Letter from Robert Dale Owen to Ann Caroline Owen

Scope and Content

This manuscript letter opens with Robert Dale writing of the "incipient nature" of his current occupations, with a daily article for the New York Daily Sentinel (for which he is the editor) to be written in addition to the running of his own free paper the Free Enquirer. The latter duty has become more pressing since Miss [Frances] Wright left for France with her sister and the partnership with Mr Jennings was dissolved.

Robert Dale continues by writing of his growing reputation in New York (as the editor of the Free Enquirer] which, despite him having being there for only 18 months, sees him as widely known there as his father is in England. He believes his "political influence" is equal to that of any other individual in New York, but wishes his mother to realise that such influence gives him "little satisfaction" as it is "difficult to use it for public good".

Robert Dale explains if he did not believe his presence in America to be "useful" in the cause of "practical democracy and education" he would willingly trade it for a quiet retirement. He does feel however he has "neither so much ambition nor so much perseverance" as his father.

Further discussion focusses on Robert Dale's personal situation. He writes of feeling homesick and of his closeness [to his sister] Mary [?] whom he misses greatly. He believes he not changed a great deal since leaving in 1825 and is sure his family would feel the same if they saw him but he is "very lonely" at present.


Stamped number: 291

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