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Full account of meeting with the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) at West Point, N.Y.
letter, McIlvaine, Du Bois, son-in-law, Prince of Wales
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to G. W. Du Bois (son-in-law)" (1860). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 77.
Cinc. Oct. 31. 1860
I returned from the East on Monday having been absent 3 weeks & three days. I enjoyed much my visit to your brother while at the 3rd of [?] in [?]. The following Sunday I appeared at W. [?] & enjoyed exceedingly preaching to the church again. The first time [?] I left there 33 years ago. It seemed the same same congregation. At night I attended [?] one of the barrack men a [?] at which were 30 or 35 cadets. It was under [??(name)], dear fellow, how I enjoyed it. I found the tradition of my [?] very fresh there. One Cadet said on Monday, “My, the Bp. should preach to us, the whole Corps would be crowded in a week.” dear fellow, he little knew. At the end of the meeting a Cadet asked me if I remembered a cadet named Field when I was there. I said no and I asked his year. It was 1821. I said he could have been there only in my last year. He said he wanted to thank me for my ministry, for it was his father, & he was converted there. On Monday the Prince was [?] I was at Col. [Milfield?] when he entered & when the [?] & several [of] them were to be presented, I was in the [?]. The first [?] he saw after evening made the front door [??]. He immediately came to shake hands, as did all the chief [?] of the [?], like old friends. They had a good deal of conviction at the reception. Hem Ld. Lyons, the Duke, Gen. Bruce [?], & I. That night I stayed by [?] of Mr. Graggen at his Hotel, having been before at Prof. [Babbeth?]. The Prince was at the same Hotel. I had got to bed & asleep (about ½ past 10) when there was a knock at my door & a message from the Prince asking if I would not come which they were playing ten-pin. Graggen had before told me as a secret that they were [?] up in the ten-pin house & playing. & that he did not let it be known to prevent intrusion & observation. For is was not [?] to [?] & go. Through the dark I was privately led. A servant was keeping watch [?] the door. It was a funny night when I entered. All but the Earl of St. Germain had their [?] off. Prince, Duke, Lord Lyman & Gen. Bruce [?] there. Lord [?] D. [G?] & all [?] play & [?] the Prince smoking. & as many as a crickett. At [?] I was at home & with great respect & yet a pleasing [?] of pleasantry of manner they [??] the Prince often saying little funny things. At last the game then going was over. Then the Prince insisted that I might play. So a new [?] was made 5 on a side, two alleys. Our side was then in the order of bowling- the Duke, myself, the Prince, [?] Mr. Elliott [?] of the Earl & one other. We [?]. The Prince with chalk kept the score. It was never [?] when we broke off. Then the Prince led the way through the dark to the Hotel accompanying [?]. In their apartment all bade one good night shaking hands. I supposed that was the last I should have of them as they were to leave next morning. I went to bed again. Again a knock. A servant from the Prince bringing his autograph for Nain which he had promised Sir Henry Acland to send. On the sheet of note paper containing another he wrote, To the Lord Bishop of Ohio
And on the enclosed sheet - A. E.
Clifton Sept. 29. 1860
That was the date of his visit to us. That I supposed was the last. Next morning they were to visit some of the recitations [?] at the Point and I determined to avoid them lest I should seem to others or them to invite more attention. So when I thought they were in the Academy and I was walking diagonally across the plains - I saw them coming in 3 or four carriages [drawing of the scene]. What should I do? At first I thought I would take no notice. They were about 100 yards from me. But then if they should recognize me it would seem strange - so I thought I would stand and look that way - and if they showed any sign, I would know what to do. Instantly the Prince took off his hat - rose towards the driver - made him stop, jumped out – he, Ld. Lyons, The Duke, The Earl, Gen. Bruce, Col. Delafield. In a quick step they came to me – I advanced [?]. They came more than halfway. All shook hands. Then we talked about the game and how we beat. The Prince said he would tell the Archbishop and c. then they all shook hands again and I pronounced a blessing on all and they reverently said thank you and returned to their carriages, the Prince calling to Dr. Acland to get out and bid me good bye and all the rest then taking leave - wasn’t it nice. Many strangers at a distance were looking on – and I overheard some in the ferry boat afterwards saying, “Did you see that beautiful scene – what beautiful reverence for the Bp.” Now I must stop. The horse is at the door and [they’re all] waiting to go into town. Love to dearest Many and the children.
Your affectionate father,