Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 15, 1831

  • Posted on: 19 December 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 15, 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 Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, December 15, 1831

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: nwh 

revision: crb 2017-10-25

Page 1

Albany December 15th
My Dear Sister,
I promised to write as soon as I arrived
here but I have not got warm yet and last night I
could not have held a pen in my hand — I wrote you
a short letter from Bridgewater on Teusday night
we left the next morning about 9 oclock rather
a cool time we had there the landlady
was so
cross she would not let Eliza dress little Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25

in the kitchen — Wednesday we travelled 45 miles passed
through Cherry Valley and a number of small towns
we dined at Cherry Valley a pretty good house – people
very obliging — we rode after dinner 15 miles to Carlisle
a small place where we stayed all night at the
very dirtiest house I was ever in — the people were
very good natured and tried to make us comfortable
but it was so very dirty I could eat nothing —
we stayed in the kitchen until bed time which
was very warm — when we went up stairs there
was a fire made of three sticks of pine wood
in a room with three windows and two doors
for the purpose of admitting cool air. After trying
in vain to make the room warm we went into the very
coldest bed (with clean sheets however) that ever I slept in
Fred felt like a frog — he was very uneasy all night
towards morning he was taken ill and Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
to get up and go down and light a candle and
Page 2

bring up some fire that pine wood that I mentioned did not
make any any coals. Henry did not go to bed again but
sit up and put wood on the fire. I believe Fred's sickness
was occasioned by his eating too many oysters — he had
eaten a great many the day before. Morning came at
last. Fountain
said our horse which was lame the
day before was still lamer that morning so Henry
thought we had better take the stage from that
place and let him return with the sleigh — I sent a
note to Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
by him written in a great hurry —
gave Fred paregorick, and made ourselves ready to take the
stage — it came at eleven — went only 6 miles
from there upon runners — the rest of the distance
30 miles upon wheels — We found it a great change
to leave our good warm sleigh and buffaloes and the
priviledge of stopping when and where and as long
as we chose and enter a cold coach and be guided
entirely by the caprice of the driver — Henry retained
one of the buffalo skins which was a great assistance
about keeping us warm — We used to ride in the sleigh
from 15 to 18 miles without getting out to warm
upon the whole I had no idea we could be out
such cold weather and feel the cold so little — Fred
was the only one who continued perfectly comfortably
in the stage — he was restless and uneasy but slept
a great part of the time — We arrived here last night
about 7 oclock I could not and did not get warm
all night and have not been very comfortable
during the but every one says this is the coldest day
we have had this winter — you need not believe any
more of the fine stories people tell you about burning
coal although I do not admire stoves much I would
Page 3

rather have one good box stove than all the grates in Albany
for a cold winters day — I do not think they warm the
room any more than a wood fire — and they are certainly
double the trouble — Now we are burning the best kind of
coal, anthracite, and the grate has been filled I should
think since we got up ten times — constantly sweeping
up the hearth and every thing must be taken up on
a dust pan — they make quite as much dust
as as a fire of wood without the convenince of
sweeping into a fire place add to this the fact that
I have not been warm actually warm today and you
will not wonder that I am not very much in favor of co
coal fires — Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
says they very fine when the weather is
moderate but then I should prefer a good fire place
with the privilege of sweeping occasionally — so much
for coal which I suppose we shall not be troubled
with long as there was not half enough to supply
the city brought here before the river closed — then we must
burn wood in these ugly grates which will be somewhat worse
I have done nothing today but try to keep warm and unpack
our trunks putting the contents into drawers of which we have
a plentiful supply — the room we occupy is on the first floor
about the size of the south room at Pa's
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
a door opens into the
bedroom which I larger than I expected from Cornelia's
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
we are having a trundle bed made for Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
for the present he sleeps
upstairs with Eliza — Henry has got a willow cradle for Fred
and the little fellow is sound asleep in it at this time with a
very sore finger — dont you remember the finger that was burnt
before we came away — I think the plaister of white salve irritated it and
he has taken some cold in it — it is very badly swollen the Dr

advised a poultice of bread and milk — I wish you could see how
impatient the little turd was to have on the second poultice — held
up his little finger all the time. I suppose it eases the pain — it looks
much better tonight — Trumbell Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
&c have not arrived yet —
I have seen no woman since I came but the chambermaids
the people are all very pleasant about the house — I do not
much like eating alone with 20 men I hope Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
will come soon
Birth: 1789-11-17 Death: 1863-09-03
and Mrs Bronson
Birth: 1799 Death: 1867-02
board here — keep a separate table — have seen
Page 4

nothing of her yet — I shall write to Clary tomorrow or the day after
I shall write to you once a week certainly shall expect to hear from
you quite as often — tell me every thing you are doing even Josua's

conversation will not be uninteresting — did Peter bring up the oil cloth
have you got the boots Peas
Birth: 1785-05-30 Death: 1857-08-24
was making for me? these pinch my toes
most unmercifully — Gus and Eliza have gone to bed — Fred is asleep
in the cradle and Henry and I are writing with the table drawn
almost on to the grate — I hope I shall have something more to talk
about by the next time I write — kiss Frances
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24
for Aunty — there is a little
box with almonds in, in my closet at home I intended to have
given her but forgot it — get them if you can the worms will
devour them all before spring if I should chance to stay so long —
your own sis Frances
Mrs Alvah Worden —
Cayuga Co —
DEC 17


Type: postmark