Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, December 23, 1826

  • Posted on: 9 March 2016
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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, December 23, 1826



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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 Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, December 23, 1826

action: sent

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

location: Kingston, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: ekk 

revision: crb 2016-02-02

Page 1

Kingston Dec.23.1826
Dear Henry
The promptness liberately & kind feeling
of your letter warmly impressed me. I ought
to have answered it sooner – and should have
done so, if I could have commanded an hour, of
leisure free from fatigue.
I believe I told you that I had been sued
by Soulard
Birth: 1766-11-16 Death: 1825-03-11
for $10,000. on examination I find
my old partner Collet
has been signing notes for
me without my knowledge. The attorney, young
Birth: 1792-09-09 Death: 1873-02-15Certainty: Possible
, has written for further instructions, and
the matter lies without further progress. I have
written for leave to visit St Louis, free from bail bond.
I wrote also to Col Post
Birth: 1780-11-18 Death: 1846-03-14
, to inquire if he would
aid me in the settlement of my affairs. His
answer is an affirmative one, but contemplates the
payment of fifteen hundred dollars at some future
day if I should be able – To which I make
no objection, if he does not exact a bond or se-
curity, or some such matter ^as^ would be impropper
for me to give. If Soulard obtain judgment,
I shall without difficulty obtain a discharge ^from execution^ . Emmet
knows ^it^ & has so advised Soulard. It is therefore probable
Soulard will give his consent that I should visit
his place. I tremble to go – ‘tis death to stay. I
had heretofore always looked toward you for aid
to arrange my matters there, but have of late
considered it out of the question. Your generous

[left Margin] Be careful that you do not say a word to any one about my affairs,
“Reasons of state” require it, & Pay postage to Col Post.

Page 2

offer to go surprises & melts me & melts my heart.
I mentioned it to father. he flounced at it at once,
as if the residue of my days spent in trammelled cir-
cumstances, is a snuff compared with the little ^comparative^ incon-
veniences it might occasion you. He might at least
have thought patiently of it. I was not pleased –
Col Post offers to aid me in obtaining clearances
from creditors with a view to ^my^ relief under the 2/3 act,
but then it is a summers work to learn who it is that
my partners owe. OHara
owed everybody – and if I
fail to get the whole, the amount unnoticed stands
good against me. I reluctate
To relax as intensity; to make less tense or violent • To forgive; to surrender the right of punishing a crime • To pardon, as a fault or crime • To give up; to resign • To send back • To transmit money, bills, or other things in payment for goods • To restore • To slacken • To abate in violence for a time •
therefore at reliance upon
any one but myself in searching deeply into the difficulty.
Post Holds claims against ^OHara & of course against^ me to amount of thirty thou-
sand dollars or more. But I do not believe this will
be the two thirds of my responsibilities for partners there.
His influence doubtless could obtain some one or two oth-
er creditors to relinquish, if not all of them, and
this would carry me through. I have never been
an object of the bitterness of these creditors, and only
for the goodness of a Dr
in N.Y. who told a Baptist
priest from there, that I was growing rich, they would
never have looked to me for payment. I do not ex-
pect any man there not even Soulard would oppose
my application, & if they should, I know not that
they could at all intercept me
I am uninformed of the present state of the relief
or insolvent laws of either Missouri or Illinois.
They changed every year nearly while I was there.
then there would have been but little difficulty
in compliance – but it is not probable they remain
as they were. Col Post is this winter a Senator
in Missouri – his assistance could not be obtained
before spring. without it nothing could be effected.

[left Margin] Tell Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
there is the greatest opening for business on this Canal that ever were
seen and he ought to embrace them.

Page 3

I write under amidst constant interruption. Repetition
and want of connection must be the consequence. And
I dare say I shall omit, what I would like much to
say. The claim of post for $1,500 is something
like this. A loan in Cincinnati of $4,000 by me
had been paid except one half paid, & OHare with
whom the whole was lodged, agreed to pay the
remaining half, at a time when I was not in
the country. The time arrived, & he paid $500
& gave Posts note for the balance, which he utli-
mately had to pay. Posts losses by OHara & Co
are immensely more than mine, which gives him
fair claim on me to share losses with him. But
he choses to select the $1,500 & to say that he will
let [hole] rest pass. The object with me is so
[hole] important to liberate myself from
[hole] ment that I shall make no objection
to this measure. Now I must beg the
favour of you to write to the Col for me and
say that my duties o[ f ]


Reason: hole
the lien of the Canal
leaves me no leisure to write, that I have, requested you
to do so. say that you understand from me that he has
been kind enough to say that he would aid me & are
happy that the terms are satisfactorily settled between
us, & that I will not be found wanting in the fulfil-
ment of them on my part, the particulars of which however
you are not informed in. Say that it is my ^desire^ wish of you
that you ask certain information of him (and that I do not
ask it of him myself because I know not so well what the
points are) relative to the relief law of Missouri. what
would be necessary for me to do to liberate myself
from a writ if I should be served with one there. Ask
him to answer you immediately, to tell you if it be
convenient to learn the same thing from Illinois, but not
to detain his letter to learn this, & say in the last
of your letter

[left Margin] Please address me at N.Y.
Page 4

that for the trouble he has lately taken in my affairs and
now takes, you will see to it that he is suitably compensated
either by an agent if it should be deemed necessary to send
one, or in some other way mode. Please write me such
points of difficulty as suggest themselves to your mind & let
me talk them over with my little Lawyer Whalen
of N.Y.
I have a deal more to write to you about Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
& Pa
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24

and myself & every body, but I have punished you off
for your negligence of me prety well & will stop. It
is more than an even wager I may write you again
directly. Give my most sincere congratulations to your
kind Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
upon her recovered health & tell her to
kiss the young Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
for his far off uncle
Wm Henry Seward Esq
DEC 25


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
B.J. Seward
Dec 23