His life and works
Charles Allen Du Val was very interested in the United States of America and had admirers there, as his friendship with the author Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates.
Hawthorne visited him (1) at his home in Carlton Grove in 1857, and was much impressed by the fact that Du Val and his wife were bringing up twelve children on an artist’s income. “It speaks well of the profession that he should [be] able to live in such handsome comfort, and nourish so large a brood”, he said (2). The number totalled twelve, as he had nine children of his own by his wife Elizabeth, and she had three others by her first marriage, his stepsons and stepdaughter.
Charles Allen Du Val himself possessed considerable writing skill. He wrote and published five pamphlets on the American Civil War in 1863, four of which have the following titles:
“Is slavery conducive to the civilisation of races?”
“Ought England to acknowledge the independence of the Confederate States?”
“The dis-United States.”
“The provocation of the South.” (3)
(1) The visit of Nathaniel Hawthorne to Charles Allen Du Val in 1857 is noted on an index card in the archives of the Manchester Central Library, which gives only the reference “Darcy p.77 (P/C)”. Hawthorne was then American Consul in Liverpool, and had come to Manchester to visit the 1857 Art Treasures Exhibition at Old Trafford. On that great occasion, through shyness, Hawthorne avoided meeting Tennyson, another visitor to the exhibition, and regretted it for the rest of his life.
(2) “Hawthorne’s Works : Passages from the English Note-Books” (1876) pages 331-333.
(3) Copies of these (now rare) pamphlets are in the archives of Manchester Central Library.