Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 21, 1834

  • Posted on: 8 April 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 21, 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 William Henry Seward, December 21, 1834

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: cef 

revision: ekk 2015-08-21

Page 1

Sunday 21st Dec
My Dear Henry, I have been so improvident as to
allow Sunday to come without having a sheet of letter
paper in the house, there is no one at home to send
to the office therefore I am obliged to make use of
this tiny sheet for the commencement of a letter
which I know has been deferred too long already[ . ]



I have been waiting the last two or three days to
hear from you not knowing where my next
letter should be directed, I supposed this intensely
cold weather had frozen the river and thought
it possible you might not go on to New York
the journey by land is so uncomfortable. I
recieved your letter from Newburgh yesterday
by the time this reaches Albany you will
probably have returned there. I have sent but
one letter to New York. I am glad to hear your
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
and mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
are living so comfortably.
Poor Lockey
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
is indeed entitled to all our sympathy
she is "eminently good." I always thought her
one of the best of women and of christians and
now she requires all the consolation religion
can afford her. Last Sunday and Monday
were very cold days but we were very comfortable
notwithstanding, the thermometer which in the
cold fell to 10 deg, rose in Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
's room
to 88, this was altogether too like a furnace
for my lungs but a good fire in the stove
in the hall and another in my room
made the temperature there very agreeable
you may imagine what a difference is produced
by Dr Nott
Birth: 1773-06-25 Death: 1866-01-25
's invention when I tell you
that I have not since you left home been
obliged to add to the covering of my bed more
than one blanket and this but one or two nights[ . ]



Page 2

What a nice little room the bed room will be for
Harriet Weed
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
by keeping the door open constantly
it is as warm as summer. Mrs Porter
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29Certainty: Probable
given me a lesson or two on the management
of the stove and we now get along very well
when Peter does not forget to supply it with
coal. I have been devising a thousand
plans to make home attractive to you and to
make it more convenient for you to be with
me. I have at length decided upon one which
if it meet your approbation I think will
be just right, we will talk it all over
when you come home, but I must try and
keep you as things are this winter as my plan
will not be practicable immediately. I am an-
ticipating so much pleasure in having you read
Hannah Mores letters
Author: William Roberts Publisher: Harper & Brothers Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1834
. You must not think
we all appreciate your kindness the less when
I tell you that Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
had purchased these
books in compliance with Grandma's and my
request before you wrote. You need have no
fears about my reading them before you return
with all the assistance I can get from Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05

I have only been able with my weak eyse
to finish one volume of the last days of Pompeii
Author: Edward Bulwer-Lytton Publisher: R. Bentley Place of Publication:London Date: 1834
[ . ]



With my thirst for reading this is a great privation
but I must not complain, it is a light affliction com-
pared with many others, such things are necessary
sometimes, they make us more sensible of the bounty
of our heavenly father whose blessings are so often
disregareded while in our posession. Poor William

was here the other day he is totally blind, how
much the inconvenience I sometimes experience made
me feel and compassionate his misfortune, he is
very sad but seems resigned and very grateful for
this least kindness, he called the little boys to him
and felt thier faces over wishing to see if if he could
discern any resemblance in Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
to Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
[ . ]



He loved Augustus very much when he lived with us and
Page 3

seems to take a melancholy
Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; stubborn or constant in enmity • Incapable of being relieved or quieted; inextinguishable •
pleasure in recounting a thousand
little incidents which occurred at that time.
While I was waiting for Peter to go to the office for this
sheet of paper I took up the first volume of Hannah More
the four pages I read interested me so much that I
was reluctant to put it down again until the dimness
of my sight reminded me of my improvidence. The
letters I read were from J. Newton
Birth: 1725-08-04 Death: 1807-12-21
and two or three
years ago would have seemed very dull. I hope you
will not part with the copy you have I am so much
pleased with them that I feel a selfish desire to have
a copy entirely my own. We have been without
any help but little Maria
since last Sunday[ . ]



Maria Nivens
left us at that time without giving
us any notice, her sister had obtained a situation
for her at a tavern where she will undoubtedly
be much better contented than she was here. She
complained to little Maria that we would not allow
her to [hole] at the table or come in the room
when ge[ ntleme ]


Reason: wax-seal
n called. Maria was not a girl
we wished [hole] ep but we would have been better
suited to have been left less abruptly. Palmer
Birth: 1811-05-24 Death: 1876
a cousin
who he thinks will come to take her
place but he could not go home until this week
and we shall probably be alone a week longer.
I am thankful that I am so far recovered as to
be able to take care of myself and the little boys
and to assist Clary some about the house though
I cannot boast of much strength yet. Maria has
been very good and done almost as much work as a large
girl. Freddy complains occasionally of his hand
and never eats without complaining of a pain in his
stomach otherwise he appears well. The rest of the family
are in good health. Clary and Augustus have just
returned from Church. Clary was much satisfied
because Dr Rudd
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
preached. Muir
Birth: 1790 Death: 1868-02-17Certainty: Probable
left the Church.
Grandma says do give my best love to Henry and
tell him we all want him at home very much.
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
says in her last letter tell Henry I love him very
much and would write to him if I could communicate
any thing interesting and I say I am as ever your own Frances.
Page 4

dont think me negligent about writing dearest, I will not let
a whole week intervene again between my letters.
William H. Seward
Dec 22 NY


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F. A Seward
Dec 18 1834

Editorial Note

FMS says she wrote this letter on Sunday, December 21, which would have been one week since her last letter, as she says; the date on the postmark is smudged and it is possible the WHS read "18" for "22."