Letter from Geo. A. Fleming to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter opening with Fleming referring to the dearth in information regarding Owen's "whereabouts and whatabouts". Fleming in his role as editor of the New Moral World is certain of his skills in "dishing up" the little information he receives, but states he cannot "cook out of nothing".

Fleming writes he hopes Owen will visit him in soon in Salford, where "events are every day occurring of the interest of our cause"; along with Mr [William] Clegg and Mr [John] Finch, he asks Owen to return so they can meet to organise Congress.

Fleming also writes of hearing of the availability of an Estate which he feels would be suitable for the building of a Community. Sited close to Burnley and Colne, containing 1000 acres - of which 500 is of excellent quality and the remainder medium, has 2 running streams and is well fixed for coal, lime and other minerals. The Estate was subject to an offer of £14000 some three years previous which was refused; Fleming believes the site to be "most admirably adapted" for their [National Community Friendly Society] needs, but warns nothing can be done without Owen being with them.

Fleming closes by making reference to the present popularity with the public in establishing of a 'Community'; everyone, he writes, is "Community mad" and Mr [Joseph] Smith is heading for Birmingham, Coventry and Worcester and then onto Yorkshire "with a large picture of Community - clad in Community Dress - to agitate the immediate establishment of Community; "the harvest is here - we only want reapers".

An annotated note in pencil, dated some years later in 19 Dec [18]71, explains it is likely that Owen did not go to see the Estate mentioned in this letter due to Owen being offered land at Queenwood by Anna Maria Goldsmidt. (the author if this note is unknown).


Stamped number: 1004