Letter from James Kennedy to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter from the Assistant Secretary of the first Belfast Co-operative Society, which opens with news of the "very favourable" progress made by the Society; shares issued at £1 are now being worth £2 10s.

Discussion follows of Kennedy's thoughts of the present state of society in general, with Kennedy certain the "Government of this country cannot be carried out much longer without adopting the Community System". Lord Brougham, in his new position [as Lord Chancellor], offers "great hopes" believes Kennedy; he is a man of "comprehensive knowledge" and will understand that the "vast improvements" which have been made, and continue to be made, in machinery will soon "become unbearable". He will therefore be able to "avert the calamity which threatens".

Kennedy continues, writing that he wants every Co-operative Society in the kingdom to send a petition to the House of Lords and House of Commons to demand they support the uptake in the "system [co-operation] in some form".

Kennedy's explains he works for a Quaker, an "excellent individual", whose Christian beliefs have made him think less of Kennedy for the views he has been expressing. Kennedy hopes there will soon be a time when society exists so that "one may speak our minds without depriving ourselves of bread - and nothing but the Community system can accomplish this".


Stamped number: 413

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