Matthew Vassar and his wife, accompanied by his secretary, Cyrus Swan—later a charter trustee—sailed for Europe in the packet-ship Northumberland. "…about 1845 I visited Europe & while in London visited the famous 'Guy' Hospitall, the founder of which a family relative, '[Thomas] Guy'…had the honor of being named after.—Seeing this Institution first suggested the idea of devoting a portion of my Estate to some Charitable purpose, and about this period took quite an interest in a niece of mine, Lydia Booth, who was then engaged in a small way in the tuition of Children resulting in after years in the opening of a female seminary in Poughkeepsie being the first of its kind excepting one other, Mrs. Conger, in the village.”      Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, ed., Autobiography and Letters of Matthew Vassar