Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 22, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, February 22, 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, February 22, 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


transcription: djg 

revision: dxt 2015-09-25

Page 1

Teusday night 22d
My Dear Henry, I have got the hypo


A Greek preposition for under, beneath • A morbid depression of the spirits •
most wretchedly to night
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
has gone to George Woods
Birth: 1799 Death: 1870-08-24
to tea, Peter has gone to the ball, and
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
has just come home sick. he dined to day at Noyes’
Birth: 1786 Death: 1860
and has not
been home since until now. he has been dieting for the last week but
I suppose to day was so imprudent as to eat a rich, hearty dinner.
he has gone immediately to bed quite as sick as ever. You do not know
how much it distresses me to see Pa ill it has been until the last year
so uncommon an occurrence that I hardly thought it possible for him
to become weak and dependent upon others for assistance, how gladly would
that assistance be removed by me were it in my power. how little Pa
knows of the nature of woman. Your letter did not come this morning as
I expected and I have been not very happy to day. this is rather unreasonable
is it not? but just such ingrateful mortals we are the more we recieve
the more we require and I feel it a wonderful deprivation if I am
obliged to wait longer than three days for a letter. It is raining hard
to night, but I suppose the people will all get to the ball notwithstanding
I do not know who is going of our acquaintances but plenty of the
canaille. Eliza Horner
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31
was here this morning said she was not going
as she did not expect to be county Clerk next year, alluding as I
afterwards discovered to Myres
who attends as he says because if he does
not the people will call him a Junto man, his motive I think would
have been quite as wisely concealed _. Yesterday Caroline Miller
here until afternoon when she and Clary went out to make some calls. She
did not return here but went to Dr Rudd’s
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
and left there for home this
morning. It is very obvious that Walter Fosgate
has made love to Caroline
and if he does not intend to marry her as I told Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
the other day
I think he has done wrong. What heart Caroline has I think she has given
him, I do not believe unsolicited. She is not as lively as she was last
winter and was evidently much disappointed that he was not in the village
Page 2

Clary has just come home from George Woods, she and Edward
have had a long talk about
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
to night. This conversation has done away the last of the favorable impressions
I once entertained for Beardsley. I have this long time apologised for him against
my own conviction. henceforth I shall give credit to all the evil that I hear of him
I do very much regret that he is connected with you in any way. I do not think
you know him yet. Edward I do believe I think he is too meek to be insincere
Edward says that Beardsley is in the habit of telling to the young men
in the office every thing that transpires here at the house which he gets from
Peter. To night he has been entertaining them with the performance here last sum–
mer according to Peters version and told the circumstances as having actually
occurred without telling the author of the scandal, he said the butter
said to be stolen was taken to Wordens
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
, that a man was let in at the
front door one night and seen to depart at daybreak, insinuated that Burgess
Birth: 1806 Death: 1882-12-07Certainty: Possible

was that man, that Clary had quarreled with Peter because he kept girls in
the barn, all this and still more he repeated to Edward and the other young
men in the office to whom it was entirely new. Edward says that he (Beardsley)
is quite as mean and does not regard telling a falsehood any more than Peter
does. This is a great deal for Edward to say who never speaks ill of any one.
Henry I do not think all this is to be endured patiently, you may laugh if
you will but these stories will injure Clary, coming from one who ought to
take an interest in the family they will have more effect. Would not we give
credit to stories told under similar circumstances? sufficient credit to diminish
our respect for the subject of them. Beardsley is among men considered honorable–
if he tells these stories in the office he undoubtedly tells them to others as they were told
without any injunction as to secresy. I believe Worden even Warren
is not more
dishonorable more talebearing more hypocritical than Beardsley. He must be hypocrit
ical or you would have detected his true character ere


Before; sooner than •
this. it is intolerable to
be obliged to endure such things from an ignorant Irishman it is more than
intolerable to have them corroberated by one who passes for a gentleman.
Beardsleys attention to me during our journey his apparent attachment to Gus did indeed
produce some kindly feelings towards him, but here they all terminate,
Page 3

If you think this all very foolish tell me so candidly, but I do not believe you
will. at all events tell me what you do think.
Now I will tell you another story which I should have thought too ridiculous to have written
had I not been extremely vexed by Edwards report. Last Friday night the young gentlemen
had an oyster supper at the Exchange. By the time all the gentlemen had called for
wine but B— he had become somewhat intoxicated and made an attempt to withdraw
without calling for any but was brought back by the party, seated at the table and
an empty bottle was passed round. “Mr Beadsleys wine gentlemen”. Before this however
he had talked very big and drew out a paper which he read I do not know what
such papers are called but it signified that Seward and Beardsley had deposited
1762 dollars in the bank. This created considerable mirth. After teasing him
sometime about his meanness about the wine the company allowed him to withdraw
when he went to a room not his own and remained all night. They wrote on the
door “Mr Beardsley lawyer partner of Col Sewards”. I know you will
not believe any of this story I can only give my authors. George Wood told
Clary. Bird told George Wood and Bird was one of the party. Edward says
he has heard the same story from different sources. Beardsley was sick
all day on Saturday. Edward says he boasted very much of his liberality at the supper
Furthermore Beadsley told last night that Clary had said she would not go to
the ball because Peter was invited. he has told Peter this of course and probably
we shall have more trouble in that way. Next winter I intend to go to
Albany with you. I do not think they treat me very well now you are
gone. They have not invited me to the cotillion parties to night
although we were invited they did not call for us although Clary has
never been decided about going until to day. When Beardsley or why he
fabricated his story no one can tell, it must be pure mischief I have
been very particular not to say that we disapproved of Peters invitation.
I h[ ave just read ]


Reason: wax-seal
all this to Clary she says I shall not send it to make you
trou[ ble. I tell her ]


Reason: wax-seal
will not trouble you any so I shall send it and besides
I [ do ]


Reason: hole
not intend myself in so considerable a wrath
Opposition of mind; reluctance; unwillingness • Opposition or stuggle of passions; resistance • Opposition of principles or qualities; inconsistency •
without letting
you [ know it fi ]


Reason: wax-seal
rst 1 oclock we have just been down stairs to see if Pa
wanted any [ thing ]


Reason: wax-seal
Peter does not get home from the ball yet when we got
could not hear Pa breathe and it was a long time before we could suf–
–ficient to look in, but we found him sleeping quietly and are now going to bed.
Wednesday night — This morning I arose quite sick on account of my sitting
up so late, no letter came from you so I even betook myself to the bed again
about 11 oclock, before dinner your letter of Sunday the beautiful book and
my dress arrived. of course I am quite well this evening! William Delevan
has just been
here he says that he called twice on Sunday to see you but you was not at home
I did not tell him that you was with Mr
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
and Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
trying to avoid troublesome
guests. Mr Bradley
and Bacon
Birth: 1796-06-09 Death: 1876-11-14
came on in the stage with him we have seen
neither of them yet. Pa went out in pursuit of Bacon an hour or two ago. Pa appears
quite well again to day. I am much pleased with the dress could not have suited
myself better. I should go tomorrow to get Miss Danks
to make it but I suppose
she is entirely devoted to spiritual things this week. The presbyterians have
for the purpose of forcing a revival appointed a meeting to continue four days
with no intermission except for refreshment, it commenced yesterday, this
morning the bell rang before break of day. They have sent for Finney
Birth: 1792-08-29 Death: 1875-08-16
I suppose much
depends upon getting him. Peter gives a very glowing account of the ball and supper
last night. I think the leveling system progresses finally, when I get any more authentic
information I will tell you. I hope you will not make the useless trip to Troy that you
purpose[ . ]


Mary Pitney
Birth: 1813-02-16 Death: 1893-10-14
came home last Saturday about the time I think that you must
have received the Dr’s
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
letter. Mrs Smith
Certainty: Possible
complains that she has not heard from
her husband in three weeks. I told Caroline Miller that I had heard from him a number
of times during that period.. I am afraid our dear little Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
will not have
encreased much in size when you come home, his cough continues and his gums
are badly swollen I think he is losing instead of gaining flesh, he is so
patient one hardly can judge how much he does suffer [ . ]


Birth: 1820-05-18 Death: 1889-05-08
is well and
as happy as ever, reads his book very nice. your own Frances.
Page 4

Auburn NY Feb 25


Type: postmark

William H. Seward

Frances A Seward
25 Feb 1831