Letters from Gilbert Farie, Merchant, Liverpool relating to developing trade in China and trip to Canton to trade cotton and opium. End of the letter is cross written over the first page.
Claude Farie Esq
For J.F. junr
Liverpool 20th November 1838
My dear James,
I write a few lines to say that I have at length had a meeting with Mr McV, he was to have been over here every day for some days past, but he has always been prevented, and this morning I took a turn over at his desire to breakfast with him. He seems quite inclined to close with me now, he says that I may go out for the first two or three years on a salary and I may then have a share or a larger salary, but before having the terms exactly he would take me to meet him in London where he goes to in a few days time and I am to be introduced to some large houses there how are his principal backers. I have now however little doubt of its being fixed, and I go to London on Saturday evening, which will give me the Sunday to see Bob and I can do my business on Monday and be back here by Tuesday morning. So much for Railways.
I of course will write you after the definite proposals are made and will insist upon having a short time to consider. I am to leave on the 15 January per Overland Mail remain at Bombay for two months then visit Calcutta for a week or two and proceed to Canton. The greatest part of the business will be from Bombay and Bengal, cotton and opium and the Commissions of the house from this time on are expected to range from £100,000 to £200,000!!!
Mr Burn his brother in Law who is at present at Canton will remain there for a year probably after I go out and he then comes home and assists Mr McV in Manchester, and leaves the management at Canton to me.
This is a swinging business and Mr Armstrong who is a friend of McViccar and also an intimate one of mine assures me that I may calculate every family on making a handsome fortune in a very few years and he has been out in Canton long. I shall however be perfectly satisfied with success far inferior to that at present prophesied. I believe you are to have an addition to your family very soon, but this will be of no consequence now as I am so sure of coming home with such overwhelming wealth from the Empire Celestial. My health continues good, and hoping that you are equally well.
I am ever ...................