Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 29, 1841

  • Posted on: 14 December 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 29, 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, December 29, 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: nwh 

revision: tap 2017-09-08

Page 1

Wednesday night
My dear Sister
I have no letter yet from Auburn but
hope to get one tomorrow I write whenever I have leisure I it
is dangerous to delay at this season – I have been part of
the afternoon at Harriet's
Birth: 1807 Death: 1888-08-20
she Sarah
Birth: 1833 Death: 1841-12-27
has been dying since
last evening – she breathed her last about 5 oclock an hour
after I left – she died easily but has suffered much with
pain during her illness – Poor Harriet is much afflicted – Sarah
had just become old enough to assist her in the care of the
other children – Abbey
Birth: 1822 Death: 1895-09-16
has just returned – I sent her to get
a shroud and cap made knowing it was impossible Sarah
could continue long – The coloured people have been kind
to Harriet – Lucinda was there this afternoon – I brought
little Harriet
Birth: 1838 Death: 1860-04-22
home with me – how perfectly unconscious children
at her age are at the nature of death – she has played
merrily with Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
without once thinking of her poor sister –
Birth: 1783-06-11 Death: 1868-04-17
and Mrs Lee
Birth: 1793 Death: 1864-05-15
have just left me – the General leaves the
Senate and city the 1st of January – I shall be sorry to see
his place occupied by a Loco Foco – it would be difficult to
find one with his benevolent expression ^and kind heart^ – Mrs Lee when we

[top Margin]
go I will try and write once more while you
are at Auburn – The prospect of Gurnee's
visit is not
very flattering – I have engaged an American chambermaid

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
& I attended Sarah's funeral yesterday – Poor Harriet would
go to the burying ground despite of city customs –

Page 2

when we saw her at Buffalo last summer was mourning the
loss of a daughter
Birth: 1816 Death: 1840-07-18
25 years of age – she spoke of it to night
and seems to have suffered severely – she is more cheerful
than when we saw her – Our house will be in a state
of inextricable confusion from tomorrow until next Tuesday
imagine how delightful it will be on Sunday – but you
cannot imagine – I defy any one to do that who has not
witnessed it – dont you feel almost inclined to come – I am
not sure that I shall see company if Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
is not with me
I am expecting her every day – Our Christmas dinner came off
about as well as I anticipated – the waiters not understanding
the new arrangement made hundreds of mistakes which I
presume no one saw so plainly as myself – I was obliged to
see it and at the same time to keep up an interesting conversation
with the Lieutenant Governor
Birth: 1783-09-15 Death: 1863-08-30
Mrs Bradish
Birth: 1803 Death: 1868
appeared in blue silk
Mrs Collier
Birth: 1809-04-14 Death: 1897-07-09
in black velvet both with tight sleeves – they
are you know the rival candidates for my enviable situation
one sat on each side of Henry – Mrs. Root
Birth: 1788-10-25 Death: 1871-02-14
and Mrs Randall
Birth: 1813-05-23 Death: 1903-08-02Certainty: Possible

were at my end of the table – Webb
Birth: 1802-02-08 Death: 1884-06-07
was among our guests which
vexed me exceedingly as I thought it must appear to him like a
very poor imitation of Gen Wool
Birth: 1784-02-20 Death: 1869-11-10
; entertainment – Among other
Page 3

enormities which Bill Taylor
Birth: 1797 Death: 1872-09-13
committed was cutting up a beautiful
pyramid of ice cream on the side table because he had carved
the meat there – I came very near giving utterance to an expression
of horror but was restrained by a glance at the imperturbable
face of my precise neighbour
– some other time I will amuse
with an account of the faux pas blunders committed which
made me nervous the remainder of the night – After coffee
in the drawing room the ladies retired leaving a few gents
who remained until 11 oclock – I played 2 or 3 games with
the boys before going to bed – Sunday I was too ill to go to
Church – with all my servants Christmas day I did not find
time to sit down half an hour before dinner – I miss Maryann at
such times – Polly
is goodnatured and willing to do all she can but
so feeble in health that I require as little of her as possible – She is
to leave me next week – then I have no resource but the Irish —
Monday evening the Bostonians arrived yesterday afternoon they
had a public dinner – all of which you have read in the papers
We had 2 or 3 lb of the sperm candles which were manufactured at
Bedford 50 miles beyond Boston Monday morning – Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22

has just been in – this moment returned from Springfield to which
place he accompanied the Bostonians this morning – it appears
like an annihilation of space to think of it – I had a letter
from dear Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
Saturday – with his accustomed good sense he had
abandoned the idea of coming home before I wrote – his letter was
6 days getting here – the boats are not able to land at West Point
haff half the time when they get up so far – Mr Wood
Birth: 1805-10-07 Death: 1844-02Certainty: Possible
was here
Friday evening – he had many perils to recount – perhaps you
have seen him – he said his mission was unsuccessful – The
boys have vacation this week which is not so well enjoyed by any
of us as though Augustus were with us – I must tell you an anec-
dote of Willie – The other day I had given Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
some ice cream which
Willie was very impatient to get – of course he cried loudly when I told
him if he were not quiet he could not have any – he immediately wiped
away his tears and marched up to Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
who he supposed was watching
Clarence as wistfully as he had done – "Freddy" said he "do you ever cry"
"Yes" said Fred "sometimes" "Are you going to cry now" he enquired
so emphatically that we could none of us restrain our laughter
I thought he was fairly entitled to a double portion of cream
which he enjoyed amazingly — Good night —
Page 4

Friday morning – Your letter came yesterday – I am glad you are at Auburn
I hope you will be able to stay longer than you propose – Henry thinks
he will be able to go to Auburn for a day after the Legislature has
convened – I believe he has written so to Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
– he would be sorry
to find you returned to Canandaigua – I dare no[ t ]


risk the exposure
with my cough or I should be tempted to go with him but the
time would be so short and I should not get over the fatigue
of one days journey before the other commenced – I do not think it
certain that Henry will go but he does —
To day we take up carpets &c preparatory to New Years – I had a letter
from Augustus he is very well says he was very glad to
get Aunt Clara's
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
letter – Mrs Cary does not come – We expect Sam
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
to day –
I have filled my letter so as to leave very little room for any
account of our dinner – The dessert was all placed upon the
table including fruit, (except the ice cream) where we sat down
also the vegetables – interspersed – the courses were soup, fish
Mrs Alvah Worden
Care of Hon. E. Miller
Paid W.H.S.


Type: postmark


Type: postmark

[right Margin]
bread Turkey, venison, Pheasants and oysters – all served from a side table – napkins placed
under the plates which were removed in place of the table cloth
in other respects it was like all other dinners – the returning
senators seemed to enjjo enjoy it much – if Henry does not