Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, February 21, 1828

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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, February 21, 1828
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:ekk

student editor

Transcriber:spp:sss

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1828-02-21

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Letter from Benjamin Jennings Seward to William Henry Seward, February 21, 1828

action: sent

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

location: New York, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: ekk 

revision: crb 2016-02-02

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Page 1

New York – 21 Feb. 1828
Dear Brother,
Your favour of the 13th has been
this moment laid in my hands. It wears the
face of cheerfulness, and convinces me that
you are happy. Its air of frankness too
which you seem to challenge me to acknowl-
edge, you will excuse me if I say is rather
too frank to suit the tone of my feelings at
the present moment. Think how the expres-
sion “I should write you more if you de-
served it,” falls upon my ears. And you
“find it impossible to draw me into a cor-
respondence” &c.&c. Call to mind one mo-
ment the manner of our correspondence for
the last seven years, and see what ample
very ample opportunity is afforded me for
retort to this portion of your letter. With
your own bosom I leave it - greater jus-
tice will thence be given me, than I now
dare trust myself to claim.
There are one or two errors into which
you constantly fall ^into^ in almost all the let-
ters you address me – which I know not
that it would be material to notice, only
that they are generally spoken of to ac-
count for some influence connected with
our correspondence. You are constantly
Page 2

complaining of a pressure of business & longing for
the leisure which you suppose me to enjoy.
Probably I am ^as^ much occupied as yourself – have
as few idle hours or moments – and forced to leave
many things undone which lie near my heart for
want of time to accomplish them. I am free to
confess however that I have much leisure to
devote to epistolary correspondence, and I do write
a great deal. You need not be told that I love
it, exceedingly – that it is one of the richest sources
from which I expect ever to derive my happiness –
and why should I not enjoy such an intercourse
with you – gifted as you are with a fine immagina-
tion, extensive reading and a correct taste. What a
cruel suspicion was that, that I had no relish
for your a correspondence with you. Count the sheets
I have written you with the quarters and gaps that
you have returned, and —
John Duer
Birth: 1782-10-07 Death: 1858-08-08
is now in partnership with BRobinson
Birth: 1779-05-26 Death: 1857-08-14

and still Counsel of the D. & H.C. Co. He however
has never brought but one suit for the Bank. He
is not approved by our co. as attorney. It is highly
probable the connexion will cease. I know nothing
of the state of Duers predilections or engagements –
but wish very much that you would come & look
into them yourself. I have great confidence in
what you can accomplish for yourself. Here too if
an hour, or a half hour of leisure occur, it may
at any time, almost, be filled up with amusement at
once rational, refined and elevating. Your business too
I really do think as a permanent thing would flour-
ish much better than a country business – and I am
sure your Frances
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
would enjoy it exceedingly. With
all the strong expressions I make, I am led to fear
that you will think me remiss in ^not^ seizing hold of some
tangible circumstance for your benefit – and give the
names, and particulars – but believe me the embarrass-
ment mentioned in my last is real & insuperable.
Page 3

Do you contrive it, to get down here this spring
and I will give you occular demonstration of my will-
ingness to trot of errands for your benefit. I have it
all chalked out in my mind how with the influence
of Steward
Birth: 1777-04-04 Death: 1854-12-19
we can secure Sam Gardner
Birth: 1792-04-19 Death: 1837-01-26
– and of Dan
Jackson
Unknown
, Robert Emmet
Birth: 1792-09-09 Death: 1873-02-15
. No difficulty will occur in
bringing the Hones to favour your views - & they are a
host. – Tappan
Unknown
too, who has much power will support
you. If Clisby
Unknown
be of sufficient consequence as a part-
ner for you, and I think him a promising young man
I can stick you together, as the Jackson men say of
Henry Clay
Birth: 1777-04-12 Death: 1852-06-29
in two hours. He has lately married
him a rich wife, but I could not judge for you
who would make an agreeable partner, no more than
I could choose a wife for you – Come down – do –
Have you seen that Pearl Street
has determined to build a House
for our M. Library in Broad Way
- large, elegant & spacious - &
to call it “Clinton Hall”. Behold how great
a matter a little fire kindleth. – by the way
will you allow yourself to be appointed Counsel
to their board of D. —
Jones
Birth: 1788-02-17 Death: 1866-07-20
will recommend Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
through thick and
thin. I can form no opinion as to the result.
Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-28
would be delighted to visit you in the
spring – it is a happiness we have long looked
for and still some day expect, to go out to the
“Falls”. The Omnicient alone can tell when all
the fine castles we have built in the air will be
finished in their inside work, which is always the
more expensive part of the structure.
The Cause of Adams is looking up. The death
of Clinton
Birth: 1769-03-02 Death: 1828-02-11
which all deplore except Chs King
Birth: 1789-03-16 Death: 1867-09-27Certainty: Possible
gives
spring to Hope that all may yet be well.
I hope to hear from you again next week.
B.J.S.

[left Margin] I see in reading over my letter that after starting it I have lost sight of
one of the general hands of my discourse, but no matter.

Page 4

Col. W. H. Seward
Auburn
New York
NEW YORK FEB 22
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Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
B.J. Seward
Feb 28
1828