Letter from William Henry Seward to Elijah Miller, December 26, 1831

  • Posted on: 11 January 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from William Henry Seward to Elijah Miller, December 26, 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 William Henry Seward to Elijah Miller, December 26, 1831

action: sent

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

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Elijah Miller
Birth: 1772-04-11  Death: 1851-11-13

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: kac 

revision: ekk 2015-09-17

Page 1

Albany, December 26th. 1831.
Dear Sir
The weather here last week until yesterday (Saturday) was
most intensely cold. We have now very comfortable weather and are
able with the aid of a coal grate full of [ Lackawana ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: Lackawanna
to keep
our room comfortable. We are all well, both the boys seem to
have improved and especially the younger.
The Court of Errors have yet six causes before them undecided
they will not adjourn I think before Friday or Saturday, some
of the causes involve questions of great difficulty and require
much study. This protracted session of the Court will detain
me so that I shall not be able to return to Auburn before the
meeting of the Legislature. I regret this as I was very anxious
to attend our New Year's convention.
It is probable that the friends of the present governor
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01
use every exertion in the party to induce this renomination
and it is certain that there are very many who will insist
upon the abandonment of his pretensions. Edward P. Liv-
Birth: 1779-11-24 Death: 1843-11-03
is the only person spoken of within the pale of the
party as successor. He is a man of no energy and it has
always seemed strange to me how he came to be so high
in the affections of the party. But it is pretty certain in that
in the ranks of the Regency pliability is an essential qual-
ity in candidates for office whether the station aspired to be
that of Governor or door Keeper. Were I to undertake I could
not determine between the Governor and his lieutenant which excels
Page 2

in that essential requisite. The People are most utterly indifferent
in the matter, the Regency have no rule to guide their determination
except that prudence which admonishes to avoid experiment when
all is safe already. The question will therefore be decided by the
exertions of the personal friends and dependants of two men both of
whom are as imbecile as ever was any man who aspired to be a
Governor excepting always Sancho Panza .
In perfect keeping with the past conduct of the National Re-
publican leaders the Delegates who have returned from the late
Baltimore Convention seem to be perfectly infatuated. Strange as
it may seem they talk of hopes of success and express admiration
when they are told that the Anti Masons will not support
their chief. A dead set was made by them upon Mr. Wirt
Birth: 1772-11-08 Death: 1834-02-18
Baltimore to induce him to withdraw from his present posi-
tion and accept that of second to Mr. Clay
Birth: 1777-04-12 Death: 1852-06-29
. True to himself
to his friends and to the cause whose Representative he is
before the American People he firmly withstood the corrupt
proposition. In your own ear only I have to state that by a
letter from Washington I am advised that a new proposition has
now been made as concerns the State of New York which is that
they the Nationals will vote for our Candidates for Governor and
Lieutenant Governor provided we support an Electoral ticket
which shall be pledged to go for Mr. Clay in the contingency
that there shall be no reasonable hope of electing Mr. Wirt. Ren-
dered into plain English I suppose the proposition is that the
Clay men will support our State ticket if we will support
Mr. Clay. Miserable dreamers! I thank God there is no man in the
Page 3

confidence of the Anti Masonic party weak enough to listen to so absurd a
proposition. We shall now see the National Republicans array
Order; disposition in regular lines • Dress; garments disposed in order upon the person • In law, the act of impaneling a jury • To envelop •

themselves for a contest in which their hopes will be demolished. It
is to be observed that in the present exigency of political affairs the
ground heretofore held by them is beginning to yield, their ground
has always been the ultra tariff doctrine and now Mr. Clay
himself is forward to propose the necessary reduction of duties.
There can be no doubt now that the United States Bank
will be rechartered. Gen. Jackson
Birth: 1767-03-15 Death: 1845-06-08
is understood to have approved
of McLane's
Birth: 1786-05-28 Death: 1857-10-07
reports, exertions opposed to the Bank will be no
further made than to secure the retreat without disgrace, and
thus Mr. Clay will lose the support of the friends of the United
States Bank which has always been exclusively conceded to
I have written to Mr. Beardsly
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
that I desired him to forward
to me the papers in Mr. Mancius
Birth: 1779-12 Death: 1833-11-07
Ejectment suit as I wish
to call upon Mr. M. and cannot well show him the true
situation of his title without them. Will you see that they are
speedily sent.
Judge Spencer
Birth: 1788-01-08 Death: 1855-05-17
is understood to be avowedly in favor of Anti-
Masonry, and the Anti Masonic party is here well organized
firm and respectable. I do not receive any newspapers
from Auburn. Will you request Mr. Skinner
Birth: 1791-06-07 Death: 1880-03-22
to send the Repub-
Please assure Grandmother
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
that we are all well and com-
fortably situated, our boys
x Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11  Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25 
stockings were last night filled by
St. Nickolas


and they are both happy.
Affectionately yours,
W. H Seward
E. Miller Esq.
Page 4

Elijah Miller Esq.