3342. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 10 August 1819*
10 Aug. 1819.
My dear Wynn
I shall most likely proceed in earnest with this poem  when I return. – It will have the same kind of interest for the New Englanders that the first part of Madoc  has for you. Did you ever meet with Cotton Mathers Magnalia  ? – one of the oddest of all books. If you have, it is one of those works which you would not readily lay down, & you will need no notes to explain the allusions in this fourth book to Marthas Vineyard,  & Eliot the translator of the Bible into the language of the Five Nations,  & Roger Williams,  – who was the most interesting man that your country ever produced as far as I am acquainted with its history, – worth ten William Penns.  – As fast as I proceed with the poem, you shall have it. This book is to conclude with Olivers purchasing the Squaw & her children; – the next lands them at Boston, & in a scene with the Governor Leverett,  lays open Olivers situation & plans. I have a good conception of Goffes  character, & some scenes of strong passion will arise out of it.
Fak Fazakerley  drank tea with me last week. I had met him some years ago at Holland House. We had some talk about the times, & he agreed with me in the fitness of making transportation the punishment of sedition. If this be not done, things will come to such a state, that the people will be willing more to surrender more of our liberties than can wholesomely be spared, – for security & order will always be preferred by them to all other considerations.
God bless you
Your brother & Lady Harriet  surprized me by a visit. – If Murray be the publisher of D Juan,  as he is supposed to be, I shall think the profit he may make will not recompense him for the loss of credit. The Dedication it seems comprized Lord Castlereagh.  He <he> were & I were brought together Heaven knows why as the two Roberts, & the fear of an action is guessed to have been the reason why it was suppressed.
 Southey’s unfinished epic, set in New England. The completed sections were published after Southey’s death in Oliver Newman: A New-England Tale (Unfinished): With Other Poetical Remains (London, 1845), pp. 1–90. BACK
 Martha’s Vineyard is an island off Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It was originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, who accepted Christianity and did not take part in King Philip’s War of 1675–1676, the background to ‘Oliver Newman’. This process was greatly helped by the fact that early converts among the Wampanoag survived the plague that swept through Martha’s Vineyard in 1646. The places, events and people from New England Southey refers to in this letter are mentioned in ‘Oliver Newman’, Book 4, lines 698–731. BACK
 John Eliot (c. 1604–1690) translated the Bible into the language of the Massachusett people in 1663. The Five Nations were the confederation of tribes in upper New York State, often called the Iroquois League: the Mohawk; Oneida; Onondaga; Cayuga; and Seneca. They speak Iroquoian languages, rather than Massachusett, which was an Algonquian language. BACK
 Roger Williams (c. 1603–1683) was a Londoner, not a Welshman. He founded Providence Plantation in 1636 as a religiously tolerant community, advocated peaceful relations with native peoples and was an abolitionist. BACK
 John Nicholas Fazakerley (1787–1852), Whig MP for various seats between 1812 and 1841. He was the representative of an old Lancashire landowning family and spent much time travelling in 1808–1812, including a visit to Spain. BACK
 Southey’s tour of Scotland with Rickman and Telford lasted from 17 August until 1 October 1819. For his record of events, see Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (1929). BACK
 The first two cantos of Byron’s Don Juan (1819–1824) were published anonymously on 15 July 1819. Murray was the publisher, though his firm’s name did not appear on the book’s title page. The ‘Dedication’, which attacked Southey and others, was suppressed. It soon became very well known, though it was not published until 1833. BACK