Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 27, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 27, 1831



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Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 27, 1831

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: Albany, NY

transcription: djg 

revision: dxt 2015-09-27

Page 1

Sunday night _
My Dear Henry, I have been looking out of my window at the beautiful
moon, thinking of all I love, thinking of the evanescence of all human happiness
of the shortness of our existence in this world, of the uncertainty of our destiny
in the next, until my heart has almost blinded my eyes’. I feel melancholy
and my only refuge from such feelings is in writing to you now you are not
here to cheer me with ^your^ kind voice. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
is sleeping here and Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
is in
his cradle below. Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
has gone to George Woods
Birth: 1805-10-07 Death: 1844-02
to meet Eliza
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31
and James Horner
Birth: 1804 Death: 1874-06-12

she took my letter which I just finished with here. Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
has not called
to go to Lazettes
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
with me, and I am all alone. The moon is full, there
is not one cloud in the sky to obscure her brightness I never saw a more
brilliant moonlight. I have been imagining what you are doing, it is too
early for you to be writing to me, so I think Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
must be with you or
you with the Tracy’s
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
. I have made one or two unsuccessful attempts to read
but have fallen asleep twice and am obliged to relinquish all idea of amuse
ment of that kind. I shall soon join Augustus in his slumbers. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
returned from Seneca Falls, says he left the Col
Birth: 1767-07-11 Death: 1838-01-31
, well as usual. I found
a little piece of poetry in the paper the other day that made me think so much
of Augustus disposition who is never willing to recieve love, or kisses unless
they are shared by Frederick that I will copy it for you, perhaps you may have
read it but it is too pretty to lose its interest by repetition, so here it is:

“I had been talking with my little boy—
My second one just passed his second year—
And talking seriously; for even a child,
So young, he loves & wears the serious mood,
Adopting it most naturally and sweetly.
I had been telling him, that if he proved
A good, obedient boy, loving and mild,
And innocent he would be loved of God,
And God would take him up at last to Heaven.
He knows that Heaven’s a glorious happy place;
What more, indeed, do any of us know?
And his eye brightened, as it answered mine;
But soon an anxious shade passed o’er its light,
And looking steadfastly, he said,
“And brother too?”
My child, my precious child!
Let it be ever thus— Still crave to share
All happiness, reward, and holiness,
With him; and we, your parents will be blessed—

Monday night — This morning was
so pleasant that I concluded to go
to Mr Hortons
, but the sleighs were
all engaged so we must wait until
tomorrow. This afternoon I went up
to get Miss Danks
to cut my dress,
found her very pleasant & obliging. Mrs
E Hills
was there when I went – engaging
Miss Danks to make a coat for her
little James
“if he should perchance
Page 2

have any occasion to travel this summer”. I conclude she intends to spend her
summer as usual. I went to see Lazette and then Clary and I called
at John Hardenberghs
Birth: 1798 Death: 1862-06-11
, Hotchkisses
, did some shopping and came home.
We found Palmer Holly
Birth: 1793-02-26 Death: 1885-02-04
at Hardenbergh’s aiding in John’s conversion.
Caroline Hotchkiss
Birth: 1804 Death: 1889-01-24
had gone to meeting. Bartlett
and Benedict
two of the new
converts looked remarkably downcast. Ludn Lundy
was fearful there would
not be wicked people enough left to attend the cotillion parties. I told him
laughingly that ^they^ should ^try^ learn to invite church people. he enquired if I had
had no invitation and said he thought there must be a mistake though he
is not a manager. I rather thought not a mistake. This evening we have
been to Serenes. Lazette was there, and Mr Phelps
played on the piano all the
evening, he does play beautifully and I did not feel as if I should wish to hear
any one else play very soon. We did not get home until after 10 found our
folks all going to bed, and I must go too with a most wretched headache.
Teusday night — I am pretty considerably tired and sleepy but I will
write a few lines before I go to bed. We have just come home from Weeds Basin

Last night I asked Edward
to go over and engage a sleigh for us if Maxwell

thought we would find sufficient sleighing to get there, to day at one oclock
the sleigh made its appearance with four white horses. Augustus was almost
wild with joy, I did not exactly like the four horses but found upon enquiry
that Maxwell had no other team that he could send. we went and called
for Lazette and Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
, the roads were perfectly bare out of in the
village, we went a back road for the purpose of getting snow, the snow was
deep but it has thawed so much that the horses went up to their knees
almost every step, after going six miles out of the way we at length
arrived at Mr Hortons at four oclock, found them both sick and of course
not prepared to see company. John took the horses and sleigh to the Bason we
stayed about an hour and a half and then came home, not before Mrs Horton
had persisted contrary to our solicitations in getting tea for us. We returned
on the direct road, found the sleighing much better than on the one we went
and saved the six miles, found a ticket for the cotillion parties, so much
Page 3

for my conversation with Lundy. I am sorry I said any thing about it, good night
dearest I am so tired. Wednesday night — I have just returned from George
Woods where Clary, Augustus & I have been taking tea with E. Horner and Mary
Birth: 1808 Death: 1896
. we had a very pleasant visit, saw the silver cake basket and
all the other nice things. I came away early, left the girls there.
was my beau. I got over my boots in the mud and water, little
Fred was so glad to see me that he laughed out loud. Peter carried Augustus
home soon after tea. I have been out three days in succession & Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03

does not look at me very kindly so I came up stairs to write to one who
always does look kind. Your letter of Saturday came this morning I am sorry
I did not follow Clary’s advice and not send the letter about Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
has made you so unhappy & Clary regrets it so much she wished me to write
immediately and prevent your writing to Beardsley, but I told her it would avail
nothing as the letter had been sent eir this. I never have had any conversation with
Edward about him of course shall not. Edwa The girls all are all
going to the cot[ illion ]


Reason: wax-seal
party on Friday. I Shall not go. I am sensible I should
not have had [ an invit ]


Reason: wax-seal
ation. had I not spoken as I did to Lundy which I did
very inadvertantly as I had never intended to say any thing about it.
laughed much at Lundy because he said I should have an invitation
because they were afraid they could not collect a sufficient number of ladies
on account of the revival. Lazette I know cannot be allowed to go of
course it will be no deprivation to me to stay at home. The Babtist have
commenced their meeting to continue four days. The presbyterians still
continue to have theirs at all times and seasons commencing at 6 oclock
in the morning. I believe they have given Serene up she did not say
any thing about it the last time we were there, though Mr
Phelps was playing all the time and we did not talk any but
about the music. Did I tell you the Fosgates
x Birth: 1809  Death: 1887-09-11  Birth:   Death: 1848-03-10 
are all dissatisfied with
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
and Mrs Rudd
Birth: 1785
and do not any of them go to church any more. Clary
has just come home and brought me a paper of nuts and raisins which Debby


Certainty: Possible

sent because I came away early. The names of the managers: Hardenbergh[ , ]


Benedict [ , ]


[ , ]


[ , ]


[ , ]


Wood[ , ]



good night dearest. your own Frances
Page 4

Auburn NY Mar 4


Type: postmark

William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
4 March 1831