Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to Frances Miller Seward, October 9, 1840

  • Posted on: 5 October 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to Frances Miller Seward, October 9, 1840



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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 Benjamin Jennings Seward to Frances Miller Seward, October 9, 1840

action: sent

sender: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: Westfield, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: lmd 

revision: tap 2017-06-29

Page 1

Harmony Hall
Westfield 9 Oct. 1840
My very dear Sister
I have been waiting & wondering
if I must first write and open the way
before any account would be sent me of
your return to Albany & of the visit of
our dear parents
x Birth: 1768-12-05  Death: 1849-08-24  Birth: 1769-11-27  Death: 1844-12-11 
to your house? If yes –
why then, here it is.
You were kind enough to say, when
we parted, that I must send Jane
& Au-
Birth: 1820-05-18 Death: 1889-05-08
to you on their way down. But
Jane, dear girl – had not a day or an
hour to spare. There was scarcely time
for them to get through against the pe-
riod she had fixed – so that I supposed
they would not stop to see you – although
they would have felt it to be a great
happiness to be permitted to do so. All
my children
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
, dearly love Aunt Frances
not omitting, child, niece, Cornelia Finn
Birth: 1822 Death: 1907
I suppose too, from all accounts, that
Grand Pa & Grand Ma had left Albany
before Clarence arrived there. This, I regret:
since I wish him to grow up with recollections
numerous & pleasing, of his grand parents.
I, did not I believe, speak with either
you or Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
about sending my motherless
son to Albany this winter – & this may
need explanation. Considering that my
Page 2

housekeepers thru winter were all to be
young persons – and that little boys some
times leave articles in the chairs & put
things out of place, even though they may
desire to be very good boys, it seemed to
me that the peace of our little family would
likely be promoted by sending Clarence
to a school from home where he would
perhaps have greater advantages than at
present, he could have in our academy.
and I omitted to mention it fearing
an offer might be made me as to Dr C
Birth: 1798-11-26 Death: 1865-01-05

to place them where, I am sure there is
care and responsibility enough already.
Excuse it – if it was any way wrong.
I have been abused a little for de-
clining to bear my share of political
brothers in this county – so I thought to
wipe off part of the stain, by incurring
the labour & expense of attending a con-
vention this week at Batavia to nominate
a senator. There seemed to be a mis-
trust there, that Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
would like to have
his old friend Works
Birth: 1781 Death: 1868-01-02
renominated – and a
mistrust was sufficient! it was done.
It seems to be a pleasure to all near to
do any thing in the world Weed wants.
The meeting was on Tuesday noon.
In order to gain time for a little visit with
Aunty Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
, I rose very early on Monday
and rode over to Batavia by sun set & spent
the evening & next morning with my friends.
I had a delightful time – & you came in
for a share, of our interest. Sarah
Birth: 1819 Death: 1884-09-30Certainty: Probable
absent to Toronto – where she stays & stays
you can guess why as well as I – I heard nothing.

[left Margin]
My girls
are doing very well indeed – Friends here are all
anxious to see Henry. Your unworthy brother B. J. Seward.
Page 3

The day following I saw the [ kintekoy ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: kantikoy
Buffalo – nine or twelve thousand – a thing
too common to waste words about. The people
were sadly disappointed not to find Henry &
Mr Duer
Birth: 1782-10-07 Death: 1858-08-08
Oh! I almost forgot to mention the squeeze
out of our distinguished Oxford Fellow
with the
red preaching hood. It seems that he had
completed his “engagement” & was passing
through the country, quite as a private citizen:
But a gentleman
who had seen him in his canon-
icals, down east, saw him in the street – told Mr
Birth: 1798-09-11 Death: 1883-10-11
of His grace’s consequence & forthwith he
was invited out of some little lodgings he had
taken – having been abused as he said at the American
The best dinner & the fullest attentions
were bestowed upon him — He preached
for Shelton before the convention assem-
bled – preached before the Bishop
Birth: 1797-10-08 Death: 1865-04-05
& all
the Clergy – was introduced – courted
i[ n ]


Reason: wax-seal
vited cherished by every one & espe-
c[ ial ]


Reason: wax-seal
ly by all such as wished by such
a[ tte ]


Reason: wax-seal
ntions to him, to secure civilities
for themselves when they come to visit
him & his country hereafter.
It seems, while incog, he had sent
a letter & money to his wife
at Paynesville
up the lake shore, to meet him at the American
but it was by a fake name — The poor woman
could not find her husband & went in with a
— and presently saw him in robes in
the street surrounded by the Clergy. Oh dear said
she – I never knew him a Clergyman before &
I cannot meet him here in the public gaze. One
of the miliner girls
she was walking with her, sent
by a layman
, a wish to see the Unworthy Fellow
– & he supposing it to be some one affected by his
preaching – posted off – & met his wife. Failing to
extract a promise from the family to keep his
secret, he hurried back – packed his things &
bade Jack
take them away & fled.
The news came to the Rector – & was by him
spread through the convention – producing such
a panic, as almost suspended business. The

[left Margin]
The Oxford Fellow is a common school master – who abandoned
his wife & family 4 years ago – was begging, in England for Toronto.
Page 4

Bishop sent a note by the trunk carrier to
him saying that if his conduct was not satisfac-
torily explained the same evening, he would be
posted in the morning. The villain wrote back
a kind submissive letter – giving assurance that
all would be explained – begged twice & repeat-
ed his promises of splendid introductions in Eng-
land. He also wrote the Rector – giving thanks
for the hospitality he had received – & sent a
dollar to the boy – all the while assuring that
all was right & he would extend civilities in
Oxford — Did you ever hear of such a knave.
Poor Shelton is almost killed off.
Will my kind sister, look a little after Clarence
if he calls — and restrain him from calling
often: & tell me whatever you observe in him.
The child is very near to me: the Lord preserve him.
Mrs Frances Seward
Care W. H. Seward
New York
OCT 10


Type: postmark
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Jennings Oct