Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 7, 1829

  • Posted on: 10 July 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 7, 1829
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:obm

student editor

Transcriber:spp:crb

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1829-07-07

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 7, 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 2017-01-27

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Page 1

Teusday evening 7th
My Dear Henry. I am very much vexed just now but expect to get
in much better humour before I finish writing to you. If you did not
know it before be it known to you now that I had a white dress
cut in Albany on this dress I have employed my precious time
for more than a week and am now obliged to put it away in
its unfinished state because it does not fit me at all – at all – I
think I hear you say of course as you did the last time I made this
complaint to you and I know you think me very difficult but not-
withstanding I take pleasure in telling you all my vexations and
more particularly at this time when I have no one else to commu-
nicate them to. But I can do without the dress although I thought
I could not so long as there was a probability of my having it
Now I am ready to take up my journal where I left it Sunday
evening. On Monday I went with your Pa
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
to Goshen and spent
the day at Harry Sewards
Birth: 1793-04-15 Death: 1871-08-27
. Did not take Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
because your
Pa said he had better stay at home — he said he would not cry if
I would let him ride a little way. So he rode a little way and
was a good as his word, got out without making the least objection
and walked back with Sarah who was waiting for him. Your Pa
observed that he was one of the best boys in the world and I thought
so. I had a delightful visit and should have enjoyed it very
much had there been no one at home because I found a piano there
and I did not want any other amusement. Harry and his wife
Birth: 1800-06-17 Death: 1885-11-09

are very clever. She has a little boy
Birth: 1829-06-06 Death: 1896-03-28
four weeks old — is not well
yet but goes all over the house — her child looks and acts like
all other children at that age I never could see any thing interesting
about them. Beula is one of those common place kind of people
in which there is not much either to censure or admire talks
somewhat louder and with more energy than Harry who undoubtedly
merits the name given him of Civil Harry. Nathan Cooper
Birth: 1825 Death: 1856-03-14
the eldest
hope was at sl school and at his grandmothers
Birth: 1786-08-04 Death: 1871-01-05Certainty: Possible
all day I saw him
just before we came away was agreeably disappointed in his behavior
as I had always been told he was spoilt. He was a little shy at first
but I gained his heart by talking about horses an little calves — he
took me out in the garden and told me the name of all the
vegetables, tree and shrubs that were to be seen I thought him a fine boy.
Page 2

As soon as I came they sent for Harry’s mother
Birth: 1775 Death: 1849-01-13
she spent the remainder
of the day there, appeared to be not very well satisfied with the Dr’s
Unknown
long
journey. In the afternoon came Mrs Smith the mother of Hector
Birth: 1798-06-20 Death: 1824-09-15
’s wife
Birth: 1800 Death: 1896-05-27
and
took tea. All the Hoffmans
x Birth: 1793-05-03  Death: 1856-05-01  Birth:   Death:   Birth: 1766-04-14  Death: 1837-01-24  Birth:   Death: 1831-06-16  Birth: 1791-09-29  Death: 1878-05-07  Birth: 1791  Death: 1855 
and
x Birth:   Death:   Birth: 1781-10-25  Death: 1851-05-05  Birth:   Death:   Birth: 1764-09-16  Death: 1832-04-12  Birth:   Death:  
Hones with seven children were at general
Wickhams
Birth: 1772 Death: 1845-11-16
I was very thankful that I did not encounter any of them
I did not ascertain how long they were to stay but your Pa went there
and gave them a very pressing invitation to come to Florida which I am
very much afraid they will make it convenient to accept. Mrs Murray
Hoffman I have been told is very haughty. Mrs Hone heartless and satyrical
and Mrs Ogden
Birth: 1813-11-19 Death: 1852-02-05
is my estimation very much like Mrs C. Hills
Birth: 1814-11-10 Death: 1883
rather
more mind. Mrs Wickham
 Death: 1864-02-05
while Bridget McDonald was a good humoured
old maid but her elevation has wonderfully increased her dignity and
made her extremely disagreeable. But I suppose they are all rich
and that will cover a multitude of sins. We came in the evening
and I found a letter from you awaiting my arrival which was all
written round and round and I was obliged to go up stairs and all alone
by myself before I could read it. This letter dated the 22d was mailed
two days earlier than the one I received from Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
on Wednesday
it contained the intelligence of Dr Tuttle’s
 Death: 1829-06
death which I read in the
Auburn paper just one week ago — this is very provoking and gives me
some uneasiness — remember if you should be sick you must send a
messenger for me otherwise I might never hear it until too late. I
am very glad you get my letters so much sooner I know it must save
you much anxiety. The secret you tell me Clary intimated
Inmost; inward • Near; close • Close in friendship or acquaintance • One to whom the thoughts of another are shared without reserve • To share together • To hint; to suggest obscurely; to give slight notice of •
in
her letter though not in as positive terms. I can hardly believe it yet
it is so different from any thing I ever imagined. Perhaps Bronson
Birth: 1792 Death: 1857-06-20
has
given up as hopeless the pursuit of a rich wife and will be contented
with an industrious one but how can Eliza
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31
fancy him, I ought not to
ask this question because once ——— upon the whole I will not tell
you my experience in al a letter and this is something that I never lisped
to a human being — you must not even mention the intimation and I
will tell you all about it sometime the only reason I never did so is
because I though it very silly and was afraid you would think so
too. Now dont you feel a little curious. I can look back upon those
times now without feeling as I once did, when I reflect with much
self complacency that I was only fifteen and had never seen my own
Henry then. Augustus has never had any symptoms of the chicken pox
and I doubt very much Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
had it. Sarah was delighted
that you made mention of her in your letter it was more than
a compensation for her previous mortification with the little girls.
Page 3

You ask me which of the three characters I like best. Strong I never saw
to my knowledge Augustus Kellogg
Birth: 1803-07-03 Death: 1871-10-30
I always despised after he copied
that letter it exhibited such an inclination to make a display at the
expense of ingenuousness. Wood
Birth: 1800-01-11 Death: 1859-08-18
I should like best of course if I had
no other reason than because you do. Daw Daniel Wood is somewhere
near Amsterdam, perhaps there, but not settled he is going to be married
to a young lady
Birth: 1799-09 Death: 1863-06
in Poughkeepsie. William one of the brothers has
been married recently. I am sorry with Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
that you have
enlisted Peter into your company by increasing his importance in his
own estimation it will make him more impudent — he was altogether
too bad before. I hope you will secure the guns before I come home.
Your little boys ^have^ had their hands considerably burnt with powder on the
fourth. I have heard nothing about the celebration a Warwick only
what Charles
Unknown
said he says “give me Florida yet”. Old Mr. Bart
Unknown

delivered an oration and some young men read the declaration of independence
reversing the common order of things. This morning your Pa went to
Goshen again. The commissioners met again and the medical society
Met also at Dr Evans
Birth: 1770-03 Death: 1829-08-16
the house was full of physicians. Frances
Vail
called on us this afternoon she is a very pretty girl. We
had a polite invitation from Mrs H Thompson
Unknown
to come there tomorrow
which we accept of course, Your Pa had not returned when I [ went ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 

up to bed —— Wednesday night. This morning while we were
eating breakfast the arrival of the mail was announced your Pa went
out was gone a few moments and then came back & very deliberately
finished his breakfast — then he went out and spent a quarter of an hour
very deliberately superintending
To have or exercise the charge and oversight of; to oversee with the power of direction; to take care of with authority •
some masons who were laying the foundation
of a new wood house. I all this time watching every movement with the
utmost impatience — then Dr Austin came I imagine in quest of a letter
or paper as I heard your Pa say he had not examined his mail— then
he came in and soon after I heard him observe to the Dr “Frances has got the
most of the mail” and then he came and gave me three letters two from
My Henry and one from my sis. These letters I cannot answer until the
next mail because we visited Mr Thompsons this afternoon. Tell Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03

if you see her that she will get an answer on Thursday. After reading
these letters over and over I went down and commenced ironing but
George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
made me the tempting offer of the horse and gig
x

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 •
which I could
not resist so I took Sarah and Augustus and went to Polydores
Birth: 1799-07-02 Death: 1872-04-25
. George
had been bringing Grandma home who has been absent more than a week.
It was a fine sunny morning and we had a delightful ride. Jolly
behaved himself very well except once when Sarah and Augustus got
Page 4

out to walk down a hil hill as his head was turned towards home he would
not stop to let them get in again until I turned him entirely round
and he thought he was not going home he then stood perfectly quiet.
Found all well at Polydores eat some cake and came home very pleasantly
and finished my ironing. This afternoon we all went (Grandma too) to
Mr Thompsons and made a visit which contrary to my expectations was
very pleasant. This evening I have been reading parts of your letters to Ma
and am now going to bed —Augustus and Sarah have been romping ever
since I commenced writing and there does not appear to be much
prospect of sleep although it is past ten — good night your own Frances
Florida
9 July
H_
William H Seward Esq—
Auburn
Cayuga County