Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 24, 1832

  • Posted on: 10 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 24, 1832



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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 Lazette Miller Worden, February 24, 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: Auburn, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: tap 2017-02-02

Page 1

Friday night
My Dear Sister, I feel so lonely tonight that I cannot do anything but write to you &
having dispatched one letter by Mr King
last night I must e'en commence another —
Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
has this evening moved up stairs for the purpose of having more comfortable quarters
& I am now the only lady on the 1st floor. I feel very solitary and homesick and could cry
heartily if it would avail anything — I used to always go into Mrs Carys room when
Eliza was getting Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
to sleep and when the task was accomplished she could
summon me home with a knock — but this retreat is gone now and I shall be surrounded
with men — Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
has gone to Mr Judge Sutherlands where we recieved an invitation
to a party this evening — My little Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
is sick in bed with the measels his face swollen
and disfigured with blotches and little Fred is sleeping in the cradle perfectly uncon-
scious that he has already imbibed the contagion — The Dr
says Augustus symptoms
are of a very favourable character — he has very little fever — is much inclined to sleep —
yesterday he sat upon our laps all day by the fire — the measels having then only
appeared on his face — last night he went to bed with considerable fever — The phisicians
here do not allow us to give anything of a heating nature to drive out the inf
eruption as is commonly practised — they think it has a tendency to increase inflam-
mation — sometimes produce it — This morning Augustus face and neck were covered
and the measles appear gradually on his body & limbs — the day has been intensely
cold & the Dr said he had better remain in bed and keep warmly covered — the
little fellow submitted with this usual quietness. he has eat nothing and drinks
elm bark tea — we keep the room very dark on account of his eyes which are considerably
affected thogf though not unusually so — Trumbell
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
is getting better the phisicians say
though I can percieve very little alteration — he does not open his eyes yet — has blisters
on his neck — is excessively irritable &- upon the whole a great sufferer — Mrs George
Birth: 1783 Death: 1850-02-10
& her sisters
x Birth: 1801  Death: 1853-01-18  Birth: 1795-06-13  Death: 1878-12-04 
took their departure this morning so I shall appear at table
again tomorrow the other ladies all went out today to dinner — But I am not
telling you one word all this time about the 22d — Well the day was ushered in as great
days usually are with the ringing of bells and firing of cannon all of which I lost
on account of sleeping until 8 o clock — it was a fine sunny morning and when
we returned from our shopping excursion
Deviating from a stated or settled path • Progression beyond fix limits • Digression; wandering from a subject or main design • An expedition or journey into a distant part •
the streets were becoming thronged with the
military and their usual accompaniments, men, and boys — At ten oclock the
members of the Legislature were escorted by the military procession from the Capitol to
U some Church in State Street where Mr Otis
made his speech — then the bells rang and
the cannons ^were^ fired again — This The managers of the Ball having given offence to some
portion of the citizens by not being sufficiently general in the distributions of invitations
to the ladies (the gentlemen purchased tickets which entitle them to admittance) the dissatisfied
portion of the comminity concluded upon summoning a mob in front of the City Hall
and make a rush into the building or otherwise annoy the more favoured — Mrs
said when she went it was with great difficulty the sleigh could be driven to
the door on account of the mob — they were greeted with cries of “hustle them out” &c
while forcing an entrance — We did not go until 9 o clock at that time there was a very large collection in front of the building but no shouts and they fell back in
each side making a narrow passage for us to pass through — I heard afterwards that
the tumult increasing the watchmen were summoned and ten or 12 of the
Page 2

rioters carried to the watch house — Notwithstanding the darkness and disorder without the
scene within was of the most brilliant kind — The building appeared to have been
constructed for the occasion every thing was so appropriate — the dancers were on the
second floor in a circular hall sufficiently large to admit 9 cotillions with some
room for spectators which were far the greater part of the assemblage — but a
much better place for viewing the dancers was the gallery above the hall
this was also circular and you looked over the balustrade immediately on the
dancers below — they looked to me like fairies the brilliancy of the thousand lamps
and the height made me dizzy and my defective eyesight prevented my
recognizing any one for a long time — still above this on the fourth floor was
another circular gallery decreasing in size from the first — this was also decorated
with evergreens, ornaments of painted paper and lighted with innumerable
coloured lamps — the lage large pillars were decorated in the same manner
with wreaths of evergreens interspersed with artificial flowers and ornaments of painted
paper — The rooms on the which surrounded the hall and gallery were some
of them carpeted and lighted with astral lamps with sofas to recruit the weary
limbs of the dancers — The effects of going from the lighted hall and gallery into these
rooms was much the same as going from a noon day sun to a mild moon light —
but someone ought to describe this scene to you who can write and talk better than
I can — I do not think I can give you any idea of it — The table was in a
long room on the 3d floor twice the length of the room— everyone went in to look at it
before its was beauty was destroyed — cold meats, fowls, pickeled oysters, cakes blanc mange
ice creams, pyramids of candies, were some of the eatables — The onra ornamental
part consisted of — two white miniature spaniels made of I know not what two Eagles
artificial flowers and evergreens in abundance — but what a rush when supper
was announced I do not think any thing in Auburn ever surpassed it — Mr Juliand
Birth: 1797-02-23 Death: 1870-02-17
and I did not get within a rod


A unit of measurement •
of the table until every thing was demolished
and some of the canaillé took particular pains to destroy when they could not devour—
Wh With the assistance of our John
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29Certainty: Possible
who was one of the waiters & is always my right hand
man we succeeded in getting some ice cream and a glass of champaigne — I must
say I think this part of the arrangement was bad the ladies should have gone
to supper with the mangers first and the gentlemen after — but they all rushed
in at once and some of them I am sure both men and women eat as much
as would be decent to eat in a week — If I had remained but one hour and then
returned home I think my impression would have been altogether delightful — but I
stayed until I was heartily tired of everything and could no longer bear the pushes
and jostling of the crowd with good nature which was very necessary for everyone
I could not help laughing out loud once when some one gave me and then Henry
a very hard rub — Henry's brow clouded and I heard a suppressed oath — but the intruders
turned around and discovered the face of A. Blanchard
Birth: 1801-05-27 Death: 1861-05-01
who for a second spoke very civilly
to me — the cloud was soon dispersed with a smile — Mr Juliand who is a dear good
man took care of me all the evening — we spent the last hour looking for Henry who
wh was employed during that time in finding me among the crowd — having disposed of
his lady among the dancers — John A. King
Birth: 1788-01-03 Death: 1867-07-07
says I will expose my country education by giving
my husband the preference for a beau — I came home quite satisfied that I did not wish
to attend a centennial ball under another hundred years — but I would not say it here for the
world — the managers spared neither pains nor expense to render the evening a happy one, and a crowd
was indispensable —
Page 3

Tuesday morning — Augustus has made me tend him so faithfully for the last three days that I have
had no time to write — Saturday we kept him in bed all day as we could keep him warm nowhere
else — Sunday and yesterday I held him on my lap a great part of the time — told stories and
read primers — this morning he is so much better that he is dressed and takes care of himself
most of the time — Fred continues well yet — Trumbell is not materially better — Mrs Beard-
Birth: 1786-12-22 Death: 1877-04-13
little girl
is better — Walter
Birth: 1818-12-21 Death: 1880-11-01
Mrs Cary’s oldest boy came Saturday night — he is nice
Sunday we had a letter from Dr. Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26 Death: 1865-01-05
announcing the birth of another son
Birth: 1832-02-20 Death: 1876-01-14
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04

very comfortable — Yesterday morning your letter came which I was very glad to see
I am glad Grandma
Birth: 1750
is better — I laughed a long time at your description of your visit —
The Miss Bowers
are staying with Mary Warren
I should think were here two or three times a week
I doubt not they are quite as heartless as Mary herself — their beauty is so combined with affec-tation and vanity that it destroys the effect entirely with me. — Does Cornelia Pitney
Birth: 1811-10-06 Death: 1838-05-09
sick yet & what is supposed to be the matter with her? — Myres
Birth: 1776-05-31 Death: 1871-01-20Certainty: Possible
illness we had not heard – his
case has been a hopeless one some time — it is dreadful to think upon certainly – Mrs Cary had
often enquired of me about the Miss Wordens — she remembers them well and often speaks
of them kindly — Poor Mrs Cary she looks like a shadow - Trumbell’s case is certainly
very trying to a mothers feelings — twice every day two phisicians dress his blisters and
wash open his eyes they do not continue open more than 15 minutes and Mrs Cary
says the blood often streams down his face and neck while they are at work at him —
Aftr they are gone he is entirely exhausted and does not wish to be touched during the day
I thought this morning the Dr did not speak very encourageingly — Poor Mr Cary —
We were invited yesterday to spend the evening at Mrs Porters — did not go — This
evening we are invited the attend a party at Mrs Weeds
Mrs Browns
I do not feel now much like going but have not decided. Mrs Porter came to
see Augustus the other evening and offered her services in a very friendly manner
We have heard that Mrs Willards
Birth: 1787-02-23 Death: 1870-04-15
is coming here to Congress Hall to spend the vacation
I do not believe it much it would be a very singular movement — The measles
have almost entirely disappeared from Augustus Wednesday morning — Mrs Willard John
Birth: 1810-09-28 Death: 1883-03-29

and Miss Dodge
Birth: 1818-12-26 Death: 1902-01-24
made their appearance at the tea table last evening — After tea Mr
Birth: 1789-07-10 Death: 1873-01-30
asked us to go into the ladies parlour and see them — so we went after I had dressed
to go to Mrs Weeds — The old lady was as stately as ever I think she has grown old in her
looks she has not so much colour as she had formerly — we staid but a few minutes
pleading our engagement — she told me all the alterations she had had made in her
house, the number of her scholars & c — enquired how all my friends were at Auburn —
She is going to remain only 2 or 3 days — did not appear at breakfast this morning —
John has grown to be a man about the size of Hiram Mather
Birth: 1796-02-13 Death: 1868-07-11
— looks as old
as 30 and wears large black mustachios — is not at all sociable — appears to
feel that he has made the tour of Europe. Miss Dodge with whom Mrs Willard is
staying is from the daughter of Mr Dodge of Joh Jhonstown — he is a member of the senate
and a good natured, weak man who takes all occasions to expose his folly and every one
takes the privilege of laughing at him. Miss Dodge has been a pupil of Mrs Willards
and is now returning from Troy — We had a pleasant party last night — Augustus
continues getting better — Mrs Willard signified a desire to see the children—
She is in the room Mrs Cary used to occupy, Trummy is no better — Augustus has
written three of four letters since I commenced this and wishes me to put them all in here
for Frances I hardly think them worth the postage — Henry had a letter from Jennings
Page 4

two or three days ago he is still in J Illinois— says nothing about coming home or about the children
wants 600$ — The snow is going now very rapidly and if the weather continues so warm
the River will soon open and the boats commence running —
Then I shall go to Florida
I do not think I shall see the
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
Tracy’s we hear nothing more from them — I shall write to
Grandma in a day or two and tell her all about Augustus and the measels —
I have not yet found any dye for the hair I do not see it advertised in the papers
for Albany — but I will not give up the search yet — your own Frances —
Mrs Alvah Worden—
Auburn —
Paid 183


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