Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 27, 1833

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 27, 1833



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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 27, 1833

action: sent

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

location: Dublin, Ireland

receiver: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: crb 2018-02-27

Page 1

Dublin (Thursday 27th June 1833. My own dear Frances, I bade you adieu in my last letter on the coach to be upon the road from Kingstown

to this city – Passing
through the suburban villages of Monktown and Gouthe
and leaving on our left the town not altogether unwept unhonored or unsung of "Donny brook"
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
entered the splendid and spacious streets of Dublin. On the way I was shown the house in which O'Connell
Birth: 1775-08-06 Death: 1847-05-20
the celebrated Irish agitator
resides when in this city, he is now attending the Parliament at London The coach drove to the Royal Hotel ^in College Green^ fronting the most magnificent
square I ever beheld. I had often heard of the beauty of Dublin. Like the wandering Frenchman the poor exile of Erin
 Publisher:  Printed by Cottom and Stewart Place of Publication:Alexandria, VA Date: 1809
in whatever land he
weeps or rejoices tells of the glories of The "great city" of his native country. I know so well the enthusiastic feelings of the Irishman and their
almost oriental powers of description that I had never given credit to the assertion that a country whose peasantry are more destitute than
those of any other Country ^land^ possesses the most splendid city in Europe. We had here as elsewhere to encounter the capacity of mendicant volunteers
for service – Before the porter
of the house had reached the coach an officious lad
half in rags seized our trunks and was bestowing them in
the Hall – Having ascertained that we could have rooms we directed our trunks removed from the Hall. "Dont forget the Coachman" said
who had driven us four miles. I deposited in his hand a sum equal to one third of the Coach fare. "Remember the Guard your honour"
said his majesty's officer
who rode behind to protect us from robbery – I gave him six pence (NYork shilling) but he being well fed and
paid declined receiving less than a shilling sterling. "Please your honor I brought in your luggage" said the ragged urchin who had
thrust himself into the porters place in the street – Having as well as I could got rid of this clamor we followed the chambermaid

an Irish girl. "We cannot go too high up – you must give us a room in the second story." "Oh yes your Honor – its just up here – its an
easy step to it.” Is it a nice good room? "Oh that it is your Honor as youse would wish to see" – We followed her up to the 4th story – into
a room more filthy than it would be proper to describe – Our luggage having gone before us it was to late to retreat. So we compound-
ed the matter by directing our Irish chambermaid to scrub the floor well and give us clean beds, "That she would do" she
said and we would be as comfortable as in any house in all Dublin" – We possessed ourselves in the meantime of another
apartment and with proverbial alacrity the girl went to work, in two hours the floor was clean – but the beds on which
there were no sheets looked as black as if they had been filled always by colliers. We signified our desire for clean sheets
and Bridget on that hint brought in clean white Irish linen. So that before night our apartment to all external appearance
was clean and we were too prudent to push our researches beyond what palpably met the eye. On going below every thing
we met and show ^saw^ evinced that we were in a land of foreign habits customs and people from any we had ever seen – In the
coffee room was posted a written notice declaring as a law of the house that those persons who read the newspapers in the room
and do not call for a meal or lodging must pay three pence – (six cents) – and the further rule that for reading newspapers the day
after their arrival the reader should pay only half price – Looking out at the window we saw women carrying a long staffs upon each
of which was posted ^a^ placard as large as the American Theatre bills. Wondering what were the interesting contents of notices thus laboriously
obtruded upon the public I followed the bearer of one of them until I was able to read "Important to the Public. P. Leonard
at his shoe store
in Sackville Street has a splendid assortment of boots and shoes" – I found this grotesque mode of advertising to be the common custom
of the merchants and Theatres and I presume it is universal. A few half pence pays the ragged bearer of these placards. Some of
them have the two placards fastened together by strings around their necks and go about the street presenting two copies one
to those they meet and the other to these who are following them – The Theatre notice was expressed in a manner characteristic
of the Country "The Kings Servants give notice that they will for tomorrow evening perform the opera &c." Doubtless the Kings
servants are as independent actors as any but the servility of the designation which they assume secure unnecessary and super-
The Royal Hotel is on the side of a square having directly in front the most splendid Edifice I have ever seen – The Bank of Ireland
and on the right hand are of great beauty and extent Trinity College. To the former we made our first visit and it was with feelings
of indignation against England and commiseration for unhappy Ireland that we approached this building now occupied by
money changers but formerly the Capitol of Ireland where sat her Lords and Commons – It was but the shadow of independence
that even then remained to poor Ireland but with the Union not only passed away that shadow but all hope of brighter
days I now believe for ever. The material of the edifices is Portland stone. The front upon College Green is 147 a Grand
Cortico 147 feet in length of the Ionic order – destitute of all factitious ornament but imposing by its perfect symmetry
and simplicity. We passed the ordinary offices of the Clerks and entered the room formerly occupied by the House of Commons
This is a circular apartment the diameter of which is 55 feet. The dome is supported by sixteen Corinthian columns. The walls
are decorated by several ancient paintings of National character. The House of Lords is at the right of the House of Commons and is a
beautiful piece of architecture. In the recess at the farther end stands the statue of Geo 3d


. The dome has a painted ceiling.
^In^ one of the groups is St Patrick converting the natives of Ireland to Christianity. The disgraceful history of the abandonment
of this Capitol to money makers is briefly told in a volume before me thus "The Union between Great Britain and Ireland
which was effected in 1800 having rendered a Parliament House in Dublin altogether unnecessary this noble building
was purchased from Government by the Bank of Ireland for the sum of £40.000 subject to aground rent of £240 per
anum–" The present occupants have made extensive repairs and the building is undoubtedly now a greater ornament
to the City than before. Upon the tympanum of the pediment in front is in the centre the Royal arms of Great Britain – On
its apex a figure of Hibernia with Commerce on her left hand and Fidelity on her right – On the Western Portico are sima-
lar statues of Fortitude Justice and Liberty. After having gone hastily through and around this beautiful edifice I returned once
more to look at the apartments where Irelands own Lords and Commons made her laws before her perfidious represen-
tatives sold her remaining liberties to England. The House of Lords now occupied by the Court of Proprietors is 73 feet long
by 20 feet broad. On one side of the wall is a splendid painting of the battle of the Boyne and on the other are equally fine
representation of the Siege of Londonderry. As if the object were to mock the lost liberty of Ireland no trace of the Legislative pur-
poses of this Hall is left except the statue of George the 3d in his parliamentary robes standing in front of the throne – No
better design could have been adopted to express the change from a Representative parliament to Despotism. One of the
earliest impressions made upon an American in visiting Dublin is the suspicion indulged by the government, the great, and the
rich against the People – A Guard of 50 men are maintained by the Bank and sentinels are seen posted day and
night at all points of access. Portholes in the wall are supplied with cannons to protect the edifices from the
mob. What a contrast does not this present to the security of similar Institutions in the only land where the People govern
themselves. The Bank of the United States is secured by the honesty of the People among whom it is located – The only ex-
traordinary precaution adopted is that of a solitary watchman who walks in the portico during the night.
Nothing can exceed the contrasts of the different objects and persons continually passing around us – We are in the
fashionable part of the town. Here ^on every street are^ Coaches of magnificent and luxurious style, with postilions footmen and outriders
in linens of all colours and designs rolling along through crowds of ragged barefooted women and children –
The splendid gilding of these carriages is contrasted by the filth of small carts drawn by Jacks. The Young Ladies
ride much on horseback and excepting only the precessions of beggars nothing is more common than parties of two
or three young Ladies fair in face and graceful in figure and dress riding on horseback escorted by officers police
officers and citizens in their best attire. The Ladies ^when on horseback^ wear small hats of the shape worn by the Gentlemen but with a
very narrow brim from which descend a long flowing veil. Their riding dresses are made in the form of a habit
but so long that when ^the Lady is^ sitting on her horse it almost reaches the pavement. You perceive all around you the evidence that
you are now in a Country where an Aristocracy flourish unchecked by the popular prejudices or jealousy. Every effort is made
to command attention by splendor of dress and peculiarity of dress and appendage – Military officers in bright red armed and
apparelled with sword epaulet chapeau and plume – staff officers, pensioners on half pay with the coat and buttons, police
officers & guards in blue and red, students wear black gowns, Lawyers in wigs and gowns, and servants in black blue
red green drab and yellow livery sweep by a populace who regard the favored ones as beings of superior nature –
The scene next attracted to view the Equestrian monument erected in memory of William the 3d Prince of Orange
Birth: 1650-11-04 Death: 1702-03-08

who gave his name as you may recollect to the Protestant party in Ireland who are still known as "Orangemen" – It was
erected in 1701 and though possessing no great merits as a work of art is still one of the most important objects in the city
It has the following inscription
Gulielmo Tertio
Magnae Britanniae Franciae Et Hiberniae
Ob Religionem Conservatum
Restitutas Leges
Libertatem Assectam
Cives Dubliniensis Hanc Statuam Possuere.

Editorial Note

This is the beginning of the second column, but we have transcribed it into one column for the sake of readability.
In English
To William 3d,
King of Great Britain France & Ireland
In commemoration of Religion preserved
Laws restored
And Liberty established
The Citizens of Dublin have erected
This statue
The erection of this monument was at the time considered an insult to the Catholics who resented it
at the time by committing indignities upon it, defacing it twisting the sword and wrenching the truncheon from the Royal hand
The City caused the monument to be repaired with great solemnity, all the companies or Corporations attending the ceremony
and addresses of congratulation and thanks were reciprocated by the House of Commons, the Vice Roy and the Mayor
On the anniversary of the erection. The Protestants until within a few years decorated the statue with Orange ribbons
and formed processions around it. These ceremonies never failed to arouse a mob of Catholics who threatened often
the safety of the city. I believe the ceremony is now discontinued but the monument is nevertheless regarded with
great reservation by the Protestants and is the cause of heart burnings which will never cease among the Catholics while
it continues to remind them of the slavery under which they were brought but him whom it commemorates
Mr McBride
, whose acquaintance we made pointed out to us a poor woman this morning who was in attendance at
the Bank of Ireland waiting among the guard for the doors to be opened – she is insane and labors
Page 2

under the delusion that she has a great sum of money in deposit in that institution. She presents herself every morning be the weather as it may
and being refused admittance makes her complaint to the passersby that it is very strange – she sees every other person receiving money there
and in great sums and she having a sum greater than any of them cannot obtain a penny.
On my way to view the River and bridges I was accosted by several mendicants, among whom was an old woman crying “och
the murther I am robbed robbed – please your Honor give a poor old soul that has been robbed a penny and the blessings of God
descend upon your Honor.” Now this poor lying mendicant had just rags enough about her to cover her limbs and the only property
she had which could have tempted anybody to rob her was a pennyworth of refuse coals which she carried in her apron
Like many others of her sex who we see on the streets she was intoxicated – but the pretense of her being robbed I mention because
it is so like the falsehoods which her countrymen of the lowest grade make use of in America.
The Liffey flows thought the centre of the city. One view of it brought down all my glowing anticipations to the most dull and
tame reality. Instead of a large and deep river like the Mohawk imagine a narrow stream of the size of the Owasco flowing
strait through the town between stone walls like the embankments of a canal and you have a correct idea of the Liffey.
On my right hand below the bridge upon which I stood was seen twenty or thirty vessels of different magnitude though
all inferior to those in the New York harbor – above the river was surmounted by a succession of handsome stone
bridges. No vessels of any size go above the custom house which is on the Eastern side of the city – and the river
is sunk so low between the stone walls that it is not resorted to for rowing in pleasure boats. There are no less
than nine spacious and beautiful bridges thrown across the stream – all of them built of granite except one
footpath bridge which consists of one beautiful entire iron arch. One of the bridges is called Kings bridge
and bears an inscription which declares that it was erected in commemoration of the visit of his Majesty
Birth: 1762-08-12 Death: 1830-06-26

George the Fourth to this part of his Majestys realms. What a sad lesson of the weakness of poor human nature may be
read in the monuments every where meeting the eye erected to commemorate this visit of the late King. From all
that I have heard I have no doubt that the enthusiasm of the Irish populace on that occasion was even more
extravagant than that of the American People on the reception of Lafayette
Birth: 1757-09-06 Death: 1834-05-20
yet the latter were receiving back to their
bosom the defender of their liberties, the former were welcoming the hereditary spoiler of their land.
We extended our walk to the Four Courts as the building is called in which the Courts of Law are held. It
stands on the North bank of the Liffey and is a splendid edifice 440 feet in length and 170 feet in depth. The enter
is through a portico surmounting six pillars of the Corinthian order. On the pediment over the portico is a statue of Moses
with the figures of Justice and Mercy on each side and on the corners are the statues of Wisdom and Authority
in a sitting posture. Passing through the portico we entered an immense ^circular^ hall of 64 feet in diameter lighted by a dome
containing eight windows between which are colossal statues of Liberty Justice Wisdom Law Prudence Mercy Eloquence
and Judgement. In a frieze of foliage rising above the statues are medallion busts of Moses Lycurgus Solon Numa
Confucius Alfred Mancha Capac and Ollam Fodhla – eminent law givers – In the panels over the entrance
to the Courtrooms are bas reliefs representing William the Conqueror establishing Courts of Justice, King John
signing Magna Charta, Henry 2d securing the Irish Chieftains, and James 1st abolishing the barbarous Brehon Law.
We entered first the Room in which the Court of Exchequer is held – His lordship
Birth: 1777 Death: 1843-07-10
was just adjourning the Court, the door Keeper

or constable with his staff offered to conduct us into the Hall of the Kings bench where we found that Court in session
Here was a scene altogether new to us. The room seemed to be fitted up in the manner altogether most calculated to
render it gloomy and uncomfortable. Opposite to the entrance and raised about as high above the floor as our Ameri-
can Pulpit, is a bench lined with damask and under a canopy of the same material sat the Chief Justice
who was holding his Nisi prius or Circuit Court. He was habited in judicial robes and wore a large flax ^flaxen^ wig
well powdered which made his Lordships face look red and narrow. The name of his Lordship is Bushe – he is said
to be a Judge of great eminence. On his right hand dressed in a black gown and wig was sitting the Lord Bishop of
Birth: 1786 Death: 1834-06-16
who being of the better order has the privilege of sitting on the bench with the presiding judge but has no
part in the business. In front ^of the bench^ and at the left hand of his Lordship was a square awkward kind of box in the shape
of a chain in which the Witness sat who was under examination – Thus elevated in the air – he leans forward to
hear and answer the Counsel who rise during the examination and address the serial witness at an ele-
vation of about twenty degrees. Below the Bench and in front were the reporters taking notes – next in front
before them was the Clerks of the court – a narrow table for the reception of papers and lawbooks was
between them and the Counsel who occupy long wooden benches ^seats^ not unlike the styles in a church which
rise in height as they recede from the bench. On the front seat sat a row of Gentlemen of middle age and upwards
who wore flaxen wigs and silk gowns. These are the Kings Counsel a degree which entitles them to precedence
of their brethren sitting farther from the bench who wear bombazet gowns. To me this dress of the Lord Chief Justice and Law-
yers so far from seeming well designed to inspire awe or command respect seemed more calculated to execute rid-
cule. Young men of my own age had their manicured visages cased in immense flaxen wigs which had no sem-
blance to grey hair, and powder was thrown upon the threads in such quantities that it fell with the motion
of the head. I addressed the youngest Barrister
near me by informing him of my claim by a country (being ^a member^
of the Profession) to a seat. He very politely furnished seats for my father and myself. He pointed out to us
the parties and Counsel. The jury occupied a seat at the right hand of the Judge but in the gallery – so that
they looked down upon Court bar and witness – The Counsel have the same inconvenience in addressing them
that the Clergyman would have of in a church if his audience were all in the gallery and he standing on the
floor. The Sheriff
, &c have each a box or cage in front of the gallery – The audience are confined to the gallery –
Our new acquaintance pointed out to us a Gentlemen
Birth: 1765 Death: 1859-12-05
of advanced years who married the sister
Birth: 1773-10-10 Death: 1804
of Robert Emmett
Birth: 1778-03-04 Death: 1803-09-20

and is at the summit of the profession here. My new friend could not understand how we could dispense in Ameri-
ca with gowns and wigs. How do you determine said he who shall take precedence? I answered talent and reputation
give the only claims to precedence and the homage they deserve cheerfully paid without the intervention of arbitrary
rules which may be (and he admitted) were often so applied as to keep down merit and promote stupidity by the
means of favoritism. The case on trial possessed no great interest for us – we left the hall well satisfied with the
simplicity of our own courts. The Court Jury Witnesses and Counsel all speak the English language with the
same peculiar pronunciation and intonation by which an Irishman may be known the world over. I cannot say
that in this aspect I was surprised but I confess myself shocked at hearing genteel and beautiful women speaking
in a dialect which invariably marks a low caste in America. Many of the Irish women are handsome and
all have countenances which bespeak amiable and generous dispositions.
Funerals are celebrated here with much the same pomp as in England. The Hearse and horses are decorated if the
deceased were an unmarried person with white plumes, if married, the plumes are black – The Hearse is drawn
by six horses, or four, never I believe by two. Those persons whose relatives cannot procure so expensive a
burial resort to bins carried by the bearers.
It is very obvious that the majority of all the persons whom we meet and with whom we converse are protest-
ants and tories. They speak in terms of unmeasured condemnation of the eloquent and patriotic though possibly
too enthusiastic O’Connell. They seem to apprehend the worst calamities from the repeal of the Union – and in
short act as Protestants or any other minority would do who hold in subjection and tribute the great Catholic
population of the Country by military force. I wish for no blood shed but Heaven knows I would be glad to
see the experiment of the repeal of the Union tried. Here ends the first days sightseeing in Ireland –
Page 3

Thursday June 27th. My dear Frances. Our first visit this morning was to the Monument in Sackville Street erected in honor of Lord Nelson.
It consists of a pedestal column and capital of the Tuscan order and upon its summit is a bronze statue of the veteran leaning against
the capstone of a ship. The monument is built of granite upon the pedestal are inscriptions commemorating the four great battles.
On one side "The Nile 1sAugust 1st MDCCCVIII. On another "St Vincent

February 14th 1797. On the third "Trafalgar

21 October
1805 and on the 4th Copenhagen 21 April 1801. The height of the column including the statue is 134 feet. We clambered to
the capital by 168 stone steps on the inside, when we converged into the light upon a parapet and iron railing. From this lofty eleva-
tion we had a fine prospect embracing on the East the harbor with the shipping the splendid custom House and
until bounded by the horizon on the Ocean. On the south a fine view of the blue Wicklow mountains and on the North
and West a beautiful and fertile country. Beneath us lay the great city contracted within the hundredth part of
the scope of our vision. From this elevation we looked up to the statue above us which might well be taken for the
Irish Giant with his ten mile boots. Here we discovered what had before escaped our attention, that the Veterans ^right^ left
arm is missing and his sleeve is so sculptured as to represent the sleeve which is not filled, while his sword is grasped in
his left hand. The winding stairway had an astonishing effect in conveying sounds. On listening out the top we could hear the
conversation of the Irishmen who were our guides at the base of the monument. Birds nests are made in safety in the open
spaces made for the admission of light and air.
From the Monument we bent our steps to the Castle. On the way I was tempted by
some pale common looking peaches in the windows. I inquired the price and was answered that I could have them cheap,
for only one shilling (sterling) each. I am not surprised that the Irish children become thievish. These peaches are golden fruit
always before them but which they may never hope to taste.
By the side of the river was a small wooden house perhaps 12 feet long and 10 feet wide fixed upon wheels upon
the side of which was printed in large capitals this imposing announcement. "A challenge to all the world. This saloon
of fine arts contains the most splendid variety of the richest transparent paintings by Italian Artists." My
father was inclined to try how far the paintings merited this extravagant description. They were exhibited by the aid of
a magnifying glass fixed in the end of the box and the price for a sight was two pence. We concluded to take the
pictures at the exhibitors word and passed on.
We now availed ourselves of a jaunting car which is kind of vehicle ^drawn by one horse^ used
in lieu of the hackney coaches which are common in other cities. It has two wheels and is something like a cart. In front is
the drivers box and on each side a box is let down by hinges. The box when down is found to contain a cushioned seat
long enough for three persons to sit in with comfortably. When the occupants of both seats have taken their places they
ride along side foremost looking ^firstly^ directly against the side of the street and those on the one side sitting with their backs to
those on the other. These cars are the most common vehicles in the city. Old and young great and small rich
and poor use them – they are always moving about the city and if there be a vacant seat in any which passes by
you you may take it. Ladies are seen riding on them frequently. They are sometimes very handsomely fitted up with good
horses and harness but nine out of ten are shabby ragged and filthy and the horse and driver are still worse. We however
secured a good establishment and at 11 o clock entered the yard of Dublin Castle now occupied as the ViceRoys
Castle. The Guard consists of both Horse and foot, the military evolutions well performed with great promptness, and
the scene aided by the effect of the tune of "God save the King" played by a full military band was what it was intended
to be very imposing. Although this same duty is performed in the same place every day in the year there were
assembled not less then a thousand of the populace of Dublin admiring the splendor of troops placed there not
to protect them from foreign foes but to keep themselves in subjection. Two shillings admitted us into the Castle.
We passed through a long colonnade into the Presence Chamber which is furnished with a throne and canopy
I sat down a moment upon the throne which was occupied by George the 4th in his visit to Dublin, but I could not for[ go ]


Reason: wax-seal

the habitual disregard in my Republican education for all the splendor and paraphernalia of Royalty
The most splendid room is the Assembly room or St Patricks’ Hall in which the order of Knights of St Patrick [ were ]


Reason: wax-seal

established. The flat of the ceiling is divided into three compartments. In one of them is a picture of St Patrick [ con- ]


Reason: wax-seal

verting the Irish to Christianity. In the other Henry II receiving the submission of the Irish Chieftains, and in the 3d George


, attended by Liberty Justice and other allegorical personages designed to express the beneficence and prosperity of
his reign. The Castle is ancient and boasts of no very great splendor. It was originally a fortress and had a port-
cullis and drawbridge but these are all long since demolished. It is now occupied for public purposes by the Marquis
of Anglesea
Birth: 1768-05-17 Death: 1854-04-29
who is Lord Lieutenant but his private residence is at a villa in St Stephens Park a few miles from the City. A favored
ornament of the several rooms is a medallion containing the rose, the thistle and shamrock with the motto "Tria in una
juncta Quis separabit?" "Three joined into one who will dare to separate them?" We passed through his Lordships bed
room but were told that being lame he keeps a travelling bed.
From the Castle we proceeded to the Castle Chapel a building of most perfect unity and beauty. It is of the Gothic
order. The exterior is ornamented with 80 or 90 heads including all the kings of England. The entrance is surrounded by
a fine head of St Peter with his Keys. Over another door are the busts of St Patrick, Brian Borhumine and over them
the head of the Virgin Mary. The Altar is placed in the rear of the pulpit and the chancel containing the altar is similar in design to
that of the late Episcopal Church at Auburn. The window over the Altar has a beautiful painting upon the glass, the scene is
Christ before Pontius Pilate. The pulpit desk pews &c are built of Irish oak and the whole is finished in most
beautiful and rich Gothic ^style^ . The Gallery is occupied by the Vice Roy, the Nobility and the Bishop. I sat upon the
cushions which had been pressed so often by the Representative of Majesty and once by Majesty itself but a small
thermometer which hung under the canopy advised me that disease does not spare the great. It is kept by the
Vice Roy for the purpose of ascertaining the temperature which he requires to be uniformly at a given point on ac-
count of his being afflicted by the tic douloureux. The arms of the Nobility are sculptured upon the fronts of their
pews. This Chapel is admired and I doubt not deservedly as the most unique and beautiful work of the kind in the
Kingdom. The communion plate is of massive gold and was presented by William 3d. As I lifted it from the floor
I could not avoid the reflection that it was not thus the first supper was served by the founder of the communion.
The chapel is altogether appropriated to the use of officers of the Government and the nobility. There is but one
private pew in the edifice and that bears the name of Mrs Johnson
Birth: 1769 Death: 1841
(the widow of the architect
Birth: 1760 Death: 1829-05-14
) to whom it
was presented by the government, a compliment which reflects equal honor on the Government and the Architect.
We now made an excursion in our jaunting car quite through the City. The tide
was out of the Liffey, the earth over the greater part of the bed of the river was bare and the effluvia coming
from it was very offensive. The apertures were visible by which the sewers of the City empty their contents into the
River. We Came now to the Mou Wellington
Birth: 1769-05-01 Death: 1852-09-14
monument in Phoenix Park a shapeless and uneasy monument of
huge granite 205 feet in height on which are inscribed the deeds of the Conqueror of Bonaparte. Passing by the
monument we rode about a mile until we arrived at the villa of the Lord Lieutenant. He was has been staying with
his family several weeks at Kingstown and was expected here this morning. Of course we were favored with but a hu-
rried visit through the splendid apartments. They are inferior to those of Eaton Hall nevertheless they are magnificent as
you may suppose they would be when you are told they are the residence of a Deputy King who has a salary of £20,000
sterling per annum. Such are the blessings of monarchical government. The palace contains many splendid paintings
Upon the walls of the Vice Roys sitting apartment is a star made of the swords which he wore in service in the late Conte-
nental war. We saw a collection of small medallion busts, among which were those of Washington and Bonaparte
The palace is delightfully located in the centre of a beautiful and very extensive park, but the trees and flowers
seemed not half so inviting as they would had not there been the painful contrast of a guard stationed about
the grounds.
Our driver now bought us to the bottom of a long hill in the vale of the Liffey above the city where were erected
a long row of huts called "Strawberry Cottages." Here for a great extent are gardens filled with strawberry vines –
and the place is a fashionable resort for the people of Dublin who come in Coaches, Cars and on foot by hundreds
We stopped at one of the cottages and had some of the luxury provided for us, but there was not neatness about it and
we were content to leave the romantic retreat very soon. The roadside there to Dublin was thronged by beggar
women who waylay every person going to this resort. Men and women are seen sitting, or sleeping in the sunshine
all along the road. About halfway to town a small genteel looking party were sitting under a shade tree near
a spring, drinking from a cup which tempted my father to ask for the loan of it. It was readily granted and the elder
lady of the Party pursued him with a long black bottle insisting upon his taking some "spirits" – Having with much
difficulty made her understand that he preferred to decline her offer she replied that for her part she didnt like
to drink "that raw cold water"
And now we arrived at a scene which is indescribable. It was an Irish fair
at St John's Well. It is said the to be quite a considerable imitation of the celebrated Donnybrook fair which is always
held in August. A large field was before us which might contain 15 or 20 acres. Huts tents & booths were erected
around the rides, and groups of uncovered Irishwomen sat by fire of often kindled in the middle of the field
Here were collected several thousand of the most degraded of the populace of both sexes and of all ages
Page 4

enjoying national peculiarity the festivities of the crowd though covered by filth and rags. Sign boards and flags erected over
tents made of tattered and patched quilts coverlids and blankets invite the passers by to step in and purchase some
of the creature. One of these bore the words "Strangers Home." Another decorated with ribbons had this affecting appeal
loves water, water that is clear so do we love good brandy ale and beer. Sarah Oaks
" Another had a lusty
swinging his [ shelalah ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: shillelagh
and exclaiming The King God bless him Daumne that I am bound to say so. Huzza for
Reform." Another appealed to the Catholics with "Daniel O Connell forever" Erin Go bragh." Here were seen a crowd
surrounding a fiddler, there a bagpiper was playing national airs for the ragged multitude. Here a woman cooking potatoes
and pork in the open field. There in the "Cottage of Content" as it was inscribed were women lying drunk. On the farther side
of the field was a Theatre mounted on wheels. Harlequin
was upon a stand before the box office door inviting the audience
to enter – some meddling moralist remonstrated with him upon the degradation of his dress and occupation. Harlequin
took up the argument in favor of the Thespian art. The Mob took Harlequins side and had it not been that that worthy inter-
posed in behalf of the Censor the latter would have been hustled out of the field. In the centre of the field was a box
containing three transverse benches the whole fitted up like a coach body, this was suspended from a frame above
by ropes, and lasses were treated to a swing by their beaux. the girls held fast with one hand and kept their petti-
coats about their feet with the other. In short no device was left untried to call the fickle mob and obtain their
money. Gambling boards of all kinds whirls of fortune &c invited the novices, while pickpockets lay in wait
for the money. We left this wretched scene of pauperism and vice and returned to the city. On our way we passed
several Institutions the establishment of which proves that if the state of society in Ireland be not ameliorated it
is not because exertions have not been made to do so. Here was an asylum for poor misera old men called
the "Old Mavs house." At the doors were seen many old soldiers on half pay as was indicated by their thread
bare ^long^ red coats. Here also was an institution providing labor and food for mendicants – a Hospital for
women – a Magdalene Hospital and Institutions of all kinds such as are required by the vices or suffering incident
to the poor in a great City. On our way we visited the ^St. Patricks^ Cathedral. It is an ancient pile of Saxo-Gothic archi-
tecture. Like all the other Cathedrals it was wrested from the Catholics and appropriated to the use of the Protestants in the
reign of Henry the 8th. It is 300 feet long & 80 feet wide, the height of tower and spire is 223 feet. Here are some curious and
grotesque ancient monuments. One erected to the memory of Richard Boyle Earl of Cork contains 16 figures intended
to be statues of the Earl and his wife and family but in reality almost as wide as the carving of the Indians. The Earl
and his wife are represented as laying ^lying^ side by side most lovingly in death on their own monument – while their children
also dead stand weeping over them. Here also is the monument of Dean Swift
 Death: 1745-10-19
and near him a monument to Stella
Birth: 1681-03-18 Death: 1728-01-27
brated in the Deans writings. Further on is a monument erected by the Dean to his servant Alexander McGee
Birth: 1695 Death: 1724-03-24
. The
Chapel is decorated with the banners of the Knights of St Patrick who are installed here. Time would fail me to
recount the singular and interesting relics of this ancient edifice. It was built in 1191 and bears traces of every age
from that period until the present time. In the Chapter House is a statue of St Patrick.
We next visited the Newgate prison where we were shown the cells of the vicious and depraved of the City. Women
driven to dissolute lives by abject poverty crowd together to become still more polluted by association. These beckoned
to us as we passed. Debtors were sitting listless and idle about the yard – and convicts were among themselves
with games. But our principal object was to see the Newgate Court. There we saw the box where Robert Em-
mett stood during his trial for high treason and the whole of his eloquent dying speech suggested itself to my
mind while I looked upon the Bench where sat the unjust Judge to whom it was addressed. Emmett
was executed upon a temporary gallows in Thomas Street. In America I recollect to have read where he
was interned, I could not ascertain it here. Dublin is untrue to his memory and to Ireland. They speak of him
as a talented and ingenious but misguided young man. For otherwise thought I if the martyr of liberty as I fol-
lowed him from the Dock to the cell and the cell to the gallows. The keeper showed us the place of execution
which is an iron frame projected from the door of the chapel with three trap doors – the convicts (there may be three
at a time as required to march out upon this platform – a wheel is turned and the poor wretches are hurled to their
long ascent
On our return to our Lodgings we found an Englishman with a moveable Royal Mechanical Exhibi-
tion which as was announced upon its walls had been exhibited "before the King Queen
Birth: 1792-08-13 Death: 1849-12-02
and all the Royal Family
at Windsor." The exhibitor delivered at the vestibule of his car a moving speech in which he held forth to his
main auditors that the exhibition contained all that could delight the eye instruct the understanding and improve
the heart and all this might be seen for two pence and if they were still incredulous after his harangue they might see
half of it first on paying half price. Thus the miserable fickle childish population of Ireland are preyed upon
by adventurers who speculate upon their credulity.

Editorial Note

William Henry Seward appears to have wrote the ending of his letter out of order which explains why this closing paragraph and postmark appear in the middle of his letter.
Glasgow June 30th – My dear Frances – I have brought down
my journal to my departure from Dublin. I send it from this place – we are both well. I shall probably write next
from Edinburgh. We travel so fast I have no time to write to any but yourself nor time sufficient to examine
and correct what I send you. I shall in my next have much to tell you of my journey from Dublin to Belfast and
of the voyage from the latter to this place. Heaven preserve you – make my love to Augustus and Fred and all the family
Tell them all and Lazette too that I write for them as well as for you Henry
Mrs Wm. H. Seward
Benjamin J. Seward Esq
146 Nassau Street
New York
In The Fold
2 Sheets


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

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

[right Margin]
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Dear Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
– If you desire to wade through these
dull letters do so and forward them to Auburn
We travel so rapidly that I cannot write to any
body except Frances. But you and Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25

will consider these letters written for you
Your affectionate brother

Page 5

Glasgow Friday 28th June 1833. My dear Frances. Are you weary of Ireland? It is a beautiful land, a land favored by the God of Nature but it
is a miserable land, a land of wretchedness and suffering – yet the land of a people of impatience under oppression of generous impulses and
of valiant daring. My last letter closed with the date of the 24th. On the afternoon of that day we set out by the mail coach for Belfast my father
riding inside and I outside. There are several coaches on this road but all over England & Ireland travellers greatly prefer that which
carries the mail – it carries but 9 passengers 4 inside and 5 outside. The guard is seated upon a high chair behind the body of
the Coach. The mails placed under his feet – before him is a box in which are placed a fusee two pistols and a sword. The bag-
gage is well secured and the whole arrangement is well designed for security. The Guard blows the horn to announce the arri-
val of the Coach at any Post Office – no time is spent in opening mail – a separate bag is put up at Dublin for each Post Office
on the way. The postmaster is always at the door ready to receive the bag – and the coach always goes through its route within
the time prescribed by the Department. The porter had secured me a good outside seat which I appropriated in pursuance at
his suggestion at an early hour. A smooth tongued Irishman
soon seated himself beside me and becoming conversative
told me he was occupying that place for his master
who is a young student at the University. While he was discove ^re^ ed to
me unbounded praises of the youth another passenger came and contested the right to his seat. Paddy maintained that he
had taken the seat and in it he should remain until he came to Belfast And speaking aside to me said True its all
one whether its my master or me that’s agoing. Thus easily the Irish servant can tell a white lie – but Paddy went on to
say to me that his master was “delicate like” and wanted to go inside but could not obtain a seat there. In due time the
student appeared a strong two fisted Irishman who was never sick in his life. Again his seat was challenged – he maintained
his claim to it not because he was “delicate” but because “You know Coachy I was riding all last night” – Yet Paddy had just told
me that his master had but the evening before closed his term and taken the prizes at the Dublin University. So you see that the
Master can tell white lies as well as the man. A poor woman came to the side of the coach offering to sell some pieces of
sponge and tanned sheepskin. I was about buying a piece of the former so as to give her a few pence when the Coachman
rudely forced her away. During the whole ride to Belfast I had occasion to witness the insolence the outrage which it
is not deemed ungentlemanly to commit toward the peasantry. Neither age nor sex protected them from the gross indecent insult
of the Student who talked of his paternal estate conferred upon his ancestor by Oliver Cromwell
Birth: 1599-04-25 Death: 1658-09-03
– and who discussed with
great familiarity concerning Lord this one and Sir John that. But I am running before my story. The Coach being ready and
the passengers seated we were driven under an arched gate way into a spacious area in rear of the Post Office. Mails
are dispatched at the same hour to different parts of the Island. There were assembled there 11 coaches. Each received
a mail and guard and drove off through an arched gateway opposite to that by which we entered. I could not
but recollect how much worse these things are managed in America. Our horses harness and coach were ela-
gant and we went with great rapidity – but what a contrast was presented. We had not driven two miles from the
centre of Dublin before instead of stone and brick houses four and five stories high and resembling palaces – every
habitation which met the eye was a cottage of mud walls covered with thatch. As we advanced they were more
and more wretched in their appearance and the inhabitants ragged barefoot and evidently but half educated
destitute of all self confidence shrunk away from the Coach to avoid the laughter, the insults and the yells of
our young student who not only received aid from the Coachman but from a mechanic
of Dublin who was with
us. I remonstrated against such brutal treatment but the brutal answer was that the Peasants were wild Irish, they loved the joke and
this was offered to palliate coarse vulgar language addressed to women, mothers, and aged men who it was evident were “wild”
because they were barefoot and hugged a blanket about their limbs – The conversation turned of course upon politics. The
student was a tory, the mechanic a whig, both protestants and the subjects of their merriment were Catholics. The established
Church was a subject of great concern to the aristocrat and the idea of ruling over but ^Ireland otherwise than^ with an iron hand he treated as absurd.
The road passed through the best part of Ireland, where there is less of misery and suffering by far than the South – yet in
a distance of more than 100 miles did we scarcely see the habitations of a comfortable easy farmer. The land is cult-
ivated, every foot of it – you will pass Mud hovels all along the road, and at the distance of half a mile from each
other are parks which contains the seats of Lord such as one, Sir such as one and Mr such as one. There hold ^over^ the
land and the population are tenants. But I must not dwell too long on a topic which excites whenever I recur to it the most in-
dignant feelings. A few miles from Dublin we passed through a small village called Finglas in which stands a May Pole
and where May day is celebrated by a crowd from the City and County. Some little distance further ^are^ is the ruins of Dun-
lena Castle. The tower covered with ivy alone remains - it was built as I was informed in about the year 1400. Near
by the road side we passed a cross of ancient construction and yet in very good preservation. We now entered upon
Lord Langford's
Birth: 1795 Death: 1839-06-03
estate – but far off ^from us we^ saw the battle ground of the Boyne. The Country through which we passed was marked by the Protector
Cromwell with great severity during the civil wars. The town of Drogheda is a place of considerable business but the provincial towns
in this county are so antique, so black and dismal that they make a sorry impression upon the traveler from America.
Nothing can differ more widely than the aspect of the dwellings in these towns from that of the American villages. The
small villages are comprised of long low one story dark and inconvenient tenements and the population are crowded
together in utter disregard of health and comfort, the houses are generally thatched. The shelter for cows and pigs
if any belong to the household in the same roof with that of the family mansion but the apartments are separated
In short my dear Frances, Every thing shows that the peasantry and such are the inhabitants high and low of all the villages
are ignorant poor and despised. Occasionally a manufacturing town may be seen but even these are the property
of one or two rich individuals whose edifices wear an aspect of wealth and comfort and the habitations crowded
around them by no means indicate that their inmates share in the wealth and comfort of their masters. You nove where see the
neat dwellings of persons in middle life. There are none such here – I pass without further description Dunlear Newry Dundall
Hillsborough and we are now arrived at ^Belfast^ a flourishing and beautiful town in the North of Ireland. It is very extensively
engaged in the American trade. The Harbour has greater advantages than that of Dublin and its merchants and manufactories
are enterprising. This is the seat of very extensive Irish linen manufactories. The public buildings are modern and erecte[ d ]



with much taste and liberality – The town is the seat of the Marquis of Doneghal
Birth: 1769-08-14 Death: 1844-10-05
who owns a great part of the land
upon which it is situate. As we had minutely examined whatever the Capital of Ireland offered to our view we did
not delay our stay beyond a few hours at this place. We left Belfast on Thursday 27th June on the Steam boat the "Maid
of Islay" bound for this city. The scene at the wharf and onboard our boat at leaving was such as can be witnessed only
in Ireland. Drunken beggarly porters crowded the decks and ragged women were acting as scavengers gathering in
their aprons the ashes from the boat. Our boat was very small and her deck was crowded with as many as could
be carried of Irish families in rags seeking employment in Scotland. They had gathered just enough pence to land there
at Glasgow, there to subsist as they may. It was a rainy cold night while we crossed the Channel – These miserable
wretches had no cabin and I saw men women and children of different families crowd together in order by sitting closely
to each other to relieve their suffering from cold. The Bay at Belfast is undoubtedly very handsome when a full tide fills its
banks but the ebbing of the waters here as at Liverpool and Dublin discloses a large tract of sand on both sides the channel which mars all ideas
of beauty. Upon the opposite side of the Bay from Belfast the County of Down stretches for a great extent in a beautiful slope from the shore
and ^There^ were pointed to the family domains of Lord Castlereagh
Birth: 1805-07-07 Death: 1872-11-25
. Beyond these and our sight the prospect terminated in high
rugged mountains. As we sailed down this arm of the sea our attention was directed to Carrickfergus and Holywood Castle
and still further on, to Castle Chidestone but castles palaces and towers have already become so familiar to our Republican
eyes that it almost requires an exertion of curiosity to gratify the many Kind persons we meet by inquiries unless there be
some historical association connected with such as present themselves on our route. Passing a succession of rocky
precipeces not unlike in appearance although inferior in grandeur to the beautiful palisades on the Hudson river
we passed an island rock which is the Northernmost point of Ireland. The channel here is narrow and very soon after
losing sight of the Irish Coast a long rocky shore appeared in sight which was pointed out to us as the "mull of Kantyre" the
Southernmost point of that Island. Below the South East corner of the Island of Kantyre two bare rocks rise to view upon which are Light Houses
These are called the Maiden rocks – and they as well as all the Coast of the islands adjacent to Scotland present a picturesque aspect.
Our course now gave us a view of the North of the shores of the Isle of Arrow and on the South of "Ailsa Craig" between which flows the
channel of the Firth of Forth Arrow presented nothing but a forbidding rocky Coast extending farther than the eye could reach – but
Ailsa Craig was ^is^ one of the wildest spots I have ever seen. It is a conical rising rock rising 940 feet above the surface of the sea and
is only about two miles in circumference. It is uninhabited except by immense flocks of wild Geese and other birds. It is said to
be rented for thirty pounds a year which sum is made from the feather of the birds taken here. Vessels which coast along the
Firth of Forth frequently carry small guns which are fired upon when they approach the shore of Ailsa Craig for the purpose of alar-
ming the birds which on such occasions rise in immense numbers and fly over the Island but although we had a small
brass piece we were not near enough to the Island to fire it with success. Night now came on and hid from our view the far
famed beauties of the banks of the Firth of Forth. We awoke on Friday morning at the Wharf or as it is here called the Keys of
Glasgow. Multitudes of steam boats and sloops of a second rate size filled the narrow channel of the Clyde which
is here about ten rods wide and has its banks lined with masonry so that is resembles a large Canal. The long compact
rows of solid and firm lofty stone buildings told at once that we were lying in the centre of a great town while the names of
the Inns on shore and the boats in the river not only gave assurance that we were in the "land of cakes" but also that we were
among a People who above all others cherish their poets and scholars. What homage is here paid to Genius said I as I pointed out to
my father. "The Lady of the Lake," The Lord of the Isles," "Rob Roy" and "Waverley" blazoned around us. How different from the approach to
Liverpool where the publicans strive with each other in christening their public places after a proud and contemptuous aristocracy
Page 6

to the great and good one of our Own lord
Nor was it without a thrill of pleasure that among these spontaneous twists of enlightened popular feeling I saw a similar one in the
names of Washington Street and Washington Inn. Glasgow is closely connected in commercial intercourse with New York and
the good feeling which pervades their Society here towards America is perhaps no more than a just return for the veneration
and respect universally exhibited in the latter Country for Scottish literature and Genius. In an hour after we reached the
wharf the poor Irish vagrants had taken up a temporary abode in a low shelter which is built over the wharves
and those who had saved enough for a breakfast were busily cooking it while far the greater number spread through the
City to beg or earn that meal.
Glasgow Sunday June 30th.
My dear Frances. We are now upon classic ground. I should not weary could I spend weeks in this interesting spot. It recals the recol-
lections of all that we have read about Scotland whether of history or fiction, but as my time is limited so that I must husband minutes
to relate to you the wonders which I am allowed but a few hours to see I will throw aside all sentiment and enthusiasm
and give you a tame chapter of facts. After having dispatched our last letters which we trust in good time will reach you we
rallied forth to see whatever might be interesting to a stranger in Glasgow. Like all the European towns we have yet seen
Glasgow wears a dark and sombre aspect. The buildings are of stone, and although of good proportion and excellent
material they appear very different from the light airy brick Edifices of our American cities. The City is comprised of two principal
parts called the Old and New town. Our lodgings are at Mrs Stevens
in the New town fronting St Georges Park one of the first
parts of the modern town. This part of the town is built in the ordinary style of the day, the houses are high, the material a light
freestone, discolored however by the everlasting smoke of the coal which gives a sombre hue to all these Island cities.
St Georges Park is a small area containing grounds tastefully designed and ornamented by flowers trees shrubbery. The gates
are locked and by a notice on the gate ^walls^ we learned that the key must be procured from some person having power to admin-
ister an entrance to those desirous to enjoy the luxury of a walk among these forbidden trees. The garden held out no sufficient
inducement to us for taking this trouble upon ourselves and we contented ourselves with making a perambulation
round the exterior. On the South West corner is a fine bronze monument of James Watt
Birth: 1736-01-19 Death: 1819-08-19
the great improver of Steam Engines
who made the last advances before Fulton
Birth: 1765-11-14 Death: 1815-02-24
in the process of invention of machinery so as to apply steam to the purposes
of navigation. A shop is shown in an obscure part of the town where this individual a poor mechanic was year after
year employed in the study which has resulted through his and Fultons labors in ameliorating and improving the condition of the human
race. Is it not true that Republics are ungrateful? James Watt having come short of actually arriving at the consummation of the great discovery, might
well have been overlooked and forgotten by his countrymen while no monument has been raised by Americans to their countryman who crowned
the labor and introduced bestowed upon America the honor of the achievement. The statue was executed by Chantry
Birth: 1781-04-07 Death: 1841-11-25
. Watt is represented in a
sitting and studious posture. At the centre of the South side of St. George’s square is a colossal statue of Sir John Moore
Birth: 1761-11-13 Death: 1809-01-16
who fell at the battle
of Corunna. This also is of bronze and is admirably executed. The Hero is represented erect “with his marshal cloak around him
The inscription is
“To commemorate
The military services of
Lieutenant General Sir John Moore K.B.
Native of Glasgow
His fellow citizens
Have erected
This monument

Editorial Note

We have transcribed the two columns into one column for the sake of readability.
How far above all other arts is that of poetry. This bronze monument may stand even a few
hundred years before like all other human structures it pass away – but the beautiful poem
on the death of the Hero has extended ^his^ the fame ^ of the Hero ^ in regions where no report of this
parable has ever reached and will perpetuate his glory when the monument shall have
^crumbled^ into dust.
We visited the Royal Exchange a spacious modern edifice built for the accom-
modation of merchants and which they call the most magnificent establishment of the
kind in the kingdom. It seemed to me to be too low and long but the architecture is in fine
taste and well executed. Perhaps the defect is owing to my wide American notions of Archi-
tecture. In passing through the streets of Glasgow we had occasions to observe that the
spirit of reform is busy here. Placards are posted in all the public places inviting citizens to meetings of political clubs in which
questions of bold character are discussed – and which contemplate radical changes in the government of Church and State.
One of these questions is the propriety of dismissing the Bishops from the House of Lords. To our judgement it seems strange that
the anomaly of a spiritual representation in Parliament should have been so long tolerated. It was therefore with
no little surprise that we found this projected improvement of the removal from the of the Bishops to have gained favor
with very few of those who believe themselves to be good Whigs. However the time must come, and that speedily. The
course of reform may be retarded by the tergiversation or timidity of leaders but it will continue until the British Government
long before the close of the present Century will be remodelled so as not materially to differ from our own
The Royal Bank of Scotland is a grand and imposing structure but you would not be interested by any details I might
give of it. From its Court we passed along the Trongate Street. We paused to survey an Equestrian monument of King William IIId
Birth: 1650-11-04 Death: 1702-03-08

(the Prince of Orange) It was erected by a private citizen in 1736 and presented to the City of Glasgow. It is altogether a superior work
to the similar monument in Dublin. It is cherished with great veneration by the good Scottish People who regard it with a
kind of superstitious confidence in its preserving power. The inscription which is too long to be here transcribed is in Latin and sets
forth the great military exploits of Wm 3d as well as the civil and religious blessings he conferred upon Great Britain and recites
that it was erected by James Macrae
 Death: 1744-07
Esq, Governor of Madras & by him given to the city. Trongate Street is a part of the
one great ancient Street of Glasgow. It is thronged at all times by immense crowds – among whom are a few genteel
and fashionable people, multitudes of plain folks and not a few very rough and shabby in their appearance. No where in Britan
that I have yet seen do you observe the great mass of population appear so respectable in dress and deportment as those in the United
States. A stranger will soon see the distinguishing traits of Scottish character – thrift modesty and economy. You discover very little
if any such abject pauperism as stares you every where in the face in Ireland – nor on the other hand do you discover great efforts
at display – Women here are not (Mrs Tollope
Birth: 1779-03-10 Death: 1863-10-06
and all other British tourists to the contrary notwithstanding) held in half so great
habitual deference as in America. Women of the common classes, manufactures mechanics and laborers wives and daughters
are always barefooted in the streets and seldom appear with bonnets or any other covering but plain caps.There is nothing of that
neatness of dress observable here which women of all classes use in America. The Trongate Street which is a continuation of the
High Street forms with the latter the principal street of the old town. It was formerly the residence of Nobility and gentry.
The houses are four & five stones high and built in solid squares with mere footways between them. Families are crowded
into these immense “flats” without regard to there health or comfort, and the multitudes of common poor people to
whom these seats of ancient grandeur are abandoned strike the stranger with astonishment as he passes through this
part of the town. In our way up the High Street we came to the University. The edifices are ancient and in no wise cal-
culated to command respect except at the entrance. The style of ornament is perfectly grotesque and ludicrous. Upon
two gate ports within the walls sit figures of two animals one of which I thought was a bad representation of a
superanuamated dog ^as for^ the other ^it^ posting comprehension to determine to what genus to allot him. A nearer inspection
served by showing the motto to prove that these are the seal Lion and Unicorn. There are not less than 1000 students
They wear a red gown – the whole institution bears the impress of antiquity. The Hunterian Museum is in a modern building
and is one of the most splendid institutions of the Kind in the world –
Our attention was attracted by a sign over a humble door way bearing the ominous words “Mangling done
here.” Being two in number we ventured to step in to ascertain what was the particular process of barbarity thus
boldly professed. Imagine our astonishment when a neat pretty Scotch woman showed us with a smile the machine-
ry of torture and told us that it wreaked its cruelty only on clothes which had been washed but were too large for
the common slow process of ironing with a flat iron.
We were quite amused by our success in decyphering the City Coat of arms which was blazoned on one of the
public buildings. One part of the device is a ring, and a salmon – and these strange ornaments are joined with a palm
tree. The ring and salmon were adopted from the legend of a merry Laird
who lost a ring in the Clyde and afterwards
recovered it by fishing up a salmon in whose stomach it was found undigested. The motto is “Let Glasgow flourish”
to which in former times was added to words “through the preaching of the word” This latter clause so indicative
Page 7

of the religious feeling which distinguished Scotland during the reformation has now been disused.
In the High street near the college was fought the battle of Glasgow in which Wallace attacked and defeated the English in the reign
of Edward 1st . On this engagement the Scottish hero cleft at a blow Earl Percy the English leader. In Summerfield lane we were shown
the house in which Henry Lord Darnley so intimately connected with the factions of Queen Mary and so great a sufferer by that connection
lodged just before his death.
We now visited the Cathedral as it was once called but now the “High Kirk” of Scotland. This edifice
which now comprises within a part only of its ancient Catholic walls three Presbyterian Churches was founded during the reign
of David 1st in 1123. It is built in the shape of a cross – of mixed Saxon and Gothic architecture. It is 319 feet long and 103 feet wide
and is lighted by 157 windows some of which are exquisite workmanship of cut and painted glass. It is the only Catholic ^in Scotland^
Church which escaped the desolation of the Reformers – In 1579 the Reformers as appears by one of their writers “through
the earnest laboring of ^ Andrew Melville ^ one of the preachers of the word” assembled for the purpose of demolishing it and thereby removing the
great reproach of Scotland but the deacons & craftsman of the city interfered and prevented the work of destruction. The walls
and floors are covered with monuments of the great and noble dead. The inscriptions are mutilated and I found none worth ex-
tracting which were legible – The Laigh Kirk one of the Churches in the Cathedral and mentioned in Rob Roy
Author: Walter Scott Publisher: Hickman & Hazzard Place of Publication:Philadelphia Date: 1821
is now closed. There
the summit of the Cathedral is a most splendid prospect embracing on the East the vale of Clyde – Both Well – Hamilton
Palace. On the South the Castles of Means and the brickstone where Mary Queen of Scots resided a short time and on
the West the Castle of Dumbarton. The following inscription is engraved on a bell in the Cathedral. I copy it because of the
quaintness of it.
In the year of Grace
Marcus Knox
A merchant of Glasgow
zealous for the interest of the reformed religion
caused me to be fabricated in Holland

For the use of his fellow citizens
of Glasgow
And placed me with solemnity
In the tower of their Cathedral,
My function
was announced by the impress upon my bosom
Meaudito venias Doctrinam sanctam ut discas
I was taught to proclaim the hours of unheeded time
CXCV years
Had I sounded these awful warnings
When I was broken
By the hands of inconsiderate and unskilful men
In the year MDCCXC
I was cast into the furnace
Refounded at London
And returned to my sacred vocation
Thou also shalt Know a resurrection
May it be unto eternal life
The latin line is “Hear my voice that you many come and be
instructed in the word of truth”

Editorial Note

This is the beginning of the second column, but we have transcribed it into one column for the sake of readability.
We were treated here with very great politeness immediately
on our arrival by the American Consul
with whom we
breakfasted yesterday morning. On the way to his house he
pointed out to me Langside– the fatal ground on which
was fought poor Mary’s last battle. On the hill before
me and within plain sight of the field stood the unfortunate
Queen when she saw the battle turn her against her and
from that spot she commenced her unfortunate journey to England
which ended in her treacherous captivity and cruel death
I find all modern Scotchmen thank God on the side of poor
Mary. What a degenerate race did fanaticism make of
them in that day/
Far over the city as the eye can be arrested it meets Nelsons
Birth: 1758-09-29 Death: 1805-10-21

monument. We of course went to see it. It stands in what
is called the Green an immense public park. It's
147 feet high and records the birth and death of the Con-
queror with the names and dates of his four great battles
But “The Green”! Green! How does it baffle all ideas of the
sublime and beautiful – It is immense in extent and
used always by imperceptible right by all the poor
people in the city for drying their clothes after washing
Such crowds as you see assembled there round the mon-
ument of the Hero. Women and children not only drying
clothes but washing them with all the apparatus for
the operation. Verily this is mingling the useful with
the agreeable! From the South side of this washing ground
we were shown the spot where Queen Mary rested the
night before the fatal battle of Langside.
Returning from this spot we had an opportunity to witness a very curious ancient custom celebrated. It appeared that
the Sheriff or some other public officer was about to sell by auction upon execution some property of a debtor. Instead of advertis-
ing by newspaper or printed notice posted in public places the town crier as is here the custom proceeded to the head
of the High street followed by a crowd of boys and rang his bell three times and then made proclamation – “To be
sold – by public coup – and by virtue of a warrant – a silver watch – sale to commence at 11 O.Clock” – There were other
sales of the same kind to take place at the same time and place and so the stout lunged bids – for each rang his
bell 3 times and made distinct proclamation.
Coming down the High street we stopped at the Cross – which is in front of the Tolbooth or City Court House & Jail. In all the Scottish
cities it was the ancient custom to make what they called "the cross in the centre of the City. That was generally if not always
placed before the Tolbooth and was the place where all proclamations of outlawing treason & law &c were made – a
curious structure of which none now exist always graced this spot – which was the most important in the town – The
spot is invariably marked by the pavement being formed of stones set in a circle around a large stone which is the
centre of the cross – Standing here we looked upon the old Tolbooth ^tower^ , which yet remains although the Courts and Jail are
gone I looked through the crevices of the door now fastened through which Rob Roy
 Death: 1734-12-28
entered this famous prison –
and upon this spot the bold Highlander was pronounced outlawed – What nation has so much of historic and
romantic interest as this cold mountainous sterile Scotland! This cross has always been a place of great interest It is the
place of public executions and indeed the centre of intelligence and business for the burghers. Before newspapers were as common
as they now are it was the resort of everybody for information of any event deemed important to the town or the Commonwealth –
At a little distance from the cross we were shown the whilom habitation of Bailie Nicholl Jarvie one whose history the
Scottish Antiquarian has thrown so much interest that the little old man would be astonished at his posthumous fame
could he but visit the little residence he formerly occupied in the Salt Market. The continuation eastward of the High street
is called Gallowgate an amelioration of the horrors expressed by the original word Gallowsgate– meaning the way which led
to the public executions – Eastward of the High Kirk upon a lofty eminence which overlooks the town stands a lofty
monument of the Scottish Reformer “who feared the face of no man” John Knox. It is an obelisk about 130 feet high
surmounted by a colossal statue of the Divine who seems looking down upon the spot of his labors. I trust his sublimated spirit
has lost some of the severity which urged him to seek the demolition of the Catholic Churches. If he yet retain that previous
hatred he cannot look with complacency upon the Cathedral which his successors occupy as if in mockery of his zeal
directly under the monument they have erected in honor of his memory. The inscription is
To testify gratitude for inestimable services
In the cause of Religion Education and Civil Liberty:
To awaken admiration
Of that integrity, Disinterestedness and courage,
Which stood unshaken in the midst of trials
and in the maintenance of the highest objects;
To cherish unceasing reverence for the principles and
Blessings of that great Reformation,
By the influence of which our Country, through the
midst of Difficulties
Has risen to Honour Prosperity and Happiness
This monument is erected by voluntary subscription contribution
To the memory of John Knox
The chief instrument under God
of the reformation of Scotland

Editorial Note

We have transcribed the two columns into one column for readability.
Dr Anchincloss whose acquaintance we made by letter from
New York procured us tickets for the celebrated Lunatic
Asylum. It is built and furnished in an admirable
manner and conducted with great talent and skill.
The grounds are extensive and the whole institution is in
perfect order but I have no doubt from the comparison
with those in America which I have seen that it is infe-
rior in the accomplishment of its object the relief of the
Insane to those in our own Country. The Institution contains
250 patients. By the aid of our Noddy (which is a hack-
ney coach drawn by one horse we also visited the Infir-
mary and town Hospital. The former is an extensive and
excellent Institution. The latter seems to be a cold charity
to the lowest and most unfortunate of Idiots and lunatics
Dr Anchincloss pointed our attention to two of these poor
wretches the formation of whose skulls contradict the
law of Phrenology. The idiots before us had all the
indications of genius.
We dined with our friend the Doctor – the guests were four Gentlemen
of Glasgow men of science and talent – the dinner was
got up in Caledonian style. Twist broth as they call their Kale soup – then a dram of Scotch Whiskey – after which a glass
of wine. Next boiled salmon and turbot then another dram of Scotch Whiskey. Then meat dishes and a third draw of
Page 8

of Scotch Whiskey. Then the dessert – after which wine – which was soon removed – a punch bowl was then set before the
oldest burgher with the ingredients for making hot punch – It would be not only uncourteous but unjust not to say that
this Gentleman
acquitted himself of this duty to a charm. We left the table at nine – well pleased with Scotland and
ourselves and a the world – “We were na fou’ but just had plenty”– The conversation was an interchange of information
concerning our respective countries. We harmonized in everything except that my father and a Mr McFarland
a very
pious Presbyterian did not quite agree upon the subject of a religious establishment. My father mentioning that there
ought to be no church established by law and our good Scotch friend contending that there ought to be none except
it be the established Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland.
This morning Sunday we attended Church in the Cathedral and
heard for the first time Presbyterian service in the High Kirk of Scotland. The audience were a very plain respectable People
The most fashionable appeared to occupy the gallery. The service was performed by Dr McFarlane
Birth: 1771-09-27 Death: 1857-11-25
Principal of the
University. In the conduct of public worship there was very little difference from that of the Presbyterian Church
in America. They admit no organ and the voices of their singers fall wretchedly short of filling the immense
vaulted roof of the Cathedral. After the second psalm the minister repeated with excellent effect the Lords Prayer
In his concluding prayer he put up prayers for the King
Birth: 1765-08-21 Death: 1837-06-20
and Royal family – and for the High Court of Parlia-
ment. The sermon was from the whole of the first psalm – it was a beautiful composition – on the whole I left
the Kirk with the conviction that the connection of the Presbyterians Church in this Country with the Government
has had the effect to assimilate the conduct and ministry of the Church to that of the Episcopal Church in England
Certain it is that our modern Evangelists in America would find as much cause to complain of the want
of Evangelical piety and zeal here as they do in the Episcopal Church in America. The ministers here are
appointed by persons who have the power of patronage as it is called. This power is daily bought and sold,
an effort is making to reform this evil in the Church but from what I can learn this will be one of the last evils cured
and although it is one of the most unnatural and unscriptural errors of the British Constitution. The only way of ac-
complishing the reform is by purchasing up the patronage. I do not discover any evidence that the People are in any
great degree dissatisfied with the present arrangement and the Clergy and Patrons have such great power that they
are not likely to be moved to the change. There are in this city of 200,000 souls but two Episcopal Chapels – and
they are very small – the congregations are comprised principally of English families resident here –
In passing through the streets we discovered immense concourses of People passing to and from the different churches
and I think a far greater number than are to be seen in New York who it is evident attend no Church whatsoever
Indeed it is obvious that there is a class of population in their quiet and religious city lower than any in New York
This class exhibit none of the decent holiday respectable Sunday appearance which the whole population of our
American city assume on Sunday. By the river side we went into a Catholic Church which has been erected
at great expense and is built in the Gothic style but it was obviously a very tame imitation of the magnific-
ent Cathedral which the Protestants wrested from the adherents of Rome. I wish with all my heart the latter
had the High Church with its stupendous towers, arches and battlements and its venerable monuments restored
to them. We attended service in the Afternoon at Dr. Wardlaws
Birth: 1779-12-02 Death: 1853-12-17
Dissenters Chapel – this congregation resem-
ble in their service and manner the Presbyterians of America than the congregation did which we visited this mor-
ning and it was evident that these are the Evangelicals of Scotland. Their number is small and is not con-
siderably increasing. The Preacher who is considered a very eloquent man discussed to us from the text “Take no thought for
tomorrow neither what ye shall eat nor what ye shall drink nor yet wherewithal ye shall be clothed” Which he
illustrated very imperfectly for he admitted in fact that it was not only necessary but was a scripture duty to wonder
not only for ourselves but our own household not only for to day and tomorrow but for all our future days . Still he
succeeded as well as any preacher can in the same text. I think if as I am assured I have heard their best preach-
ers in Glasgow that our Clergyman in America are not unequal to them in leaning or talent —
Monday morning July 1st.
My dearest Frances. Our visit to Glasgow like this long letter draws to a close, both shall be finished together
In passing by the arcade which by the way is more extensive and prosperous than similar establishments are
in American cities) I passed a full dressed noble looking Highlander
dressed a las costume – with tartan
plaid and phillibeg and Kilts. I could not gain a conversation with him and so turned my attention
to an individual who is no less a rare personage ^class^ in Glasgow. This was a negro man
– for he is the only
“colored” person I have met in Britain ^since leaving Liverpool^ I learned from him that he was an African. I pushed the inquiry
further how he came here – he said he was brought here. I asked if his master
left him here – he reluctantly
told me that he left his master here. I thought he seemed alarmed by my inquiries – but I disarmed his fears by assuring
him I was heartily glad of his escape from slavery. He told me he had been here twenty years and had been
educated and was contended prosperous and happy – but he was not very explicit in telling me from what
part of Virginia he came and who his master was. When I told him I was an American he inquired whether
Americans yet steal negroes. I told him that I trusted in God the abomination was no longer carried on by my
countrymen though there is too much evidence that it is still continued by other nations.
When we came to settle our bills our Landlady
let us into some of the oppression of the English taxes – she told
me that she pays a duty of 10 pounds sterling upon her Rent of seventy pounds and besides this pays a multi-
tude of other taxes of which one item is six pounds upon window glass - a pound sterling is four dollars and
forty three cents. You can make the computation and the startling oppression will be seen in the result. Nor
can it even be otherwise while the Government is supported by an armed force. I thank God that I am an American
Citizen – We ho
We have our passage in the steam boat to sail down the Clyde – my next letter will give you the history of
our progress down the beautiful river then returning to Dumbarton – up Loch Lomond and across the Country
to Edinburgh. We are travelling with unheard of rapidity. My father is impatient of all delay and you must
be prepared for our return at a very early day. It is but a birds eye view of Europe that I can get. Nevertheless
I endeavor to improve it to the best advantage and I have only one regret which is that I cannot find time
to write to my good friends in America to whom I made so many promises. My letters to you are written in
the greatest haste as you many imagine and as they must discover upon their face. I shall address my next
letter to Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
, though it will be sent with this to you. The address to her will show her that I still cherish her
affection with all my former sensibility and the letter being one of the sheets of the only journal I can keep and
giving details which I cannot give to you she will give to you to the end that thereby you “both may be killed
by one stone” – I hope ere this reaches you my dear mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
will be with you and I assure you it affords me no
small pleasure to reflect that these letters as I write them will convey to her the information which I know
she is solicitous to have concerning my father and myself. Remember me affectionately to Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
your father
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13

and Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and kiss the dear little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
often for their vagrant father. And now for the boat – adieu my dearest
and best – Your own Henry –

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Glasgow Thursday