Lot 368: Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer (1786–1847) who perished, along with his entire crew, along the Northwest Passage. ALS, three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.25 x 9, July 31, 1834. Letter to G. W. Crowe, the English consul at Patras, about the war in Greece and Kolokotronis's trial for treason. In part: "I have within these few days received very gratifying letters from my wife though of late as late as 5th May she was preparing to avail herself of the first convenient conveyance to Greece…I have written fully to my wife in the letter committed to your kind care which I shall be obliged by your keeping for her if she be not with you or sending to her if she be in Greece, and I will write if possible another shorter one which I will thank you to send to the care of Mr. Wilkinson at Syra in case she should be still at that Island…I have now but little time or inclination to enter into the busy & changeable field of our Home Politicks, as far as I can gather the present Cabinet will be allowed to carry the half measures which they have proposed for the security of Ireland. Their continuance in office does not appear to be grounded on any very firm basis, and it is generally admitted they have lost a good head by the retirement of Lord Grey. The result of the trial of Colocotroni & Calliopoli is disgraceful to any mind conversant with British justice. Allowing the evidence to have been defective and the Judges to have been divided in opinion could any conscience reconcile the judgment of death upon them. The King has done wisely in commuting their punishment and I trust that one of the first acts of his assuming the Government will be the granting them pardon. As for de Wrede if he can be proved guilty & sent to the Galleys he will have richly deserved it. I am glad the other conspirators have been set free…I trust the Bavarian troops have been taught circumspection & the danger of treating an enemy too lightly by the transactions in Maina…My books I hear arrived safe but cannot as yet be presented while the King remains at Argos." Also addressed on the reverse of the second integral page in Franklin's hand and signed in the lower left of the panel. Intersecting folds, partial separation to adjoining fold, and a few repaired edge tears and paper loss from seal removal affecting a few words, otherwise fine condition. Franklin's wife Jane was also a famous traveler and this letter refers to her quarantine on the Aegean island of Syra, one of the locations travelers between the Near East and Europe were forced to wait out a quarantine period as outbreaks of the plague were still prevalent. He also offers his thoughts on the political situation in Greece, where the revered revolutionary Theodoros Kolokotronis was on trial for treason. A fascinating letter touching on several aspects of travel and world news in the early part of the 19th century.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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