Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell in Philadelphia, to father, William H. W. Barnwell. En route north for his European trip, Barnwell writes of visiting Washington, DC, touring the Patent Building and U.S. Capitol, securing his passport and meeting Senator Butler of South Carolina.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, Philadelphia, to sisters. Barnwell describes touring Philadelphia with his cousin, Nathaniel Barnwell Fuller, as they wait to travel to Europe and gives a physical description of the two as noted in their new passports. He also writes of making inquiries with a Naval Commander about ship timber in the hopes his father can make a deal to sell Live Oak lumber from South Carolina.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, New York, to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell. Barnwell describes touring New York City over several days as his steamship, the Franklin, is undergoing repairs before sailing for Europe.
Partial letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, describing his travel through the German Rhineland. Barnwell writes of visiting the ducal palace of the House of Nassau in Biebrich and its elaborate greenhouses and gardens and describes visits to the spas of Wiesbaden and the tourist sites of Worms.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to aunt, Martha Ann Mathews, from Offenbach am Maim, Germany. Barnwell writes of studying German before his entrance to a university and describes his Sunday travels to Frankfurt to attend an English church.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to mother, Catherine Osborn Barnwell, from Erlangen, Germany. Barnwell explains that he left the university in Berlin because of the high cost of living and that the university in Erlangen afforded him a better opportunity to learn Hebrew. Pictured on the stationery is a view of Erlangen that Barnwell has marked with the approximate location of his apartment there, a room over a tavern.
Partial letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, in Erlangen, to unknown correspondent describing the state of Christianity and theology in Germany. Barnwell also discusses his attempt to impart his knowledge of contemporary American political science but concedes that "slavery is a topic which cannot be understood, which everyone talks about but which I generally excise myself from speaking upon."
Robert Woodward Barnwell writes to father, William H. W. Barnwell, describing the difficulty of learning Hebrew during his studies in Erlangen, Germany, and discussing his plans for his final months in Europe.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell to unnamed aunt. Barnwell discusses the start of his German education, including his efforts in avoiding American and English acquaintances to better immerse himself in the language, and describes the sorrow he feels for how hard German women have to work without servants.
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, Zion Parsonage, to sisters, describing the rural nature of the parish he will minister near Columbia and inviting them to visit and assist him in setting up housekeeping in his new cottage. In addition to a servant provided by the parish, Barnwell has been given one of his father's servants, "Aleck the little".
Letter from Robert Woodward Barnwell, Zion Parsonage, to father, William H. W. Barnwell thanking him for the gift of his servant "Aleck the little" and discussing possible future plans for his younger brother, William.