Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861

  • Posted on: 30 June 2021
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Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861
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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1861-05

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Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Mary Wharton, May, 1861

action: sent

sender: Anna Seward
Birth: 1834-03-29  Death: 1919-05-02

location: Washington D.C., US

receiver: Mary Wharton
Birth: 1847  Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: sgw 

revision: jxw 2021-03-06

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Page 1

Tuesday Evening
My dear Sister
A special
messenger going North from
Genl Scott
Birth: 1786-06-13 Death: 1866-05-29
& the State
Dept. took a letter for me
on Sunday Evening. I hope
Mother will receive it.
We were very glad to
receive New York papers of
Saturday this afternoon.
The excitement in New York
must be unparalleled, &
I suppose was increased
on Monday by no th commu-
nication – We have news
this evening from Spys that
that the 7th regt & some

[top Margin]
Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Anna, to her
sister Mary
1861
Page 2

Penn a troops in all 2500
are marching from Anna-
polis
to the junction
whence they come by rail
seventeen miles. The govern-
ment took possession of
that road today & are
sending men to meet
them.  We have inform-
ation also that a fleet
of eight-vessels having
troops left N. Y on Monday
morning & may be ex-
pected here Wednesday
night or Thursday.
They will have no dif-
ficulty coming up the Poto-
mac. A man of War came
up yesterday with 240 U.S. men
from Norfolk.
A scout, very reliable,
Page 3

who is kept by Genl Scott
on the Patom Virginia bank
reports there is no pre-
paration for any battery
at Arlington hill and at
the place below Mount Vernon
where they reported they
had a battery to arrest-
vessels coming up the
river solitude reigns
there is not a man and
no appearance of one having
been there – The grass is
undisturbed. We hear
that the Virginians are
terrified for fear of an
invasion from Washington.
Every one in town is for
The Union – The city is gay
with flags – from every
public building, all hotels,
warehouses – & across the
streets – I wish I had one
of Uncle Robinsons
Unknown
flags
Page 4

I would like to show my
colors. However I am making
a Union neck tie – red,
white & blue. Why don’t you
wear one, they are very
fashionable in New York &
Phila . I should like to
know what opinions Uncle
Robinson holds just now.
We have magnificent - days
& nights - just - now – very
warm. We drive out
every evening about 5 1/2 to
see the evening drill, & to
along the river bank to see
the Flying artillery & dragoons
on guard at the bridges.
We go to bed from 11 to 12
& sleep sound all night.
Sometimes we are awakened
by violent ringing of the
door-bell – The return of
scouts, but as they never
bring bad news – we receive
their messages & go to sleep
Page 5

again. I have my poplin
dress. Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
likes it very
much. I wore it Sunday
& today. It has buttons
from the throat down
the skirt. On the front
gored seams which run
to the shoulders there is a
quilling of ribbon the same
color. The sleeves are flowing.
There is a small cape
coming to the waist, pointed
before & behind & trimmed
with the quilling. This can
be worn or not.
My silk dress has not come
home yet.
I know nothing about Mr
Weeds
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
plans. He has talk-
of going to Europe every
June & October since he
returned & it is not strange
he should talk about it
now. I think he might
much better stay at home

[left Margin] at Baltimore – & all the serving women
in town are engaged making tents for
the troops who are expected.
I must send the letter. Love to all
Anna.
Page 6

it is no time for a true
American to leave his
country. Many newly ap-
pointed foreign ministers
have asked leave to
remain & go in military
service, but Mr Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

will not allow them &
is hurrying them off to
Europe. Cassius M. Clay
Birth: 1810-10-10 Death: 1903-07-23

our new Minister to
Russia came on the receive
his diplomatic instructions
& ^not^ finding them ready
is amusing himself by
raising organizing a company com-
posed of the strangers
at Willards . He started
with 100 men, but has
now 200. They assist the
police in patroling the
– city at night.
Page 7

The Secretary of War
Birth: 1799-03-08 Death: 1889-06-26
said
to Mr Clay the other day-
“Whoever heard of a
foreign minister organ-
izing & commanding a
volunteer company!”
Mr Clay replied “Let us
make a little history
then!”
I wish there were more
men like him in our
Army.
I do not know who sent
the y Dutch Kitchen.
Wednesday morning
Mr Seward says he will
send this letter with his
private despatches.
He went out to Genl
Scotts & The Sec’y of War
this morning at 8 1/2 o’C[ lock ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 

to hear the news.
Page 8

Found they were both in
bed asleep.
I was disturbed in the
night only by a mosquito
which kept singing round
my head & bit the four
times. Mr Seward says
things are looking better
every hour – The Union
men grow stronger in
Va & Md . The banks are
suspending & provisions
getting higher, so an
army could not possibly
live in either state.
Baltimore is already suffer-
ing from suspension of trade
for a week past – while
Washington was never so
flourishing. I never saw so
much shipping as now – it
is bringing provisions up the
river, for the troops – all the
clothing stor[ e ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 
s are busy making
shirts for the mass troops
who lost their luggage