Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 9, 1829

  • Posted on: 7 April 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 9, 1829



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Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, July 9, 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: saz 

revision: crb 2015-09-28

Page 1

Thursday night 9th
My Dear Henry I have just returned from a walk to Mr Cummings
Birth: 1776-07-15 Death: 1863-01-09

the good man himself came home with me. All the folks have gone to
bed very much tired with hard labour. I am somewhat fatigued myself
tonight I have taken two long walks to day. This morning Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
and I
went to see the horses and calves we crossed the brook on the stones which
frightened him some he said he wanted to go home, but he was delighted
with seeing the little calves. It has been a lovely day more like the first
of June than July. The first part of your first letter appears to have
been written in no very enviable frame of mind. I am very sorry that
your generosity occasions you so much trouble and wish I was at home to
share your feelings whenever your spirits are so much depressed. I am glad to
hear that court week is over I know how much it exhausts you always.
I hear nothing said about going to Kingston of course shall [ no ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: not
propose it
next week is harvest and every body will be engaged. I intended going
to Goshen at this time but shall not if cousin Mary
Birth: 1794-08-30 Death: 1876-12-31
accompanies the


to Owego. I think I told you in a former letter that he was going.
Birth: 1801-01-16 Death: 1860-02-07
says you made an antimason
One opposed to freemasonry •
of cousin Mary when you was down
she and her mother
Birth: 1760 Death: 1795-11-15
take the Dr’s side who continues a mason.
I am not sorry that Abijah
Birth: 1779-02-14 Death: 1834-07-11
and Maria
Birth: 1785-04-24 Death: 1870-04-17
made their visit during my
absence I have not exactly forgotten the cool reception we received.
I hope Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
will come down with you. my poor sister I am afraid
her cup of happiness drained never to be replenished in this world.
She feels sensibly your kindness in going to see her in her solitude.
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
acts about the bank just as he does about every thing else like
a foolish madman, he should certainly have some credit for invention
for he devises plans for the accomplishment of his projects which would
never enter the mind of any other man. Your Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
and I laughed
when I read the part of your letter where you anticipate having
more leisure at some future day, five years has not much brightened
the prospect. I have now become I almost reconciled to that which the first
years of our marriage seemed intolerable and marred much of my
happiness. Your Ma says she imagine’s your leisure will be like
your fathers
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
constantly diminishing as you grow older.
Friday night. We have just returned from a visit to Deacon Smith’s

They appear to be the cleverest kind of people. The Deacon who
Page 2

I expected to find with a long sober face is an exceedingly jolly
man for a Presbyterian deacon. he and your Ma enjoyed very much
talking about old times and manners, he stopped long enough when
we sat down to the table to ask a blessing and then kept on his
former discourse with only a comma for a pause. Mrs Smith
to be an excellent woman. George
Birth: 1802-09-27 Death: 1878-12-20
who had been over the stopped
and drank tea with us. Your Pa did not come being engaged
with workmen. This morning Augustus and I went to see the cl calves,
then I ironed all the morning and then we went to make our visit
My shoulder is lame with the rheumatism, I believe, so that I write
with some difficulty. Last night Augustus woke me up and
I discovered he had the nose bleed I was obliged to wake up
Sarah and she had to go all the way down into the kitchen to
light a candle and then to go down and get some water before
I could do anything to stop it he bore it very patiently,
grinned when I put cold water on his neck and said he
was very glad when I succeeded in stopping it. this is the
second turn of the kind he has had since we came. I find it
very inconvenient sleeping without a light. I am constantly in fear
of sickness or something of the kind. I suppose it is impossible to
get any tapers
To terminate •
nearer than Newbergh.
Saturday night. This afternoon Mary
Birth: 1798-03-27 Death: 1877-06-15
and Israel
Birth: 1795-09-03 Death: 1869
took tea with
us a couple of very nice little folks. Israel said he was at
Warwick and heard Mr Burts
Birth: 1760-10-25 Death: 1852-03-17
oration, it was extemporaneous
1. Without previous study or meditation; without preparation; suddenly •
very violent against the party to which he is opposed which that
is I know not Israel said he was sure that if he had written it
first he never would have delivered it. We have now warm pleasant
weather. I hope it will continue through harvest time I find I
feel considerable interest in these things hearing them talked about
so much. Every body asks me if I am not homesick I have
the satisfaction of telling them invariably (with truth) that I am not
Your Pa and Ma are so kind they do every thing in their power to
make me comfortable and happy. I told your Pa the other night
about old Mrs Hydes
Birth: 1758 Death: 1833-10-07Certainty: Possible
story about Maryann’s
Birth: 1805-05-02 Death: 1848-01-09
refusing you, he entered
into the affair with much spirit and told Ma that the next
Page 3

Time she went through Skaneateles she had better make it convenient to
observe that she was very glad her son did not accept Maryanns offer
as it would undoubtedly have been his ruin, but she objected to this
arrangement and preferred doing good for evil. This evening Sarah
favoured us with a call. Old Mr Dill
Birth: 1770-09-11 Death: 1844-10-14
who lives in the old
house is not expected to live many days. Mrs Hetsall
who has been sick
with the consumption
The act of consuming by use, waste, dissipation, and decay; destruction • The state of being wasted or diminished; waste; dimunition; loss • A gradual decay or dimunition of the body; especially the disease called phthisis pulmonalis (pulmonary consumption), a disease seated in the lungs, attended with a hectic fever, cough etc •
a long time is much lower than she has been, the
family are at her request making preparations for her funeral.
The remitting
To exhibit or present strong reasons against an act, measure of any course of proceedings • To suggest urgent reasons in opposition to a measure • To show by a strong representation of reasons •
fever has is very prevalent here I have heard of no ease
since I have been here that it has proved fatal.
Monday morning. Yesterday is the first Sunday since I came from home
that I have not written two letters but yesterday I wrote none at all.
In the morning I fixed Augustus and Sarah off to church, had just got
ready to compose myself to sleep when they came home again. Augustus made
it known out loud soon after he got there that he wanted to come home again
he only remained through one prayer and singing. I have been trying for
the last two or three days to learn him to whisper but find it impossible
In the afternoon I went myself, on account of not having slept any I could
not keep my eyes open. Mr Cummings preached a long and as far as I
heard a very uninteresting sermon. Lockey
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
and Polydore
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23
came down in the
morning. Polydore went home at noon with the headache. Lockey remained
until after tea when George took her home. Just as I got ready to write
in the afternoon a thunder shower made its appearance this of course inca-
pacitated me for writing while that continued. Lockey came up to sit
with me because she thought I would be afraid and entertained me with
misdemeanours which were very numerous. I had a violent
headache the remainder of the afternoon, sickness at the stomach and
chills followed and I went to bed at eight oclock pretty much de-
A kind of long net used to capture birds or fishes • A kind of shackles used for regulating the motions of a horse • An iron hook of various forms and sizes used for hanging kettles and other vessels over a fire • An instrument for drawing ovals upon boards • To catch to intercept • To confine; to hamper •
upon having the remitting
To exhibit or present strong reasons against an act, measure of any course of proceedings • To suggest urgent reasons in opposition to a measure • To show by a strong representation of reasons •
fever. I awoke this morning
quite well, must write to Lazette by this afternoon’s mail. August
enquired if I was well this morning when he first awoke. I wish
you could see the taper
To terminate •
I have constructed it actually burned all
night, for a floater
One that floats or swims •
I took three pieces of cork and joined them together
with pins upon which I set the taper
To terminate •
made of a button mould and
and thread dipped in melted beeswax for a wick. it answers every purpose
of a regularly built taper. Sarah wishes me to give her love to you.
Your own Frances.
Page 4

July 13th
William H. Seward Esq
Cayuga County.
Frances A. Sew.
9 July 1829
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

[left Margin] Isaac Jackson
Town of Locke .Isaac Cady
Birth: 1795 Death: 1864-08-26

Genoa. Palmer
Birth: 1811-05-24 Death: 1876Certainty: Possible