Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, December 13, 1838

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, December 13, 1838



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Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, December 13, 1838

action: sent

sender: Alvah Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06  Death: 1856-02-16

location: Canandaigua, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: srr 

revision: srr 2015-11-18


Page 1

Canandaigua Dec 13 1838
My Henry,
Yours of yesterday was in this morning, touching the matter ^office^ of surrogate
of this county I am apprehensive there will be some difficulty in the
matter. Orson Benjamin
Birth: 1795 Death: 1861-09-29
is a candidate and I this morning had a
conversation with Mr. Kibbe
Birth: 1767-03-04 Death: 1841-08-04
on the subject (his father in law). I know
of no one else in this village who makes claims. I had supposed
Geneva would claim the appointment and that Hudson
Birth: 1782-08-23 Death: 1860-01-12
take the office if he could obtain it and I have thought he
would be desirous to obtain it in case he should fail in his
efforts for the Bk Comms. I think so far as I am concerned that
it is not good policy to give me the office unless backed by a
fair expression of the of the public will in this county: Many gentlemen
have spoken to me on the subject but I have uniformly said the
appointment should be made with reference to the wishes of the
county: and I have given assurances that I should not endeavor
in this respect to thwart the public will, I have not been long
enough in the county to place my claims upon a par with
the older inhabitants and it would not be modest in me to overlook
this circumstance. I know of nothing however to make the appoint-
ment objectionable to the citizens of this place or of the county and
were it not for the residence I have here it might be accept-
able an appointment as could be made.
I do not know what Sibley
Birth: 1802-01-29 Death: 1877-05-21
would say ^to^ it in sober
seriousness when he left home he was much in the mood of thinking
that public offices were a public disgrace: and the last conversation
was that we would settle down to business and behave ourselves
and endeavor to get an honest living and be a little suspicious of
the real respectability of office holders and office seekers: this was
natural language for a beat man.
I have written you to day an official letter
in answer yoursthey ^it^ most assuredly contain my real sentiments and
also some suggestions as to your own course: and if they will put
into your hands a weapon to beat off the army of office seekers that
beset you I shall be glad.
I have ^had a^ full and free talk with Mr. Spencer
Birth: 1790-05-13 Death: 1857-04-25
this subject and in reference to my own interests in taking this
office. and if what he says about certainty of rising in the profession
Page 2

is half true. I had better not take it. Is not Mr. Spencers endorsement
of a professional reputation better than the office of surrogate
in a pecuniary
Relating to money • Consisting of money •
point of view ^s^ and cannot I profit better by your
and his influence in this respect than by any Office in your gift
And am I not wise in declining a county office or any others
in your gift from which I may be displaced in a year or two
an be obliged to commence law “de novo”- q'u’en penses vous”
One Word about your State Administration: I am as
well persuaded
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
as I may to be what Granger
Birth: 1792-12-01 Death: 1868-08-31
is intriging to fill
the state offices with his creatures and that it is all in my Eye
about reconciliation and harmony. This battle has been fought with
against all the force of Grier
Birth: 1794-03-05 Death: 1870-09-25
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
and that class. Stevens
&c are traitors - Snakes - now unless you put your foot
down and have the administration of your friends known & trust
you will learn I fear that what Mr. Urtler
says is true “circumven-
tion is very disagreeable.” One word as to Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
: his heart is right
and true but can he outmanage Tracy. Now my dear Sir
I tell you ^what I shrewdly suspect is true^ that the state Officers are all selected: The Legislature
has been caroussed and your personal enemies are selected ^to fill their places and without immediate action will be appointed.^ But
suppose ^they are not and^ you have an ineficient state cabinet friendly to you, how
are you to get along and cope with these men? Weed cannot do it
Birth: 1792-04-20 Death: 1844-08-15
& are inefficient. Where is the man reliable in all state
emergencies? What though that man be personally objectionable to these
who envy his abilities and fears his talents and it may be somewhat laboring
under the imputation
To charge; to attribute; to ascribe • To charge to one as the author or originator of; generally in a bad sense • To set to the account of another as the ground of judicial procedure • To take account of; to reckon •
of political versatility yet can that be an objection
with such as yo ^support^ for the highest office in the gift of the Legislature one
who has opposed us until recently, and have we not good reason to
believe that the great body of the people will be the best satisfied by the
Elevation of the man standing preeminent for ability throughout the
State: but aside from these things have you not a right to exert your influ-
ence in the matter and insist the appointment of your friends
upon whom you can place reliance and whose talents will be of
service to you in all the emergencies that will arise: and again
remember the proverb “thy current friend and thy fathers friend forget not.”
I cannot but think that your own personal wishes would be gratfied by bring-
ing Mr. Spencer into the State administration: If so I am sure that that your own
success in the great task of administrating ^governing^ would be promoted - and if these
are your feelings I see no objections to insisting upon his appointment : of
course your Station will give you the power of effecting it: and I am not cer-
tain that were he not to be appointed. after all that has occurred the last year
that it would be said (whatever your wishes were) that you had not influence
enough to carry his appointment: It was one of the arguments against
Page 3

your nomination that it would bring him into power: the people
have so far as his elevation was concerned passed, in one sense of the
word upon the question, and now if he is rejected by the Legislature
it may be well said that your influence does not extend as far as the
public might suppose
I will come out to Auburn Saturday and be in by 6 or
7 O[ ‘ ]


clock ^a.m. in the stage^ and if you can clear out the loafers and office
Seekers would like an hours private talk: send me a note
at the American telling me where I can see you.
Page 4

Hon. William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

Samuel Blatchford

Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
Alvah Worden
13. Dec.1838.
DEC 14


Type: postmark