Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, July 21, 1861

  • Posted on: 7 May 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from George Washington Seward to Frances Miller Seward, July 21, 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, July 21, 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: Auburn, NY

transcription: mlb 

revision: crb 2018-03-13

Page 1

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
George Seward
Hand Shiftx

George Seward

Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
Florida July 21st/61
My Dear Sister,
It is Sunday and I
am left at home, to keep a little
watch over one of our little Girls
x Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1946  Birth: 1857-06-27  Death: 1936 

who is threatened we fear by the
whooping cough. Her Mother
Birth: 1824-02-11 Death: 1895
gone to Church and I thought
I would while away the hour
by writing to you again, From
what Edwin P.
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
told me, we had
expected the pleasure of wel-
coming you in Florida again,
on your way to Washington
thought I did not think it
very probable that you would
like to go on there in this
whirlpool of excitement,
But that appears now to
Page 2

to have past, well we can write
to each other although we can
not see each other,
The greatest war idea of the age
the Anaconda, drawn about
the Southern Confederacy by
the administrators, backed by
the people of the free States
and aided by Gen Scott
Birth: 1786-06-13 Death: 1866-05-29

and the army seems now
to be drawing its forces to the
crushing ^out^ of the rebellion,
I think that before another
week shall have past we
shall hear of decisive action
on the part of the Union
troops, Yesterday I judge from
the public print was given
preparation and I hope to
day will be kept by our
troops and to-morrow an
attack will be made on the
forces of the Davis
Birth: 1808-06-03 Death: 1889-12-06

Page 3

While it is reasonable and safe
to fear the result yet I cannot
but hope and expect that it
will be successful, and I ^in^ due
time the stars & stripes will
again float again over not
only Richmond but over the
entire south.
Has not Genl McClellan
Birth: 1826-12-03 Death: 1885-10-29

done nobly, the days of pat-
riotism and Heros has not
Last evening papers, stated
That Gen Patterson
Birth: 1792-01-12 Death: 1881-08-07
had been
superseded by Gen Banks
Birth: 1816-01-30 Death: 1894-09-01
, I
am not greatly surprised , I had
indulged in the idea that the
former had been dilatory
in his advance, but I regret
to hear of one of our men either
as officers or private failing
to come up to the true standard
in these days,
Page 4

But what is most gratifying
is that the public minds
seems now to be settled into
the full conviction that the
Administration have pursued
the most wise and justifiable
course of action, that they have
gone to work, slowly but
surely to throttle this insur-
rection, there is now but little
murmuring, little complaining
When the day comes, where the
great work now doing, shall be
fully comprehended, where im-
partial history shall give its
verdict, then will the nation
and the friends of Republican
institutions throughout the
world honor them as they de-
serve, The more that I study and
reflect on this rebellion, the more
I wonder it has not succeeded
so that the struggle to maintain
this government is not brought
Page 5

nearer our own door and with
even greater severity & desolation
and suffering, Why has not
northern sympathisers to Southern
designs, been given, why does
European Governments withhold
their countenance & support to
the Confederates States, there was
ground to expect both and was
confidently calculated upon
by their Leaders, (could they have
indulged in it, without some
promise, why have they failed
and again whence the sim-
ultaneoous uprising of the Free
States, whence 300,000 men in the
field , whence 500,000 promised and
$1000 to each man, whence all
this, now I like to carry great
events to the ultimate cause
1st place, God designs to perpet-
uate the Union of these States
the perpetuity of this government
Page 6

2nd He does it presumably for
His own Glory and for his own
beneficent purposes not only
to this nation but to all the
nations and people of the earth
on no other ground can I attri-
bute the grand and patriotic
manifestations of power dis-
played by the people, they act
because the spirit is inspired
by Him, Am I correct, in these
results that all who engage in
it are His co-workers, if working
with Him and in harmony
with His designs, then the end
is secure and the reward cer-
tain, What nobler a purpose
or pursuit, what more an
ample reward,
I indulge in the doctrine that the
government is not ^so much^ the result of
mans wisdom nor is it to ter
minate on mans earthly
Page 7

benefit and temporal ^good^ but rather
it is a link a part of that
grand purpose of God in prepar-
ing ^for^ the nobler, never equal and
most beneficent Reign of the
Prince of Peace, True this view
sink man, the noblest of them
in the [ grandiur ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: grandeur
of the enterprise
but in another and better ^aspect^ , it
exalts man into sympathy
with his Creator, “He is wonder-
ful in council, mighty in working”
“Through various scenes our lives
are drawn, vexed by its triffling cares,
While therein undistrubed ^eternal^ thought
moves on, thy undisturbed affair
I have written by snatches
what may prove to you an unin-
telligible letter, it is now six P.M
little ^Julia^ has been quite sick, laying
in a sleep and fever all day
The Doctor
does not think it is
the whooping cough, we of course
Page 8

cannot tell the result, we hope
that it may soon pass off, but
symptoms seem to indicate
several days of sickness–
If I had known in time when
William H.
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
was in New York I
would have made the effort to
go down and see him, I telegraphed
to him in the City to come up here
if only for a day but I supposed
he did not get it,
Fannie Scharff
Birth: 1836-02-16 Death: 1910-02-06
& her family
x Birth: 1861-04-17  Death: 1862-05-21  Birth: 1859  Death: 1890-11  Birth: 1834-02-26  Death: 1868-07-13 

are now at home-
Has Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
left his Regiment, the
last notice I saw was that it was
commanded by the Major,
7. P. M. we began to fear it a sore throat
of some kind, in Julia, She revived a
little but is now sleeping, her fever is
not high and her skin moist, She com-
plains of the throat.
If little should be any worse I will
write again in a day to two–
Julia desires to be remembered af-
fectionately to yourself & family
When convenient please write us
Affectionately yours
Brother Geo.W.