Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 7, 1829

  • Posted on: 10 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 7, 1829



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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 Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 7, 1829

action: sent

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

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: crb 

revision: tap 2017-01-12

Page 1

Florida - Sunday evening
My Dear Henry - You perceive I have arrived here alive and well
which event I suppose you have never doubted would take place but
for myself I have had many misgivings. We got here Friday morning
I should have written immediately but knew the letter could not
be mailed until Monday. I think I wrote last from Albany
on Wednesday. Thursday morning at 7 oclock we took the steam
boat and I commenced our voyage in no very pleasant state
of mind. I went into the ladies cabin to see Sarah Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

and the big basket safely located - the first person I encountered
was Julius Rhodes
Birth: 1801-01-20 Death: 1852
and dont you think the impudent fellow
actually kissed me and that too before a cabin full of strangers
I could have cried with vexation but had not even the satisfaction
of releiving my mind by telling Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
what I thought of the
performance as he was gone at that time to see to the trunks &c -
Julius had come on board to take leave of a wedding party whe
and returned immediately on Shore. The party consisted of
Mr Sanford
Birth: 1807-06-08 Death: 1852-07-27
and lady
Birth: 1806-02-19 Death: 1847
and A. Porter
Birth: 1794-04-18 Death: 1847-07-23
of Skaneateles. Sanford had
been married that morning to a niece of Dr Porters
Birth: 1778-04-16 Death: 1843-06-14
the marriage
took place at James Porters
Birth: 1787-04-18 Death: 1839-02-07
in Albany. They were on their way
to New York. Rhodes introduced me to them I found Mrs Sanford
a very pretty pleasant woman and took occasion to unburthen
my mind to her about her cousin Julius. She said he was
generally considered one of the most impudent fellows in the
world. Sanford looks like a boy appears very clever and Addison
Porter I should have liked quite well had I not heard him
making some indelicate allusions to Sanford. We had a lovely day
a it was so pleasant that I could sit on deck without being cold. I
was therefore free from sickness. Augustus was a very good boy at first
he was afraid of the water and fixed his little mouth to cry when

[top Margin]
Now about the
money which I
put all alone by
itself. It is reduced
to 24 dollars I
tell you this
because you wished
me to do so I shall
not certainly want
any more until you
come down. I do not
remember exactly how
much you gave me
I cannot account for
more than 38 dollars.
Bearsley gave me 6
at Newbergh.
I must tell you about
my hat. I went and
engaged a woman to
make it for 6 dollars
and a bandbox
A slight paper box for bands, caps, bonnets, muffs, or other light articles •
5 shillings - when she
sent it home in the
morning just as we
were going to the
boat the hat was
8 dollars the box
5 shillings. So you
see how they impose
upon me.
Page 2

the boat left the dock he kept by my side for a long time but as he became
more accustomed to the water and the passengers he wish to run about
and was so troublesome that I was very glad when we came in sight of
Newburgh we landed immediately after dinner between 2 and 3 oclock
proceeded immediately to the Orange hotel found that it was kept no
longer by Davis
he left there in May. There was a stage just going
to start from the other house for Goshen and Beardsley tried but did
not succeed in getting a seats for us. I was disappointed because the
next stage did not leave until 7 oclock or 6 as they told us and
not until the arrival of the boat which Beardsley was to take,
to West Point – He did everything possible to make my situation as
little unpleasant as the circumstances would admit - engaged and paid
our passage in the stage gave directions about the baggage and
found Davis who was to see us off. Mrs Davis
and her sister
over in the course of the afternoon a couple of rather uninteresting
people they told me that Cornelia Hunn
Birth: 1795 Death: 1873-02-28
had gone to New York
to live with her sister
Birth: 1791 Death: 1870-06-08
so I had no acquaintances in Newbergh
and when Beardsley went I felt as if I had parted with my last
friend. The boat came at 7 and the stage started immediately
after. The stage proprietor
The person who has the legal right or exclusive right to any thing whether in possession or not •
a Mr Etsall
and his son
were in the stage
Davis introduced me to them and they were very polite - but such a
collection of passengers I never beheld - they were all composed of men
returning from the races at Poughkepsie - two or three drunk - dirty and
shabby coarse in thier manners and conversation ^13 in the whole^ . Young Etsall who was
as much of a gentleman as he knew how to be made it a point to
address some conversation to me when he thought the rest were
rather indecorous in theirs - we changed horses onse once stopped
4 times - did not get to Goshen until 12 although they told me
when we started that we would get there by ten. When we started
Mr Etsall told me that he would either send me to Florida that
night or leave me to Dr Evans'
Birth: 1770-03 Death: 1829-08-16
just as I preffered. I told him
I should prefer going to Florida if it was not too late at all events
I must go to Dr Evans'. I thought this was settled but when we
got to Goshen at 12 oclock I told them I would not go on to Florida
they appeared unwilling to take me to Dr Evans' and told me I had
better take a bed at thier house (Etsalls) where the stage stopped.
I at first refused but they insisted so much upon it that I finally
complied and they concluded by saying they would send me on to
Page 3

Florida as early in the morning as I wished this I thought rather strange and
for the first time it occurred to me that this must be an opposition line
to Dr Evans. I went to bed and found the sheets so damp that I was
obliged to get up and send Sarah down for another pair. We got up at 6
and went over to Dr Evans despite the lowring looks of our Landlord
and landlady. There I found as I anticipated that Etsall kept an
opposition house and line of stages - the Dr was pretty wroth
Opposition of mind; reluctance; unwillingness • Opposition or stuggle of passions; resistance • Opposition of principles or qualities; inconsistency •
that they
did not bring me over the night before also that they had let me
remain in ignorance of the opposition - at my request he sent for my
trunks and paid for my lodging - he said that the usual hour for the
stage to leave Newbergh was 2 oclock but that they had waited for
those men from the races. So ended my long journey of 24 miles
alone the prospect of which had given me the hypo


A Greek preposition for under, beneath • A morbid depression of the spirits •
all the way down.
I found them all well at Dr Evans - many affectionate enquiries about you
and her mother
Birth: 1780-10-05 Death: 1869-06-28
think they have got the prettiest boy
Birth: 1827-04-19 Death: 1840-12-19
in the
universe - he is rather more of a baby than Gus. I thought it would
be more gratifying to your father and it certainly was more convenient
for me to come here immediately - so I came on that morning Mrs E
Birth: 1794-08-30 Death: 1876-12-31

and Mrs [hole] Tuthill would have accompanied me but they had not
two [ horse c ]


Reason: wax-seal
arriage at home. John brought me over in [ his ]


Reason: hole

horse [ carriage ]


Reason: wax-seal
- I did not know whether I ought to pay the Dr or [ not I ]


Reason: hole

do wish sometimes there was no such thing as money - there is nothing in the
world embarrasses me so much as any transaction of of this kind so I said
nothing about it and when I got to Florida gave John 12 shillings and
told him it was to pay Etsall for my lodging and the remainder he
must keep for bringing me over - was this right? The good people
here are all well working as if for daily bread. Augustus appeared
quite sensible that he had arrived at the end of his journey and wanted
his letter to give to grandpa Seward
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
- he is a great pet and in quite
as much danger of being spoiled as when at home. The good people ^folks^ here
think it very strange that I did not invite Beardsley to visit here either
now or on his return. While we were at N-Bergh Beardsley seeing that I felt
it unpleasantly about coming alone offered to remain another day and come
with me but I knew it would be very inconvenient for him to do so as he
had told me previous to this that he wished to get to N Westpoint on
Thursday and his brother landed with us - my only answer was "I would not have
you do so for the world we have made you sufficient trouble already" -
This was all that passed on the subject. I did not think of asking him to come
on his return because it did not occur to me that he would like to see George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07

and I had not the vanity to suppose he would come 24 miles out of his way
to see me.
Page 4

If I have done wrong do when he returns apologize for my apparent negligence
I would not willingly offend Beardsley. I can never repay half his attention.
I have been to day to hear deacon Armstrong
Birth: 1754-02-28 Death: 1834-05-30
read a sermon Mr Cummings
Birth: 1776-07-15 Death: 1863-01-09

and his wife
Birth: 1781-07-13 Death: 1832-08-08
have gone to the South. Augustus is very contented he
finds so much to amuse him - young horses, cows, turkeys &c &c .
Mrs Thompson
Birth: 1797 Death: 1871-05-06
spent the afternoon here on Friday and Dr Austin called this
evening I have not seen any more of the Florida people.
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
and Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
have removed to Kingston - they are expected here
daily. I have not seen Polydore
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
and Lockey
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
. Jane Seward
Birth: 1809-11-04 Death: 1848-03-17
here about a fortnight since. She has gone to New York with her
sister. Grandma Jennings
Birth: 1742-06-02 Death: 1831-10-21
is very feeble much more so than
I have ever seen her before. I am afraid it will be a long time before
I get a letter from home the mail comes so seldom tell Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
I shall write

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
William H. Seward Esq-
Cayuga County-

[right Margin]
to her the next mail - love to Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
and Maria
Birth: 1785-04-24 Death: 1870-04-17
- your own Frances.