Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 5, 1839

  • Posted on: 4 October 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 5, 1839



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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 Lazette Miller Worden, December 5, 1839

action: sent

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

location: Albany, NY

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

location: Canandaigua, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: crb 2017-03-24

Page 1

Thursday Albany Dec 5t 1839
My dearest Sister,
I received your letter yesterday— as you
say nothing about your own health I suppose I must take
it for granted that you are better — Last Friday morning
as I was preparing to go and consult Mrs Horner
Birth: 1780 Death: 1856-12-09
about my
cloak, which Blatchford
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
came in with a long face and
presented me a letter from his mother
Birth: 1798-07-24 Death: 1857-12-23
which had
lain in the pocket of some friend
three or four days
this letter announced her intention to leave New York
Wednesday and meet him at the wharf here Thursday
morning but should he not be there she would take the
Troy boat and spend a day or two with her friends

there — Not receiving the letter he of course could not
meet her and she of course went on to Troy — I think
if Samuel had been a few years younger he would have
cried outright — The letter also stated that Mrs Blatchford
was to return to New York Friday afternoon – I urged
him to go for his mother immediately and we would
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
her to remain another day – so he went with
all possible dispatch — They reached her about one
the boat was to leave at 3 and Mrs B- said she
must return that afternoon – I accordingly hurried the dinner
upon the table at 2 oclock but before we had finished eating
it Mrs Blatchford after much persuasion concluded to remain
Page 2

if Samuel would accompany her home the next day — She was to
have been escorted by Mr Blatchford’s
Birth: 1798-04-23 Death: 1875-09-04
Birth: 1794-07-20 Death: 1866-01-07
that day —
Mr Frankenstein
Birth: 1817-12-19 Death: 1881-04-16
was moved again upstairs and his room
put in order for the lady – I had to put up a bed
and put down a carpet to make this arrangement
among other inconveniences I had a girl
here quilting –
which made our family just 17 — Saturday morning we
went to the capitol, after going over the whole building
I came home pretty sick — Mrs Blatchford went to the boat at
½ past 2 accompanied by her son – but finding some acquaintances

on the boat Samuel was released — You enquire how I like Mrs
Blatchford - aside from your experience, I like her very well
She did not appear like a stranger she looks and speaks so much
like Mrs Gordon
Birth: 1803 Death: 1863-02
– she is not over refined and has some pretension
which is always disagreeable, but the truth is the face of a woman
in whom I could feel the least interest was rather agreeable
to me – I could trace a slight similarity to Maria which you
discovered – their minds I should judge were about the
same order – but I must reserve a thousand particulars until
we meet — Samuel seemed very anxious to have his mother
come here before the river closed they were on very familiar
terms – I did not show him your last letter because it contained
the enquiry about his mother – I fancied he was not very
well pleased — We have had charming weather for a week which
I should have enjoyed mightily had I not been obliged to
devote a greater part of each day to the intolerable tax
of returning calls – calls which are anything but entertaining or
agreeable —Tuesday not feeling equal to that task I took
Page 3

Mr Frankenstein and Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
and went to Troy – I was anxious that Mr F-
should see that beautiful city before returning to Philadelphia – We
found the north wind rather cold but our return ride was
delightful – spent half an hour at the Boardmans
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02
– they sent word
to the door that they could see no company but I persevered in going
in and found them as I expected all sick – Williams
Birth: 1801-10-03 Death: 1863-11-17
Birth: 1820-03-23 Death: 1890-01-12
has a young son
Birth: 1839-11-17 Death: 1903-09-09

Mrs Boardman a carbuncle on her [ high ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: thigh
Aunt Jenkins
a bad cold
attended with great imbecility – and Mary ann
Birth: 1810-12-05 Death: 1875-11-03
, William intimated
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 •
me was getting crazy again – though I should have failed in the
discovery myself — They all seemed glad to see me – made many affectionate
enquiries about you and Fran
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
– sent abundance of love to Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

We sat about half an hour – then William accompanied me to the store
I was in pursuit of a slate coloured [ mousline de Lain ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: Mousseline de Laine
– found a
purple which answered the purpose and a pair of socks for William
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
Henry and Blatchford were awaiting our return as York
had pertinaciously
refused to put dinner upon that table before I returned — It was somewhere
about 4 oclock — Henry goes to the Capitol now at 101 10 in the morning
comes home to dinner returns to the Capitol immediately and remains
until 12 or 1 oclock at night — That being the only time he
is permitted to write his message — You have probably noticed in the
papers some account of the difficulty between the Patroon
Birth: 1789-03-29 Death: 1868-05-25
and his
– the latter it seems refuse to pay for the use of their
land and all attempts of the Sheriff
Birth: 1799 Death: 1865-06-30
to serve a warrant
upon the offenders has been resisted – so last week the
Sheriff summoned almost every able bodied man in the
city to go out with him to endeavor to enforce the law-
It appears that a “posse Comitatus” is not permitted to carry any
weapons – It seemed to me a very ludicrous affair for 6 or 8
hundred men to march 10 or 12 miles to awe these offenders into
a sense of justice — They were met by a large congregation
of the settlers – the Sheriff requested to be allowed the privilege
of serving his warrants which the tenantry very peremptoryly refused
and then the “posse comitatus” turned about and marched home again
Governor Marcy
Birth: 1786-12-12 Death: 1857-07-04
was one of the company – some rode, some walked
he I believe rode in a horse wagon — What is to be done next? Will
not the Governor send out a military force? are the universal questions
which are as yet unanswered — You can hardly imagine how difficult I
find it to get time to write a letter – I am obliged to be “engaged” or
“sick” when I accomplish anything of the kind – I am sick this morning –
I usually get up at 7 spend an hour in washing and dressing myself and Fred
and making Fred’s bed – at 8 York brings up the breakfast to which Fred and I
invariably sit down alone – Blatchford and Frankenstein never get up and Henry
is seldom ready in time — Then I tend William, wash and dress him which brings
10 oclock – go to the kitchen for a short time – sit an hour or an hour & a
half for my bust at 12 must be ready to see company and from that time
until two can accomplish nothing – tend William all the intervals
Page 4

dine at 3 – tend William an hour – sometimes receive calls – then it is dark
after tea I sit again – and then go to bed often too tired to sleep with
a thousand petty cares and perplexities harassing my mind — This is the
regular routine interspersed with endless applications for charity, advice
and directions about work – Nicholas
Birth: 1801-12-24 Death: 1893-02-15
is moving his family
x Birth: 1830  Death:   Birth: 1807  Death: 1888-08-20 
he is
better and thinks he will be able to resume his place in a week or two-
This brings new trouble – Henry thinking there was no prospect of Nicholas
being able to drive this winter has engaged John Fop
Birth: 1781
— We are unwilling
to send Nicholas away – he has been faithful and good – he could
and Jenny
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
would prefer to do the whole of the cooking – but what is
to be done with Peter – I do not think he will be able to cook dinner
without the assistance of a professed cook which with Jenny for a pastry cook will
make that part of the establishment cost upwards of 50 dollars a month – I am
afraid Henry thinks I have made a great miscalculation – I am sure I think
so myself – are you not wearied with my vexations – Willie is evidently
unwell – we think he is teething – he cries much and is very uneasy all night
Freddy did not feel well enough to go to school this week - I have not seen
Nicholas Nickelby since I left home – I would try to read that if I could get it
Mrs Alvah Worden
Dec 6


Type: postmark

[right Margin] but everybody here is too much apprehended by their own cares to
find any time to get books for me to read – I would send
Fred but they even pretend not to know where there is a circulating
library — I wonder if Irish
cannot be persuaded to have compassi-
on me likewise — Your own Sister —