Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr. to William Henry Seward, February 12, 1871

  • Posted on: 9 May 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr. to William Henry Seward, February 12, 1871



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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, Jr. to William Henry Seward, February 12, 1871

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Unknown

transcription: nwh 

revision: crb 2018-03-22

Page 1

Auburn Feb 12 1871
My dear Father
My last letter from
you is dated Pekin Nov 3d
but a latter letter to Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25

tells us of your safe return
to Shanghai which fact we
all learn with much pleasure.
I am much surprised that none
of my letters have reached you
as I believe I have written by
every steamer but one since you
left home & can only account
for it from the fact that I have
generally forwarded them to you
direct to Shanghai instead of
enclosing to the State Dept as
the others have done.
Your letters which have reached
us quite regularly are read &
Page 2

reread by your many friends
here with great interest and
the receipt of one of your
telegrams furnishes always
gratifying news for friends
private and public for the whole
country, the regard respect
& attention which appears to
meet you at every step seems
to do more to awaken an appre-
ciation in the public mind of
your past services to the country
than ever before existed before
It is to me at least a strange sight
to see our own country & even in
some cases our own neighbors
learning this lesson from a
heathen nation thousands of
miles away & but partially
interested at best in the services
which have been enacted at
Page 3

almost their own doors
But little of general interest
has taken place here since
my return from Iowa a
description of which trip I
wrote you in one of my former
letters. Business of every des -
cription is very dull and the
low water of the past season
stopping most of our mills has
made Auburn even more dull
than its neighbors. Poor people
have had the hardest winter I
have ever witness in our city
& our merchants have had a
year of unusually light profits
and in many cases large losses
No panic exists but the weak
men doing business on borrowed
means are one by one giving
out and their places are taken by
Page 4

those of more capital or economy
in the management of their
affairs. Among others that
h have stopped is the Morning
News which issued its last
paper about two weeks ago
Want of patronage and extravagant
management being the immediate
cause. The Dennis'es
x Birth: 1845-03-15  Death: 1917  Birth: 1841-12-11  Death: 1886-03-17 
having sunk
over $60,000 in the enterprise &
entirely ruined the Estate of
Mr Dennis
Real Estate here is dull enough
and such men as Paddock
Birth: 1825 Death: 1909-06-29
feel it most severely now. I
think he cannot have less
than 30 unoccupied houses on
his hands. Ours I am
glad to say is in better shape
and while but few are able
to pay their interest in full
Page 5

they have mostly paid enough
heretofore to make their homes
secure and we need not
necessarily press them beyond
their capacity. I encourage them
all I can and they repay
it by doing their best. I have
been obliged to take back but
8 houses in all both yours &
mine and I have already found
new purchasers for part of them
people preferring to buy now
of us because they feel safer
in our hands. The spring
will I think brighten up
matters some and while
the spirit of speculation &
[ enflation ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: inflation
will have entirely
died out matters will I believe
steadily slide back to the old
and safer foundation occupied
Page 6

before the war. We are not
making very large profits
at the Bank but have made
no loss of any account and
on the whole I have every
reason to be satisfied.
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
made us a Christmas
visit which we enjoyed very
much he is still stationed
at Charleston & likely to be
until spring. We hope to
have a visit from Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
& Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02

this month both of whom
are well & still deeply occupied
with their domestic arrangements
Aunty Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
has been with
us all winter and seems &
is as well as ever. Fan
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
of course her constant companion
who with Major two cats and
the eagle comprise our list
Page 7

of pets at present. Our
x Birth: 1864-11-10  Death:   Birth: 1862-09-11  Death: 1921-10-05 
keep unusually well
and are advancing nicely in
their studies under their Mother
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09

and Cora Richardson
Birth: 1845-01-15 Death: 1890-12-10
John Bostwick
Birth: 1829-07-22 Death: 1872-06-22
whose business
in New York has not proved
successful has returned here
and has a place in our Bank
as well as keeping your private
books and mine. He is of
great assistance to me
Jenny continues well and joins
me in much love to you all.
I have been so closely confined
by my rail road, Bank and
general business for the past
year that I have not been
entirely well during the
winter and the Doctor
& Jenny
who have an idea that my
Page 8

lungs are or may be [ effected ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: affected

have persuaded me to break
off from business for a month
or two and I have decided
to go to San Francisco about
the middle of March & stay
until the 1st of June Jenny I
think will go with me if she
can arrange to leave the children
so long. Mr Pomeroy
Birth: 1824-12-31 Death: 1905-03-23
is a
most excellent & careful manager
and I shall feel perfectly safe
in leaving him in charge.
Bostwick will attend to my
private affairs & yours and
if I succeed in getting Nelson
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
to look after my
RR matters il s as I hope to
I shall do what I have not
done before in five years go away
from home without continued
Page 9

anxiety for my business
Fredericks last letter from you
and one to Mary Martin
Birth: 1838-05-05 Death: 1884-01-26
us of your decision to adopt
Birth: 1844-07-15 Death: 1908-11-27
, it is of course a subject
of much comment & many specula-
tion by people generally here
at home & the family come in
for a large share of questioning
on the subject. Jenny Aunty
Worden & myself organized
ourselves into a meeting for
a full discussion of the matter
& after the usual preliminary
debate unanimously resolved,
That it would undoubtedly
contribute to your happiness &
comfort and it was therefore
entirely satisfactory to us and
that the public should be so
Page 10

informed upon every occasion
when it was mentioned. We
are certainly under many
obligations as you are to
Olive for her kind care &
affection for you and I see
no better or delicate way than
this of rewarding its continuum
Your children will all I have
no doubt join in the same feeling
as they have in reference to yourself
one wish paramount to all
other & that is to see your life
made happy & comfortable be
the circumstances what they may
Affectionately Your Son
Wm H Seward Jr
Jenny & the children join me in
love to yourself Olive Hattie
Birth: 1850-03-05 Death: 1925-07-27

& George
Birth: 1840-11-08 Death: 1910-11-28
& his wife
Birth: 1850-06-06 Death: 1934-06-15
who I trust will
remain with you