This week in History: October 27-November 4

Novem­ber 3, 1867 let­ter from Robert Camp­bell in Paris to his broth­er Andrew in Ireland.

Read all about the Camp­bel­l’s 1867 grand tour of Europe, includ­ing their trip to the Uni­ver­sal Expo­si­tion in Paris!


Paris Novem­ber 3rd 1867
Dear broth­er Andrew

Your let­ter of 23rd ulto reached us here on our return from our trav­els through Switzer­land and Ger­many Aus­tria etc. and I was glad to learn that you were doing so well and that all our oth­er friends were enjoy­ing good health.

We have been busy trav­el­ing since we left Paris about the last of August and I have writ­ten very few let­ters as we were look­ing around to see all that we could find worth see­ing wher­ev­er we went.  We left Paris about the 27th Augt and stopped a day at Fontain­bleu [Fontainebleau] and then went to Gene­va where we remained a few days and enjoyed our­selves very much we went to Chamouni [Cha­monix]  and we crossed the Mer de Glass which was some­thing entire­ly new to us, such an  immense “Sea of Ice” below the region of per­pet­u­al snow was dif­fer­ent from any­thing we have in the Moun­tains of Amer­i­ca, but it is dimin­ish­ing every year in size.

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We went from Chamouni [Cha­monix] on Mules via Tete Noir to Mar­tigny through most beau­ti­ful moun­tain scenery and from there to Chillon, Vevay [Vevey], Lau­sanne and back to Gene­va-the whole coun­try bor­der­ing the Lake Leman was cov­ered with vine­yards and showed to great
advan­tage as the grapes were near­ly ripe.  We returned to Gene­va and were present at the open­ing of the Peace Con­gress and saw Garibal­di and heard him deliv­er a speech.  We went from Gene­va to Friburg [Fri­bourg] and Berne [Bern] to Inter­lak­en and from there to Lucerne-we were pre­vent­ed from vist­ing Zurick on Account of
of Cholera being there and we went to Bask and Baden-Baden and remained there a few days, this was the first place we saw pub­lic Gam­bling tables which were kept open on Sun­day as well as work days and attend­ed by peo­ple in the high­est posi­tion and at Weis­baden which we after­ward vis­it­ed the Prince of Wales would
occa­sion­al­ly bet a few Napo­lions-we vis­it­ed Frank­fort on the Main and from Wies­baden went down the Rhine on Steam­er to Cologne and as cholera pre­vailed in Hol­land we returned by R. [Roman­tic] Road to Coblenz.

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and from there to Wies­baden Baden and thence to Cas­sell [Kas­sel], and Berlin where we remained some days and vis­it­ed Pots­dam a short dis­tance from Berlin-we were much pleased with Berlin which is a beau­ti­ful city and the peo­ple and city remind­ed us  more of an Amer­i­can city than
any place we had been.  From Berlin we went to Leip­sic [Leipzig] and were there at their great Fair-from there to Dres­den where we remained some days and there to Prague and day, and thence to Vien­na where we remained some days and were
pleased, we next went to Salts­burg [Salzburg] and thence to Munich in Bavaria where we remained some time and then returned here remain­ing one night at Strass­burg [Stras­bourg] on the Rhine.   You will see that our time has been much occu­pied as we had so much of sight see­ing we had but lit­tle time for let­ter writ­ing.   We came back here to see more of the “Expo­si­tion” before its close, oth­er­wise we would have gone to Italy from Munich where we could have accom­plished with alls travel.

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We have not quite deter­mined how long we will remain in Europe, but we will like­ly remain in Paris for a month and then go to the South of France and if mat­ters be set­tled in Italy may go there and vis­it Rome before we return.

I have a let­ter from broth­er Hugh of 14th ulto at which time all were well and the Cholera had dis­ap­peared — they miss us very much in St. Louis as we had formed as it were, one fam­i­ly of the two hous­es.  I would return at any moment, but Vir­ginia and Hugh are desirous of see­ing Italy before our return and I felt it right that they should be grat­i­fied as our fam­i­ly are all together‑I can­not say any­thing about our return to Ire­land although I want to vis­it you all before my return to America.

When I returned here I found that my friend Sin­gle­ton A. Mer­cer of Phi­la had died in Paris on 15 Oct-he was a val­ued friend of both Hugh & myself and I had called to see him in Switzer­land he had been Pres­i­dent of the Farm­ers & Mer­chants Bank Phi­la and was an Excellent
Man.  I assist­ed his wife and daugh­ter to arrange their affairs here he has left a hand­some fortune.

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Present us affec­tion­ate­ly to Bet­ty, Sis­ter Anne and all your fam­i­ly & friends.

My address will be to “Care John Munroe & Co Paris”

Yours affec­tion­ate­ly
Robt Campbell

We are all quite well