Publisher Information: 1824-1830.
Buckingham, James Silk (1786-1855). Three autograph letters signed to William Rathbone (1787-1868). 10pp. total. London, Feb. 9, 1824; Dec. 22, 1828; and Dec. 14, 1830. Approx. 250 x 210 mm. Small lacuna in one letter where seal was broken (not affecting text), but very good.
James Silk Buckingham, a British travel writer and social reformer, first came into public notice when he founded a newspaper in Calcutta and began publishing articles critical of the colonial government; this led to the government seizing Buckingham’s newspaper and expelling him from the country in 1823. On his return to England he established several newspapers devoted to politics and to news about Britain’s Eastern colonies, the most successful of these being the “Oriental Herald.” After serving four years in Parliament, Buckingham left politics and traveled widely in the United States and Europe, publishing several books on his travels and establishing a career as a public lecturer. He was deeply interested in social reform, serving as president of the London Temperance League and developing a plan for the construction of model towns, which he described in his best-known work, National Evils and Practical Remedies (1849). Although never realized, Buckingham’s model town plan influenced the ideas of Ebenezer Howard, founder of the Garden City movement.
The three letters we are offering here were all written to William Rathbone, member of a wealthy and prominent Liverpool family of merchants long associated with philanthropy and public service. Like Buckingham, Rathbone was interested in social reform, and Buckingham relied on Rathbone’s influence and financial support in promoting his newspapers, lectures and other ventures. In his letter of Feb. 9, 1824 Buckingham informs Rathbone of his plan to found a daily newspaper called “The Evening Chronicle,” hoping that Rathbone would see fit to recommend it “to the principal Public Institutions at Liverpool, of which there must be so many to which a good London Evening Paper would be acceptable.” In the Dec. 22, 1828 letter Buckingham describes his plan to give a series of lectures in Liverpool to promote free trade to China and India, and asks for Rathbone’s help in publicizing the lectures and securing a suitable venue. In his letter of Dec. 14, 1830 Buckingham discusses another upcoming lecture tour “on the Countries of the East” and “the India Question,” which he proposed to begin in Liverpool “as the wealthiest, & most public spirited, and therefore the best to set an example.”Book Id: 43370