Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 5, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 5, 1838
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:gew

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1838-05-05

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, May 5, 1838

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: New York, NY

transcription: gew 

revision: ekk 2015-06-10

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Page 1

Saturday May 5th 1838
My dearest Henry,
I have deferred writing one day
that I might be able to say that our dear little
boy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
was better and the Dr this morning permits
me to give you this assurance. Thursday afternoon
while sitting quietly by the fire reading he had
a violent chill which withstood all warm applica-
tions for one hour, his hands and feet were
almost purple his teeth chattering with cold,
of course this was followed by fever which con-
tinued through the night, in the morning
I gave him some salts and senna the operation,
of which somewhat diminished his fever but he
remained so unwell that I sent last evening
for Dr Mosier, he approved my practice and
left some Dovers powders to be administered
through the night, this morning the Dr says
he is free from fever and will probably get
about again soon if he has no recurrence of
the chill. Freddy says he is pretty well but he
could not sit up half an hour when he attempt-
ted it this morning, he is amusing himself with
reading Peter Parley’s Magazines a new set being
supplied by his Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
, says he will eat
half an orange for dinner and a quarter for
tea, he is fortunately little inclined to take food
very patient and gentle as he always is in sickness.
We all read for his amusement by turns, read
the 3d page next I made a mistake in turning the sheet
Page 2

I have just completed the reading of Miss
Martineau’s last work on America
Author: Harriet Martineau Publisher: Harper & Bros Place of Publication:New York Date: 1838
, this was
quite an undertaking for me to accomplish
in a week. I put in requisition all the eyes
over which I have any control. She is much the
best natured female traveller we have had, as she
does not make our deficiencies overbalance all
our virtues, seems pleased with the attention
she received and not very wroth where it was
withheld, her book has about made an abolitionist
of me though she gives no satisfactory ^account^ of what
would be the result of such an experiment,
however I cannot say that I have any of her “English
indifference” as she terms it, on the subject of
amalgamation. I suppose Uncle Cary
Birth: 1786-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20

is with you before this time. Walter
Birth: 1818-12-21 Death: 1880-11-01
made
me a flying visit on his way down. I was
sorry I could not keep him longer, my
love to Uncle. Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
seems in fine spirits
with the result of the Albany election.
What has become of your Troy address? The newspaper
has announced our address from you at the
opening of the female Seminary. I hope you
have not promised, do not again unless you
are very sure of being able to fulfil the
engagement. You will excuse my advising but
it is certainly more kind to deny at once
than to disappoint. I was over hasty in
my conclusion about “the book
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”, hereafter I will
value it because it was sent by you
your own Frances.
Page 3

Sunday afternoon, I felt too unwell to finish my
letter yesterday. Freddy is so well to day
as to be dressed and about the room
he had no chill yesterday. I went to Church
this morning leaving Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
at home with Fred
we had an excellent sermon as we generally
do when Mr Lucas
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
preaches. The weather is
fitful as April, but the rain predominates
over the sunshine, we have had no days
suitable for gardening yet, the dahlias still
remain in the house surrounded with sand, they
evince no symptoms of sprouting.
I recieved a letter from Cornelia
Birth: 1805-10-29 Death: 1839-01-04
yesterday she is
expecting you to visit her. I hope you will be able
to do so. I recieved your Sunday letter Wednes-
day, it was a very kind letter, it brought many
of my former sins to my remembrance, but
dearest you did not select “the pink hat[ ” ]
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Supplied

Reason: 

which so ill accorded with my taste, if you
had it does not seem to be that I could
have been so naughty as to have expressed
my disapprobation so warmly, but perhaps
I might, different circumstances and state of
the mind make a marvelous difference in
in our estimation of actions. On the other
subject I think you misunderstand me altogether
I have no desire that you should become a
fanatic or a devotee, if religion is the ruling
principle of our lives we can perform our duty
equally well in all situations, but I cannot
but think with Seneca
Author: Lucius Annaeus Seneca Publisher: Grigg & Elliot Place of Publication:Philadelphia Date: 1834
, that “Greatness stands upon a
craggy precipice, and it is much safer and quieter living
upon a level.”
Page 4

William H. Seward
Care of the American Life &
Trust Company
New York
Auburn, N.Y.
May 7
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Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
May 5, 1838.