Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 28, 1833

  • Posted on: 10 March 2016
  • By: admin
Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 28, 1833



student editor


Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

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

Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 28, 1833

action: sent

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


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

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: jds 

revision: ekk 2015-06-22

Page 1

Paris August 28th 1833. At length my dear Frances we are arrived at the last grand
stage of our journey. There are many reasons why I am compelled to send you a shorter letter
now than any which I have hithereto written. We are as yet entirely unsettled, we arrived
last evening and took our temporary lodgings at the Hotel de Montmorency upon the
Boulevard Montmartre but with the intention of taking as is the custom
private rooms in some furnished house not a hotel. Wearied by the fatiguing
journey from Geneva having walked a considerable part of the distance I
am unable to write continuously with any spirit and lastly I must now
write a letter to Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
, another to my dearest and best friend your father
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
, one
to Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
and one to Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
, and perhaps one to each of three or four more
dear good friends. Think not I shall fail to write to you very soon and
at full length, I see nothing, I read nothing, I learn nothing without the con-
tinual sense that I see and read and learn for you and I hope for my
dear boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
also. Your generosity will prevent me to at least make an
apology to my friends for the neglect which they have suffered. That
done I will resume my journal and before I reach New York if health
be spared we will have made in some sort a record of all I have done
and seen and learned. Such part of it as I can finish before embarking
will be forwarded by letter, the residue I must deliver on my arrival
First let me tell you the cruel disappointment (under which I am depres-
sed) of my anticipation of letters. I have counted the number of arrivals which
might be expected at Liverpool and saying I should have a letter by each
ship. I went to my Bankers this morning to receive letters from you up to
the date of the first of July August. You may perhaps imagine how poign
ant was my disappointment at finding only one letter from you of the
date of 13th to the 20th June (being your second letter) and one from Weed
of about the same date. My father also received two letters from Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24

the last dated 9th July. Jennings letters speak of newspapers forwarded
but none have arrived and we have therefore no information except
what is furnished by the letters I have mentioned. But do not think I mean
to censure you. I know well that day and night you think of me always
and that you write to me every day. I misinformed you when I told you
that the pacquet would sail every fortnight. I learned after arri-
ving at New York that packets sail every 8 days. This I neglected to
mention in my hurried letter from Sandy Hook. Besides this the
packet ships are detained. Our Banker tells us that he hourly expects
the arrival of the mail from London with the letters forwarded
by the packet of the first of August and those which preceded it. Not-
withstanding the suspense which I feel concerning you and the dear boys
I have read with thankfulness and love for the third time the only letter
which has come to hand. I will try to forget my fears and be as hap-
Page 2

-py as I am sure the certain knowledge of your constant and devoted affection
ought to make me.
Next it is necessary to speak of our my return. On this subject nothing has been
decided. My father has all along thought he would leave Havre on the
15th October. Knowing his impatience to be going forward and his anxiety to
return I have only been disappointed that we were not even before this
time on our way to you and our friends. I do not believe our stay in

will exceed a fortnight although we are advised by no
means to embark before the fourth of October on account of the Equitor-
ial winds. For myself I hold every thing in readiness to go at an hours
warning and whatever has been my curiosity to see the old world thank
Heaven it is now so throughly well bridled that and by what I have seen
so far satiated that were it call at all consistent with the character I ought
to bear I would leave Paris unseen and embark forthwith to join you
in our dear home. But I mention the subject now principally for the pur-
pose of showing you the actual state of the case and as I shall write to you
again and again while we remain here you will be advised of the
determination of my father as soon as I can transmit it to you after lear-
ning it myself.
I have fancied every day your employment, your cares and
your thoughts and they have come to be the predominate subject of my
dreams. I have seen Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
mounted on his pony and Grand Pa in
his waggon and Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
in a fret and Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
and Grand Pa discuss-
ing the comparative mercy of the Catholics and Reformers. I have seen
Clary struggling to convince herself against strong a that
it would be possible to be independent when converted with one who would
be under continual embarrassment I have seen myself hated and heard
myself maligned by one one who has had least reason to complain
of me, I have seen my houses tenantless, my office deserted of Clients,
and my dear Frances and her boys struggling to cheer me in the hour
of want. These dreams have preserved so constant and vivid a recollec-
tion of home that despite the sombre shadings I am anxious to
retire and whatever fortune be before me to meet it with the phi-
losophy which the consciousness of your affection and my own
uprightness should inspire.
Your letter promises me one from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
, tell her that she is
never out of my thoughts and here as well at home I am guilty
of the sin of loving those who love me and the weakness of failures
to hate those who curse me.
Page 3

the hope that long before this time my dear mother has joined you at Auburn
If so tell her my fathers health continues to be as well as at the date
of former letters. Occasionally he is somewhat ill in consequence of too
great fatigue or of having taken a cold but that upon the whole I think
he is as well as he has been for many years. Tell her that I love
and respect her I hope in the measure of my duty and as I hope
to be loved and respected by my dear boys.
And now to quit subjects which tend under present circumstan
ces to gloomy thoughts let me tell you that the Saturday night
before the Monday on which we were to leave Geneva I dreamed
that my trunk which I had left at Darmstadt was delivered
to me at Geneva at the Diligence Office that on Sunday morn-
ing as soon as I had made my toilet and breakfast I presented
myself at the rail office and received the aforesaid trunk with
all its contents that on Sunday evening I parted almost with
tears from friends we had found at Geneva. That on Mon-
day morning at 6 O.Clock we left Geneva and long before
night left behind us forever the lovely lake, Mount Blanc
and the Glaciers, the land of William Tell and John Calvin
That on our long journey we encountered no embarassment
except being searched at the Douane and my having to pay three
francs duty upon a breast pin I bought at Geneva for You having
a view of Geneva and Mount Blanc upon it. That France is
Switzerland is as romantic, and France as lovely a land
as travellers have described and that Paris is more splendid
more wonderful than travellers can describe.
The first day we crossed the summit of the Jura Alps

. I traversed
the ascent and much of the descent on foot, and extending each
day my walks I came to Paris with boots busts to pieces
my feet somewhere blistered and in so ragged a plight that
I was surprised by the discovery at parting yesterday that I yet retained
the sincere and ardent
Hot or burning; causing a sensation of burning • Having the appearance or quality of fire; fierce • Warm; much engaged; passionate •
affection of two most lovely Genevese girls
to whom I became much attached on the way and whose affection I re
ciprocate most warily. All these things thereafter. In the mean
time remember that though it is my weakness to love many I am devoted to one only.
Page 4

Mrs William H Seward
New York.
pa Havre
Ship Oct 16


Type: postmark

Forwarded by Hottingner & Co.


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
From Paris 1833