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Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890-1910

Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq

Publication Year: 2012

The international adventures of a southern widow turned patron of historical discovery, Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890–1910 is a travelogue of captivating episodes in exotic lands as experienced by an intrepid American aristocrat and her son at the dawn of the twentieth century. A member of the prominent Sinkler family of Charleston and Philadelphia, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Sinkler married into Philadelphia's wealthy Coxe family in 1870. Widowed just three years later, she dedicated herself to a lifelong pursuit of philanthropy, intellectual endeavor, and extensive travel. Heeding the call of their dauntless adventuresome spirits, Lizzie and her son, Eckley, set sail in 1890 on a series of odysseys that took them from the United States to Cairo, Luxor, Khartoum, Algiers, Istanbul, Naples, Vichy, and Athens. The Coxes not only visited the sites and monuments of ancient civilizations but also participated in digs, funded entire expeditions, and ultimately subsidized the creation of the Coxe Wing of Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. A prolific correspondent, Lizzie conscientiously recorded her adventures abroad in lively prose that captures the surreal exhilarations and harsh realities of traversing the known and barely known worlds of Africa and the Middle East. She journeyed through foreign lands with various nieces in tow to expose them to the educational and social benefits of the Grand Tour. Her letters and recollections are complemented by numerous photographs and several original watercolor paintings.

Published by: University of South Carolina Press

Series: Women's Diaries and Letters of the South


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pp. 1-5


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Series Editor’s Preface

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pp. ix-xii

Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe’s Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890–1910, expertly edited by Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq, is the twenty-third volume in what had been the Women’s Diaries and Letters of the Nineteenth-Century South series. This series has been redefined and is now titled Women’s Diaries and Letters of the South, ...

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pp. xiii-xvi

Elizabeth Allen Sinkler Coxe lived successfully between North and South during the post–Civil War period, when conflict and animosity still divided the nation. Lizzie, as she was called, was a hybrid, born in 1843 at Belvidere Plantation in Eutawville, South Carolina, but her mother, Emily Wharton Sinkler, and her mother’s parents, the Whartons, were from Philadelphia. ...

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Editorial Note

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pp. xvii-xviii

The diaries, letters, and business documents of Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe (1843–1919) and Eckley Brinton Coxe Jr. (1872–1916) provide significant primary material relating to the discovery of Pharaonic Egypt by the West in the years 1890–1917. Elizabeth and Eckley had multiple reasons for sponsoring the University of Pennsylvania archaeology excavations in Egypt from 1905 to 1917. ...

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Identification of People

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pp. xix-xxxv

Coxe, Charles Brinton, Sr. (February 4, 1843–January 3, 1873). Charles Brint on Coxe was the son of Charles Sidney Coxe (1791–1879) and Anna Maria Brinton (1801–1876), cousin of George Brinton McClellan (1826– 1885), and grandson of Tench Coxe (1755–1824). ...

Genealogical Charts

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pp. xxxvi-xxxviii

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Chapter One: Living between North and South

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pp. 1-20

Elizabeth Allen Sinkler Coxe (July 7, 1843–October 24, 1919), known affectionately as Lizzie and later as Auntie to her nieces, was the eldest of six children born to Emily Wharton and Charles Sinkler. The Sinkler family lived at Eutaw and Belvidere plantations in Eutawville, South Carolina. ...

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Chapter Two: A Stop in Algiers, 1893

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pp. 21-26

The route from America to the Old World often began with a stop in Algeria. In this letter from Algiers, Lizzie and Eck were enjoying the beauty of French-dominated Algeria. This was the height of colonial empire. The Mediterranean was a secure inland sea for traveling Americans. The steamships were large and comfortable. ...

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Chapter Three: Egypt, Greece, and Italy, 1895

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pp. 27-49

In the winter of 1895 Lizzie was traveling with her sister Carrie, a friend, Oliver, and an in-law, Mary Jane Brinton.1 Her party was headed to Cairo, Luxor, Athens, Trieste, and Rome. Her journal and letters from that trip were full of enthusiasm for the sights. ...

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Chapter Four: France, “In Our Own Car,” 1902

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pp. 50-55

Lizzie and Eckley took many trips to France and Switzerland. On this journey to France, Lizzie was accompanied by her brother Wharton Sinkler, whom she affectionately called Bud, and his wife, Ella Brock Sinkler. The group also included Lizzie’s nieces Emily Wharton Sinkler and Elizabeth Allen Sinkler Stevens. ...

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Chapter Five: Trekking to Khartum, 1905

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pp. 56-74

In March of 1905 Lizzie was traveling with Eck, Carrie, and Mary Jane Brinton. Their destination was Khartum. It was only eight years after General Kitchener had subdued the Madhi and the Dervish hordes at the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. ...

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Chapter Six: Underwriting Excavations in Nubia, 1909

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pp. 75-94

Lizzie and Eck were regular visitors to Egypt. This fascination with the country resulted in Eck’s growing financial and organizational involvement with the University of Pennsylvania’s museum excavations. ...

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Chapter Seven: From Paris to Istanbul on the Orient Express, 1910

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pp. 95-106

Lizzie and her party traveled in 1910 on the famed Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. The Orient Express, the “pearl of the Orient,” was the epitome of great trains with exquisite wood paneling, fine china, immaculate linens, and Lalique crystal. Its first run was in 1883 from Gare de l’Est in Paris. ...

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pp. 107-110

Lizzie and Eck died only three years apart, both at their “dear” home at Windy Hill. The lovely house is still there, carefully tended by Philip Brinton Young. ...

Suggested Readings

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pp. 111-114


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pp. 115-120

E-ISBN-13: 9781611172102
Print-ISBN-13: 9781570039577

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Women's Diaries and Letters of the South