall be gone forever from this world of sin and sorrow.
I regret that my worldly affairs are so deranged, but now it cannot be helped. I do not deserve this sentence, for I never advised or took part in any insurrection; all I ever did was to recommend the people who complained to seek redress in a legitimate way, and if in this I erred, or have been misrepresented, I don’t think I deserve this extreme sentence. It is, however, the will of my Heavenly Father that I should thus suffer in obeying his command to relieve the poor and needy, and to protect, so far as I was able, the oppressed; and glory be to His name, and I thank Him that I suffer in such a cause. Glory be to the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and I can say that it is a great honour thus to suffer, for the servant cannot be greater than his Lord. I can now say with Paul, the aged, ‘The hour of my departure is come, and I am ready to be offered up. I have kept the faith, I have fought, a good fight, and henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give to me.’ Please to say to all friends an affectionate farewell, and that they must not grieve for me, for I die innocently. Assure Mr. Airy of the truth of this, and all others. Comfort your heart. I certainly little expected this. You must do the best, and the Lord will help you, and do not be ashamed of the death which your poor husband will have suffered. The judges seemed against me, and from the rigid manner of the court, I could not get in all the explanation I intended. The man Anderson made an unfounded statement; so did ‘Gordon’, but his testimony was different from the deposition. The judges took the latter and erased the former. It seemed that I was to be sacrificed. I know nothing of Bogle, I never advised him to the act or acts which have brought upon me this end. Please write to Mr. Chamerozow, Lord Brougham, and Messrs. Hencknell, Du Buisson, and company.
I did not expect that, not being a rebel, I should have been tried and disposed of in this way. I thought His Excellency the Governor would have allowed me a fair trial, if any charge or sedition or inflammatory language were partly attributable to me; but I have no power of control; May the Lord be merciful to him. General Nelson, who has just come for me, has faithfully promised to let you have this; May the Lord bless him, and the soldiers and sailors, and all men. Say farewell to Mr. Phillipps, and also Mr. Licard, an aunt, and Mr. Bell, Mr. Vinen, Mr. Henry Dalouse, and many others whom I do not now remember, but who have been true and faithful to me.
As the General is come, I must close. Remember me to Aunt Eliza in England, and tell her not to be ashamed of my death. And now, my dearest one, the most beloved and faithful, the Lord bless, keep, preserve, and keep you. A kiss for dear mamma, who will be kind to you, to Janet. Kiss also Ann, Janet, say good-bye to dear Mr. Davison, and all others. I have only been allowed one hour. I wish more time had been allowed. Farewell also to Mr. E. C. Smith, who sent up my private letter to him, and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all.
Your truly devoted and now nearly dying husband,
Geo. W. Gordon
I asked leave to see Mr. Panther, but the General said I could not. I wish him farewell in Christ. Love to all. Remember aunty and my father.
Mr. Ramsey has for the last two days been kind to me, and I thank him.”