William Alexander Thomson (1816-1878) was a Scottish-born Canadian railroad entrepreneur and legislator. In 1842-1844, he traveled from Buffalo, through the Eastern Seaboard, then to England, Ireland, and Scotland, then back to Buffalo. He left a manuscript describing his experiences. Particularly noteworthy are his descriptions of crossing the Atlantic eastbound on a sailing ship and crossing the Atlantic westbound on a steam ship. He also described pottery manufacturing, textile manufacturing, and ferrous metal operations at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Along the way, he described various scenic and historic sites, and his philosophical musings on the transience of life.
In the United States and Canada in the Nineteenth Century, there were any number of industrialists of the Scottish diaspora. This volume enables us to get inside the mind of an industrialist of the Scottish diaspora.
His manuscript was later converted to a typescript version, on which this volume was based. It was edited by his great-great-grandson Kenneth L. MacRitchie.