18950616 See an image of this letter, https://doi.org/10.17613/4tsv-0122


Rio,    16th June    1895


My dear Mother,

I have just returned from my expedition up country and am on the eve of leaving for Buenos Aires. The excursion to the factory took longer than I had counted on. I went with the Director of the Company starting at 4 o’clock on the Sunday morning by a little paddle steamer about the size of an ordinary tug-boat. All Monday one lay at a little place called Angra,[1] and on Tuesday we landed at the village of Paraty,[2] where horses were waiting to take us to the factory five miles inland. We were there a week, there being no return steamer sooner, and it took us three days to come back a distance of certainly not over 100 miles, – in all 12 days. I must leave till my next letter a description of the place and people. I have been packing and doing my correspondence all night, but I shall have time to write private letters on the steamer “Thames” during the next three days. All I can say now is that my visit was of very great use to the Compy. and to M.&W. Dundee. They had lost a very important customer who was very wild with them, and I was able to put matters straight and reopen the account with a good order, besides putting the people here in a grateful frame of mind by making a lot of calculations and showing them how to do a number of things which they, in their inexperience of manufacturing, had not before understood.  I hope Dee [3]will prove as grateful.

I was glad to get today your letters of 14th and 20th May. Of course you will come to London to meet me. It won’t be the season but there will still be one or two people left in London. I will buy you a cap in New Bond St. and – if you like- “something nautical, for the river” at Redfern’s.[4]

In my next letter from B. Aires, I hope to be able to say what steamer I shall take to come home by, and when you must start. I suppose you can manage up to London by yourself all right.

I really must have an hour or two’s sleep now so bye-bye.

Best love.


Address c/o O.Letzgus,  Casilla 1296,  Buenos Aires.[5]

then after that you can send a letter to Rio to meet me.

  1. Angra dos Reis (Portuguese for "cove" or "bay of the Kings") is a Brazilian municipality located in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro state. Angra is located at an altitude of 6 meters and includes in its territory many offshore islands, the largest being the Ilha Grande.
  2. Paraty (or Parati) is a preserved Portuguese colonial (1500–1822) and Brazilian Imperial (1822–1889) municipality. It is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
  3. Abbreviation for Dundee, and the office of Moore & Weinberg there.
  4. Redfern & Sons (later Redfern Ltd), was a British tailoring firm founded by John Redfern (b 1820, d 1895) in Cowes on the Isle of Wight that developed into a leading European couture house (active: 1855–1932; 1936–1940). By the early 1890s the business had branches in London, Edinburgh, Paris and New York. The Redferns are credited with making tailored clothing chic for women.
  5. Ottmar Letzgus, "Merchant", (b 1861 Germany), resident in Buenos Aires. See Index to People.


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John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889 - 1895 Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Fink, Robert Boyd, Sarah Watkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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