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

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



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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 William Henry Seward, November 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: Albany, NY

transcription: gew 

revision: ekk 2015-06-22

Page 1

Auburn Monday 25th
My Dear Henry, I did not go to Aurora on Saturday as I intended
I could not arrange matters to my satisfaction. Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
’s watch was not
ready and Frances
Birth: 1854-02-13 Death: 1931-05-23
hood was unfinished so I concluded to wait until
Tuesday and now it is snowing and blowing and it will be impossible
for me to go tomorrow. I regret it very much as Lazette is constantly
expecting me and she is so much alone there that she will feel
a disappointment of this kind very sensibly. I did not write you
one word yesterday dearest and as it was Sunday a day that I always
do write the omission occasioned some compunctions of conscience. But
I went to Church, dressed the little boys
x Birth: 1830-07-08  Death: 1915-04-25  Birth: 1826-10-01  Death: 1876-09-11 
(Sarah being gone) and wrote a
letter to our Brother Jennings
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
, which I know you will think right
and then after reading a little, very little in the Bible I found that
day light had disappeared and I could do no more. I regret more and
more that the weakness of my eyes incapacitates me for so many
employments that are useful and pleasant and nothing grieves me
more than my inability to write to you at night. Evening seldom comes
to me, without bringing with it an undefinable melancholy, it is then that
my thoughts and feelings centre most fondly on those I love, and it is then
when the little boys are asleep and all is quiet around me, that I am
most happy to confide those thoughts and feelings to one who never refuses
me sympathy. Wednesday morning. I am still at home, the very unpleasant
state of the weather prevented my going to Aurora yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon you letter came. I was glad to hear that you had
so pleasant a journey down I was fearful it would be quite the reverse,
it was so cold and dreary here. We heard of Tracy
Birth: 1793-06-17 Death: 1859-09-12
’s election on Sunday
were of course all very much rejoiced. Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
was right after all,
but she insists upon thinking Tracy must be very much disappointed
as he did not wish to go at all. I told her I had some doubts
about the disappointment being so very grievous although I admit
that such revolutions in ones feelings are any thing but pleasant.
I hope Aunty
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
will get down before the canal closes if it has not done
so already. Do you know any thing of Mr
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
and Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
? When are they
to go down? Is Birdsall
Birth: 1791-05-14 Death: 1872-02-08
at Congress Hall? How do you like Matty
Certainty: Probable
I have hardly seen any one since you left home. Went to Church on
Sunday, they had succeeded in making the house comfortably warm with
those ‘stoves’ but it was ‘barely comfortable’ and the day was not cold.
Mr Lucas
Birth: 1799 Death: 1839-08-25
was as interesting as usual. Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
came home with me
(by the way Lounsbery
 Death: 1843-05-18
did not sit in our slip) and said the Hills’
x Birth: 1796  Death: 1863-04-22  Birth: 1785-11-04  Death: 1856-09-25 
very much troubled about Maria Kellogg
Birth: 1811-09-06 Death: 1839-12-04
’s visiting us, she has not come
yet and he is apprehensive that they will take some measures to prevent
her coming at all. So much for Beardsley. Mrs Minard
Birth: 1810-01-15 Death: 1888-10-19
has not
returned yet is expected this week and the old Major
Birth: 1775-02-01 Death: 1849-02-20
has proposed that
I should give a party on the occasion, however he had the grace
to put it on the ground of your return from Europe

. I did not
happen to feel very accommodating just at that time and thought
it a matter of some doubt. Clary had an interview with Hugh
Birth: 1791-09-07 Death: 1860-11-16

Sunday evening. He is getting refractory and insists upon being married
immediately. Clary came home not very well satisfied disliking all mankind
always excepting yourself and Sammy Compston
Birth: 1790 Death: 1850-04-03
. She considers Sammy a
Page 2

paragon of husbands, thinks she can persuade
To influence by argument, advice, or intreaty • To convince by arguments, or reasons offered •
Hugh to wait until Spring
in consideration of my going to Albany. Yesterday Pa
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
was employed
most of the day in superintending
To have or exercise the charge and oversight of; to oversee with the power of direction; to take care of with authority •
the cutting up of a couple of hogs
with one of grandmas’ checked aprons on to protect his clothes. The
house as is usual at such seasons is covered with grease and mud.
I find I have a wonderful aversion to pork and think some of turning Jew
Peter is very important and when he speaks of you calls you “the old
man.” When the pork mania has subsided I think he and I will
have an understanding upon this subject. I heard Peter regretting
when he heard of Tracy’s election that he had voted the Regency
ticket, he has no opportunity to toast about what “we Antimasons”
have done.
I received a letter from Lazette yesterday.
James Burnham
Birth: 1817-02-11 Death: 1840-01-29
is to be married to day, and she says the whole of
^the inhabitants of^ Aurora are engaged in making preparations for the wedding. She
says “tell Henry how much I love him and that I intend to write soon.”
I am now deliberating about going to see her tomorrow. It is very cold
and the ground is covered with snow—were it not that I love my sister
exceedingly I should yield to the influence of the vapours
A substance in the gaseous state that is normally in the form of a solid or liquid • Any visible diffused substance floating in the atmosphere and impairing its transparency • Wind; flatulence • Something unsubstantial or fleeting • A disease of nervous dibility, in which a variety of strange images float in the brain; depression of spirirt • To pass off in fumes; to evaporate • To boast or vaunt with a vain display of worth; to boast •
which beset
me with visions of tooth ache rheumatism
A painful disease affecting muscles and joints of the human body, chiefly the larger joints, as the hips, knees, and shoulders •
and many other of the
“ills which flesh is heir to.” Grandma and Pa will surely think me
crazy. I dare not propose taking Fred along though I know his Aunty
will be much disappointed not to see her little boy.
I give myself a French lesson every morning but with such indifferent
instruction cannot expect to progress very rapidly. I have read
two or three of the little stories and find it much more easy
as I become more acquainted with the verbs.
Thursday morning. I am not going to Aurora to
day. I should be obliged to remain until Monday and that all the
circumstances considered would make my visit too long, have concluded
to go Saturday and return Monday. Clary and I went out yesterday
in all the mud to purchase a calico
Plain white cloth made from cotton, but which receives distinctive names based on quality and use • Printed cotton cloth •
dress for Lazette, called
at Mrs Sherwoods
Birth: 1794-02-11 Death: 1866-02-03
—she was very eloquent on the subject of hired girls
said she intended to have come to our house while you were at home
but she has eight children three of them babies which is sufficient
apology for a woman to stay at home. She looks very young
and pretty notwithstanding. I made an unsuccessful attempt to
get a seamstress—went to almost every store in town and came
home very much fatigued. I have received the Headsman
Author: James Fenimore Cooper Publisher: Carey, Lea & Blanchard Place of Publication:Philadelphia Date: 1833
have read only one Chapter. This book cannot fail to interest me, although
I am not an admirer of Coopers
Birth: 1789-09-15 Death: 1851-09-14
novels generally. Switzerland havingung
a country always sufficiently attractive to me is invested with new charms
since you have made it the scene of your wanderings and sojournings.
I wrote yesterday to Mary Ann Brownell
Birth: 1813-05-21 Death: 1842-01-25
, who I am told is not married
to engage her for a nurse this winter. I hope she will be able to go
for though I have not the same confidence in her that I have in Eliza
is nice and good natured and much preferable to one of whom I know nothing.
Augustus goes to school every day and slides all the way there and back
again, he thinks winter delightful. Fred and Maria
are at present very
much engaged in constructing a “phantasmaglory” as Maria calls it.
the doors are open at 7 oclock precisely. Grandma groans about
the waste of paper and candles and expects nothing else but “that girl”
will set the house on fire. Sarah
Birth: 1811 Death: 1837
and her husband
commenced housekeeping
yesterday. Peter has given Sarah an outfit. I have many doubts about their
succeeding. Rouse has been sick (to put the most charitable construction upon it) ever
since they were married, some of the time under the care of a physician. Clary has
given them provisions for one week and then Rouse thinks he will be able to do something
Page 3

for himself. I read most of your letter to Pa, he and Grandma had a long argument about Mr
Birth: 1788-10-26 Death: 1867-11-27
’s age. Your own Frances.
Page 4

William H. Seward
Congress Hall
Auburn NY
Nov 28


Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
Frances A. Seward 21 Nov. 1833.