DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MILLOWNER AND JOHN BROWN.
Title:Dialogue Between a Millowner and John Brown
Publication:The Bolton Chronicle
Date:8th November 1862
This anonymous poem is specifically on the subject of the Cotton Famine, and refers to ‘that there Yankee war, / That brotherly murderin strife’ as the reason for the poor state of John Brown’s clothes. It takes the form of a dialogue with two lines of mill-owner questioning Brown, two of Brown’s response. The main themes are poverty and the pawning of domestic goods, in the poem Brown is about to pawn his wife’s wedding ring, having already sold everything else. There is a hint of class frustration and resentment here – Brown explains the necessity of charity from ‘you and the likes as is rich’ and the possibility of starving ‘Close to well-fed millowners like you.’ – SR