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Title:[Letter] 1819 Oct. 20, Edinburgh, [to] G[eorge] W[ashington] Campbell, St. Petersburgh, Russia / Duncan Matheson : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Matheson, Duncan

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: October 20, 1819
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter dated October 20, 1819, addressed to Tennessee politician George Washington Campbell in St. Petersburg, Russia during his tenure as US minister there, from his nephew Duncan Matheson. Matheson writes about his brother James, who had travelled to the East Indies to become engaged in the mercantile business, and had ended up in Canton, China. Duncan asks his uncle to appoint James to the office of Vice Consul in Canton.
Collection:George Washington Campbell Papers IV-F-4

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Edinburgh 20th October 1819
My dear Uncle

Having had the pleasure to correspond for some time past with my Uncle Colin Campbell of North Carolina , and having learnt [learned] from him a variety of interesting particulars concerning you I have long cherished the wish to attempt a more direct and personal intercourse with you; but have been checked by the reflection that you might not think the attempt worthy of your countenance, and indeed that your high & important official functions would preclude you in point of time from knowing me with any notice. Understanding however from your brother that my name & situation are not unknown to you. I have mustered resolution enough to trouble you on a piece of business which is shortly as follows.

My Brother James went out to a mercantile house in Calcutta in 1815; and through their favour [favor] and his own deserts, he has now, at the age of only 23, been lucky enough to get himself established with considerable patronage as a Chinese Agent at Canton , where if he remains for some time, he has every prospect of making a handsome fortune. He writes me however that so far as British Subjects are concerned, our English East India Company have the monopoly of the China Trade, so that any subject of this Country can only remain there by the indulgence of the East India Company's Superb [gap] ous, and are liable to be removed at their pleasure. Now tho [though] this right is sel [gap] and perhaps never very arbitrarily, it must be a most desirable ob [gap] aid of so grievous a restraint upon h [gap] liberty; and one [gap] ed, and an individual made in [gap] of the English Su [gap] mself nominated, as is the case with [gap] either Consul or Vice C [gap] for some foreign power; as every foreign power has the same right there with [gap] English East India Company, whose monopoly takes effect against their own Country men only.

James has met with a Mr Wilcocks at Canton who is Consul there for the United States of America , and from whom he thought he had experienced considerable civility from his connection with you, with whom he understood Mr [added: Wilcocks]

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Wilcocks to say, that he has heretofore carried on some official correspondence. There is no Vice Consul however for the United States at Canton; and the object for which I have ventured to address you, is to see whether it would be possible to procure this nominal appointment and character for my Brother James. There is no Salary I believe attached to the office: At least my Brother has no such thing in view; so that it would cost nothing whatever to the American Government, and if at all attainable would I should hope require no other sacrifice from you, but the trouble of making an application. If I can vouch for any thing I think I can assure you he will be no discredit to you; for he is universally allowed to be an uncommonly fine, steady, and well educated, young man — Should you be Kind enough therefore to take this trouble for him it would be conferring the greatest favour [favor] on him; and be the result what it may, I shall have to facilitate myself in making the request, if it shall procure for me the honor of any Answer or notice from so distinguished a relation.

I cannot express to you how much I felt tantalised [tantalized] by the Accounts in our Newspapers of your stay at Cowes in the Isle of Wight . Had I anticipated that the Hurricane had done any thing more than touch there, or that you would not have been off before I could possibly [gap] ve arrived after the very first noticed, I should certainly have made it a poin [gap] one to wait on you. May I [gap] ct that a similar opportunity will be afford [gap] Great Britain on your [gap] In the course of the last wint [gap] in with a Mr [gap] from Virginia , and who I beli [gap] ne either in North or South Carolina , that stated himself to have [gap] with you, and gratified us by speaking of you. [unclear: Unbelievably ] however it was [gap] us departure from Edinburgh that I fell in with him, so that tho' [though] I waited on him to solicit his further acquaintance, I had only an opportunity of meeting him once. The intercourse between the two Countries however is now so pleasant and liberal; and there is in Edinburgh at least, such a resort of pleasant well informed American Gentlemen every winter, for the University as well as for travelling, that meeting with acquaintances or friends [added: of]

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of yours may hereafter be more frequent — I need not assure you how much the pleasure would be enhanced if you put it in my power to show attention to any friends of yours by an introduction — I am also authorised [authorized] to make a similar assurance on the part of my Brother if he can be of use to any of your friends that may have occasion to go to China. But I must not obtrude on your time further than to request the favor of a reply when you find it convenient, and to subscribe myself, with great respect.

My dear UncleYour afft [affectionate] Nephew
Duncan Matheson
His ExcellencyThe Honble G. W. [Honoroable George Washington] Campbell

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[added: Is this in English??]

His ExcellencyThe Honble G. W. [Honorable George Washington] CampbellAmbassador from the United States of America St. Petersburgh Russia [added: 107]
[gap] Matheson[gap] rgh 20 oct. [October] 1819[gap] Nov. [November] 181927 Nov. [November] 1819
― says his brother [added: James] went to the East Indies in 1815 & was in Canton & knew Mr. Wilcocks]

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