Basil Hall manuscript letter to his wife's mother, Lady Hunter with addition by Margaret Hall
Date Published: 1833
Binding: No binding
QUITE UNUSUAL - BOTH BASIL AND MARGARET HALL HANDWRITING ON ONE DOCUMENT
9-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Autograph letter signed. Two pages, Dated (on the Rhine 20th May 1833. Two pages, 4to. With postscript on verso by his wife Margaret, also a writer. To his wife's mother, Lady Hunter. Basil Hall's letter reads: "My dear Lady Hunter, I write merely to report of myself and to mention that here we are safe and sound and all happy and merry with our journey. We came here on Sat. Eve. And passed yesterday chiefly with Mrs. Hoover and her family. Mr H. Is in England. In the evening Mr. Schlegel and other intelligent oxalises of both sexes came to Mrs. Homers. This day we go to Coblentz by the Steam Boat and then we propose going on just as before. The weather is delightful still. We have a famous thunderstorm on Sat. Eve. After we got here which has cooled the air and laid the dust. My journal for the young folks goes merrily - I hope it may amuse hem. Perhaps Mgt [Margaret] might add a line to you. Mr. Dollard of St. Paul's Churchyard is to send a Box to meet me at Geneva and by it you may send any odds and ends. Mgt begs get from Joel Lane a book which Eliza left, called The Ladder of Leaving - and send it to Mr. Dollard. Yours Affecftionately, B. Hall"
Margaret Hall adds: 'That is to say you may desire Jane to send the book to Mr. Dollard. We at present plan going on either tomorrow or the following day from Coblentz to Mayence also by Steam Boat, and thence to Frankfurt by land, a distance of only about 20 miles- there we shall stay two or three days and I shall send a large sheet which will by that time be filled. There are two routes from Frankfurt to Munich, one to Heidelberg and Carlsruhe and thence by Stuttgard to Munich, but I think we shall prefer the other by Wuryburg, Nuremburg, Donanwerth and Augsburg - either way we shall get there by the end of the week even in our very leisurely mode of travelling. Eliza's message is a kiss, and that she wishes you would come and see us - Fanny Emily has given me a flower to send to you which you must imagine she has sent. Ever affectionately yours, Margaret Hall. 9 o'clock Monday. You can either forward this to Rose if you have a frank or let her know you have heard from us."
From [James John] Audubon and His Journals/The European Journals. 1826-1829: "At precisely six I found myself at No. 16 Hope St. I was shown upstairs, and presented to Lady Mary Clark, who knew both General Wolfe and General Montgomery, a most amiable English lady eighty-two years of age. Many other interesting people were present, and I had the pleasure of taking Mrs. Basil Hall to dinner, and was seated next her mother, Lady Hunter, and almost opposite Lady Mary Clark. I did not feel so uncomfortable as usual; all were so kind, affable, and truly well-bred. At nine the ladies left us, and Captain Basil Hall again attacked me about America, and hundreds of questions were put to me by all, which I answered as plainly and briefly as I could."
Basil Hall was a British naval officer from Scotland, a traveller, and an author. Following Basil Hall's retirement from the navy in 1823, Hall was married on 1 March 1825 to Margaret Congalton (d. 1876), the youngest daughter of Sir John Hunter, Consul-General in Spain by his spouse Elizabeth Barbara, sister to Sir William Arbuthnot, 1st Baronet. Margaret Hall is the subject of a 1931 book "Aristocratic Journey. Being the outspoken letters of Mrs. Basil Hall, written during a fourteen months' sojourn in America, 1827-1828"
Basil Hall commanded many vessels involved in exploration and scientific and diplomatic missions. From the beginning of his naval career he had been encouraged by his father to keep a journal, which later became the source for a series of books and publications describing his travels. Hall toured the major cities of the eastern and southern states, and his narrative includes comments on education, politics and government, the judicial system, slavery, and manufactures. In 1829 Hall published Travels in North America which caused some offense due to his criticisms of American society. His best known work was The Fragments of Voyages and Travels (9 volumes, 1831–1840), originally released as three yearly series of eight volumes each.
Good. Item #4854