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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

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