Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 22, 1833

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 22, 1833



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, November 22, 1833

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: gew 

revision: ekk 2015-06-22

Page 1

Friday morning, Nov. 22d
My Dear Henry, The weather has been so cold and the sky so dark for
the last two days that I could not summon sufficient courage
to get up in the morning and commence my letter as I inten-
ded. I feel more than ever alone, can hardly realize that
you have been home your stay was so short. My French
books have lost half their interest now that you are not
here to interpret for me those provoking little words which vary
so much in their signification or to encourage me with kind
words and smiles of approbation. I am afraid mon ami
you will find when you come home that I have made but
little progress. I have finished the story of the “Little Lamb”
and edified Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
down by reading it to him. Although
musick has no attractions for you I have little pleasure in
playing when you are away it ceases to have an exhilerating
effect upon my spirits when my heart is heavy and I open
and close my piano without finishing a tune for “Musick is
sorrowful when thou art gone.” The day you left I
received a few lines from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
urging me to make my
visit as soon as possible. I do not think I shall go before
Teusday. The Miss Rays
xMiss Rays
xMiss Rays


(all three) came over in the evening to
hear all about Europe were much disappointed in finding
you had taken your departure so soon. I promised them
the perusal
To read with attention • To observe; to examine with careful survey •
of your journal when it returned from Seneca Falls.
had been reading the memoirs of Goethe
Birth: 1749 Death: 1832
and was
very much enamoured of every thing German. Nancy
very dull, as usual, and did not appear the least interested
in any thing that was said. Charlotte
is a good natured
child for whom one cannot avoid feeling some affection although
it would be difficult ascertaining upon what it is based.
Birth: 1807-03-06 Death: 1890-11-05
came over in time to accompany them home which
appeared very satisfactory to all parties.
Yesterday morning while reading the papers I discovered
a paragraph in the Rochester Inquirer saying that Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
was elected.
I read it to Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
observing at the time that it was impossible that
it could be true, but she good woman with her accustomed passion
for the marvelous, I perceived, was very much disposed to give
Page 2

it credit, so when her son came in she communicated the intelligence
to him, after considerable loud talk I heard Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
say, “where is
she? I can convince her in two minutes” then “Frances come up
here” and Frances went up stairs to be convinced of that
which to her great sorrow she had not doubted for the
last eight days. “Your Grandma says you have seen in one of the
papers that Tracy is elected.” “I have, but of course did not
believe it.” “There is no such thing in the papers, where is it
let me see it.” I found the paper and pointed to the unfor-
tunate paragraph. “Well (in a much lower key) it is so in
this paper, but it is not so, for I saw in the Argus this
morning that the other candidate had succeeded by 1000 ma-
jority.” So after convincing me Pa withdrew and Grandma said
he was the most unreasonable man she ever knew except his
Birth: 1749 Death: 1817
. She was not so easily convinced, told a great many
stories to prove that it might be true, and is now constantly
expecting a confirmation of her belief. Pa went to Skaneateles
where he saw abundance of new cloaks, and invited Maria
Birth: 1811-09-06 Death: 1839-12-04
come and spend a week with us, which she intends doing when
her cloak arrives from New York. Leitch
Birth: 1811-06-11 Death: 1855-02-28
and Catherine
Birth: 1814-07-27 Death: 1862-10-03
mence housekeeping next week. I wonder if Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
not consider it a becoming proof of indifference to his “ladie love”
to avoid the house while she is here as he did Mr Beach
Birth: 1785 Death: 1839-08-08Certainty: Probable
on a similar occasion.
Sarah Scott
Birth: 1811 Death: 1837Certainty: Probable
and her husband
were here a all day
on Wednesday and yesterday Rouse was here alone all the
afternoon, intoxicated. Poor Sarah, this serves in a measure
to unravel the mystery. They have given up going to Rochester.
Peter has persuaded
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
Rouse that it is better for him to stay
here. Sarah cannot live with her sister and Rouse is now
endeavouring to rent a house which Sarah is to pay for and
when her money is all expended I do not know what is
to become of her. I know she is unworthy much commiseration
but with all her faults she was very kind to the children
and very attentive in sickness, she is attached to us all and we
cannot avoid feeling interested in her welfare. She imputes
Rouse’s misdoings entirely to Peter, as Palmer
Birth: 1811-05-24 Death: 1876
says he was always
steady and temperate while with him, this I think doubtful,
but I must say that Peter appears to be particularly under
the guidance of the Evil one at this time.
Page 3

In consideration of our being alone last night (acting upon Grandma’s
principle), I sent for four dozen oysters, partly because I was sorry
for Peter Miller
Birth: 1802-11-26 Death: 1851-09-17
and partly because I love oysters the latter reason
of course preponderating, of these I ate just enough to make
me sick four hours which Tracy would say was acting very
much like a “goosse” and now that the oysters are fairly disposed of it
appears very much in the same light to me. After tea Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05

and I went to the shoe shop the milliners and Fitch
Birth: 1799-01-06 Death: 1883-01-30
’s store
where Clary said: I went to see Vanderveir
but I was under
an impression that I was in pursuit of some lace. Be that
as it may Vanderveir came home with us. Lockhart
Birth: 1806-02-13 Death: 1857-09-07
was bedecked
to go to a soiree musicale at Mr Abbotts
. But you do not
know any thing about the Abbotts or the Soiree’s. The Abbotts
are an English family recently from New York, they live in the
brick house next Cherry
Birth: 1811 Death: 1864
’s on South Street, there are three young
xthree young
xthree young


said to be very agreeable, of this I cannot judge
not having called, or met them out. The Wallaces
x Birth: 1775-02-01  Death: 1849-02-20  Birth: 1782-12-29  Death: 1866-07-06 
the Sherburnes


and Abbotts have the soiree at their houses
alternately once or twice every week. The amusements are confined
to musick [ or danc ]


Reason: wax-seal
ing, furthermore I cannot inform you.
I was grieved in spirit yesterday by discovering that Mrs Hamm
letters had been neglected, but seriously I am sorry you did not
take them if you had burned them on your arrival as I suppose
you would have done. It is a matter of great importance to
her and I shall not dare see her again, by the way I
am going to enclose them in a blank sheet and sent them to
Beardsley to send to you by the first opportunity so I warn
you not to be disappointed when you receive a packet in
my hand. This is taking some trouble to compromise with my
conscience but I cannot say they have gone when they have
not as Clary advises. By this time you are in Albany and
have seen all your good friends, to night you will write me
a letter which I shall receive on Monday in the mean time
I hope the sun will give us the light of his countenance occasionally
that the East wind will not prevail and that I shall not
be very homesick more than half the time. Friday evening.
Since I commenced this letter I have concluded to go to Aurora
tomorrow. I take Augustus with me, think I shall come home
on Monday, all well, your own Frances.
Page 4

William H. Seward
Congress Hall, Albany.
Auburn Nov 23


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F.A. Seward
Nov. 22, 1833