Letter from Robert Dale Owen to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

This manuscript letter opens with discussion of recent events at the New Harmony [Indiana] community. Robert writes that Clark Taylor and the "whole set" have finally left the town and a bonfire [to celebrate] would have taken place, but the cold weather has left wood so scarce and expensive. He also remarks that he hopes William [Owen] will not take on too much responsibility and take on "heavier engagements".

Reference to the activities of Frances [Wright] follows, with Robert Dale noting that due to the letter he received from her being written shortly after her arrival in Haiti they are unaware how Frances meeting with the President [? of Haiti] went. Meanwhile President [Andrew] Jackson has spoken of Wright in "high terms" and requested she go to Washington - a sign that "prejudice is daily dying away".

Detailed discussion follows regarding Robert Dale's supposed involvement with a meeting where his name appeared as Secretary, and at which a number of "extravagant resolutions" were passed. He explains that his involvement was "purely accidental" and he has written to the leading papers in America to explain this. A detailed passage explaining the circumstances concerning the meeting follows and Robert Dale suggests placing this in the London papers [to distance Robert Dale from any involvement]. The passage explains that a "respectable and continually increasing party" named the Mechanics and Working Men's Party does exist and it has already gained interest from three papers in New York. The Party is one which advocates a "great national system of education" and shall no doubt exercise a "considerable existence" in this year's elections.

Robert Dale asks Owen if he could put him in contact with someone will acquainted with British politics and "liberal generally" with whom he could correspond and exchange information regarding the "political world" in America. Robert Dale would use the information in the course of his position in charge of a daily paper in America.

Robert Dale asks Owen to not mention his involvement with the daily press in America, because as yet his name does not yet appear and " it is very important for the present that it should not" as he can do more "behind the curtain".

The letter closes with Robert Dale writing of the very particular diet and exercise regime which he has 'used' to remedy himself from a recent illness. Regular horse riding for 10 to 12 miles was fortified with a breakfast of milk and water along with toast, rice and malt or barley and milk with hard biscuit for dinner and a repeat of milk and water with toast for supper. He explains he has "not now for months tasted anything else".


Stamped number: 215

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