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TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ALBERT.
London, May 1, 1841. Sir, When I took the liberty to transmit to your royal highness the announcement of my proposed work on America, you did me the honour to assure me, that " it would afford you much pleasure to give it your full sanction and patronage.” Your royal highness farther condescended to observe, that“ the feelings of good-will towards the American people, under which this work was undertaken, could not fail at the present moment of producing a desirable effect.” While I am deeply sensible of this act of kindness on the
your royal highness towards myself personally, I feel yet more strongly the value and importance, from their future influence on the public weal, of the generous sentiments to which your royal highness has been pleased to give ex. pression.
A sense of gratitude on my own part, and a still higher sentiment of duty towards the people of England and America, thus encourage me to make known to both the noble and enlightened views with which your royal highness desires to promote whatever can strengthen the friendly relations between their respective countries.
I cannot, therefore, commit my humble labours to the press under more appropriate or more distinguished auspices than those of your royal highness, to whom I cheerfully dedicate these volumes; in the confident hope that they will awaken in other minds the same friendly and benevolent aspirations after “peace on earth and good-will to man,” which beamed so generously and spontaneously from your own.
Your royal highness cannot be indifferent to international friendships, as the illustrious consort of a queen whose broad realm embraces such extended possessions that the sun nev. er ceases to shine on some portion or other of her vast do.
minions ; its evening rays still lingering amid the shrines and domes that stud the banks of the mighty Ganges, while its morning beams are just beginning to gild the spires and turrets scattered along the margin of the still more magnificent St. Lawrence.
To her protection, multitudinous nations, provinces, and tribes, of every hue and creed, from “The gorgeous East” to those primeval forests of the Western world
“Where the poor Indian, whose untutored mind,
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind," all look up with hope ; and think that, while the diadem of England sits on so fair a brow, and its sceptre is wielded by so gentle a hand, they may count on Mercy,
“ The brightest jewel that adorns the crown," so tempering Justice in its administration as to make the condition of themselves and all their children more happy than under any previous reign.
It is, therefore, but a just compliment to your royal highness to believe that every portion of the globe which owns her majesty's benignant sway should enlist your generous sympathies, in its actual condition, as well as in its future prospects : and as it has fallen to my lot to visit nearly all the possessions of her majesty's crown in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and thus to see for myself the powerful claims they possess to royal favour and public support, I may hope to be the more readily forgiven for availing myself of every opportunity to express my earnest and unabated interest in their prosperity.
In the sincere hope that your royal highness may long be permitted to enjoy the distinguished happiness with which you are at present blessed; and that her majesty may be honoured of Heaven to be the happy instrument, in the hands of Divine Providence, of conferring, by her enlightened and pacific rule in the British dominions, at home and abroad, a larger measure of prosperity, virtue, piety, and justly-earned renown than any of her predecessors on the imperial throne, I have the honour to be your royal highness's obliged and devoted servant,
J. S. BUCKINGHAM. 4 Camden Terrace, West, Camden New Town.