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Title:[Letter] 1821, Jan. 7, Canton, China [to] George Washington Campbell, State of Tennessee / James Matheson : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Matheson, James

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: January 7, 1821
Extent: 4p
Summary:This is a letter from James Matheson in Canton, China to his uncle and Tennessee statesman George Washington Campbell, dated January 7, 1821. Matheson explains that due to the East India Company's monopoly on British trade in the far East, his stay in China is threatened. He is thus inquiring of his uncle to appoint him Vice Consul for the United States to China, despite the fact that he is a British citizen.
Collection:George Washington Campbell Papers IV-F-4

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Canton China 7th January 1821
Dear Sir

My Brother Duncan has forwarded to me a Letter which you had the goodness to write to him from St. Petersburgh [Petersburg] under date 15/27 November 1819 Encouraged by the friendly manner in which [unclear: law ] there mentioned take the liberty of addressing you on the same subject And beg leave first to state the motive of my brother's application to procure for me the appointment of American Vice Consul at Canton in which you are so kind as to interest yourself The British trade with China as is well known is a Monopoly of the East India Company who however have relinquished that part [unclear: opt ] carried on between China and India to the natives & licensed British merchants residing in the latter To this last Class belong being employed here as agent by several commercial houses at Calcutta . But there is an inconvenience attending my Situation arising from a regulation of the East India Company prohibiting our remaining in China for more than one Season in continuity and [added: requiring]

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requiring us to return every year to India . Many of my Countrymen to avoid this have obtained Commissions from foreign powers to reside in China. The Prussian Consul & Vice Consul, the Austrian , Swedish & Sardinian Consuls are British Subjects, yet in virtue of their office are not considered subservient to the East India Company regulations. Could I be placed among this privileged number it would be a most important benefit to me. If there are objections to appointing a Vice Consul for your Government an appointment to succeed to the Office of Consul on its being vacated by Mr. Wilcocks would equally answer my purpose,— or in fact any sort of protection or Commission from the United States or an Act of Citizenship Having thus stated my object shall only add that if it be in your power by any means to accomplish it I shall feel myself under the deepest obligation This scarcely necessary for me to observe that pecuniary advantage in any shape is foreign to my views

If any of my relation from America or any friend of ours should be visiting this part of the world, it would give me singular [added: pleasure]

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pleasure to be introduced to them and to have an opportunity of showing them every acceptable attention and hospitality in my power

It would ill become me to abuse the indulgence recorded to me by intruding with a long letter and shall only further request affectionate remembrances to all my relations with the Compliments of the [unclear: Season ] and sincerest wishes for a long continuance of all the blessings you enjoy

I remain with the greatest respect your affectionate nephew & [unclear] humble Serv. [Servant]
James Matheson
[added: P.S This letter is forwarded by my friend [unclear] Perkins & Co. [Company] respondent here of a similar firm at New York , whom I shall request to take charge of your reply]
George Washington Campbell Esq [Esquire]

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George Washington Campbell Esq [Esquire] [unclear] Ambassador from the United States to Russia State of Tennessee Matheson
James Matheson Canton China 12 Jany [January]1821
Recd [Received] 15 June 1821]

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