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Trip to England




letter, McIlvaine, Chase, England


Nice Ap. 21. 1862

My dear Friend,

[Here] on the shore of the deep blue Mediterranean, with orange trees laden with ripe fruit in the garden under my window, & the perfume of the blossoms all around, I think of you & our country & its war, but I fear you will not give me credit for much [disinterestedness] of thought when you need what is to come. I am getting so [uneasy] about the sufficiency of my [purse] that [lest] what I have said before on that [heed] should not have made a sufficient impression, I must needs refer to it again: The truth is I made an inadequate estimate of what I should need. I found the cost of lodging, & of every thing indeed, increased since my previous visit to England. Besides that, I did not sufficiently consider the expenses which would accrue from so much going into social circles of certain positions, where one cannot econom[iz?]e as he would. [?] [here] has been a great expense. Had it not been that I have been saved some expense by accepting private hospitality, I should have made out far worse. As it is, I shall have spent $500 beyond the allowance & that in travelling about, even if what I now ask shall be granted. My present travelling of about six weeks on the continent I do not consider it as beside my mission because it was rendered [necessary] by the immense demand in England [on] my strength & especially my ability to [hear] the excitement of constant contact with people on such exciting topics. You know my physical weakness in that matter of excitement. [Nor] is my having a part of my family with me, two daughters, an extra. My ability to endure, in point of spirits, what I have gone through, has depended on them besides that they have earned [their bread] as every body will testify. The Gov’t has not [lost] by them. Now to be able to stay till July 1st I must have [unit of currency]100 more & then, there was one matter of my stipulation omitted when I was at Washington. I stipulated that besides the [unit of currency]500 for expenses abroad, two passages to & from England should be provided for, & also the expense of getting from Cinc. to N.Y. & again for N.Y. to Cinc. The last was omitted in the money I rec’d at Was’n but can be provided for when I return. Now I make no claim, but if a third passage in the [Crusader] can be allowed for my voyage home for my second daughter, in consideration of services, it would be thankfully accepted.

I hope I may [receive] a favourable answer on the above [heeds] when I return to London. [?] see Mr. Seward about it. If I thought he would need a more formal application, & more direct, from me, I would make it. If useful you can show him this letter.

I left Mr. [Weid] in Paris. He has [?] exceeding well of the country. By his great knowledge of our affairs, constant diligence, habits of dealing with men, his knowledge of Editors, his sound discretion, plainness & yet [sufficient refinement of manners], all, [?] with a great deal of access to men in influential positions, have given him a great deal of influence & usefulness. Whatever may be said at [?] of Archbp. Hughes’ influence in Paris for good, & much nonsense has been said, all the good has been done by Mr. [Ward], while if the other had not be restrained from doing what he sought to do, much harm would have been done, or the good which was done would have been tripped up.

The last news we have is of Ap. 3rd or 4th. We are exceeding glad of the passage of the [bill] for the [abolition] of slavery in the District. My respects to Mr. [?] & Mr. Seward & Mr. [?].

Yours affectionately

Chas. P. McIlvaine

Letter to S.P. Chase



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