National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 291
No.1 Rockingham Court
June 26th 1819
I take the liberty of addressing a few lines to you requesting the necessary information concerning a settlement forming at the Cape of Good Hope for the reception of men and families out of employment. The branch of business I profess (a branch of Spanish leather dressing) has been greatly injured from the introduction of machinery, which has reduced a number of us to the brinck of starvation. We do not pretend to understand much of agriculture but presume we should soon learn sufficient for our purpose. A man actuated with a wish to see his family comfortably provided with the necessaries of life will make great exertions to accomplish so desirable a purpose. The cause of the present agitated state of the country no doubt arises from this source more than from disaffection to the Government. Who can describe the agonised and desperate feelling that take possetion of a man on hearing his children cry for food and can procure none for them. I fear this is the case of thousands at this moment. A heavy responsibility rests on the Governors of a country who see those Evils and will not exert themselves to remove them. I hope it will not be accounted presumtion in an humble individual hasarding an opinion that there is far more land lying waste than would give employment and bread to those starving thousands in this country, where it could be cultivated under the immediate inspection of Government instead of trusting to agents or interested speculators, and if every industrious man would have a portion delt out to him has permanent property it would be a great inducement to be laborious and would had [add] strength and wealth to the country at large. How could the emence population of the Great Empire of China be supported but from the encouragement given by the Government to Agriculture; if my information is correct the very tops of their hills and bottoms of their canals are made to produce sustenance for man; why should we be behindhand with them. There is not a more industrious people than Englishmen in the Universe if proper encouragement is given them. I hope I shall be excused for making these remarcks. It is the duty of every man to wish well to his country for unless something is done to lessen the distresses of the manufacturing classes I fear dreadfull will be the consequences. I have 5 children all Boys and I care not what I do to procure for them the permanent means of support. There are several others willing to embark with me in this undertaking but I know they will have an objection to entering into any engagement with speculative adventurers as is to often the practice in Colonization.
I remain respectfully