Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 20, 1842

  • Posted on: 19 December 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 20, 1842



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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, March 20, 1842

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: axa 

revision: crb 2017-11-06

Page 1

Sunday afternoon – March 20th
My dear Sister
I am so sick that I have very little hope of
finishing this letter to day but I thought I should feel better
satisfied to commence – My heart feels about so large as that of
an ox and I can with great difficulty breathe at all
but I am sorry to say this increase of size is merely
physical not thereby increasing my benevolence –
The truth is I have been sick enough to be in bed ever since I
wrote you before but I have company and so have kept about
house except two days – Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
came last Monday quite unex-
pectedly while we were at dinner – he is lame yet but seems
otherwise well – rides every day to the capitol where he
spends the mornings – We were all glad to see him – he
seems ^appears^ pleased to be with the children
x Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25 
– he occupied your
room as he seemed to prefer it – Tuesday I went out
to transact some necessary business – came home with all
my pains increased – the next morning could hardly move
my head the chords of my neck were so swollen and painful
After breakfast who should walk in but Mr
Birth: 1808-02-25 Death: 1886-09-29
and Mrs Bowen
Birth: 1816 Death: 1872-07-15

and Sam Blatchford
Birth: 1820-03-09 Death: 1893-07-07
– come to make us a visit –
Page 2

I managed to keep up that day but the next after a sleepless
night I gave up and went to bed again after breakfast – Mr
Bowen and Sam went down the river that afternoon – Mrs Bowen
is still here – I took medicine and kept my bed most of the
time Thursday and Friday – to day I attempted to go
to Church, was so ill that I returned with the carriage
Mrs Bowen has gone to Church again this afternoon so
I determined to write a few lines to you and dear Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
I have not yet informed of Pa’s safe arrival – The
weather has been delightful for a few days past – Mrs Bowen
has paid numerous visits and Willie and Abbey
perambulated the streets in a manner apparently
very pleasing to themselves. The buds are bursting on
the trees and all things have more the appearance
of the last of April than March – I received your
Friday’s letter this morning – I am much disappointed that
you are not coming the first of next month – I still hope
that you will be able to make some arrangement with your
– I trust Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
will be with us one week
from next Thursday the 1st day of April – it is five
months since I have seen him—he will be
Page 3

much disappointed not to see you – I do not know
what his intentions are about going to Auburn but
presume he will wish to be there more than half the time –
Pa brought me a letter from Clara which told me many
new things about the movements of the people of Auburn
all of which you have probably learned from Sam Tom

I did not have any opportunity to talk with Sam when he
was here but Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
had a letter from his father
Birth: 1798-04-23 Death: 1875-09-04
a few days
saying that watch was all broken off – fudge –
The Lymans
x Birth: 1813  Death:   Birth: 1804  Death: 1869 
are still in the N. York – Sam went to see
when he was here as he always does especially
when there is any coolness in the other quarter – It is about
decided that Dickens
Birth: 1812-02-07 Death: 1870-06-09
will not take Albany in his tour but
go from Niagara directly to Boston – I do not think it
certain yet at least I hope it is not – Fred and I are reading
the pic Pick Wick papers
Author: Charles Dickens Publisher: T. B. Peterson & Brothers Place of Publication:Philadelphia Date: n.d.
which we find quite as entertaining as we
did at first – Fred is very happy to inform you that his
dancing term is completed – he goes to school regularly
twice a day – and plays ball in the interim – He
could not find the numbers of Master Humphrey’s Clock
 Publisher: Chapman and Hall Place of Publication:London Date: 1840
which you desired
at Little’s
– he will look elsewhere –

[bottom Margin]

Editorial Note

This part of the letter is written between the original text on page 3.
Last week I had a call from a cop couple of damsels
of a very
uncertain age to get me to put my name at the head
of a list of subscribers to the “Temperance Benevolent Society”
which the women as they never can keep quiet are getting into
action – An astonishing degree of horror was depicted upon
their countenances when I declined the proffered honour.
it seemed almost incredible – I told them that I had always
made it a principle not to put my name down as the
member of any society but would cn contribute what was
suitable – I might have added much more on the subject but
thought it rather useless – As an inducement they told me the
constitution of the Society was to be published in the Temperance
Union next month and they rather thought when I came to read
it that I would change my mind – Now I think if
women cannot make it consistent with their sense of duty to do good without
publishing it in the newspaper they may as well let it alone and
especially I believe that more than half of those who are most
officious in publick benevolence of this kind make the exhibition
of their virtues at the expense of the comfort and proper
management of their families at home – Upon the whole if there is
one thing for which I particularly respect my father it is that he

Page 4

kept me out of this kind of folly when a child – Subsequent reflection
has convinced me and my conviction grows stronger every year
that in the aggregate all the society ^associations^ which take women
from their only proper sphere, home, contribute much more
to the sum total of human misery, than happiness —
I invariably respect a married woman with a family less, when
I hear of her being particularly active in these affairs – If they must
do good by associations instead of individually let the societies
be composed of women if there are any such whose domestic
duties have not the strongest claims upon their times – I am
very sorry that the want of paper compels me to
Mrs Alvah Worden


Type: postmark

Paid W.H.S.

[right Margin] abridge this very interesting lecture – I think as you do about Mr Delevan


and have divers thoughts which it would be sacrilegous to consider it
in this city about other persons concerned – Have you read Dr. Spragues
Birth: 1795-10-16 Death: 1876-05-07

letter which contains a full statement and half of one side of the
Newspapers it was in the Advertiser of Tuesday last – I did not see it in any
other paper