Letter to Parents

November 19, 1870

Mss 12: Sub-group 1, Series A, S-s 2, Folder 15


                                                                 Naples Italy

Dear Parents

Two weeks have passed since I wrote you and now I will sit down to write enough to relieve your anxiety. We returned yesterday to Naples from Amalfi and Sorrento where we have been for two weeks.

They are old towns about 20 or 25 miles from here on the coast built under the steep cliffs. I have heard that the weather was very charming here at this season of the year, but it is almost as bad as it is at home. It rains and blows and then it is so cold sometimes that it is not easy to keep warm even when there is a good fire going. We have decided not to go to Rome now but will take it on our way back. We have made arrangements to leave for Egypt tomorrow evening. We take the cars here for a place called Brandisi on the eastern coast of Italy and from there it is only three days sail by steamer to Alexandria, Egypt. We will soon get as far as from home as we are going, and will commence the homeward route soon after you get this. We expect to stay in Alexandria only a few days and then we will go to Cairo by cars. There we shall probably remain most of our time and not go further as we find if we go up the Nile that it will take two months and be extremely expensive and not see much that we can paint, while at Cairo we can get fine things and keep busy all the time.

So instead of it being 9 months from the time I left home until I return it may not be more than 7 or 8. Mr Tiffany is longing to get home already – he is a very homesick fellow – much more than I am. I hope everything will go on well at home and that I shall find everything the same as when I left. I hear occasionally in the letters that I get that you are all well and that is a great comfort. I got a very nice letter from Willie Macy's mother a few days ago. If you see Walton give him my love and tell him that I have not forgotten him and will write him while I am in Egypt if I get a chance.

We shall probably be at Alexandria Friday morning the 25th of this month. You can keep run of us when I say that we shall be there just about one month and a half. Then from there to Rome – Venice – and then to Paris if the war is over – if not – if not then we shall go to England direct where we shall take the steamer for home – but that will be some time yet as we shall stop in Rome and Venice.

Goodnight, I will write you again in the course of a week or two. Lizzie must write as often as possible.

With love to you all, I remain your affectionate son,


Give my love to Mrs. Swain when you see her.