Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 24, 1832

  • Posted on: 14 December 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, March 24, 1832



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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, March 24, 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: meb 

revision: crb 2017-08-28

Page 1

Saturday night
My Dear Sister, I am sick and weary to night – I cannot sew I cannot read
I have no one to talk to and little Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
has gone to sleep so I cannot even
amuse myself with his little pranks so even sick and weary as I am you
see I have no remedy but to write to you – I spent all the morning making
calls and the afternoon have been endeavouring to accomplish a little
shopping – rather ineffectually however – there were divers reasons for this – I hate
shopping of all things – then Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
and Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
were both with me and of all
other things I abhor shopping with men for companions – and then I am afraid
of Tracy yet but I succeeded in getting a pair of gloves and a spool
of cotton – Henry and I then went to call on Mrs Gerrit Smith
Birth: 1805-01-11 Death: 1875-03-06
who has
been in town two or three weeks – waiving all ceremony she called upon
me when Fred had the measels and I thought her a very amiable
Worthy of love; deserving of affection; lovely; loveable • Pretending or showing love •

fat little woman – She was sick this afternoon and we did not see her
then we came home and I have since had a delectable headache — with
which I now propose going to bed so good night Sis —
Sunday evening – I have had quite a long experience this day but I
must begin with the morning which was pleasant and gave promise of
a fine day – Henry proposed that we should ride to Troy to Church
to which I assented – then commenced the bustle of getting ready in
about as small a room and as small a space of time as any one
could desire – it was half past eight we were to go at nine – Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

must have a loop put on his jacket and a clean ruffle basted on the neck
Henry must have a hole mended in his coat and I must dress with
very little assistance from Eliza
as Fred persisted manfully in
claiming the attention of at least one of the household – I walked most
of the time on the top of the trundle bed as the dressing glass happened
to be upon the other side and the trundle bed occupies all the
spare room which there is in the bed room when that is fairly disposed of
for the day an event which does not usually take place early in the day
We did get ready though, notwithstanding all drawbacks and I put on
my moccasins and Gus' great coat – warm as it was, because Uncle Tracy
said I must – The next view you have of us, is on one of the finest roads
I ever beheld – Henry driving and Gus and I enlarging on the beauties
of nature and art, that is, the Mac Adamised

Editorial Note

Macadam was a type of road invented by John Loudon McAdam around 1820. Roads built in this style were "macadamized."
road and the singing
of divers little birds – then we came to the ferry and crossed in a horse
boat just as we used to cross 8 years ago – drove to Titus

Editorial Note

Titus Inn, Troy, New York
found church
had commenced half an hour before – John Card
Birth: 1796 Death: 1881-09-21
volunteered his services as
chaperone and we all went to the Episcopal Church, the New Episcopal Church
which is a beautiful building in the gothic style – finished on the inside in
Page 2

imitation of oak – the windows ground glass– not one familiar face could I
see & withal Dr Butler
Birth: 1762-07-19 Death: 1842-07-11
did not preach – I was sorry for this as I felt
quite an inclination to know how his preaching would appear to me now –
coming home we met Columbus Boardman
Birth: 1806-03-19 Death: 1838-06-16
and Charles Dauchy
Birth: 1805-01-02 Death: 1877-01-26
as a younger
brother and in looks resembling both Jesse
and Harry
– they came back with
us and made a call – then some one said that Mrs Willard
Birth: 1787-02-23 Death: 1870-04-15
had seen me in
church and enquired where I stopped as she was going to call – Henry thought
I ought to go and see her – John Card seconded the motion and Mr Cushman
Birth: 1800-05-08 Death: 1851-12-06

proposed to accompany us – so we went – Mrs Willard was of course happy to
see us – regretted that we could not attend her party and finally concluded
by inviting us there to meet some other company tomorrow – I was so very
imbecile as to accept the invitation after Henry had said there was nothing
to prevent – but of this more anon – John Card brought Phebe Warren
Birth: 1804-09-06
to Mrs
Willards to see me – Phebe looks much as she used to – somewhat older – wished
me very much to go and see "Sister Mary"
 Death: 1851
– who was ill – Georges
Birth: 1797-09-25 Death: 1879-05-08
wife – I pleaded
want of time and promised to call the next time I came to Troy – John Card
continues a suitor of Phebe's – Elisa
Birth: 1801-03-22
you prop probably remember married
John Payne
Birth: 1793-02-12 Death: 1852-02-07
– they were before us when we came from church leading a little
girl about 4 years old – looked very much like old married folks – I did not see
Elisa's face – I had intended calling at Mrs Boardmans
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02
but Columbus said
his mother was not well – so I deferred it. We had of course a very
polite time at dinner it could not otherwise be in character with the Trojans
I drank wine enough to make my headache – We went to the Pesbyterian
Church in the afternoon – sat with Cushman – did not see any one I knew
heard a remarkably long, silly sermon from a stranger – Mr Beman
Birth: 1797-05-05 Death: 1875-12-12
not preach – After Church we came immediately home in anticipation
of rain – the wind blew very hard – got home just in time for tea – Eliza and
Fred had been walking the park. Henry asked me when we were coming home
how we should dispose of Fred if we went to Mrs Willards as it would
not be very pleasant coming home ten or eleven oclock at night – I then
saw how extremely inconsiderate I had been in making the engagement
without any reflection – I did not feel the least inclination to go – and so it
ever is – ever has been with me – Tracy said I was a goose for l making the
engagement and I believe it to the letter – Henry and Maynard
Birth: 1786-11-11 Death: 1832-08-28Certainty: Probable
have gone to walk
and I am alone meditating on my folly – I wish I could see you about five
minutes it would not take that time for you to reconcile me to myself –
I will not talk any more on so worthless a subject but proceed to answer your own dear
Page 3

letter which came last Thursday – I hope you have not let yesterda a Sunday pass with
out writing for it is still uncertain when I go to Orange County – If it is any gratification
for you to hear of the failure of the small light party I can assure you it was a total
failure – every body complaining of the meanness of the entertainment – Mrs Hopkins
Birth: 1778-02-01 Death: 1866-12-17
that Mrs B
Birth: 1773-10-08 Death: 1846-03-02Certainty: Possible
– a regency lady, told her that such parties would not answer in Albany
Friday morning I made four or five calls on the hill and Saturday nearly finished
my list at least exhausted my cards – will you the next time you go to Pa's
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13

search my drawers little and big for my copperplate and if you can find it
send by some of the people who will be coming down – I think the most probable
is either the upper drawer of the secretary or your book case – I looked some for
it before I came away though not perseveringly – I have no recollection of putting
it any where else but it is possible I may in some of the other drawers –
I would like to have some more cards engraved before I come home – Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
to see us Friday afternoon. I was very glad to see him again – he said he
thought he was getting in the way of coming too often – this had prevented his coming
before — doubtful — I have concluded to get up in the morning and send
some kind of an apology to Mrs Willard – I hardly know what – – – Monday morn
I am happy to inform you that I found it raining "vehemently", to use Tracy expression,
when I arose this morning – so I shall have sufficient apology for staying at home –
They have teased me until I am quite nervous about it – After breakfast I went up to
see Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
as is my practice every day when Fred gets sleepy – I found the Dr

Birth: 1829 Death: 1832-03-29
has never appeared to me so feeble as he does now – I really have little expecta-
tion that he will ever get well – certainly not if he continues to fail in this way
the Dr still speaks encourageingly – but Mrs Cary is very desponding – poor woman
how her griefs accumulate – a few days ago she heard the distressing intelligence that
her sisters
had eloped with a married man
– Mr Tracy and I were in the
room when the letter came Mr Cary
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
was absent – She commenced reading the letter but
was too much agitated to proceed – handed the letter to Tracy – he read it and endeavour-
ed to persuade her not to seek to know the contents until Mr Cary came in — but
she could not endure the suspense so long, and he finally told her as gently as
possible – she was very much overcome I expected to see her faint she was so pale
but before I left the room she had read the letter herself – We sent for Mr Cary but he was
not to be found as it was half an hour before he returned – I then left the
room – They have since heard that the fugitives were pursued and overtaken
after having crossed the river at Lewiston – the girl was 17 – I know none of
the particulars – Mrs Cary does look so wretched that it makes my heart ache
to see her – She says she has no expectation that her little boy will ever get well
and when she thinks of her sisters affliction it almost reconciles her to the
thought of parting – while her child is still free from transgression – but she is not
ciled and what mother could be. There was one time he appeared much better but he
is now worse again. yesterday and the day before they took him out to ride but I do not
think it has benefitted him any – This morning the first steam boat made its appearance to the great joy of every one – Mrs Tracy
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
I think will come this week – We have heard from
various sources that the Scarlet fever was very prevalent at Goshen and Henry has written
Page 4

to his father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
to know if it prevails at Florida so that we will endanger the little
boys by coming – The answer to this letter will decide about the time of my de-
parture but I do not think of going until Saturday week — Tuesday morning — yesterday
the storm continued until night giving the best possible apology for my non attendance
at Mrs Willards – the gentlemen who were invited were prevented going by the inclem
ency of the weather – I went to bed early with the headache – This morning the sun is shining
and the snow disappearing very rapidly – cold yet – too cold for me to finish my
calling tour – Mr Tracy says he will look for his wife tomorrow – I shall close
this letter this morning, you will receive it a day earlier thereby – your own Sis
Mrs Alvah Worden


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