Letter from William S. Peters to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

In this lengthy manuscript letter Peters writes of his willingness to give Owen land in the state of Texas on which to carry out the "operations" of his Association.

Peters provides a detailed description of the land, which is some 17,000 acres is size and located close to the Red River. A rich soil, temperate climate and "extreme magnificence" of the place is eluded to, with Peters remarking that "no Roman principality, no German barony or English manor can surpass its beauty".

The land is offered to Owen on "good terms" to be held in joint proprietary with his son Robert Dale Owen and Peters and it is the intention for it to be populated by emigrants from Britain. Peters is clear those who come ought to be drawn from the "middle and industrious classes" who should "separate themselves from both the Rich and Poor...or they will soon be swallowed up in the great vortex of poverty and misery". The success of such a plan would, Peters believes, be the only means which "will the poor ever get one chance of being a little elevated as then the "Rich would be obliged to lift them in order to get the whole of the drudgery and dirty work done". This is a time when "poverty like the maelstroom [maelstrom] is now sweeping off everyone within its reach and the middle-classes are being dragged in".

If Owen is interested in the proposition he may get the land surveyed under the direction of the Agent and Principal Surveyor Mr [Henry Oliver] Hedgcoxe.

Note

Stamped number: 1477