Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 2, 1834

  • Posted on: 25 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 2, 1834



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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, March 2, 1834

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: Aurora, NY

transcription: crb 

revision: obm 2017-03-03


Page 1

Sunday Feb March 2nd
My Dearest Sister, When I came home from Troy last Satur-
day I intended to have commenced this letter immediately
while my visit was fresh in my recollection but like
a thousand other good resolutions which I form it
was unaccomplished. I went as I intended with Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

and Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
who were to dine at the Troy house with
Birth: 1800-05-08 Death: 1851-12-06Certainty: Probable
- it was the 22d. We had heard so many alarming
reports about the ice that I was afraid we should be obliged
to go around by the way of Waterford which would
have doubled the distance, but when we came to the
river we found it free from ice and the horse boats
running as usual. Dick


and Charley


did not much
like the appearance of a horse boat but an encouraging
word from Mr Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
and a little urging by George

induced them to go on board and behave very quietly
It was nearly one when we got to Troy - we left
Uncle Cary at the Troy house where I saw Cushman
and John Carol
, and then drove to Mrs Boardmans
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02
As we rode up State Street I saw Aunt Jenkins
Birth: 1792
cap by
the side of the grate and told Henry I was quite sure
that I should find some one at home. Mary Ann
Birth: 1805 Death: 1851Certainty: Probable

met us at the door. We found Mr Boardman Columbus
Birth: 1806-03-19 Death: 1838-06-16

and his wife in the front room. Mrs Boardman was
as usual quilting - a beautiful white cambrick quilt
to be presented to Augustus
Birth: 1808-01-09 Death: 1880-06-15
Birth: 1810-02-23 Death: 1874-08-19
. I had hardly got into
the house before they commenced asking me questions
about you - they did not know that I was in Albany.
Aunt Jenkins too talked a great deal about you and Frances
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
Frances appeared to be quite a favorite with them all.
You have seen Columbus wife so I need not describe
her looks. I cannot say I was much pleased with
her manners - but Mrs Boardman says she is very
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •
and I should think and they were all pleased
with the connexion. Columbus is of course very fond
Page 2

of her calls her "Miss Gaylord' and upon the whole they both conduct
about as silly as people usually do when they are first married
Maryann was sick and fatigued with watching - she lay upon
the sofa with a tippet on and looked very languishing . She
has been nursing and waiting watching a friend of hers
who has died recently - the wife of Columbus partner
I cannot recollect the name, you probably know it. Rupert

says that Maryann is to be the successor of her friend - this
I heard at Warrens
of course nothing was said of it in the
family. Henry came while we were eating dinner to accompany
me to Warrens. Saw Mary
and Martha
they urged me
very much to spend the afternoon there but I declined
and came away with the promise of coming soon again.
Mary was altogether more agreeable than I ever saw her
before and Martha I always like. I returned to Mrs
Boardmans and as it was three oclock Henry went to his
dinner. I spent the remainder of the afternoon quilting
and talking fast with Mrs Boardman you were of course
our principal subject - she very much regretted that
she had not made you promise to write to her and said
I must make you do so when I went home - so you
may as well prepare yourself with pen ink and paper as
I do not like to fail when I undertake to exert my
authority. Mr Cary and Henry came while we were at
tea. Martha Bowers
Birth: 1805 Death: 1851
called to say good bye and we
came off in something of a hurry as we were desirous
of crossing the river before dark. We got home before
seven and in time to hear and see Mr Mossic
improvisature (I call him) - You have probably seen his advertisements
he imitates the oratory of the most celebrated publick speakers
in America - he gave us imitations of Webster
Birth: 1782-01-18 Death: 1852-10-24
Birth: 1777-04-12 Death: 1852-06-29
Birth: 1782-03-18 Death: 1850-03-31

Birth: 1791-11-10 Death: 1839-09-24
Birth: 1790-08-10 Death: 1851-03-11
Birth: 1773-06-02 Death: 1833-06-24
Birth: 1810-02-10 Death: 1866-10-13
and others - he then said
he would speak upon any subject which should be selected
by one of the audience - a hat was sent round and a
number of slip of paper were put in - from there he drew
one at Ran random - the subject was the present state of
English literature - he spoke on this subject about 15 minutes
without any preparration - said some very pretty things and
some things very much to the purpose. I was very much
Page 3

gratified. Of course I could not judge of the imitations having never
heard any of the prototypes but they are said to be good by
those who have. Sunday was that rainy Sunday on which
you wrote your last letter. I was disappointed that I could
not go out. Henry went to Mr Welch's
Birth: 1794 Death: 1870
church with Mr Ward
Birth: 1795-11-17 Death: 1873-12-08
New York - said they would return here to dine - so I dressed
myself which I had not intended doing - but they came not -
about an hour after dinner they came accompanied by Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13

with whom they had dined. Mr Ward appears to be a kind hearted
old Bachelor - is very rich and about as tall as Bronson.
We engaged to go with him to Saratoga the first fine days,
on the rail road. Rathbone made the usual number of enquiries
about you and said he wished you was here that he might
take you to New York as he was going down when the river opened.
Monday morning Mrs Hunt
Birth: 1804 Death: 1875-02-20
, John Birdsall's
Birth: 1802 Death: 1839-07-22
sister called and I went
with her to the druggists to get various kinds of medicine for John
to take with him. She said that he was determined to go in the
first boat - then we went to the jewellers to get a ring for John to
carry to one of his sisters
. I went home with her - found John
in fine spirits a boat having arrived from New York that mor-
ning - he was so anxious to get away from Albany that he
wanted to leave in the first boat. I have not told you that he
was going to an Uncle's in Columbia County about 15 miles from
Hudson. I told him he certainly must not go in the first boat
as it would be damp and crowded - he promised that he would
not and I engaged to come over and spend the afternoon there
the next day. That evening we attended a dull party at
Mrs Bronsons
Birth: 1799 Death: 1867-02
and the next day I was sick all day. Henry
came into the bedroom in the evening and said he must go and
see John as he was going in the morning. I could hardly believe
it but he did actually go in the first boat - it went on
Wednesday - Henry went down to see him off and said he looked
very feeble. I certainly thought it would kill him but we
have heard of him since at Hudson - he was comfortable and preparing
to go on immediately to his uncles. Thursday Mrs Cary and I called
at Mrs Bronsons Mrs Websters
Birth: 1797-09-28 Death: 1882-02-26
and Mrs Lockwoods
- found Aunty Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876

just recovering from a siege of the toothache - that night I was
made glad by the arrival of your letter. You ask me if I am not impatient
to return home again. I was never more so - the winter has seemed in-
tolerably long and went were it not that there is no prospect of my
resolution being put to the test I should say I would never spend another
winter here. Henry thinks the Legislature will adjourn el earlier than
it did last spring by some weeks should that be the case we
will be coming home about the first of April. I intended to have
gone this week to New York to spend a few days at Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
but Henry
received a letter from Jennings last night written from N. Haven
Page 4

he did not say when he would be at home. I think our visit will be deferred
until the week after. We shall not go to Florida. I am glad you have a
prospect of forming some agreeable acquaintances with the Posts
x Birth: 1812  Death:  Certainty: Probable Birth: 1803  Death:  Certainty: Probable
has gone to New York so I have had no opportunity of delivering your message
I did not dance the 22 as you will perceive from my account of that days
proceedings - it was not fashionable to go to the said ball - so said
the Mancius
Birth: 1787 Death: 1834-08-27
. I was invited to Mancius on Friday to spend
the day and regretted that I was previously engaged to attend
the sewing society at Mrs Delevans
 Death: 1848
. Mr Cary and I made
some calls in the morning and went accompanied by Mrs Tracy
and Mrs Lockwood to the society at 4— I came home sick with the
headache as usual. I have been well but few days this winter - have more and
more of the dispepsia though I am very careful about my diet. Last evening
Henry and I went down to Weed's
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
- he was not at home - but on his account
we stayed an hour with his wife
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
. I must do her the justice to say that
she was uncommonly agreeable. Henry Mr and Mrs Cary and Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
send love
a kiss for you. Your own sis Frances.
Ms Alvah Worden
Cayuga County


Type: postmark

[bottom Margin] And what is Hope?
A cobweb, hiding disappointment’s thorn
Which stings more keenly through the thin disguise

Editorial Note

from “What is Life?”
Author: John Clare Publisher: Taylor and Hessey Place of Publication:London Date: 1820
by John Clare

this poetry was written upon
the sheet – I did not discover it
– until I had written a page
of my letter – so there is no
catch in it –

[right Margin] The little boys
x Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25 
are both well. Fred had made me sing
Hymns to him all day. Augustus has learned 2 commandments.