[Major Douglas Thomson, Commissioner of Port Sudan.] Five Autograph Letters Signed (two each 'Douglas Thomson' and 'Douglas') one to Gladys and four to his sister, including three written from the Sudan and one from Abyssinia.
The five items are in good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper. ONE: To Gladys. 2pp., 16mo. Bifolium. Giving personal news. TWO: 2pp., 8vo. He describes matters at Lake Tana: 'At present we are stuck here while the Engineers do their part of the work. I had rather thought as had Pearson that he & I would have to do some travelling round to see various people & give them their presents but the A[byssinian]'s are very suspicious towards us like anything, & they dont want us to separate at all. [...] I will go & see Ras Waldo Giorgis who is the big man of the Lake country. It is a fine country [...] The people are not many tho, & rather lazy so that it is practically undevelopped.' Regarding the mail he writes: 'There are 2 armed men with it, but they say that these are more a temptation to brigands to capture than a safe guard. [...] In this country every one is a thief, & afraid of his neighbours, & people are put into chains or beaten for very little or no reason at all, except that the chief feels so inclined to do. As the Head does, so do each of his successive grades of leadership, oppressign & extorting.' THREE: 2pp., 4to. Regarding work on his house at Roseires, and its garden. FOUR: 2pp., 4to. The first two pages only, and so unsigned. He describes the weather in Simkat: 'Things have quieted down considerably, as the rains are over & the winter has set in. That means a cool north wind by day, no rain, & cold nights, so it is very pleasant.' He gives news of 'Matthew' and 'E'. The rest of the fragment deals with personal affairs and the news from Ireland ('the treatment of the Government almost persuades me to be a Sinn Feiner'). FIVE: 4pp., 8vo. A largely personal letter. 'I suppose mother told you that I was refused permission to go back to the job I was doing in Abbaba tho I was specially asked for. Well I have got so fed up with the way I have been treated, & left out in the wild which those that sit in the lap of luxury get promotion & rewards etc: that I have written in a letter of protest & if it does not bear fruit U an going to throw my hand in.' In May of 1933 Reuters reported that Thomson (who had 'considerable knowledge of the East and its languages') had been 'appointed by the Iraq Government to assist in the settlement of the Assyrian refugees in Iraq'.