Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 15, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 15, 1831
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:djg

student editor

Transcriber:spp:cef

Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1831-02-15

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 15, 1831

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: djg 

revision: dxt 2015-09-23

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Page 1

Teusday night _
My Dear Henry, Your Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
letter came this morning. I cannot express
to you how deeply it interested me. I am glad very glad that Tracy has
a heart, it would be wicked as Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
says to doubt it hereafter. ( how
much I do like Weed he is so generous). That letter if I am any Judge
after having read it at least a dozen times was written in sincerity of
heart. I do not believe it is in the power of a heartless man or a
hypocrite to write just such a letter. I can give you no reasons,
my heart tells me so. I have thought of nothing but your letter all
day. I have wept and laughed alternately. I have had some sad imagin
ings about my own unworthiness. I have said, what can my lov[ e ]
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Reason: 

be to one who has had the power to enchain the affections of
minds so brilliant and fascinating as Berdan’s
Unknown
and Tracy’s?
This is not a jealous feeling Henry if I know any thing about my own
heart. I was not jealous of that dear departed one, and
I know that you loved him “as you never again can love in this
world.” With all my imperfections with nothing but a true heart
to make me interesting to any one I do not doubt your affection
in that I have the fullest confidence, but I often feel that I
am too ‘rich in blessings’, and my melancholy
Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; stubborn or constant in enmity • Incapable of being relieved or quieted; inextinguishable •
nature, inconsistent
as it may be, does often make this a cause of sadness.
I cannot write. I could not talk were you with me, but I can feel
Why is it that while my heart is overflowing I cannot describe any of
its emotions? but it was ever thus, and I have little reason to regret my
want of eloquence while I possess the love of one who can understand my
feelings without my expressing them. Wednesday morning _ I had
written so far last night when a faintness came over me and I was obliged
to go to bed, after a night of disturbed and restless slumber I do
not feel very much refreshed this morning.
Page 2

Wednesday night — I am so much better to night I will again
resume my letter[ . ]
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Reason: 
Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
interrupted me this morning and I have been
engaged ever since. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
continues unwell yet though he goes out to
the office occasionally. I have not written one word in conformity to my
journal plan since Sunday night so I will go back again. Serene
Birth: 1802

and William
Unknown
staid until nine oclock. Serene appeared remarkably
serious. She says Mrs Hamilton
Birth: 1784-10-01 Death: 1856-04-13Certainty: Probable
and the other presbyterians have all beset
Frances Dibble
Birth: 1808-09-10
to convert her, finally they sent her with Theodore
Unknown
to
Geneva where the work proceeds more rapidly than here. Mrs H. had just been
to see Serene and said a letter from Theodore announcing the glad tidings
that Frances was taking an active part in the prayer meetings had arrived
this is all considered I suppose as an answer to the prayers of the
righteous. They have been praying in their meetings for Frances, Maria
Bennet
Unknown
and a niece
Unknown
of Miss Steele’s
Certainty: Probable
. Serene is to be one of the
next subjects and they are making considerable calculations on her
conversion. I told her she was so serious I thought it probable she would
“come out” as the phrase is. Pa was quite sick, through the night but
better in the morning. Monday anf afternoon Miss Miller
Unknown
took tea with us
Serene called in the evening for Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
to go and call to Dr Pitneys
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20

Clary did not feel well enough but concluded she would go with
Miss Miller as far as Compstons
Birth: 1784-08-18 Death: 1850-04-03
. Serene found them all wonderful
dignified and important the Dr was engaged in writing the letter to
you which I suppose you have recieved before this time, and which
was the occasion of my hurried note by Mr. Bradly
Unknown
.
The Dr feels at this time as if no one could be better employed than
in serving his wife and daughters. Caroline
Unknown
S staid here all night.
Teusday — Debby Wood
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called here, in the afternoon Clary Caroline Serene
and Eliza Horner
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31
went up and took tea with Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
. It rained
hard when they came home and continued raining until about
noon to day. I do not think the sleighing materially injured
Caroline went back to Dr Rudds
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
this morning I think it probable she
Page 3

will stay a week or two indeed I believe she came with that intention
though she says she only came perpared to stay two or three days. She
says Mrs Rudd
Birth: 1785
has invited herself and sister to spend the winter with
her. if it is so which I very much doubt I think Mrs Rudd must have
rather a singular taste. Caroline I believe means well or has rather an
amiable
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •
disposition naturally, but she is careless about her dress, idle
trifling in her conversation, and withal as the little old man says in the
‘height of Impudence’ ‘wonderfully given to lying’. All these would
not be very agreeable qualities for a companion. they are hardly tolerable
in a transient visiter. This afternoon Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
and I went up to see
Lazette, we found her with a bad cold almost innundated. the house leaks
every where, front room, hall, chamber and kitchen, she was obliged to
take up the carpet in many places, she thinks it the roof might be repaired
to prevent all this but Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
wants energy. My poor dear sis hers is
a rough path through this world. I did not take Fred, he coughs a little
yet and I did not think - it best to expose him. Lazette says she does not
know [ enough to a ]
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Reason: wax-seal
nswer your letters, but I think she will notwithstanding
Mr Moffatt
 Death: 1862Certainty: Possible
and Mr Watson
Unknown
are here this evening. Mr Watson appears
extremely well pleased with the marriage of one of his boys
Birth: 1806 Death: 1845
. George
Birth: 1808-02 Death: 1852-07Certainty: Possible
the
youngest is married to a daughter of Mr Greens
Unknown
. Thursday night —
I think Pa is some better to day he has been out two or three times. I
say I think he is better but I have never ventured to ask him. Any one not
not acquainted with us all here would think I was rather an unfeeling daughter
how often when I see Pa sick and dispirited my heart yearns to do him some kind
office at least to offer my sympathy, but the fear of such offers not being well recieved
always prevents me. I wish I knew what Pa himself thought of me, he does not
ever appear gratified when I enquire about his sickness if he answers at all does
it in repelling a manner that I have desisted from any thing of the kind. He
appears gratified to have Augustus interested about him so always send him to make
enquiries. "what will you do for me," said Pa to him the other night, "because I am
sick."“love you” was the reply, as that is an effectual remedy for his troubles
he could think of no other to apply. It is freezing cold again to night.
Clary has been reading the Water Witch
Author: James Fenimore Cooper Publisher: Carey & Lea Place of Publication:Philadelphia Date: 1831
to me until it is almost 12 oclock so I must
to bed, in the mean time while you are daily winning new hearts you must not forget
the one which “is thine alone forever” – that of your own Frances.
Page 4

Auburn NY Feb 19
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Stamp

Type: postmark

William H Seward
Albany

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F A Seward
Feb. 19. 1831