Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, August 22, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, August 22, 1831



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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, August 22, 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: rew 2014-09-01

revision: crb 2015-09-01

Page 1

Wednesday night -
My Dear Henry, I did not write any on Monday because I
had the hypo


A Greek preposition for under, beneath • A morbid depression of the spirits •
most wretchedly all day – it rained and rained
until I became fully satisfied that you would not be much
annoyed with dust. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
went to the office where he
wrote you and Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
each a letter said Mr Morgan
Birth: 1808-06-04 Death: 1877-04-03

had put them both in the post office and he should
write no more until he recieved answers to these.
I dreamed all night about you and the Tracy's and awoke
in the morning to find comfortably cool weather again.
 Death: 1835-12-05
and Debby


gave us a call I promised to visit them
day. Thomas
came on his way home and took dinner
with us. While he was eating William
came – had been
sick with the fever and ague – he also staid to dinner
while he was yet eating old John
came and wanted
his dinner. By this time Sarah's patience was exhausted
and she asked John if he thought that we kept tavern.
I sent Thomas to get the little watch from Cheadells
Birth: 1806-04-24 Death: 1875-06-19
left mine there to be regulated. Last night I could not
write because Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
were here all the evening.
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16
came also and made Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
a visitation. Edward

brought in a letter from the post office from Mrs Ray.
I do not know whether I ought to send it to you or not.
I should like to have you read it yourself for I do not think
I can give you any idea of the whole by extracts and it is
too long to copy entire – still I can see no good that can
arise from your seeing it, an answer does not appear to
be expected. She reproaches Mr Watson
Birth: 1806 Death: 1845
for not apprising them
sooner of his intention to pull down the house and says she
Page 2

has already paid him more than the house is worth and then says "Mr
Watson told me positively last winter that you had not laid yourself under
any obligations with regard to my rent and I understood him that none of
my friends had. So I always understood you and the tenor of your
note last week implied that the law was the only alternative. I
would much rather suffer myself than that others should suffer
for me. I again thank you for the trouble you have taken and beg
you to think no more about it. The same Providence that has thus
far cared for us I do not now distrust and may some day put
it in my power to repay the obligations due you. If no other
reward I trust you will have that of the widows God - your obliged
friend &c." This is to me the most intelligible part of the letter
now what do you make of it - did they not know that you
was security for the 60$? I had a long talk with Serene about them.
She complains that they have always treated her ill and says
that old Mr Ray
was never satisfied with any thing that the publick
or private individuals did for him, he would surely abuse
them when there was any cessation of kindness – withal she is very
much afraid that they cannot get any house and will all come
there to live, a conclusion not very agreeable. Tell me if you
wish it and I will copy the rest of the letter. This is not quite
one third. We talked about every thing last night. Mrs Dr Smith
Birth: 1780-12-27 Death: 1839-12-04
Stephen Goodwin
Birth: 1807-11-26 Death: 1879-05-13
, Frances Dibble
Birth: 1808-09-10
, John Hardenburgh
Birth: 1798 Death: 1862-06-11
. caps, watches,
hooped petticoats, &c ,&c. Serene told an anecdote of Goodwin's meaness
which I must remember to tell you some other time. I gave Lazette
the little watch she said you ought not to give it to her and that you
was undoubtedly the best man in the wol world an assertion which
I did not feel at all inclined to contradict. I went as far as
the office with her, found Edward just going to bed. When
I came back Hugh had taken his departure but his say-
ings and doings I must reserve for another page of this ill
written letter.
Page 3

I told Clary the other day after some conversation on the subject that she
might tell Hugh that she understood he was somewhat embarrassed in
his pecunary affairs but must not tell who was her informant
supposing you did not wish to be implicated in the business. He asked
if you told her. She said no, she had never had any conversation with
you on the subject. He says (to commence systematically) that he
has for three or four years desired to pay his addesses to Clary, but
that he has never thought until now that the situation of his
affairs would admit of his marrying any one – that he has
now so arranged matters that he thinks he can support her comfort-
ably – that the whole amount of all his at debts does not exceed
500$ dot 400 of which he owes some one in New York, all of
which he can pay within a year. Was very much grieved that
she should suppose he would make any proposals of marriage
to her were he unable to make her comfortable – he spoke of the
debt to Isaac Miller
Birth: 1791-04-30 Death: 1853-04-03
and two or three others for which he had been
sued, but [ appead ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: appeared
not to fear a recurrence of similar events –
he had partly engaged the house Mr Powers
Birth: 1789-07-11 Death: 1831-06-25
lived in and was about
purchasing furniture, when Clary advised him to wait and see
what another year would bring forth he talked very much as
all men talk when they are courting and went away in a state
of great despondency
Tasteless; destitute of taste; wanting the qualities which affect the organs of taste • Wanting spirit, life, or animation; wanting pathos, or the power of exciting emotions • Wanting power to gratify desire •
because she would not give him any satis-
factory answer. Among other things he was particularly anxious that
she should consult you on the subject, so you have an opportunity
of giving advice. While on the subject of sueing – William
there was not one word of truth about Peters
suing him with the
constable – that he was never sued in his life and that he paid Dr B.
Birth: 1773-05-03 Death: 1859-02-03Certainty: Probable

before he was quite recovered of his illness – he feels very grateful
to you for your good intentions. So much for Peters. Did you or
did you not give him a dollar the morning you left? He told Clary
that you did but I, knowing nothing of this, asked him and he said
that you gave him nothing, so I paid him as you desired me to do.
To whom did he tell the truth? Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
continues about the same,
rather crosser if anything. Augustus has been in the village with some
one all day seeing them train. I did not go to George's
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20

Page 4

because I was taken with a violent toothache about noon, it is the tooth
next to the front teeth – is somewhat easier now but the least
cold air produces pain. I am actually afraid I shall be obliged
to write again before I go to Romulus. Please give my love to the
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
and write me what you are all doing and saying.
Your own
Auburn, NY Aug. 25
William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
25 Aug 1831.