Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 3, 1836

  • Posted on: 3 May 2022
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 3, 1836



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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, July 3, 1836

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: Batavia, NY

transcription: msf 

revision: amr 2021-08-03


Page 1

Auburn July 3 d 1836
My dearest Henry I received a long kind letter
from you yesterday (your 2 d ) which I should have
answered immediately had not Mrs Miller
Birth: 1785-04-24 Death: 1870-04-17

and Harriet Hughes
been our guests for the afternoon
To day the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
must both write and
then they must be dressed for church and then
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and cousin Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
were here and finally
I am exhausted and spiritless and would defer
writing yet another day were not G. Humphreys
Birth: 1814-03-15 Death: 1885-06-09

going tomorrow and I am afraid if I neglect
writing you will think me more seriously in-
disposed than I am — Lazette has been very sick
the last week — a severe billious attack she is
now well enough to walk over here but very feeble
Mrs Chace
Birth: 1791 Death: 1862-10-14
was very kind and attentive — Sheldon

one of the other boarders is quite ill — funerals
have been very numerous the last week – none of
our acquaintances — Maria Miller
Birth: 1792-05-02 Death: 1866-01-14
has so far
exerted her influence over Isaack
Birth: 1791-04-30 Death: 1853-04-03
our President
that he has prohibited the boys from their cus-
tomary diversions on the 4 th — Maria seems quite
elated with her success — Peter tells incredible
stories of the great change at the Exchange buildings
from his account not only the office but all the
stores are deserted all have gone over on the
opposite side — Hulberts
Birth: 1802-12-28 Death: 1865-11-19
office is thronged with clients
and the stone posts have become entirely useless
Page 2

All these woful changes are produced by your departure
I hope you will be fully sensible of your naughtiness
if this does not make you so I can add a list
of my own private grievances which cannot fail
to perfect your contrition — I could tell you
how Jenkins
Birth: 1792
men daubed the freestone, the blinds
the walks and the shrubbery with white wash,
how they have neglected until the present time
the painting of the front door and steps — how
the horse walks into the front yard for p[ r ]


thereby endangering the beauty, even the very existence
of our beautiful rose trees — how the naughty
boys will come and plunder the nests of our
own pretty robins, all these and numberless other
grievances I could relate were it not that I intend
to reserve them as subjects of reproach when
you are not too much engrossed with the H.L.
Company’s troubles to give me a hearing — But
dear one it is Sunday – twilight is approaching
and while I am writing all this nonsense my
heart is heavy and my eyes are blinded with
tears — the recollection of all your kindness and
my own unworthiness oppresses me I feel that I have
so long been unmindful of the blessings showered
upon me that they will be withdrawn just as I
begin to appreciate them — & yet even when I reflect
on the precarious state of my own health — in the moments
of my deepest despondency my fears are more
Page 3

for you than for myself — You do not say a word about
your health — I will hope you are better than when you
are at home — I shall feel that the sacrifice is not made
in vain if the change in your habits benefits you.
A letter came for you the other day from W. Kent
Birth: 1802-10-02 Death: 1861-01-04

he protests that he never dreamed of your observation
being unkindly or even seriously meant and begs you
to consider him “as little thin-skinned as any of your
numerous friends” — He is surprised at your leaving
the profession supposing you were fond of it as he
professes to be — says he shall be at Buffalo some time
in August — speaks very highly of Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
from whom he
had just received a letter — describes Bradish
Birth: 1783-09-15 Death: 1863-08-30
to as
being a little too prim and too much of a Rhetorician
for his taste — (I judged as much from our friend
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13
unbounded admiration of him) — But
adds that “he is far preferable to J. Buel
Birth: 1778-01-04 Death: 1839-10-06
, who, like the
“tenth transmitter of a foolish face,” seems formed to preserve the
succession of the Lewis’s
Birth: 1754-10-16 Death: 1844-04-07
, Tompkinses
Birth: 1807-12-26 Death: 1881-06-04Certainty: Possible
, Pitchers
Birth: 1777-11-30 Death: 1836-05-25
and Throops
x Birth: 1808-11-25  Death: 1883-09-19  Birth: 1793-04-12  Death: 1854-02-23 
” —
There is much more in the letter but as it is not important
I will reserve it until you come home —Not a word from
Florida yet, is it not strange? Your descriptions of the
x Birth: 1787-08-11  Death: 1869-06-20  Birth: 1788  Death: 1863-06-22 
residence is very inviting — Uncles cheerful face
and Aunty’s benevolent smile would render a less
pleasant home desirable to a sojourner — Remember
me to them with affection not forgetting to include Walter
Birth: 1818-12-21 Death: 1880-11-01

I must close my letter in order to superscribe those of the
little boys while it is yet light — Fred has finished his
and has gone out with his pencil, as he says, to take the
old cats
likeness — all send love your own Frances
Page 4

William H. Seward
Batavia —
Jul. 4,


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
July 3. 1836.