This letter was written by Thomas William Channing Moore (1794-1873), the son of John Moore (1745-1828) and Judith Newcomb Livingston (1753-1813). John Moore was the “Deputy Collector of His Majesty’s Customs — Superintendent of Police and Port of New York — Secretary of the Province of New York.”
Thomas W. C. Moore transcribed his father’s memoirs in 1851, was one of the promoters of the Academy of Fine Arts, and travelled through the art galleries of Europe with Washington Irving and Sir David Wilkie. He died unmarried.
Much of Thomas’ letter is devoted to sharing his views on the Holy Alliance which was an agreement made in 1815 between the emperors of Russia and Austria and the King of Prussia — all conservative rulers — to preserve the social order among nations by conducting themselves on Christian principles. Fear of this alliance led George Canning, Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary, to speak out against it and advocate the independence of latin american republics and open free trade with them. A fear of this alliance also led to the passage of the Monroe Doctrine in the United States. Canning later became the British Prime Minister.
Addressed to Mr. John Moore, Esqr., New York
[Carried by] Brig. William via Boston
Buenos Aires [Argentina]
1st June 1824
My Dear Father,
My last letter to you was dated the 14th ulto. per Brig. Emma for New York since which time nothing particular has occurred. The Brig Laura Ann & Schooner Remittance arrived yesterday, both direct from New York, but I am sorry to say without a single family or friendly letter. These disappointments can only be correctly appreciated by those who have been abroad & experienced them. I have a letter from Messrs. Howland of 23 February in which they mention that they believe all my friends are well, which is of itself highly satisfactory.
As to the period of my return, I can only repeat what I said in my last — namely that I hope to be with you in the fall. I should be very glad to improve the first opportunity but could not do so without exposing myself to the risk of meriting the censure of Messrs. Howland, having written to them I should remain till I heard from them in answer to a letter written in February.
[I send] this by the William for Boston — and as she is a dull sailer — I expect that vessel which is to leave here in about two weeks will get to the Unites States as soon. Therefore, I do not consider it necessary to be so particular now. We have just received the correspondence which took place between Mr. [George] Canning & the French Minister &c. relative to the affairs of South America which was published in London in the early part of March. It is considered very important — the letter of Mr. Canning to Sir William de Court [??] of 30 January in which he explains the views & intentions of the British Government on the great question of South America Independence is a most masterly production — not from the talent it displays, but from the open, noble & determined style in which it is couched. It will render him very popular — not only among his own countrymen, but with every liberal minded person that reads it. It gives me the greatest pleasure to find that Great Britain & the United States are acting upon the same system — that if raising a mound to resist the floods of despotism gathering on the continent — never since the world was created has there been so systematic, so daring, & I am sorry to add so powerful a league against the person of interest as that formed by this Holy Alliance. The body is too corrupt to exist easy — it must inevitably fall to pieces from its own rottenness.
As regards South America, it must be acknowledged that it is far from being settled & that in most of the states a great want of order is conspicuous — and in fact, that the establishment of Republics is quite out of the question — but that does not render it the less necessary to expose the system of the Holy Alliance, when it pretends to interfere in American affairs.
Here everything is quiet & good order well established. We have British Packets regularly receiving once a month to & from Falmouth — a British Consul General & two Vice Consuls lately came out — & of course were received with open arms. A grand dinner was given by the government here with 25 (anniversary of the independence of these provinces) to one minister Mr. R______ which did honor to the country.
I shall write you again by a vessel soon to sail for Philadelphia. My best love to my family & friends, with constant wishes from your health & happiness.
I remain, dear Father, your truly affectionate son, — Thomas W. C. Moore