Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, August 26, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, August 26, 1831



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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, August 26, 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: rag 2014-09-01

revision: crb 2015-09-01

Page 1

Friday night
My Dear Henry, I should be glad to know why I do not hear from
you. I was quite sure of receiving a letter this morning, but none
came and my tooth aches and aches and I grow more
impatient hourly. Yesterday afternoon Debby


came down for
me. I returned with her and spent the afternoon. Maria
 Death: 1835-12-05

was sick and Debby talked as sensibly as usual. We went
over to see Mr Curtice's
Birth: 1795
new house which beside being very
pretty is the most convenient of any I ever saw just
such a plan as I intend building upon some twenty
or thirty years from this time. That last sentence though
written in jest has made me melancholy. the house which
I shall inhabit in twenty or thirty years will require little
skill in planning. We came back to George's
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
and found
the Miss Pitney's
Birth: 1813-02-16 Death: 1893-10-14
with C. Morgan
Birth: 1808-06-04 Death: 1877-04-03
and B. Fosgate
Birth: 1809 Death: 1887-09-11
a call. it appears pretty generally believed that Morgan
is engaged to Mary with the Dr
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
approbation. I remained
until they had all taken their departure and then
came home to my little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
. found Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
had been
prevented from coming up by company. Harvey Baldwin
Birth: 1797-02-04 Death: 1863-08-22

took tea here & after tea Miss Wallace
called with her cousin
Miss Hunter
. This morning Harvey took breakfast here and
then he and Clary went up to call on the Miss Wallaces
x Birth: 1810-01-15  Death: 1888-10-19 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1782-12-29  Death: 1866-07-06 Certainty: Probable
I have been on the bed most of the afternoon with the toothache
sent this evening for a letter but the mail had not come
10 oclock I had written so far when Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
came in I have just returned
from the office where we went to get Edward
to go home with her. My poor
Sis she is sick and desponding—has wept most of the time while telling
me her troubles. She says matters are constantly getting worse at home,
that Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
does not provide food necessary for his family and that
Page 2

he refuses to pay Harriet
Birth: 1807 Death: 1888-08-20
any more and says Lazette must do the work
herself. all this he imputes to Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
and you preventing him from getting
the Clerks office. She says that he had been abusing you all the
evening before you went there on Sunday said you was the whole
cause of his not being reconciled to Pa that the whole town said so
and finally that the publick had become so much excited that
they only waited for some act of injustice from Pa to rise up in
arms and avenge his cause. After all this the hypocrite was
so glad to see you and wanted you to write to him. Lazette
says he will take Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
and talk to her by the hour telling
her what a depraved set of beings we all are. She wished very
much to have a long talk with you before you went away
but he allowed her no opportunity. I know my own Henry you
can do no more than you have done to remedy all these evils
but I always feel more oppressed until I relate all my grievances
to you. I feel as if you was so far off I almost repent not
going with you how thankful I am that you are not going to
stay four months this time. And then I reproach myself
with selfishness in thus fleeing from trouble. Lazette cannot endure
the idea of my going with you this winter. she will then
have no one to enter into all her feelings.
Sunday night. My Dear Henry I have at length got the little boys
safely deposited in bed and have time for the first since its arrival
to thank you for your kind letter which came yesterday morning
I hope by this time you are refreshed and quite well again.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to make some calls with Clary
we called first on Mrs Brown
Birth: 1785 Death: 1870
she was out so we left our
cards and called for Mrs Noyes
Birth: 1793 Death: 1870
. Thence we went to see
Mrs Sherwood
Birth: 1794-02-11 Death: 1866-02-03
found her taking care of a very large fat
baby nine months old whom she considered sick and quite puny
I told her I wished she could see my poor little Fred
I think her boy would weight twice as much as he. did I
Page 3

tell you we weighed the little fellow the day after you went away he kicked
and struggled manfully but we weighed him notwithstanding. he weighs
22 pounds, only two pounds more than he did at six months so much
for the whooping cough and the Miss Sherburnes
say we are wonder-
ful fraid of our children because we have but two. I suppose people
who have five or six have no objection to losing two or three now
and then according this calculation. they sent in their bill
the other day 4$ and 25 cents. We called at Dr Smiths
Birth: 1780-12-27 Death: 1839-12-04
house was about as filthy as usual. Ann
Birth: 1801-08-15
was lying down, but finally
got up and made her appearance. we found Lazette in the street
she said she was going somewhere to get her tea as they had nothing
to eat at home. we went up to v to see Mr Bradish's
he was not in which I was very glad of. I think Dr
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
and Mrs Rudds
Birth: 1785

likenesses excellent. Baldwins pretty good but altogether to much
foppery in his attitude and the accompaniments. only think
of a man being put down on canvass to be seen by the next four or five
generations with a his person disfigured by a pair of tight inexpressibles
Clary went to Compstons
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1851-06-04  Birth: 1790  Death: 1850-04-03 
, Lazette to Hamiltons
and I came home.
during the evening Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
. George, Debby, and Maria were here
Maria is going as far as Cayuga with us when we go to Romulus
I say we though I consider it quite doubtful about Lazette she says
Worden has not spoken to her since Fan told him that "Aunty had given
Ma a nice little watch". This morning I went to the Baptist Church
and thence down to the Creek where there were five persons baptised
Clary has been all day to the 2d Presbyterian. Augustus went with
me. Sarah Lewis is quite unwell and the care of Fred of course devolves
upon me. I have had no time to read any today. My teeth still ache
and my face is quite painful as I am obliged to chew all my food on
that side. by way of consolation Judith Gardner
Birth: 1794-07-01 Death: 1837-08
says she has no doubt that
that complaint in my face is the 'tic doleroeux' (I dont know how to spell it)
but you remember that horrid complaint which Bulwer
Birth: 1803-05-25 Death: 1873-01-18
describes Brandon
in "Paul Clifford"
Author: Edward Bulwer Lytton Publisher: H. Colburn and R. Bentley Place of Publication:London Date: 1830
as having. I dont believe this but be it what it may rheumatism
weakness of the muscles, or something else it is quite bad enough to satisfy me.
Page 4

Monday night Dear Henry I have just received your second letter but
have no time to answer it now. I have been all day very busy
making preparation to go to Romulus tomorrow morning. I am
very sorry to hear Mr Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
is ill. Lazette was here this evening
and thinks she will be permitted to go though W. said last night
that she should not. I shall write from Romulus
in a few days. your own Frances.
AUG 30


Type: postmark
William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
30 Aug. 1831