Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, January 1, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, 1 January 1837



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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, 1 January 1837

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: Westfield, NY

transcription: alc 

revision: ekk 2015-06-02

Page 1
Auburn Jan 1st 1837
My Dearest Henry, As this is the season of congratu-
lation I wish you a ‘Happy Newyear.” I am happy
to inform you that I am in a much happier frame
of mind than when I last wrote. I received a
letter from Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
Friday saying they arrived at
Canandaigua comfortably without suffering from cold
and that Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
was no worse, this was all
that I could expect. I hope she will write herself
in a few days. Yesterday morning George Humphrey
Birth: 1814-03-15 Death: 1885-06-09

made his appearance with your Christmas letter
which was just one week on the road. George made
me a long call notwithstanding Miss Cornelia
Birth: 1836-08-25 Death: 1837-01-14
had not
yet donned her night cap and the nursery was
the only comfortable place in which I could
receive company. He seems pleased with Westfield
says Auburn does not look like home now his
family are gone, he had not yet been to see his
Birth: 1785-10-16 Death: 1866-05-19
. I forgot to mention that the ostensible purpose
of the Dr
Birth: 1785-05-17 Death: 1848-03-09
’s last visit was to make enquiry concerning
George whom he was about summoning home by
letter, his presence being necessary as a witness
in the Cadwell
case. Your letter almost made
me regret that you were not a teacher of the
religion which you can so well appreciate, it is
indeed a beautiful system and the more it is studied
the more admirable it appears. It requires as Hannah
Author: William Roberts Publisher: Harper & Brothers Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1834
says a wonderful share of credulity to believe
it to be the production of a human understanding
I sent the last Knickerbocker to Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
to forward
to you I read but few of the articles. I marked with
a little cross some that pleased me. I never half
enjoy any thing that I read alone. There has another
Museum arrived which I will send in a few days[ . ]



Page 2

I am glad you wrote to Harriet Weed
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
. I cannot
account for her silence I have received no answer
to the long letter I sent her a week after you left home
Were it not that Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
writes to you occasionally
I should think some of the family were ill.
Poor Julia Leonard
 Death: 1836-12-30
is to be buried to day, her
death notwithstanding a protracted illness was wholly
unexpected. A week ago Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
met Saturlee
he then
said Julia was much more comfortable and her
physicians thought she would ultimately recover.
This was the last we heard until yesterday Mrs
George Wood


called early in the morning to borrow
mourning for the funeral. They discovered that
she was failing about half an hour before her death
but before her friends could be collected together
she was no more. She died very easily and was
perfectly sensible and composed to the last. She told
them they had all been deceived about her situation,
bade her children adieu, expressed surprise that she
suffered so little while dying, and closed her eyes as
if in a quiet sleep. She has left three little girls
all too young to be sensible of the irreparable loss
they have sustained. Mr Lucas
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
and Dr Porter
sent for but both arrived too late. She died Friday
Saturday afternoon, was buried to day at 2 oclock
Clara called yesterday but as is too customary
in such cases the house of mourning was converted
into a milliners shop, all was hurry and
confusion. Debby figures largely, her poor little
 Death: 1834-12-01
is left to the tender mercies of an Irish nurse

while she is careering about the town enjoying her
transitory importance. Mrs Porter
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29Certainty: Probable
is very
low with a return of the abscess in her side,
her situation is very critical. Mrs Cheadell
Birth: 1807-10-03 Death: 1874-03-11Certainty: Probable
x Birth: 1833  Death: 1872-04-05 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1835-09-13  Death: 1872-07-07 Certainty: Probable Birth:   Death: 1840-01-06 Certainty: Probable
have the scarlet fever. There has been
an alarm of smallpox in the village, the supposed case
Page 3

is one of the members of the family which occupies
our old office. I have not heard much about it
the last two days. I thought of sending for the
Dr to vaccinate Cornelia but Clara seemed to think
it unnecessary and did not like to have the little creature
made sick. I think both the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
were vaccinated
before they were nine months old. Mrs Maria Miller

Miss Talcott Mrs Isaack Miller
and Miss Tripp
us Thursday. Miss Talcott is rather pretty and about
as sensible as girls of her age usually are. She
remains with Maria until the latter part of this week
Maria is beginning to enjoy the world considerably,
has dispensed with crape collars &c, is engaged in
embroidering a linen cambrick pocket handkerchief, which
the most fashionable manner of holding it has been
the subject of one or two grave discussions. The
more I see of the world the less I feel astonished that
all women are considered frivolous by the more
uncharitable of the other sex. There are so many of
them who devote all their time and talents to the single
pursuit of fashionable dress.
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
says Judge Conkling
Birth: 1789-10-12 Death: 1874-02-05
has determined to go to Clinton,
he wishes to leave his two younger daughters here, at school
and intends boarding with the remainder of his family.
I will call there the fist pleasant day.
I read so much yesterday of the fine print in Peter Parley’s
Almanac for 1837
Author: Samuel G. Goodrich Publisher: Freeman Hunt & Co. Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1837
, to gratify my little boy, that my eyes
are more painful than usual. Tell Gussy
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
that Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25

wished them all a “happy New Year” this morning, he
thinks of receiving company tomorrow, has a little wineglass
and a small bottle of wine for the occasion, he is
impatient to receive a letter in answer to his. I hardly
dare promise myself that you will return in a fortnight[ . ]



My love to my dear boy, your own Frances.
Page 4

Tuesday morning. My letter did not get to the office
yesterday. Peter was sick, and we were all hurried with
Newyears visits. I hope you will not freeze where you
are, the thermometer here is 14 deg. below zero, it is dreadfully
cold but I get along without the close stove yet, no
more news from Lazette, your own Frances.
18 3/
Jan. 4,


Type: postmark

William H. Seward
Chautaque County
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F. A Seward
Jan 1, 1837