Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 16, 1848

  • Posted on: 17 October 2018
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 16, 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 Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, August 16, 1848

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Augustus Seward
Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11

location: Unknown

transcription: srr 

revision: tap 2018-07-24

Page 1

Auburn Aug. 16th 1848
My dear Augustus,
You can hardly imagine how happy
it makes me to see by your letter that you are
again actually once more in the United States
I saw by the Newspapers your arrival at New
a few days before I received your letter
I feel very grateful for your escape from many
dangers and pray that you may continue
to be preserved, fewer, that I may once more
meet you in health and safety – I am disappointed
that you cannot get a furlough though I wait
a more convenient season with patience and hope.
Your father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
has not written as I hoped he would
advising your resignation which I believe he would
not fail to do were his own circumstances less
embarrassed than they are – He was absent at
the time of the ratification of the treaty and when
he heard of it wrote to me that when he
returned home if I still advised that course
he would write to you advising your resignation
When he came home he thought you would
be able to obtain leave of absence and come home
this summer – and now he says he cannot
recommend any course that would satisfy

[top Margin]
Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
is well – much pleased to know you are away from Mexico
I see that one regiment of Infantry is to go to Crows wing
river – Will it be yours – God bless you my dear
son – your affectionate Mother –

[left Margin]
Willie & Fanny are well – your father is absent
Page 2

himself without first talking with you – He may
write yet but at present is much harassed with
his business and has little leisure to think of
his family – his whole time is consumed in courts
away from home – For myself I have never had
but one opinion – one feeling ^wish^ — I have endeavored to
come to this conclusion without particular reference
to my own feelings – A profession which makes it
the duty of one human being to take the life
of another, is so at war with the teaching of
of our saviour that I cannot think it right –
I do not think it impossible for a man to do much
good even in the army if so disposed and I
no longer fear as I once did the influence
of the temptations peculiar to that mode of life –
but I believe my dear child that a person
like yourself can do more good elsewhere
and with the strong domestic feelings which I
think you have you would be far happier
in some other situation — Suppose you do not
for the first two or three years receive quite as
good pay as you do in the Army – you will
I think be able to make enough for comfortable
support – and each year would probably be an
improvement in this respect – All this you will
say is very indefinite and unsatisfactory – I
admit it – Well then, you can undoubtedly
with your West Point education get a situation
Page 3

as an engineer – this is always a respectable and a
healthful occupation — or you can take a
farm – which to me connected with gardening
has always appeared a desirable occupation ^employment^
Dont say, it would be a slow way of getting rich
riches are not essential to happiness — a com-
petency with contentment is to me infinitely
more attractive – If you had graduated at a
college your choice would be as limited – and
you would be much more deficient in self dependence
Law, physic, and the ministry – Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
graduated, and after changing his mind from
one of these professions to the other an innumerable
number of times has at length fixed upon the
law – Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
will do the same and I do not
know that Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
can do any thing else – yet
your father with his knowledge of the many vexatious
trials to which a lawyer of integrity and delicacy
is subjected can hardly recommend it to any of them.
There are difficulties to be overcome, trials to be endured
in all situations in life — such is the will of our
heavenly Father — with health and a conscience
void of offence there will always be much of
sunshine amid the clouds — Do not my dear
child make up your mind to remain in the Army
at least until we have all seen and talked with you.
I hope some favourable circumstance will enable you to
come home before your regiment is ordered elsewhere.
Page 4

if you were in any of the states further North I should
come to you – it would be [ presumtive ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: presumptive
to go to Mississippi
in mid summer – I abhor traveling in the slave
states — Do not allow your association with southern
men to make you feel any degree of indifference
to the great moral evil – No matter how degra-
ded the slave – God has given him as a human
being the inalienable right to liberty — he who
deprives him of it commits a grievous sin in the
eyes of an impartial creator — Do you
feel interested in the coming election? The "free
soil" convention at Buffalo have just nominated
Martin Van Buren
Birth: 1782-12-05 Death: 1862-07-24
– I hope it may not prevent the
election of Gen Taylor
Birth: 1784-11-24 Death: 1850-07-09
— I think if Cass
Birth: 1782-10-09 Death: 1866-06-17
were elected
he would manage to involve the country in another
war before the expiration of his administration –
Aunty Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
have been with me the
last week –Frances is not very well – she is
to return home to day – I believe I have been to Can-
since I wrote you before – They are
living in John C. Spencers
Birth: 1788-01-08 Death: 1855-05-17
old place – it is a beautiful
spot – they have a pretty garden and abundance of
fruit – Aunty enjoys it very much – After I came
home, indeed, while I was gone I had an attack of inter-
mitting fever – I am now entirely well again – I went
also to Batavia to see the Cary's
x Birth: 1788  Death: 1863-06-22  Birth: 1787-08-11  Death: 1869-06-20 
— I hope my child
you will be cautious about eating fruit at this
season of the year – indeed you require much more
caution about your diet generally than in a Northern
climate – The weather has been intensely warm here the last
week – Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
feels it exceedingly – he has not been
well the last month – Clarence and Fred are both
home and wish to be remembered to you – with all the
rest –

[right Margin]
Aunty and Frances send much