Two Letters to Sir Charles Forbes
Originally published between 1824 and 1853, these four pieces by James Silk Buckingham (1786–1855) illuminate the concerns of a broad-minded traveller and the problems of governing an empire. A newspaperman, social reformer and fierce critic of the East India Company, Buckingham published the Calcutta Journal until his expulsion from India in 1823 for attacking vested interests. The first and second pieces reissued here are his open letters, written anonymously in 1824, to the M.P. Sir Charles Forbes regarding press freedom and the expulsion, without trial, of himself and another editor. These are followed by an 1830 account of the reception of his public lecture tour on the East India Company's monopoly, and an 1853 outline for the future government of India. Together, these polemical texts provide great insight into contemporary colonial debates surrounding British rule in India.