Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 8, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 8, 1831



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 8, 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: mhr 2014-01-01

revision: dxt 2015-09-29


Page 1

Teusday night -
My Dear Henry,
Mr and Mrs Brown
xMr and Mrs Brown

were here this afternoon and I intended
to have written this letter and sent by them tomorrow but we have had
company until this minute and now it is too late to send over. I
suppose you will see them before you get this letter. Mrs Horner
Birth: 1780 Death: 1856-12-09
Mrs Burt
Birth: 1809-01-18 Death: 1891
, the Dr
and Mr Horner
Birth: 1775
took tea with us. I am very sorry,
Mrs Horner is going to move away up on mechanick street. James
Birth: 1804 Death: 1874-06-12
purchased a house and lot for them there. I like James he is so kind
to his Mother. I had thought so much of Mrs. Horner for a neigh–
bour that I am very much disappointed – don't know what I shall
do when Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
and Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
are sick. Mrs Burt says that Electa
came to her house next ^last^ week and asked her if she was sure of
going to Heaven. I do think the presbyterians behave in a very ridiculous
manner, the little girls now meet together nine, ten or eleven years
of age and pray. Spencer
Birth: 1788-01-08 Death: 1855-05-17
and Steele
Certainty: Probable
join in these meetings. Children
of all sizes and colours enquire of each other if they have given
up their hearts to God - this seems to me like profanation of things
sacred - the teachers of the present day appear to forget that reverence
is any part of our duty to our Maker. This morning I walked up
to Miss Danks
to have my dress fitted – she was so obliging that she
would not do it until afternoon, after I had come all that way
through the mud – so I went to Lazettes
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
and stayed until after dinner -
we spent our time reading your letters and talking about you.
after dinner we went again to Miss Hanks but it was so muddy
that Lazette could not cross the street with shoes – she went on to Mrs Rays

to wait for me. Miss Hanks detained me more than an hour - then
I went and called for Lazette who had made two calls in the
mean time – we parted at Mr Hills
Birth: 1787-10-31 Death: 1873-09-18
walk – she went to make calls on Grover
street and I came home as we were expecting company, found Mrs Burt
and Mrs Horner here. We talked pretty much all the afternoon about the
Page 2

presbyterians. I believe I mentioned in my last letter that Dr Rudd
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
contradicted the report circulated by the seminary students. I have heard
more of the circumstances – it appears that a letter came to Dr Rudd informing
him that one of the students (giving the name in full) had been at the place
where the letter was written and had told this story about the Dr's dancing
at the New Years ball, that the story was believed by many and requesting
a contradiction from the Dr. The Dr took the letter and accompanied by
some other gentleman went to the Seminary – called for the said young man
read him the letter and requested an explanation. The young man confessed
that he had told such a story – expressed much regret - and at the request of the
Dr on condition of not having his name exposed gave to the Dr a written document
authorising him to express his "conviction of the injustice he had done him, and
of the falsehood of the statement." After this was published two of the
students went to Dr Rudd's and requested to have the said document
returned the Dr refused but offered them a copy which they would not
accept and after some insulting language they departed. Among other things
they asked the Dr if he was not at Mrs Seward's party and if they did not
have fiddling and dancing there. I do feel extremely sorry that so good
a man as Dr Rudd must endure all this insolence. Is it not singular
that these excitements of the presbyterians never fail to produce such
very unkind, uncharitable feelings towards our Church. Dr Bradford
Birth: 1769-03-21 Death: 1842-02-02Certainty: Possible

sent word to us to day that we must attend their meetings. I told Edward

he might tell him that I should not go until they had discontinued
their insults to the members of our Church. I feel so much vexed now
that I do not believe I shall ever wish to go to presbyterian meeting again.
Your letter of Friday came this morning just as I knew it would. I never
believed that Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16
was actually studying law before. I have long ceased to have
any hope for him probably this like all his other schemes will will soon produce
satiety and end in disappointment. Lazette knew nothing of it only as she had
heard it from others. I am sorry Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
wishes to live in New York it appears very
singular to me that any one who has always lived in the country can prefer
Page 3

the town. I am more than half disposed to quarrel with her for wishing to be rich.
What more riches can a woman of feeling desire than the affections of such a
man as you describe Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
? I do not love to have you undervalue your self
so much – if you think Tracy so much your superior (which I do not believe)
why not compare your talents with some one else. I cannot endure the idea
that you should suffer by indulging feelings which have been the bane of my
existence. Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
says no one will ever make her believe that you do not know
as much as Tracy. You have told me so much about him that I shall be
afraid ever to see him. I hope they will not come here on their return
though they must have discovered that I did not know any thing when they
were here. Mrs Throop
Birth: 1806-02-11 Death: 1872-06-17
did not take Montgomery
Birth: 1827-01-26 Death: 1892-09-11
with her he is now at Mrs
very dangerously ill with the scarlet fevers. I do not envy her her
happiness if she has any of the feelings of a mother. Wednesday night.
I have been thinking of sending Augustus to school as soon as the walking will
admit – he will [ be ]


Reason: hole
willing to go if Sarah goes with him I have no doubt, but
the difficulty is w[ here to ]


Reason: wax-seal
send him. I told you last fall what a state of insub
-ordination the sch[ ool ]


Reason: hole
were of in at Charlotte Rays
school and yet almost all
of the little ones that I know attend there. It is useless to disguise that I send
him very reluctantly any where. I am so unwilling to have the purity of his
mind sullied as it must be when he mingles with other boys older and
more versed in naughtiness than himself. It may be a mothers weakness but it
does seem to me that Augustus is now much more free from contamination than
children of his age generally are – it does shock my feelings to hear the language
made use of by Charles Cumpston
, to see the deception practised by Thomas Hills
Birth: 1825 Death: 1831-12-01

and to think my own, my charming boy, may become as one of them. I know you will think
this all very foolish and say there is no remedy perhaps there is none but were I capable
of teaching him I would not complain of the confinement it would necessaryly
subject me to, could I keep him with me a year or two longer until some
of the principles I endeavour to incl inculcate would be less easily eradicated. Peter
says that Hudson
says that our trees require pruning and if I say so he will attend to
them. I told I knew nothing about it but would ask you. It has been cold and unpleasant
all day. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
continues unwell yet. This evening Maria and Debby
came here and Deb
has talked me almost to death – she is a perfect child – good night dear one your own Frances
Page 4

Auburn, NY
Mar. 11


Type: postmark

William H. Seward
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward
11 March 1831