Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 27, 1832

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 27, 1832



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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 27, 1832

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: sss 

revision: ekk 2015-05-28

Page 1

Thursday evening 27th
My Dear Henry. I intended to have wished you a merry Christmas on
Teusday w but was prevented by company and yesterday was prevented
by company ^headache^ . This evening I am quite alone and my head is more
comfortable. Monday afternoon I went out to purchase the Christmas
toys for the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
stockings, it was cold and unpleasant
and no slight inducement would have given me courage sufficient
to venture out but the little boys are too nice to be disappointed and
I could not trust Sarah's taste in the selection of the articles in
demand. I found Mrs Joseph Richardson
Birth: 1778 Death: 1857-08-21
at the toy shop engaged
in selecting toys for her little girls

who she said had still implicit
faith in the visits of the Dutch Saint


. I told her I almost
regretted that the illusion was dispelled from the mind of Augustus
but our friend Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
's arguments had partly convinced him and
when he asked me soberly and earnestly to tell him was it so
the truth was not to be disguised. I came home with a violent
headache. After tea accompanied Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
to the New Church to hear
Dr. Rudd
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
preach a very flat sermon which was intended to be
very subline and impressive. The Church was full because it
was Christmas eve and because an Episcopalian was to preach in
the Presbyterian Church. I think they will all be satisfied with
this experiment. We went at half past six and came home at
half past eight !! I never heard the service so miserably read.
During the sermon the Dr once lost his place or his notes altogether
and there was a pause of about two minutes which seemed 20,
in the middle of a sentence. I did not know but he had fallen
in a fit for I had not ventured to raise my eyes during the
Page 2

performance. I wish I did not always feel myself obliged to blush
for the sins of the whole world as well as my own. I presume Mrs Rudd
Birth: 1785

was all composure at this crisis. Major Dill
Birth: 1767-10-22 Death: 1869-05-01
came home with us
and observed that we had a very good sermon – so much for difference
of opinion. When I came home I found the little "stockings hung by
the chimney with care," and "the children were nestled all snug in their beds ^while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads^ .[ " ]



Gus said he had dreamed all about his stocking being full of candy
and Fred of course dreamed so too if brother Day did. In consideration
of Augustus' cough Sarah was dispatched as soon as day light appeared
down stairs to bring up the stockings and the contents were soon
strewn over the bed. Fred of course soon devoured all of his
portion that was eatable and then proceeded to break the handle
from his little basket rub the paint from the strawberries &c &c
The work of demolition has continued until there is hardly the tip
end of a tail left for a token. I think the organ of destructiveness
must be pretty fully developed on his cranium. Gus is reserving
his things to exhibit to Pa when he comes home, all but the candy
and that he said did look so good to him that he could not
keep it. Christmas day. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
went to Skaneateles to dine at Kelloggs
x Birth: 1786-03-22  Death:   Birth: 1780-04-19  Death: 1836-05-04 
Clary went to Church with her new hat and passed for a bride.
I sent up for Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and cousin Fan
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
- they came after dinner
and staid until some time in the evening – the children had
a merry Christmas indeed. Mrs Fosgate
 Death: 1848-03-10
called while we were at
tea. I went up to see her - found her very stately - imputed
To charge; to attribute; to ascribe • To charge to one as the author or originator of; generally in a bad sense • To set to the account of another as the ground of judicial procedure • To take account of; to reckon •
to my not
coming immediately but discovered from some remarks made to Lazette
^who^ accompanied her to the door that she was offended because she was
not invited to my party. So the world goes the more you endeavour
to please them the more the people are sure to be dissatisfied. I have
no doubt but old Mrs Hardenbergh
 Death: 1843-05-02
and Mrs Field
Birth: 1756-11-04 Death: 1840-03-28Certainty: Probable
's have some unkind
feelings on the subject and I do not know but the occasion of the
x Birth: 1795-08-07  Death: 1834-06-29  Birth: 1784-08-21  Death: 1874-11-01 
not coming was my not sending an invitation to old Mrs
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1836-05-05Certainty: Probable
. It is far better to have no horse to red ride than to endeavour
to ride him to please the multitude.
Page 3

furthermore, Clary went over to Cumpstons
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1851-06-04  Birth: 1790  Death: 1850-04-03 
and found Maryann in
great emotion (for her) about a communication that Deb


had made
to Eliza Horner
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31
, the amount of said communication was that Clary
had slandered Carter
the afternoon that Debby visited here and also that
 Death: 1835-12-05
had sundry times talked very improperly about Sammy[ , ]


and the other members of their family. Of course this was all fabulous
Deb wanted something new to talk about and knows that Maria witnessed
too many scenes between herself and George
Birth: 1799 Death: 1870-08-24
not to feel that she is in her
power a very uncomfortable feeling and particularly well calculated
to produce a hatred and malice in a mind like Deb's. Eliza believed
the whole story Maryann doubted. Clary and Maria are visiting there
this afternoon. I suppose some light will be thrown on the subjects.
Deb had actually repeated every word of the conversation that passed
here that afternoon with numerous additions – it is astonishing what
a memory some people are blessed with. I had entirely forgotten that
I said I should not invite Cooley
Birth: 1798 Death: 1873-09-21
here again because he sent no answer
but this she told Mrs Cumpston and I doubt not on her way home
just dropped in at Cooleys store to let him know that he must not
expect another invitation. I am glad that I have no greater cause
to regret my want of discretion. I have always endeavoured to
fa be particularly cautious in my remarks knowing the nature
of the little animal. Mr
Birth: 1776-06-05 Death: 1853-04
and Mrs J.L. Richardson
spent the evening
with us Christmas. She is a good little woman. T Wordon
Birth: 1806-07 Death: 1891
and Lockhart
Birth: 1806-02-13 Death: 1857-09-07

were here also. Pa did not return until the next morning – very
much pleased with his visit apparently. Today we received cards
for a cotillion party next Monday evening. Clary says she shall
not go. I think that doubtful. I wish you would get me a Boa
fashionable or not they are certainly very comfortable. I cannot help hoping
I may have a letter tomorrow though I ought not to expect one until
Saturday. Remember me to Mr
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
and Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
I feel as if I did not
make them sensible how happy I was to see them the evening they
called. My love to the Tracy's
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
. Give me credit for writing a
whole letter in one evening with my weak eyes. Your own Frances
Page 4

William H. Seward
27 Dec. 1832
Auburn, NY DEC 28


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

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