Part of the Cambridge Library Collection - North American History Series
Captain Basil Hall (1788-1844) was a Scottish seaman and travel writer. After attending the Royal High School in Edinburgh he joined the Navy in 1802, and was appointed captain in 1814. He served on many diplomatic and scientific naval missions, and on his retirement from the Navy began to publish accounts of his experiences, based on his journals. These volumes, first published in 1829, contain his detailed and controversial account of his journey across America and Canada between 1827 and 1828. Hall provides a fascinating and engaging description of social conditions, political structures and political tensions in Canada and America in the period, while also illustrating contemporary English prejudices concerning American society. Volume 2 contains his descriptions of New England, including Boston and Harvard University, with an analysis of mutual English and American misunderstandings of each others' societies and a discussion of the role of women in American society.