This diary (around 130 pages) recounts the author's travels from New York to England and France from October 1830-March 1831. He commented on architecture, history, and politics. The attribution of the volume is based on the author's reference to his father, "W. Steele" (page 102).
The author left New York for Europe on October 24, 1830, for health reasons, and composed brief daily notes about his sea voyage until November 17. He resumed his account in Manchester, England, on December 8, 1830, and wrote regular diary entries until March 5, 1831. While in England, he traveled by stagecoach from Manchester to London, visiting Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford along the way. The author described the scenery (with a focus on architecture) and history of the places he visited. He drew a detailed plan of Kenilworth Castle (page 19). While in London, he discussed the formation of a new Parliamentary government and noted the pollution visible from his window.
The diarist sailed to Boulogne, France, and then to Paris shortly thereafter. While in Paris, he described several prominent buildings, such as the Palais-Royal and the Notre Dame cathedral, and recorded notes about the history of the city and its buildings. He visited the Marquis de Lafayette at one of his weekly soirées, noting that printed versions of the Declaration of Independence, Washington's Farewell Address, Trumbull's picture of Congress, the Death of Wolfe, and an image of Bunker Hill were suspended in his chambers (page 69).
Steele described an operation performed on his throat by Baron Guillaume Dupuytren (pages 89-90). He frequently wrote about his social life and correspondence with acquaintances in the United States. Several entries from mid-February 1831 concern riots in Paris, which resulted in mob violence against the church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois. He later recorded some personal thoughts about the possible progression of French politics following the unrest.