Hamish Riley-Smith

Rare Books And Manuscripts

John Stuart Mill

Autograph letter signed to William Cabell. early 1830's

Mill at work in the India Office

Autograph letter signed to William Cabell
Ex[aminer’s] Off[ice] Tuesday [no date circa early 1830’s]
Octavo, 17.8 x 11.4 cm, 2 pages.
£1,500

John Stuart Mill at work in the office of the Examiner of India Correspondence at the East India Comany.
“In May 1823 my professional occupation and status for the next thirty-five years of my life, were decided by my father’s obtaining for me an appointment from the East India Company, in the office of the Examiner of India Correspondence, immediately under himself. I was appointed in the usual manner, at the bottom of the list of clerks, to rise, at least in the first instance, by seniority; but with the understanding that I should be employed from the beginning in preparing drafts of despatches ... My drafts of course required, for some time, much revision from my immediate superiors, but I soon became well acquainted with the business, and by my father’s instructions and the general growth of my own powers, I was in a few years qualified to be, and practically was, the chief conductor of the correspondence with India in one of the leading departments, that of the Native States”. J.S.Mill, Autobiography pp.81`-82.
William Cabell [1786-1853] was at this time Senior Clerk in the Secret and Political Department and Assistant Seacretary at the Board of Control. Recent discovery of Mill’s letters in the archival series in the India Office Library [including several to William Cabell] has greatly enhanced knowledge of his career there and of the East India Company’s operations.
The complexity of the workings of the bureaucracy at the office of the Examiner of the India Correspondence within the India Office are described in Marion Filipiuk Additional Letters of John Stuart Mill pp.xxix-xl.

“My dear Sir
I was informed both at the time, & yesterday that the Report had certainly been sent. How it miscarried I cannot tell, but it is a most unlucky accident. I hope the accompanying copy wil be in time. There was not time to get it again signed by the Chairs.
With a thousand apologies believe me
ever truly yours
J.S.Mill”

Unpublished. Not recorded in Mineka, The Letters of John Stuart Mill or Filipiuk Additional Letters.

John Stuart Mill - Autograph letter signed to William Cabell. early 1830's

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