Lot 1181: Sartorius, George


2015-09-16 14:12:26


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Lot 1181: Sartorius George: (1790-1885) British Admiral Of The Fleet Who Was Present At The Surrender Of Napoleon Bonaparte To Captain Frederick Maitland At Rochefort During The Napoleonic Wars. An Interesting, Lengthy A.L.S., G R Sartorius, Four Pages, 4To, Bath, 15Th March N.Y. (C.1833), To Sir Robert Peel, Marked Private. The Admiral Commences His Letter 'Although Unknown To You Personally, & Probably So, Even By Name, Yet I Cannot Resist The Temptation Of Thanking You For The Honourable & Liberal Manner By Which Your Conduct Was Contrasted With That Of Others, When My Name, & What I Honestly Confess Is Also Of The Highest Value, My British Professional Rank, Became The Subject Of Discussion In The House Of Commons In Feby. Last' And Continues, In Part, 'I Wish To Stand Well In Your Opinion, Not Alone On Account Of Your Undoubted Great Talents, But More So Because I Respect Your Private Character - Permit Me Then To Say & If You Should Take The Trouble To Make Enquiries On The Subject, The Further Evidence Will Still More Satisfactorily Establish My Declaration; That In Accepting The Command I Now Hold (Totally Unsought By Me) I Have Been Guided By No Motives Of Selfish Ambition & Far Less, Of Mercenary Views. Having Mixed Much, Both Professionally & As A Private Traveller With The Nations Of The South I Have Seen Those Countries Blessed With Every Gift That A Most Benevolent Providence Could Pass Down Upon Those Lands, To Make Of Them A Paradise, But Instead Of A Paradise I Have Seen Those Lands, The Seat Of An Intolerable Political Tyranny, Of The Most Degrading Religious Bigotry & Of The Grossest Injustice & Prisons Filled For Crimes (So Called) Of Opinion Which The Murderer And The Robber Were Considered For Comparison As Far Less Guilty….I Have Looked At My Own Country….& Although Bereft Of A Thousand Advantages Of Sail & Of Climate Become By A Wholesome Form Of Government, Rich, Powerful & Intellectually Happy & The Only Prisoners & Exiles, The Offenders Against The Universal Laws Of Nature & Of God. During The Time I Commanded The Squadron….The Evil & Misery Of A Despotic Government Was Still More Closely Brought To My View. Our Ships Were Filled With The High & The Low, Young & Old For Opportunities To Pass Into Foreign Countries For Refuge & The Prisons Were Already Becoming Overflowingly Tenanted With The Less Fortunate….A Dawning Of Hope Of Better Days Opened Upon These Men & They Asked Me To Accept The Command Of Their Naval Forces. What Could Any Individual Possessing The Smallest Portion Of Philanthropy Or Of Legitimate Ambition Have Done Under Such Circumstances? What Could I, Knowing The Country, Personally Acquainted With So Large A Portion Of The Sufferers, Feeling Strongly The Cruelty Of Their Situation & (With Wise Management) Almost Sure Of Success, What Could I Have Done? Nothing But What I Have Done - But, That Not Even A Shadow Of A Mercenary Nature Might Attach To Me, Although, With No Private Fortune Of My Own I Gave Up Every Personal Guarantee For Any Future Loss Of My British Rank & Acted Against A Clearly Intimated Assurance From Other Quarters Not To Expect Protection From Them….Neither The Ingratitude Of The Nation I Am Now Serving Can Destroy, Or The Greatest Recompense They Can Confer, Equal; The Happiness Of Aiding In The Destruction Of Despotism & Freeing Thousands Of Imprisoned & Exiled Victims & Establishing A System Of Mercy & Moderation In The Room Of One Of Blood & Persecution. If The Cause Fails Honest & Good Men Will Say I Have Failed (I Shall Trust) Honourably & Nobly In A Just Cause….I May Add Also That I Feel Convinced Far Less Blood Will Be Shed For The Establishment Of Our Cause Than What Has Flowed For The Support Of That, Which Is Founded On Tyranny & Perjury….' A Letter Of Excellent Content. Some Extremely Light, Very Minor Traces Of Former Mounting To The Right Edge Of The Final Page, Not Affecting The Text Or Signature, Vg. Robert Peel (1788-1850) British Prime Minister 1834-35 & 1841-46. In 1831 Sartorius Was Engaged To Command The Small Fleet Of Dom Pedro, The Former Emperor Of Brazil, In The Attempt To Defeat His Brother Dom Miguel, Who Had Usurped The Throne Of Portugal. It Was Also The Intention To Install Pedro'S Daughter, Dona Maria Ii, As The Rightful Queen. Sartorius Successfully Occupied Porto By July 1832, However He Also Had To Contend With Many Difficulties - Promised Supplies Rarely Arrived And His Crews Consequently Became Mutinous Or Deserted. The Admiral Spent A Great Deal Of His Own Money In Keeping The Fleet Together, But When He Threatened To Sail Off With It Until He Was Paid, Dom Pedro Sent Two English Officers To The Flagship, One To Arrest Sartorius And The Other To Take Command. Sartorius Promptly Confined Them Both Aboard. In June 1833 Sartorius Handed Command Over To Sir Charles Napier. In Consequence Of Serving In The Armed Forces Of A Foreign Power, A Position Which Sartorius Defends In The Present Letter, His Name Was Struck Off The British Navy List As An Offence Under The 1819 Foreign Enlistment Act. He Was Not Restored Until 1836. International Autograph Auctions' Autograph Auction October 2015 Saturday, 3rd October 2015 Estimate: £250-350
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