Letter from Frances Adeline Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 1, 1863

  • Posted on: 28 March 2019
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Letter from Frances Adeline Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 1, 1863



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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 Frances Adeline Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 1, 1863

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1844-12-09  Death: 1866-10-29

location: Washington D.C., US

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: srr 

revision: tap 2018-02-06

Page 1

Washington February 1st 1862
My dearest Aunty,
Indeed, indeed I
did not mean to let that provoking
February stand at the head of my
next letter: I clung to January with
the most savage tenacity, but last night
at twelve o’clock, while I was doffing
my party cloak & hood, the miserable
month escaped b my hold, and Jan-
vary slipped into the vacancy. Your
entertaining letter was very gladly
received. If only for the sake of another,
I would have answered it before; but
I have been continually hurried
since it came, and so prevented
from following out my inclinations.
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
has written you how she
came back Saturday, a week yesterday.
I think too, she has kept you informed
Page 2

of the principal occurrences from
day to day. You know then that
the Griers
x Birth: 1807-01-12  Death: 1886-12-13  Birth: 1794-03-05  Death: 1870-09-25 
came Thursday night, and
are now here. I will try and tell you
some things that she has not written.
It is such a long, long time since
you left, that I shall have many
things to say. Judge’s Goodrich’s
Birth: 1804-09-27 Death: 1885-04-19
valuable little diary will have to come
out of my pocket. Let me see, away
back. 23rd Jan. Admiral Foote
Birth: 1806-09-12 Death: 1863-06-26

called here. I talked with him a
long time f before I knew who he was —
He is very pleasant and unaffected.
The same evening Mr
Birth: 1812-10-18 Death: 1899-04-11
& Mrs
Birth: 1821 Death: 1888-02-20
Benedict called. The next day I called
there. They were invited to dinner, but
did not come. Mrs B. was sick much
of the time while here. That Saturday
Birth: 1862-09-11 Death: 1921-10-05
was vaccinated, but it did not
take, neither did it with Will
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
, who
had it done at the same time. The
Page 3

rattle-box, however, did “take” hugely,
“Nell” throwing it and making it
jingle with great satisfaction.
That evening Gen. Martindale
Birth: 1815-03-20 Death: 1881-12-13
with him was a Capt. Parker
Birth: 1825-11-16 Death: 1868-03-30
. Jenny
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09

& I had considerable conversation with
him. He had once been on Butler’s
Birth: 1818-11-05 Death: 1893-01-11
staff –
Early in the war. In looking at my
photographs he came to that of Major
Birth: 1828-09-22 Death: 1861-06-10
, and said he was a college
classmate of his, & he had known
him intimately, from a boy. He pro-
nounced the photograph “very like him,”
I told him how much we liked Winthrop’s
books; and I longed to ask a thousand
questions, about him. Yet I could not
think of one. Capt. Parker looked older than
I had pictured Winthrop, who
will ever seem to me “young, and brave,
and beautiful;” I fancied he spoke
of his dead friend with pain. Thank
you for the anecdote of George Curtis
Birth: 1824-02-24 Death: 1892-08-31
. I
Page 4

will keep it with the few other notices
I have been able to collect, of him. The
lecture must have been grand & beautiful.
I am about sending to N. York, for
Curtis’ photograph among others. I
still hope I may some day meet Curtis self.
The Atlantic for Feb. (I have it) announces
“Life in the Open Air & other papers,”
Author: Theodore Winthrop Publisher: Ticknor and Fields, Place of Publication:Boston Date: 1863
in press
and says this is the last volume of Winthrop’s
works. It seems like the
news of Great Bethel over again; yet
worse, for then few knew the loss which
we sustained. Well, I shall read the
books over again, they will always be new.
Last Thursday the Griers came. In the
evening there was a party at Major Hunt’s
Birth: 1819-09-14 Death: 1889-02-11
the Adjutant General of Heintzelman’s
Birth: 1805-09-30 Death: 1880-05-01

staff. It was a very pleasant party –
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
, Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
& I attended it. The rooms were
not filled, so there was plenty of room
for walking, or room s sitting down. The
gentlemen wh were principally officers.
Gen. Heintzelman, Gen Meiggs
Birth: 1816-05-03 Death: 1892-01-02
, & Gen. Casey
Birth: 1807-07-12 Death: 1882-01-22

among others. Maggie Hetzel
Birth: 1819-12-01 Death: 1893-08-09
was there, attend-
ed much of the time by a very handsome
cavalry colonel
, or Luiet. Col. rather. I have
a fancy he was not aware of her secession
Page 5

proclivities. ^2^ I do not know. Baron
Birth: 1797-03-05 Death: 1879-07-27
took me to supper. In the supper
room I had quite a long conversation
with General Casey; who advised me not
to let any of the diplomatic corps run away
with me, and on my expression ^of^ a strong
belief in Americans, seemed pleased. He –
proposed sending one of his aids to
take me on horseback to a rev review, when
there was one – but I was obliged to
confess myself scarcely enough of a horse-
woman to ride in front of the troops. Lord
Birth: 1817-04-06 Death: 1887-12-05
, Mr Spaulding
Birth: 1809-02-24 Death: 1897-05-05Certainty: Probable
& Mr Collcutt
Albany dined with us, en famille, that
day. Oh, I had almost forgotten that I
was to state what I wore that night it
was the same dress in which I attended
Jenny’s wedding, with a broad sash
over the shoulder, of gay scotch plaid,
a good deal of red in it; and a cluster of the
feather flowers which Mrs Webb
Birth: 1826-01-02 Death: 1890-01-16
sent, a
red rose & green leaves, in my hair. Friday
we took the Grier’s to the Capitol – saw
Page 6

Birth: 1816-05-24 Death: 1868-07-18
picture again, also the
“Battle of Chapultepec,” which, as the
figures are much smaller, does
not impress one strongly, after Leutze’s.
We visited the Senate & House. Mr Grier
was holding forth in the latter former
^ Monday Morning ^
There is in the Rotunda, a statue of Washing-
Birth: 1732-02-22 Death: 1799-12-14
, brought by General Butler from Baton
. It is just about of life size. There
was a man engaged in cleaning it;
it is not Italian marble. The face looked
as if it must be a good likeness: the
mouth was smaller, and less compressed
than usual in statues or pictures of
Washington. The glance is downward,
& the expression gentle & modest. —
Friday evening a strong detachment
attended the reception at Mr. Grow’s
Birth: 1823-08-31 Death: 1907-03-31
In fact two detachments, for the carriage
had to go twice. The first time it took
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
, Fannie
Birth: 1844 Death: 1925
, Mary Grier
Birth: 1839-09-05 Death: 1930-06-04
& Anna, the
second, Fred, Jenny & myself. Father
attended a ^gentleman’s^ party at Mr. Seaton’s
Birth: 1785-01-10 Death: 1866-06-16
Page 7

same evening. The reception was
unusually full, judging from the
time I went before. Lord Lyons
was there, to the edification of strangers.
Birth: 1805-09-10 Death: 1866-05-04
disgraced the scene with his
glowering face. The Spauldings
x Birth: 1809-02-24  Death: 1897-05-05  Birth: 1824-02-25  Death: 1852-05-04 
of Buffalo:
Lizzie Baker
Birth: 1842-11-21 Death: 1910-02-13
(who said her brother George
Birth: 1840-03-27 Death: 1931-05-02

was coming to town for a week month);
Alice Hall
Birth: 1842-08-01 Death: 1920
, with an interesting mute
, who seemed enjoying everything
by his bright eyes; and many other
persons. That evening I wore my
red(?) purple (?) silk, high neck, to
keep the Griers company, who had
no low necks with them.) and pinned
my collar with mothers cross of aqua
marina ^chryisolite^ — Saturday. Anna
took the young ladies & Jenny to Mrs
Birth: 1818-12-13 Death: 1882-07-16
reception; as she prudently started
at half past one, they found that lady
in readiness to receive them. I believe
there was a large attendance. Evening –
Mr Tassara
Birth: 1817-07-19 Death: 1875-02-14
dined here. After dinner
Page 8

we played whist – As I had Mr.
Birth: 1843-08-01 Death: 1926-07-26Certainty: Possible
for a partner I had a most amusing
time. Meanwhile Fred made us all
play at random by reading aloud
the Herald’s article on the firm of
Birth: 1811-02-03 Death: 1872-11-29
, Jewett
Birth: 1817-07-01 Death: 1898-03-06
, Vallaindigham
Birth: 1820-07-29 Death: 1871-06-17

& Napoleon
Birth: 1769-08-15 Death: 1821-05-05Certainty: Possible
! Don’t fail to read it.
Anna found in one of the papers the
notice of Lieut. Whiteside’s
Birth: 1840 Death: 1863-01-14
death. I was
saddened to hear of it. How well I remember
him as a partner of many a pleasant
dance, at Cobleigh’s
. He always seemed
so modest & gentlemanly, that I liked
him very much. There must be much
sympathy for his mother
, who has
been so patriotic in yielding all her
to the country’s service. — Mr
Tassara having gone I had just
come up stairs to dress for another
party, when Mother opened the door
and said MacDougall
Birth: 1839-09-14 Death: 1914-05-24
was down stairs ..
So I ran down again. We were all
much surprised to see him. He was
looking uncommonly fleshy & well.

[right Margin]
in Saturday’s Herald I believe

Page 9

He was on his way to Albany – and
to Auburn if he had time. If Gov.
Birth: 1810-05-31 Death: 1886-02-12
does put in Lieut Col. Richard-
Birth: 1817-01-23 Death: 1902-12-07
over his head, he will do a very mean
thing, for Mac has the request the
signatures not only of all this regiment’s
officers of his regiment, but of the Com-
mandant of the Post, the Brig. Gen; the
General of Division, and finally that of
Heintzelman, Gen of the Corps. in I under
his favor. I understand Col.
Richardson urges against him that
he belongs to the firm of W m H. Seward Jr
& Co.! Mac. was to be in town the
next day, and expected to go and see Will,
and agreed to come here to dinner… At
half past nine Fred, Anna & I went to the
party, at Secy Chase’s
Birth: 1808-01-13 Death: 1873-05-07
, and Father & Mr
Grier came afterwards. Lovely Miss
Birth: 1840-08-13 Death: 1899-07-31
stood her father by the door
of the parlor, and received her guests. She
was dressed in white, with some feather flowers
just like mine in her hair, except hers
Page 10

were white where mine were red. At
her side Gen. Hooker
Birth: 1814-11-13 Death: 1879-10-31
was talking. He
came to town a short time on business.
Gen. Butler was a little farther off.. Gen
Birth: 1818-10-15 Death: 1885-05-04
was in the drawing room –
notabilities everywhere. It was just
the party one would choose to go to, for
there was scarcely a person there whom
it was not a pleasure to meet. Admiral
Birth: 1805-02-18 Death: 1877-02-20

& Mrs Goldsboro
Birth: 1807 Death: 1885-01-28
were there. Dr Pyne
Birth: 1803-01-09 Death: 1875-12-07
, out
for the first time this winter, having
been untiring in the devotion to his wounded
Birth: 1839-02-27 Death: 1892-02-04
. All the Diplomatic Corps, ladies
& gentleman were in full force. I met
your friend Mr Lovejoy
Birth: 1811-01-06 Death: 1864-03-25
, and my friends
the Baileys
x Birth: 1812-12-12  Death: 1888  Birth: 1844  Death:  
. Mr Varnum
Birth: 1785-01-31 Death: 1867-01-15
of N.Y. took
me to promenade, to supper & to dance.
In the supper room I had a long look
at Gen. Hooker, he certainly does look like
a dashing commander – must have a
great deal of fire. In the promenade
I had several stops, the most pleasant was
one which gave me a chance to renew my
acquaintance with Gen Butler, and to receive
Page 11

not only a shake of, the hand, but
a whole sentence about the war
addressed to myself. — I wore the
same dress as at Mrs Hunts
Birth: 1836-12-10 Death: 1911-01-23
, the
tarleton & plaid ribbons. I don’t know
whether it was Miss Chase’s being so
charming herself that made the party
pass so pleasantly, but I think so
sweet a presence must have lent plea
a charm to the whole.
Yesterday we all went to church, the but
Fred & father, a foreign mail came
Saturday night, and forced them to a
Sunday of work. MacDougall came
to dinner, he had too much engaged
to go and see Will, whom we all hoped
would be in to dinner – but he did
not come – the roads are rivers now.
It rained in the afternoon. Mac.
was to leave at 6 1/2, evening, and was
going to Auburn if he could – so very
likely you will see him. Only Baron
Gerolt & Mr Kennedy
Birth: 1795-10-25 Death: 1870-08-18Certainty: Probable
were here in the even-
Page 12

We were not in the parlor. (We – girls–)
this is a terribly long letter –a goods share
of which appears to be about myself – but
I thought Mother had told you of every
thing else. I will close with an illustration
of Madame Merciers head dress – to show
that I have learned my lesson well

Editorial Note

Frances included a drawing of a woman with a headdress
I believe she wore frizzes, as
her hair was drawn back some way, the
flowers were blue and the top nob looked
like white bristles. I am not able to delineate the face.
Please Aunty write me very soon. Kiss
Tom – and give my love to Eliza
. I hope Eliza is getting on nicely
at Archibald’s
Believe me your loving niece