Letter from William Henry Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, August 26, 1870

  • Posted on: 8 May 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from William Henry Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, August 26, 1870



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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 William Henry Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, August 26, 1870

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: San Francisco, CA

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: pxc 

revision: tap 2018-03-29

Page 1


Editorial Note

This letter was copied for Augustus Seward by Lazette Worden.
San Francisco Aug. 26
My dear Sister & children
x Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
You know without explana-
tion why I groupe you together in one letter instead
of writing to you separately – We arrived safely
at San Francisco yesterday at 3 — Though I tried
often to drop some letters by the way I was preven-
ted doing so by the occupation of myself or the fa-
tigue of my willing amanuensis – We made the journey
of thirty one hundred miles by railroad in fif-
teen days, only doubled the shortest period occu-
pied by those who, with the advantages of full
health & vigor, allow themselves neither rest
nor diversion. We found Mr. Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
and Harriet
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
Rochester with many other friends
– We parted
with them at the Suspension Bridge on the sec-
ond day of our journey – We went through
Canada in the simple language of D. Watts
 Death: 1748-11-25

"Alike unknowing & unknown"
Birth: 1824 Death: 1847-08-21
proved himself very expert with
newly invented footstool –
Page 2

we passed a short but undisturbed night
at Detroit and on Friday we were whirled through
Michigan & Indiana without leaving the cars – We
rested there two days in very pleasant private
apartments at the Fremont where we happened
to meet the President
Birth: 1822-04-27 Death: 1885-07-23
who seemed as much trav-
el worn and a great deal more office worn
than myself – Many friends
made arrange-
ments for a pleasant continuation of our
journey and the Risley cousins
who seem to
have found pleasant, though humble homes all
along our journey "round the world" thus far
received me as the patriarch of their family
We left Chicago on Monday morning and "put
it through over the Northern Central Rail Road
by night and by day to Omaha – Our friends gath-
ered in groups & showed us in pleasant excur-
sions the magnificent scenery of the River–
Gen. Augur
Birth: 1821-07-10 Death: 1898-01-16
was abroad but the staff and
field officers
of his command favored us with
a spirited military reception at the Baracks
and telegraphed our progress to the different
military commands across the continent and
Page 3

thus far "aroused the world' – We began our ascent
of the base of the Rocky Mountains on Wednes-
nesday and on Thursday noon we alighted
from the cars at Cheyenne on a plain 7000
feet above the sea, standing ready to confront the
snow mountains on the left and the black mountains
on the right but a cold north east storm had come
up and the mountains failed to appear –
The Governor
Birth: 1835-10-08 Death: 1880-07-14
and civil officers
of Wyoming Territory
received us with marked courtesy. We were lodged
fed & warmed with elegant hospitality by the officers
among whom the "Risley cousins" reappeared – After
a public reception – with the thermometer at 36
(which obliged me to put on my Chinese coat) we
took our departure the next day – We had a plat-
form car from which we studied the sterile scenery
of the second level 8000 above the sea – and then
rapidly descending surveyed the wonderful peaks
of nature on the Wasatch Mountains – The people
of Salt Lake had a special car ready for us
at Ogden and at 7 oclock on Saturday night
my excellent friend
Birth: 1816-06-04 Death: 1897-07-15
of the Townsend House received us
with a warm supper and snow white linen in the city
Page 4

of the Mormons – We drove about that singular
place so beautifully embosomed in the moun-
tains until eleven o'clock when we attended
Divine Service in the Episcopal Church—a con-
gregation of Gentiles – At two we repaired to
the Tabernacle where we declined privileged
and elevated seats and occupied a pew
in the midst of the grand congregation – Ten
thousand worshippers were there – The Communion
was administered by the elements of bread & water
in which I joined regardless of the religious and
political differences which alienates that strange
community from the Christian world. A very
modest & pleasant speaker
defined the aim
of Jesus Christ and the Latter day Saints to be the
establishment of the kingdom of God upon the
earth—and the chief means by which the church
expects to effect that great object to be the re-forma-
tion of the marriage contract into a contract not
merely for time but for time & eternity also - Brigham
Birth: 1801-06-01 Death: 1877-08-29
preached a long sermon with much originality
Page 5

of views and excentricity of doctrine and exag-
geration of rhetoric— in which he seemed to go through
with the entire body of faith as it is held by his
peculiar people – In his discourse he modestly re-
ferred to some of his experiences in Auburn with
allusions very kind to me. After service he came
down & took us very kindly by the hand and
solicited an interview at our hotel in the evening
He came at six o'clock and with him a body of
the Elders
and three of his grown up sons
x Birth: 1836-12-18  Death: 1903-04-11 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1844-10-01  Death: 1924-02-11 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1834-10-14  Death: 1875-08-05 Certainty: Probable
– and
remained until nine – He came again on
Monday morning with two magnificent coaches
and conveyed us to the houses of his several families –
Some of these homes grouped together as in a Harem
& others isolated in different parts of the city –
He counted his wives, (exclusive of those who were sealed
to him at sixteen) and of these he introduced us
to ten

Editorial Note

These are all of Brigham Young's wives at the time (exclusive of those who were sealed to him at sixteen). It is unclear which ten William Henry Seward was introduce to. Mary Ann Young
Birth: 1803-06-08 Death: 1882-06-27
Lucy Ann Young
Birth: 1822-05-17 Death: 1890-01-24
Harriet Elizabeth Young
Birth: 1824-11-07 Death: 1898-11-08
Emeline Free Young
Birth: 1826-04-28 Death: 1875-08-17
Naamah Young
Birth: 1821 Death: 1909-08-08
Zina Diantha Young
Birth: 1821-01-31 Death: 1901-08-28
Augusta Young
Birth: 1802-12-07 Death: 1886-02-03
Clara Young
Birth: 1828-07-22 Death: 1889-01-05
Emily Dow Partridge Young
Birth: 1824-02-28 Death: 1899-12-13
Margaret Young
Birth: 1823-04-19 Death: 1907-01-16
Martha Young
Birth: 1822-01-24 Death: 1890-09-26
Lucy Bigelow Young
Birth: 1830-10-30 Death: 1905-02-03
Eliza Snow
Birth: 1804-01-21 Death: 1887-12-05
Susan Snively
Birth: 1815-10 Death: 1892-11-20
Eliza Burgess
 Death: 1915-08-20
Harriet Emeline Barney Young
Birth: 1831-10-13 Death: 1911-02-14
Harriet Amelia Folsom Young
Birth: 1838-08-23 Death: 1910-12-15
Mary Van Cott Young
Birth: 1844-02-02 Death: 1884-01-05
– He counted his children forty nine

Editorial Note

Brigham Young had forty-nine children. To learn more about his family please see one of his many biographies, or consult the Utah Genealogical Society's registers.

and ^of^ these his wives presented to us in neat and
clean attire & modest deportment about thirty –
apologising for the absence of the remainder –
Three of Brigham Youngs sons are married sever
ally to two
x Birth: 1834-06-12  Death: 1921-10-25  Birth: 1838-01-01  Death: 1916-10-03 
, three

Editorial Note

Either Lucy Maria Margetts
Birth: 1847-11-07 Death: 1915-05-16
or Clara Lucinda Jones
Birth: 1846-05-11 Death: 1885-04-17
or Elizabeth Canfield Young
Birth: 1845-02-02 Death: 1916-06-06
or Catherine Young
Birth: 1836-10-02 Death: 1922-02-20
or Mary Elizabeth Young
Birth: 1837-10-24 Death: 1898-05-11
or Jane Young
Birth: 1840-02-26 Death: 1905-11-11
and six wives
whom we also saw –
Page 6

Refreshments – native fruit and wine were offered
to us at all these places – The President with the
male & female members of his family accompanied
us to the cars and we left Salt Lake City
Two nights & two days sufficed for a descent from
the Salt Lake barrens into the Humbolt Valley
We arrived at eleven oclock at Sacramento having
been joined on the way by Gov. Stanford
Birth: 1824-03-09 Death: 1893-06-21
other citizens who put extraordinary cars & every
luxury at our service – Eminent citizens
x Birth: 1825-09-05  Death: 1910-01-03  Birth: 1822-09-16  Death: 1888-08-14 
Sacramento received & entertained us at their
houses completely guarding against public demon-
-strations unsuitable to persons like myself of
shattered health and dilapidated political rep-
-utation. The guns nevertheless welcomed us in
token that the people did not altogether ac-
quiese in the modesty of our pretensions
A magnificent dinner party and an equally
magnificent supper party, let us off at a late
hour not exceedingly improved in health and
vigor – and yesterday morning the same good cit-
izens brought us in a special train to this place
misleading the people of Oakland & San Fran-
Page 7

cisco as to the time of our arrival and thus se-
cured us ^a^ quiet passage to an elegant home at
the house of an old friend – Judge Hastings
Birth: 1814-11-22 Death: 1893-02-18
accompanied me last year to AlaskaGeorge
F. Seward
Birth: 1840-11-08 Death: 1910-11-28
with his wife
Birth: 1850-06-06 Death: 1934-06-15
– who is very amiable and
accomplished, met us with the Sacramento party
and came with us to this place. Col. Evans
Birth: 1823-12-23 Death: 1898-11-16
is kindly
busy in consulting all our wishes. I have stood
the fire of an interviewer
with commendable patience
and according to the reporters account, with exem-
plary modesty – I learn from his account that
my friend Mr. Risley
Birth: 1814-06-16 Death: 1893-08-23
has been promoted Col and
that the name of the family has been changed to
the more ambitious one of Ridgley – that I am
not bald but that my hair has grown thin and
like the tail of a camel – scattered – Olive Risley
has been sick five out of the fifteen days but
upon the whole is as well if not better than at
Auburn – Mr. Risley has been sick and is
now suffering with a cold contracted in coming
over the mountains – I have had two prostrations
Page 8

but I seem to myself to be as well and to
have as free use of my limbs and faculties
as I enjoyed when I left home – We expect
to sail the 1st of September but it seems diffi-
cult to dodge and decline pleasures and
excitement which I am well aware would unfit
me for the voyage Hattie Risley
Birth: 1816-10 Death: 1868-09-28
has had
one sick day – Mrs. George F. Seward desires
to be cherished in your affectionate remembrance
As yet we hear nothing from the Randalls
x Birth: 1845-10-02  Death: 1918-10-06  Birth: 1819-10-31  Death: 1872-07-26 

W H Seward
Page 9

Col. Augustus H. Seward
Chief Paymaster U.S. Army


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