Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 8, 1834

  • Posted on: 25 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to William Henry Seward, December 8, 1834



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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, December 8, 1834

action: sent

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


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


transcription: msr 

revision: obm 2017-03-08


Page 1

Auburn Dec 8th
My Dear Henry, I have been watching for a letter
from you for the last four days, but it comes not
& I am beginning the to feel some solicitude about
your health. I have seen no notice of the adjourment
of the Court or I should conclude you were not
in Albany. I was so sure that the letter would
come this morning that I wrote none yesterday.
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
went to Church but saw nothing
strange or new except in the way of bonnets.
This dismal weather continues-rain, snow, black
clouds and mud two feet deep. Peter will
not break the coal and insists upon keeping
the outside doors wide open maugre
In opposition; in spite of • To defy •
the springs,
(for which purpose he keeps three or four large
bricks in the kitchen) mar Maria 'le grand'
does not improve in neatness or civillization.
and the 'petit' Maria keeps our well beloved Grand-
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
in a very unpleasant state of excitement.
I am not more than half well my limb is weak
and painful and the abscess still troublesome.
This is the view I take of things when I get up faint
and languid
Flagging; drooping; weak; feeble; heavy; dull • Slow • Dull; heartless •
after a night of unusual nervous
excitement—a little reflection convinces me it is
all wrong and I then turn to the bright side of
the picture. Peter I leave out entirely he would
mar any picture. Maria is much better than
no help at all and Grandma is an old woman
who does not always feel a christian spirit but
is a good Grandmother notwithstanding. I am as
well perhaps as I ought to expect to be all
circumstances considered and my precious little
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
are well and always have smiles and
kisses in abundance when Mama requires their cheering

[top Margin] is missing it was the first which came after you left home
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
thinks he sent it up to me but I believe he must be mistaken
as I have been very careful of those I cut out—cant you
get it at the Journal office I have left a place for it
in the scrap book-it is an account of your visit to St
-your own Frances
Page 2

influence. I soon discover that I am 'rich in blessings'
reproach myself with ingratitude to the Giver of all
good and resolve no more to indulge a dissatisfied
spirit. Tuesday—My Dear Henry while I was
yet writing Mr Rutherford
Birth: 1816-11-16 Death: 1892-05-30
brought me your last
dear good letter-the affectionate tone in which
it is written made me and still makes me very
happy. I was pleased with Mr Rutherford and
will endeavour to do as you desire. I do indeed
wish we could arrange matters so that you
might be more with your family independent
of all selfish feelings it has always grieved
me that our little boys knew so little of
their father-how delightful the long winter
evenings would be if you could be with us-
Do not fail to have your miniature taken I
have set my heart upon it. I think I would
prefer the watch you have to the one with the
cover over the crystal but you can judge
better having seen both. You are very kind
to offer to purchase for me anything I may fancy
I want now I do not really require anything
but if you go to New York you may if you
please and they are not too expressive get
me a gold comb. Now a gold comb does
not mean a comb all made of gold at
least I judge so from seeing them worn by
persons who could not afford such expensive
ornaments-in that case I do not want one
but if you can find one suitable which shall
not cost more than $10 I would like one if
I am mistaken about this value do not
get one because you think it will be a dis-
appointment to me I should be much more
disappointed to have you bring me an ornament
so foolishly expensive as a comb would necessarily
be of entire gold. The tops are small- they are
worn in the back hair and seem are plain and
seem to be more for use than ornament. Now you
see dear one I should not have thought of this had
Page 3

you not made me that kind offer as it is I cannot so
far belie a womans nature as to refuse. As I have
made this so much a letter of business I will
go on still further in the same strain. I have
been thinking that perhaps it will be best if
you go to Orange County for you to take that
Birth: 1819-11-24 Death: 1854-12-18
of Chloe's


whom she has always been
so desirous that we should have. She is three
or four years older than Maria and I suppose would
be able to do more work. Maria is not deficient
in capacity but requires constant superintendence.
My superintendence
To have or exercise the charge and oversight of; to oversee with the power of direction; to take care of with authority •
for she will mind no one else.
I do not see how I am to get along with only the
same assistance we have now after Clary goes
away. Clary says she will take Maria, this
I presume will satisfy Peter, and Grandma is
so prejudiced against the child that she is
determined to see nothing but evil in her disposition
she makes m[ e ]


Reason: hole
very uncomfortable with constant
complaints. It may not remedy the matter to m[ ake ]


Reason: hole

this exchange but she has a peculiar dislike for
every thing belonging to Peter Miller
Birth: 1802-11-26 Death: 1851-09-17
. On his account
I should be unwilling to have Maria go to live with
anyone but a member of our family. I presume
Chloe has not engaged her girl to any one as Harriet
Birth: 1807-04-20 Death: 1883
said she was desirous that she should take her.
After all you must do as you think best about it
perhap you will think of some better arrangement.
I received a letter from Lazette
Birth: 1803-11-01 Death: 1875-10-03
today she as usual made
many affectionate enquiries about you-the little boys
are delighted with their medals-keep them in little
boxes which are opened twenty times a day. Augustus
reads an hour for me every night-he reads tolerably
well and it is a source of much amusement & some
entertainment to me. It is snowing very fast & I must
endeavour before Christmas to ride as far as Mr Buttery's
my little boys stockings may not be found empty Christmas morning.
I look at the "Last Days of Pompeii"
Author: Edward Bulwer-Lytton Publisher: R. Bentley Place of Publication:London Date: 1834
with longing eyes but dare
not read more than two or three pages at a time - nothing could
be more acceptable in the reading time. Remember me to Uncle
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
. I shall expect to see him on his return. I had almost forgotten
to mention a thing which I consider important. Your 53d letter
Page 4

William H. Seward
Care of B.J. Seward
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24

205 Broadway Albany
N.Y. City
DEC 10


Type: postmark
Frances A. Seward
Dec. 8. 1834.
Hand Shiftx

William Seward

Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
2.88 2.00