Letter From Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, June 26, 1828

  • Posted on: 9 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter From Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, June 26, 1828



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter From Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, June 26, 1828

action: sent

sender: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: Albany, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: ajs 

revision: ajs 2015-12-01


Page 1

Albany Steam Boat – Thursday Afternoon-
Dear Brother,
On Saturday last I received a
letter from Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
which told me that contrary
to his expectation, he was prevented from visiting
me in the city to consult upon the subject of
my St Louis business. His health would not
admit of it . Your letter came to hand at
the same moment. An hours reflection determined
me to proceed at 5 oclock to Florida. On Sun-
day I found father in health a little im-
proved but only able to walk from room to
room, enduring all the while a good deal
of pain in his chest & shoulder Blade. He
is I think still improving , but feeble I
remained with him almost constantly & endeav-
oured to beguile his pains & to divert his
mind from his prostrate condition. I am anx-
ious about him . I hope he will continue
to think well of my recommendation & be able
to set off soon for the springs.
On the subject of my business (accept my
thanks for your letter & the advise &good feelings
it speaks) father gave me a deal of satisfac-
tion. I have never had so full & gratifying
a conversation ^with him^ . Your letter (you probably may
not recollect it) seemed as if prepared on pur-
pose to answer my purpose. I laid it with
one from Col Post
Birth: 1780-11-18 Death: 1846-03-14
, in his hands as I was cal-
led out of his office . From this he learned
that I was anxious to know how far the
St. L people ought to have any claim in
his judgement upon his earnings in the

[left Margin] Give my very best respect to Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
& tell her to kiss little Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
for me

Page 2

happening of an event, which may kind Heav-
en long postpone. During our conversation
afterward he took occasion to give ^our^ full sat-
isfaction to my mind upon that subject.
I spread before him my views & the induce-
ments I had in going out to St. L, which
were, briefly that I had a few claims
on lands & individuals there which though
I could not realize money out of them, still
I might turn this to account in buying my
peace from my creditors. That it is probable
I may effect an accommodation with the
plaintiff of the suit now pending against me
here, or get it withdrawn. By the way, will
you consult the Books & tell me if this
plaintiff withdraws his suit, will the statute
of limitations continue to run in my favor
as tho’ the suit had never been commenced—
or if I succeed in throwing them out of court
by requiring them in August term to proceed
& upon their refusal—will their debt be out
lawed in six years, from the time when first due —?
Father thinks I had better go out & and either
obtain, before seeing my gentlemen & guarantee that
I shall not be sued – or staying on the Illinois
side of the river if need be – is asking that I
should give them what resources I have there
if that will relieve me—but will give nothing
more for that object— Does not relish the idea
at all of promising any thing of my future
& aiming for a release—is willing to fur-
nish the necessary means for me to travel
upon—if I give timely notice – but thinks
much less will answer than I do. He said
nothing as to what he would do for me

[left Margin] Your Brother as ever B.J. Seward
Page 3

should I obtain my discharge, but left no doubt
on my mind that he would do something – I
intend to progress as rapidly as I can in looking
into the propriety of going & in preparing at
the same time, so if I am not mistaken
in my resources, I shall get off ere


Before; sooner than •
long –
and if I go it will be in the most expeditious
manner by stage with a view to retain my office
till my return—I shrink at the idea of going
alone, and have made up my mind when it is
determined that I shall go to ask fathers leave
to let Washington
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
go with me. Much dependsupon what assistance you can give me. May I
trespass upon your time & patience where my all
is at stake to beg a few favors. Will you
write to Father & tell him as much as you like
of what you now learn from me, express your belief
if you have one that I will not
misapply any means he may
furnish me to get go out & encour-
age him to provide liberally. Will
you write to Danl Jackson
a short comple-
mentary letter. tell him I am fearful that he
is not easy in his mind about being my bail—
that you doubt not he may essentially aid me
in arranging my business that he have ^a^ Ther
heart to do it.—, & c.— ^but say nothing about my going away to St.L^ and above all cast about
and see what you can do to help me to make
up an inducement to those harpies to let
me off —, without injury to yourself— ^both^ but at the
present & what you can promise with propri-
ety for my subsequent years.
My debts are mostly (I speak in relation to
number) outlawed . I do assure you I should be
careful how I renew them. Please suggest any
difficultly or precaution that may cross say your mind—
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
& all are well. Augustus
Birth: 1820-05-18 Death: 1889-05-08
is in Florida
with Aunt Lockey
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
… I am sorry to hear
that you think Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
ungrateful, it is a grievous
complaint. Would to heaven she may not prove
Page 4

deserving it . ------------ The steam boat shakes
so badly that it seems almost impossible to write
but I have persevered to finish this sheet now, be
cause I am anxious not to lose a day in learning
what is to be done. Please write me very soon
Wm H. Seward Esq
New York