Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, September 28, 1831

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Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, September 28, 1831
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Transcriber:spp:ekk

student editor

Transcriber:spp:keh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1831-09-28

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Letter from Alvah H. Worden to William Henry Seward, September 28, 1831

action: sent

sender: Alvah Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06  Death: 1856-02-16

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: ekk 

revision: crb 2016-03-15

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Page 1

Auburn September 28, 1831
Dear Seward,
Yours of the 20th instant I have received and you will doubtless receive one from
me upon the Subject of our Election at home of about the same date. I am glad to hear
you are to return so Soon as I assure you, your presence and aid is wanted at home
You are no less surprised than I am at the nomination of Smith
Birth: 1785-05-04 Death: 1853-08-08
, but when you
learn all the facts and circumstances which led to it you will be convinced that it
is not so far as relates to yourself unfortunately. had Rathbone
Birth: 1803 Death: 1870-01-05
been unobject-
ionable to the party in every point of view his nomination would have been a
thing proper. he has been zealous, and early engaged in the cause. So had Smith
and If I am rightly informed he has the Confidence and friendship of ^the people of^
a large section of this County and particularly that portion North of the river
he was as Early in the field as Rathbone and if we can judge from the Spread
of Anti Masonry in the Section of Country where he resides, has been as efficient.
And judging and acting from your Own rule may claim with Equal
propriety the Nomination– I am convinced that my personal friends have
had an influence upon the result. Although I deny any personal agency
in it myself. I have not been a candidate for the Office and I think you will
believe me when I say it is one I would neither desire nor be flattered with
receiving. yet I know many men in the County would have been glad to have
Seen me have the Office, and I do believe that I would have received the nom-
ination had I not openly declared 3 Months since I could not have it. I
know many have said I was driven to make the declaration, and these
remarks are not without foundation. when the conduct of certain individuals
are is taken into view– had the Choice of the Convention been between me &
Rathbone I should have been nominated. yet you know that there have been
influential men in this County (as they deem themselves) who have used more
than ordinary Exertions to prevent Any Chance of my having a nomination
Hopkins
Birth: 1772-05-09 Death: 1837-03-09Certainty: Possible
& Cuyler
Birth: 1775-02-18 Death: 1832-09-01
have been active, all the Hopkins interest has been excited
he has travelled through the County to effect it– and with these men acting
so zealously you need not be surprised that the charge has been brought
home directly upon yourself and Judge Miller
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
. I cannot avoid such reflections
they naturally arise and are the legitimate result of circumstances
over which I have no Controll. Can have no Controll You say that pru-

[left Margin] I received a letter from Taylor
Birth: 1796-02-02 Death: 1888-12-17
last Evening. he is confident of Course– all is as I said in my last fair in this
County –Stephen Goodwin
Birth: 1807-11-26 Death: 1879-05-13
has taken upon himself the editorship of the Patriot. My bond is run out I have devoted
nearly all my time to the paper since you left here and I sincerely believe our cause is increasing in
Strength. Underwood
Birth: 1791-12-22 Death: 1846-06-23Certainty: Possible
is active – all are desirous to see you home and we may Expect to take ^a^ new start from
your arrival

Page 2

dence required the Selection of a candidate who had a strong hold upon the
affection of the population of Auburn – Such would have been wise and with this [illegible]
I Endeavored to Effect the nomination of Allen Warden
Birth: 1781-02-26 Death: 1854-10-31
for the assembly but such
We ^A^ Measure was unpopular with Hopkins and defeated I had no sinister or ul-
terior designs to Effect by this – after this Was defeated Warden & myself brought
about the Nomination of Smolk
Birth: 1791-01-25 Death: 1891-07-12
with great difficulty and defeated a [ propol ]
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Alternate Text

Alternate Text: proposal
to
get him off the ticket afterwards by those men who although they may claim the affec-
tion of the Population of Auburn Cannot as the experience of your party shows
raise Two hundred Votes in it. These mens unpopularity is a dead weight to
Carry in this Town, and the men the very men who have to fight the battle with these
“membes” on their shoulders, have not only to labour under the burden but be kicked
and thumped by the animals they are forced to carry on their shoulders backs.
Allen Warden is at this hour the most popular individual in Auburn and a man
who has done more for your party in this Town than any other– a man whose
faith and honor cannot be moved. And a man that is devoted to your interests in
every honorable undertaking cannot get a nomination, because forsooth a few heartless
unprincipled wretches that have nothing in view but self[ . ]
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Supplied

Reason: 
See their own advancement
retarded by such a measure.
I believe that I have not been wanting in either devotion to your own interests
nor to the interests of the Anti Masonic party since I first ostensibly acted with it and
knowing that any efforts on my part to influence the decision in relation to a candidate
might be looked upon as presuming. I have said nothing in relation to unfit-
ness or usefulness of any nomination which was talked of. Yet I am not without
blame, and I understand that much of the blame of Georges defeat has
been laid upon my shoulders & Capt Wardens, and that we are already mark
for proscription, perhaps such would be a beneficial result both to us and the
Party and may be it is the best course for those who deem their own interests
best advanced by such a measure to adopt to. It is not less disgusting to
Captain Warden than to me to see individuals making themselves the first ob-
ject of all their party operations. and it ^is^ equally so to see others charging upon
individuals the blame for any opinions they may adopt in reference to any
measures proposed by the Party. as to any discretion or want of discretion
discovered by one in this business I am at a loss to ascertain why you


[right Margin] great honor to suppose my humble exertions have defeated their endeavors. it is false in every
sense of the Word I have taken no measures to hinder or prevent Rathbones nomination &
if Any would induce you to think so they are endeavoring to persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
you into the
belief that is injurious to yourself as well as myself.

Page 3

Should insinuate that I was or would be wanting or have misjudged
or improperly acted, I have neither acted one way or the other, it was not
my province to either influence or direct or dictate or show or desire to
do either. I have endeavoured to keep aloof in this business from any-
thing which might appear like either. I believe I am generally as
prudent as most men and should think that you would be convin-
ced that I had somewhat prudently managed to advance the Cause
of yourself individually and the Cause of Anti Masonry particularly
in this town, for which I have not asked any acknowledgement either
triumphant or otherwise. I believe with Lear
Author: William Shakespeare Publisher: Charles Williams Place of Publication:Boston Date: 1813
that I am a man more
turned against than turning" – and when the day shall come if it
ever does that Certain men shall make amends for the wrongs they
have done me the measure of retribution will not be small nor stun-
ted. I have been proscribed
To doom to destruction; to put one out of the protection of law, and promise a reward for his head • To put out the protection of the law • To denounce and condemn as dangerous and not worthy of reception • To censure and condemn as unworthy of reception • To interdict •
in all these personal relations which are
nearest the heart of a man. and that I am still left to hope and be-
lieve that at some future day I shall surmount all the impediments
thrust in my path and that whatever little talent I may possess
will work out for me if prudently excerted not only a retalia-
tion for these wrongs but a vindication
To defend; to justify; to support or maintain as true or correct, against denial, censure, or objection • To assert; to defend with success; to maintain • To defend with arms • To avenge; to punish •
from all the imputations
they convey, I may take some assurance from the existence of this hope
that it will be realised. Judge Miller
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
Cannot Sustain himself in this Commu-
nity in the ground of opposition he has taken towards me. I Cannot be held in
the posture in which he has placed me. The tide of public feeling is changed
and owing to no other cause than one which seems to be a law in morals
that he who successfully insists persecution & wrong will be arranged by the same
cau agency which caused him to suffer – you think I know that the public are
not influenced by any personal considerations connected with individuals[ . ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 
this may be
so in most instances and I have no ambition to be Considered an exception. and have
most ardently
Hot or burning; causing a sensation of burning • Having the appearance or quality of fire; fierce • Warm; much engaged; passionate •
directed not to be considered so. I put the case to yourself and you may
well answer it whether or not you would have been more passive than I have been under
these peculiar circumstances in which I have been placed. I do not believe you would
or ^have^ preserved a more dignified Silence and apparent indifference than I have done to all matters connected with that situation. If I am now to be marked out as the ob-
ject to be [illegible] upon for the want of success of George Rathbone in the convention. I
shall find those assuming an attitude of hostility upon whom I am not pre-
vented from retaliating by any considerations demanding assurance. If once


[left Margin] will be so mad as to provoke quarrels in which they must suffer defeat the consequences is their own. I know and so do your
friends Know that a few certain individuals have fastened upon you and are determined to ride ^on^ you into office your friends see this. the people
See this. And unless you see this the consequences may be to you unpleasant and perhaps greatly injurious, these men have attempted to
face Rathbone on the Convention as I believe this have failed & having done so they wish to vent their rage upon someone. And do me

great honor to suppose my humble exertions have defeated their endeavors. it is false in every
x

Editorial Note

The following sentences are visible on page 2
sense of the Word I have taken no measures to hinder or prevent Rathbones nomination &
if Any would induce you to think so they are endeavoring to persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
you into the
belief that is injurious to yourself as well as myself.
Page 4

Hon. W. H. Seward
of the Senate
Albany
AUBURN N.Y. SEP 30
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Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
A Worden
Sept 28, 1831