THE WORLD JOURNEY OF A. A. GORDON
Archibald Alexander Gordon started his journey in February 1889 onboard the P&O "Oriental", which travelled from the Thames (London) to Bombay (India). From there, Archibald explored India and Ceylon and travelled to Australia and New Zealand. Later he sailed along the Great Barrier Reef to Hong Kong and proceeded to Japan. A few weeks later, he travelled from Yokohama to San Francisco, where he travelled to Seattle and Vancouver, where he boarded the Canadian Pacific Railway to cross the continent. During his visit to America, he stayed in many big cities such as Chicago and New York and later in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa in Canada. Archibald met the famous Union General, William Tecumseh Sherman, in New York. General Sherman showed much interest in Archibald's family during a banquet for the Grand Army.
Archibald left America for the West India Islands, where he stayed in Trinidad with an uncle on his mother's side. Afterwards, he visited Jamaica, where he wanted to see the ruins of his maternal grandfather's plantation. His grandfather Archibald Dick had been one of the chief planters in the area of the Blue Mountains, but the abolition of the slave trade in 1834 ruined his business. He returned home to Scotland and died a poor man. His estate was known as the 'Windsor Castle estate' and was well known on the island. While consulting with the government of Jamaica, Archibald discovered that the area was transformed into a reserve. Authorities tried to discourage him from going and told him that the house probably was no longer there. Archibald wasn't discouraged; he found a 'buggy' and some mules and went off with a native guide to find the house. Together they travelled deep into the forest until the road ended. Archibald went on alone on foot, leaving his guide and carriage behind. While in the forest, he discovered a narrow path. Just around the corner, he saw a wooden shack under a vast banana tree with an old native sitting in front of it. The two men spoke to each other, and it became apparent that the ancient native had worked under many former enslavers on the Island. Archibald asked the older man for the names of his former masters, and surprisingly, his last master was Archibald Dick. The two talked for a while about life under the enslavers, and surprisingly, the old man said that he had had a much happier and fuller life while enslaved than the so-called ‘free’ life he was now living. Archibald revealed his identity and the native was sceptical at first but after a deep look hugged Archibald and said: "You are Massa's grandson". Then Archibald asked him if the old house of Windsor Castle was still standing in the area. The native confirmed it was still there and not far from their position. Together they visited the house, room by room. Archibald had departed from his guide and carriage for a long time now and felt he had to return to him before the man assumed him lost and went back to Kingstone alone. An emotional departure followed, of which Archibald wrote the following in his memoires:
"... started back for Kingston proud at having met and spent some time with one who had - even as an enslaved person! - served and loved my forbears well over seventy years ago. His emotion when he learnt so dramatically who I was, and his tears of sincere joy, will remain a delightful retrospect for me and enhance my opinion of the true man no matter his colour. I have one regret - I omitted to mention my old friend's name in my diary, and I forget what it was, alas!"
Presumed to be Windsor Castle estate in Jamaica.