Alexander Gardner was a man of his time. He wandered the world in the 1800s dealing with Kings and Princes with their own kingdom who were above the law. With health and safety and political correctness he could not have got away with what he did. Like a latter secret service agent he roamed the world doing what he liked when he liked.
He was in gun and sword fights and spent the end of his life suffering with 14 wounds. It was said he was difficult to understand his speech because of a big gash in his throat, a wound collected in one his fights. To eat and drink he had to clamp a pair of forceps to his neck to close the wound.
He was a big bearded man, a warrior, a man of great physical strength. In 1841 he saved the City of Lahore where his comrades had deserted him, and he shot 300 of the enemy. He wrote a book chronicling the Fall of the Sikh Empire.
His Father was Scottish and his mother Spanish and he was born in Wisconsin US. For 13 years he wandered around Central Asia. He was captured in Afghanistan and recruited to command a small army. He married a local and had a son who were both killed.
Gardner wrote a journal: most of it lost. Extracts were published in 1853: the exploits were so incredible that many disbelieved them. He recalled his life recorded by several biographers, and these were published after his death in Soldier and Traveller
His personality is subsumed by his unbelievable exploits.
Pity: what motivated him to do what he did?
A swashbuckling wanderer apart.
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique