Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, October 1, 1848

  • Posted on: 17 October 2018
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, October 1, 1848
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:smc

student editor

Transcriber:spp:jjh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1848-10-01

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, October 1, 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: Pascagoula, MS

transcription: smc 

revision: crb 2018-07-18

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Page 1

Auburn Oct 1st 1848
My dear Son,
I wish to write you a few lines
to day because it is your birth day though
I do not expect to finish a letter at this
time– It is Sunday as it was 22 years
ago when you came to bless us– and a blessing
you have been my dear child though my
love for you has caused me many days
and nights of solicitude– some of agony–
I never dreamed 22 years ago that a child
of mine could ever enter the fearful
profession into which you have been led–
And yet I have great cause for gratitude
that your life, your health have been
preserved that you have not been strayed
from the path of rectitude– May God
still continue to preserve you from evil
and should you attain so many years
as to look back in 22 years as I do now
may you do so without regret and
without remorse– I quote a passage from one
of James’
Birth: 1799-08-09 Death: 1860-06-09
novels
x

which will apply equally well
to 22 as 21– “It is a beautiful age, full of the
spring, with all the rigor of manhood, without
Page 2

one touch of its decay; with all the fire of youth
without one touch of its feebleness– bright
two and twenty! will thou ever come back
again– No never– Whatever the future
may have in store, two and twenty, with its
many hopes; its few fears, its buoyancy of spirits
its elasticity of limb, its eagerness of expectation,
its activity of pursuit, its aspirations, its desires
its faith, its confidence, its frankness, its garden
of visionary flowers, & its atmosphere of misty light
can never, never, come back to us– In the sad
arithmetic of years multiply by what number
you will two and twenty will come but once”–
It is a beautiful partial passage– but it
calls up in the mind a feeling of sadness
which it is not wise to indulge in looking
at the future– Many years of usefulness
yes and happiness too are before a man at
two and twenty– and though he may never be
so young again it is no cause for sorrow–
Saving and excepting your absence which is
always a drag upon my spirits I can say
with much sincerity that I am happier, &
I trust wiser and better than I was at 22–
to make another quotation “Even in this world
the lives of our duty and our happiness are
generally woven together”–
Page 3

Willie
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
has been writing you a letter with me for
his amanuensis– He is suffering again with the
same neuralgic affection which troubled him
so much last Winter– He begins to read &
write a little though he has so many sick days
that it interferes sadly with his studies–
It is well for him that he is inclined to active sports
he is enabled much sooner to overcome the effects
of disease– Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
is all life health & spirits
she is an incessant little talker– she often
counts over her brothers
x Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1828-10-07  Death: 1897-07-24  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
and wishes them
all at home, the little bag you gave her
is preserved with great care and only used
on special occasions–
Oct 7th– My dear Son, I have this morning received your
letter of the 25th– I am greatly disturbed by the cer-
tainty of your going still further from us without
coming ^home^ which as you say nothing to the contrary
I take it for granted is the case– I think I should
set out for Pascagoula immediately were I sure of meeting
you there– is there any possibility of my meeting
you any where on your route– do you know or can
you ascertain what your route will be– Without
any definite prospect of a furlough to go some
3 or 400 miles further away is by no means
a cheering– I am well and could without taking any of the
children with me easily make a long journey– I very
much regret not having suggested this before as
Page 4

your father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
is now in Washington whither he wished me
to accompany him– You may think this a wild
scheme but you cannot take so imagine how I long
to see and talk with you– You have now been
absent one year and two months – it is a long time
this with no certain prospect of coming home would
make the next six months almost unendurable
so long as there is a possibility of my seeing you
Write to me as soon as you receive of this if
it should chance to reach you before your
departure from Pascagoula– Your father has
now been absent 3 weeks– at N. YorkBoston &
Philadelphia– he will be at home the last
of next week about the 14th– he is always
too indulgent, to refuse to gratify me in this
project if he is informed of the prospect of
your going with your regiment before
you obtain leave of absence– I shall write to
him to day but can hardly expect him to
receive my letter before he returns from Wash-
ington to New York– Fred is at Schenectady
and well– Clarence at home studying law–
Willie is much better than when I commenced this
letter & Fanny is quite well– Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and
Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
are both much disappointed that you
are not coming home– All send love– Grandpa
says ask Augustus the name of the Capt. &
Colonel who command his company– also the
letter of the company– Continue to do your duty
in the fear and love of God and he will help you
Your affectionate
Mother