Thursday, May 27, 2004

Lydia Giles, 1882

Letter written by an exciting and adventurous, female sailor, and pioneer who made the Overland journey through the Sierra Nevadas in 1880. The letters are written by Lydia Ann Giles and addressed for the most part to family members in Tenants Harbor, Maine. She sailed the world over with her husband, Captain Henry Giles who worked for J. M. Grace & Company, San Franscisco, shipping and commission merchants

***Liverpool, England--July the 13th, 1882***

My very dear sister Will commence a letter to you to say we are nearly ready for sea. Shall said about the 17th . I have received one letter from you and quite a number of papers. Hope I will get another letter before we said. I though I would not come home this time as my health is good and they all seem to be getting along well enough without me.

Henry is well and has got quite a corporation on his. He sends his regards to you and Joseph. Captain Speed and wife are staying with us now. Their ship is in the Graving Dock. .We stayed with them when our ship was in the Graving Dock. We had rather stay on the ship than board on shore. Captain Murphy has stayed us one night.

We have been off sight seeing over to London and Buxton. Captain speed and wife, Henry and I, Mr. Fox and wife met us in Buxton. Went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Works in London. Rode through the principal streets over London bridge and Westminster bridge, through Hyde Park, round Roblen Row. Several times saw through the Tower of London. Stood on the spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Saw the block and beheading axe and headsman’s mask. Was in the dungeon where Guy Fawkes was imprisoned and where the Royal Children were murdered—the two sons of Edward the Fourth. The instruments of torture, saw the crown jewels as Aunt T. B. says they were immense. Went to Windsor, was through Windsor Castle, all but the grounds, private apartments. From Duxton we went to Bakewell Church. This sacred pile is very ancient. Tradition assigns it a date anterior to the conquest. The old Nave is supposed to have re-erected about 1100, upon a still older foundation.

..... I hope you will not think that I have taken this large sheet to write the history of England on, but if you would like it, I will write a few descriptions of these places when I have more time. I came back very tired, but well satisfied. Enjoyed every minute of it. Although my lame knee ached very bad, being on my feet so much.

Our friends Mr. Gracie and wife, Mr. Meeks and wife, took us to Prescott in company with Capt. Speed and wife. Had a pleasant time. I sent you a paper with a necktie. Hope you got it all right. Tell Eddie I got him a Monkey in London. Not a live one. Kiss him for me. Will send it to Eddie by mail from San Francisco. Take good care of yourself and don’t go round among the sick too much. Laura is coming down to make you a visit soon. Don’t let her go round too much.

My love, best wishes to you.
Write to San Francisco in care of J.W. Grace & Co. Write about the first of November. I will send for a paper when we leave by the Pilot,.

Many thanks for the Opinions, your affectionate Sister, L. A. Giles.
Had a present of 17 Round Books and a case of scissors with my name on them in gilt….”

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