“Everything that a person could wish”, “Poverty is unknown”, “No beggars” are qualities of the United States that John Down uses to persuade his wife to “cross the Atlantic” and join him in America. Downe, an immigrant from England, traveled across the Atlantic to earn money for his wife and children who “cry for victuals.” To persuade them to join him Downe appealed to their logic, ethics, and emotions. Interestingly, midway through the letter his tone strategically changed. Understatement and hyperbole were also included to make his appeal more convincing.
“Dear Sukey”, John Downe’s wife and “all the little ones”, his children, were struggling in England because of the lack of food. To appeal to Sukey’s logic Downe mentioned the available food and the eating habits of Americans. Listing “pickles, vegetables, meat and everything that a person could wish” allowed Sukey to realize that America had an abundance of food. Downe’s “situation” where he would “have the whole management of the factory” proved that he would be able to support the family in their new home. The ability for Sukey and her family to have sufficient nourishment and funds would be a major factor in her decision to emigrate.
Next, Downe appealed to his wife’s ethics by using the word “liberty” and the phrases “no man thinks himself superior” and “where a man can stand as a man.” He stated “America is not like England” “there is no improper or disgusting equality for” “the man which is really your superior does not plume himself on being so” to show that the ethical standards in England were unlike those of America. Downe included the fact that “the servants set down at the table with their masters” so his wife would see that America never labeled a citizen on their job or family income.
Downe’s plea to Sukey continued with an emotional appeal. To reassure there would be enough space in America Downe used a hyperbole saying that there would be enough room “for a thousand years to...