Born: 1795

Died: June 7, 1884

Lady Amelia Matilda Murray was a British botanist and botanical artist who became a maid of honour to Queen Victoria in 1837. Murray traveled through the Adirondacks in 1854 or 1855, escorted by New York State governor Horatio Seymour, guided by Mart Moody and James McClelland and accompanied by another lady and gentleman, unnamed. They stayed at Baker's Hotel which she described as the "last house of reception on the Saranac River." She was hailed as the first woman to "cross the woods," presumably along with the lady who was her companion.

In July 1854 Amelia Murray traveled to the United States, Cuba and Canada, returning home in 1855. This trip reinforced her previous antipathy to slavery. She refused to suppress her opinions after she was told that court officials were not allowed to publish anything redolent of politics. She subsequently resigned her post, but was later appointed to a similar one.

James McClelland, for whom James Street on French Hill was named, was one of her guides.

Auburn Weekly American, October 10, 1855

The Hon. Miss Murray has recently returned from an excursion through the great wilderness region of Northern New York. She was accompanied by Gov. Seymour and one or two others, and spent about a fortnight in the expedition,—camping out in tents the most of the time. The party entered from the north, by the Saranac Lakes, and passing through Long Lake, the Raquette and the chain of Eight Moose River Lakes, emerged at Boonville.


  • Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie, Joy Dorothy Harvey, The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century, New York:Routledge, p. 925

External link: Letters from the United States, Cuba and Canada, By Amelia Matilda Murray - Full text of Lady Murray's account of her arrival at Saranac Lake, pp. 371-373