Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, September 10, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, September 10, 1838
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:keh

student editor

Transcriber:spp:atb

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1838-09-10

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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, September 10, 1838

action: sent

sender: Mahlon Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26  Death: 1865-01-05

location: Bargaintown, NJ

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: keh 

revision: crb 2016-02-04

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Page 1

Bargaintown Sep. 10th. 1838
Dear Sir,
The times have forced me to a confession
from which I have been saved until now by the very
dread of it. My journey to the West, together with
the purchase that I made there, has put me in arrears
about $1000, which I cannot pay without sacrificing nearly
all I have here worth, in reality, three times as much.
I have been strongly tempted to do this, and then to
quietly seek my way to my land in Illinois, and
begin life anew. If I had the happiness of none but
myself to provide for, I would not hesitate a moment.
But it would be a most cruel separation to take
Cornelia
Birth: 1805-10-29 Death: 1839-01-04
so far from her Parents
x Birth: 1769-11-27  Death: 1844-12-11  Birth: 1768-12-05  Death: 1849-08-24 
, now that they are
visibly in the rapid decline of life.
She writes from Florida, that she can scarcely hope to
make them another visit. I am painfully sensible
that I have been the occasion of much trouble to them,
and let what may come I cannot add to it.
Now to the object of my letter. Will you take
all I have, here and elsewhere, and aid me in
raising $1000, for 2 years? I do not come to you
as to a lender of money, but because you have power
and influence and a command of confidence that
commands every thing else. I am not known out of this
secluded quarter of the world. Here nothing in the shape of
Page 2

money can be had, except in small sums and at
enormous usury, and with such accommodations I will
have nothing to do.
I write every word of this with reluctance and
the more I add the worse I feel. I am in debt,
I want money, I can make it perfectly safe and
don't know where to get it.
If I had staid at home, I could have lived
through these crashing times without suffering the
anxieties that now worry me to death.
One word in relation to a letter that Cornelia
wrote you not long since. The application she made
was unnecessary, the small amount required could have
been spared for such an object, if for no other, and
I regret that she hustled you about it.
Yours very truly,
M. D. Canfield
W. H. Seward Esq
Page 3

W. H. Seward Esq
Auburn,
Cayuga Co.
New York
Bargaintown N. J.
Sep. 10t
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Stamp

Type: postmark
.M. D. Canfield
P.M.
Free
Unknown
M.D. Canfield
Sept 10, 1838