Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, November 25, 1851

  • Posted on: 18 July 2019
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Augustus Henry Seward, November 25, 1851



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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, November 25, 1851

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: smc 

revision: crb 2019-02-18

Page 1

Auburn Nov 25th
My dearAugustus,
It is more than a week since
we followed Grandpa’s
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
remains to the grave–
He was buried Sunday the 16th– he continued
to look so pleasant and natural that
we could hardly realize that he had died–
The house seems very, very lonely without him–
His very infirmities which made our attentions
so necessary make us miss him the more–
We miss his counsel and his excellent
judgment in all things– Although we
all knew him to be an exceedingly upright
man we did not know how well he
was appreciated and how highly his in-
tegrity was respected by all who knew him–
A gentleman remarked here to day that
few men lived to the age of 80 years to
whom could be imparted no dishonorable
action–The day of the funeral a large
concourse of people came to the house
when a prayer was made by the Rev Mr
Birth: 1805-09-26 Death: 1880-12-20
– a procession was then formed which
Page 2

went to the Church where the usual service
was read by Mr Ayrault
Birth: 1822 Death: 1882-10-19
– the Church
was crowded and I think nearly a
hour was consumed in allowing all
to take a last look at of the remains
of of an honest upright man– He was
deposited in the first grave which has been
dug in our beautiful Cemetery– according
to his own expressed wish– He has gone to a
kind and merciful Father where
the just are made perfect– I think
his faith in the belief of universal redemption
was a source of much comfort during his
last days– I will copy for you some
portion of Mr Austin’s prayer which was
very excellent– also a part of the notice
of his death which appeared in Mr Austin’s
paper– I shall always feel attached to his
friends of the Universalist persuasion– they
were so kind and attentive during his illness
and are really such good men– Uncle Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16

Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
and Henry
Birth: 1822-02-03 Death: 1888-11-24
came out to attend the funeral–
Frances remained a day or two– Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
obliged to go back to Albany Tuesday as
Mr Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
was about leaving for Europe–
Page 3

The other editor Mr Dawson
Birth: 1813-03-14 Death: 1883-02-17
Mr Weed to New York leaving Fred
Fred in sole charge of the Journal– I think
he writes easily, he certainly writes well
and seems pleased with the employment–
Your Father
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
has been trying to arrange Grandpa’s
affairs so as to go to Washington in time for
the Commencement of the session– he leaves
here tomorrow– I shall join him in three
or four weeks– Fred will come home to go
with me to New York– Grandpa made
a will in 1847 in which he gave me this
house ^&lot^ – the remainder of his property real
and personal he wished divided equally
among my four Children
x Birth: 1844-12-09  Death: 1866-10-29  Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
Aunty & Frances–
being divided into 6 equal parts. For
some reasons which I will explain to
you ^hereafter^ , a week or two before his death he
altered this will so far as to leave the
property real and personal (except the house & lot
which were as before) 1 third to Aunty &
2 thirds to me– Knowing as I do that
it was his wish that you & Fred should
have your portion as soon as you should
think desirable I shall be guided in this
Page 4

matter entirely by your wishes– Your
proportion will be somewhere about
6 thousand dollars but as this is
the greater part real estate it is not
at present available but will be
constantly increasing in value– The
land as you will remember is all in the
immediate vicinity of Auburn and can all
or the greater part be sold for building lots–
While you remain in the Army I know
you will not think it wise to expend
more than your pay– but you must
let me know what your wishes are–
Your Father is the executor for Grandpa’s estate
and has paid all the debts which were
few and arranged all his affairs
previous to going to Washington– The Estate
of Grandpa Seward
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
which required so
much more time he has not been able
to settle– After Grandpa Millers funeral
he had hardly two weeks left and I
think decided wisely to undertake that
which could be completed– Aunty Worden
will remain here a few weeks after I leave
she will then go to Canandaigua or Washington
according to the wishes of her family–
I feel very sorry to leave Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
much alone– I tried to persuade her to go with
me but could not–
Page 5

Willie will remain at a school which
has been established at Owasco for 25 boys
kept by a Presbyterian Clergyman
Birth: 1810-06-16 Death: 1880-06-19
– this is
his own choice– he does not like to be
at Washington– The house will be closed
Birth: 1827
sleeping here– It is painful to close
a dwelling which has been always open
for 32 years– 27th Father left yesterday
for Washington– I shall go in about 2 weeks
more– Aunt Clara spent the morning with
us– she always talks and thinks a great
deal about you– Mrs Howe
and her
continue to board with her–
I shall not probably write again until I get
to Washington where I shall be a little
nearer you than I am now– I wish
I could know once a week how and
where you are– The ground is covered
with a foot of snow– Willie is very
happy in consequence– he & Fanny are
wading in the snow and making snow
forts– All send love to you– May God bless you
your Mother–
Page 6

I copy that part of Mr Austins prayer
which relates especially to Grandpa–
I wish you could read the whole of it
it is very beautiful–
Extract from a notice in Mr Austin’s
“Few men occupied a higher position in Central New York
In religious sentiment during most of his days
had sympathized with the Episcopalians– he was among
the originators of the Episcopal Church & congregation a
Auburn, and has since been one of its constant supporters
–But during the last years of his life, his religious faith
was enlarged to a compass more congenial with the
philanthropy of his heart, and his strong love of humanity
He became a firm and enlightened believer in the ultimate
redemption of all mankind from sin & death through
the mediation of Jesus Christ. This belief he was free to de-
clare to us all with whom he associated, and took great comfort
in dwelling upon the hopeful prospects which it presented for
the great race of man. In its light alone could he reconcile the
wonderful moments of Divine Providence, & find a satisfactory &
joyful solution of the thousand enigmas of human life. His faith
in this desirable consummation of the Redeemers reign, gave
him much comfort and satisfaction during his last sickness & in the
hour of death”–
Page 7

Extract from
Mr Austins Prayer–
Enable us, gracious being to wisely to note
the various ways whereby thou art con–
tinually reminding us of our entire dependence
on thee, and of the uncertain terms of all earthly things
Especially may we be reminded by the solemn event
which convenes us in the house of mourning this
afternoon, of the vanity of human life. Death, the
messenger of thy will, has sped his unerring shaft
among us, and lo! a venerable patriarch, has f an
aged father, a citizen respected & revered, a neigh-
bour, a friend, has fallen in our midst!– After having
been allowed to attain a good old age, full of years, of
usefulness & honours, he has been called to lay aside
the earthly tabernacle, and enter upon the scenes
of a brighter and better world. Like a shock of
grain fully ripened for the sickle, he has been gathered
by the reaper into the great garner on high. We thank
thee, O, God, for the assurance that he was prepared
for the great change– that death had no terror for him
–That with unshakable confidence in God & trust in Christ
he saw the approach of “the King of Terrors” with calmness
and resignation– And that as the weaned infant falls
into gentlest slumber on the bosom of maternal affection
so this aged pilgrim laid himself down on the couch of death
Page 8

and breathed his spirit sweetly out to the embrace
of his Father & redeemer– May we all be inspirited
by the example the departed has left behind. May
we seek to imitate him in his love of honor, equity
and uprightness– in his candour, frankness, and
sincerity– in his devotion to that which was
true and good, in his interest in the welfare of
his fellow men, of every class and nation, and
his desire for the progress & happiness of the great
race of humanity– And while would thus be benefitted
by his the example of good which his life affords,
may we be willing to cast the mantle of Charity
over his frailties & imperfections– for he was human-
for we too O God are human, we too are sinners
in thy sight and when weighed in the scales of
Infinite Equity, shall be found wanting, O how
greatly wanting! Go with us we pray thee
to the sepulcher of the dead. And when we
commit these sacred remains to the dust from
whence they came, may we rejoice in the
belief that the spirit has returned to the
loving Father who gave it!–