Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 8, 1861

  • Posted on: 6 July 2018
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Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 8, 1861



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Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, January 8, 1861

action: sent

sender: George Seward
Birth: 1808-08-26  Death: 1888-12-07

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Unknown

transcription: rew 

revision: crb 2018-06-22

Page 1

Florida Jany 8th 1861
My Dear Sister
Your welcome letter was
received yesterday, for which we are
very much obliged. In writing of
your family a new order seems to
have come to pass. It were once in
the singular, Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
, Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
and Fanny
Birth: 1844-12-09 Death: 1866-10-29
but it is by pairs
Fred & Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
, William and his wife
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
Well I congratulate you on these
matters of family history and sym-
pathies, they are as milestones which
mark advancing age, They remind us
of three score and then, they teach us
that earth is not our abiding place
If we are wise we shall seek for that
continuing city eternal in the Heavens
Page 2

I would not have expressed my
voices of national affairs then the
in better terms than you have used,
I feel that it would be much to be
deplored if the North or the Friends of
Freedom should make any concession
to Slavery, for two reasons if for no other
one that all would be lost now gained
by years of toil and effort, another and
far the most important a more em-
bittered and sanguinary conflict for
our posterity, a legacy we have no
right under any circumstances to
transmit to them.
With you I believe the South would
if they could extend Slavery into the
terriotories but ^also^ back again into the
Free States and then how long would
it be before they would try to [ istablish ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: establish

a monarchy and then perhaps a civil
war. If we are to have a contest and a
struggle over Slavery at all, now is the
auspicious hour and on my own humble
Page 3

opinion and conscience I say let no
concessions be made to Slavery. No,
Slavery has broken down all compromises
and would pervade the entire land
nor would it be scrupulous as to the
means used, let it be met by peaceful
means if that will ensure the result
if not let a conflict of sterner char-
acter be used, and millions of free born
will bless the memory of those who
now stand by the right.
If I do not mistake, Heaven is now
testing our fitness and ability to the
boon we enjoy.
I have been in my own humble way
dreaming or trying to draw a program
of how certain measures would go and
how some men would be employed in
the government. I have supposed that
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
would be sent as minister to
Great Britain, but then I doubted whether
his wife would cross the Atlantic, and
he should not go without her, I gave
Page 4

that up, he ought not to retain his
place longer in The Senate and he
should not be lost to the country in
its present emergencies. I was then
prepared to hear that he was to
become Secretary of State.
Having thus despaired of him, I have
thought of one whom I should like
to see in his place and though I
have not seen the name in con-
nection with the office yet it would
be a great gratification to see
Wm. M. Evarts
Birth: 1818-02-06 Death: 1901-02-28
of New York city
in the Senate Chamber, because I be-
lieve him to be more like Henry than
any other man in the state.
Such are my individual wishes
express to you for the first time.
Did you see the proceedings in a
meeting in Connecticut held on the
Fast day, published in the Tribune
yesterday (7th) I think they were ap-
propriate when a President appoints
a fast, we should know at least that
Birth: 1791-04-23 Death: 1868-06-01
is the President of the U.S. rather than
of a treasonable faction before we respect
it and perhaps while we may not be at
liberty entirely to assigning his appoint-
Page 5

pointment, he should know our views
of his acts however he seems to be com-
ing to his right mind, and I hope
that his acts for the eight weeks he
is to hold the office will be such
in fidelity to the Constitution that
will cast a veil over those of the
past, Well I do not know but that
I have written quite enough of polit-
ical matters.
I should be very glad if you could
see our little girls
x Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1946  Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1936 
long enough to be-
come a little acquainted with them.
They have been very well for the last
summer and fall and winter and
are growing. Julia is full of mischief
active & happy. Mary is more sedate
a housekeeper. They would find their
way into your heart.
My wife
Birth: 1824-02-11 Death: 1895
is trying to paint pictures
for each of her little ones, Charles
Birth: 1853-09-21 Death: 1877-10-20
commenced going to school to Miss
Birth: 1834 Death: 1892
, he learns readily and in the
evenings teaches the Servant Girl
the kitchen, who seems to appreciate
his efforts.
I had supposed that Henry was
boarding this winter in Washington
until as I suppose from your letter
Page 6

that Frederick & Anna were with him
I should think that this life of a
Politician had its serious drawbacks
certainly now a man is so much
seperated from his family. I opine it
must be at their sacrifice at least
and I suppose necessary.
I do not believe I ever was intended
for a Politician, though I can speculate
on political matters.
Now if you could see your brace of nieces
towering on their doll dresses in their way
and their Mother at her machine you
might think we were an industrious
family, at least all but me.
Edwin P.s
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
x Birth:   Death:   Birth: 1855-12  Death: 1944-02-18  Birth: 1853-01-01  Death: 1939-11-21  Birth: 1822  Death: 1872-08-27 
are all well.
M. Mapes
Birth: 1811-08-11 Death: 1881-05-03
received the speeches you
sent him, he was much pleased with
it. We have had a lively time, among
the young people–
I have just read the Presidents
correspondence with the South Car
x Birth: 1822-05-12  Death: 1873-05-05  Birth: 1812-03-15  Death: 1861-07-13  Birth: 1801-08-10  Death: 1882-11-05 
, two questions
1st Had not S.C. some sympathy from
the President
2nd was not the President forced from it
by other and more powerful influences, and
did not the Commissioners return dissa-
and a 3d From all this and the tone
in the house yesterday on Mr Adrains
Birth: 1815-12-15 Death: 1878-08-18

Page 7

Resolution is there not great hope
that we have seen the most of
But I am afraid I shall weary
you with my speculations on the
subject. I have written much more
than I expected when I commenced.
Were you allow to see me you would
think I were writing under diffi-
culties. Mary is on my lap as she
says to see me make marks
and Julia teasing for paper and
pen to mark with.
Julia wishes to be remembered
to you and your children.
We should be pleased to hear
from you when convenient and
much more to see you
Your affectionate Brother
Geo. W. Seward
Page 8

George Seward
Jan 1861