The bulk of this manuscript is comprised of typewritten letters authored by Jesse Collings, Britain's Under-Secretary of the
Home Office from 1896-1902, describing places visited during his 1899 trip to North America. The typescript is supplemented
with illustrations, photographs, ephemera, and three short essays focused primarily on the Civil War and its aftermath.
Jesse Collings (1831-1920) was a native of Devonshire, though he lived most of his life in Birmingham. He started out with
the mercantile firm of Booth & Co. before moving into politics, serving as mayor of Birmingham before representing Ipswich
(1880-1886) and Bordesley (1886-1918) in Parliament. Collings is best known for authoring an important land reform bill, the
Small Holdings and Allotments Bill, often referred to as the "three acres and a cow" policy. Collings served as Under-Secretary
for the Home Office from 1896-1902. One of the reasons he undertook the journey to North America was an invitation to witness
the America's Cup yacht race, but his letters show that his interest in the race was minimal. Instead, he used his time to
explore Canada and the United States. Colllings wrote several books on land and education reform and other issues that he
saw as central to Britain; his publications include "The land question from the labourer's point of view" (1885), "The colonization
of rural Britain; a complete scheme for the regeneration of British rural life" (1914), and "The great war: its lessons and
its warnings" (1915).
188 leaves : paper, ill. ; 265 x 220 mm. bound to 285 x 233 mm.
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