Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 17, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 17, 1831



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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, March 17, 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

Friday night
My Dear Henry, I could not write any last night because I had the
toothache. Yesterday morning Abijah
Birth: 1779-02-14 Death: 1834-07-11
and Maria
Birth: 1847 Death: 1932
departed. I was really
glad when they went it does seem that I dislike Maria more and more
every succeeding visit. I did use to think her quite tolerable some eleven or
twelve years ago. She never asked me to come and see her because she
heard me say I never went from home without my children – said she
had some for company from Ithica a short time ago and they brought
so many children she really thought they intended to insult her.
I do think when I make them another visit I shall meet with
rather more warm a reception than I did the last time I was there.
In the afternoon Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and I went to the store and from there up
to Lazettes
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
where we staid an hour. I had the toothache all the time
came to take us home as Peter had been summoned out of
the village to attend to more important business of his own.
Your Sunday letter came that morning containing one for Clary and one
for Lazette. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
handed it to me after examining the outside a long
time I suppose he thought 75 cents rather too much to pay for one
letter. I am glad you went to see Mrs Boardman
she is a dear good
woman. Maryann
was always quite homely – rather pedantick.
Mary Pitney
Birth: 1813-02-16 Death: 1893-10-14
is not so very insensible as she appeared but she gives
herself these airs occasionally no one can tell the motive. I rather
think it is some of the Dr's
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
mock dignity. I cannot tell you any
thing more about Hugh
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16
. Clary says she expects by this time he
has been sued for the sleigh and horses. by This morning
I gave great offence to Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
by saying Maria Miller was selfish
and mean. This afternoon Miss Caroline Miller
called – she came to Dr Rudds
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15

last night in the stage alone – she is coming tomorrow to take tea. She
says her Grandfather Thompson
has sold his place in Orange County and
is going to New York to live. She did not appear to know how William
and his daughters were to be disposed of. Pa has been engaged all the
Page 2

afternoon with Dr Humphreys
Birth: 1785-05-17 Death: 1848-03-09
and Peter constructing a vapour bath the
steamer as Dr H calls it is in the little bed room where Pa used to sleep
the pipe goes into the chimney. Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
hobby has lost his barn by the
means. Augustus still continues his military career – he has been general
all day with a new paper cap and wooden sword. A packet came
for Pa this afternoon together with Mrs Willards
Birth: 1787-02-23 Death: 1870-04-15
Author: Emma Willard Publisher: White, Gallaher & White,  Place of Publication:New York Date: 1831
. Saturday night
Well the great eclipse has turned out rather squish. After dreading it for
three or four years it would have passed without observation had we not
been constantly on the watch. It was no darker here than it usually is during
a snow storm and as for the sun the clouds did not allow us to see that
but once just at the commencement of the obscuration if obscuration
there was – well I am glad it is over. Miss Miller
did not come to day
as we expected. Pa has been sick all day – has lain on the settee most
of the time I am afraid he is going to have another turn of the gout
Esq Brown
Birth: 1796-11-09 Death: 1867-06-17
sent the other day for the key to go into the house and get that
marble sink they left in the cellar. I wonder if they intend taking
it with them to Illinois. Betsy Pitney
Birth: 1801 Death: 1860-08-06
says she has never been told what
they intend doing with themselves when they return. Clary went this afternoon to
get Miss Danks
to cut her a dress from her account she was about as amiable
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •

as she was the time that you and I found her baking pies. I wish if you can
conveniently, you would send me some dark coloured merino for a dress
I have been to the stores here and cannot find any that suits me. For once
do not get the best kind I want it for a common dress – nine yards of
the single or four and a half of the double width will be sufficient.
This evening Peter has gone to take the two Sarah's

to ride – you must know
Peter has a horse of his own which he keeps in our barn – we find it quite
convenient. And Peter appears to be disposed to be quite accommodating.
Every body has prognosticated cold weather until after the eclipse I see
no change or prospect of a change yet. I have been reading Mrs. Willards
poems it does appear almost incredible that a woman of any sense
could allow her vanity to so much get the better of her judgement.
Page 3

I am sure she would have thought those poems as silly as they are had they
been composed by any one but herself. I know she always had some very
absurd ideas with regard to the female sex – but I did not know that
she ever imagined herself an inspired prophetess. Do you know that Pa
and Abijah talk of going to Europe

? Abijah says they will certainly go
the summer after next at all events he and Maria are going. Pa doubtful
I think. Sunday morning. No dearest your letter did not come the day of the eclipse
but it came this morning which is much better. I always love to have letters on Sunday
because I am more alone and have more leisure to read them over and over again.
So you have been to Troy and seen the beauty – well I would like to see her to look at her
that is for I never yet found any woman that I thought perfectly beautiful. This is
because I have been so foolish as to form my ideas of beauty, I may say of human
excellence from books – how many disappointments I might have spared myself had
I never read a work of fiction, how many I might yet escape could I efface
these romantick impressions. What I delightful life the numberless matter-of-fact
people with which the wolrld abounds, must enjoy. There is no bursting of bubbles with them - all - all is tame reality. Mary
Birth: 1805-05-02 Death: 1848-01-09
used to be very pretty but only pretty my
beauty must possess intelligence – must express it in her countenance. Mary is
rather insipid
Tasteless; destitute of taste; wanting the qualities which affect the organs of taste • Wanting spirit, life, or animation; wanting pathos, or the power of exciting emotions • Wanting power to gratify desire •
– I never saw her excited in my life. She is or was the most
beautiful figure I ever beheld. I did receive the cards and think them very
nice. I know I shall like the Tracy's
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
if [ the ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: they
like you. I did read the puff of
Moore's 'Byron'
Author: George Gordon Byron Publisher: Wm. Borradaile Place of Publication:New York City Date: 1825
and am very anxious to read the book but I have not yet finished
the first volume – when I do I will get the 2d at Doubledays
Birth: 1792-12-15 Death: 1866-03-11
. I am interested
about Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
in spite of myself and often find myself inventing apologies
for his former conduct which my conscience disapproves. Did he ever ask you to
go and see his wife
Birth: 1797 Death: 1858-07-03
? if he does and you think he wishes it do go. I have a great
curiosity to know something more about her. I am inclined to think she is not
as intelligent or as high spirited as you suppose. There must be something wrong
if he has honour and feeling as you discribe If he was proud of her he would
ask you to go and see her. I have heard Mrs Fosgate
 Death: 1848-03-10
talk long and
pathetically about McLean
– wrote he had "lost his first and only love" an express-
ion that the good lady appeared to think very happy. I suppose he
is now in pursuit of a second who will also be the "only love" as long as she
continues. We do not see any thing of Serene or any of the Fosgates. Clary is
going to church this afternoon and wishes me to accompany her – but I am afraid
this cold weather to run the risk of getting the toothache or ague.
Sunday night – Pa is quite sick to night I never saw a house in so much con-
fusion. Miss Miller has just gone. Serene and William
are here Mr Moffatt
with Pa Judge Groom
Birth: 1790-05-13 Death: 1863-05-02Certainty: Possible
is coming and Joel Bacon
Birth: 1796-06-09 Death: 1876-11-14
has just arrived – he is going on at
12 oclock and I must close this to send. Serene wishes me to ask your to
purchase a piece of music entitled "Away with meloncholy" with the variations
you need not get it without the variations as she has it in that form.
to be sent the first opportunity. your own Frances
Page 4

William H. Seward

Mr Bacon
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10

Frances A Seward
17 March 1831