In 1863 Leslie Stephen visited the United States
where he formed a lifelong friendship with the American writer
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891). Lowell later became Virginia
Woolf’s godfather and visited the Stephen family during
their summer holidays in Cornwall.
Stephen was a staunch adherent of the cause of the North in the
American Civil War, and an enthusiastic champion of slavery emancipation.
He met Abraham Lincoln while he was in Washington and wrote about
his experiences when he returned to England. Stephen visited America
again in 1868, with his wife Minny. During his second trip, he
met Emerson, Charles Eliot Norton, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.