Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 2, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 2, 1838



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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, July 2, 1838

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: New York, NY

transcription: mep 

revision: ekk 2015-06-10

Page 1

Auburn July 2d. 1838
My dearest Henry,
I received your second letter Friday
evening. We went to Camillus that day–Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
myself–it was a charming day for a drive and the
roads after we passed Brutus were very good. Judge
Birth: 1767-10-22 Death: 1869-05-01
lives about a mile from James Lawrences
Birth: 1790-09-11 Death: 1874-03-21
on the
border of the canal a dismal place enough in the
midst of a swamp surrounded with woods. Our reception
was of the most cordial kind–all were marvellously
changed except the Judge Debby


and the Major
Birth: 1757-10-28 Death: 1846-09-21
all look and are much as they were four or five years
ago. Old Mr Fields
Birth: 1753-07-07 Death: 1839-08-06
has become superannuated–he has
not left his room since November–is unable to walk from
his chair to his bed without assistance–it is painful
to witness the imbecility of his mind–it was a long time
before he could be brought to recollect who Clara Miller
and Fanny Seward were and when the remembrance came
it was so faint and transient that it hardly amounted
to a recognition. Mrs Field
Birth: 1756-11-04 Death: 1840-03-28
's looks as she did and talks
as she did but her memory is so much impaired
that she will repeat the same thing half a dozen times
in the course of an hour. It is far from desirable to
have ones life prolonged when their season of usefulness has gone
by but “God doth not need
“Either man’s words, or his own gifts, who best
“Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best.” So I suppose when that
time arrives we are only required to submit patiently and
await God’s own time for our release. Do you think people
in this state (I mean of mental imbecility even have
a consciousness of their own weakness!
Page 2

Mrs Hall
Birth: 1796-07-10Certainty: Probable
is in poor health and worse spirits. She returned with
us to stay for a few weeks, I thought a change of scene might benefit her
she was unwilling to leave her Father
Birth: 1753-07-07 Death: 1839-08-06
but all her friends persuaded
her to accept our invitation. I have no doubt the people of
the town will be exceedingly scandalized. Poor Maria has suffered
a severe penalty for her sins but the world seems determined
to exact the uttermost farthing. The younger members
of the family had all grown beyond my knowledge
Robert Layfatte
Birth: 1822-02-01 Death: 1877-11-26
’ is working on the farm. ‘Cornelia Adeline
Birth: 1824-09-23

attends shool in the village. ‘George Washington
Birth: 1817-03-04 Death: 1899-12-01
’ is at
New Burgh learning the jewellers trade and ‘Phebe Eliza


Certainty: Probable

who is considerably larger than her mother divides
the household cares with her aunt
. We left them at 5
and reached home a little after eight. Fred had a very
agreeable time-he was much amused with the passing of
the boats– then there wasr young turkies, books and pictures,
in abundance–he wonders why they do not have a
town of Cassius near Brutus–Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
remained at home
from choice–he spends much of his time with his ducks
the young have I am sorry to say escaped from his new
pen the first night of his induction. I believe I was the
chief mourner on the occasion as Gus is entirely engrossed
To make thick • To make larger; to increase in bulk • To take the whole • To purchase with a view to sell again • To copy in a large hand; to write a fair, correct copy • To take or assume in undue quantities or degrees •

with the ducks and “Chitterbob” the kitten seems to be
pet enough for Fred. The Dahlias grow finely–I have
had them very loosely tied to sticks to prevent their being
broken, they are so very tender. Peter says Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
cut off
the finest one in the garden Saturday with the scythe
“all accidentally” of course. The royal province rose
is in bloom to day I wish you were here to look at
it–our other roses are likewise in bloom–this
beauty is very fleeting this season owing probably to
the unusual quantity of rain for the last month
we had quite a deluge last evening.
Page 3

I am very glad you went to see dear Mrs Boardman
Birth: 1810-02-23 Death: 1874-08-19
is one who appreciates such kindness. I have a letter
from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
this week–all as well as usual. I enclosed
a letter from Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
and directed to Albany which you
could not have received there if you left Thursday night[ . ]



What a shocking event the loss of the Pulaski–I have
shed many tears over the accounts of suffering detailed
in the newspapers. Are not so many accidents of this
kind the result of culpable negligence somewhere.
I have just read a letter from Maria–she has been
so overwhelmed with the visits of the good people of
Westfield since her return that she has until now found
no time to answer my enquiries about Henry Smith
She writes nothing new now–says she knows very little
of the young lady but is told that she is active and
industrious [hole] they were married at Esq Patchin
 Death: 1864-07-27Certainty: Probable
’s house.
I think [hole] tter will not afford Mrs Smith
much tion as she desires. I wrote to Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25Certainty: Probable

that wh [hole] wrote would be read to Mrs Smith
of course her communication is not unreserved. Marcia
says she is good looking and her friends say that if she and
Henry do not succeed in the world it will not be her
fault. Fred says Pa told him he would be
home by the 4th. I am afraid he will not. I believe I
will give the little boys another week of vacation. I see
nothing of Sanford
Birth: 1799-02-24 Death: 1861-03-29Certainty: Probable
. Gus says he was at the office enquiring
for you last week so I suppose you did not see him. I am
afraid he will not teach them another term. I will keep
school myself until you return. Mrs Conkling
Birth: 1791 Death: 1851-04-14
here the other day and said they had withdrawn Roscoe
Birth: 1829-10-30 Death: 1888-04-18

from the Academy he met with such rough usage from the boys
but she thought him as much to blame as the others. I shall hope
to see you next week your own Frances.
Page 4

William H. Seward
Care of the American Trust Company
New York.


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
July 2d 1838.