Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 1861

  • Posted on: 7 May 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 1861



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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 George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, March 12, 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: mlb 

revision: crb 2018-03-13

Page 1

Florida March 12th 1861
My Dear Sister,
We received your welcome letter to
day, we sympathize in your anxieties over the
perplexing and trying situation in which Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
now placed, He must be made of iron or his frame
would succumb, I wonder that he should endure
it and I trust he will triumph yet, there is
some consolation in that at least.
Often during the past winter after we have read
over the daily developments, we have wondered
how he should sustain himself and then our
thoughts would turn on yourself and wonder
how you felt, especially after the flight of
Mr Lincoln
Birth: 1809-02-12 Death: 1865-04-15
through Baltimore we felt very ap-
prehensive, that not only Mr Lincoln might be
assassinated, but Henry and others, and we could
very well suppose that you might feel more
so, I have not indulged in much of a desire to
to go to Washington at the Inauguration, but
when I heard of the probable attack on Mr L.
I felt as if I wanted to go on and have a share
in the battle, and would have gone if I could have
done so, but that I could have been of any further
Page 2

use to Henry than my simple presence might
give him, and if I supposed that a visit to you
would have cheered you I should have regarded
it as a duty to go,
I consider Horace Greeleys
Birth: 1811-02-03 Death: 1872-11-29
course as base in the
extreme, He is self conceit personified and seems
to go on the principle either to rule or ruin , I
think he is acting out secession about as fully
as they they do in South Carolina.
It is only fair to give an Officer or a Statesman
a trial, not to prejude before his acts begin to
show themselves, But the long & short of it all is
personal to Horace, I begin to think it would
have been well to have made him God years
ago and let him run himself up and he would
never have lain high and dry out of every ones
You make enquiries as to Sarah’s
marriage, I
am at lost to tell what it all means, I have
not heard of sure the first evidence of it, except
that she sent cards to yourself, I have no recollect-
ion of hearing the name of Silvester
under ^and^ in any
connection with her marriage by ^ ^ I have seen nor
heard of any such cards, She was absent from
Florida (and as I understood from Fred
Birth: 1840-11-08 Death: 1910-11-28Certainty: Possible
on a
visit to Mendham and Tarrytown for some
six weeks but she is now back again and
Page 3

to all appearance to us, going on as usual, Her
sending cards of the character she did to you is a
perfect enigma to us here, but this to me is a
painful subject and I would not have written
to you so fully as I have except that I concede
to you an interest and right to know the facts
and I would rather communicate them than
they should reach you through strangers.
Our family have each in turn been quite sick,
a fortnight since our little Girls
x Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1946  Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1936 
were taken with
severe attacks of the croup, followed by a remittent
fever which lasted a week, one of them had had
the Diptheria and the other the Erysippelas, their
Birth: 1824-02-11 Death: 1895
has been almost down sick with a se-
vere cold but they are all better,
Edwin P.
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
has been complaining considerably
this winter, but is now better, his family
x Birth:   Death:   Birth: 1855-12  Death: 1944-02-18  Birth: 1853-01-01  Death: 1939-11-21  Birth: 1851-11-10  Death: 1931-06-25  Birth: 1822  Death: 1872-08-27 
quite well.
Mrs. Tuthill
Birth: 1780-10-05 Death: 1869-06-28
has had a large carbuncle on
her back of her neck which was exceedingly
painful and from which she is not entirely re-
covered, the others of Mr. Grier's
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20
family were well
a few days since,
I expect to go down to New York in the morning
I expect to see Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
and his family
x Birth: 1852-02-26  Death: 1927-04-04  Birth: 1857-05-22  Death: 1929-11-27  Birth: 1828-05-22  Death: 1906-12-09 
, I am glad
that you can feel such reliance on Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
& Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
this trying emergency. I some times try to enquire
Page 4

if I could make myself useful in any way. I
wish someone would let me into the secret.
To tell the truth I feel very proud of my nieces
x Birth: 1834-03-29  Death: 1919-05-02 Certainty: Possible Birth: 1844-12-09  Death: 1866-10-29 Certainty: Possible
perhaps one of these days we may see one of them at
the National Capitol. I have supposed that you
were going on there, indeed Mr. Grier told us a few
days since that Henry was coming on in about
ten days to take his family on to Washington, we
have indulged the hope of seeing you here on
your way ––
I have written in haste a kind of rambling
letter but I do not dispair of Henry’s abilities to
carry him honorably through the crisis, and to
the best interest and satisfaction of the country
indeed I feel that if life and strength is given him
he will do it, and his triumph will be complete
I receive letters expressing that hope and confidence
from many sources, His friends have cause
in these days of defection and treason to exalt in
the fidelity and sympathy manifested for him,
This will at least cheer his family—
Julia sends her love to all in your household
She would have written had her health permitted
Give my best regards to Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
& Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05

Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
and Janet
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
Affectionately your Brother
Geo, W. Seward
My letter is so full of error that I am ashamed to have
it pass under your eye but “you’ll pass my imperfections by"
especially as I have not time to write it over

[left Margin] People must suppose I have some influence with the “powers that be” for some pestered
with letters for aid in obtaining officers, but I tell them to go to the Congressmen

[right Margin]
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
George Seward
March 12