3235. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 25 January 1819]

3235. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 25 January 1819] ⁠* 

My dear R.

Thank you for a succession of proof sheets, [1]  every one of which operates upon me like the crack of a whip in the air upon a willing horse. – I have been lucky enough by means of Neville White to get a history of B Ayres Tucuman & Paraguay lately printed at B Ayres, [2]  – which I first saw mentioned in the report of the Yankee Commissioners. [3]  Nothing could arrive more opportunely, it gives me information where I most wanted it, & in the most satisfactory manner confirms [MS missing] view which I had taken upon of those points that are most disputed. In this work of Funes is the only account which has ever appeared of the tremendous insurrection of the Peruvians – In under one of the Inca blood, in 1782–3. In two instances they demolished the fortifications of a Spanish towns by bringing a river to bear upon them. [4]  – It is very evident to me that if the Indians were as active & as powerful now as they were forty years ago, the end of these civil wars would be that they would destroy the surviving Spaniards & lay the country waste. But I suspect that since the expulsion of the Jesuits, [5]  spirits have been introduced among them freely, & that this is add xxx <xx> has contributed to destroy them, almost as much as their own cursed practises of abortion & infanticide. The B Ayres historian however speaks of them as still formidable.

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 25 JA 25/ 1819
Endorsement: 25 Jan – 19; 25 Jan – 19
MS: Huntington Library, RS 362
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), III, p. 114.
Dating note: Dating from postmark. BACK

[1] Proofs of Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[2] Gregorio Funes (1749–1829), Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay, Buenos-Ayres y Tucuman (1816–1817), no. 3464 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] The Reports on the Present State of the United Provinces of South America; Drawn up by Messrs Rodney and Graham, Commissioners sent to Buenos Ayres by the Government of North America (London, 1819), p. 137. BACK

[4] Gregorio Funes, Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay, Buenos-Ayres y Tucuman, 3 vols (Buenos Aires, 1816–1817), III, pp. 261–326, dealing with the rebellion in Peru in 1780, led by José Gabriel Tupac Amaru (1742–1781). The technique of damming rivers to attack towns was used (successfully) against Sorata and (unsuccessfully) against La Paz. BACK

[5] The Jesuits were expelled from Brazil in 1759 and Spanish South America in 1767. BACK

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