Buenos Aires: 22 February 1821. Quarto (ca. 25x20 cm). 3 pp. Addressed, sealed and docketed on the fourth blank page, with two postal stamps, including a stamp of “Portsmouth Ship Letter” ibidem. Fold marks, minor hole on the third page after opening, slightly affecting the text, but overall a very good legible letter.
An interesting and extensive business letter from James Hodgson, the owner of one of the main British trade houses in South America in the first half of the 19th century. Addressing his partners in Manchester, Fielden Brothers’ textile firm, Hodgson describes at length the latest sales of their goods, and settlement with the insurance company (“Lloyd’s Company of Underwriter”) in a case pertaining to damaged cargo. He also expresses slight critique of the Fielden Brother’s production and suggests some improvements: “By the way I should observe that the width of your Prints is somewhat complained of, & I am sorry to say, I fear with some justice, they being only 23 ½ inches. In your next shipment you may put in a Couple of Cases of handsome furniture patterns. I wish also to give you a few very useful instructions, for your future guidance. Your Magda pollams [?], Irish Shirtings & Platillas may be of double pieces or length, say 48, 48x56 yds. Each <…> Where the packets of patterns are very large, they should be divided into several parcels to avoid any tedious notice of the Customs House <…> In case you should ever have to recommend my Establishment to any new Correspondent, I beg you will not mention my terms of Commission to yourselves… Above all, for my just guidance I beg of you to Invoice your goods at their exact price & do me the justice to believe that I only consult your best Interest when I make this request…”
In a copy of his previous letter from 7th of February 1821 written after the main text Hodgson gives and interesting note on the preferable textiles for the South American market: “The red ground prints are getting out of vogue, and it will not be advisable for you to repeat them. Your next shipment of this article should be <…> red, green, yellow, pale lilac and <…> handsome darkish grounds – all with very bright lively tints. The newest patterns are generally the most favorite. I cannot obtain any tasteful patterns.”
A very interesting and informative letter.
“Hodgson, Robinson & Company (formerly Green & Hodgson) was a major British import/export house trading with South America during the first half of the nineteenth century. The developing markets of South America provided good opportunities for British textile manufacturers and merchants to export their wares, while wool, hides, tallow and dried beef were traded in the opposite direction. James Hodgson went into partnership with Joseph Green of Liverpool in 1818, trading between Britain and Argentina. The partnership was dissolved in 1829 and in the following year Hodgson formed a partnership with John Robinson, his former accountant; both partners were based in Buenos Aires. The partnership lasted until 1844, whereupon James Hodgson returned to Liverpool, although he continued to trade on his own account, and still owned a ranch in the Cordoba province of Argentina” (See: e-catalogue of the John Rylands Library of the University of Manchester).
“The partnership of Fielden Brothers was formed in 1816, based at Waterside Mill in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and it became one of the most important and profitable textile firms in the country. John Fielden, a practising Unitarian, was elected MP for Oldham in 1832 with William Cobbett. He was known for his radical politics, taking an active part in the movement to limit the hours of factory labour and attempting to get a minimum wage agreement for handloom weavers” (See: e-catalogue of the John Rylands Library of the University of Manchester).
Price: $525.00 USD