Letter from Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, July 8, 1848

  • Posted on: 9 January 2018
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Letter from Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, July 8, 1848



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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 Anna Sheridan Smith to Frances Miller Seward, July 8, 1848

action: sent

sender: Anna Smith
Birth:   Death: 

location: Chittenango, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: cnk 

revision: cnk 2016-12-05

Page 1

Chittenango July 8 1848
Dear Mrs. Seward
After so long a silence before redeemi ^ng^
my promise made you last autumn, I could not blame you,
if you should discard me entirely from your memory. Yet I
pray no grevious a calamity may never befall me. And
when you hear my pl ^e^ a, I can but trust you will excuse
all seeming negligence. (for it is but seeming) There has
not been a week, and scarcely a day since I left the shelter of
your hospitable roof, that I have not recalled my promise
to write; or thought of you, and yours. Yet time has sped
almost on lightning-wings and in his circles round, has
sweet summer, with her sunny eyes and fragrant breath,
steps forth - bringing a change - a warm and radient change
on all things round. Speaking of change, reminds me
of my own changed lot, of which no doubt you've heard
e'er this: If no, you will not be surprised when I tell
you, that I too, am now experiencing the first emotion ^s^
of the "divine life", as the more cultivated German wives
express the idea of wedded love. My heart doth feel its
loneliness no more. Life's spirit - lyric doth now
breathe forth in low, sweet tones to an answering
heart that vibrates with the richest harmony - - -
I had a long and tedious illness, last Winter
and Spring; for many weeks wholly confined to my bed,
and no earthly friend to care for me but my affianced
, and a younger sister
. Methinks this
head would now be resting neath the summer surf
but for the deep solicitude, and tender watchings of
one noble spirit; the rememberance of which
is to the heart like dew upon the flowers. —
Page 2

How I long to see thee my excellent friend. When I search
for a modle, for the wives and daughters of America, to copy;
my heart, sanctioned by my judgement instinctively reverts to thee
The hours I've spent with thee, in tracing the bright
thoughts of Scotia's honored bard
Birth: 1771-08-15 Death: 1832-09-21
in his spirit wanderings
o'er that land of song; come back to me like sunny spots
in child-hood. Nor do I yet forget the heart's delight whilst
gazing on the record of a Raphael's


thoughts, that took
sweet forms of seeming life and beauty —Those hours
are numbered with the ones that go to form the
resting steps up lifes' acclivity - - -
I am now visiting at Revd J Abell's
Birth: 1792-05-01 Death: 1868-05-07
Chittenango - Perhaps you will recollect having heard me
speak of Mrs A
Birth: 1805-07-03 Death: 1852-09-04
as a poetess — I have been here nearly
two weeks, enjoying life most agreeably in excellent
society. How refreshing it is to come in contact with
persons who give evidences of possessing mind – who
are capable of thinking – of expressing thoughts and
ideas that deserve the name of conversation. It is
like finding a Gem amid a heap of rubish.
Mrs. Abell writes much and beautifully; and
whatever emenates from her pen is worth reading as she
has a high regard for truth and writes accordingly.
By the way have you heard any thing from
Birth: 1817-12-19 Death: 1881-04-16
recently? I wonder if he is in Cincinnati
and how he is progressing in his soul-exaulting art
Whenever I think of that portrait in your parlor
chamber, I involuntarily associate his name with of
Raphael's; it seems to me, that one who can delineate
so much elegance and grace, must certainly possess an
uncommon share of the gentler, and finer feelings of our
nature, united to a truly high sense of the beautiful
Page 3

I know not why it is I feel so deeply interested in him,
unless it be a sort of kindred feeling with one
from the of Father-Land; as you must know I
am some-what proud of my german lineage - -
Syracuse August 15th
I was obliged to defer the completion of my
letter whilst absent, owg oweing to illness at the
time, and subsequently visiting my native town - - -
I also went to see the once beautiful home of my
child-hood but Oh! how changed - the dear old cottage
embowered in sweet vines and rose-trees, was no
longer there; naught remained but a flourishing
gilead-tree, which was a graceful sapling then - and
how lovingly did it throw its protecting shade to
screne me from the rays of the summer sun.
It gives me sad thoughts when I see (that (to me) bright spot
(the rightful heritage of our family) yielding its golden
grain to enrich the coffers of a usurper. But I will
not murmur, the Great-Spirit is able to give us a better
home in a brighter land than this. —
But my kind friend how is your health this
summer, and that of your family? All well I trust - and
dear little Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
? how I long to see her sweet face
again; may gentle spirits ever hover near her imp-
arting to her own loving nature the unfading
brightness and beauty of theirs —
This extreme warm weather gets rather unfrie- ^ndly^
on my constitution this summer - 16 my husband
was taken suddenly ill last night no better this morning -
the Dr
has visited him twice within a few hours
I shall be most happy to hear
from you as soon as convenient.
Yours very truly
Anna Sheridan Smith
Page 4

Mrs Wm H Seward


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Mrs Sheridan Smith
Aug - 1848