In this series of letters Dr Henry McCormac reveals a deep interest in ameliorating the condition of the working class, particularly in his native Belfast. To this end he becomes involved in setting up a number of trading companies and makes visits to the homes of the poor. The work Owen is doing is generally praised by McCormac, but some of the letters point to a difference of opinion on a number of points.
One letter mention is made of John McCormac[k] the brother of Henry. John was a long term resident of Sierra Leone having moved there around 1810, and whilst there he filled a number of important positions including Police Magistrate. He died in England on 26 March 1865.