Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 7, 1832

  • Posted on: 14 December 2017
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 7, 1832
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:aca

student editor

Transcriber:spp:cnk

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1832-02-07

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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, February 7, 1832

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: aca 

revision: crb 2017-08-28

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Page 1

Tuesday night 7th
My Dear Sister – I believe I wrote to you last just as I was going to
Mrs Blanchards
Birth: 1801 Death: 1838-04-13
party – Sanford
Birth: 1806-03-27 Death: 1879-12-02
was here and Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
was making us a visit
and Mr Juliand
Birth: 1797-02-23 Death: 1870-02-17
came in to see if we were ready to go – upon the whole the letter
was concluded under rather unfavorable circumstances – Well we departed
at eight oclock precisely – a boy
Unknown
received us at the door – a girl
Unknown
conducted
us up stairs the gentlemen into one dressing room the ladies into another
where we disrobed ourselves and taking our respective husbands marched
down stairs (Mrs Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1863-06-22
did not go) – We found four or five ladies and as many
gentlemen among the latter was Frank Yvonnett
Birth: 1805
who is as disagreeable as ever
and has destroyed the only good thing about him his good looks by cultivating
whiskers – he talked to me just about as long as he used to at Troy that is a minute
and a half and I was very happy not to encounter him again – Now you must
not make any complaint about the length of this description, you wanted
particulars and I am going to give them to you – Neither Mrs
Birth: 1801 Death: 1838-04-13
or Miss Blanchard
Birth: 1810-02-10 Death: 1892-12-09

are as pretty as with their bonnets on – Mrs B. was dressed in a blue mandarin
I should think a blond gauze dress handkerchief on her neck her hair put up in bows
the most unbecoming of all inventions – Miss Blanchard wore a blue gros
de naples short sleeves and long large sleeves of white blond gauze - neck
bare except a necklace – I of course wore my new dress and being afraid
to expose my neck my little thibit shawl – Mrs Juliand
Birth: 1804-05-06 Death: 1860-05-01
a silk very much
the colour of yours a lace handkerchief –The company continued to assemble
until after nine about nine came Enesty
Unknown
( as Fran
Birth: 1826 Death: 1909-08-24
says ) Mrs Throop
Birth: 1806-02-11 Death: 1872-06-17
Mrs
Lancaster Lupton
Birth: 1779-02-17 Death: 1833-03-05
Miss Burnet
Unknown
and Miss Porter
Birth: 1813 Death: 1883-05-01
– The Governor
Birth: 1784-08-21 Death: 1874-11-01
and his Lady
Birth: 1795-08-07 Death: 1834-06-29

came immediately after speaking to Mrs Blanchard into the corner where I
stood and graciously offered me their hands this being the first time we
have met – upon the whole we appeared very glad to see each other – I may as well
observe here as elsewhere that their light is much dimmer here than in a party
at Auburn – and as I told Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
after I came home the only thing that prevented
my being very much mortified was the reflection that we had no ha ^n^ d in placing
them in a conspicuous situation – Now dear one you must not tell this to any
one even to Serene
Birth: 1802
because they have been much more civil to me that my
treatment of them heretofore deserved – besides people must not tell tales out of school
Mrs T- was dressed with as little taste as usual – her hair in the unbecoming style of
the day – a white figured silk dress and a superabundance of things on her
neck lace, handkerchief, ribbon &c – I have seen her look much better at home –
Miss Burnet in a plain silk no ornaments – Miss Porter in white muslin short
sleeves long white gloves red ribbons put across the shoulders something in the form
of braces though they did not cross behind her hair curled in her neck a beautiful
necklace of cameos and gold – Mrs. L. Lupton in a straw colored palmarine a
Page 2

bobbinet filorine close in the neck ruffle of the same with a little round ^ ^ tippet
thrown of over her shoulders – but her head dress was the thing that excited attention
I cannot describe it better than Julius Rhoades
Birth: 1801-01-20 Death: 1851
did when he said it looked
like a peacock tail when spread imagine this with a little crown fitting
the head and you have it – the groundwork white blond lace the eyes black
or purple velvet sewed on – The lady herself I liked much better than I expected that is
I did not dislike her as much as I expected. her manners are very artificial but she
does not look or conduct as ill as Mrs. Smith
Unknown
– The party was large both rooms
well filled but not more than a dozen married ladies the others were all young
or rather unmarried – All dressed in white or thin dresses of some description
over silk and satin – necks bare and hair á lá mode – some with short sleeves
some with long – Miss Wendell
Birth: 1811 Death: 1886-11-27
was the only one that I saw that I thought
pretty she is tall and slender a very animated face – her back hair was brought
up and curled on the top of her head with a comb behind – she was dressed altogether
more to my taste than any other young lady – they gave a party while I was ill –
but I do not think I could ever love any one here there is something so artificial
in all their manners – some less than others certainly but few entirely exempt
why must fashion so entirely exclude nature? but I have no time for moralizing
Tea and coffee came about nine accompanied with maccaronies and plumb cake —
I was glad I drank my tea before I left home - after this blanc mange, sweet meats, and calfs foot jelly - then ice cream in pyramids and sweet meats - then oranges, motto's
and cocoa nut cakes - and after we came away bread and butter and oysters -
before this however wine and lemonade – All this time the company are proman-
ading from one room to the other the more difficulty you have in crowding your
way through the better — About ten, after, the ice cream I went to bid Mrs Blanchard
good evening but she did not appear quite satisfied that I was coming away so early
said the entertainment was not half over so we staid another half hour. I took
some motto, which were quite as silly as they usually are – disposed of the
pastry part and kept the candy part for Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
– By this time some of the ladies
had departed and my head which had ached all the evening ached still more so
we made another more effectual attempt and came home – I had forgotten to say
there was some playing on the piano which I could not hear and one cotillion
danced which I was not much edified by seeing - Every one says the party
was very pleasant and I think I should have enjoyed looking at them had
I been well - this was the first time I had been out of the house since I had been sick —
I took some cold and was confined to my room the next two days. I forgot to say that
Anthony Blanchard
Birth: 1801-05-27 Death: 1861-05-01
did not speak to me at all during the evening - this -
may be the fashion - it is certainly civil. Wednesday Mrs. Throop sent for all the
ladies here to come and spend sociable evening but I was sick – Mrs. Cary ditto -
Mrs. Beardsley
Birth: 1786-12-22 Death: 1877-04-13
and Mrs. Julian went - very pleasant they said – Mrs B- says Mr
Beardsley thinks a great deal of the Governor! strange – Thursday morning
Mr
Birth: 1785-11-07 Death: 1862-07-15
Mrs
Birth: 1791 Death: 1869-12-30
and Miss Benedict
Birth: 1814-08-13 Death: 1850-06-21
called – they are plain clever people live the
next door some connexion of Mrs. Swan's
Birth: 1770-06-03 Death: 1829-08-25
of Aurora – Friday morning
Mr. Cary
Birth: 1786-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
came over about 12 to have us go over to the Senate Chambers to hear
Maynard's
Birth: 1786-11-11 Death: 1832-08-28
speech which he had just commenced – we all went – the next mor-
ning we went to hear it concluded – he spoke in the whole about 5 hours – he
is not animated but I was interested in him not in the United States bank
Page 3

and I was very much gratified –he said some very beautiful things which well
compensated for listening to much that did not interest me – He makes no gestures
stands perfectly still with one hand on a chair – is always perfectly composed
and must be sensible that he knows more than any one else there but he
does not show it – never gets so much excited as to say any thing he might repeat
I like his manner of standing - there is something commanding about it – and gestures
are so much the order of the day it is quite refreshing to me to see them dispensed
with – There has been much said about the speeches on the Bank Question
Henry is reserving Edmond's
Birth: 1799-03-13 Death: 1874-04-05
the one to which he replied to send to you with his
when published – After Mr. Maynard concluded Edmonds got up and made
some reply which appeared to me to be very little to the purpose - he then
addressed some remarks to Henry to which I knew he would not let pass
unnoticed – I feared this and intended to have withdrawn as soon as Maynard
got through but Edmonds was so quick he did not allow me an opportunity –
I soon heard Henry's voice asking the gentleman to explain some observation
Mrs Cary would not let me go when Edmonds was speaking but I started
as soon as Henry rose – I believe I was down the stairs before the rest of
my party started I know I waited some time in the hall – They all laughed
at me when they came for being so sensitive – but Mrs. Cary said if Mr. Cary
ever did speak she was quite sure she should not wish to hear him – They
continued nearly an hour longer in the house – dinner waiting all the time –
Of course the Antimasons were in the minority when the votes were taken but
this they expected – Henry was perfectly satisfied said Maynard had used them all
up – thought there never was any thing quite equal to his speech – which positively
he advanced at least twenty times during the day - nothing of course is said
about these things at table but what is perfectly civil but after all there
will be a little party feeling – I know I have enough to feel more interested in
Antimasons than others — Mrs Cary calls me a party woman and disclaims all
feelings of this kind – prides herself on her candour in thinking there is as
much right on one side as the other— One evening last week Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13
took tea
here - he inquired about you - said he should like to see Lazette - did not see why
you did not spend some part of the winter with us –You do not know how often I
wish you here – I believe you would enjoy it & then you know so much more and appear
better than any one here – Mrs. Sanford
Birth: 1806-02-19 Death: 1847
appears to be the most popular lady here among
the gentlemen they all speak in very high terms of her – She gives the soirees you know –
there is nothing very attractive in her personal appearance neither are her intellectual
powers of a very high order as of if I may judge from seeing her twice – but she
is the 2d wife of the former chancellor – is pleasant and animated in her conversations
and is said to receive company very gracefully – When I thought her
rather forbidding in her manners but I was pleased with her at Mrs. B – party — Sunday
it snowed all day we did not go out – in the evening Weed and Andrews
Birth: 1796-10-16 Death: 1863-06-11
came to see us
Monday Mrs Cary Mrs Julian & myself went to return some calls - very cold - rode - none of
the gentlemen could go with us so we went without them - we called at Mr. Hopkins
Birth: 1772-05-09 Death: 1837-03-09
, Wendalls
Birth: 1785-01-02 Death: 1861-12-19

on Mrs. Dix
Birth: 1810 Death: 1884
and Yates
Birth: 1771-01-31 Death: 1864-01-04
at the American, Mrs. Flagg
Birth: 1798-04-05 Death: 1875-04-09
at the City Hotel, left our cards at
Mrs. Sanfords and Blanchards— I believe the latter people never see people in the morning
they are always "not at home" when any of us have called – I went to Mrs. Porter's
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29
alone
the other ladies not being indebted, met there Mrs Throop Mrs Lupton Miss Burnet and
Miss Weed
Birth: 1819-02-06 Death: 1893-11-01
— Yesterday Henry and I went again in a sleigh and returned 13 more
calls – 6 at home – among those at home was Mrs Throop she was very pleasant Mrs
Lupton rather agreeable than otherwise - the house was
Page 4

furnished very much like other houses – fashionably of course – Last evening a bride Mrs Norton
Birth: 1803-05-14 Death: 1871-11-11

received company – the elder Mrs Norton
 Death: 1860-11-19
having called on me I was entitled to the
right of going if I chose – no invitation, that is a general invitation none of the
ladies from here went but Mrs Beardsley – She says the splendour surpassed any thing
she has ever seen in Albany – I was rather sorry I did not go – but thought I should be sick
again if I did– Monday evening I came in and found Henry reading your last letter I took it away
saying "mine" as Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
does – I am very sorry the plants are frozen I have thought
of them a great many times this winter – it snows and snows here & continues cold and dreary You must not
blame Mrs. Smith for her indifference about me I am sure I never thought of asking any thing about her
sisters – I hope you will like your boy
Unknown
well enough to keep him at least until the cold weather departs —
I have not read Count Robert
Author: Walter Scott Place of Publication:Scotland, GB Date: 1832
yet nor any extracts from it – Henry tried to find it the other day but did
not – Never mind the shirts we can do very well without them — Wednesday My Dear Sis – We this morning received a messenger extra containing an account of the destruction of our own
beautiful little Church – I have been crying about it – How fondly we cling to every thing that
is connected with gone by days – how many dear associations are here sundered – tell me
all about it in your next letter – your own Sis – Frances
Mrs. Alvah Worden
Auburn
Cayuga County
ALBANY, N.Y.
Feb 9
x

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[right Margin] Gus would fain send a long message to Frances but I have no room —