Letter from William Henry Seward to Frederick William Seward, April 19, 1871

  • Posted on: 9 May 2018
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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frederick William Seward, April 19, 1871



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frederick William Seward, April 19, 1871

action: sent

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

location: Goa, India

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: csh 

revision: tap 2018-04-05

Page 1


Editorial Note

This letter is a copy of William Henry Seward's original letter written by Lazette Miller Worden for Augustus H. Seward.
Returning from Goa
April 19th 1871
My dear Frederick
The Government of Bombay

put a steamer with a double headed cap-
tanicy, that is two Captains and a double
flag – the flag of Great Britain and our
own stars and stripes at my service – to
visit Goa three hundred miles South of
Bombay on the coast of Malabar – Once
the European capital of India – now
shrivelled and in hopeless decline, but
still Portuguese and therefore chivalrous.
It was quite apparent that Japan & China
and Hong Kong

thought a visit from me
conferred as much of a distinction as
a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh
Birth: 1844-08-06 Death: 1900-07-31

I am now clear that British India has
thought so. However that may be, Goa
with the territory reduced to 48 square
miles & its population four hundred
thousand, has flattered me into a
Page 2

a belief that my visit was especially
welcome – So much of unaffected kind-
ness & friendship in so small a commun-
nity, so much gun powder burned in
such small and few guns, so much
glorious music from so few instruments
and throats – so much wine that needed
"no bush," so plentifully poured out by
so few hands into so few cups, I never
before knew. I have wanted to trans-
cribe the leaves of Olive's
Birth: 1844-07-15 Death: 1908-11-27
journal of
our visit to Goa – but it has taken all
this our only day of return to write it
in the book – We sleep on deck when it is
cool though dark – The Southern cross ri-
ses and sets during our slumbers – To-
morrow I dine with the Byculla club
200 in number – Friday settle accounts
Saturday sail for Cairo in the same
steamer that carries this letter – I shall
send you some photographs furnished me
by John Wharton
and his English wife

born in India, and their child
– He
is a public officer at Bombay in good
Page 3

and in good repute and and
I think proud of his success – His wife's
family are evidently proud of the
Olive joins me in love to
you & Anna
Birth: 1834-03-29 Death: 1919-05-02
& all friends – I am hav-
ing the excitement and dissipation
of society better than at home and
the fatigue of travel no worse – It
is due to my amanuensis to say that
these frequent corrections are my
own after thoughts in dictating her –
Your father
William H. Seward
Red Sea May 4th
My dear Frederick
Our voyage on the Indian O-
cean or rather across the Arabian sea was
perfectly smooth and rendered sufficent-
ly cool by northern breezes until we came to
anchor in the little harbor of Aden
on the coast of Arabia – Here the heat
Page 4

the heat became intolerable – The
Birth: 1830-12-31 Death: 1895-03-02
– a most excellent gentleman
speedily took us off & entertained us
at lunch after which he drove us
over every practicable road on the Isl-
and, which is nothing more nor less
than an extinct volcano – The hollow-
basin which must for ages have held the
burning mineral mass is now a bed a
mile or two in diameter, with a moun-
tain rim sixteen hundred feet high
with a sharp but irregular edge. Places
on the summit of these hills command the
center of the crater & the encircling sea
equally. The half savage population
of the town, in the crater is thus held in
constant espionage while no foreign
enemy can cross the natural fortified
escarpment – so well has Great Britain
secured the key to India – Aden con-
tains a population of forty thousand
people of whom one half are Arabs &
dusky Jews and the other half jet black
savages from Somalia on the African
coast – Thus far in our voyage up the
Red Sea we have seen only Mocha
and that only showed its minarets
Page 5

through a spy glass – We have seen Djedda
and we have a promise of seeing this afternoon
the mountain range of which Sinai and
Horeb are the most prominent peaks on the
African side only barren sandy plains
in Sommalia, and the Elba mountains
of Nubia

– We quite [ dispair ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: despair
of finding
any of the chariot wheels of Pharaoh’s
since however it may have been in his time
the channel of the Red Sea is far from either
shore and unfathomable. We expect to
to reach Suez tomorrow and hope to find
a train the same day to Cairo. The Pyra-
mids can be seen from the Suburb of
Ghiza on the left bank of the Nile op-
posite Cairo and can be visited easily
in one day – We suppose that the voyage
on the upper Nile necessary to see
Thebes Luxor

and other antiquities, will
be impracticable at this season – A week
therefore will suffice to see the Suez
Canal and Cairo, the Pyramids and
Alexandria – Two weeks will suffice
Page 6

for Palestine – and there we shall make
our way rapidly to Constantinople

We begin to reckon upon an end of our
travels in about three months – Having
no destination in view beyond Con-
stantinopole – at present our letters
may be addressed there until we give
a new direction – We are all well & de-
sire to be remembered with affection
Your affectionate
father William H Seward
by O.R.S.
Dear Augustus
I have your letter of June
3d and think you will be back at Charles-
before this reaches there – Where you will
find another letter from me enclosing a
copy of one from father – You will see by
this one, which I enclose to day – that we may
expect him home this summer that is if
he does not think of some new place to
visit when he goes to Constantinople
as Mr. Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
& Harriet
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
have gone to
Page 7

to Europe perhaps they may all go some
where together – We are expecting Will
Birth: 1839-06-18 Death: 1920-04-29
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
next week as they are to leave San
to day. Mr
Birth: 1822-12-15 Death: 1886-07-06Certainty: Probable
& Mrs Osborne
Birth: 1830-09-03 Death: 1911-07-18Certainty: Probable
turned a week ago and report Will
is well – growing fat – I talk of going
to Fred's
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
after they return – Mary Car-
Birth: 1796-08-01 Death: 1883
& her husband
offer to stay
in my house while I am away
The children
x Birth: 1864-11-10  Death:   Birth: 1862-09-11  Death: 1921-10-05 
are well & send love
June 13th
I cut this from our paper this evening – as
it is later by four or five days than the
Page 8

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


Type: postmark

Page 9


Editorial Note

Newspaper clipping attached