Letter from Albert Haller Tracy to William Henry Seward, May 4, 1831

  • Posted on: 6 July 2018
  • By: admin
Letter from Albert Haller Tracy to William Henry Seward, May 4, 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 Albert Haller Tracy to William Henry Seward, May 4, 1831

action: sent

sender: Albert Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12

location: Buffalo, NY

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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: jef 

revision: crb 2018-06-22

Page 1

Buffalo May 4. 1831
My dearest Seward
I am mortified that your kind
favour came to hand before I had fulfilled the first and
continued purpose that has occupied my mind every
hour since I reached home– I am conscious of being
so infinitely behind you in the manifestations of solici-
tous selfsacrificing affection that I had hoped to
obtain the poor advantage of first evincing after our
seperation the unbrokeness of that sympathy which
does and I trust forever will unite us – And for this I
was almost writing to forego for a few days the inexpres-
sible pleasure which I knew your letter would afford and
even to suffer in some small degree the anxious jealousy
that its delay would occasion– But in this as in every
thing the active kindness of your nature has anticipated
the slowness ^of mine^ and added a new burthen to a heart already
overpressed by your undeserved favours– But that you
shall not suspect that this last was the immediate stimu-
lus to the acknowledgement of the multitude that pre-
ceded it I do declare that I had actually had my pen
in ha ^n^ d for the sole purpose of addressing you the very
moment that Edward
Birth: 1791-03-21 Death: 1849-02-20
returned from the Post Office with
your letter– If he had not brought it so early by a hour
how greatly you would have been ^the^ gainer; for my mind
was then full of thou matters ripe for communication
but reading and rereading your affectionate expressions
have dissipated every thought but those which it would be
downright puerility to reiterate– You know I love you
Page 2

but how much I dare not trust myself to enquire, far less
to express–
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
arrived here monday forenoon and altho we did
not and could not anticipate the thrilling emotions which
awaited your return yet we received and reciprocated the
hearty greetings of many kind friends who testified a warm
and earnest interest in our welfare– Our family con-
nexions were well and already made happy by the return
of Mr. Norton
Birth: 1795-04-28 Death: 1869-06-13
who reached home the day before us and in
good health– Count
met us at the door welcoming
our arrival by every manifestation of exuberant joy– and
receiving from us both those caresses which ^to^ the cold world woul
would seem ridiculous but which his devoted fidelity so
perfectly deserve– The next morning we entered again upon
the cares of housekeeping which thus far have proved un-
commonly vexatious and engrossing, owing to the confused
state affairs and the total destitution of those helps which
alone can make them tolerable– My health continues feeble
though I flatter myself it has somewhat improved since
leaving Albany and will do so more decidedly when my domes-
tick habits shall be distinctly reestablished and our atmos-
phere shall be freed from the chilling influence of countless
acres of ice which still block up our harbour–
I was made happy to know that before reaching
Auburn you found in the roads and weather some apology
for my selfishness in preferring the ease and safety of the
canal to the severe penalties that a further indulgence
of your society would surely ^have^ imposed– The seeming non-
chalence with which I announced, afforded no just indica–
tion of the painful reluctance with which I adopted
the resolution and could I have believed that it would
have caused real disappointment to her
Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
^for^ whom next after
yourself we are bound to feel and shall ever cherish the
liveliest sympathy and warmest esteem you may be
assured I would not– But in addition to my ^a^ conviction
of my inability to encounter the exposure and fatigue of
an overland journey I could not but apprehend our
Page 3

presence at the exact conjuncture would tend, not precisely
to mar but to embarrass that perfect fruition of domes-
tick happiness which your return must occasion– How anx-
ious both Harriet and I are to realize the anticipated pleas-
ures of a perfect intimacy with your excellent wife and to
possess a personal knowledge of the dear children
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
that already
do much interest us we hope to furnish the most satisfactory
proof before the summer is passed– In the mean time we de-
sire most earnestly, to maintain in her affections that place
which we know your kind partiality has already secured for
us, and that you both feel an unalterable confidence of
possessing forever that share of our hearts which you shall
I find I have written far more and said far less than I
intended– If I had physical ability to go through I would
begin again, but I have already exhausted every thing
but my feelings– You know who so well know the expense
to my feeble powers of the slightest effort will take this
poor one for what it is intended, coupled with a prom-
ise of trying to do better as soon as my strength will
permit– Remember me with respectful kindness
to Judge Miller
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
and to all others who through you
feel any interest in me–
Albert H. Tracy
Page 4

William H Seward Esq.
Cayuga Co.


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
Albert H. Tracy
May 4. 1831