Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1834

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1834
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:jds

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1834-12-05

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 5, 1834

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: jds 

revision: ekk 2015-08-17

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Page 1

Friday Dec 5th
I have been thinking of you, my dearest, constantly
since I received your last letter, it awakened
so many feelings which I have endeavoured to
bury in forgetfulness that I am not sure now
that my mind is sufficiently regulated to render
what I may write intelligible. You reproach
yourself, dear Henry with too much severity,
never in those times when I have wept the most
bitterly over the decay of my young dreams when
my heart has been most oppressed with the
want of sympathy have I thought you otherwise
than good and kind. When I thought we were
differently constituted, when I realized most
forcibly that "love is the whole history of woman
and but an episode in the life of man", when
I at last came to believe that I had deceived
myself from the beginning and that you were
incapable of experiencing the deep and enduring
affection ^love^ which made me so miserable, even
then I imputed it not to you as a fault but
reproached myself for wishing to exact a return
for affections which I felt were too intense.
If I could not conceal from you my sorrow
in losing my influence over a heart I once thought
so entirely my own. I could not, when I looked
on the bright faces of our precious boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
and
thought of the numerous blessings still left
me, conceal from myself that this incessant
repining was sinful. Think you the love of
another could afford me consolation. No Henry,
every expression of sympathy and tenderness made
me feel ^your coldness^ more keenly. Do you remember
my saying to you last winter that I could never
love another better than yourself unless God utterly
Page 2

deserted me. He did not desert me but he made me
sensible of the weakness of all human virtue, of the
insufficiency of all human wisdom to keep us
in the bright path without a humble reliance
on his strength to assist us. It was then that I
felt most my need of a Savior merits &
resolved to carry to the God who made it a
heart whose affections were crushed and withering
here. He did not despise the offering, he
applied the healing balm and gave in answer to
my prayers that peace which the world
can neither give or take away.
And now my own Henry, if you can give
me the love for which my heart has so often
yearned if you will not resist or neglect
the kindly influence of this spirit, if you
will consent to make the praise and honour
of erring mortals but a secondary object
of ambition I trust we may yet be more
happy than in the earliest and brightest
days of our union. I am impatient to hear
from you again & hope with trembling that
you feelings remain the same as when you
you last wrote. Our little ones are well
but death is busy around us. Debby Wood
Birth: 1810 Death: 1888-03-16

buried her little girl on Sunday and L.
Hotchkiss
Birth: 1801-02-17 Death: 1839-09-27
her only boy yesterday, both died
with the scarlet fever which prevails here
and is unusually fatal. I will write
again soon but must reserve some strength
to write to Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
this afternoon. As ever your own
Frances
Page 3

William H. Seward
Albany
Auburn, N.Y.
Dec 5
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Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F.A. Seward
Dec 5, 1834.