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Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin
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James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine (1811-1863) was a British colonial administrator and diplomat, best known as the man who ordered the complete destruction of the Old Summer Palace in the Second Opium War by 3,500 British soldiers and Governor General of the Province of Canada and Viceroy of India. He became Governor of Jamaica in 1842, and in 1847 was appointed Governor General of Canada. In 1854, Lord Elgin negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States in an attempt to stimulate the Canadian economy. Later that year, he signed the law that abolished the seigneurial system in Quebec, and then resigned as Governor-General. In 1857, he became High Commissioner to China, and he visited China and Japan in 1858-59, where he oversaw the end of the Second Opium War and ordered the destruction of the Yuanming Yuan, the Old Summer Palace outside Beijing. He also signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Japan in August 1858, soon after the Harris Treaty. Amonst his other works are Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin.
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