Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, October 7, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, October 7, 1837



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Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from William Henry Seward to Benjamin Jennings Seward, October 7, 1837

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: Westfield, NY

transcription: mah 

revision: ekk 2015-11-24

Page 1

Auburn October 7th. 1837.
My dear Jennings,
I have the pleasure of writing to you once more from my own
cherished home. I arrived last evening and found my family and all my friends
in the enjoyment of entire health. I regret that the letters I find here from
you are so destitute of information concerning Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
’s health which
is a subject of much solicitude with us here.
I think I mentioned to you in a former letter that I made a brief visit
at Florida. I have not heard from there since. George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
met me at
New York and came up the river with me to NewBurgh, where he
went to Florida to convey his little family to their home in New
. He appears to be enjoying entire health, and greater content-
ment than heretofore. He will not (cannot) leave New Jersey this
Autumn but will consider the subject in season for a Spring move-
ment. I think however he will become satisfied to remain where
he is. Our Orange County friends are all well so far as I acqui-
red any knowledge concerning them. I found here a letter from
Dr Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26 Death: 1865-01-05
in which he mentions that Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
has been recently
confined, that her illness after a short season became very alarm-
ing but that she is convalescent, and as he thinks out of danger.
The letter bears so old a date that we may dismiss apprehension.
She has a daughter named Mary
Birth: 1837-09-15 Death: 1839-03-10
in honor of our dear mother
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
of the memory of Dr C’s mother
Birth: 1778-09-18 Death: 1850-04-27
of the same name.
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
health is greatly improved, she is confined as usual in
her school.
The arrangement of the business I had in charge at the
East is in this wise. I have a written agreement with the
Bank of the United States of Penn. that they will receive from
me for sale in Europe

the certificates As of the American Life
Insurance and Trust Company for $650,000 the aggregate of all
the debts owed by the Chautauqua estate. That they will sell them
Page 2

in Europe and will account to me for the amount less expenses
and at the fair exchange in this country. The funds to be applied
in discharge of the debts on which occasion the Holland Co.
will convey to me that I may mortgage
The charging of property by a debtor to a creditor as security for a debt, on the condition that it shall be returned on the payment of the debt within a certain period • Convey property to a creditor as security on a loan •
to the Am Trust
Co. And in the meantime the Bank of the U.S. will advance
to me the $60,000 required to pay off our debt due this fall. Thus
it was settled at Philade. But on my return to New York
the Am. Trust Co. de for reasons good desired to modify the ar-
rangement touching this issue of their certificates, and it was mod-
ified so that the Am Trust Co. issue now their certificates for
the $650,000-$60,000 of which are placed with the BK of the U.S.
to be sold, for the residue of the great sum the certificates are to
be sold by the Trust Co. or on their account, and they pay me the
cash in New York at par. I to assign bonds and mortgages as
fast as the money is received. This modification being made
much more advantageous to us because it saves me from
all loss on the Exchange. I assented to it, taking the stipulation of the
Am. T. Co. that if the BK of the U.S. should by reason of the departure from
the first agreement decline to make the advance they the Trust Co.
would make it that is of the $60,000. The certificates to that amount
have been issued and placed with the BK, and thus the business
is successfully and satisfactorily closed.
I am gratified to hear that the business of the office proceeds so
well, and especially that you are bringing up the business in
arrear, by reviewing contracts, as that is the great source of
I have bestowed my best consideration upon the embarrass-
ments, so fully stated in your letters, concerning the circulating medium in
which we have to deal. It is indeed full of difficulty. But it is certain that we
cannot bear all the loss of depreciated paper and that it is better to take smaller
payments in good paper than full ones in a depreciated medium. It is fortu-
nate that the arrangements I have made below will enable us to
Page 3

adopt more liberal terms. The course which under all circumstances
it seems to me best to adopt will be found with a sufficient expla-
nation of it and defence of it in the inclosed* sheet which you will
please publish in all the newspapers.
It will not now be necessary to make out the statement for
which I wrote you, until I go Eastward to Chautauqua and I
am happy in this busy season to relieve you from it. You may
postpone it for the present.
I am very anxious to be with you, but I cannot leave here
just now. I am to wait firstly for letters from New York, my
private concerns will detain me here a short time, and
I am moreoover to attend a Convention at Elmira of the friends
of the New York & Erie railroad on the 17th instant. If possible I
wish to remain here until the first week in November and then
to join you and remain in Chautauqua until after the New Year
business. But it is by no means certain I shall adopt that course
as it must depend upon your letters.
I think you should remit
To exhibit or present strong reasons against an act, measure of any course of proceedings • To suggest urgent reasons in opposition to a measure • To show by a strong representation of reasons •
to Van Hall
Birth: 1799-12-23
the funds on han[ d ]


Reason: wax-seal

including Lumbermans Bank with the indorsement of Lowry
Birth: 1805-10-22 Death: 1852-02-23
[ & ]


Reason: wax-seal

Birth: 1792-12-15 Death: 1868-08-24
, and make remittances as large as possible. I of course
mean only the drafts you have already received.
You will have to provide for such checks not exceeding
$700, or $800 as I may make here.
Say to Mr. Morse
Birth: 1810 Death: 1881
that I have received his letter, and say to
others that I am on my way to Chautauqua.
The Education addresses are with me and will be sent
in advance of my own coming as soon as I find an oppor-
tunity. I send you one.
You will please write (until you re-
ceive other advice from me) as often as convenient or necessary.
Affectionately your brother
*I will send this tomorrow.
Page 4

Benjamin J. Seward Esq.
Chautauqua Land Office
Chautauqua Co.
Auburn N.Y.
Oct 6


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Benjamin Seward

Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24Certainty: Probable
October 7. 1837