Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 13, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 13, 1831



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 13, 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 

publication: dxt 2015-10-13

Page 1

Monday night
My Dear Henry, Your letter of Thursday came this morning as I anticipated.
 Death: 1835-12-05
and Debby


and George
Birth: 1799 Death: 1870-08-24
have been here to tea - the two latter have just
departed. Maria stays all night. I am so sleepy I can hardly keep my
eyes open. Frederick
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
was so restless that I did not sleep well last
night. Teusday night. I had written so far last night when Fred would
be taken and by the time he composed himself again I could not keep my
eyes open. I awoke this morning and found Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
vomiting he has
continued unwell through the day – has considerable fever this evining I
think he has symptoms of worms but can hardly judge yet. dear little
boy he so seldom complains that we must judge from symptoms alone.
Maria has been with us all day – this evening she and Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
have gone to
Mr Compstons
Birth: 1790 Death: 1850-04-03
– but I have not said one word about your letter yet. The paper
which contained the reply of Weeds
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
that you speak of has departed and
I must lose that. I do not often read any of the proceedings of the assembly
because I thought there was no person there that particularly interested me –
I can only regret it. I would like to know which of the Dauchy's came with
John Card
Birth: 1796 Death: 1881-09-21
to see you. Harry
or Jesse
– was he tall or short? dark or light eyes?
if you can remember so much. I am glad the Cary's
x Birth: 1788  Death: 1863-06-22  Birth: 1787-08-11  Death: 1869-06-20 
would not allow little
Trumbull to be insulted. Are the Miss Motts
xMiss Motts

as weak and disgusting as their
brother? As for the Tracys
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
I expect you will go on to Buffalo when they
return home without calling on us poor mortals – seriously I am glad
you have found friends who make your time pass so pleasantly – you
know I have the two little boys with me to love and be loved by while
you are away from us all. So I will not quarrel with any one who makes
love to you. Why does Tracy have so many gloomy forebodings about the termi-
nation of your friendship? has he often been deceived? or is he in the habit of
viewing things through this melan melancholy
Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; stubborn or constant in enmity • Incapable of being relieved or quieted; inextinguishable •
medium? Peter still torments
me about Hudson
and the garden he says that Hudson says that the trees should
be pruned before they commence budding. I do not believe it makes any
material difference.
Page 2

Maria and Clary have just come home. Maria has been to hear Finney
Birth: 1792-08-29 Death: 1875-08-16
preach and has
come home in somewhat of a rage. Finney as usual quarreled with the Congregation
because they did not all follow his directions. he said that some people pretended
to be under concern of mind weeks or months. There was no such thing
possible – that the conversion must be instantaneous or not at all – some said he
when they feel convicted instead of giving themselves up immediately to God
go home and read their bibles and pray and then use up all their
conviction and continue sinners all their days. "I was" said he "the other
day in a sabbath school and heard one of the teachers ask a little girl
if she did not pray for a change of heart. Pray for a g change of heart
how I did feel inclined to rebuke that man." – The man must be crazy
it is not possible that any one could give utterance to such sentiments
and be in possession of his senses. This is not the half of what Maria has
told me. he called upon all who wished to be prayed for to rise. there
were a great number who did so. John Beach
Birth: 1785 Death: 1839-08-08
among the numbers. I
should think his conviction had endured too long to suit Finney. Mary
Birth: 1813-02-16 Death: 1893-10-14
prays at the prayer meetings of the young ladies. Mrs Pitneys
Birth: 1801 Death: 1860-08-06

two sisters

rose to be prayed for to night. Maria says there was a great
deal of sobbing and weeping. I suppose this gratifies Finney. I hope he
will go on to Albany soon I do not like to hear about him. Theodore

asked Peter to day if none of our family were affected by Finney's preaching.
Peter and Sarah Scott
Birth: 1811 Death: 1837Certainty: Probable
are all of the members of the family who attend
the meetings. I believe I will try and go to sleep and forget all this
I believe Maria's account has made me say many wicked things
good night dear one. Wednesday night. This day has been cold and
unpleasant so that I could not go to Lazettes
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
as I intended. Your
letter of Sunday came this morning quite unexpectedly. I did not
expect it until tomorrow. I believe I shall dream about that dreadful
vision of Weeds. Augustus continues sick yet he cannot keep any
food on his stomach – he is so patient and uncomplaining he makes us all
Page 3

all love him. Clary has been to Dr Burts
Birth: 1773-05-03 Death: 1859-02-03
to tea with Maria and Debby and E Horner
Birth: 1807 Death: 1876-10-31

I did not go because Gus was sick. Clary has been trying to tell me what
Eliza has been saying about the Tracy's but she cannot remember so as
to make the account very lucid – of course did not feel as much
interested as I should have done. The amount of which all appeared
to be that Tracy was a very singular man and his wife very proud
and not much liked in Buffalo. Eliza has seen them but how when
and where I cannot ascertain – she told something about their marriage
that was rather odd but I do not know what. I shall ask Maria the
next time I see her she will remember all about it. She knows that I am
interested about them. I think upon the whole I might about as well not
have said any thing on the subject. What I have said is unsatisfactory and al-
most unintelligible. Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
spent the evening with Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
and myself
the conversation has been principally about the excitement. Serene is in
the imm[ ediate neig ]


Reason: wax-seal
hbourhood of it. I believe they have almost relin-
quished [hole] as a vain attempt. A seminary student has been to
converse and pray with her but she did not profit much thereby. Serene has
altogether too much good sense and judgement to answer their purpose.
Finney continues here – they are about getting subscribers to day to induce
him to stay and complete the good work he has commenced. Only think
of paying a man for going about and getting up revivals. I presume he
will remain as I understand they have met with very good success.
Thursday morning. I did not close this letter last night because I wished to tell
you that Augustus was better – he is much better this morning. I was awake
every ten minutes last night just for the purpose of thinking about the broken
fingers &c – which made the time pass very pleasantly – it is cold and snowing
this morning I have dressed Fred to go and see his Aunty but I do not
think we will go after all. Serene scolded me last night because I had
never sent her love to you when she has so often told me to but I
always take these remembrances for granted. your own Frances
Page 4

William H. Seward
Auburn, NY
Mar. 18


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

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