Letter from Augustus Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 1842

  • Posted on: 9 March 2016
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Letter from Augustus Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 1842



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Letter from Augustus Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 1842

action: sent

sender: Augustus Seward
Birth: 1820-05-18  Death: 1889-05-08

location: Panama, NY

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

location: Unknown

transcription: atb 

revision: ekk 2016-02-04

Page 1

Panama, Chautauqua Co. N.Y.
12th March 1842. ______________
My dear Aunt F.
The excuse which I made for not writing sooner to
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
must answer in part for an apology for my delay in writing
you the letter which I promised when at Albany during the winter:
tho' you will please add to it this much more that I have been in
daily expectation of a letter from Mr Starr
Birth: 1781-03 Death: 1851-08-30
of Cincinati which I was
desirous of receiving before this letter was written.
I must not write more until I have returned you my thanks for
your very kind epistle
A writing directed or sent, communicating intellegence to a distant person; a letter •
which I found here on my return from the East.
Though it had been in a measure superceded by my visit at your house,
it still afforded no small degree of gratification as a mark of your
friendship and continued interest in my welfare. For the good advice which
it contained, suited to our present circumstances, Sarah
Birth: 1817 Death: 1883-04-17
and I will ever be
your debtors.
You will remember that it was my desire to gain my Uncle
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
's ear
for a few moments through the medium of a letter to yourself. But I
have deemed that your time seems to be no less occupied than his and it seems
wrong to tax you at all in the matter; I see no other way, however, of saying
to him what I have to say, and must beg that you will bear with me this
I wanted in the first place to tell him of my own affairs- of what
I am doing & what I expect to do. Yet because I supposed that in
his constant pressure of himself he could find time to wonder what
I might be about, still less to be greatly troubled about me, but rather
as a matter of respect towards him and because -I feared the- thought
might cross his mind that in the fever of youth I set aside his
counsel and undervalued his advise. I would that he knew how willingly
I would have gone to him for advice and how I was only restrained from
doing so, by the knowledge of the fact that he had little time to devote to
the discussion of such small plans as mine were. I have therefore, in
the total want of counsellors and advisers done what has seemed to me best,
and it is this. Yielding to Uncle's better judgement (although not
entirely convinced by his reasoning) I abandoned the scheme of farming about
which we once conversed, and have since joined Messrs Cherry
and Finn

in the establishment of a Chemical Manufactory for the making of acids
and other articles obtained chiefly from wood. We have raised Fifteen
hundred dollars, upon our joint notes, and have secured the services of a
somewhat celebrated German Chemist, and from inquiries made as well as
conversations had with dealers in those articles we feel assured of making
it, in the course a year or two, a very profitable business.
Page 2

Our establishment is to be situated upon the land which Messrs Cherry & Finn
purchased of the office. Our apparatus, which is nearly completed in Buffalo,
will be set up as soon as it can be brought here - and I am to have some
oversight of the business for the time being. There was no business
into which I could enter which had not its risques to be found, and so has
this; although we three will risk at no time our two thousand dollars,
while we shall have our apparatus towards this amount. It will be at least
a month before we can get at work and we have already engaged Twenty
barrells of acid, at a fair price, for experiment, with the promise of abun-
dant custom if it proves to be the article required in the manufacture of
White Lead. By exporting to New York we are sure of a constant market
and cash sales. When at Florida, I laid this plan
before Grand Pa
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
and while he gave me no encouragement, because he con-
fessed he knew nothing of the business, he did not at all oppose it, per-
haps because I had already embarked in it, though he spoke of the need
there was of caution in all business affairs.
In the next place I wished to speak to Uncle about the Cincinnati
property. Mr Starr has deeded it to me and paid up the back
rents excepting the last. Dedicating the cost of my trip to C., & other inciden-
tal expenses, leaves Clarences's share of this something like Eighty dollars.
This sum I expressed my readiness to pay as soon as it should be called
for and Uncle wrote me that I would be drawn upon for it. Since then
I have made use of it but will refund it, when drawn upon if a little
time be given me. I have sent Mr. S. a Power of attorney au-
thorising him to sell the property and in answer to his letter recieved
this morning have told him to sell it for what was a good valuation
under all circumstances, remarking that I rely entirely upon his judge-
ment. The House is not now tenanted the last ocupant having
left from inability to pay the rent. I have thus directed Mr. S. because
first, he himself advised that it be sold.
Secondly, Because the longer it is kept on hand, the longer he must act as our
agent either gratuitously, which we have no right to expect, & for consid-
erations which would soon eat up the value of the property.
thirdly, Becuase it requires a constant interchange of letters which is but trouble-
some to him & expensive to us
fourthly, because in the event of his decease it would require another journey there
& the appointment of another Agent. And
lastly Because he is on the ground - and is better able to appreciate all
the circumstances of the case and to determine what is best to be done
with it. I have requested him to do with it as if it were
his own, and I have no fear at all that it is left in unsafe hands.
Still as my advisor and friend and as Clarences protector and patron I am
not a little solicitous to know whether such a course meets with my Uncles
approbation: if not the sooner it is known the more easily is it altered.
Page 3

Again, I am considered ^regarded^ as holding this property for myself and Brother,
though Ma
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
thinks she has an equal interest in it - and I freely confess
that I think she should have. In the apportionment of the back results the
question arises how much of it should go to Clarence & how much to her?
If Uncle thinks as I do we will share equally - if he does not, we ought to
know it, and she ought to be apprised of it - and beside this, I shall have
to throw it upon him if he will allow me to do so, to do this. She
has been told of ^informed^ that there is such property & has been informed of the steps
which have ^been^ taken in it, and has talked about it as though she considered herself
an equal owner. (Large space) That Clarence needs all of his share I know. I need
all of mine - but I suppose her to be as needy as either of us and I
feel no little solicitude about the matter. Apart from the sympathy which
the sudden reversion of all her hopes &prospects is calculated to call forth,
I cannot but [ fere ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: fear
that she has a claim, which Heaven has given her,
to a portion of whatever may be left, however small a mite it may be
of the other property there may be one or two hundred dollars left, or there
may not, it depends upon what kind of sales may be made of what yet
remains to be sold and upon the amount of debts yet unknown. to me. Mr.
R. K. B.
has a claim of at least three hundred dollars and I have never been
able to learn whether it is not even more than this. I was embarassed
in every interview which he had ^with me^ during my last visit to New York, from
the fact that there were back rents paid &unaccounted for. Her influence
might have been that they had been paid to me & that I made use of them
for my own benefit having the power without the right to do so: an inference
which I am unwilling that she should draw. I am expecting to go to the
East again as soon as the roads shall have improved somewhat - say in May
or June - & cannot be so embarassed by this question of her share, if it can
be as easily determined before-hand.
I know not that there are other matters of which I wish to write at present-
certainly this is troubling you enough for once. Allow me honor to request that
when you have conversed with Uncle about these affairs you will ask him to write or
do so yourself at the earliest convenient opportunity.
With an expression of gratitude for the many acts of kindness shown me under
your roof as well as for those constantly shown to my Orphan Brother and
with love to all,
I remain, as ever, dear Aunt,
Your affectionate Nephew,
Augustus S.
Page 4

Mrs F.A. Seward
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Augustus Seward
March 12, 1842