Letter from William Henry Seward to Mary Jennings Seward, November 24, 1844

  • Posted on: 27 July 2016
  • By: admin
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Mary Jennings Seward, November 24, 1844
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:atb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1844-11-24

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Mary Jennings Seward, November 24, 1844

action: sent

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

location: Unknown
Unknown

receiver: Mary Seward
Birth: 1769-11-27  Death: 1844-12-11

location: Unknown
Unknown

transcription: atb 

revision: ekk 2016-02-10

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Page 1

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Editorial Note

Letter in the hand of FMS
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Nov 24 1844_
Sunday night
My dear Mother
After I was on my way
it seemed so hard to sleep within less
than three miles from you and yet
not under the same roof, that I was
almost self persuaded to insist on returning
to your bedside. But the separations
must come and it would only have
increased your excitement and my
sorrow to make it more solemn.
I know that you will not be
alarmed and therefore I may freely
confess that considering your great debility
and the distance I am putting behind me
I seemed to be enjoying my last interview
with the mother who has so long, so
faithfully, so affectionately loved me,
and I wanted therefore to say some words
of kindness which that mother might
remember while memory lasted, and
Page 2

perhaps might recal when her spirit had
put on immortality. But I could not
say any thing and we parted in silence
I hurried away lest my tears might
excite you beyond your strength.
Be assured my dear mother that
I will come back from whatever distance
on the first information of your relapse,
and whether your brow is damp with
the chills of Death, or be rigid never
more to be relaxed, I will impress upon
it another kiss before the grave claims
its own from those to whom you have so
long been the light of their life.
One word on religious subjects. Divines
are apt to refine, and exact forms of
preparation. Do not let them alarm you
about your acceptance. Christ taught
none of these refinements. To repent and
believe was all he required. You have
repented and you have believed -
Repentance and humility have been the
Page 3

occupation and characteristic of your life
Faith unquestioning unhesitating and
unquestioning you have always exercised
and taught.
Do not let them persuade you that
you must not be impatient of pain and
suffering. Christ himself wished that the
cup might pass.
If as we fondly, and I think rea-
sonably, hope there is memory and there
is affection beyond the grave, remember
me, my dear mother, remember me not-
severely but think how many temptations
are in my way. If you are permitted
as we hope, to know and embrace your
children, say to my sister
Birth: 1805-10-29 Death: 1839-01-04
and my brother
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24

that thier affection still lingers in my
memory and that if I have ever been
remiss, I will try to perform more faithfully
my duty to their children
x Birth: 1828-10-07  Death: 1897-07-24  Birth: 1820-05-18  Death: 1889-05-08  Birth: 1834-07-25  Death: 1922-02-28  Birth: 1832-02-20  Death: 1876-01-14  Birth: 1829-12-04  Death: 1867-10-25 
.
Good bye my dear Mother, The world
cannot make me doubt that I shall
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see you again. I am sure that Human
life has no worthy end but Immortality
and the Father of all Spirits will in
the end receive them if they seek Him
Good bye - Good bye -
Your own affectionate son
Henry -
Mrs Mary Seward -
A copy of Henry's last letter
to his Mother -