Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, April 13, 1832

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, April 13, 1832



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Distributor:Seward Family Papers Project

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's personography.xml file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, April 13, 1832

action: sent

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

location: Florida, NY

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

location: Albany, NY

transcription: anb 

revision: ekk 2015-05-20

Page 1

Friday evening 13th
My Dear Henry. Two more sunny days have passed. the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 

are still free from any symptoms of scarlet fever. I am quite well
and you I suppose are again reinstated in letter B. Eliza says
“Fred, Pa has gone to see Mr Walker
Birth: 1801-04-14 Death: 1866-03-26Certainty: Probable
and Mr Landon
Birth: 1789-06-04 Death: 1873-07-10
”. “aye” said Fred
and added of his own accord Maynard
Birth: 1786-11-11 Death: 1832-08-28
and Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
. Yesterday
morning after your departure to pacify the little boy because he could
not ride I put on his coat and bonnet I went accompanied by
cousin Augustus
Birth: 1820-05-18 Death: 1889-05-08
to take a walk. we went down the street
until we came to Chloe
’s house and then finding the dust very
unpleasant we went into the meadow. here Fred refused to walk
and made ^me^ carry him all the way home which together with climb-
ing two or three fences I found no easy task. Augustus kindly
assisted me in carrying Fred when the little sinner would
allow him the priviledge. As soon as I reached the house I gladly
resigned my charge to Eliza and assisted Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
and Julian
making cake for the wedding. George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
looked very good naturedly
at us when he chanced to come within view of the operations.
This occupied our time until one oclock. in the mean time the
caravan had attracted great multitudes of people in gala dresses
to the village. I have never seen Florida so thronged- “young and old,
great and small, All on their passage,” not to “Vauxhall

” exactly
but to a place quite as attractive in their estimation. “Are you
going to see the show?” - “How old is that Elephant?” “Is there any Lion?”
“Did you know this was the same Tiger that killed the Lion in Europe?”
These were among the salutations that passed between the friends and
neighbours who met on the occasion. Your Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
came home about
two oclock and said he left the stage at the door which was to convey
Page 2

you to Newburgh. After dinner Mr
Birth: 1803
and Mrs Post
Birth: 1812
and Gurnee
and Adeline
Birth: 1815-02-20 Death: 1900Certainty: Probable

called. Gurnee looks very feeble. they do not think of going home
until the canal is open. the state of his health will not allow him
to travel in any other way. Adeline expressed a wish that we
might go home in company. I did not actually dissent for which
act of complacency I take considerable credit to myself considering
how disagreeable her husband is to me. but he looked ill and I felt
as much more kindly disposed towards him than I have ever been before[ . ]



Mr and Mrs Post went accompanied by Pa, Ma Julian, Polydores
Birth: 1799 Death: 1872-04-23

little Mary
Birth: 1828 Death: 1905
and, Mary Bilby
 Death: 1864
- to see the show. It was with consider
able difficulty that I excused myself from being of the party. I
finally said it was unpleasant for me to see any thing of the kind
(the heat and crowd not being thought of much importance) thus inducing
a belief that I had particular reasons at this particular time for my
fastidiousness. I would have done better to have been more explicit
as the actual cause of my unwillingness to go arose from seeing
the cruetly exercised towards some of the animals the last time
I attended an exhibition of the kind - but I thought this would
appear an affectation of sensibility. So I am ever playing at cross purposes
with myself and to avoid being thought ridiculous in one way am sure
to make myself so in another. Gus spent most of the afternoon there.
cousin Augustus returned with the mail to Goshen to see Clarence
Birth: 1828-10-07 Death: 1897-07-24
This morning I again strolled into the fields with Augustus for my
companion. The sunshine always exhilerates me this added to the warbling
of the birds and the rippling of the little brooks rendered my walk very
delightful. Augustus was in extacies with eve every new object he
discovered and proposed at least two such walks every day. I sat a long
Page 3

time on the bridge listening to the murmuring of the water - while Gus amused
himself with throwing in sticks on one side of the bridge and running
to see them swim out at the other. I would fain


Glad; pleased; rejoiced; often used to describe pleasure to do something out of a kind of necessity • to wish or desire •
have spent the whole
The former part of the day, from the morning to the noon •
in this way but the thought of the unfinished wedding shirt bosom
hastened my return. Augustus went to school all day without any hesitation
The folks are all at work on the roads yet and have succeeded in making them
much rougher than they were. Sam Smith
Certainty: Probable
(I suppose you know who he is) called
on me during the afternoon. he was very sorry that he did not see you
before you went back. “I should like to see Harry
Birth: 1793-04-15 Death: 1871-08-27
sitting among the Senators” said he “I
have seen him often when he was no higher than this chair, in that brick building there,”
pointing to the Academy. “he could hardly carry his Lexicon and Virgil at one time.”
“That Staples
was a fine scholar but a perfect savage.” he then went on to relate
instances of his cruelty to the boys until your ma and I both begged him to desist
“And after all” said he “Staples loved Harry. I have often heard him say he was the smartest
boy he ever saw.” Your mother regretted that she once saved him from chastisement
and I thought I should not be unwilling to see it inflicted even at this late
period. I found Sam quite entertaining he made a long call. Locky
Birth: 1805-07-15 Death: 1848-05-14
and Polydore
came down a few moments in the evening. Maria Armstrong
Birth: 1798-09-18
took tea
with with us this eve ning I recieved a long letter from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
which I shall enclose
in this. [ I think you ]


Reason: wax-seal
would rather read it. this letter would not have reached Flo[ rida ]


Reason: wax-seal

until Monday [ had ]


Reason: wax-seal
not some one brought the mail from Goshen to day [hole]
Tomorrow [ morning ]


Reason: wax-seal
your father is going to Goshen and has invited me to accompa[ ny ]


Reason: wax-seal

him. Sunday afternoon — Locky and Polydor have just gone after dining
with us. We all went to meeting this morning, notwithstanding Mr Cummings
Birth: 1776-07-15 Death: 1863-01-09

loud preaching I went to sleep as usual. Yesterday morning I did not accompany
your father he went at 5 oclock and returned at 8 . Augustus and I visited the
brook spent our hour making the boats swim. no school on Saturday. at 4 George
and I started for Goshen. Frank felt unusually gay


Excited with merriment or delight • Having many or showy colors • An ornament •
and made quite a circuit
every black or white spot he saw in the road. I must give George the credit
of dinning remarkably well he is much more careful than he used to be
f a little bunch of hay in the road caused the horse to plunge and finally
turned the gig


To fish with a harpoon • Any little thing that is whirled around in play • A light carriage with one pair of wheels, drawn by one horse; a chair • A fiddle • A dart or harpoon • A ship's boat • A wanton girl •
entirely around. George said he refrained from whipping him
on my account. I was grateful for the consideration. I like George much sad as
he is. he made known to me his troubles about Julian. he is anxious to have her away
as he is unwilling that she should be a companion for Tempe
Birth: 1812-09-30 Death: 1848-10-18
. Julian has pouted
most of the time since I came because she is not permitted to come to the table
she is very rude to your Ma at times. We found the cousins at Goshen well and very
glad to see us. Cousin Mary Evans
Birth: 1794-08-30 Death: 1876-12-31
looks thin and her smile is no melancholy
Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; stubborn or constant in enmity • Incapable of being relieved or quieted; inextinguishable •
it grieved me to see her. The little boys a getting fat again after their illness. We
called a few minutes at cousin Harry’s - invited them to the party. George called at
Birth: 1772 Death: 1845-11-16
and went to see Virgil Seward
Birth: 1808-07-15 Death: 1866-05-21
. We took tea at Cousin Marys and
came away about 7. Augustus returned with us. little Clarence cried very
hard to come with him. Clarence appears very fond of his brother
Birth: 1827-02-07 Death: 1827
Page 4

We had rode but a short distance when there came up very suddenly a thunder
shower - the lightning was very vivid and the rain began to fall in large drops
to add to my consternation
Amazement or horror that confounds the faculties, and incapacitiates for consideration; excessive terror, wonder, or surprise; dismay •
Frank took fright at a bundle of straw which
lay in the road. George could not induce him to pass it. he finally got out
and led him as far back as Mr Stewarts
Birth: 1774Certainty: Probable
when we all went in to obtain shelter
from the storm.
We found Gabriel
Birth: 1774
, Betsy and a cousin of theirs a young Miss Stewart
with whom
I was very much pleased. they recieved us very cordially and insisted upon our
remaining all night with them - however the storm abating we again resumed our
journey homeward. the black clouds all passed away and the moon soon shone
with unwonted brightness. Frank became gentle and the latter end of our ride was
more pleasant than the beginning. George starts tomorrow for Windham and returns Thursday
with oceans of cousins. Good Bye your own Frances. Tell Mr Juliand
Birth: 1797-02-23 Death: 1870-02-17
I am so sorry
the canal is lost. My love to the Tracys
Birth: 1800 Death: 1876
. tell Mr Tracy I always sit with my hand up to
my face when I think that they will not come.
Frances A Seward
15 April 1832

Florida 16 Apl

William H. Seward
Congress Hall