1259. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 13 January 1807 *
My dear Rickman
You certainly are the best of all possible men to do another persons business.  the book about the Maranhon  I knew nothing of. That about Chile did not ask for – because loth to lengthen the list of what you would have trouble in finding. – But every book relating to the original natives of America has a direct bearing upon my subject, – it being a matter of much curiosity to find out what they all have in common, – x how far any similarity of customs – knowledge &c – extended.
Galvam  probably escaped your search by his leanness – getting lying hid between two larger books. Whenever he happens to be seen I do not think Wynn will scruple to frank him down. as he certainly has sent me as large a frank containing the Double Writer – a right excellent invention. 
I am already far advanced in miscellaneous knowledge upon this subject – indeed long ago had read most of the original historians of the Indies, & marked every passage of importance – so that in them I have only now to run my eye down the margin, & make my notes from the land marks. The first of next month I begin – & after the first of March do nothing else – & then for a good book <volume> honestly made – with all in it that can be known. Before the end of autumn – let me see I write half a quarto sheet a day – exclusive of notes – that is a volume in 136 days. See how much may be done in a little time by only going steadily straight forward. Give me six months, from St Davids day – & I will be ready for the Printer with my first volume
[MS torn] comes in forma pauperis  for the enclosure
Tuesday Jany 13. 1807.
If the box was at the Bull and Mouth on <xx > Saturday sevennight last – it will be here tomorrow. if it went on a Monday it will be a week longer xxxx reaching me – lying so long in London – 
 For this letter, see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 9 October , Letter 1223. The ‘double writer’ was most probably an early version of carbon paper, first patented by Ralph Wedgwood (1766–1837) on 7 October 1806 as the ‘stylographic manifold writer’. BACK