Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 23, 1829

  • Posted on: 10 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 23, 1829



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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 Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 23, 1829

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: obm 

revision: tap 2017-01-17

Page 1

Florida June 23 Tuesday
My Dear Henry, Did you ever open the mail yourself and take out your
own letters? but I know you have and can imagine how much I
enjoyed doing so yesterday — Washington
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
and your Pa
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
were both absent
so you Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
and I performed the part of post master — I thought I could
tell by the shape of the packet if it contained a letter for me and I
was very fortunate in guessing I opened four packets successively and
each contained a letter for me one from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and three of yours—
dated 9th 14th and 17th only think of their all coming at one time
I ought certainly to have got the first by the last Wednesday’s mail
there must be some mismanagement in the Goshen office — I can hardly
expect another tomorrow — Sally Thompson
made her visit and was about as
agreeable as we expected — unfortunately for her George did not return
from the drowned lands until after her departure so that the display
of dress with which she favoured us was all lost — I had one hour respite
it took me all of that time to read my letters and look for the lock of
hair — as you anticipated in opening the letter it fell out and I spent
half an hours looking on the carpet for a lock of red hair — My search
was unavailing and I went down and told your Ma all about it and
that I had come to the conclusion that you did not send it — just then
I happened to look down at my handkerchief and there on the fringe
which had caught it in its descent was the four unfortunate little white hairs
Did they really come out of your head? — I never saw any of the kind I
think you must have had more than ordinary perplexity with your
business to turn your hair white so soon — So you really saluted the
chance Govenor
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01
— I am very thankful that I am not in Auburn because
I it might be thought proper for me to call on his lady
Birth: 1795-08-07 Death: 1834-06-29
which I should
be very unwilling to do — I suppose Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
has done homage ere


Before; sooner than •
this — It
must be that she will defer her journey until another Summer as the village
is so highly favoured — Will we have no Governors or Govenors lady’s in this
quiet little place to annoy us — I am sorry that I gave John Evans’
too little
money but cannot do anything about it until you come down I hope they
will impute
To charge; to attribute; to ascribe • To charge to one as the author or originator of; generally in a bad sense • To set to the account of another as the ground of judicial procedure • To take account of; to reckon •
it to my ignorance not parsimony You say you was
sorry I did not persevere in going in Dr Evan’s
Birth: 1770-03 Death: 1829-08-16
line of Stages why
dearest I told you in my letter that I had no idea when I left
Page 2

Newbergh that there was more than one line of stages between that place
and Goshen — Perhaps this was very stupid it might have as occurred to
me another time but I was too low spirited just then to think of any-
thing — I suppose you mean to insinuate that you wish me to be very
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •
and not to treat your Pa and Ma ill in their own house — you
know it is not my nature to be very amiable but I will try and not
be very obstinate — My Henry once would not have thought this advice
necessary — This day was set apart to go to A. Jessup’s
Birth: 1791-11-12 Death: 1871-08-17
to eat strawberries
but the rain prevented — it has rained most of the afternoon — I read
your letters (the parts that I thought would most interest her) to your Ma
she appeared very much gratified — Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
has so much to amuse him he
seldom thinks of home and has never enquired for his cradle little or big
waggon — he has whipped one little turkey to death for which I shut him
up quite contrary to his grandma’s inclination although she thought
very much of her young turkies — I do not think he will do so any more
I am afraid his manners will and morals will not improve much
while he is here he came out of the kitchen today and said his
Ma was a nigger which appears to be the mode of addressing
poor little Mary
by the hired girls
— I shall always remember the
first and last that I ever used this term in speaking to Peter
when I was a child — Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
reproved me very severely and I honour
him for it — Wednesday night — We have just returned from Amsa
Jessup’s where we have spent a very pleasant afternoon – did you ever
see any mulberries I ate some there this afternoon and think them
delightful. We had plenty of strawberries some cherries and rasberries
they have a great variety of fruit but it is not quite time for
it to be ripe —Ma and I went in a gig


To fish with a harpoon • Any little thing that is whirled around in play • A light carriage with one pair of wheels, drawn by one horse; a chair • A fiddle • A dart or harpoon • A ship's boat • A wanton girl •
— your Pa rode on horseback
the country looks very lovely — just as we were ready to start
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
came to make us a visit — this is the second time we have
disappointed her she has not taken tea here since I came — She
did not wish to go with us as she brought her babe
Birth: 1828 Death: 1905
so she went to
Birth: 1798-05-09 Death: 1868-11
and made a visit — I like Lockey extremely she has good
sense and is perfectly unaffected and unassuming and withal
does not behave very silly with her child as I have known some
women do who had good sense. Your Ma who has been complaining
for two or three days has tonight gone to bed quite sick I
think with the rheumatism
A painful disease affecting muscles and joints of the human body, chiefly the larger joints, as the hips, knees, and shoulders •
— she works altogether too much for a woman
Page 3

of her age — It may be you will think some of the remarks I made last
night in reply to your letter were unkind — they were not unkindly meant
O I shall be contented here as long as you desire me to stay and will try
and be every thing you wish. The mail came to day from Goshen
but brought me no letter I wish it could be so managed that one
letter might come on Monday and one on Wednesday it would be
preferable to having them both at one time — is it possible? —
Thursday morning — The weather continues very cold — Your Ma is much better this
morning — Augustus says for the first time in a long time "O dear! Ma I want to go home"
As the mail goes this afternoon I must conclude this letter here — Your own Frances —
Page 4

William H. Seward Esq —
Auburn —
Cayuga County
Florida 25 June —