ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. Scottish novelist and poet.
Autograph Letter Signed, initials, one page, quarto, undated. To My dear Moors.
“Our inevitable fellow has turned up. It seems he has been fired from the place he was in and is now staying with Folau at a cheaper rate: suppose we applied our money $5 each, as far as it will go in the Folau racket? I think it best in principle in any case of this kind to pay the landlord not the lodger: when a man is down on his luck, he is awfully apt to take ‘a pull at the gowans,’ like Mr [Micamber]. I’ll be down before the Lübeck goes, and we’ll see if we can’t get him shipped off. This kind of thing is bad for the digestion. Got your message through Henry; many thanks.”
Robert Louis Stevenson writes this letter to Harry J. Moors, possibly in the first or second year of his stay in Samoa, either in 1890 or 1891. Moors was an American trader from Michigan. [He] was a wealthy and influential man and [played] a major role in the Stevensons’ life. Married to a Samoan he owned a chain of outlying trading posts and was the leader of the English-speaking business community’s commercial struggle against German dominance. Moors was also import-export supremo, banker, factor and, since in Samoa business and politics were always interlinked, leader of the anti-German political faction. However, there was a dark side to the man, as he made use of ‘blackbirded’ labour [using Melanesians from the Solomon islands and elsewhere over local labor, since] Samoan tradition and culture were antipathetic to agricultural labour. [It was Moors who] persuaded an already half-convinced RLS that he should make his home in the Pacific. He urged on him the convenience of Samoa. There were monthly ships from San Francisco to Sydney and back, which called at Apia with the mail; the German steamer Lübeck of the Norddeutscher Lloyd from Bremen plied between Apia and Sydney. [Frank McLynn, Robert Louis Stevenson]. Stevenson arrived in Samoa in October 1890, where he led an industrious and active life. Robert Louis Stevenson died suddenly on December 3, 1894 of a cerebral hemorrhage, not of the long-feared tuberculosis that he had. Folau was a chief judge in Samoa.
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- Literature – English/Irish