Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 4, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 4, 1837



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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, March 4, 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: keh 

revision: ekk 2015-03-04

Page 1

Saturday afternoon March 4th
My dearest Henry, I hope you have not been alarmed
about our dear little boy. I sent a letter by Henry
 Death: 1850-08-12Certainty: Probable
which I suppose did not reach you quite as
soon as if it had gone by mail. Freddy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
was more
sick Wednesday night and still more Thursday
so that yesterday morning I sent for Dr Pitney
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
administered an emetic
Inducing to vomit • A medicine that provokes vomiting •
and some calomel
A preparation of mercury, much used in medicine •
at the
same time the operation of which with the purgativs
taken previously so prostrated him that for an
hour or two we were considerably alarmed - he lay
with his eyes partly closd seemingly unconscious
of what was passing around him - after two or
three ineffectual attempts to rouse him I sent for
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
and the Dr - his pulse were very irregular
and exceedingly rapid. The Dr - was absent and
did not come in until towards evening when
Freddy had revived so much as to be able to sit up.
He said it was not uncommon for children to be thus
affected by the operation of an emetic - my fears
subsided when he could be roused to speak and
notice those about him - but dear Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
(who could
not love our children more were they her own) was
too much frightened to come and look at him for
a long time. Pa was very kind but knew no
better than myself what to do - we dare not give
him stimulus without the advice of the Dr but he
got along without any thing except a little gruel.
You can hardly imagine dear Henry how much at
such times I feel the want of your advice
and support - but perhaps it is better for me to [ be ]



made to seek support elsewhere. Freddy rested
tolerably last night - had less fever and coughed less
than heretofore. Mrs Benedict
is still with me —
Page 2

Sunday morning - Freddy does not seem quite so well
to day - his cough is less but he had some fever
last night. Adeline
and Gurnie
came to make
their annual visit yesterday afternoon. Mrs
Benedict went home - her mother
sent for her. I expect
again tomorrow. I received your Sunday
letter Friday morning. I could not avoid laughing
at your personification of the good vicar of Wakefield
but are you sure it was quite right at any time
to give your countenance to a man of Ire White
notoriously licentious character.
I received a letter from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
Saturday she says
that Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
has had a letter from you which he said
was on business - she had not seen it. I suppose this
was your letter of invitation. I hear nothing from
Harriet Weed
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
- or Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
books came
Saturday - his Geography
Author: Samuel G. Goodrich Publisher: American Stationers Company Place of Publication:Boston Date: 1837
and the "Tales of a Grandfather
Author: Walter Scott Publisher: William Burgess, Jr. Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1828
"LIT --
are missing - he says he lent the latter to Mr Grosvenor
Birth: 1800-03-13 Death: 1849-06-25Certainty: Probable
- was the Geography forgotten. I suppose Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24

has made his visit and left you before this time
Peter seems quite exasperated with what he has been
told was his attempts to war against the catholic
religion - he says it will be a great injury to you
and that the next time you are a candidate for
any office it will be the cause of your defeat.
This is about as sound reasoning as is made use
of by half the voters of this enlightened republick &
it is the favour of such men that politicians are
obliged to conciliate - it is a marvel to me that so
many noble minded men can submit to the degradation
of being elevated on such terms - that so many honest
men can give encouragment to the subterfuges and
and shifts which are invariably used on such occasions
Mat Vanburen
Birth: 1782-12-05 Death: 1862-07-24
is just the man for such purposes and I
no longer wonder that he has attained the eminence he
Page 3

has - it is more surprising that posessing so many of the
requisites for a successful politician he has been so long
in reaching the uppermost round of the ladder.
I have not yet seen either Gaston
or Osborne
Birth: 1791
Peter will not tell them to come here. Peter is
keeping lent - he abstains from meat one or two days
in the week and keeps intoxicated the whole
time - is getting quite as careless and impudent
as he was a year or two ago. I will try
this week to get Augustus to look up Osborne.
Clary has just returned from Church. Old Mr
Mc Donald
Birth: 1759-09-19 Death: 1837-03-01
was buried here to day - he died
last Wednesday. Catherine
Birth: 1800 Death: 1874-01
was among the
mourners. Clary says she looks as though she
would soon follow her father - she has had
an inflammation of the lungs three times this
winter. I wish very much to write to your
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
and Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
- my eyes are a little
better. I have not kept the school since Freddy
has been sick. Mrs Dean
has not been
here yet - she left Mrs Hills
Birth: 1796 Death: 1863-04-22
Friday and
went immediately to Mrs Beardsley
Birth: 1815-03-06 Death: 1854-07-16
who has
a daughter. I cannot but think Mrs Hills
behaved very ill in not permitting Mrs Dean to come
here - she loved Nealy
Birth: 1836-08-25 Death: 1837-01-14
dearly and I wished very
much to see her - but it is no matter now.
I will not allow any resentful feeling to to be
mingled with the remembrance of my loved and
lost treasure. I will not close this letter until
tomorrow morning. Monday morning. Freddy played
about house all the afternoon yesterday - was feverish and
Page 4

restless through the night - this morning was so languid
that I sent again for Pitney - he has had a slight
diarrhoea but as it was attended with little pain I did
nothing to check it. The Dr says he has a slow fever this
morning - has had more through the night and advises that
we check the diarrhoea immediately. I am now giving
him black drop for that purpose - he is very feeble this morning
cannot sit up at all and has not inclination to take food
a constant thirst for cold water which the Dr says he must
not be permitted to drink. I suppose there is no cause for alarm
but the melancholy
Depressed in spirits; dejected; gloomy; dismal • Producing great evil and grief; causing dejection; calamitous; afflictive • Grave looking; somber •
experience of the last few months makes
me sick with apprehension. I will write again tomorrow
morning and hope to be able to give you a more favourable
account. I do not wish you to feel as I do - your own Frances
William H. Seward
Chautauque County


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Mch 6 1837