Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, June 24, 1833

  • Posted on: 18 December 2017
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, June 24, 1833



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Institution:University of Rochester

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, June 24, 1833

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: England, GB

receiver: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: New York, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: tap 2017-10-04

Page 1

[hole] [ se ]


Reason: hole
nd it immediately to Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21

[hole] we left Liverpool in a Steam Boat. The river Mersey meeting the tide
[hole] The steamer was crowded by passengers going to spend Sunday
[hole] We were delighted by the scenery on the banks of the river The
[hole] was the first cultivated English fields we have seen. There the
[hole] to Eastham Ferry, where a coach was waiting to carry us to
[hole] public Coachman. Unlike his cousin
German the “stage driver” in
[hole] Alderman than one of his vocation. Nor does he condescend to the
[hole] [ conte ]


Reason: hole
nts his box the passengers employ a porter to put their baggage on board
[hole] [ E ]


Reason: hole
nglish Post Coach has a coach body containing two benches like an ordinary
[hole] t and behind and at the sides it is closely painilled on all sides except
[hole] the top of the coach and seats for the outside passengers As one object
[hole] are 1/ 3 d cheaper than inside seats – but we were not regulars our preference
[hole] outside seats. We had 17 passengers which was the compliment the
stage or coach was licensed to carry. The Port Coaches all have painted upon them “Licensed to carry 17 passengers. our
vehicle had the splendid blazoning of “Wm Rex
Birth: 1765-08-21 Death: 1837-06-20
” with a crown and the name of the vehicle was “Victoria”. The Princess Victo-
Birth: 1819-05-24 Death: 1901-01-22Certainty: Possible
you remember is heir apparent to the throne. The English roads are very fine. That which we travelled today is said to be
one of the worst on the Island – yet it was the best road I ever saw. The horses are strong and heavy – and the style of the coach
and harness was rich. The roads are very narrow certainly not more than three rods wide. The beauty of the English lands-
cape at this season of the year surpassed all my anticipation. Every foot of land is cultivated in the highest degree. The Houses
are neat and substantial but plain and antique built entirely of freestone with roof ascending to the condition of
the occupant either of tile or thatch. The road through an extent of two or three miles seemed to pass through a continuous
villa and then you would pass miles in extent and see no dwelling. The land being in the latter case owned by a wealthy Lord
or other proprietor. To my great surprise I found more shade trees here than are supposed to remain on farms in America. The
hedge fences add greatly to the beauty of the fields. They are composed of thorns and the sweet briar honeysuckle and many
other beautiful vines and flowers mingled with the leaves and give a richness which I cannot describe. We traversed the
greater part of the County of Cheshire celebrated for the cheese made by its farmers. It is a rich country – it is now the hay ma-
king season. I have no doubt the quantity of hay made on an acre of ground here exceeds by more than one third the
quantity procured from an acre in Orange County. You remember how much when we were both younger than we now are
we were delighted by a ride on Long Island. That part of our State resembles England but lacks the luxuriance of vegetation
which is seen here. We passed the mansion of Sir Thomas Stanly who is a great land proprietor – His house was so far
distant from the road and concealed by trees that we did not see it. After riding about nine miles we entered the city of Ches-
and having traversed half a mile of quiet road drove under a stupendous arch which by an inscription on the
walls we learned was ^one of^ the gates of the ancient City of Chester – We were driven to the White Lion Hotel where we took lodgings –
Its was obvious at our entrance that we were in a city of ancient construction. The streets are very narrow and the houses
are high, many are dilapidated, others are covered with curious and quaint devices – Some of the streets are ten
feet wide, some not more than five feet wide – We directed our dinner to be prepared and we then immediately set out to visit
the Cathedral. After passing through two narrow avenues which can only be traversed by foot passengers we found an open
space surrounding a pile of ancient construction and immense extent As by far the greater part of the original edifice has fallen
or been removed the mass which remains is of very irregular form – still it is a stupendous building. If instead of describing it to you I
want to ask you to recal to your recollection the description of Cathedrals which you have read in romances and to ima-
gine in a state of decay the original of the modern models of Gothic Architecture perhaps you would have a more just idea
than I can give you of the monument of past ages which was now before us. The virtuous of Chester not content with the evidences
which prove this work to have remained more than 1000 years say that the site now occupied by the Cathedral once supported a
temple built by the Romans for the worship of Apollo. Of this there is not authentic record. But it is certain that as early as
the ninth century of the Christian era a cathedral ^ and monastery^ was here erected ^at Chester^ and dedicated to St Peter and St Paul


and that
in the year 875 the remains of St Werburgh daughter of Wulfhere King of Mercia were removed to the monastery to preserve them
from the pollution of the Danish Invaders Bradshaw the Monk relates that a Welsh Army was stricken blind while besieging
the city as a punishment for their boldness in attempting to disturb such sacred relics Thus possessing such miraculous
virtue the ashes of St Werbrugh were for greater security removed with the monastery to the present site ^of the Cathedral^ by Ethelfleda who
erected there a monastery dedicated to the Saint whose ashes it received. In the year 1075 Chester became the see of a
[ Bish ]


Reason: hole
op and the monastery of St Werburgh became the seat of metropolitan power – thus it continued until 1540 when
[hole] fractions in England were dissolved Protestantism succeeded Popery, and the monastery was converted into
a Cathedral Church. A part of the pile bear indubitable marks of Saxon architechture and the cells halls and dining
room of the monks are still in good presentation. The residue of the Cathedral was built in the 15th Century when the richest
style of Gothic Architecture was in use for such buildings in England. The length of the Cathedral from East to West is
349 feet the width 75 feet, the tower is in the centre and is 127 feet high The Choir is renowned for the celebration
of worship and forms a splendid ancient Gothic Chapel. The Bishops throne which is erected on this part of the Cathe-
dral was the shrine of St Werburgh. It was appropriated to its present use at the time of the reformation, is splendidly de-
corated with carved work and a range of curious little statues supposed to represent King and saints of the Mercian
line, ancestors or relations of the Saint – In the South aisle is a tomb containing a leaden coffin which tradition says
retains the ashes of Henry IV Emperor of Germany who resigned his throne and retired to close his days in the
little village of Handbridge opposite Chester on the River Dee. The Choir has been taken off from what was called and
is still known as St Mary’s Chapel – It is divided by a partition of tapestry which is a copy of Raphael’s


of Elymas the Sorcerer stricken blind” The Chapel contains a The Chapter House is built in the true Gothic style
The pillars are immense the roof is supported by these Gothic pillars which are eighty feet high – Here is the body of
Hugh Lupus the first Earl of Chester inclosed in a tomb bearing in a most rude sculpture the image of a “wolf” –
such being the meaning of the sirname of that Earl. these bones were found in 1723 in the Cathedral yard inclo-
sed in an ox hide beneath the monument which I have mentioned The Monastery and such parts of the Cathedral
as have been abandoned are falling to decay – the fragments are surmounted by ivy –
Divine service was to be performed in the Choir at 4 O.Clock Having dined we returned to the Cathedral and were
shown by the Sexton
to a very high seat being none other than that of the Arch Dean immediately under the Bishops
Throne. A procession of Ecclesiastics in much pomp entered – there were six canons or prependaries and the Dean
besides the Choir – The service was the beautiful Evening service of the Church of England with an anthem —
The organ is one of the richest toned instruments I ever heard and the whole music surpassed my belief of the sub-
limity of Church music –
Of Chester the earliest authentic record is that it was a walled town and occupied in the reign of Galba the Roman Emperor
in the year 69 as the station of the 20th legion. Divers inscriptions to this effect have been found and preserved in the
year 85 it was a Roman colony under Julius Agricola and was called Devanas. The Romans abandoned Britain
in the year 448 and Chester became the strong hold of the Britons against their enemies. For this object the wall answered
a very excellent purpose and it is singular that although with the exception of a small part the old Roman wall must
have long since been dilapidated yet that upon the same site and presumably of the same materials the wall
has been preserved with all its gates and in great strength until this day – After Church we went to take the
walk around the town upon this wall. It is about 2 ½ miles in circumference and includes not more than half
of the present city. The perambulation prescribed to visitors commences on the North side of the East gate. Here the
wall is 40 feet high – the gate having been repaired the wall is doubtless not only here but its whole circuit of
its original height – the outside is built four feet higher than the top of the wall – so that there is no danger of falling
on that side – a like security is afforded by a more modern wooden rail on the inside – the wall at the top is
about four or five wide and perfectly flagged with freestones. From this height we looked down upon
Page 2

roof chimneys gardens and yards which are built on both [hole]
near the wall has been raised shops are built with cathere [hole]
way arched and extending through the wall under our feet [hole]
Cathedral to their cabbage garden without the wall – [hole]
On the right and outside of the wall is a meadow call[ ed ]


Reason: hole

of Chivalry jousts and tournaments were held – we pass on [hole]
Phoenix tower. It is much dilapidated although it retains its [hole]
the most modern with the devices of Ceremonial bearings [hole]
tower is this inscription "On this tower King Charles 1st
Birth: 1600-11-19 Death: 1649-01-30
stood on [hole]
Army defeated at Rowton Moor" – Rowton Moor lies off at the [hole]
Below the tower and at the base of the wall flows the Nantwich Canal excavated not less than [ tw ]


Reason: hole
enty feet
in the rock. You have from the wall a splendid prospect of ^many^ miles in extent. Formerly a ditch was made
at the foot of the wall of great depth and extending quite the whole circumference. This ditch is
still in part remaining – We came next to the North Gate which is an arched gateway built over the
street – Upon the gate formerly was kept the City jail and criminals were executed there – The arch
has several inscriptions commemorating its repairs – From its summit we had a view of the Irish Channel
Passing Westward the prospect increases in interest giving a view of the distant Welsh Mountains distant
not less than 20 or 30 miles — On the summit of the highest Moel Famau is, Castle the Jubilee Monument
erected in commemoration of the accession of George the 4th
Birth: 1762-08-12 Death: 1830-06-26
. Seen at this distance it assumes the shape
of a cross. A few paces farther we came to the Goblins tower of which only a part is preserved – We
come now to a wall secured angle of the wall which has a tower connecting with an embattled
tower on the bank of the river Dee – Both are closed and these and all the others are if not dangerous yet going
silently to decay. These latter were used in the late Revolution – We come now to the Watergate The wall
here looks down upon the Roodeye a lawn of 14 acres in extent now used as a horse racing ground but formerly regar-
ded as Holy ground. The views of a small cross are still seen which was erected in honor of the virgin upon
whom an alter fell when she was praying before it the Virgin Mary – Tradition says that in the year 946 Lady
wife of the Governor of Hawarden Castle was praying for rain before an altar of the Virgin Mary The al-
ter fell upon her and killed her – The Populace indignant cast the altar into the River it floated down (although
of stone) to the walls of Chester where pious citizens brought it from the water and erected it on this spot
The next object on our walk is the Castle – formerly a Roman fortification built to protect the city from
approach on the River Dee. There is yet remaining a tower called Julius Agricola tower all the rest of the
Castle has been demolished and rebuilt and now serves the purpose of an armory jail, ^and barrack^ barrack
&c. It was repaired by Hugh Lupus first Earl of Chester and until a late period was used as a fortification
In 1237 it was seized for Henry 3dKing of England having until then been held by the Earl of Chester – in 1399 Henry
mustered his army here and shortly afterwards Richards 2d with the Earl of Salisbury were imprisoned
in Julius Agricolas tower and then beheaded – Henry Hotspur fought at Shrewsbury to rescue Richard while
yet a Prisoner in the tower – the Earl of Derby was imprisoned in the same tower. The Shipgate
or Bridge Gate is celebrated as being the place where King Edgar landed from his barge when he was rowed
across the river by eight captive Kings. The wall here retains the evidence of the assault of the Perimiters
by cannon in 1648. There are yet the East gate and the Baes gate — but no important associations connected with
them –
The City of Chester bears the evidence of great antiquity in every part of its streets not less than ^a^ the
wall I have mentioned — The widest and principal street are East gate North gate Watergate and Bridge
gate streets which diverge from the centre and pass under the wall. The Houses in these streets are
built with an open gallery or promenade in front, the floor of which is the roof of the basement [hole]
while outside of this galley are rows of pillars upon which rest the walls of the 2d and other stories of the
buildings brought flush with the street. These “rows” being continued without obstruction form a promenade
12 feet wide in front of the stores and shops – protected from exposure to sun and rain and the Base-
ment story under them is occupied with shops – so that Chester has in each street two rows of shops
on the same side of the street. On Sunday evening the population may be seen crowding these singular
arcades – we came down from the wall to this promenade while the bells at the Cathedral were
ringing the Curfews. There underground dwellings now used as shops are supposed to have been constructed for
security in case of assault by the Welch should they force their way through the gates – They are very
ancient – some of these arches being ^supported by^ of Gothic pillars. Small antique windows blazoned with images of saints
granit[ e ]


devices are seen not only in Churches but private dwellings
I am fatigued as you may well imagine and may ask your favor to sleep after having given so much proof that
I do not in this scene of romance forget the real source of all my happiness the love of my dearest Frances –
Chester Monday 24th
We commenced our researches at a very early hour and having completed them are now waiting for the Coach to
convey us to Liverpool. Our first walk was to the castle, we rambled through all its apartments. The armory
containing 30,000 muskets 13,000 of which have been used by the British troops, Cutlasses pikes bayonets and
all the other instruments of destruction – but the enumeration would not interest you, the barracks, the Jail
the Court rooms &c but neither you nor I care for them – I inquired wishfully whether we could be admitted
to Julius Agricolas tower but was answered that it is now used as a magazine and no persons ad-
mitted – Thence we surveyed the beautiful bridge over the Dee, the largest stone arch in the world – but
it was new and I was in love with antiquity The River Dee! How often I have read of it and imagining its
magnitude and beauty by comparison thought it little less majestic than the noble Hudson — How was
I surprised to see it in width and beauty hardly quite excelling the Owasco– navigable in tide
only – except by means of artificial works – Next we visited St Johns Church – Its history is told by its Saxon
arches, circular instead of pointed. – An inscription A pillar affixed in the North side of the Church
has this inscription “This Churches’ antiquitie. The year of grace Six Hundred four score and nine
(as saith mine author a Britaine Gualdus) King Etheldred minding most the bless of Heavens
edified a college Church notable and famous in the suburbs of Chester pleasant and beauteous to the
honor of God and the Baptist St John with the help of Bishop Wulfric.” In 1468 the old steeple fell, It was
afterwards built (in 1470) and the whole roof covered with lead. The Nave and Choir of The Church as fitted of in 1581 from the purest
Parish Church. The whole interior is a perfect and most interesting relic of Saxon Architecture. The monk walks are two narrow
galleries arched and containing arched entrances, through which you may walk from the basement floor going round the circum-
ference of the Chapel to the tower and having always ^in view^ except when concealed by the pillars or winding stairs the interior of
the Cathedral. The gallery is only wide enough for one person to walk in and was never intended like modern galleries
Page 3

[hole] I ascended the dark staircase and traversed the circular
[hole] on ^The monks walk at^ this height I looked down unobserved upon the Curate of the Parish
[hole] Having habited himself in his robe he waited the burial ass-
[hole] for the procession of a marriage ceremony. There were present be-
[hole] to whom without bidding or notice though from an un-
[hole] alley added a witness of whom the parties were unconscious. The cere-
[hole] [ a ]


Reason: hole
nd made my apology to the party who seemed to be too happy in
[hole] nous intrusion. I staid a few moments to converse with the Curate
[hole] same ceremony for a newly arrived pair of lovers. In both cases
[hole] [ p ]


Reason: hole
lainly and neatly dressed. Of this Church the chronicle of S Werburgh
[hole] ich he was directed by the Saint as the spot where he should see a White
[hole] us picture with a white hissock was placed in the wall — Besides this picture
the [hole] [ sa ]


Reason: hole
aints, made in a very ancient and imperfect style of sculpture — among them
is St John & St Peter. In some places the statues have fallen and in others parts of them only remain. One tower which is now falling
is entirely surmounted by ivy which renders it a most beautiful and interesting relic of antiquity.
From these proud ruins of ancient magnificence we now directed our way to the most splendid imitations of Gothic archi-
tecture in modern Europe to Eaton Hall the county seat of the late Lord Grosvenor
Birth: 1795-01-27 Death: 1869-10-31
now the Marquis of Westminster distant about 4 ½ miles from
Chester. In this excursion we were accompanied by two young English ladies

who were at the Hotel and took seats with us in the Coach
about two miles from Chester we arrived at the gate of his Lordships domains, the gate Keeper admitted us and our carriage rolled along
the distance of about a mile and an half upon a winding gravel road though an avenue of forest trees so laid out as to con-
ceal the palace but at every point to give us a view of some part of the city of Chester – We came now to an iron railed park
A Gothic arched gateway of great beauty crosses the avenue upon which was emblazoned his Lordships Coat of arms with the
truly noble though not aristocratic motto – Virtatis nobilitas non stemma character. “Virtue and not Birth constitutes true nobility.
The gate was immediately opened and we proceeded through the park by an avenue which was not shaded and was
so contrived that sometimes that palace was in full view, sometimes partially seen and sometimes concealed by the clusters
of shade trees. This park contains 600 acres. Here we saw hares & deer feeding or sleeping as undisturbed by our approach as
the sheep and cows which were admitted to enjoy with them the luxury of the sweet grass. Birds were equally free and I was
astonished to find among them equally favored with the most admired, the raven so obnoxious on the other side of the water
Under the shade of a pine grove was a fish pond of greater magnitude than I had before seen. – At length we reached the
court yard of the palace which is inclosed by a plain low iron railing. We drove under the archway which forms a protection of
the Hall steps and presented ourselves with I confess an Anti Republican feelings of awe arising produced by the magnificence
by which we were surrounded. The Porter admitted us into a spacious square Hall, opposite separated by folding doors was the entrance to the
grand staircase on either side were figures of Knights in complete ancient armor and on the fireplaces are large and splendid
paintings from Roman History. The entire interior as well as exterior of the Castle is finished in the most perfect manner of
Gothic Architecture. The floors and tables are of unpainted oak the walls are supported by Gothic arches of great
beauty as well as solidity. The color of the walls is light yellow and ^ ^ the roof walls ^ceiling is^ white contrasted with gold. We passed first
into a corridor fronting the park and lighted by the five Gothic windows the upper sashes of which are of most beautiful painted
glass of a great variety and beauty of design The walls of the corridor are adorned with pictures of the family and relations, amongst
which is one of the Mayor’s Grandmother
and another of an Uncle
both are deceased. The others were unknown to our Guide
Midway the corridor opens into the Chapel – a beautiful small apartment with a gallery, reading desk, pulpit choir &c. At the
end of the corridor we turned to look back through it and nothing could produce finer effect than the long gallery with its
beautiful arches, finely illuminated by the richest windows and terminated at each end by a beautiful window most
richly ornamented in the finest style of painting. Turning to the right we were shown through the several sleeping apartments
of the family and guests, the furniture is all of a fashion admirably suited to the style of the architecture of the castle, rich
and massive, but not sombre. The State bed room and furniture is in a style of surpassing magnificence – Can care or disease intrude
within those velvet curtains, most not the head sleep undisturbed that rests under a golden canopy? The Dining room
the drawing rooms, the music room the saloons now burst upon us in such surpassing splendor that I had no time to
take notes without which I could remember nothing. The Dining room is decorated by full length portraits of the Marquis
and Lady, and by statues of all his noble ancestors, in the costumes of their age – the same belligerent persons grace the
windows of the saloon – the sombre armour which encases their chivalrous figures relieved by the beautiful light and shades
which only can be produced in transparent painting upon glass. The windows of this suit of rooms look out upon the
river and forest and an artificial lake – but each room has a variegated prospect different from the others. In the dining
room is an admirable picture by Rubens
Birth: 1577-06-28 Death: 1640-05-30
of Abigail meeting David, and two large pictures, the first the restoration of
Charles the 2d
Birth: 1630-05-29 Death: 1685-02-06
and the other Oliver Cromwell
Birth: 1599-04-25 Death: 1658-09-03
dismissing the Rump parliament – The latter is inimitable in the effect with which
[hole] speaks the puritan simplicity of the stern revolutionary zeal of the Protectors. These pictures contrasted leave a doubt upon which
side of that great controversy the sympathies of their proprietor are bestowed. The drawing room is decorated by scripture pre-
ces. Judith holding up the bloody head of Holofernes, and Joseph
with the coat which was the cause of the envy of his brothers One
of the finest, one too which I looked upon without a feeling of revolting at the freedom of the painter is that of Christ and the
Samaritan woman at the well. The Library is spacious and though filled up at great expense is nevertheless so plain that re-
verement is studiously avoided. Here we saw a splendid collection of valuable works, together with many other curious
presents. Among the latter is a golden trowel with which his Lordship laid the cornerstone of the new and majestic
bridge over the river Dee – Having passed through the several apartments of the family and guests we recorded our
names in an album, paid the housekeeper each one shilling and gave way to another and more numerous party of visitors
who seemed greatly intimidated as they introduced themselves to the Roman who exhibits so much splendor ^for 12 pence^ . By way of episode which may
partake of the bathos I ought to observe that this Housekeeper
is rapidly accumulating a fortune she succeeds a lady who has late-
ly retired with an independence from the same post We paused in front of the castle to survey its exterior. It is about three hun
dred feet in length, has a basement story which contains the servants and kitchen apartments – and but the one appar
story above ground with long arched Gothic windows. Towers grace the centre and each end – it is built of granite and
is in every respect in the most perfect proportions. We now put ourselves under the guidance of the Keeper of the garden
and traversed the garden and pleasure grounds immediately connected with the castle. They include more than one hundred
acres and exhibit every imaginable beauty of design and the utmost conceivable luxuriance. In a small building after the
model of Roman architecture and in which we stopped a moment for protection from a passing shower is an ancient Roman
altar found at Chester bearing the inscription "Nymphis et Foutibus Leg" XX, ^VV^ XV,The inscription means it is dedicated to the Nymphs
and Fountains and was erected the by the 20th Legion Grapes were refinded in the hothouses and every luxury of the season await the
arrival of the family who are expected to return from London in a few days. In a spot surrounded by artificial
rocks which are overgrown by mountain vines and flowers is a plot which is called "my young Ladys garden" Where-
by it appears that like some other peoples Grandchildren I might mention, the little daughters
x Birth: 1831-01-24  Death: 1909-01-22  Birth: 1829-09-22  Death: 1921-05-29  Birth: 1828-06-14  Death: 1906-03-24  Birth: 1826-12-16  Death: 1839-01-25  Birth: 1824-07-09  Death: 1899-12-16  Birth: 1821-10-02  Death: 1912-01-02  Birth: 1820-10-22  Death: 1911-05-04 
of the present Earl of Grosvenor
is a great favourite of Grand Pa


the Marquis of Westminster. The Marquis is advanced in years has three sons
Unknown Birth: 1801-04-24  Death: 1893-11-18  Birth: 1799-12-30  Death: 1882-03-07 
& no daugh-
living. Each of the sons has a family and all live together. The old nobleman's praises are in every bodys mouth
as a humane good man. His income is said here to be £300.000 sterling = equal to almost A million and an half
of dollars. His castle and furniture cost about a million pounds sterling. When we had finished the promenade of the gardens
we returned to our homely lodging at the Inn, not a particle less content was I that I am neither a Lord nor rich, few Lords
are as good as the Marquis of Westminster and I have no belief that in all his prowess and wealth he is more content than I am and
shall be if I but preserve the love of my dearest and the two little boys whose eyes have never strained to see the luxurious wonder which
the few here languish with satiety and the many guards in penury and distress
Dublin Wednesday 27th, 1833 – June
My Dear Frances I am almost as much surprised as you will be by the sudden transition I have made from merry England to the capital of
Ireland. So it is however that instead of rambling up and down among the hills and ^valleys^ dell of Wales and tracing the marches of Owen Glendower
owing to the slightest circumstance in the world I have been again taking upon the Ocean and am now surrounded by the motley combination of the
Irish Metropolis. It was our intention to take the coach to Holyhead through Bangor but then being no coach until last evening except one
which makes the town in the night we determined to return on Monday afternoon from Chester to Liverpool and there to take the steam boat the
same evening to this place postponing if not altogether as I fear abandoning our visit to Wales. We return to Liverpool by the same water I have
before described I rode within the Coach and had for my companions a young worried Englishwoman
with her child
and two English

. All dressed plainly but in a manner which told that they are in comfortable circumstances. The two farmers were tenants of
Page 4

The Marquis of Westminster, the Woman and her husband
are servants as she [hole]
all matters relating to the circumstances and advantages and embarrass [hole]
in a subdued and humble tone of the Nobility and Gentry by whom they [hole]
would submit to worse oppression than England now suffers if the [hole]
for change and apparently without the consciousness or belief that [hole]
Still they listened with hungry ears to detail of the state of society in America [hole]
and governed by persons in the same conditions of life with themselves. Nor [hole]
too high and the Government too prodigal of the hard earnings of the Peo[ ple ]


Reason: hole
To them it was a matter of singular interest nay of astonishment that should [hole]
landholders, professional men and Statesmen, There must be in the English people [hole]
preserve the abuses of aristocracy in the midst of so much light and Knowledge. We arrived at Liverpool just in time for the
departure of the Boat to Ireland. Losing no time in our embarkation we were soon once more upon the channel – and it was
not long before I had abundant evidence that excepting my father and myself every passenger was an Irishman. They were
merchants agents &c of respectable appearance and education but they had the peculiar dialect of the Emerald Isle and
not many of the singular idioms which are used by their humble countrymen in America – There was a frankness, or sten-
tority about them unlike any thing I have seen in England or even in America. I secured an ^after^ cabin birth for my father but
was compelled to be content with a steerage berth if any for myself. A young Irishman
standing by and perceiving that I
was a stranger and learning that my father was unwell immediately offered his berth to me he having been so fortunate as
he said to receive one in the ^after^ cabin He pressed it upon me with so much kindness that I at last consented to accept it. When
lo to his astonishment as well as my surprise it appeared in the sequel that his birth was in the steerage. These good
fellows inquiring of me about England put me under the necessity of publishing the fact that we are Americans – Every one
immediately interposed and I was furnished with a good nice birth in the after cabin – The sea was rough – my father
retired immediately to bed. I remained on deck until ten o'clock, when I could have been able to read by the fire
light. There was that in the circumstances by which I was surrounded that gratified my national pride the curiosity
of all the passengers was excited to learn all I could tell them about America – their sympathies were with my countrymen – They could
not too particularly learn the principles of our constitutions nor be wearied by details of the social conditions of the Americans.
They disliked Englishmen, but they almost idolized the Americans – they look forward to the freedom of their own country as
an event to be facilitated or defeated altogether by the development of the success or failure of the American Government.
There was no affectation no reserve, no pride among the passengers except on my part. I was particularly pleased by the
of two young Irish ladies

, who were returning from a visit to Wales. Had I met them in America I think I should have known from
the complexion and the cast of their countenances that they were of the Green Isle. Yet they were handsome and agreeable
and modest and I though it strange that the association ^in my mind^ of their peculiarities with Irish immigrants should shave induced me at
first to doubt their respectability. We passed a pleasant evening though the sea was rough and the wind cold and the next
morning had delightful sunshine to give effect to the prospect before us – The Coast of Ireland is rough and rocky, and as you
approach it seems to forbid access. The Harbor of Kingstown

and Dublin is a beautiful small bay in the shape of an Am-
phitheatre. As you come nearer – you perceive that – rugged as are the rocks which present their surfaces – the Mountains
of Wicklow of immense height are cultivated even to the top. It is a glorious view. Hatta The harbor on one side
is formed for a considerable extent by a pier constructed by the Government. We were no sooner landed at the wharf then
a rush took place of porters crowding for the possession of the luggage – some with a brass plates on their arm giving their
names and numbers as licensed porters and others having no pretense of license – they were ragged, and filthy and their impa-
tience to receive the possession of the baggage was readily excused under the instantaneous convictions that the recipients compelled
them to strive to the utmost, Poor fellows We ^my father and I^ had nearly all the trunks there were and yet they came in numbers strong enough to carry twenty
parcels so great was the competition for the single shilling which was the amount of their fees. Mounted on the outside I had full opportunity to witness
the great differences in the style of the coach and horses and the whole establishment contrasted with what we had seen in England. Instead of the
sleek fat well dressed English we had a light complexioned tall giant Irishman
dressed in a ragged old great coat which had as it was
in the worst state of peices hanged together for temporary purpose – and the coach was evidently a worn and second rate English vehicle
for so our driver was called had a short clumsy whip and applied its lash continually to the sides of the wretched beasts. At the
wharf was moored a Convict ship filled with transports, that is persons convicted of felonies principally larcenies the punishment
for which is death, but their sentence of death having been commuted to that of transportation. The ship seemed to have been built in a
manner appropriate to her destination – being heavy & painted all over black – She is a large vessel – and so great is the extent of
crime in Ireland that one of these vessels always lies in this Port filling up with her wretched cargo and when once thus filled
has sailed she is succeeded by another ready to receive a similar freight – The mouth of the river Liffey is difficult of access and
for that reason the greater part of the vessels trading at Dublin come to at Kingstown the port where we landed. This village
is comparatively new – the place is frequented as a waiting place and it is increasing with a rapidity like that of the
growth of towns in the United States. The houses which are erected here are of stone covered with a clean white stucco
and being built either for public houses or dwellings of Gentlemen in Dublin they are very imposing in appearance. The
most prominent object ^seen^ in driving through the town is an obelisk of considerable height bearing an inscription which tells
that it was erected to perpetuate the memory of the landing of George the 4th on his visit to Ireland. What is now Kingstown

[right Margin]
was until that event known as Dunleary. The citizens in the c[ ity ]


Reason: hole

swarm of their rapture on receiving among them the successor of the
oppressions abolished the good old Irish name of Dunleary and
adopted their present loyal name of Kingstown – Besides this
I have seen many other evidences that there is a much stronger
loyal party in Ireland then I expected to find here –
Had all consciousness of the voyage been taken away from me
I should have known that I was now upon the shore of unfor-
tunate Ireland – Whiskey shops crowd each other for miles
under the imposing words printed over the door "Licensed to
sell ale beer and spirituous liquors" – Ragged men women
and children thronged the road side in all the different sites
of hopeless penury – beggars way laid the coach soliciting in the
name of God a half penny – What a contrast did this spec-
tacle present to the elegant and spacious mansion houses
which in every direction met our eyes on the road to Dublin
From Kingstown to Dublin the distance of four and an half miles the
road is thronged by coaches cars carts and foot passengers. The
road passes through several villages as they are called but
they are in fact suburbs of the great city. The Lord Cloncurry
Birth: 1773-08-19 Death: 1853-10-28

lives in splendor on this side and Sir John
Birth: 1772 Death: 1845-07-22
such an one or that,
while beggars lay at their gates and men & women and in the last
disgusting stage of drunkenness tell the forlorn history of the noblest
land under the sun governed by the worst of all Masters a rich landed ^ ^

[right Margin]
next to Glasgow by the way of Belfast. Adieu, Your Henry

Benjamin J. Seward Esq
14b Nassau Street
New York
One sheet
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
From Chester