Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
  • By: admin
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1831
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:lbk

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1831-01-25

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 25, 1831

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: lbk 

revision: ekk 2015-09-09

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Page 1

Jan'y 25th
I thought this morning when I saw the dense
smoke which at the distance of half a mile
concealed the Capital from view that the
January thaw had come but it was not so as
I soon learned by the stinging cold upon my
ears. I spent an hour and a half in the
State Library studying out my brief so as to
be ready for my argument in the Court of
Chancery. Then went into the Senate, and
having heard with no little interest the warm
prayer of the Chaplain
Unknown
for the health and
happiness of the members, their wives and
their little ones, sat down to the ordinary business
of saying aye and no. In the midst of it the
President was graciously pleased to call me to
the Chair on going into Committee of the Whole.
I manfully marched to the Chair, and
having been an attentive student in order to
learn the ritual on such occasions I got with
some little embarassment as seat in the red-
cushioned chairs, and giving it a hitching
Page 2

motion to bring it up to the table. Imagine
me seating under the fulllength likeness
of George Clinton
Birth: 1739-07-26 Death: 1812-04-20
, with a canopy over my
head representing the hollow globe and
the eagle resting his weary wing upon
its summit, and hear me pronounce
to the grave and reverend seniors "The
Senate are ^is^ in Committee of the Whole on
the bill entitled an act for the relief of
Somebody or other (then I gave my chair
another hitch) Shall the bill be read"?
"Yes," was the reply and off went I reading
through the bill and the petitions (then having
hitched my chair too far I rolled it majesticly
with its encumbant weight backward).
"Gentlemen the question is upon the first
Section of the bill, those ^of^ you ^who^ are in favor
of the same, will please to say aye, those
who are opposed will please to say no.
It is carried. The question will now be upon
the title of the bill" (which I began as I
supposed to read but found I was reading
the first section. I hitched my chair up
again to the table and retrograded myself
back to the title of the bill which the
Committee of the Whole was graciously pleased
to be satisfied with) "Gentlemen, the question
will be now upon the whole bill and rising
and reporting." Again the Committee was
Page 3

satisfied. I rose and the President
Birth: 1779-11-24 Death: 1843-11-03
took
the chair. I bowed and thus spoke, "Mr
President the Senate in Committee of the
Whole, have had under consideration the
bill entitled &tc, &tc, &tc, have passed the same
without amendment, and have directed
me to rise and report accordingly." Then
the President lifted up his voice and
said to the Senate, "Gentlemen, Mr Seward
from the Committee of the whole reports
that the Committee have had under conside-
ration the bill entitled &tc, &tc, &tc and reports
their agreement to the same with^out^ amendment"
Thus ended the trial of my courage.