Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, April 3, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, April 03, 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, April 03, 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 

revision: dxt 2015-10-22

Page 1

Sunday evening, 3d
My Dear Henry, My letter has not come yet to day but I am quite sure
there is one for me at the office which in the season of good roads
I should have received last night. I finished my last letter on Thursday
and sent it on Friday just as we were going to Church. you know it was
Good Friday so we went to Church in the morning, Dr Rudd
Birth: 1779-05-24 Death: 1848-04-15
though he was so ill it was painful to listen to him. Frank Cummings
Birth: 1752 Death: 1832-02-22
the liturgy
In a general sense, all public ceremonies that belong to divine service •
with a great affectation of sanctity. The sermon was as inspired
as a sermon could well be with such a subject, the service was very
long and we did not get home until one oclock found the good people eating
dinner. After dinner Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
and I after doing some shopping, and seeing
with a long face, went up to Lazettes
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
where we stayed until sun-
Down, came home while the bell was ringing for Church, drank a cup of
tea and went again with Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
to Church-Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
by this time thought
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
shamefully misused-three times in one day! Cummings preached
in the evening a sermon on the word, Hell, which I should think had been
written as a reply to Sellon’s
sermons, had not the murder of Morgan
Birth: 1774 Death: 1826
ever present to my imagination I think I should have been pleased with the
discourse, when he read “I remember my transgression and my sin is ever before
me”, that transgression and that sin were uppermost in my mind. I do
not like his manner, there appears to be so much study for effect. “In man
or woman, but far more in man, And most of all in man that ministers and serves
the alter”. “In my soul I loathe all affectation”. I was talking about the sermon
to Clary and Casey
Birth: 1807-03-06 Death: 1890-11-05Certainty: Probable
(who came home with us) said I could go to the Theatre to see
acting &c, when on looking behind me lo there was Mr
and Mrs Hulbert
, but it was said and could not be unsaid. I suppose they will
To charge; to attribute; to ascribe • To charge to one as the author or originator of; generally in a bad sense • To set to the account of another as the ground of judicial procedure • To take account of; to reckon •
it all to the malign influence of Antimasonry. It was nearly
ten oclock when we came home Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
had about come to the conclusion that
we had gone to hear Finney
Birth: 1792-08-29 Death: 1875-08-16
, by the way the presbyterians, I suppose on account
of there being preaching in our church, had numbers of emmisaries out all day
Page 2

inviting people to go and hear Finney, told the text he was to preach from and
predicted a great sermon. Edward
said there were not less than three came
to the office on that business during the day. Debby


called in the mor-
ning said that Dr Pitney
Birth: 1786-11-18 Death: 1853-04-20
had said at their house that no Episcopalian could
enter Heaven, this is liberal and charitable truly. Friday night a letter
came from Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
to you and one from Marcia
Birth: 1794-07-23 Death: 1839-10-25
to Clary. Jennings is
so much engaged with Sunday Schools that he appears a little beside
himself, he appears to have entirely forgotten that he has written to you before,
this letter is written a[ t ]


Hillsborough, Illinois dated the first of March.
he commences by saying, “I am amazed to find, on rousing myself up to the
inquiry, that nearly 5 months have elapsed since I left our native state and
during all that time I have not addressed you a single letter”. The substance
of the remainder of the letter is the same as the one I sent you. Wishes you
to send him some antimasonick papers. I would send this letter to
you but I do not think the circumstances consider that you
would think it hardly worth while, he desires you to answer
it as soon as you return home if you have not already returned,
makes no mention of any letter from you though I know you must
have written a long time since. Marcia’s letter contains nothing
new, perfectly in character, you will see it when you come home
and the time when you will ‘come home’, will eventually pass away
although it once seemed almost interminable. I should have been
very anxious about your health had I not seen that you was in the
house on Monday I hope you are quite well again. I see also that
the resolution to adjourn on the 11th has passed the Senate, but I do
not allow myself to expect you home so soon until the concurrence
of the Assembly is announced. Yesterday morning before breakfast Mr

and Mrs Jacobus
arrived here on their way from New York and New Jersey
where they have been spending the winter-Mr Jacobus is a very small
light, he forgot that you was in Albany or you would have been [ enivened ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: enlivened

Page 3

by his presence on his way home, they are almost dead with fatigue having
rode day and night since they left Albany. Mrs Richardson
Birth: 1788 Death: 1878-07-02
sent for us to
take tea with her yesterday but it rained and we did not go. This morning
the Jacobuses and Edward went to the 2d Presbyterian Church. This afternoon
we all went to St Peters. Cummings preached and announced his intention
to favour the Congregation in a like manner this evening. It rained when we
came out of Church. Lazette and I stopped at Dr Smiths
Birth: 1780-12-27 Death: 1839-12-04
to day to ob-
tain an umbrella, none in the house of course. we remained there while Clary
and Edward went home and sent us some, by the time Peter
Birth: 1811-01 Death: 1888-02Certainty: Probable
arrived it rained
still harder and had become very muddy. I came home wet and covered
with mud quarreling with Cummings’ long sermon and the fickleness of
April skies. Augustus went to Church with me and I was so much in
fear that he would speak that I hardly heard the sermon. Once when some
one came into the pew he said “Edward, I want to sit by my ma”,but
I cannot persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
him yet that he actually spoke out loud. I believe it
was said perfectly unconsciously, he would look so much engaged and
open his lips when anything new caught his attention that I was constantly
obliged to check him by pressing his hand which I held in mine. He said
he thought that did not look much like Dr Rudd and when I told him
it was Mr Cummings he wanted to know if it was the same Mr Cummings
that preached where Grandpa Seward
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
lived. Is it not singular that the little fellow
remembers so long[ ? ]


it continues raining yet and is now almost ten oclock
since I commenced this letter Peter has been to the post office and brought me
your letter of Wednesday. I am very sorry you was so much alarmed about
little Fred’s sickness. You may always be sure that when writing about the children
I write without the least concealment never represent the case any better than
it is which I might do were it myself. I tell you all the symptoms that you may
be enabled to judge for yourself and not be influenced by my fears about the
necessity of coming home. We are all well now and I am quite happy in the assurance
of your recovery. Your father will have returned long before you get this or I would send my
love. I send the measure of a shoe without any heel, the paper is the length of course,
and as far as the black mark the width or size round I do not know which it is
your own Frances