Monmouth Historic Inn

Henry's June 26 1853 letter to his father

June 19 2015 | News

This week's posting is a letter written by Henry Quitman to his father while he was traveling abroad in 1853.  It's interesting to read his take on Ireland and Scotland.  Check out our posting next week to read the end of this letter.  Until next time - happy travels!


Edinburg Scotland June 26, 1853


Dear Father

          Taking the opportunity of a short respite in traveling, I now write you.  Since my last to you from Dublin I have en constantly on the move, having visited the City of Belfast, so famous for its linen manufactures, the Giants Causway, Glasgow Dumbaton & Sterling.  I was much struck with the vast difference in the appearance of the population of the Northern portion of Ireland from that of the Southern & Western districts.  I did not see a single beggar or idle person after I left Dublin for the Giant’s Causway; everyone seemed to be employed.  I saw no such waste of land uncultivated as I saw about Killarny.  I was told that this vast difference in the conditions of the common classes was attributable to the large mixture of Irish Protestants giving a home to the original Irish population.  Vast numbers find employment in the linen factories which are scattered all over this portion of the island.  The Giant’s Causway is certainly a most wonderful natural phenomenon, consisting of immense columns of every Geometric figure, so perfectly formed as if cut by the chisel of an artist.  The ocean crashes at its foot in a magnificent surf.  I did not remain long at Glasgow, such a canopy of coal smoke hung over the city that it presented a most gloomy appearance.  It was almost impossible to breathe the atmosphere so impregnated was it with particles of coal dust.