Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, October 21, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, October 21, 1837



student editor


Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, October 21, 1837

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Canandaigua, NY

transcription: kac 

revision: crb 2015-10-20

Page 1

Saturday Morning
My dearest Sister, I have thrown down my broom
this busy morning that I might at least commence
my letter to you before my head began to ache. I
wrote such a hurried unsatisfactory letter last Saturday
that I ought to make some amends. The Ruggles
Unknown Birth: 1783-06  Death: 1837-12-19 

come in the midst of it and Uncle Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
, and George
Birth: 1798-07-26 Death: 1860-10-21
and Scaummerhorn
Birth: 1791-12-11 Death: 1855-08-22
were over at the American
expected hourly. Mr. & Mrs. Ruggles & Miss Bostwick
cousin) took tea with us and spent the evening
Uncle Cary only called and Lay and Scaummerhorn
did not come at all. I never sat up an eve-
ning in my life when I was more sick. I thought
nine oclock would never come. Mr. Ruggles
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
thought very much like Mr. Enos Throop
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01

not so well looking Miss Bostwick was well informed
but a strange looking singular acting "creature" as
Birth: 1785-04-24 Death: 1870-04-17
said. I was too sick to criticise had they
been the most agreeable people in the world I should
have been glad that night to have seen them depart.
Ruggles and Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
sat in the North room the whole
evening and discussed railroads. Sunday morning
a sleepless night and a sick headache the previous
evening. Henry and Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
were to set off for Elmira at ten
the Ruggles were at the American expecting me to
accompany them to church and Cary Lay and Scaummerhorn
at the American ready to secure any civility offered
Page 2

Just as we were deciding how best to dispose of the 2 hours
before Henry's departure (it was then 8 oclock) our chimney
took fire and burned three quarters of an hour with
unparalleled violence. Peter and Nicholas
Birth: 1801-12-24 Death: 1893-02-15
were sent up
on top of the house to make discoveries. Henry and
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16
employed themselves in running up and
down stairs giving directions and I met each of the
boys with a pitcher of water (Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
with a large
and Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
with a smaller) hurrying to the scene of action
Pa returned from his morning walk in the mean-
time and exhibited a striking example of the power
of the human voice—Maria tried to keep the
doors shut, and Catherine
employed herself in gathering
together her scanty wardrobe Pa' having entirely destroyed
a nice muslin collar by using it for a holder—
The flames having at length consumed all the loose soon
died away of themselves the scene of noise and confusion
gave place to order and at nine oclock all were suf-
ficiently composed to sit down to the breakfast table
where we found Clara lamenting the loss of the rim
of the blue earthen coffee pot which during the
conflagration had been set upon the stove to keep ^the^
^coffee^ warm. Then succeeded preparations for departure
shorts and rich handkerchiefs, boots, valises, bags, shaving
implements or scattered about in admirable confusion.
Then came Uncle Cary for a morning visit and finally
ten oclock came and Nicholas was missing having
absconded with the horses and wagon in pursuit of
a clean shirt. This was all wrong Nicholas might
just as well have gone shirtless. Peter was dispatched
on foot to New Guinea to bring back the delinquent
Page 3

but owing to Peter's age and infirmities Nicholas passed
him on his return and reached the scene of action
first—then when Peter came hobbling along some
minutes later he was reprimanded for not getting
into the wagon and riding back to save time. Henry
and Mr Cary had in the mean time walked over
to the American to await the return of the wagon.
No one thought of going to church that morning
after dinner Uncle Cary called to say goodbye
he was to leave at 4 in the canal boat (so I could not
send your spoons by him) Sunday_I had written so
far Saturday when Mr Dean came to make a visit
and at 7 oclock I want to bed with a violent
sick headache. This morning I have been to church
it is delightfully warm. I suppose this may be
considered our Indian Summer—it will all be
gone and I am afraid before Henry goes west. I was glad
to learn from Worden's
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
letter that you were tolerably
well since you commenced housekeeping. I have no
letter from you last week but am looking for one
every day. We are all hurried this pleasant weather
with all kinds of work, cleaning house transplanting shrubs
working in the garden gathering apples & besides
this there is a formidable array
Order; disposition in regular lines • Dress; garments disposed in order upon the person • In law, the act of impaneling a jury • To envelop •
of unreturned visits
to be made. I suppose as is generally the case about one
half will be done and the remainder remain undone.
Freddy was quite sick all last week with a bad cold
and strong symptoms of croup. I administered an emitic
and some salts—he kept his bed Monday and Tuesday—
is now able to go down to his meals. Henry and Pa returned
Thursday—Saturday after dinner Henry and I went to the
Page 4

burying ground to see about dear little Nealy's
Birth: 1836-08-25 Death: 1837-01-14
grave—someone has been
recently buried close by her side so as to preclude the possibility
of any other member of our family occupying that place—Henry
thought it best to remove the coffin to some other place but
I cannot consent to this. I feel that she ought to be by Grandma
though the remainder of our family must find some other
resting place. We have finally concluded to put a railing
around the three graves as they are there is still a space
between Grandma and Nealy which we are afraid some one will
appropriate—this was left for Grandma's own child—the slabs
for the graves have come as far as the basin—I hope to have
all these things arranged before Henry leave[ s ]


home again—Kiss
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
for Aunty—your own sister Frances.
Ms. Alvah Worden


Type: postmark