LESSEPS Ferdinand de - Autograph Letter Signed 1869 from Suez
Ferdinand de LESSEPS (1805-1894)
Autograph Letter Signed (“Ferd. de Lesseps”) asking the Commandant of the Benares to bring the chief mechanic of the ship to dinner with him, adding in a postscript “the passage through the locks of the Suez canal of a Mediterranean convoy will take place at a quarter to four”.
1 page large 8vo in French, Suez, 29 August 1869.
Trans: “M. le Commandant of the Benares is requested to be kind enough to bring with him and the two officers who have been invited, the head mechanic of the steamer for dinner tomorrow at 7 o’clock at the Hotel Peninsula.” In a postscript he adds that “the passage through the locks of the Suez canal of a Mediterranean convoy will take place at a quarter to four”.
The Suez Canal was not officially opened until 17 November of this year, the French vessel, L’Aigle, with Empress Eugenie and de Lesseps on board, making the inaugural journey. The Benares may well have been present at an early test of the working of the locks, after the waters of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea had joined. In October 1869, an Australian newspaper reported that the Benares had arrived, with passengers bound for Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, after having stopped at Suez on 28 August, followed by Aden, Mauritius, and onwards to Australia.
The paper is somewhat browned at the original folds and the edges, but it is otherwise in good condition.
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