Letter from Fredrick William Seward to Frances Miller Seward, September 21, 1861

  • Posted on: 1 December 2021
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Letter from Fredrick William Seward to Frances Miller Seward, September 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 Fredrick William Seward to Frances Miller Seward, September 21, 1861

action: sent

sender: Frederick Seward
Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25

location: Washington D.C., US

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: cnk 

revision: agw 2021-03-12


Page 1

Washington, Sept. 21st 1861
Sunday morning
My dear Mother,
We have come to the end
of the week in which we were to have been
attacked and captured, but as yet, neither
has happened to us.
Last Sunday after church we went out to
Bladensburgh, visited Gen. Hooker's
Birth: 1814-11-13 Death: 1879-10-31
camp, and went
up into the large fort they are making on the heights
which commands the city and the county for
miles around.
Monday came the news of the arrest of Frank
Birth: 1821-02-19 Death: 1875-07-08
by Fremont
Birth: 1813-01-21 Death: 1890-07-13
, and thereupon a Cabinet Meeting.
Also the report that the Cuban Captain General
Birth: 1818-10-03 Death: 1893-07-31

had reorganized the Southern Confederacy, which
occupied Father
Birth: 1818-10-03 Death: 1893-07-31
& Mr Tassara
Birth: 1817-07-19 Death: 1875-02-14
two days, before
Page 2

a satisfactory refutation could be arrived at.
Gen. Morgan
Birth: 1820-09-20 Death: 1893-07-26
the Ex-Minister from Portugal,
dined with us, having just returned from Lisbon.
Tuesday was the day of the meeting of
the Legislature which was to pass the Secession
ordinance for Maryland, and invite Beauregard
Birth: 1818-05-28 Death: 1893-02-20

to take possession of Washington. Gen. Dix's
Birth: 1798-07-24 Death: 1879-04-21

arrests prevented a quorum, and Gen. Bank's
Birth: 1816-01-30 Death: 1894-09-01

finished the session in short order. During the
day he reported by telegraph, at intervals,
"Four taken, "Twelve were arrested", "Clerks
arrested" and finally that "Union men ^all^ gone
home & secessionists ^all^ gone to Fortress Mound." –
There was a review of 5000 troops in front of
Fort Corcoran on Arlington Heights, in the afternoon
which we attended, but which a drenching shower
rather dampened. Another returned diplomat came
to dinner, Mr Jones
Birth: 1811-10-07 Death: 1878-03-24
, from Vienna, who reports
the Austrians very friendly & the French very dubious
on our natural questions.
Page 3

Wednesday, the new Treaty with Denmark was
finally ratified at the State Department, by Col.
Birth: 1815-11-06 Death: 1883-02-14
, The Secretary of State, Assistant Secretary
& Chief Clerk
Birth: 1805-11-08 Death: 1886-07-20
. It bears a huge seal composed of
about a pound of wax. – Gov. Raymond
Birth: 1820-01-24 Death: 1869-06-18
came to
dinner. In the evening Mr Lisboa
Birth: 1809-05-22 Death: 1881-04-28
, the Brazilian
Minister came to announce the arrival of the
Prince de Joinville
Birth: 1818-08-14 Death: 1900-06-16
, & suite, Nicolay
Birth: 1832-02-26 Death: 1901-09-26
(the President's
Birth: 1809-02-12 Death: 1865-04-15

secretary) and I were sent up to tender them
hospitable compliments & invite them to a Review
in the morning. Found them very gracious and
very enthusiastic in admiration of our Army and
in their belief of our success, The Prince is an intell-
igent politician, speaks English fluently, but is rather
deaf. The nephews, the Count de Paris
Birth: 1838-08-24 Death: 1894-09-08
& Duc de
Birth: 1840-11-09 Death: 1910-12-05
, are both young men, modest, & good English
scholars, very tall, & polite.
Thursday they went to the Review, and came
back much pleased. In the evening a party was given
for them at Mrs Lisboa's
Birth: 1823
, the Cabinet & Diplomatic Corps
and their families being the only guests. – The State
Page 4

Department has been thronged, on Thursday, Friday & yesterday
with the friends of the arrested Baltimoreans, trying to
get them released. Reverdy Johnson
Birth: 1796-05-21 Death: 1876-02-10
is counsel for some of
Friday morning, George Fredrick
Birth: 1840-11-08 Death: 1910-11-28
who has been here
for a week went home. Father is pleased with him
as having the material of a good business man in him
and talks of making him a Consul somewhere. In
the afternoon the Berdan Sharpshooters had a trial
of skill, attended by the Prince and party, who
Afterwards the Prince & Count de Paris dined
with us en famille, and then went to see Mrs
Birth: 1818-12-13 Death: 1882-07-16
, both under protest as not having had
time to change their morning coats.
Yesterday Father distributed to some of the Foreign
Offices who are here, commissions in the Volunteer
force, which had been placed at his disposal
by Governor Dennison
Birth: 1815-11-23 Death: 1882-06-15
of Ohio. Major de Courcy
Birth: 1821-03-30 Death: 1890-11-20

an English officer who commanded a Regiment
in the Crimea was made a Lieut. Colonel.
Major Bausenwein,
Birth: 1829 Death: 1906-03-25
an Aid de Camp of Garibaldi
Birth: 1807-07-04 Death: 1882-06-02
Page 5

Captain Vegesack
Birth: 1820-06-18 Death: 1903-01-12
, a Swedish Ex-Governor,
Captain Haltman
, another Swede who served
in the War of Schleswig Holstein

, & Lieutenant


of the Prussian Royal Guard
recommended by Baron Gerolt
Birth: 1797-03-05 Death: 1879-07-27
, also received
commissions of a grade equivalent to
those they had in Europe. Some of them
will be assigned to duty in the
Foreign Brigade under command of
General Blenker, and others on General
Birth: 1826-12-03 Death: 1885-10-29
staff. – Last and most
important of all, the Orleans Princes
offered their services, and after a little
consultation, were accepted. All three
enter our service. The Comte de Paris
& Duc de Chartres go into the Army.
the Count de Penthievre
Birth: 1845-11-04 Death: 1919-11-17
into the Navy.
This espousal of the Union cause by the
deposed Royal family of France will make
Page 6

as they say "a sensation in diplomatic
circles" especially in England and
among the French Imperialists.
Yesterday afternoon, Gus's
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
letter from
Santa Fe came bringing the welcome
news of his safety. The Government has
no other advices respecting the detachment
he was with. In the evening I received
some letters which I ^had^ sent to him on the
1st of August, and which were sent
back from Santa Feon the 3d of
September, showing that he had
already left there on his way home.
You may see him at Auburn this week.
Affectionately your son
Page 7

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Sep 27