Letter from William Henry Seward to George Washington Seward, September 20, 1831

  • Posted on: 14 December 2017
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Letter from William Henry Seward to George Washington Seward, September 20, 1831
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:meb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:csh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1831-09-20

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Letter from William Henry Seward to George Washington Seward, September 20, 1831

action: sent

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

location: Albany, NY

receiver: George Seward
Birth: 1808-08-26  Death: 1888-12-07

location: Unknown
Unknown

transcription: meb 

revision: crb 2017-07-27

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Page 1
Albany September 20th 1831.
My dear George – Your letter of the 8th instant followed me to Boston
where I spent the last week, having gone at the instance of our anti-
Masonic friends in this state to consult with the wise men of the
East upon some matters of interest to our common cause – I regretted
very much that I was unable to see you during my hurried visit to
Orange County – but I doubt not you were enjoying yourself away.
Our friends in New Jersey and I too well appreciate the pleasures
of travelling, when our opportunities to improve them are rare, to
wish for the gratification of seeing you at the expense to yourself
of a return before you had completed your tour.
I am gratefully of course indebted to you for bringing my humble
4th July effort to the notice of so distinguished a personage as
Gov Dickinson
Birth: 1770-04-17 Death: 1853-10-05
, and not lightly flattered by his favourable opinion
of its merits. I shall of course be pleased with any opportunity
which may offer of acquring his acquaintance. As for my zealous
and ardent friend the Rev Mr Morse
Birth: 1793-09-05 Death: 1865-05-16
I know well how firmly he
is grounded in our Anti Masonic faith and as I do not know
where to address him I send you a copy of my oration which
you will be so good as to forward to him.
I had a pleasant excursion to Boston, I was gratified beyond
all anticipation by the more intimate acquaintance with
even the fine and manly few who have assisted in the cradle
of American Liberty their unwavering hostility to Free Masonry-
They received me with most flattering distinctions of respect and
kindness and listened with interest and favour to the communication
with which I was charged. Never have I seen more firm, more
intelligent, more ardent friends of our cause – I addressed their meeting
Page 2

at their request and they were kind enough to make me an acknowledgement
of their thanks.
I of course visited Faneuil Hall and a gush of patriotic feeling came over me as I
reflected that I stood in the place where rose the first alarm against British Tyrany
Glorious Massachusetts , thought I, as I looked upon the canvass which preserved
the lineaments and form of her illustrious sons, for the admiration of Posterity.
There was John Hancock
Birth: 1737-01-23 Death: 1793-10-08
, with his leger and journal, the rich merchant
who at the expense of two millions and at the double peril of his life
sustained nobly the pledge of his life his liberty ^property^ and his sacred honour.
There was Knox
Birth: 1750-07-25 Death: 1806-10-25
, the polished and brave General – there was old John Adams
Birth: 1735-10-30 Death: 1826-07-04

the honest, the ardent worshipper of liberty, and over all with generous
national pride stood ^was placed^ the full length portrait of Washington
Birth: 1732-02-22 Death: 1799-12-14
in the
attitude of crossing the Delaware at Trenton
Here said my friend, you stand upon the very spot where was shed
the first American blood by British troops – this is the scene of the Boston
Massacre of 1770 –
A review of the troops was passing us – I said, a venerable friend stood
here and saw the troops under General Gage
Birth: 1720 Death: 1787-04-02
march into this town
upon this very spot to quell the very spirit of liberty – and here too
saw I them evacuate under the fire of Washington from Dorchester
Heights
which you see yonder just minglig with the horizon.
And here is the Church, the old beloved Old South, where were passed
the resolutions that tea charged with three cents per pound should not
be bought – and here were the brave men habited in garb of Indians
who at yonder wharf threw the obnoxious tea overboard –
There is the spot where Franklin
Birth: 1706-01-17 Death: 1790-04-17
was born and in yonder Church
yard sleep his venerable parents
And there is old John Hancock house I looked upon it with a hope
that it might be long before it should yield to the triumph of time –
And then, too I stood upon Bunker Hill and thought of the brave blood
Page 3

which flowed there and I said How can the country be subdued which has
so many monuments of the valor and devotion of our fathers – all around
us –
Not the least gratifying of all the interesting incidents of my excursion
was my visit to the Sage of Quincy
Birth: 1767-07-11 Death: 1848-02-23
– him the most wise, most learned
and most honest and most persecuted statesman of his country and
his age. The venerable man is yet green in his faculties and unmo-
veable in his principles – Oh how gratifying was it to hear him
say your cause must succeedit is right, it will prevail. I yet
have duties to perform. Act wiselyselect your candidates prudently
I shall do all in my power to convince my fellow citizens of the
truth and justice of Anti Masonry –
In consequence of my having gone to Boston and contributed
as we hope somewhat to the advancement of the necessary objects
of our party our friends insist upon my going to Baltimore and
will not dispense with it – I am reluctant – I am wearied with tra[ v ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 

elling and desirious to return home and see my little family
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11  Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21 
an[ d ]
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Supplied

Reason: 

attend to their interests and their wants – If I can avoid going I shall
do so – Our father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
told me he would write to me whether he
could go to Baltimore, he has probably written and if so his
letter has gone to Boston – It would be an inducement for me
to go were I sure of meeting him –
My dear George – do all you can to have an early and effi-
cient organization of our little patriot force in your county this
fall – there is no other way.
Vermont has elected an Anti-Masonic legislature and we shall
have an Anti-Masonic Governor
Birth: 1781-09-12 Death: 1860-12-03
there – Well done little Vermont
It is neat that the first triumph over Masonry should be won in
the Green Mountains. Write to me at Auburn
Your brother Henry