Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 2, 1832

  • Posted on: 19 December 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 2, 1832



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Institution:University of Rochester

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 2, 1832

action: sent

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

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Unknown

transcription: nwh 

revision: crb 2017-10-26


Page 1

Monday evening 2d
My Dear Sister – I finished a letter to you last night which I commenced
Saturday evening I did not get any further than Saturday with an
account of my movements – Sunday morning Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
, Mr Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

and myself went to Baptist meeting to hear the celebrated Mr Welch
Birth: 1794 Death: 1870

every body talks of Mr Welch’s preaching – his church is generally, particularly
in the evening full to overflowing – Henry thinks him a prodigy of eloquence
he is an uneducated man once a mecanick and preaches without notes
All this I did not know when I went and was somewhat disappointed as I
expected to see a graceful orator – He is very common looking man just
such a face as you have met a thousand times and his voice which is
musical when he speaks low, when he raises it rather disagreeable
but he speaks with the utmost ease and uses the most beautiful language
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
who attends his church says I had much reason to be disappointed
for he never heard him preach so dull a sermon – Eliza
of course goes in the
afternoon and I take care of my dear, terrible son
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
which is something as
Peter says – Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
sometimes comes into my room and sometimes I go
to hers of course we cannot read but our babies
Birth: 1829 Death: 1832-03-29
amuse each other —
Mrs Cary could not go out because her bonnet was not done – In the evening Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22

came and wished us a happy New Year which was the first thing of the
kind that had occurred during the every body appeared to be hoarding
up their congratulations for to day – Weed I do like very much notwith-
standing he did not look at me more than twice all the time he was here –
he is perfectly unassuming and so sincere I wish you could hear or see
him talk to Henry – “Well” said he “Seward I stayed till 12 oclock last night
with Granger
Birth: 1792-12-01 Death: 1868-08-31
” — “of course” said Henry — “Why” said Weed “I never did such
a thing before and I can hardly account for it now” “You used to stay with
me until 12 very often” said Henry” “O that is another thing, I talk nothing
but poloticks to Granger” — He and Henry sit very close together and talk
very low and I never hear any thing that does not concern me only
on occasions like the following — “Julian
Birth: 1797-02-23 Death: 1870-02-17
(a member of Assembly antimasonick)
has brought his wife
Birth: 1804-05-06 Death: 1860-05-01
with him” says Henry “but would not let her bring
the child
Birth: 1826 Death: 1909
” – this I heard although I was very busily writing – “A very
wicked thing” said I “yes” said Weed “that was very wrong” – I resumed
my letter and they their conversation – Mrs Julian is a very meek woman
appears very much likes Mrs Burnham
Birth: 1810 Death: 1835Certainty: Possible
though much younger – she has
buried three children
xthree children
xthree children


and they have left the only remaining one a little girl
of 5 far for instance – at home – She does not complain but I can perceive
a rising of the heart whenever the child is mentioned. She is an old acquaintance
of Caroline Palmers
Birth: 1815 Death: 1860
– I have not learned her maiden name yet their room is
on one side of ours Mrs Carys on the other all on the first floor and very
similar in their construction – Henry call it the “Antimasonick Row” —
Page 2

Little Fred was sick all night he coughed so much like to croup that towards
morning I gave him some antimonial wine – this vomited him a great many times
and relieved the hoarseness but he has not been well all day – I was awake and up
so much that I have had a sorry New Years my head has ached all day and
after dinner I went to bed with the sick headache – Our house is full of boarders
and a proportionable quantity of noise I did not get up to breakfast but
could not sleep for the doors were not allowed a moment of rest – This
mor ^n^ ing George Andrews
Birth: 1808-09-21 Death: 1873-12-02
, Mr Hopkins
Birth: 1772-05-09 Death: 1837-03-09
and Mr Benedict
Birth: 1785-11-07 Death: 1862-07-15
a cousin of Georges wife
 Death: 1897-03-26

called before Henry commenced making his calls – After he went away I went
up into Mrs Bronsons
Birth: 1799 Death: 1867-02
room where I could see the people - the streets were
full of sleighs men and boys going in all directions the doors of the governor
and mayor were thronged constantly gentlemen went to the small ghts in process-
ions of 50 and 60 at a time — I continued to look out of the windows until my
head ached so that I could see no longer – Mrs Bronson appeared to be very much
dissatisfied that she could not see company a number of cards were brought
her while I was there – When I came down I found Julius Rhoades
Birth: 1801-01-20 Death: 1852
and James
Birth: 1804 Death: 1874-06-12
cards and Eliza said 5 or 6 other gentlemen had enquired for me
she did not call me as I intended she should but it was just as well for I
was wrechedly ill – I then went to Mrs Julians room stayed until Senator Birdsall
Birth: 1802 Death: 1839-07-22

came in when I retreated – by this time dinner was ready – Henry had not come
home so I took Gus and went to the table – Mrs Cary by the way had gone out to
spend the day – the table was full tho it extended through both dining rooms
every body was or looked merry and happy – Greene Bronson
Birth: 1789-11-17 Death: 1863-09-03
sat at the head of the
table and as he is Attorney general every thing he said was very witty – I drank
wine enough to make me still more sick we left the table before the cloth was
removed – Mr Lean
who sat by me very civilly gave me his arm to the room
I came to my room undressed myself and went to bed as soon as Eliza had eat
her dinner – Henry came home after making about 50 calls — I did not get
up until after tea in the mean time Chancellor Walworth
Birth: 1788-10-26 Death: 1867-11-27
and Mr Savage
Birth: 1779-02-22 Death: 1863-10-19

called – I was thankful I had retired – After tea Henry and Augustus went to
the Museum which is illuminated about these days – Gus is this minute
talking about all he saw it is almost ten oclock oclock and I am pretty
sleepy - my head still aches – Mrs Cary has returned very much pleased with
her visit – Fred is beginning to cry so good night - Thursday Wednesday
night. My Dear Sis Your little son would not let me write one word last
night so I must begin with yesterday morning – Your letter came as soon
as we eat breakfast – Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
has been riding you say I wonder if that is the
reason she has never written me a word yet but thanks to you I am
kept pretty well advised of matters and things at home – I think it more
than probable that Pa’s
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
coming down will turn out squish now he has no
one to advise and urge him to come poor little Gus will be much disappoint-
ted – I am inclined to think Debby Wood


will not feel quite as crank when she gets
to father Woods
Birth: 1805-10-07 Death: 1844-02Certainty: Possible
to board – Fred for his part has a very bad cold yet coughs
considerable but not that horrid hoarse croup cough he had the other
night – Well yesterday morning after I finished reading your letter it
being the day after New Years and the gentlemen not having finished calling
yesterday a number called some only sent in their cards which is
a very easy method of getting along – among others came your old
Page 3

admirer Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13
– you do not know how he has disfigured himself by cultivating
a pair of whiskers which are red and his hair is quite grey – he found favor
in my eyes by making many enquires about you and helping me abuse
old Mother Willard
Birth: 1787-02-23 Death: 1870-04-15
whom he dislikes about as much as you and I do – After din-
ner the Miss Mancius’
Birth: 1811-08-18 Death: 1893-07-09
called and apologized for their mothers
Birth: 1787 Death: 1834-08-27
calling before – You remember my going there with Pa when we were returning
from Windsor the oldest girl said she could recollect it well – In the
evening I finished reading the Bravo
Author: James Fenimore Cooper Publisher: W. A. Townsend and Company Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1859
Birth: 1789-09-15 Death: 1851-09-14
last novel – I think the
last volume very interesting but the end is rather too tragic to suit
me – the female characters are much more happily delineated than
is usual with him – This morning I went up to Mrs Bronsons room to see
about the infant school – found her so agreeable I staid an hour –
concluded it was so cold we would not take Gus to day – After
dinner Senator Birdsall called I like him much notwithstanding he does
look some like Augustus Converse
Birth: 1798-11-21 Death: 1860-03-21
– and while he was yet here
the Lion of the West our Governor
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01
came – You cannot imagine
how grievously I was disappointed about his beauty – I had pictured
him all out a thousand times and my fancy was about as far
from the reality as it usually is – In the first he is much
more corpulent than I imagined but perhaps not too much so
but his face 'ah there’s the nib” was so different – why Lazette he
has the least of all eyes without a particle of expression except
that of good nature – I told Henry I would not give Weeds eyes
for Grangers
Birth: 1789-06-03 Death: 1866-08-20Certainty: Probable
whole face – the remainders of his face I cannot
find any fault with but it is not at all what I thought it was
I can tell you more about that when I have seen him again but I looked
at him so much to day that I was ashamed of myself but un[ d ]


if he observed he thought it admiration not astonishment – He has not
half as much or as handsome hair as I expected – Dont you think
Henry actually denies having told us he was handsome – But if I was disappointed
in looks I was also in manners – he pleased me much better than I
expected & I did not discover as much vain glory – he has considerable
humour says many smart things and evidently expects them to be well
received – I was much entertained with his conversation which was
all addressed to Henry – principally political – he has the finest room
in Albany he says – Henry says it is quite magnificent – he
stays at the Eagle — This afternoon Eliza Ann Nicholson called also and
strange as it may appear I really thought her quite handsome she was
certainly more agreeable than I ever saw her before — To night Burnet

from Syracuse has been here he has just gone and since then I have
been writing to you and now I am going to crawl in — Thursday night
This morning we intended to make some calls but as Mrs Carys bonnet did not come home
we defferred until tomorrow – This afternoon Henry and I went to see a school where we
talk of sending Augustus – I was pleased with the teacher
a young lady and concluded
to dispatch him tomorrow morning – we then went to the store and got some very
homely circassian to make Fred a frock
Page 4

the pink one does not answer any purpose here with the coal dust he cannot wea[ r ]



it one day – went to Lucius Terrys and left my watch to be regulated – he said he
called on me New Years – Friday night – This morning we received an invitation to go
to Mr Hopkins to tea Mrs Cary sick – I answered in the affirmative – at ten oclock
after Phillip
had bought a basket for the purpose I put up Gus' dinner and Phillip
escorted him to the school – he did not want to go at all but did not cry any
George Andrews who was here at the time said it was a cruel thing to send him off
alone to stay all day – I had quite a drawing towards him for that – Henry went to
court promising to be home at twelve that we might go and make the cal[ l ]



I was all ready 1 hour and a half before he returned and the sleigh had bee[ n ]



at the door all that time - We finally started – called first at Anthony Blanchards
Birth: 1801-05-27 Death: 1861-05-01

"not at home" – next Mr Bain's
Birth: 1790 Death: 1834-12-17
– very nice people there – house very handsomely furnished
all looked comfortable – next to Mancius'
Birth: 1779-12 Death: 1833-11-07
— saw the two daughters Mrs Mancius was
with her husband who is sick — the girls were both dressed in white with
black silk aprons their hair very much dressed in that disagreeable manner
that Henrietta
Birth: 1813-11-19 Death: 1852-02-05Certainty: Possible
wears hers – necks shoulders and part of the back I should say
perfectly bare – I thought them both homely and affected — Henry thinks they
were not affected – I know you would agree with me – then we went to Mr Jacob
Ten Brock Vanvechten
Birth: 1801-05-10 Death: 1841-06-20
— saw Mrs Vanvechten
Birth: 1801 Death: 1852-12-06
and her sister
both fat and homely but

[right Margin] good natured – I should think – some of these days I will give you
a description of the furniture of one room which will answer
tolerably well for all – I forgot to say we had cake and wine at Mrs Bains
Birth: 1794-09-16 Death: 1839-04-23

and wine alone at Vanvechtens every one was dressed to see company
apparently, of course they were as all the calling is all done in the
morning that is before dinner – After we left there we went to the school
to see little Gus — found him quite contented he was sitting on a bench
with nine or ten other little boys studying his lesson and looking very
meek — he said nothing about coming home with me but wished Eliza
to come for him as soon as she eat her dinner – We got home just in time
for dinner 2 oclock – between three and four Eliza went after Gus when
they came home it was almost dark as Eliza had some shopping to do –
in the meantime we had a lobby member here all the time talking to
Henry – After he went away Mr Birdsall and Fuller
Birth: 1787-08-14 Death: 1855-08-16
came on their
way to Mr Hopkins to take tea expecting Henry to go with them — Henry
asked them what they were going there to tea at that time of the
day for 6 oclock and after teasing them some time told them he was going
with me – they immediately said it was a party and they would not
go — We tried a long time to convince them it was a sociable visit
but they persisted in not meeting any one but antimasons so they sent
their apology by us — After making myself pretty wroth because the frock
Miss Blood
made for me was so far upon the shoulders we started
for Mr Hopkins about 7 oclock — It was one of disagreeable visits between
a party and a sociable visit when about 30 people are assembled
to look and act formal and criticize their neighbours dresses
of course they were all strangers to me Mrs Savage
 Death: 1837-04-06
and Mrs Weed
Birth: 1797 Death: 1858-07-03
, (Mrs
Birth: 1785 Death: 1870
) being the only two I had ever seen before — I wished
myself home twenty times, and then my frock felt as if it looked so bad
that it did not tend to increase my comfort any — the people
were dressed very much as they dress at Auburn — the married
ladies were all old and wore caps, the young ladies had bare
necks and their hair mounted on the tops of their heads but
their front hair was much more becomingly arranged than
Henrietta Cassons friend
of course – no combs – I have seen
no married ladies with their hair in this way, as to that matter
where ever I have called they wore caps — made something like
the one Mrs Jenning
 Death: 1886-04-10
made me though I have not seen one
I like so well —

Page 5

We had tea and coffee and plumb cake and tea cakes the latter articles were
brought in on a small server in two silver bread baskets - I thought
the next time I went to make a sociable visit I should drink my tea
at home - then we had a dessert of sweet meats whips and calfs
foot jelly the last of which I liked very much and as I heard
Mrs Hopkins
Birth: 1778-02-01 Death: 1866-12-17
telling how she made it I made some enquiries and
think I shall remember - then nuts raisins figs and wine all just
as we have it at home - we came home at 10 oclock found both
of the little boys sick with colds (by the way this part of the letter
is written to day Sunday as I was too much engaged to finish
it last week) - Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
and myself were up and awake about
half of the night endeavoring to get some molasses to give Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

&c - Eliza made one vain attempt - then I proposed going but
Henry thought he had better so he got up and went out to the bar
room where he succeeded in finding Robert
- he could find no molasses
it was locked up and the housekeeper
had the key and he did not
know where the housekeeper slept - so they got some brown sugar
butter and vinegar and Henry induced Augustus to take so much of
it that it made him vomit, all over the bed of course - then the
bed must be changed, that is take off the sheet and be next to the
blanket as not no sheet could be obtained that time in the night
O thought I the beauties of boarding! Augustus breathed rather
easier after he vomited though the hoarse cough continued - Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25

was as hot as a little coal all night - coughed, and was very restless
We got up in the morning some time after the rest of the family
had taken breakfast but John
had kept some all warm and nice for
us - sent for Dr Wing
Birth: 1788-08-13 Death: 1852-09-06
a very nice little man who lives the
next door - He thought Augustus had symptoms of measles but could
not decide then - left a portion of calomel and rhubarb for each
of them and a solution of antimony to be given every 3 hours, diet
low, and drink barley tea - I devoted my day to the care of the
boys having at the same time a fine cold of my own on hand - John
brought me my dinner and tea - the Dr called again in the evening
thought the children were doing well - I slept a little in the afternoon
and sit up last night until one oclock - all slept very well
after that time - This morning I accomplished the task of getting up in
time for breakfast - Henry slept until 11 oclock - We have not either
of us been to church to day intended to have gone this evening
Page 6

to hear Mr Welch
Birth: 1794 Death: 1870
- but this evening it rains hard and we cannot go - The
Dr has been here to day - concluded Augustus had not got the measels
but the influenza which prevails very much among children - Fred
is altogether better - but acts like a young tiger - he loves to hear
stories very much and the other day I told him when we went
home Aunty would take him and kiss him and kiss him - "ah" said
he which means yes and then burst out laughing very loud -
he calls Eliza - "Dul-la" - is very fond of her - he says "Bul-der" for
brother and tries to say every thing - Gus sits up by the singing
says I must tell cousin Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
that he is at Congress Hall and
that he plays sometimes that Aunty and cousin Frances come
to see him - that he is coming home in the spring - that he has got
a little box of dominos which he plays with very well and
wishes she was here to play with him - I have slept since dinner
and after tea I sat awhile in the parlour with Mr
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
and Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22

Birth: 1797-02-23 Death: 1870-02-17
and Mrs Julian
Birth: 1804-05-06 Death: 1860-05-01
and Henry I left them all there when I came
here to write - Mrs Cary groaned loud the other day when I
told her the Dr thought it possible Augustus might have
the measels - she thought it a gone case with Trummy
Birth: 1829 Death: 1832-03-29
- poor
woman she lost a little girl
Birth: 1824-06-13 Death: 1824-06-24Certainty: Probable
with the measels and has much
reason for her fears - Gus keeps teasing me, says now I must tell cousin
Frances that he dreamed to day that the gypsies stole him and carried
him off - This morning Eliza announced that Mrs Bronson
Birth: 1799 Death: 1867-02

had a daughter
Birth: 1832 Death: 1868
- I sent up to see how she was but have not
been up yet - Mr Bronson
Birth: 1789-11-17 Death: 1863-09-03
and Oliver
Birth: 1826 Death: 1860
were at the table with
us this evening - Mr Bronson looking very much pleased
they have lost two daughters
Unknown Birth: 1821  Death: 1821 
- she has a nurse
- Mrs Hopkins
has been to day to see her - Yesterday Mrs Townsend
Birth: 1790-01-12 Death: 1849-08-17
the Mayors
Birth: 1783-06-14 Death: 1854-08-26
Miss Townsend
Birth: 1820-04-22 Death: 1845-09-08
and Mrs Walsh
Birth: 1811-04-16 Death: 1863-09-15
called and left their cards I having
told Robert that I did not wish to see any one - It is four
weeks tomorrow since we left home - how much I wish I could have
one good long talk with you to night I never can write half I wish
to say - I ascertained that Professor Webster
Birth: 1794-09-21 Death: 1871-07-12
was going home (to Geneva )
tomorrow so I prolonged my letter and intend sending it by him -
It is a dreary night raining and freezing constantly - I think we shall
go to Troy some time this week and see Mrs Boardman
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02
- Not a word
from Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
yet - I shall write to her tomorrow - Your own Sis - Frances
Page 7

Mrs. Alvah Worden
JAN 12


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