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Item Ref:  BSL - 1861 Horse Guards Letter

Lieutenant Colonel Duncan M. Bethune retires from the Horse Guards and can draw £4500 if he relocates to British North America and buys property there. 

Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bart.
Governor General of North America

Biographical Note on Sir Edmund Head

Sir Edmund Walker Head 1805–68 was British Governor-General of Canada (1854–61). An Oxford scholar and tutor, he published several books. His success as lieutenant governor of New Brunswick (1848–54) led to his appointment as governor-general of Canada in 1854. He faced difficult problems during his administration, primarily caused by the antagonism between French and British inhabitants and championed Confederation as well as western expansion of the railroads.  He also oversaw the choice of Ottawa and the Capital. Head sought to maintain regular everyday relations with the government of the United States. He had called on President Franklin Pierce in Washington in 1854 during the Crimean War, and was constantly anxious for the effect upon Canada of civil war between the North and the South which he long foresaw. His dispatches of 1860 and interviews during his brief return to London in the autumn of that year pressed upon the home government the urgency of safeguarding Canadian (and British) interests. When civil war did break out in 1861, Head’s last year of office, the vexed questions of effective defence for Canada and the public requirement of maintaining a steady neutrality towards the United States were his major preoccupations. He steadfastly refused to sanction public attempts to enlist men in Canada for the Northern armies, or to allow export of arms to any American source. The American Civil War had just commenced on April 12, 1861, just weeks before Lt. Colonel Bethune (ret) was to leave for Canada.

2 page Letter – Signed and Dated: April 30, 1861
Text as Follows:

Pro:Dept                                                         Horse Guards,
F/6                                                                    30 April 1861
North America
April 1861


Her Majesty having been pleased to approve of your retirement from the Service by the sale of an unattached Lieut Colonelcy for the purpose of settling in British North America, I am directed by the General Commanding in Chief to transmit to you the accompanying letter of introduction to the Governor of North America, in which His Royal Highness, although aware that there are no privileges in any part of British North America, has expressed the satisfaction it would afford him if Sir Edmund Head should have it in his power to promote your views in the acquisition of land in the Colony.

You are at liberty to draw on Messrs. Cox & Co., through your Half Pay Agent, for £3,000, being two thirds of the amount of the value of your Commission to which you are entitled the remaining third £1500 will be placed to your credit on your transmitting to Messrs. Cox & Co., a certificate from the Governor of North America showing that you are actually located there.
                                                            I have the honor to be, sir,
                                                                              Your obedient Servant
                                                                        W.F. Fosstre [signature]


Document Specifications:  Document measures approx. 8" wide x 12¾" tall (200mm x 330mm) and is partially printed and partially hand written on batonne laid paper with a Crowned Royal Seated Britannica in Oval  watermark as well as a maker's watermark "T & F H 1860". Docketing notation lower left states "Lieut Colonel, Duncan M. Bethune, hp 9 Foot".  In Very Fine Condition with small tear and tape residue on back blank page.

 Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd. .................................  $ Listed on eBay

End of Item - BSL - 1861 Horse Guards Letter

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