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Matthew Steele Letter

Identifier: SC 00151

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Scope and Contents

Lengthy letter from Matthew Steele of Liverpool, England to C. Birnie in Taneytown, MD dated June 20, 1821.  In it he details his trip to Paris to visit his daughter who was attending school in the city.  He gives illustrative description of his travels enroute to Paris and of his sojourns around and outside the city.  Steele and his daughter also travelled to the Netherlands, Brussels, and Holland.  While doing his eastern visits, Steele toured the battle of Waterloo field where he collected bullets, broken shells, and bones.  Steele talks highly of Bonaparte throughout his letter and on the inside of the letter's cover, Steele reports, "just as I was going to seal this letter the news od Bonaparte's death is come.  He died on the 5th May they say of a canser [sic] in his heart his father died of the same complaint at the age of 35 years he is 52. now is gone the greatest man that ever lived. Yours, MS".


  • Creation: 1821 June 20


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


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Guide to the Matthew Steele Letter
Language of description
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Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository