Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 25, 1833

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 25, 1833



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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, June 25, 1833

action: sent

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

location: Auburn, NY

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

location: London, England, UK

transcription: keh 

revision: ekk 2015-07-23

Page 1

Teusday June 25th
My dear Henry - I have since I wrote or finished my last letter to you
last Thursday written to Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
and George
Birth: 1808-08-26 Death: 1888-12-07
and this has occupied the
time usually devoted to you. It was three weeks last Saturday since you
sailed and if you have been as fortunate as the Captain predicted you
have by this time set your foot once more on terra firma. I have endea-
voured to persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
myself that such is the case and to feel less solici-
tude about you than I have done - but my endeavours will not avail
much until I am assured by a letter that all is well. Yesterday
afternoon we visited at Mr Field
Birth: 1753-07-07 Death: 1839-08-06
's but Mrs Dill


had gone home - having
been sent for in the morning Mr Dill
Birth: 1767-10-22 Death: 1869-05-01
being quite ill with a fever.
She left in great affliction and must have had a gloomy ride. She
went alone in a 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 •
with her children
x Birth: 1824-09-23  Death:   Birth: 1822-02-01  Death: 1877-11-26 
it rained hard and the wind
was blowing furiously. The weather with the exception of a few days
has been cold and cheerless. I went on Sunday to the Methodist
Church - Mr Peck
Birth: 1790-01-12 Death: 1836-04-29
did not preach as well as usual at least he did not
interest me as much. Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
went with us to Mr Field's - Worden
Birth: 1797-03-06 Death: 1856-02-16

has now a scheme in contemplation of getting quickly rich by going
to Michigan - says he shall leave home the 1st of September. I should be
very unhappy in thinking I must part with my sister did I put any
confidence in his declarations - but he builds so many castles in the
air that I am much inclined to doubt their stability. Lazette is
in favour of the project but says she is fearful Worden will not continue
long enough of one mind to accomplish any thing - she thinks this is the
only prospect there is of his becoming any thing more than at present.
I have no doubt myself but it would be well could he adhere to any settled
purpose but I think this nearly impossible and fear Lazette would be much
more miserable struggling with poverty far away from the assistance and
sympathy of those that love her. But I will not anticipate a grief I have
little thought will ever come - in this form. Stewart
Mr Hoffman
's son-in law
(who by the way has given rise to this utopian project) has just returned from
Michigan - he gives very attractive accounts of the country and the facilities
for acquiring property in that region - he was at Clinton where Uncle Lewis
Birth: 1787-06-11 Death: 1857-02-14
is living - he says about the time he left the whole family had
been poisoned by eating the milk of a cow which was subsequently discov-
ered to have been bitten by a rattlesnake. They were all sick when he came
away but expected to recover. I do not recollect mentioning in a former
letter that Ezra Schooley
Birth: 1806-05-23 Death: 1850-05-23
passed through here on his return from Michigan about
ten days ago - he has been there purchasing some land but has not determined
to settle there - he left Mr Schooley
Birth: 1768-05-30 Death: 1870-02-16
- Youngs
Birth: 1831-08 Death: 1912
and Gurney
exploring the country.
Page 2

In Weeds
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
paper yesterday was published two letters from the little deaf and dumb boys
and Conklin
Birth: 1789-10-12 Death: 1874-02-05
giving an account of their visit to Albany. The letters are very
prettily written and interested me extremely as does every thing that relates to these un-
fortunate children. Weed had requested them to write which it appears they had done
immediately on their return but the letters had been mislaid and Mr Peet
has just
now sent them. The engrossing subject in the Newspapers is the travels of the
Birth: 1767-03-15 Death: 1845-06-08
and Black Hawk


- it is difficult to determine at present which is the
favorite of the populace. The last accounts leave the President at Boston and
and Black Hawk at New York - both addressing and receiving addresses. Black
Hawk undoubtedly the least pleased with this kind of homage of the two -
Indians being tolerably sensible about such things — Wednesday Morning — Mrs
 Death: 1848-03-10
called last evening she has left Waterloo for the purpose of visiting
Salem - remains here a week. Serene
Birth: 1805 Death: 1884-01-19
is well and expecting a visit from us.
Birth: 1791-05-14 Death: 1872-02-08
(Mrs F says) cannot part with Serene long enough to allow her
to visit her friends - if Serene is imposed upon by so selfish a plea she
has not the good sense I imagine she has. It is an admirable plan for a man
who thinks his wife may just as well stay [ a ]

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: at
home and keep house and nurse
the children as to visit her friends occasionally, to pretend the excess of his
affection will not allow him to be happy during her absence. I am very thankful
that Providence with many other blessings has given me a husband who is not des-
titute of generosity. The cholera is raging with great violence at the South - but
there has as yet been no cases reported in this state. I do not think I shall
ever feel that degree of apprehension that I did last summer. Mary ann
Birth: 1805-05-02 Death: 1848-01-09
is, or is to be, at her fathers
Birth: 1780-04-19 Death: 1836-05-04
. I presume she has come up to attend her
Birth: 1814-07-27 Death: 1862-10-03
marriage. George Leitch
Birth: 1811-06-11 Death: 1855-02-28
took tea here a few evenings since. I do
not think his manners very attractive - he does not look or appear as well as
I imagined. Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
visited Mrs Smith
on Friday - a small party - Dick
was at
home so it appears the story was a fabrication — Thursday Morning — Black
Hawk and his escort for arrived here last night at nine and left this
morning at five oclock - so you perceive I have been so unfortunate as
to lose the opportunity of seeing one of the Lions of the day. 'Tis said
the President is expected to be here on the 4th. Calvin Edson
Birth: 1788 Death: 1831
is in the
Museum exhibiting his beautiful person. Peter and Miss Robinson
Mrs Hills
Birth: 1796 Death: 1863-04-22
cousin, alias her housekeeper, cook, or nurse went to see him
Monday evening. Mrs Hills has gone with Mr Hills
Birth: 1785-11-04 Death: 1856-09-25
, James
Birth: 1831 Death: 1882-09-08
and Mary Bissel jun-
Birth: 1833 Death: 1836-03-09
and Katy
to spend the summer at Saretoga. Miss Robinson keeps house
and William
Birth: 1821-08-21 Death: 1875-07-12
remains at home to continue his studies and sell the flowers
and fruit from the garden. There is nothing like teaching a boy to take care
of himself early in life. The weather is cold as October - no comfort away
from the fireside. I hope you find a more genial climate in the other hemisphere.
I dream almost every night about that long letter I shall begin to expect in about 3 weeks.
Page 3

Sunday Morning — Mrs Fosgate came here Friday morning and continued with us until
last evening - she dwells much on Serenes good management and love of the chil-
Unknown Birth: 1805  Death: 1884-01-19  Birth: 1838  Death: 1907-12 
- yesterday I set for Mrs Horner
Birth: 1780 Death: 1856-12-09Certainty: Probable
and Mrs Richardson
Birth: 1778 Death: 1857-08-21
. Mrs Horner is certainly one
of the most kind hearted of human beings and so free from the supercilious manner
which makes Mrs Fosgate (who is certainly a good hearted woman) sometimes so
disagreeable. Mrs Richardson was as composed and consistent as she ever is
and the Judge
Birth: 1776-06-05 Death: 1853-04
about as egotistical - he says if he could have charged the jury
Birth: 1799-12-18 Death: 1869-10-23
would have been hung - entered into an elaborate argument to prove his crim-
inality. William Fosgate
Birth: 1812-04-03 Death: 1897-08-19
came out yesterday to remain until after the 4th. Thomas
Y. Howe
Birth: 1801 Death: 1860-07-15
is as usual orator. Warren T. Worden
Birth: 1806-07 Death: 1891
having with commendable modesty
declined the honour. On Friday I received another kind letter from Jennings
he appears to appreciate my feelings about your absence and his letters afford me
much satisfaction - he says he shall expect news from abroad in two or three weeks
I shall endeavour not to expect to hear from you quite so soon as it is hardly reasonable
to do so, but am fearful my feelings will not at all times conform to ^the^ dictates of
my judgement. Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
's health continues improving but her mouth is still very trou-
blesome - she is very anxious to be strong enough to go to see Cornelia
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
where I
should think from what Jennings writes she intends spending the remainder of the
Summer - he says we must not calculate upon much of her time. Last evening
"Mrs Henry Seward" was summoned to the parlour. I knew from the M message that
it was some one from Orange County. I found Miss Wood
, Sally, I think - I did
not at first recognize her. She is with her Uncle
and is going to the west she
says, though I think she must be mistaken in the latter particular as she said
they were obliged to remain here until Teusday for a stage. I could not prevail
upon her to stay with us but shall see her again tomorrow and try and induce her to
visit us. They are staying at the Exchange. I must now go and make
myself ready for church — Afternoon — I went to Methodist meeting
this morning - too warm for comfort. Lazette came home with me. Worden
is now in the full tide of going to Aurora to settle - so much for Michigan.
The Woods

are very anxious to have him come and he thinks or did last evening
that it will be one of the finest things imaginable - he purposes going in about
a month - he may possibly continue of this mind one week if he does it will
be marvellous. Lazette says she shall not object to going any where, where there
is a prospect of his doing any thing in the way of business - you who know him so
well can judge how long this transient humour will continue. Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
has taken
bread cheese and cider and gone for a Sunday ride. Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
is asleep and Gus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11

has gone to meeting with Sarah Scott
Birth: 1811 Death: 1837
. This is the first comfortably warm day
we have had in some time. I enjoy it much - I think you must be in London
about these days. I so hope you will see Bulwer
Birth: 1803-05-25 Death: 1873-01-18
- now Byron
Birth: 1788-01-22 Death: 1824-04-19
and Scott
Birth: 1771-08-15 Death: 1832-09-21
are gone
I have more curiousity or a deeper interest in ^all that relates to^ him than any one else on that side
the ocean - saving and excepting your own dear self.
Page 4

Teusday morning - Dear Henry - Yesterday was one of the warmest of warm days - the 1st
of July. I went after dinner over to the Exchange, found Miss Wood and induced her
to come over and spend the remainder of the day with us - she is an excellent
sensible girl. She is going to Newtown to see Caroline
who it appears is married
and settled there - they leave this morning - she introduced me to her uncle
is quite an aged man - he declined my invitation to tea on account of the
extreme heat. Hughes
was here last night to borrow your military equipment
for the 4th. Peter says he is to be marshal for the day. I hear very little of the
arrangements - shall go to hear the oration if it is not too warm — Evening —
we have just returned from Lazettes - found an immense crowd assembled before
one of the Groceries and was very happy to recognize the face of Hugh McLallen
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16

among the number - he with his accustomed politeness offered to see us home. I
left him and Clary at the gate when they made arrangements to go to the
concert on the evening of the 4th - he sent an invitation to me to accompany
him. Clary says he asked her if she would be willing to go to Detroit to live -
which is pretty good evidence that he does not think that affair concluded
whatever she may have determined to the contrary. I must acknowledge
my inability to give any decisive opinion as Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
says "the Millers are
strange people". A wonderful sensation was produced here to day by the
swarming of the bees, this is an event which has been long expected. Peter
has remained at home at least three Sundays to watch them though he
spends a greater part of his time in the village on other days. Sarah
Birth: 1811 Death: 1837
the discovery and Grandma and Peter were immediately summoned to the
scene of action. They we soon discovered their inefficiency and Peter
was despatched for John Richardson
Birth: 1780-12-19 Death: 1849-04-14
who came over with an apprentice
to assist him. John the apprentice and Sarah finally succeeded in hiving
the bees who had chosen an apple tree for their location. Peters bravery
would not allow him to do any thing more than hold the steps for the apprentice
to ascend - he said in Ireland they managed these things much better for
they had nothing to do only make a straw hive and place it by the side of the
the others and the bees would take posession of it themselves. It is the first time
that I was aware that the passion of the Irish for emigrating extended to
their bees - but there is nothing like example. Well the bees were inducted into
their new home and John and his boy departed well satisfied with the process. But
the bess bees were not so well pleased - not liking the style of their new building or
the manner in which they were put in posession they with one accord all retur-
ned to the old hive. Pa, who was unfortunately deprived of the sport by being absent,
returned home about this time and the unhappy state of affairs was made known to
him - the occasion of the perverse conduct of the bees was long a subject of speculation
until he fortunately discovered by applying to the Encyclopedia that bees would always leave
a new hive if it rained at the time they were put in. This was entirely satisfactory as a few
Page 5

drops of rain had fallen about that time. Thus the matter terminated - what are the calculations
of the bees themselves with regard to a future residence I am quite incompetent to inform
you — Good night dearest — Saturday morning. The 4th was as usual ushered in with
the ringing of bells and firing of cannon which precluded all hope of sleep. The day was
overcast, occasionally raining - but not sufficiently unpleasant to prevent the people
from the country coming to attend the celebration. Lazette came down for me
and we went over to the church at eleven - here we waited more than an hour for
the procession to form and exhibit themselves to an admiring multitude - some
of the people had been in the church since 9 oclock I think they must have been
pretty considerably tired - the church was nearly filled with ladies or women
leaving but very few seats for the multitude of men who came in with the mil-
itary - great crowding jostling swearing and spitting as Mrs Trollope
Birth: 1779-03-10 Death: 1863-10-06
would say,
finally the bell ceased ringing and some degree of quiet was obtained occasionally
broken by the crying of a poor little baby whose mother was too patriotic to stay
at home as she should have done. Mr Axtell
Birth: 1800 Death: 1837-07-12
made a prayer which like all
his prayers was not very good. John Hulbert
Birth: 1802-12-28 Death: 1865-11-19
read the declaration of Independence,
his voice is very bad and endeavouring not to confine himself to the book he occa-
sionally lost his place - this was a complete faliure. Howe
Birth: 1801 Death: 1860-07-15
's oration was com-
posed of high-sounding words, and quotations from different authors both in prose
and poetry to use Lazettes expression "very well selected but not well arranged".
I do not think there was one original idea or expression throughout. However
it took marvelously with the multitude and every one is asking "did you not
admire the oration". I generally reply that Mr Howe has a very fine voice
and this in most cases is considered more than assenting to the proposition.
When this will not answer a "very well" is all that I can bring my conscience to
respond. Howe's voice is really very fine and no one could evince
To show in a clear manner; to prove beyond any reasonable doubt • to conquer •
more cool-
ness and self posession - but he wants animation even were the matter of his
discourse more interesting. But this grandiloquent style is very imposing to a
great proportion of the people who go to hear orations and few of them are sufficiently
well read to detect a quotation be it ever so trite. William Fosgate is the only
person I have conversed with who was not very much gratified. Mr Peck made
the concluding prayer and B brother Cole
Birth: 1797-04-02 Death: 1859-10-16
dismissed the assembly. Some of the
people dined at the Exchange (when the toasts were drank) and some at the American
among the latter number was Pa. Lazette says she thinks the celebration was of the
party order notwithstanding Howe in his oration deprecated every thing of the kind. I
know of nothing to oppose or confirm this supposition. John Garrow
Birth: 1804-08-06 Death: 1882-02-07
was marshal but I cannot
even tell who was president of the day if they had any. Clary and Lazette went to the concert
in the evening. I had two invitations but was obliged to decline them on account of a
severe headache. Fred feasted his eyes with the trainers their banner swords and so forth
he and Sarah Scott perambulated the streets to his hearts content. Augustus has got crakers
enough left for two or three more celebrations. The day must have appeared singularly
to you if you noted it at all it is the first time you have ever known it pass unheeded
my fortnight has more than passed its wonted limits so good by dearest your own
My love to your Father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24

Page 6

William H. Seward -
Care of Baring Brothers &Co
Auburn, N.Y.
Jul. 7


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
F. Seward
July 7. 1833