1868. Autograph letter signed by Edward John Eyre, the renowned Australian explorer of southern Australia & New South Wales, and the first European to explore the coastline of the Great Australian Bight. Drawing upon his experiences overlanding sheep in the 1830's, Eyre (1815 - 1901) applied for the job of laying out an overland route to the west. In June 1840 the expedition started out but failed. Sending back all but Baxter & Wylie, Eyre set out from Fowlers Bay to cross the Great Australian Bight. After much hardship & losing Baxter, Eyre & Wylie ran into and were saved by a French whaler which gave them supplies to continue. This letter was written in the period following Eyre's governor ship of the colony of Jamaica, during which time he had brutally suppressed the Morant Bay Rebellion, using government troops to kill innocent men, women & children. Eyre returned to England (August 1866) where those who called him a murderer founded a committee calling for him to be put on trial; he was charged with murder twice, but the cases were never pursued.
The letter was written from 15 Charlotte Street, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, and dated 18th July 1868. Eyre comments on his journey from London to Edinburgh and thanks the recipient for "having my name put down for the Speaker's gallery for Thursday last". It is signed "Yours faithfully, E. Eyre". One can only imagine his journey was considerably easier than the trip from Adelaide to Perth!
Folded letter on cream colored note paper with oval embossed stamp at the top, bearing the motto "Si Je Puis". Note measures 3 3/4 x 6 1/8". With one horizontal fold, traces of blue paper adhering to verso, where letter was removed from an album. Very good condition. Item #17412