Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, April 5, 1832

  • Posted on: 14 December 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, April 5, 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, April 5, 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: meb 

revision: crb 2017-08-28

Page 1

Thursday night —
My Dear Sister, This is the tenth day since I have written you one word
it has seemed a long time to me – but I know my own kind hearted
Sister will not think me negligent knowing the reasons which have
prevented me – I pass every moment of leisure with poor Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22

and feel happy that I can in any manner contribute to the alleviation
of her affliction – I wrote last on Tuesday morning – Trumbull
Birth: 1829 Death: 1832-03-29
then I think began to fail – they discontinued riding with him as
it was very perceptible that the least excitement only seemed to increase
his langour – from that time until Thursday his strength gradually
dicreased – Thursday I spent the day at Mr Hopkins
Birth: 1772-05-09 Death: 1837-03-09
and during the
afternoon he had something of a fit – The phisicians
then came
to the conclusion that he had strong symptoms of dropsy on the brain
he continued in a stupor most of the time – sometimes he would ask
for tea but did not appear to know the voice of his mother or father
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20

At this time he was so weak that we did not put him in his little
waggon any more but held him on our laps – Mrs Cary had a very
good nurse
and watches with him the last four nights –
Friday ^Saturday^ night Mrs Cary sent for me to come up – I found Trumbull’s
hands and feet very much distorted with spasms – we put them in
warm water and rubbed them a long time but it produced very little
effect – the Dr came said nothing more could be done and gave no hope
Mr Cary did not go to bed but we prevailed upon Mrs Cary to leave
Trumbull with the watchers – the spasms continued through the
night – Sunday morning I went up after breakfast and found
him dying – The spasms continued until about ten minutes before
he ceased breathing and a long time after he was dead the muscles
were more relaxed than they had been for 12 hours before – he died
without much apparent pain – but it was dying, & it will be
Page 2

long before the remembrance of that death rattle and the heavings of the
breast which precede dissolution can be effaced from my memory —
The phisician would not allow Mrs. Cary to be present when he
died – her bodily health had become very much impaired by the anxiety
watching and fatigue which she had endured for the last 8 weeks – Mrs.
Cary is one of the most affectionate of mothers it is needless to say how
much she is afflicted. she struggles very much to suppress her feelings
and is now much more composed indeed has been since Trumbull died
than she was while she saw him suffering without any hope of his
recovery – I staid all day on Sunday with Mrs. Cary – she wished me to
read some prayers for her. I never felt so dissatisfied with our prayer
book as at this time I could not find any thing that appeared
appropriate – in my dilemma I applied to Mrs Brinkerhoof
Birth: 1777-10-03 Death: 1868-07-25
who is
a member of the Dutch Church she sent home and got a book
called the Christians Comforter
Author: John Tappen Publisher: Privately printed Place of Publication:Kingston, NY Date: 1820
which pleased me very much – Mrs
Cary said she never should forget that I of all her friends had never
flattered her with the hope of Trumbulls recovery — indeed I could not
for the last two or three weeks I could see no grounds for hope. Mrs
Cary has always from the first felt as though he could not recover –
Mrs Binkerhoof is an excellent woman – her daughter
married a nephew
Mr Carys, and lives at Batavia where Mrs B– spends the summer usually
She had all the grave clothes ready made and has been here a great part of
the time – helped arrange every thing – Trumbull was a perfect skeleton —
but after his death he looked sweetly as dead children always do — there
is to me no unpleasant sensation in looking a the corpse of a child
The certainty that they have made a happy exchange of worlds, the sweet
serenity of their countenances, are, when abstracted from the grief of friends
calculated to produce emotions more pleasurable than painful – as Bulwer
Birth: 1803-05-25 Death: 1873-01-18

so beautifully observes in Eugene Aram
 Publisher: J. & J. Harper Place of Publication:New York, NY Date: 1832
– “Why mourn for the young? Better that the
light cloud should fade away into heaven with the morning breath, than to travel
through the weary day to gather in darkness, and end in storm.” — Monday at
four in the afternoon the funeral service was performed by Dr Lacey
Birth: 1783-09-03 Death: 1866-08-08
the remains of little Trummy were conveyed to the vault, where they remain
until the opening of the Canal when they will be removed to Batavia – It is not
customary here for ladies to go to the grave all the gentlemen who attended
went – I stayed with poor Mrs Cary until after tea – she sat up and I took
my tea with them in their room – Poor Walter
Birth: 1818-12-21 Death: 1880-11-01
tried all he could to console his
Page 3

while his own eyes were red with weeping. – I recieved your letter Saturday morning it was
four days on the road – You ask why Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
does not come to see us – he has commenced
his visits again and the other day over a bottle of wine told Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
the reasons
confidentially why he staid away so long – it was all something Henry had said
or did which led him to suppose his regard for him was diminished – of course
Henry had done naught in malice – but Weed is a sensitive being and like
myself too apt to believe in any professions of indifference even in jest –
Tuesday morning Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
came – she has grown quite fat the southern tours appears
to have improved the health of them both – Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
has made us but few visits
since his wife came, indeed for the last three or four days I have been in
my own room but very little only when the children required my
attention – Poor Mrs Cary does look so heart-broken and always says “do come
back again” with so much sincerity that I cannot find it in my heart
to leave her long at a time – I hardly feel acquainted with Mrs Tracy
yet – Tuesday evening Henry and I went to the ‘Fair’ for the Orphan
Asylum and Infant shool – it was held at the Academy – I thinig should
thing 16 or 17 long tables full of all manner of fancy articles – they
looked beautifully – the tables were lighted with lamps and each table
attended by 2 or more ladies young and old – the articles were all marked
with the prices at which they were to be sold – no bidding – The refresh-
ment table was spread with all manner of good things – cakes tarts pies
jellies, ice creams – lemonade &c — I purchased a little gingham frock and
pantaletts for Fred 18 shillings – a pair of card racks 2$ – an emery bag 10
Henry bought a mouse trap 4 shillings – 20 admittance and 2 shilling for a
glass of ice cream – The room was crowded – so much that we could hardly
see the tables and so warm that I was exceedingly faint – we remained about
an hour and came home – Friday morning – My Dear Sister at four oclock
we take the steam boat for New Burgh – I received your last letter this
morning but cannot answer it until I get to Florida – Mr & Mrs
Cary and Walter go with us on their way to Connecticut where
Mr Cary has connections living – we part at New Burgh — We are in
the midst of packing all is bustle and confusion – I feel as if it
would not now be many weeks more before I turn my face homeward
then how glad we will all be wont we — the time of adjournment is
not yet decided – perhaps the 1st of May — I shall write from Florida
on Sunday if all goes on well – Kiss Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
for Aunty. My love
to all at home your own Sister Frances —
Page 4

Mrs Alvah Worden
Auburn —


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