Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, April 15, 1834

  • Posted on: 25 July 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, April 15, 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, April 15, 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: Auburn, NY

transcription: msr 

revision: obm 2017-03-03

Page 1

Albany April 15th
My Dearest Sister, I wrote you last Tuesday from
New York and was then expecting to return the next
day but the weather was so unpleasant that Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25

and Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
me to remain until Friday
evening—The rain did not cease at all until Thursday
afternoon—I improved the earliest opportunity to go
and see Mrs Phillips
Birth: 1767-04-18 Death: 1835-05-20
. Mr Lee
Birth: 1802
lives in Beekman St
in a fine house handsomely furnished. Mrs Phillips and
Birth: 1803 Death: 1899-03-30
both appeared very glad to see me and Mr Lee
likewise gave me a cordial reception-you know I have
never seen him before-he is no way extraordinary
either in looks or abilities-a rich old bachelor
who married Ann because he thought her pretty
and intelligent and one who would grace the head
of his table. I do not think that either of them ever
deceived themselves with the belief that there was
any love in the affair. Ann appears as happy
and is as pretty and as animated as she used to be-
is the mother of three little girls who are kept
in the nursery and not allowed to eat any meat.
Old Mrs Phillips enjoys unusually good health and
were it not for the extreme weakness of her eyes
would have no cause for complaint. They scolded
me for not sending them word the moment I came
in town. Mrs Phillips was so sorry that I had not
gone with her on Sunday to hear her minister
that I might have told Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
all about it.
She gave me an analysis of his last sermon, for Grandma's
benefit of which I do not remember one word not
even the text. Jennings called for me in about an
hour. I could get away without promising to return
to tea. I returned and spent a very pleasant
evening. Mrs Phillips sent abundance of love and
kisses to Grandma and insisted upon my carrying
a large packet of cake to Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
Page 2

Friday was the first day of the delightful weather we are
now enjoying. I took Augustus and went out soon after
breakfast to look for a cap for my Freddy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
. We went
from shop to shop in canal street until I made
the purchase and then coming to Broadway I thought
I would go down to Maiden lane and see if I
could find a worked collar for you-we walked
on and on until Augustus complained of being very
tired and the day became so warm that I found
my cloak uncomfortable-still we did not come
to any of the cross streets which I recognized-
so on we went. I looked at my watch it was
11 oclock and still no prospect of a termination to our
walk—my limbs ached with fatigue still I perseved
knowing there must be an end to the walk at last
finally I thought the shops became less frequent and
the houses were not so compact for the first time it
occurred to me that I might be going the wrong way
I stopped a girl and enquired if I was going to or
from the river—'Bless your soul you are nearly
three miles from the Battery-almost to the house
of refuge'—Here I had been walking nearly two hours
to no purpose and Augustus and myself were both too
much fatigued to think of returning on foot. We had
no recourse but to take an Omnibus- these you know
are a kind of stage running from one end of the
city to the other and anyone can be accommodated
with a ride for a shilling. Augustus said he
knew all about getting the tickets and I told him
to stop the first one he saw going in the same direc-
tion with ourselves we had of course by this time turned
back an and were retracing our steps with all possible
diligence. An Omnibus soon made its appearance
we gave the signal by standing still with our faces
to the street-the driver stopped a little boy who
rides behind took our money and gave us two tickets
I told him we wanted to stop at Maiden lane. The Omnibus
is very easy of access there are steps belong behind reaching
nearly to the ground and people walk in and out even
Page 3

when the vehicle is in motion. I found three or four ladies

and two gentlemen
on the inside-the ride was very refreshing
after our walk and we had a fine opportunity to see all
the gay


Excited with merriment or delight • Having many or showy colors • An ornament •
spring hats and gayer dresses of the ladies
who were promenading Broadway-when we came to
Maiden lane the little boy pulled a string which occasion-
ed the ringing of a small bell near the driver-the
carriage stopped we handed the said boy our tickets
and walked out proceeding on our way rejoicing.
I found the cape collar and gave for it the last bill
I had in my card case-on our return I was stopped
by a boy who enquired if I had not just purchased a
collar in Maiden lane-I answered in the affirmative
expecting that my fate now was to be accused of
pilfering the store-fortunately it was only a bad bill.
I told the boy I had no other so he came along with me
to the depository where I had the good fortune to find
Jennings who soon relieved me from my dilemma.
So much for my adventures alone in New York. All
this would have been infinitely more annoying had I
not been blessed with the company of my dear meek
spirited boy who endeavoured to make all as smooth as
possible. From the Depository we walked home to dinner
then Jennings procured a gig


To fish with a harpoon • Any little thing that is whirled around in play • A light carriage with one pair of wheels, drawn by one horse; a chair • A fiddle • A dart or harpoon • A ship's boat • A wanton girl •
and horse and we rode
around the city and its environs until it was nearly
time for the departure of the steam boat. Marcia
gave us our tea and five oclock having arrived I took
leave of my kind friends. Jennings accompanied me to
the boat-here we found Mr Norton
Birth: 1795-04-28 Death: 1869-06-13
of Albany and
Mr Van Schaack
Birth: 1782-09-02 Death: 1865-12-01
of New York a member of the Senate
both politely offered their services as beaux and Jennings
left me after seeing me so well attended. The day
was delightful, the river as smooth as glass and a sat upon
the deck to enjoy the fine scenery until after sunset.
Upon the whole my visit to at New York was very agreeable and
I came away with more favourable impressions of the city
and its inhabitants than I ever had before. At 5 the next morning
we were in Albany. Mr Van Schaack accompanied me here
I found all well Henry
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
and Freddy were still in bed. I was
the first to communicate the unpleasant intelligence of
Birth: 1786-08-06 Death: 1870-03-18
defeat in the election-having been at New York
during the three eventful days of the election. I
must tell you all about this when we meet. But I
have not yet told you that Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
came home the same
day that I wrote my last letter to you-Mrs Brisbane
 Death: 1889-11-14

and her son
Birth: 1809-08-22 Death: 1890-05-01
accompanied her and have gone on to Batavia
Page 4

to arrange matters for the reception of the Italian bride
Certainty: Probable
remains in New York, not being in a situation to travel.
Saturday morning I slept an hour or two to make up
the time I lost on board the boat-in the afternoon
we rode out to Buels
Birth: 1778-01-04 Death: 1839-10-06
garden-or rather his ho
green house there being no garden to see at this season
there were a great many pretty flowers in bloom
but they were not arranged with neatness or order
and made but very little show. Sunday I went to
church all day in the morning to Mr Campbells
Birth: 1798-03-04 Death: 1864-03-27
in the
afternoon to Mr Kirks
Birth: 1802-08-15 Death: 1874-03-28
-neither of the clergyman
preached and in the afternoon we had a long warm walk
and heard a ranting canting Finneyite sermon. Yesterday
made calls in the morning and walked after tea calling
at Mrs Tracys
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
and Miss Carters
where Sarah
Birth: 1819 Death: 1884-09-30

[right Margin]
is at school-so endeth another week—
your own sister Frances
I have waited until Wednesday night to receive your letter to know
where to direct this. I wish I could tell you when to expect us
do stay in Auburn a while longer. Henry says we must
go home next week but I by no means consider it certain
that we shall. I am afraid his friends will not consent-no
day is fixed for adjournment we think it will be about the
1st of May I hope we shall not stay until that time-I
will write the moment I can believe any thing myself
Love to all at home
Your own sis
Mrs Alvah Worden
Care of Seward & Beardsley