Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, July 4, 1859

  • Posted on: 27 April 2021
  • By: admin
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, July 4, 1859
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:rmg

student editor

Transcriber:spp:cnk

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1859-07-04

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, July 4, 1859

action: sent

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

location: Keir, Scotland

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: rmg 

revision: amc 2020-12-02

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Page 1

15
Keir, Monday July 4 th
A lovely and a distant place here for me to
keep my country’s festal day in. Mr. Sterling
Birth: 1818-03-08 Death: 1878-01-15

is the heir of the estate which once was connect-
ed with a baronetcy, but the possession in 1745
lost both estate and title by supporting
the Pretender
Birth: 1810-11-25 Death: 1887-05-19
in that year—the former was
restored but the title has always been with-
held. Mr Sterling is a bachelor of
near sixty I think, and so there is no family
here—only the farm and and servants
Unknown
. He
went to Edinburgh this morning and left
me to study antiquities or what else I might
be pleased to examine. I sallied forth at ten
o’clock and visited the ruined castle of Doune
which stands near a quaint old town of that
name on the banks of the Teith. It is less
dilapidated or rather there is more of it remaining
than of any covered residence I had before
seen. The lordly banqueting Hall, the
towers, and most wonderful of all the
Page 2

16
vast kitchen with fireplace eight feet deep
stretching from one side of the room clear
off to the other and yawning to the very roof
was still there—ample to roast whole
oxen and boars by the dozen. It belongs to
the Earl of Moray, and has been abandoned
by that great family two or three hundred
years but was seized and partly bombarded
by the Pretender in 1845. Who remained a
while. The Kings and Queens of Scotland
immortalized it by their visits there and it
traces its history back to the reign of
Macbeth whose son is believed to have
built it. After leaving Doune we came
around through the narrow roads and
thatch-covered cottages of Dunblane. It is
hardly necessary to say that although every
body there was eloquent as I in the
recitation of the chorus of Jessie, there
was no one who could identify the
pasture in which the flower of Dunblane
had blossomed and perished.
Page 3

17
The Bridge of Allan is next and then a
visit to Cambuskenneth Abbey and the
field of Bannockburn immortalized by the
achievements and the heroic magnanimity of
Wallace and my day of sight seeing
closed with a promenade inside
the gates, and through the mysterious
chambers and upon the walls of
Stirling Castle memorable for the birth
baptism, marriages contests disasters
and crimes of Scotlands Kings
Unknown
, and
bearing ^on its walls^ seated monuments of the age of
the Roman Conquest and of the
conversion of the Island
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from Paganism to
Christianity. Here I stretched my eyes
along the whole length of the Grampian
Hills and grasped at once the castle of
Edinburgh and the banks of the Clyde.
The scenes of Scotlands heroism and chivalry
lay nearly all by beneath my feet and
Page 4

18
Walter Scotts
Birth: 1771-08-15 Death: 1832-09-21
remembered descriptions of them
made them intelligible almost without a
prompter. To day for Edinburgh—I will
finish this letter now to make run of the
next Steamer.
Your Own Henry