Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, Decemer 23, 1837

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 23, 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 Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 23, 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: keh 

revision: crb 2015-10-21


Page 1

Auburn Dec 23d
My dearest Sister, Another Saturday has come round
and still I am not any nearer Canandaigua. We have
no sleighing to speak of yet. My last letter from Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

written last Sunday seems to intimate
Inmost; inward • Near; close • Close in friendship or acquaintance • One to whom the thoughts of another are shared without reserve • To share together • To hint; to suggest obscurely; to give slight notice of •
that he will be
at home before the 1st of January[ . ]


In that case I could
not make my visit and return with him if we
had snow – if I do not hear again in two or three
days I shall think he is on his way home. I am
concerned to hear that you have been sick again – do
you think you took cold. I hope you did not exert
yourself to see the company that came to your house that
evening. Your description of Mrs Tayler's
was amusing enough. I imagine that she is not "thorough-
ly educated" as the French say. I have frequently noticed
the vulgarism you mention, in others, but I believe
not in any instance when the lady had the rep-
utation of a "blue". Debby Wood


called here Thursday
and related more gossip than I have heard before in a month
chiefly about Mrs Dennis
Birth: 1812 Death: 1861-05-21
& Thomas
who have permitted
an own cousin
to both of their husbands
Unknown Birth: 1806  Death: 1866-05-31 
to be carried
to the poor house. Perhaps you may have heard of Hope
Dennis – she is a poor orphan – her father was brother
to old Mr Dennis
Birth: 1775-01-02 Death: 1834-05-06
and her mother a sister of Mr or
Mrs Thomas – she did housework in both families
until her health became too feeble, she then came to Auburn
Auburn November th8
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
to get plain sewing – here she
has been employed by Debby and Jane
Birth: 1810 Death: 1877-01-07
and ^has^ been occasionally
at Dennis and Thomas' on sufferance. The wives
Page 2

were both much enraged with her for coming here to "disgrace"
them and would not give her their work, beside preventeding
other persons employing her when in their power. She
was finally attacked with scarlet fever at George Woods
Birth: 1805-10-07 Death: 1844-02
[ . ]



Debby having just parted with one of her maids and
fearing her little girls might take the disease after
a while had her conveyed to the house of Eizabeth
Birth: 1811-02-27 Death: 1904-03-13
sister who has been recently married – here
she remained supported partely by the charity of
individuals and [ party ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: partly
by the town until this time[ . ]



Yesterday the overseers of the poor were to take her
to the poor house by direction of Dennis and Thomas
who said she would be well enough after she had
been there a few days. Such is the story of poor Hope's
wrongs as related by Debby. I have heard much the
same before. I saw Hope once at Jane Perry's and
was struck with her gentle manners and exceeding
neatness – she had on a plain Quaker cap such as
Aunt Ruth
used to wear though she did not appear
to be over 20. All who have employed her speak of
her as neat quiet and industrious while her cousins
represent her as exactly the reverse. Debby had
just been to see her – says she is hardly able to walk
across the room but seemed quite resigned to the
gloomy prospect before her – the poor creature was
never in an alms house and has no idea of its
horrors. Of course this story like all other has
two sides – but I can scarcely imagine any state
of affairs that would quite justify those who
are represented as the persecutors. The "disgrace"
of having a poor relative make an honest living by
Page 3

her needle I think would generally be esteemed slight
in comparison with that which ought to follow a course
of conduct so inhuman towards an unprotected
orphan. I believe I must leave my letter
here to go out and buy some Christmas books &c.
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
intends to hang up his stocking tomorrow night.
Thursday we succeeded in getting a coloured girl who
is very smart and goodnatured but not particulary
neat – she being partly engaged to Capt Gardner
Birth: 1800-05-08 Death: 1873-06-04
the time she came could not engage for more than
a week in the mean time we engaged a white
girl who is living at Capt Chase's
Birth: 1785-04-07 Death: 1853-01-01
and now have
just ascertained that Mary
(the coloured girl could
and would stay with us all winter. I very much
regret this dilemma but if Mary Blood comes shall
be obliged to take her and dismiss the other as I
have posed given ^given^ my word so to do. Mrs Dean
is coming
tonight to make candy for the boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
. Tell Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24

the boys were very sorry they were not at the birth-
day party – they have their mouths all ready
for the cake when we come out. I hope it will not
have time to get musty. Sarah Andrews
is here making
me a calico
Plain white cloth made from cotton, but which receives distinctive names based on quality and use • Printed cotton cloth •
frock to wear on the occasion.
Ezra Schooley
Birth: 1806-05-23 Death: 1850-05-23
and Harvey Miller
were here yesterday
they made many enquiries about you. Harvey is a very well
informed young man – excessively fond of books – he returns
to Michigan in the Spring. Now for St Nicholas' duty
so good bye. your own Sister. Frances.
Page 4

Mrs Alvah Worden
Canandaigua –
DEC 23


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Lazette Worden

Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
Dec 23