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

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

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:mec

student editor

Transcriber:spp:jjm

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1825-03-14

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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

receiver:  
x

 

Birth:   Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: mec 

revision: crb 2016-01-29

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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: 1805-10-29 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
Unknown
– 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-
en
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
Belknap
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
Pollydore
Birth: 1799-07-02 Death: 1872-04-25
has ^at^ last made choice of a rib – I believe
her name is Slaughter
Unknown
– 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
out.

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
Unknown
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
Unknown
.
George
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
who
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: 1839-10-28
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
x

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.
Unknown
– 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 ]
x

Supplied

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

Supplied

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

Wm H. Seward Esqr
Auburn
N.Y.
NEW-YORK
MAR 14
x

Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
B. J. Seward
March 14th
1825