[1801 Autograph Document Signed by Alexander Lindsay, Earl of Balcarres, Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, Revolutionary War Officer, and Duelist of Benedict Arnold].
Lindsay put down an insurrection in Jamaica of free black slave descendants known as “Maroons”
The Earl of Balcarres and Benedict Arnold
Alexander Lindsay (1752–1825) was the 6th Earl of Balcarres, British army officer, veteran of the American Revolutionary War at the Battle of Saratoga, and Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica.
Lindsay is noted for having fought a duel with American General Benedict Arnold (1741–1801).
At the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, British troops under Lindsay’s command frustrated General Benedict Arnold’s attack, but later surrendered to the American forces. In England after the war, Lindsay was introduced by King George III to the by-then American traitor Arnold. Lindsay snubbed Arnold supposedly responding to the king’s introduction by saying “What, the traitor Arnold?”
A duel between Arnold and Lindsay followed. After Arnold fired, Lindsay refused to return fire and walked away saying “I leave you to the executioner.”
Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica
From 1795 to 1801, Lindsay served as lieutenant-governor of Jamaica and was promoted to lieutenant-general. In the Caribbean at this time, there were widespread rebellions among slaves.
Lindsay put down an insurrection in Jamaica of free black slave descendants known as “Maroons.” His heavy-handed reaction, use of dogs, and deportation of Maroons was controversial.
Here in this 1801 Autograph Document Signed, Lindsay approves payment to a deputy judge advocate for a court martial presided over by a Col. Carmichael. Lindsay boldly signs his name here in the style of a British peer: “Balcarres.”
The document is additionally signed by the deputy judge advocate, Aleyne Hampden Pye, acknowledging that he was paid £24 for allowances, document copying, and stationery.
Captain Pye, as he was ranked at this time, served many years in the British army in the West Indies. He was later Deputy Quartermaster General of Jamaica and, in 1821, was promoted to Major General.
Description: [1801 Autograph Document Signed by Alexander Lindsay, Earl of Balcarres, Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, Revolutionary War Officer, and Duelist of Benedict Arnold].
[Jamaica], May 14, 1801. pp. Quarto. English laid paper watermarked “1796.” Docketing on verso. Folds; some toning; very good with a bold signature.
Refs. ODNB and The Gentleman’s Magazine, January, 1833 (London, 1833), p95.