Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, November 27, 1859

  • Posted on: 16 December 2021
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, November 27, 1859
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:vxa

student editor

Transcriber:spp:smc

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1859-11-27

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, November 27, 1859

action: sent

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

location: The Hague, South Holland, Netherlands

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: smc 

revision: zz 2021-02-21

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13
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Editorial Note

William Henry Seward’s series of travel letters in 1859 are organized and listed by the date of each entry.
Sunday morning November 27. Hague.
The Hague is a town, of 80,000, or 90,000 people, built on the
ordinary low land of Holland, lower even than the sea, and protected
by dykes. It is intersected by canals in all directions
equally for trade and drainage. All the houses are built
on piles and they are safe in the degree that they are low.
Hence ^I found^ the pleasant feature of finding families dwelling on
the lower floors, and even basements. It has for many a
hundred years been the seat of government, and like Washington
derives its chief elements of life from that political source.
Its growth has been slow, it changes little, but always
for the better. The Hague to day is not an unfair representa-
tive of what New York was twenty five years ago,
so far as the architecture is concerned – ^like Philadelphia ^ But it has several
large squares planted with trees, which are very old,
and it has small forest domains attached to the
Royal palaces. On one side of the chief of these squares
Lord Napier
Birth: 1819-09-19 Death: 1898-12-19
has his temporary lodgings at a home about
equal to the one we occupy at Washington. I inhabit
The Old Doulen an inn on the opposite side of the
square, as neat as the vesture of Diana herself –
I am permitted to lodge here, but to dwell in his house. The
town is dull, rather unsocial I think, but rich and
comfortable. I wish Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
could see how dogs are substi-
tuted for horses ^and^ singly, ^in teams^ double, and treble, to carry the
market supplies, and the shopping parcels in there,
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14
as in other towns in Holland and Belgium
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. They seem to
be “fat and sleek” and no one thinks that it is cruelty to
employ them in this way. But they very often prefer that there
are dogs as well as horses. Sometimes a finer horseman
or cab driver, sometimes it may be that the King
Birth: 1835-04-09 Death: 1909-12-17
or the Prime
Minister
Birth: 1800-08-17 Death: 1885-05-27
or some merchant prince drives down past ^turning^ these mutts
lea leap as the dogs thrust a felonious eye upon
the meat or fish they are drawing, or perhaps threatening
to jostle their master, then the harnessed dogs set up
a barking that makes the street sing. Sometimes a solitary
mastiff is engaged in carrying a child to school, and
he opens the way through the crowd or the public
square, by loud yells which give notion that his charge
will be defended at the cost of his life.