Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 30, 1859

  • Posted on: 27 April 2021
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 30, 1859
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:rmg

student editor

Transcriber:spp:csh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1859-06-30

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, June 30, 1859

action: sent

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

location: Birmingham, UK

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: rmg 

revision: amc 2020-11-30

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Birmingham June 30 Thursday
My dearest Frances,
In my haste last night at Leamington
I forgot to say that in coming back to that place from
Stratford on Avon I passed the Hampton Lucy
x

the seat
of Sir Thomas Lucy
 Death: 1600-07-07
from whose park it is said that
Shakespeare
Birth: 1564-04-26 Death: 1616-04-23
in his boyish days stole the deer and was
prosecuted—a punishment which he retaliated by going
immediately to the prosecutor and magistrate in the charac-
ter of Justice Shallow. The Lucy family
x Birth: 1789  Death: 1845-07-10  Birth: 1803-11-25  Death: 1889 
still inhabit
this magnificent estate, and recently it was described
by Washington Irving
Birth: 1783-04-03 Death: 1859-11-28
in Bracebridge Hall.It is a
beautiful park. The trees as old as the adventures
of the poet—and it is filled with deer now
which with these eyes I saw many—but I will not
swear that any of them were lineal descendants
from the buck or deer that cost Shakespeare so much
and the knight
Unknown
so much more—
I came here this evening to study the
manufacturers. Birmingham is an immense town. Long
before you enter it you see stacks of manufacturers
chimneys towering into the air in all directions, and
a dense coal smoke envelopes the city as a
cloud—But it would be more proper to call Birm-
ingham a district than a city. Its suburbs devoted
to manufactures extend through a circle of thirty
miles in diameter—and the intervening spaces
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seem inconsiderable. My task is an herculean one. All
day long from ten until six I was occupied in passing
through and examining only the works of Mr Ostler
x

 

a cut
glass manufacturer and Mr Chance
x

 

a manufacturer
of chemicals and glass—Nothing I had ever seen was so
beautiful as the cut glass of the former establishment—
But the labor is painstaking and difficult—my mouth
watered for specimens, but I —Mr Chances
establishment for chemicals consists of work chiefly
production of Sulpheric acid and the carbonation
and merits of soda. I saw these products brought
by nearly natural forces from the solid mineral of
the iron—this establishment employs six hundred men
and covers a space of very many acres—His
glass works are devoted to making window and
plate glass, including staring vanity and
enameling for ornamental purposes and the
manufacturer of lights for light houses as
well as lenses for telescopes. In their depart
ments eighteen hundred persons are employed
daily and the production is immense—I have
learned I think two things already, first that
manufacturers here are in the United States
have a hard competition with those numerous estab
lishments here which have secured a large trade
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3
throughout the world and second that the
manufacturing population of England are its only
real republicans. Here is the seat of that firm
antagonist to the landed aristocracy which is working
steadily and right on but only imperceptibly
a political change in Great Britain. So true it is
that if men are trained only to mechanical arts
they become soon self-governing, or in other words
republican.
But who can tell me why manufac-
ture in Europe
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as in America is confined chiefly
to Northern Counties? There is no slavery here
to account for it—I will think upon it.