Guide to the papers of Sir Arthur Gordon (as filmed by the AJCP)


M1628 - M1637

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Online Items

Series Add MSS 49199-49285. Stanmore Papers, 1855 - 1912

Subseries Add MS 49199. Correspondence on official subjects (258ff.), 1867 - 1878

Papers on annexation of Fiji, appointment as Governor, selection of staff, powers of High Commissioner for Western Pacific, 1875 Pacific Islanders Protection Bill, impressions of Fiji, Gordon's interest in transfer to another colony, problems arising from publication of despatches, establishment of capital at Suva, ordinance on employment of immigrants in Fiji, honours, land disputes, New Guinea scheme of Australasian Colonization Company, Indian emigration to Fiji, Western Pacific Order in Council, and policy of Government on Samoa. Correspondents include Lord Carnarvon, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Sir Robert Herbert and R. Meade.

Subseries Add MS 49200. Correspondence on official subjects (304ff.), 1878

Papers on relations with United States and Germany concerning Samoa, Indian migration to Fiji, Australian proposals for annexation of New Guinea, Pacific labour trade, accounts of High Commission for Western Pacific, independence of New Hebrides, publication of Polynesian dictionary, Fijian finances, changes in Legislative Council, negotiation of treaties with Samoa and Tonga, appeals from Supreme Council of Fiji, land claims, Torres Strait pearl fisheries, seizure of Iserbrook, appointments, withdrawal of detachment of Royal Engineers, and preservation of law and order in New Guinea. Correspondents include Gordon, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Sir Robert Herbert, J. Bramston and E. Wingfield.

Subseries Add MS 49201. Correspondence on official subjects (318ff.), 1879 - 1883

Papers on establishment of consulates, relations with King of Tonga, negotiations with chiefs of Rotumah, Fijian finances, relations with naval authorities in Pacific, appointment as Governor of New Zealand, retention of control of land questions and native affairs in Fiji, appointment of Sir William Des Voeux as Governor of Fiji, native disturbances in New Zealand, honours, 1881 expedition against Parihara, resignation of J. Hall as Premier, Gordon's dislike of responsible government, Pacific labour trade, protection of Maori lands, accounts of High Commission for Western Pacific, proposals for annexation of New Guinea. Correspondents include Lord Carnarvon, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Lord Kimberley, Lord Derby, Sir Robert Herbert, R. Meade and J. Bramston.

Subseries Add MS 49203. Letters from Sir William MacGregor (326ff.), 1879 - 1912

Letters written from Fiji (ff.1-165), New Guinea (ff.166-267), Lagos (ff.268-273), St. John's, Newfoundland (ff.274-301) and Brisbane (ff.302-326). They deal with affairs of Fiji, difficulties of High Commission for Western Pacific, Sir William Des Voex, Sir John Thurston, affairs of D. Wilkinson, Gordon's work in Ceylon, Federal Council of Australasia, appointment in New Guinea, travels in New Guinea, relations with Queensland, missionaries, Sir Henry Norman, Australian federation, books, land regulations, Reverend W.G. Lawes, Anglo-Australian relations, British politics, Lord Dudley, possible abolition of State Governors, Australian Labour Party and New Guinea, Queensland University, Queensland politics and Lord Denman.

Subseries Add MS 49204. Letters of Sir John Thurston (214ff.), 1875 - 1890

Letters concerning Fijian mail contract, criticism of Thurston by Colonial Office, proposals for annexation of Samoa, land sales, relations with chiefs, W. MacGregor, W. Des Voeux, annexation of Rotumah, finances, native policy, Wesleyan missionaries, Gordon's troubles in New Zealand, 1881 hurricane, activities of Fijian Legislative Council, Reverend S. Baker and Tongan Mission, petition seeking self-government, judgements of Sir Henry Wrenfordsley, Sir Charles Mitchell and attempted murder of S. Baker in 1887.

Subseries Add MS 49205. Letters of Fijian officials (217ff.), 1875 - 1887

Correspondence with Sir William Des Voeux, 1880-1883 (ff.8-24), J. Gorrie 1875-1887 (ff.25-79), W. Carew, 1875-1876 (ff.80-109) and D. Wilkinson, 1875-1887 (ff.110-217)...

Subseries Add MS 49206. Correspondence concerning New Zealand, 1880 - 1885

Papers, including records of conversations, concerning changes in Government, disqualification of H. Taiarora from sitting in Legislative Council in 1880, appointment of J. Bryce as Minister of Native Affairs in October. 1881, possible establishment of French protectorate over Hervey Group, constitutional relations between Governor and Ministry, travels of J. Hall in New Plymouth district, publication of cable to Lord Kimberley in Lyttelton Times, opening of 1882 Parliament, resignation of Hall Ministry in April 1882, reform of Legislative Council, formation of new Ministry, criticisms by Whitaker Government in 1883 of papers on native affairs and imprisonment of Maoris, and complaints of Sir James Prendergast about Gordon's criticisms of his actions in 1881. Correspondents include J. Hall, H. Taiaora, F. Whitaker, Sir William Jervois, Sir James Prendergast and F. Murray...

Subseries Add MS 49209. Special Correspondents, 29 May 1873 - 27 January 1882

Filmed selectively.

Gordon to [unknown], n.d.: revenue; public works and schools in Fiji (incomplete) (File f.20)
Gordon (Wellington) to W.E. Gladstone, 27 January 1882 (File ff.21-23)

Administration of Jamaica; racial divisions. (incomplete).

Agnes Wickham to Gordon, 30 December 1875 (File ff.69-70)

Requests help for W. Lyttelton returning to Fiji.

Lord Salisbury to Gordon, 20 November 1878 (File f.79)

German Government and Samoa.

Lord Salisbury to Gordon, 17 January 1879 (File ff.80-81)

Appointment of consul.

Lord Salisbury to Gordon, 13 June 1879 (File ff.84-87)

Need to increase British power at Tonga and prevent German annexation.

Lord Salisbury to Gordon, 17 June 1879 (File ff.88-90)

Meeting with German Minister about Tonga; Pacific large enough for both Britain and Germany.

Duke of Argyll to Gordon, 29 May 1873 (File ff.111-113)

Governorship; Gordon's preference for despotic or personal power rather than constitutional governship.

Archbishop A.C. Tait to Gordon, 2 April 1879 (File ff.153-155)

Wishes to discuss Fijian missionary and ecclesiastical matters.

Subseries Add MS 49216. Correspondence with Bishop A. Barry, 12 September 1878 - 21 April 1884

Filmed selectively.

A. Barry (Worcester) to Gordon, 12 September 1878 (File ff.169-70)

Refers to Gordon's work in Fiji.

A. Barry to Gordon, 2 November 1882 (File ff.173-174)

Gordon's return to England; Sydney business has shaped itself oddly.

A. Barry to Gordon, 6 December 1882 (File ff.175-176)

Refers to nomination as Bishop by Sydney Synod.

A. Barry to Gordon, 10 January 1883 (File ff.177-179)

Urgings of archbishops and bishops to accept Sydney appointment; letter from Bishop J. Moorhouse.

A. Barry to Gordon, 27 January 1883 (File ff.181-182)

Difficulty of decision; Sydney appears to be his vocation.

A. Barry (Aix-les-bains) to Gordon, 10 September 1883 (File ff.183-184)

Believes he has made the right decision; consecration.

A. Barry (Sydney) to Gordon, 21 April 1884 (File ff.185-187)

Enthusiastic welcome in Australia; Holy Week services; Bishopscourt; beauty of Sydney.

Subseries Add MS 49217. Correspondence with Lord Selborne (260ff.), 1855 - 1878

Correspondence concerning inter alia offer of Governorship of South Australia in 1873, differences between governing crown colony and constitutional colony, appointment as Governor of Fiji, Lord Carnarvon, enjoyment of work in Fiji, finances, conflict with mountain tribes, criticisms of Blue Book on Fiji, Privy Council, judgments on Church question, Eastern question, powers of High Commissioner for Western Pacific, Colonial Office views on native rights, danger of native war, return to England in 1878, British politics, and suggestion by W.E. Gladstone that Gordon re-enter Parliament.

Subseries Add MS 49218. Correspondence with Lord Selborne (235ff.), 1879 - 1884

Letters written from Fiji, New Zealand, Ascot and Ceylon concerning Fijian legislation, British politics, Gordon's future career, possible appointment as an Australian Governor, appointment as Governor of New Zealand, failings of W. Des Voeux, supervision of native affairs in Fiji, relations with Des Voeux, duties and impotence of Governor in New Zealand, dangers of native war, books, recollections of Lord Aberdeen's administration, relations between High Commissioner for Western Pacific and Commodore, interest in Governorship of Madras, visit to Fiji in 1881, reasons for declining Governorship of Jamaica, effect of telegraph in distorting news from New Zealand, quarantine in Sydney in September 1882, affairs of Tonga, final visit to Fiji, appointment as Governor of Ceylon, annexation of New Guinea by Queensland, Fijian land claims, and work in Ceylon. Includes copies of letters to W.E. Gladstone, Lord Kimberley and Sir Robert Herbert and copies of letters of W. Des Voeux and J.B. Thurston.

Subseries Add MS 49219. Correspondence with Lord Selborne, 5 January 1885 - July 1886

Filmed selectively.

Gordon to Lord Selborne, 5 January 1885 (File ff.1-4)

W.E. Gladstone; visit of General. P. Scratchley; German annexation of north-east New Guinea; Scratchley's financial dependence on Australian colonies; immorality of making over millions of New Guinea to tender mercies of Australian mob.

Gordon to Lord Selborne, February 1885 - March 1885 (File ff.8-28)

American, Australian and German land claims in Fiji; reference by Bismarck to proclamation of Sir Hercules Robinson; New Guinea Council of Advice; Egyptian debate; possibility of war with Russia; detention of Arabi and other Egyptian exiles in Ceylon. (3 letters).

Gordon to Lord Selborne, April 1886 - July 1886 (File ff.72-112)

Remarks by Sir Henry James on Gordon's conduct concerning libel published by G.W. Rusden; background to Bryce-Rusden case; possibility of J. Bryce bringing action against Gordon; despair at triumph of wrong in New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji; death of L. Tennyson; appointment of C. Mitchell as Governor of Fiji; relations with G.W. Rusden; Irish Home Rule; W.E. Gladstone; Church Disestablishment; hopes for peerage; weak support of Colonial Office for Gordon's system in Fiji; transfer of New Guinea to Queensland control; publication of memoir of Sir Peter Scratchley. (9 letters)

Subseries Add MS 49221. Correspondence with Sophia Palmer, 13 August 1881

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Gordon (Wellington) to Sophia Palmer, 13 August 1881 (File ff.11-18)

Isolation of Antipodes; dislike of Wellington and New Zealand scenery; Parliament mostly composed of drunken, ignorant, corrupt boors; decline in quality of bishops; books; unenviable role of constitutional governor.

Subseries Add MS 49224. Correspondence with Shaw-Lefevre Family, 20 November 1872 - 11 July 1881

Filmed selectively.

Hamilton to Gordon, 21 August 1875 (File ff.147-48)

Refers to sickness in Fiji.

D. Gordon to Gordon, 9 December 1875 (File ff.149-50)

Inquires about life in Fiji; book by Forbes.

D. Gordon to Gordon, 28 August 1876 (File ff.155-56)

War in Fiji; recommends clergyman.

Sir John Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 20 November 1872 (File ff.234-235)

Offer of Governorship of South Australia; advantages of climate and prosperous community; Parliament might be no more frustrating than partially elected council or jealous subordinates.

Sir John Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 20 August 1877 (File ff.243-244)

Visit of A. Maudsley; non-employment of military by Gordon; British politics.

Gordon (Nasova) to Sir John Shaw-Lefevre, 29 April 1878 (File ff.247-248)

Plans for return to England.

Sir John Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 10 September 1878 (File f.251)

Publication of Fijian poems.

Sir John Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 19 December 1878 (File ff.254-255)

Lecture by Gordon on Fiji.

Gordon (Nasova) to Lady Shaw-Lefevre, 2 October 1880 (File ff.258-259)

Appointment to New Zealand, children.

Gordon (Wellington) to Lady Shaw-Lefevre, 22 May 1881 (File ff.260-261)

Arrival of family.

A. Gunther (British Museum) to Mary Shaw-Lefevre, 11 June 1877 (File ff.281-282)

Thanks for Fiji paper; sea-serpent; death of tortoise from Corf Island.

G. Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 18 December 1878 (File ff.285-286)

Lecture by Gordon on Fiji.

G. Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 18 September [1880] (File ff.287-292)

Gordon's appointment as Governor of New Zealand; disappointment over omission from Cabinet; Commodore Wilson.

G. Shaw-Lefevre to Gordon, 11 July 1881 (File ff.293-299)

Gordon considered for Governorship of Madras; Governorship of Jamaica; opposition in the House of Commons to Governor of New Zealand being High Commissioner for Western Pacific; British politics.

Subseries Add MS 49225. Correspondence with Lady Gordon (338ff.), 1868 - 1882

Correspondence concerning visit of Lady Gordon to New Zealand in 1877; voyage across Pacific in 1879; Samoan treaties; family news; hopes of uniting Fijian post with Australian governorship; visit to Rotumah; plans for family to join Gordon; arrival in New Zealand in 1880; W. Des. Voeux; impressions of Wellington; servants; uncertainty of degree of control over Fiji; dreary social events; ugly scenery of North Island; Government House; dislike of New Zealand climate; F. Murray; visit to Fiji in 1881; Sir George Grey; visit to Fiji and Tonga in 1882; S. Baker; W. MacGregor; J.B. Thurston; furture plans; visit to Sydney in September 1882.

Subseries Add MS 49228. Part 2 Correspondence of Lady Gordon and Lady Ryan, 1875 - 1876

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Letters of Lady Gordon to Lady Ryan, 1875 - 1876 (File ff.403-637)

The letters refer to the voyage to Australia, Sir Hercules Robinson, Lady Robinson, social activities in Sydney, sightseeing, arrival of Gordon in Fiji, death of Commodore J. Goodenough, arrival in Fiji in September 1875, residence, servants, dinners with chiefs, Gordon's staff, daily routine, Fijian Royal Family, food, travels, heat, finances, Sir William and Lady Hackett, A. Maudsley, epedemics, visit to Suva, communications with Australia and New Zealand, plans for visiting New Zealand, family news, Corry Gordon.

Subseries Add MS 49229. Part 1 Correspondence of Lady Gordon and Lady Ryan (251ff.), 1877 - 1882

Letters written by Lady Gordon in Fiji, Melbourne and New Zealand referring to visit to New Zealand in 1877, Sir George Grey, 'Auckland the stupidest place I ever was in', Mrs J.R. Selwyn, changes in staff, Lady Nicolson, Capt. Knollys, children, social activities, J.B. Thurston, plans for return to England, Government House in Wellington, daily routine, impressions of Wellington, humiliating position of Governor, English news, G.W. Rusden 'a clever man but odious', Maori land disputes in Taranaki, offer of Governorship of Jamaica, visit to Christchurch, Christchurch Cathedral, opening of 1882 Great Exhibition, arrangements for return to England, Gordon's visits to Fiji and relations with Sir James Prendergast.

Subseries Add MS 49229. Part 2 Correspondence of Lady Gordon and Lady Ryan, 31 August 1882 - 9 September 1882

Filmed selectively.

Lady Gordon (Sydney) to Lady Ryan, 31 August [1882] (File ff.252-55)

Quarantine of Gordon due to small-pox scare; children; social activities.

Lady Gordon (Sydney) to Lady Ryan, 9 September [1882] (File ff.256-61)

Continuance of quarantine; Commodore's house; ball.

Subseries Add MS 49230. Correspondence of Lady Gordon with her family, 1876 - 1882

Written in Fiji and New Zealand, the letters refer to family news, W. Des Voeux, Gordon's plans, restricted role of Governor in New Zealand, servants, plans for return to England in 1878, social life, Government House at Fiji, horses, move to Suva, books, Gordon's travels in Fiji, 1876 war, officials, A. Maudsley, Fijian curios, visit to Christchurch in 1882...

Letters of Lady Gordon to Lady Shaw-Lefevre, 1876-1882 (File ff.64-81)
Letters of Lady Gordon to Madeleine Shaw-Lefevre, 1876 - 1882 (File ff.157-225)

Subseries Add MS 49231. Correspondence of Lady Gordon with her family, 1876 - 1882

Filmed selectively.

Lady Gordon (Nasova) to Maria Shaw-Lefevre, 23 May [1877] (File ff.58-61)

Social activities; Fiji races; visit of Samoan chiefs.

Lady Gordon to Maria Shaw-Lefevre, 14 February [1878] (File ff.62-66)

Visit of Gordon to Samoa; horse races; books; plans for return.

Lady Gordon (Nasova and Wellington) to Mary Shaw-Lefevre, 1876 - 1882 (File ff.200-243)

War in Fiji; Fijian curios, children, clothes, plans for visit to New Zealand in 1877, war canoes, Royal Family; visit of Gordon to Tonga; visit to Christchurch; future appointment for Gordon, Corry Gordon.

Subseries Add MS 49232. Correspondence of Lady Gordon with her family, 1875 - 1882

Written in Fiji, New Zealand and Sydney, the letters refer to first impressions of Suva, children, staff, J.B. Thurston, cannibalism, food, Baron von Hugel, social gatherings with wives of chiefs, poor communications in Fiji, travels, race relations, visit to New Zealand in 1877, impressions of Auckland, Sir George Grey, Fijian upper classes, visit of Samoan chiefs, visit to Christchurch in 1882, plans for return to England, and quarantine at Sydney...

Letters of Lady Gordon to Emily Shaw-Lefevre, 1875 - 1882 (File ff.33-123)
Letters of Lady Gordon to Sophia Palmer, 1876 - 1877 (File ff.325-336)

Subseries Add MS 49236. General Correspondence, 1871 - 1876

Correspondence concerning inter alia legislation on the administration of justice in Fiji (1874), appointment of Gordon as Governor, botanical collection, Pacific labour trade, death of Commodore J. Goodenough, Samoan constitution, affairs at Seychelles, Gordon's Knighthood, and offer of Governorship of South Australia...

Subseries Add MS 49237. General Correspondence (263ff.), 1876 - 1878

Correspondence concerning military matters, Pacific labour trade, missions, Gordon's relations with Fijians and European settlers, disturbances in highlands, affairs of Seychelles, labour troubles of planters, interest in Fiji of Aborigines Protection Society, possible annexation of Samoa, French ambitions in New Hebrides, Victorian politics, affairs of New Caledonia, appointment of Deputy High Commissioner for Western Pacific, interest of Australian Colonization Committee in New Guinea, Colonial Office regulations on naval visits, appointment of Sir George Bowen as Governor of Mauritius, and return of Gordon to England in 1878...

Subseries Add MS 49238. General Correspondence (280ff.), 1879 - 1880

Correspondence concerning affairs of Samoa and Tonga, Fijian civil service, German interests in Pacific, French ambitions in New Hebrides, paper by Gordon on taxation in Fiji, affairs of Seychelles, possible appointment of Gordon as Governor of N.S.W., proposed Land and Credit Company, inquiry by Wesleyan Mission into affairs at Tonga, Gordon's arrival in New Zealand, and Polynesian labour in Hawaii...

Subseries Add MS 49239. General Correspondence (258ff.), 1881 - 1883

Correspondence concerning affairs at Tonga, Melanesian Mission, resolutions of 1881 Intercolonial Conference on High Commissionership, native land purchases in New Zealand, activities of Reverend S. Baker and Wesleyan Missionary Society, French interests in Rarotonga, protection of New Guinea natives from European adventurers, Isabella massacre, establishment of Naval Reserve at Suva, labour trade at New Hebrides, Fijian affairs, New Zealand politics, visit of HMS Espiegle to New Hebrides, Gordon's quarantine at Sydney in 1882, jurisdiction of N.S.W. Supreme Court over acts committed on high seas, seizure of British plantation at Samoa, annexation of New Guinea by Queensland, and German land claims in Fiji...

Subseries Add MS 49240. General Correspondence, 2 April 1884

Filmed selectively.

N. de Miklouhou-Maclay (Sydney) to Gordon, 2 April 1884 (File ff.34-35)

Visit to New Guinea; Maclay Coast Scheme; annexation of New Guinea by Queensland.

Subseries Add MS 49241. General Correspondence, 9 February 1887 - 11 October 1887

Filmed selectively.

Draft instructions on investigation of affairs of Bua estates in Fiji and management of E. Wilkinson (File ff.41-46)
C. Mitchell (Fiji) to Gordon, 9 February 1887 (File ff.105-107)

Departure of G. Le Hunte; travels in Fiji; inadequate revenue; J.B. Thurston and other officials.

G. Smith (Levuka) to Gordon, 24 May 1887 (File ff.171-178)

Sends reports on Bua estates; rubber, coffee.

C. Mitchell to Gordon, 8 June 1887 (File ff.179-181)

Journey across Viti Levu; problems of Fijian adminstration; departure of J.B. Thurston for Washington; Tonga and Samoa.

G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 27 June 1887 (File ff.208-209)
G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 19 July 1887 (File ff.218-219)
G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 9 August 1887 (File ff.223-226)
G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 30 August 1887 (File ff.240-241)
G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 13 September 1887 (File ff.244-248)
G. Smith to Gordon: report of Bua estates, 11 October 1887 (File ff.251-252)

Subseries Add MS 49242. General Correspondence, 1 November 1889 - 24 June 1912

Filmed selectively.

Leefe (Tonga) to Gordon, 1 November 1889 (File ff.45-49)

Change in Leefe's views on Gordon's taxation scheme in Fiji; strength of chiefs in Fiji compared with chiefs in Tonga; decline of Tongan society under rule of dishonest missionary.

Gordon to Editor, Times, n.d. (File ff.88-95)

Resumption of labour trade in Queensland. (draft).

F.A. Jackson (Fiji) to Stanmore, 1 December 1895 (File ff.144-56)

Change in Jackson's views on native tax policy; attacks on policy by J.F. Hogan and W. Fillingham Parr.

Correspondence on Native Labour Ordinance (incomplete), [1895] (File ff.162-64)
W. Allardyce. Notes on Fijian despatch. (File ff.197-204)
Stanmore. Draft notes or speech on memorandum of Sir Henry Jackson on native taxation in Fiji, n.d. (File ff.205-11)
H.W. Just (Colonial Office) to Stanmore, 2 October 1911 (File ff.325-26)

Criticisms by Sir H. May of Stanmore's land policy in Fiji.

H. Lambert (Colonial Office) to Lord Stanmore, 24 June 1912 (File ff.327-29)

Sends speech by Governor of Fiji and resolution of Council of Chiefs on death of Stanmore and erection of memorial at Suva.

Subseries Add MS 49245. Letterbook (144ff.), February 1880 - October 1880

Letters by Gordon concerning Wesleyan Mission and Reverend S. Baker, removal of R. Swanston from Apia, Gordon's plans for future career, his fears of effects of his departure from Fiji, declaration on Fijian land tenure, toleration of native customs in Rotumah, ratification of treaty with Tonga, resignation of Attorney-General, appointment as Governor of New Zealand, and retention of supervision of Fijian native affairs...

Subseries Add MS 49246. Letterbook (75ff.), November 1880 - December 1882

Letters by Gordon concerning his appointment as Governor of New Zealand, confusion about his powers in Fiji, his relations with W. Des Voeux, treaty with Tonga, unhappiness in New Zealand, offer of Governorship of Jamaica, failure of New Zealand Government to consult Governor, resignation of Hall Government, Gordon's account of Maori arrests, and relations between W. Des Voeux and Sir John Gorrie...