Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, March 14, 1825

  • Posted on: 9 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, March 14, 1825



student editor


Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's persons.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "pla" point to place elements in the project's places.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's staff.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's bibl.xml authority file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, March 14, 1825

action: sent

sender: Benjamin Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24

location: New York, NY



Birth:   Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: mec 

revision: crb 2016-01-29

Page 1

New York 14 March 1825
Brother Henry
I am your debtor in the length of two
or three sheets of paper – several of your affectionate letters
to me have from a variety of causes remained unanswered
– this ^by^ my good friend Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
(if she knew my scribbling
propensity) would be denominated a new thing under sun.
I must answer your letters from the impress they
have made upon my mind. And first –
You advert to our old understanding & solicitude
of settling in life together. For very many years this re-
flection gave me inexpressable pleasure – because it was accom-
panied with hope of happiness & prospect of success, which
were ^to me^ the fill the measure of my joy. Nor would it be less
so now only that I find for by experience that we are
so much the children of Fate (to be understood in a Calvan-
istic sense) that my fear hopes, arising from the fond
anticipations I then cherished, have fled away. I know
not that such a measure will ever appear feasible – or
propper to eather – and though the streams of kindness which
once flowed so freely between us are now diverted, and drawn
out by our families, still I should ^hail^ the opportunity of joining
my efforts with yours in the pursuit of a common success
as a circumstance of all others the more highly calculated
to advance my happiness.
You ask me with much apparent solicitude after my
situation with John Steward
Birth: 1777-04-04 Death: 1854-12-19
, & ask if a change of situation

[left Margin] Poor Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
! I had really quite forgotten her – what abominable neglect – to have but
one only sister & to forget her – how she would lace me if she knew it. But no matter
Page 2

might not be desirable & could not be accomplished. I have lately
learned a fact which enables me ^to^ understand his conduct and
I now no longer wonder why I have lost J. Stewards affections
wherein ^on my part^ was no change of conduct. . . In our city is a firm
of Englishmen – rich & respectable – who have a branch in Liverpool
– these have assisted John Steward to a credit there, by which
he has become an importer. They have lately brought out a
young man & made a partner of him – brother to Edward
– one
of Stewards young men. Here Steward contemplates a powerful
alliance of interests & consequence. His work is to put
the young folks into his jobbing business & he to join the
old ones as factors & go himself to England for goods. And
to this end he has wished my claims out of the way.
But how could I get clear of him for seeming good cause and
not meet his little persecution after leaving. My inginuity
was not long at fault. I soon made him believe that he
was the greatest man in Christendom & with him it rested
to procure me a cashiership or teller ship in the Lackawax-
bank – of which Geo D W.
Birth: 1772 Death: 1845-11-16
is a manager – and now am
I a humble applicant for such a port – my credentials
being before the board – and I believe with little success –
but no matter – it affords room to split from Steward. Gen
Birth: 1789-09-20 Death: 1847-03-14
is making interest for me for a cashiership at
New Burgh – but most devoutly do I wish it may not
succeed. More of this at another time. I have more
important matters now
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
has ^at^ last made choice of a rib – I believe
her name is Slaughter
– the Dr
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
tells me that he thinks

[left Margin] she needs no sympathy – she stands crosses & vexations so like a very philosopher
& wears a smiling face amid such alarms & terrors, that pity for her case is quite shut

Page 3

he wishes to marry her & tells him if he does to separate himself
from him & from his farm. Pollydore writes me that if ^it^ be ne-
cessary, so he shall do – but begs me not to tell Father – the
proper time has not yet arrived. Poor fellow – my heart
bleeds when I tell you that his indications of intemperance
are increasing – and should the Dr abandon him, his business
will be a kind of Sam Crowell
life of teaming which will
be his utter destruction to my view almost as certain as
death – and yet this very measure of matrimony is looked
upon by all his friends as the only salvation of his habits –
and if he marries this must be the the girl – he will, no
other. I do greatly fear he is already lost – past redemption.
Of the girls family I know nothing –
but suppose they must be poor. They
are somehow related to Mrs. Crane
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
I rather expect will
be sent this week to the high school of our city. Father
saw Griscomb
Birth: 1774-09-27 Death: 1852-02-26
last week, & made a convert of him – and if
he does not apostatise on his return home G. is to be sent
at once. He showed me your letter – & was very much
inclined to send him there at first.
My paper I see is narrowed down but before I close
to ^let me^ assure you of the deep interest I feel in your happiness
and the solicitude I have felt & do feel for your inestima-
ble Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
. I shall say to you as I did to friend Danl J.
Birth: 1795-07-01 Death: 1876-07-03
has a wife of whom he is scarcely worthy – take good care of your
dear companion – if you lose her you cannot hope to obtain such
another – oh the very idea shocks me. Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
has been waiting
anxiously for a letter from you which should tell her more

[left Margin] Pa – Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
– & C. are to visit us in April and May – then poor girl she
will I hope be blessed with a happy meeting with him
Birth: 1798-11-26 Death: 1865-01-05
she loves.
Do write soon
Give my love once
more to everybody.

Page 4

particularly the state of her health. Our warmest love you
will please present to her – and tell her we often think
of her and had some encouraging hopes given us by our
father when here, that we should ere


Before; sooner than •
long see her – but
he said nothing about it being "post paid" – (Marcia by
the way is getting to be a prodigious favorite with the
old gentlemen) – & now it only remains that I only intimate
that some little caution ^ought to^ be used to keep these matters
from the four winds of Heaven. By all that is untameable
in the tongue of a gander don't let W.
– know anything – and to
all others concerned, put a mitten upon their respective tongues.
Our warmest respects to Miss Lazette – to aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
to Mr Alvah
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
– the last of whom we shall soon expect.
Do tell ^write^ me soon & tell me your family record B. J. S

[right Margin] Dr McAulay
Birth: 1795-04-27 Death: 1849-06
says why did he not call to see me
when in town – well I am really glad he is
married – thro' the who[ le ]


Reason: hole
affair of college difficulty
he treated me as a gen[ tlem ]


Reason: hole
an would – & well he might –
– the young dog – he [hole] knew I loved him."

Wm H. Seward Esqr
MAR 14


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
B. J. Seward
March 14th