Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, April 2, 1825

  • Posted on: 17 July 2019
  • By: admin
xml: 
Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, April 2, 1825
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:jaa

student editor

Transcriber:spp:msf

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1825-04-02

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 Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, April 2, 1825

action: sent

sender: Mahlon Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26  Death: 1865-01-05

location: Mendham, NJ

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: jaa 

revision: crb 2019-01-25

<>
Page 1

April 2d 1825
Dear Sir–
But for certain untoward circumstances, which
have occurred within the last few months, I would not
trouble you with a letter –
I had, indeed, anticipated the time, when, an interchange
of ideas might take place but, it has arrived sooner
than I expected, or, considering all the causes which led
to it, could have wished–
You must have learn ^e^ d in this, that a most unhappy
misunderstanding took place, between your father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
and
myself, about the time you left Orange County
You know the cause, and, I can only say, that the Doctor’s
busy informant
Unknown
told him, what, at the time, was utterly
untrue, – However, he only anticipated us a little; it
soon became true, to the letter– –
The next day after you left us, I call’d at the house,
soon after Polydore
Birth: 1799-07-02 Death: 1872-04-25
returned, – Cornelia
Birth: 1805-10-29 Death: 1839-01-04
seem’d much
distressed which, I attributed to indisposition –
She soon undeceived me – her papa had been talking
with her, and not much to my advantage, as you
may well suppose.– – Most luckily, he had gone
Page 2

to Court, and thus we were allowe’d a few minutes in conversa-
tion, – Cornelia said, that the Doctor intended to see me
next day– I waited for him a long time anxiously and feeling
desirous to know the worst – I wrote to him, soliciting an
interview– He preferred seeing me at his house, I went
over, fully prepared for a boisterous time;– however, I was
politely received – He asked me if I did not think I had
acted dishonourably, “in stealing away the affections of his
daughter,” as he chose to express it– I replied I had
done rightly, and had nothing to reproach myself with–
It would take me long to tell what passed in a conversa-
tion which lasted at least two hours, – The ground of his
complaint, was Cornelia’s minority* at the same time saying
that, when any of his children
x Birth: 1793-08-23  Death: 1841-02-24  Birth: 1808-08-26  Death: 1888-12-07 
were of a legal age, he would
only advise in matters of this kind, and not oppose in
any way whatever– I do hope he will remember this–
At length, he seem’d to think that to charge me with any thing
dishonourable was unjust —; for, as I was about coming away,
he said, he believed that precipitancy had been my
greatest error – He then gave me his hand, and assured
me that he would be happy to meet me in a profession-
al capacity, and that he would at all times treat me
as a gentleman, – I felt under no great obligation for
what I conceived to be due to me, until found guilty of

[left Margin] *he said she was a child;– meaning that she
had not arrived at years of discretion!!

Page 3

something more criminal than having indulged the
best feelings of my heart– But I am sorry to say, he forgot his promise
The letter which you wrote to Louisa, after your return, she handed
to me, – If any thing could equal the pleasure of knowing that your
ideas, in relation to this subject; corresponded with our own; it was
the fact of my holding so distinguish’d a place in your esteem, –
and I do assure you, my Dear Sir, this feeling is most cordially recip-
rocated– I hope it may never diminish– –
I left Florida on the 23rd Feby, and have settled in the county of
Somerset New Jersey3 miles from any where;– that is the nearest
village (called Peapack)– ^is of that distance^ whether the name is Low Dutch or
high Indian is more than I can tell– The prospect seems
very good– and ultimate success quite certain–
I would have staid at Florida if all
had gone well –– At some future time
perhaps I may return, – I have a great wish
to oust Dr Chapman
Birth: 1790-05-09 Death: 1742-04-27
, which would not be very difficult–
Tell my friend Miss Miller
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
, that she forgot her promise
–that she can make it good without Mr W–n’s
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
being the
wiser– If I do not soon have the long anticipated pleasure,
I shall take the liberty of construing her promise into a permission
to write to her–
I hope I may hear from you; – Direct to Mendham, Morris Co,,
NJ
–– Care of Doct. H. S. Woodruff Jr.
Birth: 1754-06-28 Death: 1842-08-11
– We have an office
in the nearest Village, but the mail arrives only once a week
and is uncertain –
Please to make my respects to Mrs S
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
and Sister, and
believe me my dear Friend–
Very Affectionately Your’s
Mahlon D. Canfield
Page 4

Mindham
April 4th
Wm H. Seward Esquire
Auburn
Cayuga Co.
N. Y.

[left Margin]
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
M.D.Canfield May
1825