2856. Robert Southey to Henry Koster, 28 October 1816

2856. Robert Southey to Henry Koster, 28 October 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 28 Oct. 1816.

My dear Koster,

You may be sure that if I could with any sense of propriety apply to Lord Lonsdale, I should most readily do it, but my acquaintance with him is not of that kind. [1]  I imagine that there can be no better person to set to work on this occasion than Wm. Burn, [2]  – he has access to the right persons, and with neither be wanting in wile nor in zeal.

In Dr. Aikins Annals of George 3 – under the year 1772 is the following sentence – and nothing more upon the subject. “In Brazil the negro and Indian slaves united assembling in great numbers, advanced against the Portuguese, and various actions ensued attended with much bloodshed”. [3]  Here is one gross error – Indian slavery having no existence at that time: – but pray make enquiry concerning the insurrection. [4]  I am putting together the last chapter of the volume, [5]  a miscellaneous one describing the state of the country, collected from very scattered materials.

God bless you,

Yrs affectionately,

Robert Southey.


Notes

* MS: Instituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro; text taken from Sousa-Leão
Previously published: Joaquim de Sousa-Leão, ‘Cartas de Robert Southey a Theodore Koster e Henry Koster, anos de 1804 a 1819’, Revista do Instituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro, 178 (1943), 49. BACK

[1] Koster wished Southey to mobilise his connections to obtain a consulship for him in Brazil. BACK

[2] William Burn (1750–1821) was a friend of the Southeys from their days in Portugal. A member of the Lisbon Factory, he was well-known to Herbert Hill and John May and had first met Southey in Lisbon in 1796. He moved to London in 1806. BACK

[3] John Aikin, Annals of the Reign of King George III, 2 vols (London, 1816), I, p. 121; no. 20 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[4] Probably a reference to the destruction of a quilombo, or community of escaped slaves, at Sao Jose de Maranhao in 1772. BACK

[5] Chapter 30 of Southey’s History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, pp. 632–692. BACK

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