Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, March 7, 1831

  • Posted on: 3 December 2018
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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, March 7, 1831
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:crb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:lmd

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1831-03-07

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Letter from Mahlon Dickerson Canfield to William Henry Seward, March 7, 1831

action: sent

sender: Mahlon Canfield
Birth: 1798-11-26  Death: 1865-01-05

location: Bargaintown, NJ

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: crb 

revision: crb 2018-10-23

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Page 1

Bargain Town, March 7h 1831
Dear Henry,
If I should be so unfortunate as to disagree
with you about every thing else there is one matter at least
respecting which we shall not differ. I mean your letter of
the 13h inst. You said it would give me pain & truly
enough it did. I fully believe however, as much against
your wishes, as the consequences of my letter were contrary
to my own.
In the fulness of my resentment against the several
hostile divisions which however incongruous in all other
respects, agree in opposing right or wrong, the acts of the
administration. I may have been led into the appearance of
open personality, tho I did not intend it. So far from
any such wish, I regret very deeply that you should have
considered yourself the object of such a fierce attack.
Although a warm party man I am not disposed to consider
every one who may think or act differently from what I conceive
to be right, a personal opponent with whom I must needs
have a combat. Least of all would I consent to mar the
the happiness of one more dear to me than all the world
beside, for so worthless an object, and may I not say
that your friendship is also too dear to me to be so
wantonly sacrificed? Certainly I wish to pre preserve it
and if you could know how much, I am sure your own
goodness of heart would make my letter less offensive than
Page 2

it now appears. One part of it however deserves a more
particular notice. I said you knew antimasonry to be all a
_____ &c. I confess here is a pretty striking likeness of
personality; and further I acknowledge the assertion ^to be^ an unwarrant-
able one, because if applied to you, I could not know it to
be correct. But still my views were general and surely then
are sufficient grounds for the suspicion that the antimasonic
party are not a great deal more honest than any other out
of power, and anxious to be in. The official organs of
the party have by their glaring inconsistencies, have if
possible, more than demonstrated that such is the truth.
When any matter is so very obvious to one own perceptions
we are oft to suppose it quite plain to others, and to
this strong mental impressions you must ascribe the remark,
which you have construed into a charge of insincerity.
As you are rather the injured the injured party in this
unpleasant business you may think it strange that I should
have any complaint to make. Indeed I have not much. I only
wish to say that I have no "Idols," at least no single object
of political adoration. I do not worship General Jackson
Birth: 1767-03-15 Death: 1845-06-08
.
I love the honest character of the old man, and I regard
with reverence the legitimate power that placed him where he is.
Vox populi &c and approving as I do Democratic Republican
principles, as well as most of those those which appear to direct
the measures of the President. I will give up the name of
Republican before I will oppose one or the other.
Page 3

It is certainly a difficult thing to make an apology.
The offended is oft to think the offender too sparing in his
concessions; while the latter, mindful of what is due to himself,
too often forgets what is due to truth & justice. Probably you
will think that I have fallen short in this attempt but in the
warmth & honesty of my heart I assure you Henry, I wish to
do all that strict justice added to the interesting relations
I bear to you require.
We are all both sad & joyful to day. We came near losing
our dear little boy
Birth: 1829-12-04 Death: 1867-10-25
. He was eating a small piece of Orange
& choaked. He was so near suffocating & such was the
violent dilema that the little blood vessels in his face were
ruptured & have left numerous small bloody specks.
I was from home at the time, which made it so much
more distressing for Cornelia
Birth: 1805-10-29 Death: 1839-01-04
. He is quite recovered.
She desires her love to you.
I am Respectfully &
Affectionately Your Friend
M. D. Canfield
W. H. Seward Esq
Page 4

Bargain Town
N.J. 7t March
Free, M. D. Canfield
P.M.
Wm Henry Seward Esq
(In Senate) Albany
New York

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Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
M. D Canfield
7 March 1831