Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, January 16, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, January 16, 1831



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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, January 16, 1831

action: sent



Birth:   Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: alc 2014-05-01

revision: mhr 2014-09-01

revision: ekk 2015-09-09

Page 1

Auburn Sunday evening 16
My Dear Henry, your Thursday’s letter came this morning, it
seems to me my letters are forever getting to you, you have not
received my second yet. I have the vapours
To waver; to move one way and the other • To fluctuate in mind or opinion; to be unsteady or unconstant •
most wretchedly. The
destroying angel still continues to visit the dwellings of our neigh-
bours, and why shall we escape? Ambrose Cock
Birth: 1779-08-13 Death: 1850-02-02
lost another child

on Friday with the scarlet fever, the youngest, about nine months
old. Daniels
Birth: 1806-11-11 Death: 1850-10-28
Birth: 1829-12-17 Death: 1831-01-17
was alive the last we heard but supposed to be
dying. Mrs. Gunn
was buried on Friday the day after her
disease, what a barbarous custom this is of hurrying people under
ground the moment they have ceased to breathe. Catharine
Birth: 1800 Death: 1874-01Certainty: Probable
spent the day with us yesterday, is still here, nothing
occurred by way of excitement except the chimney’s getting on
fire in the afternoon the remainder of the day Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
Peter spent in examining the roof of the house to see that it had
not taken fire. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
too was very useful in that way, last
night it had snowed sufficient to make tolerable sleighing, so unpleasant
to day no one ventured out to Church. Teusday morning. I
had written so far sunday night when, while putting the children
in bed I hit my elbow against the bed post, I never had any
thing so trifling occasion so much pain. I think it must have
struck a nerve the chords became contracted and the veins very
much swollen instantly, it continued to pain me until
I went to bed, my wrist was so weak I could not write
any more that evening. I still feel the weakness when I write
but do not apprehend any other ill effects from the blow. Catherine
McDonald is still with us. She is a singular being but with all her
oddities has much good sense and quickness of apprehension. She is older than myself and can reccollect the rise and
Page 2

progress of the junto family as Mrs. G. B. Throop
Birth: 1806-02-11 Death: 1872-06-17
very sapiently
designates them. She has related to me many very amusing
anecdotes about them. I have wandered strangely since I commenced
this letter you must not imagine yours was less interesting to me
because I have said so little about it. I had the hypo


A Greek preposition for under, beneath • A morbid depression of the spirits •
when I
commenced writing Sunday evening and felt rather disposed to
quarrel with the post masters because I could not enjoy your
simpathy sooner. The sunshine of monday morning morning displaced
some of these feelings, but my apprehensions about the scarlet fever
still continue. Daniel Cock and his wife
have just gone to bury
their babe it died yesterday morning. Dr. Pitney
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
who like Augustus
thinks one remedy may be effectively applied to all diseases in-
creased the pain of the little sufferer by making an incision
in its throat, because he chanced to be successful when he operated
upon Mr Mills
little girl
, who had the croup. He did the same
to Dr Vaneps
it died and Vaneps now thinks had he
followed his own judgement the child might have been living.
I would give the world there was one phisician in whom I had
might have half the confidence I had in poor Dr. Tuttle
 Death: 1829-06
. But
the best phisician cannot always cure. After all the lives of our
babes are in the hands of Him who gave them, of Him who sees
not as man sees. It gratifies me to know that you think you
would be more happy were I with you but it cannot be. It would
be almost cruel to take my little ones away from a home where they
are so comfortable and happy this cold cold winter. I am
too foolish a mother to leave them, so it cannot be. I think
you will feel less lonely when you become more accustomed to your
new mode of spending your time. Thurlow Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
I like because
he likes you. Andrews
Birth: 1796-10-16 Death: 1863-06-11
I do not like neither do I like his wife

you could discover no point in her character because there is
none, none that is amiable. When she was 14 years old her
Page 3

most predominant traits were selfishness and vanity. Maynard
Birth: 1786-11-11 Death: 1832-08-28

could not win a womans heart. But Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
, with his “genius”
his “acquirements,” his “eloquence” and “honorable principles” his fascinating
address and his ambition has he a heart. You appear to
have forgotten this in the calender of his virtues. Perhaps a
brilliant imagination occupies the place of one. Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876

as you draw her I should esteem but where there is a lady
in the case I had rather trust my own judgement.
Dont think me cynical, you know I can and do love,
too much for my own happiness some times. The stove does make
the big room very warm. Gus has had no rides with his Grandpa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13

yet, but promises in profusion. Grandma says Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
has grown
to be very nice since he came here to live, but he will never
equal Augustus, with Grandma and Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
, dear tired he sits
alone and plays on the carpet and looks very meek and nice in
his mother’s eyes Augustus is devising all manner of ways to
keep him from Mr Tracy. I cannot persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
him that he will not be
taken perforce. I can tell you to which of the classes of members you do
not belong. Not to John C. Spencers
Birth: 1788-01-08 Death: 1855-05-17
, not to Enos
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01
’ I am quite sure. Not
to those who dress, dine, make calls and motions prettily nor to the
mulititude of cyphers I am very positive. If you do not belong to the
other class which is the only one that finds any favour in my eyes
I think you must be a distinct species. It snows again to
day and continues yet, our thermometer has varied very
little during the last week. Saw no one yesterday but Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15

who came for the little tin trunk, did not appear much inclined
to talk, as a specimen of my carefulness, when he went away I looked
for the key but Peter who was standing by said he saw Beardsley put
it in his pocket. I gave up the seach search very composedly. This
morning the key was found on the carpet, woe unto me if Pa
had discovered it first. Tomorrow I shall expect the Sunday letter. Your own
Page 4

William H. Seward
Auburn NY JAN 20


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward 21 Jan. 1831