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William Augustus Gordon fonds (P172)

1758. - 1 textual record.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

A son of Captain David Gordon of the 47th Regiment of Foot, William Augustus Gordon came to North America with his father in 1750. The latter died on September 22, 1752 in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, at a relatively young age. William Augustus Gordon is supposed to have been born in 1739, based on the statement in Hake's "History of Chinese Gordon" that the Duke of Cumberland stood sponsor for him six years before 1745. However, army records reveal that he was appointed Adjudant in the 47th Regiment in 1745. Gordon would then have been only six years old, which casts doubt on his supposed 1739 birth date.

In 1755, William Augustus Gordon became a lieutenant in the 40th Regiment of Foot and fought with distinction at Louisbourg in 1758. He was with Wolfe's army at the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Promoted to the rank of captain in 1770, he retired from the military in 1776. He served with many units: the 47th, the 40th, the 72nd and the 11th regiments.

In 1773, William Augustus Gordon married Anna Maria Clarke and had four daughters and three sons. Of the sons, only the youngest, William Henry, born in 1786, lived to maturity. William Augustus Gordon died in 1809.

William Henry Gordon also embraced a military carrer and retired a Lieutenant-General. He died in 1865. William Henry's son, Charles George, became "Gordon of Khartoum," a famous British army officer and administrator remembered for his campaigns in China and northern Africa.

(Source: Journal in Nova Scotia Historical Society Collection, Vol. V, 1886-1887)

Scope and Content:

The William Augustus Gordon fonds contains information on the siege and capture of Louisbourg during the Seven Years War (1756-1763). It consists of a journal providing detailed descriptions of the British military operations, a description of the British forces and fleet, names of officers, a daily account of military activities and orders given, the final capture of Louisbourg, and the British terms of surrender followed by a list of casualties and losses of naval equipment.