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  • Susan Stoderl

Women Writers Through History | Henrietta Liston | Scottish Botanist and Travel Writer

Updated: Jun 23


Henrietta Liston, 18th century Woman Writer
Travel Writer, Social Commentary

Henrietta Marchant Liston lived an extraordinary life as a botanist and travel writer. Although born in Antigua, she became the ward of her maternal aunt in Glasgow when her parents died. Her step-uncle educated her. Henrietta did not marry until she was forty-four years old. She married a British diplomat, Robert Liston when he was fifty-three. He was British Minister to the United States from 1796 to 1800 and British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1812 to 1820. 


While in the U.S., the Listons visited sixteen states and collected botanical specimens that she sent back to Scotland. Her journals provide deep insight into early American politics and intellect.


From 1797 Tour to the Southern States–Virginia–North & South Carolina’s


“It is common through the Southern States to have letters of recommendation to private Houses; there being often no Inns, & when there are—the accommodations very wretched. It is not, indeed, an uncommon thing, even without Introduction, to drive up to a Gentleman’s House & to be always well received.”


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