Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 5, 1841

  • Posted on: 5 October 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 5, 1841



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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, February 5, 1841

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: Auburn, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: tap 2017-07-06

Page 1

Friday afternoon
My dearest Sister, I am still in the land of the living though
weary as usual
there were 600 peoples here Wednesday night and some of them
behaved badly enough – Mr Hawley
Birth: 1810-02-10 Death: 1884-11-10
of Buffalo says he attended
a fete once when there were a great many thousand people
beside Indians and Negroes but among them all he did
not see as much rudeness as was exhibited by the Albany
Gentlemen that night – To commence with every body came
the fashionable ladies overcame their fastidious scruples and
condescended to honor me by their presence – The Trojans many
of them came – and men came from all parts of the state
I told you I intended having a table as – it was set in the room
I have used for a ^spare^ bed room – As I knew it was impossible for
all the ladies to helped if the men were allowed to go in
I requested 4 or 5 gentlemen to stand at the door and invite
them to wait until the ladies were served – this they promised
but when the time came I believe they each took a lady
and went into the room themselves leaving the entrance free
to the men who rushed in before two thirds of the ladies
had entered and devoured every thing before them – never offering

[top Margin]
Augustus says his Grandpa wishes to have the ice house filled – I
ought to have mentioned it earlier perhaps but it escaped
my memory – I think Sam is getting to be quite a beau
he seldom spends an evening at home seemed to
make himself very agreeable to the ladies
Wednesday evening
I shall send this letter by mail if George
does not return tomorrow The new Comptroller (Mr Collier
Birth: 1787-11-13 Death: 1873-03-24
) was
at the party –
I quite envied Bates
Birth: 1787-12-23 Death: 1841-05-31

Cook when he was going home – he came to bid me good bye and
said he felt as though he was escaping from prison – your sister

[bottom Margin]
Pa and Sackett
Birth: 1790-08-09 Death: 1865-06-02
went to Troy Friday afternoon –
Page 2

to help any one but themselves – Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
(who led the way to the room
with Mrs Root
Birth: 1788-10-25 Death: 1871-02-14
) said he never had his forbearance put to so severe
a test – he was half inclined host though he was to compel
them to leave the room — I went into the room with John Van Buren
Birth: 1810-02-10 Death: 1866-10-13

(who I will give the credit of behaving gentlemanly) but was so
fatigued that I staid but a few moments making my escape into
the office – a third of the ladies I have since been told could
not get into the room at all – the men remained while
the table was replenished and continued there while a scrap
was left to devour – Had I known all this at the time I might
have done had I not been too sick to know any thing I would
have prevented the table being supplied and had some other place
prepared for those who were denied an entrance – but of course
it was too late for a remedy to be applied when I heard it. At
half past 11 I took leave of my guests being too ill to remain
any longer – they departed about an hour after – They are kind
enough to say it was all very pleasant but I know better
the room in which they danced was so full that it was
impossible to move and too warm to breathe – the parlours
were crowded and the supper room as I have described – How
many times I was selfish enough to wish you here — I was
quite sick Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday far from well though
I found no rest for the sole of my foot. Mrs Horner
Birth: 1780 Death: 1856-12-09
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31

and Debby


helped me all they could but they could not divide
the weight of care which so oppresses me – I had three extra
women and 5 men – part of the confectionary was made in the
house by a coulored man
from Washington – As affairs terminated it
was really a matters of no consequence whether I had any thing nice
or not – one efficient man sufficiently interested might have
kept the men out of the room – Henry said he could have done
so very easily in any other house — It would amuse you
provoking as it was to hear the various kinds of atrocity which
were practised – one man appropriated four or five plates of oysters
which were given him to pass to the ladies another took a decanter
of choice wine to wash a plate for his own use – two others
took a bottle of champaine and each with a glass in his hand
continued to drink until the bottle was empty. And now after
their own gentlemen from their own city have conducted like a
parcel of savages the ladies say they suppose it was the
county members – I do not hesitate to tell them who it was
when I think there is no danger of coming in collision with
Page 3

with a father or a brother — Anthony Blanchard
Birth: 1801-05-27 Death: 1861-05-01
spent a considerable
portion of his time in the ladies dressing room sitting on the
bed the white spread of which still retains the marks of his
clothes – gentlemen were about as common there as ladies from
all I can learn – Harriet
Birth: 1807 Death: 1888-08-20
was equally disgusted with the ladies
said they practised all manner of rudeness – and hoped when I
had another such a party I would employ some one else for
dressing maid – Upon the whole I think the 3d of February 1841
may be put down on the same list with the 1s of Jan. 1839
I am thankful it is over and trust I may be spared a repetition
of the same – Mary ann Boardman
Birth: 1810-12-05 Death: 1875-11-03
and Miss Mary
were here
I wish to retract all I said about her (Miss Mary) improving – she was
exceedingly disagreeable – said she did so wish Mrs Worden was
here she should have appropriated her entirely to herself that evening –
Thinks I to myself, I am inclined to think you would not if she
views you as I do – Eliza Horner said she should be glad to know
who could compare "that creature" to Mrs Worden – Mary ann is still
at Patchin's
x Birth: 1812-05-03  Death: 1898-05-18  Birth: 1805-05-17  Death: 1892-05-17 
where she proposes staying until my house is set in order
when she intends to favour me with a visit of some days duration
My chambermaid Mary ann is going home tomorrow to be gone a week
I shall miss her very much as she takes more care of things about the
house then all the others together – Mr Bradish
Birth: 1783-09-15 Death: 1863-08-30
has returned from
New York without his wife
Birth: 1803 Death: 1868
and baby
Birth: 1840
. Uncle Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
left here this
morning for Batavia — I hope you will see him if he has an hour
to spare at Auburn – Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
seemed to enjoy the party and was
exceedingly popular with the ladies — I have not seen him since –
My three boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
including Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
all sat up until the company
dispersed but did not get a peep at the supper table
about which they all behaved remarkably well – David Compston
Birth: 1823 Death: 1863

was one of the most well beh looking and altogether the best
conducting young gentlemen I saw here – Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
seemed to enjoy the
evening quite well he was seen to escort a lady to the supper room
and after having provided her with some refreshment left her to make room
for others, which I thought pretty nice – Sunday afternoon
Henry was very ill Friday night and so continued through the day yesterday
Gussy was sick too so you will see I had no time to finish my letter
They are both better to day – Henry has been sitting up and Augustus has
dressed himself and gone down stairs – The Dr
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20Certainty: Possible
imputes their sickness
to cold, and a disordered stomach – Henry had a violent fever – Augustus
complained of nausea and headache with chills – I was very
busy all day yesterday taking care of them – Maryann having gone home
Page 4

and the young girl who supplies her place being a poor substitute – with a
kitchen so far off it is no easy matter to make two sick people
comfortable – Miss Brown does not render the least assistance at such
times – the t truth is I suppose she is not well enough though
she seldom complains – she takes good care of Willie which is no
small item – Harriet was confined at home with a sick child
or she would have come over – Blatchford
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
says he was at Mrs
Horners last evening – George has arrived with Fred's caravan and your
letter which are very gratifying circumstances – I have not seen George
yet and do not know whether he returns tomorrow — if he does
I shall send this letter by him –
We shall all miss Debby and Miss Lord

Editorial Note

Either Betsey J. Lord
Birth: 1802-11-27 Death: 1877-03-30
or Nancy Marvin Lord
Birth: 1798-08-26 Death: 1872-08-16
though they have spent but litte
time here – I am always so glad to see people from Auburn that
I presume I have been much more unreserved in my conversation
with them than was prudent – Tomorrow Maryann Boardman is to
come and the next day we shall look for Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
and Mary
Birth: 1815 Death: 1879-08-29

though we know not the precise time to expect them – I had a letter
from George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
Friday who said they were “expecting the young people there”

[right Margin]
Dont you intend to come down until the 1st of March? – You tell Freddy you are
coming next month – I know you must enjoy yourself there better than you
can here and suppose I ought not to urge an earlier visit but
feel very much alone sometimes — When is dear Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
she promised to come some time in the Spring — Tell her that
Augustus actually commenced a letter to her last week but my attempts
to correct the mistakes has prevented its being finished
Mrs Alvah Worden
Paid W.H.S
Albany, N.Y.
Feb 7


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